Hasslefree youth and some pine trees


Fresh off of the paint desk: Hasslefree Miniatures Albert

He was fairly easy to paint, and I’m pretty happy with him. He stands on a 20mm round base. I copied Orctrader‘s paintjob, with a few of my own touches.


I also made some pine trees for my Warhammer 5th edition table. Once again I followed a tutorial from the excellent Boulder Creek Railroad site. I will be making some more soon.

Mike McVey’s Lizardmen vs. Estalians diorama

Mike McVey Lizardmen diorama 1 (Lizardmen Book)
Inside front cover of Warhammer Armies: Lizardmen by Nigel Stillman, Games Workshop, 1997 (ISBN: 1 872372 56 2)
Mike McVey Lizardmen diorama 2 (WD207(Oz))
White Dwarf Issue 207 (Australia) p. 74 (ISSN 0265-8712)

Mike McVey Lizardmen diorama 3 (WD207(Oz))

Mike McVey Lizardmen diorama 6 and 7 stitched (WD207(Oz))
Unfortunately a card insert has made the middle of the 2 pages impossible to scan without pulling the magazine apart.



Mike McVey Lizardmen diorama 4 (WD207(Oz))


Mike McVey Lizardmen diorama 5 (WD207(Oz))



Some Estalian arquebusiers painted recently. Painted in the style of the soldiers from the famous Mike McVey diorama made for the release of the Lizardmen. I will post some scans of that shortly.

The back row


Colours used:

The model was base coated, then the whole model apart from the ruffs, sleeves, and any other bits that would be pure white, was washed with a mix of GW Flesh Ink thinned out with GW Lahmian Medium, water, dishwashing liquid, and GW ‘Ardcoat (gloss varnish).

Skin: Dwarf flesh washed   as above, then highlights with Dwarf Flesh, Elf Flesh, then Elf Flesh with white added, up to a final highlight of pure white.

Red: GW Scab Red highlighted with GW Evil Sunz Scarlet, then Evil Sunz Scarlet mixed with GW Blazing Orange up to pure Blazing Orange

Yellow: GW Sunburst Yellow mixed with GW Lamenters’ Yellow (Ink/Wash/?) and GW Skull White then more and more white added to highlight after the wash.

Buff sleeves and hose: Foundry Buff Leather triad, with white added for the final highlights.

White Hose: Foundry Canvas triad.

White: White zenithal undercoat. GW Asumen Blue Ink painted into folds and recesses, the GW Skull White to highlight.

Leather pouches &c.: Coat d’Arms Barbarian Leather with white added to highlight. GW Bestial Brown with white added to highlight used for variation if needed.

Gold: GW Brazen Brass then GW Shining Gold.

Metal: GW Boltgun Metal then GW Mithril Silver

Firearm stocks: Bestial Brown or Barbarian Leather then fine lines of Foundry Canvas, GW Bleached Bone, Foundry Buff Leather added.

Black lacquered armour: GW Chaos Black, highlighted GW Fortress Grey. After varnishing, GW ‘Ardcoat applied to re-gloss.

Pinstripes(hose): fine lines of GW Asurmen Blue.


Infuriatingly, I only realised when varnishing them that I had forgotten to paint the pinstripes on their hose. The only one who got pinstripes was the test figure. Oh well, c’est la vie; I have 20 more, plus command figures, to paint so when they are all done these ones without the pinstripes will just add to the variety….


The Alternative Townhouse

The alternative townhouse

Not a house where…. alternative… things happen, but rather the Citadel Townhouse from the old modelling articles by Phil Lewis and Dave Andrews. This article appeared in White Dwarf 137 and in addition to the ordinary templates, it also featured templates for an extension to the townhouse, which was called the “alternative townhouse”. Being that I had very limited experience of building scenery, naturally I went for that option; and these are the results.

The only differences from the templates are the addition of the dormer windows and the windows under the gable on the end of the house.

Overall the construction was fairly easy. I blew the templates up to A3 size on a photocopier, and traced them for the walls. Otherwise I didn’t really measure anything, just using eyeballing to hopefully give it that slightly ramshackle Warhammer look (that’s the excuse anyway). I constructed it all from foamboard, which I found to be exceedingly easy; it was much faster to construct the basic structure than was the cardboard formers used in the barn and it weighs much less, though it is also much less sturdy.

Fantasy townhouse WIP 1
Foamboard and balsa
Fantasy Townhouse WIP 2
Blue insulation foam was carved for the chimneys

The only things that gave me any real trouble were the details. It took a while to work out how to do the windows properly; there being, of course, no explanation in the article. I also, on the spur of the moment, added dormer windows when I coincidentally had some offcuts that seemed the perfect shape to do it.

I used vinyl flyscreen to make the leaded windows….


…..following month after fruitless month searching for aluminium or steel mesh…. I know it exists; just not in Australia, and if ordered on the internet I only seemed to get mesh that was far, far too fine to use for, well for anything really.

I also think that next time I would use thick card instead of balsa wood for the timbering, as the balsa is too thick and stands proud of the plasterwork by no small amount. It makes the house look more like a modern mock-Tudor (where the timbering is purely decorative) when on a real Tudor house the timbering would be flush with the plasterwork as the timber was actually load-bearing and part of the walls (some pictures below illustrate what I mean).

Real Tudor timbering
Fake Tudor timbering

Once constructed, I covered the whole structure (apart from the windows) in gloop (a mix of PVA, sand, filler, and water) as recommended on Tony Harwood’s blog. At first I wasn’t too sure about this, but it actually worked out quite well in the end. I think I should have left the roof tiles clean though…. or perhaps use a finer grade of sand. I would definitely use a finer grade of sand or no sand at all on the roof if I was planning to paint the roof as slate (which I was for this model – to give it that 5th edition Warhammer look – but it turned out I had run out of blue paint so they became clay tiles instead).

WIP painting

Overall I’m fairly pleased with how it turned out and I learned a lot. I cannot recollect how long it all took (I don’t really want to add it up, to be honest) but I know the next one will be a breeze…. which is the idea, I guess.

I must also add, this is the only example of the “alternative townhouse” I have ever seen. The end chimney was also my addition, as were the decorative timbers; it felt too bland otherwise.

The doors are Milliput


Unfortunately I can only use flash photography at the moment….
…which has rather washed everything out….
….and made it appear far more glossy than it really is….
I also based it, which given I intend it to be a country manor seems appropriate, though future houses will not be based so that they can be used in both urban and rural settings.

These are some pictures from the articles itself… I think it turned out well all in all.

Fantasy townhouse Phil Lewis
From the article


Fantasy townhouse Phil Lewis White Dwarf 137 back cover low res
The back cover of White Dwarf 137





Some quick photos

Two figures recently finished (but yet to be varnished).

A Citadel Estalian arquebusier (I believe sculpted by Michael Perry) quickly painted as a test figure (I have 9 more primed!) for a planned regiment for my Empire army. I painted him quickly so as to get him in the Lead Adventure Forum Pikes Muskets and Flouncy Shirts Painting Club (entry Number 56).


The paint scheme is based on the scheme Mike McVey used in his diorama created for the release of the Lizardmen in 1995(?). I will post some scans of that when I have  varnished and taken some better photographs of this figure.


I am fairly happy with how he turned out, especially as I painted him so fast (2 evenings – astonishingly fast for me).


Finally some classic 40K returning to this blog (it is always closest to my heart though…): an Imperial psyker. I painted him a while back for a Random Platypus Forum Paint-a-long but to get him in in time I left some details unfinished. However Asslessman recently painted up some absolutely gorgeous examples which inspired me to finish him off.


He represents the Evil Lord Varlak (see White dwarf 187), before his descent into madness and heresy. I will post more of that story when I varnish him and take some better photographs.


Overall I’m fairly happy with him, and tried to follow the classic Eavy Metal scheme reasonably closely – though I felt he should have yellow chamois gloves (all gentlemen should really).



Barn Finished 1
Fantasy Barn – inspired by Phil Lewis and Tony Harwood’s efforts

Yes, I am alive. Due to various factors, the most I have been able to motivate myself for these last 5 months has been the occasional comment on the blogs of others; sometimes not even that. However, this is not the time nor the place to discuss those issues. Suffice to say, I am back.

Barn Finished 2
The other side….

Across the Christmas period, I constructed a Fantasy Barn. I chose this project because I thought it would be relatively easy, and a good way to lay down some skills for some more ambitious projects in the future. Also, I have started to paint some Warhammer (5th edition style, of course) miniatures, and so I need a suitable photographic backdrop!

Barn Finished 3
… and the back.

The barn structure was based on the templates from the old White Dwarf article by Phil Lewis.

Phil Lewis Fantasy Barn
The classic article which provided the model for this project, and the templates.

I blew them up to A3 size on a photocopier and used them to cut card-board profiles to build up the basic shape of the building. This is a technique I learned from Tony Harwood‘s excellent books.

Barn WIP 1
Cardboard profiles making up the basic structure – this is fairly strong, but heavy compared to most other terrain.

I then covered the structure in papier-mâché – a technique I have not used since I was about 5 years old(!), but which also came from Tony Harwood’s book.

Barn WIP 2
That is the lovely face of female Melbourne Cup winning jockey, Michelle Payne (who won me a goodly sum of cash).

I then clad the structure in balsa wood planks  and tiled the roof with cardboard tiles.

Barn WIP 3
I learned a lot from this project, and (apart from the door which looks a bit shit) I am pretty happy with it.

All in all it was pretty simple and turned out ok, I think. It took 2 evenings to build and about 1.5 hours to paint.

Tony Harwood Barn
This work by Tony Harwood (photo used with permission) was also studied very closely for inspiration. Taken from Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 1 Building Wargame Terrain By Tony Harwood, published by the author (2013) page 96.