Saturday 30 May 2020

A Friend For Myron Jubalgunn

What a great book Rogue Trader is. There really is something for everyone, whether it's the God-forsaken hell-planet of Birmingham, the possibility of fielding an army of sand clams and man-eating face flannels (represented by small pieces of Blu-Tac, of course), the culinary habits of the zoats, or the exploits of the mysterious criminal Abdul Goldberg (sources seem to agree that he has a beard, but otherwise, who knows?). And then there were four pages of pictures of Logan's World at the rear of the book. Like many other older gamers, I am the proud owner of a piece of terrain with MARINES OU written across the back.

One bit that I noticed was this piece of art by Jes Goodwin of "The Renegade Myron Jubalgunn" and his companion, "a dangerous alien of unknown origin".

Under the picture, one Inquisitor Toulon Hess warns that these two have recently arrived on Logan's World, and that anyone helping them "shall suffer the undiminished wrath of the Master of Mankind". Ouch.

Actually, they both look like dangerous aliens to me. Jubalgunn himself could be an unusually seedy eldar, and his fancy sword and the rune on his belt seem to back that up. His friend looks like a cross between a skaven marksman and a plague globeadier, and reminds me of some concept sketches for space skaven that are in Jes Goodwin's book The Eldritch and the Gothic. Anyhow, I thought I'd have a go at making Myron's friend.

The starting point was that this guy is small, hunched and covered in some sort of robe or coat. I found one of the skaven bell-ringers off the Bell of Doom kit, and carefully cut him free of his fellow monks. He got a chaos cultist head, which has a hood and gas mask, and I sculpted some robes and a fur collar with green stuff. The backpack/breathing apparatus was made from plastic off-cuts.

Then came the tricky part. His gun was made from a spare Skitarii rifle, with the hands cut away. It was very fiddly. I had to resculpt his right hand, which I don't much like doing (I'm fine filling in gaps with green stuff, but sculpting from scratch is outside my skill range). I didn't give him the big breathing tubes that he has in the picture, because I never find that green stuff tubing looks all that convincing when I do it. Likewise, the gun and the sleeves hide the need to add bandages to his arms.

This is what he looks like with a bit of paint:

And here's a rear view:

I suppose I ought to make Myron, too.

Wednesday 27 May 2020

Wasteland Rider Conversion

Over the last couple of months, I've been painting older models and trying to work my way through some of the large box of things that I've accumulated over the years. This has been fun, but I started to miss converting things, so I thought I'd make a random miniature.

I decided to go for an old-school, Realm of Chaos-style model. I had a Brettonian cavalry horse, which would make a good basis for a mutant steed. I gave it a new muzzle and crest from a Kroot warrior, and a tail from a random tentacle that I had lying around  in my bits box. The rider has legs from an Empire outrider, a Dark Eldar upper body, Adeptus Mechanicus arms and a head from a daemonette that reflects the crest of the horse. The little creature on the base came from some familiars for Warhammer Quest.

I painted the horse blue for additional weirdness. Painting horses strange colours always looks a bit My Little Pony, but I think it's alright here. The horse's barding got a bone undercoat and was shaded down into sepia and rusty orange at the bottom. This strikes me as an old-fashioned scheme: a lot of older GW art has that brownish tone. The rider got some strange green armour and quills to match the horse.

The basing was a bit of a problem. To begin with, I put her on a green grassland base, but it looked too "classic fantasy". I used a wasteland-type base instead, which works nicely with the colours of the barding and looks suitably strange. I'll use the green base on my next zoat.

It is said that smaller deviations, if tolerated, lead to greater horrors. In this case, a wasteland hunter is using a small mutant, in the form of a walking fish, to lead her to larger and more lucrative prey. The markings on her steed's barding show that she is a member of the Lodge of the Stag Beetle, a powerful conclave of hunters and caravaneers. The yellow shield with a black stripe denotes success as a destroyer of robots, which are an increasing threat in the wastelands.

Saturday 23 May 2020

Little Titans

Somewhat inspired by This Post on Magpie and Old Lead, I dug out some very old Imperial Knight models from epic and gave them a repaint.

They date from around 1990, when Oldhammer was beginning to enter the fabled Red Period. Back then, I would have thought that they looked stupid, and they do look a bit silly, but they've got a certain wacky charm. Looking back through old White Dwarfs, I find the brightness of the epic titans very appealing, with their complicated heraldry and inevitable chequered armour panels. And after all, if you are a thirty-metre robot, camouflage probably doesn't help you very much. You might as well go all-in.

Anyhow, I painted a knight lancer and a paladin. I particularly like the lancer, with its lanky legs and ridiculous WW1 helmet. I painted them in bright colours to match my titan. I've read somewhere that shading up the armour plates gives a feeling of size, so I've tried to do that here.

Here's the titan. I did it a while back, and it needs some more work, but it fits the other titans.

Thursday 21 May 2020

The Dirty Half-Dozen

The spaceport rumbled with activity. Engineers welded up holes in a space frigate. Robot rickshaws stomped around, looking for trade. The five heroes left their hovercoaster and escorted the rescued pilot (her name was Pontius) across the landing ground, towards safety.

"This seems safe."

But on the far side of the spaceport, enemies were closing in.

"Leave no witnesses, lads!"

Suddenly, a massive green creature lumbered into view. Knives and daggers covered its body. A greatcoat was draped over its shoulders like a cape. It wore a black bobble hat, minus the bobble. There was no mistaking this monster: it was Orke Waaagate, leader of the dreaded mercenaries known as the Dirty Half-Dozen.

Other orks crept out of the shadows, hefting dirks, axes and bolt pistols. This was going to get nasty.


This was a very different mission, as orks are tougher than humans and, crucially, can't be pinned, making them ferocious enemies. They were armed with bolt pistols and axes, and needed to close the distance to do damage. That gave the heroes two precious turns of shooting before the enemy got close.

Which they squandered. Gunshots rang around the spaceport, striking everything apart from the huge green mercenaries. The aliens charged straight into a barrage of fire, but only one of them - Waaagate himself - hit the deck. Dave stepped out of cover and sprayed the orks point-blank with two autopistols - and missed. Seconds later, the enemy mekboy charged in and bashed him senseless with a spanner.


Things didn't look good. Doctor Apocalypse hurled a grenade - which turned out to be his only one, as he promptly ran out of ammo. It hit three mercenaries, but only one was too injured to continue. Captain Fancy rushed into combat, twirling his rapier. To the surprise of everyone, his flamboyant skills paid off and another ork was felled.

Total mayhem

Maria Poppinata and Doombot X-7 ran forward to give the orks a taste of steel. Unfortunately, Maria tripped over her carpet bag and was knocked out. A savage clash of steel and green flesh occurred as Doombot ran straight into the ork comms expert. The flesh was weak, and the ork crashed to earth.

To their credit, the orks passed their bottle roll. The penultimate mercenary fell to Doctor Apocalypse's blade. Finally, under the nose of the the space frigate Thunder Child, Captain Fancy did battle with Lee Morkvin, the last of the commandos. Morkvin was a tough opponent, but the ork gods had clearly been distracted by a shiny bottle top and fortune was not in his favour. Captain Fancy felled the brute, and the field belonged to the heroes.

"Have at you, sir!"

The victorious team wiped their swords down, holstered their guns, and prepared to stroll into town. But in the distance, they heard sirens. Perhaps it was time to make themselves scarce...


Thankfully, Dave escaped unscathed, but poor Maria suffered a wound to her arm, leaving her with strength 2. However, Captain Fancy increased his shooting, and Doctor Apocalypse, the leader, gained a very useful boost to his leadership. Perhaps the team will run away less often now!

So, another battle went well! This was a lot of fun, and the sides were pretty well-matched, especially once the orks were within killing-range. My main lesson is that swords are really useful, and that close combat in Necromunda is much deadlier and more decisive than shooting - which isn't necessarily a good thing!

Two More Samurai

Here are the next couple of samurai adventurers from Warlord Games. The bloke on the left is armed with the traditional samurai weapon of... a baseball bat made out of a massive corn cob. He's either wearing a ruffled fur cloak or a small thatched roof. Either way, he's pretty wild. I reckon he's a bandit.

The other chap seems to be a monk, together with a robe and staff. I used contrast paint on his robe: as usual with contrast paint, it's come out alright, but not much better than that. While it shaded the creases quite well, I ended up highlighting it with a mixture of normal yellow and orange contrast. I'm still not convinced by contrast paint.

Anyway, little titans next time.

Tuesday 19 May 2020

"It's a rescue mission - you'll love it."

It was as Doctor Apocalypse had thought: the Brotherhood of the Grisly Truth had captured the pilot from the fallen spaceship and planned to devour her in a hideous ritual. A rescue was necessary.

The cultists left the unfortunate pilot at their base with four guards, while the rest of them went off into the wastelands to fetch supplies, praise Khorne, dress for dinner or do some monstrous combination of all three. The heroes gathered at the edge of the cultists' hideout, checked their weapons and commenced the attack.

The cultists keep a close eye on the pilot, amid their stash of boxes and bombs.

The heroes charged in from the south, got the jump on the guards and soon had put three of them down. But a fresh pack of thugs hurried in on the eastern flank. In the crossfire, Maria Poppinata suffered a flesh wound and Captain Fancy was lucky to escape with his epaulettes intact.

A fresh horde of thugs rush in to stop the downed pilot from escaping.

Dave put his new gunslinging skills to good effect and blazed a path into the enemy base with twin autopistols. Doctor Apocalypse waded in with a sword, and turned out to be surprisingly lethal for a mad scientist as he dissected two thugs in close combat. At the height of the battle, Doombot X-7 stormed in, bashed one cultist unconscious, shot another and was promptly put out of action in a blaze of gunfire.

Having secured their objective, the heroes celebrate by pointing at things.

The original plan had been to grab the pilot and run off the table with her. As it happened, all the enemy were dead before that was necessary. Instead, the heroes looted the cultists' stash of snacks and beer (popkhorne and Bloodweiser respectively, of course), and headed back to their hovercoaster. As they meditated on their adventure and stuck a new wire in X-7's fusebox, Captain Fancy set a course to the big city.

The hovercoaster set down and the heroes emerged, eager to continue their search for cheap beer and reward money. But even as they left their ship, sinister figures crept out of the shadows to intercept them...


Game 2 was a hard-fought variant on the Hit and Run (Stick Up) mission from the old Necromunda book. It played very smoothly and could have gone either way at any time. X-7 acquired an old battle wound, on account of some circuitry falling out of his head, and the others gained in skill in the usual random way (Dave now has two wounds, for some reason). I'm liking this system. I think some different opponents are called for next time, though...

Sunday 17 May 2020

First Blood in the Badlands - Solomunda Campaign

The five heroes headed deep into the wasteland, following the plume of smoke that rose from the crashed spaceship. But they were not the only people who had noticed the fallen craft. A Khornate cult, the Brotherhood of the Grisly Truth, saw the ship fall to earth and decided that, since they weren't going to worship it, they were going to kill everyone in the vicinity. Appalled by this lack of scientific method, Doctor Apocalypse gave the order to advance. The two sides met in a network of ruins, and the battle began!

A blimp drifts over the wasteland, promising a better life in a different franchise.

The heroes were outnumbered two-to-one, but they used the longer range on their lasguns to pin the cultists and stagger their advance. Soon the casualties were mounting, but it wasn't enough to stop Maria Poppinata falling to a lucky autopistol shot. With controlled firing, the heroes managed to kill off enough cultists to force them to take a bottle test. Would the enemy flee the field? No!

This bit was much more exciting than it looks.

The two sides closed in and the cultists' autopistols took their toll. Doctor Apocalypse was shot down as he took cover. Two frothing cultists rushed Doombot X-7: he blasted one, and the other smacked him right in the gearbox. With 60% of their crew out of action, the heroes took a bottle test, and heroically ran like hell.

The cultists dance triumphantly around the ruined spaceship, shortly before trying to work out what it is.

The heroes were in a bad state. Of the three who were taken out of action, only Doombot X-7 was repaired to his usual condition. Doctor Apocalypse sustained hideous scars, resulting in him causing fear (presumably these scars are on his face, but who knows?). Only Maria Poppinata sustained serious negative effects, taking a chest wound that reduced her toughness to 2 and didn't do her singing voice any good either.

The heroes stumbled back towards town, looking to heal up and resupply. But as they staggered off, X-7's internal speakers crackled. He'd picked up a distress signal, coming from nearby. It appeared the pilot had bailed out, straight into cultist territory...


So, a few thoughts. This was the "gang fight" mission from the Necromunda rulebook, in case you're wondering. Did it work? Yes, I think so. It was a very fast and entertaining game. The superior skill of the heroes was offset well by the numbers of the villains, especially when the fighting closed up and the bonuses for carrying autopistols started to add up. As with a lot of classic Necromunda, it came down to the bottle rolls and, frankly, the cultists were lucky to stay in the field as long as they did. Now we'll see how the rules I've made for resupply work. On to the next mission - rescuing the pilot!

Saturday 16 May 2020

Small-Scale Necromunda - the Misadventure Begins!

It was a quiet Friday evening, and the usual crowd were drinking at Nitehawks, enjoying the ambience while stepping over the larger bodies on the dancefloor. Suddenly, there was a tremendous explosion from beyond the city walls. A ship had crashed in the badlands!

Five heroes (in the broadest sense of the word) leaped into action. Quickly commandeering a nearby hovercoaster, they set out into the wasteland to rescue the flyers and salvage whatever they could find before the local chaos cultists stripped both ship and crew to the bone.

L-R: Captain Fancy, Maria Poppinata, Doombot X-7, Dave and Doctor Apocalypse

I'd got halfway through Blackstone Fortress, and was getting slightly tired of it, so I thought I'd try something slightly different. I've always liked stories where a crew of rogues have an adventure in space, like Serenity or Solo (or, to continue the alliteration, Space Captain Smith). While Hardwired is slick, the missions can get a bit samey, so I'm going to use the old Necromunda rules (not the new version), with a few tweaks.

The changes:

- Sides are chosen as usual. The heroes have 500pts to spend on gang members (heroes) and weaponry as usual. Heroes can be chosen from any of the six gangs, and gain skills according to their relevant tables.

- The other side (the villains) are bought with 500 pts. It is best to keep them numerous and basic - 10 juves with autopistols, say. The bestiary from Outlanders can be used.

- Bottle rolls occur after over 60% of a side has been taken out of action.

- At the end of each game, roll for injuries as usual. Reroll anything related to territory or being captured. The heroes get 50 credits to spend as per usual, although everything is available at the listed prices. The villains get 50 pts more in the next game, to represent reinforcements, and rising stakes in the adventure.

- At the end of each game, each hero who didn't go out of action can roll once on the advancement table. Obviously, this will cause them to change characteristics very quickly, but that's half the fun of it. I still fondly remember Ned Killy, the ganger who lost an eye, gained a wound and inexplicably became a marksman after one particular game.

And that's about it! I may tweak these changes as we go, but it should be entertaining.

Friday 15 May 2020

Two Samurai and a Chaos Champion

Just a quick post, really. In the huge box of unpainted models was a set of Warlord Games' Samurai Heroes. I've painted the first two: a "standard" looking chap charging into battle, and a big fat bloke who seems to have forgotten his shirt.

Also, I found an old chaos champion. He was missing a weapon and an arm, so I added a plastic axe and shield, and filled the gaps with green stuff. Here is a truly awful WIP shot.

He's massive, even compared to other chaos models, and has that chunky crudeness that feels very "middlehammer" to me. That said, I like the model. I used less red on him than the other chaos models, in case he ended up as a generic mercenary warrior instead of a sworn minion of the chaos gods.

Overall, I like him, especially because he's one of the very few models where I've managed to get the eyes right.

Tuesday 12 May 2020

Space Whale!

Time for yet another model that I've had lying around on my desk for months. By and large, I'm not a huge fan of the models in Warlord Games' Gates of Antares. They tend to feel a bit dull and generic. However, there are a few scupts that I really like, and one of them is the Isorian Tograh Transporter Drone.

I picked this thing up in a sale at the new year. It's normally the steep price of £35, which seems an awful lot for a four-piece resin model with no customisation. It's not all that huge, either: for a transport drone, it would have a lot of trouble transporting anything larger than Christmas cards. But it is a cool shape, and has an interesting bio-mechanical feel, with bone-like armour and things that might be wings, flippers or intake vents. I like the way it looks Gigeresque without being a big snarling monster.

I thought that it resembled a whale, so I painted it in dark blue on the top and light blue underneath, with a thin wash of purple ink to suggest living flesh. I added some bits of phosphorescence to break up the blue colour. I doubt it's meant to have eyes, but I painted some on, and I think they look quite cool. To be honest, I think this is the sort of model that would really benefit from an airbrush instead of a bit of torn sponge.

Sunday 10 May 2020

Cola Machines and 3D-Printed Laundry

Today we've got two (well technically three, but maths never was my strong point) pieces of terrain.

First up are two "Phoenix Fizz" vending machines, made by TT Combat. They are resin models with optional rear plates and doors, and can be assembled to have the doors open or closed. The styling is very 1950s, and they closely resemble the "Nuka Cola" machines from the Fallout computer games.

(A small digression here. One of the best books I own for terrain-making is "The Art of Fallout 4", which has concept sketches of loads of interesting machines, people and scenery in that game. It's like a "things to see and do" for wargaming terrain. If you can find a copy, I really recommend it.)

I painted the machines in Nuka Cola colours, together with brown bottles of normal cola and a sinister glowing blue bottle for "Quantum". The figure in the picture shows how to operate the machines. Remember to always wear eye protection. The Phoenix Drinks Corporation accepts no liability for splash damage.

The second bit of terrain is my first run-in with 3D printed stuff. It's a medieval laundry station, made by a company called Infinite Dimensions. The sculpting and design is great, but the 3D printing is a bit crude, and it's hard to disguise the fact that it's made out of thin layers put on top of one another, rather like the contours on an Ordnance Survey map. Seen from a distance, it's fine, but up close it's a little basic. I didn't want to stress the layers, so I didn't use any washes in painting it, as they would have seeped into the line marks.

Anyway, it'll do fine, and will be useful when the characters have to battle their way to a clean jumper, as so often happens in wargaming.

Friday 8 May 2020


At an event last year, I picked up an Imperial Guard sentinel. It was the old plastic-and-metal armoured variety, without poseable legs, and it was going for £5 because it didn't have any feet.

I cast some new feet out of green stuff, using some old metal titan feet. The end result was quite good, but getting the old legs to fit onto the new feet, and making sure that the join was solid, was really difficult. I ended up making some shields for the feet (and one knee) out of ogre kingdoms fist armour, which gave it much more solidity. I think they work alright, as they might be some sort of crude additional protection added by the crew, to guard against attacks on the lower joints in urban combat and kroot-hound pee when the sentinel is standing still.

Beyond that, the roof was made of plasticard bits and pieces, and the bolts on the roof (which you probably can't see) are dots of superglue. That's about it, I think. Oh - the manhole-type thing on the base came from a kit of basing bits. That really is it!

Sunday 3 May 2020

Three Dwarf Adventurers

Now, on to some models that I really do like. Here are some random dwarves. I got the first two off ebay, and had the third lying around since I was 15 or so. I'm very keen on all of them. It seems to be the rules that elves always have to be beautiful and stylish, but dwarves are often quite caricatured, which makes for some entertaining miniatures.

Our first model (I'm making these names up, by the way) is Ambroth the Younger, son, confusingly, of Ambroth the Middling (Ambroth the elder became so old that he is now indistinguishable from a rock). He is a scholar by trade, but has joined the expedition to lend his limited magical skills to the group.

This is Girda, daughter of Mirda, a brave warrior and expert opera singer. Protected by heavy armour and extensive braids, she counts as a Templar under the Frostgrave rules.

Olaf is committed to maintaining high standards in a work environment by... holding a standard high up. He's a very old GW model. I'm quite fond of the colour fade on his shield.

I don't know who made Girda or Ambroth. It seems a shame I have no idea who sculpted these really good, characterful models. But still, here they are.

Saturday 2 May 2020

Muscles for the Blood God

Some while back, I converted some chaos-loving maniacs from the Khorne Bloodweasels (or whatever they are called) in the Storm of Sigmar AoS boxed set. Really, I just gave them some Pig Iron gasmask heads and swapped a couple of weapons over.

I dug out some old Necromunda models, including the plastic ones that came with the old boxed game back in the early 90s. I thought they would make reasonable Chaos cultists, so I had a go at painting five plastics and four metals.

These are some of the least favourite miniatures that I own. They come from a period in GW's history that I don't really warm to, between the quirkiness of Oldhammer and the technical skill of modern miniatures, when models tended to be rather hefty, lumpy things with chunky weapons and bulky cloaks. That said, there were some very decent models for Necromunda - just not these ones. House Goliath, with its big muscles and chains, looks rather like what would have happened if the Village People had swapped the traffic cop for a circus strongman. And of course, the plastics those days were just a bit rubbish.

"Young man, are you worshipping Khorne?"

Anyhow, I painted these guys, but not in much detail. Trying to find colours was tricky - the only group of people who look like this I can think of are lifers in American prison dramas, so I went with orange for the clothing. I used contrast paint for the guns and trousers. The skin was painted in the "tainted flesh" technique I've used on other chaos models, which uses a red undercoat. Some of them got washes in purple and strong tone for variety.

The unit was finished off with a champion that I made out of a mangled model of The Mighty Zug from Blood Bowl. It came missing both arms, so I added some chaos bits.

"There are many ways - to - please - the - blood god!"

And that's where I gave up. The plastics will never be good models, and the metals will never be my cup of tea. But they will work as utterly disposable cultist scum (probably of Khorne), and don't look too awful as a mob on the tabletop.

Next time, I'll be painting some models that I really, really like.