Friday 17 December 2021

Chris Achilleos - 1947 - 2021

I recently learned of the passing of the much loved Fantasy artist Chris Achilleos last week. Chris died following the onset of a sudden illness.

Chris' work has always been a favourite of mine since the 70's and was a stalwart of the Fantasy/Sci-Fi literary and Game industries and produced much of the classic Game and Book artwork through the 70's, 80's and 90's and indeed many well known poster art for the Movies too.

Elven Warrior (Elric) - 1983

A lot of my Fantasy and Sci-Fi reading material was based on picking up the book cover which Chris had produced and introduced a few new writers to my reading material that otherwise I may of missed, much like the works of Ian Miller, Rodney Matthews, Chris Foss and John Blanche, all of which helped steer my gaming and creative directions.

Divine Plague Carrier - 1976
Cover for 'To die in Italbar'

Chris is also reknowned for his fantasy glamour work and I have a couple of signed portfolio print runs of his Sirens and Amazon projects and most of his Art books to boot.

The Mercenary - 1977

His output was prolific and a quick tour of his website ( ) will produce much nostaga to those who remember all the GW 80's boxed games, Dr Who and Micheal Moorcock book covers and the Heavy Metal animated movie to name just a few.

A scan through his back catalogue will no doubt surprise and enthrall with a bit of healthy nostalga.

Kane's Stand - 1978

A favourite of mine which I post below adorned the cover of 'War of the Wingmen' by Poul Anderson and believe this eptomises Chris strengths in the attention to detail and textures that set him out from the pack and gave a generation of artists inspiration for all the good stuff that has since been produced by so many in the genre.

War of the Wingmen - 1976

An artist that will be sorely missed but who's work will continue to inspire and engage for years to come.

Sunday 14 November 2021

Future Wars Update 010 - Additional Buildings 2

An quick update on the progress on the Warmill MDF terain recently procured for adding some variety to my Future Wars Urban Tables.

All the kits are now assembled and undercoated and ready for a touch of paint ifn the livery decided upon.

All the kits went together fine and only observation being that with a lot of the pieces being a pretty tight/close fit, once the parts are painted a lot of the demountable/optional pieces won't fit without a bit of filing to loosed up the socket & pin or hook joints. Apart from that all good really.

Decided upon a fairly simple grey/cream/brown painting scheme with a few points of metallic interest here and there and intend to airbrush the majority of the pieces to speed up the painting process.


Sunday 24 October 2021

Future Wars Update 009 - Additional Buildings

Recently deciding that I needed a bit of variety for my terrain set-ups for my on-going 'Future Wars' project, and specifically a mix up on the buildings front to get a bit of Urban architectural diversity. I had already spotted some tidy bits and bobs with the Warmill ranges that I liked, so after a bit of deliberation I plumped for the Mini Mansion set, an extra Block Unit and a stair pack from the C.A.S.H. range to allow a bit of additional flexibility and some trendy fencing,from their Ultramodern range, all of which arrived in a nice weighty parcel at my door this week.

Digging out the parcel this evening and having a look over the contents, all looked present and correct, I opened up the Block Unit kit as a trail assembly and quickly cobbled together the unit. Taking a little over and hour to clip out and tidy up the pieces and then assemble using some PVA the kit went together nice and easily and now ready (after the glues dried) to undercoat and a spot of paint a suitable and simple paint job tomorrow.

At the same time as ordering up the Warmill stuff, I ordered a bit of scatter terrain pieces from Miniature Scenary over in Oz for a bit of trendy set dressing but these are still in transit but looking forward for a bit of Urban Landscaping when they arrive.

This terrain side project will be on-going but with the ease that the first kit went together, it shouldn't be long before all added to the shelf for a good boost to the Urban options.

Thursday 14 October 2021

Bad Day at Ganish Aer - The Glitter Twins

OK, it's been a while. I know, it's been lax of me but I have an excuse. Well... actually I don't. Just the usual stuff but I have been getting a few things done hobby wise ticking away and scratching at the lead mountain behind the scences (and adding the the pile too, especially terrain, but that's a different story). Just not a lot to add to the blog completeness-wise anyway, but still kicking and playing about with stuff when I have the mind.

One bit that's been getting picked at is the next warband for the skirmish game I had planned eon's ago from the land that was the Covid Wastes of Isolation. This is the promised 'Glitter Twins'.

The Glitter Twins and support

The Glitter Twins is the disparaging nick-name for the two sisters, Elpeth and Melinda Thimmyn-karr. Adventurers of some distinction around northern Tir-Mor and eastern Fayrenneth.

Elspeth & Melinda Thimmyn-karr
'The Glitter Twins'

The sisters are rumoured to be ex-devotee's of the Elistainian patron goddess Kyenna, Elistain being their home land around the southerrn province of Thyr-Aranrith. This may be true as both sisters are powerful elemental spell casters with the nick-name coming from their showy style of casting and theatrics while abroad.

The figures are the original Sigilist and Apprentice models from the Frostgrave range, with some experimental bases constructed using a terrain roller from GSW for an intial trial.

Medlunga and Douchrie

Medlunga and Douchrie are the Sister's warbands heavies and are both skilled and resourceful fighter types. Medlunga, hailing from the wilds of central Fayrenneth beyond Elistain, Mernoth and Dalriada, is a man of few words, apparently not speaking a word of Elistainian, or any of the local languages, he has been with the sisters since they ventured away from Elistain at the beginning of their journeys.

Douchrie is almost the opposite type of man, being a self-styled gentleman of from northern Tollandor and a third son of a unlucky noble who had picked the wrong side in the current War of Rulership raging across the area. Douchrie is besotted with the younger sister Elspeth, a fact she plays on to good effect, and Douchrie will defend and protect Elspeth to his last breath.

Both the figures are once again from the Northstar Frostgrave range, picked up from the first couple of Nick-starters, and these two have a more traditional basing style.

Gnarlich Meb and Kanta Meb
Gnoll Mercenaries

The two Gnoll Mercenaries Gnarlich & Kanta Meb hail from the same tribe of dog-soldiers resident around the border of eastern Elistain and northern Cellebria. Typical of all Gnolls, they are rapacious and ruthless, however they do appear to have some degree of loyalty to the sisters beyond their pay and booty and it is rumoured that the sisters had performed some task in the past for the Gnoll's tribal Matriarch and the two fighters are 'payment' for this service.

Yet again, both figures are from a Northstar Nick starter purchase and are part of the Frostgrave range. Again standard dirt and grass basing for these two.

The Toughs
Arch, Toug and Flannah

These guys are standard hired muscle and hail from different countries in and around northern Tir-Mor area. Arch, an ex-soldier of some years comes from western Moonandor. Toug is a Lornian from Eridann and has a history of working for crime families in and around Thule and probably had to be somewhere else in a hurry. Flannah comes the Sonnorian League lands on the southern coast of the Moonandorian eastern seaboard with a history of indentured service with one of the Merchant families there.

Two the these bods are well OOP Citadel fighters from the first slottabase fighter range and have been kicking about at the bottom of a box since some time in the 80's. Now finally painted up. the middle figure is a mix up from the old Empire Militia box set with arms and hammer from the old knights set and a Chaos Warrior shield to complete, being assembled some years ago and partially painted but now complete and ready for battle.

The three figs all having standard dirt and grass basing to suit.

With this band complete, the project nears completion with the third band around half way complete, being the 'Merchant Adventurrers' the last of the trio of intagonists so will endeavour to complete some and actuall y play through the planned encounter 'Bad Day at Ganish-Aer'.

Watch this space.

Sunday 14 February 2021

Oathmark Army Update - Peter the Giant

Here's an update on a little bit of progress on troops for my Oathmark Army currently under construction. Namely 'Peter the Giant'.

The model is, for those who don't recognise it, one of the 'Giants of Albion' set from the OOP Citadel Dogs of War range. I have a couple of the box sets from years ago and the other model from this set will be the next giant for the army, but won't join the ranks until the army list is due for expansion.

The model has a number of firsts to it for me. First model completed this year, first model I have completely painted using a wet palette, first to be varnished using spray varnish, first use of pigments on a model and first model I've named after a family member.

He's named after my father-in-law, who it has to be said it closely resembles, even down to the one good eye. Peter is no longer with us as he sadly passed away last year, but a wee bit of a memorium for him, (which I'm sure he would appreciate).

The model is all in all a bit of an experiment in many ways and I found I had to learn things all over again but I will perservere, as most of the experience was positive and reasonably happy with the end result, but with lots to learn.

I really liked using the pigments on the base as I was sure I would be and will be looking to experiement with them more in the future and see if I can get a bit more proficient in their use.

I did have an issue with the spray varnish, a matt one from MigAMMO. I sure the issue was not with the product, but my use of it, as the final coat ended up pretty shiny, which I don't like. So I ended up applying a brush coat of my trusty Windsor & Newton Matt Varnish to finish up. The fact that most of the model has had four varnish coats has had a slight blurring effect on some of the detail but nothing too worrying.

Next unit up on the Oathmark painting front will likely be the first Human Infantry Spear unit, with the Human Bowmen unit currently under construction, but next on the painting queue are some fantasy skirmish figures to be finished off hopefully soon.


Monday 25 January 2021

(Not) Planning 2021

I've been having a bit of a look forward (and a look back) for hobby activities for the coming year and seeing if anything is looking probable given the current climate under which we are all living in at the moment.

I know many in the wargaming fraternity have had more oppurtunity to get a dent into their lead mountains, with the enforced lockdown meaning many have had more free time forced on them to get painting and modelling done. I unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your point of view) haven't and for the second half of last year particularly, work was even more hectic than normal which meant the few rumblings of intentions I had had didn't even get a thought hobbywise, not even having time to pick up a brush since August. (I think I've glued one figure togerther in the last four months or so).

So although I have stopped 'planning' my hobby year ahead sometime ago, as the best laid plans never really materialised anyway, I had turned this activity into more of making up a mental wish list of stuff I'd like to do. This tending to be an amorphous and malleable thing at the best of times. But last year was even more unexpected than previously, with the total suspension of any gaming firstly, and then the expectation of getting more painting and modelling done never really materialising as my work activity (working from home) didn't really slow at all, to be superceded with a total lack of any free time at all as things picked up (as well as 'her-in-doors' having more time to plan extra diy projects since I had 'all this time on my hands').

So, although I'm not going to 'plan' the year ahead, I am going to have a bit of a wishlist of some stuff I would like to do or see done during the coming year. If it happens, good. If not, it'll move into the following year's probabilities.

In no particular order;

* First off is the hope to get some real gaming done. This could be anything really, but I would like to get the next Mordheim Campaign underway as I was looking forward to this.The first game of the campaign co-incided with the March Lockdown last year so nipped in the bud as it were. Otherwise a game or two of anything would be a welcome entertainment. This one I think is on everyone's list.

* Next up is continuing my build for my Oathmark Army I started putting together last year. This hasn't changed much since I managed to post a July WIP - Oathmark last year but all the bits for the army are sitting ready to be painted, assembled or completed, so would be nice to progress this to see how it turns out.

* The next one on my wishlist is to do a few extra's for my Future Wars project. Though I didn't get much modelled or painted last year, I did find the time to buy a few bits and bobs over the period (adding something like a hundred models to my lead and plastic mountain mainly in the form of Kickstarter projects coming to fruition, but not entirely of course) including some nice resin models of APC's and a buggy from Mortiontanks. I'll hopefully finish off the Future Wars WIP I posted last year too. I'd like to get around to playing the next planned game of my Future Wars campaign too.

* A piece of solo gaming is in my mind still as I would like to play my planned lockdown sanity-clause game ' Bad Day at Ganish-Aer'. I had completed most of the preparation work for this and I only have to complete one of the Warbands to play this (and base one other) so should be relatively do-able. This is just a 'because' kind of thing but has stuck in my mind, so would like to see it through.

* Next item on the wishlist is to post more on this blog. Last year saw the lowest activity (from me) for all the reasons above but I am keen to keep this going as it is a rewarding thing all in all but is obviously depandant on my gaming and modelling activities, so here's to more of that and the blog will follow on.

As a small aside to the last wishlist item; is it me or everybody else too, but does the blogging universe seem to be getting quieter recently? There are still a good number of stalwarts that keep posting regularly but an awful lot seemed to have dropped off and those still posting seem to be getting fewer comments. There was always a high drop off rate for this but new blogs took their place but this doesn't seem to be happening as much. Not sure if this is the case or just my perception as I've had less time to browse recently but I do get the impression that blogging seems to be 'moving-on' possibly to other platforms and people keeping to FB posts possibly.

* Trying out some of the new rule sets purchased over the last months. There are a few sets of rules that I picked up over the last year or more that I've still to try out in anger. Oathmark and Realities Edge being at the top of this list, but there are a couple of others that were planned for the beginning of last year that didn't happen including Grimdark Freebie rules and I had thought about giving Age of Sigmar another try. I haven't been tempted by any of the newer historical rule sets recently out but may give one or more an airing to see if they add anything to the mix or are just the next iteration of the ongoing search for the ultimate quick play.

Although not 'new', I have a hankering to get more LotR gaming done with the latest version of the rules having only had one game right at the end of 2019 with the latest version of the rules and either in person PvP (when this is allowed to happen again), online PvP (if anyone will have me) or even a wee bit of solo gaming would be most welcome. Always enjoyed all the games we've had and still a favourite rule set. 

* Trying out some old rules. I have had a few thoughts to play a couple of games using favourite rule sets from the dim and distant past. Just for a bit of nostalgia really but I would like to compare some of the old rules with their current counterparts and see if they were actually better or just different or indeed not as good as you remember. Maybe a bit of WAB, WRG or Middle Earth old skool gaming on the cards. This one I'd really like to get into this year.

* Reducing the Mountain. Too many figures and ranges to mention individually and other those than posted above, but just generally make a bit more of chip off the block than I managed last year. I'd like to try and get a nett gain on completed to purchased this year but there's always more shiny's in this hobby.

* Modelling, this is always terrain, terrain and more terrain. I enjoy the making process immensely and have a few pieces I would like to progress. I have also had a hankering to do some display pieces for their own sake. I used to do a lot of this back in the day and produced some decent 54mm and 75mm models plus a couple of vignettes and such.

I think this type of activity is very indulgant and just the kind of thing to lift yourself up with finishing a display piece your proud of, keeps you sane and improves the spirits. I have a couple of larger models secreted away somewehere which I hope to look out and put together and see if this list item is a goer.

The foregoing wish list is not exhaustive nor entirely fixed, and I have no expectation of managing it all but being a wishlist it has a lot of flexibility and no compulsion, just the wish and the hope of some quality time with friends in gaming and some hobby activities to come.

Things are still busy but not as manic as they were before the festives and hopefully will level out a bit allowing me to get a bit of TLC applied to my hobby. Here's hoping for future posts.

Friday 1 January 2021

Happy New Year


A Happy New Year to all and best wishes for the coming year.

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