Sunday, 10 January 2010

Highlanders to March to the “Song of Drums and Shakos”

I first encountered the fantasy skirmish rule set “Song of Blades and Heroes” by “Ganesha Games” last year, and immediately purchased the PDF version from the “Wargame Vault”. At the time I planned to use them to help encourage me to paint a rather hefty consignment of “Heresy Miniatures” I bought a couple of years before, but alas, the project never took off.

A few days ago however, I discovered that Sergio Laliscia has written an adaptation of the rules for the Napoleonic era. “Song of Drums and Shakos” seems the perfect solution to help me maintain my enthusiasm for my long-term “Black Powder” project. It should let me ‘field’ my painted 15mm "Essex Miniatures" models almost straight away, as opposed to having to wait several months before I’ve painted enough to play a (small) game of “Black Powder”. Admittedly instead of using single based models I’ll be using a (40mm x 20mm) base of troops, but it should make the skirmishes appear more ‘large scale’.

As a result I have already set aside eight bases of my (already painted) Napoleonic French into a 401-point force, and begun painting (in earnest) a 395-point British contingent. This later ‘army’ will consist of three bases of (Gordon) Highlanders including an Officer, three bases of Chosen Men (Rifles), a base of Light Company infantry and a Grenadier Company.

The ‘standard’ Highlanders are from the ‘blister’ PNB6 ‘Highlander at the ready’ from “Essex Miniatures”. Having undercoated them with Chaos Black their straps and plumes were painted Skull White, treated to a wash of Devlan Mud, before being ‘picked out’ with Skull White again. Their face, hands and knees were painted with Elf Flesh, and their pouches in Calthan Brown. Both were then also washed in Devlan Mud. I painted their water bottles with Ultramarines Blue and Asurmen Blue; their backpacks with Astronomican Grey and Badab Black; their collars and cuffs with Sunburst Yellow and (oop) Yellow Ink; their rifles Dark Flesh and “Coat d’arms” Brown Ink; and Mechrite Red and Baal Red were used for their red coats.

In order to speed up the painting process, and ‘cheat’, the predominantly red tartan of their ‘Highland dicing’ consists of a simple wash of Baal Red over Skull White. Orkhide Shade and Thraka Green were used as an alternative for the dark green tartan of their kilts.

The red jackets of both the officer and standard bearer were painted using Blood Red to make them stand out. Mechrite Red was used for their sashes, and both areas were then washed with Baal Red. Both figures’ sword guards were painted using Burnished Gold and “Coat d’arms” Brown Ink.

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