Friday, 21 June 2019

I saw a mouse...

Hello again.

"Where?" I hear you cry, in response to the title of this missive.

Well, it was not "there on the stair" at any rate.

The Oathsworn Miniatures painting fest continues apace with a couple of smaller offerings. I only have about 10 figures left to do, but there are more I want to get, so the project is far from over yet.

First up, we have an albino mouse for the Dickens Street Runners whom you may have spotted in my previous post. I have called him "Tiny Tim" (the burglar) in keeping with the Dickensian theme of the warband.

A slightly blurred offering, but still clearly an albino mouse with a short sword and a sack over his back.

Really must take better photos...

The second mousey offering is slightly different in that it is a dormouse. I am unclear as yet exactly which of my warbands the young lady will join and, unusually for me with this project, she is indeed interchangeable. I painted her with a check pattern, Rupert Bear's trousers style, on her dress, so she could pass muster with the Dun Ringill Doombringers, my Highland-style Strath Clotan raiders. She could also join the ranks of the fledgling Nutkin Wood Neighbourhood Watch, that band of small guys who have come together (slowly) to protect themselves from all the nefarious big guys in their locale. She could even join the Dickens Street Runners on occasion, providing a modicum of shooting power to an otherwise up close and personal attack option.I will have to research a suitable Dickensian name for her in that scenario - someone small-fry, perhaps a maid or washer woman, ideally with a sideline in something nefarious.

The universal dormouse

For I think the first time with these figures, I went for naturalistic eyes, though I am not sure if I pulled them off. An albino had to have red eyes, but I think they should be more pinkish in hue. Dormice also have dark red eyes and I am happier with these than those on "Tiny Tim".

At any rate, it is off to do some more Crimean War Russians now, whilst chipping away at the remaining pimple of Oathsworn stuff in between.


Friday, 7 June 2019

The Silent Assassin

Hello again.

The Dickens Street Runners were introduced top the world a few months back, one of my many ideas for a theme for a warband in "Burrows & Badgers", based, as you might have guessed ort might know, on the characters of a certain Mr. Charles Dickens. The Runners are supposed to represent the sort of nefarious inhabitants of the back streets of East London, so far centred on those in "Oliver Twist" as, not being a Dickens officionado, never having read any of his works, I can at least identify with the 1968 film "Oliver", having seen it several times. However, research can take you anywhere you like and Dickens had a number of unsavoury characters in his repertoire.

So, what do you call the sometime spy, sometime assassin, all the time performer of dirty deeds done dirt cheap, if you will pardon the ACDC reference?


Or "Ssqueersss" if you are the particular adder of that name pronouncing your own name.

Squeers was a nasty headmaster in "Nicholas Nickleby", apparently, but, for my purposes, he is an even nastier character from the dockside area downtown Scarsburgh.

He joins the ranks (so far) of the Dickens Street Runners, who are ready, willing and able to take on the worst the anthropomorphic world has to offer. What they lack in armour I hope they will make up for with cunning, luck and numbers!

The Dickens Street Runners so far: (l-r) Fagin the fox, Tiny Tim the mouse burglar, Sykes the murderous wildcat, Dodger the weasel and the sorceress, Nan-Si.

Squeers, the adder assassin and spy, who lives in the pipes and sewers beneath the streets of downtown Scarsburgh.

The figure is sculpted with segmented armour, which I have chosen to paint as a non-metallic green to add to his camouflage capabilities and because I think some sort of cloth or leather armour better suits his background.
The last thing many a poor Town Guardsman or drunken citizen sees before the death bite is an range orb gleaming in the darkness...
I see Squeers not only as a useful addition to the warband, but also the subject of a scenario or two. Perhaps he is hidden on the table, concealed ready to strike, with the Town Watch scouring the area looking for him and he looking to evade them. Perhaps the Runners arrive to contact him as he has some important information, just as a raid from the town authorities is launched into the area. Perhaps he must assassinate a particular figure on the other team's side. Perhaps the Town Watch send an unfortunate patrol into the sewers looking for him and it is them vs him alone, with him able to sneak through pipes and grills whilst they have to stay on the path. Cat and mouse anyone? Or perhaps I should say "Predator and prey"? As with almost all my "Burrows & Badgers" figures to date, he is an Oathsworn Miniatures figure.


Wednesday, 5 June 2019

"Kill the SD scum!"

Hello again.

What naughty, aggressive language the bad guys in Strontium Dog use! The Strontium Dogs only want to take them, dead or alive, to face the justice they deserve for their various crimes. Why get so heated about it?

Max Bubba and his gang come in the starter set "The Good, The Bad and The Mutie", so are the subject of my first set of recognisable criminals for the game. Having painted up Johnny Alpha and his two associates from the set, it was only right and proper that his opposition got the next nod. In short, with the terrain from the same set I have built and mostly completed, with photos to follow soon, I am almost ready for some SD action!!! The hardest part of the whole thing will be to get a couple of like-minded people in the same room at the same time to actually get a game in!

From the left of the photo, we have Skull, Impetigo Jones, Low-down O'Phee, Max Bubba and Brute Mosley.

Max Bubba, his indistinct features marking him out as a mutant.

The unfortunate Impetigo Jones. Unfortunate? Well, the clue is in the name...


Brute Mosley

Low-down O'Phee

And that is Max Bubba and his gang. I fully intend to get some more figures from the range, courtesy of Warlord Games, especially Middenface McNulty, who must be my favourite-named comic strip character ever! He is also someone I remember from all those years ago when I first encountered Johnny Alpha and the Strontium Dog concept in "Star Lords" comic.
Now to paint the remaining parts of the boxed set, build some terrain boards and crack on with something more/ different.

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Strontium Dogs

Hello again.

I bought "The Good, The Bad & The Mutie" boxed set from Asgard Games on Walsall last year, fan as I was all those years ago in the late 1970's when a certain Johnny Alpha first appeared in a comic and introduced the world to the Strontium Dogs, mutant bounty hunters risking life and limb to take down the nefarious scum of the universe. Now, this was quite a lucky find, as I was never really one for comics, but I loved this strip the moment I saw it and picked it up again several years later when I happened upon an collected anthology or three in a well-known book store.

The aforementioned boxed set, available from the prolific Warlord Games, has a number of sets associated with it, so you can build up your cast of characters from various figures from within the strip over its long lifetime to date, both goodies and baddies. One of the attractions of the strip is that it is not always certain who is who in a universe of dark people and darker deeds...

The boxed set comes with three goodies (featured here), five baddies (to be featured soon, as I have painted them all), a series of cards and tokens used within the "Strontium Dog" game and some MDF terrain, most of which I built today. I hope my forthcoming week off work will see at least some of it painted, along with some other bits I bought off Ainsty years ago but never got around to. Cue Scumm's World, an arid, desolate, lawless place inhabited by hard men, harder women and whatever else the universe throws up, clawing an existence from an unforgiving rock that is home to the odd environmentalists nightmare (Ainsty's Toxicana range, bits of which I also purchased years ago!), some secret, corporation or government stuff long since forgotten (cue those old mutant apes I picked up cheaply, together with the odd sci-fi release from long ago), some disgruntled alien natives (I have to get those K'Hiff out some time!) and a storyline or two.

I need more games!

The Goodies.

Johnny Alpha, whose skills are the best in the game. Great shot, mutant eyes that enable him to see through rock and other matter and a range of kit tailor-made to give some bad guys an issue or two.

Wulf Sternhammer, close combat monster and as strong as an ox.

The Gronk. A brilliant medic. Even better at fainting when the going gets a tad stressful, like all his kind!

All I need now is to finish that terrain off, build myself some desert game boards, get some reinforcements to add to my SD numbers and get a few games in.
This is also one of my various boxed games nearly done in its starter format. Just the other 7/ 8/ 9/ ? to do and I will have called it all money well spent!!! I cannot decide which one should be next. I want to do "Blood Red Skies", but I also want to do "Cruel Seas". Then there is "Carnevale", but I also have all the "Necromunda" gangs to crack on with. And my 10mm Crimean War is not going to paint itself, nor is my Arab Conquest stuff. Hm.

Friday, 24 May 2019

The Lavender Order Recruits Again

Hello again.

One of my particular trends when buying figures or working through projects is that I do not like the "generic" approach. You know the sort of thing. If I change the flags and ignore the button colour, then those redcoats there will do for British one day, Swiss the next, something imaginary the day after that, and so on. If that is your bag, then so be it, all power to you and so forth, but it is not for me. I imagine such things are more prevalent in smaller scales, where one red coat looks much like another from anything more than a foot away, but I cannot say I have done any research on the matter.

I know it costs me more money to buy extra figures and more time to paint them as a result of having those extras, but I like distinction between my troops and  "Burrows & Badgers" is no different. I see people posting their warbands on Facebook and the like, but I often do not see a theme.

"I want a badger with my highland types!" screams Poster A, even though his highland types all look like Rob Roy and his badger is wearing full gothic plate.

"I am going to include this Victorian dandy in my band of bloodthirsty pirates," whispers Poster B, even though he looks like he has just walked out of the Old Curiosity Shop and the corsairs from some disease-ridden, tropical hellhole.

However, my Order of the Lavender Garden is growing apace as Oathsworn release more suitable figures, one of which is the subject of this piece. My Lavender Order, as I abbreviate it, has a number of branches, the most prevalent being the military arm and the witch hunting arm. In my head, the military arm also takes care of law and order in the better parts of the land. The good news is, so long as I maintain my preferred context, I can mix and match the figures between both, allied as they are and all dressed in some way in the purple and white livery of the order.

So, without further ado, I give you a "Mouse with Crossbow", at once both a member of the town watch, a soldier of the Order of the Lavender Garden and a hanger on for some zealous type looking for a magic user somewhere near you sometime soon. As I have chosen the figures for the various parts of the order with some care to avoid glaring fashion or other faux pas, he will fit with all three quite handily. So I saved a bit of cash and some painting time after all!

The mouse with no name, ready to defend the poor and defenceless in honour of the Royalist cause. Or burn and pillage a village in honour of someone's ego...

His mace looks a bit like an incense burner, but I still would not want a smack over the head with it.

And, in addition to the purple and white livery, the purple lily emblem also ties the Order's members together nicely. Judging by the various scuffs and scratches on his helmet, he is either a veteran of many a fight or has inherited his headgear from a particularly unlucky and/ or unfortunate predecessor...

Saturday, 18 May 2019

What is red, ...

...doesn't suffer fools gladly, has an incendiary love interest, has horns he has to keep filed down to stumps and is supposed to be a secret?

HELLBOY, of course!!!

Hello again.

As part of my frenzy of boxed game purchasing, I simply could not resist something I found lying around in the "Board in Brum" shop in sunny Walsall recently.

This is a side on view of the box, which is seven inches deep!

A cornucopia of content.
 I was "lucky" enough to find an open example of the game at the aforementioned "Board in Brum", which meant I could examine the contents. There are over 120 figures in the box!!! These range from a couple of different versions of Hellboy himself to his various companions to Nazia to monsters of different sorts and even a turkey! I can only assume that is for some sort of Christmas game based in the old cartoon series, "Stop the Pigeon!", (i.e. "Stop the Turkey!") but I may be wrong. That is all in addition to the bits of scenery, cards for the game, floor plans and the like. All the figures come in storage trays too, which means they are all self-contained within the box and I do not have to buy extra boxes or files to keep things in, just remember where each figure goes!

Floor plans and such for various scenarios within the game.

The uppermost tray of figures contains our heroes, the five, large gribblies, Rasputin (!), a couple of Lamias and some other bits.

Oodles top ogle at!!!

Our prime hero in three guises, including Hellboy kid with ice cream!

The five chief gribblies - ape monster, tentacle horror, large grub, fanged amphibian and dragon

Our prime hero's friends.

And a novel little set of busts of the main protagonists.
I have not played the game yet, but I am impressed by the variety and quantity of the contents. There is a little bit of flash to remove, but I look forward to eventually getting some of these figures painted and trying things out. I especially like the fact that several of the figures are useable in other games - Nazis are Nazis, right? And those Lamia figures are crying out to oppose some errant Greek hero in some fabled land as he quests for an artefact to save his home city state from a gorgon or kraken or some such. Did I also mention there are harpies in the set? And how about getting Hellboy trapped in a time loop following some nefarious enemy scheme that sees him taking on Martian tripods, a resurrected terracotta army, a zombie plague or whatever? The game was not cheap, at a little over the £100 mark, but WOW! There is also a Batman game out now, so I must keep saving. My favourite superhero and all that.

And, to top it all, "Hellboy 2; The Golden Army" is on TV tonight, and I am in need of a way to avoid that utter drivel that is the Eurovision Song "Contest". Sky One at 2115hrs anyone?


Sunday, 21 April 2019

Mollie McClobber

Hello again.

My Strath Clotans finally have a leader courtesy of one of Oathsworn's more recent releases, which Nephew Nick obtained for me at my request at a recent show. Who would not want a wildcat with axe and shield? The fact that wildcats are a tough option in the "Burrows & Badgers" game and that she more than adequately fits the bill for Strath Clota given her plaid and bonnet were enough for me! And Oathsworn supremo Michael Lovejoy has stated that there will be more Strath Clotans in the next batch of sculpts, which means the clan can keep growing too.

She was a joy to paint, even the plaid, which, though a little time-consuming, was easy enough with some patience, the right brush and suitably thinned paint to ease its flow, but not so much that it just runs everywhere...

I have more Oathsworn figures left on the to-do list, some of which are even undercoated ready to go, but my most recent activity has seen me add to my Russians for the Crimean War, with more infantry, of which there cannot be too many. I will one day get around to some British infantry to go with the Light Brigade and will finish the Light Brigade too once I have bought the necessary extras required. Again, the absence of a definitive project is seeing me get through bits of numerous different projects, which suits me in my "skirmish" mode,  and might just see me through a couple of the many boxed games I bought with the intention of getting some figures completed. However, numerous projects means I sometimes struggle to decide what to do next, so I might be painting, but I am also a tad adrift. The Crimean War project will be a continuous one for a while yet, especially as 10mm Russians are quick and easy to paint (I hope the British will be too, but doubt it somehow...), but where else should I venture? I have, by way of a quick count, the following boxed games all crying out for attention, in no particular order:
  • Necromunda;
  • Kill Team;
  • Lord of The Rings: Battle of the Pelennor Fields;
  • Gorechosen;
  • Blood Red Skies;
  • Cruel Seas;
  • Carnavale;
  • Judge Dredd;
  • another I bought the other day and will save for a future post - it is big and the contents look amazing!
Still, this post was supposed to be about a certain wildcat, so here she is.


Mollie McClobber, with the target of one of her raids burning away in the background.

The artists' pens came in very useful again for the motto on the shield and also to draw in the characteristic cat's eye pupils.