Monday, December 14, 2020

On The Painting Desk: Ancients from Victrix and More


We are closing in on the end of 2020.  For many reasons it feels a bit like a lost year.  Despite the chaos and sadness in the world, I managed to deplete and refresh my "Pile of Shame" a couple of times.  However, as I go into the end of the year, there were a couple of things I wanted to tidy up before 2021.  

One of my goals for 2020 was to try to paint what I purchased.  This year, I purchased a few things: 

1. Victrix War Elephants

2. Victrix Greek Light Cavalry

3. 4Ground Gangster Terrain

4. Brigade Aeronefs

Let's check in and see where we are at with these projects?  

Victrix Greek Light Cavalry

Once I finished off all my Copplestone Casting gangsters, I ordered some Ancients.  In that batch I got these Cavalry and the War Elephants.  The Republican Romans were on back order, and I had to replace the order much later in the year.  Too late to get them in the painting queue. 

These guys give me a nice unit for Men of Bronze, Heirs of Empire, and Wars of the Republic.  Not much to say about painting them really.  I had just finished painting my 6mm armies, so it was a difficult transition going back to 28mm.  

I have never been a fan of painting cavalry as it feels like a 10 man squad is making me do twice the work thanks to the horses.  Horses scare me to paint, but they have been turning out fine lately.  I still have a ways to go to make them look more "natural" but these are good enough for the tabletop.... at least in my armies anyway! 

Victrix African War Elephants

I was surprised that I was able to get two Elephants out of this kit.  I was only expecting one.  It also came with crew to make Romans, Successor, or Numidian Elephants.  If I had been smart, I would have made the crew swappable..... but I am not a smart person.  

I decided to just base them on washers because..... I had them handy!  Perhaps that is "minimizing" their impact on the table, but I like it.  I was glad I had some leftover transfers from my Macedonian Pikeman to help jazz up the shields on the towers.  

On these models I used a combination of Army Painter mini paints and Apple Barrel Big Box Acrylic paints.  The Elephant skin tones were mostly the cheap acrylic paints, with a nice Army Painter wash.  The base was also just cheap acrylics with cheap moss scattered across it.  

Below is a terrible picture of the War Elephants deployed on the shelf with the Macedonians. 

4ground Gangster Buildings

One of the goals of 2020 was to get some nice terrain to go with my Copplestone Casting Gangsters, so I could take some photos.  I wanted to add some nicer photos to Turf War from my collection so I could post the rules on Wargames Vault.  

Thankfully, 4ground had a line of pre-painted terrain that fit my needs really well.  I ordered some from Noble Knight Games about mid-year.  I orders 5 buildings from the "Chicago Way" line.  They were 3 Shotgun Houses, Oldfield Tires, and Southham's Tobacco Shop.  

These are very nice kits, but maybe even a bit too detailed for what I needed.  Each one took me about 3 hours to put together and that was a bit more than I wanted it to take.  However, there no denying that they look amazing on the table.  

Here is an example of the Shotgun house.

Each model has full access to the interior for taking your fights indoors.  Annoyingly, I kept putting the doors in backwards!  I was also really impressed that Southam's had actual "glass" to put in the windows too.  Each store model also had really great little posters and adverts that really "bling up" the model.  

Aeronef Fleets

I grabbed these up in order to start doing playtesting for V4 of Castles in the Sky.  I sold the work to Osprey, but have since decided on a few updates I wanted to make to it.  Therefore, since V4 is pretty different to the ones I had on the blog in the past, I need to test it further.  

To that end, I purchased the French and British Grand Fleet packs from a distributor.  They are the older sculpts, but will do nicely for what I need.  Below is what the French Fleet started as:

Each "Grand Fleet" probably has more Escort class vessels than I need but I like the look of the rest of the fleets.  The stacks and masts were a bit of a challenge, so I just skipped the masts on most of mine.  This is closed to WWI than Victorian, so I wanted them to look a bit more modern.  

Here is what I have at this point....

This will probably be all the French ships I need for Castles in the Sky playtesting.  I have 1 Battleship, 1 Heavy Cruiser, 2 Cruisers, 2 Light Cruisers, and 5 Destroyers of 2 different classes.  A pretty sizable flotilla.  

That of course led me to the British Fleet I will need to act as the OpFor during my games. 

The Brits have 2 Battlecruisers ( of two different makes), 2 cruisers, 3 light cruisers, and 5 destroyers/escorts of various types.  I still have a Battleship left to paint, but did not need it in the immediate future so left it out of the fleet for now.       

So, I still have enough extra ships to build onto both forces, but they are superfluous to need for the moment.  I also still have some 6mm models for more Light Cavalry, but again I don't need them at the moment so they will stay unpainted until I do need them.  

Final Thoughts
I definitely sprinted in the painting Queue at the end of the year.  I wanted as many painting projects wrapped up as I could before 2021 started.  I wanted a clean slate for the New Year.   

Sadly, my Roman Republicans did not make it to me in time to work on in 2020.  That will be my big goal for 2021.  There goes most of my painting goal for next year!  I will need them by November as I think that is when Wars of the Republic will be released.   

So, that ends me around 130+ models for the year.  A bit shy of last year, but I had a cracking start to 2019 due to traveling.