As promised, here are group vignettes of my Wargames Foundry “Mountain of the Moon Collection,” purchased about 20 years ago and only recently more-or-less completed.
The painting is passable at best, and the lighting was horrid, but I just wanted to create a record of the accomplishment. This band of souls intimidated me for about 18 years, with only a handful painted (Tarzan and Jane were two of the first, of all things). I’ve steadily knocked out the rest over the past two years.
Some of them got their eyes retroactively, as I’ve only felt comfortable painting them in the last couple years. As I notice on “the big screen,” it is clear I occasionally rushed. I’m still not 100% convinced that 28mm figures need eyes, but so many painters do it so well, I feel compelled to try.
Well, not exactly, but ’round about. Aflame with inspiration from The Major General Tremorden Rederring, I fired up my internet machine and sent off to the Wargames Foundry in Old Blighty for The Mountains of the Moon Collection. In 2000, it set me back the princely sum of $125 US, shipped gratis.
It has taken me, lo these 20 years to get them all painted. I’ll share vignettes of each group presently, though the painting hardly merits it. I’ve written previously how some miniatures — these in particular — intimidated me. John Hanning Speke’s checked shirt alone seemed beyond my meager skills.
Plodding along, mostly during the past year, and mostly pre-“sheltering in place,” I completed the set. Checking the Foundry website, it seems they no longer sell these collections — just the individual groups of 7 or 8 figures. And they’ve changed some of the names of the groups. Apparently, even 20 years ago they had regrouped them, as I received the extra figures as well.
We’ll return to them later; for next post I have some Big News!
About 1,000,000 years ago, in a beloved but now defunct chain hobby store called Hungates, I purchased two small boxes with plastic scale models in them. Unlike the semi trucks, 1950’s hot rods in 1:25, or WWII ship models I had ham-fistedly assembled as a child, these were early 20th century automobiles, roughly in scale with 28mm miniatures.
Glencoe Models still exists and these kits are listed. (I can’t find a direct explanation of how one might order them — there is a physical address to write to, and more of this modern age, an email address. So I imagine if one worked at it, he, too, could acquire these kits).
I completed the Pierce-Arrow and Stanley Steamer several years ago, photographing them with the intention to blog, but not following through, apparently. These models embody the term “fiddly” and I was intimidated by the other two for years.
It would seem I have become more adept and confident, and thus these two have finally rolled of the production line.
And so, I can move my Glencoe Models automobiles to the “complete” column. All due to the fact that I no longer have to use my own automobile for a daily commute.
An undisciplined approach to painting finds me swirling like an indiscriminate cyclone through the lead pile, whisking up whatever figure catches my eye. One hour of painting might involve a 54mm Napoleonic imagination figure, then to 28mm Darkest Africa, and finally landing in 6mm post-apocalyptic. As such, none of my myriad projects ever creep that much closer to completion. Well, owing no doubt to it being petite, I can finally say I have finished something!
Back in the days of 2017, I backed a little Kickstarter for a new miniatures game called Street Wars NYC by Funky Skull Games. I was lured in, I think, mostly by the terrain set-ups they created for advertising (using commercially available buildings, I believe).
For £60, I got the rules in paperback and two eight-member gangs in 28mm, and one free figure. I seem to recall they delivered more or less on time in 2018. And the newly-cast fellows promptly joined the long line of figures awaiting paint.
One sticking point was that they had that “tang” on the bottom for slot-bases, which I don’t do. I excruciatingly-excised those last year and epoxied the gents to washers. Towards the front of the line, but still in line.
Motivated by the fact that I really could finish something, they left to the painting desk. I did the motley bunch called the Devil’s Outcasts first, more or less following the colors feature in the rulebook. The trickiest bit for me was the biker fellow with pickelhaube, on whose vest I applied a decal of a Hell’s Angels logo. I won’t show you as it didn’t turn out that well…
Looking more closely at the Kickstarter page, I see the colors for these chaps were intended to be blue and yellow; I read it as purple in the literature and was initially put off. I was going to change it, but then realized it had a Minnesota Vikings vibe (my favorite American football team, owing to the circumstances of my birth), and I was all-in. I envisioned a Street Wars Twin Cities-type deal.
I have the beginnings of an urban set-up, mostly Matakishi-inspired cork buildings reinforced with some more recent mdf acquisitions. I suppose I should reward these fellows by letting them have at it…
Paint has dried on the first Zafrarian infantryman and thus he is ready for service.
I had returned to Battledress for inspiration. I believe these two fellows may have risen to the top:
An infantryman from Wurttemberg…
… and a grenadier from the Kingdom of Bavaria.
I went for a lighter jacket, a bit horizon blue-ish.
And smart, black patent leather kit with bright gold accents. I painted over the front cross strap (you can see in the picture on top) as I wanted more blue to show. Looking at him now, I think I painted the epaulette on his right shoulder incorrectly. I’ll need to fix that …
As promised, here are the first two Zafrarian troops, painted. Also as promised, it is a bit of a cheat.
Through the process of an apparent convergent evolution, the troop type “Zouave” arose separately both in Algeria in 1831 (according to Wikipedia) and in a distant, little travelled corner of the ocean on the island of Ascaria.
The more prosaic explanation is that among the bags in my Christmas Haul were two zouaves, and I am determined to use as many of these random fellows as possible. Camels are going to be indigenous to Ascaria, as Armies in Plastic gave me any number of those.
The free-association words I came up with for Zafraria were “heterodox, effective, alloy, agglutinative.” One difference from Ascodal and historical Napoleonic troops is that the Zafrarian army comprises soldiers of several races. The capital city is Fora, written “????;” other cities include Pruih Frain, Ushtar, Nochia, Achal, and Aiqozoth. (These were randomly generated and I suspect contain some tricky sounds to represent with Cyrillic…)
And finally, the flag:
This is the Zafrarian national flag. The red “crescent” actually represents the sun, refusing to be concealed by the smaller (implied) white moon. The flag commemorates a myth from the Zafrarian past.
This is the battle flag. Being mostly white, it makes a significant statement, as the standard bearer commits to keeping the colors spotless throughout the battle.
I went back to the Napoleonic section of Battledress for inspiration for the Zafrarian infantry. Until next time …
Even before the recent “sheltering in place,” I seem to have gone on a bit of a painting jag — the term is, apparently, an Americanism: “a bout of unrestrained activity or emotion, especially drinking, crying, or laughing.” There is no rhyme or reason, just a gentle swirl through the unpainted masses. In the spirit of sharing, we have:
This fellow was a gift from him creator, Thomas Foss. I’ve noticed that his Skull and Crown web store is unavailable; hopefully indicative of a big relaunch. I’ve been hoping more of these fellows to become available.
Let us stay with the big boys. These are the first five Franco-Prussian War Prussians. They are to serve as stock villains for my Isla Victoria VSF setting.
Next up, my current “new shiny object.” When I acquired my Vintage Christmas Haul of Armies in Plastic 54s, one benefit of buying in bulk (in addition to free shipping) was the extra bags of random miniatures. I had long thought that I would press some of these lads into service in an Imagi-Nation. That plan has been set into motion.
Picked from the fellows in the bags plus an additional bag of random AIP Napoleonics I purchased, I have the first unit of Ascodali infantry. I’ll do a subsequent post on what I’m dreaming up.
Now we’ll move on to smaller souls. I’ll note at the outset that my painting style (block colors with a wash) and my not-so-matte sealer make the minis appear a bit blotchy here on the silver screen. They look better— to my eyes, at least — in person.
Here are four adventurous ladies from Wargames Foundry’s Darkest Africa collection. I accidentally captured an appropriate mania in the missionary lass at left.
I tried to create a little vignette for this lone, piratical captive. (Old Glory). Would have been better if I put a little ship in the background, I suppose.
Here is a pulp-era Dame or Gun Moll, I suppose, looking quite blotchy. This was my second attempt at sheer fabric (her stockings) which look terrible in the photo and not much better in the flesh [sigh].
When I began painting this chap years ago, I didn’t understand who he was supposed to be. As often, it was likely Maestro Chris Palmer who informed me Reaper intends him to be “a hougan.” I’ve since become better acquainted with the Reaper Figure Finder for positive IDs.
Last historical stop, the Old West. A couple of entrepreneurs in dispute with a cow herder. No doubt, just a misunderstanding. (Foundry Old West figures).
On to the world of fantasy. The leader of my orc army along with a chariot, as yet un-crewed.
Some villagers (Reaper Bones) …
… and an elf, maybe? As I got into the color scheme, I imagined her as a fantasy Bridezilla. Perhaps adventurers will interrupt her nuptials and invoke her wrath …
This one is meant to be a paladin, I think. With my color choices, I asked: what would happen if the god she followed wasn’t obsessed with purity evinced by chastity? Hence, a “Hot Paladin.”
I don’t know if GW does any female dwarf characters at all. I imagined this young lady as a “Slayer-in-training.” Hence, not yet nude (a shirt skirt and training bra-type-thing you can’t see here) and just a bit of the orange dye in her hair.
This fellow has a silly, Peter Mullen-ish over the topness that appeals to me. I tried — and failed — to paint mystical swirlings on the crystal ball. Looks like a bad globe [sign, again].
The final two were “hate painting,” really, just to get them out of the queue. I recall that Chris Palmer didn’t like this lass when he painted her, either. She’s clearly running away from something — something BIG as she seems to be looking backwards and upwards. I’m hoping it’s whoever sold her that outfit …
Finally, Reaper’s “Mr. Bones.” I don’t get what this guy even is. Skull face, which Chris Palmer refers to as “a mask,” which, I guess, it is, as he has regular hands and feet. Who is he? What is he doing? WTF? I have the next-year’s-model on the desk now. At least he has boney hands and feet as well.
Fairly recent eBay sleuthing resulted in two pertinent finds, which I instantly acquired:
This Goblin Regiment was new, still in shrink-wrap, at a somewhat reasonable price.
The flanking fellows are — now that I think of it —my first, and so far only, metal GW minis. They were billed as Forest Goblin Standard Bearers. Anyhow, goofy and fun to paint. I imagine that my forest goblins catch and dismember colorful toucan-type birds, hence the brightly colored feathers.
The fellow in the middle comes from Shieldwolf Miniatures. I picked up a couple boxes of infantry (enough to make 50 goblins), a hero, master archer, and a master spearman. I’m looking to raise small armies of each goblin faction that I might hold a Gob Off, per the Hoodling’s Hole.