Saturday 16 March 2024

Moving on….

… in random directions.

As you might recall, I have more or less stopped painting. That is, of course, untrue, but (aside from one) I am not planning any major painting projects at the moment, and I am trying very hard to curb my enthusiasm for buying any more models, either soldiers or ships. Some more ships were mooted for my recent birthday, but the Estimable Mrs P. spotted her husband’s slightly cold feet at generating even more ships to paint. The idea was thus placed firmly on the back burner and I got a coffee bean grinder instead.

Still, painting after a fashion has been taking place, so this post is a bit of a matter of record for my own interest and hopefully ability to build some momentum. The first lot finished (more or less) was a bunch of scythed chariots. Now, I do not think I need another six scythed chariots, but there they were, sitting in my painting shoebox of shame, and so I hoicked them out and set about applying paint.

As you can see above, the addition is of six Baccus 6 mm scythed chariots, all rather gaudily painted, I think. But then, if you are about to embark on a near-suicide mission, why not flaunt it, I feel.

There are a couple of points of interest and irritation, here. I already have 4 scythed chariots in the Persian army box. The addition of these will, of course, mean the box is over full and so further consideration to storage will have to be made. This is a tiny bit irritating, but perhaps some of the chariots could go in the Pontic army box, or with the Macedonian successors. Of such decisions, a wargamer’s life is made. On the other hand, I’ve a load of Persian Immortals living outside their box at the moment, so another Persian storage box might be due.

The other thing which, if you look really carefully at the picture you will note, is that my standard basing green colour ran out halfway through painting this lot. The bases are 40 mm square, so there is really quite a lot of area to cover. I had to switch to my newer alternative, which, on the base wet, looked terrible but has dried darker and less artificially green. So that was all right then. Consistent sourcing of base colours has bugged me throughout my wargaming career, at least since I moved off cardboard bases and onto plastic card and polyfiller. My local source of paint keeps switching suppliers, which is a tad annoying. The latest colour is from Hobbycraft, which should be reliable (I hope) but is a bit further away.

Still. I am pleased to have this lot out of the box and into a temporary storage tray, with hopes that my organisational abilities and interest will be sparked sufficiently to actually move them into a proper storage box soon. I mean, the Immortals have only been waiting a year or so….

Anyway, moving on. I may have mentioned the acquisition of the 25+ mm Warbases civilians at Christmas. They are still in the box, of course, but when I put them in the pending tin for big figures, I discovered 5 or so assembled but not painted ECW figures, so, in a moment of whimsy, I decided to paint them. I am not used to painting big figures, and I suspect it shows. I am also not a good painter, and that shows too, but they pleased me somewhat.

I think these figures are all Redoubt Enterprises and have been in stock for an embarrassing length of time. Part of the problem with them is that they are multi-part figures – legs, torso, and head – and I am an even more rubbish modeller than I am a painter. It takes a while to stick them together, for them to dry and then test whether they will survive undercoating. If they do then they are usually fit for painting.

These have now joined my skirmish figures, which include a few Border Rievers, some Irregular cavalry whom I painted last year and quite a few others including Landsknechts, French Musketeers and more dismounted ECW cavalry. The idea is for a role-playing or skirmish campaign. I have far more figures than I need, plus another 16 or so waiting to be painted. No wonder I am also working on very fast play sword fighting rules.

And finally, the new project, which is (if you were paying attention earlier in the year) Far Eastern fleets. I have had Japanese (Samurai), Korean and Ming Chinese armies for ages, but was always frustrated by, firstly, the lack of information on the Japanese invasion of Korea and secondly, by the lack of suitable ships for the period. Both of these deficiencies have now been rectified thanks to Osprey Books and Tumbling Dice miniatures respectively.

That means, of course, that I now have three fleets to paint. I do not mind painting ships quite as much as I do soldiers. The ships, at least at 1:2400 scale are reasonably easy to actually paint. Assembling them is, of course, much more fiddly, and I refer my reader to the comments above about my modelling skills. It also has to be admitted that the names of the ship types are not normally in my naval vocabulary, so I am trying to record the ships as they are painted so that at least I have some record of what they are.

The picture shows the first sixteen results of my efforts. At the back are four Korean P’Anokson. These were the sort of main Korean battleships of the era, and there were usually more of them than there were of the famous Turtle ships. At the front are 12 Kobaya, which are the smaller vessels, scoutships, coasters and small merchantmen. Next up, partially painted, are 5 turtle ships. At least they are assembled.

Interestingly, Korean tactics in the war were to stand off and use cannons, while the Japanese aimed to close and board (hence the spikes on the roof of the turtle ships). This reminds me of the battles of the era of the Spanish Armada (same time, different continent) where the English stood off and shot while the Spanish aimed to close. There is something here about the construction of the ships, and neither the Spanish nor Japanese hulls seem to have been able to stand the strain of constant cannon fire, being much more lightly built.

Still, there is a long way to go: just over 50 more vessels to paint by my reckoning. Bit at least I have go the Persians finished.


  1. Only discovered your blog recently and am now following via Feedly. May I ask why rievers rather than Reivers?

    1. Welcome aboard to you, and to everyone else who has recently started following. As for reivers / rievers, I think we can assign it to a typographical error. My internal examiner commented that no matter how much proofreading you did, words still mutated and you could never get rid of them all. Certainly on the first proofs of the book I found some real howlers, and I imagine that some are still extant.
      Now, what is it, i before e except after K?

    2. Ho, ho. I am encouraged to carry on following and have found 'kernal' in your recent post. Probably Kernal of the First Ruff and Reddy Foot :0)

    3. That sounds like an interesting unit - red tunics and renaissance neckwear should be a winning combination.