Saturday, 29 August 2015

Tommies finished !

Finally I found the time to finish the six WW1 Tommies that were lurking around my painting table for a while. Actually they were the counterweight to the terrain piece I'm working on for our presentation game at Crisis 2015 but they're bringing my WW1 collection forward to their completion in 2016 or 2017. We'll see...

But now for the boys:

All six miniatures are from Great War Miniatures wonderful WW1 range. The proportions are really good and the poses are very dynamic. Excellent pieces by the sculptor who is - as far as I know - Aly Morrison. The paint them I used Vallejo Model Colours and some advice of helpful Mark Hargreaves of 'Over open sights' frame. His painting guides proves extremely helpful and Mark proved to by a kind and patient fellow. Many thanks to him!

However with those boys my collection rose to 16 painted models and sooner or later I could aim for a platoon sized game. We'll probably use Bolt Action since the system is very popular in our gaming group but with a couple of special rules for WW1 I presume.

Besides that the interior of my ruins are taking shape. The plank floor for the smaller one is nearly finished and the storeys for the larger one are in progress as well:

But for now please don't forget to have a look at the Google+ community dedicated to 'Paint Table Saturday'.
Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Paint Table Sunday - Slow but steady progress

During the week I painted a modern trooper for my Mordern Warfare side project but actually I'm still busy with terrain pieces namely ruins.

Since last week I worked on the outer walls and more or less finished them. Thus I started with the stones themselves and after painting them with dark red I drybrushed them with different brownish red colours. Finally a slight wisp of 'Pale Sand' to outline the edges of the stones and to connect them to the plastered parts of the walls which I drybrushed with different beige colours as well.
Although I've got window frames for the ruins as well I decided to turn my attention to some interior fitting first. For both ruins there are pieces of plank flooring to be painted and some storey floors as well. So I started with those pieces today and drybrushed the planks with different brown and beige colours to enhance the wonderfully carved out wood grain.
Since we'll need my two ruins for another game of Bolt Action next week I'll try to complete the next step until then. We'll see...

Until then please don't forget to have a look at the Google+ community dedicated to 'Paint Table Saturday'.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Hasslefree Modern Trooper

Actually it was early spring this year when I stretched my hands out for another side project: Modern warfare. Actually I'm aiming at a small force of modern British for Near or Middle East scenarios. No idea whether historically oriented or (semi-)fictional but something going into this direction. A great source of inspiration has been Pat's blog 'Wargaming with Silver Whistle' which most of you will know for his excellent collection and the top-noth pictures. Anyway I decided to start with a single model as test piece for modern camouflage and after a long break in favour of other projects I finished him yesterday:

As you see it's a kind of paraparamiltary guy. Maybe a soldier of fortune or private security agent or some kind of covered operations executive. I decided to start with such a fellow to be able to test different colour schemes prior to approaching unitarily equipped regular troops.
The figure is from Hasslefree's excellent range of 28mm modern troopers. I'm not sure how this figure is actually called. Maybe I've mixed the parts of different miniatures but however he looks like a 'Mongrel' with a 'Bergil' head to me. Anyway the figure is wonderfully sculpted and the cast is crisp and clear. It didn't need much cleaning and it was a joy to paint it. Honestly I didn't spot any moldlines. Due to this I can recommend Hasslefree Miniatures without any reservation. During the last years I've worked with a couple of miniature companies but Hasslefree's quality is really upper-class. Not cheap but worth each and every penny.
Unfortunately their figures come with slotted bases which I personally don't like. Nevertheless it was no problem to grind down the bar between the figure's feet to mount him on a flat circular base.

As for painting I primed the figure with Vallejo black airbrush primer as usual. Afterwards I used Vallejo Model Colors in combination with Armypainter water based washes. Four his skin I used the Wargames Foundry 'expert flesh' paint set but skipped some of the six shades.
Most important piece of him were the trousers. I wanted to use these to try the modern British MTP (multi-terrain pattern) camouflage scheme. It was developed during the earlier years of this century and geraed to the British 'Operation Herrick'. The MTP in use since 2010 and consists of four tones from black to nearly white sand and shall be useful in any desert or steppe terrain:
Picture from Wikipedia
For the choice of colours Pat was again very helpful and although his troops carry the older desert DPM his advice was priceless. Thus I'm finally really satisfied with the result. Now I'm pondering whether I should paint the whole British forces in this pattern or change to the older but easier British Desert DPM (picture here). The plan is to raise a platoon of British fusiliers with a couple of vehicles and support elements. More or less enough for a platoon based game of the size of Bolt Action or something comparable for modern warfare. 
Thus besides the work with the MTP I'm not sure whether a whole figures in this style might look too disquiet. Especially because the modern body armour pieces carry the same camouflage pattern. Probably I'll combine the MTP pattern with 'older' personal kits with are plain-coloured khaki brownish like those below:
Picture from Wikipedia again.
What do you think?
Since there are a lot of experienced painters as well as former soldiers in the bloggosphere I appreciate your advice very much.

By the way has any of you compared Airfix 1/48 vehicles with Empress 1/50 vehicles? I've seen some projects combining Airfix vehicles with 28mm miniatures which looks better than I feared. Especially the figures nearly have the same style and size but I have not idea how they match with the scalewise smaller vehicles. For the British it should be no problem to stay with Airfix but for potential insurgends I need some semi-civilian vehicles like the technicals by Empress or Spectre Miniatures.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Paint Table Sunday - Ruins and Tommies nearly finished

As usual I'm a bit late for the Paint Table Saturday. Actually signs were good yesterday to get the post online in time. The pictures were taken and cut to the right size and when unmatched Mrs Monty asked me to watch our currently admired TV show 'Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell' after the girls went to bed I thought afterwards should be enough time for a nighthawk like me to do my blogging duty. But life wasn't fair. After no more than 15 minutes sleepy Mrs Monty was carried away by sleep. Thus I decided to give 'No Country for old men' a chance instead of turning my attention immediately to my humble writing. This proved to be a fatal mistake since the drama drained my wakefulness deeply. Finally I had to postpone my PTS (Paint Table Saturday) to Sunday again... Sorry.

But nevertheless some tiny steps were taken last week and things are going well with the ruin and the Tommies:
Actually I realised once more what a lousily slow painter I am. Only six Tommies to paint and a single ruined building. But anyway I'm satisfied with the result. For the ruin I'm using the same colours as I used for its predecessor since both will serve on the same tables most of the time. For the Tommies I use a painting scheme based to the wonderful work of helpful Mr Mark Hargreaves of famous 'Over open sights' blog. He's kind enought to present some of his painting guides on request and I found his detailed remarks unatterably worthy. I only simplified some lesser details to accelerate mass painting.
Sooner or later I expect about 100 Tommies for my WW1 collection. Mostly infantry by Great War Miniatures but some vehicles and artillery pieces from other companies as well. We'll see.

For now that's it. As soon as the ruin or the Tommies are finished I'll present a longer review on the

Please don't forget to have a look at the Google+ community dedicated to 'Paint Table Saturday'.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Visiting Celle - Part 2 - Waterloo diorama and Celle's city centre

Part 1 is here.

Although it was very exciting and interesting to roam between the historical exhibition pieces the centrepiece of the exhibition was a huge, two-piece diorama of the battle of Waterloo. It was built by a group of German wargamers and consists of about 15,000 28mm miniatures. Frank one of the organisers gave some details about the diorama on his blog 'Figuren und Geschichten' but honestly you don't get an idea of its size when you haven't seen it. Thus with no more ado to the pictures (please click to enlarge):
Viktoria and me observing the French cavalry charge.

French heavy cavalry (Carabiniers) on the charge.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Visiting Celle - Part 1 - Exhibition KGL at Waterloo

Last week we spend a couple of days with my aunt and took the chance for a day trip to Celle. Celle is a town of about 70,000 citizens in Lower Saxony and besides its wonderful castle Celle inhabits the Bomann Museum. Currently there's an exibition about the Hanoverian and KGL troops at Waterloo taking place which caused my interest. Thus we met there with a dear friend of ours. Viktoria, Niclas and me spent a couple of interesting hours between exciting exhibition pieces and countless 28mm miniatures.
Niclas, Viktoria and me in front of the museum.
The exhibition is accomodated in the cellar of the Bomann Museum and admission is really fair with 5 EUR (app. £3.50) for adults for the whole museum. The special exhibition itself covers one large room which is dominated by the huge diorama made of 15,000 28mm miniatures. Alongside there are a lot of glass cabinets with exhibition pieces and a lot of pictures on the walls. All of them precisely described (though in German only) which makes it rather easy to follow the common threat. Here's a small selection of some of the pieces. Unfortunately the glass of the cabints proved really reflective. Maybe because of the soft lighting. Anyway feel free to click the pictures to enlarge them:
Colour Sergeant of the 7th Line Battalion KGL
Altogether they have a wonderful selection of uniforms there. Especially outside the UK it seems rather difficult to get a view of British uniforms but since the KGL used more or less the same dress code the chance in Celle was unique for me. Although there are some excellent books about the KGL and British uniforms of the Napoleonic wars it's priceless to see the pieces in reality.
Sergeant of the grenadier company of the 4th Line Battalion KGL

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Paint Table Sunday - Another Ruin and some Tommies

Actually I was busy enough with sorting about 500 pictures from our recent trip to Celle but besides I started some new workpieces yesterday:
Namely it's another ruin from the wonderful range of Stronghold Terrain. Mirco and Elmar presented it on Tactica this February and I was lucky enough to grap one of the pre-release kits they brought. Once again a wonderful kit of a severely battered building. Architecturally it's rather versatile. My piece will serve as part of our Plancenoit game on Crisis this November and afterwards I'll add it to my WW1 / WW2 collection after I finished the interior details with kitchen and water closet.

But besides the large area paintjob I wanted to have some detail work as well. Fittingly a friend of mine revived my efforts for the WW1 range of Great War Miniatures. We're planning to setup some game with altered Bolt Action rules but for that I'll need some more painted Tommies. Thus I put six of those brave sons of the Empire onto my painting table to see them coloured as soon as possible.

That's enough for now. Dear Mrs Monty and me have the unique chance to go to the cinema this midday and thus I have to hurry now, since we have to bring the girls to my parents previously. Unfortunately they show nothing else than the Minion at the cinema that early but never mind.

Enjoy your Sunday as well !

Friday, 7 August 2015

Back from (short) holiday and archers finished

Many apologies for my sudden absence. We spent a couple of days with my aunt and internet access was rather basic there and thus I wasn't able to enter the bloggosphere since Saturday morning. During our visit we take a day trip to Celle. On the one hand it's a beautiful city with a wonderful old city centre but on the other hand at the Bohmann Museum there is a very interesting exhibition about the Hanoverian and KGL troops at Waterloo taking place. It's a small but excellent exhibition and really a priceless source for those devoting themselves to these German soldiers in British service. The exhibition is there until 11th October so if you get the chance to go there soon do it!

But more about that later. I'll feature our trip to Celle as well as the Waterloo exhibition with its enormous 28mm diorama (15,000 figures!) in one or two posts this year. Probably two since I took so many pictures that it'll be simply too much for one post.

Anyway the figure I finished before our holiday were five archers for the Wars of the Roses period:
Painted in blue and red they shall represent some men from Yorkist retinue. Because of my very limited freehand skills I decided to omit livery badges thus they could serve for any of the Yorkish boys either Edward IV, Richard III or their brother Clarence. I'm pretty satisfied with the result on those wondrful Perry plastic miniatures. Nevertheless I should improve my photography setup since the pictures were heavily underexposed. My adjustment work with the GIMP graphic software is of questionable success as you see...