Monday, 25 April 2016

ANZAC Day Project

It is ANZAC Day here in New Zealand, and a public holiday. With all the commerative activities over, all the chores done, with no desire to go out into the retail madness that is ANZAC Day shopping and with the lead pile is reduced to nil, I had to find a small project to keep me occupied. I chose to upgrade some markers that we use during our games.

In the rules we use units can be in one of three basic states: good order, disrupted or shaken. Troops in good order can suffer three casualties before they become disrupted and when they have taken six casualties they are shaken. We record this with a series of six basic markers. The first group are round markers numbered 1-3 in black type on a white background. The second group, of square bases, has two marked 4 and 5 with black type on a yellow background that indicate a disrupted status and one with a white "6" on a red background indicates that the unit is shaken. 

When I made the markers I didn't want just a printed label that followed the unit around, so taking a leaf from a fellow gamer's book, I decided to disguise them as small pieces of terrian. Each base had a printed number, as described above, printed on a 5mm square and was then decorated with sand, flock, tufts of long grass, logs, an abandoned drum or a broken wheel. Here is a typical set of six.

Apart from these six basic markers, there are five other markers we need. The first is "Disorder", which is placed behind a unit after is had crossed terrain that would disorder the unit - disorder is fleeting and clears automatically the turn after the unit has cleared the disordering terrain. The second is "Disrupted" because while a unit is normally disrupted by accumulating four or five casualties, they can also be disrupted by a forced retreat, a lost combat, or if they are burst through by a routing unit. Third is "Shaken", because like disrupted above, troops can become shaken as a result of combat even if they have not lost six casualties. Forth is "Rally" because well led units who obtain a "rally" result on their activation test may recover one status level, but never lower than "3", by remaining stationary and away from combat for the turn. The fifth counter is "Silenced", a marker for artillery that has been silenced by overwhelming fire.

I wanted to continue with the terrain piece theme, but clearly some more text was required for these markers. For most of them I opted to use some 25mm round plastic counters I had lying around, while the disorder and sulenced markers needed to be a bit wider so I used  some spare plastic bases from the Perry Russian infantry packs.

On each of these bases I spread a bead of Green Stuff that I flattened and smoothed off. Then I simply used a variety of sculpting tools to press the letters into the surface. Where necessary I flattened off the surface again. If I had any Green Stuff left over, I made some stones or similar terrain clutter around the text. Here are the "undressed" markers.

When the green stuff was dry I painted the Rally and Silenced plaques white, the Shaken red, the Disrupted yellow and the Disorder black. Then into the cavity of the lettering I painted in a contrasting black or white, wiping off any excess. The face of the plaque was then touched up as necessary. The result was a satisfactory rustic look. 

Once the paint had dried I painted the rest of the marker black, painted any rocks varying shades of grey or brown and then applied the ground cover. Here is an example of the "Rally" markers in the four stages of production.

And here is the full set of five markers.

In the course of an afternoon, I managed to put together about three of each marker. If I make the a few more of each during the next week, I will have all I need.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

More Cossacks

I have now completed the three units of cossacks that will be used for both the Crimean and Napoelonic Wars.

The blue unit (above and below) was finished first,

...followed by the Brown unit and....

...finally, all three units.

With the completion of these three units the lead pile is exhausted. Orders for the rest of the Light Brigade and the first French infantry figures for the Crimea will be placed in the next few days, but they won't arrive for another ten days or so. 

I shall have to find some sort of short project.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Russian Napoleonic Infantry

In between painting units of cossacks I have been working on the Russian Napoleonic infantry. My last order contained a box of these that allowed me to complete another two and a half battalions, and all of the command figures for the musketeer battalions.

The remaining four boxes of figures that are required to complete the twelve battalions that I intend to paint for this army will not be arriving until at least August. Unlike previous years, where I have been a little undisciplined in my purchases, this year is to a strict schedule...a schedule that sees the next four months completely dedicated to the British, French and Russian Crimean armies.

Here they are. First is the whole of the first infantry brigade, the Smolensk and Odessa regiments, in line of battalion columns.

These next three shots are all five battalions formed in column of divisions.

I have always liked the Russian Napoleonic army so it is nice to have some of them back in my collection.

The rest of the week will see a return to the cossacks.

Saturday, 16 April 2016


This week has seen the arrival of three units of cossacks that I intend to use for both the Napoleonic and Crimean Wars.

I chose the Ataman Cossacks from Perry Miniatures in winter dress because they best match the images I have of the Crimean War cossacks. What great little figures these are, full of character abd the castings are clean and crisp.

The first unit has been done in brown coats. 

The next unit will be in blue and the final one in grey.

Finally, for Jonathan, who asked me about the compatibility of the Foundry and Great War Miniatures Crimean War ranges, here is  shot with a stand of Foundry French/Sardinian infantry on the left and the Great War British infantry on the right. The Foundry are 25mm and the Great War 28mm.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Yet More Crimean War Figures

Its been a busy week on the painting front. The focus has been on the British infantry and cavalry that arrived just over a week ago.

To the 20th Foot, the 17th Lancers and some of the mounted commanders that were completed last week, I have added the 11th Hussars, the 21st and 63rd Foot and two more mounted officers.

The 11th Hussars

The 21st Foot

The 63rd Foot

The infantry brigade in line of battalions

The Generals

I must say that I enjoy working with these Great War Miniatures, but I have a one complaint about them - the connection to the bases are very weak in places. In fact the hussars were so weak that I had to insert steel pins into some of the horses, particularly the trumpeter who had completely broken off his base. In several other instancesp figures have such small bases that I have had to either enlarge the base with green stuff or put additional basing material around the base.

Next is back to Russians - Napoleonic infantry and some soon to arrive cossacks.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Crimean Expansion

After nearly three full months of painting Russians, both Crimean and Napoleonic, I have gone back to the Crimean War British Army.

Last week I received a parcel of Great War Miniatures British, encompassing the first couple of regiments of the Light Brigade, a brigade of three battalions of infantry, six command figures, including Cathcart, Lucan and Cardigan, and then to round out the order, another box of Perry Russian Napoleonic Infantry. 

First completed was the 17th Lancer Regiment.

Followed by Cardigan...

and Lucan...who still has to be based.

Then came the 20th Regiment of Foot.

And finally General Cathcart and a staff officer, who are waiting for grass to grow around them.

Next to paint are the 21st, 63rd Foot, the 11th Hussars and two brigadiers. Then it will be back to Russians and the box of Perry figures will finish off two more battalions.

Next month's task will be the remaining three regiments of the Light Brigade, some artillery and then a regiment of French Infantry

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Wars of the Roses Game

Today we played another Wars or the Roses game. The basic scenario was the same as the one we played at the end of February (;postID=3321519443020166817;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=6;src=postname)

I did make two chnages to the scenario for this game. First, players could not change sidesonce they   declared loyalty. Second, because we had eight players, the mercenaries were assisgned to players and then aligned to one of the royal contestants rather than being up for grabs by all.

The rules were the usual home grown set and worked so well that we managed fit two games in during the day.

Below are a series of shots from the day.