May 29, 2012

Warfare Horse

Models painted and photographed by Barry Hilton

A shot from Barry's Partizan 2012 game starring the first of new Warfare Miniatures horse which will be available very, very soon. There are a lot more photos from this game in the League of Augsburg Gallery!

May 27, 2012

Artillery Traynes

While I'm still working on adding infantry units, I wanted to start mixing in some artillery support...

These have been painted in the uniform of King William III's artillery trayne for the campaign in Ireland - blue coats with orange facings (orange in the same manner that my Dutch Guard were painted - no reason to think the artillerist uniforms held up any better than the guard unit). Only trained artillerists were issued with uniforms, with the 'fetch and carry' labor being provided by civilians. Both of the above models are obviously uniformed, but some of my single models will be painted in brown, grey, or white (which will let me use them for both sides). My eventual uniformed Jacobite gunners will be in red or grey coats.

My plans for the artillery involve a very flexible set up to allow me to maximize the mileage I can get from my pieces. Light and battalion guns will be unbased with the crew mounted as single figures as the model above. The reason for this is to allow me to use the same model gun with a limber (once the Warefare Minaitures limbers come out). My goal for the collection is one light gun per foot brigade, but with the mix of civilian attire, I can always shift a gun from one side or the other for specific scenarios.

For medium and large guns, the crews will be fixed to vignette bases, but the guns will still be loose and simply set in place, again to allow them to be used with limbers. These will be painted with both uniformed and civilian clothed crew. I want two or three medium guns per side, but I'll probably only paint a pair of large guns for Williamite army since most Jacobite heavy pieces were mounted in city defense.

May 25, 2012

40k Friday

This week is a twofer! For the Chaos Space Marines chapter, I chose The Purge, a legion dedicated to Father Nurgle. Here are the two 'vanilla' Chaos Space Marine squads (and their Rhinos - all of my infantry have Rhinos) that form the core of my army.

May 18, 2012

40k Friday

Death to the False Emperor! While I can probably field over 5000-points in Imperials between my Space Marines and Imperial Guard, I have over 3000-points of Chaos Space Marines with NO Daemons or engines of war larger than a Vindicator. I can easily push it over 4000-points by painting a couple of Greater Daemons or Princes and kitting out my Terminators with a Landraider.

 One of my favorite units in the army are the Plague Marines. As with all of my 40k armies, Forge World models play a big role. Both the infantry models and Rhino APC sport Forge World conversion kits.

May 12, 2012

THE Jacobite

King James II sits atop his mount nonplussed as he gazes at toward the Boyne, ignoring the frantic aide shouting of the arrival of the messenger from Tyrconnel - 'The Enemy has forced the river, the Right Wing is defeated.' The demonstrations near Oldbridge was NOT a feint and the King sees his campaign coming to a disastrous end...

This shot features more great models from the Warfare Miniatures range (as well as the first of my flags for the Jacobite collection available soon). King James II is one of two (the other being St Ruhe) from the first personality pack offered by Warfare. The aide is the artillery officer figure available in WLOA17 and WLOA18 and the standard bearer is from WLOA13, Mixed Codes Advancing. The flag is again by Quindia Studios and will be available among the first of the Jacobite flag range.

Besides simply showing these photos I thought I'd take the time to make this post useful to people by talking a little about vignettes. Of course the practical reason for this stand is make the army commander easily identifiable on the table top, even to observers who have no idea of the history of the period or the people involved. My brigade commanders will all be one or two models mounted on smaller round bases which makes it obvious who the big man is.

First and foremost a vignette should have a focal point. Obviously in this piece it's James II. Even with so much going on your eye is (hopefully) drawn to the mounted officer. I placed all of the other elements on the extreme edge of the base to leave space around the focal point and considered the positioning from several angles. I used Elmer's Tac Tabs to temporarily adhere the models to the stand and make adjustments before gluing the permanently.

Artistically when I design a vignette I try to have a narrative in mind rather than just sticking a collection of models on the same base. Clibinarium has done a fantastic job of sculpting a model who is more than just a fancy on horseback. The original concept for the model (I have the sculptor's brief and the conversations back and forth) was to capture that James II sees the crown slipping away. He looks to be feeling his age, but still sits stately in the saddle. He is watching the fighting going badly from afar with a look that says 'its still up for grabs but I'm dead worried'. I purposely placed James II on the base so he appears to be ignoring those around him. Picking a horse that appears to notice the chaos heightens the aloof nature of his master.

Related to the narrative is a sense of place or establishment of a location. This goes beyond simple terrain. If I were building a German vignette for the Battle of Stalingrad, urban ruins are a starting point, but to firmly place the scene in the proper city I might add Soviet propaganda posters, discarded Russian equipment, or road signs. For my command vignette I chose the latter to firmly place the King gazing toward Oldbridge. He clearly has not yet started his retreat toward Donore. The road sign firmly places James II at the Battle of Boyne.

Finally consider details. Neither of the foot models have been converted in any way, but I did modify their stances with thin shivs cut from balsa wood. The standard bearer model was advancing and clearing leaning forward. Had I simply glued the model to the base he would look like he was charging the horse! By changing the angle the model now appears to be standing with his weight on his back leg with front resting on short rise in the ground. The pointing fellow likewise needed to to set differently because my original placement made him look like he was shouting at the King's stirrup...

Hopefully my ramblings have been useful, but I'll be happy to answer any questions. A vignette like this forms a wonderful centerpiece for any army and is a fun departure from painting hordes of rank and file! More painted Warfare Miniatures are on the way with a second battalion of the Dutch Blue Guards, a commander for my Danish brigade, and the beginnings of my artillery trayne...

May 11, 2012

40k Friday

Sticking with Imperials, this week I have a shot of part of my Death Korps of Krieg Imperial Guard army (click on the photo for a super-sized pic)!

This force is well over 2000 points even without the monster Baneblade. I have plans to add Deathriders and more tanks to bring the army up to 3000 points for an Apocalypse level game at some point in the future.

May 4, 2012

40k Friday

With the new 40k collections underway, I thought I'd keep the theme up with 40k Friday! I already have four large armies and thought I'd take the opportunity to feature more on them - I'll be pulling photos completely at random from my old collection and maybe take the opportunity to take new photos or post 'artsy' photoshop alterations in the style of the 'combat photos' seen in Forge World books.

I'll kick off this new feature with a unit I've never photographed - my Crimson Fist Terminators (as usual, click on the photo for a larger image)!

May 1, 2012

A Tale of One Gamer - Part One

Anyone familiar with Games Workshop and White Dwarf will have seen the article series 'A Tale of Four Gamers'. For those not acquainted with the series, it features... well... four gamers (HA)! But what these guys are up to is collecting a new army in a manner that many of us at home might - assuming we might maintain a small amount of discipline. Each participant selects his new army and a Battleforce (a pre-packaged collection designed to provide a small mixed force of a GW army), with the goal of painting it in one month. The goal of the next month is to add enough troops to make a 'codex legal' army and get in at least one game - maybe 750 or 1000 points. The third month is 1500 points and the fourth 2000 points, with a game in each...

So, what am I on about? I'm going to attempt this project solo by building TWO new Warhammer 40k armies and alternating months! That means TWO 2000 points armies finished over the course of eight months... my problem will be maintaining focus for that long as I am riddled with Gamer ADD. I also have no plans to suspend work on my Battle of the Boyne collection (the Warfare Miniatures Horse packs will be out soon), so this will be quite the challenge!

Something I also want to avoid is going broke pursuing this little project (GW kits are pricy). With that in mind, I decided to limit my initial army choices and my 'Battleforce' selection to the piles of unpainted plastic that I already have languishing in storage cupboards. My first choice had to be Space Marines! I have a 2000+ point Crimson Fist army and a mountain of kits purchased with megalomaniacal dreams of expansion. However, I want to paint something new so I'm going to add another chapter to my Imperial collection. I am a huge fan of Forge World's Imperial Armour books and the Red Scorpions are featured in two sets - The Anphelion Project and the Badab War. They have a very different color scheme than the Crimson Fists, but will look great allied along side them for Apocalypse games.

My second choice, based on models I already have is Tyranids (also featured in the Anphelion Project). I don't remember buying the models, but at some point I acquired a large box of plastic sprues for these alien monsters. The new 'How to Paint Citadel Miniatures' book has a chapter on painting Hive Fleet Kraken Tyranids using mostly washes that I am keen to try out - it looks like an extremely fast way to paint a force which will be very useful with a horde army.

While I do have lots of sprues around, I don't have an actual Battleforce box set for either army. For the Space Marines I do have the Assault on Black Reach set which is close. This gives me a squad of Tactical Marines, a squad of Terminators, a Dreadnought, and a Space Marine Captain - around 500 points depending on the options I choose and a good start toward my legal codex army (all I am lacking is one more Troops choice). For my Tyranids, my initial group will simply be cobbled together from what I have on hand which looks like 18 Termagants, 8 Hormagaunts, 3 Tyranid Warriors, and a Carnifex - roughly 450 points, again depending on the options. Expanding this force will require an HQ (and a few more Hormagaunts - a legal unit would be 10+ models).

Ok - that's four 'units' for each force which gives me a fairly relaxed painting schedule considering I can allot a whole week to single figures in some cases. I think the Space Marines will be up first - I'll post WIP shots as I get on...