Friday, 15 June 2018

Five Parsecs from Home Campaign

Keen to get some actual gaming in, I'm going to try Five Parsecs from Home by Nordic Weasel games (Ivan Sorenson).  I like Ivan's games (having played the 'Five Men in' games a few times).  I like the more role playing type elements and the focus on solo playability.  Five Parsecs is suppose to evoke the sort of adventures depicted in Firefly and the old Traveller RPG.

Scale was an early question.  28mm was a possibility, but would take a lot of room.  I didn't want to go for 15mm and add yet another scale to my collection.  Then I found some old GW Dark Future minis in the collection, added a few more via ebay and hey presto.  I can always press in a few 1/72nd minis as stand ins as necessary.

Next job, roll up a crew.  Lets meet them:

Reece Jonand

Background: Wealthy Merchant
Motivation: Discovery
Class: Explorer

The youngest son of one of the great traditional trading houses of Espilon III, on reaching his majority Reece had the stark choice of a lifetime of closeted luxury as a ‘spare’ (in every sense of the word), or a one off payment in return for severing all ties and claims on the family forever.  He chose the money and freedom, and never looked back.  Enthusiastic, optimistic, sometimes naive; Reece now explores the Fringe as Captain Owner of his own ship, the Astral Envoy, along with his crew of loveable rogues.

Anul (Beloved one of the Multiverse)

Background: Alien Culture
Motivation: Faith
Class: Trader
Quest Clue

Not even his crew mates know what Anul is under his robes and skin tight environment suit, or which planet he hails from.  All they do know is that he tells them (via his somewhat idiosyncractic translator unit) that he was chosen by his species to commune with the peoples of the wider universe, and his mania for trading for bizarre and apparently unrelated tech and trinkets, which he then sends to wherever home is.  Whatever, he (or she, or it) seems to have knack for getting on with people, and helping them get on with each other.

Kari Rezal

Background: Beauracratic Class
Motivation: Glory
Class: Bounty Hunter

Kari’s life should have been mapped out for her.  The right parents, the right schools, then a lifetime of progression through Unity bureaucracy until retirement with a comfortable pension on a core world.  She chose something different.  Her impulsive behaviour occasionally leads to tensions with the crew, and Reece in particular.

Jacken Hardson (‘Jack’)

Background: Industrial World
Motivation: Loyalty
Class: Soldier
Patron (gang lord)

Jacken would describe himself as ‘uncomplicated’.  That is, he would if he were inclined to such levels of introspection.  A former soldier, factory worker, fiercely loyal to his friends and Captain, there’s no better man to have beside you in a firefight.  Jacken keeps in contact with the gang master from his factory days, who occasionally sends the odd job his way.


Background: Orphan Programme
Motivation: Revenge
Class: Trouble Shooter
Patron (Government Administrator)

An orphan of the great Rift Raids, Nathaniel was brought up in an official Unity orphan programme.  His case worker noted the young orphan’s quick wits and knack for problem solving, and found him work troubleshooting for the Unity in places where a more ‘official’ approach might be counter-productive, and still on occasion turns to him and his new colleagues for off the books jobs. Nathaniel has not forgotten his origins though, and his efforts to get his (and the other Rift orphan’s) sealed records open has not gone unnoticed in some quarters…


Background: Religious Cult
Motivation: Escape
Class: Agitator

Recruited by Nathaniel to round out the crew, Mila escaped her cult family as a teen, and has been making herself a nuisance to then ever since, exposing them and their practices.  Recently she may have been a bit too successful, and hopes signing on with a crew will give her a degree of extra security.  Very reserved, most of her new colleagues are still unsure of her (with the exception of Anul of course, who’s welcoming to everyone).

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Base, bases and more bases

Basing has been the order of the day recently.  As I've mentioned before it's a job that I have little love for, but has to be done.  MDF bases in 25mm and 20mm were duly procured from Warbases, plus a restock of superglue (generally use the gel for basing, as it helps with any uneven surfaces.

On the one hand, it may me appreciate the invention of the slottabase more.  On the other it was actually quite heartening; ended up reviewing what I'd done recently and realising I've done a fair amount of painting recently compared to my usual snail's pace output.

A question does arise though: do I complete these bases the way I normally would (sand, paint and drybrush, add static grass), or do I go completely with the old school theme and go straight with the painted sand approach (a little like those already painted and based orcs lurking at the back)?

Not content with that, I also based up a horrendous number of old GW Dark Future miniatures on pennies.  More on that shortly...

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Dwarf Heroes and Scouts

More Grenadier Dwarves land on the table.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

More Short, Bearded Folk

I'm continuing with the Old School theme at the moment.  This time some of the excellent dwarf sculpts that Nick Lund did for Grenadier UK in the lat 1980's.  I love these guys: solid and stoic, heavily armed and armoured, but never comical.  This is how they looked in my mind as I read about the Battle of the Five Armies in The Hobbit.

On a side note, most of these are from ebay.  When many of these sculpts are still available new and quite cheaply from the likes of EM4, Mirliton and Forlorn Hope Miniatures, it never ceases to amaze me what people charge, and pay, for these!

With most of the models either in their original bare metal, or stripped right back, I took a different approach to these.  Instead of starting with a black or white undercoat, I decided instead to start with successive washes of GW Nuln Oil, followed by a light one of Agrax Earthshade, straight onto the bare metal.  This then had a light drybrush of GW Leadbelcher and (very light) to bring out the detail.  Non metallic details were then added using a limited palette of 'earthy' colours.

Shields are viking/anglo saxon in style, inspired not in small part by the work on Jacksarge's Blog.

Hero with big axe, big beard, and big cloak

Awaiting shield details.  Pity the otherwise lovely spear-dwarf sculpt is marred by a badly cast face.

Here's one with the wash, waiting detailing.

I've also picked up a handful more of the Nick Lund sculpted Orcs.  These were already painted, drybrush over black undercoat style.  Not my preferred approach but good enough to give me some ready made opponents.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

A Bag of Old Bones

First experiment with the Grenadier undead cavalry that have been lurking in a box since forever, consigned to the 'too difficult' category.

More wonderful Grenadier anachronisms, a mix of mediaeval, roman and eastern influences all wrapped up in a weird boney lump.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Bring out yer dead!

Progress to date on those Grenadier skeletons.

I've commented before about my early armies, including my first faltering attempts at an undead army.  I'l admit, one of the main reasons I never made much progress was that it turned out I was rubbish at painting them!  However things have moved on since then, partly in terms of my own skills and experience, but also the tools available, with spray undercoats, washes and different types of paints, and easy access to tutorials and other painter's tips online.

So here we go again...

First test subjects:

Zandri Dust base/undercoat.  Wash with AGrax Earthshade, then layer up.

I love these models, some of the best skeletons I've ever seen, anatomically great with none of the 'evil' stylisation seen on some (yes, Mantic, I'm looking at you) or random batwings and horns (GW, cough, cough).  They are a little fragile though, combination of age and those thin joint.  They also have some of the most bizarrely random styles and equipment, with medieval bucket helms mixed with something that looks like Lorica Segmentata and a wooden, round shield  Sometimes a bit off but overall gives a great look.

As well as my existing collection, I did fall prey to the curse of ebay but, as that included the old 'Skleleton Raiders' boxed set I'm Ok with that, especially as it included this marvellous chap and his supporters.

Going Old School

It's been a while, but I've found some time and energy to paint again.  The previous few months I just haven't had the energy or enthusiasm for various reasons, but the last few weeks have seen a flurry of activity.

I'm not entirely sure why, but I seem to have been overcome by a fit of nostalgia, that's led to unearthing some old minis from the attic, and scouring ebay for some bargains.  I have acquired a copy of Osprey's Dragon Rampant, but whether that is symptom or cause I'm unsure.  Either way, the main recipients of my efforts have been some dwarves, orcs and skeletons, almost all from the old Grenadier lines.

Anyway; on to the models:

What started it was spotting some of Nick Lund's dwarves.  I've always liked these sculpts.  Solid, stoic and heavily armed and armoured, they fit my image of dwarves (which is mostly from Tolkien) perfectly.

I actually did this last one years ago (mid 1990s), but I'm still really pleased with it.

Of course, dwarves need some opposition...

More great Nick Lund Sculpts.  Undecided on the banner at this stage.  He would later redo some of these for Citadel as Black Orcs.  First time I've done proper greenskins (last time I did any orcs it was more middle earth colouring.

Here's the full orcish horde (all 13 of them).  Most of these guys came form ebay together already painted.  Not  bad job so I just added some shade and highlighting.

The undead next...