Monday 29 March 2021

Reaper Bones #33 - Norgol, Irongrave Knight

Seems like we have found a new furrow to plough.  Badass fighter dudes.

Norgol Irongrave Knight - Bobby Jackson (SKU 77065)

Another archetypal evil head henchman.  Full plate, big axe, horns and skull motif.  He's all show but probably goes quite a bit too.

I'm treating you to two photos today (front and back) because I'm pretty pleased with how the cloak came out.

Norgol, Irongrave Knight (SKU 77065) - front
Norgol, Irongrave Knight (SKU 77065) - front

Norgol, Irongrave Knight (SKU 77065) - back
Norgol, Irongrave Knight (SKU 77065) - back

 Bones Progress

Sunday 28 March 2021

Newsround 21st to 27th March 2021

My weekly roundup of news and what I found on the internet. 

UK Games Expo Friday 30th July to Sunday 1st August 2021

The biggest tabletop games convention in the UK has announced it's dates for 2021.

Due to venue refurbishment this is going to be a much smaller event than in previous years but I for one am glad to see it still taking place after the disaster that was 2020.  Fingers crossed.

More details on the UK Games Expo website.

UK Games Expo Flyer

History Professors runs same DnD game for 39 years

Imagine running the same Dungeons and Dragons campaign since 1982  That's exactly what Robert Wardhaugh of London, Ontario has done for the past 39 years.

Robert Wardhaugh - Playing the same game since 1982
Robert Wardhaugh - Playing the same game since 1982
Pic: from CNN article

He regularly posts photos on his instagram account @The_gamednd and has amassed a collection of some 20,000 miniatures.  He even has a Hall of Heroes which celebrates every character who has reached level 25.  You can read more about Robert, the game and the world over at his website

Amazing Hand Built Puzzle Furniture by David Lundell

Sometimes the YouTube recommendations algorithm just nails it and this is how I found the amazing carpentry creations of David Lundell.  Check him out he has just about something for everyone.

Oumcraft Floating Eyeball Dice

Ask a roleplayer if they have enough dice and they will reply "You can never have enough dice".  So who could resist these awesome floating eyeball dice. 

There appears to be a trend of people casting their own dice with things embedded in them.  I've seen skulls, frogs, penguins and eyeballs.  The difference with these dice is that the eyeball floats and always looks up at the number rolled.

At $59 a set (D4, D6, D8, 2 x D10, D12 & D20) they are a premium item and I'm not sure how they would compare in a randomness test against the gold standard Gamescience dice, but they look amazing.

floating eyeball dice
floating eyeball dice

Giant Metal Dice Set by Wesley Treat

Talking about dice, if you are a fan of the maker community on YouTube you will probably have heard of Wesley Treat.  He makes one off custom furniture, signs and light fixtures in an Americana style inspired by his years as a photographer trekking across the USA capturing it's disintegrating history.

Wesley takes you through the whole process of constructing the classic platonic solids we know and love.  If you have ever tried to do this yourself you know it's hard enough making it out of cardboard never mind steel.  A fascinating video and a great YouTube channel if you are at all interested in art, design or making things.

Saturday 27 March 2021

Sector 55 Blues - Prog 7 - Into The Cursed Earth

Sector 55 Blues is a Judge Dredd Campaign using the Savage Dredd unnofficial Savage Worlds Expansion.  This is an online only game with members from Dragons Keep Roleplay Club.

Aftermath at The Two Ways Public House

Judge Teal calls it in.

"We've got a dead Judge and five dead perps at The Two Ways in Benny Hill Block.  I need a meat wagon stat."  

"Who's the dead Judge" replies control "Going to need to inform the Watch Commander".

"It is the Watch Commander... Judge Govan is dead"  

A full complement of forensic judges descend on the crime scene and start to pick apart the aftermath of the shootout.  The death of one of his senior officers brings a personal visit from Sector Chief Judge Ezquerra to the crime scene. 

He walks past Hammer who is hunched over one of the Bikes trying to get its computer to home in on his bleeper.  A flashing green dot can be seen entering a mixed use zone in city bottom about 5 miles away.  The spot stops moving at an intersection on Salmond and 110th street.

Ezquerra balls out the four Judges for the destruction of Justice Department property.

"If the department gave you a salary I'd be taking the cost of repairs to those bikes out of it.!!"

Walking into the foyer of The Two Ways he surveys the seen of destruction and the body of Judge Govan which lies underneath the heavy steel treads of The Crushinator. 

"Judge Govan was a fine officer, one of the old school, he'll be hard to replace but not impossible.  We are all replaceable.

I've brought you four new bikes now get out there and hunt down Rabies Nesbitt.  Nobody gets away with Judge Homicide on my watch and roams free.  What are you waiting for? Go!! 

Sector Chief Judge Ezquerra
Sector Chief Judge Ezquerra orders a manhunt

What the Bleep!

The Judges gun their lawmasters through the dimly lit streets of city bottom following the computers directions to the intersection.  This part of the sector is so close to Great Western Wall that its streets never see daylight and are continually bathed in its 500ft tall shadow.  

Illegally parked on the pavement at the intersection is the red hatchback.  Cully notices a loose manhole cover to the right of the vehicle and Hammer calls up CCTV of the area from MAC.  A jerky grainy feed is patched through to his bike showing an obviously wounded Rabies getting out of the ar and walking around the front towards the manhole and dissapearing from view..

Cully opens the manhole revealling a 10ft drop into the sewer below.  Blood spots trail down the ladder into the sewer below.  The others notice that there are two boxes which match the one that fell out of the vehicle as it made its getaway from The Two Ways.  It is likely packed to the brim with these wig creatures and present a threat to the inquisitive citizens of Sector 163.

Their brief debate about what to do is settled when Cully fires two incendiary rounds into the vehicle setting it ablaze

"Into the sewer boys, he's got a head start on us"

The blood trail leads West and about a hundred feet along, the left sewer wall is broken open leading to a short hand excavated cross tunnel which intersects a service shaft filled with electrical conduits and other essential services which feed the Great Western Wall.  The trail of blood continues to a circular metal grate in the wall, a hot dry breeze blows through the grate carrying with it the unmistakeable smell of death.  

Hammer fires an incendiary round down the shaft which explodes with Justice Department efficiency scorching the walls clean of anything which might have been alive.  They clamber into the 5 foot wide shaft and inch their way along for what seems like an age until they emerge from the wall and stare out onto the bleak and barren windswept irradiated dustbowl that is THE CURSED EARTH.

The Cursed Earth
The Cused Earth - A barren and desolate irradiated wasteland

 The blood trail leads over a small dune and stops by a set of huge vehicle tracks which head east.  This looks like a planned rendezvous.

Taking a ride on the Express Elevator to Hell  

They call for an H-Wagon to come pick them up from the other side of the wall and their conversation is cut off by Judge Ezquerra

"I've been in touch with Sector 55 and these hairy creatures are taking over.  Only Rabies has the answer to this infestation and I want him alive".

Ten minutes later a Strat-bat lands at their 20 and pilot Judge Maverick shouts at them "We are your ride, get in".  In the back of the long range cargo carrier are a four bikes and a few extra supplies.  Each judge is issued a Rad Kit including meters, medical supplies, rad suits, one man pop-up tents and 14 days rations.  Their bikes are fitted with extra large panniers and a set of emergency sat comms gear.

The Strat-bat dusts off an half an hour later they are following the vehicle tracks using nap of the earth navigation.  Teal orders the pilot to get some altitude as there's a high chance that the perps are armed.

As the H-Wagon climbs to 200 ft and crests a dune the pilots see a large wheeled vehicle in the distance belching black smoke.  Sirens blare as the Electronic Counter Measures computer warns them that it has detected a weapons lock.  Moments later the right engine explodes. and the H-Wagon crashes into a canyon.

Cannibal Canyon

As the dust settles the Judges survey their immediate surroundings.  The back half of the shuttle has been torn off.  The pilots have not been so lucky.  The cockpit is a crumpled mess of tangled metal and sparking wires.  Blood drips from the steel.

VTOL Crash Site Battlemap
VTOL Crash Site Battlemap - Get a free 140dpi version from Fragmaps

Their bikes were stowed tightly and it takes but a moment to release the loading straps and wheel them outside.

As they survey their new predicament at the bottom of a 50ft deep canyon, Hammer spots a human sillhouette on the east canyon wall and then another and another.  His years of training kick in and he dodges as a primitive spear made from one arm of a pair of gardening shears lands six inches from his foot.  

A gravelly voice shouts down from the rim of the canyon

"We're gonna come down there Judges, we're gonna come down there and catch you, we're gonna catch you and we're gonna EAT YOU!"

Their day just keeps getting better.  Cannibals!! 

Cully indirectly fires a grenade round which arcs over the rim and explodes with it's familiar crack.  A scream goes up from one of the perps above.

Hammer manoeuvres his bike onto one of the storage crates which has been tossed from the wreck.  He can't quite get the elevation and his Cyclops Laser cannon only succeeds in turning a portion of the canyon wall into molten glass.

A cloud of black smoke belches from the vehicle above the canyon rim as it lurches North.  

The Judges gun their bikes in the same direction.  Hopefully there is a way out and they can head these wasteland scavengers off at the pass. 

Next Prog ->

Back Issues

Prog 1 - Suits You Sir - Mosh 55 rob Zlooty Slute's Suits You and a body is discovered.

Prog 2 - Hair Today Gone Tomorrow - Rock Dwayneson's apartment and carnage at the Yes-A-Bout

Prog 3 - It's Ugly Out There - Fun and Games at the Ugly Pageant 

Prog 4 - Down, Down, Deeper and Down - Entering the sewers under RESYK

Prog 5 - The Big Wig - Confronting the beast below the city

Prog 6 - Last Orders at The Two Ways Pub - A shootout in Sector 163

Thursday 25 March 2021

How Do I Start Playing Dungeons and Dragons

We've all had to begin somewhere and when I started playing nearly 40 years ago the internet didn't exist to help.

Find a Local Dungeons & Dragons Group

When you first start playing roleplaying games you need to learn from other players.  Critical Role and other streamed "Live" games are fine, but they are edited professional voice actors and that's going to give you an unrealistic expectation of what the game is like to play with normal people.  

Learn to play Dungeons and Dragons
Learning to play from experienced players is the best way

Joining a local group is the best way for you to learn the basics before you begin investing time and money into the hobby.  You will meet people who have been playing for years and can help you get up to speed straight away.

At my Friday night Tabletop Roleplay Group, Dragons Keep Roleplay Club, we are always welcoming to players new to the hobby and will help you to create a character and learn the basic rules.  We have experienced Games Masters who have been running Dungeons & Dragons for many years 

Google search terms like:

Roleplayers are everywhere and anyone

Even if you live in the back of beyond you will find that there are small groups of players in your town who have been quietly playing their games for years.  They will be from all walks of life and all kinds of people.  Roleplayers are some of the most diverse hobby groups I've ever come across.
They will advertise spaces on some of the many Roleplaying Forums like

Buy a starter set

Dungeons and Dragons has a long history of producing starter boxes which give you a simplified cut down version of the game, a starter adventure and even teach you how to play the game.  In fact they contain pretty much everything you need to get yourself up and running with the game.

Most game systems will have multiple starter set entry points.  Dungeons and Dragons has at least 3

For younger players there is even a boardgame version of D&D called Adventure Begins which will get you started.


Tuesday 23 March 2021

Cosmic Sin or Cinematic Crime?

Cosmic Sin is a new straight to streaming release starring Frank Grillo & Bruce Willis written and Directed by Francis Drake (Breach, Broil).

Low budget does not automatically mean bad

Cosmic Sin
A Cosmic Mistake
If I only watched big budget blockbuster movies I would miss out on those true gems which defy the odds and punch like a champion.  Films like the The Brass Teapot, or my all time favourite The Adventures of  Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension would never have seen the sparring ring never mind being on the title card.

Sadly this movie is not a contender.  It begins as a zombie movie before turning into a sci-fi shooter and really doesn't know what it wants to be.  Is it a straight up guns blazing action movie or is it a polemic on the nature of war and genocide of hostile alien species?  Are humans the bad guys here or were the aliens irredeemable?

It doesn't matter because it never holds onto its train of thought long enough until it's onto the next scene.  Pacing is in fact diabloical.

One huge complaint that I have is the dialogue for CJ Perry's character.  I think she had some great punch lines, like a sassy Vasquez, but the audio was terrible when she delivered them and I'll never get the joke. 

High Points?  

It's not all bad and there are some moments where the movie shines.  The suits look fantastic and the nig bad alien costumes are pretty good.  This is a Saban production so you get Power Rangers quality costumery.  Stalwart TV actor Costas Mandylor uses his screen time to great effect making everyone look wooden by comparison.  

However, it's not enough to save this movie especially when it gets to the final act where it completely loses the plot quite literally.  It's almost like the final quarter of the movie is from an entirely different movie.

It's not like I didn't give it a fair shake of the stick.

I watched it twice so that you don't have to...

Monday 22 March 2021

Reaper Bones #32 - Kord The Destroyer

Wow!, what an amazing pose for miniature monday.

Kord The Destroyer - Bobby Jackson (SKU 77061)

Kord The Destroyer
SKU 77061 - Kord The Destroyer

There's not really much to say that Bobby Jackson's sculpt doesn't already capture perfectly.  Muscles upon muscles, a skyrim inspired horned helmet, furs, a wolfs head, dual wielding a sword and a great axe.  

If he got in a fight with Conan, "By Crom!" I don't know who would come out on top?

Bones Progress

Sunday 21 March 2021

Newsround 14th to 20th Mar 2021

This week's roundup of what caught my eye on the internet.

Justice League the Snyder Cut 

The long awaited (and hard fought for) directors cut of the panned Justice league movie was released on HBO Max on the 18th March.  This was definitely on my list of films to see although I'm wasn't sure I would be able to to manage the advertised 4 hour run time in one sitting.  Thank God for streaming services where you can resume watching from where you left off.

Justice League - The Snyder Cut
Justice League - The Snyder Cut

I won't spoil it for anyone, but if you saw the original movie and thought it were dissapointed then you are in for a real treat.  There's more bonus material in this than the original so really it is a completely different movie.
I have long argued that DC do their best work with their animated movies.  Don't agree with me, then you probably haven't seen Justice League: War (2014), Batman: Ninja (2018), Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (2018) , either Justice League Dark (2017) or Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020) and not forgetting Superman Red Son (2020).

I am also rarely impressed with Director's cuts.  I am a huge fan of the original theatrical release of Bladerunner (1982) as I thought Harrison Ford's Mikey Spillane voiceover added so much detail and really missed it in the Ridley Scott cut.  
That said I still I hold out hope for the 4 hour long cut of David Lynch's Dune (1984).
Comic Relief
Fresh from their two successful live stream games Comic Relief are giving you all the opportunity to enter a competition to win a seat at an epic two day Live D&D event at Warwick Castle.

The game will be hosted by Mark Hulmes (High Rollers D&D) plus other Renaissance Fayre style events like a jousting tournament, the chance to win a handcrafted sword, a falconry exhibition and learn how to fight like a hero from medieval experts.  
You can donate on the Comic Relief website and the competition closes on 4th April 2021.

Gaslands (mad max with matchbox cars) has been a bit quiet since the epic launch of Gaslands Refuelled.  
This week saw the release of TX4 - Wasteland Survival Handbook which is essentially a series of 6 scenarios which form a wasteland campaign.  This is not a huge update, there are no additional factions for example.  Instead it focuses on building a system for running a championship tournament.  
It's all about flavour and whilst fans have been stringing race series together since the game was published three years ago, TX4 brings a canonised version to your game.

Gaslands at Dragons Keep
Gaslands at Dragons Keep

I'm a big fan of Gaslands and it is by far my favourite set of post apocalyptic car combat rules (believe you me I've tried em all).  When my club Dragons Keep can host one of its famous Game Day events following the relaxation of lockdown, I will be dusting off my Gaslands Cars and enjoying some car carnage.

Dragons Keep now on YouTube

We now have a YouTube channel which we can use to show off how awesome our club and its members are.  Expect regular content updates once we are back in our venue and we can take some video footage of our fantastic facilities.  To whet your appetite here is a little video featuring some of the modelling prowess of our talented miniature painting members Sam & Tony.  (Ed: they paint miniatures they aren't miniature members!!)

I've never had a problem with people copying what we do at Dragons Keep, after all imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Especially when you are unimaginative and not very creative.  As they say "you've got to keep up with the Dragons Keep" isn't that right Mrs. Jones.

Saturday 20 March 2021

Sector 55 Blues - Prog 6 - Last Orders at The Two Ways Pub

Sector 55 Blues is a Judge Dredd Campaign using the Savage Dredd unnofficial Savage Worlds Expansion.  This is an online only game with members from Dragons Keep Roleplay Club.

Time to Call Last Orders

The Judges park their bikes in a row outside The Two Ways pub, a seedy city bottom dive of a bar in Benny Hill Block.

Messy Bar

As they walk in the 10 tonne receptionist demands 2 creds entry fee.  Judge Teal shouts "we're Judges we don't pay entry fees".  Judge Govan engages the boxy receptionist and asks "is Rabies in tonight?" to which she replies in a monotonic female voice


The Two Way Regulars

The Judges walk up the stairs revealling a run down bar with mid 1980s decor dominated by an oval podium surrounded by a substantial plasteel and glassteel balustrade on which a shiny gold go-gobot gyrates robotically to the sound of celtic rock music. 

The Crushinator
The Crushinator
Giselle the Go-GoBot
Giselle the Go-GoBot
Big Tam
Big Tam
Wee Burnie Nesbitt
Wee Burnie Nesbitt
Jimmy the Landlord
Jimmy the Landlord
Rabies C Nesbitt
Rabies C Nesbitt

Sitting in the corner are two oldies in flat caps sipping their pints enjoying the show (Jack and Victor).

A tall man (Big Tam) stands at the bar and to his left a short juve (Wee Burnie) and to his left a man sits on a stool slumped over the bar (Rabies Nesbitt).  

Behind the bar is a thin man with long hair (Jimmy) and a young woman with curly brown hair (Davina) who bears a striking resemblance to Tri-D TV Star David Tennant.

Cully engages the Davina in conversation "We are looking for Rabies Nesbitt, is he here"

"I don't know any Rabies, what about you Big Tam?" Davina asks.

The question ping pongs around the regulars, each one saying that they've never heard of a Rabies Nesbitt and passing it to another until the question gets to Wee Burnie.  The juve sniggeringly blurts "we have rats but no rabies, what about you da?" pointing the question at the man to his left who is trying to climb over the bar.

The Polis Arrive

Judge Govan enters the bar, spots Rabies and orders

Judge Govan - Stay Where You are Rabies.  You're under arrest!
Judge Govan - He's the face of the Justive Department in Sector 163

The clientel simultaneously gasp "Oh no it's Judge Govan!"

Jack and Victor both pull stumpguns out from inside their jackets and blast with both barrels.  Uthred takes one to the chest sending him flying across the room and Judge Govan catches another knocking him down the stairs in a shower of blood.

Judge Hammer spins round and shoots Jack in the chest knocking him into the corner between two sofas. 

Davina pulls a stumpgun from below the bar "Nobody walks in an shoots up my bar unless I'm doing the shooting!" and unloads both barrells in Judge Cully's direction.  The recoil of the gun sends her two rounds into the podium lights showering the go-go bot in coloured glass as it runs off the stage towards the stairs.

Big Tam swings wildly at Judge Cully but misses and Judge Cully blasts Davina in the chest with two rounds and quickly targets Big Tam hitting him in the shoulder pushing him back against the bar.

Wee Burnie offers covering fire for his Da and shoots a small pistol in the general direction of Judge Teal.   Jimmy ducks for cover.

Teal dives behind what remains of the wall to the left of the stairs and hits Victor twice but the rounds don't penetrate the body armour he is wearing under his tweed jacket.

Cully shoots 3GP rounds at Victor hitting him with one in the chest and then one in the back of the head.

The crushinator trundles forward smashing through the reception wall screaming "DEFENSE, DEFENSE" as loud as her fembot voice unit can manage.

Hammer shoots Wee Burnie in the back and in the head.

The injured Uthred dives behind a sofa for cover and unleashes a volley of shots into Tam felling the big man like a caber.

In a scene which would be at home in a daytime detective serial Hammer leaps over the balustrade and threads his legs in the narrow space between bartop and overhead canopy.  His bum slides across the damp, shiny synthiwalnut effect surface and nails the landing behind the bar facing the wrong way.

Despite landing two high ex rounds into the pink refrigerator like fembot, the wounded Judge Govan is crushed to death slowly under her tremendous trundling treads.  In typical stoic fashion he never made as sound as the life was squeezed out from him like a tube of toothpaste.  

Uthred launches himself onto the slab sided crushinator as Teal fires three armour piercing rounds into her torso.  Her mechanical voice slowly sings "DA...I..S..Y   D...A...I...S....Y" and the self propelled car crushing behemoth grinds to a halt.

The Car Chase

As Hammer emerges from the bar to find Rabies already in the drivers seat of a red hatchback cranking its engine.  The engine roars into life and begins to pull away from its parking space. He plants a round in the windscreen shattering the safety glass into a crazed pattern, a second blows out the passenger side window and a third punches through the passenger side door.

Cully is in hot pusuit chasing the car down the street and firing a high ex into the tailgate which blows open and a cardboard box bounces out onto the road landing in a puddle.

The soggy sodden box begins to shake with a mind of its own and Hammer places a well aimed Incendiary round with pinpoint accuracy showering the box and the street in napalm.  High pitched animal screams can be heard briefly form inside the box as it is consumed by fire.

Cully dashes after the accelerating car and leaps onto roof as it careens down the street.  In an athletic move, she swings her legs into the car catching Rabies in the face with the heel of her boot.  Rabies head smashes into the glass of the drivers side window which shatters.

As the car turns the corner it careens into the row of neatly parked lawmasters smashing their shiny new body work as they tumble over onto one another like two wheeled dominos.  The damage will mostly buff out maybe.

Teal hears the comotion outside and emerges from the pub to see a flash of red with a judge hanging half in and out of the door.  He takes out the passenger side rear tyre.

Uthred calls to his bike "Bike to Me"... "Bike to me"... "OK Google, Bike to me" but no answer.

Hammer throws a tracking device at the fleeing automobile and it lands with a satisfyingly magnetic thunk on the back bumper next to a sticker that reads "My Other Car is a Mini".  "I got a bleeper on it" he triumphantly shouts into his helmet radio.

Giselle the Go-GoBot thought she had escaped the carage but as she runs down the street she hears the roaring engine of the red hatchback behind her.  A quick thinking Teal shoots the bot in the beehive knocking it out of the way of the speeding vehicle saving the innocent exotic dancing droid's life.   

Cully wants to take this perp down and she spies another two boxes of what are most probably wig beasts in the back of his car.  However, "This is getting precarious" she thinks "With a tracker on him let's see where he runs to" and indelicately hurls herself from the car rolling to a stop at the kerbside.

Hammer turns his turns his attention to the bikes and finds one of the five in a semi operational state it's bike computer flickers the text

Lamaster Computer Rebooting

With a squeal and sparks from the right side rear wheel the car hurtles round the corner and out of sight in the direction of the West Wall.

Next Prog

Back Issues

Prog 1 - Suits You Sir - Mosh 55 rob Zlooty Slute's Suits You and a body is discovered.

Prog 2 - Hair Today Gone Tomorrow - Rock Dwayneson's apartment and carnage at the Yes-A-Bout

Prog 3 - It's Ugly Out There - Fun and Games at the Ugly Pageant 

Prog 4 - Down, Down, Deeper and Down - Entering the sewers under RESYK

Prog 5 - The Big Wig - Confronting the beast below the city

Thursday 18 March 2021

Jessie's Prints - Episode 13 - The Chardalyn Dragon

This week, I are mostly been printing...

The Chardalyn Dragon - Migeul Zavala - Shapeways

At my regular Friday night roleplay club Dragons Keep we often have at least one Dungeons & Dragons game running and at the moment this is Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frost Maiden.

SPOILER ALERT: One of the big bad beasties you are probably going to encounter is the Chardalyn Dragon, a monstrous metallic magical construct which Wizkids have made available as an Icons of the Realm miniature

Wizkids Chardalyn Dragon
Wizkids Chardalyn Dragon - Buy one here

However, if your pockets aren't deep enough to afford that one, 3D miniature modelling guru Miguel Zavala (aka MZ4250 on Thingiverse)  has made his own for those of us who are lucky owners of 3D Printers.  You can download this for free on Shapeways.


This comes as a two piece model, a dragon with outstretched wings and a seperate flying base.  Great if you have a huge FDM printer.  However, if you are like me and restricted to a 200mm square build plate or a resin SLA printer you are going to need to cut this model up into smaller parts using meshmixer.

With the model cut into 4 parts, body, flying stand and two wings, I printed these in two batches at a fine 0.1mm layer height.  That's about 16 hours worth of printing.  I arranged the body on the bed with the legs pointing down.  From the players perspective they will be looking down on this miniature so having a metric ton of support lines hidden under the dragon was the way to go.  The wings were arranged vertically to minimise the need for support material.  

I don't know what it is with support material on my printer, it just seems to fuse itself to the model.  I don't know if this is a temperature thing, the filament I use always seems to want to print at the upper ends of the PLA temp range (200 to 220).  

I know that there is probably a setting in Cura that I can tweak, but if you have any advice please pop it in the comments below.


I pinned the wings and glued them using 2 part epoxy.  Not my glue of choice for plastic miniatures but I had used up all my superglue on an exciting super secret mega project which I will reveal in due course when it is complete. I also opted to leave the flying base unglued so the DM can simulate a flying or landed version, the pose is a bit dual purpose unlike the wizkids version which is strictly ground based.

Note to self: when printing spindly objects with horizontal layer lines.  Remember they are fragile.  

The Kraken for King of Tokyo was exactly the same it had this bunch of octopus like leg tentacles.  They were an absolute nightmare to print and kept snapping.  Cura should invent a way to change the infill density for parts which are inherently week.  Something like and infill change at z-height or allow you to draw boxes round sections of an STL and change the infill.  

Anyway, the long and the short of it was that I broke the flying stand!!

A Chardalyn dragon in Poo brown PLA
Chardalyn Dragon in it's hot off the printer shade of brown

"Don't Panic" I thought "it was a bit short anyway" and so 10 minutes later it was sitting atop its new coat hanger wire stand.  This is a lot thinner and helps to give it that flying look which we were after in the first place.


This miniature was super easy to paint, "barely an inconvenience" a matt black primer coat and then a hit with a rattle can of "Wheel Silver".  This thing is supposed to be mechanical so I used a failed print of my 3D Printer control board cover to give it a subtle hexagonal pattern like mechanical scales.  I must invest in some fruit bags which would better conform to the shape and give a smaller pattern.

Hexagonal wing pattern
My attempt at a hexagonal wing pattern - too subtle?

The yellow details are not in the Miguel Zavala model but sometimes "You gotta fake it to make it" so I picked out the eyes and mouth in green and then overpainted in yellow to give it an alien looking vibe.

The flying base was shot in matt black as I have no idea what terrain the encounter will be using.

Chardalyn Dragon - Rime of the Frost Maiden
Chardalyn Dragon - Dungeons & Dragons - Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frost Maiden

Wednesday 17 March 2021

Happy Birthday William Gibson

Today is author, William Gibson's birthday.

William GIbson Cyberpunk
William Gibson

If you have never read one of his cyberpunk novels then you are really missing out.  He is an uncompromising author whose creations span the divide between contemporary literature and science-fiction.  

Gibson does not so much describe a near future world but rather puches you in the face with the sights, smells and sounds blending pop culture and contemporary history together into words with visceral meaning.

"The sky above the port was the color of television tuned to a dead channel."

The Cyberpunk Genre

I encountered Gibson through the Cyberpunk roleplaying game and during the late 80s early 90s and  this was my go-to obsession for many years.  I voraciously consumed anything remotely cyberpunk and this unlocked the door to many other passions such as Anime and the internet which was barely a thing 20 something years ago.  

In fact I made my first cyberpunk RPG website featuring a clumsy netrunning simalcrum back in 1995 using the long discontinued AOLpress before gravitating to Dreamweaver.

Gibson's first novel Neuromancer was allegedly written on an outdated mechanical typewriter, a fact that just added to his mystique.  Of course he has since fully embraced the internet and can be found  @GreatDismal on twitter.

Monday 15 March 2021

Reaper Bones #31 - Snake Kin, Medusa and a 6 Armed Snake Lady

More scaley monstrosities on Miniature Monday.

I confess, when painting my lizardmen last week I had the green pot of paint open and I just went for it.  The added bonus is that my lizardmen have at least two bad guys that they could be working for.

From left to right we have:

Vandorendra, Snakeman Warrior and Medusa

Vandorendra, Snake Demon (SKU 77117) - Julie Guthrie

Julie Guthrie knocks it out of the park again with theis crazy looking sculpt which will fit right into my Al-Quadim campaigns.  A truly frightening six bladed whirling dervish of a boss monster which looks like it just jumped out of Ray Harryhausen's sketchbook.

In Forgotten Realms these are also known as the Marilith, Type V demons who are apparently master tacticians to the Abyssal Hordes (which is nice) so all you D&Ders have a ready to use stat block thanks to the the D&D Wiki.  Apparently they made their first appearance back in 1e so they have been a feature of Dungeons & Dragons for as long as I have been a player and I have never encountered one.  A situation I must remedy immediately. 

Snakeman Warrior (SKU 77153) - Julie Guthrie

The thing that has always puzzled me about snakemen is how do they move around.  I mean they don't have the body length to form the S shape typically associated with snake locomotion.  Never mind this guy comes with two really big swords meaning he can still reach you. 

Medusa (SKU 77037) - Bobby Jackson

Of course no mythical fantasy monster collector would be seen dead without at least one medusa in their miniature collection.  Bobby Jackson nails it with this sculpt which is only made better by me stringing that naked bow with a bit of sewing thread and superglue.

Bones Progress

Sunday 14 March 2021

Newsround 7th to 13th March 2021

This week's roundup of what caught my eye on the internet.

Pacific Rim The Black

If you are a Kaiju fan then you will probably have enjoyed the two Pacific Rim movies.  The debate rages on about whether the second movie was any good and whether or not Guillermo del Toro will ever return to the franchise.  

However, this week Netflix released a 7 part anime series called Pacific Rim: The Black. 

The creators of Pacific Rim have created an engaging and epic setting and one which definitely deserves a Role Playing Game adaptation.  It blends two of the best things of of modern Japanese culture; Giant Kaiju Monsters and Gian Mecha Robots.  

What isn't to like.

8 year old Invents Kickstarter Smash Hit Dungeon Crawl Boardgame

Coraquest by Cora & Dan Huges
Coraquest by Cora & Dan Huges

CoraQuest, a dungeon crawling co-operative family boardgame, is the brainchild of Cora (8) and Dan Huges (44) who have been making game review videos as Dice Tower content creators for 4 years. 

The duo from Huddersfield started designing the game as a home schooling project during Lockdown and decided to put it on Kickstarter where it raised over £150,000.  They have garnered a slew of media interest and have been featured on the BBC and in The Guardian.

If your kids are bored of Labyrinth but too young for D&D then this could be the game for you. Pre-order Coraquest on Gamefound for a measley £30. 

Oh and for the record Dad's are awesome.

GaryCon 13 - March 25th to Sunday March 28th, Lake Geneva, USA

GaryCon is the annual D&D convention which celebrates the life and work of Gary Gygax.  Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions the event will be virtual only.  For UK Roleplayers this means that you can save money on flights and hotel accommodation and attend from the comfort of your living room.

Tabletop Events has a full run down of the game schedules over this 3 day event.


Gary Gygax - Dungeons and Dragons
Gary Gygax - Co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons

UK Boardgame Rental Service - Rent-A-Meeple

Whilst most boardgames are affordable around £30 a few can be quite expensive and they take up a lot of space, so if you are a cash and space limited boardgame fan what do you do?

You rent a boardgame.  Yes you can now rent a boardgame through Rent-A-Meeple.

Sign up to one of their monthly subscriptions from £14.99 a month and get 1 boardgame sent to you postage included.  You can keep the game as long as keep up your subscription or you can return it and replace it with a different boardgame.

As boardgamers we've all bought a game that was the new hotness or looked great on kickstarter but ended up being a lemon.  Using Rent-A-Meeple is a great way to try out that game before you buy.

There are 16 subscription options to suit every pocket and style of play and if you really like a game and want to buy it, just email the company and they will tell you if it is for sale.

Dragons Keep Affilliated with Online Games Retailer Gamessesh
The management team are hard at work behind the scenes making my Friday night game group Dragons Keep Roleplay Club one of the best in the country.  We are proud to ammounce that we are now affiliated with online games retailer Gamessesh.  Club Members get a sizeable discount at checkout.  

Details of how you can access your discount are in the Members Benefits channel on the club discord server.

Join Dragons Keep for Tabletop Roleplaying in South East London 

If you are a tabletop gamer living in Bexley, Bromley, Chislehurst, Dartford, Eltham, Greenwich, Lewisham, Orpington or Sidcup then Dragons Keep might be your local games group in South East London.  

We are passionate gamers who meet every Friday from 7pm to 11pm at our venue in Chislehurst.  We are always looking for new players and we play a wide variety of tabletop Role Playing Games in addition to Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) we play Call of Cthulhu, Savage Worlds and many many more.

We also organise several Games Day events throughout the year at weekends so you can satisfy your tabletop boardgame obsession.  Contact Us through our website our facebook page or our meetup page and talk to us about your passion.

We might be dragons but we don't bite.

Snarf - Thundercats
Snarf - Thundercats

Saturday 13 March 2021

Dragon Slayers - A Fantasy Fiasco! at Dragons Keep

A Fiasco! adventure at Dragons Keep using the Dragon Slayers playset by Logan Bonner.

This was the first time I'd run this playset and the session was run using discord but was bedevilled by a poor connectivity all round (Thanks internet!!)

 The Setup


you worship the same God


To fund a private army

Holy Champion
of the Fell


Leader / Wannabe Leader


The cave of visions

A Barbarian


Misplaced Passion


Capt. of Ironhold Dwarves



A Diabolist /  Sacrifice


The Dragons Lair
VARENA (Princess)

3rd daughter of
King Varos
of Zarozinia


"You Killed My Father"


Ring on Mummy's finger

The Stuck Pig Inn

Our adventures begin the day after the party have returned from slaying the Dragon and retrieving the horde.  Everyone is nursing a serious hangover and Cohen is missing. 

We quickly establish that the tomn of Pissante is down to its last chicken and all the other livestock have been eaten by the dragon.   Gruff dealt the killing blow to the Dragon whilst being distracted by Princess Varena, that Cohen likes to drink from dog bowls and Derfal is a most pious holy champion.

We also learn that the heroes have not planned beyond amassing the Dragons Horde  

Medieval Inn
The Stuck Pig

On the Road Looking for the One-eyed Killer

 "Are we there yet?" says the princess.  "No!" says Cohen who is driving the cart through the dusty, desolate landscape.  The three men argue about if they are going the right way, exactly why they need to raise a private army and who is this one-eyed killer.  Up ahead a dust cloud signals an approaching traveller.  It is a dark robed figure riding a white horse.  They pull up their horses and engage in roadside conversation.

"I have been looking for you" says Cohen "I want to hire you and your army". 

"THEN YOU KNOW MY PRICE... 1 YEAR OF YOUR LIVES AND I WILL KILL ANYONE YOU DESIRE" says DEATH.  The heroes consider this bargain but Gruff demands to see a demonstration.

"I AM A SUPERNATURAL BEING WHO HOLDS POWER OVER LIFE AND DEATH, WELL MOSTLY DEATH BUT YOU CATCH MY DRIFT" and waves a boney finger in the general direction of the heroes.

Samuel the cart horse, who has been a trusty companion since they escaped the Castle of King Varos of Zarozina slumps to the ground dead.

Death on his horse Binky
Death on his horse Binky

On the Road to the Dragons Lair 

"Are we there yet" says princess Varena.  "No, but ask me again in another 5 minutes princess" replies Cohen.  Derfal wants to make sure that they all understand the plan for when the raid the dragon's lair.  "You guys hang back I'll take the lead, this dragon is mine"

"First time?" asks Gruff "It's usually a group thing, you never know what you will encounter and if you manage to kill the dragon you will want someone to witness your heroism.  I suggest we see how you get on in the upper levels and then decide our strategy then".

"Yes, we can have a workplace assessment.  It's a great opportunity to evaluate our performance, identify strengths and training opportunities for future growth and personal development." says Varena, "I don't know much about killing dragons but I had years of Royal Household Management Training at Mrs Hegemony's Princess Finishing School".

24 Hours after Meeting Death

"So what happened to your army?" asks Cohen.



"We are a little unsure about the payment, can you go through it again" Gruff asks.


Cohen proudly states "Oh that's easy, it's the man who killed Varena's fa..."

Varena's head bangs loudly on the side of the cart.  "SORRY TO INTTERUPT YOUR FLOW BUT I DON'T THINK YOU WANTED HER TO HEAR THAT"

"Now let's hold on a minute" blusters Gruff "As I recall it was a fair fight, a matter of honour infact.  You could even call it a duel.  Admittedly, I had to slay the entire palace guard, all the lords and ladies in waiting, a dozen minor nobles and even Varena's mother and two sisters to get to him, but he kept hiding behind everyone"

The Princesses Bed Chamber

From the sounds of the commotion in the Great Hall the Palace Guard are doing a fine job fending off the attackers.  Varena is shocked but excited when the Cohen bursts into the room demanding "Are you a Princess?", finally her dream of being kidnapped is coming true, just like Mrs Hegemony said it would.

"Aren't you a little scrawny for a barbarian, I expect princesses shouldn't be choosy.  Would you like me to struggle for you?" 

At that moment Derfal and a very bloodied Gruff burst in.  "Come on we've got to get out of here!" gasps Gruff.

"I'm all packed and ready to go just like it says in Chapter 57 - Kidnap Preparedness" says Varena, "Have you left a ransom note? I can help you write it Mr. Barbarian.  I'm only a 3rd Princess so you don't want to be greedy with your demands shall we say your weight in gold?  Perhaps we should ask for the Dwarf's weight in gold instead.  I would say 300 pounds of gold"

"250 pounds thank you, I've been watching my diet" retorts Gruff... gruffly.

"Right now let's be off" Varena exclaims and activates a secret door behind her bedroom mirror.  "This will take us into the poor quarter on the edge of the city near the gate"

In the Monastery of the Fell

Novice Derfal and Novice Cohen are in a debate about what Holy Day they are praying for.  It's the most holiest of holy Spot the Dog's Day.  The Master's most favourite companion "Blessed be his name".   Brother Dominic looks dissaprovingly at the pair "Sssssssshhhh".  

Monks in a monastery
The Monks of the Fell Monstery 

Brother Kevin rolls his eyes and decries "Six months in the order and he hasn't even learned his Holy Days!  Forsooth Brother, I'm not sure this one will ever ascend beyond the rank of dogwalker"

At that moment time stands still and boney hands grip Cohen and Derfal's shoulders. 


The Getaway & Mrs Miggins Mead and Wine Shoppe

The gang of four come out of the tunnel into Slipshod Alley in the poor quarter.

"I feel the need, the need for mead" says Cohen "Where's the nearest Tavern?"  The Princess leads them to a small shop a couple of streets away.  "This should do nicely" and pushes the party through the doors of the off-licence.

Mrs Miggins recognises the Princess and bowing and scraping tells them that their order will be complimentary.  A barrel of mead and a case of Chateau Brigande are procured later and the unlikely bunch are heading out of the gate on a cart and horse with the Princess leading the escape on a small pony.

The Dungeon Upper Level and Goblins

The four heroes are lit only by the light of Derfal's single torch.  "Right now get behind me, I know what I'm doing, the exit is this way" he says lifting his torch high in the air to illuminate the massive gothic columns of a gothic hallway once home to som e long dead clan of dwarves.  His torch is promptly extinguished by a gold draught and the party fumble in the darkness for a flint. 

The torch sputters into life illuminating the horde of 20 goblins that now surreound them on all sides. 

Like a whirling dervish Gruff springs into action moving down goblin after goblin before they even have chance to strike.  The party stand in awe at his martial prowess.

Act Two

The Dragons Lair

The four heroes find the sleeping dragon and Derfal goes right up to it and pokes it in the snout with his sword.  The Dragon reflexively sneezes blowing the Holy Champion clean across the hall and into a huge pile of gold coins.  Gruff lets out a battle cry and launches a furious attack but is effortlessly batted away by the dragon as it wakes. 

"Who dares disturb my slumber" bellows the dragon in an impeccable English accent.  "I Cohen the Barbarian disturb your slumber" retorts the scrawny human drawing his cheese axe.  However, the Dragon looks past the barbarian and spies Verena.  "Well hello there, and who might this ravishing morsel be?".

The Dragon who seems to have a thing for Princesses

The dragon is clearly besotted with Verena who suggestively complains that it is very hot in here and begins to unbutton her blouse affording Gruff the opportunity to leap from the balcony above and behead the giant creature.

Removing the Horde

The crew pack all the gold they can carry and despite the princesses protestations fill her luggage with gold and gems and retreat out of the dragons lair.  As they retrace their steps through the upper dungeon level they pass a large pile of dead stirges from a previous encounter.  Gruff mutters "By the Gods I hate Stirges"

They pack the gold into the cart and head back to Pissante.

Death gathers his Army

Flash forward a couple of weeks and the party finally agree to refuse Death's contract.  Death accuses them of wasting his time and he summons his hosemen companions.  One by one they appear on the rode astride their hell steeds.  Each horse carries an instrument case, Famine carries a double bass, Pestilence a guitar and War's massive charger has a kettle drum on each side.

Death addresses his band mates.  "I HAD A WORD WITH SATAN AND HE SAID HE'D LOVE A SKI-ING TRIP"

In the Cave of Visions

Gruff has heard tell of a magical cave in the wilds known as the cave of visions.  Perhaps they will find out how to ressurect King Varos.  They don't have any difficulty finding the cave in fact it is clearly marked on the tourist map they purchased in a nearby village.  In the cave mouth is a tin bucket with the words "Admission 1 Gold Coin Each" scrawled on the side. 

Inside they are met by a blind old crone who leads them into a cave with a large underground lake.  SHe urges them to wade into the waters and to submerge themselves.  They do so and receive a shared vision of Pestilence wearing a copper ring playing the guitar in a seedy inn in Zarozinia called the Ramblin' Ruin.

Confronting the 4 Horsemen at the gig  the Rambling Ru inn 

The heroes find "The Deadalls" at the Ramblin' Ruin playing an improv jazz set to an empty audience.  As War begins his drum solo thee other 3 players step off the stage and join the heroes at the bar.  Cohen immediately approaches Pestilence and exclaims "Oh man, I'm your biggest fan.  You absolutely nailed it up there."  he grips the emaciated guitarist by the hand deftly swiping the ring from his bony fingers.  Pestilence barely has a moment "Wow, it's always a pleasure to meet my fans..." before he crumbles to dust.  

Cohen's three companions jaws drops as he puts the ring on his finger  "what's gotten your tongues?  and where did all these flies come from?"

Ressurrecting the King

In the Royal Crypt deep below the palace the four heroes stand over the sarcophagus of King Varos.  They jimmy open the lid and Cohen the Pestilent filled with the knowledge of all the Pestilence's which have gone before him instinctively knows how to use the ring.  He waves his hand over the corpse and King Varos gasps back to life.  His daughter hugs him dearly in a touching and delicate moment.

A bony hand touches Cohen on the shoulder.  "TIME TO GO PESTILENCE, WE'RE ON STAGE IN 10 MINUTES"

The Aftermath

Who knew that Pestilence Cohen could play guitar.  His stint with the band was short lived as before too long another hero looking to ressurect a loved one would take his place.

Derfal had only one mission in life which was to keep Cohen out of trouble.  With this gone his life never got back on track and he descended into a life of cheap booze, vagrancy and petty larceny before he was jailed for dog larceny.

No one knows what became of Gruff.  Perhaps he returned to the Dwarven Mountains.  His final words were before he faded into myth and legend heard on the wind "Well I'm going to have to call it a night lads, I'm bushed!!"

Verena lived a long and happy life succeeding her father as the Queen of Zarozinia after his death at a ripe old age.  She often talked of her adventures as mere strip of a girl and her brief encounter with...

... The Dragon Slayers.