Sunday, January 13, 2013

Heraldry - Szeklers Style!

The Szeklers were a key component of the Hungarian Black Army, providing them with thousands of lance and archer armed horsemen to defend against the encroaching Ottoman Empire.  These superb horsemen were the perfect foil to the Ottoman Akinjis & Timariot horsemen as both sides could employ shoot and scoot tactics.

Thanks to Google Chrome's translator feature, I was able to find a Hungarian website featuring medieval Szeklers heraldry HERE which were put to use below.

There are a few that didn't turn out well but my rule for painting heraldry is, "if it looks better than a blank shield, move on!"  I did sprinkle in some geometric patters just to keep this from taking all winter.

I primed horse and rider in the horse's base color with Army Painter colored primer.  Then I washed the horse in Devlon Mud and subsequently painted the highlight color onto the horse very neatly, taking care not to slop onto the tack.  That way, I could paint the tack in a highlight color and the shadowing from the Devlon Mud remained intact.  This is much easier than painting the tack in black and then painting a color over the top of the black.  I'll be keeping this trick in my stable!

The number of photos is a bit indulgent but with 48 figures in 4 units of 12, I don't want to rush these fellows out the door. In Field of Glory, 4 units of Superior sword-armed horse archers will be Death in the Saddle.  I can't wait to get them on the table and demonstrate it. Brandt, get rrrready to rrrumble!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

In the Saddle-Hungarian Light Horse

The challenge to painting a Later Hungarian army is that once you've finished your foot troops, you've done the easy part.  The cavalry contingent is 100+ strong with shields, heraldry and knights.  The upside is that Essex horse are a joy to paint, even when you get to  #99.

Hungarian Light Horse: Hungarian light horse is nothing special in the Field of Glory Hungarian army list but it is a mandatory pick.   Much like the Union cavalry at the start of the ACW, I suspect these fellows felt the pangs of being second best as the Szeklers light horse teased or even mocked them.

Szeklers Light Horse:  Armed with bow and sword, these superior horsemen will be hard pressed to find their equal.  They'll generally outclass the enemy light horse.  +5 points for the stylish caps with a feather in them!

I think the sand colored ballast helps the horse shine.  I used 4 or 5 shades of brown with these and the light basing lets the various browns shine through.   

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Looking back, looking forward

Looking back, I keep a running tally of the figures I paint based on troop type, scale and project. In 2012, I painted 1,453 figures in 15mmTo achieve this mark, I've forsaken almost all of my other hobbies and interests for painting. A man can only serve one Master and he calls me loudest from the painting table!

Mid-Republican army: 217
Pontic army: 162
Gallic army: 206

Ottomans: 164

Field of Glory 
Ancient Spanish army: 262
Later Hungarian army v2: 218
Later Hungarian commission: 110
Ancients odds and ends: 90 

Looking forward, I took the Saga plunge.  A fellow was dumping his Saga projects on Bartertown and I snapped them up.  By my count, it's enough Normans and Vikings to paint up 3 warbands for each side.  

Over Christmas break, I started with the plastic GB Vikings.  This is old news for many of you but the Gripping Beast plastic Vikings are fantastic.  Great models, lots of options and a great value with 44 figures costing only $32.

I've limited the color palette and intensity for the first batch of Vikings. I'm going to have to decide whether to use LMBS shield transfers or paint shields from scratch.  I've got 200+ figures to paint so maybe I'll put the time into figures and not shields.  I also grabbed a tin of Army Painter Strong dip.  I've never done AP dip so for one of the warbands, I'll give this a try as well.    

The 4Ground Saxon hovel has been reviewed on other blogs but I thought I'd give this excellent product a quick shout out.  The kit is fully assembled in less than 30 minutes!  I'll be getting a few more of these.  

What new projects have you got under way or queued for 2013?