Sunday, February 19, 2017

Things to do with carts.. creativity with mundane items

Cart convoy - moving the army the hard way

I like all that nonsense you can create for the table which is not about men with weapons killing each other. I have made it a bit of an LoA trademark  over the years with battery positions, wagons, civilian vignettes and the like.

Muddy waters under the cart - made using yacht varnish

The arrival of the extensive Swedish artillerymen many of whom are open handed has spurred one of these creative phases and combined with items from Warfare Miniatures' siege equipment range and various wagons, I have created a variety of visually interesting pieces to dress specifically my Great Northern War tables but which could also be used more generally.

Original with Foundry horse

Mark 2 using all Warfare components

Tactica provided the spur to get on with this labour of love and this post is all about interesting things you can do with rather prosaic items like, well, carts.

The commercial model

prototype experimentation

I saw the pushing yer wagon out of the mud opportunities early on and have now produced two iterations of this. On uses an old Foundry artillery horse which looks more like a pony based on the diminutive size of Foundry models pre-2010.

Civilian leading the horse

Having displayed this piece at a few shows and received requests about where it could be purchased I realized that I couldn't sell a commercial piece using someone else's horses. I thus built a second piece using all Warfare components and happily this is now available from the shop.

front the front

I was pretty content with the dirty puddle effect under the cart created using yacht varnish in a couple of layers. I painted one of the men in this version as a civilian and another as an infantryman with his coat tails unbuttoned. The loads in the carts are also slightly different.

Angry officer of Engineers - get that ramrod out!

Another iteration of 'cart-ing' is a static cart being used as a supervisory platform by an officer of engineers or artillery. Various items of siege equipment are scattered round the cart in a busy scene from behind the gun line.

Lots of things going on around the cart
An interesting twig used as a dead tree trunk

This stand alone piece can be used alone or in larger arrangements 

The officer had to have his base removed and metal pins drilled into his heels to prevent the model being accidentally knocked out of the cart. I am tempted to put one or two small items into the already busy picture such as a linstock but probably wont.

Busy action around the hoist - repairing and digging

Not content with this cart-wittery an even more ambitious piece of work involved jacking up a damaged cart under the ubiquitous artillery gin (hoist frame).  Lots going on on this base. A man is moving the new wheel to the cart.

Watch yer toes Sven!

Another is adjusting the mechanism on the hoist. A third is getting down and dirty with his wheel barrow and shovel. Numerous little items are being used in this peice and it is my favourite based on the amount of activity I have managed to crammed into an 80 x 100mm space.

Hard at work!

Am I out of patter? Not by a long chalk. What I didn't manage to get finished were two other pieces of cart-art. The first is a wagon which has toppled and shed its load with the cargo strewn across the ground and men picking through the debris. The second is an exploding cart with barrels of powder on fire and men furiously trying to dowse the conflagration.

For anyone interested in their own cart-ography you may want to look at the following Warfare Miniatures items;

WLOA904 Tumbril cart
WLOA918 Baskets, barrels, bells and sieves
WLOA925 Gun gin
WLOA926 Gabions under construction including wheel barrow and tools
SA1, SA2,SA3 Swedish Artillery crews (three sets)

Friday, February 17, 2017

Winged Hussars - a joy to behold

Ooh - look at that! Lovely work by Rob G

A little more detail about the fine unit of Winged Hussars commissioned for our 2017 show season.
The models are from Warlord. Nice sculpts with my only criticism being the fragility of the horses ankles which will in some cases undoubtedly lead to fractures if very careful handling is not undertaken at all times.

First squadron in detail

Rob Goodyer did a very fine job on these and the combination of his painting and the interesting sculpts has made for a very fine unit indeed.

First squadron opposite view

I particularly like the chap I chose as the banner bearer with his fur hat and imposing moustache.

The commander is an imposing sculpt

The bases are my standard now for Pike and Shot era cavalry - 75mm frontage by 80mm deep which allows the sense of movement to really be built into the unit.

You can feel the heft of these laddies!

The lance pennons were a bit of a fiddle and If I had had the time I would have hand painted these double sided on a single piece of paper to avoid the fiddly cutting and glue-ing of something which is fraught with cutting inaccuracy. Flag sheet was overall good though - a nice find by Bob, the company is called Battle Flag and can be found at

The preferred Swedish view whether in 1620 or 1704

The basing is now coming out consistently the way I want. If you fancy trying it here is the method:

1. Milliput the horses to the base and blend away the metal stand on the model horse. Allow to set.
2. Lightly skim the base in plaster. Leave over night.
3. Apply a coat of dark Chocolate household emulsion. Leave overnight.
4. Patch on PVA or wood glue and sprinkle with builders sand. Leave overnight.
5. Paint  sand patches with the emulsion.
6. Dry brush in a mid brown.
7. Dry brush in khaki.

Second squadron - nice trumpet banner from Rob

8. Dry brush stones in pale sand.
9. Apply ink washes under the horses to form shadows.
10. Dilute a Sepia wash and run over all sand patches.
11. Paint base edges in Olive Drab.
12. Patch PVA and sprinkle with Woodland Scenics static grass - any colour.

Another view of the second squadron

13. Dry brush static grass with Japanese uniform to get a nice effect.
14. Patch on dry brush patches of mid green.
15. Patch on stipples of light green.
16. Apply tufts to suit.
17. Dry brush some tufts.


If you ever doubted your hobby - look at these and breathe in! Feel better?

Good basing can lift average figures to a new level and excellently painted work like Rob's deserves the best you can achieve.

I think Toggy is combing the web for more Poles!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Instant Army.... well almost

Magnificent Polish Winged Hussar unit by Rob - a joy to base and flag.

Our return visit to TACTICA in 2017 merited a little extra effort and so sticking with the GNW theme that we've been developing we decided to add some Eastern spice to the mixture.

Toggy Bob did this colourful unit of Polish Cossacks - I like them a lot

With the help of Rob Goodyer whose excellent painting skills have become a new feature of our collections we were able to put together a very handsome Polish-Lithuanian/Russian force to deal with the upstarts from Uppsala! All of this in less than 4 months - 12 battalions, 14 squadrons.

What we are calling the Red Banner Pancerni - painted by Rob.

Rob painted what Toggy sent to him and when the miniatures returned over Hadrian's Wall I got busy with the basing to get the lads table ready. We decided that a single basing style would make the most impact.

What we are calling the Green Banner Pancerni - again by Rob

In amongst all this work Toggy was himself taking some time off from putting luxury foods on the plates of the world's aspiring capitalists and lifting his skillful brush to address  Foundry Polish Cossacks to join the throng. Boy did good!

Finally the Streltsi unit has its flags mounted not on the command base but on the unit stands

Before my temperamental Nikon P600 packed up on me yet again I managed to squeeze several shots of various units which will for the first time grace the table in Hamburg. I have taken enough shots of each to run a blog feature by unit together with the various bits and pieces of Swedish table dressing which has been prepared for Hamburg.

Pre production marching Russians painted as a garrison unit, Swedish models used for Command

So, this post is by way of a taster lifting the lid on many tasty morsels which will fight under the rules of Beneath the Lily Banners 3rd Edition in North Germany next Saturday and Sunday.

Russian 2nd Battalion

Come along and see us, throw some dice, enjoy the spectacle. The game is going to look rather nice!

Finally completed the way I intended Vastmanland 1st Battalion

Part of the completed large Swedish battery position

Monday, February 13, 2017

Warfare R06 Russian Musketeer ready in kartuz

Having scoured the sources for different uniform colour combinations I plumped for this off white and cherry red as an interpretation of Regiment Troitski as listed on the Tacitus website, It was merely an attempt to get away from the green-red combo typifying Russian GNW illos.

The models are very easy to paint and the unfamiliar montero style of the hat was a nice diversion from the tricorne.

The picture illustrate very well the style and anatomy of these welcome additions to the range. We had some enquiries about officers in the kartuz headgear but my understanding is that similar to the Swedes, men of rank would not have worn the same peasant style headgear as the men, preferring the tricorne.

We will release more command packs for the Russians but at the moment the mounted arm is getting some focus.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Normal Service (as such).. resumed

too much of this leads to....

This.. clearly what colleagues with iPhones are for!

Apologies for my invisibility over the past few days. Work and travel combined to make for very long and jet lagged days which kept me away from the laptop other than to deal with non emergencies.

Needless to say, in that time we've been hacked on the LoA site with I think concomitant arse-ache for anyone trying to log into the forum. I am still trying to remember my new password so that I can log in and free up everyone else's account resets. With a week at home now I will try and achieve this objective at least.

apologies for the iphone pix - a WiP shot of a new Russian battalion

quick iPhone pic - nice look for this battalion even without Colours

Tactica looms large on the horizon and Toggy, Gwen and I are all set to bring the GNW back to North Germany! (in miniature at least and hopefully that will allay any nervousness in the natives of Hamburg). This means feverish activity and more flags than we've had on the table in some time. Poles, Cossacks, Russians and Swedes meaning 50+ flags will light up the game.

Assembled Russian Grenadiers - a sculpt from the test batch of 2014

 Along with Toggy's and my own painting will be some of Rob Goodyer's super work which is currently supplementing our burgeoning GNW collection. I hope to feature every unit on the blog over the next few weeks if I get a chance to photograph them all that is.

Some updates from us here at Warfare/Wordtwister/League of Augsburg/Quindia GHQ.

Russian Grenadiers in fur trimmed mitres

Russian Infantry Command advancing

Russian Pikemen in kartuz

Warfare have been busy. We nearly got to market with the Swedish and Russian cavalry but decided we wanted to make a few tweaks before release so these boys went back into the queue. Jumping ahead of them have been several other Russian infantry models including

Musketeers in tricorne advancing
Pikemen in tricorne advancing
Command advancing
Pikemen in kartuz standing
Grenadiers in fur trimmed mitre standing
Streltsi Musketeers standing ready

I got inventive here with a limber conversion for the Russians inspired by...

20mm models from Tactica last year - limbers inspired the conversion

All of these are either released, about to be released or going to production moulding shortly. The cavalry will be hot on their heels.

Sans drapeaux... Russians for Tactica

Russian garison battlaion with rather Scandinavian officers

The Streltsi battalion - using French officers gives it a nice look

By now the Russian infantry codes number 16 (only eight less than the Swedes) and we are still going strong. More soon.

Clarence and I are back on the trail with BLB3 War of the Three Kings. Action call tonight.

I have several new pdfs written, we just need to decide where they fit in the artwork production queue.

With Clarence finally making it over to our side of the ocean we have an exciting weekender + 4 day Boy's Odyssey through the Irish Battlefields of 1689-1691 Tour planned for April.

We also hope to have some new flags for the GNW produced soon. Exciting times

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