The focus of this weekend was another Wars of Ozz play test game over Zoom. Chris and Greg were the opponents, and I was the game master. This time we recorded the entire game, and I have posted a video on YouTube. See the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUIIVap_vR8 This is a full, three-turn game that reached a decisive conclusion. Three turns doesn’t sound like a lot, but since every unit activates twice per turn and since you do a lot of things during your opponent’s activation, it feels like a lot more than three turns of activity occur in three turns.
After the game ended, I stitched together the video that Chris recorded and the video that I recorded to make the video that I posted on YouTube.
Before we started the game, while I had the table setup, I also filmed a short rules tutorial video that I posted to YouTube. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDsfgoS32-Y The production values are poor, and I will have to reshoot them later for the Kickstarter, but this will give folks an idea of how the game works.
After replacing all the door handles in the house to satisfy CINC Domicile, and three hours of work for work, I did have a chance to do a little painting on Sunday.
I finished three regiments of 10mm Prussian dragoons that I had sitting around primed and ready to paint for a couple of years. All of the 10mm Napoleonic figures in my backlog are painted and ready for action. With my focus on Combat Patrol, Feudal Patrol, and Wars of Ozz the past couple of years, Dave has used my 10mm Napoleonic more than I have.
I am really scraping the bottom of the barrel to find things to paint after two months of government-forced captivity. I don’t enjoy painting the early Bones figures at all, but these were sitting in the project box calling to me. (When I get new figures, I typically file, prime, and base them immediately so that they are ready to paint when the muse strikes me. They go into one of four 4L Really Useful Boxes, called my “project boxes.”) I tried the contrast paints that worked so well on the Wars of Ozz figures, but there is something about the mushy detail on the early Bones figures that made them turn out poorly. Anyway, they are just waiting for flocking to be “done.” I think these GW figures will be fun to paint, and I intend them to be very colorful to go along with the tanks I built (see previous post). These really won’t have a role in the What a Tanker! Leonardo DaVinci game, but they will look good on the table. This week I’ll plink at these figures a little each night and hopefully finish them next weekend. Then I have about 90 Vikings and Anglo Danes to assemble and paint.
During the current difficulties, I have been keeping in touch with the hobby by playing games remotely. Happily, years of practice left us ready for this. Yesterday, my sons had their turn, as I hosted a game for the two of them, separately remote. Since younger son William acquired DBA 3.0 fall, we have had a resurgence of interest in the game, and older son Norman and I (well, mostly Norman) have been at work reshaping and extending an earlier 1/72 Bronze Age project to cover more of the possible armies of the 13th century BCE. For yesterday’s game, we pitted the ancient Libyans (DBA Army I/7b) against the New Kingdom Egyptians (I/22b).
I set up the iPad on a tripod, having recently acquired a tripod mount for it, and laid out the reversible 3×3 ground cloth on the desert side.
Norman elected to command the Libyans, and William was therefore cast as the Egyptians.
We had to use a spare Egyptian chariot on a sabot base in lieue of the as-yet-unbuilt Libyan chariot, and the camps were also improvised. Of the choices that we could make, Norman elected to take an element of Sea Peoples “blades” rather than a second chariot, and William elected to deploy his Sherden guards as “solid” (rather than “fast”) blades.
The terrain system gave us a waterway along one edge (as the Egyptians, a “littoral” culture, were defending). William chose to use his amphibious capability to land two elements, some Nubian skirmishers and a renegade Libyan warband, behind the Libyan line in a bid to capture the enemy camp.
The battle then commenced. William’s amphibious force won an early advantage by destroying two of Norman’s right flank skirmishers, but faltered in their attack on the camp. After a single attempt, the situation in the main battle demanded all of his attention and command pips.
There was a good deal of pushing and shoving along the left end of the Libyan line (the Egyptian right), and eventually Norman’s Libyan “warbands” came screaming down off the hill in a bid to destroy the Egyptian infantry (against which they had a quick kill capability). He was in the unenviable position of attempting to hold off chariots with skirmishers while hoping for some luck with the warbands, and the dice were not with him. A couple of turns into the main fight, William finally overcame his cold dice situation, and killed two elements out on his right flank for the win.
The video quality was still a little underwhelming, so we supplemented it by taking and texting pictures of the situations on demand. As a result, the game took rather longer than it would have face to face. However, if there’s one thing that most of us have these days, it’s time on the weekends. With side discussion, set up, and the like, we were at it for about two hours. We all agreed that we need to gain a little more familiarity with the rules, as extensive play with the first edition of Hordes of the Things was tripping us up fairly regularly.
Next time, perhaps we shall dig out the 2nd Punic War figures; they haven’t seen a battle in several years…
Norman Dean As mentioned in my last post, after a couple months of pushing hard on the Bronze Age I was ready for a change of pace. Most of my (unchronicled) miniatures work in the past couple of years has been on Reaper Bones 28mm fantasy figures – some for a couple of Ghost Archipelago campaigns that were going on in our club, but also with the longterm goal of building up a pool of figures for D&D or other skirmish or roleplaying games. I still had several sitting around primed and ready to go, so I switched over to that for a while.
First up were some orcs – I’ve been doing these in a medium gray, as I wanted to avoid human flesh tones and also distinguish them from my 20mm orcs, who are green. I had three already, and I added three more this go-round – one with a spear, one with two swords, and one axe-wielding orc who appears to be left-handed.
Next up was Alahazra, Iconic Oracle, who could be either a D&D character or a Wave or Wind Warden for a future Ghost Archipelago campaign.
After that, I finally took care of a Cave Bear that had been languishing on my desk for a while. This ended up being pretty quick once I finally buckled down to paint it – almost all dry-brushing.
Finally, I painted up a Bones version of Aletheia Edair, Duelist, which I guess must have come from the most recent Kickstarter. It looked to me like she was wearing a slashed doublet under her armor, so I decided to go with a colorful, vaguely Renaissance theme.
Having had a nice break, it’ll be back to my fourth Bronze Age DBA army – the infamous and enigmatic Sea Peoples…
Sunday involved a fair amount of Mother’s Day activity, Saturday my daughter wanted me to teach her how the change the oil in her car, and Saturday night was virtual D&D. I also needed to sort through all my pulp figures and reogranize them from five Really Useful Boxes to six to make it easier to find figures I needed for a specific game. All of that limited my painting time.
I also made a good start on several regiments of Prussian Landwehr cavalry figures in 10mm. I hope to finish them this week and post pictures. When I complete them, I’ll just have two regiments of Prussian Dragoons to finish up all the 10mm Napoleonic figures that have been staring at me for a couple of years, filed, primed, and mounted on sticks for painting.
This past week I painted the “Courtesan” figure from the Bones 4 Townsfolk II set. This completes this set for me and completes all the Townsfolk from the Bones 4 Core Set. I prepped the figure in the usual way, soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying it. I then glued the figure to a brown-primed 1" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then placed the figure in my painting grip.
I decided since it was such a plain figure, I would attempt to do some fancy pattern on the dress. The figure appeared to look like it was meant to resemble a Japanese Geisha to some extent, which inspired me to want to to try to do a cherry blossom print on it. So to begin, I Googled “cherry blossom kimono” to get some ideas on patterns. Also, since I had just done a lot of white fabric on last week’s figure, I knew wanted to do something colored on this one, and I picked yellow.
I began by painting the skin with Reaper MSP “Bronze Skin”. I then painted the dress with Americana “Primary Yellow”, and her hair with Ceramcoat “Black”
Next, I worked up mid-tones and highlights on the dress using first, Crafter’s Acrylic “Bright Yellow”, then Crafter’s Acrylic “Daffodil Yellow”, Apple Barrel “Lemon Chiffon”, and finally a little of the “Lemon Chiffon” mixed with Americana “Snow White”. After that, I gave her skin a coat of Citadel “Reikland Fleshshade” wash.
Then, while the wash was drying, I painted the tree branches on her dress using Americana “Charcoal Grey”, and did highlights on them with Americana “Mississippi Mud”. Next, I painted her eyes, and then highlighted her skin with the base “Bronze Skin”, and some Reaper MSP “Bronze Skin Highlight”.
I decided at that point that the highlights on the branches weren’t light enough, so I added some more highlights with Americana “Fawn”. I then painted the flowers; first doing blossoms with Crafter’s Acrylic “Christmas Red”, and then giving them centers of Pathfinder MSP “Urgathea Red”, then I did more flowers with the “Snow White”, and then gave those blossoms centers with Crafter’s Acrylic “Tutti Frutti”. Next, I did highlights on her hair, first with Folk Art “Cloudy Day”, and then mixing in a little Crafter’s Acrylic “Cool Blue”, and finally adding in some spots of the “Snow White”. After that I painted the pendant on her necklace with Ceramcoat “Wedding Gold”, and then did the pearls on the necklace, and in the center of the pendant, with the “Snow White”. Lastly, I painted her base and the washer with the “Mississippi Mud”. I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish. Another overnight dry, and I sprayed the figure with Testor’s Dullcote".
I’m really happy with this one. I wanted to experiment with doing the the shadows, mid-tones and highlights on the fabric simply with paint, instead of my usual use of a wash; and I think it turned out pretty good. I am especially pleased with how the cherry blossoms came out, although I’m slightly disappointed in the face.
Several years ago I picked up a wooden display case at a craft fair (Bieglerville, PA). I made some backgrounds and placed some of my figures into the case.
You can see that the backgrounds stretched all the way across the shelves. You can see that some of the backgrounds didn’t make sense any more as the figure on display changed but the backgrounds did not. The second shelf from the top originally held some undersea figures, but those were consigned to a storage box, and the background no longer aligned with the figures on display. Also, since fanfold paper is no longer common and can’t be used in normal ink jet or laser printers, if you look closely you’ll see annoying, abrupt breaks in the backgrounds, which I tried to cover with trees and bits of foam. I decided it was time to revamp this display case.
I decided to print backgrounds and glue them to sheets of balsa wood in approximately 10-inch and 6.5-inch sections. The thought was that as I changed out which figures I wanted to display, I could just print a background and replace a single panel. When I painted some new figures I wanted to display, I could create a custom background for them.
I am pretty happy with the end result.
As you can see, many of these figures are ones figures that are unlikely to find their way onto the tabletop for a game but were fun to paint and make a good display for guests are not “into” wargaming. It was a fun, one-day project that I think turned out nicely. Now hopefully life will return to normal soon, and people can come over to game and see this in person.
In building a set of troops for the Spanish Conquest, I came across a couple of blisters of 25mm Ral Partha figures called “Aztec Arrow Knights”. These were in my lot of unpainted lead for the period, sculpted by R. Kerr, and dated from 1988. The blisters held 6 figures armed with huge feathered arrows – think javelins with fletching. As I thought that they were interesting potential elite troops with unique weapons, I decided to add one of the two blisters to my Aztec forces, keeping the other in reserve for future painting.
As I discussed previously, I had been doing research on the Aztecs. I looked for suitable color plates or guides to paint up this unit. To my surprise, there is a bit of mystery and possibly even controversy about Arrow Knights. History provides little evidence in the codices as to their existence – though there are clues here and there.
I suppose it’s not out of the question that an elite unit of Aztec warriors specializing in launching massively huge javelin-like arrows could have existed. Perhaps there was some confusion with the atlatl (ot-la-t) a spear-throwing device? Just because old Ral Partha made these does not mean that they did exist – but for the purposes of my games and my Aztec Army – they do now.
Of course, painting them would be up to me for choosing the colors. The only picture that I found was from a computer gaming site – and it did not match any of the plates. I did like the markings known as “hawk scratches”. I decided that I would give the unit a coloration similar to the cuahchic elites – that being a yellowish suit of tanned hide that would have been worn over their quilted-cotton armor ichcahuipilli (each-ca-we-pee-lee).
It was fun to break into this old blister from Ral Partha’s “1200 A.D.” line. The figures were all in the same pose, but I figured that I could orient their arrows in slightly different positions, use slightly different colors on each , and give different shields to each for aesthetics and ease of tabletop identification and playability. A familiar challenge was that the arrows were all lead – and vulnerable to bending and breaking. I also wanted them to have two big arrows – one to throw and one to use in melee.
The problem with doing this were twofold. First, I did not want to sculpt 6 little extra arrows – and second the little 25mm hands were too small to accommodate even the arrows provided. My solution was to use some steel wire pikes I had gotten from Iron Winds Metals during my Rooman War Party project. I cut the pikes to size and used super glue to affix them to the arrows. They would be the “second” arrow, albeit without fletching or another obsidian head. I think it worked – and you can be the judge.
Next, I’ll share some close up eye candy shots of each, a scale comparison, and some group shots.
Arrow Knight #1
Arrow Knight #2
Arrow Knight #3
Arrow Knight #4
Arrow Knight #5
Arrow Knight #6
I am also adding a new feature here. I want to be able to share related posts on the larger Aztec project with folks who have not seen all of the previous posts. Additionally, I need a way to help me keep track of my progress! Therefore, the list of links below will accomplish both for me.
Posts on Units for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest Supplement for Feudal Patrol – “Civilizations Collide”
I am actually enjoying being self quarantined on the weekends. It minimizes the honey-do list. As someone who pegs out the “I” meter on Myers-Briggs, I have been practicing for self quarantine my whole life. I was able to complete quite a few figures this weekend.
The first thing I did was open a box and find four of these Eureka Miniatures Hawaiian war canoes. I bought them months ago when Eureka first released their new Hawaiians. I didn’t want to assemble them before the move. There is not much to them. Picture I found on line show these canoes and un-ornamented, so there wasn’t a lot of detail to paint. I had to reach out to Nic Robson in Australia to figure out how to mount the sails on the masts. I hope to complete that this evening.
The second thing I knocked out was two packs of Pulp Figures I purchased months ago. They are redesigns and re-issues of figure sets I already had. They may have been the free packs I got when ordering enough figures online.
Three conventions ago Chris and I split a box of Oathmark dwarves. My intent was to build them without heads. In the most recent duck Kickstarter from Star Hat miniatures, I convinced Darcy Perry to offer sprues of duck heads. As part of my Kickstarter I ordered several sprues. I finished the figures while painting some other Viking figures. The delivery of the heads is delayed based due to COVID-19.
Greg 3D printed three Saxon huts for me before I moved from Maryland, but I just got around to painting them this weekend. I think they turned out pretty nicely. This picture shows some Vikings that some of the HAWKs painted for me before I moved in front of one of the three buildings.
Before Cold Wars, I was painting Ozz figures like crazy, but I didn’t have time to paint these three personality figures. These are named brigade commanders for the Wars of Ozz rules.
As a club, the HAWKs is looking at running a large, spectacular What a Tanker game using Leonardo DaVinci tanks. Duncan has made some skeletons of trapezoidal tanks for us to complete, but I also ordered three 3D printed ones online in 1:48 scale. I assembled and painted them this weekend. The printing was somewhat crude, so they look good at “gaming distance” but don’t stand up well to close inspection.
I’d say that is was a pretty productive weekend, and I even knocked out a couple of honey-dos.