Wednesday 23 December 2020

XI Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge - Dunsterforce

 Hope you are all well. The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge has started. This is my 7th Challenge and one of my favourite parts of the year. The Challenge is responsible for the rejuvenation of my wargaming hobby. I have a habit of painting loads of figures and then getting pipped at the post by Miles on the last day. 

This year I have 2 major projects; 10mm Italian Wars (I am going to paint hundreds of 10mm Landsknechts) and 28mm Dunsterforce.

For those of you that don't know about this weird unit then potted history. Dunsterforce was formed at the end of 1917 to protect British interests in the Caucus Mountains as a direct consequence of the collapse of Russia. It was initially made up of a handful of volunteers with the aim of training locals to resist potential expansion of the Turks towards Baku on the Caspian Sea and the oil field there. In 1918 it was reinforced by 39th Brigade and held Baku for a month before being forced to retreat by the Ottoman Army of Islam.

Dunsterforce was the Proto-SAS and with support for Cossacks had many adventures. They took a train of refugees through enemy territory (Think NW Frontier film with Kenneth More) and sailed into Baku in ships flying the Serbian Flag. They only had the Russian imperial flag, couldn't fly the British one as that would be an invasion, and the locals wouldn't them fly it, so they flew it upside down - the Serbian Flag.

Enough waffling, I could go on for hours. The plan is to use them in Russian Civil War campaigns, which we play using Bolt Action so I've finished a couple of sections

Each section is 10 figs, only 9 each here as I already have the officers (colonial conversions)

These figures represent the 7th Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment, part of the 39th Brigade

I'm from North Staffordhire so the stars have aligned

I've discovered Vallejho colour washes and love the effect they give onthese Copplestone figs

Have a good Christams and a happy New Year. Many 2021 be less of spectacular pain in the arse.

Saturday 12 December 2020

Christmas Wrap Up

 With the Challenge and Christams rapidly approaching it's been prepping and finishing off stuff.

1st up my aged mother is running out of things she wants. She does have a great interest in all things mythological, esp Ray Harryhausen movies and so for the last few years I have been painting Greek figures for her, she even has a display cabinet.

1st a simple Spartan warrior. Need someone to kill the monsters. Not a fan of Spartans, too fascist for my taste.

Next a Minotaur. Actually it's a Foundry gladiator with bull mask but my mum won't know the difference.

Now we have Pegasus, again Foundry and a lovely figure

Finally we have one of the titans named Triton. Mum will think he's Poseidon, like everybody else does. THis is a big unit approx 100mm high

THat should keep her happy, pretty much run out of Greek types now, so I've bought her a book on Japanese Mythology and have some thoughts of Arabian Nights stuff - Sinbad and all that.

Every year a try and buy a handful of figures to test out my painting skills. Usually they are Mr Lees or Hasslefree. This year I bought a Grail Knight from their Artemis Black range

It's brilliant figure with oodles of detail and a big 32mm metal figure. Love the shield and will buy more after Christmas

Finally Dunsterforce and Ottoman troops have arrived or are in transit. in the meantime I've been trawling through the lead pile and found another figure to use

This is actually a Partizan freebie ( I think) and he was wearing an overcoat but I removed some of that and now he looks like he is shirtsleeves and shorts. Will add to a HMG team.
So for the new 3 months I'm painting 28mm WW1 Britsh, Turks and Azeri Militia; 10mm Italian Wars and 28mm ACW. Should keep me busy for a couple of months.
Have a good Christmas and a normal 2021

Sunday 29 November 2020

Getting Challenge Ready

 It's that time of the year. Finishing off 1/2 completed figures and prepping new figures. Yes is Analogue Hobbies Challenge time. This will be my 6th(?) challenge and has been one of the most important parts of my hobby life. It is where I met most of the people I game with.

So I've been prepping, loads of 10mm Italian Wars figures, some more ACW (already have too many), a new and obscure WW1 project, and my usual eclectic mix of random stuff I like to paint.

To clear the decks I've been painting the following

1st up a couple of practice bases of Landsknecht pikemen in 10mm. These were fun to paint, which is a relief as I've got loads and loads of them (impulse ebay buy)

My next project is Dunsterforce. Dunsterforce was the British incursion into Armenia in 1918 to prevent the Ottoman Empire from gaining control of Baku and the oil wells there. It was a proto SAS volunteer force that started with 40 men and expanded to 5000 with armoured cars and planes. I've some figures on order but a raid of the existing figures gave me some artillery pieces and figures. This mortar is scratch build

13lb cannon

18lb cannon

Random officer types from the colonial box

The force so far. More infantry and cavalry to come. I'm pondering a Turkish Army from Woodbine Design

Lastly i have an ongoing 15mm project set around Pontus and the Black Sea in 90BC. These 3 units are the last of the Thracians

All in all a productive couple of weeks. Right now back to prepping

Saturday 7 November 2020

Thomas' Legion of Highlanders and Indians, plus some other stuff

 So on a hopeful day for the sanity of the world I've finished some painting. Some time ago I said I'd completed my ACW collection. I had a division per side and that should have been enough. But no. I'm getting a couple of unusual Union regiments for Christmas (Marines and 79th New York). Well that interfered with my OCD (or CDO as it should be spelt - alphabetically), so I needed some Confederates. I didn't just want to paint some more grey and brown troops so I needed something unusual. Col Bill was selling some bushwackers so I bought them. They are from Company D and are OK. The poses are nice but the modelling and detail is not fab.

So I had a play on the internet and found Thomas' Legion of Highlanders and Indians, or the 69th North Carolina. They were an irregular but very large unit of backwoods men and Cherokees, upto 2500 strong in 2 battalions. Mainly they were based in hte Confederate states but did fight in a couple of battle and fired the last Confederate shot before the surrender. Company D also sell the Cherokees so I bought them.

The highlanders with 2 bases of snipers. 

The Cherokee - 4 bases of these including one with the Outlaw Josey Wales. So I have 2 options - a massive 28 figure unit with 2 sniper bases or 2 smaller regiments. They are armed to the teeth so may be good at close up work. but their morale was sketchy. in one battle they wouldn't stand their ground in the face of enemy fire and charged. The Cherokee scalped several of the Union troops and the Confederate command had to apologise to the union commander.

Obviously I didn't just buy these, i also bought some dismounted confederate cavalry

These are enough for a regiment in a skirmish line. Only problem is I have no mounted troops - more stuff to buy

And finally, some knights templar. I painted the foot troops earlier but bought the Gripping beast boxed set

very nice

I also bought some on barded horses with heater shields - little later. The 4 at the back are fromthe bits box and I added the cloaks and surcoats using PVA and tissue.

Right, off to work out how to take a holiday before Christmas

Wednesday 28 October 2020

Arab Army

 The last post was Andalusians and Templars and I have loads of Normans. Therefore I can now fight early crusades and El Cid games. But I needed opponents. I had a root round and found some arab types. Mainly a mix of Perry Ansar, Gripping Beast plastics (?) and a some Napoleonic Persian camel gunners from Irregular. To these I bought some ebay arabs and a couple of packs of camel riders and horse archers from Black tree.

First up the camel gunners needed aging about 700 years. I swapped the heads for spare plastic ones and then draped the riders with cloaks and dishdashes made from toilet paper painted with watered down PVA. This is very therapeutic and very easy. There was something odd about the finished figures though

The rest of the army just needed basing and painting

THe full army. Using KoW basing rules it is 2 troops of cavalry, 2 troops heavy cavalry, 1 troop horse archers, 2 troops camel riders, 3 regiments spearmen, 1 troop spearmen, 4 troops archers, 1 regiment warriors, 1 troop warriors, 1 troop armoured spearmen and 3 commanders.

Heavy Cavalry - Westfalia Napoleonic Afghans - great figures

Cavalry and camel riders in 1 standard bearer that used to be a camel gunner

Camel riders - worked out the odd thing yet. They are all left handed. Unit of horse archers and another unit of cavalry

Archers and spearmen

Spearmen and warriors

Spearmen and warrios

More archers
 This is a nice sized force that will do me for all types of campaigns. If I can find any evidence of camelphracts being used then I have some of them as well.

Right back to painting Templars

Saturday 17 October 2020

Of Caravans and Psychopaths

Carry me caravan, take me a away

Take me to Portugal, take me to Spain

Andalusia with fields full of grain 

A couple of weeks ago, before covid ended fun again, I played a really great El Cid game with Matt. I had a few Moors and a couple of cavalry units that would pass as Andalusians. The enemy were Normans (we both have loads). I lost but it was a blast and so I wanted some more. A quick trip to Colonel Bills and I bought some Andalusians

The whole force, don't need loads as they were only ever allies, for both sides

crossbowmen - jolly deadly

Cavalry - these are actually Carolingians 

Regiment of spearmen

Da boss. This is a nice vignette with his servants carrying his arour and weapons


Another cav unit

That is the cavaran bit done (The Doors in case you hadn't worked it out)

Now for the psychopaths. So I have some Moors / Arabs and I bought some more which will appear at a later date. What else to do with them. I've always wanted a Templar army. They look cool and were proper nutters

I had a few suitable knights that needed repainting

I ordered some mounted knights and Turopoles and I've converted a some figures from the bits box to give me some more knights. Will need some foot soldiers, already have some pilgrims

Keep safe

Sunday 4 October 2020

The Seven Years War

 I've completed my &YW armies. I know everybody says that and then buys shed loads more but look at what i've got and then say I need more.

This all started with a 10mm display game at Battlegrouhd show in 2018. Stafoord Wargamers had recreated Blenheim in 10mm and it looked fab. Matt decided to start a 10mm 7YW collection of Prussians and Austrians. Always up for something new I decided to join him. I initially started with Brunswickers but realised that they fought in the West against the French and not in the East against the Austrians - nowt like a good bit of research. Luckily the Brunsickers were generally dressed like Prussians so were an easy change to Prussians.

Once I'd moved to the Eastern front I decided to build the armies from the 1st major lind battle of the war, the Battle of Lobositz. Nominally a Prussian victory as the Austrians retired but in reality the Austrians built a roadblock to stop Frederick and when they had done that, and given him a bloody nose, they retired.

It's a pretty big battle with 28,500 Prussians vs 35,000 Austrians. The Kronoscaf website is a fantastic resource. So I bought the figures from Pendraken, there are some Old Glory infantry (don't like them), and artillery (they are great and they are cheap and you don't need to buy the limber like the Pendraken ones). The Pendraken stuff is amazing, massive fan.

Today I finished the last units

Both armies. Prussians on the right, Austrians on the left. An infantry regiment is 30 figures on 2 battalion sized bases (30mmx60mm). Ratio is about 50:1. Each regiment has a separate battalion gun. A cavaly regiment is 6 squadrons on 3 30x60mm bases (the area occupied is the same as an infantry battalion. 

Prussians. The Prussian army is slightly larger than the one at Lobositz to make the forces more balanced for future games

Combined Grenadiers and fusiliers

Infantry close up. All the Prussians have blue flowers on base (obviously as these were the last painted unit - von Winterfeldt - I forgot the flowers). 

The Austrians

The infantry

The heavy artillery

Close up of the infantry with white flowers

So that is the end of a project. I've repurposed some 6mm buildings for terrain (10mm buildings look at little too big and it's not an army that is going to fight in buildings).
A project completed. Now rest. Actually now work out some rules, Black powder takes too long, not tried General d' Armee, but have a plan or rules that will enable me to control a whole army quickly and not get bogged down in counters and factors. 
Right time for the next project - I've got about 1500 x10mm Italian wars figures. Landsknechts in 10mm, deep joy - will need more yellow and red paint.