Vern and his Historical Armies

Friday, July 31, 2015

Axemen completed

I made a blunder for my axemen.  I actually did not buy enough models form Pendraken, resulting in my only managing to finish 4 out of 6 axemen units.

Well at least I have enough models to play a warmaster game now,

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A return of Kislev. 2015

My last real update on my Kislev was on August 2013.  It was about my painting challenge.  I did some Kislev/Poles/Russians but still failed the painting challenge in the end.  After that I did some WAB followed by a year plus on Epic 40k (covered in my other blog).  Now with my epic completed, I am back to Warmaster again although I am not sure if I will finish an entire army before moving to another project.

The above is my painted force to date, most of them were done during the painting challenge in 2013 but the archers were only done recently. I have used a simplistic way to base my archers, but am not fully decided if I am using this technique for the entire force.

Anyway my target is to have in addition to the above, 6 units of Kislev/Cossacks completed and (a stretched goal) of 2 units of steppe cavalry completed by September 2014.  Let's see how.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

First unit of Byzantine Archers

It has been a LONG time since my last post here.  I have failed to meet my painting challenge target due to real life commitments.  Some things were done but I did not get a chance to take photos.  I will do so and upload next time.

However I have managed to complete a unit of Byzantine archers.  I started on them at the turn of the year and took about 42 days to do them.

So here's the pic

As usual, I have not done the base yet.  I will do so later as I want to do lots of basing in 1 go.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The 10th Man Halberdier Problem

Weeks ago, I have been patiently waiting for my Pendraken miniatures and felt a little apprehensive.  So a few days after I ordered, I went to the Warmaster Acolyte website where pictures of the minis are available. In one of the threads, there was this conversation in Spanish by two forum members (see

The first guy said, "Bueno, pues de los Hadjuk creo que no puedo decir mucho, creo que eran una especie de ¿mercenarios? no recuerdo. Y lo del decimo hombre (10th man) tampoco lo entiendo, pero lo que sí veo es que es una figura excelentemente esculpida, con detalle y bien proporcionada.

En la referencia te venden 30 figuras iguales, lo cual es un poco decepcionante para hacerte una unidad de alabarderos (¿todos señalando con el dedo?) pero en cambio es una gran elección para bases de mando o incluso "figura de relleno", en esas artillerías, junto con el de la bandera en la peana central de cualquier infantería, etc.. etc...

Podría ser una buena alternativa para proxy de kislevita, ya que tiene esulpida la casaca con los cordones cruzados en el pecho y un gorro con pluma.

Os dejo un par de ejemplos de lo dicho arriba"

And the second guy replied, "Los Haiduk, de origen hungaro, fueron reclutados para formar parte del ejército de la mancomunidad Polaca como soldados de infantería, llegando a ser adoptado su estilo como el estándar de la infantería polaca.

Los Haiduk estaban equipados principalmente con armas de fuego (mosquetes). También portaban sable y hacha, aunque éste último era principalmente utilizado para cortar leña y no en la batalla.

Estaban organizados en rotas de 100 a 200 soldados que a su vez se dividían en decenas (tens). El décimo hombre (el mando de la decena) portaba la darda, indicadora del mando y utilizada más que para el combate, para el control de disparos. Ocasionalmente el décimo hombre también podía estar equipado con un arma de fuego.

De aquí te viene la pose y la denominación de esta miniatura. Tienes que utilizarlos junto con la referencia [PEN] P4 Hajduk Musketeer (16th-17th Century Polish)."

I was aware of this conversation all the while, but it was at that moment that I decide to use Google translate to find out what are they saying.  So here goes...

"Well, I think the Hajduk I can not say much, I think we were kind of Do mercenaries? I do not remember. And the tenth man (10th man) do not understand it, but what I see is that it is an excellently sculpted figure with detail and well proportioned.

In the reference will sell 30 identical figures, which is a bit disappointing to make a unit of halberdiers (all pointing fingers?) But instead is a great choice for remote bases or even "fill figure" in these artillery, along with the flag in the center of any infantry base, etc. .. etc ...

It could be a good alternative for Kislevite proxy, as it has esulpida the coat with laces folded across his chest and a hat with feather.

I leave a couple of examples of this above"


"The Haiduk, of Hungarian origin, were recruited to join the Polish Army and Commonwealth soldiers, becoming adopted as the standard style of the Polish infantry.

The Haiduk were equipped mainly with firearms (muskets). Also carried sword and ax, although the latter was mainly used for cutting wood and not in battle.

Broken were organized into 100 to 200 soldiers turn were divided into dozens (tens). The tenth man (the command of the decade) carried the darda, control indicator and used only for combat, for fire control. Occasionally the tenth man could also be equipped with a firearm.

From here you get your pose and the name of this miniature. You have to use them together with the reference [PEN] Hajduk P4 Musketeer (16th-17th Century Polish)"

BLAM!  I had bought an entire blister of a monopose halberdier pointing his hand forward, which were meant to be used with the musketeers rather than a unit on its own!  To make it worse, when I started the kislev project I had counted on this unit to make up the bulk of my kislev axemen infantry.  

Sianz.  Since that fateful discovery I have tried to find alternatives but I had no luck.  The best I can do is to let the infantry axemen stands be comprised largely of  Pendraken's Cossack Berdische axemen while using a few 10th men harblediers, a few TB line Eastern European Peasants or Pendraken's Polish infantry command models to break the monotony.

Now to some happier news.  I may have opportunities to buy some real Kislev archers rather than use Pendraken proxies.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Of Steppes and Deserts

I mentioned in my other blog that I am moving onto Warmaster.  The main reason is that it will allow me to play Warmaster with my friends but secondly it also allow me to try other rulesets like "By Fire and Sword".
It is a pleasant surprise to me about 2 weeks ago when I had my 1st warmaster game that I realise that Warmaster allow me to have games very often in my HDB flat!  A luxury that fantasy and 40k are unable to provide.

So I thus plunge deep into Warmaster.  In order to secure the OOP beautiful GW minis, I had also bought most of my 2nd army, Araby.  The Araby will not only serve as Warmaster Arabs but their spearmen and archer units will also be used for my By Fire and Sword battles (my fire and sword battles will be fought between Polish-Lithuanian and Tartars with Cossacks swinging on both sides).  A slight disappointment was that the Arab Knights had all run out and in order to prevent a similar tragedy, I have also secured most of my vehicles required for epic 40k! (the infantry will be WW1 Germans).

What a lot of miniatures.  I actually spend a small fortune in this month, something that I took many years to spend for 28mm gaming.  However I see it as a one time investment and to be honest due to some mis-communication and my circumstances months ago, I should have started Warmaster earlier so as to secure those Arab Knights.

So now that I have lots of miniatures, I better get them painted rite.  To achieve this, I have arranged for a painting challenge with the Namly group.  I intend to do 1 base of stuff per week and given that there are approximately 18 more weeks to the year end,  I will be able to paint 6 units.

Here are the minis that I aim to paint by the end of the year

2 units of HA
1 bear
1 Red Guard (Musketeers)
2 Archer
1 War Wagon (if all the parts come in) - 2 bases only

if you count carefully there are actually 20 bases, but 1 base of HA has already been painted and the War wagon is actually a stretched target.  One thing to note is that I may change this list if i grew bored (but still committed to 6 units by yr end), or if the infantry from Pendraken prove to be unsatisfactory and I need to find alternatives.

Oh and the guys actually wanted proof.  So here is the pic of the stuff i painted so far.  By end of the year I should have 18 more bases of stuff in addition to these.

Painted so far are 4 bases of horse archers and 3 bases of bears.  Need 18 more bases by year end!!!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Byzantine Javelinmen!

I have not been posting in this historical painting blog for a long time because I have been busy.  And now finally after about two months of preparation, I have finished (not totally, but to the extent I would like) the first of my Byzantine Psiloi units (I usually call them Byzantine skirmishers as that’s what they essentially meant).

This unit is equipped with javelins and bucklers. However as I have not really decided which company should I buy the bucklers from, several of the minis will have to go “shieldless” for now.

The minis are a mixture of Gripping Beast and Wargame Factory miniatures.  I decide to use Wargame factory minis because the Gripping Beast metals are just too expensive especially once we take the 25% shipping fees into the consideration.  It turn out that my decision proved to be a wise one the moment I received these minis form UK.  I noticed that the poses are quite unique and interesting so it will look weird so we have the same 4 poses repeatedly over 18 models.  Another point is that the Gripping Beast Psiloi seemed to look thinner than their cavalry counterparts.  Due to these three reasons, I stick to my original plan to convert my own psiloi using the Wargames Factory minis.

Strictly speaking, the Wargames Factory minis look the part.  I find the differences in the dresses of the minis from both companies to be negligible.  The only weak point of my Wargames factory conversions were the heads.  I made use of artistic licence to model on more helmeted heads than usual and added the leather padding that I am so found of in Byzantine heavy infantry.

Oh I nearly forgot to mention, the parts I used for conversion are from the Wargames Factory Persian Infantry with some heads and weapons (especially javelins and slings) from the Numidian Light infantry sprues.

All in all, I am happy with my work.  I have also converted 18 archers and 9 slingers and will paint them concurrently with my Eldar D cannons and Sister Repentias over the next few months.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

My Great Push

As some may know, I have been trying to finish as much of my Byzantine army as possible before my son is born.

Although theoretically I still got more than a month, with the coming of Chinese New Year and more baby preparation, I will have to stop painting now.  What I will do is the that I will assemble the troops first when they arrive from UK and the paint them up eventually.

Here's what I have painted in this 2 plus months.

First. My completed Light Kavallarioi, bases undone.

Byzantine Emperor