Sunday, January 31, 2016

Good things come in small packages.

Well another year older.... but alais not another year wiser.
But the family have really come through this year with some fine choices, well actually the benefit of ordering your own presents......

A mountain of lead for Chechnya and the Chechen War Project, with the first game a weekaway, time to get out the super glue.


Talk about multi-tasking, Jump off points for the RJW or Water Margin project, more buildings for the Chechnya and Dragon Rampant for some light reading....
Just need some time on the brushes now.

Friday, January 29, 2016

The death of All Quiet on the Martian Front.

A real shame for those interested in fighting the Martian wars, but hardly a surprise given the well documented difficulties in obtaining promised items and general lack of customer service.
Definately a lesson for future creators within Kickstarter not to get carried away when you see so many people backing and funding your creations.

Let's hope someone can step in to keep some of these ranges in existance.

"We regret to announce that effective January 27th, 2016, Robot Peanut Studios, LLC, and its associated brands, Architects of War and Alien Dungeon have permanently closed their doors.
Our sales plummeted precipitously in the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2015 and never recovered across our online retail operations as well as hobby shop and distributor sales. We could not maintain our business under these conditions and despite a continuing series of sales and marketing efforts, we have been forced to file for bankruptcy. The case has been filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania at case number 16-20247. Please contact an attorney if you have any questions.
We set out six years ago to start a company providing exciting and entertaining intellectual property primarily in the analog gaming market. RPS began with miniature games with the intention of expanding to board and digital games. While the All Quiet Kickstarter project brought in significant sales for us, the cost of development, manufacturing, and shipping exceeded the sales numbers and we were relying on sales beyond the Kickstarter in the broader market to carry the costs and expand the game. These sales never materialized in sufficient quantities. It is just that simple - we sold stuff through the Kickstarter that essentially ended up just above cost and then paid for the shipping. All Quiet just didn’t generate enough money for its scale. In addition, our original cost estimates based on quotes and time frame from various vendors Pre-Kickstarter were exceeded, making the business model untenable without retail sales that never materialized.
We are very sorry that it has come to this. Certainly not the outcome we dreamed of when we started the company. To our investors, the Kickstarter supporters and our loyal customers, we’d like to thank you for your support. It has been difficult not communicating during this legal process, but we have had to go through a process and that has been well outside any of our previous experiences.
This will be our last communication. Customer service inquiries will not be answered and there will be no additional communication on Kickstarter. We do not know what the final disposition of All Quiet and or other product brands will be at this time. We have to forfeit our participation in such matters to the court.
Barb and I must move on and find employment and start putting our lives back together. To our friends, investors, vendors, and loyal customers, thank you for helping us try to fulfill our dream and we wish you the best possible future."
Yours Sincerely, Barb and Ernie

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Japanese Cavalry - Russo Japanese War 1904 - 1905

If you read the news January is supposedly the most depressing month, Blue Monday, bills to pay, enforced diets, but in wargaming terms it's the month where new ideas and projects start.

The paint table is full of blister packs and bubble wrap of projects planned for the next 12 months and that's before show season starts in March with Hammerhead and WMMS where shinnyitus is bound to take hold.

I really need to hold my nerve and crack on with the stuff that's been outstanding from 2015.
Buried under the bubble wrap were these Empress Japanese Cavalry from their Russo-Japanese range based and under coated in November they have waited patiently while other toys jumped the queue.

These will bolster the Japanese forces and give me a more mobile option in future encounters and give me opponents for the Russian Cavalry.
The lighting was not the best, they are somewhat less shiny in the flesh, but they are great sculpts as you would expect from the hand of Mr Hicks.

I have been using Mud and Blood from the Too Fat Lardies, but may well give Sharp Practice 2 a try when it's launched in April given that the expanison of the period covered.

With these complete, an opportunity to switich to some of the new projects, but where to start, the first Chechen game in two weeks, I still need a few odds and ends for that scenario. Figures for the planned Hammerhead game in a month so far I have the Title "The Water Margin" but little else or some of the other distractions hidden amongst the bubble wrap and brown boxes..... Chinese Frostgrave anyone?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Frostgrave - The 1st Outing.

Sunday night is fight night.....
I have heard good things about the Frostgrave rules and had been following fellow club member Paul's blog and his growing band of characters and wandering monsters with interest
You can follow his progress here.

So when it was suggested we give it a try at the next club, I jumped at the chance.

Being a newbie to Frostgrave and not owning the rules, I could have perhaps been a little more careful of my choice of spells but hey, you live and learn, it was more important to get some toys on the table.
A simple scenario run on the table grab the loot, drink from the fountain and away....

I picked an Enchanter and figured an apprentice would come in handy in the long run, given that we figured it would be best to play the campaign element.
Besides someone needs to make the tea :-)

Backed up by a knight a couple of missile chaps and 5 thugs we set off.

Whilst the game itself with a little bit of a long range magic shoot out, which was not helped by me failing several spells and taking chunks off my own health points it was an immensely fun game filled with those great club night moments. 

The grenade spell which if only I could repeat the roll of 20 4x times over would have won the game.
Watching the thief chase the treasure across the square as I drew it towards me using Telekinesis.

The game mechanics were easy to pickup and pretty straightforward but tactically the devil will be in the detail of picking the right spell combination, I only used 3 of my 8 spells.
I definately need to go back to spell school.

Whilst no one suffered any deaths, I limped off the table with both Wizard and Apprentice each on one Health point. But the sneaky move sucking the treasure towards me gave me the win... Hurrah..
Although it did feel like I had been soundly beaten.

It does take me back to the 80's and those nights around the kitchen table playing D&D.

So after the first outing the valiant band is made up of the following members housed in a Library.
With some good rolls on the Loot tables and Grimoire tables, the coffers are full in preparation for the next outing.

To keep a record of my advancements the full Wizard and his followers are recorded here.

Wizard: School: Enchanter.
M6 F+2 S+2 A10 W+4 H14
Level: 2 Experience: +50
Items (max 5): 1 Healing Potion.
Gold 640

M6 F+0 S+0 A10 W+2 H10
Items (max 4): 1 Healing Potion.

Knight, Archer, Archer,Thug, Thug, Thug, Thug, Thug.

With the following Spells available.

Enchanter / 10 / Line of Sight (-1)

Enchanter / 10 / Line of Sight

Enchanter / 8 / Line of Sight (-1)

Enchanter / 8 / Out of Game
The larger the construct, the harder it is to animate, so the following modifiers are applied to his roll to cast the spell: Small -0, Medium -3, Large -6.

Elementalist / 10 / Line of Sight

Illusionist / 10 / Self Only

Witch / 10 / Line of Sight

Sigilist / 8 / Line of Sight

Necromancer / 18 / Line of Sight

With a few more of the club itching to get involved, I figured I can utilise some of the Water Margin Characters to give me a suitable Chinese feel to my Wizard and his crew, I was looking to find a use for them.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Man the barricades - Chechnya 1995.

With the first outing of the Chechen project planned for a few weeks time over the the Wyvern Wargamers, I need to put my foot down on the terrain and figure front.

I picked these barricades up at Warfare last year for a £1 each, they seemed perfect for Chechnya or the Eastern Front or any other urban settings.

Very useful for blocking roads and bolstering the defences of buildings and city blocks.

Cast in resin they have plenty of detail for a modern barricade.

On the figure front I finished up a number of support elements for the Chechen defenders.
A senior officer, 2 Snipers and a Heavy Machine Gun

Again castings from Eureka miniatures - modern range with a extra sniper from their WW2 partisan range.

With other members of the club supply the Russians, we should have enough to have a dry run in a couple of weeks, time to think about AFV's and support elements.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Good news for War of the Worlds Fans...

Spotted this while surfing the web.....
Finally what every WOTW Fan has been waiting for - Good news in deed.

Rejoice, H.G. Wells fans! A War of the Worlds television series is currently in the works.
According to a report over at Broadcast Now, Mammoth Screen (which is owned by the producers of the new Poldark series on ITV) is working on a TV adaptation of Wells’ classic sci-fi novel, and they've brought Peter Harness on board to pen the miniseries.
What’s even more awesome is that the new TV series will stick closely to the original text and time period of the book -- which was first released as a serial in 1897 -- with the Martian invasion taking place in the town of Dorking, Surrey, in Victorian England.
If you’re wondering right now who Peter Harness is, he's the dude who wrote the excellent Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell miniseries that aired earlier this year. He's also penned the Doctor Who episodes “Kill the Moon” and this season’s Zygon two-parter “The Zygon Invasion/The Zygon Inversion,” as well as a couple of Wallander episodes starring Kenneth Branagh. Basically, I think the new series is in good hands.
Production on the ITV adaptation will kick off in early 2017, after the copyright expires in December 2016. Paramount Pictures has held onto the rights of The War of the Worlds for nearly 90 years after first getting their hands on them back in 1926, and there have been two big-screen adaptations. The first movie came out in 1953 and starred Gene Barry and Ann Robinson, while the second film, starring Tom Cruise and directed by Steven Spielberg, hit movie theaters in 2005.
Mammoth Screen managing director Damien Timmer said: “The aftershock of The War of the Worlds can still be felt in popular culture today. The story of a Martian invasion as experienced in Victorian Surrey is a masterpiece. We want this new adaptation to reaffirm H G Wells’ position as one of this country’s most important writers.”

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Chechen Militia - Eureka Miniatures.

One of the minor iritations with Eureka is that the some of the ranges lack enough variety, looking for a few extra's to bolster the Chechen ranks, I fortunately found some reinforcements in their WW2 Partisan range.
I figured a number of these would be useful in representing some militia types or urban fighters.

Unlike the 6 man regular sections I have made the militia 8 figure units but have stripped the Light Machine Gun. I have gone for a mix of partisan types and modern Chechens largely in civilian dress, track suit tops and the like. The odd collection of weapons should make for an interesting section on the table.

If I was unsure of the suitability of the WW2 castings.
Then this photo put my mind at rest - I might have to add a white beard to my fighter.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Paint Table Saturday - RJW Heavy Machine Gun

Managed to grab a few hours this afternoon to complete one of the latest releases from Tsuba Miniatures. This Heavy Machine Gun will make a valuable support for the Japanese.

The Tsuba Miniatures casting fits in very well with the existing Redoubt offering although both Machine Guns appear a little more sturdy than the real life weapon.


Thursday, January 07, 2016

A little more for lead mountain.....

Well that was a pleasant surprise in the blur that was the festive period, I plain forgot that these chaps were on there way. I only ordered a couple of packs but figured they would be be a nice compliment to the wizard or Fangshi Necromancers type characters I recently painted up for the Water Margin.


I ordered a pack of Terracotta Warriors and a pack of the Undead, they are a touch on the thin side when compared to the Curtney castings, but that should be fine once painted up, I guess they don't eat much......
Each pack comes with separate arms so you can create a number of variants and square slotabases, these will need to be swapped to round to fit with the rest of my troops.

A nice range from the guys at Watchful Studio with miniatures for both historical encounters and fantasy. The shop should be open once all the kickstarter orders have been sent out.

Undead consist of between 4-6 poses including vanquished warriors and deceased civilians.
Having spruced up these aquarium models last year, I figured a couple of Fu Dogs would make these statues come alive......


They are the guardians of revered temples, shrines, and palaces. They are often enchanted to come to life when sensing wrong-doers in the area.


Sunday, January 03, 2016

RJW Horse Holders - Tsuba Miniatures.

First off the production line this year and back to an old favourite the Russo-Japanese War.
I use an adapted version of Mud and the Blood from the Too Fat Lardies

The aim was to finish these last year but, I simply ran out of time.

Lovely figures from the Tsuba Miniatures and the master sculpter that is Paul Hicks.
Upon reflection, I should have left the horse holders loose to allow me to swap out the figures for either side, maybe next time. I have completed a couple of free standing horses for dismounted or unhorsed bigmen.
The cavalry units are 9 figures strong but I don't plan on creating horses on a one to one basis merely a representation on the table.

As is customary for the RJW project I have have also added in a couple of shock markers for the cavalry with a dice marker from Minibits to hold a D6 to record shock.
I am really pleased with how these have turned out and it's a nice change to go up a scale from the last few months output which has all been 15mm.

Good to get the new year off with bang, the paint table is filling up with more Chechen's, Japanese Cavalry and Heavy Weapons for the RJW and even Ancient Chinese for the Water Margin Project - I really could do with a little more time off to get stuff moving.

Friday, January 01, 2016

2015 - A year in Review

As is customary I thought I would look back over the past 12 months and review the projects undertaken and potential ideas for the next year.
It never ceases to amaze me how many people stop by and take an interest in my ramblings, thanks for looking and taking the time to pass comment. The blog was and is not intended to be an ego trip merely a means of keeping a record of activity and to try and keep me on track in terms of projects and painting output.

A pretty good performance on the painting front various odds and ends but in the main 337 figures beating last years total by 4 figures....

On reflection last year was dominated by Oriental gaming and the revisiting of older projects such as The War of Worlds Project.
Russo Japanese War - 28mm
With the bulk of  Infantry completed a year or so ago, I was looking to bolster the Cavalary arm for both sides, Tsuba miniatures were late in producing the Japanese Cavalry which set me back a little. However the cavalry are under coated and are on the paint table and should be first off the production line this year.

I fancied building a period village to fight over or to perhaps recreate some of the engagements around Port Arthur. Thanks to the guys at Curtney Minatures they produced some great buildings espically when mixed with some of the 4ground fencing. They should be useful for other projects....

The Water Margin/Sung Chinese - 28mm
Not really sure how this project came about, I picked up a copy of the 70's box set and figured it would make an interesting skirmish game using Songs of Blades and Heroes and allow me to get a little more use out of the Chinese village. Before I new it, I was ankle deep in Sung Infantry and a draft set of amendments for Dux Britanniarum set in ancient china.... more on this in 2016.

All Quiet on the Martian Front - Martian Empires - 15mm
Several years after starting this project, I finally made serious progress on recreating H.G. Wells - War of the Worlds. A number of strongly worded e-mails to Alien Dungeon saw their Drones and Armoured vehicles arrive 2 years after being backed on Kickstarter,  driven on by these I bolstered the Brits with more Infantry, Artillery and Cavalry.
With the England Invaded Campaign now well underway its already out lasted several earlier efforts in terms of campaigns. I don't envisage adding further miniatures to this project.... but you never know what the campaign games might throw up.
It is nice though to look a collection and think that it is finally complete and getting game time.


Spanish Civil War - Chain of Command - 28mm
Much of the early part of 2015 was taken up by a club project for the SCW with a number of players gathering their forces, I opted for Nationalists and elements of the Morrocan Army of North Africa.
This really has not had the game time I was hoping for, but with other club members building their forces they should see more game time this year.

Other minor projects had their numbers bolstered including some odds and ends for the Elizabethan Irish/Zombie Wars Project with Witches and Cannons added and the switich to Songs of Blades and Heroes as a rule set.

Elsewhere Furphy's recruitment to the club has given me plenty more things to think about including Chechnya in 15mm and the start of urban terrain which will fit several projects.


All in all a pretty busy year on the gaming front but what for 2016?

Chechnya - 15mm
I suspect 2016 will see plenty of Cold War period miniatures appear with the release of Team Yankee, but never one to follow a trend figured would move the period on a decade or so.
This project should keep me busy for several months, it fits perfectly with the desire to expand my modern urban terrain and will allow me to play a number of games using Chris Peers excellent At Close Quarters Rules.
Chechen forces are largely light troops and the Russians are holed up in BTR's and BMP1's what's not to like.

The Water Margin/Sung Chinese - 28mm
Having kicked off the Water Margin Project last year, I have loose plans for converting Dux Britanniarum to Ancient China and possibly picking up some Mongols to give this a more historical feel, however coupled with this is the release of Watchful Studio's Kickstarter which should give me more fantasy elements for use with Advanced Songs of Blades also due to land in the early part of 2016.

Napoleon in Egypt - Sharp Practice 2
These mini's have languished in their storage box for a year or so, but with Sharp Practice 2 due to be released it seems like a perfect excuse to add some additional units to both sides.
The Egyptians/Ottoman's are in a reasonable state with cavalry and Infantry however in the last 12 months Brigade have brought out some lovely new pieces which would make some great additions.
The French are nowhere near being ready to face up against them, I brought a box of Victrix plastic infantry from Victrix, nice figures but I am losing bayonets already, I just can't see them being a long term investment so the plan is to switch to Brigades Miniatures metal offering.

African Wars - At Close Quarters
I have had plenty of fun last year with the Zikanga campaign but need to devote some time to Spectre Miniatures extra militia which I backed on their Kick Starter some 12 moths ago. When you already have 80 militia types the thought of adding a further 40 does not fill me with joy... still they need to be painted.

Pulp Gaming.
I have an urge to paint up some Pulp type figures for a fantastical type adventure - Think Warlords of Atlantis or Journey to the Centre of the Earth, I am not sure whether this was to much junk telly over Christmas or something more serious.
Certainly the Warlord teasers for Savage Core have not helped the urge.

Well all in all 2016 should be another fun year.......

The 2015 results by month.



New - Terrain
18 Pine Trees.
New Spanish Civil War 28mm - Chain of Command.
30 Moroccan Nationalists - Empress Miniatures
14 Moroccan Nationalists - Rif Raf Miniatures
New - Elizabethan Zombie Wars 28mm
4 Witches & a cauldron - Westwind Miniatures

New - Irish Dark Ages - 28mm
4 Civilians.
New - Ottoman Turks 28mm
1 Shock Marker
New Elizabethan Spanish - 28mm
2 Infantrymen
1 Artillery Piece and 3 Crew.
Surgeon, Sawbones and patient.
New - Terrain
36 Pine Trees.
7 Warbases - Tree Bases.

MarchNew Spanish Civil War 28mm - Chain of Command.
13 Moroccan Nationalists - Northstar
8 Moroccan Nationalists - Empress Miniatures


New - Sung Chinese 28mm
12 Government Infantry - Curtney Miniatures
6 Governors Guard - BlackHat Miniatures
8 Imperial Guard - BlackHat Miniatures.
New - Chinese Terrain 28mm
3 Buildings
New - Terrain

14 Warbases - Movement Trays.


New - Chinese Terrain 28mm
2 Compounds, 2 Temples, 3 Wagons.
New - Sung Chinese 28mm
8 Government Archers - Curtney Miniatures
6 Government Commanders - Curtney Miniatures
New - Chinese 28mm
8 Villagers.


New - All Quiet on the Martian Front 15mm
3 Steam Tanks

New - Sung Chinese 28mm
18 Government Infantry - Curtney Miniatures
New - Livestock
6 Livestock - Wyvern Wargamers


New - All Quiet on the Martian Front 15mm
15 Martian Tripods
15 British Armoured Infantry


New - Sung Chinese 28mm
14 Water Margin Heroes - Black Hat Miniatures.
New - 15mm Terrain
18 Telegraph Poles, 1 Factory Building.
New - All Quiet on the Martian Front 15mm
1 Mine layer and 3 mines.
24 British Guard Infantry, 2 Heliograph Teams, 14 British Casualties.


New - All Quiet on the Martian Front 15mm

24 British Infantry.

New - Sung Chinese 28mm
12 Rebel Infantry - Curtney Miniatures

New - All Quiet on the Martian Front 15mm
4 Artillery Pieces.
2 Limbers
3 Senior Officers - Eureka Miniatures


New - At close quarters
30 Pin Markers
New - All Quiet on the Martian Front 15mm
12 Lancers - Eureka Miniatures.

New - At close quarters - Chechnya
38 Infantry - Eureka Miniatures
2 Street Barricades.
New - All Quiet on the Martian Front 15mm
12 Heavy Cavalry - Eureka Miniatures.

Painted Total 2015

New Paints
 313 Foot Figures, 24 Cavalry, 54 trees, 31 Pin Markers, 15 Martian Tripods, 7 Artillery Pieces, 3 Tanks, 1 Mine layer, 3 Mines, 1 Cauldron, 1 Shock Marker,  2 Limbers, 3 Chinese Wagons, 6 Livestock, 18 Telegraph Poles, 14 Movement Bases, 7 Tree Bases, 4 Buildings, 2 Compounds, 2 Barricades, 2 Temples.