Friday 29 June 2012

Cauldron Born and Forge of Ice Miniatures


Having posted about about FOUR A MINIATURES the other day I thought I would spread the joy a little about a couple more small companies.

First up theres CAULDRON BORN MINIATURES, a small company which none the less has some rather nice figures in their initial range:

 Cauldron Born Hunchback

 Cauldron Born with Club

Dwarven Tunnel Fighters

I must admit I have a soft spot for those Dwarven Tunnel Fighters! The chinky armour and short stabbing spears are brilliant while the Goblinoid Cauldron Born themselves ar deliciously wicked looking (thanks to Manic Miner for the pics, painted by Paul Sanderson)

Next theres FORGE OF ICE, another small company which has some promising bits and bobs in their range:

 Mutant Terror Bird

Barbarian Tents

The Mutant Terror Bird is a really nice addition to any fantasy, sci-fi or post apocalyptic force while the scenic items are rather good too. Sadly the scenery doesn't seem to be available at present but its worth checking their site anyway!

You may notice a bit of a Chronopia homage from both companies and thats because they were set up by fans of the game and the design style is rather reminiscent of that sadly out of production game. If you are still interested in Chronopia or indeed Warzone, its worth checking out the forum which supports both which can be found HERE!

All the best!

Stuff From the Leadpile 4


Heres some pictures of a couple of miniatures I painted a few years ago and put into storage:

 Chronopia Elven Dream Warrior

First up theres the Elven Dream Warrior from Chronopia. Despite his chunkiness, I love the figure and had originally painted him up with a very limited palette. Fortunately he just needed a few little spots here and there due to being chipped before he was varnished.

Ice Elemental

Next upe theres an Ice Elemental originally from the Ral Partha Crucible range. I had just rebased him and gave him a varnish only to be horrified when I checked back to find it had gone all cloudy! I gave him a wash of blue ink and a drybrush of silver but he still doesn't look nearly as good as before I flubbed the varnishing. I think I may repaint him by mixing up a metallic blue paint over a blue base but we shall see. 

Its given me cause to pause for thought on how I varnish my figures. I must admit that until recently in my 20 years of gaming I had survived without varnish but with moving around so often over the last three years I noticed in the last month or so that my figures were starting to look a little worse for wear so  started using matt spray varnish. all seemed to be going well until this last batch of figures and I can only assume there was some moisture in the air when I sprayed the stuff this time.

Does anyone have any suggestions for producing a decent finish with varnish as I have noticed the stuff I am using at present seems to matt down even the metallics a bit too much. In an ideal world I would use brush on varnish but the last time I tried a supposedly matt varnish from the pot it turned out near gloss!

All the best!

Thursday 28 June 2012

Stuff From the Leadpile 3


Heres the latest figures I've painted from my leadpile, some Four A Miniatures:


Flesh Golem

I've really enjoyed painting them as they have very different types of sculpting, the barbarians have lots of fine detail that results in an interesting model to paint while the flesh golem is lovely and chunky which made for a joy to paint!

In other news I have rummaged out my painted figure collection dating back several years. Sadly its been rather poorly handled and they have all fallen out of their protective pockets and I found them piled up, chipped and broken at the bottom of the box. After some wailing and gnashing of teeth, I have set about repairing the damage and finally varnishing them so they won't suffer the same fate in future!

Heres the first couple from the collection:

 Grenadier Barbarian (now available from Em4 Miniatures)

The Barbarian was painted up a few years back for a Nuclear Renaissance project that never materialised but he works quite well across genres as he will see action in both Sci-fi and Fantasy gaming!

Old Citadel Hobgoblin

Next up theres an old Hobgoblin from Citadel. He's a lovely little figure but I need to rebase him with a lipped base so he fits in with the rest of my collection. I do like the style of him and will be keeping my eye out for any more so I can round out a warband of them at some point!

I've also got a pile more, mostly Chronopia figures sitting on the paint table for touching up and rebasing so will post pictures of them once I get chance!

Looking at my collection I have found that I have a pretty decent force of Sons of Kronos for Chronopia so hope to be able to round out the force at some point as at present I have a unit of Hearthguard and some Viridian Lords but want to get some normal tribesmen and cavalry choices. Fortunately I have some more Grenadier barbarians kicking around and combined with my previously painted Four A and Grenadier barbarians I have just about all I need!

Hopefully I will get chance to add some more pictures today of some Crystal Lotus Elves and possibly more!

All the best!

Wednesday 27 June 2012

Life, the Universe and Everything Gaming Related!


Well I have had a bit of an interesting few days here and I find myself sitting painting 28mm scale figures when only a month or so back I had all but given up on larger scale figures for 15mm scale. On top of that I have been re-exploring miniatures and rules that I used to collect and paint and game quite some time ago before going to university and even before that and in doing this I have re-found my enjoyment of my hobby.

For almost a year I hadn't played a game or even painted anything due in part to workload and our current accommodation but also due to a bit of a hobby burn out. I just couldn't face painting anything and miniatures just didn't seem interesting anymore. This has changed over the last few months as I saw some other folks blogs, especially those who have begun investigating some of the rulesets of the 80s and early 90s such as Rogue Trader and 3rd edition Fantasy Battle. Likewise a single topic on the LEAD ADVENTURE FORUM has rekindled my interest in games like Chronopia and Warzone which I had thought extinct.

Sadly as already mentioned, I don't have much of a budget for gaming at the moment but I am not going to wail and gnash my teeth about it. Instead I am going to put my puny budget to the best use possible, to start collecting my own old school miniatures. The budget will actually prove a boon as it will force me to limit my purchases to a few miniatures a month and allow me to get them painted before buying any more!

Interestingly I see that quite a bit of the Warzone and Chronopia ranges are still available so I may have to make a start with them as 40k and Fantasy Battle already have lots of blogs dedicated to them but these two games produced by Target in the early to mid 90s were fantastic, both rulewise and had really good backgrounds not to mention some really decent miniatures!

Oddly I have still got much of my Sons of Kronos force in storage so will be looking it out, dusting it off and rebasing them!



I will rummage out my bits and bobs and will try and get a few photos taken in the morning!
All the best!

15mm Scale Sculpts for Sale!


I've posted this up on my other blog but I thought I would shove it on here too! I am having a bit of a clear out of my 15/18mm scale sculpts and am offering them for sale!

All the figures are available for £20 each with full casting rights so if you are interested please feel free to get in touch!

All the best!

Monday 25 June 2012

Four A Miniatures


I thought I would give a little bit of a heads up to folks about the most excellent FOUR A MINIATURES!

Four A Miniatures was set up by long time miniature collector and all round decent chap, Andy Coleman and over the last couple of years he has commissioned some really lovely and unusual miniatures as the following pictures show:

 Winged Sci-fi Gremlin

Another Winged Sci-fi Gremlin 

 Emissary and Guides

Jim and the Fix It Crew 

Ronan the Barbarian 

Sanderson and Co

 Sea Demon

 Sea Demon Pikers


Flint, Dwarven Mercenary 

 Bruenor Odinson, Dwarf Tracker

 Dwarven Axemen

 Kev Adams Goblins!

 More Kev Adams Goblins!!

Mortimers Girl 

 Sea Demon Hero

 Four Armed Demon


 Snow Troopers

Swamp Hound

As you can see hes got an amazing selection of miniatures suitable for many different genres, all of which are very reasonably priced and ooze character! I have several of the figures and they are superb quality too and will be trying to paint them up soon but I would highly recommend taking a peek at his site HERE!

All the best!

Retro Gaming


Theres been a real interest over the last 12 months or so for older games, namely 2nd and 3rd edition Fantasy Battle, Rogue Trader, Chronopia and Warzone.

3rd Edition Fantasy Battle 

Rogue Trader

Warzone 1st Edition

1st Edition Chronopia

Its got me to wondering what is stoking this obsession, especially when today wargames are spoiled for choice for high quality games and figures but an increasing nimber seem to be hankering after rules and miniatures which in most cases have been out of production for over a decade.

I think that part of the answer is that figures produced during this period had a real character to them which seems to be missing in many cases with more modern sculpts which makes them far more interesting to paint. For example the earlier GW sculpts are brilliant and each figure has a real personality that the newer plastic figures are totally free from, essentially turning them all into bland and dull duplicates.

Secondly the older rules themselves actively encouraged players to enjoy themselves, discard and change rules as it suited them and there wasn't the limitation of rigid armylists that pepper newer games. 

It seems to me that newer companies seem to have discarded the use of imagination in gamers and painters, instead giving them limits to playing that suck the fun out of a game. A perfect example of this is the tournament mindset that infests many players of Games Workshop games for who winning is all and having fun doesn't even figure. Likewise they do not want a characterful force, they want one that will win.

The older sets, while often clunky, are ideal for gamers who want to play games that encourage imagination and the idea of having fun rather than just playing to win. Scenario driven games, often with unequal forces which are almost unthinkable in many modern games. 

Maybe its something that companies could take note of that not all gamers are interested in playing jut to win and collecting and painting a force should be an enjoyable experience rather than a chore and interesting models should take precedence over powerful and game winning ones!

What do other folks think? 

All the best! 

Sunday 24 June 2012



I've been perusing my old copies of Warzone after seeing a really excellent topic on LEAD ADVENTURE featuring some lovely painted miniatures.

It got me to  thinking about the possibility of getting some Warzone figures (mine were sold off many moons ago in a moment of madness) and trying to play some games of the 1st edition of the rules which I have always preferred to the newer ones as they really aim towards small skirmishes between a couple of squads and the odd individual.

Warzone 1st Edition!

Sadly the range is now out of production and while some of it is still available from Prince August, I have had rather poor experience with them as many of the figures they do still have are riddled with lead rot and their shipping is a tad steep!

Meanwhile looking on eBay is proving to be equally fraught as Warzone figures are selling for rather a lot of money at present so another approach is required. I had thought of using proxy miniatures to represent the likes of Blood Berets and Captiol troops but the style of the Warzone figures was so different with their chunky sculpts and huge shoulderpads that a hefty amount of converting would be needed to produce the required results.

Therefore I am going to take the plunge and sculpt my own. I had a bash at sculpting a Blood Beret in 28mm scale but it was so awful that I discarded it entirely! Therefore I am going to stick to what I am good at and work on making them in 15mm scale instead!

This will allow me to quickly get a force put together and play some games in my very limited gaming space. I also plan on speeding up the process a bit by making some moulds of them so I can churn out some duplicates instead of having to make every single one by hand!.

I am also thinking of taking a bit of an unusual route to gaming the Warzone setting as I want to play games set on Dark Eden rather than Mars, Venus or Mercury. I have been reading the background for the wasteland of Earth and its really got some possibilities!

I must admit I am a sucker for a post apocalyptic setting with giant warbeasts and hideous mutants and Dark Eden has lots of both!

Fortunately the Corporations and the Brotherhood all have outposts on the planet along with the Dark Legion so I will be able to add lots more bits and bobs to my forces!

Brotherhood Expedition

The Warzone setting is fully as rich and interesting as the 40k setting and some of the illustration work that went into it was stunning and over the next day or so I will post some background on the various corporations, the Brotherhood and the Dark Legion!

Warzone deserves a bit of love and attention so I am going to rework a page or two to it!

All the best!

Saturday 23 June 2012

6th Edition 40k: Meh to the Tome of Doom


I had mentioned a while back about my interest in the upcoming release of the new 40k. Well its up for preorder now but good grief, it costs £45 and is two inches thick!

The Tome

Looking back at the older editions, one would get the rules and a load of figures for that amount of cash and the thought of having the mighty tome to wade through is enough to drive one to madness. I know the gamers edition will come out with the new box set (which apparently isn't due out till September!) but the thought of having to spend that much money just for the rules is more than a little off putting to say the least!

As yet theres no real information on whats in the book itself rule wise or indeed fluff related but I found myself looking at it and going "meh". I may be a bit jaded but its just not that exciting, especially as GWs marketing campaign can only be described as utterly crap. The biggest release in years from the biggest game company in the world and the only build up we got was some naff flaming eagles on Youtube.

Other companies have done a great deal more to big up their new games which has proved far more interesting and attention grabbing than GWs attempts with the likes of Mantic even showing concept art for planned releases and more shockingly looking for feedback from gamers on how they could improve their game. It just strikes me as a bit lazy the GW just assumes all the fan boys will froth and wet themselves over the new book without them needing to bother advertising it.

Surprisingly I will be giving it a miss unless its A, revamped the rules greatly to update the very creaky ones they use currently and B, moved the background forward. I would be surprised if GW did either to be honest as 40k is their cash cow and they seem utterly unwilling to touch it, instead dumbing it down to the point of boredom.

I know I sound like a GW basher but I honestly wanted to like the new game and was seriously considering giving it a bash. Seeing that it would probably set me back £200+ to get even a small force put together I am going to stick to my current projects as I am having much more fun with them as I cannot reasonably sink that much cash into 40k!

Oh well! I still have my 2nd edition project to give me the fix of 40kness. Interestingly the project seems to be constantly developing and evolving. Originally intended as a way for me to collect an Imperial Guard force for 2nd edition its now changed into much more of a skirmish type of project with lots of bits and bobs from other games, companies and even settings.

Theres a bit of Kryomek, some Warzone, Necromunda, Inquisitor, Rogue Trader and many more oddments being thrown in for good measure. Maybe its because I have played other non GW games and painted miniatures from other companies but I cant help but feel that I want to use whatever figures I want and customise rules to suit my requirements and enjoyment of my hobby.

All the best!

Friday 22 June 2012

Mantic Dwarves


I recently got a regiment of 20 plastic Mantic Dwarves and thought I would post a bit of a review of them.

When they were first released I had been a bit dismissive of them as I thought the detail was a bit poor and they were too cartoony. Looking at the actual figures I must admit my first view was well out as the miniatures themselves are rather decent. Possibly it was the studio paint scheme but they really don't show them to their best.

For plastic figures they are surprisingly mould line free and only minimal cleaning was required as the sprue has been cunningly wrought to conceal the lines in areas which are not visible. In fact one could just about get away without even doing any but for the purist in me I removed what little there was. Its worth noting that the plastic sprues are really sturdy, possibly a bit more so than GW kits and I ended up having to use pliers to get the main bodies off after chopping into my finger with my hobby knife!

The figures themselves are sharply detailed but stylised a bit which makes them very different from the GW Dwarves and actually have legs! Some care needs to be taken in putting them together on their bases as I got half way through constructing them before realising they wouldn't rank up!

Hopefully I will be able to get them painted up soon so folks can see them but for the princely sum of £10 from ebay, you really cant go wrong! I will be using them both for Kings of War and 3rd edition Fantasy Battle and the only conversion work I have done was to bush out the champions beard a bit and make a new standard out of wire as the one in the box is a little on the small side for my likings!

Overall I would recommend them to anyone wanting to collect an affordable army and look forward to painting them up!

All the best!

Nuclear Renaissance


During my recent rummaging through my unpainted miniatures collection I happened across some of the RAMSHACKLE GAMES Nuclear Renaissance figures which I picked up a few years back.

Nuclear Renaissance

Although the sculpts are not the most highly polished and the anatomy is a bit odd on some of the figures I must admit they have been some of the most fun miniatures to paint I have worked on for quite a while!

The exaggerated proportions and interesting sculpts have a real individuality to them which is rather refreshing! I may have to pick up a couple more of the figures not to mention a vehicle or two when I get chance!

The rules themselves are freely available from Ramshackles website and are well worth a look as theres some interesting and rather novel rules which I plan on having a go with once I have enough figures painted up. At present I have a few of the Giggles clan painted as Adeptus Mechanicus members but they would double for some cyborgised rednecks too.

All the best!