Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Ash Wastes Nomad Crawler WIP (Part 1)

In between Christmas prep and keeping the kids amused, I stole a few hours yesterday to make a start on a bit of a slow burn project - making a crawler vehicle for my Ash Wastes Nomads. For a long time now I've been wanting to use a vehicle along the lines of the crawlers shown on p109 of the Rogue Trader rulebook.

Crawlers, Rogue Trader style.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

A Hobby Review of 2014

Back at the end of December 2013, I reviewed my hobby output for the year and made plans for 2014.

As we've reached the same point in 2014, it's high time I had a look at this year, what I've achieved, and started thinking about what I want to do in 2015.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Last Painted Mini of 2014 (Probably) - Aigulf, Hero of the Imperium

Although I've got 2 weeks off over Christmas, I don't anticipate much (any?) hobby time. Therefore, I squeezed in a painting session last night - probably my last for 2014.

My final figure for 2014 is unusual for me - it's plastic and was actually converted byWhiskey Priest over at the Leadpile. As is often the case, Asslessman (Leadplague) proposed a rather nifty idea he termed the Oldhammer Salvation Army. Essentially, rather than have a figure from a stalled or abandoned project unloved and gathering dust, send it off to someone who can use it and incorporate it into their own collection. A couple of my my dead-end figures went winging off to other folks, and I received this interesting conversion from Whiskey Priest:

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Bro'og the Gorgite - Chaos Minotaur / Alien Mercenary

Back in May Plaiecivile over at the Oldhammer Forums came up with a fun group project to model, paint and create backgrounds for each of the random champions from the Realm of Chaos books.

Ever keen to get involved in fun community projects, I agreed to join in and selected one of the champions of Tzeentch for my model. My particular champion was a minotaur who had received the following gifts/attributes:

  • Big ears
  • Regeneration
  • Uncontrollable flatulance (paralysing)
  • Rearranged face
  • Temporal instability (voluntary)
  • Eyestalks
  • Scorpion tail (poisoned)
I decided that I would ignore the non-physical attributes, and focus on modelling a figure with the attributes highlighted in bold above.

At the end of May, I had got to this point - a bit of chopping and parts selection:


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Cultists of the Silken Veil

The Cult of the Silken Veil is espouses personal growth through broadening of horizons and exploration of new experiences. Many of those who sit in the kafee and bliss houses are unaware of the true nature of the seemingly benign cult, which opens it's doors to all.

Those in the Cult's inner circle know different; by guile, deceit and entrapment of the curious, they are doing the bidding of Slaanesh!

Cultists of the Silken Veil

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Works In Progress and Action Shots

Through extremely poor planning, I found I had no models undercoated and ready for painting last night. Instead I decided to dedicated a few hours to converting up some figures that I've been planning, ready for the next painting opportunity.

I envisaged this first pair as Imperial Agents or Arbites Detectives. They will be accompanied by a squad of Arbites in due course. They're very simple conversions from Rogue Trader era Commissars - the heads came from a pair of old Citadel Paranoia troubleshooters.

Imperial Agents

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Enter Inquisitor Dirske

Inquisitor Dirske is the result of last night's painting session. He's an unmodified Ordo Malleus Inquisitor, originally released in 1989:


Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Something Small and Unpleasant - Scrat the Mutie

Scrat's origins are unknown; whether he is an albino ratling, a stunted human mutant, or something else entirely, no-one is precisely sure. He is, however agile, stealthy and an ideal asset for conducting covert surveillance and infiltration into the inner sanctums of secretive cults. 

Monday, 24 November 2014

RT Imperial Scout (Inq28: Oldhammer Style)

A few weeks ago I was sat in a bar with a friend. We'd had all the normal discussion that mid-30 year olds have (family, work etc), and had moved onto furtively looking at pictures of toy soldiers and sci-fi artwork using the bar's wi-fi!

We started talking about John Blanche's artwork and figures, and some of the interesting stuff being done by bloggers such as Jeff Vader over at Officio Convertorum and the Spiky Rat Pack crew. My friend then mentioned the Ammobunker Inq28 forums, and we spent a happy hour or so oggling some very fine miniatures:

wierdingway's Navigator Head of House

Nordic's Inquisitor

Grag's Servitor on ice

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Urst Mulmo, Underhive Scum

Guilder Yakob Pento has recruited yet another hired gun into his entourage - this time an Underhive Scummer by the name of Urst Mulmo.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Wasted Youth: The Nomad With No Name

It's high noon. The dusty pass through the rocky outcrop is blocked by a bandit. The Nomad With No Name steps forward. In the distance, a lone bell tolls. Eyes narrow. Fingers twich next to holstered stub guns. A bead of sweat slowly crawls down a forehead. The bandit suddenly snatches at the grip of his pistol, but the Nomad With No Name is faster. One shot, two shots to the chest. The bandit slumps to the ground as the Nomad With No name stands over him.
"You...?!" the bandit gasps once, then dies. A bell tolls. 

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Wasted Youth: Ash Waste Nomad Shaman

Last night I broke out the yellows, blues and reds yet again to paint up a 3rd member of my Ash Waste Nomads gang. I decided it was about time I painted one of the Marauder Nomad figures and I couldn't resist flicking the paint over my favourite of the 4:

Marauder Ash Waste Nomad #3
Here's the painted version:


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Wasted Youth: Running Ash Waste Nomad Converted and Painted

I can't believe it's been 2 months since I painted up my first Ash Wastes Nomad for my planned Confrontation / Necromunda gang. Various other bits and pieces have distracted me, but happily Nomad #2 saw some paint action last night. Here's the results:

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Gaming Community Projects / Blood Bowl Slann

Gaming Community Projects
2014 is coming to a close and there's a raft of activity around some of the community projects I'm involved with.

Top of the billing is Project Alchemy, due to end this coming Sunday (9 November). This charity fundraiser in aid of UNICEF has currently raised £1,740, just shy of the £2,000 target, with all donors being entered into a draw to win some amazing wargaming memorabilia. A massive 'thank you' to everyone who has put their hands into their pockets so far! And if you haven't, what are you waiting for! Here's a teaser of what you could win:

Details on how to donate at www.project-alchemy.weebly.com

The Oldhammer Legacy Warband is looking very fine, with 13 models completed and numerous others currently WIP and due for completion before Christmas.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Orctober Fest: Sporting Snots!

Erny's Place launched the second year of 'Orctober Fest' at the start of the month - a month-long celebration of all things orcish (or orkish). As Orctober is drawing the a close, I thought I'd share my own greenskin output; 12 of Kev Adams' finest Blood Bowl Snotlings:


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Very Old School - Playing With Real Toy Soldiers

I visited my good friend Graham yesterday for a day of hobby fun in his excellent games room. After a cup of tea Graham announced that he would like to try something different from our default (Citadel miniatures and Games Workshop games).

Graham is a collector of Elastolin toy soldiers - roughly 40mm plastic figures, produced in Germany from the 1960s through to the 1980s (so Graham tells me - forgive me if I'm wrong). A stack of likely looking figures was assembled on the tabletop, with some retinue sheets for us to play a game using Osprey's Lion Rampant rules - we would both be novices as I had never played Lion Rampant before, and Graham had just a single game under his belt.

I would be fielding a largely Saxon force led by Prince Valiant, with some allied Vikings, while Graham's force consisted of Caesar's Roman Legionaries with some skirmishing auxiliaries.
Prince Valiant (note, this isn't Graham's figure, just an almost identical image I grabbed from the net)
A quick note on the Osprey rules; the game works on unit activation; you roll to see whether a unit can move, shoot, charge into combat or whatever. If at any point you fail with a unit, your turn immediately ends. This is a great game mechanic for adding uncertainty and risk management into the game. It also neatly represents battlefield confusion or hesitation.

The Roman Legion had marched on the Saxon village of Dudden Leah. Prince Valiant, alerted to the danger, called his kinsfolk to arms. Asvald of the Vikings, friend of Valiant, also promised a ship's company of swords...

The battle lines are drawn, with the Romans on the left and the Saxons on the right

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Brattish Behaviour - Painting the Giveaway Brat

In celebration of hitting my blog anniversary last month, you may remember I ran a bit of a competition to build and paint a Brat Ganger to the design of one lucky winner. Lasgunpacker was that lucky winner. His design brief for the figure was:

Lasgunpacker wrote: "As for the Brat... I think left hand chain sword right hand carrying a bag of some sort.

Colors: dark brown leather for the vest and boots, lighter leather colors for the other webbing and holster, pants and arms alternating checked harlequin colors, hair to suit your tastes."

I converted a chainsaw-wielding, bag-carrying Brat a week or two ago, and last night painted him up:

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Onald Thern, Space Pirate

Moustaches are very much de rigueur among the Space Pirate fraternity and Onald Thern is no exception:


Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Frog Sporting Action (Blood Bowl Slann)

It's high time I devoted some column inches to Blood Bowl (still my favourite GW game). I play Blood Bowl more frequently that any other game, and started in a new season with the Nottingham Blood Bowl League a week or two back.

I'm using the Slann team for the first time since a couple of very frustrating games back in 2011 when I built the team. Following last Wednesday evening's game I was able to buy myself a new player for the squad with my winnings; I settled on a third Catcher.

When I originally built the team, I picked up a selection of 11 old WHFB Slann and did a few weapon snips and minor modifications. The Catchers were a bit more dynamic, with leaping and jumping poses as befits their in-game rules. In anticipation of needing a new player, I had acquired some additional Slann just for this very purpose. The new Catcher was donated to the cause by Asslessman over at Leadplague (thanks JB - hope you don't mind the heretical use I've put him to!).

Here's the resulting figure:


Friday, 26 September 2014

Original Art - Part 7: Ian Miller's Scavvy Concept Sheets

Ian Miller is intrinsically linked with the early art of Games Workshop. His iconic and often disturbing images set the tone for many Games Workshop publications, including Rogue Trader and Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness. Ian has long since left his work with Games Workshop behind, and is a respected and well-recognised artist outside of the sci-fantasy genre.

Six months or so ago, my friend Graham Apperley got in touch with Ian and arranged to buy a few pieces of GW artwork. I had always assumed Ian Miller's pieces were well out of my price range, but when I was given the opportunity to buy the sheet below, I jumped at the chance:

Sheet 2: Note the flamer crew, robotic dogs and preponderence of weird prosthetics

What you are looking at is an A3 sheet of concept sketches for "Hive Gang Scavvies" by Ian, drawn in 1989.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Brattish Behaviour - Converting the Giveaway Brat

Having announced yesterday that Lasgunpacker was the winner of the giveaway Brat competition, I spent some time yesterday evening thinking about the model.

The key elements of the figure's pose as specified by Lasgunpacker were:
  1. Wielding a chainsword; and
  2. Carrying a bag.

I knew I also wanted to do some work on the the hair and give the Brat a hairstyle I hadn't done on any of my previous Brat gangers.

I started to think about the concept behind the model, and it occurred to me that if this Brat is carrying a bag, he's likely to be on some sort of mission; perhaps he's a courier of vital messages that cannot be trusted via usual routes. With that in mind, I decided I wanted him to be a little bit meaner and not quite as overtly flamboyant as some of the Brat's I've made to date.

I rummaged around in my bitz box and pulled out a selection of likely looking parts. My first step was to remove the crest of hair above the top of the Brat's skull. I sourced a nice chainsword arm from an old Eldar Harlequin, and a bag which I think might have come from Gorkamorka muties. A pointing gloved hand from yet another Harlequin and a couple of hours of greenstuffing later, this was the result:

The Brat Courier prepares to defend his consignment (note the gloved hand looks big here due to the angle - it's OK in real life I think.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Manu Loat, Space Pirate / Brat Giveaway Winner

The bulk of any Guilder's force is usually made up of a rag-tag group of hired guns. Mercenaries can often boast an impressive arsenal and wide range of combat experience. Their very presence can disuade gangs from considering attacks on warehouses or transports. However hired guns have practically zero loyalty; many a Guilder has been fatally exposed when a fire-fight proves to hot for his hired muscle and they melt into the shadows to seek less risky employment.

Manu Loat is just such an individual...currently in the employ of Guilder Yakob Pento:

Manu Loat. Don't make fun of his moustache!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Space Marine Army (1991 Vintage)...What's It Worth Now?

As I was idly flicking through WD142 (October 1991) last night, I spent a bit of time admiring the GW Leeds store Ultramarines Space Marine army ("modelled and painted by the staff), pictured on the rear cover:

'Cor,' I thought, 'that's a nice bit of old lead...I wonder what it's worth now?'

Monday, 15 September 2014

Launching Project Alchemy - A Wargaming Charity Project

Wouldn't it be great if there was some way to get excited about the wargaming hobby in combination with raising cash for charity?

Well, actually, there is! Over the last 6 months myself and some others have been pulling together a simply amazing pool of prizes for a charity raffle in aid of the international childrens' charity, UNICEF.


We are launching with an initial pool of 15 prizes, with a further 15 being added over the course of the project. Here are just some of the fabulous prizes up for grabs:

Unreleased Warhammer Empire Warrior Priests

Ratspike artbook signed by John Blanche

Original 1987 pencil sketch of Warhammer 40,000 orks by Ian Miller

Warhammer 40,000 Terminator painted by Paul Sanderson

Donations are made through JustGiving - the secure charitable donations platform (linked from the Project Alchemy website). Every £1 donated to the project qualifies the donor to receive a raffle ticket to be entered into the draw (i.e. £5 donated = 5 tickets). The donation period runs until 9th November, after which the prize draw will be made.

Please take a look at the website http://project-alchemy.weebly.com/

Please donate generously!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Something Smells Fishy to Me - Painting a Piscean Warrior

Back in 1987, GW released its Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader game. Accompanying the rulebook, a small range of 14 miniatures were released in March 1987. The range included a selection of humans and aliens, including a large, rather odd-looking alien with fishy characteristics; a Piscean Warrior:

My original Piscean Warrior - painted ~10 years ago

Friday, 5 September 2014

Wasted Youth: First Ash Wastes Nomad

I've decided that my Brat gang needs some more opposition. Eventually I will finish off the Guilder gang, and have scavvies and techs waiting in the wings, but Ash Waste Nomads really caught my eye. Over the last couple of months I have acquired the classic Citadel and Marauder nomads from the early 1990s and want my gang to have that look: goggles, respirators, layered clothing and (most importantly) broad-brimmed hats!
Excellent Ash Waste Nomad banner by Will Beck

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Happy Birthday Magpie and the Great Brat Giveaway

Can you believe it? Magpie and Old Lead is 12 months old today! I started the blog mainly as a focal point and repository for my hobby activities, which had been spread out across several forums. To my surprise, over the past year, the blog has become both a motivator for generating hobby content, and a gateway to other peoples’ hobbies.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Hooligans in the Hive - BOYL14

+++++TRANSMITTED: Necromunda (Palatine Spire)
+++++TYPE: Spire News Feed
+++++BOYL 014.M3
+++++REF: MAOL/0302995.49L



Reports confirmed of incidences of uncontrolled gang warfare breaking out in Hive Palatine. Ground car racing has destroyed exclusive upper spire 'Synth Meadows' open space. Vid-logs show alien species outside their designated sector engaged in destructive vehicle to vehicle combat with Hive Gangs and Brats.

>>Download Complete: Vehicles Involved<<

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

An Interview With...Illustrator Des Hanley

If you've been involved in the Games Workshop hobby for any length of time, you can't fail to be impressed from the lush and plentiful illustrations littered across their publications. From the early days in the 1980s, through to the present time, GW has literally published thousands of wonderful pieces of artwork in rulebooks, sourcebooks and novels. Each piece adds to the atmosphere of GW's fantasy worlds, and many are instantly unforgettable.

40k Chaos 'Abaddon & Cypher' (Des Hanley)

Des Hanley is one of the illustrators who responsible for some of this output. Working as an illustrator for GW from Oct 95 to Feb 1999, he worked on a wide range of projects, including Warhammer army books, Warhammer 40,000 codicies and the Battle Fleet Gothic game. Des has been kind enough to subject himself to being interviewed on his career in illustration and time working for GW.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Coming to the BOYL nicely

This weekend (8/9/10 August) holds the promise of some real excitement for fans of classic Citadel models and GW games; Foundry are hosting the Oldhammer 'Bring Out Your Lead' event; for the second year since its inception. The event is likely to be a rather free and bohemian affair, with a range of games being pushed round some tables. I believe there might also be some consumption of an alcoholic beverage or two in the evenings!

Although I can't attend the entire weekend, I've been given a pass for Friday evening socialising and Sunday gaming. Earlier I pulled together everything I'm planning to bring with me - here's the pile:

Thursday, 31 July 2014

NBBL - a Blood Bowl League Report

Back at the end of May I did something radical – I joined a Blood Bowl league! Having participated in the NAF Blood Bowl tournament in early May, I was full of enthusiasm for gaming, and sought out the Nottingham Blood Bowl League (NBBL) via the wonder of Facebook, playing at Bugman’s Bar at GW HQ.

Although the league was already several weeks in, I was allowed to join as a late starter, bringing my Dark Elf team, The Malice Troupers. The league proved to be a particularly bruising encounter for my Dark Elves; joining in part-way meant that my opponents were using more developed teams (although having cash to compensate and buy in Star Players is always nice).
The Malice Troupers ready for the season!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Horns and Wheels - Finished Sensei Companion & Brat Car

Sadly due to a scheduling clash, it looks like I am no long participating in the Rogue Trader - 'The Quickening' game in a couple of weeks time at the Oldhammer Bring Out Your Lead weekend at Foundry. But not being able to join in the game, doesn't mean the Sensei I painted a week or so back doesn't need any companions. With my wife out last night, I broke out the paints and selected one of my top 10 miniatures of all time as my Sensei's first companion - Beast Trooper Gaxt.
Back in Rogue Trader, Beastmen were simply abhumans which could be used alongside human Imperial Guard, in the same way as Ogryns and Ratlings. Beast Trooper Gaxt was just one of the Imperial Guard range, armed with his autogun. My version of him is painted to match my Sensei, with a primarily dark grey scheme:
A subdued colour scheme with flashes of colour on the gaiters and wristband

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The Confrontation Project - Starting to Look Pretty Big!

Over a year ago I started putting together a Brat gang. I'm not entirely sure why - there was no real reason behind it, other than the appeal of the models.

 In the intervening 12 months, the Brat gang has evolved into a fun (and flamboyant) modelling and painting project. Of course, Brats need somebody to fight, and somewhere to fight. The logical result of this realisation was to start buying up other suitable models and terrain. This morning, another shipment of models destined for a life of fighting Brats arrived. Feeling very pleased with my latest purchase, I laid out all of the WIP and unpainted models. All 65 of them...

I'm particularly enjoying pulling on less well-known ranges like Paranoia and Judge Dredd. With a bit of tweaking, some of the figures are perfect for a Confrontation setting. Here's a closer look at the WIP pile:

Thursday, 24 July 2014

My Top 10 Minis Of All Time

Last week over at the Oldhammer Facebook group, Juck Vaughan posed this very succinct question:

"What are your top ten pieces of all time?"

The question generated quite a bit of interest, with plenty of suggestions. I myself waded in with a list of 10 miniatures of my personal favourites. Think about the implications of the question though - is it really possible to select just 10 figures? Imagine that you are being forced by your wife/husband, girlfriend/boyfriend, partner or significant other to sell your entire collection of figures. You have been granted a small concession and can keep, trade or buy just 10 figures which are representative of your time in the hobby.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Grigor Klegane - Bodyguard for Hire

Last night I should have made some progress painting my Bratmobile in preparation for the Bring Out Your Lead whacky races game at the Foundry in a few weeks time. Instead I painted up this chap:

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Enter the Sensei - Ekros the Eternal

For me, the best motivation for painting some figures is the probability of joining in a pre-organised event. The Oldhammer Bring Out Your Lead event in August at Foundry is proving to be a fruitful motivator for me - so far I've painted a Brat gang, a Brat biker, converted a Brat car, and am half-way through repurposing a toy crane.

I also got very excited when I read about JB's plans for a Combat Cards based mash-up game; The Rogue Trader Quickening. This game is a bit of a blend of concepts; namely the idea of Sensei from Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness (immortal, secretive children of the Emperor) and the 1980s Highlander films starring Christopher Lambert (immortals who chop each others' heads off because "there can be only one!"). Although The Quickening is planned for Saturday and I can only attend on Sunday, there's an outside chance of a re-run on Sunday...and if that happens I want in! And if I want in, I need to make a Sensei.

So that's what I've done:

Ekros the Eternal; Sensei

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Biker Brat Painted

The Biker Brat I converted up for my Brat gang has been languishing unpainted for a couple of months. There were a couple of reasons for this: I had other stuff to work on and I was also a little intimidated by the prospect of painting him.

Anyway, last night I put brush to lead and painted him up (inbetween the odd German goal):


Monday, 7 July 2014

Snap! I've Got A Pair!

You might think that the right number for a group of miniatures is a squad of 5. Or perhaps it's a regiment of 30. You're wrong of course, I've recently had the realisation that the correct number is 2. This realisation only came to me through two sub-consciously created events:

Event #1
I purchased this Citadel Pilot from the classic 40k Adventurers range:

"So what's my point?", you might ask. It's a perfectly good purchase of a lovely, classic Citadel figure. No different from buying the Space Eunuch or Worldburner.