Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Cowboys vs Aliens


It's been a bit quiet here on my blog but I have been quietly beavering away with my ongoing Peter Pig Weird West mini project and have finished a second unit of 12 rifles!


The figures are almost entirely comprised of Peter Pig's rather good 15mm Wild West range apart from a singly Laserburn hunter after I realised that I was short a figure for a nice 12 man unit!

I went for lots of browns, greys and blues again with the colour scheme and rather like how they turned out, even if they are possibly not too historically accurate and unlike the pistol unit, they have  a bit more interesting of a selection of poses as there's a few shotgun toting types amidst the unit.

This gives me two full units for my Weird West force which is rather surprising and I seem to be almost putting together a full army without meaning to!

Here's the full force as it stands:

A Posse of the Rootinist, Tootinist Varmints this side of the Rio Grande!

I must admit that I've really enjoyed working on the little guys and look forward to adding some more mounted units before adding some character figures into the mix. Having had these chaps for an absolute age (as best as I can remember, I got them in 2006-7) I am overjoyed to actually have them painted up and am constantly pleased and surprised by the little details the Peter Pig figures have. 

While they are mostly going to be seeing action somewhere in the West, I do plan on using them as disgruntled settlers or Grox herders for my Alternative 40k setting too. Sadly they are true 15mm scale so some of my other figures kind of loom a bit over them but I'm looking forward to working on more of them and dare I say it, pick up the remaining units to complete an actual factual army!

 Grox Herders defend a promethium store on Farpoint

In order to keep the painting mojo going, I've been mixing all manner of other figures into the paint queue to stop me getting bored and I've managed to complete the first two of my Boglin figures:


They are from a set of soft rubber toy figures I picked up from Tesco a few years ago as they looked suitable for 15mm sci-fi gaming and I've finally managed to paint a couple of the bounders!

The soft rubber meant that I couldn't clean off the mould lines and I never bothered stripping off the original paint and just primed over the top. I was pleasantly surprised by the sharp details they had lurking about them as their teeth and beady eyes really came out well. A good coat of varnish has firmed them up enough for use and I hope to paint the remaining four over the next week or two!

I've no idea who made them but am rather sad that I didn't pick up a couple more packs when they were available as they are rather fun. Mounted on 25mm bases they are a lot bulkier than an average 15mm scale figure but they do the job as some foul mutant from the depths or a toxically inclined alien for the good guys to shoot at in small skirmishes which is fine with me.

Hopefully I'll finish the last of my Salvage Crew this weekend too and will be able to post some pics of them next time along with a few random figures I've been working on over the last couple of weeks so watch this space.

In the meantime, All the best!

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Weird West Cowboys


Last week I previewed some 15mm scale Cowboys I've been painting and I've managed to finish a unit of 12 of the little chaps.


I've had the little chaps for at least 10-15 years now and some were painted (badly) as colonial militia for my old Stainless Steel Rat project and I figured it was high time that I did something with them rather than having them just languish in a box.

After a bit of pondering, I decided to base them up with a mixture of individual and group bases with the vague idea of using them as a Weird West force as I've got enough to form 3-4 units all told and with a bit of bodging, I can easily add some more unusual elements such as zombie gunfighters or warwagons...

I've now got the first half of a rifle unit painted and hope to get it finished for the weekend before moving onto some mounted troops. I've also got some sci-fi salvage team done which will be getting photographed too as time permits!

I seem to have really got into 15mm painting again after almost six months of working on all sorts of other scales so we shall have to see how I get on but in the meantime, all the best!

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Homicidal Pepperpots Tutorial


Last week I made myself some Dalek proxies in 15mm scale and I've been asked to put together a step by step guide on how to make the angry little fellows so here goes!



To make the proxy Daleks, you will need a selection of plasticard (cardboard will do at a pinch!) of different thicknesses, some plastic rod and some plastic embellishments (I picked these up from The Range in their craft section for about £2.99 and they are dead handy).

Building The Daleks

The first step is to cut some pieces of the plastic rod (mine is 7mm thick) to 10mm lengths and then fasten on a piece of 2mm thick plasticard to it. This gives the backpack/rear of the armour. Next add some smaller sections of plasticard to the sides. I used slightly thinner plasticard for this and cut it to 7mm sections. 

Next add a smaller piece of plasticard in front of that (the right hand of the pic). 

Next use a small piece of thicker plasticard to the front of the robots body and the basic shape is done. The next steps were to add some extra panelling to the rear of the armour to add some more detail. Finally peel off one of the larger embellishments and glue it on and the Dalek is starting to take shape!

Once the head is in place, peel off two small dome embellishments and stick them on the sides of the head giving the flashy communication lights. A third dome is reversed and glued in place to give the eye stalk and then a small piece of wire to give the laser gun/cattleprod/deathray. On the other side, I added a small piece of thin plastic rod to make the basis of it's manipulator arm.

As I already had six basic Daleks, I wanted to add some commanders and heavy weapons to my fledgling force so I gave two the normal manipulator arms by using another of the small domes reversed and glued in place while the remaining two became heavy weapon Daleks by gluing a small dome in the centre of their casing and fastening on a small piece of thin plastic rod!

While not perfect representations of the Daleks, they do the job. If I had endless patience I would add all the little domes on their casing to give a more classic Dalek look but as they are now, they will do and they make handy additions to my other projects, be they Imperial Extermination droids or Ghoulani Enslaver bots!

It took me about an hour to make four of them and cost about £1 worth of materials and if you do an assembly line approach rather than stopping to take pictures, it takes even less time and I'm rather pleased with how they turned out. Hopefully I'll get the remaining four painted this week and will showcase my fledgling force then.

In other news, I've been furiously painting my way through my 15mm gubbins and have got a load more cowboys done as well as the first four members of my salvage crew and will post some pics up in the coming week!

In the meantime, All the best!

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Re-Exploring Old Rulesets


I can't believe it's almost the end of June and I've not posted anything here for almost a month!

Saying that, I've been rather busy both with my lovely wife's birthday, two weeks holidays and organising our spare room/man cave/library. This has given me the chance to finally have a bit of a sort through my old ruleset collection which has given me the urge to have a good rummage through the books and have a peruse!

I'm often struck by what a shame it is when great games vanish or are left in a zombie state where they are still available but never get any support, be that new releases or indeed anybody playing them. It's doubly so when some of these games have a fascinating setting with some great ideas that really lend themselves to brilliant fun gaming possibilities.

Take a look at Kryomek for example. It's never been out of production, the rules are freely available to download and the miniatures are still being made but it gets very little attention these days. I must admit that I'm just as guilty as any as I originally picked up the books back in the 90's from the long lamented Mac's Models in Edinburgh as well as a handful of miniatures but never seriously tried to play a game.

Similarly, Void 1.1 is still readily available, the rules are also free downloads and the figures are still available. I even had a VASA force fully painted back in the day but sold it off when I went off to uni and never really got back into it which is a real shame as the rules are really good and the setting is rather enjoyable!

For fantasy gaming, how about Crucible by FASA? While the company is long gone, the core rule book is still available from Ral Partha Europe and the forces are generic enough to allow proxy games without too much issue. The rules themselves are actually really good and the setting is brilliant but nobody plays it.

I think part of the issue with these games is that they are aimed at the GW sort of large scale gamers with multiple units, large gaming surfaces and infinite time to paint stuff for them whereas my interests have moved onto smaller scale skirmishing with at most a couple of dozen figures a side. But should this stop me from incorporating the settings, forces and ideas into the sort of games I play now?

No! Having re-read quite a few of my old books, I'm sorely tempted to put together some small skirmish bands and explore the settings. Imagine a UNION marine squad from Vor: The Maelstrom being dispatched to scout a new world and encountering some unfriendly Growlers or Nexus Marines being tasked with searching a hulk and discovering a Kryomek infestation. How about Principality adventurers exploring ancient ruins for artifacts of power in Crucible or grim survivors fighting over precious supplies in the endless wastes of Leviathan's Aeroth.

The list is infinite and the possibilities for some really fascinating games are out there and it's well worth having a peek at some of the old, forgotten and unappreciated rulesets that are sat in many folks collections.

These possibilities are even greater when using 15mm scale figures as it's possible to create a decent sized skirmish force for under a tenner. For example, Star Mogul only requires about a dozen figures and a vehicle a side while Nuclear Renaissance only needs a handful plus suitably converted vehicles.

With this in mind, I hope to use the opportunity to put together some small forces by rummaging my leadpile of 15mm gubbins to see what I can put together. I will be using the month of July to see what themed forces I can clobber together and see how feasible such a scheme would be.

A good example of this is my Bauhaus Jaeger squad that I put together a while back:

Bauhaus Jaegers

They are Ground Zero Games miniatures with added shoulder pads which gives them the suitably 90's Warzone vibe and with a few additions, I have a Warzone 1st edition force ready to rock!

It's going to be an interesting process and we shall have to see what I come up with but hopefully I will resume regular posting here and I even have a couple of batches of 15mm stuff that I've finished off over the last couple of weeks that needs posting up so watch this space!

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Badlands Skirmish


After my angry review of the other day, I managed to get a quick game of a Song of Blasters using my Epic scaled Ultramarines versus some Eldar.

I've also been working on getting some new scenery put together in the form of some rock columns to add a bit of height to my setup.

 Early Deployment

The Imperials had a more mobile force consisting of several tactical squads mounted in Rhinos and a Landspeeder to give a bit of mobile punch to the patrol and the Imperial forces quickly took control of the settlement in the centre of the board and pushed forward towards the Eldar positions.

Some poor activation rolls saw the Eldar flank refusing to move off the hill which left the Warlock and his Guardians somewhat exposed with just a Falcon grav tank to support them. The Landspeeder had hurtled up the flank and hit the tank with a heavy plasma gun but only succeeded in damaging it and in return the Falcons Brightlance sent the skimmer crashing to the ground in flames.

At this point it became clear that the Eldar had the edge in ranged firepower with the Falcon, Dark Reapers and Warlock able to hit the Marines before their shorter range Bolters could be brought to bare and if it hadn't been for the use of their transports as a shield, the Ultramarines would have been in for a rough day.
The Dark Reapers on the flank blow up a squad of Marines 

Fortunately for the Marines, their transports sacrifice saw them able to get close enough to the Eldar to let rip with their bolters and the lithe Guardians were shredded in a storm of explosive shells.

At this point, the Eldar were forced to retreat having lost most of their infantry but the Ultramarines vehicles were all wrecked apart from the command Rhino.

 The Imperial Rhino's cook off following Brightlance strikes and Warlock Powers

I'm rather enjoying playing very small games in 6mm scale and think I may have some more skirmishes to play but do need to look at my rules a bit further to make things run a bit more smoothly and do need to add some more balancing units to my forces as my Ultramarines need some long range firepower while my Eldar need more swift moving units too!

At present, an average game lasts about 20-30 minutes which should allow me to run a decent mini campaign over the course of an evening but the more multi wound vehicles and units I add, the longer it takes to play.

In the meantime, I'm also starting work on my Orks and have managed to finish two stands of Goff boyz to test out how they look and if a more verdant base works with them. While I like the Orks, I'm not sure about the bases and think I need to add some green static grass or patches of vegetation like I did with my aris bases to make them pop.

Ork Boyz

I think I need to rummage my Epic boxes to see what I have and what I can add to my forces as it would be great to see some fully fleshed out little patrols duking it out over the coming months!

In the meantime, All the best!

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Osprey's Ragnarok: An Angry Review UPDATED


I recently picked up a copy of Osprey's new wargame, Ragnarok and thought I'd share my initial thoughts on it.

I'm sorry if I upset anyone with this review but rarely do I get so angered by something to the point of having to post a massive rant about it and Ragnarok has really annoyed me and sadly reading through this post again makes me sound like a loon so apologies for the raging that follows!


I'd heard rumour of Ragnarok a while ago and really liked the idea of epic skirmishes in a post apocalyptic Viking world and pre ordered a copy from Waterstones (my store here in Dundee!). I must admit that I was a bit hesitant as it comes in at a hefty £25 which is a fair chunk of change for a rulebook but I really wanted to give it a bash.


On first perusal, I was pleasantly surprised as the artwork throughout is pretty fantastic, as is the case with all of Osprey's games range but when I got down to the nitty gritty, things started to go a bit pear shaped.

I have now read through the rules three times to try and figure out how close combat works in the game and am still no clearer on it than I was the first time I read it. The rules seem to have been noted down by someone who knows the game and therefore doesn't need to explain how it works which is incredibly frustrating. 

Even after my third attempt at reading it, close combat doesn't appear to be explained unless from the attackers point if he's charging or the defender's if he decides to attack back. The stats you compare for the opposed roll isn't mentioned in this section of the rulebook but further back in the Morpheus Engine section (this is the authors generic rule system which I think he's planning on using for multiple different games).

There are few if any examples featured and even then they are badly worded to the point that they don't actually help at all and the layout itself irks me too as it just seems to be jumbled in with the background and rules for campaigns. 

A perfect example of this is the Success Table, the basis for all rolls made in the game. The table itself makes little to no sense but the wording that goes with it makes it even more obscure to the point of madness! 

Another thing that irked me was the poor quality of the miniatures pictures. It's a miniatures game and the rulebook is pretty expensive so the least they could do is feature some decent pictures instead of this:


I get the impression that Osprey have spent quite a bit on the book so why is it ok to feature tabletop quality figures on a game mat with some polystyrene hills? Worse yet, quite a few of the pictures in the book are decidedly blurry or pixelated and it looks suspiciously like they've been taken on a phone. 

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I've had very mixed feelings about Osprey games releases but this one has really frustrated me to the point that I'm actually considering returning it to the shop which is saying something.

Annoyingly it looks like there may actually be a good game hiding in there and the campaigns look like they may be fun to play BUT it's all let down by seemingly not having anyone who isn't experienced with playtesting the game sit down and read through it to see if it actually makes sense! Ooh it makes me cross!

I must admit that by the time it got to covering the interesting stuff like Godspark (the ability to harness the power of the dead gods to perform heroic actions) and the assorted equipment, denizens of the nine realms and so on, I had lost pretty much all enthusiasm for Ragnarok as no matter how pretty looking a game is and all the shiny bells and whistles of super special abilities or innovative campaign systems it may have, if the rules don't mesh or are so poorly laid, missing out as to be unclear to the point of unusable, they are going to fail!

My angry advice would be to give the whole thing a miss and save a waste of £25!

All the best!


Tim, the author of Ragnarok has contacted me to showcase some examples of play and mentioned that Osprey had edited out all the examples in the game to fit the word count.

I apologise to Tim for raging about his rules which he is clearly passionate about but I don't feel that I can remove this post as it's still my honest opinion that there is something wrong with Ragnarok that needs serious attention and it's a waste of what could been an epic game. 

If anyone has played and enjoyed Ragnarok, please do drop a message here and let me know how you got on with it! 

All the best.


Friday, 3 May 2019

Epic Command Squads


I've passed the blip of mentalness concerning 28mm and have been working on repairing my Epic command stands that my cat so thoughtfully ate the banners from last year.

Ultramarine Command Squads, Techmarine, Captain and Medic

Whilst pootling away with them, it got me to thinking about how command squads are represented in Epic. In 2nd edition, each Space Marine character got it's own base with different abilities while in Epic 40k, things got streamlined and they all got combined on to one.

While I can see the wisdom of such a move, I do like the spectacle of having each little character moving around the battlefield carrying out their own role so went with mounting each on their own base with a bodyguard and banner.

I love the spectacle it provides and helps identify command elements from a distance and while a tad ostentatious, I think it fits the 40k universe quite well!

Here's a pic of all my command squads to show how they look:

Banners Aplenty

Eventually, I plan on adding a Chaplain and Librarian to my Ultramarine force and have got their stands underway as I type but I also have some Orks primed and ready as well as a batch of jungle terrain that I'm busily making for my retro green table!

I had forgotten how much fun it was to paint in Epic scale as it's surprisingly easy to paint up a small formation of troops and vehicles in a short period of time. The only downside is that I am running low on lipped bases so will need to replenish my supply soon. I'm also looking for some slightly larger lipped bases for superheavy tanks and titans so will need to have a bit of a peruse of the interwebs for a source that's not too expensive to fit my meagre budget.

In the meantime, All the best!