Through with Thrace (for now)

I have finished up the last of the second batch of Thracians. This group was mostly skirmishers with some warrior types and a few cavalry. New to the mix is a unit of Warriors with Rhomphaia and a goodly number of slingers and archers.

Final count comes to:

2 bases Noble Cav (3 figs per base)
8 bases Cav (3 figs per base)
8 bases Warriors with Rhomphaia (3 figs per base)
10 bases Warriors (3 figs per base)
17 bases Tribal Spearmen (3 figs per base)
16 bases Javelinmen (2 figs per base)
8 bases Archers (2 figs per base)
10 bases Slingers (2 figs per base)

Total 203 figures on bases plus 2 each loose Noble Cav, Cav, Warriors, for a total of 209 painted figures.

Still to be painted: 4 Noble Cav and 4 Horse Archers.

To add a little variety and provide some needed light cavalry I have some Forged In Battle figures on order from Noble Knight Games.

Now it is on to lining up the next project. This one has been gathering dust for quite a while.

Need a clue?


Once, Twice, Thrace

So back in November I attended Millennium Con down in Austin. While perusing the dealers room on the last day I ran across someone selling bags of mostly 15mm Essex ancients at 75% off. 75%! Of course I had to take advantage of such an opportunity. Two bags caught my eye, a small one of Thracians and a huge one of Samurai. The 5 pound bag of Samurai will wait for another day (separate swords and back banners, madness!) This is the story of the Thracians.

As reported previously I am putting the mancave in order over my Christmas break in order to get back into more painting. So having moved from this:


To this:


On Thursday I began to mount, prime, and paint my hardy band of Thracians. The mighty horde consisted of:
4 Noble Cav
16 Light Cav
16 Warriors with spear
48 Peltests with javelin
Being Essex they went together pretty quickly.

White primed and mounted
The whole tribe
Cavalary with Bodyguard Cavalry in front
Noble Warriors
Tribal warriors

My basic painting method allows for quick results and figures that look good at arm’s length. The steps:
Prime White
Block in Colors, usually starting with flesh and progressing outwards
Go back over details and fix any oops
Give them a coat of clear Future floor wax
Once dried, give them a coat of Future with blank ink and water
Base using dilute white glue and flock
Spray with matte clear

Of course no project ever goes this smoothly. While sorting through some other storage areas I came across a Plano box of minis. 15mm minis. 15mm Essex Successors minis. And of course there are more Thracians!

Thracians part deux!

So I go from a small band to a nice allied contingent in a Thraco-Macedonian Successor army. Out of curiosity I look up what it would take to make it a complete army in its own right. I am currently playing around with Mortem et Gloriam so looking up Thracian Hill or Lowland tribe I can field up to 120 bases of tribal infantry! Maybe To the Strongest might be more manageable to start with. That is a lot of Javelins. I need an Oprah figure in 15mm to be the general. “You get a javelin, you get a javelin, EVERYONE gets a javelin”

I’m baaaaack!

So nearly two years since the last post.  Quite a few things have changed.  I have added three new grand kids, bringing the total to 5!  I have also added two 3d printers and the mancave project which was just getting started at the time of the last post is finished.  As sort of a New Year’s resolution I have determined to paint more, play more, and in general enjoy life more

In order to get me motivated I am taking my Christmas break to get the mancave organized, projects lined up and horrors, get my inventory of miniatures updated.  And to add a bit more incentive I have decided to post it all on my website.  The gallery, blog and inventory will bare my shame to all who pass by.  So if you are interested here is the home page,  and the inventory  Hopefully you already have the blog space since you are reading this.

So to kick it off here are few pics of the mancave back in pristine condition.  Sad to say it looks no way as clean today. 

A mat for “To the Strongest”

I recently purchased the rules “To the Strongest” from BigRedBat for fighting ancients battles.  It looks to be a fun quick system using playing cards instead of dice.  Units succeed in a task by turning over a card high enough to beat the required number.  Units can perform a second or third, etc., task by beating the number previously played.  Movement is done using a grid system with units moving either one or two grids a move.  The size of the grid depends on the scale of the miniatures you use.  The units just need to fit within the grid.

I decided to create a game mat with the grid printed on it.  The game’s designer recommends only marking the intersections of grids rather than the entire square.  I decided to go with a 15cm square grid since this seems to accommodate both 15mm and 28mm figures.  The mat was to be printed by Banners on the Cheap on a 4’x8′ sheet of vinyl.  I used GIMP2, a free graphics program to create the jpg to be uploaded to the banner company.  I created a canvas that was actually 4’x8′ and then used the various texture, color and blending tools to create a mottled green background.  I then added the grid using an add-on tool for inserting grids.  This tool can also add hexes for those types of games.  I will be honest my brain does not grasp graphics easily, so it was hit and miss to finally get the grid to be just small crosses where the squares intersect.  It had to do with setting line width to 0, intersection widths to 2 and something with offsets.  I finally got it to the point where it worked is all I can say.

The mat, including shipping ran me $45.  In the past I have also done double sided mats but this one I decided to just go with one and save the money.


1: Extreme close up of the intersection, Iphone picture 3 inches from surface.

2: From about a foot above the mat.

Continue reading “A mat for “To the Strongest””

Off with their heads!

I worked a bit on making up some specialized units out of my Armies in Plastic AWI figures and All The King’s Men heads.  Just a snip of the cutters, drill a small hole for the head and a combination of superglue and hotglue to hold everything in place.  Two line units, one grenadiers, one highlanders, and a light infantry skirmish group.  I will need to do a bit of trimming around the neck once I have my exactos out of storage.

IMG_1890 IMG_1888 IMG_1887

Mancave week one summary

Week one is over and most of the demo work is done.  The cost went up a bit when, after removing the ceiling the workers found sagging beams and some termite damage from long ago.  Better to fix it now than have a disaster later.  Everything is still well within budget though.  The drywall and insulation is one site so hopefully next week we see more progress.  The wall where the garage door was has not been framed in yet.  What you see in the picture with the light pouring in is a temp plywood covering.


2016 here I come!

I am going to try to use this blog to stay focused on the activities I hope to accomplish this year.  These include my hobbies, my profession and my side business.  My goal is for daily updates in all three areas.

First a little about me:
I am a director of a small community college library system.  I have worked there for almost 24 years and take a great bit of joy in helping students.  Among my duties beyond managing the library is coordinating our distance learning (online) program and providing faculty and staff development.  As a side business I operate a small glass painting business called Light Impressions, LLC.  Finally my hobbies center around history and wargaming.

Goals for 2916
If the stars align correctly and the funding comes through, we are going to renovate our main library.  We will be expanding the space yet ironically reducing our print collections.  The focus will be on the “learning commons” concept.  Lots of collaboration areas, technology, and hopefully, a makerspace with 3d printer, laser cutter, robotics and other gigaws.
Side business:
2015 was practically a hiatus for me in this.  After a year of travelling to different craft shows in Central Texas to show my wares I became a bit burned out.  This year I intend to focus on fewer shows and work on my web presence.
During the past 16 months I have been blessed with the births of two granddaughters.  One of the side affects of this is turning the bedroom that had served as my “mancave” back into a bedroom for visitors.  2016 is going to see me relocate to the garage, converting it into a hobby room/workshop for both my hobby and side business.  I also intend to get back to painting miniatures and playing more games.

So off I go.  See y’all later.