Monday, 1 October 2018


I had Vargouilles and Penanggalen mixed up in my head (see what I did there?) but I then watched a movie called 'Mystics in Bali' from 1981 that featured this strange vampire like creature. As I was making Vargouilles anyway I thought I'd make this one at the same time.

Like the Vargouilles, this is basically a head from the bits box stuck on some garden fencing wire and then the wire was wrapped in bits of green stuff to act as various internal organs.

Another cheap miniature ready to use in a future D&D (5e) game.


So I'm a DM for a couple of  D&D games at the moment (v5e). One group of characters found themselves recently in the infamous bowels of Undermountain. Their first encounter? Vargouilles. I didn't have any miniatures at the time so the ever-present goblins were pressed into service. Having never used vargouilles as an encounter before I found them to be unusual and fun so I decided to make some for future encounters.

Now I have a number of ghoulish/zombie/skeletal heads in my bits box, but no small bat wings. To make these I realised that the little squarish clips used to tie loaves of bread were made of plastic, and so could be used to make the wings. I have a feeling that someone has suggested using these before for model making but I can't for the life of me remember who it would have been but I would love to give them credit for this revelation as they are a great, free alternative to buying plastic card - for making small things anyway.

So after making the wings I selected the heads and cut little slots into the sides of them into which were glued the wings. Here's some GW zombie heads from years ago that I used.

Next I attached them to roughly 5cm lengths of garden fencing wire which was glued into the conveniently placed neck holes. I did use a pin vice to drill a bit deeper for some of the heads.

Next was to curl up the bottom ends of the wire so that they could be easily glued to some 20x20 stands using a glue gun.

I then used a little bit of greenstuff to add the odd tentacle and/or rotting tongue, etc and then finally  painted them and finished the bases.

The painting scheme is inspired by this image. I'm pretty happy with them, especially as they cost so little to make.

As a side note I was pronouncing them as var-goo-eels. My father questioned this as the word looked french and so expected the 'll' sound to not be pronounced ie Var-goo-ee. We looked it up in wiki and found it was pronounced slightly different again. Having thought about it for a little while I reckon my Dad was probably right...this time...;-)

Saturday, 28 July 2018


These Dungeons and Dragons monsters were pretty easy to make. I twisted two bits of garden wire around a pencil to make spiral shapes. One end of each I glued into the 20x20mm base after drilling some holes with a pin vice. I then drilled some holes into the backs of two GW plastic skulls I had lying around and glued them to the other ends of the spiral wire shapes. Then I put some greenstuff on the wire to make the trails of flames.

Saturday, 31 March 2018


So I saw a youtube on how to make stirges using plastic leaves and a glue gun. It looked really easy and surprisingly effective. I decided to make some stirges as well but with wire and greenstuff.

The wings were two little blobs of greenstuff with some wire snipped and pushed into them. I shaped the wings roughly into little diamonds and let them set. After they had set I held them between the wings with some needle nose pliers and bent the wings up a bit to look a bit more natural.

At the same time I snipped off roughly 50mm of wire to serve as a stand. I bent about 8mm of each end at 90 degrees to the stand. One end was glued to a 20x20mm cardboard square and with the other I wrapped some greenstuff sausage shapes, leaving a couple of mm poking outside the sausage to serve as the proboscis. I did a bit of prodding with my knife to form a round shape at one end for the head, a gap in the middle for where the wings will be glued, and then dragged the knife down the body from the head to the rear, so that it looked like it had some hair, and let the body hang out past the stand so it looked like the wire stand attached more toward the middle of the body.

I let the body set and then glued the wings to the body. I got two tiny blobs of greenstuff and squashed them onto the head to form eyes and then painted the little beasts.

For a little bit more time and effort than Scotty in the youtube, I had me some stirges ready to swoop on the next lot of low level characters in my game. Looking at them now, I really should have just stuck some pins through some dead flies and be done with it ;-)


 So I finally finished my snakemen. This was a project sitting on my bench every since I saw someone's post about converting GW plastic salmanders into snakemen. I thought I'd make them beefier by using Heroquest and Battlemaster plastic Orcs instead.

These started out by trying to find something to do with the extra greenstuff that I had made up for other projects. With the left over greenstuff I would do something to these figures like add a nose or some mail, etc.

I chopped off their lower halves and replaced them with some curled wire. I then built up the lower bodies with green stuff.  I built separate layers on the backs of the snake bodies which gave them a segmented look - don't know why I did this, maybe I was thinking of worms or maggots?

I also extended and and put hoods on the heroquest coats with greenstuff to give them a cultist feel. The two battlemaster figures ended up being guard types so I fixed their mail armour. On all of them I puttied the faces so they had more snakelike snouts.

I didn't like the chopper on one of the figures - too Orcy - so in some kind of ironic move, I replaced it with a Heroquest Orc curved sword that I must have removed from some other orc miniature at some stage.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

The 2nd Battle for Stone Pass (Part 3)

The main battle is joined.

The characters returned to where the Waterdeep light troops were staked out to the east of the keep. Carlssen was uncharacteristically brave and moved closer to the keep alone and cast his attack spell (lightning bolt). The goblin and ogre hordes, and now two regiments of orcs, began to advance on the characters' postion. They were soon joined by King Khargol himself, and Zindug, the orc shaman, who both appeared from inside the keep. The troop of orc guards (skulkers) at the top of the keep threatened to shoot their bows at anything that moved.

As the orcs advanced on the characters, the extremely blurry but disciplined Waterdeep forces of Captain Baldartin arrived. I decided to randomize where he would appear and his force (of course) appeared to the rear of the orcs to the south west.

Photia the Gnome decided to move north, back into the mountains. He claims it was to lie in wait and attack the ogre flank but Carlssen was secretly wondering if he was simply hiding from the battle.

The orcs advanced on the characters' position to the east and were oblivious to the arrival of Captain Baldartin. The forces of Mud Creek under Captain Darian then arrived. Again randomised, they appeared in the centre of the southern table edge, right on the flank of the orcs (of course).

Captain Baldartin moved his troops as quickly as possible toward the orcs' rear, trying to avoid the impassable huts and disordering terrain of the ogre squat.

Meanwhile, the archers and characters stood on the hill. They awaited the arrival of the ogres who could see their quarry and ignored everything else.

To the west, the goblin horde turned about, ready to face the troop of cavalry threatening to charge them across the disordering terrain and into their rear.

In the east the ogres were all but breathing down the necks of the archers. The wiley Tranky positioned himself on the ogres' flank and turned into a bear (i used the stats of a troll boss but without regenerate) and Photia finally appeared from the shrubbery on the ogres' rear. Ogre sammich coming up?

In the centre the orcs screamed their tradedmark warcry and charged the milita and one of the shieldwall regiments. King Khargol charged directly at Captain Darian while the shaman lurked behind them to bolster the orc spirits with a banechant spell. Captain Baldatirn wove through the orc huts, hoping for a flank charge on the orc regiment.

The orcs on the left flank fought nose to nose with the milita horde but neither gave way. The orc regiment on the right flank was repulsed and was then countercharged by both shieldwall regiments who were fought back by the tough orcs. King Khargol managed to waver Captain Darian but the Captain was healed by the halfling priestess Mistress Felliana, who graced the table in full plate armour and riding a small but viscious pony.

On the right flank (west), the Waterdeep cavalry decided they could not win a charge over broken ground at a phalanx horde of goblin stickers, so they retired.

On the left flank (east), the ogres were charged by Tranky and Photia and, due to the constant rain of arrows from the archers and the flank attacks, they wavered and were unable to countercharge. Carlssen moved into range of the keep and cast more spells at the guards on the roof.

The Orc regiment on the right flank (west) charged the shieldwall and broke it but were in turn charged in the flank by the other shieldwall who destroyed them. The remaining orc regiment and militia staggered back and forth but the milita finally broke and fled allowing the orcs to turn and threaten Captain Darian. It was at this point that the orc morale flagged when they saw King Khargol charge and fail to break Captain Darian. Captain Darian responded and charged King Khargol along with a shieldwall regiment and the King finally fell under their combined weight of arms. Mistress Felliana was there to utter healing prayers on the Captain once more. At the same time the goblins turned back to the centre to try and bolster the orc ranks.

On the left flank (east) the ogres were shot at by the archers but nothing came of it. This allowed the ogres to turn against their main threat, Tranky, who fought in bear form for the rest of the battle. Carlssen saw his opportunity and moved off towards the rear of the orc regiment and prepared his spells.

One more charge from Tranky and Photia and the ogres finally broke and ran. At the same time the last orc regiment was destroyed by a well aimed spell from Carlssen. Zindug the shaman found himself surrounded and was charged by Captain Darian and Captain Baldartin but managed to fight them off. The archers moved up and began to shoot at the guards in the tower who had been previously softened up by Carlssen's spells. Well aimed arrows fell upon the guards, causing them to flee.

Meanwhile in the centre the Waterdeep cavalry finally charged the goblin phalanx frontally and, not surprisingly were repulsed. The goblins rubbed their little green hands with glee and countercharged the cavalry, causing devastating wounds on the cavalry. But then a double 1 was thrown and the goblins were shocked to see, after the dust had settled, that the cavalry still stood their ground!

This left only the shaman and the goblins of the orc forces. Sadly round 6 was already over and there was no round 7 to be had so the game was called. I can only surmise that the goblins and shaman would have been scattered under the combined mass of the remaining human forces and characters.

But even though the shaman ran away, would he be back again another day?

The 2nd battle for Stone Pass (Part 2)

The photos of the battle below are all oriented so that the southern edge of the table is at the top of the picture. This part of the game was more of a preamble to the main battle.

The battlefield at dawn. The troop of light infantry is to the left (east) with the three characters behind the hill. Between their position and the Stone Pass keep is the now empty boar corral. The mountain range is to the north (bottom of the page) and the orc huts, ogre squat and goblin shanty town are arranged along the right side of the table (west).

A troop of Waterdeep Light Infantry snuck up to the east of the orc camp behind a convenient hill. The characters, Tranky, Photia and Carlssen followed them and then the three characters moved further north to the the edge of the mountains. Therese couldn't make it this time as she had to meet up her mates online instead (15 year olds *rolls eyes*)

From behind the hill the characters could spy out the whole encampment. They discovered that a troop of guards (skulkers) was still on top of the partially ruined keep.

The characters found that goblins had recently joined King Khargol's forces and erected a hasty shanty town to the north west of the keep.

The characters snuck westward to the goblin shacks but encountered a troop of skulking orcs hidden in the brush near Stone Pass itself. The skulkers shot their bows but missed everything and the characters soon routed them.

The characters slipped past the goblin shanty town to the west. Tranky decided to sew some mayhem and set the shacks on fire with the use of a Flaming Sphere spell (fireball), represented by the orange D20.

Immediately, a horde of goblins leapt out of the shacks along with a horde of orclings (snotlings, miniature goblins, whatever) and advanced on the characters.

The characters cast spells and shot arrows at the orclings and soon routed them with some lucky dice rolls before the orclings could retaliate. The characters then decided to retreat as the goblin horde advanced, backed up by a horde of ogres and a regiment of orcs who were roused by the goblin/orcling screams and smell of smoke

...concluded in Part 3...