Desert Duel

The Grey Knights of the Inquisition somehow got word that the Eremoi caste of Dark Angels has been dabbling in warp science and were dispatched to – er – dispatch them.

Tom & I got in a great game of Kill Team this evening using my new Sector Fronteris board.. He fielded his psykers and I my heavy-hitting Unforgiven. Terror Tactics was the mission.

After Tom advanced on my forward position and psybolted my heavy bolter (heavy specialist), I brought down his Demon Hammer-wielding combat specialist on turn one. Following that early action we turned out attention to the center of the board and began to duke it out.

I charged the aggressor, who had survived a double tap from my tactical sergeant (sniper) firing both profiles on his combi-plasma gun. I kept my intercessor sergeant farther from his grey knight to avoid being hit with a mind bullet.

As we fought for control of the center of the board, our gunlines sustained fire behind the melee.

But wait! The stalwart Grey Knight Andros not only survived six attacks from a power sword and killed my plasma gunner, he fell back and made a run for the edge of the board! With two flesh wounds, he advanced right out of the game, giving Tom the two points that locked up the win for the Inquisition.

We had a fun time putting two good-looking teams onto to some nice terrain and slaughtering one-another’s space marines. Things looked like a cake-walk for Tom early on, but proved fairly competitive as the game continued. We made a few mistakes we’ll try to correct next time, but overall the exciting and fast paced game played out well.

Hope you have time in your weekend for some great gaming with friends!

Secret Fronteris Kill Zone

I’ve slowly worked up a decent kill zone to fight some 100-200 point battles on.

This one fought me all the way, and I’m still not completely satisfied. My plan is to add some dead vegetation over the top to tie everything together.

I’ve added some fun details to give it some personality.

In any event, it should look good when we’re fighting it out in the far future. I can’t wait to get my first game on it!

Chapter V: A New Sheriff in Town

One person who certainly had not forgotten about Herling was Dûae. When she left GaGa’s house she walked to the center of town, where she found the schemer addressing a large (by ToadChapel standards) and growing crowd of listeners.

Herling stood at the foot of an old statue dedicated to some god or saint or hero forgotten by everyone in the village. The dwarf looked very important as he warmed to his subject, fingering his silver bow and pointing at people to make them understand.

“I, for one, won’t wait for trouble to find me!” he cried, raising his fist above his head so it was about level with the face of a brawny, mean-looking man standing beside him. “Harry’s found goblin footprints in his prize pumpkin patch. Pumpkins violated! There’s goblin graffiti on the wall of a mausoleum in our town’s burial ground. Are the shades of ToadChapel to be thus polluted? Why, Fernald the woodcutter was chased from his cutting by a swarm of chattering goblins, he says! Goblins in our very midst!

“Before these younglings, these Mills and Gramm, came to ToadChapel we enjoyed peace and quiet. Now the moon goes all red like blood spilt in the night, and strange goings on have followed ever since. Strange and worse.

“Of course I’m not saying children are bad, or even that these children are in league with goblins. But there’s some mystery that has brought a foul threat to our door, and I’ll wager those two know more than they’re letting on. Could be the lovely GaGa knows, too, but I suspect she’s merely the victim of her own kind and generous heart.

“If the younglings are innocent, they have nothing to fear. But I’d rather we kept this town free from danger than wait to uncover their guilt. What might be the cost of that to all you good people of ToadChapel?”

At this a murmur of support spread through the nervous crowd. Men brandished sticks, farm tools, and even a few hunting bows. The hidden misgivings of the villagers focused their fears on Gramm and Mills.

Herling gestured to some rough-looking characters, including the big man in the front of the crowd, as he continued, “Fear not, friends, I’ve got things under control. With the help of these fine bold men here, we’ll keep the woodland tracks free from marauding goblins. We’ll keep your poultry from the clutches of that pair of urchins. We’ll keep the village streets safe at night, no matter the danger to us.

“If anyone spots Gramm or Mills, they are to be apprehended and brought to me for questioning. They are extremely clever, so take care they don’t slip through your fingers like the breeze. It is important that GaGa knows nothing of this plan.

“Further, we all see the need for increased vigilance in these times of peril, so I’ve instituted a curfew of sundown until further notice. Anyone caught out of doors at night will face a fine. Travelers venturing outside the village must inform me or my assistant, Bultry,” said Herling as he pointed to the burly man beside him. “For your safety.”

By this point Dûae had become truly frightened. With luck the children were safely out of sight, but she couldn’t do anything about that now. She decided she’d better get back to GaGa’s and inform her friend how things stood. As she slipped away from the back of the crowd, she heard Bultry thanking ‘sheriff Herling’ and calling other men together to coordinate a system of patrols, checkpoints, and other ‘security measures’. She scarcely believed the other villagers would accept such nonsense, and wondered how Herling had got himself appointed head honcho. Now that he commanded a gang of thugs, she doubted it much mattered anymore.


With goblins on one side and goons on the other, the adventure of Mills & Gramm continue here.

Spooky Scary!

Will & I bashed out a load of graveyard terrain in two sessions this week. Probably 10-12 man-hours between us, but it went by fast as we were having fun listening to music and solving all the world’s problems.

This is the Sigmarite Mausoleum set, augmented by a church from Pegasus. I have a few details left to do on this (like the skulls around the statue), and we have a boatload of fences, gates, graves, etc to paint, but nevertheless we generated a ton of really nice terrain in what felt like very little time.

I highly recommend tackling this kind of project as a team, as it’s not overly fussy and you can negate the tedium by spending quality time with people you would want to hang out with anyway.

We’re looking forward to our first game battling over these spooky little chapels!

Garden of Contemplation

I whipped up a quick scene for shots of my philosopher bums and others in the Garden of Contemplation.

Dip your brush into your coffee. This step is entirely optional. Try it and see if you like the results.

Basic colors applied. I used my cheap hobby paints and mixed them for a bit of variety on different stuff. Don’t be fussy about it. You actually want some crappiness, since the plaster is old, moldy, dilapidated, etc. Slap it on there, don’t aim for even coverage, and know that you can fix anything later if you hate it.

I wanted the fragment of the statue & the tree to be the key features, obviously, so I went for a pretty crazy marble texture. Lots of lines of greys & cool greens, followed by thin washes of grey to create depth. I’m mixing in gloss medium on some passes, but not all around.

Preliminary painting of the tree. On top of brown I’ve used a swampy yellow-green, highlighted with a light yellow-brown.

Washes on the wall. This is pretty over-the-top, I’ll admit! I used Secret Weapon Baby Poop, one of my favorites. It’s much more green than the website would have you believe.

Paint again after washes. The tree was highlighted up to cream colors, the ferns were picked out, and some definition added back onto the marble.

I forgot to take the picture before I began the moss, but you get the idea.

TOP TIP: Coolest part of the piece is the iridescent medium I’ve used, along with gloss medium, to create sparkle & shimmer within the layers of the marble. I love the stuff. You can get it cheap at an art store.

Ready for action!


If you need help with the basics, I’ve got a tutorial on dirt & grass here. Feel free to comment with any questions, etc.

Let There Be Dirt!

ToadChapel needs some rock, soil, and life upon which to grow.

Let’s learn how to make it.

This is a method I use when I want groundwork that looks genuinely good, but doesn’t take an eternity. You wouldn’t necessarily want to use this method for, say, a 3′ x 3′ skirmish wargaming board…

[Casper provided for scale]


Begin by gluing good old dirt to something thin & flat. I don’t actually sift the dirt beyond the biggest and most obvious foreign objects. Instead, I sort of pan it and get the right mix of sizes to suit my needs. Make sure to crush any large clods or they’ll collapse later in the process and screw something up.

Here you can see wood glue thinned with water applied heavily over the top of the dirt. I use the same wood glue underneath, let it dry overnight, then cement it down the next day.

Prime in black.

These are the paints I’m using for the earth & rocks. I’m using cheap hobby paints because I’m going to need a lot and this is very rough work. Don’t use your model paints! These big bottles cost fifty cents each.

These are the stages of the painting process, beginning at the top.

12:00 Paint the whole tile brown.

3:00 Drybrush with light brown.

6:00 Pick out the rocks with medium grey. Basically, the more you do the better, and rockier, it’s going to look. I’ve also highlighted the larger rocks with a light grey.

7:30 Apply some washes

I start with some water just to help things flow more naturally and thin out any real obvious ink stains.

Merrily slop some of your favorite washes all around. I like a mix of colors, warm & cold, dark & light. These are Secret Weapon Baby Poop and Flesh Wash, with a few dots of black ink.

Quite fun to paint these thin colors across the tiles using a Japanese style watercolor brush.

To soften and blend all these subtle colors, use your breath to give them their final shape.

9:00 Time for some vegetation!

Wood glue & water daubed over the ugliest parts of the base. I try to surround some nice rocks with moss, carefully avoiding the rocks themselves. Taking pains to achieve these little details makes a lot of difference, to my eye.

A heavy baking dish makes a great indoor flocking station.

This is the base after two applications of moss. It might take more than one pass to cover up the parts you want and build up a little volume in the deeper patches. Take your time and don’t lay it on too thick just to finish in one go.

A layer of lighter flock on top softens the look and creates the appearance of volume

Now it’s time to apply a few painted highlights and finish these pieces off.

My favorite highlight color for moss, for multiple reasons. I think fluorescent green gives the most natural looking moss, at least as I envision it in ToadChapel.

There is a problem, though: the flouro paint fades. As you can see, the huge board above needs to be highlighted again, as the highlights have all but vanished when viewed from from tabletop distance. I ain’t looking forward to it, I can tell you!

To take the highlight one level higher and help hedge my bets against the fading, I’m using a very pale yellowish green.

There is it. It looks good from a distance and it holds up under scrutiny. It’s not painted so loudly that it detracts from the figures and scenic elements around it.

Trouble headed to ToadChapel by the Woodland Road!


As with the washes, there are all sorts of ways to incorporate hidden connections into the modular pieces. Not only do these little diversions make the creative process more fun, they could also come in handy later when creating a scene.

Wood glue. Best stuff ever.

Abstract art.

And that’s it! Hope you found something useful or interesting in this tutorial. I gave you a picture of a cat, so you can’t complain too loudly.

Leave a comment below if you have any tips or questions for me. Happy hobbying.

Crazy ‘Bout Corrosion!

You’d imagine it would be hard to get excited about simple molded plastic walls. Totally wrong.


Here’s a side-by-side shot of the RYZA ruins before and after applying Nihilakh Oxide.  Worth the trouble, I think.

Big terrain pieces give you a good opportunity to try out different ways of using stuff, figure out what works best, and not worry too much if it doesn’t all look absolutely perfect.  I certainly got better at using the patina technical paint working with it for an hour.


Finished!  Can’t wait to get a game in with these on the table.

Hope you’re getting your game on this weekend, too!