I picked up some Freeblades models by DGS games  in September and I’m making slow progress. I think I”m about done, but I’ll need to add some details to things like pouches, hilts, etc.  This is the Haradelan Questers starter, then with more models added.  They are knightly models on a quest for peace and justice.






I’ve since done quite a bit more painting on these models and even painted the bases black.  I’ll update when they are all done.


The Painting Continues- Hell Dorado Saracen Starter

I’m still working on that Saracen starter for Hell Dorado slowly but surely.  Below you’ll find some pictures of the leader, Nazir  Ibn Hamid Ibn Hajjad and his trusty sidekick Youssaff.

Hell Dorado Logo

Hell Dorado Logo

I’ve been painting the entire starter up now for about two months, which shows how slow of a painter I am since I don’t sit down to paint on a regular basis.

cipherlogo Youssaff describes Nazir as being so compassionate, he wept for every soul lost in the battles in Hell. Therefore, Nazir asked Youssaf to burn his out with his scimitar so that he shall forever see the light of Allah.  Youssaff has been his companion ever since.

In game, Nazir provides a good use of buffs as well as hitting power.  However, you don’t want to lose him in the game as he provides quite a bit of the army’s command points at 5.  Since command is important, you want to keep Nazir around.  However, with Nazir’s healing ability, you’ll want to get him into base to base with your allies so they can be healed.  Being near Nazir gives the rest of the army a +1 to combat, which is nice, but again, you have to keep him towards the front of the army.


Besides some touch-up and a couple little spots of black, I think he is done.



Below, you can see the progress I was before the previous painting session. Not the bands on the arms, the embroidery on Nazir’s cloth, his beard, and jewel are not painted as shown above.

For the sword, I tried an experiment using non-metallic metal style of painting.  There are a lot of tutorials to view for this.  I didn’t do that good of a job as I’m still learning.  However, I used the method of NMM for the sword, then glazed over it with Plate Mail Metal paint by The Army Painter.




The choice of colors was based on the fact that I wanted something more colorful and brighter than the off-white of Youssaf’s trousers and the rest of the traditional garb of the other models.

I started off with P3 Menoth White Base, an off white color, then, added some RMS Linen White for the highlights.  I washed the cloth with P3 Flesh Wash, then went back over the cloth to bring the color back up to the highlights.

For the blue on Nazir’s outfit, I started with Warpaint Electic Blue.  I added some of the base from Youssaf’s pants to the blue to highlight it up.  I used P3 blue wash, then went back through with highlights.

For Youssaf’s skin, I used P3 Idrian Flesh, and also some RMS Earth Brown and slowly added in some lighter brown such as Leather brown from the Warpaint line for the highlights.

The Hell Dorado models are nice, and have a lot of character.  They do require some clean-up as the mold line is obvious, but not bad.  A simple file such as a fingernail file or miniature file will do the trick.

Below is a stock photograph of Nazir and Youssef from the Cipher Site:

Nazir Studio Scheme


Finally, here is a group shot of the starter, with Nazir and Chalms done, while the blessed warriors and Pillar of Faith continue to get paint slapped on them.

Saracen Starter WIP

I’ll keep everyone updated with progress!

Facebook Group for Pen and Lead and Contest

Hi all,

I’ve set up a Facebook account, and I’m running a contest.  When we get to 50 likes on the Facebook page found HERE, I’ll randomly pick someone who is a follower of this blog and also likes the new Facebook page and let them pick out one of the resin display cubes by Secret Weapon Miniatures that I reviewed.

The randomly chosen person gets their choice!  If you haven’t, check out the review and let me know what you think.

I’ll also do a give away at 100 likes as well, most likely, so if you don’t get the prize the first time around, you may get a chance the second.

In the meantime, I am working on a Combined Army starter from Infinity, the game.  I’ve primered them and have just put my first layer of paint on, a nice Deep Blue by the Army Painter Warpaint range.

See you on Facebook as well as here!

Bob Nolan

aka, Varagon

Sedition Wars Hurleys Done

I’ve been painting the two Hurleys for the Sedition Wars boardgame from Studio  McVey and on for a while now, and finally finshed them last night.  I’m treating this like a board game and didn’t clean or prep the models, but that didn’t detract much from the simple painting I gave them.


1.  Prime grey

2. Base coat Ash Grey by Army Painter

3.  Shade with a light wash of same color with some black added

4.  Highlight with some white added to the Ash Grey

5.  Use Vallejo smoke for the cannon,

6.  Daemonic Yellow and a highlight of white for the lights.

7. Spray Testor’s Dull Kote on it.




Experiment- Weathering With Salt Post # 2

So, I’ve made one more step on my first experiment of weathering with salt.  This technique is fairly popular and has been used by the gaming and modeling community for a while now.  A simple Google search for “Weathering with salt” will yield all sorts of tutorials.  If you want to see the first step of primering, click HERE.

In some of the tutorials, they use nail polish remover as a way to remove the paint to get a “weathered” and “rusted” look as well, but I chose to use salt only.

However, I’ve never tried it before, so I wanted to document my progress.

Below: salt, a small cup of water, and my AE-WWII Robot Troopers.


Here, below, are a couple of images with the salt on the trooper.


To do this, I simply got a small #1 or so brush full of water, and ran it over the areas that I thought would be “weathered.”

Next, I used the salt in a bowl, and pinched the salt and sprinkled it on the areas that were painted with water.

I continued doing so until all the areas were ‘salty’ enough.


Here are the three troopers ‘salted.’


The next step will be to let them dry, and as I’ll be gone a couple of days over the weekend, the salt should stick to the miniature as it dries.

Afterwards, I will use an airbrush to lay down some paint, then brush the salt off, leaving the grey as seen above, showing through.  These guys are also part of my 2013 11+1 Challenge.I hope it turns out!


My Next Project: AE-WWII Robot Troopers Plus 2013 11+1 Challenge


So, for my next project, I’m going to work on my AE:WWII American sci-tech detachment.  I’ve been enjoying the game a lot so thought I should at least give the models that aren’t painted a chance to shine on the field of battle.  The models below were primed black and lightly dusted with white from above to give a faux zenithal highlighting technique.


AE-WWII is a game by Blacball Games, formerly owned by Darkson Designs.  The game had a little update in the form of a Kickstarter, and I’ve really come to like it.  Before hand, I had played AE-Bounty, based on the same mechanics, but hadn’t jumped into the AE-WWII side of things until recently.

AE-WWII is a combination sci-fi / historical game with a unique army building mechanic.  Instead of building on points, a player selects a detachment type, and simply fills slots based on that detachment.  In the list building, you can “remove” a slot to upgrade other slots and do some other neat things.  It makes for an enjoyable experience if you are looking for something outside of building by points.  Blackball Games describes AE-WWII as, “AE-WWII is a skirmish-based miniatures game set in the retro sci-fi setting of an alternate World War II.AE-WWII combines miniatures wargaming and historical fiction into a flexible, points-free detachment system that is strategic and tactical –as fast as it is fun. Players can create purely historical forces or units comprised of the new technological wonders and terrifying horrors.”  Another unique thing about the game is you can build a purely historical detachment, or weird it out as you see fit.

What you see above is the primed version of a unit of Robot Troopers, a “green” choice for the American’s sci-tech detachment.  I’m going to try and paint them up with American pride in blue, white, and red.  We will see how they come out.

Also, since I’m still challenging myself, I’m adding these to my 11+1 challenge, where I’ve challenged my readers to paint 11+1 models for the 2013 year.  The models have to be your own, and you have to keep them.  They are your models to display and keep, not for sale or trade.

Below is the stock photo of the painted Robot Troopers.

Painted Robot Troopers

15 mm rebels

I had the opportunity to paint up some 15mm models for a client.  They’ve been done a long time and waiting to hear back from the person.  However, I’m going to ship them out anyway as I don’t need them on my shelf any longer.  Here they are, in the box, waiting to be packaged for shipping.


These are just a couple of real quick shots of what I did.  They come from Rebel Minis and are painted up to be African Rebels, probably for a game like Ambush Alley.  Below you can see a few different colors of the different sculpts available.

The sculpts were not the best, as a lot of the details were lost or smooshed together- especially on the guys that have their face to the butt of the gun.


If anyone needs anything painted, I’m available for commission work at this time.

Sedition Wars Bases Painted

Having to paint up 80+ bases is a daunting task for me.  However, I knew if I wanted to play the game, I couldn’t just glue the models to the bases.  I had to paint them first.  Anyway, simple spray paint black, then paint with an aluminum color.

Next step mix a lot of a single color wash.  I wanted a blue color, so I added some turquoise ink to P3 armor wash, added some green ink, flow improver, and Future Floor Finish for the first coat.

Bases finished!

Bases finished!

The next to last step was adding pure red ink with some mixing medium and making some blood splotches here and there.

The last step, which I still need to do, is to spray them with my Testor’s Dull Cote to tone them down some.

I Challenge You 2013 11+1 and 2012 How’d You Do?

Well, the new year is upon us and I want to look back at my 2012 11+1 challenge as well as think about my 2013 11+1 challenge.


Here is my list from 2012, and I don’t think I did well at all.


Madam Sybell- 10%

Rotten Belle 1- 100%

Rotten Belle 2- 100%

Rotten Belle 3- 15%

Lady Cybern

Nuclear Jones


Core (+3 bases)

Hadron + mini Hadron

Northern GP Gears (x 2)


Augustinus Raymond

Husaym Al Din

I didn’t do well with my list at all, but I did do some painting that changed that list.  Here is what I actually completed in 2012:

Rotten Belle # 1

Rotten Bell # 2

AE-WII Starter (5 models)

Grindak Bloodbreath

That’s a total of eight models.  Two-thirds of what I wanted to get done.  I did paint other models, but these were for me.  As you can see, if you look back at my post dates, I didn’t do a whole lot of painting. For starters, I didn’t touch the Pulp City models.  I didn’t even really pull them out of their trays as no one wanted to play.  I didn’t push it hard either.  On the other hand, I did some demo games of AE-WWII at a con, so that prompted me to paint the entire starter, which I still need to post images of. We stopped playing Malifaux as well, so I didn’t get the models out as much either.  I would like to change that this year, in regards to painting and playing, but who knows.

Anyway, to look ahead at my Challenge 2013 list, here is what I plan on working on, and that can change:

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