About Me

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I'm a bit of a born-again wargamer! I played many of the Games Workshop games when I was in my teens and early twenties, but left the hobby behind when I went to University. Over the last few years I have gradually got back into it and am literally having a ball! I'll play pretty much anything now, ranging from ancient historical to the far future! I think that I get more out of the painting side of things than actually playing, but that might just be because I get more opportunity. Hence the title...this blog is all about the colour of war!!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Treasure Alley

Hi all! After a wee break from blogging (but not gaming or painting) I thought I'd come back with a black powder bang and write up a report of our latest Pulp Alley escapade. This game was held at the G3's annual Spencer Warner Memorial Games Day, which is a really good idea and all the proceeds go to the Macmillan cancer charity. Last year we did some dinosaur wrangling, so this year we thought we'd keep up the tradition of doing something a little different and blending genres. So, without any more preamble, I present Treasure Alley...!

Dramatis Personae
Front: Long John Silver (centre), Israel Hands (left), Scurvy Jack (right)
Rear (left to right): Job Anderson, Billy Bones, Black Dog

Front: Squire Trelawney (centre), Cpt Smollet (right), Jim Hawkings (left)
Rear (left to right): Abe Grey, Allen, Dr. Livesey

Front: Cpt. Dick Bolitho (centre), Cpt Hayward (left), Midshipman Rodney (right)
Rear: Royal Marines
Missing from the shot is Lt Aubrey who was brought in after we gave Bolitho the Commander ability.
Aubrey became the sidekick and Hayward an ally
The scenario was mostly a rework of the Mukubwa Shetani scenario from the Dirk Drake campaign last year. Basically, the crews had to get to an obelisk (major plot point) in the middle to decipher some runes which tell of the location of unimaginable riches. Unfortunately, they needed to 'persuade' one of the local native chiefs (minor plot points) to translate some of the more obscure runes first. Of course, these chiefs were escorted by some warriors who would move directly towards the nearest character in an extremely perilous manner..ahem! :)
The table

Of course, once the secret of the stone is unlocked, the powers unleashed will alert Kalinago, a twisted, necromantic shaman who is guardian of the stones and it's secrets.
Kalinago and a mob of those unfortunate enough to encounter him.
Long John Silver's crew creep through the jungle towards the nearest chief.
The marines form up around their captain and begin trying to put down the encroaching natives.
Squire Trelawney's crew also engage the natives, but their master at arms was clearly drunk last night and the powder must have got damp. The natives scream their curses and close in,
Israel Hands, Silver's brutish bodyguard, puts himself between his captain and the irate locals.
Trelawney's men clash with the natives in vicious hand to hand. The momentum of their charge puts his men into some trouble and things look bleak.
Silver's men hurry to provide support as Israel Hands struggles to protect his boss.
The highly disciplined Royal Marines form a firing line and prepare to receive the native's charge.
With the support of his crew, Silver clears area of warriors and captures the chief. Understanding the finer points of a cutlass, the chief sullenly capitulates (the counters are where natives were killed. All will become clear!)
And his men swarm up the ruins. Unfortunately, Silver's own peg leg seemed to hinder him a little...!
Billy Bones tries to single-handed fend off the marines. It appears he really doesn't like the Navy. Can't think why...!
But the marines immediately respond in true military fashion. By bringing superior firepower!
Miraculously, Billy Bones survives the hail of lead and falls back. But the pirates come under some real pressure as Bolitho urges his men forward.
Finally freeing his peg leg from the cracks in the stone steps, Long John Silver hobbles to the top and makes the chief translate amid the din of battle. He turns some dials on the stone which reveals the location of the treasure, but his hair stands on end as a strange energy pulse is released.
As Squire Trelawney's men finally break through the native warriors, seize their chief and close on the ruins a terrible moaning emanates from the temple behind them. With a shriek of anger, Kalinago appears and a horde of hideously rotten walking corpses disgorges from the crypts.
As Kalinago began raising the recently fallen warriors, Trelawney's men are caught in a desperate struggle. The horrified marines fan out in panic and Silver's men flee into the jungle.
And that's when we ran out of time! But that's OK. Nothing like a good cliffhanger! We have some ideas about how things pan out and we'll certainly be picking this theme up again. Overall, for some reason, Pulp Alley really, really suited this setting and I think George and I came out of it with the view that this was our best game of PA yet. I think that central to this was the black powder rules. We used the option of having to spend an action to reload their guns, which meant that the movement and positioning felt a lot different. It also meant you thought twice about dodging over firing back and promoted the cutlass and sword over the pistol. For example, Trelawney's men managed to get a single volley off before the natives charged and then it was all hand to hand. This just felt right and gave a really exhilarating and cinematic game.

Once again, Pulp Alley proves it's pedigree and I promise not to leave it so long again before I post the sequel!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

My Hero

Last night I painted up another of the Nightfolk range from Northumbrian Tin Soldier. This little chap is called The Hero and really sums up the quirky, unique nature of this growing range of figures. It's just so charming!
Fear my wooden sword!

My son had the idea to paint the shield as a dragon's scale.
If you like this you should check out the latest sets to come out over the past couple of months. I'll have the 'Pythonesque' knights on this blog sometime in the near future.

Northumbrian Tin Soldier

Monday, 7 July 2014

Verthandi, Sword of Light

So, here we are in July and this blog has been as quiet as ever! It really has been a slow year so far, but I haven't been altogether inactive on the painting front. But as a change of gear from the usual wargames figures, I tried my hand at something a little larger. The nice lady pictured below is a 54mm figure from Andrea Miniatures and was painted almost entirely with Scalecolor paints from Scale75. I really enjoyed painting her and it definitely stretched my techniques, blending and NMM in particular, which was really the aim. I've actually done a few extra wee bits since these pictures were taken but I hope you like her anyway! 

Monday, 2 June 2014

Mozambique Manhunt - Perlious Island Episode 4

A week or so ago I played the fourth episode of our Perilous Island campaign with George and it was as much a hoot as always. Due to our terrain, and the fact that we've been in Africa already, we decided that the hunt for the old sailor should happen in Mozambique, which also gives us a nicely alliterative title!

This scenario was a lot of fun, with the 'red herring' rule meaning that there was a chance that a plot point would actually turn out to be a false lead. Also, the major plot point was only revealed by a random draw of the Reward cards, but any character attempting the a plot point had to have a minor plot point to have any chance of finding the old sailor, which added to the chaos!

So, on with the show!

The hunt begins. The white arrows indicate where the plot point marker are (a couple are in buildings). George clumped his league into two groups at the right hand corners of the table, whereas I spread mine out across the board.
Lo Chan Fu emerges from a sinister bank of swirling fog!
The Dragon Warrior skulks behind some crates, waiting for the heavily armed sailors to come closer.
Lo Chan Fu approaches the priest outside the Catholic Mission to interrogate him. However, his mental assault is too strong and the priest's mind is blasted clean! (I got a Red Herring! D'oh!)
The Dragon Warrior and Ed Hands clash in an alleyway, knocking each other down. This epic battle of martial arts versus sheer brawn would last almost the whole game. Meanwhile Robeson and Xiufang engage in a gun battle, the bullets zinging by the struggling brawlers' ears.
Lo Chan Fu spots another member of the Catholic Mission's clergy and stalks him. This time he is less brutal with his psychic assault and garners the information he desires, but alas, the priest is still left as a twitching husk of a man.
Meanwhile, across the town, Chao Lee tries to prevent anyone getting to his assigned mark before he does, and Castro reels back from the whirling meat cleaver.
Having seen the deck hand off, and intimidated the informant into divulging his secrets, Chao Lee selflessly hurls himself at Chief Mackenzie in an attempt to prevent him finding the old sailor (all other plot points were done, which meant the last one had to be the major plot point.)
The dark mist enshrouding him, Lo Chan Fu moves to make his mind felt, while the ethereal Dragon Lady drifts past to intercept Castro, who had recovered from his cleaver cuts.
As the battle comes to it's climax, the ringing sound of steel on steel still echoes from the alley.
Chao Lee, in a fit of rage and fury, somehow takes on the Chief and gives as good as he gets! Cortese himself is wounded by gunfire from Xiufang as he rushes to help, but he loses his footing in the dirt and can't quite make it.
And suddenly, the fight is done and the sailors know the game is up. A bolt of psychic energy stuns Cortese and he drops to the floor, just as Ed Hands succumbs to the skill of the Dragon Warrior. Surrounded, Chief Mackenzie dodges from his assailants and drags his Captain to safety. In the building, Xiufang secures the Old Sailor and hauls him off to the waiting Lo Chan Fu.
 Another great game and a satisfying end to Act I. So far, the cunning and wiles of Lo Chan Fu have had the edge on Cortese's sailors, but now the mind games are over. Who will survive the dangers of exotic predators and hungry cannibals as Act II takes us to - Perilous Island!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Nightfolk review

A couple of posts back I reviewed a NMM paint set that I picked up from Northumbrian Tin Soldier at Carronade in Falkirk. Along with that set I bought a couple of their new line of dark fantasy miniatures and thought I'd post a quick review of them.

First off, the minis are very crisp and there was next to no flash. There were a couple of mould lines, but these were easy to get to and were removed with little effort. Can't really fault the castings at all. Next, the actual sculpts. I really like this range and each miniature is packed full of character. The two that I bought at Falkirk were a cool Dwarf called The Gatekeeper, and an extremely charming little teddy bear holding a wooden sword, called The Hero. So, wanting to paint some more NMM, and use the Scalecolor Flesh Paint Set that I have since acquired, I decided to paint the dwarf.

I hope you'll agree that this is a very nice sculpt. It was an absolute pleasure to paint, with nice clean surfaces and not too fussy or cluttered. The face really conveys the character of the piece too, and practically painted itself! All in all, this is a quality new range of unique figures that is worth checking out if you like quirky, unusual fantasy stuff. Their newest figures they have released are described as being 'Pythonesque', which is quite accurate and they are definitely on my shopping list.

Check out the full range here - http://www.ntseshop.co.uk/index.php

Monday, 12 May 2014

Dark Nimbus Chapter - progress update

So, in a bid to get back up to date, here's some shots of the stuff I have actually managed to get done of late. The Space Marines and terminators were all actually quite quick to paint, but I thought I'd best spend a bit more time on the Chapter Master.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Scale75 Paint Sets

'lo all! Been a while, hasn't it? Well, I've simply not been doing much in the tabletop side of the hobby for various reasons, both painting and playing. However, the past couple of weeks have seen things starting to pick up again and I was delighted to get to go to Carronade yesterday, the Falkirk wargames show. To highlight just how little I've been up to I actually didn't have anything in mind to buy when I went and only bought a couple of miniatures, one of them for my son! However, what I did get was a NMM paint set. I was browsing around the stalls when I came across an interesting one under the name of Northumbrian Tin Soldier who were selling Scalecolor and Andrea paint sets. I had a wee chat with the trader about them and decided to give theScalecolor a go. As far as NMM goes, I am quite happy with my gold recipe, but steel I struggle a bit with because I can't seem to get the bluish tint just right, so a ready made set is quite attractive. So...was I right in putting down some hard earned dosh for the set?

The Scalecolor 'Scale 75' NMM paint set box.
The back has nice examples and indicators of the colour. There is a cutout so you can see the bottles themselves. All in all, a very nicely produced set. Inside there is a short guide to using the paints, although it is pretty poorly translated from Spanish. That doesn't matter, though. The pictures speak for themselves.
The end result. I'm delighted with the result! The paints were a little different in texture to Vallejo, but they really work beautifully! I will be buying more! :)
I used the bluish paints for this sword. There is really two sets in the box - one for the 'azure' steel and one for a more regular grey steel. 
Conclusion? I love these paints. I will be buying more sets. I can see myself getting the flesh paint set as they are far more workable than the Lifecolor paints I reviewed a couple of years ago.

Check them out (and some cracking dark fantasy figures) here - http://www.northumbriantinsoldier.co.uk/
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