Saturday, 31 December 2011

End of Year Roundup!

Hi!

Well its been a bit of a mixed year here. I've finished University, moved house and even set up my own company but more importantly I've been able to play a few games and paint some miniatures!

The new year promises to be very interesting with another move of house (I hope) and more importantly I am hoping to get some of my sculpts into production as I have my very own casting machine!

I am also planning on running a solo campaign covering some fairly major events in Aeroth featuring the struggle going on in the Axeblade Mountains between the Dwarves and Orcs but also with a plethora of other stuff too!

I am also beavering away on developing some stuff for the new Battles With Miniatures which will hopefully see light of day in a month or so and will feature all sorts of bits and bobs relating not only to Leviathan but to Void, Kryomek and lots more!

I am also determined to live up to my target of one game a week and hope to beat my fairly poor total of seven games this year. I'm hoping to use the campaign as a springboard for a load of games and will be working on more terrain including some fairly large additions!

Anyhow, I'm now off to climb a hill for no other reason than to keep the mother in law happy so wish me luck!

Happy new year to everyone!

Richard

More Demonworld Goodness!

Hi!

RAL PARTHA EUROPE have released the first of the Demonworld Goblins!


Theres some really nice giant insects in the range which would make for a really interesting force in their own right, especially for all the Warhammer players who wanted their own Forest Goblin army!

All the best!

Friday, 30 December 2011

Designing Dur Zamor

Hi!

I've begun thinking of putting together a keep to base the upcoming campaign around. I had considered scratch building something but having perused the SCOTIA GRENDEL website I found the following bits and bobs which will come in handy:

Dwarven Keep

Dwarven Stronghold

Dwarven Gun Turret

Dwarven Outpost


Dwarven Tower

Dwarven Gateway

Although they are intended for 28mm scale, they will make excellent chunky fortifications in 15mm scale too! With just a little bit of work they should be perfect.

Unfortunately I did have the gateway but stupidly sold it when I moved house. In the short term I think I will make do with ordering one of the towers which will make a good outpost for the main keep of Dur Zamor and an excellent objective for the Orcs to assault.

It could even give access to the Underlands, the vast maze of tunnels and cavern systems that lie under the Axeblade Mountains and could result in an Orcish invasion of any of the other Dwarven keeps or settlements in the region.

I particularly like the fact that the whole lot are modular so could be reused and combined to create a wide variety of different layouts!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Terrain On A Budget

Hi!

Well I've been down to the beach and to a local bargain craft store and picked up some bits and bobs which will be suitable for terrain in my upcoming campaign!

First up I picked up a load of pebbles on the beach which I had originally planned on repainting but looking at it now I think the mixture of colours is far more effective than a single rusty red.

An Orcish patrol is set upon by a Fallen Gloom Hulk in the High Mesa

Some of the pillars make for good shooting positions

Close up of the action

At the bargain shop I picked up a bag of polished black pebbles for the princely sum of £1. I like the look of the shiny rock as it really contrasts the ground colour of the vinyl tiles.

Boar Company battle Elementals in the Mirrorstone Valley

The shiny surface will result in a very hazardous climbing surface for the Dwarves

Another shot of the action

I suspect I am going to pick up some more free pebbles next time I'm down at the beach as they look really rather nice. I may base up some to make a more permanent piece of scenery or just leave them be. I was somewhat concerned that the scale would look out as can often be the case when using pebbles but in the twisted world of Aeroth it looks fine!

I suspect they will be featuring in several upcoming battles as they look rather spiffy! As its the winter in Aeroth I am even considering adding some snow to the board too. The only problem I've had thus far is that the shiny black pebbles are so polished that they wont stack well without slipping.

This gave me a little bit of inspiration making them one of the many anomalies found in the Broken Lands. In this case the black obsidian like rocks have been polished to a mirror like sheen by wind, water and wild magic making them highly sought after but difficult to manoeuvre over without slipping.

I think adding a few obsidian elementals would make for an interesting scenario with treasure hunters battling elementals while trying to loot the valuable rocks!

All the best!

Monday, 26 December 2011

Somewhere on the Border: A Guide to the Axeblades

"The Axeblade Mountains are a dangerous place to navigate, more so now Wild Magic has been unleashed by the thrice cursed Elves. With the onset of a winter unlike even I have never seen in my long life its becoming ever more difficult to keep our outposts and settlements supplied and protected."

Map of the Eastern Axeblades

"This winter has been so cold that even the Axebite River, despite being heated by our forges has frozen. Snow has blocked many of the high passes and even the broad Axebite Pass has become increasingly snowbound. The settlements of Mal Dulm and Mal Hrakken have had their populations swollen by the survivors of the destroyed Hold of Sto Heltd and are desperate for supplies to feed all the extra mouths and our border patrols are struggling to keep the military road open and safe."

Kareth Dull

Kareth Dull lies in the Axeblade Mountains near the Axebite pass. The Holds warriors have been manning the great wall that holds the Orcish hordes from sweeping into the North West. The hold lies on the Southern slope of the Axebite pass and extends miles back into the mountains itself.

Its mines delve into the depths in search of ore to feed the mighty forges which supply the great hold with its mighty weapons of war while its great walls have held the Orcish hordes at bay for untold centuries. With the arrival of many holdless Dwarf clans, Kareth Dull has begun settling the surrounding area, sending forth doughty groups of warriors to protect its fledgling settlements.

Mal Dulm

The Pass of Mal Dulm

The settlement of Mal Dulm was the first camp set up by the Dwarves following the Death. Unlike other Dwarven settlements it is situated on the surface and was originally intended to house the influx of refugees from the Hold of Sto Heldt which was destroyed by an earthquake immediately following the death.

Despite being called a settlement it is more akin to a military encampment with the surviving clans of Sto Heldt and colonists from Kareth Dull having quickly built sturdy walls and defences strong enough to withstand even the most determined bands of marauding Goblins.

Situated to the East of Kareth Dull, Mal Dulm lies in a secluded pass and is only accessible via a single narrow trail. While a boon for defence it makes supplying the settlement rather difficult. Fortunately the inhabitants have managed to cultivate small fields of crops in the high meadows above and recently began work on digging mine shafts into the surrounding peaks. These mines have begun returning promising amounts of iron ore, coal and even small amounts of Adamantium.

The road from Kareth Dull to Mal Dulm is a miracle of Dwarven engineering as a large part of it is built along a cliff face. Constructed from solid rock and iron girders the Hanging Road is one of the wonders of the new world. From the Hanging Road the trail becomes more narrow and difficult to navigate so each caravan is led by an experienced trail master, well versed in mountain lore.

Mal Hrakken

The Hot Springs of Mak Hrakken

Built at the Southern tip of the newly constructed military road which winds its way through the Axeblades, Mal Hrakken was built next to the steaming springs which have recently burst through to the surface during the same quake that destroyed Sto Heldt. The settlement itself has been constructed directly into the cliff face surrounding the hot springs. Now mighty watermills line the outflow providing the new settlement with power.

Mal Hrakken is still a small settlement but is quite well protected. It needs to be as the cliffs hot pools have become the home of several wild dragons and the wealth of the Dwarves have led to strife as several drakes have taken to trying to raid the settlement. One particular dragon, a great grey ironback called Ripjaw has taken great pleasure in attacking the caravans winding their way along the military road.

A recent addition to the settlement in the form of a squadron of war balloons has been called in to deal with Ripjaw but the high winds and freezing temperatures have limited their use during the winter. In the meantime an exploration party has been dispatched to the Hoodoo Basin to the South in an attempt to locate the troublesome Drakes lair.

Dur Zamor

Lonepeak

Dur Zamor lies at the Eastern tip of the Southern side of the Axebite pass high in the mountain called Lone Peak. It is surrounded by high mesas and grim pine forests but has been built with a single purpose. It holds a pair of mighty guns called Grimm and Gogg. These mighty guns have a range of several miles and have been used to pound the Orcish hordes that move along the Old Road from the Kargh towards the Axebite pass.

Not surprisingly the Orcish Khans are desperate to destroy the keep but due to its location its proved almost impossible to assault. This has changed recently with the discovery of a narrow defile which leads from the valley of the Seven Daughters up into the High Mesa. Now hordes of Orcs are amassing in preparation of the coming of spring to assault the keep. Fortunately for the Dwarves this force has been spotted and engineers have been working round the clock to mine the defile so when the Orcs do come they will have a very warm welcome!

The Broken Lands

The Broken Lands are a large area of tortured earth riddled with chasms and scree. Even for the Axeblades its a dangerous place with few safe ways through and even the bravest of Dwarven explorers have given it a wide berth thus far. Its Northern boundary is marked by the Golden Lode river while the Axeblades mark its southern border. Despite its dangers the Broken Lands are inhabited. Its is a mecca for elemental creatures of all sorts as the constant movement of earth has provided an unexpectedly strong source of Earthpower.

It is this instability that has begun attracting adventurers as the quakes have brought precious metals and jewels to the surface and if one can but survive the surroundings, a fortune can be made.

High Mesa

The High Mesa

The High Mesa bounds the Eastern side of the Axeblade Mountains. Its Eastern edge is marked by a steep cliff which proves an initial deterrent to any Orcs trying to approach the Axeblades.

Hoodoo Basin

The Hoodoo Basin

The Hoodoo Basin is a region of strangely shaped boulders, carved by the Ironlode which at one time fed into a large lake, long since drained. The resulting boulder field is a treacherous maze of strange canyons and is almost impossible to penetrate. It is this maze like quality that has attracted Ripjaw, the mighty grey ironback dragon to make its lair in the caverns which lie at its centre.

The Seven Daughters

The valley of the Seven Daughters is steeped in myth as the great pillars which gave the area its name are supposed to be the daughters of the Earth Mother frozen for eternity.

The Kragh

The Kragh is the name for the great encampment and staging point of the Western Horde of the Orcs. Its a sprawling tent city ruled by the iron hand of Gugrum the Large, a Khan of truly titanic proportions. Its only purpose is to ferry re-enforcements towards the front lines of the siege of the Axebite pass. Gugrum has become vastly wealthy running the tent city and has indulged his passion for food and is now so fat he can't move under his own strength but is transported around in a specially built howdah between two Titanosaurs.

The coming of winter has led to a bitter freeze at the Kragh and already hundreds of Orcs have died of frostbite. The food supplies have begun to run low and the Orcs have begun eating their Goblin minions. This has led to many small bands of Goblins to make a break for freedom and head for the Axblades in search of safety. This has not gone un-noticed by the Orcs and slavers are already scouring the region for runaways. Several of these Orcish bands have come to a sticky end as large bands of Goblins have ambushed them and slain them.

What is interesting to note is that these Goblins are surprisingly well armed and equipped and often have their own warmounts. The Orcish pride has been pricked by these setbacks and larger expeditions have been sent to deal with the upstarts.

Krulls Winter Encampment

The encampment of Krull, the greatest Khan in the Western Horde is a place of pain. The Khan has decreed that the Great Wall must be breached at all costs as it would make his name live on in Orcish lore forever. To achieve this he has sent wave after wave against the Dwarven defenders but with little success as the Dwarven engineers are skilled at their craft and the Orcish assault is constantly breaking like the sea against the wall, without any noticeable effect.

Realising that a frontal assault is unlikely to succeed, Krull has sent many trusted underlings into the surrounding mountains in an attempt to try and find another pass that will allow him to finally defeat the hated Dwarves.

The winter winds are biting and many Blackbloods have died but Krull will not show weakness by striking camp and heading for the relative safety of the Kragh. He knows full well that any sign of weakness would be deadly for him as Gugrum will take any opportunity to depose him.

Therefore the Orcs are resigned to a hard winter and can only hope that they can break the Dwarves. The Dwarves have begun sallying out to harry the Orcs with lightning raids, their Wargolems belching fire and destruction amongst the Orcish lines. In return the Orcs are heating their blood by whipping themselves into a frenzy of Gorath worship.

This dedication and carnage has led to the appearance of one of the Eyes of Gorath. This terrible being has been seen conversing with Krull and he is once again turning his attention towards the Dwarven fortifications.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Winter In Aeroth

The Dwarf hold of Kareth Dull which guards the Axebite Pass has been under near constant siege since the Death by the Orcish horde of the Great Khan, Gorgar, an Orc of unusual cunning and the Boar Company has been battling to keep the high passes surrounding the isolated keep of Dur Zamor open and the arrival of severe winter weather has hampered their efforts.

Winter Arrives in the Axeblades

Weather on Aeroth has been badly disrupted by the release of so much Wild Magic during the Death and now fierce storms have been hammering the high mesa and wild passes surrounding Dum Zamor and the Dwarves are desperately bringing in supplies in order to survive the sub-minus degree winter.

To make matters worse one of Gorgar Khans commanders, Krull Goreblade, has been sent into the area with a sizeable force in order to ambush the Dwarven supply trains and if possible destroy the keep itself.

The Tarn of Gorm

Grimli and the Boar Company have found themselves cut off by one of Krulls raiding parties near the Tarn of Gorm, a bleak and windswept pool high in the mountains. The Tarn itself is a grim place with dark tales of the restless spirits of long dead ancients haunting its shore.

On the eastern shore the Boar Company has sought shelter in the ruins of a long forgotten village and await the coming of dawn.

Grimli nudged the embers of the pitiful fire with his boot. Flint stood nearby, wrapped in a heavy fur and stamped his feet in a futile attempt to keep out the biting cold of the high mountains. Nearby Gunnar was trying to calm the Wildling, its breath steamed as it grunted uneasily.

"He senses something he doesn't like!" Muttered Flint.

"I know how he feels!" Replied Grimli rummaging thorough his pack for a flask of Fire Brandy, popping the lid off and taking a generous swig before handing it to his second in command. "I don't like this place. Theres something unnatural about it which sets my teeth on edge."

"Me to chief, but I've got sentries posted in pairs and hopefully we will be able to move for home at daybreak if we can avoid any Blackblood patrols!" Replied Flint handing back the flask. "What worries me more is the bodies of Orcish scum we found down the trail". "They looked like they had the life drained from them; what could do that to a body?"

"I don't know but I've heard tell that this place is cursed, I guess we are going to find out soon enough for ourselves!"

Suddenly cries sounded from the sentry post nearby "Lights! Moving over the tarn!"

"Orcs!" Cried Flint grabbing up his battleaxe.

"I certainly hope so!" Replied Grimli as he strained to see through the darkness.

Dimly at first he saw them but out over the tarn, a sickly green light bobbed slowly toward the Dwarven positions.

"TO ARMS!" Roared Grimli, "Beware! Theres sorcery afoot, Boar Company to me!

Seasons Greetings!

Hi!

Just a quick note to say Merry Christmas to everyone!

Santa has been very good to me this Christmas so there may be a few small additions to my Leviathan project coming in the new year!

All the best!

Richard

Friday, 23 December 2011

Found On The Net!

Hi!

From time to time I do a google search for anything Leviathan related. Usually it brings back nothing new but from time to time I spot something new!

Carnodon Green

I found this over on Frothers from a few years back. Apparently it was from the Excelsior Entertainment booth from a wargames show but its got me wondering if theres any more pictures of unreleased Leviathan stuff floating around out there?

If anyone has any pics of any Leviathan miniatures or greens in their collection please feel free to contact me and I will post them here!

All the best!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Delays!

Hi!

Well I've just finished a load of work for both commissions and show stock and even got the show out of the way now I'm able to get on with some stuff for myself!

Alas as its coming up to Christmas my usual workspace in the conservatory dining room is being used for stuff other than sculpting and painting so I have a sneaking suspicion that my hobby is going to be having a bit of a quiet time over the festive period which is rather infuriating as I really want to get on with some work!

Hopefully I will be able to claw back a little space and time to do some work as I have some interesting updates to get on with. For example I've recently picked up a nice pinboard to use as a base for my vinyl floor tiles which means that they will sit nice and firmly in a recess! Hopefully I will get chance to finish off a load more scenery too followed by some more sculpting!

All the best!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Progress At Last!

Hi!

I have finally managed to get some more work done to the small scale side of my Leviathan project!

Minions

These are a couple of test pieces I have been working on to provide Marik Goldhelm, my evil sorcerer with some proper evil minions! They are going to be cast at some point in the new year and come equipped with separate weapons as I misjudged the positioning of the arms. I still need to sculpt up their suitably evil shields but the while lot should be sorted and ready by the end of the day!

I have also taken some more pictures of the scenic madness I've been working on:

Marik Goldhelm confronts some Cave Dwellers at an oasis of weird vegetation

Lift Trees and Fungi

The Lift Trees will be mobile in games as they float across the landscape with the breeze resulting in shifting cover which may result in some problems for the forces as it blocks line of sight or the copse of trees they were lurking in drifts away!

The puffball fungus will be another more hazardous obstacle as it has a tendency to explode covering everyone in the vicinity in a cloud of choking spores!

I still need to finish the bases for the weird vegetation and then I will move onto some scrub patches and boulders!

All the best!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Leviathan Terrain Inspiration!

Hi!

Well I have been busily sculpting some 15mm scale bits and bobs today in preparation for testing out my casting machine in the new year. I am hoping to get about half a dozen sculpts ready to cast and will post a pic of the first two in the morning!

In other news I have been working on some scenery in the form of weird vegetation but am preparing myself to have a bash at creating some proper desert scenery too. As already mentioned I tend to peruse the internet for reference images quite a bit and found some really interesting images that will be forming the basis for my desert/mesa scenery I am planning:






Its got me thinking that I don't need to just use sandy yellows but can use a wide array of reds, greys, browns and white which will make for a far more interesting piece of scenery!

Theres also plenty of opportunity for creating patches of scrub and broken ground which I will be attempting over the coming week and if I get chance I will post some thoughts on terrain making as I bumble my way through the project!

All the best!

Children of the Worm Beast Sighted!

Hi!

I just spotted that RAMSHACKLE GAMES has released a fantastic worm beast which would make a perfect proxy for the Children of the Worm in Leviathan!

Ramshackle Grub

Ramshackle Slag Dragon

Ramshackle Slag Dragon

I must admit its a really fantastic beast with a cracking paint scheme and the scenery used in the pics are great too and for £12 its nice and affordable too!

All the best!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Lots of Barbarians!

Hi!

Well its a good month for Barbarian fans! Both RAL PARTHA EUROPE and COPPLESTONE CASTINGS have released some new stuff which brings some real quality to the market!

Ral Partha Thain

Copplestone Castings Barbarian Trolls!

Just the thing for Northern Barbarians in Leviathan!

All the best!

Scenic Madness

Hi!

Heres the pictures of the scenery I've been working on over the last few weeks as promised:

Orcish Battle Line

Boar Company Dwarves Encounter an Orcish Warband

Rock Outcrop

Lift Trees

Assorted Fungi

I am quite pleased with the scenery I've produced so far as it brightens up the battlefield considerably and is of a decent tabletop quality however I want to push the quality up a bit to produce something more like this:





As Aeroth has been badly warped by the Death, much of its surface has turned to desert and the high mesas of the Axeblade mountains would look particularly stunning if I could have a decent bash at representing some of the amazing hoodoos, outcrops and other more unnatural phenomenon such as Lift trees, Fungal forests, petrified woods, pools of lava, ruined settlements and so on.

I think I am going to take a page from Steve over on PAINTSPLATS who produced some truly fantastic vignettes for Grendel back in the mid 90s:

Orcs Painted By Steve of Paintsplats

Amazing Scenery by Steve of Paintsplats!

I believe he used Das Clay which is a air drying clay which I have some experience working with so think I might nip out and get a pack. It has the added benefit of being nice and heavy so it won't have the tendency to shift mid game unlike the polystyrene I usually use!

All the best!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Film Night!

Hi!

I just watched Legend of the Guardians, the Owls of Ga'hoole on DVD. Its a surprisingly brilliant animation featuring owls! What really surprised me was its stunning backgrounds set in a mythical Australia. The sheer awesomeness of the scenery is worth the £4 I paid for it and it contains a load of truly inspiring imagery that would suit the lands of Aeroth perfectly!

As chance would have it I've recently finished some scenic bits and bobs and even managed to take some photos of them before my camera packed up and will post them here in the morning. Looking at my attempts thus far I realised that I need to really push the quality to make my games that bit more interesting.

Aeroth is a land warped by magic and inhabited by strange creatures and deserves something a bit more interesting than some feeble polystyrene hills!

Therefore I've decided to spend some time sketching out some locations to get the creative juices flowing and give me something to work towards! I know that I need to restrain myself somewhat as the scenery still needs to be sturdy and functional but I do believe that I can do better and a more interesting, not to mention scenery heavy board is libel to make for a better game!

I hope to post a few bits and bobs over the coming week featuring my attempts!

All the best!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Strange Tydes

Hi!

A while back I picked up a copy of Wessex Games Strange Tydes with the vague idea of using it as a basis for some naval gaming in the Leviathan setting.

Needless to say I didn't do anything with it but my girlfriend bought me a tin of the Wizkids Pirates collectable miniatures game on reduction from a local super store.



It contains eight little ships and some islands and although they aren't too fantastic, I do now have a couple of small fleets to give the game a bash at some point. I may have to invest in some blue fabric in the new year so I can try out the rules.

I also have Strange Grogg in PDF format which looks quite interesting and would make for some interesting skirmishes on the coasts and islands of Aeroth although I'm more tempted to use them to represent groups of pirates and corsairs off the coasts of Crucible... The rules for both could be integrated into a single campaign system without too much hassle so I will put the idea on the backburner for the time being until I have chance to clear my current projects!

All the best!



Friday, 2 December 2011

Goblin Progress!

Hi!

Well I've finally had chance to crack on with painting up some more Goblins!

I've only finished one so far but the rest of the warband are underway so should be making an appearance here over the next few days!

Goblin Archer

I have also been working on a Carnodon riding Goblin to lead the warband and provide some fast moving support:

Carnodon Conversion

I took a Carnodon I had lying around which was missing its rider and sculpted the rider with impressive mace. Its not the best sculpt in the world but should do! In hindsight I should probably have sculpted him with a lance but the mace is more fun looking and he should make for a nice model to paint!

The Carnodon itself had a really bad mould defect in it resulting in its left leg being covered with a big lump of resin which required a fair amount of work to remove and a second defect behind its horn. This gave me the excuse to bulk up his horn a bit as its supposed to be for a leader after all!

Hes eventually going to get a back banner to mark him out a bit and may well get some companions as I suspect he would work best in a pack!

As for 15mm scale, its not been forgotten but I have two sculpting commissions underway at the moment so sculpting time is dedicated to finishing them but worry not! I have a plan to get some stuff sculpted ASAP and now my casting machine has arrived I will be able to mould, cast and sell them once they are finished!

All the best!