Space Hulk and my hate for Genesteelers


Space Hulk was one of those games that my pals and I played during college till we wore out the board. Easy rules, lots of scenarios and add ons, and easy to expand into bigger games. Here's the thing though- I really hate painting Genesteelers.

It's actually less of a hate than a, "I just can't get it right" feeling. We've all had that miniature that doesn't work for us- Genesteelers are mine.
Someone else's fantastic paint job. I never liked the purple and black look.
Skip ahead a... bunch of years and I'm wanting to introduce my Fosslings to the great feeling of the game and the minimalist chance of survival for the good guys. I score a second edition set of the game at the local game flea market for a great deal, open it up and see all the nicer tiles... then those damn bugs start in on me.  I play a couple of pick up games with a mate to see if the rules still hold- yep pretty solid, but notice that the new fancier Genesteeler poses are all over the place and keep falling over. Dynamic, but not built for a game table, especially one with bevelled tile pieces.


So my goal with these guys is to get them painted but with the least amount of time. I'm dedicating 10 minutes each to the minis in hopes to get them to a "table top" worthy look.  The first step was to  create more stable bases, so I took a sci fi design I already had done up and made 30 x 30mm bases (the size of a move tile on the board) and glued them all to a bug. Some trimming was involved (again, didn't the sculptors know what these were for?) but the end result was much more stable.

Yay no more tipsy bugs knocking each other over!
 The next step I had kind of already figured out on a test model to see if the 10 minute paint job was doable to something I'd like/ accept.  I took all the models and rattlecan primed grey on the base and underbellies, then used a bone color spray for the top and sides. I figure in a dark space hulk they are going to be no so much underlit, so less details needed from me.

Masking was done on the fly with my rubber gloved hands.

In order to hit my goals I wanted them models to pop out a bit but still have a gooey bug feeling. I went for a metallic green carapace by mixing dark green with Pearl X pigment. It gives a great result quickly.
Ignore the slop- I'm on a timer! 

next I painted hands and head with dwarf flesh or maiden flesh (experimenting which I like best)
and claws and teeth with  Mechrite red. Then a Wash of Agrax earth shade from the top down and some Nuln oil from the bottom up, and I'm calling them done.
Buggy enough to shoot with a bolter!

In a group the details get lost and the  claws come out!

I was able to get 5 full models done in an hour, plus hit all the models with the Carapace green, which I did because I had over mixed a bunch and didn't want to waste it.  Once they are all done, I reckon that I won't be able to help myself by doing a bit of touch up and highlighting, as well as some detail work.

So, tell me, what miniatures are your painting bane?


This is how you get Evil

You want evil? Because this is how you get evil!

Wire frame Maquettes from Drew Day Williams- can you guess what they will become?


Killer Rabbits

                                                              Stay tuned for more!


Wee Battle tackle

Sword is 30cm long, shield is 28cm.
I'm heading up to the north lands (of Montreal) tomorrow for a wedding, and will get to meet a good friends wee son for the first time. I have made the young prince some battle tackle for his upcoming 1 year old adventures.

The sword blade is poplar, with Oak hilt. The handle is velvet ribbon. I was inspired by the Rohirrim on this design.  The shield is 3mm birch plywood with poplar handle. the boss is made out of a metal ramekin. Normally I just epoxy them on, but they take some smacking, so this time I riveted it on for extra support.

You can see more projects of wee war gear here.



Triumph of Death: Zweihander Dopplesoldier

Zweihander throwing shade and ready to fight!

Zweihander skeleton posing jauntily. Another great Drew Day Williams sculpt for my upcoming Triumph of Death II Kickstarter.  All of the painted singles will become a set that will be an option for backers.

Super clean castings from Firing line miniatures

My concept for this fine fellow.


Triumph of Death: Drummer Casting Preview

Another awesome sculpt by Drew Day Williams for my upcoming Triumph of Death II Kickstarter. This guy is based on the drummer in the background of a Hans Holbein Totentanz woodcut.

This is the piece where I saw the drummer. I was struck by his attitude of pose- death does not stop a good beat- or big hair, apparently.

Inspired, I went to work on some concept sketches, trying to see how a mini could be posed and built. Of course Drew Day Williams once again nailed it!

I'm super stoked how the first set for the Triumph of Death II Kickstarter are coming along. Now to get some paint on the first set and get everything else organized.

Cheers, thanks for taking a gander!


Burgundian War Wagon

Circle the wagons!

What's this you say? Well, its a long story... over a years worth actually. I was looking at some wood cuts of renaissance camps and fortifications and there is a particular wagon that keeps showing up in the Burgundian and Landsknecht era pieces. Basically a movable wall with fire ports, doors that slide, and often depicted with a swivel gun int them. I was intrigued and wanted to know more. Whom to turn to?
War wagons used as a defensive wall. Not the cannon placed between them
Luckily we are part of a community that has widespread talent and focuses, and I was able to draw upon the brains of both  David Imrie, aka Saxon Dog (owner of Claymore Castings) and Simon Chick (now owner of Steel Fist miniatures) for more information and inspiration. For one I learned that they were primarily Burgundian, and Simon provided me with a plethora of period images, some of which are shown here.

Another period drawing, showing swivel gun. 
I like how the rein-actors have removed the back doors and use them for extra cover. 
inspiration for crew- also shows you these wagons are not that wide...
With new information, I went about making several mock ups and prototypes. Challenges were using materials that 'felt" the right thickness for the scale, how to make the yoke look the part, sliding doors, and eventually could I design this to be a production model where it is easy to build and use.

Early scale tests. Doors and roof were first made with thick matte board
Getting scale down. I eventually swapped to a 1.5mm matte board which really works well
A shot of the undercarriage; ease of assembly and strength work to balance accuracy.

The big finish

So I worked off and on on this project for over a year, with stints of working, sending off pics or actual pieces to Simon for critique. Once it was where we both liked it, I talked Drew Day Williams into sculpting a swivel gun and had some cast.  I used this as the model for the piece.

 Then it was assemble paint and see how it all shook out. The main body is 3mm MDF and the doors, angled rooftop and hubcaps (to give the wheels that period feel) are 1.5mm matte board.
With a Steel Fist mini- love that armor!


Here with the better 1.5mm roof and sliding doors- also the hubcaps
With swivel gun. 

So now what?

Well, after some parlaying, I've turned the design to Steel Fist Miniatures, where they will be sculpting a crew for the swivel gun, and some gunners I believe. I'll either cut the pieces here and send them over the pond, or, we'll find someone in the UK to cut them. All that is somewhere in the process now, and out of my hands.

On my end, I'm going to make up a bunch for my self, and most likely have a "skeleton crew" sculpted up for them to add to my Triumph of Death line. 

Thanks for taking a look and I'm keen on what you think of them. 


Kublacon 2018: Breaking Lances Tournament

I usually run two games at Kublacon, one each Saturday and Sunday mornings through the afternoon. This year I ran my ImagiNations on Saturday (see last blog post) And my someday upcoming Breaking Lances game on Sunday.

Young knights and... full aged, enjoy Breaking Lances

Herald's eye view of the tournament.
Stalwart Veteran gamer Ms C has been gaming with me since age 5

 The tournament had 12 players with double elimination. 4 of the players had jousted before, and definitely had a bit of a home field advantage- at least at first. The rest of the players caught on very quickly and much splintering of lances and sundering of dice was made.
The left side charges in faster than some can reach

I've added foot combat to the rules.
Finalists with High renown skills doing deadly damage at each pass
The tournament went very well, with the last 3 knights having levelled up their renown skills making them deft with a horse and deadly with a lance. To round out the finals a "wild card" knight was picked.  Having only one renown skill point, and not the best luck at reading his opponent, he was very abruptly schooled. The Winning knight was, I believe, 9 or 10 years of age.

For those knights who got knocked out of the joust early, there was foot combat across a barrier- a new thing I've added to the Breaking Lances rules, which tested pretty well over all (phew)!

I really do "heart" the Kublacon staff!

Thanks again to all those who came to play, and also a big shout out to the staff of Kublacon, who are always helpful, happy and know what's what! 


ImagiNations: Battle of Woodenstadt

ImagiNations: Battle of Woodenstadt

Kublacon game convention this year was a hoot, seeing lots of old friends, making new ones, and running and playing games. Saturday I ran a Wars of ImagiNations scenario using my 54mm woodens. For rules I used highly modified Warmaster rules... probably to the point where I can, with a few  key changes, have my own set of rules that work best for this period and scale of game.
Usually I pick a half a dozen pics to show; I couldn't really narrow it down this time (and I'm still a bit... okay a lot sleepy from the con) so you guys get an eyeful. Hopefully the hit the spot. 

Birds eye view of the table. Up here is where the coffee is located.

Veteran sheep holding the center

Forthwegg forces and allies surround the city

Empress P's troops, led by Baron Fossmeisterhaus attempt to break the siege

The scenario:

The Forthweggian army and it's allies have encircled the town of  Woodenstadt, which is desperately holding out against the siege. Empress P has ordered her Marshall, Baron Fossmeisterhaus to lead her army and break the siege, and has taken her coach to directly oversee the battle. 
Cavalry advance on Forthwegg right and left flanks

Objective- capture the hill And that cool shirt!
Cavalry charge near the woods. Much carnage!

The counter advance!

Baron Fossmeisterhaus advances the army, much to the chagrin of the sheep.

obligatory group shot.
Forthwegg troops decided to take the initiative and were keen on capturing the Empress' coach as well as herself.  Both flanks of cavalry charged in as the infantry made a somewhat haphazad advance.

The killing fields. Actually the guns missed more than hit in this battle.
Forthwegg forces make a final push with their reserves.
Final Outcome: Woodenstadt saved!

As the battle raged there was much carnage, but the Empress' army made a big push through the center and ended up surrounding Lord Marshal Wiley of the Fortwegg army. Woodenstadt was saved! 
Marching over the killing fields. Oh the woodemanity!
The Empress is happy. 

It was a great game, with wonderful players. I think we started around 10:30, and had come to a full conclusion (and 11 or 12 turns) by 1:30pm.   Thanks again for all that played, or came by and said hi!