Saturday, 28 November 2009

Modern British update

I spent most of the last few painting sessions finishing bases for a lot of the things I painted in my mad painting spurt a few months ago. That includes the expansion of my Modern British - here they are all laid out neatly in their storage box:

Modern British 1:285

Off the top of my head, there are:

* 4 Challenger tanks
* 4 Challenger II tanks
* 3 AS-90 Braveheart SP artillery
* 13 basic Warrior IFVs
* 8 improved Warrior IFVs
* 2 Swingfire AT vehicles
* 2 mortar carriers based on FV.432 APC
* 1 Cymbeline radar direction finder
* 2 FV 432 APCs functioning as HQ's
* 1 FV 439 signals APC functioning as HQ
* 4 TUM trucks
* 16 infantry platoons
* 4 AT missile stands (Milan)
* 4 AA missile stands (Blowpipe)
* 4 mortar stands
* 6 sniper stands (no idea what to do with them)
* 1 Harrier
* 1 Lynx AT Helo

And I'm probably forgetting a few here and there. Even then, although on first look it seems like a fairly reasonable amount of troops, there's probably more firepower (if not manpower) there than most of the worlds other armies combined.

Still in their blister packs awaiting paint are 10 Chieftain tanks, 10 Spartan IFVs, 10 FV.432 IFVs, 10 Landrover jeeps and a final Lynx.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Crisis 2009

Eddy Sterckx, Bart Vetters, and Phil Dutré overlooking their underwater game at Crisis 2009. Note the presence of several glasses of Ramée.

Crisis 2009 (held in Antwerp, November 7) again was a very nice event, and definitely the highlight of the wargaming calendar in the low (and not-so-low) countries. Not only was there the usual mix of traders, gaming clubs and old friends, but the whole was doused in a nice and friendly atmosphere. Instead of giving a long and exhausting list of games and traders present, go and take a look at the photo reports: here and here. The underwater scuba-diving game is the one we presented as a demo game.

So, how did I experience the con?

1. It is usually very hot in the venue. This year, I went in a light cotton shirt, no heavy sweaters or jackets as in previous years. As you travel light, you should also go to a con light.

2. Arrive early. As a game organizer, I had early entry, and was there by 8.15 (doors open at 10.00). That allowed me to unpack without too much trouble, and take the time to organize our gaming table.

3. An original game - such as underwater combat with scuba-divers, fighting sharks while photographing whales - attracts a lot of people, but doesn't make you win a prize for best game :-)

4. In order to win a prize, you have to put a lot of work in the presentation of the game (look here). Something we cannot do anymore, so we must go for original concepts. From now on, I will be known as an avant-garde wargamer, who will redefine wargaming as we know it, and will only be appreciated many years after his death :-)

5. So, what did I buy? A gelatinuous cube, Featherstone's Lost Tales, The Annexation of Chiraz, The Wargame Companion (yes, I'm a fan of Vintage Wargaming), some river terrain pieces, and the extension to the boardgame Ursuppe.

6. I drank a lot of beer. 6 Ramées is not a good idea when you still have to drive home.

7. It's always a lot of fun ...

Monday, 9 November 2009

Painting log: Celtic cavalry

That's 6 old Wargames Foundry Celtic cavalry done. Together with 6 more which I painted a *very* long time ago (they are from my first ever army - a 25mm DBA Celtic army. Ah, the memories) they form a 12 man cavalry unit reinforcement for my [Celtic army](

Pre basing pic:

Celtic cavalry

The front rank are the newly painted figures, the rear rank the over a decade old ones.

I tried something different wrg glues on these figures. Normally, I glue the riders to the horses and the shields to the riders using super glue. On these, I used hot glue (which I also use to fix the horses to the bases, but I do that more often). I had expected there to be horrible blobs of solidified glue splurting all over the place, but I'm pleasantly surprised as to this: no blobs and everything sticks quickly without the need to do the press-together-for-twenty-seconds-and-then-find-out-if-it-sticks-to-the-figure-or-my-finger routine one does with super glue. Recommended!

That brings this month to 12 painting points. Next up are some more Swedes (finally), this time the Jönkopings regiment.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Swedish infantry

Right, I've been bragging about the Swedes I've been painting, but haven't yet put up good pictures of them. Here's the first three battalions of Karl XII's army at Poltava. They're three of the five (technically, six, but I'm representing the two battalions of the Västerbottens regiment by a single one as they were only the size of one combined by the time of the battle) that ended up with General Roos in the losing battle at the redoubts and Yakovetski woods:

Dalcaria (or Dal) Regiment

Dalcarian (or Dal for short) regiment, first battalion.

Västerböttens regiment

Västerbottens regiment (two amalgamated battalions).

Närke Värmlands Regiment

Närke-Värmlands regiment, 1st battalion (the second went on to the main infantry line).

The figures are from [Musketeer Miniatures](, the flags are hand painted (Dalcaria), Little Big Men (Närke-Värmlands), or scanned from the Höglund book (Västerbottens).

The figures for the next two battalions (Jönköpings and second battalion of the Dalcarian) have arrived last week, so they'll be slotted in the painting queue soon.

__Update__: corrected Västerbottens spelling.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

The painting slump has started again

Well, a new month has started so it's time to check on last month's painting total: a meager 15 points. I finished fifteen Warlord Games Roman auxilia (that I had started the month before) and started on 6 Celtic cavalry, which are currently still on the painting table. A long way from my intended 70 points per month.

I've long given up trying to analyse why my painting output drops occasionally, it's one of those things that seem to go in cycles. I'm sure that with Crisis coming up next weekend, painting will pick up again.

One thing I will say, is that I find the Celts harder to paint than the more uniformed types I've been painting lately. There's a distinctive reluctance on having to go back to an area you 'have already painted' to fill in stripes and checkers and stuff. At least with uniformed troops, you need to touch a brush only twice on each region (base colour and highlight). And that is as it should be :)