Thursday, 31 July 2014

Busy with the plastic

Hot on the heels of the horseflesh come yet more of my attempts to do something a little different, with yet more conversions.

As before, these sniper-types are based on Perry Mahdists from the boxed set of that ilk. I have little or no interest in the Sudan Wars, but was readily gripped by the opportunity I thought these figures could present to assist with this very project. However, the rifles contained in the box are very obviously NOT Renaissance, but Remingtons or similar, no doubt taken from some unsuspecting Egyptian infantryman before the Gordon Relief Expedition or something.

So, where to source something approaching a suitable firearm?

Cue the Warlord Firelock Musketeers...

Overlooking the obviously incorrect mechanism, which I could have rectified with a length of wire or cotton, what I was after was a long firearm and that is exactly what I got! Not only that, but the firelocks had the advantage of having the arms attached, so I did not have to carve other arms to suit. The addition of powder horns from small lengths of curved plastic, bags and pouches from Wargames Factory WoSS figures and similar sets and straps from greenstuff finished the basic figure to my satisfaction.

I based them on round bases as I wanted skirmishing, sniper types, not figures to stand in units at a later date, and they can also match up with my existing Arabian pirate figures who are also on round bases.

And that is basically that!


The entire 11 figures I made to fulfil the sniper remit.

The long firearms shown to effect (albeit firelocks rather than matchlocks).

A close up of one of the scratchbuilt powder horns. Very technical!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Not just infantry

The town of Mdina, in Malta's interior, was entirely unmolested by the Turks during the Great Siege of 1565, so much so that the garrison there went about their business pretty much as they pleased whilst the Turks busied themselves against first Fort St Elmo and then Birgu and Senglea.

This major error was brought to light when the Turks, finally making some headway in yet another assault on the Christian defences, made a hasty retreat when cavalry from Mdina attacked the Turkish camp. So, the Christians had cavalry and we had to follow suit!

A unit of six figures is not really a unit to the purist, perhaps, but does constitue a unit of regular cavalry (or two elite ones!) under the "Donnybrook" rules we may use for our demo game, with suitable modifications. The figures are Border Reivers I bought many years ago from a Partizan show and dug out of the lead mountain when I started this project. When they have finished in Malta, they may take up sheep rustling at a croft near you, alongside some of their erstwhile/ future Maltese colleagues on foot. At least half of these cavalry figures are Vendel, but I cannot remember where I sourced the others from...


The Armstrongs, sorry, Armigeri, in all their finery

The boss. I can also see him and his colleagues chasing Kern around some bog in deepest Ireland at some point

Friday, 25 July 2014

Conversions for "Malta"

I see this fellow as leading a band of Barbary Corsairs out of Tunis or Algiers.

Another Perry Mahdist figure, this time with a "By Fire & Sword" flag as supplied with their 15mm Ottoman Turkish sets. I made a hash of sticking it round the pole straight, so had to try and blend the edges to hide the white glare. Can you tell?

This one started life as a Perry Zouave I got free with WI magazine several months back. The head is from the Mahdists set.

The shield is a drawing pin, with the pin cut down and the whole thing stuck into a pre-drilled hole in his back. IA tip for the crescents for anyone who wants to try - find a small, round thing of some description, hold it on the flag, paint gently round three-quarters of the circumference and then fill in the middle bit. This is the only way I could have painted these quite so neatly short of using transfers!

Another Mahdist with a Turkish-inspired flag. Stars, stripes, crescents - all suitable material for Moslem flags

And this one will lead a bunch of fanatics in the assault on the Christian lines. Another Mahdist, his right hand simply drilled through to accept a brass wire spear. The falg is again a computer label.
It is not necessarily one of the stranger quirks of being a wargamer, but surely most of us risk the structural integrity of our humble abode with not a care by constantly buying more and more for our respective lead mountains. Reaching ever upwards towards the heavens as we pile more and more new offerings on the pyre of unpainted, anatomical loveliness, the mountain never grows smaller for long, no matter how long we quarry with size 1 sable and acrylic medium. Even wholesale clearouts of supposedly unwanted aspects of the mountain are only of partial help, as the regenerative powers of our personal edifice see growth renewed in short order.

What is perhaps rather quirky, however, especially in wargamers like me who spend a fair amount each year on new stuff we know we will get around too soon (...), is the desire to not just buy more, but convert so we not only have more but we have that something unique. We may not be good at conversions, but we do it anyway. We may be able to buy something very much like what we end up building, but we cut and carve away, stick on non-standard parts and still head off with more hope than skill to achieve that somethign different.

So here we have some of my recent efforts, all built from Perry-originating plastics, built simply to satusfy a desire to provide somethign a little different.


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

More Turks

Just to prove that I do actually paint patterned clothing once in a while, though I have so far baulked at the thought of 28mm Celts...

Five-sixths of the entire spearmen I have painted for this unit, Old Glory figures with brass spears from Vendel

Close up of the left

And the right

The side my opponents will not be seeing (?)

And again. I enjoy the colour of these figures, even though they are lowly types rather than Spahis, Janissaries and the like.

Cozy Mehmet

Or perhaps Collins Pasha

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Back again!

The Prodigal Blogger returns!!!

Through reasons not entirely of my own making, it has been ages since my last post:
  1. The World Cup was on and, even with the (less than) mighty English doing rather less well than at least 16 other teams, it was still compulsive viewing.
  2. Workload has been manic at, erm, work...
  3. Family members will insist on me taking them to football practice/ matches/ tournaments, hockey training/ matches, swimming, Guides/ Brownies/ Beavers, shopping, etc.
  4. Equipment failure of the PC (as in personal computer) kind.
Yet, at the risk of sounding like Yoda, "Idle I have not been."

Which leads me nicely to the X-Wing tournament I entered on 12th July at Stafford Games. I only played my first ever game a week or so earlier, but took my TIE swarm along to test my Dark Side out against all comers. Four enjoyable games, two wins and two losses (to the two guys who eventually finished first and second), and not finishing last was a bonus! Both my defeats were against a four X-Wing set up, with named characters and a few additional skills thrown in. My TIE swarm was 5 Academy TIE fighters (read "crap") and two Avenger Squadron TIE Interceptors (read "rather better than crap, but hardly elite"). Do I intend to stay with the Dark side after being bested by X-Wings??? Well, my two wins were against other Rebel ships and I have not even used my TIE Advanced (Darth Vader's ship at the end of Episode 4) or my TIE Bomber...

We also took "Kirkburn Bridge, c1314" to Phalanx back in June for a third outing. The (less than) mighty English took the wrong football boots to this event too, however, and disappeared faster than an ice cube in the Sahara, but we did at least manage to wound Robert The Bruce! It did not help when Nephew Paul rolled 10d6, needing 5+ saves, and made 8 of them.........Occasional Wargamer Brother Kev was most gracious as Gloucester's knights raced back home via Berwick, northern jeers ringing round their great helms. OWBK even agreed to give Nephew Paul a lift home after my vociferous threast of violence and abandonment drew further mirth from the other side of the table. OWBK is known to be rather more mellow than I...

And what have I smuggled past my lady wife these past two months? Well, apart from Star Wars space ships, my main single purchase was some 1st Corps/ Curtey's Arthurians, actually Saxons, with a view to resurrecting that ideal, using Dux Bellorum, when I have finished.......

the Turks.

The "Malta" project has continued apace, and I will post photos soon, with around 180 done so far. I have also purchased another 180 varied Turks/ Moslems and Christians to finish this off, along with some plastic Arabs who will be converted (as models, not in any religious sense) to bear ladders, etc., for the storming of the town walls in our proposed game. Yet, I have shelved this project temporarily to concentrate for the rest of this month on....


15mm ones to be precise, so I can enter another Stafford Games tournament on 6th and 7th September using the "By Fire & Sword" rules. Only 30 more cavalry to finish as I type and I have only played once, using Poles against Cossacks, so a few practice games through August would not go amiss.

So, reasons good and bad aside, I am still here, I am still painting, I am still buying and I am now posting again!!!

See you soon.