Thursday, 12 March 2020

Spooky Trees Work In Progress

These are my spider infested trees for Middle Earth Mirkwood and for Rangers of Shadow Deep. They are made from artificial Bonsai trees I bought from To make them all different I cut up the trees and restuck the branches in different positions with a hot glue gun. I then used more hot glue to fill in the gaps and to add more varied surface detail. I made bases using old CDs and bits of cork and bark, then sprayed and painted the whole thing. I am rather pleased with the outcome and have even ordered another eight!

These are work in progress so far as I am going to add cobwebs in the same style as the spider victims I have already shown of this blog. 

Sunday, 8 March 2020

This is the start of my ranger and his band of followers. I am planning to theme my heroes so they can be use for Middle Earth as well as Shadow Deep (two birds with one stone, so to speak).
My ranger, Thorongil, is a warrior and a strategist. He understands the importance of coordinating attacks and leading from the front. His men are inspired by his presence.
Nori Ironaxe is a Dwarf guardsman, and a reliable and trustworthy member of the band. He is also the team's armourer.
Rolf Butterfield is a man-at arms, and is accompanied by his trusty hound Rufus.

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Spider Victims!

Victims of my (not so) Giant Spiders!
The bodies were made with green stuff, and head off various plastic figures (cos I didn't want to have to sculpt faces). The webs are those ones you buy at halloween and stretch out to cover furniture etc. I soaked bits in watered down PVA and stretched it over the base.

Monday, 24 February 2020

'Giant' Spiders

The first mission for Rangers of Shadow Deep requires some Giant Spiders, but after splurging all my spare cash on rules, rangers and other goodies I needed a cheap solution. I bought some spider charms on ebay (£1.99 for 10) and mounted them on pennies. Quick paint job and a bit of flock and they are ready to go. Not the most detailed figures perhaps, and maybe a little smaller than I would have liked, but they will do for the mission. They would be excellent for 15mm games, so when I have finished with them for Shadow Deep I will add them to my Dragon Rampant 15mm goblin army.

Mind you, if I saw a spider the size of a small dog I would probably call it a Giant Spider. And aren't smaller spiders more poisonous than the giant ones?

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Generic Scatter Terrain

I have been making some terrain, principally to play Rangers of Shadow Deap, but suitable for other fantasy settings too (Middle Earth and Age of Sigma spring to mind). I began with some scatter terrain suggested in the first Rangers of Shadow Deep mission. I needed some rocky outcrops and some patches of dense brambles.

These were made using old CDs as bases, following a tutorial by Mel the Terrain Tutor (LINK). the brambles were made from some dried plant stuff I bought from the flower arranging section of Hobbycraft. The rocks were made from...well rock actually. Just a few nice shapes stones and gravel from the garden. 

I suspect these pieces will see a lot of action as they are generic enough to be used everywhere from the steamy jungles of the Congo to the rural 'idle' of VBCW shropshire. 

Friday, 13 December 2019

Sharp Practice: French Vivandiere

 A Vivandiere is a camp follower of the French army during the Napoleonic war, officially licenced to sell goods to the soldiers. I am not sure where I bought this one, as I just found it somewhere in my lead mountain. Which is a shame because she is quite a nice little figure. I painted her with GW contrast paints, which I am quite pleased with,

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Sharp Practice: Portuguese Allies Finished!

Last Christmas I got a Napoleonic War Portuguese force of my lovely wife and daughter and thought it would be nice to try to get it painted before this Christmas.

I know- a radical idea!

Anyway, ably assisted by GW new navy blue contrast paint and some zenithal highlight undercoating, I was able to smash out the remaining three groups to complete the project (minus the cannon and crew which are currently absent without leave).

This force now consist of four officers, three groups of line infantry, one group of grenadiers, one group of Cacadores in line formation (with muskets) and one group of cacadores with rifles in skirmish formation.

Sunday, 8 December 2019

French Napoleonics- painted for Ebay

Last week, while tiding my man cave, I came across a pile of unpainted French Napoleonics, some of which were left over form my french/irish forces and some I think I got free in Wargames Illustrated or perhaps at Salute one year. Anyway, one thing the all had in common (and the reason why they remained unpainted) is that they were all in great coats and had wet weather covers on their shakos. As my French and Irish Legion are being painted for the Peninsular War I didn't think the great goat look was what I was going for. I have painted a few as pickets for a jump off point, but I didn't need all these. 

I decided to paint then and put them on ebay, hopefully to generate some much needed Christmas money. I had just bought some of GW's contrats paints and wanted to try these out too. 

I put these together and painted them in a couple of nights. they were quite fun to paint as the great coats covered lots of teh 'pain in the ass' detail normally associated with Nap stuff. 

I found the contrats paints to be a mixed bag. The white is next to useless, although I will practice some more with it to see if I was using it wrong. The red and dark brown are great. I also use the navy blue on my Portuguese too, and found it easy to use, although I felt it was a bit flat and ended up adding more highlighting anyway. 

Anyway. These are on Ebay now if you want them...a nice Christmas pressie for yourself or loved one- ready for the Russian steppe or Waterloo?

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Wargamer Show (West Midlands)

Sunday saw me going to the Wargamer show in Birmingham. It was the first year I went. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was practically on my doorstep and so it would have been rude not to attend. 
It was a small affair, but with a good selection of retailers. Including Warlord, Ainsty, Mighty Lancer Games, Colonel Bills and Lasercut Architect. Unfortunately as it was so close to Christmas and Black Friday I was unable to spend as much as I would have liked (that said, I still spent over double my intended budget). 
The participation and display games were of a very high standard, and I managed to get a game of Gaslands in (my first game) which was really cool. I was gaming with two experienced players, and they talked me through the rules, which were surprisingly easy to pick up. 
The attendance did not seem to be that great, and the whole affair felt quite quiet. this could be because the event was at a new venue this year, or perhaps because it was so close to Christmas. Most of the retailers were complaining that business had been poor (but ten they always seem to be complaining about that at every show I have ever been to). On the plus side I got to browse the stores in relative peace compared to the crowds of Salute. 

Sunday, 1 December 2019

My Advent Calendar

I love advent calendars. I love the build up to Christmas, and the excitement they bring as the big day gets closer and closer. As a kid we had card ones with little windows you could open that revealed a little picture related to Christmas. My brother and I used to fight over who got to open the window. Then came chocolate advent calendars! Oh my god! The game was changed forever. The picture calendar was replaced by a tiny slither of chocolate. Advent would never be the same, and those picture advent calendars became a thing of the past. 
This year things are a little but different. I am trying to lose some weight, as the big, bearded wargamer look isn't working for me anymore. I didn't really want chocolate ones. I joked with my wife that someone should make an advent calendar with wargaming figures inside instead of chocolates. 
  "Why don't I do that?" she said. 
  "What do you mean?" I asked, somewhat bemused
  "The kids have a wooden bus advent calendar in the loft. Why don't I get some figures and fill up the draws of the bus. You get one a day until Christmas."

Wow! This must be the best advent calendar! Ever!

Today's advent surprise was a roman slave girl for my Rome collection. Nice!