Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Reflections on 2022

 My brother and I had a chance to play a couple of games during our family Christmas visit.  We had agreed that the game this year would be Dragon Rampant, and that the theme would be “No Ral Partha”.  I certainly have nothing against Ral Partha, but we have been playing a lot of Ral Partha Chaos Wars in a demo game context, and we usually feel obliged to stick to Ral Partha figures when we do. We thought it would be nice to allow some of the other figures a chance to shine on the table.

My 1977 Minifig NS spearmen fend off my brother’s Archive wolfriders

1974 vintage Minfig ME Gondorian spearmen face some Adina hobgoblins

As you can see, we were restricted to a small space

We had intended to set up on a larger table at the local games store, but they have not yet re-opened their gaming tables post pandemic, so we made do with a space of about 4’ by 3’ at our parents’ house.  It was good to see all the very vintage figures on the table.  We had each brought two warbands, and, apparently inspired by the same thought, each had a warband of orcs and a warband of humans.  It was a bad day for orcs all around; my humans defeated his orcs, and my orcs were defeated by his humans.

While there are a few days left in the year, and while I do have a Five Leagues from the Borderlands solo skirmish game pending, it is likely that this will have been the final game for the year. (In my counting, I generally count multiple sessions of a single rules set played back to back as a single log entry.) If so, it was number 40 for the year. While short of the 52 games that are my notional goal each year, it is still a respectable total, and one that I am pretty happy with. Similarly, I might get another miniature or two painted, but if I don’t, I finished about 173 figures of 1/72 scale or larger this year, plus a handful of 6mm ancients which can’t be counted in the same way as larger figures.  It’s a few more than I completed in 2021, but it is a number which should prompt me to a bit of caution when it comes to taking on new projects.  

There was a thread on the Lead Adventure Forum recently, and someone was musing about whether the new projects that we are all prone to take on would ever see the table, and, if so, how many times.  I realized that I had some actual data on that.  Being a very Old School gamer, my logs are hand written, and contained in a series of notebooks.  I dug them all out, and was interested to note that I have been doing this for longer that I remembered, with the first year logged being 1999.  So I have 24 years of data (less the balance of December after the 5th when I did the counting) covering 805 games.  With an average of 33+ games per year, this year’s 40 is solidly above average.

Attempting to answer the question of which of my collections of figures had been on the table more frequently, I might be off by a few games here or there.  The results were tallied by hand, and the data was spread across about 15 different notebooks.  Sometimes it’s hard to decide whether a 25mm fantasy game played in 2003, say, had any of my own figures in it.  These counts are divided by the miniatures, and most of them represent the same collection being used with multiple sets of rules.

As you can see, the 25mm fantasy collection takes the top prize with about 96 appearances on the table, followed by the Not Quite Seven Years War collection with 74 appearances.  By the time you get down to a tie for 6th place by 25mm Dark Ages and 40mm Renaissance at about 21 games each, one might note that those projects have been on the table less than once a year on the average, and with a frequency less than a quarter of that of first place. I should note that both of those projects have been in a playable state since before 1999, when the records start.  Two of the most frequently played projects, 1/72 scale fantasy/medieval/ancients and 54mm medieval, are younger than the records, both having been started around 2003.  I was also interested to note that the French and Indian War project is still solidly in 4th place, despite not having been on the table since 2016.  There were a lot of F&IW games early on in the records.

When you put all those numbers together, I think that I am coming to the conclusion that it would make sense to try to concentrate on doing more with the top projects.  I would like to work on one side project which isn’t yet playable, with the main candidates being 54mm medieval/fantasy flats and 40mm 19th century/Franco-Prussian War from Schneider and other vintage German molds.  This is where this year’s painting numbers are a caution flag; even a simple One Hour Wargames pair of armies would amount to 10 units of 2 stands each per side (well, not the artillery), with 4-6 figures per unit, or something like 88 foot, 16 horse, and 4 guns with crew total, which would represent somewhat more than two thirds of the total I painted last year.  That’s not unthinkable, but would be a major commitment.  I suppose it’s time to paint a few of them and see what I really think about working with them.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Home Cast 40mm Renaissance Revival and Other Random Events

 A lot has been going on since I last blogged, both in life and in hobby activities.

My younger son has returned to this part of the world, so, with both sons relatively nearby, we are looking forward to some family wargmaing time.  However, moving just before the holidays has meant that everyone has a lot of activity already scheduled.  We did manage to get a good game in on the margins of the Thanksgiving feasting last week:

We played the Battle of Montebello scenario from Neil Thomas’s Wargaming Nineteenth Century Europe. There’s a full report on elder son Norman’s blog.

I managed to get my limited French Revolution collection on the table for a solo game recently.  

This was in service of a playtest of some new horse and musket large skirmish rules currently in development, so I won’t comment on that part of it, but it was good to see these figures on the table.  While Norman ran a game with them at an HMGS convention in the mid-teens, I personally haven’t had them on the table since 2009.  Until November, they had been my second longest unplayed project, topped only by my neglected little 6mm Spanish Civil War collection, which was last on the table in 2005.  I plan to bring out the French and Indian War figures (last played in 2016 when Ross came down for Fall In) for the next playtest, but with the holidays, that might be a few weeks yet.

A few weeks ago I visited Days of Knights, my friendly local game store, and was surprised to find that the latest release in Osprey’s series of role playing games was a “clockpunk” Italian Renaissance game, set in a 1510 that included advanced Leonardo da Vinci technology.

Now, as it happens, I have a 40mm 16th century toy soldier project already in hand, and I am currently the possessor of some Leonardo-type machines built by my friend Chris Palmer back in the late 1990s. I dug them out to take a look, and found them all to still be in good shape:

We used these for a year or so and then got distracted (as is so often the case).  Chris dug out some print pictures of them in action back around 1998.  Here’s a sample:

So I have spent much of my reading time these last few weeks gathering inspiration to jump back into the period, with a historical book on the early Italian Wars, and a historical novel (Prince of Foxes) on Cesare Borgia.  In podcasts, I’ve been listening to quite a bit of the Yarkshire Gamer’s Reet Big Wargames Podcast lately, and Ken Reilly, the eponymous Gamer, has been displaying his Italian Wars project lately, for additional inspiration.  So, we’ll see what becomes of that.  I am always glad when the Muses grant some inspiration relating to something already in my collection at a playable level.

I have been trying out the “slapchop” painting technique on some old Hinchliffe Byzantines.  That deserves a separate report later…

Sorry about the picture quality there…

I tried out Nordic Weasel Games fantasy solo skirmish campaign system, Five Leagues from the Borderlands, a topic which also deserves its own post.  Just for fun, I am playing it using my collection of 1/72 fantasy/medieval figures.

And, last for today, I sent Ross Macfarlane the one good copy of a semi-flat lady riding sidesaddle recently.  This is from a mold by the Adolf Hoehmann company, which apparently operated up into the 1990s and produced a series of molds, both copied from Schneiders and originals.  Information on them was found in the book on German molds I obtained in the summer.
Here’s the catalog page, as provided in the electronic add-ons to the book.  The lady is part of a series of molds making a convey and escorts, and is really intended to be 16th century, although her dress looks generic enough to me to pass for other time periods.  It is unfortunate that these molds are very scarce; the lady was the only one from this series in an estate being broken up on eBay this year.

So, that’s the news from here; lots happening, for a pleasant change!


Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Some recent 1/72 scale painting

I would suppose that there is not a wargamer out there who ever gets as much painting done as they hope to.  Most of the summer was occupied by other activities this year, and the fall is getting off to a slow start as well.  I was responsible for running an emergency response exercise for the office last month, which was taking up most of my crerative energy, but, when it finally came time to run it, I ended up with a long weekend in Tooele, Utah, with not much to do except to settle in with my portable painting kit.  I finished up 22 figures in a weekend, including this little dragon which I bought from the local game store while I was there. (The dragon also came with the large skull, which I painted up figuring that I could find a use for a giant/ogre skull for something.)  I have been trying to fill out my planned orders of battle for the five countries involved in my Northlands solo campaign, so I particularly wanted to get some orcs done.  I also had a group of cows (a very small herd, I suppose) that I wanted to add as a baggage element.  Beyond that, I was willing to go with whatever inspired me.


I wasn’t sure what to do with the cows.  My wife suggested that I look at “belted cows”. I hadn’t heard of this as a color pattern, and there aren’t any that I have noticed locally.

However, it looked like it would be very easy to paint, so, belted cows they are.  Since they are usually going to be deploed into a fantasy setting, I don’t need to worry about when the breed was developed or any of the rest of that “realism” stuff.

In addition to the bases, I finished up 7 individuals.  The orcs are destined for the Rangers of Shadow Deep campaign I am playing co-op with Chris Palmer, and the rest are an ecelectic assortment of Strelets, Caesar and Dark Alliance figures.  The 8th figure, at the far right, was finished before the trip but finally based up with the rest when I got home.  

As mentioned, at one point I took a break from the painting to walk down the street to the game store, Game Haven, where I picked up the Wizkids dragon and a couple of bottles of paint.  There was a Joann’s fabric and craft store next door, so I ducked in there to see if I could find something that would work for scenery.  I had the sudden notion that I might play a skirmish game with all of the freshly painted figures. 

I came out with a camoflage bandanna, a plastic plant, and some tan cardstock, and whipped up this. 

My son Norman looked over the available troops and suggested that the rational scenario was humans and orcs squabbling over cattle … until the dragon arrives.  I think that would have worked out, except that time and energy ran out before I could implement it.  Nevertheless, it does seem that it should be possible to have some sort of starter game on the table fairly quickly, should one need or wish to.

After getting home and getting the basing done, it took a couple of weeks to get back to the painting table.  I started in on some Dark Alliance orcish warg riders, but set them aside briefly to allow a heavy wash to dry.  Before I knew it, I was finishing up two “big guys” who had be in progress for a while.  The big eared one is a troll (or “bunyip” in the Dean family) from the sadly out-of-production Caesar Adventurers set, and the other is a Dark Alliance cyclops.  The Airfix Robin Hood figure is just there to give an idea of the scale.

With both sons due to be back in the area, family conversation has turned to DBA/Hordes of the Things armies, so I decided to try to make some progress on an ancient Nubian army (DBA I/3 if that helps) to add to the family Bronze Age collection.

I managed to finish up two warband stands and a skirmisher, so I have two skirmishers and nine bow stands (including a general) to go.  

Monday, October 10, 2022

Barrage XXV, 23-24 September 2022

 It is hard to believe that the HAWKs reached Barrage 25 this year; it still seems like only yesterday when someone suggested at a club meeting that a game day would be a good idea.  We went to two days a couple of years ago, and this year we had over 200 attendees including club members.

Unfortunately for me, I had to miss the Friday events, as I was returning from a work trip to Utah over which I did not have schedule control, and didn’t walk in the door at home until 9:30PM on Friday.  I was signed up to run a Not Quite Seven Years War game on Saturday morning.  While I had spent the weekend before the trip organizing my flea market offerings, and ensuring that I knew where all of the Bronze Age gear that my son Norman was going to need was stowed, I did not have the NQSYW scenario materials pulled out.

Therefore, I got an early start on Saturday morning, pulled all the stuff up from the basement, and got it loaded.  It still wasn’t early enough to avoid a bridge closure due to a running event, but at least I knew that it was likely to be happening this year.  Carrying around a stack of boxes loaded with Charge! regiments in 40mm does leave me wondering these days whether I should be recreating the NQSYW in something a little more portable, such as 1/72 scale plastics …

Chris Palmer brought the North Polenburger army, so the scenario involved an attempt by the Northern Alliance, here represented primarily by North Polenburg, to hold a bridge long enough to allow an evacuation after nightfall.  The Pragmatic Coalition was represented by Schoeffen-Buschhagen, Wachovia, and the Imperial Free City of Wiegenburg, as usual. 

The North Polenburg 32nd Dragoons made an impressive display on their gray horses, as usual.

They fought well, although there was one moment when the lone Wachovian Hussar standard bearer fought off a pair of Dragoons and preserved the flag; a commendation is no doubt in order.

As the battle progressed, the Coalition left flank gradually pushed in the Alliance’s right, in a series of cavalry charges and countercharges so typical of the rules.  The Wiegenburg Regiment (center right) in their white coats (and leading their mascot into the action) suffered heavy casualties in a direct assault on the Alliance line defending the bridge and were eventually forced to withdraw.  A follow-on attack by the Schoeffen-Buschagen Adelmann Regiment, though, was more than the defenders could withstand, and the game ended with the Alliance forces being compelled to withdraw in disorder, seeking an alternative crossing location.

It was, as always, nice to have the NQSYW back on the table.  As I’ll discuss below, there are several reasons why that project is on the top of my mind right now.

Norman has been working steadily on expanding the Bronze Age 1/72 project since last year’s Barrage, and he staged an afternoon game of Egyptians versus a Sea Peoples alliance using his home rules (NURD: Norman’s Universal Rules Design) which looked like it went well.  He ended up coming up prepared to rebase a few of my Egyptian chariots on the spot, to ensure that the Egyptians had the numbers needed.

My flea marketeering went well.  I arrived with four boxes of stuff and returned home with two, plus  $370 in pocket, so I was pleased.  It’s no fault of Reaper Miniatures, but I sold off a lot of Bones 5 figures.  I have concluded that I am more interested in recreating (or perhaps just creating) the vision of fantasy miniatures I had in my youth, so I expect to be putting my effort into expanding my vintage 25mm collection instead of trying to keep up with the latest styles.  


I mentioned that there were a couple of reasons why the NQSYW was on my mind.  Back in August, right after Gen Con, my pre-ordered copy of Henry Hyde’s Wargaming Campaigns arrived.  As might be expected with Henry Hyde, horse and musket campaigning is front and center, so perhaps this will finally kick me over the edge into doing another NQSYW map-based campign.

Additionally, William, my second son and the originator of the Pragmatic Coalition’s Imperial Free City of Wiegenburg, has landed a job in the Washington DC area, and will be returning to this general area next week.  His appointment is for at least a year, so his brother and I have been considering some possible agendas for game days, especially since Norman’s basement, as seen  back in June is suitable for miniatures.

Friday, September 2, 2022

Gen Con 2022 — Better late than never …


We (myself, my brother, and my wife) made it to Gen Con  again this year, after being on hiatus since 2019.  I did participate in the 2020 virtual convention, and I would have gone last year, except for the pandemic-related rescheduling that moved it to a weekend when I could not travel due to work commitments.

After the usual participation in the planning phases starting in January with the room lottery, it was finally time to pack things up and get on the road on the 2nd of August.  My brother had signed us up to run two miniatures games, a Burrows and Badgers skirmish, and a Chaos Wars mass battle.  I was to provide one of three B&B battlefields, and three of six B&B war bands.  That didn’t take up much space, so I was able to strap it all together in a stack of Really Useful Boxes, a 12-liter, a 4-liter, and a 2.5 liter (the latter my usual GM paraphenalia box).

While we chose to drive this year, that would have fit into the overhead compartment of a passenger aircraft, so I was pleased to be able to keep things compact.

Irene and I got in late on Tuesday, the 3rd of August, after having struggled with accidents and construction along the way.  The map software estimate a 10.5 hour trip, but we nneded about 13 hours, with the disruptions. Our plan had been to check in, get our wristbands from the vaccination check station, and have dinner with my brother, but that did not end up happening. The vaccination check station was already closing when we checked into the hotel.

We ended up with a room at the Conrad downtown, way up in the air.  The Conrad is more or less at the northeast corner of the collection of hotels attached to the convention center by an enclosed skywalk.  Judging from my walking times, it was about three quarters of a mile over to the far end of the convention center, where we would be running miniatures.

As usual, Indianapolis was more or less ready for the influx of nerds.

We got our wristbands bright and early on Wedneday, with no waiting.  On top of that, Will Call (where I had a few paper tickets from late-added events to collect) opened early, so we got through that with no wait either.  There was a wait for purchasing Gen Con merchandise, and attendees were pressed into service as gonfaloniers (there’s a word you don’t need every day …) to allow folks to rally appropriately on the end of the line.

We all had lunch at the District Tap (which did have the Sun King Gen Con beer on tap), and then my brother came back to our room for a quick round of Burrows and Badgers for practice.  

Wednesday events are free, though ticketed.  There seemed to be fewer of them this year. Nevertheless, we were all signed up that evening for our first scheduled event, a demo of a card game called Usurp the King.  It was, uh, interesting.  There were six rounds of card laying followed by a resolution phase ordered by card type.  After that was all over, the table situation was compared to a hierarchical chart of victory conditions.  While there was technically no randomness and only a little bit of hidden information, there was also very little ability to predict whether a play would be useful or not, so I didn’t feel like I had any control over winning or losing. Ultimately, not recommended …

Irene and I had a seminar on ballroom history (with a section on how to use this in your LARP) to start Thursday, after which my brother and I ran the official B&B game.  We got 5 of 6 registered players, which I thought was pretty good.  There have been conventions where the pre-registrant appearance rate was under 50%.  B&B is optimized for two-player play, so we got a six-player game by running three simultaneous two-player games. We used the same scenario on all three tables, a “Capture the Paychest” thing where finding and dragging off a treasure chest was the objecctive, regardless of the terrain. My brother had to fill in to even up the number of players.  I have to say, despite being a somewhat detailed set of rules, all of our public B&B games have gone very well. Kudos to Michael and Jo Lovejoy for the rules and the charming miniatures!

After the game, I ended up having enough time to drop the miniatures off at the hotel room (the Conrad being about a 12 minute walk each way from the ICC) and get back in time for the one speed painting round I had signed up for. These involve painting a pre-primed miniature with a limited palette of 12 colors using two brushes of dubious quality in 45 minutes. The figure we got was a Reaper Miniatures “Persephone”.  I was fortunate enough to be first in my round, and so maintain my streak of qualifying for a final every year I’ve tried this, despite the dubious brushes. I had to decline the actual final this year, though, as I already had another event scheduled.

After the speed painting, I did a quick recon of the Exhibit Hall.  I ended up having dinner from the food trucks (reasonably familiar Mexican street tacos) before heading on to my one scheduled RPG event of the weekend.  This was a Monster of the Week game (a Powered by the Apocalypse implementation) run by the folks from the Crit Show live play podcast.  As with the one I played at Gen Con Online 2020, we quickly built characters, formed a team, and tackled a mystery, improv’ed to the extent that the team wasn’t predictable in advance.  I played a time-traveled magician from Arrthurian times, and the mystery involved finding and destroying the “anchor” keeping a malevolent ghost in a haunted house.  I’d play with them again.

On Friday, Irene and I had two sessions of dance with the ladies of Counts to Nine.  We have danced with them before, and they were thrilled to see Irene (and me) back.  The second of these was an intro to Celtic dance, which is very energetic.  They had been hoping for a couple of years to be in a position to offer an intermediate class and go a little deeper, and we were signed up for that on Saturday. 

I followed up the dancing with some 6mm SYW action, Prussians versus Austrians.  This got off to a slow start due to a decision to have the sides choose their set ups sequentially from scratch.  This is not a decision I would make for my own games unless the number of elements each player was deploying was, say, five or fewer.  The rules, from The Games of War by John Bobek, were ok; my side lost, but it was nice to see some historicals there.

On Saturday morning, my brother and I had five players for the Chaos Wars game; unfortunately we had one player elect not to continue before the end, so I jumped in to take over the abandoned position for the last hour.  The scenario was an elf/human punitive expedition into the territory of the orc/undead/lizardman alliance.  In retrospect, there might have been a few too many monsters on the table for a satisfying game.

After Chaos Wars, Irene and I had enough “leg” left to get through the Intermediate Celtic Dance class, but Michael Flatley doesn’t need to fear for his job on my account.  Irene and I had a quiet (early) dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory after a brief foray into the Exhibit Hall. By Saturday night we were both hitting the wall, but I did hobble over to the JW Marriot to look at open gaming set up in one of the ballrooms.

While “open”, there was some organization to assist you, and various flags and cones were available from a headquarters desk, to assist you in recruiting the appropriate people for your table.

I’m not sure the wide angle lens is providing the proper impression of the scale of the open gaming area, so you might want to tap on that picture and take a closer look.  Most of the tables were playing various board games, both new and classic, but I saw a few roleplaying games going on, and a table of Gaslands miniartures as well.

We finished up with ticketed events on Sunday morning with one more dance, after which I finished shopping.  I didn’t really intend to do a lot of shopping this year, but I came home with a few t-shirts, the annual pin, a few odd little indie rpgs, and a few other bits and bobs.

We took a commemorative picture, had a farewell meal with my brother at the restaurant attached to the Downtown Marriott, and then headed home, with a planned overnight stop in Columbus.

By the way, after it was too late to do anything about it at the convention, I learned that the Pin Bazaar event event this year included a pin memorializing the rather distinctive carpet pattern from the Indianapolis Convention Center, as seen in the picture above.  Happily, I was able to acquire one after the convention.

Overall, it was a good con, and I was glad to be back among my tribe for a while.  It looks like the vaccination requirement, the masking, the handwashing, and perhaps an element of good luck, were sufficient for us to avoid the plague.

Now it’s time to start planning our events for next year …


Saturday, July 16, 2022

A Test of Army Painter Speed Paints with 1/72 Caesar Elves

 I’m usually a little behind the latest trends, so I finally picked up a few Army Painter Speed Paints for a trial.

I picked up five colors from Critical Hit Games in Abingdon, Maryland.  I was actually expecting to do a test of some skeletons, so that’s why the pallid bone, and I’m honestly not sure why I chose red.  The brown and the green, I thought, would be a fair test for some “traditional” wood elves.

Since I would like to get an elvish army on the table as part of my plan for the Portable Fantasy Campaign, I pulled out a dozen 1/72 scale Caesar Elves earlier this week and washed them up as usual.  Yesterday after work I primed them with a Reaper brush on white primer, in keeping with the general instruction to use these over white.  I pulled out a cheap brush from a Dollar Tree craft section, which was unmarked, but about the size of a typical #2 round brush, since I didn’t want to risk any unforeseen side effects with a more expensive brush. I also pulled out an oatmeal container lid to use as a palette. I then queued up the latest episode of the Yarkshire Gamers Reet Big Wargames Podcast (which is appropriate because the host always asks guests what they think about contrast/speed paints), and started brushing.

Before the 1.5 hours podcast was over, I had paint on everything, with figures and sand on bases.  I did touch up some belts and metallics with conventional paints within that time block.  The Speed Paint seems to do a reasonable job of staying where you put it, so you can probably paint trousers first and a tunic after, if that made sense.  The one point that I should have considered before starting (but did not) is that the lighter colors do not cover darker colors.  Add that to the paint staying put once applied and it is clear that the correct order of application is “lightest to darkest” rather than “innermost to outermost” or “bottom to top”.  So I should have started will all “pallid bone”, then done the flesh tone, then the brown, red and green in any order that made sense.  That would have required me to consider the whole paint scheme first rather than starting (as I did) with the cloaks (because I knew what color I wanted them to be).  

I had not necessarily intended to paint figures entirely with Speed Paints.  If I had thought about this in advance, I would have bought one more neutral-ish brown or light green or something “elvish”.  Once I got started, though, I ended up “leaning in” to the speed aspect. As it was, half the figures got green tunics and brown cloaks (with the other half the opposite), half of the figures got pallid bone trousers and the other half got red, and the brown cloaks got red quivers while the green cloaks got hardened leather quivers.

I had a certain amount of touching up to do.  I usually paint over black primer so that a missed bit looks like a shadow, so I was not surprised to find that white primer with speed paints works about the same way as white primer with conventional paints.  I ended up tapping any white bits in out of the way places with the hardened leather, as being the most inconspicuous.

Once finished, I broke the figures off the craft sticks I use to handle them with (4 to a stick) and glued them to the movement stands with the usual Walthers Goo.  As soon as they had set enough to handle the base I added the usual mix of white glue and Nova Scotia traction sand to disguise the integral bases.  Since my white glue is fairly wet at that point, and since this was a speed test, I used a dropper bottle of water to wet the sand before it finished setting so that capillary action would pull enough glue to the surface to get some flock to stick.  In the interest of speed I did not add any additional small scatter (rocks, tufts, etc.) to the bases.

I then left them to dry overnight, and sprayed them with the usual Krylon Low Odor Matte Varnish I customarily use.  This does not appear to have had any adverse effects.

If you tap on the pictures, I have uploaded larger versions of them as usual, so that you may draw your own conclusions about whether this worked.  Keeping in mind that the whole purpose is to put tabletop quality units together quickly, it is to be expected that they are not optimized for close-up viewing.

Just for my own amusement, if I were trying to optimize 1/72 scale figures for closeup viewing, they would end up looking something like this sorceress and her guards I painted earlier this year (pre-basing…).

I decided to set them up next to some of the elves I did five or six years ago using my usual techniques.  Now, I will not that I did not really like the way these figures came out vis-a-vis how I had envisioned them.  They were done as regular speed paints, and I see that I skipped eyes and other fine detail not visible at table viewing distances.

And here is one stand of each with my elvish commander stand, which was painted as though each figure was intended to be viewed as an individual.

So, what’s the overall verdict?  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Speed Paints seem to work as advertised, and, with a little more practice for the peculiarities of the paint, would allow you to throw some basic units on the table pretty quickly.  It’s probably worth getting a few more colors, and, just for fun, trying them out with some 25/28mm figures as well.