Sunday, March 29, 2015

I had the day to myself yesterday so brought out a bunch of terrain stuff for some gluing. I find a hot melt glue gun to be very therapeutic every now and then!

Here's what I came up with. Still have to do the painting and flocking. With these bases, and the trees I did at the beginning of the year, I should have enough to do one pretty packed 4x4 table or 2 less densely packed ones when we do our Muskets & Tomahawks weekend at the end of April.

Of course this will be great for forest encounters, but I want some more various settings than that for my battles!

So I've been busy collecting buildings and materials for scratch building. As always, I've got ambitious plans but who knows how much I will actually get around to.

My hope is to do enough terrain to have the following table setups:

1. Some type of fort. I am thinking to stay realistic in 28mm scale I would probably be leaning toward Fort Bull or Fort Necessity if I model it on a real one, or could be a generic stockade fort but small like these two. I would like to do a block house and palisade, and can use the Pegasus cabins as the barracks and store houses of the fort. Might do a stone powder magazine too.

2. A bare bones frontier settlement. I got the Bachmann Plasticville cabin for this, as it looks more "rough" than the Pegasus ones. Many of the Indian raids in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and New York were on small settlements of just 1-3 families living in cabins in clearings in the woods, rather than full-fledged frontier towns. A table like this should be easy to do, because it's mostly just forest but contains a clearing with the cabin(s).

3. A built up area including houses and farms - but more a more established town than option (2) above. This would have larger fields, nicer houses, a church, etc. I'd like to base this on the skirmishing that took place on the outskirts of Quebec during the 1759 campaign. Many of the small villages around the city were raided and burned during the summer prior to the main battle. This painting called "New France" by Lewis Parker gives a great example of the look I'd be going for:

The pattern of settlement in Canada was for the villages to extend in a continuous line along the banks of the St. Lawrence, so it would be nice if I could include the river bank in the setup. Of course this limits the usefulness of the table though, so I might make the river separate and modular...

4. A river! I actually have a couple of 4x4 tables already, one with a 4-5" river carved into it, and the other with a 2-3" stream running down a hillside. So I would like to do a larger river - but I'm not sure if I want to do a modular river that can be placed on any flat table or a really big setup where pretty much the whole table is taken up by the river, it's banks, and islands in the middle (or a bend in a river).

5. A dock scene. Not sure how I want to do this or incorporate it. I definitely want to have some docks and some boats, of which I've already collected quite a few! But again, I'm not sure if I want to dedicate a whole table to this or just do some modular pieces. If it's modular I can add it to the Town or Fort tables. From all the reading I've been doing, it seems like the capture or destruction of enemy boats was a major objective during raids, so I think this would be a great addition for raid scenarios, to change it up from the standard goal of destroying houses.

6. An indian settlement. Why should all the raiding take place in the provincial towns? There were raids on the native settlements too! This could also double up and be useful for King Philip's War scenarios, where it was more common.

I've got some other ideas too, especially for specific locations like the lighthouse at Louisbourg or the saw mills in the woods on the outskirts of Ticonderoga. These probably fall into the realm of "never going to be executed in real life" though!

The end of the month is drawing near... and only 3 months into the year, I was already in danger of missing my "10 minis a month" goal!

Fortunately I finished a female Frost Giant for my Norse army (Of Gods and Mortals), and got mostly done on a British officer for the French & Indian war.  Just have to varnish him and he'll be all done.

Unfortunately I got caught up working on some terrain so forgot to varnish him... which means I can't really count him as "done" yet because he's not ready to go into the display case!

I will take a pic once he's done but in the mean time, here is the Frost Giant:

She's a Reaper Bones model from the first Kickstarter. At this point I just have to work on some Norse mortals, and I will have a small but playable army for both Greeks and Norse. I have some Wargames Foundry Vikings which will fit the bill nicely, so I'll take some pics whenever I get around to this.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Actually had some progress this weekend!

Finished a unit of 8 French Grenadiers by Crusader. These buggers have been on the painting table for weeks. It was a relief to get them done and in the display case!

My French army for Muskets & Tomahawks is coming along nicely. If I include Indian allies, it's up to about 400 points now.

I also finished sealing the flock on those bushes from last weekend. I sprayed them with watered down Matte Medium... a messy job. I like the way they look but still think I should multi-base them next time to do them as area terrain.

I love the look of this last plant when it was flocked up, looks like a big overgrown bush / small tree. I had this one in my stash of "jungle terrain" and decided to spray it brown and flock it up with the rest. I wanted to make some more of this one... Of course, with my luck, I can no longer find this plant anywhere. I'm sure I got it at either a pet store or a craft store, but I've checked the local spots and no luck. D'oh!

Finally... did a quickie paint job on some boats. Boats can be used in M&T and I'm sure we can come up with some house rules to add them in our Song of Drums & Tomahawks games as well, seeing as how the waterways were such a central part of frontier warfare.

The one on the left is a "jolly boat" and the ones on the right are called the "sea pup" by Games of War. I am not happy about the fact that the boats are not in the shape of real Bateaux / Whale Boats so I might buy some more and cut them in half + reassemble... seems like a pain in the butt but it is bothering me that I know these are not accurate!

I am getting down to the wire on my "10 minis a month" goal this time. I only have 8 painted and we are closing in on month end! I think I am going to cheat and work on some minis that I had started previously to squeeze two more in...

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Hasn't been much to report lately... mainly because I have been taking forever to finish  unit of 8 French Grenadiers! I was hoping to have some pics of the finished unit to post this weekend but it was not in the cards.

I wanted to have SOMETHING done this weekend since I didn't finish anything last weekend either, so I switched gears and worked on some terrain for a little bit.

I plucked off a few of those plastic bushes from the mat I bought and based them up. Tried out chopping a few of them up into smaller sizes as well. Here is one of the "baby" bushes:

I sprayed them a dark brown so the plastic plant itself would be the branches, then flocked as if I were doing trees.

I think the result was pretty nice. The one thing I regret is basing these individually. I'm glad I only did a few as a test. I think I will do large bases of rough terrain with some rocks and bushes for the rest. These look nice they are just a little but too fiddly.

Here are some shots of an Indian taking cover in the bushes:

I noticed that because of the structure of the plants, they would work well as forest bases for smaller scales if you leave them in clumps, because the base of the plant looks like tree trunks.

Here are some 10mm Pendraken troops I painted up as a test piece alongside the bushes, they make the switch to "trees" pretty easily!

And of course, the obligatory comparison shot showing the 10mm Brits next to the giant 28mm Indian!

So... I got "the talk" today from my wife - the one about too many packages of minis arriving!

Haha... this is a risk I run every now and then when I get carried away and start clicking "buy it now" and "add to cart" with a little too much zeal.

So with that in mind I'm going to try to take stock of what I've got and come up with a plan for the next few months of painting. Hoping to attend Historicon this year so it can't hurt to take a break from buying for a few months leading up to the big show :)

As a result - I have updated the "lead pile" and "painted list" rosters for my FIW project. The updated lists are on the sidebar... as with every collection I have - there are a lot more UNpainted than PAINTED already - and I've been interested in this period for less than a year!


I'll update it as I go along, and hopefully looking at these constantly will encourage me to get things from the bad list to the good one!

Monday, March 2, 2015

February is over... One bad thing about trying to keep a log of my progress is that it makes the year seem to go by much faster. It really makes you realize how slow you paint when you measure the months in number of figures painted!

Anyway, the good news is that I am still on track with my reasonable goal of at least 10 models per month.

Last month I got in a nice surplus, and completed:

8 Compagnies Franches de la Marine
8 British Regulars (35th, Otway's Regt)
1 British NCO

I also got one small terrain project completed, as I painted up a bunch of the Pegasus log cabins.

Still on track!

So for next month... I have to figure out what I want to do, as I still have a lot more French than British painted, but the only Brits I have prepared and ready to paint are Regulars and those guys took a lot out of me! No more lace for me for a while.

I think I'll go back and paint my French Grenadiers by Crusader. This will give me a complete Languedoc Regiment (well, "complete" in my terms anyway! I am planning on doing 24 models to a regiment).

I'd really like to paint my militia troops from Perry but I don't look forward to spending another Saturday cleaning up mold lines etc. any time soon, so they'll probably wait.

As far as terrain projects, the quest for corn continues. I think I have a solution. I am so excited about it that I might make it my terrain project for the month!

I humored my wife by taking a trip to IKEA on Saturday. This is always an adventure that takes many hours and costs several hundred dollars...

The good news was that I found quite a lot of useful stuff on this trip!

As we were walking through the fake plant section, this one caught my eye:

It's called a "FEJKA"

Just as I was about to give up hope on finding an affordable solution for model corn stalks! I think that the leaves on this one will fit the bill quite nicely. They are not as perfect as the scale corn stalks for model railroad layouts by JTT or Busch, but they are a lot cheaper too!

Here are some shots with the "stalks" removed and lined up next to a 28mm model:

I think they'll be fine. This is about how many you get with one plant:

I bought a few, so hopefully I can make a nice little corn field!

Also, I got another Coir door mat. These are commonly used for wheat fields.... which I have done in the past, but I cut mine up to small sections. I am thinking of leaving this one "as is" to represent a large field:

To give an idea of size, the mat is 6'x4' and the table is 8'x4'

I also got some more trees this month when they were on sale at MicroMark, and bought this mat from Michael's:

I've been needing some bushes to so along with my trees, and I think these will work. They come as individual plants which you can pluck off the backing mat. It came with over 100 "bushes" for the princely sum of 9 bucks, so I think it was a score!

This is what they look like individually:

With some flock on they'll look much better. Might spray them brown first though.

So, just as with the troops, there is no shortage of terrain projects to work on!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I finally finished the first company of my 35th (Otway's) Regiment this weekend. Here are some pics...

I tried something different with these guys and did not use ANY washes on them, not even on the flesh or metals. I am not completely convinced about the result. I think it worked better on the Troupes de la Marine that I did a few weeks ago...

Anyway, they are not too bad, but I just didn't really see any time savings or improvement in the look of them from my usual style so I'm not sure if I'll do this again. Probably have to at least finish out these troops the same way though so they will all match. I still have another company of hat men, the officers and NCOs, drummer, flag bearer, and grenadiers... Oy!

I was considering not painting the eyes on these guys but ended up caving in and painting them. I REALLY wanted to do a wash on the flesh to even things out but I stuck to my guns and tried to stick with nothing but layering on these guys. Maybe if I practice it more I will like the results more... but for now I am thinking I'll probably go back to the tried and true method of washes for flesh tones at least.