Friday, 20 November 2020

Fireforge Templar sergeants

Still coming to terms with the emptiness created by Jack's loss and trying to stay busy as much as possible in an effort to keep the sadness at a distance.  These Templar sergeants were finished last week but I am only posting them now as I could not find the drive these past few days.  As a six figure unit they can be used for Lion Rampant but also for any other ruleset such as Impetvs. Or they will stay put in my display cabinet which is where my 28mm minis usually end up !

The figures themselves are the usual finely detailed multipose plastics from Fireforge. My only criticism would be that the lances seem to be a bit too long and the arms grip them from a seemingly impossible low position but this detail gets lost in the big picture. I have attempted to create the arid terrain typical of Mediterranean / Middle Eastern desert for these figures and I am happy with how the bases turned out. All Templar crosses and shield designs are hand painted.

Sunday, 15 November 2020

A farewell to a faithful companion

Jack, our faithful companion and my ADC of sixteen years had to be put to sleep after a long illness. He fought bravely but in the end it was too much to bear and we had no choice but to end his suffering. He is now cured of all his ills on the other side of the rainbow bridge. 

Sad days ahead.

All decked out in full dress in better times

Monday, 2 November 2020

1/3000 WW2 ships

A gamer friend of mine recently got some Navwar 1/3000 scale WW2 capital ships. I was fascinated by the crisp detail Navwar managed to cram into these tiny models so imagine my surprise when he stated that as he had no time to paint them up he was going to leave them in black primer. Not one to see such a waste of fantastic models, I immediately offered to give them a quick paint job to at least give them some measure of well deserved dignity. The ships were an absolute joy to paint and each one must have taken maybe around ninety minutes to finish.  They are the British carrier HMS Malta, the battleship King George V, and the ubiquitous Bismark, all in 1942 schemes.

HMS Malta   

King George V


Group pic

Sunday, 6 September 2020

Airfix 1/144 scale Apollo Saturn V rocket

As a continuation to the lunar module model completed last January - and thanks to the encouraging comments in my last blog post - I have now pushed forward and finished its launch vehicle in 1/144 scale : the mighty Saturn V.  By now those who take the trouble to read my blog will know that I have a penchant for space models and the Apollo Saturn V is one of those kits which I have wanted to build since childhood but never really found the time (and courage) to build. And as a kid I never had enough pocket money anyway! Some years back I was lucky enough to visit Kennedy Space Center in Florida where there is a specimen of this now-defunct rocket suspended from the ceiling of a massive hangar -  I mean the sheer size of it beggars belief!

The kit is from Airfix and apart from some modifications to the colour scheme as suggested by the manufacturer, I have built it straight from the box. At 79cm tall it is not a small model and luckily I have just installed a new showcase in my man cave which can easily accomodate it. The next step is now to build the launch tower which is another large project and which will make the whole assembly go even higher.  Following that I plan to build the crawler vehicle which was used to transport the rocket and tower from the Vertical Assembly Building to the launch pad.  This will push the assembly higher still and once the three units are complete they should easily surpass the one meter mark. Eventually the plan is to mount the three components on a base to give it a small diorama feel, but that is a long way away.............


The finished model

Upper stage and service module detail

Second stage detail

First stage detail

Top-down shot showing alternating black and white patterns - a true masking headache!

Scale comparison to an old ipod. Note the three astronauts in 1/144 scale at the base on lower left. The sheer size of this vehicle in real life is overwhelming!

Lunar module sitting on top of the upper stage.  This little model is unfortunately entirely enclosed and is lost from sight once the rocket is assembled.

The sheets making up the paper model of the assembly tower - a mass of levels and girders. The crawler transport model is still in the mail.

What the assembled models should finally look like - an ambitious project that will take a loooooong time to finish!

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Of long term projects, rollercoaster enthusiasm and summer blues

I don't know about you people, but I am the sort of person who goes about the hobby in fits and starts.

Allow me to expand. 

At times I get insane urges to paint medievals, sprint through a few weeks fixating over heraldry and suits of armour, only to have the urge die down and start eyeing that long-stored model in the cupboard. Suddenly I get another insane urge to open that cupboard and get cracking on that panzer or whatever. After some time (during which hopefully the model is finished) I start getting visions of french columns assaulting austrian positions or british lines. So suddenly it's an urge to lunge at my 6mm napoleonic war chest. And on and on it goes. I flit from one thing to the next following my muses which usually only last a few weeks.  At times - especially in the very hot and humid mediterranean summers - I just lose my appetite and fall into a lethargic stutter on all fronts, be they figure painting, modelling, or wargaming.

At the moment I have my table set up for Albuera, figures and all, but I just can't seem to find the drive to start playing. Simultaneously, I am in the middle of a long modelling build - an Airfix 1/144 scale Saturn V complete with paper models of the transporting crawler and launch umbilical tower.  Once finished, this will be a spectacular build but the question is - when? I am only at the pre-paint stage of the rocket itself, the tower is still printed on its sheets and the crawler is still in the post on its way from California. So this will likely take me well into next year to finish, especially if the urge and enthusiasm abandons me half way.  In the summer heat it is well on the wane.

The same applies to my blog posts.  Sometimes I just don't feel like looking at blogs.  Lasts a few days or weeks and then I return with a post or I just read other blogs. It's always like that, flitting from one thing to another seemingly without a lasting focus.

This may seem like a rant but I am really curious if there are others who go through similar peaks and troughs while expressing this wonderful hobby of ours.  I am in awe at those bloggers who constantly churn out unit after unit of impeccably painted figures. Jonathan and Dean come to mind. How on earth do you guys manage to keep your drive without flagging a single moment? I really admire those hobbyists who manage to keep focused for weeks on end without losing sight of the ball.

Anyways, now that that's done I'll step down from the soapbox and leave you all to continue enjoying summer (or winter depending on your hemisphere).  Keep well everyone!

Albuera all set up and ready to go - but no steam!
Another one of my delusional long term projects? Airfix 1/144 Saturn V

Monday, 8 June 2020

Portuguese line infantry and cacadores in 6mm

As a continuation of my current Peninsular project I have this week completed a further two regiments of Portuguese infantry - the 5th Line (First Elvas) and the 2nd Cacadores regiments. Both regiments belonged to the Second or Centre Division and carry the distinctive white standard.

All figures are from Baccus as usual. I am now close to my 24 stand target for the Portuguese, with only four stands to go. At 20 stands strong, they are now the equivalent of a 7,200 force on table in Age of Eagles terms. I cannot say that I am pleased with my progress - it is quite possible to be much more productive when painting 6mm figures but I have other life stuff going on which obviously take away precious painting time. This week I hope to wrap up painting figures and concentrate on a few terrain items.

This post has been cross posted to the Analogue Hobbies Quarantine Challenge blog.

Cheers all!

The two regiments completed this week
2nd Cacadores
5th Line Infantry
The full Portuguese complement

Sunday, 31 May 2020

1808 Spanish and Portuguese units in 6mm

I've been busy adding more 6mm figures to my Peninsular forces these past weeks and managed to finish a decent amount of Spanish and Portuguese units for my upcoming Albuera refight. All figures are from Baccus as usual and I still have a few Portuguese units to go before I can stage the battle. I also put in a few Spanish command stands - a couple of Portuguese commands will be added later.  I plan to include a few British officers in these to reflect the British training and equipping of the Lusitanian troops.

Five Spanish line regiments plus some irregulars/militia (bottom right) and command stands in front
The 4th, 10th & 14th Portuguese line regiments 
The combined force, Portuguese on left and Spanish on right
I hope to add some cacadores this week or the next and wrap up the remaining 12 Portuguese stands that I need for the refight. I will put them up on the blog as soon as complete.

Until then keep healthy everyone.

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Baccus 6mm Spanish units

Following last week's Mediterranean BUA's I got the urge to continue with my Spanish 6mm army so I fished them out of the war chest and painted up a few units, more precisely six foot artillery batteries, the Maria Luisa hussars, Regimiento del Rey heavy cavalry, Lusitania dragoons and Zaragoza line infantry.  All units are painted with 1808 uniforms and are based for Age of Eagles.

Six foot batteries and Maria Luisa hussars

Red dolman and Sky Blue pelisse for the hussars - very colourful uniforms!

The artillerymen are no less colourful in their blue uniforms with red facings and blue grey guns
Rey heavy cavalry on left, Lusitania dragoons in the centre and Zaragoza line infantry on right
Infantry flags from Baccus, cavalry standards are hand painted
The Zaragoza regiment kept their 1802 blue uniforms, unlike the usual white for the line infantry
And a final group picture of the whole lot

Next week I will be pressing on with more Spanish units with a solo replay of Albuera in mind sometime in the future.

This post is being cross posted in The Analogue Hobbies Quarantine Challenge blog

Good health to all

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Italian / Peninsular BUA's in 6mm

I decided to give my poor eyes a rest this week and opted for two North Italy / Peninsular built up areas for my 6mm Napoleonics. Buildings are from Total Battle Miniatures and Timecast, both excellent but my preference goes to TBM. Trees are from some Chinese manufacturer on ebay, walls have been in my storage dump for ages and the piazza cross monument is scratch built from a couple of washers and stuff. I use Hexon terrain so the BUA's are mounted on hex bases for use with Age of Eagles.  No troop models are actually placed inside the BUA's, only counters to indicate the number of stands occupying them.  I pack the buildings close together to give the impression of those winding narrow streets and huddled buildings so common in the med.

This post has been cross-posted to the Analogue Hobbies Quarantine Challenge blog.

Cheers and take care!

Village A

Town square closeup. Note bougainvillea creeping up church facade.

Village B

Joining both BUA's gives a small town

Both villages in the foreground with the rest of my Italian/Peninsular BUA's

Your typical alpine terrain. Hear the boys yodel?

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Another week, another knight

I've taken a liking to these mounted Men at Arms. Admittedly, I'm not churning them out at anything more than a snail's pace but I guess the reason is there for all to see. As usual, the figure is from Front Rank's excellent Hundred Years War 28mm range.  The pictures have been taken with a low exposure setting on purpose as the caparison detailing seemed to come out better this way, so I apologise if certain other parts of the figure are a bit darker than would normally be expected.

I have to say I really enjoyed painting this figure but painting the rampant lions on the right (dexter) side of the figure was a pain in the beginning as they are essentially mirror images of the ones on the left which were the first ones to be painted.  Once I got the hang of it, it was fine though.

I am cross posting this one on the The Analogue Hobbies Quarantine Challenge.

Hope you like it and take care y'all.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Front Rank HYW MAA in 28mm

I have now caught the medieval men-at-arms bug and after uploading last week's post I sat down again for a second helping.  This time I opted for a green and orange lozenge pattern covering the whole from practically top to bottom.  Have to say it was frustrating at times to get the pattern right and I am not altogether happy the way it turned out in some areas but the overall final result is pleasing to the eye and most defects tend to be 'absorbed' in the end. On completion I use Mr Surfacer Satin finish which brightens and protects the paintwork but unfortunately gives a bit of a sheen when it comes to photography, so I apologise if certain areas are too reflective in the pictures. I intend to present this figure in the Analogue Hobbies Quarantine Challenge as my first project in the challenge.

Stay well and healthy.