Wednesday, 29 June 2016


Hi all

Last time I posted about an excellent Hasslefree miniatures figure "Alicia" a multi-purpose adventurer, that I picked up at Salute back in April. She was awesome! And continuing on in that theme I have the amazing "Shimmer".

The blurb from Hasslefree.....

"Our cute female dark-elf Shimmer returns in a more dynamic pose. Mid-leap from a tree stump she is wielding a nice sharp sword ...perfect for chopping heads off goblins or orcs"

This is my take on her...

Shimmer is officially a half-drow elf - a half light and half dark elf, the product of an unfortunate union and raised by neither. She has survived by her wits and natural abilities, of which she has many. Lightning reflexes, superb balance and spatial awareness make her a gifted athlete which combined with her fierce drow heritage gives her a distinct advantage in combat.

I painted her in natural colours as I couldn't decide whether to paint her up dark for the drow in her or brighter colours for the light elf side. This way she is comfortable either way, also I wanted her to be more akin to one of my favourite fantasy characters, the dark elf ranger - Drizzt Do'Urden from the Forgotten Realms universe. Caught between his heritage and his natural goodness, he is spurned by both eleven kingdoms, instead seeking the company of all manner of beings.  That said I declined to go down the all white hair and black skin route of TFR's drow and gave her a white blonde look instead that way I can use her in all manner of games, in all manner of genres in a similar way to Alicia. 

That's it for now
Hope you enjoy

109:67 (-42)

figs bought:painted (difference)

Monday, 27 June 2016


Hi all,

Firstly, I've just checked my ego-ometer and realised my blog has viewed over 20,000 times! Bloody hell! Now I realise half of those are probably me but still. Thanks guys hope the blog is still hitting the mark for at least another 20,000.

So a little break from the now regular Bushido posting, no the enthusiasm hasn't diminished, not even a little bit but I've just run out of models and the drying times on my latest board are considerable.  Because of this I'm able to paint up some of the other minis that have been sitting in the queue way, way longer than they deserve and I'm starting with "Alicia".

I got Alicia at Salute back in April, she's from the Hasslefree Miniatures range of Fantasy humans sculpted by the amazing Kev White. I spent a great deal of time at the Hasslefree stand, perusing the gorgeous minis, some painted, others just in a black wash to show off their deliciousness. Alicia was one of three models that I chose, not for any real purpose or because I had a faction that needed bulking out but simply because she is an amazing sculpt. Not a truly complicated mini but wonderfully posed and imho full of character. I have no real plans for her gaming-wise, she'll fit into loads of different genres from a villager in medieval settings, to a dungeon crawling rogue, to an assassin, to a cosplaying zombie apocalypse survivor! I'm gonna use her as much as I can. The hsf site have this to say about her....

"Alicia is a semi-retired adventurer. Now living peacefully with her family in a small village, she still refuses to travel anywhere withotu a trusty shortsword at her side. Some lessons stay learned."

"Alicia is one of our 'multipurpose' figures. Useable as anything from an average villager who happens to be armed to a merchant to an understated adventurer!"

Paint wise, I kept as much to the websites colour scheme as it suited her down to the ground, natural dyes for homespun clothing and fiery red hair to match her personality! The yellow sleeves and leggings were a mix of Vallejo "khaki grey" and "Iraqi sand" and lots of white. The green dress was GWs "Knarloc green". The base I'm particularly pleased with as I used coffee stirrers to make series of small planks then glued them directly on the base when it was dry I trimmed of the excess and sanded down the "planks"  I then stained the boards firstly with GW "Reikland Flesh" wash, then 2 coats of GW "Seriphim Sepia" and finally 2 thin washes of "Agrax Earthshade"

hope you enjoy

109:66 (-43)

figs bought:painted (difference)

Saturday, 25 June 2016

A Tale of 4 Gamers - part 5

Hi all

My apologies for the missed deadline yesterday, this was my fault not the other gamers as I have been in a state of shock since yesterday's announcement in the UK, but this a wargaming blog not a political one and so that is all I intend to say on that.

So this is the last part of the collecting and painting segment of our "Tale" based on the White Dwarf series of the same name.  For the last 2 months we have collected and modelled our warbands showing first the warriors and the levies working our way up the foodchain to the Hurscarls and Hithguards and now it's time to show the last pieces, the main man himself - the Warlords!!

This is the last chance for you guys to score our efforts, every point counts as we move from the painting table to the gaming table next time. Scores out of 5 please for both painting and the fluff provided by the gamers.

Andy's Faction

Waelwulf "the Fierce" stood by the doors of his Meadhall, built by him and his retainers with there own hands and standing as a show of his power and a mark of his lordship.  Here he dispensed justice in the view of the old Gods of his ancestors and away from the prying eyes of the Christians, who insisted he worship their weakling "Nailed God" blindly and with no thoughts of the old ways. 

Waelwulf spat his derision of the fools who prayed on their knees in their precious churches, looking to prayer to protect them when what they actually had was strong men like Waelwulf and his like, manning walls and hefting spear and shield.  He would show them what good their prayers were in the face of Viking axes and Norman lances.  He would take the war to the invaders, aye and the raiders from beyond the northern wall too and he would slaughter them, drive them from his shores and back to the rocks from which they crawled under.

Beckoning to Edgar to hoist his banner, he whistled for Freki - his massive hunting hound and strode across the bridge that bordered the edge of his lands and marked the outskirts of his small army's camp.  Seeing their lord coming toward them, the sergeants gathered their men into their units, bullying them into some sort of order with threats and blows.

"Men" he bellowed to the mass of hulking warriors.  "We are the sons of Danes but we are not Northmen, we are protectors of this land, this England but more importantly we are Men of Kent and we will defend our homes to the last drop of blood, we will sweep the vile invaders from our country and destroy their armies. We will crush them underfoot and their women and children will weep for their loss, but we will not stop until we once again stand as the masters of our land. For Kent, for England we will be victorious!"

So at last we come to the boss.  For me I could not wait! I wanted Waelwulf the Fierce to be a centre piece for the warband, something that drew the eye.  According to the rules he can be mounted on a larger base 40mm compared to the 25mm for normal warriors, so thats what he was going to come on, initially I was going to put other minis on the base with him but decided I wanted him front and centre all on his own, his retainers would be seperately mounted (but not contributing to the base size for gaming purposes).  My warlord was from the Gripping Beasts plastic model range that can be used for either Anglo-Saxons or Anglo-Danes, I wanted him to sport the enormous axe that he came with but bizzarely there was no way to attach it to his hand (which came with a sword !?!) so I had to use the hand that came with the standard bearer, for the base I used some zombie heads from a wargames factory sprue for severed heads and some broken weapons and a shield to give it a bit of a feel.  The hound is from Warlord games and was liberated from my Ancient Celts army and painted up.  The standard bearer now sans arm needed a minor conversion to swap out the warlords sword for the standard pole and was good to go.

I also finished off the last unit of Hurscarls I had knocking about for a a full 6 points worth of troops, these bad boys are metal sculpts from Gripping Beast, there were a bit meh! to paint but in the end turned out fairly nice, including hand painting on two of the shields.

Finally here is a shot of the entire Warband....

Chris's Faction

So the last two units of the warband.......for now. Firstly 8 Hearthguard, the elite of the warband. These are Gripping beast plastic Viking Warriors. Nicely sculpted models but really not quite on a par with Victrix or Perry. A lot of mould lines and things like shoulder joints not fitting easily and requiring some work....and tree trunk axe handles. The minis themselves are however easy to paint. These are all mail clad. Now my usual technique fir mail is a black undercoat and build up layers of metallics and silver with dry brushing. However as the rest of the army has been done with army painter I needed it to tie in. So usual white undercoat. Gun metal for the chain and the usual paint palette for the clothing. Nice touch on these minis is the Thor's hammer necklaces. Bit more colour in the clothing. I'm actually very pleased with the AP effect on the chain especially after varnishing. For the Warlord I wanted a small vignette with a Raven banner. These are Foundry miniatures. Again these were simplicity to paint. Base colours, a bit more colour and patterning on the Jarls clothing. I used the same tan colour for his bearskin cloak to tie him in with the Beserkers. The hound came with the pack and was just too nice a figure not to include. Only figure in the warband not done with Army Painter, just dry brush and highlights over black. So all told I am very pleased with this warbabd which will sweep all in front of them into oblivion. The GB plastics sculpting I'm going to give 6/10....good but room for improvement. Foundry 10/10. All told this took me about 10 days to complete from start to finish. I'm pleased with the AP on these. They look much better in the flesh than photos and to turn out gaming quality minis that look good en mass and quickly it can't be beaten, once you've learnt it's subtleties and limits and enhancing with some little highlights. I'd recommend it to anyone. Jarl Ingulf Thornisson's Warband Warlord 8 Hearthguard 4 Beserkers 24 Warriors 6 points with enough figures left over to increase up to 8 points

Damon's Faction

Bjarke looked around at his captors talking in their strange tongue trying to recall the battle. He remembers clashing with the scots as they came charging down the hill in their skirts, remembers the bersekers, Ake, Colburn, Gunnar and Gosta fall under a hail of spears then nothing, "I must have been clouted from behind and now here I am tied to a tree" he thought to himself. A large scot walked towards him and spoke to him in his tongue.

Lachlan smiled as he saw the shock on the vikings face as he spoke in their language. "Tell me again where your ship is" The viking just spat at his feet so he drove the point of his spear though his calf muscle. Smiling at the screams that came forth from the vikings mouth. "I can cause you so much pain, tell me where it is and I swear on my honour I will give you a warriors death" Confusion crossed Bjarke's face so Lachlan continued " tell me where your ship is and I will free you, put a sword in your hand and if you kill me you can walk free" "This is the only chance I will give you to enter Valhalla"

Bjarke looked long into the eyes of the man in front of him and realised that he saw a kindred spirit deep within them, starring back and knew he was telling the truth. Looked at his bleeding leg and back at Lachlan. As if reading his thoughts the man known as Lachlan in front of him says " I'll get you patched up whilst my scouts check out your story so you'll be fighting fit by the time they get back and if you've told the truth you get the sword if you've lied I'll gut you like a pig"

I apporached my next unit of hearthguard (Toisech) in the same manner and again I have surprised myself again. Out came the magnifying glass again and I went for the tartan again. I was a bit more brave with the tartan as you can probably see from the pics. I am especially please with the bluish cloak and the red tartan I feel I've kicked it up a wee notch. Again each tartan took more than one attempt and a lot of patience. I have persevered with the eyes and again this is paying off as I feel their better again. I ended up mixing my colours as they were too bright or dark. The red I dulled down with a little brown and the blue i lightned with a little white trying to match the colours I found on the web. I really am enjoying this painting lark.

Rich's Faction

The tournament was well into its second day, Hugh had so far taken part in four Jousts and one them all. His men cheered and congratulated him each time but Francois and the other knights had looked on stern faced.

Hugh had always had to fight twice as hard as his brothers growing up. Without his fathers attention his solace had been days and days practicing with the men at arms and learning all he could. Maybe being the youngest son was not so bad. Maybe his destiny had always been this way. Maybe be was meant to win this tournament and head to Caen as a man with a reputation. Maybe that would bring him to the attention of the Duke, all he had to do was win one more joust.

Hugh fancied his chances, the Dane was all strength and bluster. He had won his four jousts up to now before the horses had began to move. Each of his opponents was intimidated by his size and his growling. Hugh saw how he ducked and leaned into the lance as impact was made. Hugh was subtle and skilful and he knew just how to beat the Dane movement and deft touch was the key.

Kirsten knew he could not beat the Norman in a joust. As a mercenary man who had stayed alive against the odds all his life he knew when he saw a more skilled opponent and he knew when to walk away. He had come to Normandy as a captured man and had fought for his maters entertainment earning his freedom after years of killing.

Kirsten needed to be part of the invasion but the Norman lords would not take a Dane with them not unless they thought it was to their advantage. If he could win here at Nee and go to Caen as a man who had beaten all of the Local lords the duke might see his value and let him come to England.

All that stood between Kirsten and England was one Norman. But this Norman was unusual he could actually fight. Kirsten Deathbringer would bring Death today but not with a Joust in his arm.

As the men faced off and assumed the couch position, Joust under arm as the horses faced off and snorted their challenges at each other the Dane suddenly screamed allowed. “ Are you a girl Norman!” Hugh was shocked what was this, this was not tournament etticate where was the respect. Hugh said nothing and faced his challenger waiting for the squires to drop the flags to signal the engagement. But they were hesitating and looked confused by this outburst. “ I said are you a girl Norman, or will you fight like a man today” The crowd were mumbling and looking at each other wondering what was happening the squires didn’t know what to do. “Fight me as a man Norman, fight me as the gods intended, fight me with axe and steel!” Kirsten dropped his joust and from his back drew his mighty fighting axe.

As Hugh breathed in to shout his protest to the tournament squire he caught Francois eye, the look the man gave Hugh was stern and questioning. Hugh knew what the look meant. He knew he had to fight and win today to win his knights respect. He knew he had to fight with steel as a man. He paused, his horse turned 360 in its hesitancy and confusion as he came round to face the Dane again Hugh shouted back. “Very well Dane I will fight you with steel,” then as Hugh drew his sword and held it aloft he shouted something else, “ but let it be to the death!. Francois looked satisfied and re took his seat. Hugh knew this was the gamble of his life. But he was a man of Destiny, and the Dane just another step in his path to glory.

Hugh kicked his spurs into the sides of Damascus his mighty white charger and time slowed.

The Dane had lost the initiative as the Norman began to move, he smiled and kicked his heels into his all black steed. The two men charged headlong the horses seemed to understand what was at stake and both were moving faster than they had ever moved before, the impact was going to be mighty.

Sword and axe raised high in mighty dual as in days of old the two men bore down on each other this was going to be headlong neither horse would be bowed neither man would shirk.

Within a few metres of each other now the Dane drew back ready to strike, as he did so his horse lowered his head to make room instinctively for his masters blow. The Norman knew this was his chance the Dane would be expecting his opponent to lower his sword and aim but Hugh held high as he recognised his moment he steered Damascus straight the horse was his weapon first and foremost the lowering of the black horses head had left an opening and the Norman charged straight for it. As the axe was descending to strike into Hugh’s side Damascus’s head hit home square into the chest of the Dane pushing him back in his Saddle and taking his axe arm backwards. As the momentum pushed the two men apart the sword came down. It was perfection it was instant and it was death. What had felt like minutes had been over in less than five seconds. The Dane was strewn on the floor sword buried through his neck. Kirsten Deathbringer had found his Death. Hugh Fitz Baldrick was now a legend to his men. He stopped and turned in his saddle looking to his retainers. Catching Francois eye he calmly formed his words. “Come my men we ride for Caen, and after that you will follow me into Hell” Turning he rode away his men scrambling to catch up. Destiny awaited.

This time I only had one figure to paint, my mighty Warlord Hugh Fitz Baldrick.
I decided to give it my best efforts. I was really excited by this weeks challenge as the other guys know Batch painting drives me mad its so boring, I have always preferred one figure to paint a time.

I decided I would forgo my normal approach of base, wash and layer and this time avoided the wash sticking to using more layers for a more gradual finish between layers.

I am extremely pleased with the result especially the free hand shield and helmet having never attempted anything free hand before.

In future I will use even more layers for an even more gradual highlight but for my first effort at a blended style I am happy.

Hope you all enjoy , now boys bring on the battles!

so that's it for this segment of the "Tale of 4 gamers" all four warbands have been collected, modelled and painted for your delight....ahem.

i'm glad i've been able to showcase the other members of the Nerd Herd's painting skills including the fledgling like emergence of Damon's new found interest in painting miniatures (and I hope to showcase more of his work as he progresses).  i hope you've enjoyed this part as much as we have.  Monday we meet for the first time since Salute in April (Chris being in Sussex makes it difficult to meet regularly) and we are going to be playing against each others warbands in a round robin style, each of us will write up one of the battles as an AAR and these should be featured on this blog as a conclusion to the series.

hope you enjoy

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

New Bushido board - WIP

Hi all

I've decided my new faction for Bushido.  Considering the starter set is due to be released in August and the minis look amazing - It has to be Jung Pirates.  Now the rest of the faction no doubt will take a while to drip, drip out but I don't mind as I haven't got any gaming tokens for a few months until wedding anniversary and Christmas have aided the cause. So this isn't a post about the pirates themselves but about what they fight across....but here's a quick pic from the GCT website of the faction anyway.....hehehe.

I know - right!!

Now it wasn't just the awesomeness of the models that attracted me to the faction as lets face it GCT minis are ALL brilliant in their own way, but rather I was swayed by an unlikely source - the grumpy old boy himself - Joe of Zabadak's Zombie World fame.  His posts about his pirate project including his lovely ships which you can read here have really inspired me to build a special board for Bushido which might have passed for Silvermoon Trade Syndicate (a collection of street criminals and underworld merchants) which I really am interested in getting at some point, but instead what I had in mind just suits the Jung to a tee. Actually i would really like to see both factions battle across the board (in fact it has several times in my head....)

Anyway to the board, i wanted to build a themed board based around a harbour scene that not only looked the part but was fully functional i.e i could play most of the scenarios listed across it, a bit of a tall order considering how many there are. However recently I saw a board made by a chap called Richard Fairbrass, posting on a Bushido face book page I follow and it blew me away with how good it looked.

board by Richard Fairbrass - just excellent, I would love to game across this!!
You can see the idol objectives around the middle of the board and the various circular control zones and even the corner deployment zones that Richard has made into terrain features on the board, brilliant and totally inspiring.

Seeing the possibilities in it, I reached for artists  i'm not an artist lol but i do use them as they are 2'x2' squares and perfect for Bushido boards. The harbour would need to contain ships or boats (hence the Zabadak's inspiration part of this project) and these would also need to be playable across. This is what I've come up with.

So firstly i covered the canvas with a large piece of corrugated cardboard that i "borrowed" from Tesco, I think it was a tray for baked beans cut to 2' square and glued to the canvas for strength.  I then layed out all of the objective points onto the card, initially I got a bit confused with where they went but after finally labelling the top and the bottom of the board (seriously!?!) I managed to work it out....

then I had to decide how the board features I wanted would interact with these points.  So the board would be at the mouth of a river and would feature wooden piers for the boats to tie up alongside.  Initially I also wanted some kind of inn or seedy buildings in and around the harbour but what I settled for was twin markets that covered both sides of the river and joined by a wide bridge, the first market would be the usual food and goods type thing and the other would be a flesh market for the pirates to sell slaves for the pits and brothels.  to this end I added some of my polystyrene ceiling tiles that I had from my Temple board and cut them up like so and gluing them to the board. This would provide the relief on the board and represent the river/estuary. I added a 4" circle to the land portions to represent a raised platform for the overseers and moneylenders to look over their respective markets, which would be represented by the 8" circles (these are objectives in the game) I also added a little wooden fencing to break up line of sight.

the cups are being used as weights to aid the gluing process.
I also added cardboard edging to the board to make it look neater and to aid the resin pour for the water later on.  The whole board was then covered with filler that I got from a pound shop.

I then added some sand to the river bottom and the control zones and cat litter to the other areas to provide some general texture.  The board then received three coats of watered down PVA to seal the whole board and to provide some protection

The next step will be to use a red primer spray to cover the piece and then a brown spray and other colours for the various parts after that I can get started on the detail.  To that end I've already started building the boats which i will show you in another post.

hope you enjoy

Monday, 20 June 2016

because i'm a good guy...

Hi all

on my last post I said "you wouldn't want a picture of  ALL my Bushido collection to date....would you?"

It would appear that the majority of you would, those who regularly comment on this blog anyway.  So for them and as I'm a team player I've tried my best to get pictures of literally everything that I have finished for this awesome game.

my Yagura, dojo, 8" control zone, bamboo grove, Prefecture of Ryu faction

my buddha shrine, shinto shrine, 4" control zone and multi-faction models 

dice trays and faction dice, homemade status tokens and card box

my temple board and Temple of Ro-Kan faction

all of my Bushido minis together

There are some works in progress and my next post will show a few new things that i'm working on and i'm scheduled to face off against Damon next week for my first competitive games, so expect an AAR in the near(ish) future - these things take time to write up.  Friday of course is the concluding part of our "Tale of 4 Gamers" at least for the painting part, again there will be AAR's to follow and all of that stuff.

I'll leave you with a quick video of the collection in it's entirety (if it works, it didn't in the preview) you won't need sound as I do not talk at all. I hope this is satisfactory to those who wanted to see the lot....

But for now -
hope you enjoy!