Sunday, 5 April 2020

Chaos Marine Venomcrawler Daemon Engine

Venomcrawler, Head At Left

The latest addition to my new chaos army and I am pretty much there with this little beauty.

Wonderful model of a mechanical, daemon engine, spider.

From The Rear

Finished in my new army colours of red and bronze: guess which Chaos God they favour?

I added am IG ammo box in camouflage green to give a splash of colour.

From The Left

And the head is building a tower of skulls in honour of 'you know who'.

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Review Splintered Fang Warband, Warcry

The Splintered Fang

Warcry has become one of my favourite GW games. A great advantage is that all a new player actually needs is a warband and the rulebook.

My long time opponent, Shaun M, gave me some Warcry Bands for my birthday last year and I have used the lockdown to paint them.

I used mostly contrast paints, notably the turquoise and orange.

Go Left

The Splintered Fang are vaguely Atlantis-Hoplite-Gladiator looking troops whose main gig is their poisoned blades. They are snake people.

The models are excellent, as are all the Warcry bands. These are more durable than some of the others: Warcry bands can be a bit fragile.

I can see them appealing to anyone wanting an ancient-fantasy skirmish group.

No, Right

The only disappointment is that ridiculous snake model with a half doz tiny snakes on. I mean how frightening is that? Why not a decent sized serpent?

Nevertheless, great kit and good value for £30 including Warcry cards.

Oh and you can also use these as a chaos unit in Age of Sigmar.

Monday, 30 March 2020

Shadowspear: Master of Possession & Greater Possessed

Master of Possession & Greater Possessed

Picked up a few items second hand from the Shadowspear box for my new project.

I wanted them to reflect Khorne with a nod to the Black Legion.

I fear I may have overdone the colours a tad: I am mildly colourblind. Maybe green-yellow magical fire was a step too far.

What do you think?

Another Chance to See

The blue hide coat is a nod to my Blackstone Black Legion marines.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Up The Revolushun

Santa's Little Helpers

Another bite out of my genormous model painting backlog.

I give you Red Gobbo and the crack Gitz Red Guard.

Red Gobbo

The fundamentals of 40K are a parody of British life in the 1970s and 80s filtered through the sense of humour of a certain young anthropology student called Rick Priestley.

I wonder how many modern GW staffers know who was the original Red Robbo? Clue: he was one of the clowns who brought down the British car industry.

Blowin Stuff Up

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Nighthaunt Banshees


The lockdown continues and I am so bored I have taken to weeding the drive.

Meanwhile, the latest output from the sausage factory.

Still Wooohhh!

As an experiment these were entirely painted with contrast paints except for matt white.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Servants of the Abyss: Chaos Marines

Lord Obsidius Mallex plus Bodyguards

More from the Blackstone Fortress sprues. A Chaos Lord with a small retinue - no double entendre intended.

Pink Plasma

I painted them as Black Legion Marines because I don't have any but have always liked the Gold and Black armour. I used to pose with John Player packets of fags as a twenty something with a sportscar.

Going Somewhere?

Freaked to see that my mate Andy Singleton was also using blue as the pelt colour for this model.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Blackstone Fortress: Bill & Ben, The Ratling Men

Anomalous Readings

Terrific figures again from the Blackstone Fortress 'Quest' dungeon crawler.

I am having so much fun with these.

Rear View

The detail on these minis is stunning.

Oh, and for those who missed out on Watch With Mother, BBC 50s TV......

Bill & Ben, The Flowerpot Men

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Blackstone Fortress: Rogue Psykers

A buoyancy problem

The traitor psykers from the Blackstone Fortress set.

Great models once again with heads bulging like a quantum physicist.

Nice pelts, guys

They do seem to rather drift through life, though.

(okay, I'll stop now)

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Blackstone Fortress: Rogue Trader & Navigator

Rogue Trader Dellbois Trettor & Navigator House Rhodenay

Two more exceptional models from the Blackstone Fortress starter set.

In common with most GW models now, they are fixed pose but this allows wonderful characterisation and dynamism.

Another Fine Mess You've Got Us Into.

This set is worth buying just for the models - even if you never play the game.

They make a great addition to a 40K Inquisitorial retinue.

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Review: Reaper Bones Pit Demon, Agramon - Khorne Daemon Prince


Reaper Bones miniatures are made from a plastic polymer that can react with certain chemicals to form a 'tacky' surface that remains tacky even through layers of paint and varnish. These chemicals are often used as a propellant in paint spray cans. It is possible that they may also occur in acrylic paints with complicated solvents such as Mr Color or Tamiya.

Sword Added

The only modification was to drill out the left fist and add a sword. Otherwise the model is 'as it came'.

The model was painted with Vallejo Citadel acrylics, including contrast paints and washes, with no problems whatsoever.

I first washed it in black Nuln Oil to get in all the creases to deepen the 3D effect and then painted over with Contrast Blood Angel Red.

Highlights were added with Vallejo rust-orange Air.


I intend to use the model as a Khorne Daemon Prince for a little project I have in mind, but more about that later. 

Agramon is smaller than a GW Daemon Prince but is still impressive compared to a space marine. The advantages of using the reaper model are: cheapness, easy storage, and robustness. IMO it also looks better than the GW model of which I have never been a great fan.

Available for about £10 from Reaper UK or various independent traders.

Highly recommended

Monday, 9 March 2020

Close Quarters Is Out

My latest book, Close Quarters, a supplement for Cruel Seas is available from Warlord Games and all good bookshops/wargame shops for twenty of your English pounds.

This one took six months of intensive work, mostly spent on research.

I have to admit, I am inordinately and shamefully proud of it.

Gaslands Post Apocalyptic Cars

Red Devil

This is a 28 mm post-apocalyptic car sculpted by Dave Stone at Wargames Terrain Workshop that sells for the princely sum of £6.

Suitable for lots of uses, it comes with a firing platform on the back that can take a mini on a base.

WTW Website Photo

I chose to paint mine in reasonable condition but Dave's website has one really dirted and rusted up.

Black Maria

This model is available from WTW for the sum of £5, and includes the guy with the multiple rocket launcher in the front boot space.


Again, Dave weathered his display model rather more than me.

Grav Car

Finally, I bought one of these little beauties for a fiver. It's a Lamborrari 2000 sports car for sci fi skirmish games.

There must be a couple of hundred different sorts of resin models on the WTW webshop, all at highly competitive prices.

Well worth a visit.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Blackstone Fortress: Men of Iron or The Abominable Intelligence

Man of Iron

In the 40K universe artificial intelligence, also called abominable intelligence, is most definitely banned on account of them inevitably trying to destroy their creators - although the Tau seem to have got away with it so far.

However, it's a big galaxy out there and the odd 'Man of Iron' escaped the purge back in the Dark Age of Technology.

One of them is wandering around the Blackstone Fortress, attempting to commune with the base itself, or more accurately its AI.

Departing Man of Iron

The MoI is cunningly disguised as a semi-autonomous Imperial Robot under remote control - very non AI - so is equipped with Imperial weapons such as a power fist and a gatling cannon.

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Blackstone Fortress Baby-Eating Bishop of Bath & Wells

Bishop of Bath & Wells

I have been ploughing through my unpainted minis lately and, at the bottom of a cupboard, discovered an entire unpainted Blackstone Fortress game. And they are great models.

First up the good Bish' of Bath and Wells with his lovely assistant - all ready to toast those babies.

I have completely mislaid my Tamiya textured paint so finishing the base will have to wait for another day.

By, By Bishop, Goodbye....

Monday, 24 February 2020

Hellenistic Ersatz Legionaries

Hellenistic 'Legionary' Infantry

At a parade in 166BC, Polybius refers to a 5,000 man unit of Seleucid infantry as armed 'like Romans'.

The question is how really like a Roman legion was this Hellenistic unit.

The key military attacking unit in World War II was the Armoured/Mechanised Division. No purely infantry army could win against a foe fielding these units. After WWII, armoured and mechanised divisions remained as the primary military units facing each other in The Cold War. Newly emergent nations with the cash to spare were keen to create their own modern battle winning divisions. They copied NATO or Soviet divisions, buying the vehicles and creating the ranks and uniforms. But these ersatz armoured divisions, good as they looked on paper, were found wanting in a real war. You can't make a Russian armoured division simply by buying the gear. You need Russian to man the tanks.

So what were Seleucid 'legionaries'? Hellenistic armies already had Thureophoroi and Thorakitai, infantry with helmets, large Gallic shields, spears & javelins, swords and, sometimes, mail armour? Even if Hellenistic kings equipped their troops with Italian rather than Gallic shields and heavy javelins rather than spears and light javelins, that wouldn't make them legions.

The point of the legion wasn't just the gear, but the training and battle tactics to use same - such as the flexible maniples, the line rotation in battle, the four types of troops, cohorts and so on.

Hellenistic Infantry

Whatever, Hellenistic legions have become a staple of wargames so I have some for my new 15 mm army.

Mine are sourced from Xyston, and I got them from Rochester Models.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Review Warcry: Unmade

Unmade Warband - click to enlarge.

Warcry is, in my view, a much underrated fantasy skirmish wargame from The Evil Empire. It uses doubles and trebles, etc, from the roll of a set of dice to allow pieces to undertake actions of various complexity. The background is of small chaos warbands, not drawn from the usual factions, roaming the Eight Points realm trying to carry out great deeds to impress The Everchosen of Chaos. Mostly this involves beating up other small warbands.

The Unmade are one of those bands from the Realm of Shish (Realm of the Dead). They worship chaos in the form of pain and to be in an Unmade warband you have to cut your own face off and wear it as a belt buckle decoration - yes, even by GeeDubya standards this is really gruesome. Such a warrior is known as Awakened.

Yep, you really have to suffer for your wokeness in Age of Sigmar.

Moving up in status, a warrior is allowed to cut an arm off so as to permanently attach a weapon. These are the Ascended.

The second in command get to cut both arms off - an honour indeed - which is presumably why they are know as Joyous Ones.

But the leaders are the pièce de résistance. They are known as blissful ones because they get to cut off their legs as well as their arms - and become bladerunners.

The models are some of the best Citadel have made. Really, really beautiful a sadomasochistic sort of way. My only criticism, and it applies to all the Warcry warbands, is that they are a bit delicate as playing pieces. Gorgeous models for a diorama set in an insane world, though.

Highly Recommended (the game ain't bad, either)

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Thureophoroi - Club Paint Challenge

My local wargame club has a painting challenge. I have set my target at painting two units a month for a new MeG 15mm Hellenistic ancients army.

These are Xyston miniatures from Rochester Models.

I haven't bought a 15 mm army for decades and was stunned by the quality of the current models.

Thureophoroi are a type of infantry that were used across the Hellenistic world. They were named after the oval 'Celtic-style' shield presumably adopted after the Galation intrusion into the Greek world; the Thyreos is the shield.

Thureophoroi or thyreophoroi were a kind of jack-of-all-trades infantry type that could operate in all types of terrain. Apart from the shield, they had only a helmet for protection and were armed with javelins and/or a long single-handed thrusting spear thought to be Thracian in origin. Thureophoroi were used to support light infantry and could operate either in loose or order.

They were commonly used by small city states as cheap paramilitary forces. Many Greek mercenary troops in Macedonian or Hellenistic armies were probably Thureophoroi. They would be used to guard the camp or as flank defence for the heavy infantry. Plutarch reports them as ineffective when used as line-of-battle troops against real heavy infantry such as phalangites.

Any Hellenistic army from Alexander onwards should include Thureophoroi.

Eventually some seem to have been up-armoured with mail shirts to produce Thorakitae that were presumably better drilled for close-order combat. Thorakitae may be the 'ersatz Roman' troops reported in late Hellenistic armies although their equipment is pure Galatian/Thracian