Monday, 22 November 2010

Here come the Early Bulgars!

I have finally finished off my Early Bulgars (III/14 b) made up mostly of Essex figures (their DBA army pack). The light horse for the a-list are currently half-painted. The army includes one stand of Irregular Turk/Arab heavy cavalry which will have to do until I can order some more Bulgars from Essex.

The 3Cv unit of Bulgars (Essex) display the trident tamga (arms) of the Dulo Clan on their shields to which belonged the great Kahn Krum:
  • Krum was Khan of Bulgaria, from after 796, but before 803, to 814 AD. During his reign the Bulgarian territory doubled in size, spreading from the middle Danube to the Dnieper and from Odrin to the Tatra Mountains (Wiki).
The Early Bulgars take the field:

Kahn Krum (3Cv - Gen) leads his mounted troops:

Bulgar/Slavic foot troops (4 x 3Ax and 1 x Ps) in bad going:

The army saw my first use of a Magic Wash recipe I found on Fanaticus. Moderately good shading resulted but still needs some fine tuning. Instead of water soluble ink I used Vallejo pigments to colour the floor wax/water mixture.

BUA and camp to come.

They took to the field for the first time recently and gave my old adversary the Alans' a good run for their money but unfortunately the final clash of our mounted troops saw my 3Cv (Gen) destroyed by the Alan knights. Next time for sure.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Some larger pictures of my Picts

Pictish spearmen (detail)

Pictish spearmen

Scratch built Pictish Camp

DBA II/68b Pictish 500–846 CE - first viewing

At last the Picts are ready to take to the field - in fact they have fought (and lost) their first battle already!

I have yet to paint the shields but the figures are largely as I mean to use them apart from that. They have recovered from a near disaster while varnishing them when I applied the Army Painter matt varnish and they came out like they had a layer of frost over them - with much of the painting detail apparently lost.

A quick look at TMP forum and Fanaticus told me that I had sprayed them in conditions of too-high humidity. It was raining when I sprayed them on the porch and then I let them dry in the laundry with a dryer going - what was I thinking! I managed to recover them with a spray of the matt acrylic picture varnish I had always used previously - this seemed to reduced the frosting almost to nil.

This is also my first slap-dash attempt at miniature photography.
The Picts were blooded last week in an encounter with the Late Imperials Romans. I deployed with a steep hill on my left flank, another just forward of my right flank and dead ahead a gentle hill - behind which the legionaries were awaiting me. On my left flank I deployed a body of 3 x spear and 2 x psiloi on the crest of the steep hill. two light horse were positioned in the centre (with LCh general behind) ready to dash up the valleys between the hills and the right flank. The rest of the centre and right flank was made up of the remaining spear and psiloi.

The Romans pushed forward on my left flank with cavalry, knights, and light horse encouraging me to leave the spear and psiloi on the hill while the spear and psiloi on my centre/right advanced towards the gentle hill with light horse to cover their flanks. The legionaries and auxilia facing my centre and right (refused flank) would not be drawn out as I had hoped - ultimately causing me to over-extend my force on the right. Once I separated my two bodies of spear to a degree they could not be quickly reunited, the legionaries fell on me and defeated me 4-0. Many silly mistakes were made but it was an enjoyable encounter.

For my next trick I'll learn how to use photos on this blog!

Friday, 10 September 2010

Attack of the killer-flame-death-robots

My 3-year-old and I decided on a Lego match-up of my killer-flame-robots against his 'weird guys' the other day. I thought it about time to introduce a little of my daytime activities onto the blog. Just for some light relief!

The killer-flame-death-robots began their mechanical advance on a cold winter's morning with flames licking at their steely exterior and the smell of kerosene wafting ahead of them on the relentless southerly wind that has swept up from Antarctica.

Opposing these ruthless automatons were those few remaining veterans of the now depleted ranks of the Weird Guys – the warrior class of a post climate-change society desperately defending their fragile communities on this resource-depelted antipodean isle.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland

This journal is a good source for archaeological and historical works relevant to studying and depicting the Picts and I have just discovered that PDFs of Vols. 1 (1852) to 102 (2002) are available online here:
Some examples of the breadth of imagery of the Picts: contemporary; historical and modern ...

How the Picts depicted themselves:

A stone slab from Bullion, Invergowrie, Angus, Scotland (discovered in 1934) which Laing and Laing (1984) argue may date from the Eighth century CE because of the similarity of the bird's head terminal on the drinking horn to those in the Lindisfarne Gospels. (Source: Lloyd Laing and Jennifer Laing, 'Archaeological notes on some Scottish early Christian Sculptures,' Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 114 (1984), 277–287, p. 286)

Romantic images of the Picts:

Modern depictions (!):

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Avast ye sticky swab ...

I can't resist a bit of fatherly bragging by offering a peek of the first miniature my daughter has painted. She has wanted to paint 'knights' with me for a long time now so I gave her a handful of Eureka Miniatures wonderful Teddy Bear Pirates for her seventh birthday, recently.

This was her first bear - painted immediately after she opened the parcel.

A sticky swab indeed!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Its all about me!

Well, this is my first foray into blogging. I'm a little uncomfortable with the medium feeling it to be a little self-centered to think that anyone else would care for my online ramblings. However, with that caveat, here I go ...

2010 has seen a resurgence in my interest in miniature wargaming. I use the WRG De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) fast play ancient (and medieval) wargame rules (v. 2.2).

Learn more about DBA at this fantastic website: Fanaticus

I have the following armies under construction and will post images as they are completed:
  • Anglo-Danish, 1014–1075 CE (III/71)
  • Norman / West Frankish, 888–1072 CE (III/51)
  • Norse Viking, 790–1280 CE (III/40)
  • Teutonic Orders, 1201–1522 CE (IV/30)
  • Low Countries, 1297–1478 CE (IV/57)
  • Medieval French, 1330–1445 CE (IV/64)
  • Later Swiss, 1400–1522 (IV/79)
  • Wars of the Roses English (Yorkist), 1455–1487 CE (IV/83)
My first attempts at DBA armies some years ago also leave me with two armies of late antiquity that are gathering dust in the cupboard (although, not entirely unloved!).
  • Ancient British, 55 BCE–75 CE (II/53)
  • Early Imperial Roman, 25 BCE–197 CE (II/56)
I should say at the outset, my interest in miniature wargaming is that of army composition, strategy and tactics rather than painting figures. So, in advance, I apologise for any slap-dash paint jobs that appear here.