Blood and Plunder: No Peace Beyond the Line

It. Is. Here! 

Firelock Games’ 28mm historical pirate game is something really special. I went all in for their first Kickstarter, so when the second arose I had to go big or go home!

[Brother Handro: “...is that why there’re still hundreds of lead coloured pirates in the basement?”

I’m a big fan of Kickstarter. It gives smaller companies the space to expand their range or start their business with guaranteed funds and a new player base from the off. I joined Alex Huntley’s 2nd and 3rd kickstarters for Arcworlde [Der H: “and haven’t painted much of that either!”  ] and always find that, with wargaming at least, the enthusiasm of the creators gets stuff finished and shipped out pretty promptly!


This Kickstarter is BIG, huge box...glad I took the landy to pick it up. 


Such goodies! 

The contents are far too numerous to list here, however I will post some pictures of the haul:


The ships are, as with the first Kickstarter, beautiful. The Paragua and Bark are relatively small, and the canoa are essentially glorified longboats with some extra rules.

The fun starts with the Fleut and the Galleon. The Galleon is a BEAST of a model, 4 decks and an impressive chunk of resin. It sounds hollow so I’m tempted to look into putting a Bluetooth speaker in to play dramatic navel music [Der H:   “Think master and commander...”  Brother Handro:   “yeeees! Do it!” ]

The faction boxes are a nice touch; the previous KS had loose figures!

The less clear miniatures are assorted characters, with beautifully crafted cards, and civilians. Always nice to see the disguised female pirates and monkey with blunderbus make an appearance! 



Like a kid in a toy shop....actually, exactly like that... 



The Deluxe/special edition/combined rule book is beautiful! Crafted with a raw cut edge... 



...it is styled to represent the style of many books of the era; Great work Firelock! 


I feel it will be a few weeks at least before I get my teeth stuck in. Exams, real life and the release of Titanicus have occupied much of my time. All being well the new year will see much more hobby time, but until then we shall plod along!

Der H 

Thought for the day:    “To wives and sweethearts; may they never meet”

Bolt Action Panzer 38(t) by Warlord Games, A Review

You can find a couple of video unboxings of Warlord Games' recent light tank offering, but none of them actually build the thing!...(Although Warlord Games themselves have ninja'd me last week. Should have posted this earlier!...)

Mighty artwork!

Mighty artwork!

So what do we get in the box?


Two sprues (well, one and a half really) in the usual hull, tracks, turret pieces layout.


One set of Axis transfers (German, Hungarian, Bulgarian and Romanian) and the modern info card and damage markers. Also included is a nice glossy instruction guide, paint scheme suggestions and transfers guide.

First off, you essentially get the option to build either an 'early'  (Ausf. B/C) or 'late' (Ausf. E/F/G) version, (there are only minor differences, and rules-wise none at all) and the option to remove the hull MG for a platoon commander's tank. (Would probably do for the Recon variant provided in the rules). Equally you get an early-war tank commander with beret and a later version with standard sidecap.

The parts are numbered in the guide but not on the sprue, which causes a little back and forth, but is still technically an improvement from the 'no parts labelling at all, just guess if it looks like the picture' days.

The kit goes together well, taking me about an hour and a half to complete. You can build it quicker but I'm a stickler for every part being cleaned up and dry-fitting before gluing.

Things you might find tricky;

You'll find it easier to build the track assemblies if you put the rear pieces (parts 26 & 27) in first, there's a slot which should ensure you don't go wrong, allowing the adjoining pieces to go in smoothly.

The front hull plate was a pretty tight fit. It'll need a little bit of pressure to pop in, or you may want to insert it before gluing both track sides to the hull.

The rear panel of the turret doesn't sit particularly well until the top plate is fitted, so get that part ready to go at the same time.

Parts 40 and 41, which sit on the rear hull and are something to do with the running gear are incredibly fiddly to attach. Get your tweezers ready! I have no idea why the weren't simply moulded as part of the hull. I think it might be possible to glue them in before attaching the rear panel but I didn't think of that at the time...

Part 39 (turret handgrab) is tiny and will also require tweezers, as well as careful removable from the sprue.

Extras include the signature German jack (placed differently or simply left off all the example models) and a fire extinguisher, of which there is entirely no mention and I can only assume is there for the sprue's other purpose, namely making up part of the Marder kit.

Interestingly (or not...) Warlord always style their kits as being made of 'hard plastic'. I presume that's a technical definition, but I found this kit to be relatively 'soft' - it was very easy to file and clean up in comparison to their infantry sprues and some other makers' plastic.



She's a dinky little thing, I have a soft spot for many of the boxy early-war, bolted together death traps...here's a size comparison;

For the record, that's a British Sherman V, so infinitesimally longer than a regular one...

For the record, that's a British Sherman V, so infinitesimally longer than a regular one...


In summary, this is a straightforward, no hassle tank kit that you should be able to knock together in no time. £18 is the going rate for Warlord's plastic medium tanks, so you might feel a little short-changed to pay the same for a light, but what can you do! If you play early-war you can gain same 'value' by buying the 3 tank platoon, and it's your only option if you want plastic, so what are you waiting for?  Panzer (38t) vor!





March 2018 - Pledges Complete

Behold! I FINALLY finished something!

Der H

Some time ago...I, Der H, pledged to build, prime and paint to completion my conversion of Lucius "Soulthief", "Fulgrim's Champion", "Blade of Aeons", "Scion of Chemos" or, as he who would become known, "the Eternal"....and so it has come to pass!

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Brother Handro

Meanwhile, I, Brother Handro, pledged to paint 10 Slugga Boyz and a Nob....



I'm actually really pleased with how the Boyz turned out...less pleased with how many more I still have to knock out...



The O-Word

That's Orks, obviously...

Everything's better with tracks!

Everything's better with tracks!

...what did you think I meant?

So it's a bit of a long-running joke here on the blog that we don't mention my Orks, but no longer! Consider 2018 a Xenos-friendly year! 

Cobbled together rear suspension/drivetrain...dead orky! (And composed mainly of tears and swearing!)

Cobbled together rear suspension/drivetrain...dead orky! (And composed mainly of tears and swearing!)

Orks are just made for kitbashing and converting, this is just a teaser of the orky goodness I hope to deliver!



Thought for the day'Green iz best!'




New Year, New Start!

Happy New Year!

This year will be better, harder, faster, stronger...maybe!

Lots of crap the last few months but, now that is behind me, the Hobby Butterflies can rise again!

No pledge today - that will follow - just a hearty cheers, and a weather eye to 2018!

Happy New Year and keep your eyes open! 


Der H & Brother Handro 

Plastic Soldier Company Spray - German Dunkelgelb; A Review

I picked up a can of Plastic Soldier Company's Dunkelgelb from Element Games back in February, at a reasonable  £7.50...probably should get around to trying it out then....


Firstly the good; I have seen people claim that PSC Dunkelgelb spray is both a perfect match for Vallejo's Middlestone, which is generally accepted as a decent approximation of Dunkelgelb, (and more pertinently, pretty easy to get hold of) and nothing like it at all, with photos to prove it. As far as I can tell, for me it is spot on. The finish is also very nice.

Pretty bang on!

Pretty bang on!

Next, the indifferent; I had seen a video on Youtube of someone applying this spray to several tanks in numerous gentle passes, over and over and over. (Admittedly this is a fair technique for avoiding clogging the details). Turns out it was more to do with the spray itself than any technique. The spray seems to be very low 'velocity'; very little paint comes out with each pass, so you do indeed find yourself slowly building up layers of paint on the model, spending time that would no doubt have ruined your model if you'd had a GW primer can in your hand.

The other issue is that aforementioned time; I could have sprayed nearly 1000 points of models with a GW primer in the time it took me to do one halftrack. As always, more haste, less speed!

It strikes me that the paint could well be best used over a primer, but I could find no real consensus on that. Regardless the finish it provided for me over bare plastic is more than good enough for me to continue to use it in this fashion. Equally the finish was flawless in ambient conditions that have seen GW sprays produce horrible grainy textures. 

I would question how much of the propellant is used up with the multiple light passes technique however. It could be using very little each time as very little paint comes out or I could end up with a very heavy paint-full, gas-empty can one day. I'm not an expert in these matters so will just have to wait and see...

Not fun...

Not fun...

Now sadly the bad; the whole reason I finally got around to using the spray in the first place was that I picked it up on a whim last week whilst on a tank-building drive. Unfortunately the can was stuck to the shelf by a horrible, sticky, yellowish gunk stinking of aerosol that was leaking from the bottom inside rim of the can. I bought the can in person too and it gave no indication of being defective for 6 months, so I can't blame it being blind-delivered, nor any abuse on my own part; it has merely sat on a shelf since the day I bought it.

This is probably just a case of bad luck but I have been using GW's overpriced sprays for 20-odd years like a good little fanboy and I have never had any physical issue with a spray can.

The other thought is that the leaking can is the cause of the low velocity of paint spray, but I have used it multiple times now and got the same consistent results; the paint comes out gently and evenly, with no degradation of pressure or change in paint flow. One can is hardly a great sample to judge by either way!

Overall I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised by this product. Having picked it up on a whim and not expecting much save maybe a half-decent base to work from I was half-hoping once I found out it was leaking that it would be trash and I could get rid of it - now I have to keep it somewhere - a pleasant little (aerosol-induced) headache to have...

It certainly provides a means of skipping the first stage of airbrushing a Dunkelgelb basecoat with paint from a pot, and anything that smoothes the course of my hobby progress get two thumbs up from me, and I would buy it again assuming no further leakage issues!

Guess I'll have to spray all my late-war German vehicles then!


Through the magic of the internet....ta-dah!

Through the magic of the internet....ta-dah!


Thought for the day; 'To question is to doubt'.

Handro - Pledge Complete - XV25 Stealthsuit Team

It is done. Step one on what will hopefully be a long and fairly productive road to hobby progressville. Pledge 1 was the mountainous molehill that we had to get over else we lose ourselves 'midst a sea of sprues and broken army lists. I painted some models, like.


Despite repeated urging from Der H to attempt a crazy 'stealth field engaging' look, I just went for the normal Vior'la scheme. It looks good, is fairly simple to pull off and crucially gives that clean, hi-tech look that is the Tau's signature. Also painting a new scheme on a model that's bigger than their standard infantryman is a nice way to ease yourself into a new army.

Fusion Blasters - For cooking things at medium range!

Fusion Blasters - For cooking things at medium range!


I'm branching out from modelling sand/train ballast with GW's Armageddon Dunes and Dust for my basing. (These guys have Dust). It's a nightmare to apply to bases with models already attached but I'm lazy like that. (Finished models, not award-winning ones!) It comes out well with a coupe of drybrushings.


So...one pledge down, several more to go (hopefully!). Something vehicular next methinks...



Thought for the day; 'Listen not to the alien, look not upon the alien, speak not unto the alien!' 

Project - Der H's Custodes

Bit of a crap week this week...my little cat, Sam, was hit by a car and killed on Monday. Died instantly, no pain, didn't suffer, etc, etc. Our other cat has been looking for him and needing a lot of support so not had much hobby time.

Sam when he was about 12 weeks old. He would be one year old next month.

Sam when he was about 12 weeks old. He would be one year old next month.

My wife and I have been supporting each other and trying to distract ourselves (and Lyro, our other younger kitten). I haven't managed to paint anything, but did sit down and build for a few hours to distract myself.

I'd seen some great conversions of Ixion with shield (see below) or with different weapon options, and If you've watched the video/read my earlier blog post then you'll know I intended to use some small magnets to given him the shield option.I didn't have any magnets small enough, so a small 1mm brass rod has served well enough.

Ixion Hale with shield - Marcel Kinrade found  here

Ixion Hale with shield - Marcel Kinrade found here

The project started with some VERY careful drilling and dry fitting to make sure I could preserve Ixion Hale as is.

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Few pictures of the options!

What do you think guys? Good use of spare plastics?

I've also built my Aquilon pattern terminators. Need a bit of gap filling, might get to that over the bank holiday!

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....and finally I have my plastic Custodes built (Brother Handro: "How long have you had these now?.....")

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 I went for 4 with spears, 1 with standard and sword, and 5 with sword and shield. One of them has a magnetised arm with a converted chaos power talon - I'm not sure if I like this given how nice the actual talons are...I have a Blood Angel power fist somewhere that I might convert to a claw instead...more bling and all that!

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What do you guys think? check out a video for Ixion and the Terminators below:

Hoping to get some more painting done - end-of-the-month pledge rush and all that!

Der H

Thought for the day: "Yime spent with cats is never wasted"