Assyrian army

Assyrian army

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Athenian Hoplites

Taken a while, mainly because I started doing the next unit with them - mostly shields left to do on those. so should have that unit finished in a couple of days as well.

The Athenian shields show a lot of owls and As to represent Athens. I've included some bull's heads to represent a Theseus and the Minotaur theme plus triremes and dolphins to represent the fleet and the sea. Adding a few other designs to the mix and, overall, hope the effect is a good representation of 'Athens'.

Time now to think about the next things to do. My original idea was for the summer to be Newhaven based - set up scenarios, sort rules, make more buildings. Instead it's been about casting issues, getting 2 melting pots repaired and painting about 150 hoplites. Still got another 50 to paint plus the elite units but, frankly, getting a bit hoplite weary.

So, two main choices. I've got enough figures cast to get the Early Imperial Romans done, giving me another DBA army in the current project. Or I could get back to the Vanha - lots of swordsmen and archers cast and ready to go.

Romans would need about 50 figures and I'd have to find the RAFM scorpios I've got - Garrison version I don't like as much. Vanha open ended - once strarted could easily run to about 80 infantry at which point I would probably add a couple more cavalry units. I keep changing my mind. Could even add more pikes and crossbows to the Republic of Cataplana!

Still, it's nice to have both the choice and the figures available.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

DBA II/56 - First of the Romans

Already had 3 of the figures painted, quickly painted up an officer and now have an infantry  general for the army.

Just need the rest of them.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

PB8s Greek Mercenary Hoplite

Never liked this figure - difficult to put them in two ranks.

These are the original PB range, back whgen they were still considered to by part of the 'S' Range. I had 2 units of these, the first unit is... somewhere... these belong to the second lot I painted up. Doubt whether these will ever see action again but might 'copy' some of the shield patterns. Officer and standard bearer are Hinchliffe.

Meanwhile, as far as current painting goes - about 50 later hoplites being painted, about the number cast and ready. My second melting pot has now been repaired and returned so I decided to use up the metal in it - now, should be the same composition metal as I'm using now, but casts much easier - so I'm going through some of my harder to cast figures. Sorted loads of early Achaemenids for painting.

So, should be done with casting in next couple of days.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Old Tigers and a Stalin

There are quite a few old tanks lying around, though generally not this old... mostly 80s/90s, not many of my models exist from the 60s, these are some of them.

They probably date from about 1967/8. The Tigers have been repainted several times with extra layers just being added. The Stalin unpainted and with original transfers.

Back in the 60s kits were cheap. I would wander into my local model shop (ie, they sold Airfix kits) on a Friday and spend my pocket... usually, 3 kits a week. Shermans I could mass assemble. So these 3 would possibly originally have been bought and painted as a group.

The Stalin is unusual - unpainted and with original transfers. The only other Stalins I remember getting were 1 that was converted to a Stalin 2 (turret carved from balsa but using the same gun) and a couple converted to KVs - 1 had a carved turret as a KV76, the other got an unmodified T34/85 turret and was used as a T34/85.

I had a few conversions in those - my first was Priest converted from a Sherman - not sure when, would have to look up when the Airfix magazine article came out. 1967/8? I got some back issues of Airfix magazines - lots of SAS jeeps and carrier conversions. Also, Stugs as PzIII.

Sadly, all gone now.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Lindisfarne - it's an ISLAND!!!

This is something not everybody seems to understand.

Start from the beginning.

Scotland being a long way from Norfolk, we decided it would be a good idea to stop off for a couple of days on Lindisfarne - Holy Island.  Holy Island is joined to the mainland by a causeway that is under water during high tide cutting the island off twice a day. Tide tables are published telling everyone when its safe to cross the causeway. They are posted at the causeway and car parks. There's also a big sign on the mainland side. Basic information - if there's water on the causeway, don't cross.

So, high tide we go down to take photos of the causeway as the tides gradually covered the road.

Then stayed a bit longer than intended as people kept driving across the causeway... then realised the water was deeper at the other end... then turning around and driving back... by which time the water this end was also deeper...

Thinking about it...
 Well... why not...
That one turned around at the other end and came back... but left something behind...
 A few others went out and came back as well...

But, to be fair, lots of people do the same.

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...