Thursday, April 30, 2020

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Mordor Shield and Banner Designs

These were gathered from everywhere from many different references. A lot of the bottom ones I created to be designs orcs themselves could have come up with, rough and crude.

Dalek invasion

 Not happy with conquering the rest of the house, the Armoured Dalek invasion force turns its attention to the living room. Only the human Lego force of Earth stand in their way.

It was just an excuse to do some funny voices. My little boy now thinks Daleks are really funny, if only he knew.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Researching Bonnie Blue Flag rules

A while back I bought a copy of ‘Bonnie Blue Flag’ from Cavalier books and I have to say I really liked what I saw. The rules seem to give me everything I was looking for in a ACW rule set, I decided then even though I must have 15 plus ACW rule sets, this was going to be the one for me. I became a Kevin Calder fanboy over night and quickly snapped up his other Sudan rule set too. I constantly patrol Cavalier books looking out for any other variants of the rule set that may of been released. Although, the rules are so adaptable that you could use them for a multitude of other eras.

The only down side though is that because they are a small rule set by Cavalier Books there doesn’t seem to be much support for them. This lead me to do my own research to clean details, however small, from the internet to help outline some of the rules in the book. A big break through came when I found Kevins blog ‘The Iron Brigade’. This was full of nice pictures of his games which gave loads of extra details into the system. I have created this post on here so I can dump any relevant information to save me trolling around in the future. Other like minded souls had made the same connection and had gone to the Facebook site to ask questions, these were not answered though. So here I have gathered images from various games Kevin has done and each one is a wealth of extra information and details for the rule set.

A Crazed stalker raids the internet for more information.
 It’s interesting to see here the use of skirmishers. They are kept on the table and placed around the parent unit at all times, unless destroyed. This wasn’t made very clear in the rule book, I thought you just took them off once they rejoined their regiment.

 It’s also good to see the mini dice in play. I think pictures like this would of been a better choice rather than the stock Cavalier book ACW illustrations in the rule book. It would of really helped define things. Also, Cavalier Books released another set of ACW rules and included the same illustrations... a bit poor I thought.
 This is interesting, dismounted cavalry on 40mm round bases. This shows their looser structure on the field. This is a nice touch and gave me some good ideas about basing units of sharpshooters. Everybody knows the green clad Berdan’s sharpshooters, but by basing up a Confederate unit of marksman in this way would really help define them from the other units.

 A photo taken from a Napoleonic battle hosted by Kevin, it again shows that with a few minor weapon range tweaks, these rules can be used for most horse and musket periods. I also noticed in one of these games that skirmishers could be based two to a base rather than singly. This is quite helpful to me as single figures are quite hard to store and keep safe. Two figures on a 40mm base are a lot more stable and also give the chance of a diorama.
Also interesting that this small unit of sharpshooters only has one skirmisher rather than three to reflect its small size. I will tag this post and keep adding to it, if and when I find out anything new. These rules are great and well worth a look.

Below is a great picture showing the game in process. Note that some skirmishers have been based as units of ‘comrades in arms’, multiple figures in groups of skirmishers, loading and firing to maintain a constant fire. This is an idea I will play with for sure.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Hurrah boys Hurrah!

 I thought I would give myself a lock down project to see if I could get some more Union troops done. The first batch were done some months ago and just left in a draw ( getting slightly damaged). This second lot, I just thought ‘too hell with it’ and decided to Dip them all in strong tone. This made them much more fun and quicker to paint, it also meant they were a lot more tougher than the first batch. The third batch were the original figures painted up around 1998, brought up to muster with a retouch of paint.

 Rather than paint individual regiments, I’m going for the Regimental Fire and Fury approach by painting a horde of generic bases that can be used for a multitude of regiments.

 Above is the first batch, shaded with inks and just matte varnished with spray varnish.
 A horde of standards, I stuck some on unpainted figures as I couldn’t be fussed to go back and do it all again. I decided it will be easier to paint the figure around the standard than go through another night of glue and fiddly scissors.
 These photos are out of order, this shows some of the combined forces rebased at last. Although I’m going to be using Bonny Blue Flag rules from Cavalier books, I’m basing them using Regimental Fire and Fury ratios. This is so I can use their fantastic scenario books for battles. These are great for the detailed maps and accurate troop numbers of the forces involved. Although I won’t be playing their core rules these scenario books are an amazing resource.
 The idea has always been to take my old collection from the Nineties and update them with many more different poses. This regiment being revamped was one featuring mostly Dixon figures, so I used a lot of Dixon miniatures in many different loading poses to add to it.
 More rebased figures, this was great because even though I had a rough idea of how many new bases there would be, I was surprised at how many just kept coming from all the batch’s combined.
Above, are some strips of figures Dipped in strong tone. Basing them on cereal packets was great because the cardboard can be bent, allowing you to get all around the figure to paint it.
 It’s the next day now and I managed to base up some of those command bases. The eagles and spear points are from Steve Barber miniatures.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Results are in

 Yes, these lot worked okay, the Dip did it’s job. I was curious to see how the brown stain would look on the dark blue and I think it looks good. Going forward I might give them a slight blue highlight before the Dip.
Excuse my spray painted hand I thought I would get some more chaps under coated and painted up while the iron is hot.

 Above is a batch of figures I bought off EBAY, they were painted well but lacked shading. I thought whilst I had the Dip out I might as well give them a coat. I do need to correct a few things on their details but they should help to swell the ranks.
 Meanwhile, My own batches of generic Union troops are drying nicely.


Sunday, April 12, 2020

Another batch of Union troops for the Dip

Experimenting with different techniques with this second batch. The strong tone brown is quite dark so is great for clothes but I feel some areas of the mini need a stronger contrast. So with this second group I gave their muskets a wash of black. Also their equipment is very dark too so while I had the ink on the brush I tried on their blue uniforms and a little on their faces. Watching a lot of references and from my own re-enactments, I know the black power gets all over the face with biting cartridges etc, so a bit of black contrast on the face wouldn’t go a miss.

This extra shade on the face did bring out the expressions and characters of the figures a lot more. Again, really quick to do and gave another level of detail to the mini. I will compare the two batches at the end and see which I prefer.

I’m finding that painting them in little strips of five or six minis is actually really fun and gives a much more instant and rewarding experience.

As I paint these guys I try to use the brush in such a way that I leave areas of black undercoat still showing in the recesses. This should help the should help the shading later with the brown tone.

There is one more technique I would like to try on a third batch, using two tones of Army Painter at the same time. A black Dark tone for the equipment/uniform areas and a Strong tone for the trousers etc.