samedi 21 octobre 2023

Orctober: Boar Rider

 Hi everyone!

This is Orctober, and I wanted to paint at least one Orc this year, unlike last year when I was completely out of the hobby.

Some years ago, I bought a box of Mantic Gore Riders for Kings of War. I liked these figs, and wanted to paint them fast for a game, but I was rather disappointed when I discovered that the boars were not easy to assemble - the parts didn't join very well, which meant that some green stuff was required to get a decent result, and I'm far from comfortable with that activity. Moreover, I didn't like the heads of the riders that I found too small, hence the box found a place on the shelves and that was all.

Probably due to the last post (Pigs at Risk!!), I reopened the box and decided to give it another try. I lately acquired a box of Warlord Games Orcs, in which you can find extra heads on each sprue. I chose one for my test figure in order to give him a darker look (you will tell me if you agree). I then assembled both rider and boar, added some green stuff to fill the gaps (I'm still not good at that, but with experience, it is slowly getting acceptable), and painted them with the color scheme I use for my 28mm Orc army - here is a link to the post introducing my work on the Green Horde.

And here you are the result:

An Orc from the Green Horde has a green skin, nothing original :) The armor is mainly composed of rusty steel parts, with a few bronze (with verdigris) elements. The shield is black with a Red Eye symbol, just like the rest of the army. 

Some close-up pictures to have a better look at the weathering:

The silhouette has something of Don Quixote, don't you think ? On the picture below, he has to hide his face from the rising sun.

Hope you like this slightly converted figure. Still nine riders to assemble.
Maybe some more Orcs before the end of the month!

samedi 14 octobre 2023

Pigs at Risk!!

 After the summer hiatus (no new post since July, but a lot of painting as you'll see in the future), something new at last, and a bit different from my usual warbands.

Thanks to fellow forumers at Benno's, I've recently discovered a MDF buildings manufacturer called Blotz, with an interesting 20mm range - which is rather rare since I only new one so far. Among other things, They propose a Dark Age houses series, which should be great with Viking, medieval or even Fantasy figures. 

I assembled and painted the first buildings a few weeks ago. Then I searched my figures collection and found a few peasants, farm animals and medieval soldiers, so that today, I can show you the last Philotep's production, in Mini-o-rama: 


Let's start with the beginning... A long time ago, in a small village somewhere in Europe, lived a poor farmer with his wife. They had two grown-up sons, almost men, a precious manpower for the farm's work. They lived all together in a tiny but nice thatched house, and were fortunate enough to owe a few pigs.

One morning, they were alerted by the unusal noise of the pigs. - What's happening ? said one boy to the other - Let's have a look, answered the other. They went out in the courtyard to discover that some brigands were just robbing the pigs! And the men looked dangerous - probably some mercenaries looking for food.

 Too bad their dog had just died, he would have warned them earlier.

(technical comment: the truth is that I have not painted any dog figure yet, I will put one on my todo list, I promise)

- Dad, dad, help! shouted the younger boy, they're trying to get into the storehouse, I won't be able to defend it alone!

Fortunately, the farmer was working in a field near the house, and he was back very soon, ready to engage the looters himself.


The mercenaries were fierce, but the farmer much stronger, and his sons courageous. Step by step, the looters were losing ground. Taking benefit of the thieves' distraction, the stolen pig turned back and run straight into its pig pen. At this sight, the armed men lost their motivation and started to retreat, not without insulting the farmers and the pigs.

- They might return, said the farmer's wife, more of them, hungry and dangerous. But for today, I am very proud of you all.

And so we leave the whole family in their small farm, in a happy end this time.

Will the mercenaries return ? How many of them ? Will there still be some pigs, or will they have been all eaten ? And what about the dog ?

You will find answers to all this questions and many more one day in the next episode: The pigs at risk 2!! (or not).

Oh, credits:

- farmers by Strelets, Valdemar and Zvezda

- farmer's wife by Hät

- looters by Orion, Strelets and Accurate

- pigs by Pegasus

- buildings by Blotz

All pigs used in this story have not been harmed. You may have noticed that I didn't paint them pink - not because they are dirty, but because the actual pink pigs that we see today are the result of crossings between european and asian pigs that started during the 18th century. The medieval pigs were probably darker, grey brown or black (source: Michel Pastoureau in Libération, 2018).

lundi 24 juillet 2023

DBA Early Germans

 As announced in the previous post related to the Early Imperial Romans, the Early Germans are on the warpath too, and now ready to contest the battlefield with the Romans.

The army is composed of 12 elements, in accordance with the DBA rules. I've tried to mix as many sets as possible to get a 'warband' effect. The figures come from 8 sets from 6 different manufacturers: ESCI, Revell, Hät, Caesar, Strelets and Linear-A.

The bases have been made with the same method as for the Romans.

The Early Germans army is mainly a Warband that gather warriors from one particular tribe or from a confederation. No less than 9 Warband elements here:

Some close-ups on two of them, the first is the General (3 Caesar figures + a chieftain with his blue plaid by Linear-A):

Then we have an elements of archers as Psiloi:

And last, two elements of cavalry, one heavy and one light:

Now that the basing method has been validated with the Romans, it proved much faster to base another army, and still fun to do.

Hope you like them :) Tell me if you prefer the Roman Empire or the Germans !

mardi 18 juillet 2023

DBA Early Imperial Roman Army complete and based

 Sometimes, one of my never ending projects comes to an end. Today, ladies and gentlemen, I have the pleasure to announce you that my 12 elements Early Imperial Roman (EIR) army for DBA is complete. All necessary figures are painted, and more, what can be seen as a milestone event is that all figures are based, YES, ladies and gentlemen, and I prove it right now:

Aren't they nice when they are properly arrayed on the battlefield ? You can see that there are 12 elements - heavy infantry of course, with auxiliaries, cavalry and even some artillery.

Let's have a look et each unit.

First of them, the prestigious legionaries. These 3 elements are all part of  Legio XXI Rapax. All figures by Strelets, except for the centurio, slightly converted ESCI figure.

The next two elements are from a legion that I can't identify. Note that the pattern on the shields is different between both - it was engraved on the shields of the back element, which gives you no choice, but I love these old dear ESCI figures, and wanted to incorporate some in my army.

Now we have a look at auxiliaries. My documentation (WRG) says that the pattern on the shields is that of a foot auxiliary unit, but I don't know which one. Strelets figures.

Next we have the auxiliary archers. The would be best employed on eastern fronts (where they come from), but I like this figures, a mix of Hät and Airfix.

Now we go on with the cavalry units. First, we have a look at Numidian warriors, running through the flowers. Figures by Zvezda.

You can see next Roman Horse Auxiliary, maybe of Celtic origin, riding to fight against their Germanic enemies.

And last, a roman Scorpio. The DBA list allows to have one, which is fun, but I suppose that it was mostly used during sieges than on an open battlefield.

And a last family picture to conclude.

You may wonder why it took me so long to base these figures (some of them were painted for years).

Several reasons:

- I needed to wait until every figure was painted, so that I can make the same sort of bases for all

- I needed something better than my old cardboard that proved fragile in time - the MDF bases are really great, I recommend them

- I thought it would be very boring... and I was wrong. To say the truth, I really enjoyed it, and the flowers are a must :). And I think that the Germanic tribes will soon be based too.

Hope you like them, as always.

mardi 11 juillet 2023

Nordic mythology

 We're still in a heat wave here in south-eastern France, so I will keep on displaying winter scenes to cool my mind, if not my body.

If you are a regular visitor of this blog, you may have noticed that I am interested in mythologies from all around the world. Among many projects, I wish to paint mythological armies for HOTT, which allows me to use historical and Fantasy figures together. 

The first 1/72 Fantasy figures appeared on the market in 2007, originally made by Caesar and related to Heroic Fantasy. The first batch consisted of 6 sets: Dwarves, Elves, Undead, Adventurers, Goblins and Orcs. They were soon followed by another Manufacturer called Dark Alliance (or maybe Alliance, since we have the dark and the light sides) who produced their first Orcs in 2009. Their main source of inspiration was the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, so Heroic Fantasy once again.

Alliance proved to be the most prolific manufacturer. Most of the range is related to the Middle Earth, but they also produced unexpected sets related to Greek and Egyptian mythologies: Centaurs, Minotaurs, Cyclops, Amazons, Mummies, Anubites. These new sets gave me the idea to create three armies inspired by a video game, Age of Mythology. But how to represent the Viking army without dedicated mythologic sets ?

The answer is simple: most mythological creatures are bigger than humans, they can even have the size of a monster. And to find big creatures is very easy: you just have to look at 28mm figures ranges. And for other creatures, you must remember that Heroic Fantasy such as Tolkien's opus is inspired by Nordic mythology.

And here we are the result, in Cinemascope :)

All right, what do we have here ?


Two frost giants, always attractive (for painters) with a blue skin. The right one was painted several years ago as you can see in this post. The left one was painted last year. As the previous one, it is a soft plastic figure from a boardgame called Zombicide: Black Plague.

You know what? Painting 32mm figures (ie big 28mm) is much easier than 1/72 - it depends on the quality you want to get, of course :)

I've also painted a representation of Fenrir as a giant black wolf. In the Norse mythology, Fenrir is one of the children of Loki, and it is foretold that he will kill Odin during the Ragnarok, the battle at the end of time. There are several wolves in 28mm figure ranges, and I've chosen one among the first boardgames I offered to my children, Dungeons and Dragons (see a description of this game here).

Not the biggest of the Wolves, but good enough on a wargame table.

Last figures, more classical: three dwarves (some Nibelungen ?) from the Caesar set.

As a conclusion, I could say that, together with my DBA Viking army, I have enough figures to create a 12 elements warband for HOTT. But it is always possible to add figures for more options, and I've planned to paint the followings one day or another:

- Valkyries on horse ("Modern" Amazons by Dark Alliance)

- Bersekrs (various vikings and germanic warriors with wearing wolfskins)

And of course, I need to base them all :)

samedi 8 juillet 2023

Conan the Cimmerian and other Barbarians

 Somewhere in the cold lands of the north, a group of Barbarians from various people emerges from the forest. They must have spotted a traveller's camp, so they are ready to attack them. They are led by a man of black hair and tanned skin, a Cimmerian named Conan.

Maybe you think that it is a strange idea to display a winter scene in July, during a heat wave episode here. It must be an empiric way to feel cooler while watching plastic snow on pictures :D But to say the truth, the heat of the computer will produce the exact opposite.

Well, back to Conan and the Barbarians. Conan looks like he just came back from holiday in Aquilonia, as he looks more tanned than his fellows (except for the guy on the far right who has a darker skin). 

I've tried to give them a boreal look, with mainly white bears furs, and a different hair color for each of them. So a motley boreal crew.


Conan is a Caesar figure from the now very rare Adventurers set. Since he is very simply clad, the painting is all about bringing out the muscles.


The others come from 2 sets (72027 & 72028) of Cimmerians by Dark Alliance. Beautiful figures, but a lot of flash unfortunately - as a closer look on the figures reveals. Skin, fur, metal and hair are all you need to represent fierce Barbarians that fear nothing, not even the cold.

The generic Barbarians are really versatile. They can also be used to represent marauders in Warhammer, or the free people from beyond the wall in Westeros. And for those among you who have played Confrontation by Rackham, it is possible to represent Kelt of the Sessair and Drune clans - the last figure above being one of the latter.

Let's take a closer look.


You will find below a picture of one of the Rackham Drunes figures (35mm), which inspired my color scheme.

Hope you like them :)