Monday, 15 May 2023

Gorrin Carak's Detachment Part 2 - The 7th Dwarf: "Grumpy - with banner"

 Well, this is all starting to look like Street doing regular updates. In the vain hope, that my only reader is really Billy Bragg.

So here is the finished banner bearer. Made from a tomato paste tube. With the tomato removed obviously. That's 7 for the Blood on the snow project (WD#91).

The banner (from Little Big Men) still needed a LOT of brushwork to make it look right to my eyes.

Some people don't seem to have seen this mini before. But I can assure you that it's GW and from the Norse Dwarf line. This is part of the command. You can find them on Stuff of Legends.

Extra pics above. I hate banners but the mini itself is blissfully unbusy.

That's all for now. Those art commissions I do on the cheap, don't pay a tiny fraction of my leccy bill on their own you know.

Plenty love,


Saturday, 13 May 2023

Gorrin Carak's Detachment Part 1 - x20 Norse Dwarf Warriors

 Salutations to my one follower, somewhere in England.

Regular updates? Doesn't sound like me does it?

And so of course. It's unlikely. 

I've learned from a few of my fellow bloggers who do short, sharp and sweet posts often rather than my epic ramblings about nothing.

So I made a start on the Norse Dwarf Warriors.

I don't usually do snowy bases but they fit in with the narrative of the "Blood on the Snow" scenario from White Dwarf 91.

Shields are a mixture of Wargames Foundry and Magister Militum.

Designs by Little Big Men Studios

I usually make my own decals for banners or freehand them (being an artist sometimes has its advantages even if remuneration isn't one of them.) - but I do have a veritable library of decals and selected this Norse/Viking one from (again) Little Big Men to speed the process up.

I used a tomato paste tube to make the banner much like I did here. I've tidied this chap up a bit and I'll give the banner his own post when I can set up to take photos of the finished guy.

I also did a test chap from the next unit which will be the missile unit.

So I'm seven Dwarfs into the unit with the champion and the banner (I HATE banners) done. So aiming to get 12 of the 20 done in May for the Middlehammer Tale challenge.

You can follow the Middlehammer tale by clicking here.

And you can follow my artwork here. (It's an insta link as the Middlehammer Tales doesn't have an art page yet)

And be sure to check out the other heroic artists on the Middlehammer Tale website too.

"Maybe tomorrow I'll wanna settle down..."

I'll see you soon.



Thursday, 4 May 2023

The Blood on the Snow Project - Gorrin Carak's Dwarf Detatchment

The Dwarven Throng Marches to War
(Mixed media, A5 size - for sale) 

Gorrin Crazak gazed into the murky depths of his breakfast ale. In the small underground chamber the candlelight danced up and down the walls and across Crazak's glazed eyes.

"What do you see my Lord? In the dark, depths of your ale?"

In bedraggled clothes and tangled beard, the ancient dwarf wizard, Zagaz Gorm-Trommchuf was the only other dwarf in the room.

"I see dwarf heads. Bloodied and frozen on the spikes of a dwarf outpost." Crazak did not look up.

"It is the walls of our outpost on Dog Peak Pass my Lord. The outpost has fallen to the hated Greenskins." 

"And Dark Waters..."

"It is the Troutbeck creek on the banks of which the outpost stood".

Crazak leaned back in his ancient carved chair and stared into Zagaz's time-worn eyes with a squint.

"Winter has come. Need we wait for spring?"

"My Lord - we are Norse Dwarfs, used to fighting in the snow. The garrison of the outpost were Norse dwarfs of our kin. We must attack now and recover the outpost. The hated Grobbi will not expect a winter fight."

At that moment the door creaked open and a snow-covered dwarf entered the room.

"Apologies my Lord. I thought you would want to hear my report as soon as my scouting party returned".

"What news Captain Baragor?"

Baragor quickly recounted his Mountaineer scouting party's  findings. Confirming Crazak's vision in the ale. The Dog Peak outpost had indeed fallen to Greenskins, and Dwarven corpses adorned the battlements.

"Get some rest today Captain. We shall set out towards the Dog Peak Pass in the night - and I shall need your scouts" Baragor bowed and backed towards the door.

"My Lord. We should arrive at the pass in two to three days - depending on the weather."


Taking on a painting challenge in my condition? Yeah why not.

The Scenario "Blood on the Snow" appeared in White Dwarf #91. And I've always wanted to play it. I'll talk about the scenario later in another post. But basically two detachments of "goodies", a Pilgrim army marching on a cave of Sigmar to free the shrine from Goblins and a Dwarf Clan marching to regain their outpost.

Firstly my Middlehammer Tale challenge ( A Middlehammer Tale – The Narrative Army Builder ) will start with the Dwarfs.

20 Norse Dwarf Warriors with hand-weapons and shields

20 Imperial Dwarf Crossbow allies

10 Norse Dwarf Warriors with spears and shields

Possibly 10 Slayers/Beserkers

8   Mountaineer Scouts

Gorrin Carak - Norse Dwarf Minor Hero

Zagaz Gorm-Trommchuf - Ancient Dwarf Wizard.

I'm doing lots of artwork for the project too. Which is a lot to do. But I'll speak to you soon. Health allowing. Photos of (most of) the bare metal or primed minis below.




Tuesday, 1 February 2022

EYES!...MY EYES! (Happy little trees)


I always do my best to look after my eyesight. As a part-time artist and a keen hobbyist I consider it kind of vital to do so. I've also been short-sighted since I was about fourteen years old, and have worn contact lenses since my very early 20s.

In one of my last optician visits before the arrival of the plague - my optician told me:

"Your prescription has decreased in both eyes..."

Brilliant I thought, my eyesight is getting better.

Of course, these people can't ever give you good news - "You're going long-sighted - we'll monitor this on your next visit in six months time..."

Six months later we were in lockdown, eyes weren't exempted from lockdown and I wasn't able to visit my optician for eighteen months or so.

It was while painting miniatures about six months ago or slightly more, that I started to notice I was struggling to focus and see detail properly. My dad has worn a magnifier for hobby stuff for years, and he suggested I get one. So I got one from Amazon for £14, free next day delivery and with five different lenses.

It's been a bit of a game changer.

Rewind to 1987 and my dad comes home from work with a copy of "Heroes for Wargames" by Stewart Parkinson, a book I still cherish with lots of artwork, concept art and painted miniatures.

Cover Art by Melvyn Grant

Speaking to Bryan Ansell one "Lead of Winter" he chuckled at seeing the book, stating that everyone had forgotten that the photographer was coming in that day and nobody had prepared any miniatures to be photographed. He described people running around getting minis ready, sending people home to get models from their own collections or just models off their own work desk.

The book has no photo credits and no painting credits either - so I can't give them. But I did marvel at many of the free-handed shields. One of my favourites was a dwarf with a beautiful hand-painted mountain on a tiny dwarf shield. 

As I mentioned in a previous post about the "Doughty Dozen" I spent some time collecting up pre-slotta dwarfs on the cheap on Ebay back when it seemed only a couple of us (mentioning no names...Harry...Dave...) were collecting them.

So I dug out the mini from the book and decided to use it to test if I could achieve something decent as a tribute to the shield using the new magnifier.

I hope I've done it justice. Mainly with Humbrol but with some oils plus Scale75 and Vallejo used on the mini too.

Now on to the Old World Army Challenge 2022. May I live to the end of it!      

Tuesday, 28 December 2021


Nobody had a great lockdown(s) I'm guessing.

I'm kind of surprised I'm still alive to be honest.

But I was looking for a game I could play with my brother, I felt that he probably had a worse few lockdowns than me despite the fact that he wasn't as totally alone as I was.

He's always liked his Westerns, so I figured he'd like a game based on Hollywood gunfights.

I picked up the starter set of Dead Man's hand which contained x2 seven man gangs, a building, the rules, the card deck and all the tokens needed to play. And at a silly reasonable price.

I love the rules and I have painted up x5 dudes from each of the Outlaw (Black) and Lawmen (Red) gangs.

Outlaws - Played with the Spades Suit

Lawmen - Played with the Hearts Suit

There is absolutely no reason to line the bases with black and red in the way that I've done. I just thought that with everyone looking like a drab western character, that colour-coded bases would help with identifying gang allegiance. YMMV.

The colours are based on card suits, the game mechanics are based around a normal card deck (with special rules on each) - whereby on activation only the number / value on your card is important - and the cards in your "Dead Man's Hand" (usually five) which can be laid to interrupt your opponent with the special rules. These can cause his activated character to stumble, have his gun  jam or allow you to have a free snapshot etc. You get the idea.

The real expense is the buildings. Cheaper ones are available but I've bought and assembled a bunch of the 4Ground ones. 

And when I say "I" what I really mean is that my dad made all the ones of note.

I've had a few practice games at home but I know I'm going to love this game.

More gangs on the way,

Stay tuned my reader in Slough. 

Gunned Down From Behind by a Cur!

Wednesday, 22 December 2021

I'll Take My Dwarf Medium Rare - To Go Please


It’s been a while so hello and apologies to both of my readers.

This is a tale of toy soldiers, jigsaw puzzles, state sponsored murder, early Games Workshop marketing and my teeny, tiny pre-slotta, Perry Dwarf obsession.

In 1984 something new happened – to Citadel Miniatures at least.

The blister pack.

In years to come this miracle of packaging would come to create several new religions. Those who worshipped the card, those who believed that keeping stuff imprisoned inside the blister somehow increased the value of something above something that wasn’t inside a blister, and of course – the YouTube Evangelist that films himself opening the blister.

But in 1984, it was better. The blister card had a “counter” printed on the back which you could cut out and collect. It was basically a small jigsaw puzzle – if you completed a picture of a whole model you could send off to Citadel in Eastwood and get the corresponding miniature for the cost of an S.A.E.

The 1984 Citadel Compendium Advert - Courtesy and with permission of Stuff of Legends

For international readers – an S.A.E. is a “Self-Addressed Envelope” which would need to be stamped. In 1984 the cost of a large letter was 17 and a half pence – wow. You could get 35 flying saucers or nearly four packs of KP Outer Spacers for that.

As a self-confessed Dwarf fanatic I have always wanted as many of the Citadel ones as possible. Being given the “Heroes for Wargames” book as a kid by my dad meant I wanted to one day find the pre-slotta dwarfs therein. Most of which I have. The ones I like at least.

 There are many dwarfs that are rare but that I consider not worth the asking price (see Chardz, Ozrim). But the counter collect dwarf – well, Ozrim Chardz you could at least get from mail order, the counter collect dwarf was (supposedly) never available apart from counter collect.

I asked the Oldhammer Community for painted examples. And it seemed like two people in the world had one. One was a chap in Spain, the other was our very own Orclord.

The example from Stuff of Legends - used with permission

Just two in the world?

That sounds like the rarest dwarf out there…


Fast Forward to April, 2020.

The British Government, knowingly releases people from hospitals rife with Covid into UK care homes. Including the one in which my Grandmother lived.

Survived the Blitz, World War 2, the 60s, the Cold War – but she didn’t stand a chance faced with  the indifference of an administration whose main concern is supporting corruption while sat on the decking of No. 10 drinking tax-payer funded £200 bottles of wine.

As a kid, my Nan and Grandad always bought us great presents. Splurging money on Star Wars ships and Subbuteo sets. We were exceptionally lucky kids with our parents and grandparents.

My hobby Brain suggested that getting the counter collect dwarf on Ebay would be “what they would have wanted” – for me to have as Christmas present from them last year.

So I bought one.

Yeah I paid a person I usually consider a “scalper”, but there was just no other way to get one. To be fair he sent it fully insured with a personal, hand-written letter of thanks. To which I politely replied the purchase was a one off (from him).

I won’t discuss the painting too much.

It’s a hard mini to tackle.

There’s a lot of superfluous detail from buckles all over his tunic, to a very detailed helmet and a very big Yosemite Sam beard.

I gave it a shot.

Probably not my best. But a shot nonetheless.

Merry Christmas Nan. Merry Christmas Grandad (thanks for the whole Royal Marine Commando stuff).

I’ll see you soon.

Wednesday, 16 December 2020


 I don't know if John Blanche ever had this problem. Oldhammeridiots chasing him around Facebook commenting:




As a kid I had quite a few artists I took inspiration from, mainly from comics and illustrators. Way before I even found toy soldiers - I was reading on a monthly basis, the old British mini comic STARBLAZER and being amazed by the ridiculous art of Argentinian genius Enrique Alcatena.

Thursday night was my favourite night of the week as a kid. Without jumping through my ages too much - in the UK Wednesday afternoon (for some reason) shops closed at lunchtime. On a Thursday shops closed at 8pm. My dad would come home from his job at the airport, he'd pick up my mum, brother and myself and we'd do our weekly food shop at Budgens or Sainsburys in Uxbridge. My brother and I would fight over who would get to launch ourselves standing on the back of the shopping trolley like Ben Hur before we got excited about what came next. The Library.

After we'd chosen our books with the best art we'd pick up jar sweets from the sweet shop and a takeaway of either fish and chips or fried chicken and chips.

I used to borrow all kind of comics and art books and all in good time the Fighting Fantasy books which were some of the most popular books in our three local libraries.

One Thursday I found two Chess books. Both books had really awesome artwork. One in an "Asterix the Gaul" kid of way and the other in beautiful fantasy art. The former is lost to me in the mists of time, the latter was published in 1980 by Octopus Publishing in the UK, it was Called LET'S PLAY CHESS written by Anthony Hansford and illustrated by another genius. 

John Bolton.

So when I started writing a blog which I update almost, nearly and sometimes twice a year. I used John's artwork to base my art and design on.

You don't need to tell me,

John Blanche had seen the Mona Lisa before he painted that banner.

Just like I'd seen the artwork of one of the UK's most famous illustrators and comic book artists before I based my background and header on it.

The inside cover had a great battlescene in it. My oldhammer version is the wallpaper on this blog and can be found in the Gallery.

Go and check out Bolton's work, and Alcatena's while you're at it. 

You'll thank me for it.

It's a better use of your time that grassing me up to the Zuck because you're a pussy who collapsed into sorrow because I painted a Chaos banner with a bad-haired politician's profile on it and your sycophantic hardon softened.

Some more great John Bolton Art from the Chess Book!

NOTE: The real John Bolton has no connection to any "perfect phone calls" to Ukraine nor does he claim to have an understanding of Latin nor bad hair. Any similarities to persons alive or dead are bigly coincidental. Lots of people are saying it. By a lot.