Sunday, 26 April 2015

Todoroni Regiment - part seven



With the end of the month in sight, I have persevered with this latest On-Line Build, a third regiment of Alternative Armies Todoroni. I have to say that I have not enjoyed the painting as much as the earlier two regiments and I put this down to one simple fact; I've never been convinced with the purple coloured cuffs and collars.

As you can plainly see, I have repainted these areas Dark Red or Crimson with Blood Red highlights and (in my opinion) the uniform now looks better.


Most of the painting in this update has been detail painting, more metallics and highlighting the skin colour with lighter Greens (mixed with Yellow and not White, which I find gives the Green a haunted look).

In addition I have painted this flag or standard. I have used a 'sticky-back' label for the base and copied a design from the Internet. The central motif was a decal, which broke-up on application, so I have over-painted it.


Not much to do now. Although I am looking forward to testing out my new Flock-Applicator (see earlier post) when I flock the bases.

More to follow, but not that much.....

Tony

Friday, 24 April 2015

Home-Made Static Grass Applicator

Earlier this week I read this post over on The Lead Adventure Forum. It got me thinking.....

I had picked up this battery operated fly swatter from a £1.00 store in Cheltenham some time ago with the intention of building myself a 'metal tea-strainer' style static grass applicator, one of those projects that I would eventually get around too! But this post had prompted me to build myself my own applicator.

Image One - The bare necessities. The Bug Zapper (£1.00), some spare Wire (free), a Metal Biscuit Tin Lid (actually my daughters, so again free) and a couple of Crocodile Clips (found in my tool box). The only other thing/things I used were two cable connectors (spares from my tool box) and a Bamboo Skewer which I added to the second crocodile clip to act as a handle.


Image Two - I dismantled the Zapper and found that there were three wires (two Black connected to one terminal and one Red). I joined the two Black wires together and then connected them to the spare black wire and the first crocodile clip.

The Red wire was connected to the spare blue wire and the second crocodile clip.

I have discarded the blue bat head and metal grills.

Dismantling and re-connecting the handle was a little tricky, but after three goes it all went back together and was now ready for testing.

I installed the two 1.5volt AA batteries, clipped one crocodile clip to the metal lid and added a sprinkling of static grass. The second crocodile clip was attached to a 1 Cent, Euro coin onto which I had painted some Unibond uPVA White Glue.

And SWITCHED ON!


Image Three - To my amazement, it all worked, actually worked perfectly! With the individual strands of static grass being both lifted and aligned onto the uPVA Glue.

To operate, I held the metal coin over the static grass strands (glue side down) and pressed the button on the Zapper handle. I does take more than one pass to get a good covering of grass.

My Wife who was very sceptical and even now continued to make comments about wearing rubber soled shoes, was also surprised at how this worked and watched with interest as the tiny static grass strands jumped onto the coin.


I have no idea as to the science involved, but IT WORKS and I am now looking forward to applying static grass to my Todoroni - that is once I finish painting and varnishing them.

Be warned, there is quite a hefty static charge when the crocodile clip connects with the metal lid, lots of sparks and quite a noise, but this was expected after reading other static grass applicator posts. This was the main reason I added a bamboo skewer to the second crocodile clip.

I hope that this post has proven to be of interest.

Tony

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Latest Charity Shop Finds



Last week I picked up these two books from different Charity Shops in Worcester and Evesham. The first is a copy of Tradition - number 51. The magazine is in very good condition but missing the colour plates from the centre spread. I bought it for just 10p.

Tradition is not a magazine I am familiar with, so this has proven to be an interesting and informative read. I particularly liked the illustrations.

I was not able to find a published date - but the cover price was seventeen and sixpence!

Update; See this link. Thanks to Edwin King (see comments).


The second book is a 8 1/2 inch x 5 1/2 inch booklet that lists 18 battles fought on UK soil since The Battle of Heavenfield 635AD to The Siege of Newcastle 1644.

The battle reports are varied, some being a paragraph or two, while others run into pages. The illustrations are simplistic, but the maps are effective in conveying the atmosphere.

This booklet was bought for just 99p.

Famous Northern Battles by Frank Graham
Published by Butler Publishing in 1988 (reprinted in 1996)
ISBN 0 946928 21 5
Cover price £1.75

Tony

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The Todoroni Regiment - part six



Painting is progressing, although it is a little slower than I would like. I put this down to two reasons, first, I am working on a couple of other projects at the moment and secondly, I am still not certain about the Purple. I can see me re-painting these bits!

The bases have been painted in my usual Snakebite Leather (I don't have that much left at the moment), highlighted with Snakebite and Skull White and odd stones picked out in a mix of Skull White and Chaos Black. I have also 'washed' the bases with Sepia wash from Citadel/Games Workshop.

The group of eight looks good. Just some detail painting to go and the standard.


I'll try to get some more images soon.

Tony

Monday, 20 April 2015

Foul Mouth Freddy Fools the ****ing Ferach



Illustration by Edward Jackson

Foul Mouth Freddy Fools the ****ing Ferach
by Tony Harwood
Foul Mouth Freddy returns in this cracking tale involving a small group of inexperienced Orcs going up against a full section of Ferach with only Freddy's bl**dy brilliant plan between them and a horrid death. May Sentinel help them all.
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Throughout the land of Algarvey there are few landmarks as well know as the Tower of Badlan. A huge red structure that guards the two main roads into and out of the sea port town of Jaree. In days longs past the tower was reputed to have mystical powers, but in this more enlightened time of Black Powder and the reign of Kyng Gorge, ideas of magick and mysticism are treated with much disdain and contempt.
The tower itself is situated just off a fork in the road near Jaree. The main road comes out of Jaree from the West and continues East towards the main built up areas of Murian, crossing a large bridge that spans the river. A second and lesser trod road meanders North-East through small hamlets and steep valleys following the course of the river continuing towards lush farmland to the East and far off valleys full of vineyards to the North.
Originally built as a fortified toll house the tower is tall enough to see in all directions thus protecting both the main trade routes and the river crossing. In times gone by a toll of one groat was levied on all travellers who passed by and due to the diligence of the tollhouse keeper and a small armed force he retained using the monies generated, the roads around Jaree remained clear and safe.
The tower’s nick name, Black Jack’s Tower, came about a short time after the Mordredian wars began. The original tollhouse keeper and his unit did not stay in the tower after the Annulment of Wylde Magick for reasons history does not know but, soon after, a new keeper took up residence. An Ostarian by the name of Jaques. Jaques was a huge black Pyrenean mountain dog, an ex-soldier of the Ostarian Army. He was very good at his job and over time the people of Jaree grew to know Jaques who, despite him being a heavy drinker, was fondly thought of by all for his many acts of heroism. It was said that Jaques had saved the lives of over a dozen townsfolk who (either by design or accident) had fallen in to the river. Black Jack, as he became known, is sadly long gone, but is remembered to this day with a stone cairn next to the tower and a small plaque detailing his many rescues.
Now, as our story begins, the tower lies empty and the roads are a lot less safe for travellers to Jaree.
Foul Mouth Freddy (our titular anti hero), Mad Micky Hooligan (a Guinelean Bog Orc of very average stature) and Kenny (a banjo playing Orc of Albion with a mouth only just a hint sweeter than Freddy’s) found themselves travelling south along the river towards Jaree to take part in an inter-regimental game of Kricket. A popular Albion sport involving smacking a grenade with the stock of an old Flintloque and seeing whose white flannel trousers could get stained the most. Catches and being stumped also had a part to play in traditional Kricket – but as you were only ever stumped once (a very very painful procedure indeed) this rule lapsed somewhat. Similarly, the unofficial (but remarkably popular with players and spectators alike) practice of tossing live and lit grenades at the batsmen has also all but disappeared. It was seen as ’just not Kricket’.
In preparation for the big game the three stalwarts of the Grand Alliance were transporting a wagon full of old flintloques and a couple of boxes of old grenades. As a lot of Freddy, Micky and Kenny’s time on the journey had been taken up by drinking and singing luckily, for the Kricket supplies, they were also accompanied by a handful of very raw Orc recruits and a Dwarven wagon master, Viragio, who had himself seen a bit of action during the Dwarf Sauerkraut Wars.

As they neared the area of Black Jack’s tower, Freddy spied a group of Ferach Elves approaching from the other side of the bridge seemingly heading for the tower. Bugger, he thought, there was a ****ed sight more of them than there was of him and his lot. He quickly realised he had three possible choices; One, Stand, fight and most likely die against impossible odds. No. Anyone who knew Freddy, knew that this was simply not an option! Second, run away and try to explain things to the the Provosts. Very very tempting, thought Freddy, but sadly he had to discard this idea as he was already in trouble on bullying charges (which were completely untrue, those bl**dy stunties were drunk on Krolsberg and injured by chance, it had nothing to do with the way he rigged the gun or the resulting ****ing big explosion). Thirdly, he could try to outwit the Ferach using all of the means at his disposal. Now that sounds like an idea worthy of our ****ing Freddy.
The basis of a plan forming just behind his eyes Freddy immediately took charge of what his military mind had already laughingly labelled his section.
He waved at his Guinelean colleague, “Oi Mickey, ****ing unload those bl**dy flintloques and be ****ing quick about it !”
Turning to the banjo playing Orc he pointed in the direction of the tower, “Kenny, ****ing get up there and start ****ing lighting that ****ing beacon and get rid of that *****ing wagon whilst you’re at it.
Last but by no means least he turned to Viragio, a smile forming on his lips. “Oi stunty!” he bellowed loudly, Viragio’s hearing not being what it once was. “Get over ‘ere. Now then, ‘ere’s what I want you to do.”
As Freddy loudly laid out his plan, Viragio’s face grew paler, scant minutes later Freddy had finished the briefing.
“**** me”, replied the Dwarf. “That might just work.”
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Scenario Forces
Freddy’s Boys
Foul Mouth Freddy (Section Leader)
Mad Micky Hooligan (Section Second)
Kenny
Viragio
Ten Raw Orc Regulars
The Ferach
The Ferach are ‘led’ by Miguel Heap-a-Ton. Commonly known by his own forces as “Screaming Miguel Heap-a-Ton, the infantile, Ferach coward”.
Miguel Heap-a-Ton (Section Leader)
For the Ferach you can create your own section for Heap-a-Ton to command using the standard rules or simply use the pre-generated sections in the rulebooks (Captain la Grande’s Section: Flintloque: WIC, p.55; Sergeant Fontrelle’s Section: Flintloque: DITS, p.53) swapping out the Section Leader for Heap-a-Ton and using two of every non command figure to make a double sized unit.
Map and Set Up
The table should be setup as described in the opening story with a road running East-West and a river running North-South. About a third in from the East edge the tower should be placed and another, slightly smaller, road should branch off from here and follow the course of the river to the North. There should be a stone bridge where the road crosses the river. The stone bridge's Western edge should be no more than 60cm from the tower allowing the Orcs to fire at anyone who moves onto it. The river cannot be forded due to the strong currents. To make the gaming area more playable some scrub, trees and natural earthworks should be randomly placed on the table.
The tower has three floors in total (ground, first and roof). For the tower interior 28mm floorplans can be placed just off table to show the positions of the Orcs (and the Elves when they get there).
Freddy's player can place Mickey and the Orc Redcoats anywhere on the ground or first floors. Kenny starts the game on the roof next to the beacon. Freddy himself starts the game anywhere in the tower.
The Ferach can be placed anywhere to the West of the bridge. The Ferach player should also place Viragio no more than 5cm from Heap-a-Ton.
Scenario Objectives & Game Length
Freddy and his ‘section’ must survive until the relief cavalry from the garrison at Jaree arrive.
The Elves have actually been sent to retrieve the relics of Black Jack, an old Ostarian helmet and uniform pinned to the wall inside the ground floor of the Tower. The Ferach commander, Miguel Heap-a-Ton, believes his troops are invincible and have weight of numbers on their side. Upon seeing the Orcs Miguel went (as he was wont to do) into a screaming rage, he must killed the damned Orcs and get the damned relics and prove to his superiors that he is more than just a screamer!
Special Rules
Stalling the Ferach - Viragio has been sent to intercept the Ferach under a white flag of truce. In fact this is complete ******ks, as Viragio is more than a tad deaf and doesn’t really speak Ferach at all. Freddy wants the grizzled Dwarf to delay the pointy eared ******ds as long as possible so he can get as many muskets as possible pre-loaded to blow the ******d Ferach straight to Haydes. Each turn make an opposed roll verses the Ferach player with a modifier of +5 for Viragio’s first roll, +4 for his second, +3 for his third etc. The Ferach cannot make any actions until they win the roll or if a blackpowder weapon is discharged anywhere on the table or if they see any figures approach from the tower.
The Musket Pile - Micky and the Redcoats have hidden the wagon and carried all the old muskets into the tower. Each turn each Redcoat can forsake making any move/attack actions and reload one rifle and add it to ‘the pile’. e.g. on Turn 1 the 10 Redcoats reload 10 muskets etc. They can continue this until the Ferach have activated, they choose to stop or (if Viragio does his job amazingly well) until all 98 functional rifles are reloaded. After these reloads are complete the Orc player places each of the Redcoats at one of the windows in the tower. During play each Redcoat can fire every turn without reloading as they are passed a loaded musket by Mickey. These muskets, due to their age, Misfire if doubles are rolled on the firing roll whether successful or not.The unfortunate Orc firing the musket receives a Hit token and a Shaken token.
The Grenades - Freddy has not been lazy whilst Mickey and the boys loaded the muskets and Kenny clambered up to the roof. He has been through the bl**dy grenades and found five which he 'thinks' will work as their bl**dy maker intended. They are treated as per the normal rules for Orc Grenadier Bombes. However, they too have a chance of malfunctioning. When throwing (the firing roll) on a doubles roll the grenade goes off in Freddy's hand... perhaps he should get a bl**dy Redcoat to throw the bl**dy things...
Lighting the Beacon - Kenny has been tasked with lighting the ****ing beacon. What Freddy did not ****ing mention is that the ****ing beacon has not been lit in Sentinel knows how many years and the ****ing wood stock pile he’s supposed to light is *****ing riddled with mould and damp. Each turn Kenny (or any other character) may attempt to light the beacon as a Special Action. To simulate the difficulty in lighting it roll 1D10 and add the number of the current turn, on a roll of 10 or more the beacon catches light. Once lit the Elves know that help is on the way and suffer a -1 Steady penalty in additional to any normal modifiers.
The Cavalry Arrives - After the beacon is lit roll 1D10, this is how many turns it will take the forces from Jaree to come to Freddy’s aid.
Expanding the Scenario
You could play out what happens when the reinforcements arrive, changing the goal of the Ferach to one of escape once the forces arrive on the table.
You could also run this scenario with a little tweaking as a Darkestorme scenario before the Annulment of Wylde Magick. Swap Dwarfs for Orcs and crossbows for muskets, change the Ferach into a Wood Elf raiding party with their hatred for the unnatural construction being their primary motive.
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Author’s Note
As a very young boy my father would tell stories about the Tower, a red brick-built landmark on the outskirts of Swansea (now a restaurant and next to the Amazon Book Distribution Centre) and also next to the grounds where Uncle Freddy and Dad would play cricket for Mettoys (the Corgi cars factory which was based in Fforestfach, Swansea) - The stories would require that Freddy, Dad and the rest of the cricket team held of a whole motorised platoon of fully armed Germans (and tanks) with nothing more than a couple of cricket bats and a set of stumps – Oh those stories! Now that’s a childhood recollection to be proud of.
Black Jack is based on Swansea Jack, more details can be found on Wikipedia here.
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Foul Mouth Freddy Fools the ****ing Ferach was originally written by me for Orcs in the Webbe in December 2011. It is the second FMF story in the very long series. for more you can go to this link.
It is my intention to include all of the Foul Mouth Freddy stories on my Blog over the next year.
Tony

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Building Number Three - part two



The title is a little cryptic, but see this earlier post for details. The thatched and timber hovel has had some additional work done to it, but the main changes since the earlier post have been the addition of 'clutter'. Loads of it.


It is my intention to use this building in my Pax Bochemannica games - a very special themed building.

You will find over on the Orcs in the Webbe site a number of Pax Bochemannica scenarios written by me, the first Parley Vous Boche introduces a group of hapless Boch led by one Del-Boy Trotter and his even dumber brother Rodders.


This is Del-Boy's hovel, a run-down shack that acts as his base of operation's and store house for all of his 'shifty' 'knock-off' gear. - hence all the clutter. It just needs a three-wheel cart (painted yellow of course) to complete the picture.


You can also see Del-Boy's family heirloom - The Del-Boy standard of a wild boar - The Trotters Totem stuck in the roof eaves and proclaiming to all that Del-Boy's is open for business.

Cushty!


With various commissions taking up most of my spare time, I'm not sure when this piece of terrain will be painted, but I'm enjoying the building and detailing.

In this image, I have given the whole model a very thin wash of dirty Black to highlight all that sculpted-on detail and I'm not sure that I have finished adding bits! You'll just have to check back and see if there are any other goodies for sale at Del-Boy Trotter's emporium.

Tony

Friday, 17 April 2015

The Todoroni Regiment - part five



Painting is progressing slowly. I have chosen a colour scheme of White uniform with Grey breeches and Purple cuffs. Purple is not a colour I use that often and I have found it a difficult colour to get right. In my eyes it looks a little drab.

The Bicornes have been painted Dark Grey with the officers piped in Gold.


I look forward to finishing this regiment.

I think these have taken a little longer than other regiments I have started and I really should 'pull my finger out' and get them completed.

Expect more and soon.

Tony