Tuesday, January 21, 2014

15mm Viking Army

These are my Vikings, opposition for the Saxon Army from my last post. There are a few less of these guys but they have a lot more of the heavily armed and armored Huscarls to oppose the masses of Saxon Fyrd.

Army as a whole:

Leader with his 4 unit warband:


Leader with 6 unit warband:


Leader with his 4 unit warband (Based on Guthrum from the Saxon Tales novels).


Huscarls to the front and 9 units of unarmored Vikings to the rear.


3 units of mounted Vikings:

Guthrum in front of his men (The Blackshields)


Another leader in front of his men:


Yet aother Viking hero and his boatcrews.


Older Viking leader on horse.


Leader stands for attached and detached.





All together this gives me a little over 800 dark ages figures. My main gaming partner, Trent,  can field about this same amount of Vikings and Saxons and he also has a bunch of Welsh/Irish, which allows us to do some very large dark age fights.

Next up for me is working on more ships, Viking/Saxon baggage stands, and some archer stands.

I've also got a bunch of painted Rus that need to be rebased to offer another opponent.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

15mm Saxon Army

Here are some pictures of the 15mm Saxon army that I have been working on for a while now. Some of these were purchased already painted and some were painted by me but almost all of them have had some touch up work done to them (Rebased, Inked, Shields re-painted).

First is an overall shot of my Saxons


You can see the household troops in the front with the Thegns and Fyrd to the rear.

The round bases represent the leaders and have been picked out with LBMS flags.

Here is a closer picture of some of the household troops.


The front three untis each with 16 figures represent the well armed and armoured household troops. The stands behind these are the Thegns (12 per unit) they represent the less armored and less well trained warriors. Better than the fyrd but armed with weapon, shield, and helmet.

Below are my 10 units of Thegns.


Here are the Fyrd (Mostly peasants with a variety of implements as weapons) with no armor. Their leader is a Priest who is proudly standing in front of his charges. They are 12 figures per unit like the Thegns.


Next is the Bishop with his personal guard of household troops.



And finally here are some closeups of my command stands. See the previous blog post for an explanation of why I have matching rectangular and round bases.





That's all of my Saxons for now. Although I am still painting more.

Next up the Vikings!

Friday, January 17, 2014

15mm Basing Method (Vikings and Normans)

I thought I would post about the way that I base my ancients, including my Vikings and Saxons. I generally base all infantry on 40mm x 20mm bases with either 2,3, or 4 figures per base. This way I can use them for any rules that use WRG basing standards. However, I also like to use other rules like Impetus and Hail Ceasar which benefit from larger bases. To allow for this I make magnetic movement stands that can fit 4 of my metal stands. This gives me a base that is 80mm x 40mm for infantry.

The magnetic bases are made using a layer of sheet magnet, a layer of plastic card, and then a layer of rubber steel sheet. I buy these from a magnet wholesaler in large rolls. If you use the 60ml sheeting you can pick up the whole base by a figure and it will support the entire weight of the combined base. I put the magnetic steel on the bottom so I can store them with figures attached in my already magnetized boxes.

Here you can see a magnetic base with 4 of the metal bases on it.


With the bases spreadout:


I then base my leaders on 2 separate but matching stands per leader. 1st a 40mm x 20mm rectangular metal base and the 2nd pn a round washer. I use LBMS flags to signify the leaders as well as painting the 2 stands to match.


Here is a unit of Huscarls with their detached leader.


When the leader wants to attach to a unit I then remove one of the 4 stands and replace it with the 40mm x 20mm stand. as you see below. With this method I can also show a leader attached and leading from the front, or attached and driving troops forward from the rear. Its a little more work to do the extra stands but I like the look.



I'll be posting some pics of all of the Vikings and Saxons I have done in the next few days.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

15mm Viking Ships

Over the past few months I have been working on building some 15mm Viking ships and casting them with the help of one of my good friends. I've got three different ship hulls cast and have finally completed a few of the ships. I thought I would post a few pictures of them to my blog.

The reason I decided to build these ships was that all of the other "15mm" Viking ships I could find were specifically under-scaled. Meant to be used as baggage camps. I wanted ships that could actually fit my 15mm Vikings which were based on 40mm x 20mm bases. and would allow me to fight see battles. I did some research on the lengths of actual Viking ships and all of my ships are within the appropriate length of actual recovered Viking vessels. They are a little oversized in their width due to my requirement to fit my bases.

Also I should note that I did not sculpt the obligatory shields onto the side of the ships since in my case the figures themselves are holding their shields. It is also my understanding that the shields were only hung on the ship sides on formal occasions (Leaving/returning from home port) or possibly when braving bowfire. Otherwise they would either be stored away to preserve them from the corrosive properties of salt water and spray, perhaps in seal skin, or in use in the event of shipboard fighting.

Here is a picture of the 4 ships I currently have completed. (Note that I only have 1 sail finished at this time). The sail is attached with a magnet so it can easily be removed. The front ship is my large longship that holds 9 stands, the ship with the sail is the medium longship that holds 7 stands and the other 2 ships are small longships that hold 5 stands.


I built the masters for these using Balsa wood and textured plasti-card for the sides. With the help of one of my gaming friends (Thanks Trent!) we got molds of the hulls made. This next picture shows cast samples of the small and medium hulls fresh out of the mold.


I then finished the ships by sculpting tail pieces out of greenstuff and adding heads from other minitures (Note the dragon heads are from the plastic toy dragons that come in a tube). I then added masts and some simple rigging to finish the basic models.

The sail was printed on thin card with a computer printer (By yet another friend - Thanks Conrad!) and then wrapped around another dowel, glued together, and shaped. The head of a brad and a rare earth magnet allow the sail to me removed or added as needed. Our next step will be to make and cast some oar pieces that can be set next to the models to indicate they are being rowed.

Here are some additional pictures

DSC01350 DSC01349

The three sizes of longship I have currently made
Large - 9 stands - at the rear
Medium - 7 stands - in the middle
Small - 5 stands - at the front


Figure head closeup ( Plastic Toob dragon head)


Closeup of some Vikings and the ships side.


Relative sizes of known viking ships & my models:

My Large Model = 37 Meters (15mm scale)
Skuldelev 6 Ship = 36 Meters
Skuldelev 2 Ship = 30 Meters
My Med Model = 31.5 Meters (15mm Scale)
Sutton Hoo Ship = 27 Meters
My Small Model = 26.5 Meters (15mm Scale)
Gokstad Ship = 23 Meters
Tune Ship = 22 Meters
Oseberg Ship = 21 Meters
My unfinished very small Model = 21 Meters
Skuldelev 5 Ship = 17 Meters
Skuldelev 1 Ship = 16 Meters (Knarr)
Skuldelev 3 Ship = 14 Meters (Knarr)

I've also got the hull for a small knarr or fishing vessel already cast and am working on a large knarr and one more longship slightly shorter and narrower than the small one above. It will hold 4 stands.

Anyway I'll be posting some more pics of my Viking project as I get things done. Thanks for taking a look.

Up next hordes of Vikings and Saxons!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

15mm Humvee and Technical Gunners

I've been working on my 15mm Mogadishu project and became frustrated that there were no good gunner figures out there. I also wanted them to be able to swival to face any direction to properly represent the action. After some experimentation, I finally figured out a good way to make movable gunners for both my Humvees and my Somali technicals. Thought I would do a little blog writeup on how I went about it.

Humvee gunners:
First of all I am using QRF Humvee's. I'm sure this method won't work for all 15mm humvee's but it will work for any humvees with a the top hatch molded as an open round hole.

Step 1: Build Humvee
Step 2: Find a dowel slightly smaller than the gunners hatch hole for your humvee\
Step 3: Use green stuff to make a flat surface inside the humvee: I did this by putting a small ball of greenstuff on the end of the dowel and inserting it thorugh the top of the humvee and pressing down. you want this to be level and ready to act as a good base for your gunner.
Step 4: Cut pireces of your dowel that when sitting in the top of the humvee will be flush with the humvee top.
Step 5: Attach gunner torso to dowel piece

Making gunners: Here are the piec4es I used to make my gunners. Obviously, you can use what you like.
50 Cal Gunners - Old Glory Tank Commander torso manning 50 cal, Peter Pig modern Head with goggles
Mk 19 Gunner - Same as above I just customized the 50 to look like a MK 19
M240/M60 - Peter Pig Vietnam helicopter crew gunner, Peter Pig modern Head with Goggles

Humvee Gunners

Humvee Gunners 1

Humvee Gunners Removed

Humvee Gunners 2

Gunner Facing Away

50 Cal Gunner

Humvee Gunner Closeup

Gunner Detail

Somali Technical Gunners:
For the Somali's I wanted the same sort of thing but obviously couldn't use the dowel trick since the gunners are exposed in the back of pickups, land rovers, or jeeps.

Instead I decided to use rare earth magnets. These I countersank into the vehicle models now I just needed a way to build a gunner so that he could attach to the magnet.

I once again went back to the Old Glory US Tank Commander figure manning the 50 Cal. I removed the head of this figure and added a head and legs from some Peter Pig Crew figures. The legs I used were from the mortar crewman holding his ears since they were close together and in a standing position. This gave me a standing gunner firing a 50 cal machine gun.

I then removed the post from the bottom of the machine gun and replaced it with a cut off nail of the appropriate length. Done right this has the gunner figure standing on the head ot the nail with the shaft of the nail now acting as the machine gun mount.

The head of the nail is perfect for attachment to the rare earth magnet and allows the gunners to be removed and or pivoted in whatever direction you like. Although all of my gunners currently have the 50 cal I will be turning some of them into DSHK machine guns by customizing the 50 cals.


Technicals 1

Technicals 2

3 Technicals with gunners

Technicals 3

Technicals Gunners removed

Technical Gunners removed

Gunner Detail
I left the nail on this gunner unpainted so that you could see how it was positioned.

Technical Gunner detail

I may try something similar to this for recoiless rifles and other light vehicle weapons.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My 15mm Barbarians

It took me a couple days but I finally got pictures of my Barbarians. I say Barbarians because I use these as Gauls, Early Germans, and Celts. I am currently in the process of painting up Dacian Falxmen and Sarmatian Cataphracts so that I can press them into service as the bulk of those armies as well. I know there are differences in shields and dress between all of these armies but the living with the inconsistancies is a nice tradeoff from having to paint or acquire several hundred more figures.
As with my Romans I acquired most of these figures over the course of the past few years. Mostly off of E-bay but I also got a few from Hind's Figures LTD, Dragon painting service, and George Knapp when he was at a KC con a few years ago. All of them have since been rebased, touched up (Some alot more than others), and inked to my liking.
I have quite a few more skirmishers (particularly for the Celts) but I was running out of room on the table so I left them off.
This army will be hitting the table, along with their foes the Romans, at Fields of Honor - Spring the weekend of March 27th in Des Moines, IA as well as Sunday at Little Wars at the end of April. If you are in attendance you can check them out in person or better yet command some of them.

Gallic Army

Angled View of Gauls


Warband Closeup

Skirmishers and Elite Warband

More Skirmishers

Gallic Cavalry

Cavalry and Light Horse

Chariots and Light Horse

Thanks for taking a look. I'll be posting some more stuff soon. I'm going to try to have something new out here every week or so.