Wednesday, 1 July 2020

6mm Undead army

  I have to start this post by saying i have been a proper lazy git of late. posts have slowed to a trickle and i have hit a wall as far as painting and gaming motivation goes. I needed to find a simple self contained project to jump start my mojo that i could complete in a couple of days....which i did!. But before all that:

Noisy Scottish types!!.

 As i was saying i was looking for a project that would be quick and easy to get painted and as luck would have it the Scholar and gent that is Mr Maudlin Jack Tar had sent me some lovely 6mm undead miniatures, these seemed like just the ticket to get the juices (and paint) flowing and to give me my third force for my
Project.  I decided to take some inspiration from my 6mm Bakshi inspired half orcs and use a very limited pallet of 'wrong' colours, in this case bone, grey, light blue and crimson, my thinking was to tie the two forces together so they can be used as a huge force together but be individual enough to face off if i fancy it. 

   The force is split in two, in the left of the picture is some skeleton based grave fresh undead and to the right is a force of ghostly etherial nasties.

Skeleton spearmen. The spine of the force (sorry!). Im not sure of the manufacturer but they are really nice figures.

Some armoured skellies, again really nice detailed figures that were a pleasure to paint.

The force commanders. A Vampire on the left and Necromancer type on the right.

Ghostly infantry. All the ghost types in the force (with one big exception) are from irregular miniatures. I was planning to paint them in the same way as the skellies but the sculpts were quite hard to make out. Normally with the Irregular 6mm minis a dry brush or ink wash is enough to reveal the detail of the sculpts, however with these they were still a mystery after both!. I decided that the best course of action would be to work with the issue and and use the softer details to make ghosts.

Ghostly horsemen. These should be fun to use (i reckon they should ignore terrain!). Again the soft detail lends itself to the theme.

The giant ghost (on his day off from every 80's thrash album cover) is a G.W. miniature that i think fits right in with the small guys.

 Having the force split in two means i can have the whole force on the table or use them against each other in smaller games. Also to fit in with the old school warhammer theme of the setting i can also use the ghosts as an Etherial hoast for some of the lawful forces i intend to build in the future. The option is also open to combine them with the orcs to form a huge evil army for BIG games.

Death on death action!!.

  So thats the army pretty much done. I could do with making a command stand or two for the ghosts and maybe a skeleton giant would be good for the force too but thats something to work towards. I'm just glad to have broken my painting duck (i may have ordered a laod of 10mm minis for a new project so clearing the decks before they turn up will help justify my purchase!)........

......'till next time......

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

How to paint 2mm medievals

I have often seen it said on many forums and suchlike that 2mm minis look like they would be hard to paint. This in fact is not the case at all. 2mm armies are pretty easy to get table ready. I thought I would offer my method for painting them to show how easy it can be. But first:

About time for some pistols!.

Before I start there are a few things I need to clear up. I am no expert painter, I have had a bit of experience with several scales of mini but would class my skill level as 'enthusiastic amature'. Also I don't use miniature paints, instead I use craft paints that I adapt for miniatures (you can see the Method here) so I won't be giving the names of paint colours I have used (so no 'giant death badger grey' or 'demon semen purple' or whatever). I have painted a few 2mm forces so feel I have a decent handle on getting reasonable result with them.
Also the miniatures I am using are from Irregular miniatures 2mm range.

Two of my 2mm 'punk n'shotte' forces.

 2mm medieval units.

Also it's worth pointing out that I find one of these helpful.
It's a magnifying daylight lamp, I find it useful but not essential. I picked mine up for less than £20 on line.

Now the elephant in the room: 'Why use 2mm minis?'. The main reason they work so well for me is threefold. One, they allow you to get truly realistic looking armies on the table. You can actually work in a 1:1 scale if you want!. Secondly they are very affordable, you can get a really large army for under £20!. Thirdly they are quick and simple to prep, paint and get on the table. You can put aside a weekend to produce a whole army!.

So to painting the little blighters!. The main things to remember are that you are painting for mass effect. You are not producing this:

(Picture nicked off Google images. If it's yours please make it known in the comments so I can credit you)

You are making this happen!:

Or maybe this:

Also keep in mind you are not painting minis that will look neat up close. This is about the look of massed units on the table at arms length, if you want to hold them close and inspect them you will be disappointed, once they are based and on the table they look pretty good in my opinion anyway.

 Right now that's covered, on to the prep. Most of the minis will need a quick file to smooth off the underside of the bases and may have some flash and mold lines to deal with. These are pretty easy to file down. Then the minis are bluetacked to a lolly stick ready for undercoating.
I tend to use a dark brown undercoat on my medievals, in this scale I also use the same brown on the bases so it works to create shade even at this early stage.

I brush on my undercoat at this scale, you could use a spray can or air brush but as the miniatures are so small I find brushing is fine.

The miniatures I am painting are going to be used to represent dismounted Knights so my next step is to dry brush them silver. This gives an underlayer of plate armour on each figure but preserves the brown undercoat between each figure giving the shading I mentioned above.

If I was painting troops further down the social scale such as leve troops or archers I would go lighter with the silver dry brush, I would also keep the bottom half brown to give them an impression of wearing less armour.

 Next step is to paint the banners white so when painted they stand out.

Once they are dry I then paint the banners. I am using these troops for a fantasy campaign so my banner designs are made up, it is possible to paint reasonably detailed designs with a steady hand and good point. I then start to paint the Knights by adding dots of colour to the chests and backs to represent sir coats and shields. Keep in mind the minis are really small so dots are the best you are going to get.

 Banners and banner coloured sir coats painted.

I then finish the stage by adding dots of contrasting colours sparingly to make the minis 'pop'.

At this stage all the painting is done. The next stage is to shade them. I use a thin coat of army painter soft tone just to emphasize the space between the figures and slightly tone down the brightest colours. It's important to keep the shade light so you don't loose the tones.

And that's the minis ready.

To base the units I use card bases. Cereal boxes work fine, you don't need thick card at this scale as there is very little weight to the finished units. I do back the card with tape (any kind will work) just to add some strength. The bases I am using for this project are 6cm X 3cm.

The bases are first painted with the same shade of brown used to undercoat the miniatures. Once dry the miniatures are stuck to the base using PVA glue.

To finish the bases I make a mix of green paint, builders sand and PVA. This mix needs to be course to allow you to create textured ground on the base. Brush it on where you want and try to create clumps to give the impression of thick foliage in some places. I like to sprinkle some of the sand on the mix where it's thickest to create some contrast.

The completed unit....and proof I get more paint on my hands than the sodding miniatures!!.

The whole process is really quick. The drying time between stages are minimal due to the size of the miniatures meaning you can create a whole army in the time it takes to paint a unit in 28mm scale. It's also not about precision, the miniatures are more detailed than they have any right to be for the size of them but if you slip with the brush or go outside the lines it's not noticeable on the table and most of the time the ink wash corrects any minor issues anyway.

An army ready for battle. The whole force represents about a days worth of work.

Anyway, hopefully this post has been helpful. If you are looking at using 2mm scale for a project please don't listen to the 'they look hard to paint' brigade. Get a few bits and have a go. You will be pleasantly surprised.

........'till next time.....

Monday, 25 May 2020

2mm medievals

Hello all, hope you are all keeping well. This is just a quickie to show you what I have been mucking about with. But first:

Hey look kids, it's the 90's!

So what have I been mucking about with?.

 2mm scale medievals!. These are some test units for a campaign I may actually finally do.

 Here's some Knights having a bit of a charge about the place. 2mm is great for making realistic sized units

 These are from the horse and musket range being used as ranked longbows.

 Some leve foot. If I can put together another 3 or 4 of these units I reckon they will make an impressive battle line.
 These smaller units are just about passable as hand gunners or crossbowmen.

Each base is 6cmx3cm to give some idea of size. Here's a comparison picture next to a 28mm mini:

'come on lads, we can take him'!!!

 So why the sudden interest in 2mm. Well I was going through some older posts and I found a campaign I almost got around to starting, namely this:

You can read the innital background post Here. I planned to paint more 12mm stuff to represent the different houses but thinking about it two quick to slap together 2mm forces would not only reduce the hassle of painting so much it will also allow for some truly EPIC battles. Right, better put an order in to irregular.......

......'till next time.......

Saturday, 16 May 2020

How not to lockdown

Hello all, this will be a ramble, I apologize in advance.

My wife thinks this album is showing its age, so rather appropriate at the mo!.

Well then, my lockdown was going pretty well, not to make light of the fact that we are in isolation due to a global pandemic but taking it from a personal perspective of being basically paid to do hobby stuff just to keep me off the streets. Kind of the making lemonade perspective if you will. I have plenty of hobby stuff planned and was well ahead of where I thought I would be at this time at the start of the year. Then my ageing body went and kicked me in the proverbial. I had one of those fun mornings where you wake up and get out of bed only to find that some part of you really, REALLY HURTS!!!!. So here I sit, my calf muscle swollen and no longer weight bearing robbing me of a golden opportunity to forge ahead with the good stuff!. I'm definitely off work for at least another three weeks and am now likely to be laid up for most of that time under the gaze of the Amazing one who must be listened to at a costs not doing the following fun stuff:

1) playing some more test games of my element based rules (I had my 2mm stuff written up and ready to go!).

2) testing and tinkering about with my latest hobby buy:
A ranky-flanky pile of goodness

It looks like it could be good fun and doesn't require frequently rolling and rerolling a wrist damaging amount of dice to run like other games of its ilk (cough* Warhammer* cough).

3) painting one of three planned fantasy armies or the two innital forces for a new and improved reimagined version of my old 

Campaign, but this time set in a slightly different period that I think will better suit it.

Here's a clue.

So yeah, stuff went and got all slow!. I have my painting area gazing at me accusingly just inside my L.O.S wondering why I don't love it anymore!.

On another note I did manage to take some more pictures for my Stuff I want to get rid of page. This is a page that contains the minis I have admitted to myself I will never have the time to actually paint. Rather than have them gather dust it would be far better to move them on to someone that has a use for them. The last thing I want to do is have masses of unused minis that could be gracing a table somewhere.  The point of the page is to move stuff to a good home not make money so please have a look and grab a proper bargain (honestly an absurdly low offer that will cover postage will be enough providing you have a proper use planned for them).

A couple of the lots on offer, pop along for a gander.

And then I found this which made me chuckle:

........'till next time......

Friday, 8 May 2020

The Battle of Stumpclaw Way

Hello all. I decided to grab a moment to play another test game for my new element based rules. This time i attempted to put the rules under the stress of a really big battle to see what happened. But first:

Their best album....fact!!.

As I was saying I decided to set up a game that would stretch the rule system. No fancy narrative here unfortunately as I set things up and went at it, I used my kallistra 12mm armies which I decided to split along the lines of goodly human forces (red/yellow and blue/white) Vs an unhinged necromancer and his minions and henchfolk (black/yellow and black/white). I have yet to work out either a magic or points system so the necromancer is classed as a regular commander and I have no idea if the forces are actually balanced in any way.  It's also worth noting that I set up the table to be bloody awkward for both sides hence Stumpclaw Way and it's ruined watch tower was placed in such a way to create bottlenecks and force the units to 'clump' to put the rules for large combats with multiple units under strain.

Stumpclaw way by daylight, forces deployed ready for battle. The ultra evil Necromancers lot to the left and the goodly two daps to the right.

 The main evil battle line is formed.

 Spectres and Git Hounds on the right flank.
When horses go bad. Evil horse on the left.

 Captain evil pants himself flanked by his risen minions!.
His opposite number, the high commander of the goodies has a similar but better tactic, he's surrounded by giants!.

 The good Blokes battle line from the rear.
Their right also overloaded with horse riding types.

This is the first massive battle with these rules. One thing I wanted to stretch was the activation mechanics I am using. The rules use command dice to determine the number of activations each player has each turn. The players roll 1d6 per commander and then take turns to use one dice at a time, activating that number of units. Both forces in this battle started with 4 commanders which should show any major issues with the system. I have also been working on some reactions unactivated troops can utilize during the opponent's activation so even if you roll low on your command dice your troops can still react to the enemy. With that in mind I started the game.

 The action begin with hidden scouts from both sides revealing themselves and engaging in an archery duel.
Which was won in short order by the baddies!.

More good guy scouts jumped out of the treeline over on their left, a decision that looked decidedly dodgy when they saw what was heading their way!.

In the centre both sides advanced their archers and had at it as the sound of twanging filled the air.

 On the goodly right the horse advanced, Knights splitting off to cover the flank of the bow line.

The early stages of the battle.

 Despite attempting to fire and fall back the scouts on the good folk left are pounced upon by the Git hounds.

Prompting the sending of fresh troops to make sure the flank would hold.

 On the other flank the charge (and counter charge) was sounded.

The archery battle in the centre was not going the bad guys way as foot troops were ordered forward.

 One of the spectres couldn't resist a quick haunting in the ruined tower.

The necromancer ordered some of his horse to break off from the left through the pass to bolster the main attack.

 Having polished off the scouts the Git hounds faced some stiffer opposition.

The necromancer ordered his probing foot troops into combat to end the enemy ranged threat.

 Leaving one of the commanders exposed!. An opportunity the goodies were keen to exploit.

Some really very evil horse charged in to help their stranded superior.

Both sides commit troops to try to swing the combat on the arrow line.

Which ended badly for the baddies!.
 The Git hounds were also having a hard time over on the right and would soon be routed.

In the center fresh troops were committed.

 Having claimed the flank a unit of good Blokes push on to threaten the enemy rear.

The situation as it stands.

 The bad folk send in the main attack.

 Which successfully breaks the enemy archers.

However the good guys send in their best in response.

Which has an immediate impact, turning the enemy troops.

 The one bright spot for the not nice force is the breaking of the enemy cavalry over on the left. The horse on horse action had been in the Ballance all game but due to the narrow space had forced a string of really boring stalemates.

With the situation looking grim the chief evil dooer charged along with his reserves.

 Which ended in a bad guy flavoured collapse.

Come on guys we can take 'em....guys?.....

This seemed like a good place to call it. Aside from a few cavalry units over on the right the evil lot were done as an effective fighting force. The whole game lasted about 5 turns and took an hour and a half to play to a conclusion so I'm taking that as a win. I still need to play another big game as neither side lost any commanders until really late in the day so I will need to try it with less command dice for one side. All told it was lots of fun and gave a real 'fantasy battle' feel which is good. You never know, I may be ready to type these up soon......

....'till next time.....