Wednesday, 16 June 2021

When Turnips Turn Bad

 This is going to be the last post in the Turnip 28 project for a little while (probably). After all, man cannot live on turnips alone. I thought I'd make a few monsters for the batch of soldiers to fight. It seems to be a rule that the animals of the Turnip world are manky and squalid, and I wanted to incorporate the root veg theme into these strange, mutated beings.

So, what better than to make men turning into turnips, or possibly turnips turning into men?

Our first specimen was made from a Perry body and right arm, with an old chaos hound tail as a left arm. and a skull for a head. Green stuff was used to make the head more turnip-like, along with a trimmed-down Army Painter swamp tuft glued to the top.

The second turnipoid is also based on a Perry model, with a Mantic zombie head that I enlarged with green stuff. The branches coming out of his back were cut from a plastic GW dryad, many years ago.

Specimen three was made from a Mantic zombie. All I did was to replace the head with a ball of green stuff with another tuft stuck on top. Strangely creepy, for a vegetable.

Our fourth turnip-monster started life as a GW Blood Bowl Nurgle player. I left the head off and smoothed over the rotting stomach with clay. Because he was so big, he got an entire swamp tuft instead of a head.

And with paint...

Here's a group shot.

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Turnipocalypse Now

Time for some more wretched survivors of the turnipocalypse. First up, here's another soldier. He has a Warlord Games commando body, Perry Napoleonics arms, and a head and gun-shield from Perry medievals. I took the opportunity to paint some insignia on the shield like that in the original Turnip 28 design sketches.

Gervaise Pavaise is the unit's sharpshooter, mainly because he has a rhyming name. Also, he might as well be doing something useful whilst cowering behind his huge metal shield.

Next, a couple of desperate survivors. This guy has a Perry body, a Warlord commando head (with painted-on beard!) and arms from the Frostgrave female wizards sprue. I painted him with a green jacket to distinguish him from the other useless chaff in the warband (and to enable him to fight them if needs be).

Jake Gripney is a brutal, sullen maniac whose hobbies include murder, theft and folk music. In his wanderings, he has buried many men and turnip-based monsters six feet under - which, in the case of the turnip monsters, probably wasn't a good idea.

I bought a child model from the local gaming shop. She was from the Nolzur's Marvellous Miniatures range and, like a lot of their character models, had a lot of mould lines and needed some cleaning up. I replaced her hand (it was holding an apple), with an old pistol I had lying around, and widened her sleeves with green stuff. Painting the grimy dress was enjoyable: painting the fiddly face, less so.

When Jake's sister was killed by bandits, her dying wish was for him to take care of her daughter Eliza. Assuming "take care of" meant "throw off a cliff", Jake happily agreed. Now that small mistake has  been cleared up, he's stuck with the little blighter.

But what sort of horrors will these ruthless scavengers face? Well, last week I ordered a model in a sale that might do the trick. It was an officer from a range called Precinct Omega, which I've never heard of before or since. The model turned out to be completely the wrong scale: much too tall and very spindly. It wouldn't pass as human, but... 

I happened to have the head from an ancient squig that I'd hacked off its body many years ago. I replaced the officer's head with the squig's, and produced a weird and nightmarish creature that looked like a cross between Rawhead Rex and one of those German nutcrackers that you see at Christmas. Perhaps inevitably, its head was painted as a massive turnip.

After monsters, cultists and demons, I think this is one of the most sinister models I've ever made. It really is quite creepy (as well as ridiculous).

There are many cautionary tales for children: indeed, the village of Blott hosts an annual contest, where the person who terrifies the most infants with their tale wins a handful of carrots. Many an adult still flinches at the thought of Doctor Nostrils, Wootie the Child-Scyther or the dreaded Dentistry Gnomes. Most stories are just nonsense intended to terrify children into shutting up, but a few may have a basis in fact...

Then I decided to give him stripey trousers.

Saturday, 5 June 2021

For A Few Turnips More

 It's been a busy week in the world of the turnip, and I've been able to make a few more wretched soldiers. A uniform seems to be developing, despite me using bits from medieval, Napoleonic and WW2 commando kits. A lot of Napoleonic British soldiers seem to have flasks of some kind on their belts, which can be easily painted to look like turnips. Here are the new soldiers in their questionable glory.

Private Nozzle is young and idealistic, and eagerly plays a fanfare on his trumpet whenever his comrades find a good turnip, which helps nobody.

Private First Class Gripknee is known for his excellent aim, and not for his personal hygiene.

Private Clencher is so well-armoured that nobody has seen his face for many years. Or perhaps this is his face. It's better not to inquire.

Corporal Shalegrind is a tough soldier with many years of hunting vegetables under his belt. Why he hunts vegetables under his belt, nobody knows. Most people just look in the ground. Here he is carrying a raw turnip as a tasty snack/new best friend/minor deity.

I was wondering who would dare take arms against these bold warriors. Obviously, there will be the soldiers of other warbands and grotty provinces, but what strange creatures do they face? I hope to have answers soon.

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

And now with added drama...

 After the surprising results of the black box photography for the turnip soldiers, I've been mucking about with the camera, trying to capture the same effect on other models. As my photography skills are pretty much non-existent, it's mainly been a process of trial and error. Here is the converted bounty hunter I made a few posts ago, in "dramavision":

That's, er, quite good really, for me at least. At any rate, it's the first time I've shaded something grey (her trousers, in this case) and they haven't looked grainy and stark. 

Flushed with success, I thought I'd have a try at using this style on the Warband of the Seasons I made a while back, which is one of the "darker" set of models I've made recently. Here are the members of the warband without the "auto adjust colours" option being applied, which I sometimes have to use to make pictures presentable.

They look quite cool, probably because you can't see all the godawful mistakes I've made in painting them. They've got a certain "painting in a house where you wouldn't want to stay overnight" quality. This is how they look with the "auto adjust colours" feature activated:

I'm not quite sure what to make of all this. I like the moody style, but it doesn't show the details terribly well and I think my own models are usually more cheerful than this type of lighting. I don't think I'd use it for the 1950s Tau, say. Anyhow, it's interesting, and I'm pleased with the results. On with the turnippers.

Monday, 31 May 2021

Turnip 28: the Root of all Evil

This week, a wargaming friend (hi James) foolishly pointed me towards an article in Wargames Illustrated concerning Turnip 28, a small-scale wargame being created by Max FitzGerald. It consists, basically, of very grubby soldiers in a mixture of Napoleonic and Medieval military outfits fighting in a heap of mud over various forms of tuber. Apparently there will be a full set of rules fairly soon, together with different sides so you can decide which form of vegetable to root for.

I'm not sure whether Turnip 28 is Blanchitsu or a parody of Blanchitsu - certainly, some of the models I've seen look as if they were dipped in a mixture of oil paint, strong tone and mud - but it is entertainingly silly. While the comparisons to John Blanche are inevitable, the muddy, trudging Napoleonic soldiers remind me more of Ian Miller (who once did a book with John Blanche, after all). 

They also remind me somewhat of the guards from the BBC's adaptation of Gormenghast, who wear a mixture of WW1 German and (I think) English Civil War uniforms: they're clearly soldiers, but not from any particular time. There's also a fair bit of Terry Gilliam in the Turnip 28 world, I suspect.

Anyhow, I thought I'd give this sort of thing a go. As seems to be the rules, I used Perry miniatures, along with some bits from old Warlord Games plastic commandos, who are about the same size and style as the Perry models. I also threw in a few bits from the Frostgrave female wizard sprue. I didn't add the customary tufts of... matter to their shoulders, as I don't really like it that much.

Private Hake has turned up to battle in his Y-fronts yet again. Anyone would think that he did it on purpose.

Private Sealford is well-equipped and skilled with his cut-down musket. Unfortunately the impression of competence is somewhat spoiled by the little red flag he wears on his head.

Corporal Ursula Legume directs her men with the help of her puppet, Mrs Glovely. Here we see them having a heated discussion about tactics.

A small point about photos: I am rubbish with cameras. I don't have a very good camera, I take pictures in ropey light, and I find it all rather hard to understand. As a result, most of my pictures are rather washed-out when they're in focus. I tried something different with these guys, taking the pictures in a small black box and using no flash. I've got to say that I'm surprised how "right" the pictures look. I'm not sure if the models look particularly well-painted, but the style suddenly seems about right, which is a surprise!

Friday, 28 May 2021

Really big Chaos champions

 I had some new chaos marine arms and shoulder pads left over, including the super ones with ammunition belts (why are they so cool?). So, I ordered some chaos marine bodies off ebay. Unfortunately, the bodies I ordered weren't standard chaos marines - they were chaos havocs, which as it turns out are much bigger. 

Well, it wasn't like that in my day, when all chaos marines were equally tiny. These guys are absolutely huge, bulkier and at least a head taller than their comrades. So what to do with them?

The first thing was to stick the new arms on them, because they looked bloody cool. I assembled four of them, using some spare backpacks and heads, and realised that they looked rather suited to each of the chaos powers. So, to represent their status as respected champions, they got appropriately coloured shoulder pads. Here they are.

Rageface Bloodhandle is a famously brutal champion of Khorne - or at least he would be, if he had left any witnesses to his various acts of carnage. He carries a plasma gun, which may yet be the only thing capable of killing him.

Duke Laytex the Wrong is renowned for his unnatural axe and was the only man left standing after the 120-day storming of Psodom, twinned with Commorragh, about which the less said the better.

Atrox of the Decrepit Legion has killed thousands of enemies and quite a few allies as well. He now fights in the Black Legion, on condition that he wears a new suit of armour, never takes his helmet off and stands downwind of everyone else.

The Amazing Mysterio is a master of mystery and an expert reader of the Imperial Tarot. Thanks to his modified bolter, most of the cards seem to be "Death", and the tall dark stranger his enemies meet is, unfortunately, him.

So what to do with these guys? Well, I thought they might make quite good terminators, actually. Ok, the weaponry is wrong, but I imagine that the powers of chaos (and their awesome ammo belts) would give them the equivalent of storm bolters, and as for close combat weapons, well, I guess that's just magic. I like the big havoc models a lot more than the terminator bodies, and they're certainly large enough.

Saturday, 22 May 2021

A Random Bounty Hunter - back to converting!

 I've been painting quite a lot of miniatures of late without converting them very much. I thought I'd make a random model out of bits and pieces, mainly because I was starting to miss cutting models up. Which makes me sound like Jack the Ripper, but let's not dwell on that.

A long time ago I bought a packet of plastic Malifaux sharpshooters. They were a very different scale to anything else I owned, and so I didn't do anything much with them. I dug out one of the bodies and used it as the basis for a new model.

The arms came from plastic Delaque models from Necromunda. Both arms were raised over the model's head, which looked a bit odd, so I tried to lower one of them. In the end, I had to cut the left arm from the elbow to the shoulder, attach it with a bit of wire and sculpt a sleeve around it. The toe of one of the model's boots had to be cut and replaced with green stuff to make it fit on the base.

The head was from a Frostgrave female wizards sprue. The base came from the Khorgorath model that I used to make my model of Throgg the Troll King a few months ago. I put some bits and pieces on the model's back to balance her out a bit, including a wood elf knife and a rucksack from a Bolt Action sprue.

There's not all that much to say about the painting. I used a blue colour for the coat, partly because it looked quite military and partly because I wanted a striking colour. Together with her red necktie, she looks a bit Wild West. I'm very pleased to have been able to dot in the eyes!

It is well known that the galaxy is overrun by bounty hunters. During the last years of his rule, the Governor decided to rid himself of bounty hunters by hiring bounty hunters to get rid of them. Shortly afterwards, the bounty wars began and the Governor was declared insane and deposed. Here we see Lucilla Lux, former Imperial Guard officer, creeping up on her prey.