Friday 16 October 2015


Rebased and glossed, there are 50 of these orcy bods for Lord Vassago's army. More candidates for Erny's Orctober (as soon as I read there might be a prize I frantically started hauling all the orcs and goblins out I could lay my hands on). As I mentioned when I had finished painting them a couple of years ago, I always thought blue was a good colour for these Ral Partha sculpts (some of which are still available from RP Europe.). The vile rune on their shields is from Runequest, a game I never played, but had some of the boxed Citadel sets back in the 80's.

The standards sport the traditional Red Eye and White Hand devices that many 70's orcs used.
I've got a couple of the orc war machines Ral Partha made to go with these figures, so must get them assembled and painted  (maybe for Orctober 2016)

Here is Ugrash -Ka, the Hill Giant leader of the Vile Rune orcs. One of my favourite figures from Asgard, sculpted by Nick Bibby. I completely ballsed up the paintjob, but to be honest I don't think I would have ever done justice to the figure.

Tuesday 13 October 2015


I've  been looking covetously at Dwarven Forge cavern systems recently, and come to the conclusion there is no way I can afford them, so will probably have to make my own (although I might treat myself to a stalagmite set). Back when I used to play D + D on a regular basis, I always used to enjoy mapping out cavern systems for players to explore, with fiendish monsters lurking in pools or behind rock formations, but it wasn't until I actually started caving for real that I realised just  how unrealistic role-playing caves are.

About 20 years ago I used to go caving once a week in the Mendip Hills, not far from where I live and poked about in a number of different caves, all of which would present some challenges to an armoured adventuring party

Birthday Squeeze in Swildon's Hole . Note the caver has had to remove the one piece of equipment he is carrying (his lamp battery) so he can get through to the next part of the cave.
(Image from Dudley Caving Club's blog)

The traverse at Eastwater Cavern, a smooth surface, but at a 40' angle ready to slide you down into a crevice
(Image from WAYA blog)

The Drainpipe in Goatchurch Cavern (wiggly)
(image from Pinterest)

Swildon's Hole sump 1. A short underwater passage, adventurers would need to hold their breath for 30 seconds
(pic from Carbis Bay Crew blog)

These are some of the more extreme passages (not the most extreme, it has to be said), and there are areas where one can walk upright, and indeed large and wonderful caverns
The Throne Room in Stoke Lane Slocker (I never did this challenging cave!)
(Image from Dudley Caving Club's blog again)

 but they are all connected by tortuous narrow passageways involving crawling or wriggling, with no level floors and plenty of piles of boulders to clamber over.... which would make for an exciting (and literal) Dungeon/Cavern crawl.

The point of this rambling is that I am getting a real itch to get back underground. I chucked my kneepads and helmet away when we moved house  6 years ago, but I am getting a whispering in my head to lure me back down below...............

Entrance to Swildon's Hole 

one of the fascinating things for me is that an innocuous little hole like this can lead to over 9000 metres of cave passageway, 167 metres deep.... but could you get down with plate armour and a 10' pole?

Saturday 10 October 2015


I have been keeping an eye out for this book for a while until one  cropped up at a reasonable price. Amazon marketplace came up trumps and the book arrived yesterday. I've not read it yet, but had a quick flick through to refresh my memory of the pictures within. I used to get this book from the library back in the early 1980's and it is like meeting an old friend again.

Hmmm, must get one of those castles....

as well as that Dragontooth elf, second from the right.

I've got these orcs, but no longer have the Atlantic temple grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...

The author Dr. Holmes enjoying a game with his pals. Note the Rubik's Cube, widely marketed from 1980, so must be brand spanking new in this picture. (The book was published in 1981).

Thursday 8 October 2015


Rebased old school and glossed up, these chaos are now ready to fight.

19 Chronicle Hobgoblins and 1 Asgard orc 

Not sure about the banner..... fits in with my post 80's figures but is it ok for 1983?

Friday 2 October 2015


Finally got these guys based

2 lovely Fiend Factory wyverns, looking like the proper heraldic sort.

Thursday 1 October 2015


The well of Thistlewood....a minor piece of terrain, but important in any village. This piece is 1983 vintage cleared and is a brittle resin casting from (I think) either Ahketon or Otherworld Artefacts (the orginal Otherworld which made resin Fantasy scenery). It might be from another manufacturer whose name eludes me at the moment , but either way it was in a very hard breakable buff coloured resin, which would shatter into a zillion pieces if dropped.

(this and previousfew pictures taken with a borrowed tablet, which I haven't got the hang of yet. I'll be back to my normal camera soon with luck).