Mordheim: Brightening up the ruins

Another couple of classic GW card and plastic ruins.

Very dark inside ! You can easily lose miniatures in here.

And boring outside.

This ruin is actually from the WHFB 6th edition starter set. I acquired the set, and flogged off virtually everything else other than two orc hands/weapons on a very memorable work trip round the midlands and south of England which made £500+ profit.

The other building with the pizza box flagstones out front.

The usual dolls house flagstone paper brightens up the ruins without making it garish (I save that for the figures). The plastic stone work got a black wash followed by highlight.

Ditto for the Mordheim building. I also checked that the stone paper would not warp if I applied a wash to it, and it doesn’t, so I’ve now started breaking up the straight lines on the scenery.

The two buildings “refurbished”.

Now for a game of Frostrgave with Byakhee Jim who is running late !

Updates tomorrow.

Mordheim: Altar

Another item built back c2001 and never properly finished off – a great big Altar. I use this as a centre piece for a town square or such like, suitably desecrated by the forces of Chaos and Evil.

All very grey !

So I set about renovating it with some colour and spruced it up with an Orc’s skull to replace an ordinary skull that had come off.

It was built from a simple thick card base, with two 3mm slabs of foam board suitably weathered, and then the altar itself on top. Paving slabs were the usual cereal/pizza card box cut to shape.

The entire edifice was then decorated with off cuts from GW Zombie, Skeleton and Skaven sprue.I made a deliberate effort to do a lot of highlighting and washes, again to make the piece seem a bit more colourful than the grey dull version it had been.


The first edition of Warhammer was announced under the tagline of “Let’s smash skulls !”, well as we all know, Skullz have somewhat taken over all the Warhammer armies and derivatives.

Digging out some scenery, I found some Skullz related scenery.

Three small piles of skulls, again on the Render bases.

Two larger charnel piles of skulls and bones.

And the final piece, which is made up of a pillar of skulls, with a gargoyle perched atop. The picture does not do the paint job of the gargoyle justice – its a metallic purple that I painted in order to make it stand out in amongst all the dull greys and browns of most of the rest of the Mordheim and Frostgrave terrain.

I had to give the purple metallic pot a good shake, it was one of the original Citadel mettalics I bought back in c1991, but the more colour the better in some of these scatter scenery pieces.

Obviously I have also have ideas for rules and scenarios as to how these items are used.

A Grave Situation

In many AVBCW scenarios and games tables is a church. Unlike reality they are rarely circled with a graveyard.

So I have determined to resolve that. I bought a pack of the Renedra gravestones.

The set should do four of these bases (7×6″) to give a good amount of open space that is not plain green grass, provides some cover and makes the scenery, ahem, come alive. It will also make the Church much more of an objective, with plusses and minusses for the various factions to use and abuse.

I’ll add some flowers to the next couple of pieces.

Of course this meant I wondered what a Russian graveyard looks like for my RCW/BOB games….

Freecycle – lots of CDs for scenery

As mentioned last week I ran out of the free CDs I use to base lots of scenery on. At the same tile, the builders had left behind a pile lof spare tiles in my garage which I needed to get rid of. Obviously no one is “selling” the free CDs you get on magazine fronts, nor would I be able to make a packet selling a small amount of tiles. The alternative taking them to the tip would be annoying.

So I finally joined up with Freecycle which enables people to freely give away or collect items locally, that have no real economic value, but are nonetheless are still useful and shouldn’t be consigned to land fill.

Today I picked up 16 CDs from Byakhee Rich, which would be used up by the end of this week.

Having advertised on Freecycle, I had an offer of c150 (!) CDs from a village down the road from me (5 minutes drive), so I picked them up – that’ll keep me going for some time. When I got home after this free bonanza, a hair cut and other chores, the postie delivered some more tree stumps from Urban Construct that I’d ordered. In my continuing fit of altruism and self interest I’d order more of them so I can dress 3 tables, and let Byakhee JP have some for his collection.

And the tiles were taken after a single day ! So my garage is almost emptied of left over building materials and I can get back to sorting it out and using it for spraying and painting all those CDs.

I recommend Freecycle for clearing out excess stuff, and getting the stuff you actually want. Plus its environmentally friendly. And it avoids skip diving, which Byakhee Roo practices. 😉

Growing & Grooming

To break up the billard table flat green table and make it more realistic, the obvious scenery pieces are hills, hedges, roads, trees and bushes. Not many game tables I have observed, are dressed with fields of crops which is a surprise. They also provide cover, and provide opportunities for ambushes being set up. They can be generic, ranging from fantasy, through AVBCW, RCW and the AWI. Even Sci-Fi – remember the first episode of Star Trek Enterprise with a Klingon being chased through an American cornfield !

Simply corn field (or similar). A rubber backed coir floor mat. Obviously too large for most gaming tables so it needed carving up.

To carve it up I bought some cheap disposable set of knives as the rubber will quickly blunt the blades. Obviously use a metal rule, not plastic or wood, as any slip of the blade will simply gouge the ruler. All of the kit I used (mat, blades, ruler) were bought from a DIY store (B&Q in this case), which are a cornucopia for gamers and artists with a modicum of imagination. Its also a heck of a lot cheaper than going to specialist art and modelling shops sadly as you can buy in bulk.

Based on other examples I had seen, and in published media, I chooped it up into two squares. In order to make it useable, and so troops can move through the field, I then needed to carve out sections that can be removed to allow deployment of figures on to the table without hovering above this supposed crop !

So I cut out the overall edge of the field – about an inch wide to ensure “structural” integrity”. Its also worth pointing out that at this point you start to realise there’s a lot of mess being made. Always cut on a mat or thick newspaper to avoid damaging your table surface, and newspaper suitabley spread also means you can catch all the shed matting fibres which get everywhere.

And then carved up the internal area into four pieces. But found that you need to trim the internal sections as the matting “spreads” and you need a little bit of extra room. The offcuts are on the right. I kept the offcuts as these will be used for some new scenery pieces I have in mind…

One field I drybrushed, but it didn’t work out well, so would recommend you leave the matting as is.

The next step will be to mount the perimeter section onto some roofing felt that has been painted and highlighted – there’s pictures of this in various games with new crops sown so I’m not going to add another picture.

Yes, I groomed the thatch of the new building, using an old toothbrush (suitably soaked clean) and it looks better. I suspect I will be using the watered down PVA idea, coupled with a “haircut”.

Old toothbrushes also get used for a wide range of purposes, including when you are paint stripping old figures bought on evil-bay !

BoB/RCW: 1st Corps buildings, painted

I painted the first o0f the 1st Corps buildings, just as the second batch arrived in the post.

Just to check my sanity, I double checked how wood ages and its colours:

Looks a good match. I used Foundry Granite Shade and Bay Brown Shade, washed with Citadel Biel-Tan green wash and then did a strong drybrush of Foundry Granite light.

For the logs in the porch, I used Foundry Dark Leather, with a Boneyard drybrush.

The three pieces.

The shutters are painted green and then weathered, doesn’t show so well in the photo.

And I had a go at the interior – my sources confirmed my hunch that it would have a whitewashed interior.

I didn’t spend much time on the interior, as these buildings are being painted for a Big Game w/e after next, but they are very crisp and the detail is as good on the interior as on the exterior.

Scenery: Revolutionary Roads

I saw on TMP a new product – Revolutionary Roads, and in need of some dirt tracks for the upcoming BoB Big Game thought I’d get some of them taking advatage of the 10% discount for pre-orders.

The sets you get are quite large – about 18 foots worth of road for £44. The pieces are made out of black latex cut to size with rough surfaces.

I boubght the three inch wide roads, here they are with some Copplestone Ragged White Rusians on one inch wide Renadra bases:

Here are the different components:

Hopefully there will be more.
As they are dirt roads, I can also use them for AVBCW:

They came in plastic bags, and s far have shown no sign of the rough surface material flaking off. So far this looks like a good investment.

I left one piece draped over one of the BoB rolls and the material adopted the shape/contours within minutes.

Scenery: Carts

Sometime ago I bought some cart kits from 4Ground and found them again when I was exploring the wilds of the Playroom. As previous 4Ground kits had been easy to put together I collected the kits and went to build them.

The pieces came out fairly easily most needing just a push from a thumb nail to prize out. However, there are many thin pieces so you do need to be careful. I don’t normally read destruction manuals, but have learnt that sometimes you need to, and these kits whilst deceptively simple do go together a lot easier if you read the destructions that are included. So I set about building the two carts I had – two different types.

However, I quickly spotted that in building the two carts at the same time that whilst they shared some common components, there were others that were subtlely different. So I therefore kept the parts and assemblages on separate pieces of newspaper – I always reccomend buying a broadsheet newspaper not only because of better news coverage, but because they provide you with lots of table saving coverage !

I built both at the same time, as there were stages in the build where it was wise to stop and let the PVA glue set before moving onto the next step. I was also assembling some GW Cold Ones at the same time that had arrived in the post (again part of my plan to build and paint figures as they arrive rather than add to the geological strata of half completed piles of bits in the play room).

In two short sessions of less than a combined hour and a half, I completed the two carts, and the five Cold Ones. You do need to be careful with the wheels and axles – you’re expecting them to have round shafts and round holes, and of course that’s the one thing laser cut mdf kits don’t have. So one axle was a bit damaged when I got carried away. Similarly, be careful when putting parts together that you get the right side facing outwards ! One side is more detailed than the other. Otherwise these kits were superb to put together.

The carts will be useful in virtually all my gaming projects: Warhammer; AVBCW, BoB; and AWI. They are generic enough to be used as clutter on any number of farmsteads through time and space. Well except for my 15mm Laserburn.

I’ll be painting them an exciting brown with an equally exciting brown wash to pick out the laser etched planking details, but unless there is a petition on Kickstarter to fund me taking photos of these brown kits being painted brown, I’ll spare you those photos. 😉

And Now for Something Completely Different: Mordheim

Yup we had a few games of Mordheim today:

Byakhee Anthony had expressed a desire to do some Mordheim when we went to Colours.

So In had a quick rummage and found all the scenery I’d made 10 years ago.

Byakhee Jim joined us, and we had four games….

Loads of photos, so will be editting them tonight and publishing tomorrow. 🙂