Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The War Band of Kobel Yar, Sorcerer of The Tower of Yugg...A Warband for Dragon Rampant

It appeared on a naked hilltop on the edge of the grasslands one day; a tall tower of dirty yellow brick wreathed in a mist of the same hue: The Tower of Kobel Yar.  Some of the simple folk of the hills left their cliff dwellings and ventured down to the tower, and Kobel Yar came down among them.  Some fled from Kobel Yar and his troop of stone devils, but others were over-awed by his power.  Foolishly, they chose to enter into his service, and they passed within the doors of The Yellow Tower.  Years later they would re-emerge as his mutant servants, twisted and degenerate, utterly loyal to the fiend who had enslaved them.
Here Kobel Yar rides into battle astride the shoulders of one of the gargoyle servants who invariably accompany him on his evil errands.
The figure is the classic Ral Partha 'Wizard on Flying Demon' by Tom Meier, an old favorite from my childhood.
"Taste the wrath of Kobel Yar!!"

The people of the cliff-dwellings were not the only ones to be seduced into the service of Kobel Yar.  The creature known as The Mutant Giant was once the Mountain Giant Furmm.  During the years after he entered into the service of The Yellow Tower, Furmm became twisted and distorted beyond recognition by the potions and torments of the Master of the Tower.  Shunned by his own kind and nearly mindless, the thing which once was Furmm the giant now roams the jungles and deserts, seizing and devouring luckless travelers, and spearheading the attacks of the host of Warband in battle.
Old Grenadier Gug.  A gift from my best chum, J.  Have wanted him for many years.

The ultimate reward of service to The Yellow Tower is written on the bodies of Kobel Yar's mutant servants, some of whom are shown here.  All were once ordinary men.
The misshapen thing now known as 'Mother Mutant'. Once she was the matriarch of an important clan of cliff-dwellers.  Now an obscene flesh sculpture, she leads her clan into battle for The Master of the Yellow Tower.  An old pre-slotta Citadel Beast Man. 
The clans-mutants are almost all ancient Ral Partha demons and hunchbacks, with a couple of RAFM Sand Dwellers stirred in...
Some of the mutants doing what they do best...gesticulating menacingly and threatening mindless violence.
More mutants...both hunchbacks from the old 'Children of the Night' line...
From the battlements of The Yellow Tower the Gargoyles, Kobel Yar's oldest and most trusted servants, leer down at the plains below.
Sadistic and depraved beyond the ken of ordinary men, these creatures terrorize the countryside for miles around, flying out day and night to spy out the land and to seize captives to carry back to unimaginable torments in the belly of The Tower...
Most of these are figures Tom Meier did for Ral Partha but this fellow is a Metal Magic Sculpt.
I'm not very pleased with how the Gargoyles came out but I guess they will have to do.  I also had a pack of giant bugs I was going to use as lesser war beasts.  All nice old Grenadier sculpts but I screwed them up and they are going into the dip for another go round on another day.  That's ok because I'd like to add another Mutant pack and some other creepy crawlies to the horde soon so I'll be visiting The Yellow Tower again anyway.
This came about in large part because of Daniel Mersey's Dragon Rampant game.  For years I'd been looking for a simple, flexible alternative to Warhammer which I could use to create armies of the classic Ral Partha, RAFM and Grenadier minis I love so much and pit them against each other in blood curdling skirmishes.  Dragon Rampant is nice for this because everybody uses the same army list and what figures you use to represent the generic troop types are largely a matter of taste.  My tastes often run toward the weird as you can see.  DR allows me to give full rein to my twisted imagination when I create my war bands and I appreciate that.  The game is very simple, maybe too simple to be able to hold my interest forever but I've played a few games with old friends and so far everyone has enjoyed it.  There will be a lot more of these weird little armies appearing here in the future so if you liked this one watch this space.
The War Band of Kobel Yar:

Kobel Yar and Gargoyle Mount:  Leader, Light Missile unit, Flier, Spellcaster.............10 pts
Gargoyle Troop:  Bellicose Foot, Fliers............................................................................6 pts
Mutant Pack: Light Foot....................................................................................................3 pts
The Mutant Giant:  Greater Warbeast................................................................................6 pts
Total...................................................................................................................................25 pts

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Jezebel's Joint: A Sleazy Space Dive

For the last year or so I've been working on building up a pretty sizeable sci-fi/post apocalyptic space port/shanty town/wretched hive of scum and villainy type table but I haven't posted any of the progress until now.  Here's one of the focal points of the set up....
Jezebel's joint!!!
Jezebel's was a bar with a very shady reputation which I discovered when I was going to college in San Francisco way back in the day.  I lived right around the corner from Jezebel's at about the time William Vollman was writing Whores for Gloria, which mostly takes place within a few blocks of the spot. 
The neighborhood was a slice of the third world but Jezebel's had a library full of literary classics and military history and I used to go there after class or work and prop up the bar for hours, reading and draining glass after glass of Hefeweizen.  The place is long gone now.  All things considered that might be for the best but I do have some good memories of the place.
I made the sign out of plasticard, dowel and the cover of the last Jezebel's matchbook I had left.  Come to think of it I've had that matchbook for about twenty years now.  Weird.
The interior of my model Jezebel's captures some of the vibe of the real one.  The picture behind the bar is a sticker that came out of a pack of Varga trading cards an old girlfriend gave me um...about twenty years ago!  It's been floating around in boxes for a long time. I couldn't get that terrible crease out of it but I still think it looks good.  The little movie posters came out of a Blue Underground DVD catalog.  Been saving it for years to use for this very purpose.
The structure is made up of two Armorcast buildings glued together to make a bar room up front and a lounge in the back.  View of fatboy from the lounge area.  Armorcast has retired their line of stucco buildings which is a shame.
Plenty of room on the filthy garbage strewn roof top for fightin' and such...
Stairs lead up to the door shown in the photo above...more smut on the wall there.
Long shot of the lounge...
More lounge.  The booths are made by Miniature Building Authority.

 "Sorry about the mess."...Apologies...I don't have my Han Solo and Greedo painted up yet...The little green thing on the table is supposed to be a napkin holder but I didn't think that napkins were really very much in the spirit of Jezebel's so I painted it the front of each green to try and make them look like intercoms or a monitors or something...
 Exterior with local color and a Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! poster...
 More exteriors...I have lots more stuff that I haven't posted yet...lots of ramps and platforms, shanties and things of that nature...
 Gotta have big fans in your post apocalyptic buildings.  There's no way around it.  I learned that from the eighties.

Jezebel's is open for business again!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Chariot Wars: Hittite Commander and another Canaanite chariot

Just managed to finish a small but Important part of my Warhammer Ancients Hittite army.  Here is the army's general and a fourth Syrian chariot to reinforce the Maryannu squadron that I already have.  All Ral Partha figures from the nineties, just like all the others so far.
Typical late Hittite war chariot with three riders...
...a driver, a stabby guy and the general himself.  Hard to see the General behind the other two...must be crowded in there!
My fourth Syrian chariot...first three were all painted.  I used a cowhide design on this one and I like the look of it a lot.  Going to use that more from now on.
I have two other command chariot models in the Biblical spur of the lead mountain.  I was thinking about selling them off but now I think I may use them for brigade commanders later on.
I knew I wanted some kind of a design on the umbrella.  Researching Hittite symbols led me to all kinds of strange discoveries.  Many Hittite motifs have remained in use in Europe into very recent times.  Polish/Austrian style two headed eagles, Annunaki winged sun symbols, swastikas and a thunder cult undoubtedly related to the Nordic cult of Thor all featured prominently in Hittite culture.  I was also surprised to learn that the Hittites were the first Europeans to use iron.  Thank God for War games.  Without them I probably never would have learned so much about these very interesting people.
I wanted a two headed eagle for the general's umbrella but didn't trust my hand, going instead with this wonky sort of off center swastika which I felt was interesting and even a bit Flintstonian.  If I can work up the skill and courage to try a two headed eagle on another command figure's umbrella I'll probably make that guy my general and demote this fellow to the status of a brigade commander.   Don't tell him that, though. 
So what's left for my Hittite army?  Quite a bit, really.  Two squadrons of four chariots each, 18 more Syrian levy archers, 1 more unit of Syrian spear men.  And I'll need a dozen or so chariot riders and about twenty auxiliary skirmishers.  So I'm about half way there....

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Narfregg Stunty Slayer's Orc boys!!!!

Another Odoriferous addition to the ranks of Big Blackie's Orc and Goblin horde arrives in the form of Narfregg Stunty Slayer's war band...
Driven by an insatiable desire for revenge against the Dwarves of Thunder Mount who have often tried to defend themselves against him, (How dare they??) Nardregg often leads his clan into battle alongside the other mobs of Big Blackie's horde.
Of course Nardregg and his gang are more than happy to "Git Revenge!!" against humans, skaven or just about anybody else really...
It is possible that revenge is a word that means something other than what they think it means.  No matter.  It has become their motto, regardless.  The drummer is a nice Alternative Armies figure, a goblin I think.  Its not obvious from the photo, but he is chained to a stake in the ground, from which we can conclude that his presence in Nardregg's war band is not entirely voluntary.
Standard bearer....toofy fellow...grr...
My favorite lad of the lot.  I'm afraid some of the paint jobs on these lads are none too splendid, but then its hard to tell, cause I'm now officially old and cant see anymore.  I feel like I cant even tell if these pictures are blurry or not.
Bought myself a pair of readers at the drug store the other day, got em home, looked at some of my little metal friends and was astounded at the difference.  No wonder I haven't been painting lately.  I haven't been able to flippin' see!
This guy came out ok, I think.  My wife has been wearing glasses her whole life and doesn't know why I've been trying to fight it.  "Look at me, I've been wearing glasses since I was a kid!"  she says.  Well, sure but this wasn't something I was born with.  For me, this is a symptom of getting hell yeah, I fought it out to the last full measure!  Why not?  But the fight is over.  I've lost.  Glasses for painting now.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll get better!
The three regiments that make up the army's main battle line...Waaaggghhh!!!  The army's well past the 3k point mark now and not even one regiment of cavalry yet!  Maybe that should be the next addition...