Thursday, July 27, 2017

Russifying Cossacks - Making more Boyar Sons

One of the things that are starting to annoy me somewhat is the ungodly amount of crappy Boyar Sons that I need to produce and paint only to see them flee from the battlefield at first opportunity.

After making most of the Boyar Sons for the first units from scratch, I´ve started to take some shortcuts for the next batch of Boyar Sons. There will be fully sculpted figures, but I´m starting to mix in converted Totentanz figures  (Tartars and Cossacks).  With a little bit of conversion, they can easily be russified - and much quicker than building an entire rider from scratch.

Below are two Totentanz Cossacks, one with minor conversion (just added a full beard), another one up-armored with a thick brigantine.



And here is the latest scratch-built cavalryman.


I was also able to finish my Reiter unit of two bases, but haven´t taken any pictures yet. This is something I´ll fix after my holiday.  Until then - happy wargaming to all readers! 

 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Cacadores - AR10 Portugese

They´ve been requested for a long time and I finally got around to sculpt them:  Portugese AR-10 Riflemen for the Bush Wars in Angola and Mozambique.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Frozen Horsemeat - Skirmishing with the Muscovites

Last saturday I was able to attend our local wargaming day after many months of absence. As agreed before, we had mustered our forces for a Skirmish game of By Fire and Sword.

My Muscovite Skirmish force found itself in conflict with a large horde of Ukrainian Cossacks with a mix of Infantry ranging from rabble to registered molotsoi.

We fought the Foraging scenario, the stronger player (Cossacks) had to defend the loot (Frozen Horsemeat) he found in the villages against the smaller force (Muscovy).  The Cossacks started the game split up between the two build up areas which enabled the muscovites to focus on one flank to even the odds.



Muscovy deployed all troops on the right flank, hoping to crush at least one half of the enemy force while their commander was on the other side of the battlefield.
Above you can see the Muscovite Servant Cossacks perparing to storm the village defended by a lot of Cossacks.

A skirmish Sotnia was sent out to block and drive off the approaching commander.  Unfortunately they ended up charging the large group of cosscaks on the far edge in the flank, tempted by the opportunity, but ultimately failing.
However, they succeeded in their mission to hold off the enemy commander for a long time...


On the right flank, the battle commenced with several waves of indecisive charges of Muscovite Servant Cossacks against their free brethren in the village.
The Russian Cavalry rode close to the spearmen and let lose several volleys of close range fire.

After several failed attempts of the servant cossacks to storm the village and a long period of indecisive shooting of the horsemen against the spear-armed cossacks defending the rear of the village, a charge was ordered and the spearmen broke.

However, there was still one unit of cossacks stubbornly holding on to the village.
Just before the Muscovite Boyars and Reiter managed to crush the Cossack spearmen, their Infantry became exhausted and disorganized after several failed attempts to clear the houses.

On the left flank, the Skirmish sotnia had now charged and broke against the much larger cossack unit. The commander was free to ride to the part of the battlefield were the main action was raging and coordinated the defense. 


The Russian cavalry tried twice to drive of the defenders, but without help of the infantry (still disorganized) they failed to complete their task.

In the end, after a futile attempt to disrupt the enemy foraging party, the Ukrainians got to take home the frozen horsemeat, resulting in a major victory for the Cossacks.




Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wonder Women - New Women Militia Preview

New miniatures coming up - the next batch of masters is ready and getting packed up for casting.

Among them:  New Women Militia  / Militiawomen  / whatever they are called ;)


I still find that I struggle a bit more with female faces, but there is a small and steady improvement - my personal favorite is the kneeling figure with the beret.

Monday, June 26, 2017

You think you´re Special...

After a lot of Fantasy and painting in 28mm, it´s time to turn back to Sculpting and Modern in 20mm. Progress has been slow on the latest set of miniatures, but I´m finally coming close to sending a new batch into production.

Here´s the first pack of the Summer 2017 releases coming up in the next weeks I hope:



With this set I want to provide an addition to the already existing set of Special Operatives in Light Gear.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Wasting Warband

And so the warband gathers to plunder and kill, their presence announced far beyond the horizon by the gutwrenching stench they carrry.


I hope you enjoyed this little special week of Nurgle models.
If that was too much fantasy for your taste, I´ve got good news: I´ll be presenting some new 20mm figures soon.

If you liked all that Fantasy, I also got good news: More is on the way, I much enjoy painting these models and I´ve got more in the pipeline, with a slightly different focus. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Ironclad

Clad in corroding armor plates, some Champions contain their bodies to prevent guts and rot from spilling all around. They carry armor not just for the sake of protection - layers of rotten flesh and nurgles gift are providing resilience far beyond any conventional armor - but for mobility.  At a certain level of decay, armor becomes less encumbering than carrying none. 

Especially if demonic strength provides power and endurance of unimaginable plenty.



Thursday, June 15, 2017

Legions of Decay

The endless Legions of foulness accompany the great plaguelords as they scour the lands. Their presence spreads terror, for their biggest weapon is invisible and deadly: Nurgles Gift.  Once contracted, you are given a terrible choice: Serve and replenish the unending legions or succumb to the terrible symptoms of the scourge.



The Legions are growing stronger. Soon, they will be among us. Steel yourself for the inevitable battle.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Insatiable

Driven by insatiable hunger this Champion of Nurgle marches forth to slaughter and consume the mortals, with tentacles stuffing their bloody remains into his belly.



Sunday, June 11, 2017

Wobble

As the minis look so much better on a dark background, I used the opportunity to take decent photos of the already finished Blightkings when I had the equipment all set up for the Plaguebearers.

Some of you might know them already, but I find it remarkable to see how a different backdrop and a good camera (with the right settings figured out thanks to some good tutorials online) makes all the difference.

So again from the Mist of the Chaos Wastes emerges the first Chosen of Nurgle to spread pestilence among the living:




Stay tuned for more of these improved shots  :)

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Walking Rotbags

I´ve long been looking for a Fantasy Skirmish System that allows me to use the limited number and mixed factions of Fantasy Figures on my shelf - most of what I looked at so far was not to my taste, mostly because the forces involved where too big and I couldn´t muster a coherent force.

So, despite my concerns that it might be too simplistic, I decided to risk 7€ by buying the new release of the Warhammer AoS - Skirmish version, hoping to field a small warband of 3-5 Minitures in a Fantasy Skirmish Game.
As I wanted to bring my lovely Nurgle Blightkings I ordered a set of Plaguebeareres with the rules and added some cheap infantry choice to supplement the heavier Lord/Heavy Infantry style Blightkings.

Of course this also offered the opportunity to practice some more speed and batch-painting using airbrush techniques and faster painting methods than I use on the larger or more complex models, which can be very time consuming.

The Plaguebearers where simple and organic enough to use mostly airbrush, washes, drybrush and only a small amount of manual brushwork to work out the highlights.

And so I was able to produce the first batch in comparatively little time to a nice standard.


Three more are on my painting table still waiting for the detailling and highlighting after the washes :)


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Fueled by Chaos

Time for another picture from my recent photography session.

This Bloodletter is a few months old - the idea was to try something different from the  usual blood red scheme you always see, so he got a somewhat tzeenchy look.
The big experiments on this guy was the effect on the hand, the blade and the OSL-look of the glowing eyes. 


Can you see how he fuels the sword with his daemonic powers, flowing from his arm into the blade?

 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Tank Busters - 15mm Sherman Firefly

A few months ago I receieved two Sherman Firefly as a gift - I believe the intention was to get me into 15mm WW2.

They´ve been sitting on my painting desk and someday I grabbed them and gave them some airbrush treatment because I felt like using the airbrush and these were suitable models to do so.

Of course I had to finish them up after getting them halfway done, so here I am with two 15mm Sherman Firefly.


I don´t want to get into 15mm WW2 - I just painted these for the sake of painting.
They´ll probably be sold off at some point to finance some new minis or equipment :)



Saturday, May 20, 2017

Painting Pestilence - The Conclusion

Hi all,

I´ve done it again, the blog has gone silent for quite a while now as I didn´t have much motivation to post here. But rejoice, it got some cool stuff finished and in the pipeline for the blog that will appear shortly.

I´m starting today to finish something I left off back in december.
Remember my attempt to record a step by step documentation on painting a Blightking?  I never posted the second part - until now.

So I dug out the photos from december and prepped them for you.
First however, the final result to wet some appetite:

Well - too bad blogger doesn´t like transparency.  He was supposed to look like this


Last time, we left off when he still looked like this:



The next step was to paint the left armor. I chose to glaze them in a light purple towards the knee and upper leg, fading into a green towards the feet.
You can see on the palette that I´m not using pure purple - I believe the base color Hexed Lichen was modified with a bit of ivory to achieve a more pastel effect. The transition was achieved with a wet blend.

Like the armor on the torso, the trick was to apply thin layers and leave the pre-shading from the priming stage shining through to create shadows and highlights.

At this stage, I also painted the belt using different shades created with cork brown as a starting point.


Next, I added edge highlighting on all the armor parts - I went with a mix of orange, tan and ivory to create the light orange edge highlight and re-used my purple and green with added parts of ivory to highlight the leg armor.

The hood was painted in a  brown, not sure if I mixed it on the palette or took something straight from the pot -  again, the edge highligh was just base color + added parts of  tan/ivory.

As you can see, at this stage the hands and straps on the armor have also been painted in. The straps are using the same colors as the hood


Next I painted the armor on the arms in Dark Sea Blue and highlighted them using the same technique as above  - no pictures though.

That left me with just the antler - they were rather tricky, I finally settled for giving them a very suble glaze of browns to create a natural look. I think I used Agrax Earthsahde here. The rotten interior was shaded with green and re-established the shadows by brushing in some very dark brown.

Towards the end I also hit the blades with some rusty orange pigments that I watered down and slapped onto the blade to create the rust effects.

Last, I painted the base in a very swampy theme like the rest of my BlightKings and mounted the mini. So, here he is:



Saturday, March 18, 2017

Onto the Field of Battle - Deploying the Muscovites

It is time.
After weeks of preparation and relentless efforts to muster and train the forces, the Golova is finally ordered to move his troops into battle against the Ottomans...

So today he moved out to fight a first resounding defeat against a much larger Ottoman force...





More details on the battle might follow in a later post, if I ever feel like working my way through the foto-editing.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Golova - Russian Skirmish Force Command

Time for another update on my ongoing project.  Next week I´ll have to be ready to field at least the most basic skirmish force for our wargaming day. To work towards that goal, I´ve greated my Commander and russified the Musician and Bannerman from the Totentanz Mounted Cossacks Command set.

Together, thes should make a nice command stand to represent my Golova, the commander of my Muscotive Skirmish Force.

With all the work done so far, I´ll have to finish the Command Stand and the last two Boyar Son cavalrymen to get a basic playable skirmish force on the table.  I´ll probably have to lend a unit of cavalry to represent a skirmish sotnia if need be - but we´ll see.

Then I can focus my attention on adding the Reiters and paint mounted Cossacks to represent my Servant Cossacks when mounted and moving on horseback.

So far, my Scratch-Build Boyar Sons unit looks like this:



Two more to paint.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Recruitment Rapport - Mustering the Tzarist Forces

The buildup of my Muscovite Skirmish Force is progressing.
Since my last entry, more Miniatures have been sculpted, painted and purchased.

Dismounted Servant Cossacks -  left and middle base with my own designs, right base with Totentanz Foot Cossacks - lovely figures :)


 First member of my Reiter unit who are supposedly better-performing than any of the other cavalry options in my intended build....


...such as the Boyar Sons, one of which can be seen below.  These are the Muscovite Levy of the Nobility and are said to perform poorly.



My intended build for the first skirmish games: 

Basic Skirmish Force with 2 Boyar Son Sotnias replaced by 2 Servant Cossacks of equal strength (4 FSP) 
  • Servant Cossacks (3 Bases)
  • Servant Cossacks (3 Bases)
  • Boyar Son Sotnia (2 Bases)
  • Boyar Son Sotnia (2 Bases)
  • Boyar Son Sotnia (2 Bases)
  • Additional Skirmish Sotnia (3 Bases) - for the Miestnichestvo  Special Rule 
  •  Reiter Sotnia  (2 Bases)  (+1 FSP):  + 2 bases by the "Ludiej Unas Mnoga" Special Rule
  • +4 Boyar Son Bases (+1 FSP)   - to bring the base force up to strength 
  • Skirmish Sotnia (+1 FSP)

This will be the guiding template to build my force. Most of the Base Force is complete, the most annoying part is the Additional Skirmish Sotnia as I don´t know if I´ll actually use it in my first engagement.



Sunday, February 19, 2017

Raising the Levy - Muscovite Army in the Works

It´s time for a little update!  Since last I posted about my plans to raise my Muscotive Army, a lot of progress has been made.

My lovely little horses have indeed arrived a while ago and I instantly started raising the Boyar Son Cavalry unit. Obviously stratch-building them with only the horses, putty, some metal dollies and plastic strips is taking some time, hence the long intervall since the last update. But I´m finally able to show you the first results both painted and the next batch as Work in Progress:

Here is the first base of Boyar Sons, sculpted on AB horses:


And another base finished as sculpts, but yet to be painted:


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Humble Beginnings - The Muscotives are gathering forces!

Today I´m going to show you my first results in building my Muscovite Forces, as promised in my last post.

The core of the force so far is formed by a pike and shot infantry unit. The miniatures were made all by me - my first attempts to do 15mm models - in one of my earlier attempts to start a force. Unfortunately I soon realised that this kind of formation is not suitable to field a quickly playable skirmish force, as these are either cavalry or dragoons, not pike and shot units.

Later, I laid my hands on some cheap cavalrymen that I found suitable to represent Russian Traditional Noble Cavalry - even if not historically accurate, these riders at least give the right feeling and impression.  Here they are, painted up, representing some Boyar Sons Cavalry bases:


Some interesting features that you might not discover on first glance:

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Muskets will be back...

Hello again and sorry for the silence - again I´ve been working way to quietly on my projects without documenting and posting them here.

I´ve recently focused on my long term project of renaissance warfare. Remember, this blog is called Rifles and Muskets? Well, we´ve been skipping the muskets part way to much in the past. When I re-entered wargaming in 2012 one of my intentions was to create a 17th century army, as this period always held some fascination for me.

Back then I tried building up some 10mm forces, quickly aborted the attempt after moving into a region where this period is played in 15mm and never recovered from that setback. Then, about two years ago, I purchased a copy of the then new ruleset By Fire and Sword and set my mind to starting a muscovite army.  Unfortunately, I was never happy with the figure choices on the market for muscovites. I sculpted some of my own 15mm Soldats Infantry and had them cast along with my 20mm Minis (pics will appear when the unit is fully painted)  but that never kicked off either.

The problem is: I need cavalry, dragoons and cossacks to build a suitable skirmish force - not Soldat infantry that I built in the spur of the moment. I can only use these guys in engagements that are way larger than what I need to start. And while I managed to sculpt Infantrymen, I wasn´t able to do horses. Hemmed by this frustration, my focus shifted to other projects and miniatures.

In the last few weeks I´ve felt the urge to continue/restart the buildup of my muscovite forces as they were gathering dust on my painting shelf, waiting to be finished.  After getting in the mood, I built some 15mm Cossack/Dragoon half-figures that I can fit with spears of muskets in different poses after getting them cast in metal. This will form the core of my dismounted light Infantry.

Yet I had still not found cavalry that suited my taste - there are some nice high quality choices for infantry figures that have been released by Totentanz. I´ll definitely purchase some at some point to supplement my own minis, but that doesn´t solve the cavalry-issue... Well, Totentanz has some nice cavalry for eastern europe as well, but it would require quite a bit of conversion work to transform them into Boyar Sons / Pomiestna Cavalry. I don´t mind the work, however, the miniatures are very nice and a bit pricy to cut them up and rebuild up to 60% of them.

The Wargamer figures / BFaS-Range Boyar Sons are an option, but I don´t like them.
All the other manufacturers I found don´t really offer nice Muscovite Cavalry with a variety of poses that would make an order worthwile.

At that point I went back to analyse my problem. I wanted/needed cavalry, but I don´t like the choices or chopping up nice and expensive figures when I can sculpt them from scratch on my own. But I´m not proficient enough to build horses.  Well then, maybe we can find 15mm horses...

Yes we can!  And very nice horses they are!

AB Horses - Picture from abfigures.com
 I found these excellent AB Horses in 15mm which they offer for their Napoleonic Range. I went ahead and ordered 4 packs, which will yield 48 horses to build my very own Russian cavalry force.


I´ll be building some dollies for cavalrymen and start customizing them according to my needs. That should enable me to field a sizeable cavalry force all by myself.  It will probably take a lot longer, but I´m already 2 years behind schedule and don´t really care. This is a long term project after all.  I´d be more than happy to field my first playable force in spring or summer.

I´ll do my best to document my progress here. Let´s hope this is not another failed attempt to restart this project ;)





Friday, January 6, 2017

Christmas Break is over!

Hey all,

I took a few weeks off of wargaming, painting and sculpting during christmas and new year to spend some time with my family. But fear not, I´m back now and have already commenced work.

I´m not so much into painting right now, but I made good progress with sculpting a few new minis.
So today I want to show you another part of the new Portugese Support Weapons:



This LMG-Gunner carries a HK21 into battle and was requested by several supporters at the Guild, who helpted to bring the range into being in the first place.


I´ve also prepared another MG3/MG42-Gunner to provide an additional. more combat oriented pose and supply more options for gamers who already have a lot of riflemen, but few support weapons.