13 September 2020

Sci-Fi Future

I've had on & off plans for a return to sci-fi painting & gaming. There have been several project or potential projects brewing for years now, and I think I may not only move ahead with some/all of them, but I'm going to try to tie them all together.

Let me start with the brainstorm I had over the weekend on this topic. It all started with the Gothmower.

Yes, Gothmower. I bought a new electric lawnmower towards the end of last Summer. The start button, for some reason, looks like a green coffin. I usually listen to music while mowing, and last time I decided I should honor the Gothmower by listening to some music in that theme. Because I am of a certain age, the first band that came to mind was Bauhaus. Turns out I don't really like most of their music anymore. So this week I put together a playlist from another suitable band...

That went much better. I hadn't listened to ASF for a long time, but this was inspiring. The lawn didn't stand a chance.

As I rocked out and mowed, thoughts drifted to painting and gaming. What if I started with Rogue Trader as a base, and then drifted off into my own cobbled together crazy space-opera setting/theme, sort of like I started with Warhammer but made it my own Althammer. As the heat and music kept my mind drifting around, I remembered that Rogue Trader was already a bit of an "open sandbox". The 40k setting didn't start getting fleshed out with tedious officialdom until later editions. So I won't really be diverging -- sort of a retro-hammer sci-fi thing.

But I'm not sure how much Rogue Trader I will actually be playing. In fact, right now I'm on the hunt for some solo rules. I just bought Five Parsecs from Home and will be reading through the rules this week. I also have a few others on my radar. But eventually I'd like to play some games with live opponents someday, too.

So here's a brief summary of the projects/plans that I'd like to pull together:

  • Meat Hating Robot Pirates. Previously mentioned, and I've already collected quite a few 'bots.
  • Rogue Trader Eldar. They were my first RT/40k figures, before I even bought the rules. I just liked the figures. As happened a lot, I sold them in college. But I have been working on collecting figures for next year's Old World Army Challenge, which is opening up for 40k as well as fantasy.
  • Spaven. Cheese Stealers. Not sure I'll go any further with them. Maybe a few odd figures if I get inspired in the future.
  • Adeptus Mechanicus. I've been planning an AdMech Kill Team force. So I will hopefully break my block on building & painting the figures.
  • Miscellany. Civilians, mercenaries, beasts... I don't know. I'm sure I'll add some oddball stuff in at some point.
  • Gaming surface & terrain. Still thinking about this a bit. Thinking about a dark alien world look like on the Spaven bases, but also doing some sort of semi-modular starship/building tiles -- along with all the accessories.

Only one robot painted so far.

Some of the Cheese-Stealer Cult.

Eldar on deck.


Trollkids done. I made some painting errors, and then trying to fix it seemed to work at first, but then resulted in somewhat Muppet-y colors. I guess I can be OK with that. More Drewtember figures from Satyr Art Studio. I just put down the first base coats of color on the trollwives.

As I was painting them, I kept hearing Ron Weasley saying, "eeew, troll bogies" in my head. 😆

08 September 2020

Upsized Giant

My first completed Drewtember figure is the recently released cloud giant, a tribute to the old Ral Partha figure by Tom Meier -- which happens to be one of my favorite oldschool miniatures. Both together, Drew/Satyr Art Studio on left, Tom/Partha on the right.


Besides painting, one of my joys has been the enjoyment of our modest gardens - both flower and vegetable. At times it's a bit of a train-wreck due to the neighborhood wildlife and neighborhood fungus plague, but we've managed to pull through. The most plentiful of our "crops" has been one of the basil plants that's grown to an insane size, and three hot pepper plants. I've been making and freezing (or giving away to friends) pesto made from the former, and recently I've been experimenting with hot sauces for the latter. This past weekend's production, in addition to the painted giant:

31 August 2020


In recent years I've jumped onto a lot of painting challenges. I just finished my second Old World Army Challenge. Most of the rest are monthly challenges like Orctober, Deadcember, etc.

After a painting slump in August, I'm working up some motivation for September. I just received the Satyr Art Studio tribute to Tom Meier's old cloud giant figure. I've also received Lempo the giant forest troll from Sandstorm Miniatures, and the trollwives & trollkids, also from Satyr, a few months ago. All sculpted by Drew Williams. Thus...


I know... Even more contrived than most of the others. Whetever. I have a bunch of his recent sculpts, I'm going to challenge myself to paint them this month. Good enough for me. ;)

Trollwives & Trollkids

Cloud Giant next to his inspiration from Ral Partha.

Lempo from Sandstorm Miniatures. As much as I hate to do it, one arm will need to be painted separately.

Maybe a bit hard to see, but the tiny baby birds in the nest in Lempo's antlers have their beaks open ready to feed while (presumably) mamma bird looks on. Little details like this are one of several reasons why I'm a a huge fan of Drew's sculping.

Oldschool trolls & giants on my desk? I'd better replenish my stock of 'shrooms.

10 August 2020

Scotia Grendel Orcs

Quick paint on a pair of orcs from Scotia Grendel (formerly by Black Tree's LotR range) to see how they compare to some of the other figures I've got. Both are leaders from the command packs. On the left is a Greater Orc (Uruk) on a 25mm base. On right is a Stygian Orc on a 20mm base.

(Click to enlarge)

Second pic is a comparison... Citadel plastic handgunner (my usual scale standard 😉), Reaper, Scotia Grendel, Midlam, Grenadier/Mirliton, Black Tree, really old Citadel, and Scotia Grendel.

06 August 2020

Last of the Low Rollers

It's time to wrap up my Sellswords and Spellslingers campaign. I've learned, I've made mistakes, and it's time for the Low Rollers to be retired so I can start fresh. They did better than I expected in the first two of the "winding down" scenarios, I thought for sure this one would be their end. Behold, the dread Thunder Lizard! And since I only have one lizard folk painted, I proxied cultists instead because what sort of madmen would worship such a vile beast....

Although the Low Rollers did suffer one fatality to the Big Lizard in My Back Yard, the ferocious Doc McStuffin's sidekick did fall pretty quickly. Per the Low Rollers modus operandi, as soon as the big baddie was taken out, there was a consistent stream of failed activation rolls and the scene quickly flooded with villains. I threw the second Thunder Lizard into the mix in place of a wandering monster since there's no wandering monster specified in this scenario, and also because I was disappointed that more of the heroes weren't mangled/eaten by the first one

By the end of the scenario, there were twice as many opponents on the table. I ran out of cultists and has to start tossing orcs into the fray.

Although I was hoping for a heroic yet fatal end game, I was OK with the dramatic way things turned out. Youbie died while fighting the original Thunder Stuffie, and P-Stash delivered the killing blow. By the time he got to his friend, she was flat out dead. But he wasn't going to leave her behind. He shouldered her body and ran towards Stabbie the shaman, and their new recruit, Wad.

By that time the second, more serious looking Thunder Lizard had arrived nearby. Wanting to settle things in a heroic blaze of glory, Stabbie tried to cook the lizard (failed) and Wad tried to fill it full of arrows (also failed) so it was up to P-Stash to run in and save the day fisticuffs style. Almost. He crippled the cold blooded beast, but failed to deliver the final blow.

Wad, unexpectedly showing a sense of loyalty, bravery, and honor towards his new friends, charged into assured death to avenge and rescue his brave companion. In a fit of rage, he stabbed the crap out of the unsuspecting dino and brought him down in short order.

But that was only the start of his work. Six more cultists showed up on the scene and (due to shitty activation roles yet again...) they charged rapidly from the far corner of the battle and surrounded the strong archer. Despite the six-on-one odds, Wad managed to quickly butcher the cultists, grab P-Stash's comatose body, and meet up with Stabbie (who was carrying the corpse of Youbie) and flee to safety.

So that's the dramatic finale. Two casualties, one dead the other comatose. P-Stash will survive, and although Youbie is technically dead, the group has plenty of unspent wealth to resurrect Youbie.

But I'll leave that all behind for now. I'd like to start fresh, though the newcomer -- Wad -- may make an appearance in a potential group of next (anti)heroes...

Neville, Zeek, Wad, and Tommir

04 August 2020

Death of a Necromancer

The Low Rollers wandered up to the Necromancer's tower, and though beset by challenges, they defeated her without too much trouble.

Moments after the fall of the Necromancer. Just a simple stroll home now, right?
(The square to the right represents the first floor of the tower)

Then things got complicated. Although some of the skeletons crumbled into heaps of bones, all of those in or near the tower were freshly invigorated, gaining in strength. As the heroes tried to make their escape, new foes, ghouls and skeletons, flowed into the area. Was the spirit of the Necromancer still powerful and angry? Did the Necromancer's tower itself hold some sort of malignant magic? Was fate punishing the four heroes for their unjustified murder of an elderly practitioner of arcane magics who was simply pursuing her studies in a remote study in the wilderness?

By the time the valiant murder crew left the scene of their assassination, an amassed horde of 27 skeleton warriors and 8 ghouls had arrived on site.

03 August 2020

Back to Sellswords and Painted Some Rabble

Painted some fresh rabble...

It's been a while since I last played Sellswords and Spellslingers but I finally got in a game. Since this warband was my "learning the rules" group, I wanted to wind down their campaign by throwing a couple of horrible scenarios at them. By that I mean I would try to kill them and see if they could survive. Sort of like 2020 for toy soldiers in a fantasy setting.

The first was to replay the Badlands scenario again - playing it wrong just like I did the first time when I had only two characters barely survive. For all their experience and new skills and equipment, they didn't do much better. Bowie, who was essentially a clone of the original Bowie who died the first time, met the same fate. This time ambushed by a troll.

Stabbie tried to rescue her, but she was too far gone. The troll had already eaten one of her legs and was pulling off the other as the shaman got close.

Youbie almost didn't make it either. Seeing P-Stash surrounded by orcs, the powerful swordswoman charged in to assist, but only managed to jump on every sword that was bared in front of her. Really, she barely had to swing at them to mow the minions down, but failed anyway. Stabbie had better luck with his healing this time, saving the bold warrior well enough to limp away to safety. P-Stash, always living in the shadow of Youbie's expertise managed to prove himself by downing foe after foe just when the struggling group needed. He had to climb over a ring of orc corpses to join his friends as they fled the dreaded orc infested territory a second time.

As they leave the Badlands, Youbie takes one last look back, mourning their lost companion and contemplating how they could roll so goddamn low on so many activations again.

It was good to play a game for the first time in a few months!

One last look back at a fallen comrade.

The fallen comrade.

Badlands carnage 2.0.

And then there were three...

Next game with put the Low Rollers up against a necromancer hiding out in a remote tower. Not sure why they've got to go all murder hobo on this nice old lady and her friends. But that's what's going down. If that fails to do them in, there may be a thunder lizard waiting for them after that....

In non-gaming stuff, we're finally getting the first (not counting the herbs & green onions) small harvest from our tiny garden. Last year the neighborhood wildlife annihilated the garden, so I haven't got to pickle hot peppers for two years. Obviously I need a party of sellswords and spellslingers to rid our yard of the raiding vermin.

26 July 2020


Unfortunately, I couldn't get one before the OWAC ended. But nonetheless, I now have a Zoat and I'm thrilled to add it to my collection, and the wood elves I just completed in particular.

Just got it this week, and it headed straight to the top of the painting list!

23 July 2020

Astroslannican Pt. 0

I am exploring the possibility of putting together a small Slann army for Rogue Trader using Diehard Miniatures Eru-Kin figures. (They looks awesome.) Possibly for the next Old World Army Challenge, which is rumored to be opening up to the 41st millennium.

While the Slann had a detailed entry in the RT core rulebook, the were coldly cold-bloodedly ignored in subsequent publications.

So that's where I hop on to the scene. The first step in my process is making sure that my character/unit/vehicle entries look suitably retro. So I'm recreating the graphics & layout used in the RT book as well as the army lists in Chapter Approved. I still have to refine the design, but here's where I'm at so far. Still work to do....

And here's a fresh,  contemporary entry template. Not quite 100% there yet, but working on it!

19 July 2020

Half-Orc Skirmishers

I painted the 5 Cro's Goblin Raiders from Alternative Armies to go with the previously painted Hob-Goblin Raiders (also AA) for use as a small unit of half-orc skirmishers. They have a nice retro, motley look to them.

06 July 2020

Crucible Goblins to Daemons

I've based the new test figure, and repainted all green flesh on all the old Crucible goblins I had previously painted. I think these will to quite nicely as another regiment of daemons! I think I like the solid red feathers on the new figure better than the "stained" feathers on the old ones, though. Maybe repaint....?

Next... painting some of the unpainted Crucible goblins to round out the regiment.

I'm already starting to consider what other figures I could recruit as non-RoC/unaligned daemons.

My memory was jogged by a comment from Beefcake on the LAF that I still had a half-painted bat rider to accompany the Crucible goblins. After searching through some boxes, I found it. So that may (finally) get finished at some point.

In the same box I found these guys, in pretty rough shape -- a little bent, old paint chipping off. Ral Partha giant bees with a couple of unknown 15mm knights, since I didn't have the original riders. Painted for a never completed Hordes of the Things army. The figures were OOP for a long time, but I think Iron Wind Metals recently brought them back into production.

Not sure what to do with these.

02 July 2020

Daemons and Elves

Daemons and elves...

I finished my last month of the Old World Army Challenge. Read more at the official site... http://oldworldarmychallenge.blogspot.com/ (My entry at http://oldworldarmychallenge.blogspot.com/2020/06/zerotwentythrees-june-wood-elves-203-pts.html but it's definitely worth checking out all the entries and accompanying eye-candy!)

Here's a pic of my scouts plus the faerie dragon familiar I painted for the OWAC.

I'm still working on the idea of a few regiments of non-aligned, or more specifically pre-RoC daemons. The Powrie (aka "rage Smurfs") I posted recently are an excellent start. Looking thougth what I already have, I came across some old Crucible goblins -- mostly unpainted. The figures painted previously used typical green (though dark/dull) skin colors. But for daemonic minions, I thought something a little more alien, or at least removed completely from O&G would be a good idea. Hence my new experiment with a light (white-ish) colored test figure.Thougths?

24 June 2020


I'm trying to get through the last month of the Old World Army Challenge, but struggling. I've already met the minimum requirements, so I'm technically in the clear. But I had some remaining figures I wanted to include, and would like to finish them for the sake of "completing" the challenge army. (I know full well no project is ever "finished." But I'd like to complete what I have on hand.)

Along those lines, I painted a tiny "bonus figure" to go with the OWAC wood elves. Because I'm easily distracted. I believe it's from a pack of familiars from Reaper.

While digging through bins of old figures, I came across most of an old Nurgle chaos warband, painted long ago....


I finally received this giant forest troll, Lempo, from the Sandstorm Miniatures KS. Another Drew Williams sculpted troll to add to my growing collection. The little details are amazing. For scale reference, the grid on the cutting mat is 1" x 1".

I also made a couple of impulsive Clearance Sale purchases online. One was a couple of sample packs of Scotia Grendel (former Harlequin sculpts, I think) orcs that I've been eyeing as possibilities for more half-orcs/hob-orcs. Here's a scale comparison pic. The Stygian orc (left) is at the smaller end of the scale, the Greater orc (Uruk) is at the larger end, especially if he was standing up straight. Accompanying them are painted orcs/half-orcs/hobgoblins from Grenadier/Mirliton, Black Tree, Midlam, and Reaper

The other thing I bought was a bargain purchase of a resin inn from Blue Moon Manufacturing. Looks great, but trying to do a dry fit today I couldn't get the parts to align like they do in the second pic (stolen from the online shop.)

21 June 2020

Old World Big Man

I've got a case of painter's block. What colors would Drachenfels wear...?

16 June 2020

Unaligned Daemons

As mentioned before, part of my plan/concept for the Powrie I recently painted was to use them as pre- or non-RoC, or at least non-aligned, daemons. With that in mind, I'm thinking about what else I could use. I may have been overlooking one option that was literally right in front of my eyes, as I had these old Crucible goblins on my painting desk since I used them in a game of Sellswords recently.

I still have about sixteen more unpainted. They've got a nicely alien and villainous look to them. I'd prefer not repainting this batch that is already done, but I wouldn't mind painting the green skin with some other color to avoid the goblin connection. Maybe red, like the Powrie/Rage Smurfs? Maybe stark black or stark white? Dark blue? They might even look extra-creepy in caucasian-ish skin tone.

I think I'd like to repaint the feathers as well.

Opinions? On color? Or whether they even look suitably daemonic? Also interested in other recommendations for generic daemons.

Stuff! In the Mail! (Non gaming edition)

Received this vinyl figure from 100% Soft (via My Plastic Heart in NYC) in the mail today. I've been trying to get one for over a year. The original resins were damn near impossible to get, then I pre-ordered this near the beginning of the year and have been patiently waiting. Originally I felt it was like an unofficial mascot for my team at work. But now that it's arrived, it seems more like the Spirit of 2020.