More Hyperian Wars Escalation – The Dauntless Redux!

We live in an increasingly turbulent world. Our cousin races – the Ee’la, the Stoc’d – withdraw into themselves, thinking only of their own interests. The Beasts – Orca, Grub, Virum Nascii, Lacerats – their numbers grow by the day, encroaching onto those territories claimed by Man. The Dead pour from the dark places.. and even while all this takes place, still we turn on each other.

Our Sky Marines perform above and beyond the call of duty but in the face of peer and near-peer competitors it is vital that we shore up our technological to maintain overmatch in the face of these perils. And so we are proud to unveil a new generation of Skycutters to ensure that our forces go into battle equipped the very best in firepower and protection from perils both physical and enchanted. To this end, we present our latest and best battlefield weapon – the Allied Sky Vessel “Dauntless”

Her power fields and wards will provide unmatched protection against conventional and magickal attacks, whilst a Vrilfire cannon can cut a swathe through enemy warriors. Vril-tipped missiles equipped with Artificial Cognisance can bring down threats up to and including the largest dragons employed by the Beast races, whilst reinforced liftwood levitation engines ensure maximal mobility. Noospheric networking allows the Dauntless class to network with lesser constructs such as the Whippet, as well as with platoon command sections and Masters Of Artificials on the ground
The Dauntless combines speed, protection and lethality into one construct, ensuring our society has nothing to fear from the Dead, the Beasts, or any other threat that the world of Hyperia may choose to throw against us
She can be seen here flying the colours of the 301st Skyborne, a tried and tested formation who have defended the Grand Alliance against many foes
Live fire combat testing proved the efficacy of the design, the Skyborne being highly appreciated of her concentrated firepower

Yep, I got into the recycling again…

Actually, I’ve been meaning to do this for AGES. Ever since I saw this:

This is the lid of a bottle of laundry detergent. And looked at the right way… it has an air of steampunk, Adeptus Mechanicus-style menace, doesn’t it? And given that the previous incarnation of the Dauntless was basically a toilet roll tube with pretensions, I’d long wondered if I couldn’t do something a bit better.
Filled the body with caulk and popped a ping pong ball in there to be the liftwood core
Some EPVC (I think) from an eBay purchase provided the wings – you’ll have seen the same stuff used here as base.
Bevelled the wings and glued them on using a mix of quick dry PVA, caulk and superglue.
Jet thrusters from a pair of now-dead biros
Chin cannon (thinking steampunk/ fantasy A-10 here, so something analogous to the iconic “Avenger” cannon) – this was made from a mysterious leftover part from an IKEA bookcase!
Missiles added for those hard to reach targets! These are rawl plugs, attached to the wings with the same mix of PVA and superglue
Something this big needs a base equal to the challenge! Pretty sure 2005 virus protection isn’t much use in 2022, so this CD will do, with a Tactical Rock added to cover the hole
Cardboard added for armour plating and rivets daubed on as blobs of PVA with a cocktail stick, and then we bring the primer! White, to match the Whippet
Cat litter added to the base for scenic effect
Primed and ready for painting…
And done! Painting was the same as the Whippet, and the basing mostly used the same idea – I did a little bot of leopard spotting on the rocks before drybrushing them with cream and using the tried and trusty mix of PVA and superglue to attach the ping pong ball liftwood core.. Thumb added for scale!

So there we go – I’m really, really chuffed with this build, it came together really well and I think it looks the part too… full of menace, hovering across the battlefield dispensing Vrilfire death to the enemies of the Grand Alliance… let’s see what those filthy Greenskin savages, rat abominations or misguided religious zealots can come up with to match her!

Stay thrifty out there and see you soon – we’ve just noticed that it is (drumroll please) Orctober!!! So no prizes for guessing the next few posts themes…

The Fawcett-Fairchild FV1066 “Whippet” Quadrupedal Ambulatory Weapons Platform

As tensions across the world of Hyperia escalate, the Grand Alliance coalition of willing floating cities and aero-states are finding it necessary to deploy Sky Marine task forces with increasing regularity. As by necessity these task forces are small in terms of numbers, despite their high quality training and equipment they are vulnerable to near-peer competitors able to deploy overwhelming numbers. To this end, the Alliance military-industrial complex have been tasked with developing easily deployable “force multipliers”. The Fawcett-Fairchild “Whippet” class Quadrupedal Ambulatory Weapons Platform is such a device, crewed by a single Sky Marine, Vril-enabled Artificial Cognisance enabling it to track multiple targets, prioritise them and engage with twin belt-fed 1-inch canons – all the while networking with “senior” constructs such as the Dauntless-class Skycutter.”

You know that feeling when you see a piece of junk that you’re about to throw out and all of a sudden a voice in your head says “Keep me… I am destined to be more than this..”…

Yes, it’s a junk build. Missed these, haven’t you? 😉

So it was with a simple plastic cap off a bottle of guitar string cleaner – there was just something about the proportions that I thought looked right in 1/72… coupled with the fact that Dan had mentioned a new RTS called Iron Harvest that he reckoned I might get a kick out of…

OK, failed to take any pics of the build process, it seems. So – I began with the clear plastic spray top that forms the body of the mech. Next, I bored some holes in it and used cocktail sticks, snapped in half at the “knee” joints and sealed with superglue to form the legs. A mix of superglue and quick dry PVA did wonders to fix the legs in place to the body.

Next up, the cannons – two more cocktail sticks with sort of grippy bits on them (look at the pic, I don’t know how best to describe them!) – these got the superglue/ PVA treatment straight to the body. This works really well – PVA gives a flexible, sturdy bond but it takes time to dry, whereas superglue is quick drying but brittle. Mixing them seems to do wonders, and there doesn’t seem to be any side effects like Mel The Terrain Tutor describes from mixing superglue and hot glue.

The ammo belts you see feeding the cannons are cut from IDE cable (credit to Zrunelord from TMP there), chopped about 5mm by 10mm and given the magic glue mix, and the shiny thing on top is a defunct watch battery – gives the thing a nice bit of weight.

On the top you can see a chopped down superglue cap, and a couple of thin pieces of card glued to the front for armour plating, and just out of shot are a couple of drinking straws trimmed to represent exhausts:

Old brush bristle got repurposed as an aerial, and the rivets are our classic method of PVA blobs dabbed on with a cocktail stick
Finally I drew round a paint pot on a piece of corrugated card for the base. And with that, time for priming!
White, as was the style of the time..
Prewash with thinned black paint & Vallejo Smokey Ink mix

And once again, I forgot to take pics of the painting process, so here we are with some finished beauty shots:

Basecoat of Vallejo Russian Green, washed with Arm Pinter Green Tone and then thinned Vallejo Brown Ink with a pin wash of Vallejo Smokey Ink.. then drybrushed back with Russian Green, and mixed with craft tan to lighten it. Weathering was Vallejo Skin Wash streaked on to simulate rainwater and then sponge chipping with craft black and Vallejo Mithril silver for where bare metal pokes through (not too much, Sky Marines undertake regular maintenance of their armoury). The brass ammo belts were Mithril Silver washed with Skin Wash, and the base painted with chocolate brown before covered with dry soil, sand and Jarvis flock before varnish
Seen here about to kick some greenskin ass.. “They are to our right, left and centre.. they can’t get away now!”

Stay thrifty out there, and if you’re so inclined you can now follow us on Instagram! Just search “@skinflintgames” – see you in the next one

Another Hole In The Head Pt. 6 – The Last Regiment!

Yes, I’m still avoiding the Marines… but bear with me, I’m almost at the finish line with this project – and when the end is in sight, it seems perverse to switch focus to something else.

So having finished up the “Orcs Of Colour”, that left me with just a single regiment of 30 Orca Warriors left to do.. then there are the shamans, of course, plus I reckon I could probably knock together a couple of stone throwers.. and I have an idea for a “superheavy”…

Anyway, point is, I can see an end to this project, so I took a deep breath and dove straight into the final regiment. Based on 20mm squares of wine box cardboard, white primer, prewash with thinned down black ink – it’s a poor man’s zenithal primer, plus it helps my Mr Magoo eyes pick out what detail is what.. in addition to covering up any gaps that might otherwise be left a glaring white.

Other than that it’s the usual scheme – Army Painter Goblin Green skin washed with Army Painter Green Tone, red bits are Vallejo Hot Orange washed with Red Ink with a unifying drybrush of yellow… The metallics are Vallejo Mithril Silver washed with Smokey Ink for a rusty effect as Orcs of any universe are not known for their weapons maintenance.

So, pics:

As you can see, I gave them a flag – Google Image search for “Orc & Goblin Banners”, printed it out and painted it up… Damn sight easier than trying to do freehand and this may yet be the way forward with the Blood Angels
These pics don’t seem to have come out too well.. guess my phone is unused to the amount of sunlight we’ve been having..
Flags & banners make a huge difference to the spectacle – of course, now I have to go back and give the other regiments a flag each..
The ladz on parade
Warchief Ghazrag The Bloody leads his mighty horde

Regular readers will have noticed the progress of Warchief Ghazrag The Bloody across the world of Hyperia in pursuit of capturing some holy stones…

(had to do it)

So far they’ve battered both Ratticus McStilton III’s Virum Nascii and the Sky Marines of the Grand Alliance, so next up will be a face off against the Ancien Regime now the gaming shed is back in business… Can we make it three in a row? Let’s see!

Stay thrifty out there, we’ll be back soon

A Clash Of Evil – Hyperian Wars Battle Report

It’s customary in many a fantasy trope to regard humanity as besieged on all sides by innumerable hordes of vile creatures, united as one in their desire for destruction – but on the world of Hyperia, this ain’t necessarily so! As it turns out, be they human, elf, dwarf, or Baddie (TM) – pretty much everyone hates everyone else in roughly equal measure.

And so to today’s battle report, which pits Dan’s Orcathe followers of Warchief Ghazhrag The Bloody – against the Virum Nascii ratman horde of Ratticus McStilton III!

As some of you may be aware, we did a fair few HW games in 2019 and the ratmen kicked some ass and took some names… but then The Great Plague struck and gaming (and thus rule development) all went down the pan. Now, mercifully, we’ve just got potential WW3 to worry about, and until someone invents a facemask that can stop a Satan II ICBM warhead… well, we might as well stop worrying, crack open a bottle and play soldiers.

Dan brought everything he’d got finished, including a commander I hadn’t seen before (!), and because our Virum Nascii horde vastly outnumbers… everything, really, I decided to stick to the basics – warriors, slaves, archers, Plague Priests, Stormtroopers and Warlord. All the special weapons stuff would stay home for now. This was a rough estimate in points values, but also so I could beat him without fear of emotional blackmail – the Orca are tough – thick, but tough – and hit hard in big blocks but have little missile weaponry and no magic (yet).

Rules, for those interested:

Orcs:

Orc Warrior:

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1264292RegularDefault: Advance (Assault)
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Hand Weapons1Melee8+D61

Orc Archer

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1253292RegularDefault: Advance (Assault)
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Bow160cm7+D61

Savage Orc

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1264282EliteDefault: Advance (Assault)
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Hand Weapons1Melee8+D61

Orc General

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
12563124EliteDefault: Advance (Assault)
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Hand Weapons1Melee8+D62

Orc Shaman

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
12553103EliteDefault: Advance (Assault)
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Hand Weapons1Melee8+D62

Filth (4+): Target friendly unit within 12” gets Poison in melee next time it fights.

Cracks (4+): Target enemy unit within 12” takes 2 automatic hits with AP(2).

Sickness (5+): Target enemy unit within 18” gets -1 to hit next time it shoots.

Lightning (5+): Target enemy unit within 12” takes 1 hit with AP(4) and Deadly(3).

Frenzy (6+): Target friendly unit within 12” may immediately move by up to 6”.

Pestilence (6+): Target enemy unit within 6” takes 1 automatic hit per model.

Virum Nascii

Warrior

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1863361PoorDefault – Hold

Slaves

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1872361UntrainedDefault – Panic
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Bow150cm6+D61
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Hand Weapons1Melee6+D61

Poison Grenadiers

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1863361RegularDefault: Advance (ranged)
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Poison Grenade112+D68+D63 (Blast 3cm)

Stormtroopers

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1864361RegularDefault: Advance (Assault)
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Hand Weapons1Melee8+D61

Assassins

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
2063461RegularDefault: Advance (Assault)
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Hand Weapons1Melee8+D61

Warlord

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1854492VeteranHero
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Hand Weapons3Melee7+D61

Plague Priests

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1863371RegularDefault: Advance (Assault)
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Hand Weapons1Melee7+D62

Weapons Teams

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1853471RegularIndependent, Default: Hold (Ranged)
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Vrilrifle148cm20+2D62
Ratling Gun636cm7+D61
Vrilfire Thrower1Template12+D62
Vrilgrinder DrillN/AN/AN/ASets up Ambush*

*Ambush – This unit begins in reserve. When it is placed, it may pop up anywhere more than 18cm from an enemy unit. Any friendly Virum Nascii units not already deployed may follow through the tunnel and pop and deploy with a unit facing touching the tunnel mouth in the case of a regiment or in the case of an individual character.

Master Of Engineers:

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1843492VeteranHero
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Vrilfire Pistol324cm12+D62

Dan brought the Orca general, two regiments of 30 Warriors each, a regiment of 25 Savage Orcs and 16 Archers – I brought the Virum Nascii Warlord, a regiment of 32 Slave archers, 2 regiments of 16 warriors each, 28 Slaves, 6 Stormtroopers and 16 Plague Priests.

We decided on a specific objective – controlling the sacred stones within a ruined temple. To win, a player would have to have an unshaken (unsuppressed) unit within half a move distance, so 9cm for the VN, 6cm for the slower Orcs. To war!

The objective – some holy stones within a ruined. “Why’s dey ‘oly boss?” “Cause dey’s full of ‘oles, don’t ask stoopid questions”

Virum Nascii win the deployment roll off, choosing their table edge and forcing the Orca to deploy first.
Hordes of chittering Virum Nascii swarm forth! Using a new deployment rule to simulate the increased flexibility of faster armies, basically everyone can deploy a double move forward onto the board – meant 24cm for the Orca, 36cm for the Ratmen.
Both side close for battle – Virum Nascii archers attempt to provide covering fire… this is comically ineffective

Orca attempt a flanking manouevre

Cunning Virum Nascii warlord uses his slaves as bait to try and lure the Orca into doing something rash…
Orca flanking manoeuvre hurtles ponderously toward Ratmen lines…
Plague Priests ambush a unit of Orca warriors, catching them in the flank

Ratmen warriors ambush a unit of Orca warriors in the rear, causing them to rout!

Orca archers provide counterbattery fire, covering the advance of the Savage/ Feral (choose your poison) Orca – this is somewhat more effective than their Virum Nascii counterparts….
…causing both the slave warriors and slave archers to rout! Warlord Ratticus does his best to rally the troops…
With the Orca flank threat successfully dealt with, the Ratmen encircle the temple ruins…

First Ratmen Warrior unit sent in is duly demolished by superior Savage Orca numbers and strength…

But then (while the slaves are rallying) a second regiment of Virum Nascii Warriors attacks the Savage Orca from behind, routing them!
…Plague Priests catch the fleeing Orca and annihilate them!
Ratmen attempt to press home the attack in the temple, but the Orca are too strong and too many!
Arrow fire routs the Slave archers… again…
Lord Ratticus send in his finest, the Plague Priests – will they get the job done?
At the height of the battle, Warlord Ratticus charges Ghazrag The Bloody!
…and he is no match for his greenskin adversary!
Seeing their warlord fall, the slave archers leg it as the Plague priests start to struggle, with the Stormtroopers looking for an opening..

The slaves rally…

..but the Plague Priests die to a rat to a crushing assault from Orca archers and Warriors!

With just the 6 Stormtroopers and 20 odd largely ineffectual Slave archers against 16 much more effective Orca archers and a block of 20 Warriors, as well as Ghazrag himself, the surviving Virum Nascii realised they had no chance to take the objective and conceded the game. Victory to the Orca!

Although this was by no means a strictly competitive game – we were tweaking the rules on the fly and working out mechanics as we went – it was still really fun and pretty cinematic watching two VERY different flavours of Baddie go against each other! There are still more Orca to come and lots of special units for the Ratmen too so expect another faceoff in the near future… and of course what happens when these meet the Sky Marines of the Grand Alliance or the massed ranks of the Ancien Regime?

Stay tuned for more fantasy wackiness as we get into summer, and who knows, we may even get these rules out and published before the heat death of the universe…..

Stay safe and thrifty out there, slava ukrainia!

The Big One Pt.3 – Conclusion!

(NB – If you’re new here, go check out Parts 1 & Part 2, because otherwise NONE of this is going to make any sense…)

As we left matters at the end of turn 2, the central valley was awash with (now largely dead) Ratmen, but the objective – the crashed spaceship – was now in the hands of a regiment of humble Virum Nascii slaves and heading towards the Baddies’ table edge, and to make things worse the sorcerous cabal of the People’s Front Of Hazzard 237th Freedom Brigade had managed to conjure up a wall of psychic fire across the main approach route!

On the Goodies’ side, the PSLA (or Imperial Guard, depending on your viewpoint) finally showed up, adding a decent chunk of firepower, but as things stood, firepower was not the issue, we had plenty of that – getting it where it was needed was the problem!

Over on the Baddies’ table edge, Dan cackled malevolently as the Holy Soviet Army’s BIG GUNS appeared, in the form of Stompy Uncle Joe and the IS-6 Rampager (which would prove itself almost offensively useless, but there we go) and another regiment of Orcs arrived, but two more still languished on the sidelines – clearly too thick to find the batlefield.. and off we went for the next turn!

Turn 3 –

Baddies’ reinforcements – Stompy Uncle Joe turns up in the power station, the Rampager in the centre with another block of Orcs, and pay attention to the regiment of Virum Nascii Warriors top left- they’ll be important later on….
Goodies’ reinforcements hit the beach! The Guard arrive, along with the (literal) cavalry from the Ancien Regime, as well as the rest of the League Of European Nations troops
The Baddies secure the initiative and opt to move first – Virum Nascii Vrilseers conjure up a hole in reality for the Slaves carrying the spaceship to jump into, but it goes awry, scattering toward the power plant
Atlantic Alliance Silverbugs race forwards, gunning down Virum Nascii slaves and suppressing them
Just as her crew was readying to immolate the advancing Sky Marines, Inferna is riddled with Stinger TOW ADATS and Roswellium-tipped cannon rounds, exploding spectacularly!
Ancien Regime grenadiers finish off the remaining Ratmen in the valley, being reduced to just three men in the process!
Although the Virum Nascii slave regiment is now suppressed and unable to move, No. 2 Rifle squad picks up the spaceship and begins to move back towards the Baddies’ table edge!
A strong roll of Baddie activations sees the IS-6 Rampager managing to knock down a chain link fence, but despite twin 140mm cannons, two heavy and four light machineguns…. that’s all it accomplishes…. meanwhile the Orc Archer regiment picks up the crashed spaceship and hands it over to No. 3 Rifle squad who move further back toward the Baddie table edge – a very skilful hand of “Pass The Spaceship” by Dan!
Newly arrived regiment of Orc Warriors politely thank No. 3 squad and make off yet further with the crashed spaceship!
Although almost all of the Virum Nascii are dead by this point, a survivng Vrilfire rifle team manages to take down two Jagers! Such is the curse of the newly painted model…
Desperate to clear a path through to the rapidly disappearing objective, the M42 Stealth Tank decloaks and twin autocannons lay waste to Da Skooderia, leaving only the Warboss…
… who then rolls Frenzy, clearly thinking “Sod it – WAAAAAGH!!!” and charges straight up to engage Buffalo 2-7s HQ, killing Lt. Grant before Platoon Sgt. Mcauliffe finishes him off!
The surviving T-48 swings into position to block off the valley – between the wrecked vehicles and the wall of psychic fire, there is now no way through for the Goodie troops, it’s all down to the Rocketeers and Silverbugs..
… and then from out of the power plant comes Stompy Uncle Joe, the massive Soviet war mech immolating a Silverbug with his lightning launcher (taking out a Virum Nascii vrilrifle team as collateral damage, but hey)
The Goodies are throwing everything they’ve got in an attempt to force a passage – on the left the Sky Marines are advancing briskly through the hills to take on the remains of Da Skooderia, while Crimson Fists supported by a Centurion hammer at the centre, but the Baddies are getting away…
Remember the Ratmen warrior regiment from earlier? Well so did the PFH 237th’s cabal of sorcerers, successfully managing to teleport it in base to base contact with the Orcs currently carrying the spaceship..
With the dice gods smiling on him, Dan then successfully activates them (being teleported doesn’t mean they’ve had a turn yet) and they shoulder the spacecraft – then leg it straight off the board! It’s a firm victory for the Baddies!

So there you have it, a very smart Hail Mary play with a little luck on his side and my opponent snares victory! In fairness, had Dan not had the luck he would have won the next turn anyway, there was no way I was going to be able to get enough firepower into position to stop his troops running off with the objective. He damn near won at the start of turn 3 anyway, as the Virum Nascii Vrilseers created a reality tunnel for the Slaves to jump in to – had I not got lucky with it scattering, and not managed to suppress them, he would have had it in the bag right then.

Thoughts? Well, I think I did my usual trick of playing it like a straight up battle where the objective was to destroy the opponent – Dan on the other hand actually played the scenario… which was even more galling because I wrote the scenario!!! Reviewing the battle, he played very cleverly, and with all the ruthlessness that befits a Baddie general – the sacrifice of the Virum Nascii “rat bombing” me on Turn 2 and using the tough-as-nails Skooderia units to stymie me in the centre, then blocking the valley choke point with a psychic fire barrier… well played, sir, well played!

Right, after that MAMMOTH battle report I shall be handing the keys over to my colleague and going and lying on the sofa with a wet flannel over my head and quite possibly a large gin on standby…

Stay safe, healthy and thrifty out there wherever you may be in hobbyland, we’ll see you very soon!

The Big One Pt.2 – To Battle!

And thus was battle joined… We’ve decided to split this report across a couple of posts due to the sheer size of the game and therefore the length of time posts take to write… with this one, there’s every chance you wouldn’t be hearing from us again this side of Christmas! Anyway – enjoy the first two turns:

Turn 1 –

Goodies – most of the Atlantic Alliance, all the Sky Marines and the Crimson Fists arrive.

Baddies – most of the Holy Soviet Army (but no IS-6 or Stompy Uncle Joe), Da Skooderia, most of the PFH 237th arrive.

Goodies bag initiative and get the first few shots off – a Silverbug glides forward and looses off a pair of Stinger/TOW ADATS missiles at the lead T-48s
This blows the cannon off one tank and severs the fuel line of the second, which is quickly finished off by a salvo from the Avenger cannon. First blood to the Goodies!
Holy Soviet Army troops wait for the signal to move alongside the Orcs of Da Skooderia
Elements of the People’s Front Of Hazzard 237th Freedom Brigade shelter in place in the Skalk Point plasma generator station. Creighton light assault vehicle on the extreme left.
Crimson Fists deploy from their APC to secure the objective while Da Skooderia leadership deploy forward into cover
Crimson Fists lose two commandos to fire from the Holy Soviet Army No. 1 Rifle Squad…
Reaction fire downs four Soviet riflemen, but the Russians hold fast under the gaze of their Commissar
Mobile units on both sides sprint for the objective
Lethal fire slaughters Soviet riflemen caught in the open, immobilising and cutting the fuel line on the assault gun
On the Goodie’s left flank, Grand Alliance Sky Marines advance through the heights above the beach
Expert sniping from the Milibandalorian boys deployed on the roof of the command centre annihilates Bravo squad in a storm of plasma!
A superb long range Stinger/ TOW shot from combat support bot (top left) arcs and twists through the trees ,immobilising the 237th PFH’s Creighton tank!
Having been lurking out of sight in the power station, another T-48 roars out of cover and demolishes an M113 with it’s main gun, although fire from it’s machine guns patters harmlessly off the Crimson Fist’s power armour
“Comrade, was that tree always there?” – M42 Stealth Tank performs its’ party trick
The situation at the end of Turn 1 – Goodies command the objective with a single Crimson Fist squad, but have lost two of the elite troopers, plus an M113, damage to a Silverbug, as well as all of Bravo squad and the RTO. Meanwhile the baddies have lost almost all of No. 1 rifle squad, a T-48 and 3 more damaged.

Turn 2 –

Goodies – most of the rest of the Atlantic Alliance bar the two Humvees, League of European Nations – HQ, Jagers, infantry, Ancien Regime rifle regiment & Steam Tank

Baddies – More Soviet infantry, Orc Archers, and as you’ll see, the bulk of the Virum Nascii…

Allied reinforcements hit the beach, but look at the top of the photo….
ALL THE RATS!!!!!!!!! Turns out, Dan had had the plan for this ever since we wrote the rules for the Virum Nascii special weapons teams – the Vrilgrinder teams had been steadily tunnelling through reality itself and as a result they were able to deploy right on the objective, swamping the Crimson Fists lead fireteam and Pedrov Kantrov!
Silverbugs let loose their weapons and arch away from close assault range, Avenger cannons downing three plague priests..
Stinger/ Tow ADATS missiles blow the heat cannon off the Creighton
The Rocketeers throttle forward to try and help the embattled Special Forces team but the rats achieve Frenzy and tear the elite SAS troopers apart!
Said Ratmen are promptly immolated by a plasma missile from the Crimson Fists! The survivors pumped full of heavy calibre explosive rounds
“There’s too many!”
Swamped by Virum Nascii from all sides, even Pedrov Kantrov can’t hold out!
While the Goodies are distracted by the whirling melee, massacring Ratmen right left and centre – a regiment of humble Slaves pick up the objective and start to leg it back to Baddie lines
Atlantic Alliance M113 darts forwards, machine guns pouring fire into the Slave regiment with the spaceship, killing 7 slaves and suppressing them
More Virum Nascii Slaves swarm the Allied infantry on the heights, wiping out Delta squad but dying to a rat in the process..
Kimi Rorkonnen brings Red 7 into play, his gunner Felipe Masha unleashing the heat cannon onto an Allied M60A3 Centurion, blowing the turret off!
Virum Nascii special weapons teams come into play, Vrilrifles damage an M113 pursuing the Slaves carrying the spaceship – immobilising it and blowing a machinegun off it
The second team blow up an M60A3!!
Jagers Marsch!
Cobra missiles from the Jagers demolish Red 7, adding to the utter carnage in the central valley
Ze Churmans are heavily in the fight, 88mw laser destroying Da Skooderia’s battlewagon…
But the sorcerer cabal of the People’s Front Of Hazzard have managed to conjure up a psychically induced wall of fire across the entrance to the ruined town!
The view from the Goodie lines as Turn 2 ends…
Utter carnage in the centre!
Utter chaos as we try and work out who’s winning….
Charles LeclOrk in warbuggy Red 16 surveys a scene of utter bedlam and devastation…and most heartily approves!

So that’s the end of turn 2 and despite monstrous casualties the Baddies are in a good position… they’ve got the downed spacecraft and are scuttling back to their table edge with it, and the main route for the Goodies is largely inaccessible due to wrecked armour and magic fire… what adventures will turn 3 bring?!? Stay tuned, stay thrifty, and stay healthy and safe out there, we’ll be back soon!

Another Hole In The Head Pt. 4 – Yet More 20mm Fantasy Orcs

How do – and while my compatriot mires himself in paperwork organising something Very Big Indeed, allow me to plug the gap by showing you a little more progress with another project of mine… because it wouldn’t do just to focus on the Blood Angels tribute act, now would it? Even though we’re somehow already in August and I’ve probably missed the boat to take them to Warhammer World for a 30th birthday bash…. oh well.

This lot are part of my “other” lockdown project – I was fancying a fantasy horde army, went looking for Undead 1/72 figures and instead came across a job lot of Caesar fantasy Orcs going cheap because they’d lost their boxes. We’re already familiar with the Caesar Ratmen, having painted something like four billion back in The World That Was before the pandemic struck, and at something like £25 for about 140 figures or so, I really couldn’t say no.

So here we are, another block of 30 greenskins and home made movement tray, giving me a second regiment of Orc Warriors – these will get used for Kings Of War (will be fun trying that in a different scale), OPR’s Age Of Fantasy, Warhammer Fantasy, quite possibly Age Of Sigmar (especially now that 3rd edition rules are out and available to download, and of course our own Hyperian Wars ruleset (essentially Apocalypse: Earth reskinned and reorientated for fantasy).

These lads are all based on 20mm by 20mm square bases cut from wine box cardboard – judge all you like, it’s ecologically friendly and economical – glued on using tacky PVA glue, and then primed white. White? Yep – apart from being how I primed the Blood Angels and therefore all I had in the shed, I find this suits my “go bright and wash down” style of painting and help me get around the obstacles of teeny tiny miniatures and increasingly wonky close in vision.

The paint scheme is also similar to the Blood Angels – Army Painter Goblin Green washed with Green Tone ink, Vallejo Hot Orange washed with Red Ink, Vallejo Filthy Brown (and a few brown craft paints) washed with Brown Ink for the browns, Mithril Silver washed with thinned Smoky Ink for the metallics giving a worn, battered effect. I’ve stuck with the “3 colours and metal” approach for the entire army, but as with the Ratmen, I’ve tried to make no two Orcs look exactly alike. They’re Orcs, after all – uniformityjust wouldn’t look right.

The bases are painted craft chocolate brown, then painted with PVA and dunked first in sand, then powdery earth from the veggie patch in the garden and then flock added in patches.

The moveent tray is done the same way as the bases – I figured I’d rank the Orcs up in 5 of ranks of 6, so that’s a frontage of 100mm x 120mm. Add 5mm each side for breathing space and that adds up to 110mm x 130mm. I cut this out of the winebox card, added a lip of hot glue round the edges to keep everyone more or less in formation, painted it brown, slapped some PVA on and drizzled with flock, sand and earth. Then, because of course it warped like an absolute bugger, I painted the back with PVA, left it upsode down for 24 hours and hey presto, nice and flat. No messin’.

And with that, pics! Here are the lads all ranked up:

And here is the army so far, 101 figures by my count – 16 archers, 25 Savage Orcs, and two regiments of 30 Orc Warriors apiece:

Why are they on the beach? Well, after the last year, everyone deserves a holiday…..

And for those interested, here are the profiles we’ve given them:

Orc Warrior:

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1264292RegularDefault: Advance (Assault)

Orc Archer

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1253292RegularDefault: Advance (Assault)

Savage Orc

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1264292EliteDefault: Advance (Assault)

So as you can see – ‘ard, but pretty thick, and not great at shooting stuff. The Savage Orcs rate elite morale as they’re, well, Savage – if you knock off a couple of those lads, the rest are less likely to cut and run than yell WAAAAAARGH (unless GW has trademarked THAT too) and come pelting at you to beat you to a pulp.

They’ll be getting their tabletop cherries popped pretty soon, but I’m also intrigued to see how they fare against the slippery Ratmen – fast, lethal but with fragile morale against the brick wall of green…

Stay safe and thrifty out there, we’ll see you soon!

Another Hole In The Head Pt. 3 – Even More 20mm Fantasy Orcs

After taking what seemed like a decade to finish the last Devastator squad for my retro Blood Angels project, I fancied a quick fix – get a project done, get the dopamine high and then move on to the next. So, the obvious thing was a big block of 30 Orcs (Caesar Miniatures 1/72 Fantasy Orcs), right?

Well, yeah. I mean I bought these things on a whim, for a steal, and almost forgotten about them over the last couple of months. But now – well, my fellow Brits, we have something to look forward to.. freedom by June 21st! Assuming COVID cooperates… That said, my other half is NHS and I can definitely say that her morale has been improving greatly over the past couple of weeks, which I’m taking as a good sign. I think it’s safe to say that one way or another we’ll be getting some games in come the summer.

So with that in mind, let’s get these greenskins together!

Here are the meat and potatoes of the army, a big block of 30 Orcs arranged 6×5 on 20mm cardboard bases, with their own movement tray. Primed white, Goblin Green for the skin washed with Army Painter Green Tone. Reds were Vallejo Hot Orange washed with red ink, and then the whole lot got a yellow drybrush. The browns were craft bone and Vallejo Filthy Brown and Vallejo Mithril Silver for the metallics which then all got a wash with Vallejo Smokey Ink.

I painted the bases dark chocolate brown, then gave them a coat of PVA and dunked them in sand, an extra coat and then flock (Jarvis medium green) and repainted the edges with chocolate again.

So that was the how, these are the results:

And here is the army so far, all lined up and ready to conquer the kitchen table…
And one movement tray – wine box cardboard (judge me at your leisure) – 20mm bases 6×5 makes for 100mm x 120mm, add in a lip 5mm around making for 110mm x 130mm footprint, edged with hot glue for a border. Painted PVA on the underside before doing anything and this seems to have counteracted any warping. Then it was two coats of chocolate craft paint, bit of PVA, drizzle on sand and flock, and done!

So there we go, that’s 71 figures for my Orc army so far, a fair bit done! I’ll head back to the 90’s Blood Angels next, I think, got a hankering to build some vehicles….. Lots of cardboard hanging around the house going “Build with me”… so let’s see what happens next.

Meanwhile, stay safe, stay sane, stay thrifty, 114 to go til freedom!

Another Hole In The Head Pt.2.. More 20mm Fantasy Orcs

So as we established in the last post, I clearly have a problem. I get all excited about my 1991 Blood Angels Tribute Act project, complete one squad and then straight away get diverted into 20mm fantasy orcs.. for some reason.

Anyway, I’ve finished another regiment – want to see?

Presenting… Da Red Shoo Ladz

This is a regiment of 25 Feral Orcs (for Age Of Fantasy Regiments) armed with axes – we’ll figure something out for Warhammer Fantasy and Hyperian Wars. I won’t belabour the painting process seeing as I’ve already described it here, basically it’s a crib from old 90s White Dwarfs – all bright primary colours and of course, Goblin Green!

The command figure has red boots, so hence- Da Red Shoo Ladz.

There are only two poses but with a bit of careful angling on the base (20mm squares of single corrugated card) you can make them look like a properly rowdy, Orky mob.

I also made them a movement tray:

A 110 x 110mm square of corrugated plastic card – enough to allow 5 x 5 20mm bases and allow space for a ridge of hot glue around the edges. Then texture paste, spray black, drybrush up with earth tones and add flock and sand to taste.

And here they are with the previous unit – now named Da Red Arrers (sorry, couldn’t help it) in support:

So that’s 41 down, 130 to go! Just hope we can get a decent game in with them in the near future as the second wave gains pace…

Stay safe, stay thrifty, see you again soon!

Could It Be.. The End? Hairy Japanese Bastards pt. 5,23,658

His brush quivered in exhausted fingers that functioned on little more than adrenaline. The final wash. The final drybrush. The final details and basing. After countless hours, the endless had ended. The numberless hordes of miniatures were painted.

He felt a strange lightness- trepidation almost. For what, now, was his purpose?

He paused, trying to remember a life before this. Visions of sunlit uplands and glorious blue skies fuzzed into an imagination too long neglected, sacrificed to the demands of such a project.

As abruptly as it came, the fear left him.

You are free

“I am free” he whispered, not daring to believe it.

“I am free” he whispered again.

“I am free” he said, more confident now.

He drew a deep breath and threw his face to the heavens.

“I AM FR-“

And with that final roar, his heart beat its’ last.

Yes, it’s happened- these are THE LAST RATMEN! Finishing a project begun in something like the 4th century BC, this is a good feeling – four boxes of Miniknight Ratmen (available here, from the looks of it) bought with the intention of creating a proper old-school Warhammer Fantasy Battle Skaven army.. just a bit smaller. These fellas clock in at 1/72 or 20mm, so about 4/5 the size of a GW miniature… but a lot less than 4/5 of the price. This whole horde came in at under £40.

Anyway, this last tranche had been waiting in the “to do” pile for some considerable length of time as I wasn’t entirely sure what to do with them. I knew I wanted to include as many of the bonkers Clan Skyre special weapons as I possibly could, and thankfully the Age Of Sigmar reboot hadn’t changed them much, so I modelled a pair of each of the Warplock Jezzail, Ratling Gun, Warpfire Thrower and Warp-Grinder Drill teams. Now you’ve already seen the first three, but I got started on the Warp Grinder operators…

..and was just about to pat myself on the back and have a VERY large glass of wine to celebrate finishing the behemoth of a project, when a cursory rummage revealed these two f*ckers that had been hiding!

NOOO! They’re BREEDING!!!!!!

Made worse by the fact that I’d run out of grey and white primer, so these little fellas got a spray of black, followed by a basecoat of bone craft paint… this actually worked surprisingly well, so I’m a little turned around on black primer! I then basecoated tan, washed the models with Vallejo Smokey Ink (talent in a bottle) and drybrushed back up with the original bone. After that, I blocked in the flesh tones and details. Vallejo skin wash brought everything to life and the craft acrylic I used for the red was already pretty translucent so responded to the underpainting pretty well. I wonder if I’ve perhaps stumbled on to a secret formula for cheap Contrast paints here! Anyway, here are the results:

I didn’t actually convert these guys (as my will to live had largely checked out) but painting the blades yellow, washing in green, and highlighting yellow seems to give a nice warpstone effect.

We’ll be using these for Sigmar, old style WHFB, Age Of Fantasy:Regiments, and as the Virum Nascii for Hyperian Wars – and these lads have been smacking DOWN in our HW mini campaign last summer!

Right, if you’ve made it this far congratulations on reading a post about how I painted TWO tiny model soldiers X-) and here’s a group shot of Lord Ratticus’ mighty horde:

Of course, no wargaming/ modelling project is ever truly done… I’d like to add flags and battle standards to these guys, as well as my planned DIY Doomwheel, Plague Catapult etc, but for now I’m drawing a line under these guys and calling it done B-) Of course, in the event I have to self-isolate, I’ll at least have something to do!

Till next time, stay tuned and thrifty! (and try not to cough on each other…)