Tuesday, 23 October 2012

For J, Who Will Explode If I Don't

I have been really lax in updating this blog. Over the last week I have painted three Miliciens, a Jugoslav Communist partisan, 20 more Molgravians, and made good progress on my commission for J. I have also deflashed 36 28mm Napoleonic French and assembled the free figure of H4-ML37 that Hasslefree Miniatures sent me - because I came up with the name.

So here are the pictures:

Figures from J's commission: I still need to paint their webbing, woodwork, and fine detail before I do the faces and hair. About two thirds done probably.

Tito's finest - a female partisan. I think she was originally meant to be a French resistance fighter, but she looks better as a Jugoslavian.

Vive la France! Three Franc-Gardes non-permanente ready to repel the enemies of Vichy. No idea who made these chaps, who are in actuality meant to be FFI or Maquisards. I don't think anyone makes Milice figures, which is a shame.

H4-ML37 in his powered armour suit and carrying an advanced assault rifle (with 'smart' 20mm HE underbarrel launcher). I think I'm going to give him a San Francisco 49ers baseball cap, because my first baseball cap when I was small was a 49ers one. I am tempted to get his companion Smudge to form some kind of ultra-experimental US military unit. A bit like We3 (a brilliant graphic novel, read it if you can find it), perhaps.

And finally, the Molgravian Liebgarde zu Fuss expands up to 32 figures out of the final total of 52 plus Colonel.

Olley Painting Points:
This Week: 21 (and 3 from last week not previously counted)
October Total: 43
2012 Total: 88

Monday, 15 October 2012

Aharr Me Hearties! Avast Ye... err... Men Of Gondor?

So today has been spent partly in undercoating another 20 Molgravians, partly in working on the soldiers of Hod (update about them tomorrow), a little bit of de-flashing of a regiment of Napoleonic French for a long-running commission, and partly in painting more Corsairs of Umbar:

Not being a Tolkein buff, I have no idea if Middle Earth has an Orient. That notwithstanding, I present the 'Chinese' Xi-Zheng and the 'Viking' Stromnir the Red. Stromnir is more likely to be a Rohirrim or someone of similar descent, of course. I think. Maybe. What the hell, it's my army and I like it!

I got bored of doing plain colours for their clothes so Stromnir has a fetching flowery pattern on his one-piece baggy pirate clothes. Tease him and he'll shove his boarding pike through your face. 

Olley Painting Points:
This Week: 2
October Total: 19
2012 Total: 64

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Molgravia Arise!

Tonight I finished the first 12 figures of the Molgravian Liebgarde zu Fuss, my birthday present. I also did another Corsair (I want to try and churn out at least one Corsair a day):

'Big Zuma' - the second of my Corsairs of Umbar. I have decided to do this motley crew of cut-throats and ne'er do wells as a whole bunch of mixed ethnicities because a) I like doing that and b) it makes sense to me to have them like that. I will throw in a blond or two as well.

 And now onto the main attraction for this post: the Molgravian army (slowly) emerges!

The colour party - standard, drummer, two officers, eight rank and file. White smalls and green facings (and turnbacks, which, as Al Front has kindly pointed out, are not actually facings but something different altogether. Woops). It was a very strange experience painting these figures. I am used to high levels of detail, and this was basically 'colouring in' instead...

The regimental colour - the central disc is red with a golden 'M' under a crown, denoting a Royal or Guards regiment. Flag glued together with Rocket Glue and then gloss varnished before a determined crumpling to obscure any defects!

Olley Painting Points:
This Week: 17
October Total: 17
2012 Total: 62

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Cosmonauts On The Moon

Yesterday was my 26th birthday. I ate Batman Cake with my son, and, before he returned home from school, I finished the following figures:


Two Ground Zero Games' spacemen from their Stargrunt range, specifically CR-3A and CR-3B Crewmen in Heavy EVA Suits with Tool Pack and Plasma Cutter. Painted for my son and heavily gloss varnished. He still managed to snap the 2p off the red spaceman! But they were a hit; he took one to school today.

 And Mehmet Brokenose, a Lord of the Rings Corsair to go with my Haradrim force, the Al-Bakr tribe of Far Harad. Incidentally, doing his base and then putting him next to the Haradrim showed me this:

The bases are completely different. The Haradrim were all based at the same time - many years ago, around the time that Games Workshop's White Dwarf published a set of skirmish campaign rules for their Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game set - and the particular mix of flock and paint has long since gone west.  So, I had a bit of a think, and, as I finished this figure...

This figure is an out of production Viridian Sergeant from Urban Mammoth's Urban War range. I am using her as an officer in the Paradisan Imperial Guard (Paradiso being a matriarchy), but - see the base? That flat green? That's because not only do I have no idea what actual force she'll end up in, but I have decided that from now on I will base my armies all in one go, once they are finished, in order to prevent them looking like they have stood on a patchwork quilt. Plus it makes them all a lot more unified regardless of colour schemes.

That figure is also notable for being the testbed for a new way of painting leather - highlighted very dark blue and chipped with grey, then washed with blue and black inks. It all ended up very shiny even after a coat of matt varnish, although it may actually have been a semi-gloss varnish. Hm. I wasn't massively impressed but I do like the finished figure. Incentive, perhaps, to put together that Paradisan force I've been hankering after for years, using figures as diverse as the Urban War Viridians, Shadowforge's Marines, and Hasslefree's female SF troopers.

And finally - a birthday present!

A full regiment of Molgravians for The War Game - in this case IR1, the Liebgarde zu Fuss. I shall clean them up tomorrow and undercoat them white (which, in fact, will be them mostly done)!

Olley Painting Points:
This Week: 4
October Total: 4
2012 Total: 45

Monday, 8 October 2012

Stuff For Sale (1) - Hobgoblins!

I have a small collection of Hobgoblins which are now for sale on eBay:

Hobgoblin Full Command Group
4x Hobgoblins with axes and shields
4x Hobgoblins with axes and shields
3x Hobgoblins with axes (no shields)
Hobgoblin Standard Bearer and Drummer
3x Hobgoblin archers
Hobgoblin rocket launcher team (4 figs)
5x Hobgoblin Wolf Riders with Full Command
Hobgoblin special character Wolf Rider

There will be more auctions soon! Keep your eyes open for links from here.

Gork, General Vodkahead, and Confrontation

Well, it's been over a week since my last post, but as this is a faster post rate than the last couple I am counting this as a heroic and glorious victory worthy of, if not columns, then at least fountains. I haven't actually done any extra painting, but I have organised a lot of things, thought deeply about stuff, and found some figures I had part-forgotten about.

First on the list are my Gorker mob from Gorkamorka, whose name escapes me. They are almost all current Warhammer 40,000 Ork models with the exception of the Boss, who is a (converted) original Gorkamorka figure:

MORGRIM NARDAKKA: He used to have another Choppa, and a different 'ead. I decided that, bein' a Goff, 'e 'as no truck wiv any of dis showy bizness, so 'e wears a 'elmet so 'e can get duffin' wiv da best ov dem.

KRUMPLUG BADTHUG, Goff Ork Boy. Choppa and six-shoota. Coz 'e dun't like dem new-fangled sluggas.

GRUBKOP (L), and DUFFGIT (R), Goff Ork Yoofs. A bit dimmer - or is it dummer - dan yoor average Ork.

GULDREG NARGROT, Deathskull Slaver, and NURD, his Grot slave. If it in't nailed down, they'll 'ave it. If it is, NURD will distract 'em while GULDREG nicks it.

RUKFANG GARDAKKA (L) Evil Sunz trak gunner wiv 'is favourite shoota ('e calls it da dakkablasta), and GRUDMEK DUFFBAD (R), Evil Sunz Mek, and driver of Da Trak. 'e 'as a Massive Choppa, an' it has worky bitz.

Da Whole Mob, wif Da Trak. I forget wot it iz called, but if yoo can read Ork, it is on da side. It 'as a Rokkit Launcha an' goin' forward bitz. An' going forward fasta bitz.

The esteemed and noble General Graf von Vodkakopf*, Commander-in-Chief of the Army of Molgravia, as painted by Al Front some years ago for my first crack at imagi-nations...! He is shown here wearing the coat of the venerable IR2 Von Marwitzen regiment with the white smallclothes of the Royal or Guard Regiments.

And finally...

...Confrontation! This is a commission for a guy at work who had the game when he was younger, but slowly lost all of it; he found a copy on eBay and I agreed to paint it up.More specifically, it is Confrontation: Hybrid which looks like this.

Anyway, I will be painting up the 13 or so figures that come in the box. They are sumptuous white-metal figures and I have made a start on the goodies, the Templars of Hod:

The painted figure on the far right is all that remains of the original set, painted by his uncle. It is a solid 7/10 tabletop paintjob heavily gloss varnished for play. I will be seeing if I can do better! I am rather looking forwards to painting the 'Clones of the Heresiarch'.

Olley Painting Points:
This Week: 0
October Total: 0
2012 Total: 41

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Wow - What Happened There?

Yikes! So, "I'll post some AK47 tomorrow" in April turned into a five month gap between posts. Hm. Well, glossing over the various reasons for that, I can reveal that I have not been idle! Well, OK, I have been, but recently I have started a couple of new (arrgh) projects.

The first is a Wars of the Roses collection: as I live in Warwick, I have become more and more intrigued by Richard Neville, the Kingmaker, Earl of Warwick, and his role in those bloody days. As a Scouser, and a Lancastrian by birth, I had some reservations about siding with Warwick (the Yorkist devil!) at first, but then I realised that he'd seen sense and turned coat to fight Edward IV. Much good that it did him!

So, anyway, I had mentioned my desire to do some Perry Miniatures' plastics as Warwick's men to my Dad, and he obliged by buying me a box and the Earl himself. This is what I did with them:

They are based for The Perfect Captain's A Coat of Steel / A Crown of Paper rules and campaign set. In the rear are five bands of Liveried Men-at-Arms including the Earl and his standard (replete with the pun-filled Neville family motto; Ne Vile Velis - 'No Base Wish'); then there are five bands of Liveried Archers and three stands of Levy Archers.

In addition to this, I have begun refocussing onto 18th century Old School Wargaming in the shape of the Principality of Molgravia. So far, my own imagi-nation, Molgravia, can count its armed forces as an entirely paper construct: one flag, painted, and an initial army sketched out on ticket stubs from work.

However, my esteemed pater has collected a few Spencer Smith and Holger Eriksson figures for this project, and I present them here for your viewing delight (primarily because I named them for him!):

Here we see the Alliance of Barwald and Lilliembourx - the Grand Duchy of Barwald and the Serene Kingdom of Lilliembourx - in all their glory. From left to right we have a half-regiment of Lilliembourx foot sandwiched between a squadron of heavy dragoons and a bridging wagon, a full regiment of Lilliembourx foot; a squadron of Barwald Dragoons and a second Squadron of the Lilliembourx Heavies; then four regiments of Barwald foot - the Hanseburg Grenadiers, the Von Adler and Plattwitz Regiments and the Liebgrenadiers - advancing in column behind a screen of Jagers and in front of four guns from the Barwald artillery train.

Off to the left of picture and mostly out of shot are an assortment of spare command figures.

Low angle shot of the Barwald Jagerkorps' 1st Regiment advancing in line, with the Liebgrenadier, Plattwitz, Von Adler and Hanseburg Regiments behind them.

Left to right: standards of the Lilliembourx Royaume, the Petit-Rouge, the Von Adler, Hanseburg, Plattwitz and Liebgrenadiers.

For my own part, my immediate aim for the Molgravians is to buy and paint one regiment a month. The first regiment will arrive for my birthday - the Liebgarde zu Fuss - and the rest will appear month by month. A full list of the intended Molgravian army follows:

IR1 - Liebgarde zu Fuss - white coat, green facings, white smallclothes
IR2 - Von Marwitzen's - green coat, red facings, grey smallclothes
IR3 - Tobias' - green coat, blue facings, grey smallclothes
IR4 - Prinzess Sophie's Grenadiers - green coat, white facings, white smallclothes
IR5 - Butyrsky's Bergjagers - green coat, light green facings, green smallclothes
IR6 - Rupprecht's Jagers - green coat, light blue facings, green smallclothes
IR7 - Von Talinsky's - green coat, purple facings, grey smallclothes
IR8 - Schauffenberg's Grenadiers - green coat, pink facings, grey smallclothes
KR1 - Royal Molgravian Dragoon Guard - white coat, white facings, white smallclothes
KR2 - Gravinsky's Dragoons - green coat, yellow facings, grey smallclothes
KR3 - Von Hilfe's Totenritter - black coat, black facings, black smallclothes
KR4 - Stepanov's Huzzars - green coat, black facings, red smallclothes

In addition there will be an artillery train, wearing green coats with black smallclothes; pioneers in grey coats and smalls with green facings; waggoneers and pontonniers in green coats with brown facings and smalls. Tricornes throughout the army will be black with white lace for enlisted, silver for NCOs and gold for officers. Musicians will have reversed coat/facing colours.

The armies are organised for the classic OSW rules - CS Grant's The War Game.

Next time - more madness! I hope to - as always - update regularly, once a day at best, but at least three times a week. I am also going to restart the painting points thing, from scratch, so:

Painting Points:
This Week: 41
September Total: 41
2012 Total: 41

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

With AK-47 To Africa

Many years ago, when I were a lad, a schoolfriend and I decided to get into the modern imagi-nation period of post-Colonial Africa. We were devout followers of Peter Pig, who remains one of the finest 15mm manufacturers in the world, and so it was quite soon thereafter that I bought the first edition of that wonderful rule-set 'AK-47 Republic', and put my school number and name on it, to ensure that the cads and bounders of St George's School, Windsor Castle didn't steal it during prep. This was quickly followed by several purchases of little metal figures to build the armies of my fictional African statelet, Gshandemala. This country actually had some 'history', for a few months before getting the 15mm bug, the Darkest Africa craze was in full swing, and the aforementioned friend and I had bought a handful of Wargames Foundry Africans to try and do some 19th Century African skirmishing.

Neither project ever came to fruition back then. However, while the Darkest Africa figures were abandoned in a box and are yet to see the light of day, my AK47 force slowly grew over the years, and I have now three reasonable forces for a Dictatorship (Gshandemala), a Superpower Backed Client Force, and a White Settler/Colonial Power. There are plenty of stands left to paint, and I will crack on with them over the next few weeks with the aim being to get them finished so that I can start adding to them again.

Here are some pictures of some of them. Featured here are forces from the People's Republic of Mbantuland (Soviet-backed) and the Gshandemalan Armed Forces (dictatorship).

Above: Mbantuland Army. On the left are five infantry platoons, a weapons platoon, and a HQ platoon making up the 'uWele' Company of the 7th Regiment. On the right rear are a BMP and BRDM from the 19th Armoured, right middle are a T-55 and a T-34/85 from the 1st Armoured, and at right front two UNIMOGS with their AAA guns from the 329th Artillery Regiment. At the extreme right can be glimpsed a Gshandemalan BRDM.

Above: Some of my Gshandemalans. In front is a reinforced platoon of Civil Defence Force militia with their Land Rover 'technical', and behind them are a platoon of the feared Internal Guard security troops with their trademark black berets. The BRDM is an Internal Guard vehicle.

Above: Finally back to Mbantuland, and the shameful unpainted. These are an understrength company of Mbantuland People's Militia - a part-time territorial force that is of better quality than many militias, but still less reliable than a regular unit. They are, however, well equipped, with each platoon having a DSHK 12.7mm HMG and a stand of RPGs... not to mention the recoilless rifle with the HQ!

Tomorrow I will post the rest of my Gshandemalans, and show off my white colonial force (which is, of course, mostly black Africans) together with some of the (in)famous 5 Commando!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

It's Only Been A Few Months, Let Me Blow This Dust Off...

Phew! What a cloud of dust has gathered on this little site!

I have been distracted, by many things; most of all business and family. Things are changing, however, and I hope (soon) to return to the glory days of a post-a-day with at least an hour's painting done each day over and above ATP Painting Studios.

This post is mainly to say that my esteemed and venerable pater, Al Front, has taken the plunge into the 21st Century with his own blog: War Diaries of a Little Englander. It is well worth a look - he's only just started but go! read! And learn. I will see you all tomorrow! With pictures, even...