Tuesday, 10 November 2015

WHFB at 6mm

Warhammer Fantasy

So our trio got rather invigorated by the microworldgames 6mm fantasy miniatures. It reminded us of those 'glory' days of Warhammer 6th edition, the version we played the most of.

Browsing pictures, turned into chat about how cool 6th was, which turned into dusting off the BRB and the army books from the shelves, which turned into ordering three different armies to play Warhammer again... in 6mm.

"don't you mean Warmaster?" nope. WHFB 6th Edition in 6mm. We decided we really like the mins and we really like the rules, why not try and make them work together. So that's what we're trying.

There's some inherent problems that i'm sure you've already thought of. base sizes, range/distance, wounds, individual minis. and you're right, there are some hurdles to overcome, but I think we've got the answers to those, and i'll get to those as I go on.

For now, to chronicle my army building. 

Ian has gone with Orcs and Goblins, as befits his past armies and Ben has gone with (Wood) Elves.

I've gone with undead. Which undead, i'm wasn't quite sure, but it was definitely going to be undead. As both a Tomb King player and a Vampire Counts player, I was torn. The Microworld 'Undead' suits both pallets: Bone giants, Ghouls, Zombies, Chariots etc.

Now, onto some miniature making. I did buy some 'Tomb King' models too, as well as just regular skeletons etc so I can swing both ways as it were.

TK Chariot. Comes with four horses, trying to decide whether to keep four horses...

I can't remember who makes these guys.. but for now they're going to be 'Spirit Hosts'. They're rotting flesh:skull white 3:1 base, thraka green wash, white dry brush, white highlight. 

The minis come with integral metal banners, but I fancy spicing it up a little. This more piratey flag is from a sheet of flags (more info below) so i'm using it for testing. Need some greenstuff to replace the hands that I removed.

Each base will have 12 guys on it, six wide. here's a unit of spearmen with command.

Getting to work on the skeles. They need more highlights on the spears/shields etc. but the skeles are bleached bone, devland mud, bleached bone with a skull white highlight. 

I got these from an ebay, they're designed for 10mm wargaming, but the guy will resize them to whatever you like for free. They were originally 10mm high each, I had them reduced to 8mm. The red banner will be for a BSB. 

Anyway, that's all for now. More when I get to it!

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Role Playing Games

A friend of mine, who has dipped his toe in and out of wargaming in the past, asked about role playing games after we were watching an episode of Big Bang Theory.

I talked to him about the fun i've had playing Pathfinder and D&D 3.5 before that, to which he said he'd possibly want to try it out at some point! So I spoke to the two other guys from Red Wyvern about having a short adventure and when discussing which system would be best as an intro game, it was suggested that I look at the 'Dragon Age' RPG. 

So the first step was to watch the 'Tabletop' video review/play through of it - the game was run by the creator of the game (Chris Pramas - Warhammer Fantasy roleplay 2nd Edition) who is from Green Ronin (makers of the Song of Ice and Fire RPG)

I must say I was impressed with what I saw - the rules set is quite striped back compared to other 'traditional' games from a first look it doesn't look to suffer from the problems of granularity and over the top detail of other games.. This was at the forefront of what Chris wanted to achieve

"There's a reason I was hot to design a game that could bring new blood into the hobby: the market has been shrinking for many years. Part of that has to do with the increasing complexity of tabletop RPGs. In many ways the roleplaying hobby has built a wall around itself and then we've all complained that no one comes to visit anymore while watching our comrades drift away into other pursuits" 

I really appreciate this approach, the phenomenon that Chris talks about isn't just restricted to the world of RPGs, I feel it is also happening to the modelling world too. So a decent effort to make a game that has, built into it, a desire to bring in new blood is all too welcome. It also helps me out no end with introducing a new player.

Pick up a pack

So I picked up the 'Set 1' pack which includes Game Master's Guide, Players Guide and a map of the realm of Ferelden in which the game is based. 

So far i've only been able to skim read the player and GM guide, but i'm impressed. It uses a 3D6 combat system, which gives a much more even and predictable gaming experience. it makes it more likely that your hero will do what you expect and intend against an enemy weaker or stronger than them - it doesn't mean a surprising result isn't likely to happen - its just that much easier to judge and interpret the situation.

The above image shows the likelihood of rolling certain results, as you can see there's a real bell curve to this one as opposed to the flat rate percentage of scoring a particular result on a D20 (5%). You can read an interesting conversation on D20v3D6 here.

The other things that make it easier and simpler to get into the game is the character creation and advancement. There are only three races - Dwarf, Human and Elf. Only three classes - Warrior, Rogue and Mage. There are only a select number of classes too, they are 'specialised' by use of 'traits and focuses' but it isn't overwhelming - you create you character with background and story - not with minute and rules.

Anyway! I've sung the games praises enough today.. I'm going to have another - deeper - look at the rules and see what it looks like. I'll, hopefully, track my progress getting into this game and running the first adventure!

Friday, 7 June 2013

In the wilderness far too long..

There's a running joke within the office about how there's always a parcel/package arriving for me. However, people have recently started commenting about the opposite.. no parcels, no packages, no nothing.

I've been on a model buying hiatus of late, the last models I actually bought were from Salute - Something the wife has been quite glad of - this is mainly due to the time i'm putting into Red Wyvern Games (website, blog)

That is until now! 
Arrving into the office  this morning was a small brown cardboard box, which I instantly knew to be my 15mm high elves from, well, 15mm.co.uk. I have bought from 15mm.co.uk before, but never bought the high elves, so i thought I'd give a quick review of them.

I have been a long standing 'elf' player, with Games Workshops High Elves and Dark Elves forming my largest and greatest armies (both around 5k points) but as i've moved down in the scales and away from GW, i've not really carried on this love of all things elven. I'm on a bit of a 15mm fantasy frenzy at the moment though and when I saw these guys knew i'd have to recreate my 28mm army in 15mm scale.

I bought two packs of the Elf Spearmen from the HOT 15mm range (see this link) they're £4 for 16 miniatures (25p ea)  in four different poses - which form a very nice squad with spears primed. 

Image from the website

I'll break down my review into 3 aspects, followed by a summary

  • Detail on the model
  • Quality of casting
  • P&P/Company review

So here we go!
[I appologise for the photo quality, im in some horrible dark back room office]

Detail on the model

The models are in fact, really well detailed. The smaller you start getting with scale, the harder it gets to achieve really good looking chainmail. The mail on these guys however, is really well done - very fine small holes that don't look like they'll fill up with paint the moment you add your brush and not so big that they look like someones taken a drill to them.

there's lots of additional detail as well, the helmets have some embeleshments on the front of them, that stands off of the helmet quite nicely and the finer details such as the face and hands have come out well - you can distinguish the facial features and count each of the fingers. 

Other details such as belt buckles and sword handles only help emphasise the detail on these minis.

Hopefully, you can see some of the detail I was refering to.

Quality of the Casting
This one is a bit of a mixed bag, the fact that all of the minis came out with the details I mentioned above being present is really, very good and a testiment to the quality of the molds. 

The level of flash on the minis however is quite astounding, some look like they've been 'flattened' with the flash coming out of all sides. whilst I don't think this will have a major impact of the model, though it might fill in some of the chainmail, it's more the amount of it, and clearing it out of those gaps between legs and in the nooks and crannies around hands/weapons can be a right pain in the arse. 

The above pictures will give you some idea of the amount of flash on some of these model (not all I must say) but some. It's a shame given the quality of the model itself.

Post, Package and 15mm.co.uk

The models arrived, seperated into bags and in a brown, slimline box. Unlike Magister Militum who will add 'padding' in the form of those 'S' shaped foam bits, these were left to slip and slide, though there's no apparent damage - the spears, for example, were in excellent shape - so i'm not too fussed by this, though packaging wouldn't hurt.

Now, as I said earlier, i've bought from 15mm.co.uk many times over the years and I do so because I feel confident in the quality/level of detial on the minis i'm buying, they've got a massive range plus they're prices are excellent, I'll certainly be buying more of the high elves! But there's just one thing that irks me.. their postage system. 

It's £3.50 flat rate, worldwide shipping and that includes the UK. This is an excellent method of getting worldwide customers, lord knows i've paid stupid amounts for shipping from the states for example. In the UK however, this is very high price for shipping of such small, light minis. 

I certainly feel as if i'm being overcharged to subsidise this flat rate system and have been put off buying from them in the past for one off items as i'd be paying almost as much in shipping as I am for the minis. My friends and I usually group our orders together when buying from them.

I paid £3.50 P&P and the stamp on the box says that it cost £1.10 to post, even if you include the price of the box and bags (which I would assume are bulk bought) this surely cannot push the price past £2.00! which means they're making £1.50 off me in postage. I certainly believe they'd get more order from me if they charged me appropriately. 

Anyway, enough of my moaning, here's some shots of a few of the models lined up as they will be. 


I've bought from them in the past and I know I'll be buying more in the future. A couple of tweeks to their business model and a bit more attention to the flash and you're making the finishing touches to an excellent company.
  • Level of Detail - excellent: 9.10
  • Casting Quality - mixed bag, great that the detail is there, but too much flash - It's the detail that counts though: 8.10
  • P&P and Company - Great company, excellent ranges just a shame about the postage system: 6.10

Monday, 25 March 2013

Here's a review!

Hi all,

Been a bit slow on the posting front I'm afraid, however you can check out a review I did of the Baccus 'Command Horizon' 6mm sci fi miniatures.

Really nice models and you can check out the review here!


Monday, 25 February 2013

My far from (really far from) exhaustive list of minature companies by scale!

As the title suggests... I have undertaken a rather dangerous task of trying to compile a list of companies that produce miniatures based on the scales of those models. (even if that means companies are duplicated several times on the list)

A lot of the work was done by Ben over at Tiny Mini People, however I'm trying to add to it as/where I can. 

I know i've missed *a lot* of comapnies of on this list, and will be updating it as soon as possible with more.. If you have any suggestions then please leave a comment and i'll update it.

You can check it out via the link towards the top left of the blog or just click here!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The grass is always greener..

The flock 'recipie' from my 'To Build a Board' post.. which you can find here, is as follows:

Two bags of 'Gaugemaster: Spring Green flock'. 
1. Two bags of this
One third of a bag of 'Woodland Scenics: Fine Turf Green Grass'
2. One third of a bag of this.
And finally, two handfulls of 'Games Workshop: Scorched Grass'
3. Two handfulls of this.
Which, when mixed all together, should create a rather nice tub of this!

We had to do this process twice to create enough flock to cover the board (though it did leave enough for us to do quite a few models for a while to come)

If you have a keen eye and you've read my other post, you'll note that there are other colours on the board. We used some other flocks (in small measures) to create a bit more texture to the board, and make it a little more reaslistic. I can't remember what they are, but Ben will have a list of some (all?) of them on his blog here! (I'll link that when he's updated it)

To Build a Board..

Being the hardworking fellows that my friends and I are, it's been a long while since we've had a whole day to spend working on a project. Most of our time spent together 'gaming' usually ends up with procrastinating..

So, we decided to book a day off of work in order to start early and crack out one big project. I present to you the 14 hour Gaming Board Challenge.

10.00 start.
Ben's on time.. Ian's 32 minutes late.

When Ian finally arrives we start drinking tea and procrastinating.. not a good start. But some fiery rhetoric from Ben gets us motivated and we're soon off to B&Q for wood to build what will be a 3'x2' gaming board for smaller scale miniatures (namely 6mm and 10mm).

£40 of wood and poly-foam later we're making our way into town for the various other supplies necessary to create a gaming table (Static flock amongst other things)

We finally get home some 5 hours after we started the challenge (Ive no idea why it took so long) and start work on building the board. (p.s. please excuse the mess that is my house)

Given that we are adding 'intergeral' terrain in the form of hills, we decided to add some battons running along the outside of the board (which you can see) to help protect the foam, this does mean that we won't be able to make it modular by adding other boards along side it, but it was a reasonable sacrifice to ensure that this new gaming table has a long life.

Using the board as a guide, we used a touch of Carpet tape to hold the battons in place and then nailed them together (We didn't have any screws) we then had the delicate task of flipping the whole thing upside down in order to attach the actual board to the battons (again using nails)

After which we got creative and worked out where our hills were going to go, before creating a mess by cutting up all the foam.

(fortunately) the Wife was at work...

Next Up, remove the foam, spray the battons;
We wanted to give the battons the a quick blast of black spray (we used some half empty GW Chaos Black spray) so that we'd only have to 'touch up' the edges once the board was done instead of worrying about getting black all over the flock.

Remember to spray in a well ventilated space ;)
Then stick the foam down with carpet tape and pva glue!
I cannot explain just how fantastic Carpet tape is.. it meant that the PVA could dry in it's own time and we could get on with the job of painting the entire board including hills, without worrying about them going anywhere. 

A touch of poly-filler to seal the edges.
Paint it all brown and wait for it to dry!
This was probably the easiest and longest job to do.. due to some rough edges on our cutting there were a couple of deep pockets of paint that took some time to dry. But it did mean we could get some miniature painting and dossing done in the mean time.

An electric heater really helped, though don't put it too close!
Once we'd finished waiting for it to dry, we started the job of flocking.
This is where it started getting good, as we started to see the final thing coming into shape

Nearly there;
So close yet, so far.. It took several attempts of flocking and sticking to make sure all the gaps were filled. As you can see in the picture above, we used a typical household sieve to apply the flock, this gives a fantastic even coverage that means you spend less time removing the excess to use again. Apparently it helps get the static to stand up on end too.. and it's far cheaper than using these 'puffer' bottle i've seen around lately.

After putting down the flock, we used a variety of other flocks (in small measure) to add some 'texture' to the board, providing some lighter and darker patches that are more realistic of an open area of grass. I'm not sure what they were, but Ben will probably provide a list on his blog. I'll add a direct link when he adds a list. And to finish off we used 'Woodland Scenics: Scenic Cement' in a spray bottle to just add a layer of safety and hold it all down.

Our finished board!
Well, almost.. the 'cliff' edges still need painting.. there was just a little too much loose flock around at the time, thought the black edges have now been touched up!

With some models on it;
The PVA was still a little wet, and we didn't have many painted models to hand, so here's a some of snap shots of a couple of units;

Some 10mm  Normans that Ian is working on, you can see a close up of these guys on his blog here!

My Plasma Blast Orbital Combine tanks, hiding behind the terrain!

Taking aim at the Progenetor tanks rolling down the hill!
Finish Time: 23.30.. final cost was around £60.
If you're interested in what was in our flock mix, then i've added it on another post here so that this one didn't get too much bigger!