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Sunday, 27 December 2020

Ancient Generals: rebase

Rebasing continues with Newline personalities and command figures from around the ancient Mediterranean. Being the generals they are based on circular bases this makes them standout more and more pleasing to my eye.

With lots of base not covered by closed ranks it gave me a bit of space to practice and experiment. On top of the painted filler I used various coloured tufts and my new mix of static grass.

There will be more generals to add to the collection eventually including a few head swaps but next I have a bit of a change with Warhammer 40000 Tallarn Desert Raiders.

Sunday, 6 December 2020

Hannibal's African Veterans Rebase

The latest rebased unit of Newline Designs 20mm African veterans. I have quite a lot of these figures they come as swords and spear wielders advancing but I split them off into separate units. I also have the Veterans standing I might reserve them for Hellenistic armies in which they will get Carthaginan command figures swapped out for some more Macedonian command figures.

I popped these on 80mm bases but I plan to represent Veteran heavy infantry in Lost Battles on a 40mm frontage to represent their smaller numbers and half a point towards that squares attack. So the white shielded veteran spearmen are earmarked for 40mm bases and these can be a generic heavy infantry or legionary type unit for To the Strongest! or Impetus.

Things are a bit up in the air and chaotic at home so the hobby has suffered and I think next year will have a bit of upheaval. I am slowly and leisurely painting a few Warhammer 40k Tallarn Desert Raiders then I will probably work through the backlog of half painted ancients before undertaking anymore rebasing. However I have rebased my mounted generals which will be posted next.


Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Teppo Ashigaru

Just a quick post of these Redbox 1/72 Ashigarus. The set leaves a lot to be desired but it can give pleasing results. I had these painted up a while ago but never got round to writing the post! They were an experimental start to my Samurai forces with tackling a predominantly black theme. I still paint black when I have to I am not a fan which has me putting off project samurai for other endeavours. Also being unable to settle on a basing standard or rules is also holding it back. I came across some neat ideas of Sonae based rules but that in turn makes each unit a combined arms band of various sized strength and compositions. Maybe Sam Mustafa's Blücher has the answers?

Since then the ancients projects have been attempted to be boosted by sorting out the basing to a more satisfactory level which is hopefully going to get me back into painting actual ancients figures!

I've been messing about too with a Warhammer 40k nostalgia project digging out and acquiring old Tallarn desert raiders and converting plastic Cadians. However the original Tallarns were one of my first sets when I was starting in the hobby so my main thrust will be with those. I don't have loads and I hope to have a few squads I have turned to some dark arts to get extra plasma gunners to start with since GW don't want to sell them and the 2nd hand offerings are too expensive. After lots of faffing I am finally painting a few up to see how they go.


Sunday, 15 November 2020

Enemies and Allies of the Italian Peninsula

Quite a bit of rebasing done. I started with heavy foot units that didn't need any painting upgrade or additional figures. 

Glued onto the new sized bases and then a mix of filler, sand paint and PVA applied to give texture and blend the bases together. Painted with my basing paint mixes then a few applications of my static grass blend. 

The figures are Samnites Standing (with Roman shields) as Allied Legionaries, Roman Velites (with Gallic shields) as Penal/Emergency Legionaries or Ligurians and Samnite Advancing as above. All 20mm from Newline Designs.

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Pantodapoi Phalangites

I originally painted these Newline Designs 20mm Seleucid pikemen 10 years ago and some of the first Newline figures I painted. They had been in a box awaiting a re-paint and re-base for a while before the re-base project and with them being pikemen with a recent command finished seem like the ideal candidates for the experimental stage of the project.

The figures went through my standard repaint which was basically adding highlighting to what was originally basecoated and heavily washed with citadel Delvan Mud. The armour was given various brown shades and the pikes repainted. The helmets were simply highlighted with Vallejo Old Gold and the shields basecoated with Vallejo Bronze and the designs with Old Gold. Then to further add a bit of variety the clothing was highlighted and some had a few different colours and patterns added.

Next was the basing, which served to trail again the new colours as well as try to work out a method going forward. Furthermore it was a trial of the new heavy infantry format of 12 figures to a base as well as the format of pike units.

Firstly the modelling and colours. I glued the figures onto a painted MDF base 80mm x 30mm with some general purpose glue, it was a squeeze for the levelled pikemen but I like the close packed look! I knew it would be a challenge to paint the base but it was doable. Since changing to a more finer basing material to suit the scale better I though I should tackle the issue of the figures individual base. I mixed together haphazardly all purpose filler powder, very fine sand, bit of water and some paint which made a nice gritty pasted which dried with subtle texture and blended the figure bases together. The recipe will need a bit of refining but a good start and did the job required. I think the grass is fine maybe could be a bit darker and the drybrush was a bit too heavy and lightened the sand a bit too much but will do for me. Next time I may use the darker sand coloured paint I have mixed (see previous post for details) and use a different dry brush shade or just not go too overboard with it. Still some thinking to do and a future post on the new method when I have it nailed down.

For pike units I like this format, 2 bases of 80mm x 30mm with 12 figures each. The command set is 80mm x 20mm so when they are all together makes an neat 80mm square, this includes the command figures as well as keeping the pike hedge! In reality the first 4 or 5 ranks would have their pikes leveled which I like to represent with 2 ranks of figures with pikes leveled. This presents practical issues with basing and I am also considering having just the front rank with pikes leveled, more musing.

On the gaming front the command base is just an aesthetic piece, each base will represent an average pike unit in Lost Battles or a standard unit in To the Strongest! which could be doubled up to make a Levy pike and deep unit respectively. I still have to write up some musing on basing formats with these games in mind, especially with  Lost Battles idiosyncratic large grids and attack limits. I still need to write up some thoughts on covering or not covering these quirks!

Monday, 28 September 2020

Re-basing Project: Intro

As I mentioned in my previous post I have decided to rebase my ancients armies. A rebase is quite a big task and I have thought about it a lot which after weighing every thing up I am going for it.

Firstly it was the format and size of the bases. I really like the look of larger Impetus style bases and looking at my table size 80mm seems to be the best frontage. With that size I feel I can get a more substantial look. Another reason is the depth, I have found my 2mm thick bases hard to handle particularly when picking them out of storage. Finally the corner cutting basing I have been doing has caused some bases to warp!

Secondly the aesthetics. My usual tactic of desert sand and stone mix and static grass has served me well. Originally using Games Workshop's Sand and Grass tubs to achieve a quick and effective basing. However as they do these items were discontinued and I found that Javis had a suitable alternative and a mix of static grasses managed to get a good match for GW grass. This consistency served me well however running low on the Javis sand ans stone mix I found the new batches different colour and consistency. This frustration coupled with previous issues clinched the rebase project.

With my new Geek Villain cloth on here I thought it would be great if the new bases matched the colours of the cloth's design! I had seen a video on You Tube of Simon Miller's For King & Parliament game with an impressive almost invisible basing scheme. I won't be able to make them invisible but the matching basing colour to the board became an objective.  

I was initially planning to do a quick sand and grass basing again but after being inspired by other blogs and the work of my commission painter friend I concluded painting the sand a MUST. It is the most reasonable way to get consistency and matching the colour of the sandy rocky areas of the cloth's design.

So I gathered paint and basing materials and did a few tests. For the paint quite a few Wilko tester paints were used to achieve a shade similar to Vallejo's 'Dark Sand' which is a close match to the sandy rock areas of the cloth. There is plenty of scope to achieve various earthy tones, after trying out various shades I remembered I had an ochre already in. The mixing tester sheets: 

In the end Retro Yellow and Soft Hessian mixed at 1:2 gave a good match for the base colour. I may also use Chocolate dream for a slightly darker version but either will work. Their Lemon Sorbet shade works well as is for the dry brush highlight to bring up the very fine and light dusting of sand applied.
Any stones I stick on I can paint up grey and then its just a case of the static grass. The spring was too bright and the Summer too dark, mixed roughly equally gave an almost spot on blend. Then it was just a matter of testing a few figures on the new bases with the new basing recipe:

Quite happy with these results but wasn't too keen on the thicker lighter edging so a nice slimming black was applied which finished it off nicely: 

Also a bit of added self adhesive grass tufts for vegetation variation: 

My commission painter friend recommended cutting down the tufts for more usage and if smaller tufts are needed so will try that down the line. I will have to attempt a step by step post once I have got a standardised plan going forward until then I will muddle through the various formats until I have it nailed down but overall I am happy with this style. It was straight forward doing it for this Seleucid pikemen command stand but the bases of pikemen themselves packed onto the base will be another story! Before I base them I will be "updating" their painting style and will also form a test piece for future pike units. I will write a post on the format of units in relation to their base size and density with regards to rules.