Never Mind the Bill Hooks Deluxe and Partizan

Before you ask, yes, we do have a definite date for the publication and release of the new Bill Hooks deluxe rules set, so read on for more information! And for those of you not familiar with what Bill Hooks deluxe is, here is the definitive sales pitch!

The cover of Never Mind The Bill Hooks Deluxe!


Billhooks is a fast-action game of late medieval European warfare, set at the small battle/big skirmish level – think Nibley Green rather than Towton. 

You will need around 100 figures a side, lots of D6, and a 6 x 4 foot table – everything else you need to play the game is included in this book. A typical game can be played through in around 90 minutes (or rather less if the Dice Goddess wills it!).

Billhooks Deluxe gives you a ‘Core’ Wars of the Roses ruleset and then expands that to cover six new Theatres and Conflicts from across Western European Christendom c1350-1525. So you will find troop stats and special rules for Irish Gallowglass, Hussite War-Wagons, and Landsknecht Pikemen along with all the other troop types to be found on battlefields of the period, from 100 Years’ War France to Renaissance Italy.

The game uses a card-driven turn sequence and many tried and tested combat mechanisms to produce battles that are full of period flavour but always unpredictable.

Play one game of Billhooks and you’ll want to play another!

The following are the Theatres and Conflicts you can find in this book: 

Albion – The Wars of the Roses 

Gallia – The Hundred Years’ War 

Bohemia – The Hussite Wars 

Helvetia – The Swiss-Burgundian War 

Italia – The Italian Wars 

Northumbria – The Anglo-Scottish Border Reivers Lusitania – Late Medieval Portugal 

Hibernia – Warfare in Ireland

Finally, there is a Modelling Masterclass chapter with a comprehensive guide to painting, modelling, and kitbashing 28mm plastic figures. 


Perfect bound, Softback, full colour. 180 pages.

If that has whetted your appetite, your can place your pre order here:


Never Mind The Bill Hooks Card Deck

Never Mind The Bill Hooks Tokens

We expect to be shipping orders in the last week of November – please read the full listings for details.

The last play test for these rules actually happened at Partizan in early October. Although the manuscript was completed and was actually about to be sent to the publishers, it was decided that we would have a couple of games involving the public to see if we had missed anything obvious.

We played two games. One involving the French/Swiss alliance against a Spanish army and a second game of Anglo/German/Irish against an rebel Irish army. Both games were played out by helpful visitors to Partizan and no major ‘glitches’ were found. As usual, as I was heavily involved in playing and ‘advising’ I forgot to take enough pictures, but here are a few samples.

A Block of Swiss Pikemen face off against a Spanish ‘Tercico’ formation. In the back ground French knights are about to charge down the Spanish light horse.
Battle is joined! The Spanish just edge the fight inflicting 6 losses for 5 of their own casualties.

The first battle went well with the Spanish initially gaining the upper hand but the Swiss mercenaries showed their resilience and despite being initially daunted and pushed back, their commander was able to rally them and they went on to route that Spanish from the field.

Irish vs Irish – Gallowglass already taking casualties from the Cannon

The second battle was based on a fictional scenario in Ireland. When Thomas Fitzgerald of Ireland gathered his Yorkist forces as part of the Lambert Simnel Rebellion, we supposed that before he left for Britain, he decided to use his army of German mercenaries, English and Irish troops to sort out his Lancaster rival John Butler, the Earl of Ormond. The Irish forces suffered from a lack of long range missile troops, so getting into combat as quickly as possible was imperative.

The German Mercenary’s lead by Martin Schwartz and his warhound!

It’s worth mentioning that the German contingent was represented by figures that I had recovered and refurbished from the late Duncan Mcfarlane’s collection and lead by a Partizan limited edition show figure – Martin Schwartz. Duncan must have been smiling down on the game as his pikemen were to be the unit that broke the Irish and put them to flight!

The irish Kern charge the English Bills. The German Pikes are about to do the same to the other unit of Kern.

The Irish were unable to get their Gallowglass into combat before losing too many casualties to Arrow storms and cannon fire. The Irish Kern did close to combat but were beaten back by the English Bill men. The Other unit of Kern, were driven from the field by the Pikes. Game over for the Irish. One interesting amendment to the rules was made as a result of this and previous games involving the Irish. It will no longer be permitted for bands of Irish kern Skirmishers to make a frontal charge on a formed unit. I had been using them as ‘Kamikaze ‘ units to try and slow the enemy and/or force a morale check if the Kern got lucky! As this is somewhat ‘gamey’ Andy decided to stop this! Quite right too! It was unrealistic and research has shown no suicidal tendencies in Irish troops! However, they can still cause mischief by springing from cover and attacking on the flank or rear of an unwary unit – the Irish were certainly opportunistic!

That aside, the game played well and the rules are now with the printers. If you would like to join in with the ‘Never Mind the Bill Hooks’ battles, you can pre order your rules set either by using the link above or the ones below. We will ship in Late November – the expected delivery to us is the 21st November – we will keep you informed if you order with us and ship ASAP.


I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – remember that our web site will have much of what you need! Click here to see our shop:


You can see the range of miniatures and accessories we think are suitable to for the Wars of the Roses, along with the rest of our Never mind The Bill Hooks range here:


Happy Modelling!

Perry’s Flat Boat

For my 60th birthday present I asked for one of what was then a new release, the Perry Miniatures Napoleonic Flat Boat and full compliment of crew. I thought that it was a lovely model and would look nice in the cabinet as a display piece. As I am now approaching 66, I thought that it was time to get it painted!

The kit comprises of a resin boat with six of the oarsmen molded on board, six metal oarsmen, a midshipman, a party of 3 officers, a sergeant, drummer and three troopers and finally, four blocks of seated infantrymen – 18 in total. I know why I put off painting the model. It is quite an undertaking to paint, in effect, nearly 40 figures and a boat. That’s before you even think about to how to base it.

The metal compliment of crew await clean up!

As usual, the best way to approach such a project is to break it down into stages. Stage one being the clean up and preparation of the pieces. I’ve said before but I’ll say it again, I believe that the Perry’s are the best sculptors in the business. Unfortunately, the casting of their models is not to the same high standard and the clean up of the pieces was quite a job. In the event, I think that you will see from the pictures that I may have missed some mold lines but often removing some of the casting errors results in damage to the sculpts. Better to leave the lines and try to cover them with paint rather than file off the beautiful detail.

The assembled boat painted as detailed below.

That said, on with the project. I washed the resin boat in warm soapy water and when dry, glued the two halves of the boat together. Once primed in Leather brown, I painted the boat using my standard finish for wood. Base coat of Chocolate Brown, Wet coat of Flat Brown, Wet brush of Flat Earth, Dry brush of Orange Brown, highlight of Yellow Ochre. If this sounds a bit OTT, I do like the result, so I tend to stick with this method whenever I am painting wood effects. I’ve written a more detailed article on how the process of painting wood works for me in an earlier blog article. You can see it here:

Painting Wood – Trebuchet article

Once I was happy with the boat I started on the oarsmen. These are a bit tricky to paint as they are fixed into the boat so angling my paint brush was a challenge at times. As regards the colours, I simply copied the pictures on the Perry web site. I noticed that the resin oarsmen are more casually dressed than the metal ones, who are in uniform. I found the stripey trousers and shirts a bit of a challenge but my freehand is gradually improving. The secret ( apart from a steady hand) is to use well thinned paint that flows nicely off of the brush. And of course, a decent brush. Any ‘wobbly bits on the stripes are easily touched up.

Painted crew – just the faces to finish highlighting!

Once the crew were block painted, I gave the flesh an Ink wash with vallejo flesh ink and the rest of the figures a wash with army painter dark tone. When the ink was dry, I then went back over the figures, highlighting with the original colours and tidying up any obvious errors.

The next stage in the process was to tackle the metal oarsmen and midshipman. Again, I followed my usual block paint, ink wash and highlight process. For the uniform, I just used the Perry’s pictures as reference although I also checked out my copy of Stephen Beisty’s Incredible cross sections book of the Victory!

As you will have noticed, the boat has been temporarily mounted on a base for painting and handling as I finish the crew. Talking of which, the Officers and troopers were next up.

Painting in progress!

I also decided that I didn’t like the wooden finish on the outside of the boat, so I’ve given it a white finish with a black gun whale. Here is the progress so far, with the officers taking their seats!

Officers in place
Progress so far

The next stage is to finish the individual figures – the drummers and guards and then it is on to the blocks of sitting troopers.

The next batch inked and awaiting re highlight

I have yet to glue everything in place but I am pleased with the way that the model is gradually taking shape. Hopefully, in my next blog, I will be close to finishing this lovely model!


I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – our web site will have much of what you need! Click here to see our shop.


You can find all the Vallejo Model colour paints here. If you don’t want to browse, just enter the paint number into the shop search bar;


Happy Modelling!