Monday, 2 October 2023

Psychostyrene Dwarves

 I want to take you back in time, to 1985; the year of Live Aid, the Brixton riots, the first CDs and, most importantly of all, Citadel Miniature’s first ever multi-part 28mm miniatures.

Along with their mortal enemies, the Drastic Plastic Orcs, the Psychostyrene Dwarves were the shape of things to come!

And now, after many years sitting unloved in the ‘lead’ pile, they’ve been brought blinking into the sun.

Coming in at 75p a blister pack (!), they came with one body, a choice of three heads, two weapons, and a separate knife and sword in scabbard.

I painted two of them a long, long time ago (with the blue and green tunics) and, for old times sake, they’ve just had a bit of tidying up and a wash for shade.  Some repairs and replacement parts were also necessary for some of them.

The originals came with some lovely shield transfers, but only two remain, sadly (the far right is obviously my shaky freehand).

By modern standards they’re a bit rough.  Detail on the heads in particular is quite soft.  But they scrub up ok.

Off for a night on the town 1985 style!

Saturday, 30 September 2023


While looking for something else I found these Foundry Conquistadors.  Really nice models - the paint job’s not quite up to what I would do now (these were from probably over 15 years ago), but still pretty good. I think I was going to use the swordsmen as duellists in my Dogs of War army.

Friday, 29 September 2023

Calling in air support (Empire style)

This is one of those models that has been sat uncompleted for a good couple of decades, consigned to the 'I'm too intimidated to tackle it' pile.  However once the little miniature saw it, she was absolutely insistent that I complete it.  Who am I to refuse the commands of an eight year old?

And now I have, and very pleased I am too!  This is also the largest mini I have done that isn't a vehicle.

I love this model - it has a real sense of movement.  The more recent plastic Empire Griffin may have size, but it lacks a sense of movement, and is just too big.  This one has a feel of sinuous power, and ou can almost feel those massive wings beating the air as it lifts up (and then pounces down again on some poor unfortunate soul).

Part of my problem with this model is that I make my own life difficult.  One of my other hobbies is birdwatching - that meant I was incapable of just painting some brown wings and moving on.  No, I had to do something with some basis in reality (yes, I know it's half eagle, half lion, and entirely mythical, but that's not how my mind works!).

I actually started on this some years ago.  My initial attempt was based on an Osprey - dark browns and whites.  The problem was that, whilst I was pleased with the underside of the wings, the top view was just dark brown and uninteresting, and the head just didn't quite work - it lacked impact.  You can see it in the picture below - your eye should be drawn to that head and beak, but it isn't. 


So I revised my thinking and based the upper wings on a Red Kite instead.  If you've never seen one, they are awesome birds of prey - bigger than the more common buzzard, and with beautiful colouring.  It's bizarre to think they used to be a common sight in the centre of London.

Much better


I retained some of the 'Osprey' patterning under the wings, as I was already pleased with it and didn't want to paint over it.  So my Griffon is really a hybrid of a Red Kite, Osprey, and a Lion. And I'm OK with that.

I'd painted the rider up a while ago, so he just needed a little touching up and detailing.  I do need to find a shield for him - not sure where the original one has gone

"Fly me closer so I can hit them with my sword!"

Look at that beak!

 As an extra treat, here are some photos I took of Red Kites in Rhayader in Wales, all the way back in 2009.  They're awesome, and they feed them there, so you get a really good view.

Sunday, 24 September 2023

Sorcerer (Fantasia Style)

Former Grenadier Models Wizard, now available from Forlorn Hope Games.

A lovely little model, full of character.  He looks to me like he would be prone to launching into long, overly detail (boring) explanations of the finer points of a spell, while the rest of the party gets beaten senseless by goblins.

If the colour scheme looks familiar, that’s because I realised part way through that I might have been inspired by a certain mousey Sorcerer’s Apprentice.  However it happened, it was a chance to practice painting red robes.  This time I tried a different technique I’d seen online - GW Mephiston Red base, burgundy contrast paint for shade, the highlights with Vallejo Bloody Red and, finally, some edge highlights with VJ Rose Flesh.  Overall pleased with the result, but it could benefit from a Matt varnish to tone down the shine

More Abodes

Just a couple more old card buildings.  The cottage I scanned, and one from a quick google search that found the whole range.  Between these and the tall building, that’s the core of my first Warhammer scenery - the two storey one having been included in a one off Wargaming magazine many moons ago (I may do the bridge that came with it as well).

I still love these buildings.  The only issue is size, as GW’s models have grown over the years.  These ones are more or less contemporary, and  even then it’s a squeeze.


Tuesday, 19 September 2023

Archaic Abodes

It’s amazingwhat a scrounge around in the attic can reveal.  In this case a 1985 Citadel Journal in great condition!  

Crucially, the pages of ‘cut out’ buildings were intact.  Back in the day I got my Dad to photocopy these, coloured them in, then mounted them on card to create my scenery.  These days of course I have access to a photo quality scanner and printer!

There’s some amazing card scenery out there these days, from the likes of Fat Dragon, or Dave Graffam Models.  But I can’t deny the charm of these beauties!

Here’s the first one.  Expect more to follow.

Monday, 4 September 2023

He’s just big boned!

I'm not 100% sure of the origin of this chap.  He was purchased from Forlorn Hope Games, described as a Giant Troll, and cast in resin.  Forlorn Hope have a lot of the old Grenadier Range, and the style of this just screams 'Nick Lund' - from the way the mail of the fists is sculpted to the face, which is a dead ringer for the old Grenadier War Trolls - but I don't recall seeing him before.

The pose is quite static, he's ugly as a welder's bench, and the face detail is very soft and putty like but, you know what, I like that.  He's got a lovely old school vibe, and really has that 'stupid' monster look.  He was also a delight to paint, taking almost no time at all (it took me longer to get around to the base).  He's also pretty big - bigger than the former Grenadier Barbarian Giant.

Here he is with a friend for scale.  A former Heroquest henchman (just painted up and destined for ebay).

And here's that henchman again in a bit more detail