Assyrian army

Assyrian army

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Return to Fort George - Amazing Ages

The last time I was in Fort George was in 1971. Landrovers, Bedford trucks and 3 25 pounders. We got there at night in the pouring rain. To be told 'Oh, didn't know you were coming, you're not booked in. We haven't got anywhere for you to stay - you can camp over there if you like.' Pointing to an area of foot deep grass. So pitching tents in the dark. Of course, OTC doesn't teach you to put the tents up. Found I was the only one in the sub unit that knew how to,,, so basically put up half adozen tents by myself, in the dark, in the rain...

OK, bit different this time. Still a few bouts of rain, but this time it was to visit an event called 'Amazing Ages'. People dressed up as Vikings, Medieval,Covenanters, Napoleonics,  WW1 and WW2 , etc..

Plus a look around the fort and it's museum, listening to live folk music (in Gaelic). And 3 people dropping in by parachute.

A pretty good day all round - even saw some dolphins swimming around in the Murray Firth.

The fort is pretty big so I'll just add a photo of the model at the entrance.

There is a museum with assorted weapons, uniforms, medals, etc.

Plus assorted weapons around the grounds.

The event itself included re-enactors, etc.

And an archaeological  tent.

Live music (in Gaelic).

And finally the parachute drop.

Excellent day even with the rain.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Scapa Flow - the Churchill Barriers

One of the summer activities has been a trip North. This included a visit to the Eastern Approaches at Scapa.

Originally protected by a series of block ships and assorted large items and concrete blocks, this wasn't wholly successful as demonstrated by the sinking of the Royal Oak by U-47. As a result, Churchill decided on a more permanent solution.

The result was a series of 5 barriers to close the approaches.Started in 140, they were finally completed in 1944. As they were built by Italian prisoners of war, and as prisoners of war were not supposed to be used to built military works, they were listed as 'improving communictions' and roads were put on top of 4 of them.

Note Wikipaedia claims only 4 were built - forgetting about the one that didn't get a road!

The barriers themselves don't look like much - basically causeways that have closed off direct entry to the sea.

 Quite a few of the blockship remains are still present.

Sorry about the photo quality - coach windows in the way!

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Thebes (pretty boring really)

I've never been able to paint convincing clubs on shields. To relieve the monotony I tried some with Hercules as the shield blazon instead but that didn't really help. On the other hand, 7/8 hoplite elements suffice, so a couple of armoured infantry as Sacred Band will do - not sure if I'll do a full 4 element Sacred Band unit.

One problem of fixing figures on bases randomly is that it sometimes goes a bit wrong - hadn't intended to put 3 Hercules figures on the same base. Not sure I like the black silhouette version.

On the other hand, the clubs aren't much better.

So, another 24 figures waiting to be painted - probably as Athenians. That gives me a range of shield blazons - obviously alpha and owls, probably also some bull heads to represent the Minotaur and Theseus, perhaps a few with triremes to represent the wooden walls... seems a lot more interesting than Thebes.

Friday, 11 August 2017

This is... Sparta!

This is the first 'Line' unit for my Late Spartan DBA army - 6 elements, up to 5 more needed!

Initially I'll probably do 4 elements using the infantry version of GC3, the armoured cavalry figure, and call it the Hippeis. After that, another 6 elements of these. So about another 40 Spartan infantry at least. Actually I'll do an extra element so that I have 2 command elements plus a spare spears element - that way I can use them as 2 x 6 element units or 1 x 12 element full size unit. At that point I would also have to decide whether to do the next 6 element units with a red or black Lambda! I intend to cast quite a few of these figures

The bronze shields work well with Spartans as befitting a professonal body - non-Spartans will generally be with coloured shield faces. Possibly.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Random Persians as Cardace infantry

Random unit consisting of Persian cavalry pretending to be infantry - one of the units prepped and painted during the casting drought. I've got loads of infantry suitable as Ax, very few later looking types as Sp, so decided to mount these as Cardace infantry. They should be pure spearmen rather than double armed as bow, but if you don't look too closely...

I'll just put them directly as an option in my Late Achaemenid army rather than have them join the main army.

All the shields are basically a central boss with a radiating  motif. Could be flowers, could be stars. Could be just a pattern with no real purpose.

The tunics are supposed to look like 'late' rather than 'early' designs.

And so on to Spartans and Thebans...

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Vile Kush DBA I/46

One of my options when I didn't have a melting pot was to revisit 'old' figures and start putting together DBA armies from them. One army is the Kushites. Again, I have made up complete units rather than just those needed for the DBA army.

If nothing else, I had a lot of Garrison conversions and Nubians lying around, mostly painted but unused - one of the partially finished armies of a couple of years ago. A few additions and I'm getting there.

These are the units the army is based on without the cavalry and 'Egyptian' units.

The general's chariot is one of my 'standard' card models, chariot pole and yoke coming from one of the old Garrison 'Ancient Ships' Range. General and charioteer are early conversions of mine.

The chariot was originally part of my Garrison Egyptian army - it was a resurrected Rose model. Garrison horses, again some of my early conversions.

Standard Garrison PEA5 Nubian Auxiliary with spear and shield unarmoured act as both the Sp and Ax elements. It is assumed that the leopard markings and tail are prints, etc, rather than actual leopard skins!

Didn't have enough archers with ostrich feathers for the army, so the Bw and Ps elements will probably be replaced at some time with figures properly dressed in leopard skins and ostrich feathers. The figures used were mostly already painted.

No idea why there are slingers in the army. An early set of army lists had slingers as mandatory in a Kushite army so I naturally felt that I had to make and use some.

The 'Egyptian' component of the army has two possibilities, both lifted  straight from my normal Garrison army. One option is simply 'white' versions of the Kushites, the other uses PEA1 Egyptian Auxiliary half armour, spear and shield plus standard archer with an 'Egyptian' headdress. Both options just need work done on the bases.

The last elements are the Cv elements. For these, I'm using REC5, African Auxiliary cavalrymen with javelin and shield unarmoured. However, they didn't work as they stood and I've got to file the shield emblems down before they're ready.

Figures update:

Still working on a General's chariot for Late Achaemenids. Kushites as just stated. Figures cast and painting started for Late Spartan and Theban armies - Spartans nearly finished painting. In both cases I will need more than the standard 6 element units, so will also do 4 element units to act as Hippeis and Sacred Band.These may be based on the infantry version of GC3, Cavalryman half armour, Boetian helmet and shield rather than the GC5 conversion. Also, nearly finished painting a random unit of Persian infantry based on PEC4 - the Garrison cavalry convert nicely to infantry! This unit had already been undercoated and was started during the 'no casting' period.

So, I'm curently working on 4 different DBA armies plus 1 random unit. Which just about sums me up really.

Friday, 21 July 2017

The melting pot.

Although both my non-functioning melting pots were badged as Tirantis, they are actually Sebas. Further, if needed, the original Sebas cost less.

So, on Monday I phoned Seba up and was told they have a repair service (to be fair, I knew that)... sent one of the pots off... it came back today fixed...

Haven't tested it yet, meanwhile I've sent the other one off as well. Total cost of repairing both roughly a quarter the cost of buying one new!

Haven't had a chance to test it yet - probably won't for a week or so - but when I do there's a lot of time (and figures) to make up.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

RE6A, Roman Legionary, marching, half armour pilum and shield

This is the figure I always wanted to use as the basis of any Garrison Roman army. Problem was, no moulds and only 1 broken master...

Which was repaired and put on one of my last set of moulds. At some stage I'll try and get a number of these done and put on a mould for 'production' purposes. Hopefully, more on the personal production side tomorrow...

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Clearchus and his friends

Well, finished the direct cavalry conversions.

Nothing else to say, just that it seems to have worked OK with one proviso. I should have used thicker card - a couple of them had a tendency to fall over a bit. Think it worked out in the end though.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Solving the Hoplite problem

OK, need to sort out how to get another unit of Greek hoplites for Cyrus.

Without having casting facilities at the moment  I needed to look for an alternative source - happily found one.

The original hoplites are simple conversions of a cavalry figure - feet bent forward and put on a base. So I started looking for cavalry figures and found enough so that I can create the unit...

Problem solved.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Cyrus and the Greeks, DBA II/7

The March of the 10,000 has always been one of my favourite stories, the Battle of Cunaxa one of my favourite battles. Even did a series of 3 articles on it for Slingshot sometime in the 90's (gave it it's more correct name of Kounaxa then.) Plus a version of it in the 2012 Garrison Journal.

So it's hardly a surprise that I'm including a Late Achaemenid Persian army in my current DBA army building programme.

Only troops missing are Ps and/or scythed chariot. For a standard army I would include the chariot, for Cyrus I'll miss it out.

This is Cyrus and his bodyguard. Greek GC4 on the cataphract horse. Cyrus himself is the Greek general figure. Greeks to Persians proved a diffficult conversion - I painted trousers on them. The unit itself was painted a few years ago then put to one side. The standard bearer had an accident so isn't here, likewise a few of the others - actually, 11 survivors out of the original 15.

For the Greek infantry component I have converted GC5 to an infantry figure by twisting the feet forward and putting them on a base. The figure casts quite well and the intention was to initially produce 2 units of 24 - one to have red tunics as part of Cyrus's army, the other in white to act in every other late Persian army. Didn't quite work out, so Cyrus is stuck with figures wearing the colours of his brother. (Xenophon said that these were the colours given to each army)

Hoplites tend to get colourful shields so I thought I'd show them in more detail. 

 The front cavalry figures are some early conversions I made before I got Garrison - removed shields and javelins, replaced weapons.  The Scythians were painted to allow the ones that had been transferred from the 'main' army to go back to their unit. In use with Cyrus they will be replaced by more Western cavalry.

The Ps elements will vary depending on the army depicted. For Artaxerxes, these would be archers, for Cyrus javelins. Likewise, the 4 x 4Sp or 3Ax are Greek hoplite 4Sp for Cyrus, Artaxerxes probably gets 2 x 4Sp (Carian, Egyptian) and 2 x 3Ax (infantry brought by Tissaphernes to the battle.)

Now, reason why I haven't sorted that second unit of hoplites for Cyrus.

When I first set up I acquired 2 second hand melting pots. The first one gave up the ghost a few years ago, the second one has also 'died'. So I'm stuck with repairs or renewal. Repairs don't seem to be an effective answer. Let's face, between them they gave 10 years service and were second hand then...  So... new? but bit shy of £600?... could do it. Might. Certainly not worth it though...