Citadel F3 Barbarians (Alan & Michael Perry, 1987)

Ok, so only our friend here with the double-bladed axe “Gerloc” actually appears in the 1987 Citadel Journal under the F3 banner, but the other two models are both variants on “Gudrud”, who is on that same page, so I’m comfortable with placing these in the same vintage.  A further variant appears in the 1988 “Blue” catalogue under the Barbarian range, along with a Valkyrie-styled figure who I kept in a baggie alongside the boys here for many years. She’ll be painted alongside the Shieldmaidens and Valkyries from Foundry.

This first figure clearly draws heavy inspiration from Frank Frazetta and Boris Vallejo’s Conan artwork, as do so many barbarians from so many ranges.

This figure was a real motivator for me to learn new techniques for painting black hair, which (let’s face it) can be a right pain in the arse, since we don’t want it to look blue, or grey, or dark brown. Hopefully I’ve managed to pull it off (thanks, Duncan!) and if I haven’t – blame Duncan!

Gerloc here is pretty much also Conan. The spike from his helm was lost long ago, but at least I managed to keep the rest of him intact enough over the years.

I painted these three together, and tried for a slightly more tanned look to their skin than my usual Caucasian skin without appearing too ruddy or too orange. Not that you can really tell here with no models to compare the trio to.

Also on these three, I avoided painting on any tattoos, as I’d be temped to with any models that have a lot of muscular skin showing. Given that they’re old-school models that are a representation of a particular style of artwork (Frazetta, Vallejo) I left their bare skin bare of ink.

This third figure is actually not Conan! He looks and feels to me like a barbarian warlord. The stance, topknot of hair, helm under his arm and especially his cape really work together to suggest a veteran of many battles who now leads a party of warriors to battle.

Of course, his stature being that of a figure circa the late 1980’s means that he looks like a peon when stood next to a newer Barbarian from pretty much any company – let alone something like a Khorne Bloodbound (his spiritual successors), so he may well be relegated to veteran warrior or even a regular warrior/cannon fodder when/if he’s used in any games.

I was painting a similar Chronpia model alongside these guys, but he got bumped at the 11th hour so I could concentrate on this trio of truly old-school models. He’ll be done soon, and the four shall again be united!

Finally – a note and shout-out to those people whose Blogger/Blogspot blogs that I follow – especially Curis and The Responsible One. For whatever reason, either my computer, or my browser, or something is screwy and so when trying to leave a comment in Blogspot blogs using my WordPress account often (almost always) throws me into some weird loop of selecting my username and “publishing” my comment, but then it goes back to selecting my username, and then round and round we go. So I might not be commenting much – but I’m still out here watching and reading! And if you’re unfamiliar with their blogs, you should definitely check them out!

Hell Dorado Ashoka – Sizing!

Hell Dorado Ashoka

I’ve been asked a few times in different places just how big the Ashoka model actually is. Because apparently my memory is getting worse, I keep forgetting about that, and then forgetting to photograph it alongside some other models. So I finally remembered – here he/she (I’m not looking to check!) is alongside a standard Space Marine on 32mm base, and a Khorne Bloodbound model, also on a 32mm base. Ashoka is on a 50mm “rolled edge” WMH-style base, and also raised up a little on a platform of stone (cork).

3-D Printer? One on the horizon? Check this out!

Sort-of a reblog here, but something worth sharing with the community. It’s actually an older post from Geek and Sundry dating from May 2016 that I’ve just seen a week or so ago.

Anyway, the long and short of it is that there are a ton of free designs up for grabs. Or to repeat G&S’s headline:

ARTIST RELEASES 300 PRINTABLE D&D MINIATURE PATTERNS. FOR FREE.

Zombie Beholder. Image Credit – Miguel Zavala

So anyway, I’m not trying to steal G&S’ clicks. So if you’re interested, go have a look at their article and then on to Shapeways to download the patterns for that day when you finally get a 3D printer, in case they’ve been taken down by then.

Review: Urbanmatz’ 6’x4′ Dirty Roads Game Mat.

Warning, Pic HEAVY! – Also, most pics can be clicked for larger versions.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat

Here’s the last of the first batch of my gaming mat reviews of Urbanmatz‘ products from the Czech Republic. The Dirty Roads 6’x4′.

I’ve got a bunch of Deep Cut Studios and Gamemat.eu products that I’ve also purchased that I will be photographing and writing reviews for shortly as well. But today we’re looking at the Dirty Roads.

Oldhammer Zoat

Often when I buy something from a company, there’s a “key” item that acts as an anchor for other stuff you then add-on. In the case of my Urbanmatz order, it was this mat. After seeing several photographs of it online, I was sold. The overall colours and theme matches my bases once again, as the Urbanmatz Badlands mat did.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat

As with the other mats I’ve gotten from Urbanmatz, the design is printed onto neoprene (mouse pad material) and is once again quite nice. This time, the game I’m using to showcase the mat is an Age of Sigmar clash between Dwarves and Ogres, set in an unnamed Old World city (because I can use the ruleset without the background!) We were trying out the rules, so it’s an actual game rather than a mockup.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat, Age of Sigmar

We made a bunch of mistakes, mostly due to not quite understanding all of the nuances and not reading warscrolls properly. I’ll put a lot of that down to the rules. Well, not the actual rules, but man-idiot Kirby’s insistence to the designers that everything fit on four pages in total. I’m all for streamlined rulesets, but 4 pages is a bit much (or not enough!) I’m looking forward to trying out 40k 8th with 12 pages of core rules.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat, Age of Sigmar

One thing that can’t be argued is that we had a good looking game of toy soldiers. While I consider the quality of my models and terrain to be pretty solid, quite honestly the mat really does add to it. And no, I’m not paid to say this and didn’t get a discount – if I were offered one I’d certainly  accept it – as I accepted the stained Snow Territory 6’x4′ mat, but I’d also state it upfront in my reviews, as I did there.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat, Age of Sigmar

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat, Age of Sigmar

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat, Age of Sigmar

I didn’t set up a full 40k mock battle, nor any historical skirmish games because it literally takes hours to get out all of the stuff, set it up, photograph it and take it away for photos, but the actual AoS game being played on it shows it’s versatilty pretty well, along with those scale shots. I think this mat works very well for a variety of genres and a variety of scales. I could easily use this mat for 40k and it’s derivatives, Fantasy Battles/9th Age/Kings of War with fewer buildings, Age of Sigmar and other more densely built up fantasy skirmish like Mordheim and Frostgrave (if you play outside of the snow!) or Malifaux (in a sectioned-off area, or the smaller versions). It also works across period and scale quite nicely, as demonstrated by the below set of photos, so 20mm games such as Flames of War/Team Yankee/Crossfire will work as well as Bolt Action or SAGA with Romans or SAGA with Crusaders.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Based on its similarity with the “Badlands” design and colouration for the non-road sections, I’ve also found that it works both with “forest” and “jungle” foliage when I was playing around with my scenery, so once again that’s a positive.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Once again, the mat came in it’s own, labelled bag at no additional cost, which is good. Until this one, I really liked these bags. Unfortunately, the zipper turned out to be faulty on me as I was putting the mat away after reviewing it. I’ve got it back in awkwardly by not drawing the zip to the end, which is awkward. Since this was only the third or forth time I’d had the thing out of its bag, I found this really disappointing. I’ll let them know about it, and update with their response.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Verdict: I’ve said this before, but this mat is very much what I wanted it to be. As I’ve mentioned, it was the “key” design that motivated me to buy this batch of mats from Urbanmatz, and I’m very happy with the final product, as I was with their service. I’m considering buying another batch of mats in the near future (another 4 or so). I figure that while I’ll have spent a fair bit on game mats in 2017, I’ll then be set for the rest of my life, assuming that the neoprene lasts!

Hell Dorado’s Ashoka: A Painting December Reprise

Ashoka, Hell Dorado, Crocodileman

Those readers who have been following this blog for awhile might recall the Painting December project, where in December 2015 I attempted to put aside the normal-scale models I usually work on in favour of getting some larger, more centrepiece models done. I managed to complete the Mierce’s Talos, before moving onto both the Marauder Giant and Be’Lakor. – Neither of whom I managed to finish, and both of whom still lay on my desk, sadly buried under other projects…

Ashoka, Hell Dorado, Crocodileman

Ashoka, from the now-discontinued Hell Dorado game’s “The Lost” range was a figure I picked up several years ago. I got a pile of figures in their Kickstarter, and another pile via retail, though I never got around to reading the rules or playing it. Still, as you can see – it’s a bloody nice figure, and one I decided was going to be a “bonus, secret stretch goal” for the Painting December project. Like the other two, he sat forgotten and unfinished for a couple of years (despite a couple of false starts that kept ending when his arms broke off) until recently, when I just had one of those “just finish that fucking thing” moments, and so that weekend, I did. As it happens, it worked out nicely, since his dual-wielded axes helped him get proxied into our first games of Gorechosen as one of the champions. Despite not being an obvious champion of Khorne, I think his aesthetic fits into a game of gladiatorial combat just fine. So he came back inside to get his base-skull added. I based Ashoka on a rolled-lip 50mm base because a 40mm GW base was too small, and 60mm was too large. 50mm just seems to be the right balanced size for some figures, and mounting him on some cork allowed enough clearance for his tail to not be scraping the base edge. It also makes an already-imposing model even moreso, so there’s that as well.

Ashoka, Hell Dorado, Crocodileman

I dunno if I’ll ever actually play Hell Dorado. I’ve certainly got enough models, and I’m not too fussed about the lore, but it’s yet another ruleset to learn, and it’s one of those games that comes with printed cards for the miniatures. Anyone reading this have any idea where I left Ashoka’s card? Yeah. That’s my problem with card-based unit stat systems. Give me a codex-style book-based system any day of the week.

Ashoka, Hell Dorado, Crocodileman

So aside from Gorechosen, what does the future hold for Ashoka? Well, I figure he’ll find a home alongside either or both of my eventual Chaos Beastmen and Lizardmen forces, as he fits both aesthetics nicely enough. Especially now that GW are starting to recognise beastman sub-races other than Gors again.

Captain Redbeard’s Pirate Dwarves: RPE Kickstarter (#3)

I don’t often pimp Kickstarters on this blog, but I’m happy to make an exception for this one. It’s RPE’s (Ral Partha Europe) s̶e̶c̶o̶n̶d̶ third Kickstarter, and like the first one, they’re keeping the scope quite small. A 14-day campaign with a £1,000 goal, with £775 pledged so far at the time of my writing, so success is pretty much a given at this stage. 

It’s a crew of pirate dwarves which fits perfectly well into a little project I’ve got lined up for the future. 9 models so far, with freebie stretch goals at £2,000 and £3,000, and (possibly) more if it gets higher. Delivery is set for August this year, so a plan for (roughly) a 4-month turnaround from completion to delivery.

RPE Dwarf Veterans, from the previous KS Campaign

I personally had a good experience with their previous campaign, the Dwarf Veteran Warband, with it delivering on time(!) and producing quality models – the sculpts being a nice throwback to the characterful “Oldhammer” Citadel style of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and that of the satellite companies where ex-GW sculptors like Kev Adams and Tim Prow ended up.

Having said that, delivery was a little rougher for some others who backed as they had it set up for a la carte additions and such which they have said complicated matters on their end. To stop that from happening again, they’re making each pledge reward a set group of models – 1 of each without add-ons and duplicates and so forth.

So if piratical dwarves seems like the sort of thing that floats your boat, go and have a look at the Kickstarter campaign.

Tomorrow: Back to painted miniatures!

Review: Urbanmatz’ 6’x4′ Badlands Game Mat.

Warning, Pic HEAVY! – Also, most pics can be clicked for larger versions.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Here’s the next of my gaming mat reviews. Once again, this one is from Urbanmatz, based in the Czech Republic. The Badlands Game Mat. I chose this one as I’d been wanting something to (approximately) match the style that the majority of my models are based with. That is: dark earth, patchy grass and the occasional bit of rock.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Citadel Miniatures Zoat.

Like MY base!

As with the other mats I’ve gotten from Urbanmatz, the design is printed onto neoprene (mouse pad material) and is quite nice. The following pictures of a Kings of War game basically show the mat off for similar Rank & File-based games, so your WHFB, 9th Age, WotR, or historicals such as Hail Caesar, Pike & Shotte, etc. I recently reviewed their 6’x3′ Space Mat along with the Fantasy Flight 3’x’3′ X-Wing Starfield Mat and also their Snow Territory 6’x4′ mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

While the mat may look a little glare-y in some photos, and perhaps a bit washed out – it’s my lighting and photography to blame there. In person, it looks really nice.

Having said that, this is probably the time to emphasise again that despite them sending me a (stained) snow mat gratis, this isn’t any kind of paid for review, I paid full price (plus shipping to Australia!) for this mat and just as when I’ve reviewed and links to places like Red Box, Maxmini, Kromlech, Scotia Grendel, Brigade, RPE, Reaper, Games Workshop or anyone else, I don’t get any kickbacks from the links inside this review to pimp their wares, nor to I carry on and on about how wonderful (X company)’s products are every post. Unlike some others out there. 😉

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

I also took a few 40k-themed photos as well. We set up a small imperial supply outpost out in the boonies somewhere, where the Imperial Guard present are assaulted by (who else?) the Iron Warriors.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

I didn’t set up any fantasy or historical skirmish games for photos, but I think you can pretty well judge for yourself at this stage. It’s going to work well for a lot of genres and games from dinosaurs, through ancients, all flavbours of historicals and moderns through to sci-fi. It’s a nice, generic rural “out int he bush somewhere” pattern that works well with the three elements that I use in most of my models’ basing. I also found that it works both with “forest” and “jungle” foliage when I was playing around with my scenery, so that’s a bonus in my book.

Once again, the mat came in it’s own, labelled bag at no additional cost. I really like these bags, and it would be great if Urbanmatz would consider selling them separately as well. I need to get one for my FFG X-Wing mat so I don’t need to store it in the box anymore, one for my GW “green grass” mat, one for my ancient Armourcast (I think) mat, and then a few (or one) to bundle my smallish Mantic ones into. I know of another vendor who does sell them, so I might have to sort it out that way later on.

Verdict: This mat is pretty much what I wanted it to be. I can’t say that I’m surprised, but if it wasn’t a good one, I’d be pretty disappointed and would not be shy about sharing that. It’s a good mat, the quality is there, and the design is one that I’m happy with. If you like the design, I can’t complain about the quality of the mat or the service I got from Urbanmatz, so I really don’t have any hesitation in recommending them.

I’ve got one more of these things to review now – Dirty Roads. We’ve actually got an AoS game set up out in the shed ready to go, so I’ll try and get some in-progress shots to include in the next review.