Saturday 29 June 2019

Avast Behind, it's the Ogre Pirates!

Everyone likes pirates. Pirates are great - unless they're Johnny Depp, in which case they're just irritating. Ogres are good too, even when they're spelled Ogors, because each one is basically a character and you only need a dozen or so for a Warhammer army.

About a year before I started this blog, I made an ogre army. They were themed as pirates, which enabled me to cut off a lot of legs and make a lot of hook hands, and included a force of aquatic trolls and a blue giant who looked like Neptune. Recently, I saw the back part of an ogre mercenary going for a few quid on ebay. I bought it, added some bits I had left over, and came up with this:

Here's the finished version, with paint.

Captain Bloodbeard was one a slave in the Dark Elf city of Port Misery. He sank the ship on which he laboured by jumping up and down a lot, and then, returning to the port, proceeded to kill and eat the entire garrison. This won him an entirely undeserved reputation as a freedom fighter, and since then, he has acquired a fierce following of rogues, sea-dogs and scurvy lubbers, most of whom he hasn't tried to devour. His name is a byword for mayhem and robbery, and he is often to be seen standing at the bows of his ship - largely because he is too big to fit inside.

I also had an old metal Privateer Press model that I'd picked up cheap ages ago. It's a Mercenary Mariner warjack, and has a nice nautical look reminiscent of the Big Daddy from the computer game Bioshock. The one I had was missing a funnel, and seemed to have been slightly miscast on the side of the head. I painted it up in what I hoped were seafaring colours. It will serve with the ogre pirates, perhaps as a champion. Yo ho ho!

Old Barnacle is a pirate golem that fights alongside Captain Bloodbeard and his salty crew. Fashioned from old diving suits and the terrible magic of the Great Whirlpool, it frequently leads boarding actions, where its sheer weight can threaten to capsize enemy vessels. Old Barnacle carries an ancient cannon and an anchor, with which to send scurvy dogs down to sleep in Davy Jones' locker. And also to kill them.

Saturday 22 June 2019

Castle of the Vampire

The last time I posted, I put up a work-in-progress picture of a building I was making. It's here:

I've managed to finish off the building and get it painted. I added a spire made from the Adeptus Titanicus spires kit, which I think scales off quite nicely. Because the top of the building seemed a bit wide and empty around the spire, I added some little domes or blunt spikes that I bought at the local art shop. I'm not sure what they're for (they might be the tops of fences in a bigger scale) but they make good gothic adornments. Also, I used them on the roof of this house, so they'll tie the scenery together.

The painting was fairly simple, and I used colours that reflected the other buildings for consistency. Probably the most interesting bit is that I used a light grey-blue for the highlighting colour on most of the stone, instead of my usual bone colour. I think it works really well and I like the overall effect.

Sunday 16 June 2019

Diabolical Works In Progress

Normally, I tend to post finished things to this blog. If their construction is of particular interest (to me, at any rate) I'll put up a work in progress photo. This week, however, I've been really busy with various bits of real-world stuff, and so I've started some things but not completed them.

First up is this little chap. He's a chaos cultist, and a marksman. He's going to be either an archer or a crossbowman in the Chaos warband that I'm planning to make for Frostgrave. His body is from a 40k Chaos Cultist, and his musket is from an Empire Soldier. I had to use wire and green stuff to make him a new left arm and fill in some of the gaps. So far, so good. Or bad.

Next up, something more grand. Ages ago, I made a steampunk observatory from pieces of the Empire Fortified Manor kit. I recently decided to give it a re-fitting, and took off the existing tower, to be replaced with a spire from the Adeptus Titanicus spires kit.

I've given the building a new pair of double doors, which are from Mantic's dungeon set, and a grand front piece above the door, which was previously the back part of the Magewrath Throne. While the throne is a decent enough kit for a tenner (if you like skulls on your skulls), it's out of scale with pretty much everything that isn't the size of a giant. This front ornamentation will look over the top and rather skull-heavy, but for once I'm prepared to forgo that. Perhaps it'll be the house of a vampire.

Monday 10 June 2019

A Knight And A Spire

After last time's archer, I decided to paint a knight in similar colours, presumably as the head of the household. I found an old Gamezone model, which had a really good horse but a very boring rider. I removed the rider and made one of my own, with the body, legs and right arm of a Warhammer pistolier, and the left arm of a Warhammer knight. I added a head from Statuesque Miniatures and then, as Lou Reed once put it, he was a she. Hey babe, take a ride on the wild side.

The basing was tricky, as I wanted it to tie into the cobblestones of the infantry, but needed a cavalry base with slots to give the horse some support. I flattened out some green stuff on scraps of paper and "drew" cobbles into it with a biro. I painted these and glued them onto the base, then put ash-style flock around to cover up the gaps.

My second project is a bit of an experiment. A few weeks back, GW brought out a set of spires for their Adeptus Titanicus game. The spires looked really nicely-sculpted, and very much in the gothic-without-excessive-skulls look that I like. I bought a set to see if they could be incorporated into the architecture of the various 28mm buildings that I've been making.

Of course, they're wildly out of scale, but would it matter? The answer, I suspect, is "No, unless you think about it". I took the base plate of a Magewrath Throne, and put one of the spires on top of it.

Here in the UK, there are about a dozen monuments called Eleanor Crosses, which King Edward I put up in memory of his wife, Eleanor, in various towns. The one below is at Waltham. Apparently, there was one in Dunstable, but it seems to have gone missing, probably round about the time when the pubs close.

So, here's my take on the concept.

I've added a little 40k detail halfway down to give it a bit of visual focus, and painted the teardrop blue to get away from the fact that it's a Blood Angels part. I think it works.

Here's it next to Sir Vaylance the Vigilant.

I think that's ok, overall.

Monday 3 June 2019

Stormvermin and Archers

Slowly and steadily, I'm getting to the end of my skaven warband for Frostgrave. This week, I painted two stormvermin (larger, elite skaven) to use as knights, templars or men at arms (well, mice at arms). They are older models, perhaps from the "red period" in the 1990s, and have a chunky, lumpy quality. Normally I don't really warm to that style, but I think it makes them suitably large and unsubtle in comparison to their more nimble comrades.

I've been getting a bit tired of painting dirty fur, so I painted an archer for the goblin horde and another bowman for the Frostgrave human team.

The goblin is, I think, a metal forest goblin. This camera always seems to wash out the shading on green skin, but he's better in real life (honestly). The human is a very old model, from a game which wasn't Talisman, but had its own metal miniatures. His tab said "Paladin", which sounds odd, as I'm sure a paladin is a sort of holy knight. Strange.

Anyway, I thought I'd leave with a picture from the battle report that got me into all this Warhammer stuff. A kid at my school had a copy of White Dwarf featuring a fight between some very brightly-coloured Brettonian knights and Andy Chambers' filthy-looking (but well-painted) skaven army. The contrast looked amazing, and I was just fascinated by the whole thing.

If I remember rightly, the painting on the Brettonians was actually pretty crude, but it was enough. I'm now converting a knight to go with the other humans.