Monday 31 January 2011

The Fields of Death by Simon Scarrow

I am now about three-quarters of the way through this book, just past the Retreat from Moscow and the horrendous atrocities performed by both French and Russians. All this and the bitter winter. Simon Scarrow has captured the horror in a chilling and very realistic manner. The crossing at Studienka was a particularly harrowing read.

This morning the temperature in the Midlands has once again dropped - the car temperature gauge is reporting -5 and this is only a fraction of the temperature drop experienced in the retreat. It brings it home to me just how terrible this ordeal must have been.

I've enjoyed reading the very vivid accounts of the battles in Russian and the Peninsular. Scarrow has captured the 'feel' for both campaigns very well.

I am aware that there are other books in the series, but with a huge back-log of unread books from Christmas, I doubt that I will be going out and purchasing any for some time.

For more details;
The Fields of Death
by Simon Scarrow
Published by Headline Review
ISBN; 978-007553-2440-8


Saturday 29 January 2011

Wanted Flintloque LE 034 Sir Willorcby & Lady Anna

Wanted Flintloque LE 034 Sir Willorcby & Lady Anna from Alternative Armies. Can anyone help?

Image taken from the Alternative Armies/Flintloque web pages.

I have been looking out for this particular limited edition and out-of-production set for some time - so far with out success and though I would ask on this Blog if any follower or reader has a spare set they would be willing to part with.

If you have a set, please contact me via this Blog or on my personal e-mail address;



Thursday 27 January 2011

Flintloque Posters

This morning I received my Flintloque posters from Alternative Armies, for more information go to this link

I decided to order all three, Flintloque (1st Edition), Deadloque (1st Edition) and Grapeshotte (1st Edition). I have no idea what I will do with them, but hopefully (one day) they will get framed and adorn my still to be built gaming room!

I had previously commented on two such posters that I had found while tidying up the attic. Although I am in regular correspondence with Edward Jackson, the current AA resident artist, I still like to see the old Pete Knifton artwork - call me old fashioned, even sentimental, but the original and 1st Edition Flintloque is still my favourite piece of themed artwork.

Here is the Grapeshotte poster in all its glory.


Monday 24 January 2011

Modelling Mojo - or lack of it!

During the cold snap leading up to Christmas 2010 I painted very little, in fact I don't think I visited the-shed-at-the-bottom-of-the-garden for a whole month. "My Modelling Mojo had gone!" The start of 2011 was no better and I was feeling very down, but a couple of conversations and all is back on track.....

I've secured my first commission of the year and it's a beauty (sorry - but sworn to secrecy at the moment. Once I have something to show and the OK to post images, I'll be updating the Blog with pictures and text).

In addition I am painting up a set of Very Limited Unit (VLU) figures for Alternative Armies, once again all secret for the moment, but they should be ready for posting prior to the launch of Bier and Bones (the new Flintloque supplement) this quarter.

Plus plans for a Flintloque inspired Novella are moving ahead at pace. It always happens that things come along in threes! The basic story is completed and I am just doing re-writes (and more re-writes).

From slow and lethargic 'Mojo-less' to full throttle in just a couple of days. It is amazing how quickly my barren modelling and painting period has turned around. Now I'm having to pace myself and plan my time, a huge change from just one month ago.

Following a post on The Miniatures Page (TMP) when Gribby was asking for advice on how to overcome Painters Block, I was in the same dark place, but as I replied - it usually comes back with time! See this link for more details.

To anyone else in a similar situation, don't worry - be happy. Your Modelling Mojo will return.


Sunday 23 January 2011

Centaur Warrior - a sketch

This is the second post showing my early pen and ink drawings, this time a young Centaur Warrior. The illustration is done with 0.3 - 0.5mm drawing pens on artist quality tracing paper. Like the earlier image this sketch has remained hidden in the attic for some years, but I am pleased to be able to share it here.

You can 'click' on the image to see a larger picture.


Friday 21 January 2011

White Hart Lancer - a sketch

This image is of a pen and ink drawing that I completed many years ago. I was recently re-insulating the attic and came across this and other drawing that date back to 1984. I intend posting all of these early images, but thought I would start with this Fantasy Lancer or White Hart Lancer.

The images were drawn on artist quality tracing paper and used 0.3 - 0.5 mm drawing pens. As stated above, I produced a number of similar images, but had to stop as the technique caused me to have eye strain.

The inspiration was Rohan from Lord of the Rings, but based on The White Hart riders which in turn is a derivative of Harwood - Hartwood or White Hartwood!

I had thought about leaving these in the attic, but have instead published them here for the first time in the hope that regular readers will enjoy them.


Wednesday 19 January 2011

Orcs in the Webbe Advent Calendar is back

The Orcs in the Webbe Advent Calendar is back. For full details go here;

The Advent Calendar is put together by Craig Andrews and offers a story, a scenario or piece of art work for each of the days leading up to Christmas - a traditional idea that supplies Flintloque/Alternative Armies themed content. This year the planned Advent Calendar was interrupted as Craig had a bereavement within the family. I am pleased to report that the missing stories are now being posted as The Lost Days.

Firstly, I would like to repeat my condolences to Craig and his family for their loss. My thoughts are still with you. I would also like to thank Craig for posting The Lost days, the first by Gavin Syme called The Du Luc Inheritance is a great piece of fiction.


Tuesday 18 January 2011

Flintloque Terrain

The following images show some of my Flintloque themed terrain pieces - some of the simpler pieces. I have not included work-in-progress shots for the very good reason that there are none! These small terrain stands are really quite easy to make and in the main cost very little.

Photo One - Shows part of my gaming board and some of the various trees and bushes set against an ordinary blue bed sheet background. Bellingham Manor (front left) has been featured on this Blog before see; this post

Photo Two - Shows a simple piece of toffee-apple stick fencing, a resin barrel and some broom bristles set on to a 3mm MDF base.

Photo Three - Similar to the image posted above, toffee-apple fencing and a resin sack. The nails are just slivers of plastic rod, superglued to the distressed sticks.

Photo Four - A single tall tree which started life as a cheap Christmas decoration which has been cut and chopped about then had an extended trunk modelled with Milliput and once again mounted on to a small oval of 3mm MDF. The method I use to get this random tree shape is to place the tree in an oven (low heat), the foam is then partially melted to give the organic shape - please note that extreme care is needed to ensure that the effect is not too much. You also need a very (very) understanding Wife!

Photo Five - As above but with dried wood chips painted as stones/boulders on the base. Please note how the character of the tree can be changed by extending the trunk or tilting it.

The more rounded trees in the distance are cheap (very cheap) railway modelling trees, which are in fact lumps of dried and coloured sawdust mounted in a similar way to the evergreen trees. I have had these tree models for some time and use them for many different games and genres.

I have meant to include this series of images on my Blog for some time. In future I promise that I will include work-in-progress shots, particularly a before and after image of the 'cooked' trees!

The trees, fences and terrain bases have been painted with various acrylic paints. Keen eyes will see that the groundwork colour is Snakebite Leather from Games Workshop, with railway modelling dried sawdust as the green scatter material on both the bases and the gaming table.

Should you have any questions, you know where I am!


Sunday 16 January 2011

Flintloque Posters

A treat for Flintloque collectors. I was recently tidying up the attic in preparation for some new insulation when I came across two rolled up posters, the first is Sharke's Victory and the second Deadloque.

Each poster is 42 cms x 60 cms and although showing some 'wear and tear' they are in surprisingly good condition. The original artwork by Pete Knifton was used on the Deadloque Box Set and the Sharke's Victory Box Set. I had completely forgotten that I had them and as such this came as a pleasant treat for me, a treat that I thought I would share.

I was tempted to 'photo-shop' them, but in the end thought it better to show them without any update.

The posters were photographed in artificial light and are therefore a little 'yellow'.


Saturday 15 January 2011

Flesh washes and inks

The following post is in reply to a comment left on my Blog earlier this week. Below I have detailed six flesh or brown inks/washes to compare their tone and colour.

They are;
1 Citadel Wash Ogryn Flesh (an older pot that has been frost effected - see earlier post)
2 Citadel Wash Sepia (a brand new pot)
3 Citadel Colour Flesh Wash (the old blue topped pot)
4 Citadel Chestnut Ink
5 Formula P3 Flesh Wash from Privateer Press
6 Warzone Chestnut Wash (now o-o-p)

The most obvious conclusion is that the old blue-topped Citadel Flesh Wash is a completely different colour to the rest, being much more yellow.

The blue-topped Flesh Wash is also the brightest and smoothest.

1, 5 and 6 are roughly the same, very little difference in colour although the frost effected Ogryn Wash is very grainy.

The background is artist grade watercolour paper.

Although a firm supporter of the Citadel Washes, even though there have recently been some issues with the pots being frost effected, I still think the best Flesh Wash is the old blue-topped Citadel Colour Flesh Wash.


Friday 14 January 2011

Citadel Washes - effects of cold weather

Ever since Citadel/Games Workshop launched these new washes, I have been a firm supporter and advocate of their fantastic properties, however the recent cold weather has had a devastating effect on my collection. The washes have separated in the pots and there is now a definite layer of what looks like clear 'Slush' on the top and concentrated colour on the bottom. It does not show up too well in this photo, but you can see the texture and consistency of the washes in the samples in from of the bottles, which looks like small ice crystals suspended in coloured water. I had to remove the 'slush' and colour with a cocktail stick to show this effect.

Please click on the image below for a better view.

What is even more interesting is that the effect is different depending on the colour, with Badab Black performing best with only a very slight graininess to the carrier and Ogryn Flesh performing worst!

Temperatures in the Midland dropped to a reported -12 degrees over the Christmas period, with unofficial reports of -19, however the current temperature is +12 degrees and the washes have still not (re-) combined. I was wondering if any reader had had similar issues?

I keep my washes and paints in the-shed-down-the-bottom-of-the-garden so there would have been low temperatures. My various Acrylic paints (a whole range of manufacturers) are all performing perfectly, even the old blue-topped Citadel flesh Wash has not been effected.

I would hope that this short report would help others in protecting their washes, but I would also welcome comments as to how best to proceed.


Following comments here on this Blog and a couple of personal e-mails. I took the offending Washes back to The Games Workshop store in Worcester where the manager exchange all eight for fresh pots. Thank you. Perfect customer service.

Thursday 13 January 2011

Uncle Rogipoos and Jose

Regular followers and Yahoo Group members will know all about Crazy Olde Uncle Rogipoos (and Jose). For those who are new to Flintloque and The Notables Yahoo Group, a full description can be found here

The latest Limited Edition set from Alternative Armies features Uncle Rogipoos, Jose (his sometimes invisible companion armadillo) and Nurse-y The Big Nurse. I had already converted and painted a miniature of Rogipoos and felt that painting up a second miniature was not necessary, so these photos show my own conversion rather than the figure that comes in the LE set. I would hope that the sculptor will understand - the spare miniature will be converted at some time in the future.

Photo One - Uncle Rogipoos and Jose.

Photo Two - Uncle Rogipoos and Jose (my own alternative Jose sculpt).

Photo Three - Uncle Rogipoos, Big Nurse and Jose.

Photo Four - A comparison photo of the two Jose sculpts. I was thinking of conducting a poll to ask regular readers which they prefer, but I would not wish to upset the AA sculptor (a very good friend).

Sorry; To be clear, my sculpt is to the left and the official AA sculpt to the right.

Photo Five - The Big Nurse and an Orc Strumpet that I purchased at the same time and have just completed.

Photos Six to Nine - The new miniatures based (on UK 2p coins) and awaiting paint.

Painting and modelling over the last two months has been greatly effected by the poor weather. These miniatures although purchased prior to Christmas have been patiently waiting on my modelling desk for a coat of paint and varnish. This morning I was eventually able to matte varnish the figures and add some static grass.

The weather has had a devastation effect on my paints and uPVA glues, all being frozen solid and possibly damaged beyond repair. In particular the Games Workshop Washes have frozen solid and have now separated into carrier and pigment!

I would hope that others have faired better in this cold snap.


Tuesday 11 January 2011

Magnum Orcus 2010

I have ordered a copy of the Magnum Orcus 2010 from Alternative Armies. For those who don't know this is a limited edition run of just 20 copies which are either given away to staff or as competition or draw prizes. The reason I was able to order a copy was that there had been an incorrect print run and when the 20 corrected issues were bound it was decided to sell the incorrect issues at £10.00 per copy (note just one copy per customer).

For more details see this link

My copy arrived yesterday, but I have only just opened it and I have to say that it is fantastic and well, well worth the £10.00. This is a true piece of Alternative Armies history and is it possible that an incorrect version could be worth more than an original (a bit like miss-printed stamps maybe!)

This years edition details the artwork of Edward Jackson (earlier editions have varied content). For anyone familiar with Flintloque/Slaughterloo cover art or feature art Edward's work will be very well known to you.

The 52 pages are packed with black and white illustrations, as well as four colour slides (front, inside front, inside back and back covers). I was particularly pleased and surprised to see Foul Mouth Freddy (page 36), a fantastic and life-like representation of this 'potty-mouthed' Orc Sergeant.

Great work Edward.

I am still hopeful of winning a pristine and correct edition - there are after all at least two competitions I have entered, where the prize is a copy - the Orcs in the Webbe Advent Calendar nomination and vote - details to be listed later this month and a prize draw from Alternative Armies. My fingers are crossed!

For Flintloque aficionado, this is a real rare prize, one that will be greatly sought after in years to come.

A full review is a bit superfluous as with just 40 copies (20 corrected reprints and 20 incorrect) there will not be many who will be able to purchase one.


Monday 10 January 2011

Alfred Taylor House, Worcester

Earlier today my Wife and I visited Malvern, we were checking out some furniture for my daughter. On the way back we stopped off in St. Johns, Worcester and visited two of my favourite charity shops, the first is the Air Ambulance Book Store, always worth a browse and the second is this Help The Aged/Age Concern shop that is situated in the Alfred Taylor House and the subject of this post.

These shops known as 43 - 49 St. Johns were once a Medieval Hall House, circa 1500. The earliest documents relating to the building date from 1717, sixty-six years after The Battle of Worcester.

Built as a Hall House, the fine chamfered beams show that this was not an ordinary village house. The beams are made from Oak that probably grew in Malvern Chase, the Wyre Forest or more distant Feckenham and show great beauty. The beams in the bedroom show candle burns!

The building has defied destruction, warfare, religious strife as well as all the storms and gales of centuries and was possibly built to serve some purpose pertaining to Worcester Cathedral and its Monastery.

We know that the land around St. Johns was rich agricultural land and there are records of "eighty couples of rabbits to Worcester Cathedral and six to Worcester Convent" which were to be sent at certain specific times. Rabbits in the early fourteenth Century fetched the same price as Beef - a farthing a pound!

The Hall later became four sub-standard tenements or messuges. Upon restoration there were many, many layers of wallpaper and beneath these and again hidden behind a twentieth century fireplace there emerged a large noble looking fireplace, which although defaced in parts due to insensitive builders is most likely sixteenth century in age. On the fireplace there are two shields with all of the heraldic trimmings gone but which still show signs of what appears to be diocesan arms - three stone roses, with five petals and a beautifully worked central boss. In addition there are now traces of an elaborate triangular pattern.

Behind the fireplace was found a doll - no ordinary doll, but a Witch Doll. Square faced, masked in plaster its foot peg like and etched with a claw design. Its black chest faintly marked with the drawing of a Goats Head. On its back a piece of paper with the faded words "Help me to...."

Upstairs is an old door it had been covered up for at least fifty years with layers of wallpaper, on the inside of the door appears to be royal effigies. Part of the bedroom wall of 43, now restored carries traces of a wall painting.

History states that in 1717 Thomas Holland, tenant of Mr. Hanson sublet this property to Thomas Smith a gunsmith in the parish of St. Helen's. From 1717 to 1894 records show that these tenements came to belong to Mr. Thomas Smith the Elder and were passed down through their heirs until in 1894 they came into the ownership of Mr. Christopher Funnel of Kansas City, USA. He had inherited them from his wife who left England for America in 1881 and died the following year in March 1882.

Tenants living there in 1894 were James Morgan, Maria Sefton, Daniel Spiers and Herbert Sleight.

These extracts have been taken from a photocopied sheet that is available from The Age Concern Shop and were further extracted from a book called; The Medieval Hall House That Defies Destruction by Gladys Keithley.

If ever you are in the area - this building and its small gardens are well worth searching out and visiting.


Sunday 9 January 2011

2011 - A slow start!

The last weeks of 2010 and now, the beginning of 2011 have been very quiet on the modelling and painting side. The cold weather before Christmas meant that I was not able to get to my tools and models which as regular followers know are situated in the-shed-at-the-bottom-of-the-garden.

I had hoped that in 2011 I would be able to make up for this with the start of some new projects, but work and (again) the cold weather have combined to keep me from modelling.

I have been enjoying my Christmas presents - a whole load of books, which I will review later, but as the temperature increases, I'll try to get back to painting and modelling as soon as possible.

I hope that others have been luckier than me and started the new year with loads of productive modelling.


Monday 3 January 2011

Flintloque Barn

This is not a 'new build' but a Flintloque themed barn which I built some time ago and never got around to up-loading details.

Photo One - Shows the finished and painted Barn, with some modified Flintloque Orc Fencibles. For information, the first photo was taken out of doors and in direct sunlight. The groundwork is my usual gaming table with some model trees in front of a plain blue bed sheet. The later photos were taken some time ago and were taken indoors.

Photo Two - Construction is well advanced in this photo. A foamboard core with distressed balsa strip cladding, clay bricks and thin 'dolls house' tiles.

Photo Three - In this photo the bulk of the construction is finished and highlights the variety of different materials I use.

Photo Four - Painting is nearly finished and from here I just have to drybrush the Snakebite Leather base and add some flock/static grass.

Photo Four and Five - Show the finished Barn with photos taken from both sides, the front with the main double doors and the rear.

The model was varnished with water-based Matte Varnish, but since these photos have been taken, I have given it a second coat which has helped to matte the roof tiles down.

The Barn is a solid model and has no internal detail and a fixed roof, the groundwork is DAS modelling clay with a single Hovels barrel and a cast metal wagon wheel from my 'bits box'. The building was painted over a Chaos Black base with various Acrylic Paints.

From memory - the building was based on a GW Warhammer Barn featured in White Dwarf.


Sunday 2 January 2011

Voyage into the Deep

I came across this hard-back Comic Book while searching the shelves in the local Poundland, an illustrated graphic novel by Francois Riviere and Serge Micheli.

The book which is 32cms x 24cms and 80 pages long is fully illustrated throughout and details the imagined meeting between Jules Verne and Captain Nemo. There is a very good review at; this link

The book is for sale in the Midlands branches of Poundland for (you guessed it) £1.00

Ideal source material and inspiration for Victorian Science Fiction (VSF) and in particular AquaNef from Wessex Games. It is also a good read!

Full details;
Voyage into the Deep - The saga of Jules Verne and Captain Nemo
by Francois Riviere and Serge Micheli.
Published by ABRAMS
ISBN; 0-8109-4830-3