Wednesday, 30 January 2008

A new project dawns

Occasionally in the life of a wargamer -- or quite often in some cases --
one gets the idea to start a new period. Today is such a time for me.

I have grown a bit weary of painting what are basically ununiformed more or
less hairy more or less barbarians. The few Copplestone Chinese infantrymen
I painted for our Tintin game gave me a taste for painting uniformed
figures, with all the advantages those have for batch, or dare I say
assembly line, style painting.

So, I was half unconsciously looking to get into a period featuring nice
uniforms. The nicest uniforms around are of course those of the horse and
musket period, so my thoughts quickly settled on that. But what to choose?
Napoleonics and Seven Years War are the main contenders in Europe (ACW and
AWI feature more prominently in the US), but they did not immediately
appeal, possibly because of the popularity. After a while, however, I
stumbled upon a period that has just the right mix of quirkiness and
popularity: the Great Northern War.

For those of you now going _'huh?'_, the Great Northern War took place over
the first two decades of the 18th century in the Baltic area, contemporary
with the War of Spanish Succession (better known as the Marlburian wars) in
Western Europe. It featured Sweden under King Charles XII, then a major
world power, against just about everyone else running around in that area,
most notably the emerging Russians under Peter The Great. At the end of the
war, Sweden was eclipsed and its leading position in the area taken over by
Russia, which became a world power in its own right.

The Great Northern War features Swedes and Russians of course, but also
Poles, Saxons, Danes, Norwegians, and what not. Enough variety to scare a
flock of flamingoes with. Now, being a somewhat less popular period, I'm
having some trouble finding good figures for them in the One True Scale
(28mm). So far, I've found Wargames Foundry, which have some Swedes and
Russians in their Marlburian range, and a manufacturer in the US who is
listed with a phone number and might not even be in business any more, but whose figures are nice enough, judging from a review on Magweb. I
haven't looked at Old Glory yet, but they will most probably have at least
few suitable bags. Does anyone know of any other suitable figure ranges?

And finally, what about rules? I have really no idea as to what rules to
use, so I 'm throwing that one out to you readers as well - what rules are
good for the early 18th Century Horse & Musket period?

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Romano British command and their very late cousins

Just to prove that I wasn't kidding [yesterday](, here's the latest painting results:

Romano British cavalry command

And their somewhat later cousins:

Modern British battle group

The first set are Foundry 28mm Romano British cavalry command figures, the second are Modern British 1/285th GHQ figures.

Monday, 21 January 2008

It lives...

Just as we were ready to pronounce it dead and buried, the ancient beast
shudders, sloughs off layers of dust and sleepily opens one eye to peer at
the world outside. Yes, TTM still lives.

Due to a variety of reasons, some personal, some not, I haven't posted
anything here since the first half of last year. Lots of things happened
since then, some of which conspired to stop the regular flow of posts here.

That said, I'd like to kickstart things again with a 'what are you working
on' type of post (that phrase is not chosen at random, see further on).
recently started painting again after several months' inaction (long enough
to forget most of my 'paint recipes'), and these are things I've recently
finished or am working on at the moment:

* A GHQ Modern British combat command (1/285th) (essentially a reinforced
battalion) - these are all finished. The idea is that we start some kind
of a 'Cold War turned hot' project soon(ish). Frank is doing Germans,
Koen is
doing Russians, and Alan has been making noises about acquiring some
too. I'm looking at [Cold War Commander]( for this project.
* 4 Romano British cavalry command types (Foundry 28mm) (1 leader, 2
standard bearer, 1
musician) to round out my RB cavalry units. These are finished but for
* I just started the first batch of 8 [Artizan
Designs]( [Carolingian spearmen]( These
are my next Dark Ages army and might feature in a Carolingians vs Vikings
in Leuven game sometime in the future.

The last two painting sessions I did went very well (a bad painting session
is one where I break out all the stuff and than twiddle about doing not
at all, putting everything away after painting just 1 layer on three
or so), which I attribute to a [tip of Phil's]( - listening to podcasts
while painting. I went through the latest episodes of [The Naked Scientists
podcast](, [What are you working on](
(aha) and [All about miniatures]( while painting the latest batches of
figures, and find it works very well. It is an unintrusive enough way of
keeping your mind occupied while painting, yet not intrusive enough to
distract from the painting (as TV tends to do). I think I'll be doing this
lot more - thanks for the suggestion Phil.

Finally, the biweekly Schild en Vriend games have been going on strong,
an ACW game (the Henry Hill action of [1st Bull Run]( ) and a Blitzkrieg
commander game (German invasion of Belgium in 1940) having featured
recently. Photos of the latter can be found [on Flickr](

That's it for now, and let's try to get some more posts up.