February March Update

Well for offical blog updates its been a little while coming. With the beginning of the new Uni semester painting will slow down a little as I balance work, family and reading allot of stuff.  However painting and hobby really is how  I make a break from all things so it never really goes away.

The last few months has seen some solid progress.  I have rebased all existing legionaries to 80x 60mm bases with ten models on each.  This was as much for functional game reasons as it was pragmatic considering  the size of the project.  I also finished my First Cavalry unit and I am working on my second as I write this.

On the side I have also been pulling together a collection of GW Lord of the Rings Models,  Orcs and Dwarves.  Slowly over an extended period of time I will paint them up for some fantasy Hail Caeser as well as Dragon Rampant.  It’s surprising with a little effort how much you can amass from eBay and Buy Swap sell sites.  I also sold my 40k Grey Knight army.  Only collection left now is the space wolves which I will never sell and have much to do on when the time and motivation comes.

 

On another note I have been toying with the idea of writing a few proper articles on the republican roman army – flexing my academic muscle so to speak. I intend to start writing about history a bit more. Having spent a few years now studying it and getting improved feedback on my writing style so I may take the first step with one or two articles going over the Romans – safe ground as many have done it before but take my view on the research to date and what those interpretations mean for the current view of the middle republican roman army.

It won’t be to soon in the future as I have some serious work to do on assignments due but I think its a small start.

Anyway as always keep an eye out for the Facebook updates and Ill post here again around March April with new unit updates.

 

Cheers

JP

The best laid plans of mice and me often go awry

To say its been a while since I posted on this blog is an understatement.  The last post was somewhere back in July.  Despite keeping a regular update on my Facebook feed, the ability to set some time aside to write a blog entry has not come up as often as I would like.  In the middle of this year I went back to University after taking a 12 month break when my Daughter was born.  That, work and family has dominated my time.  Finding time to paint and then quickly use my phone to post pictures or put up the occasional completed unit on my lead adventure thread has been as far as I got.

Those grand plans to put up painting tutorials etc. have fallen by the wayside in the change and honestly on reflection there is nothing new to be learned from my approach that could not be gleaned from the tutorials that exist out there.  What I think I will do in the new year is promote those tutorials and comment on which elements gave me direction in my painting style.  I think Ill try for one Blog post a month and use Facebook to do the smaller in between updates.

As to the Republican Romans – the project is progressing at a nice pace.  I have now in this year painted 10 units.  Three Triarii (two roman one allied), Three Princepe (Two roman and one allied) two Hastati and 2 units of Velites.  Plus a command stand.  All up 110 Miniatures.  For the year I calculated that I have painted roughly 166 models all together.  Which all things considered is a solid output.  The previous year I painted 200+ but there was no small person to divert my time.

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2017 will be an interesting year hobby wise –  I hope to push on with the romans and aim to reach critical mass of infantry and cavalry by the 3rd quarter of the year.  I also want to paint some Celts as well as some Seven Years War Russians.  If in only achieve the roman army as the result I will be very happy.

 

Anyway I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

 

All the best

 

Jon-Paul

Painting a Republican Roman Army 1

With the review and nearly finishing the 2nd unit I was reflecting on how I want to record the development of the collection. I thought about just doing what I always do and put up posts with pictures of completed units, however, I already do that on forums and Facebook.

Part of the reason I restarted the blog and moved it was so that this time it was more than just a series of photo’s.  Late last year I wanted to begin writing about my hobby and my experience in it and share for those who read it (all one of you) the way I go about planning, building and painting my collections.

So with that in mind, I’m going to start with the Romans, I am sure I’ll do this for the other future collections but this is the flavor of the year so where better to start.

Continue reading “Painting a Republican Roman Army 1”

Triarii Unit and Review of Victrix Republican Roman Kits.

As those who follow the blog know that this month I began the dream of building a Roman army, more specifically a Republican Roman army.  6 months earlier I purchased a bulk lot of Victrix Republican Romans from war and peace games in Sydney as well as a few Aventine Miniatures to complement them.   I place these at the bottom of my workstation and there they sat while I busied myself with getting the Ancient greeks ready for Cancon.   2016-03-13 23.25.03

Cancon has come and past and with my plan this year to alternate between Ancient Greeks and Romans (of different periods) I was able to this month begin the Republican Roman project.  Victrix have had their box sets for Romans out for month’s even years before I came round to them and completing my first product review on an already established product might seem odd, I think it’s a safe place to begin.  My plan is with any product review that I complete in the future will be to paint the product first and then write the review.  I personally don’t feel its enough to just look at the sprue’s and pass judgement, I think as an amateur painter I should also see how the models perform under the brush.

Victrix I feel has come a long way since the early days with their Napoleonic box sets of British.  I grabbed a few boxes of those in the early onset and found the sets frustrating to piece together and also difficult to resolve figure positions within units.  The pictures on the front looked great but the parts and bits all made it annoying.  I’m not the greatest model builder yet my experience with GW kits I think had given me some grounding in how to go about building model soldiers,  however these kits presented far too many moving parts in my opinion.

That being said I think Victrix have come leaps and bounds, as you can see in the blog, on facebook as well on the  Lead Adventure Thread   I keep that I have really enjoyed messing around with the Ancient Greek Plastic Kits.  Either using them on their own or as I have started to do in general combine them with relevant metal ranges that compliment them and also expand variation.

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When I opened up the first Box of Romans I picked the Chainmail Set.  Building two units of Grizzeled Veterans of Triarii to form the backbone of my first legion.  The set much like all the box sets is comprised of multiples of 2 spures.  One is the command and velites spure, which has a range of extra legs for officers and musicians as well two different officer heads with different heads, one a plume and the other an array of feathers.

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The Other is the main sprue for the troops, options for creating triarii with long spear as well as Pilum and also javelins along with the Scutum and the soldiers as well.

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The poeses are all very static and compared with the later Iberian infantry and even the Carthangian infantry that is slightly frustrating from a modeling point of view, yet there is a wealth of subtle variation in each model.  Differences exist in the mail shirt, belts around the waist as well as the scabbards of the gladius.  When you combine that with the variation in heads as well as in the arm positions, even with the relative static poses of the models there is a wealth of difference in the models.

 

When you sit down to put the models together then you have a range of options and then if you also purchase one of each of the other box sets eg Italian Allies and the Romans in bronze pectoral armour you again expand the range of options available to you.  The models are really easy in my opinion to put together and even when you have to cut and replace legs and arms to form an officer and musician, given the soft plastic this is easy to do.

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What I like most about these models vs the Greek Hoplite sets is addition of a small ring on the back of the scutum to allow a better contact between the hand and the shield which I think is a very smart technical addition that solves an irritation I have with the Hoplite kits.

When it came to the painting part, I really think this is where Victrix Shines and is also one of the leaders in the plastic models game for the historical market.  The sculpting and detail on the faces, the definition of elements such as arms, legs, knees  and feet as well as equipment makes painting great and allows for some  very detailed brush work.  I think personally this makes the process of putting together the army fun.

 

 

 

I have a few gripes however and the first is already mentioned that of the posing of the models.  I would really like a little more movement in the models.  Additionally, I would  like some detail on the back of the shields, either a faint wood grain, as is it’s just a plain surface and I think that detracts a little from the brilliant detail already in play in other area’s of the model. Further, aside from the  the lack of detail on the shields, is the niggle about the moulded sword. When putting together my second unit I found that as I wanted them all with their swords unsheathed, I had to cut away the pommel and handle.  Unlike the Greek kit where the swords where seperate and could be glued on and modified.

The range also as per my previous experiments the capcity to be blended with other metal ranges to overcome some of my gripes and in this case I used two Aventine Minitatures as the officers and I personally think it worked brilliantly.  I have also ordered some more Aventine as well as Foundry to work into the collection overtime.

So in the final analysis I think the product (all 3 Kit variations) is an 8/10, great detail, simple and easy to put together and while there are a few niggles from my perspective I really like what the range brings to building large armies economically compared to all metal ranges.

 

 

 

 

 

The Dark Ages – Vikings, Saxons, Late Romans and the Age of Arthur.

This year my painting plan has fallen into roughly 6 projects.  Ancient Greeks, Late Roman/Age of Arthur, Vikings and Saxons, War of the Roses and Republican Romans…… Yeah that’s allot but I’m a wargamer , any less and I’m not being a real gamer 🙂

About three years back my amazing wife bought me two Foundry Collections, Vikings and Saxons. It was a period I had often talked about doing and I love reading the Saga’s and generally will default to reading about generally two periods of History and the Dark Ages is one of them.

Over the last two years I have chipped away at the Project, adding a unit here and there slowly adding to the collections and giving me time to think about what the next item will be.

It’s  a long Haul project that benefits from the great work that keeps being done by sculptors from companies like Shieldwall, and Footsore miniatures.  This year I hope to be able to add a few more units and continue to grow the collection. This though I also begin work on a late roman army that will also cover the Arthurian Period.  I have a soft spot for the Later Roman Empire as it didn’t have the advantages of its earlier versions and fought some very hard battles to hold onto its empire.

For Inspiration as a Gamer there is always allot of books and research that you can do, Ospreys are a good start as well as just about any Historical Non-Fiction book on the period will offer you insights into the period. However if you can source them (usually via Ebay)  the War-hammer Ancient Battles Source-books are still a good synthesis of history, gaming and great collections of miniatures to inspire imagination. I have to say they are some of the best war-gaming supplements out there. Well researched, brilliantly presented with great figure collections, illustrations and scenario’s. It is a shame that Games Workshop killed the franchise, however if can get a hold of the books they are worth the money spent and are a valuable addition to any wargamers library, I would say they will end up there with Featherson books eventually.2016-01-28 16.48.50

This year as mentioned I am starting a Late roman Army and the first place I went was the Age of Arthur Source book as it was a great primer for diving into the period and gave me an idea of what to think about and consider when building a late roman army of the mid 5th century that can also play the part of a Romano-British Force as well.

So this Year I hope to have a small contingent painted up of Late Romans/ Romano Brits.

On the Greek Army front – Progress is slow but steady on the Spartan Unit- I Have about 4 more models to paint and thanks to a a good Friend my Officers also have cloaks !  I hope to have the 1st Unit finished by the close of the month and then I need to think about what I want to paint next. 2016-02-21 19.36.32

 

 

 

 

 

Aincent Greeks.

Over the last 13 months I have focused on building an Ancient Greek Army. It originally started out as just a small contingent of four units for the large participation game my Club puts on at Cancon every year.  However, I really enjoyed painting these models and well, it just kept growing.  Right now the plan is over the coming years to flesh it out to two Hoplite armies that roughly representing the forces at the Battle of Second Coronea.

Continue reading “Aincent Greeks.”

New Home for The 5th Column

Here is the new home for the 5th Column.  After a while in the mists of time lost and unloved I have decided it’s time to refresh the blog, give it a new home and start fresh with content. I chose WordPress as I can do allot more with it than blogger in my opinion and be able to create pages and load files to share. 

Hobby and gaming right now is I hope going to be more focused as our lives narrow down on raising our first child and work. For those who know I was studying but that has been put on hold and as such I want to make a better effort at contributing to the community of gamers and share my efforts. 

So keep an eye out for the first proper blog post in the coming week. 

Cheers JP