Saturday 25 December 2021


 Hope you're all having a jolly Christmas/Yule/Saturday etc. In the true spirit of the ghost of Christmas to come giving a salutory warning against the perils of leadrot, I thought I'd post pics of a unit that came into my possession recently from the collection of the late and very wonderful Joe Dever. 

The green Hobgoblins in action in one of Joe's battles about 1986. 

The remaining survivors of theft and Nurgle's rot.

The diseased and crumbling victims .

Poor Throgg has a nasty skin condition.

More leprous goblinoids waiting to be replaced.

I've got replacement figures ready to be painted to match the survivors (which are done inks I think) so hopefully they will be able to take the field again at full strength which is about 50 figures.

Enjoy the rest of the day.

Thursday 18 November 2021


A few weeks ago my older brother rang me to tell me he was moving house, having a clearout and to ask if I wanted this wonderful wooden castle our Dad made for him before I was born. I used to play with it all the time in my youth (he's 10 years older than me), setting up my Deetail and Timpo knights in it, so I was absolutely delighted to be able to play with it again. I guess it must have been made in the early 1960s, and as you can see has stood the test of time remarkably well. It's mainly made of plywood and hardboard, most of the pieces being screwed together with brass flat head screws.

Much as I was tempted to, I didn't want to start a new collection of 1/32 toy knights, so I thought I'd try my Toyhammer figures out for size, and they work perfectly...better than 1/32 ones really.  

King Lodwick rides out to do battle.

Archers man the battlements while Merkin gives his familiar instructions.

An archer in a lofty tower....which was made from a rolling pin apparently.

This little archway was always my favourite part of the castle when I was playing with it in the early 1970s.

The main towers are a bit deep for 28mm figures to see over the battlements, but I will make some slot in wooden blocks for them to stand on.

The rear wall forms a formidable obstacle to 2 scouts from the forces of evil.

Knights of the Purple Pim ride out on a quest over the working drawbridge.

The portcullis is lowered (this was added by my Dad in the 70's). The climax of my battles always ended with the chief baddie being trapped underneath it.

The drawbridge raised.

The castle comes apart. Note the storage vault under the green slope that leads up to the drawbridge.

and the pieces pack away into the base.

I'm so excited to be able to play with this again and envisage many battles and sieges taking place in the near future.

Sunday 14 November 2021


 I've recently been painting some Toyhammer figures as a palette cleanser. They are great for picking up and splashing paint on when I have a few minutes here and there ( usually about 3.30am). So far I'd only painted good guys, so it was about time to do some opposition.

Some skellies, summoned by a bone faced necromancer.

Thuggish evil knights.

Some infernal demons.

More heavy infantry.

and more.

Some light archers. The late 80s saw some truly dreadful figures, but they were fun to paint.

I had so much fun block painting over a white undercoat I am seriously thinking about doing more figures in this style. With these cheap plastic figures above it doesn't seem so sacrilegious, but on valuable old lead I have been thinking twice about it.

Wednesday 10 November 2021


 Here's a little force of gribbly aliens I knocked up to fight my youngest son's Space Marines...The Evil Brain Eaters. All Reaper Bones minis with some minor conversion. Unfortunately they have gone all tacky after varnishing.. presumably a reaction of the varnish with the soft plastic these figures are made of.

The hive masters

The soldiers

The drones
Good fun to paint. Wash of contrast paints over white undercoat and finished. The hives are old flower arranging items I've had in my bits box for decades.....

Thursday 14 October 2021


 or rather the remains of it. Another post without any of my stuff in it I'm afraid, but here's what I've been doing over the last couple of weeks.

On 1st October, I became custodian of the remains of Joe Dever's miniature collection, tasked with selling them to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.

With 2 good friends Geoff and Harry, we travelled up to Nottingham to collect the figures which are currently residing in my garage and on sale on ebay.

Pop over to my selling page and take a look. All items with JD in the title are from Joe's collection and are selling well. Here's a few pics of what is or has been on offer.

An enormous Flintloque army. This is for sale privately if anyone is interested drop me a comment below.

Anti Paladin.

Ral Partha Wind Lord

Citadel archers

Citadel rogues

Mixed dwarves

Essex knights

Essex Poles

Citadel archers

Front rank HYW (rather poignantly, Joe never finished the bases on these).

Minifigs Parthians (I was tempted to buy these myself but resisted). There are 3 units of these.

More Poles

Essex hobilars

Foundry ribaulds

Needless to say I'm thrilled an honoured to be looking after these sales and am hoping we can raise a goodly sum for such a great charity. I've tried to pitch the prices sensibly so they will sell but also generate funds. 

I have to declare that my actions aren't entirely altruistic, and I have acquired some of Joe's very early figures for my own collection, including many from the Thistlewood scenario I'm always banging on about, which I'll show in the near future.

Monday 27 September 2021


 The 1984 Minas Tirith project has been bubbling along, but I stalled as I started to paint 60 orcs.... wondering just how I was going to do them. I'm following in the footsteps of Joe Dever, who unfortunately painted his orcs various shades of green, and I really don't like green orcs. Also I was waiting for the Hinchliffe orc moulds to be ready as I thought I might use them rather than Ral Partha figures.

Another factor was the original article shows an amazing model of Grond, the huge battering ram used by the army of Mordor to smash the gates of Minas Tirith... 

Was I going to try and reproduce this model? 20 years ago I'd had a go at replicating it in 15mm

I didn't think that nowadays I had the time or patience to attempt it on a larger scale. The original model didn't seem to be in Joe's collection that was being sold off although I did manage to pick up the beast train that drew it.

So I decided to try and contact Joe's son, Ben. Without much hope admittedly. Happily I managed to make contact with him immediately, and in the course of an email conversation, I asked " do you happen to know what happened to that great big battering ram your Dad made?" He replied "yes, it's in a cupboard in my house.... Would you like it?"!

Needless to say I bit his hand off , and after a 265 mile round trip, I'm now the dazed and very proud owner of this piece of Warhammer history.

Considering this model is probably nearly 40 years old, it's in remarkably good condition. Only a little bit of creasing on the roof tiles and some of the arrow fletchings have come off, which I'll have a go at replacing. 

The wolf head looks slightly fox like, and I have heard tell that it started life as a walking stick handle.

As well as this stunning model, Ben kindly gave me a splendid wizards tower, which needs a bit of repair work, and then produced a box of his dad's figures and asked me to take any I wanted! I'll be showcasing these in a future post.

I'd just like to thank Ben again for generously handing over this model which must have been kicking around his life since he was born and taking time out of his busy schedule to meet up with a slightly fanatical admirer if his father's games and models.

Thanks also to Geoff and Solly Solomon-Sims of Oakbound Studios for company and navigating on the quest to get Grond.