Sunday, 30 August 2009

Alex's Bretonnian Archer unit

With the arrival of the spray varnish Alex was also able to finish off one of his units - a Bretonnian archer regiment. As mentioned previously, the painting is all his own work; I just do the gluing (he has only just turned 10 years old, so I won't let him touch the stuff), cutting from sprues and the final spray varnish.

Here's the command unit...

Here are the archers themselves...

And finally here is the whole regiment...

He is now working on a unit of Men-at-arms and some knights.

Here come the girls...

On Saturday, the long awaited varnish arrived, so today was spent spraying a few units/minis to finish them off. Below are some Gripping Beast women. They will be used as villagers in a forthcoming fantasy RPG to go with the rest of the villager types already displyed previously on this blog.

The next picture should be X rated. Both minis will be used as dancing girls for a fantasy tavern setting. The one on the left is an old Ral Partha mini from the late seventies and the one on the right is a Denizen mini.

T-KoL Turn 7 (Mid Day)

Two reports in quick succession. It was my fault as I was a bit slack in getting the previous turn up on time. Anyway, here's the latest write up of our forays into the northern realms of Neame...

Bash pondered, "Alas, my hearing fades due to my toils as a campen… campo… camper. - Bell ringer! I would face those bats with my hearing of old as I could listen to their cries and use my Holy Magic to confuddle them into flying against each other. I have an almighty thirst to quench and will return to the well. I wonder if some brave soul will join me and vanquish the foes beyond Linkwood?"

Footsore and tired, Kenny the Fighter and Secundus the Mage arrived at the remote, mountain village of Cragganmore. They were greeted coldly with the suspicion-loaded glances of nervous crofters.
Secundus turned to Kenny, “I fear’ poor travelers such as we can expect little hospitality here.”
Kenny nodded solemnly and looked southwards to where, beyond the mountains an evil presence lurked.

With blood-bats fluttering high above them, Onan the Barbarian and Strepos the Ranger picked their way cautiously along the interweaving animal trails surrounding Grant’s Gibbet. The Ranger’s keen eyes flitted purposefully between the darting bats, but they were too high and flying too erratically to hazard an arrow and risk being helpless for even a moment.
With a crash, Black Tusk the boar burst from the bracken. An arrow whistling past his ear, Onan brought his broad axe-blade down, instantly covering his loins from the spite of the dark, savage tusks. The boar’s skull slammed hard against the stern steel, hurling both beast and barbarian tumbling apart with the shattering impact of the charge. Onan unharmed, rolled dizzily and thudded to a halt, his ears ringing, nay hissing with the shock. He looked up and then he realised. His eyes narrowed, for above him, its gaze cold, its long, needle-like fangs naked but for the shimmering jewels of burning venom, the snake drew back to strike. With a steel-spring crack, the deathblow came. Onan winced and twisted his dagger transfixing the serpent’s baleful jaws from the puncture in its soft under-scales to where the blade-point stood, stark as a crimson horn crowning its broken skull. The snake’s baleful eyes turned misty white and Onan’s arm was washed with a sudden gush of gelid blood.
The big snake was dead, but the fight was far from over.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

T-KoL Turn 6 (Morning)

The Sun broke over the mountains, warming the night-chilled bones of Strepos the Ranger still standing his own sentinel on the high beam of Grant’s gibbet. He waited until the sun had climbed higher, banishing the shadows from the dusty ground way beneath his feet. He leapt down. Then rising to a crouch, he bid his silent companion goodbye and wary of wild animals, made his way north to where his services were direly needed.

As the rising sun cast fingers of gentle light through the branches, Bash the Cleric, with a hymn on his lips, was climbing the winding road through the Linkwood Forest. Soon he realised the chattering accompaniment of the woodland finches had ceased. Something malevolent lurked in the forest ahead. This time Bash was prepared. More cautiously, holding his staff before him, his voice still clearly cleaving the silence, he advanced.
A long howl echoed among the tree trunks and from each side the wild wolves charged. Driving his staff firmly into the ground, Bash calmly drew a small, glass flask from his rope belt. With the water within glittering like crystal in the sunlight, he gave a final blessing and threw the tiny vessel high into the air. The wolves, their tongues lolling hungrily, their teeth bared, bore down upon the lone cleric. Bash turned and bellowed, calling on the blessed power of all that is good and holy. Above him the glass shattered, spreading an opalescent mist, glistening like a thousand rainbows and falling in a kaleidoscopic cloud down through the outstretched branches as if through empty air, down upon the charging wolves. Instantly the wolves’ angry howls twisted, contorting to cries of agony, their eyes burning, their mouths foaming and their spines bending back further and further until their bones cracked and their screams fell to silence.
Bash the Cleric thanked the holy light and began the task of skinning his defeated foes for their valuable pelts.

Spitting in disgust, Onan the Barbarian gave up his search. The lone cutthroat could wait to become better acquainted with his axe, for in the valley below a more urgent meeting beckoned.
With the speed of a wild stallion, with the grace of a mountain cat, Onan raced towards the woe-beset village of Cragganmore. Sweating hard beneath his wolf pelts his rage began to stir, rising fast. His vision narrowed until the tawny hills shone angry red in his unfettered wrath, and at last, roaring like a frenzied lion, his steel claws drawn in fury, Onan the Barbarian pitched into the village, lusting for blood.
The goblins cursed, dropped their quarry and jumped clear to draw their barbed, serrated swords, when suddenly an arrow struck. A goblin screamed, clawing at the shaft impaling his black, bloody throat, its head dark with death. Already, running, Strepos the Ranger sent another shaft screeching through the death-laden air. Shocked, the goblins turned, but Onan, wracked with anger was upon them, his axe flaying wildly, cleaving, carving flesh and tearing bones clean from their sockets amidst a storm of arrows felling the feral night-brood struggling in a mass about him.
At last the last goblin fell, twice over fatally maimed. Onan tore his axe clear from the goblin’s arrow-skewered corpse. “By Frigg, we have done well here today!”
“In battle maybe,” replied Strepos, “but the pickings are meager, we have but one gold piece between us, here, you toss!”
Onan did the honours, but lost and the coin was returned to the ranger’s wiry hand.
Tia Maria, dishevelled but still the most comely of maids, stirred and cast her grateful eyes upon her heroic deliverers. The townsfolk rushed from their houses, cheering. Their gratitude was great, but not as great or as complete as that of the rescued wench.
“Phew!” exclaimed Strepos the Ranger, “and this morning I thought I’d only be roasting a boar!”

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Bugman's Dwarf Rangers (HotT)

I still haven't got the varnish through, so I decided to put up pictures of some figures that I had sprayed before the can decided to go kaput. I had to sort out their bases (mdf with my usual basing materials), which are for Hordes of the Things. I still have two bases of Dwarf Rangers to complete - varnish and basing materials only - before moving onto more of my old Dwarf minis.
I have started work on a Citadel barbarian mini, along with a Ral Partha giant and a dozen or so Warlord Games' Celts. They should all be finished by next week provided the spray varnish shows up.

Alex's Warhammer Fighters

Alex painted these a few weeks ago but I have only just got round to photographing them and cropping them for the blog. They are doubles I have of some of the very earliest Citadel slotta-based Fighter range. I had bought them for fighting a few battles with a friend of mine from years back, but he went off and joined the army and I haven't seen him since!
I think Alex has done a very good job on these.

Monday, 17 August 2009

T-KoL Turn 5 (Night)

“My,” gasped Bash the Cleric, “This is thirsty work! Me thinks it is time I went to Dewar’s Well to quench the fire in my throat and collect water to bless!” Slowly he backed along the winding forest road, keeping the wolves at bay with his sturdy staff, until finally, where the trees thinned to bramble, he was beyond their dominion. They sat watching and as he turned the black hills echoed with their mocking howls.

“Hmm,” mused Secundus the Mage, “perhaps we should set out for Dewar's Well immediately. If the tree of us are unlucky enough to be ambushed,” he paused and ran his fingers through his lustrous beard, “for I predict Bash will prefer the risk of ambush in Dewar's Well to near certain death fighting wolves in the dark,” he watched the Blue Nunn relax once more, “we should be able to prevail and Tia Maria should not have to wait longer than necessary for our rescue party!”
Torchlight flared suddenly from the darkness deep behind Kenny the Fighter’s eyes, for the plight that awaited the maid of Cragganmore was not to him too distant from that which befell his dear sister. “To deliver salvation,” he attested, “is sweeter than to serve revenge, and revenge I aver, can wait!”
With that, the two men stood and with a blessing from the Blue Nunn speeding their departure, they left their cups and ventured into the night.

Limned in moonlight and agile as a cat, Sirrus the cutthroat crept through the tumbled, age-worn walls off Edradour. His eyes burning with malevolent fire were fixed on the broad-thewed back of Onan the Barbarian. Closer he crept, his long blade naked, glinting venomously in the moonlight. He thrust. Suddenly Onan turned, roaring, his own savage, off-hand dagger drawn. The knives clashed in the darkness, striking hot, fiery sparks, for an instant lighting the gloom with their angry cry. Thrown off guard, Sirrus had time only to tear his dagger free before the moon-caught edge of Onan’s axe swung ruthlessly down towards the footpad’s defenceless vitals. Swiftly Sirrus leapt clear, wincing as the broad blade fanned his skin through the fresh slash in his black worsted shirt. Cursing but unhurt he landed on his toes and seeing the raging black mass bearing down upon him, he leapt once more and fled into the darkness. The hunter was now the hunted and the wolves’ skins now far less in question than his own.

“Well I see,” uttered Strepos the Ranger “I have a fine range of monsters against me!” He was outnumbered and for once the darkness was not to be his friend. Hiding offered no escape. Swiftly he sent two arrows whistling into the black mass of blood-bats marring the moon. The arrows’ slight silhouettes traveled on, striking nothing. Strepos held the oath on his lips as he saw that they were not without effect. Maybe it was the blood he had not found time to wipe from the arrowheads, but what ever it was, the bats appeared confused, dipping and spiraling erratically. He watched waiting for their bafflement to subside, but it endured. He seized his chance. In two bounds he was at the base off the grim gibbet. He leapt once more, seizing the scaffold with both hands, swinging himself up high to the top of the bar. There he stood defiant, black against the moon.
“If this be my last fight,” he swore drawing back on his string, “let it be a mighty one! My bow shall sing and my blade shall drink deep!”
Though he feared the boar may charge the gibbet itself and throw him from his perch and the black snake could slither its way to its top, the ground around him was bare and offered no shelter from the doom he would rain down upon any foe that dared to cross his deadly domain.
Ever watchful, arrow strung, Strepos waited as the moon, without pity, edged slowly across the star emblazoned sky.

Bash the Cleric placed his tin cup down next to him on the wall of Dewar’s Well and gave a refreshed gasp. The water was good, cool and sweet.
Before long he saw two shapes approaching from the south. The moon soon revealed them to be Kenny the Fighter and Secundus the Mage. It was clear that they had seen him too.
A single voice cut through the silence, “Well met!”
The other two heroes groaned, for surely such poor humour should not be endured, even in trying times.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

War Troll

I had a very productive week this week. Loads of figures were completed on the painting side but I had a bit of bad luck. The spray varnish I have decided to give up the ghost halfway through spraying some figures, leaving them half done. The problem is that the spray mechanism had died but the can is still at least half full. I tried everything to unplug the blockage but with no joy. I have had to order another can, so will be able to finish the minis off during the week when the new can arrives.

Anyway, here's one I actually did manage to complete. It is an old Grenadier War Troll. I absolutely love the way the mini conveys the power of this individual. I now have three trolls completed - more than enough for a little skirmish band. Apologies for the small size of the images but I wanted to convey the size of the mini compared to the Games Workshop trees.
I also managed to finish off a batch of female villagers and the last of the Bugman's Dwarf Rangers for Hordes of the Things, but was stymied from getting them onto the site due to the varnish issue. I'll try to get them up during the week.
My son, Alex, also managed to complete a unit of Bretonnian archers and a couple of my old Citadel fighter figures (some of the first slotta-based ones) that I had in double. I wil get these up on this site too when the varnish is through.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Alex's Pokemon drawings

These are my son Alex's drawings of a couple of his favourite Pokemon monsters. He drew them in pencil, inked them and then scanned them into the computer where he block coloured them.

They are much better than anything I could ever dream of drawing. I hope he keeps it up as he is becoming a great little artist.

Monday, 10 August 2009

T-KoL Turn 4 (Evening)

T-KoL Turn 4 (Evening) REPORT

“I care not!” declared Kenny the fighter rising to his feet, “wherever or not the cleric has gone, I am off to Rosebank Meadows and then on to Grant's Gibbet to avenge the death of my sister!”
“Steady friend!” Secundus the mage lightly held the fighter’s sleeve, “Your bravery does you credit, but I fear it is ill timed. Even if no other beasts ambush you in Rosebank Meadows (and if they do, you may not get to Grants Gibbet at all) you will be attacking Esmeralda's killers when they are at their strongest. Revenge is a dish best served in daylight. Besides which," he added, “my scrying powers predict we will be joined by at least one more hero ere the coming of dawn!”
Kenny sat down.

A mournful howl echoed around the crumbling walls of Edradour as something lean and wolfish lurked in the lengthening shadows. Its eyes glowing with baleful fire the shape stepped from the dark shade into the red light of sunset. The steel blade of the battleaxe caught crimson in the flames of the dying sun. The wolf pack was gathering and was yet still unaware of this intruder’s presence. Onan the Barbarian threw back his tousled head and howled. The wolves turned, their savage teeth bared, their hackles high. Their heads low and threatening they advanced to meet his challenge. With his shimmering axe swirling above his head and long-knife drawn Onan pitched wild and headlong into their howling mass. Teeth and naked blade flashed savagely in the twilight, piercing the restless air with agonized screams and splashing the dead stones with scarlet. Until at last, wild-eyed and bloody the barbarian stood triumphant amidst the blade-torn corpses of his foes. He laughed, for his mirth was great. Then turning his blade over in his hand he knelt and began skinning the dead wolves, for their pelts would be worth a gold piece to anyone.

Strepos the Ranger breathed low. His eyes flitted as he judged his domain. “I shall stand and fight the foul bats,” he muttered under his breath, “and be roasting boar for my tea!”
He listened. The boar was silent. He crept forwards. Still he heard nothing of the wild pig but the screaming of the blood bats was rising as their black pall stained the crimson sky. Like summer lightning arrows flashed from quiver to string as the ranger’s bow sang its sweet sarabande of death, sending shaft after shaft whistling into the swirling mass of blood-hungry bats. They fell and screeched no more.

An unearthly glow spread from Bash the Cleric’s outstretched palm. “Be gone foul hounds of chaos!” he commanded as a bolt of brilliant light rushed forward, liming the wolf pack and illuminating the Linkwood Forest road in golden light. The Holy glimmer faded and the trees regained their gloom. Undeterred the wolves pressed on, their jaws slavering, their tongues lolling hungrily. Bash raised his tough, wooden staff, spinning it high above his bald head as the wolves circled, probing his defence for weakness. Cunningly he tempted them with gaps in his guard, to swiftly strike out, smashing down hard with skull-splitting strength only to see his target turn and twist clear of his blow. On the dance continued, no side gaining or giving advantage until, as the shadows deepened, Bash began to wonder whether the wolves had truly met their match or whether they were only biding their time, awaiting the heinous reign of night.


“Come to me my lovelies!” commanded Cobra the cutthroat, his hand outstretched, his fingers playing the dark chords of the night wind. The blood bats gathered, swirling around his head, screeching hungrily. “See,” sneered Cobra to the keeper of the Black Bottle Inn, “how the night’s dark children do my bidding?”
The innkeeper, his voice fear-frozen in his throat, nodded.
“Obey!” ordered the cutthroat, “before I give my pets consent to feed!”

The gibbous moon grinned like a cloven skull for even the moon is not without irony. Sirrus the cutthroat chuckled silently to himself and eyed with unabashed avarice the bloody wolf-pelts Onan the Barbarian had thrown across his broad, muscular back.
“Before dawn,” he vowed, “those furs will be mine and that barbarian will be fit only to feed the crows!”

Strepos sighed and still watchful for the murderous boar he crept forward and retrieved his arrows. Then he casually watched the shadows lengthen until suddenly his flesh crawled, for he realised that the black, twisted stain he had watched extending across the road was no lifeless shade but the dark form of a large and venomous snake, winding malevolently towards him. His ears pricked and he turned to see rising from some concealed cavern what was no ill-formed memory or trick of the mind but a fresh and ravenous swarm of blood bats climbing on their dark, gelid wings across the purpling sky to usurp the night.

The villagers of Glen Mhor fled screaming, for out of night had slithered a hungry serpent, greedy to crush the life from their sleeping bairns.

Tia Maria the barmaid staggered into the Cragganmore Inn and breathlessly bolted the door behind her. Her clothes were torn, ripped by the brambles she had forced herself through in her panicked flight.
“Quick!” she gasped, “there are goblins everywhere!”
“We know,” said the innkeeper solemnly, his head hung, “they have taken the town.”
A group of drinkers by the bar turned and lowered their hoods showing their sharp yellow eyes and grinning faces of vile, green flesh.
“She will do nicely,” hissed their leader, “Seize her!”
Before she could scream her soft white limbs were cruelly grasped by clawing hands and the barroom swirled as she collapsed helpless into their fiendish clutches, defenceless against their inhuman desires.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Farmers of Glenfiddich

Here's a shot of the rest of the farmer figures I have. They are from the civilians range by Gripping Beast. They are designated as shepherds, peasants and stockmen. I think they are wonderfully sculpted and take the paint very easily.

I guess that now I have the stockmen and shepherds, I will need to get some livestock. Gripping Beast have plenty of old breeds of farm animals in stock and Foundry have some nice, woolly sheep to buy by the flock.

Although I have painted many minis since I started this blog (which was the aim initially), I feel I have really only been tinkering around the edges with my collection. I need to really get a theme going and finish enough of one genre to create enough minis to stage a few games. Now that I have finished loads of Roman legionaries and a unit of auxiliary cavalry I need an opposing army. Whilst I still have a few other sets of minis on the paint station, I am going to start on some Celt minis soon - adversaries for the Romans. Once I have a few dozen of those completed I will see about getting a few games played and written up.

To come soon...
Bugman's Dwarf Rangers - a few need the paint finishing but 4 HotT stands nearly completed
War Troll - needs painting completed
Women - need painting completed
Roman Century - need to be photographed
Celtic Warriors - cut from sprue, constructed and undercoated - need painting
Fantasy warriors - cleaned up and undercoated - need painting

There are still hundreds of old 1980s minis and Warlord Games' Romans and Celts to be sorted out, and that's before starting on all of the Games Workshop Lord of the Rings figures. To finish off with, I have some Confrontation and Brigade Miniatures stuff to sort out. Loads to do and look forward to over the next couple of years methinks. I just hope I can keep the enthusiasm up to complete a small unit of five or six minis per week.

Gaming wise, there is the current pbm RPG - Tavern Knights of Legend and an upcoming strategy pbm. Once small armies of minis are completed, I will start to play Hordes of the Things and LotR:SBG.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Players' first taste of victory

This is an image of the first victory for the Tavern Knights. After the debacle of the previous turn where we lost both Esme and Sincha, at least we had some good news with Onan's victory over thebrawler Jim Bean.

Thanks again go to our referee for putting in the effort to keep the game interesting and visually attractive.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Kenny Dalgleish

Here's the next character I will be playing in Tavern Knights. His image has already been posted previously but this is the mini I will be using to represent him.

He is Esmerelda's oldest brother, and has decided to take up the sword (well, pitch-fork) to avenge her death and rid the land of evil. Let's hope he lasts longer than his sister did!

Roman Auxiliary Cavalry Command

Here's the auxiliary cavalry command. I wasn't sure what to put on the vexillation banner, so left it blank until such time as I think of something.

Here's a shot of the whole cavalry contingent riding into the distance, taking the fight to the barbarians in the forested lands of the north.

I will be using these for a Lord of the Rings: Strategy Battle Game campaign. They are mounted on circular bases that suit skirmish games rather than massed rank games like Warhammer Ancient Battles. The legionaries have also been mounted on circular bases in keeping with the theme. I have a couple of units of auxiliaries and archers to join the legionaries, alongside a few units of artillery. Once these have been completed, I will create a large generic Celtic army to face them. I will try to get a picture of the now finished legionary century up on the blog soon too. I just need to get them out of the drawer they are in and aligned on a suitably sized table.