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.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Dick Winters

This is it! My last miniature for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge! This is my first year, and I'm a little fuzzy on the requirements for the miniature donated to Curt. I believe the theme is "Daredevils, Gamblers and Risk Takers", though I may have missed the deadline for that particular bonus round.

No matter, the figure I picked to donate to Curt is "Dick Winters", the U.S paratrooper featured in the HBO series "Band of Brothers".  If jumping out of an airplane, behind enemy lines into Nazi occupied France doesn't make him a daredevil AND risk taker I'm not sure what does! He received a variety of Olive Drab, Khaki and Dark Green paint, but I've left his base with only a simple brown coat, ready for basing material to match the collection he eventually settles into.

This was a Historicon exclusive figure I've bee saving for a special occasion and completing my first Painting Challenge fits the bill. I've thoroughly enjoyed it, painted up a bunch of figures that have been lingering on my lead pile for ages, and been re-energized to tackle some new projects. Big thanks to Curt, my reviewer Dave, and all the other assistants who made the Challenge possible!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Gripping Beast Monks

The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge is winding down and while I beat my personal goal of 400 points I'm trying to push through to an even 500. I've wracked up a few more points last week and I'm currently sitting at 477. Searching my lead pile I found a pack of Gripping Beast monks that I've been putting off painting for a while. They aren't the most exciting miniatures but will certainly get me closer to my goal.

These weren't the most challenging figures to paint up, but they'll make good bystanders or objectives for a variety of dark ages or medieval battles.

These four monks should give me an additional 20 points, putting me at 497, just one Curtgeld short of 500!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Another Batch of Fireforge Medieval Knights

This post originally appeared on the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.

The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge is swiftly approaching its deadline, and I'm trying to cram a few more figures in to boost my point total (gotta set a bar to hurdle next year!)

I finished up another set of Fireforge Medieval Knights, this time painted in largely yellow heraldry. Most of these are knights who served in the Scottish Wars, so I've cribbed a few helmets from a set of Teutonic Knights (snipping off some of the more fanciful horns) to represent gear from the latter half of the 13th century.

I selected what I hoped were easier heraldic devices to paint. Little did I realize that "straight lines" are pretty tricky to pull off.

Gilbert de Clare and Thomas de Clare

This is the leader of our merry band, Gilbert de Clare, the Earl of Gloucester. Gilbert de Clare "the Red" (so named for his red hair) fought in the 2nd Baron's War and pledged service to Edward I on crusade. His son (also named Gilbert, and conveniently bearing the same heraldry) also fought in the Scottish Wars. Here he is joined by Thomas de Clare, bearing a banner bearing the de Clare arms.

Piers Mauley and Robert Mauley

Next up is Sir Robert Mauley and Piers Mauley, veterans of the Scottish Wars. Yellow with a black stripe was fairly simple to pull off, but the tiny birds decorating that stripe were pretty fiddly. Props to those who can pull those off!

Robert de Vere and John/William de Vescy

Finally a pair of knights, Robert de Vere and John (or William, they used identical arms) de Vescy. I put off de Vere until last, hesitant to paint the star that adorns his arms. I even tried to find a decal I could borrow from a 15mm WWII Sherman, but without luck. I finally bit the bullet and attempted those daunting stars only to find they were dead simple. Easy! I was worried for nuthin'.

That completes this set of "yellow knights", ready for some skirmish battles.

And also fills out a complete 12 base cavalry unit for mass battles.

That should give me another 60 points. Here's hoping I can squeeze in a few more before the deadline to hit 500!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Basing Tutorial: How I Base My Wargame Figures

One of the visitors to my blog left a comment asking for an explanation of my basing technique. I don't think I do anything special regarding basing, but I'm happy to oblige in case it helps!


  • White (PVA) Glue
  • Sand (I picked up a lifetime supply of playground sand from the hardware store. I'm considering sifting out the largest grains or finding a finer grain source)
  • Cheap Paint. I use three shades of Americana craft paint: Raw Sienna, Spicy Mustard and Sand. 


After gluing the figure to its base and waiting for it to dry, I start by coating the base liberally with white glue.

To level out the difference in height between the figures cast base and the wood base I put a lot of glue around the edge of the cast base and spread a thinner layer around the figure's feet.

While the glue is wet shove it in a box of sand. Shake off the excess.

Check to make sure no extra bits of sand are glued to the figures feet.

Let the glue dry overnight.


Paint the sand base with Raw Sienna/Medium Brown. The paint helps affix the sand to the base, so coat it thoroughly.

After the base dries, I drybrush with a 50/50 mix of Raw Sienna and Spicy Mustard. For bases depicting arid regions I use more Spicy Mustard, or add a second light drybrush of Spicy Mustard.

I add a final light drybrush of 50/50 Raw Sienna and Sand, just trying to pick out the sharp edges of stones and give the base a general dusting of light color.

I also start working in some of the basing colors into the parts of the figure close to the grown. Here I drybrushed the bottom of the horse covering with the mix of Sand and Raw Sienna to represent dried mud or dust.

Ground Cover

The drybrush coat isn't wet for long, so after I finish painting a batch of bases I quickly move into ground cover. I spread a few lines of white/PVA glue onto the base, and use a toothpick to work it into cracks and crevices. I aim to leave about 50% of the ground untouched by glue (I like the contrast between ground cover and bare earth). For arid regions I'd cover 25% or so.

Next I choose a few Tufts and place them in the biggest patches of glue.

Finally I dab pinches of static grass onto the base.

And that's it! I final coat of matte overcoat and the figure is ready for battle!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Fireforge Medieval Knights

This post originally appeared on the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.

When I started the Analogue Painting Challenge, I had written off some Fireforge Mounted knights stashed towards the bottom of my lead pile. I vacillated on which heraldry to use and was intimidated by trying to hand paint teeny tiny crosses and birds in 28mm. I figured they'd be too tough to deal with during the speed painting of the competition. After painting up my medieval foot though, I was hooked. I took the "challenge" portion of the painting contest to heart and decided to tackle some medieval knights.

When looking for a period to run Lion Rampant I settled on the reign of Edward I. He was mixed up in internal strife with the 2nd Baron's War, a brief stint on crusade and clashes in Wales and Scotland, providing lots of variety from which to pull scenarios. I collected heraldry from knights in his service, cross referenced them against the number of conflicts they engaged in and picked half a dozen knights and earls who appeared in multiple battles so I could paint a figure once and use it in scenarios throughout the later half of the 13th century.

Then I realized nobody I play against will care, so just got started on painting and didn't sweat the details. So here are my guys!

Antony Bek, Bishop of Durham

First up is Antony Bek, the Bishop of Durham. I know it's pretty common among medieval fantasy games (hence the bludgeoning weapon I gave Tony), but I'm fascinated by the idea of a holy man going to war. Antony served Edward on crusade and in his Scottish wars. I gave Antony an attendant with simple cross heraldry (painting that curley cross with ermine pattern was enough the one time).

Thomas de Berkely and his son Maurice

Next up is Thomas de Berkeley, a grizzled veteran of numerous battles. He fought at Evesham, Falkirk, the siege of Caerlaverock, and Bannockburn. His son Maurice (indicated with the extra blue label on his shield) also served in the Scottish wars, and later served Edward II. Those teeny tiny crosses? Such a pain.

Robert de Neville and retainer

Finally it's Robert de Neville and a member of his retinue. Robert de Neville was involved in the 2nd Baron's War and also has a really simple heraldic device. I love you Robert de Neville.

Six mounted knights completed. Painting (and repainting) the heraldry took longer than expected, but I'm happy with how they turned out and I'm looking forward to finishing up the next six mounted figures from the boxed set. I'm still getting my bearing with the period, so if you have any tips or info to help correct any mistakes (either painting or history) I'd be happy for the advice!