Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Every Little Helps!

After the last couple of eclectic posts, I've gone all single minded this week and focused on the 17thC stuff. This has come about for a couple of reasons - my Black Cat Bases order finally arrived (still no sign of the Gringo40 stuff btw) and I couldn't wait to crack on with a pair characters in it for 'Witchfinder General'.

The Vampire Count who fled to England from Transylvania to avoid the upheaval of the Thirty Years War,

and the vampire hunter who is on his trail!

 Secondly, I've set myself a HUGE task if I'm going to have two playable forces for a few games of "Victory Without Quarter" over the Christmas holidays, so the muster continues........

....... the six guys on the left on round bases will be 'dual purpose' and represent a single stand of Firelock muskets as a Trayne of Artillery Guard (no lighted match near the powder barrels please!) for VWQ, as well as giving me half a dozen musket armed troops for WfG.
The three stands of a second blue Regiment of Foote and two stands of ragtag Commanded Shotte brings the total up to five units, so I can move on to the horse and artillery next!

Short and sweet this post, and I just have to close by singing the praises of Colonel Bill's first rate service.
As soon as I saw the 'gypsy girls' on Roy's blog (Never Mind The Jankers!) I knew they'd be a great addition to the Count's entourage so added them to an order. The order arrived within 48hrs, and when I emailed Stu over a slight mix-up with one of the mini's, a replacement arrived the very next day.
Absolutely First Class and highly recommended if you ask me!!

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Stocks and Shares

I mentioned earlier that there were several projects on the go, but flitting between them all was delaying getting anything finished - definitely a lesson learned and in future I'll be more focused!

"Stocks and Shares"?  First off, this set of "Village Stocks" are the old 1/72nd Airfix kit, now sold by Dapol. They're under-scale for 28mm mini's, but I thought they'd make a nice scenic accessory for the ECW project, where I'm using this scale of buildings for the larger battles.

"Shares"?, here's another shout out to Joe (of Zabadak's ZombieWorld) with a "Thank You" for sharing a tip about some cheap and cheerful 'Hummers'. These were cheapo-shop toys way back in the past, but I've kept my eyes peeled for some after reading Joe's post and was delighted to find some in a charity shop!
The toys are unglazed, but Joe very cleverly used thin card cut to fit inside the bodyshells - an idea I've shamelessly stolen.

So, with the punny title out of the way, here's the rest of the stuff that's been cluttering my bench! To accompany the Hummers, I picked up a box of Warlord Games 'Special Operations Team' and painted 'em up to represent National Guard troops since it's still "early days" in my ATZ campaign.

Typical! You wait ages for a bus (shelter), then two come along at once!
These are TTCombat models that come as a pair, and I've hardly laid a brush on 'em - deciding to try white and red oxide primer rattle-cans to spray paint the parts before assembly.

Here's another mini from my last "Reaper" order, a Grave Wraith from their 'Bones' range. 
I previously had five wraiths, so could only field three as a "reduced model unit" (each mini taking two kills before being removed) when I showed the Undead Warband last time. Adding this one brings the unit up to its proper strength and along with the zombie unit painted last month completes the warband.
Oops, the daylight bulb has pointed out that I need to give 'em a waft of "anti-shine matt varnish!
While on the subject of finishing off Dragon Rampant warbands, the Dwarf general still needed mounting on a 'proper' base incorporating his "Hit Dice" (to keep track of how many losses he takes as a single model unit) - and here he is...

The town folk for the 17thC campaign have had a burly blacksmith (Reaper Bones range) and game keeper (from the Warlord Games "Firelock Storming Party") added to their number....
... and the first two regiments of foote have been mustered. Very much a "Levee en Masse" (or 'film extras' painting as I prefer to call it), as I rush to paint enough units to try out the "Victory Without Quarter" rules.

So, fifty mini's, four vehicles and three terrain pieces - and I WON'T be doing so much stuff simultaneously ever again!

Sunday, 12 November 2017


I honestly didn't think there'd be any interest in my 'other' hobby, but by request (and since I've made one "off topic" post already today anyway), I've dug out some photo's of my little garden railway!

Before I continue, it might help to give you an explanation of the scale - the railway represents a Narrow Gauge line and I'm using 45mm gauge track (the rails are 45mm apart) to mimic a 2ft 6ins gauge prototype. This works out at around 1/19th scale, but because everything that lives permanently outside in the garden is built for durability, the scale is a little 'coarse' so I'm happy to work between 1/18th and 1/20th.
Here's a size comparison between a 28mm GW goblin and a 90mm railwayman...
The steam loco's are live steam, fired by either methylated spirit or butane gas while the "diesels" actually have electric motors powered by on-board batteries.
I reckon that's enough waffle (but obviously if anyone would like any more info don't hesitate to ask!), here's some photo's that hopefully give you a taste......

 .... and to finish off, here's a "real one"
with my attempt at a "look-a-like"

Thanks again to those who asked, and I hope those who didn't haven't been too put off by seeing some photo's of my "train set"  - normal service will be resumed in a couple of days ;-)

Lest We Forget

At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them.

Not a gaming post this morning, but it is modelling - the war memorial out in our back garden on my model railway.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017


noun: serendipity; plural noun: serendipities
the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

It's always nice whenever Lady Luck smiles in your direction, and since I've not got much in the way of gaming or modelling topics to post this week (I'm stuck in a couple of those tedious projects that aren't worth posting until significant progress has been made!), I thought I'd share my recent good fortune.
First off, a big "THANK YOU" to Michael who, by chance made a comment on a previous post and brought 'Donnybrook' to my attention!
I'd completely overlooked them as contenders for 17thC skirmish rules (mainly because they're primarily aimed at the period 1660 - 1760), but as soon as I saw that they use a card driven turn system I thought they'd be worth a try - and reading through so far, they're now heavyweight contenders for my project!

Next up, whenever SWMBO sends me to town on the weekly "shop-pain" trip, I call into the charity shops to scour the toy sections looking for anything that might be useful (most of the toy cars I use are sourced this way!) and spotted this...
A quick check of the contents showed that it was 100% complete, so I parted with the princely sum of £1.99 - a bargain even if I only use the two droids in my Bladerunner campaign!!

Finally, and I've left the worst for last (but I still count it as a "stroke of luck"), my debit card expired at the end of October and I've just got round to registering the replacement card details with Paypal.
I very rarely have cause to visit my Paypal home page, so I had no idea that I'd received an invoice for £2.99 from Gringo40 (one of the two suppliers I mentioned in my previous post) - From what I can make out, their checkout page hadn't added the cost of postage when I paid for the items in my basket!
So, if I'm right, this would explain the non-delivery, but no direct email or even a note with the Paypal invoice by way of explanation is pretty poor in my opinion.
Anyhow, I've paid the invoice, so the clock is still ticking (or should that be "calendar  pages turning") awaiting delivery!

Now, after that and on a brighter note, as mentioned in the intro to this waffle, it's been a poor week for modelling output, but I did get this Reaper android done for "Bladerunner".......
.......and this mob of Warlord Games angry villagers for the ECW project.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable bonfire night (SWMBO made some "Toffee Apple Pie Cupcakes" - yum!)

Thursday, 2 November 2017

I have to say, it feels strange NOT to be painting zombies after last month's challenge!
Halloween pic as requested by Bryan!
Instead, the forces are gathering for my 17thC campaign, and appropriately, I finished the "recruiting party" from Col Bill's along with the Reaper Bones tapster and his goodwife handing out ale to the brave boys of the village who have just enlisted.
The "Inn" is another Hovels resin cast (which again took ages to paint!), while lurking between the houses in the background is one of Hasslefree Miniatures cloaked females who is acting as an enemy spy!

Now, I'll not name any names, but I'm more than a little disappointed that some figures I ordered from two companies, one at the end of September and the other the first week of October, STILL haven't arrived. (nor have I received any explanation for the delay).
I dunno if this is 'par for the course', but what makes it seem worse is that the Reaper mini's from Miniature Heroes arrived within a week and a pair of ebay purchases turned up on the doorstep within a couple of days of placing the orders.
Am I just being an impatient old grump?
End Of Moan

Ending on a brighter note, I've just got some "armed" types on the painting bench, and as soon as they're done I can start some playtesting of the Witchfinder General and Fear & Faith / Flashing Steel rules to see which I'll be using regularly.

Thanks for dropping in, my apologies for the brevity of this post, but I assure you "normal service WILL be resumed shortly".
Don't go having nightmares over that top photo!

Friday, 27 October 2017

Zomtober 2017 Week Five

The end of this year's challenge, and I've enjoyed every bit of it!
A massive thank you is in order to all those who have taken part (survived?) and posted their inspiring work.

Since there's been no blog entry since last week, you might have already guessed that it's been 'hectic' here at TWA towers (especially with having to get the van through the dreaded MOT!), and ALL of my hobby output has been aimed at this week's offering, so here we go........

"The little girl with a big gun"
The last two Warlord Games Vixens and the female survivor I've been putting off doing awaiting a 'round tuit'.
I decided to give her a pink frock and bow to try and emphasise her "young innocence" in contrast to the boots and handgun.
Because these are the only three mini's for All Things Zombie this week, I couldn't resist the idea of setting up a little cameo for the photo's - a claustrophobic encounter in the corridor of a ruined building - will she survive?

Continuing painting mini's for the "Witchfinder General / Fear & Faith" campaign (and technically still a work in progress until it's had a coat of matt varnish), this is the "Hag" mini from the D&D Ravenloft game.
Destined to be a powerful 'Zombie Witch' in my 17thC campaign, she qualifies for the Zomtober Challenge AND imparts a bit of Halloween flavour for the time of the month!

Now, speaking of Halloween,  here's the bonus photo.......
"Evil lurks amongst us"
Innocent villagers going about their day-to-day lives, unaware of the presence of witches and fell creatures in their midst!
The buildings are resin cast from Hovels (and have taken ages to paint - and still need weathering), villagers from Col Bill's, witches are from Rapier Miniatures, and a pair of ghouls form a Mantic sprue and the other (larger)  mini from the D&D Ravenloft boardgame. Can you spot them ;-)

So, that's it then. I'm going to be away all weekend gigging at Halloween parties up in Harrogate and down in Gravesend - how cool is that?! a Halloween party in GRAVES end?!! (and yes, I'll be dressing up as a zombie!), so I'll be playing catch-up on everyone's posts on Monday.
Thanks to everybody that's visited the blog during Zomtober, and a special thanks for your kind comments.
I leave you with a taster of things to come....
"Shepherds Pies Bakewell Tart" (geddit??)