28 December 2016

Deadcember '16 Crawls to a Close

Woohoo! Managed to sneak in a little more painting time last night and finished (more or less -might need a touch-up or two) the three skeleton heroes: Ennio Mordini, Renzo Avanti, and Richter Kreugar.

27 December 2016

Skeletal Familiar

One of the reasons I tried to hit Deadcember hard right at the start was that I knew the holidays would mean less free time. The new job has sort of compounded that. But, a few weeks later, I have finally snuck in a tiny bit of time for myself. I put down some basecoats on the equipment of three skeletons and re-based an old figure that was painted many years ago, this skeletal familiar (who will just fill in wherever needed, in the current/theoretical plan.)

My new, significantly scaled back goal is to finish the three skeleton heroes (Ennio Mordini, Renzo Avanti, and Richter Kreugar) by the end of the year. If I can finish any of the rest, then it will just be icing on the undead cake. But I'm really hoping I can manage the three heroes -- if I do that, I will be happy.

26 December 2016

Giftsmas '16

We're still working on visiting family for the holiday, but had a nice Christmas morning at home. This year I even got closer to receiving a gaming related gift than I have before, with an awesome retro themed Stranger Things t-shirt. ;)

For fun, we all got new "onsie" pajamas to wear for Christmas eve/morn. (I'm sporting a fuzzy wookie pelt.) 

A week or two ago, I jumped on the opportunity to pick up a second hand set of Northumbrian Tin Soldier "Time Robbers." I loved these figures the second I saw them (earlier this year?) so even though I shouldn't have been buying myself gifts... I couldn't help myself. They arrived Christmas Eve, so that's also like a Christmas present... to myself. ;)

Of course, this means I need to get the rest of the range, now. :)

24 December 2016

Happy Holidays

Not much time for painting lately. But wanted to wish everyone who reads my little blog a happy holiday of choice. Or not. Crom does not care.

Yeah, even recycling my Christmas image/joke from last year... no time for messing around with a new one of those, either.

May you all find that grail of a miniature you've been chasing for years, may your lead mountain grow in spite of painting more (and better) than ever, and I wish all the best for you and your families in the new year!

17 December 2016

Three Birds

Since a couple of people had asked, here's a couple of shots of all three of the vulture creatures I sculpted.

They were sculpted in order from left to right in the top pic. The center one (top pic) is the only one cast, the other two are one of a kind, painted greens. Funny that the one that was cast is my least favorite. I'm not a professional by any stretch, so they were a bit of a learning experience and I recieved some great feedback from the old sculpting mailing list (if that's any indication of how long ago I started!) after doing the first one.

For what it's worth, I was trying to pic up a bit of a shambling oldschool horror movie monster vibe, but also keep some characteristics of a vulture (part o the reason for the odd arms on the cast guy.)

13 December 2016


I got an awesome surprise in the mail!

The painted figure below arrived, from a fellow Oldhammer in the New World member (Ben), as part of the group's holiday trade. (He got the Skrolk I posted a couple weeks ago.)

Perfect figure for my Marienburg army, and beautifully painted!

11 December 2016

Trolls, Terrain, Rejobulation

Deadcember grinds to a halt. There is a reason (several, actually) I was trying to get as much painting in at the beginning of the month as possible. ;)

I did pick up a coir mat to cut up for terrain. That counts as dead right? Dead cropland?

A few years ago when I was initially looking it was impossible to find these coir mats without any graphics or designs. I have no idea why that would be, but I couldn't find plain ones anywhere. I eventually bought one with a decorative border and cut it up to make use of the plain parts of it. Last week, I happened to notice these at the local Home Despot store and grabbed one. I should have got a bunch of them, for extensive croplands. Maybe after the holidays, if they still have them.

I received a set of trolls from Drew Williams yesterday. Beautiful figures!

I've also been rejobulated. I started a new job last week. It's a positive thing, though it was a difficult choice to leave what I had been doing. No time to paint currently. I hope to work painting (and gaming!?) back into the new schedule. I'm back in the land of architecture.

04 December 2016

Deadcember Miscellany

Rapid work on two more figures for Deadcember. And more cheating. ;)

One is a wight that I got in a trade. It was painted very close to my own style, so I just kept the paint, gave him a new shield and base. I think it's another old Citadel figure.

The other is the third of my vulture sculpts. Finally painted after working on the sculpting for many long years, and then the figure has been primed and sitting on my desk since earlier this year. Going with the limited pallette of the Undeadish again -- but I probably still could have done a little better. Worked on it in little five minute increments, whenever I could get to it, over the past few days. I should get a photo of the three sculpts together.

Filling the Ranks (with Skeletons)

Next up for Deadcember's paint-a-thon (December is shaping up to involve more painting than the entire rest of the year at this pace) is a group of five skeletons that I believe are old Citadel. I'm not sure, I got them as part of a trade. They are bigger than the Nightmare Legion, but they will probably end up as filling in odd units either in the Legion or elsewhere, as needed. They're really nice sculpts, I wish I had more that were similar to this. I've had no luck in finding old metal skeletons, though -- other than these, obviously. Shields are Empire heaters with the tiny hole filled in & sanded smooth.

02 December 2016

An Assortment of Large Skeletons

It's officially Deadcember, and I've officially finished the first of the (un)dead.

Skeletal demon and giant from Ral Partha.

Skeletal ogres from (left to right): Ral Partha Europe, Justin from the Oldhammer FB group, Ral Partha Europe, and Krakon Games.

 Time is getting a little tighter for me, so I cut a few corners but I still think they all look pretty good!

30 November 2016

Premature Deadcembulation and the Nun Superman

I've kept going premature Deadcember painting and prep work. Here's what's new.

I found a few more skeletons to paint, three more Nightmare Legion, Kreuger from the Cursed Company, and five identical old armoured skeletons. I've decided to put some on individual bases for flexibility. I also trimmed & cleaned the bits for other 16 plastic skeletons. Not sure if I will get to those. I painted a bit too. The big guys are almost done -- the skeletal daemon and the four skeletal ogres.

I'm not a major Oldhammer collector, by any means. But as a fan of old figures, and Empire in particular, I know the rarity of the elusive Nuln Spearman. So when I heard there was one on eBay, I wanted to watch the bidding as a spectator. I follow eBay on my phone, because it's a rare example of a really great mobile app that offers a better interface than the equivalent web site. When I typed my search into the app, I was amused at the alternate "Did you mean: ...?" suggestion. In hindsight, I'm a little curious what those (2 items) are.

26 November 2016

Deadcember in November

Brace yourselves, Deadcember is... oh, well... never mind. It's here early.

 I've been putting aside undead(ish) stuff for a while, figuring I would get to it in Deadcember. What little free time I have had has been mostly agonizing over other stuff. About 11:50 pm, Black Friday, November 25.... close enough. I'm not sure how much time I will get in December, so I figured I would enjoy a little late night painting while I can.

Just base coats and initial washes on the bones. But it's a start -- an early start.

Have you ever thought that you've got some privacy... say, in the bathroom. But you can's shake the creepy feeling that you're being watched...  :(

Some day soon I'm going to need to work up a simple game where I can pit my undead against my daughter's princesses. ;)

Like some sort of Disney, Black Cauldron mash-up.

19 November 2016

Kings of War - Marienburg

I did, in fact, get to hang out with some old friends and play a coupe of games of Kings of War today! I didn't think about taking pics for the inevitable blog post until after the second game had started. So that's what ye get.

We played 1500 points, which seems like a decent size for a casual game. This time I took my Marienburg army and went with a bunch of regiments instead of all of the hordes I took with the undead last time.

First game was against orcs. I learned about their good ME score, and crushing strength. I lost (technically a draw based on the scenario, but I had almost no army left to theoretically contest the loot left unclaimed,) but did better than I thought I would after the early game seemed to go downhill for me. As much as the orcs were tough to deal with, I think the flyer (a chimera) was what really screwed me up. I just didn't deal with it very well. My cannon and mage never managed to do more than a single wound to it, it kept my knights tied up most of the game, and still managed to cause some decisive casualties at the end.

Second game was against Skaven Ratkin. More hordes. I did much better this time, though I think I owe a lot of that to my dice and my opponents dice. This time it was the Invade scenario. I did take a few pics, below. On the left I hung back and tried to soften the rat ogres and plague monks up with a cannon and mage, while on the right I charged forward, hoping to hurt his weaker troops (mostly warriors and slaves) quickly and decisively. It worked, but took a little longer than I had planned. Things went better than expected on the left. The first turn I put 5 wounds each on the two heavy hitting units, pressuring them to move up as quickly as they could while I moved back so I could get the charge first.

I was once again very pleased with the way Kings of War played. The rules were pretty clear and simple, and the gameplay fast, though everything still felt the way it should, even if some of it is a bit abstracted. Although combats usually seem to be brief, there is also a buildup of casualties that prevents the lack of casualty removal (and full ability to cause damage) from being a problem. I think the game encourages decisive action. I'm once again impressed, and admit (again) that my initial aversion to the rules is unfounded. The simplicity of the rules is misleading. It is a fun and fulfilling game. I'm definitely on board with Kings of War.

KoW: the Gateway Game, and Some Deadcember Planning

Kings of War

Holy crap, I'm going to slip in a THIRD day of gaming this year! Here's my 1500 points of Kings of War, Kingdom of Men "Multiversal Marienburgers" army. I'm starting to consider a (my) version of Marienburg as another iteration of Moorcock's Tanelorn.

I'm also going to try introducing a friend to miniatures gaming soon. We've played boardgames and RPGs together. I think Kings of War will make an excellent "gateway" game to get into miniatures. I measured everything out and, as small as our new house is, I'm pretty sure I can temporarily set up a gaming table in the dining room. So I brought up the idea, we just need to see when our schedules can work out time for a game.


I'm kind of getting into some of these painting themes... Orctober, Deadcember, Month of Marsh, and my own April Whatever I'm Going to Paint Giants. I totally failed at Deadcember last year (and didn't even realize that it was already a thing -- I thought I had made it up!) As with 2015, the end of the year is already a non-painting fustercluck. November has been pretty dry. But maybe I can turn it around in Deadcember? Going to be tricky...

Here's what I've got prepped: 4 skeletal ogres, 8 remaining Nightmare Legion skeletons, , an oldschool Ral Partha skeletal balrog, 10 old Citadel wight cavalry, the Lord of the Feast, my vulture-man sculpt, and I have a painted skeleton giant that needs a base. I think I have a Citadel mounted wight lord I should probably prep, too -- awesome figure.

18 November 2016

Halloween '16

Thought I would share a few photos from Halloween. (I realize this is a bit late.)

My daughter dressed in a calavera, fairy, witch, princess... I don't know, I lost track. The costume was sort of a fluid concept up until the last minute. But that's OK. She was happy, looked cute, and I can dig the free-form costuming. Besides, my own concept wasn't more than, "hey, I have this robe, why don't I get a faceless mask at the last minute."

We had fun, that's all that matters. She was really excited, skipping around the neighborhood. I tried to keep up with her skipping.

The weekend before Haloween we painted pumpkins and ceramic skulls, which ended up on the table on our front porch. Admittedly a bit hard to see them in this Halloween night pic. All three kids (aside from my daughter) who came trick-or-treating on our street got to check them out. Things have changed since I was young. Don't kids go outdoors anymore? I mean, it was a night of dressing up and collecting bags of free candy -- WTF? (Whatever. More left-over Skittles and Reese Cups for me.)

16 November 2016

Skrolk, Baggage

Some of us on the Oldhammer in the New World Facebook group did a surprise figure exchange. I painted & sent someone Lord Skrolk.

After many long years, I finally scratch built and bought some containers to put in the wagons & carts. I can't remember if I posted these before, but did these a little while ago.

12 November 2016

Casualty Markers

I've been using skull shaped beads to mark wounds & casualties, but I have needed some different markers to indicate larger kultiplesnof wounds and/or negative status (broken demoralized, whatevs), depending on the game being played. So...

Skulls will indicate single wounds, gravestones insicate five, and the Black Rabbit of Inlé will indicate either ten wounds or a crippling status of some sort, s appropriate per the rules in any given battle.

30 October 2016

Small Update

Painted some small figures. Some of the extras from the Westfalia Kickstarter rewards -- some samples of their upcoming range of kobolds, and a steppe goblin. I really like all of these! They will all work their way into Zogmar's band of misfits -- the kobolds just one of the diverse flavors of "lesser goblins."

Seeing as Halloween is approaching, my wife wanted to watch some spooky movies.

The Witch was possibly an OK-ish movie, at best, until the last scene ruined any chance it had of a positive review from me. Bleh.

24 October 2016

Halloween Loot '16

$1.99 reinforcements? Not quite "gaming proportions" and half of them are bent up. They also fall closer to the size of the giants rather than the ogres. More like a taller cousin to the 40mm skeleton on the right. Not sure if that's good or bad. I didn't really have a plan for them beyond, "Ooooh, cheap! I should buy a bag!"

A plain black mask was what I was actually shopping for at the Halloween store. I have a brown robe and I'm trying to put together a last-minute costume cheaply and quickly.

23 October 2016

Orctober '16

Any codgers with a heart condition or prone to high blood pressure over "what is Oldhammer" are advised to avert thine eyes. Avert them! I shall not be vexed by thy judgements. Behold, the Ocrtober of ZeroTwentythree.

I used "Orctober" as an excuse to paint the last of the Foundry great orcs that I've got. Some day I'd like to get more, but they're generally out of my price range. I'll have to get a group shot with the few others I previously painted. (I should also try to sort out my lighting problems for photographs...)

Back to painting commissions & other stuff for a while. I'm sure I'll probably keep sneaking in a few of my own figures here & there.

17 October 2016

Orctober & Hobbits

I decided to get into the "Orctober" spirit and try painting the last two of my small collection of Great Orcs.

I'm sort of torn, though, since the approaching holidays are putting me in an Undead spirit. Mostly, I'm trying to wrap up some commission painting right now, though. And then there are the hobbits...

I've received the bulk of my Westfalia Halflings. I'm dying to get working on them, but I'm trying to hold back and finish a few other things first. But waiting is hard. The eternal struggle of the wargamer -- to finish projects (or even just a portion of one) before moving on to the next. As I've been painting other stuff, I've been reworking some of my campaign ideas in my head, and just set some of it down. I've mentioned it a bit before, as part of my planned solo gaming experiment. In short, it's an alternate history WFB, centered around Marienburg and the Wasteland in IC 2439 (shortly after Marienburg's secession.)

At some point I hope to polish it all up into a cohesive and complete multi-campaign set. Unrealistic plans - maps, illustrations, actually playing the games & doing battle reports, etc. Maybe published on this blog and/or downloadable as PDF. But for now it's still evolving, drastically at times. The arrival of the Westfalia figures have encouraged me to start re-writing one chapter. Here's the start of the fresh draft...

I.C. 2439. Marienburg. The hobbit convoy was halted outside the walls of Marienburg. Guards and teamsters all were a bit impatient with the delay. It wasn’t just the idle time -- being forced to wait in the Cursed Marshes outside the Suid Gate had made even the animals jittery.

The job wasn’t one without it’s dangers. Roads through the Wasteland were more dangerous than those of the Empire or Bretonnia. Trade most commonly passed along the waterways. But there were no navigable rivers from the Little Country to the City of Gold, just streams, marshes, moors, and a good quality road through uncertain country.

They were working under contract to an ambitious hobbit looking to trade the region's produce, especially it’s famed sausage, to the larger markets of Marienburg. The people of the Little Country -- man and hobbit alike -- were rustic folk. Although they engaged in trade with merchants of Bretonnia, Reikland, and even (rarely) the dwarfs of Grey Mountains, they usually relied on the foreigners to come to them. Nob was the first hobbit (as far as anyone knew) to make the effort to market the communities’ wares directly to the outside world. He argued that by traveling to Marienburg, he could command a better price, and in the process employ some of the restless or ambitions youth of the Country in his venture as well.

The promises of mild peril and moderate profit worked. A significant train of wagons and an adequate force of guards had signed on for Scrobbleton’s Jackrabbit Trading Company’s first undertaking. And it had gone well. Better than expected, in fact. Flush with silver, and with the promise of further expeditions, most of the profit (after food and drink) was spent on new equipment -- better wagons, larger draft animals, heavier arms and armour.

This second trip to Marienburg had gone just as well so far -- until they had reached the gates, that is. This time they were barred from entering the city. Only Nob, along with his master of books, Will Smallroot, and a pair of personal guards, were granted entry to meet with the authorities. Now it was past first supper, and uncertainty was leading to disquiet. There was little room to pitch camp outside the city walls, and the landscape was pretty miserable to begin with. Rumors of marsh beasts large enough to swallow a hobbit whole were well known.

Minutes after a Bretonnian caravan had passed by the hobbits and entered the gates, Milo Greycap, one of Nob’s guards, emerged from the tall reeds to the west of the road.

“We need to leave. The master’s been taken, so has Will. I snuck out the gate but they will be coming for the wurst. Maybe us too.”

His comrades stood silent and dumbfounded.

“I don’t know everything. I was waiting down the hall. Through the door I overheard something about contraband, mushrooms, and the corruption of Marienburg’s youth. If we don’t get out of here, I don’t know what will happen. We need to leave now.”

More dumbfounded stares.

“Marienburg dungeons serve three meals of fishy broth with old roots a day, that’s it.”

The caravan became a rapid and precise maneuver as wagons were turned around, ranks were formed, and the entire party began a brisk march South.

As the walls began to disappear in the distance and growing darkness, a distant voice was heard, “Stop! Hold the wagons!” followed by a whiny blast from a horn. The hobbits pace quickened.


Forced Marsh



The Wurst Case Scenario



Anabasis - Part One



The campaign maps will be based on this composite from various sources.

12 October 2016

Post-Gaming Blues

Post-gaming blues setting in.

I should figure out a way to get in at least one game a month or just quit altogether.

10 October 2016

Never Go Full Grimdark

Rogue Dreams

I've been considering a small sci-fi or Rogue Trader project, and after playing RT last week it's on my mind again. Originally I was thinking about returning to my first RT army/figures, oldschool Eldar raiders. But I only have a handful of my original figures, and getting more seems like a big hassle/expense.

The other day, my daughter (5) inadvertently inspired a new idea, tied to the more "open" spirit of RT (vs. later "official" fluff.)

Pirate Robots

Seriously, without even going past those two words, how can this not be a good idea?

Well... OK, the figures. That's a tough start. I've got a lot of ideas for starting points, but none of them are ideal. I'm sort of OK with that, as it will be a big modeling project, and hopefully a unique and fun endeavor. More difficult to work with is the fact that my small gaming budget is completely gone -- indefinitely. So this is a bit of daydreaming. Pirate robot daydreaming. (Maybe and excuse for a bit of scratch-building?)

I'm still fleshing (or un-fleshing) out the concept in my head, but I think they're going to be a band of robots who have attained independent sentience/sapience/self-awareness/whatevs. But they're early in the evolution of AI (or early in our concept of AI,) and bear many marks of the loathsome meat that made them. Really a pretty faulty concept of AI, I think, but I'm aiming for the fun spirit of RT and cheesy space opera rather than hard sci-fi. So... eclectic meat hating robot pirates.

The first figure is easy. I already have it. Painted, even.

And really, this has a lot of what I'm looking for. Sort of rough & primitive, anthropomorphic mechanics, and a bit of (odd) character. But I also want some sinister (without going Full Grimdark -- you never go Full Grimdark) elements. And no meat.

Some of my big challenges would be using figures that are part of other settings, armies, characters, etc. (later 40k, Warmachine, 2000AD, etc.) without being identified too closely as such. Another would be pulling a diverse selection of miniatures together into a cohesive warband (though the "pirate" idea should help accommodate that.) Also, there seems to be a limited variety of human sized robots.

03 October 2016

Oldhammer Day USA 2016

I was going to do some good old battle reports, and give a blow by blow of the games this weekend. But I just don't have that in me. I'll leave that to better bloggers. But I did enjoy the weekend immensely, and will report with something like a lengthy summary and some photos. So...

I ran into multiple last minute car problems, and almost cancelled. Luckily I only had to make it from Cleveland(ish) to Pittsburgh(ish) and my friend Bill offered to drive the rest of the way. That was (possibly literally) a lifesaver. It cut my (and my car's) driving by like 2/3, and to be honest, I would have hated driving around that whole DC region.

At any rate, things really went well, and I'm glad I didn't cancel. Bill is an old friend from when I was a GW Outrider, and we've run into each other for years at conventions and gaming events in OH & PA. We drove out Friday and visited another old friend who lives in Glen Burnie, and stopped by Games & Stuff (great store, huge, well stocked, big gaming room.)

We stayed at Jeff's and then drove out to Huzzah Hobbies for Oldhammer Day in the morning. The store was smaller, but still pretty large, organized and professional, an had a lot of gaming space (over half the store) with plenty of tables, terrain, etc. The staff were great all weekend, given that a mob of Oldhammerers had descended on their store and taken over the back half of the main part of the store.

My main interest was getting in some games of WFB3rd, though I had brought a Rogue Trader warband for Escape from Nu Ork. But first thing Friday, I jumped into one of Brian's RT "Battle at the Farm" games.

Bill & Sean's Orks surrounded Farmer Floyd's sheep farm, and I led the valiant Imperial defenders (and only slightly less valiant farm-hands and sheep.) It was a fight down to the last few defenders, but by the end, the orcs were all dead or wandering aimlessly with fried brains.

I enjoyed RT quite a bit, and it has only fueled my recent interest in getting back into some small sci-fi skirmish gaming (like I play more than a few games of anything a year?) Hindsight was telling me that RT was a bit clunky, but the game went pretty well and I may give RT another look.

Still, I was anxious to get into some WFB3. I've got a greater love for pushing formed units of troops around a battlefield than for any sort of skirmish gaming. So Sean offered to face my Marienburgers with his Orcs & Goblins.

Armies were 1500 points (sort of a weekend standard, for the most part.) It was a classic match-up and was pretty close fought. In the end, Marienburg's mercenaries pulled out a win.

There was a bit of stumbling through the old rules (vs. things confused from newer editions,) and I had no idea what to do with an Empire army in 3rd (I used to play Skaven & Dwarfs back in the day) but it went pretty well and was a lot of fun.

I finished the afternoon with another WFB game against airbornegrove26's (givemlead.blogspot.com) Black Vasken. With a twist. The Marienburger's sat this one out and I fielded nothing but giants of various sizes and abilities. Two (Bologs and Waltraud) had apparently been partying before the battle, and showed up drunk.

I think 'Grove does a better job with battle reports than I could, so I will leave the details and drama to him But I do have to admit that one of the highlights was Big Dick climbing up to some temple ruins and throwing everything in sight (pigs, cauldron, priestess (?), and vending machine) at some trolls down below.

(Nigel -- I think -- the troll after being hit by a pig, but the vending machine landed just a little bit to the outside. Later the vending machine would be wielded by Nigel as the tool of Barry the giant's demise. Vorpal Vending Machine?)

It was a bloodbath, to be sure. In the end.... well... keep an eye on givemlead.blogspot.com if you want to find out how it ends.

While some Oldhammerers left the store in search of various venues in which to play Hotelhammer, I was hungry and tired. A truely OLDhammerer. So dinner, hotel check-in, and sleep was all I could manage.

Sunday morning we had time for one quick game, and I picked up one more battle for Marienburg's mercenaries. This time it was against Chris' dwarfs.

Chris fielded a number of newfangled inventions, like a gyrocopter and swivel gun, which were cool to see in action. (Well, until the latter blew half a unit of halberdiers away in a single shot.) Another hard fought game that went back and forth a bit, but in the end the mercenaries couldn't overcome the traditional stubborn tenacity of the dwarfs.

As with most public gaming events, I came home with some loot.

I got the Ork Goffik Rocker for defending the farm from the Orks. The Ramshackle cultist and the \m/ twins \m/ I got as general swag. The chaos warrior I got (along with a modern GW paint set, not pictured -- because how interesting is a box of paint?) from the painting contest. I hadn't even planned on, nor wanted to enter. But I was peer pressured, and participation was apparently semi-mandatory. So I picked two figures (one large catagory, one small) I wasn't using at the time and Mad Marcus, my Marauder Giant ended up winning the large category.

So the whole weekend was really enjoyable and a nice break from reality. I got to visit some old friends, and even ran into someone who used to play with the local group before moving away. I also finally got to meet some people I've "known" through various online communities for a while. And I got to push around some roll some dice and "play pretend soldiers." 

Of course I'm already thinking about next year, as well as having a fire lit to try to do some local gaming again. I think small RT/40k warbands would be fun. As usual, all I need is an opponent... As far as WFB, 2017 is going to be the Year of the Fimir. That was already the plan. I'm also hoping to refine and playtest the multi-player Giant Rumble rules I've been working on.