Monday, September 30, 2013

Victor Pendrake, Adventuring Scholar

The painting challenge for September was to paint something relating to the return to school. I was really struggling, as I had thought to do a mage for my Bretonnian army, and I have even undercoated and based the mini, but I was not able to find the inspiration to actually get on and paint her. Then, whilst clearing out another tray of minis, I found this guy languishing with a mere base coat, and lo, it was decided. What better mini for the challenge than good old Professor Pendrake?

There are a few little bits and pieces I'd like to go back over, but he's ready for the table.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

O'Leary's Giveaway

It's not often I do a post soley for the reason of pimping another blog, but this one seems to be a little ifferent. Over on her Blog, Anne O'Leary is doing what she calls a Double Triple Secret Give-away. Although, after all the pimpage that has passes on other blogs, I think the name cold be shortened to just Give away!

What is different however is this:

"This give away is being sponsored in part by author Patrick Hatt. You can find Mr. Hatt's Amazon Writers Page at"

Of course, I've put my hat in the ring, as there are some fun prizes up for grabs, and surely Ray can't win 'em all!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Black Watch Conversions

I love that all the sculpts in a box of Spartan minis are different. I love a little less that I require 2 boxes to run a full unit. I trid to lessen this by doing a couple of conversions to the minis. The first was to make the piper mini. The second came as a follow on from this, as I had the 2 arms of the piper that I was now not using. This, mixed with one of the guns being a mis-cast, meant I did a little light chopping to the gun-less mini to give him new arms.

I am not a huge fan of the knife weilding look of one of the sculpts, but I figured this was a simple way to have a completed unit before waiting for a new gun part to be sent.  The only thing missing then from this figure, was a gun. The other knife weilding maniac has his slung across his back.  Again, luckily, there is another figure in the set who comes with a separate gun, with only a hand to be removed to make it a feasible conversion piece. Step in trust Insta-Mold, and new green-stuff gun, here we come. What's more, this mold will be useful for converting other non-Spartan minis into KoB troops, or even just as scenery for bases.

Stick it on the back of the converted mini, and hey-presto, he's ready to join the ranks.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Battle of the Plains of Abraham

This one of of local interest, as it's the battle that decided the fate of the Province that I now live in. Today is the 254th anniversary of the Battle of the Plains Of Abraham, which happened on the 13th of Seoptember, 1759. An historic event indeed, in wich both leaders were mortally wounded during the battle.

So, to commemorate this battle, and the war of which it was part, I have a few of links of interest.

From the Warpath to the Plains of Abraham, a virtual museum.

A Soldier's account of the Seven Years War.

Wolfe and Montcalm. A short film (1957).

A link to a previous post on my blog, which, amongst other links, has a Black Powder scenario for this exact battle. I have yet to dabble with the scenario myself.

The Canadian Military History website, with lots of nice colour images for use as inspiration for painters.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Dystopian Legions: Kingdom of Britannia, Armstrong Gun

I fielded the Armstrong 14lb cannon in my Kingdom of Britannia army for the first time this week, and I must say, I was suitably impressed. The rules make it not only good anti armour, but also very good against infantry, especially the multi-wound kind.  It was definitely the Man of the Match as far as I'm concerned, so, I think it's rather safe to say it'll be making a return to the field soon. Which of course means I better finish off the paint job!

The crew have been painted for a while, but the gun was waiting till I had made a nice little scenic base for it till it got a coat of paint, as I do like the nice bases these guns come on. The scenery has been built now, and the gun is ready to be painted. Hopefully in time for my next game.

The crew:

The loader has been magnetised so he can be removed from the base for transport. I may have to do the same for the gunner, but so far it seems to be fine as his hat doesn't go much higher than the gun.
I went for a rather traditional British Army Artillery scheme here.

The Cannon:

The barbed wire is from Army Painter, the sandbags and bricks are Secret Weapon. I forgot to place the box of ammunition that comes with the mini on the base. I'll do that before painting.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Colore Ton Monde, Septembre, la Rentré

Some great entries to August's challenge, and some new names entered too, which is great to see. Go on over to Club Chaos's blog to see them here. And of course, mine can be found here. Of course, the gamers behind the blog are based in Montreal, but that's not to say if you are not, you can't join in. Feel free, it's all for fun anyway!

Onwards to this month's challenge:

C'est la rentrée, les vacances sont terminées

Pour le mois de septembre, nous vous invitons à peindre un modèle qui représente une des deux facettes suivantes de l'enseignement : l'autorité ou l'érudition. Un commandant, un tyrant, un sage, un libraire: ce ne sont que quelques exemples. À vous d'interpréter  le thème à votre façon.

Back to School, the holiday's are over

For the month of September, we invite you to paint a model that represents one of the following two aspects of education: the authority or scholarship. A commander, a tyrant, a sage, a bookseller: these are just a few examples. It's up to you to interpret the theme in your own way.
Hmmm... nothing comes directly to mind for that one. Maybe a mage? I have a reaper mini of a lady reading a book, one of Werner Kloche's fine minis, but I'm not really in the place painting wise to give her the respect she deserves. Thinking cap on for this I feel...

P.S., Ian over on the Blog with No Name is having a give away t o celebrate 500 posts, and his 2 year anniversary, so go on over and congratulate him.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Black Watch Infantry Piper Conversion

So, in my last post, I mentioned I was planning to convert one of my Infantrymen to a piper. With the help of the Victoria Miniatures Piper conversion kit. At first, I thought to use the running man as the base for the conversion, as his gun was a mis-cast anyway, but on closer inspection, he was not the prime candidate. The knife man seemed to have an overall better pose, with the reloading guy being next (at least his head is down, which might make it easier for him to reach the mouthpiece, but more on that later).

The only real thing I had to do for this was cut his left arm off, as his right arm already comes separately, so as far as conversions go, it's pretty simple. I blocked in the spaces between the body and the new arms with greenstuff, smoothed it out, and there you go.

The arms from Victoria Minis are not a perfect match however. They are for GW style 28mm heroic scale, and Spartan, although 32mm figs, they are pretty slim built and fine of feature. This means if you look closely, they piper has huge hands compared to his section mates.

The other issue with the arms was the cuffs. So I GSed in some new cuffs in an attempt to match with the rest of the section. They look pretty rough, but a coat of paint should help hide a multitude of sins in that department.

Lastly, the pipes come separate from the head in the conversion kit, therefore the mouthpiece doesn't reach the mouth. This means he's taking a pause from playing I guess, but it did mean I didn't have to re-sculpt the mouth to make him play. I have since looked up pictures of bagpipes, and it seems the actual mouthpiece is really long in real life, so maybe I'll redo this to get him mid-tune.

So on with the rest of the section. I foresee at least one other conversion with the minis I have, probably using the arms I cut off this gent to replace the mis-cast gun I received, along with a few bits and bobs on the rest of them, just to make the unit a little more unique.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Dystopian Legions: Kingdom of Britannia Black Watch Infantry

My FLGS finally got in the Black Watch Infantry. I of course picked up one box, but I am sorely tempted to pick up another. If I am going to field these guys, I doubt I'll be putting down a minimum unit, and even once I get the Sergeant and Specialist, there will still be space for another 3 riflemen and a Musician (which I plan to convert from the basic troopers using Victoria Mini's Piper set, thereby leaving but one solitary figure unused (if I field the specialist that is).

Enough of the drooling, and on to the review:

Along with the deployment card and the bases, there are 5 minis in this box. All in different poses, inkeeping with the way Spartan do things, no two figures the same in a box. Unlike the previous Spartan Infantry box, these are multi part figures. 1 is a one piece mini, but the rest are either 2 or 3 parts. The minis are skinny, which is in keeping with Spartan's aesthetic, but for some reason is more noticeable on these figures.

The separate arms is a great thing in my opinion. There is one that is pretty much just the gun with a hand attached. Which is perfect to use with a little insta-mold to make plenty copies of the KoB rifle. I foresee a great number of conversions of other minis to bulk up my KoB force once I have that mold set up.

There's quite a bit of flash on these minis, but nothing that won't be cleaned off with the usual techniques. There doesn't seem to be any flash in places that a good craft knife can't deal with. The mould lines are minimal. There is however, a miscasting issue with one of the guns. the barrel end of the gun is completely misshapen. Just a round blob. This will be a test of Spartan Games customer service.
The Miscast
The only other mild issue I have with this box in general is that it contains 5 minis, compared to the other KoB Infantry Section, which has 6. This is a relatively minor gripe, as these are multi part minis. Additionally, when a section has a maximum of 10 men, it makes a little more sense to sell the miniatures in boxes of 5, rather than 10, that way you get an even number of boxes to make a full section (as I said above), rather than having to buy a second box, then have too many.

I'm really looking forward to fielding these guys, but with the miscast, and my own modelling plans to deal with first, they may be a while more before making it onto the table. Overall, I like the minis, and I like the fact they are multi-part, as that allows for easier customisation of the unit.