Society Meeting 28/05/2022

A brief photo round up of the games at our last meeting.

Tony & Phil staged a Lord of the Rings game…

Stephen, Eric, Justin and Andy ran some SAGA games, first of two 1 vs 1 games, followed by a 4 player free for all.

Alan staged a refight of the  skirmish at Top Malo House during the Falkland’s war.

Finally, Paul ran a solo test game of his 3mm WW2 rules.

     

 

Work in Progress Wednesday

Jeremey has briefly been sidelined, so Tony F takes over the WIP Wednesday reins this week.

The club’s gone relatively quiet lately – obviously everyone’s efforts went into the jubilee ! However, there has still been some progress – Mark J has employed his magnifying glass for his 6mm Saxons (above), then broke out the electron microscope for some 2mm Antonine for Strength and Honour, which are based on perspex.

Warbases’ 2mm Roman Legion (Mark J)

Marcus meanwhile has been working on some 28mm Spy-fi and 15mm Sci-fi miniatures.

The initial stages of some 28mm Spy-fi from Marcus (who, like Bond, seems to have an eye for the ladies !).
15mm Sci-fi from Marcus – mostly Brigade Models but with the odd interloper.

Jeremey has been converting a Copplestone figure to act as his Stargrave crew’s first mate.

Jeremey has named this image ‘Avon’ – a nod to the Blake’s 7 character perhaps ?

And finally, something from me – these were missed from the last WIP Wednesday post (about which I’m not bitter at all…) but since I’m in charge this week, I’m putting them in. First, it’s more additions to my Middle Earth armies – half-a-dozen elf spearmen to accompany the cavalry I painted a few weeks ago.

Six Rivendell elf spearmen

Next is my take on Radagast the Brown – it’s not either of the official GW figures which are rather expensive, but a Conquest Miniatures hedge witch. I added a bird from an OOP Celtos figure which is positioned as if the wizard is talking to it, painted up as a falcon.

Talking to the birds…

And to round things off, another small piece of 6mm desert terrain, an oasis made from 3mm Foamex, a sand/paint/PVA texture, cheap palm trees from eBay and clear PVA for the water.

Water, water everywhere.

The Great 2022 Dragon Hunt

Andy reports on a multiplayer Dragon Rampant game he ran on the April 23rd meeting, with contributions from the players.

We recently had a Society meeting on St Georges Day, there’s only one option for such an occurrence, a multiplayer Dragon Hunt game using Dragon Rampant (DR) rules.

Players were given the following briefing:

You have been drawn to this valley by tales of a Dragon terrorising the locals. Your objective is to gain fame, renown, and maybe even Sainthood, by killing the Dragon.

Then again, Dragons often have huge treasure hoards, picking up any loose gold or gems that might be lying around while you’re at it sounds like a good idea; unless you choose to be a Paladin, as Paladins are above such worldly things as wealth.

The Dragon hunters were asked to put together an 18 point warband, normal DR rules apply, with a couple of scenario specific modifications. Warbands had to contain a minimum of 3 units, and there were a couple of additional upgrades available:

    1. Paladin, essentially the Slayer special rule with enhanced Courage, but not eligible to collect treasure.
    2. Pack animals, which would allow a unit to carry an extra treasure token.

The Dragon itself was not limited to the 10 point unit maximum, it was a Greater Warbeast with Flame / Spore, Cunning, Fear and Flying and it had a modified failed courage test response.

The full scenario rules can be found here.

Six players took part, order of play was determined by the draw of a card on each turn, one card for each of the players and a Joker for the Dragon and other fauna. The player’s army lists and game reports follow:

Swamp Army – Kim

    • Swamp Dragon (Elite Foot, 6 points). Leader.
    • Lizard Warriors (Heavy Foot, 4 points)
    • Small Lizards (Light Missile, 4 points)
    • Skeletons (Light Missile, 4 points)

First move kicked off with a random encounter consisting of a pack of wolves to the rear, lizard heavy foot turned to engage with Swamp Dragon. Casualties to both sides. Swamp Dragon engaged in subsequent turn and activated a swarm of poisonous spiders. Wolves eventually destroyed but the spiders succeeded in destroying Lizard Heavy Foot. Lizard light missiles failed to score any hits. Spiders finally destroyed by Swamp Dragon. Gained 2 treasure tokens.

Failed several activation attempts and got left behind other armies. Finally managed activation with a couple of units and headed to stream which was finally crossed just in time to see demise of the Dragon by Steve’s dwarves. Obtained a further treasure token, and as the army was isolated from any other units headed off table.

Final score 10 treasure and loss of 4 points.

Final position was more by default than any strategy due to failed activation attempts.

Thorin’s Company – Tony F

    • Thorin (Elite Foot, 6 points). Leader.
    • Dwarf unit #1 (Offensive Light Foot, 5 points)
      • Fili, Kili, Dwalin, Balin, Oin, Gloin
    • Dwarf unit #2 (Light Foot with Mixed Weapons, 5 points)
      • Ori, Nori, Dori, Bifur, Bombur, Bofur
    • Bilbo (Scout, 2 points)

“Thorin looked at the map, looked up, studied the landscape ahead and then went back to the grubby piece of parchment again. The wizard that sold it to him in the Hungry Ogre tavern – well, he said he was a wizard, he had the pointy hat and everything – had sworn that it showed him the way to Erebor and his long lost kingdom. But now they were here, something didn’t seem right. This really didn’t look as he’d expected – the city of Dale should be over there, the lake over there and as for the mountain – well, that hill over there just didn’t seem big enough.

The rest of the dwarves resumed their grumblings behind him. They were all hungry and fed up with their month-long diet of Cram, and the apparent lack of progress in their quest was beginning to test even the patience of the normally placid Balin.

So Thorin decided to lead. If in doubt, bark some orders and at least sound like you know what you’re doing. The hobbit was getting on his nerves – he’d had an ‘I told you so’ look on his smug, mousey features for the last two days – so Thorin sent him off ahead. ‘Burglar, time to earn your share. See that ruined chapel over there, on the other side of the stream? Use your skills and see if there’s anything in there we can use’. With a bit of luck he might get eaten by a giant spider – that would wipe the grin off his face…”

Tony F’s Bilbo investigates a treasure token.

I drew one of the better deployments on the table, on the far right flank. It turned out to be even better, since the hunting party to my left (Kim) kept managing to fail his activation rolls so left me alone. I sent Bilbo ahead to do his scouting job – he triggered a couple of random events which turned out to be nothing, and grabbed the first treasure token. Pushing on, he was the first unit of any party to cross the stream, but in doing so he unearthed a nest of venomous spiders in a wood. The giant arachnids charged the first group of Dwarves, threw a bunch of sixes for double hits and battered them, a state from which they never recovered. Thorin had to step in and dispatch the six legged freaks, along with a few well aimed stones from Ori’s catapult.

Bilbo kept up his covert advance, living a charmed life as he uncovered not one but two packs of wolves – the first didn’t see him and just wandered off table, the second also failed to see him and instead fell to Thorin’s rage-fuelled onslaught as the remaining dwarves followed on behind.

By this time the surprisingly wimpy dragon had fallen under the weight of Stephen’s axes, so the main prize had gone. I had three reasonable treasure tokens, so I should have cut and run at this point. Instead, like a true dwarf I got greedy and made a big mistake. Some of Jeremey’s rockmen were in the ruins sitting on a bunch of treasure tokens, so I sent Thorin in – who promptly got his backside handed to him and withdrew, bloodied and battered. The other dwarves had more success and sent the rockmen back, but the damage was done. Tony G saw a chance and send in his giant to finish off the injured dwarf. This ploy failed as the rest of the dwarves came to the rescue, but the delay, along with two successive turns of failing my first activation roll, allowed Tony’s goblin archers to move up. They finished off the second dwarf unit with a hail of black arrows, so in the end only Thorin and Bilbo made their escape.

Instead of getting off the table with three intact units each with a reasonable treasure token (and a total of +8 glory, which would have given me second place), the Dwarvish love of treasure ended up in a negative total and several dead members of the party.

And Thorin still didn’t know where Erebor was…

Wulfric the Wanderer – Eric

      • Wulfric and bodyguard (Bellicose Foot, 4 points). Leader.
      • Heavy Foot, Spellcaster, 8 points
      • Light Riders, 4 points
      • Scouts, 2 points
Wulfric’s Warband advance through a swamp, Stephen’s Axe Thanes in the background
Wulfric led his bodyguard in a wild charge sweeping Stephen’s Dwarvish scouts from the field; only for them to be routed in turn by Stephen’s Axe Thanes. The rest of Wulfric’s warband passed their courage test following his departure from the field, but soon after the scouts were annihilated by Stephen’s Axe Thanes.
Eric’s Riders searching a rocky outcrop for treasure.
Eric’s riders in search of better treasure, Tony G’s Goblins trying to keep up with them

Wulfric’s Light Riders and Heavy foot pressed forward, only for the Riders to be wiped out by Tree Giants. The only survivors were the Heavy Foot and Spell caster who escaped with 5 points of treasure.

The Goblin Horde – Tony G
    • Ettin (Heavy cavalry, 4 points). Leader
    • Fanatics (Bellicose foot with shiny armour, 6 points)
    • 3 x Goblin bowmen (Scouts, 2 points each)
      • One of the Goblin Bowmen units was given a Pack Animal upgrade, in the form of a pack  spider!, at 2 points)

My troops managed to deploy well, with my fanatics attacking a nearby bat unit. The following turn they then decided to attack one of Jeremys units instead which semi backfired when the bats attacked me. In the meantime, rest of the troops bogged down and couldn’t move out of the woods.
The next turn my leader charged the bats and wiped them out, and with Jeremy’s troops moving towards the stream my fanatics were luckily isolated (no wild charge!!)

Tony G’s Goblin Scouts sneak up on Eric’s Light Riders

Over the next couple of turns my dice rolling was appalling and only one scout unit managed to do anything resembling an advance.
Finally my troops did get going but again bogged down with several turns ending with an initial roll of double 1!!

Following the very quick demise of the dragon to the dwarves, the only way I was going to get anywhere was to grab as much treasure as possible and with that my fanatics attacked one of Eric’s units and whilst I wiped him out, my courage roll failed spectacularly and the fanatics fled the field.
By this time there were not many warbands left on the table so my Ettin with a unit of scouts went seeking part of Thorins company after the scouts softened them up, my Ettin charged and subsequently fled when the resulting melee was a draw (which pretty much summed up my day!!)

The Force of Nature – Jeremey
    • Heavy Rockmen (Heavy Foot, Spellcaster, 8 points). Leader.
    • Tree Giants (Heavy Foot, 4 points).
    • 2 x Rockmen (Light Foot, 3 points each).
The forces of nature were on the march once more. I had a very simple army for this game but went for a full blow spellcaster to help cope with what this unusual game might throw up. My army came under attack from Tony G’s goblins from the start and soon saw one of my Rockmen units destroyed outright. With a crowded battlefield and coming under attack I made for the river and a chance to collect up some treasure.
Jeremey’s Force of Nature hold off a wolf pack. Tony G’s goblins hide in a wood.
Jeremey’s Treemen get their feet wet
One of Jeremey’s Treemen units, some what depleted.
Despite making some distance two constants of the game soon presented themselves. The treasure tokens each had a value with 1 being the lowest and yes you’ve guessed it the first three tokens I collected were all worth just 1 point each. The other aspect was each token collected had the potential to summon some random unit to deal with. In the end I spent more time fighting the random units than the other players.
But a quick dash to collect some more treasure after the Dragon had been killed at least provided some reward for having to fight across every inch of the field.

The Dwarves of the Grimwold Hills –  Stephen

    • Kergen Sourtooth (Elite Foot, Spellcaster, 10 points). Leader.
    • Axe Thanes (Heavy Foot, Offensive, 6 points)
    • Scouts (2 points)

Kergen Sourtooth is a well known dwarven sorcerer amongst the dwarves of the Grimwold Hills. He had learnt of the location of a dragon, and dragons are known for their gold and also for the knowledge they possess. Two things that any sorcerer, and a dwarven sorcerer at that, would prize.
He had with him his two two bears – Doombear and Brawnbear. In addition he had his familiar, a colourful Jay called Orvar As well as these companions, a band of axe-thanes and scouts also signed up for this adventure. Together they would raid the dragon’s lands.

They hadn’t been the only ones with this idea. Other parties were also in the dragon’s valley, obviously after the same thing. A right motley bunch they were as well – another band of dwarves with a halfling thief, goblins, lizardmen, human barbarians, and a party of rockmen.
Kergen and his team used the cover of some woods to make their advance. But their cover was blown by a band of human berserkers. These savages charged the scouts and cut them down to a dwarf. Not content with that, they turned on Kergen, Doombear, and Brawnbear. This didn’t go quite so well for them – they’d underestimated the aged dwarven sorcerer! The human barbarians were pushed back with many casualties, but Brawnbear had fallen. Such sorrow.

Stephen’s Kergen and Doombear

But such anger as well! Kergen would have none of this and as the humans licked their wounds he summoned his powers and with the elements behind him he cast a mighty power bolt at the murderers who were all slaughtered. Let that be a lesson to them.

Kergen led the rest of his treasure-seekers along the edge of the woods, between some scrubland, and looking toward a river crossing.

Stephen’s Axe Thanes approach the river, with Kergen Sourtooth and his surviving bear bringing up the rear.

To his right he could see the lizardmen, but they seemed occupied with some menace of the valley. To his left were more of the human barbarians – he dithered here, the anger at losing Brawnbear still with him, but the humans were being waylaid by a pack of wolves and to make Brawnbear’s sacrifice mean something it would be best to achieve the aims they set out to complete.
Kergen led his troops across the ford. And there, ahead of them, they could see in the distance the dragon’s ruins and low and behold the dragon itself was abroad!

The Dragon leaves his lair (a ruined chapel). Jeremey’s Treemen have beaten back some Giant Spiders as Eric and Stephen’s warbands cross the river.

Kergen drew his axe-thanes into ranks. He turned to them and said:

“Well met, my fine fellows! Let us see off this dragon once and for all. Here is my plan – I will use my magic to hide you in a cloud of mist. The dragon will think it is aught but morning dew, and this will allow you to get close. Then, just as you reach the dragon, I will lance him with another of my power bolts, and then you can put this dragon to an end and his treasure will be ours! What say you, worthy dwarven thanes?”

“Aye”, they cried. A joyous, “AYE!”.

And that is what they did. The thanes approached under cover of the mist, then Kergen struck the dragon with a power bolt.

The Dragon faces off against Stephen’s Axe Thanes

At that, the thanes charged from out the mist with their axes ready, and they slew the dragon!

The end of the Dragon

Knowing the jealousy of those who were also seeking the dragon’s treasure, Kergen then led his dwarves, laden with dragon gold, out of the valley and back to the safety of the Grimwold Hills.
And such was the glory and renown he earned from this escapade that he was henceforth known as Kergen Dragonsbane!

Outcome
The players received, and lost, Glory points as follows:
    • The value of any Treasure tokens removed from the table.
    • Loss of glory equal to the points value of each unit wiped out or routed
    • 24 Glory for killing the Dragon.

Here’s the final results:

Player Warband Treasure Unit Losses Killing the Dragon Total
Stephen The Dwarves of the Grimwold Hills 8 -2 24 30
Kim Swamp Army 10 -4 6
Jeremey The Force of Nature 8 -6 2
Tony G The Goblin Horde 11 -10 1
Tony F Thorin’s Company 8 -10 -2
Eric Wulfric the Wanderer 5 -14 -9

Society Meeting 14/05/2022

In addition to the Stargrave game previously reported, there were two other games run at this meeting, both using rulesets new to the Society from from Two Fat Lardies .

First up the 6mm Ancients players tried out the Strength and Honour rules with a couple of games involving Roman and Pontic armies.

Our members collections are primarily based for Field of Glory / DBM, so for this trial game Perspex bases were used to reflect the bases sizes in Strength & Honour.

The left of the Roman Battle Line
Pontics on the left, Romans on the right
Roman Legions form up
Pontic pike phalanxes
Pontic scythed chariot supported by cavalry and clibanarii
View from the Roman lines
Pontic phalanxes with skirmisher supports
Clash of cavalry, Pontic Clibanarii against lighter Roman cavalry
Infantry lines get into the fray

The first game was a narrow Pontic victory, the second was a Roman walkover.

Some members are also building some armies in 2mm for these rules on the regulation bases, here’s a Roman legion arrayed in the triplex acies:

Trial basing for 2mm figures.

The second game to feature a new ruleset was an early WW2 game using “O” Group rules. This featured a British advance on German positions, and ended in a German victory as the British failed to inflict enough damage on the Germans.

The battlefield in the lull before the storm
German officer giving orders
Two Matilda II tanks advance
German Pak 36
German Pak 36
British infantry advance
Matilda IIs with infantry support
Germans take cover behind the hedge.
British infantry also take cover
German heavy weapons, le.IG 18 75mm Infantry Support Gun in the forground. Pak 36 in the background

Finally, a few pictures from the Stargrave game that didn’t make the game report.

Tony’s crew advance
A cyber enhanced critter, the bane of Andy’s crew
Andy’s sniper takes position to cover the flank

Tribbles and Tribulations – A Stargrave Adventure

At a recent meeting Stephen ran a multiplayer Stargrave scenario:

Rather than a full blown battle report I thought I’d present the game as a photo report. Five star captains made their way to a disused research facility – Catrix Station. Each was after loot, but to keep things interesting they also had their own objectives…

Jeremey          Captain Blake
Tony                Captain Hosvarn
Eric                   Captain Kadel
Phil                   Captain Rita
Andy                 Captain Reynolds

Note some references to past TV/Film characters

Captain Blake (Jeremey) and crew disembark from The Liberator
Captain Reynold’s (Andy) crew take up position on the outskirts of Catrix Station
Captain Kadal (Eric) and crew
Captain Rita (Phil) and First Mate Old Ned approach Catrix Station
Captain Blake’s crew advance through Catrix Station
Monkey see, monkey do
Captain Kadal leads from the front into the ruins of Catrix Station
Captain Reynolds tries to organise his crew
Captain Hosvarn (Tony) is in deep tribble
‘Lets make a run for it’
Locked and loaded and ready to rock n roll
Two of Captain Hosvarn’s crew (on the right) cower behind cover at the approach of notorious bounty hunter Captain Kadal (Eric)
Captain Blake’s crew (bottom) advance on Captain Rita’s crew (top)
It took half of Captain Blake’s crew to kill a single monkey
Captain Kadal (in the centre) goes down as her crew engages with Andy’s crew
Private Property means nothing to these scavengers
Captains Hosvarn (bottom left) and Blakes (centre and top) crews as they surround Catrix Station

Any of the Captains that actually made it into the main Catrix Station building (see the photo of Captain Hosvarn above) landed themselves with a 150 credit bill for decontaminating their starships following a Tribble infestation.

Never heard of Tribbles? Follow the link: The Trouble with Tribbles

Work In Progress Wednesday

A tad late today, sorry folks, but here’s the latest update on member’s painting.

First off, Stephen is painting up some sample packs to test the waters on a couple of projects he’s been umming and ahhing about for the last year or so.

Above you can see some 15mm ECW Scots from Peter Pig.

He’s also trying to find his WW2 mojo, he’s undecided on figure size, but wants to focus on infantry actions rather than tanks.

First off we have some Warlord Games 28mm Late war British infantry, a recent free sprue from one of the wargames magazines.

WW2 British

And changing size, some Russians based up for Crossfire, also from Peter Pig.

WW2 Russians, for Crossfire

Eric continues to work on some Games Workshop figures, a chaos marauder and cultist:

Chaos Marauder & Cultist.
Chaos Marauder & Cultist

Mark has been working on his 6mm Saxon 1809 army, Ist Corp division Generallieutenant Polentz, brigade Generalmajor Lecog, Prinze Celement, von Low and von Cerrini regiments. Basic uniform colour and regimental facings done, flesh, weapon, knapsack and bases to do, you can see the rest of the division in the background including some cuirassiers

Saxon 1st Corp, division Generallieutenant Polentz

That’s all folks, we’ll be back next week.

April 9th, 1940

Alan K reports on his anniversary refight of the ‘battle’ of Hokkerup, Denmark, on April 9th, 1940.

Some time in March I suddenly realised that our first club meeting would be on the 9th of April, the anniversary of the Nazi invasion of Denmark in 1940. Having “invested” in a platoon of 28mm Danes from Great Escape Games I really didn’t want to miss the opportunity and so I put on a game based around a skirmish that took place near Hokkerup on the Jutland peninsula.

The encounter we were commemorating, the ambush of a leading German reconnaissance unit, was captured in a 1946 painting by Anna Maria Mehrn which was, in part, the inspiration for choosing this particular scenario along with a scene (likely inspired by this engagement) from the Danish movie 9. april. We’re not sure about the copyright of the painting so we’re not including it, but here’s a link to it.

The Danish army went on full alert at 13:30 on the 8th of April and were held back ready to take up positions in the event of a German invasion. A thorough reconnaissance had been made regarding defensive positions but the Danish government had given strict instructions that units were not to be deployed near the border nor was digging or other fortification to be undertaken in order to avoid provoking the Germans. Despite this the Germans crossed the border at around twenty past four on the morning of the 9th.

Our intrepid 3rd bicycle platoon of the 2nd Company, 4th Cyclist Battalion supported by the autocannon and light machine gun sections of the 2nd platoon Afværgekompagniet (Anti-tank Company) , 2nd Battalion, Fodfolkspionerkommandoet set off from their barracks at just after four thirty and took up positions just after 5am. They hastily erected a roadblock before sighting the armoured cars leading the German column at half past five.

Lieutenant H.J. Højerslev had overall command with Second Lieutenant A. Olsen commanding the anti-tank sections. The team manning the 20mm auto cannon was led by F Jensen, accompanied by Gunner Nørholt and Loader Eliasen as immortalised in the painting.

The opposition is less well documented so I had them facing two SdKfz 222 armoured cars, a motorcycle section and two more sections mounted in SdKfz 251 half-tracks supported by a Panzer II.

I used the Nuts! second edition rules from Two Hour Wargames for the game.

The encounter saw the Danish auto cannon taking out both of the armoured cars and the advancing German infantry taking heavy fire. In the end the Danes were forced to withdraw but they had delayed the Germans significantly.

In the end the game lasted almost as long as the entire Danish resistance as, despite the valiant defence put up by the Danish armed forces against overwhelming odds, the Government surrendered at just after half past eight in the morning.

Society Meeting 22nd January 2022

Back to the normal schedule, a short roundup of games at the last meeting…

Firstly, our second game of Barons War, this time a 1500 point a side affair with Jeremey & Stephen facing up to John & Andy

Opening positions.
John’s crossbows await the onslaught of Jeremey’s troops.
Stephen’s Lord all on his own.
Near the end.

One of our regular Field of Glory games, Italian Condotta vs Late Hungarian in 6mm.

The FOG battlefield
Serried ranks of Knights
Knights outflank Light Cavalry

Another 6mm game, Napoleonic Peninsula with a British, Portuguese and Spanish force attacking a French held town.

Allied forces approach the French positions. Where are the rest of the French?
View from the French lines
The Spanish prepare to advance
Battle in full swing
The Allies take the town
Close up of an Allied Brigade

And finally, Alan ran a Sudan game in 28mm using Sharp Practice.

The head of the British relief column enters the “empty” battlefield
The first of the British
Mhadist reserves await their turn.
Mahdist leader and escort
Mhadists outflank the cavalry

Society Meeting 08/01/2022

A tad delayed, but here’s a photo round up of our first meeting of 2022. In addition to our AGM, we had a SAGA battle day, involving 8 players, a FOG Renaissance ECW game, a Lords of the Rings Game and some Spy-Fi action.

First up a SAGA-fest with Scots, Bretons, Welsh, Vikings and Anglo-Danes. In addition to some experienced SAGA players we had a couple of prospective members join in for their first games.

Andy’s Anglo Danish face off against Stephen’s Welsh
James’ Vikings vs Jeremey’s Anglo Danes
Tony’s Bretons vs John’s Scots
James’ Vikings vs Jeremey’s Anglo Danes
James’ Vikings vs Jeremey’s Anglo Danes
Close up of John’s Scots
Tony’s Bretons

Moving on the the English Civil War, 15mm figures using Field of Gory rules.

ECW Armies line up
Cuirassiers charge
Colonel John Lamplugh’s Regiment of Foot
Royalist Regiments

Moving from history to fiction, Marcus had a try out of his underwater Spy-Fi rules.

Marcus’ seascape
Divers and mini-sub
More divers hiding behind a shoal of fish
The two sides fight over the lost missile.

And finally to Fantasy, a Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game.

The scene is set.
Dwarves advance across the bridge
Uruk Hai advance with a Troll in support
Dwarf Heavy Metal
Dwarves holding the Bridge against the Uruk Hai

The Temple Of The (Festive) Wilds

Merry Christmas to all our members and readers. 

Master builder Stephen takes us through the construction of his latest masterpiece.

I recently ordered a few bits from Scotia Grendel and one of the things I ordered was some standing stones.

 

It was a nice quick delivery.

I have a soft spot for these old resin scenics – reminds me of back in the early 90s when I started getting into gaming and our local shop stocked them.

Anyway.

What I liked about these pieces were the Saxon style carvings. You see, I like my fantasy couched a bit in history. Problem was that the Saxon carvings only appeared on one side of the top pieces. On the other side was a more literal, typical fantasy, depiction of a dragon.

The dragon designs

 And on one side of each of the uprights was an equally typical fantasy style arrow thingy.

The uprights

I didn’t like that.

So what I decided to do was make a mould of the Saxon style dragon, cast it, and use it to replace the dragon I didn’t like.

I used some Oyumaru modelling compound (Ed: other suppliers are available) to make a mould of the Saxon dragon. I then used some of Wilko’s own-brand epoxy resin with a tiny blob of brown paint to cast it.

Casting the new panels

Once this had set I sanded the reverse side down and also sanded down the fantasy dragon on the actual resin piece. I then glued it in place and used some Miliput to blend it in.

With the arrows on the uprights I simply sanded them down and then skinned the surface with Miliput and stippled it to look like the stone effect.

The updated stones

I then turned my head to the base. I wanted it mounted on a rocky outcrop to make it look more dramatic. To keep it light I was going to use expanded polystyrene. However, that’s not the strongest material. So I made a sandwich of it, with a wooden base and a wooden top to which I could glue the resin so it would be more firmly attached to the wood rather than expanded polystyrene.

I used PVA glue to fix it all together and then put a couple of heavy books on it to keep it flat whilst the glue set. I left it a good 24 hours, because the glue takes longer to set on polystyrene.

The polystyrene sandwich

When that had set it was time to glue the standing stones to it. A good dollop of superglue and the basic model was done. I then broke away the surplus expanded polystyrene in the shape of how I wanted the outcrop.

All the bits glued into place

To make the model stronger and more resilient to knocks I decided I would skin the model in Miliput. I used the Standard grade, because that’s what I had to hand.

To create a stone-effect I used…a stone! Yup, went out into the garden, found a small stone with a suitable texture and after the Miliput had been smeared all over I pressed and smudged the stone into the putty.

Layer of Miliput added

The altar stone with sacrificial goat was a piece from…well, I honestly can’t remember. It’s been sitting in the bits bag for a long time waiting for a use. And now its time had come. I also thought about adding a couple of poles with skulls on them. Had a few ideas about that, but it wasn’t the time to add that just yet, so I could keep mulling on it.

Right then, the painting.

Look, stone is rarely grey. That’s not to say there’s no grey stones, but stones have a lot more to them than just grey. Stone painted grey with a black undercoat just looks too stark and is not what stone looks like. It’s as wrong as painting tree trunks brown – have a look at them, they are not the colour of chocolate!

My usual approach with painting stone is to start with a dark brown undercoat. This was no different. I used Humbrol Model Spray dark brown. There then followed a series of dry-brushings using browns and, yes, some grey as well!

Dark brown undercoat

Heavy drybrush with khaki
Lighter drybrush with khaki and grey mix
Lighter still with a bit of white added to the mix
Another light drybrush with even more white added
Last very light dry brush with an off-white

With the painting done all that was left were the final touches. I revisited my skull-on-stick idea, but I toned it down. Instead of several I decided to keep it simple with just the one – made from a cocktail stick and skull from GW’s Box Of Skulls.

 

Weathering and shading done, and skull added.

I used static grass in patches around the base. I kept it sparse on top of the rock because there wouldn’t be so much earth for the grass to grow in. I then added some clump foliage to represent weeds and things, paying attention to add it to nooks and crannies and also the area that may not be trodden on so much.

With that done, the Temple Of The Wilds is complete.

The final model with static grass and clump foliage
The finished article, without festive adornments.

 

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