Sunday 19 August 2012

Two armies in nine days - The Almoravids

Here are my Almoravids ready to invade Spain and Ben Yusf's command. It ways in at around 1000pts in WAB consisting of

2 units of 10 bow armed skirmishers

3 units of 20 Berber spearmen and Archers (50-50 mix)

1 unit of 19 Blackguard (large shields)

1 general (on foot)

I gave the infantry white flags as (my limited research) suggests the Almoravids made white silk flags standard in the army handing out one flag per 100 men. Apparently sometimes they had the phrase "There is no god but god, and Mohammad is His Prophet" written on then so I did that with mine just to make them more interesting.

I've given the more veteran units more black clothing (most likely in reality a very dark blue) so the skirmishers are recent converts to the Almoravid cause and just have black head gear the infantry units add in sashes and trousers and the black guard are black with light coloured sashes.

All the Miniatures are metal and come from miniature design studio who sell warband packs of 50 miniatures for £25.00 which is outstanding value for such nice miniatures

I want to add some cavalry to this army and a mounted general. Some more skirmishers (with javelins) and some camel riders are also tempting as is painting up extra drummers for the infantry units to allow them to benefit from the special rules in the WAB El Cid book.

Cheers Jon

Two armies in nine days - the Spanish

Right here is the (roughly) 1000pts of Christan Spanish for the late 11th century we have

2 units of 8 Knights

2 units of 20 peones

1 unit of 8 skirmishers

1 General

All the miniatures apart from the skirmishers are plastics from Conquest games Norman range with some added tassels and turbans from greenstuff for a more Spanish look, the bare heads also had greenstuff added to get rid of the Norman style short haircuts. I swapped a few shields out with some metal shields from my Berber miniatures as well.

The skirmishers are from Crusader Miniatures El Cid range and have been used as they come.

I painted each unit with it's own two colours colour scheme. No historical justification for that I just like the way it looks.

I want to add some extra units when time and money allow m ore skirmishers and some archers are a must and some Spanish jinetes would be good to.

Cheers Jon

Two armies in nine days - part 9

Well .......I did it and managed to finish both 1000 pt armies in the nine days (even left myself time to do a bit of gardening and listen the the Southampton game on the radio today)

I'll post up pictures of the two armies in separate posts. A few musings on army painter dip.

1) individually the figures look a bit ..Meh. I can paint to a pretty decent standard and given enough time can produce some decent miniatures. The thing is army painter is just that a tool for painting armies it's all about the massed effect and painting up an army quickly. This took me a little while to get my head around.

2) basing is really important. Good basing really helps to lift the effect.

3) I still need to practice applying the dip you need a lot less than you first think and in my first efforts I applied much to thickly. I was applying a lot less to the last figures I did. You also need to go back and clean up any pooling of dip with a brush and white spirit after about an hour to avoid unsightly blobs.

4) Base colours are important I chose colours I would normally paint with and some of these were to dark (browns especially) meaning the army painter dip didn't really show up which kind of defeats the object.

5) block painting large numbers of miniatures really isn't much fun and mistakes start to happen when you are painting large numbers of minis on a deadline late at night.

Overall I think Army painter dip could be a really useful tool to reduce my lead/plastic pile but I still have some work to do refining my technique. For a first stab on a tight timescale I think my first attempts aren't to bad but there is room for improvement.

Cheers Jon

Saturday 18 August 2012

Two armies in nine days - part 8

Ok two days to go. So far I've managed to paint, dip, base and varnish 16 cavalry and 84 infantry. I have the last 60 Moorish infantry to do these figures have now been cleaned up, based and primed. Today's task is to get them block painted and their bases covered in sand ready for dipping first thing tomorrow. Tomorrow evening (neatly giving me the afternoon to give the house a tidy and mow the lawn) after the dip has dried I can finish the bases and anti shine the miniatures - Jobs a good'un....

A few more pictures of the miniatures finished so far I promise I'll take some much better pictures when the project is finished. It seems taking photos first thing in the morning while clutching a mug of precious caffeine in one hand under a dodge house light bulb doesn't equal great photos .....who knew.

Cheers Jon

Thursday 16 August 2012

Two armies in nine days - part 7

Ok yesterday I got the blackguard unit finished and managed to the 38 skirmishers block painted and dipped. Today's task is to finish the skirmishers and get the last 60 Moorish infantry cleaned up, based and primed.

3 days to go (although 2 are actually weekend days) and I've got 60 figures to paint from scratch and some flags to make and attach......I think it might be tight.

Cheers Jon

Wednesday 15 August 2012

Two armies in nine days - part 6

Yesterday saw the first four units finished to completion with the bases finished off and a healthy dose of anti-shine spray the results aren't half bad (my poor photos aren't doing much for minis hopefully I'll do some proper ones when the project is complete) .

I finished painting the bases on the blackguard and have now dipped them. I also cleaned up based and primed 38 skirmishers (20 moors,8 Spanish) who will be tonight's work with some block painting.

Over half way through my allotted time now and still a bit to do including the 60 Moorish spearmen and archers....

Cheers Jon

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Two armies in nine days - part 5

Yesterday's plans changed when I got home to find my parcel from Northstar had arrived I was really keen to try out the army painter dip (seemed like more fun than cleaning up and gluing moors to bases). So yesterday I dipped all the Spanish miniatures.

Well I say dipped I actually painted the dip on with a brush. My first thoughts when I'd finished was what the ^%$£"*)~?hell have I done I've just turned the whole army into a brown sticky mess. Now the dip has dried they still look pretty bad...however lots of people on the net have said it's the mat spray that makes this system work. So to give myself inspiration I finished off a wounded knight figure and sprayed him with anti shine and well he looks pretty good to me.

I also managed to put together and base coat my first Moorish unit this one being the elite blackguard...the fact that they are 80% black did speed up painting quite a lot. They just need their bases painted and then they can be dipped.

Today is a work day so tonight it's a toss up between basing the 80 remaining Moors of finishing of the bases on the Spanish and mat varnishing them...I haven't decided which yet.

Cheers Jon

Two armies in nine days - part 4

Last night's session saw the finishing up of the Spanish infantry who are now based and ready for dipping. The Spanish are now done except for a small unit of skirmishers which are coming from Northstar (and so haven't arrived yet along with the army painter dip) so that's one army done bar the dipping and finishing up of the bases in two evenings and one full day session. Just 100 or so Moorish infantry to do now.

I've got some time off work today as I have to take my bike to the garage so hopefully if the garage are quick I can sneak in some extra hobby time. My parcel with some extra Moors from Gripping beast is waiting for me at the post office so I'm going to pick that up today to. My normal evening session will be curtailed as my mun (bless her) has taken pity on her poor lonely son and invited me over for tea (homemade pie yum).

Anyway despite the slightly odd schedule today I hope to get plenty of Moorish infantry cleaned up and based in preparation for priming.

I received a bit more inspiration to keep plugging away from Steve Blease last night who left a comment with a link to his dipped Ancients. Very nice they are to Steve :)

below is a link for anyone who wants a look

Cheers Jon

Sunday 12 August 2012

Two armies in nine days - part 3

OK Sunday saw me finish of the all 16 Spanish knights including basing and ready for dipping (when the dip gets here) I also managed to block paint in about 85% of the 40 infantry leaving me mostly scabbards and belts left to paint in. Today is a work day but I'm hoping to get the infantry finished and based in tonight's session.

This sort of production line painting is pretty tough (have to avoid the temptation to take to many breaks) and certainly not as much fun as painting 2-3 miniatures to a really nice standard. The miniatures look pretty meh at the moment but hopefully the dip coupled with decent basing will make them look a lot's probably the only way I'll ever get a couple of decent sized armies painted up.

anyway to keep me motivated I keep looking at this site which probably has the best dipped armies I've seen if mine come out half this good I'll be very happy..

Cheers Jon

Two armies in nine days - part 2

OK so I made a start late yesterday afternoon and have now primed (in two different shades of brown and black for the armoured knights) all the Spanish miniatures are blocked in most of the colours on the Spanish knights (a couple of blurry pictures of the first of two knight units above). All 16 horses are ready for the army painter dip and the riders are about 2/3rds ready.

So today's aim is to get the knights finished ready for dipping and then block paint the 40 Spanish infantry in preparations for dipping. Sadly I'm still waiting on my order from Northstar so I don't actually have the dip yet. Still there are still another 100 metal Moors to clean up base and block paint before I need to dip anything.

Cheers Jon

Friday 10 August 2012

Two armies in nine - days part 1

Ok the wife and kids leave to go to her mothers tomorrow afternoon so project El Cid is go. I've cheated a bit as I've already assembled the Conquest Games Normans (both infantry and cavalry) and used some Green Stuff to add a a few turbans and tassels to give them a more Spanish look. I've also started cleaning up and gluing on the shields to the MDS metal Moors though with a hundred of them it's slow going.

Sadly I still haven't got my extra bits from Gripping Beast and Northstar which means I'm missing a few command figures for the Moors and some skirmishers for the Spanish. More importantly I don't have my army painter sprays and quick shade which I was kind of counting on to speed up the painting of the armies.

Anyway I'll give it a crack and see how I get on.

Tuesday 7 August 2012

El Cid....

It's my Birthday today which means I've had extra cash to spend. Now if I was sensible I would have used this to finish off some off my unfinished projects...but in time honoured wargamer fashion I decided to start a new project. I'm now the proud owner of a hundred MDS Moors and a load of Conquest Miniatures plastic Norman cavalry and infantry enough to build to 1000pt armies form the WAB El-cid book.

Rather nicely my new purchases have coincided with the wife taking the kids on holiday with her parents for a week. I'm not going for work reasons but it means I have two whole weekends and five evenings to myself for painting.

So the plan is to put together and paint two 1000pt 28mm armies in 9 days not sure if I'll do it but I'm going to have a damn good go at it and see if I can actually finish something I've started.......