Sunday, 23 February 2020

A Friend for the Knight of Seasons (and some goblins)

This week, I've done a few more models for Mordheim/Frostgrave.

First up is the second model in the "Green Knight" warband. Many years ago I bought a Mordheim Augur and cut her up to make a wizard. I stripped the model and started again. The head was gone, as was the knife she was raising, and so I added a new plastic Empire sword, gave her a Statuesque Miniatures bald head, and sculpted some hair on using green stuff.

I don't really like sculpting hair - I find it easy to do to a low quality, but hard to make convincing. The original model is throwing her head back and looking at the sky, but I turned this one's head, as if she's striking some fighting pose before attacking with her blades.

Painting was quite easy: most of the model is her large dress, and that was just a mixture of fading up from dark brown to red. I used a rust effect on the swords, partly to tie her to the knight, but also as it looks natural and may have a ritual significance to these guys.

It's surprisingly difficult to come up with new ways of doing the whole "crazy medieval pagan" look for a warband. A lot of the imagery is already used by the wood elves, beastmen or the followers of Nurgle. I quite like the idea of having a group of loonies celebrating some change in the seasons with a (possibly) magical parade. Perhaps these guys are doing that. Or they're just re-enacting a Kate Bush video.

I also did a couple of goblins for the ever-growing goblin horde. They're much lighter in tone and more cartoony than the pagan revellers. The ball-and-chain man was originally lacking his ball, so I made one out of clay. The shotgunner is a 40k gretchin, but I think he works fine with some sort of musket.

I like these guys a lot. It's hard to see, but I'm very pleased with the painting on their faces.

Monday, 17 February 2020

A Knight For All Seasons


I think every old wargamer acquires a handful of Space Marines: whether intentionally or otherwise, they just sort of appear. Similarly, I suspect that every new wargamer ends up with a few Stormcast Eternals - or, to give them their usual name, Sigmarines.

So, I thought I'd have a go at one of my Sigmarines. Clearly, they're not human, as they're too big and the proportions are different (actually, they're probably more realistically-proportioned, but still). I happened to see this complete weirdness, which reminds me of some of the better stuff in the Blanchitsu/Aos28 style:

Some sort of wild Arthurian person seemed like a good idea. I replaced the strange blank-faced Sigmarine helmet with a mad-looking head from the Empire Flagellants set, and cut an axe down from a couple of Chaos weapons - a Nurgle champion provided the blade, and the haft came from a marauder.

Not-very-helpful WIP

The shield was a very old shield that I found knocking around, probably from 1995 or so. I originally wanted to give him a massive circular shield with a design quite like the wheel of fortune in the Green Knight trailer, but it covered up too much of the model. Also, the shield I've given him follows the line of his leg quite nicely and draws the eye towards his face (I hope).

The armour was painted to look rusty, and I went for a variety of natural colours on the robes, vaguely suggestive of the seasons. I'm not sure on the checks on the shield. It seems to be obligatory in the darker end of Warhammer, but I don't know if it really goes with the model. At any rate, they took ages to paint, so they're staying.

Actually, he looks a bit like Sir Launcelot at the end of the bonkers 1981 film Excalibur (which I suspect had quite an influence on Warhammer's chaos knights). I wonder if I could make a warband like this? Perhaps a priestess and a dryad, with some obligatory loonies? Hmm.

Meanwhile, at Ye Worlde of Disneye

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Hardwired 2 - Redneck Rescue!

Far out in the wastelands, surrounded by ruins and damaged cars, there stands an old gas station. One of our science team has set up a base in the garage, bringing in salvaged items from the wastes for repair. However, jealous yokels have captured her, potentially for dinner. As smoke from the redneck cannibals' cooking fire darkens the air, the alien overlords of the Conglomerate send out their minions to snatch the researcher and her data. An elite team assembles to rescue the researcher and bring her back home, before she falls into the wrong hands...

Yes, it's Hardwired again! This time, I played one of the other missions in the rulebook, namely the Seraph Protocol Mission. There were three objectives: kill the guards (in this case, the marauding yokels), disable the researcher's implanted cortex bomb (in this case, probably a stick of dynamite in a bucket) and usher her off the far side of the board.

The team assembled at one side of the board. Far away, their target stood between two guards.

It wasn't going to be easy getting her out of danger.

But actually, it was. The two thugs hit the ground in the first turn's shooting, and the team's hacker swiftly disabled the crude bomb. However, the enemy were gathering...

So the team ducked inside the gas station and took up positions.

A horde of thugs rushed the side of the gas station, looking to capture the flank and the priceless moonshine still inside.

And a team of heavily-armoured alien soldiers burst onto the scene, attacking from the front!

The team came out with guns blazing. The entire mob of enemies was cut down with three grenades and some vicious shooting. The team's medic sustained a wound but thankfully was able to patch himself up. Seeing her chance, the researcher fled off the table, and the mission was a success! The heroes settled down to enjoy the treasure trove of salvaged junk, and to make the most of the moonshine still.

This was another fast, enjoyable game using the Hardwired rules. As before, the game gets much, much harder as it goes on, as enemies pour into the area. It's frantic stuff, and I think I might have forgotten a couple of rules - but I forgot them equally, so the game remained as fair as ever. On the Give 'Em Lead blog, Maj Guiscard suggested making cards for the various types of agent - if I do much more Hardwired, I might give this a try.

Hardwired is built for one sort of game, bascially, but it might be interesting to try something a bit different. Making all the enemies medium-tough, but only giving them close combat weapons, might lead to an interesting Starship Troopers-type game. At any rate, it's an easy and enjoyable set of single-player rules, provided that you're prepared to improvise a little.

Monday, 3 February 2020


Who likes zoats? I do! Zoats were one of the oddest creatures produced by GW in the old days, and don't appear to have been an entirely original creation, rather than "inspired" by something else. They looked rather like a centaur crossed with a dinosaur, or perhaps a ninja turtle with a pair of extra legs and less ninja stuff (so a turtle?). In Warhammer 40,000, they were creations of the tyranid fleets, but many had escaped and worked as freelance mercenaries. They lived off three Zoatibix per day. Honestly, they did. It's in Rogue Trader.

In Warhammer Fantasy Battle, the zoats lived in forests and seemed to be vaguely friendly creatures. They had magical abilities and were quite tough. Sadly, they disappeared from the lore at the start of the Red Period. However, it appears that zoats didn't die - they only ate some lettuce and went into hibernation. For a new zoat model has been revealed for the 40k game Blackstone Fortress, presumably as a villain.

Anyhow, all of this inspired me to dig out my own old fantasy zoat model and have another go at painting him. He's bigger than I remembered: back in the old days, you could cram a model like this onto a standard cavalry base, but really he deserves something larger so I've put him on a modern oval base. He seems to be armed with a magic orb and the traditional weapon of the zoats, a massive steel Fererro Rocher with which to bash people who make fun of his Zoatibix.

Once again, this is an old model that's a real pleasure to make. I used two green washes over a white undercoat - one all over and a darker one mixed with Strongtone to shade - and then highlighted the majority of the hide with white and the underbelly with yellow.

I would have liked to put some flowers on his base - despite tufts of grass and rocks made from cork, it feels a bit empty. Anyhow, I like him. A real Oldhammer model!

Sunday, 2 February 2020

The Spirit Horde Rises!

Among the sisters of the Order of Saint Triniana, whenever a sister is slain in battle, her body is taken back to the grand catacombs beneath the priory for burial. But sometimes, when a battle sister has unfinished work to do, the Emperor permits her a second chance, and her death-shroud becomes infused with her sacred spirit. Some say that, late at night, the shrouds rise from the bodies they once covered and the Shrouded Ones can be seen wafting about, looking for enemies to slay.

The sisters make use of such spirits, binding them into a sanctified Rhino known as the Sanctus Mobilitate. In battle, they are unleashed upon the enemy, cutting the enemy with long blades, and melting the unclean with sorcerous blasts. At such times, it is best to look away.

This week, I've continued work on the remaining four Myrmourn Banshees as replacement arco-flagellants for the sisters of battle.

I thought it would be nice to give one of the spirits a human face, like the angels in Raiders of the Lost Ark just before they go into killing-mode. I used a Statuesque Miniatures female head (they seem to be the best option for this available). This actually turned into a more complex conversion that I'd anticipated, because the models are rather flimsy and the pieces don't connect very much. I ended up using a lot of green stuff, which I dislike as it's so difficult to smooth down. She's the one in the middle, and the basic model is the one behind her.

At the end of the day, I think the conversion works OK, but I'm glad that I only attempted it on one of the models. I also pitched the human-faced angel forwards, by drilling a new hole in her base, so she's flying along parallel with the ground instead of rising into the sky shrieking.

Here is the finished unit. I really like these models. The design is great and the sense of movement is terrific.

The optimum number of models in an arco-flagellant unit seems to be nine, because you can fit them into a Rhino and add an imperial preacher to boost their abilities. That means that I need one more of these chaps, and I've got a special plan for her.

Incidentally, here are four similar conversions I did a while ago: they're also Age of Sigmar Nighthaunts, but these are Glaivewraith Stalkers. I gave them new heads and metal arms to turn them into some kind of weird Adeptus Mechanicus hunting beasts: