Friday, November 30, 2012

Hurricane IId for FoW

Latest commission work on the queue done - a Hurricane IId in tropical camo scheme, 15mm scale by Battlefront. Never had done a plane at this scale before, but I´m pretty happy with how it turned out.

On the commission queue lots of different things: from Tibetan 15mm Cataphracts to markings on Churchills. Will have plenty to keep me busy and variety enough to avoid boredom :)


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Seljuk Emir done (kind of)

Apart from a couple of minor issues that a larger than 1:1 photo made blatantly obvious, these figures are now done and set the tone for what I want the rest of the army to look like:

Banner is in the Abassid fashion (plain black) accented with the Seljuk colours (blue) and with the Seljuk double-headed eagle in the reverse side. Carpet is based in the Konya patterns that originated in the Anatolian Seljuks.

I kept the pallete short to make the blues and reds stand out. I couldn´t resist painting up the "fruit" on the arab servant´s platter as Ferrero Rocher :) Plate itself in blue and white pottery, from China through the Silk Road.

I am not very familiar with desert basing and tried Sandy Paste - worked very nice. I accented that with some Basecrafts pebbles and dry grass tufts.

Now I will leave the Seljuks alone for quite some time as (happily) I have a good pipeline of commission work to finish.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Current status of Late Republican Roman 15mm

Three additional elements finished and delivered on this comission.

One unit of Legionnaires (only two to go)

The Light Horse element of the army - Numidians

And a Gaul command (either auxiliary or to be used in different armies)

Not much left to go on this job. Everything should be done in 2 to 3 weeks.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Viriathus & Stalins

Been busy on the workbench lately. Last work finished couldn´t be further apart in chronologically:

15mm IS2 tanks (Battlefront) done on comission:
Command IS2, with some stolen oil painting of a Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies splayed on the turret

One of the other tanks - the IS2 is a beast!

This one shows off nicely the pigment work I tried. Worked nicely, will use again

All 5 of the IS2 bumper to bumper

And a Lusitanian command stand with Crusader Miniatures:

Commander is Viriathus - his shield design is supposed to be Endovelicus, an Iron Age pre-Roman Lusitanian God

Next few days I´ll be finishing some Numidian Light Horse and a  Late Republican Roman Legion, both part of a FoG army comission.

Oh - I also managed to find time and dab some additional paint on my Seljuk Emir (right down the middle of the timeline between the previous 2 figures). Still some way to go, but he currently looks like this:

The Seljuk Emir, now with 100% more carpet


Friday, November 9, 2012

Work started on Emir

Started to do some work on the Emir who will command my small Seljuk host.

Blocked out some of the major colours and did some highlighting work. I also did the carpet. Turns out Seljuks in the Xth century were major influences in carpet making. I looked a whole lot of carpets and went ahead and concocted my own. Middle East means business with their carpets, and every colour and pattern in loaded with symbolism. I kept mine simple and floral/tree-of-life with some stars and moons on the border and made sure I used blue, which is a colour heavily identified with the Seljuks.

Sultan also sports a blue silk tunic, the traditional Seljuk hat (the boerk), riding boots and trousers of a pattern I´m still working out (currently stripped as you can see below). His golden goblet has water. I painted him with streaks of grey on his beard and braids. He certainly cannot represent Kilij Arslan - the Sultan was 17 when the 1st Crusade began, but already an accomplished commander. Will have to procure a more action oriented miniature for that (actually Perry´s command pack has Kilij himself, so I´ll just grab that).

This particular one would be an Emir, that has set up a command post directly on the Anatolian step and calmly surveys the battle field as he sips water and is waited on by his servants.

Emir of my Seljuk army

I quite like how its turning out. I will now move on to the other figures that will be in this composition (servants and a banner bearer). Overall look will help me decide on some colour details on the main figure.

I always try to do the "center piece" of a new project first, as it will set the tone for the entire project, even where it comes to colour pallet. I have  a big load of unpainted lead but am in no rush whatsoever - these miniatures are an absolute pleasure to paint. On their way from Perry are another 3 packs of Seljuk horse archers, which will help flesh out a mainly horse archer force supported by an armoured horse archer elite, the ghulam and complemented by some foot militia (town garrison).


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Open for Commssion work

I´ve been doing more and more commission work in the midst of the personal projects, so I might as well make it official.

I´ve just started, so my rates are pretty aggressive. Contact me for details at if you want me to budget some work. I paint any scale and any period (both for commissions and my personal projects), and historical work is well researched before starting.

Latest work out of the workbench:
Gaul Cavalry 15mm based for FoG (bad lighting, will solve that soon)

15mm IS2 part of a 5 tank platoon
So future posts will be a mix of commission work and personal projects - I´ve been slapping some paint on the Seljuk Turks and will have something ready to show soon.


Monday, October 29, 2012

On the workbench - commission work

A pause from Seljuks and Crusades to do some Commission Work. I just started doing this type of work, having never previously sold a single painted miniature, and it´s going rather well. In fact - I have a massive pipeline of work already on order, so over the next month or so the comission work I´m doing will feature heavily here.

Last night I finished (all except basing) 6x Numidian Archers in 15mm (Corvus Belli is the manufacturer) for an ongoing Late Republican Roman FoG commission.

Numidian Archers 
Excellent miniatures and a pretty straight forward colour scheme, as the Numidians used plain unadorned and un-dyed  tunics.  Bases will now get a dark brown wash and then a khaki drybrush to make the miniatures "pop" and I´ll add some tufts to give it some contrast.

All my projected commission work are in this 15mm ancients area. Next up will be a unit which will be much (MUCH) more colourfull - Gaul Cavalry (as Cavalry auxiliaries for the same Late Republican Roman army).

Already done are a couple of units of legionnaires, Cretan archer support, a command base with a mounted praetor and a Fortified camp - all of which went without any photos, unfortunately.

Currently the commission queue is filled for 2012 :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

SAGA Rûm Seljuk Turk Project.

Been a bit slow on here lately, but for perfectly good reasons - I´ve been playing and researching more than painting, and this is mainly a painting blog, so no finished product to post here.

However, I can post up the framework of my SAGA Crusades project, to give some context for miniature posts to follow (which will be mainly in the Seljuk Turk theme).

 I´m constantly finding excuses to get into yet another Perry range, and I found a good one now :) As I mentioned in previous posts, I wanted to take advantage of a finished SAGA Norman host to make the jump to the Middle East and the 1st Crusade.

I knew the miniature range I wanted (Perry 1st Crusade Muslim Army - Perry Crusades - Muslim) but I knew little of the details and generally had a Hollywood like preconception about the crusades (Arabs with turbants and scimitars).

The more I read the more interesting and complex it became - there were Egyptian Fatimids that corresponded more to the Hollywood Muslim warriors, Bedouin tribes, Turcoman horse-archers, Armenian bare chested and bare-headed ghazis - a large selection indeed (and, very importantly, all covered by the Perry Range). So, where to start?

Ferrero Rocher Sultan. I´ll start with the Ferrero Rocher Sultan

Quick historical note - The Rûm Seljuk Sultanate:

Pope Urban II
 The 1st Crusade spawns from a call for aid by the Byzantine Emperor - Alexius I- to Pope Urban II - the Seljuk Turks had taken Anatolia in 1070s and where menacing the existence of the Eastern Roman Empire itself. Urban II answers de call (about 20 years later). Objective one, help Byzantium - objective two - take Jerusalem back into Christian hands.
After defeating the Byzantines at Manzikert in 1071, one of the commanders (Suleiman ibn Qutulmish) promptly declared Anatolia a Seljuk Sultanate, the Rûm Seljuk Sultante - independent from the Great Seljuk Empire.
The word Rûm originates from the word Rome - because Anatolia was "Roman" (Byzantine) land to the Islamic people.

Malik Shah
Malik Shah, the Sultan of the Great Seljuks was not happy about the loss of Anatolia - the Rûm Sultan Suleyman would eventually lose his life in Antioch in 1086 at the hands of Tutush I (Syrian Seljuk Governor, a vassal of Malik, effectivelly dissolving the young Rûm Sultanate.

Suleyman´s son (Kilij Arslan I- literally, Sabre Tiger I) would be taken hostage until Malik Shah´s death in 1092 (a mere 4 years before the crusade).

Upon Malik Shah´s death, Kilij promptly takes command of a Turk tribe (the Oghuz Yiva) and heads "home" to Nicea in Anatolia, reinstating the Rûm Sultanate.

 The death of the charismatic Great Seljuk Sultan Malik Shah left the Great Empire shattered.

Ladies, meet Kilij Arslan I - Mr. Sabre Tiger himself

A melting pot of tribes and emirates where the Byzantines dropped more than a little intrigue to keep the beneficial turmoil brewing. In this landscape, the Rûm Seljuk Turks are one of the largest organized field armies (some 10,000 strong) and the first enemy to be encountered, immediately at Byzantium´s southern border.

The Rûm Sultanate sitmap in the 1090s

The SAGA adaptation

The Rûm Seljuks presented some challenges in their adaptation to SAGA.

The largest one was that the army was almost exclusively made up of horse archers, something that is almost absent in the dark ages and therefore not very present in SAGA.

I worried that it would be too powerful on the table, but I couldn´t do it using levies (the elite of the Seljuk Turks where in fact armoured horse archers - the ghulam).
Ghulam on foot. Definitely not a SAGA levy.

The other challenge was balancing the board to give me the feeling of the army, that deployed a multitude of Turcoman tribal horse archers to harass and pepper the enemy, feigning charges and running while shooting, etc (small anecdote: only Turks who could shoot both forward AND back where allowed to don 2 white hawk feathers - this is a tradition dating back to their far eastern origins).

When the Sultan deemed that the opponent was disorganized or wrong footed, the Ghulam Askari body guards would charge, ending the battle. What I ended up doing (and it survived one playtest already) was reduce effective range of bow on horseback to M.

Also, to represent the multipurpose nature of Ghulams I allow them to take the bow on horseback without dropping 1 in armour (other mounted penalties apply).

 I then had the boon of the Arab Conquest battle board on Wargames Illustrated #300 and made a slight adaptation of Arab Stallions to allow a shoot and move tactic (called Manzikert in the board bellow). Turned out pretty well. Some further board tweaks will bring it closer to what I want (fatigue points on enemy via shooting to represent the disruption of the enemy line by horse archers and some evasion reaction to charges - both these board mechanics are already present on pre-existing battleboards, which leaves me confident in the balance. Haven´t tweaked the board yet, so it looks like this now:

Also, rumour has it that Wargames Illustrated #301 will have a Byzantine battle board... :)

This means I get to see how they tackle the mounted archers question and also defines what the next natural project will be...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Reaper Djinn

Before I jump head first into my 1st Crusade Arab SAGA warband I did one last fantasy figure. A Reaper Djinn - just the thing to ease me into the middle-eastern theme.

Last post here was a WIP of the figure where I mentioned a number of things I was not happy with. I've gone and fixed them in tonight's painting session and am now quite happy with how it turned out.

Quite different from the way it looked last night and I am now happy with it.

Next up on the workbench, Perry Muslims :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Work in Progress - Reaper Djinn

I will change the whole smoky bit, as I´m not at all pleased with how it turned out. Will make it darker and more unnatural, using either greens or blues in the deep recesses and some OSL to make it pop. As it stands now it really isn´t doing anything for the overall effect.

Went for some fine dark lines on arms and chest to try and emulate body hair. Not quite there, but good enough for a first experience.

Rest of the miniature is pretty much done, just a coat of matt varnish away and a touch up of the base.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Retro fantasy undead mounted Lord

I personally need to take a brake once in a while from a project so that I don't become bored with doing it. In my particular case I normally use fantasy to take a brake from historical painting.

I had this miniature lying around (among a pile of similar miniatures) for a while after I picked it up at a local store who was having a sale on the whole range. It comes with a mounted and foot version.

I used lots of blacks and grays to work on my highlighting/shading and tried to do indirect lighting in pale green (not completely happy with how that turned out though...).

Quick footnote: basing material is from a recent order (autumn leaves was actually a freebie in said order). Inexpensive and excellent (plus, superb service). Recommended.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

More Perry Clergy for Normans/1st Crusade

Another 4 done, Peter the Hermit on a Donkey, Praise de Lord Priest, a bishop and Bad Back priest.

Only a couple of miniatures left before I can call this project closed and move on to the Muslim side of the 1st Crusade. I´ve kept those tantalizing Perry black boxes securely closed lest I stray from the path and leave (yet another) project 99% done.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Perry Clergy - first batch of 5

First 5 clergymen done, another 5 to go.

These are from the excellent Perry Crusades range. Must collect them all! :)

Over the next days I think I´ll be able to tackle the additional clergy figures (with the occasional ox thrown in the schedule).

Friday, August 10, 2012

New arrivals for my Normans

Some new additions to my SAGA Normans have arrived in the shape of some Perry black boxes. Love these boxes (a friend of mine says they look like jewel boxes, and that they are).

Having most of what I need for the army itself, these new arrivals are mainly for flavor (there´s a mission where you have to escort "something" out of the table, and these will fill that role nicely).

Pictures are the ones from the Perry website as mine are all still somewhere between the shiny metal and the brown undercoat stage.

Some clergy command figures from the Crusades range (Perry code CU18):

Some assorted monks and priests from the same range (Perry code CU28):

Some Oxen from the Perry WOTR range (code WR2026) - I´ll only use the Oxen to give some colour to my scenery.

In the same order I also got the first pieces of my next project. 1st Crusade Muslims. The Perry range is excellent and at last I gave in and bought 3 codes to get me started (these will be confined to their little black jewel boxes until I finish my Normans, lest I get sidetracked, which I would...)

The way I found to justify (to myself...) the absolute need of getting some Muslims is that the Normans are only a short step away (or none at all) from Crusaders in the 1st Crusade, and I would need some antagonists.

More on these Muslims once the Normans are done.

Monday, August 6, 2012

1st SAGA game ever - Normans vs. Vikings

Everything was silent in the small farmstead of Aix-les-Couchons, a couple of miles from Normady´s shore (as represented by a "Seaside" box). It was Saturday and all the fields were empty (there was a Petanque match between Rouen and Bayeux for the Nationals). The small garrison (4 points) of the watchtower overlooking the fields watched over the peaceful landscape as the Petanque results came in via signal fires of another tower on the horizon.

Initial setup (we used the great terrain placement rules on SAGA)

The silence was broken by the clash of metal on metal - a Viking raiding party was coming in from the North!

Disposition of about 80% of the Viking warband, with Levies at the left, warlord and warriors on the center and hearthguard at their right

It looked like the new advertising campaign from the Normandy Tourism Board was not that brilliant after all ("Normandy - come for the fabulously wealthy churches, stay for the pork delicacies!")
Mmmmm... Pigs!

The commander of the Norman garrison reacts quickly and spurs up his men: "They can have our women, but they will never take our pigs! Erm.. Whoever shares this with anyone will lose his croissant rations for the week! At them!"

Norman Cavalry ready to storm to the Viking Lines

Without warning (and wishing to get it done over quick to find out the Petanque scores) the Norman cavalry rushes to the Viking raiding party, taking advantage of the fact that the Viking warlord was busy going through a recipe book for pig on a spit.
Normans midway through their charge. We use sheep and ducks as fatigue markers.

In a blink of an eye the Normans clash with the Viking levies, yet to get an arrow off at the Knights (it was the 1st turn, after all):
Mismatched fight - Norman Warlord and 8 Norman Hearthguard clash into Viking levies.

Slaying all but two of them, who ran back to the protection of the Viking lines, where the Viking Warlod Ikea Allenkeysson smiled as he stroked his heavy axe (which he had assembled himself, without reading the instructions!)

Normans lose 1 Knight for 10 levies but are now exposed to a counterattack by the Vikings

The precipitation of the Normans was exactly what the experienced Viking Chieftain had expected. At the exchange of some lowly levies the Normans now stood exactly where he wanted them! He lifted his heavy ax and the viking warriors rushed the already fatigued (2 markers for all the running and fighting) Norman Knights.

Norman Hearthguard & Warlord are charged by Viking Warlord & Warriors. The Fatigue accumulated by the Normans would be decisive for the outcome.

Heavy casualties are taken by both sides in a desperate fight and for brief moments it looks like the Normans can yet snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, but at the end the Norman Garrison commander looks around and all his Knights have fallen.
The Norman Warlord with 1 fatigue marker is left standing alone against 4 warriors and the Viking Warlord. His fate was sealed.

"Any last wished dog?" bellows out Ikea Allenkeysson. "I want to die with honour." the Norman cooly answers. "And with my favourite cow, Margery. I want to die with my Margery."
The Norman had fought well and bravely and his wish was granted.

Cow marker is Margery, the poor thing.

The rest of the Norman host dispersed, the pigs left at the mercy of the Vikings. The Dux had to be warned of the invasion - the day would be avenged! (Actually it wasn´t - we did another quick fight which was much more balanced but the Vikings prevailed again.)