Wednesday, 13 January 2010

"Who You Gonna Call?"

One of my smaller projects for 2010 was a planned set of homemade rules based upon the “Ghostbusters” films and cartoons (using the 1986 Ghostbusters Role-Playing Game” by “West End Games” as a starting point). However my recent exposure to the numerous variants of “Song of Blades and Heroes” has lead to my discovery (and purchase) of the “Fear and Faith” Horror Skirmish miniatures rules by “Ganesha Games”, and as a result I’ve concentrated simply on painting some models for the venture instead. Indeed, one of “Ganesha Games” forthcoming supplements is entitled “Ghost Rangers” and is described as “A full campaign for those guys you’re gonna call when the town is full of spooks. Hunt them, stock them, and remember, never cross the streams.”

I’ve previously seen these “Heresy Miniatures” superbly converted with proton backpacks and ghost traps but I quickly wanted them painted, based and ready for action. The models consist of HSF008 ‘Inspector (with coffee) Bob Jones’, HSF009 ‘Inspector Johnson’, HSF010 ‘Inspector Camille Van Towe’, HSF011 ‘Inspector (with scanner) Kane’, and HSF012 ‘Inspector Knuckles’.

I wanted my ‘Ghostbusters’ to wear their original ‘light brown’ costumes so Venkman, Stantz, Spengler and Zeddemore were all predominantly painted Dheneb Stone and washed with Devlan Mud. The red emblems were simply painted Mechrite Red and Baal Red; and their belt buckles Burnished Gold and “Coat d’arms” Brown Ink. As I thought Melnitz should stand apart from the foursome I painted her uniform with Astronomican Grey and Badab Black.

The stone circle is a resin piece I purchased a couple of years ago whilst at “Colours” in Newbury. As I plan for it to ‘emerge’ within a cityscape (as an objective), it was undercoated Chaos Black, and then dry brushed using Codex Grey and Fortress Grey. The standing stones were painted with Calthan Brown and Devlan Mud, before being dry brushed with more Calthan Brown.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Some Additions To "Secrets Of The Third Reich"

I’ve finally managed to finish basing some new additions to my ever-expanding collection of “Secrets of the Third Reich” models. These “West Wind Productions” figures were actually painted towards the end of last year and have already ‘seen action’ (in breach of my usual stance of refusing to field fully painted and based miniatures). I’m hoping to get a small battle report completed at some point to ‘show off’ a simple set of homemade rules I use, as opposed to those contained within the “Grindhouse” “1949 – Secrets of the Third Reich” rulebook or its recent “Doomsday” supplement.

The two infantry models are from ‘blister’ G-SOTR28 ‘Panzerschreck Team’. Their uniforms were predominantly painted Adeptus Battlegrey with Badab Black, and their body armour with Calthan Brown and Devlan Mud in order to ‘tie-in’ with the rest of my German forces.

The same livery was used for the G-SOTR20 ‘German Para Drop Armour Flamethrower’ with the exception of his lower left leg, which was painted Mechrite Red and washed with Baal Red. I plan to field a number of Germans wearing Para Drop armour, and didn’t want them all to be simply ‘drab’ grey (as my philosophy is to apply simple paintjobs in order to get my models on the tabletop quickly). “Shining Gold” with a “Coat d’arms” Brown Ink wash was applied to some areas of the model’s flamethrower and backpack in order to distinguish some details from an ‘overall’ application of Boltgun Metal and Badab Black.

I managed to purchase the US-SOTR14 ‘US Battle Suit 50 Cal HMG – Comanche’ second-hand (as part of a pair of SOTR-SP03 ‘US Armoured Infantry’ starter sets), and am glad I did as despite its significant weight, I’m unsure whether I would have been entirely happy paying £9.99 for so difficult a model to construct. The joints provided by the sculptor have no hope of keeping this ‘beast’ together. Indeed, even after some significant drilling and pinning, and some liberal applications of (various) superglues, the arms continued to droop or the torso fell apart. In the end, I had to resort to some generous ‘dollops’ of "Milliput" to ensure a ‘fit’ and even then in order to guarantee its sturdiness, acquiesce to a rather ‘unthreatening’ pose.

Fortunately, the model was simple to paint with its dominant Knarloc Green with a wash of Devlan Mud and Thrakka Green colour scheme. To break up this ‘monotony’ however, I picked out different areas of the model with Boltgun Metal and Badab Black.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Highlanders to March to the “Song of Drums and Shakos”

I first encountered the fantasy skirmish rule set “Song of Blades and Heroes” by “Ganesha Games” last year, and immediately purchased the PDF version from the “Wargame Vault”. At the time I planned to use them to help encourage me to paint a rather hefty consignment of “Heresy Miniatures” I bought a couple of years before, but alas, the project never took off.

A few days ago however, I discovered that Sergio Laliscia has written an adaptation of the rules for the Napoleonic era. “Song of Drums and Shakos” seems the perfect solution to help me maintain my enthusiasm for my long-term “Black Powder” project. It should let me ‘field’ my painted 15mm "Essex Miniatures" models almost straight away, as opposed to having to wait several months before I’ve painted enough to play a (small) game of “Black Powder”. Admittedly instead of using single based models I’ll be using a (40mm x 20mm) base of troops, but it should make the skirmishes appear more ‘large scale’.

As a result I have already set aside eight bases of my (already painted) Napoleonic French into a 401-point force, and begun painting (in earnest) a 395-point British contingent. This later ‘army’ will consist of three bases of (Gordon) Highlanders including an Officer, three bases of Chosen Men (Rifles), a base of Light Company infantry and a Grenadier Company.

The ‘standard’ Highlanders are from the ‘blister’ PNB6 ‘Highlander at the ready’ from “Essex Miniatures”. Having undercoated them with Chaos Black their straps and plumes were painted Skull White, treated to a wash of Devlan Mud, before being ‘picked out’ with Skull White again. Their face, hands and knees were painted with Elf Flesh, and their pouches in Calthan Brown. Both were then also washed in Devlan Mud. I painted their water bottles with Ultramarines Blue and Asurmen Blue; their backpacks with Astronomican Grey and Badab Black; their collars and cuffs with Sunburst Yellow and (oop) Yellow Ink; their rifles Dark Flesh and “Coat d’arms” Brown Ink; and Mechrite Red and Baal Red were used for their red coats.

In order to speed up the painting process, and ‘cheat’, the predominantly red tartan of their ‘Highland dicing’ consists of a simple wash of Baal Red over Skull White. Orkhide Shade and Thraka Green were used as an alternative for the dark green tartan of their kilts.

The red jackets of both the officer and standard bearer were painted using Blood Red to make them stand out. Mechrite Red was used for their sashes, and both areas were then washed with Baal Red. Both figures’ sword guards were painted using Burnished Gold and “Coat d’arms” Brown Ink.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

'War Of The Force' Project

I've (re)based a load of Star Wars Rebel Alliance Troopers on some Games Workshop infantry movement trays. The models are part of a project based upon the “War of the Ring” rulebook by Games Workshop, but set in (a slightly askew version of) George Lucas’ Star Wars universe.

These ‘War of the Force’ models are predominantly from the “Rebel Storm” release of the Star Wars (pre-painted) Miniatures Game by “Wizards of the Coast”. They’ll form part of a six company strong Rebel Alliance Infantry formation based upon the rules for Oathsworn Bowmen (The Kingdom of Rohan). I’ve already based a General Obi Wan Kenobi model to lead the formation as a Captain, and a Princess Leia figure as a standard bearer.

The models were simply cut from their original bases (one of which was square?) and glued upon 25mm round bases. The bases were then flocked with modelling sand before being painted with Chaos Black. They were then dry brushed with Dark Flesh, then Dheneb Stone, before being washed with Devlan Mud. Finally some static grass was added to each base. This technique was also applied to the movement tray.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Napoleonic "Black Powder" Project Planned For 2010

My main project for 2010 will be the creation of both a French and opposing British army from the Napoleonic era using 15mm “Essex Miniatures”. Originally envisaged in March 2007, this venture initially started out as an eccentric attempt to create two “De Bellis Antiquitatis” forces with which to learn Phil Barker’s rules. Indeed I only finished basing a twelve ‘element’ French infantry army (using basic Blades, Bows, Psiloi and Auxilia elements) last month in order to help ‘teach me’ the game.

However the very recent purchase of Rick Priestley and Jervis Johnson’s 1700 – 1900 rule set has changed this goal. Instead, I now hope to have painted enough figures for me to participate in a ‘proper’ “Black Powder” battle (with twenty-four strong Infantry units) by December 2010.

As a result I intend to complete work on at least one (40mm x 20mm) base of 15mm Napoleonic models each week. Only then will I pay any attention to some of the other minor projects I have tentatively given the green light to for 2010.

Foremost amongst these other ventures is a ‘Ghostbusters’ themed homemade rule set using a selection of models from (predominantly) “Heresy Miniatures” and “Wyrd Minatures”, as well as scenery from “Ainsty Products” (via “Old Crow Models”).

Friday, 1 January 2010

Change Of Homepage Address For Fantorical

After a couple of years of using CoffeeCup, followed by eighteen months of inactivity, I thought a change of surroundings for Fantorical would be in order to help reinvigorate my painting/wargaming diary. The old website will remain at as I hope to build upon the majority of my old projects, and thought it would be 'fun' to see how far they've advanced since 2008.