Sunday 28 February 2010

Dampf's Modelling Page 2nd Anniversary

Today is the second anniversary of this Blog.

When I started, I wasn't sure that I could find enough content to keep it going for more than a couple of weeks, but two years on and I'm still taking photos and writing about my hobby! In fact I have a note book with at least a dozen new stories or articles either ready or nearly ready to go.

I have been published in print and on the Web, I now have a range of 40mm terrain pieces in production (and 28mm buildings due out very soon), credits on rulebooks, miniature sculpts about to go into production and a thriving network of followers.

I've found the whole exercise has helped me to develop my modelling and writing skills (although, I admit that I could improve on my photograpy). I would hope that those who have followed this Blog would agree.

In terms of whether it is a success or not, I could quote statistics;
421 posts
Hundreds of photos and
Thousands of words,

However, for me the production of this Blog has forced me to improve my painting and modelling skills, allowed me to share information and most importantly of all, developed on-line friendships with so many like-minded modellers. AND NOT FORGETTING IT'S FUN.

To all that read the Blog, respond with comments or not, - thank you for reading. Thank you for supporting.

(in my third year, I'll try to complete some of my on-going projects!)

Friday 26 February 2010

Barking Irons, a NEW magazine from Alternative Armies

At long last I can officially reveal that I will be featured in the new In-house magazine, BARKING IRONS produced by Alternative Armies. The construction and painting article - a Peninsular Windmill will be the modelling/construction piece in issue one, for more details, see;

I would hope that further Flintloque/Slaughterloo related articles produced by me will follow in the future. Good Luck to all involved, and I look forward to seeing issue one through the post.

As a 'teaser' here is an in-game image of the finished windmill, taken some time ago. I have previously mentioned this model on my Blog, but have purposely remained secretive as I have known all along that it was destined to be included in a Flintloque publication.

I find it very difficult to keep quiet about articles or features that I have written and know are coming up, but in this instance I think I have succeeded!

Please support this new magazine, by purchasing it from Alternative Armies and supplying articles.


Thursday 25 February 2010

Static Painter - Vesa Makela

I have recently come across this Blog - Static Painter, the painting and modelling site of Vesa Makela, some of the very best miniature painting I have ever come across. I have included this link for miniature painters looking for some inspiration:

I am particularly inspired by some of the terrain or base modelling and painting.


Wednesday 24 February 2010

Flintloque Dwarf Ulhans - part four

Hi Rob, just for you. Here is the latest update on the Flintloque Dwarf Uhlan's. In both photos you can obviously see that the seven dwarves with bags or sack have had them painted. I have used a variety of different browns, creams and grey colours, to give some variety. In addition you should also see that the bullet pouches have also been painted - a very dark grey with very little highlighting.

The black gloves have been painted in the same dark grey as the pouches and once again with very little highlighting.

During the preparation for this 'on-line build' I am tending to tidy-up the miniatures a little more than I would normally do - things like touching-up the black basecoat around the weapons and the beards prior to photographing, other than this the basic technique is the same as my usual painting technique.

As stated earlier the actual uniform colours and design is totally 'made-up' although does follow some German or Prussian Ulhan colour rules. In my latest piece of on-line research I am trying to obtain a suitable banner or flag design for the standard bearer, a plain Black over White, seams too plain, but so far this is favourite.


Tuesday 23 February 2010

Model Maniacs by Chiller Theatre

I would expect this series of modelling magazines to be new to most readers,however to the best of my knowledge here is the complete Model Maniacs series of magazines from 2000.

Starting with issue #0 and moving right through to what I believe is the final issue issue #6. In general the magazine concentrates on 'Garage Kits' and mainly Horror, film or Science Fiction genres, however there are some exceptions.

For anyone familiar with either Modellers Resource or Special Effects Magazine (SPFX) the contents of this magazine will be very well known, however for me, the 'how-to' and specifically the painting articles are very well done and continue to offer new alternative ways to paint models and build terrain. In addition one of the most interesting parts of the contents is the huge reference to Garage Kit manufacturers and Internet sites that cater for these large scale monster sculpts, most continue to trade today and offer a huge resource for anyone modelling who is interested in Sci Fi or Monster kits.

Each magazine has a full colour cover, with various amounts of colour pages throughout. Issue #0 has 60 pages and issue #6 has 64 pages with about 25% featuring adverts and reviews of new kits. The cover price was $5.95, however I have seen individual issues sold on e-Bay for up to £15.00.

I think the cover images give a very good representation of the type of kits and the sort of content you can expect - I would point out that there are also a number of scantily clad (and nude) models featured, which may not be to everyones liking.

I would love to tell you that I have a loft full of these completed kits, however I have always found the larger scale models a bit daunting and so far I have not attempted to construct or paint one. This may change - one day.

I hope that you find this short review of interest and I would recommend that you search out issue of Model Maniacs, as well as keeping a look-out for Model Resource.


Monday 22 February 2010

Modern Martian Dredger

During the years following the first expeditions to Mars, many great minds tried to explain why the canals of the past had dried up and were no longer used as the main transportation medium. One such inventor - Professor A.J. Copperthwaite even went as far as to design and build a steam powered dredging vessel, the design based on the ill-fated Wentletrap was used for a short time to clear the main intersections of the Martian Plantiana canal system.

The actual plans and design for this vessel have been long lost, however these recently unearthed blueprints (actually a facsimile of a damaged and as such incomplete set of drawings of the Wentletrap) go some way to hinting at the design of the Martian dredger (believed to be name Henrietta, after Professor Copperthwaite's mother Henrietta 1817 - 1885).

The shallow draft dredger would have been used between 1893 - 1895, during which time it is believed that a number of unusual and quite valuable artifacts were recovered from the bottom of the canals.

It is believed that one such artifact - the Golden Toc of the sun god Ra is still within the possession of the Copperthwaite family. Recent threats against the lives of the family and attempts at theft from the ancestral home have meant that any official recognition that this item even exists is becoming very difficult to prove.

The Steam yacht, Honey, a 40ton Aeronef now used by the Inter-Harmony, Exploration Force based on Mars is believed to be powered by the same steam engine that originally powered the Henrietta.

I hope that this small history lesson will inspire other Martian archeologists to continue their search for other Martian artifacts.


The facsimile is taken from; The Secret Scrapbooks of Professor A. J. Copperthwaite

Friday 19 February 2010

White Dwarf 75 March 1986

In my earlier post, I reviewed issue 362 of White Dwarf, the most up to date release. The comments in reply and my own memories of how great a magazine WD used to be got me thinking! How would I review a pre-Games Workshop only White Dwarf, compared to a modern edition? Here is the result.

White Dwarf issue 75 March 1986 - 95p

I choose this issue, purely at random - having climbed in to my attic and picked up a box file of old White Dwarf magazines. At first I was tempted to change it for another - but that wouldn't be right or give a true representation of how good (or bad) these earlier editions were.

The cover illustration is not one of the best I have come across, in fact I would say it was poorly executed, but does hint at the Call of Cthulhu themed edition.

68 pages,a full colour cover and some 12 full colour inside pages with a few more showing spot colour, the rest are black and white. What I found most surprising was that a full 28 pages were adverts, thats 40% of the magazine taken up with adverts! But onto the review -

There are six main feature articles and eleven further departments, they consist of;

A full page of thoughts on the (new) Runequest 3. Not a great start as I found the comments vague and much too general.

Superhero Gaming (or how to save the universe)
Three pages of gaming notes on how to roleplay Comic-book Superheros. OK, but again very simplistic and the very personal views of the author.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (gamesmanship or gaining experience)
Posibly the best article in the whole magazine - three pages by Martin Hytch giving views and tips on 'putting the mystery back into AD&D. I really enjoyed this discourse and thought the points that Martin put across were well written and as relevant today as they were back in 1986.

An article on communication breakdowns in the game Traveller.

Nightmare in the Green
An AD&D adventure - five pages of a very well written fantasy adventure for AD&D. Very good.

The Heart of the Dark
A Call of Cthulhu scenario adventure story that was very well written by Andy Bradbury. More of a story thread than a full blown story, but enjoyable and offering alternative endings to a very detailed scenario.

In addition there was two pages of painting - however this issue was detailing the equipment needed for painting with oil paints and given the developments in acrylic paint, the article was not relevant to me. There were product reviews, two pages of letters and two pages of 'small ads'. In addition there were three very well drawn cartoons - Thrud the Barbarian, Gobbledigook and The Travellers.

So what have I learnt? Firstly that the 'old style' WD had loads of adverts and as a percentage maybe more than the modern issue (although the modern issue hides these adverts, as new releases or short reviews of GW produced or owned products).

The six main articles or features were a 'mixed bag', with three of the six entertaining me, while the remainder were OK - to poorly written. The letters pages and small ads, were a waste and the painting article was not of any real interest to me.

In summary the best part was the (rose-tinted) reminiscing, checking through old adverts for figures and games I once owned or longed for. It was also very disappointing to see how many great stores no longer exist and most disappointing of all, that I am not sure I have come to the right conclusion - that The Modern or New edition of White Dwarf, maybe a glorified catalogue, but in value-for-money terms it may win against the older style magazine! I will leave it to someone else to work out what 95p in 1986 is worth in 2010!

What do you think? And NO not through nostalgia filled memory - go back and try an older issue of White Dwarf as I have to see if your memory of how great these magazines were, holds true today!


White Dwarf 362 February 2010

I had recently commented on this issue of White Dwarf, stating that I was disappointed with the content. I felt a fuller, more detailed review was warranted.

White Dwarf issue WD362 February 2010 - £4.40

I first saw the magazine at a local WHSmiths (book, magazine and stationers in the UK) and having had a quick browse, decided that there was little of interest for me in this edition and replaced it on the shelf with no regrets.

Later in the month I was given this magazine as a present. I can now review the magazine and contents in greater detail.

There is no surprise, given the cover illustration that the majority of the content will be focused on the newly released Warhammer Beastmen army and miniatures, however there are also articles on Warhammer 40,000, Lord of the Rings and a 16 page review of the 2010 Golden Demon winners.

138 full colour and very well produced pages with at least a quarter - possibly a third showcasing new Games Workshop miniatures and products.

Beastmen articles, game reports
Over 40 pages of painted illustrations and game reports concentrating on this new Army/Army Book. In the main the illustrations are up to the very high standards expected of Games Workshop but I am very disappointed with two of the new Beastmen ranges, namely the new plastic Beastmen Minotaurs, which I find very poorly sculpted, almost toy like, they remind me of the sort of poorly sculpted miniatures you can sometimes find in McDonald's Happy meals, the sculpting of the musculature and skin leaves me 'cold' and I find myself having to dismiss these models as some of the worst that GW have even produced. Sadly, there is a second Beastman miniature featured in the magazine that I find even less well sculpted and painted than the Beastmen Minotaurs - The Beastmen Razorgor, which can best be described as a flayed cartoon like boar (think Lion king Pumbaa with exposed muscles and the odd spike). I know that this particular miniature was sculpted by Aly Morrison but falls well short of GW's best work. Yet another poor figure.

Given the above - I would still recommend the Beastmen Gor Herd, the Beastmen Ungor Herd and the Beastmen Bestigor Herd plastic box sets - these look like traditional beastmen or as I know them Broo!

Warhammer 40,000
A couple of illustrations of new Damned Legionnaires which look OK, nothing special just OK. Other pages devoted to 40K include one feature report for PlanetStrike and 6 pages of painting and information on the new Tyranid Trygon miniature and how to intergrate it into existing Tyranid swarms. I have never been a huge fan of the Tyranid miniatures - a sort of 'one trick pony', in that they are all variations of the monster from Alien, stretched and mutated to different uses to fit an existing game system. The miniatures are very well sculpted and in most cases, well painted, they are just not 'my cup of tea!'

Lord of the Rings
14 pages of LotR miniatures and game reports. I like the LotR figure style and the game mechanic, however I am not sure that the releasing of additional miniatures and the odd game report (although very well written) will keep this franchise alive and kicking for much longer, although I said that two years ago!

The new miniatures are once again beautifully sculpted and painted, while the new plastic Fell Beast or Winged Nazgul is a fantastic piece. At £35.00 for a single plastic model, quite a beast!

Heavy Metal
14 pages devoted to painting miniatures. For me this is the 'eye-candy' that I purchase White Dwarf for. You are never disappointed with the quality of the 'in-house' painters who beautifully illustrate the painting techniques with loads of well produced photos - very well done. I realise just how difficult it is to firstly paint to this very high standard and secondly illustrate the steps so clearly.

Golden Demon 2010
I'll start by stating that not in a million years do I think I could challenge for such honours as a Slayer Sword or Golden Demon, however the 16 page feature article is no where near as WOW as previous Golden Demon photo articles that I have seen in past WD magazines, this may be the lack of space or the way the article is laid out, but a section that should easily be the main feature actually reads and appears as a little dull.

So, overall, what do I think of my magazine present? Well I am pleased that I have this issue, I have enjoyed reading (and re-reading) some of the articles and have changed my mind - from the initial browse in WHSmiths. Would I now pay good money to purchase this magazine myself? Maybe, I know that this is not a definative answer, but I am still not sure about this particular issue and will have to recommend it only to die-hard WD readers, and maybe not to (like me) WD browsers.

Just 5 out of 10 (OK maybe 6).


Thursday 18 February 2010

Flintloque Dwarf Ulhans - part three

After searching the Internet for inspiration, I have decided that I am just as well, 'making up' a uniform colour for these Dwarf Uhlans (dismounted and blunderbuss armed Dwarf Uhlans! - I'll have great fun making up a back-story for this regiment.)

Photo One - Shows in detail the jacket colour, a pale, blue-grey. I used a Rackhams Color Steel Grey (044) which was lightened with Vallejo Game Color Dead White.

Photo Two and Three - The jacket colour was built up from a 60% RC Steel Grey - 40% GC Dead White base, then with additional, progressive layers which were lightened with Dead White. Its a strange colour, which appears much 'bluer' in these photos than on the actual figures.

Photo Four and Five - Although these two photos look the same, there are subtle differences (honest). Each miniature has now had their trousers painted - Dark Blue base, lightened with Royal Blue for highlights, but this is hardly seen on any of the figures.

In addition the cuffs of the bare handed Dwarf are painted Dark Red or Crimson. I started with GW Scab Red and built up through GW Red Gore and finally highlighted with GW Blood Red.

I was reading a Wiki entry that stated that Uhlans usually ware coloured sashes. I have painted white sashes on to three of the Dwarves (three of the four pictured in the upper photo), as these are the only three figures that you can see sashes on. The sashes were built-up using a (very) small amount of GW Chaos Black and GC Dead White, highlighting with pure GC Dead White.

I am not keen on the Rackhams Color paints - I find them too thick and the small cube-shape bottles tend to deliver too much paint at a time on my (ring bound, notebook) palette. I bought the Rackhams paints while visiting Scotland in 2007 for less than £1.00 per bottle, and tend to use them for terrain painting rather than figure painting. Saying all that - I feel that the lighter or pale grey uniform colour is in stark contrast to the very dark Krautian Guard miniatures that are featured elsewhere on this Blog.


Tuesday 16 February 2010

Flintloque Dwarf Uhlans - part two

With the conversion work completed, it was now time to undercoat the models. I used Games Workshop Chaos Black spray paint. However due to the very cold weather, I first placed the can in to a jug of boiling water and allowed the spray can to stand for five minutes. Then I shook the can for a couple more minutes, before spraying in a dry (and very cold) shed. Once the paint has started to set I used a hairdryer to ensure that the paint set properly. This may all seem a little OTT, but spray painting in cold (or wet) weather can be problematic and I want to make sure that the basecoat went on OK, particularly as I was undercoating over existing paint, paint that I was not sure had been applied properly.

I still needed to touch up a couple of small spots where the spray paint had not covered completely. For this I used a pot of GW Chaos Black acrylic paint, watered down with clean water and a little Black Ink.

Photo One - The eight Dwarves fully undercoated and ready to be painted.

Photo Two - Not a lot to see, but this photo does show that the miniatures are fully covered!

Photo Three - Now on to the next stage. And for me this means painting the flesh, which on these particular miniatures is a very small area!

I start with slightly diluted GW Snakebite Leather and using one of the new GW Standard Brushes, I applied a first or base flesh coat. I try to leave a distinct Black outline around the face and nose - which is my particular painting style.

The second layer was Snakebite Leather with a touch of Vallejo Game Color Dead White (72001), which is painted in a more detailed and careful manner highlighting the central areas of the nose, the cheeks and the chin. As stated earlier there is very little area of exposed skin on these models - with one exception the figure holding his Tschapka in one hand and a blunderbuss in the other is not wearing gloves and this figure has his hands done in the same way as the faces are painted.

The third layer is similar to the second, more white added and the area painted, slightly smaller than the second layer. As the layers increase the amount of area painted decreases and the detail and level of skill involved goes up.

I decided on a fourth layer (not something that I always do) - more white, smaller area and much more brush control, using just the very tip of the brush.

At four layers of paint, the faces look a little stark and this is where I use my 'trusty old Flesh Wash'. I still have a (very old) bottle of the blue topped Citadel Colour Flesh Wash, which I dilute with some fresh water and just slap it on. Once fully dry, the layers that were very apparent on the highlighted areas, tend to blend-in and become less defined and much smoother.

Finally I tidied up the areas around the face (and hands) with some Chaos Black. It is at this stage that you fully realise just how little flesh is seen on these miniatures, hidden behind their 'Mutton Chop mustaches' and peeping out from under their helmets!

I have tried using ready-mixed Flesh Paint, but keep going back to Snakebite Leather as my preferred flesh base - in fact I don't know what I would do without Snakebite Leather, a paint I use quite a bit!

In part three, I should have decided on a uniform colour!


Monday 15 February 2010

Scale Model Aircraft in Plastic Card by Harry Woodman

For many, many years I have been an avid model maker, from Airfix, Revel kits in my youth to the resin masters I now build. A recent comment on this Blog about working with Plasticard or Plastic Card brought back memories of this manual Scale Model Aircraft in Plastic Card by Harry Woodman.

I would rate this book as one of my top ten how-to books, written by a true master of 'scratch-building' and a book I would happily recommend to any modeller, as the techniques used are just as relevant to other modelling genres, such or ship modelling or AFV modelling as they are to building aircraft.

Highly recommended, I assure you that this will be a very well thumbed reference work for any modeller who wants to better his or her skills in plastic card.

The book was first published in 1977, but articles by Harry Woodman appear in many modelling magazines before and after this time. Check it out on E-bay (or at your local library). This book was published prior to the huge range of Resin or Etched Brass detailing kits that are so readily available today - therefore if you wanted to detail a cockpit or build a modified wing, you would have to do it yourself. This book, details the techniques that were used by Harry to do just that.


I've just found a web based version of this book on WW1 Modeler, see;

Sunday 14 February 2010

Flintloque Dwarf Uhlans

My latest On-Line Build is a set of eight Flintloque Dwarf Uhlans, converted from an E-bay purchase of Krautian Guard 52502. This collection of second-hand miniatures were picked up based and painted.

The figures were originally mounted on to square, vinyl floor tile bases with thick black glue. My first job was to remove the glue and re-mount them on to 2p coins building up the bases with Milliput and detailed with some 'green stuff'. At this stage I decided not to strip the models, but will undercoat them with black paint once I have finished modifying them.

This photo shows how I have built-up the Uhlan helmet. I first cut of the top of the Picklehaus and attached a small plastic card square and filled in the crown with 'green stuff'. Once I was happy with the basic shape, a larger, shaped plastic card square was superglued on top of the first square. The helmets were further detailed with 'green stuff', a large badge to the front and a smaller coronet or plume to one side.

This close-up shows the Uhlan helmet in greater detail.

I am sure that there will be further detailing before I undercoat the figures, but for now - these photos show the work-in-progress so far.

I am still undecided on what colour scheme to use. I am sure I will find inspiration soon.


Saturday 13 February 2010

40mm AWI Guilford Courthouse

It was recently pointed out to me that two of the 40mm AWI buildings that I designed for Grand Manner were featured on a Lead Adventure Forum post.

This photo features the 40mm Guilford Courthouse (rear right) and the 40mm Woodpile (front right) in a game report from Helen Bachaus.

For full details check out;

This is the first time that I have seen painted examples of these buildings (other than the GM web site). I notice that the Courthouse has been painted in the same colour scheme that I produced for GM. It looks very good.


Monday 8 February 2010

Crazy Old Uncle Rogipoos (and Jose)

This latest post shows photos of my most recent Flintloque character miniatures - Crazy Old Uncle Rogipoos and his pet armadillo Jose.

The miniature of Old Rogipoos is a minor conversion of Oswald Pebblekettle from the Flintloque box set 5104 Albion 105th Foot "The Rifles" with a new bicorne and a mug of cocao (on the strict orders of The Big Nurse). Rogipoos is pictured wearing the uniform of the Willorc's Militia. While Jose - his pet armadillo is a scratch-build sculpts, which I am very proud of. I think I have captured the cheeky smile and unique colouring very well.

For those readers who are not familiar with this particular character, I would suggest that a visit to the Yahoo Group The Notables is the best place to start, see;

Crazy Old Uncle Rogipoos is the alter-ego of one of the 'most inventive' and 'crazy' members of the group - Roger Willcox, the friendly if slightly eccentric owner of Willorc's Hall and the captain of The Robbyng Hoddie Fencible Militia. His biography is very well documented on the Notables site and a great example of how a character can be developed over time with the aid of a brilliant writer and the Internet. I have wanted to model this persona for some time and am now very proud that COUR (and Jose) are now a part of my miniature collection.

I hope that Roger will approve? Cheers and Huzzah,


As if it needs explaining - Joze is the invisible pet armadillo of Uncle Rogipoos!

Sunday 7 February 2010

Foul Mouth Freddy for Flintloque part two (continued)

Bill on TMP has picked up on the Freddy sculpt post and produced this link. See;

Now I'll have to get the sculpt off to AA as soon as possible or I'll have some explaining to do! It just goes to prove that 'Blogging' does have a life all of its own.


Saturday 6 February 2010

Foul Mouth Freddy for Flintloque part two

As promised in my earlier post - here is a photo of the work-in-progress on Freddy, old Foul Mouth Freddy. I would say the miniature is about 95% complete, with just a little bit of detail work to complete.

I am confident that this character - an invention of both my imagination and an old family friend plus the central figure in the Advent Calendar scenario - Foul Mouth Freddy Spikes the ***ing Gun will be cast as a limited edition miniature by Alternative Armies very soon.

It is my intention to write some additional scenarios and back-story for Freddy in the future.


Friday 5 February 2010

Foul Mouth Freddy for Flintloque

For any new readers - see;


This week I have been visiting family in Swansea. On my return I have continued to work on my latest building - a 28mm Tudor Style Dovecote or Pigeonnier which should be finished very soon. However for most of today I have been concentrating on a new Flintloque sculpt - Foul Mouth Freddy! Which I hope will be cast by Alternative Armies as a limited edition miniature.

The image below shows my initial conversion, but I have now received the pieces to construct another and between waiting for the 'green stuff' to harden I thought a 'heads-up' was in order.

I'll try to get pictures up-loaded soon.

For now I am looking forward to the start of the Rugby - The Six Nations. Being a Welshman living in England it is always a period of apprehension, but in my usual manner I am optimistic that Wales will perform well.


Monday 1 February 2010

Emperor Ming's Laboratory

Last year I was interested to read a post that was up-loaded on a number of 40mm Yahoo Sites;
40mm Table Set Ups - or what size gaming tables do you use?

My reply is details below;
Ive'a used a 2 foot x 2 foot board with Fantastic Worlds. In addition I know that Rattrap Productions run a number of games on 2 foot x 2 foot terrain or skirmish boards.

With 40mm I would suggest that you can have interesting skirmish or small actions on boards that are less than 3 foot x 3 foot. Just build in loads of terrain to limit line-of-site.

Think of the action around the opening sequence of Hellboy (the original or first film), a Scottish Church in the rain. I would further suggest that this as a wargame could easily be fought on a 3 foot x 3 foot board with 40mm miniatures. In the same way, any Flash Gordon 40mm game should be fought on small tables (with just a few characters) as if a black and white film set.

I am lucky in that I have three sizes of gaming boards;
5 foot x 3 foot 6 inches red map board (or Martian terrain) for Aeronef/Space 1889.
4 foot 6 inches x 3 foot (green flocked terrain) for medium or small scale Flintloque actions.
and four 2 foot x 2 foot terrain or fully modelled boards for Flash Gordon skirmish actions (one is in fact 2 foot 6 inches x 2 foot 6 inches).

I also have a couple of friends with larger tables that I can also use. For inspiration try the Games Workshop Warhammer Fantasy Battles Skirmish Booklet, which is full of great terrain and small action scenarios.

I feel that one of the main reasons people/modellers do not start wargaming is they see the huge demonstration games at conventions and shows and then feel that nothing they do will do the game (or their memory of the game) justice. However I can confirm that great games do not need huge tables or hundreds of figures - in fact some of the best games I have taken part in were on small boards with just a couple of character figures per side.

I have also been lucky enough to game on some huge tables - really huge tables like those at the Wargames Holiday Centre, great fun - but mainly because of the company rather than the size of the tables!

This got me thinking and I started (yet another) gaming table - one that I have been thinking about for some time Emperor Ming's Laboratory board, built on a 2 foot x 2 foot chipboard shelf, bought from IKEA for 99p (for two). Even this small space will not be fully used as I plan on having an even smaller gaming area - 400mm x 400mm in an attempt to prove that size doesn't matter. In addition and just to press the point home - the figures I will be using are 40mm.

Read on.....

Photo One - A rough sketch of the layout of the planned gaming board, 2 foot x 2 foot in total!

Photo Two - Further inspiration came when I picked up this toy from an Oxfam Charitity Shop for just 79p.

Photo Three - Emperor Ming and one of his robot sentries examine the progress so far. (40mm Ming from Monolith, by Jim Bowen and a modified Robot Legionnaire from Hydra Miniatures).

Photo Four - The plan (actually produced well over a year ago and safely stored in one of my many sketch books until needed). The 3mm thick plastic card at the side is boxed-off with 80mm x 80mm squares.

Photo Five and Six - The Charity Toy (or Weather Disruptor Generator) position for effect and initial planning.

Photo Seven - The IKEA shelf, mounted on to some softwood battening and the edges filled with Polyfilla before being sanded smooth.

Photo Eight and Nine - Progress so far. Sorry for the quality of the photos - but it was snowing outside!

I have modelled the plastic card to look like the concrete floor of an underground laboratory, the expansion joints are carved into the plastic card with a scalpel and the concrete texture is 'pressed' into the card with an rough stone from the garden. The grating is plastic netting used in the wonderful hobby of cross-stitch.

These photos and post show work-in-progress. I would hope that additional photos and a game report will follow, but not straight away as I have other, more pressing modelling projects to up-date. But I hope that my views and this project will inspire others to check out a new gaming genre or scale and produce a small terrain board with figures, to test out my theory that size really doesn't matter. It is the fun and company that is the real measure of how well a gaming night goes.