Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Two Rulesets

I've recently been  pondering over two rulesets I own.  One is an old 'classic' one, while the other is a new acquisition.  Both are for quite different periods, but both are written (or at least co-authored) by the same guy - Rick Priestley.  

First is Warmaster Ancients, which is sadly no longer in print as far as I know.  I got it several years ago, mainly because I used to own and play the original 'Warmaster' from the Games Workshop fantasy range.  The Human Empire and Dark Elf armies I collected were actually the first time I ever got into 10mm, and I can still remember many fun games with them -despite the armies not numbering much over 8 or 9 units each.  So, I bought the Ancients version and recently dug it out for a re-read, which has led to much browsing on Pendraken and Magister Militum...

Oh, Angry Viking Bloke - how I've missed you!

The Second is a new acquisition, which I was recently given on my birthday.  It's Bolt Action from Warlord Games, which does small-level WW2 combat - roughly squad and company level.  I was attracted to it at least in part because the rules seem to work best in small-scale games, thus preventing the all-too-familiar rules creep which sees the table overloaded with units!  It seems very good, and reminds me of the old Games Workshop 'Epic WH40k' game, which I loved back in my teenage years.  I am now also pondering the Plastic Soldier Company range of 1/72 scale figures, which seem to be the best 'value for money.'  

Germans.  Who knew?

All this navel-gazing has been caused by a present of some birthday money, which came with the strict instruction to spend it on some models or myself!  As such, I'm planning to pop up the road to Carronade 2013 at Falkirk in a week and a half, and get myself a few bits and bobs.  Presently I'm merely enjoying the anticipation!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Army of the Potomac, taking shape

Busy, busy, busy!  I have been forging ahead with the large Union Army of 1/72 plastics, and thought I'd post some photos to show progress (apologies they're a little blurry, but I tried using my mobile camera, and it's not the best.)

 The above snap shows the whole horde at present - roughly somewhat over 200 soldiers.  I bought almost all of the figures from Italeri boxes, as I find these to be the best quality and also the easier to track down online.  I think I found one solitary box of Imex models on ebay, but that was the only difference.  

The mass above have been washed to clear off any moulding residue; clipped off the sprues; glued to card strips (from cut up cereal boxes, no less); spray-painted white with plastikote to prep them for painting, then sprayed back to Blue again (with Army Painter spray of Ultramarine.)  Since then I have been painting on an  industrial scale, painting all the trousers light blue, then all the shoes black, and now I'm about halfway through painting all the kepi visors/brims black as well.

There is only one, solitary figure that's complete at the moment.  This came about from me painting a lot of blue and black, and I creeped myself out that the figures would turn out awfully dark-looking en masse.  I finished one off experimentally, and I've reassured myself.  The remaining paint-work is almost all light-coloured (pink for the face & hands, light brown for the musket, and some silver/brass where needed, plus a light green base) so the overall model effect seems quite good.  I'm not splitting the whole collection up into batches, as I find I always slow down progress when one batch is done and I can't face starting another.  As a result, the painting at present is going 'monolithically' - so to speak.  The other day it was shoes, and nothing but.  Next weekend will hopefully be belts, and nothing else.  I'm keeping the focus on single elements so I can quickly bash through the lot, without stopping and re-doing bits here and there.  

In a departure from my normal method, I've also glues the figures onto strips together by pose - so there's no fiddling about to make sure I've got all the bits on varying models - if I pick up a card strip all the models are facing the same way, in the same position, so painting all the sides of a shoe or sword, for example, is very simple to do.  

There's also a fair bit of that appealing "detritus" of a model army in the process of assembling.  In this case, I have my Newline Designs officers to go (mounted on 2p coins) and also seven artillery pieces, plus a large caisson (from one of the Italeri Union Artillery boxes) which I have vague aims of using to decorate a little 'campsite' diorama for a supply-point.