Friday, 31 August 2018

Screaming Mob Miniatures Announce 3 New Ranges For Oldhammer Players & Old School Fantasy Fans

OK, I sent the list of models I require sculpting last night with details of what I want for the first 3 ranges, designed to appeal to Oldhammer and Old School fantasy fans.

Each range is 9 bodies, mostly with open hands and then 8 head variants. 72 variants per race before you even factor in weapon variants. Add in the weapons and you can have several hundred different models.

I have included a leader, mage and standard bearer, blowing horn (as is right and proper for old schoolers).

The first three ranges

Gnolls in Norman garb

Classic pseudo-Roman-viking Hobgoblins

Meso-American-Punkettes with bolt pistols and mohawk hair do's and a hatred for Norsemen and bipedal frogs.

The Zombies will be following closely behind these.

And then cavalry of course for the Gnolls and Amaz... I mean M-A-Ps.

There will also be Hob Hounds and handlers.

Monday, 20 August 2018

The start of week two of the 23 days of rest and I have made my first purchase, in the shape of some vintage Valiant Enterprises 'Stardate 3000' models.

The reissues are £10 a pack, so 17 packs for £40 seemed a bargain.

Now to re-read the Encounter One rules that GW 'Old Boy' Chris Gilbride kindly gave me a few years ago.

I'mo old school, I write my game orders on slate!


Saturday, 18 August 2018

A Few Words...

YES! I made it to 50!

Damn, it's been a fraught few months as I feared I'd check out - Fate being like that.

Thank you to my friends and family or family and friends if you prefer, for the great gifts and wishes.

I know we were supposed to meet up, this evening but, I could see the difficulties in the social logistics of having three distinct camps of friends, some who would have been in larger numbers than others, which could have made it unenjoyable for those on their own.

That said, it’s a good job that we didn’t because I managed to get a chest bug as a result of the anti-TNF loading dose. You will note the irony of it hitting 48 hours before my birthday…

Oh the pathos! Pete Armstrong would have seen the humour in that...

My old friend, Roger managed to bring a tear to my eye, with an unexpected gift of the complete 'By The Sword Divided' and a card which was a perfect example of the sense of humour my peer group shared and which for many of us was a default state of being in the early to mid 80s.

Darren Jon Ashmore, and Togs Bamford, I know that like Roger, you are not close enough, but maybe one day we can get out for a beer or have a game. I sincerely hope so...

I'd like to thank Ceridwen & Micheal for the birthday pizza last night, which despite my coughing, hacking and general grumpiness (no change there, I know) was great fun, and the 'Stranger Things' cake that Ceridwen made for me, (despite having two kittens and three young kids who I think are solar powered as they never stop, one of whom also needed a cake the day before) was brilliant.

Anyway, thanks again to you all. The day may be not as originally planned but I really, really appreciate everything and it's a birthday I will remember - And not just because of the sore throat and snot.


Wednesday, 15 August 2018


It's been an odd day when nothing has gone as planned.

My wife popped to the G.P for a quick follow up appointment and ended up spending two hours at the hospital on a heart monitor as things are still not quite right.

But, once they had done with the wires and electrodes, it was over to Huddersfield and Dixon Miniatures. Alas, the satnav had a fit and sent us to three different locations before reaching the right address, adding 25 miles to the 28 mile journey.

However, I came away with a big box containing several hundred 28mm Samurai, which I will spend Thursday sorting out before they go to my painter, so all's well that ends well.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

And On The Seventh Day...

Oh it feels good...

Having literally not stopped for a proper break since 11th August 2017 (Yes, I know I had a break at Christmas, but that was the start of 3 months solid of flu and bronchitis which very nearly put pay to me) I now have 3 weeks of R&R to properly unwind and de-stress, as well as take stock of my life. I have worked ridiculous hours for the last 6 weeks to clear the decks as well as having to deal with Kayte's 'near miss' a fortnight ago.

Kayte is doing OK, but her recovery is slow and she is tiring very easily. I have suggested she take early retirement in 5 years, which will mean a lower pension but with the lump sum we could clear the mortgage and have about the same monthly income as we do now minus the mortgage payments. But that's just thoughts and discussions at present.

You may recall that about 18 months ago, I drew a line under my wargaming excesses and vowed that  from my 50th birthday I would not buy any unpainted lead unless it was going directly to a painter and that in fact, I didn't want to buy much at all.

Well, this Saturday sees me hit that target and to the surprise of those who know me or who are nearest and dearest to my flinty old heart I've done it in style.

1. I've tracked down the majority of the roleplaying stuff I want.

2. I have purchased almost a thousand Perry ECW castings and they are with the painter as we speak, all paid for and in good order.

3. I have also (in an unplanned project)  paid the painter to paint 500 or so 28mm Dixon Samurai and acquired 100+ painted models. I am collecting them from Mr Dixon on Wednesday and as soon as I have them sorted into units, off to the painter they go.

4. We have the quote for the log cabin wargames room down pat and are just waiting for things to drop into place.

Now each year, I will possibly allocate £3600 to acquiring painted figures, but if I am brutally honest, I don't need that much. I think 240 Samurai and 600 ECW will complete everything, so it may not be the state of play for more than 18 months. Jeez, listen to me

I never would have placed or taken a bet on that being the situation, but this year has been an odd one in which I have found a zen-like state of hobby satisfaction.

In the last week I did treat myself to a few little gems as metaphorical amuse bouche whilst I read up and studied what could be seen as the biscuits, cheese and port to the hobby year. I picked up the Skytrex Renaissance galley warfare rules, a copy of the old Reaper fantasy rules and the icing on the big jam-filled bun, Starforce 3000 and the rather rare Starforce 3001, the precursors to 40K.

And this is where it goes pear shaped...

I had noticed a while ago that Tamiya were releasing their old 80s radio control cars. I had one back in the year that I started gaming. Alas, it met a sticky end in a 20 foot death plunge into a sewer excavation and vanished from my life.

Well, I read a few magazines and it seems that in fact, Tamiya are more stuck in a time warp than I, and that the once reviled ready to run models are now the cutting edge of the hobby. So, I looked at what was on offer and decided that I liked the idea of an off-road vehicle that was not fast but was rugged and capable of scale performance comparable to a real vehicle.

All the reviews and online videos pointed to the Traxxas TRX-4 chassis which is available with a Landrover Defender 110 body shell and which looks rather nice indeed.  The next best model would need about another £700 of modifications to be of the same standard as the TRX-4 out of the box, so that was my decision made. It was going to cost me around £500, around £200 more than a Tamiya before any mods, but what the hell.

Then, I did a search too far and found a black and orange limited edition which pushed the price to around £700. Right - deep breath, remember you are going to no more shows this year Mark and allocate your hobby money to covering the bill. After all, I am always saying you should either do it right or go home.

I'd originally planed to get past the Partizan show and then order the car, but after looking at the list of traders - about as inspiring as plain boiled noodles to be frank - it was decided that we would give it a miss. Thus, I brought forward my plans, and decided to do a last bit of investigative enquiry.

Bad move!

I then found that Traxxas also produced a 1970s Ford Bronco based on the same TRX-4 chassis and like a bunch of grapes held in front of Tantalus, it had the classic 'Sunset' paint work.

I made a few calls, and located one of the limited edition Landrovers at a VERY reasonable price and also one of the Broncos, also enticingly priced.

The RRP on the Landrover should have been £599 with £120 for the battery and charger = £719

The Bronco was £499 with again, £120 for the power and charger = £619

So, with £100 in it between the two, I had a decision to make.

After some negotiations with dealers I bought both, yes both for a grand total of £1160.00 including 24 hour courier delivery.

What the hell. I have 20 years in front of me at best I think, and I saved £178 on list price. Think of i as my 50th birthday gift to myself, and I'l have it paid off by the end of October.

These are 1/10 scale models which come in at just under 2 feet long, so there's a lot of detailing work I can do and what's more there are so many upgrade kits that it could keep me very busy for the next five years.

Here are the two models I've purchased:

The rest of my holiday is going to be spent visiting galleries and museums all over the place. We visited 3 local exhibitions this morning, wanting to stay pretty close to home this week where possible so that Kayte can be in easy reach of base camp if she starts to tire, but next week we'll be going further afield. I'll hopefully get a few hours figuring out how not to wreck the new toys, but with gears, lockable differentials and cruise control, the gods of mechanical things will no doubt 'mark my card' if possible.

Anyway, I'll bid you a fond farewell for the present as I have a salami sandwich and a glass of pretty damned good red wine waiting for me.


Friday, 10 August 2018

Almost there... Dice Men Reaches 99% Funding Level

Funding now at 99% - SO CLOSE!

TSS Business 'FOR SALE'

Hot off the press is the news that Total System Scenic is up for sale. I confess that I have made enquiries, but it's not high on my agenda...

As part of a restructure of QRF Models Ltd following the recent 'event' suffered by Chas and Sarah's ongoing illness, we are considering selling part of the business

Total System Scenic is a worldwide known brand name that has been trading for over 30 years.  It is a unique product that has no rivals and maintains a steady presence in the market place.
It is used throughout the wargames world and construction industry as well as museums and acadamies.

The sale is for the following:-
  •   'Total System Scenic' and 'TSS' brand names
  •   Polystyrene and Styrofoam tile ranges 
  •   Foam cutters,
  •   Flocking machine and cabinet
  •   Stocks of polystyrene and flocks.
  •   Copy of website with email address and listed ranges.

Instruction can and will be provided for a UK buyer on a face-to-face basis, if desired and by telephone/email for those in other countries.

It is not often that a completely stand-alone business comes on to the market.

If you are genuinely interested, please send us an email to with your contact details and we will send you a brief summary of the business.

Gnolls, Hobgoblins and Militant Punk Girls... Or, how to have old school armies with hundreds of poses

OK, I sent the list of models I require sculpting last night with details of what I want for the first 3 ranges, designed to appeal to Oldhammer and Old School fantasy fans.

Each range is 9 bodies, mostly with open hands and then 8 head variants. 72 variants per race before you even factor in weapon variants. Add in the weapons and you can have several hundred different models.

I have included a leader, mage and standard bearer, blowing horn (as is right and proper for old schoolers).

The first three ranges

Gnolls in Norman garb

Classic pseudo-Roman-viking Hobgoblins

Meso-American-Punkettes with bolt pistols and mohawk hair do's and a hatred for Norsemen and bipedal frogs.

The Zombies will be following closely behind these.

And then cavalry of course for the Gnolls and Amaz... I mean M-A-Ps.

There will also be Hob Hounds and handlers.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

With three days remaining until I take almost 4 weeks off, for R&R, I just completed the basing of Over 1500 'pieces' in 46 hours. They are 1/300 models by Heroics & Ros for a client, depicting a battalion of 9th/21st Panzer, during the Normandy campaign at 1:1 ratio. 

The varied basing was done at the request of my client.

Total project completed two months ahead of schedule to meet my client's needs, by getting in some serious overtime. I estimate a total of around 320 hours from start to finish.

You may imagine , that I am very pleased at this outcome.


Sunday, 5 August 2018

I love my hobby. In fact I live and breathe my hobby and have done so for just shy of 40 years. I remember the Satanic Panic, Pat Pulling, the blaming of D&D for all the woes of the world and so much more.

In short, I remember when it was considered easier to admit that you were an incestuous, morris dancing, junkie than to say 'Oh, I play games with funny shaped dice and little model soldiers'.

Now, what really, really gets my fucking dander up, is when I see a documentary purporting to be 'about the creators of D&D' interview a bunch of kids employed by the current owner of the line, with no mention to or attempt to interview the real creators or even their surviving family members.

If you listen to bearded grinning buffoon responsible, he is right in there with the people who gave him his great hobby.

No! You fucking well are not, my friend!

This is blatant re-writing of social history by a generation who are sore that they were nothing more than a masturbation session with high hopes back when their father was cracking one off to a Jeff Dee illustration of tightly chain mailed, buxom pulchritude.

Hell, their fathers must have been fair weather gamers, if they left their bedrooms or basements long enough to have a shower, leave the house and then indulge in social and latterly sexual intercourse with a  member of the opposite sex.

OK, hands up, I did it - and yes, I was a bit of a fair weather gamer at the time, as it was during the years of my banishment from Games Workshop where I'd been a literal fixture since 1982 (there are rumours hat one November morning around 1984 I was found frozen to the glass).

Anyway, it gets me upset, and makes me yearn even more for 'Dice Men' to be published. By golly that will tell it like it was from the looks of it, and you'll not see a single one of those smug, hip bastards in it, that's for sure!

Incidentally, funding has reached 94% and if you have any genuine interest in the early days of gaming in the UK , you really should get behind it.

You can find out more here:

Incidentally, these are the kid of people behind your wonderful hobby, you irony-filled, little shits...

Moving on, David Wood of the Little Soldier Company has just announced the Tenoch, a race of amphibious frog folk from the stars, with a taste for the Mesoamerican, sartorially. Wonderful models, sculpted by Kev Adams no less. Find out more at David's bog:

Coming soon from Screaming Mob Miniatures, are several ranges with over 200 variants in each, comprising:

Fantastic Tribes - A collection of classic fantasy races and archetypes, that tip the hat to the Golden Age, much like the Tenoch.

First up are Gnolls, Hobgoblins & Zombies

And then there's 

The C.C Reese Range - A similarly retro collection of fantasy models inspired by the often heard question 'What range are they?' to which you always hear the reply 'C.C Reese', although I may be mishearing something more akin to 'C Series'. Again with over 200 variants to the initial release of South American inspired warrioresses tooled up with everything from a blowpipe to a futuristic handgun will over a hard to beat spread of models for the gamer and collector.

And finally, in just a few short weeks the first U.K based stocks of Hudson & Allen buildings for many years, will be arriving with Conflict In Colour. The first shipment will contain all the medieval and renaissance buildings, with the second delivery comprising castles, following shortly thereafter.

And that's about it for now, other than to thank those of you who sent their kind best wishes for the recovery of the memsahib after her angio oedema on Monday. She is doing well and is soldiering on, but is tiring very easily, as you might expect. But at least I still have the woman without whom, I'd waste my time hanging around on this mud ball, backwater planet.


Thursday, 2 August 2018

Back To Normal, & Takeda Arrives

I am pleased to say that I have my wife safely home and recovering from the angio oedema. We are both tired, but life goes on and both she and I are working as normal.

Yesterday my painted Samurai eBay purchase arrived, bit sadly had some damage:

It's a shame, but because I am an experienced and skilled painter and fixer-upper, it'll take me perhaps an hour to bring them back up to standard. Beyond the transit damage they are a wonderful purchase and, the seller has kindly refunded £50, bringing the whole box down to £250.00, so I am far from complaining.

Now, it may be that you don't hear from me (cue: cheers) until some time after the 10th of August as I am so busy that spare time's not really an option. I am not complaining because after that I am taking a break for almost a month to recharge my batteries, celebrate my 50th birthday and generally slow down for a while and spend time with my wife at conventions, galleries, museums and the odd restaurant, no doubt.

I'm looking at a return to Sat's Mill to take in some more Hockneys and to Bradford's Cartwright Hall Gallery where they have a stunning and somewhat forgotten gallery of British Black & Asian art, which I am somewhat red-faced (being a fan of modernist and abstract art) to admit I was unaware of until I watched the excellent BBC programme on the subject.

You can find it here:


It really is worth an hour of your time. For me, it has linked a few things in my knowledge base and experience of militant/protest abstract and modernist artwork, which I first became attracted to at about age 11 as I prowled the numerous art galleries of Sheffield.

Well, I must sign off for now, as I have 1500 individual 6mm infantry to base, and only 4 days to do it in.