As the year turns…

2016 was a year to remember for the men from the Ministry.

We launched our most successful independent product yet – Blood Eagle, In Her Majesty’s Name and Daishō continued to sell well and, we attended more shows than ever before.

We unified the blogs into this common location. We also still have an active presence on several popular for a including the dedicated IHMN board on Lead Adventures and, the Wargames Website.

Articles on IHMN and Blood Eagle appeared in various magazines including Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy (thanks Guy) and Wargames Illustrated (thanks Wayne).

The Facebook pages continued to grow; IHMN has 1,293 members; Blood Eagle 884, and; Daishō 482. Each of them have grown into courteous and helpful communities in their own rights, and we are proud of how members have behaved on them. Well done one and all!

the-men-from-the-ministry-2

2017 promises to be another humdinger…

At Salute, we shall launch the first supplement for IHMN for three years, the long-awaited Gothic. We shall bring you more information on this as we get closer to the launch.

We shall hopefully be attending even more shows. We are just awaiting for confirmations from a few before producing a list for you. There shall be a new board just for Gothic to supplement Bill Harrington’s fantastic Gothic cemetery – we are serialising its production on this blog. And, there may also be a surprise new board for Blood Eagle – more news when this is ready.

We will begin work on the next book – watch this space for news of that (and comment below if you have any ideas you would like to see fulfilled).

Once our friendly local retailer is ready we are going to release PDF copies of Blood Eagle and Daishō for you to use on your pads and PCs. The beautiful hard copies shall still be available from North Star Miniatures and all good retailers.

So, lots to do.

Happy New Year to you all!

Posted in Announcement | Leave a comment

IHMN Gothic village III

Last week I had got the point where the outer walls were complete and just needed the paint job.
The stone walls came first and rather than use up the fine figure paints I have I went to my cupboard and got out the Reeves Acrylic. These are 75ml tubes and cost a pittance compared to my usual fare. Titanium White and Mars Black mixed up roughly in unequal proportions in a small plastic tub gave me a range of greys to work with.
The first coat was the base coat of dark grey. As expected, the foam absorbed quite a bit but not as much as you might think. Once that was mostly dry I dry-brushed a lighter grey to bring our the individuals stones. The last touch was with the grey that was still streaked with a little white. This light dry-brushing, working from top of the walls to the bottom added some highlights.

20161126_102419
Although I was moderately careful in the application I did not worry if some strayed onto the woodwork as these are village houses in the Carpathian mountains, not a 19th Century English Garden Village.
I must admit being really please in how the stonework came out. The foam board technique really makes the stones look real.

20161126_102430
Then I progressed to the timber. The tip here is to use a dark paint, water it down considerably but do not overload your brush. If you do stray onto the plastered panels don’t be anxious. Also if the paint seems to be different shades leave it, it looks more naturally aged.

20161126_113249
Finally, for the base colours, I put a coloured wash on the plastered panels. Eastern europeans were not drab people, if they could add a little colour they did, so here we have some faded paintjobs that might once have been pink.
Detailing included putting some iron reinforcements on the doors and window cross slits. Also, as these people face horrors we can only imagine on a daily basis, every window is daubed with a red cross.

20161126_113243

So what do you think? I’d be glad to get some feedback on this process and perhaps some tips and tricks you use.
Next week we begin roofing this building, which is a whole other feat entirely.

Posted in Craft work, In Her Majesty's Name | 2 Comments

IHMN Gothic Village houses II

Last week I had got to the point of marking out my design on the foam board which shall form the four external walls. This weekend I began a series of experiments which shall culminate in the production of the first house and define how I shall build the remainder.

1. Cutting out the four walls

A series of simple, straight cuts released the walls from the foam board sheet and makes each much easier to handle. The key thing is to keep the knife blade at ninety degrees to the cutting board.

2. Doors and windows, part 1

Then I moved onto cutting out each marked door and window. I know that I could have just stuck frames to the outside of the foam board, but if I am going to use the insides of the building at any point having the openings cut through will help.

3. Stonework

I had decided to have the ground floor walls made of rugged stone. I could have applied thin card pieces to the exterior of the foam board, but decided instead to try a technique I had seen online.

I stripped the thin card surface of the foam board to reveal the foam below. This was a little tricky at first until I discovered it was easier to cut (just) through the card in narrow strips then peel them back carefully.

With the foam exposed I then used a propelling pencil to mark out the stone pattern. This was actually quite fun as the pencil sank into the foam and created a clear pattern. I made sure there were broad stone lintels over doors and windows.

Foam stripped bare and imprinted with stone patter.

Foam stripped bare and imprinted with stone patter.

Note that I only stripped the outside card, leaving the inside to give the foam strength.

4. Doors and windows, part II

I cut some long strips of thin card 5mm wide then with a single cut and three score lines created an internal frame for each window and door hole. The trick here is to place the strip against each side of the frame and make the length between the score lines about 1mm less than the hole dimension.

Then I PVA’d the holes and gently unfolded the frame inside and pressed it into place. This may seem fiddly, but once again it gives a visible frame for the insides of the window and door holes.

Frames are in. Note that they do not have to be too neat.

Frames are in. Note that they do not have to be too neat.

Also, for the foam stonework sections, the internal frame gives you a solid structure to glue your shutters and doors to.

Once done, I added card shutters to each window. I scored light lines down the shutters to represent wood grain, and for some windows I cut a cross-shaped hole in the middle. This gives the inhabitants something to shoot out of and wards off vampires… possibly.

20161114_121034

The front door I constructed from coffee-stirrer wood, with reinforcing strips on the back. The back door is card.

5. Timber framing

Finally I added thin strips of wood/card to represent the timber frame of the upper storeys.

 20161114_121018

The next step will be to paint the walls inside and out. It is my intention to have all the parts of the house complete and painted before assembly begins.

I also have internal walls and floors to do, the chimney and last, but by no means least, the shingled roof. This is a entire project unto itself and the one I shall tackle last.

Posted in Craft work, In Her Majesty's Name | Leave a comment

Savage’s Legion

On the IHMN page, in the New Companies list you shall find a company that bears a distinct resemblance to this chap…

sandfire

He is Akhenaton’s greatest enemy and a fierce opponent.

Have fun mes amis!

Posted in In Her Majesty's Name | Leave a comment

IHMN Gothic Update

Gentlemen and Ladies

The primary writing for Gothic is complete and the Alpha draft is with our friendly editors for sense-checks and proofing. They should have their work done by the end of November and then it goes through a swift redraft before going to Millsy, our layout artist.
This gives us time to start other things, most important of which is the creation of the second Gothic participation game table for Salute 2017.
We already have the superb Cemetery by Bill Harrington that some of you saw last year, but I am coming up with something a bit different – the Transylvanian village of ‘Sucevita’. As benighted a place as ever there was, where Professor van Helsing and some brave villagers shall do battle with Viktor von Frankenstein and his abominations.
I am taking as the inspiration for my board the village featured in the 2004 Van Helsing film featuring Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale. We could argue for weeks about the merits of that film, but one thing you cannot but applaud were the sets.

xzcvvvxbvbccvb

I would also like a bit of a Hammer Horror film feeling as well (what? I’m old, get over it).
To that end I need to build at least half a dozen substantial village houses, and supporting terrain. This I shall be recording here in a series of short articles so you can witness their design and crafting.
I had considered using the Fabled Realms houses from our friends at 4Ground. They are excellent pieces but really don’t give off that eastern European vibe I am looking for. So it is once more down to me.
The first job when crafting buildings is to do a design review. Thus I created a list of features I wanted to include in them, such as;
– What are they made of? Stone, timber, roof tiles/shingles?
– How big should they be? Small, medium or large,
– Am I going to have detailed insides? Are we going to allow figures to move through and even fight in them?
– What will they look like? How many doors, windows, balconies, chimneys?
I am planning to produce a 75cm square board, and already have pre-cut sheets of 5mm ply for that purpose. So if I craft six buildings about 100x150mm, add walled yards, small outbuildings, a couple of streets and various scatter terrain, that should be more than enough to fill it with a pleasing and tactically challenging layout.
I generally make buildings with a strong core of 5mm foam board, then other features are made from card, matchsticks and thin wood sheet. I base them on thin hardboard and the whole thing is held together with PVA and cocktail sticks inside the foamboard.
You can see below a design drawn onto an A2 sheet of 5mm foamboard. Other than the key wall dimensions, you do not have to be too precise with the placement of doors and windows. Few houses were ever built alike before the 20th century.

20161106_101609 20161106_101457
This design comes from some 1:1 scale sketches I first did on 5mm graph paper.
The A2 sheet will provide enough material to make two such houses, with enough left over for yard walls and outbuildings.
And there I shall leave it for today. Keep an eye out for more articles as the build progresses.

Posted in Craft work, In Her Majesty's Name | 2 Comments

A new future

As you may know, we believe in supporting our players through an active presence on Facebook and other fora. We also maintain a blog for each of our games. As you can imagine this is very time-consuming, time we could use for writing new material.

Also, by having separate blogs for each game players do not get to see what else is going on in our range of games. This is a shame as all three games use the same core engine so players may find skills, powers, beasts and equipment from the others that they can adapt to their own games.

So we have decided to bring all of our games onto this single website.

The individual game blogs will not be deleted. There are hundreds of articles, battle reports, tutorials, pieces of fiction and other materials on them we do no want to lose. But they will no longer be updated.

Most of the additional/bonus materials we have placed on these blogs has been ported across to this website, where each game has its own page. Additionally, we will be combing through the original blogs and extracting all the useful articles, dropping them into PDF then placing them in the games pages of this website.

If you are a regular reader or follower of the original blogs we hope you will now transfer your allegiance to the new.

Posted in Announcement | Leave a comment