A blog about miniatures, wargaming, and the people driven to ruin by them....

Friday, July 1, 2022

Necromunda: A Classic New Beginning, Escher, Cawdor, Hive Scum

 Howdie.  First post in a very long time. At times, while working on a larger, sometimes more frustrating, project, I take a break with a diversion.  Usually it is a small thing, a miniature or two painted, some writing of a revised rule.  But... sometimes I accidentally complete something larger.  

This time is was a set of figures for Necromunda.

I had wanted to dip back into classic Necromunda, and had sorted out two gangs, Escher and Cawdor, as well as some Hive Scum to add variety.  Just three days ago I picked up a couple of Escher gangers to try a color scheme as a diversion.... and suddenly....

... I had two full gangs.  

So I gamed some Necromunda in the 90's, and as with games like Talisman, Warhammer Quest, and Mordheim, found it to be a fun experience, somewhat more enjoyable than the standard WHFB and WH40K games.  But your mileage may vary.

For Escher, who I will think of as my primary gang, I went for Mardis Gras colors of green, purple, and gold.  I am currently still kicking around an appropriately cool gang name.  Its unfortunate that the word Harlequin may be currently associated with the Joker's girlfriend, because Harlequins of Sin would be a good name for them.  I might have to go with something like Dark Carnivale, or, Jubilee Jesters instead.  I will sort it out.

Escher Juves and Gangers....

As you can see, the uniform of the gang ties them together visually, though they display some individuality.  I had almost forgot how much I hate to paint GW figures, ha ha, there is literally too many things to paint!  I have made up my mind, I am no longer interested in painting studs on clothing, whether is Warhammer or D&D or whatever.  Done.  The level of detail produces a good miniature, and these figures are actually quite nice, well sculpted. 

The weapons may seem to mostly be painted in non-metallic metals, however, my thought process is a little different.  In a world where resources are scarce, in particular refined metals (guessing here), I'd think they would use more polymers where they can.  Which might explain the bulkiness of the weapons (which is highly unrealistic.... for a setting 40 thousand years in the future with warp demons.... ).  Anyway, I used some metallic paints to represent "actual, high value, metals".... this may indicate personal wealth, or, better, higher level weapons.

I made the smart decision to base these appropriately, used some spare door screen, with some random bits of sprue and/or gobs of sand and glue to represent rusting chunks of metal, and piles of sludge or slag.  Again, this unifies the figures visually.  With the Eschers, I did go for variety in skin tones, but overall gave these girls healthy looking skin.

Now, for the heavies, the leader, and Mad Donna.  The heavies and leader of course fit right in with the rest of the gang... and while a starting gang may not have two heavies, its nice to have some options.  Mad Donna, on the other hand is a different story....

For one thing, she is not an Escher.  She's more of a rogue personality.  However, I wanted another figure to potentially use with the Eschers more than I needed another rogue.  So, I painted Mad Donna with colors that roughly correlate to this gang... but not quite. Close enough to fit in, different enough to not if needed.  I will say that I did not like this miniature all that much.... she's not sculpted quite as well in my opinion, and she's got that 80's punk vibe to her (which I guess makes sense as Confrontation seemed to be more like futuristic punks).

Speaking of which.... all of these figures would make excellent models to use in any post-apocalyptic game, and I always like things that can be used in more than one way, for certain.  The Cawdor have a completely different feel, and would work as cultists in a pulp setting, albeit with odd looking weapons.  They are my back up gang (because when you try to entice people into something, its nice to be able to field two sides).

Cawdor Juves and Gangers....

The one juve is repeated, the only repeat in this set.... but I wanted access to more than 2 juves, just in case.  The name of this gang is almost definitely going to be The Hayden Raiders ... and maybe Hayden is the dome they come from, a particularly grim, cold wasteland on the shores of a contaminated sea which they venture out on in junked up longships to terrorize their foes. And maybe Hayden is something else entirely.

I had more struggles with the coloring of this, but then, I watched this video from Eric's Hobby Workshop  which convinced me to go with the clashing blue and light tan.  Eric has some great videos on building terrain, which is good, because I have none..... yet.  Eric makes some valid points in his video on how to approach painting.  One in particular is that you need to just put some paint down, the more you put the faster it goes, and the worst thing is when you have to stop to decide on what color to go with.  One thing I do differently is that I tend to start with anything big that requires a lot of drybrushing.  So for this lot, that mean most of the weapons, which were painted up with a lot of dry brushing, and also many of the Escher hair styles.  Mad Donna is about 3/4 hair, for example.  Then I work up from the boots and legs (so I can complete the base, before finishing the upper portions of the miniatures).  But whatever... check out his channel, great stuff.

Here are the Cawdor heavies and leader.... heavy stubber, heavy bolter, and grenade launcher.

 You will notice, due to their need to conceal themselves, and perhaps due to the dim nature of their dome, the Cawdors have a much paler skin tone than the Eschers.And though they are the back up gang, I am very happy with how they turned out.  They look good.

Finally, Hive Scum and Bounty Hunter.

These work as extra figures your gang can hire to help out.... a way to bring in mixed experience and different weapons to a novice gang.  These were the last 3 figures I painted, and by then I had a pretty good feel for how to paint GW stuff again.  I think the Goliath based Scum turned out very well, even though I thought it was my least favorite of these three.  I was apparently wrong.  But I am pleased with all three.

I have a Scavvy gang here too, but have not done anything with them as I do not have Outlanders.   One day perhaps.  The next step for this is to build terrain.... lots and lots of terrain.  But first... I have to get back to the main task I was working on, and stop messing around with these little side excursions!

Thanks for reading, and keep those dice rolling.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Age of Hannibal: 6mm Iberian or Spanish Army


 In my third Punic Wars installment, I am presenting my Iberian, or if you rather, Spanish or CeltIberians, army.   The peoples of the Iberian peninsula played a critical part in both the start of the 2nd Punic War, and the fighting that followed.  Iberians could be found fighting one anther, the Carthaginians, or the Romans... or (as I use them primarily) as part of a larger Carthaginian or Roman army.  In my previous posts on my Carthaginian Army   and my Numidian Army   I explained how there are contingents of troops operating within a larger multi-national force.  As with the Numidians, I wanted the Iberians to be a functional army in their own right, being able to field against outside aggressors from Carthage or Rome.  I feel in game terms this army is much more formidable than my Numidian army.

Except where noted, these are all Baccus (and in fact all of the Spanish are Baccus).

 Here we have the entire army, which is 1 general and 1 sub commander, and 46 bases of troops (14 bases of Scutarii and CeltiIberians, 4 bases of Spanish light infantry, 10 bases of Caetratti, 3 bases of Spanish heavy cav, 3 bases of Spanish light cav, 6 bases of Balearic slingers, and 6 bases--the only Rapier miniatures in this group--of Celt slingers).  

 Here are the commanders... a Spanish general and a sub commander.  I decided to use a single bag of Spanish heavy cav for multiple purposes.  This included pulling 3 mounted figures for command models... adding some foot Scutarii to the general.

Here are the formed infantry, which is comprised of 6 bases of Scutarii painted primarily with mixture of white, gold-yellow, and red shield colors..... 4 bases of Scutarii painted with a mix of darker primary shield colors... and, 4 bases of what are actually Celts, but painted as if they were Spanish.  I am not sure this was a great idea or not.... but it allowed for more variety, and a small group of infantry that looked different, perhaps representing a northern Iberian tribe, or from somewhere between Spain and the Alps.  This, and having the Scutarii painted with 2 different distinct color sets, helps me as the player identify elements in the game, or even makes it easier to split troops between two opposing armies.  First, the largest block....

Then the smaller block of Scutarii.... as well as the light infantry and the heavy cav.  I used models from that single bag of Spanish heavy cav to create only 3 bases of heavies, knowing that I had an overabundance of Carthaginian heavies already.  I created the light infantry bases with two sparse ranks of 5 models each, mostly Scutarii with a couple of Caetratti mixed in, and then a couple more Caetratti forward as skirmishers.  This adds more versatility to the army, and may represent either smaller tribal groups, or specifically trained light troops.

And here are the "CeltIberians", alongside the light cav.  So the remaining models from the heavy cav bag were dispersed to create 3 bases of Spanish lights.... again, knowing I have so many other cav to pull in.  This was one of my cheap skate moments (really, it was because I didn't think I needed 5 bases of heavy cav.... and if I bought separate light cav, that would work out to maybe 8 bases, or a total of 13 Iberian cav bases, which I felt was way too many ).

Here are some of the Caetratti skirmishers....

Now, because I was not sure of the best place to include them, here are the Balearic slingers... elite missile troops, and a nice addition to any ancient army of the Western Med.

Something else that I didn't have a good place to include, are these Celt slingers from Rapier.  I bought them in the beginning, just trying some things out.  There are two fairly large Celt armies in our club, so Celts have not been my priority, as I can rely on other people's Celts to join my Carthaginians.  The Numidians and Spanish in the club are more limited, so I focused on building larger forces of them.  However, I would at this time like to expand the Celt contingent, again into a balanced force, though a smaller one.  Something like 4 bases of formed infantry, 8 bases of warband, and maybe using the same trick I used with the Spanish heavies, 3 bases of heavy cav and 3 bases of light cav.  A small, but useful force.  For now though, I have only these...

Sometime soon I will post a combined army, something to show how the Punic army would look going into battle.

Thanks for reading.


Saturday, August 15, 2020

Age of Hannibal: 6mm Numidian Army


 You might be asking yourself... "Numidian Army?  Who does that?"  Well, obviously I am not the only one, but its not exactly in the top 10 favorite ancients armies. My Numidians are primarily to provide a supportive contingent to my Carthaginian army.  However, by buying just a few extra miniatures, I was able to form a 30 base army for Age of Hannibal.  Its unlikely I would ever use all 30 bases as part of a Carthaginian army, but this allows me to entertain scenarios such as ones where the Numidians may find themselves independently fighting either the Carthaginians, or, after the fall of Carthage, the Romans.  It also allows me to cheat a little with bases if I am short in one place or another.

For me it feels better to think of purchasing "armies" rather than just bits and pieces.  So, instead of just a few bases of light horse and skirmishers, I have a force that can be fielded on its own.  Within its own limitations and troop choices, this is a relatively balanced force


Here is my commanding Numidian general, in the form of a darker skinned Hellenistic commander on a base with a few Numidian infantry from Baccus.  Most of this army are Baccus figures, but there are a few bases of Rapier Miniatures (as previously discussed in my post about my 6mm Carthaginian Army ).


 This is the entire army... in addition to the command base, there are 10 bases of Light Infantry, 10 bases of Skirmishers with Javelins, and 10 bases of superb Light Cavalry.  It is the light cav that are the most important to the Carthaginian army, in particular to the campaign of Hannibal.  Hannibals' one great battlefield defeat, Zama, was the one battle he did not have a superiority in the area of Numidian light cav.   Altogether, this would be a sizeable army... though, a very limited one.  While the light cav I talked about were extremely useful, even they lack the punching power needed to crack formed heavy infantry.  This is a mobile but light army.

I truly intended to create a few bases of "regular" formed infantry.  I just could not do it.  The Numidian infantry did not seem to have an intrinsic type of troop I felt would stand toe to toe with say Hannibal's African veterans, or Roman legions.  So, I ended up creating 10 bases of light infantry (which to be honest, I could also field as rabble if needed).  I did this by making two sparse ranks of only 5 or 6 models each (compared to the formed infantry of  3 full ranks with 7 or 8 miniatures each) with 1 or 2 additional models deployed in advance of the lines.  They look distinct from both skirmish bases and heavy infantry bases. 

I also formed 10 bases of javelin armed skirmishers, using the same models as for the light infantry.  2 of these bases (the 2 in the lower middle and lower right positions in the image below) are Rapier, the other 8 are Baccus.  These can be useful, to provide additional skirmishers in a battle when needed.

Finally, there are 10 bases of Numidian light horse.  Since light cav have no front facing in Age of Hannibal, I chose to base then performing a turn.... they do actually have an identifiable "front" but look nice in groups of 4, forming a circle.  8 bases are Baccus, and 2 are Rapier.... one base has a skirmisher on it as somehow I came out 1 horse figure short.  In the last image, you can see from left to right, Rapier skirmishers, Baccus skirimishers, and Rapier light horse.


 I think I could borrow a base or two of elephants form the Carthaginians to field with these Numidians, and it would look perfectly fine.

Not exactly a world conquering army, but a nice one to have.  My next posting will be on my 6mm Iberians, who form what I would consider a much more formidable force, one that fields better and fights harder.  More on that later.

Thanks for reading.



Friday, August 14, 2020

Age of Hannibal: Carthaginian Army in 6mm


 As you may be aware, I was involved in part of the development of the Little Wars TV ruleset, Age of Hannibal.  Actually, I even provided the cover art....

Hannibal Portrait

 Not surprisingly, I have a few miniatures in 6mm for this game.

I will be following up with additional portions of my Punic army in the near future, but for now, I will only be discussing what I consider my "Carthage specific" portion of the army.  Given the nature of the Punic military, it will be understandable that this force of mine is separated into contingents.

Here we have the full weight of Carthage, 23 bases of troops (12 formed spear infantry, 6 heavy cavalry, and 5 elephants) with three commanders.  This represents the smallest of the three contingents in my Carthaginian army.

 When first choosing my miniatures, and before we had fully worked out the system, I decided to purchase small amounts of both Baccus and Rapier miniatures.  Both are 6mm, and both I think are fine ranges.  You will notice that the Rapier is somewhat larger than the Baccus.  Ultimately I chose to fill out my armies with Baccus, but the Rapier provide some variety to my army, and would certainly be an option for anyone's army.  Both paint up fine.

Here are the commanders, a general and two captains or sub-commanders.  I have used the general as Hannibal, however, I think I need a base with more flair to represent him.  I do have additional unpainted leaders, and may make a decision about the elephants, discussed below....

Here I have the core component of the Carthaginian infantry force, 4 bases of Baccus African infantry and 4 bases of Veteran infantry. 

They are supported by 2 bases of Rapier Punic Heavy Infantry and 2 bases of Rapier Libyan Heavy infantry.  Having different bases does allow to have different troops in your army be readily identifiable... or could even form part of an opposing force, like, say, rebelling mercenaries.  There are also a grand total of 6 bases of heavy cavalry, which are 5 bases of Baccus and 1 base of Rapier.  This is too much heavy cav at the scale we normally fight battles at in Age of Hannibal.  However, when first organizing them, I was not sure.  Now, I definitely do not have need of so many... and I also found I did not like the look of the 3x3 ranks I put the Baccus in.

And finally, here we have the iconic element of a Carthiginian army, the elephants.  There are 2 bases of Baccus elephants, and 3 bases of Rapier elephants.  You will notice a sizeable difference between the two.  You may also notice that I placed a couple of Numidian javelin men on each, to represent the coordination of skirmishers with elephants in combat.  If 6 bases of heavy cav is too many, 5 bases of elephants is way too many.  Again, this is because I was not thinking clearly about how to organize armies.  I am not sure that Porus would need 5 bases of elephants at Hydaspes.... but maybe.  Anyway, I am thinking about dismantling one of these bases (because 4 would be plenty for any Punic battle, including Zama) to secure a single elephant to create a dedicated commander base for Hannibal.


Some other notes.... I recently re-flocked the bases a bit to keep them consistent across all of my forces.  Most of the players in out club tend to go with darker, greener, flock styles.... and generally I think players in a club are serving each other better by having similar flock on their bases.  There is a visual appeal.  However, considering that these troops will fight in battles representing actions in North Africa, Spain, and the length of Italy, I really wanted them to look like they are in a drier, more arid, environment.  Not desert, not mountains, but also not a lush loamy farm valley either. Something that would not look out of place anywhere in the Western Med.

Anyway, hope you like them, and I will follow up with more of this army.  Until then, keep the elephants coming, and maybe learn how to complete sieges....


Saturday, June 13, 2020

Battletech: Vehicle Identification


OK, a little embarrassed... but I can not identify these vehicles.  Ral Partha, looks like 1987, definitely look like Battletech (maybe 2x LRM10s in the turret), tracked, pretty big.

Potentially could be O.G.R.E. vehicles, though I could not find an image there either.

Thanks. - update, mystery solved, these are Battledroid era Hunter Tanks.... very different from current Hunter Tanks.  Best match might be something like the Sturmfuer tanks.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

WWII Naval: British Aircraft 1/600 Tumbling Dice


I have officially completed all of the 1/600 Tumbling Dice miniatures in my possession.  So I of course ordered more, but for now....

These are my British..... now, I realized I needed to practice identification, because it was not always easy for me.  ALso, I did not enjoy assembling the biplanes, even though TD made it about as easy as could be done at this scale.  It reminded me of how bad I am at assembling plastic models.  Similarly, even though my hand painted roundels are not great (and I admit to giving up on the yellow ring), I still prefer this to trying to work with decals.  I had a Viking ship as a kid in the 70's, could never get the shield decals to work right... I think that made me the painter I am today :)

Anyway, here are a whole bag of things:
4x Gladiators
and 4x Swordfish in business like drab fashion
6x Spitfire (Tropicalized) in two different schemes
6x Hurricanes in two different schemes
6x Fulmar in two slightly different schemes
6x Skua in two different schemes.... looking like a flying transport for a greenhouse

 Now I know my color choices are not ideal, so I relied on the immense variety of color combinations, and as usual went for shades that were bright enough to help make the individual miniature stand out.  Overall I am happy with how they turned out.  I like the Spitfires, they reminded me of another plastic kit from childhood, a 1/72 Spitifre, which I had at that time painted drab and grey.  I think I like painting the British camo patterns a little better than either the German or Italians ones.

So that is it for aircraft for a while.  It always feels good to complete a purchase.