Last of the old year - "English" HYW Commanders

The Black Prince has already been seen, but I've added his standard carried by Sir Richard Fitzsimon plus Jean de Grailly, Captal de Buch.

I couldn't find who might carry Jean's standard so I used Denis de St Omer, Sieur de Morbecque who captured King John II of France at Poitiers


Romanian Artillery - part 1

I painted all the Hat Romanian Artillery figures, but until I acquire some more guns (some suitable 105mm howitzers) I will leave half unbased. These were based up to go with the very nice but fiddly First to Fight 75mm guns. The limbers are Hat WW1 German and the limber horses Zvezda Napoleonic French, so this certainly clear a bit of the stash.

At the back are some of my old gunners (Airfix German mountain troops) rebased with a couple of PSC Pak 97/38s


Burgundian Artillery

I have painted the Zvezda Medieval Field Artillery I bought at Recon as Burgundians. I added a Jean de Vergy, Marshal of Burgundy figure alongside the pointing commander. At the back an unit of coustiliers made up from various odd figures.


Medieval bystanders

The figures from the Italeri Jousting Knights set are useful for the inhabitants of either a camp or a castle. The knights themselves were awful so I sold them.


WW1 French Artillery

I wasn't very happy when I bought the Hat WW1 French Artillery and I sold all but one sprue. However when I came to assemble the First to Fight version I realised I needed a guide so I assembled the Hat version. Here it is, my sole piece of WW1 French equipment and maybe the beginnings of a Corps d'Observation d'Andrevie

I notice when studying the pictures that some of the paint has not taken to the horrible soft hat plastic, I'll now have to sort it!


Thanks Santa

A reasonable selection of gifts this year

The sailors will be used to crew some Renaissance galleys, so scratch building those will be one of my projects for next year.


A small hole in the stash

Merry Christmas to one and all. I've managed to complete a couple of First to Fight kits before the festivities. The Praga RV truck is for my Romanians and the Panzer III has be painted up as a very early war version with the brown camouflage stripes

Hopefully I should get the rest of my schedule for December completed bafore the end of the month so keep watching


Medieval wagons

A slight pause in output as I had an unexpected trip to a funeral in London. I've had some fun with the Strelets Norman Train as one of the parts went missing for the small wagon so I had to construct a new sub-frame. I think it's better than the original. The larger wagon also needed some work to get the front wheels levelled up correctly. Appropriate stowage was added then some passengers.


My approach to heraldry

A short note in response to some comments about how I do heraldry on my figures. There are three components that need a different degree of attention. Shields if flat are easy to paint, Body livery is trickier as they can be obscured, but because of the small size an impressionist style can be sufficient. The caparison is often the biggest challenge as it is so obvious so needs a lot of care.

I tend to follow a number of approaches

Ideally if it is moulded on the figures I just undercoat black like the armour and then dry-brush silver at the same time. This has the effect of highlighting what needs to be painted. I then paint the raised surfaces and then colour in the lower. This works well with white/yellow objects on backer backgrounds. An example of this approach is the Zvezda Black Prince.

It's more tricky with colours reversed as it can hide the emblems unless I take a lot more effort filling in the background. The recent Charles d'Albret figure (on the left) was done this way.

The complex heraldry on a caparison was solved by printing a paper flag out that has been distorted to the correct size. This usually takes several attempts. I needed to ensure the receiving surface was as smooth as possible and also cut the paper along joins so it can be applied to curved surfaces. I did this for Charles the Bold and his brother

If the heraldry not critical (related to a particular commander, etc) I just pick whatever is easy to execute, I'm better with geometric objects rather than animals.

As a more general note I use a slightly stronger pair of glasses (2.0 rather than 1.5) when painting this level of detail as recommended by my optician.


A gentle stroll to the Senate

Figures from Strelets Roman Transport 4

I didn't use the passengers for the Basterna but kept them for some future project. The two mule drivers for the basterna came from the Strelets Ancient Christians.


More French men at Arms

My fifth and final batch of Men at Arms is more normal with all the figures having surcoats, etc. When I talked before about the Perry resins blocks I was really contrasting the basic all armour style of painting as different from this.


More Medieval Commanders

A more mixed bag of commanders from various sources

From L to R they are
  • Edward III (Strelets figures)
  • Henry V (Italeri)
  • Robert the Bruce (Strelets)
  • Papal envoy (Strelets plus remaining Valdemar bishop as standard bearer)
The dismounted figure of Edward III is from the Italeri HYW English set.


French Commanders

I used the Italeri French HYW set to provide the bulk of the figures for my commanders. I also decided to depict them dismounted as well.

For L to R they are
  • Jean Le Maingre dit Boucicaut
  • Charles d'Albret, Connétable de Franc with Guillaume Martel, the bearer of the Oriflamme at Agincourt
  • Jeanne D'Arc with her bodyguard Jean D'Aulon
  • Charles D'Orleans


More English and French Medievals

Some English Archers and Billmen plus a unit of Genoese Crossbowmen

The Genoese Crossbowmen are mainly the figures from the Italeri HYW French set, whereas the English are a mix of suitable figures from various sets. The few odd vignettes are from the Strelets Army of Henry V set.


A few pictures from Recon 2016

The last show of the year for me was at Pudsey, Leeds. Due to a late change we re-ran the Chesterfield 1266 game again (it's still the anniversary year)

The Harrogate club's Salerno landing game was quite impressive

There was a good turn out of assorted participation games but very little eye candy except for this Dragon Rampant game.

At least I managed to clear some of my surplus from the stash on the B&B and restrained myself to just buying a cheap pack of the Zvezda Medieval Field Artillery.


On the workbench - December 2016

A bit behind on my plans for November and the focus now is to complete as much as possible of the various odds and sods lying around my workbench. Hopefully I'll get my Plastic Soldier Company kickstarter in time for Christmas. progress against various overdue tasks is noted below

  • Medieval (mainly HYW) Commanders - progressing well, almost at the basing stage
  • Medieval English bill and bowmen - a unit of each about to be based
  • Medieval French dismounted Men at Arms - another unit also ready for basing
  • Genoese Crossbowmen - nearly finished painting
  • Norman train - just started painting as I found a significant part missing from one of the wagons.
  • Roman Transport - half way through painting
  • WW2 Romanian artillery using the Fire to Fight 75mm guns as the basis with the Hat Romanian gunners.
  • Then if the kickstarter hasn't arrived start on some of the kits in the backlog!


Return to Winter

A couple of vehicle repairs, neither of which fit in with my current US and German forces, but they could indicate a possible future project set in the Ardennes in 1944. The Panzer IV is an Italeri model, which I got assembled, but the side skirts were badly damaged, so they were replaced with a PSC version that I picked up in a bag of bits some years ago. The Chaffee is the old matchbox kit passed to me by Bob and needed a couple of new road wheels (a donation from a scrap modern Airfix Leopard) and a new gun barrel.


French Men at Arms

I was sorting through my remaining medievals when I realised that the surplus Miniart Italian knights could simply be repainted as French. I remembered the example block of Men at Arms passed around by the Perry's during their talk on the Agincourt diorama. They had created a block of about ten figures and then cast it in resin so they could be quickly painted and used to fill out the broad mass of French Men at Arms. So I used a similar to approach to paint four units.

Here's one of my pictures of the Agincourt diorama, I can just about see the blocks, but only because I've seen one up close


A slight diversion - trees

I started these while my vision was suffering as they were a quick job, not needing too much accuracy. They are some small trees picked up from Pete D at Gauntlet, plus a few remaining Italeri telegraph poles I found.


Infamy Infamy

A quite quiet day at the Roman Senate.

Then the immortal line "Infamy, Infamy, they all got it in for me"

Figures from the Strelets Roman Senate pack. I had debated the basing but decided against a granite/marble effect and stuck to a basic warm climate basing so they could be used more flexibly.


Frontier Light Horse

Beginning to get back into painting despite my wife finding lots of odd jobs. Latest is the Hat Frontier Light Horse, I've given them all a khaki jacket to give some apperance of uniformity.

I'm rather unhappy with this set as Hat changed to mix of foot and mounted figures from their previous sets so instead of being able to represent a single unit mounted or dismounted, this now has enough figures for two mounted units and half a unit of dismounted, I'll have to add some Boers when needed.


Numidian Cavalry

A quick update with my latest painting the Zvezda Numidian cavalry based up as three small units of light cavalry and a command stand

As my eye recovers, I encountered a new problem as the hard drive on my Laptop has failed and I'm having to use a Windows 10 machine (horrible)


Hedges - second and final batch

Having seen an eye specialist, my blurred vision should only last a few weeks and already my sight has recovered enough to paint. But with the weather deteriorating I've spent time finishing the hedges , which were still on my work table in the cold garage.

These will provide variety to the plain hedges I produced previously and the half size sections will allow me to make different configurations

The gates are laser-cut MDF and I bought a batch off lazzylozlasercutter on ebay


On the workbench - November 2016

All behind at the end of the month because I forgot about the house painting then I had eye problems. But at least the rest of my hedges are underway.

It seems the Plastic Soldier Kickstarter in 20mm will be shipping at the end of the month, so this will be my last chance to clear the decks before the end of the year. Currently planned are:
  • Numidian cavalry (underway)
  • Second batch of hedges (already started)
  • Frontier light horse (started last month)
  • Medieval commanders, plus odd fillers for some units/armies
  • Strelets Roman Senate and Transport
  • Strelets Norman Train


T-40 Russian light tanks

Had a struggle over the last few days as I've had blurred vision in one eye, However this pair of T-40 tanks by S-Model have been completed. The kit is for the T-40S, which is the non amphibious version, but hardly any of these were built. Luckily the kit contains the propeller and rudder required to make the T-40 which did see combat.

It's a quick and easy model to assemble, especially if you ignore the small PE parts.


Caccamo castle and military museum, Sicily

Phew, quite a week since getting back, I had forgotten I needed to do some 1:1 scale house painting and with the dry weather that had to be the priority. But continuing the what I did on my holiday was Caccamo castle. It's a bus journey inland from Termini Imerese, which is a train ride from Cefalu. It's an interesting bus ride and you pass below the castle on its impressive rock outcrop. Inside it still needs some TLC, quite a numbers of rooms are habitable, but you can't get up to the highest levels.

A view from the town

The route up to the entrance, quite a steep climb

The ascent from the first gate to the second. The keep is on the left.

The main terrace

With quite a view, much nicer than the heat of the coast in summer.

The main hall

An interesting WW1 gun, but no details

But the breech reveals its origins

I took some pictures in the local military history museum in the castle, mainly WW2 in the desert. All the captions are in Italian.

Some interesting swords wielded by Italian Askaris

The Risorgimento room