Tuesday, 16 October 2018

The Apocalypse Will Be Televised

Just a quick post to give a little more publicity to Crooked Dice’s latest Kickstarter project: 7TV Apocalypse.

Regular readers know how much I am enamoured of the simplicity of the 7TV ruleset. However, the Apocalypse version adds in customisable vehicles, vehicle combat, mutations and all manner of cult movie inspired madness.

I’ve been a playtester for the new rules and I can testify that they are fun and action packed. There’s even funky dice!

The Kickstarter is already funded so get yourself along and join in for all kinds of goodies. What’s more, there are early bird deals available for the next 48 hours.

What are you waiting for?

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Zomtober: Proper Zombies

After last week’s controversy surrounding whether the Nazgul qualify as zombies (hint: they do), I’ve returned to safer groun this week with three zombies from The Walking Dead: All Out War.

I’m now moving on to Wave 2 of the range, which actually feature proportionally less zombies and more new survivors, as the story heads out of Atlanta and culminates at the Greene family farm.

First up is a bike, who appears to have sustained injuries more consistent with coming off his bike rather than being mauled by the undead. Perhaps he crashed as he was fleeing the apocalypse and then was unable to escape pursuit.

The wound on his arm isn’t actually sculpted on the model, but is there to cover an ugly mould line that I somehow didn’t notice until the flesh was painted.

Next up is a chap who has had something rather horrific happen to him whilst at the beach, and has had the flesh torn off half of his body.

What I don’t understand is how he managed to keep flip-flops on his feet whilst his arm was ripped off, when for me, keeping the damn things on my feet whilst simply walking is tricky enough.

Last up is a child zombie. There should be more of these in the genre, especially as almost all survivors we encounter are adults. Where are the children during the apocalypse?

I’ve painted this one to match my Sophia model. Although Sophia doesn’t meet the same fate in the comics as in the TV show, I still like the idea of having her shamble out of Herschel’s barn.

That’s it for this week, but if The Walking Dead has tickled your fancy, it’s at its most affordable from Outpost Miniatures, where I’ve picked up most of my boosters from after my initial Salute binge. Follow the link below...

Saturday, 13 October 2018

An Army Worthy of Mordor?

The breeding of my Isengard army continues to outstrip the muster of Rohan by some way and my Army of the White Hand has now reached the vicinity of 500 points.

Admittedly, pretty much half those points come from Saruman and the Captain, and it’s a somewhat one-dimensional force which lacks cavalry, missile fire or a notable monster or fighter. However, it’s still a very playable force.

There have been a few new additions in the last week, including nine Uruk-Hai with swords and shields which lend a bit of defensive backbone to my lines and give the squishier pikemen something to hide behind.

Also joining the host are three Berserkers, which have the potential to use those massive swords to hack chunks out of the opponent’s line. I have found out that they work best when paired with regular Uruk-Hai to get the most out of their berserker blades.

I’m still toying with adding some white hands to the Beserkers, but I need to work up the courage to do that.

Now being the intelligent, astute readers I know you to be, I’m sure you’ll have noticed the Outpost banner that’s popped up on the website version of this page.

This is because I’ve entered into an affiliate scheme with them, and yes, in the spirit of full disclosure, there is something in it for me.

However, I’m not a complete sell out,  Outpost are one of my local stores, and I’m very comfortable promoting them as a happy customer. In fact, their very competitive pricing policy dovetails neatly with the Cheaphammer ideology.

On that topic, if my army building has somehow inspired you to raise your own horde of Uruk-Hai, you could save yourself a lot of scrubbing second hand miniatures,  just go straight to Outpost and still feel like you’ve got yourself a bargain. The box of 24 plastic miniatures will get you pretty much everything for £20 except Saruman and the Berserkers (if you’re willing to convert banners and captains).

If you follow the link below, it will take you straight there...

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Zomtober: Six of the Nine

It’s that time of year again when I and several other inhabitants of the blogosphere partake in a bit of zombie themed painting and collective motivation to shift stuff out out of our painting queues.

So here’s my first offering for Zomtober:

What do you mean they’re not zombies?

Let me refer to Aragorn, son of Arathorn, a.k.a. Strider, King Elessar the Elfstone of The reunited kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor - who, I think we can agree, knows more about this than either of us - “They are neither living nor dead.”

Do you know what that means? They’re undead. What else is undead? Zombies! Exactly!

Okay, they’re not ‘exactly’ zombies, but they’re in the same ballpark, and frankly, I’m in the middle of a Lord of the Rings fixation at the moment, so it’s as zombie-like as you’re going to get from me this week.

They’ll do. Especially when you consider some of the crap I’ve tried to explain as zombie related over the past few years - Anna and Elsa from Frozen, I’m looking at you...

I’ve had these six Nazgûl for a long time. They were amongst the first Lord of the Rings miniatures I bought, and when I sold off most of my collection, they got drafted into my WFB Vampire Counts army as wraiths (or ‘Banshee delivery system’).

In more recent times they’ve taken the field as a remarkably bent unit in Kings of War, where their resistance to damage and ability to hop over units and charge their rear in the same turn (with the aid of a spell) felt a little cheaty...I still did it though!

Therefore, they are the LotR miniatures that have seen most action for me and as such had become a bit chipped and needed a repaint (and a rebase).

Fortunately, Nazgûl are probably the easiest models in the world to paint, and so the process took me no time at all.

The only one of them that needed any extra detail was the Witch King of Angmar (as he appears on Weathertop). However, this was only a bit of gold on his sword and Morgul Blade to pick him out.

This does technically mean that in addition to my Fellowship of the Ring, Rohan and Isengard armies, I’ve now started a fourth force. In fact it could technically be three more forces as the Nazgûl appear in this form in the Mordor, Barad-Dur and Angmar armies.

I think I might have an illness.

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that I have two of the same sculpt of Ringwraiths. I don’t know why.

If I get to use all of them together, I will need a way of distinguishing them as they will have separate profiles that need tracking. I’m going to see if I can find an armoured hand holding a knife to replace the left hand of one of them.

I also want to track down another three to complete the set, as it were. I’d also like to get mounted versions and a couple of Fell Beasts in time so I have options.

So that’s my Zomtober entry for this month. If you’d like to take part here are...

The Rules

The Zomtober rules are simple.

To take part you just need to paint or finish painting one Zombie or Survivor (or more!) each week, in any scale you like, posting it to your blog by that week's Sunday (we use Sunday's as the end of each Zomtober week). These can be minis you started and abandoned, or a brand new project - that is up to you!

What that means posting one or more newly painted/finally finished Zombie or Survivor minis each week on or before the 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th of October 2018.

To sign up, head over to this post - https://eclecticgentlemantabletopgamer.blogspot.com/2018/10/zomtober-2018-zomtober-viii.html?m=1 - and post in the comments section.

More Lord of the Rings and proper zombie stuff to come...

Monday, 1 October 2018

The White Hand

This post is a bit of a bits box special, as both miniatures required a good rummage amongst the detritus of my hobby to get to where they are.

However, both were worth it as Saruman and the banner bearer will add a bit of much needed backbone to my fledgling, and somewhat one dimensional, force.

Saruman is one of the few modes that didn’t get sold along with the rest of my collection. One reason or this is that there was a painted Saruman already done, the other reason also explains why he doesn’t look quite like other versions of the model.

For some reason, in my youthful wisdom, I had chopped off the head of his staff, along with his left hand (holding the Palantir of Orthanc) and painted him blue.

No, I don’t know why either.

Therefore, he required a dip in the Dettol, a new staff head adding (it’s actually the flight of a Bretonnian arrow) and a new left hand (again taken from the everlasting Skeleton Warriors plastics). As I had no spare orb holding hand, I needed a reason why he was holding his arm out so rigidly. The crow from the Renedra gravestones set prompted me to remember the Crebain from Dunland that Saruman uses to spy on the Fellowship. Not only would this seem appropriate for the position of his arm, but also the spying capability of the Crebain could be construed as replicating the effects of the Palantir in game.


Painting Saruman was ridiculously easy. I’ve done his hair darker than it probably should be , but I wanted greater construct against the white of his robes. A ever, the photos have highlighted an issue, this time one of his eyes extends into the eyelid, so I’ll it that at some point, but otherwise I’m happy with the results.

The banner bearer is another of the broken pikemen,to which I’ve added a Skeleton Warriors lance and a plastic banner I picked up from somewhere. The construction makes the model a touch top heavy, so I’ve had to take steps to weight the base a bit, hence the rocks.

I had another go at painting the hand and I’m really happy with this one. If I’m honest, it’s probably a touch small, but I’m not going to change it when I’ve got the actual image to look like what it’s meant to be.

Overall, I'm happy with him, but it remains to be seen whether the model over balancing will change this situation at all.

So, my forced grow apace. Things should slow down a touch for Lord of the Rings as I’ve finished everything I was working on and so I’ve just undercoated some more Uruk-Hai and Rohirrim. Also, as it’s no longer September, that means Zomtober is upon us, and I shall have to shamble back to my Walking Dead Models for at least some of the month.

Sunday, 30 September 2018

“Muster the Rohirrim!”

So the other army that I’ve begun working on for the Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game is the Muster if Rohan. Théoden’s riders, that arrive in the nick of time to save Minas Tirith, and gallop heroically into battle with Orcs, Nazgûl and Mumakil.


Yes, I said ‘riders’. The Riders of Rohan.

Yes I know I’ve said previously, and quite vociferously, that I hate painting horses, but...well...it’s complicated...

My issue with painting horses is mainly that the horse increases the painting time of the individual model quite significantly. What’s more, when doing an army with a unified colour scheme, doing horses individually (because them all being the same colour wouldn’t look right) breaks the flow of any batch painting you’ve got going. Painting the rider on the horse is a faff, painting them separately is a faff, and the prospect of doing them in large numbers is quite distressing.

However, these aren’t just any cavalry. These are the Riders of Rohan. These are the cavalry of my childhood imagination, sweeping the forces of evil before them with a thunderous charge.

I’ll cope with this chore because the end result is more than just a unit of cavalry. It’s a goal worth the faffing.

This little batch of troops were actually given to me by Aneurin a long while ago, when I was bemoaning my Saga Vikings lack of ranged threat and the difficulties I had in chasing down the Welsh in particular. He gave me eight archers and a few riders.

So these became my testing ground for how to paint the Rohirrim, and I think it’s turned out well. I’ve had to raid my bits box for a suitable shield for one of them, but I think it looks okay.

I’m aiming for a mounted force (although refighting Helm’s Deep is tempting), but the archers and other foot troops that I do will serve well enough a dismounted riders...until I have enoyght for a siege, that is.

This army is going to be slower going than the Uruk-Hai, there’s much more to paint on them, but now I’ve worked out how to go about them, the others I’ve bought should come together slightly more quickly.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

“A New Power Rises...”

As much as I had the Fellowship of the Ring already done, they’re not really an ‘army’ to match Pete’s Minas Tirith Guard, Matt’s Goblin Horde, Mike’s Khandish Raiders and whatever Wes decides to do first from the Pelennor Fields box.

Therefore, I’ve started a new army...well, two actually, but let’s focus on just one for now.

I’ve started to raise the Army of the White Hand, Saruman’s hordes of armoured Uruk-Hai from Isengard.

As you can see, I’ve gone for a really simple approach that allows me to replicate it quickly and easily. At the speed I can do these, I should be able to destroy the world of men in no time.

I bought these models on eBay as part of a lot, and in terms of the Uruk-Hai, the lot only contained pikes, so at the moment, my force is lacking a tough shieldwall to stand in front of the pikes. In game terms pies can fight through up to two friendly models, allowing them to gang up on opponents.

The pikes themselves are rather flimsy an there were a couple of broken ones in the lot I bought. But, being plastic, a dab of glue fixed them easily enough.

I do expect to have breakages to fix in the future.

The captain was made from a broken pikeman whose pike had gone missing. I’ve simply used an Orc shield I had in my bits box, and the hand from an ancient GW skeleton warrior. That box was probably my first purchase from a GW store and it amuses me that I’m still using bits now.

Painting the white hand on his shield caused me some headaches, but some helpful soul pointed me in the direction of advice from the GW Eavy Metal team which I think did the trick. I’m happy with it, but I sense that I’m going to get much more practice.

So, the Army of Isengard marches. I have more Uruk-Hai on the way and a Saruman I found in my bits box to add, and there’s that other army I mentioned. More on that soon.

Saturday, 22 September 2018

“Much that once was, is lost...”

In the dim and distant past, before I lived where I live now, before I did what I do now, before this blog ever existed, I began collecting Lord of the Rings miniatures when the game was first released.

Lord of the Rings has always been my first love in terms of nerdish fandom, easily beating the likes of Star Wars, Batman and other nostalgic delights. I also loved the films. They were pretty much as good as movies of the books could get. Therefore the Lord of the Rings Miniatures Game seemed to be the perfect gaming project for me.

I painted the Fellowship, some Nazgûl, Arwen, Saruman, some Elves, a few Numenoreans, a host of Moria Goblins and even a Cave Troll.

I had a paint queue that included Uruk-Hai, a second Fellowship (although second Boromir was in the process of dying), Warriors of Minas Tirith, another Cave Troll and even a Balrog. I had my eyes on the Two Towes boxed set too.

And then something happened...I joined a gaming club for the first time in my life.

It was full of really fantastic people, most of whom are still friends to this day. They played Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Warhammer Ancient Battles, Blood Bowl and Flames of War. They drew me into smaller games like Saga, away from the bigger games companies and encouraged me to become the ecclectic gamer you know today.

But they didn’t play Lord of the Rings.

My collection lay unused, and my paint queue remained unpainted. Slowly, but surely models were diverted to other projects. Second Legolas joined the ranks of my Warhammer Wood Elves as a unit champion, dying Boromir became part of a unit filler diorama in my Bretonnian infantry, and the Nazgûl sold their swords in the service of my Vampire Counts.

The unpainted models I owned were sold to fund other projects, and finally I exchanged my painted models for some unpainted Napoleonic British. All that I kept were the Fellowship of the ring and those few models that I was using in other armies.

It is the only painted ‘army’ that I have ever sold, and I’ve regretted it ever since. I didn’t even do anything with the British.

History passed into legend, legend passed into myth, and my interest in gaming the Lord of the Rings passed out of all knowledge of those that I gamed with. Until, when chance came, it ensnared new victims.

The new edition of the Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game was released and Pete expressed an interest in dong an army, Minas Tirith specifically. Mike started working on some Khandish chariots he had bought for another project. Wes surprised us all by buying the Pelennor Fields boxed set and Matt casually mentioned that he still had the Hobbit boxed set sitting unopened.

And the old desire to game Lord of the Rings came roaring back into my soul.

The Fellowship were dusted off (literally, they’ve been on a shelf for fifteen years), given a quick wash as they were painted before Agrax Earthshade (aka ‘Liquid Talent’) was invented, given some base attention, and a couple of coats were redone in slightly less garish colours.

Given that I did these so long ago, I was surprised how good they were in comparison to a lot of my earlier painting. I really must have taken my time with them, or my eyes were just better back then. I particularly like Boromir’s coat and the cloaks and robes. These are genuinely some of my favourite models that I’ve ever painted.

And so, I’m back into Lord of the Rings. The bits box has been scoured for the few remaining models, the Nazgûl shall return to their rightful role (joined by some Wargs that were used as Dire Wolves), eBay has already been hit for some second hand miniatures, and I’ve watched all three films in the space of a week.

At some point, I’ll probably need to buy some rules...

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Hitler’s Buzzsaw

Fallschirmjager. Remember them?

After a bit of a flurry earlier in the year, this little project has been on a back burner for a while. However, it’s back with a vengeance, and this time I’ve added some firepower to my small force.

The MMG team is manning an MG42, which was ‘affectionately’ nicknamed Hitler’s Buzzsaw due to the noise that it made, thanks to it’s high rate of fire.

This rate of fire is represented in the rules by German MG teams being just better that those of other nations. As such I’m looking forward to getting this unit on the tabletop.

German LMG teams also get the same bonus as the MMG and so this team will be adding a long range threat to one of my two squads of veterans.

The pose strikes me as a sure fire way to get burst eardrums, however, this isn’t the only sculpt I’ve seen if Fallschirmjager using a squad machine gun like this, and so I’m willing to take it as a thing they did.

These two were in the same pack as the LMG team and are both packing SMGs. They’ll therefore probably end up as NCOs or command models before long.

I had a bit of a job getting the camouflage the same as before as I couldn’t remember the colours I’d used. The newer models seem a bit more yellow, but I think this might be due to the brown and green splodges being further apart, and do it seems to be an optical illusion.

And here’s my ‘army’ in all its glory. However, due to them all being veterans (and me including an air observer) these 19 men are currently worth 500 points.

I’m not sure how effective they’d be though.