In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Offensive Orcs for Orctober

Finishing some orcs seemed appropriate for Hallowe'en. The 2nd dozen of my order of 3d printed Orcs from Spain are done and ready to bash on the Mad Padre's elves. Being equipped with assorted polearms I'm classing these boys as "Offensive Heavy Foot" for Dragon Rampant.

Again they painted up fast as I let the ink wash do a lot of the work for me.

As I painted these I was again struck by the level of detail and the natural poses, which are both a strength and a curse.

Better angle on some shields

With this second mob I used a burnt umber brown ink wash to give me a darker skin tone. I also splashed it over their grey tunics, so the brown ink pulled a mossy greenish tone out of the grey which I think is kinda cool and helps with the grungy look.

2nd group on L. 1st group of R.

Here they all are together ready to bring down the world of Men.

The tufts are self adhesive and from the nice folks at Shadow's Edge Miniatures. They have quite a good range and quality. Packs are enormous so good value too.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Prost! Bavarians Done!

Scharfshützen skirmish with Cossacks, for no other reason than it's a cool picture I found on the internet.

I have completed the last of my Hät Bavarians which gave me 6 battalions of line infantry and a battalion of lights, plus extra Big Men.

 How it started 

How it's going

This completes all of my Bavarians so far. If I use 4 stands of Scharf's Schützen to make another light battalion I can field 2 understrength brigades, 4 batteries of artillery and a weak, 1 regiment brigade of cavalry. 

1st Brigade and heavy artillery 

Division Command stand and artillery

2nd Brigade with Front Rank Schützen as the Light Battalion

Chevaux Leger

Big Men and extra groups for Sharp Practice

I think I have enough to run some learning games of General d'Armee. Although my Bavarians actually outnumber the Russians.

I have agonized over expanding the cavalry, but the superb Bavarian cavalry brigades never marched with their parent corps in 1812, having been detached by Napoleon to join the main army and then be wasted at Borodino. So there weren't very many of them for 1813 or even 1814. I am still pondering getting some dragoons for 1809 games against Scott's Austrians, but for 1812 and later they would be more likely to have French cavalry in support.

Because I am lazy and I was focused on the smaller scale Sharp Practice, I did everyone with the red facings that the majority of Bavarian infantry used. Now that I have more than enough for even big games of Sharp Practice, any expansions will fix that and use other facing colours.

1st Brigade. All Hät Figures

2nd Brigade and Cavalry behind

1st Brigade

Perry artillery

2nd Brigade

Front Rank 6 pound battery

Cheveaux Leger

Big Men and extra groups for Sharp Practice games

Of course I have 2 more battalions to complete the brigades, a limber and a caisson on order from the Perry's. I'm going to get them a supply wagon (or two?) from Warbases too.

But I'll hold off getting a third brigade until after I do some Prussians. Irony being a cosmic constant, Victrix have just announced their set of Bavarians, of course. It has some interesting options. But I'd need one and a half boxes to get that third brigade, or just maybe just buy three boxes of Hät for less money and assembly headaches. That however, is a decision for another day. In the meantime, a toast to my new army!


Sunday, October 17, 2021

Fall Renewal

I am recovering from the first Field Training Exercise with the cadets in two years.

Covid-19 restrictions and virtual training meant that last year cadets was entirely on line. Our experienced Senior Cadets all aged out without proper send offs and we've got a new cohort come up without the chance to develop properly. 

But increased vaccinations and easing restrictions has resulted in some limited Face To Face training again.  We were able to, on very short notice, put together a one day training scheme to teach some basic survival techniques, fire the air rifles and give the new Senior Cadets some important opportunities to practice leadership and instruction. 

My usual FTX look. Rain jacket over fleece sweater. Plus Covid mask.

Getting some range work 

Air to Ground signals and basic survival skills

Trying to make fires on a wet day

Improvised shelters

We had 21 cadets out who all had fun (they were all very excited to have MREs for lunch) and learned some new things and knocked the rust off some skills that had atrophied with the Senior Cadets. 

It was good to have my fleece sweater on again.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Bavarian Brigade on Parade!

Progress on the Bavarian army this weekend, with a couple of milestones reached.

The most recent batch of infantry finished means that I have a complete brigade for big battles games.

The Bavarian army used a very regular brigade organization. Each infantry brigade had 2x regiments of Fusiliers, each of 2x battalions plus a battalion of Light infantry. Depending upon the campaign a division would have 2 or 3 brigades plus a brigade of cavalry and 3 or 4 artillery batteries. 

This brigade is made entirely with Hät Figures. Each battalion has flank companies as well. The mounted commander is a head swap with a mounted French officer that the nice folks at Hät included in with my order. I only had to trim the very French epaulettes off and switch heads. I added the white plume to make him look like the fellow on the cover of The Bavarian Army by Peter Bunde, Markus Gartner and Markus Stein.

I also finished the Perry Miniatures limber for the artillery park. 

The lead horse has obviously found some interesting flowers to eat.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Getting Bogged Down

"Oo, I like a nice bit of bog, me. Makes me think of my Nan."

One of those challenges on Twitter poked me to do something about an idea that I've had in back of my head for years.

My terrain inventory has been lacking wetlands but I really didn't want to get involved with water effects and cutting bases out of MDF. 

#Terraintober prompted me to make some experiments in cheap and easy swamps with a scavenged sheet of 1/32" thick clear plastic.

I cleaned one side with a damp paper towel and then squirted on a good sized blob of dark blue. I ended up using my hand to spread it as  evenly as I could manage to minimize streaking. I didn't try to get right to the edges as that would get trimmed off later.

Painted side

Once dried I cut it into assorted irregular shapes. The flock would be glued to the shiny, unpainted side. 

Shiny side

I was going to use a tube of brown latex wood putty that I had bought years ago thinking to experiment with making flexible roads. But I never did and the tube had set up solid. Ho hum. 

So I ended up digging about on the shelves to find something else to stick flocking to smooth plastic without flaking off, because it was late and I didn't want to wait 5 days to get to the hardware store. 

With Swamp Mk 1 I used a tube of rubber cement. But it was drying very quickly as I spread it with a toothpick so I didn't get as good coverage as I wanted. 

Swamp Mk 1

I added some more glue and a few tufts to fill in some of the gaps. Although I do rather like the effect of water and grass together giving the look of very marshy ground. 

Bit more flock and tufts added

For Swamp Mk 2 I used a tube of latex caulking and smoothed the bead of caulk out with my fingers before dumping the flock mixture on and letting it dry for 24 hours. 

Coverage is good, but the sharp angles in the pools look unnatural and need to be hidden by tufts.

Swamp Mk 2

The beads of caulking are also thick so you end up with more grass and less open water. Still, not bad and warrants another attempt. 

Swamp Mk 2 with tufts

For Swamp Mk 3 I've gone BIGGER, about twice the size, and controlled the caulking a bit better to leave more open pools. I've also remembered to take some WIP photos, while trying not to get latex caulking all over my phone! Terrain making always seems to be messy!

Caulking spread

I had to make up some more flocking mix too. Making terrain really eats up the flock!

Buried in a pan of flock for 24 hrs

Swamp Mk 3 after a second round of caulk and flock to cover some thin spots. Added a trimmed down twig and tufts

All three together

Unit of orcs for scale

The proof will be in how well they hold up over the years to usage. Chunks of flock and adhesive flaking off will be something to watch for.

That's enough wetlands for now. Some rocky hills next I think.