Saturday, 29 October 2011

Early Imperial Roman Auxilia from 1st Corps.


Eons ago I started a Roman Imperial Army in 28mm. Miniatures were collected in dribble and drabs from different manufacturers and painting was proceeding painfully slowly. Recently (months ago!) I was a able to finish a core of Warlord Legionaries so I have moved a bit forward with the project. Any decent Roman army needs auxiliaries. I had a 16 man unit from 1st corps, bought even before the new management took over (with the improvement in moulds and casting) so I took them to my forward HQ and bought some shield transfers (LBMS masterpieces none the less) for them.

A couple of week ago I jumped on them and now I have my first auxiliary unit.

Now, comparing them with the successors I have my Romans had (ok despite aggressive cleaning some still have) prominent mould lines and I was not in love with the very hard metal used on them. But as I told you earlier these are older castings. For the price they are good value of the money. The details are crisps and I have no problem with the historical accuracy. They are EIR auxiliaries and look the part. All have gladii and some carry also the smaller pugio. The Sword wielding ones have empty scabbards. The unit deal is a quite good deal. 16 men with plenty of different poses, 3 different command (Centurio, standard bearer, Cornicen), 4 different sword poses and 4 different javelin poses. The poses are quite dynamic. My only minor gripe is with the standard bearer. I have no dremel in the forward HQ and the metal seemed to heavy to drill properly and the armos not aligned for a proper fit. In the end I just cut the standard pole in two part and fixed them into position. Still the final result seems quite good.

For some imperscrutable reason I grouped 4 swordsmen in one base and all the javelins on two others. It seemed weird but I think that it is working to present a nice unit.

I have based them on 4x4cm bases. Yes you will tell me it is weird. But I like the look, like the men in two ranks and there are some good reasons. I can use the bases for Crusader rules, Clash of Empires and even WAB 2… with a little fudge with DBA and Armati and as part of an unit for Impetus.

I like impetus, (look at the credits in the rules and in some supplements!) but I realized that the big bases have become impractical for me for several reasons.

Economy… living in London is sucking my family money… plus there is an economic crisis... end results less miniatures…

Storage… yes, you can put less figures, but they take too much space that way…

You cannot do anything else, impetus or impetus, I like Impetus, but I like also a bit of flexibility. In the end I opted for the 4x4 base for infantry. I uses two (usually) or 3 (some bigger armies built before the crisis) to each unit for basic impetus or impetus 300/400 and for big armies with 500 points I can still play in 28mm without breaking my bank account and in my (quite big for normal people), 120x180cm battle table located in the “permanent” HQ in Italy…

I have to take pictures of my legion and cavalry and then finish generals and the auxiliary archers in skirmish order (a bit more than a week and I will be back to base for a week!) and the Army will be declared complete. So stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Panzer IV Part 3!

Platoon Sergeant tank. I have changed from the old battlefield grit from army painter to the new battlefield basing already "painted". Ok it is supposed to save us work, but I am not completely happy with it. But I love the tank commander, his pose is quite nice and evocative. Also the amount of detail on the tanks is impressive. Yes, I like FiB. Also the naysayer will, hopefully, notice the base (the inbuilt resin base, not my additional 2mm plasticard one) is almost invisible on my tanks. Hopefully that will convince people on the validity of FiB offerings.

Panzer IV part 2

Some more close ups. Sadly they have been taken in interior with artificial light.

Platoon commander tank:

Forged in Battle Panzer IV

Forged in Battle, a pleasant experience.

Around one year ago I decided to buy a box/pack of Forged in Battle 15mm Panzer IV G/H. Ok I am slow to paint and I am not so good at planning (ask my mother that impulse buy at Warfare 2010 created a lot of troubles in the family) anyway recently I decided to finally try them. Carried them back to my forward HQ and finally started the work. Actually once I started I cannot put them down. I did them in around one week end and I was massively pleased.

Forged in battle tanks are hybrid kits. Resin hull and metal turret. In the box you get 4 different hulls, 4 identical turrets and 8 barrels. 4 L43 and 4 L48 guns. You also got open and closed turret cupola (with the hatches modelled in open or close position) and 4 different tank commander. The 4 hulls are works of art, each different and with different schurzen combination. Some have spare tracks on the front some not. They are cleanly cast and only minor cleaning is necessary. The same is true for the metal parts. The details are impressive.

In the end I decided to have 3 H variants and the platoon commander riding in an older, but trusty G.

Painting was a breeze. They took army painter matt black primer without an hitch and Vallejo Model and Game colours without problem. I painted them in slightly different schemes to gave the idea of a battered and ragtag platoon. I have used a German camo ochre (Model Color 824) washed with Sepia ink and then drybrushed with

Tan Yellow, then I applied camo and finally gave another dry brush with dark sand. I am quite pleased with the results.