Get your rocks off!

Check out the new additions to our scenics range. To start with, we have five new terrain pots: Hell Alamein, Loony Moons, Atmosfear, Sparenobyl and Seacide. These are designed to cover a wide range of landscapes and genres, from sea battles, to aeronautic dogfighting boards, and assorted alien environments.

Hell Alamein is good old fashioned desert terrain, ideal for World War 2 skirmishes and insurgencies. Loony Moons is designed specifically for lunar and asteroid surfaces, blasted landscaping and desolate holes.

Three in particular have a luminous component. Not enough to blind the neighbours, but enough to give a hint of the otherworldly. Seacide is designed to be used as a seascaping medium, and when used in conjunction with resins and clear washes, will glow with a faint blue/green algae hint to it. Atmosfear has a discernably disturbing quality to it, with an eerie electrical luminescence when energised with a strong light source. This can also be used as a complement to one of our other terrain mediums. Terrorform.

And finally, there’s Sparenobyl. We just ran riot on this one; deliberately engineered to look like it’s been stolen from a nuclear reactor, drawing on orange and golden hues, with an unsettling green glow. It can be used for alien landscaping, or an enemy mine. As with all of our terrain pots, the only limit is your imagination and your resourcefulness.

These are best applied to scenery and bases by applying a PVA glue or clear resin, and then sprinkling as little or as much as you like over it using a piece of folded paper or card. Shake off the excess back onto the card, and pop back into the pot if the remaining material is untainted. Then, coat with a thin layer of the same adhesive again to seal the terrain if preferred, and add flock or tufts if desired.

And that’s not all (said he, sounding like one of those snake oil charmers from one of the shopping channels). We have also produced a brand new range of Rock Pots. Tiny little pots of fun that are the same size as one of our pots of paint, so you can compare and pair them up when producing figure bases or dressing scenery. Over the next few weeks we’ll be showing exactly how these new terrain mediums can be used – keep an eye on out on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds.

Obsidian is a black, evil looking rock, not out of place in hell or at the edge of a volcano. This one pairs up nicely with our Volcanic Rock Terrain Pot. Argentumite, as the name among any closet geologists reading this will know, is a silver rock, which can double up for ore and melted metal. Likewise, our Pot of Gold is a two-tone golden coloured product that simulates melted gold globules.

Aurumite is gold ore, although our rocks have very little in the way of a gold look about them, other than their cream coloured resemblance to their real world rock counterpart. This is more of a realistic small scale bog standard rock found in quarries and chasms, whereas Adularia, its twin in a way is a mineral looking rock, varying in size and tone to avalanche debris. And finally, Barney Rubble! (the ‘!’is important, well sort of), is a general rubbling material for war zones, battlefields and destroyed buildings.

Applying the rocks in these pots can be done in the same way as you’d apply our terrain pot materials. They are a cheaper and space saving way of having some terrain at your fingertips.

Salute 50 – A grand day out

We’ve made our first journey to the annual South London Warlords’ event, Salute 50 (and the pundits will say, what kept you?).  And the verdict?  Awesome doesn’t even cover it.  

So, while the glue is drying on a freebie we received from that said event on a gloriously dull Sunday afternoon, which has only been disturbed by the occasional National Emergency Alert, we’ll give you the lowdown of how the day went for us yesterday.

On the way there, we got a little lost on the DLR, and promptly jumped off at Canning Town when we realised we had to get off the train sharpish.  Luckily our Geekdar kicked in just in time, and we spotted four fellow travellers on the adjacent platform heading towards Customs House.  All we needed to say was ‘Salute 50?’, and they all said ‘Yes’ with exceedingly big grins on their faces.  We were certain that our early start to the day was a wise one, as most of the event’s stalwarts had arrived well before the 10am start.

Some likened the day before on social media posts as being like Christmas Eve, which we initially passed off as hype.  As soon as we got to the Excel centre in London and started queuing, only then did we get it.  Totally. 

As we stood waiting in the increasingly long line to go into the hall, the great and the good filed past.  Anyone who was anyone in this game would have recognised a few familiar faces, one of which was Duncan Rhodes who walked past the queue carrying a big cardboard box, flashing a big friendly smile back at us along the way.  Christmas Day it was…the very first videos that I watched when I started to paint were old Two Thin Coats’ guides to painting on YouTube.    

On arrival, we received our official goody bags with the programme in,  some useful blurb and a beautiful freebie 28mm resin model commissioned especially for the 50th Salute event made by  (somewhat appropriately) Warlord Games.   The details on the Viking Jarl with his flagon, shield and chest of plunder was designed by  Wojtek Flis, their resident sculptor based on drawings and concepts  fleshed out with Alex Hammond of the South London Warlords, the end result being a finely detailed cast. We’ll put pictures of ours online once we have painted  them.  We were also handed a nice solid commemorative dice with the Salute 50 emblem on the six side.  Nice touch.

We entered the hall and were immediately waylaid by people in various Warhammer costumes, lovingly built, and happy to have pictures taken along us gluttons for all things GW.  There were many signs of their products at the event, although they were not themselves there as traders.  The traders that were there all had put an incredible amount of hard work in, and the ones we spoke to were all as chuffed to be there as we were. 

From Green Stuff World showing off their latest toys, TT Combat with their laser cut sets, Wayland Games who sponsored the goody bags, Warlord Games and Mighty Lancer Games who we had a good old chinwag with…the great and the good were there.  From the favoured 28mm figures to the incredibly detailed 6mm set pieces, there was something for everyone.  And there were lots of smaller traders, not lesser in stature by any means, with lots to show off and displaying their technical prowess with justifiable pride.

Salute 50, as you will probably know by now is the 50th anniversary event of The South London Warlords’ (SLW) annual exhibition that consists of wargaming clubs showing off their talents, traders showing off their wares, and people swapping and sharing stories and tips.  It has been going almost virtually uninterrupted with the exception of the COVID lockdown for the last 50 years since the seventies.

Amongst the promo material the SLWs were selling this year on one of their stands were some of the tee-shirts from Salute 2020, which many bought for the irony and humour value.  The pandemic forced that event to be scrubbed, and the Excel where it was supposed to have been held at the time was temporarily converted into the first Nightingale Hospital.  Walking around the vast space, it made you wonder just how many casualties were being estimated by the powers that be if their projected worst case scenario had actually unfolded.

Counterintuitively, many of the traders there had actually made a profit during the pandemic as their sales went up.  Us modellers are a hardy and solitary bunch sometimes,  and like a lot of you reading this, we bought stuff online to keep us sane and amused during lockdown.  Moonhopper Games as a company itself was in fact a lockdown baby, as we started up in September 2020.

As we went around the floor, we were literally like kids in a sweet shop.  Our resident Paint Pixie Charlie suggested that next time we should attach a child’s wrist restraint to her in case she wandered off and bought too much stock!  We were practically dumbstruck by the sheer level of detail on the 6mm scale armies brought in by quite a few of the exhibitors, and there were also some 3mm tall figures. All of the tabletop games going on had upped the ante for the event.  As hobbyists ourselves, it’s given us something to aspire to.

Nothing was spared, and everyone participating pulled out all the stops and one or two others along the way for the hell of it.  Our jaws are still aching from all the gawping we were doing yesterday.  We must have looked like bailiffs, wandering around pointing at things and making notes of what to get next.

There was the annual painting competition, and we saw many prize hopefuls carrying their hard painted efforts in small boxes, all nervous and expectant. We personally wouldn’t have liked to have been judges as all that participated had set the bar high.  From Lisa Mason’s Snow Dragon for the Best in Show category, to Caleb Beaver’s Fulgrim in the Junior competition.  Everyone went all out in terms of effort.

As for the tabletop battles that raged across the hall, we were spoilt for choice.  From a fine re-enactment of Operation Barbarossa set up by Anschluss Wargames, albeit with some sneaky tank tactics that may or may not have been in keeping with historical record by their own amused admissions, and a very thoughtfully recreated table of the Dambusters Raid on the The Möhne and Edersee dams by the Peterborough Wargames Club, which included actual debris from some of the ill-fated bombers that went on the legendary raid, no detail was too much. 

The siege of the American Embassy during the Tet offensive and Operation Desert Shield were amongst the more modern historical battles raging, while naval battles from a different age such as the Napoleanic Wars were on separate tables.  We had a good old natter with the Cornwall Wargames Association with their fantastic Blackbeard against the Royal Navy battle table, and they were in fine fettle, dressed in character complete with uniforms and tricorn hats.  And the odd pith helmet, belt and braces were the order of the day with the Crawley Wargamer Association, who  replayed the 1845 battle of Ferozaphur when the Sikhs mounted a spirited attack on the British Empire’s East India Company.

Then there were the sci-fi and fantasy tables.  From Warhammer to Moonstone, Relicblade to a skirmish amongst asteroids with South London Warlord’s inventive game ‘To the Scattered Bodies Go’, every table at the event just popped, giving us new ideas and surprises.  For many societies, this isn’t so much an exhibition, it’s more akin to a pilgrimage to see their holy grail or to nod with their equivalents of the druids at Stonehenge on Midsummers Day.

Then there were the peripheral but no less important tables.  The colouring-in table provided by Bad Squiddo Games for the younger visitors was a neat idea and a very needed area for some of the kidults there.  The coffee area for weary travellers was at the back of the hall, which we found at the last hour; that’s our fault for not swatting up too much on the programme beforehand.  We’d dived in and out at key points of the event, the first time for a coffee break outside at Costas a third of the way round the event, while the second third was taken as an opportunity to get emergency Noodles for lunch in order to fuel up and rest our weary feet. The noodles were good. Really good.

The Kickstarter tables were also fascinating and there were some incredible concepts on display. The Tiny Conflict Universe created by the good humoured Department of Wargaming has developed a very cheap and cheerful concept, by the inventive use/reuse of old sprues for tiny spaceship fleets. We picked up their copy of the Milky Way Weekly and had a good chat to them. In this day and age where inflation is going stupid, this is a very affordable way of gaming for those on a very tight budget.

The Salute café area was situated near ‘The Lard Zone’ an area dominated by some splendid games run by the Too Fat Lardies, who were having a whale of a time with games such as ‘Chain of Command, ‘What a Cowboy’ and the one that tickled us, ‘I ain’t been shot mum’.

There were speed painting tables for all to enjoy that were being run by Paint All The Minis and Trans Atlantis/Two Thin Coats, and in the discussion zone the Panel guests were the right mix of talent. Duncan Rhodes strutted his stuff as usual, and the Women in Wargaming panel was lively to say the least, very well received and enlightening.  With a decent panel of Hobby Heroes, as well as panels on game design and terrain building tips during the day, there was something for everyone.

By no means least, the Armed Forces charity, the Soldier, Sailor and Airmen’s Families Association (SSAFA) were also present with a a well manned and friendly stand.  It is perhaps more important than ever to acknowledge the positive value of our hobby in relation to mental health and wellbeing, so it was very appropriate that the charity was there, which supports ex-servicemen and their families in times of hardship and distress. 

So, we finished the day there at 4pm, one hour shy of the end of the event.  Happy but exhausted, not just from wandering about such a big space with lots of fellow enthusiasts, but also dog tired mentally – but in a good way.  This state of affairs was temporarily relieved with a can of lager and a packet of cheese puffs on the long train journey home from Waterloo.  An early night was called for after the excitement of the day, but it’s definitely on next years’ calendar for us.  To the South London Warlords and everybody who made it such a fantastic day, we thank you.

Roll on Salute 2024.

Helpful links

South London Warlords Homepage – Salute

Department of Wargaming

SSAFA The Armed Forces Charity

Show us your works in progress!

So, the weekend is here again, and what better way to pass away the time than to plough through the pile of shame you have built up mercilessly over the last god-knows-how-long. In the time honoured tradition of show-and-tell, post a picture here of what you’re working on at the moment. You never know, someone else on this feed may have some handy tips or words of encouragement.

Show us what you got!

#wip #wipsaturday #scratchbuild #kitbashing #warhammer #miniaturepainting #wargaming

Freebie Friday

It’s that time of week again. And we’ve got these Moonhopper tee shirts to give away free with the next twenty orders.

Just put your order through, and we’ll email you if you’re one of the lucky ones.

These tee shirts come in either royal blue or traffic cone orange. Impress your friends…confuse your enemies…leave the cat bemused. Alternatively, you can buy one from our merch shop if you’re not so lucky and you still want to look the proverbial bee’s knees.

Happy Friday folks!

Legend Games range

Roll out the barrel…literally! We are proud stockists of Legend Games products.

From the aforementioned barrels in various states of size, fillings and modelled condition, to Necromancer thrones, quality scenics and scatter terrain, we stock ample amounts of these finely detailed resin cast pieces. These require priming and painting, but once done, the results speak for themselves. Our Paint Pixie loves working on these, as you can see from some of the photos below.

Whether you’re into Warhammer or Dungeons and Dragons, these pieces will stand out on the table. Take a look at the Legend Games range that we have in stock. We’ll be adding more to the range as and when Legend Games releases new items.

Pop in to see our range of paints and glazes

Sometimes you need a specific paint or glaze for a task, and often you find that there simply isn’t one. That’s why our Paint Pixie started mixing ours. We have developed our range so that they can be used in their own right, or with each other to create complimentary effects. From alien landscapes to snow crusted mountains and moonscapes, you can literally paint anything with our technical acrylics.

Why not take a look at our range of paints guide. This tells you what each paint does, and we’ll be highlighting the qualities, as well as giving hints and tips on using Moonhopper paints and glazes. We have lots more in the pipeline, so keep your ear to the ground.

Take a look at our Flock Pots

Need to bung grass and foliage in awkward places? Why not use one of our Flock Pots. A little goes a long way, and these pots will help you make anything from a hilltop battlefield, to an alien arid landscape. These are made with a safe hydrophilic compound, and the colours are mixed to produce the flock pots. Used in conjunction with our grasses and Terrain Pots, you can achieve some stunning effects and scenes.

We stock four types. Meadow Green is a lush verdant green, that you can sprinkle on hills and apply to give a grassy texture. Moss Acre is a harsher green, that can be applied sparingly to rocks and cliff edges, ruined buildings and walls as an aging medium.

Moss Acre: MG4055

Harsh Marsh is a brown, dull and nasty weed, and again is good for ruined terrain, decaying landscapes and flurrying over urban detritus. Finally, Wellsian Red is our tribute to HG Wells. Anyone who’s read The War of the Worlds is aware of the insidious Red Weed that crawls across the landscape once the invading Martians have established their hold on the Earth. This our homage to the floral menace, and can be used to cover rocks and other features.

Wellsian Red: MG4065

Welcome to the world of Moonhopper…

Well, here we are. We made it – everything is in the shop now and we have lots of things cooking between here and Christmas. It’s been a tough couple of years for everybody, but while the world has been sleeping we have been busy. We officially started up last September, but have been taking our time to get things right, messed around with a few things to see how we could do them better, or if not better, cheaper and more affordable.

Here are quality modelling products and figures, at decent prices. Some are even our own brand. Our resident Paint Pixie, Charlie has spent the last few months getting our range of technical paints, glazes and terrain materials ready with her assistant Lurch in the backroom. We’re chuffed to bits with the results, and we hope you will be too. And we’ll be adding to our already growing range as we go along.

Please follow our blog, spend a bit of time on the site if you like – we stock all the staples, from tools and materials, to finecast resin figure brands, somewhat lesser known than the Games Workshop range which we don’t stock. Why? Well, it would be a Busman’s Holiday for us. We love their stuff, it’s partly why some of us got into wargaming and modelling in the first place. Our ranges are deliberately geared towards the heroic scale of figures, so we consider the GW pantheon to be the benchmark. And to that end we’re amiably running parallel to that, with products that both add to and equal GW in range, quality and value.

So in short, we like to offer alternatives to the Plastic Crack brigade. We have sourced some fantastic brands, the indy ranges that are of beautiful quality, can be played on the table and painted the same way in their own right, or even played and integrated into GW armies either as a kitbash or as a dispossessed army in its own right. That might be controversial in some circles, but hell, that’s the way we roll. All are welcome.

So, that’s who we are. We live, we’re on social media in the usual fun places (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), and you can subscribe to our emails for details and updates of what we’re up to, what’s new and sometimes, the odd blog from us if we find or try something worth sharing. So enjoy, sit down, have a cuppa, browse…and welcome aboard!

Steven, Charlie and the team