Friday, March 15, 2013

To conquer new frontiers

'tis been a while since the last post, but be assured, it served a purpose. For about five years I have been scheming and struggling to conquer Lead Mountain and shared my efforts via this blog. Of course, on my way uphill I've encountered various other base camps and fellow mountaineers. And so, even if mountaineering at "Big L" is a lonesome business where you are, after all, down to yourself, it's a much nicer prospect to share your stove with some like-minded people back in the camp. Therefore, I will join forces with two comrades, namely Lt. Hazel and Doc Remington, both savvy alpinists themselves (and very amiable guys, but don't tell them!). The first tents have been raised, and I think there's some tea brewed up already, so we'd like to invite you to pay our new base camp a visit, over

At the Mountains of Lead


Okay, in plain language, what does it mean to the CLM blog? Essentially, from now on new stuff will be posted exclusively under the new address. This blog will become dormant, but no pics or articles will be removed whatsoever. It is with a tear in the eye that I say goodbye, but at the same time I'm very excited. The three of us have put quite some thought into this joint venture, and we're aiming to bring you better and more regular content, easily accessible on one single website.

Therefore, I hope you'll join us over there and keep supporting me and my friends by subscribing, commenting or even just visiting our new site.

Thanks a lot for your time, and see you At the Mountains of Lead!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Reviews & Forecasts

At the beginning of Janus-headed January there are things to look back at and things to look forward to. Not to join the choir of hobbyists making New Year’s resolutions (always suffered embarrassing results there), here’s just a recap of projects past and ahead.

Since wargaming projects are doomed to never get finished in a literal sense that’s a bit of a misnomer. However, to my biggest surprise, on last recount five projects got battle-ready at least:
  • Mycenaeans for our participation game at the Hamburg Tactica. Admittedly, these were carried over from 2011 but, as always, the bulk of the figures (about 50 in total) were painted at the last possible moment. After the show the armies went into barracks at Hazel’s man cave and haven’t returned yet. Meanwhile you can see them pictured in Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy issue 61.
  • 3rd century Romans for SAGA. Triggered by a sudden outburst of Dark Ages vibes round here, these were prepared in a hurry to counter Hazel’s Germanic warband. Finally I got an excuse to paint up those gorgeous A&A miniatures which, as an added bonus, are a perfect fit to the equally exciting late 2nd century Romans from Aventine’s. Happy times!
  • Konradin’s army for Impetus. Again something that I had on my mind for quite some time. The fantastic presentation of the Frankfurter Spieltrieb at Tactica 2012 gave that much needed, erm, impetus not only to restart my Medieval ambitions but to actually complete a basic army. Kyrieleis!
  • Dystopian Wars fleet. Rather an impulse buy after a friend of mine started a Prussian force. Really couldn’t let him down without an opponent in sight, so I’ve gone for a Kingdom of Britannia starter fleet. A few tiny flyers are still to receive some final touches, but all in all the Brits are ready for their first game this year.
  • Surprise encounter for our traditional Year’s End Gaming Weekend™. Just a few 28mm figures, it has to be said. Unfortunately, they haven’t been used in anger yet since we had to reschedule the gathering. Therefore don’t want to give too much away beforehand, but rest assured that they will get pictured here anytime soon.

There were other things I wanted to tackle, even acquired figures for, but never got round to. Here’s what has been postponed to 2013 (and beyond).
  • Army of Charles d’Anjou for Impetus. Never go wrong with two matching armies. Painting this one’s already started, so it’s definitely going to be finished this year.
  • Late Roman warband for SAGA / Dux Britanniarum. My Middle Imperials are already at about the right size to be used for a game with TFL’s much acclaimed “Arthurian” rules and will be upgraded accordingly soon. However, as a true Roman nut I’m drawn to the later period as well. So, again, I’ll start out with a smallish 4 point SAGA force built from Foundry’s “olden but golden” range.
  • 1400 Reloaded. You heard it here first, folks: I’ll give the Later Middle Ages another try. At least I’ve learned from my false start with Impetus in 28mm, and this time I’m aiming for a Dux Britanniarum-sized force. These might be as well the ruleset of choice. But more on that in one of the next postings.
  • WW2 in 15MM. Okay, the Second World War hasn’t been a genuine interest for me. That said, the recently released starter set for Flames of War was simply a deal too good to be missed. The miniatures included provide a nice selection of troops, and they are perfectly usable as starter for other rulesets as well (I’m looking at you, IABSM!). Though, if I ever will add to the core forces included is mainly up to the response of possible project partners.

These projects will keep me busy for a while. There’s the odd side show, of course, still dwelling in the heights of Lead Mountain.
  • SciFi in 28mm. A newly acquired X-Wing miniatures game (which round here has been a huge hit so far) has relit my interest in the genre in general. That could easily draw upon several boxes of figures piled up in my cabinet.
  • Hoplite Wars in 15mm. Ages ago I traded in two army boxes of Xyston Greeks and forgot about them – until recently. Maybe their time to get some paint has finally come.
  • ACW in 28mm. Fairly the same as with the Flames of War boxed set: Perry plastics are always good value for money, but this time it’s Hazel’s turn to convince me of a new project. As I type this I’ve likely given in already.

These are, however, projects with a rather doubtful ending. I have no high hopes for them, the more as you never know what lies ahead (here’s deliberately no mention of the eagerly anticipated advent of Perry-made AWI plastics). Other hobby-related ventures, like commission work or writing articles, will perhaps add to the inevitable confusion of schedules and plans.

In summary 2012 has seen quite a few achievements on my section of the hobby front. However, in all likelihood 2013 is going to be more frugal since I’ve become redundant recently. Thence most effort will be put into finishing my doctoral thesis and/or find a new job as quickly as possible. Nevertheless I’m determined to spare some time for the hobby and, of course, blogging about it. We’ll see how this works.

Finally, what better way to celebrate the 100th post of this blog than by wishing you all a very happy and healthy 2013! Next time there will be pictures again, promised. ;-)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Musings

Holidays ahead will see me putting down the brushes for the rest of 2012. So it’s time for another wrap-up. Another post or two will detail my very own projects, those achieved, those just begun as well as such planned for the coming year. However, as some of my dear readers will already have noticed I’m also doing commission work, and that’s what I’ve been up to recently almost all the way. So let’s take a step out of the accustomed “big project” talk and get to the bare bones of this blog, i.e. a fun bit of showcasing.

First off, there’s been another batch of 1/72 models. Thanks to a loyal customer the likes have kept appearing quite regularly on my paint desk for years now. However, I still find this scale to be a challenge, for these models are not your typical wargame pumpkins with overly pronounced detail. I enjoy painting them nevertheless as both creativity and skill of sculptors in 1/72 scale are just outstanding! The pictured figures are meant for a piratey 17th century diorama, so the man in the centre is geared to Angus McBride’s imaging of L’Olonnais (as seen in the Osprey volume on buccaneers).


Another newish scale for me is 40mm. Admittedly, I’ve painted a few larger scale models before, mainly the gods for our “Trojan War” participation game (until I get them photographed myself pictures thereof can be seen in Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy issue 61). My dear friend and partner in crime Lt. Hazel was bitten by this nasty bug obviously, since he and our mate Driscoles, author of the Triumph & Tragedy rules, are about to stage a whole game using 40mm models. Of course, they’ve gone for an optimum by choosing the Perries’ excellent Peninsular War range. Though I can’t take any credit for organising the game (which will premiere at Tactica 2013), I was kindly invited to do some supernumeraries first and now some regulars in support.



No surprise, bigger scales allow for greater detail. And let me tell you, there’s a lot of that in particular on Napoleonic uniforms. I’ve tried hard to get them right but for sure die-hard enthusiasts will easily point out some obvious errors. I stand to be corrected, but in the meantime I rest assured that the game itself will make up for any inaccuracy single-handedly.


Lastly I come back to my loved 28mm’s. Having liquidated the remnants of my first dabbling in the world of Impetus I agreed lately to painting up a bunch of complementary models from the Perries’ “Azincourt to Orleans” range. The first figures shown here are still WIP, but you get the idea. For colouring I picked out at random the armorial bearings of noble families from Swabia (given that the figures might be used as troops involved in the Swabian Cities’ War of the late 1380’s). That was no requirement, but even such superficial research is part of the fun for me really.


Those models are an almost perfect segway to my very own projects up next. But I hold my breath for the time being, because this requires a separate and wordier post. If you look forward to that is up to you. ;-)

In the meantime, as the follow-up might get delayed, I’d better seize the chance to wish you all a Merry Christmas or just Happy Holidays, whatever suits you best! Have a good time everyone!

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Jolly Day's Camp

Every self-respecting army needs baggage. And for Impetus enthusiasts it's the best excuse to go down the diorama route even further on even bigger bases! So I had to include this piece for a reason.


Actually, a camp scene had been planned from the very beginning. On the one hand, once this piece of art created by Tactica big shot Frank Bauer had opened my eyes for the dioramic possibilities of 15mm, I wanted to create something similar. On the other hand, what got me interested in Konradin's adventure in the first place was that certain "Medieval romance" theme written all over it. To many people Konradin must have appeared as a youthful knight errant on a quest to bring back those blissful days of his grandfather's reign (admittedly, not blissful for anyone concerned). In my mind a revelling entourage, feasting even in the face of battle, captures this feeling best.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Not dead yet

Been a while since my last posting, but time didn't allow for blogging lately. However, as the title suggest, I'm not dead yet, and here's proof of that. Mainly I've been busy hobbywise with rounding off current projects, in particular the "Fridericus Redivivus" one. In doing so I also try to gather steam for an opposing force (as advertised in the last post). Thus I decided on preparing some markers and started with casualty counters.


These two are rather prototypes, so they might look a bit rushed. Personally, I prefer to use actual models for markers for they blend into the gaming area more easily. Therefore I wanted them to be as unobtrusive as possible while remaining clearly distinguishable from accompanied units. Furthermore the markers shouldn't be specific to a certain army or faction but retain some 'period feel'. Fortunately, I came across these figures from Khurasan Miniatures, and the issue was solved!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fridericus Redivivus: 3rd Knights


Since I've started rounding off projects, it's time for another one. Actually, there are a few bits and pieces still in the making. But it's good to know that my first army for Basic Impetus has finally got ready to rumble!
So, here's the last unit of knights and the last unit for this basic force:


These men are of the Italian and Spanish variety. Spaniards in Italy? Indeed! As hinted by the jinetes I posted last time about, there were some of these guys around when Konradin descended from the Alps. Headed by the infamous Henry of Castile, infant of Spain, they cheerfully joined the young pretender's army. Actually, Henry himself had fought for Charles d'Anjou (his cousin) in the battle of Benevento, where Manfred of Hohenstaufen (Konradin's uncle) lost both crown and life. For his service Henry received the position of "senator of Rome", leader of the Roman urban community, and hence his distinguishing sobriquet "the Senator" (El SeƱador). However, what probably had been meant as a mere honorary title, awarded to one of Charles' and as such the Pope's loyal henchmen, quickly turned against them: Supposedly due to further debts which Charles couldn't or wouldn't amortise, Henry swiftly changed his allegiance and became a leading opposer of the self-made king of Sicily and his papal benefactor.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

A Roman Saga V

No warband – no Roman one in particular – would be complete without a heroic leader. The man who stepped up when duty called was M. Fabius Felicianus Vindex, centurion of the Fourth Severan Legion. (I held this post back for quite some time, so better brace yourself for lengthy remarks – or just scroll forward to the pictures. ;-) )


Felicianus' command comprises several units detached from other troops. Each of these subunits, even if made up of a few men, would be considered a vexillatio (marching under their respective standard or vexillum). Such detachments could eventually become separate units, or they were assembled to new formations. In both cases they would henceforth simply be called numerus, a 'number of men'. Their commanding officer could be of any rank, appointed at an ad hoc basis and thus non-specificly named a 'headman' (praepositus).

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