Monday, 27 February 2017

derrr dum........derrrr dum.......dum, dum, dum,dum dum dum

cue the ominous music.........

Hi all

welcome to a new addition to da Grotto and joining his Jung Pirate Faction brethren meet Arata...

The fury of the Chrome Sea, the shark is the apex predator beneath the waves and Arata is just as frightening above water. Dazzlingly fast, driven wild by the smell of blood, he is a pure monster when unleashed. Whether savaging startled enemies with a maw of razor sharp teeth, or bowling then over with tremendous force he is a formidable warrior. Like all those changed by the great Kami    Sumiyoshi Sanjin, little is left of the man he once was but this does not matter in times of war.

As soon as this miniature was released I wanted him in my faction, in fact he was the reason I wanted the faction in the first place. I mean a frickin' Man-Shark for goodness sake! No matter what his stats were like or his rice cost he was gonna get caught in my net (ahem, sorry) as it happens his very reasonably priced in the game and worth the punt.

Looking at his card he stacks up pretty well, for just 7 rice he comes with 3 dice in melee with a charging bonus of slam attack (0) or an extra 1" to his move and sweep attack (0) if the model is wounded at all.  Causing models to lose a dice in melee or an activation through his "Fear (4)" trait enhances his chances of using those razor sharp teeth on his opponent! If he gets the Ki "Hammer Strike" all but ensures that he'll batter through any defence. He also comes stacked with "Sixth Sense" which is useful for sniffing out those pesky ninjas or seeing through the Bakemono induced "Darkness" that has been plaguing my games recently.  With a healthy 8 point wound track it's hard to find something not to like but then you get to "Impetuous" as a trait and you can see that tactically he's not all that subtle... This trait means he always has to be activated first which can be a real pain and can offer the tactical advantage to my opponent.  However not to worry, just point him at the enemy and let him munch his way through them with abandon!

Arata emerges from the briny deep to raid the market place...

or maybe he just wants a "freshly" cooked burger from the Cupid Burgers franchise stall

maybe he's not that hungry after all as he slips back into the harbour waters
Paint wise he was relatively simple as a I used GW "Fenresian Steel" as a base coat for his rubbery hide and coated it with a healthy dose of blue ink and highlighting up.  The breeches are the faction colours to tie it in chiefly GW's "Emperor's Children Pink" and shaded with red ink.  The base was a very simple sand to represent a piece of coastland.

Use wise, he's simply there to bring the pain! no point in him trying to work the scenario as he always has to go first, so just point and shoot - job done.

hope you enjoy

Friday, 24 February 2017


Hi all

Another fine addition to my Tengu faction is the mighty Hill Tribe warrior - Kanut....

Kanut, the leader of the hilltribes, is the father to all his people, a true hero, patient teacher and a stoic guardian. He is a great warrior, his acts and courage on the bloody field of battle dispelling doubt and instilling a fever in his warriors. Kanut is a resolute and effective, if direct, fighter. Skilled with the great axe delivering brutal blows to his enemies, those that run receive the sharp and stinging bite of one of his throwing axes, their edges as keen as any samurai sword. A veteran of many battles, wounded many times but seeming unwilling to die at the hands of his enemies.

With his high MS of 4 dice and +2 dam from his enormous axe, Kanut dishes out some severe punishment, if I decide to drop a dice and give him "powerful attack" he will gain a further +3 meaning he has an excellent chance of killing even an Oni!  Combine this with armour and his toughness and his Ki feat "Tenacious", he has a great chance of sticking around in a fight! With his "inspiration" Ki feat he can  boost a lower cost model in melee or their ranged attack as well so he can sit in the middle of the board and dominate it. Kanut will be an auto-include in my games and its easy to see why, that's if I can, for one minute stop breaking him....

Sadly I dropped the big man and broke off the axe head, I'm gutted.  I have superglued it back on, but of course that means it is now a weak point of the miniature and it is liable to happen over and over again.  This makes me sad....

base and shaded

hilights - pre break

Post repair, hopefully not too noticeable

This brings my Tengu faction to a temporary finish until Salute brings more reinforcements.  So in what has become the style I will post the full faction photo!

slightly weird doubling of the picture...

hope you enjoy

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Super Villains!

Hi all

During the US presidential elections the talented guys at Hasslefree Miniatures produced some eerily familiar faced models.  I'll let them introduce themselves...

15 years after Drumpf became the leader of the Free World, the planet is in a catastrophic state. The oceans have run dry, the air is toxic, the bees have died and we have run out of spray tan.
Maintaining leadership via the simple process of ignoring reality, the Tangerine Titan continues to hold power and in fact has seemingly grown younger, hairier and more orange than ever.

Leader of the opposition to Immortan Drumpf is the seemingly ageless warmonger Dr Evelyn Hill. Never seen without her equally ageless feline, Chairman Meow (Who some have guessed is just a series of carefully bred identical cats) or her unchangeable wardrobe.

Hill maintains her base of power from the gigantic nuclear bunker under Mount Rushmore and rumours persist that she has installed giant lasers into Washingtons eyes.

As you can imagine these quickly became a must have!  They were only produced in a limited run, in resin until the mold degraded to such a point where they could produce no more - even more of a reason to get them.  The only drawback is the price, these are very pricey models at £12.50 a pop.  A little eye-watering for some "funny little men".  However I was in luck as Missus Gobbo was in a fine mood, saw the humour in the miniatures and said I could get them.  Very quickly I placed an order, adding another miniature to the buy.  Some weeks later I received the parcel, it was weeks later because the guys at HF had had some medical problems (I really hope these are in the past now, if not get well soon guys!).  Not having any real plan for them I wasn't worried about a delay in the posting but as an apology the guys at HF added a free mini to the order! total result!  Anyhoo, a couple of weeks after receiving them I have got around to painting them.  

Now I wanted to do something special with them as they were expensive and they were awesome minis so deserved the extra effort.  To this end I thought about the bases I wanted for them. To show you how I put the bases together I recorded the assembly and have uploaded it to YouTube the link to which is here.

Paint wise, I used a limited palette for "not" Hilary, painting her Dr Evil/North Korean Dictator suit a muted grey.  Chairman Meow had to be painted in the classic Bond Villain white fur and just to add a bit of flair she is wearing light pink trainers/sneakers.

As for the "not" Donald, the skin tone had to have a very orangey feel so I added 50% Orange Brown to my flesh mix and shaded with reikland flesh wash before highlighting with the light tone mix and then adding more wash.  The Don's suit was based on recent images of the oaf's amazingly unattended inauguration with a power red tie and gold belt buckle.  I love the backwards "R" on his name tag suggesting his Russian connection or his idiocy - or both (I love the tongue in cheek humor in Kev's figures).  The troll doll is painted in the same flesh and hair tones as the main man himself.

These miniatures won't be consigned to a dusty shelf though as I fully intend to use them in some 7TV2e games, I just need to find some suitable miniatures to represent the minions.  Once I find some then the two worst candidates in US presidential history can face each other again, this time away from the dispatch box!!

However those of you who watched the video of how I made the bases (if there is anyone watching) will have noticed a third base and those of you who have paid attention to this post will have noticed I mentioned a third figure.  So i will introduce you to Leonard, my third super villain.  Here's the HF blurb...

Leonard is a man with plans to match his frame, big. Starting as a lowly bouncer at a mob-owned club, moving up to enforcer he still has his sights set on larger goals.  Seen here in the best suit he can currently afford and armed with.. himself. It's enough, trust us.

HFA155 Leonard

So Leonard is a man on the rise not quite in the heady heights of super-villainary yet but surely its in his future.  He can either be used as a side kick to either Drumpf or Hill or a lower level villain to combat an emergent "good" faction or a street thug gang. My version has him in a darker grey suit and a pink shirt and red tie and added to my third sci-fi base.

a fine trio of bad guys, now I need to find some gang members/minions for this lot and maybe even some good guys - TMNT anyone?

hope you enjoy

Monday, 20 February 2017

a big thank you

Hi all

a couple of "thank yous" today, just to get back into the swing of things.

Firstly, thank you for all the kind wishes and thoughts from those of you in the blogging world following my recent bereavement.  The very sudden loss of my mother was a shock to me and my family and the support I've received from friends, colleagues and fellow bloggers has been both humbling and much needed, I truly thank you all.

Secondly, I recently commented on another blog written by the awesome Lord Siwoc from Brains and Guts regarding my favourite of all films (even more than Mad Max 2) the most excellent - The Warriors.

Image result for The Warriors

The 1979 classic was one of the first films I ever saw on VHS video! and a film I watch at least 3 or 4 times a year.  Anyway onto the thank you, Clint from ANYTHING BUT A 1 saw my comment and informed me that he had a copy of the original book, not the one of the film but the one that inspired the film.  Not only that but he would send the copy to me for me to borrow - What a gent!  So thanks a million Clint, I'm enjoying it immensely :-)

With that in mind I'm now looking for 28mm miniatures of the Warriors.  There was a kickstarter a while back that never came to fruition by Ghetto Miniatures, I think there was an issue with copyright or something.  However they did come up with these beauts!

Image result for the warriors boppers miniatures

I need these......or something like them.  Any ideas gratefully received.

Lastly not a thank you but a link to my latest YouTube video, the 4th battle from "The Starter Set Wars" a series of Bushido games charting mine and Damon's mini tournament, you can thank ME later ;-P

hope you enjoy

Monday, 13 February 2017

A brief intermission

hi all

No hobby post from me today, as last night I had to say goodbye to my mum.  It was all very sudden and came out of the blue, no illness or decline in health, just one minute she was here and the next she wasn't.  This has obviously left me and my family in a state of shock and with a lot to process. So this post really has a few purposes.

firstly is to explain why I might not be commenting on my favourite blogs for a bit - it's not that I'm not reading them but...

Secondly to ask you to bear with me as there will be a pause on posts from me for a bit as although I have already prewritten some posts I feel that I want to take a week or so and process. 

Thirdly the NHS in the U.K. is one of the most amazing institutions ever created and staffed by this country's (and many others) finest, kindest and most caring people, it is a credit to this country and must never be taken for granted - EVER!

Lastly and most importantly, don't take it for granted that your loved ones know how you feel about them. Tell them often and always, hold them close and treat them well as you literally have no idea when it may be the last opportunity you have to do so.

Take care

Friday, 10 February 2017

Control Zones and other terrain pieces.

Hi all

Some background first, so missus Gobbo got some fancy chocolate mints over xmas she scoffed said chocs (with the help of a certain rotund Gobbo) and then took a long critical look at the packaging, without blinking an eye she hands it to me and said "that'll make something interesting for your funny little men stuff".  Having gotten used to the terminology that my better half has for our hobby, I shrugged off the "funny little men" comment and looked at what she handed me and by jove she was right!  This is what she gave me....

Right away I thought pond or portal!  Measuring the width of the piece the diameter of the wall is 4" from just inside the wall.  This is perfect as a zone of control in Bushido - so Koi pond it is!  Now I already have a Koi pond that I made some months ago for my Temple board but it really is a decorative piece only, I wanted this to have function, plus I had received some plastic Koi from Master-Crafted Miniatures for xmas (among other things by Ben).  First up it needed a base as the plastic is very thin and flimsy.  To that end I found a piece of 3mm MDF that had been part of a broken laptray and marked out a shape.  I liked the octagonal shape of the piece so replicated that for my base.

I then liberally covered the piece in homemade textured paint (PVA/Filler/paint/fine sand), idea courtesy of Luke Fellows of  Luke's APS.

With that done I then used filler on the base to create flagstones and gave the whole model another generous coat of textured paint to strengthen the plastic.

I then gave it a couple of washes with some homemade black ink.

Then drybrushed to achieve the stone look I wanted.  Then I made up some vines/creepers out of Lichen, flock and watered PVA and applied it to the model as well as some reeds made out of an old scrubbing brush and hotglued to the base, adding a Koi to the bottom hiding among the reeds.

To get this...

The next step was to fill the pond.  Now I could have used clear water effects to fill the pond but I wanted a slightly stagnant look to the water, no electric water pumps and filters here... So I used the cheap resin from Poundland to fill the pond adding 3 more Koi as I layered up the water.  I have to confess to rushing this bit as dinner was nearly ready so there are bubbles in the water but they don't look too out of place.

What I din't bank on was the plastic slightly melting in the heat of the reaction of the resin so I had o rebuild the wall a bit but this is the finished product.  Weirdly the models will fight across the top of the pond as they have to be in the zone to control it, but I like the idea of the fighters splashing through the serene pond in an effort to get at their foes, plus I like the look of it - so there!

Of course the scenarios in Bushido demand three such 4" zones so I had to put my thinking cap on. Yup I always had my circular disc cutter that my son had bought me for xmas and that I'd attempted to use before attached to a power drill resulting in the scars I'm currently sporting on my left hand...

Not quite back to the drawing board but a little revision to the earlier plan was required.  Attaching the cutter to a hand powered drill and switching the clear acrylic for 3mm MDF and I came up with a nifty little idea.  I wanted to have faction specific control zones to mark each as friendly, neutral and enemy.  What I mean by that is a zone that is marked up with that factions symbol so as to easily identify which is which.  This should look visually pleasing and give an idea to a third party watching the game where the action is.  Now rather than make up 8 zones (or more when the range increases) I thought I would make three zones (I added a third in case I couldn't fit the Koi pond, which would be neutral, in to the available space) that could be adapted each game.  Rather than a slow, picture by picture tutorial on how I did it, I actually recorded me making the last one and have posted it to my YouTube channel the link to which is here.

Now each faction can have their symbol in the middle of their zone, simple and effective I think.

Lastly, while i was in the terrain making zone (sorry) I picked up some pieces from the Pet's at Home aquarium section as they are on special 3 for 2.  With a little bit of tweaking they make very acceptable Bushido terrain pieces.

MDF base

homemade creepers

bamboo cage and Rabbits! (from warbases)

I had to fill in the openings for the statue as I wanted it to look solid

I think that it's hard to tell my additional brickwork once the home made creepers are added

Master Ekusa contemplates the meaning of existence in front of the statue

Yumi and Kenko spar in front of the Warrior

that's it for this very long post

Hope you enjoy