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Friday, 6 December 2019

Silmarillion Command Base - Elven Lord and Banner

...And we return to Beleriand, where recruitment continues...
May I present to you the Elf commander with his banner bearer? I realise that elements of this banner may point to Gil Galad (the stars) but this chap is intended to be an unnamed Elven lord who can see service in any of the wars of Beleriand or even the War of Sauron & The Elves or the Last Alliance (as I see fit.) 
Before anyone says anything, I am very aware that the sword and sword-hand are too big. I chopped off the ridiculous glaive and then went hunting for a plastic replacement as per my Elf swordsmen. However, none of my Numenorian or Gondor swords fit the bill so it had to be an Oathmark one and this one had the best angle for the arm position. It's less of an issue when viewed from a gaming angle at table-top distance than it is in the close-up photos. 
I'm pleased with the freehand on the Lord's shoulder-piece and the banner benefited from the extra yellow tails I added this week.

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Meanwhile back in Beleriand... Elf Spearmen

So I finished my first unit of Elf spearmen. They weren’t easy to work with. As per my recently finished swordsmen, I wanted to convert the original models. There were two reasons for this; the first one is that the GW/movie Elf spearmen carry a weapon more akin to a Japanese naginata than a typical spear. These look more like a ‘cut and thrust’ weapon that would be used two-handed rather than used with the shield that these Elves carry. Also, as I’d replaced the glaives with broadswords on my swordsmen, I wanted a look that tied in with them. 

The second reason is that these models are Finecast – a more badly named material I can’t possibly imagine! The spears that came with the set (I got them from EBAY) were all either bent or broken and it certainly wasn’t due to the seller packing them poorly. Apparently if they are bent, one can straighten them under hot water! Now given that these models cost £4 each if bought new, that’s a bit crap! Pay £4 for a model - oh and by the way you have to straighten its spear! Also, they are prone to miscast. One of mine has a miscast helmet. Not acceptable really… Maybe these were early ones, as when GW first produced Finecast, there were numerous issues with it. Anyway, luckily, the material is easy to cut so replacing the spears was relatively easy. There were also numerous bits of flash everywhere. I did manage to clean them up pretty well, but not perfectly.

Anyway, despite the issues with the material, they painted up well in the end. I’m really pleased with the way the colour scheme works on these. I like the Foundry Union Blue Light which I used for the background to the shield. It goes well with the overall scheme but being darker than the other blues just provides a nice contrast. I have one more unit of these to paint, half of which are the old metal ones which, while having fewer casting issues, were a lot harder to convert. However, next up will be the first of three units of archers. 

Friday, 22 November 2019

First Elf Unit Finished.

I've managed to complete my first unit of Elves for my new Silmarillion project which will fit around Dragon Rampant and a home-grown rule set written by gaming buddy James Morris. I'm pleased with these. They have that '...shone like a river of steel in the sun' look (after the quote about the army of Gondolin arriving at the Nirnaeth Arnoediad battle in the Silmarillion.)

Spearmen and archers on the way...

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Finished Elf Swordsman

In order to spur me on with the colossal task I've set myself with this Silmarillion Elf army, I have painted one figure to completion. This has given me a boost, as it looks pretty good actually. The pics aren't great as they are done on my phone late at night but they'll suffice until I get the full unit done.
I do like the colour scheme I've chosen.
Note also the replacement sword, repositioned left arm and the addition of an Unreleased Miniatures shield. I like these shields - similar to GW ones but just subtly different enough. The spearmen units will have the traditional GW shields.

Monday, 11 November 2019

WIP Elves pic

Two posts in one day! Well actually, I'm mainly posting this in response to a query I had from a forum online about this project. As I don't use photo hosting I can point them here...

WIP Elves to show basic colour scheme (base coats only on these)

I'm back... Working on stuff... Properly working on stuff!! SHOCK, HORROR! :-)

Hello one and all...if anyone's still out there, that is!

Life's been shitty and I've not coped as well as I'd have liked. It still ain't great, but I'm coping better now. Gaming-wise, it's been a few years of virtually nothing...the odd stuttering attempt at starting something, that always ends up extinguished. The last two years I've hardly even gamed anything let alone painted anything.

But I'm back on it now! 24 models base coated, dipped and set up for highlighting in the past 2 weeks; 24 being base coated as we speak. To relieve the monotony of the base coating process, I painted a banner for the army. No more clues yet as to this project, other than this banner (and the post's labels)...

Yes... I'm being a tease!

Watch this space for more stuff coming shortly. I might highlight a unit up over this next couple of weeks...

It's good to be back!

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Still Alive! Working on some Sci-Fi and Ancient stuff...

Greetings all,

Quick update to say that I am still alive! I'm even doing a little hobby stuff!

A few weeks ago I received an email from Dan (TMWWBK, The 'Rampants', etc) Mersey asking if I'd like to help playtest a new thing he's working on, which is essentially a Sci-Fi skirmish thing along the lines of 'The Rampants'. Well, having play tested TMWWBK and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, I decided straight away to say 'yes'. Trouble is, I had no models as I'd sold off all my 40K stuff yonks ago when I realised that those rules are simply not my cup of Darjeeling at all. So I went online and had a quick look around. 40K stuff was an obvious option, but it's very expensive and I couldn't be bothered with buying and stripping splodged plastics from EBAY, so I dug around and found Mantic's Warpath ranges. I fancied a kinda Imperial Guard sort of thing and their GCPS range fit the bill, so I bought their starter set. £60 for 25 plastic marine/ranger infantry, a walker, an armoured car and 4 metal support weapon teams, plus a leader in metal. About half the price of the GW equivalent. You can find it HERE:

Anyway, I've glued some of it together and started painting. The models are great on first look, although the walker was a bugger to put together, but the detailing on the infantry is a tad too shallow, so when I blasted them with Army painter Desert Yellow undercoat spray, some of the detail became a bit obscured. Anyway, I've opted for a 'speed paint' approach - you know, base colours, dip and matt varnish and I'm hoping the dip covers up some of the sins in the painting. for the first time ever, I'm really going for a 'good enough if you look at them from 20 feet away and actually close your eyes' approach! Pictures over the next few days once I've got a unit done...

In other news, I'm back onto my Ancient Italy variant of Lion/Dragon Rampant. I've been doing some writing and have even started highlighting up the hastati I base coated and dipped in September last year.
There's also a new set of rules coming later this year called 'Clash of Spears' which I'm looking forward to (I may end pop not needing my adapted Dragon rampant if they are as good as I suspect they'll be)  - it's a small unit action set intended for ancients in raid-style scenarios. Initial looks at the rule book and some basic mechanisms look very encouraging. You can read about it HERE: You can also look a video about it HERE:

I've also been reading 'Early Roman Warfare - The Regal Period to the First Punic war' by Jeremy Armstrong, which basically turns the traditional narrative of the development of the Roman Army's manipular system on its head by very convincingly claiming that Rome never used a phalanx and that the manipular system came from a  need to bring together the various clan-based war bands and city levy unit maniples into a coherent functional system during the 4th century rather than breaking an already organised phalanx up into smaller maniples. Give it a read - it's very, very good and very convincing! Find it HERE: Accordingly, I'm making a mid 4th Century BC Roman force in the first instance, with enough troops to also morph it into an early 3rd century force. This means only bronze-armoured troops for the earlier force and even some guys still using round hoplite shields, with the later force having all scutums and a handful of triarii with mail. More on all that once I get some more paint on some figures, which I'm hoping will happen once I move house, hopefully in about 3 weeks!

Well, all this is still small steps, but I am back...I think!! Catch you in a week or so, with first Sci-Fi pics (hopefully)