Monday 30 March 2015

The Goddess Isis On The Cheap

This mini started life as a resin ornament that I encountered in a wee gifty shoppe. She is about 1:32 scale, maybe slightly bigger, and is based on the Goddess Isis.

Isis was an important Egyptian goddess, sister-wife of Osirus, mother of Horus. She was particularly associated with white magic, protection and healing. Her name means throne and she is often depicted wearing a stylised throne on her head.

The later ancient world called her Mother of Heaven and associated her with Astarte, Demeter, Aphrodite, Venus and Al-Uzza. She is still with us in the christian name Isodora (Gift of Isis) and as the Virgin Mary in Catholic iconography (the divine mother with baby).

Isis and her temple in London has a walk on role in my novel Wolf In Shadow where she saves my heroines from the wrath of the men-only army-god, Mithras who had his Temple on the Walbrook

Another of my Of Gods & Mortals  God models 'on the cheap'.

P.S. Fed up struggling to get my Jessops for Nikon flash gun to talk to my Nikon camera so I took a deep breath and bought a Nikon SB700. Wish I'd done it years ago. Brilliant flash light. Above is a straight on shot in TTL close up mode.

Sunday 29 March 2015

Nemean Lion On the Cheap

I needed a Nemean Lion for my Greek mythological army so I picked up a toy lion at the Skirmish Toy Soldier show for 50p. I sprayed it with Halford's car cellulose undercoat and painted it tawny brown. This was followed by Citadel brown wash, a coast of Army Painter brown tone gloss varnish to seal it all in and thin layer of Winsor & Newton matt varnish to take off the shine.

Killing the monstrous man-eating Nemean Lion was the first labour of Hercules.

This is a big model: the 25mm cavalry base gives the scale. In metal it would have cost £15. Okay, this is not so good a sculpt as a metal model but it ain't bad for fifty copper coins of the realm.

Friday 27 March 2015

Lion Rampant Host

I have finished the retinue of John de'Rainham: he's the handsome chap on the far back left of the pic.

It's a standard 24 point host with:
1. Mounted Men at Arms (back left with lance)
2. Mounted Sergeants (middle left)
3. Foot Men at Arms (front left)
4. Foot Sergeants (right rear with spears)
5. Crossbowmen (foot right)

The cavalry is made from a box of Veus Dult Mounted Sergeants for £20.

And the infantry from a box of Foot Sergeants which cost £35.

You get 48 minis in the infantry box so I still have 18 leftover.

I bought  Battle Flag shield transfers specially made for this range. These are expensive so I only got one sheet and created the other shield designs by painting and leftover transfers from various models.

Delineation of the hard plastic models is good and they respond well to a thin coat of Army Painter tinted varnish - as shown on the armour in this photo.

Wednesday 25 March 2015

Æthelflæd, Lady of Mercia

Model by Belt Fed, painted by me.

Æthelflæd, Myrcna hlæfdige, was the eldest daughter of Alfred the Great, King of Wessex. She married a Mercian ealdorman and became the ruler of Mercia, Wales and York after winning a series of battles against the Vikings and Welsh.

One of Britain's great women rulers and warlords.

Crystal Palace Dinosaurs

Visitors to Crystal Palace probably remember the early reconstructions of dinosaurs now on display in the grounds.

Well now you can buy models for your VSF games from Antediluvian Miniatures for the princely sum of £25.

Oddly enough many dinosaur models are way out of date. It is impossible to get a 28mm mini of a modern reconstruction, such as the one below.

Tuesday 24 March 2015

Godinstone Open day

Popped down to Godinstone for their charity open day. Unfortunately it was just a little to early for the full flowering of the daffs. The chalklands are rather exposed so spring is later here than on the coast.

Wild orchids were up. They do well on the nutrient poor chalk meadows of Kent.

Monday 23 March 2015

Lion Rampant - First Game

The Continuing Saga of Shawn of Rochester and John de Rainham.

Swearing vengeance after his hammering at the peace conference, Shawn assembled his loyal vassals with the usual threats and bribes to launch a full blown chevauchée through John's lands.

Fortunately John received prior notice from his PAVE chain (Peasant and Villein Exhortatory system) and was ready with his full blown host.

Yep, we were ready to play Scenario 1 from Lion Rampant with Shaun as the attacker.

This is what the game looked like after five or six turns.

Shawn had considerable problems getting his host to advance while mine flatly refuse to move at all. I think it took about five turns for John de Rainham's assorted threats and bribes got the archers to advance while his cavalry stayed in a full blown sulk.

By about turn seven things hotted up. I persuaded my archers to fire on Shaun's spearmen who took to their heels - nah, nah, cowardly custards.

Meanwhile Shaun's mounted men at arms started a charge on my other archers in the woods. I marvelled at the horse's bravery as light infantry are at their best in woods.

Shaun's spearmen rallied but his mounted men at arms took a terrible pounding, the survivors fleeing clean off the battlefield. Encouraged, John's mounted men at arms and right flank knights deigned to advance.

Meanwhile an exasperated Shaun of Rochester lost his head and led his personal retinue in a charge on John de Rainham, who was still trying to persuade his own retinue to stop sulking and advance.

Alas, John's retinue promptly counter-charged (automatic response not needing a die roll) and poor Shaun got the worst of it. His retinue promptly fled the field, carrying Shaun with them, and John declared victory.


I don't know what to make of this. The game was completely controlled by the activation die rolls. I won the game by not managing to do anything. Admittedly there was some terrible die-rolling going on.

Sunday 22 March 2015

Bolt Action - Deep in the Jungle

I was horribly disorganised for a Pacific game of Bolt Action this week with Andy Singleton's American Marines in the Marquis pub. We had arranged 1000pts but I could only find half my army so I plonked down about 750 and Andy kindly let me be the defender.

Above my loyal troops are getting ready to die for the Emperor.

The battle raged and I killed Andy's howitzer with a single lucky mortar shell but things started to go wrong and my Ha Go took a 75mm armour piercing through the tinfoil masquerading as its frontal armour.I moved up to reclaim the initiative with a full Banzai charge.

And was met by a hail of fire which gunned down my entire left wing and all the suicide bombers on the right wing - who never got near the Sherman. I lost six units in a single turn.

Ah well, not to worry, eh?

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Sunday 15 March 2015

Skirmish Toy Soldier Show, Sidcup

Popped up to South London for the Skirmish toy soldier show. This is a small show with kit and toy soldier dealers. However there were a few wargames there.

The Medway Wargames Club were up demoing Rivet Wars and something similar.

The Rainham club had a demo of a Virgina War scenario - tomahawks and all that.

A bit of the 'ole steampunk.

A Robin Hood rescues Maid Marion game in 54mm by the Skirmish People - who invented D20 dice.

And finally a game of Lion Rampart.

Saturday 14 March 2015

Warlord Games New French Colonial Troops

I will be definitely be picking up these for my French Army.

The Goddess Pallas-Athena

I found a neat 54mm metal model of Minerva from a Ukrainian model maker. The Roman Goddess Minerva was always equated with Pallas Athena and their images coincided.

Athena seems to have been a very ancient Indu-European Sky-God associated with the sun and birds. The bird angle carried on down into the Greek Iron Age with her link to owls and wisdom. She is a war god with the persona of a military strategist rather than a warrior such as Mars. In this form she was the patron Goddess of Athens.

Pallas Athena was also associated with the Mycenaean Snake Goddess and War Goddess. In Mycenae itself a Linear B tablet refers to 'The Lady of Athens'. As War Goddess she was celebrated as the inventor of the battle chariot - a weapon system indelibly associated with Indu-European culture. As Snake-Goddess she is closely linked to Medusa and any Of Gods & Mortals Athenian warband should include Medusa.

Here she is accompanied by two Amazon peltasts. Her OG&M warband should also include Amazons and Theseus.

I will also use the figure as a summoned daemon in IHMN.

I found the fresco that DeanM below points out below. Thanks Dean.

Wednesday 11 March 2015

Rivet Wars

Played Andy at a game called Rivet Wars at the Medway Club last night. Wonderful little game played on a board with steampunk-WWI models. It's like a double seventies video game where you march new forces every turn down the board to do or die.

Andy is the guy in the photo at the masthead of this organ from when we demo'd Hammers Slammers at the Artillery Museum in London. Course, he was a lot younger then - and so was I.

We played a scenario where the objective was to bomb 'factories'.

For a simple game, Rivet wars offers deceptively complex tactics.

Many thanks to David who supplied all the models and umpired.

I won - just!

Summer's Come Early

It was like summer yesterday on the Rainham Marshes. The current Mrs Lambshead went birdwatching while I just enjoyed the day.

Sunday 8 March 2015

Reaper Egyptian Legends

Some more Reaper models for my Egyptian OG&M and IHMN armies: two giant scorpions and a mega scarab beetle.

The scorpions are Q3, C3, Desert Walk, Poison for 72pts each.

The scarab is Q3, C2, Big, Desert Walk for 44 pts. I may add armoured and hammering blow if I have the points spare.

I have some Egyptian  mortals, spearmen and archers, on order from Warlord Games.

'Huh,' said rabbit.

Pip, pip, chaps.

Saturday 7 March 2015

Reaper Great Mummy

This is another of the amazing value Reaper Bones polymer minis.

A bent sword was easily straightened with application of boiling water.

I covered this one in Army Painter Light Tone to give a suitably 'earthy look' while leaving it gloss varnished to represent a magical glow of resurrection energy. I intend to use him for my IHMN and OG&M games.

The photo is taken with the model in a deep shadow on a sunny day, relit with fill in flash. The things I do to get a bloody photo....

A more normal in-shadow pic where cool colours rather than sun-warm colours predominate.

Friday 6 March 2015

The God Set

I recently acquired a copy of Osprey's Of Gods and Mortals, another 'Song of Blades..' variant.

The 'Song of' system works incredibly well and OG&M looks interesting.

I decided to set up an Egyptian Warband based on the God Set - 54 mm model available from Northstar Miniatures.

Only the God is 54 mm, the rest of the warband (Legends and ordinary bods) are 28 mm (or 28mm & 15mm etc).

One of the reason I chose this theme is because I can see this warband fitting in with some of my In Her Majesty's Name 'firms'.

Set was a very important God whose role changed throughout Egypt's long history but towards the end he was the God of the desert, storms, chaos, Upper Egypt and foreigners. He was also a Trickster God, cf Loki and has been compared to Satan.

His great enemy was Horus who represented Order and the Nile.

For more information, see Osprey's War of Horus and Set, currently on sale for the princely price of 99p for Kindle.

Cat & Rabbit

There's a cat hiding in my tunnel!

Thursday 5 March 2015

IHMN, Life On Mars - The Great Wurm

One of the more fearsome terrors for intrepid explorers crossing the Martian deserts are the Great Wurms that live in the soil.

This photographic plate was found still undeveloped in a calotypescope abandoned on the sand. It has been linked with the mysterious disappearance of the Fern-Whittington expedition.

And this is a Reaper Bones model. Reaper Bones is a range of polymer models based on Reaper's metal models. They are astonishing value for money and paint up well.