Thursday, June 27, 2013

Grand Re-basing Project

In October 2004, Jef Lauzon, my long-time friend and ancient opponent passed away. He was 56 years old, an age that I have reached.  Jef moved to Halifax from Montreal at some point in the early 1980s. Years later, he'd say he moved to Nova Scotia,  after voting "Oui" in the May 1980 Quebec Referendum.  Jef liked to try to get a rise out of people and he told me this story a number of times after I moved to Quebec. 

Chariots on original 40mm wide bases were added to 

60mm Wide Elements. The Edges were built up

Elephants Re-based

He was a fierce competitor. He wasn't above using Scotch to dull my wits in our WRG 5th and 6th edition ancient matches. From him, I learnt much about the game. He was the opponent that I never beat. I kept going back, despite the punishment. As in chess, one improves by playing against the best. I regret that I was never able to convert him to the 7th Edition rules. If I had, I might not be writing this particular post.

I received a call from his widow, Annette. The time had come to downsize the collection. She kept an army for herself, and both Dru and Chris, sons of his first marriage took the armies they wanted. Annette called to ask me I wanted Jef's Roman Army.  I was surprised but pleased, that she thought of me and immediately said yes. It was an army that I fought countless times over the years and one which caused me constant heartache. It even contained a unit that I painted in the late 1970s.

Example Romans After Debasing.

Legionnaries in Centre are an example of my early paint job.  My First Roman Army consisted of  Airfix Plastics.  We exchanged  24-man units.  I know for certain that my painting skills have improved.

Two boxes of figures arrived about a week later. Last month was time to take stock. The army was in storage since its arrival. One reason is that the majority of the figures were individually based. Jef liked the flexibility that it provided.  I knew that it was going to take a while to redo. In addition to the Romans, there were Celtic Chariots; Indian and African Elephants: and Greek Cavalry and Infantry. 

Cavalry on the Right needs to be Soaked

I didn't redo any of the Light Infantry or Horse

Each day  I would soak a couple of units in water in order to soften the glue. Each evening I'd spend an hour or so, detaching the miniatures from their individual bases. The figures were then mounted  for the WRG/DBX family of rules. Sometimes it seemed to be a hopeless struggle. I replaced numerous blades of my utility knife.  I'd swear that it would have been easier to have used a hammer and chisel on some of the bases. But finally after three weeks, the job was done.

Greek Phalanx on Double Ranked Elements 

Step one is complete.  I still have to use texture paint and flocking to complete the makeover, but I think the worst part of the job has been done.

List of Troops that were rebased:

Nation Type DBX Elements Figures
Celts MCh Kn 6 6
Late Roman SHC Kn 3 12
Persan (Sassanid ) El El 3 3
Roman HC Cav 8 24
Roman HC/MC Cav 13 39
Roman HI Blades 24 96
Roman LC Lh 20 40
Roman LHI Aux 8 32
Roman LI Psiloi 26 52
Roman LMI Aux 22 66
Roman LMI Bw 6 24
Roman MC Cav 5 15
Roman MCm Cav 2 6
Successors El El 5 5
Successors HC Cav 4 12
Successors HI Pike 11 44
Successors HI Pike 16 64
Successors HI/MI Spear 8 24
Successors HI/MI Spear 9 36
Successors HI/MI Spear/Pike 2 8
Successors LC Lh 17.5 35
Successors LI Psiloi 27 54
Successors LMI Aux/War 3 12
Successors MI Bow 6 24
Totals: Elements/ Figures 254.5 733


  1. I'm proud to say that on our 2nd to last game, having inadvertently left 1/2 my Saxon army at home (the upper tray from my toolbox!) I borrowed Jeff's late Romans and routed 1/2 his Vikings off the table. He actually put away the Scotch and had to focus to come back and beat me. But he did.

    Our last game I finally, actually beat his Late Romans using an unlikely opponent, Hoplite Greeks formed in a long phalanx and coming forward, no tricks apart from making use of the morale rules to get my whole line impetus but to still be able to halt and impale his general's cavalry escorts on my spears. But I did pay for the much despised armour, it was enough to rob his darts of their deadliness and all I had to do was absorb the shock of the pila and then it was 2 ranks of heavy spearmen vs 1 of medium swords and no where to hide. That was a victory I savoured.

    I'm glad to see his armies being buffed up and readied for the fray. I wonder who kept the personalized general I made for him?


    1. Jef certainly could focus when he had too. I came close to having him on the ropes a couple of times, but he always made a comeback. I look forward to getting his troops on the table. I may even be able to identify the figure you mentioned.


    2. Oh if you see him you won't miss him. He was a Garrison Huscarle, I modified his arms to resemble Jeff a bit better, tucked a yellow WRG QRS sheet under his left arm, and gave him an over size pair of dice about to be thrown in his right hand. Anyone with less of a sense of self than Jeff might have been offended.

      He did have some others of my figures that he got 3rd hand via Perry probably, Gothic cavalry and I forget what else.


    3. I can picture it in my mind, but I am certain it is not here. I think it was Chris who took the Vikings.

  2. Touching remembrance of a good gaming friend - one whose widow must have known your connection with the army offer. Good to see it will continue in a good home. Best, Dean

    1. Thanks Dean. I actually knew Annette longer than I knew Jef. In the late 1970s she was my girlfriend's best friend. She knew of my attachment to the army. I was surprised because I thought that his eldest son, Dru would have taken it. He was using it before he left home for university.


  3. Nice troops. Aren't re-basing exercises great?!


    1. Hi George,

      Nothing I'd rather do than re-base hundred's of figures. It is a great trip down memory lane with many of the big name companies from the 70s and 80s including Hinchiffe, Minifigs, Garrison, Ral Partha, RAFM, and some figures whose maker I cannot identify. Some of the minis are far nicer than others. Clearly our hobby has greatly benefited from improved techniques at all levels of miniature production.


  4. Names from the past right enough, I still use Hinchliffe and Minifigs from that era, and buy them too. Soldier on.


  5. It's great that you get to own an old mates figures, that first game may be a tough one though


    1. Yes but I did promise them a good home. They need to be exercised.


  6. I hope my lead ends up in good place when I leave.

  7. Always good to remember friends.