Ash Waste Nomads and Battle Systems Terrain


Hobby progress has been slow since the return from BOYL, with a combination of the usual disruptive effects of late summer/early autumn slowing down output.  Slowing down output, but not halting progress.  Behind the scenes I have been working on two projects.

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10mm Mounted Goblin Heroes

These three guys represent the flower of goblin nobility in my 10mm Orc & Goblin army.  I plan to put a pennant or banner of some sort on the central figures lance at a later date.

What is curious about these Copplestone figures is that they are marketed as orc (not goblin) wolf riders.  Unsurprisingly, the armour, style and dimensions of the riders also look a lot like the armour, style and dimensions of the Copplestone orc foot troops, which also feature in my force.

In the post regarding Hobgoblin Wolf Riders I mentioned how this blurring of the line between orc and goblin doesnt bother me one jot in conceptual terms, but how it can be a bit inconvenient in practical wargames terms.  It is mildly irritating here.  I decided that the line of least resistance is the “if it sits on a wolf, then its not an orc” definition, therefore these guys are simply big goblin beefcakes.

This will be the last 10mm fantasy installment for a while I reckon.  I have a pretty solid core of a force painted up since I started the project, which is satisfying.  With games of Kings of War using 10mm figures likely to crop up over the next few months, that seems likely to motivate me to add occasional units to the force from time to time.

10mm Hobgoblin Wolf Riders #1


The latest units that I have finished are these two units of wolf riders.  Each unit consists of two bases.

Kings of War is our fantasy game of choice right now, as determined by theottovonbismark and MT after they played some experimental games using a number of systems.

In KoW the goblins and orcs each have a separate army list.  Both armies feature units called “Sniffs” which are described as bow using lesser orcs.  The sniffs in the orc list are infiltrating scout troops and the sniffs in the goblin list are these guys, bow armed wolf (or “fleabag” in KoW parlance) cavalry.

With scale creep and stylistic differences the line between an orc and a goblin in 28mm can sometimes be a bit blurry.  This is further pronounced in 10mm I have found, with some manufacturers goblins being larger than other manufacturers orcs for example.

Although I am fine with the notion of orcs and goblins being quite variable in appearance (like dogs), it is usually important to be able to easily distinguish which troop type a tabletop model represents.  It is important that this is apparent not only to me, but very obvious to my opponent too.

So I decided to paint my sniff units with yellow skin tones to distinguish them from the orcs and goblins.  For reasons that I am unsure of I associate yellow and orange with hobgoblins.  It could because of the old GW “Hobgoblin Orange” paint, but I think that its more that that.  Seeing as sniffs straddle the line between orcs and goblins I figured that yellow flesh might work.

The models themselves are GW Warmaster goblin wolf riders.  Whatever issues people might have with GW, their 10mm fantasy figures are better than any other manufacturers that I have come across so far although predictably they are eye-wateringly expensive.

Ursa Miners: Huscarl, Hound & Objectives

Huscarl Max and Freeway the cyber-mastiff

My Space Dwarf mini-season continues with a leader and his trusty mecha-mutt. Continue reading

Going to Salute 2012

In a display of blatant disregard for:

  • my finances
  • my hilariously unreflexive promises-to-self regarding ratio of painted miniatures to unpainted miniatures owned

…I have decided to attend Salute on Saturday next.  This year I will be accompanied on my trip to London by a gaming crony (MT) rather than my wife, which is probably a better plan overall really.

If anyone reading this is attending Salute and also interested in briefly meeting up to say hi and pose for a self-conscious photo then let me know and we can arrange something.

Like last year I plan to take a whole heap of snaps and post them up here afterwards, probably on Monday, but maybe on Sunday if I am not too fried.

For any interested, my shopping list features:

  • an obscene number of Judge Dredd related figures (because I gotta catch em all this time, as I missed them in the mid 2000s and it ate away at me on the inside)
  • sci-fi city terrain bits (because I promised myself a half decent looking non-gothic sci-fi city terrain set in 1989 and it simply has to happen some time soon)
  • some L4D infected figures (because even though I have already converted/painted up figures to represent L4D infected therefore making this purchase largely redundant, I still want the new Studio Miniatures ones.  Look no further for evidence of my stupidity)
  • Mantics “Project Pandora” not-Space Hulk game (because I will happily buy pretty much any sci-fi dungeon crawl game).


Following on from last weeks post showing photos of my games room I thought that I would put up a couple of photos of my painting area, just for the sake of completeness.  Not strictly a workbench I suppose, but whatever.

Workbench July 2011

The slightly crooked picture above shows where I paint.  I have natural light from the left for when I need it and the lamp for the rest of the time.

I used a lower table for years but the constant leaning forward was taking its toll on my back.  It used to look like this…

Workbench April 2010

Therefore earlier this year I bought the rather vulgar tall bar table thing shown in the first photo and the photo below. Its not the prettiest (I particularly dislike the chrome leg and the nasty plasticy look of the big honking lamp) but its functional.

I intentionally chose a small table as while I work I slowly tend to cover all available space within arms reach with paraphenalia.  If I physically limit the size of the work area then I am forced to tidy the clutter more often, so it doesnt get too badly out of control.

Clutter is definitely the worst thing about the hobby.  Whether playing, painting or storing my hobby stuff, there is always clutter: its impossible to avoid, yet I still hate it.

Desk and Paint Storage July 2011

Alongside the table is the cheap plastic drawer set that I keep my paints in.  Four drawers have paints in them and the other two have flock, PVA, transfers, varnish and some other odds and ends that are used when painting figures.  Glue, files, sandpaper and anything else to do with figure assembly and preparation are stored and used in the man cave.

Its a functional space, but not a pretty one.  As my painting area is located in the living room we both see it every day whether I am painting or not, so I am currently on the lookout for ways to make it a bit easier on the eyes.  I may tackle the issue at the same time that I sort the Man Cave out properly, likely in September with a bit of luck.

Man Cave

I spotted some photos of fellow enthusiasts Man Caves in a couple of different places over the last few days and so I decided to put up a couple of photos of my toy room that I took last year.

The Man Cave

The shot above is taken from the corner of the room by the door.  It shows the place in pretty much its normal state: not very messy but with a fair bit of work in progress stuff on the table.

If anyone was bothered (which they arent) it would be possible to work out how mentally frazzled I am at any given time by examining the condition of that area.  The state and density of the contents of that table is often analogous to my mental state at a given time.  I am only half joking about this.

The table itself is an 8 x 4′ sheet of MDF sitting on the bench that the carpenter put together to work on skirtings and banisters etc when the house was being built in 05/06.  I asked him to leave it there as a stop gap until I got a “proper” table… which still hasnt happened.

More Man Cave

Another shot of the table with some ape, zombie and alien miniatures that I was working on roughly a year or so ago.  I do almost no miniature painting in the Man Cave although preparatory clean up and assembly work always takes place in here, along with the painting of terrain or vehicles and the like.

Somewhat self evidently that table is where my tabletop and board gaming pursuits take place.

Miniature Cabinet 1

The miniatures cabinet here was given to me for free by a redecorating florist, as long as I would take it away myself, which I did.

I need to organise some more brackets and shelving for it at some stage.  I reckon that I could get another two rows of shelves into it if I could work out who and where to go to to get the right bits and pieces.  Maybe I might get around to it this autumn.

There are lots of figures of various quality on show in that cabinet with my Sin Eaters Chaos Space Marine army on the bottom left and my Iacon Eldar on the bottom right.

The top shelf has loads of stuff on it dating back as far as the mid eighties right up to a year or so ago.  It consists of 6mm Epic stuff, Blood Bowl teams, some Elves, some Lizardmen, some Robots, some Grey aliens and loads of other bits and pieces.  I have plenty more in storage too waiting for some more shelf space.

Miniature Cabinet 2

The second smaller Ikea cabinet houses my more recent stuff.  This photo is a year old now though, so its a bit out of date in terms of its content.  This cabinet has worked out well and I plan to get one or two more along with more consistent shelving for the entire room later in the year.

Lead Storage

The boxes in the corner here contain some of my shamefully large unpainted lead mountain.  The less said about that the better.

Mostly Comics

Mostly comics on these shelves along with some of the assorted toys and Optimus Prime helmets and other bric a brac that dorks like me tend to accumulate for unclear reasons.


This set of shelves is largely rulebooks and game related magazines etc.  It will become slightly neater once I reorganise the room in a month or two (after the now obligatory trip to Ikea).

I have done a little work and reorganisation to the room since those photos were taken and I plan to do a large overhaul in the autumn.  I will probably revisit this topic then.

Fort Grayskull Part 2

Continued from Part 1.

I am going to attempt to give some post-apocalyptic va-va-voom to toy castle components that look like those above.  Left to right is a tower, a wall, another tower and a gate section.   In total I have four gate sections, twelve wall sections and sixteen towers.

All of the pieces are made from expanded, beaded polystyrene and so are very light, but unsuitable for spray painting, which will melt that material.

As noted earlier, the parts were hand painted with a mix of black emulsion (latex) paint and some filler back in the mid 1990s.

The first step in 2011 was to decide what colour to hand paint the castle.  I didn’t want a pedestrian and realistic brownish grey as I wanted to remove the the look of the finished product from that of a real castle as much as practically possible.

Blues, greens, purples and the like would give a finish that looks a bit too fantasy for my tastes, a bit too concept album cover, a bit too “Heavy Metal”.

I considered a yellowish/brown but the board that I play on is black with a drybrush of Raw Sienna so I feared that the castle would blend in too much if it was the same or similar colour.  I also wanted to crudely “weather” the bottom of the castle walls with the game board colour once the fort was complete.  That wouldn’t work if it was the same colour to start with.

So after some indecision and in a weird bit of parallel evolution with the foam rocks that I chopped up and sprayed on the same day, I decided to go for a red oxide colour.  This rust like colour fit with some of the notions and references that I had in mind with a large amount of rusty scrap and wreckage materials involved in the forts imaginary construction.  I hope that it works out, but at this point it is too early to know for sure.

Therefore I overbrushed the whole thirty two sections with a Red Oxide acrylic.  I then mixed the red oxide with a little emulsion off white and drybrushed some of the upper areas a little, just to give a small bit of contrast.

I had trouble taking photos that show the colour properly.  Indoor, night time and artificial lighting made the whole thing look a lot more orange than it does in reality Im afraid.  Therefore the work in progress shots are all going to look a bit off.  Hopefully I will be able to get some halfway decent shots in once it is complete.

At this stage I took the cloth off the table and set up one quarter of the fort on the gaming surface, just out of curiosity to see how it looked against it.

The colour doesn’t look brilliant with the table I think, but I think that it is within acceptable parameters (plus it’s a crappy washed out photo).

Not that I had any choice at that stage: I was unwilling to to repaint the whole thing yet again.  The emphasis here had to be to finish a project that had been in various half finished states for years, by hook or by crook.

The look of the final model will hopefully be quite different anyway, between a wash or two here and there and the addition of some other elements to break up the redness.  Fingers crossed.

Also at this stage I set up all thirty two castle pieces as a perimeter wall with bastion.  I did this mainly because I think it looks cool and I wanted to see what it looked like now that it was brownish red.  If nothing else it should give readers an idea of the area that the fort occupies.  Due to the number of towers it reminds me a little of a shot from the Assassins Creed video game.

The table that the model sits on is 4 x 8’.  Also bear in mind that the little grey thing in the foreground is an EM4 plastic trooper.  Fully assembled the fort occupies approx 3 x 3’, which is quite big in gaming terms (as an aside I tend to think in terms of imperial measurement when looking at gaming tables and metric for everything else.  That’s Warhammers fault).

That was quite enough terrain work for one Saturday afternoon (as I made the foam rocks that day too) so I went to bed.

To be continued.

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