Wednesday, December 23, 2009

DBA: Knights of the Order of Saint John the Hospitaller

This unit of knights was advertised on Ebay OLD GLORY 25 MM MEDIEVAL FIGURES FIRST CRUSADES. However checking them out on the Old Glory Website they are very clearly Product ID: DAC-22 Knights-barded horses and mace from the Third Crusade- Richard the Lionhearted line. I needed some opposition to go against the Saraceens that I was working on earlier this year and choose to produce a unit of "Holy Orders". The design is basic, and would benefit from a steadier hand than mine, but I like the effect. The armour could easily be anywhere from 1250-1320 and could represent the order before it was exiled to Rhodes in 1309.

To back them up I have a solid unit of heavy foot. This unit was produced by 6 packs of Ral Partha Adventures bought on Ebay almost 7 years ago. They were painted up pretty much one weekend and decals on the shields are from the Warhammer Fantasy line.

I also have a unit of Revenge Miniatures Norman Heavy Infantry (DA25) that I have started to work on.  They also have the benefits of being almost identical to the Heavy Frankish Infantry which saw action in the Holy Lands or they can be used in surpressing the Saxon serfs in Merrie Ode Englande in the days of Robin Hood. The pack came with 32 figures, two of them casualties (see front rank in photo below) and unattached kite shields (not shown).

HOTT: Robin Hood

As a child growing up watching the Richard Greene ITV series or enjoying the classic 1939 Errol Flynn film, Robin Hood has always been a favorite legend that excited my imagination. Three years ago I exchanged some emails with Joseph Lappin on the subject and purposed the following options for building a Robin Hood Hordes of the Things Army. in 25mm scale.

HOTT Robin Hood Army List

Stronghold: Camp in Sherwood Forest
1 Hero @ 4 AP (Robin Hood)
1 Cleric @ 3 AP (Friar Tuck)
1 Sneaker @ 3AP (Maid Marian) Can easily enter into Castles/Enemy Camps/Etc
1 Lurker @ 1AP (Allen-a-Dale)
As wandering minstrel he hangs out in Bars/Fairs/Villages/ along the roadside
1 to 4 Four man Shooters @ 2 AP (The Merry Men)
1 to 4-Three man Warbands @ 2 AP (The Merry Men led by John Little & Will Scarlet) Note:Could be Spears but I think Irregular warbands more likely
1-4 Hordes @ 1AP Each Local Villagers

Possible 1 Paladin @ 4 AP (John Little)
Stout of Heart/ Brave beyond Belief/ Can best Robin Hood in Man to Man Combat

Example 1: Some Merry Men as Three Elements of Shooters

Example 2: Hordes of Angry Villagers "To Arms"

Monday, November 9, 2009

Roman Western Archers contubernium

Last year Librairie Donjon, a gaming shop in Montreal, brought in a number of packages of miniatures by Warlord Games. I thought it a fine opportunity to check out the quality of the figures as well as pick up a box of Western Imperial Archers. My army already contained two units of Eastern Aux Archers (figures by Old Glory) I also purchased the Auxiliary Command pack which contains a Centurion, Cornicen, Singifer and a separate signum standard.

The following Archer unit utilized 14 of the 16 archers that came in the box. The box contained four main figure designs. These are equally divided between standing and kneeing figures. The figures appear to be true 28mm scale, are very clean and needed almost no work to remove excess flash. They were a joy to paint. I like the fact the base of each figure appears to be of about a uniform size and shape. I only used the Cornicen and the Singifer from Warlord Games on the command element. I felt the Centurion would not add to the unit’s look and substituted archers.

The unit below consists of 20 figures based on 5 elements. The command element is a BTD Auxiliary Command Pack at 28mm scale. The main body of men was produced by painting up two packages of Wargames Foundry IR7/8 Western Auxiliary Archers. The packs I won on EBay each had 7 figures at what appear to be 25mm scale. I then filled out the unit with two kneeing archers from the Warlord Games collection of figures.

The Warlord Games Auxiliary Command pack differs from the Black Tree Design Command Pack in 3 main ways. The signum standard is a separate piece in the Warlord Games pack. I personally prefer the standard to be integrated as part of the figure. The BTD pack includes an Optio (the cohorts 2IC) as a 4th figure. The last point is the Cornicen and the Singifer of the Warlord Games figures are wearing wolf pelts, while the BTD figures appear to be wearing bear skins.

The figures are all mounted on Baccus Bases as described in the posting on Roman Auxiliary Infantry. I'd like to add that I do not think you can go wrong if you decide to add some Warlord Games' miniatures to your armies.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Roman Auxiliary Infantry

Last month reported I only needed to paint two more units of Auxiliary Infantry, two units of western Auxiliary Archers, and a unit of Auxiliary Heavy Cavalry in order to complete my Roman Army. I have since found that I have a number of pieces of siege equipment with crew and a 2nd cavalry unit that needs to be done.

I have completed the infantry portion of this work except for the bases and felt I should report on my progress.

The first unit consists of a command element with figures by Black Tree Design (BTD) and three elements of Wargames Foundry miniatures. The one pack of infantry came from a bygone age. There were 12 figures in the package, and were almost 30mm scale as opposed to the advertised 28mm scale. I love these figures. They are easy to paint and have a real heft to them. The figures are cast as a single piece including their shield. I like this aspect of the figure.

The second unit has the identical command element with figures from BTD. The figures are number IA1152 Auxiliaries Command and consists of four figures, a Centurion, a Cornicen ( the musician with the cornu), a Signifer (with a signum standard) and an Optio (the 2IC (Second in command)). These are true 28 mm scale figures.

The PBI in this unit consists of 16 figures/ four elements with figures by Wargames Foundy. The figures (two packs of IR7/4 Auxilia at the Ready) have scaled down in recent years. One package contains 8 Figures, not 12 and the figures are closer to 25mm scale. The shield comes separate and needs to be glued to the figure.

The decals on the shields are by Veni Veni Vici and were originally advertised as being for Foundry figures when I made their purchase. They fit the shields of the newer/smaller miniatures perfectly. The central hole in the decal is too small to fit over the central shield boss of the older/larger figures.

All these figures have been mounted on bases that I bought from Baccus6mm but I do not find this item listed on their current website. They are 2mm thick laser cut ply and my intensions after I have built up the ground and flocked the base will be to add a magnetic base bottom by Litko Aerosystem. It is just a peel-and-stick action to add the flex magnet base.

Monday, October 26, 2009

25 Year Drought Ends. Montreal Canadians Win Game

In the years since Feb 23, 1984 when I attended my first NHL  game at the Montreal Forum  I  never saw the Canadians win a match. I moved to MTL in 1997 and in the years that followed both the Habs and the Expos continued to disappoint when I was in attendence.  The 25 year old drought ended tonight with the 3-2 victory over the NY Islanders.

BTW The Winnipeg Jets won the game so many years ago.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Draconis 2009

I’ve been meaning to write about my experience at the Draconis convention all week. The convention had no miniature component and IMO was top heavy with RPGs. However this is part of give the people what they want. I signed up for only one game in advance and that was to play Talisman on Saturday morning.

The convention was held Friday night to Sunday afternoon (Oct 16th to Oct 18th) with six game slots, each of 4 hours length with a break in between. Thus we had one slot on Friday, three on Saturday and two on Sunday. I believe there were 15 gaming tables located in two rooms, a dealer’s room and a small AV room for the panels and workshops that were held. I would estimate overall attendance at about 150 people.

My main goal was to play some board games and help out Doug Blair with his Ludus Locus tables. Doug's description was “Ludus Locus is a free gaming area manned by some dedicated board game enthusiasts. Many popular board game titles will be available in both French and English. Gamers are invited to stop by in their free time and try a new game or play an old favorite.” Doug brought in about 20 games and I contributed to the cause withTrans America, Illuminati, Beltstrike and a copy of Wings of War.

Friday night at Ludus Locus I along with 4 other newbies were introduced by Doug to Ticket to Ride, a rail road game. After one round we were left on our own and finished playing in less than two hours. I then introduced the other four players to Illuminati and refed while the others played. Ticket to Ride was my favorite board game of the weekend.

Sat 9:00 AM I played Talisman (3rd edition). We had a 5 player game and at 1:00 PM when our timeslot ran out, there were three players standing that had a chance to take on the dragon king. So to decide a winner, we had Dragon King face off. It took three attempts before I was able to slay the great worm. The others failed.

Sat 2:00 PM Back to Ludus Locus, where I was introduced to the board game adaptation of Ken Follet’s, Pillars of the Earth (actually Les Piliers de la Terre). It is a six turn manpower-resource management game where one gains victory points towards building the cathedral. The player with the most points wins. Events and available resources are card driven.

Sat 7:00 PM I took a break and went out to watch the hockey game. The Canadians lost.

Sun 9:00 AM Back to Ludus Locus where I was one of three players in Notre Dame. This is another church building game set in Paris during the middle ages. A player earns prestige points that are considered his contribution to the erection of Notre Dame. The game lasts three main turns, each with three sub turns and one major book keeping phase. The Black Death is very real and every player keeps track of the rat population in their “quartier”, as it has negative effects on one’s prestige Like Pillars of the .Earth, events and resources are card driven. Notre Dame is the more complex game.

I then showed one person how to play Trans America, a small railway building game. It took about 45 minutes to complete.

Sun 2:00 PM One of the things that we were doing over the weekend was playing Wings of War whenever there was spare time. We had one final dogfight between Doug and myself. I already had earned four kills over the weekend and needed one more to become an ace. I had not been shot down. It was our first encounter. Doug went down under my guns but it took a while. I flew the Sopwith Camel for this match. You have to love the right rotary turn of this plane.

Ludus Locus was sponsored by Filosofia ( and the last act of the weekend was to randomly draw a name from a list of all of the participants (well over 60 individual entries) who took part in the various games played over the weekend at the Ludus Locus corner. The prize offered by Filosofia was a copy of the board game Megawatts, the French version of Power Grid, with France and Quebec map boards. Congratulations to Luc Millette, the winner of the draw, as well as to Doug Blair for having run a successful gaming weekend.

Doug was approached by the convention committee and asked to run the board gaming program at next year's convention.

I would call the weekend a success. I learned to play three new games, won Talisman and achieved ace status playing Wings of War. I look forward to Draconis 2010 (the 5th edition) next fall.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Remembering F/Sgt Earl William Bock

It was 65 years ago last night that a young man of 21 was killed in action over the skies of Germany. Earl William Bock was one of my two namesakes, my grandfather being the other.

The following information was obtained from Dave Stapleton of the 626 Squadron Research Project on F/Sgt Bock's last mission.

The 626 Squadron Operations Record Book RAF Form 540 (The Squadron Diary) records that F/Sgt Earl William Bock was posted into 626 Squadron with his crew on the 2nd September 1944 from 11 Base. F/Sgt Bock was the Rear Gunner in the crew and flew 11 operational sorties with the crew.

On the 22nd October 1944 the crew took off on their 11th operational sortie in Lancaster LM689 UM-N2. The task on this sortie was mine laying in the Kattegat area and only two 626 Squadron Lancasters were detailed to fly on this operation; they were part of a force of 20 Lancasters and 19 Halifaxes. The aircraft took off at 16.27hrs.

At 20.21hrs on the homeward bound leg of the sortie the aircraft was attacked by an unidentified enemy aircraft at close range from below and dead astern. The Mid Upper Gunner fired 100 rounds in the direction of the trace (tracer bullets from the enemy aircraft) and he observed a long burst from the rear turret before the Rear Gunner F/Sgt E W Bock stopped firing. It was later found that F/Sgt Bock had been killed by cannon fire from the enemy aircraft.

The Lancaster was riddled with 19 x 20mm cannon shells along the length of the fuselage, the port aileron had been shot away and the intercom was unserviceable. The bomb doors had also been blown open. The aircraft made a safe landing at RAF Woodbridge on its return.

My father was also tail gunner on a 626 SQD Lancaster and often wondered why he was lucky enough to have made it, when others like his friend Earl did not. So this Remembrance Day, during the two minutes of silence please give thoughts or a prayer to a memory of a young man whose life was cut short so long ago.

Earlier this year after a trip to the Memorial Chapel in the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill I discovered that Earl's nephew, Art Osborne had published on-line a page of remembrance. It was from his site that I obtained the picture used at the top of this post.

Earl Bock's name is displayed on page 252 of the WW2 Book of Remembrance on May 27th each year. 

Friday, October 16, 2009

Draconis 2009 Montreal's Own Gaming Convention

This weekend is Montreal's own gaming convention. The con starts tonight when the doors open at 6:00PM and will end Sunday evening at 6:00PM. It is top heavy with RPGs and has no miniature component but I'll be attending to play some board games.

Draconis 2009 Link:

From the English home page we have:

Draconis is a game convention held annually in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Traditionally, it occurs during the autumn. For this year's edition, the convention will be returning to its original location, the Days Hotel and Conference Centre, near Guy-Concordia Metro. The focus this year will be on tabletop roleplaying games and board games.

In the past, board games have been a weak point for the convention, so this year we're encouraging more people to run and play them. We also plan to host some of the new organised roleplaying campaigns, such as Living Forgotten Realms and Pathfinder Society.

The location is

Days Hotel & Conference Center
1005 Guy Street
Montreal (Quebec), Canada
H3H 2K4

Roman Auxilary Light Cavalry Completed

I picked up this unit of Roman Auxilary Light Cavalry 3 or 4 years ago and spent the last two days on getting it ready for the field. I have set a deadline for myself of the end of the month to finish painting my Roman army.

This is the third complete Roman Army I've painted. The first was my Airfix Plastics which have long gone the way of the Dodo. It was my first attempt at minis while I was still living at home.  In the early 1980s I purchased a 25mm lead Roman army. I don't even remember the make of the figures but over the years it had many add ons thanks to Ral Partha miniatures.

About 5 years ago I decided it was time to retire my 25 year veterans and replace the old figures with new. I've made  a slow and steady progress and I am at the point where I only need to paint two more units of Auxilary Infantry, two units of western empire Archers, and a unit of Auxilary Heavy Cavalry.

My new army consists of a mix of Foundry, Black Tree Design, Old Glory, Gripping Beast and Warlord Miniatures. Mixing gives a varity of poses and some differences in size of the figures. Most are in the 28mm scale.

The unit pictured above is from the Old Glory Imperial Roman Line. It is PRR-07(Roman Auxillary Light Cavalry) and is listed as 25mm scale. Old Glory Figures do not come with spears or javelins and you have to provide your own. They do offer packs of weapons for sale. I used the package of Foundry Lances (80mm steel pins) that I received this week. I cut the lance into two equal sized parts. Looking at the unit I feel that the javelins are too long at 40mm length but they'll have to do.

With Old Glory miniatures you need to drill a hole through the hand to in order to insert the javelin. I just used a Citadel Hand Drill and it took about 2-3 mins per figure. The result works.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Roman Cataphracts Part IV (Completed)

It took about 5 hours of work spread between yesterday morning and today but the riders are now painted for the Roman Cataphracts. They have been glued to their horses and pass my painting standard (the three foot rule). I just need to add lances and paint the Vexillum to complete the unit. I am awaiting for the arrival of a package of Foundry Lances that I purchased last week on E-Bay. My sole fear is that they will appear to be too large in the hands of these 25mm figures. If so then I have some old piano wire spears that I'll attach instead. So I will now declare this project completed.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saracen DBA/HOTT Part V: Arabian Myth

To recap an earlier posting, I had purchased on E-Bay from Mega Miniatures a number of individual figures that include an Arabian slave with fan, an Arabian Mage & crystal ball, Arabian Priest praying, Arabian Knight Commander, 2 Arabian Knight with Scimitars, and a street beggar.

My plan was to utilize these figures to create a number of HOTT (Hordes of the Things) Elements for an Arabian Mythos army. A hard rain was falling yesterday morning and I completed these figures.

Photo 1) The Caliph with his giant Negro Bodyguards (Blade General Element)
Figures used: Arabian Knight Commander, 2 Arabian Knight with Scimitars,

Due to the base size of the miniatures I was only able to get three figures on this Blade Element. I was going to include the Arabian slave with fan as part of this element but choose to place that figure on the Clerical Element instead.

Photo 2) A Vizier and Bodyguard (Magician General Element)
Figures used: Arabian Mage & crystal ball, BTD Warrior of Islam for a Bodyguard and what I believe to be a Real Partha levitating mage.
My original plan was to just base the Mega Miniature Mage and the Black Tree Design spear man as a bodyguard on this base. However as a 60mm by 60mm area it came across as quite bare.

I remembered that I had a Real Partha Magic User figure that could be added to the element as a filler. The figure itself appears to be levitating but is actually held in the air on the back of an ensorcelled demon and is the figure that came to dominate the element.

Photo 3: Imam as a Cleric Element
Figures used: Arabian Priest praying and an Arabian slave with fan. Both figures by Mega Miniatures

Photo 4: Street Beggar as a Lurker Element

When I first ordered the figure I thought that I would place it on the Clerical Element as a supporting figure but I then came around to the idea that it would make a perfect Lurker figure in its own right.

Note: BTD (Black Tree Design) figure update. This past week I was informed that the bow figures that I had on back order were finally due to arrive and that I should have them sometime next week. Once painted the Bow/Shooter elements will complete this project.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Darius, King of Kings (Completed)

The King of Kings and two of his associated suicide chariot drivers have been completed. As I wrote in my last post it was a thread in a Yahoo Group (NS Historical Gamers) that inspired me to dig out these Old Glory Models and commence work.

For some reason I found that the Chariot of this figure was at too much of an angle when I attached it to the horses. As a result I had to build up the rear of the element's base to allow the wheels of the chariot to be level with the horses' hooves with a 2nd layer of plastic card. I then used a thicker Gel to level off the front half of the element to ensure a level "playing field". Darius looks like he could be giving someone the finger.

Yesterday when I completed work on the Darius Model I also finished painting and basing two Persian 4-Horse Scythed Chariots. I have to admit that volunteering to drive these babies into a Greek Phalanx or a unit of Indian Elephants would not be a job that I'd apply for.

These figures were the first 25-28mm Chariots that I've worked on. I have painted some Chinese and Hittite 15mm chariots in the past. I like the fact that the yokes had eyes so that I could thread reins between the drivers and the horses. Next time I must remember to paint the chariot bodies and wheels separately before gluing them together.

BTW I finally started to paint the Riders of the Roman Cataphract units I have.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Touch of Whimsy: Kinder Surprise

Last week when I was in the check out line at my local grocery store the total had rang up to $49.94. I was 6 cents short of free delivery. Otherwise I'd have to pay a $3 fee. There in front of me, laid a solution. I grabbed a Kinder Surprise Egg for my room mate.

One morning last week she broke it open. It contained a toy boat. When she brought the boat in to me and said I could have it, I immediately thought I have an army that can go with this.

Last Victoria Day weekend at the Cangames Marketplace, I purchased a 6mm Baccus Punic War Army. I intend to paint and mount the army for Warmaster Ancient ruleset. So far I have mounted the three elephants that came with it.

I glued the boat to a GF9 40mm square Magnetic base and the sea was built up using Liquitex Natural Sand Texture Gel. Once the base was painted blue and whitecaps added I really felt that it looked like a fun piece to go with the army.

Above: Jason and the Argonaults are about to be rolled over by a rogue wave. (Just ignore the SPQR on the sail)

Monday, September 21, 2009

WW2 Soviet 57mm AT-Gun ZiS-2 Model 1943

In an August posting I wrote that I made an impulse Buy-It-Now bid on a Soviet 57mm AT-Gun by Black Tree Design at 28mm Scale. The item arrived last week and since it was a stand alone piece I went to work on it right away.

The gun arrived in nine pieces that needed to be put together. I used Games Workshop Superglue, which I personally think, is their one product that provides the most bang for the buck to put the piece together. The parts that needed to be assembled were an axcle body, two wheels, a gun mantle, the AT gun, two limbers and two tiny screw wheels for sight adjustments.

In addition three crew members were included. One of the figures is equiped with a generic type shell. It is obvious that it is a) too big for the bore of the gun and b) is clearly not an AT round.

Gunners and the gun were mounted on seperate GF9 40mm square magnetic bases.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Saracen DBA/HOTT Part IV

 I received in the mail today the Warriors of Islam from Black Tree Designs that I ordered at the end of August. It was a unit builder pack, which consists of a mix of 20 figures in various poses. The package I received had 22 figures (13 sword and 9 spear). My only complaint with the BTD figures is the type of spear that is provided.  It consists of a thin length wire that needs to be cut. For the last batch of spear men I processed I used left over spears from other projects.

This photo is the figures after cleaning off excess flash and laying them out to dry after their bath:

I finally remembered to take a clear picture of the Flying Carpet for the HOTT rules:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Saracen DBA/HOTT Part III

I was hoping to make postings at least once a week but that plan seems to have fallen through. I think I'm averaging a posting every 10 days.  I have finished painting the Black Tree Design Warriors of Islam. I originally purchased two packs of 20 figures. Each came with 10 swords men and 10 spear men. Thrown into the mix was an extra command figure. As noted before I only needed to finish painting the spearmen.

I have chosen to mount them into two elements of 4 Spearmen and four elements of 3 Auxilia (or Warband). I also had a Hero Element (using the Leader figure and a couple of cronies) that I had to mount and flock at the same time as the spearmen.

Figures are mounted on 1.5mm Evergreen plastic card. Ground was built up using Golden Artist Colors Coarse Pumice Gel. The bases were then painted with DeSerres Raw Sienna (Series 1 No 185) and flocked using Citadel Sand and Scorched Grass.

                              Picture One: Two Elements of 4 man Spear and one Hero Element:

Pictures Two: Four Elements of  Three Man Auxilia or Warband

I still have a couple of remaining figures to paint. The planned elements include the Vizier and Bodyguard (Magician General Element) or the Caliph with his giant Negro Bodyguards (Blade General Element) and an Iman as a Cleric Element all for use with HOTT rules.

I am still waiting for the arrival of the backordered Bowmen to complete the needed shooter Elements for this army.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Go West, Young Man!

These words could have been issued by Marshall Joseph Stalin, as part of a Stavka directive. My plans to paint the Saracen Spear Men fell through the last two weeks. My niece was visiting and after she left I was away from my apartment for slightly over a week. I brought with me some 28mm World War II Soviets to paint. They were already packed to be moved for such an eventuality.

The heat wave continued in Montreal and one of the things I heard on the local CBC radio had to do with the power of positive thinking. Think or do things that remind you of cooler days. I spent Wednesday at an outdoor pool, which was great and I was cool for a day.

But what makes me think of cool weather? World War II Soviets in their winter gear. What’s cooler than Siberians taking part in a winter offensive, unless you’re on the receiving end of things, in which case it’s hotter than hell?

The photographs have a mix of the Black Tree Designs figures and West Wind, “Berlin or Bust” line. I find both lines to be near enough in size to one another that they are easily compatible for game play. I personally think the Black Tree Design miniatures show more detail in their figures.

The bases are magnetic bases available from Gale Force 9 and have been built up with Liquitex Natural Sand Texture Gel.

The tank is a T-34/85 cast metal model, and I was not willing to give it a whitewash. I do not know the manufacturer. I am unable to locate a name, trademark, or a scale on it. I assume that it is 1/48th or 1/50th Scale. It is a far from perfect match for the 28mm Infantry but is all right for a skirmish game. It came in a box of odds and ends that I picked up at Cangames a few years ago.

On Saturday I could not help myself. I saw a 57mm Soviet Anti-Tank Gun by Black Tree Design for auction on EBay. I clicked the “Buy it Now” button. What a fool was I! The same item is currently on sale at half price directly from Black Tree. I must learn to control my impulses.

Meanwhile regarding the Saracens: I am still waiting to receive the original two packs of Saracen archers (FD1019 Warriors of Islam Infantry with Bows (4 figures)) I ordered last month. John from Black Tree USA called on another matter. He said that some items are currently out of stock at the Texas warehouse and the UK source is on their August holidays. The pipelines will reopen shortly. I already ordered another package of infantry (AB1057 Warriors of Islam Infantry (20 figures)). At 50% off, I can’t go wrong and they were mailed to me last week I need them in order to build some warband elements for DBA.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Terrain: Eluding Morpheus or The River of Dreams.

In Montreal, we've had a week of hot and humid weather. A couple of nights I've woken up in the wee hours of the morning and was unable to return to blessed sleep. I was not comfortable with the thought of doing detailed work on my miniatures, nor did I want to read. I turned instead to a terrain piece that has been calling out for paint.

(Note: In the photo above notice the 3"-4" transition piece feeding into a 4" river section at the lower right hand corner of the image)

I had an Armorcast River. I started the river collection while I was still living in Halifax. I bought a 4" two piece package from Odyssey 2000, a store which I understand no longer exists. So there I was with 14 inches of straight river 4 inches wide. It was always in the back of my mind that I'd have to buy more.

Fast forward, the year is now 2007. I purchased at auction an 3" Armorcast Boxed River set. It was 4 feet long. It was still not long enough to stretch the length of my six foot gaming (dining room) table. I needed more!

By 2008 I acquired a 3''-4" River Transitions pack (2 pieces) that would allow me to run the two 4 inch river pieces into the 3 inch river boxed set and provide me with the needed filler to allow the river to cross the length of my table. Time to paint.

I followed the directions according to Armorcast. Earlier I cleaned the seams on the individual river sections and washed the pieces in warm soapy water. When properly dried I sprayed them with gray base coat (Canadian Tire Primer). Over three nights, for the loss of 5 hours sleep, I completed the majority of the work.

The paints I selected for the task were Raw Sinna (Series 1) for the river banks, and Cobalt Blue (Series 5) for the water. Both were imported by Omar DeSerres Inc. Once the riverbanks dried I inked the Raw Sinna with a Games Workshop Chestnut Ink. This was a KISS (Keep it Simple) principle job. I wasn't going to be bogged down painting different colours for all the possible rock variations.

The river is complete and ready to game with. It needs some more work. In addition to various areas of sand along the river sides, there is the plant life which needs to be touched up.

That's it for now. My next posting will be when I've completed painting my Arabian Spear men.

Saracen DBA/HOTT Part II Arabian Myth

As for a Hordes of the Things (HOTT) Photo, I think this comes out fairly good. The Flying Carpet is clearly shown. The individual photos I took of it were pretty blurry, so this is a good shot.

Rear Rank: Flyer (Flying Carpet)
Front Rank: (L2R)
Behemoth (the water Djinn), 2 elements of Horde, and Lurkers (team of Assassins)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Saracen DBA/HOTT

Many years ago I received into my care part of a 25mm Saracen army. I believed the figures where by Heritage Miniatures. The previous owner ran them under the old 5th and 6th Editions of the Wargames Research Rules. In the late 70s and early 80s it was a popular rule set in the Halifax gaming community. I'm sure that I've had these figures sitting around for close to 20 years under my care and I decided that I needed to do something with them. That's where the easy playability of the DBA/HOTT rules came to mind. Plus you don't need hundreds of figures.

Under DBA I would get enough elements to run either a Syrian 1092AD- 1286 AD (IV/5) or a Seljuk Truk 1037AD-1276AD (III/73) army. In either case I had the horseflesh. What I needed was infantry. I had the same requirements for an Arabian Myth Army under
HOTT, with some extra figures to fine tune the fantasy elements of it.

I dug through my boxes of lead and discovered I had both a flying carpet (Black Tree Design- I have no idea when or where I bought this piece) and a Ralph Partha water/air elemental (I'm not sure which) that I could use as a Genie or Djinn. I ended up basing it as a water Djinn, which may not be a proper usage in the Arabian mythos but looks great as a figure on a base.

Last week I spent time painting two elements of hordes and an element of lurkers (Assassins). The figures are by Black Tree Design. I have spear men that I need to paint as well as bowmen that are on back order. Black Tree offers some really good deals. I found the figures easy to clean and they currently offer some unit deals (20 foot in some cases at 50% off the regular price). I think I'll order some more. Damn, there's that addiction again.

In addition I picked up on EBay from MegaMiniatures, a number of individual figures that include
an Arabian slave with FAN, Arabian Mage & crystal ball, Arabian Priest praying, Arabian Knight Commander, 2 Arabian Knight with Scimitars, and a street beggar. MegaMiniatures have a large inventory of what look like to me to be unique type of figures to help fill any need.

That is all I have for now.