Da Vinci Condotta

John looks back at a Dragon Rampant Warband he built for a past club campaign…

Some time ago Stephen hosted a Dragon Rampant Campaign where my Da Vinci Condotta warband was narrowly beaten into second place by Tony Gibb’s army. With some WIP Wednesday painting articles centred on this ruleset, I thought I’d dust off the army and explain how I went about making it.

Prior to the campaign, we’d had a few trial games where my Dark Age force fared badly and I decided I’d have to change if I was going to be competitive. I’d never been a fantasy gamer so had no Orcs, Elves or Dwarves so decided to go with a human based theme at minimum cost.

Research

I came up with the idea of a warband which would include some of Leonardo da Vinci’s war machines with some Italian Renaissance figures. Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan sponsored Leonardo who created a number of sketches of war machines and a TV programme entitled ‘Doing Da Vinci’ used these sketches to reproduce the machines. I thought with some plasticard to make the machines and a box of Perry Plastic Late Medieval Mercenaries and a box of Late Medieval Mounted Knights I could make a suitable warband.

Humans

The Leader had to be Ludovico Sforza himself leading a unit of knights.

Elite riders

These would be the shock melee unit, best used against damaged and disrupted units to deliver the ‘Coup de Grace’. I gave them an ability to prevent wild charges, they needed to be in control.

Next up I needed the Bulwark of the Warband and chose to make these Milanese Militia pikemen, which I painted with combinations of white, red and green hose. I needed to add a magic element and picked up a Sorceress at Cavalier. I found that Caterina Sforza (Ed: Ludovico’s illegitimate niece). was a noted Alchemist so she would have the ability to confuse an opponent’s unit, to heal a unit and to provide a long range powerbolt.

Heavy foot with Wizardling

I needed more shooting potential and decided on a unit of scouts. For these I used Handgunners and gave them the invisible ability (due to gunsmoke). This meant they could only be targeted in melee or via magic. If I placed them in difficult ground they would be a handy irritant.

Scouts

On to the machines.

My first build over a weekend was the Armoured Car. I mocked up the conical design using paper templates, then drew them out onto 20 thou Plastikard and scribed on the planking. I painted the planks individually then washed with brown mixed with Flow Enhancer, producing a wood grain effect. The vehicle is fitted with a number of small calibre guns to provide all round fire, for which I used plastic tubing. In ‘Doing Da Vinci’, the vehicle produced from the plans could move but firing all guns simultaneously would result in deafness for the crew. I decided mine would be propelled by captured Turkish Galley slaves. I gave the crew a fearful ability as I reasoned that they would be as afraid as their opponent of this machine. I mounted the model on a landscaped foiled cake base. This would prove to be a good flank guard.

Heavy riders with missiles

The second build was an Airscrew. I wanted this to be like a Helicopter gunship, flying over a terrain item to deliver a lethal volley of crossbow bolts before retreating to safety. This proved to be a more difficult build as I had to get the sail pattern right. I found a ‘how to’ rubber band powered model video and plan on the internet and used this as a basis. The central spindle was plastic tube and the fighting platform was plasticard. The crew were modified Perry plastics. I gave them the fearful ability, who wouldn’t be scared, and added a sharpshooter ability to provide a lethal hit. The Airscrew fits onto a bolt on a cake stand base.

Light Riders Flyers

So this was my starter warband and as the campaign progressed I was able to add additional units.

Human Reinforcements

I added a unit of Light infantry in which I mixed javelin armed troops with blade armed ones. I used Gripping Beast Dark age Infantry javelin figures cut off at the wrist and glued onto the arm of the Perry figures. I scratchbuilt the large oval shields from plastic card with a Milanese design and I repeated the white, red and green hose patterns I’d used on the Militia Pike.

Light Foot

Next I needed some Mercenaries. There would also be English Bills and Bows – Dogs of War that had survived the Wars of the Roses.

English Bills
English Bows

Finally, I added a unit of Elite Foot Knights, probably German Mercenaries.

German Knights

More Machines

The next machine I made was a 33 barrelled organ gun. On ‘Doing Da Vinci’ this machine really worked well with an 11 shot salvo firing shot the size of a tennis ball, with devastating effect.

Organ Gun

I made the guns using plastic tubing. The design has a rotating centre section so that after firing, the barrels rotate for the next salvo. This was a complete plasticard scratch build and the crew come from Perry plastics, all mounted on a cd.

Finally, I made a War Chariot. Here, a geared mechanism controls rotating blades like a food processor. In ‘Doing Da Vinci’ this was another lethal weapon.

Assault Chariot

This was another complete scratchbuild and I decided to paint the horses and horse armour in black again mounted on a cd.

Well that’s it, though I’m still thinking of adding a unit of three Ornithopters as another scout unit.

Work in Progress Wednesday

This week a couple of us have made progress on the spaceship building competition currently being run. Above is my latest progress. I was given the original model by another club member. It’s a toy of some sort and I ended up taking it apart and repositioning parts of it. I also added a hatch/entrance to the front of the ship. Next up I need to design some sort of cockpit and then choose a colour scheme.

“Soaring Sow” There will be a small cockpit on top. Now, if I can only get the wings to look anything but wonky from the front…

Marcus also showed the progress he has made. Named the Soaring Sow Marcus has gone for a complete scratch build. Be interesting to see where he goes with this.

Just the basing to do.

Also this week Mark has been working on an army of 6mm Pontics bought from another member of the club. These are all based up with just the actual basing material to do.

Thant’s it for this week, see you next Wednesday.

Work in Progress Wednesday

Well life got in the way of being able to post this morning, but better late than never here is this Wednesdays offering from the club.

First we have a plastic barn from Renedra that Tony has put together and painted.

Apparently the model is fairly simple to put together, consisting of 10 pieces.

John has been busy scratchbuilding but this time in 15mm for the Spanish Civil War period.

Five buildings done so far

And another example from John

Just need to cover the roof with Slaters Plasticard pantiles, add window shutters, doors and then do the basing

Next up Eric’s painting mojo is starting to return with a chaos marauder and viking looking nice and sharp.

A Chaos Marauder for Warhammer Fantasy/ Age of Sigmar and a spare Viking that I had left over from building a SAGA warband.

And finally for this week Mark showed progress on a spaceship and crew for a little competition we are running at the club.

The Rocinate, from the series the Expanse, just needing to add censor array and complete painting ship and crew, going to be space police theme.

Hopefully next Wednesdays WIP post will be on time. See you then.

Work in Progress Wednesday

It’s Wednesday again and this week it looks like Andy and I have monopolised any progress being made.

I’ve managed to get my polystyrene ruins painted up. I’m sort of happy with the colour but will probably add a bit of moss to the ruined walls.

Ruined walls, just need a bit of moss

I purposely didn’t stick the wall pieces to a base so that I could position them in different ways on the tabletop.
I also had enough of the polystyrene to make some wall sections.

Wall sections, because every soldier loves having to climb over walls!

Andy has been busy finishing off his Space 1999 eagle.

Spiffing colour scheme and some nice transfer decal work

And as if we haven’t seen enough Dark Ages stuff from Andy he has started on some Gripping Beast Saxon Thegns.

Bodies stuck to bases and awaiting heads and arms. Shields will be painted separately and added when the figures are finished.

That’s it for this week, we’ll have more from the club next Wednesday.

 

Work in Progress Wednesday

This week we have some great work in progress stuff from Dave. He and club member Chris have been building scenery for the Infinity 28mm Sci-Fi game for a number of years, but it now looks like this has stepped up a gear.

A multitude of bits and bobs for a proper scratchbuild project

And of course sustenance is required when embarking on such building projects, especially when you can then turn your treats into yet more scenery.

We’re not suggesting for a moment Dave ate all of these Fondant Cremes

Next up I’ve started work on a set of ruins, I found some polystyrene that had a different structure to the standard packing stuff you get. This had much more defined pieces that to me looked like the sort of stone work you see in ruins of big walled buildings.

Just need to work out a good colour scheme for the stones, definitely not doing these grey

And finally out the other side of a work in progress project, Stephen has finished painting his Templars.

Not sure why they are in the clouds, but a good looking unit or two.

See you next week for some more spaceship action among other things.

3D Printed Coastal Fort

Colin gives us an update on his 3D Printing efforts.

I decided needed a coastal fort to accompany the Lepanto 3D printed galleys. Inspiration was this Turkish fort in Paphos, Cyprus which we visited a few years back.

Paphos Castle in Cyprus

So I put a design together in Tinkercad. This took about half an hour.

3D rendition of the castle

Here’s the painted first model I produced.

First version of the fort

I then updated the design with the extension of a rooftop building and added inserts for doorways and windows which will make the painting easier.

Updated design for the fort

Took just over 4 hours to print and used 30g of PLA which means it costs about 60p to produce.

I plan to make it my first upload to thingiverse.com and see if it attracts any interest.

 

Work in Progress Wednesday

Just a couple of offerings for this Wednesday. Above we have Andy’s 15mm crew figures to go with his Eagle ship model. The club is currently having a joint project of creating a 15mm space ship in preparation of the release of the Stargrave rules.

We will no doubt do a blog post showing of the entries in our small club competition.

Next up Stephen has finally decided to make a start on some Crusade era miniatures with some Templars.

Templar cavalry forming up

Any finally, I did say fellow club member efforts had convinced me to dig out my old 6mm Sci-Fi miniatures for a new paint job. I had a PacFed force from Brigade Models that have made it to the painting table once again.

Settled on a blue paint scheme so they can be used as Terran Authority Starmarines in Hammers Slammers games

That’s it for another week, see you next Wednesday.

Having a Blast!

Jeremey takes us through some home made blast markers.

Having recently started repainting my old 6mm Sci-Fi forces my thoughts turned to the different types of blast markers used in various wargames, you know the ones, they are often made of hard translucent plastic in the shape of a flame. Wargamers use them for marking the spot they are calling artillery down on or even to show destroyed and burnt out vehicles.

The first thing I thought of was could I make my own? Having made many things out of EVA foam for my gaming I turned to that first as a very simple material to work with. I knew you could get the foam in thin sheets and in bright colours. As luck would have it I popped into a local Poundland store to pick up some things for a bit of DIY I had to do, and discovered in the crafts section a packet of foam rocket shapes.

The packet had 5 foam rockets shapes for each colour

So I bought a packet at the predictable price, thinking I could make blast markers out of the red and yellow rockets.

Blast marker templates cut from a piece of cardboard

I made myself two flame shaped templates out of cardboard. One smaller than the other and made sure the smaller one fitted inside the silhouette of the larger one.
It was then just a matter of drawing round the templates, trying to fit in as many of the markers as I could. To make 3 blaster markers I would need 3 of the bigger flames in red and 6 of the smaller yellow flames to go on either side.

The first cut out flames, bit short on the yellow bits though

of course at first I completely forgot I’d need twice as many of the smaller yellow flames as the red, which is why there are only 3 of each in the picture!

A smaller blast created during assembly

Rather than waste the foam I experimented with a smaller blast marker cutting out from the red foam using the smaller of the two templates I’d made. I used standard PVA glue to stick the yellow smaller flame to the red foam and then repeated the process for the other side of the marker.

Incoming!

The final (sort of) stage involved me supergluing the marker to a thin wooden base that I had, which I then just painted to blend in a bit better. There we have it, very cheap, simple and quick blast markers for games.

However as you can see from the picture I took it a stage further. I added or rather smudged on some black miniature paint in that way explosions are often depicted. Nice simple effect that stops the blast marker looking too cartoonish. I also turned to the blue foam from the packet and wondered if I could make a splash marker. I don’t often play naval wargames but fellow club members do. I cut out a more splash like shape and as with the black on the blast marker I dabbed white paint on the edges of both the main shape and the smaller splash shapes, and of course I painted the base blue.

Now all I need to do is think up a way of using the green foam from the packet. Hmmm alien weapon blast effect …

Carters and Herders

Andy reports on the next instalment of the Dark Ages figures recently completed…

First up (above) is a 4Ground Oxcart, with Oxen and the carter’s family from Colonel Bill’s Depot Battalion.

The figures were cleaned of any mould lines and washed in soapy water to remove any residual mould release agent and dried. The oxen, cart driver and boy were fixed to temporary bases for painting, the others were fixed to 2p pieces and the bases built up with 4Ground base render. All were then primed with grey car primer.

The oxen were given a couple of coats of Vallejo Pale Sand, then the upper parts of the body were painted Dark Sand and heavily washed with Army Painter Light Tone Wash. Eyes were painted German Camouflage Black Brown, and the horns Deck Tan.

The figures skin was painted with a base coat of Vallejo Brown Sand and then Medium Flesh with a selection of browns, greys and beiges for the clothes, one of the women has a Golden Yellow dress, the other English Uniform Brown. Both have Silver and/or Bronze necklaces. Finally the figure’s bases were given a coat of green Basetex.

Once assembled the cart was painted Green Brown and washed with AP Dark Tone.

The cart, oxen and the boy were fixed to a 60mm wide by 120mm deep carboard base and the area around the oxen’s bases built up with 4Ground base render followed by a coat of green Basetex over the entire base. I then used some brown cotton to add harness ropes to the cart.

The second part of this instalment is a pack of 4 Gripping Beast Shepherds & Stockmen painted in the same way as the cart crew.

Work in Progress Wednesday

To start us off this week we have a wonderful piece of scenery from Stephen in the form of a landing pad for his toy converted spaceship. The landing pad was made from the floor and walkway pieces from the game sets called Robogear. It’s great stuff if you can get hold of it.

Next up Marcus has painted even more aircraft. This time a mixture of Beaufighters and Mosquitoes.

John admitted to the club that a recent online discussion (and a vigorous one at that), prompted him to start work on some Spanish civil war buildings.

He just can’t stop building!

If lockdown doesn’t end soon John is going to run out of room!

After all those Dark Age figures Andy has shifted somewhat to painting up a bunch of 15mm Sci-Fi characters. No doubt to go with his recent Space 1999 Eagle.

Motley Crew …

And finally for this week, yet more progress (though not as much as hoped for) from Mark on his 6mm Hammers Slammers forces.

Building up quite the force

And couldn’t resist a close up of the paint scheme.

I’ve been enjoying Mark painting up his forces so much I’ve dug my old 6mm tanks out and will be adding them to the painting queue.

See you next week.