Wargaming Week 30/03/2020

Well, everyone enjoying the isolation?

NEWS

Empress are still putting out new releases during this trying time. Including one I’ve been long awaiting, the Vickers MMG team for the Late War Brits! As someone whose Chain of Command games usually rely on taking the Vickers as a must-have support option, seeing a version now available for my specific style of troops is definitely reducing the barriers in the way of assembling a chain of command force. As you can see, it’s in the same great style as the rest of the range. I will definitely be picking a pair of these up to really be able to lay down the fire on the Boche.

Empress has also released the first few packs of the Vietnam ANZAC range. Although originally intended to be part of a complete release at Salute, due to change in circumstances the first two releases are out now. Additionally, the post above includes other photos of the rest of the range, such as command packs and even a casualty set. Overall, the full range should be a great addition to anyone playing the period, so use this time to buy the first two packs and work out your paint schemes!

UPDATES

Despite being at home, I have to admit my hobby time hasn’t been much greater than usual – between getting used to the new routine and the collection of games that have been stealing my attention (thanks to more friends staying at home in the evenings), I’ve been a little distracted. On the other hand, I’m just starting to get on track, and having a pile of models next to me means it’s easy to do a little bit during my downtime.

At the moment, my project is getting my pile of US Marines painted. I’m still working through the test fireteam so it’s slow going but it does feel nice painting more.

Of course, painting is only half the journey. Despite the fact I haven’t got anyone to play with, I have been taking full advantage of the fact I can actually put up layouts and leave them in place by assembling towns to fight over. Today’s edition is using the Sarissa Colonial buildings, most of which are still only basecoated and missing the detail paintwork. I’m also using a blue tint on my light, giving it a little bit of night time feel.

Any feedback will be gratefully taken and maybe at some point I’ll actually play over it.

Despite being in lockdown, I actually received my orders from Spectre last week. Alongside the Babe Yaga, Insurgent MMG and the Aftermath team, I also have a pair of stickers that Spectre included. Expect to see the figures painted up at some point – I think the Baba Yaga could be a quite fun project, perhaps in a different colour suit.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week. Keep safe everyone!

Wargaming Week 23/03/2020

Well things have gotten a little strange, haven’t they? Let’s start!

News

Well, the main news this week is that everything is cancelled due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Pretty much all the wargames shows for the spring (such as Salute and Adepticon) are definitely cancelled or postponed, while even those in Summer and Autumn seem to be considering carefully if they are planning to go ahead.

Empress are still keeping the releases going with their Vietnam vehicles range. As well the PT-76 shown above, they also announced an Otter amphib, both of which are perfect for crashing through the waterlogged battlefields of Vietnam. Additionally, the PT-76 could pop up in any number of battlefields around the world.

Similarly, Empress is plowing ahead adding another nation to the battlefield. Last week saw a pile of ANAZC previews, once again showing off the wonderful sculpting work on them. There are lots of great little touches to them.

Spectre also had a few extra updates. The first is a pretty simple one – the starter pack is changing from Task Force Operator vs Russians to DEVGRU vs Insurgent Kill Team. This is a little easier for Spectre to produce (as these items were already being sold together in packs) and still provide some pretty reasonable forces to assemble. The only downside is that the DEVGRU (despite having one operator replaced with a dog) might just have the edge in terms of raw firepower.

Their second release is might potentially help them out – planned as an Adepticon exclusive, this Insurgent with a bullpup PKM looks perfect to match the Insurgent Killteam, while the great big bushy beard is pretty impressive.

Updates

My Deep Cut Studios order arrived! The mat and road strip are both lovely, really nice weight to them. The mat colour is perfect colour if you intend to cover it in buildings and your own foliage (otherwise it might be a little too dry and dead). Additionally, I think the road will get a little bit of work done to it, such as some texture and dust.

Of course, one of the advantages of having this means I can actually start planning layouts and putting figures down and getting to leave them in place. Of course, it will be even better once

And to add to the setup, I managed to pick some IKEA smart bulbs to replace those that came with the house – of course, I saw the multi-colour ones and I couldn’t help but pick one up. These photos are done just with the light bulb in the room (no filters) and I quite like the effect. We’ll see how practical it actually is but it’s just a neat effect.

Work is continuing on my US Marines (slowly) – been a little distracted with work stuff that I just haven’t felt like sitting down at the same desk. I’m tempted to move my painting area away so I have a change of pace, but debating exactly where to put it.

Finally, as part of getting into the new house, my parents offered up a wonderful display case/sideboard to clean some space in their house. One side is filled with various memorabilia and gaming figures but the other side just had to be for some models. I still have another shelf (and plenty of space) but I am already loving the effect of having them on show rather than shoved into boxes.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week! Stay safe everyone!

Wargaming Week 16/03/2020

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the…

Actually new plan – I’m going to scrap the previous layout. Frankly, it has started to feel a little formulaic, and it gets dull when I just write “no hobby lol”. Instead, I’m going to split the post in half – wargaming news at the top (which a lot of people seem to like) and personal updates at the bottom. Let’s see how this works…

News

So some of this news is going to be out of date, but it makes sense to include them anyway, especially as I get to talk about them!

Big thing from the last month or so has been Sarissa Precision’s Alamo kickstarter. Now, I originally saw this and went for a gentle nap (due to my interest in Mexican-American wars being minimal, even those in the Modern era). However, Sarissa has been very clever, and showed off the buildings in other locations. Thanks to the design, and the easily configured setups, these structures could stand in for adobes in the highlands of Afghanistan. And, combined with the wall elements, makes assembling compound super easy.

As someone who already has a lot of MDF, I shouldn’t need more. However, all my MDF is very urban-based and some of the most iconic battles have taken place in more rural areas of the world. The baking sun, the green fields and (more on topic) small compounds that have existed for years are vital parts of the war experience of anyone in certain areas of Afghanistan. In my opinion, I think these packs are perfect for assembling them on the tabletop.

Going back to the news, the project hit its goals and went up several. I look forward to it releasing later this year.

Next up, Tiny Terrain has released two new battle mats. One is high desert, the other slightly greener and both look fantastic. As detailed below, I’m starting to look into battle mats and these seem pretty great – described as fleece, they should sit flat on surfaces while still letting you shape them with items underneath. More details once they arrive.

More news from Empress, and this time we have some Aussies inbound. A few previews of the upcoming Anzac troops and oh boy do I like them. I’ve been trying very hard to avoid picking up a very different region to collect but these do look very tempting. The style of the Vietnam (and World War 2) ranges are wonderful and should be good fun to paint.

And speaking of wonderful things, White Dragon is about to make a lot of people very happy. They are about to release a Mastiff MRAP suitable for 28mm, complete with bar armour and packed full of details. These vehicles are massive, big enough to carry 8 troops protected from IED strikes. And frankly, it looks perfect. My only downside is that it’s 1/56 scale rather than the 1/50 used by many other companies (and what I have a reasonable number of), but I think the sheer size and uniqueness of this vehicle make it a must buy.

Finally, as I return, so does Spectre. Back from their break, we see two new releases.

The first is something old – Baba Yaga is back! As a follow on from Spectre’s 2019 Salute Exclusive, we have a new Baba Yaga into a center axis relock pose with his pistol (rather than armed with an AR). This is a cool looking guy, perfect to add to the undercover operators range, and is not a time limited release, which is a good sign.

The second is perhaps perfectly timed for its release. As it’s been previewed for the last few months, we finally see the team of troops in Hazmat gear. And it’s revealed… they are slightly dodgy guys. From the off the shelf CBRN suits and masks to the selection of weapons, these guys seem perfect for playing the faceless bad guys. I quite like the range of kit they are armed with, such as the Galil rifles, the combination of AKSU and RPG for the grenadier and then the belt fed, bullpup PKM with rucksack ammo system. All in all, I am already thinking of several ideas on how to use them, but now I just need a few suspicious canisters…

Updates

As you can see, I’m back! There are still a few pieces of furniture to move into this place but the house warming has happened, the IKEA trips have been done and now I’m ready to start writing posts and painting minis again.

We’ll see how much my new location helps/hinders my wargaming, but being further south should mean you’ll see my Regular Opponent more often, as well getting to go to more shows. Also having more space means you will see some different setups for photos, including a table big enough to setup games on – also ideal for impressions photos!

Additionally, the website has a new home! After my previous web host decided to be genuinely unhelpful with dealing with an issue (such as responding to support emails in French despite my account being with their UK arm) and added to the rest of the dumb things I’ve had to deal with them, I decided to make a change. We’re now on a newer (and hopefully better) host who helped bring it over in less than a day with almost zero input.


So a big thing about having my own place with space is now I need to pick up a few extra things before I can run games. The first stage – something to play on. In the past, I made 5 textured boards for my wargame but they are a giant pain to use – heavy, fragile. So, seeing as I have two tables big enough to play on (once I sort a dining table out) I decided to invest in some battle mats. I’ve ordered a couple to try out, with the plan to sell the ones I’m not fond of. As well as the tiny terrain mats, I also ordered a Deep Cut Studios one (wasteland) along with a set of rollout roads to add to my terrain building. Expect some thoughts soon.

The second part – flora. A hole in my collection is just bits of green, that ground cover that helps to turn a board from “okay” to super fun. As I’m setting my games in a fictional version of Yemen, I’ve been taking a look at the types of flora you find there, before matching it up to what you can buy.

The final part? Getting all those buildings finished. As I’m wanting to make them really stand out, this includes detailing, texturing and then finally painting. I can see it all taking a while but I can’t wait to see the end result.


This weekend was Hammerhead and, being back in the area, I decided to take a trip. Turning up late in the day (with the shadow of coronavirus hanging over everyone) it definitely felt quiet. After speaking to a few people, I finally managed to meet up with Westbury Wargamers, a rather fine chap and reader of this blog (and someone who I have probably pushed down many a purchasing hole). That said, the game that he was running with a few others was a rather fun looking Mexican Cartel game, using the fistful of lead rules (fitting onto a single piece of A4) and looked like a whale of a time was being had by those playing.

As for my loot, I came away with a few things:

  • British CMP Truck – destined for my Chain of Command army, this truck will probably end up either as a JOP or being ripped to shreds when I try to use it as transport.
  • Last Valley bushes – as part of my flora, I picked up 5 bushes for £15 and got an extra one thrown in for free. Really nicely made, can’t wait for them on the table
  • Empress Cadillac Gage Commando – Released for their Vietnam range, I can really see it in the service of the Bazistan Police force. Not quite as nasty as a tank, but nothing to sneeze at
  • Two Giants in Miniature – Tiny Brienne of Tarth for fantasy and Tiny Agent Carter for my WW2 Brits. Both are fun looking figures and should be a challenge to paint.
  • A Games Workshop spray stick – Seeing as I now have space to spray properly, I need something to actually hold the models with, other than my cardboard box. It’s definitely something that could be done with blue tack and wood, but you pay for someone to make the design work so it’s easier for you.

Finally, in terms of my own painting, I’ve broken out some old toys and grabbed the US Marines from Empress to slowly get me back into it. I’ve wanted to get them finished for ages and, with a relatively simple scheme and fantastic models, they should be quick to finish off and get me back into the groove. I did take them into work to paint for a few days this week (before working from home was enforced) and that seems like it’s doable on my lunch break (to get my 15 minutes in everyday). Now I’m at home more, there may be more painting done once I peel myself away from the twin vices of Modern Warfare and Overwatch.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Relocating Hobby HQ

Big news time – I’m taking a break from writing stuff for this blog.

If you follow me on Twitter, you may know that my day job is currently based in Edinburgh (more details there, trying not to cross the streams too hard). However, I’m originally from Leeds and with family and friends in the area, I do keep finding myself back there. Not to mention, the Usual Opponent is also close by, complete with his fiendish plotting. With a new year and a family situation change, I’ve decided to move back to Leeds and set up there. I’m very lucky that my work has decided to support this move and so, with only minimal interruptions, I’ll be starting work in the Leeds studio in a few weeks.

Of course, this means I have to move all my life (and more importantly my hobby materials) down to Leeds. Which means I need to organise a house down there. And, as you can see, I have an awful lot of stuff to get packed and ready to go. This meaning I will have exactly 0 time to paint or wargame and not much time to be spent updating this blog.

However, looking forward, moving to Leeds should improve my hobby output. For one, I’m going to have more space! Every property I’m looking at is a marked improvement over the two-room flat I have up here in Edinburgh, with enough space to separate living room and hobby room. I’ll also have a driveway/garage to use, meaning larger projects (such as the pile of buildings I have). Finally, having space to entertain means I should be able to run more games in my own home, something I’ve always wanted to do.

So the plan is to take off the whole of February, giving me time to move in somewhere and get settled before coming back sometime in March. Watch this space for more updates.

Wargaming Week 03/02/2020

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 27th of January through to the 3rd of February.

NEWS

New releases from Empress – they are extending their builders yard to now include a set of damaged apartment blocks, letting you easily build out a larger city using them. They do look like some big chunky resin, so I expect them to definitely have some heft.

I also had a quick chat with Empress at Vapnartak about their upcoming releases for Late War Brits. The long awaited Vickers team is almost here, as well as a 3inch mortar. Also on the cards are some troops for an engineering section, almost vital for a Chain of Command selection. FInally, Paul did mention that they will possibly be looking at making some troops without the camouflage jackets and scrim, instead focusing on the assault jerkins. Overall, these sound like some great additions and I am very excited

To extend my news, I’m going to start looking at a few other things that excite me. As you may have seen, I picked up the Aeronautica Imperialis set a few months back, in part because I love the look of these aircraft. However, my personal favourite (the Valkyrie) wasn’t released… until now. The next box will take us to the skies over Taros, pitting the Valks and Lightnings (sadly the newer design rather than the original pattern) against the Tau craft. I haven’t yet got a game in of the core sets, but I can see the Tau being long range, high power aircraft, lobbing missiles and railguns at incoming targets matching to the concept of them being more modern than the midrange/close range brawlers of the Imperial Navy/Orks.

PURCHASES

Despite going to Vapa, I managed to actually not spend anything on new figures. I’m actually very close to a major move so adding things to a lead pile doesn’t really make sense right now.

So instead, I picked up anther carry case and box from KR Cases. I decided to go for the wheeled one, both for the protective element but also the fact it takes cardboard cases (of which I have a few) letting me easily pack them away). I’m actually quite looking forward to being able to get everything packed up, complete with a little bit of extra space.

HOBBY

As I mentioned before, I went to Vapa in York on Sunday. I always enjoy starting my year off with the show, seeing friends and catching up with traders while admiring the game. This year seemed pretty busy and great, a good mix of sellers and demo games (such as the rather cool Entebbe game above). Overally, it’s a good start to the year, especially if you manage to escape without having spent a penny!

As for my own hobby time? Well it’s been a little quiet this week. I’m in the process of some life changes so I had very little time to sit and paint. What time I did spend was mostly on writing some rules I’m wanting to play around with (details soon). And the rest? Well I really like just assembling models, so with the aim of relaxing, I broke out some of the GW plastic kits I’ve had lying around. These Sylvaneth Tree-Revenants are a joy to build – although not super easy to vary poses the level of design on them, as well as various parts, lets you play around with them.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Wargaming Week 27/01/2020

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 20th through to the 26th of January.

NEWS

Surprisingly nothing – seems like everyone is busy getting ready for various shows or preparing for the delightful situation we’re going to be in at the end of the month.

PURCHASES

The one thing that arrived this week is Zona Alfa, the latest book from Osprey’s blue book series. As someone who has a super strong interest in STALKER, Metro, Escape from Tarkov and other similar stories, the idea of setting a game there has been at the forefront of my mind. From a quick read through, this game definitely sounds like my kind of thing. Of course, with my current collection, I might relocate it to the wastes of a semi-post-apocalyptic middle east when I play but it should be hitting a tabletop when I have a chance.

The other… Okay I bought some more stuff for fantasy. As I’ve started writing scenarios and lore, I’ve realised there are some characters I’ve been desperate to add. I had a little accident at Games Workshop, picking up a few packs from their fantasy range. The Darkoath Warqueen is a fun looking model and will be an exciting character to come up against. The Dark Elf Corsairs I’ve pictured above (including their captain) will be a vital part of the plot, seeing as the players will be working for the other side. Finally, I picked up another pack but I’m not quite ready to share. Both because I’m not sure I’ll be able to paint them properly but also I don’t want to give the game away too early for my players.

HOBBY

So this week has been a little bit of an odd one as (aside from assembling a few plastic kits) I’ve spent most of it focused on a single figure. This is because I’ve actually been focus on improving my skillset, as well as implementing an idea I’ve had for ages. I’m going to actually write a short post on the process of converting a Frostgrave wizard to look like Moira, a favourite character of mine from Overwatch, so I can pass on some of the stupidity that I came across as well as showing off a lot of WIP photos.

I also received my wet pallete. I’m already a fan of it, letting me keep paint going overnight. I think it will become very useful once I start painting my platoons up. More thoughts as I use it.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Wargaming Week 20/01/2020

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 13th through to the 19th of January.

Blog Stuff

I got back to my fantasy project! Really happy with the response to the first post -this has been a side project I’ve been working on during my downtime last year. I’m really excited about actually getting the figures on the table – both for the gameplay but also just because they are some lovely models!

I’m also really excited as I’m playing around with a setting I’ve worked on with a really good friend of mine. She’s been cranking out maps of the various countries alongside our world building and I can’t wait to show them off!

NEWS

Speaking of fantasy, here is a nice upcoming release from my local MDF wizard, Supreme Littleness Designs. He’s making some modular Frozen City ruins, perfect for any skirmish game where you want some verticality. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on 4 Ground for when they are released.

Next up, Black Site Studios showing off a pile of scenery perfect of some fantasy skirmish gaming. I’m a big fan of their stuff, and this bundle seems perfect for making a board suitably dense for that style of game. Definitely something I’ll be thinking about soon.

And just to prove I haven’t been lost to swinging swords, Tabletop Tactical Simulations is back with another truck kickstarter! This time, they are bringing a range of Ural trucks to the tabletop, perfect for any number of theatres as long as you paint them right. I’m usually put off by the fact it’s 1/56 but I have to admit, I’m kind of tempted to give them a look and see how well it works.

PURCHASES

Nothing!

HOBBY

More painting, all thanks to my 15 minutes+ a day. It’s really good for just getting small stuff finished. For example, these two turrets – sat on my desk for literally months while getting the energy to paint the camo on the gunners. However, I managed to get them cleaned up and good to go. These are both for the Bazi forces, something to make their Humvee’s pop out among the legion of US vehicles. Additionally, I don’t fancy coming up against either of them in a dark alley!

Speaking of not fancy fighting them, the other two things finished this week was my second LTV and the monstrous Land Warfare RWS with its 30mm cannon, ATGM and coax medium machine gun. I really like this kit, and having two of them means I can deploy a full 8 man patrol under protective cover. Next stop, convoy.

Finally (inspired by my Christmas game of Chain of Command), I started playing around with a test figure for my own Empress British. I only managed to get the base colours on, but it looks the right tone. I’m looking forward to only having to do a single piece of camo gear, as opposed to a whole figure. Fingers crossed I’ll finish this guy off this week.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Project Fantasy Skirmish – Update 1

So it’s been a while since I last talked about Fantasy Skirmishing. Mainly because, like a wargames butterfly, I was distracted by something shiny and disappeared off into doing non-wargaming things for a bit (as well as losing motivation). However, this didn’t stop me picking more models and continuing to think about adventures

Name Change

First of all, you may notice the name of this project has been changed. The reason is pretty simple – after finally settling on a story or setting, I realised dungeons would end up only being a little part of the games I’d want to play. Sure progressing through a maze of tunnels is fun, but so is ambushing carts on a forest road, brawling in the local tavern or even sneaking past the town guards through the streets of some fantasy town.

The other reason was the lack of chandeliers in most dungeons.

Setting

I mentioned setting above. Well, I’ve been talking with a friend, often about story ideas, and we came up with a fantasy setting to base some of them in. The world takes a lot of inspiration from other fantasy settings, along with a few twists of our own. Now, it’s still in development, so lots of things keep changing with it. You might see a few names change even between posts on this blog.

This is the continent of Eutanica, one of many on the Lonely Sphere. It is split between two rival kingdoms. In the North, the King of the Dark Elves rule – his navy crosses the seas to bring back slaves and plunder from other continents while worship of the twin Elven gods of War and Shadows powers his armies. In the South, the Queen of the Iron Kingdoms gives praise to the Morrigan, her nation a patchwork quilt of smaller kingdoms united under a common ruler. It advances ahead thanks to bottling lighting and using it to power a host of machines, from weapons of war to great Iron Ships. These two powers, once almost close to being united through friendship, were torn apart by a flashing blade and now exist in a state of semi-war.

And in between these two superpowers? The Marches.

Comprising of multiple smaller nations, The Marches are what have stopped these two greater powers from attempting to wipe each other out. None of these independent kingdoms has the might to challenge the Dark Elves or the Iron Kingdoms but neither would they be simple to overrun and subject. Instead, this separation has started a cold war, with both superpowers seeking to improve their influence over the buffer, gently pushing the balance of power. Both powers send their agents, such as the dreaded Dark Elf Shades and the Swordmasters of the Iron Kingdoms to assemble alliances, impress the locals and generally push their agenda forward.

And this is where the players come in.

The idea

I am a fan of narrative wargaming, to put it mildly. So my concept for this project is that each fantasy skirmish will be wired together to form miniature campaigns. Each “campaign” will represent a single quest, with the players picking small groups to represent their adventuring companies. And like every quest, each will begin with a meeting (sometimes in a tavern), progress through the mission’s various stages (with smaller battles) and usually end in some terrifying finale against a dangerous foe (ranging from rival agents to the undead to servants of the Elder Gods).

The actual battles will probably be fought using Open Combat, giving a versatile tool kit to build everything from a ratman with a knife up to Greater Demons of the Dark Prince (…maybe… if something goes very VERY wrong for the players). I’m only aiming for small battles so we don’t need to deal with things like ranked up groups. Open Combat is also relatively easy to bolt stuff onto, so weird effects like magic shouldn’t be too hard to stick on.

Painted Figures

Of course, all these games need figures. More importantly, my collection is full of unpainted fantasy figures that someone bought and the painting logbook is merciless. Let’s take a look at what I have done so far.

Iron Kingdoms Ruffian

Ruffians, rogues, scum of all kinds. A good recruiter will find them throughout the Marches, even if their quality does vary from soldier to soldier.

First model painted, this is a Ghost Archipelago crewman. The main thing here was getting used to contrast paint for the skin and painting things other than camo. There are going to be a chunk of these Ruffians assembled and painted. Mainly because these guys will form the core of most adventuring parties or (if not chosen) be causing havoc while working for rival employers.

Lacelle “Gordelan” O’Dicca, Swordmaster

Swordmasters are the Iron Kingdom’s main agents in the foreign lands. Trained in the ways of the blade and the wit, Swordmasters travel around to push their Queen’s agenda. Lacelle is one such Swordmaster. As fast with her tongue as she is with her blade, O’Dicca is notorious for causing havoc and mayhem wherever she goes.

One of North Star’s Swordmasters, this was one of those models I just had to have. Painting the puffy sleeves (in Iron Kingdoms red and white none the less) was especially fun. She may not be on the board very often, but I guarantee she will cause havoc.

Benfrey Jochman, Swordmaster

Perfectly paired, Benfrey is the yin to Lacelle’s yang. While she is fast talking and emotive, Benfrey is usually quieter, lurking in the corner of the tavern waiting to tell the poor saps she has hired exactly what they will be doing. In battle he works perfectly alongside the quick strikes of O’Dicca, often delivering crushing final blows.

The other Swordmaster, painted up to be contrasting with Lacelle. At the same time, the red and white cloth at his waist shows off his allegiances.

‘Mouse’, ThIEf

For many in Eutanica, poverty can often be a bad harvest away. Luckily, ‘Mouse’ has developed a very special set of skills to assist her in redistributing wealth in her advantage. And for a fee, she’ll join your adventuring group to use them for other purposes.

I really like this little figure. Small than the others in the range, she just looks the very model of a fantasy thief.

Syghilda, Dark Woods Wanderer

Between the lands of Siccarius and Ruskov lies The Dark Wood. Many leagues across, this dense forest is a place of superstition and danger. Some say that the Elder Gods themselves stalk between those trees, their servants living alongside humans who fled into there thousands of years ago. Occasionally, denizens of this forest venture out to live among the more civilised people of Eutanica. With pale skin covered in strange eldritch markings, they are worthy warriors, unnaturally tough and strong.

This was a fun model to paint. Lots of exposed flesh to cover in my attempt at tattoos and then a bright vibrant hair colour to draw the eye. She fits the Celtic barbarian idea that the Dark Wood’s inhabitants are supposed to evoke, even if she is a little bit more refined.

Ser Renault, Knight of Fransya

North of the Iron Kingdoms, Fransya is ruled by a monarch but the individual peasants owe the fealty to one of 12 Knightly Families, each with their own traditions. Blood matters little to these families – a knight must prove themselves worthy of the name, often by embarking on quests elsewhere in the Marches.

Honestly, super simple to paint but super evocative. I love everything about this model, from the posing to the mix of armour and cloth. I went for a simple tabard, as this questing knight hasn’t earned the right to wear his house’s full colours.

Zarqaa, Farisian Demon Hunter

Hailing from a land across the sea, the Farisian Demon Hunters travel the world to slay creatures of the Elder Gods wherever they may be found. Painting their skin in ash to hide their presence from the beasts, they have many tools to banish or trap their prey. The gold on their cloaks can attract wandering eyes, but the large sword is often warning enough.

Another evocative model, whose back story was written while painting. The mix of weapons and layers of clothing were fun to paint – a light coloured lower cloth is probably all she would need back home but the other layers hold back the chill. Plus, I’m excited to introduce this sort of character into quests.

The Old Lioness, Iron Kingdoms ADVENTURER

Not all heroes can settle into a quieter life. The Old Lioness is one restless soul, happier travelling the roads than settling down to live by a fireplace. Strangely, records of a woman resembling her have existed for centuries, leading some to question just how old she really is…

One of the Heritor models. I really like this set, and for her, I went with the old adventuer look. Drybrushing on the grey hair is fun, but also adding touches like armoured plate beneath her clothing to lure in the unaware

Death Knight

In ancient places, far from home,
In tattered skin and browning bone,
Metal rusts, fabric decays, all goes below,
But Evil is a hardier foe…

I don’t have to say much – this figure is one of those that got me out of my funk and back into painting. It reeks of evil and malice, standing taller than most other figures, thin but also worrying. This is an enemy that will appear in the finale, the corroded metal and exposed bone there to terrify the players…

Cultists of the Undead

The dead should say dead, say the Covenant of the Iron Kingdoms. However, dark magics exist in this world and some mortal men wish to put the dead to other purposes. These necromancers often form cults around their work, offering immortality in exchange for service.

These were fun models to paint. I think my gold was a little too thick (I’ve lost some of the detail on the masks) but it is a nice contrast to the black robes and corroded metal. Plus great weapons to smash apart those goodie two shoes wanting to interrupt their master’s work.

Skeleton Cultists

Although skeletons with rotting clothes may have a certain visceral horror to them, loyal acolytes are much better when dressed as they were in life. And returning them as the undead means they are much less likely to tell the local constables exactly what their master is up to when captured…

These guys. Skeletons in robes have a glorious comedy to them even while looking horrifying for the part. I had great fun painting the bone thanks to how easy washes and well-sculpted figures make it.


So that’s the new update done. Obviously, I have a lot of painting ahead of me, and a lot of games to plan. I’m in the progress of planning the first few adventures (which is mostly assembling generic scenarios and working out the right bad guys for them) but the main thing is going to be finishing off the figures I have while trying very hard to not buy any more. One of the advantages of fantasy is just how many ranges full of shiny things there are…

And what’s next?

Elves. Damn, dirty, scheming Dark Elves