Tuesday 28 November 2023

Some 15mm orcs

 Some 15mm orcs from Alternative Armies. These are to be based on a 40mm square for maximal massed-battle flexibility. I'm unsure whether to keep them as a group of skirmishers or to mix them in with some of the other orcs I'm working on (Eureka, Chariot, Tin Soldier, etc). 

Monday 20 November 2023

Some 15mm beastmen

 These are 15mm Demonworld beastmen from Ral Partha Europe. They'll shortly be rebased on a single 40mm square.

Saturday 11 November 2023

A 15mm giant beastman

 This hefty fellow is part of Ral Partha Europe's 15mm Demonworld range. He'll make a fine behemoth in HOTT and other such games.

The stolen shield and severed head are sufficiently ambiguous in scale that he'd work fine in 28mm too - perhaps in the 'minotaur class' (guardian beasts?) in Kings of War.

I also plan to combine him with smaller beastmen as a 'unit filler', perhaps as the central third of a 120mm-frontage unit in Impetus or as the command company in a Fantastic Battles group.

Monday 6 November 2023

Bugbears in 15mm


These are terrific 15mm bugbears sold by CP Models. Although originally designed by Bob Olley as 15/18mm, they're marketed as 20mm, but to my eye, they're a bit short to be 7'+ in that scale (though they would make great hobgoblins. They would also make terrific 28mm goblins (of an especially fierce and hirsute sort).

I'm going to base these together on a 40mm square, so that they can be used as brutes (doubled warband) or behemoths in Hordes of the Things or as some sort of super-heavy infantry in Fantastic Battles. As I have at least three more bases to do, they'll be able to double up to give 80mm frontages for Impetus or work as goblin 'luggits' in Kings of War with a couple of individuals on 20mm squares between two 40mm bases (thus giving a 100 x 40 footprint). And for Hobgoblin, I'll just throw a few bases together to make a unit.

I've been trying out this simple yellow skintone on a lot of 25mm goblins for D&D. I'm quite happy with it - despite being such a bright colour, it's somewhat subterranean-looking, somehow, and it just squeezes into Tolkien's 'sallow' bracket for orcs.

(Below is a scale comparison with 1/72 Dark Alliance orcs and "15mm" Battle Valor orcs - base still to be painted and matt varnish still to be applied!)

Monday 30 October 2023

Scratch-built Hounds of Tindalos

 My son has been busy with the Fimo and tinfoil again. You can see how he made these beasties here:

Sunday 29 October 2023

Some 15mm orcs

 I've been gradually putting together some 15mm forces on 40mm squares. The main aim of these is to play Fantastic Battles, but they'll also work for Hordes of the Things, Mayhem and other games - including Dan Mersey's Arrowstorm, which I recently bought and which looks very interesting. 

These are Battle Valor orcs. They're absolutely huge by 15mm standards and would even work as 4' tall D&D-stye goblins in 25 or 28mm. I'm aiming to paint up a few bases with some command figures on 20mm squares. That will allow four bases and four command figures to be used as a goblin regiment in Kings of War. 

Tuesday 10 October 2023

RAFM wizard

 Here's an old RAFM wizard from the 80s: part of the wonderfully characterful Wanderers and Warriors range. He's part of my 25mm megadungeon/old-school D&D project - the idea is to have a host of player-character types so that players can quickly pick a suitable miniature and get going once they're rolled up a character. I could see this fellow ('Nimrod the Bold Wizard', according to the catalogue) working well as a villain too.

I originally conceived this as a 1/72 project; I'm using the same monsters and even some of the same character figures (especially elves and dwarves). But there are just so many better character options in 25mm.

Tuesday 26 September 2023

Speed-painted giant orc

 Here's a boardgame figure (from Massive Darkness, I think) speed-painted to act as some sort of giant orc or undernourished ogre in my 25mm megadungeon project. He was painted using contrast paints initially, which is why he's a bit glossy in the recesses. A coat of matt varnish should fix that. 

Saturday 16 September 2023

More Minfigs gnolls

 Here are a couple more Minifigs gnolls to go with the one I painted up last week. The new ones are from the 80s (?) Greyhawk range rather than the 70s D&D range and are somewhat more hyena-like. But I like the look of both types together - some more manlike, others bearing more heavily the Mark of the Beast.

Friday 8 September 2023

A Minifigs gnoll


Here's an old Minifigs gnoll. This range is clearly based on the Tom Wham illustration from the Basic D&D set:

And the Wham drawing is based on Dave Sutherland's illustration in the Monster Manual, though the former seems to have lost some of the more hyena-ish elements along the way:

A later range of Minfigs gnolls (World of Greyhawk, below) make the creatures more hyena-like, but they still retain some similarities to the original range - especially in stature. 

I'll be fielding the two types together in games: it would be odd to expect creatures of chaos (which is what gnolls are in early D&D) to lack variety!

Friday 11 August 2023

A quick kitbash

 This is an old chaos warrior kitbashed with an orc rider and rising beast from Scotia Grendel. He'll serve as a "lord on frostfang" in Kings of War, at least until I get a couple more done, at which point he'll be demoted to the ranks of frostfang riders.

Thursday 10 August 2023

A venerable dwarf

 I'll reprise an earlier post:

Dwarfs are villains ... or at least they should be a great deal more.

Dwarfs in Norse myth and Germanic folklore tend to be surly at best and downright wicked at worst.

They issue curses, lust for goddesses, betray heroes, resemble corpses and turn to stone.

They murder sages, work magic, commit fratricide and become dragons.

They are black elves and dark elves and groan before their stone doors.

They are the maggots of Ymir and, through the works of George MacDonald, as much the ancestors of Tolkien's orcs as any folkloric goblin.

These things make them much more interesting than short, brawny Scotsmen or half-sized Vikings.

Saturday 22 July 2023

Scratch-built bulette


Here's the latest beastie from my son - a reimagining of the D&D bulette or landshark. And here's how he did it:

Monday 3 July 2023

Some rebased and refreshed orcs

I've had little time for painting of late, but I have used the odd break to rebase and touch up some old orcs. I painted most of these around eight years ago; they were originally on rather garish green bases. These will probably get some tufts of greenery sooner or later. The square bases render them suitable for Kings of War and Impetus (among other games) without harming their skirmish or RPG potential. 

These four are only a fraction of those I've rebased in the last couple of weeks - I reckon I've got two KoW 'regiments' and a couple of 'troops'. A new batch of MDF bases arrived today, so their ranks will swell even more fairly soon.

Wednesday 21 June 2023

Goblin soldiers of lesser stature

 I want to put together a few units of goblin 'spitters' (archers) for Kings of War. I have some Oathmark, Wargames Factory and Wargames Atlantic goblins with bows and slings, but I want a bit of variety. A couple of cheap sprues of Marlburian infantry give me goblin musketeers once heads are fitted under hats and legs are cut down to size (which the wide-skirted coats facilitate). 

For the first soldier, I carried out a face transplant from an Oathmark. It worked OK, but was a bit fiddly. The Wargames Atlantic goblin heads already sit appropriately low on the Marlburian necks without adjustment, and a quick double scalping allowed the hat to be added. If I do the same with Oathmark goblin heads, I'll need to add a neck, but a bit of spare spear shaft from the EM4 orc conversions should do the trick.

Friday 16 June 2023

Kitbashed orcs (part seven)

 And on they march! Here's the latest batch of kitbashes. I'm most pleased with the axeman and the spearman in the centre. The former benefits from repositioning at the waist while the latter has a repositioned left arm and a new fist to add a bit of dynamism.

Thursday 15 June 2023

Kitbashed orcs (part six)

 And a few more orcs to keep the dwarves in the previous post busy!

Dwarf kitbashes in progress


Painting time has been scarce (though, with the current weather, who's complaining?). But I've started to explore kitbashing possibilities with the EM4 dwarves. Along with lots of spare Oathmark heads, I've got quite a few GW bits and bobs of a dwarven nature. So, having bought a bag of EM4 dwarves on a whim some years ago, I have an opportunity to use them up. The plan is to make a few Kings of War-style multi-based units. I also have some painted Oathmark dwarves that may very well find themselves rebased for KoW, and I have lots of old Citadel dwarves to use for characters.

We do most of our rank'n'flank gaming in 1/72 scale, but with fantasy games, it all becomes a bit slippery. Because of the Warhammer-legacy basing in Kings of War, orcs have to be significantly bigger than humans to justify 25mm base sizes. Older orcs - like those from Mithril, 80s Citadel and EM4 - fill the bases nicely and look suitably imposing next to 1/72 humans. They're still sufficiently muscular and brutish-looking to justify their KoW 'Crushing Strength' in 28mm, though. So they work at both scales.

And happily, that means that 28mm dwarves like these chaps fit in fine too. Actually, we wouldn't balk at fielding them with 1/72 humans - the dwarves are still a head shorter than the humans, even if they're twice as broad!

Tuesday 13 June 2023

"Goblin-soldiers of greater stature ..."

 Some newly kitbashed orcs: I bought these stumpy Hail Caesar Romans some time ago with the notion of turning them into the Uruk-hai of Isengard. They have the short stature, the short swords and broad builds of Tolkien's descriptions. 

To go the whole hog, I'd need to give them long bows of yew, but I may end up keeping them much as they are to be deployed as 'blades' in Hordes of the Things and, en masse, as goblin rabble buffed with some magic items in Kings of War. And, when I have enough made, they can be used as 'Romans' in Impetus (with less disciplined goblins acting as auxiliaries). I'll probably give them the White Hand on their shields, though. The description is of "a small white hand in the centre of a black field"; the large bosses of the scuta makes it difficult to place a small hand in the centre of the shield itself, but by putting the 'black field' in the upper half of the shield, I can probably achieve the correct effect (and take some artistic licence in the bottom half - checks or other colours or whatever).

It's the "short, broad-bladed swords" that have always made me think of Roman legionaries - though I'm doubtless influenced by this old White Dwarf cover by Angus Fieldhouse:

Saturday 3 June 2023

'Mincer mob' work in progress

It's been a glorious day today - my son and I blitzed round the hill on our bikes while my daughter was playing tennis. But what better antidote to fresh air and exercise than some early-evening outright geekery in the form of some light kitbashing?

These are 'mincers' for Kings of War - essentially snotling pump wagons (I think). I'd bought and based up some Armourfast tanks for a lockdown project: Alien Squad Leader in 28mm. But that hasn't come to anything (I have plenty of 15mm sci-fi stuff and 50mm sabot bases for it), so I'm recycling its components.

Kitbashed goblin king


This portly gent is a kitbashed goblin king for Kings of War. He's made from an Oathmark dwarf body with Oatmark orc arms and heads and an Oathmark wolfrider crest.

Although this isn't a Middle-earth project, I wanted a slightly Tolkien-esque feel, with the big head, bow legs and long arms that Tolkien's orcs have. 

Friday 2 June 2023

Kitbashed orcs (part five)

Here are yet more, including a kettle-hatted axeman and a fur-hatted archer. There's something peculiarly satisfying about converting an archer to be ... an archer. The spearman on the left was also pleasing - a sliced-off spear-arm fitted seamlessly onto the torso of a swordsman.

I'll assemble these in Kings of War 'troops' - eight to ten figures on a 125 x 50mm base. When they're fielded as larger units, the front element can designate the specified troop type if that's in short supply.

Thursday 1 June 2023

Kitbashed orcs (part four)

 Three more kitbashed EM4 orcs - a couple of scouts/archers and a swordsman. 

Wednesday 31 May 2023

Kitbashed orcs (part three)

 Another couple of kitbashed EM4 orcs. These two have three arms from Mantic ratkin, helmets from an Oathmark dwarf and human, and an old GW orc shield. I'm particularly pleased with the conversion of the archer on the left - he's ended up in quite a dynamic pose. 

Kitbashed unit with scale versatility

 I'm always keen to maximise the utility of miniatures in different games. This unit is ostensibly a troop of 'luggits' (goblin berserkers) for Kings of War. But as it's composed of a 60 x 40mm base and a 40 x 40 one, it also works as two different sorts of unit. The first is a horde element for 28mm (or 1/72) Hordes of the Things or DBA and many other games:

As base depth is variable in HotT, I'd probably field this as a horde in 28mm and a warband in 1/72 (a scale in which these small-by-28mm-standards goblins are quite hefty). 

Meanwhile, the 40 x 40 unit works as a beast or behemoth unit in 15mm HotT - ogre hunters or whatever. 

I've got already got a few 1/72 goblin units using this scheme (they'll mix freely with these, as the big 1/72 Caesar orcs are only slightly smaller than Oathmark and Wargames Atlantic goblins - I often give the Caesar orcs Oathmark or WA heads). I find that the 40/60 basing is very handy in a game, as by aligning the first rank 60/40 and the second 40/60, you get a nice, coherent unit that's easy to move on the table because the offset basing holds it together.

Here, I've gone with an obvious leader (the chap with the spiky helmet and long sword) at the edge of the 60mm base. When the unit forms up for a 100mm frontage, he marks the 'leader point' for pivoting in Kings of War. 

As I put together more of these, they'll also form 120mm units for Impetus: two 60s or three 40s. 

And, finally, the 15mm orc warbands on 40 x 20 bases that I'm working on will double up as 40 x 40 orcling bases for Kings of War - helping to achieve maximum flexibility!

Tuesday 30 May 2023

Kitbashing orcs (part two)

 A quick lunchtime session means that the unit is ready for basing and painting, barring some green-stuff repairs.  

Kitbashing orcs


This is the start of an orcish unit for Kings of War - and possibly for Impetus too. I suspect Impetus may be fairly forgiving of minor variations in frontage, which would mean that the 125mm frontages of KoW orc and cavalry units won't matter too much alongside doubled-up Hordes of the Things bases (so 120mm) for most units. 

Kings of War's Warhammer legacy in having 20mm and 25mm bases for various humanoids is a slight annoyance when basing for maximum versatility. For the most part, I'm now basing regular infantry units on a mix of 60mm and 40mm frontages, which allows the two to be used together to create a KoW 100mm frontage, and then two of the 60s or three of the 40s can form Impetus units. Meanwhile, the 60s and 40s can be used in Hordes of the Things in 28mm and 15mm respectively; we tend to use 1/72 figures for regular humans in massed-battle games, which means that they work in both 15mm and 28mm HotT. 

These orcs are based mainly on the EM4 monopose plastics, with bits added from Mantic orcs, GW Skaven, Frostgrave demons, Fireforge Mongols and Oathmark orcs and dwarves. The leader is a Frostgrave demon with only a minor conversion to lower his head into his shoulders for a more orcish look. The fellow with the two-handed axe is a Frostgrave demon with a Fireforge cataphract head. He'll probably end up in a different uinit.

Thursday 18 May 2023

More Realms of Chaos warband members


And here are the next three kitbashes for the Realms of Chaos/Mordheim warband: two Skaven with prehensile tails and another human with a beweaponed limb.

Wednesday 17 May 2023

The start of a Realms of Chaos (and Mordheim) warband


Why not use Realms of Chaos warbands in Mordheim? The thought struck me the other day, so I rolled up a warband using the tables in Slaves to Darkness. 

The result was a largeish warband by Mordheim standards, but not one that looked grossly unbalanced. I ended up with a normal human champion of chaos, blessed with four arms. His followers are 11 humans (with a dominant attribute of beweaponed extremities) and five Skaven (with a dominant attribute of prehensile tales and hatred of elves).

So that gives us 17 individuals, none of whom have exceptional stats except for the extra attacks from the extra arms, weapon-limbs and prehensile tails. The latter two are dominant attributes, so I gave half of each group the traits, rounding down for the Skaven and up for the humans. That leaves two Skaven with prehensile tails and six humans with beweaponed extremities (who'll work very nicely as mutants with the 'great claw' mutation in regular Mordheim). All regular Mordheim bands will have more powerful individuals and - often - better equipment, so I'm going to throw these chaps into a game and see how they do. 

I have to kitbash the rest of them first, of course ...

Monday 17 April 2023

Sunday 9 April 2023

Black Orc hired sword for Mordheim

 This is an old Bob Olley orc originally produced for the Fantasy Warlord game. I got him from SHQ Miniatures, but I believe the range is on the move again. I'm planning to use him as the Black Orc hired sword in Mordheim. He's a big fellow (that's a 30mm base), so he's suitably imposing even next to chunky Mordheim-era plastic orcs.

Sunday 2 April 2023

Oathmark orcs


Some Oathmark orcs. They're not quite done - I'm going to add some vegetation to the bases and probably dull and weather the shields a bit.