Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Some Project Changes

Been a while since my last update- damn! I have been so involved with other projects and school that I let this one slip a little. However, I have been thinking about my efforts so far as of late. One thing I have decided on doing is going over to the dark side of skirmish wargaming with this period. A big deal for me, since I don't play too many skirmish type games. What I mean by "skirmish" here is basically any game involving individually based models organized in small units - or acting as individuals. Here is what I have decided so far:

  • remount existing (some/all) collection on single figure bases,
  • deciding on some rules to use
For rules I am opting to try several really. The main one that stands out for me is the old stand-by, Smooth & Rifled. In addition, I will also be playing with the soon to be released rules, The Men Who Would Be Kings, by Dan Mersey - which I did some play-testing with. I played S&R quite a bit three years ago with the ACW, and I liked them. I am pretty sure these will fit the bill at the moment. There will be others I am sure.


You may be wondering at this point why I am switching over from Black Powder and "unit" based rules. Well, the main reason is time and money. I am not so sure I am willing at this point to build up armies - in 15mm anyway - for larger battle rules such as BP. Skirmishing is actually perfect for my interest level at this point. In addition, since getting in to 10mm Napoleonics, I am strongly considering collecting 10mm models for my Colonial period bigger battles. Those little 10mm models have definitely captured my imagination and opened a whole lot of doors for me in this hobby - like Napoleonics. But I digress.

At this point in time, expect to see a complete conversion of my current 15mm collection over to individual based models. This will allow me to take advantage of my collection, and deal with time constraints as well.

Monday, June 15, 2015

British Drill Video

Lindy did a great job with this little video. It shows some British infantry drills of the era done by reenactors. Worth a watch.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

First Regiment of Foot completed!

Well, a couple days ago I managed to finish off my first regiment of British foot! Pretty amazing actually considering my time constraints. Here are a few pics to showcase these lil guys. Still have to decide what regiment they represent (66th foot?) and do some extra insignia on the models to indicate such. No rush really. Sitting on the painting desk at the moment is my first and second units of Ansars! So I have to get a move on with them as well (not to mention some new terrain).

Troops deployed in line at the entrance to some lost village.

I wanted these guys to look like real campaigners. That means a dark and dusty appearance! I actually love this style of painting as it is much more realistic than the "clean" look of troops off the boat.

Notice the "dark" and dirty look.

24 figs mounted on four stands. Each stand is 30mm square.

I really like the officer in the lead. He has a nice "over there!" look about him.

15mm Blue Moon miniatures are really nice and fun to paint.

Deployed on a small rise before the village. Love the Cigar Box mat!

Now all they need is some reinforcements!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Trees, trees, ... and some more trees!

Just got some really sweet palm trees in today. Three different sizes in all; perfect! All that is left is to base them and add a splash of paint to them.

I probably wont get to these little guys till late in the week. However, I do have my miniatures on the desk so I should be getting them well on their way to completion.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Setteling on a "Khaki" Color Scheme

Been tinkering with colors for my for my 15mm Brits in the Sudan. Among other things, the "khaki" uniform color is a tricky one. I really like the brown-ish tone to the uniforms over the flat khaki color we sometimes see in pictures. Been trying a few mixes to get the color I like the most. So far, what I have settled on is a more golden-brown color as seen in the couple of pics here. Of course I may still take this result a step further and lightin it up a bit more. However, for the moment I am satisfied.

Test Model:
I like this shade of Khaki. Very gritty and classic.

Basically a dark brown base color followed by some golden brown. This was washed with a flesh-tone ink, followed once again with golden-brown. The flesh wash by the way also darkened up the white/cream colored webbing.

Test Model:
The beginning of some experimenting with "khaki". Also, YES, it snowed here yesterday.
Spring? What is that??!!
Test Model:
A view from the back. Webbing picked out with some cream-white.

Anyway... progress continues.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

New Terrain and Basing Issues Settled!

Progress continues on my Blood, Sand and Empire project. This week I managed to finish off a couple desert dwellings for my layout. Did some experimenting with the texturing on these. The bigger one was given a good coat of joint compound ("spackle") with sand mixed in. The smaller was white glue, sand, and a touch of baking powder. Not sure about the latter. It did dry very quickly however - not really a good thing. Either way both turned out alright for my purposes. Astute readers may recognize the models as being from the old Epic 40k wargame by GW! I simply converted them to fit 15mm scale.

Some new buildings all finished.

To go along with these two building I have also purchased two boxed sets of desert buildings for Flames of War (Battlefront pre-painted). These sets include a total of three additional buildings, some walls, and a well! So that should be enough buildings to get me by at the moment.

Also, I bought a ton of plastic palm trees off of Ebay to go along with the few I already have. All they need is to be painted up a bit and based as appropriate. Of course, I still need to make more terrain for rocky areas, cliffs, and shrub/greenery to clutter up the table.

As for my basing dilemma, I have finally made a decision! I have decided to base my infantry six models to a 30mm square stand. This is very useful and equates to 24 models on four stands which is perfect for representing a "standard" size unit in Black Powder, as well as for units in Battles for Empire II. My units will look big and have a really nice feel to them. "large" units are six stands, "small" units are two stands, and "tiny" units are six individually based models. So I am all set regarding that. The "tiny" unit models are perfect as I want to use them also with some skirmish rules I also have and am eager to have a go with.

Six models in two ranks on a 30mm square stand. Perfect for Black Powder
and Battles for Empire II.

I should have more stuff in by the end of the next week or so, so stay tuned for that. As soon as I finish some ancient Gauls I am painting, I will start getting these models on the painting desk and get some Khaki splashing about! Perhaps next week I will post some more photos of the lay-out using my Cigar Box desert mat and some new terrain.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Basing the Troops and Options?!?

Basing has always been an issue for me. Especially when if comes to regular infantry. For one, I like to have diversity with the mounting system I use so I can always try out various other rules systems with little hassle (a plus these days with so many options out there today). Another very important element regarding basing for me is how the models look and feel on their little base. I like a chunky base with some weight to it. I also prefer my units to be large, taking advantage of the mass effect 15mm can provide. So, when sitting down and looking over my options regarding various rule systems I want to explore, as well as taking into account the above mentioned preferences, I have come down to a couple options:
  1. mount six models in two ranks on a 30mm x 25mm base, or
  2. mount six or eight models in two ranks on a 40mm x 30mm base, or
  3. mount four (or six) models in two ranks on a 25mm square (or 30mm square) base.
I have considered mounting models four models to a base in two ranks. This option looks too small for me; for another; I don't like columns of troops in two files only - just doesn't look right, even for a march column. Three files is a must! Note that option one above really isn't an option or me, as I feel 30mm depth on two-figure ranked foot should always be a min. of 30mm. 25mm depth is too narrow for me.

A March column!
24 models on four separate stands. Stand is 30mm square. Three files on each stand looks perfect!

After reading up on basing in the Black Powder rules I was quite surprised. It seems that more important than the number of figures, or the amount of space each model takes up, is the overall "foot print" of a unit as a whole - I like this! In 15mm scale, a 24 figure "average" unit will take up a frontage of 120mm. Using 30mm wide bases this equates to exactly four stands! If I chose to use 40mm wide stands that would work as well- although only three stands which is somewhat awkward when representing things like square or attack column formations. Black Powder allows for all manner of basing schemes really, fitting my purpose just right. This would in fact allow me to have my figures based in all manner of ways if I chose, yet still be able to play with these rules with little if any change.

30mm Square stands: Each stand has 6 models arranged in three files, two ranks.

Looking at the Battles for Empire II rules however, there are some restrictions that must be adhered to. Top of the list is the fact that all units are four bases in size - the number of figures does not matter however. So in a way, I have to pay attention to how I go about mounting my little soldiers so I don't end up needing an absolute ton of models for one unit! Lets face it, four bases of six to eight figures is quite large indeed. However, this does not bother me as much as the amount of table space such a unit may take up on the table-top. I need to be able to take advantage of the fact that smaller figures allow you to have units with a smaller "foot-print" than say a unit of 28mm models.

30mm Square stands:
This mounting system will allow me use the figures with different rules systems with relative ease.

30mm square stands:
Each stand has a nice feel to it. Somewhat cramped, but I could always place four or five models on a few bases for variety.

40 x 30mm stands:
120mm frontage for 18 models. Note the "split-tray" to allow me to represent attack columns and squares better - no odd stand to deal with.

40 x 30mm stands:
With only six models per stand, lots of space on each base but retaining the look and feel of a unit.

40 x 30mm stands:
A little less dense a look to it - only 18 models instead of 24.

40 x 30mm stands:
24 models on three stands (eight models per stand). Standard 120mm unit frontage (same as for four 30mm square stands). Just as dense as the six models on a 30mm square stand.

40 x 30mm stands:
One stand is a "split-tray", turning three stands into four.

Again, the look and feel are most important to me when it comes to mounting my models, not to mention the option of using these little soldiers with multiple sets of rules as I desire.

After much debate it seems I am starting to lean towards the 30mm square stands for my basing. This allows me to field my standard size units as four stands of six models; a nice look. It also allows me to keep that even number of stands so I do not have to deal with an "odd" stand sticking out when forming things like squares and  attack columns. Following on with the Black Powder rules, this means my "average" sized units are 4 stands, "small" two stands, "tiny" one, and "large" are six stands (36 models)! Using the Battles for Empire II rules units will also be four stands strong and occupy the same ground frontage as in Black Powder. Of course this is kind of big for those rules, so I may simply set unit sizes at 3 for those rules. Also, the rules don't make use of attack columns, so that is not an issue.

Anyway, I just thought I would throw my random thoughts regarding basing miniatures out there. If anyone has any comments about this feel free to do so.