Monday, December 26, 2011

Hittite Chariots Ready For Action

The first batch of heavy chariots for my Hittite army is now ready for action. More to be added later.

Currently working on their infantry.............

......and also planning the first battle of the New Year - my new Early Indian army (see earlier posts for pics) against my (old) Achaemenid Persians.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mitanni Chariots for my Hittite Army

Got a group of these finished over the weekend.

Hopefully the Hittite chariots will be done this coming weekend, and I can do their infantry over Christmas/New Year.

It's going to be interesting matching them up against my New Kingdom Egyptians, and having so many chariots chasing each other all over the table top. :-)

Monday, November 28, 2011

First Look at Some Hittites

The first Hittite chariots roll off the painting table, ready for action.

Hopefully the start of a brand new Hittite army to fight my New Kingdom Egyptians.

I'm hoping to develop my "chariot wars" armies in 2012, so watch out for more like this.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ancient Briton Cavalry

....and the mounted arm to support the foot soldiers!

Horsemen (light and heavy - tribes usually had either/or, not both) and chariots.

Ancient Britons Firing Up for New Year!

It's been a while since my Ancient Britons took to the table top, and hopefully they'll get a shot early in 2012.

Pictured above we have a basic warband, plus supporting light troops armed with bows (and arrows), javelins and sling shots.

(I'm currently going through all my ancient armies trying to get them ready to go. They've been a little neglected over the past couple of years as I've worked on later periods.)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Peleset (Sea Peoples) to Hinder (More Than Help) My New Kingdom Egyptians

The Peleset were another of the Sea Poples who hassled the New Kingdom Egyptians, and eventually brought down the Hittite Empire. As with the Sherdana, they were a mix of heavy infantry with spears in a tight formation and lighter, javelin-armed light troops, used more to harass the enemy than to get to grips with him.

Historians geenrally regard these as the descendants of today's Palestinians.

(As a footnote, and not really to do with the Sea Peoples, I disagree with Plastic Toy Soldier's review of Hat's Assyrian chariots. The review said that the model is easy to fit together, but I'm having all sorts of problems. I think I will have some great-looking models they are finished, but it is definietly a model that requires patience - unless maybe you're a much better engineer than I am!)

Hopefully some pictures of the Assyrians will be ready by the end of the month. I was hoping to have a couple finished by the end of this weekend, but that just didn't happen!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sherdana (Sea Peoples) to Help/Hinder my New Kingdom Egyptians

The Sherdan were one of a number of "nations" that formed the Sea Peoples armies that harrassed New Kingdom Egypt, and the nations further north, eventually bringing down the Hittite Empire, among others as they eventually settled throughout the area known today as Syria, the Palestine, and the Holy Land in general.

The guys without shields are the Sherdana Guard, mercenaries hired by the Pharaoh to help protect himself. (They would normally fight FOR the Eggyptians, although I guess they would also fit as the bodyguard for a Sea Peoples general).

There isn't a whole lot known for certain (yet) about the various Sea Peoples "nations", so there is plenty of scope to use one's imagination when planning scenarios involving these guys.

Libyan tribesmen to oppose my New Kingdom Egyptian

On their own they were usually no match for the Egyptians, although if they showed up in large enough numbers, they could be very pesky.

They also allied with the various Sea People nations that began invading Egypt and the nations to the north.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Some Nubians to help (or perhaps hinder) my New Kingdom Egyptians.

These guys came from the area south of Egypt, and supplied large quantities of archers to assist New Kingdom Egyptian armies. Pictured are some archers, a warband and also a "king" and his bodyguard.

Note that the "king" is accompanied by a donkey. (The middle photograph, the guy with the gold "feather" on his head, next to the guy beating the drum).

In this era, it was not unusual for monarchs, or warlords who wanted to be monarchs, of poorer nations (that couldn't afford horses) to ride into battle on a donkey.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Early Indian Army Finished - Ready For Battle!

Well, I might add some more elephants later.

But aside from that, it's all ready to go. I started painting this lot four years ago. I got the elephants and the horsemen (not the chariot though) done back then, but it's only been the last couple of months that I got stuck into the rest of the army.

These guys are intended for ancient warfare, especially against the Archaemenid Persians, Alexander "The Great" and his successors. But because there were no real changes in the Indian army, they can be used right through to Medieval times. They can mayvbe even go up against the Mongols of Genghis and Kublai Khan at a pinch.

So lots of battles in prospect for these chaps. Now I just have to find the time to fight them!

By the way, I'd hate to be one of the guys standing opposite those elephants as they come lumbering across the battle field at me. See earlier posts on this blog for some close-up shots of the different soldiers.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mitanni General and Bodyguard

Figures by Cesar, buildings by Hovels, all bought through Michigan Toy Soldiers.

Cesar's Mitanni chariots were very easy to assemble, and I'm going to be getting more of these.

(Cesar's early Egyptian chariots also seem great to work with - still early days yet - although I don't know if they're big enough to accomodate three figures!)

I'm planning a nice big campaign from this era for early in 2012. Still lots of work to do, but I'm hoping I'll be able to post a nice illustrated narrative of the campaign as it unfolds on this site (which is actually one of the main reasons I initially set this blog up - I just haven't got around to doing it yet!)

Japanese Village - Progress Report

As you can see from the missing wall sections to the right of the photo, my Japanese village isn't quite finished yet.

I am very happy with the way it is turning out though. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing my Japanese Sengoku Jidai armies battling it out over this particular prize!

This was a very productive weekend. I got several more infantry units for my Early Indiana army completed, and should have that finished (cross fingers) next weekend. Photos to follow as soon as I can.

I finished painting my Mitanni Commanding General and his bodyguard, and also a couple of the Middle Eastern buildings that will form villages for a whole bunch of eras worth of battles in that part of the world. (Photos to follow later this evening).

Also, I made a start on the New Kingdom Egyptian chariots by Cesar that I've had sitting, waiting to paint, for a solid couple of years now. Hopefully I'll have a 6-strong squad of those ready by the end of next weekend also.

It's all going very well. I CAN have very productive weekends when I don't have to spend a huge chunk of the time working!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Indian Army General

Just adding some pics of the commanding general of my Early Indian army, and his "Maiden Guard" bodyguard - yep, an elite band of fighting women!

Indian women seem to have played a more proactive role in "defending their homelands" than most of their western counterparts in this era, and Hat included a female guardsperson in their models, so I had to include their unit!

My Indian army is taking shape - not so slowly at the moment. I just hope I can keep this pace up throughout the month and get the whole army finished!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Early Indian Army

I really didn't intend to spend this month working on my Early Indian army, but that's the way it is turning out.

I bought all the figures four years ago of course, and painted the elephants and the horsemen, but was having problems with the paint taking ages - and I do mean ages, in that it was still sticky several months after being applied - to dry on the figures, for which I blamed the "new" plastic that was used for the figures, so didn't press on with the rest.

For the most part, time seems to have cured the problem - the figures now only take a couple of days to dry! So I've been pushing ahead with the rest of it. Still lots to do before the full army is assembled, but these shots show off most of the basic units.

I'll post the full army (famous last words!) later in the month.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Collector's Show and Other Bits

My Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth army attracted some interest at this year's collector's show, especially from a local family of Polish lineage. Thanks to my co-worker from the News-Banner, Barb Barbieri, taking the photo I was able to be included in the shot.

While I haven't posted much over the past couple of weeks, I have been busy.

I have now finished (?) my regiment of Russian Dragoons from Peter "The Great's" army - just need to take some pics now to post here!

I'm also finally (after four!!! years) getting around to painting the infantry for my early Indian army. I've had the elephants and a couple of horse units waiting all this time for the rest of the army, and they were getting a little restless. I also now have a Commanding General riding in his chariot, to lead it, and am planning their first battle - against my Achaemenid Persians, for the new year.

Once again, I just need to get busy with my camera!

Photos hopefully will follow shortly!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Seven Year's War Prussian Cuirassiers

I've been way too slow with my postings this year. Hopefully that will change soon.

In the meantime, the above pictures are of my Seven Years' War Prussian Cuirassiers (heavy cavalry) riding off to find some Austrians (or Russians) to fight.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Not exactly TOY soldiers......

I'm STILL working on my regiment of Russian dragoons that about a month ago I thought I would have done "next week".

But in the meantime, compliments of Mr. Gib Young, are some photos of me all dressed up as a Union soldier (American Civil War) at the Memorial Day celebrations in Huntington May 30.

Hopefully I'll have those Russian dragoons finished soon!

And also, I'll be back in uniform at the Wells County Historical Society's Ice-Cream Social on Sunday June 28th at the county museum. Catch me there in person!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Great Northern War - Russian Dragoons

Working on a regiment of these this month to start my Great Northern Wars collection.

My Russian Dragoon regiment commander looks good. I hope to have the first squadron of his men finished over the weekend and ready for photography next week.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Building Better Communities - Japan

Slowly my villages are coming along. They will look more impressive when deployed on the battle field, but this will give you some idea anyway.

My Japanese village is coming along nicely. I think I have sufficient houses now, but still have some wall sections on order awaiting delivery. I don't expect to be adding beyond that, but we'll see. (Again, it's a low priority, but if something interesting appears, I might think about it.)

For my village, I have the options of one samurai's house (the building I have put the walls around), three residential dwellings (with the red tiled roof - yes, I know. Only two are in this photo - the paint on the third was still drying when I took this), a candle shop and a small inn for travellers, and several wall sections, plus a gate of course.

This village should be in action next weekend, as my Japanese army fights my Poles as part of the Pike and Shot tournament I started back in January. I need to get this competition over with so I can move on to my next project for the year.

My major building project for the rest of the year will be an Arabic village that I can also use for early "middle east" battles ("Middle East) covering from Egypt (actually from Carthage, even further west) across to Persia. That's going to be a BIG one.

Building Better Communities - Eastern Europe

Slowly my villages are coming along. They will look more impressive when deployed on the battle field, but this will give you some idea anyway.

I now have a nice big "community meeting house" for my early European (mostly German and further east) villages, to go with a sizable collection of small residential houses, so I think I can assemble a pretty impressive looking village on the tabletop.

These buildings will get a lot of use, as I have so many Germanic, Russian and "countries in between" armies that these will be suitable for. Maybe other special buildings can still be added, but I'm happy with what I currently have, so adding to this collection will be a low priority.

Building Better Communities - Celts

Slowly my villages are coming along. They will look more impressive when deployed on the battle field, but this will give you some idea anyway.

My Celtic vilage now comprises one residential dwelling and three store houses for the clan's food. Plus, some fencing to surround the village.

I want to add two more residential dwellings. For a small clan, all buildings might be inside the perimeter fence, or there may be no fence at all. For a larger village, perhaps only the storage huts will be inside the pallisade, with the residential dwelling outside. If there were enough of them, "streets" might begin to appear - not as well paved as Roman (or modern) roads of course, but certainly you could see a distinct pathway.

Hopefully, my collection of buildings for a Celtic village will be complete and fully ready for any tabletop battles I may require it for by the end of June.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Busy weekend - photos to follow!

Except for limbers, my Austria Seven Years War Battalion guns are now done. Just need to take the photos for the blog and book.

Also finished painting my meeting house for my East European villages that will be part of battles featuring East European armies. Also have added a third store house to my Celtic village (two more homesteads to do and that will probably be it), and painted some more walls for my Japanese village.

My various townships are looking in pretty good shape.

April project will be the second infantry unit for my Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth army, to finish that off, then on to Great Northern War Russian and Swedish armies for most of the rest of the year.

Lots still to do!!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

More pics etc coming.......

Been a little pre-occupied over recent weeks. Hopefully I will have these Austrians finished within the next couple of weeks, then on to the other European nations from the 1700s. (especially Russia, Prussia and Sweden.)

I'm also not far from finally finishing my Japanese village so also shots of that coming soon.

Lots going on. Just nothing finished and ready to post!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Back at Bluffton High School Wednesday

My soldiers and I will be back at Bluffton High School Wednesday afternoon (March 9) helping Mike Kracium with one of his history classes.

This time, we will be covering the 100 Years' War.

We'll have about 30 photos for display on the high school Smartboards, which hopefully wil help give the students a better understanding of the period.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Seven Years' War Austrians

Every now and then a new army, or multiple armies, from a "new" period comes along that I want to study, but just can't find the right information to build them up.

Back in the early 1990s, I struck that when new ranges of Austrians and Prussians from the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) suddenly appeared. I could find lots of general info about the period, but virtually nothing reliable on unit organization, and even uniform painting. So I went ahead with a "best guess" option and built an army for each.

"Murphy's Law" then kicked in, and as soon as I had "finished", the very stuff I had been looking for started to appear, telling me all the things I had got wrong, including the uniform colors of the Austrian artillery I was so proud of.

In the intervening years, I have been splitting the blame on an obviously incompetent quartermaster for ordering the wrong uniforms and the clothing factory that messed up his order, depending on my mood. This year though, with Russians and Swedes from the 1700s now also on the shelves, I've decided my major project for this year will be my armies from the 18th century.

I've started on reshaping my Austrian army first up. I've completed my two infantry regiments, each of two field battalions. (I don't really need the third "depot battalion" because that stayed back in headquarters and took care of the routine stuff like recruitment and training.) I'm going with a later Seven Years' War army, simply because I don't want to buy more figures. (In the early part, the battalions formed up in four ranks, in later years, three. Three ranks works better for me with what I have so I'm sticking with that. If I'm fighting an early war battle, then my battalions will be a little under-strength, but that happens in wartime, so I can live with that.)

One of the regiments is pictured above, although the Oberst battalion is standing behind the Lieb battalion, so you don't quite see all the figures - 84 plus officers in this shot. Grenadiers are deployed on the right flank (the left as you look at the photo). In battle, the grenadiers from each battalion were usually split off into a separate grenadier battalion, but for the photo I've kept them together.

I haven't done the battalion gun that will accompany these guys into battle yet - that will happen when I get onto the artillery.

Cavalry will be the next part of the project, as I bring my regiment of dragoons up to speed, and try to figure out whether I can use some of the hoardes of Prussian hussars I have as Austrians. Not sure yet what to do for Cuirassiers (heavy cavalrymen who still wore an armored breastplate into battle - against gunpowder, it gave no extra protection, but apparently it helped the men "feel invincible", so provided them with a morale boost, and it's always a good thing to keep the troops morale up when they're in a fight.)


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Muscovites Vs Swedes - a lesson in patience!

Ugh! It took three weeks to get through that one. A combination of being busy at work and my own laziness.

The battle turned into a real, war of attrition, as the swarms of Muscovite cavalry chipped away and finally overran the Swedish positions.

I really didn't realize just how big this Muscovite army really is until I laid it out on the table. Not all the infantry I painted up was involved, but the huge numbers of light cavalry (including the Sons of Boyars pictured above) just took up so much space.

More than a handful for any opponent.

My next battle will not be a tournament scrap. I have to work on a 100 Years' War presentation for Mike Kracium's history class, so I'll be doing that next.

The next competition battle sees Japanese againnst Poles (the Poles previously lost to the Ottoman Turks and this is the first outing for the Japanese - hopefully I will have their village finished in time to use in the battle.) We'll see how the Japanese can cope, but right now, I'm thinking it will come down to Muscovites Vs Turks in the final battle.