Sunday 28 October 2018

Beards and Old Timers

More dwarves for Frostgrave this week. I'm coming to the conclusion that the alleged lightbox has no function at all.

First up, an adventurer from the old days. He's from before the Red Period in the mid-90s, where GW inexplicably tried to paint everything bright red, and maybe even be (confusingly) from the red catalogue that came before that. Anyway, I suspect he came out around the same time as the thief from last week's post and, like the thief, he's an excellent sculpt full of character.

 The second model is full-on Red Period. He's a Longbeard, which is an old, elite dwarf. He's got the cartoony, stumpy look that came in with the Dwarf army book, together with dumpy legs and huge feet. How the hell he runs is anyone's guess. But I like the model despite that. The way that he's basically a beard with a sword amuses me.

The next plan is to paint a couple of marksmen and a wizard for the crew. And then it's on to the undead...

Wednesday 24 October 2018

Of Lead and Plastic - an article I wrote on wargaming

I almost forgot to post this.

My main hobby isn't miniatures: it's writing. One of the things I do is write articles for the website Fantasy Faction. They predominantly cover science fiction and fantasy novels, but they review a lot of other geeky things.

I did a short overview of tabletop wargaming for them. No doubt there are loads of things I've got wrong and left out (although I hold to my view that the Age of Sigmar setting is nowhere near as good as the old one), so feel free to let me know. Anyhow, here it is.

Of Lead And Plastic: Tabletop Wargaming in 2018

Saturday 20 October 2018

Dwarfs in a Lightbox

I've often read that the easiest way to get decent pictures of miniatures is to photograph them in a lightbox.In keeping with this, I bought an extremely cheap collapsible lightbox from Singapore. I opened the box and followed the assembly instructions, which looked like this:

Easy, once I'd looked at the captain demonstration. Now to give this origami masterpiece a test run. But would the lightbox turn out to be a shitebox? Or - wait for it - would the lightbox actually be lightbollox?

The answer is "dunno". I took a picture of one of my Mordheim/Frostgrave characters that I'd just finished with the lightbox. He's an old metal troll slayer. I tried to paint him in fairly subdued colours, but the lure of stripy trousers proved too much for me.

I also painted this guy. He's a dwarf adventurer, from the older range of models. There was a point in the 90s (during what's known as the Red Period) when the dwarfs became very dumpy and caricatured. I think the models from just before then are the best. This chap is full of cool details: he's got a spoon and a clay pipe in his hat, and he's putting some treasure into a sack. Just the kind of guy you'd need to help explore the ancient ruins!

Sunday 14 October 2018

People from a Hammer film

A very long time ago, my friend Owen gave me a very heavy box containing a load of miniatures. In the box was a plastic bag full of odd little villagers. They were obviously pretty old, and each model had a job title written on the metal tab.

I did a bit of internet research and discovered that they are GW figures for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay from 1985. No wonder they look a bit wonky. Actually, they're well-sculpted in terms of conveying the characters that they're meant to be, and some of them are impressively detailed. The thing is, they're very old-fashioned and the overall proportions leave a bit to be desired.

Anyway, I painted a few of them. I think the differences in scale can be put down to inbreeding.

Here is a witch (labelled "witch" on the tab) and an old woman (rather unkindly labelled "hag").

They're not really bad models - the detailing is pretty decent. Here are (from left to right) a druid (who looks like a drunken monk to me), a herdman (who looks like the naive and weirdly wholesome young hero of a bad fantasy novel) and a poacher.

I also made a village pond. The village pond is a vital part of medieval life, supplying the visitors with "drinking" water, mud and a place to meet the locals whilst drowning suspected witches. This pond was a simple resin cast made by Magnetic Displays, which I picked up for £3 at a show. I added some grass and a couple of ducks from the Warlord farm animals set. Delightful.

"Will I float or will I just drown?"

And now for something slightly different. A while ago, I got a couple of Avatars of War miniatures in a sale. One of them was a vampire, who I painted up this weekend. She's a very good model, and in terms of style completely different to the villagers. Getting a decent picture of her was really difficult, but here she is.

Sunday 7 October 2018

Space Precinct

Back to our usual (vaguely) regular schedule of (possibly) informative articles about modelmaking. This week, I had a go at the vehicle and headquarters of the security team that I made a couple of weeks ago.

The vehicle is a hummer, which I bought at an event and which came as a large single lump of resin. The detailing was actually pretty good, although there were some odd bits around the wheels which I just painted black. It was strange trying to paint a vehicle in a roughly realistic fashion. I even used a bit of weathering powder (if that's the stuff) around the wheels.

I think it looks suitably battered. I didn't go over the top with detail or shading because, oddly, that looked rather unrealistic. Anyway, it should make a reasonable addition to the vehicle pool an a good transport for the security guys if ever they need one.

The second item (which pretty much finishes the unit off) is a building for the security guys to hide in. It was from Troll Trader, and cost about £4. As with a lot of Troll Trader stuff, it was made from MDF slightly thicker than that used by other companies and, while slightly basic, it looks like what it claims to be.

I added a few details to the model: some posters from a sheet of 40k designs for the walls, wire mesh on the windows (I bought a sheet of mesh at the local craft shop), a small box on the roof and a bit of machinery that provides power or something inside. This year's entirely random scenery purchase was a box of resin air-conditioning units, and I stuck one of them on the front. After all, if you're going to be guarding a dangerous border town in some ramshackle post-apocalyptic future, you might as well do it at a reasonable temperature.

I did contemplate adding chairs or a table, but they would get in the way of putting models inside. That does always seem to be a problem with the more complex terrain features: either they really don't let you move models very well, or they take up so much space that any game would have to centre around them.

Here's a shot of the interior, looking rather primitive. A space policeman's lot is not a happy one!

Tune in next time for medieval peasants (possibly)!