Monthly Archives: October 2014

Another “Song of Blades and Heroes” Battle Day

Chris Palmer

My friend Rob Dean came over to my warroom this past Saturday for a couple games of “Song of Blades and Heroes” using our Bones figures.  I had set up the table with a little ford crossing a meandering creek in the shadow of an old Elven watchtower.
   For my initial force I picked an all-human group consisting of; Magic User, Leader, Barbarian, Warrior, Elite Archer, Heavy Infantry, thief, and another Warrior.  Rob had a group of Orcs with  a Leader, supported by a pair of Orc Archers and some Giant Rats.

Team Human L to R, (Front row): Magic User, Leader, Barbarian, Warrior, Elite Archer, Heavy Infantry, (Back row) Thief, and another Warrior

As the game started, I rushed for the hill where the old watchtower stood to get my Elite Archer and Magic user into good positions The Heavy Infantry tagged along to act as a bodyguard.   The rest of my forced moved to my right, to cross the creek a little up from the ford. Meanwhile, Rob marched his Orcs towards the ford in an attempt to quickly cross it, while his archers and rats moved to thwart my attempted flanking maneuver.  First blood came when my archer scored a lucky kill at maximum range on one of the Orcs approaching the ford.

As Rob’s first Orcs splashed across the ford, I turned my two Warriors back from their flanking maneuver to try and halt the Orcs before they got any further. Hopefully stopping them while they were still slowed down crossing the ford. Quickly, a swirling melee developed at the ford.

The battle at the ford begins. I rush one of my Warriors up to block a crossing Orc, and Rob counters with another Orc, I then move my other Warrior up to support.

   We both threw more troops at the ford, though I continued to advance my Barbarian around the flank.  Rob used his Rats to counter this move, and despite their reluctance to follow orders, two of the Giant Rats eventually made contact with my Barbarian and caused a Gruesome Death.  Luckily, hardly anyone was around to witness it, so there was little lasting effect for my side.  While my Archer remained on the hill, trying to take pot shots at the Rats who had killed the Barbarian, my Magic User moved down to get in better range of the ford bringing the Heavy Infantryman along with him.
   In the end, the Orcs’ lower Quality told, and I was able to wear them down one by one, while only losing my Thief and Barbarian in the process.   After Rob’s Orc’s dropped below 50%, causing several of the survivors to run a ways down the road, we called it a game.

The scene near the end.  With a powerful force still at my disposal, and the Orcs badly worn down, The Orc Leader calls for a retreat.

  For the second game we rolled for a scenario, and got the Place of Power result. So, we quickly reset the table, removing the Elven Watchtower and the river. In the Watchtower’s place I put out the Bones Sarcophagus and threw some Armorcast cemetery walls around it. We decided it must be a powerful magician’s grave, which inspired my to pull out my Bones High Wizard statue to put up by the sarcophagus. After a quick rearrangement of the woods, we were set to go.
   I picked a more mixed-race adventuring party for this game, featuring: a  Halfling Warrior (not a Bones figure), Halfling Wisewoman, a Dragonman (I used the Hyenaman stats), Human Warrior, Human Leader, Fire Elemental, Elf Sneak, and Elf Elite Archer.  Rob used what I call his “invincible force”, since I have yet to beat it in a number of games now.It consists of an assortment of human types; including a Leader, Warriors, Barbarian, Archers, and Magic user

My team: (front row) Halfling Warrior (not a Bones figure), Halfling Wisewoman, (Back Row) a Dragonman (I used the Hyenaman stats), Human Warrior, Human Leader, Fire Elemental, Elf Sneak, and Elf Elite Archer

     Things got off to bad start for me as on the first turn Rob did a group activation and successfully rolled 3 dice, allowing most of his force to run and gain the Place of Power before I had even picked up a die.  I did my best to rush my force forward before Rob’s force could get settled.

My Elite Elf Archer takes up position in the woods, as my Dragonman and Warrior rush bravely forward.

  With their Quality 4 and 5,  the Halflings proved to be useless, especially after I had had to rush my Leader forward to throw more bodies into the fray.  I have yet to have success with low quality troops.  Even my high quality troops preformed poorly on this outing.  My Elite Elf Archer couldn’t hit anything, and my brave Dragonman was knocked down with the first blow he received; and on the following turn was dispatched Gruesomely, causing many of my forces’ survivors, who had rushed forward to help the Dragonman, to recoil backwards a move or two.

My Dragonman falls, as the rest of my force tries to move up to help him.  In the lower left of the photo, my Elf Sneak has taken position to charge out at an opportune moment. A moment which never comes.

   It wasn’t long before I was worn down to below half; as the dice were unkind and I could not get any coordinated attack put together.  With Rob’s forces well entrenched in the walled Place of Power, at this point we called it a game.
  Another good gaming day, and a nice victory for each of us.  We both still struggle to find the correct way to use low Quality troops to advantage.  Hopefully we can have a rematch soon.

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Kavorgh, Orc Warboss: Figure 120 of 265

Chris Palmer

This week I painted Kavorgh, Orc Warboss from the BBEG set.  I had done a number of Bones Orcs before from the 30 New Bones set, so I had a pretty good plan for how I was going to go about painting this guy.

      I prepped this figure in the usual way; soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying.  I then glued the figure to a 1.25” black-primed fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and glued the washer to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of Elmer’s White Glue.
     I then painted him all black.   When the black was dry, I went back over the figure and drybrushed all the metal parts, except the ax, with Ceramcoat “Metallic Pewter”.

I then repainted black any areas of the fur garments that had gotten the “Metallic Pewter” on them, and then drybrushed the upper fur garments with Folk Art “Medium Grey”. I and then painted the lower garment with Americana “Asphaltum”, and when dry, drybrushed it with Americana “Khaki Tan”.

     Next, I realized I had forgotten to drybrush the metal bits on the front of his shield, so I went back and drybrushed it with the “Metallic Pewter”.  Then, I painted all his skin with  Aleene’s “Deep Khaki”.  I followed this with painting his undershirt Folk Art “Deep Tomato Red”.  I then used a variety of my browns, red-browns, and mustard-browns to paint his many haphazard garments and straps. His main shirt, with the metal plates sewn on it, I painted with the “Asphaltum”, and the big wide belt he wears, as well as the back of the shield, I painted with the Americana “Charcoal Grey”.   I painted the border around the shield with Folk Art “True Burgundy”.  The ax handle I painted Americana “Mississippi Mud”.

I then painted all the hands tacked on his shield using a variety of flesh tones. The bone and one of the paper or cloth scraps I painted with Americana “Buttermilk. While I had this out, I also painted his teeth with it.  I finished up by painting the hair and other fragments nailed on the shield.   When everything was dry, I gave the whole figure a wash with thinned GW “Agrax Earthshade” wash.

     After the wash had a good long time to dry, I went back and added in his eyes using the “Buttermilk” with black pupils added.  I then highlighted his skin with the original “Deep Khaki”, and then mixed a little lighter Aleene’s “Dusty Khaki” into it to add some lighter skin highlights.  I highlighter his garments with their original colors, and the same with the shield and the stuff nailed to it.  The bone on the shield I used some white to highlight.  Lastly, I used the “Metallic Pewter” to paint the metal parts of the ax.  I then went back and highlighted the edges of the ax head with Folk Art “Silver Sterling”.
       I let the figure sit overnight, and the next morning I gave it a coat of Ceramcoat “Matte Varnish”.  Later that afternoon I flocked the base, and the next day I sprayed it with Testor’s “Dullcote” spray varnish.

     I’m pleased with how this fellow came out.  He will be a nice commander for to my Bones orc horde.

     I played another pair of “Song of Blades and Heroes” games using my Bones figures this past weekend; so I hope to have the battle reports posted on Thursday. So tune in then!

Figure 120 of 265: Complete

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Virina, Female Demon: Figure 119 of 265

Chris Palmer

     This week I painted Virina, the female demon, from the BBEG (Big Bad Evil Guys) set.  As I pondered how I was going to paint her, I got in my head to do her in all black, and then I thought it might be neat to give her bright red hair to contrast with the black body.  I then happened to see a picture of some pumpkinhead figures someone had painted and had done cool fire-glowing eye effects on the jack-o-lantern heads; and the idea came to me that perhaps instead of doing plain red hair, it might be cool to try and paint the hair like glowing fire.  Since I have 200-some Bones figures to paint, the opportunity to do experimenting with stuff like this is one of the things I like.

         I prepped this figure in the usual way; soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying.  I then glued the figure to a 1” black-primed fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and glued the washer to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of Elmer’s White Glue.
     I then painted her all black, doing my best to avoid the hair.

Next, I gave the whole body a drybrushing with Duncan “Slate Blue” to add highlights to the black body and wings.  Her hooves and horns I drybrushed with Folk Art “Medium Grey”.

I then painted her hair Apple Barrel “Lemon Chiffon”.

I then carefully drybrushed over the “Lemon Chiffon with first, Americana “Tangerine”, and then Ceramcoat “Bright Red”.

     And, lastly, I went over the hair with Apple Barrel “Apple Maroon”.  I then painted the ring on her hair, first with Ceramcoat “Bronze, and then added highlights with Ceramcoat “14K Gold”.  Next I tried to add reflected light from the hair onto her shoulders, chest, arms, tail, wings, and face by lightly drybrushing them with the “Tangerine”  Finally, I added eyes with the “Lemon Chiffon” and then added black pupils, and then touched up any exposed white areas of her integral base with the black.
       The next morning I gave it the figure coat of Ceramcoat “Matte Varnish”.   Later in the afternoon I flocked the base, and the next day I sprayed it with Testor’s “Dullcote” spray varnish.

     Well, I like it, but I’m not totally happy with the figure, I think the black body turned out looking cool, but I don’t know if the hair effect really works, and I still need to work on my relected light effects, as I think they came off heavy-handed.

Figure 119 of 265: Complete

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“Bear Yourselves Valiantly” Rules Now Available!

Chris Palmer

Just want to let all of you know that our latest Look, Sarge, No Charts series rulebook, “Bear Yourselves Valiantly”, for fantasy, ancients, and medieval mass combat, is now available to be purchased from On Military Matters:

We’re happy to get this into your hands a few weeks early from our original Fall-In targeted release date!

For a battle report see here:
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Armies for Kids 2015 Gets Underway

Buck

For the past several years, the HAWKs have been putting together painted armies, running games for kids at Historicon, and giving the painted armies away to the kids (ten and under).  The first year we gave away AWI armies.  In other years we’ve given away Seven Years War, Napoleonic, and Civil War armies.  This year we will actually run two games and give away two sets of armies.  The first is 40mm ACW, and we are getting a lot of help on that project from generous volunteers.  The second is 20mm WWII (US vs. Germans).  In November the HAWKs are going to have their first painting day, so in preparation, I glued the US forces to popsicle sticks and sprayed them khaki.  The picture above shows most, but not all, of the US figures.

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Terrain for 10mm Science Fiction

Buck

Usually a year or two ahead of rule development I start painting figures and building terrain so that when we start to work on the rules, we have something with which to play test.

The vehicle in the foreground is a 10mm science fiction vehicle for scale.  I recycled some packing material.  One held a replacement GFE outlet, and the other held a bottle of some sort of goopy stuff I got from my wife.  After painting them, I made some of the windows and doors in PowerPoint and printed them on label paper to stick on the buildings.

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Not Quite Seven Years War in 10mm

Buck

The grenadier regiment

The grenadier regiment

Rob Dean has been running Not Quite Seven Years War games in 54mm with home-cast figures for years.  A little over a year ago, Chris Palmer got the idea of doing it in 10mm with some variant of the Look, Sarge, No Charts rules.  As I had the day off today, I finished several units.

The new regiments with the one original regiment, two batteries, and an officer

The new regiments with the one original regiment, two batteries, and an officer

In a previous post I described how the country of Bergdorfreuthenheim has 21 infantry regiments and that the facing colors rotate in a seven-color sequence.  I completed 8 regiments of line infantry (for a goal of 9, since I had completed one some months ago).  I also complete a grenadier regiment.

A slightly closer view

A slightly closer view

A closer view of one of the new regiments

A closer view of one of the new regiments

Side view showing the flag

Side view showing the flag

Before I paint any more infantry, I think I’ll paint a few regiments of light cavalry.  I’ll add that to my purchase list for Fall In next month.

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More Air Support for My Female Hussar Force

Buck

Warhammer helicopter with a female hussar replacing the dwarf as pilot

Warhammer helicopter with a female hussar replacing the dwarf as pilot

I have often said that much of the Warhammer 40K stuff looks more Victorian Science Fiction than “hard core” science fiction.  I have a few Warhammer vehicles that I have added some smokestacks and other bits to make into vehicles for GASLIGHT.  I have a hard time investing $50 for a single, unpainted model, but I found this one at the flea marker during our recent gaming day (Barrage).

The original box art

The original box art

I enjoyed putting together the kit and sprayed it black in its major assemblies.  I painted it separately and then assembled it.  I think it turned out nicely.  I’m not sure when it will make it on the table, but I’m anxious to see how it fares in its first combat.

Another view of the helicopter

Another view of the helicopter

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Kord the Destroyer: Figure 118 of 265

Chris Palmer

     This week I painted the Kord the Destroyer figure from the Fighters Set.   This wraps up the four-figure Fighters Set, and it joins the list of finished sets over in the right-hand column. 
     Let me just say that this was my least favorite figure from the Kickstarter to paint so far.    It had several strikes against it going into the painting process, and if it hadn’t been for my being determined to paint every figure, I may have tossed it in the flea market box.  First, as can be seen in the photo below, the fur cape comes pre-glued to the figure making a large portion of the back of the figure very hard to access for painting.  Also, as I have complained about with some Reaper figures before, there were just too many layers of clothing, padding, and armor on this figure, making it difficult to

figure out what was what.  To make matters worse, it seemed there was clothing on the left of the figure that didn’t match what was on the right, and vice-versa. And where do his sleeves come from, when he isn’t wearing a shirt?  
     So, getting down to business,   I prepped this figure in the usual way; soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying.  I then glued the figure to a 1” black-primed fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and glued the washer to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of Elmer’s White Glue.
     I then gave the figure a wash with some thinned black ink with a little pinhead drop of dish soap added, to help bring out the details on the figure. Since I did not particularly care for this figure, my painting descriptions are going to be a bit shorter than usual.

       To begin painting, I painted the wolf cape and boot trim fur parts of the figure black and the lower cape with Americana “Asphaltum”. I then dryushed the black parts with Folk Art “Medium Grey”, and the brown lower cape with Americana “Khaki Tan”.

   Next, I painted his skin with Americana “Shading Flesh”, and his loincloth Apple Barrel “Apple Maroon”.  His boots I painted Americana “Charcoal Grey”.  I then painted his various sleeves, and the other garments at his waist, various brown shades.

 I then moved on to painting his belts, wrist guard things, scabbard, pouch, and the handle of the ax, and grip of the sword more shades from my brown paints collection. His hair I painted Anita’s “Burnt Sienna”, and the horns of his helmet Americana “Buttermilk”.

   Next, I painted the rock he is standing on with the “Medium Gray”.  Then I did all the armor, weapons, and buckles with Ceramcoat “Metallic Pewter”.

      After I had let everything dry for a good while, I gave the entire a figure a wash with thinned GW “Agrax Earthshade” wash.

     When the wash had had a long time to dry, I went back and added highlights to the figure, using mainly the base colors I had used.  I highlighted the hair with Americana “Georgia Clay”, and the rock he is standing on with Duncan “Slate Grey”.  The metal parts I highlighted with Folk Art “Silver Sterling”.  I also painted a black nose and eyes on the wolf cape.
      I let the figure sit all day, and the later that eveing I gave it a coat of Ceramcoat “Matte Varnish”.  The next morning I flocked the base, and later that afternoon I sprayed it with Testor’s “Dullcote” spray varnish.

       Despite all my fussing, I don’t think the figure turned out that badly.  As long as you view the figure as a whole and don’t start to try to decipher all the details, it’s a good result.
     Next up on the painting table will be the Big Bad Evil Guys (BBEG) Set!

Figure 118 of 265: Complete

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Dux Bellorum project sample

Rob Dean

I hope to post a fuller description of this activity later, but I finished a sample stand for my Dux Bellorum project. This project is an opportunity to use a collection of molds that I’ve had for a long time, and that means a lot of “close enough” figures rather than worrying a lot about the status of archaeological finds…

These figures will feature in a Saxon warband as “ordinary warriors” or “ordinary shieldwall”.

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