Saturday, December 24, 2011

At War With Wellington BBC Series

In likely my last post for this year, I thought I'd link up the BBC's fine series on Wellington at war. It has many topics and any and all Napoleonic enthusiasts will surely appreciate it. Sometimes we forget the little things that make our lives so comfortable and plush were unknown in other eras. A must listen for everyone. Enjoy!

Any thoughts?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

15mm Spanish Troops Finished

A while back I had purchased off of eBay a bag of Battle Honors 15mm Spanish infantry advancing. Being one of the older bags, it gave me 100 line figures. From the same seller I also obtained a bag of Spanish Catalonian Light Infantry. Both bags didn't have command, so that had to be purchased from my typical source, AB Miniatures. In these lines, the figures are almost interchangeable.

Here is my Swiss unit. I decided to go with a Swiss unit because they were reliable, in relatively adequate numbers and could be expected in an early war game and were different. The dark blue coat almost makes them appear early war French with the bicornes.

Here is the Regiment Irlanda. Another foreign unit that made its appearance in a few accounts and in adequate numbers to justify painting up. The sky blue coats contrast well with the generic white uniforms of the royal army. I also like the semi ragged look with some having shoes and gaiter, some just trousers and without shoes. The parade-like appearance in some Osprey books fails to convey that equipment, no matter how well supplied, broke down on campaign.

And finally, the Catlonian Light Infantry. Here the single pose is a bit disappointing, but the color I believe makes up for it. The well dressed officer would be complete with a cigarette in hand, but alas, he must have run low on tobacco. Another unique unit to the army that is a good asset.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Review: Grande Armee Rules

Grande Armee rules are one of the most unique rule sets in existence for the Napoleonic wars. The Napoleonic wars generate much enthusiasm because of uniforms, tactics, the personalities and epic battles of masses of infantry, waves of cavalry and batteries of artillery all fighting for supremacy.

Did I miss anything? So why is it most gamers end up playing games where at best, they may command a full division of troops? Lack of time to paint or money to buy painted figures? Lack of space perhaps to play or interest in such epic battles? Well when we look at the masses jumping on the 28mm plastic ranges now available, that doesn't appear to be the issue at all. Can't really even get into the personalities commanding a brigade or division, can you?

It must be the painting then. In this case, they who play such levels of command must like unique uniforms of specific units so this is why so few figures make it to the table. Well again, not so much it appears. Take a gander at most sites and you see generic line units (yeah, you might number them but did you paint the facings correctly? How about the flag?). So what is it?

I'm at a loss to understand it because I'm the type who has no problem using units of over 30 figures to represent a unit. You'll find the majority of my armies have specific units painted, correctly. I have many generals that are specific personalities. So am I different?

The short answer is yes. Grande Armee is a game for those who enjoy grand tactics and who aren't Stalinists demanding absolute control over every function a battalion can make. That scares a lot of players off that they can't form square, column or break into full skirmish. Grande Armee has all of this, you just don't see it.

That is what being in command of an army is all about. Even as a divisional level commander, you're not going to have time or the need to write orders for every colonel in your division to form this or that with their battalions. Grande Armee puts you in command as an army commander, with all the ability to screw up or have a subordinate general or marshal screw up in your place.

Grande Armee rules have been in a published form since 2003, when Sam Mustafa introduced them to the public. My first game was around 2006 with them playing the battle of Bussaco. It was a real struggle to be able to delegate enough command points to keep my corps commanders in line to do what I wanted. Ironically enough, what won me the game was Marshal Ney's bolt from a timed attack into an all out assault which routed the British off the northern end of the hills and opened their flank and exposing their entire line. I lost control and my subcommander, Marshal Ney had won the day!

Grande Armee is supposed to be played with 3"x3" trays with your brigade arranged however you can fit them on board. The mega stand then represents about 900 square yards where battalions and waves of cavalry are lined up, in columns etc. As a brigade, they may have multiple mixed formations and so the footprint is the zone of control for that brigade, space between units etc. Your brigade commanders that you do not see or give orders to are assumed to know what formations are appropriate. You give commands to divisional generals or marshals, depending on your army structure.

That is the big thing about Grande Armee that causes most to frown with disgust at how they cannot micromanage every man.

Turns do not have a specific time equation and have pulses (mini turns in the turn segment). When rolling for initiative for pulses after the first one, if the colored die rolls a number equal to or less then the number of just-completed pulse, then the turn ends whether you want it to or not. Each turn you roll to see how many command chits (I prefer the term points, but whatever) you have to distribute to your division or corps commanders. Your roll combined with your army general's command rating are used to determine how many chits/points you may receive and use. At the end of every turn, any unused points are lost.

You must use the chits wisely to determine who really needs to move, who needs to rally and needs extra chits to affect the dice roll. Again, another level of higher command that you can try to influence an action but you cannot guarantee to do it because it is ultimately out of your hands. So you must manage your limited resources (chits) and do what's most important. If you don't have enough chits, then your commanders act on their own rating ability and or distance from the enemy.

In short; if they are aggressive they will move forward towards the enemy. If cautious, they may fall back. If they are more level-headed, they may just hang tight. All fairly understandable stuff here.

Morale and casualties are essentially one in the same. Every unit has a specific number of hit points, typically between 5-7. This number is not arbitrary, it is based off of a formula. For example, a trained infantry unit is worth 1pt per every 500 men. In a brigade of 3500 men, this would mean 7pts as its strength. If it were a veteran unit, 1pt per every 400 men. The morale or training level and strength determine how long a unit can stay in battle. That strength number is also the number of attack dice the unit has. Easy to keep track of. When a unit loses strength, it cannot attack as hard as it once did. A simple roster is kept and the number is crossed out and a new number put in its place. When it reaches "0", it has routed, but may rally and can roll to see if it comes back with any number of reduced strength points. You can generate lost strength back into the unit up to one point less than what it started or rallied with. It never comes back to full strength.

So the morale, strength and damage are all rolled into one number. 6 sided dice are used to carry out attacks and you may receive saves depending on cover or type of attack. Cavalry work the same way but may avoid combat if they want. Shooting only exists as a skirmish attack or is considered part of the overall melee assault. May seem like an overall simplification, but one set of dice used to control multiple things saves time and in the end and doesn't really give you any different results. Rather than roll for shooting with some dice, then melee, and someone taking a morale test, you get it together. If your enemy is a distance away, all you get are skirmish attacks, which can still inflict damage.

These methods of play seem foreign and somehow wrong to the control freak who wants to waste more time rolling more dice to do the same thing in the end. They can't comprehend that you do not lose stands in combat, have to keep a roster and your opponent will never know your exact unit strength (which is a good thing). They dislike the idea that your artillery isn't as effective in the mud, which these rules cover. Cavalry evading a charge or being used to prevent enemy skirmishers from being able to carry out attacks within 6" (because the skirmishers would just be ridden down and so hide behind or in the parent brigade) seems to confuse them with it's accuracy and simplicity.

One more thing, this review would not be complete without mentioning movement. This part will really scare the control freaks - you know the minimal amount of distance you can move but will have to guess the maximum distance you can move. All units have a base movement, for infantry it is 6". You roll a 6 sided die and add that to your brigade movement rate. If you rolled a 4 and added that to your 6" move, you would have 10" maximum this pulse. You don't have to move but 2" if you wanted, but you have to use some planning and forethought in your moves. Once you're within 6" of the enemy, your units may only move backwards or forwards.

If your commander over this brigade, like Marshal Ney controlling the 3rd corps at Bussaco, is aggressive and you don't have enough chits to control him, you'll roll a die against his control number (I believe a 3). If you roll equal to or less, you can refrain from just attacking and do what you want. If you fail, he rushes forward whether you want him to or not. You might be the mighty Marshal Massena of the Army of Portugal but you're commanding officers who don't always get your orders right, especially when the enemy is right in their face. It's called friction.

Say what you want, but it is very much realistic in being a simulation of an army commander, unlike Age of Eagles, which uses brigades but retains all the micromanagement (thus making the game drag on). Don't like 3" movement stands? Neither do I. Mine are now being mounted on 1.5"x1" stands, with 6 stands per brigade. That forms a 3"x3" square, my front two stands are skirmishers (again, very realistic) but it leaves me the option to still play Black Powder with smaller, multiple stands and it is perfectly based for Sam Mustafa's Lasalle. It ranks as the best I've played to date.

You can purchase Grande Armee through Scale Creep Miniatures.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Review: Black Powder

I decided to review Black Powder from having actually played it for a period of time, not just a home skirmish or just from reading as most do. This approach is necessary to find other glitches not found from flipping through some pages and setting up a few units.

First let me say, it is not a Games Workshop creation, but its creators clearly are Games Workshop fans. The contributing authors and owners of the eye candy are names known in the Games Workshop world (the Perrys and Rick Priestly to name a few) but have decided to undertake the historical world. Was it their irritation at new rules, supplements and constantly changing figures? Well that's what turned me off and why I stuck to historicals exclusively.

Whatever their motivation exactly, they took a more unusual approach by melding Warmaster with horse and musket rules. I won't bore you with the generic facts about how many pages or that it has more pictures than a convention often has ever posted. What I'll do is give you what it does and doesn't do from a wargamer's perspective.

This is very much a command and control game. The book puts all rules into a casual gentlemanly approach where brigade commanders have a command rating that must be rolled equal to or under in most cases in order to be able move. For example, a decent command has a rating of an 8. The player will roll two 6-sided dice and roll equal to or less to carry out the orders. A roll of an 8 is one move granted, a 7 is two and a 6 would be three. No more than three is possible and you've had to roll three under to receive so many moves. The tricky part is you will not know if you will receive all the actions you wanted.

You must also announce what your unit or units will do before rolling. So let us say you wish to "Advance within 3" of your opponent and fire a volley into his line". If you need two moves to make it there, you might roll well enoguh to have gotten a third move and would be able to make contact... if you had only known! The maneuvering of a unit is quite liberal and if you want to advance 12", turn 90 degrees, you can do so. If you want to literally move around a unit and fire into their rear, well yeah, you can do that too.

Want to move into a forest with your guard grenadiers to squash those pesky guerrillas running away? Sorry, you cannot fire within the woods. Why? No rule giving you permission or a range restriction within woods due to no line of sight listed here. Can you elect to agree on a range? Sure, it is encouraged within the book on rule disagreements or amendments. My opinion here is that the authors were too inebriated to settle on a range limitation and just chose to leave it to players.

How about melee in the woods? Sure, you may march them into the woods and give your opponent a hard whack! Is all of this so far historically accurate? Maybe not, but it is a game. That is stressed heavily in the rules that you are pushing lead soldiers around the table and not to take yourself or the game too seriously. This is the expressed reason for why certain specifics are not covered. I'm not convinced that approach works outside of a dedicated group of consistent gamers. Having played at multiple Rogue Trader Tournaments for Warhammer, even published rules with plenty of published clarifications have problems being adhered to by players who wish to bend rules.

Speaking of seriousness, you do not want to roll above your command level or else you will do nothing except stand still and fire. If you have limbered artillery or troops in march column, they may make one free move. If you're within 6" of the enemy, the units may move into contact or move towards the enemy if you will, for free. If you roll a 12, then the side blunders and no commands at all are given for your side and the turn ends. They call this a Blunder and it is a little on the side of being a Games Workshop trait. The abrupt incompetence of your general ends your turn and so the mechanic's intent is for you to focus on important matters.

Here I see a problem where a game mechanic compensating for limited time and resources actually then takes away from reality. I vehemently disapprove of rule sets that create areas of inactivity. How do you explain periods of time where bodies of men suddenly stop moving or carrying out some other action in face of the enemy? This sort of mechanic is not realistic and better suited for children's games of pure chance. Orders for advancing and retreating, reloading etc are not given every 20 minutes from a general. Orders and objectives are given and lower level commanders carry them out. Unfortunately, it is common in many rule sets that attempt to create friction by limiting commands given in a turn. The commanding general must also play the role of lower level officers.

In this way, Shako covers one of the most realistic and historical approaches by orders given to a formation and are carried out turn after turn. Firing and the formation of the units are left to lower level commanders and do not need endless orders. Lower level officers are delegated authority and carry out the order the best way possible. They are not considered toddlers who need constant reminding and supervision.

Commands that are similar such as All infantry will advance to engage the enemy in melee can be given as one order and one dice roll. Individual units can be given separate orders with the higher risk of failure. There is no real order in which you can fire and move, so if you wanted to advance to a flank, fire and then give a separate order to another unit to engage from the front, you may try and do so. A general can also be used to help recover hits taken on a unit. Each unit has so much stamina that we would think of as hit points. When they are maxed out or above, their morale begins to waiver. A commander can end his turn by attaching himself to a unit and trying to recover a point by rolling under the command number. This is helpful.

Cavalry do have counter charges and the chargers do receive a slight bonus in the game. Much like Games Workshop games, 6-sided dice determine the outcome. Units have stats eerily similar to Warhammer, Warhammer 40k etc. with various traits and the corresponding number that translates into effectiveness. This mechanic is simple to understand and permits units to easily fight one another.

One of the greatest features is that you can customize units by making them elite, regular, militia, raw and unpredictable etc. You have specializations for sharpshooters getting the ability to reroll one failed shooting die per fire phase. You also have Stubborn rules for applying to units from too easily breaking. A Reliable unit is not much by itself, but if all units within the brigade are reliable the command value of the officer is increased by +1 and so giving commands for movement are easier.

Brigades can be any number of units in reality, but picking commands of five battalions is a good choice because if one must take a brigade morale test at 50% losses then losing three units instead of two in a four battalion brigade is preferable.

The rules are written to cover troop types from anything in the horse and musket era. This is a great selling point because someone playing ACW and Napoleonics might be attracted to only having to purchase and commit to memory one set of rules instead of two. You will need a rule book for the first several games as it has quirks, but is meant for playability and flexibility. Historical accuracy is noticeable if incidental. It is a rule book in desperate need of revision by a mature and experienced editor. Preferably, a non-alcoholic would be good for a change.

After my first few games, I genuinely hated it. Why would so many people keep showing up to play this? The rules frustrated all of us with their indecisiveness and illogical layout; yet it somehow worked and we always had fun. When we announced we're going to play it, people showed even if to watch. Guys who made excuses in the past not to come suddenly felt motivated to show up and even blow dust off of men who may not have seen battle in 10 years time. Since basing isn't an issue because the number of figures determines whether it is a tiny, small, regular or large sized unit, then any unit size can be brought out. It is a game that appears to unite people and I don't understand why. Is it because it claims to gentlemanly or that it covers so much important gaming periods?

Have you ever wanted to play battle of the Coa and field an actual picket in Ney's path? Well, now you can. You think French troops in 1805 were superior than in 1812? You can design that into the stats. Want rockets? How about Afghan tribesmen armed with old rusty muskets? It is all possible if you're willing to relax a little and accept, it's only a game.

Not convinced? Well you can download it from many file sharing sites for free and test it. Think that is unethical? Well you buy clothes and try them on at home then realize they don't fit and return them. Was it unethical to return it? Think of it along those lines. If you like it, then buy the book like I did. If you don't like it, then nothing was lost.

Review: The Terrain Guy Game Mat

A while back I decided to abandon the hex battleground I had used and move to something more mobile. The obvious alternative was a game mat, but the majority of them are bland and appear to look more like golf courses with their ultra smooth texture. I happened to come across a web site

After browsing the mats, I came across the green-brown mat and it appeared to be what I was looking for. So I decided to give it a try and ordered some extra flock to redo some existing hills I have. The colouring is quite nice and looks more natural than the bright and pretty golf courses used by Monday Knight Productions, who made my green mat.

The colouring matches my previous terrain for the most part and meets my goal of having something transportable. The mat itself is not made from felt, but a canvas type of backing that is thin and easily rolled up. The mat also came with a PVC tube to allow the mat to retain its shape and to assist with keeping a consistent roll-up shape.

I reflocked some hills and managed to come very close to mimic the mat's colouring.

The time from payment to receiving the mat was close to three weeks. Since these items are more of a custom piece than a prepackaged store item, I suppose this is to be expected. Over all I am happy with the results would recommend the mat to others who are interested in escaping the generic golf course look. This mat is 6x4 and I may end up purchasing a second one in case I decide to expand out the table.

Some may have wondered why I disappeared? I was around, just doing a variety of things like painting and rebasing figures for the rules I'll be using in the future: Black Powder for tactical level games with a group and Grande Armee for games that will be grand tactical in nature. I'll be posting a review of these rules within the next two weeks and why I'm adopting them and rebasing figures to fit within these rule sets. Stay tuned.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Review: AB Broken Cannon Sets

In this review, we'll see AB Mexican-American War broken cannons. Why? Because they are basically British and French artillery. I'm not familiar with that war to any great extent, but I know the Mexican army was strongly influenced by the Napoleonic French army. I assume then the double tailed carriage is Mexican and the single tail gun is British.

The guns are a little large to scale, more closer to 20mm than 18mm that AB is known for. They work fine though since they're broken and not manned. The "British" guns have ramrods that are comically too large even for 20mm. I used a pair of clippers and clipped most of it away and left just a piece of it as debris.

All the guns for each side are in the same pose. Since these aren't used too often, no one will really notice this fact. The cannons are three pieces, one wheel needing to be glued on, the barrel needing to be glued to the carriage or could be put on the ground (which didn't occur to me until after it was painted!). The "British" guns also come with a half broken wheel, which adds detail because you can choose to add it or leave it.

A good solid set. I'm unaware of any company that makes shattered guns for using as markers. In retrospect, since these guns were $3 a piece, buying actual guns at $2.50 each might have been cheaper, but lacked the debris to add some detail. This set wouldn't work too well with the true 15mm scale, but if you're using larger figures such as AB and Old Glory, they fit nicely.

Continue reading other posts in March for more reviews of AB casualty sets for French and British figures.

Review: AB French Chasseur a Cheval Casualties

AB has come out with 3 different cavalry casualty sets. This review is for the only light cavalry one they produce. What isn't present on the left is the horse isn't dead, but wounded and flailing. One of the horse's rear legs is up in the air, which was a nice touch compared to just laying there dead. More puzzling is the rider which appears to have given up and is walking with his sabre at his side. The other set on the right is holding the reins as his horse appears to be getting back up slowly. Good figures, details and equipment were done correctly.

Here we have a dead chasseur and his horse. I rather like this one as it does convey a real sense of a casualty. The dead horse on the right could in a pinch be used as a cavalry casualty for my British or Spanish, whom AB does not yet have sets for.

Again, two more figures that I liked. The chasseur on the left seems to be recovering himself next to his horse. The wounded man on the right is clinching his chest. I think having him thrown back on his horse or completely hunched over would have been a better idea, but the figure is well sculpted and was a good idea in a cavalry casualty set because not everyone would be off their horse.

Over all, a good solid set with dynamic poses. One thing done here correctly that most manufacturers seem to forget is that covered shakos were common on campaign. Here we have some mixed in so everyone doesn't appear to be in parade dress on every occasion. I could have painted overalls or leather reinforcement to their pants, but didn't do so here. I used Games Workshop washes on the horses and Devlan Mud wash on the flesh. I would strongly recommend this set to anyone considering it.

Review: AB French Napoleonic Infantry Casualties

This review is of the 10 piece French Napoleonic infantry casualty set from AB. The casualties in this set seem to be a bit less dynamic than the British set and was disappointing in that respect only.

Here in this one we see two figures wounded and on their knees and a French voltiguer using his Charleville musket as a crutch. Fine figures. We have an Italian from the 5th line on the left, a line voltiguer in center and a Tirailleur Corse on the left. Since I have more exotic units in my army, I wanted casualty figures to represent them.

Here we have a dead line grenadier and a light infantry chasseur both on the ground. Of the set, the chasseur seemed to be my favorite.

Here we see a duplicate shot of the Coriscan, but also a voltigeur and line infantryman. The voltigeur is very much in the same pose as the subtle pose of the British infantryman with his hat falling off at the moment of impact from a round. The line infantryman I painted to match up with my 4th Polish line regiment.

Here we have another voltigeur and two dead fusiliers. All details are crisp and gear is present.

The set itself is excellent when compared to other companies. When compared to the British set, it is a clear second in dynamic poses. Still recommended over beads and tokens. I would have liked to have seen a couple of wounded officers and maybe a vivandiere distributing a drink of brandy to a wounded man. In any event, a great set that will suffice for their purpose.

Review: AB British Napoleonic Infantry Casualties

Too often people ignore less popular figures such as specialty or casualty figures because you cannot make units out of them. I wanted them for the purposes of displaying disorder or disruption. Some people use simply beads, tokens or whatever else is handy, but it does detract a little from the table. What I'm doing in this 4 part segment is show the various casualty and broken cannon produced by AB miniatures.

Since the Eureka website has photos of most of their figures except these, I figured I would save others the wonder of what these figures look like exactly. First up are the British infantry. The 3 man one to the right is my favorite here. Anthony Barton was creative in using what appears to be a private and NCO carry a wounded officer on a musket. The other two figures to the left I put together because they really did appear to work together. The wounded man is using his Brown Bess as a crutch and his buddy is carrying his equipment. All well sculpted and appear realistic.

Both figures here are walking wounded.

Here we have one man with what appears to be a leg injury and the other is more subtle in what is wrong with him. What isn't apparent in my amateur photography is that his hat has been knocked back on his head and he's leaning backwards a bit. It appears the sculptor wanted to capture the moment of impact when a bullet rips into someone.

Here we see more common types of casualties: the ones who probably aren't going to make it. The dead Highlander was a nice jewel to the 10 figure set by AB.

This set lived up to all the standards AB has established over the years. Flash around the edges of the figures were typically nonexistent and detail clear. I used Games Workshop's Devland Mud wash on the flesh to give some shading and it worked well. The same effect would be given by watering down Dark Flesh or Snakebite Leather paints as well.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Review: Sabol Designs Spanish Villages

Now a review after having handled the buildings and compared them to scale. A while back I purchased five American Civil War civilians that I eventually got around to painting but had no use for. In this setting, they fit quite well. The colors are not too bright and cartoonish as Games Workshop scenery tends to be.

All the buildings here blend so well and look like the belong together. One can imagine this well being a centerpiece of village life for socializing. I think I'll order some Hovels monks to paint up and put outside the church.

One can really admire the skill used here in the weathering on the buildings, the depth of the shadowing between tiles and in the windows.

A creative touch was he added a small fenced in area. A long time ago I purchased some 15mm pigs, again for which I had no use at the time, but figured I would one day down the road. Works well here and gives it a touch of life. It can also serve as an objective marker for a hungry unit.

My Spanish Grenadier regiment. The scale is all well, the walls not being too high or too low.

Maybe a little out of focus here, but one can see the overall size here and imagine it being a real town or city and not just a couple of cheap buildings tossed on to a table.

Here my well was put to good use. I like the ruined wall section, gives it a look of age and not appearing to have just been put up. The tower on this village gives it a somewhat menacing look.

Again notice here, the weathering and growth is obvious and very life-like.

This piece is the JR Buildings French estate piece and a Hovels' single home. A good piece for those small little hamlets that exist on maps like a suburb. More excellent weathering effect.

In conclusion, the painting is simply superb and spot on. Matt was able to follow directions while I let him have plenty of artistic license in arranging the pieces as he saw fit. All of the villages can be picked up by any building without fear of it ripping off the sturdy base of some unknown material. These pieces are a bit heavy, but in the end it all is so sturdy and solid that it helps lend to the overall quality.

I provided all of the buildings, a well, a fountain and water spigot that was used in the pig pen. The cost was $200, which included the return shipping. In the end, it was a fair price and more importantly, a quick turn around time. I cannot find anything I would improve upon as it all is beyond anything normally seen at this scale and even above. In the future I hope to be able to attend a regional convention and I know these pieces will really catch the eye.

If you're looking to have some masterly painted and built terrain, contact Matt.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Old Glory Comes Through

A while back I had purchased a bag of 15mm British light dragoons in shakos. When the time came to consider painting them up and forming them into a unit, I could see through the bag the casting lines were very visible and the horses had more flash then they would normally have. Probably the result some old moulds or not clamped properly.

After making a comment, Old Glory sent a replacement bag at their own expense and I'm happy to say they made up for it. It does appear I asked for the wrong bag, as I checked what correspondence, I added a number and got peninsular dragoons in helmets. That's actually better, so my mistake worked out. A good number of my figures are Old Glory, so I am happy they went to the effort of keeping a customer. Hopefully they will be on my painting agenda in the next couple of months.

Here's the British Light Dragoons. Probably cannot tell from the picture, but they are in shakos and have a bit too much flash to get through without spending a solid hour at work.

I really needed Peninsula theatre dragoons and that's what I received. A bit more animated and in the helmet that I prefer them in. It all worked out.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sabol Designs Spanish Village Finished

I was going to wait and do a review and final pictures once I had the buildings, and still will do so. In the mean time, I was given the final pictures for my approval. The turn around time shocked me, only two days!? Shameful! It took me at least that long to paint the buildings and Matt at Sabol Designs not only repaints them to match the previous work, but builds walls and other cool add ons as well.

This section works out well and I didn't even request it. I have 15mm scale pigs that I've used in a make shift pig sty. Now my pigs can wallow in their filth in style.

My Hovels fountain is present. The church piece was the least detailed model in my opinion, of the entire Hovels Spanish 15mm range. After I had originally painted it, it never felt satisfying. That's all changed now.

Here is my Hovels well. The JR Miniatures French estate works well in this setting as well.

Even with a different manufacturer, it all blends so cleanly.

I like the curve in the wall beside the estate home. Just enough room to squeeze in some defenders. These two pieces here can be used as one village/town or two smaller separate pieces. The tower you see to the right seems to be no longer in production.

Just stunning work. This level of skill is typically only ever applied to 28mm terrain due to the larger visibility that exists.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sabol Designs Spanish Village In Progress

As anyone who has seen my blog battles knows, my buildings are a bright white stucco with stereotypical red tiled roof. Although not incorrect, in my further research I have come across the disturbing fact that that wasn't real common in early 19th century Spain and Portugal. It appears the white wash color was expensive and typically, only the wealthy had such clean looking exteriors.

In a way, this makes perfect sense since dust, rains and general soot in the air from homes burning wood and oil would certainly dirty up pristine white buildings in no time. As previously seen on my blog, Sabol Designs constructed a Spanish monastery for me. The coloring is more greyish and natural looking. As a result of my research and the fact that it would be nice to have buildings that tend to blend together on the table, I've commissioned the time of Matt Sabol to repaint and construct the buildings into village/towns.

Almost all of my buildings are Hovels, but there are a couple of JR Miniatures buildings in the mix (the French estate building and the round tower). So far, I have two preliminary pictures from the work. A full review will be done once they arrive.