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Quick Links: Pirate attack on Fortified Town

Several years ago I was asked to build a pirate castle.  My version ended up being a ruined pile of rock, half taken over by the jungle.  This fortified town from the Steve Dean painting forums may have been more the along the lines of what was originally envisioned.  Love the sloping walls – much more appropriate for the age of cannon than my flat walls.  The town just needs something other than a plain green mat underneath of it to be truly rocking.

Image used without permission.

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Fighting a Virus

For the second time in two years, Malwarebytes has saved my computer from a virus attack.  Over the last week every Google search result was redirected to other web sites.  I ran scans by 3 other anti-virus programs, while they identified a collection of viruses – none were able to get to the root cause.  The kicker this time was that the virus program blocked access to the Malwarebytes web site and even prevented the installed anti-virus program from contacting the parent company for updated files.  The final solution was to download a fresh install on a virus free computer & run the install from a thumb drive.  One fast scan & the problem files were found and deleted.  Makes me wonder how McAffe and the like stay in business when their offerings are so ineffective.

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Terrain Images

First step to any terrain project is drawing inspiration for the piece under construction.  From my RSS feeds, I’ve been collecting terrain themed posts.  Various game systems are represented, Malifaux, Mordheim, 40K, and FOW to name a few.

The conflict in Iraq provides a look into what fortifications really look like.  Easily modeled, but I wonder how well the simple lines of concrete walls would translate to the table top.  There is a reason GW covers everything in skulls – the sense of fantasy and hyper-realism goes hand in hand with gaming.

The other end of real life is Malifaux – a dimensional blasting combination of Old West, Gothic, Demon World and a few other genres.  These PDF files are a collection of game locations that really help set the mood for terrain building:

Reference for a Gremlin Moonshine still – I have a request to figure how to build one.  With a few Hirst barrels, wire and green stuff  it should come together nicely.’s/Detail

all images used without permission

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Adepticon 2011 Webcart Now Open

The Adepticon 2011 web cart is open for business.  I will have a busy year ahead of me.  Friday I teach 2 sessions of my Hirst Arts Seminar.  Come learn about tips and tricks with Hirst Arts molds, or just good fun for anyone who wants to get their feet wet in the plaster hobby.  Saturday and Sunday are the Warhammer Ancients events – first Singles, then Team.

The big news of the day is the announcement of the Crystal Brush awards and a shocking $10,000 first prize.  Cool Mini Or Not is sponsoring the competition and will be vending at Adepticon.  I’ll need to set a few bucks aside for bizarro Euro imports.


Quick Links: African Terrain project

From the Lead Adventures forum – a fully detailed African savanna table.  Not only is the work top notch, but the post contains in depth discussions on the techniques and products used to create the table.   Check page 11 for a full set of photos. 

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Adepticon 2011: Dark Age Campaign

The 2011 Adepticon online Warhammer Ancient Battles campaign began 6-1-2010. This year the period is Dark Ages and the theme is Kingdom building. Try and carve out your piece of Europe – take what you need and keep those thieves away from you.

With each victory, you score campaign points for your kingdom. At the same time, each victory includes a successful raid against an other kingdom – costing that kingdom campaign points.

Accumulate the most campaign points an be crowned king of the Dark Ages at Adepticon 2011.

For full rules or to register visit:

For more information about Adepticon visit:

The Adepticon WAB campaign is my annual attempt to build a web site.  Last year was a mostly white site with a rather odd CSS build to maintain columns.  For 2011 I wanted something completely different & went with a red background and used a basic CSS float system to manage layout.  I also played with a variety of new CSS3 tricks – rounded corners and a background color fade.  To view the site as designed – FireFox works best, Chrome will get you by, and IE is down right terrible.

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The Rise of Rome

The “lost” WAB book The Rise of Rome by Allen Curtis is now being published in serial format by Wargames Soldiers and Strategy magazine.  The first installment in issue #52 Feb 2010, provides background and army lists (WAB and Crusader) for Etruscans and Latins (including Rome itself).  The lists are founded in the era of Lars Porsenna (500BC) but also contain options for Samnite era (300BC) armies.  The article is well stocked with photos from Gorgon Studios and Aventine Miniatures.  I was able to purchase my copy in the US through On Military Matters.

The historical record on the Etruscan military is a bit thin – leaving the author little to work with  other than a few guesses and a good imagination.  Unfortunately, this leaves the Etruscan list limited in it choices.   The main body of the army is the Greek style hoplite phalanx with a supporting cast of Priests, Axemen, skirmishers, low quality cavalry and chariots.  The leadership of the army is rather poor, although inexpensive characters are available to compensate for this.  Finally, the list uses a version of Oracles called Divination to round out the options.  The Latin list is rather similar- having stronger characters, a light infantry option, better over all leadership and chariots only as a character option.

I have been able to play 1 game with the new Etruscan list… and it did live up to its historical legacy by turning in a solid defeat.

The series is scheduled to include history on the early Carthaginian forces and lists for a variety of other Italian armies.

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Adepticon 2010: Hobby Seminars

Adepticon 2010 is rolling out a strong line up of hobby seminars.  Top of the line instructor are available to help take your hobby skills to the next level.  Be sure to register early, the most popular seminars sell out early.

The Hirst Arts terrain seminar will be returning.  I always have fun teaching this class – the seminar is all hands on and very approachable.  Rest asured, I am no Golden Demon winner – working with Hirst molds is a skill anyone can learn.

Adepticon Hobby Seminar flyer

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MDS – Design Challenge

Miniature Design Studios is hosting their second Design Challenge.   Send MDS an email at with your idea of what miniatures they should create.  Sounds  like they are looking for both figure ideas and a bit of motivation.  One entry will be picked at random – then MDS has 21 days to produce the figures and get them into their web cart -or- give you a £25.00 credit.

Here are the rules of the challenge:

The scale will be 28mm
The troop type must be rank and file infantry
The subject must be either Biblical, Ancient or Dark Age (we don’t sell WW2!)
The figure will be designed in three variant poses (To be agreed)
Only one entry per person (I will check!)
All entries must reach MDS via email by 12.00pm, Friday 9th October 2009

My entry to them is for Hannibal’s Veterans.

The Veterans of Hannibal’s 2nd Punic war should be a rag-tag band of killers who spent a decade marching up and down Italy.  Isolated and cut off from the home land, the army was forced to “resupply” in the field.  Other companies produce Veterans who are cookie cutter copies of each other.  Instead – I want to see 1 African, 1 Celt and 1 Iberian in looted Roman mail each with a unique helmet and shield.  Figures are armed with long spears and swords at the belt.  Spears are held upright & figures should rank cleanly on a 20×20 base.

Extra credit – make the heads on a separate sprue for additional figure variations.

I base this vision of the Veteran units on a paragraph from The Fall of Carthage by Adrian Goldsworthy which describes Hannibal’s warriors as a diverse and ill-provisioned group.  Any other credible sources out there?


GWpertinent: Old School Mini

GWpertinet is holding a old school 40K mini “contest”, looking for the oldest, painted GW figure in people’s collection.  This kicked off a trip to Stuff of Legends to see what I had in my collection.  I started playing in 1997, but most of my old school minis have been picked up second hand.  My oldest figures come from the Eldar command unit from the March 1988 catalog – including the harpist, Champion and both standard bearers.  I even have the back packs for the standards – I always figured they belonged to the harpist, not the meta gunner!

However – the contest calls for painted figure.  Once again, I was surprised to find the Space Marine Commander ranks with the oldest and dates to the 1991 catalog.  The figure was painted in 1998 or 1999 and was probably amongst the first 50 figures I painted.  Good to see I’ve learned something in the past 10 years – like how to high light and to always under coat metal with black.

old commander

Speaking of history.  In my collection, I found 3 beaky marines with 1987 stamped on the tab.  In only 4 years GW managed to jump from the bent over, scrawny proto Space Marine to the commander pictured above.  While the over all style has change a bit over the years, this commander shares more similarities with Marines of 2009 than 1987.  I don’t know if that’s a sign of a strong design or stagnation…..