About Tarmor

I'm a gamer - I play (will play, or have played) nearly any games, be it computer-based, board-game, card-game, dice, RPG (role-playing game) or whatever. I enjoy reading, and prefer books & movies along Fantasy & Sci-Fi themes.

Call of Cthulhu RPG – Stress replacing Sanity

For some time, particularly when considering ongoing campaigns in Call of Cthuhu, I’ve been wondering about handling Sanity in a different way. I have a deck of Insanity cards that make a great alternative to how SAN works. (Unfortunately no longer available) These give players a choice of madness – such as Anger, Fear, Obsession, etc that builds as you gain more cards. While this can be used for campaigns, I feel they work best in one-off or short term games of traditional Mythos adventuring.

In a “normal” CoC game you can regain SAN for a successful adventure, but its generally a down-ward spiral into complete madness, assuming you actually live that long. In a game where there may be more unusual or occult connections, than actual mind-blowing Cthulhu Mythos, I want a structure that does something similar to SAN, but with perhaps more temporary symptoms/effects, so I’ve been internet surfing and reading.

Stress exists in the Alien RPG. Gaining stress dice gives you more dice to roll (greater chance of success) but rolling a 1 on a Stress die means you make a panic roll.

Uncounted Worlds (Vol 2, 2011) has an article on Stress replacing Sanity in BRP (Chaosium’s Basic Role Playing) and Call of Cthulhu; “a system where characters reach debilitating levels of psychological shock fairly quickly, but recover faster, and with fewer permanent scars.” It’s slightly complicated: Max Stress = POW+CON, a Stress roll is trying to get < 2 x Max Stress, and symptoms/penalties for being Shaken, Traumatised, or Fractured apply once your Stress is negative.

I’ve mostly run with these two ideas to come up with the following:

Base Stress = 100 – (5xPOW).

Adjustments: -10 if Age is ≤ 20, -5 if ≤ 25; -5 if INT or EDU > POW, -10 if both > POW; +10 if fought in WW1. Minimum of 30 for starting characters.

Any encounter that would cause stress to a character results in a Stress roll. Failure when d% roll is ≤ current Stress, which adds to current Stress in amounts similar to SAN loss in CoC rules, or a d4, d6, or d8 roll as determined by the Keeper. Gaining 5+ stress from one roll, rolling 00-09 (critical failure) or hitting 80, or 90 current Stress results in drawing either a Insanity card or a Stress card. Uneventful days or an undisturbed/comfortable nights sleep restores either POW or 2d6+4 Stress.

Stress cards have titles like: Adrenaline, Anger, Confused, Dazed, Distracted, Fascinated, Fear, Focused, Hysteria, Shaken, Stunned, Weakness. Most apply minor penalties to rolls, or restrict/dictate actions, etc, but some (Anger, Focused) give you a bonus. All have effects that occur for a number or turns/minutes.

At the end of an adventure, current Stress is reset to the base value. Insanity cards are returned. Successful completion may award a roll to decrease base Stress, and anyone who played more than one Insanity card adds +1d6 to their base Stress.

At this stage I’m not sure whether to use the Insanity cards for very disturbing stress events (or hitting 80 or 90), or allowing players the choice between cards. Insanity cards are mostly role-play hints with a possible Stress increase at the end of the adventure, while Stress cards are usually a temporary penalty. I’m also considering whether a player who had multiple Insanity cards records the base effect of one of those effects on their character sheet.

In other news, I received my Witcher: Old World board game last week, so I now have 19 new figures to paint! A future post should be on the game itself. My wife and I have played the basic game twice now, and are really enjoying it.


Terrain – Rocks and rubble

I’ve gone back to terrain with a project that’s taken much longer to complete that I would have liked. It’s been cold and getting dark soon after I return from work, so I haven’t felt much like hobby work except on weekends.

My D&D campaign is underground and currently in a huge cavern, so rubble and rocks are quite normal on many of my battlemaps. I wanted something physical to go with the maps and figures, that makes it obvious to everyone where the terrain isn’t something you can ignore and walk across. It also means the terrain may actually be interacted with – cover, climbing, higher ground, etc.


None of this is carved foam or cardboard. I’ve used gravel (left over from past landscaping) and small stones from work, smashing some larger bits up to fill in gaps. I like the shapes, and that they have a bit of weight to them.

I picked out an assortment of square and rectangular bases, collected an assortment of stones (washed & dried) and started assembly. Each base got a bit of “multiple purpose cement”. This is a plaster-like material that I’ve been using to repairing cracks in interior walls. I’ve got a big tub of it and I keep seeing uses for it with miniatures. Stones were pushed into it and left to dry.

A second pass glued in small stones, and a third pass was more glue into gaps and then sand sprinkled on top. Everything got a few washes with thinned black and dark brown paint and some separate dabs of paint to darken anything that still seemed too light. Mostly I’d aimed for darkening rocks with black and using brown (and dark grey) in between the rocks.

The last stage was a mid grey paint on edges and a light dry brush to bring out some of the patterning in the stone, and then the same again with a pale grey. I went round the base edges in dark brown, and need to come back to touch up a few spots.

The sun came out yesterday so they went outside and got a good spray of varnish.

I’m very happy with they way they look. There isn’t overhang on all sides/bases, so its easy to position them close together or spread them out. I’d still like to do a few more pieces. I’d like to have a couple of very large bits, with some being flat on top.

1920’s Call of Cthulhu – in the UK

While I wait for my Kickstarter “Witcher” board-game to arrive and give me some more figures to paint I’ve been distracted by a plan I had for a UK based Call of Cthulhu campaign.

The campaign is meant to be less SAN draining and more exploration and investigation. (Think “The X-Files” and “Warehouse 13” in 1920’s UK.) It’s based in the UK rather than America, because I know a lot more about British history and legends from decades of reading, and I’ve been there; I own physical maps, books, etc. My only time in the USA was 2 hours each in San Francisco and LA airport, changing planes. [If it came down to it, I’ve spend slightly more time in Mexico than I have in the UK, and that could be an interesting CoC setting too.] An Australia 1920’s campaign sounds a bit boring.

In addition to refining my notes on character creation for the campaign (like boosting HP’s for PC’s and defining how I will use sanity and SAN checks, etc) I’ve been researching for the intro adventure for the campaign. One great thing about games set in the real world, especially with the internet, is how easy it is to get hold of history, maps, statistics, and nearly anything else you might want to know to flesh out a your adventure and GM notes.

…why are “loose boxes” important?

The introductory adventure begins in “The George”, a hotel in Amesbury, very close to Stonehenge. In addition to pictures of the hotel, I was delighted to find census data for the hotel. I know everyone who worked for the hotel and all the guests who were there on the 2nd April 1911. I’ve had to delete some of the guests (there were 16 “boarders” during the census), and modify two or three to suit NPC’s I need for the adventure. Knowing their ages, occupations and place of birth has inspired me to invent backgrounds suitable to the area and reasons for why they might have been there. This all works into the mystery at the centre of my adventure. (It includes Stonehenge, a murder and a piece of jewellery… no more detail since 3 of my usual players read my blog.) I’ve aged the hotel proprietor, his wife and son by 11 years, to work with my starting time in May 1922.

While making notes on character creation, I realised there’s something I haven’t seen in the UK source-books that I have for Call of Cthulhu. For any game set in 1920’s UK, that is, straight after the Great War, nearly any male PC’s between the ages of say 21 and 45 would have been conscripted and served 2-4 years in the British military. There were exceptions. For example: being Irish, unfit (low CON or SIZE?), clergymen, teachers and certain industrial workers or some conscientious objectors. Admittedly, this could also be a factor to consider in terms of an American campaign, but with their much higher population I think you would have more characters that didn’t see service.

In game terms, most male characters should get a small increase in their rifle skill, but is probably balanced out by the fact that UK citizens were less likely to be skilled with firearms than their American equivalents. For my game I’ve decided that most players will need to decide if they served in the Army or Navy (or Air-force if they put skill points in Pilot) and if they have a high Credit Rating (or Lifestyle from Occupation) may have been an Officer or NCO. It certainly adds to a PC’s background.

Writing an adventure set in the real world? The computer is your friend! (Yes, I’ve also been wanting to run a Paranoia adventure.)

Terrain – Taking a room from 2D to 3D

I’ve spent a lot of time recently learning a new (for me) mapping program – but I think that’s worth a post of it’s own. I’d decided to use it to re-do a few important rooms in my mega-dungeon and then expand on that by constructing one of the rooms. So the last week has been a terrain making experiment.

I have a room that is likely to see use in more than one D&D session, and it’s not a single level room. I’ve been thinking for a long time that chambers like this could be better represented on the table than by a simple 2D combat map. I’ve also been wanting to try something a bit different than simply painting figures. I can’t justify the expense of buying a lot of the terrain I’d like to have, but I have seen other blogs I follow where people are painting or scratch building stuff. I’ve really wanted a bunch of ruined buildings for use in multiple RPG’s. It was time for me to see what I could produce.

Here’s the finished model. It’s made from cardboard, light card, heavy paper and masking tape. It’s in three pieces to be able to move it around and store it without too much difficulty.

The first piece I made is the rear wall. This is double-corrugated cardboard – I’d wanted something solid to help support the balcony, and thick supports (on the pillars) for the side balconies. After painting I noted the horizontal corrugations create lines that resemble layers in the wall. It would be easy to use this as a guide and sketch in or mark bricks. It was something more time consuming that I wanted for this project. I could have made “proper” stairs, but I went with basic platforms to better support miniatures. Learning point 1: Thinner cardboard walls make folding/cutting easier and are more likely to stay in the shape you want as well as the dimensions. Most of my pillars turned out too thick on the corners to be square, and ended up a bit wider than they were meant to be even with some inner corner trim.

I was going to have the side balconies supported only by pillars, but then decided to construct another corner to brace the second set of stairs. I didn’t want walls to surround the entire structure as that would make positioning figures and lines of sight around the table much more complicated. This way you can see pretty much everything except from one end.

All the main components were glued. Once dry I sprayed them all black, then from slightly further away gave them a top down spray with white – leaving the lower sections darker. The effect of spraying (rather than brush work) leaves a nice speckled effect that I think gives a good stone effect. Most pieces were then dirtied-up (brush work) with thin black and various greys.

The balcony edges/railings are printed on thick paper (or very thin card). I found a bunch of useful fence templates online. Clipped a section, duplicated it in a line and stretched or compressed slightly to get the height and wide required. Learning point 2: Don’t print black on white – the contrast against grey walls is too strong. Next time I’d use a lighter grey as the base colour.

Initially I taped over most of the exposed corrugated edges, tried filling a few with moulding paste, and lastly painted exposed edges. The tape gave the best edges and painted well. Tape too thin tended to come away, so if I do this it needs a wide overlap. The bad side of this is that the tape edge is hard to hide. Moulding paste requires a LOT to fill gaps. What probably worked best overall (and not intentionally) was actually glue in the exposed gaps and then paint. I could do with a new craft glue, especially if I start a whole set of buildings. The one I have is quite viscous and tends to clump and/or string. Once fussed with enough, it does give a very firm bond and sets like a resin. (I’ve been considering using it for bow-strings on archer figures.)

The whole construction sits on a laminated colour print of the chamber. Laminated so that (when surrounding rooms are trimmed off) I can reuse it as a columned hall. My combat maps are usually black and white since they may not see much use again.

Overall I’m very happy with the way it looks, and it will be great setting it up for play when required. The next step is thinking about structure and drawing plans for maybe a dozen partially or completely ruined building sections. They may not be professionally constructed, but even a basic level construct adds a lot to a game compared to 2D printed sheet.

Fals’Krag Session 50 – “The dead and the not-so-dead…”

After a break of a year and a half, we re-started my mega-dungeon yesterday! Five out of seven players were available and we had a fun evening catching up and getting some gaming done.

A note of the name Telerin: this is actually based on an in-game joke. The owl ‘Summer’ has been swooping in and taking down wounded opponents in our games for so long they earned the nickname “the finisher”. Now that the owl is intelligent (INT 10) and can speak back to the group, he’ll be a PC companion who I might take over as an NPC on occasion. I decided to have him choose a name that goes along with past sessions.

= = = = =

7th Needfest. The group sleeps late and are awakened by an unfamiliar voice calling them lazy in Elvish. It turns out to be Summer, whose collar of the True Companion has triggered after a month and granted human level intelligence and speech to the owl. Telerin (as the owl names himself) suggests they get moving. Seldrel translates the name into Common for half the party – the “end of, or final, memory” . Once they sort themselves out, they proceed to the Hall of the Gods and activate the statue of Ye’Cind, a Elven Demigod of Music and magical song. They receive a wand of magic mouth, and elves in the group a blessing of knowledge.

They return to cavern and head to the area they had been yesterday. An assortment of low and high walls have fallen into ruin and hold nothing of interest. Lanliss hears movement in an intact building. He and Brolith move in to fight the pair of ghouls. There isn’t room for anyone else to enter, so Hardaz moves north around the corner to check an adjacent room. He sights what might be a body. A zombie runs out from a southern doorway to attack the group. They quickly deal with the three undead and follow Hardaz. As they move up to the next corner, many ghouls spill out of the doorway, and large holes in walls. Lanliss is clawed by one during the fight. Once they are all dealt with Merxif determines that the wound looks bad and takes time to both heal Lanliss and neutralise potential Ghoul fever. Lanliss starts to use invisibility to quickly move around the building, looking in windows and doorways, then reporting back. They encounter and kill a few more ghouls and zombies. Most of the chambers are dusty and have the tracks of vermin. Many have a few bones (mostly humanoid) and bits of dry flesh, some with larger pieces of bodies that the ghouls have been feeding on. A few coins are recovered. Bits of equipment are corroded, bent or broken.

The next smaller structure has two levels, with barred windows. Seldrel flies up to look in the slitted windows on the second floor and sees into a burned out chamber. There is only one entrance on the south of the ground floor. Lanliss feels this is trapped and the door is also locked. Seldrel detects two magical aura’s – one on the door itself the other on the space in front of it. Seldrel carefully picks a path to the door and picks the lock. He believes this has also disabled the trap in front of the door, but guides everyone else in to be sure. While probably not the buildings original purpose, it has been used as a home, but not recently. The first room has the fragile remains of a table and chairs. The next room is a kitchen with broken pottery, old rusting cutlery, and stove. Then a storeroom with a ladder. The water, dried food and spices that remain are murky or covered in mould, though a darkwood shield is in good condition and magical. A ladder leads up to the room above, with looks like a workroom that has suffered through a magical explosion. A few magical items are recovered – a ring, a rod and a dried hand. Seldrel wonders if the hand (with a gold neck chain) allows the wearer to use an additional magical ring.

The final room on the ground floor was a bedroom – there are signs of vermin throughout the room, a rusty iron framed bed, and the mouldy remains of a shredded mattress. Coins can be seen in the bits of stuffing. There is no time to investigate more than this as a shrouded shape flies out of the floor, slashing Winter with bony claws, then continues through the wall to the storeroom. Bacon feels the pain of negative energy and feels weakened. Seldrel suspects a wraith. As they reposition in the first room, it flies through again attacking Hardaz. This time a few of the group have time to respond with a quick strike, but they inflict minimal damage to the incorporeal undead. They pursue outside the building and are attacked again, this time with Winter struck. They cluster together with magical weapons and spells ready to strike as it tries to fly by them again, and get a few more hits in. It emerges from the ground and shrieks in hideous laughter then darts back inside the building. Hardaz and Merxif are both panicked – dropping what they hold, and running a block to the west to get out of sight. They pause for breath and the gnome uses remove fear so that both can return. They wait for minutes without it reappearing. Seldrel uses his knowledge blessing to determine that the thing is a Geist; an undead similar to a wraith but a little more powerful. They decide to head in a try to draw an attack, keeping everyone ready. Once they reach the bedroom again it attempts an attack on Bacon but he dodges. Almost everyone in the group inflicts damage by spell or weapon. Again they wait, but it but it does not reappear. This time it may be staying away to heal. They recover the coins under the bed and leave. With everyone having passed through the front doorway multiple times now, Lanliss realises that he must have disarmed the trap that they had all forgotten about.

Lanliss invisible, scouts around the next, large block. he sights ghouls, scorpions, beetles , and giant centipedes through doorways and windows. He also finds two broken wooden doors and closed metal door. Starting with the southern rooms, they move in to engage beetles and then centipedes. There are more of each than Lanliss had observed. The beetles spray acid where not directly engaged, with Hardaz and Bacon caught between two beetles as they kill a third. The centipedes are much less of a challenge. The chambers are mostly dusty, with old bloodstains, and the vermin feeding on moss, mould or bits of old bodies. The group is unsure if the corpses are old dead, or recently killed undead.

Most of the group then tackle a pair of ghouls, while Lanliss takes a narrow passage into the centre of the building. There are dusty webs, some odd shrouds and a humming that Lanliss thinks are bees. Once the ghouls are killed, half the group goes after the “bees” only to be attacked by two large Gloomwasps. These large black wasps sting and emit beams of dark glowing light. Hardaz and Bacon take the worst of their attacks, suffering under the almost magical poison that has them both glowing for a few minutes after the creatures are killed. Being dwarves they shake off the effects fairly easily once Merxif heals their wounds.

Two cave scorpions are the next foes, and more old bloodstains and parts of corpses are found. The bodies were likely bugbears and morlocks.

An Eastern Dragon

Here’s a miniature that is completely different from nearly anything else that I’ve ever painted for the tabletop. This is a souvenir given to me by a mate recently back from Japan. The novelty of it stems from the fact that it came out of a gachapon – a capsule from a vending machine. It’s also remarkable that he got the dragon he wanted first attempt, not one of the other three figures in the “set”.

Produced by “tarlin” and made in China.

The figure started as four pieces of connecting black plastic. Joined they hold together reasonably well unless dropped. So… glued, joined, sprayed white and then lightly varnished to get around the slightly sticky feel. This helped pick out the mold lines that had been pretty much invisible on the black. I cleaned these up and repainted white as best I could. There is an annoying vertical line down belly scales on two pieces which is still visible if you are close. Thankfully paint hides it well as normal viewing distance. I’ve filled slight gaps between pieces so the joins are pretty well hidden too.

Yellow base coat, orange scales, then brown and black shading. I started with red along the length of the back and on the fins and head edging, but it blended too much with the orange and I went back over all the red with some white, except along the spine where I blended the red into the orange. Then the detail again in green, with a lighter green for subtle highlighting. Then horns and claws in a bright bronze. Dabs of yellow, orange, and white as appropriate to merge colours on the legs, and tidy up detail on the head. More detailing for eyes, teeth, tongue. I ran a red line along the ridge between back and belly scales, then brown between each belly scale that I could reach. Black lines on claws to highlight the detail, and black then silver on the nails.

It was good having this without a base to be able to get at pretty much every bit of it, though that meant making sure paint was dry before I turned it around to work on the underside of anything. (Lots of turning around due to the coils!) I had originally considered a little spot highlighting on some scales, but there’s way too many of them, and they stand out reasonably well on their own.

Finally, a 50mm circular base painted silver and a careful gluing at the four main contact points.Not counting the base it’s about 80mm high. The last image shows the capsule it came in, and one of my recently infantrymen for scale.

It was a lot of fun to paint and a welcome addition to my collection of dragons. It occurs to me that I should do a blog post on my collection at some time. There are about 30 across a few shelves here, and more in my gaming figure boxes. They come from a small number of countries, but its the designs that make them interesting as well as the variety of materials. (I have one made of coal from Wales.)


Painting THAT Dark Elf

I should have finished this one last weekend, but I got distracted… wanting to work on a dragon I had been given. That mini is coming along nicely, but this morning I made an effort to get the last of the detail and highlights down on Drizzt Do’Urden.

This is a single part metal figure by Ral Partha, 1988 for TSR “10-550 Drizzt”. I probably bought it on its own in a blister-pack way back then, and most likely because it was a figure with two swords, rather than for the character himself. I do have a lot of the novels of the Icewind Dale / Dark Elf / etc series that date from the late 80’s so I should have known ‘who’ I was buying.

The figure has been in a figure box for so long that when I picked it out for painting I took it for someone’s copy of Drizzt and not a licensed production until I went searching for some details.

I have a separate bunch of drow figures, and was more interested in this now for the two swords… so not painted as Drizzt. I’ve been playing a lot of Lord of the Rings Online recently, so I looked at images of the rangers from the game, picking a palette of mostly browns.

I really enjoyed painting this, once I worked out my colours. It was also great trying to do more work with highlights. I’m pretty comfortable with shading and washes, but getting the fine lines for good highlighting can be a struggle based on a combination of sculpted detail, focused eyesight and holding a fine brush steady. The sculpting on the figure itself helped a lot in this case. I’m also impressed that I didn’t just get the hair and the eyes right, but even managed eyebrows!

Painting Infantry

My first painting for 2023. I base coated both in 2022, but its only been in the last few days that I’ve really paid them serious attention and worked out what I was doing.

These are plastic Pathfinder Deep Cuts (WizKids) “Infantrymen”. (Blister pack of two)

They had very few mold lines and I like the pose, and the details.  I really like the pack and bedroll on one (although there is only half a shoulder strap sculpted; I had to hand paint the rest), the shields have handles/straps on the back, and each has a scabbard of the right length for their sword! The pack art shows the guy on the right with the shield symbol on his surcoat front… this would have been nice to paint, if it was flat. It’s textured, so I decided against it.

The other difficulty was that the guy with the pack. His shield is quite close to the body and its very difficult to get even a fine brush in between to paint. That bit isn’t as good as I’d like it to have been, but its not something most people will see. Their faces are also a little small, so painting eyes was a chore, mostly because of the low helmets.

It’s nice that while most of what they have (surcoat, shield, boots, pouches) matches, but they have different helmets, and obviously one has a pack. This isn’t the same figure in a slightly different pose. If there was a second Infantrymen pack (with different poses/gear), I’d happily buy it to have a small group of men-at-arms / soldiers.

The images haven’t come out quite as I hoped – they’re a little dull. I think I need to make a new light box (the old one had deteriorated and didn’t move house) and/or find the right spot in the house for taking pictures.

2023: Into a ninth year of blogging

Another year over, and a week into the New Year. Covid certainly made a difference to most of my hobbies (and everyone else’s) though the last month or two have felt a lot more “normal” than things have been for the last two years.

So what was 2022 for me?

Painting: My total for 2022 was 8 figures, and some assembly (minimal painting) on 12 plants. This is way down on past years, but I’ve nearly painted every single unpainted figure that I own. Unless I bought a lot more, I was never going to exceed 2021’s total of 81 figures. There are exceptions: I do have unpainted walkers, fatties, and runners for Zombicide, and  there’s orcs and gretchen in Space Crusade. If I’m desperate to paint something I could start those!

Gaming/RPG’s: My gaming group hasn’t returned to my Fals’Krag mega-dungeon, but we did manage to get nearly everyone together and play a one-shot Call of Cthulhu based on Gilligan’s Island, and another night a Shadowrun one-shot based on the “Olympus has Fallen” movie set in Canberra’s Parliament House. There’s been about half the group available on other weekends and we’ve played board games – notably Lord of the Rings Risk (twice – team play is really good), and a New Year’s Eve of Zombicide: Black Plague.

Board Games: We’ve played a bunch of other board game’s with one mate (this started with Covid restrictions on the number of people together, and how far you could travel) – those have mostly been Alhambra, Kingdom Builder, and different versions of Ticket to Ride.

Computer Games: I’ve been playing a lot of Lord of the Rings online, some World of Warcraft, occassional World of Tanks, and a fair run late in the year with Freelancer. Freelancer’s single player game is something I run through every few years, this time I found a HD version to update the graphics.

Other Stuff: I’ve been reading a lot! I’ve spend lots of spare time writing one-shot RPG games for different systems that my group may not have played before. I’ve combat-mapped a large area ready for Fals’Krag, and need to finish detailing what’s in those locations. My wife and I moved house and cleaned up the old house to sell. It didn’t sell, so there’s been preparation for it to now be leased. All of this, and both setting up the new house, fixing things, gardening, building chicken housing, etc have taken months. My work has stayed very busy all year, and though I keep considering retirement, while I’m happy to keep working I will.

Plans for 2023:

I have three figures on my painting desk to finish. I have thirteen Citadel beastmen that I think are worth doing. Then its probably time to dig through all my figure boxes to see what I might have missed. I have more plants to work on, similar to the previous set and I’m considering some trees or bigger plants. It might be a good year to actually build some proper terrain – walls and basic ruined buildings.

The next RPG is likely to be a one-shot Conan adventure (using Conan d20 rules), but I expect that we’ll restart Fals’Krag this year, and play one-shot’s when a few players are not available. I hope to finish three other one-shot adventures: Battlestar Galactica and Star Gate (using StarGate 5E rules) and one Eclipse Phase adventure. All these needs maps before I can finish adventure detail.

I’m reading through my collection of Barbara Hambly books now, then I have a fair number of trilogies to read (for the first time!), having purchased the missing book/s last year. I’ll continue playing LotRo on the computer, and I was gifted Rome: Total War for Christmas so that will be something new in the near future.

Final image: These are my bookcases set up for painting, gaming and most of my collection of dragons. The first is next to my computer/painting desk, the other (only 30cm away) is next to our large dining table where we play games. This is much better than stuff in boxes and multiple bookcases, in different rooms, that I had before we moved house. There are a few more board games on top of another bookcase in the lounge. The green bag is my travelling bag – it has a large figure box to hold whatever figures, terrain, etc that I’ll need for a RPG, and smaller boxes with tokens, dice, dice-tower, cards, maps, PC miniatures, etc.


This guy is probably a very appropriate mini considering Christmas and New Years just past. He was completed on the Christmas weekend, but he’s only been taken outside this morning for a varnish where the bright sun and 30 degree heat (celcius) probably won’t do his hangover any good.

I was looking through mini boxes for some other figures and found him mixed in with painted figures that were being used in a D&D campaign run by a mate a few years back. He got my attention over the other three figures (started but not finished) on my desk.

I’ve done a bit of searching but can’t work out the manufacturer or anything on this specific dwarf. When he was chosen as a character to play, I filed the base flat taking off all the interesting things like names and dates. I’m sure that I’ve had him for at least thirty years… so he should be 1980’s, or early 90s. One piece metal with a round base. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a Citadel Bugman’s dwarf, but he’s not cluttered with detail like I expect from most of their figures and should also be slotta-base. I’m guessing Ral Partha.

Painting was fairly easy, and straightforward and not fussy like the two soldier figures I’m still working on. To give him more balance on the table top, the original base is glued to a 25mm thin round, with a little bit of extra stone decoration. I like the figure, and he certainly looks much better painted than as dull metal. This is very likely the only figure I have holding something as simple as a tankard, and not some weapon or magical device, etc.

Happy New Year!