Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Siege of Malta, 1565 - Barbary Corsair Spearmen and Archer Command Stand

Okay! So, switching tack from the Grim Dark Future to the sun-kissed Middle Sea, I thought I'd finish off a few more figures for my 1565 Malta project which have been sitting half done since the winter Challenge.

Here are half a dozen spearmen to add to Turgut Reis' slowly growing contingent of fierce Barbary corsairs.

These models are from Footsore Miniatures' excellent Caliphate range. Similar to my previous efforts, I had great fun using a lot of colour with these guys. I may get another pack later to bulk-up the unit, but this group will stand as a good start.

The full unit of spearmen.
I also did up a command stand for one of my corsair archer units which was bereft of one. 

The piper and standard bearer are from Brigade Games, while the leader is a Footsore model. I did a small modification to have him holding a crossbow along with a small targe, just to make him a little more distinct from his bow-armed comrades. 

The archers with their new leader.
At first I just had the three figures on the base, but for a bit of additional colour, I decided to give them a banner as well (I figure you can't have enough flags on the tabletop).

These 9 models will give me another 45 points, for a grand total of 135.

Thanks for popping in for a visit!


Monday, April 20, 2020

Gregor Eisenhorn and Cherubael

I'm a big fan of Dan Abnett's writing. I find that his treatment of the 40K universe being the best aligned to that of Priestly and Blanche's original dystopian vision. 

Of Abnett's many characters, my favourite is Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn. (Spoiler alert: The next few paragraphs give away some of the core bits of the novels, so you've been forewarned!)

Over the arc of the Eisenhorn books, the nature of Gregor's character, with his no-holds barred struggle with the enemies of Mankind, becomes irrevocably compromised as he slowly shifts from being a puritanical and dogmatic posterboy of the Inquisition, to something that is far more dark, ruthless and morally questionable.

Probably one of the most damning things that Eisenhorn does is his binding of the powerful daemon 'Cherubael' to an unwilling human host. He rationalises this act as a foul means to an end, a repugnant-but-necessary tool to assist him in his fight against the forces of Chaos. 

This decision ultimately results in him being excommunicated by the Inquisition, hunted as a fugitive by his former colleagues and forever haunted by his uncompromising decisions. 

Eisenhorn is a wonderfully complex, compelling antihero - a breath of fresh air in a setting which is often portrayed as a simplistic, binary struggle between good and evil. A rollicking good read, I recommend it to anyone who has a passing interest with things GrimDark.

The middle-aged Eisenhorn I have here is a 'Finecast' miniature from Games Workshop. While the Finecast 'recipe' has greatly improved over the years, it still has a hard time standing up to some of the resin offerings you can get from other manufacturers. Case in point is the model of the Daemonhost, 'Cherubael', which is from Artel W Miniatures. This model, essentially a 10-part minikit, is absolutely exquisite, with the resin needing virtually no preparation before assembly. While I typically prefer working on metal figures, I can see how the complex posing and intricate detail of this figure necessitates it being done in lightweight resin - like Eisenhorn's decision, it was a necessary evil. :)

Thanks for dropping in to take a peek!


Sunday, April 12, 2020

1812 Moscow Opolochenie

Just a wee post this week to keep me honest.

I'm revisiting a project I began a few years ago - Napoleon's 1812 retreat from Moscow. I thought that since we're firmly in Spring's thawing embrace (well, almost), it might be safe to do something that is quintessentially 'winter' in theme.

So here is a trio of Moscow Horse Opolochenie

Who were the Opolochenie I hear you ask?  Sorry, folks, I have no freakin' clue. I only know they're Russian, they look rather cold and they seem to be dead set on doing some righteous (meaning deadly) work. (Postscript: Actually, a blog friend let me know that they were part of the people's militia who fought alongside the regular Russian formations during the French incursion - Thanks Martijn!)

Oh, and they have wonderful hats.

These boys have been sitting half-done on my hobby table for an embarrassing amount of time, so I thought the Quarantine Challenge the perfect vehicle to finally get them done-up and put in the cabinet.

You'll have to forgive me in this last shot. I indulged myself by excavating a few more models from this collection for a 'Duellist' inspired action shot.

Thanks for dropping in!


Sunday, April 5, 2020

'Baba Yaga' - John Wick @ 1:05:48

When I saw that Spectre Miniatures had issued a limited edition figure of John Wick I knew I had to snap one up. While I've not been especially enamoured with the overall trilogy (silly assassin meta and increasing bloat), I really enjoyed the first movie's brutal simplicity.

While I was cleaning up the figure, getting it ready for priming, I was trying to recall what Wick's shirt colour was when this scene was shot. I knew he wore a white collared shirt in the earlier bar scenes, but I though he may have changed to all-black later in the film. 


So, for a bit of fun, I decided to spin up Netflix and watch the movie again to see if I could both sort out the shirt colour and also spot the moment where the pose originates. Sure enough, at 1:05:48 he's seen swapping his assault rifle for a pistol wearing his iconic black suit.

For painting him I used thin layers of dark grey over a black base. It should have been easy, but it was actually fiddly as heck.

One more whine: trying to photograph black on black is pure evil. I must have blazed through a hundred shots to get something workable. Thank goodness for digital cameras!

On a related note, a few people have asked what process I use for working on clear acrylic bases. Well, you can definitely use normal superglue to mount a figure, just be sparing with the glue and keep the finished work away from any moisture while it's curing as it will frost the acrylic base. A more fire-and-forget approach is to use this GS E600 glue as it doesn't frost and gives good adhesion. I don't know what it's made of (I suspect ground unicorn horns and distilled pixie tears), but it works. I picked my tube up from GreenStuff World.

Thanks for dropping in!

Friday, April 3, 2020

Pak 40 Anti Tank Gun

I was casting about my hobby room trying to figure out what to work on next, when Nick came to the rescue by tweeting me, asking what was going on with my 20mm WWII Italian Theatre project. The quick response was 'well, nothing actually', but it did make me think and prompted me to uncover a few half-completed projects I had been working on; one of them being this German Pak 40 that has been sitting on my desk for the past year or so.

This is fitting as I had done up a trio of Canadian Shermans from the Three Rivers Tank Regiment a while ago and thought that they needed some opponents to give them a bit of pause. 

This is a plastic kit from PSC. They do a very nice job on the gun, with lots of nice extra bits, but I found the figures to be a bit soft in detail. No matter, as we all know, everything looks better with a lick of paint, right? 

I had some extra MDF wall bits left over from Byron's excellent Italian buildings he designed for me and so decided to have the gun nestled in a wrecked structure, waiting in ambush. This will provide a nice anti-tank option for German players in our ongoing Italian theatre games.

Next Up: An Action Hero!