Saturday, April 30, 2011

Confederate artillery battery

After the disastrous defeat in our first game of Terrible Sharp Sword I decided we needed something extra to break the Blue lines. We agreed on a house rule the first game that a couple of artillery hits on a unit behind barricades, fences etc reduces the level of cover over time.
So here they are.  Three pieces ready to shoot the Blues out of their beloved cover.

Still have the limber and ammunition caisson unpainted anwaiting for their turn. These are two 12 pounders and a 3 inch Rodman. I have painted some extra barrels so I can switch them to what I need for the day.
The models and guns are from Redoubt and they have plenty of choice. I mixed some of the packs to create different actions:  Moving the gun in position, waiting for the enemy and firing.

Couple of close ups can be found in the ACW Gallery. Hope you like them...

 Just noticed some distortion on the sides of the picture. Camera settings were on 16:9 so you want to avoid that when taking pictures...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Basing walkthrough

Following up on the painting Confederates step by step a walkthrough of how I base my minis.

No shortcuts for me when it comes to basing. It is such an important factor to the final look of the unit that I even do some extra highlights on top of the usual three I do on figures. The time it takes to do an extra drybrush really is neglectable in the whole process. We are talking only a couple of minutes here. The complete unit was based in around one hour excluding drying time for the pumice.

The good thing about basing is that you can make mistakes. You will always get a second chance in the next step to correct and there is nothing a well placed tuft or grass can't hide. So I grab a large brush and start throwing pumice and paint on.

First up the end result

Because the walkthrough is picture heavy you will have to press the read more to enter...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Salute 2011 and a Freebie

Salute freebie
Already bored of all the ACW on this blog lately? Well, Salute just passed so this is the time to get distracted from current projects. A full day of shopping and admiring the gorgeous tables usually means I drop everything at hand and start something completely new. This year again I was impressed by some demo games and tempted to run to the nearest trader who had at least something of that period.

I was too busy (uhm lazy) too get my camera out on the day but there are many show reports out there and a huge picture walkthrough to be found here. Highlights for me were the The Battle of Maldon by Gripping Beast,  the Peninsular battle by League of Augsburg,  Gallipoli 1915 Warlord Games, The battle of Verneuil and the two ECW games: Battle of Worchester 1651 and By The Pike Divided. I always thought gaming ECW must be boring but who cares if it looks like this.

New minis
So for the people not in to ACW I did buy myself into a new period. And since I already own an unpainted ECW army (the grey one unfortunately) I bought some revolutionary French from Trent. Should go nice with the Brigade ones I hope...Bought a lot more additions to other unpainted armies but the major investment goes to the scenery again. Tons of painted fences, trees etc and a huge river set.
But with the main theme being ACW and a fantastic freebie I could not resist painting straight away, I am still inspired to finish the ACW army. Thank God.

 A word on the plastics. These minis are everywhere nowadays and new army releases are announced by the day. Good news because it gives us choice and they are cheap but it's just different IMO. Painted twelve Nap British some time ago and decided to quit them. Did just one French greatcoat to test them out and they were OK to paint and assemble.
Saturday I got excited (or confused) and bought another box of plastics. Early French. Opened up the box yesterday and closed it real quick to put it in the bottom drawer. Looking at all the sprues made me remember the time it took me to assemble them and why I put them away in the first place. No way, not that again. Give me metal. They even take up less storage space.

The one and only painted plastic Perry

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Terrible battle report

It's time for Salute. As I am preparing my shopping list now I will do a quick mini-story of last weeks Terrible Sharp Sword battle.

Our complete group was actually together for this game. Our aim was to get some miniatures on the table, play a couple of turns to see how the rules work out, see what scenery we need and get inspired to paint. This means most of the evening we discuss what we are going to buy and what our next period of choice will be. Apart from the inevitable Nappies (I've heard the new Russians too many times now) there were some votes for Viking raids. We'll see.

As for the game it was a bloody and pretty boring affair, esp. for the Greys. The Blue guys had set up the table while I was busy with the joys of the host making sure the guys do not dry out. Notice on the pictures were all that Blue started on the battlefield. Yes right, behind all that cover. Now notice were they ended. Yes, behind that same cover. I think only one of their groups moved 5inch all evening.
Since we (the Greys) outnumbered them with three groups (and we needed to do something if we wanted to test the rules) we decided for a frontal attack. Stupid? Yes, but we needed to do something if we wanted to test out the rules. So we got shot to pieces and did not get anywhere near them. So all very simple but we had lots of fun again and the Blues are experts in firing tables now while the Greys are the masters of routing rules.

Couple of pictures of the game. The complete gallery is uploaded to photobucket

These guys moved the 5 inch...Back behind the cover

You see, that's better..

Brave attackers

a die in the picture..shockpoints already.

privileges of the blogger, taking pictures and hiding from behind the camera. Notice the inspired Jacco on the right. Is he sleeping while Rob is counting his new record of sixes shooting at his troops?

Back to the shopping list. CU @Salute!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Painting Confederate regiment, step by step

Finished the next Regiment and for the first time I made notes of the colours I used so I will have them ready when I want to paint another and I will have forgotten again. I also took pictures of every step of the process. I am sharing this but since the page is picture heavy I have hidden it after the page break so you will have to press read more if you are interested.
Note that this is just how I did it and there are probably a thousand ways to do it better or quicker.

The Regiments represents the 15th Georgia and the figures are from Renegade. Added them to the ACW gallery.

Changing styles...
To get units on the table more quickly I have adjusted my painting style. While I used to paint batches of four miniatures or so, I now paint larger batches for certain periods. In this case sixteen. This is a significant change since now I paint units instead of miniatures. A new approach with a different way of thinking. As I start I now imagine the end result for the unit as primary objective instead of the miniature that now becomes just a piece of the final product. I have painted too many tiny details in units I guess that are never noticed anyway.
In this case I aimed for the grey irregular look of the Confederates but I also wanted to make it a bit more interesting. With the red flag and the red parts of the officer and drummer I decided to do a madder red blanket roll near the centre and add red flowers to give a bit of colour to the centre to make the unit stand out a bit more.
As for the painting itself I more or less use the method from the well known Dallimore book starting with shade colours and applying highlights.

Who has the right to eyesight?
In the past all my miniatures proudly owned these rights. But after careful consideration I have withdrawn the rights and limited them to certain miniatures. This saves a lot of time and I don’t think eyes necessarily give a better look or add anything to the finished unit. And the other thing with eyes is that if you do them badly it is immediately noticeable.  It’s one of the features everyone will automatically look at when they pick up a mini. So I only grant eyesight to command or maybe a special front rank figure that draws attention, but that’s it. This
unit only has one pair of eyes and they belong to Col. Dudley M. DuBose. The rest will have to follow him anyway. But if you do them, please make them tiny, no even more tiny, and if you think you are done reconsider and tiny them even more, until you almost can’t see them.. If you are still here you will do a good job as your eye for detail is amazing!

This Regiment took me around twelve to fourteen hours to finish; so slightly less than an hour per figure. The fact that these Renegades minis are so easy to paint also reduced the painting time. Oh, and putting this post together adds another hour.

For the step by step press Read More below.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sharp game report

Last weekend I played a game of Sharp Practice with Rob. I lost big time. While that's not really big news the way it happened was. At least for me. Those of you that know Rob (and you all do, he is that landwehr guy elbowing his way in at busy trader stands at the popular shows) also know his aggressive tactics. Basically he will charge anything in sight (he prefers cav units) and if no enemy is near he takes the shortest route to make sure he can charge next turn. Okay, he may be smarter than that but you get the idea. This game he deservingly won by a clever move outmaneuvering half my force who were comfortably waiting for some point blank shooting. Hmm, I didn't see that coming. 


To start of we set up the table and chose three victory objectives. Church, very small village and the windmill. We picked some units to game with and diced for the arrival location on the table.
The French (Rob) managed to hold the church from the attacking Spaniards while his other columns neglected the Windmill and went straight for the village. The British could not react quick enough and the Voltigeurs provided enough firepower to keep the British line busy for some time. The Spanish grenadiers defending the village did  not stand a chance and the French soon secured the second objective. Game over. Time for some more beers.

Some pictures of the game....The full album can be found here: LINK

First, Rob's heroes of the day...

Where are those French? Ah at the village...

Monday, April 4, 2011

New blogger features, cool for wargames blogs?

Last week Blogger released a preview of five new dynamic templates that will be available soon. I'm impressed with some of the new views it creates around pictures and the different perspectives on the content. But what I probably like most are the speed improvements for loading pictures.  With wargames blogs being picture heavy/centric most of the time it could be interesting to use some of these new views in the future.

I am curious. Which do you like best and what are your thoughts on the views. Cool? Interesting? Confusing? Ugly? Move there asap or stay, it's fine as it is...

You can preview it here: LINK or try it on your own blog by adding /view to your URL address.
In the upper right corner you can switch to the five different views that all provide a different perspective to the blog.

For the techies...
From the Blogger Buzz:
Today we’re previewing five new dynamic templates in Blogger that you’ll soon be able to customize and use for your blog. These new views use the latest in web technology, including AJAX, HTML5 and CSS3, to deliver a host of benefits to you and your readers:
  • Infinite scrolling: read more posts without having to reload or click to a second page
  • New layouts: different views suited to different types of blogs
  • Speed: download images as you view them, not all at once in advance
  • Interactivity: there are now more ways to experience and engage with blog content
To try these views on your own blog, simply add “/view” to the end of the blog URL—for example, These new views are available on all public Blogger blogs with feeds fully enabled—to learn more, including how to disable these views for your blog if you wish, please see our help center article.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Confederate skirmishers

A quick update as I want to spend  time on painting today. Next week we have our first ACW game so I try to finish another Renegade regiment  and an artillery battery of three guns.

 These skirmishers are Redoubt. With all the head variants they provide no mini will look the same. Went for an all kepi unit to make them a bit different from the rest. I will add eight more to this unit once I get the ordered miniatures delivered here...