Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Of Dryads, Star Destroyers And A Broken Promise - Not To Mention, Bloody Clavers and the Duke Of Regina's Finest.

I am just as busy as always with my day job as a figure painter. In fact I am having to work longer hours as the number and f account check stompers increases seemingly every month. Mind you, I am not complaining as I see many other painters with very slack workloads.

This has meant that my 'Me' time is in short supply, just as several things begin to take form at the planning stage.

Firstly, I've been reading and re-reading the Laserburn rules and trying to decide on whether to use the old Citadel Traveller range of figures, or the of dial Laserburn models.I used both back in 1982/83 so it's a really hard choice, let me tell you.

I have also been reading the first book my wife bought me, back in 1989, 'Bonnie Dundee' a history of Viscount Dundee who raised the clans in 1689 and met his death at Killikrankie. It's much prettier than the 1745 rising with a few pikemen still in evidence. I am sorely missed emptied to construct two armies in 15mm, but again, time is my enemy.

Last weekend saw me play Star Wars: Armada for the first time and I thoroughly enjoyed it as did my gaming buddy, Dave. We played with three ships, and I fear that I may have bought one or two ships too many.

Here are my two fleets so far, with Dave shown for purposes of scale:

Give or take I think there's around £800 worth of models there and we used £80 worth and had some damn fine games indeed!

Now, I mentioned the theme of a broken promise in the title, and I confess that despite my stalwart positions on both 28mm gaming and the GW 'Age Of Sigmar' system, I have not only taken a fresh look at the possibilities of those rules now that the latest 'General's Handbook' has been released, but yesterday I made one of this 'on a whim' purchases that you will know by now are a hallmark of your corespondent which time and wisdom have not been able to temper.

I was perusing the best known auction site when I happened to come across a rather pretty 'Sylvaneth' army from the A.O.S game - essentially an army of Ents and Dryads to those of us who remember a time before Warhammer and plastic figures not made by Airfix and Matchbox.

It was temptingly priced at £300 or best offer, and so, I made an offer which was accepted and became the owner of:

Treelord Ancient.
Spirit of Durthu (Conversion).
Treelord Conversion (used as Hurricanum). 
Drycha Hammadreth.
3 Kurnoth Hunters with Greatbows.
3 Kurnoth Hunters with Scythes.
5 Tree Revenants.
5 Spite Revenants.
30 Dryads.
1 Sylvaneth Battletome.

I suppose some would say that it will all end in tears and failed saving throws, but to my mind, that's an allegory for life...
Moving on; Upon that fateful day way back in the dark mists of time, that GW opened in Sheffield, they had various sci-fi nuts dressed in assorted (and original) outfits. There were no cosplayers back then. 
These people were the geek elite and you may imagine how the heart of a barely teenage I nearly burst with pure escapism of it all.
I always wanted to put a costume together which was based on the Traveller 'Military' 15mm figures, which is essentially a modified U.S Army uniform of the Cold War era. 

Now at last, with the unit T'shirts from FFE, I think I can do it...

4518th Lift Infantry Regiment
The 4518th is a typical Star Marine Regiment assigned to defend the empire against the many threats that it may face. The 4518th is based on Regina in the Spinward Marches. 
Worn under a modified M1 helmet and M60 battledress, coupled with a few bits of tech and webbing this should evoke the feel of the Traveller universe nicely. 

154th Battle Rider Squadron 

With this T-shirt I'd wear a grey one piece flight suit, a few bits of tech and Nome gloves, with perhaps a repainted X-Wing pilot's helmet and black assault boots. 

You can check them out here:

And that's about it for the present

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Derby? I Think Not...

I have always enjoyed the Derby (note DERBY) World Team Championships. 

The venue moved a few years ago to Donnington Park - OK, but I just saw that it is now moving to the Buntington Proving Grounds which are another 30 minutes down the road for us. Well, - and excuse my brusqueness - fuck that, for a game of soldiers!
I am not that desperate to buy toys, from a show which has lost it's sparkle but which until this latest fuckwittery was still worth the travel time.

Time to drop the 'Derby' part boys!

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Pics As Promised...

As promised, here are a few pics of the latest outing for the Death Eater costume (aka Damius Darkhart) from the World Of Wizardy event yesterday. 

The looks on the faces of kids and in some cases adults were a joy to behold, that made the expenditure to put it together worth every penny. 

When a kid hugs you and their parents smile because that child is normally painfully shy; You know you have spread a little happiness. 

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Pottering About...

After a really heavy working week, the memsahib had a really great day today at World Of Wizardry 2. It's the first time the Death Eater costume has been to a specifically Potter convention and the response was absolutely amazing. 

I literally lost count of the number of photo requests - Seriously.

A great event if you've not been

Highlight of the day in terms of recognition was when they called to me from the stage to enter the costume competition and when I declined, the crowed all shouted 'Go on'. 

But I declined as for me the faces of those who asked for pictures and the general buzz were enough.

It was great to see my old friend Jo and her partner who were trading there.

Breakfast buffet was excellent. I was so hot that I had to go for a round of drinks and a bite to eat. As the bar and grill was out of the way, I could remove my mask and face coverings and not be seen out of character - a big thing of mine.

All in all a superb day, and I think that the memsahib took a few pics at the same time as others were taking them and I'll post them in due course.

Now, to relax a little and take some pain relief...


Sunday, 10 September 2017

Hell Comes To Christmas Town

Every so often, I get an idea based on something that's just too good to miss... Sometimes I wonder if I am right in the head to do that. Today is one of those times.

You may have seen in the early 2000s a range for the Santa Claus Wars by Wargames Supply Dump which closed down earlier this year.

The basic premise is that Jack Frost, assisted by animated snowmen and yetis are assaulting Santas domain, which is being protected by Santa himself, his lady wife and a motley assortment of elves and fairies.; Oh, and talking fir trees - you know, those animated ones which make the singing bass look classy.


Well, I did a deal for pennies on the pound this very day which sees me becoming the proud owner of over 500 of these models, all mint and sealed, and being that kind of lunatic, a display game is being formulated in my twisted mind.

Picture a homely log cabin with adjoining workshops, surrounded by giant candy canes and the like. Add a few penguins, igloos and Inuit; Maybe a walrus or two or cheeky polar bear. All is happy and peaceful at the North Pole.

But wait, Jack Frost has got it in his head to remove Santa from office, and has created an army of murderous snowmen, aided by local yeti tribes who are none too happy at the loss of historical hunting grounds to the ever expanding Xmas compound.

Let battle commence...

Now, I have ended up with a few extra models of Santa, so what to do with them? Well, every Xmas we see department stores opening grottoes, so let's imagine a unit or two of these ersatz Santas, none of whom look as bright or cheery as the Big Man. They are mediocre troops, but any time TBM, suffers a wound which would remove him from play, a DSS may be removed and Santa placed with the DSS's parent unit.

Now, the talking fir trees; Yes, well...

They are marked on a secret map, and actual trees are placed instead. When an enemy comes within a normal move of any tree in the unit, the real trees are replaced with the models, who begin their merry festive songs. This allows them to immediately close with the enemy and make one attack due to the surprise factor.

I am also thinking of adding some of the 15mm ACW teddy bears and the 25mm toy soldiers from Eureka to bring in an extra dash of colour - as if it was needed.

And so, you'll understand why I am questioning my own sanity.


PS: Yes, I have also considered having a sculptor produce a boy and his toy tiger.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Goodnight 'Gunther'... R.I.P Tony Cheetham of SWS and Brights Regiment

I am saddened to have to announce the passing of Tony Cheetham, known affectionately to his friends as 'Gunther'.

Tony was a member of both Sheffield Wargames Society and Bright's Regiment of the ECWS and was a legendary character.

He was one of most genuine people you could ever meet and was always honest and unswayed by gossip, politics or other rubbish.

He was a force of nature of sorts, who lived life on his terms - exactly how one should aspire to live.

As a gamer he was a brilliant painter and one of the few who I held in high regard for his skill and precision with a brush, as a fellow artist and professional.

I first met Gunther whilst I was trying to find purchase in a push of pike, scrabbling and grabbing blindly in what was to all intents and purposes an armoured scrum. At last I managed to get a firm grip with my gauntleted hands and the air was pierced with a tremendous yell and roar of 'OOOWWWWWW ME GROLLIES*!'

It seemed that I had grabbed Gunther by the balls and was using them as purchase.

At the end of the battle, when the sweep of the field was done for stray cartridges and the like, Gunther was hear to ask if anyone had found his 'grollies' and with the wit so beloved of Bright's the chant of 'Gunther's unters, Gunther's unters...' was taken up as the sweep continued.

Rest in peace Tony, and get the drinks in mate, because we'll all be meeting again soon.

2017 is truly a year of tears.


* Grollies are of course the testicles.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Sheffield Wargames Society Bring & Buy

Tim Gow of Sheffield Wargames Society writes on his Megablitz & More blog:

'Bring & Buy event - Sheffield Wargames Society

Sheffield Wargames Society is holding a bring and buy day 

as part of it's meeting on Wednesday 25th October 2017 from

 7.00pm at Woodseats Working Men’s Club, The Dale, 

Sheffield, S8 0PS.

Visitors from other groups in the area would be most welcome.

For those who want to sell six foot tables are available for £5 
(SWS members pay £1 but are asked to contribute an additional 
10% of their takings). 

Goods should be labelled clearly with details of price and vendor. 
Sellers may either man their table or rely on the honesty of purchasers.


There you have it.

I would add that I am in not connected to Sheffield Wargames Society 
or any of it's commercial interests. This is merely a courtesy post.


Monday, 4 September 2017

Laserburn In My Lap...

One of my favourite games down the years has been Laserburn.

I originally bought the main rules in the early days of Games Workshop, here in Sheffield and then purchased that add-ons from GW and Tabletop Games who published it.

Well, last night I was looking for something totally unrelated on a well known online auction site when in the 'You might like this' section what should pop up but a pretty much complete set of Laserburn with under 1 minute left to go.

So, taking this as an omen I popped a bid on the lot and a few seconds later they dropped into my lap.

£26.15 netted me this lovely little lot:

With the scenarios selling at £20-£30 each in the pas, I am very happy indeed with the purchase.

Now, down that slippery slope, I go once again.

In other news, I also took receipt of 22,500 painted Heroics & Ros Napoleonics yesterday morning which are very attractively painted by long term friend and amateur brushmaster Andy Needham who  replaced his 5mm collection with 15mm models in similar numbers.