Plague Bearers

Mark2 has been working on some Death Guard; he insists they aren’t based on what he sees out of his window while painting…

Just before lockdown the club were starting to organise games for the open day. When I saw Eric was going to run a Kill Team game, there were two things I had to do. 1. participate in Eric’s game (can’t do that at the moment), 2. finish painting my Death Guard Kill Team, now that I can do, and so I did!

The figures are painted using Citadel paints, including some of their technical range, which I used to produce the rust and grime. I had thought about including some of the Death Guard’s original pre-heresy colour, which is bone white, but decided go for the classic putrid green look. I’ve purposely used light fogging here as it helps to produce the grime and general dirty aged look of the figures. There are loads of excellent examples of painted death guard out there, better than mine but I find most are too clean. These guys are supposed to be stinking rusting hulks surrounded by flies, foul gases and smoke.

They’re based on the Pallid Hand sect, part of the second company of the Death Guard, which specialise in armoured attack. My brief back story for the team is they’re part of armoured recon and specialise in operating behind enemy lines, gathering intel and taking out key enemy personnel, but also pack enough punch to take out light vehicles and strong points if required.

The sergeant (Nex Morbus) is armed with a power fist, plasma gun and plague blade; he carries most of the heavy weapons to take out any strong points but can also mix it up hand to hand. The rest of the team are armed with early pattern bolters and carry plague knives, blight grenades and melta bombs. I’m currently adding to the team, working on some poxwalkers to use as cannon fodder for larger Kill Team games.

Can’t wait to see how they do, the Death Guard are tough but slow, so tactics against more mobile but heavily armed units will be a challenge. Going to try them out against my son’s imperial guard using my 40K city terrain, will send this in for another blog at some point.

ACW Rescue

Stephen delves in his lead pile and recovers some long lost figures.

Many moons ago I bought some 28mm ACW figures in a bring ‘n’ buy with the intention of doing some skirmish games with them. I think they are Essex Miniatures. They then languished in the lead pile for a couple of years until Covid 19 came along and I had run out of anything else to paint. So, due to a global pandemic they managed to wriggle their way to the top.

I still haven’t decided what rules I will use. There’s Rebels & Patriots and Sharpe Practice, but neither is really exciting me. Still, got to get them painted before you have a game with them. Rules can come later.

I based them on Renedra 25mm bases and added some filler. They were then given an undercoat with Humbrol ‘Dark Earth’ model spray (the confederates will get a grey undercoat). That was the point at which they then found themselves abandoned in the lead pile.

The first thing I tend to do is base coat the flesh. This was done with Vallejo Saddle Brown. I also base coated the rifle as well using GW’s Mournfang Brown and the bayonet was done with Revell acrylic Steel. I then washed the rifle and bayonet. Normally I would use GW’s Agrax Earthshade, but I’m out of that. So I went old skool – a watered-down version of a dark brown acrylic paint.

So, the flesh. The base colour was Vallejo Medium Flesh and then highlighted by adding a drop of white. Beard and hair was done with Vallejo Golden Brown. I decided I wanted the uniforms to be a bit random – fabric, dye, and supplier would have varied during the war.

The jacket was done with a mix of Vallejo Oxford Blue, a drop of Royal Blue, and a bit of black. I varied the ratio between batches to give a bit of variety. The base coat was highlighted with a drop of grey rather than white.

The sky blue trousers were a mix of Vallejo Sky Blue with a spot of brown and grey to dirty and vary the shade. Again, the ratios were varied to reflect different supplies. This was then highlighted by adding white.

Leather straps were done in black and highlighted by adding browns and greys. This helps vary the type of black, which can vary depending on material and quality of dye being used. The shoulder bag was undercoated with Vallejo khaki and then highlighted with Revell Beige.

That just left the rifle. All I did was touch up the wood with GW Mournfang Brown. The bayonet and fittings were done with Revell Steel. The bayonet point was highlighted with Vallejo silver.

That leaves the basing. A coat of PVA then sprinkle with ballast and let it dry. And then a blob or two of more PVA and sprinkle with static grass.

And that’s that done.

The Last Lancer

Emergency surgery for Andy’s horse. It’s lucky he didn’t just shoot it…

We’ve used a number of different sets of rules for games set in the Maximilian Adventure, most recently The Men Who Would Be Kings. Under these rules I class my Mexican Lancers as Irregular Cavalry, each unit being made up of 8 figures.

I had 15 lancers and 3 officers, so I had one Lancer I didn’t need to paint, which was useful as unfortunately his horse was a miscast with part of the rear left leg missing.

Once Rebels and Patriots came out I thought I might try these out for a game or so, and in these rules standard Cavalry units have 6 figures, so it was time to paint The Last Lancer so I could field three Mexican cavalry units.

To start off I had to do some remedial surgery on his horse. The lower half of the leg was missing below the hock, including the hoof. The horse was modelled with both front legs on the ground with both rear legs off the ground.

I cleaned up the stump of the leg and superglued a metal pin in place between the end of the leg and the hoof of the right leg.

I then built up the lower leg with several layers of Humbrol Model filler. This is a polystyrene paste, which I have found can be “diluted” with polystyrene cement to make it more easily worked.

Here’s the horse with the filler “mass” prior to filing into shape.

I left the layers to dry for a couple of days then filed the plastic into shape to form the leg and hoof.

Once the surgery was completed the horse was glued to a Warbases “pill” base, 50mm x 25mm, which was then built up with 4Ground base render.

All paints used are Vallejo acrylics, unless stated otherwise. The horse was painted Chocolate Brown and washed with Army Painter (AP) Dark Tone. Here’s a close up of the finished leg.

The Saddle cloth was painted Dark Blue over Light Brown with Flat Red trim.

I added a wire lance to the lancer, and undercoated him with matt black, face and hands were base coated Brown Sand and top coated Medium Flesh. His shirt was painted Deck Tan and the lance painted Beige Brown. Here they are part painted.

The horse’s saddle and harness were painted Saddle Brown and the saddle roll Black Red. The horse has a cloth draped over his back behind the saddle, this has a fur like texture; I painted this German Camouflage Beige with an AP Soft Tone wash.

The lancer was finished off with Light Brown chaps with Luftwaffe Camouflage Green trim, London Grey Vest, Flat Red Poncho lined Black Red and a Light Grey Hat. Lance and carbine stock were Beige Brown, Scabbard Black with Gunmetal fittings.

The base was painted AP Banshee Brown and patches of flock added and then the figure was mat varnished.
So, here he is: the Last Lancer. The final figure in my Maximillian Adventure collection.

Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.

Andy’s unchained melody.

In the pack of ACW Union artillery men I finished recently was a small ammunition marker, comprising a powder barrel and a stack of cannon balls. I thought this would be useful for any rules or scenarios that have ammunition restrictions, but I’d need more than one.

I mounted the original on a 25mm washer, painted the barrel Vallejo German Camouflage Brown with an Army Painter dark wash. The bands were painted copper.

The original model.

I had some spare barrels already painted; from Ainsty I think. But how to do the cannonballs?
A recent clothing purchase yielded the answer; on a couple of the items the sales tags were attached by means of a ball chain. So, getting a few 25mm diameter washers and some card I went to work.

On each of the washers I glued a square of carboard over the hole, while the glue was drying, I started work on the chain. Using a small pair of nail clippers I keep for cleaning up metal figures, I cut the chain into 9 lengths of 3, 5 lengths of 2 and a couple of individual balls.

Once the glue was dry, I spread some more on top of the cardboard (leaving enough space for the barrels) and stuck the first layer of balls to the card, three sections of three balls in parallel lines. This was the trickiest bit, getting the balls close together in a straight line without sticking myself to the base.

Once these were dry, I added the second layer of two balls and (on one of the bases) a third layer of a single ball fixing them in place with superglue.

Now, the balls have two small holes for the wire that links them together. I should have filled these in before painting, but several coats of primer served the purpose. I painted the cannon balls Vallejo Dark Grey.

Next, I took the pre-painted barrels and stuck them to the bases.
I then used a spatula to put some 4Ground base render on the bases, trying not to plaster the side of the barrels.

The bases were then painted Army Painter Banshee Brown, and flocked.

Rubber Nightmares

Dave Sime makes some fiddly robots, and dedicates them to Jeremey!

Back a few years ago at a SELWG show I relieved Jeremey of the burden of taking back home his 9 box collection of VOTOMS Vol.02 Mechs, that had failed to sell in the Bring & Buy. As I recall, Jeremy did not have the time to carefully assemble them.

VOTOMS Mechs feature in a Japan anime series from the mid 1980’s. The series did not gain any traction outside of Japan. While a number of larger plastic models were produced during the series run, Takara Micro World produced a range of 1/144 scale models, probably in 2007.

At first glance in their box trays, just separate heads, trunks, arms, legs & weapons, pre-formed and painted, you think this is going to be a doddle. Alas NOT. They are made of some sort of soft ‘rubbery feel’ plastic which, even using my range of tweezers, were hard to grasp/control. They did not all fit together correctly, which required painstakingly slow micro surgery using the sharpest blades to correct. Even then some parts, especially the legs, would not stay in the correct position. The only adhesive that worked was rubber glue for the body parts, even then I had to wait for each part to set before continuing, and epoxy resin to adhere to the 2p coin bases. It actually took over two weeks to assemble them. When I had finished I thought never again !

They are 27mm in height, for representative scale purposes the first photograph includes a GZG 15mm figure I am currently painting, which is actually 17mm high and one of the crewmen for the mechs which are 14mm in height. In the anime each VOTOMS has a human operator who sits in the trunk. Depending on how Chris and I intend to use them, we can use them as mechs in Sci Fi games from 6mm to 15mm, possibly even at 28mm ? Crewed or not.

It was intended that they would have their debut at the Open Day end of June, but alas that’s not to be.

Feeling Limber

Andy limbers up (his joke, not mine – Ed).

My French troops for the Maximillian Adventure also see service in Osprey rule’s “In Her Majesty’s Name” and “Rebels and Patriots” games. Both rules allow field guns to have an upgrade of a limber team to increase mobility, and / or crew size.

I bought a Wargames Foundry Franco Prussian War French limber team and also picked up a spare limber (Minifigs) at a bring and buy or similar. So instead of building one four horse limber team, I built two, two horse limber teams.

Horses were painted in black, or various shades of brown. Horse furniture was black, saddle and saddle bags Saddle Brown, horse blanket Black Grey dry brushed Basalt Grey and cape London Grey dry brushed Light Grey.

Limbers were painted Beige Brown with an Army Painter Soft tone was and brass metalwork.
The crew men were painted the same way as the dismounted crew, although the outriders have cavalry boots rather than standard boots and gaiters.

Bases were painted AP Banshee Brown and patches of flock applied with PVA glue.

Here they are with guns attached.

How’s your Hobby Desk Looking?

Club member Jeremey takes us on a tour of his Hobby Desk and current projects.

Jeremey's Hobby Desk

I’ve always had a curiosity about what other wargamers hobby spaces look like, and of course a lot on envy of those able to dedicate entire rooms to the hobby! But this year i finally got my hobby space close to perfect for the way I like to work and so i thought I’d share it along with mention of the projects I am currently working on.
Early in the new year I finally treated myself to a Bureau, I picked up a vintage 1940’s one from a house clearance. It needed a bit of TLC but i managed to tidy it up (it contained an awful lot of glitter, so I new the previous owner also used it for hobby stuff). I wanted a Bureau to enable me to close the desk to stop children and animals disturbing things I was still working on.

Let me take you on a tour:
1. First up we have an old box my wife bought me on a whim, this now houses all of my glues and sculpting putty.
2. The ubiquitous stationery desk tidy, I have two, one for files and sculpting tools the other my paint brushes. I actually bought the desk tidy’s to use them as 15mm sci-fi buildings but they were more useful as intended by the designer.
3. My desk lamp that gives of disproportionately more heat than light, making it perfect for speeding up curing of bits of sculpting while I’m working.
4. My dad’s old tool box from when he was an apprentice coach painter in the 1940’s, shame to let it go in the bin so I rescued it and now keep my hobby tools in it, like drills, pliers, craft knives etc.
5. The first of my project shelves, this one contains the sculpting I am currently working on for new Celtos Models. I’m working with Brigade Models to create the new version of the fantasy wargame.
6. Spare Celtos bits, in this draw are various existing Celtos models I use to ensure any new sculpting I do fits in with the scale and design of the current range.
7. Moving on I have some 15mm Medieval buildings I am making for my current Wars of the Roses army. They are made out of EVA foam, with real wooden beams and I’m filling the gaps with bathroom sealant to act as the wattle and daub. The final stage will be to add thatched roofs.
8. These projects are painting ones, first I have my final Wars of the Roses units, Welsh longbows, Welsh spearmen, English spearmen and Mercenary crossbows. Under that I have a number of previously sculpted Celtos miniatures that I need to paint up and photo for the rules. It can be a bit odd painting miniatures that you sculpted, especially since you cannot curse the sculptor for any fiddly bits 🙂
9. This shelf has the projects on it that have stalled, I’ve lost my mojo on them but have put them there in case i suddenly get the urge. Currently I have 6mm power armoured infantry and an alternative take on a rock elemental.
10. This is just a drawn containing, my finer files and bits of wire I use for armatures and creating cables and ropes. In front of the draw is a Stormtrooper glass I was given which was really hard to drink out of and so has become my paint brush cleaning pot.
11. And finally on this exciting tour of my hobby space the set of draws I keep all my paints, basing materials, bases and my bits box for scratch building.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of my hobby area, maybe some of the other club members will share their work spaces for comparison.

Painting 6mm Romans

New(ish) member Mark2 shows us how he paints his little fellas…

I’ve recently started playing Field of Glory at the club and decided to purchase a 6mm late Roman Army, never owned a Roman army but I have dabbled with late western Roman reenactment and enjoy this period. After consulting the FoG ‘Legions Triumphant’ army list, I picked a Dominate army (3rd to 5th century). Bought my figures from Baccus, they have a good range of late Roman and allies to pick from, the whole army cost around £90. Bases where purchased from Warbases and I used a mixture of Citadel and Vallejo paints, plus the Baccus basing kit.

Baccus figures are pretty chunky for 6mm and have quite a bit of detail, after consulting with some experienced 6mm painters at the club I decided to start with a black undercoat and work up from this, dry brushing light/bold colours to accentuate the detail, finally picking out detail such as weapons, helmets and banners. It’s important to use lighter or bolder colours at this scale, without this figures tend to look like a dark blob on the table. The black undercoat acts as shade/black line effect. The trick here is to ’trick’ the eye, with the aim of producing hopefully decent looking figures on a tabletop battlefield.

These figures are Baccus late roman with helm, I’m using them for my Auxilia palatina. In a Dominate army these troops were usually deployed as medium infantry but where also used as heavy infantry. I believe this was to fill gaps in the legions which were becoming a little more scarce during this time. I’ll be basing the auxilia on a FoG 15mm medium infantry base (40x30mm) but will pack the troops together in the style of heavy infantry. The figures come in fours and I use 16 per base, two lines of eight, that’s about as many as you can get across a stand this size using Baccus.

These figures where tacked to temporary painting bases, I usually permanently base before painting if I can, but didn’t fancy painting these guys when they are so closely packed together. I tack using a small blob of super glue as it’s easy to break off when you’re ready to base.

I base coat using a black acrylic spray, I find cheaper car sprays work well with metal figures, not to be used with plastics. It’s a messy job, but you can cover a whole army fairly quickly. I tend to undercoat in chunks, usually around 4 units at a time.

I begin by dry brushing the main colour, for the auxilia it’s their tunic, which I have painted using Citadel Lothern Blue, a bright powder like blue. I chose this colour as I have seen artists impressions using blue and it plausible that it may have been used. I dry brush with one of my 0 size brushes that has seen better days, you can purchase dry brushes but they tend to be on the large size and you need a relatively small brush for this scale. Dry brushing involves removing moisture from the brush by sweeping it across some kitchen role or the like and then lightly brushing across the area you want to paint, at a 45 degree angle if possible. This technique highlights raised detail and leaves recessed areas darker, giving a fairly good and realistic contrast, I find it works really well at this scale. I don’t tend to dry brush at larger scales as I prefer to wash and layer, however this is a quick and effective way to paint 6mm armies. You need to be careful not to contaminate other parts of the figure, such as the spear, shield and forearms, but this is relatively easy with some steady sweeps of your brush, any miss-haps can be blacked over.

Once I’ve completed the main colour I move on to the ‘large’ peripheries, in this case the shield (Vallejo Scarlet). Note that I am not dry brushing here but applying colour to the front of the shield leaving the middle and rear black, the same technique is also used with the spear (Vallejo Beige Brown), helmet (Citadel Mithril Silver) and flesh (Vallejo Flat Flesh), more on this in a moment.
Fourth picture – helmet, spear.

Before moving on the next stage, now is a good time to check for any contamination, such as tunic colour on flesh or weapon areas by touching up with some black, this sounds fiddly but it’s worth doing and doesn’t take long at all. I spend about 5 minutes per unit, the auxilia have eight stands with 16 figures on each so it gives you an idea of what I mean by not taking up much time.

I now move on to the flesh, hands and face in the case of these figures. As I mentioned above, Baccus are quite detailed for 6mm, so need a little care and attention when doing the Faces. I use a three spot method, one at the mid-top of the face and two below, left and right, this creates a face rather than a flesh coloured blob (at least that’s the theory). I’ve found the Baccus figures do have different faces, some work well with three dots others are better with two, this can only be about casting variations. Remember the effect works at battlefield level, on the table top, not close up. Next is to add any metal colours, I used Citadel Mithril Silver for the helmets, spear tips and shield boss. Gold (Vallejo Brass) for the standard, instrument and helms for the officer, musician and standard bearer. I use the same technique described above, making sure to pick out highlights and leave those in shade black. After this it’s the spear poles and then onto shield detail (see below). I also apply paint to the leggings at this point (Vallejo Pale Sand).

I’ve chosen to add a pattern to the shield, I’ve done this as it adds a little more detail to the figures and helps to catch the eye, really important at this scale. I’ve used Vallejo white, note that there are two units both with differing patterns. I’ve done this based on research carried out about the period, which indicates that Roman armies of this time were subject to more barbarian influence.

Finally the base materials are applied, basing is important at all scales, for 6mm it’s really important as it helps to bring your units to life. Again, brighter colours should be used for same reasons described above. I’ve chosen to use the Baccus basing system, which involves applying fine grade sand using PVA glue, washing the sand with a light brown ink and then dry brushing three progressively lighter sand colours over the dry wash. Don’t worry about hiding the figures’ stands at the moment, this comes next. Once the dry brushing is complete, you add the grass, this is done using a small plastic device called an Uff Puff. It’s best described as a plastic bellows, which you fill with grass and then apply the grass over the base, this means that the grass is more likely to stand up, and less likely to lie flat or clump. So, water down a little PVA apply around the figures’ base and hey presto you have some grass and no step showing from the figures’ base. Finally I paint the edges of the base Citadel Moot Green. I’ve also included some of my archers and cavalry, these were done without using temporary panting bases and there’s more space between these figures. I have also added grass between each figure. So that’s it, I hope this has been helpful, I am also working on a 6mm Spanish Peninsular army and hope to share some photos of these in the not too distant future.

Horsin’ Around

Andy goes equine.

Among my Mexican forces for the Maximillian Adventure I have some dismounted Irregular cavalry, to represent these as Mounted Infantry in “The Men Who Would Be Kings” games I wanted some rider-less horses. I eventually found some Sash & Sabre ACW Union horses (and holders) at Colonel Bill’s. Not ideal as they are uniformly equipped, but they’ll do for my purposes.

After cleaning up any vents and flash and washing in soapy water they were glued to 50mm x 25mm pill bases, 4Ground base render was used to build up the bases and they were undercoated with Halfords grey primer. The horses were painted black or various shades of brown, the latter with an Army Painter dark tone wash. Horse furniture, blankets and saddle rolls were painted a variety of Vallejo colours to give the impression of an irregular unit.

Bases were finished with Banshee brown and flocked, and then matt varnished.

Mounted Legionnaires

Andy takes his brushes south of the border again.

One of the last units to be painted for my Maximilian Adventure collection is a unit of mounted French Foreign Legion. Mine came from Wargames Foundry, most are actually cavalry and have carbines rather than rifles, which gave me a thought.

In “The Men Who Would Be Kings”, a mounted Regular Infantry unit needs 12 figures, whilst a Regular Cavalry unit needs only 8. As I only had three with rifles, I decided to give most of them white trousers so they could be used as either Cavalry or Mounted Infantry, with 4 of the 12 with the red trousers used bythe Foreign Legion.

After cleaning up the models by removing any vents and lines, and washing in soapy water, the horses were stuck to 50mm x 25mm pill bases from Warbases, then built up with 4Ground base render and undercoated matt black.

The horse’s coats were painted a variety of browns, or black, apart from one which I decided to try painting as a grey, so this one had a coat of white paint followed by Light Grey applied with a stippling brush.

Horse furniture was black, saddle and saddle bags Saddle Brown, horse blanket Black Grey dry brushed Basalt Grey and cape London Grey dry brushed Light Grey. Bases were painted AP Banshee Brown and patches of flock applied with PVA glue.

The riders were also undercoated matt black, face and hands were base coated Brown Sand and top coated Medium Flesh. Tunics and lower Kepi Dark Blue with AP Blue wash, trousers either white or Flat Red, the latter with an AP Red wash. The upper part of the kepi was also Flat Red. Some of the riders had sombreros, painted various shades of brown or grey; others white kepi covers. Carbines and rifles have Beige Brown woodwork, Gun Metal Grey metalwork and German Camouflage Beige straps. Belts and scabbard were black.

I originally based my mounted figures for this period on 50mm round bases. These proved to be a bit of a bugger to store in the KR Multicase boxes I use. I also started using some rules where it would be useful to have multiple figures on a base. I looked around and found that Warbases do both mdf bases and movement trays to take them. They will also make custom movement trays to your own specification (they kindly made some for me for some Vikings for Dux Bellorum). So, I decided to change my basing strategy. I’ve mounted these (and a few others) on 50mm x 25mm pill bases. Here’s the old and new styles:

I’ve also bought some compatible movement trays, 120mm x 60mm, with four slots:

So all I’ve got to do now is rebase around 25 older models once Warbases reopen and I can get some more bases. ☹.
I think I’ll be using the same bases for my Dark Ages mounted so I can use the same figures for SAGA, Lion Rampant and Dux Bellorum, but I’ll need to get some customised bases the same size but with only three slots.