Wednesday 26 October 2011

Carolingian Shields –

Next task were the 60 shields for the knights and heavy infantry. In an earlier post, I mentioned I would use six shield patterns and duplicate this for each plinth.

With a second colour, I createe the wedges or blades characteristic of the Frankish shields. That was the easy part. With a dark grey mix, I used a thin brush and outlined the wedges.

This is what we call in Dutch, “Monk’s work.”

The figures have been based for and all I lack is a battle standard for these two armies. The overall effect is amazing and when the flags are done, I will set them out in battle array and take photos.

Thursday 20 October 2011

Love painting horses – No Tears method

In my last post, all mounts for the Frankish knights were given a basic coat. Poses for the riders were similar on each plinth but each is astride a horse with a different colour. With a mix of Codex Grey and Black I applied a thin wash over the mane, tail, muzzle and lower legs. The majority of the horses here are basically brown with a small portion black and dun.

When the wash dried, I use a round brush and dry-brushed with Bleached Bone the lower legs front to back and swept gently upwards to the tail. After the tail, I dry-brushed the mane, from head to shoulder and lastly the muzzle to highlight the upper lip and nostril.

With the same brush, I continued the lower body and kept my brush strokes short to pick out muscle and all the harness. The latter are better defined to paint with a small brush.

The overall effect looks like a horse that has done some work. I don’t use white for the socks, but will dry-brush more Bleached Bone above the hoof as all white socks or legs will quickly become dirty in short time. I should know, I owned a Bay for six years.

Further photos show the progression of the figures becoming knights as the chainmail (same grey/black mix) is painted, cloaks, pennons, harnesses are painted in turn.

The white card illustrates six shield patterns which I shall use. Each plinth will have the same shield pattern, but then a different ground colour.

Hopefully by the weekend, the figures will be based and ready for ground work and flocking.

One point I forgot to touch on, are blazes or white markings. These I do sparingly and keep as small spots between the eyes or a thin line running the length of the nose, between the straps. I would thin the white so as not to create a sharp contrast between coat and marking.

Monday 17 October 2011

Back to the Carolingians

I finished painting spearmen and archers last week and would follow up with the Frankish knight, but last week I had a number of DBA Renaissance sold off which took a bit of time. Thanks again to the gamers who purchased the Polish and Cossack armies.

Knights, in fact 36 of them are pictured on their plinths. I like painting horses, but the trick here to organize your efforts so you don’t dampen your creative juices.

I like Old Glory for their variety of poses per pack and the cavalry are no different. Each pack has riders in four different poses and horses, usually six. This works out perfectly for the quantity that I wanted to do as six horses can be placed on each plinth.

Each plinth therefore, had one unique pose for horse which I place on each plinth. For the next plinth, I shifted the exact sequence by one position on the next plinth and repeated the process, so each horse appeared in a different position. I repeated as best as I could with varying the riders.

There is logic behind this.

After applying a ground coat of grey primer in the evening, I was able to start the following morning with an hour’s worth of painting.

Flesh, spears and half the horses were done essentially with two colours; flesh of course and red brown. I start with hands and face, and then move to the spear for which I mixed the red brown with desert yellow. After all 36 lances were finished, I moved on to the horse.

Perhaps from the photos you can notice I used six colours; each colour is painted on one horse on each plinth, but move up a position each time, so the overall appearance the colours run diagonally across.

Now for the shields and banners or pennons, I used six colours but painted the same colour horizontally across. Painting first, the rear of the shield, painting the front side tidied up the appearance. The array looks nearly complete, but the whole session took less than two hours over two days.

With a break tomorrow, I will resume by painting the chainmail, leg and arm protection, helmet and cloaks. This will be spread out over two sessions while I begin sketching the shield and pennon designs on paper. This helps me organize my time better.


Thursday 13 October 2011

Project Rome - Sample test game and comments.


The four map pages may be copied for test use and you will need to make and label the following counters:

1 x “Phase”
2 x Roman armies. – a consular army may divide into two wings or armies.
2 x Supply – impedimenta accompanying each Roman army.
3 or more x “Friend of Rome” – pro-Roman tribe.
3 or more x “Roman Win” – to represent battles won by Rome.
3 or more x “Hostile” – native tribes prepared to do battle.
3 or more x “Spanish Win” – native victory.
3 or more x “Loss of revenue” – map square no longer revenue bearing.
3 or more x "Extra revenue" - map square that delivered extra revenue. 
3 or more x “Conquered” – map square now Roman territory.

Further, you will need a playing card deck with 52 cards (no joker needed).
Lastly, a record sheet to track the month of the year and the four phase sequence of play for both Roman and Lusitanian player.

It is February, the year 193 BC and the new consul and praetor of Hispania Ulterior have divided the army in two and will be ready to move into Lusitania from two separate locations in March. Every map square in Lusitania is occupied by tribal clans and it would prove good policy to establish a “friend of Rome” as these may later prove a source of food supply or auxiliary troops. Your commands will operate outside the province for nine months and return to winter quarters in November. May Fortuna be with you.

The following is a brief example of several months of campaign play which illustrate the phase sequence of card play. Cards are normally held by players and not seen, but are laid open to best illustrate options. 

February (end of winter quarters)

Rome is dealt the following four cards show in the lower left hand corner. Rome moves out of winter quarters to two map squares beyond the frontier.
Spain’s cards are shown in the upper left hand corner. 


Rome with diplomatic flair fails to win the tribe in the adjacent square and these are now “hostile”.

New cards are drawn and played cards are discarded face down.

The Praetor in command of Legion IV during the movement phase will want to quash the rebellious Spanish and does so employing a stratagem. This results in a victory for Rome and hostile square is changed to conquered. 

Spain decides to retain the Knave of hearts for a later turn. 

He chooses to pass “diplomacy” and “revenue” and attempt to cut Legion II’s supply. He bids Queen of clubs and Rome counters with a six and foils the attempt.


Rome bids to continue the “friends of Rome” policy and does so with a nine of hearts, Spain must counter with a card and bids the three giving Rome the point. Spain’s retains his high card in the hopes of changing the “friend” to “hostile” after Rome’s departure. 

Rome is pleased with the turn of events and will pass the remaining phases.

Spain bids to change the friend status to hostile and succeeds as Rome has no card to counter. 

Passing the next two phases the hostile tribe move through the mountainous area toward the Roman frontier. 


Rome has no hearts and passes the diplomacy phase. On his next phase he hopes to reap some benefit from the conquered territory and has no luck.

Both legions are supplied so Legion II moves south to apprehend the hostile tribe in the hills and attempts to use a stratagem, but this is foiled.

Game to be decided on the board and its outcome will finish Rome’s turn for May. 

You will discover with experience you can develop interesting card strategies.
The requirement to have twice as many points to win is simple and not unfamiliar to DBA players.
I had considered the “more than but less than twice as many” as over complicating the game and slowing the pace down.
In this scenario, each consul serves one year so the gains are very small, one or two victories in the field with some additional revenue may be enough for a “triumph” back in Rome. 

Project Rome - Campaign maps

Here are the four maps used for Hispania.

For the test game, I used only the bottom two and the upper left hand map of Spain. This game deployed one consular army against the Iberians and Lusitania.

Map one (Lusitania)

Map two (Farther Spain)

Map three (Nearer Spain)

Map four (Celtiberia)

Sunday 2 October 2011

DBA Classical Indian (II/3a)

The II/3a sub-list covers the period of 500 BC to 178 AD and includes the battles against Alexander and ends with the conflicts against the Parthian Empire.

Pictured in the photo:

1 x General mounted on elephant (El).
2 x Elephant and crew (El).
2 x Heavy 4-horse chariot and crew (HCh).
2 x Indian cavalry (3Cv).
3 x Indian bowmen (4Lb).
1 x Indian infantry (4Ax)
1 x Horde (7Hd) and included as an option Indian skirmishers (2Ps).


Figures are all Old Glory 15s and mounted on 1.5 mm triplex bases. Bases are covered with a mix of white glue and sand, painted and dry brushed. Final step, bases are partially covered with electrostatic grass.

Postage outside the EU to destinations worldwide is:

One: Basic rate euro 18,00 ($19.21) or
Two: standard including track and trace, euro 24,30 ($25.93) or
Three: standard including track and trace and signature required euro 25,95 ($27,69)

Delivery time is quoted at the website is 5 – 8 workings days.

I would add an extra week to allow for the crush of Christmas deliveries.