Monday 30 June 2014

Bad Ass Trolls from the Badlands

I've finally managed to finish off my unit of Trolls for my Savage Orc Warhammer army. You might remember these chaps had been somewhat maltreated and required considerable TLC.

Tonight I've finished the basing which represents the badlands from which the Savage Orcs and their allies supposedly hail. Lots of bones and skulls, rocks and dried grass of various lengths.

Overall I'm quite chuffed with how these have turned out.


Half Term Report

Back at the turn of the year I wrote my annual post about plans for the coming year. I don't normally bother with a six month review but I've been working at such a frenetic pace I thought it worth the time this year. Here's a quick summary of what I had planned and where it stands at the halfway mark...

Buy a minimum of new models / paint models I already own
I've gone and bought a pile more Napoleonics and old-style Warhammer Savage Orcs but they are at least getting painted. We do what we can I guess. My therapist says I'm making real progress. :-)

Become a better painter
More of an ongoing process but I am trying a few new techniques. Quite happy with how this is progressing. Still need to get my finger out regards the wet palette thingy though.

A division of Saxons in 15mm for my Napoleonic army
Done! Plus a two regiment cavalry brigade, some staff and attached artillery. I also managed another two batteries of French plus extra staff and some skirmishers. Better than I'd hoped for.

Saxons marching to glorious victory

The remaining grenadier platoons for my Flames of War 15mm MW German Grenadiers
In progress right now. I've been avoiding them due to some seriously ugly miscasts but I've knuckled down finally. The 12cm mortars and the MGs are done, leaving just the two infantry platoons. The first of those is half done too.

A very large number (200+) 28mm imagi-nation troops for both Evan and myself
Currently sidelined, as much due to both of us being more interested in SAGA right now as anything. That's my excuse anyways...

Complete my Warhammer 40K Space Marine chapter
Solid progress. A couple more units added, plus a bunch of command models. Not sure I'll finish this in the current calendar year as I'd forgotten just how much I'd bought. Gee, that's never happened before...

Paint two 28mm Royalist ECW cavalry regiments and a small Scots foote regiment
The cavalry are complete and some dragoons have also been bought but as yet are unpainted. I also managed to squeeze in a lifeguard for Rupert. The Scots are on the back burner as I've changed my plans in that department.

Make some 28mm terrain - grassed hills, proper roads and rivers
[Ahem!] That'd be a big fat zero on the progress-o-meter. Still, six months to go eh?

Make some small scale terrain - islands and coastline for 1:1200 naval, paint remaining resin buildings
The islands are complete and formed part of the super duper 40th birthday gift for Russ. Once we've tried them out we can decide what else we need.

Continue my Warhammer Fantasy Dogs of War
Ongoing and will be most likely forever given how much of this I have. Another unit of five knights have been added though and I can feel the urge to paint some more stuff. I really must do a RoR pike unit next.

Finish my Necromunda gangs - paint the last 5 Cawdor, repaint my recently stripped Delaque and Pit Slaves, paint the last 10 or so Ratskins
Apparently it was 6 Cawdor not 5 as I discovered when I painted them. No other progress here as yet but I'm going to use these smaller tasks as "light relief" so they'll be slotted in as and where they fit.

And that's it. Not a bad effort in truth. The bigger jobs have quite a few already ticked off the list and with another six months left this might be a very good year goal-wise for a change.


Saturday 28 June 2014

Paint Table Saturday - The Last Of The Free!

I scored a rostered day off yesterday, so I decided to put the time to good use and finish the last point of my Scots SAGA Warband.

The last time I posted an update on this project, my (ahem) leisurely approach to the notion of painting a project to completion was the subject of much light-hearted banter from my fellow bloggers.

Well folks, here's the last point of Hearthguard as they stood yesterday afternoon...

...and here they are as of the wee small hours of this morning, varnished, tufted and given a wonderful banner from LBMS' SAGA range (LBMS also did the shields you see here as well).

"Right, Jimmy, that's one bum note too many..."

I'm quite pleased with how these laddies turned out, and couldn't resist the temptation to get all the Sons of Alba lined up for a group shot.

"There can only be... (hushed muttering) forty-one!"
Six points of tartany goodness right there. First project I've seen through to completion in a long time (and coincidentally, that's exactly what it took, a REALLY long time). A big thank you to all those who provided their insulting moral support, it certainly had the desired effect (eventually)!

So I think a certain amount of celebration is in order;

Purely for medicinal purposes, you understand...

What the hell, it's Hogmanay somewhere in the world... SlĂ inte mhath!


Friday 27 June 2014

Confessions of a closet librarian

A few of you may know I'm actually a qualified librarian, despite never having worked in a library or even having catalogued a single book. We won't go into the whys and wherefores of how this happened here. Suffice it to say, that part of my personality is normally kept locked in a small dark room and allowed out only when the visitors have left for the day.

Now when you combine a frustrated librarian with a historian and a wargamer you create something quite monstrous - a book loving collector of specialist works from the last millennium who will stop at nothing to add to his collection.

That collection is by nature of circumstance composed of works which had a short print run and which were inevitably and invariably consigned to the public library system, there to be thumbed, folded, drawn on and in every way possible (deep breath) abused (oh the humanity!?!) when looked at from the perspective of yours truly.

So when a near pristine copy of THIS --> arrived on my desk this afternoon after what can only be described as the week from hell I promptly omitted a most unmanly squeal of delight and had to sit down for a moment before opening the package.

That's my weekend reading sorted then... How about yours?


Saturday 21 June 2014

Paint Table Saturday

Time for another edition of Paint Table Saturday on the blog. First up a welcome to Byron who joins the crew since our last shout out. G'day mate and welcome aboard!

This week I've been working to finish off the remaining miniatures from my Necromunda Cawdor gang. That's all done bar varnishing and basing. Thankfully they'll lose the gloss finish imparted by the ink and such.

And now that they're done I've started work on some Flames of War MW German Grenadiers. To begin with I'm working my way through the 12cm mortar platoon...

These are actually Forged in Battle miniatures as opposed to the official Battlefront ones. They're substantially cheaper but at least with the FiB material I've bought to date it's a case getting what you pay for. There were a large number of poor castings and overall I'd have to rate them a 4/10 with a few maybe at 5 or 6. The worst part of these was the repairs and new parts needed to be made for the mortars themselves. Perhaps the molds are on the way out?

Don't get me wrong, Battlefront and not the duck's nuts either by any stretch of the imagination but at least their castings are invariably pretty clean. Fortunately I've got pretty much everything I need for the army so I don't have to go through this again.


A little savage reorcanizayshun

I had a spot of jolly good luck on the interweb's largest flea market through the week and picked up a great load of Perry Bros era Warhammer Savage Orcs at absolutely knock down prices *. They were even in Australia which meant the postage was sensible and they arrived in short order. Woot!

The inevitable upshot of this is the need for a reorganisation of my plans for the army now that I've got substantially more troops than I expected to have. Cause that never, ever happens around here no sireee... This afternoon I've dragged out the current unpainted lead, mixed in the new stuff and reorganised things (yet again). Here's what I have to work with now...

Many, many, many orcs of da big waaaagh with a few unit fillers to be added to make up the 24s...

When you include the existing painted troops this gives me a rather large contingent of 141 x Savage Orc Boys a.k.a. SOBs...

1 x 24 SOBs Big 'Uns with Extra Choppas
3 x 15 SOBs with Bows
3 x 24 SOBs with Choppas

So do I actually need this many? Hell yeah! Will I actually use this many? Hell no. Well, maybe... Certainly 45 shooty boyz is far too many but at $1 each for nearly half of them I couldn't resist. I just keep telling myself megalomania is fine so long as it's on a budget. Stay tuned for... um... a LOT of green paint. :-)

* Good thing I said back in January I wouldn't be buying much stuff this year. [Ahem]


Saturday 14 June 2014

Paint Table Saturday

Things are moving at a leisurely pace here at Chez Mills for a change. The last few weeks of mad painting for our big Napoleonic bash has left me a bit brush-weary so I'm just cruising through some small jobs to finish projects until I feel like diving back in properly.

This weekend I've been working on the last six of my Necromunda Cawdor miniatures and an odd bounty hunter. Here's the progress so far with a couple of already completed figs in the foreground to show where I'm heading.

Those who are curious can view the majority of the completed gang on this post. Once these remaining figs are done I'll have 22 gang members including at least one of every miniature produced. The good thing about having so many is I can also use them as a penal unit for my Imperial Guard 40K army once that gets off the ground.


Thursday 12 June 2014

Internet Trolls!

Or more accurately, trolls on the internet. Here we have three Stone Trolls and a River Troll with an identity crisis. The River Troll is clearly The Man as he's the ummm... dominant male as it were (if the rear view is anything to go by).

The repairs I performed on these lads have worked out a treat and there is little to tell now that they were ever the victims of the carefree attentions of a pair of side cutters. Happy days!


Wednesday 11 June 2014

Re-fighting Pultusk 1806 - A Napoleonic AAR

Over the long weekend the Canister & Grape lads plus invitees undertook to play a large Napoleonic Wars game in 15mm. The scenario was put together by Nug based on the Battle of Pultusk in 1806. We used Shako II as the rule set and the miniatures were 15mm scale from our various collections including AB, Fantassin and Eureka.

Nug commanded the Russian/Prussian forces and I commanded the French. Both of us had a number of subordinates responsible for numerous divisions of troops from all arms. This was just as well as each side of the battle comprised approximately 35 battalions of infantry, 12 regiments of cavalry and 10 batteries of artillery of varying calibres. In total there was over 2,000 miniatures on the table. The Russians comprised Adam, Cory and Russ whilst the French were Andy, George (and Cory after his casual defection to the forces of good).

The French army was divided in two. The main French force under Lannes consisted of two thirds of the available troops and was tasked with capturing Pultusk before dark. The remainder under D'Aultane was marching on the Russian right flank to arrive on or after turn 3.

The Russian army was divided into thirds, an advance guard attempting to slow the main French advance, a centre protecting the town of Pultusk and a reserve protecting the rear and awaiting a flank march by the relieving French force under D'Aultane.

Battle commenced with a general advance by the main French force against the Russian left. The Russian advance guard put in a stoic defence and held up the larger French force whilst sustaining heavy casualties. Multiple cavalry charges and the fire of massed batteries took its toll but the Russians refused to break. Heavy rain the night before meant moving artillery was problematic and reduced the effect of horse batteries.

In the centre the French cavalry slogged through the woods, their progress hampered by the terrain. This slowed it's arrival and prevented the desired flank attack on the Russian advance guard, as by the time the cavalry were in a position to intervene the Russian centre had advanced to cover the advance guard's exposed right flank. Fighting was by now in progress across the entire Russian left and centre. French forces were making headway but unable to achieve the crucial breakthrough that would allow them to march on Pultusk.

At this point the French relieving force under D'Aultane arrived on the Russian right having also forced it's way through the woods. It immediately charged into the fray on a front combining two entire infantry divisions with supporting cavalry on the extreme flank.

Back on the Russian left the advance guard had now been ground to dust by the French and the Russian reserves were thrown in. French dragoons did sterling service destroying the opposing cavalry before themselves being routed from the field by the Russian heavy reserves. Finally the Russian reserves also began to fail in the face of overwhelming numbers and their resistance wavered.

In the centre the Russian massed battery and supporting cavalry made mince-meat of the French light cavalry and a gap appeared to be opening. The wooded terrain slowed them up however and a reserve infantry division quickly advanced to plug the gap. Still, it was valuable time gained and a moral victory for the Russians.

The Russian right flank now became pivotal. The right the arriving French cavalry made charge upon charge and did the Emperor proud, smashing the cream of the Russian heavies and driving them from the field with minimal losses. The Russian right flank began to collapse and the French threatened to break into the Russian rear.

As the day wound down both Russian flanks were in desperate straights, the right in particular. As darkness drew in the French had failed in their primary objective to take the town of Pultusk by nightfall. They had, however, achieved major successes where it really counted and the Russians were forced to concede defeat. Their cavalry was in tatters and their infantry under mounting pressure with no reserves left to speak of. The French still had a fresh infantry division and their victorious cavalry.

Overnight the Russians were able to retreat in good order, leaving the French in command of the field but unable to follow without spending time to reorganise and take stock. Both sides had sustained heavy casualties, the Russians in particular.

The result followed the actual outcome quite closely and reflects the difficulties of weather, the terrain and the forces involved. Nug did a sterling job putting together a well balanced and challenging scenario. It was a great game, played in wonderful spirit and with all the banter, elan and subordinate disobedience that have come to characterise our biggest games. Now to start planning the next one...


Tuesday 3 June 2014

Workbench and Gaming Space update

This weekend sees a massive game of Napoleonics in 15mm being hosted at Chez Mills.

We'll have 3-4 players and over 1,000 miniatures per side so it promises to be quite an event. There will be a battle report with lots of pics when we've played but before that there's work to be done.

Consequently my workbench is a hive of activity as I batter away getting a load of new units ready.
This includes a bunch more staff, an entire Saxon infantry division with supporting artillery and cavalry plus some odds and sods...

From chaos comes... more chaos! And eventually order (or that's the plan)

With some significant changes in my wife's work from home business we've taken the opportunity to reorganise my gaming space as well. I'll still be painting and modelling in the back room but gaming itself will now happen in luxurious space and natural light in the family room. Both my display cabinets are now in one place and there is more than enough clear space for two folding 6x4 tables or a single monster table as needs be.

Armies, armies and more armies, some terrain items
and my classic books collection amongst other things.

Space, the final frontier...

I'm quite excited to have everything in one place now cabinet-wise. It means I won't have to constantly ferry stuff about with all the attendant frustration and risk. The majority of boxed armies will remain in the back room but they're light, easy to move and suitably stored to make that not an issue.

Oh yes, and we're now even closer to the coffee/tea facilities and the beer fridge. Winner!


Sunday 1 June 2014

But where are my manners...?

In the hurly-burly of lamenting my glacial progress on my Scots warband, I have neglected to welcome our new followers, Lee Brady, Steve, Derek Robertson, Tartar Sauce (I simply must introduce you to my good friend, Mr C. Bass), and Jonathan Freitag. Please forgive my tardiness.

This brings our total to 172, a mystical number pregnant with numinous portents...!
(No, I can't back that up. Numerology is overrated in any event.)

On behalf of Mr Mills, who, Atlas-like, carries the bulk of this blog on his bowed yet unbroken shoulders, and the rest of us who are generally just along for the glamour and excitement of being part of the Millsy entourage, welcome one and all!

Mr Mills doing what he does best, carrying C&G.
I've said it before and I'll say it again and again; our friends and followers are the most important part of our endeavours in the blogosphere. Thanks for reading!
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