Fimm McCool's

Fimm McCool's

Friday, 18 August 2017

Gang fight in the junkyard of broken dreams

I cracked out my desert scenery for a 3' by 3' Factious Waste test game on Tuesday night. You may remember these cliffs from Deathrace 40,000 at BOYL 2015, or you may even remember when they were first built for my egyptain high elves six years ago! For this game we gave the two starter gangs carte blanche to drive any vehicle on the table.

A promising first turn saw my Trash Runner leader bag himself a tasty convertible whilst my NeoPrimitive and Luddite went after some scrap and my GenCorps officers activated their suit shields and went after the other gang. Spotting 3 of the enemies bunched together the Luddite prepared to drop a pipe bomb on them... only to fumble and drop the explosive right at his feet. Fortunately it was a dud and did minor damage but it was enough to drop him prone right out in the open. The Trash Runner seemed to be having difficulty getting the hang of his car's handling. After misjudging a corner he had to brake hard to avoid crashing into a pillar and spent a couple of activations pulling a 3-point turn to get back in the game.

Meanwhile the enemy Doughnutter had appropriated a nimble buggy and already stuffing some scrap into the back. The GenCorps descended on him with charged crossbow bolts but covering fire from ReFrat agents kept the officers at bay whilst reinforcements moved up to help out. The GenCorps diverted their suit's systems to deliver a crippling electric shock to the first agent, laying him out, but were forced down to the ground by a hail of machine gun fire.

Over the other side of the table the stricken Luddite was being hammered by gunfire. Kept prone by the relentless hail of bullets he was quite unable to get away from the buggy bearing down upon him and bit the dust... quite literally. His executioner slowed to allow another agent to jump aboard with a haul of scrap. Across the board there came a roaring of engines as the Trash Runner finally extracted his vehicle from the pillars and came cannoning forward in a cloud of dust, straight into the side of the buggy. The rammed vehicle skewed sideways and the distracted driver stood hard on his accelerator.

Smash! The buggy cannoned forwards into a rock pile, flipping and throwing its occupants clear of the vehicle. The Trash Runner leapt out to finish the job, but he was on the receiving end of retribution from another ReFrat agent. Fortunately a slick of oil spreading from the convertible caused the agent to loose his footing and his shots went wide, his magazine emptying into the sky. As the GenCorps officers were overwhelmed my gang fled the field, leaving the enemy victorious. Fortunately long-term injuries were minor (well, mostly) and the gang will be back for vengeance.

The game lasted 8 turns and took just under an hour. Really happy with how the vehicle interactions were working, keeping the action model-focused and slotting alongside the core SystemMech rules neatly. It was also our first real use of plot tokens as a narrative driver and again I was really pleased with the extra depth and flexibility they added. We each got through 2 tokens in the course of the game (to modify environmental features and our opponent's actions) so my estimated allocation of 5 tokens to a starting posse seems reasonable. I want to have another look at how further tokens are gained though as I'm torn between not wanting them to be too easily restored and not wanting to add complexity to the between-game stages by adding in a separate system. As always, thoughts welcome!

Friday, 11 August 2017

Free parking for wasteland warriors

If you've missed the times when I've harked on about Factious Waste in the past then you might not know it's a near-future, post-apocalyptic dystopian skirmish game set in a world depleted of natural resources. Tyrannical energy companies and the recycling mob vie for control of the desolate 'outworld' where the majority of humanity slaves on the treadmills of industry. Revolutionary luddites try to bring down the corporations, deluded neoprimitives take a stand to protect an ecosystem which was destroyed long ago and deranged desk cops from privileged inworld stomp out crude law enforcement amongst the barbarous desert.

It's a game that's been 5 years in the making and is finally reaching its destination thanks to the work of some fantastic artists. Tony Yates and Carl Critchlow will be familiar names to you I'm sure, but also check out the work of Mike Tenebrae and Simon Lee Tranter, it's epic stuff.

The core rules have been in place for a few years now (they were also bushwhacked for the celtic fantasy world of The Woods last year, but they started off in FW) but the game was lacking something very important- vehicles! You can't have a Mad Max, 2000AD-inspired game without some cool wheels. The principles I wanted to use for vehicles in the game had been around for a while, I just hadn't got round to fleshing them out. A couple of trips to pound shops earlier this year, some bits courtesy of Fox Box and Ramshackle Games and that has been rectified! The dirty dozen are now ready to go prospecting for that all-important trash running contract!
Airjunkers are primitive vehicles, usually nothing more than a big fan strapped to the back of a gutted derelict. They're slow, noisy and they drink fuel but they're relatively manoeuvrable and cheap.

Buggies are the most common wasteland vehicle. Their lightweight frames and large engines make them nippy, manoeuvrable, fairly fuel-efficient and good platforms for mounting weapons of various kinds.

The flashy members of the recycling fraternity like to flaunt their wealth in souped-up sports cars, especially the frat brats- spoiled children of the dons.

VIPs of the Genpower corporation also ride in style, though with somewhat more elegance than the brash frat. Then there are the industrial vehicles to be found scattered around the wastes. Tracked and wheeled earth movers, dumpers and construction vehicles are easily appropriated as slow but powerful workhorses for wasteland posses. 
For Trash Runners themselves, the Han Solos of the wasteland, their vehicles are their livelihood. Each is intensely customised and personalised to the style and work of the Runner they serve. Big rigs haul enormous loads of scrap across the desert, escorted tankers guard precious fuel cargos, flatbeds serve as mobile platforms for crews and gear.

These vehicles started out as matchbox and '1:43' (apparently) scale vehicles from pound shops, with bits from Ramshackle, Fox Box and GW imperial vehicles added to them. Many of them had their wheels replaced with those from tractor models bought from pound shops, enlarging wheels is my number-one priority for wasteland transport! The sizing's pretty good, even if some of the cars are a bit on the chunky side- that just helps the comic book feel. The detail's not bad either and I was delighted to find that poundland had a skip lorry and a rubbish truck (still WIP at the moment) in the right scale- perfect for a game of scrap hauling!

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Factious Wasting at BOYL

Upon walking into the marquee at BOYL and seeing this... how pleased I was I had pulled out the stops the day before and painted the first 8 masters I just had back from the caster. I couldn't resist grabbing some shots in front of Curtis and Aidan's spectacular terrain.

It was also a joy to see Tony Yates again. Tony did a lot of concept art for this project between November and January of this last year so a fair few of the models are based on his awesome work. He snapped this shot of me holding a Trash Runner which is pretty much a direct sculpt of one of his characters. The large 'doughnutter' enforcer and lithe Gencorps agents are also based on characters we developed together.

Stupidly I didn't snap a shot of Tony with this guy, but I did have a spare set of the masters for him so we may yet see his art on top of a miniature based on his art! To demonstrate what a gent he is Tony had a surprise gift for me...

See any likeness there? Perfect artisan character for the next lot of Factious Waste sculpts. Factious Waste is on track for an October Kickstarter release, stay tuned for post-apocalyptic mayhem...

Monday, 31 July 2017

Oi! Yoo! Whurr you bin?!

The gaming highlight of the year has gone past again, leaving in its wake a ton of hilarious memories and crazy ideas for the next year's projects. But this isn't a post about BOYL, just one prompted by it.

I must have had no less than a dozen conversations over the weekend about how traffic on the forum has slowed over the last year and blogging seems to have dropped off whilst Facebook posts have become the new way of sharing. Personally I find Facebook is ok for a quick-fix, but I like more detailed accounts of people's projects, work in progress shots and articles which are archived in such a way that they can be found again years later. For that the forum and blogs are my preferred platform. A chat in the pub on Friday night revealed that my last post on this blog was back in... well, you can see for yourself! Guilty as charged of neglecting my preferred platform due to time pressure. Well, I resolve to fix that in the coming year.

To get started here are some of the things that I've been working on which have taken time away from blogging stuff-

33 old-worlde buildings, 12 hobbit holes and 170 townsfolk plus assorted bar furniture, livestock, crates, barricades etc. have kept me plenty busy. Could have very easily blogged about those things, didn't. Bad man. You can find a record of most of the buildings HERE and if you're interested in some free townscapes laser cutter files I prepared for the project you can grab them at:


For an Arts Trail in June I put the finishing touches to my snowy mountain board. Now I have the buildings and the board, and a large undead horde... who wants to play some Lichemaster?!!


My post-apocalyptic skirmish game for Oakbound Studio is mid-production with about 25% of the starter miniatures sculpted, the rulebook well underway and art pouring in from a team of excellent artists including Carl Critchlow, Tony Yates, Mike Tenebrae and Simon Lee Tranter. It's shaping up to be a mega-fun project and you can keep track of progress on Oakbound's facebook page, but I shall try to remember to post about it here too! Scheduled for an October Kickstarter.


Still haven't quite finished the shields, but thanks to the excellent Peter Acs I now have all the large shields I need. Should really get started so I can write this one off as done. There was an unexpected bonus at BOYL this weekend, look who was in one of the cabinets (not the one on the left, that's mine!)- the original Nobrun Darkfist! One of the pics on the right is from Bryan's collection, the other is my reproduction... I'm sure you can guess which is which but nevertheless I was pretty chuffed with the similarity. Remind me to post here as I'm doing the shields!


What can we look forward to me actually getting my arse in gear and blogging about in the near future? Well, there's a lot of Factious Waste to do- post apocalyptic vehicles (thanks to Curtis for the box of miscasts he brought to BOYL), wasteland hipstaers, pulp gangsters, crazed enforcers that kind of thing. There was also a lot of talk on Saturday night about Star Bastards... a concept I'm sure we'll be seeing plenty more of as people return to their workbenches. Still a few bits to finish for my Lichemaster army, then I want to get on to Boris' amazing Heroquest box art minis, my slaanesh vs exodites diorama, my halfman army, a snotling siege force for BOYL next year... there's plenty left to do! Stay tuned, and keep blogging!

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Almost there by Easter

Well, the final 3 orcs and single goblin are on my desk, another 3 hours would see them done and all the Goblinoids deck painted (bar shields). However, in an hour's time I have to pick up my sister from the airport and then we're off on a family holiday until Monday. Rather than rush these last miniatures (which, after all, includes our two custom warlords!) I will stop here and photos of the final models will probably appear around Tuesday. In the meantime, here are some more miniatures that got painted this week:

These guys got started with a bit of beach painting in the glorious sunshine last weekend, but I didn't get much beyond base coats there are the paint was drying far too fast! Managed to get away without sand on the models but some of the card sleeves I'm using to protect the cards from paint splashes got a healthy dose of grit in them!

And, because I'm sure you're keen to see how Ulg and Grubod were looking yesterday afternoon...



Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Nabrat's Armoured Orcs

Back when I was a kid and had lots of time and no friends I used to organise my Combat Cards into rival factions to battle against one another. This is how I will be displaying my finished miniatures in the cabinet I have just finished making for them. The main protagonists in this saga were the two Orc Warlords, Nabrat Twocutters with his armoured orcs and Grubod Skullcracker with his royal orcs.

Nabrat is the leader model from Ruglud's Armoured Orcs. As the story on the box narrates, his armour is straight off the back of a dead chaos warrior. Look at the plates on these guys, dead Slambos and HQ warriors most likely! Now there were incarnations of Ruglud's after this, but for me this is the definitie look for the Armoured Orc.

Nablong is also from the regiment of renown, but there he is a musician not a shaman. I feel he fits better in a magical setting though, using the looted bones of the fallen chaos warriors to commune with nameless horrors.

Rungit gets to be in this group because of the stylings of his arm armour, although it will mostly be hidden behind the shield. I'm still in two minds whether to sculpt a nose on the shield or to paint in trompe l'oeil. I can't tell from the photo, does anyone have any pics of this model from a different angle? At the moment I'm leaning towards a paint effect.

Ah, Bogi. Another 'rare' snotling double that I paid too much for after years of scouring ebay. Totally worth it though, this little guy is so cool! Where he found chaos armour to fit him we can only guess but I can easily imagine him capering after Nabrat as an annoying yet loyal sidekick/pet/lackey.

Rutlog is probably the oldest model in the deck, being a 'slottarised' Fantasy Tribes orc. He was very difficult to get looking good and I'm not entirely happy with him as his chainmail and face don't seem as detailed as the card model.

Another case of flayed snotling appears on Zakash's drum, not readily apparent from the card but the tiny feet nailed to the back of the drum make it pretty plain this isn't a carved wooden instrument!

And here's the case I've made for them. Excuse the sunlight and wood dust, only just finished it in this pic. It will, of course, be wiped down before I populate it.


Thursday, 6 April 2017

Messing about with the rivers

I've been thinking about making some commercial terrain for a while. I'm a modelmaker and making little terrain is something I love, but I don't have the space to keep everything I want to make. In January I went to Crusade, the Penarth and district wargames show. There was so much hand-made terrain on offer, and so much of it was very basic and very pricey. I decided there and then that I couldn't necessarily make cheaper terrain but I could definitely make nicer terrain for the same price. The challenge was set!

The first thing I decided to do were some rivers. I've been playing around with water effects on my snow terrain and have worked out a good technique for producing good-looking water in a relatively short space of time, important considerations for commercial scenery-making. At first my plan was to resin or plaster cast detailed sculpts and resin work on top of them, but after sculpting the first it became clear that the cost of mouldmaking and casting (not to mention the time) would not make this a viable option. I do still hope to have some of these detailed sections but they will be available as add-ons, not the core river set.

Instead I have opted for a vacuum-formed plastic base for the basic river sections. I can't give away too much of the technique of finishing them at this point, but once the product is out I can show you how it's done and I am looking at the possibility of selling blank sets at a lower price for people to finish themselves.

With the range of surfaces and themes people pick for their boards I could offer endless variation, but I thought it would be fun to stick to four 'seasonal' variations of each terrain piece. I am especially looking forward to doing trees to fit each season. I'm also focusing on fantasy/dark age/natural forms as these fit best with The Woods, but when Factious Waste comes out there may well be buildings and wasteland bits as well. Of course, if you have a particular table which isn't matched by any of the seasonal variations I can do bespoke pieces as well.
The river sets should be available from early May once I've finished 'road-testing' the surfaces and worked out the packaging arrangements. The sets consist of two straight sections (as seen in summer and autumn above) measuring approx. 100mm wide by 200mm long, one ford section (as in the winter photo above) 100mm wide by 200mm long and two 45 degree bends. That's just over 2' of river running straight, with the ability to 'curve' it around a corner of your gaming board more naturally than a 90 degree elbow. Sets will retail for £25 each and will be available from the Oakbound shop. Any suggestions or questions I'd be glad to hear them.