The Workbench This Week, 28 Feb 2022

Plague and megalomaniac idiot dictators waging unprovoked war on democracies and idiots honking in stupid pickup trucks… let us distract ourselves with some modelling instead, shall we?

The workbench this weekend. Based and mushrooms and plague monks and ECW and much else!

So what was, in fact, on the workbench this weekend? Starting on the lower left of the cutting mat, we have a batch of 25mm/1″ plastic bases with greenstuff cobbles added to the top, these eventually to have some “town watch” kitbashed figures on them – probably Warlord ECW pikemen bodies with Frostgrave parts for some arms.

Heading clockwise, we have some awesome Fenris Games mushrooms, the first I’ve finished from their massive Sporewood set from the 2021 Toadstool Brownie kickstarter. I’ve based four of them onto a chunk of scrap 1/8th plastic and will get that finished up soonish; the fifth mushroom painted is lying on the left there.

At the back of the cutting mat behind the Fenris-supplied “Love Miniatures Hate Fascism” stickers are sixteen Bloody Miniatures English Civil War chaps, their Company of Wolves bundle of their Wave One releases, also from early 2021. Really lovely figures, full of character. Bloody Miniatures has produced two more batches of sixteen since then and Wave Four is on the way; I’ve held off on buying Waves Two and Three because up until a few weeks ago Wave One was still all boxed up…

The five Fenris plague cultists, all set to lead ominous processions through a fantasy city.

Finally in the foreground we have five Fenris Games Plague Cultists all finished and ready to terrorize a table soon. Their bases were the test run for the urban bases off to the left there. I wanted grubby urban cobblestones and I think it worked. Nice simple figures full of character, too, and beautifully easy to paint up.

Hobby progress despite the state of the wider world, and that is never a bad thing. Stay safe, stay sane, and hobby onward!

A Trash Bash Tower

A few days into January I had a fall that destroyed my glasses and injured my shoulder, both of which combined to cut down the amount of time I was able to spend on the computer. The upside of this, as I still needed something to do, was that I started a random construction project and completed it in about three weeks. (glasses have been replaced and shoulder is nicely on the mend, too)

Over the Christmas holidays I had painted up an entire village of really cool Toadstool Brownies from Fenris Games (they’ll get their own post soon) so I decided to trash bash a multi-story tower for them to cause trouble from, a sort of weird fantasy cross between a fortified tower house and a tenement apartment building.

I started with a medium size paper coffee cup from a widely available but deeply mediocre coffee chain, glued that to a scrap of 1/8th PVC sheet a bit bigger than my hand, then started adding details with scrap cardstock, wood coffee stir sticks, bits of styrofoam, paper, and Milliput.

This hasn’t actually graced a table yet, but I’m sure it will soon, and I want to write up stats for the Toadstool Brownies as either playable characters or random on-table nuisances for the games we play!

I haven’t done a pure stratchbuild like this in a while, but really want to do more, and weird fantasy builds are SO much fun!

An entry for Lead Adventure’s Build Something Competition 2022 – a farm!

Each year Lead Adventure forum runs a Build Something Competition, each with a theme. Brian and I have participated 5 times at various points in the past years. So with 2022 here, I figured it was my time again.

Continue reading An entry for Lead Adventure’s Build Something Competition 2022 – a farm!

Links of Interest, 9 January 2022

First LoI post of the new year! Just a couple of things, mostly to get the BSC link out while entries are still open!

On the scenery front, this trio of useful little bridges with a neat construction trick involved to keep them more game-friendly from Olicanalad’s Games blog.

Over on the excellent Lead Adventure Forum, the Build Something Contest 2022 is accepting entries and already some some great discussions and ideas being posted. Highly recommended, the BSC always has some fun and gorgeously executed projects coming out of it. I don’t think I’ll be participating this year, but I’ll be watching the whole thing closely!

Bring Out Your Dead

These dead might be able to take themselves out, actually.

Basing still to be determined but painting finished on my first fifteen figures of 2022. These are North Star’s Oathmark skeletons; the other half of the pack is in Corey’s hands for painting and part of the reason the basing is unfinished is I’m waiting to see if we’re going to coordinate basing or just do our own thing individually.

Fifteen Oathmark skeletons, with some additions from other companies. Click for larger.

The big skull on their unit banner, and the bird and goat-ish skulls on two of the skeletons, are from GW’s Skulls pack, which is probably the most purely GW product GW has ever, it its long and illustrious history, produced. It’s also damn useful for kitbashing and scenery building and to date, the only GW product I’ve ever bought retail that wasn’t paint!

The painting was deliberately quick and simple. Grey primer with a white zenithal overspray, Reaper Stained Ivory mixed 1:1 with glaze medium for the base coat, Coal Black and Clotted Red for all the cloth and equipment, Intense Brown for leather strapping, Tarnished Steel or GW Dwarf Bronze for metal bits. After that was all dry, a fairly heavy coat of GW Seraphim Sepia over the whole figure, and then a quick highlight of the bone bits with Stained Ivory again.

This gave me a good looking hoard of dead folk to throw onto the table when we next face a necromancer in Sellswords or other games, and I have some good skeleton bits to throw into the kitbashing bits bin!

An End to 2021 At Last!

Personally and hobbywise, it’s not been a terrible year, although it’s been a bit low on the number of blog posts, overall. But for the rest… yeesh. Good bye and good riddance, 2021!

A bit of year end figure painting, with the faithful feline assistant in the foreground making things warmer but more awkward! Wargames Atlantic plastic skeletons for our fantasy skirmish stuff, whenever current circumstances allow us to resume in person gaming! Click, as usual, for larger.

With the surge in Omicron cases locally we’ve stopped in-person gaming again, out of an abundance of caution. We will probably resume sometime in January, but it’ll be back to webcam Gaslands for a bit in the first couple weeks of 2022.

A quick count shows 22 blog entries here in 2021, far more in the first half of the year than as the year wore on. Not bad, but I would like to get a bit more momentum going through 2022!

To that end, I’ve joined the PaintSlam community and their Discord channel; like a lot of wargaming social media it’s heavily GW-focussed but by no means exclusive to GW in any way. I’m “Vemundr” on most Discord channels, due to having started on Discord for Society for Creative Anachronism reasons, so if you’re on the PaintSlam Discord discussion group feel free to say hi!

Here’s to an improved 2022 for everyone over 2021! Stay safe, get your booster when you can, and try to get some gaming in!

Deer God? Dear God!

I’ve been on a kick of assembling and basing figures in batches the last little while, and also (as you can tell) not been doing much of the ol’ blogging this year… Anyway, right in the middle of assembling a couple of dozen Toadstool Brownies from the big Fenris Miniatures Toadstool Kickstarter earlier this year, the loot from the Fenris KS after that, the Wyrdworld one with all sorts of cool anthropomorphized animal figures showed up!

I decided that I needed to base and assemble Brutolph, the Giant Elk right away, because it is a truly spectacular figure.

Brutolph’s business end. Click for larger.

That’s a 40mm circular base our big deer is on, with his arms, spear and antlers just dry fitted for now until all the Milliput on his base is properly cured.

Brutolph alongside a 28mm Warlord ECW figure on a 25mm base. Click for larger.

To the top of his antlers he’s just shy of 3″ tall, and that spear is longer than that!

Brutolph from overhead, with Fenris Toadstool Brownies in the background holding up the awesome “Love Miniatures, Hate Fascism” stickers, also from Fenris. Click, as usual, for larger.

I’ll get Brutolph’s arms and antlers properly installed over the next few days and then he and the whole village of Toadstool Brownies will be off for priming. I’m not actually sure how I’ll be painting him up, but might go slightly weird as I intend to use the figure as a forest god/spirit of the deep forest type!

Necromancer necro-d, a Sellswords & Spellslingers adventure

We’ve been playing a fair amount of Sellswords and Spellslingers, a fairly light coop fantasy skirmish game. I picked it up on a lark, as I wanted something different it looked fun. Years ago Brian and I played a fair amount of Song of Blades & Heroes by the same author, which is a competitive, fast-play fantasy skirmish ruleset. You can read about one of our games many years ago here:

We recently we played through the Necromancer in the Tower scenario, something we’ve tried and failed before. Be warned, SS&SS can be a brutal game and losing your entire team is not unknown.

This scenario is pretty simple – fight your way through to the necromancer in the tower, kill them and then fight your way out. Like all SS&SS games, the game begins with a few foes scattered throughout the map, some deployed as hordes and some individually. To makes things interesting, I pulled out some skeletal dinosaurs I found a few years ago and meant to turn into museum exhibits for pulp but never did.

Start of our Sellswords game
Opening of the game, with the tower in the middle

The game opened with the three dinosaurs nicely split across the board and us on the road into the tower. Early turns had us pick off the straggler skeletons and make good progress towards the tower. It looked to be going swimmingly, save for Brian rolling a 1 with his wizard, putting him out of magic. Which is where things go wrong.

We run a custom event deck, one that takes a few of the monster spawning cards and adds a few new monster moving cards. One of which is Target on your Back. It causes the nearest non-Minion foe to target that PC to the exclusivity of anybody else.

Custom event cards for Sellsword
Some of our custom event cards, including the Target on Your Back card

This card has caused chaos in previous games – a bear ran across the table, the PC it was attacking ran off the table, so it promptly killed two other PCs in revenge. In this game, it was no different. In two turns, the ceratops charged pretty much all the way across the map, attacking my main character, the wizard Green Hat. Who promptly went down, followed by my bruiser fighter, Mohawk. And then one of Brian’s figures. Here is where the necromancer’s ability to save their undead came in – the ceratops saved 3 different hits that would have killed it, each by a figure that later died by its horn.

Final battle with the skeletal ceratops
Hordes of skeletons attacking Sean, a skunk keeping Brian at bay and the skeletal ceratops having taken down 2 out of my 3 PCs

At this tense moment, nobody could really help me, as Sean was battling 12 skeletons in and around the tower, a merging of about 4 hordes of them, some in the tower, some outside. And Brian’s PCs were pinned by the skunk, a wandering monster that while it can’t harm directly, can you make you smell real good.

Thankfully a few targeted ranged attacks took out the necromancer and with it, most of the skeletons evaporated. And then the ceratops finally went down, but not before doing a lot of damage.

All in all, a fun game and while lethal, we actually managed to succeed, unlike a decent number of our games.

Game Details

We were running 80 XP parties, with Sean and Brian each having four figures to my 3. Each of us had a spellcaster and a ranged figure.

Stats for the Dinosaurs

All the dinosaurs were run with the following:

DL 14 HP 4 DMG 2

All had Bony Undead as per the Skeletal Warrior card – which makes them harder to hit by arrows and easier by crushing weapons (which apparently none of us had)

  • Brachiosaurus
    • Tail Sweep – everybody with 1″ takes DL 12 attack or falls prone
    • Trample – everybody in path of moving is attacked
  • Centrosaurus
    • Gore – when charging, DL is 16 (as per Greater Minotaur)
  • Hadrosaur
    • Trample as per above

The board

The board was pretty simple. The mat itself is a custom SS&SS mat I have been working on for a while now and will write up soon. The necromancer’s tower is a 3D print of the Abandoned Lighthouse by escaroth on Thingiverse, while the trees are from Vegetation B by terrain4print. The bushes are new, adapted from Luke @ Geek Gaming Scenics. Will write those up too soon.

Fire, Explosion, and Wreckage Markers for Tiny Boats

Sometime earlier in the pandemic I ordered a batch of 1/1200 3d printed stuff from Shapeways, who use some sort of resin printing to get incredible detail on their prints. I keep meaning to write up that purchase in a proper review, I took a bunch of photos of everything I bought, but nevermind…

One place I have used a few of the 3d printed bits is in some wreckage markers. I bought a sprue of inflatable liferafts, and the sprue of boats included traditional life boats in several sizes, so I popped a few of those onto 1″ styrene bases as wreckage markers, or possibly as scenario goals – rescue downed aircrew or stranded squadronmates, that sort of thing.

Wreck and rescue markers for naval gaming, and the first two fire/explosion markers behind.

I also did up a batch of fire/explosion markers, also on 1″ bases. These are pretty simple things, made up mostly of hot glue splatted and “sculpted” with the tip of the hot glue gun. Holding the bases upside down and twisting them back and forth as the glue stretched and cooled helped, and for several of them I dunked them into the cool water of my paint rinse pot to help “freeze” the shapes. A few of them have wire centres but the most interesting ones don’t and I won’t bother with that step if I do any more.

Various explosion markers in progress. You can see the wire core in the one second from right, but don’t bother with this step if you do your own like this.

After the glue had cooled and I’d cleaned the thready wisps of glue off that hot glue so often leaves, I glued on a bit of medium flock as extra texture, which works nicely.

All the explosion markers painted, lightly drybrushed, and the first coat of gloss added to the water.

The explosion markers got a black basecoat. I considered trying to paint actual fire on them, but decided to just do a bit of a grey drybrush, mostly on the very tops, and leave them at that.

The boat sticking out of one base, about to be engulfed in an explosion, is one of the Shapeways 3d printed ones, left a generic grey so it could be from any side of the war. I cut the stern few millimeters off that boat to tuck it into the body of the explosion a bit more, then used that boat piece on the fire marker just visible on the far right of the photo above.

The Shapeways stuff makes for nice extra bits, and the explosion markers are super easy to make. These little pieces should make for some interesting extra colour during our next games of messing about in tiny boats.

Links of Interest, 11 August 2021

Quiet around here as I’m not doing a lot of gaming, painting, or terrain building this summer. Too busy with other things! I did have a couple of fantastic games of WW2 coastal forces earlier in August, and will get those photos up here in the next little while.

I recently got a well-stuffed box of awesome stuff from Fenris Games as part of their Toadstool Brownies Kickstarter, including whole forests full of mushrooms and some really neat tiny brownie and kobold figures. I’ll get some more photos of those and get some sort of review up soon-ish.

On to links… over on Empire of Ghosts we have some rather nice small scale islands in two styles, one tropical for Caribbean/the Med and one more northerly for the North Sea. They’re nominally 6mm or 1/300 to match the Warlord Cruel Seas boats and others, but as designed they’re pretty scale-neutral and the basic ideas will serve for even smaller scales too.

My excellent local game store started carrying UV resin and I picked some up a while ago, intending to try it out for windows in various buildings. Usefully, I just found this tutorial on using UV resin for windows over on the Comm Guild blog, which should prove useful when I finally get around to finishing the MDF church I started a few years ago.

More content here as the summer comes to an end in a month or so, I promise!

Wargaming & Such (formerly Brian's Wargaming Pages)