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Thursday, 23 May 2019

Still Alive! Working on some Sci-Fi and Ancient stuff...

Greetings all,

Quick update to say that I am still alive! I'm even doing a little hobby stuff!

A few weeks ago I received an email from Dan (TMWWBK, The 'Rampants', etc) Mersey asking if I'd like to help playtest a new thing he's working on, which is essentially a Sci-Fi skirmish thing along the lines of 'The Rampants'. Well, having play tested TMWWBK and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, I decided straight away to say 'yes'. Trouble is, I had no models as I'd sold off all my 40K stuff yonks ago when I realised that those rules are simply not my cup of Darjeeling at all. So I went online and had a quick look around. 40K stuff was an obvious option, but it's very expensive and I couldn't be bothered with buying and stripping splodged plastics from EBAY, so I dug around and found Mantic's Warpath ranges. I fancied a kinda Imperial Guard sort of thing and their GCPS range fit the bill, so I bought their starter set. £60 for 25 plastic marine/ranger infantry, a walker, an armoured car and 4 metal support weapon teams, plus a leader in metal. About half the price of the GW equivalent. You can find it HERE:

Anyway, I've glued some of it together and started painting. The models are great on first look, although the walker was a bugger to put together, but the detailing on the infantry is a tad too shallow, so when I blasted them with Army painter Desert Yellow undercoat spray, some of the detail became a bit obscured. Anyway, I've opted for a 'speed paint' approach - you know, base colours, dip and matt varnish and I'm hoping the dip covers up some of the sins in the painting. for the first time ever, I'm really going for a 'good enough if you look at them from 20 feet away and actually close your eyes' approach! Pictures over the next few days once I've got a unit done...

In other news, I'm back onto my Ancient Italy variant of Lion/Dragon Rampant. I've been doing some writing and have even started highlighting up the hastati I base coated and dipped in September last year.
There's also a new set of rules coming later this year called 'Clash of Spears' which I'm looking forward to (I may end pop not needing my adapted Dragon rampant if they are as good as I suspect they'll be)  - it's a small unit action set intended for ancients in raid-style scenarios. Initial looks at the rule book and some basic mechanisms look very encouraging. You can read about it HERE: You can also look a video about it HERE:

I've also been reading 'Early Roman Warfare - The Regal Period to the First Punic war' by Jeremy Armstrong, which basically turns the traditional narrative of the development of the Roman Army's manipular system on its head by very convincingly claiming that Rome never used a phalanx and that the manipular system came from a  need to bring together the various clan-based war bands and city levy unit maniples into a coherent functional system during the 4th century rather than breaking an already organised phalanx up into smaller maniples. Give it a read - it's very, very good and very convincing! Find it HERE: Accordingly, I'm making a mid 4th Century BC Roman force in the first instance, with enough troops to also morph it into an early 3rd century force. This means only bronze-armoured troops for the earlier force and even some guys still using round hoplite shields, with the later force having all scutums and a handful of triarii with mail. More on all that once I get some more paint on some figures, which I'm hoping will happen once I move house, hopefully in about 3 weeks!

Well, all this is still small steps, but I am back...I think!! Catch you in a week or so, with first Sci-Fi pics (hopefully)

Monday, 17 December 2018

Mojo Gone... Hobby stalled...

Hello, well...it's been almost 4 months since my enthusiastic last post about painting Republican Romans. Sadly, that's the last wargaming-related thing I've done.

Life has become embroiled in a hideous mess of extremely busy work schedules, marital breakup and associated legal joys and pending house move and all the mental health struggles that come with such massive changes to life. Interesting times...

To be honest, I'm not sure when...even if...I'll paint or game again, as at the moment I just can't be bothered. I've even started selling off the lead and plastic mountain! Crazy, huh? The little hobby time I do have these days is being used thrashing a guitar to within an inch of its life, which is immensely therapeutic and I can settle to that and enjoy it, which I can't say about the gaming and painting hobby at the moment.

Please understand that I'm certainly not here bemoaning the state of the world and begging for your sympathy - not at all! In fact, despite all the negative vibes around here at the moment, there are some very positive things going on in my life, both personally and professionally, which is really great and I am incredibly grateful for it. It's just that I have next to no interest in the hobby at the moment and I thought that anyone who still follows this blog ought to know a bit about what's going on. I do hope to get back into it a bit once I get moved into my rather lovely new house - hopefully by February if all the legal crap goes according to plan - so we'll see if that restores my mojo somewhat... I suspect it'll take a while longer before I'm in a place to do much, but we'll see... Never say never, eh?

Anyway, I hope that any of you out there still reading this have a jolly fine Christmas and an excellent New Year! I can assure you that I shall certainly be doing my utmost to make the best of it and do the same. There is the threat of a game of Dux Britanniarum happening locally over the Yuletide season to which I may attempt to visit for nostalgia's sake and for hopefully a bit of mojo re-awakening, so hopefully I'll see you all in 2019 with at least something on the hobby front to report!

Until then, take great care of yourselves and may your dice always roll high!!

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Still alive... And new painting!!

Hi everyone. I don't even know if any of you are still here, it's been that long since I posted anything.
Am having some serious real life issues at the moment that are taking up colossal amounts of emotional space and physical time, all of which has left me little left for the hobby. However, I had a week on my own at the beginning of the month and decided to get to grips with something I've wanted to do for a while, but hadn't had the wherewithal to do: Something with Republican Romans. I've never found a rule set I like for Republican Rome. WAB 1.5 looks good but complicated and needs massive armies (3000pts really) to do it justice and I haven't the energy for that. So I'm looking at adapting Dragon/Lion Rampant for some Samnite Wars (and possibly Punic Wars) action.

More detail on this idea later, but here is the beginning of the project: 2 Hastati units base coated, dipped and Dullcoted with Leves/Rorarii on the way. Victrix do such superb plastics! And they aren't too tricky to paint.

Anyway, it's not much, but it's a start... I hope to have 2 Leves/Rorarii units and a Principes unit to the same standard by next weekend, all being well, ready for a massed highlighting spree. That'll be half the Roman army (probably - more on this next time I get to you.)



Monday, 7 May 2018

The Host of Angband (thus far) plus more Elf conversions

I've been busy with my 'Silmarils Rampant' project, both doing some more Elf conversions and painting some evil models. Here are the latest Elves, this time from Artizan Miniatures Romano British range. They fit the GW Galadhrim heads perfectly (so glad I didn't EBAY those Galadhrim Guards!)



I've also been working on the 'bad guys'. I've reworked some of the Orcs I did a few years back - the ones I bought off EBAY part painted and tidied up. I also bought some Uruk Hai similarly part-painted and tarted them up to be an Orc captain's bodyguard. 




I also dug out my old Mordheim Norse werewolf model converted from an old Warhammer Chaos Hound. 





I have also bought myself a fabulous wingless Firedrake from Mithril Miniatures as I wanted a Glaurung-esque dragon as a Greater Warbeast. This excellent model was painted with a colour scheme based on Tolkien's original sketch of Glaurung. I'm really pleased with how it came out. Here's the sketch...


...And here's my version...




And here's the whole lot thus far, including the troll I painted a few years back. I still need loads more Orcs (including some archers), some Warg Riders, 2 more trolls to make a unit of 3 (reduced model unit of offensive heavy foot) and I want to do a Balrog...






Friday, 27 April 2018

More Elves WIP

Ok, so I'm doing some further work on some more 1st Age Noldor Elves. A bunch of West Wind Arthurian minis here (plus an errant Footsore) with West Wind Saxon and GW Galadhrim heads, GW Warhammer Elf plumes, Oathmark Elf plumes and a bit of Greenstuff here and there. I think thesewill look the dog's flopsy bits once painted!

 






Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Simarils Rampant - Tolkien's Silmarillion 1st Age Noldor Elf Conversion

I recently joined a new group on Facebook called 'Wargaming In Middle Earth.' It's a group dedicated to all aspects of Middle Earth gaming with all sorts of figure scales and rules. What drew me to it is the excellent conversion work of Graham Green, who converts historical Dark Age figures into Tolkien-esque Elves to try to create Elves that actually look like what Tolkien himself would have envisaged, rather than the Peter Jackson or Warhammer things out there that everyone seems to do. Anyway, this really floated my boat as I've always had my own vision of Tolkien's Elves, based on Victor Ambrus' brilliant illustrations in the old Tolkien Bestiary by David Day. Here's an example of one of them. I love this picture!
So I decided to have a go! Thus, after a couple of weeks of chopping, glueing, greenstuffing, agonising over colour scheme and panicking over what on earth I was going to do with the shield, here is my first ever Dark Age historical to 1st Age Tolkien Elf conversion! 

The base figure is a Gripping Beast Arthurian Pict Noble, with a GB sword. The shield is also GB, from the Normans range but it has had the boss filed away. The head comes from a GW LOTR Guard of the Galadhrim Court. The cloak is my very first attempt at large scale sculpting of flat cloth and I'm dead chuffed with it, although it took a bloody age to do! The cloak clasp is also greenstuff and turned out well despite being a rather happy accident after some experimenting with different ways to make said clasp!! He is painted in my usual style. The shield design is based on one I saw on a LBM shield transfer set for Mantic Miniatures Elves. It was hell's own nightmare to paint, to be honest! But I like it now it's done.  

I don't have any particular Elven kingdom in mind for this fella, although the blue colour scheme suggests Fingolfin or Fingon's houses. Apparently the star suggests a link to Feanor. I'll just leave it pretty open. He's gonna be joined by a  war band of similar conversions. I have a bunch of West Wind Arthurian awaiting some conversion work and I have ordered a box of the new and rather lovely Oathmark plastic Elves, so expect more 1st Age Elf goodness over the next few weeks. I'm also painting the evil army, completing several WIP Orc units that I started ages ago and a large wingless fire-drake (Glaurung). Expect pics of these bad guys shortly. These will be used in games of Silmarillion-based Dragon Rampant (I'm calling it 'Simarils Rampant') so that gives you an idea of the force sizes to be expecting.

Anyway, here's that Elf. Hope you like him!





                                                                                               



Wednesday, 4 April 2018

It's been a while...

Sorry, it's been a while since my last post. Life has been ridiculously busy for the past few months. My wargaming and painting mojo has pretty much completely disappeared. All the plans I have had for projects have really stalled in a mire of apathy. I don't really know what to do about this. I am sitting here with stuff to do on the painting table next to me and I planned to do stuff tonight, but like every other night when I have had an hour spare, it's not happening.

Anyway, what I do have are some pictures from back in February half-term when Cameron and I played a couple of fabulous games of Dragon Rampant. I won both of them too, not because he played poorly, but because I had outrageous dice. He took it very well and still really enjoyed the games. Pretty mature for a 9 year old, I'd say. There are some adult gamers who could learn a lot from his attitude!

Anyway, I'll make no promises about what's coming next. For now let's just enjoy some Dragon Rampant Elves vs Orcs eye-candy...