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Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Pikeman's Lament - 28mm Warlord ECW Figures Painted with Citadel Contrast Paints

Once upon a time I had a dream that I would wargame the ECW using 28mm figures. Having bought just about every set of ECW rules I could find, I finally settled on Pike & Shotte from Warlord Games as my preferred game.

Along the way I had tried Polemos ECW in 6mm and quite enjoyed it and also had acquired a large collection of 15mm ECW figures too.

As the 15mm figures painted up quicker, they took over from my intended 28mm armies and the few boxed sets from Warlord that I had bought languished on the shelf of shame.

Enter two things, totally unconnected, that have changed all this.

Dan Mersey's Pikeman's Lament skirmish rules and Citadel's Contrast Paints.

Firstly the number of figures I'd collected would provide me with two (maybe even three) 24 point companies with plenty of options for variety. I had a mixture of Pike & Shot, Firelocks, Cavalry and Dragoons. All I lacked would be an artillery piece if I fancied it.

Secondly, I was quite taken with the new paints from GW and thought that I'd like to try them on a historical subject. What better than these ECW figures?

I know I've said it before, but these paints really are very good. The figures come on really quickly (great for any time-strapped wargamer) and look really quite good. You could argue that the colours I've chosen to start with are a little bright, but viewed from two feet above, on the table, I really like what I see.

I need some variation in colour schemes and must get myself a darker blue and green when I next visit Firestorm Games. But to begin with things are going great. And this little lot were finished in three sittings.

I'm basing the figures in 1's, 2's & 3's as per the recommendations in the rule set, using mdf bases. I replaced all the plastic pikes with steel items....which you have to be careful with as they're really sharp! I had a few pikemen torsos left over so using spare officer sprue arms together with some left over from some Perry Medievals I created some additional leader figures and a drummer.

Let's hope I can (for once) keep the momentum up until I actually finish a project!

Monday, 8 July 2019

A Break from the usual

My wife (and I) are big fans of the League of Gentlemen comedy show. Last year Crooked Dice released a group of figures entitled "Children of the Fields".
Random Scarecrow figure...

Three of the four figure group were clearly portraits of characters from our favourite show.

My wife just had to have them and ordered immediately (£15 for the four)
Edward Tattsyrup

They're beautiful 28mm miniatures, cast with little in the way of mould lines and come with GW style slotta bases.
Tubbs Tattsyrup

I've taken rather longer than I hoped to get around to painting them up, but they're finally done.

With this level of detail, painting was fairly straight forwards, giving a very nice finished article.


And so it continues.....

Father's day came and went whilst I was on a business trip to China....but my dear daughter didn't forget me.

Once again I received a new plaque for my hobby room. This time a facsimile of the English Heritage plaques placed on building where important historical events took place (i.e. so and so was born here).  Pamps, by the way, is what my Grandson calls me....

They just don't appreciate our hobby! 😂😂

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Renedra - 28mm Outbuildings

On holiday a couple of weeks ago we happened upon Porthmadog Models. A traditional model shop with a friendly owner that was extremely well stocked with amongst other ranges, Amera Vacuum Formed terrain pieces.

Whilst looking around I spotted the new Renedra 28mm Outbuilding models, and at only £5 a piece decided to treat myself.

Moulded in the usual neutral grey polystyrene, the components come on two sprues and are made up of substantial, chunky parts.

They are packaged simply, in poly bags with a basic instruction sheet and a photo of the finished article.

I actually bought the stone and wood + wattle walled versions, which share the same thatched roof sprues.

To finish the models is simplicity itself. Firstly I gave them a sprayed base coat.

  • Grey for the stone
  • Dark Yellow for the thatch
  • Khaki for the wattle + wood
  • Black for the reverse (inside) faces
Then I assembled them using ordinary polystyrene cement and left them to dry overnight (being careful to ensure they were square!)

I decided to leave the roofs loose so troops could be placed inside, so assembled these the following day and left them to dry overnight whilst still on the walls to ensure they dried to the correct shape.

I then touched up the corners and other joins where I'd scraped off paint to ensure the glue adhered and (in the case of the stone hut) filled around some of the corner rocks to make the join look better.

Finishing the thatch involved a coat of Vallejo Sepia Wash followed by a dry-brush of Iraqi Sand.

The Wattle + Wood walls received the same finish.

The stone work was given a Vallejo Black Wash followed by a dry-brush of Light Sand followed by a very light dry-brush of White. 

The wooden door frame was picked out using the same finish as the wattle + wood hut above.

Once completely dry, a spray coat of Satin Varnish followed by Matt Varnish saw the two huts finished and ready for the table.

Good value, robust, easily assembled and finished, very flexible where wargaming periods are concerned, what's not to like?

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Citadel Contrast Paints

We I am somewhat of a wargaming butterfly and love to try something new!
Enter Citadels Contrast Paints!

I read about them and watched the videos (just like many of you, I guess) and my curiosity was piqued. The concept wasn’t entirely new to me…I’d experimented over the years using washes over white undercoat as well as brush applied Vallejo Air paints to get similar finishes. What I liked the idea of was these paints were designed to do this job from the outset.

I initially bought a small selection (red, yellow, green & flesh) and was so impressed I quickly went out and bought five more (3 browns, black and blue). Sorry I can’t remember all the silly names….

Undercoated matt white

So far, I’m using them to paint up some 28mm Warlord ECW figures that I plan to base up for Pikeman’s Lament. Being such vivid colours, they are better suited to the older historical figures rather than 20th Century combatants.

Treated myself to one of these gadgets too. A painting handle. Very useful it is too! By the way, first paint applied - flesh
I started by undercoating the figures using Wilko’s Matt White spray primer (£4 per can).
You need to have a painting strategy to get the best from the paints. I logically paint the figures starting with the flesh, followed by large areas of clothing before finishing with belts, straps, shoes etc.

Red applied to tunic. Over-painted "apostles" were re-painted matt white before strap colour
As the paints are quite thin they do not cover one-another at all. If you over-paint an area, touch up with a strong white acrylic (I use Vallejo Game Artic White) before applying the next coat.

Nice vivid green for his trousers!
I find that whilst thin, they do not run unnecessarily, but flow onto the figures and cover very well.
To my mind they do just what they set out to achieve in that the paint gathers in the areas of folds giving shadow and show the white undercoat through on high spots, creating high-lights.

His hat and musket metalwork were painted black. His hair and shoes a dark brown and his straps, bag etc. with "Snakebite Leather"
Over the white undercoat they are bright, cheery colours which I think look great on ECW figures. I haven’t used any other primer colour so cannot comment of what effect they may have.

Finished article after  spray varnishing and adding flock to base.
 Initial thoughts are very positive. They are not cheap (rrp £4.50 per 18ml pot!) but I foresee them going a long way as coverage is very good. They are very quick to use – I painted one of the 28mm figures in the illustrations in about 15 mins start to finish!

Thoroughly Recommended.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

1/100 Zvezda Jagdpanther - Build Review

Final instalment for now is the Jagdpanther in 15mm. One of the most attractive AFVs from WW2 in my humble opinion and except for the Battlefront example that came with the GF9 Tanks game, another vehicle I'd like to have in my collection.

Two sides of instructions...only side two shown here

Two sprues containing all the parts

Starting with the lower hull and the various support frames

Build up to look like this....Yes really!

Add the track units to the side walls and glue them to the side facing studs of the lower frame.

You're now ready to assemble the body of the vehicle.

Start with the two hull sides

Then the Glacis Plate, followed by the roof & engine deck

Finally add the fighting compartment rear wall and the engine compartment rear panel. Add to this the exhaust pipes and the hull MG

The finished model....
Very elegant model, maybe a little light on details here and there, but captures this sleek tank killer to a "T".

Highly recommended

1/100 Zvezda Panther - Build Review

Now I currently have 15 mm scale Panthers made by Forged in Battle, Battlefront & PSC, so I thought it would be rude not to test the Zvezda offering too 😁

Nice picture, but the model doesn't come with Zimmerit coating 

Finished kit illustrations set the alarm bells ringing...where's the hull MG mount? The hull front seems to have been modelled on an Ausf D!

Sub-assemblies laid out clearly.

All parts on two sprues

After assembling the main gun, the turret can be assembled

I didn't find the instructions clear on which way up the gun fits. Be careful!

Upper hull components with side skirts secured to inner frame

Completed. Nice spare track link & Pioneer tool details

Lower hull and running gear components

Neatly assembled around inner framework. Be careful to put frame in the correct way as the rear panel is fitted to the rear facing studs.

Finished model
Another nice model. Compared to some of the other in the range, the engine cover detail is a little simplified. Careful painting will improve it, but it's not their best effort.

I guess the problem is that I think it's actually an Ausf D not an Ausf A.

I've seen other posts on-line that say they are also packaging the same model as an Ausf G with the same box art-work.... If this level of rivet counting is important to you, take care. Otherwise enjoy a nice kit.