Monday, 27 July 2020

Treemendus terrain

Trees, a vital part of most fantasy battlefields. I have tried several times to make my own, but never really been satisfied with the finished result or the amount of time spent. And yet pre-made trees can be very expensive. So I was quite happy to spot a relative bargain on ebay, some busch pine trees at just over £10 for 15 reasonable sized specimens. I just had to work out how to "plant" them.

The tree "trunk" is nothing more than a twisted wire, on railroad layouts they are designed to be pressed into polystyrene terrain. But for us wargamers we usually have our trees on a flat base for ease of gaming, preferably removable to make way for troops. 

My bases are mdf trays (I got them from warbases, they are actually advertised as pond bases but I thought they were a good size for small copses/scatter terrain). How to get the tree to stand up on them? I toyed with the idea of bulking the trunk up with masking tape and using it to somehow stick to the bases, but it never really seemed a good idea and would also require additional painting. I wanted something a bit quicker and easier. 

The idea to use wooden beads came from my wife. They already have a hole so no need for drilling. Just glue them to the base, pop in a tree, job done. There are probably better ones available, more cylindrical rather than round, but these were in the house so they got used.

I applied some ground texture using a mix of diluted pva glue, sand and small stones, and tile grout. This is essentially what I use on my figure bases. I made it quite fluid and poured it onto the bases rather than apply with a brush or stick, then added extra sand to firm it up. When it was partly dry I pushed it up around the beads to hide them better. 

With the trees in place the beads are practically invisible, and when they are painted I reckon they will just disappear. I am hoping that I literally will not be able to see the wood(en beads) for the trees! I will report back when they are finished.

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Project ESR

I have dipped in and out of 40K a few times. I love the art, don't know that much about the lore, like some of the figures and never really enjoyed the game system that much. I much prefer a fantasy setting. So I was a bit surprised with myself that I got swept up by the Indomitus hype train. The models in this set are truly incredible.

The necrons are of most interest. Years ago I picked up a few plastics with the intention of putting together a quick force - they are the undead of the 40K universe - thus pretty easy to paint up quickly. I never really liked the dayglo weapon tubes so chopped them out and built a slightly different version of the gun. And that was as far as I got. One of those ideas that seemed good at the time but came to nothing.

But now I am keen to resurrect the ESR (Evil Space Robots) as I jokingly call them. I dragged the warriors from out of the box on the top shelf of the cupboard, the equivalent of the burner located some distance beyond the back burner. I played around with a few colour schemes and settled on this one. It's not particularly original or inspiring, but it's quick to do. With more detailed models I think it will really come to (un)life.

Roll on the delivery date. I had to order from a company I have never used before after the box sold out within 10 minutes of the launch on the GW website, hopefully they will prove to be reliable. I cannot wait to get started on the lovely new models.

Monday, 6 July 2020

How to make easy realistic bases

One question I have been asked time and time again is how I make my natural looking bases? So I thought it would be a good idea to put together a short video on the process. It's not ground breaking in any way, but you might find it useful. And there is a secret ingredient to discover......

Saturday, 4 July 2020


These viking berserkers are happy to be out and about, enjoying a bit of fresh air and socialising with the locals. Hopefully things won't get too out of hand. And I am happy to have finally painted something, it's been a struggle recently. I might even get to game with them at some point, that would be a real treat.

These are mostly victrix miniatures, though the extra furry guy on the left is V&V miniatures. They scale together well. They are all based on two pence coins.

They paint up nicely, I used my usual method of thin coats and glazes and it worked just fine. In fact, I have a couple of videos in preparation to show how paint chain armour and how to make and paint realistic bases. More on those soon.

Friday, 26 June 2020

It's a viking thing

Hat's off to you if you got the "joke" title. If you didn't, not to worry, it wasn't very funny - thing is an old Norse word for assembly or meeting. Told you it wasn't very funny. Anyway, here's my vikings assembled together. This is my collection as it stands today, though the archers are missing from this shot, they are not really free men and hence barred from the meeting.

It's been quite a long journey to get to this point. When I first started collecting vikings the figures available in the market were quite mediocre. In recent years that has changed quite markedly and there are now several options if you prefer good quality figures. I have previously blogged about my preferred options in this post.

I am slowly getting my vikings organised. Some are painted fully, some need a little more work, some need shield and base replacements. Some are still in the box. There's a fair bit of work to do, but it helps me to get them all out and arrange them like this so I can see what I am working towards.

There are five different manufacturers in this photo, though one is a proxy. The bulk are the excellent V&V miniatures, my absolute favourites though expensive resin pieces. Next most numerous are victrix, highly affordable plastics, and finally there is a smattering of Drabant metal figures. At the back you can see a Mierce Miniatures character glugging on some ale, encouraging the troops. And finally the leader is Thor! Yeah, he's the red herring, from CMON Blood Rage box game, until I get my V&V command group together. More on the vikings soon.....

Friday, 19 June 2020


The recent announcement on a new boxset for 40k had me pondering if I should take a new direction. I have hit a bit of a wall in motivation recently and I figured that a complete change might fire up the muse again. So I dug out a set of primaris marines and set to work on painting them in a desert scheme.

After a couple of changes, the scheme ended looking like this. My idea is to find/design a gryphon transfer for the shoulder pad, preferably in red to match the markings. The right knee pad would vary from marine to marine, a kind of personal heraldry, while the left kneepad would have some kind of campaign marking maybe. Anyway, after finding that even a simple marine like this takes a bit of time, I am not really encouraged to go further. It just seems so bland. I quite like the bolter though, that's really easy and could be re-used in the future.
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