Friday, May 30, 2014

Warhammer Fantasy Dogs of War - Lumpin Croop

Lumpin Croop and The Fighting Cocks
Today we throw the unmistakable halfling troop of Lumpin Croop and his Fighting Cocks at you. A few years back we talked about The Dogs of War for Warhammer Fantasy. They were my army of choice when you could field the entire lot and not just a regiment here or there. We shared a couple Regiments of Renown, Beorg Bearstruck and the Bearmen of Urslo and Voland's Venators! We even showed you how to build your own Ruglud's Armoured Orcs

Lumpin Croop and The Fighting Cocks
The figures themselves are what caught my attention in years gone by. The many details are wonderfully added to these half-pint heroes.

Lumpin Croop and The Fighting Cocks
Starting with Lumpin himself, he's just overflowing with extras like the loaf of bread, bottle of wine and his cook pot helmet.

Lumpin Croop and The Fighting Cocks
The best part is his Dart Board Shield taken from the "Old Pig and Bucket" inn where the Fighting Cocks got their start.

Lumpin Croop and The Fighting Cocks
The company standard bearer is Ned Hamfist who proudly carries the weather vane from the same establishment. Lumpin and his halflings use the vane as their rally point along with their battle cry “Hurray! Hurray! The Moot! The Moot!”

Lumpin Croop and The Fighting Cocks
This stems from an occasion in a particularly nasty battle when Lumpin Croop attempted to give his troops new orders. What he actually shouted was, “Run away! Run away… to the Moot… to the Moot!” but his words were lost upon the wind and his lads charged ferociously upon the enemy, screaming their now instantly recognizable battle-cry.

Lumpin Croop and The Fighting Cocks
Every figure is replete with a bevy of miscellaneous items to gaze upon. The halflings are stuffed with sacks and satchels. They even carry their cookware and mugs.

Lumpin Croop and The Fighting Cocks
Extra bundles of arrows, firewood, backpacks bottles and trusty pipes stuck in the brim of a few hats can all be found.

Lumpin Croop and The Fighting Cocks
The Fighting Cocks defend a hamlet
The story of Lumpin goes something like this: Young Lumpin was forced to work long hours in the family forge. His grandfather set him to arduous and demeaning tasks such as poking the fire and straightening horseshoes. Not surprisingly Lumpin ran away from home as soon as he could. By this time he had already fallen into a life of pick-pocketing and bunk-artistry. These were talents doubtlessly inherited from his father along with his passion for root vegetables.

Lumpin Croop became a poacher. His extraordinarily acute night vision proved a great advantage on dark, moonless evenings. Lumpin soon learned to support himself from the surrounding farms and estates. This was an annoyance to the many gamekeepers who found their game stocks and reputations plummeting fast.

Lumpin Croop and The Fighting Cocks
Early morning defense of a castle
One day Lumpin happened to visit the Old Pig and Bucket, a shady hostelry in the otherwise attractive village of Beggar’s End. The inn’s landlord, Raggo Barrelgut, had been an eager buyer of poached rabbit in the past. On this occasion, however, rabbit pie was noticeably absent from the menu. Instead, the snug was brimming with angry gamekeepers led by the notoriously crazed Ned Hamfist. The gamekeepers were all armed with cudgels. Raggo was hiding in a corner looking embarrassed and a bit frightened.

Anticipating a sound beating, Lumpin immediately launched into a long and complicated story. Once he had begun he soon found himself spinning a yarn of excitement, treasure and vast banquets waiting to be had in the lands over the mountains. The gamekeepers were taken aback by the young poacher’s tirade and soon put all thoughts of vengeance aside. Eagerly they found themselves signing up to join Lumpin in his bright and exciting quest to the land of Tilea. Ned Hamfist bought drinks to toast their bold venture and some bright spark came up with a name for their band – Lumpin Croop’s Fighting Cocks.

Lumpin Croop and The Fighting CocksFrom that day to this, Lumpin has tried very hard to give the Fighting cocks the slip. However, the gamekeepers are even better trackers than Lumpin and always manage to find him and insist that he takes them along on his adventure. Lumpin’s regular attempts to escape are thought to be ‘training exercises’ by his admirers. Similarly, his efforts to misdirect the Fighting Cocks away from Tilea and any chance of fighting are considered to be ‘initiative tests’. Unfortunately for Lumpin, the Fighting Cocks are extraordinarily good at direction finding, being experts at navigating their way around quietly in the dark. Their faith in Lumpin and their belief in his adventure is unshaken.

The truth is that Lukpin and the Fighting Cocks are really rather good. All the ‘training exercises’ and ‘initiative test’ have honed their natural skills to a point where they are expert trackers and woodsmen. Their marksmanship is, as you would expect, second to none. Their woodsman’s clothing and pelt-caps adorned with feathers are memorable to say the least.

Lumpin Croop and The Fighting Cocks
Lumpin Croop leading his men on to fame and riches!
Thanks to several remarkable battles, they have acquired a well-deserved reputation, and their services are now in great demand. On one occasion Lumpin was credited with saving an entire army. An enemy force had worked its way behind the army’s lines and was preparing to launch a devastating attack. At the same moment Lumpin happened to be leading the Fighting Cocks directly away from the sound of fighting. Unknown to him, his route was taking the Halflings straight towards the encircling enemy. In the ensuing clash the Fighting Cocks fought with great enthusiasm and the enemy was soon scattered. Everyone was very impressed by Lumpins foresight, not the least Lumpin himself, and his merry men were showered with offers of employment.

Indeed, money has started to flow into the band’s coffers, and Lumpin’s impromptu tale of fame and riches is starting to come true. His troops believe in him utterly and take great pride in their leader’s growing reputation. Lumpin himself is learning to live with his sudden change of fortune. He is becoming unexpectedly fond of the Fighting Cocks. Such is his dedication that even on the eve of battle he can be found in his tent working hard on devising new ‘training exercises’.

So, Have a Great Battle!
The Old Crow

Thursday, May 15, 2014

New Release: Warhammer Wood Elves Durthu Treeman and More from Games Workshop

More models rolling out from Games Workshop, this time Wood Elves including a new Durthu Treeman. Here he is, now armed with a sword. Not sure how I like the new model... looks a bit to much like a gnarled skeleton than a treeman. Let us know what you think of him.

So a little of the "new" background, Durthu is an Elder of Athel Loren, an ancient Treeman who was once a healer and teacher. However, centuries of destruction, death and carnage has taken its toll on his valiant spirit. Durthu’s once benevolent nature has now been replaced by an abiding madness.

As we mentioned, Durthu is armed with a sword and claw. His ancient and gnarled branches are decorated with the skulls of those unfortunate enough to happen upon the Elder as they trespassed in his forest.

Standing over 6 inches tall, Durthu can be customised by adding ethereal spite-creatures to his base, branches or roots. There are eight fantastical little spites in this kit to choose from.

The model kit makes one of three miniatures: the Treeman, the Treeman Ancient or the special character Durthu. Each variant has a unique pose, a different head and it’s own weaponry options.
This was Durthu back when we started playing Warhammer Fantasy, only six pieces to the kit!! Treemen, Durthu included, were living old trees who were in the forest of Loren long before the elves showed up. When they got mad, they smashed things, no sword needed.

The Treeman Ancients are the oldest of all the Treemen of Athel Loren, and it is their magic that nurtures and shapes the forest’s growth. Slow to anger, they only answer the call to war when times are dire, when their leadership can rouse the forest of Athel Loren to its full fighting fury.

Other new models are the Wildwood Rangers and Eternal Guard. The single set provides all the components needed to make 10 figures armed with double headed Astri spears and shields or the formidable glaives. You can also make make a command group.

The ever-vigilant Wildwood Rangers patrol the waystone borders of the Wildwood - the home of the most dangerous and cruel of the forest spirits. When the waystone fences are breached, the Rangers hold back the tide of dark spirits with their formidable glaives.

The Eternal Guard are the wardens of Athel Loren. During the frozen winter months when the forest spirits slumber the Eternal Guard protect the sacred groves and glades from all invaders. Every Wood Elf Lord is expected to keep a company of Eternal Guard to serve as bodyguards. These warriors are selected from those of noble birth that have proven themselves on the field of battle.

Let us know what you think and ..
Have a Great Battle,
The Old Crow

Monday, May 12, 2014

Projects On The Workbench - Dreaming Big!!

Life is always crazy and thus impedes the crafting of armies and miniature paraphernalia. There is no exception here at Battleground Hobbies. We have many a project either dreamed up, planned or underway.

First, there is another building to go with the Half Timber Houses we created during the Miniature Building Class. There is also a Tower and Gatehouse combo planned too.

Then we have some British Napoleonic era cannons started...

A Warhammer 40k Space Marine army is also on the table. We picked up some Dreadnoughts and a squad of marines off eBay and started cutting. We'll be modifying these guys and adding another vehicle of sorts.

Then we have some terrain underway. This will be part of a painting tutorial in the near future.

Lastly, we were able to recycle a large printer and came up with this batch of lovely components for an In Her Majesty's Name steampunk project.

One, some or all of these should wind up here on the blog! So til then...
Have a Great Battle,
The Old Crow

Thursday, May 8, 2014

North Star Kadesh - New Release of 28mm Biblical Miniature Line

North Star Kadesh
North Star Miniatures is about to launch a new range of 28mm metal figures titled North Star Kadesh. This will be a line of figures you can use to refight the 1274BC Battle of Kadesh.

North Star Kadesh Egyptians
The first releases are the New Kingdom Egyptians and Sea Peoples, and will be followed by Hittites and Allies.This will launch into a wider 'Biblical' range and the figures are being sculpted by North Star's staff designer, Steve Saleh.

North Star Kadesh Egyptians Chariot
The impetus for the range was a combination of Steve's enthusiasm for the period, and North Stars association with masters of laser-cut MDF, 4Ground. 4Ground produced a "Pharaoh's Chariot" kit in MDF for North Stars "Of Gods and Mortals" figures to go with Osprey Publshing's game.

The model was too good for just one box set, thus they began thinking about a wider range. So the New Kingdom Egyptian chariots in the North Star Kadesh range are laser-cut MDF kits.

Unlike this image of the Sea Peoples, the range is not all photographed as yet. Check out the May issue of Wargames Illustrated, (# 319), there is an interview with North Star's designer, Steve Saleh.

In it, he talks about himself, his work and influences, but also gives you a step-by-step guide to figure design. The figure he uses in this guide is the new Egyptian Standard Bearer pictured here.

The June 2014 issue 320, will include an article written by North Star's staff painter Kev Dallimore on painting the same model, as shown in the photo above.

Have A Great Battle!
The Old Crow