Monday, 9 September 2019

Breeding An Army

I've been getting my nose to the grindstone over the last couple of weeks. Firstly, I'm back at work after the summer holidays, which means that I've got less time to paint. However, I also decided to try to make some real progress and finish off all of my unpainted Isengard forces for Lord of the Rings.

Now, I have to admit that whilst painting these I discovered that I hadn't yet painted Grima Wormtongue, and there are some regular Orcs that could technically fit in the army, but I've at least completed all of my Uruk-Hai.

First up are the five remaining plastic warriors. These sculpts really do show their age compared to some other models I've been painting recently, but fortunately they are relatively easy to paint to a tabletop standard fairly quickly.

I can't see myself doing any of more of these or the pikemen in the future, but I may end up doing some plastic scouts or a demolition crew.

Last Christmas I was bought four crossbowmen, and I was really pleased as my games up until that point had seen my forces shot up from a distance whilst my opponents maneuvered with impunity.

However, I was way of starting these models as they were encased in a spider's web of finecast resin sprue. Up until this point, I'd not actually assembled any finecast miniatures, and after this, I'd be wary of buying more. It was horrible. The resin cuts away easily enough but there's just so much to tidy up. I've got used to much better casting.

However, let's be fair, my frustration with them is nowhere near the level of trauma caused by the Suicide Squad Katana from Knight Models.

Another addition to my ballistic capability is the ballista. It may be a little bit of overkill, but it might give opponents pause for thought about where to position their big hitters if a massive spear can skewer them from a distance.

I bought this second hand on Ebay, and it's actually missing the spear from the actual machine. However, I don't think it matters that much as it could be in the process of being loaded. However, the fit of the parts wasn't great either and so decided to base it to provide more stability.

First of the two characters I've done is Ugluk, the leader of the Uruk-Hai that capture Merry and Pippin, and is one of several characters that I felt were somewhat diminished in the Two Towers film. In game he has the rather thematic ability to kill his own men to provide a morale bonus, and so I will need to paint a couple of regular Orcs to provide a cheap supply for this bonus.

I was disappointed to find a chunky mold line running across his face and through his eye. However, if I squint, I can pretend it's a scar.

Vrasku is in neither the books or the films and is a creation if Ganes Workshop. He comes with a frankly enormous crossbow which can be used to deadly effect.

A better sculpt than Ugluk, but I've stuffed up the face a bit. It's probably best to not look too close at these two.

As I said earlier, I still have Grima and some Orcs to paint, and I may pick up some scouts and a demolition team. I also want to buy some Warg Riders and a Troll. All of these can wait though, as I have more than enough for any games we are likely to play.

Thankfully, the effort of getting fifteen models painted makes severe inroads into my tally, even with three models arriving for my She-Ra project.

Acquired: 167
Painted: 147

Saturday, 31 August 2019

King of the Mike...erm, Mark

A quick post showing the latest addition to my Rohirrim for the succinctly named Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game.

This is King Theoden, and he wasn't actually painted by me. He was part of a small bundle of miniatures I bought a while ago from Mike. As he was already done, it seemed churlish to strip him and repaint him in exactly the same colours when the effect I would achieve would, at best, only match this. Therefore I opted to simply make the basing match my force.

He doesn't have a shield because I don't actually have one to give him, I also got a shieldless mounted model (which needs more painting) in the same bundle, and it also gives me an excuse to pick up the heavily armoured plastic Theoden at some point.

I know I only painted the base and added some static grass, but getting this miniature out of my to do pile did actually require some painting and therefore counts on my tally. Complaints about this decision can be sent to the usual address of

Acquired: 164
Painted: 132

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

StuG in the Mud

After completing our invasion of Crete campaign, my Fallschirmjager needed to be upgraded to become the late war force they've been painted as. First item on the agenda was armoured support in the form of a StuG III Ausf G assault gun.

The kit is from Warlord Games and was fairly straightforward to assemble with the notable exception of the schurzen side armour, which were frankly a pain in the arse to line up.

I decided, seeing as I'd done camouflage on every other model in the army, I'd have a go at camouflage on the StuG. A little bit of asking around pointed me to a YouTube video which allowed me to create an appropriate camo scheme without using an airbrush. The video can be found here.

I'm really quite pleased with the results, especially the paint chipping I've done over the waterslide decals. This is something I might go back to do on my Russian vehicles.

The only slight fly in the ointment is that I bought the StuG based on the fact that it was the most common German armoured fighting vehicle in the war and so I was being historically accurate. 

However, this was before Pete pointed out that in game terms the StuG III only five points less than a Panzer IV, and although they share the same armour and main gun, the Panzer IV has the added mobility of a turret, an additional machine gun and the Tiger Fear rule. That's quite a lot of value for five points.

I really should read rules before buying stuff.

Anyway, I'm happy with how my sub-standard armoured vehicle looks, and it's another model finished.

Acquired: 164
Painted: 131

Tuesday, 27 August 2019


Last year I backed a Kickstarter run by Crooked Dice for the launch of their 7TV: Apocalypse game. With my pledge I got the base game, an Interceptor (which I gave the Mad Max earlier in the year) and a starter cast of Giant Ants.

Why Giant Ants you ask?

Well, a number of reasons really. Firstly, I like the models reminding my of b-movie classics like the aforementioned 'Them!'. Secondly, they looked quite easy to paint (more on this later). Finally, in gaming terms they are quite versatile, fitting into spy-fi, apocalypse and pulp games of 7TV with ease, they are also more than suitable for fantasy games and even Marvel supers gaming thanks to Ant-Man and the Pym Particle accidents that happen in his vicinity.

Assembly of these was a little bit fiddly with my clumsy fingers. The queen is resin and I managed to snap one of the antennae by being heavy handed during clean up, and I also almost stuck the legs on the wrong way round. I found the antennae of the smaller ants, being so tiny, even more tricky and I managed to glue myself to them a couple of times.

When it came to painting, I kept things simple. Base coat of Doombull Brown, drybrush with Ratskin Flesh and then wash with Agrax Earthshade. The princes were done with Ushabti Bone and washed and the eyes were painted red and I added a coat of Blood for the Blood God for that glossy effect.

The hardest part of painting was handling them, as I didn't want them based before they were painting and I was also terrified I'd snapping legs and antennae. If I was going to paint more (which might happen), I'd probably insert a rod in the underside of the smaller ants for painting and clip it off when finished.

I'm really pleased with the final outcome, although Mrs Cheaphammer isn't as they creep her out something rotten, which I suppose is a compliment of sorts. I will have to be careful with them as I managed to snap an antenna whilst taking these photos.

Unfortunately, despite painting all six in the space of a day, my progress hasn't been affected as my nemesis, Wargames Illustrated, arrived with another six free miniatures (this time it's renaissance handgunners) and so the gap remains the same:

Acquired: 164
Painted: 130

Friday, 23 August 2019

Getting Board Now

As mentioned in previous posts, I'm working on a lost world themed board for the Board in Brum 7TV day in September, and two new larger elements are now completed, getting me 3very closer to a full board set up.

The larger piece makes use of a piece of mdf I've had hanging around my gaming space for a good few years and I've had several thoughts on how to use it in that time. However, it's only the impending 7TV event that has prompted me to tackle such a large piece.

Rather than do a full section of jungle, water or rocks I've decided to mix the three to create a varied piece of terrain, complete with routes through so that it doesn't block off huge chunks of the board.

As with previous pieces, the plants are cheap plastic ones from pet shops and pound shops, the livid colours don't need to look realistic for my purposes, complemented by lichen to create undergrowth and strands from a plastic grass sample sheet as reeds.

The large flower is something I made for Poison Ivy back when I was playing the Batman Miniatures Game before Knight Models had made any plants for her. I'm glad I've been able to fund another use for it.

The water is the main reason that production of this piece slowed to a crawl as I bought some water effect (Still Water is the brand) and it turned out to be totally rubbish. It took ages to dry, dried cloudy, cracked and flaked off. After two tries with it, I settled for a healthy dollop of PVA, and I think it works. The bubbles aren't great, but they're not a massive issue in a swamp.

The croc is part of a plastic toy I picked up in Australia. Although the model itself wasn't great, I sliced the top off the head and the back and personally I think it works.

The rocky pool is actually a lizard feeding bowl I picked up cheap from a pet shop. I'm less sure about this as I don't think there's enough foliage to hide its original purpose, however I've now run out of plastic plants and ivy, so I may add more in time. On the up side, it didn't need painting apart from the pool and it puts something different on the table. I may return to this one to improve it.

I've probably got enough for a table now, but I'm playing a game with Matt tomorrow and so I'll get a chance to check and see if I need to add a few more pieces of scatter terrain.

Although big, this only counts as two models, but it's still positive progress and at least they're out of the queue now.

Acquired: 158
Painted: 124

Thursday, 22 August 2019

It's All Kicking Off

Every so often I paint something that has nothing to do with any of the many many many projects I have on the go.

This is one of those times.

I present Alpha Male from Kitbash Games new Supers Unlimited range.

When I first recieved this as a gift from Leon, the CEO, Generalissimo and Overlord in Chief of Kitbash Games, the pose struck me as somewhat familiar and I was reminded of hungover Sunday mornings watching WCW Raw. In particular, I was reminded of this guy, the late 'Ravishing' Rick Rude.

I was not especially a wrestling fan, but I do remember watching every week as Rick strode out to fight yet another nobody, insult the audience, claim to be the world's sexiest man (even with that mullet) and then flatten the nobody with his signature move, the 'Rude Awakening'.

Given the pose and the moniker Alpha Male, I can only assume that Rick Rude was somewhere in the sculptor's mind when creating this miniature.

I've no specific plans for him other than the fact that he joins my burgeoning collection of Kitbash Miniatures, along with Doc Cosmos and Tox. These characters exist in the Supers Unlimited game which is due for release at some point, but the characters will also receive profiles for both Super Mission Force (which I play) and Pulp City, so there are plenty of ways to use them.

If you want to get your hands on some of these miniatures, Kitbash are launching with a Kickstarter that begins today. The range is incredibly eclectic, and despite the focus on supers there are miniatures that will fit in a wide range of projects. I've already earmarked models from the range to use in my Masters of the Universe, 7TV and Marvel projects.

Shameless promotions over Alpha Male is also another point on the 2019 painted pile.

Acquired: 158
Painted: 122

Friday, 9 August 2019

It's All Ruined Now!

Recently I signed up to Terrain Time, a terrain building project during August. Details can be found at Deadly Dick's Tavern. The basics are to simply complete one piece of terrain, and although I'm planning to do more, here's my first piece.

I've been very slowly working on a terrain board for the next Board in Brum 7TV day in September. I'm aiming for something that can work for Lost World Pulp games or an alien planet such as Eternia. I'd already done three pieces of jungle terrain, so I thought a ruin would add a little bit of variety.

The base ruin is something I've had for a very long time and came from the original Fellowship of the Ring starter set from GW, which I've given a brush up. The walls are actually too thin and the reverse side has issues, but I feel that the jungle additions help hide some of the limitations of the piece.

I'd actually run out of the purple tinged leaves I'd used on the other terrain pieces and hadn't been able to find more of them. So I spent I little time removing some from my other terrain, and replaced them with some of the livid green fronds I picked up from a pound shop. This means I now have enough to give a few more terrain pieces a consistent feel.

Sadly, a piece like this still only counts as one model, however it's all progress.

Acquired: 158
Painted: 121