Friday, February 26, 2010

What's in the box?

One of the fun things about being a toy soldier hobbyist that a) works from home for a toy soldier hobby magazine and b) has quite a few friends with great toy soldier businesses, is that a really cool box of goodies turns up on my doorstep two or three times a week.

Over the past few weeks there've been some great boxes indeed.

Just last week I received a lovely box from Jim and John Bailey at Grindhouse Games. It was the freshly printed copy of Incursion that I pre-ordered back in November. The reason for the delay? The guys had to establish a significant commitment from their customers before laying down the vast amounts of cash needed to get a board game of this quality printed and assembled. I know the Baileys do good work, so I was more than happy to pledge my support for this project.

I've seen lots of great pictures of their Incursion range of minis online, so I order the complete package which included two of their limited edition tins, the Allies (US Ape-suited raiders) and the Germans (exciting characters and Nazi ZOMBIES!). Very cool. Go and check out their stuff here.

My friend Ronnie Renton, the driving force behind Mantic Games, sent me a little package after I asked a couple of questions about their new ghouls. In the package were two sprues of the new Skeletons (which you can use to build 20 Skellies). While I wasn't too keen on the styling of their Elves, I am loving the look of these undead warriors. Loads more detail and clever ways of assembling the models (usually tricky with Skeletons) make these very impressive.

Ronnie has always been a big fan of big armies and big games. These Mantic miniatures seem like the way to achieve that consistently.

Here's a back and front shot of the ghoul sprue. With two leg parts, two torsos, three heads, and three alternate hands you can build ghouls 36 different ways, although I'd recommend some more extensive conversions (arm repositioning would be best). Apart from using them as ghouls in an undead army, you could easily see these models serving as Battle Psykers in an Imperial Guard or Traitor Guard army, particularly using the two bald heads (one of which is somewhat bulbous).

Every month or so I place an order with Jeff Wilhelm at Dragon Forge Designs. He makes some great resin bases and is close to adding some great new products to his line (keep an eye out just after Adepticon). This box was full of bases for me and just a couple for some commissions I'm finishing up.

About a month ago I received my order from Romeo at Battlefoam. I tried out their funky little design app, and created this custom tray for my Napoleonic British, each tray will fit roughly one division or support brigade, so I should be good for a while with the four trays I ordered.
I should fit roughly 140 models per tray, not bad.

And one of the boxes that arrived recently contained my "staff samples" of the first six packs from our Wargames Illustrated Exclusive "Moments In History" vignettes. If you click on the link you'll get to see the six sets, sculpted by Gary Morley, assembled and painted by Matt Parkes, in their full glory. Each set is available for sale, but we're also giving you your choice of two sets when you order a one year subscription!

As I said at the start though, it's pretty cool to have lovely free toy soldiers land on your doorstep!

So, let's wrap up with some models that will soon be heading back into a box and out my door. The Pre-Heresy Emperor's Children army I started showing you last post has reached it's conclusion. 50 Tactical Marines, 6 Rhinos, 9 Phoenix Guard, 1 Sorcerer/Librarian, and 1 Land Raider, all done now.

My client sent me a Forgeworld Pre-Heresy Land Raider Kit to assemble and embellish a bit. I usually love Forgeworld's kit (see the Hellblade I assembled in less than 30 minutes), but I'm yet to find a MkI Land Raider kit that hasn't had problems.

This particular kit was a real doozy. The front section (sits above the assault ramp doors) and the rear section (replaces the standard engine pieces) were a full 2mm slimmer than the standard pieces. This meant they could only be used if I was willing to trim 2mm off the width of the floor, the lower assault ramp, the upper assault ramp, the internal bracing piece, and the top (which straddles both track sections, requiring it to be trimmed from the center of the piece). I decided not to go down that path, instead choosing to adapt the standard pieces.

I created a new housing for the heavy bolters, and a new set of panels for the rear section so that I could still mount the two large exhausts that come with the FW kit. In addition I added plasticard trim around the side and top panels. When my client paints the Land Raider in the Pre-Heresy purple, this trim will be painted gold and add really rich, detailed look to the tank. This was topped off with the Legion number (III) and the Legion symbol (the winged claw) tying it back in with the Rhinos.

And finally, here's the Librarian. He's a fairly simple conversion, tied in with the rest of the army, but pushing the styling progression. When I decided to use the High Elf banner for the Phoenix Guard, I thought this guy could also use a piece from the High Elf sprues I had. Hence the phoenix familiar perched on his backpack. He'll look great painted gold.

Until next time, have fun!


  1. Loving it Dave.

    Also, here's an Incursion question for you:

    Does your APE Blazer's fuel hose have(what appears to be) a miscasting in the middle of the line that caused it to snap in half as it's being fitted?

    If not, I guess I was just unlucky and am trying to get in touch to get a replacement hose.
    If so or you have any ideas:
    What would you use as a replacement anyways?

  2. Dave impressed is always is an understatement when it comes to your conversion capabilities. Bravo all around on the work. Also I think wiht all the hype after my wedding I will have to check out incursion as the reviews have been amazing on it.

  3. Dave as always your conversions are inspiring , makes me want to build another Pre Heresy army.

  4. Liking the Landraider... Can't wait to see it painted. :)

  5. like always awesome models

    and irritatingly i came up with a good logo for the Blood Pact today... too late i know

    but how about a Skull super-imposed over a Khorne symbol, the skull black and the Khorne icon red

    ahh well, im sure you will get a suitable design from some-one

  6. Man, I had the same problem with my MK1 Land Raider kit from FW. I bit the bullet and did the trimming though... After about 10 hours it looks solid, even though I have yet to paint it (It's been over a year!)

    Yours is looking superb though! Props on everything!