Sunday, January 15, 2023

Things I Did in 2022: Early Imperial Roman Cavalry

Parish work has been rewarding this last week but has left me with precious little time to paint or to post here.   With a slight respite this afternoon, here’s a return to some of the projects I completed last year.

Following on the heels of a surprise turn to Ancients Gaming, I decided to paint some Roman cavalry as adversaries for my Germanic warriors.   I have only a vague idea of how the Romans used cavalry in Germania, probably more as scouts and line of communications troops than on the battlefield, but I’m sure they had their share of skirmishes and patrols.  I showed this figures to my friend, Consul Homo Lepus, who knows more about Romans than I do, and he was impressed that the Victrix figures come with quivers (right word??) for their javelins, as well as blankets, canteens and other useful kit.

These are 28mm plastic Victrix figures, with shield transfers by Little Big Men Studios.  The horses are painted using Foundry tri-colour paints from their “Horse” paints set.   I’m still figuring these paints out but in general I’m pleased with them and would use them again.

Command figures:

I have quite a few more ancients to paint, including Roman auxiliary infantry and archers, and more lead Germans thanks to the Wargames Foundry Diamond Jubilee sale last year where my finger slipped and I bought rather a few.As I may have posted here earlier, I acquired the Germans last year when the local gaming group was playing a lot of skirmish games using Clash of Spears rules, and I may stick with them or perhaps look at Too Fat Lardies’ Infamy rules.   I also have a set of rules from Helion, Three Ages of Rome by Philip Garton, which I confess I’ve barely looked at since it arrived.  

So ancients are not a back burner project, exactly, more of an interesting diversion which I’ll pursue this year.

Blessings to your brushes,


Tuesday, January 10, 2023

#Terrain Tuesday: Warbases Prussian Barn WIP

Hello friends:

I’m reviving a feature here which I’ve called Terrain Tuesday.   Here’s a bit of progress on a project carried over from last year, this 28mm Warbases T-Shaped Barn from their Napoleonic Prussia series.   I can use these in a variety of horse and musket settings, and this particular model could possibly be used in a North American setting, assuming the barn was built by settlers of German origin.

I wasn’t happy with the MDF roof, so I ordered some of the Warbases cardboard roof tiles sets and laboriously glued them on.

Now I have to decide how to paint the roof.   I was thinking a brown base coat, and then a dry brush of red, as most German roofs I’ve seen in paintings of the period seem to have red roofs.   Any advice?

Blessings to your modelling.  MP+

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Things I Did in 2022 - Tiny Prussians

I don’t think I’m going to do a full year in review blog post, but I will do a few posts to highlight some projects and directions that seemed fruitful to me.  3D printing was definitely the big thing of 2022 for me, and while it was often enormously frustrating, it also opened some doors, including the possibility of doing SYW battles in a big way.

In 2022 I agreed to help Henry Turner by printing and painting some figures from his recent 6mm/15mm Seven Years War Kickstarter, in return for a discount on the range of STL files.    Henry sent me some files, including these Prussian musketeers, which you see here.

 The figures print in strips of four, including one strip of musicians (seen above in the front left of the second base) and below on the far left, and a command strip.  I would say that the detailing is comparable to Baccus, and while these figures look lumpish and squat when scaled up, at 6mm they look fine.   Fairly easy to paint and they look good when based, using the same size bases I use for my 6mm Napoleonics and with my scenery.  There’s definitely a large battle project here if I want to pursue it.


If there’s any downside to 3D printing, it’s simply the time cost of cranking out figures - a print run of this size, assuming it all goes smoothly, is a day to set up and print, and another to clean and cure the figures.    It may be easier to just order some starter packs from Baccus, and then flesh them out with prints as I choose to.   At any rate, this project was a successful proof of concept.

Blessings to your printers and brushes!



Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Resisting (?) The Allure of Big Napoleonics

Hello and Happy New Year.

One of the last two games of 2022 for me was a game of Sharp Practice with my friend and podcast partner James at his place.   Besides the pleasure of spending time with an old friend, there was the thrill of playing with James’ 28mm kit, which he has been assiduously assembling and painting for the last two years along with our mutual friend Scott.   While Scott has been focusing on the French, James has done Bavarians, Russians, and is now working on Austrians and Prussians.

Here is the force of invading Bavarians that we assembled for this skirmish on the steppes of Russia.  The figures are a mix of metal (including Front Rank) and various plastics including HAT.

And the defending Russians, which I took.

It’s hard not to be tempted by how attractive these units are. James is a decent, workmanlike painter who has a knack for turning out figures that are wargaming standard, in large numbers, and in fairly short time.   When he wants to he can kick it up a notch, as with the Russian officer in the centre, on his prancing horse waving his expensive hat.  The overall effect is very impressive.

On the tabletop, these figures are paired with some fine scenery.   As with the figures, James aims for a wargaming standard with his scenics, but the overall effect, as with these Russian houses, is quite pleasant.   


Likewise this MDF church (Our Lady of Cabbages) is nicely presented with a scratch built fence, and the unfortunate billiard ball dome will be replaced by a nice 3D printed spire for future battles.

Here’s one shot of the battle, which went badly for me.   We advanced from the long ends of the table, and spilt the village, where my light infantry was slowly evicted by the better fire of the Bavarian rifle-armed jaegers.   I foolishly led with my weakest infantry formation (bottom left) which were ripped apart by James’ grenadiers.   James has an intuitive grasp of Sharp Practice and used the order cards to best effect, seizing several extra moves/volleys for his grenadiers.  The only real success I had was a cavalry victory as our light horse basically cancelled each other’s out of the game.

As readers of this blog now, I made the decision a decade ago to do Napoleonics in 6mm and I have not regretted that decision.  However, all this is building up to the confession that this period in 25/28mm is hopelessly infectious.  The figures are just so much more dramatic in the larger scales, which reward painting and uniform details in ways that 6mm can’t.  It’s like comparing an impressionist painting (6mm) with a romantic but realist painting such as Lady Butler (28mm).  The big scale wins in the close ups.    That being said, I am firmly convinced that 28mm for Napoleonics works best with larger skirmish games.    For battles of a brigade on up, I’ll take 6mm any day.   

But, I still feel the need to paint a force in 28mm!    So here’s the likely solution.   Piano Wargames, a very clever fellow named Lucas, has been labouring away for some years now on the troops of minor German states, and has just wrapped up a very successful Kickstarter focusing on the Tyrolean Revolt, which will feature rebels, Bavarians, and Austrians.   The KS offers .STL files as well as metal figures, and I’ve decided that it will be a good opportunity to use my limited 3D printing prowess to do some of these rarer figures for James (and I get to play with them from time to time, so win win).  

Since my experience with printing 28mm figures is minor, I thought I’d practice by ordering some of Lucas’ files already on his webstore, in this case, six light infantry figures from the Duchy of Wurttemberg, which would themselves be the basis of a nice little Sharp Practice force, since they can fight as French against Russians or Austrians until, as invariably happened, they turn coats and fight against the French towards the end of the Napoleonic period.

I had a devil of a time getting the pre-supported files to print, for some reason known only to my Elegoo Mars2 printer, but when I decided to print the unsupported figures, I was fairly successful, though there are some minor flaws in some prints.   Still, I now have enough to print and to see if 28mm is as seductive as it appears to be.  Wish me luck.

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