Monday, 26 May 2014

4Ground Medieval Dwelling

I'm very conscious there has been very little blogging of late; my work/life schedule has taken a massive bite into my free time in recent months, although I have been (sort of) productive during this time; no reports have made it online.  

Having said all that, the academic year is grinding to a close and with it, most of my current commitments; which should allow more blogging again...

Anyway, enough of my blubbing and on with the update! During a great visit to Salute recently, what stood out for me was the very prominent 4Ground kit that seemed to dominate a lot of the display games. I always had an open mind about laser cut buildings and their inherent qualities, but having seen them firsthand I have been sold; yes, they probably don't look as convincing as resin/plastic etc, but given the time saved, flexibility and so on, they are hard to beat. Not only that, they do look impressive 'in the flesh'.

I decided to take the plunge and try one out, hence the Saxon/Medieval dwelling here,which I picked up for £14, which is fairly reasonable. For those who haven't encountered the model before, I found it very straight forward to build. The only 'dodgy' bit, I think, is the so-called 'teddy bear fur' used for the thatch. However, once it is treated with a PVA/water mix as outlined in the instructions, it isn't too bad. I may yet wash and dry brush it to give it a little more depth.

The interior, out of the box is a little sparse, so I painted and dry brushed the floor before adding some brown static grass as 'straw', along with some firewood and 'ashes' in the fire box.

I intend to base the dwelling and add some wattle fencing, currently on order from Northstar to create a centre piece for a bit of Dark Age skirmishing - probably using THW's Swordplay rules.

Finally, the obligatory scale shot, using a couple of Conquest Games' Norman Infantry; as you can see, they fit very nicely. To sum up, I think 4Ground are the way ahead and ideal for skirmish-type games and intend to order a few more.

That's it for now,


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Ultimate General: Gettysburg

I discovered this forthcoming very interesting PC and tablet based-war game from acclaimed Total War modder, DarthMod by accident recently.

Using a new game engine, it replicates the clash between the Union and Confederate forces around the town of Gettysburg in a  series of dynamic battles in real time.

 More information, along with a number of game-play videos and in depth developer comments can be found at DarthMod's blog.  

Sometimes (quite often, actually) real life gets in the way of miniature gaming/painting etc; so I always welcome the chance to flick a switch and have an electronic blast if it's worthy of its salt and this title - so far, at least, given the developer's reputation and past efforts - looks like it may be just that. More to follow...

That's it, for now.


Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Judge Dredd: America - as read by Karl Urban at Dallas Comic Con

For all you (like me) Judge Dredd fans; to mark the 37th year - this week - of 2000 AD; here is a special, short by Karl Urban.

The great man reads the opener from the John Wagner classic 'America' - what a sport and fellow fan.

That's it for now,


Monday, 17 February 2014

Bolt-Action Ruined Hamlet Part 2

Some time ago I posted about the Warlord Games Bolt-Action Ruined Hamlet I had acquired; well, finally, here is the update. However, I have - in true fashion - only completed one, so far; due to my wandering attention and unfocused approach to all things wargaming.

The box contains three sets of these components, which allow the construction of a ruined farm-type house and/or two smaller ruined structures; depending how you decide to utilise them. There does appear, upon closer inspection, to be a discrepancy between the two doorway sizes of each set, in that one appears to be 1/56 scale and the other, closer to 1/72; although, to be honest, I didn't find this to be a major issue once construction had taken place. 

The older, rural nature of the buildings these kits are depicting, would probably lend itself to irregularities in construction (that's my take on it, anyway).

Here is one of the finished products, which I mounted on some stiff card - please excuse the poor photography (I used my phone under the kitchen lighting, as usual).

I added some additional 'rubble' using sand and cat litter and employed some old coffee stirrers to act as battered, floor boarding  for the interiors.

As you would expect, there was a fair amount of filling and cleaning up of join lines during construction; but, overall the model was very clean and flash free.

To keep costs down I used black car primer to undercoat and Dulux match pots to paint the building , along with some commercial matte varnish, all of which, I think, achieved their respective aims for a fraction of the cost of 'dedicated' wargaming products.

I plan to use all three buildings as part of small-scale Normandy-type skirmish games and have recently got hold of some Bolt-Action plastic British and German infantry to use for these - more of which later.  Although, as a brief insight, here are a few 'Tommies' to illustrate how the structure fits scale-wise.

To sum up, for those into 28mm gaming from Pike and Shotte to modern, you really can't go wrong with these as an addition to your table top; just do what I did and shop around for the best price beforehand.

That's it for now,


Saturday, 30 November 2013

Black Friday Late Night Purchase

I now realise that having returned from a night out meeting up with friends, I enthusistically took advantage of the Black Friday sale offer at Plastic Soldier Company and ordered some 15mm US Infantry. Quite why, I'm not sure; I don't do WW2 in that scale :-S but the delayed recall was impressive...ho hum...

I'm sure they're very nice...

That's it for now...


Sunday, 17 November 2013

Close Combat - Panthers in the Fog

I've been playing the Close Combat series of real-time, tactical wargames since 1997 and after a little deliberation, dived back in and grabbed the latest incarnation, Panthers in the Fog.

A host of improvements, including higher resolutions, graphical effects and additional command screens, to name a few, have resulted in the most polished version of this classic veteran to date.

The combat remains the same, tense, top-down squad by squad affair; although the new(er) maps with their additional detail add greater clarity and compliment the enhanced effects, such as the smoke and explosion effects.

The pre-battle operational screens give welcome depth and context to the ensuing tactical duels, although they are limited somewhat in scope.

Despite the influx of 3D, action strategy titles such as Company of Heroes and Combat Mission, it is Close Combat - for me, at least - that remains unsurpassed. Of course, it's now showing its age a little and some of the old issues remain, such as the occasional spinning tank and poor pathfinding; but the tense, unforgiving combat remains the best available.

That's it for now,


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Total Wargamer

Just a quick post to sing the praises of supplier Total Wargamer and their excellent service.

I ordered Warlord's Ruined Hamlet - very nice and more later - on Saturday; which was 30% below the recommended price quoted on every other site I'd seen, and it arrived three days later  - fantastic.

All I will say is,  based on this service and price point, they will be first stop for any future custom from me and come highly recommended.

That's it for now,


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

28mm Judge Dredd Lawmaster

The little woman came up trumps again and got me Judge Dredd, Judge Anderson and their awesome Lawmaster bikes from Mongoose Publishing, for my birthday - very nice they are, too

The Judge Dredd range is ever-expanding and Mongoose plan a raft of additions over the coming months, which is all good stuff for a life-long 2000 AD fan such as myself.

Dredd and Lawmaster in their component parts; there was considerable filing, application of green stuff and manipulation of (his) limbs - tentatively with pliers - to enable the great man to 'sit' correctly during the usual clean-up phase.

Partial assembly with all parts receiving an undercoat/prime with some black car primer; I based the bike on a recycled plastic base from some 28mm plastic figures after drilling and pinning the wheels due to the model's considerable weight.

Almost complete, awaiting final highlighting and gloss varnishing...

...and he's off! The Judge roars away to rid Mega-City One of its lawbreaking creeps...

I really enjoyed completing this model and love the chunky version of Dredd's iconic bike Mongoose have created. I shall finish Anderson in due course (all hair flowing and Lawgiver drawn) and post soon.
Meanwhile,this range comes highly recommended to all JD fans and those wanting some high quality sci-fi figures for skirmishing/displaying.

That's it for now,


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Blogger Issues!

Anyone else experiencing Blogger issues at present?
My account is playing up and won't let me edit, create or post updates - bloody frustrating!
This post is being produced on my phone; not sure if the problem is Blogger-centric, or something to do with my clapped-out PC.
The irony is that I actually have some update stuff to post for once!
Time will no doubt tell...
That's it for, now,

Friday, 2 August 2013

300: Rise of an Empire Trailer 2013 Official Teaser - 2014 Movie [HD]

Hmm...this looks pretty good...larger in scale, but hopefully not losing that original, graphic novel feel. Time will tell, no doubt.

That's it for now,


Saturday, 27 July 2013

Classic War Films Upgrade

I'm very aware of my lack of posting lately - there is painting (of sorts) going on in the background - but life has been soooo busy recently.

I will put some stuff up soon, but in the meantime, I though I would quickly highlight my latest classic war film upgrading to blu-ray from DVD (yes, extravagant, I know - but necessary...)

All are fantastic conversions with excellent full HD picture quality and Dolby 5.1 sound which breathes new life into them all round.

More to follow, including The Dambusters, which should have arrived with these, but has been delayed - drat!

That's it for now,


Monday, 17 June 2013

Ryse: Son of Rome Official E3 Gameplay Demo

Is it to be the PS4 or Xbox One? Don't know, but games like this could tip the balance; Call of Duty meets the Roman army...looks fantastic.

That's it for now,


Saturday, 30 March 2013

The Eagle's Nest

A hectic period of relocating, changing jobs and general confusion has largely passed and allowed me to settle into my new surroundings - the spare box room - now dubbed, ahem, 'The Eagle's Nest'.

You see, sadly, I am not blessed with the sort of grandiose bespoke gaming real estate ( 40 feet long gaming room/shed/outhouse/pavilion/basement et al.) that some of my more fortunate blogging buddies have; so it's a humble 7' x 7' domain that schizophrenically acts as office, library, painting room, retreat, sulking/brooding hole.

However, that said, I count my blessings and realise that I am more fortunate than some, who have to make do with less. Be aware, poor photography follows...

The centre of my 'empire', with recently acquired natural light lamp; painting activity - of sorts - has resumed.

Pretentious, 'panoramic', 360-ish view of my humble bolt hole...ho hum... ;)

I must  try now and squeeze some painting in somewhere between everything else going on at the moment!

That's it for now,

Friday, 1 March 2013

Unleash Hell!

My attempts at clearing (some) of my ever-increasing backlog of unfinished swag continues with the completion of warlord's 28 mm Roman general based on Ridley Scott's  Maximus from the epic film, Gladiator.

(Warning: Poor photography ahead) I quite like the model's sculpt which has nice, crisp detail generally, although the rear of his cloak is a little flat and lacking definition. The model's nose, too had become flattened during transit, despite its robust blister pack, so I had to improvise with a tiny blob of PVA glue, which, once dried, sufficed suitably.

I based both Maximus and his trusty hound individually, but made this scratch-built stand from which they can survey developments in Germania. 

I went for the closest match I could to the film for the colours of his kit, rather than go for my own version; not very original I know, but hey-ho.

Well, there he is, ready to stick it to the Goths, now what else do I have lying around still to be painted? Oh, yeah...tons :D

That's it for now,


Monday, 4 February 2013

Conquest Games 28mm Norman Infantry

Here are the first of my Conquest Games Norman Infantry that I received as a Christmas present from my lovingly sympathetic (to my "silly little soldier thingies") woman. I have been unfeasibly busy just lately due to relocating, being made redundant and leaving my previous career of twenty-nine years to starting a new job, to do anything else on the creative front; so these will have to suffice for now.

However, that said, I must say that I have been impressed with these latest additions to the ever-increasing multi-part plastic range from various companies now available on the market. It is possible to make up to forty-four Norman infantry soldiers wearing varying degrees of protection and armed with a variety of weapons, including Danish axes, swords and spears. Most carry the famous Norman kite shield, although there are a couple of round shields per sprue if you prefer to add a little more diversity to your troops' appearance. most are helmeted in a variety of head dress, although some are bare-headed and sport the distinctive Norman barnet.

One of the two command sprues featuring a handy 'dead' marker. The detail and sculpting is excellent throughout, although the figures are a little tall - 30mm toe to eye - compared to other similar ranges, which may cause a problem when it comes to matching them off against each other.

I painted up a selection of four initial examples, including the armoured knight from the command sprue and was pleasantly surprised. All figures are nicely proportioned and dynamically posed. In addition I used the excellent shield transfers from Battle Flag to complete the look.


I prefer versatility with my miniatures and so have based them individually, but in this case, added a scratch-built unit stand to allow figure removal.


To sum up, a great example of a quality product of my favourite early medieval troops just waiting for some dedicated Saxon opposition - can't wait.

That's it for now,