Viking Raiders for Lion Rampant

What’s a warband without at least one unit of mounted troops to chase the defeated or scurry off the battlefield to preserve their lives?

Here is another unit that I pulled from my Vikings I have had for over 10 years. These are Wargames Foundry and the warband leader will probably be a part of this unit.

Viking Cavalry for Lion Rampant

Viking Cavalry for Lion Rampant

 

I did not get enough highlighting done on the shields but and happy with how the cloaks and tunics turned out. I need to respray them, however, as I bought a can of Testor’s replacement version of Dullcote and it obviously was not shaken up well enough.

The bases are from GW and although I prefer the pill shaped ones, I had none on hand. I take plastic card and cut small pieces out to glue under the base, then I glue circular magnets on the card so my miniatures will adhere to the metal sheets I use to line my boxes.

Viking Bidowers for Lion Rampant

I have several different types of units lying around that I had planned to use for Warhammer Ancient Battles but since GW has decided to pull the plug on their ancillary systems, I thought I’d give Lion Rampant a go.

The previous post showed my Berserker unit but squirreled away in another part of my lead pile was a box of Nordvolk villagers by West Wind Productions.  Although this set of figures was designed to be used in fantasy gaming, they fit in well with this genre. I will also be using them as Wild Men of Dunlending in LotR games.

Bidowers for Lion Rampant

 

Viking Bidowers for Lion Rampant

In Lion Rampant the Bidowers are fielded in units of six so I had enough Nordvolk for three units! Each unit was tied together using a color for the cloaks and tunics.

Viking Bidowers for Lion Rampant

 

Viking Bidowers for Lion Rampant

One of the things I discovered is that the darker colors need to be highlighted even when using the Army Painter system. Cloaks and tunics in particular look better if highlighted up to white or a linen white when covered with the Quickshade.

The hair on these miniatures is highlghted up to white from the selected color (red, brown, grey) as if I was painting a helmet. The Quickshade then brings out the folds and makes a better blend.

Viking Bidowers for Lion Rampant

 

bidowers1-2

Lion Rampant – Viking Berserkers!

Git em, Git em, Git em!Our local group has started looking at playing Lion Rampant By Osprey. I picked up the PDF copy through Amazon and have enjoyed reading through it. I have some ancient armies that have been lying around for a while so this gave me a good reason to motivate myself and get them underway.

Viking Fierce Foot for Lion Rampant

 

Viking Berserker for Lion Rampant

There will be three Fierce Foot units as a part of the warband. The first is shown above. I have been using a mix of Reaper and Vallejo paints and then finished them off with Army Painter’s Quickshade. I am trying for speed on all of these units and the important part for me is to field good looking units quickly.

The basing is a craft resin that has been painted black and then drybrushed with craft paints. I can buy those in big bottles and so I will always be able to keep the bases uniform. I have been using Woodland Scenics for my flock and grass needs as the stuff sold by GW is now out of my budget and the Woodlands Scenics stuff is readily available.

Looking forward to seeing just how out of control these guys can get in battle!

Fenryll Windmill

fenryll-windmill-2Fenryll WindmillOver the past few months I have been slowly upgrading my wargaming terrain. One of the pieces I have had in my closet was the Fenryll Windmill, a resin piece that was designed to go with 25 to 32 mm figures. I had hesitated to work on this one because it was a substantial resin piece that was pretty heavy.

The structure portion of the windmill is a solid block of resin. That’s right, solid. Not four walls, a floor, and a roof but one piece. It’s mounted on a single beam that extends up from the crosspieces of the base. I drilled a hole about one-half inch into the building and the support beam and inserted a wire into them to provide support. Although there are stairs, they do not provide much in the way of support but do offer some limited stability.

I mounted this on a piece of MDF I cut with a scroll saw. The base was covered with white glue and sand and several pieces of cork for rocks. The barrels come from the craft section in Hobby Lobby. The bushes and grass are Woodlands Scenics products from the same source.

fenryll-windmill-1fenryll-windmill-4Overall I am pleased with how the model came out. The stair rails were not cast well and so I did not use them, choosing instead to just fill the holes in the steps and let the owner of the windmill take his chances on the stairs. The four sails came in separate sections and were stuck into a central piece that could be inserted into the building. I left it unglued from the main structure as I was afraid that it would get hit by an errant arm when troops were on the move and destroy the whole windmill. At least this way it should be just the sails that are damaged.

 

Dismounted Dragoons for Pike and Shotte

Pike and Shotte Dismounted Dragoons

Pike and Shotte Dismounted Dragoons

Dragoons in Pike and Shotte are neither fish nor fowl. Mounted for movement, able to operate as dismounted skirmishers and move through rough terrain, they are a big threat to the flanks of any opponent.

My problem was that I had dismounts for a couple of regiments and was not certain how to mount them and make use of them. I did not really want to mount them individually as it was a waste of potential combat power since I could not use them in Pike and Shotte. I took a clue from a friend of mine who had mounted mounted and dismounted figures on his dragoon bases but used a 50 by 50 mm base. I had a couple of GF9 chariot packs and these looked like they would be perfect to mount the dismounts on.

These figures are from Old Glory miniatures and once again, have been in the lead pile for a number of years.

I like the width of the base as it allows me to do more with scenic elements and get full use of the figures. The rocks are from corks and have been painted black and then drybrushed with greys and browns. The bushes are from Woodland Scenics and have been stiffened with diluted white glue. The grass is also from Woodland Scenics.

These are now the equivalent of four horsemen across and I can move them as a separate unit, not confusing them with trotters or gallopers. If I desire, I can put one stand in the front of a mounted unit to indicate they are dismounted or use two of them as is for a dragoon unit.

Even better, in their first outing they beat the curse of the newly painted, actually performing well in combat against a firelock unit.Now I just need to get the other two bases finished.

English Civil War Light Artillery – Yellow Battery

Our Thirty Years War campaign allows me to have one heavy artillery piece for every two medium pieces I field. Right now I don’t have enough medium guns painted to get my heavies into action so it’s time to paint!

I bought this piece used off of eBay many years ago along with most of my other ECW miniatures. I have another 7 guns to paint up but this looked like a good place to start.

The great thing about artillery of this period is the wide variety of color variations in use. Since I have a unit of Warlord miniatures in yellow uniforms I thought giving them a support piece in the same color would be fun.

This is mounted on a smaller base than the heavies as I mounted the miniatures directly on the base and not separately. The bottom of the base is magnetized with vinyl magnetic sheeting and holds the weight of gun and crew in place nicely.

The crew here needs some additional training as the gun carriage is run up against a rock obstacle on the trail. I failed to notice this as I was adding the cork to the base but hopefully it will be missed when deployed on the table.

 

Caballos Ligeros – Thirty Years War Spanish

 

 

We began a Thirty Years War campaign a few weeks ago and as the Spanish, I needed a couple of units of Caballeros Ligeros, heavy horse with lance and sword. This gave me the perfect excuse to pull out the Zvezda Royal Cavalry I had sitting on my shelf and get them ready for combat.

The set comes with more pieces than I cared to add to the miniatures so I made them in a very basic form – no harness on the horses other than what was molded on, no additional armor, but added plumes because otherwise several of the horses would have a flat cylinder sticking out of their heads.

Testor’s plastic cement worked well for assembling them and once dry, the weld was quite solid.

One of the drawbacks is that the figures are closer to 32mm than 28mm but used in their own unit the size difference is not as noticeable. You can see the size difference in a couple of the first images where the Zvezda miniatures are next to an Old Glory figure.

I used a tan undercoat for the areas I painted yellow and then covered it with several thin layers of yellow paint. The result is quite good in my opinion as I wanted the yellow to stand out. This version of yellow is from the color drop system by Global Games (no longer in business) and must be at least 16 years old. Sure wish they were still around.

So here’s a unit that can be viable in any number of eras. I am looking forward to committing them to battle for the first time.

Free Books for Kindle

Probably the best piece of electronic equipment I have purchased has been my iPad. I have certainly gotten my purchase price out of it if not more. One of my favorite uses for it, however, has been as an eBook reader with the Kindle app.

The rise of Amazon as a retailer of almost everything has spurred their book sales accordingly. The fact that they allow you to self-publish easily has just increased that rise. What a lot of people are unaware of is that Amazon has a good selection of ebooks available for free as prices are frequently set low by authors to get people interested in their work.

I have found two places to frequent that make finding these free gems much easier. The first, and one I probably go to most often, is eReaderIQ.com.

ereaderiq.com landing pageIf you look at the top right of the eReaderIQ site you’ll see a button labeled “Freebies”. This takes you to a screen where all of the current free ebooks on Amazon can be perused. You can filter them using the menu on the left if you desire, but I generally just scroll through them all using the page number buttons at the bottom of the page. Clicking on the “Get It” button next to the book’s description will open a new window where you can add the book to your Amazon Cart or use the 1-Click Checkout.eReaderIQ has two other nice features. The first is the ability to filter out adult titles. The second is the ability to signup for email notifications when prices on certain titles drop. I have used the second feature on a number of book purchases and they do not have to be books only shown on eReaderIQ.com but can be any in the Kindle store.
freereadfeed.com screenshotFreeReadFeed.com works the same way but seems to have a broader set of offerings. The filters you can set to refine your search makes it much easier to find books. FreeReadFeed is thus more versatile and better suited for someone who wants to dig into the weeds of a search.

One caveat for using both sites – you get what you pay for. I see these as tools for trolling bargain bins and getting a lot of stuff at a cheap price. Sometimes the books are great, sometimes the pits, but most of the time they are middle of the road fun reads.

Prince Rupert Arrives!

The start of a Thirty Years’ War Campaign at our local game store encouraged me to put this command stand together for use as a Battalia Command in Pike and Shotte. Although I already have the Warlord Games’ Rupert figure I liked the way the Rupert figure from Empress Miniatures looked and had a friend buy it when he went to Salute this year.

The Raleigh figure came with the purchase of the Pike and Shotte rules. I liked the paper flag but was disappointed that when I folded it the ink at the fold flaked off in several places. Fortunately I was able to make a quick match to the paint and the flaking is not noticeable. I used white glue to put the flag together and then once it set used white glue again to coat the flag and prevent further damage.

When working on my Secrets of the Third Reich stuff I got to like the rounded edge bases and so have started using those for my command stands. The texture is Liquitex Resin Gel and the grass from Woodland Scenics. I use craft paints exclusively for my bases now and not higher quality (and priced) hobby acrylics.

I used dark blue liner from the Reaper Master Series to line the details on the miniatures and for the most part paint from the same line from Reaper. I tried a faux non-metal metal approach to the painted metal areas and I was quite satisfied with the results.

The bridles are nicely done on the Rupert Figure and are actually separated  and realistic. The sword was a point of frustration as I reached for it one day and snapped it off at the base. Fortunately it was a clean break and the application of super glue got it back together.

A wargamer's journal….