Tuesday, February 19, 2013

From NicolasC: 28mm Frankish Crusaders (144 points)

From Nicolas:
Here is a new submission that should help me leave the back seat: my first batch of Franks knights of the First Crusade. Since Tamsin showed her Norms yesterday I thought I had to echo them with my Franks today. I have always been fascinated by the First Crusade and more broadly by the look and attire of the XIth century rider, so it has been a very long while since I wanted to paint those. 

These twelve horsemen are intended to represent 3 pts of SAGA Mounted Hearthguards, and will form the core of my new SAGA warband: Franks Capetians. The First Crusade was largely a Franks affair. Although there was two armies of Normans joining the Crusade, nothing except for their banners and their way of speaking would really differentiate them. Yet we have seen a lot of Normans in SAGA so far, so I aimed at something a little different with the Franks, and sat my choice on the Army of Raymond de Saint-Gilles.

Raymond de Saint Gilles, Count of Toulouse, former Count of Provence, who raised an army of about 10,000 of his vassals from the southern parts of France to answer the call for Crusade of the Pope Urbain II. The knights of Raymond were called, a little derogatory, ‘the Provencals’ by other crusaders, probably a little jealous that they would form together the most numerous and powerful army of the First Crusade. And, since Adhemar de Monteil, Legate of the Pope, was ridding among them, Raymond de Saint-Gilles and his knights were almost the official army of the Pope.
Therefore, I have try to give them some sort of southern aspect by painting their shields mainly with red and yellow, and avoiding the more common Normans Shields designs and patterns. It was tricky though because, on the other hand, I did not want them to be mistaken for El Cid’s knights, so I had to avoid patterns that would look too clearly Spanish at the same time. Last but not least, I had to keep in mind that heraldry did not really exist before the first quarter of XIIth century… I hope the result is up to the task. 

The figures are Perry Miniatures First Crusade range. And, to be honest, it has been a nightmare to prepare them and assemble the pieces together at all stages. First of all, they required an horrendous amount of clean ups. Second, the legs of the horses are quite weak and always needed to be bent in one way direction or an other. Third, the Shields were quite hard to fit on the arms. Fourth, the legs of the knights are way too open for the the width of the horses, leaving a not so nice gap beautiful the leg and the flank of the mount. Fifth, the hands were too tight and gluing the spears proved a total mess and waste of time… Still need to make a few touch ups on them to mask the stains left by the glue… Anyway…
Next time more Franks, on foot this time, and hopefully a Ronin, since my order has finally been delivered last week.
Beautiful work Nicolas! You may have had a trial in getting these lads ready but they've certainly benefited from your efforts. And those hand painted shields: magnificent stuff - bravo!

These twelve Frankish riders will give Nicolas a base of 120 points, but I'm adding another 24 for the fine work on the shields. Well done!

From TimG: 54mm Tratvian Naval Infantry (201 points)

From Tim:
The Tratvian armed forces continue to expand. Rushing to the front with their varnish still tacky is this battalion of Naval Infantry. 
All 54mm. Figures are by Armies in Plastic.  

The standard bearer was produced with the aid of some minor surgery and a laser printed flag.  Forward to the West!  Whichever direction that is....
Schweet! I love these guys! Ever since I was a kid the whole idea of 'naval infantry' fascinated me (actually, coming from the prairies I found anything naval fascinating). I picture these poor naval ratings, in their silly caps, looking at each other thinking, 'How the fuck did we get in this mess? I'm supposed to be safe on some huge ship, with my only worry being how not to get molested by the ship's bursar.'

These Tratvians will earn Tim an enviable 201 points. 

From TamsinP: 15mm Thirty Years War Harquebusiers & 'Hakkapeliita' Swedish Cavalry (97 points)

From Tamsin:
For my 11th entry, it's a return to 15mm 30YW cavalry. First up, a unit of 12 Harquebusiers.

Next up, "Hack them all!". Yes, the dreaded "Hakkapeliita" of the Swedish army. These were Finnish cavalry, whose name comes from their battle cry "Hakka pella" which means "Hack them all!", not a threat to sing without musical accompaniment. 
They gained a fearsome reputation on the battlefields around the Baltic.The regiment had its origins in the Nyland knights which became the Nyland and Tavestas Cavalry Regiment in 1629 under Lt Colonel Torsten Stalhandske. At the battle of Breitenfeld (1631) they were on the right wing of the Swedish army and were commanded personally by Gustav Adolf.
The flag is homemade. I had trouble finding the flag they used in the 30YW - I think this one is from late 17th/early 18th century, but it probably hadn't changed greatly in that time.
Next up, some Norman infantry, then maybe some more Swiss if you all behave.

Lovely work Tamsin. I like the yellow/buff blanket roll with the red jackets and the banner turned out very nicely as well.

These two regiments of cavalry will give Tamsin 97 points. Just a shave behind Ray...

From MikeP: 20mm WWII Soviet Cossacks (136 points)

From Mike:
Entry #6 continues the theme of February as Russian month. These 17 20mm Soviet Cossacks are soft plastic from Revell. I suspect it is OOP now. This set got high marks on Plastic Soldier Review and they are nice figures, adding a nice touch of colour to an otherwise rather drab army.

The one dismounted fellow ended up on the command stand. I figured he would be holding the boss' reins while he used his binos to look for the Fascists.

I'm not sure what use they will get on the tabletop, but I've been opining for a while now that we don't do enough recon stuff in miniature wargames, and I will try to find a use for them in a recce role.
Wow, gorgeous work Mike! I really likehow you set them in pairs on the circular bases - it seems to really work for them. The officer with his dismounted aide is particularly fine. 

These seventeen cossacks will give Mike a very tidy 136 points. Well done Padre!

From RayR: 28mm Victorian London Bobbies (30 points)

From Ray:
Evenin' All. 
I'm goin' all Cockney for today ent'ry, me 12th in fact, I've paint'id up a few Old Bill. 
I've been watchin' a new TV series on da good ol' BBC called Rippa Street, its abaaaht da lives ov some good old London coppers in Victorian England. 
So after I saw 'em on ebay fer a few quid I decided ter partake in 'em an' ent'er 'em in'er challenge. They're from Foundry an' was a doddle ter pain't up. Know what I mean?
Very, very cool Ray! You've done a lovely job on these lads. Were the bases a part of the deal or did you source those separately - they look great. I also like their somewhat small helmets and their over-acentuated poses.

These five 'crushers' will give Ray 30 points, which includes a bit for the extra work on the custom bases. Nice!

From IannickM: 28mm French & Indian Wars Indians (82 points)

From Iannick:
Here's my third entry in the challenge, 16 28mm Indians for my French Indian War project, figures by Conquest miniatures and bases by Litko. I used my usual 3 colour method (base coat + 2 highlights) finished with a coat of Army painter. 
They are a mix of Delaware, Fox and Iroquois indians; they are to be used as French allied Indians in my games. Conquest miniatures is a fantastic range, but their Indians are even better. Some of the best sculpts I've ever painted. 

I did these in two batches of 8, as I like to paint skirmish figures in small batches, and these guys certainly deserve the extra attention. These are my first tries at painting war paints, and I'm quite pleased with the results.

Beautiful work Iannick. I especially admire your rendition of the warpaint, particulalry the fellow with the half-blue face - very fierce indeed! (Wonderful backdrop as well, btw.)

These representatives of three indian nations will give Iannick 82 points (with a few points extra for the excellent warpaint). 

From MichaelA: 28mm British Colonial Heliograph Section & Mounted Camel Corps Command (80 points)

From Michael:
Well after what seems an age, I've managed to finish off a couple more miniatures which I attach for your scrutiny. More from the fabulous Perry brother's Sudan range, this time the Heliograph Section and Mounted Camel Corps Command. As you would expect from the Perrys they were great sculpts to work on, but the Heliograph Section caused me a bit of a dilemma in so much as some of the miniatures just seemed too versatile to commit to one base and so a little terrain build ensued.
The idea was to give them their own piece of high ground from wish to signal away, while allowing me the freedom to use one of the officers and the guard for other duties as when the need arose.

This will be the end of my travels in the Sudan for a while, I'm feeling the need for a bit of variety and I'm also conscious that I've yet to submit my entry fee, so a brief sojourn to Feudal Japan might be in order!
What an absolutely gorgeous piece of work, Michael. This reminds me of your camp set (well, several of your excellent vignettes actually!). Love the Camel Corps command, particularly the blending on the camels. 

This inspiring entry will give Michael a base of 60 points, but I'm adding another 20 for the superb composition and execution of the vignette.

From SteveM: 15mm WWII Finnish Infantry (201 points)

From Steve:
The forces is comprised of a HQ with an Lehti anti-tank gun and two Jalkavaki platoons. These are based in a basic snow field. These guys were the main force of the Finnish army and help to fight off the Soviets in WWII.

Platoon 1 and 2 can be told apart by the position of the commander in the formation in the images.

Great stuff Steve. They look suitably cold and remind me of the weather outside here (-26 C / -39 with wind chill...).

These will give Steve 201 points which will rocket him 20 places in the points standing (and I know there is more to come). Nice work!

Guest Post AAR - Battle In The Sudan - 28mm Black Powder Colonial

Hello once again to the Analogue Hobbies gang.  I am here to interrupt with another guest post AAR from our wonderful visit to Regina this past weekend.  This report features action set in the searing heat of the Sudan in 1884 as the troops of the British Empire face off with the fanatical followers of the Madhi. 

The Mahdist rebellion in the Sudan is a favourite period of mine and the relevant collection of 28mm figures from Perry Miniatures is one of my favourites to paint.  This current Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge has spurred me into finishing several long-overdue figures from this range and they saw action for the first time on the gaming table in Regina this weekend. 

Newly painted figures meeting their inevitable fate...
The setting was 1884 near Suakin on the Red Sea coast.  This was the initial period of action against the Madhists as British troops sought to bring rebel leader Osman Digna to heel and secure the sea coast in order to protect the shipping lanes to India.  This campaign included actions like El Teb, but I was looking to represent something a little smaller - a skirmish-type encounter with some local Emirs who were probing the British forces.

The 6' x 4' table was set to imagine a dry tributary of the Atbara river and an abandoned commerce/trade station of the previous Khedival administration - since captured, looted and wrecked by Madhists.  Graham has sent a detachment of Yorks & Lancs, Camerons and Hussars, supported by a gatling and some naval ratings, to clear out the Madhists.  The British detachment totaled about 40 men. 

I say Ramsay, how can I observe the horizon if its blotted out by raving mahdists?

The local Mahdist Emir is keen to hold on to his ruins and test the will and resolve of these foreign devils.   He had two large blocks of warriors with spears, two small blocks of skirmishers with Remington rifles, a captured Krupp gun crewed by Egyptian "volunteers", a small group of camel riders and a party of cavalry.  In all it was about 120 warriors. Game length would be 10 turns.

Curt and I played this game twice - once trying to apply the Bolt Action rules engine for the colonial setting, and a second time using the wonderful Black Powder rules.  

The Bolt Action experiment did not work out well.  I thought I had cleverly adapted the rules engine as needed - I particularly like the pin the markers - but overall the game experience was sluggish, to put it politely.  

Camels - the 'Bolt Action' equivalent of Hanomags...
It is a testament to Curt's friendship that he played through nine turns with me at this before I finally admitted my bold plan kind of sucked.  Too many dice had to be rolled to generate a result that should have been straightforward. The flow of the game was wrong for the period. Not very good gaming...

This is in no way meant to criticize Bolt Action. After all, it was written for WW2 for Pete's sake! I have had a lot of luck adapting different rules systems to different periods and settings, but this one did not work out. On the plus side, the table looked great and we had great fun hammering Madhists with gatlings and rifle fire, while the naval ratings ran for their lives in the face of a charge from 20+ warriors.

Curt suggested Black Powder as the way to go - and in fact Black Powder is intended to actually capture this period.  I had read through Black Powder, but not tried it before.  I didn't think my individually based models would work - but therein lies one of the brilliant bits of Black Powder - the game doesn't really care how your stuff is based.  

We racked up the figures again - once again I took the Mahdist side and Curt played the British.  This time the game has WAY better flow and fun.  The action was dominated by my Madhist cavalry attacking back and forth along the flanks while the bulk of their warriors endured volley after volley of musketry.  

Both of us flubbed some important command rolls, but I managed to do this twice at very, very critical junctures!!! One failure allowed the British Hussars to escape obliteration (although I would still get them in the end). 

The second saved the skins of the Yorks & Lancs - already suffering from the effects of harassing fire by Mahdist riflemen and the captured Krupp gun - they would have been charged in the flank! But you can see from the photo what happened...

Later that turn Curt used the Gatling gun to finish off my cavalry, and their loss was sufficient to break the Madhist force.  But it was a close run thing for the Brits - the Hussars had been seen off - with their commander in tow - and the Yorks & Lancs were on the brink.  

The game was fast and fun and gave a great flavour for the period.  The British cavalry was roughly handled (as occurred so often in the Sudan) but steady musketry and a gatling carried the day. 

I will now scramble to order some sabot-style bases to make moving the troops blocks around a lot easier to play Black Powder colonial games in the future!  And I will try and fire up a Black Powder game for the fellows back in Winnipeg.   

You will also see Curt's awesome wound markers in action in the photos here (note the particularly huge blot in front of the gatling - RIP Madhist infantry charge).  This is another thing I really want to try out - a very cool effect. 

Addendum - In discussion with Curt, I have decided that coming to Regina for a game during any painting challenge period is also worth points - in this instance, about 100 points per game :-)... (200 points if you let Curt win. - ed)  Now, if I could just figure out a way to hack that scoring chart...