Saturday 18 December 2010

Fascination with Low-Tech

Hello there again!

Anyone that knows me well enough will know that I am fascinated by lots of 'low tech' things. For example, my cameras of choice are the Olympus OM1-n and a DIANA Plastic TOY camera, based on a model from the 50s (which cost $1 at the time IIRC).

I have just found these wonderful Wargames pieces by an American Chap called 'Dale'.

They seem wonderfully simple to make, but the challenge, I am sure is finding the right parts.
(Image taken from Dale's Blog without permission. I did NOT make this lovely soldier)
In the UK this appears to be rather difficult! Our culture doesn't respect 'folk art' as much as the USA does (for example, Ceramics is a thriving subject in American Art Schools, in the UK all the Ceramics courses at various universities are being shut down and replaced by *shudder* computer based design (CAD)).

Now I think this is a massive shame, I have spoken to my lovely Girlfriend, Hannah about it and she loves the idea of them. She thinks they would be very personal hand-me-downs some day and just a treasured family heirloom.

I have been considering what 'period' to base them on. I was thinking Napoleonic because it is the Hackneyed ideal... However, Crimean screams out at me, because I used to have a Wooden Soldier that was approx 120mm tall in British Guards uniform.

I am also considering WW1. This would be an odd option, but the option for little tanks and things is there.

There's also Fantasy! Tolkien! Wizards, goblins, trolls, elves!

Or all of them, which is basically what I WANT to do, but I know I won't be able to.

I am even thinking of storage. It would be a nice Wooden box with a sort of 'wine rack' insert, each 'hole' being taken up by one soldier. For a good wargame, you need at least 12 aside, so that's 24 soldiers, without taking cavalry, guns or tanks into consideration... Not to mention scenery! A lot of the scenery could be 2Dimensional painted Wood, representing fields or ponds. Material cut into strips could become roads and hills could be levels of wooden trays atop one another.

Luckily there is an electric rotary sander attached to the bench in the garage, so there is potential to make all sorts of other things. Fir trees, for example, would be very simple to make.

Lastly, a hand written 'guide'. What the two forces are, why I chose them. Why I made them, how old I am and what I am doing at the moment. Oh and of course, the 'Rules'.
Give me your thoughts one and all.

Thursday 9 December 2010

Current obsessions...

Hello there, it has been an extraordinarily long time since I last posted here. This is beginning to become the theme of my irregular posts!

I saw something rather wonderful on the Internet whilst doing Artist research for my Degree (Fine Art BA if you don't know). I knew of the painter Albert Edelfelt, as the horrid Teacher of one of my favourite painters and drawers, the Austrian Artist Egon Schiele, but never did I think to look at his work.

I took a look today and I am in sheer awe! My current Wargaming project is, as usual, for Flintloque and is 'Skandavians', mainly focusing on Trolka and Trolkin (Swedish and Danish). Edelfelt's drawings and paintings sometimes feature the Russo-Swedish war and Finnish War! Both of which are perfect references for Flintloque!

Here are a few rather inspiring images:

As you can see, all very inspiring stuff!
Anywho, back to painting up more of the big guys then!!!

Thursday 17 June 2010


Hey guys

Thought I'd take a moment out to talk books.
Under Steve Blease's advice on 'must read VSF', I read Edison's Conquest of Mars. Written for an American newspaper, it is meant to be the sequel to War of the Worlds. It was actually written before War of the worlds was even in print!

However, as a seperate book, it is very inspiring when it comes to ideas for games and models, as a sequel it is, if for a better word, shite. It holds very little in common with the social commentary of War of the Worlds and reads more like a science book. But I guess that's why it is Science fiction, not Romantic Science. Others have pointed out that Serviss makes a lot of changes which are quite specific to war of the worlds, almost as if to make the book 'work' for him. Very odd.

I suggest it to anyone interested in VSF, I found it enjoyable.

I am currently reading the 'Trolltooth Wars' by Steve Jackson, last time I tried to read it, I was about 8, and got to the end of the first page and gave up. I was like that until I was about 17, so I have decided to give it a go now. It is very dated Fantasy War fiction, but reading it is giving me ideas for various generic Fantasy forces for Song of Blades and Heroes. I'm trying to whizz my way through the book though, but I am unsure as to what to read next.

As for wargaming, I am currently painting up flintloque models for the old Demonstration pack. I am updating it to 3rd edition and planning on playing it soon. It looks quite good, if a little one sided in some cases. The new edition makes this much easier to sort out. I think somewhere along the lines, Ogres got weaker as 1 ogre with no ranged weapons against 6 elves with muskets seems a little unfair!

Cheers guys!

Wednesday 19 May 2010

Baron Petrolchemicoli, and a mess of new things...

Illustrated above is the guady Baron Petrolchemicoli (known as B.P. for short usually), the owner and creator of the Todoroni Guard from Nepolise, the Fantastico Cotechino Guarda. Trained by Rats and Orcs, deserters of Albion's best Guard regiments, these toads are the business of the Nepolisian army. Now under ownership of his majesty Kyng Tadio Polo of Nepolise, ruler of Nepolise and all the other Nepolisian states under the Emperor Mordred of Armorica.
The model is part of AA's LE range and due out soon. It was available in limited supply at Salute. The casting is quite clean and was enjoyable to paint. I took it to be my first Toad that would not be painted Kermit the frog green. After doing this one, I feel the need to revisit my toad army and work on the skin tones and perhaps pay more attention to their uniforms.

Here is another mini I picked up at Salute, it is a VLE model, due out soon, 'Foul Mouth Freddie'. Based on the character designed by Tony Harwood of 'Dampf's Modelling page' fame, it is a nice new Orc miniature which depicts a surly sergeant, who has a beautiful way of arranging the Albionite language! Only thing I had to fix was the plume, which shifted in casting. It is hardly noticeable, but I wanted to get this just right to do Tony's character justice! I based my version on ony's and tried to paint it quite similarly, but with my twist. Below is the back view, nothing special, but thought you lot might be interested.
Oh, I particularly liked the shako. Odd, I now, but it was fun to paint. Which is funny as I hate painting black.

Another note on Tony. That magnificent fellow sent me some nice things! He ran a prize draw on his blog, to win Billy (the) Piper. A Joccian rat which has been converted and painted by Tony himself and placed on a small plinth. It is a stunning piece of work. It's really nice to see his handiwork in person and take inspiration from such a mini as this. It has prde of place on the dresser at home, as Hannah gave me permission to display one miniature. I happily chose this one! You should get bigger pics if you click them.

Along with Billy, Tony sent me some unreleased Undead miniatures. I believe they are the Moskova Guard. A great bunch of characters, of whom a few I have photographed below. My favourite is the officer below, who is pointing with his sword (which is nice and big, very orcish) and has his hand raised in the air as if summoning his troops. The long coat is excellent and this model will be a joy to paint. With the others, the sculptor has put a ball at the end of each bayonet. Now, I've had a few models like this, and I can't decide if I like it or not! Sure, it makes the whole bayonet cast, but it is a paint to tidy up and clean up!

Cheers for looking guys, thanks Tony for sending the stuff and thanks again to Gavin, for making all of this possible.
Hopefully it won't be long for the next one, but you must understand, I only paint in between sculpting (waiting for green to dry), so I get very little of that done these days. I don't mind, as I love sculpting, but I cannot show you lot because that's the rules!
Cheers again!

Saturday 17 April 2010

Long time no see!

Hello there,

I imagine some of you may have wondered 'Where has that annoying young scallywag disappeared to, what has he been doing'. The alternative may have been 'Oh Rob, I forgot he existed' or 'Thank god he shut up for a bit'.
Regardless of any of these, I have decided to talk a bit!

I am nearing the end of my foundation course. Joy! It has been great fun, I have experimented with a variety of materials and ways of working. I have become more conceptual and I have become more interested in trying to understand things I would have never tried to before. I find myself becoming an inquisitive person, interested in gathering knowledge in fields I wouldn't have thought of looking at before. I delve deeper into history, into music and current affairs.
I have my interview for Fine Art and Illustration on the 20th, I hope it all goes well, but I am confident it will.

Other than that, wargaming wise, my main focus has been Victorian Science Fiction (known from here-on as 'VSF'). I read War of the Worlds last summer and I have become somewhat enthralled by it. It is wonderful, the real sense of the end of the world in it is truly thrilling. Even the images it allows your mind to create through being ambiguous is wonderful. So, as I am sure you can understand, since then, I have been interested in this VSF lark, which has led to mad spending of money on various miniatures for a wargaming project. I have also been buying books for more research. These include Jeckyll and Hyde, a mixture of Jules Verne novels, some graphic novels (Aetheric Mechanics, a short Graphic novel that seems incomplete and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) and the sequel to War of the Worlds 'Edison's conquest of Mars', the book I just started to read this morning.
It is different from War of the Worlds in that it is more based on the Science of the conquest rather than the Social aspect of the Martian Invasion of War of the Worlds. As a wargamer, this is interesting. I am at chapter 3 and we have already seen the creation of a space travelling 'car', which is illustrated as a cylinder which is propulsed by electricity (I don't understand the science bit really), this 'car' being ridden to the moon and back and the creation of a 'disintigrator weapon', which literally disintergrates a target by making it's atoms or molecules vibrate until they seperate.
As you can see, plenty of inspiration.

I will post up more regarding my current VSF project very soon. Unfortunately, probably not today as I have work, but perhaps this evening or tomorrow.

Thanks for the quick read.

Sunday 28 February 2010

Halflings of the Honourable East Valonian Company, with a twist...

Hello merry readers!

Well, I have a treat for you this upload! These are NOT flintloque miniatures. But they don't half look it eh!
They are actually halflings from 'the battleforge' an excellent new fantasy miniatures company from the UK, specialising in Halflings and Giants (opposites attract or something like that).
The sculpting reminds me an awful lot of my own and that of most sculptors at AA (or who HAVE worked at AA). It took very little work for me to Napoleonic them up a bit.
Luckily, the HEVC actually don't carry guns, so the conversions were even simpler.

Here is a Halfling Officer, who may represent Shaka Bagginza in my games for the time being, plus a packhorse halfling with an afro. I added the afro and cuffs to the guy on the right, I also gave him turnbacks. Otherwise, no modifications. The Officer had a little plume given to him, but again, nothing else.
This guy I think is meant to be a casualty marker. For me, he is going to double up as a drunk halfling (too much Banana Daquiri!) for a flintloque scenario I have in mind. Mor ewill be revealed once I get more of these little blighters.

Just some detail on Bagginza! I might buy another to paint in French (Ferach) colours. I am planning a little campaign based on the Haitian revolution during the Napoleonic war, which would feature Orcs, Elves and Halflings. The Halflings would be a mixture of Pygmy types from Kallistra (and hopefully Wessex Games) and the Battleforge ones. The Orcs and Elves will be, of course, Alternative Armies.

A closeup of the camp follower halfling.
You can find more battleforge halflings at this site:
I think they are going to be at Salute, and if you are like me and Halfling mad, you will be buying lots of these as they are so easy to fall in love with.
Cheers for the great models guys and I am confident that this range will do well with us guys behind it!

Sunday 14 February 2010

Under the Bridge...

Recently, I decided to have a look at Alternative Armies' Trolka miniatures for their Flintloque game.
The Trolka are large cousins of the Trolls which roamed Valon in the Darke Ages, they dwell in the Northern kingdom of Scandavia, a frozen waste only fit for the toughest of beings. STanding at roughly 8 or 9 foot tall, they are the tallest Sentient being on Valon and very rarely have much to do with the outside world nor do they dabble in the affairs of other countries. However, they and their smaller brothers, the Trolkin of Copendaz, have joined Mordred's empire and marched into the Witchlands with his Grand Armee du Norde under the command of Lord Bjornborg, a Trolka who had to sit outside when Mordred gathered the commanders of his army as he wouldn't fit in the building!

The models I decided to try out were a kneeling Trolka Jaeger and Pehr Kalm, the famed Botanist and Explorer. Much of his exploring led to the colonisation of Cannucka and the discovery of many of it's major landmarks.

I decided to do a bit of conversion work to Pehr Kalm, I gave him nostrils to finish his face off, added a compass and a map. I also did some work to his back. However, both miniatures are lovely in their raw state regardless of this. Kalm's base is unfinished as I still need to varnish him, I am waiting for the weather to improve!

Cheers folks!

Sunday 31 January 2010

Flintloque 3rd edition :)

Hello merry readers!

I know I am a bit late, but I tried Flintloque 3rd edition, War on Catalucia today with a good friend of mine, Richard.

He and I thoroughly enjoyed it, we played one normal one on one which was found to be a little boring, but that is the nature of skirmish games!
We then played the 'Bodyguard' scenario from the Notables Compendium. This was fast and fun.
I feel the game would have been better had we created sections using the skills, traits and flaws mechanisms and gone for more specialist types with more character.

I look forward to using the rules a bit more and I'm glad I finally got around to using them!

I also look forward to getting Death in the Snow through the mail! Can't wait to start using dwarves and undead in my games.