Monthly Archives: April 2015

Stalingrad Jump-off Points for Chain of Command

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I picked these above grade sewer entrances up from Demo’s Laser-cut Designs:

http://demoslaser-cutdesigns.weebly.com/store/p66/28mm_Above_Grade_Sewer_Entrance_4-pack.html

I intend to use them as jump-off points for Chain of Command games in Stalingrad – for the Soviets obviously.  The figures are hacked up plastics from the Warlord Games plastic Soviets set.  I didn’t like the figures that much but they really are perfect for an application like this where you need to cut them down and position arms just so.

I’m not sure about the grass.  Tall grass often grows up around obstacles like this, but perhaps it’s overdone.  I would like to bend it a little as if blown by the wind but I’m not sure how to pull that off.  And I’d like to put a little variety of color onto it.  I tried dry-brushing some lighter paint on but that didn’t work so well.  I may mask the figures and hit the tops with my airbrush.  So I guess these are still works in progress.

I bought two sets as I intend to embed the others into the terrain boards I plan to build for Stalingrad.  They are really easy to put together.  The raised bit is two pieces.  After gluing them together I spread a little filler around the edges to help hide the join and give a more unfinished concrete kind of look to them.  And I primed them with a primer for wood before putting the basing material on to help prevent warping.  (I’m not sure that’s really a concern but I did it to be on the safe side).

Salisbury’s Retinue

Here are the archers of Salisbury’s retinue.  6 stands of longbowmen made from Perry plastics, the War of the Roses set.

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The livery badges, front and back, and the banners are all decals from Citadel Six.  In the pack you get two livery banners in each pattern, the gold wyvern and the green wings.

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I’m loving the Perry plastics.  I do have a couple of critiques of this set in particular.  There aren’t enough swords to give all of the archers a sidearm.  I think they should probably all have one.  And there aren’t enough arrows stuck in the ground to have some in front of each archer.  You can remedy this by backing extra of the command sprues and I’ll do that in the future, but I was a little disappointed by that.

Cleaning up all the plastic figures is quite a bit of work.  I’ll do a post soon on how best to clean and assemble these guys.  They are easy to assemble but a real pain to clean the mould lines.

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With the Citadel Six badges and banners these guys are going to look awesome once complete.  It’s very motivating.

And here is the whole of Salisbury’s contingent with the two stands of men-at-arms.  I plan to do several stands of men-at-arms with no banners to allow me to fill out battle groups as needed.  One does wonder how men in white armor determined who was on which side once the fight began.

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Citadel Six War of the Roses Banners and Badges

I love them!

Here are a couple of stands of War of the Roses Men-at-arms.  Salisbury.  The figures are Perry plastic foot knights.

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There are two standards there.  Hmmm, at this angle, end-on, you don’t see much of the second.  Drat.  And the men with tabards are wearing Salisbury’s livery with badges from Citadel Six also.

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OK, you can see the banners better now.   The banners are decals.  They come on a big sheet.  For Salisbury you get his personal arms and a company standard (those are the two pictured here) and 4 livery standards.  I’ll show a pic of those in a few days when I finish basing the archers I’ve completed.

The badges are also decals.  You get a big sheet of decals with badges for the front and back of the livery coat.

I liked them a lot so ordered sets for two more nobles: Bourchier and Richard of York.  I guess that means I’m doing a WotR army also….

Here’s an example of what you get as it comes out of the package.  This is from Bourchier’s banner set.  You get a sheet with the banners:

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If you notice the lower left livery banner got bent by the post office and the ink lifted off.  This isn’t really an issue, but I’ll come back to it in a bit when I talk about putting these together.  Also note that the left and right don’t go back to back on the sheet.  There is a reason for that.  Again, I’ll come back to that.

You get a package of brass wire.  This is handy, but you can also use these on Perry plastic standard bearers with plastic standard poles for example.

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And you get a package with photo-etched brass standards to mount the decals on.  Here is at it arrives and then spread out so you can see them.

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Tres cool!  So, what you do: you wrap those long fingers around your standard pole and glue them together with a tiny (really, you only need a little) bit of super glue.  The best way to do this I’ve found is to do the top and bottom.  You bend each around the pole, shape it a bit so the fingers go together nicely, then spread them apart and insert a tiny dab of super glue, and clamp them together until it sets.  It takes awhile for me.  Is that because of the brass?  Don’t know.   Then you can go back and do the same with the middle ones.  After the glue is thoroughly dry, shape the standard into the final shape you want it to be in.

After that I primed the photoetch brass along with the rest of the figure.  I painted the rest of the figure and then came back to the standard.  Remember that I recommended to shape the brass before painting.  I learned from my first one that if you apply the standard and then shape it, you can crack the standard and have the color lift off.  (You remember my photo of the bent standard at the top, that’s what happened).  This is not a big deal to fix, but if you shape the brass first, it’s very easy to slide the decal onto the standard and not have it crack.

The standards are waterslide transfers that work very well.  They separate from the paper easily and slide into place nicely.  I use microsol and microset to get them to lay down perfectly.  Then go back and touch up around the edges so the underlying brass isn’t visible, and voila!

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You can see the livery badge on the back of the two tabarded figures in this pic.  These are a little more tricky to work with but are still awesome.  I had two issues with mine.  First, they don’t want to lay down on the figure when straight from the water.  This isn’t really an issue but it does require some care.  I paint the figure first then transfer the badge onto the figure.  It will be kind of standing up.  After letting it set for a little bit, I put a drop of micro-sol on the badge just from the end of the brush.  You may have to fiddle with the positioning a bit again if you’re not careful.  After a while the decal will start to lay down on the figure.  Usually a second drop of microsol will get it to lay down perfectly then.  Second, on the red part of the badge, some of the color around the edge lifted as I transferred it on to the figure.  I spoke to Geoff at Citadel Six about this and he sad that sometimes he’ll get a bad print result.  He offered to replace them but I didn’t think that was necessary as I’m painting around the edges anyway.  After it has set you paint up to the edges and blend it with the rest of the figure.

The results are fantastic!  I highly recommend these.  You can see the complete range for the War of the Roses here: http://www.citadelsix.co.uk/wotr.html.  And he offers decals for other periods as well.  Check ’em out!

Venetians

The start of a new, or a couple of new, projects to distract me.  Late 15th century Venice.  With Perry plastics from the European mercenaries set.

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I’m having a lot of fun with the plastics.  I’ve assembled a bunch and painted quite a few.  They are way easier to work with than the Warlord WW2 plastics.  They go together easily.  There’s a lot of cleaning up to do to get them ready to paint but they are very cool.  And because they are plastic there’s a lot you can do with them.  I’ll do a separate post on handling these plastics soonish with some tips from what I’ve learned and some pointers to work of people who really do amazing things with plastics.

Anyway, this is for a Venetian army, late 15th century.  A friend of mine has had an Ottoman army forever and has never had a historical matchup with them (well, maybe once).  I’ve wanted to create a historical opponent for some time, so this is the start of it.

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I plan to do an army that can work in the colonies or on the peninsula for Salt Wars perhaps.  I’ve been reading The Deeds of Commander Pietro Mocenigo.  It’s a lot of fun and great inspiration for Venetians raiding around the Aegean.

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I have a few condottieri painted but not based and a bunch of stuff assembled.  I got some great flags from Pete’s flags.  So you’ll be seeing more of these soon.