Saturday, 12 October 2019

Charity Project - For Joshua (blog 2)

Hi folks,

Having now moved into our new home and given some more thought on this project, and having had Joshua's cremation service yesterday, I wanted to do a blog post to update those who had very kindly offered to contribute.

For those who might not be aware, I posted here about the passing of my unborn son, Joshua, at the end of September. I felt that I should do something in order to try and raise some money for the maternity unit who had provided us so much support and the charity which had provided the memory box for us. A little further research would indicate that this project would aim to benefit the following two charities:

4Louis - a charity which supports families through miscarriage, stillbirth and loss.
North Tees and Hartlepool Together, NHS Charitable Trust - a charity working within the hospitals locally to improve the comfort of patients and to support NHS staff.

Obviously, the intention is that I do not financially or materially benefit from this project. My aim is to do something to help memorialise my lost little boy, and to make some money for charity.

The plan:

The plan is, with help from the community, to build two opposing 10mm fantasy armies. To then use these forces to hold games at a variety of UK wargames shows, then to potentially raffle the whole collection off with the proceeds going to the above charities. Hopefully, with the raffle idea tickets could also be sold as the game tours.

If enough units are contributed for there to be more than one opposing armies, the forces may be split into multiple opposing armies to be raffled. The aim is to maintain the prizes as fully fledged games, with two sides, play aids, etc.

The model stuff:

From some initial experiments done with 10mm Undead figures kindly provided to me free by Pendraken Miniatures, unit bases are planned to be 100mm by 50mm (standard base size for Warband, Pendraken's own rules). These bases give nice, chunky and busy looking units. For figures per base we will be trying to stick to default pack sizes:

- Formed Cavalry units will be around 12 figures, skirmish units (light scouting cavalry) or 'heavy' units (Rhino riding heavy cavalry) may be less that this (probably 6).

Early experiments with 12 undead cavalry on a 10cm by 50cm base

- Formed infantry units will be around 20 to 30 figures (the average pack size for most manufacturers). Skirmish units (Elven Rangers, etc) may be less that this (10 to 15).
- Artillery will generally be 2 or 3 warmachines per base, as well creatures such as giants. 'Smaller' large creatures, such as trolls or Ogres will be around 6 per base. Unusual war machines such as dwarven airships or gyrocopters will be on a case by case basis.

However, in the interests of high fantasy and good old character inclusion, I am planning on also using round bases for mini 'hero' dioramas. There would be 25mm rounds for low level hero's on foot or mounted (champions, wizards, adventurers, etc), while 'mighty heros' such as army leaders, adventuring bands of very large creatures (Dragons, etc) will be on 50mm rounds. These bases would ideally be little dioramas (so a general with a few guard and army standard, or a small group of adventurers together, etc).


With basing units, I am going to suggest that anyone who contributes can elect to sent me unbased painted figures and I will base them. This saves people having to buy specific bases they might never need for anything else, and also helps keep a uniformity to basing style. It should also make postage easier!

I will try and come up with a standard basing scheme. At the moment the plan is for a mix of static grass and patches of bare earth with a scattering of stones and the usual small tufts.

I plan to do a little print out on the underside of each base, which some brief details about the painter, where the models were painted, details of the unit or the imagi-nation that they hail from or any other info the contributer wishes to include. This way even when the collection moves on the contribution is recorded.

The armies:

There will be two 'sided' planned. Undead/Orcs/Goblins/evil versus the forces of the free/living world. Please note that all painted units (or even unpainted units) will be happily accepted, but more baddies may be needed than good guys! While I would like to keep the core as the above 'evil' races, Dark Elves, evil humans, etc, will also be welcome. But don't let that stop you from contributing some good guys as well!

For the baddies, the paint scheme should be drab, with lots of bone, rusted metal, blacks and small amounts or reds. Banners are encouraged! Any type of unit would be welcome, infantry, cavalry, monsters, etc. The more infantry, the better! But again, any unit would be gratefully received.

For the free forces, literally whatever you want. I mean it. Fancy painting some imagination 10mm Spartans, Romans, Mongolians, Templar knights, Italian infantry, Cavaliers or other historical unit more or less prior to the Napoleonic period - feel free. Anything that would be suitable in a fantasy setting up to and including basic firearms and gunpowder artillery - there is almost no limit in what historical units you could pick that fits within a rough definition of 'fantasy'.

Just keep them bright and colourful, give banners where you can and really don't stress - the idea is these are units which have answered the call from all over the world to come and fight the big bad. Mercenaries, national armies, volunteers, conscripts, lords, freemen and peasants. Think the old Warhammer/Warmaster range of tech and magic. The idea is that tech levels (in a fantasy context), dress style, etc will all vary depending on what kingdom the good forces come from.

Good old human spearmen, men at arms, archers, billmen, pikemen, peasants, etc, will be more than welcome. But as will human handgunners, landschneckt, cannon, steamtanks, etc.

Otherwise, feel free to pick units from any of the fantasy ranges available. This could be Halfling Ostritch Riders, Elven Spearmen, Dwarf Warriors, Horse Tribe Mounted Archers, or any other 10mm scale unit you fancy. And there are a lot of really cool models out there, including armed penguins, Eskimos, Aztec warriors, elves riding stags, samurai, dragon warriors, etc. Some producers that are worth checking out include:

Copplestone Castings
Magister Militum
Old Glory
Rebel Minis
Fighting 15's
Warmonger Miniatures
Trolls under the Bridge
Newline Designs
Laran Miniatures

I am really not fussy, so long as the unit isn't science fiction, it can fit. For you historical painters, this is a chance to just pick a period you have always liked and paint up a unit or two. I would add that Pendraken have been fantastic in supporting my initial idea and have provided me with a free undead army pack and rule book, as well as having a chat with me about other support they can offer.

My own contribution:

Currently, I have figures to start both sides in the form of a collection of Kights and Undead units. I aim to paint both up for inclusion in the project. The Knights will very much be styled on Warhammer Bretonnians, and will include (hopefully) some Pegasus Riders and a Lord on a large flying monster. As well as a lot of units of heavy Knights!

However, as mentioned above, I also aim to help base figures received as well as picking up the play aides and such which might be needed, as well as trying to source terrain and the likes.

How you can help:

After my initial post, I have several people kindly offer their brush to the project. I'm am extremely grateful for any help in this that I receive. The support from the guys at the Old Guard Wargames Club has already blown me away, with plans afoot for various forces. Others have contacted me via facebook or through blog comments and offered to help or offered support for me. I very much appreciate this, and I will take up those offers.

As I am UK based, I understand that there are cost implications of international post. I also appreciate that models are not cheap, and that everyone has their own lead mountains and personal burdens to carry. Therefor offers of help of contributions are extremely gratefully received, no matter the size. I know that time, and hobby time, is the most precious thing that anyone can contribute - and that people would contribute that for my wee boy is the most generous thing I can imagine. You'll be helping a dad feel like he is doing something when there is nothing else to be done.

Whether you decide to donate a single monster, hero, a single unit or multiple units, your contribution is gratefully received. If the models are painted, all the better. At the same time, 10mm suitable terrain would also be welcome. 

If you would like to help, to contribute in any way, please drop me a line via I can provide more information, answer questions and provide a postal address.

Other help, such as shout outs to the project on blogs, facebook, podcasts or Youtube are also welcome.

Finally, I have never done anything like this previously, so any advice or guidance that can be offered would be welcome!