Thursday, 11 February 2016

More "Arrer boys" !

Simple post, just to publish some progress on my orc archers.

I aim for a middle ground in painting quality. These are venerable miniatures, so I really want to honnor them. But still, I have a huge amount of miniatures to paint, just to be able to play the smallest of game, so I spend a lot of time on items that are interesting (faces, well defined clothing, sneering faces on equipment...) and a bit less time on dull and usual items (chainmail, rough clothing, flat bows). Thus, i make use of the "red herring" effect that I presented in this post. The minis look much more nice that the effort that went into them!!!
And a group shot of my arrer boys, to date.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Gromush`s horde

I have been away from my brush (again) mainly because of work (again...). But still, I continued to collect orcs for my Oldhammer army.

I have painted some more archers. I find those miniatures to be Soooo characterful... I have said so in my last post, but still... look at the second one from the left... with one eye closed and the other SO OPEN!!! love them... or in the case of orcs... Luv 'em...

This is my first army with oldhammer. It is around 1000 points. I use all my vintage miniatures, and add to the army with recent miniatures, with the unbreakable rule that the overall look must be... uniform? no... coherent!!! yes, that`s it; so no 8 feet all brian nelson orcs, for example. miniatures I add could have been produced in the 80s, even if they are recent. skull pass goblins and 6th edition orc chariot fit this rule perfectly.

My philosophy in painting this horde will be to paint all that is unpainted, then strip and repaint those already painted... Better to game with bad, simple and/or old paint jobs than unpainted... I am SUPER happy to have acquired a man mangler!!!

In the mail, I currently have some new kev adams goblins!!! warriors (if they can be called warriors), archers and wolf riders...

Saturday, 29 August 2015

New... old love.

Hello again.
After a year and a half of speed painting or worse, no painting, I re-developped the desire to paint, and share!

I started painting miniatures in the late 80s, but really fell in love with this hobby in 1992, when I discovered Warhammer. A friend introduced me, and then I ran to the store to get a nice army of my own...

Being in high school, and having very little money, I was unsurprisingly very disapointed, and came home with only a used pack of miniatures... not even for the army I intended to play... I had to do with magazines and my own imagination for a few years, but still, I was hooked

Fast forward many years, and I am now a veteran warhammer player and painter. But all those years, while I prefered the technical quality of recent miniatures, and the "living" status of the rules, I still longed for the good old... ambiance... feel... that had long beed thrown out the window in favor of skullz and efficient production requirements by the now public company.

Now that they killed the game,the only reasons that held me back are gone.

Here is my new buzz:

I was able to get myself a few orcs, and I am now in the process of stripping them and repainting them. these have SOOOoooo much character... they litterally ooze and dribble with personality. I have a few tens of miniatures, and I think that i only have two identical ones...

I also started assembling the old Townscape kits... again, technically inferior to recent scenery, but Oh so much more characterful!!!

Now... I must find myself some more orcs... some goblins... some undeads... some elves... dwarves... chaos... ... ...

Saturday, 17 May 2014

The little T-34 who dreamt of something else...

Once upon a time, There was a little T-34 Revell kit laying unfinished in it`s box. It has layed untouched for many many years. One day, it`s Owner discovered a wonderful rules set for world war II gaming; Chain of Command (link). Thus was sparked a renewed interest for the period. It was a golden age of modelling; Germans were completed, Russians were too, and many many figures were converted to represent the myriad devices playable in this new game.

But the little T-34 remained in it`s box. Until the day where three more T-34 came in the house. Three superb kits from Plastic Soldier Company, all new and resplendent in their simplicity. Those kits were built rapidly, without any problem, and wonderful they were.

Our Little T-34 was then taken out from it`s box, and layed down on the table, in it`s current state.
The other three T-34 laughed at him, because of his huge gaps and crooked tracks.

-"Look! this old kit has separated links for his tracks!!! hahaha! they can never be assembled right", said the tank with the commander assembled unbuttoned, who obviously was the leader of the group.
-"And look at the gap in the front of it`s hull! I think it is the best that can be done with this obsolete kit!", laughed the second tank, who had the privilege of having a tarp sculpted on it`s hull in putty.

The little T-34 looked down, and cried silently... "it`s true", he said, "I can never be assembled properly. I am doomed to be confined to my box for all time, or worse... be converted to scenery".

-"OH!! Guys!!! look at that!!!" said the third tank.
The little tank looked on the ground, next to him, and his eyes widened in shock. Still on the sprue was one tiny bit of detailing that Revell had kept separated, probably to increase the pieces count on the box. It was one of the strips that adorned the side of all T-34 hulls... his strips were not sculpted on the main body... they were separate. 

"This is it", the little tank though, "that will be the last drop... I am doomed".

It`s owner probably had reached the same conclusion, because at that point he roughly thrown the little T-34 back in it`s box, along with nearly all his plastic sprues. But when he was handling the last of the sprues, the owner paused. He put back his glasses on, and inspected a piece that had been unnoticed before. he cliped it from the sprue.
His eyes bright with excitement, the Owner jumped from his chair and went to the computer, where he spent the next few minutes researching the piece he had just discovered. It was the gun mount of something else. It was not a piece that was anywhere in the plan for the T-34. It was a piece that was meant to another kit, but was left on by Revell for budget reasons!!!

The owner jumped back in his chair, and grabbed the little tank, and much to the little one`s surprise, started to cut him and chop him, until only part of his body remained.
The Owner continued to work, with a larger and larger smile. He even got out the remaining pieces of three plastic soldier company tanks, and lovingly applied them to the little tank. And in the end, not for any historical accuracy, but only for the act itself, purely for the sake of it, the Owner detached two of the detailing strips that had angered him earlier and applied them to the side of the little tank`s new hull.
And there he was; the little ugly tank had turned into a magnificent SU-85, using the spare 85mm gun that came in it`s original box. The three T-34/76 looked in amazement at his huge weapon, and dared not say anything else, not even the leader. The same night, the four Russian vehicles were painted buy the Owner; and are now sitting on his shelf. 

The little T-34; now SU-85 is still different from the other tanks, but now he embrace his difference, and is proud of it!
The End.

No plastic tank were hurt during the making of this story. The only real victim has been the English language. Seriously guys, I apologise to all English speaker, I really struggle with the "fairy tale past tense", among other grammatical subjects...

I will publish a lot more pictures of my venture into WWII in 1/72 in the next few days/weeks.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

DBA on Hex mat

Hi Everyone!

These days, my professional life is very complicated and complex. This creates in me a real need for simplicity. In my eye, everything can be simplified. Is it a good idea? Not always. Applied to DBA, my new found love in the wargaming world? It seems to work! My goal was to find the simplest point where the qualities and enjoyment of the game are still intact. Let's look at what I tried:

This game is already very simple. To cite the very words of Phil Barker in DBA's intoduction:
"Our intent was to provide the simplest possible set of wargames rules that retain the feel and generalship requirements of ancient or medieval battle."

I think M. Barker could have made a step further along the realism/simplicity axis; the movement rules in DBA are the only thing, in my mind that are complex or difficult to address during play. Not to say that they are wrong in any way, but they are in my opinion, too complex to meet the requirements mentioned above, and too complex for what my tired brain can cope with these days. I tried to take that step forward. I am certainly not the first to do it, but still, here is what I did:

  • I used a hotz mat (link) with 4" grid arrayed in the length direction.
  • Units face the corners of hexes.
  • I assigned a scale of one hex = 200 paces. every distances were rounded up. (500 paces = 3 hex).
  • A group is formed of adjacent units (all units on the left can be grouped in the following picture).

  • Two enemy units in adjacent squares are NOT in contact, they are 200 paces apart.
  • contacting units move INTO the enemy unit's hex by assaulting an hex edge.

  • The winning unit remains in the hex (left combat: blue unit destroyed, red wins the hex)
  • Recoil is made along the assaulting unit's edge direction (center combat: blue unit recoil, red wins the hex ; right combat: red unit recoils)
  • Pushback is also made along the axis of the assault (Cv unit charge and wins combat, recoiling red into a friend facing the same way, which is pushed back)

  • A unit's Control area is the two hexes in front of a unit (dark hexes in the left example below)
  • A unit can support a friend's combat if it faces the same direction and if the combat takes place in one of the four hex in it's front and sides (lightened hexes in the center example below)
  • A unit is flaking if it is assaulting the side of the hex of an enemy unit contacted to the front. (right example below)
  • Units capable of providing rear support must enter the same Hex as the supported unit to give the support bonus.
  • Units can change facing after any move(left example below); provided they are not in the area of control of an enemy (ILLEGAL MOVE; center example below)
  • a group can perform a wheel, by moving each unit up to it`s movement allowance, and keeping one flank anchored in it`s Hex (right example). The group must all face in the same direction. The group don`t form a "neat" line any more, but they are still a group, and they are still supporting one another.

  • The battlefield I used has 12x14 hexes; which is bigger than the usual battlefield (2800 paces wide instead of 2250), but this still gives the right "feel" because units have a larger front (200paces intead of 150).
  • terrain occupy contiguous hexes, 3, 4 or 5 hexes (max total width + length = 4.5 hexes)
That's about it! It seems like a lot of text for a SIMPLE solution, but in the end, it really is more simple to play. For the moment, I have found no loopholes in the "rules"; and I think that both the tactical aspect of the game and the gut wrenching decision making (roll a "1" on your PIP die...) are completely intact. 

I'll admit that I only tried solo. I should be able to try it out in the next few days with a friend; we'll see how it fares then!

Please feel free to leave comments and/or questions

Saturday, 1 February 2014


This time, I've completed the Iberian army. 

Here is the result:

First the group shot;

Then the camp; Mountain folk herders. Really like how this one turned out. For the camps, there is always a "white page" syndrome at the begining, but once the Idea is there, it's nothing but creativity! fun.

General Cavalry and a light horse unit.

Three unit of Scutarii, Auxiliaries.

Three units of Caetrati, Auxiliaries.

Baelaric sligners; Psiloi.

This is one of the cheapest army I have done yet; I only bought one box of each HAT spanish infantry and cavalry. The miniatures are superb; tunic with visible (so easy to paint) border on sleeves, collar and hem. also the Scutarii and caetrati both have nicely done sinew helmets. 

The only down side for me on this finished army is how the "Spaniards in short tunics bordered with purple" turned out... RED... I even mixed the colour to have a nice reddish purple... but once complete... there is nothing there but red... ha, well...