Wednesday 29 May 2013

Another dent in the lead mountain................

Finished a couple of figs and added a few more....when will it ever end.......

Archive Miniatures (sculpted by Nevile Stocken  around 1978 or thereabouts) Alien Mutant, Grimp from their Star Rovers Line. 

Heresy Miniatures Sharclon Trooper, painted for a friend's son Sam. 

3 more getting prepped for my own collection....the middle one is a slight conversion with his shooting arm chopped and puttied for variation. Andy at Heresy is, hopefully, planning on expanding this range. 

and halfway through....

The others waiting in their 'pen'.....

I also decided to use one of the spare heads on a Reaper Miniatures Merchant figure.....

Still some way to go.............

Kev over at Stunties picked up a Dwarf Iron Man for me. I think it is from Impact Miniatures but have yet to confirm....I also need to get a good colour pic to try and do it justice......

I just missed out on this old Squadron Ruben Eowyn, Dark Lord & Nazgul set on bid was blocked at the last second due to not posting to England. Grrrrr. I have numerous posting addresses in the States and would have paid more than it went for with only one bid. 

Sunday 26 May 2013

Empire of the Petal Throne - 1977 painting guide.....

In 1977 Old Guard released a range of miniatures, sculpted by William Murray, for use with Professor MAR Barker's Empire of The Petal Throne. Ral Partha took over the reins a year or so later and added sculpts by Brian Apple and the newly emerging sculpting genius Tom Meier. In April 1977 'The Dragon' magazine gave the below article on painting the original Old Guard line. 


The following remarks are organised according to the original priority list. Each figure is identified with its Group number and its number within that Group, plus its name.

Some basic remarks:

Tsolyáni flesh colour is generally a rich, coppery tan, lighter and more golden for women, and darker and browner for men. Skin should not be totally “flat,” of course, but rather slightly glossy to represent the natural oils. The Yán Koryáni are a little lighter: a creamy golden tan for women and a darker, redder tan for men.

The other human races;

The Salarvyáni are a darker, heavier bearded people, tending to sallowness.

The Mu’ ugalavyáni are roughly the same as the Tsolyáni but traditionally ruddier in hue.

The Livyáni are more golden and tawny.

The Sáa Allaqiyáni are mountaineers and hence browner and rougher looking.

There are NO blonds or light-skinned peoples on those portions of Tékumel now included in the game, “Empire of the Petal Throne.” Hair colour is universally glossy black, verging towards dark brown in individuals. A few people do have a tawny muddy-brown hair colour, and a tiny percentage of albinos also exists — although these people are greatly despised and superstitiously feared. Eye colour tends to be always black and brown, although a few “sports” do have hazel or golden coloured eyes. Blue-eyed slaves are prized as curiosities. It is thus totally incorrect to use the present “flesh colour” paints available on the market.

Another important point is the use of the hide of the Chlén beast for most armour and weapons, since iron and steel are scarce. Chlén-hide is very light in weight and almost as strong as iron, though softer than steel. It is very malleable when soft, but it can be given treatments which make it solid and yet still slightly flexible. It has a feel something like that of chitin or a hard and slightly flexible plastic. In its natural state it is greenish or greyish. Thicker sheets of it tend to be darker, verging towards blackish green-grey. Chlén-hide is usually lacquered, however, and this thus makes it rather uncommon in its native undecorated form. Richer people do obtain some iron and steel, of course, as well as gold, brass, copper, silver, bronze, etc.

Basic national colours are a common feature on Tékumel: the Tsolyáni use a handsome azure blue; the Mu’ ugalavyáni lacquer their troops a bright red; the Salarvyáni favour black; the Livyáni use many bright colours; the Yán Koryáni use blue-green, turquoise, etc.; the Sáa Allaqiyáni prefer a flame-orange; the little nation of Pijjéna uses a reddish purple; the Ghatóni like yellow; the various clans of the disordered nation of Milumanayá use various standards and have no national colour.

And now to the figures:

T-l The Tsolyáni General

Helmet, shoulder epaulettes, breastplate are all azure blue (semi-glossy because these parts are lacquered); helmet trim is gold and a darker, purplish blue, plus some white. Helmet plumes are white, another shade of blue, gold or various other choices depending upon the Legion and the wearer’s choice. The vambraces are probably gold or steel. The shoulder sleeves and kilt are white with blue and gold woven designs. The chainmail is steel, the general being wealthy. The greaves are again lacquered blue. The cape is a darker blue, although it may also be a brocaded many-coloured iridescent cape of feathers. Shoes are red leather, with metal plates on top. The “káing” (the great pole-axe, which is his ceremonial baton) is silvery with a bright blue haft and a golden cross-guard. Decorations on the armour can be drawn on the figure with a delicate pen and acetate inks (available at any art supply store). Reds, greens, blacks, yellows, white, etc. etc. can be used.

The Tsolyáni Standard-Bearer:

Similar to the General: white kilt and sleeves; blue helmet, breastplate, and shoulder-epaulettes; vambraces and greaves also blue or metal. Helmet crest in roughly same colour scheme as general’s Belt of inlaid gold or silver plaques. Sword is Chlén-hide but often lacquered in metallic colours: metallic blue, silvery, etc. Great standard has ornate plumes of blue, white, various metals, with a blue haft and possible red (etc.) trim. The sphere is bright gold. Shoes are leather but have metal plates on top.

The Tsolyáni Trumpeter:

Armour as for the above, in shades of blue; kilt and sleeves in white; armlets of gold; vambraces and greaves of metal or blue lacquered Chlén-hide. Helmet crest can have same colour scheme as above. Trumpet is brass or gilded. Trim can be in other colours. Velvet over-kilt is a darker blue than armour.

T-2 Tsolyáni Heavy Infantry:

This troop-type, has a long pike. Blue-lacquered breastplate, but if this is a crack unit it may have metal shoulder-epaulettes. Sleeves and kilt are white, unbleached linen colour, light grey, rust colour, etc. Metal greaves and vambrances are silvery or steel-coloured. Also metal groin-guard tabard, although this is highly engraved and inlaid in wealthier Legions. Shield is basically blue with gold inlaid design, white or other colour trim. Helmet plume is usually white or other shade of blue. Shoes are leather with metal plates. Helmet decoration is gold on blue. Pike has wooden shaft and a metalled or lacquered Chlén-hide head, although richer Legions may have iron points. Bow-case leather, with decorated lacquerwork. Bow is a light brownish wood. Arrows have blue feathers. Considerable freedom on trim and cloth colours — but no large areas of “enemy” colours, or course!

T-3 Tsolyáni Armoured Heavy Infantry with Bow:

This man wears the blue breastplate, a metallic heavy collar of plaques, a belt of similar inlaid plaques in various colours, a white or pastel tunic (sleeves show) and kilt, an over-kilt of heavier cloth in a darker colour (usually blue but possibly darker colours for poorer units), blue lacquered greaves, leather sandals. The helmet is basically blue again, but the crest may be white, gold, another shade of blue, or trimmed in other colours. The sword is Chlén-hide: metallic blue or silvered. The quiver is light brown basketry with darker leather straps. Arrows are light brown, feathered in blue, with bow being a dark blackish-brown.

T-4 Two-Handed Swordsman, the Legion of Red Devastation:

This figure has the flame-red helmet crest of the God Vimúhla; his helmet is blue, however, except for front and side gold or silver trim. He has a mail aventail of small steel links; highly decorated inlaid metal or Chlén-hide epaulettes with basic blue colour and other colours or metals as trim; blue Chlén-hide muscled cuirass;
steel-link chain mail half-sleeves with gold or blue Chlén-hide or metal banding; metallic blue Chlén-hide vambraces; belt of inlaid metal plaques; over-kilt of soft white or light blue cloth; under-kilt of mail sewn on leather; silvered or blued Chlén-hide greaves; soft red leather shoes with metallic plates sewn on tops; cape is usually white or light blue with red, black, or dark blue striping horizontally or vertically. Often the cape will have a central embroidered ornament on back. Great two-handed sword is of steel, gold hilt, leather wrapped handle.

T-5 The Priest of Vimúhla:

This figure has the flame-orange crest of the deity Vimúhla, Lord of Fire. The visor-rim of his helmet is of gold, and the face-visor itself is painted either black or dark red. The aventail of the helmet is dull red cloth, and the two scarves which hang from the earpieces are again flame red. His epaulettes are gold and red, with designs worked upon them in blue to show that he is a Tsolyáni and not a Mu’- ugalavyáni priest. His collar is made of gold plaques set with rubies, and his breast pectoral is a darker, richer, ruby red with a gold edge. He has a muscled cuirass of metallic red lacquered Chlén-hide. His sleeves are steel mail banded with gold. His vambraces are likewise of steel but may be lacquered red or gilded. He wears the elaborate plaque belt with hanging plaques of red and gold Chlén-hide armour. His underkilt is a darker red. His cape is flame orange, as are the two long scarves which hang down from his shoulder epaulettes. His greaves are of polished gold plates sewn on black or dark red-brown leather boots. His boots have metal plaques similarly over the insteps and toes. His cape may have the stylised flame symbol worked in gold and black on the back. He carries a gilded Chlén-hide mace with steel or copper spikes, and at his side he may have the sacrificial dagger of copper used by this sect.

T-6 Medium Infantry from Sokátis:

This man wears a Chlén-hide blue-dyed helmet with a metallic crest. He has shoulder epaulettes of Chlén-hide and a leather siege coat to protect him from light missiles, etc. He has a kilt of white cloth, greaves of blue-dyed and decorated Chlén-hide, with sandals of leather. His halberd is of Chlén-hide, with a wooden handle and a light Chlén-hide head dyed metallic blue, silvered, or coloured. On his back he carries a Chlén-hide shield with a demon face on it; this is highly coloured in blue, metals, white, red, etc. etc. The people of Sokátis often use black as a trim colour, more so than other Tsolyáni.

Y-1 The Yán Koryáni General:

This man has a turquoise green lacquered helmet, with gold trim, plumes of various shades of green, white, and even yellow or red. Metal shoulder epaulettes are silvered, gilded, or elaborately lacquered in shades of green. Central breast plaque is gilded and covered with geometric inlay in various colours. Belt of metal plaques has emeralds and blue topazes set in it. Kilt and sleeves are usually white, but may be unbleached linen, light grey, or elaborately parti-coloured brocade in darker colours. Chainmail or scale leggings are steel; leg guards are Chlén-hide with polished metal plates at front. Metal plated boots of black leather. Vambraces are metal — the same as his breast plaque, usually. Under central breastplate, he wears an under-cuirass of metal or of green dyed Chlén-hide. Sword is steel or silvered, with gilt handle, leather-wrapped hilt. Hanging from ear-pieces of helmet are leather flaps, sometimes dyed in a “trim” colour: red, yellow, etc.

Yán Koryáni Standard-bearer:

This man wears the typical “regular” Yán Koryáni helmet with vertical thin metal plaques lacquered alternately turquoise or green and white, with gold trim. The central crest is gold or a brilliant metallic emerald green. Ear-pieces are metal, and aventail is made of small metal plaques sewn on soft leather. Epaulettes are green-lacquered metal or Chlén-hide, with gilt or silver trim, some red tracing also possible. Scale cuirass of metal sewn on dull fabric tunic. Belt is elaborately engraved metal on leather. Over-kilt is made of large horizontal strips of soft dun-coloured leather; underkilt is dark green or other colour cloth. Metal greaves and banded vambraces; leather shoes with metal plates on top. Steel or Chlén-hide sword in metallic silver, gilt hilt. Standard is a gilded shaft, turquoise, gold, and white large feathers at base, then highly coloured and gilded “dragon” head above, with “tail” of long green and white plumes. Other colours are sometimes used, depending on the Legion; black and green, red and green, turquoise and gold, etc. Helmet plume matches this.

Gong Beater:

This man has armour similar to the preceding except that the wears a dark green cloth kilt sewn over with vertical strips of Chlén-hide with gold or silver inlaid plaques set in the strips. He has a silver-handled mallet with a soft-leather-wrapped ball on the end — this is really a wooden mallet, but the leather is there to protect the gong surface. The gong is bronze, hung from a highly decorated wooden stand, done in green, gilt, red, blue, etc. The plumes on the gong are, of course, the Legion’s colours, in which green or turquoise predominates. The gong hangs from a leather sling.

Y-2  Heavy Infantry:

He is almost identical in armour to the Standard-bearer above, but he carries a long wooden-handled pike with a steel head. This is marked “halberd head” on the drawing, and indeed, this type of trooper can carry a halberd or a pike. At his belt of plaques he has a short dagger in a sheath, and at his other hip he has a sword in a dark brown or black leather scabbard, and also a bow in a lighter-coloured leather case covered with inlaid green and white designs. His long oblong shield is of Chlén-hide on wood — richer units may carry a similar shield of light metal — and this is decorated in geometric designs in white, gold, and red on a green or turquoise base. This man has the vertical-striped kilt of fabric, which may have Chlén-hide strips sewn on, as for the Gongbeater.

Y-3 Heavy Infantry with Composite Bow or Crossbow:

This figure should be painted similarly to Y-2.

Y-4 Yán Koryáni Regional Infantry: Y-5 Medium Infantry from Dharu:

This man has a steel cap helmet with a green central Chlén-hide crest, red-bordered earpieces with green centres, and a mail aventail of iron links. He has an epaulette-collar of steel coloured Chlén-hide, and he wears a muscled cuirass of thin Chlén-hide. Under this he has a green tunic, the sleeves of which show. His vambraces are steel-coloured Chlén-hide (or actually iron for wealthier men) with copper spikes. He has a studded belt of small Chlénhide plaques set with copper, and below this he wears green-dyed mail breeks. To these are fastened large Chlén-hide leg guards. These are red or copper coloured, with a central steel-coloured or silver circle containing a red protective symbol. The borders are also steel-coloured. He wears full-length hose of thin green cloth, the same shade as his tunic. His shoes are of leather (red or brown) with steel instep and toe guard plates. He carries a small dagger or sword at his side and wields the great two-handed halberd-axe of his region. This has a dark wood handle with a gold knob on the base, and an iron head of some size. Poorer troops carry an axe of similar design but made of Chlén-hide. His shield is not shown on the figure, but every other man of this group carries a medium shield and uses a short sword, protecting his halberd-wielding comrade. This shield is of wood, covered with green-dyed Chlén-hide, and has a central design of copper and copper studs at the edges. If he has a scabbard, this will be darker leather colour, with copper and green trim. Note that his Chlénhide thigh guards are of stiff but not inflexible material; as is shown in the smaller picture, they are worn over his mail breeks and are strapped on from the rear as well as fastened to his breeks in front. They are thus rather like heavy cowboy’s chaps.

The Priest of Hry’ý

This figure wears robes of purple: his over-robe is a deep, rich purple, and his velvet head-scarf is of a slightly lighter shade of purple. His sleeves have red edging and cuff-designs. He wears a two-part tabard which hangs just below his throat. This is of rather stiffish Chlénhide. It is dull red with black inscriptions in Ancient Tsolyáni outlined in gold. At the bottom it has two white skull pendants. His shoes are soft black-leather. Both Priests and Priestesses of this evil deity go masked. The type of mask differs from person to person, rank to rank, and place to place, with mythological demon masks predominating. These are always
of velvety-surfaced cloth over thin Chlén-hide. They are painted according to the mythological
particulars, and the more horrible the better. There are thus black, deep red, gold, blue, etc. etc. masks, with varying trim colours. In his hand he carries the Staff of Power of the Temple Commandant of Jakálla (other cities have slightly different standards). This is a black-hafted circle of gold with a central purple circle and a 
diagonal red slash. The beast head at the top is of gold, and the plumes are reddish purple and black. Priests of Hry’ý are sometimes fighters, and if so, a special figure with the proper helmet can be adapted from the Priest of Vimúhla figure — but the helmet conversion may require another head or consider able modelling skill. Priestesses of Hry’ý rarely fight, but if one is needed, the female warrior figure can be adapted to fit the case.

NH-1 Shén:

The Shén have gleaming black scales, although their third sex (the egg-layer — the other two being the “male” or egg-creator and the egg fertiliser) tends to be smaller and more of a blue-black-grey. There are other sub-species, too, who come in other colors, but it is mostly the “male” and sometimes the “egg-fertiliser” who join in military expeditions. The Shén is thus basically a gleaming black, with lighter
grey areas around his reddish eyes, on his underbelly under his tail, etc. His claws are sometimes silver-covered — a traditional fighting weapon of this martial race. The Shén figure may be given small reddish eyes with vertical black pupils, a reddish open mouth and tongue, and a wash of silver over his black scales to add a slightly metallic touch to the unrelieved black of his body.

NH-2 Ssú Warrior:

The figure is shown without any of the elaborate armour which characterises the leader. His greyish skin is difficult to show, since it must be tattered and peeling, rather looking like a handful of torn and soggy wet newspaper from a distance. His eyes are a pupilless, milky white, the mouth is a black hole. No ears or nostrils show through the peeling, rotting skin. He wears a black leather belt with copper studs, with the dagger and pouches hanging at his “waist.” His body shades to black underneath, at the backs of his legs, and on the feet. The sword is again steel, with a silver, copper, etc. hilt. His shield is of a curious shape, black wood fronted with raised metal discs, highly embossed. The shield is black, and the discs are copper.

NH-3 The Hláka:

This small flying humanoid ranges from five feet to about six feet in height. The Hláka is a leathery greyish-brown, shading to lighter greys mixed with tan on the wing membranes, and with darker brown areas along the spine, at the joints, and on the slender hands and feet. Along the top of the head and down the upper back there is a curly greyish ruff of what appears to be somewhat of a cross between fur and feathers; this conceals the Hláka’s hearing organs. The muzzle is light brownish grey, with black nostrils, and blackish areas around the three deep-set eyes. These eyes are a curious translucent blue-green in colour on most Hláka, although individuals may have black or reddish pupils. The teeth are an ivory white, and the lips shade from brown to black. Although the Hláka are an ancient cultured race, and their abilities and intellects are as high or higher than their human comrades, they tend to disdain armour and rely instead upon their speed and flying skill. At most, therefore, they wear a light belt of Chlén-hide with a golden buckle and a sheathed short dagger of Chlénhide in a brown leather sheath. The Hláka may carry a light javelin of wood with a Chlén-hide point, or a sheaf of smaller throwing darts (usually three to a bundle). Occasionally a slender stabbing sword (almost like a rapier) is used. The Hláka’s tail is a long greyish-white stabbing rapier as well, being composed of a bony, flexible cartilage. Some Hláka decorate this tail with rings or ornaments of gold and may put a delicate needle point of steel on it as well. Hláka weapons are usually poisoned with a dull blue-green substance brewed by them from certain local plants. The Hláka usually wears no other clothing, nor does he carry a shield. Occasionally a strip of coloured cloth may be worn.

NH-4 Ahoggyá:

These are several sexes (as much as one can make out). The “males” are brownish, ranging from a light yellowish brown or tan on upper surfaces to a dark brown on the body and under the limbs. There are also slate-grey Ahoggyá and a bluish-grey one, but the “sex” of these is not clear. There are even occasional rare greenish grey ones, but these do not emerge to fight in human wars. The Ahoggyá has a knobbly, rough light brown carapace on top, arms of a darker colour shading into the darker browns of the body. They are bristly and rough, with smaller bristles on their bony arms and elgs, longer hair on their bodies. They wear little clothing: usually just armlets of steel or copper, an elaborate belt hung with weapons and pouches, and occasionally inlaid decorations on their thick upper carapaces. The purpose of these is not known. The Ahoggyá has yellowish eyes, set in brownish or greenish-brown skin just under his carapace. His mouth has reddish-brown “lips” around it and yellowish teeth. On all four sides of his body he has eyes, but there is only one mouth; the other three sides have sexual, auditory, and olfactory organs under the eyes. These are best pictured as small amorphous lumps, painted a slightly lighter tone of brown or yellow-tan. The  claws and nails of the Ahoggyá are black. He carries simple, crude weapons of several varieties. He prefers steel but also uses Chlénhide. His swords are thus . . . steel-coloured, with leather-wrapped handles, a bit of gold on the hilts, etc. His maces are Chlén-hide or wood with metal spikes. He may also carry a round dish-shaped shield, always lacquered black and deep red, dark purple and dark green, etc. While the Shén may wear a helmet crest of the colour of the human country for which they are fighting, the Ahoggyá never do, and thus sometimes only they can tell which side they are serving in a battle — they never become confused, although their human employers do! The Ahoggyá may also wear tubular body armour, which fits rather like a stovepipe just under their eyes, leaving their mouth free. An armoured covering for their upper carapace is also seen, although the thickness of the latter really renders this strictly unnecessary.

NH-5 The Sró:

These great beasts have two basic colours, depending upon the sex: males have a dark green body and black wings, with lighter green around the mouth. Their three horns tend to be greenish white. Their eyes are red spheres with nictating black membranes and a central round pupil. Their teeth are whitish, their forked tongue bright red, shading to brown and black in the corners of the mouth. Their huge wings are black, with dull green ribbing and claws. The male Sró is lighter underneath, ranging to a dull medium green. His claws are gleaming black. The female Sró, on the other hand, is more bluish-green, speckled with silver, and shading to lighter, brighter blues in the areas mentioned above. Very old Sró tend to become darker and more blackish, though retaining their sex-differentiated colours. A faint wash of silver can be used to highlight the scales of the Sró and give the slight sheen and iridescence to the scales which are required. The huge sword is always bright silver with a bronze or gold hilt.

For figures T-2 and Y-2 the spears should be glued to the figure in an upright fashion so the figures can be ranked in a unit.

As usual the Lost Minis WIKI has a dedicated page to the Ral Partha / Old Guard ranges here (although they are missing many pics...I really must get my act together and take some) .

There are many groups and articles on the game. Check out James Maliszweski's blog Grognardia and also Chirine's Workbench - currently heaving with lovely looking resin Ahoggyá.

A new range of miniatures (including the Ahoggyá mentioned above) have been commissioned by The Tekumel Club under the auspices of The Tekumel Project. This is an ongoing project with some wonderful pieces being sculpted,

If this article has wet your appetite, check out the official Tekumel website.

Any thoughts or questions, either leave a comment below or email me on

Friday 10 May 2013

Various WIPs and finished bits.............

So many things to finish and so many things to start. I have a habit, like so many friends within the hobby, of starting something then picking up the next thing.....then the next one....result is half finished pieces lying around everywhere that eventually get neatly boxed away. In fact, half finished in many cases would be something of an exaggeration.......the joys of this hobby.

A couple of resin rabbits painted by 2 of my young daughters. As usual they shall take price of place in my collection. They are by Mad Clown Miniatures.

Gimli sitting on dead Uruk Hai..a Games Workshop sculpt that I have been sitting on myself for a long time.....a freebie for my pal Boki Gromdal (or Kev) over at Stunties. I promise I will finish it at some point.......

5 more gladiators finally mattcoated......Wargames Foundry and Crusader Miniatures sculpts.

Wargames Foundry Street Violence minis finally done. The first 5 have been sat waiting for varnish since time immemorial and really deserve a revisit on the faces / hair. It won't happen though as there are too many in the painting queue.....

Quite pleased with these boys more lady mobster to finish to complete the set.....

Pulp Figures US Rocker Troops...courtesy of the ham fisted Bob Murch, a man of wonderful sculpting abilities. 

A few American Wild West minis from Wargames Foundry; these have been painted for some time, just need the inevitable mattcoate. The hand on this gentleman is not actually as large as it's just the angle of the pic. Oh, and my inability to take time over anything.


A couple of Pulp / VBCW tankettes courtesy of Aylafred on eBay. I have added Wargames Foundry Vickers machine guns to the rounded cupolas.....this is my imagination land here after all.

Heresy Miniatures have released some most excellent Sharclon troopers that bear a passing resemblance to Sontaran troopers from Doctor Who...the troopers come with a set of 4 heads to allow for variation......I lopped the head off a Reaper Miniatures merchant and, with the addition of a little sculpting putty my Sontaran Medieval Overlord was born....

Edit; a couple of quick painting wips.....

I picked up a sprue of these plastic 1/72 Zombie Pirates from a company called Mars (I had to phrase that way otherwise you would have thought they were Zombie Pirates from Mars....John Carter style). This sprue was courtesy of Big River (Janssen) off Frothers Unite Forum who bought the box and we shared them out. Thanks Janssen. About 23mm tall so a little small but nice enough anyway....

Finally a Cthulhu Wars pic......they just uploaded this artwork to their Facebook page....this is going to be one heck of a Kickstarter......