Monday, 26 September 2022

Construction Vehicles on the Shelf

Next to the desk where I do all my writing and painting is a large bookcase. This is where I keep most of my favourite books, my gaming books, and my own works, so that they are all within easy reach while I work. However, I keep one shelf open for one of my current painting projects. This both beautifies the room and also encourages me to continue with the given project. Right now, the shelf contains my Dropship Down stuff. 

Most recently added to the shelf is a second construction vehicle from the Games Workshop Galvanic Servohauler set. It's a really great set and can mostly be painted in a generic way if you don't want to use it for the 'grimdark universe'.

I painted this smaller one to more or less match the first one, with a dirty, weather-beaten look. I try not to spend too long on such things as they are basically just terrain and most of the detail is wasted when viewed at 'playing distance'. Also, I don't want the terrain to outshine, or distract from, the miniatures during play.

Tuesday, 13 September 2022

The Red Guardian

Last year was not a particularly good year for me. Professionally, things went well, but I had some major struggles with anxiety. I won’t go into that here or now, but thankfully, I am doing much better at present, and generally feeling a lot more positive about life!

During those rougher times, one of the things that helped get me through was a return to the Marvel Comics I had loved as a teenager. I got a subscription to Marvel Unlimited and read something like a thousand comics during the year. (That’s getting my money’s worth!). I also started painting Marvel Crisis Protocol figures.

I think MCP is a pretty cool game, with some very neat and interesting mechanics that really simulate the feel of super battles. If that is your thing, it is definitely worth a look. It is, however, a very tactical, competitive game with lots of intricacies and rules interactions, which isn't what I’m usually looking for when I play miniatures games. So really, I have just been collecting and painting the figures, more as modelling/painting projects than as gaming pieces. I love getting to paint with brighter colours than I usually use on my fantasy/sci-fi figures! Plus, the figures are larger, which is nice on my slowly fading eyesight!

I haven’t posted any of that work to my blog because I was trying to stay offline more, and to keep one bit of the hobby to myself. These days though, as I am feeling better, I have started to have the desire to show off some of my work. So, here is the latest MCP figure I have painted: The Red Guardian.

In truth, I’m not overly familiar with the character. I have come across his team, the Winter Guard, a few times, but they never made much impression on me. That said, I really love the four figures they have released for the team. What I really like about Red Guardian is how generic he is. I mean, aside from his colours, he’s just about a ‘typical superhero’ at least in my mind. I painted him mostly by the book, except for his shield, which I made all red and white because I thought it more striking and fitting.

For the red body suit, I tried something new, in that I layered the red up by adding yellow to it. It’s subtle, but I think it worked well without making him go orange. Thankfully, I was able to use an ink to pick out the little hammer and sickle on his belt buckle, because that is some tiny detail!

I will likely go back and show off some of the other figures I have painted over the last year and a half.

Tuesday, 16 August 2022

'Goose Guys'

The other day my son came into my office and asked me a question about the 'Goose Guys' on my shelf, and I realized it has been awhile since I showed off my progress on my Dol Amroth army. I have slowly been adding figures to it over the last 6 months. I'm still a long way from where I want to be, but I have made progress. 

As can be seen, the army currently consists of:

  • 1 Swan Knight, Mounted
  • 6 Swan Knights, Foot
  • 6 Swordsmen
  • 4 Spearmen
  • 4 Archers

So, 21 figures in total. Not bad. My first goal is to bring the swordsmen, spearmen, and archers up to 8 men each. That way they can take the place of a standard 'Gondor' force as seen in some many Middle-Earth SBG scenarios. I then want to increase all three of those units to 12 men each and bring the mounted force up to 6 to serve as my army for Lion Rampant. Eventually, I want to have enough to use for Oathmark.

I am talking with a some friends about doing some 'extended format' Battle Companies games that would allow me to get some of the guys some early experience.

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Does Anyone Roll a d6

 And think, I got a '9'!

Some sparkly dice I picked up in Copenhagen in order to make GURPS rolls. Actually, I've just kept them on my desk and rolled randomly every once and while. I call it work.

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Searching for Giants around Copenhagen

Little Tilde and my hired bike.

My family recently returned from (another) trip to Denmark & Sweden. It hadn’t been a plan to return this soon… it just kind of happened. We flew into Copenhagen, and my wife immediately took the kids on the train into Sweden to see her sister, while I spent a couple of days on my own in the capital of Denmark. I found a cheapish hotel with pint-sized rooms, but containing everything I needed.

I spent my first day visiting Copenhagen’s numerous ‘geek shops’. I’ve mentioned the gaming stores before – and this time I got to thoroughly explore them and even have a few chats with the employees. It happened to be Free RPG day, so I picked up a few those, along with a big stack of used GURPS books, and a few paints. I also went to the Fantask bookshop, which is devoted to fantasy/sci-fi. Of course, I also went to the LEGO store, because you just kind of have to…

The Hand!
By the second day, I was a bit tired of the city crowds and felt the need to stretch my legs. So, I rented a bike from the hotel, and set off in search of ‘The Forgotten Giants of Copenhagen’ – a series of six wooden sculptures of giants by the artist Thomas Dambo, hidden in natural beauty spots outside of the city. My attempts to buy a decent map of the area the previous day had been thwarted, so I was relying on a few scribbled maps I made from the internet and (mostly) my phone.

I left the hotel at 7AM, long before most Danes are awake, but got off to a slow start. The bike I hired, which is really for toodling around the city, was heavy and slow. To break, I had to push the pedals backwards, which isn’t something I’ve done on a bike since I was a child. After awhile though, I got the hang of it. My journey began on the long, and mostly dull roads out of town. The only point of interest here is that every road had wide, raised, cycle lanes running next to them, so I was never in traffic, which made it much more pleasant than many cycles in Britain. I took a slightly longer route than was necessary, because I wanted to hug the coastline, which soon afforded me fantastic views both of the Baltic Sea and the city as it receded behind me.

I passed a few other cyclists, and a jogger or two, but mostly I was alone, as I left the roads and continued over well-maintained cycle tracks. I had to frequently check my phone to ensure I was going the right direction… in truth, I have a very poor sense of direction and get lost easily. After about an hour, I had left all traces of the city behind, and rolled through lovely parkland near the shore, seeing lots of little islands and fancy boats.

About 90 minutes after I left the hotel, I caught my first sight of a giant… well, actually what I saw was a strange knobbly bit of wood surrounding the railing of a bridge. As I got off the bike and walked up, I could see this was a hand. Leaning over the side, I looked right down on the face of the first giant (Oscar under the Bridge). Nearby, a little path led down to the giant, and I spent some time with him while having a cereal bar.

Back on my bike, a short time later, I headed inland, on a path that ran through rolling, well-maintained land. For one moment, I thought I might have to abandoned my quest, as the path was blocked by a series of ribbons. It turned out this was just a warning, as some kind of equestrian event was getting underway. After a few horsemen and women thundered by, a woman raised the ribbon and let me pass on. Soon I rolled through a nice suburb, on quite cycle paths, before shooting out into another park.

This park contained a long cycle path that ran all the way around a lake. I got slightly lost here, but soon realized I had to go off the main path, into a small woods in order to find my second giant – Little Tilde.

What is perhaps most amazing about these giants is that despite their size, neither could be easily seen until you were right on top of them. Perhaps those stories of bigfoot and trolls are more believable than I thought!

I really wanted to carry on – there was a third giant very close by – but my phone was now on 11% battery, and I had no way of recharging on the go (a major oversight that will be rectified in the future). Without the phone, I didn’t like my chances of finding my way home, and, in truth, I had been cycling for nearly three hours on that heavy bike and decided it was best not to push it. Nothing wrong with leaving something fun to do next time!

The way back to the hotel wasn’t near as nice as the journey out, as I took the most direct way along the road – but again, there was a nice cycle path all the way, and the roads weren’t generally busy anyway. I did see a giant hare on the trip back, though he eluded my attempt to photograph him.

I arrived back at the hotel about 4.5 hours after I set out, having covered a bit over 27 miles. I must admit, I was rather tired. In a stroke of luck, the route back had revealed that my hotel was right near a movie theatre, which I hadn’t know. So, that afternoon, too tired to do much else, I went to see Thor: Love and Thunder (subtitled in Danish). I thoroughly enjoy it! It’s a strange mix of silly and serious, but it works.

The next morning, I hopped a train and headed up to Sweden to meet-up with my family!

Tuesday, 12 July 2022



This terrain piece was a gift from a friend that sat in my painting queue for over a year. In truth, I was a little intimidated by it. It's got loads of detail. Actually, though, it painted up really easy, and I think it looks awesome. It's a 'Herdstone' from Games Workshop's Age of Sigmar line, which has produced some fantastic terrain. I'm sure I'll find some uses for it in my own games. I'm already thinking it would make a pretty good objective in my Rangers of Shadow Deep: Ghost Stone campaign! 

I included the latest recruit to my Dol Amroth army for scale purposes. 

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Building with Bits

Finished up my third building for my Dropship Down project. I got a little fancier with this one, in that I glued some 'bits' onto it, just to add a little visual interest and make it look more sci-fi. The bits are all vehicle parts from either Games Workshop or North Star's Gaslands plastics. I honestly think a little goes a long way with this. I'm still a long way away from a full table, but slow and steady will get me there eventually!