Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Bruce's Scots

I'm posting a few more views of my Scots army, which depicts the Bruce's force at the time of the Battle of Bannockburn. Here's a shot of the Bruce's division, containing Western Islemen and lowlanders.

I use one unit of mounted knights.

Here's a unit of borderers...

...And here's Wayne Richards, visiting from the UK and fielding my Scots against Chris Buckley's excellent English at our annual WAB tournament to benefit the American Cancer Society. This was a historical match-up and grudge match. I believe the Scots managed a close win here - not that I had a vested interest in the outcome. ;)

My Scots

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Scarab WWI Italians

The project I'm currently running is a company of Scarab's excellent WWI Italian infantry figures. Sculpted by Robi Baker and offered by my friend Rob Broom's company, Scarab Miniatures, these models debuted last year. I got started on them a few months back and I'll show how I started the project and how its progressed. My gifts as a photographer are meagre, so I hope I do the models, and my paintwork, some justice.


I start, as always, with black primer over the figures, which are mounted on their bases and flocked. I prefer black over white because it gives you ready-made shadows to build up from, and although dipping is very popular right now as a means to finish a lot of models quickly, I don't like the effect, and I'm also not very good at it. It always looks like the dip color makes the whole model look brown. Frankly, I prefer to have colors that pop, or at least stand apart from each other, even if they're dull colors.

As you perhaps can see, I use epoxy putty to blend the figure's molded base into the broader plastic or card bases that hold the models, and then use white glue to apply the sand flock over the epoxy putty.


Here's a shot of how I set up my three Fiat Ravelli machine gun teams. The epoxy putty has been molded with a sculpting tool to create the rocks that Italians used to inadequately shield their guns and poor trenches on the Isonzo River front. Austrian shells just turned these rocks into deadly projectiles, but the Italians were never given enough tools or adequate equipment by their high command to dig trenches in the rock of the mountains.


This is how the guns look after priming, and after having applied the first uniform coat, which is a combination of Valejo Wolf Grey, Black and German Camo Green. The flock has been built up through successive layers of scorched brown, dark earth and bonewhite, blended with a brown wash. This base is by no means finished, but its a good spot to stop and to begin to paint the rest of the model. When I finish the models, I go back to the flock with a final drybrush application of dark earth and bonewhite to finish the base. Then, if needed, grass flock will be added as a finishing touch. Also - the barbed wire will be finished, new in some areas, rusted out in others; the weather conditions on this front were horrible, and the fighting was so static, that rust seems to be the order of the day.


The next step is to apply dark flesh to all the skin areas and build the skin up through several layers. I'll update you on my further progress in a few days.


En avant!

Once more into the blogging breach, dear friends.

I'll be using these pages from now on to post on this luddite's progress on gaming the old fashioned way. Whether you call it kriegspiel or tabletop miniature wargaming or - as my wife calls it, with a slight double-entendre "Playing with your little men" - its basically toy soldiers, and its been an obsession of mine for as long as I've been able to paint.

Here's an example of my Bannockburn-era Scots army, using mostly Perry Brothers designed Foundry Medievals with a few E-bob character models and some Essex thrown in to fill out the field. I think this is my favorite looking army and I hope to post a few more, better pictures soon.

Here's Sutherland's division, with a few highlanders thrown in:
My Scots

I've also got a few shots here of my late 15th Century Italian Condotta, with figures from Games Workshop's underrated Dogs of War fantasy range, which with little modification are great historical figures, also designed by the Perrys.

cannon 1

cannon 2

Here are some trouser companies of pikemen:

Pikemen 2

Pikeman 1

Some light infantry


And finally, a company of janissaries from my medieval Ottoman army


Next up - I hope to post a few more pictures of armies that I've finished (or nearly finished - are they every really finished?) over the years, and I'll be updating you on some ongoing projects, including Scarab's excellent WWI Italians designed by Robi Baker, Gripping Beast's Woodbine Design Company WWI Ottoman infantry, and Crusader's excellent WWII French infantry.