Smart as Paint, dead as a…rabbit

The hall continues to be repainted now I know the right paint colour for the walls. Looks a lot smarter !

However, I have also started painting my figures again, and I chose a nice easy way back in to ensure I didn’t continue to procrastinate again.

Yes, Eric !
The Kharibdyss.
I checked the Dark Elf Army book for inspiration, and decided to go pretty much with GW’s colour scheme. It also helps that the blue underside will help to tie it in with the rest of the army (eg Witch Elves’ hair colour).

Unfortunately, I got interrupted yesterday whilst uploading the pictures. The usual kerr thump of a cat coming through the kitchen window (it was open, honest) and then the soup dragon purring of BlackJack filled the study. So I looked down to find that BlackJack had helpfully brought me a rabbit he had caught. So I tossed the still warm corpse back out of the window, only for BlackJack to bring back my present.

At this point I also learnt something new, a rabbit killed by a cat tends to empty its bladder. So I now had a leaking rabbit corpse to dispose of for good. Good job the cleaner is coming tomorrow. And people wonder why I don’t fit a cat flap. I’d forever be finding the decaying remains of one of the cats’ victims.

More scenery for undercoating. First Corps Russian thatched cabin (and shed). Being undercoated along with Eric’s two Beastmaster handlers. This means I should have enough scenery for my next BoB Big Game on the 31st May which is now getting close.

WHFB: A right drubbing ! Part Two

Not wanting to mix it up with the Phenix Guard the Dark Riders and Worlocks (both fast Cavalry) made a dash round them towards the melee in the centre of the table in a last ditch effort to help out the Cold Ones who had survived another round of combat depleting the Lothern Sea Guard. Both sides were succesful in casting spells, hexing and augmenting units but it was a war of attrition that I wasn’t winning.

The Dark Riders over-ran one of the RBTs and then charged the spearmen – no it wasn’t going to work really was it ?

The worlocks headed for the next RBT and out of harm’s way.

Talking of which my sorcess was alone and on foot, and had the two Giant War Eagles headed her way with no chance of fending them off.

Eric faced off against the Phoenix Guard – that wan’t going to work either ! So at this point I threw in the towel and conceeded edefat.

What had gone wrong ?

  • Assuming one army list, and my opponent bringing to totally different one
  • Not deploying in a sensible way, I should have refused a flank
  • Going in piecemeal…
  • …against a numerically superior enemy
  • Frittering away the Hydra, it should have moved to support the Dark Riders on the flank instead of hanging around being the target in target practice for the Shadow Warriors
  • Not getting Eric into combat with the Cold Ones, again he didn’t see action so was another couple of hundred wasted points

All in all an embarrsing list of failures for me as a General. “Could do better” would be on my report card.

Bag Diving & Other household recipies

BlackJack found Anthony’s green bag, the one he kipped in two times previously (w/e before last and at Xmashammer). Why he likes this bag is known only to him.

Safely ensconced he’s a happy cat/Emissary of Satan. Before falling asleep in the bag.

Anthony has learned not to leave anything in the bag that can be damaged by a cat sitting/lying on them. BlackJack came back several times to have cat naps in the bag.

There’s been a dearth of painted figures recently, partly procrastinating, partly other household projects.

The builders having painted the kitchen/hall doorway showed up the state of the gloss wood work. The previous owners of my house were smokers, and with a multi-fuel stove in the lounge its not surprising the gloss work has become yellowed over 14 years.

But in painting the wood work with undercoat and gloss, its shown up how the walls in the hall have accummulated scrapes and marks. So I’ve been too and fro from the builders’ store (Travis Perkins) identifying what exactly is the paint in the hall, and the stairs, and the landing, and the lounge – if I get it wrong and paint the hall the wrong colour I’ll have to to the entire lot.

Luckily the builders gave me a clue, and today’s purchase of a sample pot seems to have been a success.

In the corner, is magnolia, a subtly darker shade than the original paint. In the lower portion, the new paint, the rest is the original with a bit of water damage. I’ve also fillered a bit of the cracks.

So what’s this got to do with miniatures painting ?

Several of my co-conspirators keep recipes for their painting shades so they can extend and reproduce the same paint jobs at a later date.

There’s nothing more frustrating than getting the right shade of colour, and then not being able to reproduce it a few weeks/months/year later !

WHFB: A right drubbing ! Part One

Byakhee Anthony and I had a game on Monday, Dark Elves vs High Elves.

I’d thought I’d be facing a cavalry heavy army, so planned accordingly for my own cavalry heavy army.

Dark Elves:

  • 3 Sorceresses
  • 10 Cold Ones, plus BSB and a hero
  • 2×10 Dark Riders
  • 10 Worlocks
  • 10 RXBs
  • Eric, the Kharbdrys
  • Spitty, a Hydra

Instead, Anthony brought an entirely infantry army.

  • 2 War Eagles
  • Lothern Sea Guard ~20
  • Spear Men ~30
  • Two RBT
  • Phoenix Guard ~20
  • 2 Mages, one of whom had all the signature spells from all the magic lists
  • 2 heroes, one with the Moonbow

Vanguard move – lots of Fast Cavalry moved forward.

But Anthony won the roll for the first move…

Anthony rolled two 6s for the winds of magic, and proceeded to carry out a very canny tactic of lots and lots of low level signature spells, which eventually wore my dispel pool and reduced the RXB unit to 4…in the first turn ! Shooting then reduced them to 2 !!

I charged forward anyway trying to outflank and encircle his infantry blocks to pick them off.

On my flank, the Dark Riders raced passed the Shadow warriors in the woods, whilst the hydra headed for the war eagles. This was a mistake.

Because Anthony then charged the War Eagles into the back of the Dark Riders, who held for one turn before (as ever) I failed the LD test and they were cut down, including a Lvl2 Sorceress.

The Cold Ones charged the Lothern Sea Guard losing 2 on the way in ! Anthony then moved the Spearmen to line up a flank attack.

Film: The Desolation of Smaug

As a young squirt I was made to read The Hobbit in my English class at the age of about 9.

I found it fascinating and it lead me into the Lord of the Rings and many other sci-fi and fantasy books.
The image is Tolkein’s depiction of the death of Smaug above Lake Town, a rarer cover version of the book.

The first part of the film is ok, and close to the book. The portrayal of Beorn is a bit disappointing (goblin heads on posts!), Mirkwood is ok though I really missed Bilbo taunting the Spiders (Attercop, Attercop…) and one can even accept the Wood Elves being more aggressive under a much more fleshed out character in the King Thranduil.

The inclusion of Legolas and Tauriel was ok, Tauriels flirtation with Kili a bit unlikely but not a show stopper. It also helps the continuation with LOTR WRT Legolas and is in keeping with the deeper background of Tolkein’s works.

The escape from the Woof Elf Kingdom is a bit OTT but not wildly so, the involvement of the Orcs is in terms of a filmatic theme ok. Laketown itself is well done and The Master (Stephen Fry) is well done and better fleshed out than in the original book. The background of Bard in Lake town was good, and his link with his ancestor Girion, Lord of Dale.

There’s a few caveats at this point, but moving on swiftly…

I liked Bilbo’s encounter with Smaug. It wasn’t as passive as in the book, but this is a film so that is forgiven. It may have been too long and his finding of the Arkenstone a bit too premature – I guess I’ll hold fire on that until the third film.

Smaug is portrayed excellently, a half lizard half cat like capricious creature, and the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch captures the spirit of this evil creature well.

The inclusion of Dol Guldur and the rise of the Necomancer aka Sauron, is perfectly in keeping with the original book’s narrative and I don’t have a problem with it. In fact Jackson et al by knitting together Tolkein’s references from all his books makes it a much wider narrative and much more enjoyable.

At this point it all starts falling apart.

For some as yet unknown reason (the pretext being Kili’s injury and some shoehorning in of Tauriel and Legolas), four of the Dwarves are left back in Laketown. Totally out of kilter with the book. There had better be a good reason in the 3rd film. The attack of the Orcs under Bolg is well done cinematically, but again nothing to do with the book, nor even Tolkein’s wider plot.

The Lonely mountain should have been approached over dismal swamps, but it isn’t, just lots of icey foot hills. Where are the burnt out fir tree woods the Dwarfs sang about on the first film ?

The Dwarfs descend into the mountain way too soon and get caught up in a very boring stereotypical CGI chase scene with Smaug, and launch a wholly implausible attack on Smaug from which he survives, makes an implausible deduction and randomly flies off to torch Laketown.

Thorin goes off the deepend with gold lust way too early, and this is only rescued by Balin’s reaction. Most of the other Dwarfs remain ciphers which could have been fleshed out during this unnecessary set of scenes instead.

Why not stick to the original book ? That would have had more than enough opportunity for Smaug to come out of the mountain track down and chase the Dwarves, toast some ponies and then fly off to Laketown in revenge. It misses out the Thrush mostly and probably the Ravens.

As a film, its good, but as an adaptation of a book its disappointing. There are way too many loose ends, odd plots and digressions to make it satisfying for Tolkein fans. A strange mish mash of the enjoyable and the “eh what ?”.

A busy week

No new postings here this week for a number of reasons.

  • Monday – Thursday every evening I have been out attending a community event. Community Newsletter, Parish Council, Sub Contractor, and Action Group to save the P.O.
  • During the day I’ve been painting the house, not the figures.
  • and been varnishing the scenery I’ve done, none to exciting I may add.

BlackJack being intimidated by the new sheep and lambs in the field behind me.

The builders having painted the kitchen/hall doorway, showed up the deterioration of the paint work in the house.

So as you can see I am now having to paint the rest of the hall gloss work, which shows up the damage to the walls, and its all open plan with the lounge, stairs and landing…

So I have been round DIY shops getting tester pots for the wall paint as it is not Magnolia.

In the meantime I have watched a certain film several times…

A Happy Outcome

Weekend before last I posted about Sean Davis, a guy I’ve never met who had attempted suicide after racking up a small amount of debt.

As a survivor of bereavement by suicide, rather than offer platitudes I organised on the Steve Dean Forum a whip round to pay off his remaining debts (a paltry £600) which was succesful.


Sean is now out of hospital, and has proposed to his gf, and they are now engaged.

So that was my good deed. When did you last do a good deed ?

WHFB: 2014 04 12 A right old set to ! Part Two

The Phoenix Guard crushed the Gors, taking their BSB with them and pursued across the battle field towards more foes.

Meanwhile, another unit of Gor ambushers erupted behind our lines, trapping the Dwarf line front and rear. Luckily, Anthony’s army list for me had ganted me Stubborness so whilst locked in combat with numerically superior numbers Shambles held the line. Several challeneges were declared and accepted, but each took two turns to resolve ! Eventually stouter Dwarf skill held out and the gobbos lost their BSB and hero.

Shambles’ unit got charged in the rear by the Gors and took casualties.

But the Longbeards defeated the other gobbos and chased them across the battlefield not quite catching them.

Having wiped out the goblin trebuchet crew, the War Eagles swooped onto a lone Goblin Shaman, as overseen by BlackJack who ensured Anthony’s measuring was purrfect. 😉

The Phoenix Guard caught the gobbo archers (about 30 of them) whislt the Eagles swooped on the hapless shaman.

The Longbeards caught up with the fleeing gobbos…

The goblin army fled across the centre of the board away from the rampaging High Elves and Dwarfs.

Meanwhile, Shambles’ unit had held the line fighting off the gobbos and the Gors despite casualties (stubborn is a great rule !), allowing Bugman’s Rangererers to charge the gobbos in the rear and the Long beards and Eagles to come to the rescue. Against all odds, the Organ Gun crew withstood (by one beard) the attack of the second Gor unit of ambushers, and held them there !

Phoenix Guard mopped up the last of the gobbos completing their slaughter.

Whilst Bugman’s Rangererers slaughtered the gobbs, crashed through into the Gors and drove them off.

At this point, the game was won with only one unit of Gors left to take on the virtually untouched Lothern Sea GUard, Phoenix Guard, War Eagles, Long Beards and Bugman’s.

Victory for the good side.

Just as well as BlackJack was found to be cat-napping Anthony’s bag underneath the table. 🙂

WHFB: 2014 04 12 A right old set to ! Part One

We had planned a game of Warhammer for Saturday. I had originally planned to be GM and Host, leaving the four Byakhees to be the players. At the last moment due to back injury and yet another problem with his car, Rich had to pull out, so I was now the fourth player.

I opted to play Dwarfs as I have a few and they haven’t seen the light of day recently. I didn’t however have the new rulebook, so Anthony agreed to write up an army list based on what figures he knew I had. Each player had 1500 points, so quite small armies, but with four players and 3,000 points per side enough for a full day’s gaming especially as Roo is only just getting back in to warhammer.

My dwarf army, which has barely seen lick of paint ! A lot of old school models here.

Lead by my general Shambles (named after an old AD&D character I played), busy smoking his pipe, and some rare finds on e-bay of a standard bearer and musician from the pre-slotta days !

  • Quarrellererers – 20 X Bows, including command squad, veteran and Shambles (Noble), pre and ealy slotta figures.
  • Bugmans Rangerererers – 20 Bugmans Rangers with X Bows and Great Weapons, second edition of the Regiment of Renown.
  • Long Beards – 20 actually painted plastic Dwarfs, Noble with BSB.
  • Organ Gun – with a few runes on it.

I allied with the tricksy Elves, to fight against Beatmen and a horde of Gobbos.

After Roo’s No.1 son Dylan (6 years old) had set up the scenery for us (supervised), and had finished admonishing his father for not having painted all his Beastmen (!), the armies deployed:

Beastmen & Gobbos. Unit of Minataurs on the bottom flank, spider riders top, hordes of (plastic grey) gobbos and Gors centre.

Lothern Sea Guard in black undercot flank the dwarf Longbeards and Quarrellererers, organ gun and RXB. Phenix guard guard the other flank.

Bugman’s Rangers deployed well foward to menace the enemy’s lines. This almost turned out to be a mistake, as I’d forgotten spider riders are Fast Cavalry, so get a vanguard move which meant they ended up on the Temple of Skulls, and that they ignored difficult terrain !

Meaning, I had now become the hunted ! A hasty re-arrangement, with reinforcement hurrying ofrward in the form of the Phoenix Guard and War Eagles calmed me somewhat, not that I needed to have worried…

The Spider Riders pounced, losing a few on the way in due to X-bow fire. I lost three Rangererers.

Before wiping the Spider Riders out entirely, and reformed to face the oncoming horde behind me:

Gors and Goblins advanced across the table. In our favour the large goblin unit of archers spent two turns squabbling due to the good old goblin animosity rules.

More worrying was the advance of the Minotaurs through the ruins on the flank. Fortunately, the Lothern Sea Guard with magically souped up fire power did their duty.

Cutting them down in number, before a second volley of fire wiped them out.

Anthony’s High Elf War Eagles closed in on their target – the goblin trebuchet. This had already squished a few of my Long Beards !

Two gobbo hordes, relatively unscathed by my Organ Gun and X-Bow fire charged in to the Longbeards and Shambles’ Quarrellererers.
At the same time a large unit of Gor Ambushers popped up right behind the Dwarfs (luckily for us unable to charge in that round of combat !).

The Eagles catch their prey…

Whilst the Phoenix Guard enter the fray with the somewhat battered Gors.

To be contionued…

PS: There is a running joke in our group about Dwarf unit names, hence the Rangererers, Quarrellererers etc….

Film: Riddick – Rule the Dark

I finally got this at the w/e and watched it, it’s the third installment in the Riddick franchse. I watched Pitch Black and thoroughly enjoyed it. the second film, The Chronicles of Riddick was less enjoyable. It was packed with great ideas, but was really two films/concepts boiled down into one and both stories ultimately lost some of their potency.


This film was an indepoendent release and returns to the Pitch Black approach, a bit too closely, but is saved from a straight retread for a couple of reasons.

Riddick’ tiring of the Necromungers that he ended up leading at the end of Chronicles. So he cuts a deal with Vaako (Karl Urban’s character), but Vaako’s sidekick double crosses both of them and Riddick is left for dead on an un-named desert planet. Obviously Riddick isn’t about to give up. Cue various deadly interactions with the local wildlife, which start to become boring. Riddick rescues a local Jackal like pup and raises it, before finding a deserted Merc (mercenary) base whose rescue beacon he triggers.


This is where it gets interesting. Two mercenary gangs arrive to claim the bounty on Riddick’s head. One is lead by hot headed Santanna who arrives first and makes some rather “brave” claims about his intentions WRT Riddick. The second band of mercenaries, is lead by Boss Johns, the father of the merc Johns that Riddick killed in Pitch Black. These guys are rather more professional, and include Dahl (Katie Sackhoff) as a competent ruthless sidekick.

Though the overall pot of the film is a bit of a re-hash of Pitch Black in terms of alien predators besieging the humans (also in the dark with rain), the interaction between the two mercenary ganags and Riddick saves the day. Their different approaches and outlook are well done. The “jet bikes” are also a novel concept (not land speeders) along with the power nodes being incompatible.

It would make for an excellent Laserburn scenario with two highly different sets of mercenaries pitted against a real (anti-) Hero character. Again worth getting is its about £5 or £7 cheap.

PS: There is a Directors cut with an additional secne at the end involving the Necromungers.
PPS: There are very few images for this film on the ‘net, and no decent trailers without advertisement breaks.