Saturday 28 February 2015

Progress Report


Well the workroom is looking far better now after a day or two's work but there's still loads to do and all the stuff we took out of it now needs sorting through and putting somewhere (even if its the bin) and its looking like we may actually finally be totally unpacked after living here for sixteen months!

In other news, I have been beavering away on some 6mm scale Horned Folk conversions and hope to have them ready to paint by the end of the weekend. I have to admit that sculpting in such a small scale is surprisingly time consuming and kudos to those who manage to do so for a living.

I took a look back through my blog and discovered to my horror that the last battle report I posted was in September 2012! Heres a LINK to the action which saw Slippery Jim diGriz and his spacefleet allies take on Angelina and her thugs in a fight over a meteorite.

The Battlefield

The shock of realising it's been over two years since I played a game and posted it here saddened me greatly, so much so that I have decided to aim to get myself sorted out and get a game in a week if I can, especially as I now have literally tons of terrain and painted figures to choose from although looking at my gubbins, I seem to have mislaid one of my board sections so will need to find it first.

We shall see what I can come up with over the course of the weekend so stay tuned!
All the best!

Thursday 26 February 2015

Expanding the Herd?


I am about to embark on a mass tidy of our workroom which is probably going to take all day as it currently combines workroom/storeroom and general tip so I doubt I am going to get much chance to work on much in the way of hobby related goodies for a bit!

Still, I have spent a bit of time working on some background and ideas for my Horned Folk in 6mm scale. Its a bit odd, collecting a force that only got mentioned once in the old Leviathan rulebook but I do like a challenge.

Here's a bit of background I wrote up a while back:

In the world of Aeroth, the Horned Folk are one of the near mythical Elder Races that the Elves supposedly drove into extinction during the Age of Legends some ten thousand years ago. However the Horned Folk survived after a fashion by retreating to their great Barrows, deep in the forested north east of the continent and have slumbered away the ensuing centuries.

 Snowclad Forest

With the coming of the Death, the Horned Folk have been re-awakened and have begun to reconquer their ancestral lands from the tribes of Human Barbarians who now occupy it. This expansion has brought them into contact with both the Orcish Horde to the East and South and the Dwarves to the West and the brutish and savage nature of the Horned Folks has resulted in several border skirmishes already and full blown warfare has only been averted by the harshness of the winter.

In appearance, the Horned Folk look much like an amalgam of humanoid and great bulls. Standing up to a dozen feet high, the Horned Folk have great bull like heads, sprouting powerful horns, often adorned with intricately worked golden and bronze jewellery. 

Their bodies are covered in a coarse fur and their barrel chests and powerful limbs stand mute testimony to their physical strength. Centuries of sleeping in the cold embrace of the earth has altered many of them as tree roots have entwined themselves around their bodies and even consumed some of their elders entirely. 

Horned Folk Territory

In battle they wield heavy bladed bronze axes, maces and swords from another age and with their savage strength, they are fully capable of cleaving even a fully armoured Dwarf in two or crushing an Orcish skull with a single blow. 

Worshippers of a nameless Prince of the Fallen, the Horned Folk have no concept of peace and live for war, their great warriors wish only to slay for their god and bring slaves back to toil in their fields or fight in their armies. This attitude has not not made them popular with the Barbarians, many small tribes of whom have been slaughtered or driven into slavery but the Horned Folk are an elemental race, returned from the mists of time to reclaim an ancient empire.

Alongside their Minotaur nobles, resplendent in their bronze armour, march ranks of lesser Horned kin, smaller, man sized beastmen who serve their masters as a race of warriors. Well trained and disciplined, the Horned Kin form the bulk of raiding parties and also drive the lowly slaves into battle before them.

The centuries of sleep and invasion of trees into some of the most ancient barrows have deprived many of the elder Horned Folk of their bodies but their spirits now inhabit the soil, rocks and trees of the land and they can be raised to fight as great and terrible elemental creatures, often dwarfing even the mightiest Minotaur noble. These beings are revered as avatars of the Horned Folks god and are often adorned with small idols and their great misshapen bodies are bedecked with golden torcs, bronze breastplates inlaid with precious stones and even trophies of defeated foes.

Right, so we have a race of bronze age beastmen returned to the modern day by the unleashing of The Death in Aeroth. 

Looking at how my force is at present, I have the basics in the form of Horned Folk and the lesser Horned Kin as well as a small monster in the form of the Cyclopean. I still have about another two bases of Minotaurs to paint and six more Beastmen which will give me a decent core to my army.

The Horned Folk army thus far

Looking at what else I have kicking around, I discovered a trio of really rather poorly sculpted 15m scale Rhinos from Irregular Miniatures that have been languishing in my bits box for untold years. With a bit of puttying, they are starting to look a bit more fearsome and will provide me with a few small warbeasts but what else can I find?

Well Microworld have a fantastic range of suitable beasties:

Whee! What a fantastic and characterful selection! They would add a lot of variety to my existing army, be it chariots, heavy cavalry or warbeasts but what else is out there?

I really want to add some suitably large warbeasts and monsters to the force, especially some of the Horned Folks avatars of destruction! I plan on adding some more scratch build and converted bits and bobs to the mix such as more wooly mammoth wartowers and possibly even something more akin to a mammoth or two, festooned with Beastmen. 

We shall see what I can do with the stuff I have at present and I hope to post some pictures before too long but for now, I am off to tidy!

All the best!

Wednesday 25 February 2015

Fungal Forest


Just a quick update again with another piece of terrain, this time the Fungal Forest!

 A Cyclops skulks in the Fungal Forest

Constructed out of some rather fun polystyrene and prepainted eggs I picked up for £1.00 at Hobbycraft, they look quite good as alien terrain, be it somewhere in the Farpoint Sector or in the blasted wastelands of Aeroth.

 Minotaurs advance through the Fungus 

The base is made from a piece of cork tile I have had kicking around for ages and the smaller fungal outcrops are cotton buds painted to match the colour of the eggs. I was heartened to note that the cork tile didn't warp with all the glue on it so will be making more use of it as a basing material as I go.

I must admit that its been great fun to put together some terrain thats a bit different and easy to make to boot. I have enough eggs to make another half dozen forest patches of various sizes and I may have to nip back to Hobbycraft for more as they had several different colours!

Handily the terrain itself is multi scale and a mighty forest in 6mm scale becomes a confined and oppressive piece of cover in 15mm scale:

 Capitol Light Infantry on patrol 

It may not look super realistic but I do quite like the overall look and can't wait to add more pieces to my ever growing terrain collection. Hopefully I will be able to create some more unusual pieces to populate the landscape over the course of my holidays!

Martian Patrol!

Imagine a whole board covered in the things with an assortment of other, unusual bits and bobs dotted around. It would look fantastically unusual and rather in keeping with a Nausicaa style forest. I have some petrified trees to add and will see what else I can do to make things interesting for my assorted warbands.

All the best!

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Horned Folk Army


Between my assorted tasks of yesterday, I did find the time to paint up another couple of bases for my Horned Folk army in 6mm scale:

 The force thus far

Having seen the picture I posted here the other day, I felt compelled to re-explore the project and see if I couldn't finish it off a bit and, to be honest, it gave me an excuse to stop painting buildings!

The bases of all the figures have been reworked a bit with the burnt umber edges repainted matt black to bump up the contrast a bit. I also had the chance to paint up another two stands of Minotaurs to bulk out my heavy infantry a bit:


I have been using some of my old Epic plastic Minotaurs but the single pose was a bit of a drag so I have reposed a few of them to add a bit of variety to proceedings which, when combined with the mixed colour schemes, results in a somewhat more interesting look.

Background wise, the Horned folk are one of the oldest races inhabiting Aeroth but were driven to their long slumber in mighty barrows by the Elves in the Time of Legends. The Death has re-awoken them and they have re-emerged, intent on taking back their ancestral lands to the north and east of the Axeblades.

As they are supposed to be an ancient, bronze age culture, I have given them bronze armour and weapons and steered clear of bright colours other than the odd green gemstone to give them a look of antiquity that is quite in keeping with their background.

Hopefully I will be able to finish off the last two bases of Minotaurs and six bases of Beastmen over the coming days and add the odd larger monster than the cyclops I currently have as their only warbeast!

All the best!

Monday 23 February 2015

Don't Fence Me In!


Just a quick update today as I have started my holidays from work but ironically am snowed under with things to to!

Still, I have managed to get some more scenic madness put together in the form of security fencing and a small Imperial bunker to protect my expanding outpost:

 An Imperial Bunker at the edge of the settlement

While rummaging my bits boxes, I happened across some mesh material that I had picked up from the craft bank in Worcester many moons ago. Its some sort of plastic coated nylon and looked ideal for use as a fence. With the addition of some cut off matches, lolly sticks and sand, hey presto, a security fence is born!

Capitol Trooper inspecting a suspiciously damaged piece of fence line

I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, especially as it took next to no time to put together and paint, although it seems to have retained a green sheen from the underlying plastic. It will make life interesting for warbands trying to move around my gaming table and I may yet add some small warning signs to it to let folks know its electrified...

I also produced a small bunker of the style that 2nd edition 40k fans should recognise. Its actually a potpourri box from Hobbycraft with some vision slits cut out of it and a reinforced door added using cardboard.

 Bastion 11342. Boring but useful.

The structure is also a bit modular too as I am going to add a removable gun emplacement on the roof when I have the time which will be swappable with a communication array.

I did think the structure itself was a tad dull as it lacked detail somehow so I added an Imperial Eagle to finish it off:

Three guesses who put this thing up...

Made from cereal box cardboard and rhinestone rivets, I gave it a bit of love and attention during painting to make it pop a bit and quite like the result. I do like how the texture of the box really lends itself to industrial and military style buildings too!

I seem to be making real progress with adding scenery to my games at present but still need to construct some natural touches like hills and vegetation too so will try and get some gubbins sorted out over the next few days if I have the chance!

All the best!

Thursday 19 February 2015

Scatter Terrain and Walkways...


Well I am about to head out to work for a late night shift involving an author signing (James Oswald who is a top chap as well as a bestselling crime writer!) but thought I'd post up a quick couple of pics of my latest scenic test pieces!

 The Growing Imperial Outpost

I've managed to put together a walkway from some cork tile, cereal box card and some small MDF bases to give me an extra level of mobility for my warbands to fight over and am quite pleased with it thus far. I will be adding several more over the next few days and hope to add a third module to the base itself too. After that, I think I am going to have to nip into Hobbycraft again and pick up some more boxes as I am loving the hexagonal module design and have literally dozens of possible designs to develop!

I have also put together some scatter terrain for gangs to skulk around behind or loot from a variety of sources:
Boxes, Barrels and Pipes!

In the true spirit of the budget gamer, they are all cheap materials too. The bases are from Kallistra that I picked up eons ago for a long forgotten project, the pipes were found in my local craft bank when I lived in Worcester (they had tons of great stuff and I wish I had access to something similar in Scotland and I would highly recommend any wargamer to find their local one as you can get so much fantastic stuff for almost nothing!). The Barrels are made from short lengths of plastic rod with thin paper strips glued on to give them the rims and a small rhinestone for a plug thingy.

The crates are made from 20mm square lasercut MDF bases I picked up from Warbases a few years back, glued together and wrapped with thin strips of paper. I am seriously thinking of getting some 10mm and 15mm ones too as they make really simple little crates without costing the earth!

I must admit that I seem to have been bitten by the terrain building bug and am really enjoying taking a break from just painting miniatures but do hope to get back to the tiny lead fellows soon.

Speaking of which, I have been putting a lot of thought into my proposed Leviathan revamp and have decided to switch it down a scale or two. I had originally planned on doing the whole thing in 15mm scale but have realised its going to be rather time consuming, not to mention expensive so am going to move to 6mm instead.

Horned Folk Warband

I think that seeing the picture above again seems to have persuaded me to be honest, I like the look of it and Microworld has some cracking figures that would allow me to play quite large forces on a small surface and field some really big beasts and warengines (imagine a fantasy version of Epic!). It would also allow me to indulge in a bit of oldhammer inspired fun by creating some nice big banners for the commanders of various units and character models. I will also be able to churn out some big beasts without spending untold ages sculpting them all which is a real plus. 

Hopefully I will get chance to write up some background and force outlines over the coming days as well as post some pics of sketches I have been producing for the assorted armies, warengines and warbeasts!

Worry not though! I do plan on continuing the 15mm scale fantasy and sci-fi stuff as I do also want to depict skirmishes in both my alternative Imperium and Aeroth!

All the best!

Monday 16 February 2015

Thats A Lot Of Lead...


I got asked by Demi Morgana to post a pic or two of my full layout with all my painted 15mm scale miniatures on it so without further ado, here's my current heap o' stuff!

Lots of Tiny Gubbins!

I seem to have lost a few bits and bobs during the last couple of moves and some of them are starting to show their age and could do with a bit of a repaint but I must admit it's quite pleasing to see all of them laid out in one place!

 Mechs and vehicles defend the outpost.

I have to admit having gotten a bit nostalgic while rummaging around my collection, be it Stainless Steel Rat, Battletech or Rogue Trader, they are all fantastic little figures and I doubt that I could have ever amassed such a varied collection in 28mm scale.

Mercenary Mech hiding in the slime forest! 

One thing I do want to do is add more mechs to my collection as they look fantastic looming over the infantry in a most satisfying manner. I may even be tempted to re explore my old Battletech project too having seen what they look like again.

Goff Orks and Dark Legion

I am also rather aware that I have lots of disparate elements, random bits and bobs and small gangs but no proper army so to speak so will need to get to it and build up my forces a bit too (especially as I really want to play some games of Rogue Trader, No Limits, Gruntz, 2nd Edition 40k and a whole host of others that I fancy having a bash at!

Arbites Deploy!

I do think one of the best things about 15mm scale is that you can build a force for almost nothing with an average gang costing about £3-£4 while even a decent sized army will set you back no more than £30-£40 and the ability to add cheap toy cars to the mix as well as bargain basement terrain makes a real difference to the gamer on a microbudget such as myself!

 Crazed Cultists attack an Ort squad

Annoyingly, I seem to flit between projects with depressing regularity and still haven't quite found just where I am going with any of them. Still I do have great plans for all of them (if only I could carry them through!) and the year should see a fair amount more stuff being built and painted and my assorted fantasy projects are also starting to go somewhere too!

The Imperial Outpost in action

I must admit that this whole exercise has got the creative juices flowing again and I am going to try and get a few bits and bobs built today. I am also deeply unhappy with the gaming surface that I am using at present. It's a mighty 2'x3' which is ok for small skirmishes but not for anything bigger. I also find the rough sand a bind as it tends to wreak havoc with my paintjobs as it chips anything that gets knocked over (I don't like using varnish either!) so will be looking to use the vinyl floortiles I usually use to take pictures on. The texture is good and looks semi realistic and better yet, doesn't chip!

In the long run, I hope to upgrade the table to 4'x4' which is ideal for the sorts of game I want to play (I wouldn't say no to a 4'x5' but that may be pushing it a little in the space I have!) and will try and lay on a variety of surfaces which is a good, rather inexpensive option!

Whee! I've got myself a lot to think about but will try and temper this enthusiasm with a bit of work!

All the best!  

Sunday 15 February 2015

Imperial Hab Module


I've been working away on expanding my Imperial complex a bit and have finished a new addition, the Hab Module:

The Hab Module

It's a fairly straight forward piece of work to produce with the windows being cut out of the box and surrounded by some thin cardboard. I added some rivets to add some small details using some stick on rhinestones.


As with the modular design of the rest of the structures, the Hab Module can be attached to the rest of the complex in a variety of different ways giving me a bit of flexibility with layouts. I was originally going to go for a more traditional window colour but thought the purple was a bit more interesting!

 Double Decker anyone?

I realised after construction that it might of been a bit of a plan to line up the staircase a bit between modules. Still with a bit of cardboard I could add a small platform that runs round the edge of the modules which can be added when needed to add an extra level between the buildings to give me lots of handy places for assorted neerdowells to hide.

Imperial Complex

Hopefully I will be able to keep adding bits and bobs over the course of the coming weeks but want to try and add some more scatter terrain as my gangs could do with more places to hide behind while being shot at!

All the best!

Tuesday 10 February 2015

Revamping Leviathan?


Well I am on a seriously late shift this evening as I have the thrilling job of running a stocktake but before I head out to do battle with books, I thought I would spend a little time expounding my thoughts on my old Leviathan project and were I would like to take it!


Leviathan originally came out in the early 90s and was a post apocalyptic fantasy game which required lots of large resin warbeasts, engines of destruction and hordes of infantry to play. The setting itself is absolutely fantastic and would later go on to influence the likes of Chronopia but I always felt that Leviathan itself was a game that would have better suited smaller scale skirmishes with warbands clashing over resources in the crumbling ruins and blasted and warped landscapes of Aeroth.
Lesser Goblin Wartower

I did spend quite a lot of time (and money!) collecting and painting my way through some of the resin warbeasts and really enjoyed the experience for the most part but felt that the scale didn't really suit the source material. For example, the Lesser Goblin Wartower above is actually one of the smaller beasts from the game and stands a good 100mm tall without the banners.

How much better would it have been in 15mm scale? Well I experimented with that using a selection of figures I sculpted myself for the Somewhere on the Border series of battles between the Boar Company and a series of foes but using it as a skirmish game with small numbers of troops involved and it worked really very well. In fact, I played more games during this period than I ever did with warhammer or 40k!

The Boar Company!

Necrosaur WIP

It was during this period that I really began expanding the setting and found it evolving away from the original source material into something very different and frankly more satisfyingly different. I found myself thinking about radically re-imagining the setting yet further, could more technology be involved? Could I develop it into more of a science fantasy than just a fantasy game?

But the hankering for a good mass battle was still floating around so I moved down scales again and painted up a few test pieces for 6mm scale, a scale that I believe really suits the idea of massive warbeasts and engines of destruction battling it out and would allow for a far more satisfying scale of conflict.

 Horned Folk Warbands

Dwarven Wargolem

Sadly I never seemed to get going with the project but looking at the pictures again, suspect that there will shortly be an update on them as they look rather good, even if I do say so myself!

But as you can see from the assorted pictures, the style and look of the visuals have evolved quite a bit over the last few years from the rather cartoony fatboy resin of the original, to plate armour and eventually a more futuristic, steampunk industrial finish. Now what if I was to continue with the process?

Looking at the assorted notes, doodles and sculpts I have kicking around, I find myself wanting to push the envelope a bit, what if the worlds technology level gets a bit of a kick forward before The Death (the Elves foolishly breaking the great seal and unleashing wild magic upon the world, causing untold death and destruction) What I find myself looking at is something more akin to Nausicaa, which contains a suitably post apocalyptic landscape inhabited by small settlements where feudal values rubs shoulders with quite high tech levels and big, gribbly monsters to boot!


By combining lots of different ideas and influences, I find myself hankering to dig out my sculpting materials and see if I can't produce some 15mm scale goodies with inspirations from the likes of Warmachine so each of the factions have access to mechs, warengines and warbeasts as well as good old fashioned infantry. With this in mind, I am going to be doing a fair amount of sketching over the coming few days and see if I can't come up with some more suitably interesting concepts than the more usual fantasy tropes of mountain living Dwarves or savage Orcy boyz. Can I develop something a bit different but still playable? I don't know but I do like the idea of a fantasy version of an Orc gargant or stompa or Elves fielding sleek walkers and Dwarves with chunky mechs bristling with guns...

Who knows, the whole project may go nowhere but at the very least, I do want to try and build a couple of warbands and see if I can't get a game or two in. Handily, I think the assorted scenics I have been putting together will not look too out of place in the sort of game I am aiming for so we shall see how I get on. I must admit that its getting a bit interesting as my concept of an alternative Rogue Trader and Leviathan are beginning to mash together and I suspect that I am going to be posting a few articles on each of the races as I attempt to get the overall look right!

All the best!

Sunday 8 February 2015

Imperial Outpost WIP


Well I find myself with a day off so thought I'd post up some pictures of an Imperial outpost that I've been working on over the last couple of evenings!

Imperial Outpost

I've been beavering away with the selection of cardboard boxes I picked up the other week and along with some cork tile and cardboard, I've had rather a lot of fun creating some suitably grubby structures for my diminutive troops to fight over and better still, its all modular and can be changed around to create lots of different layouts!

 Raised platform

The raised platform was made from the lid of the potpourri box (the taller, angled box) lid with a couple of old MDF squares glued to the top to create a decent surface and some cork tile being pressed into service for walls and a ramp. I also used a little bit of filler at the edges to cover over the joins.

 Imperial complex

The main building at the moment is the hexagonal box (I have another two in various stages of completion!) with a few bits of cardboard glued to it along with a piece of granny mesh stuff which is perfect for 15mm scale ladders. I have also created a load of corridors, bulkheads and stuff to improve the general look and provide some means of entry to the buildings.

 Corridors and doors

Handily, these corridors can also make decent shelters or dwellings in their own rights and took next to no time to construct. The end pieces are cork tile while the main bulk is just cereal box cardboard with a few bits and bobs glued on to make it look a bit more interesting.

I created the hazard striping separately by painting it onto a sheet of paper and cutting lengths out and gluing it onto the finished structure and adding a wash of ink to give it a more grubby finish. I do think it finishes them off nicely and adds a much needed touch of colour to what would otherwise be an awful lot of grey...

Pumping Station

Equally handily, the pipeline I built previously fits onto it too so it can also do double duty as a pump station, storage tank or whatever the scenario needs. 

I used a thick coat of burnt umber paint to prime the whole lot which created a nice textured surface for the base coat and lots of drybrushing to bring it out. I had loads of fun adding rust and grime to the whole thing with burnt umber, chestnut brown, chocolate brown and a couple of acrylic inks which were smeared onto the surface with my thumb and dabbed about with a little bit of tissue paper.

At the rate I am going at, I should have a decent complex built and ready to go within the next couple of weeks. Just the thing for my assorted warbands to skirmish over but first I need to add a few extra elements to really bring the stuff to life such as barricades, piles of boxes or oil drums, raised walkways and some fencing to surround the place. I also have to build a VTOL landing pad, roads and a defence tower with an automated AA gun but more on that later.

Hopefully my next update will include some more exciting terrain and possibly even a few miniatures!

All the best!