Saturday, 22 October 2016

Elf commander

The queen is the Joan of arc from Odemars Leaders set.
I removed the axe at her belt, and replaced the flag and flagpole. The design on the  Flag is apparently called the unity flower, so works well for a leader of different tribes of elves.

The trumpeter is from the Zvezda Russian knights  which, IMHO, is a bloody awefull set of bods, the trumpeter being the only pose having any use.
 The elf wing of the "light alliance" army so far.
I might add the RedBox  elves but only the archers as   the bods don´t look that good in any of the pics I´ve seen
Also a front line of fighters Needs adding...dwarves are the most popular choice at the Moment.

And..another Addition to the household. This one has been hiding in the Woods for the last couple of weeks, daring to get closer and closer to the house, tempted by bits of Food left out and  until cold and possible Exhaustion, made being indoors more acceptable. Yesterday, she allowed herself to be brought inside.

Exhausted, Deaf , old and thin, she (it´s a female) was, after a nights rest and tick removal,  taken to the vets where we we´re given two choices:
1. She would be transfered to the local  home for strays, all vet bills covered.
2. We take her on and also the resulting bills.

Considering her Age and fraility, who would want to take her from the strays home..the Little of what future she had left looked only one choice was available.
She has a new home with us :-)
She´s An estimated Age of around 15 (75 in human years), virtually no teeth and dehydrated, definately deaf...oh and she´s a British short hair..ironic really.
After  blood tests (the poor Thing had virtually nothing left to give ) it turns out she´s perfectly Sound internally, so a vitimin B shot, a spell on a drip to get her fluids up, Special Food, 4 hours of watching "Vets TV" (I didn´t realise there was such a Thing)  and a decent sized vets bill, she´s now  back home, eating and cleaning herself  and is looking a lot more happy.

Oh...and she´s called Smokey.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Airfix Elves

The Airfix Robinhood set is, IMHO, one of the best sets as a base for conversions followed by Accurate´s  Hundred Years War English Men-At-Arms and Italeri´s Roman Infantry (I got 40 different poses out of the 3 Basic legionary poses).
This lot have had headswops using the heads from the Revell Anglo-Saxons set.

The flag? Looking at it now, it Looks like it´s upside down(?)

The quivers also came from the revel Anglo-saxons set.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Teutonic order 1329 - More pics

Some more piccies of the dio.
Prisoners  (possibly Lithuanians) in the main square

More of the Market place

A new winter guest.  The local hedgehog protection Group phoned up asking if we could take in a small (in the photo he weighed only  200 gramms) and feed him up.
He now weighs nearly 500 gramms :-D

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Teutonic order 1329 - Progress so far

Wolfgang has started putting the dio together, testing Placement of the bods etc.

Wood collecting

Market place

The guards (in red/White)on the Bridge and hiding in doorways at the market I haven´t had time to Show the pics. They and  other pics of the dio in Progress will follow.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Airfix - Tarzan Figures

The quest to paint every bod pose set Airfix ever made continues.* This set has only 8 bods so I went for painting up the 8 animal poses as well.

Took about 4 hours the lot..(some of the paintjobs on the animals being proof of that)

The set came out at the time of the 1966-1968 Tarzan series.
All the poses in the set

The Humans
The female??? In the series there were a lot of female characters but Jane  Porter was left out of the series who is she supposed to represent ? Airfix´s idea to add a Jane character  or is she supposed to be a generic representative  of the many women who acted in the 1966 -1968 series like Julie Harris or Ethel Merman ?
Or, is she meant to  represent Ruana  played by Nichelle Nichols (yep,  Lieutenant Uhura) They way she´s dressed isn´t too far off how she looked in the Show (HERE)
The Great White hunter. Perhaps it´s Jason Flood  played by  Alan Samuel Lyle-Smythe
From the waist down it appears as if he isn´t wearing anything at all or at best a pair of tights so his shorts, socks and shoes are painted "as if"
The Tarzan bod is  tall compared to the other bods  (as noted over at PSR)  Seeing as the bod is based on Ron Ely who is 6' 4",   his stature  seems vagely appropiate,,,and anyway, Tarzan IS BIG so no normal puny human here thankyou.
I´ve found out that Ron Ely didn´t really have black hair but  hey, I watched the series on a B/W TV and as part of the Mission to paint all the sets is to try and copy (as far as possible) the boxart, he ended up with black hair.
Jai. I found his character  annoyingly sickly sweet .  Played in the series by Manuel Padilla, Jr. 

The Africans could considered to be one of the many American Africans who acted in the series like   Rao played by  Rockne Booth Tarkington, Kesho played by Yaphet Kotto, Sorda played by Clarence Williams III and  M'Kone, played by Brock Peters (to Name but a few) 
I didn´t copy the boxart for the shields..the engraved pattern put a stop to that
After a bit of reflection whilst writing this post, I decided to paint up a female as Ruana, though my painting nor the sculpt come anywhere near the stunning Looks of   Nichelle Nichols

The animals
TBH, they could have ditched most of the animals in favour of a few more  humans.
The Nellie, Panther, one of the lions and the Zebra turn up in one or other of the 2 Airfix Zoo sets which could have been used to provide Tarzan´s world with a Menagerie.

Mind you, did Tarzan ever have anything to do with  Llamas or  penguins? Still, it would have been fun as a nipper Pairing him up   in a boxing match against one of the Kangaroos.
Actually, although it´s a Long time ago but thinking about it, I probably did :-D
(Zoo Animals No. 1 & Zoo Animals No. 2)
The croc I painted up in a bit of a PeterPan/Tarzan Comic book look.

The most mule like Zebra ever.
A new species!!  A Mubra? A Zeble?
Fun to paint and researching the characters taught me a lot about how some of the actors developed thier careers but what could they be used for now? (the bods that is, not the actors)
The native playing the drum? After he´d  had a head swop,  he  found a home as a khandibarian
I might give the native in the canoe a head swop and use him elsewhere, the others could become Khandibarians.
The croc will be put aside for possible use in Bodstonia
I quite like the female pose , It´s got some conversion possibility.
Jason could end up alongside his mates in a desert/Jungle type setting, that´s if I had any similar desert/Jungle type bods to be his mates.
Tarzan ? I actually have an idea for him.
The Teeny weeny Jai ? A Hobbit on bathday?

The rest? Back in the bag I reckon

*33 with this lot..27 to go!! That should, at this rate, take Another 6 years .............

.............and on a different note....A slow worm !
 After a quick photo, It got released exactly where it was found

Friday, 19 August 2016

Norman Army Camp - Strelets

Another themed set from Strelets along the lines of the Medieval britian set

27 bods (some as Groups of two´s or three´s ) 28 if the Babe in arms is included. 7 mounted bods (one, with the woman slung across the saddle,  is a double pose) two fighting/hunting Dogs and a wild boar.

One small annoying thing, the Nags. They are the same poses as in (off the top of my head) the Norman Knights, Military Order Sergeants and the Norman Cavalry on the March sets. Annoying because the Norman Cavalry on the March set is included in the box, and 3 of the mounted bods in the Norman camp set  are more suited to a Walking or stationary Nag.
Theorectically, you could pinch one Walking nag from the Norman Cavalry on the March set  but then they would all end up with Nags on the gallop, so hardly giving the semblence of being "on the march".
Fortunately  I´ve got a Tonnage of spare nags, so I can choose some more suitable poses, not so fortunate if you haven´t.  

Apart from the nag Problem, it´s a great set. Very little flash and as far as I can find out, historically accurate, they´ve even got some of the bods with the classic norman soldiers haircut.
I´d have liked to see more female poses but 4  (even if one seems to be being mistreated) is a decent number compared with other sets.
The Party revellers

Bringing home the Bacon Doe
As with a lot of pairs carrying something over thier shoulders..they are out of step which, if you´ve ever tried difficult to do for any length of time.
Exactly what the cook is doing with the big fish I can´t tell but...........
...maybe he´s handing it over..which explains the soldiers pose.

The bod on the far right is playing  a fiddle or lira/Vielle, or more likely a Rebec
The face. It reminds me of a 1960´s -70´s british actor..I think he played a Police inspector or detective in a series but who was it??
The mounted poses
As mentioned, I´ve swopped the nags for others, in this case from other Strelets sets, Italeri and HäT

Side saddle in a different style

The Hunting bird? It, like the rest of the Menagerie in the set, is big. Exactly what it is, no idea. After looking through any available data like the de arte venandi cum avibus or the  Boke of Seynt Albans , (the latter , which was  Published much later than the norman period, it does have a section on Hawking.) I found nothing approaching the size of the bird on his arm,  so I went for a Basic "Looks hawkish enough for me" paintjob.

Wild boar and hunters
I removed the chunk of  pike from the boars left flank, it just didn´t look right somehow.
At PSR they mention the almost vertical angle of the crossbow but with a bit of hot water Treatment and twisting, it aligns to a slightly more realistic angle.

Wild? Seeing as it´s being chased I assume it´s not just wild but  totally furious!!!

Why has he got an empty scabbard and sword belt hung around his neck? I remember reading somewher that the Franks considered the sword belt with it´s buckles and scabbard as a symbol of potency and to loose it was a profound disgrace,  so maybe the hanging it around his neck is something along those lines (?)
Anyway, the rope noose Needs twisting to get it at the right angle but it fits tightly so painting the prisoners face after Fitting is a good idea..I didn´t and had to re-touch the paintjob.

The females.

The one in the middle is playing a harp

How to paint up the Dogs? Digging about and reading loads of (often contradicted) articles on what the Norman war Dogs looked like, I ended up more confused than I started.  I found  a wide range of breed names like the  Alaunt de Boucherie (Butchers Alaunt),  Molossus, Agassian, Mastin, Alano, and Lebrel.
There were a couple which had nice colour schemes like the Dogue de Bordeaux or the English Mastiff  but the  earliest record for the Dogue de Bordeaux Comes from the 14th Cent and the English Mastiff is more than likely a decendant from the Alaunt line.
Most likely is the  Alaunt de Boucherie. Seeing as it´s an extinct breed and the coat colour is disputed, one of the Alaunt types, the Alaunt Gentil, is generally White but Looks like a´s  got a  dolichocephalic skull (narrow at base, long in length) as opposed to the Mastiff look which is brachycephalic (wide in base, but short in length), I went for the representation on the box art.
Dolichocephalic? Brachycephalic? I only found These words, along with mesaticephalic (it means moderate headed btw) when lookinmg up the various dog breed. The things you learn from painting up Little lumps of plastic !

I removed the straps from the Dogs, they didn´t really line up anyway,  and replaced them with (even if slightly out of scale) jewellry chains.

The Dogs, even for fighting Dogs, are BIG! Too big really but apart from  a couple of Fighting Dogs from various Valdemar sets or the Revell Conquistadors,  there aren´t many others..and they vary in size too much.
Pity really,  as a lot of armies, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and conquistadores   (to Name  a few) have used fighting Dogs in their ranks. If I were Strelets (or any other manufacturer) I would make a set of fighting Dogs, Mastifs, Wolfhounds etc.
Imagine, how would a large pack of Fighting Dogs look like in a wargame ? How would they be used?

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Fratres militiæ Christi Livoniae

A small Batch of Fratres militiæ Christi Livoniae (Livonian Brothers of the Sword) to add to the Teutonic 1329 dio. . They haven´t had the Emblems added on the nags caparisons as Dirk will add them later like he´s done with his Livonians HERE.

They fit into the dio as they  were incorporated into the Teutonic order in 1237 and became known as the Livonian Order.They continued to act as an independant  branch of the Teutonic Order, headed by their own Master (himself de jure subject to the Teutonic Order's Grand Master).

The First lead pile is nearly completed*.
All the mounted Kniggit** and thier aides.
Total; 24 nags, two of which are riderless, and 7 bods on foot.(Number 8  snook off and hid )
Apologies for the camera seems to have developed some sort of "blur" effect (?)

*   What´s left? 4 Oxen, a bod and his mule collecting Wood and a few more seated kniggits ** and There´s two more  mounted kniggits in resin to be painted.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Another batch of Teutonics

Not the last of the bods, but nearly the last of the mounted kiggithood and nearing the end of the first lead pile..
I particually like the middle "reaching under his reins for his sword"  pose

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Medieval Guards on Duty

4 sets of Valdemar-Miniatures: VA127 "Medieval guards on duty" for the 1329 dio. 
The should be 18 but one (the one on the far right on the pic below ) lost his Hand during Drilling and it pinged off into the never never land

The 6 bod poses thake make up each set

There´s not a lot of scope for alterations apart from adding different weapons. The bod on the left I twisted his arm so the spear is Held upright rather than over his shoulder.