The lad received the stuff in the photo (OK, not the moose cookie jar; he's a regular resident of the hearth during the holidays) for the late 2013 holidays. A description of that's happened to all this lot may begin to appear in a wargaming mag or its online supplement someday soon.
I thought it was about time to show where some of this stuff happens. Let's start with a closeup of the painting desk (click on the image to enlarge):
This is an old computer desk; I think I got it when I got my Tandy TRS-80! Note the Paintier 80 carousel, full of Vallejo Game Colors that I rarely use: smart, huh? On the painting area are a wet palette made from Tupperware and a sponge (and proper Winsor & Newton wet palette paper) , a lighted magnifier lamp, two lamps with daylight bulbs, and an Ott lamp. You can also see my now-favorite primers: Liquitex black and gray gesso. The desk is up against a window which lets in good light in the afternoon.
Over to the left are two bookcases full of rules and references:
You can see two more Paintier 80s, with a variety of paint brands. What you can't see are the tops of the bookcases, loaded with display cabinets full of small terrain items--and lots more paint and terrain products (you can spot some boxes of Silflor tufts).
Over to the right are a couple of what were originally printer stands:
Here's another Paintier 80, almost all Vallejo Military Colors. On top of a plank, on top of two file cabinets full of old miniature catalogs, there's a small bookcase full of rules, and a stack of boxes full of bases, transfers, spear-making materials, and such. To the far right, there's one of the two full-length bookcases full of cookbooks.
Behind this array is my improvised photo booth:
That's another one-time bit of computer furniture, with a photo booth made from sheeting and PVC pipe, ilminated by two high-intensity lamps overhead. Just then, it was set up to snap a Newline Carthaginian chariot, painted by Dave Woodward of Ever Victorious Miniatures, years ago, to go in my article on Carthage and Syracuse in the current issue of "Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy". Note the bookcase full of wacky holistic health books and magazines. Up to the right is a favorite print of my favorite Victorian hero, Fred Burnaby.
Finally, here's a broader view of the painting desk, which really only shows that when just one of the daylight lamps and the Ott light are on, it throws off the camera!
Oh, yes: that big jug on the floor is methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), for assembling knobrot plastic figures!
I was rummaging through the Spare Oom and the Mojave Lead-Lined Bomb Shelter (otherwise known as the garage) the other day. I unearthed a stash of unpainted 15mm British Napoleonics for the Peninsula: both "small" figures (Naismith, Battle Honours) and "large" figures (Old Glory, and again Battle Honours). I tried to place the larger Battle Honours figures. They clearly were not sculpted by Anthony Barton, and I remember picking them up at a Napoleonic Show in London, not long after Battle Honours had been sold and relocated to the London area.
...and received some helpful information. For the TMPers, here are samples of what I have (click on the image to expand it):
From left to right, the figures are: two variants of flank company men; two variants of center company men; two variants of ensigns; a drummer, and an officer.
Now I'm not absolutely sure about the officer; he's the only officer I got in this batch of about 120 figures. I bought these in eight-figure packs, and oddly, he was the sole officer figure that came in the command packs.
On TMP, Mark and Jay and Nigel helped nail these down. Nigel pointed out that a figure like these is illustrated in Extra Crispy's review of the Battle Honours range:
As Jay says--and he would know!--they are still available from Old Glory 15s (Battle Honors USA), which is good, as I have extra command figures, and so can build more units!
Here's a comparison with similar figures:
On the left is an original Battle Honours flank company man; these should also be available from Battle Honors USA. I use these as light infantry alongside Naismith Designs British. I suspect this is the style that Mark ("Extra Crispy") Severin discusses when he lists the pack contents having one infatry pose and officers with cast flags (I have those, too).
The next two are the center company men in question. Notice how much larger they are! Finally, on the right is an Old Glory flank company man; I bought a passel of these to use as light infantry and skirmishing light companies, along with the larger Battle Honours figures.
So it seems that the puzzle is solved. But I thought it might be helpful to display these, in case anyone has questions about the size variation in the (now) Battle Honors Peninsular British. As Jay says, if you want these guys, they're in pack BBR05, Line Infantry, Stovepipe, Campaign Dress, Assaulting.
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.