Saturday, 21 November 2020

15mm Republican Roman Cavalry

 The Republican Romans did not have much cavalry, and six elements' worth are enough to cover most variants of the army lists over this period:

While keeping the shields the same to give them that regular appearance, I gave them a variety of cloak colours to mix things up a little:

As with the rest of the army, the figures are all Xyston and are a mix of sword-armed and javelin-armed poses:

I have another four or five command stands to complete along with half a dozen Italian allied cavalry, which will give me all the required variations:

Next in line however are some anti-elephant wagons, for something a little different. I'm hoping to have the Romans completely finished over the next few weeks, and am already looking forward to getting stuck into a fresh project as the Romans have become a bit of slog. I have around forty or so armies in the pile, and am leaning toward a 28mm Renaissance Cossack army to oppose the Turks I completed the year before last, or a 15mm Teutonic medieval army which I am confident will get some table time next year. Either way, it will be nice to start something new.

Friday, 13 November 2020

15mm Republican Roman Italian Allies

Thankfully nearing the end of this project, it was time to get stuck into sixteen elements of Italian allies:

These guys are Oscan javelinmen, which probably acted more as skirmishers but are based here as auxiliaries. Either way, they are Italian allies and look the part, with their distinctive helmet regalia:

There weren't any Little Big Men Studio decals to fit these shields, so I applied a fairly simple red colour with some basic weathering for the shield designs. Given that these were regular troops, I think it ties them in together well enough:

The paint was barely dry on them when they took the field for their first game, as part of a Camillan army against a Phyrric army in a game which ground on for five hours before we had to call a halt (in pretty much the same manner as Phyrrus's historical conflicts). The Camillan's had the slight upper hand with the Italian allies performing very well, always gratifying when fielding a new army for the first time.

Next up, some Roman cavalry, and then hopefully a few anti-elephant wagons.

Thursday, 5 November 2020

15mm Republican Roman Incendiary Pigs

'Incendiary pigs' is not something I have cause to type often, and I would guess that they will only be making very occasional appearances on the gaming table. That said, I thought I'd add four elements to the Republican Roman project, if only to round out the Camillan army list:

While dousing pigs in combustible pitch, setting them alight and then driving them toward the enemy is no doubt an inhumane thing to do, I wouldn't have thought that it was particularly effective either. At least not as effective as driving stampeding cattle or flaming ox carts toward the formed ranks of the enemy. 

In DBMM they are treated as one-shot artillery, albeit they are the last to be deployed and so can be lined up against a target of choice. However, at seven points an element plus an additional ten points to use an 'unusual troops strategem', they do seem rather expensive when normal artillery, which can be fired multiple times, is only eight points. 

At least they are something a little different, and the Xyston figures are as usual very nice. I must have used eight different shades on the flames, from yellow through to smoky grey, as I was concerned (as I have mentioned elsewhere) they might otherwise just end up looking like pigs running around with German flags on their backs:

University has now ended for the year which means study is over until March 2021. Hopefully that means I'll be able to increase my painting output, although 2020 seems to have been quite productive on that front anyway.

Next up, Italian allies in the form of some Oscan auxiliary infantry.

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

15mm Republican Roman Penal Legion

The penal legion was hastily raised from convicts and slaves after Cannae, and equipped with Gallic equipment most likely captured at Telemon nine years earlier. I have read various accounts where they were used as fodder, but given the choice between the promise of freedom and having to spend the rest of your life as a slave or in debtor's jail, it probably seemed like a good way out for the six thousand or so who volunteered:

I was wondering if there were any Gauls among Hannibal's allies who may have lost a shield or helmet at Telamon, and recognised it being carried by one of the penal legion. Very unlikely I suppose, but I would not have liked to have been an untrained slave up against an angry Gallic warrior if it did happen:

The figures are as usual Xyston, with the shield transfers from Little Big Men Studios:

That's sixteen elements in all completed. Given that they are rated inferior I'm not sure how often they will be used, but they are nice to have to give the army a little variety:

Next up, some incendiary pigs which, although cruel and inhumane in practice, makes an appearance in the early Camillan Republican Roman list.

Thursday, 22 October 2020

WWII Royal Navy Ships

To give myself a break from the ongoing Republican Roman project I thought I'd give a few GHQ 1/2400 WWII ships a go, starting with a dozen Royal Navy vessels. I was inspired by a video tutorial posted by Ken at Yarkshire Gamer ( where he demonstrated a technique which involved first attaching the ship to a base, and then building up the base around the model before starting to paint the ship itself.

This approach resonated with me, as I like to paint faces on miniatures first, tighten up the area around the face, and then watch it "come alive" as the rest of it is completed. Anyway, first off where some Tribal class destroyers, which are among my favourite WWII ships purely due to their names. Here are HMS Maori, Cossack and Ashanti:

Along with Zulu, Tartar and Eskimo:

This was my first attempt at painting any GHQ models and, even though these were small models and single-piece castings, I was very impressed with the details. I managed to find photos of all the ships online, so the camouflage schemes were as close as I could discern them to be. This was helped by my purchase of some AK Interactive WWII naval paint sets with ready-made colour palettes, which again were enjoyable to use.

Next up are a couple of heavy cruisers in HMS Suffolk and Cumberland. These involved gluing on the guns, superstructure, cranes and spotter plane which was fiddly, but made much easier as the pieces all fit perfectly and did not require any filing or drilling:

Next up I thought I'd turn my hand to a few battleships, with HMS Warspite (another long-time favourite of mine due to the unique angular superstructure:

Then HMS Hood. I can remember my grandmother telling me that she went on board for an officer's dance a few days before it put out to sea to hunt the Bismarck, of course never to return having suffered a catastrophic explosion the result of which only three of the ship's complement of over one thousand four hundred survived. I wish now I had asked a few more questions, such as who she went with and where on the ship the dance was:

The last two are HMS Rodney, which I have always enjoyed due to the unique design which has always reminded me of a boot. This involved sticking on half a dozen 6" gun turrets with a pair of tweezers while trying to remind myself that this is supposed to be relaxation:

To finish off this first batch I then completed the Prince of Wales, with more 1/2400th secondary turrets to tweezer into place:

I was happy with the results for a first attempt and managed to get completion time down to between three to four hours per ship. I have since prepared a batch of eleven German warships which I am looking forward to getting stuck into, once I have finished the last of the Republican Romans.

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

More Crescent Root 15mm Terrain

 I have made a couple of Crescent Root purchases over the last three or four years and, being a huge fan of what I have received in the past, decided to treat myself to some of their 15mm industrial buildings. As with the previous two purchases, I was extremely pleased with what arrived a couple of weeks ago. Here they are, split across two arrangements:

The buildings are all mdf again, apart from the chimneys, and I really like the way they have been put together with texturing that I haven't often seen on other mdf terrain:

I purchased the set of ramps to provide a bit more variety. These are separate so the buildings can be positioned on top or alongside:

The walls are also very nice:

And the roofs lift off most of the buildings to reveal internal floors:

I also purchased one more house from Crescent Root's 15mm Series 3 range which I had missed in the last purchase:

Not particularly cheap when compared with other mdf terrain, but the quality is definitely there and they arrive ready to put on the table. I just need to complete a few WWII 15mm armies to go with them now, although many of the pieces wouldn't look too out of place in a Napoleonic game, especially the Series 3 pieces.

Speaking of WWII, I'm just finishing off the last of the first dozen Royal Navy WWII ships and hope to have them ready for a few photos by the end of the week; a welcome break from Republican Romans.

Saturday, 3 October 2020

15mm Cretan Archers

 A quick post on the latest unit completed toward the Republican Roman army, this time a sixteen-figure unit of Cretan archers, and a quick apology for not having replied to people's kind comments as I hadn't realised that they were all being diverted to await moderation:

I liked these figures a lot, mainly because they are quite dynamic but also because they are single-piece castings so there was no messing around gluing on spears or shields:

Also, being only sixteen figures I was able to complete them within a couple of days, so it was fairly instant gratification:

I'm putting the finishing touches on some WWII British ships which I should complete within the next couple of days and hope to post shortly, and which has also been a welcome break from the Romans.