Wednesday 30 December 2020

15mm DBMM Camps

 The holiday period has been quite productive to date, and to round out 2020 I managed to complete some camps for use in DBMM ancient games. 

For anyone not acquainted with DBMM, camps add a morale bonus when included in army lists but must be kept out of harm's way as they can have the opposite effect when sacked by an opponent. 

This provided me with an opportunity to use left-over figures and to employ them alongside some Baueda terrain pieces, which I particularly enjoyed painting. First up are a couple of Roman legionary tents accompanied by two Xyston Roman civilian figures (well, three if you count the infant clutching his mother's left leg):

Next up a Praetorian tent. Looking at it now, the woman holding the baby could be asking "Have you seen Regulus? I have something I need to tell him" while the other woman with her hands on her hips could be saying "Yes, he's my husband, and I think you need to tell me":

The Praetorian tent is an example of why I am so fond of Baueda models as the detail is just right, making them fun to paint (although the Dullcote appears to be a little reflective in this photo):

Here are the remaining civilians from the Xyston Roman pack who have formed a circle and grabbed the nearest clubs and spears to protect the family pig and chickens:

I also had a spare Julius Caesar, Brutus and Cicero figure left over from the Julius Caesar Xyston personality pack, so decided to place them on a stand together. 

This put me in mind of a school trip to see an amateur performance of Julius Caesar when one of my schoolmates shouted out "Look out, he's behind you" at the pivotal moment. It was a little unfair to the actors and he got the cane when we got back to school for his troubles, but it was funny at the time:

Next up are a couple of Forged in Battle stands, with a shepherd and a fellow tending some cattle and a goat:

Finally, a Baueda field kitchen with figures as supplied:

And two versions of the Bauda 'Camp Cooking' set:

The thing I like about these last few elements is they can be used for ancients right through to medieval, when I finally get around to completing a few of those armies I have ahead of me in the pile.

Well, that's about it from me for 2020 as it's New Year's Eve here in Australia. Thanks to all who have viewed and commented throughout the year, and I wish everyone a happy, healthy and productive 2021.

Tuesday 29 December 2020

More 15mm Gauls

When I completed my Gallic army at the beginning of 2019 comprising just under 600 figures, I swore I'd never paint any more 15mm Gauls, so here they are:

Fifty-two figures in all, including 48 warband. I essentially did this because I had based all my previous Gauls on 20mm deep bases which was the mandated size for earlier revisions of DBMM, only to subsequently find this had been reduced to 15mm in DBMM 2.1 which is the later version our group plays. Rather than re-base the whole lot at this stage, I decided to do a small batch who can now form the first rank of future encounters:

I found the chariot down the back of my painting desk three or four weeks ago, just in time for it to join the queue. That means I now have a baker's dozen, although the chariot rider on this model is from the Xyston Gaesatae range whereas all my other chariot riders are clothed Gauls. If I was that chariot driver I'd probably be doing what he's doing, keeping my eyes fixed firmly ahead and not turning around suddenly in case I got a faceful of bare arse:

That's definitely it for the Gauls now, and just about it for ancients for the time being apart from a few DBMM camps which I should have completed within the next couple of days.

Sunday 27 December 2020

WWII Kriegsmarine Ships

Following the completion of the Republican Romans I am using the Christmas New Year break to clear a few other bits and pieces from the painting queue, first in line being eleven GHQ WWII German ships. Here are the German destroyers Z1, Z2 and Z3 (which did actually adopt names of WWI German sailors, which were too long to fit on the labels):

And the later Z25, Z28 and Z30 destroyers which, to the best of my knowledge, had no alternative epithets:

The light cruiser Konigsberg with the rather garish yellow gun turret upper surfaces, in use during the early stages of the war for air recognition when Germany had a measure of air superiority:

And her sister ship Koln:

With another light cruiser, the Emden:

Finally, a couple of battleships in the Scharnhorst:

And the mighty Bismarck:

WWII Naval gaming is not every one's cup of tea, but I plan to give these a go with a set of WWII naval rules we used back in the 80's. I purchased a later set but cannot remember what I did with them, but have managed to locate a copy of the original plus an aircraft supplement which must be 45 years old and very dog eared through much use:

I remember them being a huge amount of fun and catered for enough tactical options such as weather, smoke, spotter planes etc. without bogging the player down. There's always a danger in trying to revisit something so many years later and a risk that the original happy memories may be spoiled, but a recent read-through suggests that these have stood the test of time and are still very accessible. Now I just have to convince the Monday-night group to give them a go as a filler game in between the usual Napoleonic outings.

Monday 21 December 2020

15mm Republican Roman Army Completed

 This has been the main project for 2020, and really represents options for three DBMM Republican Roman armies from Camillan Romans, through Polybian Romans and the time of Scipio Africanus, to Marian Romans and Julius Caesar, Pompey et al:

This turned out to be more of a slog than I was expecting, although I knew there were a lot of them to get through and I wanted to complete them as I know it is unlikely I would summon up the motivation to return to them in the future:

All the figures are Xyston, and the shield transfers where used are from Little Big Men Studios. As one would expect with a Roman army, I needed a lot of shield transfers to complete the waves of legionaries:

There was thankfully some variety in the form of a bit of cavalry, the anti elephant wagons and the velites which I especially enjoyed painting.

I estimated this army to be around eight hundred figures, but the final tally was a little more as follows:

Foot and mounted figures        = 845
Horses, ox and flaming pigs    = 83
Wagons                                    = 7
Artillery pieces                        = 2

That gives a total of 928 figures, and I'll be very happy if I never paint another 15mm Republican Roman (although I do have the same army in 28mm in the pile which I suppose I must complete one day):

So that's the Romans done, and the second army completed in 2020. I'm now just putting the finishing touches on some WWII German ships, a batch of Gauls (which I also said I'd never paint again in 15mm), and have some 15mm terrain/camp pieces and three regiments of 28mm French cuirassiers to complete before moving on to a new project. There's quite a few to choose from in the lead pile and I am leaning toward some 28mm Renaissance at this stage, but I'll see where the mood takes me once I have completed the other bits and pieces.

Thursday 17 December 2020

15mm Italian Allied Cavalry

 I finally got there! The last of the 15mm Republican Romans in the form of eight elements of Italian allied cavalry:

These will help bolster the cavalry numbers in future battles when required, although they are rated as "Inferior" and will therefore be much more brittle than the "Ordinary" Roman cavalry:

Nice enough figures, although I did find that a few of them sat awkwardly on their mounts. After what must be close to 800 figures in this project though, I was just happy to have completed them:

I have a few bits and pieces to clear from the painting queue, and then I'll put my mind to which army to next drag off the lead pile, hopefully before the end of 2020. At least that way I can feel as though I got stuck into three projects this year, rather than having spent the bulk of the year just painting Romans!

Monday 14 December 2020

A Handful of Numidians and a 15mm Tibetan Camp

The recently-completed Roman command packs also included a figure of the Numidian King Massinisa and, as luck would have it, I found a spare pack of Numidian horse that had become lost in the Roman pile. This was perfect in terms of providing a couple of extra figures for another Numidian command element, with the others making up an additional element of light horse:

King Massinisa was the founder of the Numidian Kingdom and was initially allied with Carthage, marrying a Carthaginian noblewoman, although he later became a trusted ally of Rome (which is obviously why he was in one of the Xytson Roman personality packs).

While on the theme of utilising surplus figures, I also completed a couple of Tibetan camps using some left-over Tibetan figures, Forged in Battle livestock and a couple of Tibetan command tents I purchased from Baueda:

According to the Baeuda website, white tents were a sign of status and they were generally reinforced along the seams with strips of black cloth. I'll take their word for this as I am no expert in Medieval Tibetan military tent design, although I'm sure there is a PhD, or at the very least an Osprey, in there somewhere:

I have a fair bit more Baueda stuff to complete and really must do more of it as it is a very enjoyable diversion.

Now back to the Romans and the last unit in the form of some Itallian allied cavalry, which I should have posted by the end of the week.

Wednesday 9 December 2020

15mm Republican Roman Command Stands and Artillery

The penultimate element to this army is the completion of a number of command stands and two artillery pieces. Firstly, a mounted Scipio Africanus figure:

And Gaius Laelius who was a great friend of Scipio and accompanied him on most his campaigns, commanding the Roman cavalry at Zama:

A rather youthful-looking Julius Caesar:

And assembled as a group, with one additional cavalry officer on a white horse in the event I need an additional general at some point:

I also completed two additional infantry stands, one depicting Crassus who was part of the triumvirate alongside Julius Caesar and Pompey. He is shown here wringing his hands, probably representing him at Carrhae which resulted in a massive defeat at the hands of the Parthians and the subsequent death of Crassus while he was attempting to negotiate a truce. A miserable end, especially as his son had been killed in battle, and with his head stuck on a spear the previous day.

The last stand depicts Vorenus and Pullo, two competitive Roman centurions who accompanied Caesar into Gaul. When they were attacked by the Nervii Pullo tried to take them on single-handed but was quickly surrounded, whereupon Vorenus came to the rescue. According to Caesar they fought their way back into the Roman fortified camp to the cheers of the Roman onlookers, killing many Nervii along the way:

Finally, just to round out the latest additions, two artillery pieces:

That now only leaves eight elements of Italian Allied cavalry to be finished in this project, which I should complete within the next week.