Saturday, 16 December 2017

Big Things Needing Paint

I don't know much about design, but I find it interesting how the same visual styles end up being repeated over a range of games and franchises. Hooded monks, spindly elf-people with sniping weapons, Nazis in long coats and gasmasks, space knights in motorised armour, and many others crop up in dozens of different settings (and in big enough franchises, in different armies - see the wracks and arco-flagellants of Warhammer 40,000).

Anyway, this brings me on to a model that I got very cheaply a long time ago. It's a Privateer Press Cephalyx monstrosity, and definitely riffs off the executioner/wrestler/Frankenstein's monster look that a lot of bigger servitors from 40k seem to have.

It's actually a piece from a board game called The Undercity, and is made of a softer sort of plastic to usual, with a slightly rubbery feel. It didn't take paint very well, and wasn't easy to coat. I decided to paint him with yellowy-green skin, reminiscent of the Super Mutants from Fallout. He could have been less green and more yellow, but still, the shading has come off quite well.

Just in case all this model-making was getting too much like fun, I thought I'd rock out by compiling a list of projects I "need" to do. Over the last few years, I have acquired some large models for the inevitable excellent discount (and saved loads of money by buying them) - and then failed to put them together. Since I've got some time coming up over Christmas, I might as well finish some of them off.

1) Ork bomma. It's not a conversion but it certainly looks like one. I painted the pilot ages ago (let's call him Squiggles) but I need to finish off his gretchin gunner and the rest of the dodgy plane.

2) Metal dragon. A really old metal Warhammer dragon, complete with metal wings guaranteed to drop off at the first opportunity. This is one of those weird dragons that can't decide whether they're European or Chinese, and hence look like a big snake with diddy little legs. Utterly lurid paintjob optional but, let's face it, probably inevitable.

3) Big Mantic spaceship. This was going extremely cheaply as part of their Black Friday deal and, as with a lot of Mantic stuff, it was jolly cheap. I really like the idea of a big, lumpy, battered landing ship.

4) Privateer Press Pirate Robot Thing. It's a pirate robot with a cannon. It could so easily be a Bioshock robot with a drill. Either's cool.

 I think that should see me into the new year!

Oh, and here's a small update: I've been working on the heavy for the new gang. She's converted out of a Wrath of Kings model. The arms came from Dark Eldar, as usual, and the gun is a grenade launcher from a Tempestus Scion. She probably won't actually be carrying a grenade launcher - I just chose it because it looked cool. I used green stuff to bulk up her armour and to offset the worse effects of her crazy boob armour.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Even More Gangers

Even before his fall, the governor was known to be a worthless criminal: corrupt, stupid, incompetent, contemptuous of the poor and needy, prone to childish rages and blatantly in the pay of the forces of Chaos. He was also a dirty old man, and this combination of factors led to him being avoided and despised by all decent folk.

After an unfortunate incident in the Basilica, when Prioress Gwendoline the Irascible promised to hack off the governor's hands with a chainsword, the governor decided to simply manufacture himself a harem. Even the custom-built replicants were not having any of that, and they promptly overpowered their guards and took to the wasteland. Now, assisted by other renegades, they survive as soldiers of fortune, as you do.

I've now finished the five converted gangers based on Prodos Games models. I really like the Prodos miniatures: while the scale is slightly different to GW, the detail is excellent and, once they're painted to be wearing trousers, the design isn't too silly. As before, I've used Dark Eldar weapons and arms, to keep roughly in scale.
The rather solid lady on the left is carrying the equivalent of a shotgun. It probably fires glowing plasma, or something like that.

The fighter on the right - presumably a juve - was a more complex conversion, which involved replacing the upper half of the model's head with a lamp-type device from the corner of a terminator space marine's chestplate. I've no idea what this cyber-thing does, but it looks cool, and in the world of 40k, that's pretty much what bionics are for!

And now, time for a group photo:

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Red All Over

Another week toddles by pleasantly, livened up with mince pies and the works Christmas lunch. I've done another model for the gnoblar horde: this time, a mighty dragon to accompany the diminutive warriors to battle.

I'm pleased with him because at last I've found some decent red paint. The paint I've used is Khador Base, a Privateer Press colour, which has the added benefit of coming in one of those big pots with a flip-top lid, so you can feel that you're 15 again when you're painting (assuming you'd want to - in my case, I'm not keen. I was a right nerd back then - I was into painting miniatures, for goodness' sake).

This model was actually a Warhammer familiar. I think he needs a wash of purple to accentuate the shadows, but otherwise he's looking decent.

Next up is another ganger for the not-Escher gang. I've used a Hasslefree model for this person: I think it's "Wild West Boudicea", which is a rather odd concept really. Anyhow, I replaced some of her very flimsy Winchester to make a more space-age laser gun. I've never got why so many female models seem to have feet that point inwards. But overall, she should be a decent member of the gang.

I'm beginning to work out a backstory for these guys. I reckon they might be escaped replicants. All will be revealed soon enough, once I've made it up.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

A Goblin and a Plastic Lady

I've not done much painting this week, because I was away at a steampunk event in the space centre at Leicester (yes, Britain has one, although it's full of other countries' rockets). I have been able to paint another of the mighty goblin horde, and do some conversion work on one of the gangers for the not-Esher gang.

I seem to have about a dozen of this model, which looks rather odd unless you want to make a baggage train. I made him up as he came, although I swapped a severed head for the less grisly horned helmet you can see above. The shading on his skin really hasn't come out well.

This is the start of either a gang leader or a heavy (or just a random maniac). The lower body was from a Malifaux model (hence the tiny feet), the body and arms come from a harlequin, and the head is a Statuesque Miniatures female head. The umbrella was made from a Tau tank hatch and a bit of plastic drainpipe.

 It will all make sense in the end.

Friday, 24 November 2017

One Big Nose

Years ago, I had an ogre army for Warhammer. Whenever you bought ogre models, they came with a couple of little minions called gnoblars, with which you could decorate the bases. Gnoblars were small, goblinish things, nearly useless in the game and prone to dying, running off or both.

Anyhow, reading the Tales From Farpoint blog reminded me that I've got a load of these little guys knocking around. I thought it would be nice to paint a few of them. As time's gone on, I've got less and less interested in huge warlords in armour, and more keen on wonky little creatures. I also had some bases from Renedra that weren't doing anything. So this seemed like a good idea.

The problem with gnoblars is that (1) they are very fiddly to paint, and (2) some of the detail isn't great. At least, that's my excuse. Here are the first two in what promises to be a mighty legion.

The guy on the left is hauling a keg of beer - or possibly gunpowder. The one on the right has a club about as big as he is. They weren't converted. If you can't see their faces very well, don't worry - nor could I. Essentially, they're one big nose.

I've got no idea if I'll continue with these or even if I'll be able to take any half-decent pictures of them. But they were enjoyable to paint. Perhaps I'll do a few more - when I'm not painting my Necromunda gang, my heap of Carnivale models, or the kilo or two of stripped metal miniatures. Oh dear.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

And Now With Trousers

This week has been interesting, in that I managed to pull something in my back and get a splitting headache at the same time. Unfortunately, it meant that I wasn't able to go to Warfare in Reading, which last year yielded a vast amount of cheap conversion-fodder. I'm a bit annoyed about that.

Still, I have been able to make a start on a new Necromunda gang. Painting standing upright is strange: it's as if you're about to deliver a speech to the model you're holding, like Hamlet with Yorick's skull.

"To be or not to - sod it, I can't be bothered."

 I think the new gang is going to be all female, which I'm always a little unsure about. I'll have to come up with some sort of rationale for this. Anyway, at Newbury I acquired five Prodos games models which would be perfect as Escher-type gangers. I used Dark Eldar arms, because they are armoured but thin enough to fit the shape of the bodies.

The colour scheme was chosen simply because I hadn't used much blue before, and I wanted to avoid the brown and green style of my earlier gang, the Terror Bird Cavalry. I think the models are supposed to be wearing no trousers, but stuff that because it looks ridiculous.

This ganger uses dark eldar arms (they all do) and a head from a Hasslefree miniature.

This models is probably a juve, given her pistol. Her gun arm is dark eldar, and the mechanical left arm came from a Mantic robot with a space marine's hand. The box on her hip is from a Tempestus Scion. I need to do a bit more shading on her face.

 And this ganger has gone for the classic cloak-and-witchfinder-hat combo. Like all these models, the gun was trimmed of some of its twiddly bits, just to make it look more like a human laser gun rather than some strange elf weapon.

I don't want all the models to be Prodos conversions. I've got some suitable miniatures that could be juves or specialists, and I'm very tempted to make this into their leader:

It might take a bit of explaining, though.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Deep Thoughts

More Carnivale this week, and this time around it's the Deep Ones. Unsurprisingly, the horrors of the deep have decided to colonise Venice. This is another great metal model, on a base made by Wyrd.

The base is so detailed that it's virtually a miniature in itself.

And the Deep One sits on top.

For a quarter of a ton of enraged sushi, he's a nice model. There are a lot of Deep Ones on the market, but Carnivale's version is the closest to my own mental image of these delightful creatures. I think he could do with a bit more of a highlight on his back scales, but it's hard not to make them too cartoony. I'll have another look tomorrow.