Thursday, 20 September 2018

Welcome to the Guard

While the effectiveness of the Imperial Guard has varied from time to time, it has always been an inescapable truth that the individual guardsman is crap. That's the point of the army, really: the Guard are (or is?) a horde army, using loads of little people to wear down the enemy by force of numbers. What this adds up to is that the average unit of guardsmen makes the cast of Dad's Army look like the Special Operations Executive.

Of course, in a smaller-scale setting, one man can make more of a difference. I found a few old Guard models, added weapons where necessary from the ever-excellent Genestealer Acolytes set, and painted them up to look like a second-rate security team, rather like the not-very-fearsome riot police in the 1970s Dawn of the Dead. I think the lack of uniform gear rather helps.

The other reason why they're in blue is that they don't clash too much with my genestealer cultists ("they don't clash" - what is this, a fashion show?), and so could pass as recruits if needed to bulk out the numbers. They've got similar (ie rubbish) stats to low-level cultists, and so could easily join the ranks with the rest of the cannon fodder.

I'm expecting a Beastie Boys cover out of these guys

These aren't the best-painted models I've ever done, but they'll be fine (probably). The face on the middle chap was either a bit miscast or not a great sculpt: I've done what I can, really.

The sunglasses are a feeble attempt to look tough and competent

These two look a bit more professional. They're still really old sculpts (they both appear in the ancient blue Citadel catalogue) but I added new plastic arms, which fitted remarkably well.

Last weekend I went to Colours at Newbury Racecourse. It wasn't quite as good for random broken stuff as last year, but I did manage to pick up a few decent things. One of them was this whopping great lump of resin in the shape of a Hummer armoured car. Ideal for the security forces, or the genestealer cult.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

A Few Eldar More

Here are a few more members of the Eldar squad. The first is another metal combat drone. This model is at least 25 years old, but I think it's still pretty cool.

The second two are based on Privateer Press Scyrah models. The first was converted to hold a modified Dark Eldar rifle, which was bloody fiddly. The second was given a left arm from an Empire spearman. I also cut the decidedly odd boob-plates off her armour and sculpted her a smooth chestplate from green stuff.

Again I went with a vaguely cyberpunk painting style, livening up the outfits with red details and trying to keep it as clean as possible.

I've given them unusual hair colours (at least, the ones who actually have hair) to make them distinct and to go with the futuristic style.

I'm actually not sure how many of these guys you'd have in a Kill Team squad, but six seems a decent number so far. I've also got some old dwarves to do for Frostgrave and a group of security guys based off Imperial Guard models for the town. It's a busy life painting little metal men!

Sunday, 2 September 2018

War and Warpstorms - Eldar Mercenaries

As well as being the title of a long-lost Jane Austen 40k novel, war and warp-storms are a hazard to all spacefarers in the local system. They have trapped a small number of Eldar on the planet's surface. Although they tend to keep to themselves, the Eldar live on reasonable terms with the human population and are respected for their intellect, skill and delightful cheese and wine parties.

I find it very hard to resist the lure of broken miniatures. I recently acquired a load of broken Privateer Press models, including some characters from the Retribution of Scyrah faction. The Retribution are basically steampunk elves, but they don't have the archetypal steampunk look like many of the other Privateer models.

I didn't like their oversized weapons, but I thought that the basic models were really characterful and well-sculpted - much more so than most GW Eldar, which are fairly dull sculpts. So, I decided to add some different weapons where necessary and paint them as vaguely cyberpunk Eldar mercenaries.

This lady had a new sword and pistol. I really liked the complex armour on the model.

This guy is a sniper. He's a terrific miniature. I went with black on the gun instead of the usual metal, to suggest that it's very advanced.

I realise that the market for this is rather niche, but if you're wondering what the back of a space elf marksman looks like, here you go.

The last eldar so far is a GW model - but a very, very old one. Years ago, when you bought an Eldar dreadnought, you got a little robot dude thrown in for free. They were called combat drones, and I think they look awesome. I'm not sure why I like these models so much - I think it might be the sheer weirdness - but the Eldar mercenaries have a little robot friend.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Robot Rickshaw - Finished!

Here's the finished rickshaw. I decided to raise the height of the passenger seat a bit. This was harder than I'd expected and involved some fiddly plasticard work, but I'm glad that I did it. I think it works much better now.

I decided to paint the whole thing yellow, as that's a good colour for a taxi. I had to base the carriage, as it felt a bit flimsy. Anyway, I really like it.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Robot Rickshaw WIP

About a year ago, I got hold of a box of Warhammer 40,000 objective markers. They're all really good, although it would be a pretty amazing battle that involved a doomsday device, a vending machine and a pickled genestealer head all at once. Anyway, I saw the crashed escape pod and thought that I could do something fun with that.

"The street finds new uses for things", as someone once observed in a William Gibson cyberpunk novel I once read. I'm not sure they meant turning an escape pod into a rickshaw, but what the heck. An actual rickshaw tends to be pulled by a person, but this is the future, so we'll have a robot.

I used some old resin robot legs I got from Ramshackle games ages ago, and built up a body with plasticard. The head was from a Warlord Ghar model. Extra detailing came from some bits of 20mm tank (thanks James!).

The body of the rickshaw was simply the escape pod plus a couple of wheels from an old cart kit. A few Empire spear pieces and a plasticard roof finished it off.

All he needs now is some paint!

Thursday, 23 August 2018

More Genestealer Cultists

After all that nostalgia, normal service is now being resumed, and we're back with our old friends the genestealer cult. It occurs to me that I've not named this cult: usually in 40k they've got absurdly sinister names involving the words "four-armed" and "cult", but I don't think Magus Elron the Litigious would really go for that. I quite like "The Brotherhood of Xenology" or "The Church of Terminal Wisdom".

Anyway, this first chap is a hybrid of some kind, armed with a shotgun. I really like the scrappy, improvised feel of the cult, and I expect that this bloke is just wearing a bit of curtain or a grubby towel to hide his very weird legs and mind-bogglingly horrible nether regions. He's based off an old metal Dark Eldar grotesque, which I got in a job lot and was missing quite a few parts. I added a gun and head from the recent genestealer neophytes box. I've used bright red as a spot colour - it looks a bit weird on a shotgun, but maybe he added it himself.

I made the next model a couple of years ago. His upper half is from a chaos cultist, and the lower part is from a plastic undead grave guard. Because the legs made the model lean over, I converted him to have his boot up on an imperial icon. I first envisaged him as a crazy preacher for the Sisters of Battle, but it looks more as if he's kicking the icon over, so a cult banner bearer seemed appropriate.

It's a sad truth about 40k (if you're me) that the most interesting models have the worst saving throws, so both of these guys would probably last about a second in the game (I nearly said "in the real world" there). Still, I only need about 998 more to have a full army now!

Monday, 20 August 2018

Reaver Titan

One of my earliest memories of wargaming - or rather, of not wargaming - is seeing a picture of some Imperial titans in a games room at school, and then being told to piss off by an older boy called Robert, who had a very square head.

But the memory of the titans stayed with me: huge robots in unfeasibly jolly colour schemes, lumbering across the horizon while tiny space marines tried not to get stepped on far below. Like this:

I never got into Epic, but the release of a new version of Adeptus Titanicus reminded me that I had one of these things lying around. In fact, I had a few old Epic vehicles, and so I decided to give one of my Reaver titans a paint.

I tried not to add anything to the bases that would make the titan look as if it belonged to any particular scale, just in case I decided to use it as a robot in 40k or something like that. I did quite a bit of shading on the armour plates and tried a glowing effect on its top-mounted plasma gun. It was missing the feet, so I cast a couple of new ones using putty.

Because it was a nice day, I took a picture of it outside, standing near some ants taking the war to the tyranids.

It was quite enjoyable to paint, although shading all those flat areas was a little tedious. I might have a go at another epic robot sometime, though. All in all, a success.

So up yours, Robert.

Now get back to work!