Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Last of the Gallic Warband

The last of the figures off the production line 2018, with the basing completed over the Christmas/New Year holidays. These represent another eighty-four 15mm Gallic warband figures in twenty-one elements of four figures each:

I did however combine these elements into bases of eight figures each, which should make them less fiddly to manoeuvre around the table:

The shield designs are again by Little Big Men Studios, and I believe I have finally mastered their application to a level I am satisfied with. This essentially involves not letting the water remain on the back of the decals too long as I find that this can wash out the colours, and completing them in batches of fifteen shields at a time would appear to be around the right length of time to ensure that the decal sets without the colours bleeding:

All of this is more than adequately covered in the instructions provided by Steve of Little Big Men Studios I hasten to add, but there is nothing like a bit of trial and error until one refines a technique that works:
I'm glad to have completed this component of the army as it represents over three hundred figures across seventy-five elements. The DBMM army lists allow an additional fifteen elements, but I really don't think I had it in me to trot out another sixty of these:

Which brings me to the grand total of figures completed during 2018; exactly 880 figures comprised  of 601 foot and cavalry riders alongside 179 horses. I really only keep broad numbers, but have calculated this to have been 449 Gauls with 69 horses, all 15mm, and 152 Ottoman Turks with 110 horses in 28mm.

Probably not a bad effort all things considered, especially as it has seen the completion of the Ottoman Turkish Army and the near-completion of the Gauls, with only the Gaesatae and a dozen chariots to go.

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Gallic Soldurii and Skirmishers

As most will probably know the soldurii were the Gallic chieftains' bodyguards, with soldurii being the Latin for retainer and the name Julius Caesar gave to this body of troops. I was initially a little annoyed when I discovered that in DBMM v2.1 they have moved from being part of the core army and are now only available as part of the Aquitanian sub-list. However, since this option includes the ability to field Iberian allies and I have an army of these ahead of me in the lead pile, on reflection it may actually work out quite well.

The figures are again 15mm Xyston Miniatures and I believe they are amongst the most detailed 15mm figures I have painted to date:

There are four different figures randomly assigned to each pack, so a bit of shuffling around on the bases and varying the hair colour creates some variety:

The shield designs are from Little Big Men studios and, when I manage to seat them correctly, look quite effective:

Given that there is only one element to be attached to each general when on foot, four elements should be plenty. This meant I was able to complete them reasonably quickly:

And was therefore able to manage eight elements of javelin-armed skirmishers:

There are only six elements allowed in the DBMM v2.1 lists but, since they are sold in packs of eight it seemed wasteful not to use them all:

I can see the finishing line in sight for this project now, and remain hopeful I'll be able to get there over the Christmas/New Year break.

Since this will no doubt be my last post before Christmas, I hope everyone who reads this (with the exception of the Russian spambots) has a very happy and safe Christmas. OK, even the Russian spambots, although I hope they too take a break. All the best everyone.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Slings and Arrows

Unlike Hamlet, I thoroughly enjoyed working through these slings and arrows, although I appeared to have purchased far more than I require in that the DBMM army lists which I am using as a guide allow for six elements of either, and I appear to have purchased the equivalent of twenty-four.

It wasn't a big task though, and they may come in handy at some point in the future. First up are thirty-two slingers:

There is a choice of four figures in the Xyston range, so a variety of possible combinations when arranged on bases of two figures each:

A few of the bases have pebbles scattered on them, which is ready ammunition for sling-armed troops:

I often wondered how much of an injury a slinger would do to a heavily-armoured opponent. I had no doubt that a skilled slinger could seriously injure the enemy with a well-directed missile which would undoubtedly be travelling at a substantial velocity, but when I saw these ancient Greek lead pellets fashioned as bullets in the New York Met it gave me a whole new appreciation as to how deadly a weapon it could be, in the right hands.

I can also vaguely recall having read somewhere that it generally wasn't just a case of picking up the nearest pebble, and that there was a much greater level of discernment in the choice of missile:

The Gallic archers were also fun to paint, with a choice of four quite dynamic-looking poses:

There is quite bit of detail on these for 15mm figures, including the fletching on the arrows:

There is some nice definition on the faces and torsos of the figures, and I was happy with the way it was possible to build up some depth to the skin tones:

I was hoping to get this project completed by Christmas but realise I still have close to a couple of hundred figures and a few long lunches to get through before then, so it will be more likely January before it is finalised. My gaming group normally takes a break until mid to late January anyway, so it will give me a bit of time to finish ploughing my way through DBMM version 2.1 in preparation for a few ancients games we have planned for the New Year.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Gallic Unarmoured Cavalry

The output for November has been a little slow, mainly due to the family heading off for a quick two-week break in New York, which we all thoroughly enjoyed. I did however manage to complete the last of the Gallic cavalry with forty-eight of the Xyston unarmoured figures, on sixteen bases of three figures each:

Once again a selection of four figures in each pack, which I find helps maintain interest while allowing for some variety in basing:

The shield designs are by Little Big Men Studios. These fitted most of the shields perfectly, although there were a few larger shields supplied with these figures which required some blending around the edges (although not seen here):

That's the last of the Gallic cavalry, with sixty-nine figures or twenty-three bases in all, this addition represents all that are planned for the Gauls cavalry-wise, chariots aside:

Back to New York for a moment, though. This was my first visit there and I was pleasantly surprised how welcoming everyone was, given how busy it is. We did the touristy stuff; took in a show at Broadway (The Lion King), ate at the New York diners, walked through Central Park in the snow and went to the Met, where I found this:

A composite figure, but great to see up close having recently completed a 28mm Ottoman Turkish Army.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Two more 15mm Gallic warbands

Another 120 Gallic warband figures completed, which amounts to 30 additional elements of four figures each:

Given that they are 15mm I probably should be knocking them out much faster than I am, but the Xyston figures are quite detailed and I find myself fiddling around a fair bit in an attempt to bring out the detail:

I particularly like the figure on the right-hand side of this command stand, waving his sword and dragging a rather large carnyx around; a Gallic trumpet, for those wondering:

I became a little bored with the 'standard' 40mm x 20mm bases, so experimented with a few 40mm square bases with eight figures on each:

While I do quite like the ability to arrange the figures in a more irregular fashion, painting the bases once the figures were in place was much more difficult:

That said, I'll probably try a few more as it will assist figure movement around the table and hopefully lessen the number of spears that will have to be reattached:

There are another 48 or so Gallic cavalry in the queue which I should have completed over the next month or so. That should represent the half-way mark of this particular project and, once completed, I'm thinking of segueing back to some Foundry French cuirassiers I have prepped and which have now accumulated a thin layer of dust.

I find going up to 28mm figures after 15/18mm is always such a pleasure, and wish I could remember to change things up or down more regularly.

Friday, 7 September 2018

Gallic Armoured Cavalry

I seem to be moving on at a fairly decent pace with this 15mm army, so thought I would stick with it while there is some momentum. The second group off the production line are seven elements of Gallic armoured cavalry:

The figures are again from Xyston miniatures, and are supplied in packs of four with a  random selection of four different poses:

Given that they are in packs of four and I purchased five packs, it is a bit of a mystery how I ended up with twenty-one figures. I have noticed this about Xyston however, in that the packs are never short of a figure but occasionally contain one or two extra which suited my purposes perfectly here:
As with the foot warriors, they are beautifully detailed for 15mm figures with minimal cleanup required:

The shields are again by Little Big Man Studios:

Which always rounds things off nicely:

I'm still learning how best to wield my new "Xacto" craft knife and "self-healing mat", but believe I may be getting better at applying the Little Big Men Studios decals to the point where I actually started to wonder whether I could have had a decent go at becoming a surgeon, until I nicked myself and remembered I'm not that comfortable with the sight of blood:
I have attempted to stagger the horses to make the elements appear somewhat irregular, but usually ended up having to put the figure waving his sword around on the end to make sure he didn't look as though he was clubbing the fellow next to him over the head:

It took me just over a week and half of spare time to complete these, which I think is a reasonable return:

I have purchased forty or fifty unarmoured cavalry to accompany these, although next off the line will be a couple more warbands which should see the project well and truly on its way.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Gallic Warband

After the recent completion of a renaissance Ottoman Turkish army I was planning to get back into my 28mm Napoleonic French project, but have decided to take another detour and start on some 15mm Xyston Gauls which have been lying around for several years.

It took just over three weeks, but I managed to complete ninety-six figures toward an army in the form of some warband figures:

The Xyston figures are comprised of eight warband poses, along with another eight leader and musician/standard-bearing figures, so when assembled they look nicely irregular:

I found it took some adjustment to move down a scale, it being over three years since I last picked up a 15mm figure. The Xyston miniatures are however very nicely detailed and easy to paint, making the transition much easier than I anticipated:

The shield transfers are again from Little Big Men Studios which are great to use, even with my limited modelling skills. I thoroughly recommend a "self-healing" mat and an "Xacto" knife for this purpose:

That's pretty much two warbands completed, with another four to go:

I have the first of the Gallic cavalry on the painting table at the moment, so hope to have them completed soon.