Wednesday, 13 September 2017

A plastic Middlehammer warband for AoS Skirmish

Continuing my current enthusiasm for chunky GW monopose plastic from the early to mid '90s, here's a small 'Free Peoples' warband ready for a little Age of Sigmar Skirmish campaign. A mix of Battlemasters, Warhammer, Talisman and Advanenced Heroquest. All lovely to paint, and all looking good on those rounded bases, particularly the knight I think- really shows off a cavalry figure well.

As ever, bright and shiny is the order of the day! I used a different varnish this time though: Ronseal Ultra Tough Hardglaze Clear Varnish. Cheaper per 100ml than Humbrol Glosscote by a huge margin, and gives a subtle shading/warming effect to the colours, without staining or muddying like Quickshade.

Colours used (for my reference really!):
White spray
Averland Sunset spray
AP Daemonic yellow spray
AP Black
Mournfang Brown
Zandri Dust
Pallid Wych Flesh
AP Plate Mail Metal
AP Flesh
Reikland Fleshshade
Warboss Green
Averland Sunset
Celestra Grey
Dryad Bark
AP Ultramarine Blue

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Old School Space Marines for 40K

I've really been enjoying the new edition of Warhammer 40k, and my Tyranid army are doing very much better than in the last two editions! This past fortnight or so though I've been working on a new army- one that ticks the following boxes:
  • inexpensive (these are all bits I had in my miniature pile so far, and I'll be making use of proxies further down the line too)
  • robust (bulletproof gloss finish, very few pointy bits to snap off)
  • easy to transport (compact minis, and a more elite army than 'nids, so will be less numerous and bulky
  • nostalgic (this is a big reason for why I play 40k, so I'm painting these figures from my childhood exactly as I did when I was 12: no shading, no highlighting, simple basing- no fuss, just fun!)

The Terminator squad at top left are actually quite new figures from Revell's Build and Paint range, but they are made from the sculpts that were made for the mid-90s re-release of Space Hulk. I remember when they were absolutely cutting edge in terms of plastic figures!

The Tactical squad are the ones that came with the 2nd edition 40k starter set in the early '90s. Probably the first figures thousands of gamers of my vintage first put brush to. Possibly still my favourite Space Marines.

The other Terminator Squad are older minis from the previous incarnation of Space Hulk from the late '80s. I had to convert the main chap slightly to give him the right wargear- his power sword and half of his left hand is from a modern Ork Boy, with a bit of recarving and reshaping of the blade, and the banner is a stout bit of brass rod and an old plastic skull. The artwork is my own.

The Captain is probably my favourite one from back in the day. Timeless sculpt.

The plastic Librarian in Terminator armour I think is from the Tyranid Attack boxed game from the late '80s.

The chapter is one I invented. I had some blue spray, I decided I could just about freehand a thunderbolt shape, and I chose some contrasting colours to compliment the blue. I'm calling these lads The Stormwatch, after the Jethro Tull album. My Chaptermaster will be Bartin Marre. Look out for other Tull nods as I continue the project!

Next on the list- some of the original Rogue Trader RTB-01 plastic marines!

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

More additions to my old-school Middle Earth stuff

My local Kings of War group has been doing an escalation league, and I've been using it to bulk out my Middle Earth stuff. I can use the army as an allied Kingdoms of Men and Elf force. The movement trays give me the right unit footprints for the game.

 The whole army so far.

 A mounted hero and standard bearer from Gondor, amongst Rohan allies.

 a unit of Gondorian spearmen, and a large Beorning in bear-form. All the Gondor stuff came from Warrior Miniatures, and the bear is from Irregular Miniatures' 54mm range.

These charmingly lumpy chaps are of unknown provenance. They'll serve as man-mode Beornings, or possibly good Dunlendings.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

a small gathering of Khornishmen for AoS Skirmish

a little departure from the realms of the old-fashioned and the glossy to paint up some more current miniatures, ready to play GW's Age of Sigmar: Skirmish tomorrow. I finished these off very quickly with Army Painter Quickshade which, if used carefully with the right model and the right colour scheme, is incredible stuff.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Hill Helpers™

Having made a set of nice flat hills exactly 25mm tall with flat tops, to minimise the risk of miniatures falling out of a sloping movement tray, or having the tray itself skiing downhill, I still had to deal with the problem of deploying a unit half on and half off a hill.

The answer is Hill Helpers™! Needless to say, that's not really a trademark, and I'm not selling them- they're just wooden blocks: little blocks of wood the right size to support the dangling edge of a precariously deployed unit. 

I started off with 25mm cubes of pine, bought fairly cheaply on eBay. I bought them here.

With PVA I glued three together, and another pair, and along with a single cube, I sanded them all down to give smooth rounded edges and corners that were comfortable to hold, and then oiled them very lightly with olive oil.

The three Hill Helpers together fit very nicely into a spare compartment of the box I use for dice and counters etc. for Kings of War.

I could have made them look more like terrain, but I chose to keep them looking like this because I worry that I'll absent midedly leave them on the battlefield and treat them like terrain if they look like hills. Also, they should last years and years like this with very little upkeep, and I rather like the way they look, and they're pleasing to hold.

Hill Helpers in action:

Sunday, 30 April 2017

simple hills

I've long been wanting a set of simple, clean, versatile wargaming hills that I can use for lots of different games and which will tick various boxes. I want them to look a bit old school, but not totally out of place with newer figures. I want them to be unambiguous as to footprint and height for games like Kings of War. I want them to be flat topped so no minis need be placed on an incline, and so they can be stacked.

So, to this end I got hold of a cheap tabletop hot wire scroll cutter and some blue styrofoam. The cutter is this one. Having used it only once, I hesitate to give it a full review, but it did what I expected and needed it to do!

After some sanding, I took two of the hills to use as a test and applied some Homebase emulsion (shade: "Village Green"), a layer of PVA and a generous scatter of Gaugemaster GM170 static grass. I'll apply some spray varnish when I'm certain everything is totally dry. I think I'm pretty happy with the result, and will finish the set.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017


a trio of Eagles for Kow and Dragon Rampant, from Mithril Miniatures' Gwaihir models.

“Farewell," they cried, "Wherever you fare till your eyries receive you at the journey's end!" That is the polite thing to say among eagles.

"May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks," answered Gandalf, who knew the correct reply.”