When I relapsed back into miniature gaming (after 13 years clean dammit) I had 2 underlying aims I wanted to try and keep to:
- Stay true to my 12-year-old self and make my teams mine, don’t settle for the same thing everyone else has.
- Try not to spend all of the money on this hobby.
Pledge 2 is proving a little hard to keep but is at least assisted by my love of trawling small miniature manufacturers, eBay auctions and converting. From one of these random trawls through everyone’s favourite online tat bazaar I came across the genus of an idea for my Goblins.
I dropped out of miniatures before the Ogre Kingdoms became a thing so was only vaguely aware of Gnoblars. Seeing this fine chap wielding a smashed bottle spoke to the side of me that sees goblins, especially of the BB variety, as a group of hooligans who are there for the tear up more than the game. Gnoblar, Goblin… close enough for me! A couple of months of eBaying led me to pick up a ‘used’ Gnoblar regiment plus a job lot of other random runts from the other Ogre sprues. The majority were slowly cleaned up, some with makeshift weapons in place as they fit the aesthetic, others with weapon snips and the fists carved out suitably. Tiny peeve of mine that, you already have a knife in your hand to remove the weapon, just making a little divot looks so much better than a flat spot!
Those that were armed less conveniently had some minor surgery, limbs kindly donated by some Skaven. It was at this point the basing scheme started to coalesce with the fluff in my head. What could be worse than finishing a hard-fought game of Blood Bowl only for the fans to spill out the stands and you have to play all over again? Hence the bases started as simple broken ground I envisaged on a sideline of a Blood Bowl pitch. This was swiftly followed by somewhere the stands had been destroyed as part of the riot. Finally, my confidence building from coffee stirrers took over and I made some mini bleacher sections for a couple of the lads to stand on.
The inspiration was strong at this point and the team name and theme was born; ‘olmesdale ‘ooligans. Named after the biggest stand at Selhurst Park and wearing the mighty red and blue stripes I was pleased to be able to leverage in my real life side in a non-obvious manner. Some of the nicknames for cult Palace players over the years also work particularly well for some goblins so that was another box ticked. I do like a good theme for a team so was particularly happy with a ‘realistic’ sounding side for the setting for a change rather than my usual unrelated concept.
For the trolls, there was only one direction I wanted to go. I adore the classic rock troll miniatures as they just ooze character. Keeping to my thrifty ways I patiently waited on eBay to pick up a couple of bargain auctions where the feet had come off. No literally, the feet had broken off both trolls I picked up. Troll number one was the classic throwing a rock which screamed out conversion to throwing a goblin. It took many lunchtimes (my primary hobby time) to painstakingly saw, drill, carve, scrape and file the rock out of the hands but the final result was worth all the effort. The cradled Gobbo very excited about the journeyManos de Dios is about to send him on.
The second troll that came up was a big club dude. Not fancying more heavy surgery I decided that he's hauled a sign from the ground pitchside in the excitement. Some more stirrers, brass picture wire for rope and a little sprue and a placard was made. The decision is still out on the sign contents, maybe “Keep off da Grass” or “Toilets ‘dis way ->”?
From the job lot of bits, there were 3 flattened Gnoblar, presumably trod on by an ogre. These were co-opted to for similar duty on the troll base. The main reason for this was that both are magnetised, if they are knocked down for any reason they can be popped off and the base marks their spot. The flattened Gnoblar loin cloths match the troll to identify which is which.
Also in the job lot of bits were some baggage runts, including one with a barrel. If you were a hooligan who would you be bossed about by? That's right, the one holding the beer. A small tap was put on one end with a paperclip and carved piece of sprue and we hadSir Steve, the head coach/turn marker.
As you can see the team is still a work in progress. Half the side is left to paint and there are a few more models to finish converting. I'm trying to speed paint these guys as a palate cleanser from my chaos scheme so they might actually be finished this year. Next article will spotlight the weapons/positionals who were also converted from the same job lot.