samedi 30 mai 2020

Mogrin, Dwarf adventurer

Mogrin was scouting in a deep, strange forest, leading a small group of adventurers looking for a lost temple that you have stood here, right in the middle of this dark place inhabited by midges.

"A strange team, indeed" thought Mogrin. What would a honest dwarf like him have to do with such unreliable persons ? Two humans, a barbarian named Aegir ("Him at least I can understand" he thought), and a very old guy dressed like a peacock, a so-called 'wizard'... But the worse was that they were accompanied by an Elf archer, yuck! Alright, he was able to fire his arrows in the night without light, and SO WHAT!? Mogrin himself could smell orcs and goblins for hours before seeing them... by the way:

"- Beware! I can feel enemies all around us, be ready to fight!
- We, the Elves, are always ready to fight, master Mogrin, you don't need to ask...
- I, Aegir, will crush any Goblin on this earth, as far as my axe strikes!
- Don't speak too much, they're here!"

 Some nasty goblins had surrounded them, and begun to attack.

At first, the fight between the adventurers was balanced: the double axe of the Barbarian, the arrows of the Elf, the spells of the magician made enough damage to their opponents to enable Mogrin, well protected by a shield covered with magical defensive runes, to repell a cloud of ravenous but rather weak Goblins around him... until they heard a heavy, very heavy step coming from the dark of the trees: a Troll! These nasty creatures had concluded an alliance with a Troll!

What will become of our adventurers ? Are they going to get out of this forest alive ? Will they find what they were looking for ? Who knows, and who cares ?

- Wizard, Elf and Dwarf adventurers by Caesar
- Barbarian, Goblins and Troll by Dark Alliance

Although our Dwarf hero is new, the previous members of the Adventurers team have already been introduced here and there:
- A Wizard, a true star
- Aegir the Barbarian
- Galadhrim

Hope you like them :)

lundi 25 mai 2020

New recruits for the Flying Dutchman: Penrod and Old Haddy

Good evening everyone!

If this post has a fishy smell, it's not because I spent last week-end by the sea (I did not, the sea is more than 100 km from Lyon, and due to the pandemic, I can't go that far), but because the Flying Dutchman has new recruits this evening. Let me introduce you Penrod, and Old Haddy! (sounds like a pair of entertainers from the Muppet Show).

Old Haddy commonly wears a stocking cap. He is covered in mussels and fights with some sort of knuckledusters. He might even be seen as a Deep One, according to Lovecraft's description in "The Shadow over Innsmouth".

Penrod is transforming into a lobster. He has three legs, one right arm holding a broken sword and a claw instead of a left arm.

I'm not very familiar with lobsters (we have a cat at home, and no lobster), but one thing I knew for sure was that the red color of the carapace is red when cooked, but not when alive. Here you are a live lobster:

I must admit that this painting was rather challenging, and to say the truth, I'm not very happy with the result, probably because the light blue spots on the carapace are too big.

That's all for today. What do you think of them ? Your comments will be appreciated and answered, as usual :)

mardi 12 mai 2020

A pyramid in the jungle

The big thing from the cellar is ready, and I must say (for once) that I am quite happy with the result.
Today, the attraction of this blog is a scratch-built Maya pyramid (ta-daam) !

In the previous post, the pyramid was built with polystyren and painted with yellow ochre as a base color. The next stage was to lighten step by step the base color, then add some traces of vegetation - not too much, so that it could be use as an active temple and as an antique building.
Well, if I wanted to be really accurate, I should have covered the building with plaster painted mainly in red - that's what the Mayan pyramid mostly looked like when they were still in service.

You can see the result below:

The enlightement was achieved through several drybrushes (with more and more white added to the base color), except that I also add to paint a lighter line on the top of every stone - a bit long but necessary.
Adding the vegetation was easy: some green paint, green flocking and a little bit of lichen.

The most difficult was to create a scene looking like a primary forest with only a few modelling trees... see for yourself:

That pyramid is a good spot for saurus...

The last picture in cinemascope: Maya-Toltecs vs Aztec invaders.

It's my first serious attempt at building some scenery element, I think I should build a few more, what do you think ? Maybe some houses for my Vikings, or my Rohirrim :)

dimanche 10 mai 2020

Meanwhile, in the cellar...

... something big is being prepared!

A mysterious plan
Many parts needed and cut

 Big enough for Lizardmen in 28mm
Even bigger for 20mm Mayas
After glueing, the stones are drawn with a pen (the longest step)
Some sculpting on the rooftop
The painting begins - Yellow Ocre as a base
To be continued.

vendredi 8 mai 2020

Late Crusader Army complete

Good morning everyone!

Today is one of the rare moments in this hobby when I can say that an army is finished. It's been a long work once again, mainly because I didn't stay focused on the same subject very long, but here you are, my Late Crusader army for DBA and L'Art de la Guerre.

 This army list represents Crusaders from the end of the 12th century to the very beginning of the 14th. it's the list you need when you want to paint Templars, and that's what I wanted :)

Please note that I didn't follow any official army list, I built a troop with the figures I had, and most important, the figures I wished to paint.

Though not based, the figures can be seen as 13 elements. Let's have a look at each element, starting with the most vulnerable.

  • Maronite and Syrian archers - 2 elements

Left to right: 2 Hät figures (El Cid Andalusian infantry), 1 Italeri (Saracens), 1 Orion (Byzantine infantry 10th-13th)

These archers have already been photographed in 2018, you can find the related post here.
They will be used as light infantry with bows. You will notice that one of the previous archers has been replace by a new one on the far right of the picture - I needed another man with a composite bow instead of an ordinary bow (in case you're worrying, no, the previous archer has not been deleted, he will be in use in another unit some day :)).

  • Crossbowmen - 1 element

Left to right: Zvezda (Livonian Knights with head swap), Italeri (Crusaders) with head swap, Accurate (HYW English) and Zvezda (Livonian)

To say the truth, I need at least two elements, but I can't find my Strelets Medevial crossbowmen set in the cellar, maybe I've never bought it! This unit was first designed to be part of a Teutonic knights army, but that project was delayed, so...

  • Templar Foot Sergeants - 3 elements
All Strelets (Military Order Warriors)
3 elements of heavy foot soldiers, painted as Templar sergeants. Most of them have a dark grey coat of arms, but not all, I wanted them not to be too uniformed. The rectangular shields looked strange to my eyes, I couldn't find any illustration with that sort of weapon, so I cut them to have triangular forms. 4 of them have already been displayed here.

  •  Turcopoles - 1 element
Strelets figures (Turcopoles)
The Turcopoles were light cavalry equipped mainly with bows - one element needed.

  •  Bedouin Light Horse - 1 element

Hät figures (Andalusian Light Cavalry)
 The other Auxiliary cavalry unit is composed of Bedouins. I chose to represent them without bows this time.

  •  Templar Knights - 2 elements
Italeri figures (Templars)
 The Templar knights form the bulk of my Crusader army, so I painted 2 units of Templar Knights, and I wish to add more in the future - every medieval wargamer wants to have as many knights as possible.+Some of them were painted as early as 2017, see here, in a fight against Ghulams.

Regarding accuracy, the armor of these men, particularly the helmets, are a mix of 12th and 13th century fashion - let's say that I have an early 13th century band of knights, some of them being conservative. So I have an early Late Crusader army :)

  • Hospitaler Knights - 1 element

Some more Italeri knights
When you're a bit fed up with white knights, why don't you try to paint some black? That's the magic of the military orders. Not that easy to paint, and the picture above doesn't show much. I chose black and not red, because the helmets and kite shields refer to the early period.

  • Crusader knights - 1 element

Italeri figures (Crusaders)
 All knights were far from all being military order knights, and it's good to use some color when you don't want to paint them white, nor black.

Now that makes 12 elements. I also wanted a command element

  • General

Left to right: Hät (El Cid Spanish command), Valdemar, Hät (El Cid Spanish command)
 To identify these guys as a General, I needed an impressive commander (probably reading prayers, which must not be very easy on a battlefield), a holy man (yes the others are holy too, and yes, a Franciscan among Templars is probably a bit strange, but it was cool to paint) and a banner - Red cross on white (croix de gueules sur champ d'argent) is probably a cliché but I think it works well.

A few more (messy) pictures:

Hope it was worth the wait :)

dimanche 3 mai 2020

Pirates of the Caribbean: skirmish on the dock

Hi everyone!

My Flying Dutchman crew needed to raid, they found a small coastal town with a dock, and even opponents to fight against. Come on, the battle begins!

1. Skirmish on the dock

2.The Making of

First of all, let me introduce you the two teams. I've already painted a small group of Zombie pirates, three crewmen of the Flying Dutchman, from left to right:
- Palifico, whose head is covered with coral
- Maccus, first mate of Davy Jones
- Hadras, already presented here.

I also added a zombie pirate, though he should be crewman on the Black Pearl. All Mars minis.

To defend the dock (and the city), a few mariners took their poor weapons and tried to stand before the horrible crew. They are Hät minis, from mini set #8325 British Marines and Fighting Sailors.

What about the dock ? No, not scratchbuilt alas. It's a piece of scenery I bought once in a local shop - just needed to paint it. It is designed for 28mm figures, but I thought it might be ok for 1/72 figures. Ok, the crates and coffer are a bit too large, but I think it works well enough.

And what about the sea ? My first idea was to paint some piece of paper to represent water, waves and maybe the coast, and I think I will do something like that one of these days, but it will take days before it is over, and I wanted to take pictures today (first day without rain for at least one week), so I needed something ready to use. Mrs Philotep (nicknamed NeferCaro on this blog :)) proposed me some blue crepe paper. Nothing extraordinary, but good enough. The first pictures looked like that:

Nice but really flat. Then she went to the kitchen and came back with some plastic film. A layer of plastic over the blue paper, and this was it:

Brilliant, isn't it ? It is maybe a common trick for miniature sceneries, but I didn't know it, so Mrs Philotep takes credit for this very good idea!

Last thing (see the edit below), I changed the color of the sea to turquoise with my computer, and there you are:

Hope you like them all, even the ugliest ones :)

Edit: I just found a way to replace the blue of the sea by some turquoise, which is much more realistic, so I've replaced all the pictures in this post.