Tuesday 28 February 2012

Model Making: Laser Cut Barbarian King’s Hall – more photos…

I was very pleased with the reception that the photos I posted yesterday received. There were a few requests for photos with a figure in, so as to get an idea of scale.

Barbarian Kings Hall 12

So here are a few more photos, I didn’t have a 15mm figure handy so I have used a GW Lord of the Rings figure, as everyone should have an idea as to how big they are…

As you can see, scale wise the building works quite well with 28mm figures, it may not be a huge King’s Hall, as was intended for the 15mm scale, but it makes a reasonable scale house.

Barbarian Kings Hall 8

The rear door definitely shows that it is aimed at 15mm though, unless it is the Dwarf/Halfling entrance…

Barbarian Kings Hall 9

Barbarian Kings Hall 10

Barbarian Kings Hall 11

For those that have enquired, I am looking into the best route to start selling my laser cut models. Please be patient as I sort out how I am going to do it. If you don’t have any patience, then you can always email me and I will do my best to arrange something for you…

Monday 27 February 2012

Model Making: Laser Cut 15mm Scale Barbarian King’s Hall

After being smitten by Mark Copplestone’s 15mm Barbarians and deciding to go with them as my new project I immediately started to think about terrain. I do have some plans brewing away in the back of my mind and while they develop I knocked up this building.
Barbarian Kings Hall 3
It’s not perfect, I still need to refine a few things on it (especially the roof). Also, I am going to add a throne and a fire pit. Still I thought it was worth putting an update on the blog.
Barbarian Kings Hall 6
Actually from the front there is nothing that stops this working fine for a 28mm building, it is only the rear door that shows it to be 15mm scale. Of course once I have added the 15mm scale throne it will become even obvious what the scale is!
Barbarian Kings Hall 2
Here you can see the view through the front door, with the roof in place. The model is designed to have a lift off roof, ideal for skirmish games!
The columns holding the rood up are laser cut, but with a length of dowel running down the middle, I wanted to experiment with this to see if it would add something of the 3rd dimension to the very flat nature of the laser cutting process.
Barbarian Kings Hall 7
In this photo you can see the rear half of the hall. My next task is to add a fire pit in between the columns (with a smoke hole in the roof), and a throne at the far end of the hall.
Barbarian Kings Hall 4
This is the roof, once removed from the hall. The rafters sit on to the tops of the columns, which can  be seen when looking through the front door.
Barbarian Kings Hall 1Barbarian Kings Hall 5
Finally a couple of more views of the front of the hall. The engraving I have used is a mix of Celtic and Pictish design, suitable for a good Cimmerian village hall! Running around the base of the walls are a couple of layers of stones, this is then carried on through the interior floor which is flag-stoned!
I think this building will become the basis for several future projects, as with a little conversion it will fit into several periods and styles.

I have  posted some photos with a figure (28mm GW LoTR) to give an idea of the size of the hall! Check them out HERE!

Interesting Model Painting Tool

I recently found this neat little app for my Android smartphone, called Hobby Color Converter, it lists ranges of acrylic paint available from Tamiya, Revell, Humbrol and just this week they have added Vallejo.

Not only do they have lists with colour swatches, but the app also shows the comparable colour paint available from the other three manufacturers.

I haven’t actually used the app while in a shop looking to buy a pot, but I will be keeping it on my phone, with anticipation that it may well come in useful…

hobby color1hobbycolor2hobbycolor3

If you use any of these brands of paint it is well worth checking out!

Here is the link to the Android Market page LINK

Tuesday 21 February 2012

That time that all wargamers dread–rationalising your collection!

Recently I have been very busy, between a commercial sculpting project, putting together a new website for my pal Sholto at Scheltrum Miniatures (I did their old website as well, but it hadn’t been updated for a good few years) and my full time day job is at it’s busiest at this time of year too. Consequently I have had very little time to do any painting or terrain work since Christmas. While working on these other projects I have had plenty of time to consider my collection, decide what I want to paint next and make a few decisions about reducing my lead mountain to a slightly more achievable size.

I have started by listing all of the armies and projects I have started over the years and still have stored away ready to finish, as well as simply listing them  I have included a ranking based on my current interest levels.

Project Priority
28mm Pulp Sci Fi 10/10
Weird War 8/10
40K Tau 5/10
Steampunk Skirmish 5/10
Shieldwall/Saga Vikings 2/10
20mm WW2 British 5/10
Sci Fi Terrain Project 10/10
28mm Samurai Skirmish (Perry Miniatures) 4/10
Necromunda 4/10
Mordheim 4/10
40k Kroot Army 7/10
28mm “Fantasy Mongols” (Ebob Miniatures) 5/10
Warhammer Dark Elves 3/10
40k Dark Eldar 5/10
Crimson Skies (metal models not the later plastic collectibles) 3/10
Confrontation Barbarians 2/10
Sudan British Colonial (Camel Corps. etc.) 6/10
Ancient British 5/10
6mm Sci Fi 4/10
28mm Post Apocalyptic Skirmish 5/10
28mm Fantasy Skirmish 6/10
15mm Sci-Fi GZG Kra’Vak 8/10
15mm Sci-Fi CMG Praesentia 9/10
15mm Sci_FI CMG ARC Fleet 10/10
15mm Mongols 3/10
15mm Barbarian Wars 7/10

There are several factors that I have tried to include in my priority score, firstly my current level interest, then completeness of my forces, and finally the possibility of my actually using them. This last one springs mainly from the fact that I don’t wargame regularly and I am not in a wargames club at the moment, my armies are based more or less exclusively on whatever I fancy doing rather than on what fellow gamers are playing at the time. I periodically consider joining Aberdeen Wargames Club (lack of time usually holds me back, but eventually I will get around to it), and so I intend to hold on to the obviously popular forces (28mm Ancient British, Sudan British) so that I will have something to use when I do get around to joining them.

Working my way down the list I will try to explain my thoughts on each genre.

28mm Pulp Sci-Fi Skirmish This is always going to be a favourite of mine. I just love the Hydra Miniatures range, they are so evocative of the 1930’s to 1950’s Sci-Fi art. I have big plans for terrain, buildings and even more figures with this one. It will always be skirmish rather than large battles, as I think it suits the genre much more closely!

28mm Weird War  I can probably put together enough forces for a skirmish game. I enjoy the genre and have some plans for scenics and terrain that I know I will enjoy building and will also be usable for the Pulp Sci-Fi games.

40K Tau I bought into the Tau when GW first released them, even played in a couple of tournaments that GW put on in Edinburgh (didn’t win much but I enjoyed the days – I have never been particularly competitive anyway). I have enough Tau to build two or three 40K armies, partly due to Jeff giving me his Tau army when he was clearing out a few years ago. I put a lot of time into putting together my basic Tau army, converted every figure in a couple of the Fire Warrior squads etc. I still love the look of the figures and the vehicles, and to be honest I have always preferred a “shooty” army when I am playing 40K. So I wont be getting rid of these, although I may thin out a few of the spares…

Steampunk Skirmish This has been a period I have wanted to develop for a long time. I have read a lot of steampunk books over the past two or three years, which have fuelled this, but it goes back a decade or more to when I was sculpting VSF figures for Scheltrum Miniatures, and helping them develop and playtest their as yet unpublished VSF rules. As it is I don’t have many steampunk figures, three 54mm figures and a couple of 28mm one. So, as much as I want to try it I am probably going to side line this project. I’ll hang on to the figures I have, and possibly buy a few more, but purely for painting and modelling purposes.

28mm Vikings I could say the same for the Vikings I have. 60 or 70 Foundry Vikings that I have sitting the box they came in... Now, unless one of my gaming buddies, Jeff, talks me into playing Saga, I  can’t see myself ever using them. My army is far from complete and I don’t see a time when I will want to paint them. So it seems like a good time to part with the Vikings while Saga is drawing so much attention to that period!

20mm WW2 British I have quite a large collection here, both figures and vehicles. Definitely in need of thinning out, but the core is worth hanging on to.

Sci-Fi Terrain Project I am part way through creating a series of terrain boards, buildings, scenics and other items that will represent an alien planet. I am aim for this to be usable for both 28mm and 15mm (at least most of it). So this is a top priority project and will remain so for a long time to come.

28mm  Samurai Skirmish I have always wanted to have a go at a samurai game. I can’t see myself doing a fun size battle, but I already have enough Perry Miniatures Samurai, so this one will stay on the back burner, but I don’t plan on getting rid of them at the moment.

Necromunda and Mordheim I have both sets of rules (and of course they are free to download from the GW website now). I have played Mordheim a few time and really enjoy it. Never played Necromunda, but I imagine I would enjoy it as well. These two projects are both related to the later listing of Post Apocalyptic Skirmish and Fantasy Skirmish. Any figures will be interchangeable with those projects and I don’t have any of the official figures from these games anyway, just the rules and scenery etc.

40K Kroot Army I bought into the Tau because I liked the look of the Kroot so much. When GW brought out the original semi-official army list that was it I immediately started to convert up an entire Kroot army. Far from finished, but still much loved. I wont be parting with this one…

28mm “Fantasy Mongols” Ebob Miniatures produced this range of miniatures a few years ago, before GW had released their own range of LOTR Easterlings. I picked up the infantry and Cavalry army deals. I have not done anything with them, but as I have always been interested in the Mongols I wont be getting rid of these either…

GW Dark Elves I have been collecting GW’s Dark Elves since the very first pre-slotta based ones were released. I didn’t like many of the early slotta based ones but when Chris Fitzpatrick did the re-sculpts for the re-launch I started picking them up again. So I have a large collection across at least three distinct styles. I doubt I will ever field a whole army (although it is the only complete fantasy army I have now), so chances are, I will get rid of most of these and just retain a few choice figures for use with a fantasy skirmish game or Mordheim.

GW Dark Eldar When GW launched the Dark Eldar, back when they were included in the box with the rules. All my pals got rid of their Dark Eldar, so I acquired a large force for virtually nothing. I added quite a bit too it and had everything I needed to field a full size 40K army. I have also more recently had a small army given to me so, making my DE force even bigger. I don’t have any of the newer designs, they are all 1st ed. DE, but I will probably hang on to them as opposition for my Kroot and Tau armies.

Crimson Skies I have the original FASA rules sets and about two dozen of the original metal planes. Being pulp based I like the background fluff. I also like the FASA rules which share much with their Renegade Legion Centurion Sci-Fi Ground combat rules. These are in a limbo state in my mind, I like it and will probably keep it, but if someone made me a good enough offer I would probably part with it!

Confrontation Barbarians Not a lot to say about these. Beautiful figures, I have a reasonable size force of them including their minotaurs, amazons, giants etc. but a dead system! I have an awful lot of 28mm barbarians, from various manufacturers, these are just lumped in with the rest now. Will I ever do anything with them, well maybe but I doubt it.

6mm Sci-Fi Another system I have had plans bubbling at the back of my mind! I have Future War Commander and also Renegade Legion Centurion. The actual models don’t take up much space and wont take much painting, so chances are I will keep them, but on the other hand, I don’t hold any particular urge to run out and game with them…

15mm Sci-Fi Anyone who has read this blog for a while will know I am very much into 15mm sci-fi at the moment. No chance of these disappearing anytime soon.

15mm Mongols As I mentioned earlier, I have a keen interested in this period of history, I’ve read several books on the subject etc. However, I am starting to think I will never do anything with these. I have a large collection from several manufacturers, Irregular Miniatures and Museum Miniatures for a start. Probably about time I moved them on…

15mm Barbarian Wars I took quite an extensive look at 15mm barbarians in my last blog post, but I have since found the carrier bag with all my Demonworld Orcs in it. So the plan for buying some Copplestones 15mm Barbarians and doing an REHoward style game has evolved a little into barbarians versus orcs. I am planning on building a terrain board around 3 or 4 foot square, possibly in square tiles that can be rotated to create different configurations. Something with a very Cimmerian feel, possibly with a hint of mythical Celtic Britain...

Now I need to sort through my store room (for that read garage) and organise all of those figures etc. into separate boxes so that I can find them a little easier. No doubt I will find other treasures that I have forgotten about!

Next I will have to start Ebaying off the stuff that rates a 1 or a 2 out of 10 on my priority scheme. I will also have to do some hard thinking about the 3s and 4s…

Friday 10 February 2012

Toy Soldiers: 15mm Sword and Sorcery, I’ve been bitten by another scale!

It has been a long time since I played any fantasy wargames. I sold off my Empire army years ago, I have lots of Lord of The Rings figures that I haven’t done anything with, I have 28mm barbarians from every conceivable manufacturer, all unpainted and my Dark Elves have only ever managed to field a Mordheim Warband!

With the recent addition of all the plastic goodness from Mantic’s Christmas Goody Bag you would think that I would have enough Fantasy figures to last a life time. Certainly it will take several lifetimes to paint them all!

I have been watching the development of Mark Copplestone’s nominally 15mm Barbarian range with some interest. As a life long Robert E. Howard fan the Copplestone range has obvious attractions. Clearly he is basing the range around an REH Hyborian Age style.

fm1barbariansfm3northlandersfm5 snow trolls colourfm8 shapechangers and bears

There are clean shaven barbarians – for those read REH’s Cimmerians, Bearded Northlanders – Aesir etc. Some very tasty wolves and Cave Bears and some Snow Trolls at the moment.

Mark is working barbarian archers, a mammoth and some Picts, which in his own words he describes as REH style as opposed to historical Picts.

Mark is also working on a set of rules, along with Nick Lund, that will have a background set around a fantasy version of ancient Britain. The rules certainly sound interesting, as scenic items such as stone circles and “Roman Roads” will all have effects on the game (I assume effecting how magic is used).

Mark has produced a map for his version of Britain, featuring a land bridge to Europe, as it’s most obviously fantastical element.


To support this use of scenics as a focus for the rules Copplestone Castings have just released a series of resin standing stones and stone circles. My normal reaction to seeing stone circles produced by mini manufacturers runs something along the lines of “Why not just pick some stones out of the garden” or “A lump of balsa wood covered with Plaster of Paris would work just as well for a tenth of the price”, still I can see that some people don’t want to spend time working on scenics and would rather just buy ready made terrain. So on that level I must say these look very nice.


Now as it happens, a gaming buddy of mine (Jeff) just happened to suggest I take a trip along to The Works (the same remainder bookshop that I picked up the Tron vehicles in last week), he’d picked up a miniature Stonehenge set for £1.99. I have seen these mentioned on the forums before, but they are usually at least twice that price on Amazon etc.

Stonehenge 1Stonehenge 2

You get 16 “Stonehenge Rocks” and a matt (a simple jigsaw) to put them on. I’ll ditch the matt, it gives you a handy plan if you want to build the actual Stonehenge, but as I will be using them to create my own stone circles I don’t need it! I bought two sets, so I will be able to build a fairly intact stone circle or a selection of more ruined ones! The tallest stone arch stands around 50mm high, so they are just about perfect for 15mm figures, and I suppose they could pass for a small stone circle for 28mm figures…

Stonehenge 3Stonehenge 4Stonehenge 5

I haven’t actually bought any of Copplestone’s 15mm Barbarians yet, I am planning on off loading some stuff on Ebay to fund this new venture. I am however, already planning the terrain boards to accompany the project, so expect to see it develop over the coming months!

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Iron Sky: Weird War comes of age!

The trailer for Iron Sky is finally here!

I have been following the development of this movie since seeing Star Wreak: In The Pirkinning. Iron  Sky comes from the same production team and looks to have a similar level of humour, however the flavour of this one has moved from Start Trek/Babylon 5 parody into fully fledged Weird War territory.

Monday 6 February 2012

Pulp Sci-fi Kickstarter Project

I have never supported a Kickstarter project before but I ran across this one and decided it was really worthwhile…


For anyone not aware, Kickstarter is a website where you can launch a project that is looking for funding. You set a goal amount and offer rewards to contributors. IF the goal is not met no one looses their money. If it is the fund go to the project and the contributors receive their rewards!

Anyway back to this project!

I have been aware of Bradley H. Schenck’s Retro Sci-fi art for a while. He produces a series of wonderful T-shirts and has had other projects along the way too. Bradley’s latest project is a hard-backed, lavishly illustrated, limited edition book called The Lair of The Clockwork Book.


I would highly recommend that you check it out. I personally think that for a limited edition the price that Bradley has set is extremely reasonable.

Anyway, drop by the Kickstarter page and check it out!

Friday 3 February 2012

Toy Soldiers: Proxy Vehicles for 15mm sci-fi!

There seems to a much more relaxed attitude to gamers using a mix and match attitude to army building when it comes to 15mm scale gaming than with 28mm scale games. Obviously companies want you to buy their own products, but they seem happy to accept that gamers will just buy specific vehicles (and figures) to fill out their forces rather than stick to the prescribed models…

In this vain, I have picked up a few of the McDonald’s Happy Meals Star Wars walking tanks to add to my CMG ARC Fleet army as they complement the CMG Walkers.

Just this week I have just found a treasure trove of vehicles at a great price and I couldn’t resist letting everyone know!

A friend of mine recommended that I take a trip to The Works (a chain of remainder bookshops in the UK) as they had the die-cast Tron Legacy vehicles at a very reasonable price.

Last night I popped into the local Works and had a look. The models were priced at £1.99 each and as I was looking at them one of the assistants approached me and told me that they were were on offer, £1.99 each or 2 for £2! Well, that was it I couldn’t resist picking a few up…

Tron Haul

Now for a better look at each model.

Firstly we have the two aircraft.

Tron Jet 1

It is not easy to see as the pilot is in black (just about visible in the close up photo), but this jet has an exposed pilot. The figure is approximately 20mm or 1/72 scale. So a little large for 15mm games. However, I will probably remove the figure, or at least enclose the cockpit to make it look less like a sports micro-light and more “military”. I might even use it back to front, as it is quite reversible!

Tron Jet 2

This is model that I was really pleased to get! It will make an ideal light fighter-bomber. The enclosed cockpit disguises the scale nicely (it is supposed to be a three seater jet, for those that haven’t seen the film).

Tron Scout Car

I think that this model will make an excellent all terrain scout vehicle. It  is difficult to see in the photos, but it has an open cockpit. The seats look reasonable for 15mm scale, so it may just be a matter of adding a couple of seated figures. The strange twisty front end will just be glued in a standard configuration as I can’t see a use for it on the gaming table.

Tron Car 1

This ground car is a like strange and I am not quite sure what I can use it for. I imagine it will probably end up as a civilian vehicle, just used for table decoration etc.

Tron Car 2

In a similar way to the last car, this one will probably end up as a civilian vehicle, but I quite like the design and it may end up a command vehicle or anti-grav jeep!

I didn’t pick up any of the flying archway kind of ships, as I couldn’t see a use for them, however I am regretting it a bit as it may well make a good door, or indeed freestanding archway for table decoration… Oh well maybe they will still have a few when I am in their next time!

So what next, I will probably give them a quick spray of undercoat and them a quick paintjob. To be honest the paintjobs aren't that bad anyway, but I will have to decide how I want them to fit in with my ARC Fleet forces. A couple will need minor modification, but that shouldn’t take long, a quick look through my bits boxes and they should be ready.

I didn’t have any 15mm figures lying around when I took the photos, so you will have to take my word for it that they are just about the perfect size to compliment any 15mm forces…

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