25 October 2014

helix infestus giganticus

The giant aggressive land snail (helix infestus giganticus) is generally found in communities of between six and thirty in the sort of habitat favoured by their smaller cousins. Unlike the common garden snail, these brutes are a threat to far more than a nicely tended vegetable patch. Although predominantly carrion feeders, they will opportunistically predate upon small mammals as well as unwary travellers. They have no teeth as such, but excrete a thick salivary fluid which causes necrosis in plant and animal cells, breaking them down so they may be more easily consumed. Their slime trails also contain this compound which, with sufficient time, can also dissolve materials made from plant fibres and animal skins, as well as corrode non-magical metals.

The snail thing that started from my blog post last week has led to an entirely unexpected level of interest, spawning a fairly extensive conversation on Facebook, and now an actual miniature to play the part of the alarming gigantic gastropod.

These beauties (?!) were sculpted by George Fairlamb for Tom Pugh of Bolt Thrower Miniatures and will hopefully see release in the near future.

Now I just need to play around with some stats for them for WFB 3rd, and/or Knights' Quest and get ready for a quest to hunt for the key ingredient in the midwinter feast of the French Bretonnian King's court...


23 October 2014

Um, hi!

picture stolen from the internet

My followers count has suddenly leapt up to 95! I'm not sure whether that's a blogger update glitch and some of you haven't been showing up, or I was being horribly unobservant - last time I noticed it was somewhere in the 60s. So, to all of you however recently you thought my bletherings worth keeping a regular eye upon, thank you and welcome!

It seems to have become a tradition among gaming bloggers to have some kind of prize give-away when reaching 100 followers and who am I to fly in the face of tradition? I'll have a poke around and see what I can rustle up from the lead mountain, let you know, and then roll a d100 when the arbitrary but random-table-friendly number is reached.

Better increase/improve my output if I've got an audience!


22 October 2014

Red 'n rusty

In what will be a completely snail-free post, I wanted to show that Orctober is still going strong with the next two members of my orc warband.

I tried a couple of new things for these and I'm fairly pleased with how they've turned out, sticking to my newish painting mantra of "if I don't like it, leave it and move on, but do it better next time." With the ball and chain fellow, I've attempted rusty mail. Now, having taken part in a few re-enactments in the past, I've seen more than my fair share of rusted mail shirts and, unlike the rust that accumulates on exposed metal work, there's usually a lot of gunk on mail (woodsmoke, sweat and WD40, I suspect) which dulls that orange iron-oxide look to a dirty blackish-brown and, miniature in hand, I feel I've captured that look fairly well for a first attempt.

20 October 2014

Medieval art, Blanche and, obviously, snails

Some of you lovely readers will be aware that I've been writing my own set of dungeoncrawl rules with an ever-changing name always involving the key word "quest" because that is the core of them. The ideals and panoply of errant chivalry (along with classical and scandinavian mythology) are what undoubtedly drew me into fantastical worlds in the first place. In fact, I hold strongly to the idea that chivalrous mores need not be an interesting historical footnote, but rather something upon which a modern chap can found his behaviour, as I try to - but that's not for this post. No, this post is about art. Specifically, the sort I want to use to illustrate said rules when they are complete, tested and I'm happy with them. This happy event is getting closer and so thoughts of presentation are bubbling upwards in my what-I-call mind.

It would fit the fantastical-medieval theme of the rules to present them as if they were an illustrated manuscript so I've been having a good old poke through some of my prettier books (the only thing I spend more on than miniatures!) as well as perusing the internet to find suitable examples that could serve as inspiration. And, blow me, if they aren't full of Oldhammer goodness!

From The Gorleston Psalter

19 October 2014


Dragons? Love 'em! Whether they're friendly or fierce, winged or wyrm, fire-breathing or not, symbol of wisdom and nobility or of the devil himself... Doesn't matter, I think they're great and I've passed this on to my two boys. I've already painted a dragon that I'm rather pleased with...

Nowadays the dragon is on a standard rectangular base, and did sterling work during the BOYL 14 Siege

14 October 2014


The life of a noble maiden in times of yore was evidently a rather alarming one, given their propensity for being kidnapped by evil wizards, jealous step-mothers, ogres, trolls, dragons, fallen knights, faeries, etc. Today proved no different! The fair lady Marian had been spirited away and none knew to whither. Acting on rumours that a boy out hunting in the forest had heard the sweet and mournful singing of a young woman, two knights errant and their retainers converged on the ruined and apparently abandoned house in the deep wood from different directions...

8 October 2014

Little and large...

...green and brown. Another orc to double the size of my orc horde, once again with Moss 29 triad skin, although kept a little yellower this time, possibly not noticeable from the photos. I even had a first go at the archetypally orcy black 'n white checkerboard strip! Check me out - and on a school night as well!

6 October 2014

Mean and... green?

In my last post I spent many lines of text hand-wringing about what colour to paint my orcs and goblins. I thought I'd come to a decision - shades of yellowy-browny-tan was going to be the colour, definitely.

Then I read through my lovely big Foundry picture book (Dallimore and friends' advanced painting guide) and saw a whole army of orcs by Paul Baker with a Moss (Foundry paint triad 29) painted skin and it got me thinking. Again.

3 October 2014

What's in a colour?

What's in a colour? That which we call a greenskin
By any other colour would smell as foul 

Or so says the greatest poet of the Moot, little Billy Wagglestaff, and sometimes he even writes stuff when he's not getting paid for it!
"Halfling servant" by caprotti on DeviantArt - used without permission

1 October 2014

Happy orctober, Digest fans!

Yup, it's that time of year again. The nights are just starting to draw in, apples are ripening, conkers are taunting us with their utterly pointless abundance (I want to gather thousands of them, but what would I do with them?), spiders are invading our homes, and a gamer's thoughts turn naturally to that archetypal fantasy baddy, the orc.

Awesome painting by the fabulously talented Mr. Zhu