Monday, March 22, 2021

DBA Special: infernal machines (Leonardo)


So this is an alternative baggage element for my Condotta Italians (specifically, it would be Milanese) and represents one of Leonardo's military devices.  There is, of course, no evidence that the machine was ever built*.

The plans show what look like cranks driving gears which directly turn the wheels.  Clearly it would have needed an engine of some sort to be viable.  I have shown a prototype machine being towed to the battlefield by horsepower.

(Leonardo warmachines ... a scythed chariot and a mobile gun battery complete with drive arrangement)

The model itself is resin, by Alternative Armies - and I got one for Christmas.  You could argue that it is 'Artillery' although it is a bit big for a DB Art base (it is 50mm across, so overhangs the standard base used with 15mm figures) ... so I have magnabased it, and provided alternative bases: a camp, which I would imagine would be its normal use; and a square sabot, which could see it as Art or, conceivably, WWg (as Leonardo clearly meant it to 'move and shoot').

(the warmachine's options: camp base or Art/WWg base)
Clearly, the idea is that the camp shows part of the army rear area - injured soldiers are retreating from the battle, the great inventor is bringing up his wonder weapon to save the day.  Perhaps.  Or maybe this is all just made up.
The model also incorporates trial #2 of using flats scenery (in this case the fir trees) to create a bit of extra background without using up much in the way of depth.  The trees are from Berliner Zinnfiguren.
(Milanese DBA camp: in the rear, with the gear!)
Although it overhangs more than a little, crammed in with some contemporary soldiers (from my Yorksts) it does almost fit ...
(15mm DBA: featuring Leonardo's warmachine by Alternative Armies)
Flat scenery experiment #1 was, of course, the 'Hunting in the Delta' Egyptian baggage. 

(Hunting in the Delta: mixed flats and 15mm 3D figures)

I recently added the 2D swan to the mix of birds, populating the scene.

(with the Camp Follower removed: a view of the flora and fauna)
Also receiving its finishing touches, the Sea People's Ship has been tidied up and photographed for the Camps and Baggage page.
(Shows North's 15mm Sea Peoples Ship camp for DBA: ship (adapted) by Essex, figures Essex and Chariot) 

(details of the Sea Peoples Ship DBA camp)
(Unloading: figures by Essex and Falcon)
(Wading ashore)

All three camps are newly added to the Camps and Baggage page.  There are now over 30 camp vignettes featured, with some 70 photos - hopefully to both entertain and inspire.  Feedback always appreciated!

* of course, that is us being sensible: in some earlier periods or sphere's, evidence in this sort of detail would seem quite compelling (and things have ended up on army lists with much less to support them!)

Sunday, February 28, 2021

DBA Special: Book I List 53 Saitic Egyptian

 Book I, List 53 ... Saitic Egyptian, 664 BC to 335 BC

Another army from the rich Nile region, this time Egyptians from the Assyrian and Persian periods.

A splendid little army, built around spearmen rather than the chariotry that so characterises the New Kingdom.  The army is a mix of Chariot (Magister Militum) and Essex miniatures, with the odd Falcon and Peter Pig figure for good measure.

(Saitic Egyptian General ... either HCh or Cav) 

For this army, I am providing both options.  Cav is much more the sensible option but I will probably mainly use the chariot for its destructive power (which, unfortunately can be a two-way thing!) ...
1 x LH
(15mm Saitic Egyptians: Guard, Levy and Greek mercenary hoplite spearmen) 

6 x Sp
2 x 4Bw
1 x 4Ax 
Army Camp
(Egyptian littoral camp) 
Hunting water fowl in the delta .. or 'foraging for food' ... the birds departing from papyrus plants are traditional German flats - I think they do a good job of enabling me to make a (relatively) convincing scene within the shallow space of a DBA camp base.
(CF: Museum Miniatures canoe and paddler, Essex archer)

Sunday, January 31, 2021

DBA Special: Book 1, list 58 - Meroitic Kushite 592BC to 350AD

DBA I 58 Meroitic Kushite
I planned this army some time back.  I was inspired by the note by Herodotus that the African  Aethiopian warriors painted half their bodies vermillion, half white.  Now, most commentators place these Aethiopians in Sudan, in what we might otherwise term the Kingdom of Kush.  Maybe.

This army is generally seen as a sub-Egyptian styled army (and indeed, the rock sketches of the king/general on an elephant show him with a pharaoh's crowns) but I wanted to follow Herodotus and show a more tribal force.  Perhaps these are non-Egyptising rebels, then?  Likewise, I have dated the army to 500 (so, more or less, the Persian period).

The trigger for getting on with it was spotting the tribal head I have used in the camp vignette whilst browsing the Acheson Creations website (whilst looking for something else in one of their sale windows).  I immediately got this entirely fictional image in my head, more H Rider Haggard, I suppose, which just seemd right for the then dormant 'Tribal Kushite' project ... so I hope you like it.

(DBA Meroitic 'tribal' Kushites)
The spearmen are mostly the Feudal Castings figures now sold by QRF/Freikorp, otherwise it's a mix of Essex and Chariot with the odd Falcon and Peter Pig figure thrown in.

The general rides a repurposed toy elephant that came in a Christmas cracker.  It's what I had.  It's a bit small, but I think they would have been.

The general could also be an archer - but if you are going to do this army, I think it has to be the elephant general.   That, and the fact that you don't get the general's plus in shooting (which would make him a very vulnerable element if you went that route*.
(Meroitic Kushite:15mm figures by Essex and Chariot)

(DBA Book I/list 58 Meroitic Kushite: tribal infantry by Feudal Castings/QRF et al)
These simple figures are somehow very appealing.  They are a mix of spears and various bladed weapons, but I chose to use a variety of them for the spearmen, and to use 'sub-Egyptian' style infantry (Chariot, Essex and Falcon) for the tribal axemen and swordsmen ... again, this was pretty much and intinct + aesthetics decision (going with what seems to work!).


(Meroitic Kushite infantry: various)
The Camp 

As already admitted, more H. Rider Haggard/Darkest Africa than culturally Meroitic .. a train of porters brings in supplies.  The line of march takes them past a tribal rock image, guarded by warriors.  As usual, there is a detachable Camp Follower.

(Tribal Kushite DBA camp element)
(Kushite camp: details)
For these bases, I tried to go for a deeper, less bleached African soil, more Sudanese than Saharan.

Maybe it works.

This army can fight Egyptians, Persians, Nobades, Axumites etc. (so fits well with my collection)

*he should at least get it when shot at - but, given Bw aren't supertroops, I'd just let the generals have their plusses in all combats.  Keep it simple.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Some new additions to the camps and baggage page

Apologies to anyone who got just the picture sent in a 'post' email: I inadvertently published after just uploading the first picture.  OK, I can edit and update the post (as I have done) but as far as I can see, I can't 'take back' that initial email circulation if I've published in error.  Hopefully, people will click to visit the blog anyway (and will see this explanation and see the full blog entry).

As 'ancients' continues to be 'stuck at home', I have made some new additions to the Camps and Baggage page.

The Viking longship is a notionally 10mm piece by my friend Stephen at The Baggagetrain.  It is bigger than the ones I have generally used with my 15mm figures (the base of figures in the picture is a 40mm frontage with 10mm figures on it).

(Viking longship from The Baggagetrain)
The clear plastic base is 160mm in length (so might suit smaller figures on the 60mm frontage - which is, indeed, what I am using for some new 10mm medieval armies) ...
The model is cast in resin and is very finely detailed.  I found fitting the oars quite a challenge, and haven't decided how best to do the sail.
Next, optimised for DBA but not at all a scale model, I have completed a littoral camp model for the Sea Peoples, using the Essex 'Biblical' boat.
(Sea People's DBA 'littoral' camp .. bringing the stores ashore)
The ship and Camp Follower element are removable for maximum flexibility ...
(The ship is a modified Essex model)
The crew and figures are a mix of Essex, Chariot and Falcon.
The CF shows a landing party just about to emerge up the beach (again a mix of Chariot and Essex, with Sherden heads from the Chariot Shardana figure).

Other than these soldiers, the other figures are unloading supplies. 

And then there's a slightly smaller Egyptian piece based on hunting scenes.  It will eventually sit behind the Saite period army I am completing next.   Another littoral army.

('Hunting in the Delta': Egyptian 'littoral' camp for DBA)

Just for amusement, I have added a crocodile stalking a rabbit in the foreground.  The rabbit is by Pendraken and is quite the smallest 15mm figure in my collection.

The CF is a Museum Miniatures canoe with an Essex and MM crew
(Hunting in the Delta) 

Once this is all updated, I will add these items to the Camps and Baggage page.
(a look at the interior of that highly detailed longship by The Baggagetrain)

Thursday, January 28, 2021

2020 Review of the Year

2020 - The Year That Wasn't

Well, a strange year that has passed ... the fewest shows, the fewest events and undoubtedly the fewest games ... since this blog began, and certainly in that last 30 years, too.  

Not the fewest blog posts, but down on recent trends (because there has been less 'on the move' to talk about and report.

I did creat a new page this year: for Camps and Baggage.

 We did manage to attend 3 shows ... one (Alumwell) in its own right ...

And 2 where we were both at a show and involved in a round of the SoA DBA League

Penarth and Hammerhead
With just a couple of rounds played before lockdown stopped everything, the 2020 UK DBA League was then abandoned.
We did see some virtual events, however ... a virtual Conference of Wargamers and a virtual SoA Conference (where I gave a Zoom talk on Khalid ibn al-Walid)
 We also managed to get some outdoor heritage events in over the Summer months
 Battlefield anniversaries and Heritage days
(Edgcote battlefield)
But the bulk of posts here have been army profiles ... Ancients Stuck at Home as I termed it (9 posts)