Thursday, June 27, 2013

28mm City of Troy

A few years ago Philip Viverito of LMW Works sold me this City of Troy in 28mm scale for the use with 28mm Trojan miniatures  It was used in a Geico commercial and at one time I had a link to the actual commercial. This City of Troy has been at various gaming conventions all over the country and seen by millions of gamers I am told. I was very proud to purchase it from him. Philip is a great modeler and a good friend as well, and a rock star in the gaming world. Something I wish I could be..but everyone has their place. I also own the City of Tyre that he built as well that I use my 28mm Macedonians. And in few weeks I will also own another great city that he built City of Carthage for use with 28mm Roman miniatures and 28mm Carthage miniatures. Along with that, I will also soon own Hadrian's Wall that Philip built as well as a Roman Marching Fortification camp. The Hadrian's Wall that he built is featured in Historical Miniature Gamer Magazine issue 6.

 The Trojan city is roughly about 10 feet by 5 feet.  Philip also is the publisher of the various Classical "Hack" war game rules. I used Homer Hack rules for this game. I game mostly Greek Mythology using my imagination and using ideas from the Wargods of Olympus and Wargods of Aegyptus rules.

The detail on the city is amazing.  It takes up a lot of storage space too. It has about 20 or more buildings that make up the city.

I played a game awhile back using some old 20mm Atlantic Greeks and Trojans that I had painted up. I currently painted and converted all of my Greek armies in 28mm scale, I still have these miniatures and they are great to game with.  But I have so many 20mm Atlantic Greeks and Trojans that it made the game really fun. I have now 28mm Trojans and 28mm Spartans to go with the city that took me awhile to paint. I use Crocodile Games 28mm Spartans and 28mm Trojans as well as 28mm Greeks from Black Tree Design.

I also used some old 20mm scale model ships made from Academy. The ships were marked 1/250th scale, but the correct scale is about 1/72 scale or close. I bought about 9 at once and mass produced them in about 3 weeks. The models now go for about $50 each. But I got all of mine for $10 each. I used to have sails on them, but I removed them all. They also work well with 28mm scale, if your not too picky. I plan on using this with the Wargods of Olympus rules. 

 The City of Troy at the Siege of Augusta in 2005

Friday, June 21, 2013

Myself as Sir Gawaine of Orkney, Jousting Knight for Noble Cause Productions

A little more about myself is that another one of my hobbies besides wargamming is jousting on horse back. I ride in my spare time as a Jousting Knight for Noble Cause Productions as Sir Gawain of Orkney, a villain of a knight. It is a lot of fun and dangerous at the same time, right up my alley.

After watching the Charge of the Rohirrm against Mordor in the Battle of Pelennor Fields in the movie Return of the King from Lord of the Rings, I got so modivated to have a custom Eomer costume made. I had two different armorers make me a set of leather armor and eventually found another armorer to make me Eomer's helm as well as other sets of armor. I had only planned to go the faire and have a great time and make new friends.

After attending the faire, I made a friend Bryan Beard the owner of Noble Cause Productions. At the time he was the production manager for the faire I attended called Excalibur Fantasy Faire in Smithville, TX. He offered me to be on cast for the following season, which I accepted. I became Sir Eaoden the next season, which turned out to be the last season for that faire.

Also became good friends with the costuming group the Dragons and learned stage combat. Going over the fight almost 400 times. I even got to get thrown across the fields a few times. I also met my future wife at this faire.

My beautiful wife Lorie who I met at Excalibur Fantasy faire.
Me in my new set of armor made by a great blacksmith at the faire, he also made the helm that went with my horse lord armor. As time went on, I started realizing how much I loved acting and stage combat. I started talking with Bryan Beard about possibly jousting in his company one day.

For awhile I traveled to various faires and had alot of fun with my friends around Texas. I eventually learned how to make my own armor and weapons. I didn't make an entire suit of armor, but I learned how to make different pieces which was amazing to actually creat. I made my own sabatons, mace, modified some armor I had and eventually learned to strengthen my armor so that it would last longer. I learned everything from my friends.

Sir Eaoden at Excalibur Fantasy Faire.

When Noble Cause Productions started jousting for Scarborough Faire in Waxahatchie, Texas, I finally got my chance to become a squire and to start learning skills to become a knight one day. I worked very hard and did a very good job and made some really great friends for life.

On my way to Kansas City to learn to joust, after squiring at Scarborogh Fair in Waxahatchie, Texas. I bought all my stuff, got a saddle from Oregon. I had armor already, and I also modified my armor so that it would stay on during falls or fights. I also bought a Helm from Germany.

Me and Diego getting Sir Roderick ready for a Joust to the Death at Kansas City Ren Faire in 2006. I was head squire at the faire but during the week I would be riding, training, working and learning to joust.

At Kansas City Ren Faire I learned how to ride and joust. It was one of the most hardest things in my entire life to do and learn besides being in the US Marines, but I quickly grasped the skills and learned from all my mistakes. Here I am jousting for the first time during the weekdays with Bryan Beard aka Sir William.

My debut as Sir Gawaine of Orkney in the colors of green and gold at the 2006 Kansas City Ren Faire. I was not supposed to joust until the last show, however one of the riders was injured and I saddled up and rode for the remainder of the shows.

I went on to earn my spurs and became a Jousting Knight for Noble Cause Productions in 2006. Before I got to Kansas City, I had read the script about 500 times and knew everyones lines, which helped because I wanted to focus on riding and not having to remember my lines.

I eventually put my skills to work jousting at Scaroborough faire the following year, which was a honor, the same field where I learn to squire, where it all started. And yes, hitting the ground does hurt sometimes.

Me on Diego losing my stuff and taking a fall against Sir Roderick.

 I made my way to the Muskogee Ren Faire where all my skills were put to the test. Me and my good friend Jeff Cavazos took turns hitting each other. I learned how to woe the ladies at this faire. I myself am not much of a romantic, so it was a bit of a challenge to woo the Queen....but I did somehow. Evil Knights have that way on the ladies...ask my wife. Now we have two daughters. The skills came in handy.

One of the skills is to learn how to catch rings on the end of  your lance. This is a display of skills to impress the Queen or court and for the audience. As long as the squire throws the rings correctly, it isnt all that hard. Another reason is to test the footing of the steeds by lancing at the rings. Once the knights have found the field suitable, the joust can begin.

Sir Gawaine of Orkney and Diego riding out for a joust.

In the field of combat at Muskogee Ren Faire.

Jousting is a very hard skill to learn. Alot of people think it is easy to do, because we make it look so easy. Learning to do 10 things at once on a horse and doing it well, requires alot of training.

Jousting Sir Roderick at Scarborough Fair.

Talking to patrons after a show. One of my favorite parts, especially when I see a young child light up.

Here I am jousting Sir William at Scarborough.

Riding in the parade at Scarborough with Sir Micheal.

Another part of the joust is the arming ceremony. Here Sir Roderick is arming me up to joust. After being armed both Knights salute each other after a prayer is said and then go to their ends to began the joust.

Why God gave you you wont land on your head. Taking a fall after a hit from Sir Roderick.

Riding out on a steed to the Field is such a rush. There is nothing more rewarding in life to be riding out on a fast horse.

Waiting to charge looking to see if the other knight is in the ready.

Sir Roderick and Sir Gawaine in full tilt.

Getting ready for a six man joust. These are one of the most dangerous joust, having multiple horses charging at the same time on the field. Getting knocked off in the wrong place can spell disaster.

In the ready during a six man joust.

One of the most proudest things I have done in my life was becoming a Jousting Knight. The other was becoming a United States Marine in the Infantry. They go hand in hand.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Battle of Pelennor Fields March 14-15 TA 3019 (War of the Ring)

Before I made Minas Tirith I painted over 3500 approximately 28mm Harlequin LOTR and Mithril LOTR figures to game with. And before that I had made various other models, ships, siege equipment, etc. I also have a Osgilith ruins set that was made by the Art of War Terrain.
I am using the ruins of Osgilith here in the game above as Harlond near Minas Tirith. The harbor where Aragorn entered into the battle along with the Grey Company.

I had made some 20mm scale ships, that turned out to work for 28mm figs, at least I didn't mind. The are about the same size or close enough to use for gaming. I had used them with my 15mm collection previously. I had made about 10 ships for naval combat, so I decided to my them Corsair ships.
I do however want to buy some of the Grand Manner ships that they have. Grand Manner makes very nicely detailed Greek ships and Roman ships. The rivers were made by wargamers terrain.

It took me about a week to set the table up. I still have not started the game. I usually solo game, unless I have some friends over. I use all types of rules that I have read. I have a lot of rules sets that I have read over the years.

The Charge of the Rohirrim using 28mm Harlequin LOTR miniatures now owned by Grendel Scotia.
They have been in the process of re-tooling the molds that they had bought from Black Tree Design, who used to be Harlequin back in the 90's. The figures are true 28mm not 25mm and do not match up to the current Games Workshop LOTR figures.

View from inside the lower level of Minas Tirith.  The battle is just getting started so I will post more later. I plan on using the dead to arrive on ships as in the movie, it makes more sense in a war game. The reserve forces are very large. I painted up my 28mm Assyrian Empire to be used in my Wargods of Olympus games but also as Southrons. I used my 28mm Egyptians and 28mm Babylonians and 28mm Persians for the Haradrim and Variags of Khand. Most of the Southron cavalry are the Black Tree Design Assyrian cavalry, while the foot are mostly made up of Assyrians from Immortal Miniatures aka Warlord Games now and Irregular Miniatures. The Haradrim are mostly made up of Black Tree Design Egyptians. I also used some Newline Design Babylonians for Haradrim as well.

I also use the 30mm Mithril LOTR Mumakil. I use the Mithril Mumakil because the size of the elephaunt is nice. I did not like the howdahs, so I replaced them with the old Vendal elephant howdahs from Sgt Major miniatures. I also made them so that I can use them with Persians or Macedonians, and I have multiple figures that can be placed in them.

The lower level walls will hold close to 400-500 miniatures approx.

I took me about 3 years or so to complete this project, while also at the same time doing other painting projects. I met my wife about 8 years ago, when I met here I converted over from 15mm to 28mm because of Wargods of Aegyptus because she loved Egyptian stuff...and I replaced basically everything from 15mm to 28mm, my entire collection was replaced and painted. So I have been painting for about 8 years, probably about 12,000-15,000 minis painted. This is now the first game I have put on my table in a very long time. I plan on doing a large campaign in middle earth covering different battles in all four ages.

The game will be played in 3 or 4 phases. I will update later on with more photos. The next phase starts with the death of Theoden.  The Rivers are made by Wargamer's Terrain.

The Rohirrim meets the counter charge while Dol Amroth and Gondor face off against the Southron. The ruins are for Osgilith but I am using them in this game for Harlond. The ruins are made by Art of War terrain.

The game ended with Rohan and Gondor as the victor. There were 3400 miniatures used in this epic sized battle. I used my own house rules pulled from various rule books. This was a solo game and took me about 3 weeks to play in my spare time. It was alot of fun, except when I had to put it all back on the shelf.

Here is a great source for Lord of the Rings wargamming.