Monday 31 July 2023

Planet 28 Standees


Here's some pics of my Planet 28 standees that I've been working on over the last few days.

I've been finding myself wanting to play lots of different forces and instead of spending ages collecting all the stuff and painting it, I've settled on making some standees so I can get some games in!

Unlike my other Planet 28 standees, I've made these guys double sided which really makes for a more effective style than the single sided ones I've used previously and its been a really fun experience to make lots of little warbands too.

While this isn't as satisfying as an actual miniature collection, it is making it more cost effective than me going and buying stuff and hoping to eventually get around to painting them and as the gaming budget is pretty much non existent, its keeping me entertained and allowing me to enjoy some much needed hobby time.

Thus far, I've settled on some PDF troops and vehicle crews who will be taking part in my Hathor campaign once I get chance to restart it.

I'm also thinking of making some Orky standees to allow me to add some old school style Boyz to menace my adventurers and to allow me to play some 2nd edition 40k on the cheap and if all goes well, I'll eventually have some figures for each of the classic 40k factions.

I'm not sure how I'll go around making vehicles but I'll keep experimenting with the 2d style to see what works and what doesn't.

I've made these approximately 35mm scale so if folks want to print out their own, they'll need to resize them slightly to 28mm scale.

I'm really pleased with how my female pilot trio turned out and suspect they'll be making quite a few appearances in the campaign, possibly getting some naval troops to back them up too.

We shall see if I can't get a game or two in over the course of the week and see how the standees work out in practice as I'm champing at the bit to get some gaming now that I've got a quick and easy way of adding together forces!

If folks would like to see any particular characters or forces, give me a shout and I'll see what I can come up with.

In the meantime, All the best!

Monday 24 July 2023

Five Leagues from the Borderlands: Aeroth Style!


I've been having a hankering to delve back into fantasy gaming as I've concentrated almost entirely on the sci-fi side of things for a while now but my ongoing tinkering with solo RPGs has got me to thinking of dipping my toe back into a fantasy setting.

With this in mind, I looked through my collection and was rather surprised by the dearth of fantasy stuff in it. I've got a handful of odds and ends and enough of my own sculpts to play games like Brutalquest which only need two or three figures a side but I've really not got the time to spend sculpting lots of stuff so after a bit of head scratching I've put together some papercraft standees.

Unlike my previous attempts which were quick and easy fixes with artwork only on one side and no careful trimming, I researched some of the rather fantastic stuff that folks have done on the web and decided to try doing front and rear artwork as well as cutting them out and I do think its a huge improvement over the originals as they both make better visual representations on the board and don't stand out like the older stuff I've made.

Coupled with some heavy black outlining, I'm quite pleased with how they turned out and look forward to making some more, namely villains!

I must admit that I am getting close to capacity in my display cabinet for miniatures so suspect that this approach is going to be making more of an appearance over the coming months, especially as the hobby budget is still pretty much non existent. These guys will be able to be kept in a small box and stored safely ready for use.

I'd hummed and hahed about making some tiny troop style heroes but while the little guys are fine for mass battle or large skirmishes, I feel they were sorely lacking in the character I'd want for my warbands. Similarly I'd looked at 15mm scale but was surprised to see that the cost of the tiny guys is actually more than a similar number of plastic 28mm figures from ebay and as already mentioned, I don't have the spare cash for that!

These are my first attempts and I've tried making some of the poses a bit more dynamic and I'm really enjoying the experience of trying to push my drawing as well as looking at a more complete view of my adventurers.

I'm hoping to get my enemy figures sorted out asap so I can try working towards getting a game at some point in the next few weeks and I've decided to have a try of Five Leagues from the Borderlands by Modiphius as I've watched quite a few videos of it now and really like how the game builds a narrative of a small warband exploring an area and facing a variety of foes and it looks like quite a bit of fun too!

I'm still planning on using Brutalquest as its such a great wee system but I want to keep working on exploring my collection and feel this is a good opportunity to do so.

I'm not discarding 'proper' miniatures as my sci-fi collection has tons of stuff to use and play a myriad of games, factions and whatnot but I do rather enjoy being able to combine my love of drawing with my hobby!

Hopefully I'll have another update in the next few days showcasing some villains and if I get the process down right, I'll include some sheets of characters and villains for folks to download but until then, All the best!

Wednesday 12 July 2023

Rummaging the Collection: Ere Come the Boyz!


As part of my attempts at organising my hobby stuff, I've rummaged out all my Orks and was surprised by just how many of the greenskins I actually had!

The Horde

Looking at my collection, its possibly a bit puny compared to the more modern versions of 40k and indeed even 2nd edition but its perfect for games of Rogue Trader and other skirmish games!

The Nobz

My boss is a modern Ork nob which looms suitably over the rest of the horde and is accompanied by a second modern plastic on the right and a classic 2nd edition Goff skarboy/nob that I converted quite a while back now.

The Boyz

The main bulk of my force is the big unit of Goff Boyz consisting of a mixture of Rogue Trader era plastics and some 2nd edition box set boyz as well as a single modern plastic figure. I FAR prefer painting the old style to the newer ones as they've got tons of character, even the monopose ones compared to the rather soulless modern offering and I think I've got enough to bump up the unit size a bit kicking around my bits box somewhere...

Sneaky Gitz

My second mob consists of five Bloodaxe Kommandos made from a classic Rogue Trader Ork, a 2nd edition Kommando and a trio of Restic Mantic Marauders from Deathzone. I do like how they turned out and really need to add a couple more to round out the unit!

The Grotz

The Grotz are a mixture of 2nd edition starter set monopose with a modern plastic Gretchin that came with the new plastic Nobz, a converted Gnobblar with a classic Warhammer Goblin head, an ancient solid base GW Goblin and a 15mm scale Demonworld Goblin. They're a bit of a mixed bunch but work well together as a mixture of disposable cannon fodder and helpful underlings.

I've also got a couple of savage Orks lurking around but not enough to make a decent unit out of so I may eventually add them in to give my force some savage charm.

One of the interesting things I've found from the process of sorting through my collection is that I am finding myself inspired to get back to painting and sorting out figures to round out the collection and am getting a lot of inspiration for new games, scenarios and battles with what I've got which has been rather fun!

I do want to add some more clans into the mix as I do love the multi coloured splendour of a 2nd edition force with some of the wacky units that they could choose but I suspect this will be done very gradually and sporadically as I'm so easily distracted with other projects, ideas and doodads!

I do hope to play out a decent sized game in the next few days featuring this lot against an Imperial expedition and it may spawn into a mini campaign if I get myself moving...

This process has been both a constant surprise as I keep finding bits and bobs that I'd forgotten I had (case in point half a dozen Goff boyz including the veteran skarboy!) and I've found myself with a more interesting and usable collection than I thought I had and its getting me using my existing collection rather than worrying about needing new stuff all the time (although I do want to keep adding to it!). 

I do think I need to swap the bases out to match and may eventually rework the metallics to fit my current painting style but its a small thing really and the general look of the lot of the greenskinned menaces is fairly cohesive. I am again struck by how much more fun the older sculpts are to work with and will need to keep my eyes peeled for more suitable stuff to add to it, only going for modern bits and pieces if there's no other alternative as half of my hobby revolves the enjoyment and relaxation of painting and these old sculpts are so characterful that they almost paint themselves!

My next update will hopefully cover the forces of the Imperium and following that, some mercenary scum but until then, All the best!

Tuesday 11 July 2023

Bedroom Battlefields Podcast


Just a quick post this morning as I've got lots on but a few of weeks ago I was contacted by Matthew, the host of Bedroom Battlefields, a podcast that delves into all manner of Oldhammer and indie wargaming gubbins.

Much to my surprise he asked me if I'd be willing to be a guest and we had a really good chat about hobby related stuff ranging from what got me into gaming, Rogue Trader and solo gaming. 

The episode has gone live now over on Apple Podcast and is available HERE so if you fancy having a listen, then do feel free! I've listened to most of Matthew's series now and its been really enjoyable as it ranges over all sorts of wargaming topics and he's interviewed lots of interesting folks too and its been an enjoyable accompaniment to painting or commuting into work. 

I must admit I never expected to have anyone ask to interview me about my random bloggings but it was rather fun and has got me to thinking of the possibilities of doing something myself.

Hopefully I'll have some more miniature themed goodies to post up tomorrow as I'm going to be delving back into the collection today but until then, All the best!

Sunday 9 July 2023

Heavy Gear Blitz Paper Terrain


As I mentioned in my previous post, I've been finding myself rather interested in giving Heavy Gear Blitz by Dream Pod 9 a bash and I've put together some of the free terrain that they include in the PDF version of the rules.

I printed out four pages which consisted of three sheets of military buildings and one sheet of shipping containers (I'd have printed more but ran out of card!).

I spent my day off yesterday cutting, scoring and gluing the bits and pieces together and am quire pleased with how they've turned out as I have enough stuff to create a decent sized outpost for my stompy robots to fight over. I also included two of my 6mm Germy warehouses that I had constructed a few years back in the setup as they scale quite well with the DP9 stuff.

I coloured the edges of the scored card with a brown marker which resulted in a pleasingly rusted and worn finish that looks a lot better than the original white edging and make the buildings look a bit more lived in and inkeeping with their environment. I also painted a blue window on the tower as I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do wit the white rectangles but it looks pretty decent with just a little bodging.

I think I'll need to add some sort of Comms array onto the top of the building as it looks like it could do with one but thats possibly a job for another day.

I listened to the Horror Babble Peter Van Melsen series on YOUTUBE which I highly recommend for a bit of Cthulhu themed adventure in the background and highly recommend taking a peek at their rather fantastic selection of classic tales of the gothic and outre as the hours flew past as I managed to repeatedly glue my fingers together whilst listening to Van Melsen's adventures. Their William Hope Hodgson and Algernon Blackwood stories are also awesome, not to mention the Cthulhu mythos cycles!

I wanted to see if the buildings scale with my other smaller scale projects so have taken some shots to see how they look:

The tiny Epic scale figures from my Ultramarine army don't quite fit in as the doorways are a bit big but on the tabletop, I suspect they'd look alright, particularly the cargo containers which look perfect.

Similarly, the 15mm scale Imperial retinue of my Governor General are possibly a wee bit big but I imagine the buildings being cargo containers or some such and they're ok and if they weren't on bases, they would look a bit closer to scale.

Finally, here they are next to my Heavy Gear miniatures and you get a better impression of the scale:

I'm really pleased with how the project turned out and the rather cartoony look of the buildings fits in really well with the anime aesthetic of Heavy Gear and the fact that they kind of scale with my other projects is a real boon.

The four sheets of A4 card gave me ten cargo containers, one large watchtower, a medical centre, and a goodly amount of smaller buildings that will furnish about 2'x2' as a reasonably dense settlement and provide excellent cover as well as interest for a board. 

The only downside was the shape of the buildings which required a bit more work to glue all the tabs together, resulting in a bit of cursing as I stuck my fingers a few times and one or two of them are a bit shoogly but being as they were free, I really can't complain!

My next objective will be to get some paper standees so I can play some games, but I do have some of the EM-4 miniatures mechs which may do as proxies with a coat of paint so I suspect my next step will be to paint up a couple of squads worth and try the game. If I enjoy it, I have the option to pick up some official miniatures, but if I don't, at least I've got some cool scenery and some painted mechs for other games!

I'm back at work following my hols so doubt I'll get chance to post as much in the coming weeks but I do want to try and keep the momentum going but we'll see how things go.

Until then, All the best!

Saturday 8 July 2023

Rummaging the Collection: Heavy Gear Blitz


As part of my continuing rummaging of my collection, I've found my Heavy Gear Blitz figures!

Heavy Gear Blitz Frames

I remember picking up these along with a fair few other odds and ends back in 2008ish and they sat in boxes until much more recently when I was looking for some heavy power armoured types for 15mm gaming so I pulled them out of their box and spent a rather frustrating time removing mold lines, flash and gluing the tiny guys together. 

Scratch built drone.

The sculpts are really good but the hard pewter was very unforgiving to actually clean and put into order and the experience rather put me off the game as I couldn't bear to delve any further into the game. Instead these three are all that I've completed to date and I'd pretty much forgotten about them as they were at the back of my cabinet.

Following my ongoing attempts to get my collection into order, I took a peek at the state of the game and it appears that there is a 3rd edition of the rules and its supposed to be pretty good too. On top of that, the core units have now gone from multi part pewter, to plastics which is a real boon.

Heavy Gear has been knocking around for quite a long time now (originally dating back to 1994!) and does seem to have a dedicated fanbase but for some reason it just hasn't engaged with the wargaming market as a whole. Merely look at Youtube and theres tons of content for Battletech, another big stompy robot game that has been around for even longer but seems to have a much larger reach.

The setting essentially pits the North and South against each other on an arid world called Terra Nova and there's tons of background, invasions and new factions turned up since the games release and I suspect, lots more to come over the coming years so there's a lot of scope to create some interesting scenario driven games or even campaigns, even if you only keep to the bare minimum of forces as its quite easy to play a good game with four or five models a side.

Coupled with DP9 providing lots of free paper terrain and downloadable rules, it wouldn't be too much of an investment to dip ones toe in.

The rulebook is available as a free download through WARGAMES VAULT and I've been peering through it and it seems like a pretty decent mecha based skirmish game, more akin to an Anime style than the mighty mechs of Battletech and features higher levels of tech but also a quicker gameplay.

Maybe its because until recently the figures weren't readily available in the UK (Dream Pod 9 is a Canadian company) or maybe because it originally developed from an RPG system but for whatever reason, I can't help but find myself drawn to it. 

As of time of posting, the miniatures are available in the UK via a few online stores so there must be enough interest for them to have stocked the range and I have to admit I'm sorely tempted to pick up a pack to see how I get on with them as even if I don't end up using them for Heavy Gear Blitz, I'm fairly sure they'd see action as either knights in Epic, power armour in 15mm or robots in 28mm...

But inkeeping with my attempt to refrain from flinging myself headlong into new projects, I am going to be 

With that being said, I think I'm going to print out some of the terrain DP9 has produced and make some standees so I can try and get my head around the mechanics, which seem fairly straightforward, once you get the hand of the abbreviations and whatnot as I'm genuinely curious to see how the game plays and if I enjoy it enough, I may pick up a frame or two and see how I get on...

I'll post my progress in the next week or two once I've got the standees done, the terrain stuck together and post a brief overview of my experiences as it is one of those games I've seen from time to time but never really delved into.

In the meantime, All the best!

Friday 7 July 2023

Rummaging the Collection: The Perils of a Wargaming Butterfly


Alongside my sorting out of my painted stuff, I've been looking through my unpainted gubbins and looking through my newly organised wargame rulebook collection and I'm both finding myself inspired to crack on with the many projects that have been started and dropped but also sorely tempted to pick up some new stuff.

Growler Pack

I've always been rubbish at sticking to any set plan, instead flitting from one project to another at the drop of a hat and often find myself thinking of fresh projects that I'd love to try out, be it using existing stuff that I've got, or more often than not an OOH SHINEY moment when I see something cool online and then disappear down the rabbit hole of a new idea which means that previous ideas or ongoing projects stall.

Elves from Deadloque

Case in point, I'd been working steadily on my Tiny Troop Leviathan stuff but have now been distracted by my 28mm gubbins and have played two games of Rogue Trader in the last day. Sometimes this works out as it tends to stop me from suffering hobby burn out and over the years I've actually finished a couple of projects, namely my Deadloque boxed set and Havok project but in other cases it means I find myself overloaded and stall out.

Epic Eldar

With this in mind, I'm trying to refrain from picking up anything new at the moment, especially as the hobby budget is severely restricted at the moment but its oh so tempting to just try something new!

Black Tribe Robots

I've still got an absolute ton of Epic gubbins as well as having a decent amount of fantasy and sci-fi in both 15mm and 28mm that are still awaiting paint. On top of that I can sculpt my own figures in SD and 15mm scale as well as the tiny 2mm that is easy to sculpt for but still find myself tempted to look for new things too which is proving to be a bit of a bind.

War of Ashes

I have limited space, time and indeed budget but theres always the temptation to try a new project and today I find myself in just such a moment as with all the stuff I own, I still seem to be finding myself feeling that what I have just isn't quite what I want to work on.

Its a strange thing to try and explain but I'm fairly sure that quite a few wargamers have had similar experiences over the years and I'm not sure the best way of working around it as while I'm happily playing games with the figures I've unearthed and slowly adding to the painted pile, I want to try a few other games but don't have the miniatures and am aware of the fact that if I do buy miniatures for them, I'll probably paint a couple and then be distracted all over again.

Battletech SD Scale

Coupled with the fact that I am rapidly running out of space for more stuff as our spare room/library/mancave is already pretty jammed I'm not sure what to do as I don't want to get rid of any of my collection as I do use pretty much all of it from time to time but it doesn't solve the issue at hand! 

One way of resolving the issue is to use cardboard counters or standees as I did with my Battletech collection or make some proxies like I did with my War of Ashes and Rangers of Shadowdeep projects but finding the time to make all this stuff is an issue. On the one hand, I have a great deal of pleasure in sculpting and painting my own stuff, even if its a bit chonky and cartoony but on the other, its a far quicker thing to just buy what I need and then work on it from time to time until it eventually gets completed.

Land Ironclads

I suppose that this post has been more for me working out what I want to do and how I'm going to go about it rather than anything else and I think I need to refrain from buying any new stuff and instead concentrate on painting my way through the stuff I've got left and if I want to try something new, first draw up some standees and then if it goes well and I enjoy the game, try sculpting some of my own bits and bobs.

Boar Company

While it may require a more slow and steady approach but I do feel that its probably for the best as I'm more likely to actually complete a project if I've made it myself and there's the extra pleasure of making my own odds and ends!

While there are some stuff that I don't think I'd be able to make myself, there's a fair amount that I can so I'll sit down and scribble up the assorted projects that I'm tempted by and keep working on my existing stuff.

Gosh! If you've managed to stick with me throughout all this navel-gazing, you have my thanks as I do have a tendency to waffle on a bit while not really going anywhere but I do find getting my muddled thoughts written out onto my blog helps me organise myself and galvanise me somewhat.

I'll post up an update tomorrow with my ideas and ongoing projects and objectives but until then, All the best!

Thursday 6 July 2023

Rummaging the Collection: Evil Cultists


I've been sorting my collection and finally taking the bits and bobs I've had in storage boxes for over a decade out, giving them a dust off and getting them into my cabinet.

I must admit that I was quite surprised by just how much stuff I had in the boxes, especially as I've currently just worked through the top tray of them. Sadly quite a bit was broken or chipped which will need repairing but I'll persevere and get them all back into usable condition but I suppose it shouldn't be too much of a surprise as they've been stored in foam trays now for the best part of a decade and survived four house moves!

Some of the stuff is new and others were painted up over the course of the lockdowns but I'm really happy to get them all together again and looking at the cultists, I realise that they're made up of miniatures from ten different manufacturers which may be a record for me.

Cultist Squad

I've got GW, North Star, Modiphius, Wizards of the Coast (Chainmail and pre-painted plastic), 4A Miniatures, Mantic Games, Heartbreaker, Waddingtons, Gormiti and some bits of Scotia Grendel! 

Mutant Squad

I had been thinking to myself that I didn't have much of any one force but just by rummaging my collection I seem to have discovered that I actually have quite a few bits and bobs that can tie into a surprisingly cohesive force, despite having been painted at different times and in different styles.

With this in mind, I'll be sorting out the rest of my collection in the coming weeks and trying to get everything photographed and repaired as needed (the Nepharite has had to get his Azogar blade glued back on after I foolishly dropped him but in my defence he weighs an absolute ton!) and will see what other odds and ends I have that can be worked into a usable force for anything from Rogue Trader to Planet 28.

Cultist Leaders

I must admit that I've never really been any good at sticking to one miniature range as I see so many brilliant miniatures that fit into whatever project I am working on at the time and its been a real pleasure to dig into the boxes and recover all those figures I've painted and put them to use again.

Massive Mutie

One of the first things I did when I pulled them all out and realised I had so many was to play an Imperial vs Cultist and evil allies game and the villains came out on top with the massive mutie eating a squad of Dark Angel space marines and the rest swarming the Imperial gunline which actually surprised me but it was brilliant fun none the less and no doubt the forces of the Inquisition will be back to seek vengeance upon the unclean forces of evil!

Looking at my unpainted stuff, I have a stack of Siege of the Citadel stuff to paint which will give me enough baddies for a decent sized Dark Legion army which will provide me with more than enough to round out the force and I may yet add some more bits like Zombies and human cultist reinforcements as well as the odd character or two...

As surprising as it was to find that my rather random collecting has in fact resulted in a nice little warband has been most pleasing and I look forward to sharing the rest of the collection and looking back at my painted stuff has inspired me to work on forgotten projects too which has been an added bonus.

I seem to be coming out of a hobby slump and the realisation that I had a lot more awesome figures painted than I remember has been a real boon and hopefully I'll be able to share more over the coming week but until then, All the best!