The Magic of Dipping

Over two months since my last post! It isn’t so much that nothing has happened, rather that I’ve been frantic with a lot of other things.  Last term was a write off in terms of painting. I usually aim to paint for 2 hours a night three to four times a week. This tends to be perfect for 12 28mm figures or 30 odd 15mm figures. But I just couldn’t get into the groove, and this term appears to be heading in the same direction.

But I have discovered something that might get me back on track. After umming and arring, I’ve moved into the realm of dipping. I wasn’t convinced to begin with. It seemed that this was a) cheating and b) doing a half assed job.  Some photos that I had seen of completed dipped models were less than impressive. Then I stumbled across a few blogs that made me reappraise the dip, notably Saxon Dog and his Arthurians.  So I made the leap.

My first attempt was to use the Klear floor polish method. This seemed to work but I wasn’t 100% with the results. I’ve noticed on TMP that Allen Curtis in particular has advised continuing trials, and I’m sure I’ll come back to the homemade recipe at some point. But as I’ve recently done some painting for John, he purchased me a pot of the Army Painter, and I went to work.

Having recently decided to create another Romano-British Civitates army for WAB (this one will be Mordred), I felt that this was as good a place as any to start. The results are below:

The comparisons are interesting. The rear rank are figures that I painted a couple of years ago using Games Workshop colours and inks. The shading now very much strikes me as over the top. In contrast, the dip as seen on the first two ranks has given much more subtle but just as noticeable tones.  The key here is that the process was so quick. I could have gone back and made plenty of highlights, but to be fair I just picked out a couple of colours to re-emphasize. This meant a regiment ready in no time. Good news for me as I prepare to paint up my New Model Army using the 1644 rules. There are a lot of figures in there…

The rear figures of the Arthurians are Old Glory, the two front ranks are Artizan with the commander being a Black Tree Later Roman. To contrast with Arthur’s army, Mordred’s men have black shields. Completely made up by me, but that is the beauty of Dark Ages gaming!



The Spanish Cavalry

Here are the shots of the first cavalry unit for my Warhammer Ancient Battles El Cid Spanish Christian Reconquista army (phew, that’s a mouthful!).

And here’s a close-up of the Rey (King).

I went with red and yellow as the dominant colours in this unit, mostly because it was the King’s escort and those are the colours of the present Spanish flag.

The figures and horses are Black Tree Designs, and are really nice to paint. The Rey is the Crusader minis El Cid mounted on a Black Tree horse (the Crusader one was too small to match the Black Tree ones). There is a gap between the saddle molded onto the Cid and that molded on the horse. It is actually a lot more visible than I realised from viewing this photo, so a touch up is required.

Lastly, I will be making a flag for the standard bearer, and will try to find some material for this. I love Barry Hilton’s flags and aim to try to use his technique.


On the Painting table

Latest painting update.

Just finished another Pagenses and an Uchelwyr for my last unit of Combrogi. The corollary has been the reduction of the teulu by 2 figures, but I think it will be worth it. The unit will still contain 14 figures, and as none of units is bigger than 28 figures, it should hopefully still avoid opponents being able to FBIGO.

Warhammer Great War sees me needing to paint another 36 Germans and 20 British troops. Dan has taken on board some of the Brits as well. So I have just put the base coat and highlights down for a further 10 German infantry. I plan to paint them in 2 lots of 10 and 1 of 16. The 16 are all to be painted with camouflage helmets, which is why they are separate.

I have also undercoated and painted the chainmail on my first unit of Caballeros Hidalgos for El Cid. All can be seen here:

Finally I have decided that I will begin the Marlburian project. Every month I will purchase a unit of either 18 infantry or 6 cavalry. The mission is to have this unit painted by the time the next order arrives, without falling behind with any other projects. I’m pretty sure that I can do it! My first battalion will of course be the British Foot Guards. The rules will be Under the Lily Banners by Barry Hilton.


The Battle of Mount Agned

On Saturday we played out a battle from the Great War, in order to learn the rules. As with every first game it was a bit of a slog as play slowed for us to search the rulebook and we came to grips with the nuances. So on Sunday we relaxed with a game of WAB (where we are still coming to grips with some of the rules…).

We flicked through the Age of Arthur book for a scenario and decided on the Battle of Mount Agned as we hadn’t played it before and it gave a straight up 1500 point fight. In the photos that follow, the movements of the Saxons (Angles) are marked in blue, the British in Red. Combat is marked in yellow.

Here are the armies after deployment. Dan tried something new, which was to mass his troops on the flank that my Teulu weren’t on.

The first move sees everyone head for the crest of the Mount. The skirmishers unleash on each other, with one Saxon falling casualty. In a cunning move, the Saxon horse turn and march for the centre of the battlefield, having lured the Teulu out to the right.

The sides edge closer and continue firing. The Teulu get restless and charge the Skirmishers, only to see them fire and flee. The centre unit of Combrogi turns in anticipation of hitting the Gedricht in the flank as support for their friends to the left. The left unit of Combrogi stand still – they will need their Shieldwall to try to survive the onslaught of the Gedricht!

With the battle in full swing I forgot the photo at the end of Turn Three! Basically, the Saxon right flank charged in. The Pagenses were swept away by the Duguth at the top of the battlefield. The Gedricht charged as foreseen, but in order to hold up the supporting Combrogi unit, the Saxon Skirmishers charged into them! This was completely unnecessary, as the Gedricht ripped through the Combrogi front rank, broke their morale and hacked them down as they ran. The interesting side of this was that the Combrogi in the centre destroyed the Skirmishers and pursued them past the watchtower.

At the bottom of the battlefield, the Duguth charged the Combrogi and the Skirmishers and Pagenses clashed. The first combat was a stalemate, but the second saw the Pagenses sweep the Skirmishers away and charge down to the bottom of the hill, where the rallied skirmishers routed by the Teulu in turn two were waiting.

In the meantime, the Teulu began their turning manoeuvre.

In turn four the Gedricht and right flank Duguth turn around. The mounted Duguth charge into the Combrogi who had about faced at the end of Turn Three. The Duguth lose heavily, but stand firm, leaving the Combrogi with a horribly exposed rear (titter)!

The Teulu continued their turning manoeuvre.

As feared, the Gedricht and Duguth charge into the rear of the beleaguered Combrogi. Despite taking down the last 2 mounted Duguth, they are soundly beaten. Morale collapses and they try to flee, but with no direction of escape, are mercilessly cut down. The Saxons give a particular shout of glee as the Sacerdot loses his final wound. In the previous round of combat the Mounted Thegn had issued a challenge to him, and inflicted the first blow. Warlord Danwulf particularly dislikes these militant Christian types!

The surviving skirmishers charge into the Pagenses, but the wild men of the west have their tails up now and rout them from the board. Unfortunately, they follow them off it…

The Combrogi on the ridge line finally destroy the Duguth, and cut them down in pursuit, particularly angry at the death of Sam the Sacerdot!

The Teulu finish their turning manoeuvre – finally!

Taken on a different angle, this shows the battlefield from the British side.

The Teulu crash into the Gedricht from close range and rain down hammer blows upon them! It is too much for the Gedricht, even with their Army Standard Bearer reroll. They break and run, only 10″! Surely the Teulu will run them down, but no! They only roll 9″ in pursuit! It is enough to bring them into contact with the Duguth, but that is all. The surviving mounted Thegn decides things are getting too hot and runs away. The Combrogi advance towards the tower, but it is too late! it is the end of turn 6 and the game is over. No one has secured the tower decisively and it is starting to get cold and dark and it is time for tea… a bloody draw!

Dan’s ploy almost worked. It took me 5 turns to get the Teulu into a place where they would be effective. This is the problem with such a wide unit. I could make it three ranks for manoeuvre, but as we play the optional rule of being unable to reform within 8″ of the enemy, this would limit the ability to add width in a hurry. I may consider dropping a couple of cavalry and put a character in my third unit of Combrogi. I need to check to see that I have enough character points for that. But the smaller the Teulu get, the easier it is for opposition to FBIGO (fall back in good order) instead of routing. It is a bit of a toss up really.

Anyway, it was a good game to end the weekend on.


Garrrrgh, Matey! (WAB Arthurian battle Report)

It has been over a month since I last posted, but as foreseen, school has taken a front seat in my life again. Never mind – the next lot of holidays are only 5 weeks away!

Dan and I have received our copies of Legends of the High Seas from Warhammer Historical and it looks like a great game! We’ve played 2 quick games between our pirate crews, and I got my butt kicked – twice! Ne’er mind, it let us see what the various advantages and disadvantages of our crews and their weapons were. We got hold of the Weapons and Warriors Pirate playset from ebay in the UK, and I’ve put my sloop together already. I’ve got a Pirate crew and a Royal Navy Crew – Dan is thinking about whether to be Pirates or Privateers. Hopefully I’ll be able to give an update this weekend as Dan is coming down and we are keen to have another game or two (they are quick).

A week and a half ago Dan stayed, and as well as two pirate games we got in a game of Age of Arthur WAB. The beauty is – we finally both have painted armies! The mission was the battle of Ceit Celidon, and I was attacking. Therefore I had to try to get three intact units off Dan’s board edge to win. Surprisingly, I just about did it – I would have won if I’d let my Army General leave the field, but i hadn’t read the scenario conditions properly and turned him back to help out another unit. So in the end it was a bloody (and I mean bloody) stalemate. Here’s some photos:

The Battlelines converge

Here the two battleliens are drawn up and begin to converge – British on the right, Saxons on the left.


Here’s a nice view of the rear of two of Dan’s Saxon units – Duguth and Gedricht. Dan’s done a really nice job on these figs!

Battle is joined

Combrogi do there best to imitate a speed bump in front of the Gedricht and the Teulu make hard work of some Duguth.


Combrogi plough into mounted Duguth. The Duguth proved to be an effective speed bump, but failed just in time for this unit to exit the board. Along with the Teulu, this gave me the bloody standoff that neither side wanted! My Sacerdot in the fornt row of this unit is points well spent if people are looking for advice on characters. His reroll on panic tests saved my bacon twice in this game!

Woohoo! One finished WAB Army

To say I was obssessed with having this army finished before 2008 is an understatement. Well, the Christmas period has seen me achieve my goal, and I couldn’t wait to get it on the Blog. So here it is – the complete 1500 point British Kingdoms army!

 Whole Army

The final unit of Combrogi is pictured here:

Third and final unit of Combrogi

 And Dan’s been busy too! Aside from undercoating his entire army with the base colours, he has built the first section of a Dark Age fort, seen here:

Fort Wall

 Finally, to celebrate the final few figures, I painted one of my Trojan Wars figures (from the Black Tree range). This is Achilles. I know he looks more like Homer’s description of him as a dark man-killer than the historical version which looked like Brad Pitt, but I still quite like him!


Now onto new pastures. We are supposed to be concentrating on DBA next, but it might be WWII. I have a feeling the next project will come out of left field – Flames of War! Dan actually has a painted British army, and it looks like we are about to acquire a painted German Army! All for Mid or Late War. We’ll have to see what happens.



Just a quick update here. The Pagenses finished, within a week of the cavalry!  I feel that patting myself on the back is obligatory, as I have amazed myself at getting these guys done so fast! Good old blog. Let’s just hope the second unit happens as fast.



Game from last weekend

I put everything school related on hold last weekend as Dan was able to come down. We did what we usually do – plenty of work on terrain and basing figures up – and played a game. It is a compulsory agenda item for us to have a game of something when Dan is down, usually involving our current project. We are still coming to grips with the rules of WAB, so that is our aim  for gaming at the moment. Things ran much more smoothly than normal – ie not so much referring back to the rules, but we did forget one major rule – fall back in good order. This turned the game really, as Dan’s big unit of Gedricht should not have been run down by my Teulu – they should simply have fbigo. Earlier, a similar situation had occured on my flank in turn two. I was the victim that time, so I guess things evened out (that’s my excuse, ’cause I won…).

We played 75% breakpoint, which brought us right down to the wire – it was basically a case of whoever could kill one figure from the opposing side would win. My Combrogi aren’t armed with javelins for nothing! Lots of fun, but the rematch will definitely see us with a much firmer grasp of all the necessary rules.

 Battle panorama

 Above are the armies at deployment. Note the beautiful terrain, and the half (or less) painted armies.

 Dan’s painted Units

 A full size picture to show the fruits of Dan’s efforts so far. These are Duguth with some archers. Dan complains about how long it takes to paint anything, but his efforts are definitely worthwhile! In the background are a house and church that I scratch built. The thatched roof is made from teddy bear fur.

 Crossing the River

 Above you can see the armies coming together. The river is made from plasticard, with Silicon filler, model raiway ballast and static grass to add to the effect. The road is MDF covered in railway ballast and finished off with static grass.

Next game will be after Christmas I think. In meantime, I have skirmishers to paint…



Well, I finally got there! I can’t be too hard on myself, though. School has been hectic, and always will be a month before the end of the year. I finished my Arthurian cav off in a weekend. They aren’t as good as the first batch, but this is the rear rank, so I am not overly concerned. Now I only have 17 skirmishers (pagenses) and 28 more Combrogi to go, and the Arthurians are finished altogether. Voila, my first WAB army completed!

 The second rank of Arthurian Cav

So the next mission is to paint 9 pagenses. They are currently sitting on the table staring at me, and the plan is to do an hour a night over the next week. We’ll see if I can manage it!