Monday, December 21, 2015

Gifts for My Girls

Okay, this has nothing to do with wagames or history BUT it has to do with figures. My daughters are not with me this Christmas but when they open their combined mystery parcel they will find their own copy of Zombicide. We played one evening with friends and they loved it - as did I.
So I bought a few character figures on-line from other miniature manufacturers and developed their own characters for the game.
The image for one of my Daughter's character Bella-Tricks which I used to create both the first poster-shot image and the above Survivor Card for the game is taken from one of my macro-shots from the figure itself, cunningly Photoshopped (it took me ages). I wanted to give them a very personal Christmas present which was unique and something with which I could value add.
The poster-shots I have a mind to have made into corresponding t-shirts. I just love both of them and the young woman blowing the bubble-gum whilst rollerblading and sporting a sniper's rifle just screamed Zombicide to me.
Anyone familiar with the game will know about the Survivor Card play-sheets and I tailored the best choices from the attribute lists which, together with a blank Survivor Card I was able to download. It is an extremely well supported customizable game with a growing following. Hard Charlotte as with the other character are avatars based on the girls names: all very roller-derby.
I just hope they like them. They won't be getting the figures and supporting presentation box and Survivor Cards until after the new year to accompany the game itself. Fingers crossed. 


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Dutch Napoleonic Command: Representation & Basing

Divisional Command stand: Lt. Gen. Perponcher-Sedlnitzky (left), Staff Officer (centre) with two Guides.
One of the many aspects to wargaming using Black Powder rules is the emphasis on the importance of command and control. Not merely decorative and having far more effect than a bonus factor on melee or a morale role, command is integral to how Black Powder games evolve. In turn, this re-emphasizes my attention to my command figures and has encouraged in me the pursuit of the story-telling vignette.

I have decided for my 100 days campaign armies that my brigadiers will be based with up to three figures to their base and to accommodate this I reckon on a standard 60x60mm base. My Divisional Command will require four figures on an 80x80mm base and my Corps Command will be on a mighty 100mm square base with five figures. I intent to build a French infantry brigade at some juncture and I'm thinking of having an individual figure on a Command base 40x40mm (or perhaps 50) for a regimental commander with more than a single battalion.
The first three images are for Divisional Commander Lieutenant General Baron Henri-Georges Perponcher-Sedlnitzky, who commanded the 2nd Netherlands division at Quatre Bras and Waterloo and for whom I have several units built and on the way. All figures are Perry Miniatures. The bases look far more rugged than they do to the naked eye and attempts to represent the edge of a rye crop where fallow ground meets cultivation. There's a lot going on at ground level - several tones of brown, earth, mouse litter, a black wash and some gloss varnish for tell-tale signs of rainfall. I have labelled the identity of he commander as well as the level of command.

My second command stand pictures are those representing Major General WF Graaf van Bijlandt (1st Brigade, 2nd Netherlands Div.). He is a Perry Miniatures figure mounted on a spare Perry British hussar plastic horse. It represents a spare officers mount given up to the General by an officer of the Dutch 6th Hussars (note the black sheepskin shabraque and red vandykes if you can). I have him charging through shoulder height rye leading or rallying two Dutch militiamen back into the fray on the field at Quatre Bras.
I always glue my figures down first before detailing the bases including any tall grasses. I'm having a re-think on this as in this instance it may have proven better to trace around the bases for location but fixed them after installing the grass.
An issue with creating this vignette is the challenge of being prepared to mask all that painting detail with scenic effects when all you want to do is allow all that fine work to remain on display. Well, not this time and I always had a very clear idea and plan of how I wanted this to look so I stuck to it.
I think (or hope) it clearly demonstrates the obscuring effect of the cropland in the 100 Days campaign for the infantry on the ground and the relative advantage of the horseman. The two Dutch militiamen are from the fabulous Elite Miniatures Napoleonics range which I will always go to - especially for large foot units.
These shots were all taken very late afternoon under a fading Canberra sun using a macro lens on manual setting with the flash disabled. They have been cropped and the brightness slightly enhanced with Photoshop.  In my ongoing obsession with Waterloo, I have commenced the next units - Prince Bernard command stand and two units of skirmishers.