Saturday, 29 November 2008

Warfare Show

Went to the Warfare show in Reading (UK) last Sunday with my Son. I was aiming to buy the new Valiant Plastic German Panzer Grenadiers but all of the traders sold out on Saturday :-(

I did buy some Numidian & Roman Cavalry and some Balearic slingers, so I now have the figures to build out my Caeserian Basic Impetus Army. I got the figures from Magister Militum. These guys have good deals on nice workmanlike 28mm figures. In fact if you look at their larger packs they are similar in price to the Warlord plastics ! I am seriously considering ordering some of their Gallic Cavalry instead of the Warlord ones.

I have managed to paint the Balearic slingers and they look great, I will post a picture when I get the base finished.

I also picked up Niel Thomas's "Wargaming, an Introduction". This book has basic rules for Ancients, Pike and Shot, Napoleonics, ACW, Colonial skirmish and WW2. At first glance the rules look very basic but I have played the Ancient rules a few times and they do give a good fast game. I plan to try the Napoleonic rules (I have 6mm Adler figures) and the WW2 (lots of 20mm models and figures) as soon as I get a chance and I will post a litle review.

Other purchases were some paint and a 2 foot terrain square with a hill (I try to buy one of these at each show I go to).

The paint is from Coats d'Arms. I am going to try their new washes in comparison with the Citadel ones. I will post a review when I have tried them out. I also bought their "Suntanned Flesh", this is exactly the same colour as the "Army Painter" flesh spray. I primed the Balearics with the flesh spray, washed them with Citadel Orgryn Flesh and then highlighted with the Suntanned Flesh - perfect.

Around the show I saw some good demo games. There was a massive table with 28mm Russians vs Japanese (1939) with masses of green sprayed fake fur steppe. The demo grabbed your attention because there was a Russian fighter with two rockets streaking from it above the table.

I had a go at two participation games (to keep my boy happy). First was an Orc racing game. You had to race against other players whilst Trolls rained objects down on you. If you survived to the end of the course you gained points. If the Troll hit a target on your turn (you had tokens to activate Trolls) you gained points for each casualty. I actually won ! My Son played this two more times. I think this game was put on by the Dunstable club.

The other game that I tried was a post WW2 skirmish - Secret Agents vs Zombies and Monsters in a Berlin bunker. The objective was to stop a V2 with an atomic warhead from launching. Four players against a games-master. One of the players turned out to be a traitor. I was the Russian agent and not the Traitor. A Zombie killed me. My Son played 3 games of this one too. The game was put on by the Wessex Wargamers from Winchester.

I did spend a long time nattering with Nigel Betts. Nigel was putting on an American War of Independence game with the GLC club. This was a lovely looking 28mm game representing the Battle of the Clouds (which didn't actually happen as "rain stooped play").

All in all a very good day out at a great little show.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Side by Side Comparisons

Here are some pictures of Warlord Celts alongside Wargames factory Romans. Picture not great as used flash but gives you the idea.

I think the Romans look a bit squatter and thicker set but they match well enough to be on opposing sides. I mean, how ofetn do you have a game where the two sides come from the smae manufacturer ?

Celts and Romans

I bought some hard plastic Warlord Celts at Colours (Wargames show in Newbury UK) with a view to building an army for Basic Impetus (and maybe Impetus in the future). I have since supplemented these with some metal "fanatics" (the naked guys) also from Warlord.

I like these figures, some of the poses look odd when viewed alone but the look fine when based up. Impetus uses large bases (in this case 120mm X 60mm) and the dynamic poses on these figures really suit this sort of base size.

Now the out of focus guys facing off the Celts are Wargames Factory Romans. I have painted up a few of these and I am really pleased with them. Here are a couple of shots of them.

Some comments on the figures.

Warlord Celts

As already mentioned, some of the poses are rather dynamic, this can look odd but when based up in large groups they look great.

There have been some comments about the ratio of figures to shields in the box. This could be an issue, I have added a few of Warlord's resin shields, instruments, standards, trophy heads and double weapons and the result looks right I think.

The shield transfers are sticky backed, they are fiddly to cut out and apply, with patience they turn out fine. I painted the shields first. The backs brown and the ribs and face in one of the transfer coulours with the boss in metal. Then applied the transfers. I glued the shields to the figures after painting.

Fit on the figures is good, flash and mould lines almost non-existent.

I painted them with a block and wash method over black undercoat. The naked guys were undercoated with Army Painter flesh spray - they painted up fast :-)

Wargames Factory Romans

These are getting a bit of a mixed press out there ! They do look rather shiny and "fuzzy" on the sprue. I made a few up to see how they assembled. Again little or no flash or mould lines to worry about. Fit on the arms is not brilliant and they needed some cutting. The ball and socket heads worked out OK.

Once I sprayed the figures black the detail started to come out. I painted them with a block and wash system and I am happy with the results. They come out as good "wargames standard" figures. I can paint them fairly quickly (managed another 12 in about 3 hours last night) and I feel that I actually stand a chance of getting a gameable army onto the table within a couple of months.

The shield transfers are rub-down, this was odd and I trashed a couple to start with. My advice if you are using these is to paint the shield first. I painted the back brown and gave it a wash with Citadel wash, then the whole of the front is a deep red with a metal boss. Then I put on the transfers. I tried some off the sprue and some on the sprue, on the sprue made it easier to match up the transfer to the shield shape. I attached the shields after painting the figures. I noticed when I posted the photos that I didn't touch up the points where the shields were detatched, I will fix that.

The figures cost me £17 (GBP) for 48 (with a free box of colonial Brits and free postage) and included shield transfers. Foundry Romans are more detailed but they would have disadvantages for me. Firstly cost, £11 GBP + p&p for 8 figures with no transfers. Then there is the detail, they look great, this is a problem for me. If the figure has great detail I can't block and wash it, the three tone shading technique comes out. That is four hours for a 28mm figure. OK I will produce a figure that I can be very proud of but that is a week of painting time on one figure.

So cheaper figures with good enough details means I am more likely to get an army to play games with, rather than a mountain of undercoated lead and plastic.

Here is a parting shot of the figures facing off.