A tabletop gaming blog, with a vague bias towards Central/Eastern Europe and the Early Modern period.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012

This is more like it

Ok, now that I've eased back into the whole "conversion" business, I figured it's high time for a more ambitious bit of work, especially if it can involve greenstuff. So I took a good long look at this guy, a typical example of 17th century Polish cavalry, and then marshalled my Wargames Factory sprues and my greenstuff and my tools, and produced this:

It's still WiP, needing the sword and shield and holstered pistol and maybe some additional decoration on the horse gear, and plenty of miscellaneous cleaning. But I think this gives a decent sense of how it's coming together. Even in his present state, dude's got some character.

Preliminary Plastic Kitbashing

So, a few weeks ago I was poking around for plastic historical miniatures to repurpose, and I stumbled across a contest. I bought some of their minis (which I'm sure was their devious plan all along), and those minis arrived a couple days ago. After a bit of plotting and experimenting, I've finally started putting stuff together. So feast your eyes on this blog's first, but by no means last, conversions:

This first one is strictly a warm-up conversion. It's pretty boring and doesn't even use all three of the kits I purchased. I don't plan to enter it in the contest, but I'll be needing plenty of Tatars to provide mounted support for my Cossacks, and this guy is the first. He's basically a Celt Cavalryman, with a Persian bow and head.

This second guy might get entered. He is a Polish nobleman, or szlachta, although evidently he's a fairly poor one since he doesn't even have a horse. His head and sword are Celtic (the latter bent into a more sabre-like shape, not that you can tell at this angle), his right hand and pistol are from the War of Spanish Succession Cavalry, and the rest is Persian.

Obviously, these guys are works-in-progress. And in case you didn't follow the contest link above, they're all based on Wargames Factory bits. Stay tuned for an armored cavalryman sometime tomorrow...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Church concept

Inspired by this thread, I'm starting to think about getting a little more ambitious with terrain. So I poked around on Wikipedia's Ukrainian Architecture links until I found this:

My version will probably be plastered/whitewashed, as seems to have been the preferred style in the 1600s, rather than the bare brick pictured above. As an added bonus, this church dates back to about 1200 AD, meaning it could also serve within a Medieval time-frame

I plan to construct it mostly out of Pringles tubes and spare cardboard.

Another house...

Second verse, same as the first:

I'll be honest, I might go crazy if my new miniatures (one batch or the other) don't arrive soon. A guy can only build so many cottages...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Little Boxes (a blue one)

And here it is painted. Image is a bit larger than I usually attach, to show the textures. It does suffer a bit from the low-quality towel, but it's rather too late to worry about that.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Little Box WiP

Here is house number one, in various stages of construction. I started with a piece of corrugated cardboard, folded into a box and reinforced with masking tape. Then I added trim and additional reinforcement made out of coffee stirrers, and the doorframe made out of non-corrugated cardboard.

Then I made the roof frame out of more cardboard (both kinds) and wood.

It's a separate piece, for ease of painting. A view of the bottom shows the (frankly rather rudimentary) structure.

Next step is the thatch. I cut pieces of a spare hand towel into strips and glued them on with overlaps. I wasn't too precise about measurements here, pretty much just eyeballing everything.

I realize the inspiration picture had way more thatching strips than this, but I only have so much patience.

Of course, my guesstimated measurements weren't perfect, but that's ok because I still have the corner bits of thatch to do.

And then here's how the roof looks back on the house. Only missing the watered-down PVA glue on the thatch to give it some weight.

And here's the version with the glue brushed on. Now it just needs paint.

Final note: if you're going to do something like this, consider investing the time/money to get a nice luxurious towel. The fiber loops on this one were pretty threadbare, so the thatch isn't nearly as textured or convincing as it might be.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Little Boxes (made of ticky-tacky)

So, I've decided to work on terrain. Specifically houses, as you might suspect from the title of this post. I've made thatched-roof cottages before, but they're in storage now. And you can never have too many buildings to fight over, anyhow. Also, I've found better reference pictures this time around.

So, I'm thinking one of these:

And two or three of these:

Should be easy enough to build out of scrap cardboard, wooden coffee stirrers, and bits of towel for the thatch. Throw in a small church, some lengths of fence and maybe a well, and I'll have the makings of a picturesque little Ukrainian hamlet, ready to be devastated by arrogant Poles or rapacious Cossacks.

Friday, April 6, 2012

[citation needed]

The first written record of Kursk is dated 1032. It was mentioned as one of Severian towns by Prince Igor in The Tale of Igor's Campaign: "As to my Kurskers, they are famous knights—swaddled under war-horns, nursed under helmets, fed from the point of the lance; to them the trails are familiar, to them the ravines are known, the bows they have are strung tight, the quivers, unclosed, the sabers, sharpened; themselves, like gray wolves, they lope in the field, seeking for themselves honor, and for their prince, glory."
Sadly, this paragraph from the Wikipedia article on Kursk has no citation, so the excerpt from the Tale of Igor's Campaign may or may not be accurate. Either way, it's undeniably badass.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Several Streltsy

The guy from post #1 is back, and he brought some friends...

To break up the monotony, or at least the potential future monotony assuming I obtain more of these guys someday, I decided to split them to two different regiments. Now, I'm not a huge stickler for historical accuracy - I basically just did a google image search for "streltsy", skimmed the first few pages of results, then closed my netbook and painted these guys however I felt like. I think it worked out well enough.

Sadly, these guys are the last of my Early Modern minis, at least until my next paycheck. In the meantime, I have some Perry mercenaries (late medieval infantry) to keep busy with. Or, maybe I'll work on that onion-dome terrain I've been thinking about. Then, once I get paid and my next order ships, I can reveal my top-secret plan for plastic cossack infantry...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

not enough figures for a game...

... but enough for a vignette!

One gray morning, as news of Khmelnitsky's rebellion sweeps the land, an Orthodox priest exhorts his flock to take up arms against the oppressive Polish magnates. While the holy man rouses the cossacks and peasants, a pair of bodyguards scans the crowd, on the lookout for assassins in the pay of the Szlachta...