Saturday, December 30, 2006

Seconds from disaster!

I know it sounds like the title from a Thunderbirds episode but I really was last night.

My wife was sitting in my study (just below where the calendar is) when she heard a creaking noise and spotted that one of my wall-mounted shelves (arrowed) was just sagging forward and was about to come off the wall. She put her arm up and stopped it, fortunately. The weight of books had finally overcome the screws! Underneath the shelf were all my newly painted Republican Romans plus some Vikings I am re-basing. Not to mention  my late Uncle's pickelhaube!

Today I have put the shelf back up (with much longer screws) and have put my boxes of unpainted Lord of the Rings figures up there (mainly plastic) to reduce the weight. These shelves have been up eight years with no problems but now I am nervous about which one might go next.

Thank goodness for wifey! Big present due!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

A third of a unit of Hastati!

I haven't been able to do much painting lately as it has been too dark in the mornings and the evenings. I also had a business trip to Portugal and Spain which meant I lost a weekend.
I am still trying to concentrate on just a few forces on the work bench and have managed to finish three more Crusader Hastati. I have ordered some more Crusader Punics; some Velites and a command unit. The light infantry command unit doesn't have a standard bearer though so I will have to get a regular one as well.
Using the WAB Hannibal supplement means that each Roman unit is only 12 figures, so I now have a third of a unit. I have decided that I really like painting the Crusader figures. The only thing I have done is substitute the rather chunky pilum for some Gripping Beast ones.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

First Crusader Hastatus

I have painted my first Crusader Punic period Roman and am very pleased with it. Once painted and with the shield attached it doesn't look as stocky as on the website. The new marching camp and general figures arrived on Saturday and they are lovely.
The figure was a pleasure to paint in exactly the same way that the Gripping Beast ones weren't. The problem I have now is that I have a unit of GB hastati two thirds complete and the same with a unit of Renegade velites. I may finish them and put them on eBay, I suppose.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Punic Puzzle solved

Left: A&A Carthaginian Right: Crusader Roman
I have been trying to find some figures for a Punic Wars Roman army for some time and have ordered samples from different manufacturers without being really happy with any of them. I liked the Renegade Romans but not their Numidians. The Gripping Beast ones had the range but were really too slim to go with my existing Celt Army which is a mixture of Renegade and A&A. I saw on TMP that Crusader Miniatures have just announced they have completed their Republican Roman Range with an excellent General and marching camp. I hadn't really looked at them but these new sets were excellent. I have now compared one of their Roman figures against an A&A Carthaginian I already had and they are completely compatible. I think I read somewhere that the A&A figures are Mark Sims too.
Case solved! Gripping Beast, Companion and Renegade off you march to eBay!

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I looked at my Darkest Africa figures and decided that I would, on refelction, concentrate on some more Fuzzy Wuzzies as I had already based and undercoated them.

I felt that I was well on the way to a viable The Sword and the Flame Force so shouldn't wander off into other parts of Africa for the time being.

Progress on these will be recorded on my Sudan blog.

I put nearly all the other figures I had out on the workbench (nearly 200 of them) away and just left the Fuzzies, some Sudan British, a unit of A&A 3rd century Roman Archers and some Perry Napoleonics out. The rationale being that the British are part of the same exercise as the Beja, the Romans are well on the way and could be completed quickly and the Napoleonics are just there if I feel like a change for an hour or so. We'll see how it works! So far I've managed to paint the skin on the Fuzszies but the dark mornings and evenings are really reducing my painting time.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Time for more focus. Again

I'm not getting so much painted lately due to the shorter days. I also have a lot of overseas trips coming up. My workbench is even more out of control than usual at the moment: Carolingians, Arthurian, Saxons, Vikings, Byzantines, Spartans, Mahdists, British Sudan, French and Dutch Napoleonic, Cavemen and loads more I can't even remember. I don't have any club projects coming up that require me to paint figures (I finished the Earl of Somerset and a standard bearer last night for today's Tewkesbury refight) so I think I need a sort out again. I am trying to get my study tidy and all the little pots of basing materials are all over the place. If I put away all my half painted figures and just concentrate on one sort for two weeks we will see what we can achieve. I need to choose something that will keep me engaged and, preferably something which doesn't involve non-uniformed troops like the Dark Ages ones.
I was inspired by Matakishi's single minded approach to projects having met him last week and maybe I need to take a tea leaf out of his book and really work on something without distraction.
There are two possibilities. Either I carry on with my Sudan forces as I have enough figures to complete two more units for The Sword and the Flame, or I start a completely new project but using figures I already have. I have two Darkest Africa forces to start: Somalis and Ngoni. These are Copplestone figures so should be easy to paint. The Somalis would be quicker as all of their clothes are white. Ive' even based a few and undercoated some. The Ngoni would be able to join an army I have already painted of Ruga Ruga to make a Mirambo type warlord army. Before I decide maybe I'll look at the figures again.
Everything else needs to go back in their boxes!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

What sort of painter am I?

The sort who splatters paint all over his desk and computer..

Monday, September 25, 2006


And cavemen. We are supposed to be playing a prehistoric game at Guildford tonight. I don't even know if I am required to bring figures but it gave me an excuse to paint up some more of my Copplestone cavemen. I had already painted the cavegirls but now have half a dozen cavemen too. If the rules are any good I can work out what two forces I might need for a game.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Mahdi's Camel

There was a note on TMP today saying how pleased someone was to have got some painting done. I haven't got much done lately as I don't have any single project which is helping me focus. Some more Perry Beja arrived yesterday so I may concentrate on them. This post made me sit down for an hour or so and work on the Mahdi. So thanks mmitchell!
Very pleased with the camel. Its based on a picture I took of one I saw a policeman riding by the pyramids earlier in the year. Not quite finished yet and I need to finish his "supporters". The workbench is as chaotic as ever and a Renegade ECW pikeman waits forlornly for his pike..
More Camel cavalry next!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Focus, focus, focus..

Well, I still don't have any.
I took a bunch of figures on holiday to work on in the morning before the family got up. I fully intended to paint my A&A 3rd Century Roman Archers but for some reason started on the Perry Beja. Amazingly, I finished 18 and now have a unit and a half of spearmen for TSATF. I've just ordered some more to finish off the second unit and the musket unit. I'm working on the Mahdi pack now and am very pleased with the way the camel is going as I haven't painted one before! Now I need to finish the group of 8 British Infantry I am working on.
Not been inspired to go back to the Vikings/Early Saxons but have made some progress on the Carolingians. I also started to paint a unit of Gripping Beast Republican Romans for the WAB Hannibal supplement but now I'm wondering about going with Renegade again. I've ordered some A&A Carthaginians and some Crusader Romans to see how they look.
Got a possible ECW game coming up in September so I have got the remaining figures form my two foot regiments out to finish (about 10 figures). I have also got my Bicorne dragoons out and will try and get half a dozen done. I realise that I have loads of unpainted ECW but they do take gaes to paint.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Bavarian Cuirassiers

I don't know anything at all about the War of the Spanish Succession, shamefully. Even though, years ago I bought some of the first ever (perhaps the first ever) 15mm figures from Peter Laing who chose this period for his pioneering release (it's all so Old School!).
I asked Dave a question on the Guildford Forum about the new Front Rank figures, trawled The Miniatures Page a bit and came up with this illustration from Wargames Illustrated number 23 (July 1989 - I bought four old bound volumes in the model soldier shop in Bath last year).
I think I have settled on the green faced regiment here: Wolframsdorf.
Now all I need to do is order the figures! Only have to paint 12!

Not another new period..

I was just starting to focus a little bit (on Dark Ages) and then those bad people at wargames club (especially Mike, John and Dave) tempt me with Marlburian again. This relates directly to their decision to do a refight of Ramillies in October. I have already resisted once, having been on the point of buying some infantry.
Unfortunately, this immediately followed on me looking at the Front Rank Figurines site (where I was looking for medieval lances for my Wars of the Roses men at arms) and seeing their new WSS cuirassiers.

Monday, July 03, 2006

My first Perry Napoleonic

Actually, it's the first metal Napoleonic figure I have finished since 1971 (a Hinchliffe Imperial Guard Grenadier). I did paint quite a few plastic 20mm Napoleonics about 11 years ago but never really was happy with them. I haven't liked the proportions of any of the metal manufacturers untill the Perries started their ranges a few years ago. These are fantastic, though. Whether I will ever get enough done for a force is debatable. I am going to start a fusilier in a greatcoat and a voltigeur to see how they go.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Another Month!

Can't believe its July already. Very hard to paint much at the moment as its over 30 degrees and the paint dries as soon as I mix it!
Finished a few figures over the weekend including a couple more Artizan Carolingian foot and my first mounted figure who will be my army general. Very satisfying to do 190 points in one go! I also based 8 more milites while watching the Tour de France prologue.
Started on my great Dark Ages sort-out and almost have a unit of Gripping Beast Vikings done. Three more figures need re-basing, that's all. I am trying to resist the temptation to repaint them but am tidying up some of their faces a bit. They were all done before I realised I needed glasses!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Bronze Age axe man

The light mornings have been good for my painting and I have finished around 8 figures this week. Here is my first Foundry Bronze Age warrior. I am quite happy with the bronze colour which is a mix of GW Burnished Gold and Brazen Brass.

I am going to have to think of a way of differentiating two forces-maybe going for greens and browns in one and blues and greys in the other..

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Dark Age Thoughts..

Finished some more Artizan/Foundry Vikings over the weekend but am also painting some GB early Saxons for the new WAB Arthurian supplement.
The GB Vikings were the first 28mm metal figures I bought; at Salute about five years ago. I have decided that I prefer the Mike Owen ones but looking at my GB Vikings nearly all (those without helmets anyway) could be transformed into Late Saxons or Early Saxons. This will then give me a big start on my Arthurian Saxon army. So I am going to go through them and sort them to see where I can allocate them. Then hopefully it should just be a case of repainting the shields and improving the basing to bring them in line with my newer figures.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Bronze Age Bronze

I saw some fine bronze age helmets and swords in the Natural History Museum in Vienna this week. I decided to have a go at finishing some of my Foundry Northern European Bronze Age figures which I started some time ago (at least based and undercoated them). I started to think what shade of Bronze they should be and so put a not on The Miniatures Page. I'll see what they come up with...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day

My daughter gave me this card for Father's Day today. I know I have spent a lot of time over the past few months painting Turkish Horse Archers. I know that whenever she asked me to: adjust the saddle on her bike, look something up on the internet, help her with her homework etc. I would answer "but I just have to finish this Turkish Horse Archer, first". But I hadn't realised until I got this card how obsessed I had become to the extent that she now identifies Daddy completely with THA!

The First Carolingian

I have decided to have a good go at some of my Dark Age armies and am painting a group of Artizan Carolingians, Gripping Beast Early Saxons (ready for the WAB supplement) and some Artizan/Foundry Vikings.

Starting 40 figures all at once is a bit depressing but at least I finished one this weekend. No one seems to make Carolingian winged spears so I drilled out a Gripping Beast one and added a crosspiece

Sunday, June 11, 2006

What next?

Having finished the Turcomen I have to decide what to paint next. Time for another review of the workbench:
I still have 5 Perry pilgrims I didn't finish to contribute to someone else's army at the refight of Dorylaeum. I did 7 but ran out of time. I think these will definitely go on the back burner.
Next I have 10 or so Perry 1815 French based up. I have nearly finished one figure and would like to finish a couple of companies. I am reckoning on 6 to a company, based on Charles Grant's rules Napoleonic Wargaming. I think the new Battle Games magazine is bringing out "Old School" tendencies! I also have 1 Perry Dutch Jager nearly finished too. Ideally I'd like to get a few units done to refight some portions of Quatre Bras.
Next back are some A&A 3rd Century Roman archers. I've already finished a unit of infantry and a general and these look pretty fast to paint .
Then I have some Dark Ages figures: some Artizan Vikings and Carolingians. Some of these are well on the way so could join the half finished unit of Vikings on my shelf.
For my Byzantine army I have made some progress on the first unit of infantry. I also picked up some Crusader archers off eBay but they are very small next to the Gripping Beast ones. Don't think I will buy any more. I also have some GB Varangians undercoated. See my Byzantine Army Blog:
I am also painting a unit of Warhammer Dwarves, having been tempted into buying the army deal before Christmas. Two figures done so far. Very easy to paint.
Further back I have more Perry Sudan to do. Again these are quick to paint and I will get on with them as I bought some more at Salute in April.
There are also some GW Lord of the Rings figures underway, some Dwarf command and some Rangers of the North.
Lastly, there are some odds and ends I have begun to see how they go: like some Conquest French Indian Wars figures and some Artizan British Airborne.
Decisions Decisions!

The Turcomen are finished!

Just finished basing the Turcomen (and women) horse archers I undertook to do for a club refight of Dorylaeum at the Society of Ancients meeting at Milton Keynes next week. Annoyingly I won't now actually be able to participate as I will be coming back from another business trip. Grr!

I had been thinking about doing a Crusades army ever since the Perry figures came out and having read the Tom Harper novel "Knights of the Cross" set around the siege of Antioch I became even more keen. However, I always thought I would do a Crusader army not a Turkish one. But lots of people at the club had Normans so it was Turcomans. I now find it gives me the basis for a reasonable WAB army so will get some Ghulams, command and some infantry. It means I have done the boring bit first anyway!

I've always hated painting cavalry as I found painting the rider seperately a fiddle and I found all the paint kept rubbing off as there was no base to hold on to. Some of the Perry figures have riders moulded onto the horses and these were quick to paint so, eureka, I stuck all the figures on horses before undercoating. Don't know why I didn't before. No more seperate painting from now on. Cavalry now hold no fear (the 30 Turcomen were the largest batch of cavalry for one army I have ever completed) and I am actually looking forward to doing some Carolingian knights.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

"Winged" Spears

My new Osprey book, Carolingian Cavalryman AD 768-987, says that Carolingians typically used spears with wings or flanges on the sockets.

I use the Gripping Beast spears for my troops but these are wingless.  I have asked on TMP to see if anyone makes these.

I notice that those painted figures which have just gone up on the Artizan site do not have wings but these do seem to be a characteristic and I'd like mine to have them if at all possible (without having to make tiny wings!).

Carolingian Winged Spears

I bought some Artizan Carolingians at Salute and am aiming to paint one to see how it looks. I don't really need another Dark Ages army but I fancy something cavalry based and don't want to do Normans as so many other people at the club have them. I think Carolingians vs Vikings would be a bit more interesting than just Saxons again.

Here is the first figure undercoated and based.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Perry and Foundry Comparison

This picture shows the Perry French Fusilier (l) next to the Foundry British Infantryman (r).
The size and proportions are obviously quite different. I have heard that some of the later Foundry French Infantry are bigger than the earlier figures but they are still very stocky.
These will be the definitive French Napoleonic infantry for some time, I suspect. I just can't wait until they do cuirassiers!

Perry 1815 French

Picture shows: L to R: New Perry French Fusilier, Foundry Royal Marine (from B142), Perry Dutch-Belgian Jaeger (from DB32), Foundry British Rifleman (from B80) and Foundry British Early Infantry (from B8).

I bought one pack of the Perries new 28mm French Fusiliers at Salute yesterday as I had picked up some Dutch-Belgians at Colours. I had a few Foundry British and had also picked up, in the past, some of their newer Royal Marines and landing parties as "pre-casts". The Marines were quite a different size from the older British Infantry but match up better with the new Perry French (although the Perry figures have better proportioned heads). At last the Napoleonic beach skirmishes I bought the Marines for will be possible without terrible scale mis-matches.

First Entry

I decided I needed somewhere to post pictures and other odds and ends that I want to make available as subjects which might, for example, crop up on The Miniatures Page. I can't keep sticking things on my Byzantine one!

I thought that having two army specific blogs ( and ) would make me concentrate on those armies for a while but it has totally failed so I might as well acknowledge it!