You'll find a little of everything here. Genres covered in this blog include (so far) prehistorics, fantasy, old west, swashbucklers, pulp, Blood Bowl, Ghostbusters, gladiators, nautical, science fiction and samurai in 6mm, 15mm, 28mm, 40mm, 42mm and 54mm sizes. You'll also find terrain, scenery, basing, gaming, modeling, tutorials, repaints, conversions, art and thoughts in general about the hobby.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Senjutsu: Battle for Japan


I haven't actually played it yet, but I've seen the videos, read the rules, and it looks fun. Not only that, but I already have a sizeable collection of painted samurai to use!

The only problem is that Senjutsu is in 30mm and I have 40mm. No worries, I'll build my own terrain!

The battle board was mapped out using isometric graph paper to set the grid, then it was cut out of a piece of 1/2" (paper backed) foam board. Carefully flocked, the edges painted to clean up a little, and little felt pads added to "float" the board a little (and level it out and protect whatever surface it's sitting on.)

The rocks were carved from blue insulation foam and painted in a couple layers of wood glue to add durability. The shrine was simply built from scraps of wood and card. And the bamboo sticks came from a bamboo kitchen place mat.

I'll touch on the urban terrain in another post; it was created long ago for my collection, but it will certainly find some use with Senjutsu.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Yaji and Kita

I finished painting a few more civilian figures for my 40mm Japanese collection. These are, from left, a well-to-do traveller, and famous adventurers Yaji and Kita.

Who are Yaji and Kita? They are the main characters if the story of Tōkaidōchū Hizakurige, a comic serial/novel written by Jippensha Ikku from 1802 to 1822. The stories of the duo take place during their pilgrimage from Edo to Kyoto, and also serves as an informal guide to the Tokaido road.

If you want to read it in English, you can find it under the title "Shank's Mare." The stories rely on a lot of Japanese puns and wordplay, so much of the humor might be lost on Western readers, but the book was still entertaining even if only on a simple level.

I commissioned Steve Barber Models to sculpt the figures based on a statue (with a few minor changes) of the literary characters, which is located near the Sanjo Ohashi bridge in Kyoto.

The other figure is a simple traveller using the Yaji model as a base, but using the head from another Steve Barber figure (I can't remember which one right off.) 

The bases are by Proxie Models, and the static grasses and shrubs and flowers are from Army Painter.

Friday, April 7, 2023

Samurai house

Test of Honour requires at least 2 or 3 buildings for many of the missions (and the core game does come with some flats to represent buildings and terrain,) but I game in 40mm, and there are not a lot of 40mm building options. So I build my own. Here are a couple new structures I've added.

They were straightforward to build -- I used matt board with a pebbled texture (it was sold that way), measured it, cut it (and the windows and doors), and wrapped it around a wooded base (for strength and stability.) I added several pieces of basswood strips for the exterior beams and frames. Add paint and almost done.

The roofs were simply pre-molded plastic styrene sheets meant for model railroading. I used Spanish Tile sheets. A few companies make them -- Plastruct, JTT Miniatures, and Precision Products (dollhouse company.) I used JTT. I primed and painted the sheets, built basic roof frames to fit each building, and then simply used a hot glue gun to affix the sheets to the frame.

I used my old building as reference for measurements specifically because I wanted the walls and doorways to all match so that the structures could be combined to make one or two larger buildings. Several of those configurations are shown. I want to add one more structure -- a small square hallway section -- for even more combinations.

Monday, April 3, 2023

A few shots from more Test of Honour Battles


We played a few more battles this weekend. Nothing to report, but here are a few images from that game.
The miniatures, by the way, are from Steve Barber Models. Most of mine have been heavily converted, but even the out-of-the-box sculpts are great and easy to paint. They also make for a great-looking game.

Mechanics-wise, we decided not to change the measurements (since the game is scaled for 28mm figures), and everything still works out.

Surprisingly, we didn't get any photos of the new buildings I built for the occasion, so I'll show those later in a separate post.  (Also, surprisingly, despite the buildings having fully open and easily reachable areas, we have yet to send any of our forces indoors for a fight; we might just have to set up an indoors battle.)

Friday, March 24, 2023

Test of Honour: Group bases


One of the things we lacked for our first Test of Honour game were proper group bases. In the game, you can take figures for your force as either individuals or in groups to help increase strength and durability. The game is meant to be played at 28mm, and there are pre-cut group bases available. But my games are at 40mm scale, so I needed to make my own.

They were quite easy to make and only took me about an hour to complete these seven. I simply marked off where the figures would stand, and used differing types of flock to delineate those areas: short flock for where the figures stand, and static grass for the gaps. For variety, floral accents and stones were added to some of the bases. I also tried out some tall grass on a couple of the bases (ninjas need hiding spots!)

We don't have any Test of Honour games planned anytime soon, but these bases will still help for a nicer display of the figures in the display case where I have them stored. The bases also serve as nice little vignettes (as seen below with the woodsmen having a conversation.)

Monday, March 20, 2023

Test of Honour 2nd Edition: I finally played!!!

 A few years ago, I got the cool job of illustrating the tabletop wargame "Test of Honour" (2nd edition.) I found the first edition in a search of rules to use with my 40mm samurai collection from Steve Barber Models, which led me to the illustration job. Last weekend, I finally played the game and had loads of fun! My friend Adam and I were only planning on doing one -- maybe two -- battles, but we were having so much fun, we ended up playing three that day (sorry, wife!)

The rules were easy; the mechanisms were solid (we had to refer to the book only a few times, being our first/learning game, but the answers were all there;) and the play was fun with plenty of action, tension, and momentum shifts.

We didn't record a proper session report, but we did take plenty of photos. Here is a selection:

Friday, June 11, 2021

Hunters and scoundrels

Last Christmas, I couldn't resist getting some Star Wars Legion minis -- My wife and I don't play SW Legion, but we do play Zombicide Invader. So we've got these two teams (plus one more yet unpainted) to use as alternative survivors for the game (I still need to make custom cards!)

My wife had fun painting all the Mandalorians (except Boba Fett who I got to paint), and I enjoyed painting the classic characters.

Nothing special to mention about the painting or assembly of these figures. They assemble very easily, and there's no conversion work. I'm still hoping Legion comes out with one more bounty hunter or rogue who will fit in with Jabba's pre-New Hope gang here so I can make it a full 6-survivor team.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Dreadball: New teams (to us anyway)

My wife and I painted up a couple new Dreadball teams to play!

She did a great job with a full team of mechanites -- The Loose Cogs.
I assembled them for her, and expected to help out painting a few, but she took over and did a great job. She did it all: She "built" each team member on paper; organized her strikers, jacks and guards; and chose colors to reflect that organization (mostly green are guards, tan/beige/gold are the strikers, and blue are the jacks.) 

And then she painted all of them, and despite the different colors for different roles, she used a nice limited palette to keep the team unified. I'm proud of my sweety -- and also scared of her team; I'm pretty sure my hobgoblins are going to take a beating.

Speaking of which, I painted myself the "Hobgob Scachens." Not much to say about them except they were fun to paint! Also, I painted up the team captain, Graggot. He's one of my first all-resin figures, so I'm a little daunted, but I haven't chipped any pieces off yet! But he painted up just fine.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Space Hulk!

 Like many people, I entered the hobby with Warhammer (for me, it was 40K first edition in the summer of 1987 -- the old Rogue Trader edition -- damn, I loved that book and don't know where it went.) Eventually, I sold my 40K Imperial Guard and Space Marines and switched over to Warhammer fantasy (using the old orange book.) 

I still have much of my Warhammer Empire army boxed up, still needing some paint, but there's just too much there to bring out, catalogue, paint, organize, and play with. When SPace Hulk 4th edition came out, I took the opportunity to not only get back into 40K, but to get an iteration of the 40K universe that was much more convenient to paint and play. 

Much of it is already painted, and you can see my "Orphans" (the name of my Chapter) elsewhere in this blog. Still, it was nice the past couple weeks to take a break from my mandatory projects (Conan, Okko, Zombicides  -- yes plural -- Rise of Moloch and yet-to-arrive Everrain.) Since I have all the Orphan terminators I need to play with painted, I decided to paint up one more squad as if they were "elites" within the chapter. Really, they just have a slightly different paint job (a little more red up top to honour they Blood Angels from which the Orphans were seeded.) I also gussied up my Chaplain a little bit (I added a cape!) He will serve as a proxy sergeant for this new squad. I already have three figures painted for the squad. I'm waiting for better weather to prime the remaining pair.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Catching up: Conan Pt 2

 Here are most of the minions from the Conan game. These also represent the first collaborative/assembly line-painted minis between my wife and me (with a couple exceptions, such as with the Aesir and frost giant ((by my wife)) and the Stygian assassins ((by me)).

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Catching Up: Conan

 This is by far our (the wife and me) largest project -- the Conan board game by Monolith. We've been painting the figures on-and-off among our many other projects since the game arrived the same year my wife and I met.

We've completed all the minis in the core and King's pledge boxes. We're still working on figures form the expansions. By which I mean I'm still working on figures from the expansions; my wife has completed 95% of the figures she was "assigned" to paint (we split the work 50-50.)

I guess I just need to hunker down and make than final push so that we'll finally have everything for Conan painted and ready to play.

I'll split this post into two parts (Part 2 will be posted a day or two from now). This first part shows the heroes and some of the monsters. The second part will focus on minions.