Copyright © 2016, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2016, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Andalusian Foot(1)


Well, my first post of 2017 is not a bumper update but I've managed to get a few figures completed and based to kick off the year. What with having a few days in California and having house guests (my lovely daughter) over the past fortnight I've not had a lot of time for painting.


But, thirteen Andalusian foot did get completed and based - some of these were painted last year and were only awaiting basing. I've also got a few more painted awaiting basing, but I'm painting the figures in small batches for me - about four figures a time - and am slightly changing the palette with each batch so I don't want all the figures on a base to have the same palette so am mixing them up as I base them.


All the figures are from Gripping Beast and I have mixed up both Andalusian and Arab castings into the units to give a little variety. Like the cavalry I painted a couple of weeks ago, I want them to have a very non-uniform look to represent the citizenry called out to defend their cities. I've tried to add quite a bit of fine-work on the clothing and shields to give the impression of wealth.

Here are a few close-ups, first the command stand with an officer, drummer,  a couple of standard bearers and spearmen.



Secondly an element of four spearmen.



Finally a couple of archers and a single figure spearmen.



There are probably only a dozen or so figures left to paint so, I've placed another order on Gripping Beast to keep adding to this force, it hopefully shall see action soon as an allied contingent with either the Christian Spanish or Almoravid factions I have already painted.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

The Challenge 2016 - The ongoing war against the lead mountain

Well it's time for a recap in the war against the Lead Mountain.

2016 was a pretty good year for getting stuff done for myself and checking the list I painted 303 foot, 35 mounted, three Mechs and two guns.

  • 44 Perry Miniatures First Crusade (as Spanish).
  • 26 Perry Miniatures Mounted First Crusade (as Spanish).
  • 58 Gripping Beast Berbers.
  • 4 Gripping Beast Andalusian Cavalry
  • 17 Miniature Design Studio Berbers.
  • 20 North Star International Brigade. 
  • 2 North Star Anarchists.
  • 1 Artizan Eric Blair.
  • 1 Artizan Ernest Hemmingway.
  • 1 Painting War Republican pilot.
  • 33 Empress Spanish Foreign Legion.
  • 1 Partizan George Stephenson
  • 73 Crusader Miniatures WWII Germans
  • 55 Assault Group Soviets
  • 13 Crusader Miniatures Soviets
  • 4 Warlord Games Soviets
  • Battletech Dragon-II
  • Battletech Arbalest
  • Battletech Raptor-II
  • 5 Black Tree Camelry

Not as many as last years total but given two months of low and no activity while we packed everything up and moved to the US I'm not too worried.

I've been pretty good at staying on plan and adding troops to existing projects with the Spanish Civil and El Cid collections receiving a significant boost in 2016. I was also good at not starting too many new things, just a trio of Mechs for Battletech and small collection of WWII Soviets and Germans so I can play some Chain of Command games.

I also made three building for the Eastern Front project.

I did a small amount of painting for others adding 56 more painted foot to the total.

  • 38 Great War Miniatures WWI Germans for James M.
  • 6 Artizan Partizans for Tony S.
  • 12 Vikings for Tony S.

Now on to the other side of the balance sheet, in 2016 I purchased quite a bit more new stuff than I though - this is why it is a good idea to keep a tally...

  • 24 Empress Miniatures Militants.
  • 4 Empress Modern British
  • 20 Northstar International Brigade.
  • 1 Artizan Ernest Hemmingway
  • 2 Artizan Anarchists
  • 16 Empress Spanish Foreign Legion
  • 4 Bolt Action WWII Soviets
  • 13 Crusader Miniatures WWII Soviets
  • 77 Crusader Miniatures WWII Germans
  • 45 Assault Group Soviets
  • Northstar 45mm Obr 1942
  • Northstar PaK36
  • Battletech Dragon-II
  • Battletech Raptor-II
  • Battletech Arbalest
  • 4 Gripping Beast Moors
  • 8 Gripping Beast Arabs (to use as Andalusians)

That's, a total of 220 foot, two guns and three Mechs. The good news being that apart from 8 of the Gripping Beast Arabs (which are painted but not based) every single figure I purchased new in 2016 is painted and based and ready to play.

However, also on the negative side of the balance sheet I was gifted quite a bit of stuff and acquired quite a bit more in LAF trades.

  • 24 Perry Miniatures First Crusade (birthday present from Marie).
  • 6 Perry Miniatures First Crusade (LAF trade with Alex).
  • 15 Perry Miniatures First Crusade cavalry (LAF trade with Alex).
  • 12 Perry Miniatures First Crusade (LAF trade with Pedro).
  • 15 Perry Miniatures First Crusade cavalry (LAF trade with Pedro).
  • 32 Gripping Beast Moors (LAF trade with Ross).
  • 14 Gripping Beast Moor Cavalry (LAF trade with Ross).
  • 5 Black Tree Moor Camelry (LAF trade with Ross).
  • 8 Gripping Beast Berbers (Christmas Presents from Mum & Dad).
  • Pegasus T-34 (Christmas Present from Mum & Dad).
  • 8 Gripping Beast Berbers (Christmas Presents from Victoria).
  • 40 Bolt Action Soviets (Tony S).
  • T-34 (Tony S).
  • Pz-II (Tony S).
  • SdKfz-231 (Tony S).

So, 130 infantry, 44 cavalry and four vehicles, this does take me rather into the red on the balance sheet for 2016, but 56 of those infantry and the four vehicles only turned up in the last seven days.

More Berbers and some Andalusians



No update last week as it was Christmas but I have been getting on with some painting since the previous post, trying to get a few figures wrapped up to add to the 2016 tally. This week more Berbers join the Almoravids and I made a start on the new Andalusian faction for our El Cid games.

The first few figures are five Arab Camelry from Black Tree Designs. I'm pleasantly surprised by these having had some real spuds from Black Tree in the past. I picked these up in a LAF trade so the shields are not all original, there's at least one Saxon Buckler and a Viking Shield in the mix.

They make an interesting unit to add to the collection.



At only 21 figures my Black Guard unit was looking a bit under strength, so during a recent trip to Noble Knight Games I picked up another pack to bring them up to a better strength, I'll likely add another pack at some time in the near future.



In the bits box were a couple more Berbers, so these were painted up and can be added to a unit. As I add more figures like this it shall not be long until I've made another 28-man unit from oddments like this.



Finally, the start of a new contingent of Andalusians. Again these are all Gripping Beast figures. I wanted these to be less uniform than the Spanish or Berbers so am painting them with a much wider palette and adding as much fine detail to the clothing and shields.



Only four horsemen completed so far but there are more horsemen and cavalry that have been painted but are waiting for basing. I'm hanging off basing the spearmen until the entire unit is finished so that I can make the unit look as irregular as possible.


Happy New Year to all my readers, hope 2017 brings you good fortune.


Sunday, 18 December 2016

Viking warriors for Tony


This week I've finished a dozen Viking warriors that shall be returning to the UK in the new year to join Tonys' collection.

I started painting these months ago, six of the warriors had been base-coated and washed while still in the UK, they crossed the Atlantic with me and languished on the painting table for ages before I finished them off last week. The second six were done in a much more timely manner over the past few days.



The first four are Shieldwall Miniatures Viking beserkers.



The next are all Gripping Beast warriors and leaders.



Finally four Gripping Beast axemen, one converted to carry a banner, this is a Little Bigman Studios Raven Banner.




For next weeks update I shall be back on mt El Cid forces, more Black Guard and hopefully my first few Andalusians.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Fall Blau Painting Update - 11th December 2016



This week I've finished another 14 figures for the Fall Blau project, this time a bunch of Crusader Miniatures Germans and a 37mm PaK36 from Northstar.


I've added three more LMG teams so that I can either field a second Grenadier platoon - what with the number of figures I already have painted - or field the platoon as PanzerGrenadiers with two LMG per section.

Again, I've used the mix of uniform colours that I used in the earlier batches so it's not all Field Grey, there is a bit of Luftwaffe Blue and German Uniform in there to break it up. I quite like the effect and I think it gives a more 'on campaign' look.




The Pak36 is a lovely resin model from Northstar that is dead easy to assemble and paints up a treat. The crew are all from the Crusader Miniature range, but like the earlier Soviet one I requested extra models so that I can field it with a full five-man crew.







The crews are all individually based and fit into recesses I made in the basing material for easy casualty removal. I also did this for the Soviet one but never photographed it un-crewed.


The final three figures are an officer and a couple of spare crewmen for the gun that may get re-purposed at a later date.



The last shot is a quick snap of my painting area, we no longer have a studio since moving to the US, So, I now paint - and store my figures - in the large closet in our spare bedroom / den.

It's a really comfortable are to work in, I just open the doors and everything is there ready for me and I can shut the doors on it and nobody sees my mess.







Sunday, 4 December 2016

Battletech Arbalest and Raptor II



During the GameHoleCon convention I had a browse around the traders and one chap was doing a buy-one-get-one-free offer on some Battletech blisters, so I picked a couple that I liked and bought them home to join my stable.

I've not read up on the 'history' and it may be that adding these two to my lance is an anachronism but I picked the models more based on how they looked rather than for reasons of back-story or battlefield effectiveness. Which truth be know is why I paint most of the stuff I am painting these days.

Both have been painted in the WWII Soviet scheme that I used on the previous Dragon II I bought to use at GameHoleCon.



The first model is an Arbalest a 25-ton mech with a pair of LRM10 and a pair of medium lasers. Checking Sarna this one is suitable for use in 3073






The second is a Raptor-II a 40-ton mech with a SRM6 and two medium lasers. Again I checked Sarna and this is a 3077 model so useful with the Arbalest.





Here are all three units of my nascent lance. Unfortunately, the Dragon II is a 3099 model so a little later than the other two, I'm not too bothered though, I bought what I fancied painting rather than for any backstory or effectiveness reasons.