Saturday 21 May 2022

Nodding donkeys

I happened to be browsing the TTCombat web site the other day when I came across these nodding donkey oil pumps in their "last chance to buy" section.  I hadn't spotted them before, presumably because they were in the Wild West section.

Oil pumps.

Though sold as 28-32mm, they look fine for 15mm and would probably even do for 6mm.  At £3.95 for 2 including postage, they're also excellent value.

What's on the sprue.

Although there are no instructions, these simple kits are all on a single sheet of 3mm MDF and fit together very easily. As with most TTCombat MDF kits, the parts were cleanly cut with only a single small point of contact keeping them in the sprue.  A few minutes with a sanding block cleaned these up and they glued together with superglue for the bits I needed to stick instantly and PVA for the rest.

Initial pump assebly complete.

I decided they looked a bit bare, so cut some 6mm wide strips of cereal packet card and used this, folded at 90 degrees, to cover the tabs on the edges.

Cereal packet card added.

I added the strips around all edges of the motor housings, using superglue for a quick bond.

Motor housing detail.

I also added some on the top of the support frame.

Support frame detail.

The entire model was given a coat of Wilko Supernova black emulsion paint to seal the MDF and provide a good base for the next stage.

Base coat finished.

The pumps tower satisfyingly over a 15mm figure.

Base coat finished.

These will mainly be used in sci-fi games, so I added a few vents, grilles and other greeblies from Lego bricks.

Extra decoration using Lego.

The base motor housing is very plain and even these few bits make a big difference.

Extra decoration.

Lego "cheese" slopes make nice vents when glued on at an angle.


A curves slope makes an interesting equipment housing.

Curved slopes.

Some sloped grilles finish off the rear of the base housing.

Rear grilles.

The pump bases were given a coat of taupe craft acrylic for a concrete colour, everything else was painted burnt umber, then stippled with random patches of burnt sienna.

Finished models.

A drybrush of GW chainmail completed the initial painting, but I decided they needed a spot of brighter colour somewhere.  Taking inspiration from a few pictures I'd seen online, the "horse heads" were sponge painted with some Wilko "Bumblebee" emulsion paint from a tester pot.

Extra oil drums.

A couple of extra oil drums were added for a bit of interest, these were given the black/umber/sienna base coat as the main model, then toothpaste masked before top coating using a green spray can.  A scrub with a toothbrush in warm water gives a realistic chipped paint look.


These tick the box of being scenery with which models can interact.  It doesn't just block LOS, figures can also be placed in and on it.

Hide and seek?

These will make a useful game objective.  It would probably be pretty easy to motorise these if you wanted for that extra bit of realism, but I'd taken so long sticking all the little bits of card on that I knew I'd never finish them if I didn't just get a move on!

Sunday 15 May 2022

Epic Dominus siege artillery

 The Dominus siege artillery is a variant of the Crassus superheavy troop transport.

The troop transport area is replaced with 3 massive Bombard siege mortars, giving my 2 vehicles more firepower than the 5 Bombards.

The mortars are so large that as with the Bombards, the Dominus requires a logistical tail of amunition and support vehicles, though at least there is space for the gun crews within the vehicle this time.

MKHAND_INDUSTRIES once again provides this excellent model, there are also alternate weapons for the front hardpoints (heavy flamers) and 2 different elevations of siege mortar.

Friday 13 May 2022

Epic Bombard siege mortars

My traitor forces have a well equipped gun line specialising in siege warfare.  A large part of the artillery force includes Bombards.

The Bombard comes in 2 different flavours, one based on the Chimera chassis and the other on the Leman Russ.  I prefer the Leman Russ variant, the heavier chassis seems to suit the massive siege gun much better.

MKHAND_INDUSTRIES again, I chose the option with a separate loading arm to make clean up and painting easier.

Given the size of the shells these things will fire, some Trojan ammunition transports and trailers will definitely be needed soon.  There is no room for the crew other than a driver, some additional Chimeras or Centaurs will also need to be printed.

Thursday 12 May 2022

Epic Thunderer siege tanks

The Thunderer siege tank is a variant of the Leman Russ-based Destroyer tank hunter.

The Thunderer replaces the laser destroyer of the tank hunter with a short-ranged demolisher cannon, creating a vehicle suitable for battlefiels demolition or siege warfare.

The lack of a turret or secondary weapons means that it isn't ideal for urban combat unless well supported by infantry and other armoured vehicles.

This model is another from MKHAND_INDUSTRIES, I've chosen to print the version with track guards but it also comes with exposed tracks.

Tuesday 10 May 2022

Epic Valdor tank hunters

 The Valdor tank hunter is an ancient design based on the Malcador heavy tank chassis.

A Neutron Laser Projector forms the main armament of the Valdor. This powerful weapon is comparable to the defence laser/turbo laser mounted on the Shadowsword superheavy tank and makes the Valdor an efficient superheavy tank hunter.

The Valdor has an unusual asymmetric design, with a sponson mounted las-cannon on one side but part of the power systems for the neutron laser on the other.

Another of MKHAND_INDUSTRIES designs, this printed neatly with no problems flat on the build plate of my printer.  I made sure that it was well-supported under the hull, main gun and las-cannon.

The Valdor is a sort of budget Shadowsword and this group of 4 operating with my traitor forces will certainly give any loyalist Titans something to worry about...

Ambush position!

Monday 9 May 2022

Epic Carnodon tanks

To accompany my Aurox APCs, I have 3D printed these Carnodon tanks, stl files again by MKHAND_INDUSTRIES.

The Carnodon is similar to the Predator Annihilator, armed with a twin lascannon turret and a lascannon sponson to either side.

These were printed flat on the build plate. all 4 in one go.  Although you can see the print lines in these close-ups, at normal viewing distances of 8-12" or more they disappear.  They've been painted exactly the same as the Aurox APCs.

I'll probably add a few more Carnodons, the turrets available come in a range of flavours including plasma, battlecannon, twin autocannon, vanquisher cannon and more.  They make an interesting contrast to the usual sea of Leman Russ that equip my Imperial Guards.

Sunday 8 May 2022

Epic Aurox APCs

As well as my Epic Space Marines and Imperial Guards, I've been working on some traitor guard forces too.  I've tried to have a few more unusual vehicles so that they look different from my regular Imperial troops.

My traitor infantry will be transported in Aurox APCs*, an early Great Crusade and Horus Heresy era model that has since been superseded by the Chimera.  These have been retrieved from storage and brought into use for the traitors.

The Aurox follows a similar design philosophy to the Rhino, i.e. armoured box "battle-taxi" with lots of hatches for quick egress of troops and fairly basic armament, in this case a heavy stubber.  I'm starting off with 8 of these and will see what other unusual designs I can find to augment their numbers.  I'll probably churn out a few standard Chimeras too. 

Colour scheme is fairly basic - Humbrol 60 scarlet base coat, followed by a wash of 1 drop black ink, 3 drops red ink, 4 drops matt varnish, 3 drops water.  This quantity covers 4-6 tanks/APCs depending upon size.  A repeath drybrush of the original colour highlights them.  Tracks are GW chainmail with a wash of 1 drop black ink, 1 drop matt varnish, 2 drops water, and again a quick highlight with the original colour.

*EDIT - I forgot to mention the designer of file for these marvellous models, MKHAND_INDUSTRIES.  At the time of writing, these can be found on Cults3d:

Monday 2 May 2022

Diceni 2022

Sunday 1st May was Diceni 2022, organised by the Norwich Aftermath gaming club.  What better way to start the day than with a Unicorn Crumpet?  Chocolate spread mane optional for small children. (I went with blackcurrant jam for mine.)

Unicorn Crumpets - a fine way to start the day.

I had not expected to see squirrels there - very cute!


On to the games. Thare was a small Napoleonic clash in progress, I believe this was the New Buckenham Historical Wargamers.

Some Napoleonic action.

These were a finely painted colection of figures.  When we saw them, the game was obviously only just getting started.

The French Commander.

I must try making some rivers sometime, it's one of the few things I lack in my terrain.

The river.  And some reeds.

 Number 1 son was particularly impressed by the reeds and would like to try and make some.  Time to sacrifice one of my old house painting brushes.

Close-up of the reeds.

There was also a WWII game underway, just a small skirmish.

WWII game.

Panther and an SdKfz251

Zombies were involved in the game on the next table - I didn't get a chance to find out exactly what was going on here.

Some zombies.

Many of the usual suspects were there, Warlord Games and The Assault Group had a great selectino of models but I was particularly pleased to see Mark from Kore.  I have admired his 15mm models for some time and it was nice to see them in person.

Number 1 son really liked the FAB 1 styled pink RR!

 There was a fine display of various different scale vehicles, including lots of the new 15mm tanks and mecha he recently acquired from White Dragon.

Lots of 15mm goodies.

HAWG transport.

Centurion MBT.

There were some nice previews of new releases too.

There were also new shanties in the range unveiled.

15mm shanties, APCs and Mecha.

Ont the next table and Badgers Games had a great range of stuff.

Badgers Games.

Moving to the end of the row, Critit had some absolutely stunning dice and dice boxes.

Dice boxes.

Cthulhu fhtagn! Ia! Ia! Etc.

Lots of lovely dice!

There were also amazing journals and some very fine goblets.

More dice and some fantastic journals.

Cthulhu goblet.

Back to the games and the Cowards Wargames Club were playing Dragon Rampant.  So far the Saracens had won 3 games and the Crusaders none.

Dragon Rampant.



There was a race in progress when we arrived but I had a chance to take a few photographs after lunch.

Time for a race?

Formula D.

Formula D character card.

New game Bounty Hunters was in attendance - this looks a fun little game.  

Bounty Hunters.
 Apparently there are discussions underway over distribution by a larger company which sounds encouraging.

Hosts Aftermath had a game of Marvel Crisis Protocol running.

There were the usual cosplay characters...

My friend Graham was assisting with some demo games by local company Themeborne.  I've played Escape the Dark Castle before which is great, they also have a new WWII game Strike HQ coming to Kickstarter this month which was being demonstrated.  Unfortunately I missed getting a photograph of this one.

What did we come away with? Well, I've founds that having a 7 year old in tow seems to help with freebies, such as couple of nice in badges from the Bounty Hunters game (left) and Kore (right).

A stop in The Works on the way from the car park provided some extra scenery paints and some mini pegs - more on the pegs in a future post!

Number 1 son was also given a free bag of dice by the kindly crew from Badgers Games.

Lovely blue gem dice.

I got a nice selection of bits from Kore, Mark made me up a grab bag for £10 which was extremely generous of him.  I got a couple of shanty buildings miscasts.  The one on the right is slightly warped, the one on the left has partly collapsed but both can be made usable with a bit of work.

This retro sci-fi limo would be ideal for a Genestealer cult or the local crime boss.

A HAWG pickup with a minor miscast on the back and no wheels.  I'm sure I can print some suitable wheels and an artfully draped tarpaulin should hide the miscast part.

This Goliath Landtrain has a few bubbles in the wheels but some Milliput will take care of that.

Not pictured are a couple of miscast cars that Mark gave Number 1 son, the miscasting is only very minor (small bubble on one and a slight chip on another), they were hidden away before I had a chance to get a photograph!
 In all it was a pleasant day out, special thanks must go to my wife who kept the 3-year old number 2 son occupied while number 1 son and I had a browse.  Fortunately the library was also open (the Forum where the event takes place was a Millennium project and includes the city library, regional BBC TV studio and offices, tourist information centre and more) which helped keep the little one interested.  As it was, my time was limited ("No, don't touch that - no, put that down - no, we can't buy one of those don't break it!" etc) and I didn't get to try any participation games but maybe next year.

If you're ever in Norwich on the first Sunday of May between 10am & 4pm, come and have a look at Diceni!