Wednesday, 17 February 2016

From ByronM - 28mm French and 18mm Martians (270 points)

It has been a while since my last submission, but that has been due to both a lot going on both at work and home over the last few weeks, and due to working on a really big submission (at least for me).

28mm French Old Guard

First up in my entry this week is a unit of 31 - 28mm Victrix French Old Guard - "The Grumblers", or more properly in French les Vieille Garde or les Grognards.  This is a continuation of a project I started 3 years ago now, as a promise to Curt to at least try painting some Napoleonics.  I have continued with that and now managed to complete 1 unit each year.

While I love the look of Napoleonics at 28mm scale, I have a love/hate relationship with them when I have to paint them.  The issue, for me at least, is that 28mm means doing lots of detail, but since units are 28-32 men each, and the unit is treated as a single entity, I find it hard balancing how much detail is the right amount.  I like painting 28mm to high levels of detail, but when your dealing with large units you tend to paint for effect and overall look not individual figure appearance.  My OCD brain has issues with those two things being in direct contrast to each other and therefore I am never really happy with the outcome.  Sure, I could spend the normal 4-8 hours per 28mm fig to do a decent paint job, but then these units would take a month of painting 4-8 hours a day.... NOT something I really want to do.  But also never happy with the outcome when I shortcut.  I am sure everyone deals with the same thing, it just bugs me, again see OCD comment above!

The Gumblers are my favourite unit, as they suit my mentality of being able to complain and grumble about things.  They are famous for many reasons, but being allowed to opening complain about things without fear of repercussions is my personal reason for liking them. 

The Old Guard were made up of Veteran Soldiers hand picked for membership into the Imperial Guard which was Napoleon's elite formation which was often referred to as "The Immortals" as a whole.  To enter the Old Guard, soldiers had to:
  • Be larger than normal size, be physically imposing
  • Have served at least 10 years
  • Be under 35 years old when joining the Old Guard
  • Have fought in at least 3 campaigns and been in units in each that were at the front and survived being under fire

All of this means that these units were some of the most famous and therefore favourite for many gamers.  That means that they are more represented on the table top then they were in real life, especially given the fact that being an Elite unit, Napoleon liked to hold them back and therefore they often did not see much combat, other than in large groups as a final push to destroy the enemy.

That means, that realistically I should not really have a unit of them, but I could not help myself.  They are for a game, and I am not one of the fanatical historical players.  While I like keeping this reasonably historical, I have no issue changing things, in fact I despise when playing historicals and someone says something like "they wouldn't do X or Y unit would be here", ITS A GAME!!!!  I like keeping things reasonably close to actual history, but have no issue stretching things a bit. 

So, here is my French Napoleonic force so far.  I hope to add some light cavalry this year, and maybe some artillery, but that might be too big task with everything else I have going on, we will have to wait and see.

Given my progress rate, it will be about another 10 years before I can actually play a game... Sigh.  See love/hate comment about Napoleonics early on.

18+mm All Quiet on the Martian Front - Slaver Units

AQotMF is a great game that gets little attention, and will get even less now that the company that created it has filed for bankruptcy.  It is however an awesome little a-symmetrical game that is a lot of fun and has a ton of potential.  It is one of my top 5 favourite games. 

These miniatures are roughly 18mm scale being HO scale officially, but are actually even slightly bigger than that.  The small force I painted up here to expand my Martian force is based around the massive Slaver tripod, which has the ability to control multiple units around it that are not able to make their own decisions.  These include the Martian Drones and the Labototons (human slaves with their brains replaced with robotics).

Part of this force is two units of drones, a ground based unit and a hover unit.  I never like flying stands that have pieces that can break off in a model, so instead of using the pins, I clipped them and put magnets on the top and in the model as can be seen on the one on the right.

Next up are two units of Lobototons, which has to be a new favourite name for a unit type.  Units can be mixed between two types, but I chose to do a unit of each type individually.  This means 9 "slicers" and 9 "zappers".  The names are pretty obvious for their purpose, and I love the idea of sending in slave units to clean up resistance Recruit new Martian allies.

Time to send in units with fire support and cut up the enemy in close quarters.

The total force shown here is: 1 large tripod, 6 drones, and 18 infantry.  Last year Curt counted AQotMF as 20mm as they are closer to 20mm than 15mm, but open to whatever seems right.  I think I would feel better about splitting the difference and counting the infantry as a point value between 15mm and 20mm so that is what base my points estimate on below.  The vehicles for AQotMF though are HUGE and I have no issue with counting them as 20mm, after all that tripod is on a 60mm base!


So there we go, after a long break between submissions, I think this should give me a nice points boost.  I believe this should be 31 28mm figures @ 5 each = 155, 18 inf @ 3= 54, 6 drones (count as mounted?) @ 6 = 36, and 1 Tripod (vehicle) @ 12.  For a grand total of....  257 points.  Feel free to adjust as required though.  

Well there is a mix if ever i saw one... Old Guard and Martians - what a wonderful hobby varied hobby we have.  I have scored this lot at 265 (a bit over your 257 estimate) points as mix of 18mm/20mm and unusual size items - plus an extra bonus 5 for the Old Guard - bcause they look so good as a unit. - which just puts you into the top 10 ahead of Corporal Millsy and within touching distance of your challenge target ...


  1. Very nice work on both sets of figures Byron :)

  2. I do like all the figures but not a "nappys" fan. I have probably been put of by too many players as you describe them trying to do things totally historically correct.

    Big fan of the tripods though. Especially the little ones.

  3. nice paintwork Byron, well done !
    the french chasseurs of Cambronne are superb!
    will they have the last word at Waterloo??;-)
    the martian chronicles are cool too!

  4. Nice to see some stuff from the All Quiet on the Martian Front Kickstarter. Its a very cool set of minatures and modle. I know exactly how you feel about Napoleonics in 28mm....

  5. Nice stuff!

    Martian Front has been my "aspirational" game for the last year or so. I was really bummed that the company folded. Hopefully someone picks up the line and carries it forward!

  6. Excellent work mate. Well worth the effort.

  7. Well done Byron - your torture at "shortcuts" painting 28mm Napoleonics always amuses me, because I'm immature :)

    Your stuff looks great! Tough news about the bankruptcy of the Company behind AQOTMF...

  8. Great looking Old Guard, great work on them.

    The si-fi looks good too, shame the company has gone under


  9. Sci-Fi and Napoleonics; I like your style Byron! The Old Guard look great.

    I can relate to your love/hate about Napoleonics. It took me 5 years, painting exclusively 28mm Naps, to be able to play games! I suggest finding an hired brush for some of the line infantry ;-)

  10. Lovely work Byron! I'll dream up a scenario to get your French lads on the tabletop soon. Too bad about AQOTMF but the rules and figures are (mostly) out so you have a game to work with. I look forward to trying that out next time you're in these parts.

    And I'm with Greg on being immature AND on the use of shortcuts! :)

    1. Ok, so you are saying it is just me that struggles with not painting every figure to the best of my ability? I know I can paint some figures far better than I do, but realize that in many cases there is no need to paint them the best I can, so don't. BUT it still bugs me.

      I mean, look at my old lady or girl on jet bike from 2 years ago, those are my highest levels (a personal 10) then look at these and they are about a personal 5. I understand logically there is no need to do them as 10's, and that it would be insane to do so, but it still bugs me that I don't. :-)

      Are you two are saying I am alone in that?

    2. No, I understand your hang-up, but you got to get over it. These are gaming pieces to be used en mass, not to be considered works of art. Nonetheless, as I said before they are lovely work and I know many people who would love to be able to paint as well, so keep that in mind.

  11. Gorgeous stuff Byron! Love the Guard especially but then I would say that being a French player myself :-) Your reasons for not liking 28s in volume are the same as mine. That's why I switched Naps to 15s and save 28s for skirmsh games where I *can* paint each like a character.

  12. Those Lobotons are crazy! Nice work on this submission.

  13. Nice work Byron! Quite a points bomb there! Those Martians look great! Too bad the company went down. Excellent idea, but I guess the inexperience of the people running things really started to show.

  14. I like the old guard quite a bit! Eclectic grouping with the splendidly worked Martians too! ;)

  15. These are really nice! They're definitely better than you think they are. the Old Guard are very well done (and thanks for the history lesson too) and the martians are creepy, especially those human slaves....