Saturday, July 28, 2012

Hugh "the Hammer" Duggan, Pistolier Captain

I know I said that I would do the artillery first, but then I ordered another artillery piece and I thought I would do them together when it arrives.

So instead, I started work on the pistoliers. Here is the captain of the unit, Hugh "the Hammer" Duggan.

 There's a bit of a story behind this unit.

Now when I started this whole project, the idea was to take advantage of the relatively cheap Perry plastics to supply a human army for my Strandhogg games. I would have used a Dark Age army like the Saxons or Vikings also available, but I thought they were too similar to the dwarves I already own, and so I settled on the WOTR figures.

I had to choose a livery for the army, and instead of picking a historical heraldry I decided to use that of the name of an old friend.

As the force expanded I begin to imagine that I might be able to field a full Warhammer army. After some browsing, I decided to go for an Empire army instead of a Bretonnian one. Now one of the more exotic units in the Empire army is the pistoliers, which look like ECW cavalry, which are of course anachronistic - but hey, Warlord Games makes them in plastic, which suits me fine. I did feel a little guilty about painting them in the same livery as the rest of the troops though, so I decided I would paint them up as maybe a mercenary unit.

Once again, I turned to my friend to help pick a name, and I used the name of an old friend of his - Duggan. Rather happily, the Duggan coat of arms has the colours blue, white and yellow, which matches that of the Holmes (yellow and blue). This means the units will look distinct from each other, yet still be tied together by a common colour.

I am planning to create a unit of eight mounted figures, including the captain, a standard-bearer with the Duggan banner, a trumpeter, and five troopers armed with pistols or swords, as well as a dismounted version of each rider; this will allow me to use them in a dragoon or mounted infantry role for scenario games, with one figure in four being a horse-holder when the unit dismounts. But more on that later.

For the mounted version of the unit I will use the figures pretty much "as is", with the face guard clipped off to show the face better. The basic "uniform" will be a blue coat. The sash will be white. The saddle-clothe is likewise blue with a white border.

Hopefully I can get the dismounted version of "the Hammer" painted tomorrow and I will bore you with the story of that...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Out with the Old Guards?

These Rogue Trader era Imperial Guards are some of the oldest figures I own; I bought them some time after I got the plastic Space Marines box set (the ones with the beakies) with the intention of using them as "unarmoured infantry" to provide a contrast to the Space Marines.

I probably used them in a couple of games and then left them in a box all these years - several are not even assembled.

I've already given my beakies to a friend and I think it's also approriate that I let these go to a better home, to a wargamer who will give them a coat of paint and field them on a table (to die in hordes as IGs do...).

The four figures on the left of the top row are metal figures (3 guardsmen with injuries and one officer), while the other 16 are plastic. They are short of one head and there aren't enough lasguns to go round; still, I reckon they are worth more than US$50 on ebay.

I'm looking to trade them, specifically for 15 plastic Tactical Space Marines with bolters and 5 plastic Terminators with stormbolters and powerfists (preferably unpainted), but if you have something else you think I might be interested in we can discuss things.

Thank you.

Update: I've made a trade for them. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Feel like Sirs

I'm finishing a few foot command figures now, amongst which is the figure on the left.

I got the figure on the right first, which is "Sir John Savage" from Trent Miniatures. When I bought ome flags from Vexillia earlier, I decided to take the opportunity to get a few figures from their Mirliton/Grenadier range to save on postage. When I saw the similarities between the "Personality 3" figure and the Sir John Savage figure, I knew I had to get it.

The two have similar armour, almost identical pose, and even have the same sword. The Mirliton figure is a little shorter, but I think it will pass muster.

I suppose I should work on the Mirliton artillery piece and crew next.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I can't bear it anymore...

I've been keeping this little project a bit of a secret, but I was actually quite excited about it that when I have finished painting the mounted men-at-arms, I painted it up in just two evenings and am showing it off even as the glue on the flock is drying.

The idea was partly inspired by the regimental mascot unit from GW; but I've always wanted a bear in one of my armies, so when I found one that I liked, I decided to create a vignette.

The bear is (was) an unpainted plastic figure from the D&D Wrath of Ashardalon boardgame. The two figures are Perry plastics, and the chain a link of chain from a cheap necklace. The vignette is on a 60mm x 40mm base, which is the area covered by six 20mm square bases, so it can function as a unit filler too. The flag is something I made and printed myself - it isn't really "legit" since there is no reason why this unit should have a different flag from the rest of the army, or why it needs one to begin with... But I've got a colour laser printer, and one needs to run it once in a while to keep the moving parts moving...

I love bears. My Chinese name is homophonic with the Chinese word for "bear", and I consider it my totem beast (my totem bird is the white-throated kingfisher, in case you are wondering...). In my home there is an articulated wooden bear toy, a leather bear toy, coasters in the shape of bearskin rugs, and I have a few teddy bears on my bedside tables. My first soft toy was a teddy bear called Ben which I had in my bed until I was twenty-something. In my travels and soldiering I have eaten many unusual foods, but I refused to eat a bear's paw once offered to me. You get the idea.

Bear-baiting distresses me (and unfortunately that practice still exists in some countries today), so when I had the idea of this vignette I wanted to make it look like the bear was a member of the unit rather than a victim - I'm not sure I achieved that. In any case, using animals for war is a form of cruelty. While a war-bear unit is fantasy, bear-baiting was popular in medieval England, so it is also somewhat historical.

Enough moralising - here are a few more pics of the unit from different angles.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

More knights

Here's the second unit of knights, this time on unbarded horses.

The musician and standard bearers are Perry metals, while the rest of Perry plastics. Without their barding, the horses look more animated.

Of course, I couldn't resist a shot of all 15 of the knights I have painted together.

I'm planing on working on a few foot figures before starting on the pistoliers. Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Half way there

Well, that's half of my heavy cavalry done.

This is the command unit of my "army", with the army general on a wingless hippogriff, his personal standard, a musician, and his household knights.

The knights and the general are all Perry plastics, the hippogriff a repainted D&D prepainted mini, and the trumpeter a Perry metal. The annoying thing about the metal figures is that, despite being from the same range, the riders have the "seat-back" of the saddle sculpted on them, as opposed to the plastic ones, which do not; this means that unless one was prepared to so do minor cut-and-sculpt, the riders (and mounts) are not interchangeable.

That aside, I am pretty pleased with the result. A full unit of armoured knights with a banner is always a sight to see. Another seven (unarmoured) horses to go then...

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Fence-y that

I was looking to do something with the Renendra tombstones that fg gave me and decided I would make a "Gothic Graveyard" to go with his zombies and planned undead army.

After some googling, I decided to go for the wrought iron fence look over the stonewall look, and a little more googling found this:

I got mine off ebay, but you can find it in a number of online stores. Mine arrived in less than a week, in a huge cardboard box packed with those air-bags, because while thin and light, the package is long ("That's what she said.").

Anyway, this is what you get:

Two shorter sections, one of which has the gate, and two long sections. The "obverse" side of the sections show "relief", while the "reverse" side is flat.

Put together, you get a rectangle measuring 28.5cm x 39.5cm.

I will probably cut the long section to make an enclosure measuring 28.5cm x 26.5cm, and use the off-cuts for "damaged sections".

The gate is just the right size for 28mm, but does not open.

The details aren't exactly fantastic, and they have stupidly design the mould such that the vents are on the "obverse" side - you can probaby see them in the last photo above.

All in all I'm not disappointed; it is, after all, a cheap plastic toy from China. With a coat of primer, some black paint and some suitable weathering, it should do for the wargaming table.

Now to start planning the magnetic joinery and interior...

Sunday, July 01, 2012


It took a while to restart the engine again, but I managed to get three of the horses painted.

They are not that hard to paint, especially since much of the surface is covered with plate. Hopefully I can get all 15 done this month and move on to the rest of the pile...