Friday, 25 September 2015

Battletech Redesign: Valkyrie


Well I have a day off work at last and have managed to get a second mech finished in the form of a Valkyrie for my Davion force!

 Federated Suns Valkyrie Light Mech

I am quite pleased with how he turned out, despite the photo making the paintwork on the visor look a bit on the rough side and hope to finish another Valkyrie to add to the lance soon.

Rear View 

I have so far kept the colours generic and not too showy and have even removed the Federated Suns sigil from the Javelins head as I just didn't like the finish and may resort to getting some waterslide transfers instead when money allows.

I am thinking of adding an ace mech as the lance commander who will have some more exciting colours and markings but quite like the more muted colours with the occasional splash of colour for the existing mechs.


With a bit of work, I think I can get the third mech from the lance finished this weekend before moving onto the command machine who will be a medium mech in the form of a Centurion which will give me a somewhat larger mech to sculpt over the next week or so.

As much as I have enjoyed sculpting all these machines, I am wondering if I have gone for too cartoony a finish for them. Looking online at some of the Battletech sculpts out there, I am sorely tempted to use these fellows as Imperial walkers for my Rogue Trader project and do something a bit more realistic for Battletech...

Either which way, I will be adding the odd update here over the next week or so as well as adding a new addition to my fantasy project too!

In the meantime though, All the best!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Battletech Redesign!


Well I've been a bit quiet of late due to a mixture of a heavy workload and commissions but I've managed to take a bit of time to paint up one of my recent sculpts in the form of a Javelin mech for Battletech:

 Davion mech on patrol

I've always been a massive fan of the Battletech universe as its setting is every bit as detailed as that of GW's but without the Grimdark and the story is constantly evolving and moving forward which combined with about thirty years of background material makes for a fascinating read.

What I don't like about Battletech is ironically the rules and miniatures. I don't have the patience to spend hours recording heat and ammunition supplies and always found the miniatures butt ugly to be honest. I've heard good things about the new Alphastrike but haven't picked up a copy yet but decided to have a go at sculpting my own mech.

 Frontier Patrol

One of the best things about Battletech are the Technical Manuals which give descriptions and capabilities of the many mechs and vehicles that fight in the never ending conflict of the Inner Sphere and I had quite an enjoyable evening perusing my copies to see what mech to start off with.

I had already decided to go for a light lance as I wanted them to represent a frontier garrison of some outback planet near the Capellan border which would give me plenty of opportunity to play about with raids from the Confederation and some of the Periphery states and pirates too. I eventually settled on a Javelin as a good, fast machine which is built as a scout and set to work sculpting.

The final machine turned out rather nicely so I have begun work on the remainder of the lance but more on that later!

Having finished painting the little chap, I was struck that in the style that I am sculpting these machines, they could do easy double duty as a dreadnaught or heavy combat armour for my Rogue Trader setting too and lo and behold, he does look quite decent alongside the diminutive Orks too!

 Camo for a thirty ton lord of the battlefield? Why not!

With a bit of work I should have a couple of lancemates done soon for him and then we shall see what we can do about sorting out some opposition in the form of the duplicitous House Liao!

I am pondering going for a bit of a redux of the classic Battletech setting and scale down the mechs from ponderous behemoths to something more like the Heavy Gear mobile suits but must admit to having a soft spot for properly giant stompy robots meting out destruction on one another in a neo-feudalistic setting where technology is becoming rarer and humanity stands at a crossroads. Do they move forward or slide into barbarism?

Scale Shot

Painting wise, I settled for a generic camo green with the Federated Suns crest and colours. I think I may re-investigate the head as the viewscreen is a bit flat at the moment and could possibly do with a bit more oomph but we shall see!

In the meantime, All the best!

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!

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Rogue Trader Project


I've always been a fan of Rogue Trader and the 40k universe before it all became Grimdark and hopeless and over time I've revised its history to suit my own setting and even sculpted a few of my own bits and bobs to people it which is what got this blog going in the first place!

With this in mind, I thought I'd dedicate a small part of it to my Rogue Trader project which will over time get one or two bits and bobs for each of the races mentioned in the background, along with whatever fun stuff I can think of to throw into the mix but for now, here's some pics of my Bloodaxe Orks.

 Bloodaxe's investigate an abandoned mining complex

I must admit that it came as something of a relief that my 15mm scale buildings that I created from cardboard boxes available from Hobbycraft for a pound or two each scale remarkably well with my new sculpting style so I have some impressive locations for Rogue Trader warbands to scuffle over.

I want to build up a second squad of the little fellows along with a dreadnaught before moving onto some opposition for them in the form of the Empress's finest Space Marines (yes in my version of Rogue Trader, the Emperor is dead but his dynasty continues and has revitalised humanity). I am rather looking forward to sculpting up a squad of ten of the Imperium's best troops and playing a few skirmishes somewhere on the border of Imperial space between humanities stalwart defenders and marauding greenskin loonies!

 1st Squad, 1st Mordor Rifles

The more I sculpt in the new style of stylised miniatures, the less I find myself wanting to do anything else and the more I want to try out new ideas for characters, forces and settings and suspect that the whole scheme is going to keep me entertained for quite some time to come and with a good selection of Sci-Fi and Fantasy gubbins to choose from, I think there may even be more battle reports on the horizon for this blog which I am really looking forward to playing out.

 The squad encounters a rogue droid

I doubt any of the games are going to be much larger than a small skirmish between a squad or two of troopers with the odd character, light vehicle or monster but I suspect that I am going to have loads of fun playing them!

The Orks investigate the complexes admin bloc for loot

The lessons I've learned sculpting the current Dwarves and Marik's minions has given me a lot of confidence to try more complex and slightly more dynamic poses so watch this space for more thrilling action from somewhere on the border!

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!