Wednesday, 24 August 2016

a mighty river, well a WIP anyway...

Hi all

a quick WIP of a project that I'm working on but will probably go on for a while as its a bit of a slog to get it all finished.  As regular followers of this blog will know I love building terrain but I've always struggled on one of those iconic terrain pieces that features on nearly every games table around the world - the river! now when I say I struggle, I really mean it! every attempt i've ever made to put a good looking piece of waterway on the table has been a failure and I end up with an unsatisfactory result which i'm just not happy with. Whether it is the banks or the riverbed, water effect or everything there is always a part of me that just doesn't like the end result.

Determined to end this run of disappointment and to get a decent river feature with lots of options on layout I decided to check out t'internet and see what other folks were up to and what I can conceivably pinch... Anyway I pitched up on this guy's website and he was using river sections made by Amera Plastics, now I wasn't looking to purchase pre-fab stuff but i kept on glancing over at my various efforts (one with miliput banks - expensive and looked naff! the other with banks made up of piled up kitty litter - just no) and I thought to myself why not. With that I went over to their website, I've bought plastic craters from them before and the cobble stone streets I used on my modular BA boards so I'm used to the product and have already enjoyed their prompt service and this time was no different with 6 straight sections, 4 bends and 2 tight corner pieces turning up in no time at all.

The pieces are made from injection moulding and are a plain white, shiny plastic with quite an excess of spare trim on the banks.  I decided to leave the trim as it was for the time being until I could make up my mind whether I wanted to use the excess to form part of the scenic features (in the end I decided they were too wide and trimmed them back).  Next up I gave them a cursory spray with a cheap grey primer just to give the following paint layers a bit of a chance of sticking.

Next up was adding a little bit of detail,now this is where I always fall down with inaccurate and poor detail, so I hit the web again for some proper knowledge!  I found a great GCSE level geography revision site that described flow patterns and how debris is deposited and how rivers cut their way into the earth.  Jolly exciting stuff, if that's what floats your boat (ahem) but necessary so that my rock placement wouldn't look out of place.  Turns out that pebbles and rocks are mostly on the inside bends of rivers due to flow speed being slower there allowing them to wash up and settle.  More sturdy and bigger rocks last a little longer and can find themselves in the middle of the flow and of course fords are formed where the water shallows out briefly and would provide my little guys a natural crossing on the tabletop.  My pebbles were made up of kitty litter glued in place with the rocks being made up of broken pieces of cement.

The next task was to put a general layer on the pieces that would form the river bed and the banks, now normally I would reach for the fine sand and just add a layer that would cover both and look....well ok... but I've been there and done that.  Back to the interwebs and I decided to see what advice the terrain guru that is Luke Fellows from Luke's Affordable Paint Service has for me.  Scanning his You Tube channel for inspiration I found this one here, a way to make my own textured paint similar to GW's "Stirland Mud".  Now this stuff is ace and it cost me less than a £1 to completely cover all 6 feet + of my river sections and still have so much left over I'm thinking of making some dirt tracks for Bushido and Ancients at a later date.

and so this is where we are at the moment, I've managed to add another coat of the cheap emulsion sample pot that I bought from Johnson Paint.  But I guess its just a little darker than this but not by much.

anyway that's it for now
hope you enjoy

Monday, 22 August 2016

Miniature transport

Hi all

One of the standout gifts I gratefully received  at last week's anniversary celebration last week was this wooden box.

The box was handcrafted by a couple of artisans who were visiting the next town over for a Folk festival - Broadstairs Folk Week. The festival is a massive boon to the Islands local economies and more importantly adds a lot of colour and energy to Thanet in general (the Isle of Thanet being a collection of towns and villages on the South East of England....ah look it up....) I love it, loads of music, loads of ale and loads of "fringe" artisans displaying their cottage industry wares. No mass produced commercial rubbish, just interesting one off pieces produced by true artists, working in wood, leather, metal, ceramic - awesome. 

There were several boxes of similar sizes and smaller, even a couple of chests (they were amazing but hugely expensive) all of them hand decorated with a Hotwire to burn in a design. I casually remarked how clever they were and how great they looked and walked away to the next stall, meanwhile missus Gobbo was thinking about our upcoming milestone with a thoughtful expression on her face.  So while I was drooling over the handmade fudge stall, she was chatting away with the artists and sorting out this

Now I know I showed this picture last week in my Loot post but I have to say what a clever, delightful design it is, personalised to me and so thoughtful that I think it deserves a second showing. Anyway missus Gobbo filled it with lots of hobby shiny and said I could use it to store models or modelling supplies in it but that seemed like a shame to keep it in da Grotto and not show what the box off in all its glory. I wanted to take it out of da Grotto, on the road with the Nerd Herd and getting some use.....Lightbulb moment! I'll use it to transport my miniatures around.

So the following day I went out and bought some supplies from hobbycraft and set about making a troop transporter! now I didn't want to mess with the box itself as its a piece of art, so i needed to be a little respectful and add a removable interior (which also gives me more flexibility) which wouldn't detract from the original work.  With this in mind I took some basswood, which is sturdier than balsa but thinner than plywood and with a lot of cutting and cursing made up some inter-lockable dividers.  most of them were 40mm divisions to accomodate the 30mm bases of my Bushido figs, there are some larger spaces for 40mm+ bases, cards, rulers and suchlike. because there was enough depth to the box I added a clear perspex sheet that can be popped over the dividers to create another layer but still allow me to check that the models are ok.

my new Prefecture of Ryu  take up residence in the new transport while they wait for some paint.
that's it for today.

hope you enjoy

Friday, 19 August 2016

The peasants are revolting!

hi all

The last minis in the Temple of Ro-Kan starter pack are the rice farmers. In the pack you get two, one of which is the standard "rice farmer" shown below on the left. He is very much a support model with his bodyguard trait he can sacrifice himself for the "greater good" or he can buff the "ki" feats of your monks with his "Faith" ki feat, making it easier for your monks to do what they need to do. The farmer on the right can be used as a bog standard version or she can be enhanced at the cost of an extra rice point to a named character - Atsuko, although still counted as a "peasant" model she brings with her a barrel of healing saki (well it might be holy water but...) to distribute to tired monks and fighters restoring their bodies back to health.

Paint wise they have no right to wear the orange of the Temple as they have not even been initiates so it was harder to tie them into my faction beyond painting the base, so i just stuck to drab, homespun colours.  For GCT standards the models themselves are fairly basic, although the chicken on the farmers backpack is amusing, the rest of them are fairly meh! so I just powered through. The bases have had bamboo attached in rows in an effort to look vaguely field like but i wasn't really feeling these guys, which is a shame because they are likely to see action a lot due to "Faith"

Lastly a group shot of the Starter Set - I really should have bought these first as they are a lovely balanced introductory force of about 35 rice (the recommended starting warband cost) GCT have done well with their starter sets and all of the factions except the ninjas have them.  I have got the Prefecture of Ryu starter set coming in a couple of weeks and when I finally get round to collecting the other factions i will go with the starter sets first.

hope you enjoy

114:73 (-41)

figs bought:painted (difference)

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Anniversary loot

Hi all

Just a quick additional post to show off why me and missus Gobbo have been married for the past 20 years! Yes it's our anniversary and she so gets me.....

Back to the celebrations
Hope you enjoy

Bushido day!

hi all

Last week I spent a day playing Bushido here in da Grotto. Three glorious games on three boards with three different Warbands, trying them on for size.  Sadly as we were trying to get in as many games as we could I didn't write any notes, so no batreps for you guys - sorry! But I did take some photos and I promise I'll do a batrep soon when I can grab some free time and do a solo walk through. Solo is difficult with Bushido due to the combat system but I'll work something out as it's a great way of working your way through the rules and getting them cemented into the brain in time for going to the Bushido tournament in November.  I also got a massive order from Blotz the chaps I get my tokens from, I know i've done a post on Blotz before but the reason i mention them again is to highlight their amazing customer service.  Their standard set of tokens doesn't cover the full range of Bushido "states" due to new models coming through and new states being added to the rules via errata documents, so when I bought my first set of tokens i was a little short and they did not quite cover what I needed.  I scoured the internet to find some tokens to cover the states such as "immobilised", "held" and "spirit blocked" but couldn't find any, let alone some that would match. Dejected I went back to Blotz and sent them a cheeky email to see what we could do about this.  Within the hour they had contacted me back saying that they would custom make the tokens I needed. Beaming with happiness I duly sent off the order and TWO working days later I get my tokens!! - just superb service and these tokens come highly recommended by me (as if that means anything at

Enjoy the pics...

just to finish this post off i'm trying out a new app on my iPad

hope you enjoy

Monday, 15 August 2016

Christmas comes early!

hi all

The post title says it all really, Christmas has come early for da Gobbo! This weekend i've been on night shifts, which are always busy and always a real pain - this time literally as I'm currently suffering with some low back pain.  So I wake up Saturday afternoon after grabbing a few hours sleep in between shifts and come downstairs to a lovely surprise - two brown boxes through the mail. 

The first was an act of such generosity as to leave me quite humbled, those rather amazing gamers from across the Irish Sea at the Gamers Cupboard (if you love this hobby at all you need to check these guys out Here, the passion with which all of the contributors of this blog - Steve, Hils, Tarot and of course the undead King Bryan, exhibit toward gaming is palpable) sent me a copy of "All Things Zombie" the board game.  Knowing that I play the ATZ miniatures game and love me some solo gaming as well as involving my family in Zed boardgaming, they sent me a copy!  I haven't unboxed it properly as I'm still on nights at the time of writing this post (and still will be when I post it on Monday)  That unboxing will likely form a post all of its own as will my first solo game.  But to say i'm grateful is a massive understatement. Thank you Steve and Hils, you guys absolutely ROCK!!

The second box held some goodies that I had ordered for the Nerd Herd when we go to shows and soon to be going to tournaments.  A little design work and finding the right image, which may be a bit familiar now and I came up with these T-shirts...

Each of us - Rich, Chris, Damon and myself have one, with our names and gaming nicknames printed on them to individualise them properly. I can't wait to get some use out it!!

I think they've come out really well!  yes that's me styling it out with my self satisfied, it must be Christmas smile...

that's it for now, hope you enjoy

Friday, 12 August 2016


hi all

another Bushido post from the Temple of Ro-Kan starter set, this time we have the siblings Kenko and Yumi. The blurb with the set doesn't include any personal fluff for these two (or any of the other minis in the pack), but the Tales of the Jwar Isles on the GCT website does offer some glimpse into the pair and is worth a read here and here.

We start with the elder sibling, the impetuous Kenko.  I liked the bamboo matting so much for Master Ekusa that i thought I would do it again here for Kenko.  I love the sheer martial arts pose of the mini and enjoyed painting him immensely.

Kenko is very much a front line fighter, with a high (boostable) melee skill and Ki feats that deliver devastating blows and turn away damage he embodies the "earth" type elements of wood and metal.  For me he will be taking up the brunt of the fighting while other characters complete the scenario objectives.

Yumi is also front line fighter material and will be used in a similar vein as her older brother albeit with secondary duties of holding objectives or supporting weaker characters.  I love the serene pose she has, reflecting the calm of the "water" element that she has discovered.  To further enhance this watery calm I have her standing on a miliput lily leaf.

that's it for now folks 
hope you enjoy

114:71 (-43)

figs bought:painted (difference)