Saturday, August 6, 2016

Medieval Flags and Norman Foot


I finished up some Conquest Games Norman foot (with the addition of some Norman command figures by Crusader Miniatures to give me three full elements of 16 figures) recently, but couldn't consider them completely finished until I figured out how to handle their command banner.


I've got a lot in store for these Normans. I'm hoping to use them for dark age battles against vikings in Saga, big crusades era battles against muslim enemies or in their Italian holdings with Hail Caesar or Too the Strongest, and I'm even hoping to use them as Starks for some Lion Rampant "Game of Thrones" battles.  Sticking with just one banner that would be appropriate for all those theaters wasn't going to cut it, so I cribbed an idea from James Roach and created an interchangeable flag.

I experimented with a variety of different brass tubes, pins and plastic tubes before settling on a system that worked for me. The portion held in the figure's hand is 1/16 brass tube. I cut another length the height of the flag, and then glued a metal wire spear length inside it.


I removed the spear's point and glued it on the other end of this 'upper' portion. After painting both halves spear shaft wood tones I wrapped and glued the flag itself around the upper portion.



I used a crusades era flag from Little Big Man to test the idea out. It's ok, but I also picked up some sample flags at Historicon from Rick O'Brien, "The Flag Dude". I replaced a medieval banner that I had printed out myself with a Flag Dude version, and it blows my humble effort away.

My home printed paper flag is on the left, The Flag Dude's version is on the right

The colors are richer, the animation more pronounced and overall it simply "pops" in a way that my homemade version doesn't. I had some specific sizing requests for this banner and Rick was highly accommodating too. I'm planning on picking up several flags from him just for my Norman foot, plus all my other medievals because they just look so slick. Looking forward to getting these guys on the table. With fancy flags like these, they can't lose! (right?)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Lion Rampant: Feel the Burn



We got a chance to play some Lion Rampant recently. I ran an historically accurate refight of the famous battle of the Red Guys vs. the Yellow Guys this time.

Check out some pics and battle report after the jump.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Tabletop World Fantasy Medieval Buildings



Tabletop World produces fantastic terrain: 28mm resin buildings rendered with exquisite detail, both inside and out and chock full of charm and character. They are works of art, and honestly a bit intimidating.

After receiving them for Christmas a few years ago they lingered on my "to-do" list until I had the time and materials to do them properly. I finally carved out a break from my figure painting to give them the attention they deserved.

Getting the Stone Right

After a good scrub in soapy water and a vain search for non-existent mold lines or bubbles I primed them black and gave them a good drybrush of gray, picking out a few stones in blue or tan, which turned out to be wholly unsatisfying. The stones looked "okay", but for such fine terrain pieces I was determined to get them right. It took two more full repaints before I was happy with the stone work.




Here's what worked for me:

  • Gray base coat (even down into the cracks and crevices)
  • While the gray paint is still wet work in a number of other colors: browns, tans, blues, blacks, and GREENS. Mix and splotch it in so the other colors are haphazard and mixed with the gray. I found green essential , serving as both color within the stone or replicating moss, algae or other weathered discoloration.
  • Drybrush gray, pick out a few stones in tans, blue-gray or dark gray, drybrush some more with gray, lightening up subsequent dry brushing to near ivory. Pretty standard stuff at this stage.

Getting the Roofs Right

After finishing the stone work I was stuck on the shingles for quite some time. There's a whimsical character to these buildings, and some of my favorite examples of them use blue for their shingles. I'd seen such things in World of Warcraft and Warhammer, and would happily paint them so for use in a fantasy game, but I was hoping to sneak them into some straight historical games. I just couldn't bring myself to paint them blue. Digging a bit on TMP I was reassured that, historically, after a batch of woad was used to dye clothing blue, the excess was used to dye shingles. The woad served as an anti fungal to preserve the wooden shingles.



Satisfied I got to work with various shades of blue before a differing opinion was posted on the message board. I gave the cottage an additional drybrush of gray so that all three buildings didn't appear too cookie cutter.


I Love These Buildings



I'm quite happy with the result. These are great terrain pieces, each features fully detailed interiors, there are plenty of ledges and stairs for figures to climb on, and there's a cohesive look to the entire collection. Hoping to add more Tabletop World buildings to my burgeoning village in the future!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Taking Lion Rampant for a spin



I've been painting up medieval figures since since Christmas in the hopes of getting to try Lion Rampant. I finally finished enough figures to try out a 20 point game and told my son he could get out of chores by rolling some dice with Dad. Check out my trial game after the jump!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Crusader Miniatures Foot Knights



I just finished up some foot knights by Crusader Miniatures, ready to go for some Lion Rampant. When I was painting my mounted knights I replicated the heraldry and colors of knights I could use for a variety of battles during the late 13th and early 14th century. For this batch I played it a little looser, looking to create three groups of knights fielding similar colors for use in Lion Rampant.

The red knights

The yellow knights

The black knights


I also took the opportunity to sneak in a little "local color." I live in the state of Maryland, the only U.S. state to feature a heraldic device on its state flag (don't be jealous. Also we have delicious blue crabs. I think that's the sum total of facts you need to know about Maryland!)


I thought the quartered flag on a single shield would be a little busy, so I split the individual devices across two different knights. The contemporary state flag features the devices of the Calvert and Crossland families (which were combined into the heraldry of Cecil Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore), so perhaps these knights are ancient members of those families.


I really dig Crusader's figures. I'll be trying out some other manufacturers soon but I think these miniatures will be tough to beat for sculpting, heft and price.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Cold Wars 2016



Didn't make it to Cold Wars this year? I did and snapped a few pics while I was there. Check them out after the jump.


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