Thursday, June 21, 2018

Clan Mouder Attacks! (Again!)

Man, It's been a slow year for minis so far!  I never seem to have any time to paint, but I have managed to finish out the balance of my Clan Moulder forces!  I now have as many Clan Moulder Beastmasters as the army list allows together with thirty giant rats and eight rat ogres!

 In addition to the latest packs of beasties and handlers here is Beastmaster Thrattle, who commands all the Clan Moulder contingents in The Flea Fell.  I intend to field him as an independent lvl 20 hero...armed with an ensorcelled goodie or two...

Rat Ogres are one of the meanest things going in the Skaven army, and they gobble up a lot of points, which is helpful when you're trying to get an army together.

I already have another two of each of these models in the horde...GW only produced two rat ogre castings... to add a splash of variety I went with these fellows for Rat Ogres #s 7 & 8.  They are old Grenadier models, sold as "Giant Wererats" and sculpted by Julie Guthrie, I think.

They have a slightly more refined, sophisticated air about them but I suppose we can forgive them for that.  They are just the right size, and I think they fit in nicely. 

Ack!  More giant rats!  I always loved the look of enormous Andy Chambers' giant rat pack and wanted one of my own.  A great swarm of thirty of the little devils should be fun to field.
Plus the models have a lot of character and are fun to paint.
Eek! Eek!

"Willard!  There's rats in the basement!"

Last three beastmasters I'll ever paint.  Makes me a little misty, as I've always enjoyed working on them.  I do have a couple of others that I use as drivers for my skaven slave regiments....
I think I'll call this one...Socrates!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Pulp: The Scarlet Police

"In the little Crimson Manual
it's written plain and clear
That who would wear the scarlet coat
shall say goodbye to fear;
Shall be a guardian of the right,
 a sleuth-hound of the trail-
In the little Crimson Manual 
there's no such word as "fail"-

Shall follow on, though heavens fall,
or Hell's top-turrets freeze,
Half round the world if need be,
on bleeding hands and knees.

It's duty, duty, duty first and last,
the Crimson Manual saith,
The Scarlet Riders make reply;
"Its duty-to the death."
And so they sweep the solitudes,
free men from all the earth;

And so they sentinel the woods,
the wilds what know their worth;
And so they scour the startled plains
and mock at hurt and pain,
And read their Crimson Manual,
and find their duty plain.

Knights of the lists of unrenown,
born of the frontier's need,
Disdainful of the spoken word,
exultant in the deed;
Unconscious heroes of the waste,
proud players of the game,

Props of the power behind the throne,
upholders of the name;
For thus the Great White Chief hath said:
"In all my lands be peace,"
And to maintain his word he gave
his West the Scarlet Police."
                                                   - Robert Service

I've been wanting to do some Pulpy adventures in the Great White North for a long time with large, hairy sasquatches, large, hairy fur trappers and large, tentacly Cthuhuish nightmares behind every other Pine Tree.  My Miskatonic expedition to the (ant)Arctic was the first project, this is the second.  Still struggling with the lighting in the Clubhouse as you can see from the blurry, crummy photos. I don't know what the solution to that problem is going to be.  

Monday, April 30, 2018

Ukko Fartblast's Chaos Dwarf Gunners

Limping. shuffling, hopping and stinking they come from out of the squalid streets of Lost Veguzz...porting their weird weapons and contraptions of war, bent on carnage and destruction...the Chaos Dwarfs!  
Amoung their ranks, prancing and capering as he directs the steams of hot steel and liquid flame onto their tagets is the infamous Chaos Dwarf engineer Ukko Fartblast!  Horribly mutated and utterly insane, Ukko commands all the war engines of the Chaos Dwarfs of Lost Veguzz.  Many enemies have laid handsome bounties upon Ukko's bony head, but no one has caught him yet.
Ukko's dreaded swivel guns make up his main battle line in any fight.  The rules for Chaos Dwarf Swivel guns did not appear in Warhammer Armies.  They were first published in White Dwarf #108.  Orlygg has posted them here.
Here the gun line is supported by a brace of deadly bazukas...
Their presence bodes ill for any enemy of the Chaos Lord Buzzgobb Phesterlick, Prince of the heinous city of Lost Veguzz!
I started painting these guys when I was in Afghanistan the last time.  That's been over three years ago, now!  I wasn't happy with them at the time, so they went into a shoe box until fairly recently, when I decided to dig them out, dust them off and finish them as best I could.
Things aren't always going to turn out looking just the way you want them to.  Just get 'em on the table!
 Rocket Launcher #2....I always liked the grimacing mask on the loader...looks a bit Samurai.
The whole group...I'm still missing the mortar, but I'm sure these guys will be able to raise plenty of Cain on their own!  Blood for the Blood God!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Classic Mini Boxed Sets: RAFM's Shadows & Steel Box #3: The Iron Brotherhood (1985)

This will be the first in a series of posts highlighting some of the old school mini boxed sets which cast such a spell over me in my youth and which I still enjoy as a wizened old toad today.  Boxed sets produced by manufacturers in those heady early days of the hobby had a charm we don't see as much nowadays when we buy most of our stuff online and much of the sort of attractively illustrated packaging which used to be so necessary for retail success has vanished.  Many of these colorful little themed boxes, each seeming to offer a self contained fantasy world are stacked on my shelves now, and I thought I may as well share them.
The Iron Brotherhood was the third in the Shadows and Steel line of boxed sets, which appeared around 1985, sculpted for RAFM by a talented young artist named Bob Murch.  Bob is better known now for his work on RAFM's Call of Cthulhu line and his astonishing Pulp Figures series, but his early work on sword and sorcery subjects is no less enjoyable.  Each of the four Shadows and Steel sets contained a little warband of six or seven figures, with D&D compatible statistics for each character, a small tactical map and a roughly sketched campaign world in which you could unleash your little gangs of psychopaths upon each other.
Box contents as shown on the back label.  The campaign setting was a haunted vale reminiscent of Bram Stoker's Transylvania and inhabited by the Vampire Lord Tandaloor and his cronies.  You could play as the vampires or as one of the three bands of apparently equally evil and derangedT adventurers seeking to storm Tandaloor's castle and make off with his valuables.

The more of sets you bought, the more details of the background story and the gaming environment you got.

The evil Champion Zakasar, leader of the Brotherhood and his lion Tamurlane.  
Anybody named Tamurlane is just bound to be evil.

Bob obviously had fun cooking up the details of the characters and the campaign setting.
Two foot knights.  I based the warband on GW 25mm bases as I figure they were just barely big enough to be passed off as Warhammer chaos guys.
Trerok Toungefire, Zakasar's right hand man.  The shield on Trerok's hip seemed out of place at way a guy could swing that sword and carry a shield. Later I decided Bob must have put the shield there as a counterweight to the giant sword which would otherwise have Trerok tipping over onto his face all the time.
Drakar Dubledeath the Warband's resident berserker, one of my favorite models in the set.

 The set came with a little cardboard double-sided tactical map showing the courtyard of Vlad Tandaloor's castle on one side and his tomb on the other.
The maps were about 7"x11" , not too big, but just big enough to fight two warbands on if you didn't have appropriate terrain.
Two important components of any warband...the standard bearer and the sorcerer.

The evil wizard U-Huri Simak...sounds like some kind of unpleasant tree....
and standard bearer Galgulum.  Really seems like he should be sitting on a horse behind Thulsa Doom in a snow-clad Spanish forest, but I guess I'll take him as he is.
 Probably the piece de resistance of the set, this extraordinary little devil is named Armadillicus...
I need a real Armadillicus of my own to walk past the neighbor's window of an evening, to sit on the stool next to me at the bar, to watch my stuff while I'm playing a game at Enfilade, etc.  Hey I can dream, can't I?

 "Kill, Armadillicus, KILL!!!  YAHHH HAAA HAAA HAAA!!" 
 Armadillicus' handler, named Beatrice by some sadistic parent.
The Iron Brotherhood assembled and ready to take on the Vampires of Tandaloor...or whomever!  Yarrr!!!!