For the regulars who stop by the warren blog, some have noticed the lack of recent posts since March. Even gaming was curtailed for pending miniature projects. Well, the WR has simply been overwhelmed project wise, some of which have caused many evenings of planning, organization of units, glued fingers, worn brushes, trips to the local hardware store, and shipping orders arriving on the doorstep, eagerly adding to the patio pile of tabletop confusion (photos below). Slowly the process became streamlined, the process showed progress, and completion showed the effort involved. What is all this chatter about?…..it is the dreaded basing, re-basing, organizing and formation structure of WR’s ancient Chariot era armies plus some other smaller projects. Five chariot era ancient armies finally had their day under the patio roof…. on hot days, on cold evenings, and the occasion of rain twice.
Clash of Empires (COE) Egyptian, the Assyrians, the Indians, the Chinese, and the Steppe-Nomad armies are the Chariot era armies for this project. After these armies are completely inventoried, the Classical era Greeks, Republican Rome, Imperial Rome, Persians, Macedonian, Successor period, various minor eastern states (like Palmyra), Barbarian regional huge hordes (various), Carthaginian, Picts will follow with their own projects. Then as time permits the Dark age nations (various), early and late medieval, War of the Roses, and medieval Scots will see work next year…. if WR is still alive.
For many years these stored armies have seen limited service on the tabletop. WR hopes the army collection organization, identify what miniatures are painted and based, form units to standard Clash of Empires (COE) organizational unit size, and inventory the unpainted lead (some plastic) miniatures with spreadsheets (.xls) covering all the collections, will lead to more ancient games with the local ancients gamer group. That is the hope and target future goal for this effort. Plus identity what needs to be painted!
The process of organization and inventory. Pictured is the Chinese army undergoing the multi-step ten stage process outlined below in the article.
A side view of the Chinese army undergoing the review and organizational process with work table upper right. Stacks of apple boxes (storage) form the backdrop.
So the Clash of Empires army organization basing and inventory project process had a multi-step (1 to 10 stage) format done for each Chariot era army:
(1) Lay out the miniatures and form Clash of Empires (COE) ancient army units based from the rules and list parameters. Typically infantry are 20-30 miniatures for three rank massed formations, cavalry 8-12 miniatures for single rank formation, and skirmisher units 8-14 miniatures formed as loose formations.
(2) Base or glue the loose individual miniatures on their 20mm x 20mm bases (infantry), 25mm x 50mm (cavalry), or larger sizes for special units like elephants, field artillery, or chariots. Most of the basing is standard for the common rules sets in print, including WAB, Hail Caesar, and other non element rules. The individual miniatures are maneuvered on the tabletop using textured sabot trays sized for the formation footprint. Basing included gluing the miniature to the base, then apply putty to build up the base and hide the miniature base footprint. Note that complete miniature units stored in pre-determined sealed OEM bags or boxes are not opened and based pending their actual scheduled painting. Just the loose unpainted miniatures are based for this stage.
(3) Paint… really stain the putted base to a common brown background look.
(4) Dip or brush on a brown or black wash to give some depth and contrast to the miniatures. Only the painted miniatures has this treatment then allowed to quickly dry (except on the rainy days).
(5) Glue a light dusting of fine Woodlands Scenics green or earth blend flocking material with additional fine stones or other color textures to each painted miniature base. The unpainted miniature omitted this step pending their paintwork.
(6) Apply a texture clump of flocking material to decorate the basing. Glue a small piece of Woodland Scenics clump material to roughly half the painted infantry bases or all the painted cavalry and artillery bases. WR did only half the infantry unit bases to avoid a look of massed “bushes” in the unit miniature formation.
(7) Create an excel spreadsheet (.xls) for each army (example spreadsheet below). The spreadsheet has unit numbering slots 1 to 100 with pre-grouped numbers for each type of general unit. The numbering somewhat organizes the unit numbering across all armies. the numbers are assigned out in groups: 1-10 Leadership or Icon units or single miniatures, 11-30 close order cavalry units, 31-40 open order or skirmisher cavalry units, 41-50 chariots, elephants or unique cavalry / infantry units, 50-80 close order infantry units, 81-90 skirmisher infantry units, and 91-00 artillery etc.. The actual unit identity number in reality doesn’t matter in theory as the number is truly a unique number for each unit.
(8) Write down each unit to the army spreadsheet with identifying color, # of painted miniatures in unit, # of unpainted miniatures based in present unit, required miniatures to complete the unit (future purchase), and generic notes including the miniature company manufacturer if known.
(9) Write the unit number with a gold fine marker on rear base edge or bottom side of base (larger bases). By doing this action every unit has an identifying unit number and ease of returning the individual miniatures to the original unit formation, and more importantly, anyone can return the miniatures to the correct labelled storage box location (slotted space in storage apple boxes) without WR direct involvement. Complete unpainted miniature units still in their box or plastic OEM bag are still labelled on the box or bag with black marker unit number.
(10) Lay out the ancient army into the storage cut down apple boxes, construct cardboard gridded zones for each unit based upon unit size. Then label each unit storage gridded zone to match the previously determined unit identifying number. Finally create a unique nationalistic box label to identify each nation’s storage boxes for quick visual locating in the storage shed. Continue reading →