Monday, August 13, 2018

With a Little Help from my Friends: Italian Wars Stradiot Light Cavalry from DaveD

A couple of years ago, while we were lucky enough to take in the Partizan show in Newark, DaveD very kindly agreed to paint up a unit of Stradiot light cavalry for me. Being a gentleman and a scholar, he sent back the beautifully completed models just before last year's Painting Challenge. Now that the hurly burly of the Challenge is well behind us I  thought it high time to get them based and ready for action. So, here they are in all their wicker-hatted glory. 

The Stradiots were mercenary light cavalry which fought in south and central Europe from the 15th to the middle of the 18th century. Very well regarded by those who served with them, they were typically recruited from Albania, Greece, Serbia, Dalmatia and Cyprus. 

These are 28mm metal castings from Perry Miniatures' 'European Armies' range. 

I really admire how Dave's painting has made each figure unique, differing their shield devices, the colour of their garb and their lance pennants - it all serves to highlight their status as irregular troops.

It took a little bit of trial and error to get the basing colours similar to my other units, but it came out alright in the end. 

Thanks so much Dave! They are an absolutely wonderful, and a prized addition to the growing host. Magnifico Bellissimo!

Next up are some infantry reinforcements and this time the talented brushwork originates not only from another continent, but another hemisphere!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

A Trio of Baddies for Star Wars: Imperial Assault

Continuing on my Star Wars riff, here's a trio of Imperial baddies to help make our our heroes, well, more heroic.

I found these to be quite nice miniatures on the whole. Great animation and while they're a bit softly cast in a few places, they usually have fairly well-defined detail.  My only real caveat is that each set only offers one pose. So, in an effort not to bore you with a bunch of duplicates, here are a few single samples from three separate sets: an Imperial officer, a stormtrooper, equipped in desert gear, and a snowtrooper (or a 'cold assault stormtrooper' to the SW anoraks out there).

The officer is depicted in a 'commanding pose' which seems straight out of Central Casting: an outstretched hand pointing to some impossible objective which will probably get both him and his minions ignominiously ventilated. Come to think of it, he does look a bit of a dick.

I painted him in the classic olive green of the Imperial Navy. His two colleagues (apparently off camera, polishing their boots or practicing getting force-choked by Sith Lords) are done in black for the Stormtrooper Corps and white for the Intelligence Bureau.

Next up, I found the snowtrooper a doodle to paint: brilliant white armour with cream for the fabricy bits, then apply a diluted wash and finish up with a quick highlight using the original colours = done. 

I've always had a soft spot for snowtroopers. Not because they're necessarily that interesting design-wise, but because they're intrinsically linked to 'The Empire Strikes Back' - arguably the best movie of the whole franchise - cool in both setting and association.

The last figure is my favourite of the batch, a stormtrooper equipped for desert operations. I weathered him up a bit so he looks like he's been scrabbling around Tatooine for the past few days looking for droids. Definitely one of the iconic figures from the first movie.

I like how he's tucked right into his blaster rifle, ready to miss everything that's put in front of him. Really, you almost feel sorry for these hapless gits. They sweat their bollocks off galloping around the desert on huge lizards in scorching heat wearing armour that probably chafes like a sonofabitch, then they get completely played by a dusty old hermit, miss all the action at the cantina, only to get humiliatingly drilled by some small-time smuggler and his walking rug of a co-pilot. 

Good gravy, what a bunch of pathetic mutts.  

Nonetheless, even in light of all of this, they're still the cat's pajamas in my books - so go figure.

Next Up: Something for the Renaissance collection.