Posts Tagged 'wargames'

New Army Painter Inks

I managed to try out the new inks from The Army Painter this evening in between dealing with firefighting for work & feeding some starving children.  The figs are still drying but for now I am impressed.  We’ll see what they look like when fully dry but I can see myself going through large amounts of Soft Tone & Dark Tone ink for my figures.

In an attempt to speed up my painting I’ve been moving towards doing a more basic block painting combined with washes and selected highlights, and I think the new AP inks will fit into this scheme very well.  After getting the basic color blocked in I gave my figures a coat of Future to try and reduce the amount of ‘tooth’ in the paint.  After the Future finish dried I hit them with the AP inks and they seem to have flowed nicely into the cracks.

I did some experimenting with the tones and at this point here’s what I think:

  • Dark Tone will be my goto for silver metals, blues, greens, greys, among other dark-ish colors.  The black works well to shade a lot of colors without overpowering them.  I will also use them for white belts & straps to give it more of a pipe-clay look.
  • Strong Tone will be used for yellow metals and browns.
  • Light Tone will be used for flesh (Caucasian at least) along with off-white and other lighter brown-ish tones.

For my Russian Musketeers I worked on tonight, most got the Light Tone for their trousers & flesh and dark tone for everything else.

I’ll post a follow-up once things dry totally.  Thanks to Der Feldmarchall again for the tip.


Foundry Sees The Light

It’s the end of an era today, folks.

Wargames Foundry, one of the earliest drivers of ’28mm’ historical miniatures, sent me an email today:

Dear Sir/Madam,

While you may not have noticed yet, things are changing at Foundry and we are the middle of a process of restructuring and reorganisation. This will include bringing back some old ranges and reintrodcuing some old packs that were inexplicably removed from others. This will all take some time but we want to return to being the company we once were. As a symbol of this we have reintroduced the English Civil War and Thirty Years War ranges.

Although some of these things will take some time to put into place, one immediate change we have made is to make sure that those ordering from outside of the UK will pay the same price as everybody else. It was a particularly bad policy that we have rectified as of today, no matter where you live in the world you will not pay more than our domestic customers

Watch out for further changes in the future.

yours faithfully,

Neil Littlewood


There have been a number of things that historical miniatures gamers could whine about with regard to Foundry (dalliances with fantasy/SF ranges, declining quality of new ranges, the whole ‘our customers are collectors, not wargamers’ bit, etc.), but the main thing US customers would whine about was the fact that Foundry was purposefully screwing overseas customers through bloated local prices for their products.   This note from Mr. Littlewood indicates that this practice is coming to an end, which is good news indeed.

Foundry’s prices are still not cheap, and they still need to restock their stable of sculptors IMO, but at least everyone is getting treated the same now.  Well done.

Army Painter Inks

I stopped into one of the Twin Cities’ excellent game stores today while out on a hobby day with my son and picked up a few bottles of the new Army Painter “Warpaints” line.  Per a tip from Der Feldmarchall I picked up a bottle of AP’s inks that match their series of ‘Quickshade’ dips.  Since Games Workshop has seen fit to discontinue their old line of washes (including my much-beloved Devlan Mud) I’m keen to find a replacement and it sounds like these inks may just fit the bill.

I also picked up a bottle of AP’s “Daemonic Yellow” since I can always use another yellow-ish tone that can cover in only 1 or 2 coats.

Progress continues slowly on my Russian Napoleonics.  Spending the better part of a month out of town for work didn’t help matters much, and with summer now upon us that brings a whole other range of possible distractions (mostly spending nights on the porch watching the sun go down with a gin & tonic).  Now that Perry Miniatures has released their plastic Russian line infantry I’ll be placing an order for some of those in the next month or so.   Hopefully someone follows up with plastic Russian artillery since I’ll be needing those in mass quantities.


Painting Update, or How I Learned to Live Without the Optivisor

After finally kicking myself in the butt I’ve started working in earnest on my 28mm Sash & Saber Russians again.  As I described in my last post I’m trying something new (and old) starting from a white undercoat and then blocking in the main colors with a bias toward the brighter end of the spectrum and then toning it down with washes.  Instead of using Minwax I’m using my current supply of Citadel washes instead.  Unlike previous go-rounds with the washes I’m not just slathering the entire figure in Devlan Mud this time.  The faces are being done with Ogryn flesh, the hair & linen pants in Devlan Mud, and the rest of the figure in Badab Black.

I like the effect a lot and think it looks good at tabletop distance.  I’m not trying to produce award-winning paintjobs with this technique; I just want to complete some units and play some games.  With a good basing job and some nice flags these figures will look good, and let’s face it, unless you’re a top-shelf painter displaying your figures with professional-quality photos, no one will look that closely at the rank & file figures anyway, especially when you need several hundred of them.  So why slow yourself down?  I also got rid of the optivisor for everything other that shako cords and straps which again saves time and removes the neurotic need to add one more highlight to that musket firing lock.

So, here are some WIP shots of my new figures.  I took them with my mobile phone so apologies for the meh photos.  The flash bleaches out the wash details a bit more than they should.

Sash & Saber Russians, White undercoat, basic block painting and citadel washes.

Compare that with one of my attempts to start from a black undercoat and do more of a Foundry/3-layer paint job:
28m Sash & Saber Russian Musketeer
More photos are available at my Photobucket page.


A Fresh Start

After another long break I’m trying to climb back into the saddle again.  I started a new career last fall, and while that has been a very good thing it has meant a huge learning curve both for me and for my family as we all adjust to a new lifestyle.  Painting and gaming took a back seat throughout the winter because of that.   Now that we are all starting to adjust to the new normal I’ve started getting the urge to get back into the hobby.

One of the local groups is scheduling a 28mm Napoleonic battle this summer, and especially since it’s been moved back to the end of summer I’m taking a stab at contributing troops for it.  Russians, of course.  I have my old Sash & Saber musketeers that I’ve stripped down and started again.  Those poor SOB’s are probably terrified of the pickle jar filled with Simple Green by now.

After thinking about things for a while I’m abandoning my usual black-prime-and-layer-up approach and going back to white priming this batch.  I love the look of the dark figures but I’ve never had good luck building up bright colors like reds and yellows over a dark undercoat.  I know it can be done but I lack the patience to do all of the successive layers needed to build up the base and, frankly, I don’t have the time needed to build up several hundred figures in such a style anymore.  Life is way too busy.  So, I’m going back to priming white, blocking in the basic colors and I’ll be trying the ‘dip’ method, using Minwax polyshades Tudor to give instant shading and definition to the paint jobs.  Since I’ll be using the dip to get the shadow/undertones, I’m blocking in fairly bright colors for my main layer of paint.  For instance I’m using GW Elf Flesh as the base tone for the skin and hopefully I won’t have to do any highlighting after the dip is applied.  I’ll probably do some post-dip highlighting for the metallics and possible jackets to bring out some definition but I’m trying to keep that to a minimum.  The object is to get serviceable figures cranked out in a reasonable amount of time, not create works of art.

Another change is that I’m backing off of using my optivisor for most of the painting.  The figures being made today have amazing amounts of details, and while using the optivisor I saw all of them and felt the need to paint all of them even if I’d have a hard time seeing them without the magnification.  This way lies madness, so I’m currently just using my normal glasses and painting what I can.  A three feet away I doubt I’ll notice much of a difference.  The net effect of this is that my painting time is increasing… or at least it feels that way.

I’ll post some pics when I have something completed.  I’m working on the first batch of 24 now, experimenting with colors and techniques as I go.  I have two units of 24 Sash & Saber musketeers at home and by the time I’m done with them the new Perry plastic Russians should be available.  They are slated to go on sale in late April.  I like that they give you the option of the pre-kiwer shakos since that’s what many of the troops that fought in 1812 & 1813 wore.


Changing Things Up

The one constant in life is change, and as such my hobby projects have changed a bit over the last month or so.   I’m currently working on some 28MM projects and am enjoying the process of relearning how to properly paint the larger figures again.

First up are some 28mm Perry French Dragoons I’ve had lying around for awhile.   I’ve got 13 of them about half-completed already with another 13 awaiting assembly.  The Perry brothers make some very nice figures and these are definitely among them.  It’s a little more putzy work assembling the figures, but cleaning them up is much easier, so it’s a trade-off in my mind.

Next, I’ve committed to some 28mm ACW figures for a local project getting up steam and will be painting up a brigade of Louisiana Infantry for an 1862 game to be held sometime next year.  I’ve already bought a box of Perry plastic zouaves to be done up as Coppens’ Zouave Battalion and have a few skirmishers in the works as well.  I’ll be ordering more infantry over the course of the summer since the target date for this project is next year to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the battles of that year.

I’ll post some pictures as time permits.

Another Napoleonics Game

Quick update here after not posting for a long while.  Five of us met last Saturday to play a Legacy of Glory 15mm Napoleonic game at my place.  it was the first game in a few months thanks to sickness, work schedules, family, etc.   The main positives were that we had two new players, Jeff and Mike, and that it was the first game played on my newly-expanded 14′ x 6′ game table.

Pardon the two-tone terrain.  My original terrain cloth was only ten feet long, which was fine for my 8-foot table.  Oh well, it’s on the list of things to acquire.

The nice thing, as you can see above, is that we managed to get two French Corps and 3-4 Allied Corps on the table at 1:60 with room to spare.  The units are all at proper deployment intervals and there are noticeable gaps between divisional formations.   A nice change from having people running ‘divisions; of 6-8 battalions just to save space.

My cohort David has a write-up of the event and a large picture gallery linked here.

Here’s a few more pictures I took of the game as well.

I’m having a bit of a dilemma about Napoleonics again, as I sometimes do.  The group met from around 3:30PM-11:00PM or so, and in that time we probably spent around 5-6 hours of it actually gaming.  We managed to get in around 5 hours of game time, so no real complaint there.  The issues I am having revolve around the following points:

  • We managed to get close to 1:1 times for combat, which is good, in reality we only played around 3.5 hours of real combat since several turns went fast as it took time for the initial orders for both sides to activate.  Realistic perhaps, but from a game enjoyment perspective irrelevant.
  • The time we spent gaming managed to get off two Austrian attacks and one Russian assault.   There was a full Russian division/corps and an Austrian division that never got into combat.  For the time invested it would’ve been nice to get those reserve units into the game .  We probably could have done so had we focused on the game a bit more, but frankly part of the enjoyment of the hobby is the chatting, eating and drinking with friends, and I don’t believe those things should have to be sacrificed to get a full game in, especially in a 7+ hour gaming session.
  • I’m wondering how the rules go over with new players.  I like the concepts behind Legacy of Glory, but the rules are 20+ years old and are beset with editing/layout issues.    There are too many phases in the turn sequence that are somewhat redundant, especially in the command phases.    Legacy of Glory is one of those games you need to play regularly to stay well-versed in the rules, and with our group playing (maybe) once a month and having several different options of game to play, I don’t know how many of our group will truly understand the rules.  I’m guessing two or three of us at most.
As I wrote earlier, I love the concepts behind LoG and think it makes for a good model of Napoleonic combat in many cases.  That said, it’s encased in a very old ‘simulationist’ style of rules framework that appeals to me on one level but turns me off on another one.  I have a very demanding job and there are many times that I feel like I shouldn’t have to work that damn hard to enjoy a game.  I doubt I’m alone in this.
I guess I like the ‘effect’ LoG models but don’t really care for the ‘process’ that is uses to do so.  This is why I have had high hopes for the new version of the rules.  The few teasers the authors have released look really good, but it’s not enough to play a game with, and I am losing hope that the new version will be released anytime soon.  The authors have the best intentions but also seem to have a lot of irons in the proverbial fire and LoG seems to be the first thing that gets pushed when time is short.
So, what to do beyond waiting for a new rules set that may never come?  A couple options:
  • David and I have talked about streamlining LoG1.  Could be done, but the game is still based around lots of charts, for good or for bad.  From my experience, the greater the number of charts, the fewer game participants you’ll have actually running said charts.
  • We’ve talked a bit about other rules sets.  Corps D’Armee, La Feu Sacre and others.  Some resistance here.
  • We could write our own rules set.  Here be dragons.
I have no solutions at this point.  Just a feeling that while LoG works, it’s not perfect.

On the Painting Table

What I’m Reading


Blog Stats

  • 57,965 hits