Sunday 30 July 2017

Lionesses Roar

The England Women's football team beat France tonight to reach the semi finals of the European Championships. A great performance. Well proud.

Getty Images - Jodie Taylor, 5 goals from 6 shots in 4 matches

I also did some painting. Having built my Dark Sword miniatures, Northstar lucky bag (£25 for 20 and not £8 each), I decided to paint a couple. The figures are brilliant but big and too delicate to normal use.

A Game of Thrones Courtesan. -I'm still terrible at photography but I really like the subtle shading I've done on this

   Obviously as a fantasy female figure she has her bum out.

This is a female lizard warrior, very nice and again chuffed with the paint job. I'm still too impatient to finish though

Bum out, even on female lizards

Big chopper

Attecotti - possibly

It feels ages since I've done any painting, life, work and not being in the mood have all stopped me. However last week my mojo was rising and I spent 3 evening painting some dark age / late Roman Briton berserkers.
The Attacotti (Attecotti / Atecuti) are a ferocious tribe from the Strathclyde area of Scotland (possibly) that appears in the 4th Century AD. They were supposedly a bit mental.
The Old Guard have a couple of guys doing Arthurian types (Stu and Steve) and I have a Pict army that needed bulking up.
At the Border Reiver show a couple of years age I bought a pack of Old Glory Maoris, the reasons are a bit sketchy and they have sat on the lead mountain ever since. In a flash of inspiration I decided to turn the Maoris in to Attacotti. Problems were some feathers, some tassles, wooden clubs and grass skirts. The feathers and tassles were easily removed, the grass skirts filed doen to loin cloths and I left the clubs - they seemed appropriate.
Painting was pretty straight forward, lots of flesh and muted tone but it did me the opportunity to try out tattoos.

 Pretty pleased with them and with my other berserker types gives me a couple of regiments. I've ordered a few more figs from Newline, who have a massive sale on, to complete the army. I have a formidable army now.

Monday 17 July 2017

War and Pigs - Volume 2

The letter was still clutched in my hand.

Maximus was in trouble and I needed to come to his aid. I had gathered the southern legion and set sail from Bryndisium 2 weeks ago. It was almost the full moon and I could see the Walls of Phaselis in the distance.
We beached the fleet under the shadow of the walls and quickly deployed. Darianus would be waiting, we could not sneak up on the city, there was no time, and it was not my way. I would face him square on and show him the might of Rome.

We lined up outside the city walls. My small agile infantry units in the centre, cavalry on the right and my allied infantry on the left across the stream. We had brought lunch with us in the form of 2 herds of pigs, hopefully it would be a seige.

No luck, Darianus massed his spearmen to face us. He had elephants, this would not be good. We might not get to have a picnic

The walls of Phaselis were imposing

Somewhere hidden on the battlefield was Maximus. We needed to find him

I gave the order for a massed advance. The oasis in the centre would provide a pivot for the battle. 

Darianus advanced to cross the stream

I charged may massed horse into a horde of lightly armed javelin men and light horse

My forces prepare to face the elephants (there were 3). I'd sent a runner back to the ships and he'd returned with some tar. We coated the pigs and lined them up

The 2 forces faced each other across the stream

The elephant to the left of the oasis charged the brave legionaries

To the right of the oasis the pigs are lit up and the other elephant is charged. Hopefully causing the elephant to panic. It didn't

Instead it charged my infantry

The elephant to the left has destroyed a unit and is still charging forward.

It is the same on the right. My cavalry is still charging the javelinman horde

Elephants are massive

I've inflicted significant damage on one of the elephants but it has run amok into the rear line. My left has taken a massive beating

On the other side the elephant is losing and the pigs are still active

but the other elephant is wrecking my inantry

Maximus has been found by the oasis but a unit of Darianus' archers have snapped him up

On the right the javelinmen have finally been destroyed and I launch a massed attack

Which completely buggers up his flank. However everywhere else it is a losing picture. I must retreat and regroup. In the distance I see Maximus kneeling before Darianus.. I try to charge but Gluteus and Colonus my generals hold me back and we retire to the ships. Off the coast is the Roman trading colonus of Myltene. We will regroup there and practice our elephant tactics.

This was a great battle, play using Kings of War (which is a bit mental). I fielded mainly troops of infantry but decided to call them all spearmen and not warriors with pilum. It was a mistake. Having them all as heavy warriors with a single shot pilum worked much better the day after. They were regiments when the fought the old guard on Sunday but I still think troops is the way to go.
As always Matt was a great host, I fully recommend the homemade sweet potato soup. Off to buy more Romans. As for the pigs, well they make better lunch

Sunday 16 July 2017

War and Pigs - Volume 1

It's been a big weekend, massive game with Matt yesterday, his report can be found here. I shall post mine tomorrow but here's a teaser. Another brilliant game

Today was the old guard, low numbers today - it's summer don't you know. Played 2 Kings of War games against Stuart. Great laugh - post later.
However 1st of all I ordered another lucky bag from Northstar which I picked up from my lovely neighbours when I got home. This was a special one as they were all Dark sword miniatures at about £7.50 each but the lucky bag was £25 for 20 - approx £130 off. (note the bag is now £45.

They are excellent figures - very much Hasslefree quality but at full price not worth it. I'll make them up and post them again.
That will do for now but more to come. Oh and I've been thinking what to buy next. I now know I need more ancients. So expect more Republican Romans

Thursday 6 July 2017

Sometimes My Hobby is a Bit Like Work

The Old Guard are a bloody nightmare. They keep giving me ideas. Pete has started painting 28mm Naps (very nice). Dave has millions of 28mm French Naps (very nice). John is keen to do the Peninsular War in 28mm. I've never done Naps, they just seem impossible to paint well and you need thousands and thousands.
It gets worse, I bought some in the flea market a few months ago. Just over 4 boxes of Victrix for £40. So I have an army, I have friends who want to to play. I had planned for this years Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge I had planned to paint fewer figures to a higher standard. A perfect storm. Bugger.
So here we are. I have added to the collection with a box of Perry Light Dragoons, a regiment of Warlord Portuguese infantry and some bits to make up full regiments of Cavalry from Foundry on my visit on Tuesday. I've spend a couple of days making up figures

3 regiments of foot. A mix of metals from a Northstar lucky bag and Victrix Peninsular and Waterloo centre and flank companies. Obviously the Waterloo figs have the wrong hats but using oilskin covered shakos and bare heads I've made 3 full 24 man regiments. I really really hate making up plastics with 2 separate arms that connect to a single gum. It's the chore. Manged to do most with marching arms - much easier

Portuguese regiment (all marching - doddle and nice figs), Highlander Regiment (Camerons) with a couple of metal figs from a different Northstar lucky bag. The general is Perry Miniatures

Perry Light Dragoons. These should have been Hussars but I bought the wrong box. There are enough men to make over 2 regiments but only 14 horses. Luckily I had some spare horses so I made saddles, sheepskins and bedrolls out of Milliput - really pleased with it. These are 1812 onwards pattern uniforms but they will be fine. Officer is from Perry Brtish Nap Command.

Finally the other 1/2 of the Dragoons box, in Peninsular war uniform and 3 command figures from Foundry.
I have enough figures left for a couple of regiments with later uniforms suitable for Waterloo and 3 foot artillery pieces that I will need to make up.
I done the boring and annoying bit. Now the really hard bit, will keep me out of trouble. Also ona really happy note I've been promoted at work to senior management. I'm in charge of post graduate studies in my new larger school. Yeah me.

Tuesday 4 July 2017

Holidays are here

I'm on holiday for the next 2 weeks. I left Newcastle on Friday night in the pouring rain and traveled south to see friends for the weekend. The weather was glorious and we did loads of stuff
Saturday we visited the Shuttleworth aircraft collection near Bedford. Really good considering I don't like aircraft much

WW1 - obviously

A terrifying collection of WW1 aircraft sparkplugs


Biplanes between the wars

Little Nellie - the original

Lysander - very menacing
Also saw a Hurricane land, obviously no photo

On Sunday we visited Bletchley Park - home of the WW2 code breakers. Very Very Interesting, complicated and not very photogenic

Collection of valves, almost a terrifying as the sparkplugs

Yesterday me and Dave went to Warwick Castle, Emma was overcome with history and ran off to work. A great and intact castle. It has the worlds largest working Trebuchet, 18m high, weighing 30 tonnes.

The sun was in exactly the wrong spot to take a decent photo so this is the rear view. It chucked a 20kg stone 250m at 150mph (excuse the mixing of metric and imperial). Very very awesome. The falconry display was really great with a pair of Stellar's Sea Eagles, a Lammergeier and the smallest bird was a bald eagle.

All were great, quite expensive but value for money.
I drove back today and stopped of at Wargames Foundry in East Stoke. Really quirky place to find. It was being decorated but they did give me a proper cup of tea, very apt for July 4th. They have their whole range on display at show prices so I bought some stuff

Normans - I accidently got sent some by Foundry and they didn't want them back so today I bought some more. Now have a nice Saga force. just need some cavalry

Ligh Dragoon command - with my Perry Plastics box and some random metals I have enough for 2 regiments.

Zanzibaris - nice for Africa and NW Frontier

Dooly set for colonial types - I'm building up my battlefield vignettes

Great weekend. i arrived home this afernoon and it was still raining in Newcastle