Wars of the Roses: Henry, Henry, Henry…

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , , on March 18, 2018 by Sean


I’ve finished the commanders of the Lancastrian force for Field of Glory. It’s Henry’s, all the way down. The three leaders of the force (based on the Battle of Wakefield) are all named Henry, serving the crown of Henry IV.

The commander stands get the man himself, accompanied by a standard bearer. The banners were drawn in Illustrator and then colored with paint before attaching them to the lances of the knight. Each commander also gets a marking on the back to keep track of them in-game, a star for ‘leader’ and number to distinguish them.

The commander-in-chief is Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset. His blue/white livery is seen in an Archers and Men at Arms battlegroup, befitting the most important leader on the table. His mount has an elaborate covering, showing off Somerset’s wealth and importance. The standard is a tusked ram/antelope(?), with the gold portcullis also seen in his unit banners and uniforms. In addition to his standard bearer, he gets a herald. I like the late 15th century fashion of jacket or other clothing worn over the plate armor. Obviously this man is not expecting to get into the scrum.

The next is Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland. His red/black livery is used by one of the Archers battlegroups. He has a drummer added to his base, potentially as a means to signal his orders to his subordinates. His standard features a lion, with half moons, horn, links of chain, key, and sheathed dagger.

Last is the Duke of Exeter, Henry Holland. I kept his base simple, with just Exeter and the standard. His standard is a signal brazier, alongside sheaves of wheat(?).




In addition to the commanders, I’ve finished the army’s Mounted Men at Arms, the knights. While not the terrors of the continent, such as French or German knights,  they’re still pretty impressive on the table. The top of the pic is the battlegroup in formation to fight, since knights only fight in a single rank in-game. The stand on the far left carries the unit’s standard, a basic white flag with red St. George’s Cross, also seen on the standards of the commanders.

One problem of the models was that knights are 3 per stand on a 40mm wide base. They barely fit, and their arms and legs stick out, making lining up the stands a bit difficult. This sometimes means I have to repeat some models so they fit better.

Finally there is the last battlegroup of Men at Arms, wearing the livery of Thomas, Lord Roos. Their yellow/blue color contrasts with Roos’ standard, a red flag with white bougets, apparently a type of water skin. Despite his importance at the Battle of Wakefield, I didn’t actually depict him with a model. Presumably he’s among his men in this unit. Maybe if the army gets a fourth commander for larger games.

The army is nearly complete! All that’s left is a camp and the army’s field fortifications. Otherwise all done.



Gladiators: Round 3

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , on March 16, 2018 by Sean


The final group of the Gladiators project are done. Always good when a big group gets finished.

First up is a Dimachaerus, a heavier type of fighter with a air of swords. With him is a Velite, a light skirmishing gladiator. They would often carried javelins or sword. This one is dressed like a Gaul (or Briton?), including the wild bleached hair and Celtic-design shield. He might actually be a Gaul…

Next are the Eques gladiators, shown in a previous post. This time they’re mounted on the horses that give them their name. I matched the colors of the riders’ clothes and shields to the foot versions. Their right hands are empty for now; they will get javelins eventually.

Next, another Hoplomachus, armed with spear and shield and Grecian-style helmet and armor. The other fighter is a Scissor, a heavy armored gladiator with an enclosing helmet and odd armored blade harness over one hand. He must have been quite interesting to watch in action.

The next pic is a Retiarius, with the typical net and trident. A variant type, the Laquearius, instead wields a spear ans whip, but otherwise wears the same armor.

Finally, there are some of the officials of the sand- Referees! You never see those in the gladiator movies. Their job was to watch the fighters, using their staff to enforce the rules, separate fighters, and end the fight when either combatant called mercy or was taken out of action. The last official is known as Charon. Named after the ferryman of the dead, his job was to use his hammer on fallen gladiators to give them merciful deaths. The god mask is a nice touch, giving some theatricality to essentially the mop-up man.

All done!


Field of Glory: Men-at-Arms

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , , on March 6, 2018 by Sean


More Lancastrians arrive to fight for Henry IV! For King and Crown (until we change sides, maybe)!

I had to pause on the Lancastrian army for Field of Glory for a bit as I waited for the Litko bases to arrive. Now that they’re here, the army continues. These are some of the Dismounted Men-at-Arms and Retinue Billmen, as well as one stand of the Mounted Knights.

Following the color scheme convention of the Archer battlegroups, the Billmen have a single color scheme associated with each group. Armies in this era tended to wear the livery of their lords or cities/villages, rather than individualized heraldry of their own. I based the commander models and battlegroup colors off the forces at the Battle of Wakefield. I opted for as much variety as I could, using as many different lords as I could.

With that said, the first MAA group wears the livery of Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset. This is the same as one of the Archer battlegroups. I decided that since Somerset was the commander-in-chief of the whole force, he would have multiple groups in his colors. His blue/white scheme was offset by a variety of colors to break up the repeated poses. I painted Somerset’s banner with the portcullis and chains. A simplified version of the portcullis shows up on a few billmen’s clothes.

The other Billmen group is in the colors of Lord Clifford, another important baron on the Lancastrian side. His white and red colors certainly contrast with Somerset’s group. His banner was also hand-painted. The little marks on the chests of some of the billmen is a simplified red dragon, one of Clifford’s symbols.

Finally, here is a single stand of the Knights. They wear mostly undecorated armor, without any personal livery. Their mounts also wear heavy armor. An interesting detail of the decoration of the time was the bright colors the forces used, including coloring the hafts of their halberds, billhooks, and lances.

More to come. The force is nearly done.


Dust: Lil’ Stompy Mecha

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , on February 24, 2018 by Sean

So, I’ll been lured into starting a small force for Dust 1947, the alternate history WWII game…

After watching several games, I was enamored with the Sino-Soviet Union’s Steel Guard. These are one-man mecha/powered armor troops with weedy arms and honking big guns, piloted by quadruple amputee veterans. Heroes of the Union stomp forth to blast the foe! I love these little guys’ design. As it stands, you can field a whole army of them, so I was sold.

I picked up the Steel Guard Fire Support Squad, a three-man shooty unit. I experimented with color schemes, from realistic Russian armor green, various camouflage, even winter whitewash. In the end I went with a scheme inspired by the artist Ashley Wood, he of the Zombies vs Robots vs Amazons series of comics. His robots typically have rusted metal and chipped/peeled paint, as well as a general industrial feel.

The base color for the armor is GW Baneblade Brown. I experimented with a new painting technique using sponges to layer colors over each other. This gives a nice effect of chipped and scraped paint, reflecting battle damage and wear and tear. The chipping was done with Rhinox Hide, Rakarth Flesh, and black. The left arm plate was done with a red-orange to add some color and designate the squad on the table.

These two are the squad leader, armed with a pair of machine guns, and one member with an autogun. While they have squad numbers, they are otherwise fairly anonymous. Some of the models allow the face lid to be lifted to show the pilot, but I liked the smooth faceless quality of the armor. The leader does have a few personal touches though- a small satchel on his back, and a trophy German helmet (with nice bullet hole), both from the Bolt Action German plastic sprues.

This color scheme will be used for the rest of the force. I do plan on using some camouflage designs for the planned Sniper unit. More to come.



Gladiators: Round 2

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , on February 22, 2018 by Sean


Another group of Gladiators…

First are another perfect matchup of a secutor (with helmet, sword, and shield) and a retiarius (trident and net). The secutor here looks pretty beefy, standing resolute. The retiarius is much smaller looking, and seems to have already used his net for the fight. I did like that the model is designed to be a Numidian, including the bowl cut hair.

Next are a pair of thraeces. A thraex was armed and armored to resemble a Thracian, with a heavy helmet, small shield, and a hooked dagger resembling the Thracian rhomphaia or Dacian falx. These gladiators would often get pitted against a murmillo, recreating the fight of Thracians or Dacians versus the Roman Legions.

Next is a dimachaerus, armed with a pair of short swords or daggers. He’d also wear heavy armor, since he was seemingly all offense. This one has a nice ‘sports’ helmet with a cast face plate and hair design. Alongside him is a prisoner, armed with a simple sword. He’s still got his shackles on. He really wouldn’t have a chance though…

Next, a provocator, a classic heavy armored and well-armed champion for good fights against other provocatores or weaker foes. This one’s helmet is pretty cumbersome, and wears a metal chest plate. The other gladiator in the pic is an eques, a lightly armored horse rider type. Here he’s on foot, where hopefully his heavy helmet and shield will keep him alive.

The last pic is another murmillo, wearing the usual kit. The other fellow isn’t actually a gladiator at all. He’s a Hermes Psychopompus, one of the officials of the arena whose job was to remove the dead from the field. The getup to make him look like Hermes, who was said to guide the dead to the afterlife, might have been ironic, or in poor taste, since dead gladiators were rather unceremoniously dragged along the ground out of the gate.

There’s plenty more Gladiators to go with this commission.



Posted in Miniatures with tags , , on February 15, 2018 by Sean


I’ve picked up a random commission, this time a large grouping of Gladiators. These are from Crusader Miniatures, and have a wide selection of poses and designs. It’s been a while since I’ve done metal miniatures; I’ve forgotten the little annoyances of cleaning them. The Gladiators seem to be pretty accurate, reflecting the variety of the combatants seen in the ancient Roman arenas. These pics represent just the first grouping I’ve finished.

I allowed myself a large variety of skin tones, considering the wide area of the empire that the Romans had to get prisoners and slaves from. Most could be considered Roman, Greek, or Celts, but there are a few Nubians and Numidians scattered around. The shields of the warriors have been left blank for now; either transfers or painted designs may follow later.

Starting off we have a retiarius, armed with a net and trident. His usual match-up is with him, a secutor, armed with a sword, shield, limb armor, and heavy helmet. These two were a popular pairing, with the lighter retiarius trying to entangle the secutor (“pursuer”) who chased after him trying to overpower him before the retiarius got in a lucky stab with the trident or exhausted the heavier gladiator.

Next is a murmillo, armed like the secutor, with a sword, shield and heavy helmet. Alongside is an eques, this time on foot rather than the horse he would ride into battle.

Next is a provocator, another heavy armored warrior. His typical opponent would have been another provocator, giving the crowds a good fight. The other warrior is a hoplomachus, armed to resemble a Greek hoplite, with bronze helmet, spear, round bucker-type shield, and heavy padding on his legs and arm. He would usually fight a murmillo or thraex.

The next pic is another secutor, this time with a big round helmet rather than the flanged one the murmillo wears.

Finally are a pair of condemned prisoners, still wearing their chains. One carries a shield and the other has a knife. Often the prisoners would be chained together, having to work together to survive the arena, or at least be a challenge for their executioners. With them is a sagittarius, an archer type of figher. While they would usually be mounted on a steed for the fight, this one is on foot.

Many more to come!




Death Korps: Bring the Boom

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , on February 6, 2018 by Sean


The Death Korps of Krieg force continues…

I’ve finished a Leman Russ tank squadron for the army. The first Russ was posted earlier. This tank is a Alpha Pattern Leman Russ Vanquisher, sporting a turret with a ridiculously long cannon. This will be the squadron’s heavy hitter.

The tank got a ‘dozer blade for cleaning battlefield debris (and blocking enemy fire I assume). Like the other vehicles in the squadron, it carries the white/red/white striping and vehicle numbers, along with a few kill markings (and it being the Imperium, skulls always work for decoration). The tracks, underside, and dozer blade are spattered with mud and crud. The blade was left black (scarred as it is) to make it visually distinct from the tank itself.

Alongside the Russ comes yet another Infantry Squad of Krieg. These are Squad 4 of Diamond Platoon. So far I’ve finished Squads 4, 5, 6, and 7. This pic is eight of the members; the final two will most likely carry the squad’s heavy weapon.

The Krieg Guardsmen kits come in two attitudes- active combat, advancing or shooting, and at attention, standing straight up or weapon held relaxed. These poses are mixed in the units to allow for as much variety as possible.