Thursday, 28 May 2015



Who'd have thought building a website would be so difficult? For now, you'll have to put up with this, very simple, shop. As soon as I get my head round how it all works I hope to have something a little more slick, but until then you can at least now buy stuff...

Welcome to the Bolt Thrower Miniatures shop.

The aim of our range is to provide awesome miniatures which we haven't been able to find from anyone else.
We are trying to invoke the characterful sculpts of the golden age of miniature wargaming, back when men were men and iron-thewed barbarians wielded unfeasably large swords.
All our miniatures are 28mm heroic in scale. They contain lead, sharp points and a bad-ass attitude, they are not toys and are not intended for children under the age of 14. They are suppplied unpainted and unassembled.
Now enough of the small print, lets have a look at the little blighters....
Giant Snail
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Medieval manuscripts are full of Giant Snails, usually attacking knights. Why? No one knows. Maybe they represent sloth. Maybe the devil. Or maybe it's just because, as keen gardeners, the monks really, really didn't like snails. What ever the reason, you too can now fight the good fight on your table top. Snail measures 15mm to top of shell and comes in one part.

Sculpted by George Fairlamb.



Not all fantasy women sport chainmail bikinis and woefully under protected midriffs. Bloddwyn comes in two parts.

Sculpted by Juan Montano



10418217_482832798486198_1840611492380309020_n (2) Spitebringer Consumed by hatred and stalking the mortal realms in search of revenge, the Spitebringers are demonic heralds of the fifth god, Bal-Odial. Spitebringer comes in 4 parts.

Sculpted by George Fairlamb.



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Evil Little Blighter LIMITED EDITION Evil Little Blighters are lesser demonic entities of Bal-Odial. They infest the darker corners of the old world, where light seldom shines. This miniature is limited to 150 castings. When these have gone we'll sculpt up a new version.

Sculpted by Juan Montano.



Thursday, 21 May 2015

Battle Report: The Keys of Thesis

Last night we had a three way skirmish battle using the Flying Lead rules from Ganesha Games.
Set in the 40k universe our forces consisted of Jordan's six marines, my eleven beastmen Imperial Guard and Mark's five super-ratling snipers.
We added in some rules from Mutants and Death Rays and the forces were not entirely legal according to the rules, but we were gaming in the grim-dark world of the 41st millennium, so realism was not too important.
In the centre of the board Barry the cybernetic minotaur was guarding the Keys of Thesis. I'm not quite sure what these were, but they were obviously important as all our forces were hell bent on obtaining them.
Barry was controlled by a simple AI system and as everyone converged on the Arab quarter of the town, he came steaming out of the building, bellowing and swearing bloody vengeance.
However, near on a tonne of pyscotic-cybernetic bovine muscle though he was, he was no match for five Halflings with sniper rifles. The marines had already softened him up, but in what was to prove to be a theme of the night he fell in a hail of the best shire lead.
Meanwhile I had managed to cock up my activations and ended up with my force spread out across half the table, the leader on his own and unable to use his skills to keep everyone else moving.

Jordan's Marines stormed the target building and claimed the Keys. However they then found them self trapped as Mark's Ratlings drew line of sight down an alley.

One Marine was felled were he stood, the leader took to a corner with the keys while the rest of the Emperor's finest stormed out and into the face of hobbit-lead.
 We randomized turns by drawing our names out of a mug each turn. This added a level of excitement as we didn't know who was going to act next and if we would be able to take cover or make combat before the enemy activated.

However it was not with out it's pitfalls when it came to top up time for the tea.

 Marines against Ratlings should have been a white-wash, and it was, but not necessarily the way you'd have thought.

Being out classed in combat, the slippery little halflings fell back, took aim and shot the Marines to holy hell.

Taking the Keys from the fallen body of the Marine Captain it looked as if Mark had it all sown up.

However a few bad dice rolls on his behalf gave my leader a slim chance, which he duly took. Leaving most of the force behind he and a couple of other guards through caution to the wind, activated like their lives depended on it and emerged from the town just in time to take a pot shot at the retreating little-ones.

No one was killed but the holder of the keys was left shaken and this gave my guys enough time to take another shot. The hobbit leader fell, panic ensued and I ran in, skragged the little blighter on the ground. took the keys and made a mad dash back to my deployment zone.

It was a fair old dash, but only two hobbits remained and their stumpy little legs had no chance. The Keys of Thesis were mine!


Monday, 18 May 2015

The Slaughter of Alderheim

The Bolt Thrower Miniatures shop is really, really, really close to being launched. Honest, guv.
In the mean time I'll leave you with a short audio drama...

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Terrain Building: Skips

 I've been working on a modern table recently and could do with some street furniture. I bought some from Armourcast (which I can highly recommend) but thought I would try my hand at building some myself.
The following is how I made my skips. I don't pretend to be an expert but they came out ok, and were relatively simple to make. 
I used the following materials:
  • Sheet of 1mm thick plasticard (I didn't use the whole sheet)
  • 1 pack of Plaststruct 4mm x 4mm square section rod. (You could use balsa wood for this, I did on an earlier version, it gives a slightly less sharp edge, but then it is a lot cheaper.)
  • Insulating foam, I think a brand name is Kingspan, but any sort will do.
  • Milliput.
  • Oddments of plasticard, balsa wood etc. For the filling of the skip, any off cuts will do, though corrugated textured looks good. I also used some copper foil.
  • Paints and inks etc to suit your painting style. 
Measure out the following rectangles on the plasticard: 70mm x 30mm twice, 50mm x 30mm and 22mm x 30mm twice.
Cut these out then take the two 70mm x 30mm rectangles. These will be the sides of the skip. Draw a line along each top corner of each square, 10mm from each corner. Then drawn another line along each bottom corner to join this and a point 10mm in from the side. This should give you the classic skip shape. (This is easier to do than explain, just copy the picture)
Draw a line 12m up from the bottom on each side. I forgot to do this until later, but it would be much easier at this point.
Now glue these sections together. The 50mm x 30mm rectangle forms the bottom, the other two squares form the ends.
Now cut the following lengths from the plastruct rod:
  • 2 x 50mm
  • 4 x 40mm
  • 4 x 13mm
  • 2 x 60mm
  • 4 x 14mm
  • 2 x 20mm
  • 8 x 6mm
Glue a 50mm length of plastruct rod along the top of each side, then glue a 14mm each side of this. Using some kind of cutting implement level the ends of these 14mm lengths off flush with the skip. I used a pair of clippers.
Next glue two 13mm lengths on each side, lying vertically downwards from the top piece. There is no real right or wrong place to put these as styles of skip differ greatly, but try and get them evenly spaced.
Now attach a 60mm length to each side, this should lie with it's top edge on the 12mm line you drew on the side earlier.
Take the four 40mm lengths and glue them to the ends of the skip. One on the top of each side, and one half way down, joining the 60mm lengths.
Glue the two 20mm lengths one on each end, directly under the lower 40mm length. Now glue four 6mm lengths under each of these then use your preferred cutting method to make them flush with the bottom of the skip. I'm not sure what this bit is for on a real skip, but they all seem to have them.
The basic build of the skip is now finished.
With milliput fill in some of the gaps between the lengths of plastruct rod.
Use some insulating foam to partially fill the skip. You don't need to do this, but unless you have shares in milliput you will find it cheaper to do so. The skip can be as full or empty as you wish, but try and make it a little irregular in shape.
Now mix a big wodge of milliput and use 3/4 of it to cover the foam. I then gave it a rough dimpling (technical term) with the end of a paint brush.
I now added my rubbish, a few balsa wood 'planks' a bit of corrugated plasticard and some copper foil to represent some tarp or similar draped over the edge. Didge them into the milliput.
Now use the remaining 1/4 of the milliput to partially cover these, didge it with your paint brush. If I was doing this again, I'd spend a little longer at this stage and go over it again with a finer tool.
After the milliput has dried I undercoated the whole thing in yellow. I used Montana Gold: Banana. This is a brand of spray paint aimed at graffiti and I bought mine at Hobbycraft (where I suppose most graffiti artists shop regularly) but they are also available straight from Montana's website, though Royal Mail's refusal to carry aerosols make postage quite expensive.
Generally I've found the Montana sprays cover well, although if you've scrawled numbers all over your plasticard in black biro then yellow is probably not the best colour to use. I did several coats and because I'm impatient put them on far too thickly. Don't so this.
Next step is inking. I've found artists' ink works quite well and used a brilliant yellow all over the skip, but not the contents.
Then paint the contents of the skip with your favourite brand of paints. (I added a rat at this point, from a pack of animals by Mirliton.)
And finally another inking.
Or rather this should be the final step. However I didn't appreciate how red my 'burnt umber' ink was. I'm not sure if this is a general trend with burnt umber or just with mine. I should have stopped much sooner, but I'm with Magnus Magnusson on this one and had liberally covered my whole skip with it before I decided it really wasn't working and had to soak it off in a mug of warm water.
Finally another inking. (This time with brown ink)

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Battle Report: Flintloque/Song of Drums and Shakos

Napoleonics have never really appealed too much. Not for any particularly logical reason, it's as interesting a period of history as most. I suppose I just associate it with the button-counting, 'realism'-at-all-costs style of gaming. If this is what floats your boat then that is all well and good, but I prefer a more heroic, cinematic style of game.

The other day though I bought some terrain from these guys:

The farm that inspired it all
They are a social enterprise who help people with problems learn skills to get them back into work. They also produce some really cool terrain at pretty good prices. But anyway, I'm digressing. The point is that I bought a farmyard from them. I intended to use it for various fantasy games (which I will) but it looks decidedly Waterloo-y.

This reminded me of Flintloque. If you don't know it's a fantasy game but in a Napoleonic type setting. Jordan, one of my regular opponents (some could even say friend, but you know, let's not be too touchy-feely about this) has had a unit of goblins for some time.

Looking into Flintloque the setting is pretty cool. Jordan's Goblins are analogous to the Portuguese, allies of the British, or Orcs of Albion. So I would need to pick some miniatures from the French side. In the end I plumped for some Ferach Dragoons (dismounted), the Ferach Empire being Elves.

The next problem was rules. Flintloque certainly has its fans. It's been around for years and by the looks of things has a pretty dedicated band of followers. I bought the rules and had a perusal, how ever I really couldn't get my head round them. They seemed (rightly or wrongly) reminiscent of the Wargames Research Group style of game, lots of tables and quite dry. This may well be very unfair, I've never played these games, if so I apologise.

However, Ganesha Games do produce a Napoleonic skirmish game. It is historical but using the Song of Blades and Heroes engine is easily convertible. Also the SoBaH variant rules suit my idea of a good time, simple, fast paced and fun.

Some Goblins advance...
And so to the game. As I said above, it was Jordan's Goblins against my Ferachi dragoons. This was Jordan's first game from the Ganesha stable, and only my third, so we decided on a simple set-up-on-opposing-sides-of-the-table-and-kill-the-other-guys scenario.

The Goblins had lower Combat and Quality scores than my elves, but they had rifles against my carbines. Thus my strategy was to advance as quick as I could under cover and get into combat. To be fair Jordan didn't really appreciate the differences in our side. Well he did, but only after they started falling like flies, my wily Elves ganging up on his Goblins one at a time.

... and then quickly run away again
Again moral was a deciding factor of this battle, at least this time I was on the right end of it. After I killed his leader, many of the Goblins turned tale and fled, one of them being hacked down in the process. They soon fell below half strength and had to test again. All bar one either ran away or died in the following chaos, he didn't last long and it was a pretty conclusive victory for the Ferachi, with just one casualty.

So how did the game work? Well I've never played using the Flintloque rules, so I can't really say if the stats we attributed to our miniatures were representative of how they were supposed to play. And really it doesn't matter, there are enough variables in the Song of Drums and Shakos/Blades and Glory rules to provide a variety of troop types. The gun rules from Drums and Shakos make the game play quite differently to Blades and Heroes, so to me the game felt right.

We plan to try the Forlorn Hope scenario next time, I think both the rules and setting will be more suited to narrative play. With a bit of tinkering to the stats, and a better idea of how the rules play out I think it could be a good game.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Miniature Spotlight: Essex Chaos Dwarf

I've been looking for a chaos dwarf for a little while for using in our games of Warhammer Quest (we've been using the Quest rules with a mixture of regular adventures and some from Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay). He started out posing as a cleric of Verena but has since contracted Nurgle's Rot and found the Crown of Sorcery, so he's well on the road to chaos.

When I heard Bob Olley had sculpted some Chaos Dwarfs for Essex miniatures I had to give them a look. Mr Olley is part of the holy triumvirate of sculptors for me, Kevin Adams and Mark Copplestone being the other two.

'Q102 Chaos Dwarf: Three assorted Chieftains'  ( looked the most suitable. Even if they hadn't been in the sale would have pretty good value at £5 for three miniatures.

Style-wise these are definitely old-school, the proportions are a long way from the more modern 'realistic' sculpts. Depending on your view point this may or may not be a good thing.

There is nice characterful detail on the cloak, and if the hat and shield don't do it for you, you probably have no soul.

In terms of size, he sits at the smaller end of the spectrum. Pictured above, from left to right: Reaper, Heartbreaker, Essex, Wargames Foundry, Black Scorpion and Games Workshop. As you can see, if it wasn't for his funky hat he'd be half a head shorter than most. But then how tall is a dwarf? His exaggerated proportions also help hide the disparity.