Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wargames Factory / Crusader Love Children Exposed!

I had picked up three boxes of Wargames Factory's 28mm Caesarian Romans during their recent promotion.  I was a little skeptical about them, based on what I'd seen of what others had done with them and posted the results online, but I had a specific project in mind.  Mark Sims at Crusader Miniatures had recently released an Oscan range.  Now I didn't need any more Samnites or other Oscan-speaking peoples, as I had loads of the Samnites that Mark had done for A&A Miniatures.  (Well, not right away, anyway...)  But these new Oscans came with separate heads.  Hmmmmm...

I was inspired by Colleen McCullough's novel, "The Grass Crown", about the last years of Gaius Marius and the rise of Sulla.  A key element in the novel is the Social War, fought between Rome and its former Italian allies because Rome would not extend citizenship to them.  One of the most important Italian peoples, both as staunch allies before the war, and as enemies during it, were the Marsi.  There's not a lot of detail about the appearance of the Marsi (McCullough describes them as splendidly equipped), so I didn't feel too bad about taking typical Italian helmets from the earlier Republican period and using them on standard mailed Roman bodies (in lorica hamata).  I wanted a "different" looking army to use alongside my Foundry Caesarian Romans, or in a Social War "civil war" scenario.

Crusader provides a sprue of four different heads.  I ordered some from Old Glory USA, and they arrived just after Christmas.  Here are some test pieces, using the more static poses from the Wargames Factory sprues (click to enlarge):

One of the standard Wargames Factory plastic heads is on the second figure from the left.  The test pieces have been primed in gray Liquitex gesso and then hit quickly with a paint wash to bring out the detail for the photos.

I think these are going to work very well.  It takes drilling a bit down into the neck to get a good seat for the Crusader heads.  I attached the metal heads with Goriilla Glue brand superglue, and assembled the plastic pieces with methyl ethyl ketone (MEK).

I still need to get a bit better at trimming the Wargames Factory arms at the shoulder joint so that they can be positioned in a more natural manner.  These all look a bit like they're posing for a muscle magazine.  Shaving a little material from the lower side of the face that contacts the body should provide a better result.  I found that I needed to do some shaving and sanding anyway to get a good fit, as the two surfaces that meet are both slightly convex.  They need to be flattened.

I also need to be careful in positioning the arms so that the shields, when fitted, do not run into the adjacent figures.  These all work--just.  But Wargames Factory designs the shield arms so that they seem to be holding the shield well out in front of the body.  That takes some strength to do, I assure you!  So I'll be working on a more relaxed arm position that still keeps the shields from knocking on the neighbors!

I'm very pleased with the Crusader heads.  I think they look fine on the plastic figures.  But using them does add a time-consuming step to what is already time-consuming assembly, and there are 103 legionaries left to assemble.  I believe the end result will be worth it!

I was originally planning to use Foundry Caesarian command sets, as I had several spare.  But their heads are noticeably bigger than these.  Now I'm thinking about going with Crusader's Republican Roman command.  We shall see.  The objective is to create six or so eighteen-figure units.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Finally getting a chance to post some pictures of projects I finished earlier in the year: batches of figures for other people.  The first is a unit of 15mm Napoleonic Prussian Landwehr, from Minifigs (click on the images to see larger ones):

These were done for a wargamer who traded me some other Minifigs Napoleonics for them.  We discussed the uniforms at some length, following these references:

The owner planned these to serve as the 2nd and 3rd regiments of Silesian Landwehr.  The Mont Saint Jean site indicates that the 3rd Regiment perhaps should be in the schirmutze (peaked cap) that only the officers and drummer are wearing.  So in case he needs to be able to distinguish between regiments, I painted twelve figures with white shoulder straps (indicating a 1st Battalion) and twelve with red (2nd Battalion); I did not attempt to paint regimental numbers on the shoulder straps!


Thursday, December 03, 2009

Here are a couple of examples of the mystery figures, based:


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Here's a little teaser from a project I've been working on.  These are 15mm figures from a manufacturer who asked me to paint up samples of a new line.  Not saying who they are until they release the range!  These were photographed on the painting sticks as a test, before I based them.  Click on the images to enlarge them!

Think you know what they are?


Monday, November 23, 2009

Well, it's certainly been too long since the first post!  But I just got done with the third and fourth installments of Jeff's Ptolemaic project and sent them off to him.  Jeff has formatted them for, but here are a few teaser photos:

First are the two "rank and file" phalangites which Jeff sent me as painted examples to go by:

And here are the three types of figures that I've done for him, first the same two as his examples; these are 1st Corps' Ptolemaic phalangites from several years ago:

And here is the third type, 1st Corps' new style of Ptolemaic phalangite:

And here is the entire unit, completed:

So keep any eye on Jeff's site; he'll have the completed unit up soon, I expect!  Here's a link to the first of the series of articles:

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Welcome to the Allen's Armies blog! I'll be posting here about my miniatures painting projects. For the first one, I'm going to send you away from the blog! This is an ongoing article I'm writing for my friend Jeff, about a project I'm doing for him, and he's hosting the article on his most excellent site:

It's up to two installments now, and more will be added as the project is completed.