Catching up May into June

Picking up from my last post I will glance on what I’ve been up to and whats been going on the past 6-8 weeks.

Ottoman Levant Sculpts

In the lead up to Triples I endeavoured to finish the Levant Sculpts for the next phase of the Ottoman Project. After cracking the kneeling pose my spirits were running high and ended up doing three kneeling poses.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Unfortunately my discussions with Ian Cluskey led me to start on an additional 8 poses of a more skirmishing close combat infantry type (4 each of sword and small shield and spear and small shield). Needless to say with an additional 8 poses on the workbench these did not get finished by Triples but I did manage to get them done and my own master/proof moulds made in time for Partizan.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After a week of casting in what little time I have available in the evenings I have run up around 20 of each pose. Having spent an evening sorting them into their different types I am now working through cleaning up the best casts and doing any remedial sculpting ready for Peter to go straight to strip production. The twins are not being very helpful in this regard as they are having a developmental spurt the past couple of weeks and are not settling very early in the evening. This leaves me a little too tired and jaded for the level of concentration required (and nodding off holding a scalpel as I did one evening was a bit of a concern!). The aim is to have decided what strips are going to be produced and have the related models ready for posting to Peter on this coming monday.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Napoleonics

With the release of the Baccus French resculpts our little group has gone a little frantic on Napoleonics. I had the pleasure of painting a base of them as part of the SMS at Partizan.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I must say they are very nice. Detail is crisper, and things like the shako cords were surprisingly easy to paint. Not entirely happy with my colour pallet I went with, in particular would go lighter with the blue.

I also decided that as everyone else seems to be painting French at the moment that I would fill in a gap with some Prussians which I picked up at Triples. I have had a dabble with a Landwehr and a Line battalion. These are ready for basing, and I will post again when they are complete and discuss them in a little more detail.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dark Ages

There was a meeting of ideas following Triples as one of the things that I painted over the weekend was another unit of Norman infantry. Recently I had also written a 300 points starting list for a friend with the JoS (Joy of Six) Impetus competition in mind. It dawned on me that this brough me up to a total of three Norman infantry units with only four units being required for the army I had laied out. So with some crossbows, skirmishers and mounted units I could put together the army myself (shelved currently by my friend who is not well at present). The remaining infantry units were churned out double-quick time and last week I started on the cavalry with the intention of painting all 96 in one fell swoop… I’ll post again on this and how I got on…

IMG_0900

Gaming Nights

Our Friday night gaming nights have ranged from some more 28mm WoR action using adopted Hail Caeser rules, some FoW action in 10mm, and a first game of Trafalgar – which was quite a bit of fun and has resulted in the spontaneous purchase of a Langton’s Spanish fleet when I spotted them at Partizan.

IMG_0871

SMS Clincs at Triples and Partizan

My first time taking the SMS to Triples this year and was quite looking forward to it. I anticipated to be inundated with requests to have a go at painting some of the resculpted French Napoleonics released by Baccus that weekend. I arrived nice and early and, after resolving the ‘yes I do need power for the lighting’ issue, I set to cleaning and preparing 4 battalions worth of French that I had picked up from Peter that morning. They were pretty clean casts and before long I had them stuck to painting strips and undercoated…. and not one got painted on the Saturday! Indeed both days seemed relatively quiet although I managed to do a lot of talking and not so much painting. I did however manage to paint a unit of Norman infantry and finish off a unit of Janissaries (must have an evening or two basing).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I know there has been a lot of talk of whether this should be a one day show in the future and I must say I am inclined to agree. Not sure I will be doing this one next year given its proximity to Partizan and impact going away two consecutive days has at home with the ‘little-uns’.

Partizan was quite a contrast. My plans to get there a bit earlier than usual so I can get set up and have a look around before the show opened went to plan but were then quickly scuppered. Having arrived and set off with the first heavy load to carry in from the car to my usual spot I was confronted by it now being a permanent cafe room. I quickly discovered that there was an enforced change by the venues new owners a matter of days before. Having discovered where I had been relocated I ran into another problem as we were trying to squeeze two traders (Baccus included) and me into a smallish room. As Peter could not get his trolley to the new location I pitched in and help carry everything in by hand…. now metal racks with packs of lead strapped to them going up flights of stairs was quite a way to get the blood pumping first thing in the morning.

Having unloaded what ensued was nothing short of a game of tetris. Due to the resultant limitations in space I ended up with a two station painting demo rather than the three station one and model display I had intended. One bonus was the spare couch was alongside me, which got quite a bit of use during the day by weary attendees and their spouses. Managed to be occupied until late in the day painting GW Epic Space Marines, Normans and a unit of French Napoleonic (pictured earlier).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Looking forward to The Other Partizan in September as the entire area we were in is due be opened right up with all the stud walls being removed. The next show I will be at with the SMS clinic however is ‘The Joy of Six’ show.

Summing up

Well its been a hectic couple of months and the next few weeks are not going to get any easier. Not ony have I to finish cleaning up the Levant, but the plan is to paint up three more armies in addition to the Normans in time for the JoS, I will have to have schedule in a couple of major basing evenings, and then there are plans for one or two key scenic items. Oh, and then there is the day job!

On the show front the major event of the year is going to be the JoS. I admire Peter’s motivation to make this a 6mm flagship show and am very please it has not been ring-fenced as a Baccus show with a number of other 6mm manufacturers on the invite list. A definite must on any 6mm wargamers calendar. Can you tell I am quite excited about it all. The excitement is only tempered by the ‘how many figures have I got to paint by then realisation!’, and then there’s the basing….. did I mention I don’t really like basing…..

6mm Rapier Seleucids

Can’t believe it is over a month since I have blogged. Its been all a bit frantic and busy. There is lots to report so I will attempt over the next few days to get the blog up to speed with all that has been going on over the past 5-6 weeks.

First up on the back of WMMS was the completion of a ‘unit’ of Rapier’s Selucid Pikes. I almost finished a strip of 20 models at the SMS clinic I did at WMMS and this led me to look at the sabot basing for pike blocks whilst also kicking out a rarther intimidating unit.

Rapier are relative newcommers to the 6mm market and have largely concentrated on Biblical and Ancients. Although the models are stripcast they are essentailly individuals which require seperating and mounting. Personally I find the bases rather thick and judiciously apply a stanley knife to thin them down to a thickness I am happier with (casualty rates is probably less than 1:30 and as yet I still posses all my digits). Generally speaking the castings are good and although first impressions are of a fairly ‘bland’ model these paint up beautifully. I think they have the right level of detail for painting in 6mm. I personally would have liked to see the cavalry on slightly larger horses. These do take significantly longer to prepare than their Baccus counterparts but I think it is time well spent.

The Seleucid pikes come in standing pose and 45 degree angled pose. The spears are cast on and I do wonder if an open handed pose like that which Baccus offer would be appropriate.

Basing took a little thinking through as I can envisage these being used for Impetus and also Hail Ceaser. In Impetus they can be fielded in large units of two and three bases deep. Hail Ceaser is more flexible so essentially if I can get the effect right for Impetus they will morph across to HC.

For playing Impetus in 6mm the most generic option would be the 60mm wide bases (ie half 28mm size as previously discussed on various forums). Those from a warmaster background may well prefer the 80mm width option. When considering base depth the suggestions are 20mm or 30mm for heavy infantry. So two bases 40 – 60mm and three bases 60-90mm. Personally a unit that is deeper than it is wide looks wrong to me.

The ‘solution’ I trialed with these was doing a front rank base of 30mm x 30mm with subsequent bases using 30mm x 15mm. On the front base placing two ranks of angled pikes with one rank of standing pikes. On the additional bases placing two ranks of standing pikes. I am pretty pleased with the reults.

The ‘Elements’

IMG_0861

Sabot options

These can be saboted up in a variety of ways. Firstly the standard 60 x 30 unit can be made from two 30mm x 30mm side by side. The 30mm depth complies with the Ipetus depth suggestions. As they will invariable be fielded as a large unit adding a rank behind makes them 45mm deep, again complying with Impetus depth suggestions for two heavy infantry units (40mm -60mm).

IMG_0862

IMG_0863

Going all out three deep units we add another rank of 30mm x 15mm elements. This brings the footprint to a 60mm x 60mm which still complies with three Imetus heavy infantry unit depts.  However, this to me looks a little ‘deep’. When considering 300-400 point Impetus armies it is most likely thay will be fielded as ‘two-unit’ deep large units, so I am not going to lose sleep over it.

IMG_0864

IMG_0865

IMG_0866

Now if I was a megalomaniac and wanted epic battles on my 10′ x 5′ table then we would want something more the size of the Trebia bases which are 100 mm wide….. Fear not! Adding another file of bases brings this close enough at 90mm width and the visual impact of the unit is stunning.

IMG_0867

IMG_0868

IMG_0869

Gulp…. you mean you want us to attack that!!!

Models are already in line to expand the formation and show more on how these elements can provide flexibility, and also doing a Baccus comparison unit. Also planned is a look at some more options in Sabot basing.

Painting the Seleucid Pike block

Undercoat – Halfords Grey primer, valejo black wash

Cuirass – v001 White

Flesh – v021 Medium Fleshtone

Spear Staff – v127 Ochre Brown

Tunic – v025 Light Orange

Shield Strap – v136 Red Leather

Shield Back – v143 Flat Brown

Spear Tip – v178 Natural Steel

Helmet and Shield – v174 Brass

Bases – v146 Hull Red

These are the order in which I painted things. I opted for a very styalistic white for the cuirass as I plan to do the elite Agryspades in red cuirass and white tunic to help differentiate them. The shields were painted as the central disc and the rim leaving a dark line at the interface to enhance the effect. If I was going all out then ‘collars’ could be painted on half way down the pikes.

These were competed in readiness for Sheffield Triples for their first showing at the SMS clinic.