Tuesday 28 June 2016

More Tiny Spaceships

Just quickly, here are the rest of the X-Wing Armada spaceships that I was asked to paint. They were extremely small! My friend was really pleased with them so I'm considering this a success.

Another friend gave me a few models from Zombicide: Black Plague to paint. There's a very cool ogre guy who would be good for Frostgrave, so I think he'll be next on the rather long list...

Sunday 26 June 2016

A Fat Man Wearing A Bucket

Necromunda has a lot going for it. The games are short, the armies small, and the opportunities for conversion almost unlimited. As the campaign goes on, characters pick up new skills and new injuries, and if you're like me it's entertaining to model them onto the miniatures.

Take this guy, for instance. He's a juve (a weaker, younger fighter) with no fixed name.

He started off as a 40k chaos cultist with Frostgrave arms and a head from a Brettonian knight. I'm not sure why I made him like that, but the combination of stockman's coat and bucket headgear does suggest that he has modelled his look after the Australian bandit Ned Kelly, who famously made himself a suit of primitive armour with which to fight the police:

G'day, Dr Watson!

Anyhow, our brave ganger has now been in several fights and has racked up a range of predictably absurd randomly-generated injuries and abilities. He has the Marksman skill, which gives you a bonus when using a basic weapon, despite the rules preventing him using basic weapons yet. He also has one eye, which hardly suggests a career as a sharpshooter. This is offset by True Grit, which means that he's harder to put down, and a mighty two wounds, which implies that he's either a genuine hero or just really fat.

It seemed "sensible" to model these contrasting attributes onto a new model. I needed a larger miniature, although not a vast one. Luckily, one of the new Khorne warhammer models would do. Chaos in Warhammer Fantasy has changed over the years from a wildly imaginative style inspired by medieval paintings, to a look best described as "spare members of Lordi". I found something called a Khorne Bloodstoker on ebay. It looks like this:

Needs more skulls.

Out came the craft knife. I added hands from old chaos knights, a head from another Brettonian for that classic upturned-bucket look, and a coat that I sculpted myself with green stuff over thin plasticard.

And now, paint and dramatic lighting.

A bit rough and ready, but he'll do (and inevitably looks way better in real life). It doesn't come out very well here, but I like using multiple dark washes over silver for the armour, followed by silver for highlights and scratches. 

I imagine that the bucket, with its tiny eye-slit, represents our man's reduced shooting ability. I think that, while he was recuperating from his eye wound, his friends gave him an experimental drug to make his eye grow back. Unfortunately, it just made him grow generally, explaining his considerable size. Alternatively, he just ate a lot of crisps while he was in hospital.

In the true spirit of old-fashioned gaming, especially with orks, I shall name him Ned Killy.

Sunday 19 June 2016

Tower of Cheese: Part 2 (and other thrilling things)

Progress continues on the Frostgrave ruined tower. I bought some packs of dungeon scenery and doors from Mantic games to use for detailing. Mantic's stuff tends towards the cheap and cheerful, and while they've produced some good models (their skeletons in particular), they've also made some ropey ones. I'm pleased to say that the sets I bought are pretty good, especially the furniture.

I added a trapdoor and a shuttered window made from plasticard. Because the window is flat and the wall is round, I had to sculpt the wall forward using Das Clay. The treasure chest comes from the Mantic furniture set. Now the tower just needs a door.

I've made a couple more things to use as objectives or just to liven up the scenery (it is all rather grey, what with being made of stone). The bookcases are Mantic and the things on the table were gathered together by me from various manufacturers. The standing book is a familiar from the new Warhammer Quest game. I like the Bosch-type style of the smaller models in Quest.

In other news, I received my first commission! Well, sort of: it's not being paid, but someone has asked me to paint something for them, which is quite flattering. It's a set of absolutely tiny spaceships for Star Wars Armada. Here they are, as yet.

I'd like to share two useful tips. First, the best way to paint very small detailed things like these ships is to use basecoats, washes and very selective drybrushing. If you can, add detail with a small brush. Secondly, never search for "dungeon furniture" on ebay. Just don't.

Saturday 11 June 2016

Frostgrave Soldiers

Just a very quick update to show my first efforts at painting soldiers for Frostgrave. This first guy was made up solely from parts from the Frostgrave Soldiers boxed set. The only change I made was to take him off his original base and put him on some textured plasticard.

This lady has had her legs repositioned very slightly to help her aim her crossbow better. I used a female head from Statuesque Miniatures and a bit of stone from the garden. Otherwise, that's it. I'll put a bit more highlighting on her face and perhaps something on the base under the rock.

I'm reasonably pleased with the Frostgrave Soldiers. They're a bit smaller than many fantasy lines, and the detail isn't terribly crisp. But they certainly do what they're made for and look quite acceptable painted up. In particular, their heavy clothes and slightly shorter build make them good as female models. All you have to do is put a different head on them.

Thursday 9 June 2016

Tower of Cheese Part One

After all that futuristic mayhem, I thought it might be interesting to give Frostgrave a try. Frostgrave is a skirmish game set in a ruined (and snowy) fantasy city, like a less complex version of GW's Mordheim (which was itself the fantasy equivalent of Necromunda). If you followed all that, well done.

I was going to need some fantasy terrain. Fantasy terrain is much harder to build than science fiction scenery, because it actually has to look like something. Any lump of vaguely metallic stuff can be washed, inked, drybrushed and passed off as broken Space Machinery, powered by Science, but since fantasy is so often medieval in influence, it has to appear at least slightly credible.

They just do space stuff, ok?

So I decided to make a ruined tower out of a cardboard tube that had once contained cheese. First up, I hacked a hole out of the side. Then I thickened the edges and base with modelling clay and built a floor out of coffee stirrers. I don't know how I ended up with so many of these things, but somewhere there is a Starbucks full of unhappy people unable to stir the skinny latte syrup into their mochachocafrappachinos.

You'd never guess that it wasn't a real stone tower, would you?

The next step was to add bits of plasticard to represent jagged lumps of stone sticking out of the edge of the ruins. I also started to paint the whole edifice brown.

I even managed to find a use for Liquid Green Stuff, applying it to the edges of the damaged area to represent a rough, shattered texture. However, I was not satisfied with what was starting to resemble a broken bucket of poo. A stone colour scheme seemed more appealing.

So that's where we are. It looks better than it did, but still slightly resembles a child's drawing of a happy monster. I have a second floor to add, and some doors and maybe a window or two. All I need now are some citizens...

Meanwhile, all is quiet in Necromunda.

Sunday 5 June 2016

Queue for Carnage

Yesterday the streets of Necromunda erupted into violence (again) as gang took on gang in ferocious combat. The clashes broke out around the market square in an area of territory near the fashionable Inexplicable Ramp district.

The two gangs responsible were, first, the notorious Filthy Rag gang, led by their hideous commander, the dreaded Biscuit Tuesday (and painted by my friend James):

"Two households, both alike in dignity..."

And, secondly, the much feared Terror Bird Cavalry, captained by the ruthless desperado Algebra Flaps (and painted by me):

"... in fair Necromunda where we set our scene."
Authorities had been hoping that the two sides would settle their differences with a ritual dance-off, but within moments the air was filled with gunfire (from the gangs) and cursing (from me). Although the Terror Bird Cavalry cunningly deployed several men onto the rooftops using overhead vents, within seconds several fierce fighters, including Clam Tickler and Warbastard, lay out of action. All the attackers could do was pick themselves off the ground (literally) and run off home to lick their wounds (not literally).

But all was not over.

Back at his lair, Algebra Flaps swore vile oaths and demanded revenge. Flaps had not been so grievously humiliated since he had been named. He needed to strike back against his enemies, but he would have to choose the right moment to attack. When better, he thought, than when they were at their weakest?

Meanwhile, the victorious Filthy Rag gang had decided to celebrate in the traditional Necromundan manner - by buying a kebab and perusing the local antique stalls. As hard-bitten gangsters do, they formed an orderly queue outside the kebab stand owned by meat impressario and part-time genestealer magus Elron the Credible. Little did they realise that they were being watched.

The Terror Bird Cavalry launched a vicious assault from behind. Warbastard, freshly repaired, took vengeance for his earlier disgrace by cutting down two of the Filthy Rags with his heavy stubber - before he was battered to the ground by the juve known as The Reprisaliser.

The two master criminals clashed, and Biscuit Tuesday of the Rags took out Algebra Flaps with his flamer. But the Terror Bird Cavalry intended to live up to at least a third of their name. Four enraged gangers leaped at Biscuit Tuesday, and he was felled by the combined efforts of Keith Violence and Burrito Discharge. As the remaining Rags took shelter behind the Genestealer Cult Information Booth (join today!), Emmanuelle Porridge of the TBC shot Jerk Manpassion of the Filthy Rags.

Despite the carnage, the Terror Bird Cavalry had had enough and they slipped away, leaving the marketplace and kebab stall in the possession of the Filthy Rags. It was a Phyrric victory for the Rags, though, leaving both sides badly mauled. As silence fell over the Inexplicable Ramp district, the combatants retired to their dens of iniquity to plot, scheme and glue some new guns on.