Sunday 30 June 2024

Stump 28


We've returned from our hols down in Shropshire and I'm feeling rather inspired to crack on with a bit of a project related to my last post.

I've been trying to get some sketching done and have begun putting together some of the vague concepts I've got floating around in my head that I want to try and develop out a bit.

The world of Stump was once a planet spanning forest, each tree unimaginably vast but this verdant wonder is no more. At some point in the immeasurable past, the forest was felled and all that remains are stumps surrounded by scrubby vegetation, endless bramble thickets and rot.

This decaying landscape is not barren of life however. Humans and numerous other beings inhabit the wastes and somehow manage to thrive despite the bleakness of their surroundings. Nobody is quite sure how humans got there, some say they've always inhabited Stump, others believe the Fae had a hand in it as some obscure punishment to humanity for what they did to their original homeworld.

Whatever the reason, humans now call Stump home and do what humans do best, fight, squabble and try to kill each other. As such each stump settlement is a tiny fiefdom of its own with their own cultures and unique societies. 

While most of the populations of the stumps remain safely within its massive, decaying wooden interior, much like termites, digging down into the roots of their home to mine iron, copper and tin, each stump has more adventurous denizens who venture forth from the relative safety of their home to explore the dangerous gloom of the forest floor.

Down in the undergrowth, untold dangers stalk, scurry, creep and flit amongst the great roots and tangled ferns but for the bold, treasures can be found as the stumps need guards to patrol the narrow trackways between settlements from Wildling raids or Fae marauders and there's also the ruins of lost civilisations to be explored too.

Coupled with unnaturally large insects, rival Stump settlements, the ghosts of the past, the life of adventurers is often brutal and short but for those who survive, they gain the right to go forth and settle a new Stump.

The Stumps vary in size from tiny homesteads that are occupied by a single family or group of adventurers up to mightier towns and cities that may hold thousands of citizens. Each Stump has a unique culture but for their collective safety many will band together into loose confederations and alliances of those in the vicinity (when they're not fighting amongst themselves). 

Thus far, I've put a few initial thoughts together about the setting alongside the doodles and assorted photos to help set the scene and have sketched out a few potential forces to get me going using a variety of plastic historical and fantasy ranges.

I'd considered doing 15mm but I think I'm going to stick with the small skirmish style of Brutalquest but using cheap plastics as they're actually cheaper than the other options which is so strange but it will allow me to keep converting and kitbashing stuff and I'm planning on sculpting the odd figure here or there to add variety!

We shall see how I get on but I've really enjoyed pootling around with the setting and will be continuing fleshing it out over the coming months as its a rather interesting process and I want to keep the creativity going!

I suspect it will be a very slow burn sort of a deal because I'm always busy but the opportunity to keep plugging away at this be it a RPG or with a rpg and who knows where it will go but in the meantime, All the best!

Saturday 22 June 2024

Tree Stump Settlements


We're about to depart on a well deserved holiday down south for a week where I suspect we shall be catching up with some relaxation, reading and perusing of National Trust properties as well as peeking into the odd bookshop but before I trundle off, I thought I'd post a bit of randomness to get the inspiration going.

Over the last couple of years I've become fascinated by the odd moss covered and decaying tree stumps that we often pass while out walking and have begun photographing them as they're oddly beautiful.

Beyond their odd beauty, I find myself pondering their similarity to the South American Tepui or tabletop mountains that Professor Challenger explored in the Lost World but in a much smaller scale. 

Some of the tiny but lush vegetation looks surprisingly like trees and it gets me to pondering creating some sort of setting where a once mighty forest of unimaginable scale has been reduced to a wasteland with the stumps of once mighty trees thrusting up from the surrounding desolation. 

Small settlements of beings could inhabit them, creating tiny fortifications to protect themselves from the creeping beasties that live on the ground level and gliders, airships or even insects could be used to travel between them. Possibly some of the closer ones could have great bridges build between them and tiny fields that are hidden in the secluded interiors could provide inhabitants with their daily needs.

What adventures could be had when the inhabitants of the stump islands descend to the ground level with its fungal forests moss and endless ferns while searching for safe passage or rare herbs or exposed mineral deposits. Could this endless morass of greenery conceal untold dangers to be fought in defence of their homes?

Now I need a new project like I need a hole in the head, especially as there is absolutely no way I can reasonably recreate the cliff like landscapes and outcrops, I doubt I'll do much more than keep taking snaps of these strange little outcroppings and musing on what tiny civilisations could live on such things.

With that said, I may end up doing a series of illustrations and fleshing out the idea a bit into a bit of an RPG type setting as it could be rather fun and a satisfying thought exercise in its own right, possibly giving me the excuse to crack out the pens and start doodling some outlandish bits and bobs!

We shall see what ideas I can come up with over the coming week and I'll post any progress when I get back. If nothing else, I may end up incorporating it into my ongoing Colostle solo RPG campaign and its a rather fun and fanciful change from my usual stuff and will hopefully act as a bit of a palette cleanser before I get back and continue with the assorted 6mm, 15mm and 28mm miniatures I've been working on.

It never ceases to amaze me how inspiration can be found in such unlikely sources but I suppose its one of the bonuses of wandering around some ancient woods on ones day off!

I doubt I'll get chance to post much over the course of the week but I've got a backlog of completed stuff that I'll try and get photos of when I get back that will hopefully be of interest to folks but in the meantime, All the best!

Friday 14 June 2024

6mm Fantasy Shenanigans


As promised in my last post, I've been footling about with some 6mm scale fantasy bits and bobs.

I've become quite a fan of creating small gaming boards using cheap pinboards and I've been wanting to make a rich green one for a while and decided that it was high time to get it finished. 

The base is a WHSmith's pinboard that measures 39cm by 59cm which I got for 75% off when a local store was closing down and cost £2.50. A cheap tube of green acrylic set me back another £1.99 and bobs your uncle! I'd initially intended on using either a static grass sheet or flock but thought it may warp the cork board so settled on just painting it all.

A bit of splotching, drybrushing and dabbing of assorted greens and browns and it looks pretty decent.

With the addition of my polystyrene egg trees and a small dark age farm produced by Irregular Miniatures that I was gifted a good fifteen years ago, I've got the beginnings of a decent little layout.

Further rummagings have turned up some Irregular Miniatures Wood Elves that was part of the lot that I was gifted back in the day and I find myslelf with the beginnings of a nice little army. I've got enough to make a decent sized force for Dragon Rampant and still have a bunch of Orcs to use as an opposition.

Sadly the photo's don't do the figures justice as they're really nice little sculpts once they've got a coat of paint on them and I'm thinking of slowly adding to the collection with some other figures from Irregular at some point. The bases are 15mm by 30mm and made from cardboard.

I've rather enjoyed putting together this little project and will try to get the remaining figures painted up in the coming weeks and hope to add some more scenery too and am aiming towards making it in the style of classic Warhammer Fantasy Battle but tiny so we shall see how I get on.

My next post should have some completed 15mm scale gubbins as well as further musings on some wild west ideas that I've got floating about again.

In the meantime, All the best!

Monday 10 June 2024

Progress of a Sort!


Longtime no update!

Alas real world has intruded upon with our problem neighbours having moved on from flooding our kitchen for the umpteenth occasion in six months to actually damaging the building.

Believe it or not, this is one of the two doors they've broken in a week...

Coupled with constant noise and other unsavoury shenanigans, the police and council are now involved and my hobby time has been decidedly lacking.

Despite all the stress, I have managed to snatch a bit of time to get some random bits and bobs painted as there is nothing like losing yourself in painting miniatures to do away with stress.

I've been working my way through a selection of 15mm scale gubbins from my purchase from Alternative Armies Laserburn sale and some old Peter Pig bits and bobs that I've had in my collection for a good 20 years now. 

At the same time, I've been painting some 6mm bits and bobs that I was donated a good dozen or so years back and have sat in a box ever since. I have vague ideas of using them for either Lion or Dragon Rampant and have also painted up a small board that will allow for some small scale gaming.

The recent unpleasant goings on has got me to looking through my rulebook collection in search of inspiration and having recently stumbled upon some youtube videos of folks playing the game Hunt Showdown, I found myself fancying some narrative based horror skirmishing based in the US in the late 19th century.

I've got Dracula's America which looks like a nice simple set of rules that allows for small warbands of desperadoes fighting otherworldly horrors in the wild west which is kind of what I'm hankering after.

At present with all the nonsense going on, I doubt I'll be getting the chance to put together anything with it but hopefully once the unpleasantness is done with I'll get chance to have a proper dig into something a bit different.

In the meantime, I'll keep pootling away with the odds and ends that I've been working on and my next update will hopefully have some actual painted stuff but until then, all the best!