Wednesday, 19 November 2008
I will post pictures AFTER Christmas.
as well as the buildings, I am also painting a small unit of knights / men at arms, to go with each one - (Probably about a dozen 1/72 scale figures for each.)
Last night I was up till 1.am casting the final blocks required - I am however still a couple short, so will be doing a final cast at work this lunchtime. By the weekend I should be finished with the builds and can work on the painting.
Busy, busy, busy.
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
I have built up the basic layout, and glued the panels for the Elven Hall. It has curved walls at one end - (using quarter 4" tower mold.) and squared corners at the other end. This has a short extension to one side, which may or may not accomodate an external set of steps.
I've also re-based the ruined cottage (due tot he original card one warping). I've removed the secton of rubble and scraps, which can now be used anywhere. I've also painted the first coats onto the roof covering. It's all coming together quite well.
Friday, 17 October 2008
At the top is my newer fountain, whihc appears to be reasonably realistic water tight. I have filled it 3 times due to shrinkage, but it appears to have settled to a good level now. My original fountinan which is the last photo was not so watertight, and the original filling was lost out of the bottom. I then sealed it with PVA glue and tried again. This one is stil settling and has a further 4 fills I hope that this is the last one.
I have started working on my Elven Hall. This is the 2 end panels, but I have changed my mind from doing curved sides, to sticking with straight walls. Very much a work in progress.
Finally, last night I put the covering over the Goblin encampment. (No photos' yet.) This is a ruined cottage base, with sundry sticks and twigs making up a rough framework roof. Finally covered in kitchen towel soaked in a PVA / water mix, hopefully this will represent animal skins / leather / or similar found roofing material.
I have been trying to work out the best way of doing this for a while, and the inspiration came from the Hirst Arts community where they have been discussing the best way of making windmill sails.
I think once it is painted it will work.
Thursday, 16 October 2008
It is the first item I have that is a water feature, so the first opportunity to use the Woodland Scenics Realistic Water.
The bottle does suggest that ther may be some shrinkage, and boy were they right. It is also very important to note the following PLEASE ENSURE that there are no small gaps in whatever you are pouring the water effect into!. My first fountain did have a couple of tiny holes, and all the fluid just ran straight out! The second version I had sealed with PVA Glue, so the single part fluid stayed in place. However, the shrinkage on the first filling did give more the effect of a rather thick coat of varnish than a fountain filled with water. I have since sealed the first fountain, and filled both the more times. The results are now looking far more the way I had anticipated.
the fishing line streams with a little coating of water work well, and the slight magnification caused by the nice clear water is an excellent effect which would not be possible by painting techniques. So although not quite as straight forward as initially thought, this stuff works OK.
I hope to add a couple of photos soon.
Friday, 3 October 2008
I took out all the cast pieces last night, to make a copy of the fountian I have up for sale. That has come out looking really nice, so I'm looking forward to painting it.
I let Ryan rummage through the blocks, take out whatever he wanted and build a set of ruins himself. Some time over the weekend we may try to paint it. Design wise it looks really good, and would certainly make a fitting piece of terrain in many games. He really thinks about where elements are going, and why they are going there. (It may not be the way I would do something myself, but that is after all the whole point.)
I've also started a small ruined building which will form the basis for my goblin encampment. I think a collection of natural twigs and matchsticks etc will form a suitable framework over the stonework, then I will have to experiment with making durable coverings.
Finally I have assembled the front section to my elven great house. I think that will turn out to be my largest structure (even though I have only fully planned small segments for front and rear of the building,a nd have a vague idea of how the side turrets should be). At this stage I have no idea how I want to tackle the roof!
Thursday, 2 October 2008
I'd like to paint a few of the goblins as Orc Children, playing with a ball, or with a stick, I might even use a little imagination and green stuff to make other suitable 'toys'.
This however presents a problem. That being, how to differentiate between orc children and goblin adult warriors.
I'm considering painting the goblins grey, light brown or possibly even blue? But would welcome any views. Perhaps a different shade of green?????
I will also be doing a couple of them red, to make them into little devil / imp type creatures.
Wednesday, 1 October 2008
The response was fantastic, and I now have a good idea how I want to go about modelling a Goblin settlement.
I will also be taking on board the idea of making up ruined shells of building to build makeshift structures such as those above onto,and of course caves. (Caves would entail much larger terrain boards than i can currently manage or store though!!!
Here are a couple of very rough layout ideas for elf architecture windows and doors.
This is an idea I had for a possible orc structure.
This is how I envisage the differing styles of architecture.
well built, squat structures. Built to be robust and practical, but not adorned with much in the way of decoration. I like the idea of broad arched doors and windows, simple squared walls and everythign being generally well built to serve a purpose.
I consider elves to be artistic and elegant, so want to portray that in their buildings. Equally well built, but with slender windows with elegant decorative arches - Perhaps some with unusual shapes. Buildings to be as attractive as they are practical, maybe more so.
I prefer the idea of Orcs being very much like humans (as described in The Fantasy Trip). I would consider them to be a little clumsy and savage, but still capable of building permanent stone homes. I would see thier style as being somewhat hostile, so the idea of rough un-inviting doorways would work. I think that Orcs would use ornamentation to disuade visitors. The buildings should be sturdy and stable, but not particulalry well or carefully built, and adorned with those little touches that make it unattractive.
Any views would be welcome.
Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Last night was a 'casting' night, as I am running low on blocks. I need to do another night of casting, then leave them for a couple of nights to dry, and hopefully should get a couple more structures under way this weekend.
I got some realistic water plus some clear fishing line the other day, and want to fill one of the fountains and add a water flow. However, as I have put my original fountain up for sale on E-bay, I cannot mess about with that - (Just in case it all goes horribly wrong!)I have therefoe set aside another set to make the fountain again. Of course if the first one doesn't sell, I can mess about with that to my hearts content.
Monday, 29 September 2008
Believe it or not, I'm actually hoping these don't sell at the moment. Mainly because I now have a bottle of realistic water, which I'm really looking forward to playing with. BUT, I don't want to end up ruining this piece half-way through an auction, then have to say to the buyer - "Sorry mate, I've gone and totally screwed it up. You can't have it."
That kind of thig only leads to bad comments - whichever way it goes:
"That's OK, send it to me anyway"...... "Oh yes, you're right, it is shit, please accept this negative feedback for your trouble." OR "So you won't send it to me, I bet it's really good, and you just want to keep it for yourself, or sell it to somebody else for a better price. Please accept this negative feedback for your honesty".
SO, I won't be messing about with it.
I have cast up almost enough blocks to make a new one, but even so, they won't be fully dried for a while, and then I will have to make and paint it all again.
The dwarf house I just want to play with!
This is the painted dwarf dwelling.
This is the water fountain. It should become a dungeon feature, with a potentially valuable gold centre piece - (However, I'd be wary of any water in it, just look at the green residue under the water line!) - I still need to sort out some clear water type resin.
Friday, 26 September 2008
It is a larger structure than my first attempt. It is also destructable. That is, there are removable sections, so that during the course of a game, the building walls can be breached, eventually rendering it to a ruin.
Originally it was designed as a stand-alone building. However while comparing the two buildings, it soon became clear that the first one works very well as a second storey for this new addition.
Next step of course is to paint the buildings, and texture any roof / ground surfaces.
Tuesday, 23 September 2008
The moulds used were the Fieldstone sets. This is an excellent beginners set, as due to it's very nature a few minor imperfections, and even a few major ones can easily be worked around. (If we had been using some of the other moulds with smoother surfaces we could well have suffered with a few less pleasing blocks.)
Believe it or not, we even had some more than reasonable results by filling empty moulds with the soft plaster scraped from the first mould, although one of these did have more bubbles.
In just one evening, we had 4 sets of curved blocks, 2 or 3 sets of straight ones and a handful of fieldstone accessories / ruins.
Once dry, the boys had great fun piling them up and making baricades and small castles. It really didn't matter if any blocks got damaged (not that they did), because if any did get lost or damaged, we just had to re-cast a few more! The boys were free to experiment with their buildings however they wanted to.
Last night, I decided to stick a few blocks together to make a permanent structure. Only a small one to start with to get to grips with the way it works. It's a single roomed dwarf dwelling about 4" x 3" simple straight walls with a flat roof and spiral steps on the outside to reach the walled roof area which serves as a lookout point.
I used a very cheap version of No Nails bought from the Pound Shop which works fine for this sort of project. and within an hour it was designed, put in place and glued. (Photographs Below.)
Monday, 22 September 2008
I will start out by explaining what is happening. Currently my eldest son is struggling with reading. It's not because he's not clever, it's because he can't be bothered to try most of the time. Maybe the books he is bringing home don't inspire him to want to read - (This has actually shown up as a possible reason, as I bought him a copy of a book called Vesuvius Poovius from a charity shop at the weekend, and even though it has some very difficult words in it, he is ploughing his way through it, and whizzing through the key words with ease. Even a lot of the trickier words are presenting few problems - I think it's because mummy can't read some of it, and it's about poo!)
Anyway - I digress. One of the ways I thought I could encourage him to read, was through bribery. Eventually I hope the enjoyment of the stories is all the encouragement required to spur him on. But at the moment I have opted for the "Do your reading and writing, and earn good stuff" ploy. It's working too!
I bought a small number of figures from Black-Tree Designs, which have now arrived. these are to go with the small Egyptian tomb room we made and painted together.
To earn the figures he has to read whatever books the school send home, plus a little extra reading of a book / books that we choose together (which are likely to be more interesting) every night. He must also write out whatever spelling homework that the school send home, which is normally at the end of the week.
I've bought a hardback book which I am startign from both ends. At one end, Ryan will draw each warrior as he gets it, give it a name and write it next to the warrior. I will also paste in photographs of them at whatever stage he wants. Currenly he wants them in bare metal, but if he decides he wants to paint them later, or wants me to paint them, then that's what we will do..
SO - Igidbor The First. The name was written while I was making a cup of tea, when I asked how he came about the name he said "Because he comes from Egypt - (So the name is pronounced Egypdor.) I didn't correct the spelling for a couple of reasons:
1 - It looks good as it is.
2 - It's a name, so can be spelled however he wants.
3 - There is no reason to quash his enthusiasm, when he is obviously trying really hard.
Hopefully, all going well, he should earn his next figure next weekend, and at the same time progress further with his reading and writing.
Monday, 8 September 2008
Ok, a couple of reasons. 1 is that I have not had spare time for wargaming for a couple of weeks. We've been camping,I have to cultivate a vegetable patch and as well as all that, my mother has introdued me to the evil that is the Nintendo DS!
I have been hooked on brain training for a while. I wonder if it will do any good.
I am also ging to be invovled with playtesting one of the latest additions to the Song Of... (Swords & Heroes) series of games. This will be Song Of Fear & Faith, which I am looking forward to. HOWEVER, I am certain that any details will be strictly confidential, so I doubt if I will be able to divulge more than the scantest of details.
Tuesday, 19 August 2008
However, I did want to push things a little further, and try out a hunch which came to light in the Orcs v Dwarves battle.
wanted firstly to set up a larger scale skirmish, so each force was allocated 580 points (almost double the suggested army size.)
The first thing that sprang to mind following the previous battle, was how poorly the orcs performed when not under the guidance of a leader. So, for this reason I appointed 2 War-Chief figures, and intended to keep the archers and warriors bunched up in a couple of carefully managed groups.
The elves had just one standard bearer / commander, but the overall quality of the elves tends to indicate that they can look after themselves a little more effectively anyway.
Unit breakdown was as follows:
6 x Wood Elf Warrior - 36 pt = 216
1 x Elf Commander - 100 pt = 100
2 x Elf Cavalry - 60 pt = 120
3 x Wood Elf Archer - 50 pt = 150
TOTAL = 586
2 x Orc War Chief - 100 pt= 200
10 x Orc Warrior - 23 pt = 230
5 xOrc Archer - 29 pt = 145
TOTAL = 575
The set up was that the elves were spread randomly around a village set up and wooded area toward one end of the board, The orcs invaded from the opposite end. Then let battle commence.
Orcs started with 1 free move, but wasted it by floundering at the first attempt. The 2 elf cavalry units moved round in a pincer move to both flanks , (which in retrospect was probably a very poor maneuver) - Both attempted to engage the orcs, both however fell quickly, one being so brutally hacked to bits that the elf leader and 2 warriors were forced to beat a hasty retreat.
One of the elves managed to pick off a lone orc, but wokring as a group one of the elf archers was surrounded and under heavy attack. The elf leader managed to despatch one of the orc warriors, but in retaliation the gang of orcs butcher the lone archer - causing yet more panic in the ranks and making all but one warrior retreat to the safety of the woods.
Once again the leader leaps in and manages to kill one of the orc chiefs, causing panic, and being so close to the board edge, forcing 3 orcs to flee in terror.
The lone elf found himself surrounded and bludgeoned to death, then the elf leader was surrounded and un protected.
By now, it was getting pretty late, and the remaining elves surrounded a couple of detached orcs. The orc archers moved in but failed to make a hit, and as tiredness took over I declared a virtual draw. Perhaps a hollow victory for the elves, due to the loss of the orc leader and subsequent panic.
All in all, a good battle, but fairly unfulfilling end. - Only a couple of pictures taken, niether of which is good enough to post.
Monday, 18 August 2008
This first page is the cover to The Mummy Of Doom
as you can see the story revolves around me finding an old key and door, going in to discover untold treasure, but being chased off and almost caught by the Mummy....
...fortunatley the tomb collapses, crushing the Mummy, and I escape with my life, if not the treasure.
This was a really well thought out story,and the treatment is perfect. The pages have been stained with the old tea-bag aging treatment which works perfectly.
Can you tell - I am SO, SO proud of my sons achievment?
Thursday, 7 August 2008
He did a pretty good job of building up a big hand gun, which he then painted a copper / bronze colour, and also making a semi-fish looking helmet. Some minor alterations to the paint job, and job done.
Of course, all this time, we can't leave Ryan's younger brother out..... BUT, I have to confess I go into a bit of a sweat when I let him loose with a brush and enamal paint. Hardly surprising, as he is only 4!
Anyway - Dec had 2 figures, I put a few drops of paint into a pallet for him ... (What? - You expected me to give him an open tin of Humbrol???? - You're as mad as I am !). He proceeeded to paint his figure mostly green. Also added a bit of green stuff, then lost interest and wanted to go and do something else.
Today the Hirst Arts blocks arrived which means that Ryan and me can work on his Egyptian tomb. Not sure quite how I feel about this yet. The plaster blocks seem a little more powdery than I expected. - Certainly more powdery than the Linka plaster I used to do. I expected these blocks to be crisper and less powdery, as they are made of dental plaster.
I will of course upadate as things progress.
Tuesday, 5 August 2008
The game is surprisingly quick to get to grips with and requires minimal references to statistics. The 3 stick movement system is also fantastic. Both these factors leave you free to concentrate on where to move your figures. It's also a nice quick, easy system for assembling a fighting unit.
This first battle was between a raiding party of orcs seen here in the bottom right hand corner - and a group of dwarf fighters in the upper left.
The breakdown is as follows :
ORCS - 1 Standard Bearer / 4 Archers / 5 Warriors
DWARVES - 1 Commander / 1 Orc Slayer / 1 Skirmisher / 3 Crossbows / 2 Elite Warriors.
The game lasted a 13 full rounds. (a round being 1 turn each for the orcs and the dwarves.)
The orcs took the initiative, with the archers being ordered to take position in the trees, and the warriors moving onto the road toward the ruins. The flag bearer took up a central position so that he was able to command either group. During the first part of the battle, the dwarves were dogged by misfortune, and as a result unable to move more than a couple of figures. With this in mind the group of archers were ordered to break cover and make for the ruins.
The 2 elite dwarves moved to the North end of the ruins and ran into the wall of archers. the first volley of arrows failed to cause any damage to the lone elite, but the second volley brought both dwarves down.
At the same time one of the orc warriors had moved through the ruins to engage the orc slayer, but was surounded and quickly despatched by the skirmisher. this caused the onlooking warrior to panic and flee from the battle.
The orc slayer and commander were now free to approach a pair of archers who had become seperated, but were both forced to give ground on their first attack. The orc archers re-grouped, but before they could let off another volley, the orc slayer had executed one of them, which sent another 2 scampering for safety.
During theis time, the orc flag bearer moved into the ruins to order the group of warriors to attack the now undefended crossbow units. The order went unheeded though. This gave the commander and orc slayer time to join them with moral support. There was a small amount of scuffling in which both sides withdrew a little. A lucky shot from one of the crossbows dispatched the orc flag bearer.
This lowered moral of the last 2 orcs, and with the time at 1.am, drew the conflict to an end.
Final score - Dwarves 2 dead / Orcs 3 dead - rest fled.
I really do recommend this game, as a quick and easy introduction to fantasy battles. The simple mechanics, and minimal use of complex tables is ideal for the novice, yet still allows for hardened gamers to concentrate on tactics. With a price tag of just $4 / £2 for the PDF, it's hardly a massive risk investment either.
Monday, 4 August 2008
this morning I read reviews on A Song Of Blades & Heroes. after reading for a while I decided that it was worth a try. 10 minutes after paying my £2, the rules arrived in my inbox.
That's quicker than having to queue up in a proper shop!
It would be nice if my small band of skeletons sold first, as that can go towards paying for this rule set - But at that price, it's hardly going to break the bank, and I'm sure slightly larger bands of fighters would be useful anyway. So if they sell, they sell - if they don't I'll keep them.
You can check out the rule set by clicking on the link in my Blog roll. - You can also check out a preview document
Thursday, 31 July 2008
This conversion gives the impression of an orc officer / commander directing troops.
Although the figures have been based on pennies, I still need to paint and flock the bases, then varnish them.
Other figures will be photographed later. these inlcude the more radical conversions, which involved removing and replacng arms / heads and in one case cutting the figure in half prior to re-building with the Green Stuff.
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
Considering it was my first attempt, I think the results are OK. I have yet to photograph them, but i will do over the next few days, prior to painting.
the figures in question are the Caesar Orcs. When I recieved them, the flag bearer (of all figures! as it is the only 1 of it's type in the pack.) was broken. At first I was somewhat disappointed, but I soon decided to use that to my advantage. With the standard loose, it meant ANY suitable figure could become the standard bearer. The orginal one became an orc wizard, so has had a bauble / head grafted onto his staff.
One of the more animated club wavers has now been allocated the flag.
The other additions are coin pouches on one figure, a side bag on another, a rope / chain garrot has replaced a bow, one has just had a cloak or cloth slung over his shoulder and a final figure has had new headgear / hair added.
When I first broke off about 2cm of the strip, I wondered if it wouldbe too little to accomplish what I wanted to. As it turns out, I had way over estimated, and I would say that almost half went to waste - (although it will be painted up to be a boulder or somthing in a dungeon.)
On 1/72 fgures, a little really does go a long way.
Friday, 25 July 2008
The units for my own use have been based on pennies, and I have not yet photographed them. I have however photographed some of the surplus units, which I am putting up for sale (No doubt to fund further fantasy armies for me and the boys!).
Skeletons x 10 for sale
He also decided to make a little dungeon / cavern scene - (Completely unprompted by me.) - I was using a sheet of polystyrene to rest on so I could punch holes through a plastic coated board without damaging our dining room table, as that would have made me less than popular with the Mrs!
Anyway, ryan asked if I could break a lump of polystyrene off from him, and also let him have an old vinyl tile as a base. he then set to work, sticking it together, then painting it with acryllic paint, and finally sprinkling on a little of my basing sand. Once again, I think you'll agree the end result is pretty spectactular, considering this is the very first attempt he has made at making anything of this type from scratch!
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
I soon added to it by buying WIZARD. Again it was very simple, and added magic into the mix. This was to be my first introduction to Fantasy Gaming. Not long after that I added a handful of solitaire supplements (Death Test 1 and 2 / Grail Quest), then finally bought the expanded rules - ADVANCED MELEE / WIZARD and IN THE LABYRINTH.
However, as the years passed, my interest shifted from playing games on paper, to playing the field in the game of love, and all my FANTASY TRIP games stuff was filed away in the loft.
Well time has now gone full circle, I have a couple of young sons, and both are showing an interest in toy soldiers, especially (as is the way with young boys with a somewhat macabre taste) in skeleton warriors, so it would make sense to gradually introduce them to the game I loved so much. Perhaps they will take to it, perhaps they won't. Whichever way, I can hear the Orcs calling to me!