Monday 27 November 2017

Micro Fantasy


As I've been sorting through my unpainted gubbins over the last few days, I found my Horned Folk warband that I started a couple of years back and have been humming and haahing about what to do with it.
A Horde of Horned Folk

I like the round bases but it doesn't really suit itself to massed fantasy games but I did begin wondering if I could use it for skirmishes using Song of Blades or warband level battles using Dragon Rampant.

Small Wartower

I've got an eclectic mix of Heavy infantry and warbeasts at the moment so need to diversify it a bit as well as working on my Grey Elf host to oppose it but as I have all the miniatures, I figure it would fit in well with my aim to start clearing through my lead (and plastic) pile.

Minotaur Legion 

I must admit that I am rather relishing getting on with some small scale stuff after the big guy I am working on at present is finished and I think I could churn out a second Beastkin regiment of four stands in next to no time and with just one Wartower to finish painting, I think that my weekend is set!

Raiders from the Ancient Labyrinths of Aeroth

I figure I can play out a decent game of the likes I've mentioned on the small board I have and just need to put together some more suitable scenics such as ancient forest groves and an entryway into their Barrow City...

Wartower Rampage!

Something else I've been ruminating on is to add a larger wartower or two featuring some arcane ancient tech to give the Horned Folk a nice centrepiece to their army but we shall have to see if I have anything suitable in my bits box that can be converted to use!

A Horned Folk column on the march

I'm also keen to get back to work on the Grey Elves I had started but I must be honest that cleaning and converting Irregular Miniatures is a bit of a chore as I have to remove their small and bendy halberds and replace them with wire spears while the chariots need converting too and lets not even mention the cavalry...

Grey Elves

I have discovered that I still have a 6mm Orc, bits and pieces of a Lizardman and Goblin armies from Irregular but I'm really not liking their strip of figures approach. It's fine for Warmaster type of games but not really ideal for my approach but I may be able to put together some useful bits and pieces from them from time to time without getting completely disheartened with the effort.

In other news, the big guy I've spent most of the last week painting is getting there with only one weapon and his legs to detail. Sadly I don't have a base big enough for him but I don't see that being too much of a problem at the moment and I'll post some pics this weekend of him once he's finally completed!

In the meantime, All the best!

Friday 24 November 2017

Painters Progress


As promised, here's some pics of the gubbins I've been painting over the last few days!

First up, there's Black Annis, the wizened hag who inhabits the Bog of Eternal Stench:

 Black Annis

Black Annis lives on an island at the centre of the Bog of Eternal Stench and holds a terrifying reputation due to her tendency to steal and eat children. This reputation is entirely undeserved as she is actually a rather peaceable sort who just wants to be left alone but her frightful visage has resulted in many fearing to to venture into the Bog for fear of meeting Annis.

Annis' solitary life has resulted in her tinkering with some of the Bogs inhabitants, especially the small frogs who can be found in many of the pools the dot the marshy land. With the aid of a bit of hedge magic and liberal potion use, Annis has given some a rudimentary intelligence and ability to talk. With the family she's created, not much happens around the Bog without Annis knowing about it. 

Black Annis has been in my collection for many years and dates back to my subscription to Harbinger magazine before it went bust (annoyingly just after I paid another year's subscription!) and is an absolutely brilliant miniature. She took ages to paint due to all the little details like feathers and chickens feet in her hair and the little frog clutched in her hand and she oozes character.

Sadly she's not in production so I'm not sure if folks can still get hold of her anymore.

Next up, there's Markus, another Outlander addition to my painted Labyrinth project:


Markus is a follower of Marik the Outlander and has roamed the Labyrinth  for over a century since his younger sister, Rosamund went missing and was presumed to have been stolen away by the Goblins. Since entering the Labyrinth, Markus has sought for any sign of Rosamund without success and will ask any he meets if they have seen her. Sadly no matter the answer, he will attack with his greatsword. Beneath his armour, Markus is no more than a wizened mummy but thanks the the magic of the Labyrinth, his spirit cannot find peace until Rosamund's fate is discovered.

Lastly, here's a better pic of The Smile Stealer:

The Smile Stealer

I'm really fond of this guy as I have had him in my collection for almost twenty years and he's one of the few figures of my old miniature collection that I never got rid of!

I am also currently painting another figure that I've had for over two decades but never actually painted and will post an update when I finish him off. This may take me some time as he's pretty big and needs a lot of weathering to finish him off but I'm really enjoying the process and the effort is well worth the finish!

After painting all these big figures, I am going to take a bit of a break to paint some smaller scale gubbins, both 15mm and 6mm scale!

In the meantime, All the best!

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Unexpected Developments


It's a cold, frosty and foggy morning here meaning that I'm not going to be able to get any decent pics of my painting progress and the latest additions to my Labyrinth project until my next day off but I have found myself ruminating on my lead pile.

Orky Boy

Over the years I have collected, traded, sold and lost quite a collection and even got out of the hobby twice and it's got me thinking about my remaining bits and bobs.

Ultramarine Veteran Platoon

I had planned on selling or trading them away but have been playing with the idea of just painting them up over 2018 instead as a challenge to myself as I just know that I would regret getting rid of them at some point in the future.

War of Ashes Warband

This will present me with a bit of a challenge as I have a box of 28mm, a box of 15mm and a box of 6mm as well as numerous bits and pieces of resin scenics and vehicles that could do with a lick of paint, not to mention quite a few of my own sculpts that need painting too (lets not even mention the big jar of stuff that's been swimming in dettol for quite some time now!)

Imperial Troops

With that in mind, I am putting a halt to any miniature purchases other than bases, paints and putty from now until I can put a major dent into my collection. This will mean that my Labyrinth project will be developing in a somewhat sideways direction as I currently don't have many Goblins but do have a regular cornucopia of random bits and bobs that will fit in.

Ghoulani Enslaver Raiding Party

Goblins will appear eventually as I haven't lost hope that I will find the little guys in an as yet undiscovered box but if not, I may be tempted to pick up a very small selection of bits and bobs to finish a warband.

It's been rather refreshing to just pick up a random miniature and paint it and I suspect that my attempts will have all manner of fits and starts as it goes but it will result in me having some rather large forces for Epic, a decent sized Eldar force for Rogue Trader, assorted fantasy warbands and at least three forces for 15mm skirmishes too!

With this in mind, I am going to have a good rummage through my collection and see what exactly I have that has languished in a box for years and will attempt to post some pics of the assorted stuff I have (at least when something like sunshine returns to Dundee!)

In the meantime, All the best!

Sunday 19 November 2017

Goblin Spotted!


We'll I've finally had chance to take some pics of the first 28mm scale figures I've painted in over a year and better yet, one of them is a Goblin for my Labyrinth project!

 Agnar the Unruly

Agnar the Unruly is a large Goblin armed with a mighty battle axe named The Collywobbler. Agnar is rumoured to be in possession of one of Prince Jareth's Gateway Keys, a magical key that will open any door in the Labyrinth and something has put to good use in his fiendish thefts of Goblin maidens undergarments.

Agnar is the leader of a band of Goblin warriors known for wandering the outer portions of the Labyrinth in search of loot and trouble (technically they were tasked with guarding the place by Prince Jareth but in typical Goblin over enthusiasm, they prefer getting into a good scrap or daubing slogans on the walls of the Labyrinth. This has led to a feud between Aganr and his underlings and The Cleaners)

Agnar is a Rackham miniature that I picked up some time ago from Spirit Games and is a cracking figure but took ages to paint as he is really covered in little details that require a fair bit of effort to get right. I'll be adding a few more simple Gobbos as his underlings in the next week or so!

Next up, there's the Marik the Outlander:

 Marik the Outlander

Not all those who run the perils of the Labyrinth come out unchanged and one such is Marik. Once, many years ago, Jareth challenged him to navigate the Labyrinth but Marik failed and is cursed to forever wander the twisting maze.

Now clad in a rusty suit of Goblin made plate and wielding a mighty flail, Marik roams the Labyrinth challenging all he meets to combat.

Over the years several Outlander bands have formed to try and depose Jareth, escape the Labyrinth or even destroy it. These grim and driven groups have had mixed fortunes as the magic that fills Jereth's realm means that any damage done to the maze is soon repaired and many of the denizens who make the Labyrinth their home actively work against the uncouth louts who smash up their home.

The two side by side

Marik is an old Citadel chaos warrior and painted up really quickly but looks the business with his beaten armour, furs and big flail. I tried out some new techniques for painting rust on him and am quite pleased with the results. 

I also sculpted both bases to reflect the flagstones of the Labyrinth and really like how they turned out and will be using the same method for basing the rest of my 28mm gubbins!

As I mentioned in one of my previous ramblings, I seem to have lost most of my Goblin miniatures in one of our house moves so will be actively seeking out more in the next few weeks. Having rummaged my bits boxes, I do have several more chaosy types who will be getting added to my Outlander warband though and I've almost finished a Bog Hag who will be leading another warband, this time centred around the Bog of Eternal Stench!

Hopefully my next update will give a bit more details on some of the locations of the Labyrinth and the strange creatures who inhabit it.

In the meantime, All the best!

Thursday 16 November 2017

Goblin Inspiration


Just a quick update today with some random musings on my Goblin project that I have started!

I've been a massive fan of the Jim Henson film, The Labyrinth since I saw it many moons ago and love the artwork and whimsical creations of Brian Froud, the chap who designed both the world of the Labyrinth but also of Hensons other great film, The Dark Crystal.

Over the years, I've collected rather a lot of Brian's wonderful artbooks and have been enjoying reacquainting myself with them whilst looking for inspiration for my Goblin warband and, as is often the case with my projects, it has set off a chain of ideas and somewhat unhinged possibilities that I suspect may keep me entertained for some time.

Re-reading the madcap antics of Goblin society as presented by Brian Froud, Terry Jones and Ari Berk has been a real pleasure and I'm struck by how enjoyable and believable the world they have created is and what a difference it is from the rather more grim version of Goblins that Tolkien presented which has, alas stuck around till today.

Similarly, I love the idea that no two Goblins look alike and appear in a bewildering array of sizes, shapes, colours and kind. For a miniatures project this is a real boon as it will allow me to really play around with different figures from all manner of ranges and allow me to experiment with different painting approaches too!

But there's more! Froud has also put together some really great books on other fabled beings such as the Fae and Trolls too, not to mention all the great designs he did for Dark Crystal so there's a real possibility that I may end up putting together a Fae court and some sort of Trollish element to my project if things go well.

Froud isn't the only great source of inspiration either as Paul Bonner has created some really great imagery of comedic but savage Goblins and his artbook, Out of the Forest is a really great resource to peruse too!

Another thing I am finding rather exciting is the setting itself as I am thinking of trying to put together some of the locations from The Labyrinth for small skirmishes such as the Goblin City, the Scrapheap and The Bog of Eternal Stench, not to mention some random stonework as imagine what fun it would be having small groups of Gobbos bumping into each other and starting a squabble.

Referencing the movie, there's quite a few easy to put together terrain pieces that would look the business and would make for an interesting game too.

With that in mind, I've started rummaging my bits boxes and lead pile in search of suitable goodies to put together to get the ball rolling but sadly have discovered that my small stash of Goblins has mysteriously vanished in one of our house moves which is a bit of a bind and thus far, I've only managed to track down a grand total of two of the little fellows.

Still, it does mean I will be seeking out new figures to paint and in the meantime have got several other random figures that could make an interesting addition to the world I seem to be engrossing myself in so hey ho!

I have a sneaking suspicion that this project is going to be a bit bigger than originally planned but I am going to try to keep myself from going too mental with it and will post some pics of my first painted figures at the weekend as well as further ramblings about the setting as I go!

All the best!

Saturday 11 November 2017

Yes to 28mm, Ish


Well I've settled on a bit of a project to scratch the 28mm miniatures itch that I've been suffering of late.

I've settled on putting together a bit of a skirmish warband of Goblins. My initial plan is to collect and paint up a dozen or so 28mm scale figures to test the waters and if things go well, I may expand the force by a few figures more.

I've realised that there is no point of me trying to paint up a full army but I think I can manage something a bit smaller. I do have a vague notion of painting up some 15mm scale figures for a larger army project but don't want to get carried away just yet.

I'm going to try and put together a whimsical sort of band of Gobbos, more akin to the inhabitants of the Labyrinth than the grim darkness of the Warhammer world and it also means that I can use pretty much any figure I want rather than trying to use just one kind of Goblin and I can add an assortment of random bits and bobs to keep things interesting!

Hopefully I'll be able to get the project started in the coming days and will post a bit of an update when I get chance!

All the best!

Sunday 5 November 2017

To 28 Or Not To 28


Well I've spent another action packed few days at work and am finally presented with a much needed day off which has given me the opportunity to start thinking about the mini warband project that I have been pondering for some time.

I've settled on a fantasy army, if for no other reason I've been sorely tempted for quite some time and would like to put together some sort of skirmish warband initially before fleshing it out into a larger force if the project goes well.

With this in mind, I have been trying to settle on a ruleset that will give me a decent flexibility and have narrowed it down somewhat.

At present, I am actually thinking of going for either Age of Sigmar or Dragon Rampant as both are simple, straight forward games that scale easily and actually look like quite good fun to play. As tempted as I am to go for a full on Fantasy Battle army, I suspect that the sheer quantity of figures that I'd need to paint would kill whatever enthusiasm I had for the project.

Another option I am pondering is to use Age of Sigmar Skirmish or Mordheim as a starting place and seeing how things go. That way I would be able to start with a handful of figures and build up to something a bit larger...

With that in mind, I need to settle on what army to get things going with and at present it's a toss up between Goblins and Dwarves as both appeal to me visually. Following some advice from the previous post, I may attempt to work through two rival warbands and chronicle their rivalries over some long forgotten patch of land.

Hopefully I'll get settled on what approach I want to go for and see if I can paint up a small squad to get the ball rolling!

All the best!