Saturday 28 December 2019

A Hobby Review of 2019

As is the now an annual tradition, with the end of 2019 drawing to a close, it's time for a hobby review of the year.

My hopes and aims for the year were neatly summed up in a very similar blogpost about this time last year!

It's interesting to note that I really did stick pretty closely to those broad ambitions:
  • I painted up numerous fringe-world buildings including the excellent Fogou Models scrap fort.
  • I painted up an array of Necromunda figures including Adeptus Arbites / Enforcers, Brats, Venators and latterly Helmawr gangers.
  • I had some fantastic games including two Necromunda campaigns, a Realm of Chaos Rogue Trader at BOYL 2019 and the occasional pick-up game dotted throughout the year, including some fun Space Hulk with my 9 year old son.

Friday 20 December 2019

Crates and Barrels

My buddy Michael got himself a 3D printer earlier this year and has been testing it's capabilities pretty heavily, printing everything from 20mm car accessories for Gaslands to baby Yoda Christmas tree decorations. He gave me a selection of sci-fi barrels, crates and junk piles which I think came from Thingverse. I've yet to tackle the junk piles, but did spend some time working with the barrels and crates.

The barrels and crates were individually printed.

Tuesday 17 December 2019

The Gun (and Chainsword) Fighter - Ash Waste Nomad

The marshals finally corner the ash waste bandit after years on the run.

Buoyed by the success of painting up the last two Marauder Venators, I decided to finish off another long overdue project - my Ash Waste Nomads. Painted between the end of 2014 and the start of 2015, my gaudily coloured nomads were the first gang I used in the first game of Necromunda I played after several decades away from the game. They've got a lot to answer for I guess!

Wednesday 11 December 2019

Venators are Coming To Town

They're making a list.
They're checking it twice.
Gonna find out who's naughty or nice.

Nothing could be more seasonal than painting up a bearded man in a pointy hood, right? What about if the beard is sculpted onto a rather scary mask, and the hood is tied up with a noose? That will probably scare the children! And I guess that's the point of Venator gangs in Necromunda - they are sinister vigilantes hunting down the most dangerous of criminals.

A gaming opportunity arose to play some Necromunda with my good friend cheetor. After looking at my variety of Necromunda gangs, I decided that the best option would be to use the meet-up as motivation to paint up the remaining pair of Confrontation Venators from Marauder that had sat undercoated since I painted up the other figures back in January.

Like the previous two figures, these are Aly Morrison sculpts. They might have chunky details, but they really are a pleasure to paint.

Tuesday 3 December 2019

The Baron and the Imp - Helmawr Leader and Attendant

I've made some more progress with my Helmawr gang, finishing off another three fighters. This time they include my planned leader and an attendant.

Tuesday 26 November 2019

Round and Round and Round - The Circle House

No, the circle house is not circular, but bedecked with a rather handsome paint scheme by its inhabitants! Yet another pre-production building from the imminent Mud Brickstarter Kickstarter from Fogou Models, this is a delightful little bijou residence.

The building comes with separate roof and door (both of which I've glued). Unlike my previous workshop, I've been restrained with the accessories, just adding a discrete Fogou A/C unit to the rear.

Thursday 21 November 2019

The Spire's Pride - Helmawr Gangers for Necromunda

In anticipation of a new Necromunda campaign in 2020, I've made a start with a new gang - Helmawr's own bodyguard. The White Dwarf Confrontation articles variously state that:
  • Helmawr has his own personal guard (from which tithes to the Imperial Guard are made).
  • Helmawr's troops control regulation of power to the spires
  • Helmawr's clan is "effectively the largest gang on Necromunda".

Happily the Confrontation range of figures includes a lovely sculpt by Jes Goodwin with 'Helmawr Clan' on it's tab, a limited edition hive ganger who shares many of the design features, and a group of four unreleased figures collectively referred to as Helmawr gangers. By bringing together these six figures, and adding in a couple of additional figures, I could make a nice new themed gang. Here are the first four figures:

L-R: LE Hive Ganger, Champion conversion, Ganger conversion, unreleased Ganger.

The Luxaranean Guard form part of the massive forces of Lord Helmawr's personal bodyguard. Based in the Palatine Spire and drawn exclusively from uphivers, predominantly the House of Helmawr itself. The Luxarean Guard inhabit palatial quarters with vast glazed windows providing breath-taking views of the Necromundan skies and the heavy Necromundan sun. Their sun-worshipping martial cult and use of Helmawr's personal arachnid badge means they are nicknamed 'The Solar Spiders'.

Tuesday 12 November 2019

Doing It For The Kids

I've always wanted sci-fi civilians to use in my games, and even more niche, I wanted some sci-fi kids. When I was working on the third wave of Colony 87 miniatures, I had John Pickford sculpt me a pair of really cute little sci-fi kids. It's great to see these finally released through Crooked Dice.

I decided to paint up the pair and to add a third kid whilst I was about it!

L-R: Colony 87, converted Midlam Miniatures, Colony 87.

Tuesday 5 November 2019

The Workshop and the Mechs

I've painted up another pre-production adobe building from Fogou Models to add to my growing town. This time I've decided to theme it as a mechanic's workshop to give it some narrative and to inform the accessories.

Like the previous Fogou adobes, from the last couple of posts, this building is genre neutral, with minimal wall details. To make it fit into my setting and work as a convincing workshop I've added a corner pipe, vent, air conditioning unit, light and little lean-to (all Fogou accessories). I also added a Crooked Dice generator to the roof and the door sign from a short length of plastic strip.

Wednesday 30 October 2019

The Big Building In The Next Street - A Scenic Backdrop

In my most recent post about some new Fogou Models buildings, you may or may not have noticed the big building in the rear of the scene. Check it out - the one with the blue door:

If you didn't notice, that's fine. It's just a simple scenic backdrop that I quickly put together to stand behind my street scenes.

Wednesday 23 October 2019

Bringing Colour to the Slums - New Fogou Buildings

You may have seen some of my previous buildings from Fogou Models, including several post-apocalyptic / sci-fi adobe houses and the fantastic Fort Hardknox. Fogou buildings are beautifully detailed and cast in a robust dense resin. I was delighted to hear that there is a new range of adobe buildings planned for a forthcoming Kickstarter.

The new buildings are designed to be genre neutral - suitable for ancient, modern or even sci-fi gaming, and I was delighted to be offered some pre-production samples to paint up. I was supplied with some larger two-storey buildings which can also be disassembled to use as two separate buildings. The interiors are also nicely detailed and the roofs removable, should you wish to use the interior for gaming. 

Johnny and Wulf tackle some ruffians in search of the next pay cheque.

Tuesday 15 October 2019

The Final Brat? A Xenos Fusilier

Little did I imagine in 2014, when I started assembling a Confrontation Brat gang, that I would revisit the project sporadically over the next five years. But that it what has happened - I've assembled and painted an 18-strong brat pack, as well as a biker brat and the Bratmobile. The pack includes all five unreleased brats, both limited edition brats, a bunch of conversions, and, as of this week, all three of the standard release brats.

To all intents and purposes, I pretty much consider this project now complete as I have enough figures and a nice variety of weaponry for most Necromunda campaigns. I also don't have any more brats that I can chop up for the cause!

Monday 30 September 2019

Off-World Contraband - A Necromunda Cold Trader

The Book of Judgement is the most recent supplement for Necromunda, covering law and disorder in the hives. One of the most fun elements is the coverage given to criminal alliances, allowing you to ally your gang with a criminal enterprise. In return for setting foot on the wrong side of the law, you gain the occasional help of your allies on the tabletop.

Cold Traders caught my eye the most - smugglers of off-world goods and exotic xenos artefacts. They are represented in-game by a smuggler shore-party, comprising a Cold Trader and his bodyguard.

Tuesday 17 September 2019

Chopper & Trader - Trollgrim Spacefarers

The lack of space trolls in the 40k universe is a glaring omission when you consider that so many other fantasy ranges were ported across. Space elves rub shoulders with space orcs, while space ogres try to avoid stepping on space halflings. Of course, lack of an official model doesn't stop people from making their own amazing space trolls (Mr Papafakis, I'm looking at you!).

All that said, I hadn't given much thought to my own space trolls until a couple of months ago when I stumbled on a sextet of Newbold World Trollgrim at a wargames show. I wouldn't blame you if you were unaware of Newbold World - it was (and still is) a world-building project, involving art, poetry, fiction and miniatures. For a brief period in the early 2000s, a small range of 45mm miniatures were produced, including Trollgrim sculpted by Bob Olley. The Trollgrim comprised 8 for a pulp-type setting and 6 spacefarers - you can check these out over at the Bob Olley Wiki. Needless to say, the Newbold World miniatures range is long OOP, although you can still check out the other elements of the setting over at DeviantArt.

So when I saw these fantastic figures priced at just £1.50 each, it was a no brainer to pick them up!

Tuesday 10 September 2019

Visage, Duchess of the Sutters - New Brat Leader

Tomorrow night is the first game of our new Necromunda campaign set in the settlement of White Spider Junction. As mentioned a few weeks back, I'll be using my Brat gang, counting as House Escher.

I had intended to use Beau Rouge (the unreleased Brat leader) as my leader for this campaign, but eventually decided that his combat orientated weaponry meant he was better suited as a champion. With Beau duly demoted, I needed to make a new leader with a bit more role flexibility - that's where Visage comes in!

Visage has come to usurp Beau Rogue as the prima donna of the Sutter Dukes. Known as the Duchess of the Sutters, she is at the forefront of fashion, with teaming ribbons and silks, and accompanied by her miniscule caryatid Wailer-of-Things. 

Wednesday 4 September 2019

One-Eyed Tentacled Slaver Aliens

Technically, these things should come in threes, and although I have a third on its way to me, I wanted to share this pair of newly painted monocular levitating alien beasts.

What you're looking at is a duo of rather nice resin sculpts which could easily proxy as psychic slavers in the retro science fiction wargame setting of your choice. The larger of the beasts is Cortex Eater from Crooked Dice that I was kindly sent a pre-production sample of. The smaller one is a fan-produced sculpt that was gifted to me well over 12 months ago. Whilst I'm rather embarrassed it took me so long to paint it up, I'm pleased that it is actually painted and not consigned to the shameful box of incomplete projects!

Thursday 22 August 2019

Who Needs Understated Hairdos? More Brats

I think I've now been working on my Brat gang for over six years. At least that's what my old photos indicate! Funnily enough I've only ever played a handful of games with them, so it's high time they got an extended run on the tabletop. With a new Necromunda campaign kicking off in early September, I decided to get the Brats game-ready.

I'll be using the Brats as an Escher gang - they're a close fit stylistically and in terms of gear. After reviewing my existing models, I established a dearth of standard rifle fighters. I had plenty of combat fighters, and a pretty decent selection of special weapons, but not much in the way of a solid firebase!

The three figures above are ones that I started working on in 2013 and never got around to completing. Happily they'd just sat in a case over the last six years and were just waiting for the right opportunity!

Monday 5 August 2019

What I did at BOYL 2019

So Bring Out Your Lead 2019 has passed in a flash yet again. Several months of preparation and building anticipation, and the weekend has gone by in intoxicating mix of gaming, drinking and meeting friends old and new.

Ash Wastes Racing. I stole this pics from Darrin Stephens. But I ran the game, so there!

Tuesday 30 July 2019

Observation Tower - Old School Yoghurt Pot Scenery

With a week to go to Bring Out Your Lead 2019 at Wargames Foundry, I have completed all of the models I need to use in my planned games. I do still have a few pieces of terrain to make for my ash wastes racing game, one of which is a sort of VIP observation tower / commentary box.

I had nearly bought a suitable resin tower kit, but then decided that an old school approach would work equally as well. After all, it's sanctioned by the text in the Rogue Trader rulebook no less:

I figured I could ape the look of these buildings pretty quickly and easily.

Tuesday 23 July 2019

Deep Space Salvage Crew - Carrying and Squeezing Into Tight Spaces

If you thought that a turtle alien or a squat were going to be the most exotic members of my deep space salvage crew, you might have been wrong! And that's because every salvage crew needs something to carry all their gear/loot, and somebody small to squeeze into all the vents and crawl spaces. So my latest additions to the crew fill these gaps.

Tuesday 16 July 2019

Deep Space Salvage Crew - New Recruits

Shortly after making my 5-strong Terminator stand-in salvage crew a few weeks ago, it was pointed out that my big robot was on too large a base. Not too large for the model, but too large for the 3D Space Hulk terrain they were going to be deployed on.

Rather than worry about wasted effort, I decided to embrace the opportunity of adding a couple more figures to the crew. Both of the new additions are slightly more exotic than the previous troopers, being an abhuman and an alien.

Irn-Bonce the squat is the very first space dwarf seen in 40k, hailing from the March 1987 releases. His rounded armour is a great match stylistically to the LE10 power armour troopers, and his weapon (later listed as a grenade launcher) could easily stand in as a heavy flamer / blast type weapon in Space Hulk.

Tuesday 9 July 2019

The Ragged Stranger - an Ian Miller Inspired Scavvy

Back at the start of June, 28 Magazine launched an exciting painting and modelling challenge - to create a model inspired by the artwork of Ian Miller. I'm a huge fan of Ian Miller's artwork - as anyone who has ever opened a copy of Rogue Trader, Slaves to Darkness or Ratspike inevitably is! If you're not familiar with Ian's work, I urge you to check out his website

It is with great pleasure that we announce the first ever 28 Mag Challenge open!
The challenge is to create anything inspired by the artwork of Ian Miller. It could be Dark Age of Sigmar, INQ28, a single miniature, a unit, trees, fish, weird buildings – anything you want to make, as long as it is clearly influenced by the artwork of Ian Miller.

Tuesday 2 July 2019

Helmawr's Gate - Making Use of a Warhammer World Drinks Token

I slipped in a brand new piece of scenery in my last post - a new gate / entrance that I threw together the other night.

The gate has been specifically created to hold one of the drinks tokens that used to be given to event attendees at Warhammer World for use at Bugman's Bar. Obviously plenty of people decided that they'd rather keep the token than exchange it for a free drink, so a fair few number of these made it into the wild!

The token is in the form of a Necromundan credit. It features the Imperial Aquila accompanied by the motto "Imperium Approved" on one side (the tails?) and the noble visage of Lord Helmawr on the reverse (heads?):

Tuesday 25 June 2019

Deep Space Salvage Crew

In anticipation of playing on Nico's amazing 3D Space Hulk board in a few weeks time, I've been working on a squad to use in the game.

I would be required to use a standard 5-man Space Hulk Terminator squad comprising 1 Sergeant, 3 Terminators with storm bolters and 1 Terminator with a heavy flamer. I wanted to try and put together a proxy unit rather than run with standard Terminators, so I rooted through my boxes and found some unloved Limited Edition LE10 Power Armoured Marines sculpted by Bob Naismith. Having already converted and painted one of these as my Rogue Quest Paladin a few years back, I figured a full squad would tick the right boxes.

My Rogue Quest Paladin Gondamer Rossal.

Tuesday 11 June 2019

Traversing the Wastes - a Nomadic Rider

After all the pressure to get my chaos warband finished, I turned my attention to something in a different vein. The latest model I've completed is for another game at Bring Out Your Lead at Foundry in August - this time an Ash Wastes rider on his racing steed.

Wednesday 5 June 2019

The Path to Damnation (Part 7) - Enter the Chaos Champion

The journey of a Champion of chaos is long and convoluted, and that pretty much describes the process I undertook in the creation of my Chaos Renegade and leader of his merry band of Khornate followers.

When I first rolled up the Renegade, his attributes included a bloodletter face and horns, along with a pretty underwhelming sword and bolt pistol combination. My immediate plan was to use on of the lovely Jes Goodwin champions:

Wednesday 22 May 2019

The Path to Damnation (Part 6) - Traitor Legionnaires

I'm rapidly closing out my final few models for my chaos warband, and the completion of three traitor legionnaires leaves just my warband champion to go.

I debated whether to use modified Imperial space marines for my legionnaires, but in the end couldn't resist the draw of the Rogue Trader Perry sculpts.

Chaos renegades advance into an Imperial settlement.

Tuesday 14 May 2019

The Rookie and the Old Timer - More Adeptus Arbites

I know I said only the other week that I wasn't planning any more Adeptus Arbites / Enforcers / Venators for my Necromunda campaign. But our campaign Arbitrator is planning a juve race multiplayer game this week. And the 250 creds received in the downtime phase of the campaign had to be spent on something to counter all the ambots people seem to be painting.

To that end, I've made a cadet (who will be a proxy Orlock juve as Venators can't get juves) and the ultimate anti-big thing champion.

Wednesday 8 May 2019

The Path to Damnation (Part 5) - More Beastmen

Beastmen Renegades by Tony Ackland (from Slaves to Darkness).

Following my initial trio of beastmen, here are the remaining figures needed to fill my 6-strong squad rolled up for my Chaos Champion's retinue. This time the trio also includes the squad's heavy weapon, giving my warband it's only significant firepower!

Friday 3 May 2019

The Path to Damnation (Part 4) - Beastmen

With my Adeptus Arbites out of the way, I can now switch attention back to my Rogue Trader chaos warband. If you recall from my first post about this warband, one of the groups of followers I rolled up was 6 beastmen with autoguns.

This was a little problematic as Citadel only ever released three beastmen for 40k, all Imperial.

One (beast trooper Gaxt) is perfect, needing no modification at all. The packmaster doesn't really fit the brief, whilst the close combat beastman seems to be co-opted from Warhammer Fantasy.

Monday 29 April 2019

Subdue and Secure - Adeptus Arbites Specialists

One of the fun things about making a Necromunda gang is the creation of individuals with exotic weaponry and wargear as a campaign progresses. I wanted to do the same with my Adeptus Arbites/Enforcers (counts as Venators) in my current campaign, with a web gunner and a riot shield specialist.

It doesn't pay to get on the wrong side of the law!

Neither of the new recruits are standard miniatures, but hopefully both fit nicely in my growing collection of Adeptus Arbites.

Tuesday 23 April 2019

A Duo of Marauder Citizens (#makeatrish)

Over the last couple of months, ex-Marauder and Citadel sculptor Trish Carden (previously Trish Morrison) has been sharing a host of memories and pictures of many of her sculpts on Facebook. This has revealed that Trish has been responsible for many more classic figures than many people believed. As a celebration of Trish's output, the Oldhammer Facebook group has run a painting challenge titled #makeatrish. Below is my entry.

Tuesday 2 April 2019

Call in Psy-Ops Support - Adeptus Arbites Sanctioned Psyker

I love the concept of psychic detectives (perhaps more along the lines of 2000AD's Judge Anderson than the BBC's Jonathan Creek). That odd, isolated and strange character that is nevertheless vitally important to many investigations. The specialists with glowing eyes, non-standard interrogation techniques, and the ability to force blast crims out of the way. Every sci-fi cop department could use one!

Psy-Ops are regularly employed to track down rogue psykers by following psychic signatures.

I made the sanctioned psyker from an old Van Saar leader. I removed his right pistol arm and replaced it with an arm from an old Marauder chaos thug with bow. His chainsword was replaced with a banner pole from an old plastic space marine bike to represent a force rod.

I also enlarged his cranium and added a Lobot-style psychic hood, as well as details on the right arm and tidying up a few areas.

I haven't yet thought of a name yet, although 'Judge Mental' was suggested by theottovonbismark, and I can't shake it off!

I wanted to keep the same colour palette as the rest of the Adeptus Arbites, but decided to give him a sinister black bodysuit, rather than copy the grey armour. Blue accents and grey pouches tie him to the rest of the Arbites.

I painted him mid-psyching(sp?), with a blue glow around his eyes, force rod and psychic nodes on his suit.

I plan to use him in Necromunda, which is a little problematic currently as psykers are few and far between. Initially I'm going to give him some esoteric weaponry to represent his powers:
  • a grenade launcher with scare grenades as some kind of long-ranged fear type power.
  • smoke grenades as a short-ranged concealment type power.
I could add in further 'powers' later by giving him a bio-scanner (psychic detection) or stimm-slug stash (psychic boost). I'm sure there's plenty of other off-beat gear he could use!

Monday 25 March 2019

Reinforcements at Precinct 47 - Adeptus Arbites

In a few weeks time a few of us from my gaming group will be starting up a new mini Necromunda campaign whilst some of the other folks run a Warhammer 30k / Horus Heresy campaign.

I've decided to dust off my Adeptus Arbites/Enforcers using the Venator rules from White Dwarf. Selecting a team wearing mesh armour and armoured undersuits, toting shotguns and bolters is a pretty good approximation. I already had a good number of Arbiters painted, but had only really used them as NPCs and had never used them in a campaign. It was also a good opportunity to round out my groups and add in some specialists and characters.

Friday 1 March 2019

Unholy Rituals - a Necromunda Campaign Finale

The scene of dark rituals and death.

Wilhelm the Witch lay giggling atop the slag heap crowned with its altar to the dark gods. The psychic jolt of warp energy he had received after the success of the ritual still caused his limp body to twitch and stutter in the dirt. Next to him lay the body of Lady Jayne – the bearded psychic consort of Thrubb, clad in her gaudy yellow dress embroidered with red flowers never seen here in the underhive of Necromunda. Next to Lady Jayne, Thrubb himself, the bombastic mouthpiece of his own personality cult, was slumped and bleeding heavily. The bodies of many of the Cult of Thrubb were also scattered over the broken slag piles.

Bro'og the cow-faced chaos spawn didn't last long after being targeted by a heavy bolter.

Tuesday 26 February 2019

The Rewards of Chaos - Necromunda Campaign Trophies

Our current Necromunda campaign, 'Not another chaos uprising!' comes to a climax this week. As with previous campaigns, we will be rewarding player achievements through the awarding of trophies. Given that the theme of this campaign has been centred around a swelling of chaos cult activity, I chose to make the new trophies chaos themed.

The five trophies have been made simply by pinning five plastic 40k chaos cultists to resin display bases from Model Display Products. I painted four of the models silver, with the fifth painted gold. The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that I've added Dark Tongue chaos runes (from Realm of Chaos - Lost and the Damned) to denote the different trophies.