Television is rather a frightening business. But I get all the relaxation I want from my collection of model soldiers.
Peter Cushing

Friday 30 January 2015

The Percys have landed

The first unit of my WotR project is completed (bar the basing but I've not decided on the scheme as yet). I need to choose a badge for my chaps but inspiration has yet to strike.

The more historically minded of you will notice that I've quartered the tunics rather than going with the more accurate Percy halved tunic. This was purely because I fancied having black and red in quarters and whim trumps accuracy every time for me. This is probably not an admirable attitude for a history teacher.

The blued armour is quite nice - and historically accurate - but it looks simply too fantastical for the feel I want for this project. I'll give the other side someone in black enameled armour to even up the fashion quota.

Speaking of which, the next step is the first Neville-style unit who are already constructed:

My favourite character from this little bunch is that chap who is quite the most nonchalant Man at Arms in the history of warfare:

I am quite tempted to paint him as The Stig.

Wednesday 28 January 2015

WotR WiP

Wottor-whip sounds like a character from a Robert E Howard story.

The Men at Arms are coming along apace. The Perrys are as much fun to paint as I'd thought. The most surprising thing I found in my researches is how blue blued armour could actually be. It's quite hard to pull off without looking over the top.

Here's the first coat before highlights done using vallejo transparent blue over gunmetal basecoat.

As you can see, for the first unit I've gone with a Yorkist Percy Black and Red livery which has the added advantage of making them look quite villainous.

Hopefully I'll have them finished before the weekend so I can produce the matching Neville unit.

Saturday 24 January 2015

To Ruin And The Red Dawn!

Note to interested readers: Theoden's armour is an absolute cast iron sod to paint.

I finally got the chance to get the shot of my growing Rohirrim force for Lord of the Rings. The warriors were painted as per the previous post; Theoden King, whilst using a simialr colour palette, required a slightly different approach. In the film, his armour appears black or brown depending on the lighting and digital shot grading; shots of the actual costume show it to be a glossy dark brown.

I undercoated the mini with grey primer as usual and then gave it a black wash to help with the recesses. The main armour was then built up with multiple coats of chestnut ink. Gold detailing was added between layers of ink so they gained a reddish shade. Final highlights and edgings were gold only; the armour was not highlighted as the grey showed through to lighten the raised areas.

As you can see, the whole force hangs together quite well:

There are 16 warriors of Rohan and Theoden here - which as well as being the decent core of a LOTR force also gives me two units for SAGA.

While I had the photography set up, I decided to get a decent shot of the two D&D character minis which are now based up:

I'm looking for a good Cleric miniature to stick a dragon head on to for the next one if anyone has any bright ideas?

A couple of late birthday presents popped up from friends who know my interests: Perry Mounted Men At Arms and a box of Griping Beast Saxon Thegns.

This means that the Pledge currently stands at:

Bought: 189
Painted: 17


Men At Work

It feels like an age since I've posted; the new term has been a nightmare.

There will be two posts today, this one showing what I've been doing with the Massive Birthday Haul and another showcasing a finished group of figures.

I love my job; it means that I'm never short of reference material lying around in cupboards.

So I've started the Lion Rampant project with a Unit of Men At Arms. The Perry plastics are glorious; it's so easy to get animation and character into the poses, straight out of the box. There are also lots of opportunities for conversion inherent in having two different boxes.

Here, then is the first Unit - built straight out of the box. As a good yorkshireman, these will be some variety of either Percy or Neville troops. Hopefully I will be able to start painting this week.

Secondly, I put together my first 4Ground model. The thatch still needs to be PVA'd to finish off but I am incredibly impressed with the overall look. I'll do a comparison with the Tabletop Workshop plastic later in the week.

Saturday 17 January 2015


So my birthday haul in all its glory:

Breaking it down, we have some terrain that will fit for Lion Rampant, Lord of the Rings and Saga. 

The Tabletop Workshop barn is simplicity itself to out together - look for a review shortly. The 4Ground kits look great in the flesh. Can't wait to put them together. 

We have some Viking Hirdmen which, long with my Rohirrim/Saxons will allow me to out together two forces for SAGA. 
First impressions are that the detail is cracking on these. 

Here's the meat of it; enough Perry Plastics to out together two complete retinues for Lion Rampant. 

Had a quick look inside; detail and options look brilliant. These will be first up for construction so there will be photos and a review by the end of the week. 

An unexpected bonus: She Who Must Be Obeyed must've been checking out my browsing history because these were a total but very welcome surprise. 

In Her Majesty's Name, of course, gives me an excuse to purchase any Victorian miniatures I want to build companies. This could turn out to be a very expensive present....

So it's all good, right?

Wrong. This little haul has totally blown my Pledge totals for the year. It now stands at:

Bought: 133
Painted: 8


Hopefully some more completed miniatures to show tomorrow. 

Sunday 11 January 2015


Sorry for the long silence; reports and the joys of a new school term have seriously cut into hobby time. 

The first casualty has been my next vignette. That's going on to the back burner for the moment but I wanted to share the one thing that's been done for it:

The chances of anything coming from Mars are... Well, pretty good, actually. 

The Martian is sculpted and the tripod is designed. This and the four brave chaps will get popped into a drawer to be ressurected as and when. 

I'm trying to clear the decks of my Rohan chaps so here you can see them (and Theoden King - whose armour is a cast-iron, gold-plated sod to paint, incidentally) with their base coats:

And then with the final glaze on the cloaks. 

And why am I clearing the decks, dear reader? Next week I officially enter middle age as the clock rolls over to 40 and - if everything goes according to plan - I should have some new toys to play with. 

See you on the other side, chaps and chapesses. 

Sunday 4 January 2015

The Pledge

So I'm taking the pledge this year. Simply put, I will paint more than I buy. 

The key to this is having a reason to paint, of course, and my reasons are as follows:

  • Lord of the Rings: I need to get my Rohan and Isengard forces done. The Uruk Hai are somewhere in garage hopefully - as is Saruman, Insha'Allah - so I just need to get a few Rohirrim sorted. The coour scheme is done and the recipe is in the notebook, so this should be a goer. I've also stumbled across some Moria goblins and a few character models that I can use as palette cleansers when other projects grow stale. 
  • Lion Rampant - I've shamelessly used my approaching birthday as a way to get miniatures to allow me to run a wargames club at work. A couple of Perry boxes should give me two interesting retinues and I'm really looking forward to painting some chaps from this most colourful of conflicts. 
  • Dark Ages - On the backburner is some Dark Ages stuff. This isn't a massive priority but will again give me a break from major projects should I want to. 
  • Vignettes - I have plans for two more. 
  • IHMN - I do love some VSF and this looks like a nice way to scratch the itch, given that I can pick and choose whatever little miniatures I feel like. 

So, how does the pledge stand at the moment?

Bought - 0
Painted - 8

I'm claiming the Rohirrim as they were finished this year :) At least I get to start with a positive.

Last year was not a positive number, but I'll leave you with what I got done on my return to the paint table in the last 3 months:

Friday 2 January 2015


Crikey! I've passed 3k pageviews. Thank you to everyone who's stopped by and to everyone who's commented. You support and interest is more valuable than you know.

Here's to a great 2015!

Ramblers of Rohan

I can hardly call them Riders, can I?

I took a lot longer painting these test pieces than I normally would with a unit as I spent ages faffing about with colours to try and match the feel of the Rohirrim from the films.

Proper photos will follow later but these chaps are more or less done. I was surprised at the lack of detail on the faces; I wasn't expecting much from a single piece plastic but the spare definition was quite a shock. These will need to be revisited to bring them up to what I regard as tabletop standard.

I am happy with the cloaks; I went with something slightly more vibrant than the greyish-green of the films. This was done by not using any washes but by a couple of layers of glazes. In retrospect the leather is too brown - the redder one I used for the accents will probably end up being the main one I use for the rest of the chaps.

As you can see, I did my test batch as a Unit of 8 - this is for use with SAGA as well as LOTR. But while I mull over how to paint the next lot, it's time to start work on the next vignette to use up some of the British Line Infantry I have left over.

Here's the chaps as they stand: