Monday, 31 March 2014

Bebop and Rocksteady

Busy day at the office today, so didn't feel like starting painting when I got in. I did, however, feel like gluing some bits of plastic to other bits of plastic, so I put together a couple of bodyguards for my Orc command group.

Having decided to use GW Gor arms to give them a little more beef than their regular Orc brethren, I equipped them both with two-handed axes – a nice callback to the chieftain, and also setting them apart from the other figures in the army. With fewer useful off-hands from which to choose (as i didn't want dual-wielding of immense weapons), I ended up with two 'fist-shaking' poses. Having used the same body for one of the bodyguards as for the druid/shaman model, I decided that these two bruisers were the henchmen for the chieftain and the druid respectively... and did not get on.

So, here we have two angry, angry Orcs, quite happy to let their personal feuds get in the way of their duties, threatening each other behind the backs of their commanders. With such a back-story, and my love of 80s cartoons, I have nicknamed them Bebop (top) and Rocksteady (bottom).

The plan is to build the standard bearer and the missing 3 Orcs from Hand Weapon Unit 1 then get them all painted. That will then be half my projected force done and dusted (though I suspect I'll have enough bits left over for at least one, possibly two, more 5-Orc units of spears, bows or hand weapons).

OrcWatch!
Painted
Built
Command Group (Chieftain, Druid, 2x bodyguard)
Spear Unit 1 (5/5 warriors)
Hand Weapon Unit 1 (2/5 warriors)
Planned
Command Group (Standard Bearer)
Hand Weapon Unit 1 (3/5 warriors)
Archer Unit 1 (0/5 archers)
Spear Unit 2 (0/5 warriors)
Hand Weapon Unit 2 (0/5 warriors)

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Pointy Orcs!


With the arrival of two bagfuls of Bretonnian Men-at-Arms bodies, and with the last Frostgrave gang drying from varnishing and the Umbar Marines on deck for basecoating, I took the opportunity to put together some more Orcs for my little clan.

I must have been in Lion Rampant mode still, as when I'd clipped everything from the sprues and cleaned them up, I discovered that I had 6 models ready to go. In my sawn-off adaptation of LR, 6 figures makes a basic infantry unit – for most other games, I stick to units of 5 or 10. Still, there will be enough models to work up something for LR if I want to further down the line. So, depending on my requirements, the club-wielding Orc in this happy little band will serve in another unit.

As before, all arms and heads are GW Ungor, and all bodies are the Bretonnians.

OrcWatch!
Painted

Built
Chieftain
Druid
5x warriors (spear) (1 unit)
2x warriors (hand weapon)

Theoretical
Standard Bearer
2x bodyguard
5x archers
13x warriors (hand weapon or spear)

Friday, 28 March 2014

Laughing Boy

One of the things I like about Umbar is how its history and geography lend it of a kind of melting-pot position. With close ties to Gondor and Harad, not to mention a reputation founded upon sea-travel, it seems plausible to include a few elements from other regions of Middle Earth.

While the majority of my crew will be vaguely Arabic corsairs (clearly a strong Harad influence in their dress – only sensible, given the climate!), I do want to include a few distinct individuals as characters to flavour the pot.

For some reason, I find hyenas to be fascinating (if repulsive) creatures, and really liked the vaguely hyena-like treatment the Peter Jackon LOTR movies gave to the Wargs. That said, I'm not really a huge fan of GW's Warg models, so I looked for alternatives. These from North Star look like just the ticket – they’re pretty chunky, and will work well as smallish Wargs (at least, I hope they will – I have yet to see them in person).
 
So, combining my two aims, I put together this little chap (though he's a head taller than my Umbar Marines, which is unfortunate – not enough for me to re-do all the marines, however – they'll all be shorter than their fellows, but they'll all be short in the same unit!):

Bûltungin the Mûmakani
"All I know is that he's from far to the south and he turned up one day with a pack of those hideous savannah wargs in tow. I guess he's some kind of exile or outcast, but he doesn't talk much and seems to prefer the company of those filthy creatures. Still, when he comes along on a raid, those pets of his terrify the locals, so I can see why the captain keeps him around."

More of a fussy conversion than is my usual preference, this one – essentially, I wanted the clothing style of the Perry Sudanese figure that formed the base, but with arms of the Warlord Zulus. Unfortunately, the Warlord Zulu arms attach at the elbow, not at the shoulder (like nearly all other plastic box sets), so I had to build a new shoulder and bicep. Fortunately, the Wargames Factory Numidians were on hand, and even gave me a really useful left arm holding javelins as well as the upper part of the right. The head is simply a Perry Sudanese one, but was the only one I had left and had a skull cap on. As I wanted it bald, I had to shave off the whole hat. The head thus looks a little elongated, but I think it'll look OK when painted.

In game terms, for Lion Rampant, Bûltungin will be accompanied by five hyena-wargs, and will thus be a unit of 'Fierce Foot', which lends it exactly the kind of aggressive, agile melee role I envisaged.

For anyone wondering, the name 'Bûltungin' is a cosmetic Middle-Earthing of a Kanuri word for "I change myself into a hyena".

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Umbar Rises

With the Usurper (freshly named for Castamir, father of the Corsairs of Umbar) en route to being seaworthy, I thought it was about time that it started to get a crew. With the Gripping Beast Arabs due out as Salute in a few weeks, my main force is still theoretical, but I have been mulling over a few options for more specialist units.

One of these is Umbar Marines.

And here is where I apologise to all fans of Tolkien's books, Peter Jackson's films (and even Ralph Bakshi's animation) – this is my interpretation of the Umbar forces, and is only very loosely grounded in any source other than what I want to build and field.

"The marines that are stationed aboard many Corsair vessels are some of the most seasoned soldiers the city can boast, and are typically recruited from amongst the many mercenaries and sell-swords that call it home. While not as effective at sea as the majority of Corsairs, the marines' discipline and experience are invaluable to a crew when raiding ashore, and their shield-wall can provide a well-armed and -armoured anchor for a Corsair battle line."

With most of the Corsairs looking set to be lightly armed and negligibly armoured mariners (as they should be!), I thought that the force would need something a little tougher – for tactical variety as well as for kitbashing entertainment. Marines were an obvious choice, and offered a bit of uniformity in what was looking set to be a pretty irregular crew. With it looking likely that the rules of choice for LOTR games will be Dan Mersey's forthcoming Lion Rampant, I'm grouping everything as per those rules... more or less. The game generally advocates units of 12 or 6, depending on how elite a unit is, but as I prefer the skirmish look, I'm going to be running everything at half-size (i.e. elites have 3 men, regular units 6). While units don't have a leader each, I just prefer to model things that way – the chap with the jaunty plume will count as just another foot soldier in the game.


So, yet again these models are a laundry list of different kits, most of which should not be overly surprising to anyone who has read a previous blog of mine! The legs and shields are Fireforge Steppe Warriors, the torsos are GW Dark Elf spearmen (not the most recent incarnation, mind you) with the ridiculously spiky shoulder pads filed down to something a little more manageable. The arms are Fireforge Foot Sergeants and the heads are all Perry Wars of the Roses 'European Mercenaries'.

The photos above unfortunately make the models look a lot more squat than they really are, but this obligatory group shot is a bit better:



Sunday, 23 March 2014

A Return to Frostgrave

With only one gang already painted, and terrain starting to make its way into the office, I felt that I'd better step up the pace on my Frostgrave gangs for the office demo game.

Having played around with a vaguely Mongol flavour for Gang Number 1, I went with something a little more Western with this one. The basic concept is of some kind of Templar-like order so, naturally, Fireforge's Templar Infantry was the ideal starting point, and all use bodies from that kit as a base.

With Gang Number 1, I went for a very simple manpower-heavy line-up, consisting of mostly Thugs, with a couple of more specialist henchmen options for flavour. With this gang, I decided to introduce more variety from the outset, and build a themed list, rather than a more efficient one.

So, in reverse order of importance, we have:

2 Thugs
Thugs really are the workhorses of Frostgrave, and represent the most lowly of henchmen. These two axe-men represent new initiates to the Esoteric Order of TBC. Bodies are Fireforge Templars, arms are Fireforge Foot Sergeants, the bandaged head is from a Warlord Roman veterans sprue, and the other head is from a Perry Wars of the Roses box.

2 Archers
As anyone who has gamed with me will attest, I like long-ranged weapons. Given a chance, I will volunteer to command the artillery (assuming supporting naval bombardments aren't an option), and quite cheerfully ignore the rest. Even in such a small-scale game as Frostgrave, I can't bring myself to omit bowmen of some kind. Again, Fireforge Templar bodies are used as the base, here with Warlord Roman veteran heads and Perry WOTR arms. The Roman heads are just a little too big, but nothing I can't live with.

2 'Swordsmen'
In Frostgrave, the 'Swordsman' henchman class covers anyone with hand-weapon and shield (probably something I will attempt to change once the manuscript is delivered), so these guys get a spear each as I prefer the look, especially as I'd already decided on using the Roman shields. Construction is as per the Archers, but with Fireforge Templar arms and the aforementioned Warlord shields rounding out the build.

Wizard and Apprentice
The Wizard (seen to the right, above), is 100% Fireforge Templar, save for the blue flame he's conjuring in his left hand – that is a tassel from the standard in their Steppe Warriors box. I'm particularly chuffed with this addition, even though the photo doesn't really show it off to its best effect. The left arm itself is simply a loose crossbow arm, while the right is a sawn-off spear arm. The Apprentice (left) is another Fireforge Templar, but with Perry WOTR arms. The posture is less 'bullet-time' than it appears in the photo (thankfully).

The Esoteric Order of TBC
All told, I'm very happy with these guys. I probably prefer the finished look to that of my first gang, though I much prefer the conversions involved in that initial project. Gameplay-wise, these chaps will probably have a slightly tougher time of it – they're outnumbered, and have quite a few eggs in the Swordsmen basket. While that pair hit hard, they will need to be looked after a little.
I probably need one more gang for the office game (two would be better). I'm already planning on forcing my Corsairs of Umbar to multitask once they're available, so I'm scouting for new themes... something Viking-y, perhaps?


Bigger Orcs!

As discussed in a previous blog post, I've decided to build an entirely kitbashed Orc warband using Bretonnian and Beastmen parts.With the arrival of some components, I got started straight away on the chieftain for the gang...

I wanted a nice, large model, preferably standing a good head taller than his henchmen, and preferably wearing something vaguely in keeping with the pseudo-100 Years' War look of the Bretonnians. I picked up some of the Chaos Warrior infantry from eBay, and slapped an Ungor head onto the body. Turns out it works really well, especially with the addition of some Beastmen Gor arms (the Ungor arms looked a little weedy). The huge axe I selected is a little more over-the-top than I was expecting, but once I dry-fitted it, I couldn't say no (though I did file down 50% of the spiky bits)!

(The Big Boss in between his henchmen)

On a miscellaneous note, while I like the heavily armoured Chaos Warrior look, with the cloak and the fur stole thing, this is an absolutely horrible kit to prepare. The mould lines run right over the top edge of the fur, leaving a lot of cleaning up and fixing needed.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Orcs!

Thanks to a generous donation from a colleague, I now have more GW Ungor bits than I can ever possibly use.It did, however, mean that I had a chance to do some proof-of-concept converting before ordering the kits I plan on tearing apart.

A bit back, I threw together this Orc for a D&D Underdark-themed warband:

(Seen here with his two Duergar mates)

I really liked the combination of hornless Ungor head with Bretonnian body, but after thinking it over for a while I was a little put off by the comparative slightness of the Fireforge arms (not the mention the prospect of clipping off the upper arms from every Bretonnian body I might want to convert).

So, with the pile of Ungor bits going spare, and a couple of Bretonnian bodies left over from other plans, I sawed off some arms and got this chap:


With the addition of Ungor arms and weapons, I've for a much more savage-looking creature, and one that suits my image of Orcs as being a little beefier than the average human (bearing in mind that I'm using regular 28mm kits for humans, so this guy is appropriately chunky in comparison). This sword is probably the most ridiculously bulky of all the Ungor weapons, so I'm a little surprised at how chuffed I am with the end result. In theory, if this works fine, the rest shouldn't look bad at all!

With proof-of-concept achieved, I then got bored and started mucking around with bits I had no real intention of using, as they didn't really fit with the rest of the aesthetic – chiefly the fat 'Friar Tuck' body from the Bretonnian command sprue and the quad-horned Ungor champion head. While the champion head was easy enough to trim down to become hornless, it did unfortunately mean that the ears (sculpted against the lower horns) were lost. I was going to chuck it away, but then thought about adding a hood (well, first it was a bandana, than common sense returned). Once that image was in mind, I glued this chap together:

(Khaaaan!)

Voila – one Orc shaman/priest/druid/skald. The forearms are an Ungor archer arm (right) and a shield arm (left). All told, not that displeased with what was essentially going to be a throwaway piece, and he'll be finding a place as an advisor to my Orc chieftain. I need to polish the hood bit once the green stuff is dry, but he's otherwise done as is.

As the kit I want for the Corsairs of Umbar isn't out until Salute (Gripping Beast Arabs), this should keep me occupied for a while. It's only a small gang, and I don't expect to expand it into a larger army (never say never):
  • Chieftain (got a nice conversion in mind for this, but need to find a few bits first)
  • Druid (or whatever)
  • Standard Bearer
  • 2x bodyguard (maybe – not sure yet)
  • 5x archers
  • 10–15x warriors (sword and board or spear)
I also kind of want to drop in a troll or something a little larger, primarily because that's one of the best scenes in the LOTR movies and I'm a big fan of size variations in small armies – gives a more interesting profile on the table.

Propulsion...ish

With everything built, and everything finally dry, the sail for the HMS Umbar (really need a better name for her...) is complete. I've gone much (much!) simpler than I originally intended, and it's a simple furled sail made of kitchen roll (soaked in PVA for strength) and dowel of various thicknesses.

It fits nicely into the existing slot in the deck, and can easily be removed as needed.

Construction is officially complete. Painting begins in earnest... soon. I'm going to take a short break from the ship to get some more Frostgrave painting done (and hopefully get it out of the way before the rest of the bits for my Orcs arrive).

One complete vessel!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

A pirate's life for me...

A quick update on the HMS Umbar, my post-Playmobil generic pirate/LOTR corsair/dockside terrain project...

The door to the hold has been outfitted with (wonky) hinges and a door handle. These were all made from a ridiculously useful GW dwarf shield emblem (presumably from one of the previous editions of Warhammer). It started out as a hammer striking an anvil – the latter became the hinge, the former the handle. Yes, it's left-handed, but that was solely down to the left-hand edge of the door not sitting flush with the wall, so I figured I'd leave it a tad ajar...

Also new are the eagle-head emblems. Again, GW dwarf shield emblems, just added to give a little bit of razzmatazz to the vessel.


A trip to the local art store also furnished me with the materials needed for the mast. It's a simple dowel affair at present, and I will be keeping it removable.


The crossbeams and the furled sail (seen here drying in between the original Playmobil crossbeams!) are still works in progress, but as I'm going to be building and painting them separately anyway, I decided to push the button and get the rest of the ship base-coated. Brown paint, here I come...


A little weekend painting

Between an old friend coming up to visit, the finals of the Six Nations, the start of the Aussie Football season and the return of the HMS Umbar, I didn't find time this weekend to do much painting.

I did manage to sit down with a brush and belt out this little fella for my friend's D&D character. A gnome sorcerer, with hair and clothing as defined by the player.


As usual, I'm happier with the conversion than with the paintjob, but c'est la vie!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

This is the Orc (and Duergar) I am looking for

With the HMS Umbar on hold until I can pick up some dowel for the mast, and with paint drying on the second Frostgrave warband, I took the opportunity to muck around with some additional figures for the vaguely conceived Underdark raiding party (to accompany the Mindflayer and Cleric already built).

Two Duergar and an Orc.

I make no secret of the fact that I like Orcs. As a standard fixture of fantasy fiction, they're great. Unfortunately, I can't stand the GW-esque interpretation of bandy-legged, massive-mouthed green ape-things. The Peter Jackson version comes pretty close to my own image, but I can't say as I'm a huge fan of the LOTR figures (for the orcs, at least). I got a few plastic bits through the post today, and while most were earmarked for my two Duergar (evil dwarf) slavers, I thought a couple might be worth looking at alongside the two Wargames Factory Orcs I was given by a friend. Unfortunately, while I appreciate the Angus McBride-style feel of the WF set, they're a bit too gangly for my taste, even with slightly less simian arms from a Fireforge sprue. I really like the generic fantasy feel of the Bretonnian Men-at-Arms, and have used those bodies in a number of projects. I'd love them more if they didn't have the unfortunate join at the elbow for weapon and shield arms – it demands cutting off both sleeves in order to really do much. I also like the Beastmen Ungor heads – they've got a great savage look that I think is more effective than the actual Gor that form the bulk of a Beastman army. I'm amazed it took so long to combine the two, but here, finally, is what I suspect is as close to the perfect Orc as I'll ever get. I will make more in this vein, but probably keep the polearms and tower shield armament of the Bretonnians – the Ungor heads with the horns shaved off are enough for me without needing to go too wild on the weapon front.

As for the Duergar, they're based on my earlier dwarf conversion and again use Bretonnian bodies as the base. The chap on the left has an Empire head (shaved bald, of course), and Chaos warrior hands (like the Bretonnians, ending at the elbow – but much bulkier) trimmed down to fit. The only real effort was cutting back the left elbow and shoulder to get the mace resting nicely. The centre Duergar has an Empire flagellant head and a Chaos warhammer head (with the iconography filed off) added to an otherwise entirely Bretonnian physique. The hammer head is a) a little wonky and b) a little large due to my misjudging the length of the handle. Still, as he's a little shorter than the other dwarfs I've made, it's not too bad.

All in all, really quite fond of the lot of them. If I can find a spare Empire General with beard and eyepatch head (as seen on one of my Inquisitor models, below), there will be one more Duergar, otherwise I've just got plans for a couple of Drow and a few more Orcs as arrow-fodder.


Sunday, 9 March 2014

A Good Weekend's Work...

So, with the sun shining, rugby on TV, and beer in the fridge, I finally set to on a project that has been sitting around for a couple of months now:


I've seen a variety of Playmobil ship conversions on various forums, chiefly Lead Adventure, and have always been tempted to try my hand at something similar. With the purchase of a discount ship, a pile of lolly sticks in different sizes (seriously, I have about 8 times as many as I need... may have overestimated a tad...), and a commercially available ship's wheel (well, two, as I tend to break things), I broke out the trusty hot glue gun and got cracking.

The I started the decking with the lowest of the four decks, on the basis that I was inevitably going to mess up, and better to do so in the least noticeable place. True to form, I managed to mess up with pretty much the first section of decking. In hindsight, I should have cut off the plugs in the middle of the deck (and did so for one of the other decks), but instead attempted to lay the planks around it. The steps were scratchbuilt using more lolly sticks around a core of plastic taken from a clipped-off part of the ship. It's probably a little under-sized, but I'm happy enough with it.

(That grey blob at right is a polystyrene block included with the Playmobil kit to allow it to float. I'd have got rid of it, but the bulk of the rear deck sits on it, and without it has a tendency to tip backwards.)

 Close-up of the steps, with an (inevitably) unfinished Pied Piper for scale.

The rear decks, being larger, were much easier to plank, even with the steps. As the ship isn't large enough to really merit a cabin, I added a small door leading down into the hold. It'll get a handle and hinges in due course. It was at this point that I burnt my thumb for the first time.


The ship's wheel hasn't been attached yet, but I've dropped it on to see how well it fits. Happily, I didn't break it. Yet.


That's all the planking done. It's a little wonky in places, but I'm pretty happy with how it came out, all in all. It's been given a wash of watered-down PVA, but that's it until the painting.



As you might be able to tell from the cover of the Playmobil box, the ship is intended to have a piece that fits on the front much like the blue section at the rear. Unfortunately, it really raises the height of the hull so much that a 28mm figure can't see over it. What's more, I really didn't like the lines it gave to the ship – the base hull with the attachment at the back seems better-suited for the kind of small, raiding vessel I wanted.

Not for the first time, I started with a project (i.e. 'build a ship') than with an idea ('build a ship for...'), so this will probably end up as a relatively generic craft, suitable for smugglers, Corsairs of Umbar (more on that project later) and, perhaps most likely, as terrain for port-set games. You can get about 15–20 figures on deck, which is about the size of the biggest army I'm ever likely to field!

Next up will be a mast and sails. I'm not quite sure how to do that – the Playmobil mast is ok, but would need to be filled in with green stuff or something, as it's U-shaped, rather than solid. I'll probably go with dowel, but I'll have to have a think about how to handle the sail. Having it furled is less attractive, but more use for actual play.

Friday, 7 March 2014

D&D Characters

A few of my friends and I have recently been preparing to kick off a D&D campaign, and the planning got me nostalgic for the good old days of dungeon crawls and (if I'm perfectly honest) loot-grabbing.

I threw together some figures to represent our characters, mainly just 'cos. I don't think we'll be using the tabletop map-heavy approach of current-edition D&D, but everyone should still have a character model, right?

Here's my chap, a stoic human ranger (Neutral Good because I'm lazy, longbow and falchion because I'm the only fighty character in the group!):


This, like a lot of my current models, incorporates bits from a few Fireforge kits.

Then we have a gnome sorcerer (I know, right?), seen here, at right, in a scale shot with the ranger and a dwarf made in a fit of boredom one evening. The gnome is a GW grot/gretchin (or whatever they call space goblins these days), with a Warlord Zulu head, sawn-off Fireforge arms and a smattering of GW gubbins on his belt and back (including a scroll resized as a bedroll – pretty chuffed with that):


There's also a human rogue to come, which is one I'm looking forward to. While waiting for that player to come up with his character, however, I threw together a couple of classics:

The Mindflayer
Wargames Factory squid head on a GW Dark Elf body (a charioteer, hence the dramatically levelled staff). The mindflayers are simply one of the finest D&D villains ever, and this guy is, I hope, a suitable tribute to them (even if the number of face tentacles is wrong. Apparently).

The Evil Cleric
I always wanted to try running a cleric in an 'evil' campaign, but never found a GM willing to give it a go. This was another spur-of-the-moment conversion, using a few bits and bobs: GW Dark Elf torso and arms, Fireforge Mongol legs, Warlord Roman shield (with a GW shield icon stuck on), and a Wargames Factory samurai head, minus its topknot. Looks a little like Patrick Stewart, which is kind of perfect!

I'm having so much fun with the villains that I've got a couple of Duergar awaiting delivery of a few components (they'll be in the style of the dwarf above – Bretonnian bodies with the legs chopped off and feet sculpted on – I think), and plans for some Drow and enslaved Orcs. I might even conceivably press them into service as a Frostgrave gang in due course...


A First Post...

I have every hope that this blog will help galvanize my gaming hobby – if I can get in the habit of posting semi-regularly, I should be painting and playing regularly too!

After a slack couple of years on the games front, I've got back into the swing of things recently, mostly thanks to my friend, colleague and gaming buddy writing his own fantasy wargame (I may have commissioned the project as well, but let's leave nepotism aside for now... While I think on, his own blog, The Renaissance Troll is well worth a visit): Frostgrave.

Essentially, it's a skirmish wargame pitting rival wizards, their apprentices and their henchmen against each other in the frozen ruins of a once-great city. Rather than the usual high fantasy magic system, this setting sees magic as a shadow of its former glory, and its practitioners a tiny group of scholars and researchers. Frostgrave, however, is a city built upon the use of magic, and the ancient empire that once inhabited it left behind many valuable resources that these mages are now after.

It's a nice concept, and one that really plays up the use of magic – wizards (and their apprentices) learn spells as they develop over time, and while each one adheres to a certain school (e.g. necromancy, enchanting), they can make use of most of the spells they learn – so a necromancer, in addition to raising zombies and the like, can also, in a pinch, throw a fireball or enchant a weapon. Going magic-heavy is a little unusual for me (in D&D I'm usually a fighter/ranger/rogue-type), but the 80 spells in the game (8 each for 10 different schools of magic) give a lot of variety.

So, with getting in on the playtesting in mind (not to mention being asked to demo the game for various people in the office), I started building...

The whole gang.

The two crossbowmen.

Two of the five thugs.

One of the spear-armed thugs.

The remaining two thugs and an attention-seeking crossbowman!

The ranger – this guy is one of the tougher henchmen options, and I'm really pleased with his veteran look.

Finally, the wizard and his apprentice. I'm particularly fond of the Conan-esque feel the wizard has going on with the wolfskin, the armour plates and the skulls.

Kitbashing with plastic kits is probably my favourite part of the hobby, and I have dozens of half-finished and unpainted conversions lying around my desk. This first gang for Frostgrave incorporates elements from Fireforge's Foot Sergeants and Steppe Warriors boxes. As befits their status, the wizard and his pal got a few extra bits – the wizard's head is a Warlord Roman veteran piece, his armour is from a Wargames Factory samurai box, and the pouches, skulls etc. they both have are from various GW kits. The apprentice's basket hat is actually a Steppe Warrior shield – probably my favourite bit of the whole gang!

I wanted a vaguely Mongol look to these, and I'm really pleased with how they turned out. The thug-heavy list is a good way of maxing out your gang from the start in Frostgrave, but as they're just armed with a hand weapon, it's not the most varied force to field. For the next gang, there's going to be a bit more variation in terms of henchmen types, and it'll be smaller as well – bonus!