Sunday 30 October 2022

New 2mm Buildings from Irregular Miniatures: Review/Comparison


I thought I’d do a short review of some of the recently released 2mm buildings from Irregular Miniatures, and see how they compare to another manufacturer, particularly with regard to those in my Strength and Honour project.

Now Irregular have had scenics and terrain to go alongside their 2mm figures for many, many years, but they were mostly very much in the ‘area’ category, with multiple buildings to a base rather than necessarily being scaled to go individually with the figures at around 1/900th, and it is only more recently that they have been working on stand-alone architecture.

I’ve discussed using the output of various manufacturers with 2mm troops before,

but wanted to catch up on what I think are some very good new entries from Ian and the gang, sculpted by the brilliant Geoff Addison:

Now Geoff and Irregular have of late been absolutely knocking it out of the park in terms of adding new sculpts to the range, particularly some excellent scenic and terrain items, as well as these new offerings, so I was keen to take a look at some examples in the flesh, and offer a few thoughts.

Owning as I do already, an absolute plethora of small buildings, I just went for some representative examples from across the Classical/Arab and Medieval stock, rather than buying the whole real estate !

First up, let’s look at two Medieval Keeps and the Roman Military Watchtower:

In line with all of Mr Addison’s work, these all possess bags of character, and whilst demonstrating their ‘hand-sculpted’ pedigree, are clean and nicely proportioned - not ‘scale’ architectural models as such, but truly evocative and charming pierces that would bring interest to any table….

The wooden keep with moat is particularly fun, and usefully, the tower is a separate piece, so the moated mound could be used in a variety of ways:

Next up, the Classical Temples, Bath House and Military Command Building:

Lots of detail on all of these, and again, absolutely oozing character whilst giving a good representation of the originals - the Apse on the Bath House is spot-on !

The only funny thing, that I realised after taking these photos, is that the authentically characteristic arched doorways on the Command Building do look rather like the iconic sign of a somewhat anachronistic fast food chain - I promise to paint my arches a golden yellow !

As can be seen in the photo at the head of the post, and in the following, these more formal buildings are accompanied by a variety of smaller but just as useful utilitarian ones, including granaries, stables, barracks, and a great court-yarded Villa:

Once more, lots of potential there - all would be useful in a number of ways - similarly, the Shrine and Arab Tombs are really neat items - any self-respecting small scale world needs its own Via Appia lined with just such monuments and memorials !

So, how do these latest releases compare to those available from the other major manufacturer, namely Brigade Models in the UK ? - now I’ve gone via Scratch-built, Monopoly Houses, Rod Langton 1/1200th, Mighty Empires plastics to even 3mm from Peter Pig over the years, but the go-to has to be Brigade’s ranges in terms of the broadest variety of interesting individual buildings, and so I’ve put the two together in the following shots:

I think that you’ll immediately note that Irregular’s are larger, more on the chunky side of things, but not necessarily out of scale with Brigades’ - 

The level of detail is obviously different, but not overwhelmingly so, and the apparent ‘bulkiness’ is easily put down to differing types of design or construction:

Of course, Irregular’s are on their own integral bases, but these are relatively thin and innocuous, certainly not overly large or intrusive.

I think the most striking difference apart from this, is the perhaps ‘organic’ look they have, in comparison with the almost ‘clinical’ lines of those from Brigade - the latter are definitely more architecturally exact, whilst the former are a bit more expressionistic - I think based in multiples, Brigades buildings definitely look the part, but perhaps a single structure would be well represented by these new characterful ones from Irregular….

I’m definitely looking forward to painting them up, and will not hesitate to use them alongside their competitors, and in any event, am pleased to welcome their commercial release as additions to the Lead Pile, and very much feel as with so many things that are Hobby-related: “The More the Merrier !”……

Tuesday 25 October 2022

15mm Dungeon: Dungeon on Display !


I thought it was about time I put all the various items I’ve been working on alongside the Dungeon Tiles and saw how it all fits together - sort of a dry run, rather than an actual game, to give an idea what all the fuss has been about !

I laid out all the tiles from the TT Combat set, here covering a footprint of around three feet by three, and  added random items of scenics from the collection, to encompass a Wizard’s Chamber and the Lair of the Liche King, with various connecting corridors.

It soon became apparent that you can never have enough base tiles ! - the set is a generous one, but I realised that I have created and built enough scenics and terrain to cover multiple sets….. I consoled myself by deciding that it gave me the option to set up various themed dungeons, with differing pieces, rather than trying to throw them all into one !

I also felt that in actual gaming terms, it might be more practical to only lay down small areas at a time, where the adventurers are actually located as they move through, rather than having it all laid out at once - giving the opportunity to re-use tiles that are effectively behind the party, unlikely to be re-visited.

I also intend to lay the tiles onto a black base cloth, hopefully giving more of a sense of the filled space between corridors, but for clarity in the photos just put them down onto the bare tabletop.

So, without further ado, let’s join the Adventure Party as they enter the unknown - having descended a mossed covered stone stair, they halt at a gloomy-looking carved stone entrance:

Luckily Vilek the Thief has brought a flaming torch to light their way - what might lay beyond ?

The Warrior Woman Mela and Borrin the Dwarf push ahead, their suspicions aroused by a strange skittering sound, as if something was stealthily approaching across the floor of the stone corridor - oh the Horror !

Arachnid foes duly despatched, the Heroes spread out, not knowing what might await them - but sure that it will unlikely be friendly nor without peril…..

Gandagor the Ginger and Herk the Fighter find themselves beset by oozing slimes, and then imperilled by a brutish Ogre:

The Ranger Leofric, meanwhile, has stumbled upon the creeping-crawling guardians of the Plague icon…. Luckily he has his trusty bow, helping him avoid the poison they emit:

Vilek has thought better of getting involved in all this combat, and sneaks off to find something more interesting - beyond an eldritch archway, a strange glowing portal beckons…..

The Party has so far been holding their own, vanquishing various foes and overcoming numerous challenges, yet they are naive if they think their efforts have gone un-noticed, or that an evil will has not been watching their every move…..

Herk and Mela reunite to confront the powerful Wizard, lured to his mysterious chamber by the piles of treasure and plunder that are displayed therein, but things are looking dicey…..

Their material weapons, though tried, tested and true, are no match for his dark deviltry….. luckily, reinforcements arrive in the knick of time - the showdown begins ! 

Pretty pleased, then, with how everything goes together so far - the scratch-built items enhanced by various commercial and 3-D printed pieces, and the character minis looking good on their circular bases - given how much I have on hand, should be easy to give them plenty of different challenges.

One point to note is my latest purchase - some great solid-looking doors from Combat Zone Scenery - TT Combat have MDF kit doors to go alongside the Tile sets, but these are scaled for 28mm minis and looked a little overscale to my eyes, as well as being a bit flimsy, so I was very pleased to find these from the ChibiQuest Range:

The Chibi ranges are obviously for a specific game ethos, not actually designed for small scale minis as such, but I love the detail, character and heft in these items:

They definitely look the part next to 15mm figures:

All of the Combat Zone output is of high quality and well made, with plenty of small scale interest to be found amidst their varied ranges - well worth a browse !

To conclude then, a look at the set that started it all, giving a view of the amount and shape of the various pieces that go to make it up - they might be ‘flat’ and relatively simple when compared with much of the commercial and diy 3 or 2D product out there, but certainly provided me with plenty of inspiration !


Tuesday 18 October 2022

15mm Dungeon: Baddies !


A mini-hiatus from hobby work has seen a bit of a delay in the project, but pleased to report that some progress has been made with a few of the ‘Baddies’, who will be the adversaries of the dungeon adventurers.

These are all from Ral Partha Europe, and as always, are interesting and characterful sculpts, fitting nicely into depicting various magic-users and dealers of dastardly deeds in the darkness of dungeons !

First up, the Anti-Paladin, who I am calling ‘Omega’ - mainly because my attempt at drawing a skull on the front of his breastplate went awry with the first stroke, so I curtailed my ambitions somewhat, and went with the Greek letter, that seemed appropriate enough ! - He’s quite splendid with his closed helm and bouffant plume, and suitably menacing with his twin swords….

I’d thought of doing a sort of ‘flaming’ look on the blade held aloft, but so far this does seem a bit of a damp, if bright squib….. more detailing needed - have to dig out a ‘OOO’ brush with a good tip and try adding some licking yellow flame for the full effect…….

Next we have the Sorceress Gargamela, who is another beautiful mini, with flowing hair and robe and imperiously pointing finger - thunderbolt about to whizz from the tip, no doubt !

 She could also do with a bit more detailing, and some tidying up of an overzealous wash - I went for a relatively neutral green on the robe,  rather than something more starkly evil-looking, in order that she might do double duty as a more neutral NPC.

I’m quite please with how her hair turned out - I added in a shock of white - perhaps the frequent use of Magic taking its toll….

She is accompanied by the Druid Sylvanus, whirling his yew-tree staff above his head to conjure the retribution of some natural force that the adventure party has upset with their inquisitive blundering:

He certainly seems upset about something, anyway! I quite like the grumpy look there ! - some more tidying up required, but overall not too bad - again, with a somewhat neutral green, to suggest he is probably more wronged against, than actually on the side of Evil.

In a similar vein, we next meet Gandagor the Grey, who may or may not have wicked intent, but is certainly mysterious enough in his ashen robes:

He’s got some lovely symbols/sigils woven into his clothing, and a nice set of accoutrements hanging from his belt - I like the pose, too - looking as if he is just about to summon up something nasty !

Talking of nasty, let’s move on to two characters whose alignment is probably obvious, given their traditionally ‘bad’ appearance:

First, Derengar the Wizard, skull bedecked robes and all :

I need to do a lot more work on him, just the plain block colours and a bit of a dry-brush for now, but his imperious look deserves much more attention - he’s definitely the type of big ‘bad’ that you might encounter on a final level ! - another lovely mini from RPE.

Talking of lovely, his partner in crime is Evadra, splendiferous in her dark intent, and dangerous with her cursed blade:

I went for a sort of eagle’s wing look for her flowing cloak, which is replete with scale like adornments - hasn’t quite come off as I imagined, so a bit more re-working needed, I think - quite pleased with her sword though, definitely has a red-hot poker vibe !

There are rumours that Evadra has been known to seek the company of The Drow or Dark Elves, and perhaps her human appearance masks something else entirely….. meet with her at your peril…..

Talking of the Drow, a number have suddenly materialised on my painting tray:

Evadra may have some minions on the horizon !

That said, perhaps the Dark Elves are in league with another Siren-like life form, a Dryad of similarly dangerous charms: 


A lovely sculpt, originally form Crom’s Anvil, now with CP models - looking like she could lure anyone to their doom !

Beware the temptresses of the Dark !