Saturday, 2 December 2017

Another misguided new project . . .

   With the planned models for my Saxon project finished and packed away waiting for their first proper game (some have been used in Saga already bulked up with my old plastic models to make sure I played with a fully painted army), I wanted to paint some models that are not from the Dark Ages for a bit before I start to paint up the odd new batch from that era. 
   So the last few months have seen me move jobs, again (twice in a single year), and my wife has implemented her '12 in 12 challenge' to go to 12 new countries in 12 months. So between the two my hobby time has changed quite a lot, but I now have monthly doses of new things to inspire me; two of the trips have been to Viking ship museums which explains the sudden invasion of Vikings to this blog, but there are other things simmering in the background, namely a possible Moorish army and a Hungarian WW2 army.

   In September we traveled to Budapest (I had only found this out a week or so before hand) and it was a city that I didn't know what to expect from, but boy did it get some ideas going. The resistance museum, ruins pubs and the history of the city I read in the build up and while there, all got me to a point that they felt like an interesting project for a Bolt Action army. In gaming terms they aren't the cheese fest that some of the smaller nations are, looking at you Finland, nor are they irrelevant like some of the others, they played a big part in their theatre, plus it means that we could play a game where the Axis weren't just German again (we don't have a single Japanese or Italian player in our gaming group).

    The models are from Outpost Wargames and, while they are not the best sculpts in the world, they are reasonably priced, can be bought in whatever number you need (stopping you having to buy multiple boxes to get enough MMG's as Warlord loves to do) and the customer service is great. The figures are a touch on the smaller size, so I don't plan to mix them with any other ranges but as a unit, I think they look the part. One squad down, I had better get on with the rest before I get distracted again.

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Sound of the Axe-work

   I've not done a huge amount of hobby recently but I was determined to get my Saxons finished before the end of the month, so I could spend December painting up anything else that I fancied. This post is the last of my Saxon backlog;

The various Saxon Warlords, 2 Anglo-Dane and 1 I will use as Anglo-Saxon (Hereward the Wake is just too cool a model not to have as an Anglo-Saxon Generic Warlord). 

The last of my current Anglo-Danish Hearthguard, although I plan to add a single blister of the new Warlord Games one when they are released. 

 The last Anglo-Saxon stragglers

So that brings my Anglo-Saxon force up to 27 points for Lion Rampant (with a few extra Heartguard) and about 9 points for Saga, while my Anglo-Danes lag behind slightly but will be expanded in the future. I just need to get my movement trays painted up for both forces.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Hearthguard to me!

   As the weight of numbers, dwindling enthusiasm* and work start to take their tole I am glad to be near the end of my Saxon project, the end is in sight. I am really looking forward to seeing the whole army set up as a shield wall, but that will have to wait at least another week. In the meantime, here is another couple of batches of Saxons that have left my paint table.

*Not deviating from a project
is really hard at the best of times!

 More warriors, levy and archers. They are mostly from my Gripping Beast top up but there are a few Footsore Miniatures still mixed in, along with a couple of Shieldwall Miniatures too.
I am particularly pleased with the guy on the far left with the axe on his shoulder, as I ruined his hand drilling a hole for the spear and had to improvise, creating one of my favourite models in the army in the process.

Hearthguard - including the first repainted Anglo-Danish models and another banner. These are mostly Gripping Beast but I think there is a single Footsore Miniatures model at the back.

Thanks for reading

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Call in the Fyrd

   The last week or so have been really busy with work as the pressure has started to ramp up, but I have managed to keep putting some time aside nearly every day to get some painting done and my Saxons are starting to look like an army rather than a few armed guys taking a flag for a walk. I am still painting my Dark Ages figures in same colour batches and it is really starting to pay off, both in terms of out put, helping me to keep the figures in manageable numbers and in the final look, while some batches are easier to pick out than others, they start to get lost as the numbers start to grow, with the shield designs really helping to break them up.

The warriors and spear levy, a mix of Gripping Beast and Footsore Miniatures - along with the second banner of the army (more to come!).

 Next few archers, as with my Vikings I don't need to much in the way of missile troops (all Gripping Beast).

The hearthguard are a mix of Gripping Beast and Footsore Miniatures again - it was nice to paint a figure who wasn't carrying a spear or bow.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Form the shield-wall

   So, another weekend and another trip to a Viking ship museum, this time in Denmark, add in the weird fact that most of my normal Bolt Action opponents are buying Saga armies all of a sudden and my Dark Ages painting motivation is in full swing. I had always planned to replace my Viking and Saxon armies with new, better painted models and with the initial stages of my Viking army finished, my attention is now on getting my Saxons (can double as Anglo-Saxons or Anglo-Danes) ready for the table. Like my Vikings I am painting in batches of models from a mix of units and the aim of this first stage is an army that can double as a full 6 point Saga force and a full 24 point Lion Rampant army.

   With no further ado, here are the results of the first few batches, a mix of figures from either Gripping Beast or Footsore Miniatures.


 Levy archers.


Thanks for reading, and please check out my wife's blog post on our August trip to Oslo, it is worth it for the photo of me paddling furiously in a fjord.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Zomtober 2017 - Week 5

Zomtober zombie count: 10

   I am going in early this week with my last submission for Zomtober* and, as ever, the last week is always a struggle, more so in a 5 week month! So, this week I have decided to throw a curve ball, instead of zombies or survivors, I have gone for undead farm animals. . .

* See my wife's new blog to

   So a few months ago I saw a kickstarter that had a zombie cow as one of it's rewards, even with the postage starting to make buying a single figure seem expensive, I couldn't say no, so when they added a zombie sheep and pig I was already in, so why not? As this is a shorter painting week, I have aimed low, with only the sheep and pig on my painting table, but the cow will come in due course. I have kept the colour simple to for a similar reason, I want to focus on the zombie side of the models and not worry too much about getting the breed spot on.

Thanks for reading and if you have some time, please read my wife's blog, she is a much better writer than me.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Zomtober 2017 - Week 4

Zomtober zombie count: 8

    It's that time of the week again, so here are my next 3 entries for Zomtober 2017, the last 3 zombies from the Walking Dead; Walkers booster. I had planned to paint the booster as a single week's entry but as I quickly painted up the 3 I had ideas for, the remaining ones took longer for me to get going with.
   The end result was a slower painting process where different parts of the models made sense at different times; with the black girl being inspired by Colgar6's first zomtober entry *, the redneck in the middle screamed southern Trump supporter (make America great again hat, tattoos and all) so has been painted up as such, while the last model was the result of a google search to give me ideas.
   Although the last couple of these models proved a struggle to paint, I would rate them higher than most of the plastic zombie ranges I have come across so far, only held back by availability issues if you don't want to buy loads of survivors to get the zombie models - I would definitely buy another walker booster if Mantic bought a new one out.

*I'll be impressed if you
can work out how

Thanks for reading

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.