Sunday, November 14, 2010

Schools out for summer!

Well, I've officially finished my first year of uni! The assessment period was pretty intense, but I've managed to get through it. Now just to wait for my marks!
Needless to say, with all this crazy uni business, I've not had a lot of time for painting, but as I'm not going back to study until the end of February, I've got a little time to catch up. :)

These guys are the first of two bases of Franks i need for my Basic Impetus Patrician Roman army. The figures are from gripping beast, and while i would have liked to include a few helmeted figures, I'm actually really happy with them. I've gone for colourful-yet-dirty look for the tunics, as the sources are universal in disparaging the barbarians for their ostentatious dress, which was generally seen by the restrained Romans as effeminate. The shields patterns are from LBMS.

So, I've only got two more bases to complete this army! Very scary indeed. At the moment I'm about 80% of the way through a commission of Late Romans, so might post some pictures of them when I'm done. It's a 12 man unit from the Primani legion. After that, i'll be finishing off the last two bases, another lot of GB Franks and some of the fantastic Goth cavalry by Bill over at Musketeer miniatures.

What with all this spare time, while I'll mostly be busy with commission work, I've also decided to set myself a new project to stop myself going mad. Back in 2008, i spent a few months travelling around Europe with my girlfriend Laura. We spent a bit over two weeks camping in Normandy. Besides enjoying he fantastic food and great cider, we visited quite a few historical sites. By the end of the two weeks, my very patient girl was, shall we say, a little over bunkers. Still, i made it up to her by a few days in Saumur in the Loire valley.

Anyway, perhaps the most captivating and emotive place I visited was Sword Beach, particularly Hillman battery, located just inland above Colleville-Montgomery. I've always wanted to do some kind of project based around the landings on Sword, originally in 28mm.

Well, inspired by TSM's great Sword-related terrain over on the Guild and the SD forums, i've sold off all of my 28mm WWII figures, and am diving into 1/72, or 20mm WWII. I've dug out my copy of the Too Fat Lardies 'I Ain't Been Shot Mum' company level rules, and have decided that i'll base my project around these, as i really like the 'big man' philosophy of Rich's rules. I bought IABSM a year or so ago for a WWII Hungarian project that's still at least partly in the lead mountain.

So, my initial plan for Sword is to do up some terrain based around capitaine de corvette Phillipe Kieffer's Free-French commando attack on Ouistreham, specifically the Ouistreham casino and the huge Observation Bunker. I visited the Observation bunker, which is now a great little museum about the Atlantic wall. The bunker itself is a very imposing structure, and provides a great view Sword beach from the top. I've included a few pics i took of the bunker below. In the one of the view from the top, the modern casino is the blue roof in the centre of frame. Over on the french language Blitzkrieg forums, I've found a very inspiring 20mm Ouistreham casino by Captain Yaputo. As was the case on D-Day, despite 'the Longest Day' and a fair few premade scenery items, Yaputo has modelled the bunker with the casino building demolished and with the AT ditch and fence. I'm going to use this for inspiration.

As far as forces go, I'm initially looking at painting up a Commando Troop of around 60 figures, and a couple of opposing German platoons. Being 20mm and WWII, they'll take a lot less time than intricately detailed 28mm Late Romans!

While AB make the figures I need and look fantastic, my crappy student income means that the majority of my troops will be coming from Britannia, possibly with Battlefield commandos. I do really like Britannia figures though, and some of the guys over on the Guild forums have shown just what can be done with these figures.

Anyway, enjoy the pics of the Franks, and i'll endeavor to have some pics of the Primani up early next week.