Saturday, 9 January 2016

From TamsinP - 28mm Aztecs (40 points)

I know what you're all thinking - "We're three weeks into the Challenge and she's only racked up 75 points. Something is seriously wrong here...". Have no fear chaps and chapesses, things will (I hope) all be back to normal next week when my 6mm confederate infantry are submitted.

In the meantime, I wanted to add a few points this week so I decided to make a start on the Aztecs for my "Mexicagrave" project - Frostgrave transposed to an abandoned (or is it?) meso-American city hidden in the jungle.

I picked these eight Tequihuaqueh (low level warriors) for my first batch. Six of them have obviously campaigned before as they have the "ichcahuapilli" padded/quilted vests awarded to those who have captured an enemy warrior. The other two without any armour haven't taken any captives.

Oh yes, the captives. They get taken back home and sacrificed at the temples. Nice people the meso-Americans.

The archers:

The melee guys:

Cuahololli (club); 2 x Macuahuitl; Tepoztopilli. All with chimalli (shields)

I did attempt to replicate one of the three most common Aztec shield designs on one of them. I didn't really pull it off - I should have used a smaller brush I guess (or one with a better point).

Painting these guys has been fun. After some trials, I settled on using Vallejo grey surface primer as the base so that I can show off the bright colours better. I'd also done some trials with the skin tones (most important for these guys as they do have a lot of flesh showing) and came up with the following:

Base - Orange Brown
Flesh wash
First Highlight - 2:1 Orange Brown/Ochre Brown
2nd Highlight: 1:2 Orange Brown/Ochre Brown
Flesh wash

The highlights were done as multiple thin layers. I might be able to go straight to the second highlight for the rest as they only have faces, hands and feet showing.

In case you're wondering about the scatter material on the bases (and haven't been reading my blog), I've been doing a little experimenting this week with staining herb using inks and thinned paint. As the abandoned city is overgrown by jungle, I figured that there would be lots of fallen leaves and branches/twigs on the ground and herbs seemed to be the best was to represent this on the bases. the scatter I've used is a 3:1 mix of burnt-umber stained mixed herbs and sepia-stained rosemary (for the woody bits). I think it's worked quite well:

The figures are 28mm from The Assault Group and eight of them should give me 40 points.

Lovely work Tamsin. I like your freehand shields and the flesh tone recipe you've concocted looks very effective - I think I may try that out. I also really like your use of herbs for the groundwork - I've tried it for autumnal bases and I think it looks very effective for your 'Mexicagrave' setting.
40 Points for you Ms. P!


  1. Very nice figs and a very cool idea

  2. Herbs as leaf litter? Inspired stuff! And so fragrant...!

    Great work, Tamsin; DavidB, your move, I think...

    1. I have a recon team of 4 with automatic weapons, a sniper rifle, and various cutlery across the phase line already. I think they can hold till reinforcements arrive. ;)

  3. congratulations Tamsin, your choice for the skintone is top!
    will you use the Wargames Foundry Aztec priest for your magician?
    in any case I'll spend my next holidays somewhere else than Mexico even if I have no heart;-)

  4. Nice looking unit Tamsin. The ground cover works well! Did you drag Ray how as a captive for sacrifice?
    Cheers Peter

  5. Fantastic work Tamsin. Great paint-jobs on some very nice minis, and the bases are an absolute triumph imho.

  6. Great work Tamsin - and very cool subject. As others have observed, the bases are fabulous.

  7. You did a great job on those skin tones and the white really sets it off. Lovely work Tamsin!

  8. Aha! It's the Pot-pourri tribe! They look awesome Tamsin and the basing is right out-of-the-box thinking.

    I've got a similar plan for a bunch of Conquistador figures down the track somewhere. How do you mean to handle the magic aspects? It's obviously central the game system...

  9. I have been taken with the idea of alternative Frostgrave since you first mentioned it. These figures strongly push me to admire the jungle setting, It is turning out to be a real winning idea. Love your thinking on this project.

  10. The flesh tone in that last picture is fantastic - those other pictures don't do it justice (the painters dilemma). Really nice idea to place the game somewhere else to suit what you want to do, makes it stand out.

  11. @ Curt - cheers! Feel free to borrow my flesh scheme :)

    @ Martin - thanks! :)

    @ Evan - cheers! Sadly, most of the fragrance got cooked off when were were drying in the oven after the staining; the rosemary made my flat smell particularly pleasant :)

    @ Gilles - merci! I was going to use the TAG warrior priests, but the Foundry ones do look rather spiffy so I might have to get a pack to use :)

    @ Peter - cheers! The gods said he wasn't worthy to be a sacrifice to them ;)

    @ Adam - thanks! :)

    @ Blax - cheers! The basing scatter has worked quite nicely :)

    @ Greg - thanks! What's not to love about the most badass of the Mexican peoples? :)

    @ Anne - thank you m'dear! They did wear a lot of white; at least the lower rank ones. Getting those tones done was tough :)

    @ Millsy - cheers! :)
    As I'm avoiding the Spanish invasion, I'll be using the magic system as is. I guess if you use the Conquistadores you could say that their leaders have been secretly studying dark arts and have them as mages; if you have any priests they could be Thaumaturgists.

    @ Clint - thanks! I was far from the first to have the idea of alternative settings, but happy to have given you ideas for your own :)

    @ Jamie - cheers! Yup, the lighting wasn't right except for the last pic. I think I need to have a play around to improve it. :)

  12. Great painting work. I like a lot the bases, perfect for them.

  13. Very nice, I was curious what "herbs" you were using. I think I got it from the comments. These photos are a tad dark on my screen, bumping the levels or the white balance would've helped me.

  14. Fantastic job, Tamsin! From skin tone to basing, really good stuff!
    For my southern cousins, it was actually considered an honor to be sacrificed, if a dubious one i'd try to avoid. I would like to reinstate the practice of sacrificing the losing sport team though; My Miami Dolphins and San Jose Sharks could use the encouragement to play better! ;)

  15. @ Juan - thank you! :)

    @ Sean - all standard culinary herbs! Sorry about the pics - I thought I'd got the lighting issues sorted.

    @ Alex - cheers! :)

    @ David B - thanks! :)

    1. Good to know. I couldn't see the bases at all until your last shot. All the photos look a tad dark to me. How many lights are you using?

  16. Well done Tamsin! Great change of setting too. Personaly I'm a huge fan of the more temperate climate zones in contrast to frozen cities.

  17. What a change from your norm, I want to see more of these


  18. Some nice exotic stuff Tamsin! Keep 'em coming!

  19. Oh, I love this idea! Great work on the figures and the bases.