Monday, 30 November 2015

Small steps – and a quiz.

I finally managed to finish my first two halberdiers. I haven’t quite figured out how I want to do the bases, so you’ll have to excuse their half-finished state.

They took me waaaaay too long to paint, though most of the time was spend messing around with different colors… and the eyes. I absolutely loathe painting eyes – mostly because I’m not very good at them yet. In this case, I spend about an hour trying to get them right, and I’m still not very satisfied. I’m quite pleased with the rest of the pant-job though – especially the yellow and white cloth, which I’ve had trouble with in the past.

All in all, these guys took me about seven hours total (one hour per day last week), which is simply too much time for rank-and-file, if you ask me. Not that I’m in a hurry or anything, but it’s hurting my motivation a bit, so I’ll have to crank up the pace.
On the other hand, these two were to act as a prototype for the rest of my Empire army, so the rest will probably be quicker now that I’ve settled on a color-scheme.

Which brings me to the second part of the post. Can you guess what the theme of my army is going to be? I’ll post a picture to the figures without the halberds, so you can get a better look at the coat of arms (assuming you can make sense of my poor attempt at heraldry). I should probably add that I’ve only painted the top half (the rest would be hidden behind the weapon and belt).
I’ll post the answer some time down the line, but I’ll give anyone who can guess it 100 oldhammer-credits (exchangeable for 2512 fictive gold crowns).


Thursday, 26 November 2015


As I’ve stated, I’m trying to get all the figures I’d need to play Advanced Heroquest. Since the campaign that's included in the game, The Quest for the Scattered Amulet, features Skaven, I thought I’d start there.

Yesterday I was looking over my current collection, and something dawned on me; It seems that I’ve inadvertently bought a small Skaven army.

You’ll notice that a lot of them are already painted. I didn’t do it (they arrived this way), but the paintjob is quite decent, so I thought I’d leave it until I’ve finished my other projects, which might take some time considering how slowly I paint.

The next question is; do I bring my small force up to a full army? I deliberately restricted myself to four goals in order to avoid “mission creep” (a.k.a. the-mountain-of-unpainted-lead-you-really-mean-to-get-around-to-painting-some-day-honest), but I’m also tantalizingly close to a proper Skaven force. I only need, what, a couple of dozen clanrats, another warpfire-thrower and a few rat ogres?

What to do, what to do…….


Friday, 20 November 2015

Just imagine he's got a broken nose...

I managed to finish my AHQ fighter this evening.

The model itself isn’t very detailed, but I’m quite fond of it all the same, and I got to try some new techniques and colors. Right now I’m rather challenged by my limited selection of paints – mostly one of each primary- and secondary color, along with the obligatory grey, brown, black and white. In theory this should allow me to mix most of the shades I’d need, but it’s still a rather erratic process for me. The blue and skin-tone proved especially unwieldy.

In the end, I’m reasonably pleased. The face is, let’s be honest, not very good (I never really got the hang of them before, and this is the first one I’ve painted in a while) but the rest of the figure works quite well. I also think I’m getting better at shading than I’ve ever been before, so I guess it’s a net win.


Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Wanted! Bold adventurers

Every good tale needs a good opening.

There’s the classic “A long, long time ago, in a land far away”, which is good for all occasions. There’s also the iconic (and brilliant) “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort”, which I’d never dare appropriate for myself.

And then there’s this:

 This poster is the beginning to Mistaken Identity, the first part of The Enemy Within (TEW) – and what a great opening it is. The GM gives the players this handout (hoping that none of them wants to be a dwarf) and off they go. They can, of cause, roll up their own characters, but GW also provided these pre-made ones:

Citadel produced (or reused) miniatures for them, which seemed to be a natural place to get started om my goal of collecting all the miniatures associated with TEW. I therefor present to you:

Someone (not me) seems to have been a bit overly vigorous with the brush when stripping the two figures on the left (Harbull and Johann). The detail is still quite fine, but they have become very shiny.
These are the character models released along with Shadows over Bögenhafen. They are not the rarest of the set, though I suspect they may be some of the most expensive. Wanda can be especially pricy, with a buy-now price around £50 – which just goes to show that you should never trust those things. I got her for £8.


Sunday, 15 November 2015

An Advanced Heroquest primer - Part 1, Overview

Life has been keeping me very busy these past few weeks, so I haven’t been able to devote as much time to painting and dungeoneering as I’d hoped. Eventually, however, I hope to post some Advanced Heroquest (AHQ from now on) reports on this blog – mostly from solo games. Since I’m aware that relatively few people have actually played this fine old game, I thought I’d write a short primer, so everyone has a chance to understand what’s going on.

If you have absolutely no idea what AHQ is, and why you should care, I urge you to read (or even better – listen to) this excellent piece by Mr. Paul Dean over at Shut Up & Sit Down. It is that very article which finally convinced me to track down a copy on eBay (actually, Shut Up & Sit Down is probably responsible for about half of my current board game collection, so read at your own risk).
AHQ is a dungeon crawler from Games Workshop. It is ostensibly a “revised and expanded” sequel to the extremely successful Heroquest, though I have my doubts about the connection. The games have almost nothing in common, except for being dungeon crawlers and the characters depicted on the games’ front covers (even though AHQ includes four different heroes in the actual game). Rules for using bits and pieces from Heroquest were included in AHQ but the game would have worked perfectly well without those.

I haven’t done any research into the area, but I’d almost be willing to bet money that AHQ had been in development at GW for some time under another name, and that at some point it was decided to capitalize on Heroquest’s success and label this new game as Heroquest 2.0. It really isn’t, but that’s o.k. – it’s a very good game in its own right, regardless of what it ended up being named.

AHQ is ideally played with a dungeon master, though rules for fully cooperative and solo play are included. It is also best played as a campaign. A lot of the tension in the game comes from deciding between trying press on just a bit further, despite being wounded and out of arrows, in the hope finally finding treasure, or returning to town and having to face your landlord, whom you owe three weeks rent (yes, really!) which you can’t afford if you don’t find any treasure. It’s all very “80’s GW”, if you ask me.

If I were to describe AHQ in a single sentence, I’d call it “a board game rogue-like”. I’d even claim that the actual, and very good, rogue-like Darkest Dungeon owes a lot of its ideas to AHQ. Both are about competent, but very (very, very) mortal adventurers exploring (semi)randomly generated dungeons with a mix of hazard rooms, lairs and quest rooms (more on that next time), and both share the same real enemy – going broke. You can take it easy and leave a dungeon if you ever get in trouble, but money is tight and you need to pay for upkeep, equipment and training, and there’s a real possibility that you’ll lose money on an expedition if you play it too carefully. So you forge ahead, down into the darkness...

Dungeon crawling - now and then...

So, that’s my introduction to Advanced Heroquest. Next time, rules…


Tuesday, 10 November 2015

The human touch

It’s time to pick my next painting project.

I wanted something very different from the Fimir, but as I’m still (re)learning I didn’t want to paint anything I’d be sad to have to redo somewhere down the line.

In the end I settled on these guys:

To the far left we have the well-known warrior from AHQ. I have a soft spot for the model, but as I have three of it, I don’t feel too bad about using him for training.

The three others are “footsoldiers” from the 1992 Empire-range. It is debatable if they are “truly” oldhammer, as they came out in the closing mounths of 3rd Ed.’s life and, more importantly, are beginning to have that distinct “90s GW feel”, but I’ll give them a pass. Besides, they will be standing alongside a bunch of older sculpts, so they probably won’t disturb the picture too much.

The guy on the far right is actually wearing way too much armor, for what I’m planning, so I may leave him for late.

What am I planning, you ask? I’ll get back to that later...I have a bit of research to do first.


Saturday, 7 November 2015

More Fimir

Here are Fimir number two and three (aka. “The green ones”). 

I’m getting fairly bored with painting them (three of the same model in a row seems to be my personal maximum), so the last two will have to wait for another time.

I tried a wet-blending technique to lighten the color the “club” on one of their tails, which proved to be surprisingly easy and I’m quite pleased with the result. Unfortunately the contrast between the two colors I used is a bit too low to really show off the effect – especially under the lighting conditions I take my photos in. If I ever see the sun again (I live in southern Norsca, also known as Denmark, and it feels like it’s been overcast for weeks), I’ll try so snap a photo in daylight.

Now to decide what to paint next. I’m still “warming up” after my long break, so nothing too complicated…hmm…off to the basement…

Thursday, 5 November 2015


As I said in my first post, one of the main points of this blog is to motivate me to actually paint something. To provide me with even more inspiration, and in keeping with oldhammer tradition, I thought I’d device some long-term goals for my collecting and painting.

So, in order of how likely I am to actually accomplish them:

Very likely – Collect and paint a 3rd edition Empire army.
This one is reasonably easy – at least if you aren’t puritanical about it. The way I see it, the 3rd Ed. Empire (and Bretonnian) army was largely designed around Citadel’s historical range. Luckily for me, most of those miniatures are still produced by Wargames Foundry, so they are reasonably easy (and cheap) to get hold of. It won’t be entirely “legit”, but in the interest of not going broke, it’s good enough for me.
I’ll supplement with figures from the various Fighter and Militia ranges and the 1992 Empire range.

Quite likely, but will take some time – Collect and paint a set of figures for Advanced Heroquest.
Due to the open-ended nature of the game, you could theoretically use an infinite number of figures, so I going to limit myself to: “enough monsters to play most of the published adventures without proxying too much” - preferably using the figures depicted in the rules. A few of these are quite rare/expensive, but nothing too extreme.

Maybe – Have a completely painted Heroquest game.

This one is quite easy since I already have all the components, so it’s only a matter of getting around to painting everything. There is only one problem: I actually, kinda, like the “look” of the unpainted game. I like the simplicity, and, let’s be honest, most of the figures aren’t exactly masterpieces, which becomes more apparent when they get painted.
I do have a spare game that I could leave unpainted, but they fetch good prices on eBay, and I could use the money to buy something else… We’ll see.

Look at this – Doesn’t that just make you want to go dungeon crawling?

Keep dreaming buddy – Collect and paint the Enemy Within sets.
As I may have indicated, I’m a big fan of the “Enemy Within” WFRP campaign, so the ultimate goal for me would naturally be to collect the sets that were released for Shadows over Bögenhafen and Death on the Reik.
This will be a tough one. Not only are several of these figures very rare and/or extremely expensive, but I also need quite a lot of them (30 crossbowmen? Yikes!).
I’ll probably have to find some reasonable proxies for many of the troops, but I’ll at least insist on having one of each figure.

£12 for the Bögenhafen- and £67 for the DotR set? I know there’s been some inflation since then, but d*mn, that makes me want to cry a little, when I look at the current prices on eBay.

And that’s my four initial long-term goals. I’ll go into more detail on each in later posts.


Sunday, 1 November 2015


Project Fimir is now well under way.

I bought a batch of Vallejo paints last Friday, so now I have most of the gear I need. I did forget to buy a bone-color, so the skeletons will have to wait, because there’s no way in hell I’m relying on my questionable paint-mixing abilities for a base color that’s going to cover most of the model.

To mix things up a bit, I decided to paint the skin of each Fimir differently. According to the WFRP (1st edition) rulebook, fimir vary in color from buff to a light olive, so I’m going to paint them in varying shades of light brown with a dash of green.

My five test subjects, before highlights.

In the end, I’ve been concentrating on a single one of them, because I just couldn’t resist the urge to get something finished quickly. This has led me to (re)discover a lot of things about painting:

1. Painting a single miniature is really ineffective, compared to painting a batch. You waste a lot of time (waiting for something to dry before you can continue) and paint (when you put a bit too much on the palette and have nowhere else to use it).

2. The Fimir models are surprisingly difficult to paint well. They are basically 80% skin, so if you aren’t extremely good at layering and very patient, you will have a hard time. I’m neither.

3. I really need a palette with indentations. Right now I’m using a flat one, but this leads to the paint spreading out and drying too quickly. The Citadel paints are the worst offenders, whereas the Vallejo keep much better.

4. Speaking of Vallejo, I’m very impressed. Good coverage, doesn’t dry out too quickly and are very easy to mix due to the “eye dropper” pots. Only problem as far as I can see is that it’s difficult to dispense less than “a drop”, which is sometimes still too much.

5. I’m not a fast painter. The single fimir that I managed to finish over the weekend took me about four hours, all told. This used to be a bit of a problem when I was trying to finish an army, but it shouldn’t be an issue now that I don’t have any sort of deadline. It still bugs me a bit though.

In the end, I’m quite satisfied with my first 28mm model in more than a decade. It’s certainly not winning me the Golden Demon competition, but it’s not nearly as bad as I’d feared either.

Ready to menace some adventurers. I may do something with the base at some point, but for now, plain grey will do. 
A look at the back of the model. Sharp-eyed viewers will notice that I did a very poor job of prepping the mini, as I overlooked the casting lines between the shoulder blades. Same goes for the rest of the fimir.