Saturday, 1 August 2020

Chaos Predator Tank

Here's another model repainted and repaired from a long time ago. In ages past, I was given a Predator tank by a friend. It was in an odd state, having been Nurgleised with candle wax, and the side guns were a mess. This was a long time ago, to there won't be any WIP pictures.

I put new sponsons on, taken from an old Leman Russ model. I never liked the weedy-looking dangling sponsons on the Predator (and the Land Raider, for that matter), which look as if they'd snap off like wing mirrors. I used green stuff to make weld lines to disguise the meeting of sponson and tank. Also, I replaced the turret with a Leman Russ turret, largely because I'd lost the one that it came with.

The turret guns (nominally, twin lascannons) came from ancient conversion beamers, of which I seem to have quite a few. I gave them dragon's head barrels. I don't really go for very ornate chaos tanks, but I needed to make the guns look impressive. They now look rather like something from an Ian Miller painting, so that's fine with me.

The last part was the square of plasticard covering the front panel of the tank. That was added late on. I used green stuff to add a welded chaos star, probably added by a zealous crewman. It looks a bit excessive to me, but compared to other tanks I've seen (and built!) it's pretty mild.

Then it needed painting. This was largely dark grey followed by a lot of weathering, including some powder on the tracks and rust and scratches on the upper body. It looks rather battered, but after 10,000 years in the warp, that happens.

Now I just need to work out what to do with what's left of the Leman Russ...

Saturday, 25 July 2020

Probably My Favourite Miniature

This time, I've repainted one of my favourite models ever. I first bought this miniature when I was about 15. I would have picked it out of a red Citadel catalogue when I was at school, and my friend Mark - or, more likely, his parents - would have added the serial number to a list of things to order by fax.

Anyhow, my point is that this model is brilliant. The sculpting is excellent, the concept is absolutely cool - its a demon wearing armour made of the bones of a goat, for goodness' sake - and aptly, it's completely metal. Actually, that's not quite right, as the shield is from a modern plastic chaos knight. Even the spindly legs make him look like something out of a medieval manuscript (well. the last level of Doom 2, at least). I imagine that he'd make a good Master of Executions for the Chaos Marine army - or maybe Lord of Duels, given his armament. That kind of thing.

The next two lowlifes are old metal Goliath gangers, whom I intend to use as Chaos Cultists, should the need ever arise. The chap with the small flamer is a "normal" ganger, and the man with the chainsword is a gang leader. As with the other Goliaths, I don't really like the style all that much (although the sculpting is fine, especially on Flamer Boy), and I painted them fairly quickly. I used a red undercoat on the skin, for a slightly raw feel, and the trousers were painted in contrast paint, as per their comrades. That's the whole gang painted, ready to soak up some bullets for their chaos overlords on the battlefield!

I've always felt that Chaos cults wouldn't just include robed worshippers of Khorne, Tzeentch and the other chaps. My feeling is that both Chaos and Imperial crusades would draw all sorts of loonies: soldiers of fortune, criminal gangs, crackpot militias, lasgun nuts and similar deranged types, tagging along in the hope of impressing the Chaos Marines enough to join their ranks - or just for the chance to nick a load of stuff.

So, I painted up a few renegade crazies as well. In truth, I've had these models knocking around for ages and I wanted shot of them. The woman (the slightly smaller model with the gasmask) is from a Kickstarter that Bad Squiddo did ages ago, although I cut her hair down a bit. I'm not sure where the two men are from.

So that's it for now. Another tiny dent in the huge pile of lead.

Friday, 17 July 2020

The Sea Dragon

Here's another thing that I've had lying on my desk for a very long time.

Ages ago, I bought a skaven abomination. With the help of a lot of DAS clay and a Tyranid head, I made the lower half into a dragon. I was never totally happy with it, and I decided to give it a sprucing-up and repaint to match my pirate ogres. It would make a good sea monster, that they had induced to help them.

I added fins to its body, neck and tail. The body fin came from a high elf dragon, and the other two were left over from some river trolls (which also joined the ogre army). The head received some "ears" from (I think) an ancient plastic dragon kit, and the crest was elongated with plasticard and green stuff. The barnacles on its back were just blobs of sculpted green stuff.

I made the base out of coffee stirrers and a small stick of dowell. There's something weird about painting wood to look like wood, but it works far better that way. I don't have a work in progress picture, but for comparison, here's the GW skaven abomination:

And here's another picture of the sea monster. I gave it quite a dark paint scheme, to suggest something that lives deep underwater. I'm not sure why it's got all those stitches all over it (perhaps a helpful ogre repaired it after a big battle) but it looks mean enough to join the ranks of the pirates. Arrrgh!

Thursday, 16 July 2020

A Friendly Robot and a Big Green Chap

A couple more things from the huge pile of unpainted things.

First up, we've got a Privateer Press trollblood model. The trollbloods are very much Privateer Press' invention (they're basically heroic orc-type creatures), and tend to have either a Scottish or an early 20th century soldier-type look. I quite like the models, although they're inevitably rather cartoony (I've got a whole load of them somewhere...).

This particular model is a mercenary called Bull. While he's not exactly right, he reminds me a bit of Suruk the Slayer from Space Captain Smith. I painted his skin in the same way I did my orks and goblins: Russian Uniform washed with Dark Angels Green (or whatever it's called at the moment) and highlighted up with pink flesh. I'm rather pleased with him.

The other model is based on an old Ramshackle Games tracked lower body that I've had lying on my desk for about a year. I gave it a head made out of half of a smoke grenade launcher and some plasticard. I wondered about making it into Wall-E, but I couldn't get the arms to work (or stick to the rest of the model), so I just gave him big antennae made from the handles of a storm bolter instead. I expect he's a friendly robot, who rolls around helping out.

And that's it for the moment. Except for the sea monster.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Mantic Characters

It feels like ages since I posted here. It actually isn't - it's been ten days or so - but time is currently passing rather weirdly, and we seem to be in about the 120th day of February. Once again I've been dipping into the huge pile of unpainted models, and this time round it's Mantic.

Last year, or maybe the year before that, I got a load of Dreadball models cheaply. Most were the cyborg "Revenant" team, and a few were referees or fans. As ever, the concepts are fine, the sculpts are okay, and the casting isn't great.

Here are two cyborg orcs (or orks, or orx). I think they're the best models in the team. The detail is a little soft, but they've come out ok.

And here are two people who I think are either coaches or civilians. They were made out of less rubbery plastic than the orcs, and the detail was a good deal sharper. I made them bases out of plasticard and bits of wire. I really enjoyed painting them both. They'll make good underworld figures or "normal people" for the futuristic town.

Disco Sue is an important and extroverted local leader, noted for her large hair and dogged refusal to get with the times and dress like a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk.

Willy the Fish is a short-tempered fishman, who inherited an empire of crime after the tragic filleting of his former boss, Piscine Bob. He we see him shouting in outrage at an allegation that his enemies "sleep with the fishes".

Finally - and I'm saving the most exciting stuff till last - here are two concrete posts! Amazing! They're TT Combat MDF models, with the joins at least partly obscured by DAS clay. The posters were printed out from ones on the GW site.

After complaining about Mantic's stuff (which isn't actually all that bad) I went off and bought the All Out War Walking Dead game. The models in it are really nice: sharply-detailed one-piece sculpts. I might even get round to painting them one day.

Monday, 29 June 2020

The Last (Four) Samurai

So, I've finally come to the last four of the Warlord Games samurai heroes.

First up, we've got a ninja and a female samurai. The ninja is assembled as per usual. For the female samurai, I cut off the banner she was holding and replaced it with a blade from a skaven. It's the right shape, but a bit hefty. Never mind. Apparently, such weapons were standard among female samurai, owing to the longer reach. I also cut her head off and turned it to a better angle. Then I ordered another of the same miniature off Ebay.

Next up were the last two: an archer and the unconverted version of the lady holding a banner. I'm pleased with the heraldic design on the banner, which is the same as the design on the samurai with the blue coat.

And finally, here's a group shot of them all, about to have an adventure. To begin with, I had thought that they weren't great miniatures, but I've really warmed to them in the course of the project. I'm quite tempted to get some of Warlord's ninjas, but I've got far too much to paint already.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Chaos Terminator Lord

I've had the pieces of this model knocking around for ages, and this week I thought I'd take the opportunity to finally put it together.

The basis of this model was a chaos terminator torso and space wolf legs and arms. As the commander of the army, he needed to be sufficiently huge. I felt that assembling the model as usual made him feel a little bit stumpy, especially with his cloak heaped onto his back.

I've never really liked space marines, power fists or making space marines even bigger, so I decided, logically, to give my space marine a power fist and make him bigger. In fairness, I gave him my favourite power fist, which I took from an old metal chaos marine champion. It's hard to see the details here, but they come out better later. I was pleased that it fitted his plastic arm so well.

The legs were "chaosified" a little with green stuff. I still haven't got the hang of this and my additions feel rather blobby to me, but they'll do.

To make him less stumpy, I added thin bits of plasticard under his soles. I also cut the ball-joint at the top of his legs and put another piece of plasticard under it, to raise it slightly and lengthen his torso for a bit of extra height (being big is clearly an important sign of status in the 40k world, along with wearing no helmet or wearing a really fancy hat).

The left arm was surprisingly fiddly, as it was supposed to hold a shield. He got a space wolf axe and a fist from an old orc big 'un. It looks suitably clunky. I added spikes to the left shoulder pad to balance out the cloak a bit and sculpted green stuff so it looked as if they'd burst through his armour. His head came from the space wolf terminators.

Now time for some paint. I painted him pretty much as I've done the rest of the chaos marines, except that I made his face a little more human than the other marines, by mixing in some blue-grey with the skin colour. I found an Imperial eagle to go on his base. I'm not sure about the freehand on his cloak, but it's the best I can do.

Wulfrid Hammerssen was once a loyal captain of the Space Wolves. After winning his spurs at the Purging of Scapulon, he joined the war-host that Logan Grimnar sent to assist the Imperium during the First War For Armageddon. Here, Wulfrid and his squad led PDF soldiers and guardsmen against the chaos cult known as the Red Arterial Spray, routing the enemy completely.

At the end of the war, however, the Inquisition decided that too much of the population had been exposed to the corruption of chaos. The people of Armageddon, including those who had fought alongside the Space Wolves, were to be deported and killed, and the Wolves themselves were to be mind-wiped.

Enraged by this betrayal, Wulfrid gathered four ships, filled them with as many citizens as he could manage, and set a course away from the planet. Cursing the Inquisition, the Administratum and the whole Imperium, Wulfrid headed into the depths of space.

Since then, he has found new allies. His ships, along with smaller vessels captured over the decades, continue to haunt the space lanes, preying on Imperial and renegade craft alike. The descendants of those he rescued still fight alongside him. Any he captures are offered the choice of freedom from the diktats of the Imperium, or a swift trip out of the airlock. Inevitably, Wulfrid's war against the servants of the Emperor has drawn the interest of the Chaos gods, and he has found himself with some powerful, but dangerous, additions to his horde.

Wulfrid the Turncoat, as he is now known, continues to plague the forces of order. For a long while, he was content to be one of many small thorns in the Imperium's side - but now that chaos is resurgent, he has found new opportunities to spread his own savage brand of freedom far and wide.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Making An Outpost For Necromunda

Over the last week, I've been building a new outpost for my futuristic town. This model was based on a "tri building", from TT Combat, which cost £9 and was from a range designed for Infinity.

The TT Combat buildings are really just MDF boxes, with greyboard to provide some detail. Compared to a lot of other companies, they're cheap but crude, but they do give you the opportunity to customise your MDF box as you see fit and make as much of a project of it as you like.

For this model, I added some DAS putty to the corners, where the pieces of MDF met, to hide the joins. I also used the sticks from cotton buds to make some drainpipe-type tubes to hide some gaps. A bit of basing dirt was used for grit and muck on the bottom of the building and on the roof, to suggest dilapidation. I also glued a couple of suitably distressed Warhammer 40k newpapers to the roof, to look like discarded newsheets. These used to be available for download and printing from the 40k website. I also made a roof hatch out of plasticard (keeping the hatch pretty flat so that models could still stand on it).

The sign above the door was a complete fluke. The greyboard parts of TT Combat kits come on a sheet, from which you cut them as needed. Often, the sheets have what must be a reference number printed on them. I always keep these bits (sad, I know) because they make interesting details when stuck to model buildings. In this case, I trimmed the number down to size and mounted it above the door. Goodness knows what it means, but since it's not very catchy, I expect that it's a reference number for this particular building. Perhaps it's a research outpost in some miserable Soviet-type empire.

The inside of the building was a bit bland. There wasn't much room to put any posters up, but I stuck a metal grille to the floor just inside the doorway (another bit of unused greyboard from a TT Combat Japanese shop). I cut a piece of random 40k tech down to size and mounted it on the wall opposite the door, with some other bits of cotton bud to "power" it. I don't know what it does, but it looks viable. In true Necromunda tradition, the doorway got some warning stripes.

There comes a point with terrain where you have to trade realism against usability. I wanted to keep the inside pretty empty, so that models could fit in and furniture could be added and removed as necessary (I imagine that the models overturn the tables to fire out of the windows). I had some Mantic desks and bookshelves already painted, which would suit it fine.

However, in the bits box, I found an MDF staircase that I bought ages ago at a random wargames show. I'd originally planned to use it in fantasy, but with a spray of white paint and another 40k poster, it looked pretty good for this model. Like the furniture, I don't plan to glue it in, so that it can be removed for access. Here's the furnished version:

Painting was reasonably simple: white spray with bone and rust colours sponged on top to represent wear and tear. I did some detailing in blue, mainly for variety. And that's about it, really! There's more that I could do, but for now, I think it's fine.

Sunday, 14 June 2020

You Can't Run, But You Can't Hide Either

The ork commandos were defeated. The surviving aliens fled the battlefield, leaving the heroes victorious. As the heroes holstered their weapons and congratulated each other, a siren wailed. Soldiers from the governor's own personal guards ran into the spaceport. This didn't look good. It was time to flee the scene!

The aim of this game was for the heroes to run from one side of the board to the other without getting shot to pieces. The enemy consisted of six enemy troopers (five gangers and one leader). The twist was that, each time a trooper died, he came back in from a random table edge.

"Here he comes..."

It was a short and ferocious battle. Although the heroes cut down several of the guards without much trouble, reinforcements flocked in and soon they were swamped. Predictably, the first to go down was Maria Poppinata, taken out of action by the guard captain's bolt pistol.

Doctor Apocalypse ran forward and, using a generator as cover, took out two guards with a well-thrown grenade. Sadly he was then felled by a lucky flanking shot from a guardsman with a lasgun. The others rushed forward, seeing a gap in the enemy line, but suddenly three more guardsmen ran into the melee, ready to raise hell.

The trusty Dave was shot down by a guardsman coming in from the north. Finally, four uniformed heavies surrounded Doombot X-7. The robot accounted for two of them with his sword and autopistol, but, sadly, he was pulled down and deactivated by the remaining pair. Ouch.

"I'll terminate the lot of you!"

So at last, the one survivor was Captain Fancy. Fancy had kept alive this far by a combination of derring-do and being at the back (perhaps derring-don't is the best description). He failed his bottle roll, seized upon the better part of valour and ran like hell into the depths of the underworld, somehow dragging his companions with him.


Oh dear. Well, it could have been worse. Rolling on the injuries table, Doctor Apocalypse, Maria Poppinata and Doombot X-7 made a full (if somewhat surprising) recovery from their injuries. Dave, however, got not only a full recovery but some experience points, which was enough to win him a statistic improvement, taking him to Strength 4. Truly, what has not killed him has only made him stronger!

I think, if I was to replay this, I would have the slain enemy returning from a random flank, and not the edge of the table that the heroes were trying to exit from. As it was, they found themselves running straight at a barrage of enemy fire, which doesn't make a lot of sense. Anyhow, the adventure continues, and I have a plan for the next game...

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Warhound Titan and two Lake Town Houses

This week, I had a go at one of my warhound scout titans. The idea of a scout titan is slightly odd: I'm not sure that being half the size of a normal titan counts for much when you are clearly about 50 times bigger than a man. I doubt that you can sneak up on very much. Still, I rather like the old miniature, and it was fun and easy to paint.

Just to show that I've shaded its red bits:

I've always liked the look of the Lake Town Houses from the Lord of the Rings game. They're fairly simple, decent sculpts which fit the rough vaguely-Tudor style that I've been going for with the rest of my buildings. I bought one off Games Workshop, and another from my friend James (thanks James!).

I didn't attempt anything very fancy with them: they were easy to paint and came up looking nice in basic colours. GW have an interesting faded-paint effect on their ones, but I wasn't confident about pulling it off, so opted for unpainted wood.

This one is the luxury variant, complete with gabled window and glass.

This one is a bit less elaborate, but it has its own "outhouse" - ie a dunny.

As I say, nothing very amazing, but they'll fit in nicely with the rest of my terrain and fill up the board quite well.

Monday, 8 June 2020

One Knight and Two Samurai

I've been painting the last of the Epic knights and two more of the Warlord Games samurai heroes. 

The last knight is presumably what became the 40k plastic Imperial Knight kit. I went with similar colours to the others.

And here are all five, pictured as they stride across Abbey Road.

The two samurai guys are a lady with a fan, who I gave a pink robe, and what I thought was a wealthier chap, who is wearing a jacket and carrying two swords. His face was slightly miscast, so I ended up painting a scar down it to "hide" the error in casting. I rather like them both.

Only three more samurai to do now. I'm quite tempted by the Warlord ninjas, who look like a lot of fun (to paint, not to know). 

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

More Small Titans

I painted two more of the old Epic knight titans. These are lancers, and are just as oddly designed as the others. I like their weirdness.

Again, I went for slight variations on the colour scheme that I used on my titan. They're quite gaudy, but I like that and I think it fits the style of the old models back in 1989 or so.

Here are all the small titans so far, standing in a row.

Monday, 1 June 2020

Myron Jubalgunn and the Dangerous Alien

Last post, I made Myron Jubalgunn's friend, the "dangerous alien" from this picture:

This time, I had a go at Myron himself.

The main thing about him is that he's got a long coat. I first thought that an Eldar scout would be a good basis, but the posing wasn't quite right, and I noticed that he seems not to be wearing a shirt (or anything else!) under it. I decided to base the model on an old Empire flagellant, which has a bare chest and long robes.

The basic model was given new feet from green stuff, and arms from Eldar models. Because the flagellant seemed a little short, I put him on a small piece of slate. The head came from a Dark Eldar, the guns were from Warlord Civil War cavalry, and much of the rest of the additions were green stuff.

I don't mind filling gaps with green stuff, but I'm no expert in sculpting with it, and it would be easier to get Nessie's autograph than a smooth finish with it. As it happens, I did quite a bit of sculpting on this model, and I'm 60% happy with the outcome. Here's a WIP.

What a mess.

It looks a bit better with paint.

I'm not sure what the metal thing around his neck might be: it's sculpted onto the flagellant body, and looks like a steel collar. I painted it a more vibrant colour here, to draw the eye to the head. Myron is meant to have a large scar across his face, which wasn't easy to paint. He still looks rather short, but I think that's just the angle of the picture.

Here is a picture of Myron and his alien friend, waiting to have their portraits drawn.

Overall, I'm not 100% happy, and one day I might try to give Myron longer legs, but for now, they look alright.


So, I wasn't happy with Myron's short legs, and I decided to make him a bit taller. This was fiddly.

I removed him from his base, cut off his feet and put him on two small bits of plasticard to make him taller. I pinned the plasticard to the model and to the base to stabilise it. Then I sculpted boots around the plasticard. To be honest, it's hard to see what I've done and it looks a bit rough (because it is). But it does make him taller and more imposing. So, here's the modified Myron:

And here he is with his friend. Much better - or at least I think so!

Saturday, 30 May 2020

A Friend For Myron Jubalgunn

What a great book Rogue Trader is. There really is something for everyone, whether it's the God-forsaken hell-planet of Birmingham, the possibility of fielding an army of sand clams and man-eating face flannels (represented by small pieces of Blu-Tac, of course), the culinary habits of the zoats, or the exploits of the mysterious criminal Abdul Goldberg (sources seem to agree that he has a beard, but otherwise, who knows?). And then there were four pages of pictures of Logan's World at the rear of the book. Like many other older gamers, I am the proud owner of a piece of terrain with MARINES OU written across the back.

One bit that I noticed was this piece of art by Jes Goodwin of "The Renegade Myron Jubalgunn" and his companion, "a dangerous alien of unknown origin".

Under the picture, one Inquisitor Toulon Hess warns that these two have recently arrived on Logan's World, and that anyone helping them "shall suffer the undiminished wrath of the Master of Mankind". Ouch.

Actually, they both look like dangerous aliens to me. Jubalgunn himself could be an unusually seedy eldar, and his fancy sword and the rune on his belt seem to back that up. His friend looks like a cross between a skaven marksman and a plague globeadier, and reminds me of some concept sketches for space skaven that are in Jes Goodwin's book The Eldritch and the Gothic. Anyhow, I thought I'd have a go at making Myron's friend.

The starting point was that this guy is small, hunched and covered in some sort of robe or coat. I found one of the skaven bell-ringers off the Bell of Doom kit, and carefully cut him free of his fellow monks. He got a chaos cultist head, which has a hood and gas mask, and I sculpted some robes and a fur collar with green stuff. The backpack/breathing apparatus was made from plastic off-cuts.

Then came the tricky part. His gun was made from a spare Skitarii rifle, with the hands cut away. It was very fiddly. I had to resculpt his right hand, which I don't much like doing (I'm fine filling in gaps with green stuff, but sculpting from scratch is outside my skill range). I didn't give him the big breathing tubes that he has in the picture, because I never find that green stuff tubing looks all that convincing when I do it. Likewise, the gun and the sleeves hide the need to add bandages to his arms.

This is what he looks like with a bit of paint:

And here's a rear view:

I suppose I ought to make Myron, too.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Wasteland Rider Conversion

Over the last couple of months, I've been painting older models and trying to work my way through some of the large box of things that I've accumulated over the years. This has been fun, but I started to miss converting things, so I thought I'd make a random miniature.

I decided to go for an old-school, Realm of Chaos-style model. I had a Brettonian cavalry horse, which would make a good basis for a mutant steed. I gave it a new muzzle and crest from a Kroot warrior, and a tail from a random tentacle that I had lying around  in my bits box. The rider has legs from an Empire outrider, a Dark Eldar upper body, Adeptus Mechanicus arms and a head from a daemonette that reflects the crest of the horse. The little creature on the base came from some familiars for Warhammer Quest.

I painted the horse blue for additional weirdness. Painting horses strange colours always looks a bit My Little Pony, but I think it's alright here. The horse's barding got a bone undercoat and was shaded down into sepia and rusty orange at the bottom. This strikes me as an old-fashioned scheme: a lot of older GW art has that brownish tone. The rider got some strange green armour and quills to match the horse.

The basing was a bit of a problem. To begin with, I put her on a green grassland base, but it looked too "classic fantasy". I used a wasteland-type base instead, which works nicely with the colours of the barding and looks suitably strange. I'll use the green base on my next zoat.

It is said that smaller deviations, if tolerated, lead to greater horrors. In this case, a wasteland hunter is using a small mutant, in the form of a walking fish, to lead her to larger and more lucrative prey. The markings on her steed's barding show that she is a member of the Lodge of the Stag Beetle, a powerful conclave of hunters and caravaneers. The yellow shield with a black stripe denotes success as a destroyer of robots, which are an increasing threat in the wastelands.