Thursday, 19 November 2020


 "He had a tall pointed blue hat, a long grey cloak, a silver scarf over which his long white beard hung down below his waist, and immense black boots".

I believe this was a model formerly produced by Grenadier UK, not sure of the sculptor, and clearly based on a certain famous literary character.  

Really pleased with how the shading has worked out on this one, particularly getting a bit of a distinction between the two greys.  I used a lot of drybrushing, gradually a lightly building up the layers, to give a bit of a rough texture to the cloth.  Bottom of the cloak got successive drybrushes with GW Zandri Dust to make it look travel-worn.  

Feather is based on a pheasant - yes I know it was a species technically introduced to England as a game bird, rather than native, but if Tolkien can include tobacco I say 'why not'!

Thursday, 8 October 2020

I made a wizard!

A little while back I tried out the old Grenadier Fantasy Warriors rules, but had to commit the terrible crime of using a proxy figure for an Orc Wizard.  Whilst looking around for a suitable model (now found, typically), I decided to make my own using a spare orc with a polearm.  As a friend of mine (hi Matt!) is fond of saying 'how hard could it be'?

Here's the mini, I used.  The blade of the pole-arm had already snapped off, so the plan was to keep the staff, and add some robes to hide the chainmail.

First job was to remove the sword scabbard on the rear. (it didn't need to be a neat job, fortunately).

Greenstuff was then used to build up robes and a hood.  Unfortunately the green stuff I used was quite old, so I had trouble with some lumpy bits and splits, which I tried to disguise with some tears and stitches.

Not great, I'll admit, but it'll do.  I've used Green Stuff before, to add details to the old plastic GW knights, or furs or other details.

Spot of paint covers up the worst of it.

Hunted out an old plastic skeleton head for the top of the staff, and hey presto!

Saturday, 3 October 2020

Friar Tuck?

Pretty pleased with this one! A wandering friar, originally by Grenadier UK. Not 100% sure but think the sculptor was Mark Copplestone. It certainly has his hallmarks, nice clean sculpting and style, nicely define details but not 'fussy' (not a skull in sight).

It only took one evening to paint and was an absolute pleasure. Basecoat, wash for shade then couple of levels of highlights seemed to be enough. Basing will follow, I'm just waiting on an order of Mdf bases of various size from Warbases. I also have a bishop and two monks from the same range, which I'm looking forward to, but just trying to decide if I can be bothered to remove them from their metal bases and mount them on some resign flagstone bases.

Saturday, 26 September 2020

More Dwarfs

Quick post today. Dashed out a few more quick Nick Lund Dwarfs to join the muster. No undercoat, just a black wash over bare metal and then details painted in. Quick and effective.
Basing will have to wait until my order arrives from Warbases.

Monday, 31 August 2020

Five Leagues turns 6&7 - The Poison Glen

Turn 6

An iron shortage in the Winterbourne prevented the party from carrying visiting the armourer or carrying out any crafting [village event].  Geoffrey attempted unsuccessfully to speed up Finan's Healing using his own skills, so took him to the village healer, who was able to get him back on his feet.

The party also gained a trinket from a peasant in thanks for their aid to the village so far - Robert was not impressed, but Geoffrey thanked the man, appreciating the importance of such a gift from someone with so little to start with.

Twelve marks were spent acquiring a proper crossbow for Jocelyn (in recognition of his growing status) and a shield for Guy.

Adventuring did not lead to any conflict, although they did meet a friendly doctor, who spoke with them a while as he headed to a patient in the hills, a local landlord - little more than a Robber Baron in reality.  The man was plagued by gout, but had gold to spare; some of which the doctor would then use helping the shepherds and hunters in the hills, treating injuries and illnesses beyond the care of the local wise women.

Turn 7

A wandering healer came through town, but fortunately no one was in need of their services.  With the arrival of fresh iron supplies, Finan got his armour repaired (at a cost of three marks).

One evening, whilst plotting out their next moves, the party was approached by the same doctor they had met on the road only a few days ago.  Visiting some of his patients in the hills, he had found them frightened and suspicious.  Precious livestock had gone missing - some had been found slaughtered, obviously crudely butchered by sharp tools rather than taken by wolves, which refused to scavenge from the corpses.  Hovels were locked up at night and Shepherds would not spend days on the hills alone.  One crofter, either braver or more foolhardy than the rest, had followed a trail and seen smoke from a campfire amongst the burned out ruins of an old church.  The party dutifully checked weapons and armour, and gathered provisions for an expedition into the hills.

[the party rolled up a 'Dark Secrets' opponent resulting from their second interaction from the doctor (result 'Favour') - they would be facing three 'corrupt', one of which was a shambler (-1speed), led by a 'sergeant' (+1T, taking it to a worrying T6).  The encounter would take place in the heat, so characters dashing in armour risked heat stroke.  I used the Five Parsecs tables for inspiration on the encounter and rolled up that they would be investigating a landmark] 

Having taken directions from the locals, the party had little difficulty locating the glen that the doctor had spoken of.  There, on a low hill in the middle, stood the ruins of a once proud church, now overgrown with heather and ivy.  With Jocelyn and Will on each flank, arrows at the ready, the party cautiously approached, Robert sweltering in the heat under his heavy armour.

Barely thirty yards from the ruins, the air was rent with gutteral, inhuman cries as four twisted figures emerged from hiding.  The creatures had bloated muscles under flesh the colour of spoiled meat.  Their mishapen forms were clad in rags and patches of armour, and in their hands were crude but vicious weapons.  Three stood in what would once have been the churches aisle, one a massive towering brute, wielding a huge stone club.  A fourth appeared from an old arched doorway on the left.

"Bloody Hell, will you look at the size of that big bastard!" exclaimed Will.  Robert slung his shield over his back and hefted his greatsword in both hands, "you needn't piss yourself archer, he's mine...". 

The corrupt emerge into the daylight

"He's mine!"

As the two sides approached, Will and Jocelyn rained down arrows on the creatures, but even when they could hit, nothing seemed to slow them.

The brute urges his underlings into combat

Geoffrey and Finan tackled the beast on the right, despatching it swiftly, while Robert and Guy felled one in the centre [Guy taking a hit but being saved by his shiny new shield, yay!].

Thomas and Oswald fought the one on the left but even two to one couldn't get an advantage [all combatants rolled a six, resulting in a three way draw!].

Jocelyn and Will both managed to strike the brute with arrows as it moved to attack Robert, but it shrugged them off as a horse does flies.

Geoffrey rushed over to help Robert and they set about the foul beast.  Although both initially landed blows, it seemed impervious to damage.  In a series of furious exchanges it struck Geoffrey hard with its crude club, laying him low but, wounded in turn by the blessed powers of Geoffrey's Harness of Vengeance, it finally fell in turn to Robert's Greatsword.

With Geoffrey down, Robert takes on the beast one to one


"Told you he was mine!"

On the left, Thomas and Oswald were still struggling to finish the last of the Corrupt, eventually succeeding in pushing it back, onto Robert's waiting sword.

With all of the enemy despatched, the party turned to their own wounded.  Geoffrey lay on the ground pale and unmoving, blood drenched.  From his position on the flank, Will had seen the strength of the blow that had felled him and feared the worst.

"Priest!  Come on, wake up!".  Even the usually cynical archer couldn't hide the concern in his voice as he wiped blood from Geoffrey's face with his tunic.  Geoffrey's eyes fluttered open, he groaned.  "where are you bleeding from" asked Will.  

The priest patted his own head and body, "It seems that this vile gore does not belong to me!  By the Gods my side aches, but I think I am in one piece".  Geoffrey looked down at the brass bound Book of the Lady, that he always carried at his side.  The brass fittings and lock looked distinctly the worse for wear.  "Haven't I always said salvation can be found in the good book?".


Geoffrey was wounded by the Corrupt leader, and after the battle rolled the worst result he could get and still be living, which would have taken him out of action for the next six turns, but he successfully rolled on his luck, for the second time in as many encounters, and ignored the wound!

There was little loot to be found, some assorted consumables amongst the debris left by the corrupt that could be safely identified as edible.

The Dark Secrets threat level did not change.  The immediate threat may have been despatched, but these creatures were clearly just a symptom of something darker.

Robert gained three XP (one extra for being the first party member to kill a Monster), the remainder of the party two each.  Robert, Will and Geoffrey all levelled up: Robert gained +2 agility, Will +1 Combat Skill and Gregory +1 Luck (appropriately enough).


The Corrupt acted as Monsters, which meant the party did not have to dice for initiative, which was a welcome change.  

The increased toughness reduced the effectiveness of archery to nigh on useless.  It doesn't seem to be a great killer in the game generally - it takes three rolls to achieve a kill, and aside from the initial roll to hit there is not much you can do to modify your chances.  In a melee you can get up to three chances to hit, plus a wider range of outcomes, with the ability to push an opponent back.

I'd had some issues interpreting how to deal with multiple combatants.  But I adapted the approach Ivan's newer game, Knight, Pyke and Sword, which uses a broadly comparable combat system.  It  worked well.

Using some of the mission table from Five Parsecs is also working well.  Obviously I'm not being strict about it, but it's providing some useful inspiration to add background to the games.

Onwards to the next challenge!

Friday, 21 August 2020

The Miniature's first Miniatures

Took some time off work over the last week, partly for myself, but also to give the other half a break from constant requests to play with the (now quite big) miniature!

Anyway, one of the things that she was adamant she wanted, was that I should spend some time on my painting (bless her), but also that she would like to have a go.  So I had a cast around for something she might be able to attempt that was chunky without too much complicated detail, and found a handful of plastic GW Skaven that I'd picked up for next to nothing on a market stall ages back, already undercoated.

We chatted about colour choices, and how to look after brushes, then did one each, stage by stage (she chose the colours, with the occasional nudge towards ones that would cover well in just one coat).  Just block colours, then a wash of GW's Agrax Earthshade (no highlighting this time).

Here's the results:

Can you guess which was mine and which was a five year old's?

Yep, hers is on the left, mine on the right.  I was impressed with her colour choices and brush handling (okay, so I did the eyes, teeth and pendant, and she let me tidy up in one or two places, but it was mostly her).  A slight tendency to overload the brush with paint, but she was really patient, and listened to advice.

A success I think, and she seems keen to try again - says she'd like to do a goblin, as green is her favourite colour!

A while back she had also requested that I make and paint a knight just for her, which I finally got around to.  She chose the parts for him from my bits box (all GW Empire knight parts) and they were her colour choices.  She wanted me to replicate the blue armour we'd seen on a knight at the jousting at Bolsover Castle, which I attempted with blue washes.  Not sure it worked, one to work on I think.

So here he is, Rosa's Blue Knight.

She was chuffed to bits with it, and says she'd like to do one for me to say thank you!

Sunday, 21 June 2020


For Fathers' Day, I was given the best gift possible.  Some time to paint!

The result was this Grenadier Troll (another Nick Lund sculpt).  I decided to go with a green skin, to keep it in step with those Nick Lund Orcs, but with a slightly paler tone overall (GW Gretchin Green base, GW Camon shade, highlighted with a mix of Gretchin Green, VJ Green Gray and Ksilev Flesh).

Lovely model to work on.  Just enough detail for interest without being fiddly (cough, GW, cough).  Tons of character. And a proper amount of metal.

The face looks pretty well proportioned from the front.  Side on... Less so!

Just waiting for a Billy Goat to come along.

I should probably try to make this mail look a bit rusty.  Basing will have to wait until I can get some suitably sized mdf bases.

I was particularly pleased with how the hammer turned out, it actually looks a bit like a stone!  A bit more convincing that just grey with white drybrushing.

Of course I'm now left with a big problem.  Do I repaint his twin with the same green colour, or leave hime in his existing fleshtones?