mercredi 22 novembre 2017

DBA Gallic army

I've already written a couple of posts about Celtic warriors by Hät. The minis can be seen here (part I) and there (part II). But long before that, my brother and I painted a complete DBA Gallic army with Airfix, Revell and a few ESCI minis - and we used 15mm essex minis to represent cavalry, later replaced by Hät and Italeri minis. Years later, I also added a few Newline Design 20mm minis to fill the ranks.

I don't have the 15mm riders any longer, but I still have the 1/72 minis. I never finished to base them, but they have already seen action in several battles. And last week-end, I decided to complete the work in order to have a nice army to display.

Before adding some paint on them, I wanted to take pictures of the army in its actual state.
Here it is. The whole army:


On the front rank, the based elements, Psiloi on the left (Italeri minis), and command element on the right (from left to right: 3 Italeri men and one Newline Design). The skin color of some of them has to be redone.

 The warband elements: mostly Revell with a few Airfix and ESCI, all painted before I learned to paint shadows and highlights.

And at last, the cavalry elements. Hät figures on the left, Italeri and Newline Design on the right - my first highlight technique, before the washes.

As an army, they already look good. I won't repaint them all, but repair the broken bases, finish the to-do bases and add some contrast at least on the cavalry element.

More pictures to come to show you the result. Hope you like my old minis :)

samedi 18 novembre 2017

Gall óglaigh and Kern

Hi Everyone!

Commenting my last post related to Templar men-at-arms, "Boss" Paul from Paul's Bods (one of the best 1/72 blogs dedicated to 1/72 minis... all right, everybody already knows :))asked for more Medieval minis, so I promised new pictures for yesterday night... well the night is over (here) and I am a bit late, but I could finish two minis and take pictures.

I wanted to start something new for a small vignette, an original or unusual subject (at least for me), because it's always a good way to discover and learn new things. I searched my plastic stocks and picked a set by Redbox for the war of the Roses: Irish troops, set 72044.

I know very little concerning this period in Irish history, so I opened the online bible (PSR), and read about the two main troop types represented in the box:
  • the galllowglass (from from Irish: gall óglaigh meaning foreign warriors - thanks Wikipedia), heavy infantry originated in the Scottish Isles, and using terrible two-hands weapons such as big battleaxes - maybe a remembrance of housecarls, or of their common viking ancestors)

  • the kerns, or light skirmishing infantry, using javelins as their main weapons (by the way, I finally took time to know a little about kerns - a term I read in WRG army lists years ago, without the slightest idea of what they could look like)
You can see below one of the most famous illustrations representing gallowglass (left) and kerns (right) in the 16th century by Albrecht Dürer. Though posterior to the medieval period, it gives us an idea of the appearance of these fierce men.




One more thing eventually convinced me to start painting: these men were also known to wear saffron colored coats, and since I can't use my yellow paint everyday, I became very tempted!

And here you are the result, two minis painted yesterday night.  Hope you (including Paul :)) like these medieval men.




mercredi 15 novembre 2017

Templar Foot Soldiers

Good evening (well it's late in France :)).

I recently bought a set from the Crusader period by Strelets - Military Order Warriors. I wanted to paint some of them as Templar foot sergeants, an addition to my DBA Late Crusader army.

Here you are four of these men - enough figures to represent one DBA element. I really appreciate these minis, they are perfect to represent a defensive line, and the black and white shield of the order is nice (and easy) to paint.

Let's show them. The first pictures were taken with a dark background, so that the contrast is not too strong, we see the details rather well.




Next pictures are an attempt to show the minis as if they were in action in the Middle East - good weather, but dusty sky. The foot soldiers are operating together with the knights of the order.




I am quite happy with the result, each man differs from the others but they look like they form a unit. What do you think of it ?

dimanche 12 novembre 2017

Orcs and Gobs, and more

Back to 1/72. Do you remember the goblin I have painted a few days ago ? Now he's got a fellow, and some orc friends - a good occasion to gather the whole tribe, including a warg rider and a troll (painted earlier this year).

For some reason, I've had trouble taking proper pictures (probably the lack of light, the weather is horrible today), so not my best, sorry.

I hope you like them anyway :)







Goblins by Caesar, orcs, warg and troll by Dark Alliance.
The troll has already been visible in this small tutorial

mardi 31 octobre 2017

Dungeons & Dragons Boardgame

Yesterday, while checking the stats of the blog (Yes, don't you ? I particularly appreciate to have visitors from all over the world), I read the comment written by Geordie, from Geordie's Big Battles, and I crawled the web to discover his blog that I didn't know. Lots ans lots of different subjects, nicely painted figures, big battles... I was curious to read the posts under the label Fantasy, and I found this one, which recalled me great memories: Playing around with "Speed Painting" some "Fantasy" with "Washes", because of the minis displayed, plastic toy figures from the Dungeons & Dragons Boardgame by Parker. Do you recognize this box ?


This is the french version of "Dungeons & Dragons: The Fantasy Adventure Board Game" (2002), the exact copy of the one I offered my son when he was 10. It was a simple dungeon crawl game in a fantasy universe, and a good introduction to RPGs for my children... I was right on that point since they are still involved in RPGs as players and occasional designers, more than 10 years later :)

The box was full of things, including a lot of figures (compatible with 28mm fantasy figures):


I was very happy to read Geordie's post, because we had many a good adventure with this game, but I don't think that it met great success, and it is rare to hear or read about it. I left a comment on the post, saying that I wished to write something on my own, and here we are.

Last year, I had enough time to begin to paint the minis of this box. Once again, I wanted to turn poorly regarded minis into nice game pieces, and I thought that some of them might become interesting monsters for my 1/72 fantasy armies. This is what I could get:



The tiles on the pictures come from the game box, but not the wall  that I bought in an aquarium shop.
Some individual pictures: The Troll




The Bugbear (I try to find the english name after the french description, correct me if I am wrong :)):




The Carrion Crawler:





The Ogre:




On the following pictures, you can see the monsters in their various daily activities: dwelling the dungeon, crawling the dungeon, attacking anything and particularly adventurers (a human word describing "armed people who steal anything in your dungeon, sweet dungeon and destroying the rest"). Admire the taste in architecture as shown on the original columns !





I would like to thank the painter from whom I stole the idea for the bases - unfortunately I don't remember who he or she is, because I lost my internet bookmarks last summer when my laptop was stolen. Anyway, thank you.

At last, a couple of pictures of my workspace in the cellar.



Once again, my daughter took most of the pictures of this post.
And now, I am looking for players for another dungeon crawl :)

Hope you liked this post.

vendredi 27 octobre 2017

Sign of Life

For those, passing by, who may wonder whether this blog is still active... the answer is Yes: little activity, but some traces of plastic life on plastic grass :)

Two men from the Napoleonic Middle Guard:

One small goblin from Caesar, not in the usual GW green.


Hope to go back to the brushes next week, but this week-end, I go diving in Antibes on the Mediterranean Sea. The weather is perfect, I take my camera, maybe some fishes on this blog soon !

dimanche 3 septembre 2017

I've almost forgotten...

... how to use brushes after my long summer break! No, my holidays didn't last for two months, I have been working most of the time, but I managed to take some days off, I will maybe write about it one of these days.

In the previous post, I wrote that the next unit on my todo list for my Late Imperial Roman army was a cavalry unit. Unfortunately, I had no time to paint a lot, but I could at least paint the first man as a test shot, and his horse of course :)

Here's the result:



Well... funny how fast you can lose your painting skills... and the pictures are not very good either, but I must admit that I wanted to write a post as soon as possible :) With autumn coming (not winter, not yet :)), I am likely to paint a little more.

mardi 4 juillet 2017

To Late Roman Empire... and Beyond !

Just a small post for a planning review concerning my Late Roman Army project.

The project: what, who, when...

I like wargaming, and I would LOOOVE wargaming with huge armies, but it seems that I am the only person in this area who ever had the stupid (nah... eccentric maybe?) idea to use 1/72 plastic soldiers for that purpose. When my children and I used to play together, they preferred to paint 25mm+ fantasy figures - I will show you some, one of these days. This left me little time for historical minis, a lonesome hobby from the past, when I mostly owned 1/72 minis.

Ok ok, I already tried 15mm (too small) and 25mm (too big), I keep on painting 1/72.

Anyway, there is a ruleset that requires a reasonable number of figures (less than 50 per army), and this ruleset is DBA, so I bought it (version 2.2) and began to paint armies for my potential opponent and me. And the current (well, one of them) army being painted is: II/78 Late Imperial Roman.

There are two sublists, the East and the West. In my crazy dreams, I would like to paint both, which would allow me to play roman civil war battles, or to have a bigger army, big enough to play with l'Art de la Guerre.

I began with the West, following the documentation (The Notitia Dignitatum in particular) to represent western units.

Oh, when ? I started several years ago, and it is not yet completed :)


The army list

For the II/78(a) list, you need these:

1x3Cv(Gen), 1x3Cv, 2x2LH, 2x4Bd, 3x4Ax, 2x2Ps, 1x4Kn or Art or 4Bd

DBA is like SQL language, it seems esoterical at first, but when you're explained, it is quite easy :)

Each element is of the same width (60 mm for 1/72 minis), the depth depending on the nature of the troop. You need 12 elements for any army. The list above means this:
- 1 element of Cavalry, 3 riders, the general
- 1 element of Cavalry, 3 riders
- 2 elements of Light Horse, of 2 riders each
- 2 elements of Blades troops, strong heavy infantry, 4 guys per element
- 3 elements of Auxilia troops, medium infantry, 4 guys per element
- 2 elements of Psiloi or light skirmishing infantry, 2 per element
- 1 element of Knight or very heavy cavalry (4 riders) OR 1 element of artillery OR 1 more element of Blades

Easy to read, ok ? But what sort of troopers ?  That's where you need another book, the DBM army list Book 2: 500 BC to 476 AD. DBM (another related ruleset) and DBA (same author) require almost the same sort of troops, so you need this book to understand what sort of troops you really need... or you use the internet. Both are useful :)


The review

So far, I have painted (links to the related posts)
- 4 cataphracts => 1 element of 4Kn
- 8 legionaries of the Pannoniciani Seniores => the 2 elements of 4Bd
- 4 auxilia of the Victores Iuniores => 1 element of 4Ax
- 8 auxilia of a limitanei unit => 2 more elements of 4Ax
- 2 archers supporting the limitanei => 1 element of 2Ps

7 out of 12 elements are done.

Let's take pictures to celebrate ! (and click to enlarge)




On these pictures, you can see that there are two extra figures: a musician (already displayed in this post), that will be a part of a command element for the Victores Iuniores, and... a Hun rider! Let's look at him



I thought that is was a good idea to paint 2 Hun riders to make a LH element, since Huns were sometimes scouting for the Late Roman Army. But I was wrong...  According to my documentation, the Hun riders may represent LH in an eastern Late Roman Army, but not in a western army, where they can only be played as Allies, that is... 12 more elements to paint !! Same thing for the Patrician Roman list.

I will paint him a friend anyway, and who knows, I may cheat and not follow the ruleset :)

Next step: cavalry ! Oh, horses...

dimanche 2 juillet 2017

Late Imperial Roman Army IV - Limitanei and Pseudocomitatenses

Limitanei and Pseudocomitatenses

Limitanei (from the word limes, meaning the frontier of the Empire) were soldiers garrisoned along the borders of the Empire. They were considered of a lower rank than the Comitatenses, who composed the field army, and the Palatini (see this post for a definition of that term) or elite.

Limitanei included legionary and auxiliary units.

The role of these frontier units was to patrol the borders and prevent raiders to enter into the empire. In case of a large scale attack, the field army would be engaged.

Some units of Limitanei have probably been incorporated in the field army under the name of Pseudocomitatenses, but remained the less considered... and less paid!


Identifying my unit

When I painted the soldiers pictured below, I first considered them as Auxilia Palatina. Their shield pattern was simply the one displayed on the Hät Medium infantry set, and frequently seen in various illustrations. But I couldn't give the unit a name, because that pattern is not shown in the Notitia Dignitatum. We know that the Notitia Dignitatum doesn't display shield patterns for all the units mentioned. For instance, none of the Limitanei units have their shields illustrated, and we also know that some Pseudocomitatenses are also missing.


The pattern that I was looking for can be seen on a famous Roman mosaic from the 4th century AD in Piazza Armerina in Sicily (see below). That mosaic represents a hunt scene. The hunters are trying to catch African animals, probably for the venationes (animal hunt) in an amphitheatre.



So it may be that my unit is an African Limitanei or Pseudocomitatenses unit. Since the figures are not heavily equipped, I will base them as Auxilia for DBA.

Here are the figures:





I painted two Auxilia elements, supported by one Psiloi element. All figures by Hät.

I would be very curious to know if anyone has a better idea for the identification of this shield pattern. If so, please don't hesitate to give your point of view, that's one of the reasons why we share all this on the web :) All comments welcome.
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