Orc Cowboys (yes, really)

Despite being told from several directions that “game shows are dead – it’s all on the internet these days”, as I wandered around the traders at Derby, I suddenly stopped and had one of those ‘oh shiny!’ moments

DSC_0007Not sure how I missed these from Miniaturemen, but they ran a Kickstarter project in August for a new range of Fantasy Cowboys, starting with Orcs. This project had only 97 backers, so others may have missed it too.

DSC_0011All the figures are now available to buy, and are in metal – except for the Orc mounted on the Bison, which is in resin to make it lighter and cheaper. The plan is to have all the figures with both foot and mounted variants

DSC_0010The range is going to be expanded, and will eventually include Elves and Dwarf Banditos –  Miniaturemen are hoping to be producing regular releases over the coming months.

These are ideal for playing a game like “Dead Man’s Hand” with a slightly different gang.

…and I would never have known about them if I had not have seen them at Derby last weekend…

The Heresy Dragon – Part III – Painting the Beast (Part 1)

For the third of his articles on building and painting the Heresy Dragon, Mike Hobbs turns his attention to painting the model.

Once I’d finished the assembly of the Dragon I was left with the small task of painting it, I don’t use airbrushes regularly enough to be an expert so I decided to paint it by hand using a mix of drybrushing, wet blending and washes.

But the big question was what colour to paint the body, after all there are lots of ways to paint a dragon, but I decided to be traditional and go for a red one, after all I am Welsh and we have a thing for red dragons. I didn’t want to go for a bright red I wanted it to be darker almost on the brown spectrum, I also wanted to have a few themes going through the model to help tie things together so I went for a limited palate. I decided on 3 main themes for the model;

  • Deep red colour for the body
  • Black to red blending for the spikes and armour
  • A chestnut red colour for the soft parts

For the body I decided to use army painter Chaotic red as a base, then a wash of dark red (made from equal parts GW Nuln Oil and Carroburg Crimson washes) finally I would dry brush up using Foundry Madder Red.

The reason for these colour choices was simple, the AP Chaotic red would be used as an undercoat/primer and the range also has identical colours in dropper bottles so I could hand paint any parts that the undercoat missed or I had to repair.

The wash I mixed before I started so I wouldn’t run out, and the Foundry madder red is a triad so I had 3 shades premixed and ready to use. This meant it should be easy to paint the different sections of the model and have them match, also any repairs would be easy to blend back in.

I really recommend doing this when you paint large models (or even armies) as being able to match colours in afterwards is important

The spikes and armour would be painted using 4 colours going from black to bright red, this is a technique I’ve used in the past and I really like the effect it gives to armour, I got the idea from looking at pictures of beetle carapaces and just played around with the colours till I found a mix I liked. The colours used are Games workshop black, Doombull brown, Wazdakka red, Evil Sunz scarlet

And finally the soft areas were to be painted 3 shades of Foundry Chestnut, given a wash of GW Reikland Fleshtone.

So with the job of deciding what colours to paint the Dragon I had to actually start work on slapping some paint on it. I decided to start at the bottom and do the rock base as this would allow me to test the colours in real life.

the rock was painted various shades of grey using brown and black washes to shade different sections of it, I also used ModelMates moss weathering liquid to add more detail, the tree stump was painted using a mix of foundry spearshaft and granite to give it an aged look, again washes were used to add depth.

Once the main colour was on I started painting the feet using the colours detailed above, this allowed me to test the colours out on a small section of the finished model


The armoured plates were next to be painted using the 4 colours listed above, going from black to scarlet


Next I painted the claws using foundry rawhide (3 shades) and a brown wash. And then added some flock in a few places as I knew doing this at the end would be a nightmare.


Once the base was finished I turned my attention to the main body of the dragon.

Step 1 was undercoating the model using Army painter Chaotic Red spray


Step 2 was the underbelly, this was painted using Foundry chestnut (3 shades) and GW flesh wash, I used a wet brush method to blend the colours in here.


Next the body was given a wash of my red/black wash and allowed to dry


Then the long process of drybrushing the model began, using all 3 shades of Foundry Madder red and a large flat brush.




Once this was done I blacked the armour plates on the bottom of the legs and also basecoated the inside of the mouth with a purple colour.

Next job was to stick the body to the rock, but you’ll have to wait for the next article to see how that went.

New 28mm Musketeer Miniatures from Warbases

Whether you loved or hated it, the recent BBC adaption of ‘The Musketeers’ had an interesting production design, featuring much more leather than we’ve seen in most adaptions of this tale.

en GardeWarbases have continued to expand their 28mm range of metal miniatures with a new range, inspired by this series, and aimed firmly at the upcoming set of Osprey Publishing rules: En Garde!, which are due for release in January 2016.

The initial release of figures covered the four main heroes, the series one ‘bad guy’ and the king and queen.

These have now been joined by a dozen new figures, with more on the way before Christmas.


The range has now been repackaged, and is available to buy from Warbases – both online and at shows.

DSC_0064Our noble heroes…

DSC_0059Other main characters…

DSC_0060The King and Queen

DSC_0061The Red Shirts Guards. There are going to be four packs of these. The other three packs (still being sculpted) will be armed with Halberds, Crossbows and Muskets.

DSC_0062What city would be complete without a set of ‘Ladies of negotiable affections’?

These will be pretty much all the figures you will need for any set of swashbuckling adventures…

The Heresy Dragon – Part II – Building The Beast

In this; the second part of his tale of building and painting his Heresy Dragon, Mike Hobbs talks about building the model.

The hardest part of any project is to actually start, especially when you’re faced with a huge box of resin that you know is going to consume a large proportion of the next month. But I did start and I was determined to do the model justice.

The first thing I did on laying out the parts was to read the instructions, to give Andy his due he provided 4 pages of notes on the best way to assemble the model, together with tips on filling and the best tools to use. Then I started to clean up the parts and gave all the resin pieces a good wash in hot soapy water using a toothbrush to scrub them clean.

Then just because I’m slightly retentive I laid out the tools I’d need together with the glues


I have a selection of sculpting tools which I knew would come in useful and a small drill for pinning the parts together. Now Andy said the model wouldn’t need pinning as each section had joining tabs but I decided to pin it anyway. Next up was glue, I tend to use good quality glue for my models and for this one I used Zap-a-Gap medium and thick glues. The medium is a general use glue whilst the thick version is a slow cure superglue but is really strong and this would be used on the major assembly.

Once they’d all dried I started test fitting the parts to see if they fitted and I have to say the joins were brilliant, most of them dry fitted together really well and I had to do minimal clean up and tweaking.

The next thing I had to work out was how much of the model would I assemble, it would have been easy to fully assemble it and then paint it but with the scale and complexity of the pose I knew this would be a mistake so I decided to part assemble the model and paint each part separately before putting it together at the end.

So I decided to go for 5 separate sections, they were:-

  • The base rock
  • The body
  • The tail
  • 2 wings

The rock base was the easiest as it was a single piece casting and all I needed to add were the claws, which were metal, later on I glued the rock to a large 80mm wooded base and added some extra rocks to add a bit of weight and improve the stability.


Next up was the main body, this whole piece attaches to the rock base by the ankles and also has one arm holding onto the tree section of the base, these 3 joints would be the ones to get right but first the main body had to be assembled.

So the first job was to pin and glue the 2 main parts of the body together, the pinning probably wasn’t needed to be honest but I thought it wouldn’t hurt

This picture shows the 2 piece dry fitted together, and as you can see the gap in the join is tiny


Then I glued in the 2 legs, which again had perfect join areas


This was followed up with the arms and the right hand


I then filled the gaps (when I could find any) and test fitted the body to the base


The ankle joins were perfect but I added pins as I knew this would take the most stress when it’s finished. The right hand was a slight concern as the fingers need to wrap around the tree (Andy recommended using boiling water to soften the resin to do this) but as I painting the sections separately I decided to leave them as they were and bend them in during the final assembly.

This might have been a mistake in hindsight I should have left the right hand off the main section (I’ll come back to that in the next article though)

It was at this point that I started to realise just how big this model was going to be, but it was too late now I was on a roll.

The next section to assemble was the head, this came with a choice of horns and tongues, and as I came to expect it was a beautiful fit


Then to finish the body I attached the head and the left hand and filled any gaps

All that was left were the tail and 2 wings

The tail was made up of a handful of sections that just glued together, no filling or pinning was needed, and the wings had 2 sections each and a few more claws.

So after 2 days of assembly (I took my time) this were I ended up


Which meant I now had to think about painting it, but more on that in the next article

Christening the river

Gaming last night saw Dave and I chatting about scenery, reviewing what models we may still need for our planned epic Airborne campaign and me showing off the finished rivers (As Dave hadn’t seen them in the flesh yet).

DSC_0020When I initially told him how much (in length) of river I’d made, Dave was a little sceptical – so the first thing I did was to display why I’d made of 7′ in length of river.

His next question was…”So have we enough for a river and a canal, and can we fit it onto the same board?”


We then had a quick play around, just to prove that the river blended in as intended with the board and the roads we’d made at the start of the year:

DSC_0034BTW – The tank and British Paras are Dave’s. The AVRE featured (briefly!) in our last Chain of Command Game – I haven’t had chance to post the AAR yet.

Finally, we set up a table for our final CoC practice game – Scenario #6. The Germans will be assaulting the British, and trying to recapture the bridge:

DSC_0037All set up and ready to go for next week (we played the Patrol Phase, but didn’t actually get around to the game itself)

BTW – the upshot of our conversation was along the line of…we need more buildings (we have our eyes on the other Normandy house set from Najelwitz), a Horsa Glider (which should hopefully be procured at Derby this weekend) and the odd vehicle.

Oh…and I need to pull my finger out and get on with painting some figures and vehicles!

Apologies to anyone who follows me on Twitter – you may well have seen these pics last night.

The Heresy Dragon – Part I – Introduction

If you have been following Mike Hobbs on Twitter, you will know that he has spent the last few weeks  building and painting his Heresy Dragon> Here is a full account of how he built and painted it…

It all started in Summer 2008, Andy Foster the owner, sculpter, packer and tea boy at Heresy miniatures decided to extend his range and make a dragon.

To be honest I think he was pressurised by his customers to make one, because he has a reputation for making fantastic large fantasy miniature and a dragon would be the pièce de résistance of his range.

Andy has always said that he thought it would take a few months to sculpt and no-one would buy it anyway, but he bowed to his customers wishes and made a start on the build. He also started taking pre-orders but was very clear that the model wasn’t finished and people might not get the finished article for a while, but people myself included trusted Andy and signed up for one of the beasts.

In October 2010 the sculpt was completed (it took a bit longer then Andy thought) and images of it started appearing across the internet


Let’s just say the production of the model didn’t go to plan, it was complex, very complex, Andy started work with Fenris games to produce the miniature but that had its own issues and he was forced to resculpt and reengineer many parts. This all took time and resources and meant Heresy miniatures started to suffer as new products were not coming out and sales were lagging, rumours started circulating that Heresy was in trouble.

But through it all Andy kept people informed of developments and small numbers of dragons started to be delivered. Mostly the news from Andy was bad as new issues compounded older ones and in the end Andy had to sell his house, lay off his staff and try to manage on his own. He taught himself to produce resin moulds and took all the mould making and production in house. But oddly throughout the whole ordeal people still ordered the dragon, despite the warnings of delays that Andy posted on the site.

As you would expect the vultures started to circle Heresy miniatures, Andy was called every name under the sun, he was vilified on line and his reputation was dragged through the mud. But throughout it all Andy said that everyone who ordered a Dragon would get one and a few of us believed him and trusted him.

As I write this article Andy has finished production of the Dragons, it took him 7 years to do but he did it. The Dragon is no longer available for sale, the moulds are all spent and if you want one well frankly it’s too late.

Hopefully now Heresy miniatures can return to normal, Andy has his Kickstarter to fulfil but he looks on course to get that completed later this year and he has learnt new skills that mean Heresy should now start to move forward, so maybe it wasn’t a completely wasted venture.

So whilst this could be seen as an interesting tale of how not to produce a model, you are all probably wondering why I’ve taken the time to write about it.

Well its simple as I mentioned above I ordered a Dragon back in 2010 and was number 122 in the queue.

In January 2015 I received a large box from Heresy that contained my Dragon, I carefully unpacked it and laid the parts out on my table, this is what it looked like


It was big, very big, it was also some of the best resin moulding I’ve ever seen, so I did what every self-respecting wargamer would do and I put it back in the box and put it somewhere safe.

But a little while ago I took it back out the box and started to assemble it, and that why I’m writing this article, I thought it would be fun to share the experience with you all. For the people who have the model and haven’t started it yet, hopefully it’ll help you assemble yours and for those who didn’t buy one, well maybe you’ll turn green with envy and realise that sometimes you have to trust people to deliver on their promises

Over 300 people trusted Andy and look what we’ve got in return.

Andy has written a full history of the Dragon saga, it’s well worth a read

In the next article I’ll go into the assembly of the model

The Great War – the tanks are coming!

tgw tankFollowing the successful launch of The Great War boardgame earlier this year, PSC Games are now launching the first expansion for the game, again via Kickstarter.

tgw tank 2

The Great War: Tank Expansion adds tanks to the WW1 battlefield, and includes:

2 x British MK IV males
2 x British MK IV females

tgw tank 4
2 x German A7Vs

tgw tank 3The game also includes three scenarios which uses the British Whippet light tank – these are available as an add-on

tgw tank 5

The tanks will come pre-assembled with a basic paint job.

The project is running until the 29th October. The base game is £35, with the Whippet tanks being £15 for a set of three

You can find out more information, and back the project here

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