Some silence on the blog for a while. I have a few drafts posts I never seem to get out of the door. Here is a short one, but I hope it will give you some of that Joy of Six.
Have had the pleasure of playing a fair amount of games with Des, and friends, in his shed of war (more about this later). Over the bank holiday weekend I wanted to introduce Des to the Twilight of the Sun King rules and bringing over some of those 6mm I “used” to dabble with.
I decided to go for the variant of Gadebusch scenario in the Great Northern War scenario book, I put this on at Joy of Six, a few year ago.
However this time I am going for a Summary board and replacing the Danish force with a full Saxon force and making some bespoke river/marshland board to represent the terrain. You can read about the actual battle here.
This the map fromm the book…
I did not feel that the rivers I had worked well and wanted to cover the marshlands as well, so I set about making a small river system for the game, with some vinyl floor planks, some acrylic adhesive mixed with brown paint and sand.
The final set-up, well worth adding the river sections.
Then pack it all up in my Swedish handbag.
Anyway some more pictures from the game…, this is not an AAR, but in summary.
The terrain tough and will break up the Swedish Advance and timing is important, the bombardment from the Saxons also served another problem to the advance,
The Swedish mobile light guns did a great job as they did in the real battle, and
It was somewhat in the balance but the Saxon morale broke after a successful attack on the left flank.
In other news I finally finished these old Holger Erikssson models, a little bit bigger than the 6mm stuff. They are lacking some detail here and there but an absolute joy to do.
So did Des like it and the rules, well I believe so?
“I had never played anything like them, but once I played a few turns and with Per being a good tutor, I got into the swing of things. The terrain was awful to manoeuvre over so a unique battle to try and fight. Ready for the next game now!”
Go and follow his adventures on Twitter – always tinkering with his collections and sharing some great stuff.
A few days before Christmas I was invited to speak on Sean Clark’s podcast Gods Own Scale, where I covered some thoughts and reflections from the year that just passed (link below the picture, if you want to check it out).
It is always great to catch-up with Sean and it is well worth checking up his back catalogue if you are not already familiar with it.
Anyway as a kind of complement I will do a quick overview of some of the things I did on the hobby front this year (mainly an organised listing of links to blogposts). As always in doing the review I realise that I have been doing far more than expected.
The sections are
More 3D printing
Commissioning some 6mm miniatures
Sweden 1943 Project 15mm
The Battle of Lund 1676 6mm and the 6mm Charity Project
Fantasy Ice Hockey 28mm
An Awarding Year – Caesar Award (Wargaming Blog 2021) and Best in Show at Salute (6mm Poltava 1709
More 3D printing
I continued some exploration of 3D printing and came to the conclusion after a lot of printing that I should stop just printing and just keep things back until I intended to paint stuff, avoiding creating yet another mountain – this time in resin instead of lead. On the whole I really enjoy using the printer and the result it produced – it has not really reduced the amount of stuff I buy but has given me some options for doing alternative stuff. Here are few of the stuff I did do.
More details on this here
Commissioning some 6mm miniatures
I also commissioned some 6mm miniatures to be used as commanders for my GNW 6mm stuff. I did 5 minutures in total, the one below shows Stenbeck at Helsingborg in 1710.
More about that here and the other miniatures that I commissioned.
Sweden 1943 Project 15mm
Further Progress was made on my Swedish 1943 Project and I added some more tanks and armoured cars (well trucks). I also did a high level army list for O Group, the new game from Too Fat Lardies.
More about this project here
The only big 6mm project I did start in the year was the Forces in Holstein 1700 as part of the start of the Great Northern War. This offers two very colourful opposing armies and the potential for a very interesting wargaming experience – in reality there were no big field battles, but this project offers some exploration of this.
I also bought some already painted 6mm ancients that I rebased and quickly got my 6mm Ancient Punic War collection substantially increased. I also did a summary blog on a lot of the #6mmtips I have shared on twitter over the last few years. More on these projects below.
The Battle of Lund 1676 6mm and the 6mm Charity Project
This year I took the Battle of Lund 1676 to the Virtual Joy of Six event, I ended up doing a video to present the game and also talked about the Charity Project that was completed last year. There are some links to two video that was produced to support these projects.
I did a lot of terrain projects this year most notably I did a lot of clutter, or immersion markers as I prefer to call them, for the 1943 table, but there are some generic ideas you could use for other theatres and scales. I also did a fair few buildings and fields.
These projects has allowed me to create some really immersive battlefields, like this one. Here a little video that Des Darkin did showing off the table laid out using many of the terrain elements produced this year (thanks Des).
Fantasy Ice Hockey 28mm
I did some further work on my Fantasy Ice hockey project and we are developing some alternative rules to use. More on some conversions and some 3d printed models below.
Those were my main activities for the year, here some of the smaller projects that was done
I received two awards this year, the Caesar Award for the Blog of 2021 organised by Little Wars TV and also the Best Game in Show (Presidents Award) at Salute for the 6mm Poltava 1709 table.
Here a video made by Alex at Storm of Steel covering the show with an interview with Nick and I discussing the battle.
Nick Dorrell, his Merry Wyre Foresters and I presented the Poltava 1709 6mm table at Salute yesterday and had a smashing day. We talked with so many people that came by of all ages, some knowing more than others about the period and the scale. We had a constant flow of people to our table up to about 1pm an after this it slowed down. For everyone that came to our table during the day I hope that either the table or our interaction with you blew you away, hopefully at least the former but I wish the latter too. I also, as always had great help from the family with the Better One and the Little One both making sure I got there and back safely.
Here some pictures of it all. All miniatures are by Baccus 6mm, the miniatures are based for playing the Twilight of the Sun King rules but we have used them for a number of rule sets over the years. I have made a very short summary of the rules here.
Here some pictures of the table.
Anyway halfway through the day we were presented with an award from the organisers of Salute – The South London Warlord. I have to admit I did not expect us to get it, but I think it was about time not for me but for a lot of small scale gamers out there old a and new. I am certainly no one-trick pony and I do understand the merits of each scale as a tool for telling a story – the Battle of Poltava needed to be told like this, the Town that was laid under Siege by the Swedes to force the Russian to give battle, the dense Yakovetski forest was there so we could understand how some of the Swedish Battalions got lost in it, and one of the key surprises was the fact that the Russians had built 10 redoubts slowing down the Swedish advance, all this before the main battle and not possible to show in less than 16 feet at 6mm with a battalion frontage of about 60mm – it would be tough to do it in 28mm.
In doing an inventory of the Units I had before the show I realised I had done about 20 bases of Dragoons I had surplus to my requirement and therefore thought I could do something for the hobby. Every person I noticed and judged being 10 years or under that came to the table during the day and showed some interest I gave a base. I had given away 15 at the end of the day and had a small talk with them and their Dad or Mum. They all now know the difference between a Dragoon and a Standard Cavalry unit during the period.
I did not declare this as I wanted to to make it as a surprise and I only had 20 bases and did not want to let anyone down. Anyway I wanted to do this on the back of dragging around the Little One to wargames shows since he was 5 years old and having him being occasionally either ignored or looked at like he was Satan himself. I, and more importantly he, cherishes the times when someone talked to him and engaged with him directly and got him involved. I just wanted to try to create a few of those moments.
If you are interested in the Poltava project there is a lot of posts on my blog covering various aspects of it, I think these are the main ones (the first two showing a lot of pictures of the set up).
I presented some Morokanth I had painted in the last blog (just published yesterday) for my diversion doing some Saga Age of Magic in Glorantha (although this will no doubt include other type of fantasy armies in the end). It has made me rather inspired.
The rules are a few years old and they have been sitting like a problem waiting for a solution and I am happy to have found one. I love Saga because it is different and we have played many Dark Age battles with rules – I have at least a 4 point army in 6mm for each faction. However this is fantasy and doing it with a Gloranthan twist will be great.
Morokanth, full range from skirmishers to heavily armoured and armed, also chariots (man-drawn) and herder with herd men (See the last blog post for a few of these codes, here)
Scorpion men, nice compliment to a chaos army, there are four codes, including command, spear/shied, spear and feral with claws.
I did use some Scorpion men in a crazy game we put up at Joy of Six using the Dragon Rampant rules a few years back (more here)
Bison Riders, enough to build some nice charging buffalos!, these are the sculpt in the range.
I did paint up a fair few some time ago in a previous blog update (more here). There are also some Greens for the Broos there worth checking out.
I talked to Paul at Rapier today who has a whole load of ranges in various stages of production, as I showed in the last blog, Trolls are one of these. When I ordered the Morokanth, Paul kindly provided me with some trolls. I got a few each of what will be released and made a small caravan set as well as some bases I will use for Skirmish – I will do an order to create the Saga Armies later when they are issued.
Here they are:
A caravan moves gently through the forest (yes I missed a few spots here and there!, but this is 6mm)
Anyway the bases I did were:
/ Hope that was of some interest and if so go and have a look at Rapier’s stuff
Bank holiday here in the UK coming to an end, hobby is slow at the moment due to work but a few fun things recently.
Planet Pot Troopers
Saga Magic – a 6mm Fantasy / Glorantha Project
Last blog post I presented the bad guys – the Il Douchebag and his gang and that I would get some additional soldiers as support (more here). So do do the Pot Troopers I have ordered a few Sprues of these from Wargames Atlantic (I only order two sprues on ebay to see if I like them in the “flesh” – I might buy more but that is enough for now.
I gave them a simple paintjob just like the rest of Il Douchebag’s soldiers (Dark Green with black more or less). But I really like the result and they fit in really nicely.
So these are for our Sci-Fi campaign and will be used for a game of Stargrave next week.
6mm Glorantha for Saga Age of Magic
You might recall I did a project for Saga in 6mm a few years ago (more here) and I bought Saga age of Magic some time ago but I am yet to try it out. Anyway I bought a bundle of Gloranthan Morokanth (the kind of Tapir like race of nomads that herd humans). Here is a picture of them from the latest Glorantha Beastiary.
Paul at Papier told me some time ago that he were doing some Moronkanth in 6mm (he already did Bison Riders and Scorpion men, more here) and I got myself a fair few of these, there are plenty of different packs from herders with human, man-drawn chariots, sword/club/spear armed with and without armour and a command set.
I intend to base them like I did my Dark Ages armies for Saga (example below) but have not yet done so, on 25mm square bases each representing a base in the normal game, i.e. a Levy is 12 bases with either 4 foot/2 mounted 6mm miniatures, a warrior is 8 bases with 8 foot/3 mounted 6mm miniatures and hearthguard 4 bases of 9 foot/4 mounted, with the warlord being 1 base with 10 foot/5 mounted.
Anyway so far I am in the middle of the painting and finished the first batch today.
I just wanted to show how nice the sculpts are – remember that they are very small.
Also Paul will shortly release some Gloranthan Trolls in 6mm, I have just put the first coats down on a few of these. They look interesting.
In other news I painted some old Terminators I had to be used the Mutant 1984 madness (they are from the first Space Hulk set). I like the look with the bronze and brass paint job. You do not immediately think Space Marine. They will serve as a kind of Security Bot.
In the previous post on this project I showed the Danish force sent to Holstein in 1700 (see here) the horse element of this army consisted of:
Uniform details can be found in the excellent source Tacitus.nu (well worth bookmarking for a lot of collected information on the Great Northern War, link here). For the Regiment that have missing information I went for Red facing colours (Bernstorffs regiment, but I will probably find that this is wrong when I dig deeper). Further information can be found in the translated version of Torstein Snorrason’s Danish Cavalry Uniforms 1699-1712 (it was available on Dan Schorr’s excellent Northern Wars page that is not longer available on the internet).
The base uniform is mainly a light grey colour with differing facings per regiment, I used the Vallejo Deck tan colour, the models have had Winsor Newton Nutbrown Ink applied to them. There are two bases (9 riders on each) for each of the regiments. As always they look a little bit dark at this stage before the basing as all bases are painted dark (shit) brown.
As you can see the standards are yet not painted but will be based the illustrations in “The Great Northern War 1700-1721 (Part 2), by Hoglund, Sallnas and Besplow” that contains all but 1 or 2 of the standards we need for these regiments. But that if for next time – it is always a little bit of an undertaking to paint a bath of 162 cavalry in one sitting and I need a little bit of recovery time.
So now I have done a significant part of this project, but there are some Swedish regiments and some of the allied forces left to do a well as Danish Dragoons, artillery and of course all the commanders. But that is for another time.
I also realised that I had the answer to the Holstein-Gottorp uniform details just in front of me in the eminent “Great Nothern War Compendium, Part 1” edited by Stephen L. Kling, Jr. and the “The Great Northern War 1700-1721” (mentioned above). Happy days.
And in other news I got myself a cutting mat, but instead of the traditional dark green I got a light blue (a2 size), it actually gives a lighter, i.e. more lit-up, working environment and it has positively affected my painting experience. Maybe it is just because it is new, but worth considering if you need to replace yours or are considering getting one.
This is a blogpost with a link to my Youtube video for the Joy of Six 2021 Event, 4th July 2021, from 10AM – 4PM GMT+1, if you read this before this time you can go to Baccus 6mm nd just sign-up through the invite (link here https://www.baccus6mm.com/news/29-06-2021/TheJoyofVirtualSix-thisSunday/ ). I will be taking questions about the game from 11.30 to 12.30. If you like the video, please link or perhaps even subscribe to the channel. I might be inspired to do some more.
I will also do a presentation of the Charity Project where more than 50 painters signed up and we ended up with two small armies, it will start at 10.15 (GMT+1) and will include a presentation of the idea, how it worked, the background to the armies we built, pictures of each unit and some action photos.
Below is a link to the presentation, however it will not be made public until after the presentation (at 11.00 GMT+1 on 4th July 2021), so if you miss the presentation you can get it here after the event.
The following is a companion blog post for the Lund 1676 battle that will be presented at the Virtual Joy of Six 2021 on Sunday 4th July 2021 (starting 10am, UK time, more detail will follow on Baccus.com). It contains the Ordre de Bataille that is used to set up the table and play the game presented, also the unit types and qualities used for the battle. These a specifically for the Sun Kings rules, but I hope you could have some use of these for whatever rules you use. The idea is aggressive Swedish Units but not up to the quality we would expected in the Great Northern war – a lot of the galloping horse (i.e. shock cavalry) are using the tactics but are classed as raw due to lack of experience in the method (with a few exceptions). Similar the Danes used the Caracole and this have been classified as Poor Cavalry but trained (bad tactics but good soldiers). Similar for the infantry but we have assumed all units as trained. The extra morale factor for the Swedes often used in the Great Northern War is not present in this battle. Note that a large number of the Swedish units are classified as small due to the very small numbers of reported men in the battalion or the squadrons.
Note that we used a base width of 30mm and therefore most units where 60mm wide (battalion scale lite, as this does only one battalion and 2 squadrons per units, instead of the normal two battalions and 4 squadrons per base. We used some odd 30mm bases and used these are an additional base for the large units and this base, was taken away when the first morale loss was failed (simulating the additional resilience of the large unit). Also note that the Dutch Sailors have been given the inferior infantry classification, this means that they are always inferior to the normal infantry units in melee and in musketry. As for cavalry the Swedes had 12 guns and the Danes 56 guns, I have given the Swedes 2 gun bases and the Danes 6, perhaps the Swedes only deserve one?
/ Hope that was of some interest, let me know how you have interpreted Lund 1676, and I hope you check out Joy of Six, there will be plenty of 6mm related things to explore.
I have been running a little bit of an occasional series on Twitter (@Roll_a_one) giving some more or less profound advice with regards to the 6mm aspect of the hobby from my perspective, you can find these under the #6mm tips and were done in 2019 and 2020. I also asked the Hive Mind for some advice recently and I have used these two sources to write a little bit of a rambling post about some of the insights I have learned from painting 6mm miniatures over the last 15 years or so. They are my own views and your Glorantha may vary! I am passionate about the scale and try to share the love I feel for it as much as possible.
Thinking about 6mm
If you have never tried painting 6mm why not find a manufacturer and order a small pack and see if it works for you – you might be pleasantly surprised. The models shown below are Bison Riders from Rapier Miniatures, Sci-fi models from Brigade Models, 8th Army infantry from Adler and some SYW Mounted Grenadiers (used as Russians in my GNW games).
Approach to Painting
I think this summary from Joe about his first experience of painting 6mm is extremely useful for how I think 6mm is best tackled, of course some people are spending a lot of time on detail and there is no problem with that. I tend to do too large projects to be able to spend a lot of time on each little miniatures. Paint an army that looks good from when you stand up or sit back looking at it on the wargames table. The second tweet shows that every now and then you will achieve something that looks really good in detail even if you did not plan it.
Painting your Miniatures
I did a few painting guides last year, showing “my” method with regards to how I tend to paint, but there are various ways of doing it. Below is a link to an old blog that gives links to the 4 guides I did. Use a good brush with a good point, try to get used using a Size 1 or even 2 for the majority of the painting. A 10/0 is just a waste of time in my opinion, wears out quickly and holds no paint – dip paint dip paint, instead of dip paint along! I use grey with black wash, some prefer black (perhaps drybrushed white), brown or white undercoat. I struggle with white as it is less forgiving than darker undercoats, but with some washed people can achieve some excellent results. As for the colours go a little bit brighter as this will look better from a distance, play with contrasts if you can, it works better than highlights if you do it right.
The first one relates to washing your miniatures or not (this is washing them as part of the painting process, not before your start working on them, which I heard you should but I never do). Some people paint their miniatures nicely and perhaps even do a few highlights and do not bother with a wash. I tend to block paint my miniatures as good as I can, then add Winsor and Newton Nutbrown Ink on top, make sure it does not pool too much and sometimes I add some highlights once it has dried. I find this method being the most efficient balance between a lot of work on detail and limited detail as the wash tends to do a good job and I just love the shine of the Nut. I never varnish my 6mm stuff – perhaps I should?
Detail when it matters
Some detail can really pay off and look ok even from a distance, for my Gallic warriors below I just carefully added some blue ink – upfront it does not look very well but from a distance you could image that those are some kind of tattoos. The second tweet show the power of using highlights on bare skin making a hell of difference to the final result. The final tweet is showing how powerful some nicely detailed shields can be. The last one about painting Tartan in 6mm, well actually it is not Tartan at all – the brain will fill in what is difficult to paint.
Basing is not everything but pretty close
Make sure your basing is consistent and think about how it interfaces with your board/mat, well at least the one you are most likely to use. It is more powerful if the base blends into the playing surface and the army is aligned. All my 6mm stuff is more or less aligned, this includes the terrain – it all comes together.
Light and Sight
This is really important if you are not able to see properly your painting will suffer. First priority get a good daylight lamp, mine cost about £120 but I do spend a lot of time under it. Second if you are not able to see properly get some magnifying glasses to support you doing the work – I just use my normal glasses and it works fine at the moment.
Some Bonus Tips
Anyway, I do hope that was of some interest, please provide some tips and advice of your own in the comments.
I was flashed a Republican Roman army by Ebay the other day, it looked well painted and there were a lot of miniatures for the £65 asked for including postage, with a mixture of Baccus and Rapier models. Doing a quick calculation I found the metal value was about £62 if the models would have been bought from Baccus and Rapier, the models were really well painted.
Well for the cost of bare metal and the models already base painted I thought it might be quicker to remove the figures from the bases, add some details and rebase them in my own style and base style – I have based all my ancients on 50 by 20mm bases (based on some Command and Colors stuff I have done). Before you do this it could be worth asking the seller how they based the figures – if they based the modes with sand and pva, it is relatively easy to do this (even if they superglued the models first), if a form of filler were used it is still ok but messier and finally if a superglue was used for both attaching the figures and to bind the sand – I would probably give it a pass. These were glued on then based with PVA and Sand – piece of cake.
Here is the steps I took.
In total it took me a few sessions, about 9 hours to rebase all the miniatures (including doing the shields and a few more highlights) – I would not have been able to paint the bare lead and base up nowhere near this amount, so it was well worth it and fun. With addition of detail and uniform details it is difficult to see any difference between the models I have painted from scratch and the ones I have rebased.
It is messy and I suppose if the basing has been done with superglue and sand it may be tricky to deal with, but otherwise perfectly ok. I managed to increased the size of my Romans significantly to match my Carthagians very quickly.
In other news…
In other news I have enjoyed painting another excellent model I got from Fenris Games – it is called the Dweller in the Ruins and can be bought here in the UK and from Barbaric Splendor, here, in the US. It did not take long and it is an absolute master sculpt – I think a more skilled painter than I could do something really remarkable with the model, but I am more than happy with this result.