Monday, 17 October 2016

Angus Wargames Club's Annual show, SKELP 2016

Angus Wargames Club held their annual show, SKELP, over the weekend. I usually try to support the local shows, so I set off on Saturday morning, along with my gaming pal Jeff Smith and my two sons. The weather was atrocious, with pouring rain for most of the day. It became apparent that this probably affected the attendance figures for the show (although it has always been a very small anyway).

The quality of the games on display was of a high standard and the entries in the painting competition were also very good.

There were a good selection of traders present and I managed to pick up stuff from Crooked Dice, Warbases, Pendraken, Graham's Wuerkshoppe and Dave Thomas.

Anyway, on with the photo dump...

 First up we a couple of Dropzone Commander games from the Glasgow Gaming Group.

A very nice Blood Eagle game with two longships coming together to fight in the middle of the table. I wish we had had time to play this one...

A GW Age of Sigmar game, which only confirmed that I am totally disinterested in the new GW fantasy miniatures.

Tanks! Not much more to say about this one...

A lovely Feudal Japanese game

RAF Lechars Veterans always put on a fun game and this time was no exception. An excellent Custer's Last Stand participation game in which the participants take on the roll of different Native American tribes competing to kill Custer...

My sons and I had a go at the Leuchars Custer game (thanks for the photo Jeff). It was a close run game, with 5 of the 6 tribes reaching Custer, and a roll of the dice to see who actually got him...

Probably the most spectacular table, had to be the Lion Rampant game put on by Kirriemuir Wargames Club, with a wonderful Gand Manner monastery taking centre space on the table. As well as the table itself, they also had a side table with colouring sheets of knights and pencils to keep the kids happy (my youngest son spent most of the drive back up the road and yesterday colouring them in). On top of all that, they had distilled the Lion Rampant rules down to a two-page play sheet, which will come in very handy when we are ready to play...

Moving on to the painting competition.

I entered my Aliens into the Open category (there is enough there to qualify as an army...).

There seemed to be only one other entry, which was a huge and very attractive 6mm army. However, I got 2nd place and the winner was apparently a zombie horde, which I missed completely. Still, I was very happy with the second place.

The Vehicle or Monster category attracted some very well painted pieces. I took this photo mid-morning, and several were added after this. I think they deserve a closer look...

Not really my genre, I am not a big robot, or manga fan, but nicely painted.

More pink robots, still, very crisply painted...

This next monstrous beasty, had a beautiful paint job (if you can describe it as beautiful)!

The chipped paint job on this next mech is very effective.

I am not sure if this Panzer III was 1/72 or 15mm, either way, the paint job was very nice indeed...

I had put my camera away by this point but managed to grab these last two with my phone. Firstly a big Tyranid beast.

THe final monster/vehicle was this scorpion-like Chaos vehicle. The paint job on this was wonderful, with some excellent blending on the armour plates.

My son entered the Junior painting category with his Hoplite figure from Crossover Miniatures (painted up as Iron Man).

He actually won the Junior competitiona and was really pleased to come away with the trophy...

The Wargames Unit category was hotly contested with a large number of entries. I entered my Colonial Marines and Predators, but the competition was to fierce for me...

The single figure category was also well supported with some very high standards.

 I managed to get this photo of some of the trophy winner (No.1 son, front and centre).

Overall we enjoyed the show, although there was a lack of things to do later on, as we had seen all we wanted to by around lunchtime. Having to wait around for the raffle and the painting competition results did lead to a little boredom setting in, but it did give us time to chat to a few of the traders.

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.
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