Major Henry Fortisque-Smyth

At this year’s Knavecon, sho3box ran a game of Dinoproof.  He provided a table full of jungle terrain and crates of dinosaurs, and participants had to make a Warhammer 40,000 big game hunter.  This was the excuse I needed to model someone wearing a pith helmet, much like the classic Mœbius character Major Grubert.


Un explorateur colonial un peu ridicule.

Just for this occasion I’d stashed away a Praetorian gunner torso.  His hands, unhitched from a heavy weapon, look like they’re clutching binoculars – a conversion idea seen on countless 1990s tank commanders.  The bottom half of the figure is a Dark Ages archer, as he was wearing a pair of shorts that would reinforce his British pomposity.  (I challenge you to name a 40K human wearing shorts.)

Fortisque WIP 2

“I, of course, do not have a British accent.  That’s just how things sound when they’re properly pronounced.”

I sculpted the bottom of his tunic, then added a pouch and some frag grenades to distract from the Dark Age archer’s slightly narrower waist.  The Plasma Gun is from a Forge World Elysian, which tucked under his arm nicely enough to not have to be carried by an attendant or modelled strapped across his back.

Initially I painted his clothes entirely in Death World Forest, as he’s trying to camouflage himself in a … death world forest. But the epaulettes bothered me – ceremonial affectations seem at odds with jungle stealth.  Then I realised the initial vision of tropical fatigues was further undermined by the dress tunic.  I threw in some more colours and re-imagined the uniform as regimental rather than camouflage.

Fortisque WIP 2

 “An air of superiority is the ultimate expression of military power.”

Major Henry Fortisque-Smyth fared badly in the tropical jungles, being eaten by a series of sho3box’s childhood plastic dinosaurs.


There’s a blog about the dinosaur skeletons here.

There’s a blog about sho3box’s DinoProof Ogryn here.

There’s a blog about testing the DinoProof rules here.

There’s a blog about making chocolate cakes here.

The Bill Bailey Doctor Who Space Marine

Merry Christmas one and all. May your newborn messiah avoid being murdered by the Roman client-king.

It’s not Christmas without the Doctor Who Christmas Special. And I had a sharp intake of geek-breath when Imperial Fist Space Marines strode out across the festive snowscape.

Bill Bailey Doctor Who Space Marine

Bill Bailey Doctor Who Space Marine

Bill Bailey Doctor Who Space Marine

Grimdark future soldiers! Just wait until they unmask and you stare into the face etched with centuries of service to the God-Emperor…

Bill Bailey Doctor Who Space Marine

Oh, it’s Bill Bailey. Bill Bailey serving double-purpose as comic relief and exposition.

What rammed home the visual similarity for me was the Rogal Dorn yellow, and the helmets flipped up à la Space Crusade.

Bill Bailey Doctor Who Space Marine

Coincidence? Or deliberate homage? Leave a comment.

Bill Bailey Doctor Who Space Marine

Chaos in the Northwest Gaming Centre

Having epicked it out to the max at Britcon this weekend we took a break from our regular Tuesday night six-millimetring and sat down with a copy of Fantasy Flight‘s Chaos in the Old World.

Chaos in the Old World

Each player plays on of the four major Chaos Gods, and attempts to corrupt the Old World before the other Gods do, or the Old World itself defeats you. I bagsied Tzeentch (of course).

Let’s start with the plus sides.

All the players are constantly involved, fighting each other, ravaging the various Warhammer territories and marshalling their followers. There’s no downtime, and there’s a lot of infighting and bickering between players as they try to spoil each other’s plans and chew up their rivals’ cultists and daemons. Additionally, there is room to collaborate with the other players, so it feels very much like you’re part of the Chaos pantheon.

Secondly, the four gods play very differently.

Now the downsides. Downsides that led us to drink and despair.

Chaos in the Old World

The rules language is awful. What you’re meant to do seems to be implied rather than clearly stated. The rules pamphlet is best likened to a tax return form you only seem to have half the required sections for. By way of example one of the six phases is the “Corruption Phase” which is subdivided into the “Domination Step” and the “Corruption Step” – so there’s confusion between the similarly-named “Corruption Phase” and the “Corruption Step”. We were really struggling to remember the affects of all twelve different types of card counters.  I suppose you could argue the game’s an accurate representation of Chaos as a confusing jumbled mess of ever-shifting concepts and terms.

And the four Gods each play very differently.  They each operate with a different set of rules, making it difficult to figure out what’s actually going on strategy-wise.  There’re so many oddball cards and effects it’s hard to play tactically let alone strategically without having played all four Gods (or at least having a familiarity with all the 149 cards).

Overall, characterful on account of its complexity. We were left frustrated that it wasn’t easier to pick up.  It’ll be another few months before we wheel it out again for a second session.

Chaos in the Old World

Free downloadable blue fade backdrops

I have a secret weapon in photographing my models – blue fade backgrounds. I’ve seen many people that laboriously paint these in in Photoshop after they’ve taken the photograph. (I did in the past.) But, why not just make one in the first place?

Take this here cool retro Ultramarines Terminator. It took all of five seconds to photograph.

Ultramarines Terminator

And here it is from slightly further away.

Ultramarines Terminator on a desk.

(Now, if I were on Warseer doing a project log, this second photograph would be entirely acceptable as the actual photo of the Terminator.)

So, rather than keep this to myself I thought I’d share it with all you lovely people.

Click the one you want below, then right click > save as. Print off on a piece of a4 paper or card, and hey presto! Mugs available from all good hobby stores.

Portrait blue fade

Landscape blue fade

Importantly, they’re disposable, as my cats love walking over them when I’m not about and leaving tiny paw prints. The buggers.

Now, for any graphic design nerds out there, they look great as the colour is pure cyan. Your printed contains four inks – cyan, magenta, yellow and black – which it combines to produce any colour you care to print. But, when you mix inks it starts looking muddy. Pure mono-ink colours are fresh and vibrant.