Friday, December 30, 2016

Meanwhile in Isengard 4 - Or, Some Vendel Barbarian Archers

I think this is my final post of the year in terms of things what I got painted. These rude and scruffy archers are another step towards finishing the batch of Vendel fantasy figures that I ordered early this fall.  I started with 12 spearmen in October, with the plan of using them as proxy figures for Saruman’s barbarous allies from the hills of Dunland.


With 12 bowmen, the Dunlendings now have some missile capability.   The sculptor give them very primitive looking short bows, so I wouldn’t rate them overly highly as missile troops, but in Dragon Rampant terms I would allow them to work as scouts in groups of 6, with the skirmish and evade capability.

I am sure that there are a lot of fleas under those furs and skins.

I have been thinking lately of whether, at least in Dragon Rampant terms, barbarians and wild tribesmen types should be 6 or 12 figure units.  Six figure units are more brittle, and they increase the chance of failing an activation turn early and messing up a turn, since there are more units to activate.   It would seem to make sense that troops like these would prefer to fight in small bands, hunting or raiding, whereas larger 12 figure units would need some sort of formal training as a battle line - thus showing the advantages and disadvantages of trained vs irregular units.  The trained bands are used to moving and fighting as a mass, have more endurance to casualties,  and require fewer activation rolls for the army as a whole, but can be outmaneuvered and damaged by small irregular units if they get to strike first.   I need to give this some more thought.

Here Saruman urges his new hires to get to the archery range and practice their shooting before going up against Helm’s Deep.

Finally, among the figures just finished at year’s end, is this figure from Bombshell Miniatures, described in their catalogue as  “Thorga the Half Orc” and shown here in two crap photos.  Perhaps Saruman can use her as his close protection detail?  She will also make a useful and unusual command figure for the armies of Isengard.


I think I’ll save the other figures nearing completion for my 2017 totals.  I wish you and yours all the very best in the new year.   Thank you for all the views and support that you’ve expressed here for my lovely bride.  She has read your comments and has been quite moved by them.

Blessings,  MP

These figures bring my 2016 totals to:

28mm:  Foot Figures: 128; Mounted Figures: 10; Buildings: 3; Terrain Features: 2

20mm:  Buildings: 1

6mm:  Mounted figures:  36;  Buildings:  2

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Meanwhile, in the Elven Woodland Realms - 2

As 2016 winds to a close, and things get back to a new normal with Madame Padre back home, I have been able to revisit and finish some longstanding projects.  These five figures were primed and started back in June, and then life got in the way.    These minis were sculpted by Shane Hoyle originally produced by Wargames Foundry as part of their Realms of Faerie line.  I bought them direct from WF in blister packs, with kind assistance from the lovely Diane Ansell.  The figures are now sold individually on Foundry’s Warmonger Miniatures site.

These young ladies are a little more dressed than the last batch that I featured here, but still not terribly well armoured.  The one on the right has a crazy ex-girlfriend face - guaranteed to put fear into any marauding orc caught in the LadyForest.

Yes, the lady on the right is holding a golden bow.  I blame William Blake.  I don’t see these figures being in the main battle line but rather functioning in a SOF role, perhaps as scouts in Dragon Rampant terms, flitting through the trees, ambushing, skirmishing, evading and generally making life miserable for troops foolish enough to invade their woods.

 I quite like this mysterious character.  She’s one of several Shane Hoyle sculpts from this line carrying severed bits of men.   As for the head she’s carrying, I figure his mansplaining days are done.

As minis go, these are definitely on the pricey side, at 4 pounds each,  but they pay back with interest when it comes to painting them.  Some minis I just want to slap the paint on and be done with them, but these I want to sa four and get as right as I possibly can.  

Again, her with the bow of burning gold.

And here’s the entire collection thus far.  I am slowly assembling a female-themed war band of elves and allies, like the female tree spirit in centre left which is a Bombshell Miniature.   I have a few more packs of these ladies to finish, and have found some other suitable figures, including a lovely female centaur archer from Heresy Miniatures.    If you know of any other minis that would fit well into this little army, I’d love to hear about them.

Blessings to your brushes!


These figures bring my 2016 totals to:

28mm:  Foot Figures: 115; Mounted Figures: 10; Buildings: 3; Terrain Features: 2

20mm:  Buildings: 1

6mm:  Mounted figures:  36;  Buildings:  2

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Secret Santa Satisfaction

It was a quiet and very happy Christmas at the Padre’s Painting Chapel. Madame Padre and I had an excellent time.

Among the goodies under the tree was this package wUK postage mark, thanks to the Secret Santa project organized by Cath and Ian Willey, with this inscription on the outside.

I certainly did like it, Secret Santa!   Inside the package was proof that my Secret Santa had carefully studied my blog and had discerned by interest (dare I say obsession?) with the Lord of the Rings, and the Isengard army I have been building.  Secret Santa was extremely generous in giving Saruman some new offensive capability.  Here is an Isengard uruk-hai battering ram team, ready to knock on the doors of Helm’s Deep.

Or maybe they’re doing log PT.  I always hated log PT.  

 I guess I had better start making something for them to batter.

As if that wasn’t generous enough, my Secret Santa also included this Isengard bolt thrower with crew, including a chap carrying  a reload.

Such a great model.  It will add some offensive punch to Isengard’s forces.   Should also prove very effective in Dragon Rampant games.   High roll to activate, but deadly when it does fire. 

Saruman is delighted with his new toys.  Here Captain Nurg explains the principles of bolt throwing to Saruman.  Nurg graduated first in his class at the Isengard Artillery School the day after he spawned.  Nurg is definitely a streamer.

Also under the tree was this box of LOTR figures from the Santa Clause project run by Christ Stoesen.  More reinforcements for Gondor!   They will need them.  Many thanks, Secret Santa Clause!

Now that Madame Padre is home and doing well, I have my own Secret Santa projects procured and painting has commenced.  They should be out the door soon.   These gift exchanges show how generous and supportive our blooging community is, and I am so grateful to be a part of it.  My thanks to my generous benefactors!



Friday, December 23, 2016

Best Christmas Present Ever (And Some Orcs)

I am very happy to report that Madame Padre is back home where she belongs, after two surgeries and a long recuperation.  She went into hospital on 11 Nov, was discharged on 9 Dec, and then readmitted on 12 Dec when everything went rather sideways, for a total of 35 days and nights in hospital over two months.  In today’s health care system, where they send you home hours after minor surgery or delivering a baby, that length of stay is almost unheard of.  Yesterday she celebrated her first day of freedom by going back to hospital, but as an outpatient this time, for her first dose of chemo.   She will receive this drug every three weeks, and by Easter we should know how she is doing.   During all the ups and downs of this process, I was buoyed and supported by so many of my wargaming friends, including readers of this blog.   I thank you all.  Life from here on is uncertain.  Kay is classified as a palliative case, meaning that her cancer can only be managed, not cured, and while her doc says that chemo gets good results, we know that her cancer is advanced and inoperable.   Each day is a gift, a chance to appreciate what we’ve done and been together, and to make plans as bravely as we can for the future.   That seems like the best Christmas present we could receive, and we’re grateful for it.

 In all of those 35 days I have been visiting the hospital when I wasn’t working, sleeping, or tending the Catbeasts of Mordor, so there wasn’t a lot of painting going on.   I did however get a few small projects accomplished, including these eight Orcs from Vendel Miniatures, which are now repped on the Sgt. Major Miniatures page, here.  My friend James and I went in on an order to flesh out our armies of Middle Earth project, as I wanted some diversity from my mainly GW collection of LOTR figures.  These fellows are the OR5 Small Orcs Charging, I think, though the chaps in the photo aren’t throwing their spears overhand (which seems to be a Vendel thing).

I wanted to give them a uniform look, as one would expect for a liveried and trained orc regiment raised in Mordor proper.   A lot of the GW Orcs look quite irregular and scruffy, but these fellows look more dependable, less prone to fighting amongst themselves (Damn!  Lord Sauron, my troops have self-decimated … again!).  As per my SOP for basing LOTR badges, the bases are 

I owe the inspiration for the various Eye patters on the shield to James.  Over on his blog he has done some terrific work bringing his Vendel figures to life, including elves, bad guys, and dwarves. Highly recommended.  These four look like they are posted on guard, perhaps at the gates of Dol Goldur, looking for bagginsess?

And orcs stabbing overhand, or maybe throwing, though since most of them are not cast with any other weapons, throwing may not be such a good idea.


I am quite happy with Vendel figures, seeing as how my orcs and these other fellows have painted up.  Vendel figures have a pleasantly old school feel to them, and are quite a bargain, allowing me to round out my legions of Middle Earth without spending a fortune on GW figures - the LOTR range is still available for the most part, but is produced on demand now, I think, and is now all hard plastic, even the sculpts that were once metal.  

I wonder, do they know it’s Christmas time in Mordor?  Well, we do here.   

From Madame Padre and I, blessings to all of you and your loved ones.  Cherish them and cherish your time with them.

Blessings to your brushes!


These figures bring my 2016 totals to:

28mm:  Foot Figures: 110; Mounted Figures: 10; Buildings: 3; Terrain Features: 2

20mm:  Buildings: 1

6mm:  Mounted figures:  36;  Buildings:  2

Friday, December 2, 2016

Secret Santa Sadness

It is with much regret that I announce a total failure to fulfil my Santa duties as part of the two Secret Santa projects I entered into back before Mdme Padre fell ill and life got crazy.
If there is someone out there who was waiting for me to announce my wish list, it is substantially the same as the one I posted last year.  For the persons I owe gifts to, I promise to get them ordered this weekend and will communicate with you as to an ETA in January.   So sorry about this.
In better news, Madame is improving and may be home early next week, in time to supervise Christmas decorations and to reimpose order upon our cats, who have gotten totally out of hand.

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