Saturday 8 December 2012

A Gift from the Art

If you're still racking your brain for a thoughtful gift for a loved one this Christmas then look no further!

Thanks to a great post a while back, from fellow blogger and Oldhammerer, Chad over at Maximum Rock and Role Play, my problem was certainly solved! 

He and his wife run a fantastic little business called Our Bookish Life, which sells all sorts of nice literary gifts. What caught my eye though, were Chad's excellent illustrations of scenes from various novels, drawn on pages from the (recycled) books they were from. 

Although I was rather taken with the Lord of the Rings and Slaughter House 5 (Kurt Vonnegut is one of my favourite authors) illustrations, I noticed Chad also took custom orders. Now, while my better half doesn't often come here to check up on what I'm up to I'm going to keep what I got for her a secret.

However, I did take the liberty of treating myself to this!

A rather fine representation of Conan battling the Two Frost Giants - brothers to the beguiling and treacherous Atali, daughter of the God Ymir, which should give you some idea of Chad's excellent work.

I may have to commission another couple of pieces in the New Year, perhaps featuring Atali appearing before the wounded Conan at the start of the story and her capture towards the end - it'll make a nice triptych for the wall in my games room... 

Friday 7 December 2012

An Englishman's home is his...

Mighty Fortress!!

Yes, I am the proud owner of the original Mighty Fortress having failed woefully to exercise any willpower whatsoever, after I'd seen it advertised on the LAF - thanks again to Notts Gamer. This is one of those classic pieces of Oldhammer loveliness that I've hankered after ever since seeing it in the 3rd ed. rule book.

There is a downside to all this though - I think I need a new gaming table...

... as there's not much room left!

I should really have taken a pic of the original box it came in as well but I was in too much of a hurry to recreate some of those lovely shots from the Warhammer Siege book.


So I'll have to add playing a siege game to my long To Do list...

Best get on with painting up all that Orc artillery I've been amassing!

Tuesday 4 December 2012

A Goblin, a Goblin - My Kingdom Four A Goblin...

Sorry couldn't resist massacring a bit of the Bard for this post! And if you didn't get the finely wrought pun then let me enlighten you...

Friday 30 November 2012

Cold Comfort...

Howdy folks and apologies for a rather quiet November on the painting front. Unfortunately work has rather dominated things and sapped all energy and motivation - 11 hour days haven't exactly been conducive for spending a few happy hours of quiet concentration in the evening...

But enough of my woes - at least I've had the joy of playing an exciting game of 3rd ed. remotely. Turn 2 is up and once more brought brilliantly to life by the inimitable Gaj!

In fact my lengthy tactical considerations and increasingly desperate attempts to woo the Dice Gods, who for some reason seem rather displeased with me, have also contributed somewhat to the dearth of progress on my Slann Cold One Riders.

However, I can take comfort in the fact that I'm back in the swing of things and the labour of love that these frog men and their stinky mounts have become is finished - apart from some jungly bits to add to the bases at some point in the future...

Wednesday 31 October 2012

Greetings on All Hallow's Eve

Hope the evening won't be too intolerable with nasty little children begging for sweets on your doorstep - unless you're into the whole Trick or Treat thing. Personally I stopped answering the door round our end when it turned out that most of the youths (I sound a right miserable old bugger don't I!) were all aged around 15-16. I suppose at least they weren't littering the place with their empty cans of Diamond White... yet.

Anyway, as I've had a grand day out with the kids and dogs following a Hallowe'en around Brimham Rocks, I thought I'd round the evening off for them by carving up some pumpkin lanterns.

Kev Adams pumpkin lanterns that is!

In other news, the next trans-continental, world wide, absolutely fantastic, internetz spectacular, remote game of Warhammer 3rd ed between me and my opponent Airbornegrove26 is nearing the startline...

Many thanks to Gaj and Dreamfish for all their work behind the scenes!

The Slann riders are also all tarted up with weapon swaps and additional banners and feathers, and are primed and ready to be painted.

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Small Bones and a Whole Bag of News...

Right, finally got round to photographing the Warmaster skeleton archers and horsemen I'd finished up earlier this week.

 Its been a long and busy term and my eyes seem to become defective in the evenings - assuming a  lead-like weight and tendency to shut involuntarily. Sleep I think its called and damned inconvenient!

Any how, here's the start of the Baron Kraust's grand Undead horde in 10mm.

Archers - as the Warmaster Undead units are based on the new (well to me at least!) and annoyingly Egyptian in style Tomb Kings armies, a few of these skeletons sport slightly more exotic head gear than your average re-animated Old Worlder might. Muted colours hopefully don't make them stand out too much and I'm happy to live the results than try any conversions at this scale!

The level of detail always amazes me for such small minis, although the arrows look more like bolt thrower ammunition!

Must admit that I found basing a bit fiddly - any old Warmaster hands with any labour saving tips out there would be much appreciated.

They scale up rather well with the Copplestone 10mm fantasy range - here you can see them lined up with the Half Orcs I painted up for the last Lead Painters League over on the LAF.

I really like the Undead cavalry models - again loads of nice detail and they look generic enough to look like ex-Old Worlders.

 I went for a brighter scheme with the red cloaks than I might have for 28mm minis, which seemed to work quite nicely. A few touches of verdigris on their bronze helmets and armour gives a little contrast.

Again they scale up nicely with the Copplestone 10mm - this time with the Horse Tribe cavalry.

Hey, wait a minute - those are no Uruks! 

I am hoping to eventually use the Horse Tribe chaps as some kind of Norse cavalry - perhaps a Mercenary border force? The stat line for the Marauder Horse from the Chaos army list looks like it would fit quite nicely.

I'm looking forward to a week off for Half term next week with the kids (Mrs T has gone back to Uni so I have been entrusted with their general care and maintenance!). Hopefully, in between day trips with them and the dogs, and some more dungeoneering in Hero Quest land, I'll get some more painting time in.

Lots of interesting things coming up while I eagerly await the bits and pieces I need to finish off my Slann Cold One Riders.

I've been asked to paint a few lovely old minis for Thebinman over on the LAF as part of his fantastic Mordheim project - more of which later...

I've nearly finished prepping the Fighting Fantasy Orc that Phreedh kindly sent after our Giant race. I just need to sort out a new weapon for him and luckily I think 90's GW scale creep and stupidly over sized weapons might well help me out here!

Also Brent from Bombshell Games has been back in touch with news of a new system for a fantasy skirmish game and a mass battle game for 10-15mm minis he's working on. If its as fun as Havoc was then I'm in for a treat as I'll be having a go at some more playtesting - so keep your eyes peeled for some more battle reports in the coming months. I'd like to finally get round to playing his OP4S rules too so I may well be dusting off some of my epic Space Marine stuff too.

Finally, more gaming news - the honourable gents, Dreamfish and Gaj have been hard at work putting together another game of 3rd ed to be played via the magic of the internetz! The other two games they have run,  Its Fun to Slay at the Wyemm Seeyay and The Shadow of Koles Lorr,  were very successful and the reports make great reading.  Bridge over the River Chai promises also to be a thoroughly entertaining game and what's more I get to play the baddies! Good luck to my opponent Airbornegrove26!  

Sunday 21 October 2012

Trial by...

... Heroquest!

This afternoon I sat down and played Heroquest. First time in years I think.

What is more I did so, having been inspired by Mr Rab's post over on the LAF (more here), with my son. I had been saving Heroquest, with the idea of sprucing my old set up and painting all the miniatures, for when he was older,  but I thought what the heck - let's see how he gets on.

Both my kids (4 year old son and 2 year old daughter) have expressed interest before in Daddy's monsters, often eager to see what new creatures are lurking in the parcels that pop through our letterbox with some regularity.

I'd asked him earlier in the day whether he'd be interested in playing and I took the fact that he jumped up and ran to the door, shouting "Can we play the game?" when I came back from walking the dogs  to be a good thing. As you can see K, his sister was quite keen too!

So I got my Quest book out and prepared everything to play the first mission - The Trial. Both of the kids were excited to find the treasure and get the evil Gargoyle, Verag.

Movement proved to be a good opportunity for some adding practice, totaling the score from 2D6, although it took a little while before H understood he couldn't just teleport to any room he wanted to - not sure he got the idea that doors and monsters and the like only appeared when his character could see them. Next time I may set out all the doors and blocked passages first to help him visualise where he can go.

And so the intrepid hero set off with his Dwarf and Wizard (the Elf unfortunately had snapped off his base many years ago, as had the barbarian's sword) in search of gold and derring do. H soon got the idea of the simple combat system Heroquest has, although not necessarily the survivability of his characters! Soon we were down a Dwarf at the hands of an enraged Fimir and the Wizard was down to his last body point with a Chaos Warrior on his tail!

The success of the quest was balanced on a knife edge, one bad dice roll away from disaster... so I brought the swordless Barbarian on as reinforcements! With some timely use of Fire of Wrath and Ball of Flame the wizard saw off his pursuers and the Barbarian caught up to add his muscle to the expedition.

Having looted all the treasure chests he could find, H turned his attention to locating Verag and slaying the foul beast - a task he approached with some relish! Unfortunately the Wizard had fallen in a rather uneven combat with a Mummy so the Barbarian went it alone...

After a bit of a tussle with Verag's Fimir and Chaos Warrior bodyguards (K got stuck in with the die on their behalf!), H the Barbarian stood before his mighty foe, broadsword at the ready... and killed him in one combat round - rolling 3 skulls!

So how did the little tyke enjoy his first foray into dungeoneering?

Well his favourite bit was killing the Gargoyle and finding the treasure, although he wished he could have done more magic before the Wizard met his untimely end.

Oh and he wanted to know when we could play again - Result!

While I'm on a Heroquest vibe here's a great new series of videos that tickled me, featured on the marvellous Ye Olde Inn's Community Blog on Heroquest, which I've been lurking on for a while.

Right - off to finish basing some Warmaster skeletons...

Tuesday 16 October 2012

A Miniature world in Miniature...

Just received a very nice parcel today from fellow Old Hammerite, Skarsnik and Old Lead, of Opponent Finder and Citadel Giant fame. Bumped into him over on the LAF flogging a few bits and pieces and was most interested in the Warmaster stuff he had going. One very good deal later (thanks again mate!) and I was the proud owner of this little lot - apart from the rule book which I acquired a while back and has made interesting bedtime reading for the past week or two.

Saturday 13 October 2012

Here Come the Girrr...


Da-da, Da Da, Da-da, Da-da-da, Dah, etc.

Apologies for invoking that grossly overplayed and vaguely irritating tune, beloved of TV advertisers everywhere along with a certain High Street Chemist.

However, I invoke it with good reason, as here, indeed, come the Girls!

Monday 8 October 2012

There are more ways of skinning a cat...

... You could just try Miliput and leave the poor animal alone!

Sunday 7 October 2012

To the Victor go the Spoils...

... and my good pal Phreedh has certainly spoiled me with this unexpected and very kind prize for winning our little Paint a WFB Giant competition!

A Slann's Best Friend...

... is his lizard of course!

Or at least his Cold One Warhound to be specific.

Wednesday 26 September 2012

A Little Taster...

So I've been thinking a bit more about how I'm going to weave the story of an individual hero as he, or indeed she, wends their way through the world, recruiting warbands, raising armies and generally doing the hero-y type stuff one would expect.

The original painting used as the box art for Mighty Empires - The Battle of Alexander at Issus, by Albrecht Altdorfer, 1529.
As an example I'm going to use Baron Kraust - a character I've already fleshed out somewhat, although I might relocate him to some backwater fiefdom somewhere in the northern reaches of the Empire.

The Baron's journey would start at the mouth of the old barrow as he emerges newly clad in his chaos armour. A series of small skirmishes would ensue, using the WFB 2nd/3rd ed. or maybe even the Havoc or Skulldred rules, as he makes his way back to wreak revenge upon his rebellious peasants and raise an undead army. In between games he may be rewarded with chaotic followers as his power grows - might make my own random tables for this or possibly dip into Realms of Chaos. Typical objectives at this stage would be searching out well stocked cemetaries, raiding local militia's armouries and perhaps even seeking out magical artefacts, weapons or the last resting place of potential Undead heroes.

Did you know I was a bit of a fan of Renaissance Art?
One of my favourites - Pieter (the Elder) Brueghel's Triumph of Death.
Should the narrative take him near the coast, there may be scope for a Man O War game - either as he is forced to raise Undead vessels or steal Empire ships to escape being cornered by a superior Human force, or to use the sea to better transport his army to a particularly enticing target further down the coast.

Another atmospheric piece that captures my mind's eye view of the Old World - Brueghel again, with  The Conversion of Saul.
As the Baron's army grows and becomes a more serious threat to the Empire I would turn to Mighty Empires to plot his moves and fight the ensuing larger scale battles using Warmaster. Should things get particularly titanic I could always use the Mighty Empire's combat system! As has been suggested by Mattias in my last post, particularly key moments such as messengers trying to get through to forces on the flanks with vital orders, surprise attacks on artillery and baggage trains and desperate last stands as the General's personal retinue fight to protect their commander could all be played out as cut scenes in 28mm.

Not added captions to my pics before - quite fun!
Here we have Brueghel's Suicide of Saul.
So how would Kraust interact with other characters and armies I have in my collection? Well, in the initial small scale skirmishes as the Baron is finding his feet, he may well find himself raiding the same settlement that an up and coming Orc Chieftain has set his sights on. The same Orc Chieftain may well then go on, depending on the outcome, to either continue his own dearest raidings or retreat to lick his wounds and find a Goblin tribe or two to subjugate, in a separate series of sirmish games. As the Baron continues his (hopefully) meteoric rise to power, our Orc Chieftain, who by now should have a goodly sized horde following him, might well decide to throw in his lot with the forces of Undeath in a major assault on the Empire - cue Warmaster!

Detail taken from the Battle of Alexander at Issus.
Similarly, the Baron could run into a small Wood Elf scouting force, out hunting Orcs (a tangled web we weave!) and, again depending on the outcome of that skirmish, earn himself a sworn enemy. Should the Elves be defeated, our ambitious Elf Lordling would be well within his rights to swear an oath of revenge and raise an army to track the Baron down. Who knows, a desperate town militia may well be forced to call on our Elf Lordling for aid against the Baron, or other threats as yet unkown - not to mention a beleagured Empire's call to arms to its allies in its hour of need.

More detail taken from The Battle of Alexander at Issus - you could spend hours pouring over this painting!
As you can see the possibilities are many and varied, and with the aid of maps to plot the locations and travels of my main protagonists the narrative should write itself!

Lastly I'd like to pick your brains if I may. Do any of you good folk know if GW released any other minis for Mighty Empires other than these -

Specifically I'm after army banners representing other races - siege weapons and scenery I'm hoping to track down or use proxies from other 2mm/6mm manufacturers.

Edit - just nipped upstairs and compared the army banners from the Mighty Empires boxed set with my 10mm Copplestone Orcs and they're not a bad size match. I think the way forward might be to make up some pieces using 10mm minis from the likes of Pendragon and Kallistra.

Oh, and as a final thought, if you thought I was mad - check out this good fellow's mind bogglingly ambitious project!

I am absolutely in awe at the amount of work this is going to entail, the progress that has been made so far and how brilliant it will look when its finished.

Mr Law, I salute you and good luck with your tile hunt!

Tuesday 25 September 2012

World Domination!

Just pressed that little "send money" button that brings little packages of leaden happiness wending their way through the postal system (hopefully!). The objects of my desire this time are the first Warmaster minis to enter my collection.

They aren't the first 10mm scale fantasy minis I've bought and in fact I'm hoping they'll be a decent size match for the Copplestone stuff I've already got. I've also got some more Uruk spearmen, archers and War Trolls that I scored off ebay who will be needing some paint at some point...

This got me thinking - and back to the point of this post. Having taken stock of most of my 28mm stuff (still got Chaos, Undead, Norse and Slann/Lizardmen to do) I need something to do with them all. I may have mentioned this elsewhere but I have also come into the possession of Man O War, Mighty Empires and am currently hunting down a physical rulebook for Warmaster.

I have in mind to set up some kind of loose fitting campaign system, narrative led of course, which will follow the exploits of each faction from fledgling warband to grand army. I've got quite a bit of reading of rules to do, having never played these three games before, and even more painting to do - not forgetting the Magnificent Sven!

However, I am quite taken with the idea of taking each faction from warband (in a Realms of Chaos style if you like - since it seems to be very much in vogue at the moment!), following the fortunes and stories of their plucky leaders and seeing where all this takes me.

I've begun hunting through my old White Dwarfs for maps and additional rules and articles on these games. I think the first phase is going to be plenty of research - I'm sure ideas, back stories and ways for each faction to interact meaningfully with each other will come jumping out of the pages at me the more I read.

So far I've concentrated on maps and found:

WD152 - Dwarf Realms
WD146 - States of the Empire
WD144 - Dark Elf Realms
WD140 - Empire and Surrounding Area

Still hunting for the big poster map that came in one issue of WD that I know I've seen somewhere round here in the past year or so...
Let me know if you know of any other handy maps that are in keeping with the 3rd ed. world view.

Saturday 22 September 2012

Goblins flee before the advancing Giant...

Well folks, I hate to blow my own trumpet but I reckon I've won!

So Phreedh, old buddy, old pal - I think we're even now. I was worried that my struggle with bendy plastic, heavy eyelids (fell asleep at the painting desk at least once this week but managed to keep my face out of the paint pallete somehow!) and my inadequacies in sculpting hands and feet would get the better of me, but somehow, Interwebz glory is mine!

Right enough of the triumphant crowing - not really cricket, I know! 

As you can see I've gone for the colour scheme straight out of the 3rd ed. rule book and actually I think the orange works a lot better in the flesh that I thought it would. 

Here's the closest I could get with the minis and scenery in my collection to that image we all know and love.

and finally, a Goblin's eye view.

Perhaps once I have a few more of the minis featured in the original picture - Prince Ulther's Dwarfs and the Wood Elf chariot for example - I might have a go at replaying the battle.

Now to hunt down the other two FF ogres...

Tuesday 11 September 2012

A Challenge of Giant Proportions...

So on the back of my post about the FF Ferocious Ogre/Day-glo orange Giant from the 3rd ed rulebook, my old LAF buddy Phreedh has lain down the gauntlet. A paint off to the finishing line on our FF Ogre variants!

Last time we indulged in a similar contest he won, although I forget what we were painting, the memory being so painful! Well this time I intend to even the score.

My painting desk is clear...

I'm stocked up on orange paint...

And I've just about finished cleaning the big fella up - 

I've even had a go at pushing some putty round - there was a huge nasty mold line that needed some attention and this chap is made of that slightly bendy plastic that doesn't take well to files. I managed to cut most of it away without any huge slip-ups, although there were some areas that needed smoothing out.

And some new toes making! The original feet were a little soft on detail and as these great loafers are going to be the last thing many a miniature will see on the tabletop, I felt they could do with some attention. I'm certainly not very skilled in sculpting and I'm pretty sure Miliput wasn't the best material to use, but I was pleasantly surprised with the results of my efforts!

I've also extended his mullet to hide the join between head and shoulders - luckily he doesn't have particularly fine hair so my rudimentary hair dressing skills were able to emulate his unruly bonnet.

I need to a bit more work on his hand to block up the unused weapon slot and give some more definition to his fingers. Next time he'll have some paint on him hopefully...