Monday, August 8, 2022

Weekend WIP: Victrix Early Imperial Roman Cavalry

In thinking of ways to get me blogging more regularly (is blogging a lost art in the age of social media?  Discuss), I was going to start a regular Weekend Work in Progress Feature, but now it’s Monday evening, so I missed that deadline.  In my defence, it was a bit of a lost weekend, as I started feeling crummy on Saturday morning, By Saturday night I’d shoved the nasty little wand up my nose and gotten my first ever positive COVID test.   Gradually started feeling better today, just not a lot of energy, a dry cough, and a distinct lack of appetite.   Glad I got the jab and the boosters, I’d hate to think what I’d feel like without them.

Here’s a batch of 28mm Victrix Roman Early Imperial cavalry, about half done.   As I think I mentioned in my last post, the SYW get the maximum effort from my brushes, but these chaps will just get wargames standard from the three foot rule.  I do however want to put some work into getting the horses right.

I am realizing how shockingly ignorant I am of Things Romani and keep asking my mate James for help with niggling details like what colour should this officer’s crest be?

I also realize that other than the fight scene at the start of the film Gladiator, I know precious little about Roman cavalry, their organization, tactics and employment.  I know that each legion had an attached group of cavalry, and I imagine they would be engaged in scouting, escorting supply convoys, line of communications stuff, and so on.  I’m sure I’ll learn more as this project progresses and grateful for any pointers in the comments.

Cheers and blessings to your brushes!


Saturday, August 6, 2022

Foundry Prussian Dragoons: Regt. No. 1 (Von Normann)

The next unit to be mustered into Prussian service is Dragoon Regiment No. 1 (Von Normann), the last of my brushwork for July.  This unit is made up of 13 Wargamer Foundry figures, including one based individually for small-scale shenanigans using rules such as Sharp Practice.

As is my method for 28mm SYW figures, these are painted using Foundry tri-tone paints on a black undercoat, in my own rough approximation of the Dallimore method.    The flag is from my go-to guy for SYW flags, Madrid’s Adolfo Ramos.  Four of these figures have been half-painted and lost in a box for the last 5 years, and rediscovering them recently got me serious about including them in a batch of Foundry figures languishing in my Pile O’Shame.   Some of them may actually be Russian dragoons, the labeling on the packages was unclear, but a dragoon is a dragoon, I think.  There are some tell-tale flaws that would tell the knowledgeable SYW game that these are slightly off - the Normann Dragoons had a red pompom on either side of their tricorn, which wasn’t cast with these models, and so I decided to leave well-enough alone.

Otherwise they are lovely figures.  I like how the saddle and equipment is cast on the rider, though occasionally there’s not a good fit between the rider and the horse.

I’ve been very intentional about putting my all into painting my Seven Years War figures.  With other periods, and certainly with other scales, the three foot rule of good enough on the wargames table is fine, and there was a useful discussion of this rule on the most recent Yorkshire Gamer podcast.   However, I want the SYW to be my showcase period, the elaborate uniforms and the colours practically demand maximum effort and as much talent as my aging hands and eyes can muster.  In fact, I went so far on Twitter recently as saying that unit for unit, the SYW is more aesthetically pleasing than Napoleonics in the larger scales.    Feel free to report me to the Heresy Police.  :)

 Here’s a madcap, hell for leather fellow, his tricorn long since lost in the charge and just wearing his protective harness, tearing around looking for someone to bash.  If he survives, I’m sure he’ll attract Frederick’s attention for his bravery and for the shapeliness of his calves.  I’m currently reading Tim Blanning’s biography of DAF, and he sends a lot of time detailing Frederick’s homoerotic tastes, whereas the late Dennis Showalter (bless him) merely mentions in passing that DAF was a bit grumpy towards women. 

With this project done, a unit of Victrix Early Imperial Roman cavalry has thundered onto my painting desk and is getting a more rapid brush treatment.   I hope to have some WIP pics of them here shortly.   What’s your current WIP?

Cheers and blessings to your brushes!  MP+

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Seven Years War Prussian Mounted Command

It’s another Alte Fritz!

Continuing with brushwork completed in July, here’s a trio of 28mm mounted Prussian Seven Years War generals from Wargamer Foundry.   The chap in the centre of course, is DAF, though I’m not terribly happy with the degree of facial definition on the figure.  The foot version from Front Rank in my last post is better, in my estimation

On the other hand, I’m quite happy with the finished faces on the two accompanying officers.

Earlier this year I treated myself to the Foundry Horses Paint Set.   I wanted to up my game painting horses, not my favourite task, really, and decided that it would be a good incentive for me.  I’m reasonably pleased with the results.  When I added the two rather greyish highlight tones to the black horse on the right, I wasn’t at all confident with it, but here it looks fine to me.

Several of you were kind enough to rise to the challenge in my last post and take a guess at which map I used as the inspiration for the map on the 3D table I printed for Front Rank Freddie.   No, it’s not the classic Diplomacy map, though that’s a fine guess.  It’s actually the map from the award-winning game Friedrich (Histogames, 2006) which is a very clever and elegant design for 3-4 players using a map that cries out to be used as a miniature wargames campaign setting.   

 Thanks for looking, and for the comments and encouragement.     In my next post, I’ll finish off showing July’s brushwork and some more SYW Prussians for my slowly growing army.  

Cheers and blessings to your brushes,  



Monday, August 1, 2022

Der Alte Fritz! SYW Prussian Command Vignette

Hello dear friends and readers:

July was a busy month with travel and family commitments, and precious little blogging, but a lot of Seven Years War brushwork to show you in this and the next few posts.

Here’s a Prussian command figure, Der Alte Fritz himself!  The figure is by Front Rank, one of a four casting foot command set.  Black undercoat, painted using the Foundry tri-tone paints and system.

I wanted Fritz to have a table as a focus for the command group vignette, and found an STL file from Vae Victis called The Cartographer’s Table which of all the 3D tables I found was the most interesting.

The book (Voltaire, perhaps?), the map and the compass, all point to the image of Frederick as the Philosopher Soldier King.

The sharp-eyed and sharp-witted among you may recognize the map unfolded on the table.   If you recognize it, leave a comment (hint, think of a related board game).

The staff assemble to hear Frederick’s complicated plan (another frontal attack with horrendous casualties?  a flank mark starting hours before dawn through unreconnoitred terrain?  Do tell, Your Majesty).


Something about the expression and face on the chap in the blue cape reminds me of Derek Fowld’s character on Yes, Minister.

Cheers and thanks for looking, more Prussians coming soon!


Saturday, July 2, 2022

Prussian SYW Fusliers: IR 41 (Wied)

The latest unit of my 28mm SYW project is complete and is mustered into Prussian service.    These are Front Rank Prussian Fusiliers, and may have been one of the last shipments made by the now retired owners of that company before it was acquired by Gripping Beast.  I’m very pleased to see that this venerable product line is now available again on the GB website.  While most of my SYW figures in recent memory have been purchased from the extensive Foundry line, I began the collection in the 1990s with Front Rank figures, ordered from the legendary and now defunct Emperor’s Headquarters in Chicago. 

 These figures came as a Front Rank battalion back, and while I should have ordered a few more of the chaps with muskets, I think it’s fine and realistic to have units of slightly different sizes on the wargames table.  I chose the paint scheme for the Wied Fusiliers, a regiment which takes its name from its commander, who rejoiced in the name of Franz Carl Ludwig Count von Wied zu Neuwied.   According to the Kronoskaf website, the regiment, which had existed since 1716 as “ Erbprinz”, was purchased outright by Frederick II in 1741 from the Duchy of Wurtemberg, which obviously needed the cash for pressing reasons, and became Infantry Regiment 41.

 The unit is painted in Foundry paints using their tribute-tone system on a black undercoat, which I’m slowly becoming more comfortable with.   I chose Foundry’s Ochre paints for their trousers and waistcoats, which to me looks very Prussian, though it was noted to me on social media that Von Wied’s troops wore white trousers.   Kronoskaf notes that as of 1756 the trousers were of a yellowish hue, so I think I’m on firm ground, and honestly, in games where these figures could be any Prussian fusilier unit, does it really matter?

Likewise I was told that the flags should be reversed, as the Colonel’s flag should be on , and I will remember that when they pop off and need to be reglued.  Someone else told me the flagpoles were two tall.   Whatever, they look good to me.  The flags are from Adolfo Ramos, who in my opinion does stellar work.

 That the troops with muskets are all in one pose gives this unit an old school look, which I rather like, and seems in keeping with the Prussian mode of drill.

 I am currently working on a regiment of SYW Prussian dragoons, so soon I should have a modest sized Prussian brigade ready for the table.  Cheers and thanks for looking.

Blessings to your brushes!



Tuesday, June 28, 2022

#Terrain Tuesday: Visiting Old Russia

I saw this photo recently on Twitter, courtesy of one @nickfshort, and found it slightly haunting as a glimpse of a lost world, though the houses aren’t much different from some of the humble buildings seen on the front lines of the current Ukraine war.  

The caption reads:

"The village of Pokrovskoe in Siberia. An original colour photograph from, astonishingly, 1912. When Nicholas II was on the throne, and one year before the Romanov tercentenary.” Pokrovskoe was the birthplace of Rasputin, which is cool, but what interests me most here is the white painted church.

I’m wondering if it should be a guide for this lovely little 6mm model, which I bought as an .STL file from a German published called 3D Print Terrain. I have to say that this gave me fits, and it took multiple attempts on my Elegoo Mars printer before I had a successful print. Much trial and error with angling the building, adding supports, cursing and praying.

A Google search, “Rural Russian churches”, produced varying results, such as this one. 

 I suppose I could paint it a heavily weathered brown if it was some tiny village on the way to Borodino, with perhaps a bronze onion dome, but it could also be a white one if it’s a more impressive and prosperous town.   Hmmm, good thing I printed two.

Finally, on the terrain and scenery front, tonight I finished the three tree stands featured in last week’s post.  Two for 28mm gaming and one for 6mm.

Blessings to your hobby endeavours!


Monday, June 27, 2022

The Boys in the Hittite Sports Cars: Some 15mm Biblical-era Chariots

Here they come,

The boys in the Hittite sports cars,

Waving their bows in the air,

Who do they think they are?

And where did they get those cars?

(With apologies to Trooper)

Earlier this month I posted some photos of my first completed 15mm ancients DBA army and promised some chariots to go with them.   These four two horse chariots are also from the 15mm Syro-Canaanite range from Gladiator/Fighting 15s.   I imagine I could use them to represent Canaanites, Syrian city states, Philiistines, or later Hebrews, anyone from the late bronze age middle east, basically.

 Each chariot, team, and crew are colour coded.  I don’t know how accurate this is, but since chariots were the sports cars of the period, I imagine they’d be a showy bunch.

 The bowmen are armoured in the scale mail of the period, so these models would also do as upgraded elite 2 horse chariots in a rules set such as ADLG.

As fate would have it, an order of back issues from Against the Odds magazine arrived recently, including their game on Kadesh, so if I want to play a game involving thousands of chariots without having to paint them all, that’s waiting for me.  I hope to have a report on this game this summer.

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