Thursday, April 17, 2014

Campaigning Season in the Holy Land

I don't know if I'm being a bore with this one, however:

I was a bit bored this week, so I took it in my head to plot the dates of a selection of Crusader battles in palestine in the 11th-12th Century.

I wanted to know if the dates would yield something like a "campaign season", just for laughs.

So, after putting in all the dates, I went fora simple chart showing frequency of battle event by month. Interesting. Then, just to show off, I dropped the frequency information into a bar graph and the results pretty well speak for themselves.

The campaign season for Palestine in the period of "The Kingdom of Jerusalem" is pretty much May to September. There is an interesting spike in January, but that sample is probably too small to draw any conclusions.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

A Full Crew Aboard

 Last week I got my gunners back from Gerry. He very kindly sculpted left arms onto my infantry figures to allow me to call then gunners. I think you will agree he's done a fine job of matching Mr Stadden's sculpting style.
 So, I have raced ahead and painted a few up, just enough to crew the first of my pair of 4.7" guns.
Another crew is in preparation as I write this, so expect more pictures next week of the full battery.

I am happy to say this project feels as though it's got just the right amount of momentum. I think that the next job will be either to finish off the 11th Hussars or to paint a Fife and Drum Pontoon Wagon. Lets' see which the postman brings first.

Happy painting!

Friday, April 04, 2014

The Varied Lives of Some Bengal Lancers

 Now something like complete for my "Littler Britons" project are my Bengal Lancers. These have had a somewhat chequered painting history in the two and a half years' since I originally bought them from Spencer Smiths'
 I spent ages looking at various uniforms. If you poke around in the archives here, you'll see what I mean.
 What wound up happening was I found myself with three meticulously painted types following the model of the lovely old Airfix 54mm kit. Then, one day I found I needed a dozen British Empire cavalry tout suite for a convention game.

Boom. I slapped a hasty coat of khaki on a dozen castings. Eurgh. But it got me through. I have slowlty been paying for that ever since and finally they have more or less arrived. The horses still need work. They were an early try of the wipe-it-off painting horses with oils technique and would benefir from a little detail painting - a few socks and stars as well as a bit of brass on the tack.

I do have a few more castings - enough to bring the regiment up to 18 figures, so that ought to be more than adequate.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Spencer Smith "Classic" Normans

 In my last post I was carrying on a bit about how much I liked the Spencer Smith Normans, so I thought I ought to put a few pictures up. That immediately above shows a little bit of their potential - the fellow on the left has an infantryman's arm thrusting with a spear overarm. There is evidence suggesting that "couched" was not the only way of employing the weapon, and I thought this was a nice little nod in that direction. The other fellow has a spare right arm from a figure meant to be in a fairly sedate pose with his weapon held upright. I think he looks nice as he lowers his lance into a fighting position even as he gazes off-screen at a threat we must perforce imagine.
 Going forward to this image, I feel that the altered figure goes well with that with the lowered lance. The two look like they've just spotted trouble and are swinging into action. Note I am using the North Star wire spears (the 40mm ones) which in my opinion go better with the figures than the brass rod Spencer Smiths' supply.
Painting. Ulp. I'm trying to be a little restrained, but it seems as though Saxtorph and the Funckens are edging in a bit. You'll notice I've painted in some brown leather edging around the hems and the mail hood. It seems logical to me that it's be there if only to protect the clothing below and so as not to chafe at their faces.

It will be time to start on the Saracens when I've ordered some up. They'll probably have to be Willies as I can't see anything else more suiable or compatible. It will be fun picking over the catalogue and seeing what can be found. There are at least a couple of useful horse archers in the Medieval range.

Happy hobby times.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Prototyping for the Crusades

 I have finally, after many years, made the conversion from polystyrene as my main source of building material to high density extruded foam. It comes in various colours, pink, blue or yellow but all have the similar virtues of strength, allowing score-and-snap cutting and also enabling the paitient modeller to emboss detail with a scribing tool.
The material is relatively expensive, so I've decided that I ought to prototype my building projects in white polystyrene to settle questions of technique before applying hot wire cutter to my more expensive building material.
 What you are seeing here is my first experiment; a Crusader donjon from Northern Palestine (the plain of Sharon, no less) around about 1120-30CE.
The knights and infantry are all Spencer Smith "Classic" Normans. Excellent figures which I am enjoying painting very much at the moment. There is a deal of pose-ability and even some conversion potential that is quite appealing to me.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Littler Britons - a project update

 Oh, it's been a while since I last posted. I've just been steadily pottering about with my various projects. As you can see, I've added a second unit of infantry here.
 Lord Cardigan personally leads a vedette of the 11th Hussars. No black bottles here!
 The band continues to practise. The brass section needs a little more bass.
The guns continue. I have a boduy of gunners on the go at the moment - a dear friend it busily sculpting spare arms for me. Thats as far as the lead mountain takes me for now. I did trade some plastic Spencer Smith ACW for some Paypal pounds which I've used to buy more. Expect to see the rest of the 11th before long and possibly a pontoon train from Fife and Drum as well as some 4Ground wagons. More infantry? Yes, of course, another two units. A ballon corps and a couple of engineer wagons would be nice, too.