Monday 26 August 2019

Frostgrave Fortress

In the past I've ordered bases from a company called Renedra. They used to do a lot of casting for other companies, but now have a range of terrain and basing stuff. One of the things they make is an impressively massive castle, together with huge towers.

The tower itself was both enormous and quite costly, but the mid-section parts were comparatively cheap. I ordered two sets of the mid-section and started making a fortress. I assembled one of the sections, which made four walls. I added a roof to make a box.

Because I wanted battlements for the fortress, I cut part off the other section and used it to made a wall around the top of the box. I then bulked this out with plasticard and added some ornamental spikes which I found in the local art shop. It looked like this:

Then it was time for painting. Using dark grey mixed with bone, and quite a few green and brown washes, I ended up with this:

I also had a small outhouse left over from the very old Empire fortified mansion set. I painted it up as a little guardhouse. I didn't glue it to the top, but I think it sits nicely up there. It gives the fortress a bit more colour and ties it into my other buildings.

One thing bothers me - the door (it's from the Mantic doors set) is barred across the outside. However, that's to keep the terrible evil locked inside, not because I cocked it up. So that's fine.

Wednesday 21 August 2019

Two Old Chaos Warriors "Repaired"

This week I painted two chaos people that I'm going to call knights. I got them both cheaply from ebay, in a "broken miniatures" search. The first model was a complete wreck when I got it. If it had been complete, it would have looked like this:

Unfortunately, it didn't. It was missing one leg, the chain was damaged and the raised hand was entirely gone. So I did a few alterations.

I was going to provide a detailed work-in-progress shot, but unfortunately it came out blurry. So here's a very rough idea of how much of this model has been added - two limbs and a shield, basically, both from plastic chaos models.

Then he got some paint. I also added a dagger from an Empire model, because his side looked rather "empty" and Mordheim was always big on twiddly details.

The second chaos knight was only missing his shield arm. I gave him a shield from a modern plastic chaos warrior, which comes with a hand and forearm. It was just a matter of filling the gap and sculpting it a bit.

He was painted to fit in with his friend. Inevitably, he got a little black-and-white chequered bit, which seems to be obligatory on old-school chaos miniatures. The two of them will fit in with the other chaos models for a Mordheim/Frostgrave team. On to the next miniatures!

Friday 16 August 2019

Two Wizards For The Fish-God

I've continued to paint the Carnevale models, and have got two more fish-people done for the Deep One faction. As you don't get many models in your team, I've taken quite a lot of time on these guys.

First up is Sirena, a siren/mermaid person who actually seems to be half-woman, half-octopus. She is a wizard and has a magical effect that weakens the morale of anyone around her.

I did a lot of blending on this model while the paint was still wet. I'm pleased with the gradual transition from human skin tones to grey-purple on the tentacles. I used a Vallejo colour called Luftwaffe Uniform as the basis for the grey, mixing it in with flesh tones and purple.

The second model is a Magi-Rashaar, a wizardly chap. In the big game of Carnevale that I played a while back, he was a right nuisance to everyone, so he's probably worth having in a team. I used a similar colour scheme of dark green, grey and purple to tie him into the rest of the crew, but added some new colours to mark him out and suggest his importance.

Interestingly, the skin colour - green mixed with flesh tones - hasn't come out all that well on either of my two cameras for this model. Nor does it come out well on my ork commandos, which are some of my favourite models. I think it must just not show up very well.

And here's the inevitable (?) rear view.

Overall, I think these are two of the best models that I've done for a long time. The Deep Ones are shaping up well (or hideously), and I've got a pair of semi-human henchmen to do next.

Sunday 11 August 2019

Birdbox House

Every so often, I go down to the local art shop. It's the nearest place that stocks plasticard, and there are usually some odds and ends that I can pick up and use to make terrain. In the past, I've bought papier mache treasure chests from them and used them as the basis for Mordheim/Frostgrave houses.

Last time I was there, I found a small wooden bird-box. I don't think it was meant to really house birds, just to be decorated. It only cost a few pounds, and I thought that it would make a good basis for a Warhammer-type building.

I gave it a dormer window made of plasticard, and used coffee stirrers and dowel to make the timbered bits on the outside. The door came from the Mantic doors set, and the window was made from a lipped Warmachine base. The roofing slates are just card.

Finally, the house got a chimney left over from an old GW kit. The tall chimney exaggerates the narrow, spindly quality of the rest of the house.

On balance, it might be slightly too twee and pretty for the style that I'm going for. But I like it a lot, and it will fit in nicely with the other houses that I've made.

Tuesday 6 August 2019

Deep Ones for Carnevale

I've not really been in the mood for painting anything complex for a while, and doing the old chaos marines and the tank have been a nice break from having to colour inside the lines. However, I did want to have a go at something that required a bit more subtlety, just something without too much detail.

Two Deep Ones from the Carnevale starter set seemed like a good idea. They come with the basic game, and are rather nice sculpts. The Rashaar faction (the Deep Ones and other sea creatures) is rather odd: instead of cultists, you get some slaves, who are good sculpts but don't really look right with the big monsters. However, the monsters themselves are good, and you can make a team out of them.

These models, like all the newer Carnevale releases, are resin, and a real sod to undercoat. However, the detail is good, and I like the poses.

I'm particularly pleased with the eyes, which were a pale blue highlighted with white, and washed with a lurid purple. They were then given a going-over with varnish, to give them an unwholesome, fishy wetness.

Overall, quite quick to paint, and the results are pretty good. Maybe I'll paint some of the others now!

Monday 5 August 2019

I Wrote Another Book!

Yes indeed! I have written another fantasy novel and it comes out today! It's a story of murder and revenge set in a magical city a bit like Venice. If you liked Mordheim, you'll probably like this.

Giulia Degarno thought that coming to Averrio would be the start of a new life. But when a renegade priest turns up dead in a canal, the City Watch needs somebody to take the blame. And who better than a woman with a dark past and an even darker future? Now Giulia has seven days to clear her name and find the killer. But as the violence mounts and the danger rises, she comes up against a conspiracy founded on gold, murder and evil magic. Giulia must deal with a cunning, ruthless enemy - and friends she may no longer be able to trust.

Go to Amazon, buy many copies, and enjoy*!


(*I actually hate it wh
en people say "enjoy". Consider it a suggestion rather than an order)

Sunday 4 August 2019

A Tank For The Chaos Marines

I had wanted to go up to Bring Out Your Lead this year, but for real-world reasons (the real world is being tediously intrusive into my magical fantasy land right now) I couldn't make it. So I did some more work on the old Chaos marines instead. Here is the next batch of five.

With the exception of the chap with the big blue sword, they've all been converted in some way, or have had non-regulation parts added (actually, he's got an old ork bolter, but I don't think that really "counts"). As before, the painting is "experimental" (ie ropey), but I think the touches of colour on the various models help a lot. So they're not my favourite unit, but they're interesting and they're a lot better than they were before. I've now got a squad of 10 of these unfortunates.


I've also had a go at making a tank for the Chaos people. Given that I'll have at least 20 models on foot, I thought I ought to give them a transport. The obvious choice is a chaos rhino, but they really are boring looking things. The rhino is an old kit, at least 15 years old, and it's never been an exciting design. It lacks either the sleek menace of the Aliens APC or the crude, WW1 brutality of the Leman Russ.

Added to that, it's difficult to "chaosify" a vehicle. Just sticking a load of spikes on top looks a bit naff, to my mind, and some of the conversions I've seen, while impressively wacky, are very specific in terms of which Chaos power they represent, and feel a bit too bonkers to me.

So I went with something entirely different. It's a Mantic Sturnhammer battle tank (are there non-battle tanks?) for their not-squats faction. It would usually be £30, which seems a bit steep for what you get, but I found it for £20 on ebay.

As I've found with Mantic vehicles, the detail isn't great, but it goes together very easily and wasn't a pain to assemble. Three separate turrets were included with the model - so you could assemble all three and swap them depending on what gun you wanted, unlike a GW tank. Oddly, you can't swap between the APC and the tank version, which require different rear compartments. I assembled the tank version, because it looks cooler and you never know when you'll need some big guns.

Virtually no conversion work was required. I didn't like the end of the gun barrels on the quad autocannon or whatever it is, so I cut them down a bit and drilled some holes for the barrels. Otherwise, it's as designed. I think it has a suitably aggressive profile, and looks mean enough to be transporting chaos marines, but not too over-the-top.

I'll just have to paint the marines who'll be using it now.