So I’ve finally got my big DIY project underway – my granny grating Epic Squat army, based around the old 2nd Ed Space Marine battle report, “The Battle For Golgotha” from somewhere around 1993, which was set in the aftermath of Warlord Ghazgkull’s 2nd invasion of the world of Armageddon and (spoiler alert) finished with the heroic Commissar Yarrick being captured by the Ork..
Little did I know that between then and now, GW would immortalise this encounter with a novel and of course the Squats themselves would fall.. and then rise! But honestly? I’m more interested in recreating those gorgeous pictures that hooked me as a nipper.
Looking back through some of the pictures you’ll notice some big jagged rock spires – maybe not the most realistic terrain, but certainly cinematic, and CERTAINLY eye-catching. So monkey see, monkey make..
This was a really fun little build, and didn’t take anywhere as long as I thought it would, so I think a few more may be in the offing as I’ve still got a fair bit of ePVC and insulation foam..
As Dan mentioned, HQ is down for a bit of redecoration and reorganisation for the next week or so so there’s time to build some more stuff for us both.. in the meantime, stay safe, stay thrifty and Slava Ukrainia!
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:
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 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!
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!
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!
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!
This was for a couple of reasons- I like Star Wars, I like Epic, and we’ve been playing with a ruleset for 6mm battles and I wanted to test out what we had.
Now, we did have The Battle Of Aberdeen planned, but honestly, savage urban battles between a cartoon villain Russian horde and the plucky defenders just felt queasy given the current situation, so we shelved the plans for now and took our interests as far away from current reality as possible…
..which for me meant building these forces up for a May 4th battle! First order of business- vehicles.
I based my design on the units shown in the excellent and venerable RTS game Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds, so while the Galactic Empire has the iconic walkers from Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi, with the Rebels I was left guessing a little bit, so I took this as my model:
Right, next up will be the Empire with a few AT walkers, so until then, stay safe and thrifty out there!
How do again world. Having built up a nice head of steam painting Captain Tycho and being within touching distance of finishing my RetroBloodAngels, it makes perfect sense to leave them once again to concentrate on something else.. but as my partner in thrift mentioned, sometimes you just want those little wins, and the idea of a quick and simple project lit a fire under me.
In these days of economic apocalypse where just heating your house seems to require working three jobs (and one of them being a hedge fund manager), the casual wargamer could be forgiven for thinking that the Epic Imperial Guard army he once coveted as a kid would remain out of reach forever…
Some of you have already seen the GrannyGratingImperialGuard force taking shape over the last couple of years (and I certainly can’t take credit for the idea) and as the project as taken on a life of it’s own I’ve started to base it more and more on this force from the “Assault On Barbarius” battle from 2nd Ed Space Marine back in the early 90s. We’ve got the infantry component and a contingent of Rough Riders, plus a Vindicator company (the Guard could take them way back when) and of course the DIY Leviathan. The Assault On Barbarius force also called for (amongst other things) a squadron of Sentinels, and I quickly saw how a bit of granny grating and greenstuff could take care of that. A couple of evenings later – done!
So there we go, another unit added to the Hazzard 1977th – for free! Stay safe and sane, see you soon
Sometimes, you just want that quick little win. And so it was the other day, as I finished the washing up and was about to toss an innocuous looking soft cheese container into the recycling, when I caught sight of it from a certain angle and something about it caught my eye..
Cue a rummage around the Drawer Of Interestingly Shaped Crap (we’ve all got one) – and an old internet/ phone line junction box, a bottle cap and the lid from a nasal spray and things are starting to take shape:
Next up I blocked in base colours – Vallejo Russian Green and Mithril Silver for the metallic bits and gave the whole thing a thin black wash. I mixed in a little tan craft paint to create something lighter and did a little edge highlighting (sorry Dan) on the exposed edges, and for the psychic Astronomicon relay tower I used the same trick from the plasmareactors (itself lifted from one of Duncan’s old Warhammer TV painting guides), so I won’t retread that here – particularly since I don’t think I made that great a job of it, just couldn’t get it accurate enough so the effect is a bit smeary.
The great thing about the base box is that it comes with its own base! So I painted the lip brown, painted it with PVA and sprinkled first earth, then sand, then flock over it. Matt varnish sealed the whole thing and boom, we’re good to go! Beauty shots below:
So there we go, first build of 2022! On an unrelated note, we’re both big fans of Mel The Terrain Tutor, and he’s been worryingly quiet of late, particularly taking note of health issues he’s been suffering from – we wish him well wherever he is, and if you happen to be reading this Mel, drop us a line to let us know you’re Ok.
Meantime, stay safe, sane and thrifty everyone, we’ll see you again soon!
This is a ruleset I picked up in the dim and distant period of history known as my childhood and recently rediscovered during an attic clearance, along with it’s sister ruleset “Hell By Starlight” – both written by Jim Webster, both published by Wessex Games in the mid-90s, and both entirely “miniature agnostic” as the current term goes. I have a vague memory of mail ordering this aged 14 or so from Miniature Wargaming magazine – yeah, I got all the birds, me.
Reading through it, there were a few nice concepts so I invited Jim over, laid out the terrain cloth and Jim brought his DIY granny grating Star Wars armies to try things out and see what we could do with it. The scenario was simple, with Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker leading company sized forces of infantry with a couple of attached speeder scouts battling over control of the hill in the centre of the table.
The game plays basically IGO UGO, with adjustments via command points from the leaders. Each one generates D8 command points which can force each unit under their command to perform extra actions – all the D8s were at Jim’s so we used 2D6 to represent both Luke & Vader being Strong With The Force. These could do things like force extra movement actions, firing etc.
The first few rounds were mainly both sides advancing to contact using the terrain for cover, both Luke and Vader generating command points like crazy to frog march their troops along – meanwhile the scout speeders on each side zipped around the table trying to snipe at each other or any targets of opportunity.
So there we go, a fun little game with a suitable cinematic ending. Hellfire has some fun concepts – the idea of your troops deteriorating as the battle continues, becoming more susceptible to poor morale is a neat one, although I think the way it’s executed in practice is a bit fiddly. The idea of HQ generating command points – well, you don’t need me to approve that, as GW have worked it into the current and last versions of 40k!
My only criticism is that it feels incomplete – obviously, the production values don’t really stand up viewed from 2021 perspective but given this is a 30 years old from the pre-internet era, you wouldn’t expect it to- but a few more specific examples of how certain mechanics work would be nice, a lot of the rules are very open to interpretation and you’re never sure if you’re doing things the way they’re supposed to be done.. that said, it was fun and that’s the end of it, really. However – we’re going to try refighting this using our own ruleset which we’re developing for large scale battles in the Apocalypse: Earth, Future Force Warrior and Hyperian Wars universes, and Hellfire has definitely given us some ideas to try there. So if you find a copy of this floating around Ebay, or just a car boot sale. it’s definitely worth picking up.
Respect to the author Jim Webster, in the unlikely event of him reading this, and we’ll be trying out his other set “Hell By Starlight” in a future post. As always, stay safe and thrifty out there… the Omicron Variant is waiting like a microscopic Grinch to steal Christmas….
Yep, more granny grating.. but just LOOK at them! Aren’t they CUTE!
So as an OPFOR for the stormtroopers and Lord Vader, I created a company of rebel infantry using the same techniques as in the previous post. I mirrored the organisation of the Imperials – 3 platoons of six stands each, a command group of two stands, a pair of scouts on jetbikes, and a hero commander – in this case, Luke Skywalker himself!
And yes, a great deal of “I am your father…” “That’s not true! That’s impossible” squeaked in Chipmunks style falsetto has been going on here recently.. I’m blaming lockdown.
As before, a simple painting process – sprayed with cheap grey primer and given a base coat of Wilko’s Granite Dust house paint. Then a wash – I alternated between Vallejo Smokey Ink, Black Ink, and Army Painter Green Tone because I wanted a clear difference between the uniform pristine white of the Bad Guy Empire and the grungy guerillas of the Good Guy Rebel Alliance. I did the same for skin tones too – after all, diversity = good, and Rebel Alliance also = good, so Rebel Alliance must = diversity, right? So you’ll see a mix of skin tones – pinkish washed with Vallejo Skin Wash, dark brown washed with Smokey Ink, Goblin Green washed with Green Tone and Wilko’s Duck Egg Blue house paint washed with.. well, I squeezed a drop of blue ink from a nearly dead biro and mixed it with water and matt medium!
Basing was more or less the same as the stomtroopers, but this time I added some really fine dusty earth from the garden along with the sand and flock. I’d notice a patch of this in the garden and thought it might prove useful as a basing material.. it’s not world changing, but I like the effect.
Right, then – pics:
So next is figuring out what to play with them – as I mentioned, Hell By Starlight, which I fund a VERY dusty copy of in the attic will be getting a go, and we’ll bodge some stats for them in Epic – not forgetting our “epic scale” take on Future Force Warrior which hopefully we can get back to developing further now lockdown seems to be easing… Let’s keep the masks on and the fingers crossed people, we’re nearly there!
Stay safe and thrifty out there, we’ll see you soon
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!
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
Hmm…. I think I may have been in lockdown too long…
Anyway, followers of this blog can’t fail to have noticed Dan’sexperimentswith granny grating, and I think I’m probably the biggest fan of all – I’d already picked up a sheet of the stuff to see what I could use it for, and it wound up helping to detail our DIY Space Fleet ships and my WW2 Sci Fi trooper (must make him some friends…) and it was only a matter of time before I succumbed to the temptation to copy Dan’s idea (well, not Dan’s, this guys’ – but you get the drift).
We’ve floated the idea of an “Epic Scale” take on the Apocalypse: Earth system for a while, and I figured let’s just make some figures to test it…. what theme shall I base them around…
I should add, there is no real logic to this, it’s not like we’re planning to buy the franchise off Fantasy Flight Games – I just like Star Wars (yes, even the new ones… and even Phantom Menace!), and I like Epic. So these little fellas will serve as test beds for Apocalypse: Earth Armageddon rules and look ADORABLE while doing so! Further inspiration was gained by finding one of my old favourite RTS PC games on Steam for the princely some of £2.99 back in February:
I decided to set up two identical forces – Imperial and Rebel, each with a company of infantry (3 platoons of 6 stands each, with two command stands), a hero and two scout bikes. I also stumbled across this old relic from the 90s:
I got this waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back when as a kid and never really understood the rules, but a cursory flick through it shows some interesting concepts involving reactions and fatigue that should be fun to play through.
So, what did I make? Come and see!
I love these little guys – yes, up close and personal they don’t look much, but from two feet away the illusion is complete and I absolutely love the sense of having effectively got something for nothing.
I’ve just finished doing the Rebel force and they’ll be featured soon, as soon as I can pull myself away from Teeny Darth Vader and Teeny Luke Skywalker re-enacting all those classic scenes from the films.. and of course it’s not too long before we can think about actual in-person, face-to-face gaming once again (fingers and toes crossed)… until then, stay safe, stay sane, stay thrifty!