Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Cthulhu Statue

I have not been very active over the last couple of months (hence the lack of new posts). The summer holidays have affected both my hobby gaming time and my design time. I have been painting up my Aliens Vs Predator: The Hunt Begins miniatures, which are nearly finished. I have also been experimenting with my new camera, this will hopefully lead to a bit of an improvement in my miniatures photography. Beyond that, there has been a fair bit of re-organising my collections and plans to thin things out a bit.
However, as any miniatures collector will tell you, there is always something new to catch your eye, which just has to be added to your collection. In this case, a friend of mine (Jeff) pointed me in the direction of a Cthulhu statue that he had spotted on Ebay. It was an instant buy on my part. I am not sure whether I am going to paint it up as a statue or as a living being (or somewhere in between). The price was, a very reasonable, £12 plus £2 postage.

It comes in three parts. A stone plinth with sigils up the front and a couple of watery type molluscs around the base, the body of the beast itself and the wings.

Standing between 120-30mm this is a sizable piece and will make a great statue for Cthulhu/ pulp games or possibly Frostgrave.

  The detail on the kit is lovely and it should be a joy to paint. The cast was very crisp, with not bubbles, flash or mould lines.

The kit is made by Infinity Engine, and it was sold by them through their Ebay store. It can also be purchased via their website:-

I would point out that the kit is slightly more expensive on their website and appears to come with a different plinth...

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Book Review: Relics of the Reich from Pen and Sword Books

In a slight change of tack from my usual posts on this blog, I have decided to do a quick book review. I occasionally post book reviews over on my other blog Iron Mammoth's R&R, but I felt that this one deserved a place on my primary blog as it relates to both military history and architecture ( I run an architectural model making workshop, and well as being a wargamer and modeller).

Relics of the Reich by Colin Philpott from Pen and Sword Books

I am no World War Two scholar, so this book covers areas that I don't normally read too much on, however, I found the book to be both enlightening and fairly easy to read.

It approaches the subject with an even attitude, and a good deal of respect for the horrors that occurred within some of the subjects of the book. The main focus is on the buildings that survived both the end of the war and the period immediately after when quite a few Nazi buildings were destroyed, with very good reason.
Each chapter focuses on a selection of buildings (or structures) that share a common aspect, such as the triumphal buildings built to promote the Thousand Year Reich, or military structures or more disturbingly, buildings that were closely involved with the "Final Solution" and the concentration camps.

Obviously, the text gives some history to the new buildings or the conversion of existing buildings, their working life and how these buildings have been repurposed after the war. Some of this was very interesting as many aspects of the development of Germany between the wars and the rise of the Nazi party was unfamiliar to me. Looking at the rise of Nazism from the aspect of urban planning is certainly not one I had encountered before, but it is very inciteful and I learned a great deal from the book.

A lot of the book is focused on how Germany has come to terms with its past and how it has decided to commemorate the things that were done during the war. Some buildings, including the Reich Chancellery and the Fuhrer Bunker, have been completely destroyed and are simply commemorated with an information board erected on their site. Others, such as the Prora-Rugen holiday complex, on the Baltic coast, have seen various uses, including military barrack (while under soviet control), and are now actually being turned into hotel accommodation, some 70 years after they were built.

The book is illustrated throughout with black and white photos. Many of which, are photos taken during the building's prime. There a few photos of the damaged building immediately after the war, such as the one above, which show the Valentin Submarine bunker.

The Relics of the Reich is well written and easy to understand. The text holds your attention even through some of the more mundane planning details. The one real issue I had with the book was the author's repeated use of the word pragmatic/pragmatism. I appreciate that it sums up the attitude taken to a lot of the building that survived the war, but to reuse the term so many times does become a little tiresome.

A good book and I am pleased that I read it. It is probably not going to be at the top of many people's reading lists, and certainly wasn't at mine, however, for anyone interested in the rise of Nazism and also how modern Germany dealt with its history, I would highly recommend it.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

3D printing terrain and a few other projects...

After getting the Cthulhu Wars job out of the way I have been slowly getting back on track. I have painted most of my AvP: The Hunt Begins miniatures, with a few needing a bit of finishing off.

While I paint them we have been playing Osprey's A Fistful of Kung Fu. This gave me a chance to actually use the Shaolin Monk figures that I sculpted nearly 20 years ago (I added a few extras from CP Miniatures).

In this photo, they are not quite finished. I had to paint the rims of the bases black and then give them all a coat of matt varnish.

I recently received a Halcyon Aliens APC as a gift from someone I occasionally chat with in the friendly local comic/games store, who knew I am preparing to play AvP. The only stipulation was that I get good use out of it. So with that in mind, it got bumped to the top of my to-do list. I have decided to add a few lights to the model, so I have ordered some LEDs and some fibre optics. I will come back to this once I have done a little more work on it.

Terrain wise, I have managed to get a second Printable Scenery building 3D printed. This time, I have printed the Inn.


The model is printed in three layers, the roof, the upper storey and the ground floor.

I am going to glue the roof and the upper storey together, as I will not need access to it. I will also add some lugs so that the top doesn't slide off of the ground floor.

While on the subject of, they have a new Kickstarter campaign drawing to a close at the moment. This one is for ruins and various other terrain pieces with several different genres covered (fantasy, post-apoc, sci-fi historical etc.). Well worth checking out if you have any access to a 3D printer.

If all that wasn't enough, as we are playing A Fistful of Kung Fu at the moment, it seemed appropriate to put together the 4Ground Shogunate Japan Peasant Smallholder's Dwelling (to give it it's full name) , that I received as part of my prize from the painting competitions that I won a couple of years ago.

As a designer of laser cut kits myself, I can really appreciate the level of work that has gone into producing this lovely little building.

The 4Ground kits certainly are not cheap, but level of detail is stunning and I will be looking at getting a couple more from this range before we start to play Daisho or Ronin.

This kit took about an evening and a half to put together and even with studying the instruction sheet quite closely and dry fitting pieces, I still managed to make a couple of mistakes. However, they were not catastrophic and the finished building looks fine!

That about wraps it up for now...

Friday, 10 June 2016

Why the Frostgrave project stalled. I was sculpting a Cthulhu Wars monster...

My post about my terrain build for Frostgrave dried up a bit, earlier this year. The main reason was that I landed a job to sculpt one of the monsters for the Cthulhu Wars expansion from Petersen Games.

I haven't been able to say much about it until now. However, Petersen Games have added a photo of the mini to their Kickstarter update, so I can finally let it all out...

The Librarian of Celaeno is a big beastie, the round plinth that she is standing on is around 80-90mm across.

The plinth with the piles of books was supplied by Fenris Games (the manufacturer of the minis).

I really enjoyed this sculpt, it is amazing how easy it is when you don't have to work within the restrictions of human, or known animal anatomy.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Carronade 2016

This post is a little late as I have been very busy, however, I am starting to get the urge to kick some life back into the blog and a Carronade photo dump seems as good a place as any to start.

We had a really enjoyable visit to the show in Falkirk this year. As usual Jeff and myself spent the morning on a table in the Bring and Buy hall. Jeff  moved a few things and was happy enough, but I managed to shift most of the stuff that I took and easily funded my trip, covered my purchases and actually came home with a tidy profit.

Once that was out of the way we got some lunch and then spent the rest of the day perusing the main halls. The standard of the tables was as high as ever, with most displaying a very good level of terrain and miniature painting.

Anyway, on with the photo dump, comments included where I have something relevant to say...

It was interesting to see this printed cardboard scenery in person. It does offer those not interested in building their own terrain an easy way to put together a very attractive table. Personally, I will  not be buying it, but it is impressive.

This game looked fun and my sons were keen to play it, however, we ended up playing a different game, so hopefully we will see this one at one of the other shows later in the year.

Nice to see AvP The Hunt Begins making an appearance. I have just about finished painting my figures for the game, so hopefully we shall get a few games in in the near future.

Craig Cartmell of The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare, co-author of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Daisho was demoing his latest game, Blood Eagle so we managed to get a game run by the author himself. My sons took on the part of a band of marauding Vikings trying to get through a village while a group of Viking women and old men attempted to delay them until reinforcements can arrive. I took on the role of the women and old men. If the marauders managed to get a man on to their ship for a whole turn I would lose, if they couldn't get there in six turns I would win.

The fight came down to the last dice roll, with their leader boarding the ship and one of mine trying to stop him blowing his horn. If I had landed a blow I would have won, but as it was that was not to be and my boys snatched victory from me in the very last moments.

Craig very graciously signed my copy of Blood Eagle (which I took along for that very purpose) and I also picked up a copy of Daisho, for when I eventually get around to painting some samurai minis...

I didn't spend too much money at the show, sticking pretty closely to my planned purchases, I got a few figures from Crooked Dice, a couple of Footsore Miniatures Saxons to add to my Gripping Beast plastics and a copy of the Warband rules from Pendraken, which I intend to use with my 15mm Copplestone barbarians...

A very good show, and to be honest it will be hard to beat it at any of the other Scottish shows. I haven't been to Claymore since it moved venues several years ago, so maybe this year I will make the effort to get down there!
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