I've not had much time to do anything over the past couple on months, let alone work our what blogger have done with my dashboard, but I've just heard the very sad news that Joe Dever has died. Mr. Dever's fantasy battles inspired me to get into fantasy wargaming more than any thing else, and I still very much hope to get my copies of his games finished in the near future. I had a feeling that he might be ill as his periodic appearance in Wargames Illustrated showed that he had lost a lot of weight and was not looking too good.
I am really quite gutted by his death, and offer my sympathies and prayers to his family and friends.
I just stumbled across these pictures on the History of the South London Warlords website which are rather fun. The first shows a Middle Earth siege underway at Salute 1980. The castle is made up of several Airfix Sherwood Castles, I have yet to ID any of the figures.
The next pic.is about 1985, and shows the SLW plugging their Middle Earth Army lists for WRG Ancient rules. I may have a copy of these somewhere, but if not must get them for my Grimoires of Yore collection. Figures are a bit far away to ID, but the scenery is rather nice.
I'm sorry it's been so long since I posted....I've just been busy busy busy. A change of working hours from full time to part time employment, setting up a part time gardening business, trying (and failing) to change school for our middle son and now deciding to home educate him, along with various other time consuming issues all contributed to a lack of blogging . Fortunately I've managed to stuff in a fair amount of painting this year and am up to about 300 25-28mm figures so far.
The first part of the year was spent cracking on with my 28mm Robin of Sherwood figures for Lion Rampant, but this has ground to a halt as I wait for Rogue Miniatures to release their Gulnar and Owen of Clun figures. I'll show the finished forces when I have acquired and painted these 2 bods.
Having finished painting all my Thistlewood figures I need to arrange a grand review and to umpire the game, but in the meantime I have embarked upon my next project, travelling even further back into the early 1980's to rebuild the armies shown in this little picture from White Dwarf 35 (November 1982).
I've burbled on about this picture before HERE , but just to recap it shows one of Joe Dever's epic battles he used to put on at shows like Dragonmeet and Games Day. I was obsessed by this tiny picture back in 1982 (remember gentle reader, we had no recourse to any pictures of fantasy figures let alone battles, other than those shown in White Dwarf, and they of course were grainy and black and white), and even went so far as to build the howdah bearing dinosaur which featured in many games before being sold off in my great fantasy purge of 1987.
Anyhow, I've identified most of the figures in the picture so far as I can, and have managed to collect them all, (or suitable substitutes). I hope to show them as they get painted and based and them assemble them into the scene shown above...... what strange pastimes we have.
To kick off with, I have rebuilt the dinosaurs, recapturing my lost youth (the models that is, not real dinosaurs), and the figures Joe put in them look like Minifigs Hobgoblins. It's difficult to see, but I reckon that's a sensible guess, and I love the models. Of course I had to collect more than just the crew, so ended up getting about 60 extras!
The Hobgoblin contingent....WIP. I'm waiting for some brass chain to affix the howdahs, a Hobgoblin (or in fact Samurai) chieftan from Tin Soldier Miniatures and some crescent moons to go atop the infantry standards.
Asgard ogre skull at the top courtesy of the ever helpful Dave Wood (aka The Dozing Dragon) who has helped me out a number of times...a perfect gent. The pva on the big standards has just been applied, the theory being it forms a flexible skin which will give a bit and prevent the paint cracking, however it seems to be "pooling" rather a lot, so I may have to go back to the drawing board. The skeletons on this and the original are from the Citadel Fantasy Tribe range. The dinosaur itself is the Airfix Ankylosaurus and the howdah a cut up Airfix Sherwood Castle. I happily found a box of spare castle bits at Warfare show in Reading a couple of years ago, so didn't have to chop up my complete castle (which will be featuring in future Prehammer games).
I just love these chaps. They scream OLD SKOOL D&D!!!! The illustrations in the Monster Manual set the trend for Hobgoblins being Oriental for the next 10 years or more.
Some of them were in a frightful state, but I replaced a number of weapons with spare Minifigs kit (luckily I have a good supply, having been buying MF for 35 years or so), and they had a good blast with oven cleaner to spruce them up. The lack of heavy detail is a real boon to paint removal and some of the castings came up looking brand new (which was nice).
The banners will bear the device of the Bloody Bat and have a little MDF crescent moon on top. I have some very similar Hobgoblins riding lizards from Garrison Miniatures (yet to de-flash) and the shields have cast on bats, so there you go.
The generals steed (Airfix Triceratops), being whipped and prodded by spare hobgoblins. The general has yet to appear in the form of a seated Tin Soldier Samurai Lord. The little howdah, so far as I can see in the original pic. is made up of a slice of Airfix tower, so I have done the same here.
What fun. I'll hopefully get on and paint these soon and then be back to show you how things are progressing.
Here's the thief Foro Malas who started the whole affair at Thistlewood, by pinching the Chalice of Landemar. He hides the chalice in the village and then proceeds to murder the mayor/local wizard Polias.
Here he is about to sneak into the wizards tower.A Citadel thief from the very early 80's. I painted him up to look like Seward the thief from Robin of Sherwood in the episode Seven Poor Knights from Acre.
I think these are the last figures that needed painting for my Thistlewood project, but of course there could be endless tweaking. I could paint up a more imposing Lord Vassago, and get 30 Minifigs Knights of the Silver Rose to act as Baron Galen's cavalry, but I'm finished really. In the scenario, various houses in Thistlewood contain either terrified of belligerent inhabitants, and in one case, a mad dog.
Back in 1983, there were surprisingly few villager and civilian figures available as far as I could make out at the time. The bulk of the figures here are Hinchliffe and Citadel.
The villagers flee with their baggage and pets (all Hinchliffe)
Others discuss the sightings of Lord Vassago's evil horde (Hinchliffe and Citadel)
The Village elders, rich and poor (Citadel and Essex)
The shepherds fierce dog is out of control (Hinchliffe and Citadel dog)
The landlord of the inn and his family prepare to batten down the hatches and hope the King's troops reach them first (all Citadel)
Other townsfolk mill about (Hinchliffe and Citadel)
Meanwhile, braver souls arms themselves to repel orcs and undead. (Hinchliffe and Asgard)
These militia are also part of my budding Lion Rampant Robin of Sherwood project, Wolfshead Rampant, soon to appear on my other blog
My oldest son has been seduced big time by Frostgrave...we haven't played a game yet (my fault) but he has constructed an entire board of ruined buildings off his own bat, both scratchbuilt and purchased. I'll be posting a picture of these soon, but in the meantime let me introduce my warband.
Professor Grunkasse we have met BEFORE, he of the lunar head. The Professor is an elementalist, but an elementalist with a difference. He believes there is a fifth element as yet proven to be one of the essential components of the world....... CHEESE! In his lighthouse on the east coast of Gonchovia, the Prof. has been labouring to find a source of the rarest cheese in the world.... Greencheese , or Mooncheese. It is known that the moon is made of this rare substance and he believes that if he can find a supply on terra firma he will be able to prove his theories and become the first and greatest cheesomancer the world has seen. Legends whisper of a lost city that lies in a hidden valley somewhere in the not noticed mountains between the lands of the Pewter Moon dwarves and those of the Wild Woods of the Owl Elves. The city of Grasslichauch was famed for it's fromagers who it is believed had a way of duplicating the subtle textures of Mooncheese. Professor Grunkasse believes that somewhere in the city he will find a supply and so set himself on the path to cheese glory.
The Prof. usually allies with the Pewter Moon dwarves, but they are reluctant to enter the city of Grasslichauch which they believe to be under the thrall of the Crimson King. So he has assembled a band of followers, all eager for a slice of cheese. You may notice that all items that are usually metal are in fact fashioned from hardened green cheese. This avoids metallurgic reactions with any of the Professors spells.
Here is Grunkasse again, with his apprentice Rennet. Rennet is eager to learn the mysteries of Elementalism and carries a hefty cheeseknife at all times.
The Earl of Jarlsburg on the right (templar) and his brother Balaton (barbarian).
the shifty brothers Cam and Bert (thug and thief)
Boursin, the trusty crossbowman
and the treasure tokens!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lots of lovely cheese for the adventurers to find among the ruins.
unless others get there first. Son 1 is assembling a rattish warband, perhaps based on the rats in The Box of Delights.
One of my signatures, I often have a random hand sticking out of the ground.
The figures are Citadel and Asgard, and the cheeses from a dolls house supplier on ebay.
An unusual terrain piece for Thistlewood...the tomb of the cursed Lord Pellion. I wanted to create a formal clipped hedge affair, so I used painted pan scrubs for the hedges. The statues and tomb itself are old Citadel pieces from the Fantasy Specials range.
The sarcophagus contains the bones of Lord Pellion, and his magic sword, which has an unfortunate effect on anyone picking it up. All undead within 60" are instantly attracted to it and try and impale themselves on the sword, added to which it's a -2 blade. to hit as well. I'm looking forward to my players finding this out when I run the game.