Sunday, December 4, 2016

Epic Space Marines!?

I’ve been feeling a bit… despondent lately… and having a hard time motivating myself to do any painting, let alone painting stuff I feel I “should” be painting. I managed to get some paint on some wee micro SF figures and vehicles, however. They were “low hanging fruit” – a small number of things that finished up units.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

Space Marines with Rhino APCs and some Space Marine Terminators with later model Land Raider IFVs. (This is the newly painted stuff)

The complete force so far.

The force is notionally organized for Future War Commander. Each unit is meant to be a Company within the Space marine chapter and elements representing roughly a “platoon” worth of troops or equipment. From what little I’ve seen of the GW fluff, Space Marines don’t seem to have a rigid structure of platoons and squads. Companies instead seem to be organized of a bunch of squads – with varying amounts of organic support elements. I’ve decided to keep these companies as one type (as, for a logistician, it’s just going to be easier that way – otherwise company quartermansters would have to have spare parts and ammunition for piles of different equipment). Rather than thinking of these as “platoons” I try to think of them as “strength steps” within the company. The companies I’m organizing range from 3-6 elements.

The force above thus represents a company of Terminators, two companies of mechanized marines with Rhino APCs and a light Assault company of Marines equipped with jump jets.

I still have quite a bit yet to paint! I have a third company of mechanized Marines with Rhinos, and another with older pattern Land Raiders. I have two (or maybe three?) more companies of Assault Marines (perhaps I’ll make those companies larger – two companies of six rather than three companies of four…). I also have a company of marines on bikes and some speeder thingies – perhaps they might be two wings of a fast support or scout company? I don’t know. I also have a few more companies worth of marines that will just have to leg it without an APC or IFV type armour to carry them into battle.

For support I have nine assault-gun-like vehicles that seem to be built on a Rhino Chassis – and can never remember what they’re called. I’m not sure if they should be organized in two companies (one of four, one of five) or one over –sized company (of nine) or maybe they should all just be parceled out to the various mechanized companies for organic direct support…? I also have four other support vehicles (also built on a rhino chassis) with rocket launchers (one company of four – or parcel them out as well..?) I could end up having rather large companies with 5 Rhinos/Land Raiders carrying Marines with two assault guns and a Missile Launcher support vehicle in directs support moving up with the Marines.

I picked up a command pack of various 6mm metal command figures that I’d like to arrange as a Chapter Command element at some point as well.

I also have considerable forces of Eldar, Imperial Guard, Squats, and Orcs…

I got to thinking about working on these after I did my  Stocktaking last week – I didn’t even count up  these, but I decided to abandon a plan I’d been forming of buying some modern micro armour to do some Cold War Goes Hot gaming with Cold War Commander. (It’s all the new Cold War FoW stuff that’s got me thinking of Cold war stuff again – they look so nice, but I just can’t be bothered to play FoW or buy and paint 15mm). Instead I decided to get to work on the Micro Sci.i stuff. Maybe if I get them all done (or at least a decent portion of them) and actually play some games of Future War Commander with them and… you know… actually have fun doing so… well them maybe I could treat myself to some new Micro Modern figures (assuming I’m still interested).

I should really dig out the rulebook and get a game in. I probably have a similar number of Eldar finished....? 

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I’d like to say I’ll be getting back to the Great War Canadians… but it seems more likely I’ll paint a few more “fun” things before getting back to them. There are some Elves for a Dragon Rampant that I might put some paint on…? I do have the 23rd battalion sitting on the workbench, however, just in case the mood strikes! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

20th (Central Ontario) Battalion, CEF

With all that stocktaking done (and other brief distractions out of my system – or are they!?), I’m back to working on my Great War Canadians for Vimy…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

20th (Central Ontario) Battalion, CEF

The figures from the 20th (Central Ontario) Battalion, CEF, as with all of the figures in the 4th Brigade, are from 1st Corps.

The formation patch for the 20th Battalion was a green triangle surmounting a blue patch – the blue patch was for the 2nd Division, the triangle indicated the second battalion within the brigade and the green was the senior brigade within the division.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I’m skipping on past the 21st Battalion for now, and going to get working on the 5th Brigade for the moment (because I need to convert/repair a figure to finish up the 21st Battalion and I’m all out of Green Stuff…).


Yes, Dwarves… AND an Elf…

While rebasing the highland dwarves (mentioned in the previous post) I realized painting just three more would finish off another unit for Dragon Rampant… so… I kind of painted a few Dwarves over the weekend. (This may become a regular feature of the blog – painting something “fun” in between painting stuff for the Vimy project as in nears the end and starts to feel like a bit of a “chore”…)

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

Three newly painted Highland Dwarves and a Horn Blower for a Mountain Dwarf Unit. The Highalnd dwarves are from Old Glory… and I think the hornblower might be from Essex Miniatures?

These are the three units I have complete so far for the Highland Dwarf Warband I am building for Dragon Rampant.

The Highland Dwarves will likely all be classified as Bellicose Foot. I’m kind of torn about the rest of the force. I had thought of making one unit an “elite” unit of them and add “Terrifically Shiny Armour” to give them a bit more staying power on the battle field… but that would make one unit 6 points and the rest would be 4 points and that doesn’t add up to a nice neat 24 points. I mostly wanted to do that because one of the units is made up of West Wind Productions Highland Dwarves – which are considerably bulkier and meaner looking than these (which are from Old Glory)… I may just do six units of Bellicose Foot… but I am FOUR FIGURES SHORT of being able to complete such a force… dammit…

This is the unit the Horn blower was painted for – the Dwarven Jarl and bodyguards for the “Mountain Dwarf” Dragon Rampant warband… Originally I was going to leave it with the five others (saying the Jarl himself is worth 2 strength points) but when I line up the units in the storage box and all the others are 6 or 12… the unit of five just looked out of place (does that seem a bit OCD…? I’m probably a bit OCD…).

I also finished up this Elf Champion – the figure is an old Celtos figure, which are currently available through  Brigade Models - I actually just ordered a few more Elf archers to finish up a second unit of them for another Dragon Rampant warband.

The warband will be made up entirely of Celtos “Sdihe” figures. It will include two units of archer (Light Missile, Sharpshooters @6), two units of spear (light foot, @3), and this fellow as a single figure (or perhaps reduced figure - I might have a standard bearer and musician that could join him…?) unit of Elite Foot (@6 points). I also have a goofy looking magician for the force that I could potentially use (not sure how I’d rearrange the force to field him, though…).

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Well with that all out of my system, hopefully I get on to finishing up the 4th and 5th Canadian Brigades for the Vimy Project!! 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Stocktaking 2016

As I alluded to in the previous post, I spent a good chunk of my hobby time last week taking stock of things – well… taking stock of my 28mm figures, to be precise. As with any large project, I start to drift partway through and have been dreaming about new projects lately and so part of this was to sort of shame or guilt myself into sticking to it. It’s a large part of how I keep my self-motivated on big projects and I’m sure it’s a pretty flawed coping mechanism… but it’s how we get things done around here… (Strangely it doesn’t work at all when others try to shame me into doing things… probably because I know that game all too well – can’t pull that crap on me, I’M the only one that can pull that crap on me… I digress…).

The last time I did this was just over seven years ago. AT that time I had just over 8000 28mm foot figures and just under half of them were done. I also had about 500 mounted, 15 guns, and 41 vehicles – considerable less than half of those were done. Overall about 47% off the total collection was complete – painted and based and ready for tabletop action (because playing with unpainted figures is JUST WRONG! – in my little kingdom, at least!). For a more detailed breakdown of what I had then click on the hypertextified-linky-words at the beginning of this paragraph. 

As with the previous count, I only bothered to count the 28mm figures. I do have a few 15mm forces remaining (3 old Flames of War companies that I was last using at battalions or brigades in Blitzkrieg Commander), and quite a few 20mm Moderns (though I did get rid of all my 20mm WW2 stuff – thanks Bob!), and I have a bit of Micro (6mm) SciFi stuff – like Battletech and 40K Epic stuff. Oh and some homemade Wee Ships and Spacecraft… but they are relatively small collections, comparatively.

So over all I ended up counting 18908 28mm foot figures, 1011 mounted, 63 guns or other artillery (catapults and the like), and 175 vehicles or big beasties. And overall about 51% was painted (In calculating percent complete I weighted cavalry as being worth two foot and vehicles being worth 5) – breaking that down it was 10221 painted 28mm foot (54% complete), 381 mounted (38%), 32 guns (51%), and 48 vehicles (27%). Apparenlty I don’t like painting vehicles or mounted as much as I like painting foot figures (or perhaps I don’t find them as useful in games…?). I would guess this to be accurate within +/- 2% (it was easy enough to count all the stuff that’s actually IN the regular storage drawers, but I also have little boxes of this and that squirreled away all over the place and while I tried my best to dig them out and count them, I am sure there are some I missed – or it is possible I missed one or two when I started going cross-eyed after counting for three or four hours in the wee hours of the morning. In fact as I’m typing this I just realized I didn’t count all the old Blood Bowl stuff – which has been ingloriously dumped in the game box and had sat on the bottom shelf in the corner of the games room for over a decade and I can’t be bothered to run downstairs and count then now (in fact that is why it’s 2% - I originally typed 1%... but there’s probably 100 of them which could bring my error over 1% – most of which are painted, I’ll point out… and looking back at the previous post, I apparently forgot to count them last time as well…)

I didn’t break things down as neatly as I did last time. I tabulated things by mostly drawer rather than by force or collection, but then I moved stuff around in the spread sheet to get some generally breakdowns.

The most complete collection seems to be the Modern (post 1945 stuff), which includes Vietnam (Americans, Anzacs, People’s Army of Vietnam and the National Liberation Front), Afghans (for the war with Russia and more recent conflicts), Germans, French, Americans (Army and Marines), Cold War Soviets, Modern Russians, Cold War British (with FNs), Modern British (with SA-80s), Some generic forces for the Middle East, South/Central America, and Africa, and PILES of civilians and police forces and such… about 85% of the collection is complete - over 1500 of nearly 1800 figures – including a fair few vehicles.

(please note that not ALL of the figures painted are posted in the linked galleries – something I have to rectify at some point….)

The World War Two collection is also one of those closer to completion – about 70% complete – includes Soviets, Canadians, Germans (Heer, SS, Falschirmjagers, DAK, etc), Japanese, SAS/LRDG, British Commandos, Americans (army infantry, Paratroopers, and Marines), Early War French, Mid-war French Foreign Legion, British/Canadian Paras, and assorted partisans and generic-mid-20th-century armed civilians.

The Great War era stuff is also nearing completion – thanks largely to the Vimy Project… about 75% complete (1775 out of 2291 foot, and 109 our of 163 mounted). This includes the Canadians, Germans (early and later war), Early War British, Early War French, Turks and ANZACs for the Middle East, Germans and British in East Africa, Warlord Chinese and Bolsheviks.

l projects are lagging a bit further behind – only about 40% complete (775 of 1956 foot, 25 of 97 mounted) – largely due to great number of unpainted British and Zulus … These include British and Zulus (and other Africans), as well as assorted Victorian Horror and SF characters and forces, Martians, Boers, French Foreign Legion, American and German Marines, Old West, and Canadians and Metis for the Riel Rebellion.

I have a few Napoleonic Era figures, it is one of the least complete collections – though, once I counted, was higher than I’d anticipated… I’ve completed about 19% of the collection (176 of 934 foot and 5 of 29 mounted). Most of the unpainted ones are boxes of Hät plastics I picked up dirt cheap – like $5-7 for a box of 30-40 figures – how could I pass that up?! I may never get to them, but they’re there – should the mood ever strike!

18th Century subjects are about half done (54%) – including Seven Years War British and French, as well as Jacobites, Pirates and other assorted swashbuckling types.

17th Century - largely English Civil War – are 64% complete (342 of 534 foot and 38 or 60 mounted) largely due to some significant headway I made earlier this year.

The Medieval & Medieval Fantasy collection has expanded rapidly in the last year or so – largely due to Lion Rampant,  Dragon Rampant, Frostgrave, and A Song of Blades and Heroes - my painting has not, however, kept apace with the purchasing however. In 2009 I had about 70% of the collection complete, today only about 45% (1091 out of 2302 foot and 73 of 215 mounted!). I have THREE European Medieval retinues for Lion Rampant as well as a generic middle eastern Muslim one (Seljuks, mostly), and multiple DBA armies and Dragon Rampant warbands for Elves and Orcs and Dwarves, LOTR Rohan and Isengard forces, Rats, Undead, Halflings, Dark Elves, a half dozen adventuring parties for Frostgrave, and piles not formed into units that could be used for A Song of Blades and Heroes or assorted role-playing games (playing a bit of D&D 5E these days! And John has been threatening to run WFRP). These will see some loving when I’m done with the Vimy Project…

The “Dark  Ages” collection mostly consists of DBA Armies for Norde Irish, pre-feudal Scots, Vikings, Normans, Anglo-Danish, West Franks, Welsh, and Anglo-Saxons. A fair bit of these are done (about 80%) due to the 2012 Dark Ages DBA Campaign I ran.

Likewise, a lot fewer of the Feudal and Fantastical Japanese (I really need to get some pictures in that gallery!) were it not for the Ronin Campaign I ran for the 2014 Wargaming Birthday Bash Weekend. The collection includes HOTT/DBA armies and individual figures for Ronin – Skirmish Wargames in the Age of the Samurai and Role-playing games. In addition to historical Feudal Japanese the collection includes a great deal many fantastical figures from the Legends of the Five rings. Actually only 45% are done – but it’s be a lot lower if it hadn’t been for Ronin – I went a little overboard picking up the L5R stuff a few years back I have nearly 1000 figures in this collection but over 400 are done, so…

I was a little surprised to find that half of the Ancient and Mythical Greece collection was complete – considering I have five complete Hoplite DBA armies (or 12 elements of spear, 7-8 figures per element) of which I have hardly put any paint on. But all the individually based heroes and monsters and assorted ancient civilians I included added up to quite a few.

I didn’t bother separating out the Romans in the tallies… it would likely be similar to the Greeks – I have one complete DBA army, but enough unpainted figures for three or four more, but I also have a LOT of individually based figures Roman army, Gladiators, and Civilians (which are all mixed in with all the other assorted ancient civilians – which I counted as part of the Greeks)

The collection that is the least complete is the DBA Successors armies. I have about 450 figures for five successor armies (as well as Thracians, Skythians, and Classic Indians) of which 6 foot and one elephant are complete… about 1%.

And what have I concluded from all this…? Well I probably don’t need to be buying much new stuff anytime soon… I have PLENTY to paint. I did a bit of planning and organizeing as I went through – for example I have two groups of Fantasy dwarves – regular ol’ “Mountain Dwarves” as I’ve called them in my little world to differentiate them from the “Highland Dwarves”. I had originally planned to do bot Hordes of the Things armies for both – as well as having a bunch of extras for skirmishing and role-paying and whatnot – and, more recently, using with Dragon Rampant. As I went through I realized I’d need another SIX elements of Highland Dwarves to finish the HOTT army… at 6 figures per element – another 36 figures…. I am loathe to buy more figures at this point – especially for a game I haven’t played for a few years (though I would definitely like to again…at some point…) so I decided to rebase the ones I have painted as well as the ones I had on painting bases that were destined for that force – and now I have enough for a complete Dragon Rampant Warband of them… well… almost… I’d need less to complete a Dragon Rampant Warband that I would to complete a full HOTT army of them – and a Dragon Rampant warband is likely to see more use in the foreseeable future than another HOTT army…

Of course then I spent an evening re-basing figures instead of painting more Great War Canadians… So this thing I did to ease my mind about future projects and prevent distractions, ended up being a bit of a distraction in and of itself… but I kind of expected that, and I feel, in the long term, it will prove to be more help than hindrance.

I think after the Vimy Game is over I’ll move onto other things for a bit. I had though of getting some terrain done for a Passchendaele game in the fall – since I’ll have all the figures for it! And I may still do that… but I also need to do some other things – to keep me sane and loving the hobby. I’d like to work on the colonial projects for The Men Who Would Be Kings and finish up some units for Lion Rampant retinues and Dragon Rampant warbands… maybe play some more Frostgrave and/or A Song of Blades and Heroes…? I also would like to finish up a few more 17th Century figures to play En Garde! and The Pikeman’s Lament.

I’d also like to get back to work on some Ancient and Mythical stuff and play some more Song of Shadows and Dust and try out Faustus Furious (which I picked up a month or so ago and finally got to reading a few weeks ago) and Of Gods and Mortals (which, strangely, introduced me to Andrea Sfiligoi’s rules, but I have yet to actually play!? I’d really like to revisit the idea of running Song of Shadows and Dust  as a wargame weekend campaign – with some Faustus Furious-chariot-street-racing mixed in for fun!!

More on all this in a month or so when I look back at 2016 and plan for 2017…

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Some Dwarves – a minor distraction brought about by all this stocktaking an plannificating… Then back to the Great War Canadians… hopefully… 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

German Trench Mortar

I haven't been terribly productive this past week for… reasons… Largely I spent a couple evenings just taking stock. I’ve been getting distracted thinking about future projects. NEW future projects and I thought perhaps it was time to do a little stocktaking – mostly to shame myself into not considering any new projects for the next year or so… but more on that in another post….

I DID manage, in the meantime, to finish up this little German trench mortar team from Great War Miniatures.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

Lovely little kit. Very easy to put together.

I particularly appreciate the little details GWM throws in with these kits – the case with mortar bombs and rifle, etc.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Perhaps another battalion of Great War Canadians…

Or perhaps a bit about the stock-taking I did over the last week. honestly I’m a little embarrassed to post the figures…

Anyone care to guess at how many 28mm figures I have and what portion of them are actually painted?

I tell you what - if I get at least six guesses I'll post the results.  

Monday, November 21, 2016

19th (Central Ontario) Battalion, CEF

And back to the Khaki….

The figures from the 19th (Central Ontario) Battalion, CEF, as with all of the figures in the 4th Brigade, are from 1st Corps.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

19th (Central Ontario) Battalion, CEF

The formation patch for the 19th Battalion was a green semicircle surmounting a blue patch – the blue patch was for the 2nd Division, the semicircle indicated the second battalion within the brigade and the green was the senior brigade within the division.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Hopefully the 20th Battalion… 

Friday, November 18, 2016

More Ancients and Mythological Creatures

So how many “little breaks” do I get to take from a project before I can consider myself “totally distracted”…?

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

Ancient Persians from Casting Room Miniatures (who are currently having a “pre-xmas” 20% off sale on their historical miniatures like these – I did not pick these up in the sale. I’ve had these a while. Though  I’m not entirely sure WHEN I picked them up… probably a year and a half ago when I was picking up stuff for Song of Shadows and Dust.

Thracian Women from Wargames Foundry which is the same guys as Casting Room Miniatures… but a different website – which is SUPER annoying because orders cannot be combined If I want to order 4 packs from one and 4 from the other I have to pay twice the shipping I would if they were all from the same website – actually at 8 packs (combined) it would ship free from one or the other…. (unlike… say… North Star Figures which also sells Artizan Designs and Copplestone Castings and Crusader Miniatures and maintains separate websites for each of them – they all go to the same cart and orders can be combined).

I digress…

Here’s what their backsides look like.

Gorgons! The one that is primarily red and yellow (tried to go for a Corn Snake look) is from Reaper Miniatures, the other three are from Wargames Foundry or Casting Room Miniatures… I forget which… I think they may be the one line that is available through BOTH websites! The Black Snake gorgon I actually painted… um… wow I guess it was over four years ago - but I’ve included her here with the others because… well.. they’re all done so I thought I’d take a picture of the group….?

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Back to the Great War Canadians… no, really… the 19th (Central Ontario) Battalion is the only thing on my workbench and I’m not putting anything else on there until they’re done!