Thursday, 19 October 2017

The Great Nottingham Pilgrimage

   I have not been in a massive painting mood recently and it is pretty much been zomtober keeping me going while I build up to the next project, although I made the pilgrimage up to Nottingham on Saturday nominally for Warlord Games' Birthday Bash but also as a general day out with my dad to a few of the wargaming places that are all in the same area.


   This isn't going to be a show review as I am sure there will be much better ones out there and I didn't take that many photos but I have a few things to say about the show;
  • The show was nowhere near as big as I expected (not having been to the venue before) but they filled every space they possibly could.
  • There were less people there than I expected.
  • There were less demo games than I thought there would be. Even their newest game (Blood Red Skies) only had a single table and the Beasts of War crew were filming their interview and demo on it for most of the time we were at the show (we left just after lunch).
  • The other sellers were hidden in a different part of the building and I think there were more staff in there than punters at any one time.
  • The tour of their manufacturing units, however, was almost worth the trip by itself - photos below.
 Resin moulds as far as the eye can see.

Resin casting room. 

 Metal casting room.

   We left Warlord Games just after lunch after spending about 2 hours at the show and proceeded over to North Star, which turned out to be the unit opposite. This trip was two fold, partly I wanted to pick up my Frostgrave Archipelago book (apparently I was the first person in the UK to receive a paid for version), partly to buy something I asked for Nick to put behind the counter and mostly curiosity, wanting to see where so much of my hard earned money goes. 
   Like the metal casting room at Warlord Games, the trays of metal figures waiting to be sorted were basically heaven. It took every fibre of my being not to have a rummage through them, figuring it would probably look far more dodgy than I would have intended.

   Once more of my money, than had been planned, had been handed over to Nick (really nice guy) we left in a hurry and headed over to our last stop; Warhammer World. As anyone who reads this blog regularly will know, I play barely a handful of current GW games a year but the universe and appeal of what they have created is something I reckon I will be stuck with forever, so Warhammer World has become about as close to a holy site as I think I have and as an added bonus their food and beer is amazing.
   After a not so quick lunch in Bugman's Bar, we headed up to the exhibition, which is well worth the £7.50 entry fee. It is one of those places that I don't even think the most ardent anti-GW person could come out of without being even a little inspired, 4 rooms of massive dioramas and cases of models, just make you leave with ideas floating about in your head.

   One thing I did pick up at the show was a Burial Cairn from Arcane Miniatures. I was a little bit surprised to see them at Warlord's show as I couldn't work out where most of their range fitted into what Warlord are trying to push, but I am glad they were there as I picked up a bear for Frostgrave and a couple of bits of scenery, one of which I got painted up in time for this post. I have a vague plan to use this in LotR scenarios set in Angmar or Rohan and in Dark Ages based games.




Thanks for reading

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Zomtober 2017 - Week 3

Zomtober zombie count: 5

   With no major projects on the go at the sec, I have had more time to enjoy painting some zombies and try out some ideas. These three are from The Walking Dead All Out War game Walker Booster and was a pretty reasonable way of picking up extra zombies, at a few pence over £2 a model, they have also turned out to be some of the most enjoyable models I have painted for quite a while.


   I used these three to try out a few ideas I have been toying with. Black skin was my first big one as I never got it looking right, until I found a recipe from one of GW's Eavy Metal painters and I quite like the result. Second was trying out old blood, so far all my zombies have had Blood For The Blood God splashed over them, which is fine for recent blood but old wounds dry a horrible brown colour, so I tried to do something like that for the guy in the middle, as that can't be a recent injury. The last thing I wanted to try out was being a bit braver with my detail, the guy that painted my Somali Pirates for me managed to get numbers and names on them, while I can't manage that detail the black guy's t-shirt was calling out to have something on it, so I found an NFL team's shirt I thought I could paint.


   Just in case anyone was wondering about scale I have included two Studio Miniatures zombies as a comparison and while the All Out War model is slightly chunkier, I am really not worried about any differences in their sculpts. This pack should fit into my horde really nicely.

Thanks for reading

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Mild Winter Snow Trolls

   With my Vikings project over and zomtober on I don't want to get too heavily into my next project just yet, I am happy to sit back for a few more weeks and slowly paint anything that I fancy and this is another one of those*. I am down to my last few Frostgrave figures to play through the campaign in the core book ** and it seems daft not to try and shift some of them out of the painting queue while I have some time to play with.
   I picked up two Heresy Miniatures Snow Trolls in the add on stage of his kickstarter with the plans to use them as Snow Trolls in a set of rules I had just picked up and when they arrived I dumped them in my 'to do box' and carried on with what I was doing. Recently I sat down to work out what I would need to run a Frostgrave campaign for about 4 players - warbands, wizards and monsters. With the list written and marked with what I had painted, I went into my box to see what else I had and these guys came up as obvious contenders to get painted.

* Don't worry, I have loads of
projects waiting in line.
** The pile for the supplements
is a little un-nerving


   All the photos online are of these guys painted various shades of white, and that was my plan, however, my version of frostgrave is not that frosty as I am keeping my generic fantasy figures as multi-use as possible, so the more I thought about it the more pure white didn't fit, so I settled on a colour scheme that suggests cold but not the arctic.


   Below I have added a scale photo with a Frostgrave wizard and a Heresy Miniatures barbarian just to show that these are big monsters.


Thanks for reading

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Zomtober 2017 - Week 2

Zomtober zombie count: 2

   Pretty much all the comments from my last post were about how combining Zomtober with a current project was a great idea, well that didn't last long. This model was part of a Fenris Game order from earlier this year, as I didn't know what I was doing for Zomtober it meant I at least had a figure for the first week, while I worked out a plan.
    I have done nothing special with this guy. Standard white guy in jeans and a t-shirt, I gave the t-shirt a pokemon go team design just to give the figure something interesting about him but that is what makes me like him, he is the sort of zombie I would expect to see loads of come the apocalypse.


I am going to try and up my game now, as a single zombie a week for a month a year does not a horde build.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

The last ship sails in.

   Carrying on with more batches of Vikings while I paint the odd zombie has resulted in the last of my Vikings being finished, but a low zombie turnout so far this month (aiming for a single one this week but a bigger number the week after). Now I have all my Vikings sorted I have split them into their respective units and types and I am pretty pleased with how much of a rabble they look.


      The last few of my 'regular' Vikings to fill up units. Slightly more blue in my last few batches than I planned but they look good in their respective units. A couple of these are repainted models from my old army to fill up where I was a couple of men short and I will carry this on with any other models worth saving from that army.

   The rest of the Norse-Gaels I picked up as a way of diversifying the origin of my Viking warband. In time I plan to split these guys into their own force but mixed into my current army they really look good,

   My full 24 point Lion Rampant army, or split down it makes about 7 points of Saga army, which is what I have been using elements of it for more recently as a couple of my mates have started painting up their own Saga armies and I have run a couple of demos now.
   I really doubt these will be the last Viking figures you will see me paint any time soon but for the moment I am considering this project finished.

Thanks for reading

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Zomtober 2017 - Week 1

Zomtober zombie count: 1


   So Zomtober is here again, and much as I spend all year holding off my zombie themed projects and trying to plan what I want to do when it does happen, it always sneaks up faster than I am actually prepared for. With this year being even worse - a single day to get my first entry finished - I need a plan.
   With the deadline fast approching I decided to do the most logical thing, paint a zombie from a project you are already working on, in this case, Frostgrave. I have been sorting out my remaining sprues and bags of metal from the nickstarters and the various bits I have picked up on my travels and trying to get them ready for the table, in this list were a zombie and skeleton that I wanted to have as options for a bit of necromancy. Using left over mercenary bodies and upgrade bits from the cultist sprues I kit based one of each, aiming for the zombie to look fairly fresh, while the skeleton has been out there for a while now.


   While I have been mostly working on my Vikings recently, it hasn't stopped the steady trickle of Frostgrave related bits getting painted and while I am doing a post on Frostgrave undead, it made sense to include these guys too.


Check out Pulp Citizen's blog for more details on the Zomtober festivities.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

They came from the North.

   Aware that Zomtober is just around the corner, I thought I would do a quick post on the most recent (smaller) batches of Vikings for my ongoing project, then allow time to focus on getting a zombie ready for Sunday's first deadline.

   This is two quick batches using a grey and cream scheme and a green and cream scheme, which was aimed to tone down the primary colours in the units a tad. I am down to my last 10 or so models for this project now, so I am enjoying painting smaller groups.


Thanks for reading

Friday, 22 September 2017

These were the first ships of the Danish men that sought the land of the English nation.

   Keeping to the same project and using another quote from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles as my title (the next sentence from last time), this time I present the next two batches of Vikings for the same army, namely, a red batch and a yellow batch for want of a better way to describe them.* Again, I have mixed up models from different units to stop any single troop type looking like there might be a uniform in play and the photos are more proof of my love of the 2 foot rule of painting.

*The last few batches were blue, 
cream and green heavy.


 The Bondi are all from Gripping Beast or Bad Squiddo Games - shieldmaidens were too cool not to include even if the historical truth to them is very much in debate at the moment.

 The Hurscarls are from Gripping Beast or Crusader Miniatures (although it has to be said the GB models are far superior to the Crusader in this case).

Lastly, more archers, again from Crusader Miniatures.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Came the first three ships from the land of the robbers

   I have been planning a new Viking force for the last couple of years, buying the odd model when ever I saw one I liked, but not daring to start it as this is a project that I want to be able to give the time it deserves. However, travelling around Oslo after seeing the Viking ship museum reminded me of something I read on a blog, somewhere, about batch painting non-uniformed models in groups of the same colour as though they are in a uniform, as long as you vary which units the models come from you shouldn't be able to tell.
   After going through my reference books*, I started to book mark each page with a full length picture and picking 5 or 6 models from my backlog I started painting each batch to match a picture. Three batches in and I have a decent amount of figures ready to go, blue, cream and green seem to have been my go to colours so far, so my next couple of batches will be from very different looking images to keep the variety going, because, unlike what the tv wants us to think, Vikings wore some seriously bright colours.

*And spending money in Osprey's sale on more


Hurscarls - a mix of Shield Wall and Crusader Miniatures

Archers - all Crusader Miniatures

Bondi - all from Gripping Beast, Shield Wall or Bad Squiddo at this point

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

No one expects the . . . wait, there are two of you?

   The Inquisition in the 40K universe has fascinated me since the Daemon Hunter codex came out back in 2003 and I have built and converted a new inquisitor every few years since but never really been happy with the result. Then last year I had some inspiration and after joining a couple of groups on facebook, I had even more inspiration to look through.
    The two models below are the result of all of that;



   First is Inquisitor Von Haas of the Ordo Hereticus. Von Haas is about as puritanical as you can be and is not afraid to throw his weight around to get the manpower, materials and equipment he needs, so everything his warband will have will be top spec and expensive. This is the sort of Inquisitor that will appropriate an Imperial fleet to exterminate a planet he has found a cult on, where others of his kind might just eliminate it's members.
   Weirdly, I finished this model about this time last year and I am not sure how he avoided the pages of this blog, although, in a year I still haven't got that far on the rest his warband. The model is based on GW's Inquisitor Coteaz with parts from space marine kits to give him some character.


   Inquisitor Piers Rowe, however, is a very different kettle of fish, of the Ordo Xenos, he has been keeping a low profile for the last few years. He is researching whether it is possible to reverse engineer the Ork psychic power to disrupt the Waaagh and has had to go to some places and do some things that his peers might take a dim view to. As a result his equipment is practical and built to last, his warband will be small and comprise of misfits and he will make for some much more interesting story lines when I get him to the table.
    The model is based on Heresy Miniatures' 'not the' War Doctor with hands replaced and extra equipment strapped on (inc a backpack). The model just looks as tired and worn out as I needed the character to look after some time avoiding the notice of the authorities.

Thanks for reading

Friday, 8 September 2017

Getting to the point

   When I first got carried away building 4ground Wild West buildings, and then playing Dead Man's Hand to justify them, I bought a pack of Great Escape Games' Cacti, painted them up and had them on the edges of all my games - as seen in my first Dead Man's Hand blog - but I knew I needed a few more, 5 cacti just weren't going to cut it.
   So I duly went onto North Star and, as part of another order, I added a pack of the same Cacti to my basket and checked out. When the order arrived it came with a note saying they were out of stock but were expecting a restock soon, so unless I got in contact to cancel it they would post them as soon as they arrived, which I was fine with and promptly carried on with my life forgetting I was waiting on some cacti. A couple of months later I placed an order with Great Escape Games themselves for a tank from their Company B range and remembering I needed some Cacti, I added them to the basket. Within the space of a week or so, two packs of cacti had turned up at my door and they went onto the to-do pile for some space on my desk to free up. That was a good couple of years ago.


   As part of my clearout this zip lock bag of cacti turned up and I knew that I couldn't just paint them up as they were, I needed to do something a tad more special, as another 10 based separately would be really dull scenery. Recently I noticed that Great Escape Games had produced a wildlife pack so that was added to my order with the SU-76i from last post, with a mind to add them to the bases of this project.


   The skeleton was too good not to add to a base and a snake somewhere was a must. I am looking forward to organising, at least a scene in, a game of Dead Man's Hand, which is normally all set inside the town.


Thanks for reading

Monday, 4 September 2017

Odds and Sods 3

   It has been a while since I did an Odds and Sods post - this time last year almost to the day weirdly* - but my painting desk is so full of bits of projects that this was unavoidable to someone like me. This post has Dinosaurs, a WW2 Soviet tank, Star Wars droid and Frostgrave, so lets begin.

*Must be something about the first week of September

   First up are the Oviraptors that I picked up from North Star. I was in the market for more of their wire spears as mine have gone walkabouts, but they have some of the most dangerous emails in the hobby and I am afraid I was one such casualty. I did my customary research into this dinosaur and basically came back with the knowledge that it is another 'do what you want' as the scientists don't know, so I picked my favourite scheme and went for it. I really do need a ruleset to play with these figures now, as this collection is getting a bit out of hand.


   After nearly a year of break from Bolt Action, I have picked it up again and started organising games and a couple of tournaments. The army I enjoy playing the most are my Soviets and my favourite tank to use is the SU-76 but I have always wanted to try it's up-armoured brother, the SU-76i**, so when I found out that Company B sold one (via Great Escape Games in the UK) it was a must buy.

**Actually based on captured Pz3 and stugs


   Carrying on from last time, I still have a fair few Frostgrave figures on my desk, of which these 3 made it through the painting process; another man at arms, a white gorilla and a medium construct. The man at arms is from Ladies in Sensible shoes***, the white gorilla is North Star and the medium construct is from Black Hat Miniatures and was bought without a plan, but with my Frostgrave resurgence I knew exactly what to use it as.

***Like the unknown templar from last time.


   Last up is a test model I bought from Tritex Games. I was after a better Owlbear model for D&D**** and spotted they had a Star Wars Miniatures category, so I bought a couple of bits as test items for size comparrisons with Imperial Assault.

****My character now has a magic item
that summons an Owlbear on command.


   The one I bought to actually use in games - probably as scenery - was the astromech droid ' Red' which was the one that malfunctioned when Luke bought it instead of R2-D2 in the 4th film. A quick ink wash and basing brought it up to gaming standard but size was the big issue, but as you can see below, while the model is smaller than R2, it isn't massively smaller, so I wouldn't be upset using it in the same game.


   The only other thing to test was the human sized characters, so I picked up a Sith Nobel with plans to use him as NPC in D&D, but he does seem to fit Imperial Assault's scale, so there is a risk I might bulk some units out with figures from this range, especially if some of the worst priced units work out scale wise (thinking Jawa's here).


Thanks for reading

Friday, 1 September 2017

Back from the [Frost]grave

   Over the last couple of months I have been sorting out my man-cave to create a home office and this has lead to a few changes in the way I treat my hobby, but the important ones for this post are the figures I have uncovered* and the rulesets I have decided to either drop** or start playing again.
   One of the projects that has been brought back to life is Frostgrave. I last played this in 2015 when I got 3 mates together and ran a mini day campaign using my own figures, but for some reason we never did it again and so, with no deadline looming, no more figures were painted even though I had to strictly enforce what soldiers the players could buy as I didn't have enough figures to allow multiples of pretty much anything.

*My lead pile isn't bad enough that these figures are a shock, more
that they have been pushed up the queue by having been found.
**I now have more non-GW rules and supplements than I 
own of GW's, for the first time in my gaming life, after
clearing off two shelves of old rulebooks and codexes.

   So focusing on the base rulebook (my Gnolls and Cultists are an issue for another day) I went through my lead pile and picked out anything interesting looking figures. First up were two knights, from Crusader Miniatures who were a by product of another project, and a templar who is either a nickstarter exclusive model or a Wargames Illustrated show model, I forget which.
   I went for 2 different tactics with my painting, the knights I decided to go early medieval with basic heraldry, while I went to town with transfers on the templar. For me this is the biggest joy of a warband style game like this, you can just pick up a figure and paint it how you want as long as you keep the basing standardised.


   Last up are a bunch of the North Star plastics. I literally just went through my last couple of sprues and built figures to fill in gaps, so I bulked up my men at arms so every player can now have at least one and added more crossbows although I still have more to paint up.


Thanks for reading

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Green Hivers

   Before I went to University I was exclusively GW when it came to table top gaming, I tried all of their games, bar Inquisitor, at some point or another (although, I do own the rulebook and have figures for it stashed away somewhere), but the games that really took hold and I found myself playing more than any others were 40k, Necromunda and LotR. When I left to go to uni, my gaming group also disbanded with my normal three moving to Wales, Spain and Nottingham between them, which is what lead to my years of minimal gaming while I found a new group to play with.
   Since then, every couple of months or so, I stumble upon my two Necromunda gangs, which leads me to having a nostalgic reminisce where I decide that one of my gangs will get bumped ahead in my painting queue before something else distracts me again and the figures are left in my case for next time. But we have now had the news that Necromunda is the next specialist game getting released and this has put a deadline on getting my gangs fighting fit so I can try the new rules on release.


    While I strip the old paint off my gangs and work out what colours to paint them in, I figured that getting some work done on some other Necromunda related models would keep the bug going, so out of one of my cases came the Ratskin Scout and out of my lead pile came a giant scorpion.
   The Ratskin scout was a must hire for the first 2-3 games in the current* rules and as the colour scheme was obvious** he jumped the queue.

* Replace with old if reading
this later than September 2017.
** Brown, brown, a little bit skin 
tone and a touch more brown.

necromunda rat skin scout painted

When we used to play the game, we used to mix up scenarios quite a lot, either adding a raid on an arbite head quarters to get a lot of cool gear really quickly or monsters attacking us when someone's gang was getting too strong too quickly. We always used to use whatever big based model we had to hand to represent the monster as our funds never went far enough to finding anything better, and it was something that I wanted to change but didn't know where to look, when I saw Heresy Miniature's giant scorpion model I knew I had my answer.

necromunda giant spider scorpion encounter monster

Thanks for reading