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Found 14 results

  1. I had a little bit of time on Saturday to continue with my Prince August orcish warband (guess it’s an Orctober surprise), finishing some speedy work on three figures. All three of these are from Prince August mold #655. I had never successfully cast these figures before this summer, so I was interested to see that the face designs on the shields are just the sort of thing I freehand onto flat orc shields. That brings me up to nine, but I’m going to need three or four more to field a 300 point warband for A Song of Blades and Heroes. The real use of home cast figures is to provide bulk at low costs rather than individual skirmish game show pieces, and these guys are likely to be eventually subsumed into larger units. After priming I found a few places where I could have done a better job cleaning up mold lines and such. The fourth figure is a Prince August human barbarian from earlier in the summer, just to show the relative scale of the orcs against the humans.
  2. After a hiatus of several weeks, I cleared my desk of work-at-home gear and set up a painting station yesterday, since I had a day off. After pouring a libation to Muses, I found that Calliope had apparently drawn my assignment for the day. (She and Clio seem to trade off...) I was inspired to work on my ongoing project to play a game with all-new panemic-era material. I have posted two previous topics about this project, here and here. The basic idea is that my brother and I obtained Osprey Games’ new mas batle rules Oathmark this summer, and he decided it would be a good time to learn how to use a small batch of Prince August molds I gave him before going into mold making and casting his own sculpts. I decided to keep him company, and therefore went to my mold library and withdrew the first series of Prince August molds, catalog numbers 651 through 671, which make old school “true 25mm” figures. Over the course of a couple of weeks and several casting sessions, I added the necessary vents and tried all 21 of the molds using a lead-free “Britannia metal” alloy (basically 92% tin, with the balance antimony) obtained from the Nathan Trotter company ( purveyors of tin alloys since 1789 ). This worked pretty well, and has resulted in some of the best castings I’ve gotten from these molds. In the two topics previosuly linked, I had painted 8 humans, which is probably enough to provide a basic war band for Song of Blades and Heroes, although still quite a way from being the epic mass battle force wanted for Oathmark. A couple of weeks ago, I cleaned up and primed a dozen or so trolls, goblins, hobgoblins, and orcs from the casting sessions, so that I could get a game on the table sooner rather than later. Yesterday, I finally sat down and started painting. The first figures done turned out to be two copies each of the three figures produced by mold #656, “Troll and Goblins”. As you can see by the presence of Sir Forscale, the goblins are very petite by modern standards. Most of my orcs etc. are green, but I decided to shake that up a bit. My son has been painting his Reaper Bones orcs gray, but I decided to go with a yellow/brown, and did mine with a Reaper khaki triad. The trolls are done with the Reaper olive drab triad, which is my usual orc green. As is typical of the Prince August molds, there is not a lot of extra detail on these guys, so between that and the size, they didn’t take very long to do. Five or six more to go, and then I hope to have a skirmish game (probably solo).
  3. I painted some scenery things two weekends ago, but haven’t touched a miniature in a couple of weeks. I also cleaned my desk ... so that I could use it for a work-at-home station. I finally cleared the computers again yesterday, unrolled my hobby mat, and painted a few more Prince August figures. I’d like to get a skirmish game on the table using all new work soon, so I will start preparing a few opponents. Because these figures are small and the detail ranges from soft to non-existent, I’m playing around with a more-than-usually abstracted style with them, hoping this will look well in the overall tabletop setting. The three figures here are from the Men of the City and Wizards molds.
  4. So, a couple of weeks ago my brother decided that he wanted to learn how to cast his own figures. He’s been sculpting, you see, and if he gets anything he likes, he’ll need to be able to reproduce them. He dug out a few Prince August fantasy molds I’d given him the last time we had this disucssion, but this time he ordered a melting pot and some lead-free pewter and actually cast some models. To help him out, I was giving him tips remotely, and I also set up my gear and did some casting as well. I haven’t been painting much during the pandemic for various reasons, but I decided that I would do a handful of test models from the casting sessions. I’m not entirely sure why, but I also decided that I would paint them using my limited palette travel paint set (~15 colors). That seemed to unstick the painting block I’ve had. So, here they are, with a Sir Forescale looking rather like an ogre to show how small they are. Left to right, figures are from the molds for Wizards, Female Adventurers, Heroes and Fighters, Men of the City, and Barbarians 2. I didn’t time them, but they were running 45 minutes to 90 minutes each. This early series of Prince August molds consists of 21 molds making about 57 different figures, depending on how you count them and whether you can find older copies of some of them. They’ve apparently lost or worn out tooling for some of them, so they currently sell a few molds with two figures that used to have three. I’m now idly wondering what sort of game I would staff using them exclusively; clearly one not using anyt large non-humanoid monsters, since there are no molds for such. The next sample batch has some dwarves, a cavalryman, and enough spearmen to start looking like a unit. If I get that done, I’ll set up some goblins, orcs and trolls to be able to deploy a skirmish game.
  5. I’ve been finishing up miscellaneous projects off my bench lately. Here is the first of the late Roman (or Romano-British successor kingdoms) infantry: The actual castings are a bit rough; everyone is made from Prince August or Dutkins Lil Army molds, and most of the figures are assembled from multiple pieces. I’d be interested sometime to know who thought that it would be a good idea to cast small 25s with separate heads and weapons...
  6. I spent lunches last week on these two stands of Saxons for the Osprey Game Dux Bellorum, in which each stand is a unit on its own. All of the figures are home cast, mostly Prince August with a few spearmen from Dutkins Collectables. For the Saxon army, I'm doing it all with home cast figures, partly as an excuse for having the molds, partly as an artistic challenge. Practically speaking, there's probably more individualization and detail work than is actually necessary for a mass tabletop unit, but I like to err on the extra side...
  7. Without going into the whole background, these guys are from Prince August “Irish Wild Geese” 40mm semi-flat home casting molds. I’ve been working with these molds and figures for almost thirty years at this point, and have enough for most purposes, so it’s been a while since I painted any. Pictures of games with them can be found on my blog. We generally paint them somewhere in the classic toy soldier spectrum rather than as museum-style diorama miniatures, and these, like the rest of my collection, are done in fictitious uniforms for imaginary countries. (Or “imagi-nations” in historical miniature wargamer jargon...) While they may presently get their own cannon, here they are grouped around one of my generic spares, to show that the field hockey player is really aiming by using a lever to move the trail.
  8. With my British infantry unit done, I finally sat down this morning to get started on French Revolution project expansion unit #2 (of 7+). This time it's British cavalry, and with the rules we'll be using (A Gentleman's War), the default cavalry unit is six figures. My recent casting sessions have produced the parts, so it's now a case of assembling them into some semblance of what I'm looking for: I see that I will be going back to file off even more of the original lapels and lace from the basic casting, and I'm going to try to add the rest of the helmet crest with some green stuff before painting. I built up the first figure as a test this morning.
  9. https://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/86590-40mm-french-revolutionary-wars-british/ As described above, finished up today... Now on to the next unit...
  10. I went up to Portland, Maine a couple of weeks ago for a historical miniatures gaming convention, and found, when the dust settled, that I was pledging to expand an existing French Revolutionary Wars project from a skirmish game into a battle game for next year. Details are in my blog. I am using home cast figures from multiple part German molds. After a solid casting session last week, I have a good stock of parts, so I settled in on Friday to see what I could do to build a unit of these 1792/3 British: I started off on Friday morning with parts, super glue, files, and an X-acto knife, and things were moving right along. Despite having other things to do, by Friday night my 12-man unit was assembled. I sprayed everything with black primer yesterday morning, and started in around lunch time. By 3:00 or so, I had the main colors roughed in on all of them. At that point, I wanted to see what they were going to look like when finished, so I took one figure from the group and lined the color separations, detailed the face, and did the various buttons and lace. My past experience with these figures is that the easiest way for me to get them done is to paint them in assembly line fashion until I reach a point where I have to turn a single figure around to deal with the lining and face, etc., after which it's faster to take them to completion one at a time. Since the last time I did a group of these, I've taken to using a wet palette, which looks like it will make that process easier, since the five or six colors of paint needed for the completion will all stay usable between figures. For a unit like this, small irregularities are not going to show on the table, but I wish that I had picked a different figures to finish for the initial pictures. i was well into this before I noted that the glue used to attach his head had left some roughness on the face, so he looks like a smallpox survivor. En masse, though, it shouldn't draw the eye. Now, on with the other 11...
  11. As I posted the other day, I have been inspired to put in some work on my 40mm Renaissance project, for the first time in six years or so. After doing the visual inventory, I concluded that what I most immediately needed was more pikemen. So, digging through my bags of raw castings, I pulled out a dozen pikemen base figures and a few other near term wishes. I haven't done the metal work on these figures in a while, so I warmed up with a second need, putting together three figures to form a command stand for lighter infantry, and then went on to do four of the easier pike conversions. The basic body is a halberdier, but it's very difficult to get the halter to cast properly, and, since I don't need it anyway, I realized a few years ago that I could insert a heavy wire into the mold in the hollow intended to become the halberd shaft, and pull it out (usually ) once the casting was cool. That basically gives you two ring hands into which to insert a brass wire pike. I have a small stash of 1/16" brass "curling wire" in 12" lengths, so it made sense to use 4" pikes and get three from a wire. I had a brief opportunity to work on two of the pikemen at lunch one day this week, and more or less finished one: I used a deliberately toy-like style when I painted the bulk of the figures twenty years ago, and I am not sure that I can match it. Nevertheless, I am going with a similar look this time, with some deliberately heavy black-lining. As one can see from the inventory picture, in actual play the figures end up giving an impressionistic effect, so there's not a lot of point in worrying too much about any single figure.
  12. So here's my final for this unexpected snow day. Three stands go to the Dux Bellorum project, which I hope to play with this weekend, and the two on the right are part of the vintage Minifigs Middle Earth war bands project. As the Soviets are supposed to have said, quantity has a quality of its own...
  13. My goal in the Thanksgiving painting binge is to finish the last six 25mm home cast Saxons I need to deploy a war game army, to finish a dozen or so 1/72 plastic Vikings needed to deploy a different wargame army, and to start some momentum on a project to do a set of inter-related Middle Earth warbands for Dragon Rampant, to be done with vintage Minifigs from the early to mid-70s. For those who might not have heard this before, these figures were the first commercial fantasy figures produced, and therefore reach back to the dawn of time for the hobby of fantasy gaming. http://www.miniatures-workshop.com/lostminiswiki/index.php?title=Mythical_Earth Here’s what my desk looks like this morning:
  14. While I was on with the Hangouts painting group last night, I was working on the last four figures for this stand of 8 Saxons: They have been languishing for a couple of years at this point, and I wanted a break from what I had been doing, and had been reminded of them recently. The Osprey rules series (e.g. Frostgrave, Dragon Rampant) was kicked off in 2012 with Dan Mersey's _Dux Bellorum_, a game of small warband combat in Dark Ages Britain. I have had a set of mostly out of production Prince August molds (601-608) which make multi-part figures, supplemented by a few barbarian molds from their fantasy line and some molds from Dutkin's Collectibles making some earlier Romans and some opponents. Happily, most barbarians in tunics and trousers look the same for centuries. I had been wondering what to do do with these molds and realized that I could probably work up some plausible Saxon, Romano-British, and Later Roman armies for this game. A typical warband is going to consist of 8-12 stands of figures, which I'm depicting as 4-8 foot or 2-3 horse. The group I finished off last night was the last foot stand I had ready to go, so this morning I dug out my sorting box of raw castings: I need to do some additional casting soon, because my starter warband design wants 3 Saxon noble (i.e. better equipped) warrior stands, and the one finished last night leaves me two to go. While the total number of castings I have is large, I'm running out of good copies of the round shield, and more than half the figures need one. Nevertheless, I filed, assembled, and converted (lightly) the next eight figures. One of the 7 or 8 poses from the fantasy barbarian molds is a swordsman holding his shield in an awkward position. I had a go at repositioning it into something a little more reasonable. The nice thing about working with home cast figures is that you can always remelt them if something goes wrong, so they are good for practicing metal skills. The bad thing is that they are never as crisp as spin cast figures, so there's a limit to how good you can make them look. I'm aiming for a "nice old school" style, which would have looked really good in 1974 when we were painting with enamels using brushes that wouldn't hold a point. Because I had the metal working tools out, I was playing around with a couple of figures that won't be needed immediately for this warband. I'm not sure whether I'll be extending my Saxons with additional ordinary warriors, or whether they'll end up as Romano-British. The figure is a Dutkin's barbarian with a leveled spear held in both hands. The spear seldom if ever casts, but is pretty easy to replace with wire. I've done one here as a straight replacement; the second is holding his spear in one hand while a round shield has been added to the other.
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