Friday, 9 October 2009

Later Pre-Islamic Arabs...Sorta...

Good evening,

As stated earlier, I've been pottering around with bits and pieces while finishing stuff, and one thing I've been meaning to do for ages is replace some of my psuedo Pre Islamic Arab camel riders for Araby dudes who were less armored.

These started life as Italeri Saracen Warriors.

Yes, I've got some Normans that I'm planning to morph into Early Crusaders (at some point), but, as most of my armies are from DBA Book II (Classical Ancients), I wanted an ancient Arab army - with camels! So, that's what I built. II/23a Later Pre Islamic Nomadic Arabs.

The trouble is, most of these Saracens are appropriately dressed as, well, Saracens. They're really wearing too much metal to be Pre Islamic. So, to try to minimize this problem, I got hold of some Esci Arab Warriors (from their set to fight the Colonial British in the North West Frontier), selected some poses, chopped them in half and glued them to some legs that were all ready to sit astride a camel thusly...

The more observant of you will notice that that last converted figure doesn't actually have a left arm! Hence, the big shield (probably too big at that). It's integral to my approach to wargaming with plastic figures - don't waste anything!

And I know that they still look too well attired to accurately represent Pre Islamics, and that Caesar have now produced Bedouins, but...I've already got these guys, and, well, I'm cheap!


Some Carts

Good morning,

While I've been working on the EIR Ax, I've also been pottering away with a few other bits and pieces, more catch ups than anything systematic. So, while I was applying flock to that Gallic element (and my Early German ghosts!), I thought I'd finally flock these guys who have been waiting ever so patiently for me to do so, years after having been completed!

They were painted for me by Mark Ottley (the Cart General's element), Dave Wallace (the Spear element) and Andy Gorman (the Spanish Auxilia element).

Indeed, the more observant of you may recognize the command figures from the banner atop the page, 'cept I replaced the horn (I thought it was an ancient mace at the time!) with a sword.

Ah, the wonders of flock. They certainly complete the elements.

Thanks guys!


Thursday, 8 October 2009

Finished EIR Ax


Just before I give Stan's camera back, here, at least, are two elements of the Early Imperial Roman Auxilia that have actually been completed.

Turns out I did actually have a couple of bases after all.

I've got a couple more pickies of bits and pieces to post, but I've got some planning to do for next week, so I'll post them when I can.


Speaking of Romans...

Good morning,

Here, all covered in sequins, is my Hordes of the Things Early Imperial Roman Behemoth - a Testudo!

I started this in fact, rather than me spouting on about it here, you can read all about it here.

Again, these paper shield covers have been invaluable in completing the over all effect.


Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Early Imperial Roman General and Grunts

Good afternoon,

My second laid back week is fast drawing to a close, bother it, but, just before I go, so to speak...

These fellows make up my DBA/DBM (if I ever play it again...none of my mates are that keen on it anymore...)/HOTT command element. For Warmaster Ancients, it just makes up the numbers of a Cav unit, the commanders being more tokens than fighting stands.

All the riders and the two outside horses are HaT (the Vexillum carrier being a conversion from the HaT EIR Ax Cav dude waving his sword, if memory serves), and the centre horse is a Newline 20mm metal. I'm fairly pleased with how these turned out, 'cept the faces, which I'm still coming to grips with.

And now for the boys...

These are Esci Legionaries, with paper shield covers to hide the great big hole in the middle of the scutum! Just BMP files that I found a long time ago. I half thought they may look a bit naff, but I have been pleasantly surprised with the result.

The Centurion on the right is Italeri, the other and the signifiers are HaT.


Tuesday, 6 October 2009


As well as hacking away at my EIR Ax, I also pottered along with a Warband element, one of many that needs (or needed) painting. So, as I chug along with Romans, or whatever, I'll keep turning out Warband until they're, well, all done.

Of interest, apart from seeing figures from three different manufacturers (Revell, Airfix and Italeri respectively), it the effect a spray on gloss I'm using has on the paint. To the naked eye, you can't really notice anything, yet, magnified, well...hmmm...

I ran out of Cabots, which is the water based polyurethane varnish that I apply to my finished figures. Leaves a glossy shine, but the finish is pretty tough, and keeps the paint from flaking. I gave away a heap, thinking I'd never use it all, but, ummm, then I kind of did...

Had I the money, I would have purchased another can, but, given they're $30, and money for my hobby is scarce, I thought I'd try a cheaper alternative. It's a far flatter finish, but, well, it's not as good.

Ah well, never mind.


Friday, 2 October 2009

Painting Early Imperial Roman Auxila

Good morning,

Well it is here. A lovely mild spring day. The sun is shining and...I'm on holiday! After a very busy term I've finally had a week to sit down and actually apply some paint to some figures before heading back to school again next week to organise for the last push for the year.

So sit down I did. And low and behold I've actually finished painting 4 elements of HaT's Early Imperial Roman Auxilia. 16 figures no less.

(Note my oh-so-sophisticated painting set up...)

Its only taken me, stink, ages. I started these figures, I think it was in the Christmas holidays, and here's why. Each figure has...

  • Undercoat - Chaos Black - 1

  • Flesh - base coat of Dark Flesh/Elf Flesh mix with a highlight of Bronzed Flesh - 2, 3

  • Tunic and trousers - either a base coat of green mixed with blue, then a highlight of Goblin Green (which sounds daft, but actually looks great - nice and bright), or a light grey base coat with an off white highlight - 4, 5

  • Shield - base coat of green mixed with blue, then a highlight of Goblin Green (done at the same time as the tunic)

  • Chainmail - heavy dry brush of Bolt Gun Metal with a highlight of Mithral Silver - 6, 7

  • Swords - likewise

  • Leather - dark brown base, red brown highlight (which turned out to be a bit fiddly -a couple of straps have paint applied, well, just underneath!) - 8, 9

  • Spears - Beasty Brown with a Beasty Brown and white mix highlight - 10, 11

  • Scarves - either as the white tunics/trousers, or dark blue with a dark blue/white mix highlight - 12, 13

Note - I did all of the basecoats first, then went back to do the highlights. I use Citadel and Vallejo paints.

I think that's everything. Apart from the standard, (same as the spears, with a Bolt Gun Metal/Brazen Brass/Shining Gold painted emblem on the top), and the [Airfix] Centurian who I just painted as if he were dressed in leather. Not a terribly accurate figure I know, but hey, most of it's hiden behind his shield, and if my opponent can see his back during a game he's facing the wrong way!

So, for each figure, that's x # of applications of paint where x is...hang on, I have to count them...13 separate steps. Per figure. What is 13 * 16...? Well, 10*16 = 160 + 3*16 = [3*15 + 3*1] 48 = 208. (That is NZ Curriculum Numeracy Stage 5...or is it Stage 6? I forget. Its what I taught in my Year 5 class two or so years back. Right now I'm trying to get Room 3 to Stage 4 before they ship off to Year 2 at the end of the year.)

Now, given that each application takes a couple of minutes, give or take (sometimes more, sometimes less, hacking away in a production line fashion and all that...), these figures have taken aproximately, what, 20, 25 hours to complete? So that's why it seemed so long.

Still, I think they look good.

Of course now I've just realized that all of their helmets should have been bronze, not iron, so I'll have to go back and fix them...bother it.

Once Stan has discovered where he's stored his bases after shifting house, I can get some off him to completely finish these elements and put them away. In the meantime...