After a mad couple of weeks finishing issue 9 of Battlegames (currently at the printers — see the main site for details), I feel ready for yet another change to keep me sane and make me feel as though my personal wargaming targets are being achieved. That may sound like Olleyspeak, but the fact is that I have come to realise that his methods are really quite effective, and as someone who is by nature deadline-driven anyway, I might as well resign myself to the fact that I need to plan and organise my wargaming projects with something like his level of military precision.
I can’t necessarily commit to a certain number of painting points per month — my life is way too unpredictable for that — but I can plan ahead and visualise certain projects bearing fruit within a reasonable timescale, and one of these is the Warmaster Ancients collection that I have been promising myself for some time.
I’m shocked to discover that it was back in March that I first posted pictures of those lovely Baccus 6mm hoplites, fresh out of their box, all shiny, new and densely-packed. So, the first thing I needed to do this evening was just spend a little time re-familiarising myself both with the figures and with the rules, which I also haven’t picked up in months.
So, tonight I spent a very pleasant 90 minutes or so skimming through the rulebook (made all the more interesting as a result of having spent some time with Rick Priestley at GW headquarters during a recent visit) and sorting out all those figures again. Greeks first, I decided, and so out came the big file that I use for the underside of figure bases, and the small clippers for taking off the few tiny tags of metal that were, to be honest, the only blemishes on the figures I could find. For example, the command strips appeared to have a ‘fifth leg’ running from the belly of the horses to the bases, and the bows on the archers were connected to the bases by another wee sliver, but all these came off neatly and easily.
I must say that I’m really impressed with the Baccus castings. There appears to be no flash whatsoever, the detail is crisp, the figures themselves are extremely well-proportioned (rather better than some recent additions to their ranges, in my opinion), and I find myself looking forward to getting paint onto that bare metal.
Anyway, I got all the cavalry and light troops done tonight, and just one base-worth of eight strips of hoplites (32 figures). Oh, yes, in case you’d forgotten, each of my hoplite units will be 96 figures strong.
Right, time for bed now, but if you want some inkling of how things might look when I’m done, I came across a very nice article in Wargames Soldiers and Strategy issue 21 about Greek armies, and some of the photos alongside feature some lovely big Baccus units of Greeks and Persians that have the kind of look I’m aiming for.
Of course, I’ll be back soon with photos, as I want to document the painting and basing process, to aid my own memory in the future as well as to inform you. I think I’m going to use a white undercoat for a change, followed by a thinned black wash to shade and bring out the detail in one fell swoop. I think that working from a solid black undercoat at this scale may just bring about the end for my eyesight! I have also bought a mass of shield transfers from Pete Berry for these fellas, another potentially blinding task that, at this scale, can be done very effectively using modern aids.