TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 98)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is again from Hasslefree and goes by the name of Dakota.  Originally I bought her to go with a zombie theme I had running around in my head but then I lost my way.  Just to many ideas right now which in some ways is a nice problem but on the downside I find myself losing focus.  I’ll put it down  to age.  In the end I settled for a quick and simple base job with an old rusty barrel hopefully conveying a bit of an industrial and post apocalyptic feel.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Time To Build An Army?

After much deliberation I have decided to do something I have never done before, I’m going to paint an army.  I’ve never been against the idea but I couldn’t settle on an historical period.  I had other concerns too.  Would I get bored?  What would I do with the army once complete?  How would I store it?  How would I display it?  In truth I don’t have the answers to all those questions but have decided to build one none the less and I’ll figure things out as I go along.

So what has changed my mind?  You may well ask.  The answer is several things.  Nostalgia, Table Top World, freehand painting and Ebay.

Nostalgia — some of you may recall from past posts that I have mentioned Britain’s Swoppet Cowboys and how they played a part in getting me into modelling and dioramas when I was a kid.  Well Britain’s also did Swoppet Knights but these were much more expensive (they sell for a small fortune on Ebay as collectors pieces these days) so I never had any.   As much as I loved the cowboys I would have loved a castle full of battling knights.  An army of cowboys isn’t really a thing but an army of knights is.

Table Top World – If you haven’t seen it they do an amazing Castle.  It costs a fortune, it’s huge and being modular can be made as big as you like.  How cool would that be?  In truth I will probably never find out because I have nowhere to put it but I am going with the Field of Dreams approach, “If you build it they will come”.  I’ll build the army first and see where I go from there.

Freehand – Heraldry provides a great opportunity for some freehand and I would like to see what I can do on that front from time to time.  There is also a great deal of freedom when it comes to the use of colours too.  I’m not sure I could ever paint a modern army, I think I would find it far to dull and repetitive.

Ebay – I see this as my escape clause.  If all else fails and I never finish the project or have no idea what to do with it when it’s done I can sell it.  In short what is there to lose?

Obviously you will have gathered my army will be one of Knights but it will also feature Archers, Levy’s, Crossbowmen, Spearmen and whatever else exists now and in future releases in the Footsore Barons War range.  Those of you who liked the knights I had previously done have a lot to answer for.  If you get bored with this project before I do you only have yourselves to blame!

So, does this signal the end of painting Knuckleduster Cowboys, Reaper, Hasslefree and other figures?  Not at all.  My army is just another project to dip into but one I am looking forward to doing.

I do however have one question for you and would welcome your wargaming thoughts.  How many figures would I need to paint and base before I could claim it’s an army?  In my head I have settled on a nice round figure of 100 but do I need more or less?

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Give Me Five

In keeping with the tone established above I thought I would select my top 5 films within the broadly speaking medieval genre.   Not quite so tough this week but for me all now essential viewing and research.  As usual in no particular order:

  1. Excalibur
  2. Kingdom of Heaven
  3. Braveheart
  4. King Arthur
  5. The Name of the Rose

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“She’s Got The Look” by Roxette.  There’s a lot to like about this track and video but I was particularly drawn in by the lyrics. 😉

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Keeping Faith”.  A thriller series set in Wales (that’s Wales the country just to be clear!).  Having binge watched series one and two I am now on to the final series.  Not the best of some of the great TV shows currently available but well worth a watch in my opinion.

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Remember …

Even if you are useless you can be used as a bad example.

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TIM

28 thoughts on “TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 98)

  1. Firstly, lovely mini mate – I always admire how you do denim, but that scratched up leather coat is the biz!! Second – wow! A TIM army!! I’m stoked for you mate! It’s a totally different aesthetic quality, but a very noble one. I would give you the following advice:
    1: Think in multiples of 12 minis per unit for regular troops, or 6 minis per unit for elites/mounted – this will allow you to use a system like Lions/Dragon Rampant should you ever take the field! (also easier to sell as a playable army I’ll wager!)
    2: For me, 4 units plus a commander & maybe some characters is kinda ball-park starting army. Say 12 archers, 12 men-at-arms, two lots of six mounted knights and a mounted leader type… Perfect starting army.
    3: Chuck in something special – why not add a baggage train? How about a canon or two? You could even have a fantasy element with a wizard or a Dragon!
    4: Have a story in mind & let that story guide you in growing & developing your army – make it a living, breathing thing.

    I’m so excited – I’m gonna drive down & teach you Dragon Rampant as soon as you’re up and running mate 😂

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Haha, yes a TIM army no less. For now I see at as a nice way of painting without adding to my storage headache. Also it will be a bit different and it is something I can dip into as and when if I fancy a break at some point. Appreciate points 1 to 4 and will very much take them on board as I start to get my head around just what I have embarked upon! As for a game … time will tell!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Great looking model TIM, reminds me of Alice from Resident Evil. A whole army sounds great, are you going to be painting purely historical, or will you be adding a fantasy element ? If you look at Braveheart you’ll see that there are lots of archers, and foot soldiers, but a lot less Knights, being that cannon fodder were easier to come by and you had to be of a certain standing to be a knight. As this is your army go with what you want to do, this should help maintain enthusiasm through the project.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cheers Dave, not familiar with Alice so will look her up but given Hasslefree’s practice for doing screen based figures I’m guessing you may well be right. As for my army I’m thinking just along historical lines for now but I’m more than flexible in my approach so that may well change pending how things take off. Appreciate the sound advice on the make up of foot soldiers versus knights. Although I know little about it I’m attracted to the heraldry so I’m leaning a little more towards doing more knights but that has more to do with the painting side of things as I think they will be more interesting. For now though it is all very fluid and with the Baron’s War range ever expanding I’m sure there will be twist and turns along the way. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Don’t forget that men at arms would often wear the livery of the Lord who mustered the army, so would allow some heraldry colours on them as well

        Liked by 2 people

      2. You also could the flag bearers that signal which unit is to go next, that was very well portrayed in Braveheart, which would allow a lot of freehand on the flags

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Brilliant painting and army idea! My first foray into anything miniature figures was GW’s WHFB and their Brettonians. For a 2000-point list I was running a command group (5 Knights), two Lances (5-7 knights each), a 10-man archer and 25-men at arms support foot soldiers. Throw in a Damsel for magic and 5-10 mounted squires for skirmishing, and that was about it. Fairly small model count, but heavy hitters! Not sure if that helps, but as Dave stated, foot where inexpensive and plentyful, so maybe a 2 or 3 to 1 ratio of foot to mounted

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Cheers Eric and yes that does help. For now it is just about painting and not having to think too much. Just being able to dip into and out of a project will suit me down to the ground as we move from spring to summer and out of lockdown. Further down the line I’m sure I will refine things at which point your comments will really come in handy. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. First of all, in case I forget to mention, great work on Dakota – an absolute master class in weathering and texture there.

    Secondly, very much looking forward to seeing you tackle an army. I’d say that I’m an army painter more than any other aspect of the hobby so this is definitely going to appeal to me. It’s a very different discipline to painting single figures but the aesthetic of a mass of themed models gathered together is one that can really look impressive.

    Here’s a few (probably obvious) thoughts. Keep in mind is the old adage “an army is never finished”. With single pieces (and here I’m thinking of everything from Dakota there all the way up the Wizard’s Tower) you’ll reach a point where the piece is basically done. You might go back and touch up some damage or tweak some detail you wish you’d done differently, or you might put it in a glass case and never touch it again, but either way when it’s finished, it’s finished (give or take). An army tends to grow organically – you may have painted all the things you originally set out to but then you have an idea, or spot a new model, and the whole thing continues to grow over time. An army becomes something that you live with, often for years, rather than a snapshot of something you were inspired to create at a certain point in life. I started my Orks over a decade ago now and I may not have added much in the last year or so but I’ve got a feeling they’re about to go on a recruitment drive…

    I wholeheartedly second Alex’s point above about having a story in mind. I don’t mean that you have to write out something the length of War and Peace, you probably don’t need to write it down at all, but having an idea of why the army has been gathered, who they are going to fight and why, who is in command etc really helps bring the project to life. I’ve seen how well you capture narrative with a diorama and in many ways an army should be the same. I enjoy naming all the character models in the army (so the General, his captains, etc – no need to think up the backstory of the drummer boy or the third peasant from the left, unless you really want to of course!). These things help breathe life into the project and help to maintain your enthusiasm – after all you’re not just painting up another unit of knights (when maybe you can’t be arsed), instead you’re drumming up more mounted support for Lord Whateverhisnameis, which he’s desperately going to need if he’s going to impress the King and hang onto his ancestral lands.

    Go with what inspires you! You’re not (I presume) painting this so you can play a game, but just to have fun with painting models. If you love painting heraldic knights and hate peasants then paint more knights. If you get inspired to make a model of the king’s tent then get it done! If you decide to spin off and do a diorama of your lord fighting a duel against his great rival and lifelong enemy then do it. Have fun with it!

    In terms of numbers I’m going to be really unhelpful and say than a collection of models becomes an army when it looks like one. It’s hard to put a number on it but I’d say 30 odd models is big enough to call an army, although more is always more of course. It’s more about having a variety of units – so 5 horsemen, 10 foot knights, 15 peasants and a lord looks more like an army than 40 peasants would.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Cheers mate and thanks for taking the time and trouble to submit such a comprehensive reply, much appreciated. To get me started I see it as a simple painting project but I can certainly envisage losing interest at some point (I get bored easily) unless I mentally at least expand the concept to story line etc. One thing is for sure there is plenty of scope to expand and I really need to give the matter a lot more thought. I totally buy into the concept that an army never finishes. Already Baron’s War has a third expansion coming out before long and I very much doubt that is the end of it. With figures like Robin Hood featuring too things could get very interesting. In my mind I have a diorama (more of a board really because the figures will be individually based) the size of a small planet. Unfortunatley I don’t live in a house the size of Jupiter to house a diorama the size of Pluto so I will need to reign things in just a tad. The main thing of course is to have fun and hopefully that is what it will prove to be. 🤗

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Nice mini! 🙂 And an army project no less! I’m not going to get entangled into army lists as they can be emotive subjects and seem to change as new research emerges (or new wargames rules), so just be happy with what you want to do! However, I’ve found that any historical armies I’ve done that are pre-20th century all seem to come out around the 100 figure mark as a maximum, so that seems like not a bad number to me! Usually allows for a reasonable amount of variation in an army. My 20th century armies all tend to be smaller in numbers of figures, but some have a reasonable amount of vehicles.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for that John and more sound advice to give proper consideration to. As a project it is very much in its infancy but it offers a new challenge and for now that ticks a big box. Where of course it leads to is another matter entirely and on that score I have no more idea than anyone else. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This will be a great thing to watch unfold.

    And as for numbers, maybe a dozen a side, pitch the goal as a skirmish level force, and do a kind of knightly “dirty dozen”, that way you have the freedom to pick the figures that inspire you, and as long as you give some unifying ribbons or even coloured surcoats, then they are a force. Sir John Hawkwood’s white company, knew who was on their side by wearing a shite sash on their arms, so the manner of this can be quite subtle…or hide the “side” as something in the way you base them.

    No matter how you do it, you’ve basically painted an apocalypse skirmish force in the last few months, all you need are the zombies, so my two cents, take the same approach.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lovely mini, I really like how you got the coat working looking so textured with it all still being 1 shade of brown.
    Also where did you get that barrel? And is it (or could it be) hollow, I’m asking as I’ve thinking about doing a diorama (no idea where that inspiration came from) but the focus point is a barrel and I can not find one at present.

    Now on to armies, firstly: this is great news your knights are great and I can not wait to see this project unfold!
    Secondly regarding forces, I often like them to grow “organically” that way they always look like a army regardless of size. So what I mean with this is start small but with a group that would work like that, i.e. a partol, so a low ranking officer/Nobel to lead it with troops that you see being on a patrol. Then when thats done expand it up a little to a small force to protect a village say, hence adding more troops and leaders. Untill its massive segie force with mulitple elements and battering rams and everything!

    Thirdly will you now get stressed with all the little things I do like making sure everyone has the same colour wood for spears as they would of come from the same tress, and all the bases need the exact same flock and all the other things I stresd on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers mate, glad you like the coat and mini. The barrel came from Crooked Dice, they do lots of nice small terrain pieces which add a nice touch. Here’s the link to the oil drums but do check out what else they do.
      https://crooked-dice.co.uk/product/oil-drums/
      Thanks for the tips on building an army. Over the next couple of days I’m going to digest the wisdom you and others have been kind enough to share and then take it from there. Of course it goes without saying that whatever I decide will change! 😉 As for the OCD element of it I share your pain. Oddly I am flexible on somethings but not on others. On the basing I can tell you now that every foot figure will be on 2mm thick 25mm circular base and the paints and texturing will be the same throughout! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Nice figure Dave ,well painted again especially the work on the forty four gallon drum!
    Its interesting that you mentioned Swoppet knights ,I googled them and found out that was what me and my mate purchased back in the sixties! I still have them after all these years, I will endeavor to find them and post some shots,i remember that they were very posh back then!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That is another excellent post-apocalypse mini and I particularly like the barrel on the base. It really reinforces the mood and setting of this mini. And in regards to your news, now I’ve seen everything if TIM is building an army and might even get a game in with it! 😉 There is a lot of great advice above so I will probably repeat some thoughts that others have already shared. Hopefully these are still valuable.

    Bretonnians from Warhammer are a great source of inspiration if you’re going for historical accuracy. Some people’s armies used to have each unit with different livery. You can also do squads that have matching livery but then each squad has different designs to keep things interesting. I don’t see why this couldn’t be done with historicals but then again, I don’t know all the ins and outs of this setting and my idea might not be historically accurate. I really think keeping the painting interesting is the most challenging part of an army. I get burnt out after painting a couple of the same type of model myself but your mileage will vary and you’ll have to adapt accordingly.

    I would say too that setting smaller goals and then using stuff in games can really keep your motivation going. For example, completing 5-10 minis and then having a small game will make you want to paint the next 5-10 that much more quickly.

    Also, knights and a castle just sounds awesome. I can’t wait to see that when you’re done. That will truly be an “Army on Parade” if you know what I’m referring to 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I’m so sure about a game but I am hooked on the idea of an army. One day if I complete the army they might see action but not any time soon I expect. As for the army I’m really approaching this from a painter and diroama perspective. What I mean by that is that I want the figures to look good even if not necessarily historically accurate and want lots of them so when they are lined up there is a wow factor. If I can find the space for a castle backdrop then so much the better 🤗 In any event I have a very long way to go and there are heaps of other things I want to do too so I see this as a project to dip in and out of. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That sounds like a great plan and it will be very visually impressive I think. I think the way you’re doing it is really smart and I’m going to try and take on a similar but also different project where I hope to dip in and out so I’ll be curious to see how we both get on with that!

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