Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Third Time Lucky and Industrial Strategy

This poor unit of Napoleonic Austrian infantry was rebased for the third and final time, roughly the same time as the Landwehr. I was at that point still not happy with my photography, but since then I have managed to get some good photos of the unit. The combination of discovering the HDR function on my camera phone and the built in editor has given me a boost on the photography aspect of the blog. I felt it was worth a third post on this particular unit to show both the basing and photographic improvements. Also because I have had my hands full I wanted to post something on here and money for old rope is the order of the day.

I have been wanting a game of Lost Battles Trebia scenario for some time now but I'm not sure when the opportunity will present itself. However I have been slowly working here and there on the painting side of the hobby. I have just finished the Elymian levy light infantry and I have been wanting to spruce up a few Carthaginian horsemen that need rebased which are just about there.

Once these are done I have an ambitious list of all Newline Designs 20mm units to get through and I would like to prep them on an industrial scale. The following list will all need mould lines checked and scraped off and all except the Napoleonics will be painted in roughly the same manner that is base sprayed with Barbarian Flesh:
  • Few Austrian grenzers samples.
  • 4 bases (at least) unarmoured Etruscans. These will be used as levy light infantry featuring both new and old sculpts for that code.
  • 4 bases (at least) Greek javelinmen. Features a new pose recently added to the code.
  • 2 bases of Numidian light infantry (Zama).
  • 4 bases of Velites tunics and helmets with Gallic shields as generic heavy infantry or Ligurians (Zama).
  • 4 bases Carthaginian or Libyan levy spearmen. (Zama).
Once they are at the base coated stage I will hopefully crack through them a unit at a time. Once they are all done I will only need to do one more African elephant for Zama to have the opposing armies finished. Once the units for Zama are complete I will try to focus back on Magnesia.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Hadria Line Infantry Imperial Guard

Continuing on with the 40k and abandoned project theme I took a few snaps of a prototype Imperial Guardsman or Astra Militarum as they go by nowadays. When I was procuring the plastic Cadians along with some plastic heavy weapons and command sets I had wanted to base their uniforms on German Fallschimjagres. I painted this model up based on the Italeri 1/72 Fallschrimjager art work.

I was a fan of the original Cadian shock troops miniatures in the 90s but I still can not get away with the redesigned helmet on the plastic set. Also, I later decided to have a self intervention, with the 1/72 and 20mm collections becoming out of control, I had now convinced myself to not by any Imperial Guard tanks.

So now the Guardsmen were to be an infantry only force depending on waves of troops and basic heavy weapon support. With this in mind I wanted to change the appearance to fit the theme of such a force. If I could find a historical themed seperate head I could convert the cadians into a rustic looking regiment like the Mordians or Praetorians. 

I discovered on Arcane Scenery's webshop Trent miniatures AWI range which includes seperate heads.  They seemed perfect, spare heads in Tarletons! Giving the guardsman a horse and musket era feel, then repainting them based on 19th century Prussians, with the armour painted in a silver metal inspired by Napoleonic French Cuirassiers. I did have to snip the ponytail but other than that the head fit like a dream. 

I was planning on squeezing as much as I could out if the heavy weapon set by attempting to mount the bolter, autocannon and lascannon onto napoleonic artillery carriages, like the carriage mounted Gatling guns of the 19th century. However, that hasn't advanced any further than the hairbrain stage yet. 

I do have a sentenel walker burried somewhere which was included in a battleforce set and I have a few Tallarn Desert Raiders. This detachmet would provide an irregular contrast to the ridgedly drilled and diciplined force.

Like the Eldar I would love to continue this project but it resides way down the list of priorities at this time. One day! I keep telling myself.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Eldar Guardians

I have recently been having a sort out of my miniatures to clear some space for a nursery. Most of my Citadel miniatures have now been put in the loft but I left out the painted ones and took the opportunity to get some snaps.  

These Eldar Guardians were painted about 11 years ago now I believe, I was in the process of collecting, or more like re-collecting, some 40k stuff. I have always loved the miniatures that the Games Workshop sold and at that time decided to get an Eldar army on which I hit on a redesign of the Aspect Warriors and some new vehicles. Anyway I painted up quite a lot of Guardians  (40ish I think), a few Warlocks and a Farseer along with a couple of Banshee squads (I will need to get them photographed too). 

I was big fan of the plastic Guardian set when they were released in the late '90s, the parts allow quite a few different poses between the Guardians and they look cool and are still some of my favorite miniatures. My first collection of 40k stuff I had gathered back then was conveniently disposed of when I left home, hence the requirement to start again in '07. 

I could not however continue to resist the pull of historical miniatures and between Napoleonic and Ancient offerings from Hat along with the glossy release of the Field of Glory army books, which fueled my collecting of Ancients into an obsession. Since then I have barely painted a Citadel miniature but I will keep the eternal hope that I will get around to painting them, even if it is pure fantasy!  

At the time of painting these I had bought a then new army box which included a Codex so I was following the army lists and restrictions. One of the rules that came in was that each squad required a heavy weapon platform, the sprues came with 1 platform and all the weapon options. I made them up with a pin on the base of the weapon and a slot on the platform (or vice-versa) to allow me to change the weapon depending on the required firepower of the day. These rules and codices chop and change all the time so I am not too fussed about 40k rules but it would be great to game with the miniatures one day.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Persian Slingers

I just had 8 of these Persian Slingers in my stockpile from Newline Designs 20mm Ancient Persia range, which I intend to use as Cyrtians for Antiochus' army at Magnesia 190BC. I am not sure what they looked like but I believe they were from roughly the same region as Persians and Medes... so I am using Persian slingers in Median dress. I could do with a few more to make a fuller unit, but in the Lost Battles scenario the Cyrtians are combined with Elymaean to make a levy light infantry unit. I am working on 24 of those at the time of writing so they can work to make the unit to 32 men for levy infantry, but still I like these figures so any excuse to get a few more!

I have attempted some patterns and keep them bright, colourful and varied in appearance. These did not take too long to paint.  They were finished before the bundle of joy/mayhem arrived but based  afterwards so I have been able to get a couple of tasks done despite having our hands full.

I am hoping to get the Elymaeans, which are now underway, finished ASAP and paint up some samples of new Austrian Grenzers from Newline. Also some Etruscan unarmoured infantry which I am planning on using some as Roman Leves and they have new sculpts as well as being very versatile miniatures. These are my current plans which I aim to chip away with bit by bit. 

1/72 Ancients

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Slingers of the Mediterranean part 2

An expansion to my previous bases of Greek and Balearic Slingers from Newline Designs 20mm Ancients range. This expansion came about because I realised that I "needed" to have more light infantry for Lost Battles re-fights. I hope they will mix well as these miniatures were painted with the Army painter spray flesh undercoat and Delvan mud wash method I have been using for a while now. It was interesting at least to compare some recently finished miniatures with some older ones.

I feel like I have been progressing well with my painting projects but now there will be a lot less time for painting and gaming because of a new arrival. We now have a daughter to take care of which is great and hopefully one day she will take a small interest in the hobby! I'll not hold my breath, and I will try to slowly, when I can, to continue to get a bit of painting and with any luck gaming done.  

 1/72 Ancients

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Cretan Archers

Cretan archers from Newline Designs 20mm Ancients range, ready for Magnesia even if the Lost Battles re-fight slowly descends down the 'to do list'. I am not sure whether or not to give them a small shield, but it is something that can easily be added in the future should I feel the need.

Once I got started it didn't take too long to paint. Spraying them with an undercoat of Army Painter Barbarian Flesh gave them a massive head start. Then following my usual technique of blocking in colours, then applying wash then sometimes finished with a highlight in the original colour. Although, the odd item is highlighted with a lighter brighter colour, face and dark items for example. 

I have also pitched to Sean at Newline the idea of producing some 20mm Cretan archers based on these images; image1image2 and image3. These show Cretan archers equipped with helmets and shields and look like they are ready to go toe to toe. I think they would make a cool unit and I would get some for sure! If anyone else would be interested let him know and it may just happen *fingers crossed*.

1/72 Ancients

Monday, 30 April 2018

The Cloaked Numidian

Five more bases of Newline Designs 20mm Numidian Cavalry finished and hopefully that will be enough for my planned battles. Instead of showing more pictures of the finished bases I have added instead a couple of pictures of the conversions. 

The cloaked Numidian was created by head swapping a Numidian command figure with a head from a spare set of Carthaginian elephant crew. The elephant was painted as a gift and I had the crew sat in a box with no idea what they would be used for years now. Then with the plan to re-fight Zama I needed a few more Numidians so I scraped together the miniatures. I was a couple short of 5 bases worth, but with this conversion, and the other elephant crew member throwing a javelin, becoming a horseman (see below), I managed to knock up the 5 bases needed.

Now I have a Numidian king without a horse and another without even a body as well as a damaged mahout. You never know if or when these bits will become handy, much like the elephant crew, of which I had no intention of using. Painting of the archers and slingers is now well on their way and I am hoping they won't take too long to complete fingers crossed!

1/72 ancients

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Punic General

As I had mentioned in the previous post, just a quick update. The last of the generals for now, this one is plucked from Newline Designs Carthaginian High Command from their 20mm Ancients range. One of these miniatures is also leading my Carthaginian heavy cavalry but that unit is back in the queue to be updated and rebased, I also had and issue with varnish clouding with them so I will see what I can do. I will probably change their shields also.

Before then though I have the last of the Numidian cavalry waiting to be flocked and will update the blog with a head swap conversion. Work has started also on Greek slingers and archers for Magnesia and Eastern light infantry types sit next to them in the queue. Hopefully I will get time to get them painted sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Hellenistic Punic Commanders

A few more leaders and commanders done below. Above is the re highlighted Hannibal Barca which was one of the first Newline Designs 20mm figures I painted and posted to this blog. I am re-posting it now as the following figures are a head swap conversion featuring the Hannibal personality miniature and the leader from the Macedonian command set as featured in Seleucid phalanx posts. 

I have been able to get away with using pliers cushioned with a sponge or towel in the past and twisting gently back and forth until the head came off. However this time I failed to cushion enough and the head got a little squished (being lazy as usual as I have a saw). I was able to use a bit of liquid green stuff to repair and a bit of creative painting and it will do me! Again, if I were not so lazy I would drill holes and pin the head as well as glue them. However using loctite gel super glue, I have so far gotten away with that also. Below features the results of the one to one head swap. I have not given the Hannibal on foot a shield, but maybe I should? Still not sure on that but it is something I can add in the future if I really feel the need!

I am almost finished the next leader also which again will be a quick update, then the real work will begin again on rank and file types.  

1/72  ancients

Numidian Leader

Just a quick update with the latest character. Using the same Newline Designs 20mm Numidian command figure from the previous post but using him as a Numidian king or prince as described by Duncan Head in Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars 359BC to 146BC. I have a few more generals to post shortly and some Numdian cavalry, of which I will only post a head swapped miniature as most will be identical as the most recent Numidian Cavalry post. Then I probably will be moving onto some light armed troops which are waiting on the desk undercoated. I do want to re fight Trebia with Lost Battles at some point. However I am struggling to find time at the minute and I am prioritising painting when I have a bit of spare time but hopefully I will get a chance soon.

1/72 20mm Ancients

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Numidian Nobles

These miniatures have been sat in a drawer part painted for a few years so I thought I better get them sorted since I was working on Numidians and generals at the minute. They are Newline Designs 20mm Numidian Command from their ancient Numidian range. One is an armoured figure and the other two are unarmoured. They appear to be based on fig. 106 from Duncan Head's Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars, 359-146BC. 

Fig. 106 is descibed as a Numidian Prince, but I wanted to use them as generic nobles to bulk out my Numidian horsemen so I tried to subdue the diadem being a symbol of royalty and based them together. The Armoured Numidian will probably go on to represent Masinissa at Zama then hopefully other Numidian kings.  

I have not had much time on the hobby of late, I have rebased some Zvezda Cretan archers from their Greek Hoplite set but wasn't able to do much with their re-highlighting. Also have manged to make a little start with the hoard of Antiochus' light infantry by preparing some Newline Cretan archers. Hopefully I will get somewhere with them this week.

1/72 20mm ancients

Friday, 30 March 2018

Roman Generals

Up to now I had been using a base of Triarii with some command figures on as Roman generals in my Lost Battles reports. I have for a while wanted to paint up some individual generals on horseback to remind me that they can traverse the battlefield to the sectors most needing leadership.

The models are from Newline Designs 20mm Ancient Roman range. The first general is from the "Mounted High Command" and the second from "Mounted Roman Command" set. It was enjoyable painting a couple of miniatures instead of a whole load at once its good to break things up a bit.

I would like to expand my collection of general's further. I have in mind another mounted Punic officer to command along side Hannibal who has been my only finished general figure untill now. For Lost Battles, I believe at most there are up to two generals per side. For Zama one of the generals is a Numidian, so there is a Numidian commander in the works too. Once I get the Punic general finished I think I will have the "right" proportion of troops for Trebia. I am also wanting to get a large amount of light troops done for the Seleucids at Magnesia, (they have three levy light infantry for that battle) which I am hoping won't be to bad to mass produce being unarmoured. Lots to do so I better get cracking!

1/72 20mm Ancients

Monday, 26 March 2018

Numidian Horsemen

Four more bases of Newline Designs 20mm Numidian light horsemen finished. Fairly simple miniatures to paint owing to the lack of armour and horse tack. I am fairly pleased with the horses which is something I have tried to improve on, although it was a bit of a fluke. I have generally started to paint cavalry by undercoating with gesso and this time the base layers were painted on quite thinly and washed with the usual Delvan mud. I didn't feel the need to highlight afterwards, I am not sure if this was due to the white gesso undercoat or that the wash was a fairly fresh pot that has been shading more subtlety than the previous pots that had been open for a while. I did however highlight the white fur on the horses and the Numidian riders' faces. The shields I just painted separate, dark brown followed by mottling on a lighter brown.

It was fairly bright for once when I took the pictures. I again used my smartphone but was struggling to get good pics despite the bright conditions. I then found a setting "HDR" which sounded useful which helped to get better snaps along with the phone's picture editor produced the pictures shown in this post, I think I went a bit overboard with the colour settings. I have since learned that the HDR function takes a few pictures with different light settings and combines them to show more detail, ideal for taking pictures of miniatures. It will do for this blog anyway!

I had previously been using bases to represent the attack limit of the unit but I think it will look better going for "correct" ratio of men and beasts. Although cavalry units are half the size of infantry in terms of personnel in Lost Battles cavalry attacks take up the same space as 2 infantry units attacking, I think this is because the cavalry formations need more room to operate.
Because I am trying to roughly represent the games troop ratios I plan to have 16 figures for average infantry, so 8 for veteran and 32 for levy units. For average cavalry I should use 8 for average, 4 veteran and 16 levy, but being based on three to a base I'll round down to 6 figures for ease although I would have liked nine I don't think I have the right amount of miniatures just yet. So for Average Numidians two on each base I will use 3 bases. Along with my previous Numidian Cavalry this takes the total finished bases up to nine, which should be enough for Trebia, but I will need to finish about six more bases for Zama.  The game is pretty abstract so its just a case of personal preference in the end.

1/72 20mm Ancients

Monday, 5 March 2018

Lost Battles: Ilipa

I had a chance to set up another solo game of Lost Battles and after finishing the latest batch of Iberian Scutarii I went for Ilipa as planned. Being my first play through of this battle I followed the historical set up provided in the book which sees the Carthaginian army larger than the Roman though completely out generated and a sneaky ploy by Scipio has the Punic army fatigued. Also Scipio being a brilliant commander has the ability to flipflop the turn order which compounds the pressure on the Punic forces. Things are not looking promising for the Carthaginian enterprise in Hispania! 

The Battle of Ilipa

Hasdrubal falling for Scipio's ploy had formed his troops and without food and waiting for a long while in the Spanish sun were becoming weary. He had deployed forward his light troops and elephants, his Libyan phalanx in the centre to shadow the expected legions and his Iberian allies flanked the phalanx. The Numidian horse screened his left flank and his Spanish horsemen sallied from his right flank. However Scipio having made Hasdrubal accustomed to the legions deploying in the centre on the day placed them opposing Hasdrubal's Iberian foot and Scipio's own Spanish allies marched forwards to contest the centre. Scipio sent his veteran Equites to challenge the Spanish horse and his other cavalry to drive away the Numidians. 

Hasdrubal himself, was succumbing to the pressures of the day, was not his usual self and it was felt through the whole of the Punic army. His lack of vigor was in stark contrast with Scipio's well drilled and well lead troops which stormed towards the Punic army which watched in awe. Hasdrubal had been wrong footed. This rapid advance took its toll on the Punic avant garde and the cavalry fight began also with ferocity. 

Soon the main lines closed and again fierce melee ensued with both the Romans and Carthaginians pushing themselves beyond endurance in what was almost a Heraklean labour. Both lines began to suffer but the earlier suffering of the Punic army was beginning to take a telling toll upon the men. 

The Numidians managed to somehow break the will of the Roman cavalry but the veterans at the other end of the field although suffering themselves sent the Spanish horsemen off the field scattered. The remaining horsemen then went on to harass and threaten their opponents. Despite the initial ferocity of the battle exhaustion had brought stalemate in the centre. However the Roman legions began to break their Spanish adversaries and with the victorious cavalry now threatening their rear they fled the Punic right. The Punic left had began a similar decline as a shocking attack upon the Spanish Scutarii had led to the elephants becoming embroiled and they shattered fleeing the field. The legionaries inspired and extolled by Scipio continued to grind the Spanish tribesmen eventually pressing forward to threaten the African Phalanx. Silanus mirrored Scipio and threatened the other flank of the phalanx shortly followed by the Equites. 

A valiant last effort from the victorious units caused a unit of legionaries to panic but Scipio by his personal example inspired the men to stay in line and a last ditch push from Hasdrubal's faithful Africans broke a Spanish warband but it was not enough he was surrounded his men exhausted and the Romans closed from all sides to finish Carthaginian aspirations. Scipio now ruled Hispania in the name of Rome!

Battle Results

A black day indeed for Carthage! With Rome having both a brilliant and an average one to Carthage's single uninspired general made a massive difference. The command and attack exemptions generated freed a lot of commands for the sectors that lacked a generals direct influence. The flip flop to reverse the turn order from turn 2 allowing Scipio to deploy second with quite a few commands then attack first really hit the Carthaginians hard who then struggled to muster effective attacks. 

I used both armies aggressively any unit that was eligible for an all  out attack was taken. For the Romans they wanted to take advantage of the Carthaginian fatigue which penalises attacks by spent units, and for the Carthaginians, they wanted to inflict as much damage as possible before the Roman onslaught took its toll.   

The scenario is a good scenario to explore what ifs and tweaks, such as if Hasdrubal had not been so rash and had been more on the ball giving Carthage more commands and not suffering fatigue for example. Maybe the next battle will be an alternate Ilipa but I also have Trebia in mind once I get some more Numidian horse finished.

I would also like to create a solo campaign system to give context to some battles in which the outcome would affect control of regions and such depending on the level of victory etc. something I am mulling over. Still the game was under 3 hours which would have went quicker without taking pics and if I played the rules more frequently (amongst other distractions). I wouldn't mind finding a ruleset that could be set up a played quicker for when I don't have time for a Lost Battle, I have enough rules to test out so I'm sure one will do  or I could make my own up, yet another project to think about. So just to finish off the scores firstly showing the turn order of the losses then a working out of the victory points:

Carthage's Losses

Shattered(Turn): 1 x AHC(4), 1 x AEL(4), 1 x AHI(4), 3 x AHI(5), 1 x AHI(7).
Routed(Turn): 4 x AHI(5), 3 x ALI(5), 5 x AHI(7), ALC(7), 1 x UC(7).

Shattered (double the FV): 1AHC (6), 1AEL (6), 5AHI (30) = 42
Routed (FV + 1): 3ALI (12), 9AHI (36) ALC (4), = 52

Withdrawn (FV): UC (3) = 3

This gives Rome 97 VP.
Rome's Losses

Shattered(Turn): 1 x AHC(3), 1 x AHI(6)
Spent: 1 x VHC, 3 x AHI, 3 x ALI, 3 x VLE, 2 x ALE

Shattered (FV x2): 1AHC (6), 1AHI (6) = 12
Spent (FV): 3VLE (12), 2ALE (6), 3AHI (9), 3ALI (9), 1VHC (4) = 40
Fatigued = 20
Handicap = 26

This gives Carthage 98 VP.

A narrow game victory for Carthage, but without the handicaps a clear Roman victory. Many thanks to Aaron Bell for helping me with the VP score, I had misread the victory point calculation rules in my haste to post and missed some other things also.