A Visit to the Workshop

As previously mentioned, I will be attending Salute again this year, but will be doing so on the other side of the fence, as I will be assisting Dave Stone of Wargames Terrain Workshop on his stand. So, I felt that I really should meet Dave in the flesh prior to April and therefore arranged to visit him in Gloucester last weekend.

Dave was a very welcoming host, plied me with copious amounts of coffee and treated me to a very interesting insight into the creative process behind the models he creates for WTW. We also managed to get a game of Death Match in, in which my Revilli Gladiator managed to slay her Ceratid opponent, TWO of the released beasts, then got pounded into the dirt by a Horned Hominid. If you haven’t had a chance to play this game yet at a show, make sure you visit the stand at Salute, where we will be running demonstration games for most of the day.

When I left, I was presented with a few items to take away with me. Some I was expecting, as these were prizes from the Death Match competitions run on The Game Cupboard last year, but Dave had very kindly added some extra items – namely a few bits that I’d enthused about when he’d shown them off on TGC.

Now, as a beneficiary of Dave’s generosity, I thought I’d take the opportunity to show some of the items Wargames Terrain Workshop does or will be releasing in the future, but with a standard 28mm miniature in the pictures, to give you some idea of scale. As the majority of the time, we gamers buy online, its always good to know exactly how big some of these models actually are…

First up, one of my competition prizes, the Creminisci;

This aquatic race was designed by Tarot Hunt for the Death Match universe, and are a race of fish-like mystics, who can harness their mental power to produce a variety of effects. As the DM range is nominally 32mm scale for standard humanoid races, you can see that the Creminisci are roughly the same scale as a DM Human, but are larger than the 28mm figure in the picture.

I asked for mine to be cast in translucent blue resin – because I’m an awkward bugger – but I believe the general release figures will be in opaque grey resin.

Next up, my winning contribution to the Death Match universe, the Nisari;

The Nisari are a sect that believes that ‘The Games’ are an abomination and have dosed their most fanatical warriors with a potion that increases their effectiveness as warriors, but also burns them up from the inside, hence the bloodstained bandages.

As you can see from the picture, the Nisari tower over a normal 28mm figure and are still pretty big in comparison to a standard DM human. But they are supposed to be, as they are Traventians, who are bigger than the humans in the game. The two figures shown are the Nisari male and the Nisari Priestess, currently milking a Dust Viper for its venom. The Nisari female comes with separate arms and as I’ve not attached these yet, I decided not to show her.

Now, as you may not be a Death Match player, you might be thinking why would I buy these models? The Creminisci would quite easily fit into any fantasy or sci-fi game of your choice. As for the Nisari…could you imagine Conan facing this in the wastes of Stygia? Or your Pulp Alley league being menaced by this because they opened the wrong tomb? Or maybe your Tomb Kings army needs a giant freaking insane mummy, because…well, who doesn’t?

Now, these aren’t on general release yet, but I’m sure Dave will let everyone know when they will be available.

Next up, the Venucian Man Eating Plant, which has been released;

The figure in the picture is one of my Victorian thugs from Ironclad Miniatures, which gives a good indication of the size of this terrain piece. Three open ‘traps’ and one currently digesting an unfortunate victim. If you play Congo, Pulp Alley or, to be frank, ANY game that ventures into the jungle, be it terrestrial or off-world, get this piece. It’s well-detailed, versatile and only £6.00.

Next, a model that came about from a conversation I had with Dave about monstrous pigs…the Grice;

I had mentioned in my ongoing Tales of the Black Museum a previous case featuring the ‘Black Pig of Awdry Gardens’. Now, I quite fancied having a model to represent this, and mentioned to Dave that I had not yet found something suitable. He queried what sort of beast I was after and after much to-ing and fro-ing, he’d got a good idea of what I was after. Thus was born the Grice. The name is actually that of an extinct Iron Age pig that was common in Scotland, but as this beast was supposed to represent a monstrous swine, either demonic or primeval, artistic licence was employed. The Grice is now an official part of the Death Match universe, but can be used wherever you need a bloody great porker. Available now for a very reasonable £7.00.

Next up, the Digestion Pool;

Designed for the Exuvium race in Death Match, which they use to break down the bodies of the animals they catch into a delicious and nutritious soup, this terrain piece has so many other uses. It’s reminiscent of the architecture in the Alien movies, but what the fluid bubbling away in it is, is entirely up to you and your paints to decide. As you can see from the picture, this is currently being scanned by one of my Ghostbusters, so it may contain psycho-reactive ectoplasm of ‘mood slime’. A nice solid bit of terrain for £5.00.

Finally, a lovely surprise for me – the Falcon Interceptor. Now, this is actually a “off-cast” (not sure if that’s the correct term). Basically, this was a model that Dave couldn’t sell, as it was mis-cast. You can’t see it from the picture, but there are a few cavities on the underside that will require filling. I’d commented that it would make an ideal alternative mode of transport for my Vin Diesel inspired Ghostbuster, especially with the tanks at the rear, but would need a light bar for the roof. Dave was already in the process of creating one of these for a new futuristic car, so Vin-Buster is now the proud owner of his very own Ecto-V8;

“It’s got, like, a cup-holder and…everything.”

He looks pretty pleased with it and it’s going to look awesome once painted in the appropriate livery.

Hopefully this post has given you an idea of how these particular items scale up against standard 28mm figures and maybe added a few items to your online or Salute shopping list.

Next time, we will definitely be back in Blackwell…

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A Plan So Cunning You Could Stick a Tail on it and Call it a Weasel

Regular visitors to the Buffet will know that I’m a big fan of the BBC comedy series Blackadder, which ran for four series between 1983 and 1989, with a couple of specials broadcast in 1988 and the final instalment of the saga – Blackadder: Back and Forthreleased in 1999.

During this time, we were introduced to NINE incarnations of the titular character, from Centurion Blaccadicus, way back in Roman occupied Britain, to the most recent Lord Edmund Blackadder, who through some unscrupulous tinkering with the time-stream, managed to end up as the King of England.

Now, you might be wondering what this possibly has to do with wargaming?

Well, it would appear that I’m not the only fan of the Blackadder series, as various companies have produced 28mm versions of Edmund and his chums.

Want Prince Edmund, the Duke of Edinburgh and his father, King Richard IV? Head on over to Rogue Miniatures, who have Eddy:

Front

And Lord Loud:

Front

at £3.75 each, from their “Sword” range.

Fancy something a little more Elizabethan? Then look no further than The Assault Group, who have amongst their Renaissance range REN438 – Cunning Courtier, Manservant & Percy:

At £7.20 for all three, that’s £2.40 a figure, which is pretty good value.

Finally, should you be more inclined to game amongst the trenches of the Great War, Scarab Miniatures have this collection of individuals for you:

Lieutenant George, Private “Bob” Parkhurst, Captain Darling, the drinks cabinet, General Melchett, Captain Blackadder and Private Baldrick, all for £8.20. Unfortunately, this is the best picture I could get from their website, but if you want to see them painted extremely well and in a suitable diorama, then pay Michael Awdry’s 28mm Victorian Warfare blog a visit, particularly this post, to see what they should look like.

Now, whilst we have three incarnations of Edmund, this still leaves us short of Centurion Blaccadicus; Sir Edmund Blackadder from the English Civil War; Mr E. Blackadder Esq., butler to the Prince Regent; Mr Ebenezer Blackadder, proprietor of the finest moustache shop in Victorian London, Lord Edmund Blackadder, time-travelling ne’er-do-well and Grand Admiral Blackadder of the Dark Segment. And believe me, I have trawled the Internet, looking at various ranges to try to find suitable proxies, so I could have the ‘full set’ without luck.

Now, I’d put the idea of ‘The Blackadder Project’ on hold back in 2014, but with my current focus on all things Victorian, I thought it would be quite amusing to add the Victorian incarnation of Blackadder to the narrative. After an exhaustive search of the Internet, I still haven’t located a suitable figure to represent Mr Ebenezer Blackadder.

Not giving up on this idea, I changed tack and started searching for a suitable figure for the modern version, as whilst I would have to build a time machine, this shouldn’t present a problem.

Which is a phrase I never thought I’d use…

Strangely, finding a suitable figure for an unarmed, bearded man in a suit in 28mm isn’t quite as easy as you’d think. I did consider Tony Stark from the Heroclix Avengers Movie subset, but the amount that this was going for online was silly for a single plastic figure.

Image result for heroclix tony stark

So, I went for a slightly different alternative and have decided to use the Crooked Dice Lionel figure:

United Radionics

It may not be exact, but I think with a suitable paint job, this will make a good proxy for the modern version of Lord Edmund Blackadder. And could that be a tranquiliser pistol? It would certainly suit his character…

As for the time machine…well, I’ve made a start…

Looks a bit like washing machine at present…

Just before I go, it seems that my regular posts on the Buffet have inspired a fellow gamer to take a crack at this blogging lark. His name is Harry and his blog is War Across the Ages. So far, he has provided a very interesting introduction into how he got into the hobby, which should ring a few bells with the majority of you out there. Why not pay him a visit and see what he has to say.

Next time…we shall be returning to Blackwell to see what’s been occurring.

The Thin Blue Line

Whilst this post shares its title with the ‘comedy’ starring Rowan Atkinson about the police department of the fictional town of Gasforth, I’m fairly certain that this post will be more entertaining…

However, the title does fit the content, in which I shall be showing you the full complement of the Blackwell police department, in their various stages of completed-ness.

Whilst every character has previously been introduced in the narrative, I now have models to represent each one and thought I’d show how far I’d got with each one.

First, the first quartet who were introduced;

So, from left to right, we have Constables Moore and Nash, Sergeant Webb and the newly promoted Sergeant Rowan. I just need to complete the detailing on each of these figures and they will be finished. All these figures are from GHL0003 – London Bobbies pack from  West Wind Productions, for a very reasonable £6.00.

Next, this trio;

Here, from left to right, are Sergeant Doyle, Inspector Neame and Dr. Davis Stone. The first two figures are from VBCW14 Telegram Rifles “communications team” from Ironclad Miniatures, for £3.00. The third figure is RSF-08 Chrononaut Grandfather from Miniature Figurines, for £2.75. Also progressing well and almost finished.

Next, a new trio of models:

Once again, from left to right, these are Sergeant Randall, Constable Murray and Constable Arkwright. All these figures are from Artizan Designs, with the two figures at either end being from the Thrilling Tales range, and are, strictly speaking, from the ‘interwar’ period. However, as the British police uniform did not really change all that much until fairly recently, I think that they can pass for Victorian peelers. The middle figure if from their Victorian Science Fiction range and the weapon is supposed to be a flamethrower. As soon as I saw it, I thought “Victorian ghostbuster”, so this is Constable Murray armed with the galvanic rifle. All these figures are £3.00 each.

Finally, we have Constable O’Lantern, who cost me nothing, because I made him myself!

The head, hands and feet came out a little darker than I expected, but as he’s not finished, I’m not overly concerned. However, he is progressing pretty well.

So, that’s the current roster of the Blackwell police department, who are almost finished. I could do with a Black Maria and the actual police station, but I’m pretty pleased with what I have so far.

Join me next time for more developments in the London borough of Blackwell.

View from the Crow’s Nest – Year Three!

As today is the official three-year anniversary of this blog, I couldn’t really let this go unmarked. It honestly doesn’t feel like I’ve been unleashing my unique vision of what the hobby is for me for three whole years…

So, having looked at the statistics provided by WordPress, I know that I have (including this post) published 155 posts over the last three years, which roughly works out at one every week. Not too bad.

I’ve had a total of 29,029 visitors and a total of 49,351 views, which means that people come back for a second (or possibly third) look. I also have a total of 41 followers over various platforms.

Whilst these stats may not really compare to more well-established or more popular blogs, I’m pretty happy with them. For me, it was never about the stats, but more that this blog encouraged me to actually do something hobby-related, rather than just storing my figures in a box somewhere.

So, as per usual, I will offer a retrospective on what has occurred over the last twelve months and offer an insight on what’s to come.

Year Three saw a few changes in the content here on the Buffet, with longer term projects replacing themed months.

From February to July 2017 the focus was on Doctor Who, with brief excursions into the realms of Judge Dredd in March with a guest article from Stevie, Hils and Tarot of The Games Cupboard. This period also saw my second post-Salute report in April and the second successful Forgotten Heroes ‘community art project’ occurring in June.

After a break at the end of July, the Doctor Who project was put on hold and my Gothic Victoriana project, now known as Tales from the Black Museum, was launched. This began in August of last year and has been running ever since – and has proved quite popular.

November of last year also saw me taking part in a competition run by Dave Stone and Stevie Gilbert of The Games Cupboard to create a character or race for the Wargames Terrain Workshop Death Match universe, the winner of which would have their creation turned into a model. I won the people’ vote (much to my surprise) and my Nisari were transformed from my rudimentary sketch into three-dimensional figures! Which was pretty damn cool…

The last twelve months also saw a few changes in my immediate blogging circle, with Roger Webb – my longest supporter and good friend – of Rantings from Under the Wargames Table – sadly having to curtail his online activities. It has also seen the reduction of posts from other blogs I follow, as Real Life has prevented the owners from posting as often as they’d like.

One of the major changes was that my staunchest followers – Steve and Hilary Gilbert and Tarot Hunt of The Games Cupboard – have handed the reins of this blog over to Dave Stone, as changes in circumstances have meant that they cannot be as active as they previously were. Whilst the blog is in good hands, their articles, comments and presence are sadly missed.

Looking back at the plans I made this time last year, I feel that some of what I said I was going to do was a little…unrealistic. So rather than promise and never deliver, I thought I’d keep any proposed plans to a more sensible level.

There WILL be more ‘Tales of the Black Museum’, as certain outstanding threads need resolutions. There WILL be a return to Doctor Who gaming, as I took advantage of the sale after Christmas to bolster my collection. And there WILL be the ‘publication’ on here of simple mass combat wargame rules, currently going by the name of Feast of Crows, the first draft of which has been written.

I will also be attending Salute again this year, but on the other side of the fence, as I will be assisting Dave Stone on the Wargames Terrain Workshop stand. As I will be there the preceding evening, anyone who fancies having a beer with me on Friday night is most welcome.

As for what else is in store over the next year, you’ll just have to pay the Buffet a visit and find out.

But there definitely WILL be pigeons…

Here’s to the next twelve months – let them be filled with the clatter of dice, the scent of paint and the creative madness you’ve come to expect here at the Buffet.

I ain’t going nowhere…

Jez

This is How I Roll…

January is finally over and it’s been a bit of a bugger of a month. Various external factors have prevented me from regaining momentum after the Christmas break and that is why there has been a lack of posts here on the Buffet.

However, I haven’t been idle and as I am renowned for coming up with crazy ideas, I thought I’d try to give an insight into how my devious little mind works.

So, in previous posts I introduced the Court of Shadows, an organisation run by the Night Mayor and made up of various entities that are considered ‘nursery bogies’.

For those of you unfamiliar with this term, this is the definition as per the Encyclopedia Mythica:

Nursery bogies are a class of frightening spirits, ogres, and monsters used by adults to frighten children into good behavior or to prevent them from entering dangerous situations. These bogies have a terrifying appearance and reputation of harming or eating children.”

So, tales of Jenny Greenteeth were used to discourage children from venturing too close to deep bodies of water and the ‘great, long, red-legged scissor man’ was used to discourage them from sucking their thumbs,which apparently is a bad thing.

Having decided that the Court of Shadows and the Black Museum would form an alliance, I thought it would be quite cool to have one of these ‘nursery bogies’ become a constable…but which one?

After some thought, I selected Jack O’Lantern. Due to outwitting the Devil, he was barred from Hell and because he was a rather naughty chap, was also barred from Heaven, which makes him effectively immortal. Furthermore, he carries a lantern carved from a gourd (a turnip in the original tale) which contains an ember from the fires of Hell. So, a constable who cannot die and has his own mystically empowered lamp – an ideal recruit to face off against the horrors of Blackwell.

And then it went a bit…Jez.

As a regular visitor to Ironclad Miniatures site, who do a lovely range of VSF characters, I’d noted that they had produced Victorian versions of the Marvel characters Iron Man (Ironcladman) and the Thing (Grim Ben). With this in mind, I started contemplating how I could create a model of Constable O’Lantern which highlighted his ‘unnatural’ aspects, but also tapped into my love of superheroes. As my version of Jack O’Lantern was envisaged as a gaunt, almost skeletal figure with a flaming lamp AND I needed ‘cavalry’ for the Black Museum, it wasn’t a great leap to re-imagine the character as a Victorian version of…Ghost Rider!

Once that idea took hold, I searched the internet for 28mm penny farthings (because it’s suitably Victorian and a pretty damn cool idea) and images of a ‘Victorian Ghost Rider’. The penny farthings I found didn’t match my vision AND weren’t immediately available and the only image I could find was this:

Close, but not quite right…

So, flexing my creative muscles, I rummaged in my bits box and began work…

After a false start involving a disc of plastic cut from a blister pack, which proved too flimsy, I rethought my build.

A lozenge-shaped base was cut from an expired gift card, then covered in textured wallpaper to provide a cobbled street. Off cuts of the gift card, paperclips, cotton bud stems, drinking straws and the biggest transparent button I could find were used to construct the penny farthing. Jack himself was a GW plastic skeleton, suitably assembled and then given a uniform sculpted from Milliput.

And this is the result;

He now needs to be painted and have his flaming head and trail of fire added, but I have to admit to being pretty pleased with him.

Is it bonkers? Yes.

But it’s also unbelievably friggin’ cool.

Well…I think so.

Join me next time, when the FULL force of the Black Museum will be arrayed in all their finery.