2019-01-13

Blood & Plunder Frigate

After a bit too close to two years, she's finally ready to weigh anchor. My Blood & Plunder frigate is done.


Since I suspect that she will mostly be used as English, I decided to let english ships inspire her color scheme, with large areas yellow and smaller black (well, painted very dark grey, since few things are truly black) details.


And with the inside bulkheads being a very reddish brown (or possibly brownish red). The english did it to hide blood splatter during combat, I did it mostly because I had a nice color.


She's currently carrying a mix of light and medium cannons, with heavier ordnance to the rear. The cannons on the open mid-deck are attached with magnets and can be exchanged. The arrels sticking out of the gunports to aft and fore are solidly glued, but similar enough to be whatever I claim them to be (which may include "painted logs", when there's not a full broadside).


Sails are cloth, since the masts can be folded down when she needs to be transported (theoretically, at least... I have yet to actually try this feature).


Such a beautiful ship of course needs a name, and a name plate. Say hello, Virginia (something suitably english, but could also be spanish, if need be). And yes, that is two gun ports rearwards, that may or may not contain actual cannons, in case someone tries something silly.


All the flags, including the massive ensign to the rear, can be detached, both for transport and when she needs to fly other flags. My intentions are to have a full compliment of spanish flags for her as well, but I will wait to finish those until my galleon is finished, so as to not have lots of loose flags lying around (let's just hope that the galleon gets painted faster...)

/Fool out

2019-01-01

New year and resolutions

At the beginning of the year, I posted a few new years resolutions at the facebook page of my local club. Since we've now hit the end of the year, I thought it could be amusing to see how these have managed to stand up.

  • Paint two ships for Blood & Plunder
Well, I got a bit more than half way on this, the Brigantine Hermione is done, and I'm about half finished with the Frigate as well. The large ships are daunting simply by their size. And the fact that I only have one of each, and am not too used to painting ships, certainly doesn't help.


  • Paint 125 ish sailors once the No Peace Beyond the Line kickstarter arrives
It arrived a bit later in the year than expected, but I've got 26 done with my natives. Next up is the 50 Dutchmen, which will soon get their time.


  • Related to the above, paint three ships and 2 canoes for Blood & Plunder
The canoes are small, and thus easy and done. The bigger ships, I haven't even started with (although the Piragua is looking inviting)


  • "Finish" my Norse Gaels for SAGA (where "finish" means "have 6 points painted and done").
This would be the first unequivocal success, they're done and ready, and I even managed to add some options to them.


  • Paint 2 dedicated Frostgrave warbands, as well as treasures
This resolution was borne of the fact that I was getting tired of using my SAGA Vikings when playing Frostgrave, and is another success, although I'm slipping by here on a technicality. I've got two warbands painted, Cultists and Shieldmaidens (nevermind that I currently have two more shieldmaidens on the painting table, those are a pretty distraction with converting and painting something different). However, the initial idea was to paint the cultists (done) as well as a gnoll warband (current status: 10 assembled...) At least I went above and beyond on the treasures, with 4 ready to use, including one larger one.


  • Paint a platoon for Chain of Command in 15mm (and decide for a nation and division for that platoon).
I'm not quite there. In the end, I decided on a panzergrenadier platoon from the 21st Panzer Division in Normandy (if only because of weird french vehicles). The core platoon has been finished, but it has exactly 0 support available (unless I scrounge some tank from my Flames of War germans... and then it would be the wrong division markings). I could try to argue that the platoon I painted for a friend should count for this, but we all know that if it isn't left with you, it doesn't count.


  • Reduce the amount of unpainted 15mm tanks
This has been more of a running resolution, but I've painted up several platoons of british tanks, as well as a few germans, so some advances has definetely been made, my "to paint" shelf is now less than half full of 15mm tanks, where it was all full at the beginning of the year.


  • If time and money allows, build and paint a platoon for Chain of Command in 28mm
Suffice to say, time and money did not allow. Then again, this was very much something cool to do if I didn't get distracted by other stuff.
  • If I get a 28mm platoon, create a wargaming table for them
Follow-up of the above. Since that one didn't get done, this one oviously failed as well.


Of course, this isn't everything I've painted. I tried to keep to the list, but I'm me, and I suffer from a severe case of Wargamer Attention Deficit... ooh, shiny! Two major things stand out.

First, I painted a SAGA warband of dwarves (excellent now that Age of Magic is inbound)


Secondly, I've discovered The Ninth Age (5 second explanation: old Warhammer Fantasy, now handled by the fans with focus on balance instead of selling newest and shiniest models), which gave me all the push I needed to get Warlord Games Landsknecht. A few of those have been painted. Many more to come. In fact, I should probably do a review of the Landsknecht, they're some very nice kits. And useful for both historical and not-so-historical stuff.


Of course, while the old year is gone, the new year is just about to start. And it was both fun and useful to have a list of stuff to paint, so I'm going to put out a new list here.

Fool in a Hat's New Years Painting Resolutions for 2019

  • Paint the rest of the No Peace Beyond the Line kickstarter
    • 50 Dutchmen
    • 40 generic europeans (which will be distributed among my other forces... don't know which yet)
    • a Piragua
    • the Fluyt "Amelia"
    • the Galleon "Santa Barbara de Nicomedia"
  • My Blood & Plunder Natives need reinforcements. Get those, paint them
  • Finish my Blood & Plunder Frigate (this one should be easy, at least...)
  • Once the other B&P ships are finished, get a Bark (tentatively named Lydia) and paint it.
  • Frostgrave
    • The gnolls I didn't manage to get done 2018. Aiming for 20 fellows, with useful armaments for both normal Frostgrave and Ghost Archipelago
    • The all-female warband from the latest release of plastic female soldiers (all assemled already)
    • At least three winter-themed treasures (all I have so far are very obviously summer/tropically themed).
    • Various monsters from Maze of Malcor
  • Chain of Command (in 15mm)
    • The 21 Panzer Divison  platoon really needs some support. Get to it.
    • Get them some opposition: a british rifle platoon (with support)
  • Concurrently to the above, paint more 15mm tanks. Try to clear out the "to paint" shelf, then get started on the "to build" piles and whatever else I have scattered around.
    • Finish up an understrength company of canadian Sherman tanks (5 to go, but they need to be assemled as well)
  • Oathmark is set to release heavily armored dwarves. I will need at least one box of 30.
  • Paint up more Landsknecht (there is a list)
  • Perry Miniatures are releasing Agincourt mounted knights. Get them, assemble them, paint them. Possibly as a second army for The Ninth Age.
  • If the fellows at the club get their Napoleonics going, I will probably have to join in. For that, I need to decide on what regiment of redcoats to paint.
  • Time and money permitting, I'll try to get a wargaming table of my own.

This is a dire list, and I must admit to not thinking I will get done with everything. Still, it gives me a plan, and I might just surprise myself (or I will get distracted by some new game...) At the very least, it should keep new purchases to a minimum.

Feel free to share your own new years painting resolutions.

Happy new year
/Fool Out

2018-12-09

Blood & Plunder - Native Americans

I have finally painted up the first part of my Blood & Plunder: No Peace Beyond the Line kickstarter. I decided to start with something "simple and easy" and also different, namely the native americans. Knowing Firelock Games, these are modelled on what is known about one or two specific tribes from the Caribbean, but my knowledge of such is essentially non-existent. Suffice to say, the models are very nice, and of the usual detail I have come to expect from Firelock.


First up, what is sold as Young Warriors (initially labelled as Maweiyan Awuribuhati, which I have no idea how to pronounce and would prefer to not spell again), armed with bows. I will be fielding these as two units (possibly later expanded to 6 strong each), siply because of how bows work in Blood & Plunder (they're excellent for adding fatigue to enemy units, but less useful for actually killing stuff). Optionally, I might field these as Warrior Archers as an option, for when I have need for more such.


These are then the official Warrior Archers (with an initial label of Awuribuhati, which has the same problems as the Young Warriors above). Here, I've gone with one larger unit since they will most likely be (one of) my main melee units when such is needed. I can also use them as the chiefs' unit, and thereby get more extra elite warriors.

If I am fielding the Young Warriors as Warrior Archers, these will serve as ordinary Warriors instead (armed with bows, and possibly other upgrades), giving my force more of a melee punch (and a unit that I wont fear will fold at a wet sneeze in melee).


Some natives got their hands on muskets, giving a bit more punch to the force. Not as good as european musketeers, these still have some nice special rules (such as being almost impossible to hit when more than 12" from their foes, while still being able to shoot back). And they're still the only way to get a decent shooting weapon for the natives. These of course also had a thematically appropriate name that I can't quite get my head around: Dúdutu Mutu...


The final unit isn't strictly native to the americas, but instead represent some of the many africans who found themselves unwillingly on the wrong side of the sea. Getting away from their white overlords, many of these joined with native tribes and integrated, gladly taking up arms in times of conflict. The thematic name would be Aginene Awuribuhati.


Finally, we have the leader(s) of the force. One generic commander, in loincloth and not much else (as are most natives) and one representing the historic figure of King Golden Cap.


All in all, a nice little force, I will definetely have to get another starter box of these (especially since I can't quite field 200 points with only these fellows). I might also have to investigate some better way to take my photos of these, they seem awfully dark (the force is not nearly as dark in real life)


Of course, natives were quite famous for their canoes, so I can't have natives without canoes. Only two for now (once again, something I might have to get more of, especially since canoes can be useful for other forces, and even other games, as well).


I went with relatively simple decorations for the canoes. First one only have  two red lines along it (and a few passengers to show general size).


Second one instead got blue paint at the fore and stern. Usually, canoes were easy to make, and didn't always get any decorations at all (which certainly makes them quicker to paint)

/Fool Out

2018-12-02

SAGA - Norse-Gaels

Finally finished another SAGA warband (Well, they've been finished for some time, but I got around to taking pictures of them). This time, a mix between vikings and irish (and irish vikings) who've settled around the irish sea: the Norse-Gaels. Most known for founding Dublin and settling on the Isle of Man (which remained under the norwegian kings until the 13th century).


The main force will, as is common in SAGA, be ordinary warriors. Some of these Bonnachts will be norsemen, or of norse descent, and armed with great dane axes.


Others will be irish, or favouring their irish descent, and use javelins instead.


In either case, these are all free men called to arms by their chieftain or jarl.


There are also the thralls (levies in SAGA terms), who don't get a choise in the matter. Currently, these will be fielded with 4 additional models to the last warrior unit, but when I get back to expanding my Norse-Gaels, there will be a dedicated levy unit (or possibly two).


There is also the hearthguards, loyal men to the jarl and often norse themselves. As with most viking societies, these men would have the best maille they could get, often swords as well as dane axes.


In compensation, they were expected to always be ready to protect their leader, with their lives in necessary.


And then there is of course the leader himself. Often the jarl, although it could be a more local chieftain, he held his position and the loyalty of his men by gifts as well as force. Here seen holding up the head of a recently defeated foe (I started on this model in SAGA v1, when Norse Gaels had a "challenge" mechanic which this would be eminently suitable for. But he's too good to be removed just because that has changed).


All in all, a nice little warband, but currently somewhat limited in how it can be fielded, just barely hitting the standard 6 points, with a choice between a unit of levies or an extra unit of warriors. I will most likely expand these next year, but the fact that more than three quarters of them has some kind of green stuff (mostly cloaks and similar) or kitbash (two-handed axes are surprisingly rare in plastic) in them delays it somewhat. The fact that I've recently recieved a lot of "other" stuff might delay it further...

/Fool Out.

2018-11-10

Dwarves

A new warband has been finished. And something not as... human as I usually do: dwarves. Short, hairy fellows in chainmail and with pointy sticks.


I bought these essentially on a whim, because I wanted some kind of spearblock as a shelf ornament. Useability in games was of secondary concern. But they could possibly be used as Scots in SAGA: Age of Vikings in case I wanted to go anti-historical (and I can't believe I said that). And now SAGA: Age of Magic is coming out, which makes it even better.

Most of them could also be used in 9th Age, if one were so inclined. I did manage to completely accidentally base them suitable for that, in their 20x20mm square bases (chosen only to have as great a density of pointy sticks as possible, while keeping them single-based). And once Oathmark comes out, it will of course have to be investigated, these are after all official Oathmark dwarves (mostly their plastic kit).


Archers are always useful. Oathmark plastic kit sadly only have bows for ranged weapons. This fits nicely with SAGA, but I would have preferred crossbows since these seem more "dwarfy" somehow. If I ever want some crossbow dwarves, I guess I will have to improvise and kitbash.


2 block of warriors with spears, 8 each, as is fitting with SAGA. Can of course be mixed into one unit of 16, if that is a possible option in whatever game I use them for.


First unit of standard warriors, with green shields. All plastic, except for the fellow with the shield on his back, that's a metal Oathmark dwarf champion.


Second warrior unit, with yellow shields. These 8 are all plastic. The runes on some of the shields say "Hold of Iron" (suitably dwarfish), but I decided that I want to change these for something else, which is why not all shields have them. I just need to figure out which "dwarven" runes to use...


The hearthguard/grumblers/greybeards/whatever one wants to call dwarven semi-elite infantry. Two units of 6 for SAGA, or combined into one unit of 12. Once again, all plastic except for the fellow with his shield on his back, which is a metal Oathmark dwarf champion. Their cloaks are greenstuffed, to distinguish them from the ordinary warriors (which are the same models otherwise). The two units can be distinguished by slightly different colours on their cloaks.


The big boss himself, carried into battle on the shoulders of the most reliable warriors. The colors of green and yellow on the dwarves were chosen as "earthy" colors. If I ever paint any elves, they will be in "sky" colors (light blues and greys, predominantly), while any greenskins will be firey (red, yellow and orange) and a specifically but generic human fantasy army will get water colors (blues, possibly with some dark sea green), to tie them all into the four elements.


This is some surprisingly easy converting on my part (and a load of greenstuff). The big man is built as an ordinary plastic dwarf, albeit with special helmet and axe, a greenstuffed cloak, and with the base he normally stands on chopped away. The shield bearers are similarily built as normal (with greenstuff cloaks), and the arms carrying the shield are adapted from the plethora of arms in the plastic kit, with any weapons cut of. The base of the shield is a 20mm washer. The initial idea was to magnetize the boss's feet, which would then keep him on the washer, but this proved too weak. Instead, two magnets were also attached to the washer, and the uneven-ness covered up with greenstuff, which results in a surprisingly sturdy model.

The reason for all this, is so that the boss can be rebased onto a normal base (or an even more extravagant base, if I ever build such a one), or exchanged once I get more bosses to switch between.


I also made a standard bearer (simple, all the pieces bar the actual flag (greenstuff) was in the plastic kit), and a musician, which I of course had to make a bagpiper since these would tentatively be fielded as scots (arms, body and head from the kit, pipes from chopped up spears (also from the kit), bag from greenstuff).


The warriors, with standard and musician, makes a surprisingly fearsome block on their own.


The hearthguard are not quite as fearsome by dint of their smaller numbers.



Still, all together, they look utterly awesome. And now I kind of want even more dwarves, to expand them into an equally awesome army.

/Fool Out

2018-10-07

A little package arrived

I got a little package in the mail, and I think I know what it is... I might also need to look up and learn the meaning of the word "little", but that's me.


The small brown thing on top, is a Blood & Plunder Longboat, something that most players of B&P should be familiar with. There's also a 50 cl bottle of soft drink, for further scale comparison. Little might not be quite the right word to use here...


Spoiler: it's my pledge for the Blood & Plunder: No Peace Beyond the Line kickstarter (IT'S HERE! IT'S FINALLY HERE!). For further comparison, I apparently hadn't thrown away my box from the initial kickstarter, so here it is. Looks surprisingly tiny next to the new one, and that one was shock full of goodies.


It's a well packaged box as well, with only a little bit of dead space (you're free to imagine an excited fool jumping in place while looking over all this).


First out is the magnificent-looking collectors edition of the rulebook and expansion. A true old-timey feel, and gorgeous to look at.


And not exactly small either. At first, the pages looked thick, but once I dared to open it and look, they were surprisingly thin (further enhancing the feel of "old-timey bible"). I know that if I'm ever a judge in a Blood & Plunder tournament, I will carry this and dress almost like an old priest, dispensing the word of God...


 I did of course also get the normal version of the book. Awesome cover, and lots of great stuff in it. Possibly too much great stuff, because I don't know where I want to start...


It doesn't exactly help that I ordered "one of everything", all four starter sets (two Pirates & Privateers, because you always need more sailors), as well as two canoas, a Piragua, cards for all of these, some random small stuff...


And of course a Fluyt (can't have Dutch without a Fluyt). This ship looks very nice, and kind of cute due to being wider at the base than on top (as a Fluyt should be).


There is also the "freebies" of various characters and new, fancy dice.


First up, the "Blood" and "Plunder" dice. I'm not sure about the Blood dice, it seems awfully dark, but I will have to test it out some before I'm certain (and if that's the case, there's an easy fix that any modeller should be capable of doing).

Here's also the five legendary characters introduced with NPBTL: Juan Corso, William Kidd, Piet Heyn, Laurens de Graff, and King Golden Kap. If they're half as good as the special characters Firelock has released so far, they will be a joy to paint (and from what I've looked so far, they're possibly even better than the original ones).


There are also various neutral characters: merchants, pilots, courtesans and guides. Three of each, since I went for the big pledge.


And the kickstarter exclusive, the female sailor. She looks utterly gorgeous, would be eminently suitable for Anne Dieu-Le-Veut, Mary Reed, Anne Bonney, or any other of the few female sailors and pirates there were, I love her, and I don't know if I'm good enough to do her full justice.... Painter's anxiety is a thing. Thank Firelock that I have several of her.


Of course, there's also the April Fools Joke turned local Meme turned into public demand turned into running joke: the Monkey with a Blunderbuss. Seen here in Firelock's interpretation: an old Mayan statue with blunderbuss leaned next to it and a local monkey on top...

Finally, there is the crown jewel, the mother of it all... well, Firelock really puts it in their order sheet:


It's not just "a" Galleon. It's The Galleon. and the capitalized definite article is certainly warranted.


I will have to admit, when I pulled it out of the box, after having cleared away everything else, my first thought was "wasn't it supposed to be bigger?". Yeah, I know. Well, let's put it next to the longboat and bottle again, to get a sense of it.


Oh, wait, not that small after all. It is just a tad longer than my forearm... It is in fact humongous. Not just long, but also tall and wide (which is probably what initially fooled me, combined with not putting it next to everything else). For a further comparison, all the miniatures shown above are on her. At the same time... I can't wait to start painting her.


And you even get a choice of decorations. Either saints and the weapons of the Spanish royalty, for a Spanish galleon, or lions and a shield if you want it to be english-built instead.


To be put in the stern, where there's a nice flat surface for it (and you can probably squeeze in the name as well).

I'm having a surprisingly hard time deciding which option to go with. I might just have to get a second one (yes, I am somewhat insane, why do you ask), so that I can have one of each. Both options look so very crisp and shiny.

I will also have you know, that I've found myself laughing (and giggling) over how utterly gigantic the Galleon is, ever since I wrapped my head around it (putting it next to my equally unpainted Frigate helped...).

/(A giggling) Fool out.