Saturday, December 3, 2016

Spanish for Saga

Or alternately, "out with the old, in with the new." I discovered Crusader Miniatures El Cid Spanish well after I'd painted my Spanish warband using Gripping Beast Normans. I fell in love with the Crusader figures the first time I saw them.  With so much history to paint, it seems silly to repeat a project but that's whats happening here.    

After putting in an order with Crusader, I set about locking in my new color scheme.  My GB Spanish were done in yellows & reds. I tried yellow and black on these Spanish footmen for a test run. Overall, I'm pleased but I'll take the yellow down a notch.  

I'm using a desert basing that matches my Moors so the two can be used against each other in Hail Caesar.  In Saga, I can swap individual figures back and forth for a nice Reconquista look to the warbands.   

With 33-41 horses to paint, I dug out a tutorial on the Metal Mountain blog for the oil wipe method.  I was thrilled with the combination of speed and shading I achieved so the oil wipe method is a lock as well.

I'm blessed to have a buyer in Chicago for almost all of my 15mm & 28mm painting. After a few emails, my Spanish/Norman/Breton/Strathclyde warband was on its way to the Windy City.  The buyer owns a gaming store so these fellows will see the table quite a bit.  It makes me happy to know that something I've painted is put to good use. If you're ever in Chicago and you see these lads out, send me a picture!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Dead Man's Hand

These lovely figures are the "Daughters of the West" set by Great Escape Games.  Each is a character in her own right and that made these fun to paint. Its hard to come up with a back story when you're painting 70 figure warbands for SAGA but it worked for me here.

These fellows are part of the Dead Man's Hand Rogues collection.  Speaking of a story, the Preacher looks to be channeling the abolitionist John Brown.  I can't wait to get him out on the tabletop, even if it is just for a bit of color in a gunfight.
My friend John Stentz hosts a Halloween-themed game of DMH every October. We played  "Dead Man's Hand, Dead Again" with Cowboys versus Zombies last year. This  year was "Night of the Undead Man's Hand" with Outlaws versus Lawmen versus zombies.  You read that right.  Each turn, 3 zombies spawned from a grocery store in the middle of the table and moved to the sound of the nearest gun!  It was a target rich environment with Oktoberfest beers, pumpkin pie and lots of laughs. It's a testament to the game that 3 years on, Dead Man's Hand in still in  rotation and I'm already looking forward to our next Halloween showdown.  

I've got two new SAGA warbands under way. The US Grand Melee is next March and I've got 4 months to paint and train up with a new warband.  I'm split on taking the Spanish or Mutatawwi'a. Whatever I take, it'll be another epic event, courtesy of Eric Hagen and all the great players who turn out. This gaming life is a good one!

Thursday, October 27, 2016


In the last 5 years, I've painted thousands of historical figures but no fantasy ones.  Frostgrave made me break this streak as Step 1 to trying the game is to paint figures for it. I'd hoped to buff today's post with a review of the rules but my friends and I are far down the historical rabbit hole.  One day!

So, how were these North Star Military figures to paint?  Their plastics went down easy but the metal sets were a trial! They're fantastic scuplts, jam-packed with layered and fine detail.  I had to slow down, stretch myself and learn a bit.  Crossing the finish line was a relief and I'm quite thankful to be back to historicals.  Perhaps I need to sit down with my fantasy-painting friends and learn some of their tricks.

Frostgrave Plastic Soldiers

 Cultist Thief & Barbarian

 Thief & Barbarian

 Elementalist & Apprentice

 Knight & Templar

 Illusionist & Apprentice

 Tracker & Warhound

 Apothecary & Marksman

After this bunch, I'm back to ancients, Moors, Mutataww'ia, El Cid Spanish and Dead Man's Hand. Can I take a sabbatical from work so I can paint and play more?  Um, I'm pretty sure no.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Pyrrhic Army Debut!

I generally avoid painting pike armies as drilling out their tiny hands is a headache.  When I painted up my War and Empire Pontics this summer, I was surprised by how quickly I managed to get through this stage.  I leveraged that experience into a Pyrrhic army with 144 pike-carrying buggers.  

This was a big project so bear with me as I swamp your browser with picturess!  First up are the group shots.  I wasn't completely satisfied with these so I've got unit shots up too. 

Phalangites were the mainstay of Pyrrhus of Epirus' army.  They were sourced from Epirot, Macedonia and the Tarantum.  Fighting 15 deep, their angled pike sheltered men from the full effect of the Roman pilum.  Polybus wrote "Nothing can withstand the frontal assault of the phalanx as long as it retains its characteristic formation and strength." 

Thureophoroi were an all-purpose troop armed with a long thrusting spear, javelins and a sword.  They could form up in loose or close formation and thus, operate in rough terrain.  According to Plutarch, they could fight as skirmishers and then fall back, assume spears and tighten their ranks. These do look the part!

Ellies!  I added shields to these lovely models to keep them with the BYOB (bring your own brass) theme for this army.  At the battle of Heraclea and Asculum, Phyrrus kept his elephants in reserve, a tactic common with the Successor armies.  

Command Stands: Pyrrhus of Epirus is the commanding fellow in the center. Ancient historian Justin had this to say about Pyrrhus. "It is stated by authors that no king, either of that or the former age, was to be compared to Pyrrhus...and that he had such knowledge of the military art, that though he fought against great princes as Lysimachus, Demetrius and Antigonus, he was never conquered. In his wars too with the Illyrians, Sicilians, Romans and Carthaginians, he never came off inferior, but was generally successful."

Agema Heavy Cavalry.  These figures could be used in your Macedonian or Successor armies as well. One of the great things about ancients is you can port some figures across multiple armies.

Tarantine Light Cavalry 

Peltasts or as they're labelled on the War and Empire website, Italian Light Infantry.  Lots of variety in this set! 

Bolt Throwers:  These will be paired with the Roman army I painted last year.  This post is too long so I won't ramble on.  Instead, it's off to the next project!