Friday 28 May 2021


In a few weeks I'm attending the first The Woods Games Day, organised by Geoff Solomon-Sims of Oakbound Studio, in the Woods of Nailsworth Gloucestershire.

I needed to cobble together a warband and whereas I normally go for brute strength and minimal tactics in any game, I happened to have a number of suitable figures lying around to make a Leprechaun clan, tricksy fate weaving, owl loving mischief makers.

I'm underway painting these attempting them in a Grubdark style ( like Grimdark but without the grossness). For an old school fan, I actually quite like a lot of the new gloomy Grimdark style of painting and aesthetic, but sometimes the figures are a bit too icky for my tastes. 

I started with some owls, which didn't come out as gloomy as I'd hoped, but I was quite pleased with them nevertheless. 

I was also happy with the bases. Perhaps not that visible here, but nice and textured and minimal colour. The owls are from Otherworld Miniatures btw. I either got them in a sale or swapped some figures with Richard Scott the owner, because I definitely wouldn't have paid £11 each for them which is the full price. Very nice figures though. Some leprechauns themselves coming next.

Sunday 23 May 2021



A week or so ago Blogger informed me this post from March breached their regulations and deleted it. They then reinstated it, but it seems to have vanished again, so I'm reposting it as much for my own records.

I've been meaning to get on with this project for quite a while, and it's slowly lumbering along the runway trying to take flight.  The recreation of another battle from the early years of White Dwarf, this time Minas Tirith in White Dwarf 53 , again by Joe Dever, using only figures available at the time of publication ( May 1984).

Joe gives figure recommendations in the article, as usual plugging Citadel and Essex Miniatures, presumably the former was his employer at the time, and being an Essex man, I assume he had connections with Essex Miniatures. While Essex are readily available, most Citadel figures of the time (particularly the historicals) are hard to find at a decent price. 
I've started with a pretty basic unit from the evil army. The Variags of Khand. The figure recommendation is suggests Citadel, but I've opted for the readily available and affordable Hinchliffe Varangian guard. Painted in an early 80s style and varnished and based to fit in with figures from Joe's collection which I now own.

Monday 17 May 2021


 Another pleasingly small unit for the defenders of Minas Tirith. 300 Rangers of Ithilien. More Hinchliffe Robin Hood figures. 

For the colours, I had in my head this picture by Greg and Tim Hildebrandt

I generally detest their take on Middle Earth (although I love the cover they did for Black Sabbath's Mob Rules), but the feel of their paintings is naturally very late 70s early 80s , which is the look I want for this project. Any how, I managed to get in the gloves, green fletched arrows and painted the strangely shaped beard on the figures as the mask the rangers wear, which incidentally should cover the lower part of their face, not the eyes as shown in the painting.


 I'm now part owner of this very heavy spin caster.

Here it is safely installed in its new home at Oakbound Towers. It's pleasingly old fashioned dating from the 50s apparently.

Unfortunately we didn't get time to fire it up, but with luck I should be able to post about first casts soon.

Many thanks to Geoff for organising it all and driving, and to son one Robin for providing muscle lifting the thing. 

Sunday 16 May 2021


 Another tiny unit for the defenders.

Hinchliffe once more. From their ancient range I think, but I can't remember what code. Anyway he fits the bill. An exciting day today, as we go up to collect the casting machine and hopefully get a few test spins in. I'll keep you posted.

Friday 7 May 2021


 Recently I had the opportunity to purchase the rights and existing moulds to a classic old school fantasy range, The Hinchliffe FA range designed in 1979 by Peter Gilder, a demi-god of wargaming in the 70's and 80's. Needless to say I jumped at the chance to get this fun and quirky range back into production and the existing moulds and master figures duly arrived at Broadsword Towers.

Currently about a third of the 100 figure range have usable moulds and I plan to get these into production as soon as possible. The remaining codes in the range should fit onto 3 more moulds which will be produced when funds allow.

Some of the weird and wonderful old school characters which will 
be re-released in the future.
For a look at the full range check Lost minis Wiki

I have teamed up with the excellent Geoff Solomon-Sims of Oakbound Studio and we have clubbed together to buy a spin casting machine which we are collecting in a week or so. After that I should be taking orders for the first re-releases. Initially orders will be through the blog here (I'll post contact details at the appropriate time), but will hopefully soon be on the Oakbound site.

There is a new page on this blog to showcase the figures (visible on the web version only for some reason),so do check that via the tab at the top of the page. In the future it will be regularly updated with pictures of the Hinchliffe fantasy range and, hopefully soon, bespoke Broadsword Miniatures.

I'm really excited to be getting this classic range back into production and maybe contributing a bit to this great hobby of ours.

Thursday 6 May 2021


 Probably the most iconic troop type in the besieging army are the Mumakil. Vast elephants bearing howdahs full of Southron warriors.

And I can tell you they have been a right headache from start to finish. The first problem was sourcing the correct elephant figure, available in 1984. Britain's produced 2 African bull elephants. An older less detailed one which is fairly easy to find, and then a charging one in the later 1970s which is quite rare and commands a high price even if broken and missing tusks. I started looking back in 2019 and the first ones I saw the sellers were asking £50. As I needed 3, that was not an option, but I eventually managed to ferret out ones listed as "old plastic elephant" and the like, paying no more than £7 each. 2 were missing tusks, but happily an enterprising eBay seller produces pairs of replica tusks in white metal which slot into the empty sockets. 

All well and good. I then had to build a howdah for each which fitted squarely on the back but still left room for a mahout figure to perch on the neck. The way the elephant's head is tilted back made the ears extend too far down its flanks to fit the howdah on, do I had to remove the heads, pin them tilted forward a fraction, and then milliput some more neck, avoiding making the Mumakil look like a giraffe/elephant hybrid.

a rare WIP shot, you can see the metal tusks here, and milliput neck extension.

The howdahs had to be built and painted separately, so I could paint the elephants body fully. As it turned out, I was very glad I did this. Upon completion of the modelling, I primed the Mumakil in acrylics, (I often use an enamel undercoat), remembering that Britain's plastic can react with enamel paint. Feeling smug I thought I'd better varnish them by hand with a Humbrol acrylic varnish which looked promising when applied, but overnight dried milky, ruining the meticulous layers of drybrushing I had applied. There was nothing for it but to start painting again.

Anyhow,  once to the beasts were finished I was able to glue on the painted howdahs and fill with angry Haradrim. Hinchliffe again. The spearmen are from the fantasy range, the archers from the Renaissance range available from Lancashire Games. The mahouts are good old Minifigs. 

For once Tolkien seems fairly clear about the Haradrim livery.... scarlet black and yellow/gold. Their badge being a black serpent on red field and shields black and yellow. I tried to do a stylised eye on the howdah shields, attempting to make it look like a North African design. The banners and side curtains are made from tomato puree tube and the tusk gilding from adhesive stickers wrapped round.

I'm a good way through painting the Rohirrim and seem to have overcome my aversion to painting horses. I've finished 60 horses and bridles now, and am starting on the riders.