Wednesday 27 April 2016

The Orc Villains (or Heroes?) of the 'Blood Bath at Orc's Drift'.

Way, way, back in 1985 Citadel Miniatures released the scenario pack 'Blood Bath at Orc's Drift'. It was intended to be a scenario pack to complement the 2nd Edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battle rules, released only the year before. For those who may be unaware the name 'Orcs Drift' is one of Citadels humourous play on words. It is taken from the Battle of Rorke's Drift, a battle which took in the Zulu War of 1879, made famous (if very inaccurately) in the film 'Zulu'.  

Now I don't intend this update to concentrate on the actual scenario, but more on the Orc characters from it. I must confess, not only do I not own the scenario, but I have'nt played it! However, with an extensive collection of  1980's Citadel Orcs, I realised that I owned all of the suggested Orc miniatures from the scenario. So, for the pure fun of it and as a change of focus, I thought I would gather together these Orcs and re/paint them up as a set. Incedently, I have several of the non-Orc miniatures, but have'nt painted them up.
 The background of the scenario involves the exploits of the Orc King F'Yar and the happy go lucky bloodthirsty Orc tribes under his sway. The overall scenario consists of four linked battles involving the Orcs fighting  Elves, Dwarves and Humans, culminating in the 'Battle at Orc's Drift'. All of the scenarios take place in the New World area of the Warhammer World.
Like many of the 1980's scenarios, Citadel produced several 'scenario only' miniatures, as well as using  miniatures from their then current ranges to serve as named characters and general troops. Above is the insert release sheet containing the names and photographs of the minatures for use in the scenario. Of course, you could use any miniatures, but somehow using the actual ones suggested would always seem 'better' for the feel of the game.
Amongst the Orcs, most of the miniatures are from the various C-Series ranges, with the only scenario specific Orc being 'Hagar Sheol'.
 The Orc leaders of Orc's Drift.
On the hill, riding the Wyvern, is King F'Yar.
To the fore, left to right: Grashak Kra; Fangor Gripe; Hagar Sheol; Magar Ironfist; and Bagrash.
 King F'Yar riding his wyvern.
The leader of all of the Orc's, F'Yar riding a fearsome Wyvern.
He was originally released as the TA3 Orc War Wyvern, sculpted by Tony Ackland. 
The Wyvern itself is a solid based, and I have based it on a 50mm square base.
I decided to give the wyvern more colourful paint scheme, rather than a more standard green, and (very) losely based on Archaeopteryxes.
 Side view.
 Close up of the the Wyverns head, and the King.
 Back and wings. 
I painted the body a grey-green to act as a base to the brighter colours of the scales and plumage.
 Hagar Sheol. 
He is the leader of the Severed Hand tribe of Orcs. 
I painted the miniature according the his colour illustration in the scenario artwork (included further down this update). 
He was the only scenario specific Orc produced, and like many scenario specific miniautres he is quite rare, although he seems to be rarer than most. 
I bought him a long time ago (about 2002 I think), and he was in a batch of a dozen 1980's Orcs I bought for about £20 on e-bay. 
The miniature, like all of the Orc infantry characters, is slotta based, and seems to have been sculpted by the Perry twins.
Rear view.
This is the artwork for Hagar Sheol from the scenario pack. 
Given that... is Hagar in the 'heroic' pose, similar to that of the Zulu InDuna in the film 'Zulu'.
 Bagrash, who is actually a Level 2 Orc Shaman in chainmail! 
He ended up being released in the C15 Orcs ranges, listed as on first as 'Chieftain', and later as 'Bungerbol'
 Rear view. 
The miniature seem to be a conversion of an old Citdael Fantasy Tribes orc, below. 
Solid based FTO Fantasy Tribes Orc.
 Magar Ironfist, Chieftain of the Kwae Kwar Orcs.
 Rear view. 
The thing I always found unusual about this miniature is that he is not wearing a belt around his chainmail.
 Fangor Gripe, Chieftain of the vile Rune Orcs. 
This one-eyed Orc also turned in the C15 Orcs range as 'Cyclops'.
If you look at his swords, the one in his right hand is carried by the C series Orc 'Bane Blade', whilst the left handed one is carried by an ME 51 Orc of the Red Eye, from the 1980's Citadel Lord of the Rings range. 
I thought I would paint the armour gold-ish to add a little more colour and variation, and to add to his heroic credentials.
Rear view.
 Grashak Kra, Hobhound Handler. 
To give a dash of colour I painted Grashak's helmet crest rainbow coloured. 
Like many others, he too ended up in the C15 Orcs range, re-named 'Warlord'.
 Rear view, showing his scale armour and the tail to the crest plume.

My next blog update could be on a series of subjects.
I have been sorting through my Slann collection to organised them into seperate armies and regiments. I have also been returning to my Great Goblins/Gnoll, and the Fantasy Tribes Dwarves. I have spent this afternoon basing up Great Goblins/Gnolls, and have a veritable tribe of them on my painting table at the moment. Also,
I have wanted to get back to some 'proper' fantasy painting for a while. I have a wish to re-visit my old 3rd Edition Armies, assembled as per the Warhammer Armies book. So really, the next update could be on anything! :)

Wednesday 20 April 2016

Salute 2016

At the weekend I went to Salute 2016.

After travelling up to London from the sunny South Coast I had a very enjoyable time checking out all of the company stalls discovering lot of smaller companies which I did'nt know about. I like going to Salute to pick up odds and ends of miniatures which would'nt necessarily be worth a mail order, or that I never knew about. Also I like to buy scenery as that is usually expensive in postage. I reason that if I want to buy miniatures from the larger companies, I can also mail order them another time.

In addition I met lots of interesting people. I chatted to several of the Oldhammer bloggers, and met up with my old friend Justin. I met Rick Priestly, the (very busy) Perry Twins, Brain Ansells wife (whose name escapes me at the moment) and had a very long and interesting chat to the wonderful artist Tony Hough. I also chatted to the various stall holders and people hosting the demonstration games.

Miniatures wise I did'nt buy a lot. I bought a few odds and ends, and some scenery, but I did pick up some interesting finds. I also got to look at some miniatures in 'real life' rather than on the computer screen. Whilst the internet is great for locating miniatures, sometimes I feel you need to just look at the miniatures for real in order to judge for yourself the size, details, quality, and converstion/painting ideas that can some from them.
Anyway, he's my little bit from Salute 2016,
Enjoy :)
First off was a freebie!
I met a man named Nik who makes bespoke laser cut items, and had made up some free snazzy looking 'Oldhammer' badges, one of which he gave to me.
So the least I can do is give a plug on my blog! :)
The next things I bought were three miniatures from a company which I had never heard of before, Oathsworn Miniatures, found here:
The premise for the miniatures and the game, Burrows and Badgers, is a 28mm skirmish games based on anthropmorphic animals fighting each other, in a similar vien to Disney's 'Robin Hood' film, only with a darker twist.
The miniature above is a 'Toad Animist'. I have to say that this is one of my favourite miniatures I own. I love the look on his face, and the detailing on him is great.
I have bought him to put in my Slann collection.
Rear view. He is carrying a big bone as a staff. On the top left of the bone is a little worm, one of several sculpted crawling out of his forage bag.
Second is a 'Green Lizard'. 
He is a nice little Lizardman, and again finely detailedwith a good sense of movement about him.
Again, he will end up with the Slann.
The last miniatures is keeping with the purchasing theme of my Slann, an 'Armadillo Warrior'. He is a very unusal looing miniature, and as befitting a creature of Meso American and the American deserts, he has an Aztec aesthtic to him with the Aztec headdress, armour, and weapons. 
I bought him on a whim becuase he looks fun.
I will be doing a mail order to Oathsworn sometime in the future for some of their other critters.
Some of their painted miniatures in the display cabinet.
Others on the gaming table.
Next on my shopping list was to buy a house.
I saw this little cottage last year at Salute 2015, but did'nt buy one.
They are made by Twilight Miniatures, who can be found here:
As a company they produce a lovely looking ranges of miniatures unique to their company and their games background, the Fubarnii and Devanu. 
The cottage is very cute, I bought it to be a background piece for Goblins and other odds and ends that it might suit.
 It cost £20
Rear view.
On the day for every £30 spent you got a little freebie. 
So I bought an 'Lord of Orel on a Grakukan', which is a Fubarnii riding a big monster.
The sculpting is great, and full of character, and not over loaded with too much detail.
Right hand view.
He should also have a shield, which I have'nt glued on yet.
My freebie is a 'Pree pree', and kind of Fubarnii pet wearing a headress.
The 'Pree Pree' migh end up as a pet of a Slann Mage.
Twilight miniatures in a demonstration game.
...and in a Display case.
Next up is the 'Unwelcome Guest', an alien miniature with a cup of coffee from Thunderchild Miniatures:
(just a warning, I found their website very busy with 'busy scripts' and slow to load).
The people running this company were very nice and I chatted to them for a while about their Post-Apocalyspe game.  
The card next to him are his stats for the game. 
The 'Unwelcome Geust' miniature is quirky and full of character, and very tall (about 45mm). 
Close up view.
He reminds me a little of the alien from Larry Elmore's 'SnarkQuest' comic strip in the 1980's.
The second miniature I bought from Thunderchild Minautres is a 'Troglamite Thug'.
He is made from a light resin, and sculpting wise he has an insect head with four arms.
He will probably end up as a beastman.
From another company (which I forgot to make a note of!)  I bought a huge step pyramid for background to the Slann. I bought a smaller one from them before, but could'nt resist the huge pyramid. The man at the stall suggested sawing off the top step tp creat a flat platform, something I might do.
Free Salute 2016 Miniature from WestWind Miniatures.
She is a very nice miniature, lovely detail and sculpt.
Other freebies, this time two 28mm sci fi troopers from Maelstroms Edge.
They look fine, almost Judge Dredd looking.
The Sprue.
There were a lot of different display games and trader stalls at Salute too. I did'nt photograph all of them, but here are a few...
First off a Vietnam War game.
La Haye Sainte from the Battle of Waterloo.
Norse longships.
Viking Raid!
Warploque Miniatures lastest releases.
Seven Years Wars British Cavalry.
Redcoats advancing (Barry Lyndon anyone? :) )
War of the Worlds Tripod. 
Scary looking, but don't worry, the chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one...
The Battle of Hastings.
The Normans making headway, routing the forces of the usurper Harold!
Naval game.
Northumbrian Tin Soldier miniatures.
More miniatures from Northumbrian Tin Soldier, Time Bandits Time Robbers.
Sci fi/Ultra Modern looking desert/urban game.
Close up of the above game.
I think the scale was more 20mm.
Another ancient battle, this time a Seleucid at the Battle of Magnesia 190BC (I think that was the battle).
Jareth the Goblin King (3-up model of the gaming piece).
A company named 'River Horse' has made a board game based on the film Labyrinth, to be released late summer. 
Their website is here:
I was chatting to the guy at the stall and he allowed me to take several photographs of the game which follow. They have a Facebook site as well.
 I got chatting to Sally White of Hasslefree Miniatures and she said that Kev White had sculpted the miniatures/games pieces.
EDIT 22/4/16: Due to possible confusion on my part, Sally White may have been referring to different sculpts in the same cabinet.
 Alessio Cavatore is involved with the game apparently too. 
I am looking forward to this being released, and have joined the Facebook group.
Ludo (3-up).
(The whiney) Sarah.
A very poor photograph showing the gaming pieces and the other 3-up's.
Gaming cards. 
The clock.
The board.
Box lid.
The Hunt for Red October game, which I am unsure if it has been released.
River boat, in the deepest, darkest, Africa of the Nineteenth Century.
Beyond the Gates of Antares demonstration game.
I said hello to Rick Priestly, and later on went back and had a demo game of the system.
I love the boards, so-so on the miniatures (Justin liked them more). Niether of us were very old on the rules, but perhaps playing them a little more might help.
The other Beyond the Gates of Antares demonstration game board.
Volcano board, with light-up lava flow, and dry ice smoke!

An English Civil War (often now called the English Civil Wars, British Civil Wars, or the War of the three Kingdoms!).
This game was of the siege of Bristol. It was a very impressive game, but I could'nt get close enough for more detailed photographs. 

My next update is going to be of odds and ends I have been painting. I want to finish re-organising the Slann collection. Also I really want to return to my Fighting Fantasy era Great Goblins/Gnolls,  and to the Warhammer 3rd Edition project, with one army from each of the army entry's in the Warhammer Armies book.