15 December 2014

Hetaroi goes Questing

A great write up of Knights' Quest from the blog of veteran blogger and prolific painter, Hetaroi, can be found here.

Have a sneak preview of what he did with my basic Goblin Quest cards; nice, aren't they?

Do follow the link above and have a read. It gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside that he used my rules for the first game with his son.


9 December 2014

A little bedside reading

I'm starting to realise why designers and artists can (and should!) command a living from their skills. I really want Knights' Quest to both be completely my own creation (feedback always welcome, but I think you know what I mean), and to look good with a consistent design ethic. "I have a vision" and all that. Reconciling these two desires is proving a lot more time consuming than I thought. A lot more!

So, to keep me in the right direction I've been scavenging ideas from pinterest, increasingly esoteric Google image searches, and even looking at things in books! An almost subversively niche activity it would seem from the looks I get when I suggest reading for pleasure to some of my students. Anyway, here's the current bedside table pile. I've not (yet!) bought any reference books to help me in this project, but I do have a bestiary on my Christmas list...

The Osmiroid title on the top is proving the most useful today, containing loads of great advice and techniques for illuminating letters.

What are you reading?


4 December 2014

Stuff from the interwebz #5 - CP Models

One of the more interesting, and frankly unexpected, outcomes from the resurgence of interest in scenario-based fantasy and sci-fi gaming with an 80s aesthetic (i.e. Oldhammer) is that not only are old molds having the dust knocked off them but new models in a sympathetic style are being sculpted.

The latest lot to catch my eye are these horrible little gribblies from CP Models:

30 November 2014

Character card - take 2 (and 3)

The great thing about sharing my nearly-ready "art" with you lot is that I get really useful and rapid feedback, both here and on the FB page I've set up for Knights' Quest, and so here are a couple of what I hope you will think are improvements. Firstly, I've taken DonsSword's advice and replaced the pentagon with a hexagon - good call! A definite improvement in old-school cool. Second, JB (he of the missing ass) suggested that more contrast was needed between the parchment and the border, so I've tried one with simply a wider border, and one with a black bleed fill to the edge of the card.

Which do you prefer?

Card A:

Card B:

Pop your preference in the comment section below, if you'd be so kind.


Character card

A whole week since posting? Madness! Well, that's working in a school for you...

Still, I got a chance to finish a version of the Character Cards for Knight's Quest that I'm please with. Character name at the top and Combat Track down the right hand edge both remain the same. I've removed the descriptive text to allow a larger character image, removed the Maximum label above the top dice circle, changed the coin image surrounding the character value to a hand sketched version, and put the movement value into a pentagon (I like the shape!) so that I could remove the "Move" label and still differentiate it from the combat track. I have had an idea about representing it with a spoked wheel, with the number of shaded spoke sections representing the move allowance, but that might be (a) difficult, and (b) not immediately obvious to read. It's scaled to print out at the same size as CCG cards (Magic: The Gathering and so forth) and I snapped up a set of 100 card protectors for £1.20 delivered to give it the full prototype treatment.

23 November 2014

Her Majesty's Airship "Ennaychess Vombowl"

Sometimes, just sometimes, one of my boys gets a homework that I really want to get involved in. This week the elder lad had to invent a new form of transport, draw it and then go to town using adjectives and similes to describe it. So far, so educational. However, the chip off the old block wasn't content with a picture, oh no, he wanted to build it. The invention? A flying boat!

22 November 2014

Schroedinger's miniatures

When a parcel arrived at work at the end of a long and trying week, there was joy. Joy that my ebay bargain was with me, and I could savour the satisfaction of the hunter after bringing down his prey. Wallow in the nostalgia-laden fantasy world to which the figures belonged. Imagine the future glorious victories and ignominious defeats the figures would be part of. Practise the modest smile that would be needed when my sudden and unexpected transcendence into Golden Demon winner would draw every eye at a future BOYL to the paintjob that would grace the figures inside the parcel.

The figures inside.

And all of a sudden, the world of collecting little lead monsters for pretendy-fun-time elf-games collides with theoretical quantum mechanics. Either the miniatures inside the parcel were as pristine as described, having been carefully wrapped and well-packaged. Or they were recasts. Or chucked in together and scrunched up in a single sheet of loo roll. Or their weapons were all snapped. Or or or.... Thanks to Schroedinger, I knew they were BOTH perfect, AND ruined - AT THE SAME TIME! The only way to make the universe collapse into a single reality was to open the parcel.

19 November 2014

Manuscript theme take 2 - now with removed colour!

First of all, thank you to everyone who took the time to give such positive and constructive feedback on my last post about art. A combination of stylistic commentary, practical "which button to press" guidance, and a little while fiddling around with the graphics tablet I've borrowed from work means I have an updated coloured version, now with 50% less colour. Less is more and all that...

16 November 2014

Manuscript theme

From my own experience, and from reading around places like BoardGame Geek, one of the charges levelled against less highly-regarded games is that they don't implement their theme consistently. Whether it's modern slang in a game about the Ancient Greeks, or art nouveau illustrations in a game set in the Napoleonic era, these things break the immersion and therefore reduce the enjoyability of the whole gaming experience.

Blueholme looks like a great set of rules, btw, have a look at their G+ pages

13 November 2014

Stuff from the Interwebz #4 - Ravensrodd

Not much hobby output from myself at the moment - a combination of heavy workload and putting my time into whipping Knights' Quest into shape - so I'm handing over this post to promoting the sort of thing I'd be doing if I could sculpt; a slightly fantastical C14th England, complete with the sort of monsters found in the margins of medieval manuscripts. Sound familiar? Yup, it has exactly the vibe I'm going for in Knights' Quest and I can see these figures being perfect for it, as well as for the skirmish game that Michael Lovejoy (the sculptor - I think he's half of the team behind Oathsworn Miniatures) is working on.

Some of the greens:

11 November 2014

Lest we forget

On Sunday I was part of our town's memorial service which was very well attended by all ages, creeds, and colours. It was dignified, thoughtful and moving. Three-quarters of an hour ago, as happens every year, a minute's silence was observed by students and staff at my school to mark the striking of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. It, too, was pleasingly dignified and moving. It felt right to be part of those acts of memorial for those who have given their lives, or had them taken from them, as a result of war. I paid my respects but it made me consider how to truly honour their memory.

A couple of weeks back I went into London with my family to see "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red", otherwise known as the Tower Poppies. Two of them will be sent to us when it is dismantled.

My photo - there are thousands online that might capture it better

I found the scale of it staggering, as was the level of public response, but it did draw criticism from some quarters of the art world as being fake and trite because the beauty of the poppies was at odds with the experience of the soldiers (I always thought that was an importantly jarring effect) and it only considers British military deaths (one poppy per British military fatality). Although I accept the point regarding who it represents, I don't think it inappropriate given this is the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1. I also hold strongly to the idea that the value of art can be in part measured by its impact, and that has been extraordinary. So I disagree.

And yet.

And yet, I think it is right to question the way in which we commemorate the horrors of war that our forebears experienced, and far too many around the world today are still subject to. Commemorations are as old as recorded warfare itself, often as grandiose imperial monuments (I'm looking at you, Egyptians and Romans), but not always. The inscribed slab near Thermopylae (a 1955 replacement for a lost and damaged ancient original) has a famous epitaph for the fabled 300 Spartans who perished defending their homeland from the invading Persians. As with the Tower poppies, this monument does not refer to the others who died, were wounded, or suffered in other ways (allies, foes, non-combatants, women, or children), but it still has power for me:

Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by, that here, according to their laws, we lie

A permanent reminder, in the form of such a memorial, is an important first step. A literal memento mori, a Lest we Forget in stone or metal. But it is only a first step. The truest honouring of the fallen is a far more difficult monument to build, indeed it requires every one of us to continually participate in its construction. What is it?


6 November 2014

A matter of dice

In which I blether about dice for four paragraphs, and finally get round to the point - some aspects of design philosophy for Knights' Quest, specifically the Combat Dice Track.

4 November 2014

The Search Party

The Search Party

As he is wont to do, the king's aged and incomparably wise advisor has headed off into the forests to collect herbs for his healing potions. That was six days ago, two days longer than ever before but the worry only started when his pony trotted back into the royal stables, riderless and uncharacteristically skittish. To allay the king's fears, out of gratitude for his past acts of healing, and with the faint chance of some chivalric deed to accomplish, two knights claimed the right to search for him...

3 November 2014

A rainy day at Rabbington Towers

Back in July I shared a post from The Crooked Staff blog which concerned the creation of simple, effective and good-looking trees for afforesting a wargaming table. I had expected there to be a rainy, low-energy sort of day during the summer hols, but the weather was fine and we kept being invited to stay with non-gaming folks in beautiful parts of this green and pleasant land.

Fast forward to half term (i.e. now last Wednesday) - you can even do the wibbly-wobbly Scooby Doo sound effects at this point if you wish - and we have rain, children who want to do something but are too tired to game, and I have some carefully hoarded bits and bobs. Time to get making trees!

25 October 2014

helix infestus giganticus

The giant aggressive land snail (helix infestus giganticus) is generally found in communities of between six and thirty in the sort of habitat favoured by their smaller cousins. Unlike the common garden snail, these brutes are a threat to far more than a nicely tended vegetable patch. Although predominantly carrion feeders, they will opportunistically predate upon small mammals as well as unwary travellers. They have no teeth as such, but excrete a thick salivary fluid which causes necrosis in plant and animal cells, breaking them down so they may be more easily consumed. Their slime trails also contain this compound which, with sufficient time, can also dissolve materials made from plant fibres and animal skins, as well as corrode non-magical metals.

The snail thing that started from my blog post last week has led to an entirely unexpected level of interest, spawning a fairly extensive conversation on Facebook, and now an actual miniature to play the part of the alarming gigantic gastropod.

These beauties (?!) were sculpted by George Fairlamb for Tom Pugh of Bolt Thrower Miniatures and will hopefully see release in the near future.

Now I just need to play around with some stats for them for WFB 3rd, and/or Knights' Quest and get ready for a quest to hunt for the key ingredient in the midwinter feast of the French Bretonnian King's court...


23 October 2014

Um, hi!

picture stolen from the internet

My followers count has suddenly leapt up to 95! I'm not sure whether that's a blogger update glitch and some of you haven't been showing up, or I was being horribly unobservant - last time I noticed it was somewhere in the 60s. So, to all of you however recently you thought my bletherings worth keeping a regular eye upon, thank you and welcome!

It seems to have become a tradition among gaming bloggers to have some kind of prize give-away when reaching 100 followers and who am I to fly in the face of tradition? I'll have a poke around and see what I can rustle up from the lead mountain, let you know, and then roll a d100 when the arbitrary but random-table-friendly number is reached.

Better increase/improve my output if I've got an audience!


22 October 2014

Red 'n rusty

In what will be a completely snail-free post, I wanted to show that Orctober is still going strong with the next two members of my orc warband.

I tried a couple of new things for these and I'm fairly pleased with how they've turned out, sticking to my newish painting mantra of "if I don't like it, leave it and move on, but do it better next time." With the ball and chain fellow, I've attempted rusty mail. Now, having taken part in a few re-enactments in the past, I've seen more than my fair share of rusted mail shirts and, unlike the rust that accumulates on exposed metal work, there's usually a lot of gunk on mail (woodsmoke, sweat and WD40, I suspect) which dulls that orange iron-oxide look to a dirty blackish-brown and, miniature in hand, I feel I've captured that look fairly well for a first attempt.

20 October 2014

Medieval art, Blanche and, obviously, snails

Some of you lovely readers will be aware that I've been writing my own set of dungeoncrawl rules with an ever-changing name always involving the key word "quest" because that is the core of them. The ideals and panoply of errant chivalry (along with classical and scandinavian mythology) are what undoubtedly drew me into fantastical worlds in the first place. In fact, I hold strongly to the idea that chivalrous mores need not be an interesting historical footnote, but rather something upon which a modern chap can found his behaviour, as I try to - but that's not for this post. No, this post is about art. Specifically, the sort I want to use to illustrate said rules when they are complete, tested and I'm happy with them. This happy event is getting closer and so thoughts of presentation are bubbling upwards in my what-I-call mind.

It would fit the fantastical-medieval theme of the rules to present them as if they were an illustrated manuscript so I've been having a good old poke through some of my prettier books (the only thing I spend more on than miniatures!) as well as perusing the internet to find suitable examples that could serve as inspiration. And, blow me, if they aren't full of Oldhammer goodness!

From The Gorleston Psalter

19 October 2014


Dragons? Love 'em! Whether they're friendly or fierce, winged or wyrm, fire-breathing or not, symbol of wisdom and nobility or of the devil himself... Doesn't matter, I think they're great and I've passed this on to my two boys. I've already painted a dragon that I'm rather pleased with...

Nowadays the dragon is on a standard rectangular base, and did sterling work during the BOYL 14 Siege

14 October 2014


The life of a noble maiden in times of yore was evidently a rather alarming one, given their propensity for being kidnapped by evil wizards, jealous step-mothers, ogres, trolls, dragons, fallen knights, faeries, etc. Today proved no different! The fair lady Marian had been spirited away and none knew to whither. Acting on rumours that a boy out hunting in the forest had heard the sweet and mournful singing of a young woman, two knights errant and their retainers converged on the ruined and apparently abandoned house in the deep wood from different directions...

8 October 2014

Little and large...

...green and brown. Another orc to double the size of my orc horde, once again with Moss 29 triad skin, although kept a little yellower this time, possibly not noticeable from the photos. I even had a first go at the archetypally orcy black 'n white checkerboard strip! Check me out - and on a school night as well!

6 October 2014

Mean and... green?

In my last post I spent many lines of text hand-wringing about what colour to paint my orcs and goblins. I thought I'd come to a decision - shades of yellowy-browny-tan was going to be the colour, definitely.

Then I read through my lovely big Foundry picture book (Dallimore and friends' advanced painting guide) and saw a whole army of orcs by Paul Baker with a Moss (Foundry paint triad 29) painted skin and it got me thinking. Again.

3 October 2014

What's in a colour?

What's in a colour? That which we call a greenskin
By any other colour would smell as foul 

Or so says the greatest poet of the Moot, little Billy Wagglestaff, and sometimes he even writes stuff when he's not getting paid for it!
"Halfling servant" by caprotti on DeviantArt - used without permission

1 October 2014

Happy orctober, Digest fans!

Yup, it's that time of year again. The nights are just starting to draw in, apples are ripening, conkers are taunting us with their utterly pointless abundance (I want to gather thousands of them, but what would I do with them?), spiders are invading our homes, and a gamer's thoughts turn naturally to that archetypal fantasy baddy, the orc.

Awesome painting by the fabulously talented Mr. Zhu

21 September 2014

Elmore giant - WIP 4

So it turns out that a black background works well for photography... as does "borrowing" my six year old son's camera, which is distinctly better than mine thanks to a rather indulgent grandma!

As part of my record of this project (which I'm now thoroughly enjoying after the early grunt-work of getting good coverage with the first flesh layer), the paints used were:
  • Foundry Boneyard triad (9A, 9B and 9C) for the teeth and fingernails
  • Very thin Army Painter Soft Tone ink wash over teeth and nails
  • Various combinations of Foundry Flesh (5B and 5C) for the highlights, including an incredibly thin layer of pure 5C and water to bring the highlights together
  • Almost water layer of GW Ogryn Flesh wash over the skin to bring back the wrinkles and crevices to visibility
  • Foundry Musket Stock Brown (72C) as the base for the hair
  • Wetbrushing and drybrushing of the hair with Foundry Tan (14B) and increasing amounts of Foundry Base Sand (10A)
  • Wash of Army Painter Soft Tone ink on the hair
  • Foundry Spearshaft triad (13A, B and C) and Army Painter Strong Tone ink as a wash on the club
  • Foundry Tan 14B mixed with Foundry Yellow 2B to give the irises a little 'pop'
I forgot to add a white dot to the pupils to make them look shiny and alive, but otherwise I'm really happy with how he's coming along. I'm also glad I followed Erny's injunction to stick with the brown hair of the painting this model is based upon. I'll save grey for some of the furs he is wearing.

I hope you have a good week ahead of you,

19 September 2014

Murder-hobo evening

Beer is good. Free beer is better. And if some old guy in a decent pub starts buying the drinks then, well, it would be rude not to listen to his stories while he keeps your glass full. It had turned into quite a night and among the rest of the group freeloading off the rich codger oaths of friendship had been sworn, plans made, along with promises to the man with the open purse.

Which is why, thought Ladro, he was shivering his hung-over nuts off at the mouth of some gods-forsaken cave at a distinctly unholy early hour with an elf, a dwarf, a jumped-up nobleman's son and his tea-making lackey, an apprentice wizard, and some oddball from out East who stank of stale milk and could only grunt, whinny, or say the word "horse". There'd better be some decent loot in this. I mean, an elf, for Randal's sake! The knightling was making some noble speech that no-one was listening to, not even the tea-boy (who at least had a lantern), the elf was pirouetting and making odd noises which was really winding up the dwarf, and the rest looked just as hungover as he felt. Ohhh, this was going to be a disaster...

17 September 2014

Elmore giant - WIP 3


One more highlight on the flesh should probably do it (a touch of Foundry's Flesh 5C is my intent) on the topmost points; cheekbones, tips of ears, bridge of nose etc. The eyes are about done, too. I'm going to mix some Yellow 2B or some GW Yellow Ink into the mid tone Tan 14B I used for the irises to get a highlighted glow, and then of course a dot of white to show a glint of light in there.

I'm pleased with how he's coming along, despite the photo showing I've missed a bit of skin behind his left tusk -sigh-

Without flash, and oddly focussed on his shoulder rather than face...

With flash and looking all garish. There's a slight bulge to the face that isn't there in real life; the eyes really aren't facing in different directions. Honest, guv!

After the completion/tidying up of the eyes and cheekbones, it'll be teeth and then hair, of which there is quite a bit. How barbaric! I can't decide, though, whether to go grey or brown for the hair - what do you reckon? Let me know in the comments below.

How are your projects coming along?

15 September 2014

Project Alchemy

Right you lot, you may have seen this on the Oldhammer forum, axiom's Magpie and Old Lead blog, or on another online site where the love of old lead is strong. It does, however, bear repeating. This is a great opportunity to support UNICEF while giving yourself the chance to win some delightful pieces of original art, signed rulebooks, unreleased models etc. (although hands off the evil sun cuff-links - I wants them, my preciousss). Well done to Jon and his co-conspirators for getting this set up.

I reckon if you were to choose some suitable benchmark - a couple of pints of beer, packet of cigarettes, can of spray undercoat, postage for a small parcel across the Atlantic, lunch from a sandwich shop, whatever - and donate that, we'd get there in no time and help out disadvantaged kids while indulging our love of toys.

They take paypal too!


Now, go and donate but don't forget what I said about the cufflinks!

14 September 2014

Ladro and friends

As I mentioned in a previous post, I felt my main character thief would need some assistance in his underground procurement of other people's treasure so I had a go at sculpting some fire. Now that it's painted up I'm pretty pleased with it and I got a little carried away and painted up a third fellow as well to provide both a little more muscle in case things should turn nasty, as well as another pair of hands to lug the loot back to the surface.

First up, the muscle:

13 September 2014

The Brotherhood of the Burning Brand

Ranald, god of thieves and tricksters
in some of his many guises: cat, 
crow or magpie, and charming 
chappy. He achieved godhood by
tricking Shallya, goddess of mercy
into letting him drink her tears. 
A good con, eh?
Mael crept forward nervously, his breath ragged and harsh in the silence of the night-filled corridor. Nearly there, he thought, nearly there. And, as he stepped out into the larger hall, he saw he was right. There, nestling upon a velvet cushion, atop a little but finely carved stone altar, was the object of his criminal intent - a gently glowing firestone. One cautious step into the room. No sound. Another step. Still nothing. A third step and... click... as the flagstone shifted slightly. That was when the crossbow bolt hit him in the back of the head and the world went even darker than the dimly lit temple.

He woke to a splitting headache and the wry chuckle of a hooded man crouching beside him and repeatedly tapping his chest with the padded end of the bolt that had floored him. Mael groaned with the pain in his head, but more from embarrassment at having been caught out so easily; he'd been avoiding that particular sort of Tilean two-way trap for months without any bother. The groan brought another chuckle from above him.

"Don't despair, little novice," came the voice, heavily accented with the nasal twang of Altdorf's Reiksport and rich with amusement, betraying the speaker to be Brother Gregoire, "But do learn!" The good humour vanished. "I have no intention of burying another over-confident boy this year."

In the silence that followed, Mael tried not to groan again and struggled up onto one elbow, vibrant colours bursting across his vision with every tiny move of his head. When Gregoire spoke again, his tone was light once more. "I tell you what, boy, to soothe that aching head of yours and because you got so close, I'll give you your three answers. Ask away."

Mael licked his lips and cleared his throat. "Thank you, Brother. I do have questions or I wouldn't have struck this deal with you. First off, why do we have a torch as our symbol when we're thieves and don't want light? Second, what do I have to do to become a full Brother? And third, why were you and that spice merchant talking about me a few days ago?" The words had come out in a rush, but he hoped that keeping the most important question to last would work in his favour, that Gregoire would get more talkative as he went along. He held his breath.

Gregoire nodded slowly. "Good questions, boy. Where to start? With the torch, I suppose. The Brotherhood of the Burning Brand! Sounds mighty fine, almost like the sort of thing Sigmar would approve of, eh? That's the first reason, gives us an air of... respectability. Something that's sure to amuse Randal*. Second, without a torch, there is no light and therefore no shadow to hide in; people get false confidence when they've a lantern or the like illuminating a small patch of their property. And third? Gold, my boy, gold glitters wonderfully by torchlight; always take a torch underground into storehouses and strongrooms so you can spot your prize." Then he stopped. Mael waited for him to continue... then felt the crushing disappointment wash over him as he realised he'd been tricked and groaned aloud. Gregoire laughed delightedly at the groan of realisation and clapped him gently on the shoulder. "That's right, my boy, three answers promised, three answers given, but all to the same question. Now, go and get some rest; you're going to need it!" 

* In Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Randal is listed as the god of thieves and tricksters who exhorts his followers to lie, cheat, deceive and steal but without violence. The trickery is the thing and a well executed con is almost an act of worship.

9 September 2014

Milady d'Oswald

Ok, whatever you think about the quality of this week's episode of Dr Who, I want this pleasing-to-the-eye image reproduced in 28mm; she'd make a great character for my Bret. army and chivalric dungeon-crawl project:

Kind of annoying as a character, Clara has certainly improved the visual appeal of Saturday night sci-fi!

Any suggestions for existing miniatures that I could convert it from?


6 September 2014

Mighty Mop of Doooooom!

No sooner had I completed my thief for our upcoming OGRE meet and dungeoncrawl, than I thought "I need a flunky miniature with a torch!" Unfortunately, that peskily prolific Whiskey Priest had obviously been spying on my brain again (note to self - wear foil hat all the time!) and produced not only a lantern-bearer, but a meat-shield as well. Cue much gnashing of teeth at being gazumped...

Not to be disheartened I fished a likely candidate with cloak out of the lead mountain and turned his staff (I think it was originally a downward pointing spear?) into a great big, two-handed burning torch that could be used for belabouring the ungodly (or just the "in the way") as easily as lighting the way to the gold and treasure successful completion of the quest. I've never sculpted fire before but had a go following this youtube tutorial and came up with this chap:

1 September 2014


Not being up to painting, what with having to return to work with the beginning of term and all that, I decided to pootle about a bit with Adobe Illustrator. I always learn best when I'm trying to achieve a particular goal, rather than in the abstract, so I thought our little nascent gaming group of Oldhammerers in the Cambridgeshire/Bedfordshire/Buckinghamshire region could do with a logo or emblem. Here's my first stab:

The text font is Moria, made into an outline and, in the case of the "O", twisted about a bit to give a roughly circular centre for the Blanche-esque ogre face (seemed apt, given the group name) to be contained within.

And a "squiggle-free" version, because I think that might be jumping the shark....

Oh, and a third idea...

What do you think? What works and what needs tweaking?


28 August 2014

Elmore giant - WIP 2

Hopefully, this will appear in the wilds of the blogosphere on Thursday if I've managed to set this up properly. I'm off in Northumberland enjoying (I hope!) a last spot of family holiday before term begins and am trying to have a "screen-free" few days. No internet and no TV. If you see me post on the G+ or FB groups, or on the forum, you'll know I've cracked! Anyway, content:

I might have mentioned that his fellow is big, but I still can't get over how much brushwork is required to do a single layer of flesh tone. At least, not when I'm trying to do so neatly! This is going to take a while...

Progress since last update:

  • base layer of flesh, including on the pigs (Foundry Flesh 5A)
  • washed flesh (mix of GW wash Ogryn flesh and Foundry Flesh 5A)
  • base layer on shirt (Foundry Moss 29A)
  • base layer on shoulder armour (Foundry Bronze Barrel 105A)
  • base layer on teeth and finger nails (Foundry Boneyard 9A)
  • base layer on eye balls (Foundry Boneyard 9C)

25 August 2014

Adelmo Ladro

Towards the end of September OGRE, the East Anglian group of Oldhammerers, will be meeting chez Erny for a spot of dungeoneering based on WFB 3rd (character generation) and Warhammer Quest. This makes me happy, for I do love a good spot of playing the murder-hobo. I'm going to run a thief character.

I've had this great little Mark Copplestone sculpt that was released by Grenadier Miniatures in times of yore (and is now carried by Battlezone Miniatures among others) for about a year now, having added him to an order on a whim. His time had come!

I'm only showing the bare-metal version because I carefully put together a dark palette of blacks, greys and browns as a suitable ensemble for a thief and I had a hell of a time photographing it. This is the best I could manage with my phone, with a bit if brightness tweaking from photoshop which makes his face look pretty leprous.

Adelmo Ladro, cutpurse and opportunist

Perhaps this image is better? No manipulation on this one.

For under two hours while watching telly, I'm pretty pleased. I had a go at tying together the colours by adding dark grey to the browns, and brown to the black when shading and (in the lead, by my eyes) it works pretty well. I shall have to go back to using the proper camera, though, and maybe even get one of those foldio things or equivalent to use as a light box.

Any suggestions?

20 August 2014

Elmore giant - WIP 1

What's that, creating a meme picture about a toy monster that riffs off a 1986 film? Yup, that's how I roll...

19 August 2014

The sleeping wizard

CJ - "Daddy, we want to play a knight game, the sort you played when you went to Nottingham with your friends."
Me - "I don't know, the rules are quite complicated; we could play Song of Blades and Heroes?"
CJ - "No, your game. After all, I am six and a half now, and you could help EM because he's only four."
Me - "Okaaay. If you're sure..."
CJ - "Yes I am. Now, what is the story for why we're fighting? What do we have to do to win?"

What could I do in the face of that on the Monday after BOYL? He wanted to play 3rd Ed. and assumed that it would have a narrative element. Of course I was going to encourage him :)

Omzax the Occultist was not a nice man, even before he made whatever deal it was with Dark and Nameless Powers in order to gain his mastery over magic. He was particularly notorious for turning his enemies into mice and then feeding them, one by one, to his pet cat. Zap! Squeak! Miaow! Crunch!

I gave both boys matched forces (six foot knights, five arquebusiers and six peasants), put the wizard (conveniently asleep so he took no part on the battle) in a house in the centre of the board, and let them at it.

BOYL dice being put to good use.

18 August 2014

BOYL 2014 - Bryan's Cabinets of Curiosities

One of the best bits about the atmosphere at BOYL was the incredibly warm welcome the Ansells and their team at Foundry HQ gave us, both individually and en masse. Umbrellas on Friday night (and it really was night, nine pm I think) when we finally finished gaming to get us through the biblical downpour to our cars, spotlights set up so we could game later, remembering which of us were vegetarian and coming to find us at our games to ask what food we'd like at the next meal, a properly fiery veggie chilli (thanks Dianne - yum!), gallons of free tea and coffee.... The list goes on. I've never gamed anywhere as welcoming. Suffice to say, BOYL 2015 is already being planned for a return visit next August :)

Actually, on Friday night I was at a bit of a loose end. The Siege (a game that will be forever capitalised) had paused for the night and antipixi was playing toy cars with the other remaining geeks and gamers, so Bryan Ansell who up until that point had always been a near-mythical name on the 3rd Ed. rulebook and slightly manic looking chaos general gave me a tour of his gaff.

Look on my mullet, ye mighty, and despair!

15 August 2014

11 August 2014

BOYL 2014 - day two (Saturday)

Having been all pleased with myself to get some of the first BOYL photos up and online for the Friday, I've been well and truly gazumped by almost every other attendee... Well, I took photos so I'm going to show you photos, but I'll resist sharing antipixi's most recent "pass me the mind-bleach" internet discovery.

Day two of the siege started with the unwashed and wicked assembling with their siege towers to the fore, many rock lobbers providing withering and continuous fire, and a horde of giants acting as the very angry tip of an enormous onrushing horde...

Setting up for the day; not many figures yet...

8 August 2014

BOYL 2014 - day one (Friday)

Well, I guess it's officially "Day minus one", being the Friday. Whatever - dice have been cast, beautifully painted miniatures long out of production have been shuffled around enormous tables, and plenty of decent chaps in their thirties and forties have chatted beer, their first car, and the intricacies of a hobby that no-one else cares too much about. A huge amount of fun has already been had. Oh, and the Mighty Dark-Winged Avenging Lord of Chaos himself has given me a personal tour of the new Foundry facilities while the almost biblical storm pelted down. More on that later.

First, here is a stream of pictures from the opening stages of the Siege of Avalone, in which the good people of that enlightened city try to get safely behind the walls with enough food to withstand the inevitable blockade.

Look at all those Mighty Fortress pieces!!!!!!

28 July 2014

A very small army

This evening is the last chance I'll get before BOYL to do anything other than pack figures, rulebooks and scenery, so what you see in the photos is what I'll be bringing to the defence of Avalone and I couldn't resist sharing. I shall have time to put some thought into a back story like those included for the sample armies from Ravening Hordes so I should be all narratively equipped for some oldhammering.

The force at arms of Baron Gilbert de Corbin is as follows:

The Baron his-self, and his loyal standard bearer

27 July 2014

Chico Challenge - Heraldry

I love a multi-use miniature. In fact, I love any kind of multi-purpose thing that I make or have to spend time on, maximum return for expended effort etc. Which is why, when I saw that the theme for this week's Chico Challenge was Heraldry, it seemed daft not to, especially as the preparations I still need to make for BOYL14 are:

  1. Drybrush bases and add "grass"
  2. Paint three banners
I need a banner for my foot knights, my unit of billmen, and for my nascent force as its army standard (even if "army" is a touch out of scale with the reality!). The army standard seemed the most urgent, and would involve two different heraldic designs, one for the standard bearer and a different one for the banner. The (as yet unnamed) banner bearer has a simple coat of arms (per pale, azure and argent), but he carries the banner of his liege lord, the Duke de Corbin (paly of four, vert and or, a chief sable with three bezants, argent). Check out that spirally striped lance! Everything is freehand (as if it's not blatantly obvious...).

25 July 2014

Alright, here are MY top ten

All the cool kids are at it, posting their top ten favourite figures, and I'm a sucker for a sudden trend; it's why I'm into this newfangled Oldhammer lark... Anyway, here are the nostalgia-winning ten that I first thought of for this list and therefore probably deserve their place here.

21 July 2014

"We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune"

Fantasy tropes of the 80s (book and film), cod-medievalism and Monty Python's Holy Grail form the backbone of the way this project is developing. And how can there be such a project without some self-opinionated peasants?

Impossible! So here they are:

18 July 2014

The Baron himself

Every army needs a commander, even an army as small as mine will be in August, and no-one takes a knight seriously unless he's on a horse. So here's my first horse, with his lordship proudly astride.

17 July 2014

This is my boomstick

Got a castle wall that needs knocking down? Horde of enemies you need to whittle down to size? Got a city or narrow valley to secure? Then recruit Alexandre Sauveur, Master Gunner to the Baron Gilbert de Corbin. 

His two sons, Eric and Xavier, are twins but totally different in character. Eric is bright but lazy, Xavier is more than a touch simple but labours day and night. Only Eric is allowed to mock Xavier, though - anyone else is likely to face the combined wrath of the pair of brothers, formidable bar-room brawlers both!

One more little group ready for BOYL. I've already accepted that my modest plans are being scaled back a little, but this lot (apart from a drybrush and some grass on the bases) are ready for action.