Monday 31 October 2016

Dead Birds Don't Lie - A Halloween Special on Orcs in the Webb

Image taken from OITW

Following a long established tradition I have written a Halloween based short story for Craig Andrews of Orcs in the Webb. Dead Birds don't Lie can be found here.

The story and scenario was inspired by a film called Dead Birds, details of which can be found here.

Happy Halloween.


Friday 28 October 2016

Cobblestone Paper from Hobbycraft

I recently came across this textured wrapping paper on sale at Hobbycraft, Droitwich. I thought that it could be used as cobblestone roads or pavements. The Alternative Armies Trolka Thug is 40mm tall and mounted on a 2p coin.

I will be experimenting with it over the next couple of months to see if I can reproduce the look I am after.

Bought from Hobbycraft Droitwich/Webbs Garden Centre for £1.50 a sheet.


Thursday 27 October 2016

Book Three - where are we?

Work on Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No.3 - Title still to be Confirmed is progressing slowly as other more pressing commissions and magazine article keep pushing it back. My daughter has agree to do the main editing and I have promised her a first draft prior to Christmas. I may pass on one chapter at a time as this suits me and should make the job a little easier. The planned production date of March/April or Easter 2017 remains a realistic target so look out for further updates on the Blog. Hopefully I can get a mock-up cover done before Christmas.

Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No.2 More Wargame Terrain - the Purple cover is nearly sold out, just one perfect copy left - any takers? See link to the right for more details of how to order.

I do have some 'seconds' in the garage which means should anyone get in touch wanting a copy, I can supply a few more.


Wednesday 26 October 2016

St Fagans part three

In part three I have included some images of the smaller or internal details I noticed when visiting the museum. I find that these small details can be reproduced as 'clutter' and included either as stand-alone terrain pieces or as features added to the sides of my scratch-built buildings.


Monday 24 October 2016

IPMS Scale Model World 2016

The IPMS Scale Model World model show is now less than three weeks away. For anyone not familiar with this show, It is recognised as the largest model making exhibition in the world and takes place at the International Centre, Telford.

I try to attend every year. I also prefer the Sunday to the Saturday as it is a little quieter and easier to get around. For details see this link.

Last year I joined the IPMS or International Plastic Modellers Society which entitles me to manufacturers discounts, four society magazines a year and free entry to the show. I have renewed my membership and plan on being at the show on Sunday 13th November.

Hopefully I will see you there.


Saturday 22 October 2016

Miniature Holders Kickstarter and Homemade Holder

I'm not sure if I have posted about this Kickstarter before.

The wooden holder has a split cork pressed into the opening which then grips the figure or figure base. The metal bar is used to steady the hand while sculpting or painting. For full details see this link. I supported this project at the Euro 28 level with extra or spare corks, but while I was waiting for delivery, I thought -

"I could make one", in fact two of these!

I used some china cocktail stick or tooth pick holders which were picked up in a charity shop for just £1.00 (for both) and some wine making 35mm cork bungs which I slit with a snap-off bladded knife.

I can report that they work fine, and being china I have even used them in the oven - something that I would not want to do with the wooden ones.

The Kickstarter has been very successful raising over Euro 227,000 of a Euro 5,000 goal. I think it's a great idea, but will hold off on a full review until after they have arrived and I have had chance to use them.


Friday 21 October 2016

St Fagans part two

October has turned into one of my busiest months, normal work, commissions and family life have meant that there is little time for model making or painting. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

I have added some additional images from my recent visit to St Fagans National History Museum. The lean-to barn could be used in many different eras and I look forward to building an example very sson.


Sunday 16 October 2016

Ruined Dwarf Pillars for Panzerfauste

Earlier this week Rob Alderman of Hysterical Games gave me these pre-production resin castings of Dwarven Pillars, ruined Dwarven Pillars for the game Panzerfauste.

The original masters were produced by me earlier in the year. I used Plaster of Paris to cast up four perfect pillars and then proceeded to 'ruin' them as dictated by Steve Blease (one of the partners of Hysterical Games who commissioned these Skogtroll terrain pieces).

Image One (above) - Shows the most complete of the four pillars it stands 150mm tall on a base 110mm x 110mm.

Image Two (below) - Is a more ruined and collapsed version (my favourite of the four and was built from a damaged Plaster of Paris master). The model is 90mm tall on a 130mm x 150mm base.

I have designed the first two models to be used as generic terrain pieces for many different gaming systems/genres. Hopefully I will have these painted and ready for play very soon.

Image Three - Is another ruined pillar with a WW2 era concrete bunker to the side. As you can see this one has suffered some damage to the roof of the bunker during mould making (a case of using too much pressure when applying the silicone rubber?) I will be working on this pre-cast to repair the damage and hopefully the repaired and finalised model will be ready for sale very soon.

The final model and not shown here is another ruined pillar with a wooden shack to the side. As stated, I am hopeful that these will be available for sale very soon.

For details of the Panzerfauste terrain range - please see this link.

I hope you like them.


Troglodytes not Skogtroll. Thanks Rob.

Saturday 15 October 2016

Panzerfauste Unarmoured

Earlier this week I dropped off some new terrain pieces for Rob Alderman to mould and cast in resin - the plan is that a new Oldehammer Kickstarter will be launched very soon and these new terrain models will be available to buy. I also picked up a couple of finished Panzerfauste Pillars (more on these in a later post) and a copy of the 32 page mini-guide Panzerfauste Unarmoured the starter set.

I spent most of last night reading through these simple starter rules and although Panzerfauste is not one of my core game systems, I was impressed by how simple and well laid out these starter rules are.

The booklet has a card cover and 32 pages in total - the layout is black text on A5 coloured and watermarked paper and follows the tried and tested route of text, some (fantastic) images and examples of play. I think the physical rule book was easier to understand than the on-line edition (well at least to this old dinosaur) and the GUTS system was very well described. I think I've got it!

Panzerfauste Unarmoured written by Steve Blease and Matthew Hartley, published by Hysterical Games Ltd.

If you want a copy - try contacting Hysterical games on this link.


Friday 14 October 2016

Broken Legions from Osprey Wargames

I recently treated my self to a copy of Broken Legions written by Mark Latham and published by Osprey Wargames. My particular copy was bought from e-bay, but I am aware that copies can be bought from a wide variety of different sources.

I was intrigued to see if the Fantasy/Roman setting would offer anything new to one of my favourite games Pax Bochemannica or Noman Orcs vs. Halfling Boche.

The 64 page, card bound book follows the same format of many of the Osprey Wargames publications with clear text interspersed with colour images of wargame dioramas and newly commissioned artwork.

I found the rules to be easy to follow (however I will add that at this time I am still to play a game) and the sections laid out in a logical manner. To this end I find this and similar Osprey Wargames publications to be great introductions or as our American friends might say - Primers to a new genre or period.

There was much to commend the book, but there was also one chapter that I found a little light and disappointing - Scenarios. I had hoped that there would be more, and in particular more to use with the Pax Bochemannica background, but I found all five published scenarios to be too simplistic. particularly when this new period/genre offers so much more.  I do accept that this is a personal view and others may be happy with the Scenario and Campaign sections. I am also aware that there is a regular feed of fan-written scenarios and articles published in the wargame press, so just maybe I'll see something soon. There is after all a wealth of comic book content with the Celtic hero Slaine from 2000 AD to use as inspiration.

Overall a great introduction to a new gaming project and one that I feel was worth every penny. 9 out of 10.

Broken Legions
Fantasy Skirmish Wargmames in the Roman Empire
Written by Mark Latham and published by Osprey Wargames
For more details see this link
ISBN 978 1 4728 1513 2
List price £11.99


Monday 10 October 2016

St Fagans National History Museum

I had booked the car into Cheltenham Fiat for the replacement of some front suspension mounts and had arranged to have a loan car for the day. At the very last minute Sue was not able to come and so I decided that I would be selfish and have the day at St Fagans National History Museum, Cardiff, something I had been planning to do for some time.

I had most of the day on the site and enjoyed both taking pictures and sketching detail.

It has been many years since I last visited St Fagans. The museum is being upgraded and there is a lot of building work either going on or planned. I would therefore suggest that if you are looking for an out-door day out, St Fagans would be great, the larger museum and indoor exhibits will need a little more time before they are ready.

The first set of images show St Teilo's Church - which is one of the newer exhibits (at least new to me - since my last visit) and which has some absolutely beautiful wall murals in an early Christian style.

Obviously, I took loads f photos.

And had a great day meeting some of the volunteers and exploring the exhibits. I have to say that the volunteers are a great source of information. Thank you.

For more details see this link.


Thursday 6 October 2016

Campaign Desk

Earlier today when browsing some antique shops in Moreton in the Marsh, I saw this military campaign desk. It was a real beauty, but at over £500.00 a little to rich for my pocket. Never-the-less I thought it was worth sharing.

The small gold leaf impression to the top identified this desk as 'The Dorothy'.

The desk was dated 1905 and had a scissor action that closed the desk top and brought the legs together into a carrying handle. It included a pocket for a watch, an ink bottle and various small and custom pockets and pouches all crafted in dark burgundy leather. The upper work surface had a marvellous hidden hinge system which allowed the upper desk portion to become an easel, under the easel was space for more pens (about 20) so I think this might have been a cartographers desk. This hidden area was lined with purple velvet.

I couldn't help thinking it would make a great travelling painting station!


An internet search is identifying a similar desk as Boer War era.

Monday 3 October 2016

Scales Comparison

I recently came across this Scales Comparison published in Military Modelling from December 1996. I thought it was worth posting.


Saturday 1 October 2016

Snapdragon Studio

For some time I have tried to feature one of my own scratch-built terrain models as the first post of each month (I have enough of them!) For October I thought I would make a change and have instead featured resin models from the now closed company Snapdragon Studio (or Moondragon as it was later known).

The image above shows an advert offering some of their resin pieces, while the three images below show the individual models in greater detail.

I think Snapdragon resin models were unique in that they were both full of beautifully sculpted detail and offered a 'fairy-tale' or fantasy look, the sort of terrain modelling that I appreciate. Regular readers and followers of the Blog will know of my love of building terrain models and these early Snapdragon castings have inspired many of my own models and influenced my sculpting/modelling style.

These models are no longer available and I am disappointing that I don't own any of them, I do however have a dedicated folder on the computer which includes these and many more Snapdragon resin models which I regularly refer to for inspiration.

As stated earlier, the models are no longer available - the sculptor, Kerry Butcher stopped making his scenery around 2004, however they do occasionally come up for sale on e-bay and can be found adorning gaming tables across the country. If I ever see one at a show, you can guarantee that I train my camera on them.

I hope you have enjoyed this tribute to what are in my opinion some of the very best sculpted pieces of wargame terrain ever made.

Thank you Snapdragon.