Thursday, September 25, 2014

For King and Country

I was very disappointed about missing Adepticon in 2014 but it was for a very good reason. Now that I am back on schedule I was fully behind our 2015 project representing the English Civil War and the Battle of Marston Moor. I was very eager to defend the righteous King from the upstart Fairfax, Cromwell and the Parliament dogs. This is my first go at collecting and painting an ECW army but one thing I wanted to be sure of was to keep things very simple. My painting responsibility includes the following:

3x units of 16 pike
6x units of 24 shotte
2x units of 12 cavalry
1x unit of 10 Dragoons
1x unit of 12 Cuirassiers
1x cannon
1x General
2x Brigade Generals

Lots to paint and March is just around the corner. Here is my first progress report. I am base coating my army, giving them a wash of the Army Painter 'dip', and hitting them with a dull coat. If I have time I will go back in and give them a highlight but overall I am happy with the look 'as is'. They won't win any painting competitions but they will look fine on the table.

1st unit of pike done with the exception of a banner.

16 shotte done but the back base needs some sand, flock, etc. I will be adding a command stand eventually.

The first 8 of my next 16 pike are done. The command stand is almost base coated and ready for the 'dip'.

A sample of my next Tercio of pike and shotte. I am aware that units from all over England, Ireland, and Scotland had their own colors and there were no uniforms until the New Model Army but I wanted blue to be my color that brings my army together. I will continue to use it as the main color and accent color of my units so there is a consistency to my force. Historically accurate? Probably not but it will be close enough. :)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Roundheads, Cavaliers and Covenanters

I came to our game at Adepticon 2014, ready to discuss ideas for our 2015 event.  I had already mentioned to the group my own interest in the English Civil War, but assumed it wouldn't hold much interest for others, as I haven't encountered a lot of folks who game the period.  Yet, I was pleasantly surprised to find many in our group to be fans of the period and others more than willing to give it a go.

So, 2015 will see us recreate The Battle of Marston Moor in 28mm.  For me, I couldn't be more excited.  ECW was my first foray into historical miniature gaming and probably due to that, it has always been a favorite period for me.

So, stay tuned as we bring you updates of the groups progress as well as more information on the period and the battle itself.  And of course, check out the finished project at Adepticon 2015!

The Battle of Marston Moor

Monday, April 14, 2014

Alexandria, a city scoured.


My most humble apologies for not posting this sooner, but life has a way of being hectic when you least need it to be. But anyway, on to THE blog post about our Guns of April game at AdeptiCon 2014.

As we infrequently posted before the event, we chose to tackle a skirmish project for this year. Something that I feel was a double-edged sword. By electing to have everyone only paint 10-12 models (after our 120-150 model efforts the last few years) we could cut everyone's preparation time considerably, but this also meant that there wasn't that big rush of excitement as massive armies neared completion. Additionally, when you zoom in on skirmish action you must dial up the detail of the terrain. Our previous efforts (Salamanca 1812 and Gettysburg 1863) were relatively sparse on terrain, but I had a vision for Alexandria 1801 that I really wanted to see come to life. This meant that Alex Landing, Rob Chandler, and I had loads of work to do to pull it off successfully. When this crunch time  arrived, we were simply too busy doing that we had no time to take photos and actively promote a sense of excitement amongst the rest of the team. That's all really a time management issue that we need to keep an eye on for future projects.


The end result, however, looks absolutely spectacular and completely fits with what I had in mind. I only wish I had taken as much time and care over the gaming preparations as I did the terrain.

Here are some photos from the night, captioned as appropriate.


Two French Hussars duel across the rooftops of Alexandria.


Ottoman Turks (painted by Tim Kulinski) head into a bazaar to combat the French.


Ottoman Turks (painted by Jamie Welling) advance through the "rug district".


More Ottoman Turks (painted by Tim Kulinski) cautiously advance..


Men of the French Dromedary Corps (painted by me) prepare for a firefight.


The French Dromedary Corps (painted by me) lope forward in front of the mansion of a wealthy merchant.


Crewman from the Royal Navy (painted by Rob Chandler) are in place to defend their building.


His Majesty's Marines stand atop another mansion (painted by Rob Chandler) waiting for the French to approach.


Leaping from balcony to balcony, these French Dragoons (painted by Merle Delinger) rush into combat with the British.



Everyone takes a break for some well-earned Chicago deep dish pizza.


A French Cavalry force of Dragoons, painted by Merle Delinger.


A French Infantry force (from the 22me Demi-Brigade de Legere), painted by me.


Crewman from the French Navy, painted by Alex Akers.


Crewman from the Royal Navy and His Majesty's Marines, painted by Rob Chandler. 


Ottoman Turks, painted by Jamie Welling.


Obviously I'd like to thank everyone involved in this game: the members of the Guns of April, Lon Weiss from Brigade Games (for sponsoring the event), Beth Landing (Alex's wife) for creating the rugs and 40+ throw pillows that were scattered around the table (each hand-stitched and filled with sand), and Alex Landing of Ironheart Artisans for all his great work designing the buildings that were the standout feature of the table.

Alex plans on having laser-cut MDF kits of these buildings available from his website in early May. I'll be sure to let you know when they are available.

Cheers
Dave

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Coming down to the wire...


I've been terrible about posting photos of all the terrain we've been working on. I know how to shoot miniatures, but never quite get around to shooting the scenery I've painted. I'm expecting to spend quite a bit of time at the show rectifying that problem. In less than a week, the Guns of April group will have played a whole host of games over the spectacular terrain created by Rob Chandler and Alex Landing.


Additionally, some lucky gamer will go home with their very own Rosetta Stone vignette : )

Cheers
Dave

Friday, March 14, 2014

Alexandria wasn't built in a day!


My apologies for the lack of posts during February, but it was certainly a crazy month. Not only did I resign from my position with Wargames Illustrated and start my own business (doing design/layout/editing - Dave Taylor Miniatures LLC), but I was working hard with my friends Alex and Rob to get the terrain built for the Guns Of April 2014 event - Scavenger Hunt: Napoleon In Egypt.

When the team agreed to go with a skirmish style gaming experience (only 10-12 models to paint, instead of 150), I knew we'd need to up the game as far as terrain was concerned. I know our previous games have looked great, but the terrain played a secondary role to the vast number of models on the table (close to 1,000 in each game I think). I had a dream, a vision, for what we could fight over, through, and around, but to make it a reality I had to turn to my friend Alex Landing (owner of Ironheart Artisans) for design help and vast amounts of laser cut buildings.

As luck should have it, Alex has actually been to Egypt, and had an extensive collection of photos of the wonderful architecture of Cairo and Alexandria. After a few basic design conversations, Alex leapt in with both feet and designed more than a dozen building styles to turn into close to 70 buildings for our gaming. Assembling the buildings took roughly three days and was accomplished by my buddy and fellow GOA member Rob Chandler and I in late February.


Following assembly, Rob took a couple of days to "basecoat" all of the buildings. You can see a healthy number of them below.


Rob and the guys at Dropzone Games couldn't help but put together a layout of buildings together and through down a few toy soldiers into the streets : )



Once their immersive fix had been sated, Rob packed up all the buildings into the largest box he could find, and Alex delivered it to my porch. After discovering the box in the morning, it was a bot like Christmas as I dived in and started piling them all up on my dining room table, much to my wife's bemusement and chagrin.

I started taking them to my painting table, four or five at a time, in order to start painting in the details. According to Alex (and my research), although the stucco-covered mud-brick buildings and sandstone block abodes might appear to be a bit dull, or samey, there is typically a great deal of colorful decoration, particularly on the well-kept houses of the wealthier citizens.

So, without further ado, here are some shots of the smaller houses (small footprint, single-story)






The middle sized buildings (larger footprint, two-stories).



And a run-down bazaar (longer footprint, and single-story)


All of the roofs are removable, so action can move into the buildings : )

So, hopefully we'll have plenty more photos over the coming weeks. Only 21 more days and all this will be set up in the Westin Lombard hotel for AdeptiCon 2014!

Cheers
Dave

Thursday, January 30, 2014

For England, for home, and for the prize!

Well folks here we are back again. Presenting our projects for the 2014 installment of the Guns of April ! As you all have seen we are covering skirmish sized warbands for Napoleon in Egypt. Unlike last year where I posted numerous photos of the ACW project over many months, I decided to just make one post due to the smaller scope of this project.

For this years project I have the privalge to present you with my take on a British Royal Navy landing party with a detachment of  Royal Marines. Below are some shots of the landing parties and Marines. The miniatures I used this year were from a few manufacturers. The Royal Navy officers and Jack Tars are from Brigade Games. The Royal Marines are a combo of Perry Miniatures plastic British Line Infantry with white metal Royal Marine heads from Victrix LTD. 




I hope you enjoy the photos and until next time. Keep the paint flying!