Saturday 24 December 2011

2012 Resolutions

Blimey, still Christmas Day (just) and I've already knocked my resolutions together.  I trust everyone had a great time... and got suitable presents.  I got a fantastic Napoleonic book, that I'll feature in another post, and the Osprey Campaign on the First Crusade.

In 2012 my primary project will be for my Early Imperial Romans, what I'm calling my sixty/sixty/one:sixty programme.  This will involve building up my EIR Romans up to sixty cohorts of 8 legionaries, and sixty auxiliary cohorts/alae of either 8 infantry or 6 cavalry, which (with Praetorians and rif-raf) will give me around 1150 EIR figures, enabling me to fight a medium-sized 69/70 AD civil War battle, at 1:60 scale. To achieve this, I'll need to buy/paint and base something like an additional 400 miniatures over the next year.
My secondary project will be my new Napoleonic habit; first I shall finish my projected 100-man cavalry division, described on my other blog.

...and after that, whatever I fancy of several infantry formations I have underway.  I'd like to think I'll have a complete infantry brigade by the end of March, and at least 2 more by the end of the year. 

My third resolution is to paint a unit or two for Glorantha, which I've not really touched for 2 years. In particular, I'm minded to paint the Agimori (tall, desert-dwelling pikemen) that I sculpted and drop-cast the best part of 5 years back (below).  They are pretty crude, but at 40mm tall they are almost literally men-and-a half.  Those pikes need to be able to stop a charging rhino...  I'd then like to do some more Praxian warfare, using Ian's bison and sable nomads, and my lunar war-triceratops and whatnot.  Perhaps I might even finish the long-delayed high-llamas that we needed as mounts for that tribe...


This year I must spend far less than last, and must sell some miniatures from non-core periods, to raise dosh and clear space (be very afraid, my Vikings and Assyrians...).  I do find selling stuff boring, when there are so many minis to paint and blog.  :-(

Finally, this year I shall game more regularly; perhaps not weekly, but at least every two weeks.

That's the lot!  If you have any resolutions, please do post a link in the comments, I'd love to see them.

Friday 23 December 2011

2011 Review of my Modelling Year

First of all, I think this will be my last blog posting before the holidays, and I'd like to wish everyone a very Merry Xmas, and a happy and prosperous New Year!

It's the time when I like to review last year's resolutions, and start to thnk about setting some new ones.  Last year I said:-

"I've given some more though to what I'm going to paint this year, after the French Indo China, Ancient Germans/Laager and Marian Romans that I've previously mentioned as Q1 objectives.  I've decided to concentrate on Early Imperial Romans, because:-
  • I have a lot of EIR units part painted, that I should be able to finish relatively quickly
  • I also have a huge amount of unpainted EIR lead so it will save me money
  • I really like EIRs and want to run a campaign; my favourite Roman text is Tacitus' Histories
  • They would look great for a big display game, in 2012
But will I be able to stick to my plan?"

The Q1 objectives were a mixed bag.  I did briefly paint some French Indo China stuff in January, although I failed (yet again) to complete the pesky  wagon laager which has not advanced on my to-do list since January 2009.  My Caesarians have crept slightly forward, with the addition of a rather splendid cohort and some lovely command figures, from Andres.

My main objective for the year, the Early Imperials, has been quite successful.  I completed my 240-man legion, and recently finished a smaller 80-man legion of ex-Marines.  I also added around 80 more auxiliaries (with a similar number out to painters).   However, there are still enough unpainted Romans left, to keep me very busy in 2012.  I also finished not one, but two cohorts of A&A Middle Imperial Romans and a half a dozen units of Late Imperial Romans.  In total I finished 22 units of ancients.  

A new period burst onto the scene for me in May- Napoleonics.  Recognising that this would become a very serious "habit", I started a new blog to document it, My Very Own Spanish Ulcer.  It does take away time I'd love to lavish on ancients, but it's good to be learning about a new historical period, and the uniforms are nice.  I miss shields, but there are still standards with eagles on!  I am very taken with the Perry and Victrix plastics.

The number of my unpainted miniatures only rose by 101 this year, due largely to fewer purchases and getting quite a lot painted.  I made a decision not to count unpainted Napoleonic plastic (which is just as well, as I must have rather more than a thousand of them!).  The new period (with a lot of purchases of painted figures) made this my most expensive wargaming year, ever, and I will cut back next year.

Right, I'm off to wrap the presents- have a good one, everyone!  

Cheers, Simon

Friday 16 December 2011

I Aduitrix; Finished at Last!

I've finally completed my I Adiutrix (assistant, supportive or rescuer depending on who you read) legion.  This force was hurriedly recruited in 69AD from the marines sailors of the Roman fleet at Misenum, and fought bravely at Bedriacum, and later in Germany.  I’ve read that many of the sailors may have been of Egyptian origin.   Do, please, have a click!

This is the first of my new, smaller legions, of 80 figures in 10 x 8 man cohorts, although it can also be deployed as three 24-man cohorts, for smaller engagements.  I’m going to split my 240 man legion down in much the same way, and next spring hopefully paint another 80 man legion (perhaps even XXI Rapax, that gave Adiutrix so much trouble).  Once I have 6 or so legions, I’ll be able to start to think about re -fighting the larger battles of the civil war, or my long-threatened Roman campaign.

The Legate, Orfidius Benignus, was killed in the fighting at first Bedriacum, in 69AD.  I like the expression this mini (Below) has; it says arrogant patrician, to me.

I’ve used as many Black Tree Miniatures as possible, but ran out of command figures and so used some Crusader and Foundry to add a little variety; they fitted in surprisingly well. For the same reason, I did some head-swaps and a little light conversion work on the legionaries. I’ve given them a varied selection of legionary and auxiliary gear, shields and weapons, as befits a legion newly raised in time of civil war.  There are 3 optios in the rear ranks.

I have developed quite an affection for BTD; they paint up nicely.  They are relatively cheap, too (but alas, not nearly as cheap as they used to be).

Saturday 10 December 2011

Adiutrix WIP

Last night I fixed shields to minis, and this morning I made up a new batch of bases and glued the minis to them.

I've made the bases slighty deeper than usual (25mm as opposed to 20mm), because I know that BTD minis, once they have shields attached, have a fairly large footprint.  The deeper bases also enable me to adopt a slightly irregular basing style, as my concept is that this legion has been recently raised, and is less well drilled than others. 

In this shot from the rear, I'm  pleased with the effect created by the variety of the tunic colours. 

Tonight I'll apply my BigRedBatGunk to the bases, and hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to start painting them; must be 3 or 4 nights of basing work ahead.  It'll all be over by Xmas.

Thursday 8 December 2011

Boss Eyed

If these look a little blurred to you, they do to me too; I've just finished my 5th long evening in a row on this lot of 86 shields.  Session 4 painted the shield bosses, and session 5 the brass rims.  I must reluctantly admit they still need at least one, and possibly two more sessions, before I can call them finished.  

I am very bored.  :-(

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Scuta II

A quick update on the shields; all the blue edging is painted in, and I've washed the new paintwork with satin varnish wth a little blue ink mixed, to give it depth.  Unfortunately, the flash has taken out the detail in the photo; the shields are starting to look very good, in real life.  2-3 sessions more work is needed; bosses tomorrow, I hope.

In answer to today's questioners, I've been using my fingers to hold them, rather than sticking them to a base.  Whilst being painted, the curved shields rest neatly over my left index finger, which is now Porcelain Blue, and lightly varnished.

Sunday 4 December 2011

Fabricae Scutaria

...a quick post to show progress on the shields for my ex-Marines.  I want to achieve an irregular look, and so I'm using a mix of 4 styles- oval BTD at top (as perhaps used on shipboard), BTD clipped scuta, a few round parma for the standard bearers and the bulk of the legion with rectangular A&A scuta (mix of round and square bosses).  All of the designs are LBMS.

First I sprayed the shield backs brick red, then the fronts white (with a quick coat of gloss varnish to help the transfers stick).  I then retouched the back of the shields with GW terracotta, anad cut out and applied the transfers.  The next stage will be to extend the blue to the edge of the shields, then paint the bosses, rims, ink, varnish and so forth.  Lots left to do, but good progress, this weekend, I reckon!

Friday 2 December 2011

Sundry Ruperts and Tars

I've finished the last 18 fiigures for my Naval legion; the offices (or "Ruperts" in naval parlance) are above.  Models are a mix of Black Tree, Foundry, Crusader and Companion.  You might be able to make out an Aventine dolphin standard, kindly donated by Keith. Not my best photo... they look better in the "flesh".


The photo of my optios and the last few legionaries ("Tars") came out rather better (above, all Black Tree). The faces have bags of character.  Next I have to paint 80 shields...