I wasn’t in the mood for painting yesterday so I decided to work on my terrain. Construction of the boards was completed a while ago so I just needed to flock them and add detail.

I have wanted my own battlefield for years, ever since those early days of reading White Dwarf in the mid-nineties. Back then the hobby had much more of a do-it-yourself approach and the kind of terrain kits produced by GW now did not exist. Therefore the magazine encouraged you to build your own terrain and was full of information on how to go about doing this with minimal cost and easy to get hold of materials. Rather than buy the Realm of Battle Board, which is expensive and not to my taste (the geological layer of skulls is just plain silly in my opinion), I decided to adopt the old school approach and make my own.


The tiles are 2′x2′ squares of think MDF which I acquired for free (although they wouldn’t be that expensive to buy) and the hill was constructed out of insulation foam cut to shape with a hot wire cutter (I think I paid about £30 for more insulation foam than I will use on this project). Gaps were filled with Pollyfilla and the whole thing was sanded down with fine grit sandpaper.



Detail was added using Woodland Scenics rock moulds which were cast in plaster. These were glued onto the foam using liquid nails for a strong bond and any gaps were filled using filler. Sand was then glued in place around the rocks to help blend them in to the grassy areas. The grass itself is a Gaugemaster Autumn flock mat which was cut up and glued into place using PVA. Any gaps were then filled by gluing on flock of the same colour and Citadel ‘dead grass’ was glued on in patches to add variety. Detail was then added in the form of various tufts and clump foliage which was concentrated around the rocky areas. Some of the more open areas were kept deliberately clear of tufts so that I would have space to place free-standing terrain on the board later.



Although this board is intended primarily for games of Lord of the Rings, when building the basic board I avoided anything which would add scale to the piece. This means that by using different free-standing terrain pieces I can use the board for any game system. Here you can see some Epic models on the board which transforms the rocky hill into towering cliffs.

Epic Battlefield

Middle Earth Battlefield

I have eight pieces of MDF and I plan on using these to build a 6′x4′ gaming area (the largest I can sensibly fit into my dining room) and then use the two spare pieces to create extra tiles to allow for different set ups (at the moment I’m thinking of maybe building a river section with the two spare boards). Now that the hill is done the next few tiles should be a lot simpler. I will post pictures of the tiles as I finish them. Remember, you can follow me on Twitter where I tend to post work-in-progress photos as I work.

Until next time,


Mordor Uruk Hai

Just a quick update to share some Mordor uruk hai that I am currently working on. As you can see, they are all in various stages of painting. In the background are some Men of Gondor who I have also started.

And here are some other projects I have on the go as well. I never seem to be able to stick to one thing for long. Is anyone else a ‘hobby butterfly’?

Work in Progress

Venerable Dreadnought

I have finished my Venerable Dreadnought. Thanks to everyone who commented on my previous post, your suggestions were much appreciated. As you can see, in the end I did decide to swap one of the armour panels and repaint the other in order to make the overall appearance less blue. I decided that this was worth the effort (and risk of damaging the model). I think it just shows that there are times when, despite the time and effort you have put into a model, you need to go back and do things again in order to get the best finished result. He now looks like a proper Astral Claw and not an Ultramarine.

Venerable Dreadnought

Venerable Dreadnought

The left panel was carefully removed and replaced with a new one which was then painted silver. This was done because the other one had already been given a coat of gloss varnish in preparation for a decal and so I couldn’t repaint it without it looking a mess. The panel on the right then had two strips of silver painted along each side to leave a stripe of blue down the middle rather than the whole panel being blue. Not only does this tone down the effect of the blue but it also better matches the Forge World artwork which shows the Astral Claws with blue vertical stripes on their vehicles to break up large armour panels.

Venerable DreadnoughtVenerable Dreadnought Engine

The engine was painted to simulate heat discolouration on the metal. In order to achieve this I painted the engine stacks Leadbealcher and, when dry, applied a number of washes. There were, in order, Seraphim Sepia, Ogryn Flesh, Leviathan Purple and Agrax Earthshade. The trick is to use less wash each time so that some of the previous colour is still showing. I also used this technique on the end 0f the plasma cannon working towards the front of the barrel. The soot at the top of the stacks was painted on using Typhus Corrosion followed by a wash of Nuln Oil. I’m really pleased with the dirty, grimy look which has real texture to it.

Venerable Dreadnought Plasma Cannon

As this is a Venerable Dreadnought I decided to try and reflect the chapter’s history on the model. I used the original Astral Claws heraldry rather than Huron’s personal heraldry which was later adopted by the chapter. For this I used a Forge World decal over a blue stripe. I imagine him as an old veteran from when the chapter was fleet-based and that it was during this time that he fought against the Tyranids and ended up entombed inside a dreadnought (hence the honour badge on the sarcophagus). I also painted the name of the chapter’s new homeworld to his other leg as a nod to this later stage of the chapter’s history. this reflects the way that in the background the dreadnoughts are living embodiments of their chapters’ histories.

Astral Claws Heraldry

Venerable Dreadnought

His power fist also has a blue stripe painted down it to help balance out the blue areas elsewhere on the model. Originally I was going to paint blue stripes on the shoulders (as Leeman suggested in the comments) but I decided that as I had already painted blue onto the power fist I would leave them plain so as not to over do it on the blue again. Instead I added a small Imperial eagle decal to provide a bit of interest and painted on some freehand battle damage. The blue stripes on the storm bolter ties it in with other weapons carried by marines in my force.

Venerable Dreadnought

And that’s it. Overall I am very pleased with how he turned out and it was definitely worth going back and redoing certain parts to get the right result.




Astral Claws Dreadnought

Those of you who follow me on Twitter (@Mini_Miscellany), will have seen this already. I’m quite pleased with how he’s coming along but I’m not entirely sure about the blue panels on the front. I think they make him look a little too blue when viewed head on. However, I am reluctant to go back and change them at this stage. I think today I’ll take a break from him and focus on some Lord of the Rings miniatures instead and come back to him later.

Astral Claws Drop Pod

I’ve finally finished my Astral Claws drop pod. This has been quite a time consuming project, partly because of the size of the kit and partly because of the number of sub-assemblies required to paint the kit while still allowing access to interior details and other hard to get to parts.

Initially I was worried that the model would look too silver but i think the blue stripe breaks this up nicely and matches the Forge World artwork. The weathering also adds an extra dimension of detail to the large, flat areas and makes them more interesting. Overall, this has been a very enjoyable and rewarding project and it was very satisfying to glue together the various sub-assemblies and finally see the finished result.

Astral Claws Drop Pod

Astral Claws Drop Pod

Astral Claws Drop Pod

Astral Claws Drop Pod Astral Claws Drop Pod

Currently progress on a drop pod for my Astral Claws.

LotR Army of the Dead

“The Dead are following,” said Legolas. “I see shapes of men and of horses, and pale banners like shreds of cloud, and spears like winter thickets on a misty night. The Dead are following”.

Here are my ‘Army of the Dead’ models from The Return of the King. I’ve had these models since their original release so it’s about time I got some paint on them. The painting process was extremely fast, making these the quickest models I have ever painted. In fact, the drying time was considerably longer than the amount of time I actually spent with a paintbrush in hand. In real life they are a tad greener than in the pictures and closer to how they appear in the film.

My method was as follows:

1) Prime the models black.

2) Spray the models lightly with Skull White. The trick here is to leave the recessed areas black.

3) Wash the model with Nihilakh Oxide. You will probably need two washes to build up the colour (make sure wait until the first is completely dry before applying the second).

4) Lightly drybrush the model white. That’s it!

As you can see, this is a really quick method. These models are not going to win any competitions but the results are very pleasing considering the amount of time spent on them and they will look great on the tabletop.

LotR Army of the Dead

Currently painting some old LotR models and experimenting with Nihilakh Oxide.


This is one of my favourite Games Workshop models of all time, Nagrub Wurrzag, ork scrap prospector. This is an old model from GW’s Gorkamorka range which has been in my collection for many years but I’ve only just got around to painting him. However, reading some old White Dwarfs  has reignited my interest in Gorkamorka and so I thought I would paint up a few models with the hope of maybe getting a couple of games in at some point. I kept to a fairly muted natural palette like the original Gorkamorka models.

Keep checking the blog for more Gorkamorka models soon.



I was insanely happy to discover that one of my models (the Goblin King from the Hobbit boxed set) was featured in White Dwarf magazine! I started reading White Dwarf way back in 1995 at the tender age of 11 and subscribed for many years. It has always been something of an ambition to get something published in the magazine and now that has finally come true.