Thursday 31 December 2009

New Year, New Project...

Unfortunately I have been bitten by the "ohh shiny" bug and Santa bought me a present that will kick start a new project in 2010 - 15mm WW2 Eastern Front!

Over the years I've played WW2 in 20mm and 6mm but, despite a rash purchase of some 15mm Peter Pig 1940's French infantry at Fisticuffs a few years back (still unpainted), had managed to resist the lure of 15mm WW2 - until Battlefront released the Mid-War Monsters range for Flames of War...

I don't know why but I can't resist hypothetical and experimental designs and Santa was very kind and brought me a box of Kv-5's (to which I have added
a box of Dicker Max). The models are really nice and I can't wait to shake off the racking cough I've caught from SWMBO to make them up and paint them. I have decided that I am going to restrict myself to 1942/3 Russian Front for a number of reasons, but mainly because the German stuff is still field grey and I'm bored painting three-colour camo. I'm also going to try and restrict myself to finishing a unit before I buy another so despite the temptation t buy a Soviet Naval unit I am determined to resist until both the Kv-5's and Dicker Max unit are painted up. This should mean that I do not end up with loads of unpainted lead and resin being added to the existing mountain of unpainted lead, resin and plastic - well, it's a plan...

Saturday 26 December 2009

The Lord Of The Rings (1940)

You can't beat a good film on Boxing Day, so here for your entertainment is a often overlooked black and white classic from 1940; The Lord Of The Rings starring Humphrey Bogart as Frodo, Sydney Greenstreet as Gandalf and Marlene Dietrich as Galadriel.

Friday 25 December 2009

Merry Christmas

Compliments of the season to you all and here's hoping you were on Santa's "nice list" and that he brought you the wargames goodies you asked for...

Thursday 24 December 2009

Panzer Claus

Thought this festive Tiger conversion from the Battlefront website might bring a few smiles...

Wednesday 23 December 2009

The Syren Takes Flight!

Despite the usual festive demands I managed to finish SMLS Syren today. After some contemplation I went with the Austro-Hungarian Navy overall pale grey look including grey funnels. Whilst quite drab compared to other fleets, I do quite like it and the thought of raising a small k.u.k Aeroflotte is now lodged somewhere to the fore in the brain...

Tuesday 22 December 2009

Avatar 3D

Bit of a busy day today finishing off a scenario for Orcs In The Webbe's Advent Calendar (Sharke's Panzerfaust should be uploaded tomorrow I believe), doing some artwork for next year's Bristol Beer Festival and taking Saul to see Avatar in 3D...

Unless you have been living in a hole on the Moon (probably a moon of one of the outer planets) you'll no doubt be aware that this is James Cameron's return to box office film making with all the hi-tech gizmos and effects he's renown for, oh, and it's in 3D...

The film will no doubt have its critics, it is for all intents and purposes an SF Dances With Wolves, but IMHO that is no bad thing. The CGI is very well done and for the most part the 3D works well without the usual silly effects of things flying into the audience. Indeed, it is at its best when it just looks natural. The night time scenes in the jungle are mesmerising and the military hardware reminiscent of that in Aliens, the VTOL's are cool and the Starship Troopers-esque walkers got me thinking about using 15mm scale robots with 6mm SF troops. Indeed, the scale of some of the equipment in the film did start me think about using ostensibly larger scale vehicles in 6mm (15mm grav tanks for huge Bolo like cybertanks perhaps?).

Anyway, well worth a trip to the cinema. Hunt down a 3D showing. I'm sure the 2D looks great but the 3D is an experience that, once you get into the film, should not be missed if at all possible...

Monday 21 December 2009

In The Bleak Mid-Winter...

As you can see from the photo I took out the study window this morning we didn't lose out as Bristol received a scattering of snow last night. Not enough to cause major problems (least of all to me who is working from home, Saul who is watching The Red Baron or SWMBO who is in bed with the dreaded lurgy!).

The hill is called Maes Knoll and apparently is a small old Ancient British hillfort, as well as one end of the Wansdyke, a line of small forts to keep the Saxons at bay in Arthurian times (allegedly). Whatever it is a nice view, though there are plans to stick a bypass across it (building it two hundred yards south on the flat fields beyond the knoll seems beyond those that makes such decisions...).

I have managed to do some painting today on the Syren, but as the games room is the only room in the house without central heating it's been like painting in the freezer section of a supermarket. Still she should be finished tomorrow...

Sunday 20 December 2009

Wrath Of The Syren

You may have seen on Bertie's Blog that Wessex Games will be releasing a free Aeronef PDF campaign book in the very near future. The three scenario campaign is centred around the adventures of Baron Lantoz and his ship the SMLS (Seiner Majestät LuftSchiff) Syren against the Turks.

For the accompanying photos I have David Crook's scratchbuilt Turkish fleet but needed a model of the Syren. Brigade came to the rescue with their Budapest class light battleship which is a lovely model. The Syren itself is an enhanced design having been refitted by Hungarian genius Professor Vanvlak so I have added some more (plasticard) armour and doubled the rocket tube mountings to make it clear it is a non-standard design.

Hopefully I'll be able to undercoat it today, but as the temperature is still below freezing outside my plans may be thwarted...

Update: temperature crept above zero so quick undercoat done...

Saturday 19 December 2009

Death In The Snow - The Undead

As promised here are some photos of the Deadloque undead. They were part of a large undead contingent used in a participation game at Salute many moons ago. The game was a rolling one with players taking a section of elves and trying to get across the length of the table with the undead units being randomly generated. A lot of fun was had by all though the appearance of the undead lancers always caused panic amongst the elven players!

The skeletons were an old wash/dip technique with sepia brown oil washed thickly over pale sand or ivory enamel. The effect was pretty good although the oils did take a good 24 hours to dry.

The zombie infantry (above) were pretty straight forward but like the elven infantry shown yesterday some of my favourite Deadloque scults by Mike Owen. The Vampire officer is ok, but was too short a model compared to the zombies and in my opinion lacks presence... I was less taken with the "Fleschless Legion", undead dwarves (below) though they painted up nice and added a splash of colour.

The undead peasants were nice models, a little smaller than most of the Flintloque range as I think they used standard 28mm skeletons from the AA fantasy range as the basis for the models. Whilst I really hated the concept of undead peasants in Deadloque (and the short story produced by AA that had them harvesting wheat in the summer - why? It was a Empire of undead ruled by Vampires! Who ate the bread?!!), the models were fun to paint.

Finally the game at Salute needed lots of wolves and I added to the AA models with a variety from various manufacturers to beef out the two packs I needed.

Friday 18 December 2009

Death In The Snow

As most of England is under six inches of snow I have to report not a flake in sunny Bristol (much to Saul's disappointment) though it is bloody freezing!

Inspired by Iron Mitten's 'It's Snowing' picture, I remembered I had intended to post some pictures of my old Deadloque collection on the blog come winter so here are a couple of pictures of the Elves, some of my favourite Flintloque miniatures, full of character and wrapped up to survive the bitter cold of the Witch-Lands.

The picture above is of the command figures including Etienne Gerard reborn from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories into a legendary Elven commander for the game, below are some of the excellent rank and file (it would be great if the Perry's did a Retreat From Moscow line wouldn't it?).

Hopefully I'll get a chance to post some pictures of the undead tomorrow...

Saturday 12 December 2009

The Red Baron

Whilst the workbench has a pile of unfinished projects on it I haven't managed to finish anything over the last few weeks, indeed a bit of an apathetic malaise has set in... :-(

To 'inspire' myself to get on with the 1/144th WWI aeroplanes I watched The Red Baron on yesterday evening. This German produced film has now been released dubbed (very well) into English and is pretty good. The CGI dogfights as good as, if not better than, Flyboys (which I actually like). Have a look at this trailer...

There are a couple of irritating moments (as with most war films) and I was really disappointed with the lack of the 'final dogfight' with Brown which would have rounded the film off perfectly but overall it is well worth picking up if you are interested in WWI dogfights and certainly will inspire you to get a few 1/144th models and push they around the table...

Monday 30 November 2009

Alien Plants and Other Cool Stuff...

Real life work seems to be unending at present but there is a light at the end of the tunnel as I've had to take some holiday before the end of the year or lose it, so today I've got the day off and managed to undercoat some miniatures and update Bleaseworld- hurrah!

Yesterday Saul and I went to Reveille for a couple of hours before he had to be at the Cathedral to sing a number of solos at the Advent Sunday service (and very well he did too). In between chatting to people I had a look round but didn't spend too much only buying a copy of the new F/SF magazine The Ancible (reserving judgement on it...) and a pack of Ironclad Miniatures Steam Automatons (what I've just undercoated).

What did catch my eye (but I didn't buy - yet...) were the alien plants from The Scene. I can't find them on their website but they are very nice and I thought they'd make great terrain items for Aquanef or other underwater games as well as alien flora.

They also produce a range of 15mm SF including these nice looking aliens called Karloks (apologies for the crap picture I wasn't taking a pic of them they were just in the background of the plants). Again not listed on the website but drop them an email, they are nice aliens, about 20mm high.

Off to do some more now on the Bristol Fighters and ONESS Germans...

Sunday 15 November 2009

Black Powder

Unfortunately real life is taking its toll at present and I've not managed to pick up a paint brush for weeks, a situation I aim to rectify in the next day or so. In the meantime I've been pondering Warlord Games' Black Powder and whether to buy it.

I've got a pile of Perry's plastic ACW (unpainted at present) and various C19th uncompleted projects and was wondering whether this might provide some stimulus to get on with them (unlike the Lardies' They Couldn't Hit An Elephant!). Having read various comments about them I like the idea they are inspired by Warmaster but am wary how they would handle smaller battles on a 6' x 6' table.

I'm keen to give the ACW a go as Saul is quite interested in it and I don't need much more than we have already bought (just some cannon) unless we really get 'into it' and 'need' to buy some Iron Brigade, Zouaves etc.

Sunday 8 November 2009

Remembrance Sunday

Today is Remembrance Sunday. Saul recorded this version of the hymn O Valiant Hearts earlier this year and I have combined it with a montage of photos from the First World War as a tribute to those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.

O valiant hearts who to your glory came
Through dust of conflict and through battle flame;
Tranquil you lie, your knightly virtue proved,
Your memory hallowed in the land you loved.

Proudly you gathered, rank on rank, to war
As who had heard God's message from afar;
All you had hoped for, all you had, you gave,
To save mankind—yourselves you scorned to save.

Splendid you passed, the great surrender made;
Into the light that nevermore shall fade;
Deep your contentment in that blest abode,
Who wait the last clear trumpet call of God.

Saturday 7 November 2009

Ludus Gladiatorius

Sorry for the lack of posts, it's been a bit of 'hit the fan' week at work. Anyway as SWMBO is watching some murder mystery on ITV2 (should I be worried she watches so many?), I thought I'd take a couple of minutes to talk about the wargame we took and played in Tenerife.

Obviously you can't take a 6' x 4' table and hundres of miniatures with you to the Canaries, but we did take em-4's Ludus Gladiatorius which I'd bought Saul at Colours. Cracking little game and we'll probably buy the second one sometime.

The five pre-paints are nicely done and the game is simple but ingeniously challenging with the different gladiators using different attack and defence dice as well as having differing special abilities (which are restricted in what they are and how many times the gladiator can use them).

The game comes with figures, dice, chits and a nice glossy paper arena all in the box. You might want to devise your own travel case as the figures have separate bases and ideally need gluing to them (I used blu-tack) and you need a couple of pencils, plus copies of the gladiator character sheets.

If you're looking for a travel game that even your SWMBO might enjoy and can be played with the kids on holiday etc, then Ludus Gladiatorius is worth checking out.

Saturday 31 October 2009

Hallowe'en Scarecrows

Just back from a week's R&R in hot and sunny Tenerife (brain disengaged, no painting, one wargame - more on that tomorrow and several books read...)

As it's Hallowe'en I dug out these old RAFM Scarecrows I painted up a great many years ago (in enamels!!). Wonderfully sculpted miniatures, I'm note sure if they have any wargaming application but they sure were fun to paint...

Friday 16 October 2009

The Best of Battle

As I have stated previously I was a big fan of Battle comic when I was a kid (and still am as a big kid!). Having been struggling with a stinking cold this week that has prevented any painting, my disposition was cheered immensely by the postman who delivered the long awaited The Best of Battle Vol 1 from Amazon.

This anthology from Titan Books is great and at £9.99 fantastic value (in fact my copy from Amazon was only £4.99 so even more fantastic). At 288 pages it contains selections from D-Day Dawson, Day Of The Eagle, The Bootneck Boy, Rat Pack, Major Eazy, Fighter From The Sky, Hold Hill 109, Darkie's Mob, Panzer G-Man, Joe Two Beans, Johnny Red, The Sarge, Hellman Of Hammer Force, Crazy Keller, The General Dies At Dawn, Charley's War, Fighting Mann and Death Squad! Roll on volume two...

The really great news is that in adddition to the continuing reprints of the classic Charley's War and forthcoming Johnny Red, Titan also plan to release Darkie's Mob, Rat Pack and Major Eazy - brill!

Monday 12 October 2009

When Skeletons Attack!!

Came across this on a bit of You Tube browsing and couldn't resist putting it up for inspiration.

Reminds me I must finish that Tomb Kings army I've got made up, all I need to do is spray it and dip...

Sunday 11 October 2009


Not a lot of painting is being done at Bleaseworld at the moment for one reason or another (though strangely the postman keeps delivering parcels of stuff needing painting!). However, I have managed to finish Warren Fahy's highly entertaining book Fragment.

Marketed as 'Jurassic Park for the Lost Generation' it must be said Fragment has no link with Lost other than it is set on a Pacific island (indeed one wonders why the 'Lost Generation' can't just watch/read Jurassic Park...). Anyhow, the newly (re)discovered island is a biosphere of fragment of a lost prehistoric continent that has evolved is a totally different way to the rest of the planet. This is explained in typical Michael Crichton pseudo-science babble by a group of scientists that tend to get eaten by various carnivores on the island (I would guess this book has already been optioned by Hollywood and it will make a great summer blockbuster).

Whilst Fragment isn't going to win the Booker Prize (even ignoring the fact it hasn't been nominated) this is a good little "airport novel" (indeed I read over half of it at Paris CDG and on the plane to Bristol), with lots of interesting monsters and some ideas for games. SF gamers looking for inhabitants of a death world (or just some new xenos) will get something out of this.

Friday 2 October 2009

Richard III's Birthday (& Other Important Anniversaries)

Today is Richard III's 557th birthday (that's a lot of candles) but (to my mind) more importantly my 17th wedding anniversary, so I better stop playing on the computer listening to Radiohead and go pour SWMBO a drink now Eastenders has finished!

Thursday 1 October 2009

A Blast From The Past...

I have started work on my Brigade Models ONESS Germans for Iron Cow and two Bristol Fighters for AirWar: 1918, but they don't look very interesting at the moment, in the meantime here's more from IronCow TV!

I came across a selection of photos David Manley took at Games Day 2001 and 2002 and the opening of Warhammer World 2002 which I've allowed iMovie to play with and adding the obligatory prog soundtrack.

The photos are quite interesting in that not only do they show some fine examples of participation games, but also a wider spread of games including Warmaster and even Battlefleet Gothic.

Hope you enjoy this while I slap various shades of green paint on white metal (I'm so fed up with green I started dreaming of painting up some Swiss Guard with las rifles earlier for a change!)

Wednesday 30 September 2009

Games Day UK 2009

I took Saul to Games Day at the NEC on Sunday, taking up the offer of a parent's ticket for just £6. Despite having been to a number of wargames shows I think Saul was a little overwhelmed, it is a very intense and noisy show, with 7,000 gamers determined to fit in as much as they can in a short space of time.

There were a lot of really impressive games, heaven knows how many Stompas and Baneblades were in use in the gaming hall, but it must have been truly frightening. Ironically even these large models were often dwarfed by the scenery and other scratch built models on display.

I took a lot of photos and have compiled them into the traditional Ironcow TV video on You Tube complete with obscure prog soundtrack (this time some Prog Metal to reflect the younger audience!).

Purchases were relatively few. I picked up a couple of Christmas presents for Saul which will need starting soon and he grabbed a bargain of five various LOTR guides and Collectors guides at the end for just a quid! Whilst we had a couple, he decided he'd give them to a school friend who is into LOTR.

Both of us took the opportunity to make up some of the free scenic items and we now have a couple of impressive looking Interceptor Guns and rather a lot of Imperial baricades.

We also had the opportunity at the end of the day for Saul to meet Alex Stewart (nom de plume Sandy Mitchell), author of the Ciaphas Cain books. Saul is really into these and was amazed to find out that in Death or Glory, Alex had inserted a reference to a distant Imperium planet called Blease's World! We also learnt where the next book is set, but Saul has decided it is top secret so I can't tell you (but the anniversary release of a popular limited edition game is apparently purely coincidental!)

Saturday 26 September 2009

"They're Here, Already!" Possibly...

Wargamers are weird people. A bit of cardboard, a piece of polystyrene, a stone in the street and we all get excited about using it as a bit of scenery or whatever... Such a moment occurred to me today when I went in the kitchen to find SWMBO making some more jars of her lovely plum jam (the plum tree in the garden getting a bit over enthusiastic this year). Anyhow after scamming a tester on a piece of toast (and it was lovely...), my eyes alighted on a saucer of discarded plum stones. Now to most people this would be garden waste to go in the compost bin, but to a wargamer, well...

Rather than compost. my first reaction was, "Oh! Don't they look like the pods in Invasion of the Body Snatchers!" Credit to SWMBO, she didn't groan at all and has offered to boil them clean and dry them so they can be tested out. As you can see from the photo with the Victorian gent they are about 5 foot long in 28mm scale, which is great for a curled up body! All I need to do know is find an appropriate lorry (that said I then started pondering on using them in an SF environment and even a VSF one - perhaps mounted on a card base that could be placed on different vehicles..). Anyway, watch this space for interesting uses of discarded plum stones! :-)

"Look, you fools, you're in danger! Can't you see?! They're after you! They're after all of us! Our wives, our children, everyone! THEY'RE HERE, ALREADY! YOU'RE NEXT!"

Wednesday 23 September 2009

Pirate Metal

I am sad to say I dropped the ball the other day by not celebrating 'Talk Like A Pirate' day, a heinous oversight as Bleaseworld is based in the home port of no less a piratical celebrity than Blackbeard himself.

By way of amends and in celebration of all things piratical, here is a video of the 'True Scottish Pirate Metal' band Alestorm playing their song 'Keelhauled'.

Alestorm are a lot of fun and have released two albums, Captain Morgan's Revenge and Black Sails At Midnight, that are ideal background music for when you are counting your pieces of eight. Surely any band that writes lyrics such as "With the power of ale, he could not fail!" deserve wider recognition?

Tuesday 22 September 2009

Burgundian Pike

At long last I finished the Burgundian pike blocks started over 25 years ago, re-started last month. As previously stated the bulk of the pikemen come from the long OOP Corvus Miniatures range with a couple added from the defunct Grenadier UK fantasy warriors range sculpted by Mark Copplestone and one old Citadel Wars of the Roses men-at-arms converted to carry a pike.

I've based them up for Terry Gore's Medieval Warfare rules (available from Foundry) and have started some work on a couple of bases of (ex-Citadel) mounted archers and (ex-Grenadier UK) handgunners. Also in their recent sale, I availed myself of some of Foundry's Swiss for the opposition.

As the Burgundians will be fighting the Swiss, I was persuaded by SWMBO to use some of GW's Modelling Snow on the bases as all three battles against the Cantons were (unusually) fought in the winter. The final effect is ok, looking more like ice and slush than snow to my mind, that said as it is supposed to be patchy it seems to suit the bases.

Monday 21 September 2009

Blood Rites

Finished Blood Rites, book six of the Dresden Files, last night. For those of you unfamiliar with the Jim Butcher Dresden Files series, they are centred around the investigations of Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard/private investigator. The books were the subject of a short-lived TV series and whilst I enjoyed the show, the books are vastly superior.

Blood Rites is a return to form for the Dresden series, which had got a little formularic of late (Harry takes case, Harry gets beaten up by Big Bad, Harry recovers, Harry saves world in climatic final battle), and involves two of the three vampire courts attempting to polish off our hero wizard.

What I enjoy about the Dresden series, and this one if no exception, is that the plots lend themselves to small scale wargames and this book alone has some good scenarios including a desperate raid on a homeless shelter to take out a nest of Black Court (Nosferatu-type) vampires and save the hostages and a fun puppy rescue against monkey-demons that throw flaming poo!

If you haven't read any of Jim Butcher's books start at the beginning with Storm Front and enjoy, I need to dust off my half-written horror rules Deliverance and get them finished...

Monday 14 September 2009

Screaming Eagle Marine Scouts

Saul's birthday today and one of his presents were these Marine Scout units and Land Speeder Storm I painted up for him (this was what I picked up at Devizes).

The Storm is a stretched version of the standard Land Speeder and is a nice, easy model to put together, though the instructions are pants and I did miss sticking on the dashboard so had to cut it in two and stick it in at a later stage. Whilst the rest of Saul's Screaming Eagle Marine vehicles (and Marines) are clean, I weathered this one with some dirt and worn metal areas and added an Ork skull trophy as I wanted impression that the Scouts are often at the sharp end where 'spit and polish' is not the order of the day.

All the crew (except the driver) are pinned in and can be removed when the Scout unit deploys on foot. This was more work than I anticipated as the Speeder crew are not equipped as per the foot squad so I had to convert two to carry spare shotguns from the foot pack. As best as possible each crew member has an identical foot substitute. The only major difference is the heavy bolter Scout whose head mounted targeting display switches from one side of his head to the other upon jumping out of the vehicle!

I must confess I never really liked the Marine Scouts when first introduced into the 40K background sporting knives and bolt pistols but these figures are much more commando like. However they are still too clean looking so I added scrim style camo netting to all, some have cloaks wrapped around, others tabard-like camo.

This was a positive fall out of slicing my finger open as when taking the bandage off I thought "ooh camo netting!" (like wargamers do...). It was soaked with diluted wood glue and I raided the kitchen and stole some majoram from the herb rack (I don't know what majoram is used for but the container looked old and unused and the herbs were a good size for leaves).

I also painted up the sniper unit, adding a bit of scrim to the sniper rifles (as they already had cloaks) and giving the missile trooper a scrim tabard. Whilst I liked the three firing, the fourth sniper was holding his rifle up at a funny angle whilst attaching his scope which just looked silly, so I chopped his arms around to what looks a more sensible carrying position.

Sunday 13 September 2009

Colours 2009

Saul and I went to Colours at Newbury today. This was the first time we've managed to get to the show since it moved from Reading and I must say the venue is much better (and it has free parking and is nearer Bristol!).

As it's his birthday tomorrow Saul had some birthday money from relatives and picked up a bargain of three AT-43 Therian Wraith Gologoths for almost the price of one (albeit without the cargo containers). He also got the Karman army book for half price. I treated him to the em-4 pre-painted Ludus Gladiatorius game in a box as it was being sold for a tenner (not bad for a game with five painted 28mm figures, rules and colour playing arena).

I was quite restrained spending wise (though very tempted) picking up some of GZG's 15mm wheeled weapons 'bots for use in Iron Dog, I think they'll work well in 28mm with the Pig Iron stuff. Having tried Unchartered Seas out with Saul we didn't weaken and buy the game (just) but I did sneak a purchase of the Shroud Mage fleet as I thought they'd work well in Man O'War (whilst supposedly twice the size, the frigates are roughly the same size as the MoW galleys and the big ships do look like battleships).

Having taken far too many photos, in time honoured tradition (well as done once before), I've stuck them together as a video montage with a bit of prog rock for your delight on You Tube.

Saul had a crack at the Achtung! Dice POW escape game (featured in this month's Wargames Illustrated). This uses a simple race game mechanism at its core with random Germans and event cards and is great fun (if you can get to Warfare in November it'll be there). Other games that really caught by eye where a 54mm LRDG raid (by the same guys who did the 54mm El Cid at Devizes) and a stunning Angels v Demons in Hell, something I've always wanted to do and now I've been beaten too it.

Overall an enjoyable day and Colours is back on the "must attend" list again...

Friday 11 September 2009

Valkyrie with Va Va Voom!

I've been working in Paris most of the week (sounds more exciting than it is) and took the opportunity to pop round to the GW store near Gare St Lazare.

In May I spotted the staff painting up the new Valkyries in a decidedly non-GW scheme (indeed most of the models in the shop sport rather refreshing paint schemes), unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me. This time I did, but the shop was shut!

Fortunately two of the Valkyries were visible through the window and whilst the photos aren't as good as I would have liked I think they show off the rather interesting Gallic approach adopted (I've played with the photos to remove the glare from the glass etc).

Not sure what the "Dark Powers That Be" in Nottingham would think, but I quite like them (certainly better than just painting them Dark Angels Green!)

Sunday 6 September 2009

New Bristol Cathedral Head Chorister

Been a bit of a busy day today as Saul was appointed the latest Head Chorister at Bristol Cathedral (so not much painting done!).

Absolutely knackered so going to sit down with a long drink and watch the new series of Medium which I taped on Friday...

Thursday 3 September 2009

Chaos Dwarf

Following a few emails on Chaos Dwarves on the SFSFW Yahoo Group, I dug out one I converted last year as a test piece for a potential Chaos Dwarf unit in Saul's Chaos army (I don't like the Marauder models or the old Chaos Dwarves with the silly hats).

The model is a mix of bits from the current Dwarf box set with helmet and arms/flail from the Chaos Marauders with a bit of green stuff to fill gaps and give a fur trim to the cloak (which was suitably 'distressed' with a hot knife).

Background wise I was thinking that maybe a small band of survivors from the fallen hold of Karag Dum had been corrupted by Chaos, hence a kind of more northern traditional Chaos/Dwarf look than the more Eastern look of GW's Chaos Dwarves of yore.

Not sure whether I'll do any more though I am quite pleased with the end result.

Wednesday 2 September 2009

Nocturnal Warrior of Hrud

Way back in 3rd edition 40K, there was a picture entitled 'Other Dangerous Aliens' which along with the prototype Kroot and Necron included a basic drawing of a 'Nocturnal Warrior of Hrud'.

Over on the SFSFW Yahoo Group a discussion broke out about the nature of the Hrud (my fault as I suggested they might make an interesting adversary in Space Hulk).

Initially GW were going for the Space Skaven approach but have subsequently tried to move away from the fantasy in space idea (bit hard with Orks and Eldar methinks...) and recent mythos has been of a more insect-like race (albeit with similar tendencies to Skaven).

Anyhow the possibilities of the Hrud led me to writing up some rules for introducing them in Space Hulk and I've sent this off to Ragnarok for consideration. The main differences to the Genestealers is that due to the Hrud distortion field blips are not revealed on line of sight but have to be actively scanned at the cost of 1AP by a Terminator. They can also pass through occupied squares. Obviously I need some models and a copy of Space Hulk III to get the rules down pat but I think they'll prove a different challenge to the 'stealers and fun to play.

Tuesday 1 September 2009

Dwarf Mining Convoy

In a spurt of enthusiasm resulting from painting up the Dwarf "Tin Man" Mining Machine I grabbed these three mining wagons off the shelf and painted them up over the weekend.

They have been sat around in an undercoated state for a little while as I lacked enthusiasm for any 28mm fantasy after a bit of burn out a year back.

The wagons come with the GW Dwarf Miners set, a great example of GW at their best for all the odds and sods they cram on the sprues (like the captured goblin in the cage). I'm not sure how manyBold wagons come in the box as Saul won the sprues these were on in a draw at the local GW. The model is based on the wagon that comes in the Skull Pass box set, although the wagon itself is open topped and empty and the horse has been slightly remodeled.

For these three I did some further work on the horses, adding bits and pieces, converting the manes so they all looked different and repositioning one leg. With the trucks I dropped in a rectangle of plastic card then built up a mound of filler before covering in sand and painting up as recently minded gold ore off to be smelted (or whaterever gold miners do).

I'm really pleased with the end result and they should allow for some fun ambush/convoy scenarios.

Monday 31 August 2009


"As good as Bernard Cornwell or your money back..."

I must confess there isn't much that gets my back up as much as stickers like this stuck on the front covers of historical fiction, but I gave Angus Donald's debut novel Outlaw a chance (it may have been the subtitle 'Meet the Godfather of Sherwood Forest' that snagged me), and am glad I did.

As good as Cornwell? Not really, but this retelling of the Robin Hood story in the first person by Alan Dale is pretty good and tries to present the legend in a more historical manner akin to Cornwell's Winter King trilogy which it apes to some extent.

Donald's Robin isn't the straight forward whiter than white character of yore and he is not beyond a bit of torture and murder when the mood takes him. The outlaws are outlaws and behave as such, though any line between them and those trying to catch them is distinctly blurry.

Whilst quite bloody and violent in parts (I can see HBO picking this up for a TV series!), it's an interesting historical take on a well know story and I am looking forward to the sequel Crusader and volumes beyond that (the introduction of Prince John in the final chapter bodes well for the continuing fight in Sherwood Forest). Certainly it had me pondering the possibility of some small scale medieval skirmish games...

Tuesday 25 August 2009

Ragnarok 55

As the latest Ragnarok has now been posted out I felt it the opportune moment to comment on it as it is a really good issue.

For those that don't know Ragnarok is the journal of the Fantasy & Science Fiction Wargamers and contains lot of interesting and diverse material for F/SF wargamers. The latest issue is no exception with a good mix of fantasy, zombies, hard SF, Victorian SF and even something based around the 40th Anniversary of the Moon landings. A paper journal is posted out to members of the SFSFW but non-members can buy a PDF version at Wargame Vault.

This issue was especially good with a great article on Daleks in SG2 (but still worth reading for use in the likes of Iron Cow and FWC) and an excellent Aeronef scenario based on a historical incident in the Franco-Prussian War. However, my two favourite articles are Zombie Apocalypse, a set of zombie rules and The Eagle Has Landed, a beer 'n' pretzels moon landing game where random encounters range from H.G.Wells' Selentites to Wallace & Gromit!

All in all a cracking read and chock full of great ideas whatever system you currently play..