Sunday, 18 January 2015

Italian Wars French 4 – Reisläufers 4

Sometime in late November (I think?) last year, I finished another two bases of mercenary pikemen for my Italian Wars project. Today, I finally took the time to photograph them.

Like the last two bases finished, these are in an attacking pose with leveled pikes – very unpractical for storing and playing but they certainly do look the part.

The miniatures are once again from Foundry's lovely Renaissance range, sculpted by Michael Perry way back.

Unfortunately the matt varnish seems to have killed some of the brightest highlights, making them look a bit flat. I have never had any problems with this varnish before (Windsor&Newton Galleria Matt Varnish), and I've been using it exclusively for the past three or four years. It seems I may have gotten a bad pot, and I've since bought a new one that seems to work as it should. When I get around to it, hopefully another coat (the third) will restore at least some of original highlights.

Finally, I couldn't resist taking a picture of an almost finished unit. Lots of pikes here!

I'm working on the command bases now, and then these two units will finally be finished. It's been a bit of a slog to be honest, but I think the result will be worth it.

As always, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Projects for 2015

With 2014 firmly in the books it's now time to lay down the plans for this year. As usual I like to set myself some official goals to help with the motivation. However, last year this trick did not really work as hoped as I mentioned in my review of 2014, so for 2015 it's time to focus and get back on track – no more procrastinating!

For this year, I have set myself some rather strict, but hopefully manageable goals:

Italian Wars French

After last year's failure, no more excuses, I will finish my planned starter force for this army during this year. Simple as that.


For our Lion Rampant club project, I will add the next couple of units to my host to bring the total points up the regular 24. The current plan is to do some more mounted knights and a unit of foot yeomen with mixed weapons (allmoge). I also plan to do a mounted and an unmounted version of the leader of my host – i.e. the king Birger Magnusson.

Great Northern War

Ever since leafing through my parents' copy of the classic "Karoliner" at age 10, the image of these iconic Swedish soldiers has been firmly planted in my mind. When the new club project for the GNW was announced, I naturally signed up to paint a unit. Our plan is to put on a display game at the Lincon gaming convention in May, so there's a strict deadline to paint to which always works wonders for my motivation.

Operation Winter Storm

I have long been wanting to do some serious WW2 gaming, preferably on the eastern front as it's such a fascinating theatre of war. The ferocious fighting – on all levels of operation, from the large scale to the small scale – and the horrible conditions both sides found themselves in, give the whole thing an almost mythical air. After purchasing this excellent scenario pack for Chain of Command, I knew I had found the perfect project to get started on some eastern front gaming.

The plan is to do everything required for the first 14 (of 22 in total) scenarios during 2015: paint up all the models for both the Germans and the Soviets and make all the terrain. I'm looking at doing this project in 15 mm, which has a number of benefits such as low cost, quick painting time, lots of suitable models from different manufacturers available, and the fact that I already have most of the German infantry needed (although unpainted). There's also some of the club's terrain that can be used which will save me some work.

I have a somewhat sketchy plan to eventually "upgrade" to playing at company level, using the I Ain't Been Shot Mum rules, by expanding the forces some time in the future. This is a rather long-term plan though, so it won't happen this year.

Well, these projects should keep me sufficiently occupied during 2015. Now, all I have to do is stick to the plan and not get seduced by all the fun distractions that inevitably pop up along the way – always the greatest challenge of them all!

Friday, 2 January 2015

2014 in Review

First off, a belated Happy New Year everyone!

Gosh, is it another year already? Well then, it seems I have to do the traditional report on what has happened during the last year

In 2014 my hobby was of course affected by the arrival of our new baby. This has caused a bit of an upheaval on the home front, to say the least, but I've actually had more time to paint than I thought, when I haven't been too tired that is. However, getting away for an evening of gaming has been more or less impossible since mid October. Up until then it was a very good year gaming-wise though, with lots of fun games and a great mix of periods – from the dark ages through the medievals to the 17th and 19th centuries. Highlights include finally starting our Dux Britanniarum campaign, getting my complimentary copy of Lion Rampant where we've been part of the play testing as well as helping Michael with his splendid Invasion of Gotland article in WSS #75. Another special highlight was of course finally getting to visit Salute in London, which was every bit as impressive – and wallet emptying ... – as I imagined it would be.

For this year, I'm really looking forward to getting back into some regular gaming when things have settled down a bit on the home front.

A quick rundown of my goals for 2014:

Try at least one new period with one new rules set

Achieved! And by somewhat of a margin too: War of 1812 and the Thirty Years War, using Black Powder and Pike and Shotte respectively. Also, the Scanian War using Donnybrook.

Finishing Saxons for Dux Britanniarum

Achieved! Very easy this one, as it was only some 10 models left on this project from the year before.

Bit and bobs

Achieved! I made several terrain pieces – fences, walls, houses and a church – and painted up some loot markers, several types of cattle and domestic animals, medieval civilians, monks and also updating/re-basing my old casualty markers.

Italian Wars French

Fail! Well, what can I say. I lost my painting mojo over the summer, just as I was getting into the groove of this project which meant that even though 10 bases of pikemen were finished, it left me just short of two complete units which is not even close to the goal I set for this year: 2 units of pikemen, 2 units of gendarmes, 1 piece of artillery and a couple of commanders. When I said this was a long term project, this wasn't exactly what I meant!

Romano-Britons for Dux Britanniarum

Fail! Sigh. Not even started.

Instead of painting French and Romano-Britons I managed to finish some other stuff:

Fantasy skirmish

Achieved! To reinvigorate my painting after the "summer slump" I decided to do a smallish fantasy project using Song of Blades and Heroes. For this project I painted up 8 models and made some themed scenery. I really enjoyed doing a quick little project like this, and this is something I could see myself doing more of in the future.

Håtunaleken – Lion Rampant

Partially achieved! This was a club project that was started in November and naturally I had to join in. The first goal for everyone was to paint up a 12 point host for Lion Rampant. I managed to paint up the first unit of 12 foot sergeants and very nearly managed to finish the second unit of 6 mounted men-at-arms too. I'll post some pictures of these units when I get the time to take some snaps of them.

Looking at the numbers, I painted 74 foot and 4 mounted 28 mm miniatures during 2014. These are certainly not very impressive numbers, not when compared to my output from 2013 (137) and 2012 (171). However, in addition to these 74 models I also painted 6 loot markers, 15 animals, 2.8 meters of walls and fences. I also built and painted 5 buildings, including a pretty big church, and painted another 4 pieces of terrain in the form of ruins for the fantasy project. Overall, I'm fairly pleased with my output even though it of course could have been much, much better.

So there it is – the result for 2014. I want to say a big thank you to all you followers who have read and commented on my rambling during the year – it really means a lot to me! I also want to take the time to say a big welcome to all the new followers who have joined during the last couple of months!

I hope you all will have a great year ahead, and that you'll stick around here for some more projects. My plan is to get this blog back on track and go back to the usual routine with updates once a week.

I'll be back with my plans for 2015 in a couple of days.