Posts Tagged ‘Irregular Miniatures’

Fenris Mightier than the Sword

February 10, 2011

One of the things I have truly enjoyed in having the Boy Slug corrupt me from uniquely gaming in 6mm is how you find small 28mm manufacturers all over the place and by sheer weight of numbers some of those are in your area. Having bought a few pieces from Fenris Game via their Ebay shop, then discovered they’re in the historic Chatham Dockyard (where Nelson’s Victory was built) I thought it might be time to impose upon both their hospitality and ears by visiting them. They kindly agreed to this imposition on their working day, and it also gave me a chance to buy a few bits and not have to pay postage! Having negotiated security we soon found their workshop, set behind the bright red doors of doom above.

Here’s Ian in his creative suite which at first he apologised for being messy, of course anyone into the hobby generates a mess and more often than not one man’s mess is another man’s fascinating pile of treasure – especially when it’s someone who runs a cottage industry. Fenris make a pile of goodies including bases, game props, movement trays, vehicles and most recently figures, the latter quite exciting because they’re good sculpts but only cast in resin. They’re not the cheapest figures cash can deliver but they’re special.

On the workbench was the wotk in progress which as you might expect makes just about everyone else’s work in progress look feeble. This is one of many pieces for a dragon. Given it’s 28mm the finished beast will be massive and very likely a must-have for fantasy players. Luckily in my spare time I’m a spy for Games Workshop so the two hundred photos I took of this piece earned me a pretty penny and expect to see it in GW shops by the end of the week but not so well cast. Seriously though this is the much awaited Heresy dragon and it’s quite stunning in scale as well as detail.

Talking of casting here’s the casting area, very interesting stuff which I really like to know more about. I did think of asking but the chaps were working and I didn’t want to bite into their valuable time. Even you, a mere reader, can see they’re busy, see how every available surface has something on it? I had a terrible urge to prod, touch, pick up, peek at from a very short distance just about every thing in here – I managed to repress such nosey drives with a cup of tea, and a good one at that, and picking out a few choice pieces as well as a set of their Investigators figures – mainly because they’re good generic figures but also because Slug wasn’t interested in anything but the figures. Ian did also show me some of his architectural work as well as one of the world’s best toys ever – his laser cutter. I’m still wrapping my brain around the possibilities of such a device – so Fenris may well have to put up with another visit in the near future.

Here’s the boy Slug, smiling now he has some more figures under his belt, with Rob and Ian. They’re a proper pair of gents, a credit to the industry, make really neat stuff and I hope I didn’t eat into their time too harshly. Thanks Fenris!

Sniper’s Nest

October 9, 2009

DSCF0844Sadly table top gaming shops have become a rarity across the UK, mainly because of the web but also because so much gaming is now console based. Swimming against this current is Sniper’s Nest in Ramsgate and rather successfully so. Unfortunately it doesn’t carry any 6mm stock at all, but it does have a reasonable range of what you might expect to find with a heavy emphasis on 28mm and Flames of War plus all the accessories every gamer needs such as paints and brushes etc. It’s run by Mike an affable chap of the gaming old-school and so perfect for running such a shop and worthy of your custom.

DSCF0846Every inch of wall and counter is festooned with goodies, plus at the rear is an area specialising in movie collectables, but the final string to Mike’s bow lies in the basement. There’s two small-ish, but perfectly formed game tables in seperate rooms. Rather obviously these allow for plenty of playing but unlike a table set up in the sales area they also mean that when a game gets juicy and time is running out it can be left to be resumed at a later date – a nice touch.

Visitors would do well to phone ahead of a visit on 01843 607080 as I’m unsure of his exact hours, plus he’s taking a three day break next week – a much needed luxury for an independent retailer. Another point to bear in mind is how much of the web, including google maps, lists him as being in Harbour Street. He isn’t and hasn’t been for well over a year now. The actual address is 1 Chatham Street, Ramsgate, CT11 7PP, he’s worth paying a visit, tell him I sent you.

Things have changed since this entry was written for all the updates please read

Don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me

September 19, 2009

DSCF2250Having bought a pile of Irregular Miniature trees from Angel Barracks the other day it didn’t take long for me to think of something to use them all up in one go, even if I’m getting short of bases for scenics. So on my last 75mm square base I decided it was time to make an orchard, made incredibly simple by using the metal trees from Irregular which, along with all their trees and bushes, are some of my favourite bought-in scenics.

Okay so I’ve sprayed the trees and set them to one side, and it’s on to setting the tree bases onto the scenic bases as seen above, easy enough.

DSCF2251Next I’ve slopped on the Basetex, which is one of the fastest ways of getting a lot of texture across a large area. Bastex is another product available from Irregular. You can make your own by mixing sand and paint, but I’m far too lazy for that nonsense. At this rate the whole scenic is becoming a gaming equivalent of a three minute omlette and having buggered about with nothing but bases of infantry the other week hurrah for that.

DSCF2253Next it’s onto the hedging, and I’m using up Javis flexible hedging to hedge the entire orchard. Now I’m a big fan of most things Javis as it’s typically good materials and well-priced. However this flexible hedging, along with their flexible walls, is awful from the moment you start to touch it. The flocks falls off at every opportunity so there’s bits everywhere as I cut this about to make it look less regular. I keep the off cuts though as they can make good small patches of even rougher hedging.

DSCF2265Right I’ve painted the textured base brown, given it a wash, stuck the flexible hedging on and flocked it roughly, stuck on the gate, another Irregular gem, and flocked the base itself. I’ve done the last stage as if it’s a regularly trodden orchard, city types probably imagine orchards are visited once a year to pick the fruit, but it’s not so, there’s always plenty of pruning, pollenating, wandering around shooting the rabbits and even visits around Christmas to collect mistletoe if it’s an apple orchard.


A final coat of static grass to give it that high summer look and it’s time to stick the trees into those handy holes.

DSCF2281Here’s the finished piece, I’ve made a point of making the greens of the grass, the hedges and the trees three distinct tones as this is how the countryside looks to me. Had I used the same tones for all three it would look quite flat and more like a roundabout in Milton Keynes than a delightful orchard secreted in the Normandy countryside. A very simple scenic for anyone to try, and with metal trees a weighty one too.

Communistic work drive

September 6, 2009

DSCF2212One of the most positive effects the web has on the wargaming community is how competitive it makes us all, and just how that increases both the effort we all put in and the quality we strive for. I’m not exempt from this feverish mix of one-upmanship and public display of the Protestant work ethic. For a couple of weeks now I’ve regularly had my gast flabbered over at the 6mm forum run by Mike Angel by a number of users who seem to be amassing armies with the speed of an out of control rocket car but without the pyrotechnic delight of a huge fireball as a finale. Admittedly they’re forming ranks and files for Napoleonics, but none the less it does look as if within mere moments of the lead landing on their doormat they’re painted it, based it and posted the photos on the web.

So it was time for 6mil mansions to convert to a Stalinesque factory and see just how much I might be able to bash out. I started with eighty blank bases, and the attaching of adhesive magnets to them, each of which had to be cut to size from a roll. Next was scoring the top of each base to give a texture to make sure anything stuck to them stays stuck. Combined this simple combination of activities took Saturday afternoon, and strangely enough reminded me of having ingrown toenails removed, the only connection being how the latter is a much more fun filled way to spend an afternoon. Sunday was spent supergluing the figures onto bases, and where time allowed putting some texture onto the bases, the output in it’s entirity can be seen above, just over forty bases almost finished.

DSCF2213Obviously it’s good to get so much done in a single sitting, but in such a large number it did become a mite tedious. One great positive is it shows how my idea for using scenics details on command stands does help them really stand out. Above is an infantry command with a haystack on the base, look how well it sticks out from the trayful in the first picture, as well as the other command stands.

DSCF2214The same is true of what will become a sweet little command base of British Para’s tucked behind a fence with a track on the other side. Mixing Adler and GHQ figures seems to be working okay, and it gives a great variety to the stands. As these get completed I’ll be posting photos, but I’m not sure I want to try another Stalin inspired mad production drive, it is quite dull and, as if further explanation were needed, it show why communism was bound to fail.

Inglorious Maquisards

August 26, 2009

DSCF2011I was wandering around the 6mm forum which Mike Angel has very generously created when I saw a stand of the Irregular Miniatures figures above. I can’t recall what they actually are, something Wellingtonic* I believe, but Mike is a regular reader so hopefully he’ll share via the comments.

Anyhow on seeing these I did think they’d make good figures for armed civilians from WW2 namely brave members of the Maquis, or Free French. Rather craftily I convinced the overwise over worked Mike to paint them up for me and include them in my latest order for more haystacks, which he’s done and rather well I think.

Of course I’ve yet to seperate them and base them, and being limited to a dozen figures I’ll base them four to a base as three bases is about all I’ll need in minor supporting roles for SOE and para scenarios I’m working on.

*Wellingtonic; An alternative name for the period often called Napoleonic, but named after the British victor rather than the French loser which makes much more sense to me.

Scene to be believed

August 15, 2009

DSCF1852No I’ve not gone all sci-fi this week just had a small order from good old Irregular Miniatures turn up this week and what a pile you get for your cash and what a glowing example of just one reason why 6mm is such damned good value. Left to right, top to bottom; a pair of hedgerows, six vine rows for your own vineyard, two poplar trees, a pigpen, a hay wagon, a base of pigs, some cows, a pair of gates, a cuddly toy, nine small trees and a windmill.

Most of these will feature in a scenic over the next few months, most need very little tidying up for white metal pieces, bar the windmill which like most Irreg buildings seems to come with a ton of flash and mould lines in the most peculiar places and typically quite difficult to remove if you like your buildings spotless, BUT I digress from my overall satisfaction and my point which is; Which other scale could give you all this for so little? A mere £13.20, or $21.85, or in those euro things about 15.33.