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Sunday, 30 March 2014

Picts, picts and more picts

                           This project is getting more enjoyable with every army I attempt. I'm starting to get the hang of using green stuff now and that really broadens the possibilities of just how much you can change a figure. This next batch of picts consists of two elements of normal cavalry , 2 of skirmishers on foot with javelins and/or short spears and one more warrior element.

Normal Cavalry

These started out mainly as unarmoured Normans or British horse archers so lots of conversions here. I made them mainly javelin and short spear armed. Not many high status warriors and little armour.

Adding the cloaks gave them that look that says picts and the long hair worked too. Several have spare javelins in their hands or a case with javelins in.. Nice toys heheh

ordinary Sheldwall/warrior element

 Real concoction of figures here. I have sort of lost score of which packs they come from. Added a lot of hair and cloaks and I am fairly satisfied with how they look.

Javelin armed skirmishers 

Having read somewhere that the young skirmishers would often diuscard clothing to facilitate ease of movement I sorted all the half naked figures I had. I also read some warriors wore wolves heads so built that in too. Lots have spare javelins.

The army is about 60% finished now. I have some more skirmish elements and 5 infantry to do. I hope I can sustain the enjoyment.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

My brilliant new toy.

 Anyone who paints a lot with acrylics will have experienced the frustration of your paints drying out while your painting. Now my own preference is for paints in dropper bottles that i drip onto a pallette (usually an old plate) The paint in the bottles last much longer than if you use paints from screw or flip top containers. In fact any paints I buy in pots I immediately transfer into dropper bottles I buy on the net. The drying during use still persists and is very annoying. A couple of weeks ago I spotted a post that talked about using a sta-wet pallette and I was so impressed I bought one and a wad of spare paper. Not expensive at all about 20 pounds in all.. If you don't know what that is then check out this you tube video,

wet pallette demonstration

I cannot praise the toy enough. Paints can stay usable on the pallette for days .. Yes I did mean days. The one I bought was not the one in the video but the principle is the same. The one i bought was made by mastersons but is approximately the same size as the one shown. They are absolutely brilliant.For a detailed video of how to use one this video is excellent.

how to use a wet pallette

Friday, 21 March 2014

Pict me a winner

     The first of the picts have landed and well pleased I am too.. I have completed six elements in all and they have turned out ok. Lots and lots of conversions here!

Mounted lord and companions

Decided to make a fair number of these armoured . most of the work went into adding Long hair, neck guards on helmets and Cloaks. I used green stuff and it wasn't so bad to work with.. Have to say the custon decals made for me by LBM are just beautiful.

Lord and companions on foot

      Conversions consisted of long hair, lowering the hemline of the tunics on the elite warriors and adding cloaks. I included mainly high status and middle status warriors.

I did try my hand at plaids and decided life was too short but I did paint coloured borders on the tunics.

Noble warriors

     The noble warriors are a mix of mailed and warriors of various levels. Conversions similar to the lord but lesser status.

Lower status infantry

  Similar conversions to the nobles but I used poorer dressed figures and some have no shields or helmets.

I painted in drab colours and included 2 or 3 higher status figures as lower lords.

So that's the first batch finished. I'm currently prepping some lower class cavalry and another three foot elements. More of that next time

Monday, 17 March 2014

Experimenting some more.

Hi Folks
             I'm still here but I have really been pressing on with the Pict infantry. I have around 80 at various stages of conversion and painting etc. The curing time for the green stuff is the biggest hold up, hence the reason for batching the work. Yesterday morning, I found myself with a bit of a hold up so I decided to experiment with the cavalry. I spent a few hours working up a unit of Noble cavalry and have to say they have come up rather well, Can't wait to paint them.

 The base figures are all Kallistra. The armoured figures are from the sub roman cavalry pack.  Thye rest are "unarmoured Norman cavalry" and "sub roman horse archers". The main effort was to  change the shields and weapons, modify the Norman helmets by flattening them and adding neck guards. Finally I added a few cloaks with green stuff. Added long hair to the horse archers as well.
Not easy but fun.

Ok back to the infantry..

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

A labour of love?

    Hmm the pict part of this project looks like being a very slow process. The main points are longer tunics for higher class warriors, long hair, adding detail like neck guards to helmets etc. is really taking it's toll. I have been working on them almost non-stop since Saturday and so far I have completed:-

7 noble warriors fully painted
14 higher class warriors converted and primed
14 mixed class warriors converted with green stuff curing.
28 lower class warriors prepped ready for conversion.

Now I'm retired so when I say full time ,that's exactly what I mean. Thank goodness I'm retired or else I may never have finished them.  Here's the incomplete but converted stuff so far.

The application of green stuff and its sculpting is proving a bit outside my comfort zone, I'm slowly getting the hang of it but it's not proving as easy as folks make it look heheh. I have decided to change the way I work.

Instead of preparing and painting one element at a time, I have decided to convert and paint a largfe mix of warrior types and then pick and mix for several elements. This may make the work less of a chore if I can complete them in batches.

Time to press on.

Monday, 10 March 2014

First steps in pictland ptII

                          After publishing the first conversion attempts on the Picts last night, I decided to paint the test pieces and see how they turned out. I also intended to apply my new custom decals to get full effect.

Here's how they look.

So what was the result of the experiment. Am I in love with them? Well not completely. On the down side they are not the best looking models in my collection and highlight my need to REALLY practice green stuff moulding before I launch into the rest of the army. On the positive side even accepting my shit sculpting they DO look like the pictures of Pictish nobles I see in my reference books. The new decals look AWESOME. Many thanks to Steve from Little Big Men studios. Fortunately the measurements are good and the small shield design exactly matches the tiny disc produced by paper punches for A4 pages. That will save me soo much work. Now if I could only find a 6.5mm hollow punch) . As conversions, they are unique! heheh . I can be certain no one else has an army like them. (I think that's a positive anyway.) It also means I can use the kallistra Barbarian horde pack rather than toss it in the bin.
           So has it been a success? I think weighing things up yes and with a bit of sculpting practice on my part I can go ahead on this route. Watch this space

Sunday, 9 March 2014

First steps in pictland

                                         I spent yesterday bringing together the figures I would need to make both the Picts and the Irish. Now it seems to me that the Pictish nobles are into long hair and longish dresses. ie their tunics appear to have been longer than those of their Southern friends. may be a cold weather thing who knows. I couldn't seem to find any suitable figures for these but I remembered seeing pictures of lunatics who did things with green stuff. Now it's not a medium I've used before and any thought of carving this stuff in 10mm scared me rigid!. I also remembered the kallistra barbarian horde figures I had that I decided were beyond my skills for conversion. I was suddenly hit with that nothing ventured nothing gained spirit. So I took a few horde and some armoured Saxons and began the great adventure. Now the great sculptors definitely have nothing to fear from my efforts but I do like the results so far.  I thought I would take some progress pics and hopefully some of you who read this blog might tell me if the direction I'm going looks ok.

The two right hand figures are Saxons and those I merely extended the tunics. The rest are barbarians and I used them as a frame to support the sculpt. What do you guys think?

Some more extras

When I started painting for this post the objective was a flock of sheep. It proved to be quite boring and I started flipping through variuous book. As I did i came upon a Roman carriage that really caught my eye so I decided to model it. Here are the results of both items.

Those Baa lambs

Not a lot to be said here. It's a flock of sheep. Job done!

The carriage

                Now I may have got this wrong because after looking again at the diagrams in my books it could well be that the roof is a loose canvas one which makes my hard top version look a bit silly . Oh well I still like the end result! heheh

The wheels,rider and horses are from a kallistra wagon , the rest is pure scratchbuild. I can see this featuring in an "ambush on the way to a wedding scenario!

Well I have enjoyed the diversion so I guess it's time for a new faction.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Roll em

Whilst building myself up to start on the next army I have decided to do a few extras like the horse herd posted previously. Well, you can never have enough objectives and things can you. I some  whole bunch of sheep and cattle to do and I also have some Kallistra wagons from their eastern European range that struck me as being quite nice. I thought I would try one for a starter. Turned out ok.

Very nice models these. All I had to do to make them useful was to change the late medieval heads to dark age ones and they look great.

Flock of sheep next.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

The might of the saxons

             So the job is done. The Saxon army is finally complete. Time to move on. I have to say I am absolutely delighted with the end result. Here's a few group pictures to show them off in all their glory!

The final images are close to what I had hoped to achieve. They have lots of animation, individuality and are pretty damn irregular. I learned a lot making this army. All I need to do now is apply it to the picts.


 I plan to do a few specials before I start again. I have some wagons , animal groups and some purely scenic pieces to paint and mount and it will be a good idea before I dive into the Picts and Irish.