Tuesday, June 22, 2010

a hoard of gauls...

A Gallic army is a necessity for any serious ancients player. After all, they fought against just about everyone at one time or another. These are mostly Old Glory figures from probably 15 years ago. I think I purchased them about the time that DBM was first published. Maybe it was DBA... I don't remember. Anyway, they've been sitting around for years. I had painted up a DBA army's worth but had plenty of unpainted figures sitting around.

I was a fan of Old Glory figures when they first came out. Had quite a few of them, too: Gauls, Greeks, French & Indian War. Some of the sculpting is hit or miss and some poses were awkward, though in general they were a good buy. However, some of them were cast so poorly that they required a lot of clean up--one of my least favorite activities. Getting Old Glory figures soon after a line was released was advisable. Old Glory, as a company, lost favor with me when they started poaching retail customers from my store. That was quite a few years ago. I've mellowed some since then but still won't buy from Old Glory.

My painting style has changed over the years. I used to be very detail oriented. That's no longer the case. Mostly because my eyesight has degraded with age and the loss of vision in one eye to macular degeneration. So I take an impressionistic approach now. I scoff at those gamers who put a lot of angst into getting the 'most historically accurate' color. Close enough is good enough. I even see slight variations in a color depending on which eye I use. So I believe that the shade of any particular color is more a matter of perception and lighting, rather than an intrinsic value of the color itself.

I was finishing up the Gauls and whining incessantly about shields and tartan when my wife made a brilliant suggestion. "Quit whining," sayeth she, "and use an extra fine Sharpie marker for the plaids. They come in colors now, ya know." DOH! BRILLIANT! (clink) Pass the Guiness.

Basing has me perplexed. Since I had several DBA armies, and I hate the idea of rebasing, I stuck with the DBA/DBM base sizes. Though with many 28mm figures (as opposed to 25mm) they really don't fit too comfortably on the old sizes. In addition, I'm planning on trying out 'Impetus' which recommends unusual base sizes. I do like the look of the large Impetus bases, but I hesitate to base for a single system. What a weeny! I keep looking at the Warhammer basing of single figures on 20mm square bases. That does seem to be the most flexible. But it would also require rebasing my existing figures. What a whimp! Whine, whine, whine.

I did take the plunge and bought the 'Impetus' rules. I like the way they read and had only a little difficulty running my first solo battle. Sabot-base is now my favorite hyphenated word. At this point I've got a 250 point Roman army and probably 450+ points of Gauls. Clearly I need to focus on the Romans again.

I like finding creative solutions. That, and I'm a cheap bastard. The reins on this Celtic chariot are actually dental floss coated with glue and painted. If you look closely at some of the previous pictures you may notice that I've used coffee grounds for basing textures. I don't know what gave me that idea and it's not like sand is too expensive to use. It may explain why my dog is so interested in running off with my figures, though. Maybe I ought to rethink that particular creative solution.

And yes, I like figures with a little gloss to them.

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