Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dux Britanniarum!

My first foray into historical wargaming!  I have fostered a growing interest in historical settings for wargames over the past couple years, and I decided to jump on the boat with the Dux Britanniarum pre-order. I was even fortunate enough to get a free Arthur figure!  After having read the rules, I am keen to give it a try, but alas, I have no opponents at the moment.  What would be the best way to attract new players?  My thought exactly - have two painted armies!

What is Dux Britanniarum you might ask? It is a skirmish game set in 4th century Britain. At that time, the Roman empire withdrew its soldiers from the island, and basically told the residents to 'look to their own defences'. As history shows us, Britain did not stay Roman, but this game pits the remaining Roman colonists against the invading Saxon armies.  It makes use of in-game action cards to add some variety, and focuses heavily on a continuing campaign setting rather than static one-off battles.  Lots of fun!

Thus my quest begins.  I have set myself a lofty goal to paint up a Romano-British and a Saxon force by mid-October.  Doable?  Perhaps, though I will really have to buckle down.  So far I have completed one unit of 6 Milites, and a unit of 6 Comanipulares.  The Comanipulares do not yet have shields, as I am awaiting the LBM transfers before I get them finished.

On to the pictures!

For the Milites, I had received a lot of GB late romans that I felt would fit the bill.  The had already been painted (poorly) and for these I decided to try and paint over them.  While it turned out OK, I am not entirely happy with the results and for my other unit the models have already been stripped and reprimed.  The sculpts themselves are not too stellar IMO, which means they need a bit more TLC to make shine.  Seeing as I am on a deadline, I settled for something closer to tabletop standard.

Next, my Comanipulares, are BTD armoured late romans which I acquired in their latest 50% off everything sale  .  They painted up quite nicely, and for the price I say the detail is great.  The faces are quite expressive, and take to painting pretty well!  Its definitely easier to get a nicer result when you aren't painting over a sub-par paintjob!

All in all they were pretty easy to paint, and I look forward to starting on the rest of them.  I have about 8 weeks to paint 70 more figures, so here's to hoping it just gets easier from this point forward!
Watch this space as I update my progress.  I hope also to share some more insights about the game, and this fascinating period in history!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Here come the little folk!

"What are you doing?"

 "Tomatoes, sausages, and nice, crispy bacon!"

Hobbit references aside, I am now pleased to share with you all a secret project which I had worked on this summer!

White Knight, with his wonderful range of landsknecht gobins, gave in to popular demand to see a separate set of halfling heads sulpted by Kev Adams to fit on the goblin bodies.  In my conversations with him, I was able to trick/beg/barter a set of mastercastings of the aforementioned halfling heads to paint up so he could show the world some painted examples.

Upon receiving them in the mail, I was delighted to find the 12 crisp heads, with great details and expressions.  The pick of the crop to me (and WK will agree) were the bare headed halfings, who simply oozed with character.

I set about assembling the 6 heads that most appealed to me, and slapped on some paint.  Here are the final results!

First up are 2 of the bare heads and a nice feathered cap.  The strapping chap in the middle is my favourite of all 12 heads.  Nice bushy eyebrows and a full face.  I found the sculpt somewhat resembled my late grandfather, so in his honour the middle halfling with the halberd has been named Tom.  I don't normally name my miniatures, so that's a pretty big honour :)

Next up were some more heads, a couple with handguns and another halberd.  I made a slight slip up with the guy on the right - adding a blue wash to add some colour around the eyes ended badly.  My wife said it looked like he got a black eye, so I decided that was a better story than taking time to fix it.  So the halfling on the right got into it last night with a surly (and quite drunk) dwarfen merchant at the hogshead tavern.  Today he showed up for duty with a nice shiner and his pride mostly intact!

These guys were lots of fun to paint up!  The details pick out nicely, and they don't overwhelm the models.  I find models with tons of little details can be somewhat cumbersome to paint, even if they give good results.  To me, these little guys are both fun and rewarding to paint, and nicely fill a gap in the miniature market.  I hope to finish off a few GW halflings soon so you can compare the size and scale of each.