Friday, January 29, 2021

The dwarves are for the dwarves!

I mentioned at the end of my last post that I was thinking about what I would need to put on a version of the Battle of Five Armies from The Hobbit. This notion was sparked in part by running across a couple of dozen dwarves in my stash of unpainted miniatures (two sprues of the Light Alliance Dwarves Set 1) and wondering what I could do with those. This month, I decided to go ahead and paint them up, as a little contingent to use in Hordes of the Things or other fantasy rules.

After some consideration, I decided to kit them out in a lot of reds, yellows, and oranges, with browns and grays for some variety. I had a few spare shields leftover from the Assyrians, so I gave these to a couple of the figures that didn't have one. For shield designs I tried a few geological motifs, but others ended up with more general geometric designs or ones based on tools. 

The dwarven contingent all together.

The dwarven commander - or perhaps a Hero for HotT?

A few different views of the dwarven infantry.

I decided to try something a little different with the bases - a lot of my existing 20mm fantasy infantry are based six or eight to a 60x40mm base, but for these I decided to try base them in groups of four on a 60x20 base. This way I can arrange them two ranks deep to match my older units, but it also gives me a little more flexibility to split them up if that would be useful at some point. (Also - I had a whole bunch of spare 60x20 bases and not so many 60x40s...)

Having finished these, I must say I am not inclined to expand them to a whole army. While the figures looked OK on the sprue, I found painting them to be a bit of a chore - many of the poses are kind of flat and the sculpting is a little chunky. Nevertheless, now I have some dwarves finished, and I expect they will be more or less stalwart allies for some of my other armies down the road.

Friday, January 1, 2021

The little things that count - wrapping up 2020

Well, I don't know quite what I expected from 2020, but this wasn't it. I do feel quite fortunate to have come through the past year unscathed, and with my family and friends generally still in good health. And for all that this was a terrible year for other things, it was a great year for me getting painting done - at some point early in January I realized I had finished an average of one figure a day, and I decided to see how long I could keep up that pace. The answer turned out to be all year - I finished yesterday with 400 figures completed. This was the first year I have kept detailed logs, but I am sure this exceeds whatever my previous record was - and it may prove to be a high-water mark for some time to come! For the fun of it, I decided to lay out everything I painted this year, all at once:

The bulk of this is my six DBA armies, but there are a number of Reaper Bones figures and a few other odds and ends for other projects in there as well. A few of the miscellaneous miniatures that rounded out the year for me:

As mentioned at the end of my last post, these are old chariots I had painted some years ago, but rebased on 60x80mm bases for DBA, and with some new chariot runners added. The runners are a couple of spares left over from my Assyrians, and a couple of Robin Hood conversions. The bowmen are more Caesar Mitannian Mariyannu Chariot archers, dismounted to use as 4Bw in DBA. Between them, these will let my Syro-Canaanite army double as list I/19 Mitanni.

The other item mentioned as forthcoming in a previous post - a second piece of artillery for Elabrün. These are Waterloo 1815's Austrian Artillery set - and in this case, Elabrüner uniforms don't diverge too much from historical Austrians...

Moving to the Reaper Bones side - at some point back in August or so, I actually ran out of the 1-inch washers usually I use for basing 28mm figures, so I switched to working on ones which went on either larger or smaller bases. These ones are all on the small side: two kobolds, and two halflings. (Or possibly a gnome and a halfling.) Alas, the kobold's mace remains bent despite repeated attempts at straightening it in boiling water. 

Some other assorted Reaper critters: the packrat had been sitting around primed but unpainted for at least a couple of years, but I finally got around to it this past month. The normal rats went much quicker. One of the things I enjoy painting most is animals (hence my delight at getting to paint some camelry earlier this year), so it was fun to paint up a couple of animal companions as a wolverine and a bald eagle. And as a Marylander, of course I had to paint the dire crab up as a blue crab!

This final one is a bit of an oddball - it's an old Mage Knight figure, carved off its original Clix base, repainted, and rebased onto one of the empty bases that had previously held a chariot. I still have several of these, so I will be on the lookout for more flying creatures or other ways I can put them to good use. And now with a giant eagle to hand, I find myself thinking about how to stage the Battle of the Five Armies, from the end of The Hobbit...

So that's it for 2020! Of course, one of the other silver linings of the past year has been the revival of this blog. Thank you to everyone who has stopped by, and especially those who have taken the time to leave comments. Hopefully this year's posts will include a few more games, but if not, I expect I will at least post pictures of whatever I decide to pain next! Happy New Year, and best wishes for 2021!