Thursday, January 12, 2017

Footsore USA is open!

Attention US Saga-mites!  Footsore Miniatures USA is open and taking orders.  Bill Thornhill oversees the Ohio location that manufactures & ships to US customers. If you haven't tried Footsore, give them a go. When you do, you'll discover top-shelf figures that are among the best in the market.

Footsore is just the ticket for the new warbands in the SAGA supplement Aetius & Arthur. They've got Goths, Early Saxons, Irish, Late Roman, Romano-British and Early Byzantines. Picts will be released as well and I'll  order them as soon as they go up. In the meantime, I'm painting a new Mutataww'ia warband using Footsore's Saracen figures. More on that to come...

I'm currently making a display board using Golden Gel Mediums Crackle paste. If all goes well, this will be the Spanish display board for the US Grand Melee.   Here's hoping it looks like a dried riverbed or salt flat when it's done.  So far, it is crackly!  

Last up, I finished a new warlord for my Moors.  I like to paint up multiple warlords for each of my warbands.  Much like Lincoln and the Union army, I'll swap out leaders until I find a winner.  I'm quite happy with how it turned out.

I was less happy about his first time on the table.  The poor bugger went down to a swarm of  Milites Christi knights. If he keeps it up, he'll get the hook just like McClellan.  And Hooker.  And Pope. Feeling #Kindofblue.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Soviet Naval Infantry

Nothing lights a fire under my brushes like a tournament.  I'm in a Bolt Action event this weekend with a historically-themed list. My theme is the 83rd Naval Rifle Brigade in the Crimea, 1942. I’ve always been fascinated by the 350,000 Soviet sailors repurposed to fight on land. Naval Infantry were the best troops in the Crimea and their stubbornness earned them the nickname “Black Death.”

The 83rd  Naval participated in the Red Army’s first major amphibious landing.  With only two weeks planning, they were loaded onto a makeshift flotilla including fishing vessels to cross the Kerch Straights. Whaleboats dumped them on a frozen, remote beach with the goal of linking up with 4 other landings on the Kerch Peninsula.  As they waded ashore, some men drowned in the surf or fell to hypothermia. Despite the abysmal start, the 83rd spotted Germans gathering near the beachhead and launched a vicious spoiling attack. The amateur amphibious landings succeeded in deposited the 51st Army on the Kerch Peninsula where they took up a defensive position.  This second front took some pressure off the besieged city of Sevastopol.  Due to bickering and a series of incompetent actions between Kozlov and the Front commissar, the 83rd was nearly destroyed with the rest of the Soviet forces during Manstein’s Operation Bustard Hunt. Three armies, 21 divisions, 176,000 men, 347 tanks, and nearly 3,500 guns were lost to the German offensive. The remains of the 83rd were evacuated.  The reconstituted 83rd played a crucial role in the Caucasus by stopping the Germans at the Proletary Cement Factory in Novorossiysk, 8/9 September, 1942.  

Figures all Black Tree Design (helmets) and Warlord Games (Naval caps).  I also finished two units of Naval Tank Hunters and a Maxim MG unit  that I left them out of the photo.

I'll also field a ZiS-3 76mm gun pictured above, an early war BA-10 armored car, a GAZ transport and GAZ AAA truck.  I'm happy with how they turned out, especially my first airbrushed vehicles.   

Vehicle weathering is a work in progress.  There are so many options and methods its a bit overwhelming. For now, I'm satisfied to get a nice panel lighting effect.  The brightness is not everyone's cup of tea but I like it quite a bit.  I even took my first stab at streaking oils.  

Now that I can field 2 platoons of Naval Infantry plus supporting options, my ever-growing Soviet force will take a rest. Then its back to my Spanish for Saga!

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!