dimanche 31 décembre 2023

2023 Review - I've painted a bit more than previously shown

 Hi everyone!

Each end of the year, I say to myself that I should/will write a review and announce projects for the future... and never do it. Why not ? I see several good, or bad, reasons:

- so many people write a review, why another ?

- it's not something to write in February or March

- it sounds too much like office work

- it's boring to read, I prefer to look at painted minis

- it will only reveal that all my projects are late!!!

Does it sound familiar to some of you ? Nevertheless, it would be great to write such a report at least once, and insert pictures of never displayed-so-far figures, and prove that this year, I've upgraded my painter status from SLOW to REASONABLY SLOW. Oh yes, that would be great, so let's go.

2023 Review - a year of painting minis


For the first time since I've been in the hobby, I've been painting more than 200 minis and scenery elements in a year - compared with less than 100 in 2022, and an average number around 120 during the five previous years.

Figures 199
Scenery Elements 4
Total 203

Most of the scenery elements are on display in this post: Pigs at Risk!!.

 But what about the minis ? What period, what size, for what purpose?


1. Size

Let's start with the size. The title of this blog claims that it is mostly dedicated to 1/72 figures, but the last posts were all related to 28mm - maybe a new direction for the future ? Let's count what was painted and take time to analyze.

1/72 figures 152
28mm figures 47
Total 199

75% of the painted minis are in 1/72 scale, so I can still say that the One True Scale remains my first area of interest. The ratio between the two scales was the same last year, but 2022 and 2023 have seen a change compared to the previous years when 1/72 figures represented up to 90% of the painted minis. The main reason is that, last year, I could convince my son to give Kings of War a try, and so reuse his old Warhammer Undead figures against my much older Orcs that you have seen in the previous posts. These Orcs represent almost 75% of the 28mm paintjob in 2023.

2. Historical vs Fantasy vs SF

Historical Fantasy SF
118 78 3
59 % 39 % 2 %

 Still more historical than Fantasy figures - SF is more casual, only a few Star Wars figures for Empire Assault, and you can see them here:

The Empire and its Associates wish you a Happy New Year!


A very representative year actually, since you'll find the very same proportions if you count the posts of this blog by period (on the left panel of this blog, web version):

I would have thought that the time dedicated to painting 28mm Orcs would increase the Fantasy digits, but no. On the other hand, painting a 28mm mini is longer than a 1/72 one :)


3. Historical periods

All historical figures I paint are exclusively 1/72, we now count them by period:

Ancients 25 21 %
Medieval 15 13 %
Napoleonics 76 32 %
Others 2 2 %
Total 118 100 %

That's very unusual: I've painted way more Napoleonics than the previous year, and displayed none on
the blog so far. Actually, I didn't show any of the historical figures painted this year, except for the 2 medieval pigs in Pigs at Risk!! :D

That's something I want to make up right now, here you are some of them:

Enguerrand, Templar Knight, wishes you a Heavenly New Year

The Dragoons of the 12th regiment wish you another Sun of Austerlitz

Aymé, simple soldier in the Régiment du Lyonnais, wishes everybody a pair of dry socks

4. And the projects... ?

Some good news, and some not so good. The good news:

- My DBA Early German and Imperial Roman armies are based and ready for action

- the first step of restoration of my old 28mm Orcs army is done - still enough figures for the next two years. I don't want, and I can't be faster, I won't paint green monsters every day.

- the pile of WIP figures has clearly diminished, since I forced myself to finish some minis that were on my desk for years. Reduction from 50 to 10, including many Celts that I should show you one of these days.

The not so good news:

- My Mythologic armies are in the same condition as at the start of the year - except for the Mythologic Greeks who count now 5 minotaurs and 3 more Amazons

- nothing new concerning Ostland since the beginning of the year, idem for Conan

- 4 more archers for my DBA HYW English are not enough

5. Conclusion

As you all know already, I am not a mono-project guy. I don't like to paint several times the same uniform, and even less the same mini (Napoleonic battalions are a real pain), but I like the result, so I keep on painting for several parallel projects, and switching from the one to the other according to my mood. And of course, dear readers, your own projects are always a temptation to copy!

But a hobby is not a job: I paint what I want, when I want to, and fortunately I'm most of the time happy with the result. 

Hope you didn't find all this too boring. We're at the end of this post, and it is time to wish you all a happy new year !!

samedi 23 décembre 2023

The Green Horde: a Regiment of Orc Warriors

 It's time to show my biggest unit so far, a regiment of 20 warriors.

This time, one of these 20 figures is a plastic one by Warlord Games. The others  are a mix of Alternative Armies, Citadel, Grenadier, Old Glory and Ral Partha. 

 Let's have a closer look on some of them. The first on display is a Gargantua Orc(z) by Ral Partha, a series I've only discovered this year. Slightly biggest than the others, but perfect the way I imagine Orcs.

The next is an Old Glory figure.

The following Orc is probably more difficult to identify. It was made by a french manufacturer called Armageddon, but I couldn't find anything about this company on the net (Armageddon is not the most selective search criteria, whatever the search engine). The only element I have is an article about these figures in a famous french magazine, Casus Belli in 1992, here you are:

And my version, rather similar:


Next figure is a well-known Hobgoblin from the Chronicle range:

The following Orc is what I believe to be a Grenadier Orc or Goblin, not by Nick Lund? Or a Metal Magic figure? To be verified. I'm just sure that I bought him in the mid-90s. Once again, I ask the community for more info, please.

EDIT: Problem solved, it is a Grenadier figure by John Dennett, thank you Eric and Hobgoblin on LAF.

The last of this gallery of portraits is a Citadel Orc, 1984 or 85.



A last picture of the leader of the unit to conclude this post.



What do you think of them ? 

No new unit tomorrow as I'm off to see my family for a few days, so let me wish you a Merry Christmas :)

vendredi 22 décembre 2023

The Green Horde: Heavy Wolf Riders

 Good evening all of you.

After yesterday's archers, it's time to show you another unit of the Green Horde, a troop of Heavy Wolf Riders.

As for the other units, there's a mix of several manufacturers here:

- 2 Orcs (#3 and #4 from left to right) and 3 wolves by Grenadier

- 2 Orcs (#1 and #5) by Old Glory

- 1 Orc by Alternative Armies (#2)

- 2 Wolves by RAFM

As usual, a closer look:

This mini was made by Grenadier (and by Mirliton nowadays). It was sculpted by Nick Lund and designed for his Fantasy Warriors game.

Next one looks very dynamic, and deserved a larger wolf than his own since he has been recruited in a heavy cav unit (have a look at the 3rd picture below), so he exchanged his mount with a Grenadier Wolf:

You will have noticed that I also changed his shield for a plastic one, coming from GW's skeleton warriors.

The next one is the leader of the pack, a Grenadier Orc named Takka the Head Cutter, and he looks fierce:

 The scholars among you know that I replaced the original banner attached on his back - here you are a picture of the original figure below:

Two reasons for this small conversion:

- the original banner was missing when I bought this figure

- even if I had it, I found it too massive

The missing part was then replaced by an element from GW's Flagellants, an excuse to add some more skulls on the mini, and to paint a banner in the color of the army.

Tough those minis have all been designed in the 80s/90s, it is still possible to buy them online -the plastic parts would know be the most difficult elements to find :)

Of course I have plans for next year: add 5 more heavy riders (work in progress) and a unit of 5 archers on wolves (work in progress too).

Hope you like them. So, when do you dive into Old school Orc miniatures ?

See you tomorrow for the next unit.

jeudi 21 décembre 2023

The Green Horde: a Troop of Archers

 Hi everyone! Nearly the end of the year: a few days of vacation, time to paint figures and finish as many units as possible. And I've painted enough for at least 3 posts in 2023, so let's go.

In the last post (in October, 2 months ago, I promised more Orcs before the end of the month. Though I didn't show anything since that day, I've been painting a lot, but I'm always waiting to have painted units before basing - a step in the process that was done this morning only. Today, we have a look at another complete unit of the Green Horde (the project has been explained in this post) - a troop of archers.

They are all based on 25mm square bases and grouped on a movement tray. They form a Troop according to the Kings of War rules - please note that the basing is compatible with Oathmark (which I intend to test one of these days).

 As the rest of the army, the archers troop is composed of metal figures that I have bought over the ages, from the 80's to now. And if you're a regular reader of this blog, you know that one of my biggest pleasures is to mix figures from various manufacturers. Here you have:

- 5 Grenadier figures

- 3 Old Glory figures

- 1 Ral Partha (?) figure

 - 1 Citadel figure

Let's have a look at the latter one. I bought this Orc in 1984 in order to use it in a AD&D campaign, and I painted him with Humbrol paints (no shadows and no highlights in this Dark Age). He has received this week a new skin made of acrylic.The upper part of the bow was broken and lost, had to replace it with plastic (from the GW Empire archers).



The next one is a Ral Partha figure, probably bought at the end of the 80's or very early 90's if I remember well. The sculptor is Bob Olley (and not Kev Adams as I first thought).


I've spent some time watching old catalogues to confirm the manufacturer (and sculptor), but I couldn't find him (them) - could anyone help me on my identification quest ? :)

EDIT: Hobgoblin from the LAF forum has given me the answer, it is a Ral Partha figure indeed.

The next one is a much more common figure by Grenadier (it is still possible to buy them online since Mirliton has bought the moulds and is still producing the range), sculpture by Nick Lund.

Much more common also means that I have several copies of the same mini in my Horde - which is an exception so far.

Some close-ups of some figures inside the unit to conclude this post:

Hope you like them all, old and new! Tomorrow I'll post pictures of my Wolf Riders unit - stay tuned :)