Friday 31 December 2021

2021 - Review Time!


 In time honoured tradition, as another year comes to a close, up next is the annual review.

 I remember a year ago struggling to even post the 2020 review as I was suffering from Covid and could barely compile two sentences. My first painted model wasn't painted or posted until mid February due to January being a write off. Actually I had no idea it was so long until just now when I looked back on this years' posts. Anyway, up first was something to get me back at the desk, a converted Empire captain. 

 Then, we had a complete game changer - the purchase of a magnifying visor. 

 I'd been struggling for a while with fine detail, eyes in particular so decided to give the visor a go - the difference was unbelievable. The first project with the visor was a classic Citadel fighter warband which proved to be one of my most satisfying endeavors I've ever undertaken.

 With a return to form and the wind in my sails, I made a start on a Tilean mercenary spearmen unit, managing to get the front row complete but having to put it on hold while attempting to source more spearmen for the rest of the regiment. 

 After that it was more of the same really, managing to complete a regiment of Tilean halberdiers that I'd started the year before. I'd wanted a fully painted halberdier regiment for so long so that was extremely satisfying to finally tick that box.

 Taking a short break from Citadel, I returned briefly to my Dixon Miniatures American Civil War Confederate army with a command base of General George Pickett.

 I revisited a diorama I'd painted back in 2017, which A, had been damaged and B, just simply lacked significant highlighting so spent a couple of weeks repairing it, revamping the base and generally brightening the whole thing up.

 While waiting to decide on another large project, I made a start on a small adventuring party...

...but so far have only got as far as the first miniature due to having been overcome with the urge to strip and totally repaint one of my most treasured miniatures which annoyingly I've nearly finished but just ran out of time to complete before the end of the year. So it'll have to wait until next week when I can finally blog it.

 So all in all, this year has been probably my most satisfying of all when it comes to the standard of my efforts. I'm hoping for more of the same in 2022 and after the way this current repaint is going, I'm tempted to follow suit with one or two other past projects that just haven't stood the test of time with, in regard to my standards. 

Tuesday 16 November 2021

The beginning of a small adventuring party


I'm in need of a much needed palette cleanser after a number of months plugging away at my Tilean mercenaries so I've gone for an adventuring party that is likely to consist of just four models. It'll give me the opportunity to have some diversity on each one and up first is a human fighter.

 For me there was no alternative but to go for Gladius from the Heroic Fighters of the Known World box set. All eight were cracking sculpts by Jes Goodwin but personally I'd say that Gladius was the pick of the bunch and I've always stood by this since I received the set for my 11th birthday in 1987.

 He is also, of course, the poster boy for the Warrior set on the Citadel Combat Cards 

 A few of the fighters from that set had a second variant model (I believe due to casting issues), such as a helmet alteration or in Gladius' case, a head at a different angle. I have his variant on one of my dioramas. I think I personally prefer this one.

 Another charming detail is a comb on the rear of the model presumably to maintain his impressive striped crest. Sorry! I haven't got it in shot unfortunately. 

 So next up is the party's wizard which I'm aiming to have wrapped up by the weekend.

Saturday 18 September 2021

Warhammer (Empire) Tilean Halberdiers of Trantio - complete!


 I am pleased to say that after about 25 years of desiring one, I have completed a substantially sized regiment of Empire (Tilean) halberdiers.

Gargano's Halberdiers of Trantio 

 I think one of my main issues was achieving one where every model is different which isn't an easy task. There are ten 4th edition trooper models (I've only used eight of them) plus heroes and then it comes down to filtering in other models such as a few that Marauder has to offer plus conversions. The addition of the ogre certainly helped to bulk it out.

 A prosperous, yet turbulent principality since Marco Colombo seized control, Trantio has become one of the most cultured and beautiful regions of Tilea. One of it's most renowned mercenary regiments are Guido Gargano's Halberdiers.

The great Guido Gargano, famed mercenary captain 

Quintilano Dell'orso, regimental champion

Antonio Petruzzelli, regimental standard bearer

 A prominent figure in Trantio, Guido is accompanied by his loyal champion, the towering Quintilano Dell'orso and Antonio Petruzzelli, proud to carry the banner of Trantio. Valzag the mercenary ogre, a distinguishing representative of the regiment, adds a fearsome presence.

 Despite his advancing years, Guido is still a steadfast and redoubtable fellow, a veteran of the mercenary armies of both the overthrown former Trantio Prince Orlando and successor Marco Colombo. Considered to be one of the more loyal Tilean mercenaries, he will generally stick to an agreement and is not the sort to change sides in the middle of a battle if an opponent offers a greater amount of cash.

 As I've mentioned before, the banner is a Habsburg renaissance one brilliantly designed by Pete's Flags. What had been bugging me, especially as the regiment grew was the lack of blue in the banner so I decided to add some myself, with a little reluctance as I'm not particularly good at freehand but it's turned out alright and I'm glad I went for it.

 The third rank is a mixture of 4th edition Empire, Citadel F2 Dogs of War, Marauder and a converted spearman.

  More of the same here too with the rear rank. What I was particularly happy about was the fact the last man I painted (second left) turned out to be one of my favourites of the regiment and didn't fall victim of being rushed which is always a tendency at the end of a long project. 

So with my other two Tilean regiments still requiring several models, I am unsure on what is next. Maybe something completely different or even this small vignette that I keep threatening to do, although I'm still not 100% decided on a theme for that yet.

Saturday 28 August 2021

Warhammer Empire (Tilean) Halberdiers of Trantio - second rank


 So while I've been waiting to acquire the remaining spearmen (which may take a bit of time) I've been adding to my Halberdiers of Trantio regiment that I started last year. The second rank has been completed along with an ogre to bulk out ranks two and three.

 The two right sided ones had been painted a few years back but I've spruced them up a fair bit as the reds, blues and browns were pretty dull and required a few extra highlights. 

 I decided adding a halfling on the base to give it a little more detail so I converted one from the Marauder range. He was a recent purchase and I didn't realise just how tiny they were until I had him in hand which works well in comparison with the hulking ogre - a sculpt from Knightmare Miniatures.

Ranks One  and Two complete 
 I'm close now to completing ranks three and four to square off the entire regiment so I'm sticking with them now to the end. All I need is to paint two in each of those ranks and they're fully complete so that's the plan for the next couple of weeks. 

Saturday 7 August 2021

Warhammer (Empire) Tilean Mercenary Spearmen - front rank


 Two figures in two months isn't a great turnover but the front rank of my Tilean spearmen unit is done. A combination of work getting increasingly busy, The Euros and the pub has contributed to the poor input but it looks like I'm back on track here.

 The latest additions are the sergeant from the Marauder Dwarf Regiment set and an unreleased Empire mercenary captain. I had to make a tough decision with the latter and strip the existing paint job as he was in another spearman unit but seeing as it's unlikely that I'm going to land another casting of this rare model it had to be done. Plus is saw his as an essential addition to this unit.

 I've made a start on the second rank but I'm still missing three models so it may have to be put on hold while I'm tracking them down.

 The shield is from the Citadel Goodly Knights of Law Speciality Set and ties in nicely with the eagle depicted on the regimental banner.

So the plan will be to paint the three spearmen I actually have and then while I'm tracking down the other three I don't have I'll be revisiting my Tilean halberdiers and hopefully wrap up that unit as I'm only needing another five of them to paint to reach completion! 

Tuesday 15 June 2021

Warhammer (Empire) Tilean Mercenary Command Group


 It's been a bit slow going of late due to work being pretty full on over the last month but I've managed to get the next pair of Tilean mercenaries done to finish the command group.

 The standard bearer is a conversion of an Imperial gunner and the dwarf champion is the captain from the Marauder dwarf regiment set. The dwarf is more than a little off centre on his base but it was a case of having to so he can rank up alongside the bear. 

 For some time now I've wanted to paint a mixed mercenary regiment of dwarfs and men and seeing how a number of the Tilean cities are populated by both, it seemed appropriate. 

 The flag is nicked from a Sicilian Condottieri design by the excellent Pete's Flags and fits nicely in with the livery of the unit. 

 So there's two left of the front rank to get done, hopefully I'll have a bit more time to work on these over the next couple of weeks - if work permits. 

Wednesday 12 May 2021

Warhammer (Empire) Tilean Mercenary Captain


 So I've decided to stick with the Tilean theme and make a start on one of my mercenary regiments for my slow burning Tilean army. Up first is the unit leader with a musician with a difference.

 The mercenary captain figure is one of the excellent Greenskin Hunters from Knightmare Miniatures sculpted by Kev Adams whereas the bear is half of the Warhammer Empire Regimental Mascot model. There are some lovely details on the captain, a coil of rope wedged into a backpack and a wine bottle among them. 

 The beard is a little too close to the flesh colour and lacks a bit of contrast; I kind of wish I'd painted it grey now but never mind. 

 I shall wait until the front row is finished before I include a background story on this pair. Next up will be the unit standard bearer and champion. 

 Oh, on another note, it was a great honour for some of my work to feature in the latest issue of Wargames Illustrated, regarding an article on the history of Dixon Miniatures. 

Sunday 18 April 2021

Citadel Empire Fighter Warband complete!


 So this week I managed to wrap up my warband of classic Citadel and Marauder empire fighters. It's nice to have finally ticked this box with it being on my to do list for many years. I think choosing the appropriate models and a livery that I was really happy with was crucial. This is why I encountered two or three failed attempts in the past. So here we have:

The Tilean Warband of Leopoldo Di Vittorio of Luccini.

Map of Luccini 

 ■ Leopoldo Di Vittorio, mercenary captain

A native of Luccini, the aristocratic Leopoldo attended the Aquila Academy of Luccini, learning the art and science of war. Seeking fame, notoriety and of course, to add to his already substantial wealth, he embarked on the career as a mercenary captain in the employ of the eccentric Lorenzo Lupo. The subsequent years have proved fruitful and devoted but there is always the temptation to change sides at the prospect of higher pay but Leopoldo remains loyal to Lupo - more out of loyalty to Luccini than that of its Prince.

■ Guido Colombano, warband champion 

With Guido, what you see is what you get. A hardy, battle scarred veteran of numerous campaigns from various Tilean conflicts. Despite their social class diversity, Guido has developed a unlikely rapport with Leopoldo. This ageing but steadfast fellow's vast experience is indispensable to the group.

■ Ermillo Moscatelli, champion 

Another alumni from the Aquila Academy of Luccini, the scholarly Ermillo was a former gunnery captain but sought for a more prosperous career as a mercenary. Despite his slender appearance, Ermillo is a wily and guile individual with an appetite for Cathayan philosophy. 

■ Berthold Steinberg, sellsword 

A Middenheimer, formally a swordsman in the army of his native land before heading south to Tilea for the sellsword life. He still carries the shield of his army days depicting the fortress city of Middenheim.

■ Skragrud, mercenary Ogre

Once a member of Golgfag's Maneaters, Skragrud was imprisoned by Lorenzo Lupo along with his ogre comrades for causing havoc in the principality. Later, with the order to be sent to the Border Princes as mercenaries in the service of an exiled imperial noble, Skragrud deserted the Maneaters, opting to remain in Tilea in the service of Leopoldo Di Vittorio.

■ Rinaldo Contarino, crossbowman

A slight and agile fellow, Rinaldo is a skilled marksman originally from Trantio in northern Tilea. A deserter of the Trantio municipal guard, Rinaldo headed south seeking adventure and the prospect of personal wealth.

■ Franco Chioza, pistolier

Formally a lowly brigand from Trantio, Franco has aspired from the gutters, finding his forte as a pistolier and becoming a reputable mercenary much valued by Leopoldo. 

■ Grenrig Gulbron, Dwarf spearman

One of Luccini's Dwarf population, Grenrig sought out the mercenary life after his regiment suffered heavy losses at the Battle of Hel Fenn. 

■ Michele Barbieri, mercenary 

Originating from rural Tilea located near to Verezzo, Michele is another member who escaped from a life of poverty. Skilled with the bow as well as his trusted axe, Michele is one of Leopoldo's longest serving and most trusted subordinates. 

■ Manno Barozzi, mercenary 

A once disgraced palace guard of Tobaro, Manno fled from likely imprisonment for adventure and the dream of untold riches. For Manno, and many others who choose this path, the reality is an early death and an unmarked grave.

 Well as I mentioned in the previous post, the door is left open to expand this warband down the line. I have at least half a dozen suitable candidates that will fit but for now I'm calling it a finished project - and I don't often get to say that!

 I'm a little unsure what the next project will be. I'm keen to add to my Tilean mercenary army although I have felt the temptation to resume my Chaos Beastmen/Broo force as well. I'm concerned about losing the Tilean vibe if I opt for that just yet so that may have to wait a little.