Wednesday 30 May 2012

Catachan Jungle Fighters


Well I have got the ball rolling by sorting through my miniatures and seeing what I have got. The result is 30 Catachan jungle fighters. Sadly over half of them are painted to a really bad standard as I bought them painted off ebay some time ago so are currently in a bag of Mr Muscle oven cleaner to strip but I still have enough to be getting on with!


Sculpted by the Perry brothers, these figures are light years ahead of the truly awful plastic miniatures that players of later editions were inflicted with and have a bit of an Arnie from Predator vibe. Looking at what I have got I will be splitting the force into three squads of 10 and when I get chance I will need to add a few more heavy weapons as at present I only have a single las cannon. Still its enough to make a viable force to play some small games with which is handy!

The next step will be to base them all and for this I will be using the new style lipped bases. I always thought that the use of 25mm bases made figures look a tad precarious and they often overhung the base so am going for more suitably sized bases to use and the lipped bases allow for making small vignettes which will come in handy for a jungle based force.

I have also been re-reading the GW background and think I will be making a few changes as its a bit too dark and depressing with everybody being doomed. Instead what if the 40k universe was more upbeat without the doom and gloom?

Anyhoo enough of my ramblings! I am off to clean and base my figures before priming them ready for paint!

All the best!



Well I have been rummaging my bots box and have been getting all nostalgic for 2nd edition Warhammer 40000.

It was the first wargame I properly played and its always held a bit of a special appeal to me despite it having some of the most notoriously bad figures in the original box set!

(anyone remember these guys?)

Its got me to thinking about old school gaming in general as the 'Golden Era' of Citadel predates 2nd editions release date. Despite that there were some really lovely figures released at the time and I am going to have a bash at collecting one or two of them as and when I get chance.

While older Citadel figures can go for truly silly money, quite often the 2nd edition figures sell for very reasonable prices. For example its possible to get hold of metal Imperial Guard or Eldar for next to nothing and theres some really lovely paintjobs dating from the era too.

I know the bright years of GWs paint schemes aren't to everyones taste but I have always loved them and will be trying to replicate them with my own figures!

Now I doubt I will ever collect enough to play a full game but will be taking the opportunity to really push my painting skills! 

I currently have about a dozen Catachan Jungle Fighters to work on which will keep me entertained for some time to come but I will also be keeping my eyes peeled for any bargains out there that I can pick up too.

I know it breaks my pledge not to buy more stuff but for some reason I have been bitten by the urge to paint 28mm scale figures from back when I was a youth! Therefore I am going to be setting aside the princely sum of £10 a month to indulge this new obsession and will also be trading figures when possible too.

I will post updates when possible with a progress report and will keep a tally on the blog here of how my efforts are going!

All the best!

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Goff Ork Warband Part 1 UPDATE


Well I have finally had chance to start work on the first of my Goff Orks and have started with the boss himself and his retinue.

Before I started I had a sit down and think about how I was going to do it and what rules I would use. I settled on the tried and true old school classic Rogue Trader and its accompanying volumes Ere We Go and Freebooterz as the Orks have buckets of character in the game which should result in some really characterful forces.


I started out by choosing a core 500 point force for me to be getting on with which can be expanded at a later date once I have the initial lot finished. I used my old copy of Ere We Go as it contains all the rules and armylists needed to play a Goff warband.

Rather unusually for an armylist one is never quite sure what their characters are going to be armed with as instead of choosing specific items of wargear, the Ork character gets to roll a random chart to see what they end up with.

Following this procedure I came up with the following:


1 Ork Warboss Lugrippa Gorebad

Weapons: Chainsword, Powersword, Goo Bombs and Kustom Flamer (+4" range, D6 Dam, 3" radius)
Armour: Power Armour and Konverter Force Field.

Nob Retinue

1 Clanboss Guffdregg

Weapons: Plasma Pistol, Powersword and Meltabombs
Armour: Power Armour

1 Bigboss Facebiter

Weapons: Powerglove and Heavy Plasma Gun
Armour: Power Armour

3 Bosses Grumm, Grimm and Grung

Weapons: Bolt Pistols and Axes
Armour: Power Armour


1 Bigmob of 10 Orks led by Guffdregg

Weapons: Bolt Pistols, 1 Heavy Bolter and 1 Missile Launcher
Armour: Flak

1 Goff Mob of 5 Orks

Weapons: Bolters, 1 Missile Launcher with Krak Missiles

As you can see the random roll resulted in some really unusual weapons and equipment for the command troops with my leader being armed with two swords and a really nasty flamer and my heavy weapon Nob getting a powerfist!

Oddly I dont mind the sheer randomness of it as it gives each model that bit more character and will make them more interesting to sculpt. Its also interesting to note that 500 points of Orks results in a mere 21 models which is somewhat different than the hordes that is needed these days.

I must admit that the temptation is there for me to attempt the force in 28mm scale using the current plastics and convert/resculpt them as required as I suspect with a simple headswap one could get the desired result. The other option is to start looking out for old school figures to work on so I am off to my local hobby shop to rummage around and see what I can find!

All the best!


Well I have been down to my local game store in Gosport, TN Books and Wargames, and was aghast to find out its closed down! This is really sad news as it was pretty much the last independent shop in the area and had a great stock of second hand figures.

Still I take this as an omen that I should keep to 15mm scale at present and will continue sculpting and enjoying them! I do still want to have a bash at the project in 28mm scale but will have to wait for the time being!

Monday 28 May 2012

Converting Song of Blades to 6mm Sci-Fi


I've been playing around with GANESHA GAMES Song of Blades and Heroes ruleset to convert it to allow me to use it to play 6mm scale skirmishes and thought I would give a bit of a guide to my work so far so if you fancy a bash you can!

The Rules

I play the rules pretty much as they are in the book to be honest. The only change I have made is that you cannot simply keep activating the same unit if you roll a success as I found that some units will rampage around too much! Instead I would allow for certain units to get a second activation reflecting their quick responses. For example a lumbering behemoth of a superheavy tank doesn't have the same maneuverability as a biker squad.

In combat in Song of Blades if one is beaten but not killed the model is either pushed back or knocked over. This makes quite a useful way of representing push backs and suppression or light damage in 6mm scale so I kept it as is with units knocked over becoming suppressed and needing to spend an action to recover. If attacked while in this state it became easier to destroy them.

Skills and Abilities

When it came down to sorting out what abilities different sorts of units would have I had to spend a little time looking through my copies of the Songs of Blades series to see which would suit best the models I have.

In some cases this was an easy process, most stands have some sort of ranged weaponry so using different Shooter abilities would cover this quite nicely. Likewise the Blast and Lethal abilities also came in handy to represent different sorts of weapons giving each unit a bit of variety.

An anti tank gun would be lethal versus tanks or mechs and less so against dispersed infantry while a flamethrower would have the opposite lethality and an anti aircraft gun would be lethal verus aircraft!

Transports such an an APC which has the ability to transport stands needs to have some way of representing this rulewise. I had to make up a new rule for it, Transport. For each time it is used it allows you to transport a single stand of infantry. Any attacks made against the transport vehicle will only damage it unless you manage a gruesome kill which will also destroy the transported stand.

Transported infantry must spend an activation to embark or disembark allowing for the vehicle to move forward and the infantry to rapidly take an objective.

Some vehicles are more resilient to damage, be it a titan or some sort of heavy tank so they will get the Tough ability to keep them in the game longer!

I must admit I haven't fielded any superheavy vehicles yet so I dont know how well they will handle themselves though.

I still need to work on artillery and vehicles with multiple weapon systems and will post my progress here when I get chance.

Game Size

At present I am playing 300 point games which will generally result in about half a dozen models a side. To be honest this makes for a brilliant skirmish with at most a platoon a side. I think that it would be a fairly straight forward process to up the game to 600 or more points a side but will have to see what it plays like.

The Units

Heres a couple of examples of a unit stat:

Castilian Battle Armour
Quality: 4+ Combat 3
Special Rules: Shooter: Short

This represents a regular squad wearing good armour and fielding small arms. It would be easy to turn them into green troops by turning their quality to 5+ or elite by moving it to 3+

Wildebeest Battletank
Quality 4+ Combat 4
Special Rules: Shooter: Long, Tough

This represents a standard battletank with a long range weapon and heavy armour. I could tweak it a bit by giving it a Lethal ability versus vehicles or make it a stealth tank by giving it the Stealth ability! Likewise it could be turned into a lumbering beast by giving it the Slow ability.

Theres lots of ways to show different characteristics in the rules and its often the case of playing around with them until you get something satisfactory. One thing I would say is that infantry should be limited to a maximum Combat of 3 and all vehicles a maximum of 4 or 5.

Hopefully my ramblings will give folks a little bit of inspiration and I will post more articles as I get chance!

All the best!

Sunday 27 May 2012

Project Overview


Well I am back from a very long weekend at the MCM in London and I thought it was high time I actually put my thoughts into order!

Over the last week or so I have posted a fair amount of bits and bobs, usually starting off a new project or jabbering enthusiastically about what I plan on doing. Sadly theres not been much meat on the bones of these posts so I am going to write a bit of an overview of my projects and what I am actually going to do!

6mm Sci-fi

I have actually been cracking on with this project and have now painted everything I can as I have run out of bases! I still have plenty of vehicles and mechs to work my way through so from that perspective I still have lots to keep me entertained.

Sadly despite a thorough search I am yet to find a reasonable number of infantry figures to go along with it so all my forces are decidedly lacking in the required so I may yet have to place a small order for a pack or two of infantry to complete them.

I've got a couple more bits and pieces finished for the project and will take photos in the morning with details but can't do more until my base drought has been sorted.

15mm Classic Orks

This is my new project, inspired by seing some of the fantastic work folks in the wargaming community hace done in converting and playing Gorkamorka. I have plenty of ideas but have yet to sort out the actual sculpts. I will however be getting the armatures sorted out in the morning so I can actually make a start on the project.

I am really looking forward to the project and hope to have the first members of the Goff force ready for paint soon!

Paint a Leadpile Challenge!

This is possibly my most ambitious project as I have a small pile of figures gathering dust that needs painting. Work has already begun with the completion of a Rogue Trader era Ork and near completion of an equally old school Eldar. As always I will post pictures upon completion but I must admit its nice to have some real variety to choose from.      

I do have to order a few bits and bobs though! Looking at my stock I need to pick up some essentials, namely more of the lipped bases, more brushes as mine have finally given up the ghost and finally some 6mm oddments to give me a more rounded out force.

All told I suspect I will need to spend a good £20 getting all these vital pieces but once I am sorted I will be able to crack on with the painting! All in all I am keeping to my budget of zero and only ordering vital gubbins that will allow me to get on with the job at hand and its somewhat refreshing to be finally clearing my lead heap too!

All the best!

Saturday 26 May 2012

Classic Orks!


A few years back I made a rather half hearted attempt at collecting a classic Ork force using the old Freebooterz, Ere We Go and Rogue Trader books as a basis.

I know a lot of folks didn't like the cartoony clans that GW developed towards the end of first edition and 2nd edition of Warhammer 40k but they always struck a chord with me. Perhaps it was the fantastic artwork by Paul Bonner, one of my favorite artists or the characterful miniatures sculpted by Kev Adams or the truly random rules but I must admit to being rather fond of them.

 Freebooter Raiders!

Freebooter Mob

Sadly I sold off the vast majority of my collection when the project stalled last time but I am wondering about the possibility of me sculpting up a couple of small forces in 15mm scale to use with a bit of an attempt to play Gorkamorka in 15mm.

The plan is to start by choosing a clan and building a squad and then moving onto another until I cover the Goffs, Bloodaxes, Bad Moonz, Evil Sunz, Snakebites, Deathskullz, Freebooterz and even some more esoteric choices like Genestealer Kults and Rogue Meks too.

I will crack on with sculpting over the next few days and hope to have the first couple of models sorted out and will post an update once I have something to show!

I must admit that I find painting my own sculpts so much more fun than painting other folks, perhaps as I tend to make mine so simplistic so I am looking forward to the project. Before anyone asks though I am not going to be casting them up. It is a personal project done for my own pleasure so please dont expect to see any of them cast and up for sale!

Looking through the books I am also struck by the fact that the later Grimdark was absent from the illustration and its a more light sort of sci-fi fantasy.

Kevin Walker Orks V Marines!

I think I will make a start with the most brutal clan, the Goffs as I like their no nonsense style so will have to see what I can come up with!

All the best!

Monday 21 May 2012

Memory Lane!


I've found myself perusing an old copy of White Dwarf dating from 2nd Edition of Space Marine and it got me thinking of the games I used to play back in the day while I was at high school.

Epic Imperial Guard Army from the WD in Question!

Space Marine 2nd Edition

I used to regularly play against my friend who had literally thousands of 6mm infantry and I must admit the memory was rather a bitter one as I never won a game as my friend insisted on using literally everything he had resulting in 10k plus games and not a single painted figure!

Move on a decade or so and I once again got into Epic, this time Epic 40k, a more simplified and streamlined game than the previous edition, and I must admit, my favorite as you could easily play small to medium sized battles quickly as 2nd edition had books full of special rules and what not while Epic 40k just got on with it. I suspect I am in the minority with my opinions but it got me wondering whether it would be possible to collect  a couple of armies, especially the Orks.

A brief look at Ebay and I was aghast to see that prices had gone up to stupid levels, even from when I last collected epic. Infuriatingly I sold off a huge collection of Epic a couple of years back and have been kicking myself ever since (let that be a lesson to all wargamers; the lead pile should not be sold off!) Even if I proxied the figures I would find myself spending considerable amounts of money which I dont have so I would need to come up with an alternative.

I've already mentioned that I used Song of Blades as the basis for a rather fun game featuring a few stands a side but I want to see if I can find another system that would allow for slightly bigger games without too much complexity. Looking through my collection of rulebooks I happened upon WARGAMES UNLIMITED'S No Limits ruleset.

No Limits

No Limits is a game I have had some experience with in the past and is a totally free game which is even better. Several years back I collected a few armies for it in 28mm scale and even played a few games but never really got stuck into it but looking at the rules now, I think they have some real possibilities for 6mm gaming in a slightly larger scale of conflict than the few stands I used with the Song of Blades conversion.

I am thinking of statting up some of the forces from Epic (namely the Orks to begin with) and slowly aim towards collecting up a small raiding party. I will be sculpting or proxying he vehicles to save money and think I can probably source some infantry without breaking the bank.

Ah, you say, but you were supposed to be cutting off your spending on wargaming. Its true I had hoped to be able to save some pennies but as I really need some infantry anyway I will be on the lookout for some cheap Orks too so I can get my project on track!

Hopefully I will be able to post some updates in the not too distant future too!

All the best!

6mm Scale Mercenary Company


Heres some pics of the force I have been painting up. The vehicles are all Brigade Models SAC while the bikes are old Citadel Imperial Guard and the battle armour is from Mechwarrior!

The Complete Force So Far

APC Variants: Support, AA and Anti Tank 

 Battle Armour and Heavy APC

Battletanks and Assault Gun 

Biker Squads 

 Light APCs 

As you can see the force is a bit of a hodge podge of assorted vehicles and precious little infantry but as they were just what I had lying around in my bits box they dont look too bad together. The assault gun and most of the APC variants are converted as I was either missing barrels or turrets for the original models.

I think the next step would be for me to get some supporting infantry and possibly some sort of VTOL to give me some fast attack options and the ability to capture or hold objectives.

I have also found a couple of squads of old Epic Chaos Squats so painted them up and they may form the basis for some evil raider types for my other force to battle!

Chaos Squats

I think I am going to have to place an order for some more bases, greenstuff and paintbrushes though as I've now run out of bases and my brushes are getting a bit ratty...

Next up I am aiming to get some Mechs done and in keeping with my frugal gaming pledge I have been rummaging my bits box with the intention of painting at least one figure from it each week until its empty and have even got an old Space Ork mostly finished too!


I just played a quick game using Song of Blades as a basis.

The Company Mercenary unit consisted of two bikers, one elite biker, one squad of Castilian battle armour, a command APC and a battletank.

Facing them was a lance of Davion battlemechs consisting of a Cyclops, a Dervish, an Assassin and a Clint.

The mechs took the initiative and pushed forwards towards the mercenary deployment zone where the Assassin traded fire with the merc battletank until a shot from the mechs main gun hammered home causing damage.

Sadly this was the high point for the Davion mechs as the bikers hurtled out amongst them causing a nuisance while the command APC swung its missile pod to face the Assassin mech. The resulting explosion knocked the mech off its feet and before it could recover was swarmed under by the Castilian battle armour squad.

Meanwhile the mechs had abominable luck and only managed to force back or pin down the mercs before the command APC duelled the Davion Cyclops and knocked it over with a well placed rocket to the mechs leg. Before the pilot could recover the APCs autocannon blasted a neat hole in the mechs cockpit. At this the surviving mechs pulled back to regroup.

Sadly I didn't take any photos as the mechs are unpainted but worry not as I will post a full report of the refight with photos as soon as I have them painted!

All the best!

Saturday 19 May 2012

More 6mm Scale and Frugal Gaming Ponderings!


Well I only have two more bases to finish and I will have my first force ready to go! Sadly I currently dont have any infantry to go along with them other than a couple of bases of Mechwarrior Darkage battle armour and some old Imperial Guard Bikers so will need to pick up some so I can round off the force for the time being.

Next up will be some Battletech mechs as I have a load of the plastic ones that came with the starter set along with one or two I have collected over the years. I must admit I am not looking forward to it too much as they are made from a sort of plastic that is a nightmare to clean (a process that is vital on the figures as theres tons of mould lines marring the models)

Still once they are cleaned they do paint up alright. Heres a Spider mech I painted a couple of years back:

Pirate Spider Mech

Having looked through the pile of bits I have I've found that I have got enough to represent one lance of four mechs for each of the five great houses and enough left over to cover Wilsons Hussars too which is handy.

The colour scheme was inspired by some 28mm scale stuff I did while still in Dundee:

I must admit I would love to collect up some old school 28mm sci-fi figures at some point but just dont have the time to even think about it at present. I do have a fair few bits and bobs kicking around which would allow me to paint up a squad or two of Imperial Guard which may eventually result in some Rogue Trader games but thats a long, long way off!

I have also been casting a nostalgic eye over Epic which is always dangerous as the last time I did that I ended up with a giant Squat force:

 Converted Squat APCs

 Squat Biker Brotherhood

 Squat Exo Armour and Droids

Squat Infantry 

Squat Superheavy Tanks

Sadly I sold them all off several years back when I went off to university and dont have the playing surface required to play Epic either but I have been pondering getting a few Squats at some point to allow me to game them in smaller numbers...

Still I must be strong and save the pennies so no buying of stuff for the moment!

I have spent some time going through my much depleted lead mountain (now more of a small box) and realised that I have some rather nice bits and bobs and am formulating a bit of a plan about what to do with all of it.

In the past I have sold stuff off only to come to regret it so think I will instead try and paint it all up. Its a bit of a novel idea for me I must admit as I have the attention span of a goldfish and suffer from the ooh shiny complex so projects tend to start and end randomly and be replaced with the next at an alarming rate. As my gaming budget is currently zero I am going to begin working my way though all my unpainted figures in an attempt to clear the lot.

The only money I am allowing myself to spend on my hobby will be to get bases, putty, brushes and paints as and when required. This should mean that I will be posting fairly regularly with random bits and bobs so keep your eyes peeled for updates!

All the best!

Thursday 17 May 2012

6mm Scale Update


Well its been a busy week or so. I have been working on two commissions, preparing a host of sculpts and artwork for the upcoming MCM in London and even had a little time to work on painting up some of the 6mm scale bits I have had kicking around for an age!

Sadly I haven't had chance to get any pictures yet but will take some as soon as I have them all finished (I only have two biker stands and a light APC to go!) I must admit I have really put some effort into the little vehicles, both with painting and basing and have found it to be a rather relaxing subject to work on while waiting for putty to cure and primer to dry.

Sadly all good things come to an end and as I have nearly finished everything I have to hand I will need to have a look to see what else I can paint. This brings me to my next subject, Battletech!

Ever since I read the old third edition rulebook I have loved the background but not had any time for the over complex and ponderously slow rules and with the possibility of using a version of Song of Blades as a ruleset I have been poring over my old books and found my old and battered copy of the Mercenaries Handbook:

Dating from the early days of Battletech its got some lovely retro artwork and some interesting ideas on the Inner Sphere and how wars should be fought in the Battletech universe.

Wilsons Hussars Lieutenant Paula Stilson

One of the most interesting sections in the book covers the rather ramshackle mercenary outfit Wilsons Hussars, a group of rather out of luck mechwarriors whos mechs are so beaten up they are all but inoperable.

 Wilsons Hussars

Now I must admit I do love an underdog so have decided my next small force will be the Hussars from the 3020s at the low point of their careers. I will be cheating slightly and using whatever mechs and vehicles I can lay hands on rather than slavishly sticking to the background but think it could be fun to paint up a few beaten up machines for my Company troops to fight.

Wilsons Hussars Team Members

Hopefully I will have chance to get some pics taken of my work in progress but it may be a while till I get the opportunity to get it all finished. I will however try and get some images of my current force taken over the next day or so followed by a bit of a tech manual covering their stats in Song of Blades and a bit about my rule bodging!

All the best!

Monday 7 May 2012

6mm Scale Skirmishing?


I've been pondering painting up some old Epic figures I have had kicking around for some time now and have been searching round for a decent ruleset to use.

Epic 40k

I must admit that I am a real fan of Epic 40000, the third edition of Games Workshops 6mm scale Epic game. Its rules are really streamlined and simplified which allows for a really fun and fast playing game. The only problem is Epic is a tad pricey to collect these days with even the plastic infantry going for silly money plus I must admit I got tired of the Grimdark future that GW seems to have stuck with.

Another game that caught my eye a few years back was Mechwarrior Darkage, a collectable miniatures game. Although I never really played it I did read some of the background and liked the setting and the concept of small ragtag forces fighting it out using mechs, vehicles and infantry.

Sadly the game enraged fans of Battletech with its redesigns of classic mechs, butchering the setting, rulecreep and most of all, its collectable nature! What it did for me was give me an idea for a fun, inexpensive project that would allow me to collect a couple of small forces to paint!

So whats the plan you may ask? Essentially I am hoping to have a bash at using my favorite ruleset, Song of Blades as a basis for some small scale skirmishing.

I first came across Song of Blades not long after it was released but at the time I didn't rate it as it was just so simple. Move forward a few years and I was looking for a fast, simple ruleset to play some 15mm scale fantasy skirmishes with and by chance I tried out Song of Blades again and have been a fan ever since. Its genius is that one can play using any figures they have on a reasonably small board. It doesn't need one to have a degree in maths to play and games tend not to drag on for ever while keeping both players involved.

In fact its perfect for solo gaming, which is ideal for me as the mechanics allow one to play both sides without too much difficulty essentially turning it into a RPG lite sort of game.

Now I've settled on the system, I need to figure out how to turn a fantasy skirmish game into a fun 6mm sci-fi one. I am planning on basing up my figures on the new style lipped bases with an infantry squad or tank taking a single 30mm round base. Larger vehicles and mechs can then be given larger bases as required.

Games will be played on a 2x2' or 2x3' board as thats all the space I can manage at present and the combatants will probably feature about a dozen or so bases each and be very scenario based rather than a straight up brawl.

Setting wise, I will be settling with my own home brewed one of Farpoint, a frontier world with limited resources. Forces will initially include a planetary defence force and some marauding pirate types! Later on I will add some mercenary units and some other bits and bobs as the setting and time allows!

As always with my projects, the budget is severely limited so I will be trying to make do with what I've got for the time being and only making very small purchases when I need them! To cut down on cost I am also hoping to sculpt up some small vehicles and mechs to add to the fun.

Hopefully I will be able to get some background posted up soonish covering the world of Farpoint and the forces vying for its control!

All the best!