Friday, September 24, 2021

The Lockdown Follies cont'd...

 Last month it was doing all the fantasy figures (farewell to my old LotR and a GoT commission) whilst in lockdown this year. After a brief interlude the *#%$ing Covid lockdown has extended curtailing all meetings and games although resulting in a corresponding range of projects being completed.  Some have been hanging around for years and now finally getting attention. 

That said the one that I was really enthused by was the more recently acquired Empress Miniatures Model T Ford scout with de-mountable HMG & crew. It is a really superb model of the first Ford truck with beautifully sculpted figures which come in several sets to enable multiple choices in your model set-up. Here it is all based up and good to go. Note that the NCO figure with the binoculars is a conversion of another Empress 'Jazz Age' figure using a Woodbine head, the actual crew consists of the two MG and the driver. 

Historically these scouting vehicles were introduced in the Palestine campaign in the Middle East in early 1917 and operated mainly by the Australian Light Horse as well as the British Yeomanry. Despite the mechanical difficulties of maintaining these machines in such a hostile desert environment they were remarkably effective - the Turks had no real answer to them. By the end of the war ALH Model T scouts were the furthest advanced of any Allied unit ending up in Aleppo, northern Syria just next to the Ottoman Turkish border. 

I was so impressed with how it eventually turned out (although fairly simple the Ford was a tricky build - and getting the MG and crew to fit together involved much superglue and bad language!) that I have acquired another (from my great kids for Fathers Day!) I'm in the process of doing it up now - after commission work that is. This Model T was (unbelievably) more of a challenge to build than the first one but here's what it looks like ready for paint:

Amongst the figures I've painted are a number of Revolutionary and Napoleonics I've had left over or waiting around (sometimes for years) for paint. These included some Trent French Revolution figures in tricorne for my French-in-Egypt army. Although many are in Kleber uniforms unique to the Egyptian campaign, the idea is to have a number of units in early Nap/Revolutionary kit that can also be used to fight in northern Italy etc. Note: Trent are a terrific range of figures who appear to have been bought out by Warlord and are now marketed by Skytrex. If you're into French Revolution or early Napoleonics these are definitely worth considering. 

As you recall from a previous post - they match in (ie. same make) as these guys:

Nicely animated and some fierce expressions! They also compare well and mix with other makes like Front Rank and Elite, speaking of which I happened to have an Austrian 'German' unit hanging around for years primed and ready for paint. So they too got the treatment! 

Lastly was this (old Perry?) figure of Marshal Ney - quite a challenge as it was in a very dilapidated condition. I tried to remove it for another base but no go - it was glued fast and in real danger of snapping off at the fetlocks! So with a bit of cutting back and pinning (cunningly disguised!) plus a good repaint the Marshal has been given a new breath of life on the wargaming table! 

I've been more productive than anticipated despite health concerns including a back injury that has limited the time spent at the painting desk. I've got to maintain my 5km walk per day too which means NOT risking the progress I'm making (oh so gradually!) by staying up hours every other night painting! Nonetheless I've managed all the above and a few odds and sods over the last six-eight weeks. 

Amongst the latest of these are the following Franco-Prussian War Bavarians. These are some of the original Perry's sculpts they did for Foundry back in the day (which was forty odd years ago!) - I have complete armies of them - but these Bavarians, like the Front Rank Austrians, have been waiting for years to be painted. I'd forgotten what lovely figures they are and found a regt. of Kuirassier to go with them (which still remain to be done). All of this was inspired by the recent release of the Perry's FPW range, particularly the boxes of Prussians. I'm hoping the commission work will fund a few boxes of them for skirmish games but I'm also eagerly awaiting their release of the French in plastic, hopefully this year. Meanwhile I've painted and based up the Bavarians as per my other FPW figures three to a 60 x 30mm base. 

Most of my commissioned work thus far (some lovely Calpe Saxons at the moment) are to pay for a unit of mounted Perry's Bashi Bazouks and some wonderful WWI French Hussars all of which will also need a good repaint. Until next time. 


PS: As usual feel free to comment!

Monday, August 16, 2021

Fantasy response to the Covid blues and some Spahi!

 We've not even made it to the end of a week of a snap lockdown when another two weeks have been announced. Great. 

On the plus side it does give me an opportunity to catch up on some of the things I've actually enjoyed since the last posting back in June(!) The first of these is a bit of an unusual commission for a mate with a horde of Game of Throne figures. Not sure of the make - I think think they might have come with a set of rules or game based on GoT. No matter - they are very nice sculpts and good quality HD plastic 30mm 'heroic' scale figures. The first lot I did were House Bolton Blackguard with a Dread Tower officer, champion and an appropriately gruesome 'Flayed Man' House Bolton banner. 

Happy with the result I then got stuck into the other R'Lhor militia types with their mysterious red 'Lord of Light' fire god priests from Mereen. This was a bit more of a challenge, particularly the priests with the figures reflecting their manifestation of fire etc. And all in red too! For the militia types I though more Robin Hood and his merry men hiding in the woods would look appropriate. 

 I have to say this came as a surprise to my mate Peter who had the R'Lhor(?) flaming sword, woodsmen types and priests (the male I'm told was just a Mereen noble figure - but he looks more the part as a priest!) and left it to me to come up with something.  The R'Lhor flaming heart symbol on the bannerman pretty much decided the choice. I'm also told the bloke with the eye-patch is NOT their frequently resurrected knight leader just some random - well not anymore with his remaining 'good eye' fixed on the curvaceous Red Priestess! Great balls of fire! (as someone once said). Enough of this frivolity!

While we're on a fantasy jag I finally decided to sell my Lord of the Rings armies collected (and painted) nearly twenty (!) years ago! 

Originally collected for my youngest (now in his twenties!) who showed no interest at all in them, they have at least gone to a good home and better yet, have seen plenty of action on a weekend with a mate's teen son and his friends. Hundreds of LotR figures with trolls and Rohim etc etc. Great stuff! 

'Bam Bam' the Troll

There are of course plenty of terrifying Uruk Hai and Warg riders as well as the usual orcs. All the figures are those sculpted by Alan and Michael Perry for the LotR franchise after Peter Jackson's films. 

Dismounted Witch King - so where's me bleedin' Nazgul then!?!

 Naturally my 'real' work has continued apace and I'm getting ever closer to complete sets of protagonist units for the WWII 1941 Syria and Lebanon campaign. The latest included my completion of some US Askari figures - mounted North African Spahi. While the horses aren't the greatest sculpts the figures themselves are quite OK. More importantly they fill a niche - having every type of colonial type figure imaginable AND very reasonably priced. I have to also give a shout out to their service as the figures arrived in Australia from Colorado USA in about three weeks - a record for the usually expensive and glacially slow US Postal Service! So - well done and thanks Askari!

Coming both mounted and dismounted, led by French officers (all FFL figures) I've done them in their 'campaign' dress rather than the traditional rather bright colours. They could also be Circassians as the French had some 5,000(!) of these 'native' colonial cavalry both mounted and in trucks. Ironically the Circassians were one of the very few (and not even all of them) defecting to the Allied side. They work well I think and a perfect opposition to my British Yeomanry. The next unit I want is the Vichy version of the FFL - so all in kepi/Adrian helmet and no Brit kit! - and a Rubicon Renault R35 light tank. But having just ordered an ANZAC Model T Ford scout from Empress I may have to wait until my finances recover and/or another painting commission rolls in!