Thursday, 22 December 2016

Medieval Archers (for FROSTGRAVE and Mordheim)

Happy (almost) Christmas dear readers!!

Well with the festive season in full swing and my recent commission for Osprey Games (FROSTGRAVE) complete I decided to celebrate by continuing with one of my own projects. If you remember a few months ago prior to my hiatus I was painting up some small units of Normans, well I have wanted to get back to these for a while and so I made the decision to give each of these two groups some ranged firepower.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

FROSTGRAVE: Necromancer and Warband

Well last week I posted photos of the 'good guy' FROSTGRAVE warband that I had painted up as part of a commission for Osprey publishing; which means that this week it's clearly the turn of the baddies!

The second warband Joe and the FROSTGRAVE team asked me to paint was for an Evil Necromancer and his band of miscreants.

The Necromancer and his apprentice were metal miniatures from the FROSTGRAVE range, whilst the rest of the group were drawn from the Cultists box set produced by North Star.

Here we have the evil Necromancer in the midst of casting a wicked spell, assisted by his apprentice who wields a tome of unspeakable magic!

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Official FROSTGRAVE Warband

As regular readers of this blog may know I was commissioned earlier this year by the author of the award winning game FROSTGRAVE to paint some figures for his ongoing project (the game continues to go from strength to strength)!

Joe (the aforementioned author) tasked me to paint up two full warbands for use with game system. It has been a long project (thanks to house moves and promotions at work during the intervening period) but I have finally managed to get this models completed!

I will do a post for each of the warbands, so first up we have the 'goodies' consisting of an Enchanter, his apprentice, assorted soldiers and a wood construct/golem.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

New 6x4 gaming table... For less than £20

Well now I'm settled into my new home the time has come to set up some new games boards for battling in the far future.

Usually I play the majority of my games on a 6x4 table or smaller so it was this size of gaming board that I needed. Now as most of you gamers know most modern kitchen tables are annoyingly not the correct size for war games. It seems that for some crazy reason furniture manufacturers insist on designing tables for families to eat meals on rather than for grown men to push vast armies of toy soldiers around...madness.

Hence the need for the creation of sufficient game boards to extend this meagre table into something approaching a decent surface area for gaming on.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

MAN CAVE ALERT - New Hobby Home

Well as you have probably noticed I have unfortunately been absent from the blog for the past few months, something for which I must profusely apologise! This hiatus has been due to a variety of external factors including undertaking some pretty horrendous professional exams at work as well as spending time working on my forthcoming rulebook for Osprey Wargames (I am so excited about getting this published!)

However the biggest cause of my AWOL status has been down to the fact that my wonderful partner (who many of you have met at Oldhammer Day and other events) and I have finally managed to buy a house! That's right, after years of saving we are officially homeowners.

Needless to say whilst the purchasing of a new house has been tremendously exciting... the moving process has been far more emotional. I have spent many, many hours crawling around with a sealant gun in our new bathroom and kicking the sh*t out of flat-pack furniture that simply refuses to look anything like it did on the website. For a man that can assemble and paint models to a fairly good standard I am horrified to admit that this talent doesn't stretch to Argos wardrobes or IKEA couches!

However....finally it has all come together and our new home is good to go!

One of the benefits of having such a hobby-friendly partner is that she understands how important that this little past-time of mine is to me, in fact she is so supportive that she has let me have a dedicated 'man cave' for hobby activities in our new house!

Thus one of our spare bedrooms has been magically morphed into a GW store from about 1991!

Thursday, 21 July 2016

MORDHEIM....a new arrival

If there's one thing in the world above all others that a hobbyist loves most it is surely the keen anticipation generated by the latest toy purchase arriving through the post!

There are few feelings that match the sheer excitement of the postman strolling down the drive and delivering one's most recent plastic/resin/lead indulgence. Inevitably the poor fellow shows signs of shock as you bound towards him; eagerly grab the package from his sweaty hands; hide it behind your back and tip toe back to your man cave before being interdicted by wives, relatives or even errant family pets!

This feeling for me is doubly delicious when the purchase in question is a classic piece of retro gaming goodness that for the mainstream community has long since been consigned to the sands of time.

So needless to say when the inconspicuous looking manila parcel shown above arrived at my door recently I was a barely contained ball of geeky excitement...For I knew within it lay....

Sunday, 10 July 2016

More Normans.... Or maybe Frostgrave Henchmen types!

After a few weeks off I have finally managed to get some painting done and so have used the opportunity to complete a further two foot soldiers from my project on the Norman Period. These two chaps are unarmoured spearmen who whilst being mere cannon (or bow) fodder were still a sheer joy to paint.

I must apologise for the apparent darkness of the photos, it would appear that the light was not my friend today! These two fellas are from the Conquest Games Norman Infantry box set, which gives you over 40 soldiers for a mere £20... That is amazing value for money, especially considering how good the sculpts are.

Whilst they are ostensibly Norman soldiers it is highly likely that they will also find themselves battling in a variety of settings... Potentially including the frozen ruins of Frostgrave. I am very fond of these guys, particularly as they are sculpted to 'normal' proportions (i.e. non-heroic scale) which seems more appropriate for your basic 'grunt'.

Here is a family shot with all of my early-medieval soldiers painted thus far, and I have to say I'm generally very pleased with how they are turning out! 

For all of these models I have used my standard mix of Citadel and Foundry paints which I find give suitably pleasing results when combined as each range complements the other well.

Next I will be starting work on my commission pieces for Joe and the Frostgrave team!

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Return from the wilderness...and interesting developments!

Greetings readers! I must start this post by apologising for my extended absence, I can assure you that this was through no fault of my own! Alas I was deployed on a military exercise for a three week block and so my access both to technology and any hobby related materials has been decidedly restricted!

However I have since returned to civilisation and a host of hobby related goodness! 

First up I am pleased to say that my latest Wargames article features in this month's Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy Magazine (issue 85). 

The theme of this issue is 'Horror and Monster' related gaming and in keeping with this subject my piece focuses on bringing key sci-fi horror franchises of the 70s/80s (e.g. Alien, Terminator, Predator et al) to the tabletop.

As well as the general narrative I have also created two bespoke scenarios for making this gaming dream a reality, both of which I hope readers will enjoy or at least be able to use as the basis for their own adventures.

As ever the article is accompanied by pictures of my own (and other contributors) miniatures in action. 

In addition to this I am proud to say that I have been approached by the legendary Joseph McCullough, author of Frostgrave, to paint some miniatures for a project that he is working on. This is a source of great pride for me as I absolutely love this game and am happy to be involved with it on any level. Also after years of painting miniatures it is a real honour to have my skills acknowledged, perhaps all that time spent slaving at the paint station hasn't been entirely wasted!

Finally I can also say that I am currently in the process of writing my own set of wargames rules which have been picked up for development by a leading publishing house, again this is is a source of immense satisfaction for me though I can't say too much at this stage!

Needless to say you should definitely 'watch this space' for any updates as they arise!

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Inquisitor Athena and the Loganite Rebellion: Episode Four – Hammer of the Emperor

Sadly life has recently got in the way of hobby time and so the Rogue Trader Campaign that I have been running for my girlfriend has stalled slightly for the past couple of months. Really this hiatus has been inevitable with numerous job changes and family circumstances coming to the fore.

However this weekend we were finally able to put some time aside to continue the narrative of the campaign. In her last mission (Aquila Down Bat Rep) the noble Athena was rescued from the wreckage of her downed shuttle by a large force of Sisters of Battle and rapidly evacuated back to their preceptory. Now fully recovered and with a large force of Imperial soldiery at her command she has decided to take the fight back to this insidious xenos foe.

Athena was given a number of options to progress the story arc, but in the end she decided to take around half her force (leaving the remainder to garrison her new HQ) to assault a nearby PDF facility that has been overtaken by the cultists. If she can succeed in driving out the aliens from this location then her forces will have access to the landing pad and advanced communications equipment housed within the facility.

Inquisitor Athena musters her force on the outskirts of the City. With a formidable mix of characters, Battle Sisters and Storm Troopers to command she should be able to handle anything that the cult throws at her...hopefully!

Monday, 30 May 2016

Norman Crusader Knights

Time for something a little different dear reader! As most of you know I usually only dabble in the worlds of science fiction and post apocalyptica when it comes to my hobby projects, however unbeknownst to most I also have a love of all things to do with the crusades.

For a variety of reasons I have decided to engage in a brief tryst with this period by combining my passion for the past with my love of toy soldiers, and so I will be making up a small force of knights (and their company) from the first crusade. The joy of this period is that the equipment involved was similar to that used by the Norman invaders of 1066...which means that there are lots of models available for the hobbyist.

After much searching of my local hobby store I settled on some rather fetching plastics of Norman Infantry from Conquest Games. These are great models and for £20 you get 44 troops... For someone used to paying GWs prices this was quite a refreshing experience!! I also bought a box of cavalry for a later project.

Anyway with the bank holiday weekend available I decided to paint a few of these guys up, as I will be using them for skirmish/warband level games I decided to lavish a bit of extra attention on each of them.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Terminator Resistance Fighters / Fallout Talon Company Mercs

First off let me apologise for the lighting in the following photos... unfortunately I didn't realise how bright the light was at the time and how it would apparently drain the details from the models in the subsequent images. But heh-ho, such is life!

Anyway these latest completed miniatures are a set of the plastic resistance fighters from the Terminator Miniatures Game that my lovely girlfriend ordered me as a surprise last year (and that I have also reviewed in the latest issue of WSS Magazine).

These guys will also double up as 'Talon Company Mercenaries' in my Fallout-Themed Games (I think the black armour ties them to this faction nicely, in fact they are almost perfect matches).

Monday, 2 May 2016

Post-Apocalyptic Article: Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy 84

Well it seems that I have been remiss again, having disappeared for a while from the blogging scene! I must apologise for this dereliction of has been hectic and so my hobby time has been sadly curtailed of late.

However on the plus side it seems that my second career as a Wargames Journalist has begun to take off, which is very encouraging.

After having a couple of articles published in Issues 79 and 82 of Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy I am pleased to say that I now have a full four page spread in the latest issue of that veritable publication (Issue 84).

In fact this article is also accompanied by numerous photographs of my models in action - if you look closely at the bottom right of the front cover above you can see my Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel Knights (as featured in last year's BOYL15 Game: Fallout vs Rogue Trader).

The actual article itself focuses on facilitating games set during the post-apocalypse utilising a variety of rule sets and available models.

Throughout the piece there are some decent photographs of my models including my Enclave Troops, NCR Rangers and Necromunda gangers.

The rules I've looked at in depth are, Tomorrow's War, This is Not a Test and Black Ops.

I have also custom written two post-apocalyptic scenarios that can either be played as stand alone missions or as the basis of a larger campaign if it tickles your fancy.

It is my sincere desire that this article will bring general PA gaming more into the main stream and hopefully draw in a few more adherents to this particularly cool niche of our hobby!

Also later in the magazine I have written a one page review on Terminator: Genisys, The Miniatures Game, which will hopefully prove informative for those of you considering giving this particularly game a whirl.

If you're interested in reading either articles then you can order the magazine at:

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Scenery: MDF Landing Pad

After a shaky start a few months back I have since fallen in love with the increasingly popular range of MDF scenery that is now available out there. It is quick to build, easily painted and eminently more affordable than it's plastic counterparts all of which are key selling points for me. The other bonus is that it isn't covered in stupid little skulls like all of GW's 40k terrain which means that I can use it in a diverse range of settings.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Fallout 4: NCR Patrol Rangers

The completion of my Brotherhood of Steel Squad from last week has really re-ignited my interest in Fallout again and so I have now returned to a project that I initially started a few months back but for a variety of reasons ended up being pushed back on my priority list.

Regular readers of this blog will know that my most frequent gaming partner is my dedicated girlfriend and some time ago when I expressed an interest in playing some Fallout themed games she was more than happy to support this foray into the post-apocalyptic world. After scouring the genre's background she settled on commanding the New California Republic's soldiery and so I set about building her a force of the formidable NCR Rangers. 

The Rangers first appeared as part of a side quest in Fallout 2 back in 1998 but they were substantially expanded on in in 2010's Fallout: New Vegas. As such I have based her force on this later game's extensive imagery for the faction.

In New Vegas the Rangers seem to have three distinct sub-commands which are civilian rangers for urban police duties, elite veteran rangers for hardcore combat and patrol rangers that fall somewhere in the middle.

 I have already made a squad of veteran rangers (Veteran Rangers) and a squad of civilian rangers (Civilian Rangers) so all that remained for me to do was a squad of patrol rangers in order to balance out the force.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Fallout 4: Brotherhood of Steel Knights in Combat Armour

It's been a while since I did anything Fallout related so I thought I would get back on the band wagon by painting up some Brotherhood of Steel Knights in Combat Armour to support my Power Armoured Paladins. 

Now I know most people associate BoS Knights with Power Armour (particularly those gamers who were only introduced to the franchise by Fallout 3 or Fallout: New Vegas) but there is a strong precedent for Knights clad in Combat Armour. In fact in Fallout 1 all of the Knights situated in the Lost Hills bunker wore Combat Armour whilst only Paladins were given the honour of wearing suits of T-51b Powered Infantry Armour.

In-game screen shots from Fallout 4 showing the new 'orange and metal' look for Brotherhood of Steel Knights
The latest game in the series (Fallout 4) has gone back to these classic roots and now we frequently see Brotherhood soldiers wandering the wasteland dressed in Combat Armour... However it's appearance has been substantially altered compared to that seen in the Lost Hills Bunker back in 1997.

One thing Bethesda did do in this installment of the universe was to create a new Brotherhood uniform for the Knights to wear under their Combat Armour; strangely however they chose to colour this garment orange. Originally I had my misgivings about this unique colouration as I didn't feel that it was very militaristic... however over time it has grown on me and now I'm rather partial to it. 

In addition to the orange undergarment you'll be pleased to hear that faction specific Brotherhood Combat Armour is also available and this has a rusted metal appearance supplemented with leather straps and the BoS symbol emblazoned on the chest.

My 10 completed BoS Knights prepare to venture forth into the Wasteland

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Rogue Trader - Aquila Down, Campaign Mission - Part II (The Battle)

So the time has come for the brave Inquisitor Athena to fight the next battle in her ongoing campaign to liberate the world of Logan's Bluff from the grip of an insidious genestealer cult. The mission brief can be found in my last post (Mission Brief) and this outlined the background and current situation so you may want to give that a quick read before continuing.

Briefly, The Inquisitor was on her way to try and link up with a cadre of Battle Sisters that she was hoping to recruit in order to assist her operations on the planet. However mid way through the journey her Aquila pattern shuttle was targeted and hit by enemy fire and has now been downed in the wilderness.

We join the noble Inquisitor as her retinue emerge from the wreckage of the shuttle; her limited force now consists of two battle sisters, five storm troopers and two shuttle crew. As if things couldn't get any worse her armour's in-built auspex starts to beep as hostile lifeforms are detected on the periphery of the battleground.


Friday, 4 March 2016

Rogue Trader - Aquila Down, Campaign Mission - Part I (The briefing)

Following Inquisitor Athena's brave intervention at the Battle Sisters' preceptory in the last mission of our ongoing campaign she has now consolidated her position in this facility and will be using it as a staging post for future tasks.

Athena has been able to gather around her the few survivors of the last encounter along with a small number of reinforcements who have joined her from her starship in orbit, these include Inquisitorial Operative XV98 who was wounded and forced into a coma way back in mission one.

Here is the latest briefing issued to the Inquisitor in preparation for her next mission to engage and destroy the genestealer cult operating on the world of Logan's Bluff... Battle Report to follow shortly!

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Terminator Genisys Endoskeletons...or Fallout 4 Synths?

Sometimes it's nice to branch out in the hobby and experience new things that take us slightly out of our comfort zone, whether that be through new games systems, new miniatures or new painting styles.

Recently my fabulously supportive girlfriend bought me a copy of the new Terminator: Genisys boxed game from Warlord Games after I watched the movie and was once again hooked on this formidable franchise.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Necromunda Battle Report - Van Saars vs Orlocks

My best mate came around to visit me this week and so we thought we would celebrate this momentous occasion with a few games of Necromunda which he had never played before.

He has been keen to try the game out for a while (since 1997) and has even gone so far as to already build up a decent sized force of Van Saars (which he has nicely painted in the traditional green bodysuits that were displayed in White Dwarf back in the nineties).

With his force of Van Saars and my growing force of Orlocks (who are usually used as brood brothers in my Genestealer cult) it seemed the perfect time to get this classic old game out on the table.

The gaming area set up for the first battle. The twenty-two year old card scenery still looks good for its age!

Monday, 15 February 2016

Rogue Trader Space Marine Librarian - Non-Metallic Metal

Having finished a few old school Salamanders heavy weapons troopers last week I decided to get another long term Rogue Trader project off my paint station and onto the gaming board. This 1987 Librarian has been undercoated and ready to paint for nearly two years but the poor chap has been consistently put back in favour of other more pressing projects.

However at last his time has come to be painted...

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Painted - Rogue Trader RTB01 Space Marines and Genestealer Hybrid

With my Rogue Trader campaign now in full swing it seemed like the perfect excuse for me to churn our some classic 1980's models to take part in the activities.

First up we have this trio of missile launcher wielding, RTB01, plastic, beakie marines.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Rogue Trader - The Inquisitor's Adventure Continues - Part II - The Second Battle

Welcome to the next installment in my ongoing Rogue Trader Campaign.

Following on from the initial opening mission last month (Mission 1 Battle Report) Inquisitor Athena has made the decision to travel to an isolated Adepta Sororitas Preceptory in order to acquire some more troops to combat the Genestealer incursion on the Imperial Planet of Logan's Bluff.

However for those of you who have already had a chance to read her mission handout and narrative (Mission Briefing) that I circulated earlier in the week you will be aware that things have already started to go wrong for the Inquisitor even before she has reached the monastery.

It is well known that Genestealers are insidious creatures; possessed of an innate cunning that makes them a truly terrifying foe and in this instance they have used that inherent intelligence to outmaneuver the Imperial Forces. The cult too have realised that this small outpost of the Battle Sisters poses the greatest threat to their plans for the planet and its unsuspecting populace and so have taken measures to eliminate this risk.

As Athena's shuttle ferries her to the Sororitas facility she receives a transmission from the warriors informing her that they are already under assault from the enemy and that they require immediate reinforcement. The Inquisitor curses her misfortune and then hastily briefs her Storm Trooper retinue to prepare for a contested deployment as they will now be dropping into a hot LZ.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Rogue Trader - The Inquisitor's Adventure Continues - Part I

Well after the initial battle in my Rogue Trader Campaign a couple of weeks back it was clear that Inquisitor Athena would need to get back into action quickly if she was to have any hope of curtailing the insidious threat of Genestealer infestation on the Imperial World. 

After the last game I gave my girlfriend (who has been commanding the Inquisitorial Forces) a number of options as to what the Inquisitor wanted to do next in relation to the Genestealer menace. After much deliberation she chose to move to an isolated Battle Sister's preceptory on the planet's northern most land mass in the hope of acquiring some bolter wielding, power armour wearing allies. With this information I scuttled off to prepare the following players brief for her to set the tone of the encounter to come:

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Necromunda Orlocks; Genestealer Cultists; Imperial Army Militia

Greetings all,

These are the latest models off my workbench... Which makes them the first models I have managed to complete in 2016; hooray!! The models in question are five Orlocks from GW's Classic Necromunda range c.1995 (as opposed to the subsequent 2003 redesign of the models).

These miniatures will be used in a variety of guises for my assorted campaigns and games of 40k, they can easily be deployed as militia; gangers; Imperial Army Auxilia and more relevantly .... Genestealer cultists. Of course I'll obviously be playing a few games of Necromunda with them too!!

Friday, 22 January 2016

Scenery: Warhammer, Oldhammer, Frostgrave and 40k Gothic buildings...and a bit of MDF

Following last week's Rogue Trader game with my missus the campaign involving her alter-ago 'Inquisitor Athena' has begun in earnest. At the conclusion of this preliminary battle I gave her a brief narrative explaining the repercussions of the initial skirmish and giving her a series of deployment options designed to facilitate her next move within the campaign. Upon consideration of these options she decided that her character's best chance for victory was to try and make contact with a small enclave of isolated Battle Sisters established on the planet's northern most land mass.

With this strategic choice made it was clear that the next episode in this saga would have to take place at the aforementioned Battle Sisters Chapel-Barracks. Now I could have made do with my existing terrain in order to try and simulate this unique location... however one thing campaigns are great for is spurring on creativity whether in the form of generating new miniatures or scenery and so I took this opportunity to produce some bespoke buildings for the next battle.

Luckily I had possession of some model kits that I bought a while back that would perfectly fit with the overall Gothic style of a Sororitas Preceptory. Long term readers of this blog may remember that last year I painted up some rather excellent Gothic Ruins produced by PegasusGothic Ruin Post ), well I was so impressed by these robust and aesthetically gorgeous kits that I decided to get a few more to augment my terrain collection.

Look closely behind the lanterns for a very subtle source lighting effect caused by the flames...

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Rogue Trader - Inquisitor Athena Rides Again - Part II -The Battle

Following on from Inquisitor Athena receiving her mission brief the other day (see here for the prelude and playsheet: Battle Report Part One ) the time rapidly arrived where it was time for us to do battle. For the game itself the noble Inquisitor commanded the forces I have listed in the previous post whilst I represented the emerging cult.

At the start of the game the nature of the cult was finally revealed as the many squads of cultists were invariably led by third generation Genestealer hybrids....whilst the overall force was commanded by a charismatic Genestealer Magus. It appears that the world of Logan's Bluff has been infested by a cabal of Xenos filth.....It's time for the Emperor's Inquisition to deal out appropriate retribution for the sin committed by these heretics.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Rogue Trader - Inquisitor Athena Rides Again - Part I

Having done a quick skim of my recent posts I realised that it has been a while since the noble Inquisitor Athena (my girlfriend's 40k alter-ego) has had a decent investigation to get her teeth into. Not wanting the pride of the Emperor's own Inquisition to be sat twiddling her thumbs I decided to rectify this situation by creating a Rogue Trader scenario for her to get involved in.

After scouring the original 1987 rulebook and the 1991 RT: Compilation I came up with the seeds of a mission that would fit perfectly with the Inquisitor's unique set of skills and should provide an interesting game.

It seems that a small religious cult has been garnering support on a nearby mining-planet, usually this wouldn't interest the agents of the Inquisition as it is down to local planetary forces to keep the peace but sources have reported that recently the cult appears to be arming and training its members... surely this sort of activity warrants a closer look from the Imperium's most covert protectors.

I could have just left it at this brief intro, but instead I decided to provide my partner with a full briefing and play sheet in a similar style to that found within the RT Rulebook. It is a lot of effort to write up one of these, but I really think it makes a tangible difference and goes a long way to immersing the players in the setting.