Tuesday, 23 August 2022

Skeleton Warband

A quick update on some more of the work I have been doing over the last couple of days on the undead warband I am slowly bringing together. I have now managed to complete a grand total of 20 skeleton/undead warrior types from the lead pile. I also have some other undead (4 foot and 4 mounted wights) painted by someone else that I may amend to fit in with my vision. Here's what I have achieved so far in their pre-wash/varnish glory (most have been seen before, so bear with me in my indulgence)...

First up is the command group. A set of three very old Citadel or Ral Partha (not sure which) pre-slotta figures...

Then we have a bunch of (five) undead riders that I completed yesterday. I am not happy with the results of the verdigris; I still need a little more practice to get it right. It sometimes works but mostly it doesn't. I blame my dodgy eyes as I cannot focus on the figures themselves, so have to guess where the brush is going and hope for the best. I then try to amend any mistakes afterwards if I am able...


Finally here is the bulk of the foot troops; a dozen skeleton warriors with an assortment of weapons...


Unfortunately, these miniatures are very fragile, and, ironically, I have already broken one of the arms off whilst putting it away into a protective foam carry case. I will need to repair it, and hope that the gloss varnish coat, when applied, also creates a stronger bind for the arm.

To complete this warband, I am looking at rounding out the numbers to create units for Dragon Rampant. I already know that I want to get a big horde of 30-40 zombies, 6 Otherworld Armoured Skeletons (same as the foot ones above but with armour), some missile armed skeletons, a champion of sorts, and some kind of giant construct. I am not sure on the points/unit values yet, but I will calculate that nearer the time. Then I have to decide who to put them up against. The quickest win will most likely be one of my Lord of the Rings armies - probably Rohan.

Wednesday, 27 July 2022

Skeletons Update

It has been quite a while since I last posted on the blog. Real life has a habit of getting in the way of what we enjoy, and these past three months have been no different. Nothing bad (well, I did cop Covid for the first time a few weeks back despite the vaccinations), but time was not something I had much spare of.

That said, I managed to complete some more 2000AD and Judge Dredd comics reading and finally saw the eighth season of Game of Thrones. I wasn't as disappointed as almost everyone else I have heard mentioned; yes, the pacing was a little out, perhaps one or two more episodes would have resolved this, but the ending itself made sense to me and I liked the denouement for several of the main protagonists. Maybe my several year hiatus between being caught up in the hype and watching them in the cold light of day helped in this?

In addition, I did manage to get a few things done hobby wise, but didn't have the time to post my achievements. This post is a catch up of the little bits of painting and hobbying I managed to partake in since April.

Goblin Town goblin in my son's own style... 

Yep, a bright yellow goblin, painted when he was but 2 or 3 years old. He reapplied some paint a few months back and I tidied up the face and pustules, then washed it in readiness for varnishing (which still needs to be done).

More skeletons...

The second batch of skeletons from Otherworld Miniatures. As mentioned in a previous post, I mixed up the weapon arms a little to provide a few more variants. These, as well as the previous batch, have been completed all bar a wash and matt varnish. I will get around to that in a few weeks' time when I have more miniatures to finish.

The whole undead crew so far (not all finished just yet and more to order)...


The first picture above shows the command group (painted several years ago) with the inital six foot skeletons and the five mounted undead (as yet unpainted).

The second picture shows both sets of foot skeletons, and how far I have got with the mounted undead. These will still be a while in the finishing as they all still need a few more colours on them as well as a wash and matt varnish.

This little force is coming along nicely now though; I just need to finish painting the above, sort out a few more undead that I have in my lead mountain, and then add to the force with one more set of Otherworld armoured skeletons (basically the same foot figures with armour on) and a few one-offs to round it out. I am also looking at getting some zombies to add to these - a horde of 30-40 would be pretty neat, but with my glacial pace of painting I may be waiting until the year 3000 before I get them finished.

The latest haul from my first ever Kickstarter...

This is a kind of female Fellowship of the Ring plus Gollum, so we have a couple of female humans and an elf in there too.


These next two packs are the actual Kickstarter's main theme - several packs of dwarf, gnome and halfling female adventurers. The first packs are 7 of the 8 on offer (I was not over-enamoured by the halfling bar maids if I am honest, so decided not to bid for those), whilst the second picture shows the stretchgoals - the freebies.

These figures are from Bronze Age Miniatures' Half-pint Heroines range. I was after some female Dwarf, Gnome and Halfling miniatures to round out my GW and fantasy forces to enable some more gender balanced RPG and skirmish gaming. I have plenty of male adventurers/soldiers but very few female. I am hoping that this will even up the numbers a little and perhaps persuade my daughters to see that dad's games are not just for boys - I did try to convert them to the dark side with some painting lessons a fair few years back but they lost interest very quickly.

I am hoping to get some more prep work done on my Frostgrave Nickstarter figures from a couple of years back, as well as the Rangers of Shadowdeep starter figures. I am looking at sorting out some more aspects of the basing prior to undercoating. Due to work etc. this may not be for a couple of weeks yet, so watch this space.

Sunday, 17 April 2022

Glueing and Prepping

Long time, no post. I have been busy doing lots of stuff other than gaming recently - real life has a habit of taking over sometimes. Luckily, I have been able to dip my toes into my hobby from time-to-time, but not really had much I can comment on for the blog. I have read a few rulebooks and supplements that I received as gifts for Christmas, kept on with my 2000AD and Judge Dredd comics reading, and started re-watching Game of Thrones on the DVDs I have. I have not seen series 8 yet (I must be the only fan not to have done), so I am re-watching them all over again to prep for the final series. I have managed to avoid spoilers thus far. I have heard it is very disappointing, but I have my own ideas for an ending, so I may not find it so.

Anyway, over the last couple of days we have had some very nice weather in the UK. The brighter days have meant that I can actually kind of see reasonably smallish details again. So, in order to get stuff done whilst the light holds, I broke out the most recently purchased miniatures (from the last few months for my son's but up to a few years ago for mine) that have been staring at me from their vantage points on the book shelves.

Alongside his interest in The Lord of the Rings, my youngest son has begun to show an interest in historical gaming; or, more accurately, he likes the miniatures and, as he now gets some pocket money, he decided to buy some. He has recently picked up a box of plastic Dark Age Irish warriors from Wargames Atlantic, some Welsh Archers from Gripping Beast, and a few Roman slave-type minis from Footsore, due to one of their likenesses to Grumio out of  the TV series Plebs.

My figures are from a mixture of manufacturers (Hasslefree, Otherworld and Northstar) that I went to to create some fantasy wabands for RPGs and Rangers of Shadowdeep, and the Nickstarter set of ten pairs of wizards for Frostgrave. The wizards are several years old now, but the Rangers and other fantasy miniatures are maybe only a year or so old. I have kind of set myself a limitation now due to the huge backlog of unassembled and unpainted figures that I have, where I can only buy new figures when I have finished painting my latest additions to the lead and plastic mountains. I am almost there with painting those Otherworld skeletons from a few posts back (if the light holds, I will get them finished in the next week or two), and I have now broken out my other latest purchases in order to get them completed too. Once these are completed, I may treat myself to a few more of the figures to make up the last of the adversaries for some of the games I wish to play.

Anyway, enough chat, and onto the lead (well pewter as it is nowadays). First up are my son's Welsh Archers. As mentioned above, they are from Gripping Beast. There are four poses and he got three of each pose. They are tidy little figures, and will make great standard warriors for any games we play with them...

I still need to glue their bows on (unfortunately we only seemed to get 10 bows instead of 12 - the bag they came in had split). They are shown alongside the Footsore Roman slave figures for a size comparison. My son wanted these mounted on Saga-style bases which came with the Welsh miniatures (I also had some spares in my bits box he could use for the Romans). Here are the Roman figures alongside a pair of plastic wolfhounds he got with the plastic Irish warriors set...

Next up are some of his new Lord of the Rings miniatures. Most of his figures for LotR are second hand from eBay. These are from a few packs he recently bought for himself, that he liked the look of...

The Bilbo miniature is metal, and the Elf warriors and Thranduil models are resin. The Elf warriors all need their shields glued on, and Thranduil needs his sword arm glued on. These are lovely miniatures but do not scale in at all with the historical figures above; the LotR figures are a fair bit smaller and finer (more anatomically accurate), and the quality of the sculpting is much better. That said, sometimes quantity is a quality in itself, and that is where the historical figures come into their own - good value for money for decent enough figures - armies can be built much more cheaply.

Next up are the last of my son's figures from this batch and the first of mine. They are Noldur's D&D figures bought from our local comic and gaming store a few months ago. Here we have a griffin and an umberhulk...

The griffin will be glued to a base the same as the umberhulk to fit in with more of my son's fantasy miniatures (all of his Lord of the Rings figures are on GW style round bases of various sizes). These figures are really nicely made and not too pricey for their size. For some reason my umberhulk came without one of its antennae - it was not in the box, so I could not have glued it back on even if I had found it. I am not too fussed actually, as it gives it a bit of character.

Next up are my Rangers and RPG characters...

They are from a variety of manufacturers and I have stuck them all onto 30mm lipped round bases. I am going to begin to standardise my basing if I can from now on, so they all fit in with my Lord of the Rings figures - 20mm for hobbits and other small creatures, 25mm for standard humans, elves, orcs etc., 30mm for heroes and medium-sized creatures like wolves, 40mm for mounted figures and medium-large monsters, 50mm for large monsters, trolls and giants, and larger bases for dragons etc.

The back row consists of Hasslefree figures, the second-rear row are from Otherworld, and the two front rows are Northstar's official Rangers of Shadowdeep figures. I have yet to glue on some of their arms and weapons - hopefully at some point this week I can accomplish that?

Finally, here are the first of the Frostgrave wizards that I bought a long time ago. Again, they are glued onto 30mm lipped bases to match in with the Rangers and adventurers above. Each school of magic is represented by a pair of wizards...

From left to right, these are; a Chronomancer and apprentice, an Elementalist and apprentice, an Enchanter and apprentice, an Illusionist and apprentice, and a Necromancer and apprentice. I have yet to decide which is the master and which the apprentice - that decision will most likely come once they have been painted, or not. I still have five more pairs to prep and glue, but the light has run out for today. I am working overtime all day tomorrow (another Bank Holiday in the UK), so will not get any modelling done then - hopefully there will be some good days through the coming week that will allow me to complete these.

In addition to the figures above, I have an eleventh pair of wizards (not sure what school they belong to until I look them up again) and some treasure tokens/markers for Frostgrave. There is also a box set of 20 plastic Frostgrave Soldiers and a sprue of 5 Frostgrave Barbarians which need assembling. Hopefully the next post will see all of these glued up at least.

I am really hoping to get some tabletop gaming going again very soon; either solo or with my youngest son. I have my eye on a few new rulesets too - Sellswords and Spellslingers (for solo gaming) and the latest version of Runequest; a game I played extensively back in the day. I no longer own these rules (I have owned three different editions in the past) and the new rulebooks look lavish, so I am very tempted.

So, there is plenty for me to be getting on with for now. Once the above miniatures have been fully prepped, they will need undercoating and then painting. Also, once the long summer days roll in, I may take another look at my LotR miniatures - I have over 800 to complete, although many are almost there.

Thursday, 17 February 2022

Gondor Repaints III

Apologies for the long hiatus between posts. I have not been well recently and I am still not fully recovered. Hopefully, I will be seeing the doctor again soon to see what is happening; I don't think it is anything serious but it is affecting my daily life, in that I do not want to do a lot at the moment except relax and/or sleep.

That said, this weekend saw me pick up the energy to get my paints and brushes out again to finish off a few of my son's figures that have been stuck on the painting table for several months. I managed to complete the basing for a couple of elf repaints...


And also the final few colours on another half-dozen or so Gondorian soldiers (the broken ones featured in the last post) and a Black Numenorian (a 2nd Age warrior of Numenor)...


This year I am hoping to get a lot more of my own Lord of the Rings miniatures painted in order to do larger battles with my youngest son. We have played several Battle Companies sized games over the last year, but we both feel the need to go larger on occasion. I think I will go for a new system for this, and Dragon Rampant is back in the frame.

Sunday, 12 December 2021

A Weekend of Hobbying

The kids came over this weekend and for the first time in ages I was able to grab some time with my youngest and get some hobby time in. We didn't really get anything fully completed but we did make some progress on some figures that have been on the shelf for several months.

I managed to fix up a bunch of his eBay Gondor purchases from my bits box, whilst he painted one of his Elf warriors. I also based up some official D&D type figures and glued the arms and shields onto my second batch of Otherworld skeletons.

Gondor Before...

Broken Gondor figures

Gondor After...

Mended Gondor figures

From left to right, the first archer had a brand new hand and bow; the swordsman had a new sword; the next archer had the bottom of the first archer's bow transplanted to the top of his bow; the second swordsman had a new sword; the third archer had a new top to his bow from the bits-box; the last Gondorian had a new hand and sword grafted on; the final chap had a new hand and spear grafted on.

I think they have turned out just fine, and even though they don't match the "official" look weapons-wise, from my POV they can be a kind of veteran unit with non-standard equipment that has been picked up when their original weaponry had been lost or broken.

I didn't get a picture of the elf that my son was painting, but I did get pictures of the other work I was able to achieve...

Skeletons...

 
These are the second set of skeletons I got from Otherworld Miniatures. I have mixed up the weapon and shield choices to make them look different to the previous set. There will be a third set purchased soon; armoured versions of the above. But, no buying new stuff in this faction until the old stuff has been painted, so that may be a few months away.

D&D stuff...

At my local comic shop, I bought a handful of official D&D figures; an owlbear (for reasons unkown even to myself, owlbears are one of my very favourite monters in D&D) and four halfling adventurers. These halflings are much smaller than my Lord of the Rings ones unfortunately, so I am not sure if they will get used as hobbits in any of my games. Then again, I am not too much of a stickler for every figure being the same size - in every population there are tall people and shorter people - so I may very well use them in town or village type encounters.

My son glued a couple of paladin types to their bases and I managed to put a bit of paint on a Goblin Town goblin figure he had painted bright yellow when he was about four years old, but I didn't get photos of these yet.

The kids are over again in a few weeks time for the Christmas break. Hopefully we can get these painted and finished at some point over the break to clear the decks for new stuff in readiness for completing a few projects and playing a few games with them.