So today I finished the treeman / ent or as the little lad likes to call it “my stick man” I’ve been working on recently. The wife kindly got me this…Stick Man
Treasure hunting is probably my greatest gift, and my greatest burden. Sometimes I find long lost books that are hard to track (well, not too hard if you look at places like eBay. For a steep price though). Other times I’m in the rain at a bargain sale with nothing to take back. But the hot dogs make up my day!
This year was a dry year with only a few findings, my usual carboot source hasn’t been at the sales for a long time now. Another stall I saw in the summer last year who had a wealth of old White Dwarfs and classic supplement books weren’t there this year. Only place I could find my classic Warhammer items were from a charity bookshop. So far it’s stocked a few of classic stuff like the original Rouge Trader book (I didn’t get that as it costed £40!!!), codex’s, novels and even some classic graphic novels.
The later half of this year had been more successful thanks to my regular visit to my local shop. I brought some really good stuff.
But nothing compared to what I found a week before Christmas.
Aye, the Bretonnia army book. This was my second encounter with this book face to face as I saw the same book way back when I got a copy of the Dwarf army book.
I’ve got a Bretonnia army built on historical miniatures that I’ve substituted for units within the army. This book will be very handy for playing my Bretonnia faction without relying on an online PDF, although there are a few units that I can’t have access to that are in the second Bretonnia army book. But if I’m lucky I might find a physical copy of that edition for Bretonnia.
Currently I’ve worked out a list that’s around 1,500pt, which is a fairly decent sized army to play with. It’s roughly consists of:
- Bretonnia Lord on Warhorse
- 20x Men at Arms
- 20x Men at Arms
- 9x Knights of the Realm
- 10x Bowmen
- 10x Bowmen
- 1x Gryphon (substitute rules for Owlbear model)
It’s a small list, but it’s just enough for a good game of knightly fun. I’ve only got to paint two units of Bowmem for this project, and then that’s it for the project until I can find more historical miniatures that fit the scale of my army models.
I’m hoping to play some classic Warhammer next year with my dad using 1,000pt, this will be our first rank and file game (not my first, but my first in a long time). Dark Elves vs Bretonnia, I can almost see a knightly clash of Cold Ones against the steeds of Knightly deeds.
Oh and I found this too a few months ago…..
My Crimson Fists and Black Templars are deemed unworthy by this book supposedly. This books only worth keeping for historical purposes. At least the author did a better job for the Dark Elves 8th edition army book.
That’s it for 2019 treasure hunting! It’s been a good year despite the dry months of empty handed searches. I’m really looking forward to finding more stuff in 2020!
Until next time,
This year was my biggest reading challenge to date as I made myself a goal to read more books than I read last year. If I can remember my current reading checklist I’ve read about 20+ books, although I wanted to do a top ten list to make this post not too long.
So here’s my top ten books of 2019, enjoy!
10) Legacy of Dorn by Mike Lee
This book was a nice book to read at the start of 2019 to inspire me to build my Primaris Crimson Fists. The story takes place during the Rynn’s World War in the perspective of a few surviving Space marines who have to survive alongside surviving Rynn’s Guard troopers.
A very intense and engaging story of survival and struggles to keep order in check, this story explores what it means to be a son of Dorn, how a Space marine deals with loss and regret and how the Crimson Fists work alongside imperial Guardsmen.
9) Nagash The Undying King by Josh Reynolds
This AoS novel covers the events after Nagash’s defeat by the blade of Archaon, telling the tale of a tribe called the Rictus Tribe who have become the centre stage of the story’s plot. It’s an insightful look into who worships Nagash and how they’ve had to deal with the Great Necromancers silence after his defeat.
A nice novel to read, I’d say it’s one of the better AoS books out there with tons of interesting lore and themes that hobbyist might like to create. A noble army of Maggotkin of Nurgle Knights, a clan called the Rictus Clan who worship Nagash and even a skeleton Giant makes an appearance too! (Make a warscroll of that please GW).
Overall if your a fan of Nagash or just an avid fan of AoS and want to know more about Shyish during the Age of Chaos, this book is certainly a must to connect the dots for the Malign Portents and the Necroquake.
8) The Land Leviathan by Micheal Moorcock
Reading outside of Black Library books, I’ve been reading some Micheal Moorcock fiction. Whilst I’ve never read the first book in the series, the second book, The Land Leviathan is an amazing science fiction story about an alternate future where western society is destroyed as an African superpower takes over the world.
It’s a great story as it explains how an inventor solved world hunger with technologies that excelled the living standards for poor people. In a nutshell, society got too greedy and started a nuclear war thanks to the inventors own Warmachine creations. Western society goes downhill as the war destroys pretty much every governing nations.
But, whilst the western world is nearly wiped out, Africa rises up and uses the remaining technology to take over the world.
I won’t spoil the whole story, but there’s a lot of questions to ask, and the themes that run through this story. If you like science fiction that has a completely different style of presenting an alternative timeline, The Land Leviathan is worth read.
7) The Corum Trilogy: The Knight of the Sword by Micheal Moorcock
Another Micheal Moorcock book that I’ve added to my list due to its significance of being my favourite fantasy story that’s not GW related.
The Knight of the Sword is a fantasy story that follows the first book in Corum’s adventures, the last of his kind, Corum goes in search of revenge to destroy the first Chaos god of the Sword rulers. This book has some interesting lore about the universe that this story is set in, and how it connects to the grander scale of the multiverse.
6) The Fog by James Herbert
The latest book I’ve read from the master of horror writing by the late James Herbert. The story follows the events of an unnatural earthquake that opened a fissure in a small village, releasing a fog like cloud into the sky.
What follows is a string of physiological horror stories that lead up to a growing rise of murders and strange behaviour from those affected by the fog.
This is quite a good book to read that explores the concept of how everyone can be turned into the worst aspects of themselves. Hatred, love, regret, fear and deepest emotions can be triggered by the fogs presence.
5) A Knight and his Horse by Ewart Oakshot
As a hobby I like researching history that’s mostly a Medieval and the battle of Stalingrad, although I’m not fluent enough to give guided tours on these subjects.
But there’s one book that I really enjoyed reading this year that covered my favourite subject, Knights and Jousting. A Knight and His Horse is a book that explains the history of how cavalry was developed of the centuries, how Knights would be armoured (and their horses) and the types of horses that were used during the Medieval times.
Packed with some interesting illustrations and facts to understand what Knights really did. I don’t know if this book is still reprinted today but I’d highly recommend reading a copy for it’s easy to read guide on Knights.
4) Domain by James Herbert
The third book in The Rats Trilogy, Domain is probably one the most depressing books I’ve read from the trilogy. Set after a nuclear attack devastates London and the rest of the U.K., those that survived live in either well maintained underground fallout shelters or basements to survive.
Unbeknownst to the survivors that something vast and hungry has come to search for the survivors and devour them alive. The giant mutated rats are back, and they now rule the streets of London.
At this point in the series things get very same old as you know well enough what these mutant rats will do if they ever see you. That’s not to say it wasn’t interesting, having it set after a nuclear apocalypse is a great way of changing the narrative.
The short stories within this book highlight just how horrible the apocalypse can be for those that survived, as the rats catch their scent and on mass hunt the survivors down. I can’t spoil much here but be prepared for some really depressing stuff. One the bright side, the short story about a neighbour who built his shelter despite ridicule (and laughed at them in return as he survived the apocalypse) is stuck with a cat. It should have been its own story due to it’s well written humour and horror.
3) Storm of Iron by Graham McNeill
Iron Warriors are one of my favourite traitor legions from the first founding, their Horus Heresy stories have a lot of insight into the legions organisation and the flaws that defined their downfall to Chaos. I was especially pleased with Perterabo’s Primarch novel alongside the short story (in Sons of the Emperor) which fills in more information on Olympia. It was thanks to Angel Exterminatus (by the same Author as Storm of Iron) that I started reading HH books.
Storm of Iron is very much a sequel to Angel Exterminatus that features some of the most intense fighting of swift warfare. The Iron Warriors led by the Warsmith, have come to take down a highly fortified stronghold to find something which even the defenders don’t know about.
I was very impressed with the story and how Graham brought back my favourite Iron Warrior legends like Kroger, Forrix and the Warsmith.
Honsou is my new favourite Iron Warrior just for the sheer badass stuff he does!
2) Honour Guard by Dan Abnett
Whilst I’m still reading the Gaunt’s Ghosts the Saints Omnibus, I do have a favourite book in the collection that I wanted to add to my list. Honour Guard is a great story that continues off from Necropolis (one of my all time favourite Gaunt’s Ghosts book!), which sees the Ghosts and the Verghasties on the holy world where Saint Sabbat herself was rested. After a major error resulted in the destruction of a holy site, Gaunt must lead an honour guard on a mission to recover the remains of Saint Sabbat. A mission that may be his last……
Whilst it wasn’t as good as Necropolis I did enjoy this book for the narrative of a long road journey, a sort of final act of dignity and spiritual journey that Gaunt must take to succeed the mission. Surprisingly there was a lot of good humour especially from Major Rawne’s parts.
When judging the Saints arc I think Honour Guard is probably the best book so far in the omnibus, the others were fine although they didn’t have that quality that the former had. Straight Silver was good but I thought the first half of the story was jarring to read, the second half started to read like a proper Gaunt’s Ghost story. I didn’t like the third book in the series, it just felt like the other books I’ve read before.
1) The Rats by James Herbert
My top book for 2019 is The Rats, a story that’s chilling to the bone reading the most bloody graphic descriptions I’ve ever read. For such a small book with only a 100+ pages, I was captivated by the narrative and disgusted by the horror that the late James Herbert crafted.
This book was his first time publishing books, and that’s saying something for one of his most popular book in his career.
The Rats takes place roughly in the 1970’s, a string of deaths have occurred by hungry giant mutated rats, larger, stronger and hungry for human flesh. The victims are described by their background and what led them to where they are now before their fate is sealed as the Rats kill them alive. You feel connected to the victims, some good, some bad, but you want them to survive no matter what will come next.
I’ve made a few posts about The Rats earlier this year after I’ve found a copy of a Graphic novel, The City. It was by a random chance encounter that would lead me on to discover James Herbert and The Rats Trilogy.
So it was by no doubt that I wanted The Rats to be my top book of 2019.
That’s all for today, check back tomorrow to see what my new post will be for my 12 days of Winter blog posts.
Until next time,
Now for some freaky **** art work I’ve done in celebration of the Fly on the Wall podcast (hosted by Luke and Woz, not the other political podcast one) with their Post Apocalypse special.
So what made me want to do this artwork? Well it was around the time when the series started to build up, after the first appearance of the Butcher I thought I’d do some art for how I’d imagine the series would look like. I left the sketch awhile ago as I had other stuff to do with College and my hobby projects.
It wasn’t until my fan fiction story was mentioned on the podcast that I thought I’d go back to the sketch and do something to celebrate the podcast.
Here’s my sketch which I used as a template for building up my colour layers on the Procreate app. I took a picture of my sketch and added filters to make it sharp in black and white. Then I used the photo in the app and filled any gaps in the artwork in black line brush, which will help me fill drop colours without crossing areas that aren’t supposed to be filled.
Here’s what the basic first layer looked like with a few details done in airbrush for basic details and lighting.
With the Butcher needing more colours and making Luke and Woz look more dirty with the wasteland make. Blisters, blood, scars, sweat and tears of old age and diseases are the marks of what the wasteland has to offer!
looking much more grim and horror now that the Butcher and the hero’s are fitting into the post apocalyptic theme. I decided at this point to add more shading to the Butcher as he looked too visible and less threatening, having him in shadow would really help make him have the mysterious killer visual. As for Luke and Woz I wanted to add more grime to them to have emphasis on the rough life and physical toil that the apocalypse can have on people.
I’ve included a black and white version of the final artwork for the old horror aesthetic.
The final outcome was the best that I felt I could do to my fullest after days of working on this artwork. It’s a long process of building up layers of detail and colour to illustrate a simple artwork. I could’ve gone crazy and added explosions, mutants, zombies and mad max style vehicles. But I wanted to illustrate a basic artwork of the major players of the first arc of the series.
So there you have it, an artwork that I’ve done to celebrate Luke and Woz’s podcast series! Well done chaps!
I would recommend listening to the Post Apocalypse special which is full of content, including interviews, ethical questions, the ongoing story of the post Apocalyptic story and Woz doing an excerpt of my fan fiction story I wrote on my blog. If your new to this whole thing and wondering who or what is this post apocalyptic nonsense, check out episode six or seven of the Fly on the Wall podcast (not the politics one, it’s the one with the cool graffiti artwork of a fly).
Now then, I wonder if I should do that other sketch where the gang gets spooked by a group of killer flesh eating mutated Clowns………
Until next time,
Thought it’d be Hammerstein today? Well the power of Khaos can be deceiving, what’s order when you can jump the cue using magic and mayhem at your disposal?
Todays subject is Deadlock, originally created by Pat Mills for 2000AD comic, he is a wizard anarchist who serves Khaos to spread mayhem throughout the galaxy. Concepts like order, rules and obeying superiors is alien to Deadlock, for he despises such things that stands in his way. He has on occasion been at odds with Hammerstein due to both being polar opposites to each other. Hammerstein is a solider who values loyalty, order, respect, laws, rules and honourable combat. Deadlock on the other hand is an anarchist, he seeks mayhem, freedom, individual choices, power and sacrifices to Khaos.
He’s even got his own series (because he was such a badass), and he’s also met Nemesis the Warlock.
Whilst I couldn’t achieve the brilliant standard that Ken Walker did for the Hellbringer arc (it took him a month to paint six pages worth of story!) I could at least try to paint Deadlock as best as I can.
Next up, this time I will be doing Hammerstein!
Original inked artwork using fine ink pens, ink colour pens, inks and blue glaze.
Photo editing version
Final artwork using Procreate art app
This blog post series is a tribute to 2000AD’s Sci-fi war series, The A.B.C Warriors written by Pat Mills and various artist who have illustrated the team over many decades.
I wanted to try this art project for two reasons, 1) I haven’t done an art project since my Kray Twins art project a year ago, I’m getting rusty from a lack of consistent art work. My break from art is long overdue. 2) I’ve always wanted to try and recreate the A.B.C Warriors ever since I first read them back in 2013, the first work of Pat Mills that I’ve enjoyed reading and got me into reading more of his 2000ad work. I liked how unique each character looked that suited their personality, like Hammerstein for example having a masculine and heroic physic wielding his heavy hammer. The members of the A.B.C Warriors personalities really adds weight to the story, and how each of them has a story to tell (well Blackblood is the least sympathetic bot of the lot).
The artists like Kevin O’Neil, Mike McMahon, Carlos Ezquerra, Simon Bisley, Clint Langley and many more have always made fantastic artworks for the A.B.C Warriors. Whilst the group have had big visual changes of the years stylistically, they still however retain their personalities and design over the past decades. From Bisley’s punk 80’s comic book art to Langley’s blockbuster Sci-Fi digital art, the A.B.C Warriors have a refreshing appeal for every decade and artist interpretation.
Inspired by the original cover art for A.B.C Warriors book one by Mike Mchaon, I wanted to recreate Mongrol in a similar style to Mikes work. I’ve gone for inks as I like the different effects it has when applied. Like the colour ink pens are great for covering big areas in a flat colour, and ink paints to shade areas like shadows and background. Sort of like old comic book art, but using more modern tools for the job.
The photo edit and digital art is used to refine the artwork and add a finishing touch. Hopefully this artwork will be at least a good enough tribute to the brilliant artwork of Mike McMahon.
My next subject is Joe Pineapples, one of the coolest and deadliest members of the A.B.C Warriors. I might do him in the style of Simon Bisley’s Black and White ink work, or try the deep end and go digital art like Clint Langley’s version of Joe.
Until next time!
Back in February I did a post on my 2019 book reading challenge, after last years biggest record of reading books of twelve in total. This year I wanted to beat that record by reading more books, and expand my interests into literature.
So how have I done so far?
Well, I’ve done a lot of reading so far, a lot more faster than I used to read. In fact I’ve noticed how quicker I am at reading books and how I’m more imaginative reading the action/ character developments.
Here’s what I’ve read so far this year.
- The Rats, by James Herbert
- Lair, by James Herbert
- Domain, by James Herbert
- Chacarodons: The Outer Dark, by Robbie Mcniven
- The Horus Heresy: Galaxy in Flames, by Ben Counter
- The Horus Heresy: Crimson Fist, by John French
- Nagash: The Undying King, by Josh Reynolds
- Legacy of Dorn, by Mike Lee
- Elric of Melniboné, by Michael Moorcock
- A knight and his horse, by Ewart Oakshott
Ten books read so far! It’s only month four of twelve and I’m already near over the record mark! I must admit I wasn’t sure if I could read as much book with enough enthusiasm and interest. But I’m actually enjoying reading books now that I’m using instrumental music as background noise when I’m reading, as well as setting daily/weekly goals to read a certain amount of pages.
I’ve still got many more books to read yet before the year is done, I’m now planning on setting a goal of re-reading books I’ve read years ago. This is a fun way of having a new perspective on books that I’ve read before, and learn things that I’ve missed out on my first read.
For example, I’m currently reading Warhammer End Times: Return of Nagash, by Josh Reynolds, which covers the first of five stories in the apocalyptic event that broke the Old World. Last time I read this book was way back in 2014/ 2015, so there’s been enough of a gap since I’ve read it to consider trying it a second read. Oh Mannfred, such an ambitious schemer and a fool you were!
Until next time!
Today I’ve found an old comic book from a comic store, but this isn’t your usual superhero story or even a Judge Dredd story (but I was very close to getting a Judge Dredd comic today!). Rather than buying my usual favourite comic books by 2,000ad, my eye was attracted by another comic that was just barely visible in the stacks. What I found was none other than The City, by James Herbert.
At first glance I thought I’ve found an Alien comic with strange alien, like architecture similar to the space jockey ship interior. However when I pulled it out of the comic stack, I was shocked to see this was actually a post apocalyptic comic book story.
I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t flick through the book to see if I liked it before purchase. It was in a protective pocket and I didn’t want to open it case the shop owner got angry. Anyways, what made me but this over Judge Dredd Yearbook (I think it was 1994?) was the sheer enormity of the front cover with it’s beautiful illustration. The back synopsis whilst very short was also very tempting to take a read.
So I brought this comic book and began to follow the isolation of a travellers journey into the city.
My impressions on the book overall?
The story telling is very limited throughout with only a few texts in each page, describing the journey the Traveller goes on. It’s difficult understanding what the characters goals are as it’s not mentioned until halfway through the story. By then, once it’s revealed that the protagonist is trying to rescue his family in the city, the empathy for the horror that takes place only works for the shock value. Any character building and the relationships is none existent, making you feel like you’ve missed out on those connections.
However, this isn’t to say that this comic book isn’t worth reading (well visually looking since there’s hardly much reading involved) as the art is the books strongest aspect. Ian Miller’s artistic talent is outstanding in the way he illustrates the downfall of the city from the landscape to the people who inhabit it. The buildings are crumbling with contorted structure that look eerie, with a mix of abomination like faces like a nightmare brought to life.
The use of colours is also used to great effect in the way Ian uses a mix of greys, dark blues, blacks and other dull colours to create a morbid and degraded city scape. Contrasting with the blood red sky really impacts the visual presentation of an alien like world, far from what our worlds environment and city scape looks like.
The main protagonist is also designed and coloured in a way as not to be a heroic good guy, or a badass action hero, but a lone man in a tin suit of armour. His humanity is hidden behind the suit disguising his true emotions throughout the first half of the story. He is an alien to the city, for he is a rust orange tin man in contrast to the grey and dull world that he contrasts to. When we do eventually see his true identity in the flesh, even he looks as dead and defeated as the rest of the people that suffer from the post apocalyptic nightmare.
As for James Herbert’s story telling, whilst I’ve mentioned above that there’s a lack story telling, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. These days we get dumped exposition in movies and books that drivel on about too much information, and by the time that’s done you feel bored or just distracted. However, The City gives you hardly any exposition dumps, instead the city and the action tells the story that you can piece together the world you see.
The back synopsis combined with the story makes sense as to what the story is about. It’s not a revolutionary story telling by no means, and it does lack context as to how the apocalyptic war started. There a reason why there’s a lack of information, but I’ll elaborate on that later on.
Overall, I’d recommend giving this a try if your into the illustration story based comic books, the art is worth observing and see the effort that’s been done to illustrate this story’s world. The story can be a downside to the book, it’s not terrible to the point of unreadable, it’s good if your wanting a short story to read.
What I found out afterwards
After reading this comic book, I wanted to find out more about this comic book and its creators. So I did some research and was surprised at what I’ve found, and it made more sense now that I look back on The City.
The City is a loose continuation of James Herbert’s best selling book trilogy series that started with his first book written, The Rats. Now I haven’t read The Rats in full, nor the two sequels from the series, but from what I can gather it’s clear what James had crafted.
The City is the result of what takes place from the trilogy, it’s a visual aftermath of what happen after the apocalypse, the main threat was the Rats. It’s the first and only graphic novel for The Rats book series, and the last story in the franchise.
I’m keen to find the books and read them myself now that I’ve found out more about the fictional world that James had created. If I didn’t pick up The City today, I would never have known about this flawed but beautiful and dark graphic novel.
With that, I’m going to wrap up today’s post and call it a night. Thank you for reading this post, and if you know about James Herbert and Ian Millers works, or The Rats trilogy, share your thoughts below in the comment section.
Until next time!
Originally I was going to dedicate day ten as a gathering of my Sacrosanct Chamber and Nighthaunt models into a photo final. However, plans were changed after I found this softcover comic….
A first edition print by Titanbooks in 1983, Judge Death collects all of the ‘Return of Judge Death’ storyline created by John Wagner and Brian Bolland. This softcover comic collection features Judge Death, a Dark Judge from alternate dimension called Deadworld, who punishes all for their crimes by living, and sentenced to death!
A lot of the imagery in the storyline is iconic not only in the history of Judge Dredd, but also for the Dark Judges who have been a thorn in Dredd side for many years. The first introduction of the Dark Judges is quite horrifying and cool at the same time, as they stand together in a two page spread like they’ve got your attention (almost like a horror film).
My first proper introduction to the Dark Judges was The Dark Judges book one: The Fall of Deadworld, a prequel story that explores the decline and nightmarish world of Deadworld. It’s a fun comic book story which shows your a darker world that’s even worse than Megacity one’s average citizens life. I’m still waiting for book two to be released at my local book shop!
I’m eager to read this story along with the Judge Dread Megazine comics through Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
That’s all for today! I think this year has been a 2,000AD thrill ride finding old comic, and buying new progs for ABC Warriors and Savage storylines. I’m hoping 2019 will be just as good if not better!
Join me tomorrow as we reach the second to last 12 days of Winter post series. Until next time!
The Red moon rises as the Grim cult causes untold damage to the county
During the night on the 18th December, 1999, at 18:37pm, eyewitnesses saw a strange sight as the moon arose in glowing red. At first it was believed just gossip from the locals at the beach, until many eyewitnesses across the county saw the same anomaly.
It’s theorised that it might be climate change that’s causing the earths atmosphere to turn far distant astrological objects red. Caused by a mix of chemical pollutants, the atmosphere is weakened by as of yet unknown substance thats causing a faster rate of climate disorder.
However, other researchers have disproved this theory as earths atmosphere seems to be normal in America, China, Greenland and many other countries. Instead oversea researchers believe it’s just one small area that’s affecting the sky.
Whatever the cause might be, the public have taken this sight with a mix of surprise, curiosity and fear. Recent rise of a small religious group calling themselves the Grim, proclaim this is a prophecy of things to come. They believe the world will end by the first day of 2000, destroyed by mankind’s own sins.
The group has been growing since the 12th May of last year after the Wolds incident, which saw their leader Huston Ferren, 48, display a gathering of followers on the Wolds northern area. He was convicted of modern slavery and acts of cruelty to the helpless, he was jailed for 26 years for acts of pure evil and may likely never see the outside world in his life time.photo taken of graffiti of the Grim cult symbol at the Wolds incident.
But since his imprisonment, his cult religious group have grown vastly with reports of increased violence and property damage by the group. As of last week, the group have been deemed by the authorities as an extremist group, and will be arrested on site by local enforcers of the GJS.
The question that everyone has on their minds right now is when will order be restored and how long will the government take before anarchy ensues?
Written by Garrneth Derrick