20 October 2017

A little more progress

My wife had some of her friends round last night, so I escaped to my painting desk in the cellar and splashed a bit more paint around.

17 October 2017

A little progress

My ork horde is slowly getting itself battle-ready, with a little help from a couple of hours in front of the telly. Not ideal lighting for doing so, but colour blocking is coming along nicely.

9 October 2017

Weekend catchup

The overlap between oldhammer and being (or expecting to be soon) a parent of young children was pretty clearly shown yesterday when I posted the picture below from my weekend prepping my recently acquired Space Ork Raiders set (RTB02, I think) and got well over a hundred likes/comments. I guess that puts the majority of online oldhammerers in the late twenties to mid forties bracket...

6 October 2017

Double duty

Because my output has been so low recently, I've double-entered the beastlord below for an Asgard Minatures painting challenge, as well as an oldhammer forum Golden Gobbo thing. Photo sharing was proving a problem, so I'm posting them here to share over there. If that makes sense.

3 October 2017


No matter what I've tried, I just haven't been able to get back into the painting groove since Dad's funeral back in February, apart from a couple of painting challenges. So, maybe, another painting challenge (orktober) will break the funk?

It comes at a good point, anyway, with my impulse idea to run Battle at the Farm for my boys in the new year. Small padded envelopes are starting to drop through the letterbox again, and I've the orks either nice and shiny again or back into the last dregs of my last Fairy Power Spray to get rid of the stubborn bits. I'm using the figures from the RTB02 Space Ork Raiders set:

Picture from Stuff of Legends

1 October 2017

Corrupting the youth - or is it the other way round?

Mini-Rab #1 had just started at a new school and, as a way of getting to know the other kids, has joined almost every club going - a bit like a university fresher, but without the alcohol-fuelled excess. I hope. He is only nine!

Why is that relevant to this blog? Well, one of the clubs he's joined is run by his science teacher and seems to be a general "geek club", including lego robotics... and Warhammer 40k in its latest incarnation. Yes, despite my best efforts, he is desperate to join in as they push hordes of unpainted, badly glued lumps of expensive grey plastic around. Fortunately I had a squad of kroot in a box and his automatic assumption was that he'd paint them "at least a bit" before they saw table time to see if he likes the game. He wants to paint for about an hour each weekend until they're finished, so they're a bit more painted each week as he plays with them. Good lad! Perhaps 8th Ed will float his boat, perhaps oldhammer will keep him - as long as he's playing with his friends, and will indulge me in my oldschool gaming preferences from time to time, and having fun, who cares?

So, he sprayed...

29 September 2017


Well, Japanese stab binding at least, which is a binding style that threads around the spine of the book, making it perfect for single sheets.

Never one to pass up an opportunity to pick up a new hobby, especially if it involves some aspect of creativity, I've been doing a bit of basic bookbinding. Aside from notebooks I've made a couple of sketchbooks, one of which is a thing of beauty if I say so myself and will be a Christmas gift to an artist friend. I also thought that the various pdf modules I've downloaded from RPGDriveThru would be easier and nicer to use if I printed them and bound them.

In order for my printer not to die, I put together my own black and white covers, reusing some of the lovely oldschool artwork from within the modules themselves.

So here we go:

13 September 2017

The red dwarf and the blue dwarf had a race

I've long been an ardent admirer of how Blue in VT paints, in particular the smoothness he gets on his multi-coloured chaos dwarfs. Now, that smoothness is not really my style (and is beyond my current skills anyway), but I did draw on them for inspiration for these two short and wicked fellows.

They are from Clam's Eval Dwergar range and they were a delight to paint, even if they were a bugger to photograph. My chaos dwarf contingent is made up from about a dozen from this range, a couple of old Citadel (pre-big hat), and a couple from CP models. I think they go well together while retaining a nicely chaotic level of variation.

Here are the first two:

3 September 2017

Averaigne campaign - session 39

    Session 39 - in which there is shopping and kidnapping
    The adventurers, including new recruit Gern, re-equip themselves for further heroism and consider just what to do about their original quest, the ailing Lady Montfort.

    NOTE: in order to keep a complete record, but not put off posting these any longer, I'm just transcribing my DM notes. Short and sweet.

    1 September 2017

    Averaigne campaign - session 38

      Session 38 - in which a new NPC, and the necessity for a new PC, appear
      The battle complete, and both the bone-golem and its summoners destroyed, it's time to check pulses and loot the enemy

      NOTE: in order to keep a complete record, but not put off posting these any longer, I'm just transcribing my DM notes. Short and sweet.

      30 August 2017

      Averaigne campaign - session 37

      [The story so far]

      Session 37 - in which they run away and then go back
      The adventurers are hopelessly outclassed by the cultists an their bone golem, so they run away like cowards cunningly withdraw to look for help.

      NOTE: in order to keep a complete record, but not put off posting these any longer, I'm just transcribing my DM notes. Short and sweet.

      28 August 2017

      Two types of Bloodbowl

      Last Thursday I finally (seriously, we reckon it must be two years since we managed it last) got over to antipixi's house to roll some dice. A lot of nonsense and school (it was results day, after all) was chatted first, but then Malc and I got down to a game of standard tabletop BB. I played Chaos Pact while Malc took Slann; the teams ran out to a massive crowd (mostly frogs) as the rain started to pour down on the pitch. Picking up the ball would be an ongoing problem in the wet weather.

      18 August 2017


      The warband I've got planned and am, theoretically at least, working on this year includes an eighteen-strong beastman horde. Every chaos troupe should have beastmen in my opinion, the gibbering and varied (not just goat-headed) pack just screams chaos to me. Of course, they're led by the biggest and toughest of the lot; law of the jungle chaos wastes, innit?

      I chose this brute sold by Viking Forge miniatures in the US as that leader:

      He's listed as "FM-27 Giant Armoured Troll" and was originally an Asgard Miniatures sculpt. Asgard is about as Oldhammer as you can get, or Protohammer I suppose. Founded by Bryan Ansell, Steven Fitzwater and Paul Sulley in Nottingham in 1976, they had Bryan himself, Nick Bibby and Jes Goodwin (I think) as sculptors. Bryan left in 1978 for a little outfit called Citadel Miniatures; you may have heard of them. Several Asgard miniatures appeared in very early White Dwarf magazines.

      History lesson over, you can still buy several of these highly characterful sculpts from Alternative Armies in the UK and Viking Forge in the US. Check out the Chaos and Barbarian ranges in particular, there are some real gems in there. More info here and here.

      On to my take on this fellow, my first paintjob in months. An absolute pleasure to paint, full of character but none of the excessive details that clutter some modern sculpts. One thing that did surprise me was the carefully moulded... equipment... that I discovered just about poking out below the level of his mail skirt. The horror...

      Apologies for the dodgy phone photos with added shine and flattened highlights.

      So, he'll now lead the horde, with three WIP beasts and the banner bearer still bare metal. Getting there!

      17 August 2017

      Cough, splutter

      Wow, dusty in here, isn't it? Nearly three months since my last post... Time to get painting and gaming and blogging again I reckon!

      29 May 2017

      The adventurers revealed

      Sometimes I consider getting appropriate miniatures for the characters of my players in the BFRPG campaign I've been DMing for the last year or so, but finding figures that are  "just right" is pretty tricky. Today, though, I found a site called Hero Forge which lets you design a character and then have it 3d printed. As you might imagine, such a service is rather expensive but the process of design is good fun. You can also export the images, so here is what 20 minutes of fiddling allowed me to produce for the characters:

      25 May 2017

      Pinboard #01

      I spend too much time online to start another platform, but I do want to keep track of/share random pictures that are geek-worthy. So I'm going to dump them on here!
      #RPG #Memes

      24 May 2017

      Averaigne campaign - session 36

      [The story so far]

      Session 36 - Guards, Cultists, and Bone Golems - oh my! 
      Carefully, the party edged down the stairwell, light up ahead of them clearly visible and with a blue tinge. Although old and stained in places with mossy-mold, the steps were clean and freshly swept - there were even a pair of brooms to one side!

      They readied their weapons and advanced grimly.

      2 May 2017

      Peg pirates

      About ten days ago I was playing a new tabletop pirate game with my two sons. Each player had a small wooden ship about seven or eight inches long, with painted peg dolls representing the crew. It felt a bit like a cross between playing an episode of Captain Pugwash, a kid's game of make-believe, and X-Wing (for the movement). We had so much fun, laughing and joking, with outrageous boasting and comedy accents aplenty.

      And then I woke up.

      26 April 2017

      Averaigne campaign - session 35

      [The story so far]

      Session 35 - Paddle power
      After a surprisingly restful night in the little side-passage they'd found leading off from the main sewer, it was time to explore further, starting with the door ahead of them.

      19 April 2017


      I've been slowly getting my painting mojo back, and decided to get out my wet-palette and the matt-medium to have a go with thinner paints and intermediate tones. I use mostly Foundry triads, but the step between the shades on some colours (especially flesh) is too stark for my taste, so a little blending is needed alongside a touch more boldness with the brush, perhaps.

      Anyway, this in-progress minotaur is the result of that fiddling about to date:

      I think he's coming along nicely so far. One thing that surprised me with this sculpt was finding that he's wearing gloves,which I guess I'll paint black or very dark blue with the leather studded armour in black. Opinions are very welcome! The mechanical left hoof will get some classic black'n'white checks and some plain steel.

      Let me know what you think,

      15 April 2017

      How a [boy] shall be armed for his ease when fighting on foot

      Long time readers will know that I have two sons, the Rab-ble as it were. By nature, and certainly by nurture, they have a keen fantastical and chivalric interest - their wooden swords have slain many a fearsome foe and graced many a tournament field. All good stuff.

      When we were at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge earlier in the week (absolutely fascinating exhibition on personal vs. public devotional items in 16th century Italy), they spotted these felt scabbard in the shop and, without nagging, made their admiration of them quite clear.

      14 April 2017

      Averaigne Inkarnate

      Yay for bad puns as blog titles.

      I can't find the post on FB which put me on to Inkarnate as a mapping app, but I'm glad they did. It's free to sign up, takes about fifteen minutes to learn all the controls, and then you're off. There are limitations (available stock art, how much you can scale it, lack of a good road texture), but it's pretty nifty. Apparently there's a proper commercial release on the way that will also allow city and dungeon mapping. Jolly good!

      Here is my first attempt at mapping Averaigne with it. I need to work a bit on intermixing different scale trees, I think, and I need to rough out some more bits to fill in the map, but not bad for the time taken, imho.

      13 April 2017

      Holiday bits'n'bobs

      I always have grand plans for the holidays - all those hours I won't be at work, all that time to get on and do some hobby stuff, rather than just doing it exhaustedly and vicariously in late night internet bursts.



      Those "free" hours soon get filled. Some of it with pleasurable things (actually spending time with my family, going walking, reading, a museum or art gallery or two), and some of it with chores that have built up (I'm typing this with paint-flecked fingers, not from geeking, but from repainting what feels like half the house).

      Nevertheless, some geeking has happened:

      There has been a lot more Talisman from the boys (I've introduced the City expansion, next up, the Dungeon)

      I made some tentative steps forward on my Chaos Army project which rather stalled for personal reasons over the last two months and needs to be radically accelerated if I'm going to get even close to completing it in 2017. I do have a backup plan involving a giant to reach the points target with less painting...

      Actually, that minotaur lord on the left is nearly done now, and I'll post him when he's finished.


      9 April 2017

      Averaigne campaign - session 34

      [The story so far]

      Session 34 - Stone spears and eggs
      The bats swirled around their heads, diving and biting at them. Tybalt was face down in the sewage and not moving but, despite his shield held above him, Dumnorix was struggling to force his way through the flock to get to his aid. It looked bleak as the party struggled to find an effective response.

      4 April 2017

      Averaigne campaign - session 33

      [The story so far]

      Sessions 33 - Friends of the Green Rose
      So, in an underground store-room accessed from the sewers, with a teenage gang-member called JB who'd shot at them as their prisoner, and an unexpected noise getting closer. Perfect!

      2 April 2017


      Like several of you, I expect, I spent more hours than I care to count playing Talisman as a child. Rainy Bank Holiday Mondays (of which there seemed to be a never-ending supply in the Peak District) would be greeted with a chorus of "Talisman!" by yours truly and his slew of younger siblings, followed quickly by "Bagsy the [insert favourite character here]". After the inevitable tussle, parental involvement, and grudging apology, we'd get the game out and the next several hours (interrupted only for food) would be passed to the soundtrack of Meatloaf's Bat out of Hell and maybe a smidge of Iron Maiden if we were feeling edgy. All copied from cassettes borrowed from the library, of course.

      One of the unexpected things about Dad's funeral was reminiscing about this with the mother of two kids who'd joined us on some of these adventurous indoor-play-days, so it felt right to raid the loft and set my two Rablings on their first quest for the Crown of Command.

      "What's in the box, Daddy?"

      1 April 2017

      It's been a little quiet...

      ...around here for a while. Aside from some fairly significant developments at work (good, bad, and just time-consuming), the main reason is that I just haven't felt like doing much geeking in what spare time I've had. Why? Well, as a couple of you were kind enough to enquire, this is why.

      My Dad
      31/10/1952 - 06/02/2017

      19 March 2017

      Averaigne campaign - session 32

      [The story so far]

      Sessions 32 - Into the sewers
      [Aaaaaand we're back! It's been over two months since I was in the GM's chair and both I an the players were itching to get on with our campaign; a good sign!]

      Having been back in Corcelle for just one day, trouble seemed to have found the party as surely as pigs can rootle out truffles. Aurelius had managed to get access to the Library of the Learned and was hoping to sneakily copy out a few spells from their vast collection, but the rest were standing on the docks as night drew fully in with the threat of rain in the air, and the combined mystery of a murdered child and some posh lady's stolen jewellery to investigate

      26 February 2017


      As it's six nations season, a request for "monster rugby" from the Rablings was cheerfully accepted and, as they couldn't decide who would play first we played two games side-by-side while waiting for the England-Italy match to start.

      On the left we have a vanilla Chaos versus Chaos Pact showdown (I was Pact), while on the right the lure of the snow troll from Impact miniatures was enough to ensure that my WIP Orc team would face a bunch of Norse. I ended up kicking to both and, with a little gentle support and reminders about TZs and assists, it wasn't long before...

      ...the younger boy had GFI twice to dive over in the corner. This was repeated in the chaos showdown, with older boy having an intuitive understanding that, when your ball carrier is in reach of the endzone but well out of reach of any opposition, it's the perfect time to gang-up on, and then gang-foul the big guys. That's my boy!

      I tried to play a mix of overly risky to allow for failures to get them used to turnovers, and explaining the basics (TZs, assists, cages, screening the ball carrier, the order of moves) to get them thinking. It's still a little long for the younger one to concentrate so hard (I might try sevens with him), but the older boy carefully noted down the score, turn and dugouts so we can finish our game another day - it's currently one all and his turn to receive on the final turn of the first half to do some bashing to soften me up for the second half.

      Funnily enough I showed him about "refusing a cage" and stepping back so I couldn't hit him, immediately before the game in which Italy did exactly that to England over the ruck. Life imitating gaming!


      13 February 2017

      Nostalgia! Huh! What is it good for?

      Aah, the Beatles, the Fab Four themselves, settling down for another backstage session of their long-running Labyrinth Lord campaign as DM'ed by their arranger George Martin.

      8 February 2017

      First knight nerves

      As the amount of time I have to actually sit down and get into the painting groove is so limited, I often am put off starting miniatures in case I make a balls-up of it. The thought of having to start again is so unappealing that I'd then be stuck with a figure that looks a bit poo. Or, more accurately, with a half-painted figure gathering dust that looks a bit poo.

      However, if I'm going to complete my self-imposed challenge of completing this army this year, there's no time for (more) dithering. This is the result:

      5 February 2017

      Random results without tables

      Now, I love a random table as much as the next nerd. Whether it is a simple d6 affair to select a scenario when you want a quick pick-up game that isn't just "line up and fight", or pre-battle weather effects, or the warped and contradictory glory that is the interlinked set of tables of GW's 1988/90 Realm of Chaos warband generator:

      28 January 2017

      Chaos kniggits

      Keen eyes may notice that the header for this, and future, Chaos Army 2017 project posts is a quick cut'n'shunt job on the way that Dale Hurst's eye-catching warband was presented in White Dwarf 135.

      Readers of previous posts, particularly from when I chopped about some bits to make a demon, will know how inspirational that article was for me, so it seemed only right to keep a touch of that as I expand the warband into a whole 3,000 point army over the course of this year.

      So far I have units/individual characters painted to a total of 907 points. There are also several figures painted for other units, but I'll only count them when the whole unit is done, including bases, shields, and banners. I'm going to be strict!

      The next unit up for sharing (although you'll soon see that they are bare metal/plastic/putty) are the most expensive, points-wise, and therefore I wanted to do something special with them - the knights. I have them as "chaos warriors" mounted on "chaos steeds" so my bitzbox was brought into play. In the end I left the riders as they came, but I didn't want a full unit mounted on normal horses, it didn't seem fitting.

      16 January 2017

      The start of something chaotic

      This year, as you may have read in my plans for 2017 post, I aim to turn my motley collection of painted and unpainted lead into a fully functioning (i.e. painted, based, shielded and bannered) army of 3,000 points for 3rd edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle. I've decided to go for generic Chaos as per the main rulebook, although it will have a blue and yellow Tzeentchian theme, and a wizard on flying disc for flavour.

      I own all the models needed to complete this task, and have assembled and/or converted almost all of them to the stage where they are ready for undercoating. This then, is The Plan, with a couple of old photos of models already done:

      14 January 2017

      Fantasy Warlord

      About a week ago, a fellow Oldhammerer on the FB page enquired about the value of a copy of Gary Chalk and Ian Bailey's 1990 publication, Fantasy Warlord. Now, I'd been aware of this, vaguely, as being the source of some of Gary Chalk's fabulous illustrations alongside the first eight Lone Wolf books, Talisman, the Redwall books, etc, but never really looked into it.

      Cue a 1p + postage purchase on Amazon, and I have a copy myself.

      12 January 2017

      Planning ahead

      Assuming that the fallout from the more unexpected political events of 2016 isn't actual fallout, I've made some hobby-related plans. Although last year's Geekstarter worked quite well, I'm going to go for something even simpler, if no less grand in its aspiration. My plans are...

      [drum roll]

      Main Goal
      Complete a 3,000 point Chaos army, as per the Big Orange Book*, but with the simplified equipment points costs (and centaurs) from Warhammer Armies. I'm going to give it its own Page tab at the top.

      Optional Extras
      I've various other bits and pieces I'd like to get sorted as well this year and will turn to when I want a break from my Main Goal.

      • finish my orc Blood Bowl team
      • add "water" to my terrain board dry rivers
      • trees for the terrain boards
      • finish the retinues for my medieval reskin of Space Hulk, Catacombs
      • get more gaming rules writing done, and shared

      And that's it! I'm going to assist in maintaining my focus by also undertaking a Pledge

      Not to buy any new miniatures for myself. Ok, I'll allow myself a couple of exceptions: bargains, if they won't be available again, or if I've sold a similar number already. Ideally, I'll end the year with no more miniatures than I started it.

      There you go. That's it. Do you have plans? Feel free to share them in the comments below.

      Happy new year,

      * i.e. the 3rd Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle rulebook

      10 January 2017

      BFRPG character sheet

      A while back I posted some sketches of a character sheet I'd made to put a handmade touch to my Basic Fantasy roleplaying campaign (click the Averaigne tab in the title bar for more on that), but I realised I never shared them. This was remiss of me given ho much I have cribbed, copied, and been inspired by others; you may detect a massive influence from Dyson Logos in my efforts.

      If they are useful to you, please use them, improve them, whatever. Roll high!

      The front is the same for all classes and the rucksack and hands are how we cover encumbrance (although I crossed out three sections of the rucksack for halflings) which has exercised me somewhat in the past.

      For the reverse, I have different sheets for magic users: