Friday, 28 February 2014

You've Come A Long Way Baby

What A Difference 30 Years Makes. At least to my painting skills. Having made it to the end of the month with a post every day and a few more  besides, I think I am quite happy with my month.

I am a little all over the place with what I am painting at the moment. I don't seem to be able to focus on any one thing at the moment and i keep going down different blind alleys. Whilst I was going through some old figures the other day, I found this very old dwarf barbarian. I call it nostalgia but I am sure my dad would have a different term for it.

This is the artistic version of opening a window into my soul.

This is an old (very old) Citadel one. It would be class as some sort of giat or troll slayer now but I think this was the first time figures like this were produced. I got it at a shop in Chester which is long since gone. It is not amongst the oldest figures I own but it is one I got during the mid eighties so it is now getting on a bit.

This is probably one of the last figures I ever painted using enamel paints.  I remember thinking at the time what a good job I had done and even showed it to my parents who were suitably proud of me. We are all a little short sighted in my family and 30 megapixel cameras have a habit of revealing all the flaws including my lack of painting talent in my mid teens.

So I decided to repaint it and this is the end result. I have learned a few tips and tricks since then which will hopefully do this figure the justice it deserves. I think I have improved over the years. Although I think it looks better in the flesh. I am not so sure that I have come all that far but I think I'm doing okay. He should do as a dwarf Barbarian that will fit in with the dwarves I have done for the Skyrim game.

What do you think?

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Lonesome Cowboy

So close to my goal of the month which is posting someyhing here every day, despite having some PC troubles. Only one more day to go.
Given that I am playing in a zombie game and that life expectancy in this sort of game is not what it might be, I thought it best to have a backup character. One more suited to surviving the day to day that fighting his way through a hoard of zeds.

I was looking through my unpainted lead pile and found this one which I thought would be perfect so I thought I would do a work in progress post. Because of one mistake early one,  have really struggled to get the colour on the right arm to look right so it is now on about five coats of paint.

I looked at this figure, especially the mustache, and though Sam Elliot in Tombstone. So figured he would do. He strikes me as the ideal zombie hunter but I may be able to use him in a range of other ways.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Basing Bash Draws To An End

The weekend saw me doing some inking of bases and today has seen me do a bit of dry brushing on top of that. These are what is left of the Viking/ Skyrim hoard that needed to be finished off.There are some that still weapons adding but for th most part these are all now done.

What that left me with was a base with a bit of depth of colour and pleasing to my eye. It's also given me an opportunity to look at some of the figures again and do a bit of titivation. I have bit black ink around some of the unpainted eyes as I think it gives the faces a bit more depth.

Followed by another coat of mat varnish for the figures to make them truly tabletop resilient and they are done. Nice and matt in finish and robust enough to handle even the most careless of players. They have only jyst been done so are still a little shiny.

Basing is a pet hate of mine so I am glad it is over now. That said, I am sure I'll have some more to do.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Another Monday Gone - Another Zombie Game

Had a lot of fun in Andy's zombie game again last night. We went back to the farm we went to last week to try and see if we could get a car started. With no luck. We did manage to get some more stuff done though. This time without the use of firearms.
That was me on the left. Having valiantly lead the charge, the moaning zombies got me and my character decided to take up a covering position, as it were although he did get close enough eventually to deliver a killing blow.

The guy with the Molotov at the back belongs to Jason. My character doesn't like his much as the character is more than a little bit dodgy although Jason himself is a top bloke. the character has a tendency to run off (not here obviously where he was decidedly dragging his feet). he did go off scouting later with another speedy member of the party only to find the old adage about not having to outrun the bear, just having to outrun your mate works in RPGs as it does in real life and they ran into ten rather hungry dogs. The rest of the party, after a turn or two of discussion, decided to charge in and save the day. Pity for his sake the zombies in this game don't go for brains as they wouldn't even notice him.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Copplestone Biochem Squad

Just a quick post. Having made some backwards looks over the last week, I thought I'd post something else that I have played about with recently and it's more Copplestone stuff. I got these when I was going through a post apocalyptic phase of my gaming about eight years ago. No one else seemed all that interested at the time but things change. Having looked at them again recently I really want to buy some more. I liked these models so much that I went out and got some more.

With this pack I decided to have a bit of a play about and did some conversions. There is a fifth one somewhere

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Bonus - Dara O'Briain

I am going to start with a plug for the source of the idea. In the almost constant trawling of blogs that I seem to do I found Marks wargaming - anything but a one. He was talking about a picture of Dara O'Briain and how much he thought he looked like a zombie. So I took the picture (call it art not plagiarism) and zombiefied it a little.

If you happen to be viewing this and you object to this Mr O'Briain, I'll take it down. Big fan of yours by the way.

Don't Make Me Roll For Initiative - D+D Was Forty

Never say anything about this blog not having it's finger on the pulse or accuse me of ranting. That said, D+D was forty last month, apparently although no one is quite sure what the date was which amused me a little. Like the little orphan it has become (with it's father in the form of that nice Mr Gygax and mother in the form of TSR both sadly long gone) it seems to be walking up to the head of the orphanage and asking "please sir, can I have some more."

This piece of information has sent me on a trip down memory lane. It's nearly as old as I am. I have been role-playing since about 1983. So I have not quite been there from the beginning but I have been doing this for a while now. For me, it started with seeing an advert for Tunnels and Trolls in Military Modelling Magazine. I then made my dad go into a shop called Games in Liverpool to buy it for me and I can't imagine how much of a fish out of water he must have felt.  If you are reading this, thanks dad. I know you may not understand it but it has given me a lot of happiness over the years. Then came figure painting, then wargaming, then the board gaming (if you don't count Escape From Colditz and Risk) and even a bit of Larping. Over the years I have embraced my inner geek with a fair bit of gusto.

I quickly moved on from Tunnels and Trolls and D+D in favour of Traveler. This is the game that changed the way I viewed role-playing and still guides me today. I rarely play high fantasy games. I play way more sci-fi and modern games.

Whilst going through the zombies the other day, looking at tarting them up,  I found a few that were amongst the first minis I ever purchased. What a day it was when they first arrived. They have been repainted since I got them as I think my early attempts as a 14 year old, in enamel, were not all that great. Things have changed a bit since then though. I remember buying them from a couple of shops in Chester for around thirty pence each. I have rooted through eBay a few times to find stuff that I missed out on at the time and don't see any of them going for that kind of money any more.

Anyway, this was supposed to be about D+D. D+D has never been what I loved to play, it's more something I played because it's what other people wanted to do. I guess that I have to acknowledge it's place in role-playing. If it's good enough for Vin Diesel and Wil Wheaton, it should be good enough for me right? Well no, the excesses of post buy out D+D have turned a found memory into something of a living nightmare. 4th edition turned my stomach and 3 and 3.5 were not much better.

I think I feel sorry for WOTC because I can see what they were trying to do. Take the offline experience and turn it into something that can be done online. Sadly, to facilitate a failed attempt at this, they turned D+D into something that was kind of akin to Pokemon with cards you have to print out yourself and if you don't buy the program to work them out, you have to do all the maths yourself. The computer games they have produced so far and the tabletop environment that seemed to die off are nothing like role-playing as I recognise it. The trouble with computer games is that they are limited. There is almost always only two options, use the stated solution or leave the room.

Oh, maybe I should do the compliment sandwich thing now. What I did like about 4e was the way the presented scenarios. Rather than just a basic map and some stat blocks, the presentation was fantastic. Nice maps is always a bonus although I would like to see what could be done with online, printable versions of them. The really clever bit was giving the DM tactical advice about how to run a combat. I think I would go as far as saying that as a referee, 4e is one of the easiest games to run. As a player, it starts to suck from character generation on. The one campaign I played in, I played a warlord. My main option in combat was to figure out who was going to do the most damage and give them another go. Tactically the right thing to do but not the most enjoyable.

When I realised that D+D was forty years old it made me think back to the early days. Then I started thinking about how much I dislike D+D again. These days I all but refuse to play it as a game. It's not my thing anymore. maybe the next version of D+D will be more what I am looking for.

My Sunday morning in bed ends now, time to get up and clean the house and buy cat food.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Bonus Post - Basing Bash

Well the painting continues. I am still a little too woozy to do anything too detailed so I thought what the hell, I have been planning on doing the basing anyway. I was hoping to "touch up" a few more zombies, if that is the right phrase. Hopefully I will be feeling better tomorrow so I can do a bit of work on them. In the meantime, the basing bash continues.
The basing bash continues.
The process is quite simple. PVA glue followed by some fine sand. This is left to dry for about a day or maybe a bit less. Most of the colour on the bases is emulsion paint. In the UK, Wilkinsons seem to do the best colours for my purposes. As these are fantasy figures I used mainly brown and green. there are a few bad guys n grey painted bases. I also had some sandy coloured GW basing texture I wanted to use up before it went off completely. Then I added a few dabs of green to give the look of small plants. I will move on and dry brush and maybe add some inks. I may even add a bit of static grass if my enthusiast continue. 

Most of these are destined fr my Viking/Skyrim Savage World RPG game although there are a lot of generic fantasy figures in here. I may even take up Saga at this rate.

Putting Some New Life Into Some Old Zombies

I used to be a terrible painter. Then about eight years ago the figures I was painting started to look a lot less like blobs. There was a pro painter whose nickname was dauber, so I figured if he could make a living at it, then I could get better too.

These are what I have done so far.
Zombies with guns. Don't worry they can't shoot that well.
About seven years ago I was painting 28mm zombies. As many as I could get hold off, which at the time wasn't so many. So I thought I would touch a few up. That is in the painting sense and not the sense that Dave would make.

Copplestone Castings, who make all of these, so some cracking minis. The Future Wars range is one of my all time faves and I keep meaning to buy some more. The two packs of zombies they do contain some of the best zombies ever made in my humble opinion. It is only a shame that they didn't do some more.

As well as the before and after pictures, you can compare them to those in this post from June 2012. That takes me back. I do like my 15mm zombies. That said, people are wanting to skirmish in 28mm at the moment so maybe I'll stick with these for a bit longer. Maybe, I'll even touch up a few more and post some pics.  I was getting a bit bored with the Vikings.

It is getting to the end of February and I need to find a few more things to post about or I will fail to meet my unofficial target for the month.I'll see what the next days bring.

Friday, 21 February 2014

eBay Vikings

Feeling a lot better today. My fingers don't feel quite as swollen as they have done and I am not sneezing wheezing or complaining as much. After what I thought was a good day on the blog yesterday, where I got just short of 250 posts, today I have had my best ever day with over 450 hits so far. If you are one of the people who spent a lot of time looking around my blog, feel free to say hi.
I "won" several Vikings off eBay last week and now have the energy to go out and pick them up from the parcel office.

They are not bad. I just want some more to pad out the collection for the up-coming game. The figures themselves aren't the greatest but the paint job is pleasant. The basing is nice but I guess when I get round to doing the basing, I will put them onto round bases eventually.

I have no idea whose models they are, if any one knows, please let me know.

I haven't had a lot of time today but what time I have had, I have spent tarting up the figure bases. They are now starting to look a little like they are properly finished. They are good enough, but not finished. Hopefully tommorow will see some more time and maybe some truly finished minis.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Bonus Post

I have been busy today so I thought I'd do a quick update. The blog has had a good day, nearly 250 posts. It's had about 2000 hits in the last fortnight. This is despite me feeling like poop. Still, I have had a sniff of my mojo today.

Having done some inking of figures today, I decided that I am still not up to painting. I still had something of an urge to make some progress though. If you read the blog you will know my least favourite thing about doing minis is the basing.
As you can see I have done some basing. Not a lot. Nothing is finished but there is a lot of stuff a lot closer to being finished than it was yesterday.

Zombies Again

I am not running a game on a Monday night at the moment so I have joined a Savage Worlds zombie game run by Andy. I had a lot of fun playing an extremely grumpy US Air Force  Master Sergeant who is especially naffed off that he is not about to enjoy his retirement. It being a zombie game, there were a lot of them, wave after wave. I still have some ammo left but I would really like some more.
I have someone in mind when I am playing my character. Think I might have to tone him down or I'll get lynched.

I am feeling a little better today so I might just get some painting done today. I would hate to miss my objective. That said, I am feeling the urge to touch up some of the zombies I painted years ago ans use them in Andy's zombie game.

I don't know who made all of the minis but a lot of them look like Copplestone to me.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Music For Horror RPGs

So I have a day when I can paint...and all my fingers are inflamed and swollen. My GP insists that I have no medical problems but my joints are too painful to work properly but I can just about type.

I am about to start playing in a post apocalyptic game which I think is going to feature a lot of zombies. I like zombies. A lot. It's not quite a psychological condition but I am learning to deal with it. After ten years of people telling me no, I don't like zombies, I only like playing D+D, the world is again my oyster.

However, today I am relegated to the role of cat warmer and I must get used to my position in the New World Order.

I found a blog which had a post talking about music for zombie games. The blog is called The Lead Will Walk The Earth and  is well worth a look especially if you like zombies. It made me think again about gaming soundtracks. I feel that decent  music makes a game especially if it's meant to be spooky or psychological. The problem I have got at the moment is that at a club, music also drowns everything else if you play it at a volume where it can be heard.

So at the moment I am mainly thinking about it, rather doing it. Some would say that this is the story of my life. So, I thought Top Ten List. Horror for modern and sci-fi games is my particular target today, so in no particular order.....

1. Battlestar Galactica - Bear McCreary is a name that no one had heard of until Battlestar Galactica started in the TV and now he seems to be in just about everything I watch. that says more about the kind of shows that i watch than about how prolific he is.  The is a good range of music across the four seasons of the show, Like the Allegro from season 2, Boomer Flees from season 1 and Passacaglia also from season 1 are good background tracks. My only word of caution is that the theme is rather iconic so I wouldn't use it.

2. The Last of Us - this is a PS3 game that I haven't played much because I don't own a PS3 but the music is really workable. There is a lot of good stuff for raising the background tension just a notch above base. Enough to knock people off kilter but not make the think that you are messing with their brains. there is also a lot of stuff that is nicely eery.

3. Moon - This is the Clint Mansell soundtrack to a fairly low budget movie. It does have high production values which makes the soundtrack pretty good. Again a lot of eery stuff, like Welcome To Lunar Industries. It is good for raising the bar on the tension levels.
4. Dead Island - I really include Dead Island because of one piece of music which is used as the trailer, which I think is by Giles Lamb. This is one of the most melancholy pieces of music I have ever heard and is my go to piece for death scenes. It is an excellent piece of contemporary classical music that I can listen to over and over. The rest of the soundtrack has it's moments too.

5. Aliens - To me this is the grand-daddy of soundtracks for RPGs.  I got this back in the nineties and have played it off an on ever since. James Horner composed this which I think of as one of the classic soundtracks. There is a constant stress in the the music all they way through and some nice combat orientated tracks that heighten fight scenes. This is a good album to keep people on their toes for the whole session. It links well with the soundtrack to Alien and Prometheus which gives you a nice near future and sci-fi vibe

6. Alice: Madness Returns - This is a game, let alone a soundtrack, that no one has ever heard off. Written by Jason Tai, it is just odd. This is not an album to use as background, it has a very disquieting nature about it. Whenever I listen to it, I feel that the fog is rolling in just before it gets dark. Something is very definitely around the corner in every track. On the downside, this music is disconcerting enough that it would struggle to be ported to another genre.

7. The Returned (Les Revanants) - This is a fairly new addition to my collection. It is the soundtrack to what I am told is one of last years best international shows by a Scottish  band called Mogwai.  I don't know if it's my favourite show of last year but it is wort a watch. the title track, which I think is called Hungry Face is powerful enough to make your players think twice if you start playing it when you give them a choice.

8. The Book of Eli - Another solid soundtrack, this time by Atticus Ross. there is a lot of good stuff on this album. I would not have said there was anything outstanding about it but I would say that nearly every track has a purpose and that although it is primarily a post-apocalyptic film, the tracks work in many genres.

9. Elysium - This is another new one in my collection this time by Ryan Amon who is someone I hadn't heard of before. This has a lot of good tracks for combats. Brutal and rapid.  There are also plenty of background and tension building tracks in there too. As well as being good for pure sci-fi, it has a insutrial/cyberpunk quality that makes it work for cyberpunk and shadowrun.

10. 28 Days Later - I liked this film and the soundtrack but I guess that I might get a bit of stick for this choice. This soundtrack, by John Murphy has a couple of cracking tracks. In the House, In a Heartbeat is a powerful track that builds slowly into a wall of stress. There is some nice melancholy produces such as No More Films and Frank's Death. Tracks like The Tunnel I think are great for combat scenes. The sequel, 28 Weeks Later, also has a few good tracks.

There are plenty of others out there. Too many to mention but they each have their own selling points. Generally, you don't want anything with lyrics as this can get people singing along and it breaks the mood a bit. That said, there are the odd tracks that work and lyrics in foreign languages are usually okay.

Stay away from anything too familiar. I often don't use title tracks as these tend to remind people more of the film than the situation you are trying to recreate. Star Wars is possibly the most memorable of all so I wouldn't use it of I wasn't playing a Star Wars game. Some films feature the repetition of the main theme (like Star Trek, James Bond or Mission Impossible for example) so I would be careful what you take. Terminators main theme is great but nearly every gamer knows it

Many composers work in a similar style and sometimes this can work in your favour. James Horner, who wrote aliens also wrote Avatar. The tribal chanting from Avatar, might not work for an Aliens type game but there is some crossover. He also did enemy at the gates and wind talkers, both World War 2.  If you are looking for a fairly smooth transition between tracks, look for albums bu the same composer as well as those froma series of films like Alien and Aliens.

Even if you don't play computer games, be open to them. Games specialise in trying to evoke emotions for different activities. Many are played repeatedly in the games so have to fit the need. This makes them quite useful for tabletop games.

The biggest tip I would give is listen to the track first. Do not assume you remember it even if you have seen the film a dozen times. Some tracks go on and on and may have several themes which alter the whole piece.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

This Is Really The Start Of The Week

I now it's Tuesday and by any stretch Tuesday is not the start of the week. Today, I am master of all I survey. Fortunately I can't see past the edge of the work table. So this is what I have to look forward to for the rest of the week.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Another Day, Another Struggle

Today has been another struggle to get something online. Time is against me and there are a lot of demands for my time. But what the hell. So I'll make it short.
I have at least managed to finish another figure off. He is a Viking sailor for the upcoming Viking game. I have him in mind for an NPC who will be the captain of the ship I am likely to put at the players disposal.

Viking Women

In my head I have a bit of catching up to do with my blog. I have developed this idea that I am am going to post every day during February. Today has been really hard to get my mojo going. My parents have been staying with me for a few days and they have now gone. This means that I probably won't see them for a few months, which is not so good. My and my other half have colds and there are one or two things about to change.
Rapidly becoming the bane of my life

One of the changes I want to make is to finish of these damn Viking women minis. I always have to have a few civilians lying around for games to give the games a bit of local colour. These, and some overly complicated mage types have been hanging around in various forms on un-completion for months. So before the week is out, I want these minis boxed off, so to speak. Then I can concentrate on something I feel is more meaningful.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Rory's Story Cubes Mix Sets - Clues

As I said not so long ago, I went a little bit overboard on buying Story Cubes a couple of weeks ago. As I plan to go through all the sets, I thought it was about time that I did another one. I've had to make some space in the storage box I use to fit them all in but it was worth it.  thouht this set would be more useful for me than some of the others because most of my games are set either in the present or the future. The cubes have been used in one game so far to good effect, allowing me to create a trail of information that no doubt will come back to haunt me and the players in the next game session.
The images all have a fairly contemporary nature. The way I use them in RPGs, they wouldn't be of much use in a game from an era before the twentieth century and a lot of the images may not be relevant until the mid to late twentieth century.

As with all of the cubes, they are what you make of them. You still need to tell the story but they help telling the story by giving you some decent plot points.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Through The Ages

I played Through the Ages for the first time last weekend. I am a big fan of the Sid Meier's Civilisation game and Through the Ages runs in a pretty similar way to that game. There are some games that are a bit more like the computer game is some respects but this plays out the experience of civilization development better than the others. I am not going to do a full fledged review of the game but I will make a couple of observations.
Firstly, this is not a game where you can afford to fall behind in any area  of the game other than in culture (the benchmark for winning at the end). If you do, you will either fail to produce enough resources (food and ore) or fail to develop a big enough army (which was my failing). It is a game where you don't really get eliminated but you might become someones punchbag and source of free resources in which case you can retire with good grace.

It takes a good hour per player to finish plus a substantial learning experience at the beginning to get up to speed. There are a lot of variables to keep in mid and a consequently large number of dishes to keep spinning. You will have to pay attention when you for the duration of the game as taking your eye off the ball will let the opposition take a swipe.

Not sure I am going to buy it bit it is a game worth playing and a lot of fun.

Thursday, 13 February 2014


I am a lot less frothy than I used to be. That said there are a few things that still get me going and one of them is anything to do with X-Com. It is one of those games that in fairness isn't on my mind 24-7 but is always lurking in the background. So when I see something X-Com related I have a slight jerk of the knee and do a passing impression of someone suffering from late stage rabies. I have just had such a moment.

Brother Vinni produces a lot of very nice Fallout stuff which is always catching my eye. If I hadn't been going  down the 15mm route at the time and I had a spare hundred to spend on ten minis, I would have got his stuff.  That said, this might well be worth shelling out for as it is exactly what I want.  My game calls for four of them. This amounts to €40.00 or a little under £33.00 which seems pricey as a lot of minis from Europe seem to do. That said, they are perfect an it beats the poop out of putting them together myself.

Oh I feel a bit faint. I think it has something to do with the change of air pressure as I have just opened my wallet.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Viking Game - What's On The Workbench

Most of my attention is focused on the Viking game at the moment. It is due to start in twelve weeks so I have a bit of work to do yet. I don't know if I am going to finish painting them alll off. I suspect that I will concentrate on adding finishing touches to stuff off closer to the game such as basing and shields. In the mean time, I'll see what models I can finish off.
What I am short of at the moment is bad guys. When I have previously painting Opfors in fantasy games I have chosen a colour scheme that stands out. I have spent some money on eBay buying up old GW stuff that should hopefully fit the bill. There are some Army of the Dead miniatures and some small ent monsters. I am hoping that these will be quick to do. Whilst the painting might involve a bit of work, the colour palette is limited on them so should be quite quick even if I put the work in.

There is a fair bit of stuff from Mirliton to do. These are mainly elves, magic users, clerics and barbarians but there are some nice evil dwarves too. There are some more warriors from Gripping Beast to round out my forces. There are even a few more civilians to do most of which are from Foundry. Amongst the odds and sods are some Warlord casualties. These may be a bit of a cheat as they are supposed to be Celts but if I don't tell anyone, I am sure no one will notice.

I wonder how many I am going to finish.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Red Hammer, Iron Cross

I played a WW2 game over the weekend and had quite a lot of fun doing it. The scenario was called Red hammer, iron cross. I tried to tell the guy it should be a yellow hammer on a red background but scousers have no sense of humour. Unless they are playing Arsenal. They are a damn fine bunch of lads, so I consider myself lucky to have found them. That said, let the jokes begin. 

I have done a bit of WW 2 20mm skirmishing in the past but never in 28mm so this was a little different. It was done using the Nuts rules which are the same rules that have been used for the Very British Civil Games I have played over the last year or so. So I had an idea how the rules would be played out. Unlike VBCW, the troops were actually skilled at combat and were likely to pass morale checks so they had a very real danger of actually killing each other.
Soviets advance
I got told I was in charge of the Russian. So after appointed a commissar, I got on with it. The plan was who ever gets the most troops off the opposite table edge, wins. So in true soviet style, I dispatched everybody else to charge the enemy, whilst  I moved up in cover. Everybody else did what I was expecting to do, which was reconnaissance by death and Irish landmine detection.
Right flank doing there bit
Dutifully the right flank found the enemy for me and got shot at. They were lucky that the reverse gear of the t34 did not seem to work properly.
Immediate left flank
As part of the glorious plan, one of my subordinates decides to attract the bullets whilst my men charge into cover. There leader is put on the ground half way through the first turn. Given there squad leader was a bit of an idiot, this proved to be no bad thing. Not wanting him to get an unfair advantage, I dispatched my medic and the leader was back on his feet in no time.

Disputing the superior qualities of the T34

The game would have moved on quite quickly if we had been able to roll decent dice for the tank crews. These two T34 were to spend most of the battle here, one of them hung up on a hedge. I supposed it stopped them from getting badly blown up by turn 3.My lousy dice roles I suppose.

The cunning part of the plan
Or maybe not so cunning and maybe more sort of desperate. I sent the SU around the back of the Tiger and hoped that the the nearby Panzer IV didn't get a chance to move before I got a chance to shoot.
The Tiger is getting closer but my subordinate is starting to get troops off the table
Well he has the flag. A definite advantage for Dave. He gets a nicely painted flag with morale bonus and a big sign announcing his presence whilst losing a rifle. It does mean that I now have to start the advance again just to keep up. Dave had a "dumbass" soldier, which in the game is a bit of a liability. You just can't get them moving so the normally get left behind.
The big push
At this stage I can hear the shooting but I still hadn't seen many Germans. I have got to the stage of enjoying the game and I am now thinking about what troops might be worth buying.
In position
No real advance but my troops are in a good position. Or to put it another way. Someone else is attracting the fire whilst my buys are in some sort of cover.

Springtime for Hitler?
The German's big push and very unsporting attempt at a flanking attack with just two guys.
The Big Push again
Now my subordinates start showing me up. They are about to launch a sneak attack on the Tiger I have been chasing for four turns. I am now less interested in the Tiger and more interested in the Panzer IV that has just woken up.
The Grand Finale
The Tiger attacks and blows up Ben's T34s. My T34, which by  this point is staring down the Tiger's barrel rolls a double six for spotting. In risk, this might of been a good thing. In Nuts, this means that I missed missed the extremely noisy tiger, driving in front of me and taking a shot at the tank next to me. Ben had two guys in building next to the Tiger, one of whom had a captured Panzerfaust. A good roll later, the Tiger is burning bright and the game is all but over.

A good game but there are simply not enough zombies.

Monday, 10 February 2014

You Don't Have to Outrun The Bear...

...You Just have to outrun everyone else. This bear is from Mirliton and he is a fairly big fella. I came as a bonus (well not really) with an Elven Mage when I put in an order with them last year  I have a plan for him in the Viking ish Skyrim ish game I have in the offing which should put the willies up the players. He looks a little like what I thought Beoron would look like. He is pretty much finished. Don't look at his feet on the second picture as the mess will hopefully disappear when it gets based.
Just thought I would add this for a size comparison

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Dark Age Buildings For The Viking Game

I already own quite a bit of dark age terrain but you can never have enough can you? This is my current temporary obsession and I have no idea how much longer this is going to last. I didn't set out to buy any more but this is mainly because I have a of of bits to paint already but when I saw this stuff I thought what the hell. So when I saw some stuff by Gripping Beast last week at Varpantak in York I thought what the hell. Most of the stuff I have was by PMC which is now owned by Caliver. This is pre-painted and fairly pleasing on the eye. Compared to this, the Gripping Beast stuff is expensive. That said the old PMC stuff is now a lot more expensive than it used to be.
They were quick enough to paint. There isn't too much in the way of creative choices to make here. They have been inked and I am still trying to figure out whether or not I want to highlight them. They have a nice period feel but I still think I prefer the PMC stuff.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Dwarves - Some Work In Progress

I think I just hit forty thousand hits so today is a good day. Not so good that I want to make it an extra post but good enough.

This is really a work in progress post. I haven't finished much off in the last week but I am trying to get some things up on the web so that I feel like I am making progress. I have been out gaming today, playing Nuts. It's a WW2 game but more of that another day.

I always liked the Grenadier fantasy miniatures. I have been thinking about buying some off Mirliton but when I found these on eBay, I thought what the hell. I am currently working on eight of them and I think there are about another dozen to go. They don't look like much now but I am pretty sure that they will polish up quite nicely.
I was hoping to get something either dark age or Norse looking and to be honest these will do nicely for that. There is a lot of mail and a bit too much plate but it does mean that they should be a fairly easy paint job.

Today, for me the war is over. Valentine's day is coming earlier in my house so I think I won't be doing much of anything else for the rest of the day.

Friday, 7 February 2014


I am not really sure how I will be able to use these in any game I have planned. They don't really fit in the Norse myth model but they might be shoe horned in there somewhere. But...they were cheap on eBay a while back and cheap has a quality all of it's own. I thought they would be a nice quick win because it was a simple paint job with only seven colours in total. They are nice minis, as the Foundry stuff always is. I have gone for traditional look. I am never a big fan of feet and think that the more traditional cloven hoof would have worked better. That said, the eyes and teeth worked out really nicely. The colour was thrown off better by orange ink rather than red.

Hopefully there will be more tomorrow.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

More Of Rory's Story Cubes

I didn't get much of a chance to do much painting or take any pictures yesterday so I thought I would try and show you where some of my money had gone recently. I have been using the first box of story cubes a lot recently. I talked about these in more details here at the end of 2012. I have used these to generate a lot of plots when the players manage to go majorly off the reservation or I need a filler plot. When I'm playing, I roll the dice, change a few around that really don't fit with what I am doing and then try to fit them into a plot. This have proven to be a real big help when I haven't got a plot. So, knowing there are a few more sets out there I thought I would get some more.
I ended up buying all of them when I found them relatively cheap online. I'll go through them all eventually but I thought I would start with what I thought was the most useful set, Voyages. these have a lot of archetypal symbols on them. This is good because you can find the ideas easier. they fit in well with most genres and eras si they can get used in a lot of different games. I would almost go as far as saying that this should be the set to buy first. Well almost, the original orange box is a bit less esoteric but the two are an excellent match

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Berserkers 2

I have managed a daily post so this month so I hope this is going to make it through the month. So some more berserkers today with the previous ones being here. These have sat on the work bench for a while and are now pretty much finished. They lack a little of the wolfy quality. The poses are quite nicely animated so should be great as rpg character types. Still need to be sprayed and based.

I am kind of think that I need to start on some scenery and terrain.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014


Well I have actually finished something. Aside from the basing obviously. These are some Gripping Beast berserkers. To my eye they look pretty good. With the upcoming Viking game (yawn, sorry) I was after more unusual figures. I intend to borrow some so what I was after were the more unusual types that people are not going to have in their armies and these are some of them. I have some more berserk types which are next in the paint queue so hopefully these should be posted here soon.

I need to start working on some terrain too. As it's going to be a savage worlds game, I am planning on making the terrain with grids on. I posted a picture of the celtic cross the other day. I think I am going to remove the base and place the cross on something a bit more amenable for gaming, like gridded foam core.

I.m also working on some Skyrim/Viking adventure deck cards. I am probably not going to do as many as I did for the Fallout game but there should still be a deck full.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Booty Haul

The Viking game is now set to start in May so I guess it's time that I really get on with it. I have been working on some ideas for the RPG and developing a rule set for Savage Worlds. So the trip to York yesterday was all about getting some more stuff for that. I was after some more dark age civilian types so I got a pack from Foundry. I was also after some farm animals. This will give the players something to pillage. So I got some cows, pigs and from Gripping Beast. I al found that they were doing some buildings so I got a couple of them. I have to say that when I compare them to the old PMC/new Caliver building, they come out a lot more expensive, much less weighty and unpainted.
I like my casualty markers so I got a pack called Carrion Regardless from Warlord. Lastly, I got a few bits from Ainsty which is where I seem to be spending a lot of my money when I go to shows. The main purchase was a huge Celtic cross but I also got a couple of water troughs and some trade goods.

On top of this were some more foam trays. Most of the people I game with seem to be developing large collections of foam trays. I had really bothered buying a lot of storage until I started going to club games again.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Painting Time

I have a day free, almost to myself. Apart from the bit that I have spent at York Wargames Show. 
There are no pressing deadlines. Nowhere I have to go. No jobs that need doing. I have dug out my paint brushes and cleared my work bench. I have filled up my water pot. The lights are on. Time to get started.

Just need the dog to stop barking.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Looking Forward Into The New (ish) Year

This have been a little slow for the blog. I've had a bad back which has meant that I haven't been able to get into a comfortable position to paint.  January has been a major pain the the backside. I finished my tax yesterday and I am now comfortably ahead with my course. so with a bit of luck I will be able to start painting over the weekend.

Then whilst doing that I have been working on some ideas to set up a laser cutting business. The name I was planning on using has now gone so I am having to work through some new ideas. I have also learned a lot about CorelDraw and how it can be used to make the images I'll need. I have just about got the curves sorted out and can make them look pretty good. Did I mention Christmas yet? That was fun. All that shopping. I think of Primark as being a little akin to purgatory at the best of times.

On the fun side, my Fallout game started in the new year. I am already mentally moving onto Skyrimesque stuff that I'll be running in the spring. I have some berserkers that I had almost finished before I did my back in. Santa hasn't bought me much of note (socks and smellies only) so I might have to go out and buy some stuff of my own.

Before Christmas, I started playing X-Com again. When I had finished that the new X-Com, Enemy Within, came out. So I had to play it through again. Then I've had some studying to do (jeez I'm in my mid 40s and I am still getting pointless work to do that I have to do as a tick box exercise).

Now that this is done I can feel my painting table calling me.