Thursday, 29 September 2011

Barsoom theme HoTT gaming table.

What are the chances of anything coming from Mars, you ask ?

Well, that same question was asked and pondered over for some time in the period following the Napoleonic Wars.

In fact Professor Friedrich Max Willen of the Royal Theosophical Society spent several years work on the answer to that question. Through painstaking research and the application of numerical methods, he calculated those odds to be -

A Million To One  

... precisely.

Professor Friedrich Max Willen 
of the Royal Theosophical Society.

First scholar to calculate the odds of anything
coming from Mars, using modern rational methods.

... well, we all know how those odds turned out !

Monday, 26 September 2011

Prussian medium foot artillery - 1813

Regiment of the Day - late war Prussian foot artillery.

Im really enjoying these 'true 15mm' scale minis from warrior in the UK. Crisp and clear and easy to paint quickly to a high standard.

This unit is the Prussian '6lb gun and crew' model, which actually looks like a British howitzer. Not sure how accurate that is ... but for the purpose of representing medium foot batteries in Republique - just perfect.

No specific unit in this case, these are generic medium gun batteries that can be attached to whatever ad-hoc battle group the campaign calls for.

The gun models feature nice big holes at the muzzle - possibly a little exaggerated on the sizing, but it does look the part and gathers the paint really well.

Republique Measuring Stick

Quick Tip of the day - building your own custom measuring stick for gaming.

You would never find a tape measure on a Napoleonic battlefield, but you would find coloured rods used for measuring and sighting guns.

Here is a converted chopstick from the chinese take away, shaped like an RSM's batton, and coloured like an artillery sighting stick.

Useful and cool at the same time.

Divisions on the stick are measured out in cm, and painted in bands on the chopstick.

17e Regiment d' Ligne - 1809

Regiment of the day

French 17eme Regiment d'Ligne at Wagram 1809.

Davout's III Corps

1st Division (Morand)
  • 13th light - 4 bases light infantry
  • 17th line - 4 bases line infantry
  • 30th line - 4 bases line infantry
  • 61st line - 4 bases line infantry
  • 1 medium foot artillery, 1 light horse artillery

Today's regiment is the 17th Line, which formed part of the 1st division of III Corps.

Always check the rubbish !

On our regular midnight shopping run, we walk past a set of beachside apartments that is being renovated.

This is great, because the skip bins out the back of the apartments are always full, and their contents gets refreshed every few days. Sweet !

We are just doing up the studio at the moment to make some work area for a few large commission pieces, and so we have been on the lookout for some carpet offcuts to lay down on the floor. This is sort of to protect the floors, but also there is nothing quite like the luxury of working bare foot on a warm night on fresh carpet.

So anyway, we check the bins and find a roll of carpet about the right size. No idea what it looks like unfurled, but its defintely 70's styling with some sort of eyesore flouro lime green colour involved.

Cut a long story short, after we get it back to the studio and unfurl it ... I find that it is indeed lime green in parts, but also has this excellent almost fractal pattern of random swirls of olive green throughout.

So its in use in the studio, but not in the painting room. This one goes in the gaming room :

Hand Painted 15mm scale flags - Part 3, The Finished Product

The advantages of hand painted flags on canvas over laser printed paper are many :

  • Exact match on the facing colours, much better than you will ever get from even the most expensive printer / paper combination.

  • Shiny metalic colours on your flags that really stands out.

  • A wonderful textured cloth finish, that folds beautifully when wet with PVA glue, and then dries to a tough and robust flag.

  • When folding, you can fold curves through the flag, without the 'creasing' effects that sometimes plague paper flags.

  • The edges, after drying, provide a solid, if thick surface that then holds paint well. Because the flag itself is painted, painting the edges then blends in seamlessly. Its extremely difficult to get this seamless effect on printed flags, where there is a small overlap at the edges.

  • They really do look like real flags, hand made in the traditional way. Computer printed flags can sometimes look like technological oddities when added to handpainted figures IMHO.
Finished Results

Hand Painted 15mm scale flags - Part 2, Prussian

Pruessisches Fahne

Slightly smaller than the Saxon Flags. Go 14/15mm strips for these. Keep in mind that AB figures are 18mm compared to true 15mm, so the scaling in not exactly 1:100 for the flags. Prussian Infantry flags are quite small - 750mm to 1m square.

Start with the basic colour all over

...and then include any flashes to make Maltese crosses on the flags.

Add a white oval to the centre of the flag.

Gold circle with a bar in each corner.

Gold dash on the centre of each side of the flag.

Scroll in the top part of the central oval - use the same colour as the flag facing colour.

Der Imperisches Adler, right hand side.

Der Imperisches Adler, left hand side. This shot shows the half eagle. Note the straight line through from head to tail.

Red Beak of the chicken, red for the top of the crown (which is coming up next, at the top of the central oval), and red in the crowns above each circle on the corners of the flag.

Gold for some footwork on the eagle, and as a crown for the eagle. Most Glorious he looks now !

Gold again. The outline of the crown above that red thing we added at the top of the oval.

Gold around the edge of the central oval, with some fancy extensions added.

Note that some flags have a different border around the central oval ... most follow the pattern of the frilly lace work in Gold. Here is one that has alternating black and gold parts around the central oval (on the left).

A silver sword on the eagle - vertical thin strip of silver, starting from the feet, and rising to just behind the head, level with the head.

A bit more gold on the scrolling part at the top of the oval. Try and get the words "Gloria Pro Patria" done, preferrably in a Gothic font if possible. Or, if your eyes are like mine, then a few simple dabs of gold will suffice.

Dont stress the detail too much, since these are folded up and blown around in the wind, so some details may be hidden. They are also small, so you need a decent set of magnifying glasses to spot the inevitable errors.

Finally, when gluing, wet the whole back surface with an even (thin) layer of PVA, and use the dollshouse clothes pegs to ensure a tight fit around the pole.

When half dry, they remain somewhat flexible, and will bend into whatever shapes you want to simulate the flag blowing in the wind. Once dry, they will hold their shape very strongly.

More in Part 3 - the finished product !

Hand Painted 15mm scale flags - Part 1 Saxony

Some handy tips on how to make your own flags using canvas sheet.

You can easily buy small books of A5 pads of canvas paper, already primed with white acrylic paint. These make great bases for building your flags on if you prefer the DIY approach over inkjet printed flags.

Here is an example of some flags I knocked up for my 1806 Saxons :

Saxon Infantrie Fahne

Cut strip 15/16mm wide, and mark sections that are 15/16mm wide, + 2mm for the flagpole.

Border strip in facing colour. (Note - painting the flag allows for an exact match on the facing colour).

Add in red sections - crown on the right, and centre of crest on the left.

Black and white on the corners of the flag, bit of white on the crest,

and the start of the scroll in blue. A bright medium blue is good.

Draw the crest out in parts, keeping the scroll even on each side.

A few more details in Black, and a few touches of white.

Very thin crossed red swords in the corners.

Gold for the outline of the royal crest, and nails for the flagpole.

More Gold details - Royal signet on the right hand side, and the frilly gold details on the Imperial Crest on the left.

More Gold - scroll work on the edges over the facing colour, and tiny crowns in the corners on top of the black.

That completes the Saxon flag. See Part 2 for Prussian Flags.