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Saturday, December 30, 2023

bench update 31 December 2023

Assembled, but without final wash/varnish: included at bottom left is an element of sea people Sherden I used for continuity of paint scheme.

Saturday, December 9, 2023

bench update 10 December 2023

Some visible progress. This is a new grouting compound, that is designed to look like mortar. I thought it might be ideal for basing. But it has lower adhesion than regular, which means that the chariot montage may pop off if knocked.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

bench update 3 December 2023

Still trying a number of surface options. The frustrating thing is that metallic paint surfaces perfectly. The tentative answer I've reached is that Vallejo paint can't be thinned on this base paint. 

Sunday, November 26, 2023

bench update 26 November 2023

I've become concerned about the ongoing tackiness of the spray base coat. At first I thought it was the soaring temperatures, but yesterday was cold and the problem remains. 
All I've done then, is touch up the grouted chariots, and put a shade of brown on four of the horses. I'll see how they shape up. Worst case, I have to strip everything. 

Sunday, November 12, 2023

bench update 12 November 2023

The chariot parts fit ok but would probably have fit better without that coat of spray paint! Here, each assembly has had superglue run into the joins.
I've dry brushed the all-bronze with bronze, and the mostly-skin with flesh.
The spears straightened okay on the second attempt. One thing to note was that the spray paint became tacky again when soaked with boiling water. 

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Caesar Mycaenaeans: Trying the Army Painter spray base

After my experience using Army Painter spray on the CMON undead hordes, which are a fairly hard resin, I have decided to try the same approach with Caesar Miniatures rather soft resin. So after a hot detergent wash, which (mostly) straightened out the minis, I sprayed one side, waited about an hour, then sprayed the other side. This is Desert Sand, a good leather/wood shade.

Not every piece straightened. The pikes, top left, are pretty bad. I can try once more, and if that doesn't work, I'll have to switch to wire.

Friday, November 3, 2023

I'm back

What was that, six weeks of painting CMON Dead or Alive zombies, aberrations and Survivors? Today I hauled out the Mycenaean Chariots. I haven't actually done anything mind you, but they are on the work bench!

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

A few extra pics

At rear, the 12 x 4Sp elements of the Early Hoplites and to the fore, various light options from the Thracians to mix with them!

These are the Thracians, barring the Thessalian-style CvGen option which is still housed with Later Greek Hoplites. The column to right appears above.

Another view of the Thracians, looking particularly at the 3Ax elements. It also shows how re-grouting over the previous basing came out. 

Saturday, September 16, 2023

bench update 17 September 2023

Great, the 12 element early Greek Hoplites army is based up. Just need a nice day to spray anti-shine, and it's finished. 

For earlier and possibly Etruscan armies I'm floppily experimenting with the remaining Atlantic Greeks minis and Caesar Miniatures Mycaenaean vs Trojan minis. By good fortune, Caesar used various bronze age equipment to sub in for their fantasy minis. (I'm referring to the Mycaenaean etc minis of course.) 

Many of the bits are from the dark age or what DBA3.0 lists have as "Villanovan" which - being simply the name of the archeological dig - shows how little is known about the army or armies involved. So I hope to be able to cover at least two armies lists from the mishmash!

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Greek/related project iv

Work on the book ii armies finished today as I put the final decals on the pretty - and based - Atlantic 4Sp elements. See the front rank of the previous blog update. These are aimed at morphing with book I Greek hoplites. 

The use of 15mm decals isn't my idea, I got it from wonderful minis by an Italian chap whose site I can't find now. But they really do make the minis. So I've ordered another such pack from Little Big Men Studios. 

I've also been cleaning up the heavier versions of the same Atlantic Greeks, ready to use in Geometric Greeks and morph with book I hoplites. 

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Greek/related project iii

Now with all of the book ii Greeks as built as they are going to be, book i is the main focus. Atlantic Greeks, come back, all is forgiven!
These were among the earlier "actually trying" DBA builds I did about 20 years ago, changing spears to long spears to portray what was said to be the Theban style. Then plastic soldier review lambasted the Atlantic designs and I lost interest in them. 
But the sculptor was using a reasonable mix of ancient statuary and old-fashioned art to work from. Even those "we like short shorts" with the cheeky slice of butt-cheek showing, are consistent with an Etruscan bronze!
Anyway here's progress to date, I'm aiming for 12 4Sp elements that can be used for Early Hoplite phalanx, clad in muscle thorax or bronze scale.

Friday, September 8, 2023

Greek/related project ii

It's been a brutal 36 hours of adding sandstone grout, dabbing in pools of watered down PVA, flocking in the same rubber flock mix as the Thebans, more PVA soaked onto the green bush and finally, beige gamers grass!

Let's see what all this has netted:
The general look is consistent across HaT Thracian, HaT Theban, and (IIRC) Zvezda hoplites. Extra minis from Atlantic Greeks and Egyptians and HaT Alexander's Lights and the odd few from Orion Scythians and even Orion Slavs and Esci barbarians!

I believe I can field almost any two II/5 armies except Sparta, so long as they are asymmetrical, meaning that if one has plenty of mounted, the other must have pretty much all Spear and Psiloi. And, I can put a variety of Thracian options onto the board, again with dependence on what the other army/armies have.

So next, doing the same for Phokian Artillery. That is, next on this wing of the project. At the same time, it's clarifying what I am doing with the Book I Greeks.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Greek/Related project

This begins with the realization that I screwed up on the Thracians. I'd misplaced my Thebans - one of the II/5 options and already on DBA3.0 basing and options - and then I found them, opened the box, and my heart sank. The base flocking is designed to blend with both Italian and Anatolian terrain, and does not use the deep terracotta/green flocking. 

The next stage was assessing the Greek army I had to rebase. It's on card not plywood base but with two exceptions,  the elements are suited to 3.0. The base finish is what put me wrong with the Thracians, that stone/terracotta/green finish.

This picture is day 2 of applying pale sandstone colored grouting latex over the green flocking. 
All going well, I can add the correct flocking and count this as a win.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Dark age or just imagination?

I've been reviewing various images of supposed dark age Grecian warriors. It strikes me that we have a reasonable model for the supposed dark age, in the supposed dark ages of Western Europe. 

Imagine that there were no Christian clerics to record proceedings in that period, or that what writings there were, got destroyed. Then imagine that instead of the many accounts more or less contemporary with that "long fallow night" we have only a series of secondary accounts, all based on Danish, Swedish and Norse skaldic traditions and not committed to writing for hundreds of years.

I hope I don't need to keep drawing out this mental exercise? With what has been more and more revealed about the supposed dark ages, it is hard to maintain that there was such a thing. I believe exactly the same will eventually be admitted about that much earlier break in a sequence.

Saturday, September 2, 2023

I/48 Thracians complete!

The shields and standards carefully added and reinforced with glue, it's a finale day. Dry-brushing the grey stone, then carefully adding shallow lakes of diluted PVA and then the green flocking. At this stage, the elements match the basing on the Greek army the optional CvGen comes from.

These are the Thracian components:
Top left, CvGen or 4AxGen options.
Rear middle, 3xLH option, and in front of them, 3x4Ax option.
Foreground, 2xPs(bow). I don't plan to add naked stone-chuckers, because I have no spare Picts/Caledones, and though I have a couple of potential slingers, that looked like being a mini-project in its own right.
Next up the (almost certainly not going to be used) 6xPs to left, and the much-more-likely 6+1x 3Ax to right.
The Ps are really there to feed into other morphs like the Geometric Greeks. Or in case I want the 7x3Ax for Geometric Greeks and want a wheelbarrow army here.
Finally, the heavy core option, 6x4Ax, many with rhomphaia. Perfect for doing adequately against anything except knights in open country.

Those with sharp eyes will have spotted a few ringer minis so far. These include Esci barbarians given javelins that I originally converted for the Geometric Greeks but have added the shield for this project. 

It's a nice thought that some of my earlier conversions, Atlantic Roman mounted, have reunited with some Atlantic Roman chariot drivers who are the CvGen option. 

Friday, September 1, 2023

bench update 02 September 2023

Now the first question on seeing this is, do you actually plan to use all those options? And the answer is no, not for Thracians alone. This is where the partial morph with Geometric Greeks comes in. I am pretty sure I can use 7x3Ax and 3xPs (javelin) for the b option of the Greek side.
There was some second thoughts and lots of test basing, and I ended up with several Scythian spare, back in recycling.
Tomorrow I'll add the last few shields:

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Thracian shields on!

The Little Big Men Studios decals are on, and I may have misjudged some of them but en masse they look good. Disappointingly the Carthaginian shield decals I thought I had do not transfer. Maybe they are old stock and had a completely different method? 
Anyway, I'm ready to assemble them onto bases this coming weekend!

Saturday, August 26, 2023

bench update 27 August 2023

The Thracian project is nearing its end! Over the week, I've added pretty much all detail needed. Now, I'm carefully re-mounting minis that I hope to give shield decals. They are Little Big Men Studios Thracian and Carthaginian and as a nice change of pace they are actually scaled for 1/72!

Saturday, August 19, 2023

bench update 20 August 2023

I've hit the tipping point between looking "in progress" and "nearing completion." Amazing what clumsy colored lines on cloaks has done. 
Still to do: plenty of detail yet on the horses; all flesh and face detail, metal.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

bench update 12 August 2023

Just a little bit of color added...

Monday, August 7, 2023

bench update 06 August 2023

Got all the horses base coated now, but not much else happened 

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Monday, July 24, 2023

bench update 25 July 2023

This is a slow-lane project. I'm currently distracted by soloing a rewrite of my old version of Tunnels & Trolls. Soloing a rewrite? Yes I was struggling to match rules and structure so instead, I am playing a game and writing about the rules as they apply, in-game. 

Smacked some Vallejo moon yellow down over the weekend, and I was surprised by the high proportion of Thracians needing more tunic or pants blocked out. Pale yellow is a great base color for green and reddish, so that's two more easy colors. Then I'll try to do the geometric designs on cloaks and shields. 

Saturday, July 15, 2023

bench update 16 July 2023

Today I blocked out light-color tunics, shields, and trousers. The colors are so light, you would not really notice any difference between today and last week. Later in the process I will add Geometric Greek designs.

Saturday, July 8, 2023

bench update 09 July 2023

I seem to still have a forearm strain so have limited myself to flesh (Vallejo bronzed) and browns. 

Saturday, July 1, 2023

bench update 02 July 2023

A change of thinking in my Thracians project. I've decided not to include Cv option, for now. I guess I'm not entirely sure about the mounts. I can borrow the very Thracian-looking Thessalians from the II/52f Greeks, shown here:
Today is base coat day and I've decided to have a white undercoat as well, to unify all the various minis, several painted already. So after the varnish/stain coat, I brush them all with a No.7 synthetic, rather stiff, bristle, with a mix of medium/varnish and white Vallejo paint. Not trying to get on every surface, because it's an advantage if the dark initial wash is still outlining edges.

Saturday, June 24, 2023

bench update 25 June 2023

Eurgh, all trimmed out. I've dug into recycling for a few more Atlantic Roman minis as I am leaning more and more towards using those as cavalry and LH, rather than Scythian conversion. 

Saturday, June 17, 2023

bench update 18 June 2023

Trimming out the Thracians begins after I've laid out the resources, in minis, I plan to use. Alexander's Lights combine so well with the Alexander's Thracians that I think there was an organic plan. The only catch is that a different hand did the original sculpts, meaning the Lights have a slightly different look. To these I add Scythian foot (most of which I plan to use as mounted) and some Atlantic Roman minis. I have not decided about the mounts, I have plenty of Atlantic Greek mounts with no furniture and plenty of Atlantic Roman mounts with generic furniture.
I may yet add a mix of Hannibal's veterans. They have that "booted Gaul" look.

Monday, June 12, 2023

Switching to Thracians!

Today I used shears and brute force to pile up the Geometric Greek minis, then opened the next storage box of... those other Atlantic Greeks I have converted more than once and still haven't got a good fit for. I've decided I need to build Thracians and see which light elements will morph or be spare.
These are based around HaT's Alexander's Thracians so feature the Galati/Keltoi style shield in many cases. I plan to supplement them with lights from Orion Scythians or even Slavs, and the ubiquitous Alexander's Lights and even a few remaining Atlantic Egyptian stick-hurlers!

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Story of unmotivation

Ah the old green and sawdust base. And a lot of red paint. Looking at this really drains my motivation. Especially as (a) Geometric Greek period is so unknown and (b) these figures aren't convincing in any given period.

I/22 NKE and I/34 Later Hittite

I have been over these two sides twice now, wondering what my original plan was. Where are the Egyptian spears? Where are the Hittite pikes? 
Frustratingly I have a memory of base-coated Hittite pikemen lying... somewhere. 
I've decided to leave both alone, noting that I may need to morph in some elements, especially for NKEs, who get to choose from Sherden (in the box) Libyans, Bedouin, or Nubians. I guess any 4Sp can be glommed from the early dynasty side.
I will have spare HCh once my Trojan War pairing is built (that's a long delayed project) so for now the Hittites will just borrow from the Mitanni, and vice versa.

Later Hebrew I/34b complete

This morning I put down a mix of PVA and ochre, and sprinkled rubbed sage and thyme on the result. 
This is the "b" configuration that results. Far left rear, mighty men wielding anachronistic axes masquerading as Ax.
I'm pretty happy about this because the extra chariots still fit in the same storage they used to!

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

bench update 08 June 2023

I decided to get the LCh on bases then varnish and paint. 
If you look closely at the unpainted mounts, you might be able to see how "candle treatment" works on the raised fabric pattern Atlantic used on them. That's a technique i used some years ago when i was trying to create a distinct look for Hittite LCh. I used a sharp craft knife to get rid of remaining roughness yesterday. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

bench update 06 June 2023

Instead of throwing down a wargame as @NormanDean suggested I've spent a lot of today watching WW2's spinoff, the D-Day special, hour by hour coverage. 
Thanks to carefully reassessing my Hebrews I've decided to add the Later Hebrews I/34b list as a morph from the a list. (I may regret this as I run out of storage space!) All I need to add are two LCh and I already have a spare from the Hyksos, and plenty of spare parts I've been saving for Canaanites.
So otherwise, my existing Hebrews in their I/27 configuration:
These are a triumph of using seemingly useless extras: most of them began life as the "dying Trojan" mini from Atlantic Trojans!
The elements on left are the options for picked men/Ax(jav)/Ps.

Monday, June 5, 2023

Early Beds squared

I can field both a and b sides of i/6 Early Bedoiun, with the proviso that Caesar Miniatures did not do slingers, so I'm using their javelinmen. 
A side with choice of Ax or Wb General:

B side:

Sunday, June 4, 2023

bench update 05 June 2023

Ready for basing: the HaT Taaishi are painted and varnished, and repainted with white because these days my magic wash varnish is based on Strong Tone, not the maple or walnut or whatever I finished the original Early Beds in. 
At foreground, the unpainted hand holding a 45mm wire which will become the general's foot signal staff. 
...And here's the result, Tuareg on left, standard bearer center. Tomorrow I will add the ochre paint to the Bedouin pair, and probably finish tufts etc.

Saturday, June 3, 2023

bench update 04 June 2023

With the Hyksos fixed up and checked off against 3.0 list, I managed to squeeze them in with Libyan 7b. Libyan lights turn up in Hyksos lists, so that may work out. Storage space is terribly limited. I'm hoping to eliminate one of the various Greek boxes. As I say that I'm aware of the irony. I began Ancients in 1:72 only because I still owned those old Atlantic sets from when I was a kid. Each time I renovate, the old sets are less use.
Anyway today's project is the camelry for Early Beds, who need 2x3Cm, and iii/75 fanatic Berbers who need 1x3Cm.
This is work in progress.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

bench update 01 June 2023

Well these are okay! I've got the best three LCh for the 3.0 list Hyksos - luckily the general is one of the three - and with ochre and stone (grey grout with grit mixed in) they are not going to look too badly out of place next to allies like sherden or libyans.
Same goes for the Bd and Ps elements. Don't get me wrong, they are far short of perfect. Once I am through the far side of new army builds I suspect I'll circle back.

bench update 31 May 2023

Bits n pieces work - before getting into the camelry, I'm experimenting with renovating the existing bases of my Hyksos side. That is, the old olive colored ones that don't match the later ochre-and-stone ones. Just overpainting will not do, because they have sawdust flock. So I've spread ivory grout on, but won't be throwing grit down until I have ochre paint on.
If this does not work, I'll have to chisel the minis out and base them properly!

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Libyan I/7b awaiting matt spray

Not much to say - the base finish is ochre over ivory grouting latex, mixed grit dry brushed with silver-grey, and gamers grass swamp? Something burnt-looking anyway. Not great compared to some of the other chariots-r-go sides but ok enough. I can always add some herb sprinkles or thin olive wash patches later.