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.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Ottoman Army Completed

Having recently finished the artillery, which was the last component of this army, I thought I would gather everything together for a few group shots to remind myself of what has been completed:

Unfortunately these are not the best pictures and appear to have taken on a sepia-like quality due to my poor photography and lighting skills, but hopefully they will serve to show off some of the fine TAG figures from which the army is exclusively comprised:

My favourite part of the project was definitely the sipahis, and I managed to complete five units comprising two Sipahi of the Porte contingents:

and three feudal sipahi units which can be seen in front of the red-coated Tufekcis to the left and in the background:

I also ended up with four units of Azabs, thanks to the generosity of Pete at TAG:

All things considered a very satisfying project, meant only to serve as a slight diversion from my French Napoleonic army slog but one which appears to have taken up the best part of nine months:

The final tally is as follows:

Four units of Janissaries          = 96 figures
Four units of Azabs                 = 96 figures
Two units of Sipahis                = 48 figures (including horses)
Three units of Feudal Sipahis  = 72 figures (including horses)
Three units of Akinjis             = 72 figures (including horses)
One unit of Delhis                   = 24 figures (including horses)
One unit of Tufekcis                = 24 figures
Six artillery pieces and crew   = 24 figures
Command figures                    = 18 figures (including horses)

All up, this means 474 individual figures, and 6 artillery pieces:

I was planning to get straight back on to the Napoleonic French after this but, yet again, have become distracted while sorting through the lead pile.

I'm already 36 figures into the new project and hope to have a few pictures posted soon.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Ottoman Artillery

Six artillery pieces based which means that the Ottoman army is now complete. I managed to finish them early last week and there was a short delay of a couple of days while I awaited the arrival of some 60mm x 80mm plywood bases from Litko, which I fortunately realised I needed a few weeks ago so the delay in basing was kept to a minimum.

Once again the figures are from TAG, and there are two sets; one where the crew are setting the pieces and the other with the figures loading the guns:

This means a selection of eight different figures, again making for a pleasant project with a sufficient amount of variety:

I was initially concerned that the 60 x 80 bases might be too large, but by the time the water buckets, powder barrels and shot had been placed there wasn't a lot of spare room:

I went with the Foundry Napoleonic British blue-grey colour triad for the artillery carriages, and applied several tones in an attempt to bring out some graining:

I was originally considering red to give the gun carriages a little more visual impact, but allowed myself to be persuaded otherwise by a picture I found online:
Image result for ottoman turkish artillery

The models actually look a lot more subtle in the flesh than these images would imply and are definitely at the greyer end of the spectrum, something which is not apparent from my substandard lighting and photography skills:

Now that the project is complete I'll gather the army together for a group shot, hopefully over the weekend, but my hobby efforts have been somewhat curtailed by a new addition to the family who is proving a bit of a handful:

More anon.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Ottoman Tufekcis

A late addition to the army roster, this is the TAG Ottoman Tufekci unit builder set completed:

The Tufekcis came to prominence in the latter half of the 17th Century and were primarily recruited from hunters. I can vaguely recall reading somewhere that "tufekci" translates as "musket", which I suppose is a fairly literal but quite apt description of this troop-type in the same way that "sipahi", which I have always thought sounds quite exotic to my Western ear, simply means "cavalryman":

One thing I found interesting is that, while they were recruits, they had a regular appearance and may had been issued with a uniform. There are some descriptions and an early plate which is contained in the Sloane collection of the British Library portraying the soldiers in red and blue coats. I went with red and used the Foundry scarlet triad, which I was quite pleased with and think I might use for my Napoleonic British as it has a richer colour than the Foundry triad actually intended for that purpose:

The TAG figures are again very nice, and the unit builder set contains a wide variety of poses to help maintain interest:

I have also managed to complete the last of the command figures; another Turkish Pasha which makes seven of these all told, if I include the one on my wife's desk:

That just leaves the artillery to complete the project, which I hope to have finished within the next couple of weeks.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Fourth and Last Azab Unit

I had originally planned three Azab units, but this fourth hand-weapon armed group of Azabs was an unexpected addition thanks to the generosity of Pete at The Assault Group. I had ordered a few additional units including some Ottoman Tufekcis, which will hopefully be off the painting table within the next couple of weeks, but I received another unit of Azabs by mistake. I offered to send them back but Pete said not to bother and that I should keep them with his compliments, and he posted the missing unit of Tufekcis the following week.

Well, I couldn't leave them lying around just gathering dust, so here is the fourth and final unit of Azabs completed:

TAG Unit Builder Sets are often a mixture of complementary packs which gives a fair amount of variety within each unit. The Azab hand-weapon pack includes a mix of pole and sword wielding figures, with a total of twelve different poses in a twenty-four figure unit:


It then dawned on me that, due to the way I had based the earlier unit-builder pack, I could combine these figures to provide one unit equipped with pole arms and another entirely with swords. So here they are rearranged as such, and this is the way I will probably keep them going forward:

The sword-armed Azabs:

And those armed with pole weapons:

Needless to say I am very happy with the result, and especially Pete's generosity. Hopefully I'll make it up to him over the coming year as I will be placing an order for more renaissance Poles, and have three additional TAG Eastern European armies planned beyond that.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Ottoman Delis

Second post in a week, and the last of the Ottoman cavalry for this project. I really enjoyed painting these figures as they are quite different from the others that have been completed:

In the Ottoman Turkish language Deli basically meant fanatical, and they appear to have dressed accordingly wearing a variety of furs and skinned animals. To this is end I found that I have ended up painting a mixture of furs, including foxes and a lioness skin:


Bearskins, which I did in black and dark brown, and leopard hides:

The lion pelt actually reminded me a bit of the pink panther, and I wondered for a moment whether I should have done it that way for a laugh, but thankfully thought better of it:

This represents the last of the Ottoman cavalry, with nine units of twelve figures each. Just two more foot units and some artillery to go, so the end of the project is well and truly in sight now.