Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Stealing through the seemingly endless forests and swamps of the Eastern lands, they come...infiltrating and fighting their way ever westward, in ever greater numbers...Partisans!  But who are they?  Heroic defenders of Stalin's Mother Russia, taken to the woods and fens to carry on the Communist dream and to fight the Fascistcapitalistimperialistreactionaryplutocrat invaders to their dying breaths?  Certainly that's the official Soviet version.  (See video below.)

Other people, many of them German, seem to have felt that the term Partisan was open to a degree of interpretation. Sometimes it meant civilians turned soldiers and actual Red Army troops trapped behind the lines and still fighting more or less in concert with the rest of the Soviet Army.  Sometimes it meant bunches of damned thieves and bandits who spent more time robbing and murdering their own people than they did fighting the Germans, the term Partisan existing solely to give their criminal depredations a veneer of respectability.  And there was a huge grey area between these two extremes into which most partisans seemed to fit best.

And to make it all even more annoying and confusing, lots of them weren't even Russian.  Many were Ukrainian, Lithuanian and Polish patriots to whom the Russians and Germans were all bastard foreigners and invaders who just needed to go away.  No matter.  The Germans shot at all of them, and all of them shot back at the Germans and, sometimes they shot at each other.  Chaos, randomness and woe.

 Peering at these Partisans as they stand at my desk top, I can't decide which side they belong to, but I suppose it doesn't really matter.  Whoever they are, I'm pretty sure they will be harassing the hell out of my Bolt Action Wehrmacht guys here in the near future.

Over the last few weeks, I've had quite a few painting disasters, including some AD&D Wereboars, some 15mm Wehrmacht Stug Gs and infantry, and some Warhammer Orc boys, all of whom have had to go in the strip jar as my stupid wrist has been so stiff, trembly and clumsy that I keep making mistakes and dropping things, but I think I've finally turned the corner on this broken arm thing, and I don't think these West Wind guys, painted mostly with Flames of War paints, came out too bad.  Eyes are still tough, though...just can't keep my hand still enough to get in there without leaving a huge blob of paint in the figure's eye socket.  (You might have noticed that most of these guys don't have eyes.) Oh, well.  At least I'm getting stuff done again.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


J.R.R. Tolkien

The Shadows where the Mewlips dwell
Are dark and wet as ink,
And slow and softly rings their bell,
As in the slime you sink.

You sink into the slime, who dare
To knock upon their door,
While down the grinning gargoyles stare
And noisome waters pour.

Beside the rotting river-strand
The drooping willows weep,
And gloomily the gorcrows stand
Croaking in their sleep.

Over the Merlock Mountains a long and weary way,
In a mouldy valley where the trees are grey,
By a dark pool's borders without wind or tide,
Moonless and sunless, the Mewlips hide.

The cellars where the Mewlips sit
Are deep and dank and cold
With single sickly candle lit;
And there they count their gold.

Their walls are wet, their ceilings drip;
Their feet upon the floor
Go softly with a squish-flap-flip,
As they sidle to the door.

They peep out slyly; through a crack
Their feeling fingers creep,
And when they've finished, in a sack
Your bones they take to keep.

Beyond the Merlock Mountains, a long and lonely road,
Through the spider-shadows and the marsh of Tode,
And through the wood of hanging trees and gallows-weed,
You go to find the Mewlips - and the Mewlips feed.

...Got my hard cast off but I'll be wearing a brace on my wrist for a really long time which makes it challenging to take on really big projects, so I'm going to stick to painting up individual monsters for a while, like this wonderful old MITHRIL Mewlip, here.  Always loved The Mewlips.  I wonder where the Merlock mountains are, exactly?

                                                                  Peeping out slyly...

Thursday, January 2, 2014

O is for Otyugh

The fact that refuse, carcasses and other waste left lying about can harbor diseases of every sort is not one which is well understood by the peoples of the Western Kingdoms.  That such refuse can attract Ghouls, Giant Rats and other, more visible agents of misery is VERY well understood, and it is for the purposes of discouraging such  unwanted company that the Western Folk carefully burn or bury their leavings.  Monsters tend to be less interested in taking such precautions, and the great, stinking garbage pits and putrid cesspools in and around the Caves of Chaos are well known to be havens for whole colonies of such creatures.

Amoung the most feared of such monsters are the Otyugh.  Thankfully, the relatively fastidious Human and Demi-Human communities of the West rarely encounter these weird and ravenous beasts, though the occasional rogue Otyugh crowded out of it's feeding grounds near the Caves will sometimes wander through a town, leaving chaos, misery and a very bad odor in it's wake...

I've recovered most of the strength in my hand, but still have my hard cast on, which makes it impossible to do any detailed painting.   On the other, erm...hand...I've discovered that I can at least work on washes and dry-brushing, so I've decided to try simple and very small scale projects for a while, mainly D&D monsters that don't have fiddly details.  The Otyughs here are my first attempt to get back into hobbying mode.  Might try to get a few tanks for Flames of War painted soon, too. Used a lot of  FOW colors on Mr. and Mrs. Otyugh, here, and in spite of the frustration that goes along with not being able to move my wrist and having to steady my weak, girly, trembly right hand with my more functional left one, I had fun with them.  Got to love a monster that lives in a cesspool.  Probably need  to re-paint the rims of the bases, though.  The FOW German Middlestone looks a lot more green against the grey of the dungeon floor than I thought it would.

Mr. and Mrs. Otyugh wish everyone a merry Christmas and a crappy new year! 

(Remember, to them crap is a good thing.)