As the great annual Ayton game looms at the start of May and I prepare my painting plan based in the army list I supplied for the big C18th campaign it it only logical that my limited painting and modelling time be firmly focussed on… Modern Microarmour, 15mm ACW and 28mm Normans! 🙂 I’ve posted some pics of the Modern Brits before but here are the vehicles for the FV432 and Saxon units. And some SPGs. Needless to say I’m still painting the infantry!
A while back (pre- Christmas?) I bought some rather nice painted 15mm ACW Confederate from Iain Burt (Essex Boy) at a rather bargain price. These are I think Peter Pig and very nicely painted. They came mounted 4-5 on a base on unfinished steel bases so they needed to come off those and go on the standard Fire & Fury bases all my other stuff is on. That gave me two 10 stand units (usable for Longstreet as well) and a couple of spare command stands. Very nicely done figures by Mr Burt!
Finally we come to the plastic Normans. Now I have always been a heft man! I was happy to concede the great opportunities the advent of hard plastic figures offered and have seen many people paint them beautifully. And they look great on the table. But for me the illusion was ruined as soon as you picked them up! 🙂 I had tried some of the Perry Napoleonics a long time ago and gave up sticking them together. Too many bits and too fiddly for me. So in theory that was me done with plastics. Forever…
Then Tim Hall generously passed his small C18th force to me to do service with Altefritzenburg. This force contained the famed Braunschweig Kuirassiers! These were Perry French cuirassiers with tricorn head swaps. A lovely unit and a great conversion.
So I finally owned some plastics but had yet to paint any. Move forward to the Ayton weekend last year where we discussed the plans for 2016 and 2017. Having just done a C19th Colonial bash tradition holds that the following year we return to our C18th ImagiNation games. But for 2017 it was proposed to try something different and Lion Rampant got the vote. We had a trial run of the rules at the Lion Rampant weekend at Foundry late last year organised by Simon Tonkiss (Goat Major – go look at his excellent new blog: Göaterdämmerung) and I had great plans to paint something for that weekend but it didn’t pan out. I had decided I wanted a Norman/1st Crusade type force with maybe a few Arab types thrown in. This would nicely reflect my C18th and C19th ImagiNation forces. As this was in theory just for a one off game I didn’t want to spend a fortune so I looked at the Conquest Games Norman plastics and thought, What the Hell! I’d give plastics another go. So I bought some infantry. And cavalry. And a few metal Perry miniatures for crossbows and command. And some of the archers. And then for the Arabs I bought Gripping Beast Heavy Arab Cavalry and Infantry. Then got sent some Dark Age Warriors by mistake. Which I bought anyway. And also got given another pack of the Arab infantry… So I now have a plastic pile to join my lead and MDF ones! And that excludes the Games Workshop Orcs I acquired (don’t ask!). And I won’t even mention the PSC 1/72nd US infantry and Shermans…
So we come to the Conquest Normans. I thought I would attempt a unit of 12 infantry to start. I actually stuck these together last year and even primed one but did nothing until a couple of weeks ago. They come as body, head and arms so you can vary the poses quite a bit. The bodies have a variety of armour and you can arm with sword or spear and even a few with round shields. I went for a mix of types but stuck to the kite shields. They stick together quite well. As the heads attach to a flat surface you have to be careful to get them central (some of mine are a little out) and some of the armoured heads seem a little long in the neck. One slight jarring effect is that all come with a sword IN the scabbard. So if you arm them with swords then they appear to have two! I know you could cut/file off the handle but I didn’t think it was worth the effort and the potential damage!
Figures were mounted on 25mm washers and primed black using the Vallejo Primer (brushed on). I haven’t painted this period in 28mm since the late 70s/early 80s and having been in a mojo slump for quite a while I was unsure how to tackle them. I’d been reading good things about the latest GW washes (replacements for Devlan Mud and Badab Black) so I picked up a couple of the new larger bottles (how much!!!!!?!?!?!?!). So for these figures most was done with a base coat followed by one or the other washes and then a highlight with the base or slightly lighter. As these are still sort of linked to my ImagiNation theme I went for the green and red of Altefritzenburg for the shields. Needless to say my Swans will be making an appearance as well, later!
Overall, I’m quite pleased with how they come out. The faces were a different approach to normal and I may vary that for the next batch as I’m not sure it fully works.
Not sure what to paint next. I REALLY should line up the stuff for Ayton in May. Not a lot to paint but it will take time. Maybe as the mojo seems to be returning it would be good to get them out of the way. I also need to clear the decks a little as I want to try and have a game at home with my 7 year old. Might look at the One Hour Wargames ACW rules. And I need to sort out my Punic War stuff for the big To The Strongest Game in November. And get to the Whitley Bay Club so I can keep to my once a month plan!
Onwards and upwards!