Thursday, 27 December 2012

Spears of Mawdryn Space Marine Druid (Librarian)

Hope everyone has had a good Christmas and whatnot, I'm still feeling the turkey in my lungs...

I've been staying with the missus and her family over the holidays, and whilst everyone's been at work today I've been house-sitting and miniature building / converting.

I brought a chunk of my bitz delivery with me, along with a couple of the smaller bitz boxes I have. This presented the challenge of using what was available to me, which I think often leads to better results as you have to be more creative.

So, first I decided to work on some Mawdryn stuff as I'm short on a few legs for the Imperial Navy Ratings - despite the rather large recent order. Not an oversight, honest, they were out of stock...

As promised previously, the next miniature was to be a Druid of the Spears of Mawdryn. The Chapter, which draws from Romano-British/Arthurian and earlier Iron Age Celtic elements makes extensive use of Druids - or Dwyrydd ("dweir-rith") in the Mawdryn tongue.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Happy Hogswatch!!

Happy Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Saturnalia, Mithrasmas and of course, Hogswatch. It's that festive time of year again, and I've been lucky to get a few early presents from across the globe - although my apologies to the local postman for worsening your hernia.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

A Bit of a Review: Scibor Conversion Bitz

Firstly, you may have noticed the blog has had a slight facelift. Apologies for those that may have suffered while I was messing around with it. Doing the technical stuff on my fiancee's blog has given me a better idea of how to do certain things, so the blog now looks a little closer to how I originally wanted it. I should also add the disclaimer that the choice of flags is in no way meant to be jingoistic, be a call for the revival of the Empire and neither the separation of Newfoundland from Canada &c &c.... Anyhoo, on to the business of the day.

After reeling from the collaborative fluff I put together with Scipio the other day (read my part here, and Scipio's here), I decided to go back to being selfish and looking at some of my own stuff.

After watching British 70s classic, Children of the Stones, and listening to this superb Radio 4 documentary about the show by Stewart Lee, I decided to share a bit of Mawdryn related ramblings.

I've been going on about a colossal order of "bitz" for the past week, some of which includes some excellent parts for my Spears of Mawdryn Space Marines (Druid alert), as well as a major helping of bitz for my fledling Imperial Navy Landing Party... my holidays are well and truly sorted. As these have been dispatched to another address, rather than my current one, I'm eagerly looking forward to unwrapping them like a kid at Christmas. For once, this saying is quite timely.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Collaborative Fluff for 40k

Hellbrooke's 'Last Gasp' Platoon - painted by Colonel Scipio
Some of you may have already seen the superb Penal troops converted by Colonel Scipio, utilising components sculpted by Victoria Lamb. Bearing the name Hellbrooke's 'Last Gasp' Platoon, they hail from the world of St Adelphia's Hope – the setting that is the focus of a collaborative project between myself and the good Colonel.

We decided to put together a couple of fluff overviews for your good selves.

Here at DYHAF, you can read a little of what I've put together about the world of St. Adelphia's Hope, its history, and the more civilian side of things. Whilst over at the Palladian Guard, you can read the superb military overview that Scipio has put together.

As ever, feedback and comments are welcome and appreciated.

I hope you enjoy, and bonus points for getting all my pretentious in-jokes:-

+ + +

Out in the far-flung reaches of the Segmentum Obscurus lies a relatively minor planet known as St. Adelphia's Hope...

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Blogs vs Forums

My month of exams is finally over and I can return to the world of the living (after catching up on several weeks worth of sleep). In celebration of this, and as the first birthday of DYHAF is fast approaching (Scipio's is a week before mine so don't forget to send him a card) I thought I'd sit and ponder my year's experience of blogging, and why I find it a much better place for a hobby community than forums. This is of course Fair-and-Balanced Journalism as I am writing on a blog to, predominantly, an audience of other blogggers. In reality, the preference of one or the other is always going to be just that - a preference. But I've got my Victor Meldrew hat on and I fancy a grumble. This is, of course, not a blanket statement of all forums nor all forum members - as I'm sure we're all members of one or another. I probably do come across as a bit of an arse at times, I really don't mean to, I'm generally quite a soft bugger.

So what's my beef with forums?

Before I got into blogging, much of my contact with the wider "hobby" community was through forums. At best, they can provide good discussion, brief and speedy answers and a good little community. Some forums very much offer this, and dissenting voices are in the minority.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

It's Official - Warhammer Total War! (Plus some general waffle)

From this....

I've not really played any Warhammer games since Shadow of the Horned Rat or Dark Omen, and Space Marine never really appealed much for 40k. But as a huge fan of the Total War series, here is the news the I've been waiting for...


There is essentially going to be a Warhammer: Total War.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

I won a Liebster Award

A Lister Award you say?

Oh.... a Liebster Award.

Chris at the superb Sippin' on Paint Water has very kindly nominated me for a Liebster Award. Like him I had heard vague rumours and glimpsed sightings of this mythical beast, but wasn't entirely sure what it was.
Essentially, in marketing speak, it seems to be a community-given award to further promote small to medium blogs :P Actually, it seems like a ruddy good idea.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

40K Medical Transfers - Cast your vote!

I'm afraid it's more of the same again, but this time I'm making a proper, official poll of it. Myself and Scipio have started work on a not-so-top-secret 40k medical diorama. To make this a little easier, and for future usage, I am making up some medical symbol transfers.

This is where you come in.

Monday, 12 November 2012

New 40k Officio Medicae Artwork

I hadn't intended to post this today, but decided that I might as well anyway. Some time ago I created a graphic for the Officio Medicae to go with the new 40k medical fluff I was working on, but later realised I needed a simpler variant that was clear and distinct even at low resoultions (and also to be turned into transfers for objective items and vehicles... watch this space).

So I had a tinker around and came up with these variants, the first is a simplification of the previous logo using existing 40k design elements, whereas the latter two were an attempt to utilise the standard design for various Imperial organisations and offices ("I with Circle").

Thoughts and feedback would be much appreciated!

Symbols below...

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Rememberance Day

Heroism is latent in every human soul.... However humble or unknown, they (the veterans) have renounced what are accounted pleasures and cheerfully undertaken all self-denials; privations, toils, dangers, sufferings, sicknesses, mutilations, life-long hurts and losses, death itself—For some great good, dimly seen but dearly held.
- Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain,
Memorial Day 1897 


Friday, 2 November 2012


One-hundred followers.... that's at least twenty more than a Roman centuria, or the same size as a Company of Space Marines (but that said, I don't know about you but I'm not sure that I fancy an Oolitic Kidney - maybe with a bit of gravy).

I've said a few times before but thank you to you all for actually reading the waffle that I spout on a semi-regular basis. I genuinely never expected to have anything like 100 followers. You're all clearly lovely people that I'd be happy to buy a pint if I bumped into in a pub...

I hope some of you have found the waffle at least vaguely interesting or useful, or at the very least occasionally amusing. Either way I'm not planning to stop any time soon. Again, thank you all for your continued patronage of DYHAF ;)

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Would You Kindly... 28mm Bioshock

This was supposed to be last night's tentatively Hallowe'en-themed post but alas I was paged into work in the evening. But now I'm treating myself to an evening of light model work and bit of painting - and maybe even a cheeky glass of wine (it's good for blood pressure... honest).

 Inspired by various Bioshock Hallowe'en costumes (including my fiancee's, she's going to the work do as a Tommy-gun toting Splicer - clearly love at first sight there) I decided to dig out some of the Bioshock Big Daddy miniatures I acquired almost 18 months ago (I told you it was a tentative link). These were bought from Recreation Conflict / Lead Bones (their blog is here) and I have to say the communication from Richard was superb.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Beginner's Guide to Army Background Fluff Part I

You don't need this much background, even the smallest amount can add heaps of character

Why do I keep going on about writing fluff? Well, I'm not an expert painter, and although I enjoy conversions I'm definitely not an expert. I'm not an expert writer, but it did used to be a day job (despite my constant typos), so at least I hope this means I can perhaps give some advice on developing character and narrative and all that jazz.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

The War for Wales: Alternate WW2 Games

Yesterday saw my first game in a while, and the first ever game of NUTS! with my old friend and adversary, Colonel Scipio. Neither of us had played the game before and to our turn-based minds, the reaction system of NUTS! occassionally threw us ("hang on it's my turn, why are you shooting - I wanted to shoot you...") but once we got into the flow of it, it definitely has the to-and-fro feel of a real skirmish and firefight. We did make some minor tweaks to the rules such as rolling a separate dice to see who goes first to the activation dice (it's a combined roll in the original rules), with the result of a draw meaning the turn goes to the player whose turn it wasn't previously (is that even English...?). Although we didn't implement it, we did discuss the idea of a passed reaction test allowing the player to withdraw the miniature from the back and forth firefight rather than being condemned to continue returning fire. Luck definitely plays a big role (or roll) in the game, but so does trying to compensate for the fact that everything may not always go to plan.

The shouts of children overdosed on Skittles made both of our voices hoarse after two games of trying to communicate to each other - I did like the idea of the game club "manager" to minimise such noise from the young 'uns - if they got further warnings after a certain point they received successive "fines" in the form of losing a percentage of their forces from the table. I'm no killjoy but I thought that was inspired.

Anyhoo, Scipio did a superb write up which I have included in full below. Photos were taken on Scipio's camera passed back and forth across the table. And my PDF copy of NUTS printed by Scipio was utilised. A truly collaborative effort :P Sit back and enjoy the War for Wales: Germans in Gwynedd (it's a working title...).

Colonel Scipio's Write Up

Hi again everybody, and welcome to yet another battle report - that's four so far this year!  I've tried to make this one a bit more picture-heavy and less wordy.

Me and Headologist had one of our all-too-rare crossovers today as we went down to a local club to try out some of our WW2 stuff - all for the alternate history Army of Freedom campaign in which some dastardly Germans spoil the beautiful countryside of North Wales and try to fight off the partisans.
These two games weren't strictly part of the campaign, as me and H hadn't played historicals in a while, and neither of us had ever tried Nuts, so we did these two test games to get us into the swing of things for a while.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Headologist's Alive!

After several months without actual internet, BT have now finally been round and plumbed in all the necessary gubbins in order to elevate me out of what had become a new dark age. But the blame can't be fully placed on BT, I have been rather busy with various other projects in the "real-world" (plus a few gaming-related commissions) in order to keep my gaming addiction properly fuelled.

I have not been idle on the gaming front however, new and expanded 40k medical fluff will be released into the wild at somepoint soon; also painting progress is going pretty well. Not great, but better than usual - I have been slowed down by my pedantry in trying to sculpt some custom armour elements (watch this space) and even Colonel Scipio attempted to assist in this department but we have both been foiled thus far, however I think I've found a solution.

I've also done a bit of a revisit/sequel to my earlier Guide to Creating Background Fluff, so that will be broadcast to the unsuspecting public in the next few days too.

This past week I have been at a film festival near Venice (all very exciting) and got the seal of approval from film-maker and film historian, Kevin Brownlow, whose film It Happened Here was the inspiration for the alternate history WW2 campaign myself and Scipio are doing. (He asked me to tell him who wins this time.... Does anyone have a dustpan and brush for all these dropped names?

Look out for some battle reports next week as me and Scipio are meeting for a game this Saturday!

Apologies for my prolonged absence and thanks for those that still kept coming back to my poor, neglected blog.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

20 Questions Answered. Sort of.

Well, it was inevitable that my immune system would eventually relent and I would catch the latest viral sensation going around the blogosphere, courtesy of Fran and Ray. (Sorry, it's not a virus).

And of course, please visit Scipio's blog where I caught the sniffles... 

Favourite Wargaming Period, and Why?
Very difficult, despite temptations of the Russo-Japanese War, the Mexican Revolution and the Mexican American War amongst others, it probably would have to be the “Arthurian” era, the post-Roman era is just hugely interesting. I also have a very soft spot for the Interwar period, cramming in as it does the Russian Civil War, Spanish Civil War, the Chinese Warlord Era and Civil War - a great period for the clash of ideologies before they almost became parodies of themselves in WW2 (not in the humorous sense, but in that they had become entrenched and stagnant).

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Sculpted 40k Draco Banner Painted

Update: Here is a slightly better picture after I added the layer of Skull White and another coat of Blood Red. Also oxidised the banner head a little more. Look out for Banner Mk2 with a little more detailing....

 Last night I was sat trying to do some Proper Work. Honest. However, I kept catching the Draco banner that I'd crafted the other day out of the corner of my eye - perched as it was on the corner of my desk.. I though the putty looked a bit heavy. Why not have a 5 minute break and quickly whittle it down to something a bit more realistic, I thought to myself. That turned out okay, in fact some of the edges and flat surfaces created by carving away dried modelling putty wood add to the fabric effect. I filed the Milliput wind-sock down a little and that would the night's work done.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Painting Doubts? Give it a go!

Obligatory Stock Photo
I never liked painting. Actually that's not true. I never used to like the idea painting. It really has nothing to do with act of painting itself, but something else completely. I'm sure many people have that Friend. That Regular-Opponent-That-Paints-Too-Bloody-Well. Someone who's army and miniatures you look at and think “I could never do that.”

When I first started as a wee young whipper snapper in the decade before last, that friend was our Eldar player. He was our group of friends' Resident Artist. At the time I thought “I could never do that” and it has long been this train of thought that has made me wary of picking up a paintbrush. I'm looking at their superb army across the table and I know they're looking across at mine, which in my mind is nowhere near as good.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Painted Spears of Mawdryn Space Marine Scouts! (WIP)

Finally, after some time, I have the first painted Mawdryn miniatures to share with you all. They are still work in progress, but by the time you read this blog post, most of the work should have been finished....

Setting the Scene

These are the converted Scouts of my custom Space Marine Chapter, the Spears of Mawdryn. Just as a recap, and for the uninitiated, they have nothing to do with Peter Davison or Doctor Who, but the name is a not-so-subtle homage. The Chapter is based on Arthurian/Romano-British and Celtic historical elements, with a few nods to Arthurian myth and legend thrown in the pot too. They're not glorious heroes, nor are they particularly renowned throughout the Imperium; they're pretty scruffy underdogs that perhaps certain Chapters might look down their noses at.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Hobby Update: Space Marine Chariot, Draco Banner and converted Scouts

The old Chariot with rider blu-tacked
Fanfare please... So, after moving house recently (technically twice), having to take on more hours and work and other general business – plus a good helping of procrastination on my part, work has been resumed on the Spears of Mawdryn miniatures! 

Space Marine Chariot Revisited

A few months ago, I hastily constructed a Space Marine Chariot Attack Bike (prophetically preceding the 6th edition chariot rules... and what's this medical stuff they have in there now...)   In the post in which I covered the conversion of the model, I also mentioned an idea I had to make sure no model was wasted. As the chariot body itself is too small to hold a round base, I had the idea of placing pins in the feet of the “chariot rider” and drilling corresponding holes into the floor of the chariot. This enables the miniature to be securely placed in the vehicle but also makes him relatively easy to remove. Once removed I can then put in a chap armed with a melta or heavy bolter (and with similarly pinned feet) to transform the chariot into your standard issue, vanilla Space Marine Attack Bike.

Along with drilling holes into the chariot floor, I also intended to drill the same holes into round bases. This meant that when the axe-wielding chariot rider, or the melta and heavy bolter armed marines were not getting a lift onto the field by chariot, they could still be used elsewhere on the table in another squad.

Armed with a new pin vice and drill bits from HobbyCraft, kindly bought for me by my fiancée, I set to work putting the plan into action.

Everything's gone green...

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Creating Fluff: Space Marine Hierarchy Chart

Its that time again. In a recent post, I wrote about creating fluff and matching the right type of fluff with the right army (or character or whatever). At least I think I did, I'm not sure what actually made it to the page through the haze of insomnia.To perhaps illustrate what I was trying to cover, I thought I'd use this recent piece of fluff documentation (I create plenty of it so hopefully no one realises I'm behind on my painting schedule, and by doing so end up further behind... the irony).

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

40k Old School Artwork in 6th Edition

In a recent post, I asked whether there was something retro in the air (perhaps just a leak at the local sewage works), or whether or not I was imagining what seemed to be an "old school revival." Well, I haven't actually got my own copy of 6th Edition yet but it seems that this something in the air is not only affecting gamers but GW too. Thanks to The Marienburg Gazette I have just seen this superb piece of artwork from the tome (page 198)...

And if there isn't an Ambull, a Zoat, a Slann, and other RT-era lovelies in there (does that mean I can start converting and fielding them in GW stores now?). Also the "space skaven" from 3rd edition that I used to say I would convert one day (I remember there being a rumour that they were the Hrud and the next army in development... the most common rumour beyond plastic greatcoat Guard).

Heretical Forgery...
In other news it seems that Forgeworld are producing Horus Heresy era miniatures, seemingly looking to capitalise on the back of the popularity of the Black Library series. There are elements of the era that I really like and some of the fluff generated from the series has been great, although the characterisation has perhaps been a bit patchy. I'm particularly looking forward to seeing what's done with the Thousand Sons, but really I feel quite bad that I'm not as excited about this as I feel I probably should be. I have no doubt whatever they do produce will be superb though. Now on the other hand if FW said we're producing a series of books and miniatures expanding the Age of Apostasy and the theology of the Ecclesiarchy I would be as happy as a Frenchman who had invented a pair of self-removing trousers.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Artwork: 40k Officio Medicae Symbol

Updated  09/08/12 - Added more "grimdark" variant

After working on all the medical fluff nonsense that I've been doing for some time, I realised that I hadn't actually created a symbol for the medical personnel of the 41st millennium. Whilst working on a nicer looking verison of Captain Nero's Post-Trauma report with Colonel Scipio, I was prompted into action.

It's something I've tinkered with in the past when considering a mini-medical diorama/objective marker - exactly what would Imperial medics and medical vehicles have to denote them? I was wary of using the red cross, whilst instantly recognisable as being medical, has too many real world connotations for it to be dropped in seamlessly. Sure, you could probably come up with fluffy reasons and meanings for it, but for me it seemed more trouble than it's worth.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Is retro the future? Thoughts on Rogue Trader

My next painting project, watch this space
Well, I'm back from the week of painting at the in-laws but still have no proper Internet wired in at home, I think I'm getting something close to withdrawal symptoms. In the brief moments I have been able to get online and read as many blogs as possible, I've noticed something in the air...

Maybe it's blatant to everyone and I've just noticed it. Maybe I've just been listening to a bit too much Joy Division and early Human League. Maybe it's because I've been reading a fair bit of JG Ballard lately (most recently, High Rise). Either way, there seems to be a lot of musings about and perhaps even a hankering for a return to the white heat, chaotic creativity and satire of the 40k of the 80s as embodied by Rogue Trader. A place where the word "Horus Heresy" meant nothing, Space Marines were psychopathic criminals charged with preventing the scourge of graffiti across the galaxy, anybody could buy power armour, and the Eldar were essentially New Romantic pirates. In space.

Monday, 16 July 2012

40k Medical Report: the wounding of Captain Nero

I wasn't expecting to post for a week, but Scipio has twisted my arm into putting this up. Admittedly, very little coercion was required... it is another "treading water" post of sorts, unfortunately not the proper content you lovely people deserve. I've now had over 10,000 hits which for some rather shabby posting is undeservedly lovely of you all :P

I am currently getting withdrawal symptoms from painting as I'm spending a week down at the in-laws, ironically doing some painting. Whilst daubing walls and skirting boards my mind is concerned with my "Knights of the Round Table" Honour Guard, or just exactly how I plan to paint the bikes - as well as ways to keep them alive a little longer next game with the Colonel.

Anyhoo, after saying I'd do some triage paperwork for Captain Nero following the recent events of our battle, I sat down today and tried to work out his specific injuries based on the known factors. I thought if I roughly wrote the ideas down in the form of medical notes from the surgery stage, my notes could be typed up by Scipio and used as a further fluff document. Waste not want not...

I wanted to make it as accurate as possible, a little more archaic then necessary and try and explain the medical terminology in a not explaining it kind of way. I've missed out bits about the absence of intercranial bleeding and fractured ribs, the usual stuff... I hope the medically trained aren't too offended by my ham-fisted ramblings which I know has a lot of gaps. It's been a long day.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Spears of Mawdryn vs Palladian Guard Battle Report

The bane of my left flank.....
Well, it's been a little longer than I'd hoped. I've just about finished moving house now but am still waiting for the internet to be properly plumbed in which is why I haven't posted as recently as I would have liked.

Readers of Colonel Scipio's Palladian Guard blog will know that myself and the Colonel have just had our first game of Sixth Edition 40k, with my hastily finished miniatures pitted against his beautiful, and lovingly painted Guard (now I'm settled in the new house I have no excuse to finish off my Marines).

As I'm only able to post very briefly I thought I'd simply share the battle report of the recent game, excellently written up by Scipio, along with my own comments that were sent several text messages at a time. It's almost the dark ages here.....

Without further ado, here is the Colonel's battle report of our game, take it away.... 

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Arthurian Space Marine Chapter Organisation Chart

Just about back up to speed with my 40k stuff now, and hopefully I shall actually have some painted minatures to share soon. However, as I'm in the middle of moving house, I decided not to do anything too ambitious and though I might roll off another fluff document.

This is the chapter organisation chart for my Spears of Mawdryn Arthurian/Celtic Marine Chapter as it stands in the "present day." It only has three Companies, the rest being wiped in a bit of a massacre.... (is that an oxymoron?) Throughout its history, the Chapter has never really adhered to the Codex Astartes-prescribed organisation, and its companies have always been "Independent" - each containing their own Veterans, Support, Reserves etc., and as such able to deploy without awaiting for other elements of the Chapter to provide other required support or materiel.

Anyhoo, enough waffle, here's the chart. Some of the numbers, particularly where squads are concerned, are a little arbitrary at the moment. If you have any questions about the Chapter, fluff, pronunciation of Welsh/Brythonic names and terms.... just ask.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Forward Planning: Marine Shield Designs

Yes, I am still here! As mentioned in my last post (way back in the depths of time), I said I would be taking a month off. That time s now up, and I'm back. After a hectic and stressful month, I am now trying to get back into the swing of finishing my Spears of Mawdryn Space Marines. With too many projects on the go, I am only allowing myself to start anything new once these are finished. Fluff and all. Thankfully, it's a rather enjoyable project.

Part of what is keeping me going with these is the character, there's hardly a model that will be left without even the smallest conversion. As my faithful readers may recall, the concept behind the Chapter is to seamlessly blend Arthurian (5th - 6th century Britain) and Iron Age Celtic elements, both in fluff terms and aesthetically. One area where these blend into one in a literal sense are the shields. I wanted to combine the Celtic check (and occasional boar or dragon), with the Late Roman/Arthurian Chi-Rho

As well as being a bit of a light way back into the blog, I thought I would also make this a small lesson on the importance of planning....

Here's some shields what I drew earlier....

Designs aren't limited to set shapes. Shields furtherst to right are for veterans and characters.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Dance Macabre – the Mordheim Morrismen

Bad hair day?
Well Mayday is nearly upon us, and the special edition of the Wicker Man is in the DVD player.
My last post was about too many projects, and this is one of them. During times of heavy workloads I tend to prefer focusing on fluff, it's cheap and enjoyable. Like home-made vodka.

This is not so much a new project as a re-imagining of an old one. I really used to love Warhammer – as a game I preferred it to 40k. I first played 4th edition, and the last that I dabbled in was 6th, which I rather liked. As Scipio had never really played it before I thought it would be great to try it. Then I read the 8th edition rules. I immediately agreed with the idea of unit fillers. This is supposed to be a game of manoeuvre. Two blocks of 50 models is not a game of manoeuvre. I quickly decided that “Warmapocalypse,” was not for us.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Too many projects?

Ooh, pretty distraction....
Time again for my weekly post...

Wow, in the last 2 weeks, I have had a 1000 more hits - what on earth is going on, it makes me feel even more guilty for not deliviering as much hobby stuff as I'd like. Again, it's been busy of late, with more silly things getting in the way of wargaming (damned Real Life), but also the superb British Silent Film Festival. On the plus side I have received a couple of commissions on the back of my latest animation snippets - which means more pocket money for miniatures but less time to work on them.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Animated about 40k

I seem to be doing more and more posts about fluff at the moment, I'm still working on the Scouts as promised in my last post.

This post is very much one about tangents. In my post-before-last, ironically on "distractions" I posted a doodle that got out of hand to become an image of my Space Marine Chapter's homeworld, complete with starfield and lens flare.

This week I thought I'll recycle that line drawing to make an animated gif of the planet spinning, in a wireframe style. In the end I had to redraw it having done some work for Colonel Scipio and accidentally overwriting my original. And the animation project evolved. A bit.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

I, Me, He, She... Pen and Paper RPG Dilemmas

Order of the Stick
Well, I have to say that I'm rather astounded that in the past three-and-a-half months this blog has had 5000 hits. I'm sure that most of these have left immediately after realising what they have stumbled upon, but for those of you that keep returning I am genuinely grateful, it has added a whole new dimension to the hobby and the sense of community seems far greater than that on forums out there.

To business. I did state in my intro that this was also an "RPG blog" so I thought I had better deliver on that front before Trading Standards get on to me.

The real reason for looking at pen and paper (or tabletop if you prefer) RPGs is that this week I have been ambushed into acting as Games Master again.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Fluffy Distractions

The world of Mawdryn
This is a little less concise than my original post, which I managed to lose somewhere in the aether...

I often find myself doing work in a not-doing-work kind of way (a la Arnold Rimmer in Infinty Welcomes Careful Drivers). This often extends to modelling and painting. Modelling and converting I generally enjoy, when I'm not being clumsy and taking chunks out my fingers instead of a Space Marine Scout's shoulder pad. Painting I really enjoy when I'm doing it, but it often takes a lot of motivation to get into the swing of things - I am gradually getting more disciplined when it comes to painting but there's still progress to be made.When it comes to 40k however there is one thing that I always drift to, and that is fluff.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Arthurian / Celtic Space Marine Captain Conversion

 UPDATED 03/04/12 (13:37 GMT)

Attempting an heroic pose....
Firstly, not sure what happened to my blog layout, got back to my PC after a week away and it looked like nothing I've ever selected. Anyhoo, sorted that for now.

This week I have purchased copious amounts of bits from Bitz Box for my Arthurian/Celtic-themed and Welsh-named Mawdryn Space Marines. As the existing ones were built rather hastily to get a few games in whilst myself and Colonel Scipio had windows in our hectic schedules, I wanted to go back to them and rebuild them with a little more loving care and attention.

Firstly though, I wanted to create a HQ figure as I only had a stand-in for my Captain previously......

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

40k Battle Report: Space Marines vs Imperial Guard

In case you missed it, here's Colonel Scipio's battle report of our 1000pt 40k game yesterday. It was very closely fought game featuring my brand new Celtic/Romano-British inspired Marinesand Scipio's superb 2nd Battalion, Palladian Guard - disciplined guardsmen in rather spiffing dress uniforms.

The Colonel asked me to provide some post-game comments a la White Dwarf in the good ol' days. This was clearly a cunning ploy to get me to reveal any subtle (as a brick) tactics. I still fell for it. My comments can be found below.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Space Marine Chariot Attack Bike Rules

Today saw the very first outing of my Spear of Mawdryn Space Marines after a several year break from 40k (and my word it showed). It was a shame that my upainted and hurriedly constructed miniatures had to ruin some fantastic photos of Colonel Scipio's beautiful Palladian Guard. It was a very closely fought game with some particulalry unlucky dice rolls for both of us, but plenty of sportsmanship - and most importantly, a fantastic game. Battle report with photos can be found here - Scipio kindly wrote this one up.

The game saw a few of our army specific house rules, a more complete set for the Palladian Guard and a handful for myself - I'm still working on these. Today's post will look at my proposed rules for the conversion that featured in my last post - the Space Marine "Chariot" Attack Bike.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Space Marine Chariot conversion and more...

Maybe not the most practical way to wage war, looks good though
More work has since been done on the old 'chariot' - click here for details.

I can't believe it's been two weeks since my last post. I've been saying to myself that I wouldn't post until I had a solid horde of miniatures painted up, as that would give me a little more motivation to paint more quickly. As you may have noticed, that plan failed miserably.

And I really didn't expect this to be the topic. I thought it would be more WWII, or Confederate skirmishers modelled as if wading through some Louisiana swamp, or maybe some of Paul Hicks' fantastic RJW Japanese painted up in 1886 blue uniforms...? Instead my attention was turned back to 40k by Colonel Scipio, who waxed lyrical about his dream army of Mordians, and his talk of doing some 40k at our next gaming meet up.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Painting of the first Soviet begun

Still not the triumphant post I wished to make in which I gladly proclaimed all 20-odd miniatures painted, unfortunately with work and everything else I have only just found time to clean up the Warlord Soviets of the flash and mould lines and start painting the first model.

As stated before I was going to do roughly 2:1 winter:summer issue gymnastiorka where appropriate. This is still very much a test mini to allow me to play around with my palette. The main gym (tunic) colour is a mix of Citadel Graveyard Earth and Bleached Bone - and will be the same but with a tad more bleached bone for the extreme highlights. The shaded parts were originally Graveyard Earth mixed with Scorched Brown, but with my "arm length" test, the contrast wasn't quite enough, so I've gone with just Scorched Brown on this one. I'm not being to accurate with my mixes for the main colour as Soviet uniforms were notoriously haphazard off the production line, never mind the effects of weathering.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Volksgrenadiers are here (or Heer...)

Luftwaffe Jager of 18th VG Div.
This isn't the post that I was hoping to make today (painted Soviets will be making an appearance ASAP).
But nevertheless as I was getting up to make a coffee, the postman knocking at the door could only mean one thing: my Volksgrenadiers were here!

North Star sent my Artizan miniatures very quickly, the cost is the same as the Warlord stuff and the minis look great (I have a few minor quibbles with the Warlord Soviet sculpts, but nothing significant).The Artizan and Warlord sculpts can happily sit on the same table, but the Artizan stuff is slighlty taller. If I mix the ranges then it will be with stand-alone pieces such as Infantry Guns and the like.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

"We'll keep the Red Flag flying here!" - Warlord Soviets arrive

I had expected today's post to be a more in-depth overview/review of the new experimental close quarters rules from Forge World, Zone Mortalis. However, a speedy delivery from Warlord Games has scuppered that plan - in a pleasant way.

Along with my comrades-in-arms, Colonel Scipio and Brother Knight I've been embarking on a WW2 project...

Sunday, 26 February 2012

FW Zone Mortalis - the game I've been waiting for

I knew there was a reason I have an Imperial Navy boarding party (which seem to be my most popular posts, just ahead of the triage stuff).

Well, just to give me a kick up the arse and more projects to work on, Forge World are releasing a mini-game / expansion game called Zone Mortalis, aimed at creating close quarters combat in narrow corridors (essentially Space Hulk Plus...) 

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Yet more Gladiators

Finally done a little more on another Gladiator, this time a Thracian. I've tried to vary the skintones to represent chaps being brought from every corner of the Roman Empire. I also tried to get a little more contrast in the shading on this one too. Next time I think I'll attempt to use a few inks and washes, something I dabble with occasionally but give up halfway through because it doesn't seem to be going how I think it should (it probably is).

Does anyone have any recommendations of particular brands of inks or washes to use?

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Gladiator finished!

Finally, back up in York with good interior lighting, and have managed to finish off my Laquearius Gladiator. There's still a few bits I'm not entirely happy with but I'd rather move onto the next model now.

I often try and go for a grubby look as often the miniatures I paint lend themselves to that look, and this one is not exception. I did toy with adding another layer of paint to the balteus loincloth, but I think that would have made it a little too clean looking.

I'm not entirely happy with the hair shading as it's a too similar colour to the loincloth, but it's not too bad so I left it rather than faffing and trying to make him ginger...

More images below....

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Gladiators, are you ready?

After having a couple of games in "Das Bunker" to test out Warhammer Historical's Gladiator rules, I finally started painting the first miniature, the "Laquearius" (like the net-and-trident armed retiarius, but with the net replaced by a lasso or noose).

To get the trident to fit required some extensive work with a modelling knife on the figure's hand and on the trident itself, but once done it fitted nicely.

I haven't painted any miniatures in a long, long time so I'm very rusty. This still needs a bit more work doing to it (it's certainly not finished), but as long as it looks okay on the table, I'm happy. Pictures below along with my grubby, paint-stained fingers.

Painted mini pics below...

Monday, 9 January 2012

40k Triage Tag Mock Ups

Yes, I lied, I said I'd leave this alone - but it seems I can't. Whilst I do want to rejig the system to make it more Grimdark (basically a harsher version of reverse triage as standard), I wanted to make some mock ups of the prop tags. Only rough work, but it hopefully gives an idea of the archaic look I was going for...

Original Triage Tag Post

Other Medical Triage Documents

By 'eck Chief! More tea Vicar?

I hadn't intended to make another post just yet, but upon opening the new Gladiator blister pack, I noticed that one of the miniatures bore a striking resemblance to local legend Guy Martin - Lincolnshire lorry mechanic, renowned TT racer and star of "Closer to the Edge" and "The Boat that Guy Built"

I couldn't take a picture that did it justice, but it's really the spitting image.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

40k Triage Tags

This seems to becoming a medical blog, I'm putting the medical work down for a bit now, but there will be more (including revisions of older pieces).

So here's the last piece, an Imperial triage tag, to be attached to a wounded Guardsmen to aid his progress through the chain of evacuation. I imagine in most Imperial campaigns, there probably isn't one and anyone but the walking wounded will be left, or if lucky, shot.

Full Res versions of all the triage documents can be found on my Deviant Art page. I'm quite chuffed, I only did some of these various triage pieces yesterday and I've already been asked by a 40k LARPer in Germany if they can make use of them in their games, and I was more than happy to oblige the thoroughly nice chap.

The Rest...

If you build the ludus, they will fight...

Huzzah! The long-awaited Gladiators have finally arrived, and my ludus (Gladiator school) has its first intake of students. I am now regretting not scraping together the funds to get the Foundry Horde pack while it was on sale - £66 for every pack, now gone back up to £95 :( There are a lot of models I'm not too keen on though, but those could have gone on to others or eBay. Nevermind.

At least I have my favourite pack "Prime Contenders," (nice to see the new "Fantasy and Science fiction" packaging) and my friend and Gladiatorial opponent has his -"Coliseum Vanquishers" as a belated Xmas present. I am eyeing up the Thracian in that pack though, it's a bloody nice sculpt.

My plan for the Thracian in my own pack is to sculpt the traditional feathered crest from modelling putty, so he looks more like the Thracian chap on the cover of the rulebook (hopefully mine won't be on the back foot against bloody Murmillos).

Next on the shopping list are "Copplestone's Conquerors" for me and "Saleh's Survivors" for my regular opponent.

I still want to get myself one of the Coliseum Vanquisher Thracians, and that Secutor's pretty good too. As is the bottom left Hoplomachus of "Hoyle's Heroes." I might get the "Coliseum Champions" too, but only for the Secutor and Retiarius really...

Friday, 6 January 2012

We who are about to die salute... ooh, are there any caramel barrels left?

I have been waffling on about this Gladiatorial arena with little explanation I fear.

Last year, a friend and I planned to make an amphitheatre for Warhammer Historical's new Gladiator rules which had real sand in it. Alas, real life got in the way for a while. But over Christmas I found myself drawn to containers of Celebrations and Roses - more so than usual! I thought these could potentially make a great portable arena, and contain the sand better than any black bin bag lined container I could make. Whilst it does limit us to the smaller end of the games, that was largely going to be the focus anyway.

I had a few notions for a slightly fancy version of this portable arena, but Colonel Scipio reminded me of the importance of simplicity, and I made some slight alterations and went back to an earlier iteration of the plan.


In the end, I selected the Roses tin, as it was the shallowest and allowed battle report photos to be taken more easily. First you will need to empty it, I find that family members are more than willing to help with this stage of construction.

However, it was still not shallow enough, so I took a left over cardboard box, of reasonable thickness, and cut out three circles to fit tightly inside. I would obviously recommend using a modelling knife, but as all of mine are in York (and I'm not) a pair of scissors had to suffice.

I placed the three card discs into the tin. There were a few small gaps due to the slightly butchering nature of the scissors, but as this was only a prototype, I wasn't too fussed. The gaps on the second and third layers were plugged with Blu Tack - does the job nicely enough, but if available, modelling putty is preferable. Even better, take your time and use a modelling knife

Next, was to try out the real sand, as I wanted to see how much would be required. The sand was "Chinchilla Sand" (1.6KG of it) picked up for £2 from the local pet shop. I placed in a couple of 2ps to ensure the sand was roughly the right height for miniature bases and poured the sand in, with a little extra for good measure. It's not entirely clear on this low quality picture that there's sand in there, but there is :P The 2ps could be easily placed on top without sinking, and I suspect will work better with miniatures attached...

That's it so far, the next stage is to decorate the interior (emptying the sand back into the bag first), covering it with a textured paper and adding doors and gateways for the Gladiators and beasts to make their entrance. Once that is finished, the arena seating will be made to go around the edge of the tin (not attached).

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