#Orktober Part Deux – Da Black Ork Cav – DIY Battlewagon & Command Group

So to match my comrade in blogging, I too have taken up the challenge to Paint The Sh*t I Already Own and organise (Orkganise?) it into a fully 2nd Ed legal “baddie” force to oppose Dan’s gloriously technicolour Blood Angels.

Some of you may remember these lads from the dim and distant World That Was – pre-pandemic, pre-war – and although I scraped together enough models to fight the scenarios in the 2nd Ed battle booklet, I just… left them there. In order to make a fully legit 2nd Ed force. They were going to need the most dreaded phrase in wargaming parlance – “rounding out”.

Happily, I still had a few Orks left over from filling out the ranks of the Boyz (as well as a random Grot), a copy of the 2nd Ed Ork Codex from 1994 as a PDF from what I assume is a legal source.. and of course hope (Sorry, wrong franchise).

I planned out a list with the intent of making an “armoured cavalry” themed force of mercenaries using the scratch built Ork tanks that WD 136 came with cardboard templates for – cool quirky things that would make their way into Epic like the Gobsmasha, the Lungbursta, the Braincrusha and the Bonecrusha or Bonebreaka.. only to find that these no longer had rules in 2nd Ed. So after some wailing and gnashing of teeth, I came up with another plan – although the original paint scheme left these guys as largely clan-agnostic, most of the ladz had camo trousers of some description, meaning I could legitimately run them as Blood Axes… and that meant access to Imperial hardware.

So, a Gobsmasha could be an Orky take on a Vindicator? Scans Marine & Guard codex…nope, Vindicators didn’t have rules back then. However, the Leman Russ was new to the Guard back then, and there’s no reason why a Blood Axe Mek shouldn’t have looked at that great mountain of dakka and thought “Hmm…”… so I figured I could pretty reasonably knock together a Lungbursta hull, slap a couple of sponsons on it, and hey presto – Orky Leman Russ.

I came up with a battle roster suiting the kit I had to hand – 20 odd Orks, 41 Gretchin.. keeping to the theme of austerity (Orksterity?) I figured the rest would be vehicles and Dreads because I could scratch build them virtually for free – hell, I’d already done a Dread.

So here is the roster:

2 x Mobs 10 Boyz (bolt pistol, flak armour, axe) – 120 pts each

2 x Mobs of 20 Gretchin (autogun) – 100 pts each

Da Dread – lascannon, heavy bolter – 145

585 so far..

Warboss – Flak Armour, Kustom Blasta, Kustom Forcefield -115 (700)

Gretchin Champion Assistant – Flak Armour, Autogun, Knife – 6 (706)

Mek & Painboy – Kustom Blasta, Kustom Forcefield – 68 each (842)

2 Battlewagons – 50 each (942)

Bigboss- Ork Eavy Armour, Power Fist, Frag & Krak Stikkbomz – 57 (999)

2nd 500 pt block

Ork Nob – Autocannon, Frag, Krak, Melta Stikkbomz, Kustom Force Field – 61pts

Runtherd – bolt pistol, flak armour, Kustom Force Field, Frag & kark Stikkbomz– 43pts (104)

Nuvver Dread – Heavy Bolter, Missile Launcher – 145 (249)

Yet Anuuvver Dread – Heavy Bolter, Heavy Flamer – 120 (369)

2x Warbuggy – Multi Melta – 130 (499)


3rd 500 pt block

2 Leman Russ Demolisher w/Heavy Plasma Guns in sponsons – 250 each – 1999

As you can see, a fair bit to do! Currently I’m painting the remaining infantry and building a retro-style battlewagon:

Remaining Orks and lone Grot stripped, based – homemade texture paste, PVA, dunk in the mass of sawdust and general Garage Floor Grit, prime white and thinned Smoky Ink wash (partly for the gradation of colour, mainly for outlining details that my aging peepers might otherwise miss)
Floorplans cut from foamboard – you can see the measurements marked on. Shaded parts are the bits to be cut off.
Stroke of genius here! X-D Stacked up the foamboard offcuts to make the fron drivers compartment and the rear mounted engine compartment… I’m thinking BIG V8!
Overview of the foamboard chassis, Ork Boy for scale
NOW we’re cooking! Card panels cover the foamboard engine & driver compartment, single corrugated card for the passenger compartment side panels, wheels are cardboard tube with cardboard added for armour plate and balsa wood coffee stirrers provide the cross bracing on the wheels
More armour panels and rear wheels built from toilet roll tube – bigger rims… “Ghazgkull sez, ride big”
Rivets! Detailed with hundreds of the bastard things, little dots of PVA added with a cocktail stick… tedious to do, but looks SO GOOD when you slap the paint on… Note as well the spikes filling in the gaps in the armour, these are just cocktail sticks trimmed to fit and held in pace with the magic combo of superglue and quick dry PVA.
Rear view..

Now let’s finish off with a few beauty shots – there’s a fair bit to do to get these up to the magic 2000pts (let alone the hefty force of Marines Dan’s Blood Angels will add up to) but I rather like this idea of a renegade Ork mercenary force with a lot of dakka for hire.. an elite cadre of Orks with the Gretchin “hired help” pressed into services as supporting fire/ meat shields.. Look out for a battle report in the near future as we get the gaming shed ready for some 2nd Ed retro goodness!

All painted up and ready to roll!
Base of red craft paint, washed with smoky ink and drybrushed up, pin washes of smoky ink and went heavy with the sponge chipping and drybrushed up some brown to represent mud
The new recruits! Boss WarBastard IV identifiable by snazzy kustom shoota (bit of lego jammed over an Imperial bolter by the eBay seller), sword and spiky armour – yes, I will be doing back banners!
Da Black Ork Cav on parade!
All together – WAAAAGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

And by my calculations I’ve got enough scraped together to field a legit 1000pt army (just need the banners) to go up against Dan’s boys in red for a proper legit retro 2nd Ed scrap – so Dan, is Captain Tycho ready to get his pretty face messed up again? Let’s do this!

As always, stay thrifty and we’ll see you again soon!

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…

Goin’ Street Legal – Tidying Up The Guard

This was supposed to be an easy one….

So, back in the days of M2 992 when the 2nd edition of Space Marine came out, supplemented by Armies Of The Imperium, the Guard got a few tricks that haven’t endured to the present day. Crucially – as GW only had a limited number of model kits available – the Rhino was a standardised piece of kit available to Guard and Astartes forces alike.

Although your common or garden Guardsman is expected to footslog into battle and basically stand and die, under 2nd Ed Epic all Guard company HQs were all issued with Rhinos and furthermore each Guard company got issued a Commissar – essentially an independent morale/ political officer type, this is a useful unit able to act independently, handy in close combat and crucially able to reinforce the slightly inflexible Guard command structure by relaying orders and taking command over Guard units left leaderless. These units were free, and looked to be hugely useful – so in order to make the Granny Grating Guard a fully “street legal” playable force under 2nd Edition, I needed to make some.

Infantry were a piece of cake – usual cross shapes, with a slight alteration for the Commissar to represent his chainsword and a little smear of greenstuff for his cape. I painted the Guardsmen escorting him in the usual manner, while the Commissars themselves got funky red caps with black capes (I know, capes are pretty wizard) and shiny Vallejo Mithril Silver chainswords.

The Rhinos were a slightly trickier affair – I went back to the Vindicators from back in… 2019? The Before Times, the Long Long Ago and copied the dimensions, just leaving off the reinforcement glacis plate and unfeasibly large gun and adding a couple of hatches from thin cardboard (the circular ones were done with my hole punch), and the details of boltguns and exhausts were done with granny grating offcuts. I’ve got into a new technique with these – holding them with tweezers und using a mix of superglue and tacky PVA. The superglue provides the initial hold, the PVA provides are stringer more flexible bond after it dries.

I primed everything white because 1992, and painted with the same pattern of Granite Dust house paint/ Green Wash/ Brown wash/ Black wash/ Granite Dust Drybrush for the uniform bits. Craft black for the commissars, and following the “Assault On Barbarius” battle report forces I added yellow and blue stripes for the HQ vehicles.

Back when I last gave this project some love, John@justneedsvarnish mentioned that they could use some flags… now, I could have got all smug and snarky -“Oh yes, everyone knows that all sci-fi armies use banners to denote their valuable command units, totally tactically sound” – except of course, that he’s dead right. You can’t do ’90s GW without flags. So I copied the infantry company HQ flags as best I could onto paper and superglued them onto poles made from about 15mm of straightened out, snipped up paperclip.. and I also added some flags to the HQ units of the other companies and the Leviathan, using the white/red/white army ID symbol the army uses on its’ right front quarters.

So with that done, pics:

Commissars rocking the black and red finish, HQs in blue (Tactical company) and yellow (Heavy Company)
HQs – I think these came out the best tbh
Commissars, all ready and decked out to ensure faith in the Emperor
The force in its entirety, all ready to hit the table!

So that gets us to:

Imperial Guard Vindicator Company – 450pts, Break Point 5, Morale 4+ ,VPs 5

Imperial Guard Tactical Company – 600pts, Break Point 17, Morale 4+, VPs 6

Imperial Guard Heavy Company – 600pts, Break Point 9, Morale 4+, VPs 6

Imperial Guard Leviathan – 350pts, 4 VPs

Imperial Guard Sentinel Squadron – 100pts, Break Point 3, Morale 4+, VPs 1

Imperial Guard Rough Rider Squadron – 150pts, Break Point 5, Morale 4+, VPs 2
3 x Commissars – Free

So that’s a cool 2250pts of Epic to throw down with, not enough for a BIG big game, but enough for a decent enough scuffle – unfortunately Skinflint HQ is out of action for the moment (redecoration), but it’s nice to know the Hazzard PDF can throw something into the field to combat Waaagh- Bozzhog!

Slava Ukrainia, see you again soon

The League Of Who? DIY Epic Squats!

It’s been a while, this. You ever get those project ideas which come really quickly but then take forever to get stuck into? This was one of those..

..which makes it all the sweeter to be finally able to show it off!

After Dan converted me to the Church of Granny Grating with his adorable Imperial Guard, I’ve fallen hook line and sinker for the charm of the technique, and after he decided to theme his army around the force featured in the 1992 (1993?) White Dwarf Battle Report, I decided to undertake a similar project based around the Squat force that fought against Ghazgkull Thraka’s Ork horde-

-and then, stuff got in the way…..

..and then this happened!

Yup. Stop the clock, as they say.

Now, the new look Squats are very much a source of controversy, but this army is firmly old school early 90s classic feel. So, to the pics!

Here’s how we start – wine box card and granny grating crosses, note slightly different shapes for assault troops (with swords) Hearthguard (greenstuff blobs to denote exo-armour) and banner poles to denote command stands.. no point going over the construction here as we’ve done it plenty over the last few years!
Thunderers – each of these lads mounts a shoulder fired heavy weapon, a granny grating clip off superglued to the shoulder
Grand Battery – 10 Mole Mortars, 5 Thudd Guns – drinking straw barrel, cardboard shield, granny grating undercarriage and wheels made by sling a sausage of greenstuff
Not fooling anyone yet, are they? But you wait till they’re based and painted!
Primed white, Vallejo Goblin Green for the overalls, cheap red craft paint for the flak jackets and Cadmium Yellow for the helmets, flesh tone craft paint for the faces. Everything then got a thinned Vallejo Brown Ink wash.. and then it was time to tackle the metallics!
The metallics were initially silver before I checked some pics online and discovered I needed to do bronze.. so initial basecoat of Vallejo Mithril Silver, overlaid with a craft bronze (that had virtually nothing in the way of pigment) and finished with a Brown Ink wash.
Hearth guard – yellow over white primer, overlaid with bronze craft paint and washed with brown ink.. yeah, I know, but from two feet they look pretty good!
Basing was a craft brown, layered with Garage Floor Dust (TM), dry soil and Jarvis mixed flocks
Grand Battery! I actually primed these guys gold with some spray paint I had from making Christmas decorations a few years ago, happily after a wash with Brown Ink they homogenised pretty well with the infantry!

So there we are, first tranche complete! Next up I’ve got a Guild Biker force to put together, and I’ve got some ideas for that… Granny grating is this stuff, so as you can see it’s an absolute steal, and one sheet has done all these Squats, Dan’s Imperial Guard, my Star Wars armies and there’s still a fair bit left!

Hopefully this has inspired you to give this technique a go – we can’t claim to have invented it, and sadly the original creator seems to have disappeared – this is as close a link as I could find. If anyone knows anything more, please let us know!

Stay safe and thrifty out there, and Slavia Ukrainia!

The Battle Of Outpost 44 – A Star Wars Story!

As the Grim Darkness of the.. present day.. grinds on, we fancied taking our wargaming as far away from reality as possible- the other week it was Hyperian Wars (which gave us a load of ideas for game development), this time it was our 6mm “Epic” scale take on our rules engine in it’s sci-fi skin “Future Force Warrior”…

I laid out a somewhat similar battleground to last week’s fight, substituting the ruined temple with plasma reactors and the Valiant 44th command centre – codename Objective Hamilton – which would be the objective for both sides… so theoretically at least, it would be best commander wins!

Rebels win the deployment roll off, getting to pick the side and forcing the Imperials to start deployment first. Support platoon with E-Web blasters set up shop in the woods on top of the hill towards the bottom of the pic.
Rebels set up using cover to screen their infantry from Imperial fire (they hope) – mechs lurk in the rocky gulch, speeder bike team in the woods to the bottom of the pic
Overview of the battlefield – Rebels stage left, Imperials stage right, Outpost 44 dead centre
Vader leads the Imperial attack from the front – “Leave them to me!”
Rebel speeders burst from cover, performing a hit and run attack destroying one AT-PT and damaging another, using a command point to move them back into cover before Imperial fire can respond
First blood to the Rebellion!
…aaand back into cover before return fire hits!
Rebel infantry storm forward to consolidate the objective
Yeah, we’ve got line of sight…. (say the Imperial support platoon)
Where’d Yellow platoon go?!? The Empire Strikes Back!
The first turn ends with the Rebels in control of Outpost 44 but they’ve taken significant casualties and Lord Vader is marching forwards…
Red platoon double time forward to capture the outpost, successfully using a command point to gun down a Stormtrooper platoon caught out in the open
Marching forward into cover, Imperial AT-PTs catch a Rebel speeder in the open and damage it
Imperial and Rebel speeder bike teams duel at point blank range in the forest
Inconclusive, but definitely bloody!

Imperial support platoon draws a bead on the exposed Rebel mechs… 6’s to hit?

That’ll do..
Die, Rebel Scum!!
Vader leads the remaining Stormtroopers in a last ditch attack towards the outpost
The moment we’ve all been waiting for! Vader engages Luke in close combat – “I AM YOUR FATHER!”
“NOW YOUR FAILURE IS COMPLETE!” Vader fells Luke and the Rebel platoon look at each other nervously..
…before annihilating him with the combined fire of a full platoon’s blasters! Actually in retrospect we should probably have done all this as close combat, maybe some form of Force shenanigans.. as it was, he took 18 hits, fluffed every Force save and every Hero save…. “NOOOOOOO!”
Rebel speeder team carries the duel in the woods
With the remaining Stormtroopers annihilated by the second Rebel platoon, the support platoon weigh up their options as the sole remaining Imperial unit and decide to retreat to fight another day… it was close, but the Rebel Alliance wins this round!

All in all, a fun little game – we need to finesse the “fighting in buildings” aspect, we were a little inconsistent with how we abstracted that, but on the whole, a solid rules engine and I think we’ve struck a good balance between alternate activation and IGO/UGO mechanics, as well as the range abstraction that dogs wargames… Till next time, May The Force Be With You (particularly if you’re Ukrainian)!

The Tiniest Kings Of War Pt.3 – To Battle!

Rules? Downloaded.

Armies? Built and painted.

Terrain? Flexible battlemat built and with the old standby of books placed underneath to create valleys and hills, so yeah, check.

And thus – TO BATTLE!

I gave the youngling the choice and he picked Orcs, I think more influenced by colour choice than anything else… well, I hope so at least, he has a slightly unnerving predilection for the “Baddies” in most films. We’d had a couple of practice games so the basics of the rules were relatively familiar – plus he had his mum on his side as the power behind the throne!

Initial set up dispositions – Orcs at the bottom (south) end of the table, Dwarves at the top (north)

We shook hands and rolled for fits turn – which the Orcs won.

The Orcs charge headlong across the table, mum in an advisory role pointing out areas cover and suggesting firing the Skulk archer detachment at the Dwarven cannon, rattling the crew enough to prevent them from firing this turn.
Dwarves hold fast and return fire, the Ironwatch crossbow regiment routing the Skulk archers
Turn 2 and the Orc charge hits the Dwarven lines! Trolls demolish the cannon and the Orc cavalry pulls a deft flanking manoeuvre that annihilates their Dwarven counterparts… that Orc “advisor” has some explaining to do.. 😉
Ferocious in the defence, the Dwarves castle up on the hill and defend with everything they’ve got! Throwing mastiffs and crossbows damage the trolls and force the Orc Gore Rider cavalry to waver, while a regiment of Ironclad infantry catch an Orc Ax infantry regiment in the rear and wipe them out! However, in an EPIC clash in the centre of the lines, the Dwarf Lord falls to the Orc Krudger!
Victorious in his duel, the Orc Krudger gathers his remaining forces to hunt down and destroy the surviving Dwarves
The Krudger and the Ax regiment smash into the surviving Dwarf regiment
As darkness falls on the battlefield, the remaining Dwarf regiment is forced to waver, before being routed and destroyed in the final turn!

The dice were against me, that’s all I’m saying! In all fairness, although I did roll abysmally, I also made stupid mistakes and completely underestimated my enemy commander (and his “advisor”) – leaving units open to flanking manoeuvres, not concentrating forces properly and while I wasn’t able to capitalise on my enemy’s mistakes, they sure went to town on mine!

Overall verdict on KoW as a system though? Fun! I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the lack of casualty removal in this system, but by Turn 2 I was used to it. It really does suit 6mm scale as well. Easily learned, and although there are a couple of rules that were less than clear in the rulebook, it’s largely very intuitive and I do like how much it rewards tactical positioning, flanking and so forth. Charging your opponent’s rear, for example gives you DOUBLE the normal attacks.. all of a sudden, mobility is worth something serious on the battlefield!

I know you’re all hungering for something non-granny grating related, but it was fun bringing this project to a conclusion (if any wargaming project can ever be said to be truly done) -and as the COVID Restrictions start to lift in dear old Blighty we’ve got something BIG planed once again, so stay tuned as we get everything prepared to Throw Down In Style!

Stay safe and sane out there… we’re nearly there folks!

The Tiniest Kings Of War Pt. 2

So with the Orcs sitting on the shelf champing at the bit for a good scrap, it’s time to break out the trusty granny grating and create them an OPFOR – following the list in the Kings Of War rulebook, this is a 750 point force.

All the techniques are the same as I used with the Orcs (and Jim with his stormtroopers– readers will be forgiven for thinking that we’ve become a little granny grating fixated over the past couple of weeks) – the main difference is that I went for a more orderly appearance with the lads ranked in proper formation, and cranked out a few shields for the stunties using my hole punch.

I went with an opposing colour scheme for these little guys – whereas the Orcs got all the warm colours (green, brown & red) I gave the Dwarves a cooler theme of silver for their armour, blue and white heraldry and flesh tone. When you’re dealing with what are effectively the same little cross shapes, I figured it pays to have maximum possible delineation between units!

Dwarf Lord – like his Orc counterpart, he got a rock to stand on and a little washer base all of his own to mark how important he is.
Berserker cavalry regiment
1st Ironclad infantry regiment (equipped with “throwing mastiff” upgrade)
2nd Ironclad infantry regiment (note the 2 hammers on the banner and the shields with a quartered as opposed to halved colour scheme)
Ironwatch crossbow troop (missing one of the little guys, not sure what happened to him – manufacturing issue)
Ironbelcher cannon – this began life as a bit of drinking straw, wheels were hole punched from cardboard and the little reinforcement rod came from a length of granny grating. Cannon and crew were mounted on a 20mm x 20mm piece of single corrugated card.
The lads on parade – look how smart they are, all ranked up, not like those filthy unruly greenskins…

These were a fun little build, and best of all if the boy drops (or eats) a regiment of troops then it’s the work of an hour at most to replace anything! Clearly they’re nothing like the quality of some of the amazing 6mm, 8mm or 10mm miniatures you can buy or 3D print, but they’re absolutely fine to play with and in terms of cost? I bought one sheet of granny grating last year for something like £2 and so far have made both the Kings Of War armies as well as a pair of Epic Imperial Guard infantry companies and auxilliaries… and I’ve still got a load of it left!

Next up – LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!

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

The Tiniest Kings Of War

In which Lukes’ APS gives me an astonishingly cool idea…

Yes, I definitely have a problem. So currently I have the retro Blood Angels on the go as well as the 1/72 Orc horde that I’ve been working on, and a DIY Epic Imperial Guard army that I have big plans for… so it makes sense that having finished a regiment of Orcs, I should then go and start on something completely different and unrelated, doesn’t it?

And yet and yet and yet. I happened upon this video from Luke’s APS, one of our favourite YouTubers (How do, O Squire Of The North) in which he shows how to do the popular Kings Of War system in smaller scale on the kitchen table.

Now, Jim has had custody of our 6×4 in his converted garage – the lucky bastard – ever since we built it back in 2017, largely because I have nowhere in the house I could put it. However, despite the tyranny of wife and small child, I do still have relatively free access to the kitchen table. And although gaming nights are restricted to remote games for at least the next couple of months, said wife and small child might make for entertaining opponents.

And given the way the boy’s mind seems to work, I fully expect him to pull off a Cannae style double envelopment, perfectly co-ordinated and then celebrate his victory by stripping naked, eating the dice and farting out all 6’s, but we’ll see.

Now, in the video Mr. Fellowes 3D prints his 10mm figures and then bases them as regiments – this is a hallmark of Kings Of War, as regiments are based all together, 20 figures (for example) in a regiment glued to a single base as casualty removal doesn’t happen in this system. I do not possess a 3D printer and am unlikely to do so any time soon, but what I do have is…

Granny grating.

Yep, we’re back there again. I must admit to being really pleased with my DIY Imperial Guard army built with this stuff (and I know Jim’s got something similar in the works) and I figured that this could be the way to go to build armies for Kings Of War – happily, Mantic make the basic rulebook available for free on their website and this contains two army lists, one Orc and one Dwarf, so I figured I’d start there.

I reduced the footprint of each regiment or troop by half, cut the bases out of wine box corrugated cardboard, painted the bottom with PVA to counteract any warping and then cut out the infantry shapes from the granny grating and hot glued them to the bases. These got primed grey and then painted up using a similar scheme to my 20mm Orcs – Army Painter Goblin green washed with Green Tone for the skin, Vallejo Hot Orange washed with Red Ink for the red, Filthy Brown washed with thinned Smokey Ink for the browns. I used Mithril Silver for the metallics and washed them with Smokey Ink to create a worn down, beaten look.

I painted the base dark chocolate with craft paint and then painted over that with PVA, dunked the baes in sand.. and when that was dry I selectively added PVA and then flock on those patches.

In Kings Of War, measurements are taken from a central point on the base, and I decided to mark that point with a standard – this would also help unit identification, (as well as looking cool.) The pole was just another piece of granny grating, cut to fit and hot glued in, and the standard was simply a bit of scrap paper (an envelope, if memory serves) painted Hot Orange, washed with Red Ink and then painted with appropriate logos (eg Axe for the infantry, clubs for the Trolls).

With all this done, I took them out to the shed for varnish…

And belatedly realised I’d picked up the wrong can and sprayed primer instead.

Sigh.

Happily, the repaint was pretty simple – no need to worry about paint layers obscuring fine detail, as there was no detail. So here we are – pics!

Orc commander – he got mounted on a washer, with a small piece of gravel to illustrate his truly heroic nature.
Troll regiment
Orc “Ax” infantry regiment
Orc archer support troop
Orc “Morax” elite heavy infantry troop
Cavalry regiment
Ready to conquer the kitchen table

So there we have a 750 point battle ready warband for Kings of War on a budget of £0! Next up are the Dwarves (as I’m FINISHING this project before starting anything else…) and then terrain – we’re going to need somewhere to fight over and some properly scaled terrain features, and I’ve got a good few ideas for that, so stay tuned.

Full disclosure – I learned everything I needed to make this army from the Battlecraft YouTube Channel, so all the techniques you need, go there and check him out. Credit where it’s due.

Wherever you are, stay safe and stay thrifty.. and if you happen to be part of the astonishing vaccine rollout program, then thank you from the bottom of our hearts, you are literally saving the world. The Emperor protect you!

Paperhammer with Jim! DIY Crimson Fist Rhino (in 1/72)

Greetings! You join me at the tail end of lockdown (EDIT – since I started this post, our dear old city of Leicester has become the national pioneer in local lockdowns.. if I find which one of you f*ckers hasn’t been washing their hands there’ll be trouble, I’ve been fantasising about my first pint and some bastard has ruined it all for everyone) , as everyone in the UK seems to have said “sod it” and given up… a brief glance at Bournemouth beaches over the last couple of days would seem to indicate that for many Brits sunshine > virus. For me, I choose to get sunburnt in my own garden where the booze is plentiful and the toilet access is more than adequate – and I can always nip inside to MAKE STUFF.

This project was meant to be a quick and simple build to add a Rhino to the Crimson Fist marine force we scratchbuilt back when 8th edition came out – now 9th is on the cards and the core rules are going to be free to download, I suspect we’ll be revisiting “The Farm” on Rynn’s World again pretty soon, and it might be nice to develop that story thread given that one of the big selling points of the new edition is it’s campaign mechanic. Anyway…

I started with a visit to the now-sadly-defunct-but-still-online blog “in The Grim Cheapness” and downloaded a Rhino papercraft template from there. I rescaled it 66% – 40k is kinda 1/48 scale, so divide 48 by 2 is 24, mulitiple by3 = 72, so 2/3 of 1/48 is 1/72. More or less.

I followed the template for the body- using cheap glue stick to glue the paper templates to a pizza box and cutting round them. To reinforce the sides – the track units – I cut out a slab of foamcore to the right size and shape, and built the cardboard up around that. I then glued the track units on to the side of the body, and then used a few dabs of Polyfilla to fill in the more egregious gaps and sanded the excess.

Next up was detailing – I cut out the hatches (and scored the card to create indentations in the disembarkation doors) and tried a bit of a trick with the grills. I cut out the main shape and glued nylon tulle over it (had a load left over from the Skalk Point build we did back in the World That Was), and then glued the cardboard frame over that. As it panned out, this didn’t work quite as well as I’d hoped, but I think that was more down to slapdash and impatient execution on my part than anything else! I used some bits of sprue to create the buttress/ exhaust bits.

For the running wheels, I cut out 8mm diameter circles of single corrugated card, cut them in half and glues the pieces together to create 4-5mm thick semicircles. I glues these in place with tacky gue and then cut out 5mm thick strips of IDE cable to be the tracks. I used gel superglue to glue these in place.

Detailing added – bolter is a bit of cocktail stick with IDE cable to represent an ammo belt
Primed grey

After a spray of grey primer, I tried a bit of underpainting – pin wash with black ink in the recesses, drybrush white. Then a coat of cheap blue craft paint:

Blues layered up along with black ink pin wash, areas that will be painted red undercoated with Wilkos Cloud Burst house paint
My template for painting!
The finished article! Red craft paint, then, sponge chipping with black graft paint and Vallejo Mithril Silver for the bare metal

The final touches were some craft brown paint mixed with PVA and sand for some mud texture paste to cover a few (ahem) modelling inconsistencies..

Overall, I’m pretty pleased – I think this fella will do well transporting the remains of the Crimson Fists into battle on Rynns World, not to mention layin’ it down on the world of Hazzard when we finally get to get a game in….F*cking c*cking sh*tting w*nking lockdown… WASH YOUR DAMN HANDS, PEOPLE OF LEICESTER! I WANT TO GO TO THE F*CKING PUB! WE’RE SO CLOSE!!!!

Seethe.

And there I shall leave you- we are tantalisingly close to hooking up for a game, but after three – four? – months, another week or so… ain’t no thing.

Stay safe out there, WASH YOUR HANDS, WEAR A MASK AND DON’T DO STUPID THINGS! See y’all soon (I hope)..

TEENY HORSIES!! (DIY Epic Imperial Guard Rough Riders)

How do, Dan here and yes, I’ve been at the granny grating again (sorry Legion4, I know this is hard for you 😉 ). Once again, I’m not going to try and claim any particular credit for this idea, the entire thing was nicked whole from the BattleCraft YouTube channel. Watch, learn, fall in love with it… they’re just so freaking cute.

And of course, cheap to the point of being practically free.

So, I began by cutting out my basic “horse and rider” shape, as per the video. Next up, I cut a length of granny grating and trimmed it to look like a pole. I superglued these on to my horses at a roughly 45 degree angle (apart from one where I cocked up a bit – see if you can spot him in the pics) – this is the deadly explosive lance that gives the Riders their punch against armour and cavalry. I’m not sure how that might work in reality – surely a shaped charge big enough to take out a Land Raider would probably take the arm off the rider at the very least, but hey, it’s 40K! DRIVE MY TANK CLOSER SO I CAN HIT THEM WITH MY SWORD!!!

Come on, I dare you not to fall in love with these!

I hot glued these onto 20mm x 20mm single corrugated card (cut from a wine box in this instance) – two riders per base.

A cavalry squadron that fits on a Post-It note – what’s not to love?

Then it was out to the shed for a burst of black spray primer, base coat with Wilkinson’s “Granite Dust” house paint from a tester pot (£1 or so? And it’s kept me going for 3 years so far..)

Follow that with a coat of tan craft paint, dot in the body armour with Vallejo German grey, wash with thin black ink.

Next – horses. Vallejo Filthy Brown washed with brown ink – I would have gone for more variety but I was really psyched to get these done, so apologies for lack of diversity..

Then it was flesh for the faces and hands, wash with thin Vallejo Skin Wash.. I did the lances the same way as the horses, finished with a dab of Vallejo Mithril Silver washed down with black for the lance tips.

Basing was the same as the rest of the lads so far – paint the base dark brown, then PVA, a dunk in the flock pot and a drizzle of Garage Floor Dust (TM) and boom, done.

I’m really chuffed with these little guys and I do plan to expand them out to a full company at some point, but I’ve started to get a focus on what my Guard army should look like. I’m taking my inspiration from these guys here: The Assault On Barbarius Prime Epic battle report from way back in the 90s.

As you can see, this force featured a Tactical Company (check) a Heavy Company (almost check – stay tuned), an Artillery Company (hmm) and two companies of superheavies as well as support detachments. Now, here’s the thing – I’m pretty certain I can build all that lot with foamcore, card, granny grating and straws. It’s going to take a while, but I don’t see any of it as impossible. I look at an Epic Shadowsword and I think “foamboard sides and base, lay cardboard armour over the top, drinking straw cannon and granny grating heavy bolters”.

Will this pan out? Or will it be a massive act of hubris that ends with me having superglued my hands to my feet and desperately trying to type a blog entry with my nose?

Let us see.

In the meantime, stay safe out there, look out for each other and stay thrifty 🙂