Wednesday, 29 January 2014

English Civil War

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!

We could!


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.

Quickshade

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:

Good Points
  • Very quick, you can 'dunk' a flat basecoated mini and he is effectively done
  • Cheap (tins cost £20, but last a long time)
Bad Points
  • 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.

Gallery

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!
Well, I hope you enjoyed that!  Me and Kieran are going to steadily build up a modest collection before plunging into battle with one another.

See you next time,

Ed

14 comments:

  1. These look great. I've had some experience with quickshade myself. It's alright but I seem to have terrible luck with it. First time I used it I smashed the last mini of the batch into the first thirty and ended up with a heap sticky plastic parts. Not the products fault mind you but still a terrible mess.

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    1. That's that kind of thing I'd do. I feel your pain.

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    2. Thanks Chris - they really are sticky, and stay tacky even when dry. I had a few near-misses but luckily nothing as catastrophic as that... yet! It's also the sort of thing I'd do.

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  2. Very nice paintjob, looking forward to following your progress. Not a big fan of the Dip but you've achieved great results. I need to push on with the rest of my figures for my own ECW project.

    Regards,
    Matt

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    1. Thankyou Matt - glad you liked them. The dip takes some getting used to but it's quick, which was the big thing for this project. The highlighting makes a huge difference, before that they looked awful (despite the videos and publicity suggesting a dunk will make a model finished).

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  3. I have a tin, it rattles. There's an enginseer in there somewhere.

    I think I plan on painting it on, the next time I use it; maybe there'll more control (crosses fingers). Maybe I'll paint so many little men that the enginseer can one day be rescued from his gloopy grave (I can't even remember if he is painted, or if I just dropped him in there as bare metal for some reason that would have seemed perfectly ok at the time....)

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    1. Some kind of painting challenge? To rescue him? If he ever emerges he needs his own set of special rules...

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    2. I snorted coffee out of my nose reading this - the baby found that quite amusing - so you got two laughs from the one comment Zzzzzz - good stuff.

      Second the Colonels special rule comment.

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  4. O cool! For going to school some in England, I didn't get much in the way of history lessons (That I can remember.) on the Civil War.

    Do like the Roundhead look though.

    Great looking troops mate.

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    1. Ah, didn't realised you schooled in Merrie Old England. I can't remember doing anything at all - we just happened to do a few school trips because of the town's connection.

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    2. O yeah mate, move over here only 12 years ago. Prior to that I lived mostly in Wales and then Norwich. All my secondary schooling was in Tenby on the coast of South Pembrokeshire.

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  5. They look terrific, especially the command stand. I can't help but think that officer in red looks awfully like a pirate captain - he just needs a Jolly Roger. I have loved this period ever since I saw Richard Harris chew the scenery in Cromwell but never gamed it. Looking forward to seeing your armies grow and fight one another

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    1. Haha well spotted Mike - yes, I copied the colour scheme from some illustrations before realising it looked rather pirate-y. I even considered 'Captain Hooke' for this commander...

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    2. I was originally thinking Three Musketeers when I saw the command chap in red but now I'm totally seeing Dustin Hoffman as Hook!

      Echoing all othe above - lovely work Colonel - the shade me be a mess but its quick and certainly looks effective.

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