Welcome to the Jungle!

As you can see I have been busy!

In addition to the jungle terrain, I finished a conversion of Eomer to be a proxy for Erkenbrand. The cloak, horn and red shield should do enough to differentiate it. I tried for a long time to get an original pair of Erkenbrand figures but they always auctioned for more than I wanted to pay.

And I completed some more Isengard Uruk-Hai. Given so many are repeat poses I tried to add random “white hand prints” to them. Some of my attempts are better than others.

One thing I have been thinking is that my French/Non-French Napoleonic/Non-Napoleonic Line Infantry may need to actually be trained/treated as Light Infantry even if dressed and equipped as Line Infantry so that I can deal with so much terrain and an opponent that favors skirmish troops.

As for being Non-French, Non-Napoleonic I have come across the 7th Sea game setting that I quite like. We may borrow heavily from that for our Napoleonic Gothic Horror Pulp Exploration Sharp Practice project. 7th Sea is a touch earlier than what we are after but we are thinking we could just extend the timeline a bit and add in a Montaigne Revolution to create the Montaigne Republic. 

https://www.chaosium.com/7th-sea/

I had been leaning towards creating our own fictional world in order to avoid unpleasant historical baggage but this game world seems to have done most of the ground work for me. I had not intended to have magic, and I still do not know how to incorporate it into Sharp Practice, but the more I read of 7th Sea online the more the magic of that world appeals. And I think my wife will like it. 

The larger world of 7th Sea second edition really appeals to me. It is a shame to see all the problems associated with the production of the game though, particularly the delayed Kickstarter deliveries. Rather reminiscent of Hagglethorn Hollow. And like most of the things I am finding in this hobby I am again late to the party. Most of the online activity and frothing regarding 7th Sea seems to been a couple of years ago. I suspect largely because of the troubled game production surrounding the designer John Wick. It has been interesting reading forum posts from years ago… the internet does not forget!

Troubles aside, I love the world he created. It reminds me of some of the larp world creations of Matt Pennington and the Profound Decisions team. Inspired by, but somewhat different, than our own history. Just different enough. And coolthentic! A term introduced to me by Matt, think of it as a mix of “the rule of cool” and just enough “authenticity“ to help suspend your disbelief.

It was the world map of 7th Sea, Second Edition that caught my attention.

All the types of places I was thinking for our campaigns but without the real world historical unwanted baggage, leaving just enough hints of the real world to support that precious suspension of disbelief for our desired narrative based gaming.

Working on some of my personality figures, I struggled to settle on which headgear to use on some of the figures. Whilst I want the freedom to select what I want, I like to be guided by the historical regulations to a certain degree. It was great fun making my own choices rather than just copy the pictures on the box.

I am guided somewhat by the rules of Sharp Practice as well. I realize an Eagle is probably a bit over the top for an independent detachment on special duty but given the somewhat diplomatic missions I imagine the pomp and ceremony of an Eagle makes sense. The fantasy element of our project also gives me some latitude.

These are Perry figures but I added a pistol to the senior officer from a Victrix box. I think it gives him a bit of a piratey look compared to most French officer figures.

For his drummer I thought about using one of two heads in a bonnet de police, a type of soft field cap French soldiers of the time carried bundled under their ammunition pouch. Most drummers were young but I thought about an older drummer that was also my senior officer’s steward/valet, there is a very characterful head for this on the sprue but in the end decided to go for the more formal dress uniform shako since I have more of those than I will ever use and the it seemed to fit the kind of command group my senior officer would create for the kind of missions he will be doing. I will find a way to use the bonnet de police wearing heads to differentiate a unit of some sort. Perhaps engineers. Unless I go with helmets for the engineers.

Speaking of helmets…

I originally wanted to use carabinier helmets on the Eagle Guards after seeing some images of this online. However I do not have any French carabiniers, just a couple of what I think are Austrian heads in similar helmets. I tried them on the figures but removed them before the glue set. On top of that, I read helmets on Eagle Guards was an Imperial Guard thing and I am trying to avoid the elite Imperial Guard association. Putting the dress uniform shakos on them immediately felt better. I had gone back and forth on the idea of bearskins instead but wanted to save my limited number of bearskins for my grenadiers.

In other news, the Expanse continues to deliver. My wife and I love the show.

We are more than halfway through the Hornblower movies. My wife has grown to like, and care about, the core characters… as I had hoped she would! I have seen these movies before but I am picking up some things I had not noticed before…. and in doing so, very much enjoying it.

10 comments

  1. You have been quite busy, mate! I think the terrain might be some of your best work. I really like the ruins but then again, the palm trees are really top notch as well. Are the rocks painted or did you use real rocks for those pieces?

    The LOTR minis look awesome as well and nice work picking up Erkenbrand. Some of the rare MESBG minis do carry some serious value (or cost if you’re looking to buy) so I’m glad you got what you wanted there.

    I vaguely remember the 7th Sea franchise and I think I know it through the CCG (collectible card game), though I am positive that I never played or collected anything from it. I like the idea of leaving history behind and using a fantastic world instead. Taking ideas from the RPG (or at least I assume it is since Chaosium made it) and applying it to your wargaming is not a bad idea either. I don’t know if I have the confidence or skill to pull it off, but I figure if anybody can, it’d be you, mate 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks mate! The palm trees are very cheap pieces that I painted and washed. The stones on these pieces are painted foam rather than the real stones on my usual CD terrain pieces. The jungle plants I suspect are old aquarium plants which I won cheap on eBay.

    As for Erkenbrand, I really must rethink my writing as it seems you have misunderstood me again. Those are conversions of Eomer models because I refuse to pay the high auction prices of an original Erkenbrand. Apologies for the confusion my friend.

    My wife and I are long time role players (enough snickering from you there in the back!) with extensive experience in online, pen & paper, and live action RPGs. Introducing my wife to tabletop wargaming has lead to us increasingly closer to role playing through narrative wargaming. It is not such a difficult or ambitious thing I think to adapt an RPG world to Sharp Practice…. but thank you again for your very kind words sir!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s interesting on your terrain techniques. It all looks great and I am always amazed by your terrain output. I wish I could bottle up some of your drive/enthusiasm to make terrain at a faster rate than I do!

    And my apologies on the mix-up. I just went back and read it. I have no idea how I came up with that interpretation! I’ve been been tired this week but that is no excuse and I should try and read a bit more closely (clearly!). A conversion instead of overpaying for a model is even smarter than what I previously suggested 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. No stress mate, I certainly understand being tired. Enthusiasm… nice way of putting it. Most folks use the term obsession. As for expense, this is an expensive hobby so I have to look for ways to stretch the pennies. Thanks as always for the kind and supportive comments!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your terrain and especially the temple piece looks like it should have some of the new Mythic Americas figures on it! I know you aren’t too keen on those figures but that is what was the first thing that came to my mind. I really like the exclusive figure they just showed of the pseudo roman figure, but I doubt I will pay $270 just to get that figure.

    The lack of poses for the Uruk-Hai for some reason never bothered me, I guess I just I always pictured them as a mass of faceless darkness. I might adjust some sword arms when I get around to painting them just to add some variety.

    Has Brexit affected your shopping at all? I seem to remember that you did some prior buying from the UK in anticipation of problems. I have been reading on delays of GW shipping, including from the German warehouse.

    I like the map from the 7th Sea, it makes the whole process easier if you don’t have to come up with a world for your napoleonic/non-napoleonic game.

    Engineers require helmets, they like to make things go boom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really wanted to like the new Mythic Americas line but so far just not feeling it. I will hold out hope for the Aztecs that Wargames Atlantic have promised. And we have some fine looking GW lizardmen for the jungle as well. I am trying to get the GW lizardman pyramid and some Archon Studios Kazumi temple pieces to eventually upgrade from the Ziterdes pyramid.

      The Brexit and Covid mix has been a nightmare for us. We have stopped all shopping from the UK as a package sent by a friend to us has been stuck for two weeks at the UK depot with no word yet when it will eventually cross the border. Customs, handling fees… you know how price sensitive I am. It was the right call to purchase before the new year after all.

      Regarding helmets, noted!

      Like

  6. Covid has delayed shipping from GW here in the US also, but like everything else, just have to be patient. I ordered a terrain piece from the UK and shipping is obviously more expensive it seems to be on track for delivery.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe it is my imagination but I feel like shipping has been steadily creeping up slowly throughout the Brexit process. I loathe Brexit and was quite vocal on Facebook about it before I quit that platform.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great looking LOTR miniatures as usual there, Rick! I hope we get to see some company level fighting with your Middle Earth forces at some point. You must have hundreds of painted miniatures now – it would be great to see them in formation and maneuvering.

    Liked by 1 person

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