10mm Saruman the White

Saruman the White

Saruman today.  Another Copplestone figure, this guy was a pleasure to paint.  Lovely sharp detail and nice deep recesses, the figure lent itself to my painting style rather well I think.

The robes go from black through to a very light cream (GC Off White).  The high contrast may not be terribly realistic, but it does make the detail on the figure stand out easily from a few feet away.

“There will be no dawn… for men.”

I made an effort to paint eyebrows on this figure, which was a bit risky.  Mainly I did it because the look of the character when played by Christopher Lee in the movies relies heavily on the big black bushy eyebrows and black ‘tasche.  So I thought that I would give it a go in 10mm for fun.

I think that this is the figure that I found most enjoyable to paint in this project so far 🙂


10mm Evil Army Shot #1

After a phase of chaotic mancave reorganising I got the place ready for gaming in again over the weekend.  After a couple of games of Malifaux today I cleared up enough space to take a group shot of my 10mm orc, goblin and general evildoers army.

I have plenty more additions to the force in the pipeline, but here is everything completed to date.  Not too bad at all ocnsidering everything in it has been assembled and painted this month so far.

Lots more 10mm Fantasy

Mounted Nazgul

Nazgul mounted on Fell Beast

My first unit of Orcs…

…and how those orcs look alongside last weeks goblins.

Orc heroes alongside last weeks goblin shaman.

My first unit of wolf rider goblin cavalry.

My stone thrower (along with Sweetums-like propulsion system…

… and a shot from the side to show the brains of the artillery unit.

I am enjoying this project a lot.  The turnover rate is rapid, allowing me to get to paint units with a little bit of care while still amassing a force reasonably quickly: very satisfying.

Comments and criticisms all happily received.  If anyone has any questions about the stuff shown then let me know.

10mm Kings of War

Real life has been kicking me in the nuts a bit lately, so I havent managed to get any photos of my most recent 10mm fantasy stuff taken yet.  There are quite a few new things coming though.

In the meantime I will direct you to the blog that a long term gaming crony of mine has been getting up and running recently.

My orcs rounds the mountain into insult hurling range of TheOttoVonBismarks halberdiers.

The Otto Von Bismark (also known as SOS around here occasionally) has recently been documenting various attempts at gaming with 10mm fantasy figures.  The system that has been getting the most love has turned out the be one designed for use with 28mm stuff: Kings of War.

It seems to be suiting our group for now, with its quick and streamlined play.  Its early days yet, but it has been working better than many other systems that we have tried over the years.  Its free too (although there is a new and rather nice hardback rulebook thats worth a look).  The free stuff is available here.

Some photos of my new 10mm bad guys will be up soon.  They are fully painted and all that, so its just photography time required.

10mm War Trolls

War Trolls

The next addition to my growing 10mm horde is these Copplestone War Trolls.  These are very nicely sculpted figures that were pleasant to paint and I recommend them without any serious hesitation.  I do have a couple of minor gripes though.

The sculpts have nice faces that have a characteristic Copplestone style to them.  The detail on the models is crisp although the designer has kept the figures quite clean: there are not many extraneous details.

Normally I like a minimalist miniature design approach as it speeds painting along.  Extra detail does not always equal more character (Games Workshop please take note).  In the case of these trolls however, I think that it was a minor error.

Because these figures are quite large (as 10mm trolls go at least) and because there are few details on the figures that demonstrate scale other than the occasional skull on their belt (which could be a skull from a fantasy creature of any size really), it is easy to mistake these guys for 25mm or short 28mm figures.

The shields are the main culprits here: the shield looks plain enough to be a 60cm diameter Roman parma rather than the two metre diameter, livestock/vehicle/you-and-your-family flattening piece of ordnance that a creature of that size would likely carry.

Also the fact that the plain shields and weapons look somewhat factory produced is somehow incongruous with the primitive looking trolls.  I know that Mordor and the like seem to have quite efficient production facilities (no union presence is a factor Id say) but the pairing of those weapons and those trolls doesnt sit quite right with me.

“Shhh! I dont think he’s seen us…”

Painting was straightforward.  I considered painting them a shade of green but the scaly shoulders, knees and arse were obviously designed under influence from the troll design in the Lord of the Rings movies, so I went with an approximation of that.  I enjoy painting pale flesh tones anyway.

In Warmaster troll sized creatures tend to be mounted three to a base.  As these figures are being prepped primarily for that game that was the plan.

Unlike when painting 28mm figures, I paint miniatures at this scale separately from their bases and attach them afterwards, so that I can get at the awkward areas while painting.  Thats what I did with these guys too.

Trying to get three big guys like these to stand together on the same base was awkward.  Awkward enough in fact for me to swear passionately when I manged to knock all nine trolls onto the wooden floor while trying to perch them delicately on their bases without cover each other with glue.

Once the tears had dried sufficiently for me to cover up the damaged paintwork as well as I could I finally got them stuck down and based.

20:20 hindsight tells me that I should have simply mounted the figures two to a base and added either scenic pieces or the occasional goblin or orc to add scale, but its too late to do that now.


Despite all of my whining I still like these guys quite a bit.  Their particularly massive stature makes them look rather threatening alongside the front of my second goblin unit.

10mm Goblins #2

Insert Mockney Quote Here.

This is a quick post to show my second unit of 10mm Goblins.  They were painted at the same time as the first unit, so everything that I said about them applies to these guys too.

10mm Goblins #1

My first finished 10mm unit.

As mentioned earlier this week one of my bi-decade forays into fantasy miniatures has begun.  This time its 10mm orcs and goblins based as regiments rather than individually, hopefully for use in a variety of games.  This unit of little guys plus their shaman chaperone are the first off the conveyor.

Apart from the leader models in the regiments the figures are from the GW Battle of Five Armies boxed set.  The majority of the models in that box are slightly smaller than their GW Warmaster equivalents, but not so much that it bothers me, doubly so in the case of goblins.  As long as the little guys are smaller than the orcs that they hang out with and the humans that they want to eat, then I dont really mind what size they are as long as they look reasonably malignant.

An obliging Chaos Space Marine models the Summer 2012 Goblin Collection.

Each BoFA troop type is represented by two strips of plastic infantry or cavalry.  Unfortunately only one strip is supplied for each troop type which results in a cookie cutter look when they rank up.  This is little bit of a pity.  If there were even two strips for each unit then enough variation could easily be incorporated into units to draw the eye away from the cloned look.

On the other hand, if the goblins are anything to go by then the figures in the BoFA box paint up very satisfyingly.  The sculpts are clean and less comical than the Warmaster goblins, if that sort of thing appeals (I would be happy with either really).

To give a little more identity to the units I cut the plastic troop strip down and added a Warmaster Night Goblin and accessory (a squig) to the front rank of the front base of the three base strong unit.

These additions dont mean anything specific in rules terms, but make the units a little more recognisable and more interesting to paint.  I imagine that scale purists might feel that the Warmaster gobbos look a little stylistically inconsistent with their weaker underlings.  This bothers me not one iota.

LotR Goblins (from lotr.wikia.com)

I made up the colour scheme for these figures on the fly.  I knew that they had to be dark but not so dark as to be indistinct.

I enjoy the Lord of the Rings movies (I watched them for inspiration while painting these miniatures) but I feel that the evil forces on those films are just a little too hard to see due to the very restrained palette used.  The most obviously noticeable variation from goblin to goblin is usually their skin tone which varies from grey to green to red to black.

The photo above illustrates what I mean adequately enough: even in daylight the goblins are almost monochrome.

A decision to make the evil LotR movie forces look murky and to ensure that everything from their flesh to their garments to their armour and weapons were similar tones must have been made somewhere during production of the movies.  I suspect that the urge to make sure that the bad guys looked menacing rather than comical (which would have upset the tone of the series badly) was the driving factor.  The colour scheme for my bunch of 10mm bad guys had different goals.

I decided to go for a more traditional toy soldier-y, distinct-on-the-tabletop look for these guys.  Quite bright green skin tones and red focal points work to lift the black/grey/brown outfits.  Highlights were applied quite harshly as they simply dont show otherwise.  I may not have made the highlights bright enough to show up on a table three feet away anyway, but it pleases me to add that level of detail all the same.

So while my goblins are wearing mainly black outfits with mid-to-dark metallic areas they also feature a fair bit of red, mainly on shields.  Its a little bit cartoony perhaps, but it makes the tiny little guys more interesting to look at en masse.  With just black and green they looked uninspiring.

“Ah’m a witch doc-tah!”

Speaking of uninspiring, the shaman model (also plastic and from the Five Armies box) is is the opposite I reckon: he is a cool looking little guy who stands out on the tabletop, partly because of his round base but also because of his cloak and skull topped, shamanistic accoutrements.

Painting this malignant little turd was my reward for painting the rank and file.  I enjoyed painting the figure and I think that it shows.  I still havent named him (or any of his colleagues) yet though.  Like getting some half decent photos of the army as it grows, all in good time.

Next up will likely be either be my first unit of trolls or my first unit of orcs, I havent decided which yet.

Comments and criticisms all happily received 🙂

10mm Fantasy Project

Image borrowed from somethingawful.com

I am more of a sci-fi nerd than a fantasy nerd.  Observing this distinction renders me a quantum nerd.

Although I have read a number of fantasy books and played numerous fantasy games over the years, I would always rather that a setting included a robot than it included a horse.  A robot horse would be ideal.

Robot House HORSE!”

My enthusiasm for Warhammer 40,000 and Star Wars confuses the issue further, as both settings are very much science fantasy or space opera rather than hard sci-fi.

With that predilection in mind, and with Monte Figuero ever expanding, I traded away 99% of my unpainted 28mm fantasy figures earlier this year.  One of the few fantasy projects that I held on to was my 10mm stuff.  Even more surprising is that I have actually done some work on them.

SOS (AKA The Otto Von Bismark) and MT have had Warmaster armies painted up for a decade or so.  MT was kind enough to donate the core of an Orc and Goblin army that he knew that he would never get around to painting a couple of years ago.  I subsequently added some more bits and pieces from various 10mm sources to the Warmaster models that he gave me, so I have loads to keep me going for now.

I hope to get some Warmaster played with these figures.  I would also like to try Hordes of the Things and the upcoming Song of Armies and Hordes from Ganesha Games too.  Mantics Kings of War looks like a system very well suited to that scale and base configuration (despite the fact that it was developed for a company to help them to sell 28mm figs) so I plan to try that out also.

Some photos of my 10mm Orcs and Goblins should be posted up here later this week.

Malifaux: Guild Austringer

“My arm is tired”


A man walks into a bar with a gigantic, unusually coloured raptor on his arm.  

The barman says “Where the hell did you get that?”.  

“I won him in a raffle” replies the bird.


Austringers are effective in Malifaux games.  The bird does all of the heavy lifting, attacking foes, distributing orders to friends, capturing small mammals in its talons, regurgitating food into the mouths of its young, making loud “Raaaawk!” sounds, that sort of thing.  The guy in the coat just stands around looking grumpy.

Just like the Executioner shown a few weeks ago, this guy was painted in the run up to the Malifaux competition that I played in a while back.  I decided to attend the competition late and so some decisions regarding colours used for this figure were based on how quickly they could be applied, rather than necessarily on colour theory or inspiring movies recently watched or whatever.

The “Bayou Raptor” was initially painted the same way that I would paint a crow or raven (just like the guys that feature on parts of my graveyard terrain).  That approach was fine if a little drab, but perfectly good enough for use in games, which I did.

A few days later I decided that I wanted to make the bird look a little less dull.  What I came up with is shown above.  The bird is a little goofier looking than I had intended, partly due to the rather Muppet like sculpt and partly because the pattern of plumage that I tried to paint looks rather  fake I think, despite doing a bit of research into real bird of prey patterning.  Ho hum.

My lack of enthusiasm for the plumage plus the somewhat one-sided nature of the handlers relationship with the raptor has me considering using a more… esoteric scheme on my second Austringer miniature.  Maybe.  Im not sure that adding that level of goofiness to my Guild crew is desirable but it might be a laugh.

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