Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Shieldbash, True Atronian 2


Well I'm just back from a very busy day at work but managed to get a couple of pictures of my slowly expanding True Atronian warband taken!

 Atronian Hurscaree

I went with a multi tone skin/fur/hair combo on her and am really pleased with the finish I managed to get on her. I also added some bits and bobs to her base to make her a bit more interesting and to represent the somewhat more lush climate of Agaptus.

Once again, I have been struck by how much detail and character have been imbued into such small and delicate sculpts and am looking forward to spending a bit of time on the next figure in the collection once I get chance to paint it!

Hurscaree with Sword and Shield and Hurscaree with Axe

Hopefully with a bit of work, I will be able to finish off the warband over the course of the next few weeks as I've really enjoyed painting the first two and can't wait to work on more of Zombiesmith's wonderfully whimsical figures. My only disappointment was that I didn't pick up an opposing warband so I could get some games in of Shieldbash!

All the best!

Friday, 28 August 2015

Shieldbash, True Atronian


Just a quick post before I head off to work with some pictures of the first of my Atronians!

 True Atronian Sword Doe

I am really impressed with the quality of the sculpts, especially as she's mounted on a 20mm round base! I painted her up last night and am looking forward to adding some more completed figures to the warband over the coming weeks.

 View 2

While they don't scale well with my own sculpts, they are such a delightful little range that I have no doubt that I will soon be ordering another faction for them to fight against. Looking at the finished paintjob, I think I need to add some more fine detailing such as her eyes need a little work and the base needs some static grass and possibly even some ferns to make her really look fantastic but we shall see what we can do this evening when I get home!


Till then, All the best!

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Evil Minion #3


Well another busy day at work with the release of the last Discworld novel and lots of artwork needing produced for the shop didn't leave much time for me to do much painting but I did find time to complete work on a third Minion:

 Evil Minion #3

As with the other evil minions I've been making for Marik's warband, I wanted to go for a rather generic, down at heel mercenary with mismatched and rather worn gear so went for a rather rusty finish. Overall I am pleased with the sculpt but tried adding in a bit of green to the greys of his armour which didn't work out too well (apologies for the picture quality!)

 Evil is Afoot!

Still, he's now finished and with a bit of work, I think Marik will have a finished warband over the coming week which will allow me to move onto my third force. I want to add another couple of characterful sculpts to his retinue though including a big guy to give him some much needed hitting power.

 Rabble Rousing

Looking back at my progress, I am somewhat heartened to see that this project only started in mid July and only six weeks later I have two great little warbands that are painted and even played a game with them!

At the rate I am going at, I think I can honestly say that this may be my most productive project in years and I can't wait to see how it develops over the coming weeks and months...

Battle is commenced

In other good news, my True Antronians arrived from Zombiesmith today and I will be posting up my initial thoughts on them tomorrow along with a couple of pictures but my initial thoughts on them are really positive and I look forward to painting them up.

Till then, All the best!

Monday, 24 August 2015

Mechanical Minion and More Boar Company


I've completed a couple more figures for my Somewhere on the Border project in the form of a Mechanical Minion and another Boar Company Swordsman:

First up there's the Mechanical Minion:

 Mechanical Minion

The sculpt dates way back to when I was at university and developing my Rusty Robots concept and has languished unpainted for years. In fact I found him lying on my kitchen windowsill so decided it was high time he got a paint job.

I settled on a pleasingly rusted and battered finish to match the miniature himself and game wise, he will be representing some piece of ancient tech that has been uncovered in one of the megacity ruins that dot Aeroth.

Next up, there's the latest member of the Boar Company:

 Boar Company Trooper

I am trying to add a bit more vitality to my sculpts so rather than just having stuff standing holding swords, I wanted to have a bash at something a little more dynamic and have the little chap bellowing and waving a sword about in a more determined manner.

 Mechanical Minion vs Dwarf!

I'm really enjoying how this project is developing and my forces are gradually expanding too as can be seen below:

The Boar Company Thus Far!

I still have one or two bits and bobs to build for them but they are almost back to full strength which is really heartening and even better, I haven't been feeling bored with my progress, instead I find myself wanting to sculpt and paint fresh additions and warbands. 

Hopefully I can keep up the pace and finish a few more bits and pieces over the coming week and my Shieldbash stuff should be arriving too which is rather exciting and will give me even more fun stuff to work on so watch this space...

All the best!

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Assorted Gubbins and Blog Organising!


I've been pondering adding some of my sci-fi interests up here, particularly all my stylised sculpts as well as some of the ranges of stuff that fits in with this blogs ethos of miniatures that are a bit different from the usual generic or grimdark fare that sadly consists of the majority of ranges currently available out there these days.

I think it might be a plan to put together some extra pages on this blog for each range which will prove a handy location to store all sorts of random gubbins that I find interesting without cluttering up the place too much...

I will post a bit of info about each range here before creating a separate page for them and hope to add the odd painted miniature from the ranges too over the coming months.

War of Ashes Shieldbash is a rather whimsical game produced by ZOMBIESMITH, the creator of the well known Quar range and is set in a world inhabited by all manner of quirky beings such as the True Antronians, Elvorix, Vidaar, Jaari, Ki-Kak and Kuld and just looking at the artwork, one is struck by just how much fun they are:

The world itself is equally interesting as the gods are feared due to their ineptitude and tendency to destroy stuff by accident and an unfortunate incident with a drunken priest, an escaped sacrifice and a temple burned to the ground has seen the world plunged into a new ice age as the sun has faded from a warming yellow to a worrying red.

The whimsy of the writing and illustration livens up what could be a rather bleak setting as each race has interesting reasons for fighting, be it the True Antronians wanting to bring peace by beating some sense into the warring Bucks, or the Jaari looking for someone to blame for their sacred volcano erupting or even the Ki-Kak who seek to meet out punishment to the Vidaar for wrecking their island paradise.

With this in mind, I recently ordered a warband of True Antronians and am looking forward to them arriving so I can have a bash at painting up a small skirmish force. The rules themselves are well written and beautifully illustrated and best yet, they are also played on a 2'x2' board which is perfect for the gamer on a budget and with limited space.

While they may not fit the style of my own sculpts, I think a couple of small warbands in their own right would be quite a bit of fun as the different factions battle for survival and hope to bring back the favour of the gods (preferably without gaining too much attention from the eager but destructive bunch)

Over the coming few days, I will be tweaking the blog and adding lots of assorted content so keep your eyes peeled!

All the best!

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Wildling and Terrain!


Well I've been off camping over the last few days so haven't had much chance to get any painting or sculpting done but last night I finished off a couple of bits and bobs that had been lurking on my painting table for a while.

Firstly there's my Wildling scout:

Wildling Scout

I've fancied sculpting some Beastmen for a while as I've never been too keen on the whole evil goat thing that's so popular and looking for something a bit different for my Boar Company inspired me to sculpt this little fellow!

Porcine Buttocks

Armed with a handful of javelins, the Wildling Scout will make a fine addition to my Boar Company until I get chance to sculpt a few more at which time they will be getting their own warband! I think I have managed to push my sculpting skills a bit with getting the little chap put together and really like his style so expect some more of the little guys soon!

It's not all been about painting a pot bellied porker though! I also managed to finish off a piece of scenery for my games in the form of an adobe storage shed:

 Storage Shed

Made from a small cardboard box available from Hobbycraft for about £1.25, it was originally built for my 15mm scale gubbins but I found it to be ideal for use for the new scale. I found the finish a bit dull initially so added some red detailing around the doorway which livens it up perfectly. If I was to make another, I think I would add a dome to the roof to give it a more authentic look to it. I am also considering adding cork tile walls so it has the proper style too...


Handily I have enough of the boxes to make an entire village so watch this space for more stuff!

I think I will post an article over the next couple of days chronicling my progress at adding some more terrain to my stylised gaming surface as well as a battle report to liven things up a bit, especially as the Boar Company has a couple of new additions as will Marik's warband!

Till then, All the best!

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Somewhere on the Border: Battle for Black Water Silo 12

Grimli mopped his brow irritably and cursed the misfortune of the Boar Company having been dispatched to ensure the safety of one of the Guilders precious Black Water silos located near Mal Dulm. Bad enough to be having to kowtow to those mad Alchemists but several days march along the Dwarven Military road in the height of a post Death summer was asking a bit much, especially as his unit sweltered in their plate mail.

Still, he ruminated, there might be a chance of some action as the Goblin tribes had been restive in the foothills since the melting of the snows and the mad Orcish Khan, Krull had relaunched his futile siege of the Great Wall and the Black Water was vital to the war effort as most of the Dwarven machines ran on it. 

Flint, his second in command hurried over. "You'd better listen to this chief" he said, gesturing for the hunter who was acting as the Boar Companies scout to join them.

"There's humans approaching the facility", the leather clad hunter stated, "They look pretty shabby and I couldn't get too close but they looked like they were up to something so I figured I'd best get back to let you know, especially as they look like they have a Wight with them"

"Magic!" Grimli exclaimed and exchanged a worried look with Flint. "This could be serious so lets get to it and give our visitors a warm welcome!"

As the company moved closer to the Silo, Grimli let out a startled cry. "Marik!" Sure enough, lurking near the facility with a group of unsavoury characters was the Boar Companies sworn foe, Marik Goldhelm a thrice cursed sorcerer who had dogged the Companies steps for years. 

"To Battle!" bellowed Grimli and the Boar Company rushed to meet their foe...

Last night I played out a skirmish between the Boar Company and the warband of Marik Goldhelm using the revised rules for Song of Blades and Heroes that I have been working on and must admit it was rather a lot of fun!

The objective was to seize and hold the Black Water storage silo and in the end it was touch and go between the two forces, literally to the last minute and the revised combat and shooting worked out rather well at speeding things up too!

Using his bats, Marik quickly took the silo and dispatched his swordsmen and archer to reinforce the position while he and his Wight moved forward to watch the approaching Dwarves. Grimli and two of the Boar Company on the other hand activated as a unit and made a rush at the silo ramp as fast as their stumpy legs could carry them, while the remainder of the Boar Company under the command of Flint moved to engage Marik himself.

 The battle for the Silo

Activation swung back and forth wildly throughout the game and the Dwarves managed to reach the ramp before the minions of Marik reached it but their slow movement allowed them to be caught between the bats and minions resulting in a melee that lasted for several turns.

Bat V Dwarf!

One of the troopers hurtled up the ramp and took on the first bat while his companions held the ramp against the swordsmen and the archer who was lurking at the edge of the melee to try and get a shot at any Dwarf who he could draw a bead on.

 The Melee Hots Up!

Some poor activation from the Dwarves saw Flint approach Marik and his pet Wight unsupported and to make matters worse, Marik cast a bolt of green witchfire which incinerated one of the troopers approaching the epic melee that broke out between Dwarf and Undead. Blows were traded and eventually the Wight was knocked over by a well aimed pickaxe to the face but Marik interfered before Flint could finish the skeletal horror by casting a second bolt into the melee, blasting Flint off his feet.

 Sorcerous powers!

Smoldering somewhat and swearing profusely, Flint pulled himself to his feet and set about hacking at the dead thing at his feet but the ancient armour and magical toughness of the foe made sending it permanently to its grave a difficult prospect.

Things were also looking grim at the Silo as one of the Dwarves fell to the rusty blades of the Swordsmen. Seeing his trooper slain, Grimli bellowed an ancient warcry and thrust his sword into the belly of the giant bat and inspired by his leader, the Dwarven hunter launched a well aimed bolt into the skull of the swordsman who stood over the prone body of the trooper.

The fight was won though by the trooper on the silo who performed a gruesome kill on the remaining bat which saw the remaining swordsman and archer flee from the battlefield. With a last swing, Flint buried his pickaxe in the Wight's skull and its struggling ceased, the green glow in its empty sockets fading. Seeing the way things were going, Marik decided to call it a day and fled, cursing the Boar Company for once again upsetting his plans!

The battle was won, but at what cost. Two brave Boar Company companions slain and that fiend Marik had escaped again! "Next time we meet, I will make you pay for all the wrongs you've done to my people!" 

I must admit that the game was loads of fun and as mentioned, it literally came down to the last turn where the Dwarves managed to get some good activations, slew their foes (gruesomely too!) and held the silo against all the odds which is just what you need in a good skirmish!

The epic duel between Flint and the Wight (who now needs a name!) was great fun but I had given the Wight the Slow ability which means that he can only perform one movement activation a turn which proved to be a nuisance as it would have potentially been a bit different if Marik and the Wight had made it further towards the silo before Flint buried his pickaxe in the creature's head. I think there will need to be a bit more tweaking of abilities and skills before the next game and hope to reinforce both sides with some more interesting troops to give them a bit more flexibility but I think I am heading in the right direction.

Eat Pickaxe dead thing!

Hopefully I will get some gubbins finished this week and hope to get some more updates along with a battle report posted this weekend!

All the best!

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Warband Building


Well it's been a bit of a busy week or so with lots of sculpting and painting to prepare my first two warbands for a Somewhere on the Border campaign and I am pleased to announce that I have just about finished them so without further ado, here's the Boar Company and the minions of Marik Goldhelm!

The Boar Company is really starting to come together and has just about reached full strength when compared to their old sculpts and I am really pleased with the finish of the little chaps as well as the amount of character they have:

 The Boar Company thus far

I still need to build a Wildling and a few characters, not to mention another hunter but they are almost complete. Here's a rather old picture of the old sculpts for the Boar Company:

The Originals!

Next up, there's Marik Goldhelm, the Boar Companies long time nemesis and his assorted minions:

 Goldhelm and Minions

I've been a bit more organised with his underlings this time around as he previously had a random selection of bits and bobs that were the result of using pretty much anything I had lying around at the time and making do so he had one skeleton, a couple of Cave Dwellers and a random blue demon that I found in my bits box as well as a couple of giant bats.

This time I went for a more conventional force while trying to bring over some of the characters such as the skeleton who has now been upgraded to a Wight and the two giant bats who I went a bit mental with:

 Flying Menaces!

Still, I must admit that I am really pleased with their look and the overall feel of the two little forces thus far and still have a few more goodies awaiting a coat of paint or needing a little bit more sculpting to finish before adding them to the mix!

I am really liking the combination of scale and style of the sculpts which are allowing me to play a decent sized game on a 2'x3' board and I suspect that the Orcish horde will be getting some attention soon in the form of Krull and his ravening warband but I don't want to get ahead of myself before finishing out the rosters for my two existing forces.

 Boar Company on maneuvers

I even managed to play out a bit of a game yesterday evening using Song of Blades with one or two modifications to speed up play a bit and quite like how it turned out. 

In previous games, I found that the combat mechanic resulted in a lot of pushing and shoving but very little bloodshed but have added in the option of concentrating attacks which instead of adding +1 to your combat, you add +1d6 instead which results in less of the endless back and forth and more brutal results. I am going to continue experimenting with the rules, potentially adding a D10 to the mix as well as taking a look at the shooting and magic rules which I find are a bit feeble at present.

Evil is afoot!

I will post my progress up here as well as putting on a battle report or two as well to illustrate some of the modifications I am playing around with too as I love the simplicity and flexibility of the rules but feel there's something still missing from the game that would take it from good fun to brilliant without adding too much book keeping and stuff to it.

I am hopeful that I will be able to get the Boar Company and Marik's Warband finished by the end of my holidays and will try to update a bit of a battle report this weekend to celebrate but till then, All the best!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Evil Minion!


As promised, here's the first of Marik Goldhelm's Evil Minions!

 Evil Minion

I decided to go for a similar style of gear as Marik himself but decidedly more beaten up and poorly kept so there's lots of scratches, chips and rust to give him a rather grubby finish than the Dwarves of the Boar Company for example. If I was to do him again, I suspect I would give him chipped enamelled armour to make him a bit brighter but quite like the way he looks for the time being.

Marik and Minion 

Hopefully I will be able to finish a second one this evening to add to Marik's retinue as well as a pair of Boar Company troopers awaiting getting cooked (It sounds a bit creepy but the fimo they are made of needs cooked in the oven to cure!). If I can keep up the momentum, I should have a couple of decent warbands ready for my holidays and the campaigning season can begin!

Grimli and The Boar Company bump into Marik, who's obviously up to something nefarious!

I must admit that this project continues to entertain me hugely and I hope to start adding a few NPCs and denizens of Aeroth over the next week or two!

All the best!

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Musing on an Alternative Style


Well I've just finished a really busy day at work and got back home with intentions of finishing some more bits and bobs with this blog but got a bit distracted when I discovered that Zombiesmith currently has a summer sale on!

I've been rather tempted by their War of Ashes miniatures line for a while so thought I'd have a bash at getting a few to see how things go. After a little perusal, I settled on several packs of The True Atronians, a rather lovely collection of furry females who got sick of the men going off fighting all the time and decided to form their own society and now seek to knock some sense into the menfolks.

 Atronian Skirmish Set

 Atronian Command Set


There's something pleasingly muppetish to the whole range and it kind of reminds me of the classic Jim Henson movie, the Dark Crystal which is a real plus. I hope to base them up on round rather than square bases to make them more useful for other games. I also got a pdf of Shieldbash, the skirmish game set within the world of the War of Ashes and quite like the look of it, despite it's use of square bases so who knows, I may end up collecting a couple more warbands if I like the look of these in the flesh so to speak.

This gets me onto the title of this post! I have been thinking of the possibilities of going for some more stylised but interesting figure ranges for a while, Zombiesmith, Tor Gamings Relics and the World of Twilight being central to this and alongside the assorted bits and bobs I have sculpted myself, I am thinking that a more interesting setting may be possible with a little work and judicious use of some of these fine miniatures!

I will post a review of the figures when they arrive but as they are getting shipped from the US, it may be a week or two before I get chance. In the meantime, I will be cracking on with some of my own sculpts. I do actually have a minion finished but will post pictures in the morning when there's some better light.

In the meantime, All the best!

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Boar Company Trooper


I've been slowly plugging away at finishing off a couple more bits and bobs and have just finished the test piece for my Boar Company troops:

 Boar Company Dwarf

I must admit that I am really pleased with how he turned out. Not only the sculpting but the painting has been really satisfying and I look forward to adding another five troops to round out the unit!

 More Views

Hopefully I will have another few finished by the weekend and will be able to get another update showing the Boar Company almost at full strength in the new scale and style. Once the troopers are out of the way, I need to add a couple of hunters with crossbows, the Wildling and Keeper as well as a Battle Rager and the Boar Companies porcine mascot.

 The Force Thus Far

I am also working on a unit of minions for Marik Goldhelm which should be finished soon and should allow me to get a small skirmish sorted out between the two forces which I am getting rather excited about as it will be the first proper outing of the Boar Company in years and I hope it will herald the beginning of a campaign that will span the length and breadth of Aeroth and include all manner of wonderful and strange creatures, heroes, villains and locations!

Boar Company Troops on Maneuver

Once the figures are sorted out, I will need to see to some more terrain too as the stuff I have is ok but not exactly what I am looking for to represent the wild and chaotic landscapes of Aeroth.

In the meantime though, All the Best!