Saturday, December 19, 2009

Junior Nationals

This has not been a good week for painting. My top project has been to support my son in his ice dancing competition (US Junior National Championships; he and his partner skate at the 'intermediate' level in ice dance), and it now looks like we'll be here for an extra day, as our home is supposed to be in the middle of a serious winter storm and I'm not willing to drive in it. I guess I should have brought a travel paint box...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Digressions and Diversions

It's a fact of life as an adult that we have to do a lot of things without having much control over the schedule. My second job as a freelance proofreader has turned up two pieces of work this week, and it's back to the day job after an extended holiday, so painting has slowed to a crawl again. I have parts of three projects on the workbench today: chariots for the Bronze Age, a group of 40mm semiflat cavalry for my Charge! project, and some 1/72 scale Cossacks for a little digression into the Russian Civil War. Despite years of trying to keep just one thing in front of me until it's finished, I still tend to scatter work across a lot of things. This wasn't so much of an issue when I was painting more productively, but at a busy time in my life, it means that taking on anything new is an invitation to frustration.

Without picking up a brush, though, I did at least do two things today that bear on miniatures. The first was to finish up Edward Luttwak's new book The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire at lunch, which had me considering pre-gunpowder sieges. I've at least got a neat little 1/72 scale Usborne cardstock castle I could besiege, plus a selection of Zvezda siege equipment that came with a Russian/Mongol starter set. The second was to suddenly realize how I could make use of the (simple) features of my new computer to make handling the dispatches on a delayed communication-based campaign possible. My first Charge! based campaign foundered under my inability to handle the message traffic. Time to slip CS Grant on campaigns back into my briefcase...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Unexpected Treasure

I was on my way home from errands yesterday, and fortuitously decided to stop at the public library. Having just played an Egyptian game the night before, and expecting to play another, I was amazed to find the book shown above on the "withdrawn, for sale" shelf for 50 cents. I'm not sure whether I'd use some of the colors shown, but the artist's renderings of an Egyptian camp and fortresses were certainly worth half the price of a candy bar...

If you keep your eyes open, you never know what you might find. (-:

Into Battle, Again

Inspired by the lack of success in the previous battle, and, more practically, by the fact that my son has to go back to school today, we did a reprise of the Egyptian/Hittite encounter on the same terrain last night. Here you can see the Sea People in action against a group of Hittite spearmen. We are using Warhammer Ancient Battles with house modifications to deal with multiple figure bases; these are still evolving. Tokens (unsightly, but as unobtrusive a color as I could find for this ground cloth) represent casualties.

The results were more satisfactory, from my point of view, although we were both set scrambling back to the painting table to provide dismounted versions of our generals, so that when their chariot is destroyed next time, they are not also removed (per the rules.)

When we were finished with the game, I had the not unusual experience of being ready to sit down with a brush and add some color to something. The project at the front of the bench was a squadron of semi-flat cavalry for Charge!, but more of that later...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Into Battle

As depicted here, this unit of 16 Sea People of the 13th century BC is not quite ready for battle. They were completed yesterday, which allowed me to use them in a game with my son and his Hittites.

Unfortunately, they seem to follow the wargame rule that says that new units will be effective in an inverse proportion to the amount of time spent painting them, and their fate was to flee ignominiously. Ah well, at least I enjoyed painting them...