20 December 2016

Karr-Keel zombie update

Here are those zombies freshly cast in lovely metal. You know you want to buy some, both for yourself, but also so that enough are ordered that it is 11 or 12 in a set, not "just" ten.

Those contact details are either in my last post, or directly at this facebook link.

17 December 2016

The zombies of Karr-Keel

There's this American chap (let's call him Brian, because that's his name) who turned forty at the start of this year. Aside from general, broad-spectrum satisfaction that a, by all accounts, decent fellow had reached that particular milestone, we fantasy gamers should be especially celebratory. Why? Because instead of a dodgy haircut and a motorbike he chose, as his present, to commission a set of zombies by Kev Adams and is now making them available for sale to the rest of us. Nice!

Here they are:

And then a couple of close-ups:

14 December 2016


So, we're about halfway through the annual painting event that, by way of a slightly laboured pun, celebrates the bony and the bloody, the revenant-king and the mindless minion alike.

This year I suggested the theme of "the quick and the dead" and, while not everyone has stuck to the theme, some of the painters have been quick off the mark and finished their entries already. Here's a round up of what we have so far.

From the Oldhammer Community Facebook group:

1) Alexander Ainsworth
From HeroQuest zombie to pirate skeleton; what's not to love?

12 December 2016

Tidying up loose ends

Some people (myself included) like to tidy the house up before Christmas. This year, while washes are drying on those skeleton horses, I've extended that to part-finished and languishing models.

These two have sat on the shelf above my painting desk, nearly finished, since before the summer. It was time to put that right. I don't know what range the first miniature is from, but the second is an Asgard barbarian, "Beasthelm", who has had the edges of his armour greenstuffed over to give him an actual beast head.

11 December 2016

Thug life

What do you get if you make an unholy mixture of evil magicks, Black Friday shoppers, the school dinner queue on the day they serve chips, and hardcore football hooliganism before representing it in miniature form? Why, chaos thugs of course!

Now, Whiskey Priest has written extensively (don't worry, there are pictures too) on this subject already, so I shan't duplicate his efforts even if I have reused the title, but instead show you the start of the dregs of my RoC warband. He's an early Citadel Fighter, but that gurning face called instead for blue skin and a tiger pelt cloak. Obviously.

9 December 2016

Averaigne campaign - session 28

[The story so far]

Session 28 - The tomb of the iron god (viii)
NB - this uses Matt Finch's excellent Tomb of the Iron God module and may contain spoilers.

Fizzing with renewed purpose after Montagne's apparent encounter with the iron god, Ferrus himself, the party set off to ensure their backs wouldn't be exposed before they headed back into the caverns to face the Hunger from the fighter's vision. They hadn't gone far when they heard a high-pitched cound like a squealing cat. As they got closer, Aurelius was able to pick out distinctly goblinesque cackling as well...

5 December 2016

Polyhedrals and Parenting - 2

After the success of my first foray into BFRPG and roleplaying in general with my two protogeeks, we have played twice since. The first of those included defeating a gelatinous cube with fire, large albino carnivorous apes, and a run-in with goblins that nearly got Emrim the thief killed. Very nearly. The two dwarves had limped back to Morgansfort to heal, catching a lift on a cart studded with goblin arrows. As well as cleverly trading their news for a free night's lodging, they cashed in the little treasure they'd found, re-equipped, and got lumbered with a young cleric and taciturn guardsman - both the head of the Watch and the chief cleric of Tah in the fort wanted their own man with the dwarves if they returned to the ruined fort in the river. Rumours of a great hairy beast bringing squabbling goblin tribes together were causing concern, along with several tales of itinerant clerics vanishing.

(Apologies for not referencing pictures - lots unattributed on searches I made)
Emrim (dwarf thief played by MiniRab#1) and Gremdullin (dwarf fighter played by MiniRab#2)

1 December 2016

Table Titans comic and kickstarter

Readers of this blog will not have failed to notice that I've discovered a new/old gaming love - fantasy roleplaying in a D&D early edition style. The nostalgia element is not really a surprise as I like my WFB in 2nd or 3rd ed. flavours, and my miniatures to be about as old as I am.

Thanks to a problem with my addblocker plug-in I got a "recommended post" on FB the other day for Table Titans, a D&D webcomic that is having a kickstarter for a rather swanky dead-tree version (Must. Resist.). I've never been so glad to get an advert in my life. Seriously, go read it, it's free and it's great. It really feels like you're at the gaming table. I love it. Click on the picture below to visit them.


Or go and check out their kickstarter:


30 November 2016

Are you ready?

Well, are you? Deadcember starts tomorrow and the theme this year is "The Quick and the Dead". I'm going for some Grenadier-but-now-made-by-Mirliton skeleton cavalry.

What will your contribution be?

24 November 2016

Averaigne campaign - session 27

[The story so far]

Session 27 - The tomb of the iron god (vii)
NB - this uses Matt Finch's excellent Tomb of the Iron God module and may contain spoilers.

With Nausicaa still irritated about the marks that the ghoul claws had left on her face, Tybalt complaining about about his dreadful luck, and Jean pale and staggering like a man just back on his feet after a three-day fever, Gwen took hold of her map and led the way through the doorway the injured ghoul had apparently fled through.

14 November 2016

Deadcember is coming

"Deadcember" by Zhu Bajie. And it's all mine mwahaahahah!

Yes, ghouls and boys, we're nearly at that special time of year again when we concentrate our model-painting efforts on the undead. Last year there were some spectacularly boney contributions so I wanted to sneak in a reminder to give you time to plan. I thought that a theme beyond just "undead" might be a good way to give people focus so I've chosen "the quick and the dead". Something speedy, then, be that zombie dragons, skeletal chariots, ghost knights, carrion, whatever. There will be a prize this year - one of Justin Coutange's lovely oldhammery skeleton ogres - for the entry I choose as my favourite on purely subjective grounds. Details of how to enter your photos to follow.

13 November 2016

Averaigne campaign - session 26

[The story so far]

Session 26 - The tomb of the iron god (vi)
NB - this uses Matt Finch's excellent Tomb of the Iron God module and may contain spoilers

After an uneventful night in their makeshift fortified camp, the party decide to head back down into the remains of the temple and carry on where they left off.

11 November 2016

Armistice day

More than a touch disheartened by the way this year's major plebiscites in the English speaking world have led to a vituperative fracturing of society into us/them, I pray that we aren't in the slow slide back towards the sort of events that we recall today.

31 October 2016

t'other half

In a brief moment of calm (real life having become disconcertingly Real over the last few days), I came up with the spell book that will be the back of the Magic User sheet for my BFRPG games. I'm also part way through the Thief-specific and generic backsheets and will post them all here for anyone to download and use as they please once they're complete. Oh, and I need to fiddle around to make the backpack smaller for the halfling front sheet.

28 October 2016

Half a character sheet

Inspired as so often by Dyson Logos, and the fabulously illustrated sheets from the Doomslakers pages, and trying to get a handle on my encumbrance issues that I discussed recently, I've come up with the front of a planned two-sided character sheet for humans, elves and dwarves in BFRPG. I might redraw the backpack with one row fewer boxes for halflings.

Still to come is the reverse side with spell-book, thief skills and space for notes.

Feedback and suggestions welcome.

27 October 2016

Polyhedrals and Parenting

Because they're not at school this week, today I did the following with my boys - some maths, handwriting, reading aloud, basic economics, problem-solving, use of adjectives, probability, imaginative writing, spelling new words through phonics knowledge, science (wild animals, habitats and behaviour), and geography.

That's right, I introduced them to D&D, and it was awesome.

24 October 2016

The burden of encumbrance

If you were going to explore an underground cavern, what kit would you take with you? How about if you had to go on a long hike? Or doing some wild camping? Or going shopping in a new city where you don't really speak the language? Or fighting in a medieval tournament? Or undertaking a religious pilgrimage?

Different kit for different tasks, yes? Heck, I carry different stuff if I'm going to work or to the pub, never mind something more strenuous.

Random image search picture showing more or less what I normally have in my pockets

22 October 2016

Averaigne campaign - session 25

[The story so far]

Session 25 - The tomb of the iron god (v)
NB - this uses Matt Finch's excellent Tomb of the Iron God module and may contain spoilers

Ghouls defeated (slain or driven off), the party decided they'd head North, away from the direction the surviving corpse-eater had fled in. Several of them are in a bit of a bad way; Nausicaa the elf was partcularly keen to get some rest and the clerics and magician neede time to read or meditate before they'd be able to draw on the powers at their command.

16 October 2016

Averaigne campaign - session 24

[The story so far]

Session 24 - The tomb of the iron god (iv)
NB - this uses Matt Finch's excellent Tomb of the Iron God module and may contain spoilers

Roundly cursing the impetuous advice of the ex-guardsman Jean that had nearly got them blown up in a fiery maelstrom of acidic goo, and brought them all through the archway with its warning despite a lack of sufficient robes to cover their heads (and was that the right covering anyway?), the party decided they might as well carry on down into the catacombs.

15 October 2016

Averaigne campaign - session 23

[The story so far]

Session 23 - The tomb of the iron god (iii)
NB - this uses Matt Finch's excellent Tomb of the Iron God module and may contain spoilers

Worried that the echoing metallic banging caused by the animated statue now confined in the pit trap could attract unwelcome attention, the party decided to quickly search his now vacated room and then put some distance between them and the noise.

10 October 2016

A generous man

Today I received a box sent to me by what many outside the online geekery circles would call a stranger. There is a better word from the Winnie the Pooh tales, however, and that is an unmet friend.

Here is the box:

What is in the box? Well, in local lad John Bunyan's allegorical tale, A Pilgrim's Progress, the hero Christian asks for a box of truth at Vanity Fair; there wasn't one to be had. This isn't a box of truth either, but it is a box of generosity. Look!

A softback copy of Basic Fantasy Roleplaying for each of my school gaming group, a bestiary, and three adventure/sourcebooks. There's even a hardback of the rules still in the post for yours truly. And all this as an unsolicited gift from a man on the other side of a lot of water who I doubt I'll ever meet in person. Extraordinary.

He has asked to stay anonymous, and I shall respect his wish, but wanted to support the promotion of gaming with youngsters and isn't in a position to do so himself (I often forget that for those outside education, mingling semi-informally with teenagers is pretty rare and the desire to do so is often considered suspect) having been supported in his own geekery by a teacher when he was a boy.

After the political turmoil of the last couple of months all across the globe, my faith in the general goodness of others was in serious need of a boost. This has given me that boost; I doff my cap to you, sir. Thank you.


9 October 2016

[GS review] - September 2016

September; back to the chalk-face, oodles to do, the first hints of Autumn darkening the evenings... and the restart of my S&W group along with the renewed attraction of "indoor" hobbies. I even painted.

The overview:

The pictures:

3 October 2016

[Catacombs] Into the dark

At first it sounded like the petty request of a petty noble with a whiff of undead threat tacked on to get the attention of knight's errant like Sirs Pellas and Owain with their experienced retainers - "I've lost my gemstone and I think the nasty skeletons have taken it!" - but when they realised that the "gemstone" was imbued with scrying power, they knew it had to be retrieved from the crumbling passageways and sprawling ossory beneath the long abandoned summer residence in the Gaddifer hills on Sir Hubert's vast estates.

Initial exploration gave them a good idea of the layout of the passageways:

2 October 2016

Averaigne campaign - Session 22

[The story so far]

Session 22 - The tomb of the iron god (ii)
NB - this uses Matt Finch's excellent Tomb of the Iron God module and may contain spoilers

Taking stock of their surroundings in the underground complex beneath the temple of Ferus, the party pondered their next move. Aurelius and Tybalt had wounded ankles so their pace would be lower, and now the dwarf's stomach was rumbling. Time for lunch!

28 September 2016

[Catacombs] First expedition

A few more pictures of this little project while I tidy up the rules before sharing them.

The first expedition laid out, with our brave little retinue ready to confront and banish the undead horde raised and controlled by the wicked necromancer:

25 September 2016

[Catacombs] First glimpe

Just one more archer to finish painting before the first squad retinue is complete and ready for photographed action, but this should give you a glimpse into the way the game will look:

From front to rear we have: retainer with longbow, knight with shield and enchanted blade, retainer with lamp and sword (lighting is important in the catacombs), and retainer with crossbow. They're just waiting for another retainer with longbow to catch them up before they open that door.

What menace will they have to face? Well, it's boney...

The pieces and doors are by the excellent Will Meddis of Billiam Babble/Inked Adventures fame. Delightfully oldschool, hand drawn and digitally coloured, I tweaked them in photoshop to match the board piece shapes of a certain famous space-based conflict in narrow corridors, before printing them onto A4 stickers and mounting them on 3mm baseboard (thick card). I'm very pleased with them.

You can get your own Inked Adventures dungeon pieces here - go support him, he's Good People.

More as it comes,

24 September 2016

Averaigne campaign - Session 21

[The story so far]

Session 21 - The tomb of the iron god (i)
NB - this uses Matt Finch's excellent Tomb of the Iron God module and may contain spoilers

It had been an uneventful sail upriver from Corcelle through the fertile farming lands and hunting estates to the North of the city. Despite the strong current, a friendly wind and the skill of the captain saw them make swift progress and, in a mere three days travel, they found themselves unloading their kit at an unexpectedly empty jetty. "They're a superstitious bunch up here," the captain had reassured them, "probably keeping their heads down if their precious temple really has been destroyed. Well, Alathea go with you; that's the direction you want." And he pointed to a waymarker with an ornate letter F above the an arrow pointing Eastwards, away from the river, and the words One Mile. They went!

18 September 2016

Averaigne campaign - Year 2: Prologue

[The story so far]

Gaming Year 2: Prologue

It was three days after the Spring Festival in Corcelle. The festival itself had been a triumph, starting with a solemn ceremony for the dawn to praise Alathea that swiftly segued into a joyous, almost riotous, carnival of music and dancing and feasting and drinking. Revellers thronged the streets, spring flower petals were thrown in great bucketloads from upper windows to cascade down upon the crowds below. Everywhere there was joy. Now the headaches had faded, the pilgrims were packing up to return to their homes, and the city was returning to normal.

15 September 2016

[Catacombs] Retinues WIP 2

Progress continues apace, by my standards anyway, for the figures needed to play Catacombs, my fan-fantasy-reskin of Space Hulk. I've already got the monsters sorted thanks to last Deadcember's output because hordes of skeletons will take the place of the 'stealers.

Here are the heroes so far:

11 September 2016

[Catacombs] Retinues WIP 1

Rather delightfully, new projects (even little side projects) require or allow new miniatures. They are a spur to collecting, modelling, painting. Small projects, particularly those that are self-contained like this, also give a chance to try out new methods or styles knowing that if they prove to be onerous or underwhelming, they aren't going to need to be repeated ad nauseam. Fun, eh?

Here are the retinues for my Catacombs project, in their pre-painted state. I'm not very used to plastic kits, but cutting and sticking three different kits together (Conquest's Dark Age Archers, Fireforge's Foot Sergeants, and a couple of heads from an old GW Bretonnian set) proved rather enjoyable and allowed a certain level of creativity from your truly. They didn't all work out as well as I envisioned, but I tried to be guided by the archery and sword-fighting I've done over the years as I did my best with the nice range of bits in front of me.

The two metal figures, oldhammer stalwarts seeing service, finally, since their moulding in the 80s or 90s, are the two knights who will lead their retainers into the darkness. There is one figure missing from the line-up, the mage. I've chosen a figure that has no company stamp on its slotta base, and merely says "WIZARD" on the other side. He looks decidedly 80s and will fit in nicely.

Speaking of bases, you might have noticed that the figures above have no bases attached to their feet. That's because I'm going to take advantage of the "small project" freedom and try my hand at sculpting some flagstone bases for this lot and then pin/glue them directly in place. I have some Mantic bases that will form the canvas for my putty-pushing.

I'll keep you posted,

8 September 2016

Catacombs teaser

Whatwhatwhat?! This looks dangerously like a new project...

Sprues from Fireforge and Conquest Games (bought from 2nd City Games at a very reasonable price per sprue):

5 September 2016

Boney ogres

Last Deadcember I purchased two skeleton ogres from Ral Partha and blogged about how one might use them in WFB 3rd edition. I was quite pleased with my noodlings but really wanted a unit of three so the project stalled.

Enter Justin Coutange on the Oldhammer FB group who sculpted an absolute beauty of a third ogre, excellently picking up on the classic ogre captain by Jes Goodwin, Hrothyogg:

Picture from Stuff of Legends

2 September 2016

[GS review] - July and August

I realised I never posted July's data, so here I give you a particularly thrilling double whammy of me not quite achieving what I wanted to , except to play more games! Lots more games, particularly Space Hulk, with my two little boys.

The overview:

25 August 2016

While the wife's away...

...the geeks will play!

The incomparably wonderful Mrs Rab is away this week, leaving me in sole charge of the two little'uns - we worked out it's the longest she's been away from them since they were born which caused her all sorts of angst! To take their minds off her absence, what else was there but to cook up a decent chilli, crack out the PS2 from the loft for a bit of LEGO Star Wars and Burnout - Takedown, and then get on with some good old pre-digital gaming? Nice!

Yesterday saw this:

19 August 2016


After a glorious holiday, in which no modelling took place because I forgot my pin vise, I returned home to a couple of nice little packages and with a surprising little purchase from a post office in tiny, remote Cornish fishing village, Newlyn.

First, the WYBBL dice I sorted out the logo for. These are the ultra-limited pearl versíon. Snazzy! Also, I had the undead ogre sculpt by Justin Coutange through the Oldhammer FB group. In fact, I liked it so much I got two. I think the second may be offered as a prize for Deadcember at the end of this year.

There was also an apropos nothing gift from an old fencing and re-enacting friend, something which I'd never seen before. It's a beautifully illustrated Steve Jackson 'Fantasy questbook' called 'The tears of Tantalon'. I think I'm going to enjoy solving it, as well as looking over the artwork. Thanks, Phil!

And my post office purchase? Two oldish GW washes (Baal red and the blue one, no Devlan Mud sadly) and a Hawk Turquoise (I have trouble mixing turquoise) all from a £1 grab bin. I only got them thanks to Mrs Rab spotting "some of your monsters" in the shop window and suggesting I check inside. Bless her!

Now, to put all these treasures to good use.

9 August 2016

Into the West

So in the morning Mrs Rab, the two mini-Rabs and I will be starting the seven-hundred-and-twelve hour drive down to the far tip of Cornwall (leaving Castle Rab well guarded, naturally) for what I hope will be a fabulous holiday. Sun, sea, cliffs, stone monuments both ancient and industrial, maybe even a dolphin or two. Plenty of Clannad and Show of Hands for the car, because folk. Lovely.

But, I hear you cry, what about geeking? Fear not, I have packed some Stuff for evenings or wet days. Taking a leaf out of Asslessman's book, I've got tools and bitz for making up another couple of chaos centaurs, as well as some medium-sized models that will probably need filing and gap-filling. If the putty mood doesn't take me I've also packed some squared paper and my notebook to extend Averaigne for a September restart.

On the other hand I might just eat fish and pasties, drink wine and beer, and skim stones into the ocean at dusk. Decisions, decisions...

8 August 2016


A few weeks back, a chap from the West Yorkshire Blood Bowl League (WYBBL) asked for a spot of help on FB to turn their logo into an appropriate format for lasering into some custom dice to use as giveaways in an upcoming tournament. Having enjoyed doing just that for BOYL '14, and wanting to not get rusty using Photoshop and Illustrator, as well as helping a fellow gamer out, I volunteered.

This is their logo:

7 August 2016


So this has happened - the ankle biters decided they needed to know how to play. Excellent!

The lovely folding set Mrs Rab got me many moons ago from The Shambles in York

I had a really cool how-to book which, along with my dad, taught me the game as a boy

Fortunately, I rarely throw things away so they are getting the same introduction. Happy days!

1 August 2016

Averaigne campaign - Year 1: Epilogue (a)

[The story so far]

Gaming Year 1: Epilogue
What to say about those days after the defeat of the Vespertines and the flight of their masters? Strangely little happened, strangely little was said, strangely little was remembered, and even less was ever told outside Corcelle. Listen carefully and you will understand as far as I do, you may even remember some of it yourself. Then again, you might not...

26 July 2016

Averaigne campaign - session 20

[The story so far]

Session 20 - Is it the end of the world, or just the end of the adventure?
Those still fit to fight (Dumnorix, Aurelius, Oiseau, Montagne, Tybalt, Jean, and about a dozen watchmen) checked their weapons and armour, shared out the remaining handful of Black Jacques Specials [in effect, Molotovs] and headed for the great Temple of Alathea that formed the heart of the great and ancient city of Corcelle. The remaining Vespertine Guards had fled into the dark but it seemed likely some would be heading in that direction. The streets were dark and quiet. Any citizens who heard the disturbance had bolted their doors and shutters, all the panic of the Temple's desecration flooding back. The party and the dwindling watch were on their own.

24 July 2016

Averaigne campaign - session 19

[The story so far]

Session 19 - On the barricades
Abandoning his crossbow for the time being, Tybalt the halfling snatched up an axe and raised it high to swing ineffectually at the Vespertine scrambling up the barricade towards him. All along the ridge of their barrier his new friends, newer comrades, and local watchmen were doing the same to repel the sudden attack. To his left, Jean was struggling to land a blow on his man, while to the right Montagne was a veritable one-man army! Humming tunelessly to himself, the huge fellow broke limbs, stove in ribcages and pulped the heads of any foolish enough to step within range of the heavy and cruelly pointed morningstar that he swung so casually.

Distracted momentarily by the carnage alongside him, Tybalt hadn't noticed the Vespertine swap his sword for a spear. At least not until that spear was thrust deep into his inner thigh. Haemorrhaging violently, the halfling fell back senseless from his vantage point into a rapidly spreading pool of his own blood...