Archive for the ‘The Hobbit’ Category

And so we come to the last of my Tablescapes reviews, and as with the Forgotten city/ruined temple tiles were not what I ordered. But after discussing it with Mr Justin of secret weapon, I agreed to keep the wrong tiles if I could get hold of the 8 tile rolling fields expansion to make a full 4ft x 4ft table (as I was sent a rolling fields expansion). I had offered to pay for the extra set but they were sent tome free of charge as a good will gesture! It does however mean that their are 2 tiles (river corner and small hill) that I do not have.

But at the end of the day I now have

24 Urban tile set (6x4ft)

16 Forgotten City tile set (4x4ft)

16 Rolling Fields tile set (4x4ft)

First thing first the Rolling Fields tiles are the same thickness (6mm) except on edge of the river tiles which is around 12mm for the river banks.

As you can see from these tiles they are not “flat” like the GW Realm Of Battle tiles. They have small mounds/dips, giving a nice “natural” feel to them! Each tile also has rocks/stones scattered about on them. The edges of the tiles are 6mm (except the rivers) and so fit flush together very well.










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Next we have may favourites the rive tiles. Now rivers have been the bane of many wargamers terrain nightmares for many many years! However in recent years resin/plaster models have appeared on the market from various company’s, How ever in my mind they look “false” compared to the real thing! These two tiles however look very “natural”. As I said the banks are around 12mm high, and flow very well into the tile. The river itself is 10mm deep at the ends (the deepest part) but does get shallower at places. As you can see the river bed is detailed with large rocks and stones and with the addition of some realistic water (after its been painted!) will look very good. The tile on the right is a “ford” (a shallow river crossing point) Which is why it is slightly wider and shallower!

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As you can see I have gone for my standard 3x5ft set up using 15 of the tiles (1 river section was left over) and if anything you can see the surface texture better. And as I said no tile is “flat” each one has sections that are raised, as well as lower areas. As with the other tile sets they can be used for a almost any setting from Fantasy right up till the far flung future. And depending on how they are painted, they could represent Grassy plains, Arid deserts, Snowy landscapes, the list just goes on!  DSCN0514I have not got much terrain that can be used with the rolling fields apart for a set of citadel trees and some ruins of osgiliath but they fit in very well. And as you can seethe river bed is very well detailed!

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My final impressions of the tablescapes range are as follows.

The details are great. Nothing looks like it has been “forced” in to place.

Setting it up is quick and simple! Unlike the Gw RoB tiles, it takes less time to connect 4 1×1 tiles together than it does to put 2 RoB tiles together. It can take 15-20mins to set up the RoB tiles where as the TS tiles cane be set up in 5 mins!

Price. TS works out to be the same as the RoB tiles (the GW urban tiles are however £25.00 dearer)

Flexibility. Their is only so much that can be done with the RoB tiles, as you are governed by the 4 tiles with hill sections on (unless you pick up the 2 tile expansion). The TS tiles can be however be moved around to create endless combinations! 

Despite all the cocks that were made, I am pleased with what I got. I can see them getting a lot of use in the coming years.

I will leave you with a picture of Gollum eating a fish by the river………………



So part 2 of my review of the Tablescape tiles is the Forgotten city/ Ruined Temple (during the Kickstarter this theme was going to be Ruined Temple, but it was changed at a later date).

Now the Forgotten city tiles are one of the sets that I did NOT pledge for in the kickstarter, somewhere along the lines wires were crossed and not only did Backerkit get it wrong Mantic (who are fulfilling the shipments) picked the wrong set! However I resolved the issue with Secret weapons Mr Justin, and decided to keep the tiles (rather than go through the hassle of sending them back)

First things first the Forgotten City tiles are thinner (6mm) than the Urban tiles (12mm), not much of a problem it just means that the two cannot be mixed very easy. Their are also 16 unique designs, meaning each tile in my 16 tile set is different.

So first up we have 5 “foundation” (plain) tiles, and as I said above each one is different. Each one is covered in 25mm (1 Inch) flagstones, some of which are raised higher than others. Their is also the odd piece of broken stone here and their as well as piles of dust and debris.

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Next we have 4 tiles with low level debris (broken columns and large chunks of masonry) and again each one is covered with broken/raised flagstones and small piles of rubble/dust.

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Next we have 1 tile with 4 broken tombs and a pile of rubble (top picture). And 2 tiles with skull pits (bottom pictures). Now one of the things that bugged me about GW’s Realm Of Battle tiles were the skulls, on the two sets that I own they have been filled in. However on these tiles they fit in well coupled with the ruined tombs.

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Next we have 2 “raised” tiles, the first one (left picture) is a mound of broken masonry and columns. The second one (right picture) is a raised plinth, it is about 25mm thick at the centre. And would make a great place to put a alter or ruined statue!

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The last two tiles with a low curved wall/steps/seating area, with the same details as the rest of the tiles.

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I took the opportunity to set up the tiles on my dinning room table (5ft x 3ft) the same as I did for the Urban tiles how ever the main stumbling block was terrain (90% of my terrain is Urban!) I did however find 2 sets of the ruins of osgiliath for the Lord Of The Rings game. I also got my Blood Angels and Chaos Daemons out for some more photos.



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As you can see the details are fantastic on the tiles. Considering I had no intentions of purchasing this set, I am glad that both Backerkit and Mantic cocked up my order! Again these tile could be used for anything from Fantasy battles, through to modern day soldiers fighting across a ruined temple, all the way up to the far flung future on some distant planet. My main use for this set will be for Lord Of The Rings/The Hobbit (Moria from LOTR and Ravenhill in The Hobbit)

Next time I will look at the last tile set that I have Rolling fields……………………………………………………


Towards the end of last year Games workshop released the 2nd largest model for the LOTR/Hobbit range (the 1st being Weathertop). Their were only 200 Smaug the dragons available, and within 5 minutes they had all gone!. I like many missed out, within hours a few had appeared on eBay at stupid prices. I was however lucky enough to win one for £295.00 via a second chance offer, the seller however was less than reliable and I had to get my money back via eBay/pay-pal.

It had already been announced by Games Workshop that more copies of Smaug would be made at a later date, and so I was not that worried about missing out 1st time round! Well last week on the 28th of January 2015 I had an email from GW telling me that Smaug was back in stock this time their were 500 copies up for grabs. I quickly ordered the model and sat back and waited.

2 days later Smaug arrived on my door step!

One thing that does need to be pointed out about this model, It is NOT made from Finecast resin. It is made from the same resin that is used by Forge World

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As you can see from the front and back of the box Smaug is huge! (Bilbo is hiding behind the pillar on the base)








Inside the box their was a card cover with a quote on it and underneath wrapped in bubble wrap are all the resin components.


First up we have the base which is larger than the War Mumak. IMG_2326

Then we have the rear legs, pillar and stairs.


Then we have the Talons, Feet, spines, and Bilbo (top row)


Then we have the Neck, Body, and Tail (made up of 3 parts!)

Next are the Wings (these are huge!) IMG_2327

Finally we have Smaug’s head (made up of 3 parts)

Now I have only checked the model over briefly and could only find one mold line which runs down the underside of the belly, and a few small pieces of “flash”. The underside of the base is fairly smooth and will need minimal sanding.  The quality of the model is excellent, the areas of skin that do not have scales or spines on, have a slight texture on them much like the skin of reptiles (you can just about see it on the picture of the legs). To me Smaug is more of a display piece, rather than a gaming piece!

Is it worth the price tag? in my eyes yes. It is a gorgeous model that oozes character. And this will make my third large sized model from FW (Weathertop and the 40k scale Thunderhawk being the other two)

It is however not a model to be tackled with out some experience (if you have never worked with resin read up about it first!)

Their is however a slightly cheaper version out their, from another company in the USA!

Leaving Smaug alone, I have been painting away at my LOTR models. Finishing off some that I started the other year and working my way through some others namely Uruk-Hai and Rohan models.

I will finish off with a quick shot of my painting tray!


This year I am going to try something different!

I have decided that 2015 will be a change of pace for my hobby, over the years I have picked up models from various different company’s. But this year I am going to stick to just a few ranges, they are

All Quite On The Martian Front from Alien Dungeon.

The Hobbit/Lord Of The Rings from Games Workshop.

The rest of my models will end up going on eBay. As I have said before my interest in 40K has dwindled to next to nothing. I have played quite a few games last year with my Blood Angels and Orks, these have been fairly small battles as I have lost my interest in large battles taking hours to play!

Which is one of the reasons I want to get back into The Hobbit/LOTR which is more of a skirmish game now rather than a full blown battle with hundreds of models. And why I have started playing miniature board games (Zombicide,Incursion,Etc.)

I would like to get AQOTMF out to the public and take it to various wargame shows and games clubs, but at the moment with my health that is out of the question, maybe later in the year. Their are rumours of a new games shop opening in town and hopefully I will be able to show off the models in the shop, to generate some interest in the game.

So with this in mind I have set a few goals for the year.

1: Thin out my collection.

2: Concentrate on painting my models.

3: Build up  my terrain collection (for AQOTMF).

The year is going to start of slowly as I have an operation coming up and will be out of action for a few weeks. But once that is out of the way I should be able to steam on with my plans and start thinning out my collection………..

This year has been a mixed bag for my hobby.
I started by rebooting my Tyranids and Chaos Space Marine Iron Warriors, as well as working on some Black Templars space marines and Chaos Daemons. With the closer of my local gaming club, I had to bring my cities of death terrain and realm of battle boards back home. This in turn lead to a reboot of my CoD terrain invoking some new pieces (to replace some that were damaged) and a new lick of paint! This lead to my Blood Angels and Orks taking to the battlefield once again. All quite on the martian front showed up the tail end of June, I assembled quite a bit of my 1st wave but my health took a u-turn and I spent the best part of 2 months in hospital. When I came out I got into Zombicide (one of the old gaming group brought a copy in to hospital for me to try). The last few months have been taken back up with AQOTMF.

Next we move to kick-starter projects, and what can I say? Well in a nut shell of the 14 projects (4 are from this year) I have backed since 2013, only 3 have been fully shipped!
Of the rest well,
Deadzone: waiting on wave 3.
Tablescapes: giant cock up, waiting for re supply.
All Quite: waiting for wave 3..
Incusion: things are progressing slowly.
Mars Attacks: waiting on HB book and missing items.
Shadows of Brinstone: waited 4 months for wave 1, going to be another 12 before I see wave 2.
Aliens vs Predator: looks to be another cock up.
Both zombicide S3 and afterlife have only finished in the last 6 months and so their is nothing to say about them!

movie wise I have only seen 1 film at the cinema, The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies. It was a good film and an excellent finisher for the trilogy, but was let down in two parts (I will not say what parts for those that have not seen it) but hopefully the extended edition will sort them out. Watching TBOFA has made me want to watch the other 2 Hobbit films as well as the LOTRs trilogy (just got return of the king left).

As I said before my health took a turn for the worse in the summer, this in turn has lead to me not working since. This In turn has lead to me “thinning” my collection out via eBay and some of the Facebook groups, I still have along way to go with loads to get rid of!

Looking towards next year I plan to set some goals……………

Back in the summer my health took a turn for the worse, and left me in hospital for a while! No I’ve been out of action since the beginning of July, and was asked (or begged depending on how you look at it) to help out at a company that I used to work for the other week. I explained to them my situation and they said it would be fine for me to do “light” work, and that the other guys in the workshop would help me out if and when I needed it.

All was going well until last week when I dropped a panel on my foot! It ached for a day or so and then was fine. Then yesterday while carrying something else with one of the other guys it slipped out of my hands, and guess what landed on the same foot. This time however my foot has swollen up and is very red! so I have had no alternative but to come home for a few days!

It has however allowed me to catch up on a few things!

First up in my last post I wrote about GW killing of the LOTR and Hobbit ranges. Well I placed a crafty bid on one of the Smaug models that had appeared on eBay, but was outbid in the last second. However the next morning I was offered a second chance offer as the bid had been placed by the buyers son. I had placed my max bid at £295.00 which was the retail price for the model (I am not going to pay more for it when I will be able to get it next year!) so far 3 have sold for above the RRP going between £400.00 and £595.00. Their are another 3 which are still active, 1 auction at £320.00 and two buy it now at £499.00 and £1295.00! So in total their have been 7 Smaug models on ebay of which only one (my one has sold for the RRP) it just goes to show how many people will buy something to make a profit!

Next my Blue Moon Manufacturing models turned up from Old Glory UK. Now I wanted these for AQOTMF as US cavalry models, so I ordered 3 packs (051,052, and 054) I also ordered another pack 036 Berdans sharpshooters to use as an “elite” unit. The models look good and scale up with the US “doughboys” very well.

Speaking of AQOTMF my wave 2 shipment has not showed up yet, but given the time frame for wave 1 it should appear with in the next few days!

Now comes the big one Shadows Of Brimstone has finally shown up, now I have opened the two boxed games and had a quick look through all the bits but have not checked everything out yet. That will be a job for this afternoon!

Now I have been a fan of the GW Lord of the rings since they were first released way back in 2001. And with the release of the hobbit in 2012 GW updated the LOTR rules for the hobbit. However it has been a rocky road with GW doing maybe 2 major releases and 1 minor throughout the year. As the third film (the battle of five armies” hits the cinema this week, I had expected their to be some news of the GW releases. But alas the only release that made any waves was Smaug the dragon at £295.00! Limited to 200 models before Christmas (with more being made after Christmas). Needless to say it sold out in minutes (and at least 5 have appeared on eBay with one at £1295.00!). However Smaug was not the only release, thorins company of dwarves have been released in resin but with the hefty price tag of £25.00 for 3 models or £118.00 for the compete set. Overall it seems that GW have lost their love of LOTR’s and the hobbit, their was a rumour last year that GW only went for the hobbit to stop another company from getting the license for the models. It’s a real shame but it seems to me that GW are killing the range off……………….