Tuesday, 30 December 2008

GW Dwarfs I

Just a small update over Christmas. I rebased this unit of Prince Ulthers Imperial Dwarfs - Dragon Company from GW in the mid 1980's so that their bases matched those I am putting together for the Grenadier Fantasy Warriors Dwarfs (You never know I may one day field an enormous dwarf army with both Grenadier and GW models if I can find a table big enough and an opponent worthy enough.)

The shields are not original, they are the griffin motif from the shield sprue included in the plastic dwarf warriors box set pre-2008.
The bases are 20mm slotta bases from GW but have a small magnet glued underneath, I get all my magents from this guy - great fast service and a huge range of sizes. The movement tray is constructed exactly as for the Grenadier FW Dwarfs I showed previously, and the snow, rocks and flock are identical too.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Grenadier Fantasy Warrior Dwarfs VI

Finished basing the First Dwarf Unit in the granite, snow and winter grass scheme. I'm happy with the overall look of this unit, although I think I need to plan the bases layout better on the following units so that the snow and grass patches line up and look 'cohesive' (Damn this just gets more complicated and slower!)

I had a couple of people asking me how I had done the bases for my Grymn Troops so I thought I'd share the sequence, materials and suppliers here. I haven't taken WIP shots as I'm pretty sure anyone reading this knows how to spread PVA on a base and dip it in stuff!?!!

All the troops are mounted on Laser-Cut plywood bases from the wonderul Fenris Games (ebay shop). These plywood bases are 1.8mm thick. I wanted to use the thinnest base I could as the Grenadier Miniatures have fairly thick integral bases so i didn't want every figure to look like it was sat on a hillock! The bases are dead flat and extremely accurate, (in my experience thin plywood is much less likely to warp than the equivalent to MDF and is tougher and more resistant to wear on the edges and corners) couple that to the friendly and lightning fast service and Ian (Geronimo Jones) at Fenris gets my whole hearted approval.

The bases are coated on both sides with dilute PVA glue to further prevent warping and to stop any moisture penetration. The miniature is superglued to the base and the edges built up with your favourite modelling putty.

The upper surface of the bases are treated in a similar way to the bases of my Grymn troops to create a rocky winter look. All of the materials I used to decorate the bases come from Antenociti's Workshop.

Diluted PVA is spread and Antenociti's fine talus (408) applied to around half the base area and allowed to dry. Then course talus (410) applied similarly in smaller patches. The base then receives a thinned coat of Foundry Granite 31b followed by dry brushed highlights of Granite 31c and (lightly) Canvas 8c.

Once dry the snow is applied. This is a mix of Antenociti's own AW Snow Powder, diluted PVA glue and white paint. Jez over at Antenociti's recommends mixing in the white paint to this powder so you get a more opaque look, I didn't do this on my Grymn figures, and I think the snow on them looks too translucent. The resulting paste is then smeared/dolloped onto the un-talos'd areas of the bases with a brush and allowed to dry.

The final element to the bases is the application of a little of Antenociti's own Winter Static Grass, with dilute PVA.

The underside of the base has magnetic sheeting applied curtesy of Tiny Tin Troops, another superb on line retailer who seems to break the speed of light in their shipping service - again recommended. Steel sheet (again from Tiny Tin Troops) is adhered to the movement tray.

The movement tray is one of the Modular ones from Games Workshop, although I bought these from Maelstrom Games a discount online retailer. This is probably the most useful thing that GW has produced in the last few years - I picked up half a dozen sets and will have all the Dwarf and Orc units equipped with the relevant sized trays. I made 20 trays in justa couple of hours sat in front of the TV the other night. The only issue in assembling them is needing to fill the joins between the corner pieces and the sides; here I've used Squadron Green putty and sanded lightly.

Overall the magnetic movement tray allows you to to invert the movement tray without the figures falling off. Its a bit more work, but well worth it I think, especially as I want to be able to use these figures to play with my 8 year old son. (Yes, I know I still need to paint up the movement tray!)

Overall this took me a couple of hours to do the 15 bases here, although that was spread over a few evenings of modelling and painting - normally while waiting for something else to dry!

Now all I have to do is figure out how to make a snow and rock board to game on.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Grenadier Fantasy Warriors Orcs II

Thanks to the 52 people who voted on my recent poll "What colour are orcs?" and to all those that left comments on The Miniatures Page and the Forum of Doom.

Well, the poll is closed, the results are in and they look compelling.

But, in the true spirit of online polls I'm going to do what I want to regardless! I'll explain why:

In the multi-racial horde that is coming together to to challenge my Dwarf Host I have the following species in roughly decreasing order of size/toughness. (Yes, I know that if I follow the FW rules I cant put all these in the same army- nor can I in WHFB, but hey they're my figures.)
  • Trolls
  • Orges
  • Greater Orcs
  • Hob Goblins
  • Orcs
  • Half Orcs
  • Goblins
  • Goblin rabble (lesser goblins)

Thats 8 separate although somewhat related races, and I'd like to be able to subtly distinguish between them by skin colour. (Yes, I realise that to confuse a troll with a lesser goblin you'd have to be extremely short sighted no matter what colour I paint them!)

So i'm going to paint them all in slightly different shades of the same basic colours I highlighted. Broadly using darker tones at the top of the list and much lighter ones lower down.

So, well done, If you voted Quagmire, Drab or Moss - Then you won. If you voted for stupid green - please report the the Games Workshop reconditioning unit. If you voted for "something else" and then failed to leave any kind of comment here or on the forums above then thanks for being so helpful :-)

I have a couple of units undercoated (Hob Goblins and Orcs) so will do some demo and WIP pictures in the next few days.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Grenadier Fantasy Warriors Dwarfs V

I almost didn't post this picture as the bigger version is very unforgiving of the standard of painting. But remember I have 400 of these to paint, and spending my usual 6 hours plus painting each one would take me... 100 days non stop no sleeping breathing eating or blogging to paint them all. This unit took me around 8 hours total for all 15 figures. As long as you keep the figures at arms length I think they're OK....

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Grenadier Fantasy Warrior Orcs I

Well, its a simple question.... "What colour are Orcs?"

I love the old Grenadier Fantasy Warriors game and the Grenadier Miniatures that went with it. And i've been picking up second hand from ebay. I've started on the Dwarfs but also have around 150 Orc/(hob)goblins too.

Now I like to think of these sculpts as old school (certainly they don't have the definition of of modern sculpts and in some places are very poor, but for me its a nostalgia thing). And to me old school orcs don't have bright green comedy skin. I want something a little more 'realistic'. Yes i do realise the irony of asking for a realistic skin tone for a fictional creature. Maybe something like a green/flesh tone mix.

I work in Foundry Paints and am thinking of using either Moss or Drab or maybe even Quagmire?

What do you guys think? Please vote in the Poll on the right >>>

Then, once the skin tone is sorted I need to establish a colour scheme/theme for the army. They will mostly fight my Dwarfs who are in Teal and Grey/White colours. And they are likely to be fighting in snowy tundra terrain (thats how my dwarfs are/will be based).

So any great ideas for a simple two-colour strong theme? suggestions on Orc/Goblin symbols and heraldry also welcome. I'm not doing dags and checks! I like the lidless eye and white hand motifs but want to do something similar in simplicity and concept but a different symbol.

There is a Hasslefree Miniatures link here too. I see my Grymn as descendents of my Fantasy Dwarfs (a few hundred generations later). So am planning to buy a bundle of Hasslefree Bohkin (sci-fi goblins)for my Grymn to fight. These Bohkin would then keep the same livery as the Fantasy Orcs etc.

All suggestions and debate welcome...

Monday, 8 December 2008

Grenadier Fantasy Warrior Dwarfs IV

Started daubing some paint on the first of 32 units for my FW Dwarf army. The colour scheme is one that runs through all my dwarf miniatures and will be familiar to those who saw the grymn figures from earlier in the year.

I always struggle to paint units, its the monotony of it, and i always try to spend too long painting individual figures. Even though i know the steel toe cap on third warrior from the left wont be seen when they are ranked up, I still seem to end up giving it 5 coats of paint. So I am trying to be dedicated and paint in a simpler style.

I do all my painting in Foundry Paints, but this is the first set of figures I have used the new Citadel Washes on.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Grymn Attack Craft

Jed over at Antenociti's Workshop has just published pictures of a great looking 25mm sized attack craft commissioned by Kev White of Hasslefree Miniatures, for use with his Grymn Sci-fi Dwarf range.

Kev also has a green for a pilot figure here which is AWESOME.

So I have found the 25mm equivalent of the 6mm Valkerie from Exodus Wars I showed here

Just a few minor adjustments to do on the lift fans ... :-)

Now, I reckon i need about a dozen and I need them by Christams!

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Rogue Trooper I

I used to read 2000AD.

There, I admitted it.

But now I'm old enough to not worry what everyone else thinks! I'm a wargamer right? My standing in the eye of the public wont drop any lower because I admit to reading comics from 20 years ago!

I always thought that the Rogue Trooper storyline (at least the initial Nu Earth based stories) lent themselves well to miniature wargames play. So after thinking about it for some time i decided to take the plunge and began buying up Rogue Trooper miniatures.

My idea is to build up some Nort and Souther forces and add to the Southers a small unit of Genetic Infantrymen (GI's).

So far I have a number of figures from the OOP Citadel line from ebay. Most of the range of Dark GI's (Blue Smurfs of Death) from Bronzeage Miniatures. Thanks to the recent price reductions I took the plunge on getting the Wargames Foundry figures too.

So I have 3, 5 man units of GI's, but need to expand quite some way on the number of Norts (currently I have 4) and Souther troops (currently 2). After some useful discussions on The Miniatures Page, I decided to go with Pig Iron Productions.

The Pig Iron Kolony troops have great head options which look very much like nort gas masks. Only down side is that all the Pig iron figures come with greatcoats on, but I shall overlook that.

Pig Iron Kolony (Norts) Pig Iron Infantry (Southers)

The Pig Iron Infantry troops make ideal Southers, especially with the full face mask (leftmost of the alternative heads shown in the above picture), they're a little heavily armoured, but they look great.

Now all I have to do is buy them and start to paint some stuff. I dont seem to be very good at the "paint some stuff" bit at the moment...

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Grenadier Fantasy Warriors Dwarfs III

Following on from me digging out around 450 Greandier FW Dwarfs, I also remembered that some time ago i bought three Ral Partha Bear Chariots of the Ice Lands. My intention was to use them to give my Dwarfs some chariotry to go with the bear cavalry!

I bought mine on eBay, but you can still get them from Iron Wind Metals. As these are sleds pulled by polar bears I have decided to paint all the bear cavalry as polar bears, and model the entire army on snow bases!

There are plenty of good reference photo's such as:

Now I just need to decide what figures to use as charioteers. Selection is best seen from the Mirliton site. I'm guessing that either spear armed (or converted to hold spear) or a bowman would be best from a chariot. Suggestions welcome.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Grenadier Fantasy Warriors Dwarfs II

Just stumbled on a problem with my Greandier Fantasy Warriors Dwarf from this post. FW basing for Dwarfs is 1" (25mm) square and WH is 20mm square. How do I base these for both systems? I'm sure i'm not the only one with this dilemma.

I'm inclined to base them on 20mm and to hell with the rules, but judging from the FW rules being able to bring 25% more figures to bear on a 4 figure frontage would be a tremendous (and unfair) advantage.

I'm considering basing everything on 20mm bases (probably from Litko Aerosystems or East riding Miniatures) and putting magnetic bases under them. Then buying two complete sets of movement trays. One set to match the 20mm frontage of WH and the other set with 5mm spacer bars between the figures for FW.

Has anyone else done this? Got some tips? Got other Ideas?

Comments very welcome!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Grenadier Fantasy Warrior Dwarfs I

I've always had a soft spot for the old Fantasy Warriors Dwarfs sculpted by Nick Lund, and in the late 80's I collected oh about a couple of dozen. The great Stuff of Legends site shows the original range hereand here. Then in the last couple of years someone invented Ebay and didn't put a warning label on it... The consequences are that I now have almost 450 of them.

I dug them out today and organised them into units. Yes, I know there are too many of them to play a sensible game, but i do love the massed units look.

These figures are back in manufacture by Mirliton of Italy and Em-4 Miniatures here in the UK.

This is the order of battle I came up with, based entirely on what i have, rather than any kind of sensible structure. It works out at 6,580 points without including tandards, msicians, leaders, hero's etc...!

I think i may have over done it...

12 Royal Guard (2 handed, x-heavy (inc lead, mus & std) (2)
2x 20 Dwarf Infantry, hand weapon and shield (inc lead, mus & std)
2x, 20 Dwarf Infantry, spears and shield (inc lead, mus & std)
8x 15 Dwarf Infantry, 2 Handed, (inc lead, mus & std)
3x 20 Dwarf Heavy Infantry, 2 Handed (inc lead, mus & std)

Missile Troops
12 Hand Gunners (5)
20 Rangers/Archers (inc leader, musician (horn) & Standard Bearer)
60 Crossbow Dwarfs (no command) (2)

3 Giant Dwarf Cannon (12 crew)
20 Giant Crossbow (40 crew)

12 Bear riders with Axe (inc leader, hero, musician & standard) (7)
12 Bear riders with Spear (inc leader, hero, musician & standard) (7)
4 Giant Bat Riders (4)

3 generals
2 wizards
1 Seer (1)

The numbers in brackets is the order i've just put in with Mirliton to fill out the remaining slots!

If you're interested in Fantasy Warriors game then I suggest you join the FW Yahoo Group.

So just 450 figures to clean, base, undercoat and paint...

... but then i haven't sorted through the Grenadier orcs and goblins i collected to fight against them....

Friday, 24 October 2008

Mini Grymn I

I've always wanted to game the same forces in 28mm and in 6mm sci-fi. This would make it possible to play campaign games with larg scale battalion actions and smaller skirmish events using the same forces.

So I've decided to do this with my Grym forces. The 28mm infantry are drawn from the Hasslefree Grymn range (excellent figures!) and their vehicles from the Old Crow Models 25mm resin range.

Jez at Old Crow make his vehicles in 25mm and 15mm scale but not (alas) in 6mm scale! So I am shopping around to get suitable 6mm substitutes. I'm looking for vehicles that bare resemblance to the old crow models.

This thread on The Miniatures Page (TMP) took all the work out of finding 6mm sci-fi manufacturers.

As a start I was delighted to find Exodus Wars who produce a number of "space dwarf" figures. Although the infantry are too cartoony to pass as grymn, they have some great jeeps in thei Khazari Raider Patrol which I'm using as 6mm versions of the Gecko .

25mm Old Crow Gecko and 6mm Exodus Wars Khazari Raider Patrol:

At Exodus Wars I also discovered the Valkyrie Patrol ships. I like the look of these so bought a couple of partols. Now i'll have to scratchbuild some 25mm versions (Another project!)

6mm Exodus Wars Khazari Valkyrie Patrol:

I think I shall be using Pax Arcadia Infantry from Dark Realm Miniatures as substitute 6mm Grymn.

Also from dark Realm I liked the look of the Javelin Light Scout, so will have to scratchbuild a 25mm version. I'll be kitbashing the Revell Pocket EasyKit Jedi Starfighter for the main cockpit for this. Thanks to Freakinacage on the Forum of Doom for the idea and Inso for further inspiration. (Note to self: finish one project before starting the next!)

6mm Pax Arcadia Javelin Light Scout
and Revell Jedi Starfighter Pocket EasyKit:

The Pax Arcadia line have a good range of vehicles, but nothing that says Gladius or Glaive. They dont have much light enough to represent the Trojan or Slingshot either.

I'm adding my own models to these in the form of my own dropship and minidropship.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Drop Ship XVI (miniship)

Just a little more sanding and cleaning up on the 6mm Scale Drop ship to do...

Now all I have to do is figure out how to cast it. The flared tailfins will be a problem, and the undercuts on the upper and lower turrets.

Now the big question - would anyone like to buy these if resin cast? and if so how much?

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Drop Ship XV (miniship)

I've always wanted to be able to play out small skirmish actions in 28mm and large sweeping battles in 6mm scale, using the same forces in a campaign setting.

So having run out of steam a little on the 28mm dropship for my Grymn, I decided to do something more fun and began work on the 6mm scale counterpart!

Apologies for the fuzzy picture - the whole hull is 34mm long and my cameras macro lens seems to struggle to get a good enough focus in the available light - so i think you are seeing camera shake. Better pictures when finished.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Drop Ship XIV

Another short update. I'm lacking inspiration on the landing gear. I want something that is separately cast but easy to assemble to the model. 4 legs/pads. It also needs to support the weight of the rest of the model.

I've come up with the following, but it would have to be assembled so that the brass rod bit (cast in resin) is upright to bear the model weight. It also looks a bit Heath Robinson (Do they really have nothing better in the far future to dampen down the impact of landing than compression springs??)

I'm also not sure whether I would be able to cast this and be able to get the spring section out of the mold?

In addition I was going to drill suitable locating holes on the underside of the main body. I'm having a nightmare drilling into the resin because where i need to put the holes is a curved surface, and the drill continues to slip before biting so i end up with holes that are up to 2mm out of place - doesn't sound like much but its stands out a mile! help!

As always, suggestions comments and critisms are very welcome.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Drop Ship XIII

Spent a little time computer modelling the ship. I'm a newbie to 3D CAD, but did a lot of 2D way back in the late 80's so this wasn't completely unfamiliar but boy have things changed. I grabbed a freeware copy of Caligari and a couple of hours later managed to come up with this.

CAD Model

I hope to use this model (eventually) to be able to scale the model and create unfolded templates to help me make variants of the basic shape and scale. Quite a lot of learning to do before then though!

Monday, 29 September 2008

Drop Ship XII

Just a small update from half an hours work last night on the rear door-ramp.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Drop Ship XI


Well after the weekend voting, Engine A clearly won the Poll...
Engine A: 42 votes (84%)
Engine B: 2 votes (4%)
Engine C: 5 Votes (10%)

However a few comments made on a TMP thread and the FOD made sense to me, so I shall be remodelling Engine A to shorten it somewhat and add the style of the thrust nozzles from engine C to it.


I bought a handfull of concentric rings from EMA Model Supplies (an Architects and professional model makers suppliers with a great range of pre-machines basic shapes). These rings are a nice tight interference fit and, with a little sanding, two of them make the ideal mount for locating the command unit to the main hull.

Then by happy accident I happened to notice that the larger of the rings is just a little larger than plastic gear bought for another project from Maplin. Inspiration struck, and with a small piece of plastic semicircular rod inside the ring, the gear locates nicely and is unable to rotate! Just glue the engine mount to the main hull, and the gear to the engine and as the gear has 20 teeth, this gives me 20 posable locations for the engines! So they can be individually posed and also lined up. A little surface detailing of the engine mounts and you have the pictures below.

I shall drill 6mm holes through the centre of the engine mounts and the gear to allow for small magnets to be glued in place, ensuring the engines stay in place.

Note the forward engine mounts are wider than the rear to try and prevent the rear engines from sitting immediately behind the thrusters on the front.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Drop Ship X

Now I have 3 engine variants and I can't decide which one is best. Time for a Poll >>>

EDIT: I'm interested in which of the three basic designs you prefer. None of these engines is finished (especially C which has no surface detail and just pen lines to indicate an air intake!). If you've already voted and want to change your vote, then do so. Thanks.

Comparison shots alongside.

Left to right - engines A,B and C.

Drop Ship IX

I decided to remodel the engine pod as it looked too bulky for me, and here is what I came up with fom the contact lens holder and a couple of short lengths of PVC plumbing overflow pipe.

Then with a few panels, a radial heat sink, and lots and lots of filling and sanding...

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Drop Ship VIII

Well, a package from Old Crow arrived. In the following 2 pictures I've mocked up a potential pair of turrets onto the hull (with blu tac) added a couple of hatches and done some more detailing. The green 'spots' on the hull are Squadron Green putty to fill the remaining visible bubbles from the original resin casting.

There is a comcen turret mounted on the forward hull, and a missile launcher on the rear hull. I've also temporarily installed one of the two fins. (Two fins won by 12 votes to 2 in the recent poll!). I've also used a plastic 'googly-eye' on the port side of the hull as a dome.

I found an old contact lens case which has amazing engine components! I've tacked them in place, but i will cut them down to a circular shape and file off the L and R before completing. The part still attached inside the case will be used as the 'intake' to the engine (but I need another one! Anyone got a spare?). This has convinced me to re-model the engine and make it less fussy and sightly less bulky.