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Friday, 28 December 2007

More Perry Caballeros Hidalgos...

Some more Perry conversions...

Here is one of my character models. Note the shield design, shamelessly nicked from an Osprey book about Normans! Also, note the sculpted lower tunic beneath the mail hauberk and the rather cool tunic border..BTW I've found a great way to do gold tunic borders: Basecoat with GW Bestial Brown and then use Foundry Ochre 'Shade' to outline the pattern, highlighting with the 'light' Ochre. Works a treat!

Now some unit shots of Caballeros Hidalgos. There will eventually be 12 of them plus the general and ASB in this unit... I really like the way the madder red and ochre pulls the whole unit together... Click on the unit pics for close-ups doesn't always work on here, but these ones seem ok.
More to come shortly...

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Merry Christmas

To all of my blog-reading buddies, whether avid readers or casual pop-in types, may I wish you all the best for Christmas and for 2008! Wherever you are, have a good one!

After the Christmas break, expect to see a shedload more El Cid. I have almost all the figures I need now (just waiting for the fabulous Perry boys to replace the ones that their Christmas Gremlin c*cked up in my last order..despite said c*ck up, the Perry chaps were brilliant, and have sorted it out big stylee, BTW...) so I can paint with a furious frenzy! Along with those you'll see the next unit of Saxons being painted for Tony, so it'll be a busy old time...

See ya....

Friday, 21 December 2007

El Cid Spanish Caballeros Hidalgos

Here are the first few models in my El Cid army. I've actually painted a few more than this, but the photos came out a bit shite, so until I can re-shoot those, these will have to suffice for you:

All Perry miniatures (the whole army will be) many of which have been subtly converted to give them flowing Andalusian robes under their mail and tassells on the shields. The round shields are from the 'bitz box'. (One can never underestimate the value of a 'bitz box' and I often pick up spare shield packs, etc for conversion purposes....)
More to come shortly...I hope to have the entire unit complete by New Year...

Friday, 7 December 2007

The Great Plastic Figure Debate...

Just my 10p worth since the announcement that the Perry twins are gonna do 28mm plastic historicals....

Bloody great idea! It's always good to promote low cost, high quality and the Perry models will fit that perfectly! I guess it depends on what they actually produce range-wise, but in general, it can only be a good thing in that it may facilitate a few more folk into buying armies that they previously couldn't afford....

I actually don't think that many will suffer for it...there will always be metal ranges that folk want but that the Perry boys won't do in plastic. However, what it may do is hurt the metal manufacturers who produce lower cost but not such good quality metals for the ACW and any other ranges the Perries make... It may also make a few manufacturers think about the price they charge for their metal figs (Foundry, are you listening?) although I appreciate that the cost of metal does keep rising...and I don't mind paying decent money for quality stuff, to be honest.

Anyway, time will tell. I'm just dreading the day that the Perry Crusaders and Sudan models come out in plastic...cos the unpainted figure mountain may rise dramatically chez moi... :-) :-)

Saturday, 1 December 2007

British Kingdoms Teulu on foot

Here are my British Kingdoms Teulu on foot. They are a mixture of West Wind and Gripping Beast figures. Many of the West Wind figs have been subtly converted.

This is the last unit to be painted for my British kingdoms army. I still have about 20 Welsh foot to paint to make the army look less 'Roman'. I also have the West Wind mounted models to paint and these models will replace the more 'Roman' looking ones when I field the army in future. The more 'Roman' looking models will be drafted into the Romano-British units that I have begun to paint. Eventually, I'll be able to field 2 x 1500pt armies, one of British kingdoms and one of Romano-British, which will be cool. Not to mention the Saxon and Frankish allied units...

Below are pics of the whole Teulu plus close-ups of the Gripping Beast Wolftail Warriors, Arthurian heroes, etc that I've used in the unit. Other pics (West Wind figs) can be seen on the SAD WAB forum...

Next up, will be some heavily converted Perry Crusaders which are going to form my El Cid Christian Spanish army...I bought the models for half an army when the range first came out, painted a few then did nowt else. So, I've been tarting up the ones I painted back then and have been converting like crazy... Pics to come of the first few as soon as I can...

Saturday, 10 November 2007

At LAST!!!! SAXONS!!!!!!

Yup, here you are, Tony! Your Saxon Gedriht in all their glory! I hope that you like them. Bill...great sculpts, mate!! Such a joy to paint! If you want to use any of the pics yourself on your website, just go for it....

For those who've not come here from the WAB forum, the bucklers are by Little Big man designs and the banner is handpainted. The blond hair is done in two ways.

1. GW bestial brown, snake-bite leather and bubonic brown
2. GW Snakebite leather, Bubonic brown, bleached bone

Anyway, enjoy the pics!!

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Why I Wasn't At WHW This Weekend...A Rock n Roll Story!

Yeah, this post isn't anything to do with wargames... Well, except that it's about why I didn't get to the Age of Arthur campaign at WHW this weekend.

Here's some pics of me playing with Thin Lizzy tribute band 'Cold Sweat' at the Peterborough 'Dedication 5' show on Saturday. The show (which takes place every year) raises money for the Rosin Dubh (Black Rose) trust that helps kids in Dublin to get off the streets and involved with music, etc. As with all previous shows, the guest of honour was Philomena Lynott, mother of Phil Lynott, Thin Lizzy frontman. At over 70, she always enjoys the shows, dancing away, leading the singing of 'Whiskey In The jar' (which the headline bands usually encore with) and generally imbibing what she refers to as 'the Holy water!' Great lady!!!

Anyway, there were 4 bands this year. As always, half the acts play 100% Thin Lizzy material and the rest play other stuff, with the odd Lizzy track thrown in. We did 100% Lizzy and I'm the bloke with the white Fender Stratocaster and dodgy bandana!!!

There's talk of us reforming (again!!) next year to headline the event, so Mr Robb Broom, let's see if we can manage to not clash events next time, eh?!!

Saturday, 27 October 2007

The Last Legion

Just for you Matt....

This film is worth seeing. It isn't a classic by any means, in fact it's a bit of a B-Movie in its overall look, but that ain't necessarily a bad thing! If you've read the book, there are a few similarities...the names of most of the characters and the basic plot, although there the similarities end!

The film itself is set in the late 5th Century when the last emperor of the West, Romulus Augustulus comes to power at the age of 13. At this point, the Goths under Odoacer rebel and take over, imprisoning the boy emperor and his British tutor Ambrosine in an impregnable fortress on the island of Capri. Fortunately, despite getting a right twatting by the Goths during the sack of Rome,, a handful of the Imperial Guard led by Aurelius and accompanied by a mysteious agent of the Eastern Empire, lead an escape plan, the idea being to take the boy to Constantinople. The last bit of the plan fails due to the fickle nature of the Easterners and they end up searching out the last remaining loyal legion: the 9th, based on Hadrian's Wall in Britannia.

This is playing right into Destiny's hands, as Romulus has discovered the Caliban sword of Julius Caesar, an invincible weapon forged in Britain centuries before and wanted by everybody including the vicious Goth lord Wulfila and some dude in Britannia called Wortigern...getting the pictutre so far?

Anyway, they head to Britain and there's a massive battle to end the film, although the final scenes that come after the battle really set the context of the legend...I'll say no more than that!!

The characterisation is weak...the Romans are either all noble, heroic and tragic, or treacherous...(with mostly English accents!!), the barbarians are all savage and cruel ( with Scottish accents, curiously!!) and the heroine is cute beyond belief and can swing a sword and that's all we can say about her!!! She certainly can't act!!!

The costumes are typical Hollywood...despite it being 476AD, the Romans all carry rectangular scutums with the Early Imperial insignia on them (sigh) although they do at least carry Draco standards. The barbarians are stereotypical...loads of fur, long hair and huge axes!!! The battle and fight scenes are reminiscent of Cona the barbarian (not necessarily a bad thing!) and were obviously done on the cheap...not masses of CGI, for example, but, again, I quite like that!!!

Despite the obvious flaws, I really enjoyed it! Don't take it too seriously and you'll do the same. However, expect an historically accurate story of the fall of Rome and you'll be VERY disappointed!!!!

Thursday, 25 October 2007

I'm Back!

Yup, I'm back and damned glad to be so too! No disrespect to any Irish folk reading this, but Dublin wasn't that great really....Some cool pubs, but as I'm not much of a drinker and can't stand Guiness, I was onto a loser really! On the plus side, the Medieval/Viking exhibition 'Dublinia' is really rather fab and rescued the holiday. Oh and the people themselves....really friendly and very helpful to two English folk who hadn't got a clue!!!

The wedding was good too, incidentally. Great ceremony, great people and great food....The bride had kindly 'arranged' with the band for the evning do that I would get up and do a number with them. Always tricky, never know if they are gonna be a decent band or a bunch of melons and THEY don't know if the person getting up can really play or not... Anyway, I did Bryan Adams' 'Summer of 69' with them-probably one of the easiest songs to play and a sure-fire crowd pleaser and it went well....lived up to my 'guitarhero' persona anyway and surprised those folk who knew that I 'play a bit of guitar' but who didn't realise that I actually really can play guitar fairly well!!!!

So, one more day off before going back to work and today I am going to the flicks to see the Last Legion and then will come the frenzied attempts to finish painting Tony's Saxons and my Teulu. All being well, about two weeks should see both complete...the Saxons sooner I hope (and so does Tony, I'll bet...a patient man, our Tony!!!!)

Also coming up shortly, battle 3 in the Raiding Season against the Picts and the commencement of the club Mordheim campaign...which reminds me...I really must work out a gang and paint Nov 6th!!! ARRRGH!!! Oh well, basecoats only I reckon...that'll at least stop me getting penalised for having unpainted models....I can top 'em up later!!! starts in an hour so I'm off...

See ya...

Monday, 15 October 2007

An Even BIGGER Question...

Will 'The Last Legion' film that comes out on Friday be utterly shite? Initial reviews seem to think so... Bloody shame, as the novel is a cracking read if one is an Arthurian/late Roman Empire nut like wot I is....

Nonetheless, utterly shite or otherwise, I feel that it is my duty to view it, as there are so few 'non-kniggets in armour' Arthurian movies out there that even a shite one has to be viewed.

Talking of which, Tristan and Isolde isn't a bad movie. A bit slow, but probably the most realistically portrayed post-Roman warriors and battle tactics (aside from the Irish archer on horseback...ouch...should've been lobbing javelins and ok, the Irish in the movie are more Saxon looking, but can't have it all ways...) that I've seen... Ok, I know that doesn't say a lot, but check out the scale armour, various leather accoutrements, vaguely spangenhelm helmets and Pictish shields, etc...

Worth hiring for a wet Sunday afternoon or even forking out a fiver worse than Clive Owen's King Arthur, which I found mildly entertaining if only for the Nazi-ish Saxons and the pretty cool battle on the ice (armour-piercing crossbows aside!!!!!!)

On the painting front, am off to Dublin for the wife's cousin's wedding this coming weekend, so that'll slow progress down, but I have to say that the Teulu and Tony's Saxons are looking pretty darn good thus far... Cloaks, hair, shields, weapons/helmets and banners still to about 2/3 of the way through really. At least the Saxons have LBM transfers for the bucklers, so that'll speed that bit up and their hair is dry-brushable, as is the fur on the cloaks, so that'll take a few minutes to do... It'll be worth the wait once they are done, I can assure you!! Trouble is, I have three banners (two British & one Saxon) to do, but I'll do those last and will make sure that I do the Saxon banner first so I can get them sent off to their very patient owner!!!!

Anyway, it's been a pig of a day, so I'm gonna chill for an hour...

See ya...

Tuesday, 9 October 2007


Question 1. How are the Saxons and Teulu coming on? Well, you'll be delighted to hear that the answer is 'slowly, but very nicely, thank you!' Tunic patterning is all done and looking suitably posh and noble and we are now painting lots of belts, shoes and general leatherwork, after which it'll be the wooden back of all the shields followed by the cloaks. The wife is away all day Saturday, so, aside from re-stringing the old geetar ready for next week's warm-up gig in preparation for the Thin Lizzy tribute thingy, it's paint slapping all the way!!!! Not long now, Tony, if you are reading this!!!!

Question 2. What will I be painting after the Saxons and Teulu are done? Hmmmm....Dunno...Possibly slapping a paint job on some of my WFB Dwarfs, but then again, the boxload of French-Indian war skirmish models (Rangers, Mohegan allies, civilians and nasty Frenchie allied Injuns) are really tempting me... Trouble is, I have a few old colonial movies to watch on DVD and that'll make me wanna buy NW Frontier skirmish models (Some lovely new stuff by Castaway Arts in Australia...1880's British, Sepoy and Pathans...REALLY nice!! Tempting...Must resist...) Also have the latest version of '4 Feathers' picked up for a bargain £5 (I heard it wasn't great, but for £5...) so watching that will make me want to buy Perry Sudan stuff...NOOOO!!! Must resist!!!!

Then of course, there's Soapy's and Bill's Saxons which I want as allies and enemies for my Brits... Oh dear, so much to buy and so little time available to paint it all....

Question 3. Will Darrell post any more pics of painted Welshies on his 'Just Add Water...' blog this side of 2009? :-) Sorry Darrell...couldn't resist...although you are getting very close to your deadline and are probably too busy painting to take photos... How many models do you actually need to get finished now?

Question 4. Why am I waffling about on here and not slapping more paint on those Saxons and Teulu? Bloody good question for which I have no answer....

See ya....

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Vengeance is sweet!!!!

"The clash of swords is silenced
The splintering of shields is over.
The haunting cries of the wounded and dying,
Harsh, piercing cries of ravens gorged.
Pictish dead un-numbered.
Honour returns to Briton lands!

The River Glein runs red,
Her waters a charnel house of graveyard reek.
Scene of slaughter, heroic battle,
Forests of spearshafts lay waste to the Picts.
Urien avenged!
Honour returns to Briton lands.

Fierce was the charge of Llywarch's Teulu...
Unnumbered the foe,
Undaunted the Cymri,
The splintering shield-rim,
The war-song upholding
Dying like heroes for the honour of Llywarch.
Honour returns to Briton lands." can't beat a bit of shite pseudo-Welsh poetry first thing of a morning!! They don't call me a literacy expert for nothing!!! (Err...actually, on the basis of that poem, they wouldn't call me literacy expert at all, but hey...who cares?)

Anyhoo folks, why am I writing crap poetry? Well, last night saw battle two of the 'Raiding Season' and the Britons have managed a close-run victory against Mike's Picts! Urien is almost avenged (see earlier post if you're wondering what the hell I'm on about) The river crossing is our's and now our warriors strike deep into the Pictish heartland, to plunder the spoils of war!

In a close-fought and bloody encounter, the Britons held the bridge and contested the ford. It was a game where both players went for it BIG style, where both our comitatus units were slaughtered, where the Picts' Saxon allies were rather pathetic and where both players had our share of very good and very bad dice rolls. In short, a bloody great game that tested our generalship and really went to the wire!!! (Especially when my Combrogi warbanded OFF the bridge in turn 6, leaving me from a position of victory, to a position of defeat!! Luckily, next turn - my last- they were able to pop back ON to the bridge and save my blushes!!! ) Now, THAT is what wargaming is about!!!

As usual, we forgot a couple of things in the excitement, but hey...not to worry! It balanced out in the end!

Anyway, the next game is 'The Cattle Raid', where I attempt to herd my plunder off the table and the Picts try to get it back!!!! A great fun scenario that I have played before as the attacker..and a great excuse to get my recently painted Gripping Beast cows and sheep back out onto the gaming table!!!!

On the painting front, slow progress, as I'm painting tunic decoration on Teulu and Saxons, but that'll be done by Sunday ready for leather work then the cloaks... We're getting there!!!!!

Right.. off to work....

See ya...

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Have you tried..?

Playing Age of Arthur British Kingdoms against Shieldwall Vikings?



I did last night. I played well, tactically sound, etc, and I was given a right mullaring!! Didn't help that the bloody Teulu failed a panic test and fled off table, but by then I'd realised that you just can't hurt the Vikings. My opponent played with Norwegians and fielded 3 formed and two skirmishing hirdmen units, including 6 berserkers, a unit of bondi spear and a unit of bondi archers. He had a unit of thralls too....

I managed to draw out most of the berserkers without too much loss (lots of dead skirmishers), but let's face it. His hirdmen hit on 3 and wound on 4. I hit on 4 and wound on 5... Add to that the Hersir in every unit and the Konnagg....errr.....king chappie and...well...bloody pointless!!! In one combat, a unit of hirdmen killed 4 combrogi with berserkers, then scored 12 hits with their Hersir and ordinary attacks. I lost the combat by 9 points and I started with a rank extra!!!!!
BTW, it was a 2000pt game to give my mate a practice for the Derby Worlds tourney at the weekend. Apparently, some nasty gamers on some forum or other (not SAD WAB, of course) have been laughing at all the AoA players that are going and gleefully plotting the calamitous slaughter that will ensue when their (planned to the nth degree) BTGG and Shieldwall, etc, armies meet the AoA ones... Not what gaming's all about really is it? Where's the fun and tension of a tightly fought, tactically challenging battle..? But no...they'd rather have a spawnily-won 3000 victory points win that they can gloat about to their (virtual?) pals while planning their next beardy army list... And you wonder why I don't do tourneys??? I hope that Grahame doesn't have a hard time of it, as he (like a lot of others who go and suffer at the hands of these tossers) is not of that ilk at all....A least he's got a rock-hard army!!!!

Still, it's always good to play against Grahame...he plays very fair even when dishing out mayhem with an Army I couldn't really hurt!! He and I are gonna do the Raiding Season campaign from AoA at some point and that should be a different tale!!!! Much more balanced and great fun. (he plays Romano-Brits, BTW)

On the painting front, slower progress on the Saxons and Teulu, but then I am in tunic-painting mode now, so that takes longer. Looking good though and they will be worth the wait!!

Right, garlic bread starter has been served by the darling wife with main course not a gazillion miles behind, so I'm gonna scarper.

See ya....

Thursday, 20 September 2007

A-Painting We Will Go...

Well, after a long time of inactivity on the paintbrush front (for several reasons, not least of which was the fact that all my brushes were knacked...nice new set arrived from Foundry last Friday, tho...) I'm back in the swing of it. Tony's Saxons are coming on nicely and so are my foot Teulu.

Have approached it a bit differently this time in that I'm doing a mega batch-paint job, so all 20 of the Saxons and all 22 of the Teulu have their armour finished and the flesh tones will be done by close of play tonight. After that, it's basecoat the trousers and tunics before settling in to the highlighting. I'l probably do that by colour..i.e. all the blue tunics first, then all the green, etc...It seems to be speeding me up a tad, but as the detail painting sets in, I fear that'll change. Still, I'm really enthused again right now, so it's all systems go!

One thing I will say, is that the Musketeer Saxons are a bloody JOY to paint! Their faces are particularly great and I think represent my best fizzog painting ever!!! That's entirely due to Bill's masterful sculpting which allows superior fine-line brushwork...Ta Bill!!!

I'm currently struggling against an overwhelming urge to spend a fortune on those and Soapy's new GB Saxons, pics of which, painted in all their glory, caused a real froth of excitement this week, but, as I just bought a large box of GW Dwarfs for WFB (not the shitty new edition, BTW, but the 'still really rather fun to play' previous edition), I can't really justify it just yet. But fear not, they shall be purchased sooner or later....

Oh, by the way, on the 'fame & glory' front, have any of you spotted some of my combrogi and pagenses in this month's Wargames Illustrated magazine? Yup, there they are, right up in the corner of one page of the 'Hot Lead' report...No caption to say they are mine, mind you (shame on you Mr magazine man!) but, hey...a photo in a mag is a photo in a mag....

Right...better stop all this wafflin' and get back to the brush work.

See ya!

PS No pics of anything as previously promised cos I haven't had the time to get everything all set up, but I'll get round to it eventually!

Thursday, 6 September 2007

A Lament for King Urien

Ok, let me explain.....

Tonight saw the first game in the 'Raiding Season' campaign between my British Kingdoms and Mike Evans' (of Evans/Gleeson events and Huntingdon Wargames Club fame) Southern Picts.

It was the battle of Bassas Ford, so, retinue and army chosen, we set up for battle!!!! I was determined the attacker and basically had to start the game with skirmishers and one formed unit, plus one character against the entire Pict host. My character would fight a duel in the ford and every turn it lasted, I could bring on a unit. After that, I had to dice for arrivals...

So, I thought I'd risk the big one and took an army with my Rex (King can guess where this is going, can't you?). He sat in the ford for the challenge backed up by his Teulu. The Picts Allied saxon Atheling stepped up to face the challenge...

Anyway, the challenge lasted 2 turns. despite going first in both turns, Urien received 2 wounds (despite Finest bleedin' armour!!) although he slew the Atheling! Now the fun started, as I failed to bring any more than 1 unit of combrogi to the field.

Bear in mind that, to win this, I have to have 3 full units across the river after 6 turns. Mike basically rushed the river and denied me crossing opportunities....eventually, after losing 2 Teulu to missile fire (3+ save...bollox!!!) I succumbed and charged the Teulu into the allied saxon gedriht..if they won, it would be ok, if they lost...flank charge by Pict nobles with more characters than is humanly possible. The Teulu slammed home and killed 9 (yes...9!!) saxons!! Result...but FBIGO of course, but out of range of the Pict nobles, so we followed up and hit them again.

By this time, I have some more troops on the table, but the Pict nobles have charged my combrogi at the ford...oh dear.

Next turn, the Teulu charge again and kill...2 saxons...WHAT? Only 2!!! And yes, they killed two back (3+ save...bollox..) except it's even worse as Mike has realised that the Rex has only one wound and showers 6 attacks at him!!! They wound and kill him!!! So much of the army now legs it and the Teulu flee with nowhere to go as they are too close to the other Picts and are therefore destroyed...Bugger!!!!

I conceded at this point as 1 unit of combrogi still hadn't arrived and I couldn't even get a bloody stand off!!!!

So I roll on the character casualty table....and get a 1...That's the Rex permanently dead then!! At least the ASB survived!!!!!

What a disaster of a game!!! (albeit a great fun disaster!!!) The chances of losing so many wounds on the Rex and Teulu with finest armour was remote, but to lose the Rex permanently was horridly bad luck!!!

So next time we have to play the River Glein..where I have to assault the ford and bridge.(my least fave scenario, as I've only won it once in 4 attempts as the attacker..although Mike did sportingly offer to attack instead) Of course, I am now without my beloved Rex Urien, so goodness knows what I'm gonna do now!!

Actually, I do know....I am going to post an entry into the great Welsh Book of Grudges and the Picts shall appear next to bloody Dalriada Irish in my list of 'most hated'....

Mike has very sportingly said that if my Tiern that takes over as general wins a mighty victory in the next game, he can upgrade to Rex, which is not in the rules but was really kind and I'll take him up on it..although I can't see it happening with the River Glein...Although, a plan is forming...I may have to be very cunning with this one...

Next game probably won't be til early October, but I'll keep you all posted...

Friday, 31 August 2007

There's always something...

...that gets in the way of painting!!

Ok, so I got back from the honeymoon and there was all the gardening to do...then it was back to work and catching up on all the crap that accumulated while I was sunning myself in Turkey.

Now, I find myself talked into doing a Thin Lizzy tribute gig in October with a local band who are one guitarist down. They did it last year as a three-piece after their second guitarist acted like a right royal tosser and was sacked... They did a great job as a three-piece, but as any of you out there into Lizzy will know, one guitar just don't cut I've stepped in for this year's show. This means learning 45 mins worth of stuff from scratch (except for 'Jailbreak' which I used to play in my last three bands...) VERY quickly!!!!

Anyway, fortunately, I've now learned all bar one track and we've had the first two rehearsals. It's going well...REALLY well and is great fun! ('Emerald' is a particularly good track, with its 'raiding and slaughtering' theme in the lyrics - a real wargamers' tune!!) One more track to learn and I can get the paintbrush out again. Sadly, that track is 'Black Rose' an absolute monster of a tune with some hideously complex lead guitar to unpick... Still, I have to have it nailed for rehearsal next Wednesday, so after THAT, I can pick up the brush again.

Apologies to those awaiting Roman pics and mega apologies to Tony whose Saxons still haven't seen a lot of paint...Priority job, after next week's rehearsal mate, I promise!!!!

Anyone going to Partizan on Sunday? I hope to be there myself...

Sunday, 19 August 2007


Thanks to those of you who've replied ref the 20mm GW base affair... I now have innumerable options...thank goodness for that...very much appreciated one and all!!

Not much to report today other than the fact that 75% of that Caeasarian unit I mentioned on the last post are now finished! Speedy work indeed!! Trouble is, while the rain this weekend has helped the overall Roman painting, it has meant that I've not yet undercoated any Saxons...Still, looks fine so far this morning, so you never know...may be able to get out with the spray can...either that or I'll have to tidy the shed so I can get back to spraying 'indoors'...I'll need to do that for the winter anyway...Bum...shed-tidying...another job I loathe. Why do I let things get so bloomin' untidy? Answers on a used fiver.....

Anyway, Pics of Romans not far off now, I promise..

See ya

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

I'm Back!!!

Yes folks, I have returned from my nuptuals and honeymoon refreshed, relaxed and even slightly tanned...mind you, being in Turkey, with a temperature of a scorching 33 degrees in the shade will do that to you. (And before some smart arse says owt, yes...I bloody well did get sunburned in the shade!!!!)

So, what's new, I hear you cry? Well, not a right lot, I cry back... Since Lucia and I got back, all we've done is bloody housework and gardening (oh, and whinge that we wish we were back in Turkey, sitting by the pool, endless drinks on tap...eating fine food in splendid surroundings...sigh....)

I have actually undertaken a couple of truly horrendous jobs: Numero uno: pressure jet-wash the patio, front and back...sadly, I still have 60% of the back to complete, but at least the front is done...gallons of filthy sand, moss and accumulated bird crap washed away...ugh...

Job Number Two (and possibly EVEN worse): Tidy the painting table!!!! Yes, those old paint pots that I've steadfastly refused to chuck away up til now are well and truly gone, the accumulated Greenstuff chippings, metal filings and chippings, knackered paintrushes, bits of chopped up conversion models, were all tipped into the bin. The paints have all been put in a nice new box file for easy instant access and some of Bill's Saxons are sitting awaiting gluing to the bases ready for undercoat (Are you reading this Tony? Yup, it's your Gedriht at long last!!) on a clean and bare long that'll last is anyone's guess! If it lasts beyond the weekend I'll be surprised, as I'm a lazy and messy old blighter, especially on the painting table!!!!!

So, my painting plans for the next month are:
1. To start the first Saxons. The king and his standard bearer first, methinks...
2. To finish that third unit of 24 Foundry/Companion plus some GB Caesarian legionaries that I'm doing for the Crusader rules (actually, they are based on GW bases, so they can double as WAB types, but obviously in units of 18...) Talking of bases, that reminds me...WARNING: RANT APPROACHING!!!!!

Have you seen what bloody Games Sodding Workshop are doing with their bases? I used to buy them in the big bags, about 40 or so bases at a cost of £4...not cheap, but acceptable in the grand scheme of things. Anyhoo, I go into the local GW on Monday to stock up on some more 20mm ones. Except, they don't appear to have any...loads of 25mm ones, monster bases, round ones even, but no 20mm ones... Enter 'new manager type dude' who says 'I'll get you some on Mail Order, mate. How many do you need?' Well, I actually need about 20, but extras will be needed for some of Soapy's new Saxons in the not too distant, so I tell him.. and he says...'they come in at 75p for a 4 base sprue!!!!!!!!!' WHAT?????!!!! That means I'd be paying £7.50 for what I ordinarily get for £4???!!! Errr...I don't really think so!! So I left the shop, somehow managing not to tell him where to shove his 75p for 4 bloody bases.... That company gets worse, I tell you truly!!! If anyone out there knows of similar bases that I can buy elsewhere, please add a comment to this 'ere post...ta...

Ok...Rant over....Where was I? Oh yes...painting....

3: Start the British/Welsh Kingdoms foot Teulu. I'll probably paint a couple of these along with those two Saxons, and keep that ratio up as I go with both units as that'll keep both units moving along nicely...Lots to do, as always!!

Anyway, I'll hopefully post some pics of the new Caesarians (I have 2 units and a General base finished already) as soon as the 3rd unit is finished..probably two week's work along with prepping Saxons, etc....

See ya...

Monday, 23 July 2007

A Grand Day Out....

Well, despite the almighty deluge that descended on Evesham at the weekend, and police warnings that no-one should attempt to visit said town, myself, Carl and Grahame made the bold decision to ignore all of that, brave the steadily advancing flood waters and head off to Hot Lead.

'Twas a decision both boldly executed and extremely well made, as:
a) the flood water was nowhere near the venue
b) although it was VERY close to the A46, it never actually blocked it (despite a supposed tidal surge at 2pm Sunday afternoon...squelch!)
c) it was a bloody STONKIN' day!!!!

Yes, following on from the excellence that was the 'Struggle for the North' day in Newark, this Hot Lead bash was magnificence personified. A hearty "HUZZAH!!!" to the chaps at 'The Beast' for organising the day and a further several "HUZZAHs" to my opponents, Ed, Karl, Guy and Bob (especially Bob...) for four of the best games of WAB I've ever had!!!!

The event also gave me the opportunity to meet the mighty Bill from Musketeer minis (Hi Bill...great meeting you at last!) as well as seeing once again a few faces from the Newark bash and other events I've been to in the past (Hi Warren, Jim, Andy, Steve, James, etc...) The other undoubted highlight of the day was being able to hob-nob with The Beast's Royal Family, Lord S even being so kind as to allow me a sneak preview of some of Soapy's new Saxons. Now, listen up folks, cos this is massive....we all know that the Soapster can sculpt a bloody good mini, but he's really gone and excelled himself this time....Rumour has it that he's been chatting to Guy 'I know everything there is possibly to know about the early Dark Ages...EVER' Halsall and as a result, he has produced THE most historically accurate, not to mention vibrantly posed little barbarian buggers EVER!!!! What with Musketeer Bill's models and these upcoming Beastie ones, Saxon players are going to be in little toy soldier heaven. Even I , notorious Saxon-hater that I am, will be hard pushed to resist buying several packs of these little beauties when they eventually see the light of day...Superb. Mr Soaps, we salute you, sir!!!

Anyway, enough of this...what you all want to know is, 'did Andy get his ass kicked again?' And the answer is a resounding 'NO HE DID NOT!' Out of my 4 games, I lost the first to Mr Ed 'quiet man' Mc Donald...we played the river crossing scenario. He had a Vortigern Romano British Civitates army and I decided that, despite being the 'defender', I was going to attack!! Not the smartest decision I ever made, as the river had clearly been swollen by the overnight rain over Evesham (It was several inches wider than any wargame river I normally use!) and my attack stalled!!!! Despite this, it was a great fun game. You can't have anything else when playing Ed...a gentleman and jolly nice chap all round...even reminded me that I could FBIGO when I forgot to do so.... Anyway, I lost by around 600pts, so a 'close run defeat' in Age of Arthur terms, but as Martin 'The Organiser' was running some bizarre (but very clever) scoring system, none of us had a clue what such a result actually meant!!!

Onto game 2! The 'Ambush (Roman Rd)' scenario. This is one I've talked about before on this 'ere blog and luckily, I drew the long straw and was the attacker. This is the game where you have to start in march column and get everyone off-table.. My opponent was a chap called Karl, quite new to WAB and using an Armies of Antiquity 'Cataphract' army. So, opposing me were two COLOSSAL units of horse archers (BS4, Parthian shot, fire & flee...groan) and the biggest unit of cataphracts (16 of the buggers!) that I've ever seen!!! Still, thanks to a dodgy 'fire and flee decision' ( the 15 man unit of horse archers fired and then fled off the table!!) that army was reduced to just 2 units in turn 2 and I strolled off table with everyone except the mounted combrogi who died under a hail of arrows. Result: a 1500pt victory to me...massive victory, but, again, with the 'secret scoring system', who knows what that signified??!!

Game 3: 'Surprise Return'. This is the 'loot the village' scenario and I was attacking with 1000pts. Now, I've changed my army considerably since first trying this and decided to go cavalry heavy, so a Teulu and 2 mtd combrogi units, 2 lots of skirmishy foot and 1 heavy infantry unit. I was playing this against Guy Bowers and his Fatimid Arab army. What saved me in this battle was that Guy didn't bring his army on until turn 4, so I got 4 turns of looting in virtually unopposed (ok, the bloody peasant defenders held out for a turn...) Having gained over 600pts by looting alone, my strategy when the Fatimid hordes approached was simple. Don't fight and don't die!! To that end, I used one mtd combrogi unit to tie up 2 units of Arab horse and 1 unit of Arab foot while the rest of my army danced away.. To be fair, Guy did destroy my skirmishers (with bloody nafatun...ugh...'orrible little blighters, them!!) but the overall result was an almost 600pt victory for me..a minor victory, but a win's a win!!!

So far, it was all going too well...a close-run defeat, a major win and a minor win...surely it would all go pear shaped in game 4??? Not so, my pretties...not so!!!!!

Game 4: Against a chap called Bob. Now, Bob is new to WAB and was playing with a rather nice little army of El Cid Spanish. This was the 'Hereditary Enemies' scenario where 2 random units hate the enemy. I ended up with 2 units of foot combrogi hating him and his king's knights (oh dear!!) and a unit of guard infantry (oh dear again!) hating me.
Now, I have to say this at this point. I've been playing WAB since it started, but this was without any doubt at all the most fun game I've ever had when wargaming! The battle was opened by Bob's jinetes charging my mtd combrogi, who fled and then failed a rally test, exposing my flank. Luckily, the Teulu stepped in and sent the Jinetes packing, chasing them down and slaughtering them when they opted to fire and flee. Luckily, my mtd combrogi rallied and returned to the fray to tie up his guard infantry rather nicely for the rest of the game. In the centre, Bob advanced into a veritable hail of sling stones that finally knocked over three of the king's knights, meaning that once the massed cavalry assault hit my combrogi, the king's unit was short on numbers and I could FBIGO from the ferocious charge. In the next rounds of combat, the Spanish king found himself in a tit-for-tat hatred contest that lasted the rest of the game, the rest of the caballeros villanos on either flank wilting under the hail of combrogi attacks and defeated by the rank bonuses. The game was decided when my Rex and his Teulu, having broken into skirmish formation, slammed into the King's Caballeros Hidalgos' rear and the Rex challenged the Spanish king to single combat. It was a tense moment...the Rex slammed home two wounding attacks, to be wounded once in reply...the very air crackling with the whirl of their sword blades...( carried away there for a mo!!) Anyway, in the next turn (the Hidalgos survived the devastating Teulu attack due to 'hatred'...well actually that's a fib..the battle standard bearer was the only one still alive supporting his king at that point) the Rex slammed home with three 6s on his 'to hit' dice and caused two wounds...the Rey's armour deflected the first, but he died under the second. The surviving Spaniards (with the exception of the guard infantry) all failed their panic test, the army standard bearer was slaughtered by the British Teulu and it was all over. What a game! Bob and I had a blast throughout, as there were several cases of either dodgy or magnificent dice rolling for both of us, several combats swung hither and thither... In the end I won by a massive 1300pts, but that wasn't a true reflection on how close it had come. Without 'hatred' I'd have been stuffed, as the Spanish would have overwhelmed my centre... Bob, I hope you get to read this mate. I'd happily play WAB with you yourself an army from Age of know you want to!!!!

So, that was the gaming over. Three wins (two real big ones too!) out of four games and all great fun to play. After the charity dice-off, I was delighted to win a large ornamental boar as the prize for 'best painted army' (James Morris also won this category...esteemed company I'm in there...James' vignettes and overall army painting skills are second-to-none!) and overall, I came in around half-way up the table..a real result, as I was expecting to be around the bottom at the start of the day, so expectations exceeded there!!! I also came in better than both Grahame and Carl, so that was nice!!!!

Having said that, such a day is NOT about's about having great day. I certainly had that and would have enjoyed it even had I lost every game!

So a HUGE "thank you" to Martin and the Beastie Boys for organising the day and to everyone else who braved the possible rising flood waters to attend. I'll DEFINITELY be booking back for 'Cold Steel 08' if they run it next year!!!

On another and entirely different note, this will be my last blog post for a wee while, as I'm off to get married on Friday, so I'll see you all when I get back! Watch out in coming months for pics of Caesarian Romans that I'm painting to use with the Crusader rules, as well as some of Bill's luvverly Saxons and my foot Teulu for WAB...

See you all anon......

Monday, 9 July 2007

Work Sucks!!!!

Work's's now 5 past midnight and I've only just finished writing up the first of the two report forms from my visits to schools today. I still have one more to do, but I'm buggered if I'm doing it now...and obviously, I haven't picked up a paintbrush because of it and those Welsh pagenses have to be done ready for Hot Lead...bit of a sod really, as the rest of this week ain't gonna get any better...

I'm sorry to whinge, but sometimes one must vent one's spleen...

At least I managed to finish my Hot Lead army lists ready for a mate to check for me (did that while better half cooked dinner...) as that was a job I'd been putting off. Just hope that I can actually count and that both lists are actually legal, otherwise it'll be another bloody job to do trying to re-write them...sigh.....

Anyway, now I have to drink the rest of the cocoa and then off to bed...I'm back at @*$$%!*@# work in 8 hours time!!!!

Friday, 6 July 2007

Welsh Lord On Foot

For some time now, I've been wanting to convert a dismounted version of the rather fab Gripping Beast mounted Welsh Lord vignette piece that I use as my army general in my British/Welsh Age of Arthur army. You see, I rather fancy a rock-hard foot Teulu unit to give me different tactical options to the usual all-out 'banzai' cavalry charge that is beginning to characterise some of my games...( all my secrets away... :-) )

So, after an email to Darren at GB central, I managed to negotiate a mixed pack of figures to do the job. You see, being a bit anal about it, I wanted the figure to literally look like he'd just stepped off his horse, so no difference in armour or clothing or equipment at all...tricky, you'll be saying...but no...not really. So, here's what I did...

This is the master figure that I started with: he's from a Teulu character pack...

However, he's got no shield, is bareheaded and the helmet he's carrying is the wrong one!! Also, he's got no splint armour on his legs..., I need a new head and probably a new left arm, as trying to just remove the helmet will be problem:

So, I sawed off the head and the left arm. I cut the arm off under the shoulder armour and then sawed very gently on the helmet where it joins the body. Remarkably, after the smallest of cuts, the whole helmet just came away!! The great God of converting was certainly with me that time!!

Then I just went to the other figures I had been given and as you'll see from the pics, chose the matching head and a good left arm to replace what I'd just chopped away...See below...

The head swap guy is from a 'standing Teulu' pack and the arm swap guy is from a Combrogi foot command pack. I fixed the head in place by glueing and pinning and the arm I just glued, as it was glued both under the shoulder armour and along the side of the body. In both cases, the joins were tidied up with a tiny bit of Greenstuff. While the Greenstuff was out, I also added splint armour to the lower legs. Before I did this though, I chopped the model off its base, as I wanted to create a scenic base with the lord standing on a slab of rock and its cast base rather got in the way. Unfortunately, while chopping, the left foot not only left the base, but also the model's lower leg!!! Bugger!!!
This necessitated a quick drill, pin and glue operation, before glueing the model to the slab of rock (actually a piece of 'slate gravel' type stuff that I ...err...'liberated' from the next door neighbour's front drive when he wasn't looking!) Repair completed, I set to work creating the splint armour with the aforementioned Greenstuff, also using it to bolster the join between the stone and the 20mm plastic base.
Now, I know that a lot of Age of Arthur players are basing all their characters on huge round vignette bases. They look bloody great when they do that, but I'm a bit of a pilchard on the wargaming front and, unless the character is actually sitting right in amongst his unit where he should be, I get ever so I've stuck to my 20mm base and will sit him squarely in the middle of his Teulu with his army standard right next to him on one side and his bard on the other!! Sad, but it helps me keep track of who's fighting who, etc...

After that, I found my last spare Foundry Arthurian shield and a GB sword and undercoated the lot. The shield I left separate until after the main model had been painted.

I then painted him using exactly the same colour scheme as the mounted variant, sticking the shield on last. And here he is in all his glory...

I hope you'll agree that he looks rather fab. I particularly like the effect of the stone on the base...very 'Welsh' and raises him up so that he stands head and shoulders above and slightly in front of his Teulu. They will not be painted for a while as this is my last major paintjob before I get married...3 weeks from today!!! Look out for the foot Teulu, complete with this chap, probably in September...