Saturday, July 31, 2021

Renaissance Reconnaissance, Part 1 - The Spanish; Boxes #1 - #4

    I have the numbers and identification of all my painted troops, etc., recorded and tallied in detail on the "pages" of this blog. Some are in need of another periodic updating now, usually done every 3 to 6 months. This is of course a clear indication of an obsessive personality trait. :-) 

    All that is, except one era... my Renaissance troops. The explanation for this is pretty simple. Most troops of this era are fairly generic. That's a plus with regard to collecting and painting them, but a detriment when it comes to counting and documenting them. The recent "Off the Shelf" reorganization of my collection created an opportunity to assign the figures to semi permanent boxes  for the long haul, and in so doing to finally complete their census (now if only they could be taxed to pay for their upkeep and support!). 

    I decided to lead (in both the pronunciations of the word!)  the process off with the one part of the Renaissance roster that is instead pretty distinctive, namely the Spanish. The bulk of these figures are the wonderful Hinchliffe Spanish, really dressed more for the later, Armada era, but so wonderfully iconic. Many of the sculpts convey such a wonderful, subtle attitude of arrogance suited to the nation of the Conquistadors and the wealth of the "Siglo de Oro". Most of these figures were painted when I was a Resident in Family Medicine, circa 1982 - 1984. The remaining figures are Essex with a very few by Redoubt as well. If nothing else, they will illustrate the process, as well as verifying and updating the current tally. 

The Spanish are housed in four 8.1 L Really Useful Boxes; really closer to three, the 4th box simply housing a Camp element. Box #4 might eventually be used strictly for a number of Camp elements of various factions. 

Box #1 contains all of the Spanish cavalry, some commanders, and a few LI Crossbowmen. 

16 LC/MC Genitors, 12 EHC Spanish Knights on metal barded horses, 18 EHC Lancers ("Elmeti"),

12 HC Mounted Arquebusiers, 4 LI Crossbowmen, and 5 mounted commanders.

Box 2 has about half of the infantry; Tercios/Collunellas and supporting troops. 

64 MI/HI Pikemen, 48 Arquebusiers,

12 HI Halberdiers, 24 HI Swordsmen, 12 LI Crossbowmen.

Box 3 contains the rest of the infantry, and all of the Musketeers. 

32 MI/HI Pikemen, 12 MI Arquebusiers, 8 LI Arquebusiers, 8 LI Crossbowmen,

 8 LI Swordsmen, 24 LI Musketeers, and 24 vMI Musketeers.

Box #4 at present simply contains the Spanish Camp vignette. Perhaps some more camps will be added in the future? 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Egyptian Spearman of Division Amun


Red is the color of Division Amun in my scheme. 

Some of the men in the front rank have drawn their kopesh, the famous curved sword of the Egyptians. 

These are Newline Designs figures, purchased during their annual January sale earlier this year. 

These are excellent figures, as I have noted previously!

Trecking across the desert sands in bare feet must have been interesting; I imagined they developed one heck of a set of calluses!

The magic wash did a nice job of bringing out the details of these figures. 

Friday, July 23, 2021

Aghast at more fine wares from Pastimes on the Square!


While working on the table layout for my upcoming Kadesh playtest, I decided that I needed some terrain enhancements  to improve the look of that table, and the two other games that are to feature Ramses II and his opponents. I recalled the fine items I acquired from Pastimes on the Square, located in Palmyra (I love it!), Pennsylvania. A brief email to Steve confirmed that they were still shipping orders, and we were off!

Tall Weeds, Elephant Grass, Weeds and Reeds, Brambles, and Desert Weeds.

Tree ferns, Colorful Weeds, Medium Scrub Trees, Mixed Shade Trees. 

3 packs of 1" tall flocked hills, one each 12", 9", and 6" diameter per pack. I got one pack in Desert flock for the Egyptian games. 

10 "Desert Weeds", with a 28 mm figure for scale. 

12 "Brambles". 

15 "Weeds and Reeds" 

12 "Tall Weeds"

15 "Colorful Weeds"

Steve also extended to me the same "Buy two, get one free" deal as last year- no need to be identical, either!

10 "Elephant Grass"

"Moses, Moses... where are you hiding? "

10 "Tree Ferns"

10 "Scrub Trees"

10 " 2 inch 
Mixed Shade" trees. In truth, these are really too small for 28 mm, but they will work well with Snappy Nappy Campaign in a Day events and other uses. They sell trees up to 4" in height. 

The contents of 2 of the 1" height hill packs in green...

and the three pack in Desert flock. 

    When we confirmed the availability of the items and the order total with the effective 33% discount, I then asked Steve how much to add for shipping. "The shipping is free!" was the answer. Dude, almost nobody does THAT anymore. Wow!  Needless to say, a big box arrived a few2 days later, well packed, with the items just as ordered. Hard to beat that kind of service and value these days!

Many of these items will also come in  handy for the planned "Darkest Afrika" project as well...

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Egyptian Archers of Division Ptah

These rather heavily protected Archers (for Egyptians) wear Crocodile leather armor.

The green distinctive color marks them as belonging to Division Ptah in my scheme. 

Ptah was the god of Creation and craftsmen, and is often depicted as a green man, bearing multiple Egyptian symbols of power. 

These are Foundry figures, purchasd during their annual "Christmas" sale the end of 2020. 

Egyptian Archers were famous for their skill as late as the Successor era and the Ptolemaic dynasty. 

The armor could merit a "Veteran" designation for To the Strongest!

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Off the Shelf and Back Again - a Hobbyist's Holiday!


When I got my first apartment, way back at the start of Medical School in 1977, I knew I wanted to take the bulk of my armies with me. Once I settled in, I bought first one and then a second "assemble yourself " faux walnut particle board shelf units. Not bad at all for the price, really. They went with me to my next apartment in medical school, then my room in a 4 bedroom condo rented \with 3 other students, then my apartment as an intern, then the apartment my wife and I moved into when I was a resident, then the condo we lived in when I started my medical practice, and finally our present home, where they have been for 33 years. About 20 years ago we had some pretty significant basement flooding, and that damaged both of the units. Between that, progressive sagging from the weight of all that lead for more than 45 years, and a looming crisis in storage space for my collection, this winter I decided it was time to replace the tried and true shelf units.

Over time, I had added this steel shelf unit

to the second "walnut" unit (note the sagging of the lower shelf)

Then a lightweight, easily assembled plastic shelf unit

and then a second of the same (sharp eyes will note some sagging already occurring after just a few years). Lead is heavy!

With shipping, all steel units were too expensive, and local DIY stores didn't seem to have any steel units on site. So I ordered some on line.. "Muscle Rack". 

Made in Vietnam! The units are solid steel, but the shelves are fiberboard, but supported on all 4 sides which should reduce sagging. They were assembled easily enough, until it became clear that 4 key parts were missing; considering that they weren't included on the parts list (!), perhaps unsurprising. Emails to their support line went unanswered, but an eventual phone call was answered pretty promptly, the missing parts sent out and received in a timely fashion. I completed the shelves prior to the Punic Faith game last month. 

While I was at home on vacation last week (during most of which the weather was very unseasonably cold and rainy!), I unloaded one of the old shelves, which was really deteriorated, and broke it up and removed it. The old grey steel shelf unit was unloaded, moved into the vacated space, and re-loaded with troops. 

The first new shelf was placed adjacent to the old one, after more box shuffling, the second old shelf removed, 

and the second new shelf unit placed adjacent to the first. 

The two plastic shelving units were similarly unloaded, moved, and reloaded. The 2nd old shelf unit was reassigned to hold a good part of the many old paperback books I can't make myself discard yet.  

Having moved the well over 13,000 25/28 mm figures of my collection, for any who are interested, I'm going to do a broad overview of same, shelf by shelf. 

The top shelf of unit #1 is all French Napoleonics, with the Imperial Guard to the left of the picture. 

2nd shelf, 1st unit is more French Napoleonics to the right, then Kingdom of Italy, then Saxons, Wurttemburgers, and Badeners. 

3rd shelf, 1st unit is Nassau/Rhine Confederation minor states, Kingdom of Westphalia, Duchy of Warsaw/Poles, Danes, then Spanish.

The bottom shelf of unit 1 holds terrain walls, fences, hedges, orchards, earthworks, etc

I don't waste space - on top and above the units are more boxes with various terrain items. Veterans of my Historicon games will recall helping me carry those big boxes in and out. One of my dear patients, Mrs. Garrity, now sadly a few years gone, would send me a huge box of wonderful grapefruit every Christmas. We enjoyed them a lot for many years, but I really coveted the large, sturdy boxes they came in, which were promptly recycled, as seen. 

Unit 2, top shelf is the home of the rapidly growing White Menace - Napoleonic Austrians. 

Unit 2, second shelf has more Austrians, including the Tyrolese Rebels, then my Russians. 

Unit 2, third shelf has more Russians, followed by Swedes, Portuguese, and Brunswickers At far left are the generic wagons of the Commissariat. Each bow will hold up to about 90 infantry, 40 cavalry, or 10 guns with crew. 

2ndunit, bottom shelf has custom made hills, Wizardkraft Rivers, and some of my Superior/Galactic Knights starships. By the way, the clear plastic shoe boxes (with color coded lids, which, inverted,  serve as the troop trays) were all purchased back in the 1970's. They were carried at a regional retailer, Caldor stores. They would periodically go on sale there, and whenever they did I would buy as many as I could afford, in as many different colors as I could find. Many still have price tags on them (which were annoyingly difficult to remove!)

Unit 3, "over the top" storage for more terrain items!

Having exhausted my supply of 40+year old shoe boxes for my ever growing Napoleonic collection (the sharp eyed will have noted there are still a few gaps for further expansion) , the rest of my troops are now housed in Really Useful Boxes. Unit 3, top shelf are all Renaissance troops. 

Unit 3, second shelf houses my Napoleonic Prussian army. 

Unit 3, third shelf has my Napoleonic British army. 

The bottom shelf of this unit holds the rest of my Starships.

Unit 4, top shelf, has primed figures awaiting their turn on the painting table, and some of my English Civil War troops. 

Unit 4, second shelf is Ancients - Polybian Romans, Carthaginians, Byzantines. 

Unit 4, third shelf holds my Hussite Army, Teutonic Knights, Sassanid Persians, and Palmyrans.

Unit 4, 4th shelf holds Renaissance Gendarmes, Renaissance Light cavalry, and Bill McHugh's Late Medieval figures, which await a refurb and rebasing project. Note some space for future growth - a scarce commodity!

Unit 4, bottom shelf has more terrain - Lodestone buildings and many trees. 

Unit 5, top shelf has more English Civil War troops. 

Unit 5, second shelf holds my Egyptians, Sea Peoples, Hittite, and Canaanite troops.

Unit 5, 3rd shelf has my Assyrian army, plus my Wizardkraft rivers. 

Unit 5, 4th shelf has some Ancient specific terrain and my Macedonian and Mauryan Indian armies, the later slated for major expansion.

Unit 5, bottom shelf has 25 mm buildings and swamps. 

 Other locations in the basement have the unpainted lead pile, more terrain, my D&D single figures, my 1:1200 Napoleonic sailing ships, my 15 mm Renaissance Galleys, and my collection of rules, and assorted dice, cards, and other gaming paraphernalia. My history and uniform reference books are mostly upstairs. Phew!