This area of the website is my hobby blog, it contains articles about games that I have enjoyed playing together with paining and model making articles.
I've just started a big project to rebase all my Warhammer Fantasy Battle miniatures onto multiple 2" square bases for playing amongst other games 'Wars of Orcs and Dwarves' (WOOD).
I've been playing and collecting Warhammer Fantasy since the first edition was released, and in fact we were playing fantasy battles before that using amended versions of Wargames Research Group 6th Edition Ancients. I was very excited when WFB was launched, rather than house rules and amendments, here was a set of rules purely for playing out Fantasy Battles. I remember the excitement of going to the local games shop in Kingston upon Thames, where I was at college and buying the box set of three A4 booklets. In those days Games Workshop sold and supported all sorts of fantasy and sci-fi games and you could of course use figures from any manufacturer to play Warhammer...boy how things have changed, and not all for the good. I've played all the different editions over the years and collected Dwarves, Empire, Brettonian, High Elf, Wood Elf, Skaven, Lizardmen, Ogre Kingdoms, Tomb Kings and probably some more that I can't even remember.
I was appalled when Games Workshop axed Warhammer. So many people had invested so much time, money and energy and it felt like a pretty cynical move to get people who wanted to continue playing fantasy to go out and buy an 'Age of Sigmar' army and start collecting expensive miniatures from scratch. I was pretty disillusioned and sold most of my Warhammer miniatures on eBay. I think that I'd intended to sell them all but got distracted or bored listing them and some remained, lurking amongst the thousands of historical miniatures in my collection.
Then came, Wars of Ozz, a fantastic mass battle fantasy system set in the worlds described in over 40 'Oz' books by L Frank Baum (and others). Not the Tolkien inspired Warhammer Fantasy by any means, these guys have muskets for a start, but it is a fantasy world with giants, trolls, skeletons, magic and much more, In fact as the 'Wizard of Oz' was first published in 1900 it is quite possible that Tolkien read it and was inspired by it as a child! I've really enjoyed playing Wars of Ozz. The rules are intelligent, streamlined and reach a conclusion in a couple of hours. They are fun to play and do not need the myriad special rules and exceptions that slow so many systems down. I asked the author 'Buck' Surdu, if it would be possible to use the underlying mechanics of Wars of Ozz to write a set of rules for playing games using our old Warhammer Figures and featuring traditional fantasy races like Orcs, Dwarves, Goblins and Elves. Wars of Orcs and Dwarves is the result. It's just in play test at the moment.
This blog is going to be all about the units that I am rebasing, and new units that I put together to supplement them.
These are some of the first plastic miniatures that Games Workshop ever made. You used to get 60 figures for £9.95 (because no one is going to pay £10 for a box of figures!). You got ten each of Dwarves, Goblins, Orcs, Skaven, Wood Elves and Dark Elves. These guys have fought many a campaign. Prior to this Warhammer Regiments box set in plastic, Games Workshop had released 'Drastic Plastic' 54mm figures and a box of plastic skeletons.
This unit is also mainly made up of figures from the Warhammer Regiments plastic box set. Each figure has a seperate head and their was a choice of two to give you some variety.
One of the issues I always found was ranking up miniatures whose arms and weapons often extended beyond their base size. In Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Orcs were mounted on 25mm square bases. In Wars of Ozz and Wars of Orcs and Dwarves, figures are mounted on 2" square bases, and it does not matter how many figures are on the base, the base is an element. I have mounted three Orcs to a base, this allows me to stagger them so that they rank up better and gives a bit more room for scenic modelling on the base.
The command base just has two figures, a Black Orc Boss and a standard bearer. They are both from the early days of Warhammer.
This weekend I have been painting and basing a unit of Wolves for my Orc and Goblin army and a unit of Dwarf Adventuring Companies armed with double handed weapons and crossbows to use in next weekends big Fantasy Battle game.
The Wolves are from Sally 4th Miniatures. I have painted some of these up already as Arctic Wolves and mounted them on single bases for the White Out solo / co-op play games set in the icy wastes. This time I wanted a 6 base unit of twelve wolves. I really like the dynamic poses, especially the leaping and the landing wolves, so I added some logs and rocks for them to jump over.
Here's the complete unit. It was very quick to paint up and was the first test for the spectacular new 'Masterclass: Drybrush set' from Army Painter. When I first looked at these revelotionary new brushes, I thought that no way they could be used on miniatures, as they are huge. However, they are the best dry brushes that I have used ever and the large heads with composite bristles makes short work of picking out detail.
This is the first of two units of 'Adventuring Company' Dwarves. I've called them Adventuring Companies as they are well equiped but with a wide variety of arms and armor. I needed a couple of extra units for my Dwarven army. About 15 years ago some one came into my shop with a bag of poorly painted Dwarves, which were pretty old school even then and asked if I could use them as her son had given up Warhammer. I said thank you very much and they've sat in the bottom of a cardboard box for fifteen years.
I had a look through them and sorted them into figures with a spear or double handed weapon and those with a single handed weapon, stuck them on temporary painting bases and resprayed them over the top of the old paint with Army Painter spray primer. As I had 40 figures to paint over a weekend I needed a quick technique, so I used the Instar Alpha Contrast Paint. This stuff is magic. It's like the GW Contrast paint, but less than half the price. It puts a base coat and low lights on in a single coat (when thinned with Water +) and is very highly pigmented and flows brilliantly.
As the figures are all different, most are Games Workshop but some are pre-slotta base GW, some are TSR D&D Dwarves. I wanted to blend them together as a unit and with the rest of my Dwarf Army so I did some enhancements. The standard bearer is converted from a Spearman using the banner pole and standard from the North Star Oathmark Dwarves. The shields and shield decals are also from North Star Dwarves (apart from a few figures that had shields cast on). Some of the figures had crossbows as part of the castings, but to make it look more like a dual armed unit I added plastic crossbows from my bits box that had been left over from some Perry Miniatures War of the Roses miniatures, (a range that I would reccomend to anyone wanting to collect a Warhammer Empire Army).
Keep checking back... Lots more units to photograph and add.
Around fifteen years ago, I used to run a couple of hobby stores and I had just about every Warhammer and Warhammer 40K army that was available, including a 3,000 point Imperial Guard (Cadian) Army. Most of my 40K troops were auctioned off on ebay to finance other projects but I do have some bits and pieces of Space Marine, Ork and Tyrannid left.
When I was tidying up last night I came across a case of Imperial Guard Heavy Weapon Platoons, so I've decided to use these as a basis for putting a small force together.
They are all heavy weapons teams. Enought to make a Mortar Platoon, Anti-Tank Missile Launcher Platoon and a Heavy Laser Platoon. I will need to check the latest fluff to find out what these are called at the moment.
I had a quick look and I'm pretty sure that these are the same as the currently available Imperial Guard Miniatures, so my next job is to pick up a box set of the standard infantry to start putting some core troop choices together.
Just arrived, a brand new box of WH40K Imperial Guard Infantry, just the way that I remembered them from about 15 years ago when I last put some guardsmen together.
This time however I am going to be looking to do some conversions rather than straight builds.
One of the things that I used to love about Warhammer was the sheer breadth of the canvas, back then you could buy straight from Games Workshop a huge variety of different uniforms for the Imperial Guard including ones based on 19th century British soldiers from Rorkes Drift, WW2 Russians, WW1 Germans and many more together with Abhuman troops including Ratling (Hobbit) Snipers, Squats (Dwarves), Ogryns (Ogres) and Beastmen. The whole rational from Games Workshop was that the Imperium was huge and that the Imperial Guard raised regiments from tens of thousands of planets and that there was a wide diversity of life to work with.
... so this next stage is going to be to play around with some bits that I have left in my bits box from making some miniatures for another new sci-fi miniatures game, Albedo ACP164, to come up with a new and unique look for my Imperial Guard.
Finally got around to assembling and painting first five Imperial Guard Feline Conversions.
These all use the plastic pieces from the standard Games Workshop Imperial Guard plastic sprues combined with Feline head and tail conversion pieces from Albedo Miniatures.
I've also upgraded the bases to Sally 4th clear plastic bases so that they will belnd in with what ever terrain they are standing on.
All of the terrain shown is from the Albedo Miniatures game Kickstarter which goes live on 15th October.
Last year, a good customer ordered a huge quantity of Sally 4th 28mm siege equipment including 12 of our siege towers and 6 of our hasty assault packs plus much more.
Unfortunately, Ann and I could not make it to Crisis this year to view this amazing spectacle of all of our siege equipment on the table assaulting a huge fortified town.
Luckily, another friend, Sander, was at the show and kindly took these photographs for us.
The siege towers are three storys high and are designed to work with Sally 4th Castles, Games Workshop / Citadel Miniatures Mighty Fortress and Lord of the Rings Helms Deep and Minas Tirith.
Hopefully over the next couple of weeks people will email some more photograps in and details about the game, so that I can update this page for you.
It looks like a game of Warhammer Fantasy Battle being played. I think the troops in the photo above are Warhammer Chaos Knights!
Truely a breathtaking spectacle!
Castles. For the defender we have a castle range, second to none with castle walls in three heights (10' / 20' / 30'), Towers in three heights (2 / 3 / 4 story), crenalations in nine styles (Medieval / Italian / Arab-Moorish / Carthaginean / Roman / Assyrian / Indian / Lord of the Rings Gondor and Rohan). The range also includes a Keep, Great Hall and other outbuildings and stairways.
Hoardings. If you are really worried about attack, all our castle sections can be improved with hoardings which are available in four styles (longbow, early crossbow, late crossbow and musket)
Outpost designation #2132 - An Imperial distress beacon calls for aid following the discovery of a strange relic. Dark Angels marines arrive within days and secure the compound
Shortly after arrival, the First Company ship picks up traces of warp activity. They have been followed by a Dark Eldar raiding party; Interragator Chaplain Raziel readies his troops for the incoming assault.
A webway portal rips open as the first of the Dark Eldar forces arrive with lethal precision. A troop of deadly Kabalite Warriors and their leader, the infamous Archon Drezden Kuda.
Mere moments later a second force breaches the facility on the opposite side. The sound of cruel laughter echoes down the halls as a group of Wyches and their mistress, the Succubus Lady Medrazae, begin the hunt.
Blast doors burst open. A venom transport whines into the facility carrying it's deadly payload.
A Mortis Contemptor Dreadnought stands fast as the hideous bulk of a Chronos Parasite Engine emerges through yet another breach. The Dark Angels are surrounded. The battle has begun.
A tactical squad launches it's own ambush and a deadly firefight errupts in one of the exterior corridors.
Despite the storm of fire from dual assault cannons, the Parasite Engine advances forward forcing the Contemptor into a brutal melee. A second tactical squad moves up in support of their ancient brother.
Sergeant Nakir of the second tactial squad unleashes a torrent of flame into the nearby Venom, covering the embarked Incubi squad and killing one of their number.
The surviving Incubi immediately disembark and prepare to unleash their deadly klaives upon the enemy.
Despite the looming threat, the Marines stand fast and unleash some deadly accurate overwatch fire, cutting down all but one of the Incubi. The Klaivex looks to set about his butchers work but, hampered by the bodies of his fallen kin, falls before he can claim more than a couple of the marines.
As the brutal melee continues, some troops find it hard to hit the mark in the confines of the steel corridors.
The first tactical squad make room as a plasma cannon is brought to bear against the advancing Archon. As the smoke clears, the Archon steps over the mangled corpses of his brethren, his shadowfield flickering in the gloom.
As the Contemptor wrestles valiantly with the monstrous engine, a Talos stalks silently into the fray - the Dreadnoughts fate looks to be sealed.
Archon Kuda charges his warriors headlong into the roar of bolters. But against all odds, the remaining marines stand fast and the Archon's lethal agoniser fails to find it's mark.
One of the interior doors erupts in a brilliant flash of haywire sparks as the Wyches burst down the corridor, their blades eager for the taste of human flesh.
The Dark Angels launch a hail of fire down the corridor in a perfectly timed ambush. But despite their legendary accuracy, only a couple of Wyches are laid low following a dazzling display of acrobatics and super-honed reflexes.
After a monumental battle, the last surviving member of the first tactial squad is finally brought down. The Archon spurs the remnants of his vanguard deeper into the facility.
The Succubus Medrazae finally comes face to face with her quarry only to find her legendary skill and grace strangely absent. Ezekiel, Grand Master of the Librarians, has reached out into the warp and sapped the Wyches of their will to fight. The slaughter is swift and merciless.
The two monstrous Engines finally break the heroic Contemptor but to no avail. The Eldar forces are defeated and Archon Kuda calls for his raiders to retreat. The valiant sacrifice of the fallen Angels has bought them valuable time for reinforcements to arrive. The relic is secure.
... so in the end the Dark Angels prevailed, at times it seemed like a pretty close run thing as it felt they were being assailed from all sides. Many thanks to David Thomas Rowe for bringing his fantastic WH40k models over for a game and for providing the write up to the battle.
Terrain is Sally 4th Sci-Fi Interiors...it's modular, pre-painted and comes apart for storing in a very small space between games. click here for full details.