Monday, December 26, 2016

Roman stone Watchtower

When I first visited the Grand Manor web site many years ago I saw this building and knew I had to have it! This is my first of what will be many resin Grand Manor buildings I plan on doing. Personally I consider Grand Manor terrain to be the Rolls Royce of terrain pieces in terms of superb quality but...... also I must say in price as well! It's worth the price for sure, but it's what has kept me from buying very much. However since the pound has come down some and if you buy several pieces in one order you can justify the postage and packing(which is excellent btw). It actually works out better if you buy more and not less to an extent as it seems like he charges per box or something like that with each box being the same size and able to hold several buildings. That's guess work of course, but I do know I was able to put several items on my order without my postage and packing changing up to a point until I had quite a few items and then it changed. Anyhow, I happily purchased several pieces and will continue to buy more on a regular basis in the future as long as the pound remains reasonable to do so otherwise it will be back to special occasions only.

Roman watchtowers were often built on the edge of the roman frontiers to act as a guard post and communications checkpoint. They used torches to signal to other watchtowers if they saw something, were under attack or to send a message. Also riders could be used if available to the garrison as they sometimes kept small stables for couriers and some even had an extra perimeter wall and moat defenses becoming mini-forts perhaps a front runner to the Norman moat and bailey .  

While the tower wasn't built to withstand a siege it could delay the enemy long enough for help to arrive. To access the tower one would need a ladder which could be withdrawn into the tower when under attack. The tower could be defended from various openings and the wooden platform.

I mostly used craft paints for the tower as I'm still not confident with an airbrush yet and well....just feel more comfortable using a brush. The stone was done using a umber brown and adding more and more white to the mix and the wood was a brown ocher base followed by a ink wash and then more brown ocher with white continually being added to the mix. Then everything was given a mix of different MIG pigments for the weathering.

The model is of course resin and comes with a roof ,wooden platform and upper stone section that can all be removed which is nice for skirmish gaming if you wish to place models inside. I also really like resin kits as I feel they have far more character, detail and depth then say MDF and plastic although some plastic is getting quite good, but still not at the level of resin imho.

I'm very happy how the model turned out and may even build a wooden palisade and barn for it at some point, but for now it's ready for gaming. I'm quite chuffed at finishing my first piece of Grand Manor terrain and I recommend to stay tuned more in the coming new year as I plan to make 2017 one of my most productive years in terms of terrain. Merry Christmas everyone!

Thanks for viewing!
Miniature Company- Grand Manor

Monday, December 12, 2016

Lee's Legion foot

I felt the urge to return to one of my very long standing projects that being AWI. For me there was never a question if I would tackle Lee's Legion foot, but rather how I would go about doing it. The question was the uniform and from what I've read of information available so far it's a bit vague so I felt that I had some liberty to do as I please.... well to be honest I often take liberties to do as I feel in regards to this period.

I've seen folks do a green coated uniform version which looks quite nice, but is a bit to close to Tarleton's foot and so I don't want any mix ups in the future. Another version is the purple uniform(likely a fade in the uniform) that Don Troiani depicted which also has seen many gamers choose and while I find it very interesting it really just stands out a bit too much for my collection. Since I really do enjoy the cavalry in cream/buff version I decided I would do the foot in exactly the same uniform.

When painting American infantry I typically mix the uniforms for two reasons in that I feel supply was more difficult and the second it adds to the impression of  the citizen soldier. However, with Lee's Legion Foot I decided they would be uniformly equipped to emphasize their elite status and give them symmetry with the Legion horse.

They were trained as light infantry and were capable of fighting in ranks, loose order or in full skirmish. Most depict the unit in loose order or skirmish, but I decided for closed ranks as it fits my collection better. When fighting in skirmish I'll simply space the bases apart.

As always I have plans to do more AWI as there is still plenty I need to do!

Miniature Company- Perry Miniatures
Thanks for viewing!


Friday, October 21, 2016

Ruined Farm House

You can never have enough ruins for your WWII games so awhile back I picked up Warlords ruined hamlet box set that contains 3 ruined farms and this is the first one I assembled and painted.

The ruined hamlet is a nice box to have as they can easily be kit bashed to get various different looks. You can also use your own bits box to enhance the buildings for example I added some wood flooring from balsa wood, extra rock rubble and a base for the building.

I hard issue for me was trying to decide what kind of building I wanted and so went for a building that could conceivably be used for Normandy, Germany or Italy which means the building couldn't be too light or too dark, but somewhere in between and I think I achieved the balance I wanted.

I haven't planned how I'll do the next building, but I'll probably use the same color scheme as it's pretty flexible I think. However, before I do another I need to take a break and paint some figures which is where my real passion is. To be honest painting and building terrain is something I do as a necessity and not really something I'm all that into, but I believe one should invest time and energy into this as it doesn't help if you have nicely painted figures, but lousy looking terrain on your tables. I try to keep a balance, but admit I still do not focus enough on terrain which I hope to keep addressing the situation until I get to where I want to be.

Generally I do prefer resin as they by and large have better detail and cleaning is usually much quicker with little to no assembly, but plastic does have it's advantages in portability and flexibility not to mention the standard in detail is really improving and is in fact quite good so I do recommend picking up a box if your looking for a cheaper more flexible option then resin.

Thanks for looking!
Miniature Company-Warlord

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Baggage and pack horses

A selection of baggage elements has been on my to do list for quite some time as they are very useful for a variety of skirmish scenario's and scene fillers for larger games plus I really like the "extras" that various manufacturer's make as they add life and character to games.

This set is from Gripping Beast and was fun to do albeit time consuming. The reason is mainly the wood which I paint individually and construes a large portion of the miniatures, but I feel it's worth it as I prefer the controlled effect rather then a quicker dry brush for example. The horse sculpts were also a bit different then I'm used to as they had hair modeled on the coat so it took a slightly different approach to get the look I generally like.

Since the baggage carts and pack horses can be used for multiple periods I decided to base the peasants individually so they could be traded out for other handlers when needed.

The peasants were painted in a pretty low key color scheme as they didn't looked to be wealthy, but I wouldn't say they were dirt poor so I did add a little bit of color.

Well I'm really having fun with Dark Age figures right now, but I do have some terrain that is demanding attention. I vastly prefer painting figures, but terrain is very important so hopefully I can get some done!

I've been looking into getting a new camera recently as I want to expand my photography portfolio beyond the photobox. It's an area I need to do some work on and learn some new techniques. The camera I have is quite old and does a good job with close shots under good lighting conditions, but suffers when trying to do large shots like gaming tables, army presentation pictures and is very poor in low light or uneven light situations. I still haven't decided what camera to get yet as the selection is huge, but I think I'm leaning towards one with interchangeable lens capability, but with that generally comes a price increase and is a bit less easy to use then an all purpose camera.

Thanks for viewing!
Miniature Company- Gripping Beast

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Gothic/Germanic Noble Cavalry

I'm back on the brushes! I'm beginning to shake off the summer drowsiness and get back to applying some paint to figures. Generally speaking September to March are my most productive hobby months and this looks to be no exception as I'm already working on my next piece.

All my Germanics so far are infantry which is fine for playing early Saxons, but I've always had the ambition to expand my collection to play Germanics as a whole(Saxons, Goths, Vandels etc,) and this unit is a step in that direction by adding cavalry which many Germanic armies had plenty of in this period. I'll be adding more cavalry to expand on the possibilities as well as more infantry.

The figures themselves are the fantastic Footsore miniatures(formerly Musketeer) which I'm a huge fan of as they are an absolute pleasure to paint and have lots of character. I really like the guy with the upraised shield and spear screaming his challenge to the enemy. The figure itself reminds me of an Angus McBride painting of a Celtic champion in the same pose. Perhaps this is where Bill got his inspiration for the sculpt?

I've mounted them on a multi base from warbases like my other Gemanics so I can use them for both Impetus and skirmish games. The shields and standard are from LBM with my usual Mig pigment dust up on the shields.

More Germanics to come and maybe some terrain if I get around to it. The last picture is a higher angle pic so you can see how they fit in the slots. I due rather like the oval shaped single bases better then square ones.

Thanks for viewing!
Miniature Company-Musketeer/Footsore miniatures