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By Rob Dean
This hasn’t been a particularly good month for painting. I had a week off back on the 9th, but, as shown here, my desk had gotten too cluttered to actually get much painting done. I’m also off this week, and decided that I would try just putting one task on the desk at a time, to see if that would help. My son has been diligently working on his Bronze Age DBA armies, so I decided that I would finally get started on the last stand of figures I needed to finish my 2nd DBA army. (DBA : De Bellis Antiquitatis, a popular set of ancient wargames rules for small figure collections to be played on a small table.) Earlier this year, I had managed to get all of my 13th C BCE Libyan infantry done, to match against my New Kingdom Egyptians, but I still needed a “chariot general” base.
Son and I have been working this project intermittantly for about fifteen years, and we have a deep stash of Caesar Miniatures 1/72 scale plastic figures. There is no “official” Libyan chariot, so I cobbled one together using an Egyptian chariot body, horses from a different (Mitanni) chariot set, and a Libyan commander pose. He’s a little too wide to be able to fit a driver in as well, so, artistic rendering...
We used to mount our chariots on a 40mm wide by 60mm deep base, but the DBA rules call for 60mm by 80mm. The single chariot looks a little lonely, and there isn’t room for a pair of them, so he and I agreed that we would generally mount a couple of “chariot runners” with each vehicle.
Most of my Libyans are done with cloaks painted to represent hairy hides from spotted cows, in keeping with the modern painting guide depictions. However, searching around for actual contemporary Egyptian depictions of Libyans came up with this (I’ve cropped a single figure out of a group of four):
I did my best to replicate the alternating rows of “eyes” and “arrows” on the general’s cloak, and echoed the pattern on the chariot body decorations because “why not?”. At least any historical nit-pickers are likely to have seen the same picture...
Here’s the completed “army”. With the Egyptians, I can at least stage a remote game without using proxy figures, although we are starting to look forward to getting together for an actual games day sometime again (probably still six months off...). Maybe my next army, the Nubians, will be ready by then as well.
By Rob Dean
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.
By Rob Dean
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).
By Rob Dean
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.
By Rob Dean
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.
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