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Showing posts from 2015

2015: Year of the Butterfly

You'd be forgiven for assuming that reports of my death are not even slightly exaggerated. 2015 has not been a blog-heavy year!
Of course part of the reason for that was that 2015 wasn't very hobby-heavy either. My focus lay elsewhere: roleplaying games, Elite: Dangerous, and professional sitting (which is like normal sitting, but where you convince yourself you aren't wasting time, or at least, don't think about how much time you're wasting until after you've wasted it).
That said, I do have two minor updates. The first is that I have embarked upon my biggest single model ever. It's a huge project, and will take many more months to complete, but here are some sneak peeks:


The second thing concerns the Beard Bunker's long-running Warhammer campaign. The Old World is still turning here at the Bunker, its inhabitants now certain that the whole End Times/Age of Sigmar thing was just a cheese dream.
In the past, a number of campaign updates have been provi…

Nerd Thunder 5: Warhammer World - Part One

Hi folks, 'tis Jeff. A while ago now, the Beard Bunker performed one of it's regular invasions of that bastion of hobby happy in Nottingham: Warhammer World. We went up to fight a bunch of small games of Warhammer to determine who was to control a Warpstone meteorite but we nearly didn't get to play at all. Because we went into the new Miniatures Halls - note plural - and very nearly didn't leave. It. Is. Magnificent. I wanted to share some of the magnificence with you but... I'd taken about 500 photos, it took a while to whittle down. But here it is at last!

I'm presenting this multi-part series not really in the order they are encountered but in vague themes, first, classic dioramas and warhammer awesomeness, it's going to be a bit of a three/four part picdump, but I think worth it:

Classic Dioramas: Almost as a way of easing you in to the glorious insanity to come, the halls start with some wonderful dioramas which will be immediately familiar to those o…

True Calibre Leman Russ

There's plenty of folks around making 'true-scale' space marines, where you make an astartes look even bigger so he towers over the other wee men on the table. Well I've headed in the opposite direction, in that I've massively reduced the bore on my Russ' battlecannon.

Why would I mess with such an iconic design? Because I find the calibre of the standard tank to be immersion-breaking in its hugeness. It looks like it's designed to shoot beer kegs, not shells.

This preposterous barrel width looks fine on the Baneblade, because the rest of the tank is huge enough that it looks mostly in-proportion, that is, like a battleship cannon on a land vehicle. On a Russ? Not to my tastes. Once I swapped the barrel for one of the four long-barreled autocannons you get with the Hydra/Wyvern kit, I was surprised at how much it changes the look of the tank.

In case you're wondering, yes, there was some conversion work. Here's a pre-paint closeup of the turret fol…

Grimtoof Redux

My house was recently invaded by a trio of Danes keen for shooty-death-kill in space, and so for the first time in literally years, I wheeled out my army of Speed Freaks. The impending game served as ample excuse to paint up the Stormclaw warboss, so as to replace my rather low-rent nob conversion from back in the day.

Normally, I'd have too much pride to leave a model unconverted, particularly since combi-skorchas are clearly superior to combi-rokkitts, but you know what? Life is short, and rokkitts go fasta.
Now this model is still the same character: Grimtoof Boomshanka. He's just older and tougher, as is his ultra-loyal squig Niblit, seen perching atop the bosspole in version 1, and bounding merrily forward in version 2. The squig is actually chained to the warboss in the Stormclaw model, but the chain got snipped off as I liked the idea that Grimtoof finds it more amusing to have a free range squig that just bounces around being a nuisance, sort of like a really irrespon…

Warhammer: (r)age (quit) of Sigmar

As every wargamer with a web connection (or, I suppose, the willingness to read White Dwarf) knows, a new version of the Warhammer Fantasy rules has just been released. It's four pages long. And it's free.

It seems only right that the Beard Bunker should join legions of commentators elsewhere and fart our collective opinion all over the intertubes, because the internet has the capacity to be one great big opinionated fart horn and it's nice to be a part of something big.
There are of course several topics to discuss. I'm going to talk about the underlying game design, and I'm going to try and be fair. Jeff is going to be talking about the dissection and discarding of the Old World setting, and he will probably not be as nice. By 'not as nice,' I suspect it's going to read like W:AOS walking innocently into a back alley and spending seven quality minutes getting thoroughly seen to by a burly man wielding an industrial sander, a hoover, a pedicure set, a…

Amelia's Abduction (part two)

For those of you who read and enjoyed part one of Amelia's abduction, here is the second part. I debated for some time whether or not to go through the details of her torture at the hands of Voltik. Mark did some frankly ingenious things to psychologically break her (never before had I been invited into another man's dimly-lit basement for the purposes of role playing, and was frankly relieved upon finding no PVC accoutrements or restraints).
In the end, I felt there's only so much fun in writing and reading a torture scene. You're just going to have to imagine what three months in Skaven captivity (or two hours in Mark's basement) must be like.
One final note before we get started... some of you may be wondering why the old, old post about sculpting Amelia showed up as "new" a few weeks ago. The short answer is that it's a seemingly irreversible technical fault with blogger; I added a tag to the old post, and it re-created it as a fresh post. Go fig…

Battle Wizards: now with ovaries

Not having a wizard in a Warhammer army is a lot like going commando. You can do it, but it just doesn’t feel quite right. That said, I didn’t want another robed man shuffling about at the back of my battle line. Historical precedent justifies the sausage fest that is the state soldiery, but by Jove, there’s no such precedent for wizards! Here was a good opportunity to get a lady in the army.
The only problem was the lack of a suitable model in the Empire and Brettonian ranges. I’d have to make one, and whilst I have built a model entirely from wire and green stuff in the past, I still find the prospect a little daunting, so when the plastic Dark Elf Sorceress was released, I didn’t see an angry pixie. I saw an armature.

I make no claim to being a Mighty Putty Master of Mightyness, so the advice in this post is largely directed at the first-time and intermediate sculptor; sadly I have as much chance of surprising a veteran sculptor as a woman does of attaining a bishop’s mitre. Ooooo…

Amelia's Abduction (part one)

It seems strange to start putting this story out now, given how long ago Mark and I began (and resolved) this little plot arc, but it is the first in a series of story-based posts that will, hopefully, catch the blog back up to where we're at in the Bunker's Hochland campaign.
Demonstrating a frankly fundamentalist approach to reader feedback, this post only exists because one anonymous reader asked what happened to Amelia, and what happened at the Siege of Fort Schippel. Well, that's a lot of ground to cover and it can't be done in one entry. Instead? A series of posts. The first arc of posts (maybe three?) will cover Amelia's abduction. After that, the siege.
I'll try and keep each post reasonably short, no more than two or three pages. They will of course be image-lite, but hey, we're a niche blog and this post has been written for a small niche within that niche.
So, Mr Anonymous, and anyone else who fancies a snippet of Olde Worlde fiction, click thro…

Engaging Armour

Hi Guys,

All of my recent hobby has been totally absorbed by my new found enjoyment of Bolt Action. If you keep up with Jeff over at Pirate Viking Painting (and if you don't, you should!) you will have noticed an alarming number of Soviet tanks cropping up. To counter this buildup of Bolshevik armour, I've been getting busy with assembling a German tank force for the glory of the Fatherland.

This is a picture heavy post... but who doesn't like lots of pictures.

First, the imaginatively named SDKFZ 251/1 Ausf D. Also called the Hanomag after one of the factories that supplied these armour carriers. Used by all branches of the German military in all theatres. In this case these will be protectively ferrying my Panzer Grenadiers into combat. I've got two of these beauties running around.



Next we have the SDKFZ 234/2 'PUMA'. This a wheeled scout vehicle that was attached to Panzer Divisions as a recon vehicle for Panzer battalions and for anti-tank support for the …