Fantasy – Rhazgra the Seneschal and Retinue

The dark armoured warriors stepped further into the darkness of the tunnels, moving carefully over the loose sand and scree that covered the incline. There were four of them, the rest of the band left above to guard the entrance against any intruders while the chosen few ventured deep into the tombs. They were looking for something, something to bring their lord greater power.

At the bottom of the stone ramp the warriors paused, listening. The tunnels around them were inky black, not even the strange glowing crystal the cave above had contained. It was also quiet, still, not even the sound of the wind whistling through the caverns.

“Rhalar, light.” The tone of the leader of the band, Rhazgra the Seneschal, was short and to the point, the brisk words of a commander used to seeing her action done. She didn’t bother to turn, instead crouching behind her shield, her mace held low in the enclosed space.

“Of course, sister” the taller mage answered, her voice with an ethereal edge to it, the greenish glow of the scars in her cheek become stronger as her hand ignited, green fire wreathing it like a beast desperate to flee. With a delicate motion, she place the fire inside the top of the staff, letting it writhe over the metal as in it was in pain.

“Where to now Seneschal? These tunnels all look the same.” The Dour asked, his voice like the grinding of stone against stone, his axe resting against his shield as his helm leaned forward.

“Rhalar will guide us, won’t you beautiful?” Arkfel the Slayer, the pelt of a great scaled beast over his shoulder moving as he laughed quietly to himself, only stopping when he felt the glower from his leader.

Ignoring such pedestrian things, the sorcerer lifted her glowing hands, the magical energy now spilling fully from her eyes and the scars on her face before evaporating into the air. She turned to look down each of the tunnels, the glow seeing to burn away the darkness, before she focused on one in particular. “The way ahead. There is something dangerous, old, long dead but now disturbed.” Rhalar lifted up her hands, letting the staff float beside her as she pushed her mind forward, attempting to understand the presence before her.

“The treasure’s guardian? Or something else those damn Templars have disturbed?” Rhazgra asked, turning slightly to look at her sister. Spotting the way her hands shook and the way green fire was emitting from her eyes even as her face creased with the effort, Rhazgra placed her shield down and delicately guided her sister’s hand back to the staff, the cold metal bringing her back to the present. She seemed to sign, her shoulders heaving as she drank in the cool air.

“Careful, beloved sister. It would be unwise for you to push yourself too hard before we have reached the prize. I’ll need your mind to unlock it’s traps.” She pulled her taller sister’s head down so their brows met, the anxious sweat of the mage resting against the cool of the warrior. “Besides,” she smiled “I would hate to have to leave you behind in favour of the treasure.”

Rhalar smiled. “I know sister, but I do not think you will need to. I know The Patron smiles on us this day. I can feel her whispers in the air.”

Yep, it happens to the best of us. Eventually anyone playing Sci-fi or Fantasy finds themselves looking at Chaos Warriors and reflecting on just how cool they look. They combine the glorious appeal of knights in armour but with that dark fantasy baroque look that means they just drip with character. They are the warriors that burn down the hero’s village as child, thus setting off the story. They are the Dark Figures that chase your heroes across the plains, slaying anyone in their way. And right at the end, they are the army you fight through to take on their leader. As you might guess, I adore the artwork and mental images, even if the normal models (released back in Warhammer Fantasy Battle days) are very static/designed for ranking up.

Seeing as I’m now working on very small (honesty) fantasy collection, and after seeing the Underworld Warband back when it was announced, I decided that these much more dynamic warriors were exactly what I wanted. Each of them looked like a real threat, a champion of the dark gods assembled alongside allies and rivals to take the fight to the enemy. What better troops to follow my Chaos Lord (who I’ve designed as some kind of Cursed Warrior/Undying King) than a collection of highly skilled individuals who just happen to be able to work together.


As a test bed, I decided to paint up the Underworld Warband “Khagra Ravagers”. Comprising of three warriors and a mage, it’s a great little introduction into the range. There are lots of shared character design elements among them – the armour and cloak combination, the multiple weapons and shield all ready to go, the smattering of decorations showing their allegiance.

As an aside, before I get into the figures, I’m just going to mention that I’m using my own names and descriptions for them. As much as I like Games Workshop’s setting, I’m one of those people who really like writing their own settings, characters and stories. As part of this, these four warriors will form the leaders of my Chosen Warriors, set to accompany the Lord into battle (seeing as he fights on foot). Additionally, as the greatest warriors among them, they are sent off to do specific tasks for their leader, ideally setting them up for small skirmish games.


First up we have a Warrior with shield and axe, ready to attack but in a relatively guarded pose. This is “The Dour”, an old warrior in a profession where that is a rarity. He’s basically Rhazgra’s main advisor/strong man, ready to offer the blunt opinion when required but then following her orders to the letter.

He’s also just really fun to paint, a relatively open pose with lots of finer details to add to. As the first figure painted, this was where I decided on the colours I would be using. Going for Valejo’s Royal Purple for the cloak really helps to make them look regal. I also used the classic Leadbelcher for the armour but after a quick look, a layer of black contrast over the top made it look the classic black armour that the Chaos Warriors are known for. On most, I decided to use mostly brass colours rather gold, helping to make them look less “fancy” than any Templars I am doing. The exception was the leader and mage, the gold marking them out as a little more important.


Next, with a weapon in each hand and animal pelt over the shoulder we have Arkfel the Slayer. With a pose like that, leaving himself entirely open and daring his enemy on, he seems like a real charming bastard of a warrior. Combine that with the pelt over his shoulder, I worked up the idea of the charming asshole who knows he has the skills to backup his boasting. Plus, if I’m doing the writing, a perfect partner to the mage, standing there to taunt attackers away from his beloved.

This guy is really similar pose to the Slambo figure from the olden days and I kind of love it. It was really fun working on him, especially with the scales over his shoulder. I originally started off with the colours reversed, only swapping to a more realistic look once I double checked some reference.


Rhazgra the Seneschal is of course the leader of this warband, standing in a dynamic pose to command her warriors forward. Her gear is more ornate than her fellows, she goes to battle without her helmet and that sneer of command. In her role as Seneschal, she is responsible for making sure her Lord’s affairs are in order, as well as enforcing his commands and protecting him with the help of the Chosen. At other times, she will go and do important tasks and quests herself. As for her (and her sister’s) origins, they are shrouded in mystery. Some say she is the daughter of a northern tribal chief, others say she ran away from the Templars as a teenage trainee to protect her sister. Either way, she’s a formidable warrior and great leader of her force.

As the figure that attracted to me this band, I was very careful to try and get her done just right. As well as the ornate details, the face is really well sculpted. Normally, my faces are apply base colour, wash, finish, barely even bothering to do the eyebrows. With Rhazgra, I used the Reikland fleshshade but then went back, adding eyebrows, highlights for the nose and cheek bones as well as a touch of gold though the piercing on her eyebrow. The markings on the side of her head were an attempt at tattoos which I think have the right effect. I also spent a lot of time on the hair, working from the black basecoat to the strip of white. In sort of the opposite way, I started off the wolf pelt with a very light grey, working my way down until the layer of black contrast paint over the top portions. Overall, I’m really happy with this model, one of the ones I’m most proud of.


And then we get to the mage.

So at first I originally painted her up using the original head. This sculpt was my least favourite in the set. I understand the visual of the cursed mage with the horns and hairless, and it makes sense for Warhammer. But in my head, this wasn’t the look I was wanting for the warband. These are supposed to be well trained and skilled warriors, not yet corrupted fully. The other issues was that the head lacks a lot of the details I’d usually rely on when painting – it’s not got much topological features to let the wash run into. I tried my best with the black and gold bands but it just looks so agressively… eh.

After a weekend of staring at the model, I decided enough is enough and went looking for an alternative head. I had, a while ago, purchased some alternative Stormcast heads (which are now being used in my Templar forces which I’ll be showing off soon) so I could get away from the “nope, we’re totally not space marines” look. Those heads, waiting for me to finish the box of Paladins I got for cheap from the local corner shop back up in Edinburgh for a tiny price, have been in my bits tray for a while. Pulling them out, I found one which was ideal, matching the look of Rhazgra while still looking a little magical. The only problem was that all the detail was on the wrong side of the head, forcing a slight change in pose.

Removing the head without damaging the paintwork was one of those butt clenching moments of hobby, trying very hard to scrape as little away as possible. Luckily I made a clean cut, cleaned up the resin part and then re-assembled the head into the slot, undercoating it via brush.

And now, here she is finished – Rhalar. With the new head, she looks like a true battle mage, just as likely to kick your ass with her fists than she is with magic. This better suits the mental image of her, working as her sister’s magical aid right next to her in battle. Her origins are as mysterious as her Sister’s and she shows promise of an even greater level of magic than she has already shown.

I’m really happy with the headswap, elevating this figure from okay to something I’m really happy with. I like how similar this model is in terms of gear to the actual warriors (such as the armour, cloak and the fur around her neck) while still having plenty of pieces that are different enough to make her stand out. The flames were especially fun to paint – I used the Hexwraith technical paint over a white basecoat and it worked out exactly as planned. I also managed to drip a little bit into the scars on her face, just to show the magic beginning to seep out.


Overall, this Underworlds unit was a fantastic way into painting more fantasy figures. I really recommend anyone interested in trying out a new Warhammer army take a look at these figures – they have some really nice details and it isn’t a huge amount of models to paint up. I’m also pretty happy with how the group has turned out, with a paint scheme that is relatively simple but looks awesome.

Next stage with these guys? Well I have 10 warriors, 5 knights and a lord on angry crocodile to finish off in a similar way to this warband. Beyond them, there are a few more less armoured chaos fighters to paint before I can move onto the big parts of the force – my Lord and his Patron.

Only a little terrified at the prospect of those two.

March 2021 Project Update

Welcome to April! Lets take a look at how things are going.

Project 365

To start, lets take a look at the count.

Painted: 40

DescriptionMakerNumber
British InfantryEmpress36
Chaos Warriors (Underworld)GW4

Purchased: 19

DescriptionMakerNumber
SwashbucklersWargames Foundry12
Keeper of SecretsGW1
Darkoath ChieftanGW1
Knight-IncantorGW2
SequitorGW3

A good bit of progress! I’ve now managed to paint more models than I’ve bought this year (always a good side of the equation to be on) and made a considerable dent in the Empress WW2 brits. Purchases… well we’ll talk about them in a sec.

I also managed to do enough models above and beyond the target value (31) helping to bring me a little closer to the intended progression. At the moment, I’m only 5 models below the target progression – I could have pushed to actually hit that target this month but honestly, it’s not the point of it. It’s a goal, not a requirement. As another positive, I’ve now hit over 44% of my collection painted, a percentage I haven’t beaten since 2018.

Project WW2

Project WW2 was the key focus of March, especially after the test painting of the month before. And I managed to finish the core platoon of my force! Three infantry sections, a PIAT team, a light mortar team and the two Senior Leaders (NCO and LT), all painted up and based. I’m really happy with how these models have turned out – the painted scheme is glorious muddy and grim, just right for a 1945 force. I’m also really happy I decided to go with the snow bases, helping to offset the darker colours. It’s also impressive to have the force finished – I could now (if the world wasn’t mad) go play a small game of Chain of Command with no extra units.

Finishing the platoon was Phase 1 of my WW2 Brits. Phase 2 is now to paint up the supporting Infantry I currently own, beginning with the senior leadership (and medic) above. The rest of the stuff to work on includes two vickers guns, two radio crew acting as JOPs, SMGs users and a few figures with soft caps I’ve converted. Phase 3 will be me working on my platoon of Churchills and friends. Phase 4 is the end game; there are a few force elements that are missing from the Empress Range (such as the 6pdr crews) that I’m hoping they will release some in the future.

Of course, this month I also ran the numbers on preparing some OPFOR for the Brits. The Empress Volks Gren range is really good looking…

Project Fantasy

I’m rapidly finding myself thinking about and painting up more fantasy figures. WW2 is definitely fun to paint (and I’m really looking forward to playing with the Brits/building up another force) but Fantasy is really filling the niche of fulfilling both interesting things to build/paint and getting my world building/design elements. I’m in the middle of writing up a post on the Chaos Warriors I finished this month, where I actually get to stretch my writing skills.

The big quantity of purchases this month is from Wargames Foundry’s Swashbucklers range. This is mostly due to the fact my Sister expressed an interest in possibly playing some games of soldiers. Based on her interests (and a love for buckling swashes), I decided to pick up these wonderful figures. Along with the three figures in this style from North Star, they will form my Sword Masters, spies/assassins for the empire in my nebulous fantasy setting. Once painted up, and the ruffians 3d printed, there will definitely be some fun games coming.

Also part of this setting is a way to use GW’s Stormcast.

Okay, stop running.

The Stormcast Eternals are definitely aggressively iconic for Age of Sigmar and I hadn’t really found a use for them. However, after seeing some Stormcast painted in a more realistic (i.e. less gold) style, I was suddenly captured by the idea of using them for a Templar like force, aggressively over the top fanatics to go toe to toe with the Chaos Warriors. I’ve also decided to go with exposed head look – it’s definitely among one of the weaker points of my skill set but I did really enjoy working on the head for my Chaos Warrior champion I painted.

Now. I am a simple man. I like little treats. And I set myself a goal that, if I finished my WW2 Brit Platoon, I would start on a nice kit for my fantasy range. Having mentioned my Chaos Lord and his cursed warrior details last time, I decided to push the button and get a model for his patron. The Keeper of Secrets from GW is one of their finest figures, nailing that merger of lethality and beauty. I decided, after a little bit of sweating aggressively, to go for more of the “four armed warrior goddess” rather than the traditional claw arms of Slaanesh demons. The picture above shows the WIP form, stuck together with some white tack. I still have some work to do, mostly with adjusting the left shield arm to cover her chest more. I am really enjoying building this model, and it will definitely be pushing my skillset forward.

Now… I am a little worried that this month is going to shred some of my gains from last month in terms of improving my completed percentage. Games Workshop is going hard on adding vampires to Warhammer fantasy and man, they found my weakness. I was already on board with the four new vampires in the Underworld box (a superb entry for great figures) but then they announced Cursed City, a board game using Games Workship miniatures just dripping with character. I adore the models they have announced, the gothic horror/low fantasy setting spot on for what I love. This is going to be a big chunk of change, but definitely worth it. I’m going to curb my new purchases soon, but I think these vampires (and maybe a few other vampires/undead for fighting in skirmish games) will be in the collection soon.

Project Moderns

I wrote a post in March about some decisions I’ve made regarding how I’m going to be playing my Ultramoderns, stepping away from the real world and into real-world adjacent. You can find more in the post. As for extra work, I’ve done a little bit of development on the aims/rules for the nations, more coming soon.


That’s it for this month’s update, I’ll see you in a month!

#HobbyStreak Day 50

In case you haven’t seen on my Twitter (or have managed to avoid taking part in what can mostly be a hell site), I’ve restarted doing the #hobbystreak. This is where you attempt to do a little bit of hobby every day and keep the streak going. Now, I admit I’m very lucky in being in a situation where I am able to do this – I work from home (at the moment), live by myself and can make it very easy to carve out some time no matter what.

However, I’m really excited to say I managed to hit 50 days! I don’t have a specific target for days I want to hit, I just want to see how far I can keep it rolling.

If you want to follow along, I’ve added a moment with all the streak so far. It’s interesting to see just what I was working on when I started off.

(End of) February 2021 Project Update

This may only be a little shorter than the other updates but it is coming out at the start of the next month rather than at a random time.

Project 365

First up, this month’s count is standing at:

Painted: 32

DescriptionMakerNumber
CypherGW1
Winter British InfantryWarlord10
British SnipersWarlord2
British InfantryEmpress4
Delta ForceSpectre12
Task Force BlackEmpress2
Tier 1 OperatorsSpectre1

Purchased: 34

DescriptionMakerNumber
Comet TankRubicon1
SigvaldGW1
Chaos Lord on KarkadrakGW1
Chaos KnightsGW5
Chaos WarriorsGW10
Daughters of Khaine MelusaiGW10
Daughters of Khaine KhineraiGW5
Melusai IronscaleGW1

I’m aiming for 31 models painted every month so I managed to hit it. I am a little bit down on the running total for the year (January missed it by a chunk) so I’m going to have to slightly increase my numbers coming up. However, having a lot of models ready to be painted, it should be much easier to hit those goals.

As for the purchased – well technically not all of it was purchased… I’ll get to that.

Project Database

Not much more on the web plugin but I have managed to do some database wrangling to turn data into visuals. I’ve set up a page on the blog with all the graphs I’m to all my graphs, as you can see above. I’ll sit down and do some analysis at some point (because I find it fun) but it’s interesting to see how the shift in my collection is going, as I throw off that idea that I’m “just a Moderns wargamer” and actually start collecting what I want to and what excites me.

Project Modern

The Delta Operators are now all painted and based. I’m really happy with how they turned out – it’s been a while since I painted Multi-cam and then painting 12 of the buggers in it was a bit of a shock to the system. That said, it’s neat to get them all done and relatively quickly, managing blocks of four roughly every three days (base colours, details, camo).

I still need to do the writeup on them, but I’m waiting on a lightbox – the large one is good but it’s not really suitable for only a few figures.

Project WW2

Project WW2 is now the focus project. After the first section was finished earlier this month, I have also finished off the Warlord Sniper pair and have started on the bulk of the Empress guys with the first section. There was a little bit of relearning the paint scheme, mostly due to the different equipment worn by the Empress figures and the finer details that the sculptor brought to them. As you can see above, it’s definitely worth it. The camo jackets and helmets covered in scrim were really fun to paint and I adore their poses.

Perhaps the biggest thing is finally getting my hands on some snow powder. I got it from the same place I have picked up the rest of my scenic supplies from, Geek Gaming Scenics after waiting a little bit for it to come back into stock. It actually works incredibly well, requiring a few blobs of glue to get this semi-melted snow effect on the guys. These aren’t in the depths of winter – it’s January/February and so it should be started to melt, mixing with the mud and forest floor.

One thing I have decided is that I’m not going to focus on the WW2 guys in a single big block of painting. I did notice the Enforcers definitely reached a point of “oh god they are finally done” – with the WW2 guys being a full platoon, that’s a lot of green and brown to paint.

Project Fantasy

So I’m going to be writing some more stuff about my fantasy gaming. It’s an idea that has really captured my mind, and has some potentially very exciting elements to play around with.

Remember how I mentioned the sudden jump in purchases? Well, that’s because I had a nice surprise when my pre-order of the new Sigvald figure and some Chaos Warriors arrived. At first, I thought I might have been an incorrect order but nope, I’d managed to win the lucky draw from Leodis Games and ended up with a special prize… and a lollipop.

Now, this box is great. It’s a pair of really rather nice armies. However, despite having just bought the new Slaanesh model, I actually don’t have any plans for a Slaanesh force. Luckily my Creative Opponent up North, in his slow decline to Chaos, decided he wanted to give in to temptation and leap in. I’m really happy it went to someone I know – I feel a little funny about just selling off a prize. Instead, it will be going North, while I will be keeping the Dark Elves to add to my force.

Speaking of Dark Elves, I also managed to assemble both of the Warbands from the War Cry Catacombs box I got for Christmas. Like all of the GW figures, these are beautiful to look at, with carefully designed pieces fitting together. They were also complete bastards to assemble, especially figures with multiple part cloaks that fit together. However, I think they are well worth the swearing and fingers covered in glue.

But what of the Sigvald I purchased? Well, remember last update when I mentioned the idea I had for him? Well I’ve managed to work out the basics. In my head, this guy is a cursed ancient king skilled at the art of war and perfecting his skills in it. However, despite having attracted an army of Chaos Knights and Warriors, he is no simple follower of the Chaos gods. Instead, he spites them, breaking his horns to reject the gifts. Of course, anyone who recognises the spear and shield I’ve given him might work out where this story arc might be going. Lets just say, he has a patron who I might need to purchase in the future for when she has to enter the fray…

Story aside, I’m happy with the first assemble of this conversion. There needs to be a little bit of greenstuff work on his spear hand, and the painting will be the proof of the design. A lot of this design came from playing Hades and the basic model having some very greek style armour, and I think the giant spear and shield nail that image that came into my head. It’s going well, so the next step is actually painting and putting him together fully.


That’s it for this month’s update, I’ll see you in a month!

January 2021 Project Update (and some of February)

Ah. So this was supposed to be a post I was doing at the start of each month but I’ve been a little distracted by actually doing the hobby rather than simply talking about it. Which is a positive I think!

But for now, here is a quick check-in for what I did in January and the first half of February.

Project Enforcers

Project Enforcers is done! All the models I purchased have been built, painted and based. The figures are now living in my display cabinet and I’m really happy with how they turned out.

Project WW2

Project WW2 has properly begun. I’ve already completed my first Infantry section, as you can see above, and a pair of Snipers. These are both from Warlord and have functioned as a very good testbed. The next step will be working on the main platoon.

I’ve also assembled all the tanks to go with my main force, with three Churchill gun tanks, a Crocodile, an AVRE and a Comet all assembled and ready to be undercoated.

Project Modern

With the release and then the arrival of the Delta Force guys from Spectre at the end of January, I decided to interrupt my planned project to try and get them painted up. At time of writing, I have done two of the three batches with the aim of finishing the third this week. They are some nice models, which I’ll cover some more details on once they are done, and were a nice step back into the Moderns Painting.

I also managed to get a new game in, having a battle report of Spectre Operations set in Bazistan again. It was a nice step back into playing, and I’ll be trying to get some more in.

Project Fantasy

Nothing to update for Project Fantasy. I’ve come up with a cool idea using the new Sigvald model and the Chaos Warriors (including the underworld box I picked up last month) so I’ve got my hands on them but I haven’t started actually working on them. I’ll probably do a fantasy project after WW2.

Project 3D Printing

Oh boy, this is the big one. Since the last update, I’ve managed to get my 3d Printer up and running, learnt a few of the ins and out of it and then managed to print off some stuff. I’m really impressed with just the quality you can get out of an entry level resin printer.

Above are just a few things I’ve printed using it after my initial burst of “Test all the things!”. I’ll be going into more details of the process in an upcoming post sat in my draft pile but as a preview – I don’t think 3d Printing is quite at the stage that everyone needs to get one (they are still a little finicky) but it’s a really interesting tool to have.

Project Database

My figure tracking has now shifted from an excel spreadsheet into a database on my webserver. I’m still not 100% finished with the data (I still need to do some detective work to find purchase dates) but every model I have is now tracked in there. You can see the count of the various stages of models up above.

The next stage of this project (aside from keeping it up to date) is going to be surfacing the data. I’m already planning a widget to appear in the sidebar of the blog, showing off the most recent figures I’ve painted up/projects I’ll be working on. This won’t be up for a while but it’s a fun learning project.

Project 365

The data for this year so far

After having got all the data and getting into a hobby streak, I’m actually feeling pretty motivated to keep painting. I’ve been doing roughly four figures every 2-3 days, especially when working on actual projects such as the WW2 section and the deltas. Which got me thinking…

My Creative Opponent has decided to attempt to paint 365 models in 2021. Although I may have originally laughed at this concept, especially after last year’s lacklustre numbers, I’m starting to think that it might be something worth trying out. Not sure I’ll hit it by the end of the year but aim high and all that.


That’s it for this update, see you in a few weeks for the next update post.

Project WW2 – Infantry Section, 10th (Teesside) Regiment of Rifles

Corporal Joshua Smith kept low as he made his way through the blasted tree stumps and muddy ditches he’d been calling home for the past few weeks, his Sten gun held in his left hand as the other worked to steady him. The mud underfoot was trying it’s best to throw him on the face, bringing back memories of helping his father on the farm in the hills above Middlesbrough, pulling sheep out of the sucking mess.

He wasn’t sure what part of the European Winter he hated more; when the ground was too cold to dig into properly, when the snow was coming down hard enough you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face, or days like this when the sun heated the ground up just enough to turn walking to and from the Platoon HQ into an adventure all of itself. What was worse, he could feel the icy chill of the mud sneaking in, finding a gap in the leather of his boots. He cursed the RQMS again, and made a mental note to go try talking to the lads in the next trench line over, see if some trades could be made.

Eventually, after a few more slips and slides, he made his into the dugout. Huddled in the corner, Private Williams was trying to snatch an attempt at sleep, huddled under his rain cape for that extra layer. Above him, Private Campbell stood facing out across the valley at the woods beyond, keeping an eye open for Germans attempting to probe the lines and a hand on the grip of the Bren gun. He seemed unblinking, ever watchful – quite different from the loud brawler personality that came out in the thick of it. Before Smith could even open his mouth to check on the dark-skinned soldier, a mug of warm tea was thrust into his own gloved hand, a shadow following after it.

“So, Corporal,” his 2IC asked, his tall, gaunt frame wrapped in greatcoat and looming out of the darkness like Boris Karloff in a picture show. The only light on him seemed to be the cigarette between his lips, the orange glow revealing a face creased with dirt and camo paint, the balaclava around his face shrouding it. “Anything interesting from the Mother’s Union meeting?”

Smith smiled, wrapping his hands around the metal cup. “Well, Lance Corporal Caines, we’re not part of any big push, at least as far as beloved Rupert knows.” He sat down upon an upturned wooden crate they had borrowed from the Logistics boys, looking around at the assembled men. “Looks like we’ll be in reserve for it instead. The Yorks and Scots will be having a first go at those new positions, the poor bastards.”

“Thank Jesus for that,” Campbell’s deep voice boomed in response, before leaning forward on the Bren gun to keep watch into the darkness beyond.


Ironically, the first section finished for Project WW2 is not from my main platoon. The bulk of my force is pulled from the Empress range by Paul Hicks, and features troops in the latest gear for combat at the end of the war in Europe – waterproof smocks and leather jerkins, helmets covered in scrim netting all while laden down with entrenching tools. They look like the guys geared up for the task of pushing across the Rhine and into Germany.

The Winter British from Warlord do not look they have properly equipped for the advance. They look like the guys who have been fighting since June, have been on the line for most of it, and are now stuck in a trenchline somewhere near Germany, sitting in frozen mud during the awful winter of 1945, wondering why the Germans haven’t just given up so everyone can just go home. They are wrapped up in scarves and greatcoats (replaced by the smock to improve their mobility in combat) with only their faces exposed to the cold. For this reason, I decided that they will probably end up being a support section, one pulled from the support list when more bodies are needed. This is why they are from the (fictional) 10th (Teesside) Regiment of Rifles, rather than the (fictional) 25th (Scots and Yorks) Regiment of Rifles.

There are 10 figures in the box, giving you two figures with Sten guns (a classic of Bolt Action squad setups), a Bren gunner and the rest with Lee Enfield rifles. There is some variation between the figures – some are in greatcoats, others in battle dress in leather jerkins while one has a rain cape over his gear, including covering up the backpack. Helmets also have some variety, with some using them uncovered while other have added helmet covers or scrim netting.

In terms of painting overall, I cover the basics in my first sitrep on them. Having now done the whole section, the scheme I’ve worked out is very easy to paint and I’m very happy with the final effect. Using the textured mud on both the base and the bottom edge of the clothing really helps to make them look suitably gritty. I’m not 100% finished when them yet though – I’m going to add a little bit of fake snow to them, just a tiny bit of white to offset the brown.

With these guys as a test bed, I’m very happy with the process and can now begin working on the bulk of the platoon. Of course, there will be some differences so the first Empress squad will also be a little bit of a testbed.

SITREP – Project WW2 Begins

Its only taken me two years but I have finally painted my first batch of WW2 British Infantry. Two years of planning, talking about it, getting distracted etc. But now, the first test models are done and I’m ready to begin working on the rest of the platoon, creating a force ready for the very final days of WW2.

Although the main platoon will be from Empress, these starting models are from Warlord’s metal Winter British Infantry. I’m not always a fan of the Warlord sculpting style (some of them are quite exaggerated) but I really like the look of these figures, wrapped up in cold weather gear, greatcoats and wearing the later gillet. They have that look of tiredness that really match up to the feel I wanted for my force.

Of course, the main thing with these guys was picking out a scheme that would work for them. As inspiration, I took the British Airborne paint set, picking out the Vallejo pots from it that I already owned and adding a few other ones. Here are my colours:

  • Dark Green (Vallejo 893): Helmet and neckscarf
  • English Uniform Brown (Vallejo 921): Trousers and canteen
  • Russian Uniform Green (Vallejo 924): Helmet camo strips, PIAT, mortars, guns, Respirator Bag
  • Khaki (Vallejo 988): Helmet camo strips, gaiters, webbing and backpack
  • Mahogany Brown (70.846): Jerkin
  • GW Leadbelcher: Metal pieces – Base colours for gun metal
  • GW Rhinox Hide: Rifle Wood (although I will vary this to have a mix of looks)

After the base colours, I also dry-brushed some Rhinox Hide around the bottom of the coat/trousers to show the splashes of mud. For the next set, I’m going to try and add some more on the knees and ankles, just to help make them muddy. Finally, the ever-useful Agrax Earthshade toned the colours down and helped them to mix.

For the base, I started with the Stirland Mud texture paint, ladling it on heavy. I also added a touch to the bottom of the clothing, to add a little texture to the mud splashes. For some colour, I added some Forest Ground Cover, touches of leaves and twigs perfect for the Reichswald. The downside to these base mixes if that they can be a little dusty, lightening the mud already in place. As a final touch to done this down, a light wash of Agrax Earthshade helped to darken it down.


Next step – four more Infantrymen, including the team Bren gun. And then after that, I’ll finish the Warlord guy off with the pair of Sten guns in the squad, as well as the two Ghille suited sniper I purchased from them at the same time.

End of 2020 Project Update

Well that was a year. I’m sure 2020 wasn’t quite what people had planned going into it but hopefully it worked out okay. Looking back at where I was last year, I’m definitely in a different place but still got a fair few things to work on. This time last year I was starting to try and get a proper rhythm of painting before moving location… and then the everyday of the world sort of fell apart. I have definitely taken a long time

As a tradition, the end of the year means it’s time for the dreaded count of how much I got painted this year and my total (worked out from going back and checking the blog) was….

69 models.

You may insert whatever jokes/memes you’d like to here.

Maybe not as much as I would have liked but still nice. I’m yet to actually double-check how many I purchased but I already know I bought more than that. One goal for next year I think will be trying to make sure the buy to painted ratio is at least 1:1, if not tilted more in favour of the painting side. This is especially important once Project 3D Printing is up and running.

So with the basics out of the way, lets talk projects


Project ENFORCERS

Project Enforcers is my current focus. So far, I have 6 of the 18 models painted – I would have been faster but Christmas took its toll (mostly through playing other games, trying to relax and then massively oversleeping) and so I didn’t get it finished this month. That said, I’m really happy with the colour scheme I’ve settled on – the little cosmetic tweaks I made to the enforcer models being brought out with the Anvil Industry parts.

This is my number 1 project right now – I really want to get it all wrapped up before I move onto anything else.

Project WW2

Project WW2 has been sat waiting for far too long and is the next focused push in the stack. It’s one of those projects I’m so ready to do – I have the basic paintjob planned out, ideas for the story of the figures I’m painting, and a group of opponents to go up against (once we can meet up). The aim now is just the final push of beginning and sitting down with paint brush in hand.

Of course, I should also add that my Brits have been expanded with the addition of enough Churchill tanks to assemble a full platoon of gun tanks, an AVRE for building destruction and a Christmas/Birthday present from the Dastardly Opponent in the form of a Churchill Croc to burn it’s way through the opposition.

Of course, the other reason why I need to get on with my WW2 project is this wonderful gift that my Creative Opponent gave me for Christmas (a socially distanced deployment as he drove back home with a car full of IKEA). This wonderful box, inscribed with a fictional regiment that he created for me based on some rough ideas I had, is full of tokens for Chain of Command complete with wording and details of the regimental logo. You can tell he has a laser cutter can’t you? I’ll honestly admit, opening it up definitely made me physically pause with my mouth open as it was such an unexpected gift.

Project Fantasy

Warcry Catacombs has arrived. I have pulled the rules out and taken a read, and I’m very excited for them. However, I’m going to save assembling it until I have finished the Necromunda guys at least.

There is also the matter of a few additions to my collection that Warcry has prompted. With the two scenery packs on hand to add some battlefield difference, I also picked up a few Witch Elves to back up the Khanite Shadowstalkers including some special models which I’m very intimidated about trying to paint. More details once they arrive (and I stop freaking out about the concept of subassemblies).

Project 3D Printing

Oh boy okay. I should currently be showing off my 3D printer and some of the stuff I have managed to make during my time off.

You may notice I am not doing that. The reason for this is due to the fact that my 3D printer (an Elegoo Mars Pro) started off with a fault (the UV lamp that causes the resin to set seemed to be misfiring) and then got worse when I attempted to fix it. By the time I’d finished digging around the front panel connection had been broken off, leading to me being unable to control the device to even test for the original flaw. The reason for this? Well, its what comes when you attempt to rush a repair job to play with a new present and an unfamiliarity with the exact mechanics of 3d printing. At the first issue, I should have boxed it up and sent it back to Amazon.

Instead, I am now waiting for parts to arrive from China to let me turn it on before we can then attempt to get the original fault checked (which may require more parts). On the one hand, the device shouldn’t have failed, on the other hand, I screwed up and am now paying the price. However looking on the positive side, I now understand a lot more about what’s going on inside the metal box which will be handy for any future issues. There is a lot of learning to do outside of the printing (such as preparing supports and handling the resin) so as disappointing as this delay is, I’m fine with it – it will be what it will be.

Project Database

This is a new project technically, but I have been considering this concept for the last couple of years. To keep track of my painting, I mostly have been a Google Sheet and… well it feels a bit lacking. It’s only really good for basic tracking – anything greater such as specific queries or keeping an eye on purchases/completion requires a lot of extra work. So for a long time, I had been eyeing up the idea of making a database for it, delving into some of the web design work I had done at university to give me a lot more control over it (and let me run stupid queries like “whats the oldest model I haven’t painted yet”). This is also an excuse to get a bit more use out of my web hosting which I love heaving but offt I am paying a chunk for it.

So far, I’ve already done the hard part – deciding which columns will be in the table. The next stage is converting my Google Sheet document into a format I can add it to the database. This is made harder by the fact my current document is focused on a type with a number in it as opposed to rows for each figure. This is going to require some work but once it is done I can then start adding the fun bit such as taking pictures of each model, checking what’s in my collection matches whats in the database and then setting up the blog to have more details on it all.


So that’s my update. My aim for the future is to keep going and slowly improve. I’m not giving it a hard number but I just want to keep rolling, keep positing, keep painting and collecting. And One day maybe we’ll