5 November 2017

Bombadier beetle shells? We're rich!



Yesterday my two boys (9 and 7) asked me to run a roleplaying session for them, continuing the adventures of the dwarven thief and fighter duo (Gremdullim and Emrin) with their trusty NPC comrades, the human cleric Jerard and fighter Geoffroi. I protested that I hadn't prepped anything, they didn't care - "Just make it up, Daddy, isn't that the point of the game, to make up a story together?" How could I resist their old-school wisdom? Back to Morgansfort we went...

1 November 2017

Advance warning for DEADCEMBER 17


With the dust barely settled on Or(c/k)tober, and the photos of ill-advised dressing up still being uploaded from Halloween, it's time to think ahead to a graveyard themed painting challenge - DEADCEMBER 2017!

That's right, this is your one month warning to get your lead pile sorted and unearth those miniature corpses, ready for your brushwork to cast reanimate upon them.

The theme this year will be "(un)dead", so not only are any variety of skeleton or zombie welcome, but also vamps, ghouls, wraiths, ghouls... AND casualty figures. So, even if you're no fan of shambling hordes or things that go bump in the night, you can still participate and paint up something that will add character to your battlefield or display cabinet

PRIZES - thanks to the generosity and support of Paul from Ral Partha Europe (http://www.ralparthaeurope.co.uk/shop/), there will be prizes of a classic Tom Meier zombie dragon and a "little set" of skeletons from their DSA range!


So, get rummaging, get planning, and get ready for painting. Submission details to follow.

29 October 2017

Space ork squad leader

As we come to the close of Orktober, I find that trying to batch paint hasn't quite worked out, for the month-long painting challenge at least! I find myself with ten partially painted orks, and only one painted. I hope I'll get the others done over the next few weeks, but in the meantime here is a squad leader (if you go by the tab), or Ork Nob with Bolter and Bolt Pistol if you go by the 1991 catalogue.

I may add some orange "alien desert" clump foliage to his base, but otherwise I'm calling him done.


28 October 2017

3D dungeons, part 2

Following on from this post...

It turns out that Frank is not just a modelling inspiration for yours truly, but also an open-handedly generous and helpful chap. Within a few daylight hours of me emailing him to ask how much silicon he'd needed for his mammoth project, I'd had two detailed replies and plenty of good advice.

First, it turns out he needed FIFTEEN kilos of silicon just to make the moulds (Side note - mold is the American spelling, mould the British - both are used for the black gunk that grows in damp corners AND the cavity to pour plaster or resin into. Fun fact!). Fifteen! A quick scan of ebay suggested that this would come to about £250. Gulp! Add in Frank's estimate that the resin needed to fill those moulds the requisite number of times (just over 25kg), and that's another £300. Or more. And that's assuming I don't make any mistakes, which is unlikely since it would be my first casting project, and without the cost of making the original masters.


Sigh...

27 October 2017

A Heroquest Orc (my ScaleCreep entry)

First posted on Scale Creep as part of the Heroquest Hero Quest challenge.
Thanks for inviting me to join in, fellas!

The 6th Heroquest Hero Quest orc, or, the THIRD Heroquest orc, as I suppose this post might originally have been called as I signed up for orc number three.

Now the astute among you may notice that this means that orc number three comes after the fourth and fifth orcs, and that this means this orc is both three and six, but that's not a mistake as you might initially assume. Nor is it that I am spectacularly bad at finishing things (like, for example, blogging about a figure that has been painted for months) - what a suggestion! No, it is deliberate because it follows the infamously non-linear, occasionally non-Euclidean, and perpetually non-sensical counting pattern* of orcs themselves. I'd go into this in more detail, except the requisite chemical consumption for it to make sense is not a suitable topic for a family-friendly blog like this one.

[note from the producers : Since herding painters is even worse than herding cats, this will be the sixth orc that should have been third since the third will come later. Please don't ask.]

What's that? You want a picture of a painted miniature, not a monograph on orcish numerological peculiarities? Suit yourself. *grumble grumble* Peasants! Ignoramuses! 




26 October 2017

Dammit, Frank!

Around about this point in the year (October half term for us teachers), I start thinking about what gaming projects and ambitions I want to set for myself for next year. For painting miniatures, I've got three priorities: more progress on my Chaos project, finish the World's Edge Wyverns bloodbowl team, and crack on with all the space orks I bought over the last month (more on them over the next couple of months as well). BUT, that's not the only part of this hobby that I enjoy, I also like to write and refine rules or scenarios (I'm excited about contributing to Whiskey Priest's dark ages mythology skirmish... thing for example), and increasingly to build terrain.

So, there I was, idly browsing t'internet and pondering future projects, when Frank happened.


20 October 2017

A little more progress

My wife had some of her friends round last night, so I escaped to my painting desk in the cellar and splashed a bit more paint around.






17 October 2017

A little progress

My ork horde is slowly getting itself battle-ready, with a little help from a couple of hours in front of the telly. Not ideal lighting for doing so, but colour blocking is coming along nicely.


9 October 2017

Weekend catchup

The overlap between oldhammer and being (or expecting to be soon) a parent of young children was pretty clearly shown yesterday when I posted the picture below from my weekend prepping my recently acquired Space Ork Raiders set (RTB02, I think) and got well over a hundred likes/comments. I guess that puts the majority of online oldhammerers in the late twenties to mid forties bracket...


6 October 2017

Double duty

Because my output has been so low recently, I've double-entered the beastlord below for an Asgard Minatures painting challenge, as well as an oldhammer forum Golden Gobbo thing. Photo sharing was proving a problem, so I'm posting them here to share over there. If that makes sense.


3 October 2017

Orktober

No matter what I've tried, I just haven't been able to get back into the painting groove since Dad's funeral back in February, apart from a couple of painting challenges. So, maybe, another painting challenge (orktober) will break the funk?

It comes at a good point, anyway, with my impulse idea to run Battle at the Farm for my boys in the new year. Small padded envelopes are starting to drop through the letterbox again, and I've the orks either nice and shiny again or back into the last dregs of my last Fairy Power Spray to get rid of the stubborn bits. I'm using the figures from the RTB02 Space Ork Raiders set:

Picture from Stuff of Legends

1 October 2017

Corrupting the youth - or is it the other way round?

Mini-Rab #1 had just started at a new school and, as a way of getting to know the other kids, has joined almost every club going - a bit like a university fresher, but without the alcohol-fuelled excess. I hope. He is only nine!

Why is that relevant to this blog? Well, one of the clubs he's joined is run by his science teacher and seems to be a general "geek club", including lego robotics... and Warhammer 40k in its latest incarnation. Yes, despite my best efforts, he is desperate to join in as they push hordes of unpainted, badly glued lumps of expensive grey plastic around. Fortunately I had a squad of kroot in a box and his automatic assumption was that he'd paint them "at least a bit" before they saw table time to see if he likes the game. He wants to paint for about an hour each weekend until they're finished, so they're a bit more painted each week as he plays with them. Good lad! Perhaps 8th Ed will float his boat, perhaps oldhammer will keep him - as long as he's playing with his friends, and will indulge me in my oldschool gaming preferences from time to time, and having fun, who cares?

So, he sprayed...


29 September 2017

Stab!

Well, Japanese stab binding at least, which is a binding style that threads around the spine of the book, making it perfect for single sheets.

Never one to pass up an opportunity to pick up a new hobby, especially if it involves some aspect of creativity, I've been doing a bit of basic bookbinding. Aside from notebooks I've made a couple of sketchbooks, one of which is a thing of beauty if I say so myself and will be a Christmas gift to an artist friend. I also thought that the various pdf modules I've downloaded from RPGDriveThru would be easier and nicer to use if I printed them and bound them.

In order for my printer not to die, I put together my own black and white covers, reusing some of the lovely oldschool artwork from within the modules themselves.

So here we go:







13 September 2017

The red dwarf and the blue dwarf had a race


I've long been an ardent admirer of how Blue in VT paints, in particular the smoothness he gets on his multi-coloured chaos dwarfs. Now, that smoothness is not really my style (and is beyond my current skills anyway), but I did draw on them for inspiration for these two short and wicked fellows.

They are from Clam's Eval Dwergar range and they were a delight to paint, even if they were a bugger to photograph. My chaos dwarf contingent is made up from about a dozen from this range, a couple of old Citadel (pre-big hat), and a couple from CP models. I think they go well together while retaining a nicely chaotic level of variation.

Here are the first two:

3 September 2017

Averaigne campaign - session 39






    Session 39 - in which there is shopping and kidnapping
    The adventurers, including new recruit Gern, re-equip themselves for further heroism and consider just what to do about their original quest, the ailing Lady Montfort.

    NOTE: in order to keep a complete record, but not put off posting these any longer, I'm just transcribing my DM notes. Short and sweet.

    1 September 2017

    Averaigne campaign - session 38






      Session 38 - in which a new NPC, and the necessity for a new PC, appear
      The battle complete, and both the bone-golem and its summoners destroyed, it's time to check pulses and loot the enemy

      NOTE: in order to keep a complete record, but not put off posting these any longer, I'm just transcribing my DM notes. Short and sweet.

      30 August 2017

      Averaigne campaign - session 37




      [The story so far]

      Session 37 - in which they run away and then go back
      The adventurers are hopelessly outclassed by the cultists an their bone golem, so they run away like cowards cunningly withdraw to look for help.


      NOTE: in order to keep a complete record, but not put off posting these any longer, I'm just transcribing my DM notes. Short and sweet.

      28 August 2017

      Two types of Bloodbowl

      Last Thursday I finally (seriously, we reckon it must be two years since we managed it last) got over to antipixi's house to roll some dice. A lot of nonsense and school (it was results day, after all) was chatted first, but then Malc and I got down to a game of standard tabletop BB. I played Chaos Pact while Malc took Slann; the teams ran out to a massive crowd (mostly frogs) as the rain started to pour down on the pitch. Picking up the ball would be an ongoing problem in the wet weather.

      18 August 2017

      Beastlord



      The warband I've got planned and am, theoretically at least, working on this year includes an eighteen-strong beastman horde. Every chaos troupe should have beastmen in my opinion, the gibbering and varied (not just goat-headed) pack just screams chaos to me. Of course, they're led by the biggest and toughest of the lot; law of the jungle chaos wastes, innit?

      I chose this brute sold by Viking Forge miniatures in the US as that leader:


      He's listed as "FM-27 Giant Armoured Troll" and was originally an Asgard Miniatures sculpt. Asgard is about as Oldhammer as you can get, or Protohammer I suppose. Founded by Bryan Ansell, Steven Fitzwater and Paul Sulley in Nottingham in 1976, they had Bryan himself, Nick Bibby and Jes Goodwin (I think) as sculptors. Bryan left in 1978 for a little outfit called Citadel Miniatures; you may have heard of them. Several Asgard miniatures appeared in very early White Dwarf magazines.

      History lesson over, you can still buy several of these highly characterful sculpts from Alternative Armies in the UK and Viking Forge in the US. Check out the Chaos and Barbarian ranges in particular, there are some real gems in there. More info here and here.

      On to my take on this fellow, my first paintjob in months. An absolute pleasure to paint, full of character but none of the excessive details that clutter some modern sculpts. One thing that did surprise me was the carefully moulded... equipment... that I discovered just about poking out below the level of his mail skirt. The horror...

      Apologies for the dodgy phone photos with added shine and flattened highlights.



      So, he'll now lead the horde, with three WIP beasts and the banner bearer still bare metal. Getting there!

      17 August 2017

      Cough, splutter


      Wow, dusty in here, isn't it? Nearly three months since my last post... Time to get painting and gaming and blogging again I reckon!

      29 May 2017

      The adventurers revealed

      Sometimes I consider getting appropriate miniatures for the characters of my players in the BFRPG campaign I've been DMing for the last year or so, but finding figures that are  "just right" is pretty tricky. Today, though, I found a site called Hero Forge which lets you design a character and then have it 3d printed. As you might imagine, such a service is rather expensive but the process of design is good fun. You can also export the images, so here is what 20 minutes of fiddling allowed me to produce for the characters:

      25 May 2017

      Pinboard #01

      I spend too much time online to start another platform, but I do want to keep track of/share random pictures that are geek-worthy. So I'm going to dump them on here!
      #RPG #Memes









      24 May 2017

      Averaigne campaign - session 36




      [The story so far]

      Session 36 - Guards, Cultists, and Bone Golems - oh my! 
      Carefully, the party edged down the stairwell, light up ahead of them clearly visible and with a blue tinge. Although old and stained in places with mossy-mold, the steps were clean and freshly swept - there were even a pair of brooms to one side!

      They readied their weapons and advanced grimly.

      2 May 2017

      Peg pirates

      About ten days ago I was playing a new tabletop pirate game with my two sons. Each player had a small wooden ship about seven or eight inches long, with painted peg dolls representing the crew. It felt a bit like a cross between playing an episode of Captain Pugwash, a kid's game of make-believe, and X-Wing (for the movement). We had so much fun, laughing and joking, with outrageous boasting and comedy accents aplenty.

      And then I woke up.


      26 April 2017

      Averaigne campaign - session 35



      [The story so far]

      Session 35 - Paddle power
      After a surprisingly restful night in the little side-passage they'd found leading off from the main sewer, it was time to explore further, starting with the door ahead of them.

      19 April 2017

      Beeeeef!

      I've been slowly getting my painting mojo back, and decided to get out my wet-palette and the matt-medium to have a go with thinner paints and intermediate tones. I use mostly Foundry triads, but the step between the shades on some colours (especially flesh) is too stark for my taste, so a little blending is needed alongside a touch more boldness with the brush, perhaps.

      Anyway, this in-progress minotaur is the result of that fiddling about to date:


      I think he's coming along nicely so far. One thing that surprised me with this sculpt was finding that he's wearing gloves,which I guess I'll paint black or very dark blue with the leather studded armour in black. Opinions are very welcome! The mechanical left hoof will get some classic black'n'white checks and some plain steel.

      Let me know what you think,
      Rab

      15 April 2017

      How a [boy] shall be armed for his ease when fighting on foot

      Long time readers will know that I have two sons, the Rab-ble as it were. By nature, and certainly by nurture, they have a keen fantastical and chivalric interest - their wooden swords have slain many a fearsome foe and graced many a tournament field. All good stuff.

      When we were at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge earlier in the week (absolutely fascinating exhibition on personal vs. public devotional items in 16th century Italy), they spotted these felt scabbard in the shop and, without nagging, made their admiration of them quite clear.


      14 April 2017

      Averaigne Inkarnate

      Yay for bad puns as blog titles.

      I can't find the post on FB which put me on to Inkarnate as a mapping app, but I'm glad they did. It's free to sign up, takes about fifteen minutes to learn all the controls, and then you're off. There are limitations (available stock art, how much you can scale it, lack of a good road texture), but it's pretty nifty. Apparently there's a proper commercial release on the way that will also allow city and dungeon mapping. Jolly good!

      Here is my first attempt at mapping Averaigne with it. I need to work a bit on intermixing different scale trees, I think, and I need to rough out some more bits to fill in the map, but not bad for the time taken, imho.


      13 April 2017

      Holiday bits'n'bobs

      I always have grand plans for the holidays - all those hours I won't be at work, all that time to get on and do some hobby stuff, rather than just doing it exhaustedly and vicariously in late night internet bursts.

      Yeah.

      Right.

      Those "free" hours soon get filled. Some of it with pleasurable things (actually spending time with my family, going walking, reading, a museum or art gallery or two), and some of it with chores that have built up (I'm typing this with paint-flecked fingers, not from geeking, but from repainting what feels like half the house).

      Nevertheless, some geeking has happened:

      There has been a lot more Talisman from the boys (I've introduced the City expansion, next up, the Dungeon)


      I made some tentative steps forward on my Chaos Army project which rather stalled for personal reasons over the last two months and needs to be radically accelerated if I'm going to get even close to completing it in 2017. I do have a backup plan involving a giant to reach the points target with less painting...



      Actually, that minotaur lord on the left is nearly done now, and I'll post him when he's finished.

      Toodles,
      Rab

      9 April 2017

      Averaigne campaign - session 34



      [The story so far]

      Session 34 - Stone spears and eggs
      The bats swirled around their heads, diving and biting at them. Tybalt was face down in the sewage and not moving but, despite his shield held above him, Dumnorix was struggling to force his way through the flock to get to his aid. It looked bleak as the party struggled to find an effective response.

      4 April 2017

      Averaigne campaign - session 33



      [The story so far]

      Sessions 33 - Friends of the Green Rose
      So, in an underground store-room accessed from the sewers, with a teenage gang-member called JB who'd shot at them as their prisoner, and an unexpected noise getting closer. Perfect!

      2 April 2017

      Talisman

      Like several of you, I expect, I spent more hours than I care to count playing Talisman as a child. Rainy Bank Holiday Mondays (of which there seemed to be a never-ending supply in the Peak District) would be greeted with a chorus of "Talisman!" by yours truly and his slew of younger siblings, followed quickly by "Bagsy the [insert favourite character here]". After the inevitable tussle, parental involvement, and grudging apology, we'd get the game out and the next several hours (interrupted only for food) would be passed to the soundtrack of Meatloaf's Bat out of Hell and maybe a smidge of Iron Maiden if we were feeling edgy. All copied from cassettes borrowed from the library, of course.

      One of the unexpected things about Dad's funeral was reminiscing about this with the mother of two kids who'd joined us on some of these adventurous indoor-play-days, so it felt right to raid the loft and set my two Rablings on their first quest for the Crown of Command.

      "What's in the box, Daddy?"


      1 April 2017

      It's been a little quiet...

      ...around here for a while. Aside from some fairly significant developments at work (good, bad, and just time-consuming), the main reason is that I just haven't felt like doing much geeking in what spare time I've had. Why? Well, as a couple of you were kind enough to enquire, this is why.

      My Dad
      31/10/1952 - 06/02/2017

      19 March 2017

      Averaigne campaign - session 32



      [The story so far]

      Sessions 32 - Into the sewers
      [Aaaaaand we're back! It's been over two months since I was in the GM's chair and both I an the players were itching to get on with our campaign; a good sign!]

      Having been back in Corcelle for just one day, trouble seemed to have found the party as surely as pigs can rootle out truffles. Aurelius had managed to get access to the Library of the Learned and was hoping to sneakily copy out a few spells from their vast collection, but the rest were standing on the docks as night drew fully in with the threat of rain in the air, and the combined mystery of a murdered child and some posh lady's stolen jewellery to investigate

      26 February 2017

      Double-header

      As it's six nations season, a request for "monster rugby" from the Rablings was cheerfully accepted and, as they couldn't decide who would play first we played two games side-by-side while waiting for the England-Italy match to start.


      On the left we have a vanilla Chaos versus Chaos Pact showdown (I was Pact), while on the right the lure of the snow troll from Impact miniatures was enough to ensure that my WIP Orc team would face a bunch of Norse. I ended up kicking to both and, with a little gentle support and reminders about TZs and assists, it wasn't long before...


      ...the younger boy had GFI twice to dive over in the corner. This was repeated in the chaos showdown, with older boy having an intuitive understanding that, when your ball carrier is in reach of the endzone but well out of reach of any opposition, it's the perfect time to gang-up on, and then gang-foul the big guys. That's my boy!

      I tried to play a mix of overly risky to allow for failures to get them used to turnovers, and explaining the basics (TZs, assists, cages, screening the ball carrier, the order of moves) to get them thinking. It's still a little long for the younger one to concentrate so hard (I might try sevens with him), but the older boy carefully noted down the score, turn and dugouts so we can finish our game another day - it's currently one all and his turn to receive on the final turn of the first half to do some bashing to soften me up for the second half.

      Funnily enough I showed him about "refusing a cage" and stepping back so I couldn't hit him, immediately before the game in which Italy did exactly that to England over the ruck. Life imitating gaming!

      Toodles,
      Rab

      13 February 2017

      Nostalgia! Huh! What is it good for?



      Aah, the Beatles, the Fab Four themselves, settling down for another backstage session of their long-running Labyrinth Lord campaign as DM'ed by their arranger George Martin.

      8 February 2017

      First knight nerves


      As the amount of time I have to actually sit down and get into the painting groove is so limited, I often am put off starting miniatures in case I make a balls-up of it. The thought of having to start again is so unappealing that I'd then be stuck with a figure that looks a bit poo. Or, more accurately, with a half-painted figure gathering dust that looks a bit poo.

      However, if I'm going to complete my self-imposed challenge of completing this army this year, there's no time for (more) dithering. This is the result:


      5 February 2017

      Random results without tables

      Now, I love a random table as much as the next nerd. Whether it is a simple d6 affair to select a scenario when you want a quick pick-up game that isn't just "line up and fight", or pre-battle weather effects, or the warped and contradictory glory that is the interlinked set of tables of GW's 1988/90 Realm of Chaos warband generator: