Saturday, September 29, 2012

...and now for something completely different

As a departure from my normal work, as well as a favor to my loving wife, Ive repainted a small garden gnome figure for our herb garden outside. Loni picked this guy up at the local grocery store as an unpainted white resin figurine.

He is picking up the slack for me, as I have clearly not been the best at watering my little herb garden. We didn't want to have a very loud, bright gnome as the center focal point of the garden, but rather would include him as a little secret to discover, hence the green and brown clothing. (On the left you can see his friend, the pet rock.)

I think he does a decent job of blending in, but without disappearing completely. When I am better about watering the basil, he has more foliage to wander though.

Here you can see the texture of his grey beard, and the gnome's striped brown trousers. The light colored spots on his tunic are deposits from watering. To acheive the basing look I used on this model, you will need a salad garden table, a bag of potting soil, basil and oregano seeds. After a few months of watering, I had the perfect herb-garden base for the miniature.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

East African Tribesman

Thanks to a reenacting friend's donation, I have had the privilege of trying out the Perry Brothers' plastic Madhist Ansar set. I don't think I have ever seen so versatile a plastic set before. Though intended to portray the Madhist rebels of the Sudan war, with the multiple head and arm/weapon options, you can create a wide variety of peoples of North Eastern Africa. I will take advange of this versatility to create several smaller groups of figures, modifying some to Turkana

The first test figure is painted up a bit generically, with red cloth and a spear. I may add a plaid pattern to the clothing, since those are popular, and tend to end up in a lot of reference pictures. I do not, however, know at what point in history they became popular, but in my time in Kenya, I saw red plaid in wide use in rural areas, with several people groups. I did the skin using a modification from the Perry Brother's tutorial. 

The spear is painted very faintly silver, since many of the raw iron tips appear mostly black in person.

The basing is a refinement on my Gordon Highlander base, with a more subtle use of the bristle of the deep grass, so that it does not take over the figure. The hope is that en masse, the grass on the base will add up to a deep plain.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Gordon Highlanders in Africa

In a miniatures swap with a friend, I have ended up with a small supply of pith-helmeted highlander models., I at first thought it may have been either a Zulu or Sudan war figure, but on closer inspection is from Old Glory's Boer Wars range. After scrutinizing the figures and their equipment I decided to paint them up as Gordon Highlanders, with their own proprietary tartan. Hopefully it will be distinct enough at this scale, since it does bear some resemblance to the more common Black Watch plaid. The coat is khaki, since it has breast pockets, and I cannot find any illustrations showing red tunics with breast pockets. Khaki was also a decision based on the rifle he carries. At a distance it looks like a Martini Henry, but on closer inspection it has a box cartridge in front of the trigger and a bolt mechanism on the top, making it likely an early Lee-Enfield.

Pith helmet and belts done in white mostly for the sake of cool contrast on the miniature, though this may not be the most historic choice.

The base is intended to give an African feel, with red earth, and a mixture of greener low-growing turf and deep, straw colored savannah grass. The tufts of tall grass are bristles cut from a cheap paintbrush of the sort that shows up at every hardware store in America. I think I may have overdone the grass effect on this test model, and will likely tone it down a bit on the rest of his squad.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Two if by Sea, or The Doctor is In

I recently had the pleasure of exercising my AWI figures in a game with Lord Z.E. Whitlow. We set up an amphibious landing scenario on my kitchen table. Not exactly a standard game table size, we had a playing field of about 3 x 7 feet, including about a foot and a half as water, featuring the HMS Sophie as transport, and a beached Dred Hawk

 We used a slight variation on the Alamo rules by Warhammer Historical, to account for the range difference between muskets and rifles.
For the scenario, the Crown Forces were to begin on their transport ships and/or beach, and attempt to sieze a munitions supply in a nearby coastal town.

To oppose them, the local militia is called up, and aided with support from the Continental Army and French allied regulars. The British used the Texas Army list from Alamo, while the Continental force ran as a version of the Mexican army list, as it allowed for more of a militia presence.

In addition to the battle, we also ran a game within a game, since Mr Whitlow has an impressive Dr Who miniature collection. The Doctor would randomly land within the game, and pursue a creature though the battlefield, attempting to bring it back to the TARDIS.

Abhorring violence, the Dr tries to convince the men he's landed in to stop killing each other.

...but to no avail.

...while the Navy watched the battle, aloof on the harbor.

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