30 July 2008


With the progress I have made with the Empire and Tékumel minis I have, I just can not keep other genres out of my mind.

I had a brief thought about micro-armour recently. Back 25 years ago, I was heavily involved with my local (as in Spokane WA) group's mini wars, and they played micro-armour. They did have a unique approach - collection campaigns. This entailed totaling up everything in your collection, and having a go at a campaign. Some of the guys had very substantial collections, and talk of starting another campaign signaled a round of purchases, hopefully to arrive before the campaign start date! Unfortunately, these campaigns usually did not last long; after a brief surge of interest, the logistics of the game weighed the 'gaming' part down, and the 'accounting' part rose to snuff the fun out. I never had much of a collection, but I always had some interesting stuff, like WW2 Russian cavalry or horse-drawn artillery... I do not remember what happened to my small micro-armour collection.

I don't think I would have fun painting or playing with micro-armour today (unless somebody else organized a game complete with minis, rules, terrain, etc). Despite some great techniques shown at the GHQ forums, I'm not sure I could keep any interest.

I like to keep thinking about Ancients in 28mm, but two items hinder this. One is the actual period to collect. I could just as easily play games with Egyptians vs. Hittites, Punic War battles, or Caesar's battles in Gaul as I could play with my current projects. It might not be a bad idea to keep this historical project's basing system as close to the Empire/Tékumel system as possible, just to simplify purchases and to, perhaps, indulge in a cross-genre game or three. My budget is the second hindrance - much progress in the other projects must be made first before diverting money into this. I'll find a way, just not any time soon...

Oh yeah, just in case anybody is interested, here is a shot of my work table:

It is a bit of a mess, but not so cluttered as times in the past.


26 July 2008

Empire Greatswords, part 3

I finally broke down, and bought some minis for my Empire army:

This is the command set for my Greatswords unit. Each box contains 5 minis - leader, musician, standard bearer, and two Greatswords.

Very nice minis - much better proportioned and finer detail than even the latest plastic offerings. I am not yet certain about what to do with the standard. My ability to paint flags is p o o r so I probably will replace it with a paper flag and brass tubing staff. The situation is a bit more complicated with the standard bearer's sword being attached to that same arm, but it should not be a problem. I might even keep the skull atop the staff - seems appropriate for the Greatswords.

The Greatswords unit will go behind the first spearmen unit and the Outriders on the painting queue. I'm thinking of a dark metallic color for the armor; it should stand out more against the brighter armor that will be used on the other units. The slashed tunics will be in alternating buff and blue, and the plumes will be white.

Incredibly, this is the first set of minis purchased for my Empire army. This box was $22 US - maybe a little steep for 5 metal minis but not too bad for nearly 2800 points of Empire troops!


More 40K from Vahll

My son has re-started work on an old project - Tyranids. Now that he can paint very well, he should be able to make much more progress this time around.

Here is a work-in-progress pic of his Brood Lord:

His plan is to have his 'Nids in a black and bone color scheme. The victim is, of course, an Ultramarine.

None other than Taeklonn in the background in this shot - these pics were taken at their local GW shop, in Tacoma WA.

Seeing all of these 40K minis is getting under my skin - Orks or Imperial Guard might be a cool project in the future... but need to get more Empire and Tékumel stuff done first!


20 July 2008

Empire spearmen, part 2

Just a simple head swap:

Looks a little different... the bit was in the first Handgunners box. There are 2 or 3 more that I will be using in the future. I think that I also need to watch the length of the neck when fitting the new pieces on; the new trooper seems to be a bit odd that way.


06 July 2008

Empire cannon, part 1

Just started work on my cannon for the Empire force:

I had forgotten that the box set comes with two different trails, one for the mortar and a longer trail for the cannon. Once I find another barrel and long trail there will be a second cannon in my force.

I also put a little paint on the crew:

The gents on the left and middle are done except for basing and varnish. The loader needs an ink wash over his leather vest and some more detailing, but he is close to complete also.

I'm going to switch to a slightly different base color for the blue parts of their uniforms. The blue I'm using now, Reaper Pro Series Breonne Navy, does not like to stick to the gesso primer; it just slides around and I find it hard to control. I'm using other Reaper paints (the yellowish color is Reaper Pro Series Buckskin) so maybe I have got a bad batch of blue. Feawin suggested (at a visit to Michael's) that I try Delta Ceramcoat Navy Blue; I'll use that on the Outriders and see how it works.


05 July 2008

Empire spearmen, part 1

I have finally started to dive into the pile of plastic spearmen. These minis are much easier to assemble than the current offerings from GW obviously, as they have only two parts without the shield. I like them though!

Here are the first six of 45 spearmen that I have. I have left the shields off for now; it is much easier to paint the mini without the shield. So far, they are ranking up well - one of my perennial problems with GW minis is getting them to fit together nice and tight, and these should pose no problems.

Here is a close-up of the rear rankers. The one in the center looks like he had a bit too much ale the previous night!

The close-up does show the age of these minis. The detail, especially the hands and face, is softly defined. The faces are rather featureless, and the hands are just odd. I still like them though! And, once I slap some paint on there it won't matter much.

And some front-rank types. I'm glad that these are holding their spears at 45°; level spears/pikes are a pain to play with on the table.

I plan to do some head swaps with the bits I have leftover from the other boxes of Empire troops that I have. Plastic minis make conversions almost too easy - fun too!