Monday, November 2, 2009

My new project - finally!

Hello again,

I have finally started on a project I have wanted to do for the last few years. Now that I have finished my VSF stuff, my next major project will be The English Civil War.
When I got back into wargamming after a break of several years I wanted to do ECW, but I had to decide which scale 15mm or 28mm. I decided that 28mm was the scale I really wanted to do, but the cost of a 28mm army was an issue. I even tried sculpting up a couple of 28mm figures to see if I could make my own figures to save money.
Then I was saved by the appearance of Warlord Games plastic 28mm ECW range. I gleefully handed over my money and bought a few infantry boxes.
I had been doing a bit of reading on the period and would have initially gone with a Royalist force but another member at my club was doing Montrose Royalist scot so I sided with Parliament.
The battles between Sir Ralph Hopton and Sir William Waller (who were close friends) seemed to epitomise the period and so I started research on Waller's Southern Association army which was victorious over Hopton at the battle of Cheriton.
For painting I also wanted to try something different from my usual style. For this project I will be using the army painter strong tone varnish to paint the army quickly, but still give a good wargamming standard. I had tried the technique on a few different practice figures including a ECW musketeer and the results were quite frankly excellent.

The army painter system is another version of the so called "miracle dip" technique which has been around for several years. On a Seljuk Turk DBA army I had tried something similar using a chestnut ink wash over a basic paint job which came up nicely. I have also heard of other people mixing black paint with diluted gloss varnish too.
I bought a can of wood stain varnish as well, to compare it to the army painter system. The army painter varnish is the perfect viscosity for the coating miniatures and it is far superior to the wood varnish. While it is relatively expensive you can coat a lot of figures with one can.
Very important. You must spray the varnished figures with matt varnish to complete the effect, otherwise they will look awful.

The Warlord games plastic figures are excellent sculpts and the casting is very good with minimal flash, however gluing all the arms, hats etc. on the figures is a chore. I would much prefer a little less options so I could get painting them quicker but I am probably in the minority in that respect.

The assembled figures.
I have undercoated the figures in black and I am using GW movement trays. Movement trays is something I normally would avoid but since I may be playing some skirmish ECW games as well I have kept more figures on single bases.

I hope to post back with some eye candy of the painted regiment soon.



  1. Neil,

    Careful . . . try a bit of the varnish on some plastic sprue first . . . make sure that it won't melt the plastic.

    I'm looking at building some ECW armies too. Not immediately, but as a long-term project. I'm in western Canada and until recently knew nothing about the ECW . . .

    . . . So I'm researching things now. I too will probably build forces for the Hopton/Waller battles. I've got a couple of books that focus on them.

    I'd like to use the Sash and Saber 40mm figures . . . but I expect that I will have to use the 25mm Old Glory Army deal instead (I don't want to fiddle with plastic parts).

    The S&S foot is reasonably priced, but their mounted figures are rather dear in terms of my budget . . . and I think I'll want a lot of cavalry.

    There are a number of blogs that focus on ECW gaming (none of them mine). You might want to take a look at some of the following for inspiration:

    -- Jeff

  2. No worries Jeff, I had tried a few trial figures before starting on main army. The army painter stuff is fine on painted figures.