Friday, March 3, 2017

Another Pushki

I like the first pushki I build so much I decided to dig out the other 2d cannon I bought years ago and build another unit.

The base is a 3x4 plastic construct using the WHFB basing kit.  Gaps in the border and gaps between the 20mm bases were filled with P3 modelling putty instead of squadron white stuff - easier to work with, better at filling large gaps, and far less smelly. I then used a good sized file and put a thin coat of white stuff over everything to smooth it all out.  The base then was covered with the same terrain as I've been using plus the barrel and 3 cannonballs from the WHFB Empire cannon plastic set.

A couple of side views:

The crew was constructed on the same general principle as the last one - a mix of Nuln and Kislev type figures with some amount of kit-bashing.

I like this figure a lot.  It was an old Citadel figure, I think from the Marauder era.  He was originally holding a spear, which I cut away and replaced with a plastic ramrod from the Empire plastic artillery kit.  I then modified the sponge (which is just smooth plastic) by coating it in white stuff, to make it look like an actual sponge.  I particularly like the pants, which have an "Empire" feel. The blue is a bit different than white I normally do - it is "the Fang" washed with Secret Weapon Wash "blue/black."  I was hoping it would look more smoky and dirty than other blue covered areas and it did, a little, but that is hard to see in the picture, so that wasn't entirely satisfactory.

The commander is a Mordheim Kislevite - I had one too many for my 28 man bodyguard, so I transferred this fellow to the artillery.  His left hand is the unique feature.  The match is the match from the Empire plastic artillery set, but that match is held in a right hand on the sprue.  I cut the match away and glued it to a left hand taken from the Empire Militia/Free Company box, specifically, the hand holding a bow.  The angle of that hand allowed the match to be held at an angle that approximates someone lighting off a cannon.

This fellow is a metal figure from the old Empire metal cannon set, painted in the livery of the City of Nuln.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Soldats - DONE!

I finally had time to finish up my Soldats (courtesy of the and to build a good sturdy base out of Plastruct.  The whole thing is pretty heavy (36 pewter figures, the pikes, and the base) but the boarder of the base is high enough to keep the figures in place, if I'm careful.  Still, the unit has to be handled with some care, between the risk of toppling and sticking yourself with the sharp pikes!

Side view

Other side
From the rear.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

More Ungol Horse Archers

This is my third unit of seven Ungol horse archers, riding south with the rising sun to  their left.    They are painted and based exactly as are my other horse archers.

Here is their commander.

And the standard bearer.

And the musician

And now the rank and file

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Soldat update

I have another 12 Soldat pikemen painted up, giving me 24 of the 36 that will ultimately be in the unit.  More importantly, however, I have the banner done for the unit. 

Beyond the 12 unpainted Soldats, I also have to make a good sturdy base out of Plastruct that can hold a 6x6 unit of metal soldiers.  Hope to get that done relatively soon.

Jiltsi/Rindi Complete!

So I finally got them done!  My 28-man bodyguard for the Ice Queen is finally done.  They are based on a pretty thick sheet of Plastruct with nice thick Plastruct borders to keep all of those metal figures in place.  I like the WHFB basing kit, but it isn't suitable for large units, especially metal ones. 

So, as of my last update, I had 24 figures, but I had to finish two rank-and-file, the musician and the standard bearer.   No need for more close-ups of the rank-and-file, but here are some of the standard bearer and musician.

OK - now for a close-up of the standard bearer:

The standard-bearer is a "champion" from the Mordheim Kislevite range and he is holding a mace from the weapons sprue that came wih the figure.  The hand holding the banner is a plastic hand from the Mordheim human sprue (also in the Empire Militia box) with the weapon cut off and the center drilled out.  The banner pole is a metal rod and the flag is a paper flag made the same way as the Reiter banner which is on this website.  I chose this banner because of the color (which I jazzed up with a little red ink carefully brushed on) and the three swords.  In the Ambassador Chronicles the Ice Queen appears to have had 3 bodyguards armed with swords.  A perfect fit, I think, for the Tzarina's household troops!

The musician is also a Mordheim Kislevite figure, but both his hands are from the White Wolves sprue in the Empire Knightly Orders box.  The right hand is one of the White Wolf hands with a war hammer, but in the left hand a metal trumpet I got from the Assault Group Ltd.  I had to cut a bit of it away to make it look like the hand was wrapped around it.  The metal was soft, so it wasn't really a problem, though it was so soft I had to be careful not to bend the rest of the trumpet.

Hope you enjoy them!

Sunday, January 29, 2017


While pikemen were all the rage in Western Europe during the 16th and most of the 17th century, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth never deployed native units of pike and they were a relatively late addition to Moscow's army, being part of the "New Pattern" units of soldats ("soldiers") fielded after Mikhail Romanov was crowned Tzar Mikhail I in 1613 (thus ending the so-called Time of Troubles (1598-1613) which saw Moscow temporarily occupied by the Commonwealth and a Polish Tzar installed).  So, what the heck are supposedly Kislevite pikemen doing in the army of the Ice Queen of Kislev?

Well, let's start with the fact that the figures, made by the Assault Group, are really cool.  They have a wonderful line of Renaissance 28mm figures, including Russians and Poles (they also have some of White Knight's castings as well).  While the scale is a bitter smaller than the traditional Citadel 28mm's, they are still compatible and won't look out of place.

Second, I think some pikemen could be very useful out on the steppe, as long as their flanks are covered.  They can maneuver pretty well across largely flat, open, terrain and they are pretty tough to take down because they fight in four ranks and strike first in the initial round of close combat (except against units with magical or special first attack ability), and they are +1 STR in the first round of melee with cavalry, thus giving the Ice Queen a solid, defensive block around which to build her army (thanks Dogs of War army list!).

So, how plausible is it for the Ice Queen to field native Kislevite pikemen (as opposed to some disreputable and possibly unreliable Tilean Dogs of War unit)?  Well, the Kislev fluff in Warhammer Chronicles 2004 and White Dwarf Kislev supplement both say that Katarin's father Boris "the Red" rebuilt Kislev, which had still not recovered from the Great War Against Chaos by, among other things, hiring foreign mercenaries to retrain Kislev's army.  The WHFRP supplement, The Realm of the Ice Queen, says that in one place, but in another states that it was actually Boris' father (and Katarin's grandfather) Vladimir who began the rebuilding and that Boris merely continued the work his father had begun. 

More importantly, however, the Realm of the Ice Queen tells us that Eringrad has a large Tilean quarter and that Tilean mercenaries are frequently hired there.  Given that Tilea is supposedly the "land of the pike" it isn't too hard to imagine that Tilean pikemen were contracted at some point to teach Kislevites how to wield those massive weapons against the forces of the Dark Gods.

So there you have it!  Now some time for close-ups:

Here are close-up of the musician and the commander.  I painted the commander in a livery opposite that of the rest of the unit to make him stand out and provide some contrast to what will be a 36 man unit (6x6) mostly in red.  As you can see, he appears to be rather young and is most likely the son of some wealthy merchant or penniless minor noblemen seeking the Tzarina's favor (The Realm of the Ice Queen and the Ambassador Chronicles teach us that the Boyars of Kislev are a haughty lot who make every effort to keep apart from and over commoners, so any young Boyar would be much more likely to join a prestigious rota of winged lancers or maybe even the Gryphon Legion). 

Here is a close-up of what appears to be an NCO, perhaps the Color Sergeant.  I've given him greyish hair to mark him as a veteran with many years' service.  One wonders what he thinks of his young commander!

Here is a close-up of the standard bearer.  The standard is a cut down pike.  I didn't get a chance to work on the banner this weekend, but it will be a great bear on a blue and white field (to further break up all the red in the unit).

Here are the rank-and-file.  There are four poses and each pose has 2 head variants, one with an helmet, the other with a soft, fur-trimmed cap, for a total of 8 different figures, which allows for large units that are still characterful.

Finally, here is the link to the Assault Group:


Sunday, January 22, 2017


As part of Ivan the Terrible's revamping of the Russian military, he created a new type of soldier, the Streltsy, which in Russian means "the shooters."  Until that time, Russian armies were built around all-too-often unreliable levies of noble cavalrymen and their retainers, with infantry being relatively scarce and of poor quality. No one knows exactly when the Streltsy were first deployed, but we know that there were at least 3,000 of them by 1550.  They would be the mainstay of the Russian military from the time of Ivan the Terrible until the reign of Peter the Great, who suppressed and forcibly disbanded them around the turn of the 18th century, though more for political than military reasons. 

The  real life Streltsy were volunteers, who enlisted for life, and who were paid cash for year-round service (it was the inability of the state to do so on a consistent basis that led to the Streltsy becoming landowners and getting involved in other economic activities, which drew them into politics to protect their financial interests, and it was political scheming against Peter the Great that led to their downfall).  They were armed with a firearm, a sabre, and a large two-handed axe with a massive crescent-shaped blade that also served as a musket rest (it was called a berdiche  axe). 

Interestingly, being a Streltsy was also a hereditary position, so the sons of a Streltsy automatically became Streltsy upon reaching manhood.  The generational nature of the Streltsy probably also contributed to their increasing involvement in politics over the course of their existence.

In WHFB, the Kossars are Kislev's regular soldiers and they fulfill the role that the Streltsy did in real life, fighting with  bow and great axe.  GW did, however, create a couple of really cool Mordheim figures called Streltsi who can be armed with either crossbows or musket, which forms the bulk of the unit below (the commander is a Mordheim "Champion").  WHFRP says that the Streltsi were originally Kossars from Eringrad whose commander was so impressed with the Empire's black powder weapons that he re-equipped his own men with muskets instead of bows and that men from all over Kislev journey to Eringrad to train with firearms and  earn  the title of  Streltsi.  I would imagine that, while the Streltsi are pretty rare in Kislev, the Tzarina could afford to raise and keep at least some number of these specialized troops.

As you can see, the unit above is drawn up in two ranks, so both  can fire.  In front of them are stakes I've made from cocktail toothpicks (I made these years ago for an historical miniatures game and they are painted Bestial Brown - now Mournfang Brown - washed in the old Chestnut Ink, with Bleached Bone tips). 

Frankly, a unit of Renaissance black powder troops in the open without cover would be toast because of the slow rate of fire and inaccuracy of their weapons.  This is why Renaissance Russian armies fought behind wooden palisades with wheels called the gulyay-gorod ("wandering town") and the early Cossacks fought from circled wagons.  So, I thought it appropriate to at least give my Streltsi the possibility of deploying behind something that might even the odds a bit in melee ( -1 to  hit for attackers crossing the stakes under the last edition of WHFB). 

The troops are painted largely the same way I painted the commander of the Pushki; Atldorf Blue coats washed with Drakenhof Nightshade (I'm out of the old Asurmen Blue). The pants and caps are  Khorne Red, but I decided to brighten them with a layer of Khadof Red Base (a P3 paint), and them washed the area with Carrosburg Crimson.  The fur is Ceramite White heavily washed with Nuln Oil.  The gloves, which are a major feature on the Streltsi, are Dryad Bark.

The officer has one of the big Mordheim Kislevite swords (the detail at the end of the hilt is painted in Retributor Gold, from the new Citadel metalics range) and a repeater pistol from the Empire Pistoliers/Outriders set.  While such weapons are incredibly rare even in the Empire, an elite unit of handguners in the Tzarina's own service could probably source a repeater pistol for its commander.

The one interesting feature on the Streltsi are the right legs, which are wrapped in some sort of leather strips, presumably because the soldier doesn't have a shoe.  One a figure or two, this is a nice feature, but a little odd for every figured in a unit.  I thought about filling, sanding, etc. to make them look like the other leg but I'm not that good a modeler and would rather spend the time painting more figures. I painted that area Baneblade Brown then washed it pretty heavily in Argax Earthshade.  The left legs have leggings that Steel Legion Drab washed with Seraphim Sepia and shoes that are painted with Rhinox Hide.

One final note; the unit's base is made from the WHFB basing kit, but the borders are plastruct pieces, just like I used for the Reiters (though these pieces are a little bigger).