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Howdah you like these?

11 Sep

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they develop a longing to game the Battle of Pelennor Fields- in my case I have wanted to ever since reading a Warhammer scenario for it in White Dwarf in the mid-1980s.

With that in mind, we decided to have a go at creating some Oliphaunts / Mumakil.

DSCF4102The smallest of ours are much larger than real elephants but nowhere near as big as the ones in the Lord of the Rings films or the nice-but-jolly-expensive Games Workshop models.

Our elephants are a mixture of Britains (as recommended in the aforementioned WD article), Early Learning Centre and cheap ‘made in China’ toys.

We made two varieties- heavy and light. The former are armoured- they have PVA glue soaked hessian fabric draped over them which has then been painted silver (when dry!)
The towers on top are made from paper coffee cupsDSCF4103

The light variety have small platforms made from chopped up wooden coffee stirrers mounted on a base of some kind of modelling putty. We used Fimo (don’t put the elephant in the oven when hardening it- for obvious reasons) but Milliput or green stuff would work fine..

The spiky sticky-up bits are the plastic sticks from a game of Ker-Plunk. If you can’t get Ker-Plunk, try Tumbling Monkeys instead (and you can use the monkeys themselves in a variety of ways!)DSCF4104

Now, the Haradrim types a-shootin’ and a-spearin’ from the top of the heffalumps are mostly 28mm El Cid range from Hat Industrie.

They are nice figures and were dirt cheap- £4.75 for a box of 32 and being sold off in our local (now defunct) toyshop on a buy one, get one half-price deal.


Chariots on the cheap

11 Sep

This is a lovely metal Warrior Miniatures Celt chariot. They are around a fiver- mine was a birthday present, my precious. Nice figures and nice horses too.


I like chariots so decided to make a few more.

Here they are.


The early ones have solid wheels (round headed plastic map pins) but they look better with spoked wheels.


I know Irregular Miniatures do a suitable, and suitably cheap, pack of wheels but I opted for a different method. I bought a Prince August 25mm Napoleonic cannon mould and used the wheels produced from that (they need a fair bit of trimming and filing and the mould itself needed a little cutting to ensure all the spokes were cast.)

The base of the chariots are card squares with coffee stirrer planks. And for the sides we opted for a bit of variety using plastic coffee stirrers of different kinds (including one with a nice wicker affect) the rounded ends of wooden lolly sticks (two side by side) or the round ends of medical tongue depressors- double fatness lolly sticks.

The bit that joins to the horses was made using bits of wire bent to the right shape and then covered in Green Stuff.

For horses, I went back to Prince August and cast some from the 25mm Fantasy Horse and Rider mould.

Bitten by the chariot bug, I also made a Narnian White Witch version pulled by plastic polar bears- made of coffee cup corrugated card and spiky ends of cocktail sticks.
And an OZ version. Princess Ozma’s royal chariot is a plastic bottle top pulled by a Hungry Tiger and a Cowardly Lion.



Continuing the Oz theme, here are Dorothy and the Wizard in a horse drawn buggy which started like as the sort of plastic clip you get on a printer ink cartridge.

A nice little haul…

3 Mar

The Car Boot Sale season isn’t yet in full swing but I did manage to pick up a few nice items this morning:

First up, a copy of the Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets trivia game. This comes with 8 plastic figures riding broomsticks, three balls with wings (useful for making winged monkeys amongst other things!) and an 8 sided dice. Not bad for a quid.



I also managed to track down a copy of the Cluedo game with painted miniatures. Here they are:


Ten figures- they are approximately 40mm in height. I am thinking about converting the three women on the left to be ‘Golden Compass’ witches. The rest may well be used as parents or Hogwarts tutors in a Harry Potter battlegame. Watch this space.


Here we have a cactus and a Gormiti figure. The nice chap (Polish, I think) wanted to give these to us for free but i gave him 20p in the end!

And finally, a box of 25mm modern soldiers for 50p. They have separate bases and are articulated at the waist (they separate into two halves). The poses are a bit weird but I think they may make suitable conversion fodder or be a good source of arms, legs and heads!


Kids from the green stuff

10 Feb

Considering how many fantasy books have children as their protagonists, it is surprising how few suitable miniatures there are on the market.

Looking for figures to use for the children in the Narnia books, the Dark Materials trilogy, any of Alan Garner or Lloyd Alexander or Susan Cooper’s works and you could be in difficulty.

So, I decided to try to do a few of my own. These are the ‘greens’ – works in progress for Susan and Colin from the Weirdstone of Brisingamen.

Both are made from Ebob halfling armatures.

I’ll post another pic when I get them painted.


Festive fun!

10 Feb

father xmasThis is a Father Christmas model we made a while ago. The sleigh is made from a large seedpod found in a bowl of pot pourri! The runners are coffee stirrers. Presents are made of Fimo or Milliput.

It took years of scouring boot sales to assemble eight plastic reindeer!

And FC himself was originally a plastic chauffeur from a toy car.

It comes out every year for our ever changing and expanding Xmas table display.

The snowmen were made in two batches, a couple of years apart- one lot in Fimo one lot in cheap epoxy putty from Poundland. However, the one at the front is a plastic figure from a set of tacky Xmas earrings.


The Owl Service

10 Feb

Owls are very useful in fantasy games- from Harry Potter to Narnia (9 minutes 20- he’s a hoot!).

Ours were scratchbuilt from Milliput with wings coming from the oversized headgear of a plastic Dwarf.

We then made a mould from silicone rubber and cast a few in white metal…


Dungeons and Dragons

9 Feb

Remember the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon from the early 1980s?

Byron has the DVD boxed set and he loves these.

At Xmas, Silverleaf, the itinerant Elf who visits these parts every Xmas Eve and leaves presents, gave him a set of hand made figures of the main D&D characters.



I tracked down Silverleaf in his icy lair at the North Pole and can now reveal his secrets:

The Venger figure is the Dark Lord from Key To The Kingdom game, he needs painting.

Dungeonmaster is converted from a Prince August home-cast goblin.

Uni the Unicorn is a plastic Shetland Pony with a green stuff horn!

Bobby the Barbarian started life as an Ebob Miniatures basic Halfling armature- we added clothing, hair, helmet etc from green stuff.

The Thief started life as a Sarah Jane Smith from the Dr Who collectible miniatures.

The Cavalier was, I think, from the vintage Garrison Miniatures Star Wars range (car boot sale purchase)- Han Solo. Tunic made of putty. Large plastic shield from the bits box.

The Ranger, Hank, was originally a blue hard plastic elf with enormous ears from an old TSR D&D boxed set. Rubbish sculpt but a bit of putty to cover the ears with hair and a ten minute paint job and he looks OK.

The Acrobat started out as an EM4 Miniatures plastic multi-part ganger model. The arms are putty, as is the fur bikini and boots.

Finally, the magician was a Harry Potter mini figure- soft plastic, pre-painted. His hat and clothing were made from green stuff.