Friday, 26 February 2016

From Curt - 28mm 16th Century Gendarmes (105 points)

Even though it may seem that I've been drifting aimlessly between a random series of genres and periods I've actually managed to maintain a relatively steady progress with my Italian Wars project. A lot of this has to do with my 'Renaissance Men' duel with Peter (Thanks for the impetus Pete!) but also it's simply that I'm having a great time researching, collecting and painting the figures. However, I've found that my usual slow speed has been reduced to a veritable crawl due to the complexity of the clothing, colours and armour (ie. Landsknechts, I hate those overdressed f*cks!). I know I could keep it simple and just grind the units out, but it seems counter-intuitive to the pomp and splendour of the period, and so I've been plodding away, taking my sweet time with them.

Anyway, enough of my blather, let's get to the goods. Here's the latest unit to roll off my hobby desk - a unit of heavy cavalry, which can be flagged either as Gendarmes of Louis XII of France or heavy cavalry of the Papal army under Cesare Borgia.

I started these fellows during the first week of the Challenge and have been puttering away on them ever since. So while they were fun to work on, I'm quite happy to see them finally done and parked in the display cabinet.

Papal Gendarmes of Cesare Borgia.
These are 28mm metal figures Eureka Miniatures. They're very good models, providing an excellent example of the bewildering variety of martial fashions and armour designs witnessed during that time. The figures come with a wide assortment of optional weapons, horses and diverse helmet plumage, so you can mix and match to your heart's content. 

I armed this unit with the classic heavy cavalry lance as it seems so iconic to the period. The stock lance is nicely modeled, but since they've been cast in soft white metal, they're very prone to bending and are difficult to keep straight. 

Which will it be: The spaghetti or rotini lance?
So, with this in mind I clipped off the lance shafts, drilled-out the grips and replaced the lot with sharpened steel rods. It was a bit of a hassle, but I think it will pay off in the end (and it allows me to petulantly poke my opponents if things don't go my way during a game). I was planning to paint the lances in the classic 'barber-pole' fashion, but discovered when reading about these units that the painted lances were usually reserved for parades and tournaments, whereas the 'war lances' were kept as raw, unfinished wood. This appealed to my sensibilities, as in my mind's eye I think that when one saw these guys arrayed with plain wood lances it would send a message that they weren't there to pick up ladies' hankerchiefs - they were there to get things sorted. 

French Gendarmes of Louis XII of France.
It's easy to think of Gendarmes as being a uniquely French formation, but in reality most of the nations involved in the Italian Wars had heavy cavalry arrayed very much the same. As such, I wanted to be able to 're-flag' the unit depending on the scenario. I unashamedly stole James Roach's brilliant idea of sleeving the flags so they can be easily swapped in and out. Basically this involves cutting a plastic or brass tube with which to wrap the flag around. Glue a finial on top to complete the ruse de guerre The flagstaff itself is left bare at the top so the sleeved banners can simply be socketed on as required.

Sleeved flags. Borgia/Papal at top and Louis XII, bottom.
The banners are from Pete's Flags' excellent Italian Wars range.

As many gendarmes were of noble birth I thought it would be fun to pimp the bases with a pack of hunting hounds to add a bit more pomp and reinforce the sense movement to the unit. I sourced the wolfhounds from Gripping Beast (I did a bit of reading on the subject of sporting dogs and indeed, there were French wolfhounds bred during the period).

'Italian's back on the menu, lads. Go get 'em.'
The groundwork is the same autumnal theme that I've been using for my other Italian Wars units. Admittedly it's a bit over the top, but hey, it's Renaissance Italy! It should be a riot of colour. This all being said, I'm going through tufts and shrubs like crazy, so a resupply will be needed very soon... 

'Okay, who forgot to pack Leo's fancy-schmancy repeating crossbows?'
These nine cavalrymen and their hounds should put me back into the race with Peter. If only for a day. :)

Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend everyone!

Dude! Another genuine treat for the senses with this submission my friend. Whatever frustrations you may have felt in the midst of grinding your way through this unit (and we've all been there) I hope you feel genuinely charged to have them complete, as they really look the business! These are real beauties, and as I have observed previously, your continued excellence on the ground work, and accents like the hounds (awesome!) is really something else. I also salute your efforts on the lance conversions - the bendy metal is just lame when it comes to these situations.  Your solution makes my head hurt, but looks bloody marvelous. And I love the "loyalty swap out" on the banners. Well done!
Eureka sculpts you say? So, let's see...these are 28mm medieval figures, so I'm assuming you found them listed in the 15mm WW2 section of their web site? Sorry, just had to get a dig in there...I do SO love Eureka products (they are top-notch - if you are reading this, go purchase some immediately), but their Byzantine web site makes me insane...
As tyrannical minion for Friday, I do indeed count these as nine mounted 28mm figures, but I shall count the hounds as a 10th rider, and toss in extra points for the lance conversion work/torture and a couple of "holy sh!t, this looks really f*cking great" points to for a total of 105 points on this submission.
Having said all of this, I'm counting on Peter to come along with a technical correction about some part of the armour, just to wind you up.  Come on Peter, don't let me down...  

From DavidB - FCC to Heat Things Up (30 points)

Snowmagedon has come again, and I was lucky enough to be driving home in it. I was wearing basketball shorts and t-shirts last Friday so the foot plus of white stuff is appreciated. I am snowed in now till tertiary roads can be plowed! ;)

Since my kids can't go to school and my wife is also unable to drive to work, we get forced family time! 

We will be playing MERCS today now that I have two teams finished.

As an aside, both Counter Threat and Assassination Protocol are available for $40 each at Megacon Games. Assassination Protocol is exclusive to the store and features Kemvar vs Karzai Wazi which is a Pacific Megacorp that controls Japan, New Zealand and Australia.  They bring mini nukes with their Assault Leader.

The FCC fills the void between the Megacorps and are terrorist, nationalists, anarchist,  and a lot of other -ists. The FCC is recognized as a Megacorp on the whole just to keep negotiations and extreme violence down. Although they lack the training, armor, and equipment of the other Merc teams, they are very fast and elusive. The FCC is working to destroy all the Megacorps and has already destroyed several and weakened Texaco, East India Corp, and EU. They have also absconded with the tech and money from the failed Megacorps and regularly pilfer from the active ones.

I painted them in various camouflage patterns and unified them with the Rebel color orange ( favored color of rebel graffiti artists)

From left a packrat- he carries med packs and armor repair kits, a household member- provides boosts and covering fire. The kneeling figure is a chemical engineer who makes explosives and gasses. The chemical engineer isn't much use against kemvar as all kemvar Mercs have gasmasks.

FCC also has the houseleader- squadleader, a boomer- grenade launcher, and a Liason. The liason is a hard unit to hit as he has a special force field. The presence of the liason allows the FCC player to bring in another Megacorp Merc as a Black Ops. The black ops Merc gives the Boomer his/her Megacorp trademark grenade. 

Small and underequiped in comparison to the others, but they do have a lot of tactical options. I like the sculpts a lot as they are not uniform in appearance and a lot of the clothing is torn. Even the Liason above next to the Boomer has a torn hole in his trousers. The  models have a lot of personality too. My favorites are the Boomer with the artificial leg and potbelly and the House Leader with that great action pose.

Just six Sci Fi extremists today...unless I can clear off a few more from the desk before supper! ;) 
For now, I'm going to defend the secret KemVar facility from some intrusive Malcontents led by my kids...I'm hoping the fresher paint on the FCC will counter fighting against 4 kids! ;)
Very nice! Cool to see more of these MERC figures.  When I first saw "FCC", I assumed you had painted a group of bureaucrats with no actual tabletop capabilities, but still win every game thanks to their unfunded defined benefit pension plans that everyone else has to pay for :)  And as I read about the background of these charming fellows in the FCC, I had to stop and wonder if they have issued a David Suzuki figure to serve as an overall commander-in-chief for the faction on the tabletop?

I shouldn't read the paper here in Canada between postings *cough*.  Anyway, great painting David - this faction fits well in the dark megacorporate setting this game looks to portray.  I would hate to see the lawyers in this setting...

Only six figures this week Dave - is this the alleged break you've been hinting at for some time now?  Another 30 points for you sir - enjoy the snow and the forced family time!

From JamieM - More Heretical Goodies (45 points)

I wish I could be as prompt at posting as my Friday buddies, they unfailingly produce great stuff for Friday posting and here I am again, just about making it.

These two vehicles are my first proper attempt at weathering. First up, a rhino APC

I've used my black sponging for general wear but added some painted metallic chips in the middle of the larger black splodges.
I found this gave me much better control than sponging the metallic colour and looked a little more realistic.
Forgeworld transfers again and the sheet is an absolute gold mine.

Next up, a Vindicator, converted up from a rhino.
I went a bit crazy with this one...... As the Wordbearers are religious loons, I decided that a pulpit/sacrificial table and a torture rack were just the sort of things they'd slap on a vehicle with a honking great gun.
The plan being that they'll waste no time after a battle getting down to the important tasks of preaching and learning the enemies secrets.
Somewhat over the top, but I enjoyed doing it. I think I may have weathered a little too much, but it was a good learning experience as most of my vehicles are a little bit "fresh off the production line" as that's easier and quicker (but not nearly as nice).

Next up for weathering is trying some rusting and perhaps oils for streaking as I tried using washes and they were just too thin..... I suspect patience and more costs would have helped instead of giving up!

Last up is a 40k entry, a Hellbrute. These are dreadnoughts partially possessed and certainly mutated.

It's the fourth one I've painted (I did three for the challenge last year) and I really like the model.
No weathering for this one as he's for my 40k army and I need to go back and weather all of the vehicles for that at some point.

Three 28mm vehicles done and 45 points towards my total I think? (The Hellbrute won't count towards my 30k duel though, as he's strictly 40k).
Great work Jamie.  I think each entry here fully captures the spirit and approach of Lorgar's chaps, especially the bonkers torture rack.  That is precisely something the Word Bearers would wish to have handy, particularly after they have just blasted a building at point-blank range with the heavy weapon. While I find the "Hellbrute" a little too far gone down tentacle lane for my own tastes, you've done a cracking job on the model.  

Weathering is a tricky thing to get the hang of, but it does add so much to vehicles and I think you've done really nice work here. The sponge chipping, combined with targeted silver chips in the larger spots has produced an excellent effect. Another 45 points on the pile! Sigh...I had best get cracking on some more Raven Guard...

From SanderS - More 28mm Metal Mayhem! (22 points)


At the moment I am struggling to get a  small Napoleonic point-bomb on the way so I am not able to post much for today's entry. But just so I do not get stuck, I have done 4 single 28mm figures.

First up is another of North Stars "Tea-time" series figures:

Next up is a well-known Vampire-vampireslayer, yeah I know... but I liked the figure and wanted to experiment with gloss paint so I could check if the effect would be useful for Dart Vader's helmet.  She's from Hasslefree if I am not mistaken.

Followed by our all time favourite: Floki! Yes he's back. This is actually my own figure. I like this one far better than the first one I painted because the colours on his clothing are more pronounced and the face has worked out better although the pictures do not show this, the weather being quite overcast and so I was not able to get good pictures.

Last is Floki's sister Bodice eeeeeh Boudi from Hasslefree as well. She's actually a resin figure on a resin scenic base and I used the same colours as I did on Floki. (hence the sister-part). I decided against doing the usual tartan since I liked this well enough.

Should be worth 20 points this quartet.

Cheers Sander

Hi again Sander.  Great painting!  Didn't expect I would see Floki again, and who knew he had a sister? Although judging by Floki, perhaps she is best left alone.  All of the brushwork here is top notch, but the fellow having some tea really takes the cake for me.  The tartan on that figure looks marvelous.  I've tried painting tartan a few times myself, and the experience leaves me prone to suicide.  The fellow looks wonderful, in fact, seeing him leaves me craving some Empress Tea. I think I'll go put on the kettle...I wonder if Floki would be up for some tea too...perhaps not...

That is 20 points base, but anyone who can paint tartan without swearing in the post gets a couple extra - 22 points for you! We await your Napoleonic points bomb next week...

From AlexS - Josef Bugman (5 points)

It is a lovely old miniature of the old school. I really enjoyed painting it. I tried to use the style familiar from the older techniques of painting miniatures. I especially liked to recall that when the base was green. :)

Well done Alex! Your commentary was brief this week, but I suspect the many fans of Oldhammer among the Challengers will join me in saying "cool"!!  An axe and a mug of ale - that's one happy dwarf. Your brushwork is excellent, but I have to agree the bright green base really helps bring out the true Oldhammer vibe from this figure.  Great work, a very nice and tidy 5 points for you!

From GillesW - I'll do it tomorrow! (74 points)

"I'll do it tomorrow." That's what I have been saying for three weeks as I saw these figures waiting for their bases and flock ( Lazy jester!). This week I flicked from a project to another, but at least I have finally done the last group of heavy cavalry of my "Mongol Conquest" project, the army is finished (yes I know only for now;-)).

They will fight their first game this evening (that 's probably why they are ready).

Then I returned to my Italian Communal stuff with the addition of some bow and crossbow skirmishers.

I also reworked the flags of the command bases, resizing and painting highlights on them cause they were too small (something to compensate lord Farquuad??), this give me no points but I quite happy now, at least enough to return on the project and just to satisfy my "oversized EGO" I present them to you:

Jacopo Rangon di Modena and Jacopo dei Pazzi, standard bearer of the Florentine flag:

Bilenchi + the flag of "di Popolo di Firenze", a St Georges cross:

     Dante Alighieri (the man who wrote The Divine Comedy) + the flag of the Guelf party.
     The dead horse is bearing the arms of the famiglia Silembini who financed the Sienese party ( money don't do all ;-)

The last one is for the allied city of Pistoia with the Famiglia Montemagni + Famiglia Cancelleria bearing the standard of their town:

I will have more communal Italian to come...

Bien fait encore Gilles! Well done.  Very nice to see the "finish" of your Mongol force.  I hope they bring you victory tonight - although you know what they say about newly painted figures and their first game...

I think we can all relate to the feeling of "I'll do it tomorrow."  Although in my case I am often saying that about shoveling snow or cutting the grass, so I can paint instead.  But I can understand hesitation on groundwork and's important, but not quite as much fun as painting the miniatures themselves, is it?

Great stuff all around, and nice to see more Italian Wars figures appear.  No doubt Peter will have some academic points to make about all these Italian fellows.  All I know is they look right to me! 

So I'll throw in a couple of extra points for work on banners - another part of the hobby I struggle with, so I respect the strong work of others.  Une autre 74 points pour vous, Mr. le Jester.  A la semaine prochaine!