Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Gladiator finished!

Finally, back up in York with good interior lighting, and have managed to finish off my Laquearius Gladiator. There's still a few bits I'm not entirely happy with but I'd rather move onto the next model now.

I often try and go for a grubby look as often the miniatures I paint lend themselves to that look, and this one is not exception. I did toy with adding another layer of paint to the balteus loincloth, but I think that would have made it a little too clean looking.

I'm not entirely happy with the hair shading as it's a too similar colour to the loincloth, but it's not too bad so I left it rather than faffing and trying to make him ginger...

More images below....

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Gladiators, are you ready?

After having a couple of games in "Das Bunker" to test out Warhammer Historical's Gladiator rules, I finally started painting the first miniature, the "Laquearius" (like the net-and-trident armed retiarius, but with the net replaced by a lasso or noose).

To get the trident to fit required some extensive work with a modelling knife on the figure's hand and on the trident itself, but once done it fitted nicely.

I haven't painted any miniatures in a long, long time so I'm very rusty. This still needs a bit more work doing to it (it's certainly not finished), but as long as it looks okay on the table, I'm happy. Pictures below along with my grubby, paint-stained fingers.

Painted mini pics below...

Monday, 9 January 2012

40k Triage Tag Mock Ups

Yes, I lied, I said I'd leave this alone - but it seems I can't. Whilst I do want to rejig the system to make it more Grimdark (basically a harsher version of reverse triage as standard), I wanted to make some mock ups of the prop tags. Only rough work, but it hopefully gives an idea of the archaic look I was going for...

Original Triage Tag Post

Other Medical Triage Documents

By 'eck Chief! More tea Vicar?

I hadn't intended to make another post just yet, but upon opening the new Gladiator blister pack, I noticed that one of the miniatures bore a striking resemblance to local legend Guy Martin - Lincolnshire lorry mechanic, renowned TT racer and star of "Closer to the Edge" and "The Boat that Guy Built"

I couldn't take a picture that did it justice, but it's really the spitting image.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

40k Triage Tags

This seems to becoming a medical blog, I'm putting the medical work down for a bit now, but there will be more (including revisions of older pieces).

So here's the last piece, an Imperial triage tag, to be attached to a wounded Guardsmen to aid his progress through the chain of evacuation. I imagine in most Imperial campaigns, there probably isn't one and anyone but the walking wounded will be left, or if lucky, shot.

Full Res versions of all the triage documents can be found on my Deviant Art page. I'm quite chuffed, I only did some of these various triage pieces yesterday and I've already been asked by a 40k LARPer in Germany if they can make use of them in their games, and I was more than happy to oblige the thoroughly nice chap.

The Rest...

If you build the ludus, they will fight...

Huzzah! The long-awaited Gladiators have finally arrived, and my ludus (Gladiator school) has its first intake of students. I am now regretting not scraping together the funds to get the Foundry Horde pack while it was on sale - £66 for every pack, now gone back up to £95 :( There are a lot of models I'm not too keen on though, but those could have gone on to others or eBay. Nevermind.

At least I have my favourite pack "Prime Contenders," (nice to see the new "Fantasy and Science fiction" packaging) and my friend and Gladiatorial opponent has his -"Coliseum Vanquishers" as a belated Xmas present. I am eyeing up the Thracian in that pack though, it's a bloody nice sculpt.

My plan for the Thracian in my own pack is to sculpt the traditional feathered crest from modelling putty, so he looks more like the Thracian chap on the cover of the rulebook (hopefully mine won't be on the back foot against bloody Murmillos).

Next on the shopping list are "Copplestone's Conquerors" for me and "Saleh's Survivors" for my regular opponent.

I still want to get myself one of the Coliseum Vanquisher Thracians, and that Secutor's pretty good too. As is the bottom left Hoplomachus of "Hoyle's Heroes." I might get the "Coliseum Champions" too, but only for the Secutor and Retiarius really...

Friday, 6 January 2012

We who are about to die salute... ooh, are there any caramel barrels left?

I have been waffling on about this Gladiatorial arena with little explanation I fear.

Last year, a friend and I planned to make an amphitheatre for Warhammer Historical's new Gladiator rules which had real sand in it. Alas, real life got in the way for a while. But over Christmas I found myself drawn to containers of Celebrations and Roses - more so than usual! I thought these could potentially make a great portable arena, and contain the sand better than any black bin bag lined container I could make. Whilst it does limit us to the smaller end of the games, that was largely going to be the focus anyway.

I had a few notions for a slightly fancy version of this portable arena, but Colonel Scipio reminded me of the importance of simplicity, and I made some slight alterations and went back to an earlier iteration of the plan.


In the end, I selected the Roses tin, as it was the shallowest and allowed battle report photos to be taken more easily. First you will need to empty it, I find that family members are more than willing to help with this stage of construction.

However, it was still not shallow enough, so I took a left over cardboard box, of reasonable thickness, and cut out three circles to fit tightly inside. I would obviously recommend using a modelling knife, but as all of mine are in York (and I'm not) a pair of scissors had to suffice.

I placed the three card discs into the tin. There were a few small gaps due to the slightly butchering nature of the scissors, but as this was only a prototype, I wasn't too fussed. The gaps on the second and third layers were plugged with Blu Tack - does the job nicely enough, but if available, modelling putty is preferable. Even better, take your time and use a modelling knife

Next, was to try out the real sand, as I wanted to see how much would be required. The sand was "Chinchilla Sand" (1.6KG of it) picked up for £2 from the local pet shop. I placed in a couple of 2ps to ensure the sand was roughly the right height for miniature bases and poured the sand in, with a little extra for good measure. It's not entirely clear on this low quality picture that there's sand in there, but there is :P The 2ps could be easily placed on top without sinking, and I suspect will work better with miniatures attached...

That's it so far, the next stage is to decorate the interior (emptying the sand back into the bag first), covering it with a textured paper and adding doors and gateways for the Gladiators and beasts to make their entrance. Once that is finished, the arena seating will be made to go around the edge of the tin (not attached).


Imperial Navy Crew Models and Art

For recent updates on this project, please see these posts:
Not so much a proper post as a collection of the artwork I've been drooling over while planning my new Kill Team. This includes miniatures, some Jes Goodwin concept art and also Fantasy Flight artwork by Marc Lee (from Rogue Trader RPG supplement "Battlefleet Koronus"). Click on the images to view the original size.

I will be including a Commissar in the Boarding Party Kill Team, but as these differ very little from those attached to the Imperial Guard, I'm not showing images for him (although I will try and add some little details that shows that he serves on-board a ship).

In addition to being used in Kill Team games, I intend to use these as a Necromunda faction in the form of an Imperial Navy Press Gang (using Arbites rules).

Games Workshop's "Officer of the Fleet - Imperial Guard Regimental Advisor." Will likely be pressed into service as the Kill Team leader, in the guise of an Imperial Navy Lieutenant. My paint scheme is likely to use a darker blue, and possibly a light blue-grey for the whites.

Marc Lee's artwork for Imperial Navy Officers, very much following the established patterns of the Regimental Advisor based on Jes' work. Any heavy conversions done will certainly draw on the work of both.

Jes Goodwin's concept art for Imperial Navy crewmen, looking remarkably similar to the Forge World Titan Crew (though I believe the sketch came first). I will be attempting to model the boarding pike shown here, and perhaps the armour of the figure on the left. However, rather than these being standard crewmen, I will use these as a basis for Armsmen (e.g. Royal Marines). As with their historical counterparts, these will spearhead boarding actions, in addition to maintaining shipboard discipline and putting down any mutinies.
Below are the aforementioned Forge World Titan Crew miniatures....

Jes Goodwin's concepts for Imperial Navy Officers, with the distinct Goodwin 80s hair as seen on his Eldar concepts of the era. The "Master of the Fleet" certainly seems to follow these quite closely.

Marc Lee's artwork for Imperial Navy crewmen (also Voidsmen and Shipsmen in the archaic form). Technically I think one or two of these may be Armsmen, but as they generally look much of a muchness, these are going to be the basis of my crew pressed into service as boarders - shotguns, knives, axes and pikes thrust into their hands and bundled into a boarding torpedo. I really like the bionics as peg leg equivalents - but won't go quite as overboard. I have a large amount of bionic parts from a currently unfeasible Adeptus Mechanicus project, so its nice to know they won't go to waste. I will be using Necromunda Orlock miniatures as the basis for these - and with my sense of thrift still intact, they will also be used, unsurpisingly, as my Necromunda Orlock gang...
Below are the Orlock miniatures for a comparison, hopefully you can see the merits of my choice :P I may also use a few bits of the Catachan plastics, they all look the part and look like switching and swapping should be easy enough.


On a recent web trawl, I found the Naval Advisor painted up in the exact scheme I wished to replicate - along with some rather nicely painted up Titan crewmen.
This photo is courtesy of Drathmere's 40k Hobby Blog

A penny for your thoughts?

More Imperial Triage Paperwork

More paperwork of a medical nature, as it seems to be popular with my vast audience :P

This is the companion poster to the first document, and is a flow chart for prioritisation procedue, i.e. triage. There are many such real-life charts in existence, the best (in my opinion) is the SMART one produced by TSG and utilised by the British military, as well as various Police, Fire, Ambulance and other emergency services across the world. However, whilst their chart is neat, simple and tidy, that didn't seem to fit the bureaucratic mess of the 41st millenium. SO I went for a slightly older, somewhat abtuse system that was also esier to produce with my limited graphical technology at present - had a been at my own PC I could have easily replicated the SMART system in seconds, real-life nicely mirroring the anachronistic, archaic tech. of the dark future ;)

Going to do a second version with a Stage 0, which directs the medical personnel to avoid warp tainted chaps, and anyone with other non-warp mutations should be shot immediately.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Are you a Gladiator....

Expect to see some updates on my arena building very shortly (i.e. tomorrow), in the meanitime, why not peruse Warhammer Historical's new(ish) free supplement for their Gladiator rules: Barbarians in the Arena (ooh, there's one of my Mawdryn tribesmen on the cover ;))

Triage Paperwork. Again

Whilst the thoughts were fresh in my mind, I made some tweaks to the artwork, and ended up changing both documents to make them compliment each other. Had a scrap of text that wouldn't fit anywhere, so created a "Quick Reference Card"

EDIT: Bugger, noticed a slight error on the reference card, and the chart omits the alternate checking of a radial pulse when squeezing someones finger isn't an option :P

Going to get some coarse brown paper and print some of these, I shall make some actual working tags to hang around the games room ("The Bunker") also

If anyone wants a slightly fuzzier version of the top doc, let me know

Imperial Guard Triage Paperwork

Inspired by the work of "Colonel Scipio" (see here) I have produced a piece of "in-game" documentation of my own, related to my own field of interest that can't really be replicated in any great scale on the table - battlefield medicine. This is essentially a poster that one might see dotted around aid posts and barracks across the Imperium. I am also working on a triage flow diagram and triage casualty tags that wounded guardsmen would have attached to them as they are ferried through the casualty system - battlefield medicine is almost certainly not altruism on the part of the Guard, it's keeping the military machine working as efficiently as possible.

This work isn't to my usual standard, so my apologies there, but working on a decrepit old machine at present. Save the image to read it properly. Certain bits need rewording, but ultimately the feel is about right, and it's medically correct :P


Below is an updated version, based on Colonel Scipio's comments...

The system I've used is a combination of SMART, with which I'm most familiar, combined with elements of START and the German and Swedish systems.
I tried to get the colours clear but not so bold, or with a slight inked look, or reminiscent of WWI print styles (fortunately as a Great War "living historian" I have plenty of examples for this).

I also try and blend the modern and archaic, so where modern triage systems use barcodes for patient tracking - although I doubt any Guardsmen get such attention - I considered using an old punch card style system, like telex and the like, I can just imagine an Adeptus Mechanicus Lexmechanic have a slot for a punch card reader (reminds me of the Peter Kay line "where do you want me to swipe that")

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The Myrmidions - Space Marines

The Myrmidions / Heralds of Kephis were designed as a project that allowed me to use a small force of Space Marines as both Loyalists and Renegades, addidng a few possessed, daemons and the like for the latter, as well as scattering a few actual Chaos Marine miniatures amongst the squads of standard Marines


Formed in early M36, the exact Founding is unknown (or as some suspect, expunged), but events in the Chapter's history has led to speculation from within the Inquisition that it was part of the 21st Founding – the largest since the 2nd, and better known as the “Cursed” Founding. This is not certain however, and could have easily been one of the many other Foundings of this period.

The Chapter originates from the world of Sotek, however, they have not been based on the world since M37, following the planets destruction in the aftermath of the Occlusiad Wars against the Blind King and his rogue Techpriests. Like much of the Chapter's history, the exact details remain unclear.

The Myrmidions are a fleet-based chapter, specialising in naval and boarding actions (and can transfer these skills to Titan-boarding and tunnel fighting).

As their fleet roams the Segmenta of the galaxy, their formations resemble the form of a kraken, the main body of the fleet being made of mutually supporting ships in realtively close formation, with outriders on it's flanks. Principally, reaching out ahead like tendrils are the Forward Patrols, these are the first to engage the enemy and make planetfall - the Strike Support squadrons formed around Strike Cruisers reader to head forward to provide extra troops and ships to the forward patrol quickly.



The World of Sotek
With the surface being almost entirely oceanic, most of the inhabitants of Sotek lived on the grandiose floating City States – at one end of the scale these were purposely constructed “city-ships” resembling city more than ship; at the other end were the rag-tag conglomeration of barges: these seemingly unintentional urban centres growing as more vessels semi-permanently docked with them. On the biggest of these it was no longer possible to see the constituent vessels, or indeed where one began and another finished, layers upon layers of buildings forming floating hive cities. Many of the former, larger maritime metropolises became like icebergs, with almost as much of the city beneath the waves as floating above them – out of necessity for space and balance.

Trade and Commerce
Fishing, whaling and especially commerce were the major concerns of the inhabitants of Sotek, great trade fleets of oared galleys passed between ever-moving city and town-ship alike, trading wares unique to each: the agricultural produce of the Hanging Gardens of Aa'set and the craftsmanship of Surak being highly sought after.

These fleets would occasionally be harried by piratical raiders, but most fleets would be prepared: any daring to engage in piracy against them would be shown no mercy. Whaling ships harpooned the great beasts of the seas, their skins and meat being valuable commodities. However, one such noble beast was another matter - woe betide any that accidentally speared the rare great Kraken, considered sacred in the Sotek culture. Anyone responsible for merely injuring the Kraken would be put to death by drowning.

The Mercantile Houses
All of the traders and fleets belonged to one of the ten Mercantile Houses, each with a Patriarch or Matriarch, the main political divide of the world alongside the actual City States themselves. The Houses were as followed:

House Gyasi
House Akhenaten
House Abasi
House Zer'ephys
House Netari
House Chenzira
House Bakari
House Nephthys
House Darwishi
House M'shai

Warfare on Sotek
With such an oceanic culture, the inhabitants of Sotek were masters of Naval warfare, both that of the grand manoeuvre of ships and the close-quarter brutality of boarding actions. The sons of the Sotek Aristocracy were often prime candidates for the Imperial Navy – a lucrative source of personnel that was lost following the formation of the Chapter, much to the chagrin of the Navy.


When the Chapter was formed upon Kephis, they built a great Fortress-Monastery on the world – a grand floating fortress that dwarfed even the greats city-ships upon the high seas.

The ten Merchant Houses into which Kephis was divided would form the basis of the new Chapter, members of one of the ten Houses being recruited solely into that House's corresponding Company. Within the Chapter each company is Independent, further strengthening their suspected connections to the Carcharodons and Raven Guard. Like their oft-time allies, the Spears of Mordryn, each Company is a Chapter in microcosm, with its own Reserves, support and auxiliaries – each company able to reach out in different directions like the tendrils of the sacred Kraken that the Chapter bears as their sigil and badge.

To be continued....

This image and the fleet diagram above are pieces of my own, slightly naff, artwork. The crest on the miniature below is either going to signify the rank of Sergeant, or that this Marine is a member of the Chapter's specialists dedicated to hunting down their fallen, former brothers. The fleet diagram I'm generally happy with, just not the ship colours, having tried to draw top-down versions of each major class, it just didn't work.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Project Round Up


Gladiators... Are. You. Ready?

I'm currently awaiting a shipment of Foundry's gorgeous Gladiator miniatures to use in conjunction with Warhammer Historical's new(ish) rules - also currently planning an arena which uses a biscuit tin and aquarium sand as the basis.

UPDATE: These Gladiators have since arrived, and some have even been painted! Shock horror. 

Post 1: "Laquerias" painting begins

Post 2: "Laquerias" painting finished
Post 3: "Thracian" painting begins

Warhammer 40k

+++ "Spears of Mawdryn" Space Marines
So far, the ranks of the Adeptus Astartes have seen the likes of Space Romans, Space Mongolians, Space Vikings and Space Crusaders. In this great tradition, I bring to you in the form of my original Chapter, Space Welsh!

Very much a labour of love, and once out of the box :/ will be my largest single force. Inpsired by Dark Ages Welsh/Arthurian warfare, and 1st century BC/AD aesthetics of Britons and Gauls (notably shield shapes). Anyhoo, more on those in other posts - the large amounts of fluff will be drip-fed to you so as not to be too overwhelming.

+++ The Myrmidions / Heralds of Kephis
A force which can represent loyalists and renegades shows this divided Chapter. A fleet-based Chapter of boarding specialists with a distinctly aquatic theme, the darker side definitely has that "Innsmouth look" (for those unfamiliar, Google it ;))- Lovecraftian goodness aplenty. Other influences include the Greyjoys of A Song of Ice and Fire, and Bioshock. Again, fluff to be drip-fed post by post over time.

Look out for fishy possessed Chaos Marines, a Daemon Prince converted from proper daemon prince components and river troll parts, some "Deep One" esque lesser daemons, and perhaps some Bioshock "Big Daddy" styled Obliterators/Terminators

+++ Boarding Party of the Imperial Navy Frigate "Spatha"
The name is temporary. This is a rag-tag kill-team / small force of Junior Officers, Armsmen, and other Ratings (plus the odd servitor) literally armed to the teeth with shotguns, boarding pikes, shields, navy pistols, grapples and grenades. Expect them to see use in simultaneous, "linked" Battlefleet Gothic and 40k games where the boarding actions aren't just rolled for

Cake, or war(games)?

Thank your for taking the time to visit my new blog. Having intended to do one for a long time, a good friend recently began a blog (http://palladian-guard.blogspot.com) and inspired me into action (and reminded me of my Blogger account).

So, what's it all about?

Having been wargaming and RPG-ing on-and-off since around 1996, it is something that probably takes up more time than it should. Generally, this is place for me to dump all things wargaming and table-top RPG, from projects, fluff, artwork, news and general thoughts, as well as game reports and the like. Hopefully you'll find something of interest, feel free to ask any questions or borrow any ideas.

Whilst I enjoy modelling, gaming, and to a lesser degree painting, fluff writing is where I lean towards as a gamer - including backgrounds of forces and characters as well as games and campaigns with something of a narrative element.

Where does the name come from?

Well, for the few of you that haven't seen this classic piece of Izzard....

And the title of this post.. the blog was nearly Cake or Death.. or Cake or War - Izzard again, I know.

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