Sunday, May 24, 2015

Entry #6 to the Lead Painters' League: 'Reds 1918'

My interest in the Russian Civil War began this past winter as a 'little side project' but, as these things often go, has slowly grown out of all proportion with various armoured cars, herds of cossacks and even an armoured train (!) all vying for space on my hobby desk. It's a bit ridiculous actually. To be honest, when I first contemplated getting into the period I was concerned that it would be too boring, with nothing but browns, greys and khaki to look forward to. Nonetheless I soon discovered that the uniforms of the RCW were actually quite colourful and incredibly varied, such as these Kronstadt sailors below who first fought for the Bolsheviks, but ended up as hunted fugitives after refusing to come to heel under the Soviets. 

Another thing I quite enjoy is that the combatants frequently carried huge honkin' banners, usually emblazoned with cryptic political slogans, imperial heraldry or religious iconography. That being said, at times they could also be quite simple affairs, featuring a single colour, like this Red banner proudly being held by a female commissar.

Several of the figures (and the armoured car) pictured above were completed during the last Painting Challenge, so I decided to top them up with another half dozen assorted models for the LPL.

The prone MG team and riflemen are from Copplestone whereas the NCO is from Musketeer and the female Commissar is an Artizan casting.

Similar to my Wars of the Roses figures I'm using red and white flowers on the bases to denote Soviet and White Russian combatants.

I really can't face that armoured train right now, so onto something else, wot!

Next up: French Indochina, 1954

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Entry #5 to the 9th Lead Painters' League - 'Attack of the Clockwork Monkeys'

For something a little off the beaten path I decided to do up this whacky group of clockwork monkeys for my 5th entry to the Lead Painters' League.

These 28mm figures are from Westfalia Miniatures' new steampunk range. I found the castings to be excellent, requiring almost no prep, essentially ready for paint straight out of the packaging.  A delight to work with.

Their fezzes crack me up. I dunno what it is, but there is nothing like a jaunty fez for adding that  je ne c'est quoi to a villain. 

Unfortunately these little fellas didn't really gain much favour with the LPL voters, but no matter, I still had a ball working on them. 

I have another four or five to get done and then they'll be ready to cause clockwork mayhem on the tabletop.

Thanks for stopping for a visit everyone!

Next Up: Bolshevik Infantry from the Russian Civil War

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Entry #4 to the 9th Lead Painters' League: 'Berne Baby Berne' - Swiss Mercenaries, 1476

My friend Peter and I were both bitten by the Italian Wars bug this past winter and so agreed to work together to get some miniatures done for the tabletop. 

For my first unit I thought I'd cut my teeth with some Swiss mercenaries as I reason that they could be used for any of the bewildering number of factions that fought during the period.

These figures represent halberdiers from the Swiss canton of Berne.

All of these figures are Perry metals from their rather vaguely titled 'European Armies' range. These are fantastic models with loads of animation and character. That being said, they did require a fair bit of prep work to get ready for painting (something I have less patience with especially when you pay a premium for the castings themselves and other manufacturers are now providing products that are virtually pristine out of the packaging). 

I decided to go with Berne for no other reason than I had this great pot of orange paint I wanted to try out and I knew the colour featured prominently in that canton's banners. Yup, rather lame, I know.

I chose to arm these guys with a variety of halberds and pole arms as I knew I'll probably use the boxed set of Perry plastics for the my future pike-armed figures. 

I based the models in groups of three on 40mm rounds as I wanted the ability to create quasi mini vignettes, and it also allows me to use them for a variety of rules systems depending on how I decide to mob them up.

For the unit's banner I scanned one provided in the Perry boxed set, printed it off on decent quality cotton paper, molded it to shape using diluted white glue and then repainted it using the same tones I used for the figures.

I often use this approach with my 'homemade' flags as I find that if the colour medium of the flag is the same as the figures (i.e. paint as opposed to laser-printed ink) then they somehow work better together. This is the same reason why I always paint my groundwork instead of leaving it as raw bits of stone, sand and talus. It's weird but it oddly jives with my whacky sensibilities.

I'll add a few more stands to beef up this unit and then try a group of pike and perhaps some Landschneckts. 

Thanks for dropping by!

Next up: Something both Simian and Steampunk...

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Entry #3 to the 9th Lead Painter's League - 'Goblins of 1979'

For my third entry to the Painters' League I decided to paint up a set of very old castings that I found in a dark corner of my Lead Shed.

These figures are 25mm Ral Partha Goblins and Great Goblins sculpted by the talented Tom Meier, circa 1979. Though perhaps fairly average sculpts by today's standards, one has to keep in mind that these models were produced over 35 years ago. 

I remember getting these as a youngster for our D&D campaign and being completely blown away by how dynamic and very characterful they were - there was really nothing like them on the market at the time and I think they still hold up rather well.

I was in a bit of a flap to get these done for the LPL deadline and frankly it shows. Nonetheless, I'm content with how they turned out.

I originally picked up quite a few of these in order to play Gary Gygax's 'Chainmail', a set of miniature rules which I remember to being impenetrable at the time, but that recollection may speak more to me being an inexperienced and impatient youth rather than to the rules themselves.

Thanks for joining me on my trip down memory lane - back when I had far less pocket money but much more hair!

Next up: Italian Wars!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Entry #2 to the 9th Lead Painters' League - 1812 Retreat: French and Germans

For my past week's entry to the LPL I decided to add a few more figures to my 1812 Retreat collection. Here is a group of French along with a few of their unfortunate German allies.

Westphalian Hussar, elite company.

French Carabiniere.

French voltigeur.

Wurttemberg infantryman.

...and a French line infantryman.

These five castings are all from the fabulous range of 28mm figures depicting the French retreat from Moscow from Perry Miniatures. Highly recommended.

As for this week's entry, I have a group of very old school 1970s era orcs and goblins from Ral Partha that I excavated from the Lead Shed. If you have the time please drop by the Lead Painters' League to see all the submissions from the participants of the League.

Have a great week folks!