Why is this here..


A Lead Odyssey is about my hobby, collecting, painting and playing with toy soldiers. It will cover the various rulesets I use, the figures I am painting (very slowly), and some games. Thanks to Harry Pearson for the Achtung Schweinehund reference. The uniform jacket in the picture was adapted from a safari suit, the weapon is a wooden sub-machine gun made by me and my dad. Cool eh?

I play a range of scales, rules and periods.. scales are anything from 6mm, through 15mm to 28mm for little men, but I also use 1/1200 for Napoleonic Naval, and 1/3000 for Pre-Dreadnought period Naval.

My tastes are eclectic, but I have avoided most 'Fantasy' Games for a few years, as I couldn't get into the usual suspects for Fantasy Battles, and didn't have a decent group to play role-playing style games.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Early Imperials WiP Little Big Men Shield Transfers

Ok, so I have been putting off this bit, as it was something that was terrifying me. I had over 150 shield transfers to apply, and I had never used this type before. First results were mixed, mainly my fault, Doh!

So first of all, all my EIR minis are Corvus Belli, so when I ordered the transfers from LBMS Little Big Men Studios, I made sure I ordered the ones designed for Corvus Belli. The oval transfers for the Auxilia seemed to fit perfectly, but the ones for the legionary shields are just a tiny bit too small.  As you can see from the Legionary element on the right below, there is a border round the shield (one of them isn't terribly straight either, but so be it).

Auxilia on the Left, Legions on the right, but you knew that anyway, right?
Apologies for the photograph but it's 11pm and I still haven't got my macro lense for the Canon 500D.

LBMS advise in the instructions to paint the shield white - which I have done..  As you can see there is a noticeable white border. For the rest of the minis, I will paint the shields centres white and then do the best colour match I can to paint around the edge. It should be hardly noticeable.

The process of applying the transfers is fiddly - but straight-forward. So heres my advice.

1. Do this with plenty of light.
2. Do it on a contrasting background. Not white, and not the transfer colour either!
3. Have a rubbish area for all the tiny bits of plastic and paper that you will generate.
4. Make sure you have a very sharp (new) blade for your knife to cut out bosses. (I found doing all the strokes in one direction down a transfer sheet then turning it to cut the other direction made it easier). Have a spare blade handy as nothing blunts a knife faster than cutting paper.
5. Buy yourself a really really good pair of small scissors, and make sure they are completely clean. I can't emphasise this enough, you don't want to cut curves using a craft knife.
6. Removing the plastic covering is easier than I thought it would be, but you will need a LOT of patience. It is fiddly. Don't do it on the day you came home from work and kicked the cat.
7. Yes, they really do stick very well!
8. As you will be blobbing water on to the figure to remove the backing, make sure the figure is sealed or at least paints/washes have had plenty of time to set.
9. Get a rhythmn going. Sort out how many you intend to do. Once you start you can be peeling backing off the first figure in the element and then placing the transfer on the last. You can get quite quick.

Overall, with the caveat that the legionary transfers seem to be slightly too small, I am very pleased with the overall result. I will certainly use LBMS transfers again, and I am also no longer gripped with terror at the thought of having to do the entire army. I suspect a couple of hours will knock them all over.

So now I just have to get back to painting..

Sunday, 27 May 2012

DBA with a Twist

Home from a very enjoyable competition at the Austrian-Australian Club, run by the indefatigable David Lawrence, who this time also played as we had odd numbers. Very nice to see him get a chance to play. David had tweaked the rules, and Hordes acted basically as another form of Psiloi, providing support to all friends. I brought my Communal Italians, List III/72(b), Kn general, 2 x Kn, 2 x Sp, 2 x Ax, 2 x 8Bw, 1 x WWg, and 2 Hordes...

Many games somewhat blurred, I started off against Greg (Gregorious from the Fanaticus list), who was running Papal Italian. A very tight game, which I eventually won out 4 - 3.


David Osborne was next with his Classical Indians.. difficult.. and I managed to not lose. My Auxilia couldn't kill bow, and David used a single Blade very effectively. This game timed out. The first time this has happened to me in years at DBA. We played the next bound anyway, and his elephants died. But the score still stood at 1-1.


Next up, Steve with his Feudal English, I massed a block of Bow and Wwg, and pushed forward, shooting down his knights with embarassing ease.

Game four.. Peter Phelps..  running Alexandrian Macedonians. I managed to be 6-1'd to death, oh dear. I killed his general, but even then he kept rolling 6 & 5 for PIPs and 6s in combat. Notably my Kn general failed to kill his artillery at 4-2 in my favour with a quick kill in three attempts.. grrrrrrrrrr.

Game five, Brenton Searle with his Armagnacs - a tough fight, in which I eventually triumphed - thanks to a combination of cheese and some excellent dice rolling. The final bound saw me kill three elements to add to the three we had each lost. 6 elements and I was confident I might be up there for the executioner award.

Finally - Murray Woodford and his English..  I pushed on one flank, and with the war wagon and 8 bow, eventually shot down enough of his bow to win the game. This was a major comeback from the start of the game, where the first combat roll was a 6-1 in his favour to kill a Sp with Artillery.

All up a very fun day, and surprisingly, one loss, one unfinished game and 4 wins was  enough for second place. Murray won first place having won 5 out of six.  Owen, who finished equal on points was given third on countback (number of Hordes!). Greg got the executioner award, and Brenton got the handicap award. (David handicaps armies and gives a prize for the winner of the biggest rating comparison..)

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Early Imperials WiP

Just a quick taste since it has been so long. An Early Imperial Roman army (Year 0) I am painting up for DBMM. In the list books it is II/56 EIR.

Still some decisions to make. I have the lovely Corvis Belli figures, including some of the 'winter legionaries' in cloaks etc. So I am considering patches of snow on the bases. Not yet decided, and a long way to go before I need to decide. This little lot are intended for use at Wintercon. So still a couple of weeks to get them over the line.. 

So far they have been pretty standard. 'Chainmail colour' then a black wash (GW Badab Black), then flesh, now I have gone back and done tunic edging, sleeves in a uniform colour.

I tried something new for the wooden things (Carts and so on).Heavy wet-brush of light grey, then a wash of the 'Coat d Arms' Brown Ink Wash. (You would think they would have better names for these than just 'Brown' - like 'Bilious Brown' or 'Umbraceous Orridness' - but no, Coat d Arms - 'Brown', similarly, they have one also called 'Black. How unimaginative. Anyway, relatively pleased how it has turned out. Lots more washes to do, especially horses and cloaks, but good progress.