Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Lancers of Pergamon


It's been good to get the new hobby room partially functioning. Still a way to go but I have been able to at least get the last bit of highlighting and basing done on these 20mm Maccabean Heavy Cavalry from Newline Designs. They are lovely sculpts that have a great Hellenistic look and as such I am using them to represent Eumenes II's cavalry at Magnesia fighting on the side of Rome against the Seleucid king Antiochus III. 

I ended up using only the leader from the command set the standard bearer and musician are unarmored and wanted to keep the unit all armoured troopers. Thus one of the troopers was bodged to carry a small flag detailed below with an imaged based on a design found on coins from Pergamon

I fancied trying out the Vallejo Oxford Blue shade which is more of a toned down purple shade, very pleasant to look at so the unit, which is more than likely overly uniformed for the period, is themed around that shade. The only other thing to note with painting is my first outing with Citadel Contrast paints. I tried Skeleton Hoard on a couple of horses and on the white linen armour, Apothecary White. I found them very useful additions as shades especially so with the white shade. As a light grey wash on top of the Vallejo white it shaded the white areas very nicely which is fantastic as white is a nightmare to deal with. The best thing about the white contrast is that the white base-coat remained bright white, so I look forward to getting more uses out of it. I have since grabbed a few more contrasts I think they will be useful additions to the paint rack. 

I have another post in mind about the basing format but the method for the materials was straight forward. Being cavalry it was easier to apply the ready mixed filler, paint it and apply static grass. I added a few tufts of pre glued clumps of static grass, again something I may get a bit more of a variety in stock.

Overall I am pleased with their turn out and particularly like these sculpts. A second unit pack is set aside which will be used as shielded Hellenistic cavalry. I was thinking of  painting the scalemail as quilted linen armour which would make them good as Ptolemaic cavalry. I'm not sure what I'll be moving onto next. There's loads to crack on with but the desk is still not set up properly and there are bits and bobs that are yet to be located and found. However broadly speaking I was to crack on with rebasing, I particularly want to get the Romans sorted, which may result in painting the remaining Mid republican Roman figures first. There is a part painted unit of Seleucid companions of which I can not find their prepared shields and 3 Scythed Chariots than need painted and assembled. So I may chip away at these various tasks. There is still the matter of the Lost Battles report, I found the notes so might still do a brief AAR when I get a chance.But until then here are many photographs of these Lancers.



Sunday, 20 June 2021

Downloadable Counters and board for Lost Battles

For a PDF of some custom click: Lost Battles Counters - So far Hannibal and Scipio battles are covered and extra units included which should allow other battles. A fresh side and a spent side, I have printed some onto some card then have glued them to a bit of "grey board" and are a bit rough and ready but do the job. The board was just printed onto card cut out and sellotaped together to keep them still. There should be a way to make the terrain tiles for Cannae and other battles.

Using unit art graphics from Civilization 2 modders "Fairline" and "Tanelorn" I believe, credit for the beautiful icons go to them. They were cut and pasted onto a printable game mat sample from Wargames Print which made the background and board tiles. Below are a few example of the counters, the files when printed have VHI at 15mm, AHI at 30mm and ALI at 60mm.

I enjoyed making them they provided a nice distraction and I will post a few poor pictures of Zama using these pieces soon.



Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Aspects of the Hobby


A few weeks ago (months almost!) I was wrapping up my rebased units in home move preparation. Of course having them all out and the fleece battlefield to hand I couldn't resist to get a few snaps of the African and Italian heavy infantry. I'm eagar to get more gaming done so I'll really have to get cracking with the rebase when I get settled in the new place, fingers crossed that will be soon! With a dedicated area that I potentially can leave slightly messier I can do a mass rebase of the Roman legions.

The move or lack thereof has drained me quite a bit and hobby mojo has been very low. I had been working on a homemade Lost Battles "board game" set. I'll eventually post them up and did a refight of Zama with the hastily and crudely assembled pieces again there is a write up to come eventually although it may be brief as the game notes are to the point and my memory is terrible.

Recently my mojo was returning slightly, I was missing painting. I grabbed the last thing that was started and did some work on them. We were on holiday the other week and came across a art supply shop that's usually closed when I've been that way and grabbed a few Citadel Contrasts to try (another post to work on). So have been enjoying a few nights painting but its back to reality the stress of moving has taken over again and might have to start the packing again.

Another bit of hobby activity lately has taken the form of writing down some Ancient wargames rules I think this could be the closest I've gotten to finishing one, not that the bar was high in the first place. However as I was watching wargaming videos, reading various rules and general research came across a few bits on Strength and Honour a ruleset under development by Mark Backhouse. Strength and Honour seems to already have a Facebook group and what I've gleamed (not sure if I am 100 so far from that and this Youtube video is; very grand scale, one base looks to be a full legion, grid based, variable turn length and seems to have 6-12 units per side. Clearly it's visually suited to very small scales 2mm being used by the author! So far I'm very intrigued and will keep an eye on the development of it, although I wouldn't be getting 2mm troops, although it would lose the Kubrick's Spartacus visual appeal by using larger scales, it should still work as a set of rules I'd imagine. 

Monday, 14 June 2021

Newline and Hat Indian Elephants Comparison

It has been difficult to get motivated with the hobby over the last couple of months and I have been struggling also to update this page! Bit by bit I am doing some painting and other tasks; made some board game counters for Lost Battles for if I can't get the miniatures out and made a start on some wargames rule writing.

As often I am asked about comparisons and as you can see one of the latest ones was the Newline Elephants, I can only compare these Indian Elephants between Hat and Newline not having the larger Zvezda ones. The Hat ones are slightly larger but I don't think they would be too out of place together on the tabletop. There's not much else to say as the pictures speak for themselves but I did struggle gluing and undercoating the Hat rubbery plastic. 

I've been slowly painting some Newline Maccabean cavalry as Eumenes II's cavalry at Magnesia, not that there is a particular historical look to them just what I will be using them as. Life continues to interrupt the hobby so I will post the various updates on here when I get a chance and hopefully at some point the cavalry will make it on here too!


Thursday, 22 April 2021

Libyan Infantry Rebased


I uploaded these pictures to the blog a while a go but life has been very chaotic. The painting bench is basically on hold for now but if I get a chance I might do some prep over the next few weeks. I was pleased to get these Newline Designs 20mm African heavy infantry rebased before I shut up shop at least and with these done that is the last of the partially based units done. I tweaked the basecoat of the earth it looks closer to the cloth in real life and when other bases all based similarly are together it will be fine.

As I said above I might do some prep until things settle down, that is if I have the energy to sit down and get out the tools to clean up some figures. Another thing that I've been thinking about again is campaign rules. I often make a start writing some rules then they end up becoming complicated and they start becoming more than the vehicle to generate and give context to battles. I may write a thinking out loud post, which might inspire someone to try some of the ideas, as I think the trouble I have is not being able to game and therefore test my ideas at all. We will see a lot of them are more hair brain schemes that don't really go anywhere but maybe some very simple ones might be feasible. That's enough rambling for one post but this is the closest I've been to the hobby in very recent days so I decided to treat myself to a bit of babble!

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Friday, 26 March 2021

Newline Designs Late Rome and Goths

I've been rummaging through my boxes recently and dug out my Late Romans and their enemies. It's a part of Roman history that grabs my attention yet I don't have a good understanding of it and am often distracted focusing on Rome's rise. I don't really have a focus for the collection, I may just model and paint Romano-British, Roman East, Gothic migrations and they can all hodge-podge together for any battles I set up but that's a long way off.

I initially was inspired by the Late Roman Legionaries and Cataphracts from Hat, and subsequently picked up their Medium Infantry set, which I was less inspired by, but I remained distracted by other things. Later on down the line Newline Designs released some codes for the era so had to get some in to add to the plastics. Again other eras took my attention but I have a shopping list of more of the range that keeps getting kicked down the road as the classical era took precedent on the hobby funds. 

They are lovely sculpts as ever from Newline but I have heard they are slow movers, possibly hampered by the pictures, so below is an attempt to show off the miniatures, hopefully to improve the ranges chances for future expansion. It would be great to see some of those 28mm late Roman and Dark Age codes scaled down to 1/72-20mm. I'll very briefly go over the Roman and Goth codes, mostly ideas and plans for conversion possibilites rather than a review then I have then have a few comparison pictures with Hat figures. 

Late Roman

Classic looking late legionaries, ready to wield spears but the Spatha could be modeled by a skilled modeler. I might try to bodge one also! I've sometimes seen art work or reenactors wear leg wraps around the shin, the trousers are tight looking on the figures so there is potential to paint them on or file and greenstuff some if that was necessary. Also crests or plumes could be added if that is preferable but I like this stripped down look! I was also thinking of adding a few in with the Goths as better equipped warriors either through wealth or plundering Roman kit:  


Roman command set:


Auxillia Advancing, these figures have the patches of embroidery sculpted on which gives them a distinctive Roman look. They could maybe represent open order javelin skirmishers also if they still used such methods:

 
Auxillia Standing:


Cavalry:

All the Roman codes seem to come with oval shields (pictures below) which I will mention more of below in comparison to the Hat figures. Check out the webstore!

Goths

Between the standing and advancing codes there is quite a bit of variety, most seem to be in furs. There is scope for head swaps for further variety. As well as mixing in the armoured legionaries plus head swaps will bring in chainmail and helmets into the mix. Goths on Newline's store!

The Franks also hold potential for headswaps extra poses going off the website pictures. Of course it's only worthwhile if you don't end up with heads and bodies out of use! 

It seems that tunic, trousers and cloaks are a fairly generic look for the era so those poses with helmets could make good Romano British, seems like that could be the case based on the 28mm Arthurians web store pictures.


Command:
Archers:

Cavalry:


Comparisons

A few comparison shots now, there's a clear sculpting style difference between Hat's offerings even, so if that can be accepted then the Newline style shouldn't be an issue. Size wise they are all usable with each other being generally the same height. I'll end up using them within the same army but have same sculpting style on a single base which is my normal preference. 

Where there is considerable difference seems to be in the shield size. The Newline oval Roman shields are smaller than the cast on shields on the Hat legionaries. The larger shields seem to be more in keeping with other examples of Late Roman miniatures and the Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome which features quite large looking shields for the late era, one source suggested about 3.5-4ft long 3ft wide (roughly 17mm x 12.5mm in 1/72) while the Newline one is 14mm x 10mm. This seems more in keeping with a some of the inspirational osprey plates I've come across. Cavalry shields on the hat figures are roughly the same size these will mix well. When it comes to the Goth's shields I have even less of a clue but I don't have any plastic infantry to compare anyway. They measure at 10mm and give the option to give Romans circular shields if you prefer, which might give them a more post Rome look.

Essentially it's the customers choice whether your units have uniform or mixed sizes but when it come to Hat they are cast on and would take a considerably effort to change. Newline on the other hand with their separate shields gives you the freedom to swap them to match the cast on shields of the plastic Hat figures depending on what look you are after. I'm looking forward to get some bases done of regular Roman and post Roman units as well as some enemies! 



As I mentioned above I am pretty clueless when it comes to the late empire so I would love any insights on this era, historical, modelling painting or gaming please comment below!