Thursday, September 21, 2017

Strengthening the Legions

Last weekend's trip to visit my Mum in Wirral also gave me a chance to pop into the War Game Store in Brimstage.

I picked up these guys:

Another 60 Legionaries will give me a very usable little Republican Roman army. I'm a little disappointed that the velites-and-command-figures sprue is identical to the previous legions-in-chainmail box but that's not a problem.  Most of the velites in this box are going to be converted into unarmoured hastati.

I have a choice now. Should I keep going with Carthaginians until I've finished my second unit of citizen levy spearmen or should I start painting Italians straight away?  Keep looking out for updates!

Whilst at the shop I also invested in a second TIE Bomber for X-Wing.  I'm planning a scenario based around a strike mission for Christmas.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


We've seen the Roman army that emerged from July's trip to Brimstage.  Now I've finished the first Carthaginian unit that owes its origins to the same shopping expedition.

These Carthaginian citizen levy spearmen are mostly by Victrix. There's also a Black Tree Spartan and a couple of Foundry types in there too.

They will be treated as Hoplites in To The Strongest!

Next up is a unit of Gallic cavalry.  Perfect as mercenaries in the army of Carthage.

These guys are all by Warlord Games.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


I really hate these Warlord Games waterslide transfers!

This shield decoration has been on and off the front of the shield three times as I try to flatten it down.  In the end it's only stayed in place because I somehow managed to keep it in one piece whilst painting the surface of the shield with watered-down PVA before reapplying the decal with a wet paintbrush.

I think I'm probably going to abandon the rest of them and do hand-painted shield designs.

Monday, September 11, 2017

On the Workbench - More Ancients

More progress on the plastic Victrix guys from my Gauntlet/Wargames Store trip. These Carthaginian  citizen spearmen are nearly complete:

There are three metal figures mixed in and they give a pleasing heft to the unit.  I guess these are later models than the Victrix Romans as the spears are much finer. So much so that I've already broken and re-glued one of them.

Next up are these Gallic cavalry from a Warlord Games box I picked up cheap at Wargames Emporium in Sheffield.

These are an interesting lot. The horses and the legs of the riders are single-piece white metal castings. Upper bodies , shields and weapons come in the form of a sprue from Warlord's plastic Celtic Warriors box (complete with a load of spare infantry legs).

I'm not 100% convinced of the believability of some of the upper body poses as riders rather than charging foot warriors.  Also some of the upper bodies are a little slim for the white metal waistbands they sit in.

By the way, the white metal casting has a concave upper surface into which the convex torso fits.  I've found the best way to join these is with a drop of superglue followed by a small blob of Green Stuff followed by another drop of superglue.  Press down, clear up anything that squeezes out of the join and leave to set.

I also have to say that I'm unimpressed by the waterslide shield transfers that came with the models.  They are excessively glossy and, when they finally deign to come off the backing paper, distinctly lacking in adhesive power.  I've had to try and run thinned down PVA under the edges to hold them in place on the shield.

There are 10 figures in the box. I plan to finish one unit of four before the weekend, when another trip to Wirral might see more toys arriving from the Wargames Store.  Another four will give me a second Gallic unit whilst the remaining two may go towards the Gallic/Germanic bodyguard of a Numidian king.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Senatus Populusque Romanus

About fifteen months ago I was visited by a realisation. If I accepted the "that-looks-good-enough-at-arm's-length" approach I could paint 28mm figures at a reasonable pace. That way I could retain my interest long enough to get a small but usable force completed before my brain flitted off to some other project.

The new approach allowed me to complete Swiss, Burgundian, Late Roman and Bacaudae forces for Lion Rampant and now I've managed to finish a whole box of Victrix Republican Romans.

Based for To The Strongest! these guys form the basis of a Polybian Roman legion.  I need to add an ala of cavalry. I have the figures from Curteys; just need to get them assembled, painted and based.

The legion consists of three units of velites (Light Infantry, javelin) ...

...and two of hastati (Legionaries, small)...

... it's the unit that's small, not the men by the way. And then we have two units of principes (Legionaries, veteran, small)...

You'll note that the second unit of principes are on to half-sized bases. This was a late decision. I suddenly realised that I could add a 4cm wide base to an 8cm wide "small" unit to make a unit at my standard 12cm element width.  This would allow me to use these guys as post-Marian-reform cohorts for, say, the later stages of the Jugurthine War or perhaps even for Caesar's campaign in Gaul.

And finally, it comes down to the triarii...

These old lags of the Roman army are Hoplites, veteran, small in TTS! terms.  I'm going to repaint their plumes in black and white. That will help players less familiar with the army to distinguish between the three types of legionaries (all my hastati have red plumes and all my principes purple).

Oh and finally, finally we have this, intentionally nameless, legate commanding the force...

These guys are never going to win any painting prizes but they are finished, and finished in just two months; the box of figures was purchased on 3rd July from the Wargames Store in Brimstage.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Officers of the Borsetshires - Rolica

As I reported recently, we used the Sharp Practice rules to generate the characters of a selection of officers from the Borsetshire Regiment.  I intend to come back to these guys on an occasional basis as we follow the Regiment through the War in the Peninsula.  Having done this I thought it would be a good idea to record the result here in case the original paper copy gets lost.

We start with some of the battalion officers and then go on to the officers of the Light Company, who will be the main focus of our games.

Lt Col Pargeter is the commanding officer of the battalion. He comes from new money and has extravagant wealth. He is of average build and a good looking chap. Honourable and charming, he is a stunning linguist.  He's a Level IV leader.

The first of the battalion majors is Major Markham (a Level II leader). An honourable chap, he rose from the ranks to his current elevated position. Though fair of face he is a sickly cove. He is thoroughly disliked by officers and men alike (the men prefer to be led by a real gentleman).

The other major in the battalion is Major Tavington. Like the Colonel he comes from new money but is personally impoverished. Perhaps his mill-owner father disapproved of his career choice?  Tavington is of average stamp and fair of face. He is affable but is secretly a cad.  He's another Level II leader.

Sergeant Major Horsham is the Borsetshires' Quartermaster. Thoroughly disliked (but what efficient Sergeant Major isn't?), Horsham is a good looking chap but a sickly cove, having suffered greatly from an ague contracted during the campaign in the Low Countries. He's a Level II leader.

We now come to the officers of the Light Company. Captain Archer (of course) commands the company.  He's a Level III leader and a former gentleman ranker. Diminutive and of plain and unremarkable looks he is a thoroughly dislikable cad.

The light company's senior lieutenant is Lt Villiers (a Level II leader).  Coming from a military family he is very conscious of the honourable behaviour expected of a gentleman and an officer. Though fair of face he is a diminutive chap and very sensitive about his height. His short temper and wicked tongue lead others to regard him as a vile individual.  Despite this, the Colonel was happy with is performance at Rolica.

In that regard he is matched by the company's junior lieutenant. Beastly Lt Rogerson shares his brother lieutenant's military background but unlike the poverty-stricken Villiers, Rogerson's uncle is a General and he enjoys money and influence.  A giant of a man, Rogerson is fair of face. He's another Level II leader.

Sergeant Grundy (Level I leader) is a strapping fellow but hideously scarred. He's a vile individual who rules his men with a rod of iron.

The other light company sergeant is Sergeant Walter (also a Level I leader). Another strapping fellow and a handsome devil he is affable and popular with the men.

The company's three corporals are all Level I leaders.  Amos Able is a sickly cove, though a handsome devil. He's a vile individual despised by all.  Michael Norris is a strapping fellow, though plain and unremarkable of visage.  He manages to make himself thoroughly dislikable. And finally we have John Brown. He is something of a mystery, rumour having it that he is the illegitimate offspring of some noble house. This flashing blade taught fencing to gentlemen before joining the army.  He is fair of face and an affable fellow.  Brown did a solid job when the light company first encountered the French near Rolica.

So there we have it. With the exception of Colonel Pargeter, Sergeant Walter and the mysterious Corporal Brown, the current crop of leaders don't have a great deal to recommend them. I wonder if the Borsetshires are a happy regiment at this time?

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Winged Hussars at the Armouries Today

Jamie and I met up in Leeds to see the Winged Hussars special event at the Royal Armouries today.

There was a very entertaining presentation about the charged of the Polish hussars at Siege of Vienna by an English re-enactor...

... followed by a display of remarkable horsemanship by a Polish group.

Apart from the skill of the riders at controlling their (locally supplied) horses, I was struck by the way they were able to aim so precisely with the three-metre long lances.  At pretty much a full gallop, with laces crouched and leaning forward in the saddle they were able to keep the lance rock steady and with its point aimed exactly and human-head-sized targets from twenty or thirty yards out.   Brilliant stuff and well worth the entry fee!