Friday, 26 May 2017


In almost 4 decades of being involved in this hobby and by extension of my mercantile nature, the industry, I have generally prided myself in not only having a finely honed sense of what lies behind any story, be it about a company, gaming club or individual, but also at being on the leading edge of the miniature ranges available.

I confess that in the last decade, Games Workshop have been pretty much off my radar as I thought (with good reason I believe) that they were, in a creative sense  a soulless corporate garbage tug, heading down the river to the Bay of Oblivion.

And so, that is my defence for being totally unprepared for what I found in a box this very morning.

Yes, I was caught out by a box of plastic!

After a long hard week of painting and basing I am taking a 4 day break, and so as my wife (whose birthday is today) slumbers, I have wandered upstairs into my studio to open the box of Tyranids which arrived yesterday.

I was happily opening the models when I found some of the 'character' models. OK, I knew the size of a Carnifex - who doesn't ? - but bugger me sideways, I wasn't ready for the massive models that  found in that box.

As I said, I have not kept up with GW's output, and to be honest, I bought this army because it was pretty and a bargain. I have to say I certainly got my money's worth, as the following images show. I popped a GW Eldar and a few 28mm Norman infantry on my desk to act as a scale measure, so I think that you'll see why I was so shocked.

I have just seen the time, so if you will excuse me, I have to go and shower and head off down to Warhammer World to spend a few pounds on some Forgeworld models before heading into the city for a slap up Japanese luncheon of sushi and octopus balls with the memsahib.


The Yellow Peril...

Armies are like Chinese food... 

Better than sex 


Rather, you need another shortly afterwards.

And so, following the purchase of the Tyranids which I spoke of in my last 'show and tell' I felt the urge to buy another army, this time those stalwart defenders of the Imperial creed, the marines of the Adeptus Astartes, and in particular the Imperial Fists chapter in their striking yellow paintwork.

This time I had to go to £475, which was still frankly a bargain, and I got the following:

Space Marine Captain 
Space Marine Librarian (metal)
Tactical Squad One - Sergeant has a chainsword, flamer, missile launcher. 
Tactical Squad Two - Sergeant has a chainsword, melta gun, missile launcher (6 have transfers rather than sculpted pads)
Tactical Squad Six - Sergeant has a Power Fist and Combi Plasma, Plasma gun, missile launcher
Each of these have a Rhino with corresponding markings
5 Assault Marines - Sergeant has a Power Fist and Plasma Pistol
6 Devastator Marines - 4 Missile Launchers
Razorback with Twin Heavy Bolter
8 Sternguard Veterans - Sergeant has a Power Fist, 3 Combi Meltas in unit (metal models), with Rhino and veteran markings
5 Assault Terminators - 3 Thunder Hammers, 2 pairs of Lightning claws (Forge World Sculpted Pads)
Land Raider Redeemer
Dreadnought with Multi Melta and Heavy Flamer, with drop pod with internal console removed to better suit the Dreadnought
Land Speeder with Multi Melta and Heavy Flamer

And here are some pics...

But then last night I found a few more models that I purchased, to extend the flexibility of the army...

And so, I am sweating like a small dog in a butcher's shop, as I await delivery of my new toys.


Thursday, 25 May 2017

Panzer Marsch!

The last week has been a hard one in terms of the sheer volume of work I have completed.

One of my clients is putting together 1/300 WW2 German units at 1:1 ratio, which is a real challenge , but one which I really enjoy as it allows me to do what I do on a truly epic scale. Alas, basing is a real marathon as I like to make sure it's all finished to the same shade, so I spend 4 days basing each battalion which in the current weather is lethal.

Anyway, here are some pics of the whole establishment of the chaps who make up 26th Panzer in the Summer of 1943, somewhere in Italy:


Bye-Bye Byzantines, Hello Xenomorphs

Firstly, let me apologise for the lack of posts in the last week.

I have been snowed under with work. Now, I am always busy but this week I've been working 12 hour days as the long weekend that is Spring Bank Holiday lies ahead.

My Byzantines arrived on Monday and I was sadly, rather disappointed with them when I opened them. Thus, they are on their way back to the seller.

However, I really have got the bug for the 8th edition of Warhammer 40,000 which launches in mid-June; so much in fact that I have purchased a rather smashing Tyranid army for the very acceptable sum of £380.

It's an army I always fancied but was never in a million lifetimes, going to paint myself. You see, I like my sanity and weekends too much for that...

The army comprises:

1 Hive Tyrant
1 Trygon
2 Tervigon
3 Carnifex
6 Warriors
4 Raveners
3 Venomthropes
65 Termagaunts

Oh, you want pictures too? Go on then... You earned it!


Wednesday, 24 May 2017


I would just like to thank you all for getting my page views of this humble blog past 100,000.

Rest assured I am still active, and these kind of numbers inspire me to keep on. My absence in the last week or so has been due to working 12 hour days on the basing of almost 1100 6mm WW2 Germans for a client, which has meant I have had little time for writing.

Fear not... Eye candy will follow very shortly.



Sunday, 14 May 2017

Norman Wisdom?

Last night I made up for what had been a very stressful Sunday, with an eBay purchase of a rather pretty 28MM Norman army.

In the end it cost me £615, which was higher than the limit I had imposed on myself, but, having disposed of 80 per cent of my model railways, and it being as I said a rather pretty looking collection I threw caution to the wind and blitzed the other competing bidder.

Expensive, I guess but actually not bad when you break down the bare metal cost, add in the materials and then look at the per model painting cost.

When you add the cost of the Byzantines, and divide the total cost of the two by pieces, you get a very reasonable £2.29 per piece.

Anyway, here's the stuff you are really wanting to see...


I Find My Lack Of Self Restraint Disturbing...

Yesterday saw a gang of us trooping down to Warhammer World because (and I think I should be candid) we are the wargaming equivalent of crack whores in need of scores.

You see, the new edition of Warhammer 40K is actually looking as if it is something which old sweats like us can jive with and learn to love like a long lost brother who, after running away from home with the contents of the family safe and living the life of a surf bum in Baja, has returned home to be welcomed back to the family bosom, whilst being treated with caution, 'just in case'.

It took two of less than ten minutes to put away £300 of purchase on 5 items later increased by about half as much again. Damn, but the Forge World store works powerful voodoo on the wallet.

I came away with:

1 x Dark Eldar Tantalus
3 x Eldar Jet Bikes
1 x Prince Ymriel
1 x Eldar Wasp
1 x Eldar Hornet
2 x sheets of decals for an old, old friend who resides in Japan, but still feels the draw of the Dark Empire even in the land of the rising sun.

We dined well on some very good pizzas and coffees and then made our way home after I had been discouraged from spending £500+ on an Eldar Phantom class titan in 28mm. I was 'this' close!

I did something I rarely seem to do these days and sat at my desk until I had built a set of 3 Eldar Hornet light tanks, then checked in on social media to find that the previously mentioned friend in Japan, the learned and enlightened Darren Ashmore PhD was offering up something very nice for sale... Namely his 'Saberforge' custom lightsaber which is the absolute dog's bollocks to coin a phrase.

Now, as you know I have a thing about dressing in black and posing around - I blame it on several years of being a Goth in the 80s (No, I was not there when they sacked Rome). Thus, the chance to get all Sithy was too much... I reasoned, I rationalised, I looked in my wallet and was defeated wholesale. Darth Dibbler had me on the ropes and money changed hands (and I will say that the price was VERY fair indeed for a film grade, metal, sound FX-equipped prop like this:

Thus it appears that Darth Bastard will be coming to cosplay events near you in the near future. I can hardly wait to get my sweaty hands on this fine piece.

So, this weekend has been an expensive, exhausting but in the end very pleasurable one indeed.

TTFN, and may the force be with you...

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

At The Gates Of Byzantium

If there is one army I have never got the hang of, it's Byzantines.

They are for me the metaphorical albatross necklace. The first time I used them, I was facing Vikings and got pasted.

25 years later, I faced another Viking army and once again got my Skutatoi handed to me on a plate.

I then took the Vikings and faced the Byzantines - and yes, I lost.

So, you see, my approach to Byzantines has been to admire them from afar but not get intertwined with them.

Until today...

I was looking for Eldar on eBay the other day and somehow came across a rather sweet looking Byzantine army, made up of 28mm Essex Miniatures castings f which I' a great fan as you may know by now. Anyway, I bid, was outbid and then bid again and I won them for less than the bare metal price including £20 for shipping.

I am very happy indeed, having paid £350 for a fully painted army which even if I get pasted in historical games, will do very nicely indeed as a fantasy army.

Here are a few pics:


Friday, 5 May 2017

Lizardmen & Where The Hell Did I Put That Rule Set?

You will recall that I espoused the aesthetics of the Lancer Miniatures range of 28mm Lizardmen last week?

Well, I ordered 204 pieces of reptilian goodness that very day, and as I type they are supposedly on their way to me.

I went for:

84 armed with sword and shield

80 armed with two handed weapons (but as they are open handed, 60 will be armed with pikes - more of this below)

40 armed with spear and shield

The problem with Lizardmen is that they are slow... Bloody hard to kill, but slow. They pretty much always strike last and are even slower than a lot of basic undead troops. So what do you do?

Well, a basic Lizardman has 2 wounds in Warhammer 1st/2nd ed and a natural 6 saving throw, so they are tough buggers to kill if you give them even just a shield. But, if you arm them with pike they can be frankly, bloody lethal!

Pikes give a +3 increase to initiative. And with pike the extra reach means that you get attacks with eack member of the unit behind another model which itself was able to attack, at cumulative -1 modifiers. Thus if you have a unit with pike in 5 ranks of 4 models strikes normally with the front rank, at -1 with the 2nd rank, -2 with the 3rd rank and so forth. Thus you can really punch a hole in opposing units with bold movement and a narrow yet dense frontage.

This was one of my favourite armies back in '84 so I have high hopes of glory on the table top.

Earlier in the week, I was raving through the studio here in the Dark Tower looking for my 2nd edition Warhammer rules to see how Lizardmen differed from those in 1st ed (not much actually) and I could not for the life of me find that wonderful red box of memories...

 I know that there should be one lurking here, but try as I might, I could not locate it. Thus I ended up paying a scandalous £27 for a new set. OK, it;s in really nice condition, but it is driving me mad that I can't find my old set.


A Return To The Bad Old Ways?

Back in the day, when Games Workshop released the Rogue Trader rules, I enjoyed it immensely as it was not unlike the old Laserburn rules by TTG, and it was fun.

I confess, that I don't like the more modern sets which over the years became abstract and frankly boring.

You lost the sense of fantastically powerful weapons and races and it seemed that it was frankly something of a waste of time.

BUT... I still sort of liked the models.

Anyway, GW have recently announced an 8th and definitive version of the rules which seems to be returning to the feel of the original set but streamlining it. What is most exiting is that any weapon in the game is now dangerous and the stat lines which were originally topped a value of '10' are now effectively open ended which means that truly powerful vehicles and critters actually can be.

It's also going to be a community driven project with players having noticeable input to the game - just like the good old days.

I confess that I am actually tempted by this. Which, is just as well because...

On one of those whims which afflict me so often, I purchased a 40K army on Wednesday because it looked pretty:

And so it looks as if - because of two unconnected yet symbiotic bits of browsing - I am heading back to the bad old days.