Ming Chinese

Chinese this week…

I’ve had a generic chinese army for several years. I think it has done service as Sui, Tang, ShaTao Turkish, CATs, CACs, Yuan and even Later Hsung-Nu at times. Anyway, I decided to take it to this year’s Warfare competition as a Ming army in the ‘Wrath of Khan’ section. It’s a solid army but usually suffers in Book 4 against the late European KnS/BdS/BwS monsters. ‘Wrath of Khan’ was fairly tightly themed – it looked like there would be mostly armies with CvS/LhS, in which something with heavy infantry might do quite well……

First the BwX. These are from the Outpost Ching/Manchu range. Quite nice figures in brigandine armour. The shields are scratch built from plastic – probably too big, but I wanted 2Sp/2Bw on the base (as single based BwX) and narrow shields looked wimpy.


Next the Halberders (BdO).  I like these guys- lots of movement- but the figures are big and it is hard to squeeze four on a base. I replaced the supplied halberds with something more substantial. The blades are made from 0.9mm bore syringe needles, flattened and curved with pliers and then filed down. You have to file the points down or they can cut large gashes in your fingers….


These are the Outpost swordsmen (BdF). The shields are transfers from LBM – I think the flower is from one of the Byzantine sheets. These are fairly versatile figures that often double as generic eastern auxillia.


BdF and BdO together…


Shot Inferior: the main reason for taking the Ming. I’d never used shot before, but they looked like a killer high-factor troop – ideal for dispensing with elephants and KnS…


Lastly some handgunners (PsS). I decided not to take PsS with the Ming (too many better goodies) but I use these in the Yuan version of the army. The figures are from Grumpy miniatures that I picked up from East Riding miniatures many years ago.


Lancers (KnF) and mounted swordsmen (CvO) from Outpost.


A general with some heavy cavalry (CvS). These are from the Outpost Turkish ranges.



Massed CvS and some unarmoured (CvO) horses above.


Heavy cataphracts. These usually are fielded in the Sui/Tang versions of the army, though I think the figures on the general’s element are from the Toullier Korean range.

Below are my favourite unit – Red lancers from the Outpost Turkish range again. These boys generally fight as Chinese CvS and usually do well…


Light horse – the first are Mongols from the Manchu range, the second are MoHo from the Tang range.

11_Mongols 13_MoHo2

More Grumpy miniatures below. I much preferred the mounted to the infantry – most of which I still haven’t painted up. The Ming heavy cavalry are nice though- I love the little flags they have on their hats! The halberd armed CavO are also nice. I like  the halberd – it gives a nice way to differentiate troops clearly on the table – CvS with a lance, CvO without.




Lastly the camp. For Warfare I wasn’t taking fortified baggage, but I made this lot for the Tang (who usually do). The tents are from Baueda, the wagon laager is mostly from Hallmark (supplied by Magister Militum) and the banners are LBM transfers. The baggage guards and the officer are probably from the Outpost Tang range.  It represents 6 x BgO surrounded by 7TF. The wagon laager obviously works since I don’t think the baggage has ever been sacked….




Well that’s it. If I find time I’ll write up how they got on at Warfare…






Classical Indians

OK, so longer than a week since my last post…

I was playing Toby on Wednesday and had dug out some of my indian figures for him to use in a Later Muslim Indian army. I hadn’t used the Indians in about three years. Under the old DBM lists the chariots were rated as iKnS  – which made them very powerful. The new DBMM lists have them as iKnX or iCvS which is far less attractive. Although the army is pretty powerful frontally, there are hedgerows that can outmanoeuvre it and any competent opponent can rip it apart fairly quickly. It is pretty though….


All the figures are Xyston – probably my favourite manufacturer. The figures are superb- lots of detail, and with lots of variety in each pack. Sticking on shields/spears increases the variety of poses even further. The archers in the pic above are Mountain Indians, as are the tribesmen to their right. Solid figures who reappear in many guises when needed (especially the tribesmen who morph between  PkF/Ax/BdF etc). The hordes to the rear were constructed from various leftover figures , including quite a few Athenian rowers!


The cavalry look especially pretty and I like the way the banner turned out (based on an illustration of the god Hanuman that I found on the web). Unfortunately as irregular CvI, they are good for little more than guarding the baggage.


I had fun painting the chariots – probably got a bit carried away with a bit too much colour. Mind you, having seen some of the painted lorries on modern Indian motorways, it wouldn’t surprise me if they were painted as gaudy as this.


I also rather liked the general’s ‘Grumpy Elephant’ banner. Hopefully the massed chariots at least look intimidating to any likely opponent..


Elephants, got to have a lot of elephants in any Indian army…. These  have three crew on top and bowmen/swordsmen below- definitely El Superior. The Xyston elephants are quite nice, but have long trunks and won’t quite fit on a 40mm square base  – hence the diagonal pose.



A general’s elephant with the parasol..


More infantry. The archers on the left are the more typical indian type (with fewer clothes). The shielded infantry are irregular BdI – shields decorated with various Harrapan/Indian symbols gleaned from Omniglot.


Lastly, a close up of those irregular Blades flanked by some clubmen (iBdX) and guardsmen (BdO). Behind the lads with the big choppers are the Maiden Guard…

That’s it for now. I’m currently trying to finish up my Han Chinese army ready for 2014. Also re-vamping my Carolingians. Will post pics in the nearish future.


The Assyrians

Like a Wolf on the Fold

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee…

For my first post I thought I’d add some pictures of the Assyrian army I used against Toby this week. I’m still working on a 400pt version of this army – previous incarnations have done well at Britcon but very poorly at the Italian ITC. I’ve recently been using it for doubles at 450/500 pts where I think it performs better – particularly with a Mede Ally.

The figures are almost all from Museum Miniatures. I like the figures but they suffer from generally having only a few poses. Replacing cast spears with pins, mixing what figures they have and painting uniforms in various shades helps break up the mono-pose appearance a bit.

Firstly the cavalry, sweeping down on some unfortunate fold….

Assyrian Cavalry 1

Flanked on one side by a Kallipani chariot (AxS/PsO)and on the other by some light horse archers (LhF) and lead from the front by General Sin-shumu-lishir.

Assyrian Cavalry 2

Next the infantry: Kisir Sharruti (AxS) in the front rank, supported by archers (PsO)  and with Sha Qurbute (SpO/S) behind. Prince Sin-shar-ishkun lurking alongside keeping an eye on his brother…

Assyrian Infantry - All

Rear view of the same group.

Assyrian Infantry - SpO

The Assyrian Divine Chariot, flanked by the massed hordes of the Dikut Mati. The front ranks of each element are the Museum Babylonian and Judean spearmen. The second ranks are a mix of biblical figures scrounged from friends. The banner is from the Little Big Man Sassanid transfers.

Assyrian Divine Chariot

Baggage elements, featuring a row between two Imperial Tax collectors and a hairy-arsed wagon driver. Said row about to be settled by the ‘Youth with baseball bat’. Also featuring some wretched looking prisoners. Not the most beautiful of sculpts from Museum. Frankly, if I’d captured them, I’d give them back…

Assyrian Baggage

King Ashurbanipal about to do some serious smiting beneath his fancy umbrella…..

Assyrian Chariots 3

Crown Prince Ashur-etil-ilani ‘protecting’ his father’s flank…..

Assyrian Chariots 1

Assyrian Chariots 2

And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord.

More next week…