This year has already seen Kieran and I start a new project with the Mordheim Warbands, which are well under way. We couldn't possibly be starting something else as well, could we?
|Sir Gervase Lucas' Company. Give fire!|
Background to the Project
The English Civil War is a period Kieran's always been interested in, and it's something very close to our home town of Newark in Nottinghamshire. A staunch royalist stronghold in the war, it was besieged and subject to national attention. So from an early age I've always been dimly aware of it - I recently moved to Cambridgeshire and paid a visit to the excellent Cromwell Museum in Huntingdon, where the dormant interest was awakened. It would also, we decided, be an excellent example to play 'classic Warhammer' style battles, with proper unit tactics and without all the absurd Lords & Heroes baggage that Warhammer has accumulated. All the stuff we wanted from Warhammer was to be found, much more cheaply, in historical gaming.
I invested in a copy of Pike and Shotte from Warlord Games - an excellent set of rules, although I'm a newcomer to the period. Next was a box of Royalist Infantry - I picked mine up cheaply of Ebay. I have to say I was hugely impressed - £15 (or even £20 at full price) gives you 40 models! The poses are rather limited, but that's not so much an issue with this style of models which are designed to be block-based.
Painting was rather a challenge. I started by lovingly and carefully painting each detail as I would an Imperial Guardsman, before I realised I was rapidly eating into my life expectancy and decided something quicker was called for. Block colours, limited pallets, and Army Painter Quickshade was used successfully. This is a bit controversial, so I'll devote some bullet points to a mini review:
- Very quick, you can 'dunk' a flat basecoated mini and he is effectively done
- Cheap (tins cost £20, but last a long time)
- Very messy - it's oil-based and takes almost 24 hours to fully dry
- Gloopy - Even when dry you loose about the same amount of detail as you'd expect from 2-3 spray coats
- Horrible shininess
Those bad points consigned it to the back of my modelling drawer when I first tried to use it on Guardsmen. But for mass painting it is very, very effective. I strongly recommend re-highlighting in the original colour and matt varnish to add to the realism and depth, but even with these extra steps I finished this unit in about a week. I had an efficient production line going:
- Paint that day's four men (20 mins)
- Dunk them in Quickshade and set them aside to dry (3 mins)
- Take yesterday's Quickshaded men (now dry) and rehighlight them, adding detail (15 mins)
That's about 40 mins per day. At the end of the week, gluing them all to the base took about an hour.
|The whole regiment. The bases are sand, dunked in Quickshade to colour, then with GW tufts superglued on.|
|The Command Stand. They got a bit of extra time, including the colours of which I'm particularly proud.|
|Normally photography is very harsh at exposing detail, but these production-line minis come off okay.|
|The pikemen! I do love these chaps. Come on Ironsides! Give us your best shot!|
See you next time,