Thursday 24 December 2020

A Hobby Review of 2020

It's fair to say that 2020 has been unusual. I count myself hugely lucky that things outside of my hobbying have been relatively safe, secure and stable, and my best wishes are with those who have had a much more challenging year. I've marked the end of the year with a hobby review for several years now by looking back at my ambitions and plans for the year, and whether or not they came to fruition. It's pretty obvious to state that most of these plans had to be dropped. My Necromunda campaign was postponed just a few games in, and BOYL (my favourite gaming weekend event) was quite correctly cancelled. 

I have managed steady, regular painting and modelling sessions, but the changes to work and leisure time (particularly with the entire family at home, most of the time) has meant fewer opportunities. That said, I'm still pleased with my output for the year.

Monday 21 December 2020

Champions of the Star Child - Rogue Trader Sensei

The Sensei as described in the Slaves to Darkness and Lost & the Damned books are immortal, infertile psychically blank offspring of the Emperor himself with a variety of powers and abilities. They are a hidden brotherhood of warriors against chaos, who believe that they will fight in the final battle against chaos. The Lost & the Damned writes that the Sensei are champions of the Star Child - the soul of the Emperor - and are fighting for his return. Slaves to Darkness suggests that the unaware Sensei will in fact be sacrificed in order to resurrect the Emperor, and will be consumed by him. Either way, these ageless paladins are feared and shunned by both humanity and its enemies. Check out the excellent detailed discussion on Sensei over at Leadplague if you want to know more.

Wednesday 2 December 2020

Choose Your Own Adventurers - More Machine Than Man

It's been such a long time since I did anything with the Choose Your Own Adventurers paint along with cheetor and Curis, that I'm not sure where we are with it. It probably doesn't help that this post showcases the same three models that cheetor posted about back in January 2019, so these could either be 17a, 18a and 19a in the series, or 20, 21 or 22. Or possibly something else if we're counting Curis' Inquisitor Hargen from June.

Tuesday 24 November 2020

Walking the Dusty Trails - a Wasteland Trader

After clearing up my hobby space last week, I found a couple of relatively old unfinished projects. I decided to tackle one of them and get it finished, rather than put it in another box to be found in another couple of years!

Monday 16 November 2020

Xenos at the Desert Fringes - T'Sulian Warriors

Sometimes you see an idea that's so cool, you just have to copy it! Since GW's Blackstone Fortress game was released, I've seen half a dozen or so really great figures with spindle drone heads as heads or masks. I knew it was something I wanted to try myself, and decided the best way to use them would be on some robe-clad desert-dwelling xenos race in the Tusken raider tradition.

I've converted and painted a pair of aliens based on this template, and I like them so much I intend to make more!

T'Sulian tribesfolk keep watch over key trading routes.

Tuesday 10 November 2020

The Ymgarl Leech

The real beauty about this hobby is that people can make their own models to fill gaps in their collection, whether that's conversions or fan sculpts. I recently received a fantastic model which evokes the genestealer-csith hybrid pictured in the Rogue Trader rulebook. It came from a fellow genestealer fan who has had it sculpted and a handful cast. 

Terrified crew-members attempt to gun down an escaped specimen they were transporting.

Friday 16 October 2020

Centauroid Alien - Uuti the Gomo Heavy

I fancied a little change of pace from fantasy skirmish figures, so had a root around in my boxes and pulled out the first completely different figure I fancied.

The figure in question is Uuti the Gomo heavy - a lovely centauroid sloth-like alien figure from Gydran Miniatures. I picked the figure up on a whim a few months back, and she fits perfectly into my Super Hairy Alien Mercenary Squad (what now appears to be an actual thing!).

Friday 2 October 2020

Thrust and Parry - the Sword Master

After finishing off my arrogant lordlings from the other week, I was left with a third figure from the Vespero's Vendetta set. I didn't want three long-haired duellists, so I picked up a few bits to see what else I could do with him.

Happily I'd been gifted some 3D printed shields (thanks Mike!) from someone else's somewhat more extensive Citadel Guard project. It was a simple job to grab another head and add the shield to give me a much less flamboyant (and possibly more effective) swordsman!

Wednesday 23 September 2020

Arrogant Lordlings - Citadel Guard Duellists

Part of the fun I've been having with my Mordheim / Frostgrave warband is selecting models for a particular role. Whilst it would be easy to have a rag-tag group of models with no visual coherence, I'm trying to add to the warband with models that fit visually and thematically. Cloaks are one of the dominant features on the Lone Wolf Citadel Guard, so I'm trying where possible, to ensure that my models are wearing cloaks. As a secondary criterion, I'm aiming to primarily use sculpts by one of the Perry twins.

In Mordheim, shields are a sub-standard option. Ideally you want your swordsmen to be armed with a sword and dagger as a minimum (or sword/axe or sword/mace). In Frostgrave, the Treasure Hunter soldier is equipped with a sword and dagger. There aren't that many cloak-wearing two hand weapon wielding Perry sculpts around, but I recalled the mid-1990s regiment of renown Vespero's Vendetta. A couple of those guys would be perfect!

Tuesday 15 September 2020

A Bolt in the Chest - Citadel Guard Crossbowmen

 After all the combat-oriented troopers I've painted up for my Lone Wolf Citadel Guard patrol (for Mordheim, Frostgrave and now possibly Warcry gaming), it was about time I added to the single missile trooper.

The second crossbowman is actually the model that set the look for these troops - the bandit from the Lone Wolf range. The third crossbowman is another Citadel feudal / Bretonnian figure. All three share a lot of visual similarities - take a look at their padded jerkins, helmets and leggings.

Wednesday 9 September 2020

Adding Just a Pinch of Magic - Frostgrave Wizards

Hanging on the coat tails of any Mordheim warband is a Frostgrave one - all you need is a pair of wizards. If you've not looked at Frostgrave before, it's a very nice, neat fantasy skirmish game published by Osprey, centred on a wizard, their apprentice and accompanying band of mercenary soldiers. It's miniature manufacturer agnostic, so if you want to pit venerable Citadel metals against Reaper Bones figures, you certainly can!

The best bit about it is, as I mentioned above, all you need to adapt a Mordheim warband into a Frostgrave one, is to paint up some wizards that match the theme. Having just completed a small group of Lone Wolf Citadel Guard for use in Mordheim (prompted by the Scale Creep Mordheim Five-a-side Challenge), it seemed sensible to follow that up by painting a magical duo for the Frostgrave Wizard Battle Challenge.

Wednesday 2 September 2020

Don't Create a Scene - 3D Printed Fantasy Ruins

I've been on the lookout for some terrain to use for Mordheim, Frostgrave and other fantasy skirmish gaming for a little while. I've picked up a few of the GW Osgiliath Ruins kits, but wanted some other bits to supplement them.

Monster hunting in the ruins of Mordheim.

Thursday 13 August 2020

Recruiting for the Citadel Guard - More Mordheim Additions

In my first post about my Lone Wolf Citadel Guard Mordheim / Frostgrave / generic fantasy skirmish project, I covered the first five models of the warband. I was hoping to round the warband out to a solid ten-strong, but have instead just completed another three models. Don't worry though, I have plans for at least another eleven models, including wizards, rangers, swordsmen, something smaller and something bigger!

This time round I've painted up a further trio of Guardsmen - a second champion, another halberdier and a swordsman:

Tuesday 11 August 2020

The Not Quite As Large But Hairier Alien

 A few weeks ago miniatures sculpting legend Bob Olley was selling some converted figures on eBay. At the time I didn't get round to bidding, but instantly regretted it. Carmine over at Indelible Inc. did bid however, and after completing a squad of 5 alien mercenaries based on WOTC Star Wars Yuzzem, had one spare. 

Check out Carmine's cool squad.

Carmine very generously offered it up for grabs in the Great Yuzzem Giveaway, and I ended up being the lucky recipient as I promised to include the model in my Super Hairy Alien Mercenary Squad.

Monday 27 July 2020

Miniatures Without Borders Raffle

I just wanted to give a shout out to a really cool charity project being organised by Alexander Winberg of Echoes of Imperium:

2020 has not been an easy year for anyone and it feels like the bad news just keep coming.

We decided we needed to do something, provide a positive message and try to bring together people around a noble goal. We hope to show just how amazing this community is and what we can do when we set our mind to it.
This is why we have launched Miniatures Without Borders, a charity raffle for Doctors Without Borders. All the money we raise will go directly to DWB so the more tickets you buy the more you help.
As an added incentive we have put up a whole host of miniatures as prizes! There are close to 30 prizes provided by members of our incredibly community and you could be the lucky winner!

Please join us on this journey to help out a truly deserving organization, it is worth it.

Miniatures Without Borders

So how can you help? Get yourself over to the Miniatures Without Borders raffle and enter to have a chance to win some really cool miniatures donated by fantastic modellers such as
Ana Polanšćak of Gardens of Hecate, Isaac Tobin of Weirdingsway, Jean-Baptiste Garidel of Leadplague, Johan Egerkrans of The Convertorum and famous mystery guests.

Here are some of the prizes on offer:

You could also win my little diorama of Trish Carden sculpts!

There are just over 3 days left to enter, with each raffle ticket costing just £5. Head on over to Miniatures Without Borders and you might just be lucky!

Friday 24 July 2020

The Unexpectedly Large Alien

Completely out of the blue, an ebay auction caught my eye last week. It was for a set of three 'People Eaters' - digital sculpts being sold by a 3D print seller. The models were cute in a Monsters Inc. type way, and I thought they might be fun little creatures, described as they were as an average of 20mm tall.

Except they weren't 20mm tall...they were 55mm-60mm tall! My tiny cute aliens were now big hulking brues (but still cute). I've since discovered that the three digital sculpts were by Ill Gotten Games from their Urzan Liberty Corps Kickstarter - it turns out that the 20mm scale refers to tiny teddy bear commandos, not the big alien beasties!

I decided to paint up my favourite of the three, a three-eyed, mono-horned furry beast with fairy wings. I got rid of the wings, roughly covered the unsightly cut marks and painted it up in around 45minutes.

Thursday 16 July 2020

The Citadel Guard - A New Mordheim Expedition

I'm not entirely sure when it was that I started getting interested in Citadel Lone Wolf range. I'm not by inclination a fan of pre-slotta miniatures, or a long-time devotee of the Lone Wolf books. But at some point, I looked at Citadel's 1984 Lone Wolf miniatures, and thought they looked cool.

Image from Stuff of Legends.

As these things go, I acquired a couple of the Citadel Guard. Then, perhaps a few months later, a Guard Captain. At some point last year I picked up the Bandit. And then I started formulating the idea of a little warband of the Citadel Guard. I could do a few head swaps perhaps. I could add the Bandit with some other crossbowmen. I could commission John Pickford to sculpt me some heads and shields.

Monday 29 June 2020

Taking a Rest as the World Burns

Six weeks ago a new challenge was launched over at the Oldhammer Facebook group, celebrating the brilliant illustrations of Tony Hough. Tony's artwork was ever present in GW's output of the late 1980s, gracing the pages of Rogue Trader, Realm of Chaos books and White Dwarf. He also single-handedly drew most of the claustrophobic illustrations for Space Fleet. I'm lucky enough to own a couple of Tony's originals, and he ranks as one of my favourite GW artists. 

Here are the rules of the challenge:

The aim will be to recreate one of Tony Hough's incredible and evocative scenes into miniature form, sculpting, painting or even better, both, and this time you have 6 weeks to complete the task so right until the 30the of June on midnight!

I knew instantly that I wanted to evoke the brilliant illustration that features as a two-page spread on p126-127 of the Rogue Trader rulebook. The artwork shows a mercenary, or perhaps an Imperial Guardsman relaxing on an access ramp, tending to his weapon. In the back ground, a second character is guiding in an insectoid spaceship. The whole scene is set in a cavernous hangar of some kind.

Tuesday 23 June 2020

The Black Maria - An Inquisitorial Transport

I've wanted to make some sort of special forces vehicle for a little while, and had originally bought the Zinge Industries APC conversion kit for my Imperial Guard Kill Team. But it had sat, assembled and unpainted for a couple of years. Having recently completed my Inquisitorial Commandos, I figured I could dust down the APC and paint it up for them.

Wednesday 17 June 2020

The Shop on the Corner - A Necromundan Trading Post

Hopefully you're not bored of seeing buildings constructed from old Necromunda bulkheads, as I've finished a couple more!

This time I've delved into the world of commerce with a general store topped by another hab unit (a mixed commercial and residential unit if you like!).

Thursday 11 June 2020

Smaller Habs for Humble Folk

In my two posts I've covered the making of some habs from old Necromunda bulkheads, and this post covers more of the same. This time I've made a pair of small habs with some street accessories, and I've made a small foray into a flexible layout.

The thoroughfares of Necromunda are often bustling and lively.

Thursday 4 June 2020

A Larger Hab for a Person of Means

After enjoying the construction and painting of the previous two habs, I've been on a non-stop urban expansion drive! I've finished a third slightly larger hab, and have another five at various WIP stages.

My third hab is a two-storey (or possibly one-and-a-half storey) construction to add some height and variety to the settlement.

Wednesday 27 May 2020

New Home Construction - Some Necromunda Habs

Bulldog Lopez posted a really cool building he'd built from classic Necromunda bulkheads on Facebook the other week. The design worked brilliantly because of its simplicity - the bulkheads were just glued together and a roof dropped on top. I'd been holding onto some bulkheads with some much more complicated plans in mind, but hadn't got round to attempting anything. Being shown a simpler and effective option got me motivated to make some buildings of my own.

The first two buildings of a new settlement.

Tuesday 19 May 2020

Kill Team: Rogue Trader 1987

I admit it, over the last couple of months there has been a little bit of a hidden agenda with regard to some of my output. When Kill Team: Rogue Trader was released in September 2018, it sparked off the idea that I might be able to replicate the Imperial forces using actual Rogue Trader miniatures from the 1980s, rather than the modern plastics (which are fantastic miniatures of course).

This wouldn't be an exercise in proving that old is better than new, but rather that the modern figures have their archetypal roots embedded in 40k history. Below is my 10-strong proxy group of Kill Team: Rogue Trader Rogue Trader equivalents, comprised of:

Kill Team: Rogue Trader 1987

Kill Team: Rogue Trader 2018

Thursday 7 May 2020

An Epic Lockdown Project - Imperial Knights

There are some fantastic people in the miniatures hobby, and over at the Oldhammer Community Facebook group, Aaron Thompson has run a couple of giveaways. The only rules - "stay home, stay safe and start painting!"

Aaron has kindly gifted and sent a selection of figures out to other hobbyists with the only intention that the recipients will get a few hours of fun from painting them up. I stuck my hand up for an Epic Imperial Knight Castellan and did indeed get a few hours of fun painting it up once it arrived. I painted up a Knight Warden in the same sitting and am now the happy owner of a slightly under-strength and mis-matched Knight detachment!

Monday 4 May 2020

Colonel Sanders Del Monte - A Dracula's America IN SPACE Character

In 2018 I played a bit of Dracula's America in a sci-fi setting. In fact, we had a big old showdown at BOYL 2018, where my Stetson-wearing Imperial Guard masqueraded as a small Dark Confederacy team.

At the time, I'd always intended to add to the group, and as I'm not really working on any projects to a particular deadline currently, I decided to go back and finish off the southern style gent I'd planned.

Monday 27 April 2020

Quick Crate Pile Detailing

I picked up an ebay lot of 16 pre-painted resin crates last week for under £10. Although completely usable as they were, I decided to spend a little time to add a little bit of weathering and detail.

Step 1: Sub-assemblies

As much fun as 16 individual crates can be, the reality is that most of the time I want more sturdy piles. Having some glued together means they're quicker to set up and more stable during a game.

I glued the crates into some useful blocks:

These can be stacked in a variety of different ways:

Step 2: Details & weathering

I added some stencils to give the sense that these have been marked up by the shipping company or merchant. The rectangle and triangle were cut out of a piece of scrap paper with a hobby knife, and then I stippled onto random surfaces with red paint using an old big brush.

I did the same thing on some crates with an off-white into a circle stencil (made using a hole punch). After the stencils, I used a scrap of blister foam to dab dark grey paint at random onto the crate surfaces, paying particular attention to the corners and edges.

Finally, I roughly stippled a dark brown on the bottom third of the crates to suggest some dirt and grime.

Finished Crates

The finished crates aren't going to win any painting competitions, but for a time investment of around 15 minutes, I'm pretty happy with the results.

Expect to see these appearing in scenic shots in the near future!

Monday 20 April 2020

The Holder of the Charter - Phal Kyri, Rogue Trader

Although I actually painted the Rogue Trader rogue trader a few weeks back, I've mentally repurposed him as a hard-nosed Inquisitor. So that left me with a vacancy for an actual miniature to represent a rogue trader. So I painted up a suitably imposing figure to fill the gap.

Rogue Trader Phal Kyri, escorted by her personal guard.

Tuesday 14 April 2020

An Eight-Legged Reptile with a Petrifying Gaze - The Basilisk

A basilisk is an extremely dangerous beast. Its gaze can petrify living creatures up to 10 yards away, and has been known to dissolve flesh and metal.

But who knew they looked so cute?!

Wednesday 8 April 2020

Let's Talk About Techs, Baby - Rogue Trader Techpriests

About this time of year, five years ago, I painted up Techpriest Zon from the Adventurers range (aka Telepath from the first 40k releases). He was painted up for a speed painting challenge, and I finished him in an hour. Overall, I was pretty happy with the outcome, but I always regretted painting him in a grey tunic (rather than a white lab coat) and giving him ridiculous yellow footwear.

So, lacking a focus for a particular project, I decided to grab a couple of models I fancied painting up - this time a pair of Rogue Trader Techpriests.

Techpriests attending to some a regular maintenance inspection.

Monday 30 March 2020

Strontium Dogs - Durham Red

Aside from Johnny Alpha, one of the most iconic Strontium Dog character is Durham Red - the vampiric Search/Destroy agent.

Wednesday 25 March 2020

Strontium Dogs - Evans the Fist

Whilst most of the now OOP Wargames Foundry 2000AD range are too large to work comfortably alongside Citadel's earlier range, there are a couple that are just about scale-compatible. Like Torso from the last post, Evans the Fist fits in with my other Strontium Dogs. Plus the grumpy looking sod is a cool sculpt!

Evans the Fist tracks down Mad Jack and Hilly Bill.

I gave Evans another simple comic-styled paint job based on a coloured image I found on Comic Vine. Like other Strontium Dog characters, there's no real consistency in costume configuration or colours - Evans is shown in khaki or lime green or blue and white, or this natty grey and terracotta.

Monday 16 March 2020

Strontium Dogs - Torso and Thickskin Dixon

Making the most of my current enthusiasm for Strontium Dogs, I knocked out another pair over the weekend. This pair includes Mutant Army General George Moore aka The Torso from Newcastle, and another Stront of my own creation, Thickskin Dixon.

Strontium Dogs close in on notorious experimental scientist Zon and his alien bodyguards.