The March Violets: Well it’s a little punk thing

Wandering around unattended by any responsible adult (Byakhee, cultists or deity), I encountered an older Liverpudlian in a yellow “Sex Pistols: Never Mind the Bollocks” t-shirt pushing a young child in a baby buggy, who exclaimed:

Blo**dy Hell, I never thought I’d see someone wearing a March Violets t-shirt in ****ing Brom****

Give them doubt and sell them fear.
Well it’s a little punk thing,
Back of my brain,
Keeping me sane.

Made my day.


Special Guest Superstar DJ: WHFB Empire

Yes, another Empire army !

This time from Byakhee Stuart, who I again did a special interview for The Carcosa Times:

My old Empire army was the first Warhammer army I collected. I guess at
the time I wanted to stay in my comfort zone to something that vaguely
resembled a historical army with the classic ‘horse, foot and guns’ make
up. The colour scheme started off being simply red and white as an
homage to my beloved football team, Arsenal. However I started this and
I felt it was missing something and going on my basic colour theory of
complimentary colours I opted to go for a dark green accent.

I was more into painting than gaming, the same goes today really, and
liked to give individual touches to the various units. In my naivety I
thought that the Empire was supposed to be a German speaking nation, my
mind was thinking ‘Holy Roman Empire’ and as a result all the writing on
the banners are in German with the common phrase ‘Wir haben vertrauen in
‘ or We Have Faith in Sigmar. I wanted to stay away from all the
skulls ‘nonsense’ as I thought it and as such I went for more benign
symbology such as the Tudor Rose on the knight’s banner. IT was my first
foray into the whole Warhammer uninverse and at the time I didn’t really
get the whole dark, gothic feel to the Empre.

The collection was pretty straight out of the box really and did not
have that many conversions as such. Favourite model was Luthor Huss, I
still have a soft spot for the old firebrand and if I do Empire again I
will certainly have him there again.

This army was sold on to another collector years ago so if I did Empire
again it would be from scratch. If I did do it again it would be the
full on Warhammer Empire crazyness eith flagellants, priests, wizards,
monsters and steam tanks. I must admit the release of the new war altar
and griffon models has severely tempted me….

More photos of this army are here, if you bought this army from Stuart, feel free to comment/get in touch and update us on its travails ! 🙂

WHFB: Dark Elf Repeater Bolt Throwers

Yes, the one and only piece of artillery Dark Elves get. And we get a measly 3 crew figure options with two crew for each bolt thrower: the ubiquitous raised sword in air pose; and two others. Well this is going to be a fascinating paint job when you have SIX of them to paint. Then there was the perennial problem of how not to paint them black all the time, and introduce some unit coherency.

So, as they are bought in WHFB in units of one or two bolt throwers, I decided their cloaks would be different colours, that’s the best I could think of. So two Dark Grey (almost black), two dark green (to again fit in with the army theme) and two dark purple (ditto). Again some of the scarves were painted an ice blue colour to help brighten up these figures and tie them in with the army overrall.

Gosh how exciting.

I based them on round plastic bases GW used to do, mostly to give them more structural strength. As usual GW have gone for very small contact areas on large pieces of white metal. Despite using stupid glue, all purpose adhesive and impact adhesive nothing lasted more than a few games and its a bit embarrassing when you pour a pile of components on to the table in front of your opposing player’s beautifully painted army. I left the crew separate though.

Then of course, having built these nice pieces of artillery, storing them became a problem. Having sold figures to buy GW storage cases and having ~60 of them I was not disposed to move to a new system. Luckily Kaiser-Rushforth supply foam trays of varying sizes that fit the GW cases. Byakhee Anthony had just invested in a load for his army and they were really good so after a test order, I got some more.

As you can see the pick and pluck system allows you to use the plucked foam to cushion the large bits easily. Well worth the money. The downside of building all these items is that your army mushrooms from a few cases to dozens of cases, hence the re-assessment of my projects given the amount of room that is taken up.

Also, you run the risk of bringing the wrong box for the battle – something I frequently do when going to Byakhee Jim’s House of Doom, Byakhee Richard has apparently solved this by having a few cases but far more trays and then mix and matching before setting out.

WHFB: Harpies & Hydras

Harpies are fragile but dangerous units to field, ideal for flanking attacks, and for menacing warmachine creew as they each get 2 Attacks. Normally a unit of 5 is enough to take on human, goblin, Elf and similar crew, but for Orcs or Dwarves I’d field a unit of 10.

I have the GW Harpies, and have added to them with the new Foundry harpies. They’re all good sculpts but Foundry win out as they are single piece castings, and their wings stay on if you look at them, whereas the GW ones have wings that fall apart on sight.

Here they are in their brand new skirmish movement trays:


I’ve got 40 of them now, which I think is enough !

Of more substantial stature and threat to the enemy if the Dark Elf War Hydra, here are my two darlings – I really must think up names for them but so far its eluded me:

Byakhee Rich helped assemble them with his pinning skills, and then it just seemed rude not to extensively use them. the Byakhees quickly learnt:

Open fire, all weapons !

Renovating Scenery – 4

Lots of glue later, here’s the finished scenery piece.

As a reminder here’s what it looked like:

And this is what it looks like now:

From above:

The rubble as commented was chopped up plastic sprue for the most part, roughcoated, glued into place, and then highlighted. I also added some large bricks I’d received, to simulate the larger stone blocks. I think the mixture works ok.

Some of the lichen bushes were then added, and some rubberised horse hair as well.

This time round I tried to ensure there were space at the corners/ends of the ruins for figures to be placed. Overall I hope its an improvement. And finished just in time for a JIT game request by Byakhee Jim on Saturday. 🙂

AVBCW & BoB: More Movement Trays

A glutton for punishment, I ordered some more movement trays from Sarissa. This time I asked for some custom movement trays suitable for round based figures for AVBCW and BoB/RCW. I specified two types, each for 10 figures. The first would be spaced half an inch apart, the second would be a full inch apart. Some game systems allow figures from the same unit to be up to two inches apart, but I thought that trying to use trays when that far apart would be far to cumbersome and visually intrusive.

Here they are:

And with some fine upstanding BUF populating them:

I think the first option, half an inch apart works well and from memory and use of the Mark 1 Eyeball, looks about what we field them on the table normally.

The second, spaced one inch apart now seems to be very big, and could be cumbersome to use on the table.

Here they are with the normal skirmish tray:

The only problem I have found is that when both base and tray are flocked, its a bit of a tight fit:

Therefore I have done another small order and asked for the holes to be 2mm wider in diameter to cope with this.

Any players of AVBCW or BoB, please comment on what you think of the two new options:

  • Would they be useful ?
  • Do they look ‘right’ ?
  • Would they be ok on the battlefield ?

Thanks !

WHFB: Dark Elf Shades

As you’ve guessed, I’m an avid Dark Elf collector and gamer. I have collected them ever since the first metal based designs came out, and have always loved Cold Ones. I’ve virtually finished painting enough to field at least one of each unit, though my collection is easily twice that, more like three times that size. In all I estimate I have 15k points of Dark Elves that could almost form a ‘legal’ army. The stuff not yet painted is going to feature a lot more conversions and oddities.

Anyhow, here’s some more photos, this time of my Shades – when they start shooting, Byakhee Jim is now duty bound to exclaim:

Ballistic skill 5 ?!

…before doing his Mutley impression
Here they are with their smart new skirmish tray:

I used dark green for their cloaks, mostly Foundry Bottle Green but there is some old GW/Citadel Jade in there as well, and then I’ve gone for a buckskin effect on their breeches.

For the champion, I chose an appropriate stance and then paionted the coat purple to ensure he stood out:

A very useful little unit that really distracts my enemies and threatens artillery crew units. The other units I use for these purposes are Harpies.

WHFB: Dark Elf Repeater Cross Bowmen

They are the main part of my Dark Elf army, after 20 of them they get very boring, mostly black with chainmail dry brushing on the armour. I made the decision early on in painting my Dark Elf army NOT to just use black. So I opted for a dark Green – Foundry Bottle Green Shade in fact. This is used on their robes etc. Still very dark, I painted the old metal Cold One Knights who had streamers on their lance – and I used an ice blue to indicate they are an offshoot of the High Elves who of course traditionally are painted white and blue. this also helps keep the army coherent visually.

Any how, here’s some pictures of figures, which we haven’t had enough of recently:

They even come with shields !

The snake/dragon design is painted Bottle Green, and then drybrushed with a metallic green that I have from a very old Citadel paint set. The same design is used on some of the standards:

And I’ve done a lot of mix and match between the plastic kits to get a variety of standards, musicians and champions:

More stuff here, and more stuff to come in the next week.

Films – War Films (Updated)

Surprise surprise, a war gamer likes war films…

Dr Zhivago

David lean’s extrvaganza – my first intro to the RCW. Massive battles fouught in Siberia, cough Spain.

This is the sort of thing that caused the Russian Army and the Eastern front to fall apart.

Big epic film, with the Reds, Whites and others all representative.

The Admiral

Another excellent (RCW) war film.

Na Moscow !

(Russian film, and yes whilst it comes with English subtitles, its worth watching in the original Russian)

Where Eagles dare

Obviously why Airfix released their German Mountain Troops. No I can’t think of any other reason they’d release German Mountain Troops. An excellent scenario for radiers/commandos and so on, applicable in any genre/ time period.


The late 1960’s and early 1970’s were when the Eastern bloc governments were busy hiring out their armies to be well armies in western films. Waterloo was one of them. Allegedly this was the 7th largest army in the world…

There’s a lot of quotes from this film:

Duke of Wellington: The whole line will advance.
Lord Uxbridge: In which direction your grace?
Duke of Wellington: Why, straight ahead to be sure.

But the best quote from Waterloo was:

Lord Uxbridge: Er-herm. Sir.
Duke of Wellington: [removing his copy of The Times from over his face] Ah, Uxbridge.
Lord Uxbridge: As I am second in command and in case anything should happen to you, what are your plans?
Duke of Wellington: To beat the French. [goes back to sleep, replacing the newspaper]

(NB: 1.50 mins in)

Now that’s the sort of battle line up I’d like to see squaring off from each other.

Before the British squash the Frenchies…

[Historical quote]
Duke of Wellington: [referring to his army] I don’t know what they’ll do to the enemy; but, by God, they frighten me.

Lawrence of Arabia

Yes there ARE quotes from this film in Prometheus, so it is going to take multiple viewings. Surprisingly it has Claude Rains in as well, just like the film noir…

A film showing guerilla warfare, plus set piece attacks, Arabic irregulars with British armoured cars and other weaponry.

Apocalypse Now

A good look at the psychology and morality of war. Lots of useful wargaming ideas too.

  • Defending a bridge from destruction – the attacker simply ahs to destroy the bridge not the defenders to win for instance.
  • Forcing a small force through upriver, again the attacker has to get a small team through to the other side of the board, they don’t have to miklitarily defeat nor occupy the board to win.
  • Search the passing boats/carts/space ships to find the enemy/spies/smugglers, the civies might fight back, or your troops might get trigger happy. Hey, what’s up with that guy at the back with the red eyes…?

Lonesome Denier

He was on Heartland’s bank notes and stamps, an evolutionary remnant, a money-spinning tourist attraction and an icon of international conservation. No one knew if he was ignorant, impotent, bored or just very stupid. But he is thought to have been about 100 years old and in his prime when he died on Sunday at the Charles Darwin research centre in the Grauniad Islands. Although the wilfully ignorant climate change denier known as Lonesome Denier and commonly called a twat may in fact have been far older – or much younger.

In the 40 years he spent on the Comment is Free and What’s Up With That? comment boards, the poster showed little interest in either science or facts. He totally ignored peer reviewed Evidence(TM), let alone the female company provided to encourage him to be sociable and anything other than a noisome bore. He kept his 3ft scraggy neck down in his pint propping up the bar, and only responded to his keepers, Oily Mentor and Fossil Fuels R Us, who run stink tanks supporting fossil fuel addictions.

“The park ranger in charge of looking after the deniers found Lonesome Denier, his body was motionless,” said Edwin Informed, head of the Grauniad National Park. “His lifecycle came to an end. Yet he kept on typing rubbish even after his neural system had failed and we had to prise the keyboard from his gnarled hands.”

Denier was found near an ale hole, but no one knows how or why he died, and evolutionary scientists are still baffled by his life in the modern world, as his existence undermines Darwin’s theories on evolution.

As the last known representatives of the giant Denier subspecies Heartlandus Bollolockus he had every reason to shun humanity, after their ill conceived guilt by association billboards. His relatives were exterminated for stupidity by their paymasters in the early 21st century, and their habitat on the Internet was devastated by real scientists. Lonely Denier possibly has relations on neighbouring Monckton Island (currently under international isolation due to an outbreak of terminal stupidity), but it is more likely his whole subspecies is now extinct – the end of what is probably a 30-year-old line of denial born out of the earlier tobacco and lung cancer species of denial.

On Monday, scientists who had spent time with Lonely Denier recalled his peculiar ways. “Denier was the last of his kind. He had a unique personality. His natural tendency was to avoid science and Evidence(TM). He was very evasive. He had his favourites and his routine zombie arguments, but he really only came close to his keeper Moncktonius Watts. He represents what we wanted to preserve for ever – absolute stupidity. When he looked at you, you saw time in the eyes, the time before science, the time before any form of rational debate, just absolute mindlessness” said Joe Normal, the head moderator of the comments board, who knew Lonely Denier for more than 20 years of constant moderation for offensive and off topic comments.

Scientists’ attempts to get Lonesome Denier to meet socially with other giant twats from the comments boards and to eventually repopulate middle America with intelligent life all failed and were often comical. Artificial insemination did not work, nor did a $10,000 reward offered by the Ecuadorean government for a suitable mate. In the 1990s, Sarah Palin, an American climate change denier smeared herself in denial and ignorance and, in the cause of politics, spent four months trying to manually stimulate Lonely Denier – to no avail.

In 2008 and 2009 Lonely Denier unexpectedly mated with one of his two companions – Creationist Kate, but although two clutches of eggs were collected and incubated, all failed to hatch. Thankfully.

Henry Nicholls, author of Lonesome Denier: The Life and Loves of the World’s Most Reprehensible Person, reported that Lonely Denier was irresistibly attracted to the late Lord Devon’s wartime helmet, presumably because it resembled the shell of the young warmonger (George W oil me Bush). Even after being put on a diet of peer reviewed journals, the wilfully ignorant denier with the scraggy neck, who could have been expected to deny death was real until he was well over 200, remained obstinately alone in his fantasies

Conservation scientists on Monday said Lonely Denier was important because he symbolised both the rapid loss of intelligence and informed opinion now taking place around the world, and provided the inspiration to begin restoring it in places like middle America. “Because of Lonely Denier’s fame, scientific Ignorami which were down to just a few thousand in some countries have recovered their populations to Medieval levels. He opened the door to finding new political techniques to help dumb down the populace” said Richard Knab of the Grauniad Conservancy, which is running education and rehabilitation programmes with the Ecuadorean government.

But Lonely Denier will be sorely missed for financial reasons, too. As the star of the comments boards and an icon of global stupidity, he helped attract 180,000 money-spinning visitors a year to the fossil fuelled shill sites. He is likely to become a conservative relic and will probably be embalmed and displayed – alone – still propping up the bar still.