Friday 30 December 2016


What with all the excitement of it being Christmas, I forgot to say that this blog has now had over 2,000 views. Factoring in the presence of me, and of various bots, I reckon that at least 200 people have seen this blog who were neither writing it nor following their programming when they looked at it. That's not bad.

To celebrate this immense achievement, here is another picture of the Wolsung golem in a greater state of completion. I'm in two minds about doing anything further with the base. I've got some wild west casualty models that might look good lying in the wake of the robot's rampage, but I'd worry that they might distract from the main model.

I've also been busy painting the two scientists that I converted last week. They've come out fairly well.The smaller guy on the right is a juve, despite his grey hair. The bloke on the left is some kind of mad professor/supervillain. I've kept pretty much to the existing colour scheme, but not so closely as to make it look like a uniform.

So who are these people, and why are they dressed like that? Well...

Towards the edge of the underhive, just below ground level, there lies a dome of remarkable cleanliness and luxury. It is a cursed place, some say: its entrances are protected by sentry guns, and within its white halls are machines that speak like men. The locals claim that the White Dome was created as a base for one of the great houses from up-hive, or even that it is a hideout for the Adeptus Mechanicus.

The true story is much stranger. Hundreds of years ago, during one of its endless wars of conquest, the Imperium attacked an orbital colony of highly advanced humans, now believed to have been allied to the Tau. The scientists of the orbiter responded by evacuating to deep space. In the confusion, a large number of smaller spacecraft were lost. One of them crashed on Necromunda, ploughing deep into one of the hive cities. 

Years later, the ship's automated systems have animated the crew. Tentatively, the scientists have emerged from their stronghold to trade for equipment, take samples of local wildlife (and citizens) and search for parts with which to fix their ship. The only problem is that, once they finish their repairs and fire the engines up, there is a reasonable chance that the vibrations will shake the neighbouring domes to pieces. But when scholarship and learning are at stake, that's a small price to pay.

Anyhow, I'll see you in 2017, I hope. Happy New Year!

Monday 26 December 2016

Post-Christmas Bloat

It's always difficult doing much at Christmastime. Even if you're not seeing friends and relatives, you end up too full of booze and ham to do much except flop about like an elephant seal. But I have been able to do some work on the huge Wolsung robot. In fact, he looks rather festive, given the red and brass colour scheme I went for.

Obviously, there's quite a lot of work still to do. I like the model a lot: it's not over-detailed but there's plenty there if you want it. On the metals, I used washes of black, dark grey, brown and strongtone. The red is just successive thin coats over a black undercoat. It's difficult to know what else to do. Anyway, there's a lot of additional weathering and detail to add.

These are two small conversions. They'll be joining the gang of scientists for Necromunda. The guy on the left was an old 40k commissar model, which came missing a few bits in a job lot of damaged imperial guard. I hadn't realised how small these models were! I filed down his huge feet, gave him a new head from a dark eldar, and a pistol made from a Mantic ork's gun. His smallness will help him look like a new entrant to the gang.

The chap on the right is a Privateer Press model called Gorman DeWolfe. He was originally wearing a huge hat and a gasmask, so I removed his head (just in case I make the Zone Tripper from Hardware!). His left ankle was cut and repositioned to give him a more heroic pose. With a new head from the Genestealer hybrids, he looks like a 1940s superhero about to fight crime with Science.

The Privateer model cost me £5 in a model shop. This is one aspect of miniature painting that I really miss: the sense that you could go into the local shop, spend a few quid and come out with a single character or a few models that would be fun to make and paint. I've seen some amazing conversions over the past year, but the majority have used models from GW boxed sets of 10 or more troops. This is a bit costly unless you want to make 10 models or are willing to pool bits with friends. That said, the quality of GW plastics - and the plastics of some other companies - is so high now that it seems churlish to complain.

Oh, and how does the new blog colour look? For some reason, all the models seem slightly better painted to me now the background is no longer orange. Anyhow, Happy New Year!

Sunday 18 December 2016

On the Razzle with H.P. Lovecraft

So, it's nearly Christmas, and things are busy. I haven't been doing very much painting, although I finished off a model barman from Black Scorpion's Wild West range, Tombstone. All their models are really well sculpted and full of character. This guy looks rather like the 1920s horror novelist H.P. Lovecraft. I can imagine what ordering a drink in H.P. Lovecraft's bar would be like:

"I gazed in arcane terror at the strange liquor that the grave-silent barman slid across the eons-aged oak of the bar. From what abominable vats it had been blended, I knew not, and cannot say.

The barman, if he was truly such, spoke only one word in a dread, ponderous tone: 'Imbibe'. 

With tremulous fingers I raised the chalice to my parched lips, dreading the noxious touch of the ill-mixed, hybrid elixir within. Heaven protect me from the memory of that dread cocktail! It was... A MAN(hattan)!"

"If your name's not in the Necronomicon, you can't come in."

I've done a bit more work on the genestealer hybrids. I reckon that I might as well get my money's worth out of this kit, so I've done a couple of leg and body swaps. Here is a heavy weapons guy. I made him a lower half out of green stuff and the legs of an old eldar scout. It should work with the idea that the more inhuman genestealers wear robes to hide their strange, spindly legs.

And finally, I've partly assembled and undercoated a Wolsung Gigantic Golem. I bought this ages ago in an online sale. I intend to finish it off over the festive period. He's resin and fantastically sculpted. Almost all the joints are poseable, and he comes with loads of spare parts, so you can assemble him in tons of ways. It's like a steampunk version of an artist's mannequin, except less terrifying.

It looks like this, when assembled and painted by someone other than me.

And on that rather scrappy note, I am going to bid you Merry Christmas. Thank you for reading so far, and I hope Christmas brings you all the little model people you've ever wanted.

Sunday 11 December 2016

More Magus

So, at long last, here is the Magus (Magos? I can never remember) in all his disreputable glory, delivering a speech to his minions or threatening to sue someone for describing his entirely legitimate religion as a dodgy cult.

I found that the banner top kept snapping off, so I rigged up some pipes to run from a cannister on his waist to the top of the banner, in order to hold it in place. It's a bit crude, to be honest, but it will do and isn't too obvious. Unfortunate, but necessary.

I'm pleased with his face, which was worked up from a mixture of dark flesh and grey, with lighter flesh and bone colour added to the mix. It received several washes of thinned-down purple and strongtone around the eyes.

It could do with a bit of tidying up - I'm not convinced by the verdigris - but overall I think this has come out really well. Now we have both a magus and a patriarch! All I need now are about 10 tanks and 500 cultists and I've got a 40k army!

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Magos in Progress

So I went away to paint some genestealers. And it worked!

I decided to make a scenic base for my magus conversion, so that he could tower over his minions as he delivers some kind of ranting speech to them. I found an old communications array from a 40k building, and used the base of it to make this:

I imagine that the three little prongs sticking up are models of the hive cities that the magus has conquered, so he will be literally looming over them when he is finished. I think it will be quite a cool base for him.

And here is the start of the magus. I'm posting him here because his robe is some of the best painting I've done in years, perhaps ever. Which might well say a lot about the quality of my work.

Let's hope I don't balls up the rest of him.

Sunday 4 December 2016

Up In The Air

Some projects you remember with particular affection. And some you don't. This one sticks in my mind because when I started it, a few years ago, I slipped while cutting some parts up to use, sliced my hand open and had to go to casualty to have seven stitches. I still bear the scars of the battlefields of the 41st millenium.

I happened to find this flying machine lying around in a battered and unfinished state, and realised that, in a true stroke of genius, not only had I mangled myself putting it together, but I'd stuck the engines on back to front. Some rather more careful cutting later, and here is the improved Zephyr, a small flyer used to transport light goods from one hive city to another.

The wings are actually the "petals" of a space marine drop pod. The engines and main body are from a Tau piranha, and the cockpit came off a children's Robogear toy. I think the canopy on the top of the fusillage is from a chaos walker of some kind.

Painting something like this is pretty much out of my experience, so thanks to James for his suggestions. It needs work, since I don't have some of the stuff he proposed that I used. I've got to that weird situation where you know that you need to something, but you're not quite sure what.

The answer is probably to make more genestealers.