Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Royal Artillery Museum

I ran a Hammers Slammers display game at a wargame show at the Royal Artillery Museum at the old Royal Arsenal at Woolwich in SE London. I have been leafing through my old HS photos recently and came across these pics of some of the more interesting exhibits.

The Museum website is here:


Monday, 28 December 2009

Shaun's Scratchbuilt Eldar Superheavy

I dug around in my photo collection and found this pic that I took in 2004 of Shaun's scratchbuilt Eldar monster.

This was taken late in the evening in the car park of a country club in Sittingbourne where we used to run a wargame club. It is summer, as you can see from the light sky and Shaun's T-Shirt.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Shaun's New Cabinet

I popped round to see my mate Shaun's new cabinet and cadge a beer the other evening. Amongst other things that caught my eye, I noticed he has kitbashed a new Orky Superheavy with interchangable superstructure.

Shiny Toys

Santa has bought John some new shiny toy soldiers for Xmas. I didn't know that Forge World was located at the North Pole. Damned clever those elves.


Saturday, 26 December 2009

The Xmas Game

The Lambshead family, now the Lambshead-Fordham family after this months nuptials, always sit down after Xmas dinner for a game en famille. This year it was City Monopololy. The mem'sahib won with £52m worth of property. No 1 daughter came second with £42m and I had £25m, My new son-in-law showed earnings of only £50K after tax dedections, he is employed as an accountant in real life, and No2 daughter had spent all her money at Top shop and was bust.

Spaceship Combat

I have put up some thoughts on space ship combat on the SF&F authors discussion blog to which I contribute (I have another life as a fiction writer).

Please leave your thoughts.

Go here:



Thursday, 24 December 2009

Viz and War Workshop

Viz is Britain's best known toilet humour comic (in)famous for its cartoon strips such as Sid the Sexist, Fat Slags, Billie the Fish and Roger Mellie.

A few years ago they produced a strip about a 34 year old obsessive War Workshop assistant. I can't think what they could have been getting at.

Note this is copyright Viz and used without permission for review purposes. Viz can be found here:


Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Airfix Hawker Typhoon 1B

As I get older, I find myself retreating further into a second childhood. I have found myself watching James May's Bestest Toys programme with wistful nostalgia. I sit there misty eyes over Meccano, Hornby Trains and Lego but most of all - Airfix plastic plane kits.

I must have been about seven when my mother came home one day with an Airfix 1:72 Spitfire and a tube of polystyrene glue. Little did I know (Ihave always wanted to use that phrase) that this was the start of something awesome. To follow were plastic tank kits and little toy soldiers. My favourites were the 8th Army and the Afrika Corps.

Well plastic kits are back on an upswing and Airfix, like Hornby trains, are back. I recently acquired a classic 1:72 Airfix kit of a Hawker Typhoon 1B and have made it. These really are great little models.

The innovative Sopwith-Hawker company were the most important manufacturer of fighter planes in Britain. The last all-British fighter that will ever be designed is a Hawker, the famous VTOL Harrier, still in combat in Afghanistan.

The Typhoon was designed in the late 1930s as a planned raplacement of the Spitfires and Hawker Hurricanes that fought the battle of Britain. The onset of war meant that it was rushed into production too early. 142 were manufactured and were a disaster, nearly all being lost to accidents. The guns malfunctioned, the engines burst into flames on ignition and the cockpit was polluted with carbon monoxide. Worst of all, the tails fell off with fatal results for the pilot. Finally, it proved to have a miserable high altitude performance compared to the upgraded Spitfires.

It was nearly cancelled, except for a quirk of fate. The rugged Typhoon had a superb low level performance. At the time, 1943, southern England was subject to low level FW190 hit and run bombing that was impeding the build up of arms. The Spitfire defences were outclassed by the 190 at low level.

They fixed the tail and got the guns working and unleashed the Typhoon on the 190s with highly satisfactory results. OK, the engines still caight fire on ignition and the pilot had to wear a mask at all times but at low level there was nothing to touch it. They fitted two 500lb bombs, then two 1000lb bombs and sent it on sweeps across occupied Europe where it caused chaos. Fitted with rockets, Typhoons harried the German army in its retreat from Normandy and shot up the Natzi armoured columns in the Ardennes.

The ugly duckling that had nearly been cancelled had become one of the most important alled aircraft of WWII.

Monday, 21 December 2009

President Ramos of the Mineworkers & Steamfitters Union

President Ramos of the Mineworkers & Steamfitters Union and his Creations.

All the components are Wyrd Miniatures' Malifaux range. This is a playable small Malifaux army. The Union is a front for the Arcanist crime network.

I was trying for a gloomy Victorian look, hence the gaslight and the blue reflection on Ramos' coat from the magic fire over his hand. This is the first time that I have tried this sort of directional lighting.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Hammers Slammers

The SF author, David Drake, has been described as the 'father' of military SF. He served in the Blackhorse elite battle cavalry in Vietnam. The Blackhorse were the unit who devised the Thunder Run. Experience of combat has given him an insight into the impact of combat stress on human beings that no other author has ever bettered. His work stands comparison with the great WWI writers.

He is perhaps best known as the writer of the Hammers Slammers series. These are stories based around the colonial warfare campaigns of an elite third millenium mercenary battle cavalry regiment. These campaigns often involve asymetric warfare.

The picture above shows an Old Crow Hammers Slammers Blower Tank in 28ml. It's main weapon is a devastation 20cm powergun.

John Treadaway and I obtained David Drake's permission to produce the first official rulebook and wargaming guide to the Slammers. We went to enormous trouble to recreate the world of the stories, in the rules, in the background and in the models. Pireme published the books and Old Crow & Ground Zero Games designed the models. David kindly checked all the stages to ensure that we had captured his vision.

There were two initial paperback books - The core book, the Hammers Slammers Handbook, and a supplement, Hammers Anvil.




There is an independent review here:

We are in the process of producing a revised version in hardback that will incorporate and update the earlier work.

Hammers Slammers Combat Cars armed with three tribarrel powerguns.

Blower tanks rolling hot.

A firebase.

Slammers 'Hog' - self propelled rocket assisted artillery.

Terran Authority Starmaine infantry and HALO MBT. These are the profesionals that keep order in the colonies. They are tough, highly trained veterans that are superbly armed.

A Texian Mercenary Regiment gunship. These are elite light infantry.

A half track from the Thunderbolt mercenary regiment.

A Wolverine mercenary regiment powergun in an anti-tank role.

A Zaparoyski mercenary regiment Sabre MBT.

For more pictures, modelling guides and free downloads go to the official Hammers Slammers Website here:

Friday, 18 December 2009

Guild Witchhunters

This is a Guild witchhunter team led by Sonnia Criid (master). It includes Samael Hopkins (cost 8 soulstones) and three expendable Witchling animated bodies (cost 4 soulstones each). This is a small but perfectly playable Malifaux army and costs less than £20. That makes Malifaux a great 'additional' game as it costs little to buy into. A large force would have two masters and, say, sixteen other models.

It has snowed in southern England. This is something of a rare event so I have included a piccy taken from my front door.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Guild Witchlings

'Witches' captured by the Guild's Witchhunters tend to disappear. Some are reaminated by Sonia Criid, leader of the Witchhunters, as Witchlings. These are the Witchunters' expendable footsoldiers.

The base inserts are also sourced from Wyrd Miniatures. As you can see, I am still learning how to use layering. :)

The swords were painted in Citadel light gold and then covered with a mixture of gloss varnish and yellow acrylic. Citadel green wash was dribbled into the cracks.



Sometime today the one hundredth Follower joined this blog. I think this auspicious event should be marked. Please email me privately and let me know who you are.


PS Graphic is a freeby C. Worldcliparts.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Ramos & Hopkins, Malifaux

Hopefully, some better pics. We are close to the shortest day of the year in Northern Europe and the sun barely creeps over the horizon. So there is not a lot of light.

Ramos is the President of the Miners & Steamfitters Union, a front for the Arcanist organised crime syndicate.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Samael Hopkins, Guild Witchhunter

Hopkins is the best hunter in the Guild's Witchhunter taskforce led by Sonia Crid. The Guild are the policemen in Malifaux, although perhaps security guards are a better term as they are uninterested in justice. Their remit is to ensure the steady flow of soulstones to Earth.

Apologies for the poor quality of the pic - I had to use artificial light.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Steamborg: Executioner Class

I have been very taken by Wyrd Miniatures Malifaux range. This is a Steamborg manufactured by the Miners and Steamfitters Union, which serves as a front for an organised crime network called the Arcanists. Malifaux is a sort of Steampunk-WildWest-Victoriana. More about the game in a later post. The models are great.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Morning of the Wedding

The bride is ready.

My daughters preparing on the morning of the big day. It had rained for 4 solid weeks but the Vicar assured us that it would be OK on the day as he had powerful connections. At midday it stopped raining and the clouds shifted to show brilliant sunshine. The next day it started to rain again. The pics are shown in reverse order.

Mother and bridesmaid (No 2 daughter) departing in the Roller.

Getting the bride into the dress.

The bridesmaid is ready.

The make up artist used a very sophisticated Iwata double action airbrush. I was quite jealous.

Arrival of the flowers.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

W Day

John will be unavailable to post this weekend on account of the nuptials of No 1 daughter. Normal service will be resumed after the anasthetic wears off.