Background image is Les Dernières Cartouches (The Last Cartridges) by Alphonse de Neuville

Monday, March 3, 2014

Army painting: DBA IV/13a

I don't seem to be finding much time to post, but I've been busy nonetheless. I've had a few chances to get together with friends for table games, but my wargame hobby time has mostly been of the painting variety.

Painting is a task I don't much enjoy. I do get a sense of accomplishment, and a bit of pleasure, when the lads are all done and dusted, but I don't have the talent or pleasure in the process that some of my friends do, so it's often a rushed process, trying to get a small portion of my huge lead mountain ready to play. This especially happens in the spring and autumn, when the big East Coast HMGS cons come around (I rarely go to the summer one), and I sprint to try to finish a couple of DBA armies in time for tournaments.

This year I had two on the table, and one appears to be almost done, nearly a week before the event, with the second well underway. Most unusual.

In this case, I'm painting a Medieval German army (IV/13) for Alan Ferrency's Holy Roman Empire pyramid tourney. Here's the list:

1x 3Kn//4Bd(Gen), 2x 4Cb, 2x 4Sp, 2x 4Bd, 2x 2Ps, 3x 7Hd or 4Bd or 3Cb

It's an unusual variant; most IV/13 armies have a healthy dose of Knights, but this one has only one Knight, and that optional. It's nominally a IV/13a list, but one of the mandatory four Kn in that list has become a Cb and three others have permanently dismounted as Bd. (Interestingly, the General is also allowed to dismount, which he is not in the original army list.) The final Kn has joined the original 2 Ax or Sp or Pk in becoming 3 Hd or Bd or Cb. It's a list that was going to be heavy foot for the most part in any case, but now it can filed six Bd or five Cb where before it could have fielded no more than one Cb and at most four Bd. Curious.

That curious composition meant I had to raid other armies in the painting box. Fortunately, I had two Medieval Scandinavian armies on hand (both from the same "I sell ugly armies cheap" packager on Fanaticus), so I had pillaging material. Goodness knows I'll have to do some sorting later to make sure I have a "proper" IV/13 army and the ability to paint up a Kalmar Union or Swedish army for my GF, affectionately known as Fröken Sverige. :-)

I took far too many snaps as I was going along, so I won't bore you with them all here, but you can go to my Fotki account and see them. For now, let's just have a shot of them at start, assembled (crossbows in hands) and basecoated with black gesso.

It's an odd mixture of manufacturers. I have no idea where the knights are from (they were partly painted already); I don't like them much, but there are only three of them, one element. The spear and crossbow are definitely Essex, with the pluses and minuses that come with Essex (portly and with crappy bases, but nicely sculpted and good detail). The handgunners look like they could be Minifig. The blade are nice figures with good detail and lovely animation; I think the fellows who will be appearing later in white and red are different to the fellows who will be in yellow and blue, but I'm not sure.

Besides prepping the figures, I had to prep my palette. I fiddled around a little on the Internet, using the information that my fellows were supposed to represent Hannover. In the end, since Hannover existed int he period in question only as a city (the Electorate, and later Kingdom, of Hanover didn't exist until the 18th century), I assumed that they were troops of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg and chose for all the knights and blades colours that would match that realm: red and white for Brunswick (Braunschweig) and yellow and blue for Lüneburg. The crossbows and spears would have colours from some of the cities of the region, perhaps representing burgher militias or professionals hired by those towns, and got assigned blue and grey. The two stands of handgunners, I figured, would be top-quality professionals hired by the general, so they too got red and white liveries.

Next: Paint goes on!

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