Thursday, 4 May 2017

Spanish frigates

I'm afraid life has taken a turn for the busy over the past few months with our house being renovated; time for hobbies has been negligible. However, I was able last week to produce a couple of 36 gun Spanish frigates for a commission - a short post, more to let any readers know I'm still here!

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Eagle Warriors

My first unit of Aztecs is now complete!

This is a unit of Eagle Warriors, one of the elite 'suited' warrior castes of the Aztec army.


I've based them for Basic Impetus, but can remove figures to put together a war and for 'En Garde' skirmish rules. I've used the Impetus 2p base from Warbases.


As for the figures, most are Foundry, with a single Gringos40 model. No because I necessarily prefer Foundry, but their figures come in packs of 6, whereas Gringos40 are individual models.


So, here is the unit, all armed with the Macehuitl obsidian swords.




Here are the figures individually. First the leader of the unit, with back banner. These were used as signals mainly.



Next the sole Gringos40 model. They match pretty well, although the Gringos40 is ever so slightly larger.



This figure is posed very nicely, with some additional feathers.



Chequerboard design on the shield.



Aztec face on the shield.



And the final two figures.





Thursday, 1 December 2016

Aztecs in 28mm

I have added a few more figures to my fledgling Aztec forces. Here we have 4 Foundry slingers and a Foundry archer.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Villiers-le-Sec at NBHW

I played the Villiers-le-Sec scenario from the Normandy Battle Games book at NBHW last night. First venture out for my old Wehrmacht Infanty Regiment as I've mainly played with my Panzer Lehr thus far.

Good even contest which could've gone either way:

https://www.facebook.com/New-Buckenham-Historical-Wargamers-302874659765417/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1342995955753277


Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Aztecs in 28mm!

With my WW2 projects coming along nicely, and the Napoleonic Naval stuff for Aboukir Bay all done, my thoughts have been turning to new projects. Playing at a club like NBHW is very inspiring in terms of the collections, size of games, quality of painting and terrain and the sheer variety we play down there. However, it can also be difficult to find something to bring which is a bit different! I inadvertently managed it with the Naval game, but when it comes to land based warfare, there are already many, many wonderful collections from Ancients to Vietnam/Cold War in a variety of scales and sizes to choose from. 

Recently there have been several games looking at the colonial wars; Isandlwana was fought, and someone is working on a big Sikh wars collection. This got me thinking about some of the other European conquests around the world and I started to read up on the Mexican conquest of 1519-21. The mismatch in numbers on the one hand and technology on the other grabbed my attention and the more I discovered about the Aztec (or more correctly, Mexica) culture and their style of fighting the more I found it interesting. 

I'd also been looking for something that would be different to what I've already done from a hobby point of view. So, a move to 28mm, with a splash of colour that I haven't really had since I gave up on the world of GW. The intricate designs of the Aztecs will give me a good challenge.

I've painted a few test models from Gringos40, and very nice models they are too. Little flash to remove and a few nice details.

For source material, the two failsafes of Osprey and Google have helped me a lot! There is a historical document called the Codex Mendoza which gives lots of detail about Aztec outfits. This has been summarised really well here: http://balagan.info/painting-guide-for-an-aztec-army

So, here we go: the Aztecs were split into several military orders, dependent on the number of captives the warrior had taken in battle. This was a really unique aspect to Mesoamerican warfare, in that the Warriors would not necessarily try and kill their opponents, but instead would try to take captives to take back to the temple to be sacrificed. 

The Macehualtin were the peasant levy. Like all Mesoamerican cultures, they wore cotton armour and had weapons made from wood with sharpened obsidian blades. 


I've painted three Macehualtin Warriors - two archers, and one with a spear. Aztecs made great use of the Atlatl, or spear thrower, but these miniatures don't have that represented. I've used some rigging techniques to thread the strings for the bows!




The next miniatures I have are three warrior priests, who have taken 4 captives in battle and so qualified to wear the 'starry night' decorated full bodysuit with a pointed conical hat. This style of uniform was associated with warriors who had taken 2 captives in battle, but the starry sky pattern was only worn by these priests.





The final two figures are perhaps those most associated with the Aztecs - the Eagle and Jaguar warriors. These suits were not real animal skins, they were made of cotton and coloured. The most common 'jaguar' suit was not the jaguar patterned suit, but rather a blue one with black, spotted pattern. However, there were some who had suits designed like the big cat, and I've gone with that for this one. The jaguar warrior also has a back banner - very commonplace on the Aztec battlefield - which would serve as a signal to the rest of the army. 





Both the Eagle and Jaguar warrior orders required warriors to have taken 4 captives in battle. There is some debate as to whether or not they were of equal standing, or whether the eagle warriors had a slight seniority over the Jaguars. This is unproven.



I've used the Osprey book and the Codex for painting inspirations for these.


Finally, a 'Team Shot'!


I'm looking forward to collecting and painting more of these.












Thursday, 13 October 2016

Stuka

I've just finished a Hobby Master Stuka, to add a bit of air support for my German forces, and to use at Rostov.

A really nice kit, actually. Easy to assemble, nice and sturdy, with a good range of decals which are quite detailed. 




A picture of it on its stand:



Thursday, 6 October 2016

From 74s to 88s...

I am mindful that since renaming the blog, there has been plenty of the '74' aspect with my napoleonic ships, but no actual photos of any 88s!

Well, now I can redress the balance a little. Here are a couple of 88s to scare some Allied tanks.

SHQ crew, Zvezda guns and I think Britannia wheels, although I picked those up from an auction so not sure about the make of them.


The sandbag pits are Hovels, by the way.