Tuesday 24 December 2019


Another sort of " ... hammer" to get me sidetracked, but this has been a fairly swift (for me) , force to get this far. Inspiration comes from the wonderful Sword in the Sprue blog, so much, that I have even copied a lot of the paint schemes shown there. I wanted to do a small army with minimal expense, effort and planning, simple painting and GLOSSY.

 First we have  The Plum Pudding Gnomes, finished in time for Christmas.

Next up some archers, painted in the same colour schemes as Britains Deetail Longbowmen.

The Royal Griffin Martin

2 units of Sky Dwarves (just realised I forgot the second coat of Ironbreaker on the weapons).

Brother Clavicle and Merkin the Magician

That's the army so far, although I have almost finished a unit of mounted knights. All these figures were dirt cheap and the 2 characters were metal chaps I've had for a long time. As I mentioned before I hated the chunky Citadel plastics when they came out, but now I love them. Easy to paint with no deep undercuts, they lend themselves well to block painting. All these were primed white first and were fairly quick to do, although each colour had to have about 3 coats to be completely solid which was rather annoying. I have a few more units planned.

It's been a busy year with toy soldiers taking if not a back seat, at least a passenger seat. Family duties and a new hobby have been filling up a lot of spare time. Hopefully next year I will find more time and energy to post more on this blog.



Sunday 24 November 2019


One of my favourite blogspots at the moment is written by the talented artist Joe McLaren. . I really like his approach to gaming and modelling and all his blogs are well worth a look.  One of the little projects on Blue Peter Hammer was to make some Warhammer 40k style tanks out of nobbut card wrapped round a cork sanding block.  This we duly did yesterday and have been sent to the Imperial workshops for painting by youngest son.

Check out Joe's original blog post for instructions.

Monday 4 November 2019


Yes gentle reader, your host enters his 51st year today with some trepidation and puzzlement to where the last 25 years went. My 2 youngest sons each made me a Fantasy related card, first some Wheelies by Arthur from The Citadel of Chaos ( we have just backed the Kickstarter to get figures of these).

Secondly by George is a picture of Brag from The Trigan Empire. We are all huge fans in our house and are delighted to hear that the stories are going to be reprinted next year. Phrases from the one book we have already are frequently bandied around.  Such as "silence his lying tongue", " throw him to the nobras" and " cease your idle chatter" ( my favourite).
I'll post pictures of my gift when I've made it.

Thursday 31 October 2019


Managed to get back to one of my favourite places yesterday, WISTMAN'S WOOD on Dartmoor. Last time I was there was 20 years ago.  I took a few pictures for terrain reference.

Sunday 27 October 2019


Having singularly failed the Sprinks Skinthammer Challenge mentioned in the last couple of posts, I would just like to say the cheapwad penny-pinching parsimonious orc army, will be finished by the end of November (I hope). More soon...

In the meantime I was diverted by the upcoming GROGG (Gloucestershire Retro and Oldhammer Gaming Group) Halloween game which is on the near horizon. Geoff at Oakbound Studios has set the scenario which involves the hunt for the fabled Ratspike. A potent magical artefact which will prevent each players liche from crumbling to pieces and ending ignominiously as a head in a jar.

Each player is allowed a Liche, 2 henchmen, and 4 other units from the following
1 Apprentice
2 Bodyguards
5 Cultists
10 skeletons

After scrabbling around for suitable figures, I came up with the following.

(Drape is a plastic gaming piece from a board game I think)

My Liche, Lord Drape. I say my liche, but in fact he is neither mine nor a liche . Back in the 1980's a group of chums and I  used to have some cracking Fantasy games using WRG Renaissance Rules. Neil, one of the aforementioned crew always fielded the craziest best painted regiments and characters ,one of whom was the legendary Lord Drape (aka Citadel Fiend Factory 3 Wraith on Undead Horse). The original Lord Drape figure is no doubt residing in some metal toolbox in Neil's attic, but I hope he doesn't mind me continuing the legendary exploits of this well wrapped character.

Almost four decades ago Lord Drape was a feared and respected mercenary general. Commander of the feared Undertakers, a regiment of Hobgoblin pikemen who were the scourge of many a battlefield. With  his myriad conquests his reputation increased, gold poured into his coffers and Drape began to harbour secret desires to overthrow his royal employer and crown himself King Drape the First. Unfortunately as is often the case, his masters got wind of his machinations through the treachery of one of Drape's mercenary colleagues , a shadowy figure known as The Graf. During a particularly heavy bout in Windy Jape's Liquor Emporium , Drape made some unguarded comments about his ambitions which were duly reported by The Graf to the powers above. It was arranged that Drape should be assassinated. The next day, Drape was summoned to the residence of the King's chief vizier and wizard Dr. Jesmig under the pretext of receiving a new assignment. Nursing a dreadful hangover, Drape stumbled to his doom. The Graf was waiting behind the curtains with drawn swordstick and as Drape downed the Prairie Oyster Jesmig gave him , The Graf emerged and plunged his sword through Drapes many wrappings.

What followed next surprised everyone. Instead of Drape falling to the floor bleeding conventionally his cloak and mufflers dropped to the floor as if empty. Jesmig, well versed in the dark arts quickly perceived that Drape must have had some arcane knowledge himself and his spirit was about to escape out of the open leaded windows. He gabbled an incantation hoping to stop Drape's escape but only succeeded in slowing him down. Drape's non-corporeal form became entangled in the curtains, but with a clatter of breaking pelmet both spirit and curtains squeezed though the window and were gone, leaving Jesmig having to consider a trip to the soft furnishings shop.

Since then Drape has inhabited the curtains, not unlike his previous apparel, other than they are golden yellow and embroidered with roses. He has given up his mercenary career and now studies magical lore , becoming a warlock and Necromancer of mickle might. Drape believes the Ratspike will be able to rid him of an infestation of moths and aid his revenge against The Graf and Jesmig.

(Clopsy is an Oakbound Miniature, and Mungo an Asgard figure)

Henchmen. Clopsy and Mungo. Sadly , horses don't live as long as bodiless apparitions, and Drape's beloved horse Clopsy passed away soon after the bungled attempt on Drape's existence. Unwilling to continue his adventures without his faithful steed,  Drape now has a servant (also called Clopsy) who carries the horses skull after Drape, making neighing sounds and asking for sugarlumps.

No command figure should be without a minion next to him pointing, and Mungo fulfils this role. He also carries all Drape's essentials in a red haversack. Spare curtain rings, darning needle , stain remover, and all the little extras an animated pair of curtains may need. Mungo also caries a large bronze shield , looted during one of Drape's archaeological/necromantical expeditions. With this he can fling himself in the way of any missiles aimed at his master.

(Norris is an old Citadel Necromancer)

Apprentice. Norris was a second year undergraduate archaeology student at Trompenburg University, when he heard tell of rumours of disturbed graves and barrows, the contents seemingly having clawed their way out. Intrigued he set watch near an undisturbed barrow (known as Jug's Grave) and sure enough witnessed the power of Lord Drape as the warlock summoned the ancient cadaver from it's resting place.  Norris's gran had the same curtains that Drape now sports, so it's a nostalgia thing as well.
(The Quillons are by Ral Partha)

Bodyguards. The Quillon Brothers. Norris has appointed 2 brothers to act as bodyguards to Lord Drape and himself. Unfortunately being short of capital, the best he could find were the diminutive Quillon brothers. Still, they do have very big swords.

(l-r Citadel, Citadel, Citadel, Ral Partha, Citadel)

Cultists, The Barrow Botherers. These 5 were amateur archaeologists and treasure hunters who became fed up with the laws and rules governing the protection of ancient sites of interest. They want to dig up old burial mounds and see what's inside! Happily, following Drape gives them ample opportunity to loot these places, once the bodies have been animated of course. They call themselves The Disciples of Drape, but everyone else calls them Those Dratted Barrow Botherers.

All Drape's living servants wear the same yellow to match their master (conveniently for painting speed).

(Citadel, Grenadier, Ral Partha and Chronicle)

(Citadel, Grenadier, and Ral Partha)

2 units of 10 skeletons. These chaps are the results of Drape's excursions , cadavers from times of yore, animated to do his bidding. They are led by a less decomposed body on a smelly horse called Rawhead and his faithful hound Rattlebone.

The skeletons were finished for last years game , which unfortunately had to be cancelled.

I have painted more units than I am allowed and I suspect the Quillon brothers will not be fielded, but we shall see. Can't wait for the game on November 9th.

Monday 26 August 2019


Frenetic work continues to get this army completed by the end of the month. Once the attic had cooled down last night I started on these 2 bolt shooters and finished building them this morning.
They are made of bits of dowel , balsa and foil  I had  knocking about on the bench. Coated with plastic putty they look a bit messy at the moment but will paint up to match the catapult in the last post. I splashed out on the bases which are pennies. Starting on the crew next. 

Sunday 25 August 2019

SKINTHAMMER CHALLENGE.... Old Knopper the catapult

Yes, 2 posts in a day!! It's simply too hot in the attic to do anything, so most of us have been lounging in the sitting room which is the coolest room in the house. An upside of this is the family actually sit down together and talk to each other.... not something that tends to happen much. Oldest boy passed his 9 GCSE's with flying colours so is bound for my Alma Mater to study Countryside Conservation and Management for a year and then forestry. Middle son also passed his Grade 4 Folk Violin with distiction, so there is a certain sense of jubilation (and relief) reigning here at the moment.

Old Knopper started off as a battered ELC toy catapult picked up in a charity shop for 10p, that looked like this.....

I cut the side shields off and covered up the damage with garden string. More garden string was added to the firing arm and round an added dowel roller. A firing lever was added to the dowel as well. 

I added a cross brace at the front, and then a Green Man pendant I picked up in Glastonbury a while back. Some green stuff knots and burrs were added and them copious amounts of Vallejo plastic putty to make the whole model look more organic. Then I covered the whole thing with 2 coats of the brilliant Citadel Typhus Corrosion which softened the plastic edges even more and gave the smooth plastic a bark like natural texture.

The missiles are acorns believe it or not , from a garden I work in. They have been been infected by the splendidly named Knopper Gall Wasp which lays it's eggs in the acorn causing the gall. The acorns warp into a wonderfully Froudian shape. I just gave the dried acorns a wash with Seraphim Sepia. The plan is that each missile houses a nasty little Gubbins which will hatch out and start attacking the nearest enemy.

The crew below were finds from the comic book convention. From left to right a citadel Orc, the middle porcine chap is an unknown make (I am calling him Roly) and the whipmaster is Uncle Frank we have met already.

Total cost of Old Knopper and 2 of the crew was £3.10 bring the total to £25.01p. £4.99 to spend on something rather fun.


Lambkin is Mother Gubbins' first born and the apple of her bloodshot eye. He tends not to live with the rest of the clan, but burrows deep into the moss found on the moors close to the Gubbins' lair. From there he raids nearby villages,  using his great height and long extendable arms to open and lean in through bedroom windows to seize the sleeping occupant.

Lambkin is a plastic figure from Caesar's box of 1/72 Fantasy Adventurers, and as I pinched him out of the kids toybox he was technically free. Sorry about the terrible photos... combination of rushing using my phone, and not being able to see the picture very well on the small screen. Once I upload it to the laptop, I can see the blurring and other mishaps.

Total spent so far £21.91p 

Friday 23 August 2019

SKINTHAMMER CHALLENGE... The Lungwort Brothers and Standard Bearers completed

The Lungwort Brothers are sentient collections of lichen animated by Mother Gubbins who dotes on them. More cheap boardgame figures, painted in a trice. I may go back and redo them at some stage as I wasn't too happy with them.
The Gubbins infantry standard bearers came out a bit better

I was pleased with the standard first ever bit of sculpting with green stuff and Vallejo plastic putty (I really like the latter) over a copper wire. More stuff in the pipeline to be finished by the end of the month!!

Sunday 11 August 2019


Another cheapo/skinflint unit painted for the aforementioned Sprinks Challenge. The Aunts of the Gubbins family.

These will count as Savage Orcs in 3rd ed. Warhammer. They are pieces from a boardgame purchased at Devizes Attack 30p each, bringing the total spent so far to an eye watering £20.11p

Very quick blocking, drybrush and wash, followed by spattering (which I enjoy).

Tuesday 23 July 2019


Some time ago , the noble and erudite Sprinks of Wronghammer fame issued the following challenge

naturally this appealed to my parsimonious nature and I plucked up the tattered fingerless mitten from the dust and accepted the challenge. This of course is as far as it went until I uncovered another bag of cheapo plastic orcs at the Lincombe Barn Wargames club tabletop sale. Progress has been glacial to say the least, but this is the story so far. I decided to use standard Warhammer figures, but the cheapest I could find

presenting The Gubbinses of Shatford Lea

This little lot I picked up a year ago at the same show... 17 figures for a £4. Some had been painted by Blind Pew using an industrial paint roller, but I just undercoated straight over that without stripping. 

The grunt and bile of the army cost a tenner for about 56 figures, some of which were broken. I sifted out the best and added shields bought at the same show

The gaps in the front ranks are for the standard bearers, WIP

The chap on the right was one of the broken figures, and the metal dude was from a rummage bin at last weekends show, Attack at Devizes. He cost 50p and was missing a hand. Happily I have had one of the kid's old goblins riding around in the glove box of the car for about 2 years, and he willingly sacrificed his hand for the greater good. I might use him and add a hook later. (note newly tidied workbench for this photoshoot).

A couple of personalities. Uncle Frank on the left will be crewing the catapult when it is painted (a 10p plastic ELC job from a charity sale). Uncle Frank was gleaned from a comic book show last year where I was helping Geoff from Oakbound man his stall. We didn't sell much, but were pitched next to a chap with a huge dumpbin of old figures. I bought a bundle and they worked out at 32p each.

Mother Gubbins, the matriach of the clan and mother of them all is a Runequest figure I have had since the early 80's. She comes from a set of 10 figures which were (I recall) £4.99, so she cost err ...(counts on fingers) 49p. 

Here is Uncle Frank's pet porker Trotter
Trotter came from Devizes Attack a couple of years ago when EM4 Miniatures had rummage bin of old game pieces. I missed all the Deep Ones which the git in front of me showed me as he skipped off with them gloating, but there were a few odds and sods worth buying for 30p each. I also bagged a bundle of goblin types from the same bin which should be painted very soon.

So £15.61 spent so far (I think) of the £30 limit. Lets hope I can interpret the challenge flexibly and get the whole of August to paint in too.

Saturday 11 May 2019


A flying post as my mojo arrived back last night after a long excursion. For some reason I was seized with the idea to paint up some cheapo orcs and start a "traditional" Warhammer army. I have picked up plastic orcs very cheaply here and there with a vague idea of doing something with them and splashed some paint onto a test figure

all in all he took about 40 minutes following the suggestions on the excellent blog HOBGOBLINRY. The author JC (?) is a master painter with a great attitude to speed painting, which end in stunning results, and I have tried following his sage advice. The main aim was to bang through the figure using block painting, a drybrush and washes. I allowed myself one highlight on the eyes and skin. I am still undecided on how to do the bases, but this fellow has some excellent. premixed scatter from OAKBOUND STUDIOS

This orc is the first of The Gubbins Family, a tribe on cannibal orcs who dwell Grimstock Wood. The rest of his regiment awaits undercoating. The premise is to do the force as cheaply as possible and these guys cost £4 for 17 at Reveille last year.

Also being painted for son 3 is this 40K abomination, a Slaaneshi Noise Marine he got for his birthday. Having found this plastic figure cost £20!!!! I feel under some pressure to at least try and do a decent job. I do quite like the glam rock stacked heels and the gun mounted in the guitar.

Tuesday 30 April 2019


I'm starting to think about re-creating Joe Dever's Minas Tirith scenario in White Dwarf 53 and am after 3 of these fellows

Britains charging African Elephant. If anyone has one (or more) knocking about can you get in touch.  There are other elephants available, but I would like to get the one available in 1983 for maximum authenticity. MANY THANKS.