Saturday, 29 September 2018

Crom’s Anvil

Well, the writing isn’t going so well (see last post, two months ago!), although I have got a RuneQuest Glorantha campaign underway since then, so some writing has taken place. I will return to Tales of the Reaching Moon soon, honest...

In the meantime, I have been painting, as ever, but recently my wandering eye has landed on a sparkling gem I have been eyeing for quite a while now. Crom’s Anvil, run by Michael Stockin, formerly of Angel Barracks fame.

I remember the site going live almost two years ago and since then the range of Hyborian Age style buildings has grown, and is still growing, into a most impressive range. There are some great adobe buildings, walls and general tabletop ‘clutter’ for a desert town, the town of Simurgh,  some mud huts and wooden palisade style fencing for the village of Utuseb and general open steppe type terrain elements such as camps, oases, rock formations and a ruined temple.

All of this is beautifully realised and I still covet it all, but there are also figures. Wonderful little 15mm people that dwell in the places described above. I had to buy them all because 15mm is very affordable!

Aside from the characters, there are the town guard, resembling some pseudo-ancient-middle-eastern types as you’d expect to find in Shem or perhaps Turan, and some tribesmen, more akin to Howard’s “Black Kingdoms” than his Picts.

Some priestesses, a priest/monk, a sorcerer, a merchant and his bodyguard are also available and stunningly realised, but perhaps the icing on the cake are Erland and Eydis. A pair that are as close to Conan and Valeria as you’ll find in 15mm. It was this latter pair that I had the urge to paint late last night, and they paint up very nicely. There is a surprising about of detail on these figures, but they’re not overburdened with fiddly bits that can make some smaller scale models awkward to paint.

The products Michael has in his site (and I believe he makes the buildings himself) really evoke the Hyborian Age, to the point where I have had to go and get the books out and start re-reading. As well as his own skirmish game Burnings Sands, the range will be a perfect compliment to the Conan rpg by Modiphius.

I’ll leave you with the url to the site and a photo of who I shall be calling Conan and Valeria.
Go and have a look at the site. And when you’ve had a look treat yourself to it all.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Tales of the Reaching Moon

This post marks a change in direction for this blog. I will still post photographs of my painted miniatures, but I’ve been inspired to write more, rather than just upload photographs.

That inspiration came from listening to the recent episode of  The Grognard Files, a podcast about roleplaying that mostly covers games from the early days of the hobby, a time when I was getting started, and my own experience runs very closely to that of the host and his group. Check it out, it’s a real “cup of tea and a chat” style podcast that makes for easy and compelling listening.

In the episode in question, number 22, we hear about the Runequest Renaissance of the mid 90s, which is when my interest in the game was at its most... acquisitive, shall we say. The host, Dirk the Dice, was chatting with Michael O’Brian, Vice President of Chaosium, the game’s publisher, who mentioned that his break into writing for Runequest came when he received a copy of issue 1 of the fanzine Tales of the Teaching Moon.

Having not read my copies of these magazines recently, I thought it would be a good idea to go back through them, and while I’m at it, why not post my thoughts.

So that’s what I’ll do. Maybe one a month at first, in chronological order without looking ahead to later issues so that I can try to comment on them as if they have just been released.

Watch this space...

Friday, 11 August 2017

First ever Space Marine

I don't know quite how this happened but I played my first ever game of 40K this week.

I really enjoyed it. 😱

I had a box of Blood Angels that I'd recently bought to paint and sell. I think I'll be keeping them now. A friend at my gaming club is also building a Blood Angels force, so I'll be switching my focus to Thousand Sons, but I do like the Blood Angels. Some of their elite units look rather good.

Anyway, here's my first ever 40K figure. It's still wip, I need to finish his jumppack and standard whilst I think about what should go on his right shoulder.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Games Workshop Undead

These two figures are the first 'modern' Games Workshop miniatures I've painted and I'm impressed.

Small kits of around 6 parts on a single sprue may be common knowledge by now, but it's a real novelty to me.

The figures go together easily and are a joy to paint. The plastic kit format allows for sculpts that would be impossible to cast and otherwise far too chunky to properly represent a spectral being like these.

Luckily I had the presence of mind to undercoat them while still on the sprue. It saved a lot of potential awkwardness trying to get the paintbrush into places it won't fit easily! That more than compensated for a bit of scraping to ensure a plastic on plastic bond when they were glued.

I am selling both of these on eBay at the moment, the links are below.

First up is the Cairn Wraith. A truly horrific sculpt that really is the best wraith type sculpt I've seen. This was the figure that tempted me back into a Games Workshop premises.

The other figure is the Tomb Banshee. Having been drawn in by the Cairn Wraith, my eyes wandered until they landed on this spectacular model. Another really creepy figure that uses the plastic kit format to good effect!

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Cthulhu Wars - Hastur

After a brief hiatus, I am back on the Cthulhu Wars trail, this time with Hastur.

I probably enjoyed painting this chap a bit more than I should have; for a predominantly yellow beast, I used a surprising amount of green, purple and red washes. If I didn't have more to paint, I'd probably still be adding to him now!

Petersen Games are about to start their third kickstarter for Cthulhu Wars, so this is quite timely.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

The Beast Handler, finished


At just over 70mm tall, the biggest head I've painted if you don't count my own, and let's not go there.

Really enjoyed my first bust and I know which one I'll be painting next. Watch this space...

...or don't, it doesn't really matter.

You can get The Beast Handler from

Monday, 26 June 2017

The Beast Handler

Still a work in progress, this is my first attempt at painting a bust. It's something I've wanted to do for a while but haven't been able to decide which one to try.

This piece came up on my Facebook feed, I think it was the first bust by this company. It was quite inexpensive and available for pre-order so I thought I'd take the plunge.


This is the result of the first afternoon's work. I'm pleased with it so far, but the photos highlight parts that need improving more so than simply looking at the model does.


I may not get back to this piece for a week or so, but I hope I can then patch it up, particularly the five o'clock shadow, smooth out some of the skin tones and finish off the clothes.

It's been good fun so far.


The Beast Handler is available from