Sunday, 24 January 2016

The Normans are coming!

I've been busy beavering away on a few painting projects of late. So there are a few things to show off coming up. But one project I have always wanted to achieve is to have a very large Norman and Saxon army. Achieving this will take a LOT of painting, which is very daunting.

Three units arrayed for battle.

However, its a long term project so no time like the present to keep in moving forward. As such, I thought for this post I would show off three units of Kallistra Norman Armoured Infantry. These infantry are about 12mm tall making them slightly larger than Pendraken miniatures. That does make painting them slightly easier. Painting these lads was fairly straight forward. But I wanted each man's shield to be distinct in how it was painted. This I felt gave the Normans that distinctive look you see from history books.

Flash shot of the same group showing off the individual shields.

I still have some flags to attach to the command stands. But other than that, these gentlemen are ready to field. Enjoy!

Thursday, 14 January 2016

The Orions have arrived! ACTA Star Fleet Orion Pirates

I finally have gotten around to painting some Orion Pirate ships for ACTA Star Fleet. These have been on my 'to-do' list for some time, but I could never figure out just how I wanted to paint them.
I have been looking through Google Images of painted Orion ships and found nothing that appealed to me. However, playing Just Cause 3 gave me inspiration. I noticed the colour scheme on the Medici rebel helicopters and that set me to thinking of doing a similar colour scheme for my Orion Raiders.
Orion Light Raider (LR)
The most common Orion ship seen in the quadrant is the Light Raider. A versatile small vessel well designed to take out Escorts and plunder trading vessels. As with all Orion ships, these are designed for atmospheric flight as well as inter-stellar operations.

I have two Light Raiders, one Raider and one Salvage Cruiser from a Mongoose Publishing box set with some Klingons. So these are about 1:2500 scale and are very nicely detailed. Amarillo Design Bureau still produce these and you can get them at their web store.

Second of the two Light Raiders

I don't want a large fleet of these guys, as Orion's tend to run around in small groups of ships. Cartels will either pilot their own ships or lease an operating space to other pirates, taking a percentage of the profits. The Salvage Cruiser will often act as a mobile base, refuelling and reloading raiders and also storing their ill gotten gains.

Orion Salvage Cruiser (SAL)

The second most common Orion ship found throughout the quadrant is the Orion Raider. A small, highly manoeuvrable light cruiser capable of going toe to toe with most Escorts and Frigates.

The Orion Raider (CR)

I'm tempted to get one or too more from Amarillo Design Bureau but these four make up a good little pirate raiding fleet able to harass my ACTA Star Fleet cargo vessels. I think the colour scheme works out well also.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Ral Partha Chaos Wars Kickstarter has arrived!

Well a new year and the first post for it. Happy (belated) New Year everyone!

My Ral Partha Chaos Wars Kickstarter arrived during the week and I'm stocked! Ral Partha's fantasy range of miniatures was one of the first set of miniature collections I ever bought for wargaming. And that was about when I was in my early teens. I loved (and still love) these miniatures. Beautifully sculpted and roughly fitting into the 20-25mm category.

When Iron Wind Metals announced this kickstarter, I was like a big kid again. I just had to get in on it even though I was staying true to 10mm wargaming and massive battles. As it turns out, I was not being frivolous doing so. As I'll show below.

The Kickstarter came with a free set of the old Chaos Wars Rules and Army List booklets, which was a really nice addition.

Chaos Wars rulebook and Army List booklet

I purchased the Goblin starter set as I loved the Ral Partha Goblin Imps, cherishing them over the years and not finding the will to part with them as I delved into building my 10mm armies.

The Goblin Imp starter set

When compared to my original Ral Partha goblin mini's, you can see that they are identical in size and are not made of pewter.

Same size as the originals from years ago!

The great thing is that these guys will go with my amassing 1/72 Kings of War troops. As you can see below, the goblins will fit nicely in the 1/72 scale. The skeletons below are Caesar 1/72 Undead. Ral Partha miniatures were basically 25mm scale. But the variety of models permits size creep between 20mm (1/72 scale) and 28mm in my view.

So they may also fit in to a 28mm context, but only as very small goblin-imps. The image below shows a GW LotR Uruk-hai along with the Caesar 1/72 Skeletons and the Ral Partha goblin-imps in the front. So judge for yourself if this works for you.

My plan is to use them in my Kings of War armies applying two infantry, one cavalry and one archer per 25mm round base. You can see my intent below with both the old and new miniatures of Ral Partha Goblin-imps.

Believe it or not, the very smallest goblins (i.e the true Ral Partha goblin-imps) even work fairly nicely as a type of Ogre or Troll for 10mm. Below you can see the goblin-imps right in front of some GW Skeletons I got cheaply off eBay and am repainting. So if you are after some alternative sculpts for an Ogre / Troll beasty for 10mm, this may work for you also.

Useful for 10mm also?

The lads at Ral Partha / Iron Wind Metals were nice enough to include a sample of some of their other proposed future range. A note that came with the Kickstarter said that the Dwarf and Skeleton models in the image below were part of the armies proposed for their next Kickstarter coming in February this year. Something I definitely will be supporting.

Again, you get an idea of their size when you look at the 1/72 Caesar Skeletons flanking these miniatures below.

Now my most favourite Ral Partha goblin was a goblin-imp dressed in a wolves pelt and carrying a sword and shield. Sadly this little fella below didn't make it to the first Kickstarter. I emailed the lads and offered a model or two to them if they needed some originals to make moulds off, but it turns out that they already have the mould for this little beauty and will likely be offering it as an add-on with their next Kickstarter. So fingers crossed that this lad makes a comeback because its one of their best sculpts in my view.

One last thing was that the Dwarf miniature supplied is exactly the same height as the Caesar 1/72 Dwarf set. Its a little more robust compared to the Caesar model, as you can see below. But this is great as it will be a core army set of the 2nd Ral Partha Kickstarter and so will fill a niche for my Kings of War proposed armies.

So Happy Days! This was a really pleasant surprise when I opened my package from the Ral Partha Kickstarter. I purchased these guys out of nostalgia with no expectation of them being able to be used in any of my armies. Turns out they will slot in fairly well with my Kings of War 1/72 scale (20mm) armies. Only problem now is that I need to buy more miniatures :)