Friday 30 December 2022

15mm Medieval German Knights and Spearmen

After having completed the Teutonic army, the next project in line is a 15mm German army. There is some crossover here in that the German knights can act as allies for Teutonic forces and vice versa, so it made sense to me to complete these next. First up, 20 elements of German knights:

The figures are again from Khurasan, with some shield designs, lance pennons and barding transfers from Little Big Men studios:

I find it difficult to come up with fresh livery ideas especially where sixty figures are involved, but the LBMS decals certainly helped and thankfully I have managed to make each figure look somewhat individual. I much prefer painting unformed troops however:

I also managed to compete sixteen elements of German spearmen. Given that these were raised as militia and fielded as a single force by particular cities I allowed myself the luxury of giving them all the same simple shield design:

These two completed units should now go a long way toward the completion of the German army:

I am still quite annoyed that I lost four what would have been completely uninterrupted days, which I had carefully engineered and which would have allowed me to make even more progress than this. It is nice however to return to the brushes and actually want to paint again, as I now hopefully overcome the last of COVID.

The final figure count for 2022 is 1099 foot and mounted figures with 243 horses, to give a total of 1342 figures in all. Probably not a bad result particularly as the year started with the completion of  a hundred and fifty or so 28mm French Napoleonic cavalry which were quite fiddly. I have still got just over a week of holidays left as well, in which I am hoping I'll be able to make up more ground.

All the best to everyone for a happy, safe and productive 2023.

Tuesday 27 December 2022

Christmas Roundup

This post may be a little self-indulgent, so to those averse to self-indulgency read no further.

I always look forward to a couple of weeks off at year's end as a time to unwind, relax and shed the latent stress that seems to build up over the course of a working year. Christmas Day is a highlight with children, and now grandchildren, dropping in, accompanied by the usual panic from the wife as to whether we have enough food only to find, as usual, we could have easily fed three times as many. 

Christmas was a lovely day and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. However, as the day wore on I began to feel increasingly "off". The catered food which I had criss-crossed Brisbane to collect the day before and which had looked so good when I picked it up now began to look unattractive. At around 2pm Tracey looked at me and suggested I have a lie down, which I thought was particularly generous as it left her being the single hostess for around the fifteen remaining people. Around 4pm I did the test and, of course, on Christmas Day of all days, my first dose of COVID was officially confirmed. Thank you, Universe.

Now, as much as I like Christmas and my wife's supreme efforts to make it as enjoyable for everyone concerned, I always look forward to some downtime on boxing day in the form of an extended painting session while listening to the Australian cricket team take on the current year's touring side. This year I woke up to a mass evacuation as Tracey and the kids decided to hightail it out of here to holiday in Noosa, citing health reasons as they exited. To be fair, we had all planned to go, but of course the most sensible course of action was for them to avoid the current infection. That said, I'm not sure I would want to be caught on a desert island with that lot if there was no obvious food source.

Speaking of food, my wife pointed out how well provisioned I would be. Which is quite correct although as most reading this would know COVID has a way of destroying the appetite. I have just cleared out the fridge and tipped the equivalent of a Perry 28mm Napoleonic Danish eight battalion and three cavalry regiment army in the bin. I suspect the profiteroles and left-over croissants which I will round up tomorrow will be enough to cover the artillery.

Not that the last few weeks have been bad. Quite the opposite. I finally managed to complete the law degree I have been chipping away at over the past seven years and achieved a decent Honours result (an upper second to those familiar with the English system). I have attended two previous ceremonies in the form of a BComm at the University of Auckland and an MBA at the University of Queensland, but I ended up asking QUT to just post my degree out, not wanting to be the old bugger that stumbled up on stage to grab his piece of paper among a crowd of twenty-somethings. 

Aside from the above, I have managed to complete 20 elements of German Knights and sixteen elements of German spearmen. I'm hoping to photograph these before the year is out. Until then, take care all.

Friday 2 December 2022

15mm Teutonic Army Completed

Due to its small size the medieval Teutonic army is one of the quickest projects I have managed to complete, taking just under six weeks. There is something quite satisfying about embarking upon small projects like this when the end is already in sight. Even though it has been well documented over my previous four posts I thought I'd assemble the completed force for the sake of posterity:

A preponderance of white with the occasional splash of colour, but it looks quite effective to my eye:

As with most medieval armies, not much in the way of auxiliary troops with the main strike force being the knights. It will be interesting to see how they fare in their first outing which I am hoping should be January when our gaming resumes. Given the small size of the army to most opponents the tactic will be to strike fast and try to break through quickly before they become overwhelmed.

The total figure count for the project is 186 foot and mounted figures and 72 horses, for a total of 258 figures:

I am keen to get back to some 28mm Napoleonics but will run with the medieval theme for a bit longer and have a German army undercoated and on the painting table at the moment. There is an option to field German allies in the Teutonic list and, as they are cheaper troops, this will make sense for certain scenarios. I'm hoping I'll be able to complete this next army over the next six weeks but will see how that plays out given the usual run of Christmas functions which always seem to emerge this time of year.

Thursday 24 November 2022

15mm Livonian Foot and Prussian Levy Infantry

As with many medieval armies a paucity of infantry can make them vulnerable against opponents who are better served in that department, so it is usually a good idea to take up all available options. In the case of the Teutonic list there is provision for eight elements of Livonian Foot, and up to ten elements of Prussian levy infantry:

The Livonian foot are divided into four elements each of auxiliary infantry and lighter psiloi-type troops:

The Prussian levy infantry are potentially less useful being rated as 'horde', which means they will act as speed bumps or spend most of their time guarding baggage. I found I only had enough figures for nine elements but, in the unlikely event I choose to field all ten elements I'll no doubt borrow one from the recently completed Spanish army:

That is the Teutonic army essentially finished. Only a small army but I was quite pleased that I managed to plow through it in just over a month.

There is an option for some German allied knights which will be useful but which I will complete as part of a medieval German army next in the queue. I am planning to get stuck into it over the next few weeks before my motivation for 15mm medieval armies wanes, and in the meantime I'll assemble the Teutonic army for a group photo before they get stored away.

Wednesday 16 November 2022

15mm Teutonic Turkopolen and Knechte Cavalry

 One of the problems with many medieval armies is the lack of cavalry. Plenty of knights, but generally not much of the lighter mounted troops. The Teutonic army list has an option for up to nine elements of Turkopolen light cavalry and four of knechte or "servant' cavalry, all of which I have completed to give myself a few more options:

The knechte are crossbow-armed, with a couple armed with lances for variety. I'm not sure how effective just four elements will be especially as they are rated inferior, but am hopeful they will be useful in guarding flanks and plugging the odd gap if required:

The Turkopolen are light horse and based with two per element, and will no doubt perform a similar function as the knechte albeit with a slightly reduced combat factor:

There is now just some Livonian foot and Prussian levy infantry to go and this small army will be completed:

With any luck I should have them completed over the weekend, and then might assemble them for a quick parade.

Wednesday 9 November 2022

15mm Teutonic Crossbow and Spearmen

These dienende bruder or 'serving brother' crossbow and spear form the main infantry component for the Teutonic army, with eight elements of the former and just four of the latter:

The Teutonic army is the medieval equivalent of Napoleonic Austrians, with lots of white:

The figures are all from Khurasan, with separate four poses in each pack of crossbow and spear:

This puts me just over halfway through this project, with some cavalry and Prussian and Lithuanian infantry still to go:

All being well I finally completed my law degree last night with the last exam on evidence, which should now theoretically free up even more time for painting in the evenings. This seems like a good idea in theory but I find I am often too tired to head downstairs at the end of the day, and much prefer getting in three or four hours on the brushes in the morning before work and when I am feeling fresh. This was why part-time study appealed as something I could do in the evenings as an alternative to watching television, but the novelty had started to wear off after seven years and I am now quite relieved to have completed it. At least I have a couple of hundred unread history books I can start to get stuck into, which will make a welcome change from reading criminal and contract law. 

Wednesday 2 November 2022

15mm Medieval Teutonic Knights

It is always enjoyable starting a new project and I have been looking forward to commencing a 15mm Teutonic army, starting with fourteen elements of knights:

These are an expensive option in DBMM as they are rated superior and worth 15 points an element, and there is also an option to double-base them with German knights which takes them to a whopping 23 points an element. By comparison, most ordinary knights come in at 10 points an element and cavalry at 6 or 7 points, so it is quite easy to chew through the 400 point allocation in the games we normally play, at least apart from the time I had a brain fade and accidentally fielded a 500 point Frankish army which consequently went through the other side like a knife through butter, and which I still get frequently reminded about:

I decided therefore to base them as single 15 point elements, but will be making some sabot bases to add the German cavalry if I ever feel like straying into 23 point per element territory:

The figures are from Khurasan and are true 15mm, which puts them on the smaller side of figures. The banners are from Little Big Men Studios and, while medieval banners are large anyway, I found I was limited in what I could use from the banner sheet, as lance pennons at least:

There are also four command elements among the fourteen, with generals worth 35 points each or 43 points if double-based:

The upshot of this is that the Teutonic army will be a small and hopefully quick project:

Next up will be some twelve elements Dienende Bruder crossbow and spearmen, which will form the backbone of the foot for this army.