Tuesday 18 September 2012

The Battle of Manling Fields part 4.

Imperiled on the right most flank the numerically diminished thunderers watched a large body of ratmen approach. The chattering calls from the foul skaven deriding the good-dwarves families, culture and dwafhood filled the arquebus-dwarves with contempt and each resigned to take as many as they could with them to their graves.

A staccato sound from whirling blades filled the air and a great down draft sent beards swirling as though in a great wind. With a loud whooshing a torrent of super heated steam shoot out from the sky deep into the skaven ranks. The smell of foul cooked meat assailed the waiting  thunderers as ranks of skaven were scalded to their dooms. Grinning with satisfaction and relief the dwarves shot their fire arms at close range into the screaming mass. It was too much for the surviving rodents who turned tail and fled the musks of fear and panic hanging heavy in the air mixing with the acrid tang of black powder and the nauseating smell of cooked rat flesh.

Hats were thrown into the air as the sooty faced dwarves cheered their deliverance. The gyrocopter pilot rocked his craft and saluted in acknowledgement  before flying off with new found purpose. 

In the center Lord Brouhaha watched with mounting pleasure as he saw his right flank hold and then repel the drawing danger. "Yes, yes!" he cried, hope sprang anew and opportunities seamed to present themselves. Small Daniels mad dash for safety had left the hulking rat ogres perilously exposed and with several blasts from his musicians horn the clansmen were ordered to charge.

With a great thud the diminutive heroes crashed into the great bones and sinew of the rat ogres, axes bit, claws swiped and although pushed back the Clan Moulder giants held.

To the left the troll slayers proceeded to work themselves up into a frenzy, madly striding towards  a second group of rat ogres.

The Rat warlords unit surged forward sensing that a decisive attack was needed now, or all would be lost. Warpstone shot rang out over his head as further brave dwarven warriors fell to the evil firearms. A spell aimed at breaking the legs of the great Lord Brouhaha wound it's way toward the Dwarven Lord. With the grim determination only found in the sons of stone and steel Brouhaha shook off the effects and would not allow his body to be dictated to by mere arcane power. "Fire," he shouted and crossbows and bolt throwers launched their missiles at the rat swarm. The in a surge of steam powered might the gyrocopter flew, low to the ground in a fast daring drive. Steam erupted once more from the machine, engulfing the main swarm in the deadly surge of scalding death. The combined effect was once more a moral breaking blow. The warlords champion fell along with many other vermin souls even as there litter brothers fled.

With little hope for survival much less victory what rats remained also dissipated away. On these muddy fields the tide had been turned, Lord Brouhaha's hold was safe once more. At least  for several seasons.

Friday 14 September 2012


I love WHFB 3rd ed, I love obscure citadel miniatures from the 80’s, I love Giants. So imagine how cool it was to see this post by Thantsants. I’ve been trying to collect this blighter for ages, the closest I’d got was the right head and weapon but wrong body, so I was even more pleased to see Thantsants had a spare body of the type I needed. After a very agreeable trade I’ve been able to acquire the Citadel Fighting Fantasy 54mm Ogre body to go with the head and weapon I already owned to make the classic WHFB 3rd ed orange Giant.


Also as originally each of the FF 54mm miniatures came with a choice of head and weapon I still had enough parts to make the second even more orange giant, well almost the body and weapon are right the head wrong. It will have to do.


I’ve begun the clean up, I used to used heated pins to clean up mould lines on 20mm soft plastic figures and tried the same with these brutes. The pin was to little and I ended up heating a knife blade to do the job. I don’t think I’ll enter in to the great Giant race on the offing but will steadily work away at these two for some mega game in the hazy future.

For those interested in packaging my initial ogre came in a mint blister pack which I preserved as best I could!


Tuesday 11 September 2012

Show us yer piles! of (80's citadel boxed sets)

 The late 80's saw a large number of all lead and some few plastic boxed sets released by Games Workshop and Citadel. After reading this post on the BLOOD Forum, I thought it would be a nice idea to post up some pictures of my own boxed sets. They were the late 80's to me, or at least all I dreamt of (other than girls).

There used to be the occasional competition with the winner pictured in the midst of huge piles of boxed sets I always wanted to be that winner. Now I'm a little of the way there, this pile of boxed sets isn't all of them but all I could find on a spare morning at home.

Here is some close ups of one set in particular, the Skeleton army has some great pictures of other boxed sets on it's sides.

I'll post some more soon and looking at it I need better shots of the Skeleton army box, ipad sometimes doesn't cut it as a camera.

Friday 7 September 2012

Arcane Armorials, 80's shield designs.

Everyone wants shield designs and hand painting 80’s designs for your whole units can be a bit of a chore. Games Workshop recognised this and in 1987 brought out Arcane Armorials a set of water slide transfers for shields and banners. With there vibrant primary colours they are perhaps an acquired taste but highly evocative of the period as shown here.

 So let’s say you’ve dug out your Arcane Armorials, or scored some on ebay like Orlygg? Chances are time has not been good to them, the colours have faded, the chances of the transfer working are slim. It is still possible for the owner of these delightful designs to get some modelling use out of them. The first step is obviously to scan them into your computer, this is exactly what Orlygg did with his, to then print out and attach with PVA glue.
 These look great and is using the never before used transfers for their original purpose in a way that mitigates for their age.

I’d like to explain how I got the best out of my own by using the Gimp and a different method of attachment. The first stage is to scan as said the next is to defeat the detrimental effects of time by playing with your colour balances. I also took the opportunity to add a little high lighting that sadly didn’t come out so well in the finished print. Next time I’ll over egg the pudding. These are then printed onto sticky paper.

An added bonus is you can have a few of the same design on one sheet. I think in the future I'll be drawing my own designs correctly sized for us all to use IP free!

Cutting out is simple with a pair of scissors, and attaching the design child’s play.  Though tacking the backing off can be a bit tricky!

 So long as do not alter the size of  your image and you print your resulting jpg out at actual size with no margins they come out the same size they were scanned in at. A perfect fit, though I think my black ink is running out, still the greenish hue looks good!

I think you’ll agree the ones attached here to some of Rudlug’s finest look identical to the originals, all for 10 minutes work.

Wednesday 29 August 2012

Erny's lead pile dip number 1b: Marine bolt battery and marauder sea elf comparison.

So there were a few requests relating to the first lead pile dip, I'm on holiday so coping with only being able to edit in HTML and a few photos I took befor leaving I present some requests.

First the marine bolt battery, only showing one of two I have here. The same machine as the dark elves but a different crew. Jes Goodwicn, and brilliant as would be expected. The commander foreshadows the 90's high elves.

Next a comparison of the sea elf spears to some high elves. Jes Goodwin high elf, marauder high elf, marauder sea elf, Gilandiril, marauder high elf an marauder sea elf. Personally the only difference to me is style and I would therefore have them in different units but certainly the same army.

Lastly archers, citadel, marauder sea elf and marauder high elf. All great happily have them in the same army but different units. Indeed that's the plan.

Thursday 23 August 2012

Here’s to the Guardroom.

An add from WD83 also to be found in Dragon magazine in the 80's.
It’s probably fair to say that most people who collect 80’s miniatures, games using 80’s rules or paint miniatures in an 80’s style was a kid or young adult in the 80’s. So it is probably also fair to say that within our band, given the scarcity of 80’s Games Workshops, that most of us got our Citadel, Grenadier, Ral Patha, Warhammer or D&D fix from local independent stores.

Recently I’ve had real cause to tread paths long neglected and as fate would have it that path lead past The Guardroom in Dunstable home of Axle. What once stood on that spot was for me a slice of gaming culture now gone forever and perhaps one most sorely missed. The dingy, packed to the rafters games shop.

Some time in the mid 80’s my favorite place to buy airfix soldiers and tanks closed and so I found my way to a pokey little shop known as the guard room. There was a small collection of plastic kits but otherwise it was like no model shop I had ever encountered. Behind the door a stand of Osprey books stood, The left wall had cabinets of lead historical miniatures, you had to ask the owner to get the one you wanted out for you. To the right were wooden shelves with brightly coloured books with dragons and such like on and boxed sets of grenadier and citadel miniatures. Around the corner were racks of blister packs, yellow and black for Grenadier that would become my first favorite but also the painted picture packs from citadel. There was also Ral Patha and Metal Magic, Alternative armies. I even bought a pack of Asgard dwarves from there.

The counter ran in front of a wooden door I always imagined opened up onto a treasure trove of Fantasy minis though I guess it was probably just the back room. They specialised in army boxes, way out of my budget, so there were often people much older than myself in there buying brown boxes with white labels on. I thought it was cool and proudly carried my Guardroom Axle carrier bags round town little realizing they were just my badge of geekdom. The place was dark and to a 13 year old me mysterious and exciting, I loved it modern game shops seam to be bright lights, clean furniture and corporate messages. In I believe the late 90’s or early 2000’s it was sold to a chain and eventually it was no more.

So here is to The Guardroom and all the other places just like it. All just a piece of social history now I guess.

Tuesday 21 August 2012

Erny's lead pile dip Number 1: Marauder Sea Elves.

Here I review the ever wonderful Marauder sea elves. I had planned to only include painted minis in my posts but after taking some photos of my Sea Elf collection some time ago and then several people expressing an interest I thought I’d post them up. Then I thought it may be fun to periodically dip into that enormous lead pile of mine for a semi-regular mini-mini review 80’s style.

As far as I know these are all the variants of the Marauder Sea Elves produced, although some numbers appear to be missing. There are in total, archers, spearmen, one sword armed leader type, one bow armed leader type and three Sea Elf War Dancers.  For those interested in the 3rd ed army lists these figures make great Kith, Merchant Companies and Sea Elves.

They are your regulation 28mm 80’s elves and mix well with citadels offerings of the time and would also be fine with the early to mid 90’s elves. They have the normal cartoony look of marauder miniatures from this period with a good amount of detail for rank and file. Different sea creatures adorn their armour which is a great touch and clearly marks them as different to the 80’s marauder high elf line, the woodies being very different.
The poses for the spear armed elves are nothing special, standing at ease waiting for the action to begin. Though I must confess I'm in two minds as to whether  S.E.13 is a spear elf or a War Dancer.


The archers again are a standard pose, clearly in the process of firing/loading. 

The War Dancers are in more dynamic poses, appropriately buckles are being swashed here. 

All in all a very nice set, if you could buy them today I’d give them a solid 7/10 but being quite rare though available on Ebay I’m bumping them to 8/10 for just being different or cool.

So what’s next?  More marauder 80’s elves or something completely different? If it was a range out in the late 80’s from Citadel or Marauder there is a fair chance I’ve got some of them.

Thursday 16 August 2012

More free fantasy card buildings.

Card buildings, card stock buildings, paper or paper stock buildings, call them what you will. Here I present another building for you to use in you games of warhammer, old hammer or any fantasy battle or rpg game. They are totally free so please download.

This time we have a bigger building (on two pages of card) that could be an Inn if you so desired. I’ve tried a little extra black ink shading/texture this time, let me know if this is an improvement. There are a number of optional shutters for the windows, an out house that should fit to any of the currently posted buildings and some Inn signs.

My original idea for the signs was to hand draw half then copy and flip the other half but because the position of scanning wasn’t parallel to the direction of drawing they have come out a little wonky. They should still work if instead of scoring and folding you cut them, stick the signs so the match up and trim the white from the post ends.

Attaching the signs shouldn’t be a problem either score a slit in the wall you wish to attach the sign to and slide it in or don’t stick the final part of the post, open it out as tabs and glue it on. Ask an adult for help with any cutting!!!
The new building can be found here:


The previous two can be found here:

I’m also very willing to consider requests

Tuesday 14 August 2012

The battle of the Manling Fields part 3

The great bolt throwers fired once more but the explosion of the cannon must have unnerved the crew. They both missed and the rat horde went unscathed. The crossbows faired better, raining death upon the main rat horde, enough that they wavered for a moment before their Warlord reasserted what passed for discipline in their ranks.  Still the mass of vermin in that unit out numbered Lord Brouhahas unit of warriors, still they came ever closer.

On the right, supposedly refused flank the rat horde came on a pace, a fusillade from the remaining Thunderers did little to slow their pace. Perhaps there would be time for one more volley before the ratmen would be in a position to charge the flank held by five lone dwarves.
The Magician Small Daniels found within him the courage to run forward and calling forth the magic contained within an ancient ring cast a spell upon the scuttling soldiers of the rat warlord. “You’ll like this, not a lot!” he cried at the slavering foe, arcane energies engulfed the main swarm weakening their resolve. “Now that’s magic!”, Small Daniels cried with triumph but the cries were too soon. With some obscene force of will the Skaven cleared their minds of the decrepit magicians influence.


With a chittering roar the clan moulder beast handlers let their Rat Ogres go. The monstrous abominations charged straight for the diminutive dwaven wizard. Staring wide eyed at the awful doom that approached Small Daniels hitched his robes up around his waist to reveal two pasty spindly legs. Those legs now carried him screaming back to the dwarven lines, “D’Bieeeee!” he cried to his demonic paramour as he raced past a unit of crossbow dwarves.

To the east the rat skirmishers attempted to hit the hovering gyrocopter with their slings. All the shot flew wide of the mark but it woke the idling gyrocopter pilot. Perhaps their was more he could do than just keep track of the eastern flank.

More warpstone rained down on Lord Brouhaha, more warriors fell to the ratman fire. Lord Bruhaha gritted his teeth, things were not looking good. He cursed himself for falling into a ratman trap and gripped his hammer more tightly. “Form shield wall” he called, if he were to stand without shame next to his ancestors he would have to sell his life dearly.

Wednesday 8 August 2012

The battle of the Manling Fields part 2.

Lord  Brouhaha watched impatiently as the war machines and missile troops of his war band took up position and the gyrocopter probed the vermin flanks. Those rats were fast, he wanted lead and steel tipped shafts raining down on them as soon as possible but he held his tongue. More haste less speed he reminded himself, a dwarf may do a job slowly but it is done efficiently and only needs doing once.

Just then as if to taunt him from a hill beyond the Skaven lines came the crack of firing weapons. Infernal machines spat wapstone death and several warriors in the Lords own retinue fell from the mortal coil into the welcoming arms of their ancestors. To the right many more of the red coated clansmen met a similar doom. Loosing all patients Lord Brouhaha shouted, “get roaring Mug firing or I’ll be loading it with your heads!”

The rats were getting ever closer and, ”BOOM!” the dwarven great cannon, it’s lips licked by flame and soot shot a great iron ball straight at the vermin lines. It tore through the lumbering form of a rat ogre as though it were paper and bursting through the largest rat unit scattered so many rat to the four winds. Roaring Mug had spoken.

Agnetha and Anni-Frid join the hum of their harp like bow strings to the throaty roar of the cannon even as the crossbows sung as the choir.  Bolts large and small ripped through the rat swarm dwindling the Rat leader’s pack to roughly half its size. A vast arcane totem spread resolve into the thumping hearts of the skaven, they held when they should have run. To the right the thunderers opened up at extreme range but only a single rat on the flank fell.

On came the hoard as fast as ever. The warpstone once more shot across the battle field this time smashing into the ranks of thunderers reducing them to half strength in the blink of an eye. The refused flank now look in peril of being caught and turned. 

Concern now filled Lord Broughaha’s heart. He called to the clans men to reposition themselves, to turn to present a threat towards the right flank. The on rush of rats was so fast, they would be here soon. “Fire!” he shouted to the cannon once more. The gunners obeyed. They had not had time to bring up enough water to quench Roaring Mug, nor to measure out the accurate loads of powder they normally used. They just obeyed guessing the charge and ramming the ball down the hot barrel. The bombardier touched his match to the fire hole and in a ball of flame Roaring Mug exploded.

Friday 3 August 2012

Another free oldhammer building

OK so I've not done anything cleaver here just made the shack longer but it's another house. We'll have a village soon.

Please feel free to download from here: Longer old hammer house.

The house that Erny built.

So after putting the little hut out only the other day I've had a great response already. Clearly I'm not as barmy as I thought and simple hand drawn card terrain has a place in the modern wargames world, if only a little place.

The I though, I hope the thing goes together! So last night in about ten minutes I printed, cut, scored and stuck. Ta-Da! (As my 1.5 year old would say).

Not to shabby for free I guess they need the white scored edges lining with markers but still I'm pleased particularly for the effort. It also looks sort of like the inspiration too.

I need to put more tabs on, sticking would have been difficult with just the ones I drew. The texture of the walls needs, well, doing. I need to spend more time doing the shading. I'll try harder next building, I have plans but any requests, to fit on 1 A4 sheet?

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Oldhammer buildings for all!

After a brief discussion over IP mention was made about the lack of old style cardboard houses in current production. I love Dave Graffam's buildings and have loads but some how they just don't work for the old school feel. 

Perhaps like me you have the old boxed scenarios with the original card buildings but don't want to cut the ancient cardboard. Sure you could scan them, I know they can even be found on line. But the point about the discussion was about having something current free of any IP issues.

So remembering the old card buildings I used to draw with felt tip I figured how hard could it be these days with computers. An hour or so later of much fun and I bring you Erny's first Warhammer house. Its a little shack really nothing super special but a fun start.

If you like it let me know, down load it here, use it. I plan to make more I really enjoyed tonight's drawing and colouring in and I'm sure I can do better. At the moment it is just a .jpg but if you print from just MS paint with the margins off and paper set to a4 it comes out the size drew it.

Tuesday 31 July 2012

The battle of the Manling fields part 1.

After a several months fighting the rat men had not broken through the underways to Lord Brouhaha’s hold, Hullabaloo. Now reports were coming in of an over land force heading into the human farmland essential for the holds existence. The threat was serious, by all accounts the humans had already run and Hullabaloo, used to being supplied from above in times of underway war had not stock piled food. That the vile, cunning ratmen may be playing a rouse was also a possibility.

Lord Brouhaha had resolved to take a small force of doughty warriors, crossbow men and Agnetha and Anni-Frid his two dwarf-packed bolt throwers. The girls were well known for a succession of popular killer hits. He would then meet up with the Dragon Clan, obsessed with fire and black powder these dwarven gun nuts guarded the main route from the low lands to the upper passes of Hullabaloo. Brouhaha could rely on Fred Martini to bring along at least a unit of his red coated clans men, some armed with hand guns and of course his cannon.

To ensure no ambush was being set Bruhaha would send one of his gyrocopters ahead, any thing suspicious and the pilot Raoul Halfner would report back.

Lore master Daniels approached; Bruhaha liked him but not a lot. It was hard to like the smug ginger midget particularly after he had taken to spending most of his time locked away with that odd looking succubus he found so alluring, the lovely D’bee he called her. The very thought sent shivers down Lord Brouhahas spine. “Hoo, hoo”, Daniels intoned in his chirpy little voice. “you can rely on me my lord, and the lovely D’bee, hoo hoo.”  
“No”, replied Brouhaha, ”I command you to come but that devil of yours stays here, I’ll need your mind on the job”
“Oh” moped small Daniels, “now that’s tragic.”

Within hours the expeditionary force was ready to leave, the march would last but two days if no manling like rests were taken. Outside the gates of Hullabaloo a band of oath breakers waited. With their red hair, lack of armour and blue tattoos the oath breaking troll slayers were a welcome if ill disciplined addition to the force.

“We, the Ginger Nuts will company you.” Shouted the apparent leader of the band.
Lord Brouhaha nodded his consent.
“Hoho what a peculiar name”, chirped Small Daniels
“Not really,” Said the head slayer. “We are all ginger and we are all nuts.”
“Very good.” Replied Brouhaha.
“That is not all my Lord. We also all enjoy the round flat twice backed cakes containing ginger that the lowland farmers bake so well.”
“Very good.” Replied Brouhaha.
“And you will also find that each and every one of us has an enormous pair of….”
“I said, very good.” Brouhaha loudly and hastily replied.

Halfner flew his steam powered gyrocopterover the lowlands scanning the horizon for any sign of the ratmen. “One more mile”, he thought to himself just as he spotted on the horizon the thin line that clearly showed the presence of a vermin army they were moving fast. There was no time to go back, it had already been decided that “no news is good news”, but to be sure Lord Brouhaha was clear Halfner dropped one of his lit bombs over the side. The resulting explosion could surely be heard for miles.

The rat men extended in large blocks across the human lands enclosed by the spurs of the mountain. To the left most flank warriors marched accompanied by loathsome rat ogres. An enormous unit containing several banners held the centre of the line with yet more rat ogres. Various ratman machines of destruction milled about what must be the generals unit. 
A wood broke the ratmens line but a further unit of warriors advanced on the far side of it accompanied by a skirmishing unit of ratman scouts and a trailing unit of reluctant slaves. The sneaky rat warlord had advance marched his whole army over night! 

On a hill to the rear the skaven set up their loathsome two man cannon. Halfner would need to fly clear of them.

Lord Brouhaha was at least able to view the ratman dispositions before committing his own forces. A refused flank would serve well he concluded. Martini’s thunderers and the gyrocopter would hold the refused flank.

On his own left Agnetha and Anni-Frid would set up to launch their spite into the advancing Murine swarm. To protect them, and keep them away from his own ordered lines he placed the Ginger Nuts.

The center was held by his own warriors and missile troops along with the ever annoying butu hopefully useful Small Daniels. Martini’s clansmen would also be in the center but able to redeploy to the right flank in case it proved not to hold. The center was also steadied by the presence of Roaring Mug Mzartini’s Cannon. The troops were well deployed. In the coming hours they would show their worth.