Monday, August 19, 2019

Some painted 28mm Knight Models Harry Potter miniatures!

Hi all!

Okay, first off, it's been a LONG time since I posted!  Sorry, been a VERY busy summer!

But I'm still doing toy soldier stuff... and most recently, post-6mm-Vikings, I've been trying out the Knight Models Harry Potter miniatures!

Overall I am very happy with them.  I can't do them justice like the examples from the company (those are INSANE) but they are still good.  I originally did try to do eyes on them, but it just didn't work... the eyes made them too clearly NOT the actors, if that makes sense?  The weakest is my Umbridge... she was hard to get right, and the pinks weren't ideal

Anyway, here are some of them.  I AM wondering... do I do the black around the bottoms in gloss, or matte?  Snape is in gloss, the rest are matte.  Thoughts?

I've got a bunch more to do.  I am a bit annoyed, though... you can only get Harry, Ron, and Hermoine by buying the super expensive game, and I don't want to buy it:(  Plus, I don't love the Hermoine sculpt... she is all floating and ethereal, and if there is any character in Harry Potter who is grounded, it is Ms Granger.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

A BUNCH of painted Baccus 6mm Vikings, including casualty bases!

Hey all!

Well, although I haven't posted in a short bit, I HAVE been doing a little bit of painting, in between chores and taking care of kids and the rest!

So I tackled a few projects.  

First was a few more units of standard 6mm vikings.

I also did up the last part of my original plan for my vikings... namely, casualty bases!

I don't have a game for these yet, but in my head I imagined being able to track casualties per base using a small die.  The idea was that, when a base was finally wiped out, you would replace it with a base of dead guys.  So here are some of them!

At the very top of the blog post you can see a few units that have some casualty bases scattered into them.  Right above here is a full unit of dead... not that I imagine this happening in a game, but I wanted people to get a look at them!  They are SMALL, but I think they still look good.

I also did up a command base.  It is basically two bases glued together, with a dice holder at the back.  I also made it a little bit of a hill, so it would be particularly noticeable.  I used the Microworld Odin figure as the general (and repainted the one I had put in a unit a little, to make that one less Odin-like.)  There are shield armed vikings on the ends of the stand, so that when it is in the midst of a unit (like it is in the photo above) the shieldwall continues onto the command stand.

And here are all of the finished units so far!

Anyway... comments or thoughts MORE than welcome!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Another unit of 6mm Vikings painted!

Well, I got another unit of 6mm Baccus Vikings all painted up!

They paint up VERY quickly... a few hours and they are done.  At this tiny scale they don't look great up close for the most part, but man, from two feet away they look AWESOME.  Again, they are all on individual stands, so I can always change up the unit when I want to.

The highlight of this unit actually isn't from Baccus... it is the commanders, from Microworld!  In this case, it is Odin himself leading the men!  You can see him in the front, with the white beard, with Gungnir in his hand and Huginn and Muninn on his shoulders. The miniatures are REALLY well detailed and beautiful... much nicer, I must say, than the Baccus figures.  I've got a few more... can't wait to get them painted up!

Monday, May 13, 2019

My newest addition to the House of War... a great French Shako from Shakos GBL!

Hi all!

Well, lucky me, I've managed to add yet another fantastically cool piece to the House of War!

If you reading this blog, you'll know that I am obviously a big fan of the Napoleonic wars.  I've long felt that I needed to add a shako to the collection, although I was unsure WHICH... I considered a 95th Rifles shako, but it is a bit plain, so instead I went with an 1806 pattern French voltigeurs shako!

So here it is!  It came in relatively quick from Willem at Shakos GBL.  He works out of the Netherlands, and came highly recommended in Napoleonic reenacting circles, so I figured... why not?  And the price was reasonable, which was an excellent bonus!

I settled on a voltigeur shako for a few reasons.  First, because it is French, and let's face it, the French are the French.  Second, because I liked the yellow and green.  I considered a grenadier's shako instead, with all the red, but thought that the samurai helmet was red enough, and I wanted to get something different.  Finally, it is a light infantry shako, and the French light infantry were awesome troops.

You can order a shako from Willem at...

As an added bonus, poor Willem agreed to answer a few questions as well, because I am always curious and I figured readers might be too!  So here are his patient answers to my annoying headwear questions (slightly edited for grammar and the like, since English is not his first language!)

Here is Willem himself, sitting at his workspace!

Some assorted bicorns

1)  How did you get started making hats and shakos?  Is it your full time work?

I started to make my own shako as I found the prices (from other builders) too high in 2002. It is not my full time work (I am an elevator constructor) but do have an official company making them along with to my regular job.

A fantastic colpack

2) Are you a reenactor as well?

Yes I am a member of Le 85eme Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne, a Dutch regiment in service of Napoleon

A shako for the Tirailleurs Corses

3) Can you give us a rough idea of the steps in constructing a piece like this shako? (Don't give away any trade secrets!:) )

I use correct materials: wool, linen, leather... pressing the top with a mall. The drying process (is important) and some other secrets!

The Casque (1791-1795)

4) In terms of research, where do you find the historical references for your pieces?

One of my best references is a good friend who is a historian; he always checks my work, especially if I have any questions.  If I am not sure there are also some great books. But "the Customer is the King" as we say in Dutch. If the customer wants it in another way I am always open to their ideas!

Some assorted shakos

5) What are the most common shakos and hatware that you are asked to make?

The French infantry shako. I think since 2013 (the start of the company) I have more than 750 of them!

The Dutch Merliton

6) Which are a few of the more rare pieces you've done?

The Casque (three photos up), the Dutch Merliton (see photo above), a United States of America Marine kepi, and a Dutch marine hat (see photo below).

The Dutch Marine "shako"

7) For you personally, what is a piece you've done that you are particularly proud of?  Is there any piece that was a particular challenge?  What made it a challenge?

I am especially proud of the Dutch marine hat (see photo above)... I got all the information out of a museum and it is completely made out of leather. To get the shape right, and to get the head size correct, was very hard work. But in the end it was a success.

A French shako

8) Is there a piece that nobody has ever asked for, but that you would like to have a chance to make?

A Belgian WW1 cavalry czapka and a Danish one... they are just too complicated, but I would love the challenge... but even if I were able to reproduce them, the costs might be way too high!

A leather WW1 pilots helmet

9)  What are the biggest overall challenges you face making these?

To make my customers happy for a reasonable  price.  One of my motives is to try to produce reproductions that are historically accurate.   Of course, sometimes there are things that go wrong, my motto is that, if there is something wrong, please tell me so I can correct my work and make a better product!

So thank you to Willem for an awesome piece, and for answering my annoying questions... and again, if you want to see hundreds of awesome pictures and maybe even order something for yourself, here is his Facebook page (he is VERY fast to respond on Facebook messenger and email!)

And one last shot of my new piece!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

The first of my 6mm Vikings!

Hey all!

Well, I started a new project!

Yes... about a month and a half ago I decided I wanted to start in on something new... after binge watching a season of The Last Kingdom, I thought I'd tackle a 6mm Viking force.

They aren't intended for any particular game or system... I just thought about how I'd like to do them.

So what I came up with is this: a "unit" is a four stand movement tray.

Then I did a bunch of individual stands of infantry... regular spears, armored spears, archers, two handed axes, and command stands.

You make up a unit of whatever stand types you want to plug in; each type, I would imagine, would add a different element to the performance and capabilities of the unit in a tabletop game.

Here is a shot of the first "unit" I made up... a stand of archers, an unarmored spear stand, a command stand, and a stand of armored spears.

Here is the second "unit," made up of a stand of two handed axemen, two stands of unarmored spears, and a command stand.

Here they are again, from the other side of the front.

And here is that same unit of stands from the back.

Here are a bunch of of the stands pulled out from the unit tray.

Here is another version of a unit... two unarmored spears, one armored spear, and one command... a true shieldwall!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

World's best wargames room...?

Hey all!

Okay, so I went by my buddy's place last night, to check out his (mostly) finished Wargames Room.

And I've gotta say... it might be about the nicest one out there!

Okay, for the gamers out there... here is the table.  It's RIGHT at the beginning of a setup... very early in the maturation process, in terms of table layout.

So I am going to take you on a virtual "tour" around the room of the various "stuff."

First cabinet... with a great viking helmet, the world's greatest whiskey bottle, and a bunch of WWII miniatures.

Here is the aforementioned whiskey bottle... a globe with a tall ship inside.  It was full a week ago.

The viking helmet.

So, here is the fireplace side of the room.

The cabinet is half of the 25mm ACW Union collection.  The smaller hanging cabinet is a 25mm pirate collection.  The uniforms is one of three originals in here; an original Richmond depot jacket, and an original kepi.  

Here is a better shot of the jacket and kepi.  

Above the faux stained glass window is a hanging cavalry sabre and some great French marshals.

An ACW era box of medicine.

Some classic books.

The other side of the fireplace.  You can see in this shot the cabinet with the 25mm moderns collection, the Irish Brigade flag, the great Herb Gundt Seminary, and an original NY cavalry uniform.  

The fridge, uniform, and guns again.

More guns!

An awesome original New York militia uniform.

A shot of the other side of the room.

A huge shelf of 40mm AWI miniatures.

Some GREAT "western" guns...


The sitting area at the far end of the room.

Welcome to Valhalla!  That is what my buddy is calling his wargames building... full of warriors, and a place you want to spend the rest of your life!:)

A bunch of original pistols.

Ahh, a LeMat!

So my buddy is a huge ACW buff, and particularly a medical guy.  So he has TONS of original medical gear.  These are four shelves of original stuff.

Shelf 2.

Shelf 3.

Shelf 4.

A cabinet of 25mm ACW figures... this time the Rebs.

A drum turned into a table, and a fantastic (not original) AWI uniform.

Another shot of this side of the room... you can see the cabinet of medical supplies in the back, with a box of original pistols above it.

The TV... because everyone needs a TV in the war room!

A fantastic fowler.

And, if you have to leave... here is the way out!

I'll add more information to this when my buddy tells it to me!:)