Saturday, February 28, 2015

Celtic swirls for SAGA

Scrounging for something quick to paint, I found these resin casts I bough for SAGA's Sacred Ground scenario.  The Fenris Games casts are clearly inspired by Celtic triple swirl rock carvings. The casts are not glued down so I can move them around.  They'll pull double duty as rocky ground or Sacred Ground as needed.   

Tower Games is host a SAGA tournament today and I'm going to run a Strathclyde Welsh warband. I scrounged up a Strathclyde warlord to lead the boys.  My buddy said this would make a great gift for his eldest daughter.  All kidding aside, its a nice bit of sculpting from Gripping Beast and he does have a throwback look.  

I pulled my Norse-Gaels warband out for a head count and group shot. Since I can only field 6 points (about 41 figures) at the SAGA Grand Melee in Chicago, nearly half of these lads will be cheering from the sidelines. As much as I've enjoyed them, I'm ready to play a new faction. I'm thinking of posting these up for sale after the tournament.  I'll also share tips and observations for playing the Norse-Gaels once Adepticon is over.  I've found them a tricky faction to play but once you get on a roll, they can really rip it up.  
You may have noticed my blogging and commenting is getting spotty. That's because I've got a 1,200+ figure West Wind Punic War commission under way. The upside is the new figures are a joy to paint.  The downside is I won't be able to paint and blog with a project this big. To fill the gap, I set up a Twitter account -  Monty Luhmann@TwinCitiesGamer. New to the Twittersphere, I need peeps to follow and to follow me. 

I hope your staying warm and surviving winter.  I am but just barely thanks to my paintbrushes.  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mustering Sertorius' Lusitanians

Rebel Roman general Quintus Sertorius is one of my ancient world favorites.  He waged a brilliant six year guerrilla war against Rome, at times driving them out of Hispania.  Badly outnumbered, he inflicted stinging defeats on the Romans and nearly captured Pompey. After reading Philip Matyszak's superb Sertorius and the Struggle for Spain, I was primed to paint the Spanish again. Without further ado, here's Sertorius' Lusitanians, version 2.

Lusitanian Scutarii: In L'art de la Guerra, the Sertorius option allows scutarii to be upgraded from impetuous swordsmen (not too good) to impact swordsmen (better!). That reflects Sertorius turning the Lusitanians into a well-drilled army.  In game, the scutarii are better in terrain and fight even at impact with legionaries.  They don't have equal staying power in melee as medium foot have less cohesion to lose than heavy foot. And of course, legionaries armor helps in melee as well.

Large Shield Cavalry: Spanish medium cavalry that can be taken as elite.

Small Shield Cavalry:  Light horse are a nuisance in ADLG, just as in Field of Glory.  Having had my camp sacked by light horse twice in my first two games, I'll field my own as a counter.

Caetrati: Light foot javelinmen have a role in this army.  They'll challenge in terrain, skirmish and then make way for the main battle line.

Burning Carts:  In ADLG, the Spanish can take burning carts, which are treated as Scythed Chariots in combat.  I couldn't fit a cart & team on a 40mm x 40mm base so I used a light chariot instead.  The fire is a bit supersized, making it hard to miss on the tabletop.  I'll field burning carts because they're cheap, look cool and might annoy my opponent.

Commanders:  No ancient army is complete without command stands.  I HAD to sneak a priestess on one of the stands.

Camp: The challenge with a camp is telling a story in a 120mm x 80mm footprint. Over the years, I've gone from dreading camps to having fun with them. Sertorius was famous for hitting the Romans when they least expected it. The fabulous variety of Corvus Belli figures and tree bark made the whole thing go.

The last piece of this army is Sertorius' legionaries.  I'm painting a Late Republican Roman army as a foil and I'll port some of the legionaries over to Sertorius when I'm finished.

If you'd like a quick read on Sertorius, take a look at an old post I wrote here.  If you want a deep dive, I highly recommend Philip Matyszak's Sertorius and the Struggle for Spain.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Speed gluing shields in 15mm

With our moribund ancients group coming alive again to play L'Art de la Guerre, I'm rushing to rebuild my 15mm ancients collection. This requires a bit of work since I sold all my armies last year, save one.  The upside to a collection of one is that I'll double it shortly.  I expect to double it again before the year is out.

After years of painting Old Glory, I'm finding Corvus Belli's ancient Spanish to be a nice change-up. I understand they've shut down so this might be my first and last opportunity to paint from their line. The sculpting on the figures is superb and they have some one-of-a-kind figures.  The downside is I underestimated the difficulty of gluing 200+ tiny shields.  My first go was so slow and messy I almost gave up at the start.  The backs of the shields have shallow dimples so they don't have much to grab onto.  Through trial and error and more error, I came up with a system that might be useful for anyone working with Xyston or Corvus Belli.    

Step 1: I glue my figures on Popsicle sticks, grouping like poses to speed up the painting process. My tools for the job include:

Super Glue-Quick drying version
Accelerator- described as an "instant cure."  It speeds up the curing process on metals to about 10 seconds so it's a bit short of "instant."
Sticky Tack.
Small wooden dowel to prevent fingers from being glued together.
Step 2: Spray a couple of shots of accelerator on the plastic work surface, enough to make a puddle. I resorted to the puddle method because the sprayer puts out way too much accelerator for 15mm.  It was soaking everything.

Step 3: Load up a bit of Sticky Tack on the end of the dowel. Grab the shield from the front.

Step 4:  Dip the back of the shield into the puddle of accelerator.  Holding the dowel + shield upright with your left hand, put a drop of Super Glue on the accelerator soaked shield with your right hand. You've got 10 seconds to get this on the figure before it hardens.
Step 5: Press the shield against the forearm of the figure. Count to 5 and you're done!  Now repeat about 200 more times and you're ready to prime your army.