Thursday, December 05, 2019

Dragon Rampant - Kobolds vs Orcs

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Actually, I've had a couple of DR games recently, and this is not the oldest, but it is the one I've edited the photo's for; so it goes up first.

My forces amass 
Gav visited for a 36 point game.  We set up my modest little (coffee) table, with a small town as the landscape for our battle.

A little open ground on the flanks 
TO my surprise, Gav had brought a bunch of GW Lords of the Rings Orcs he'd had hiding in a box for many a year.  Some painted, some, not so much; but these GW models have always been attractive...

 Goblin scouts in the woods
His main battleline 
The black fog (photoshop) descends.... 
My force, was mostly average light foot, with some beefier Hobgoblins and Bugbears in support, a wizard in command and a Dragon in tow as the big hitter.  Gav's force had similar numbers of light infantry, with his own wizard, backed up by heavy cavalry.

Looming forces of evil on both sides bode ill for property prices! 
Early advances favoured the Kobolds 
It kicked off well, but then both sides suffered a couple of stagnant turns.  Still the Kobolds fared better and were soon safely into the outskirts of the town.

My flankers seemed less keen. 
The Orcs were very slow 
About turn four.
On my left Hobgoblins kept the Warg cavalry at bay, as they feared either fighting them in the woods, or being close enough to be ambushed themselves.  

Enemies close 
In the town, I had numbers, but not confidence in our fighting prowess.

Two units of Kobolds /= One unit of Orcs 
Form a defensive line! 
My Kobolds braced for battle forming a shield wall, covered by my crossbow armed scouts.  The inevitable charge hit home.  But my wizard had also managed to cast Sharper Blades on the unit and so buoyed up by the Red counter of re-rolling, the Kobolds gritted their teeth...

Steady lads. 
And...

Nice! 
Committed great slaughter!.  The Orc unit was swiftly routed, with little loss. 

Meanwhile 
Attempts to outflank one another went slowly, but Gav was able to bait my Hobgoblins out of cover, and came off the better.  My bugbears and Dragon were stymied by those damned Goblin scouts.

From the Orcs side, pushing into the town 
Second line Orcs advance down main street
The Dragon stalks its' prey 
Ignoring the Goblin scouts I sent my dragon after the Warg cavalry, driving them away, then I went after the 'easy' meat of the exposed Orc infantry.  At least that was the plan.  I only needed threes to hit after all.

Well, shit. 
In return, the Orcs were able to inflict a couple of wounds, winning the engagement and pushing the Dragon down to under half strength.  Consequently swiftly retreating.

Getting pushed back 
By this stage the losses on both sides were mounting, but I had effectively been evicted from the town.  And was in the process of being surrounded.  My wizard and scouts were now doing most of the heavy lifting and keeping our dreams afloat.

Orcs begin flanking
Despite the desperate situation, the Kobolds fought to the last, and at times looked to have a chance.

In fact at the end, it was only a marginal loss.  When we called it and totaled up the glory it was only a victory to Gav by a couple of points.  I'd inflicted serious losses, somehow, but also performed rather better in my boasts for once and narrowed the defeat.

A great fun game.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

PZJR Abt.243 Stug III G - Next Level

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So, this represents pretty much a month of steady work, maybe 12 hours painting on the one model.

   
  
  
  
  
This is a distillation of all the new techniques I've been trying, but in particular the methods that tip this model over the edge are oils and enamels based.  The hull benefits from the use of a black enamel pinwash, and rust and stain filters across the board.  The build up of dirt and mud includes powders, pastes and enamel wet-textures.  Finally the tree branches are real twigs with dyed foam, saturated in PVA and latterly drybrushed, attached.

Overall, I think this really reaches to the standards I was hoping for.  Though I'm sure I can refine it too.  This model looks suitable for a trip out on a rainy weekend somewhere in western Europe.

Points to improve in the future; exhaust smoke staining, further thinning of mudguards, breaking up of Schurtzen, fading of the camouflage colours, stowage...  So yes, still a few things to try!

Finally, for those who can't get a sense of scale, and don't know what 20mm really implies, here a WIP Imperial Assault 32mm miniature for scale!

 
The model itself is the Plastic Soldier Company Stug III, and whilst simplified, is incredibly well detailed for what is only about a 12 part kit.  I have two more to work on.  It should be noted that not only were the Schurtzen kept separately until the end of the painting process, the lower hull and track assembly was not attached to the hull until the tracks were painted.  This made working on the model much easier, the base was also completed prior to attaching the model, in reverse of my usual practice.

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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

On Brushes....

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I have a lot of brushes:



The loosely packed pouch on the left is the everyday brushes.  The good stuff if you will.  Though not all of them are by any technical definition, great instruments.  Indeed my favoured collection includes a selection of old Humbrol Reds as you can see.  These were super cheap horsehair or similar, but one thing I've learnt over the years is that for longevity, natural brushes win out every time.

Indeed, whilst I have quite a range of synthetic brushes, they seldom last for precision work as long as one wants.  If you are working long sessions with the brush, they will suffer more than a natural equivalent, and cleaning seems to only deteriorate them further.  My workaday brushes of choice at the moment are Royal and Langnickel sables; available in the UK very cheaply from the range in a £3 pack of 5:



It's hard to argue with such value; two fine sized brushes and three larger ones for basecoating and varnishes/glazes.  This way the Artists sables I do own (and the sythetics), which often cost above £5 each can be saved for the precision work they really excel at.

Also hiding in the other two pouches are cheap brushes from IKEA, some super-soft makeup brushes, and any number of other outlets.  Once a brush is past it for frontline duty, it gets retired to the dry-brushing pile, or serves to do terrain, apply glue or clean away dust and dirt.

After all, waste not want not, eh?

Which are your favourites, and why...

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Sunday, November 17, 2019

New levels of Detail - German Heavy Support

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So as an interlude from the vehicles for my new 'Leveled Up' German army, I produced a few support weapons.  Mortars, light artillery and the infamous Pak40 anti-tank gun.

  
So, every technique on these was used on the previous models, except one.  Here I've tried experimenting with Oils for the first time.  In the realms of serious modelling, using oil paints for subtle effects is a well used advanced technique, allowing as they do a long working time and an ability for subtle effects to be expressed.

These consequently served as a training module, as there were only some small areas to trial the effect.

Without labouring it when I'm learning, it is the application of small spots of brown/black oil paint, and then before those dry, blending them out into stains and filters with white spirit or other suitable thinners.  The resultant effects give a warmer, more complex tone to a model, as well as replicating various wear and tear.

I had no problem working this method over acrylic paint by the way, the thinners having no impact on the previous paint, but this was of course after the paint had been given well over a day to dry and cure.

The bases are  fairly standard, but the dusty marks that show up in the pictures are the result of the weathering powders being applied late in the process; not recommended!  The logs came straight from the yard, and the leaf litter here is simply Tea leaves, I need to experiment more with this, but hey ho.  It looks okay in real life.

With some of the support units prepared, it of course also means I've done some more of the human elements for the force.  Next I need to work on some of the actual infantry, and perhaps a decent tank to back up all the French dregs; and see where these new painting approaches can get me to.

Until next time...

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Clementia Rules the Waves...

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Spurred by their successes on land, the Gebrovians sailed a small fleet around Caltabrian Straights to raid the shipping lines between the mainland and Little Clementia.  This journey even upon itself was at some risk of raising the attention of the Bellephron Empire, but the fleet of four vessels passed through without incident, and began several weeks of raiding along the Clementian coast.  Other than wrecking several fishing vessels, the fleet also captured a Clementian mail schooner, and a Tarsan merchantman.

Of course the Clementians could not let such a transgression lie, when both their own shipping and that of friendly nations was at threat, something must be done.  And so they sent their flagship, the good ship 'Venus' and three escorts to meet the enemy wherever they could.

By October 1720 the Gebrovians had reached the limit of their own supplies, and a long journey home ahead, they sought to turn for home.  It was only a few days into this return leg that the Clementians intercepted them; at the Cape of Pferdekof.

the Hostoi leeads the way 
The Gebrovian flagship, the Aleste Doi Cheznavoy, heavy with booty, made its' way south alongside the Corvette Jnaravikchi and two schooners of the Illuvmaa class, the Hostoi and the Zsatavoi.  coming into a small archipelago of islands off the Pferdekopf Cape, the vessels progress was slowed as they sought safe passage.  It was at this point the flotilla of Clementian ships found their quarry.

  
The Clementian Frigate 'Venus' and Corvette 'Telesto' approached from the East, whilst the Schooners, Europa and Acaste came from the Southwest.
 
Early in the engagement the wind was with the Gebrovians, and their schooners were easily able to anticipate and outmaneuver the Clementians.  But raking fire came to naught, given the sturdy build of their ships with Clementian Iron Oak.

No luck here 
Conversely, when the Venus found itself abeam of the Jnaravikchi, its' deadly fusilade obliterated the fighting capability of the vessel; which was left floundering for the rest of the engagement.

  
Leaving it to idle , the Venus and its' escorts turned on the Aleste savaging it with fire from both sides.  The Aleste weathered the storm and did its' best to return in kind, but the Clementians ships had more guns and more good fortune.
Off! 
The Aleste limped away, whilst the wind took its escorts north to rescue the Jnaravikchi, and to capture the unfortunate Telesto, which never really joined the fight, due to a mast breaking when caught in irons.  The Telesto surrendered after a mauling assault.  Even at sea the Gebrovians are better in hand to hand combat than at range with gunnery!

 
The Aleste ultimately lost all momentum and was surrounded by the Clementians, to save souls, she struck her colours and accepted here fate. and with that, the light failing, the engagement ended.

Each fleet had arrived with four vessels, and left with four, but the exchange was undeniably in the Clementian favour, departing with two Frigates and two Schooners, for the loss of one Corvette.  The Clementian commander sailed home with his held held high, and some prized captives as well as a large ship and its booty.  As for the Gebrovians, their badly mauled remnant fleet, took the modest trophies it had left to it and returned with their tails between their legs.


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This was the first naval game to grace our campaign, and for my sins - and apparently out of some misjudgement of our national abilities - I chose to play this based on having won the previous engagement.  We used the Warhammer Historical 'Trafalgar' rules, as what I had available, but they did a good job with a small game like this; as to the 'miniatures', for the time being my collection of Pirates of the the Spanish Main cards provided the ideal contingency force.  

The mechanics of running a fleet for the game are homebrewed and incredibly simple, but indicate that damaged or captured ships will require down time to repair.  In our cases, neither side will have a full fleet again until the new year!  But at that stage the Clementians will have something of an advantage, having traded a Corvette for a Frigate.

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Monday, November 11, 2019

11.11 - Remembrance....

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Decoration Day

Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest
On this Field of the Grounded Arms,
Where foes no more molest,
Nor sentry's shot alarms!

Ye have slept on the ground before,
And started to your feet
At the cannon's sudden roar,
Or the drum's redoubling beat.

But in this camp of Death
No sound your slumber breaks;
Here is no fevered breath,
No wound that bleeds and aches.

All is repose and peace,
Untrampled lies the sod;
The shouts of battle cease,
It is the Truce of God!

Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!
The thoughts of men shall be
As sentinels to keep
Your rest from danger free.

Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Sunday, November 03, 2019

Renedra Feudal Hovels....

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Packaging and on the sprue
I picked up a couple of these, direct from Renedra, for a very reasonable price over the summer; and gave them a very quick paint job.  These are 28mm scaled, seven-part kits; I opted for the Wattle and Daub versions, but there are also plain wattle and stone versions in the range.

They need a little bit of a firm hand, some clamps weights or elastic bands will aid with bonding the parts together, but otherwise assembly is very simple and the resultant model is sturdy and attractive.  They are also a decent size, around a 2.5x4 inch footprint each, which readily matches my old Gripping Beast resin buildings.  They are advertised as outhouses, but they are plausibly sized for small family huts, or workshops; and won't look out of place as part of a farm or village.

I based them first and then gave them a straightforward paint job,mostly of dry-brushing, to match my renovated medieval models.  This took only a couple of hours all told.

Finished, the detail comes up easily.
The effect is really pleasing.  Depending how, you model and paint them these would work for anywhere from the late iron age (in regions like Ireland and Scandinavia where the Round House was not favoured) to the middle ages.  As well of course as being a nice option for generic fantasy games.

In conclusion, for £4-5 each you can't really go wrong, and unless you are really averse to kit assembly these are much better quality and durability than resin or MDF models; though I would advise basing them on something sturdy.

Still, a solid B+

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Imagi-Nations: A Gebrovian Ally is recruited

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Gebrovia's early successes in the border disputes with Clementia were greatly beneficial to the nation as a whole, giving a patriotic boost to the population, and making it appear stronger in the eyes of it's two other significant neighbours; The Bellephron Empire, and Ionia.

The latter, a sometime adversary of the Gebrovians, had also in the past been allies of a sort, and Ionian warrior clans have frequently sought service in the ranks of the Gebrovian military.   With heightening tensions between Gebrovia and Clementia, the state coffers were opened to procure new servants to the cause:

 
First to arrive were a number of skirmishing troops, along with a dashing mounted Laird, in the company of an interpreter, an engineer and a member of the Gebrovian diplomatic emissary.  Shortly after a full company of clansmen arrived at the front.

 
Marching under the Ionian flag, of a red cross on the green field of their homeland.

 
Elsewhere, Gebrovia rallied a regiment of Kopritze Hussars to the cause, augmenting the raiding abilities of the troops at the border.

 
Kopritze was always well know for the horseflesh of its' rolling country, and these troopers have a glamorous panache to both their way of fighting and their style of dress.

 
The Clementians of course would also be recruiting their own reinforcements too, stung by a series of defeats on their border, and with a sense of the situation slipping into a general confrontation...

As with previous additions to our Imagi-Nations campaign, these miniatures are all from Warrior Miniatures, although in this case with some wider trawling of their ranges.  The Ionians are from the Jacobite Rebellion range, although some of the models here are from a pack I'd had in a box for over twenty years, and probably out of production now.  The Hussars are from their Napoleonic Spanish range, which I suspected would provide the oldest looking models for this cavalry type.

Next up for the campaign will hopefully be another battle report.

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Sunday, October 27, 2019

New Tools; New Tricks...

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Well, it finally happened.

After many years consideration - at a level only of 'should I?' mind you - I finally decided to give airbrushes a try.  I was able to pick this package up for under £100 on Amazon; a Compressor and three beginner Airbrushes.

This set is sold for a variety of generic functions, mostly make-up, temporary tattoos and that sort of thing, but the basic kit is what one will need.  One brush is the type that modelers and gamers will really want, but the other two are potentially useful for bigger jobs.  The main piece of kit here really is the Compressor though; this is the part for which the money is really invested, and I was pleased to find that it both worked, and was relatively quiet in operation.

So far I've only used it for a few jobs, but I aim to get practice in with the basic tools here before I decide whether to invest in a better airbrush, a decent one would cost more than all this set, but many users on Youtube give high praise to cheap kit for learning and carrying out the most routine jobs with.  I think that is borne out when one sees the attempts at undercoating here:

These will seem familiar
this is the result of a black undercoat followed by a first layer of thinned white.  Pretty incomplete, and it shows my lack of experience.  But you can see how much finer the spray is as compared to an aerosol rattle can.  It is also a lot simpler to get into all the nooks and crannies with an airbrush, and with suitable ventilation, painting indoors is not an issue.

We will see.

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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Bavarian Additions

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It seems sensible to combine recent output into a single post, I've come back to working on the Bavarians after a bit of a pause over the summer, when other topics diverted me.

First of all, I took an easy option, in so far as it required less figures painting, and did a couple of artillery batteries; plus a limber

I'll run two guns as a battery
The guns and crew are of course from Warrior, but the Limber is I think a Minifigs piece, one of several I picked up at a show a while ago.  It was tagged as a Prussian pack, but I'm not too much of a stickler to be concerned by that.

Latterly I just finished a Light infantry battalion and Divisional Commander:

  
This is a representation of the 1st Light Battalion; Gedoni.

 
Whilst the General is formed from a spare cavalry figure and a French General (who looks suspiciously Austrian to me) with suitable paint jobs.  Placed on an artillery sized base, so to be easily identifiable on the battlefield.

That makes for 5 infantry units, 3 cavalry, 2 artillery and 3 generals so far.  As a minimum I think I need another infantry and cavalry unit to get to an actual game, but the end of stage one is in sight...

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