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Friday, December 26, 2014

Trident Miniatures 40mm American Civil War all complete

With a little extra time available during the Christmas season, I was able to finish the 40mm American Civil War figure from Trident Designs miniatures. The 40mm scale is easier to paint than I thought and the figure, representing a private of the 6th Alabama, turned out pretty well.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

WIP #1 Trident Designs 40mm American Civil War figure

I have never painted a 40mm figure and with the generous free sample from Doug Carroccio at The Miniature Service Center I now have the opportunity.

The head went on easily at the angle I wanted with super glue; a nice fit and it looks natural.  Speaking of natural, the proportions of the figure look extremely realistic.  After using white glue to put the figure on a soda cap and allowing it to dry, I used a thinned down coat of GW's Abaddon Black to prime the figure.  I have discovered that thinned flat black paint brings out the highlights of metal figures and makes it easier for me to paint.

 In this picture you can see the CS on the belt buckle.

I noticed after priming what appears to be some flash on the right side of the back. No big deal.

I usually like to paint the face first as that gives me an idea of the "character" of the figure. I used a base of GW Dark Flesh, followed by Dwarf Flesh and then Elf Flesh. (Note: I have a combination of GW paints with the old names and the new names. If you need the conversion chart, you can download a chart here: Citadel Conversion Chart.)  For now the hair is dark flesh - I'm not sure if I will add a highlight at this point or not.

Before I started to paint the uniform I pulled out my handy copy of Don Troiani's Civil War; one of the best investments in uniform and painting guides I ever made. The painting "Until Sundown" features the 6th Alabama at the battle of Antietam and the uniforms are based on a surviving shell jacket worn by the 6th Alabama. With this as a guide, I decided to paint the figure as a member of this regiment from my adopted home state.

The shell jacket started with a base of Adeptus Battle Grey followed by a coat of Dawnstone. To complete the base color for the shell jacket I used Kantor Blue for the collar and Bone White for the collar trim, cuff and jacket trim with just a small highlight of White Scar. For the pants and hat (in fact for anything that will have a shade of brown) I used Mournfang Brown as the base. After that dried I used a thinned down coat of Steel Legion Drab on the pants and then a thicker coat to smooth out the color.

 I missed a mold line on the hat! My eyes are not what they used to be!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Trident Designs 40 mm Figure

On December 9, 2014 I just happened to be on The Miniatures Page when suddenly I caught the headline:

Free 40mm Figure from MSC

We are giving away a free 40mm figure to the first 25 people who email us. These are for individuals who do not already have some of our figures. We would like to put one of them in your hand so you can take a close look at them. Also you must be in the U.S.A. to get the free figure. The cost of shipping overseas would be a bit expensive.

Let us know which of the three ranges you would like a figure from: AWI, ACW, or our Vanguard Men-at-Arms range. Then let us know which type of figure. For example: AWI Hessian, Vanguard Knight, or ACW Rebel.

Needless to say I fired off an email right away and fortunately I was one of the first 25 to email Doug Carroccio of the Miniature Service Center. I knew the service would be excellent as years ago MSC was the U.S. Distributor for Front Rank and I would purchase figures direct from Doug. I requested an ACW figure and it was mailed on Friday and arrived today in mail.

Wow.  The pictures do not do it justice. The figure even has "CS" on the belt buckle. There are no visible mold lines and no flash.  Wow.

From looking online there are 79 different Confederate soldiers including command and an extensive line of Union forces too.  The heads are separate with 15 different head packs available. Doug sent me CS 8 Standing firing, legs spread with blanket roll and one of the heads from HP 2 Slouch hats.

In addition Trident Designs has ranges for the French and Indian War, American Revolution, the Seven Years War and a range of Medieval Figures.

I am definitely going to enjoy painting this figure and I am already tempted looking at the pictures from all of the ranges.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Earl of Essex's Regiment of Foot

I was starting to get "Viking burnout" assembling and painting the Gripping Beast plastic Vikings for a Dux Bellorum Sea Raider army. Another ongoing project is the English Civil War and I thought that since Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex and Lord General of the Armies of Parliament commands my Parliamentary army then it was time to get his personal regiment in the fight.

 Essex's Regiment is also known as the Lord General's Regiment

The regiment existed from the beginning of the Civil War in 1642 until it was disbanded in 1645. During that time, the regiment fought with the main Parliamentary army based around London. It is interesting to note that during the Battle of Edgehill, Essex was among their ranks with pike in hand. (Editorial comment: It must have really hit the fan at Edgehill!  I always told my soldiers that if I was firing my weapon, something was wrong!)

 The Squire looks quite dapper

Based on my research Essex's regiment originally wore orange tawny coats from September 1642 until they issued an unknown coat color in August 1643. As I was concerned that any orange coats I painted might be too bright and I did not feel like buying new paint or mixing colors; instead  I decided to go with a common red jacket with white facings. Previously I did the King's Lifeguard in a darker red; Essex's regiment I decided would be a brighter red. After priming in black, I simply did two coats of GW's Blood Red and then added a Red Wash also from GW. After the I added the wash, the coat was glossy but I always use a flat clear coat when finished painting which nicely took away the glossy look.

The standard bearer is converted from an armored pikeman figure

In November 1644 Essex's regiment received new flags to replace those lost in Cornwall, these were orange with white mullets (five-pointed stars). At the First Battle of Newbury a set of orange colors with white eight-pointed stars was captured by the Royalists and they might have belonged to Essex's.

The Lord General inspects his regiment.

All of the figures for the regiment are from Warlord Games plastic ECW infantry box except for the "squire" which is from Wargames Foundry.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Campaigning with the Duke of Wellington & Featherstone

It's that time of the year when I clean out my shelves and put them on eBay. Just click on the book title and it will take you to eBay starting with:

Campaigning with the Duke of Wellington & Featherstone. Solid scholarship on the battles of the Duke of Wellington is combined with a light-hearted look at visiting the fields and gaming the battles of the Peninsular War.  Includes a set of rules written by the great Featherstone himself.

Armati is a fun, fast playable set of rules.

Warmaster Ancients is an innovative set of rules that has now morphed into Black Powder,

Playable Napoleonic Wargames is a tactical set that focuses on the Peninsular War and includes a campaign system and map.

German Tanks of World War II is a great reference book with many pictures I have not seen elsewhere.

Space: 1889.  The original Steam punk rules that allow you to live in the world of H.G. Wells, Jules Verne and others.
 Space: 1889 Soldier's Companion.  The Miniature war game rules for 1889.  Great also for historical gaming.

Space: 1889 Conklin's Atlas of the Worlds. Every traveler needs a map!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Somewhere in Rohan: The Long Defense

Honorable Son #5 and myself dusted off GW's Lord of the Rings rules and have had a great time gaming over the last few days. We decided to play the "Long Night" scenario from the Return of the King version of the rules with some slight adjustment to the forces. One pleasant surprise for us was the way the Gripping Beast plastic and metal Vikings make for great proxies for Rohan to defend against the Forces of Evil (BWAH HAH HAH!) that are ravaging their land.

Gripping Beast Vikings.  Yes, the figure in the second rank has the +2 Gaze of Intimidation.

The scenario consists of the warriors of a village, reinforced by a Dwarf contingent, defending the village from a relentless assault of Uruk-hai.  In fact, that is one of the special rules for the scenario: Relentless Reinforcements.  If the Uruk-hai have a figure killed, they will return next turn at the table edge as a reinforcement with no more than 2 per entry point; north, south, east and west. In order for the defenders to win they must have at least 4 figures left in the village after 20 turns. The Forces of Evil (BWAH HAH HAH!) win if they eliminate all of the defenders.  Any other result is a draw.

The Forces of Evil (BWAH HAH HAH!), led by Honorable Son #5 were all Uruk-hai and consisted of a captain, banner bearer, 5 archers and 10 warriors (but remember the Relentless Reinforcement rule!) They would enter with at least 4 figures simultaneously from the north, east, south and west.

 Uruk-hai captain in the front with raised sword and banner bearer behind him.

The defenders, led by your humble blogger, consisted of 2 captains, 1 banner, 4 warriors, 4 warriors with spears and 4 warriors with throwing spears.

 The 2 captains and banner bearer.  Plastic vikings from Gripping Beast.

The Dwarf contingent had a mighty captain, a banner, 2 Khazad Guard and 9 dwarf warriors.  Since we don't have any "regular" dwarf warriors, the Khazad Guard figures will be proxies for the dwarf warriors and my dwarfs with capes will be the Khazad Guard for easy recognition.

Dwarf captain and banner bearer.

The first few turns of the game went well for the defenders as the Uruk-hai attempted to cross barricades and defenses only to be cut down by the heroic warriors and dwarfs.

The defenders in position.

 The village gate.

One of the Uruk-hai provided slapstick comedy as he slipped and fell 3 times crossing a wall.  Honorable Son #5 christened him "Stumpy."  Even though there were many acts of valor that will be remembered in song or in one of the appendices of the Lord of the Rings, the Relentless Reinforcements started to take their toll as the forces of good were not able to replace anyone they lost.

The Uruk-hai captain is the first to the wall and met by the combined forces of men and dwarfs.

A small force, led by the old captain, repositions to relieve some pressure from the attack on the east flank.  The captain was heard to mutter as the men got in position, "You call these Uruk-hai?  Back in the day, they were much bigger and smelled worse!"

 Pressure on the south flank and the Uruk-hai start to gain a foothold in the inner defenses.

All of the buildings are cardboard stock from different GW Warhammer boxes that I have collected over the years.
A counterattack led by the other captain and the dwarf captain would contain the penetration but at a heavy cost to the men and some dwarfs.

Defending the gate in the north.

Just when the breakthrough in the south was dealt with, the Uruk-hai collapsed the defense at the gate and in the east. Bellowing with a loud "Roll Tide!" the old forked beard captain leaped the wall and single-handedly slayed 5 Uruk-hai warriors before he succumbed to his battle wounds.  The old codger would be missed, but he bought valuable time for the defenders to reposition and fall back.

 Come on you gutter scum!  Come experience my bad breath!

The Uruk's fall to the mighty sword of the old codger.

Desperate defense against the Uruk-hai captain and retinue.

The defenders get smaller in number but take out some of the attackers in order to reform their line.

"For the White Hand!" A lone dwarf is overwhelmed by the Uruk-hai.

Dwarf and man fight back to back emboldened by the example of their captains!


The last desperate turn.  The defenders hold just long enough to force a draw. The only defenders left are the Dwarf captain, 1 warrior of Rohan and their banner.  The villagers escape to another village but the marauding Uruk-hai raze their buildings.

Honorable Son #5

Truely a great game that went back and forth as the momentum shifted. Honorable Son #5 and the Forces of Evil (BWAH HAH HAH!) probably would have won except for 2 turns of exceedingly bad die rolls near the end of the game. We have never seen so many "1's" in our lives!. The only thing that kept me in the game was the prudent use of my captains; not exposing them early but using them for counterattacks and when that extra "umph" was needed.  I should, however, have used my dwarf captain earlier.  He was near unstoppable with his high defense and I used his might points to modify the dice rolls to deliver devastating death blows with his two-handed axe.  Another point, which I mentioned earlier, was how good the Gripping Beast figures looked with the fantasy figures.

Now for the heroes of the game:

Honorable Son #5 choose the above Uruk-hai archer as he peppered a total of 5 enemy figures which unhinged the defense in the east. Plus he has a good dental plan. The old codger, captain of men is my hero for the game when he single-handedly took down a Uruk-hai force.  It's what heroes do, though my dog was not impressed.

They did not drop enough nacho chips while they played.