Monday, 10 April 2017

Shadow War: Armageddon - WIP Kill Team

So, the Shadow War: Armageddon game is out. I managed to pick up a set on Sunday, and it's 100% aimed at my sweet spot for gaming - small scale skirmish using a Necromunda-based ruleset.

My gaming group is planning a SW:A campaign for a few month's time. The only difficult decision was what to make. Old school RT scouts as marine scouts? Or Arbites as scouts? Or Zoats as Tyranids? Or Slann as Tau. Or, or, or???

Then I remembered these:

Friday, 31 March 2017

Ramshackle Crates

A few weeks ago I had a game with Curtis from Ramshackle Games. "Would you like some test casts of some crates I've made?" he said. 

The answer, was of course, yes!

So what did Curtis give me? A selection of lovely new resin crates in three varieties - space spice crates, mining stillages and ammo boxes.

Unpainted crates

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

+++ They Came From Beyond the Warp +++

Prologue: The Enemy Without

Some duties are heavier to bear than others. Guarding the Astropathic Temple of the Benevolent Listeners based on the planet Eccebestus is one many guards of the Beelraphon system aspire to. The planet is as peaceful and welcoming as the task and the Astropaths are dull.
It is such a quiet life here, it almost looks odd. Some would even wish for problems to occur to make it look more "normal". The answer to this might have arisen when an Astropath collapsed this morning without any explanation. His last words were "Don't let them take ANY of us with them...". From the agitation outside it seems there's another matter too. Things are getting way too "normal" all of a sudden. That's one hell of a report you're going to have to send to HQ...
My good friend JB (aka Asslessman) has conceived an international, multi-game system narrative campaign, incorporating games of Rogue Trader, Space Crusade, Space Hulk, Space Fleet and possibly others. I believe some of these games will be played at Bring Out Your Lead 2017 at Wargames Foundry in July. JB asked if myself and another good friend, Graham, would like to start off the whole thing with a small scale skirmish using the Inquisimunda rules. Of course we would!

Friday, 24 March 2017

The Monastery of the Benevolent Listeners

Only a few short weeks ago I made a nice new piece of terrain in the form of a fringe-world homestead. I happened to suggest it might also make a suitable Astropathic Monastery.

And then it just so happened that Asslessman was writing a scenario for a game between my friend Graham and myself. "An astropath temple would be cool to have" he says, "your dome/temple with statues and other things around would be grand".

Now I happened to have some statues already that I've used in the odd scenic set-up:

But they hadn't really been properly finished off. Time to sort out the statues and "other things" and turn the homestead into a temple.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Aegis Arising - The Gun-Cutter

I've wanted a small aerial / space transport for a little while. I have a shuttle or two, but I was after something in the vein of the gun-cutter utilised by Inquisitor Eisenhorn in Dan Abnett's excellent novels. Although there are the boxy Thunderhawks, Storm Eagles and all their variants, I didn't want something so recognisable. Similarly, Imperial Guard Valkyries are excellent, but they're clearly not space-worthy. By chance, I mentioned this to a friend. By chance he happened to have access to the Mantic Accuser Interceptor from their recent Warpath Kickstarter (I believe these aren't yet on general release).

Mantic Accuser Interceptor render.

Monday, 6 March 2017

The Alien Delegation Arrives - Space Slann

A pair of officials waited nervously in the disembarkation hall. They ignored the pilgrims, merchants and leisure travellers. They were here to greet a more distinguished visitor. The diplomatic talks with the xenos emissary, Barcoon Krobosh, would profoundly impact on the future prosperity of the Colony.

Newly off the painting table are a trio of aliens which have probably evolved from amphibious ancestors. First up is Barcoon Krobosh, the Amphiran Emissary from Colony 87 miniatures. This wonderful high-ranking alien was sculpted by Michael Anderson and is bedecked with ornaments of office.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Homestead 23 - A New Terrain Set

At some point last year, I found myself driving up to Scotland for work. My route happened to take me past the infamous Graham's Weurkshoppe in Gateshead - a treasure trove of primarily second hand wargaming items. I happened to spy a good-sized dome of polystyrene, four added sizes. It was covered in polyfilla and had been topped with a large turned wooden knob. Clearly it had originally been made as a mosque for a middle-eastern setting. I parted with a small sum of money and took it away, intent on turning it into some suitable for a science fiction setting.
Over the last fortnight, I've been busily adding some details to the base building, as well as adding some painted dirt and grime. The end result is a nice fringe world building I'm calling Homestead 23. I've taken some scenic shots with of Homestead 23 with a range of scatter terrain for extra atmosphere!
The inhabitants of Homestead 23 are largely self sufficient, with astmospheric vaporators, a small holding and extensive fuel supplies. 

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Sentinel Power Lifter - Rogue Trader Style

You may recall that some years back, Forgeworld produced a nice little variant kit for their Sentinel walker. The Sentinel Power Lifter was essentially a fork-lift for the 41st Millennium, and very nice it was too.

The Sentinel Power Lifter

My hazy memory tells me that while the standard plastic Sentinel kit was £15, the Power Lifter was only £17, which made it great value. I used to own one. I decided I had no use for it. I sold it. When I wanted one again, FW had discontinued it, and the kit is worth a fortune on ebay.

So back in 2014, I decided I would make my own retro version of the Sentinel Lifter, more suited to a Rogue Trader setting.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Beware the Cthellean Cudvark

Every worldly-wise space adventurer or rogue trader is familiar with the wide variety of xenos creatures he or she may encounter: burrowing ambulls, river-dwelling crotalids, the ferro-beasts of Yimbo-bim.

The Cthelle Death World consists primarily of cool woodlands and mountains - inhabited by the easily recognisable Cthellean Cudbear - a shaggy purple beast:

The Cthellean Cudbear as depicted in Rogue Trader

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Original Art - Part 8: Karl Kopinski's Craftworld Eldar

Back in 2011, I found myself in a cafĂ© bar in an old Victorian music hall in Nottingham, my wallet full of cash. I was there to meet the ex-GW artist Karl Kopinski to purchase a pair of stunning illustrations. Karl and I conducted the transaction over a pint, and I came away a little poorer, but very happy indeed.

The two pieces of artwork I purchased were published in the Codex Craftworld Eldar book in 2000. The mini-dex provided rules for fielding the various major Eldar Craftworlds. Each Craftworld receiving a two-page spread, accompanied by one of Karl's illustrations.

Codex Craftworld Eldar, published in 2000.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

The Pump House

A little while back I was given some prototype parts from GW's Cities of Death buildings sprues. I wanted to make a complete building, and had just enough complete panels to create this little building below, which I'll use as a little pump house or housed transformer or similar.
"Mmm...reaching that control panel might be tricky."

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The Wandering Salesman - Colony 87 Trader

Shady dealings for dodgy goods.
Back in July 2014, I started making plans for the first Kickstarter of my Colony 87 miniatures. The very first idea I wanted to make reality was for a nomadic human trader, reminiscent of many human cultures across the world. The very brief description I sent across to Will Beck, who drew the concepts for the Colony 87 range, was this:
Human trader - lots of visual cues from nomadic trader types (big hats, baggy, layered clothing, staff). Heavily laden with lots of trade goods.
Will immediately grasped the concept, and drew me an almost note-perfect early concept for the figure:
'Human Trader' - Colony 87 early concept by Will Beck.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Scatter Terrain - Warsenal Construction Pallets

You may have noticed I've been trying to build up a stock of scatter terrain over the last 18 months or so - crates, barrels, barricades and so on are invaluable for in game cover and reinforcing the 'realness' of a table set up.

At some point in the distant past, I also bought myself some Warsenal Construction Pallets - handy little laser-cut kits:

I had stored them away in my space under my desk and forgotten about them, until the other week my daughter knocked the box they were in over. I put them in the pending pile, and devoted a couple of evenings to assembling and painting them.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Project Homework - A Japanese Garden Diorama

I dread it when the kids require help with their homework: "Research the Ancient Egyptians and present it in an interesting 3D way", or "Write a rap song to help you remember long division". These are actual real life examples, in case you think I'm kidding. But sometimes, it can be fun - we once shot a film about superheroes in the garden.

A week or so back, my eldest daughter (aged 10) was set homework which required her to "Make a 3D Japanese-themed diorama." That sounded more up my street!

I sat down with my daughter and asked her what she wanted to make a diorama of. She wanted to make a Japanese garden, with cherry blossom, a lake and a bridge. So we did some research and settled on two photographs for inspiration:

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Starport Lockup - Micro Art Studio Barracks

Every so often I'll pick up something cheap because it's useful.  At some point last year, I bought one of Micro Art Studio's hardfoam barracks blocks second hand from ebay cheaply. The barracks set includes a pair of hardfoam buildings with resin doors, plus an MDF watchtower. What I bought was one of these:

Battlefield Hardfoam Barracks building from Micro Art Studio.

I figure it would represent a range of different things - a small industrial unit or warehouse; a bunker; a secure lockup; a garage...

'Pops' Dwight checks the manifest before the scheduled departure of the Lysa.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

The Big Lad - Sarjent Blas Gaspar

As any noble is aware, a loyal bodyguard is pretty much a pre-requisite. Yes, you certainly need a number of anonymous household troops to lay down firepower and march around noisily. Yes, you also need the slim, quiet dangerous retainer - the one with mis-matching eyes, a penchant for blades, and numerous advanced skills for removing unwanted people. But what you really need, is the kind of statement bodyguard that shows everyone who is boss. The big, heavily muscled brute who can crush skulls with his bare hands. The man-mountain who can absorb firepower without armour, and still keep on coming.

A bodyguard like Sarjent Blas Gaspar, in fact.


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Space Craft and Pilots

At the back end of last year, I was lucky enough to win a converted land pilot courtesy of Scotia Grendel. The model was a very nice conversion by Elton Waters of an Urban War figure.
I painted her up as a pilot or crew member for my Orange Star Line corporate faction, with the orange and blue colour scheme.


Wednesday, 4 January 2017

The Grand Tour - Ash Wastes Dune Buggy (Take 2)

As you may have seen over at Leadplague or Sho3box, this year the WIPsters guaranteed each other at least one hobby related present this year, with a Secret Santa gift sharing.
My Santa recognised that vehicles have been a bit of a theme this year, and that I clearly needed more racers. I was therefore as excited as a 4 year old with a full stocking when I opened my present:

That's right - a mint in blister OOP Grenadier Future Warriors Lightning Strike Buggy!