29 June 2010

Legion of Ever Present Glory, part 9

The first set of my Ever Present Glory troops are finally completed!!

With spears level

With spears raised

Command group

The business end


Feels pretty good to get these done, especially since I purchased these minis just over three years ago. I'm not completely happy with the bases, but I think that they will look just fine on the table. Now, another 18 more to go, then I can start on Legion of Sérqu...


22 June 2010

Finally some activity...

Today, I have ordered the first of the minis I hope to use for the mass-battle games for the Half-Continent.

Not knowing exactly which ones to use, I ordered three different 15mm sets from Minifigs - Dutch, French, and Russian musketeers with tricorne, in the classic March/Attack pose. A pic of the Russian minis is here. I am hoping to be able to use all of these, perhaps as differing factions in my battles.

Also, I have back-tracked in my choice of rules. Previously, I had wrote of a desire to use a historical set for the mass battles, but I have switched back to using a fantasy set, namely Fantasy Rules! by ChipCo. It is a simple yet flexible system that does need much for rosters or markers. If this fails I could always use a variant of Command & Colors, provided that I get a suitable hex grid...

17 June 2010

Varnish experiment

There has been an obstacle to my finishing of miniatures lately - varnishing. I have been unable, for some time now, to use spray paint/primer/varnish due to the fumes and also the lack of a proper place for spraying. The primer problem was solved long ago - I now use either gesso or Reaper Master Series Brush-On Primer. But varnish has been a thorn in my side, until now.

Coyote, on his blog The General's Tent, advocated the use of Pebeo Matte Varnish. I was intrigued by this, as this varnish is water-soluble - not solvents or spirits for clean-up. So, I finally ordered a bottle and gave it a go.

Here is a pic of the test subjects:

These are some 15mm Essex minis, HYW or early renaissance, that Taeklonn had painted a long time ago. These have been coated with neat Future floor wax - gives them a nice glossy sheen which some people like. I don't mind it if on certain subjects - In The Grand Manner/Charge-style games with massive battalions of 18th century troops looks good with this approach - but not for most of my stuff. I am using it for a protective coat, and the ultimate test of the matte varnish.

Now, with the matte coat:

Quite a difference I do say! This is using neat Pebeo; it could be diluted slightly with some distilled water for better coverage; I might try that in the future. NOTE: This pic is only about 2 hours after the application of the matte varnish, it might be even more matte after 24 hrs.

A close-up of the sword-and-buckler on the right:

I deliberately left half of the shield untouched by the Pebeo just to see the difference.

The Pebeo product seems to work very well!


14 June 2010

Some naval calculations

As I worked on a naval gaming project at one of my other blogs, I found myself a bit distracted with thinking about the ships of the Half-Continent. As none of these ships are available commercially, I will need to scratch-build the entirely. First, I needed some rough dimensions.

At one of DM Cornish's web sites - daviddraws - there are a series of drawings, some of which involve the Half-Continent. Specifically, this page has line drawings of some of the various naval units. This is the start of the scratch-build project (although I am using the version of this same drawing found in my US copy of Foundling - it is just slightly different.)

There is a scale on the bottom of the pic, and I am using this as a base for all other miniature dimensions. By my rough calculations, a main sovereign ram could be 850' in length. That is a rather long ship. For comparison, HMS Victory, Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar, is only 227' long and USS Iowa (battleship 61) is 887' in length!

This, of course, needs to be scaled down for the table-top. A typical miniature scale for the table-top, commonly used for sailing ships and ancient galleys, is 1/1200. 1" (on the table-top) = 1200" (actual) or 100'. Our main sovereign, in 1/1200 scale, would be 8.5" long. Now, if one has a large table this would be fine - the mini would be beautiful with lots of detail. Unfortunately, I do not have that sort of luxury so a different scale is needed. Another common naval scale, used for many types of steam-powered ships, is 1/2400. Using this scale, our main sovereign would be 4.25" in length. This is a size that I can accept comfortably - still large enough for detail but not cumbersome in gaming.

Here is a rough listing of the different ships types, and their approximate lengths in 1/2400:

Main Sovereign - 4.25"
Main Ram - 3.25"
Iron Dought - 2.75"
Drag Mauler - 2.5"
Frigate - 1.75"
Gun Drudge - 1.25"

(For those who are wondering how long Hogshead, Poundinch's ship from Foundling, would be in 1/2400 - a paltry ½" long!)

These numbers give a rough start on the ships - beam measurements are next!

06 June 2010

A bit quiet

Just a quick update - things are a bit quiet here hobby-wise, with the work schedule warming up and now a sore and swollen left knee. Add a computer upgrade and you could have chaos!

I did make an important purchase that I hope to try out soon - some brush-on matte varnish for the miniatures. No chance yet to try it but that will happen soon - including pics...