Thursday 23 December 2021

The Crew's All Aboard Cap'n - Final Squat Pirates

I'm bookending my hobby output quite nicely by finishing off the year with the last 3 squat pirates from the crew that I started in January. I'm really pleased to have got this iconic set of 10 squat pirate sculpts painted with a couple of additions (a squat adventurer, the dwarf pirate and of course the big ugly ogryn). I do have some transport planned for the crew, but for now they'll just have to put their boots on the ground!

The last 3 additions are a nice selection. There's a Time Bandit-esque squat in retro pilot gear, a classicly styled crewman with headscarf and eye-patch, and the frankly maxed out fella with the braided beard, hook and horned hat.

Friday 3 December 2021

Harry the Hammer & Friends (Part 1 - John Blanche)

I'm lucky enough to live within striking distance of Wargames Foundry, and was very pleased to visit the Harry the Hammer & Friends exhibition on it's opening day.

The exhibition runs to 12th December 2021 and comprises art from the private collection of Bryan and Diane Ansell. The exhibition features some iconic pieces from the early days of Citadel and Games Workshop by artists including John Blanche, Ian Miller and Wayne England. 

Harry the Hammer & Friends (Part 2 - Ian Miller & Others)

Part 2 of the pictures I took at the Harry the Hammer & Friends exhibition at Wargames Foundry. This time Ian Miller and other artists.

Wednesday 1 December 2021

Pirate Rule #11 - Every Crew Must Have a Parrot (More Squat Pirates)

Trouble traditionally comes in threes, and this kind of trouble is the shortest, hairiest kind! Latest off the workbench is another trio of squat pirates (leaving just three more to try and finish before the end of the year).

Part of the reason that there's been such a gap between my last squat pirates and these is related to arms. The metal bodies were intended for use with the plastic squat arms, but unfortunately the plastic arms fit poorly, cover nice sculpted details and don't match aesthetically. As a result, I've spent a long time trying to work up the arm right solution for every squat pirate using bits donated from other models.

Tuesday 9 November 2021

The Priestess and the Guard

Back in 2016 Michael Anderson sculpted me a fantastic set of sci-fi civilians for my fledgling Colony 87 range (now available through Crooked Dice). One of my very favourite figures from the range was High Priestess Cardinia. On a completely unrelated matter, in July 2017 Warlord released a limited edition alien mercenary for their Gates of Antares range. The figure is now freely available to purchase through the Warlord website, but in 2017 the only way to pick the figure up was to attend the Antares open day in person. Both figures have been sat in my boxes for years, just waiting for some paint!


I decided that the two unrelated figures might work nicely as an astropath and her enigmatic xenos bodyguard. With complimentary paint schemes, I think it's worked out, in spite of the completely different styles.

Friday 22 October 2021

To Boldly Go - Captain Quirke (Bring Out Your Lead Commemorative Figure 2021)

Back in January 2020, it seemed that Bring Out Your Lead might still take place that August. A commemorative figure was needed, and we were lucky enough to get Bob Naismith on board. The obvious choice for Bob was to sculpt a pirate captain to lead the scurvy-ridden sculpts that made up the original Rogue Trader pirate range.

And what a fine figure of a captain Bob sculpted for us!

Captain Quirke and some of his terrifying crew.

Tuesday 5 October 2021

The Botched Deal (at Bring Out Your Lead 2021)

Like most gamers, I haven't had many opportunities to play miniatures games in the last 18 months, so it was brilliant when after being cancelled in 2020 and delayed from August 2021, Bring Out Your Lead was finally able to be held.

Friday 24 September 2021

Olleystronauts Part 2 - Painting the Crew

In my last post I covered the building of my Stargrave crew based nearly entirely on Bob Olley's Iron Claw jump troopers. This post shows off the newly painted crew in their pristine Space Fleet (or possibly Star Trooper?) uniforms.

Olleystronauts Part 1 - Building the Crew

It was back in 2020 when the seed of this project was planted. I had a pair of Bob Olley's Iron Claw Jump Troopers, and I fancied making a third variant. If you're not familiar with the figures, check out the pics below (sourced from the excellent Stuff of Legends):

Tuesday 14 September 2021

Small But Perfectly Formed - Gydran Transport Vehicle

For a long time now I've been on the lookout for a generic non-military sci-fi vehicle. Something with multiple wheels and a cargo area. Something that looks utilitarian and functional. I thought the other day that my search was finally over when Gydran Studio released their resin R3 Exploration Roller vehicle. It has 6 wheels and a removable canopy to make an open or enclosed cargo area. It has the perfect generic sci-fi functional look. Sadly, it proved to be about 50% smaller than I had anticipated, so rather than having a nice hulking exploration vehicle or cargo lugger, the scale of the R3 Exploration Roller is more akin to an airport baggage cart. So the search continues, but nevertheless I now have a cool little vehicle to use alongside my new landing pad!

Wednesday 8 September 2021

Programmed for Maximum Boom - Bombots

When Curis showed off his DTN8 Remote Mine Droids the other week, I knew I had to persuade him to send me some. He duly sent me a set of three, and I happily added them to my paint queue (disclaimer: mine will never, ever look as good as Curis' paintjobs. Make sure you check out his if you want to see some beautiful brushwork on cute exploding robots!).

Monday 6 September 2021

"Follow the beacon to landing pad Y-18"

I have been planning a landing pad as part of my terrain collection for years, but for various reasons painting one up never quite floated to the top of the to-do pile. I'm pleased to say I've rectified that glaring omission and I have a new shuttle to put on it too! Which all means I can do some nice hangar-bay scenic shots like this:

For those of you who enjoy knowing these things, the background is made from three Micro Art Studio barracks on their ends plus one of my habs with my newly painted hotel also upended and balanced on top!

Friday 3 September 2021

Cheap Beds For Hire - the Only Hotel in Town!

In my last post, I showed off three of the fantastic buildings scratchbuilt for me by Grimsforge. This time round it's one of the larger buildings that Graham built for me, which I'd described as a 'two-storey house' in my concept sketch. As it turns out, there's been a change of use and it's now the town hotel!

A weary traveller attempts to negotiate room rates.

Monday 16 August 2021

Getting the Contractors in - Scratchbuilt Buildings

Generally I prefer to make my own models and terrain, but every so often there are projects where a specialist is required! In this instance, I wanted some more buildings in the same vein as my prototype hardfoam GW habs. Whilst it might be within my capability to construct something in the same aesthetic, some of the construction techniques looked beyond me, especially when it came to some of the more interesting shapes.

The settlement just keeps on growing!

Thursday 29 July 2021

Rab's Supplies - A Fringe World General Store

Whilst I was enthused about getting some buildings painted, I decided to dig out another building that's been sat unpainted in a box for far too long! You can never have too many buildings to add variety to a settlement and gaming set-ups.

Thursday 22 July 2021

A New Look - Finally Updating the Blog Header

The eagle-eyed of you might notice a new header for the blog. This is LONG overdue! This is actually the fifth banner that I've had since I started the blog in 2013. I orginally named the blog due to the idea that I had a magpie-type approach to hobbying - collecting and hoarding shiny stuff, whilst also flitting from one thing to the next! 

Tuesday 20 July 2021

Third House on the Left - The Final Prototype 40k Building

Back in 2018 I managed to acquire two prototype hardfoam 40k buildings. They've been a staple in my gaming collection, and I've thoroughly enjoyed using them. About 18 months later, I was lucky enough to source the third and final prototype building from this set. Typically it has sat in a box until last week when I decided I wanted something quick and fun to paint up.

Monday 21 June 2021

Pulling the Crew Together - A Rogue Trader in Stargrave

The best bit about Frostgrave was the way that it allowed players to delve into their collections, dust off old figures and breathe new life into them. Stargrave has that very same appeal for me, and whilst there are some lovely new figures I could use, it's also great to use the rules as a driver to form a new warband around existing figures.

Tuesday 1 June 2021

Stargrave Bestiary: Mindgrippers / Necromunda Ripper Jacks

Continuing with entries from the Stargrave Creature List, I decided to paint up a small group of Mindgrippers. These are Necromunda ripper jacks that my good friend Asslessman sent me the other week - they are perfect for represending the "parasitic monstrosities [that] are only slightly bigger than a rat and resemble a manta ray with little spider legs."

The unwary travel the lost ways of the Underhive at their peril!

Tuesday 25 May 2021

Space Infantry - Rogue Trader Grunts

Back in 2017 I painted up a little display base for the retinue of one of the most infamous Inquisitors in the the 40k canon; Inquisitor Obi-Wan Sherlock Clousseau. I gave the Stetson-wearing Inquisitor an ecclectic group of companions, comprising his pilot, navigator, psyker and ratling chef. 

Inquisitor Clousseau and his trusted companions.

Tuesday 18 May 2021

No More Sushi Jokes Please! - Rogue Trader Piscean Warrior

Back in the early 2000s I started to get interested in revisiting some of the oddities and aliens from the 40k universe. I acquired Iron Claw space pirates and ambulls. I built a zoat army and gave one of my Eldar Warlocks a gyrinx companion. I also painted a piscean warrior in around 2004. Ten years later, I bought and painted a piscean warrior homage from the talented hands of then amateur sculptor Diego Serrate Pinilla through the now-defunct Oldhammer forums. At that point in 2014, I put my original RT piscean warrior in the stripping jar and boldly stated that I would paint it up in a "brand new matching paint scheme". 

It is now 7 years later. Diego has since launched a pretty successful miniatures company, Knightmare Games, where you can still buy his fishman sculpt. And I have finally repainted my Rogue Trader piscean warrior!

Wednesday 12 May 2021

Stargrave Bestiary: Bileworms and Horat

As part of my ongoing prep for future Stargrave games, I've been looking at models needed to fill in the bestiary slots for Encounters. Some of the bestiary options will be filled from my existing collection (bounty hunters, repair bots and drones for example), where as others will be new paint jobs on figures I've been planning on getting round to (like the Warbot / Rogue Trader robot from last week). Some creatures necessitate some brand new models, so I've started looking around to see what might fit.

Thursday 6 May 2021

Stargrave Bestiary: Warbot / Rogue Trader Robot

Rogue Trader robots are such brilliantly fun models, with their eccentric configurations and wide variety of styles. The bubble-bodied Castellan with its 'Lost in Space' vibes is my favourite, and I've wanted to include one in my deep space salvage crew for a while. It matches the aesthetic of the LE01 power armour troopers brilliantly, with the rounded shapes and big 'R' (for robot?) that mimics the 'P' and 'A' on the troopers.

As the Stargrave bestiary necessitates a warbot (a large robot with multiple shooting attacks), I decided to kill two birds with one stone and paint up a RT robot for the salvage crew and act as a warbot should I roll one up on the Stargrave encounter chart.

The Castellan is a reassuring addition to the crew!

Wednesday 28 April 2021

The Dreaded (Rogue Trader) Ambull

Ahead of the release of Stargrave, I've been chatting through the requirement for a range of beasts for mid-game encounters. Although I have quite a few beasts, there are some gaps - I don't have any flocks or alien birds for example - nor did I have any giant insects. So I've started looking in my boxes to see what I could dig out. First up is this lovely Rogue Trader ambull, which will also stand in as the giant insectoid porigata for Stargrave.

Oh dear, you don't really want something like this emerging from the undergrowth!

Tuesday 20 April 2021

Mech + Tech Services - An Underhive Workshop

Back in May and June 2020, I went through a flurry of building some fun buildings out of old Necromunda bulkheads. In July 2020, I build a little workshop, then did nothing with it!

I discovered it in a box during a bit of a tidy up over the weekend, so decided to do a quick paintjob and get it ready for use.

Wednesday 14 April 2021

T'Sulian Tribesfolk - Shaman and Warrior

I'm now actively working on a full group of my T'Sulian warriors with a view to the idea that they might work nicely as a Stargrave crew. With that in mind, I need more fighters, some specialists and a few characters.

The T'Sulian family group warily investigates an abandoned Imperial outpost.

Wednesday 7 April 2021

Welcome to Zone 3 - a New Backdrop

A new backdrop for my miniatures photography is long overdue! The last one I made was back in 2019, and I could do with another location for a bit of variety! I was lucky enough to pick up a set of 3 unreleased 40k scenic panels from the Oldhammer Trading Company Facebook group, and that prompted a quick and dirty build and painting session. Here are the results:

Cargo bay 3 is a hive of activity for loading mineral ore from the Eastern Mines.

Monday 22 March 2021

T'Sulian Tribesfolk - a Xenos Mother and Child

I was really pleased with my pair of T'Sulian xenos warriors that I made last year, and I knew from the outset that I was likely to make some more.

It just so happened that the theme of the current painting challenge over at the Oldhammer Facebook group is #justthetwoofus (paint a pair of models which share a connection or theme), and a germ of an idea formed. I decided I would make a pair of non-combatant tribesfolk who may eventually inhabit a future nomadic campsite that I may or may not end up making (depending on how big the tribe gets!).

"That's him mum, he said my head looks like a sand crab's bum!"

Friday 5 March 2021

Not Even a Pretty Face - Ogryn Space Pirate

I love adding exotic outliers into a project. Usually these end up being little imp like companions who ape the costume and trappings of their crew, but in the case of my squat pirates, I decided to go bigger rather than smaller. After all, a nasty crew of beard-wearing space corsairs would probably welcome a larger, nastier beard-wearer. Especially one with a feather in his hat!

Tuesday 9 February 2021

A Short Plank for a Scurvy Crew - More Squat Pirates

Another small group of Captain Grugari's Dreadstorm Privateers have made it off the WIP to bring the piratical crew up to a respectable six in number!

These dastardly space pirates are as terrifying  in reputation as their fashion choices!

Monday 25 January 2021

Sailing the Astral Seas - Squat Pirates

Over the years I have mentally ordered squats according to their coolness. I was never keen on the faux Celtic/Viking feel of the Warlord and Hearthguard, so they're at the bottom of the scale. I love the wildly exotic Iron Claw squats from the hand of Bob Olley, where the ordered militariness of Perry sculpts leaves me cold. But squat adventurers are great (because they're rogues and bandits, and I like rogues and bandits). 

Top of the pile in my book are the bonkers and anarchic squat pirates. They're dripping with pirate clich├ęs (peg legs, fancy hats and hooks). Why any short statured space pirates should be wearing outfits that ape buccaneer clothing from the 17th and 18th centuries is anyone's guess. But then it makes as much sense as Ork Freebooters sporting the styles. Which is no sense at all, but also absolutely perfectly logical!

So I'm launching on a new project without any real purpose other than self-amusement, and am putting together a squat pirate crew which hopefully will be painted over the next month or so.

Monday 18 January 2021

Strontium Dogs - Wee Willy

Happy New Year all! In the post holiday period I wanted a quick and fun creative bit of hobbying. Something with a little bit of modelling, but not too much. Something that could fit in with one of one of my existing projects. Painting up a new Strontium Dog was the perfect way of ticking all the boxes.

Wee Willy and Middenface McNulty scour the streets for a target.