A handful of links I thought were worth sharing this week.
Historical Enterprises, Inc are a historical reenactors garb/costuming company with all sorts of great articles on their website. If you need plausible colours for your Medieval, Renaissance, ECW, etc figures, this article on fabric, dyes, and colours is based on practice up to the 14th or 15th C but almost certainly applicable before and after that.
John Bond created a great looking pond from teddy bear fur. I’d never considered using fake fur for water features, but it looks pretty good!
I’m considering creating an imaginary English shire to set my ongoing English Civil War project in. There’s a long tradition of “imagi-nations” in wargaming, especially Seven Year’s War or Napoleonic gaming, so an imagi-shire seems like a reasonable thing! In that vein, I found a couple of English place/village name generators to help populate an imagi-shire with plausible-sounding names; The English Village Name Generator and English Place Names Generator being two among many!
Much chaos in my non-gaming life, so time and brainpower to actually paint is kind of hard to come by, but this weekend I sat down and organized my pike & shot foot figures for Pikeman’s Lament and other English Civil War or Thirty Year’s War gaming.
I now have exactly 60 figures assembled, based, and in progress for this project; I know it’s exactly 60 because the 4Ground 25mm bases I’m using come in batches of 60 and I just finished the first batch of two that I’ve bought!
Starting from the far left, there’s a unit of musketeers in blue uniforms, then a pike unit in blue (on the close-order base from Warbases). To the right off the back edge of the cutting mat is another dozen musketeers, this time in green. In front of them is six foot characters/officers/leaders and one mounted officer, and on the skirmish base to the right is the first six forlorn hope firelock musketeers. Finally in the front right corner is another dozen pikemen, in green uniforms. All the figures are from the Warlord Games Pike & Shotte range, all plastic from their infantry regiment box. This is one full infantry regiment box plus a couple of extra sprues picked up separately, except for the firelock/forlorn hope figures who are the first of the Forlorn Hope/Firelock Storming Party box I’ve assembled.
The blue pikes are closest to being done, and a few of the green musketeers got finished as part of LPL11 recently. Most of the bare grey plastic figures were assembled just this weekend to fill out various units and add some more leader/officer/character figures to fill out some units.
Unassembled, I’ve got another 14 musketeers, enough for a second full unit of “blue” musketeers. That will give me a “full” pike and shot unit of 2:1 shot:pike ratio, which will look good on the table! There’s also another 12 firelock musketeers, and a dozen cuirassier heavy cavalry. Finally I’ve got another dozen regular cavalry fully assembled but not shown above; six of them are fully painted and the other six have been almost finished for… about four years now, or maybe longer…
The four new officer/character figures are made with arms from the Warlord plastic pike & shot infantry command sprue, and a mix of pikeman bodies and bodies from the command sprue. The two on the left are pike bodies; the two on the right are command sprue bodies. The two completely finished and based figures in back alongside the mounted officer are also made the same way, with two spare pike bodies. I have more command or character type figures than I’m ever likely to need for Pikeman’s Lament, but they’re fun to assemble and there’s lots of single-figure small skirmish games out there like Pulp Alley that I could see tweaking for an ECW setting!
As soon as I saw how the figure on the far right came together I thought about cutting the head of the halberd off and turning it into a magic-user’s staff of some sort! Hmmm, mix and match the fantasy Dragon Rampant with Pikeman’s Lament? Dragon’s Lament? Pikeman Rampant? The two games use the same basic core rules, so it might be possible, and gunpowder/Renaissance fantasy (vs more standard medieval fantasy) has always been an interest of mine!
I haven’t actually sat down with the Pikeman’s Lament rules to put together some companies, but the figures assembled and based here are enough for a full size 24pt force with some different build options. I’m going to try to get one or two of the almost-finished units actually pushed through to completion this week, and hopefully get a PL game of some sort in next Sunday, but we shall see…
Same room as before – our guest bedroom/office/workroom – but we’ve moved the shelf unit I used as a painting and building bench to the other end of the room, away from the door. It’ll be slightly closer to my computer desk, which is out of frame to the left in the photo below. I’ll have a bit of natural light from the window just to the right, and more space for shelving along the wall below the window eventually.
It will also make the room more usable as a guest bedroom, because the guest bed is now right close to the door and all the messy hobby stuff is at the other end of the room!
The next several Lead Painters League entries are barely visible in the photo, lined up across the centre of the shockingly tidy desk surface. If that CSI TV-show “Enhance… enhance… enhance” voodoo were real you could peek into the future and see my next four or five LPL11 entries in various stages of completion, from “Ready to photograph” down to “O Dog am I going to get these done in time?!”…
The Lead Adventure Forum runs a great painting contest about once a year called the Lead Painter’s League. I’ve participated before but not for a number of years now, but when LPL11 was announced a while ago I decided to get back at it and enter.
LPL was originally conceived as a way to help participants clear their stockpiles and lead mountains of figures, so the requirements for small groups of figures – the minimum entry has to be five figures – and relatively loose theme allow you to paint whatever you feel like. There’s bonus rounds with slightly more specific themes on the first, fifth, and tenth round but they’re intentionally loose as well. This year’s bonus themes are Tribes for Round One, Ship’s Crew for Round Five, and Big Brother/Little Brother for Round 10.
I was able to get ten rounds worth of figures together, including satisfying all three bonus rounds, just from my stockpile of figures, in classic LPL style!
For Round One, Tribes, I used a family group of cavemen (cavepersons?) that Bob Murch of Pulp Figures sculpted. There’s a grizzled old shaman, an older woman, a young mother with baby on her hip, a teenage boy, and a younger child. I think they’re some of Bob’s older sculpts and it looks like he’s taken them out of circulation at the moment – which means we might see resculpts sometime soon!
There’s been a dozen or more Infinity figures and a scattering of other stuff on my workbench this whole time, but the only figures I’ve painted have been the six goblins for the Blomp, five of which were really simple paint jobs, really just two colours and some washes! My painting mojo has been in hibernation all winter…
Then Lead Painters League 11 was announced over on the Lead Adventure Forum. I’ve participated in previous LPL rounds but not for a number of years now – LPL3, LPL5, LPL7 – so I wanted to get back into that particular groove, and allows me to continue my “tradition” of participating in odd-numbered LPL rounds.
I realized that if I dug into my lead mountain stockpile of figures I could do every single round of this LPL including meeting the three bonus rounds (Tribes, Ship’s Crew, and Big Brother/Little Brother) without having to buy a single figure, and by pulling out figures I’d started to paint years ago then abandoned I could reduce the painting load considerably!
The first thing I did, though, was clear all the Infinity figures off my workbench. They’ll be back, no worries, but I realized that my painter’s block was at least partly linked to the fact that for most of the last two years nearly all I’ve painted has been Infinity figures for one faction. They’re lovely figures and I’ve done a lot of painting on them I’m happy with, but a massive changeup was clearly needed!
I pulled a whole mix of stuff out, began working on it, and the painting mojo came roaring back! There’s some Warlord ECW/TYW figures, a mix of figures from Pulp Figures, some fishmen types from Reaper, and a few other things from other manufacturers. I’ve applied more paint to more figures in the past five days than I have in the past four months!
Part of this painting spree will see the table at Trumpeter Salute 2017 at the end of this month – more on that in another post soon.
Last time I mentioned a couple of YouTube painters that had good series of to-the-point, well-edited painting videos. Victor Ques is another I should mention; his ongoing “Weekly Painting Tips” series just hit episode 100 and has lots of good content. For his 100th episode he did a really nice 15 minute video talking about when to use some of the techniques he and other painters talk about; it’s a really good overview to accompany the technique-specific videos he’s already done.
Painting Buddha doesn’t seem to be producing videos anymore, but they had a really high-end multiple camera setup, with a camera on the miniature, a camera on the palette (so you can see how colours are mixed and thinned) and a talking-head camera. Their painting black armour tutorial is well worth watching, even if it’s more advanced and involved than a lot of us are going to do regularly!
A few quick links to finish off with!
Bricks’n’Tiles is a small Windows program to create endless, seamless brick, tile, and other textures for creating paper or card buildings with, but even if you don’t use Windows or don’t feel like you need to buy the program, they have some sample sheets downloadable from their website that are potentially useful.
Free Islamic Calligraphy has a lot of high quality graphic files of Islamic calligraphy, including the awesomely sci-fi looking Kufic style. Lots of good stuff if you want to add some easy Islamic (or Haqqislamic, for Infinity players!) flavour to your scenery.
Quiet month here on the Warbard, I’ve been busy in real life (terrible when that happens…) but getting some gaming and painting time in when I can.
We had an Infinity event in mid-October, eight of us at Everything Games for a full day of Infinity. Three rounds with four tables; I provided scenery for two of the tables. I’ll get those photos up sometimes soon, but first I want to share October’s big (really big!) painting project!
Haqqislam’s Maghariba Guard TAG is the largest model in the game, so big it has a whole new Silhouette class (S8) all to itself. I finally splurged on the monster when EG put together an order direct to Corvus Belli and gave us a generous discount on anything we ordered through them.
The order arrived right at the end of September, so I decided that the Maghariba would be my October pledge for the Painting Support Club over on the Infinity forums!
I got her assembled (mostly) on the 1st of October and finally, on the 30th, declared her done! Here’s a gallery of the entire build process, from bare metal to fully finished.
I’ve been back to painting Infinity figures recently, after being distracted by somescenery for a bit.
Over on the Official Infinity Forums there’s been a Painting Pledge/Support Group thread every month for a while now. I tend to be a bit of a scattershot distracted painter, so pledging a few figures to get properly finished in a month is a good way to keep me a bit more focused.
This month I pledged a pair of Kameel Remote combat robots and a Hassassin Barid Hacker figure to get done. I’ve also been trying to finish a few more of the other random figures around the place, and have been doing fairly well on that front too.
I’ve been spending some more time on YouTube recently, rummaging around the wargaming-related channels. I don’t have the time or the patience for the long rambling unedited vlog-format stuff, but there’s some good, properly edited, to-the-point stuff out there.
Two channels I particularly like are Kujo Painting, who did the great “How To Paint Tartan” video embedded below. The rest of his collection is well worth looking through.
Miniwargamer Jay also has a good Miniature Painting 101 series of vids with lots of good tips. Again, most of them are fairly short (5 to 20 minutes), cover a single topic, and are well edited.
On non-YouTube notes, a couple more links!
Genet Models, formerly Ebbles Miniatures have been around since the early 2000s turning out really good papercraft science fiction models. The creator of them has more or less retired from the papercraft business (I think he works on computer games now) but he’s put his entire portfolio up for free download. I’ll be adding some of these to our Infinity tables soon, especially some of the shuttles and dropships!
I linked to this awesome tutorial in an earlier post about Infinity ads, but it’s worth linking to again. Want pseudo-holograms on your science fiction scenery? H-Archive does ads and holos is well worth a read. He uses printed transparencies and 1mm clear acrylic sheet to awesome effect; I’m going to have to hit up our local plastic supplier for some 1mm clear acrylic sometime soon!
Spent the weekend off on what might be our last camping trip of the season and I’ve been busy doing lots of other non-wargaming things, as one tends to when the weather is good, but I’m still getting some painting done.
I’ve just finished a couple of figures for my Haqqislam forces for Infinity, but the one I really want to show off is this female Hunzakut infiltrator. This is a relatively recent sculpt from Corvus Belli, and it’s fantastically detailed and nicely posed, one of my favourite figures in my collection. She’s crouching while placing a mine or repeater, rifle balanced on her hip.
More soon, I’ve gotten some progress on the hill and shuttle scenery seen here recently!