Tuesday, 13 December 2022

Dark Age Irish II

As promised, here are the next two six-man units of Dark Age Irish warriors. The box set gives a lot of variety that can be built into the warriors you need for your force. There are ten wolfhounds, and thirty warrior bodies which can be made up with a variety of weapon types and shields. As I had already built six javelinmen, I decided to create two further units of lightly armed troops.

First up are the swordsmen...

The shields seem overly large but, then again, if you are going into battle with no other protection, then a large shield would be most welcome; especially if you wind up in the front rank of a shield wall.

The swordsmen allow for close quarter combat to be fought, whereas the javelinmen are more support troops, along with the next batch of six who are a motley bunch of skirmishers with a variety of weapons (axes, slings and shillelaghs)...

These troops didn't go together as well as the other figures. Three of them seem to be posed nicely but the other three, especially the two with the axes, just seem out of kilter. Maybe I should have put a little more thought into the posing before sticking them together?

As mentioned in a previous post I am trying to standardise my basing and so on, so I asked my son how he would like his troops based. My son has requested 25mm flat round bases for his warriors - this system fits in nicely with my newly formed base sizing schema. I will build these up with wall filler as per my Rangers' bases and then undercoat them all in grey primer when the weather improves (six inches (15cms) of snow fell yesterday, with sub-zero temperatures not budging meaning that it remained where it fell).

Monday, 12 December 2022

Dark Age Irish

Swiftly following on from yesterday's post, here is what I have been working on this weekend for my son - a few items from the sprues in the Wargames Atlantic Dark Age Irish plastic box set.

Irish javelinmen...

My son said that he didn't really want any javelin armed troops, but as he left it with me last weekend to do what I could for him, I decided to put together a half-dozen lightly armed infantry. I sent him the photos yesterday afternoon and he loved what he saw, so it looks like I made a good decision after all. He has given me orders on how he wants his command to look, but I said that we would look into creating those troops when he comes over to mine next - he still has two sprues at his disposal to create his command group and to add to any of the units I am currently making for him - I have suggested he either gets each unit to eight warriors to enable play in Saga or to twelve to allow for Dragon Rampant and a host of other games. He also sent me pictures of a few metal figures he wanted to use as elites and commanders, so maybe he won't want to use this box set as anything but basic troop types?

Whilst completing the above chaps, I also made up the rest of the wolfhounds in the box. One observation with these - it would have been nice to have the two halves of each dog fit together with the two halves of the other dog, thus giving a few more variants...

Whilst writing this post, I am also working on the next two units of Irish warriors. Hopefully I can get those up onto the blog tomorrow?

Sunday, 11 December 2022

Rangers of Shadowdeep

After another long hiatus, with not very much happening hobby-wise, I thought I would put up the few things that I have been working on for my son's Dark Age army and my Rangers of Shadowdeep collection.

Today, I will talk about my Rangers collection. I had already cleaned them up and glued them to their bases last time I spoke about them back in April, but they have moved on a tad since then. I decided to photograph them where they are currently in the painting process so I can keep a journal of how slow I have been in getting them to the table in a fit state to game with.

Here are the first five Rangers as they stand today...

As you can see, the hollows in the lipped bases have been built up a little with wall filler to make a ground surface upon which the Rangers now appear to stand, and then they have been given a matt grey undercoat (courtesy of Halfords - a local UK car parts company). I may begin to use this spray undercoat more in the future as it server two major purposes for me: firstly, it is a lot cheaper than Games Workshop's spray cans and thus saves me some cash (which is always a good thing), and secondly, unlike with black undercoat, I can actually still make out the detail on the miniatures in order to paint them.

Here is the second set of five Rangers...

These ones seem to be a little more dynamic than the first set of five, so added together with the first five, there is a good range of activity going on. I can already see the specialist skills many of them have that they can take to the Shadowdeep.

I know this is going to be a slow burn project, but the idea is that I will kind of follow the story set out in the rulebook and scenarios. These ten Rangers are an elite force known as The Grey Cloaks (yeah, original I know - there are other units and teams which I may flesh out at a later date). Each Ranger has a small band of loyal, specialist companions from whom they can guarantee support when they go adventuring into the Shadowdeep, plus the city has its militia and standing army from which to draw extra volunteers (I will need to think of a paint scheme for the militia's and army units' uniforms, as well as a brand of miniatures from whom I will purchase said figures).

Real life (mostly work and illness) has got in the way of gaming quite a bit this year, and therefore my output both painting/hobbying and playing wise has diminished considerably; as a knock-on, my blogging has suffered too. I am hoping to rectify this situation next year by attempting to put aside a few hours each week, on a regular basis, to get something done. I have so many ideas and unfinished projects that I really do need to crack on with some of them.

Next post will feature some of my youngest son's latest army - he is collecting a Dark Ages "Celtic" army. I have already shown you the Welsh archers in a previous post, but this weekend saw me working on his Irish warriors - a Wargames Atlantic plastic box set that will form the backbone of his army.

Tuesday, 23 August 2022

Skeleton Warband

A quick update on some more of the work I have been doing over the last couple of days on the undead warband I am slowly bringing together. I have now managed to complete a grand total of 20 skeleton/undead warrior types from the lead pile. I also have some other undead (4 foot and 4 mounted wights) painted by someone else that I may amend to fit in with my vision. Here's what I have achieved so far in their pre-wash/varnish glory (most have been seen before, so bear with me in my indulgence)...

First up is the command group. A set of three very old Citadel or Ral Partha (not sure which) pre-slotta figures...

Then we have a bunch of (five) undead riders that I completed yesterday. I am not happy with the results of the verdigris; I still need a little more practice to get it right. It sometimes works but mostly it doesn't. I blame my dodgy eyes as I cannot focus on the figures themselves, so have to guess where the brush is going and hope for the best. I then try to amend any mistakes afterwards if I am able...

Finally here is the bulk of the foot troops; a dozen skeleton warriors with an assortment of weapons...

Unfortunately, these miniatures are very fragile, and, ironically, I have already broken one of the arms off whilst putting it away into a protective foam carry case. I will need to repair it, and hope that the gloss varnish coat, when applied, also creates a stronger bind for the arm.

To complete this warband, I am looking at rounding out the numbers to create units for Dragon Rampant. I already know that I want to get a big horde of 30-40 zombies, 6 Otherworld Armoured Skeletons (same as the foot ones above but with armour), some missile armed skeletons, a champion of sorts, and some kind of giant construct. I am not sure on the points/unit values yet, but I will calculate that nearer the time. Then I have to decide who to put them up against. The quickest win will most likely be one of my Lord of the Rings armies - probably Rohan.

Wednesday, 27 July 2022

Skeletons Update

It has been quite a while since I last posted on the blog. Real life has a habit of getting in the way of what we enjoy, and these past three months have been no different. Nothing bad (well, I did cop Covid for the first time a few weeks back despite the vaccinations), but time was not something I had much spare of.

That said, I managed to complete some more 2000AD and Judge Dredd comics reading and finally saw the eighth season of Game of Thrones. I wasn't as disappointed as almost everyone else I have heard mentioned; yes, the pacing was a little out, perhaps one or two more episodes would have resolved this, but the ending itself made sense to me and I liked the denouement for several of the main protagonists. Maybe my several year hiatus between being caught up in the hype and watching them in the cold light of day helped in this?

In addition, I did manage to get a few things done hobby wise, but didn't have the time to post my achievements. This post is a catch up of the little bits of painting and hobbying I managed to partake in since April.

Goblin Town goblin in my son's own style... 

Yep, a bright yellow goblin, painted when he was but 2 or 3 years old. He reapplied some paint a few months back and I tidied up the face and pustules, then washed it in readiness for varnishing (which still needs to be done).

More skeletons...

The second batch of skeletons from Otherworld Miniatures. As mentioned in a previous post, I mixed up the weapon arms a little to provide a few more variants. These, as well as the previous batch, have been completed all bar a wash and matt varnish. I will get around to that in a few weeks' time when I have more miniatures to finish.

The whole undead crew so far (not all finished just yet and more to order)...

The first picture above shows the command group (painted several years ago) with the inital six foot skeletons and the five mounted undead (as yet unpainted).

The second picture shows both sets of foot skeletons, and how far I have got with the mounted undead. These will still be a while in the finishing as they all still need a few more colours on them as well as a wash and matt varnish.

This little force is coming along nicely now though; I just need to finish painting the above, sort out a few more undead that I have in my lead mountain, and then add to the force with one more set of Otherworld armoured skeletons (basically the same foot figures with armour on) and a few one-offs to round it out. I am also looking at getting some zombies to add to these - a horde of 30-40 would be pretty neat, but with my glacial pace of painting I may be waiting until the year 3000 before I get them finished.

The latest haul from my first ever Kickstarter...

This is a kind of female Fellowship of the Ring plus Gollum, so we have a couple of female humans and an elf in there too.

These next two packs are the actual Kickstarter's main theme - several packs of dwarf, gnome and halfling female adventurers. The first packs are 7 of the 8 on offer (I was not over-enamoured by the halfling bar maids if I am honest, so decided not to bid for those), whilst the second picture shows the stretchgoals - the freebies.

These figures are from Bronze Age Miniatures' Half-pint Heroines range. I was after some female Dwarf, Gnome and Halfling miniatures to round out my GW and fantasy forces to enable some more gender balanced RPG and skirmish gaming. I have plenty of male adventurers/soldiers but very few female. I am hoping that this will even up the numbers a little and perhaps persuade my daughters to see that dad's games are not just for boys - I did try to convert them to the dark side with some painting lessons a fair few years back but they lost interest very quickly.

I am hoping to get some more prep work done on my Frostgrave Nickstarter figures from a couple of years back, as well as the Rangers of Shadowdeep starter figures. I am looking at sorting out some more aspects of the basing prior to undercoating. Due to work etc. this may not be for a couple of weeks yet, so watch this space.