Relicblade at FBW – Part 1

It’s no secret that I am a BIG fan of Metal King Studio’s Relicblade. The reasons for this are many and varied. From the amazing sculpts of the miniatures, the easy to pick up rules and the enthusiasm of both the creator Sean Sutter and the little community we are currently cultivating on Facebook, Patreon and other social media outlets. There are a bunch of other very talented and hyped people all over this just like me!

So I thought I’d take a step back and have a bit of a deep dive into what the Brushworks has achieved regarding Relicblade. I’ll take a look at each release that I’ve received so far plus take a look at the terrain and scenery the Earthworks has created as well as talking a little about gameplay with a battle report or two!

Firstly, the miniatures…

We’ll start with Wave 1 from the first Kickstarter. This set was centred around a two-player Battle box set that came with all the bits and pieces you need to get the game going on your table. I, being me, also opted for a few extras. The Dark Watcher and Wanderer plus a few extra pigs to give me options on builds etc. I also got the exclusive Relic miniature in the box too!

First up, the Questing Knights. I got two because why wouldn’t you?! These are very handy in-game with being super-tough but the models themselves are full of character.

Sean mentioned that these guys are incredibly weighed down by armour and sword. The design shows that beautifully. You can imagine anywhere this guy goes it’s a slog at best and soul-destroying at worst!

And with the Knights come support in the form of a Cleric… but not a ‘normal’ Cleric, a dragon Cleric of Justice! She comes with a Spirit Weapon, a magic hammer that can be used independently of the Cleric herself.

The other main hero from the starter set is the Wild Elf Druid… and her other form, a FREAKING CAVE BEAR. This thing wrecks Pigs with its multiple attacks.

And last, but not least, of the Starter Set Heroes is the Thief. She’s super quick in-game and the sculpt reflects this. I love the smoke bomb she’s rocking in her hand.


It’s not all Heroes in the starter set though. The Path of the Adversary is well represented by this block of porcine muscle. As part of the Kickstarter I opted to get a few more pigs than standard, because who doesn’t like options!

That is all the miniatures that you receive in the two player Starter Set for Relicblade (plus a few extra pigs!). As mentioned, as part of my Kickstarter Pledge I also opted for a few extras. I’ll get on to these extras in my next post. I really want to present Sean’s stuff as it deserves to be. I’ll be taking my time and making sure that the miniatures he’s created get the attention they deserve.

The next post will cover the Dark Watcher and Dark Wanderer – powerhouses of doom!

Keep your paints thin and your brushes pointy!






FEW – Relicblade Terrain

It has been a while since the Brushworks has been the Earthworks. Commissions have been leaving the studio and the terrain part had taken a back seat. But now, with the new Relicblade Kickstarter materials flying their way over the ocean, the terrain needs a bit of an update.

So for starters I wanted to get a new mat to play on. And then – as if by magic – it would appear that the FAT mats made by Frontline Gaming were on special. I picked up a lava themed 4×4 mat for the price of a 3×3.

So I had my theme laid out – Lava. I had already have mats and scenery in a woodland/fantasy theme with rocky scatter terrain so I think I’ll avoid that this time. I saw a little while ago someone (I apologize that I can’t remember who posted it or where I saw it) had made a table with monoliths. Big chunky bits of scenery that had great line of sight blocking properties. The mat that I have would suit this kind of scenery to a tee.

I started carving out some monoliths (just out of some blue foam that I had from another project) and they looked fine. But then I thought I could do with a centrepiece. A centrepiece that I can build the rest of the terrain set around. I also had a load of Games Workshop scenery laying about that I wanted to incorporate because, as its GW they’re covered in skulls. And who doesn’t love skulls and lava?!

So I started carving and tossing some pieces together…

…not bad. I like the cave under the plateau. The monoliths (that I mentioned earlier) will continue from this piece into the rest of the collection. I then broke out the sand and PVA and had at it. This first layer of sand will be added to with a second layer and then sealed with a watered down mix of water and more PVA. This is going to be a gaming piece so it needs to be tough!

I was happy with the castle, I was set to attach it to the hilltop and then I saw the pile of other scenery from GW. I will make this thing modular. It can be the aforementioned castle, a nasty little well, a blood-soaked altar or giant throne or even a bare hilltop.

The only thing that will require more than a lick of paint is the well. This piece is actually the base of the Balewind Vortex that I drilled the column out of. I want to eventually fill it with a liquid medium or epoxy so that means that I needed to seal the hole.

After a bit of a think I remembered that I had some acetates sitting around. Hopefully that’ll do nicely…

…we’ll see how it holds together when the epoxy hits it!

And that’s it, the newest Fyremane Earthworks project is underway. Now I’ve got some Eldar to be finishing!

Keep your paints thin and your brushes pointy!



White Scars roll out… Eldar move in!

So after many months of staring at white power armour the sons of the Khan are completed and boxed up ready to go.

This job has been an eye-opening experience on a number of fronts. I no particular order we’ve learned…

  • Painting and entire Space Marine army is pretty freaking massive.
  • Getting that army to look coherent throughout it also pretty massive.
  • Painting White Scar tribal markings is surprisingly relaxing.
  • Painting white armour is not.

The painting of the white armour was the trickiest. A steep learning curve to be sure but Karl, the owner of these here mini’s, was very understanding as I muddled my way through! When we hit on a recipe and method that a) looked cool b) was easily transferred across all kinds of miniatures. Sure, it takes a loooong time to complete with all of the layering but I think in the end it worked out pretty nice. Karl didn’t want a pristine white but also not the severely battle damaged version that you can sometimes see. So, here’s what we came up with…

  1. Undercoat the mini with standard White Primer – I used either Vallejo for the infantry sized stuff and Humbrol Acrylic Matt White out of a can for bigger stuff.
  2. I then went back to the airbrush and, pretty much from directly beneath the miniature, applied a thin coat of Stonewall Grey from Vallejo. This is to represent the ‘lighter’ shadows and can be applied pretty much everywhere on the lower half of the miniatures parts.
  3. I then loaded some Cold Grey (also Vallejo) and sprayed the same areas but in a more controlled manner. Only hitting the miniature in the recesses and darker places.
  4. Over spray on to the lighter areas isn’t the end of the world as I then went on to load Dead White and hit the miniature in two or three thin coats directly from above. This works as a blending layer between the top and bottom.
  5. After this I coated the entire mini with Vallejo’s Gloss Varnish, also from the airbrush. This will save the paint for the next stage.
  6. Oil wash/pin wash (whatever you want to call it!) was next. I take some standard Windsor and Newton black oil paint and thin heavily with thinners. Simply touching the tip of a small brush to a recess will allow the paint to flow over the gloss varnish, effectively shading itself!
  7. After a day of drying a coat of matt varnish, normally Testors Dullcote, is applied to protect the further painting stages.
  8. Then its a ‘simple’ case of working around the edges of the armour plates with thinned Dead White. I use the Game Air version as it’s pre-thinned anyway. You only need about a million layers to get it just right ūüôā
  9. If needed I also took some Ceramite White to corners etc as the pigment content was higher and gives a ‘sharp’ look.

Overall, I’m more than happy with how these dudes have turned out. I’ve had some amazing feedback from Karl and from various Facebook groups that I’ve posted them on.

The red markings turned out nice too. I have been asked how I come up with the designs and I had to reply… ‘I made it up!’. I did take some inspiration from some old photos I found of WWI and WWII battleships and tanks that had a bit of ‘razzle dazzle’. Like these…

A layer of watered down Mephiston Red was used to mark out the basic pattern. After it looked good I solidified the red and washed it with Carroberg Crimson. Starting with Mephiston Red again I worked through Evil Sunz Scarlet, added a small amount of Troll Slayer and Yriel Yellow until a very small highlight of almost pure Ceramite White with a touch of yellow on the very edges. I wanted to give them a ‘tribal’ feel, like they’d painted them themselves. I like it!

So that’s it, a commission ends. I have learned more stuff in the last few months than I have in a long time! It’ll be both a shame to not have these guys looking over my shoulder but also a bit of a blessing that the white power armour saga is over!

I’ve had a blast painting these. Karl has mentioned that he might want the Forgeworld version of Jaghatai (when he’s released) painting up so I might have some more white in the future to do!

So, where do we go from here? Well, we go back to the Craftworld! I’ve been asked to complete a second order of Eldar following a job that was completed last year. Let’s take a look at those…

And the new order is almost as big! The list consists of…

  • 1 Eldrad Ulthuan
  • 5 Rangers
  • 4 War Walkers
  • 2 Wave Serpents
  • 1 Warp Hunter
  • 1 Wraithseer
  • 30 (yes, 30!) Warp Spiders
  • 3 Support Platforms
  • 6 Windriders

There are a couple of exciting things in here… Eldrad and the Wraithseer especially. But I’m also looking forward to the War Walkers. They’re so (literally) alien to anything I’ve done before it’ll be good to tackle them! Plus who doesn’t want to see 30 Warp Spiders lined up! Exciting stuff…


Thanks all, I appreciate that you got all this way down!

Keep your paints thin and your brushes pointy!


A confession…

This may surprise some folk considering what it is I do to earn a crust or two… I have never played a game of Warhammer 40k. There I said it. Don’t hate me.

I was always more drawn to the story behind the miniatures, the ‘fluff’, and obviously the modeling and hobbling side of it. Don’t get me wrong… I have Quartermaster on my phone full of pointed up armies. Dark Angels mainly (and I guess some of you WILL hate me for that!). I have a drawer in the studio that currently contains about 1500-2000 points of unpainted grey sprues – from Chapter Masters to Scouts, Terminators to Assault Marines. I also have various Codexes – actually a LOT of Codexes – for armies that I have no intention of creating but I was hungry for a back story. Some day I might get rid of them but for now they sit on my shelf and I sometimes get one down  and thumb through one in between base coats or oil washes. I still think that the Grey Knight Codex is amazing…

So I basically, and I dont think I’m alone here, saw an army that ‘spoke’ to me and decided that going forward I was going to Dark Angel the crap out of my hobby. So I did. I have multiple boxes of the same mini’s… just in case. But now the question arises – ‘with my distinct lack of time to paint my own mini’s, and when I do it can’t possibly be enough time to churn through an army, what should I do?’.

Because something else has also happened to turn my head from 40k…

When, in the early ’90s, I found Games Workshop (by popping into an interesting looking shop on Chester high street while I was on holiday at my Nans in North Wales) I though ‘YES’… this is the stuff. There was everything that resonated with me. I had yet to read LoTR, The Hobbit etc but Orcs, Dwarves, Elves… man, that was cool before I knew what they were! As I delved further into the shop the fantasy thinned and something else came to the fore… Orks (with a K), Eldar, Imperial Guard and these hulking behemoths that were the Space Marines. I had no clue what I was looking at. So I picked up the box (I think it was probably the 2nd Edition) and saw the Marines squaring off with da Goff Boyz (and their Gretchen hangers on). Sold, I was in. Full bore. However, I had to wait until the following Christmas to get the actual box set. That day though I walked out with a box… Deathwing Terminators (I was obviously sold on DA even way back then!)… the following picture is NOT my work. If only, I destroyed my set with enamel paint that I borrowed off my Uncle.

So anyway, rambling aside. I’ve bought WH40k boxed sets (I’ve also got the Dark Vengeance set in my cupboard) and a vast array of mini’s. A big problem I had growing up was finding a play pal to get the game on the table with. My brother was, is, NOT a gamer let alone a WARgamer. I remember playing Space Crusade with a mate who had a copy, neither of us really knew what we were doing. I also remember my mate Jason having a set, and a frustrating afternoon trying to decipher the rules as a 12 year old who had no idea what a modifier was. This was my fault obviously but in a pre-internet world taking the step into a GW store was pretty intimidating.

And then I kinda disappeared from the hobby. The boxes and miniatures didn’t go to the skip but they went to the next best place… the attic. I had a brief dalliance with a Night Goblin force (before I realized that horde painting SUCKS) and then it was all packed up and forgotten. Life rolled on, work, uni, job. I actually has a job running a bar in uni that was DIRECTLY OPPOSITE Games Workshop Derby. Never went in. What a jerk.

Then I started a commission paint service. Just like that. I’d thought about getting back into the hobby and decided to dip my toe. About 6 months later I had my first order. BANG! Up and running. Dark Angels began to pour, unpainted, into my ‘to-do’ drawer. The Brushworks was born and it continued like that for some time now. 

There has been a definite upswell in the games and miniatures quality from GW (in my opinion). They appear to be listening to the consumer more than ever and, while not perfect, seem to be bending a little to the voices that have been shouting at them for so long. While GW has been the gaming behemoth and probably will be for some time the ‘something else’s that happened is that some other folks wanted a piece of the pie.

Other companies are getting in on the action and creating some great, neat, streamlined games in a vast array of settings. I still play GW games – Space Hulk, Blood Bowl – but I seem to be playing more NON-GW games. And I think my ‘gaming life’ has improved because of it.

I spent an evening in the Wild West, diving through saloon windows and reloading six shooters in Dead Man’s Hand…

I’ve been trying to survive the zombie apocalypse in Atlanta with The Walking Dead…

…running around crypts fighting nasties in Dungeon Saga…

…running through a forest trying to put an arrow in a Pigman in Relicblade…

All of them great games. But more importantly all of the games I mentioned above were FUN! Dead Man’s Hand is rife with opportunity to make a complete balls up of it on the roll of a D20, the ‘sure fire’ plan ending with your Outlaw plummeting to the floor from the second story window. The following turn another ‘dude’ taking a Hail Mary shot across the board to take out the Lawmen’s Boss. The story of a bear in Relicblade ripping its way through a troop of pigs to win the day. Rick sneaking around barricades with Carl in tow, trying to get supplies to just survive another day.

I think that’s what I base my games on now. Fun and storytelling. I simply don’t have the time to construct, paint and learn rules for a 40k game. Don’t get me wrong, bar the odd duplicate, I don’t think that any of my Dark Angels will make it to eBay. I do think that they will take pride of place on my shelves when I finally get some paint on them BUT I think they will be for show. A tip of the hat to the original draw into this hobby. A symbol of the dedication it takes to get an army together, for gaming or otherwise. I will continue to chip away at my army, the Angels will rise.

But my heart will be in the Wild West, a dungeon, Atlanta or the woods… a small skirmishing force of miniatures squaring off at each other. Every miniature counts. So I guess I’m a Skirmish Wargamer now. But then I dont think technically, as I’d never played 40k or anything else, I was a Wargamer before anyway!

Thanks for making it to the bottom!

Keep your paints thin and your brushes pointy!

Simon @ FBW

Happy New Year! Plus a finished commission…

Good morning watchers, stalkers, fans and friends,

I hope you have all recovered from the transition from 2016 to 2017 and are happy and prosperous in the new year!

I decided to pretty much fall off the radar for the holidays and didn’t even get back to the studio until January. It was a time of recharging and actually playing a few games instead of painting the miniatures for them! It also gave me a chance to think about the new year and what I want to achieve hobby wise in 2017. Following on from my previous post here¬†you’ll no doubt know that I am going to be scaling back the commission side of my painting and concentrating on my own projects for the foreseeable future. I’m ok with this, I feel like I’ve really produced some good work and I’ve had great feedback from the clients and from various Twitter and Facebook outlets.

But where does that leave the Brushworks now?

Well, for starters I do have a couple of commissions to wrap up in the first instance. The White Scars are nearing completion… as it stands I have 2 Sicarians, 10 Outriders and some Scimitar riders to finish up. Then there is a big Eldar order to do. Highlights would be another Warp Hunter and 30 Warp Spiders! Plus some Forgeworld stuff. So that’s something to look forward to! I also have an order in the ‘to do’ cupboard for a whole bunch of Orcs for a D+D client. A completely different type of order so that’ll be fun too.

And once those are complete? Well… I updated my white board:

To do list

The commissions are on the left and the plan is on the right.

From the top…

  • Blood Bowl – Humans
  • Blood Bowl – Orcs
  • Blood Bowl – Renegades
  • Complete the new Relicblade Kickstarter stuff when it arrives
  • Rebase and paint the Blood Angel Terminators from Space Hulk
  • Complete a set of Deathwing Terminators for use in Space Hulk
  • Paint Genestealers to use in Space Hulk
  • Dead Man’s Hand – Renegades
  • Dead Man’s Hand – Outlaws
  • Dead Man’s Hand – Rebase buildings
  • Lava terrain for newly purchased F.A.T mat
  • Zombicide: Black Plague minis to a game standard (monochrome)

And I think that’ll do us for now. I have MUCH more than that in my cupboard… A huge collection of Dark Angels that stare at me constantly with disdain at the lack of painting, a Nurgle Forgeworld Dreadnought that I’ve had for years and heaps of other stuff. But the list above it what I really want to get done for different reasons. Reasons that are mainly to do with gaming. I made a resolution (more of a promise really) that I wanted to play more games this year. I’m not a massive fan of playing with unpainted miniatures so I really want to get these done to complete the experience. Especially the Blood Bowl and Space Hulk stuff. It’s quite jarring playing SH on the lavishly painted tiles with unpainted minis.

All of the Relicblade stuff is there so that we can continue playing this amazing game as it is meant to be played and the lava terrain will feed into this.

Plus, who doesn’t like cowboys! The Dead Man’s Hand stuff is to bring that to a game table at a local club to really get to grip with what look like an amazing game.

And that’s it, I’ve uploaded this list into the Guerrilla Miniatures Games 2017 Hobby Resolutions page to keep myself on track for the year. I painted 209 miniatures last year. That was a lot of commission work though so I’m thinking I may not get that high this year. We’ll see what happens!

On another note, this happened…


In between all the white power armour of the White Scars I was chipping away at this group for another D+D type client. Finishing this order kind of crept up on me! I’m super happy with the results, the high contrast spot colours I used really seem to make them pop!

And that’s it friends, my plan for 2017. Hopefully you’ll stick around to see what happens! Share with your friends if they’d be interested, subscribe if you are!

Keep your paints thin and your brushes pointy!




The future of the Brushworks

Good morning watchers, readers, stalkers et al,

It’s that time of year where we all take a breath and step back to see what we have achieved in the past year and look forward to what is to come in the following 12 months. That’s exactly what has been happening at the Brushworks recently and we’ve come to a few revelations… some are a shame, some are exciting but most are a change in some way.

Ch… ch… ch… ch… Changes! (Thanks Bowie)

Fyremane Brushworks has been painting commissions for clients for about two years now, give or take. I started almost by mistake… a cousin of my wife passed me some 10mm infantry to paint and it kind of spiralled from there! The business that I’ve done, the money that I’ve made, has allowed the family to add a little extra to the kitty while we deal with the day to day – shopping, fuel, child care and all that other stuff that needs paying for.

Recently we – Mrs Brushworks and I – have been discussing the future and I’m sorry to say that the commission side of the Brushworks may have become obsolete. There has been job changes that mean time is now a greater commodity to my family than money is. Therefore, I am no longer taking commissions to the same rate as what I have been – if any at all if truth be told.

Currently I am working through a large White Scars order, some Dead Man’s Hand stuff and a bunch of D+D dudes and I have a large Eldar order already to go on the ‘to do’ shelf. As of the end of that Eldar order I’m going to be paring down the amount of commissions I do considerably – probably to the odd character figure or possibly a squad at a time. After the Eldar I’m going to return to painting and modelling as a hobby – I’m hoping to enter at least Armies on Parade and maybe Golden Daemon at some point, but in order to do that I need the time!

So for the time being at least business will continue as usual for the beginning of the year but once the Eldar leave the studio the Brushworks will become a (well stocked!) hobby shop! I really want to turn into a more bespoke shop so I’m going to be concentrating on my own stuff plus maybe the odd character, vehicle or even Blood Bowl team etc for outside clients but external work will no longer be the main focus.

As I said, it is a bit sad but this brings me swiftly on to… the future!

In my experience being a commission painter is relentless. It can sometimes be a slog to put paint to miniature. Sometimes the inspiration is a little thin if you are painting stuff that you wouldn’t paint for yourself but because someone is paying for a service you put your head down and get on.¬†BUT it is¬†very rewarding. Packing an order up and sending it out to a client is a pretty good feeling, especially when you get some nice feedback.

Commission painting is also all consuming. We probably all have a mountain of unpainted miniatures and “projects” kicking about that we are working through. Well, when you’re a commission painter the back burner that these things sit on gets further and further away. I’ve got a Dark Angels army that is still on sprue and boxed up that I’ve had for two years! Don’t get me wrong, someone paying you to use use your skills on their models is quite the kick. It’s an honour to be entrusted with someones vision of their army and try to bring it to life. I’ve probably given my skill set a kick in the pants and my painting has improved over the time I’ve painted, I think when you paint miniatures you wouldn’t normally paint it really forces you to learn and equip yourself skills wise. But now is probably a good time to concentrate on my own stuff. Two years is a long time to be staring at an accusatory Dark Angels Chaplain.

So, the Brushworks will still be active. I’ll still be all over social media and hoping to enter those painting competitions. There are a few projects that I certainly want to get to grips with – the new Relicblade Kickstarter in February time, a canal based terrain set up for fantasy games, a Dead Man’s Hand Old West board, Armies on Parade, Dark Angels, Frostgrave… on and on and on! It’ll also give me more time to play these games! I’ve painted over 200 miniatures plus assorted terrain pieces and I think I can count on two hands how many games I’ve played in the same timeframe. I’m also hoping to get to Salute next year to have a good old mooch about and meet some other people in the business/hobby. It’ll be like Gollum coming out of his cave!

Anyway, apologies for the long wordy post!

Keep your paints thin and your brushes pointy!


Blimey, Blood Bowl IS popular!

Greetings watchers, viewers and sideline dwellers,

Been quite the week, hobby wise.

I am a member of a Facebook group started by Ash Barker of Guerrilla Miniature Game fame called the 2016 Hobby Resolution Group. I joined in the early hours of the 1st January as small children and massive parties on New Year don’t seem to mix in my house! Anyway, I joined the group and have been fairly active ever since. I post up my ongoing miniature total for the year and also pictures of miniatures as I finish painting them. As of now, 2016 has seen 203 miniatures leave the studio. I’m proud of my total. Sure, only a handful are strictly my miniatures. Relicblade, a few cowboys for Dead Man’s Hand (which we STILL haven’t been able to get to play… yet) etc etc. The bulk of my productivity has, and should remain, commission work for¬†clients. That is after all why I have my studio, spend ludicrous amounts of money on tiny tools and why my wife endures the ‘we’ve just got to pop to get more¬†paint’ conversation more than once a month.

203 in a good solid total. Not the most – Ash himself is an animal, a painting machine, over 400 odd and counting! – but not the least either. I’m glad I’ve got that many in the bag.

I tell you this for a reason. In my post from that cold January morning I stated that I ‘shall buy less miniatures than I paint.’

I’m such a liar.

This year I have bought the following…

The Horus Heresy – Betrayal at Calth (38 miniatures)
Last Night on Earth (22 miniatures)
Zombicide – Black Plague (71 miniatures!)
The Walking Dead:All Out War Kickstarter Edition (Lots!)

…and on, and on, and on.

I’m sure we’ve all done it. So, lets face it. The resoulution is dead. Buried under a small mountain of grey plastic. And I thought to myself,

‘This is ridiculous Simon, you should be able to curb this.’ And so I did. I limited myself, I stopped myself.

And then Blood Bowl came out.

With a further 24 miniatures (plus rulers, markers etc that all deserve a paint job).

And I bought it.

And I love it.

And I have no regrets. The game is basically the same game from all those years ago but the miniatures are awesome. So so good. Some people are saying they look a bit static etc but I fell in love with those blue and green lovelies as soon as I saw them! So I cracked it open and in between ‘serious painting’ I put the teams together. The Ochness Monstars – the human underdogs from a small town that want to get to the big leagues. The Greenskin Attackas – they want to break all bones at least once. Then I realised that you only get two blitzers in the box. Well this wont do. I want four. The optimum is four! So I hit up a BB Trade group on Facebook and bought another human team. Another 12 miniatures (add it to the running total). So now I have a full squad plus several lineman reserves. But the orcs have NO extras. Well this isn’t fair is it?! BUT (and I’m quite proud of myself here) I’m going to paint up a couple of the human linemen as proxies for the orcs team – call them traitors/turncoats or whatever – I’m probably not going to go to a league oiwth them so I don’t mind about proxies. I’ll give them a few orc-y armour plates and spikes to make them fit in.

Anyway, this also brings me on to these…

These are my modified turn markers and my ‘counts as’ cheerleader for the human team (a Gryph Hound from AoS). I painted all of these in between coats of white on the White Scar power armour that I currently have on my desk.

I painted them to look cool standing by the side of my board as I got my head smashed in by better players.

But then I posted them on the BB Community board on Facebook. And people REALLY like them. I’m utterly blown away. It’s the most likes I’ve got on anything! Especially the turn markers! I love that people are talking about copying the idea of standing them on their edge.

This is what I remember about Blood Bowl. The anarchy and community walking hand in hand. People are sticklers for the rules of Blood Bowl – as they should be, any game is only as good as the rule set – but there is also the ‘tinkering’ that one can do within those rules. This may have come about due to the fact that Games Workshop kind of forget about Blood Bowl for a while so a lot of third party suppliers started coming out with teams and dice etc. These Facebook groups are truly inspiring for all – from the 20 year vet to the ‘just picked up a set in GW’ guys and girls. Everyone coming together to share inspiration.

So if anyone fancies a game and seeing these in the flesh my dugout is overflowing with miniatures with which we can game!

Actually come to think of it my studio is the same. And various cupboards in the house.

I think my new New Years Resolution should be to progress on a ‘one in one out’ policy.

Who am I kidding! There are Blood Bowl supplements coming I here

Thanks for reading to the end

Keep your paint thin and your brushes pointy!


FEW – Hey there sports fans! – Blood Bowl Part 1

I have a confession to make. A confession that will probably ring true with every wargamer, hobbyist or even a casual model maker. There is far too much cool stuff in the world to ignore. Too much plastic, resin, foam and glue to leave well alone.

I was quite happily tooling along building and painting my commissions. Slumped over my desk night after night (how very Dickensian, I’ll be telling you I was working by candle light next), working by candle light perfectly happy in my paint filled bubble.

And then I was side swiped. A remembrance of my past hit me square between the eyes… Thanks Games Workshop…


FREAKING BLOOD BOWL! There was whispers. Ages ago there was whispers. The Specialist Games Team was re-forming. There were games from the past that are re-emerging. Mordheim. Necromunda. Battefleet Gothic. I’d never got into those games as a kid/teen. I think I had just missed the popularity wave by the time I got into GW proper (Although… having watched a crap tonne of Ash Barker’s channel Guerilla Miniature Games like this one, I am sorely tempted to get into Mordheim especially). BUT Blood Bowl. I remember Blood Bowl. I HAD Blood Bowl. I think it was third edition.And it was cool. WAY cool. Sweet mini’s. Templates. Custom dice. Man, I remember that.

Then I sold it. Bad times. I sold it as I hadn’t played it for ages. Like a decade or more. Truth be told I only played it a handful of times, maybe a few handfuls. But I remember skipping Griff Oberwald through an orc lines to run into free space behind, I remember Morg n’ Thorg braining multiple opponents but I especially remember throwing a goblin who was holding a ball into the opponents end-zone to win a game. I remember BB for those little pieces if coolness that happened in a game. It was like getting the highlights of the highlights.

So, now its 2016 and Blood Bowl is coming back around. I’ve pre-ordered and it should be with me in a couple of weeks. I am terribly excited.

And then it got me thinking. My old set was severely under painted. I think the humans were in fact paint free. Even the Star Players has avoided my tatty Humbrol brushes ministrations. Then I really took a look at the sculpts of the new miniatures. Now they deserve a paint job (especially the incoming Dwarves). You may be wondering why I’m talking about painting miniatures in my terrain building post. Well dear friends, watchers and subscribers… I’m going to build me a Blood Bowl pitch for all these shiny new miniatures!

Here’s my plan… well a written sketch if you will. I’ve seen a couple of tutorials online about making a BB pitch like this one and this one. I like them both, the Viking one is insane. For mine I think I’m going to stick to a few main points…

  • Function over form – while the Viking stadium is impressive but maybe a little over the top for my needs
  • I’m still going to use all the templates from the new game so I don’t need to incorporate them into the board itself like I gave seen in the past
  • It needs to damage the mini’s as little as possible. I know that you have to lay down the miniatures all the time. If I had a sand covered board it might get a bit ‘chippy’ on the paint work!
  • Value for money – Hirst Art blocks are amazing BUT expensive!
  • I don’t need it to fold up or be contained in a box. I have a studio and I’d quite like to hang it on the wall.
  • I think I want it more ‘dungeon bowl’ than a perfect grass pitch

Where do we go from here? Sketches! Here’s what I’ve come up with…


This might not look like much but it’s enough for me to get a kernel of an idea. To you it might look like nothing. To me it looks like 30mm square MDF bases with the corners trimmed, mounted on a wooden base with a surround of PVA and sand in the gaps. And pinheads to denote the corners of a space. Therefore if you lay a model down it’ll hopefully lay on the slightly raised, and smoother, MDF than the rough sand. This’ll obviously all be painted up and have grass tufts and flock in strategic places.

So there you have it. The next project on the block. This won’t be a quick job, I’ll probably have the game for quite some time before the pitch is ready! But we all need a project right? Even if that project is one of many!

Keep your paints thin and your brushes pointy!




Update – The end of the year is nigh!

Hello watchers, stalkers, viewers, whatevers…!

I seem to be pretty patchy with the updates for this dear old site but I’m with you all in spirit. Every time I sit and think about an update I glance at the ‘to paint’ pile and put down the iPad and pick up a paint brush! (As it should be for a commission painter!)

So… as the title says – the end of the year is nigh! This year has flown by with one thing and another – family, work etc – but the Brushworks has continued ticking over. I’m super happy with progress for the most part. According to my tally on the¬†Guerrilla Miniature Games 2016 Hobby Resolutions Facebook Group, which I update after each mini/squad is completed, I’m currently on 185 miniatures for the year. Not too shabby.

The bulk of these miniatures have been commissions (obviously) a large force of Eldar followed by an army of Blood Angels and then the White Scars that are currently moving slowly across to the ‘done’ shelf. Each of these projects had a steep learning curve in one way or another. The Eldar, oh the Eldar, edge highlights were the key. Because of the high contrast nature of the highlights there was nowhere to hide on these. I must have done something right as the client has commissioned a new bunch of Eldar for the new year! More on that later.

Then the Blood Angels with the deep reds.

And then the White Scars… see my previous posts here, here and here for how that’s going!

And in amongst all that, various other smaller project come and go… Relicblade landed from Kickstarter, Dead Man’s Hand posse’s have been started and a whole bunch of terrain has been done for game nights. Phew!

And going forward?

  • Well the rest of the year will be full White Scar mode. Probably into the new year too. The client has whispered (actually not whispered, flat-out told me) that there will be more of the Khan’s sons to come in the future.
  • As I mentioned before, the hateful and enigmatic xenos will return in the form of another big force of Eldar. More of that light blue edge highlighting to come!
  • ANOTHER Relicblade Kickstarter is coming to a close this week and there is a bunch of miniatures in that to swell the Brushworks’ collection.
  • I’ve just received the Walking Dead Miniatures Game – All Out War Kickstarter too which I’m toying with the idea of painting up. But that’s about 50 mini’s in itself so should be some time around 2031¬†for finishing that! But then I said the same thing about Zombicide Black Plague too!
  • The studio Dark Angel force lingers in my periphery unopened and unloved. The Betrayal at Calth set gathers dust! I’d like to think I could tinker with Caliban’s sons at some point in 2017!
  • I think I’ll set some ‘mini-goals’ for 2017 – instead of ‘I’ll paint up Space Hulk’ I might try something like ‘I’ll re-base the Terminators’. That might help!

2016 has been a really busy year. However I do feel like I’m gathering momentum and my painting is getting some really nice feedback from various people – I even won a Best Painted¬†Army (for the Eldar) – at a tournament that a client took part in!

I’d love for more feedback, comments and critiques from all and sundry. Please feel free to share my details, website address, facebook page link¬†to everyone you know.

I want 2017 to be a year of reaching out into the wargaming community. I do paint in isolation for the most part and social media is incredibly important for me to keep in touch with everyone and find new sources of inspiration and friendship. I’ve already gained a few new friends in my life through painting toy soldiers and I look forward to meeting many more! I’m even aiming to get to Warhammer World and Salute in 2017, I might see you there!

Anyway, back to the paint table!

Keep your paints thin and your brushes pointy!


Learning to Paint White – Part 3

I have so far completed two squads – 21 marines in total – of white power armored White Scars. This amount of models in that amount of white has changed my perspective on a few things.

Firstly, patience. A lot of patience. I was made aware, mainly by hilarious blog posts and YouTube videos, that white is one of the hardest colours to get ‘right’. Of course, ‘right’ is a matter of taste. Either way you look at it though, you paint a white army you’re going to get used to painting the same armour panels over and over and over again.

Secondly, you become ok with that. Each brush stroke is visible every time you put brush to mini. And because I have to keep it thin enough not to leave brush strokes behind you are forced to work slowly and methodically. Woe betide you if you go over a piece that isn’t quite dry. BRUSH STROKE! ARGHHHHH!

Painting white is like another level of painting, not in a technical sense – it’s still brush/paint/mini – but it makes you think more. Every part of it is just a little step up. Anything you put over the top of it, such as the reds here…

…and here…

…need to be super neat. The metallics, the stripes, the details, EVERYTHING goes on amazingly well but there is no room for error (well, there is but it would not take a great deal to dissappear into a never ending cycle of colour/white touch up if you slip). There is instant gratification of seeing a single layer going on and having to do minimal layers on top to finish it off. But it is like constantly walking a tight rope. 

If there is ever an ‘extreme’ version of miniature painting I think white will come close. I tip my hat (and brush) to the guys and girls out there that can get super smooth results on their white armies. For now, I’m taking it one brush stroke at a time. Good or bad.

Keep your (white) paint (very) thin and your brushes pointy