mercredi 21 février 2018

Musician of the month: Swiss drummer, 15th century

Remember my challenge, to paint a musician every month ? I explained here what happened in 2017. In 2018, I'm in for another attempt. This is the musician for February: a Swiss drummer from the 15th century, when the Swiss confederation was at war with Burgundy.

You will recognize a drummer from an Ultima Ratio set, UR008 Swiss Infantry (Bern) released en 2017.
For those who appreciate Fantasy, you will notice that this guy might also be used as a drummer in a Empire army from the city of Talabheim (from the Ancient World created by GW).

So this year, two musicians so far:
- January: Ancient Egyptian drummer
- February: Medieval Swiss drummer

For March, I would like to paint a man from another era, and another music instrument. Will you guess ?

dimanche 18 février 2018

Some more info about Wolfens

In the previous post, I showed a conversion of a Wolfen in 1/72, and asked everyone to guess how I did it.
Only a few minutes later, Paul from Paul's Bods gave the right answer:
"The Body is a Caesar Orc, and the head, one of those Zombie dogs you painted a while back".
The knowledge of Paul concerning minis or history is phenomenal ! Game over :)

1. The conversion

Here are the basic elements of this simple conversion:

orc + zombie dog + green stuff

The minis, before priming:

And after:

You will note that dog head still look like the zombie he was, because at that moment, I didn't know whether I would paint a living or a zombie Wolfen, or some sort of demon... one of my future projects would be to paint a demon army inspired by the art of Wayne Barlowe... but that's another story).

I eventually made a decision, and here is the result:

2. The original Wolfens

The Wolfens are a creation by Rackham, a French miniature and games production company that was active between 1997 and 2010. Their main miniature game was Confrontation, a skirmish game in a fantasy world called Aarklash, in which several people fought and allied with one another. One of these factions are the Wolfen, giant half-wolf half-human creatures.

Here are some artworks representing Wolfens:

Artist: Paul Bonner

Artist: Paul Bonner

And some of the minis, painted by the Rackham studio:

The minis I converted are rather different from the original: they are much smaller, compared to humans figures in the same scale, they wear boots, they have no tail (I am definitely not a sculptor), they are not as dynamic... but it was fun to do, and to paint :) The only think I will change on the next one will be the painting of the eyes, because the pupil on my mini is too round and too big.

Some more photos to compare the sizes:
Left:1/72 man from the Redbox Landsknechts, right: converted Wolfen

Left: 32mm man of Alahan, right: Wolfen of Ilyia

If you are curious about the Rackham miniatures range and want to know more, you will find below a link to a blog that has collected many pictures of Confrontation figures, ordered by faction:

 Thanks for reading :)

samedi 17 février 2018

Conversion: a Wolfen in 1/72

I have always been a fan of Rackham figures. Do you know them ? I hope so :)

Rackham was a french company who created the best 25, 28, no 32+ mm fantasy figures more than ten years ago. The concepts were marvelous, and the minis themselves even better, so full of details that you had to think twice before beginning to paint. And of course, the studio painters were so talentuous that is was even intimidating :) One of their most impressive minis were the Wolfens, some giant half-wolves half-men savage creatures, with very dynamic poses.

I won't show you one of these Wolfens (I have a few to paint, but not enough time, and not enough skill, sorry), but  I wanted to convert some 1/72 plastic minis into some sort of Wolfmen, inspired by the Rackham concepts.

Here you are what I achieved to do after the first attempt. Will you guess what I used for this conversion ?

The answer in the next post :)


dimanche 11 février 2018

Sometimes I paint Napoleonics

Not much to say this time. A few more men for my Napoleonic Middle Guard unit, together with the musicians painted last year. In this scene, they are walking through a small village, somewhere in Europe.


We can also see a Cuirassier riding in front of them.

Middle Guard by Hät, Musicians and Cuirassier by Strelets.

samedi 3 février 2018

Late Crusaders: Maronite auxiliary archers

This year, I've decided to complete the armies I've started to paint in 2017 or earlier. The more I read l'Art de la Guerre, the more I wish to play with these rules, so I need different armies to test most situations. One of the most epic scenes is the charge of units of heavy cavalry, so I need an army with knights. Since I painted a few Templars for DBA last year, I decided to paint a Later Crusader army.

I prepared a list for a 100 pts army, the closest format to DBA. Here it is:

  • General (1 knight + 1 standard bearer + 1 monk): 5 pts
  • Templar knights (6 knights): 26 pts - 4 painted, see here
  • Crusader knights (6 knights): 20 pts - 2 painted, see here
  • Turcopoles with bow (2 horsemen): 6 pts - 1 painted, see here
  • Bedouins (2 horsemen): 6 pts
  • Sergeants on foot (8 men): 16 pts - 4 painted, see here
  • Sergeants with crossbows (4 men): 7 pts - 4 painted, no pictures
  • Maronite archers (4 men): 10 pts
  • Light infantry with bows (2 men): 4 pts
There is no manufacturer who released Maronite archers, but the Andalusian archers  are close enough in my eyes. I also painted a couple of figures from other manufacturers to add some variety in the poses.

Here is my unit:

 Not as impressive as the knights of course, but they will be highly valuable auxiliaries.
Some close-ups:

These figures come from the El Cid Andalusian infantry by Hät (set 8168). They are perfect as Maronites, but two poses are a bit short, hence:

The firing archer comes from the Italeri Saracen warriors (set 6010), He is rather close to the previous ones. The other one comes from the Strelets Anglo-Saxons before battle (M050). He would be perfect in my eye if he was equipped with a composite bow - let's say that he was compelled to use an occidental one :)
If I find a better mini for the fourth Maronite archer, the Saxon archer will downgrade to light infantry. Any suggestion ?

mercredi 31 janvier 2018

Mayan slingers

One of the projects of the year is to paint a Mayan army for DBA / AdG (l'Art de la Guerre, a very promising ruleset, I must test it as soon as possible).

I already painted two slingers some time ago, but it was before I learned to use the washes to speed the process of painting. I recently painted a third one with that more recent technique (recent for me, I mean). The result is visible on the pictures below, what do you think ?

In my opinion, the contrast is much better with the new technique, and more efficient in a battle scene.

I can't wait to keep on painting this army: with their colored feathers and their leopard skins, they might become one of the jewels of the collection :), and I would really like to use them against my Aztec army.

Minis by Caesar (the best manufacturer concerning the anatomy), pictures by my daughter Hatshepju !

PS: Oh yes, the plastic plants are a poor attempt at creating a tropical forest atmosphere. I visited Yucatan some years ago, I know what it should look like :)

samedi 27 janvier 2018

Tattooed Germanic warrior

In one of his posts (It'll never happen!!! - I encourage you to read it, a lot of interesting ideas there), our friend Sprinks of Wronghammer opened a discussion about the projects that we would like to do, even the craziest ones :) I will write about my own huge project one of these days, but before, I have to progress in smaller projects to decrease the size of the Big Plastic Pyramid, and the slightly smaller Lead Mountain too.

One of these projects is to paint an Early Germans army, for DBA and AdG.

For the moment, I've painted a few warriors (some of them fighting early imperial Romans last year), including a horn blower (already displayed in 2017), the last of them being a naked tattooed warrior.

The warband so far:

They are a mix of Caesar, Hät and Esci figures. To add some more variety, I also have some Strelets Germans on my workbench.

The front man is a naked warrior, and I must say that, at first, I didn't intend to enlist him in the band. Maybe you wander why ? No, it is not because I have a problem with nudity - I would rather have a problem with weapons but I happen to paint dozens of them, strange isn't it ? ;-)

No, in this case, I have a problem with accuracy. Naked warriors are not unknown in occidental culture, but rather rare nevertheless. If we frequently see naked fighters in Greek and Roman art, it certainly has to do with artistic license, and not always with facts. There are little written accounts about naked warriors. One of the best known testimony is the story of the battle of Telamon (225 BC) by Polybius. The Republican Roman army led by the consuls Gaius Atilius Regulus  and Lucius Aemilius Papus defeated a coalition of Cisalpine Celtic tribes including the  Insubres, Boii and Taurisci. In this battle, the Gaesatae, or Transalpine mercenaries, were said to have fought naked except for their weapons.

In my research, I couldn't find any primary evidence of naked Germanic warriors, although many manufacturers represent some. In the end, I decided to paint my small guy, and to represent him as a berserk, in analogy with later accounts on vikings. And I wished to tattoo him, to give him a magic protection against his enemies' weapons.

This is the result: the tattoos are entirely speculative, an attempt at copying some sort of rune art.

And our guy with his raiding band.

What do you think of him ? Would you have any clue related to naked Germanic warriors ? I need your help on this point. Thank you in advance !

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