Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Even More Brightly-Coloured Marines

 Here are some more knightly coloured marines.

The first chap was made from the body of an Iron Warriors Warsmith that I got off ebay for a few quid. I really like the details of his extensive bionic adaptations. He was missing a left arm, but by chance I had a suitably mechanical left arm lying around, which I got in a job lot of random bits ages ago. I think it was made by Puppetswar or someone like that. He got a standard paint job for this little army, with a bit more metal than usual.

This second chap is an old Black Templars Sword Brethren miniature. He's a great model. I really like the detailing on the Sword Brethren, especially this guy. I gave him a left hand, but otherwise he's exactly as per usual.

The third marine is based on the body of the old Emperor's Champion miniature, which came missing its right arm and most of its left. I really like this old model. It's one of the most stylish takes on marine armour I've ever seen, and it looks very medieval. I added a sword arm from... somewhere, and a plastic left arm with a plasma pistol. As ever, painting the plasma was a nuisance and I'm not entirely happy with the results. But I do like him a lot. The combination of the style of the armour and his pose make him look very dramatic. 

And that's it for the minute. I promised not to buy a load of new models, but I've already bought five blokes with missile launchers off ebay. I hope I'm not trying to make a marine army, after all those years of mocking them. 

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Jolly Space Marines

In a world of endless warfare and sepia ink, what could be more subversive than to look cheerful? Here are some more of the jolly, questing-knight style space marines that I was making a few months ago.

I've had a half-painted loyalist space marine on my desk for ages, so I thought I'd finish him off. He was made from a captain's body, Blood Angel arms, and a Bretonian helmet.

Then I thought I'd make another of these guys. This chap has a Blood Angels body with some of the skulls filed off to make him look a bit more heroic ("Hans, are we the baddies?"). His pistol arm was plastic, and the sword arm was metal. 

The third marine was the body of a high-ranking marine from the Masters of the Chapter set. I've no idea which master he is. Maybe geography. I gave him a grey knight head and spear, and converted a hand so it would hold his helmet, which came off a very old Bretonian sprue.

I've ordered a couple more knightly-looking marines off ebay. I like the small metal marines: they've got more character than the recent primaris ones, and they can be converted without too much trouble (and they're much cheaper!). In putting these guys together, I've tried to minimise chapter-specific bits as well as skulls, but I've not been too careful about this as long as the end result is good. I doubt I'll make a full army of them, but a few more would be cool. Enough to sit around a big round table...

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Kroot Battlesuit

 The plan to spend less on miniatures continues. About ten years ago, I made a little walker for the Tau - or, rather, the Kroot. I thought it would be cool to have a mech suit that would be used by a particularly trusted Kroot warrior: perhaps with stealth capabilities, but definitely taking its look from the shape of Kroot soldiers.

Anyway, it was a bit basic, and had rubbish arms which then fell off and were lost. I gathered the rather knackered bits together, along with some other parts that I'd acquired along the way, and had a think about what to do with it next.

The main parts were there, but they needed to be put together into the right shape ("I'm playing the right notes, just not in the right order"). With a bit of trial and error, I came up with this:

And eventually this:

It uses:

- legs and lower body from a Space Crusade dreadnought (which was already trashed)

- body from a Gates of Antares Ghar warsuit

- shoulder armour from a Gates of Antares cannon

- Dark Eldar Talos armguards for the rear motors or whatever they are

- a space marine Rhino headlamp

- some random Zoid bits for the upper arms

- plasticard

- many Tau parts

- and a shoe from an ogre (for the lower jaw).

Things like this always look like a right mess until you spray the undercoat on. Painted entirely black, it looked surprisingly un-crap. I decided to go for a dark colour scheme, in imitation of the excellent mech suit from the film District 9. Here we go:

It also has an engine, or something like that:

Painting this thing was reasonably simple: dark grey for the whole model, with dirty metal (dark brown washed black and chipped with sponged-on Boltgun). I tried to copy the colours I'd used on the Tau battlesuits, and to use spot colors to draw the eye towards its head (otherwise it would be hard to tell which end is which). Some weathering powder was used on the lower legs, and a bit of crumpled carboard was painted to resemble corrugated metal.

Here then is the finished mech from Pech with his little friends. Fokkin' prawns!

Thursday, 30 September 2021

Flamer Cultist/Inquisitor/Dark Acolyte Conversion

 A while back, I painted some of the new Chaos cultist models, which seem to have been designed for the game Blackstone Fortress instead of 40k, but which are still available.

The largest of the cultists is this guy, who seems to be wielding some kind of flamer:

He's one of the increasing number of GW models whose sculpting is fine but whose concept I don't like. Not least is the fact that he's very different in style and size to the other cultists. However, I thought that the various bits of him could be put to good use. Very carefully, I cut his legs off the sprue, and away from his body.

I cut the left leg at the hip and knee, and slightly reshaped it so that he could have one leg posed dramatically on a small piece of rock (actually a random bit of cork that I found in my bits box). 

Some months back, I made some chaos bikers out of the old Dark Vengeance bikers. I had a robed sergeant's torso left over, which was about in scale with the rather large legs of Flamer Guy. The robes worked well with the robes/slit skirt/poorly tied sarong that Flamer Guy is wearing. 

The resulting model was quite big, but didn't have the right armour for Space Marine arms. But what about Tempestus Scion arms, which are cloth with armour plates strapped on? They happened to fit really well. I gave the model a backpack from the Scions as well, and ended up with this:

And now for paint! 

I originally thought I'd paint his robe black, like a 40k Darth Vader, but not make him stand out with a white(ish) robe?

His gun got a military green colour, and I used the same red and brass shades on his armour plates that I'd used on my not-Black Legion guys, so he could fit in with them. Oddly, the Scions have quite similar fancy details on their armour to those that the chaos marines have on their shoulder pads. 

I decided to give him black (ie brown) skin on his face instead of white (ie pink) skin, or the greyish skin that I've used on some other chaos models. The darker shade goes well with the robe, I think, and contrasts nicely with his (plastic?) face mask. This guy might just about be an inquisitor (which is the default what-have-I-just-made option in 40k) or, more likely, a Chaos chap. I reckon he's probably a Dark Acolyte, standing in a dramatic pose while he extols the virtues of the Chaos gods. Quite a hard sell, I'd have thought.

So there we go. My camera hasn't made the best job of taking a photo of the finished product, but you get the idea. I really like him. I've got plans for the upper half of Flamer Guy as well.

Monday, 27 September 2021

Fancy Fantasy Folks

In my current attempts to sort out my miniatures a bit and buy fewer new ones, I've been repainting old models and tidying up some of the work I did on them. It's often a case of "Nice concept, dodgy execution". 

So, here are some fancy-looking mercenaries, who are probably part of the same crew.

First up is Sir Vaylance the Vigilant, Bretonnian knight and walking tank. I tidied up the paint job on him, but didn't do much else. He was based around an old Chaos warrior, with a Bretonnian shield and helmet, an elf sword (I think) and the legs of a 40k chaos renegade (and much green stuff).

Next is, er, King Henry VIII. He had an Empire engineer's body (from the cannon kit, I think) and guns from a pistolier cavalryman. The red is quite heavily shaded, but the camera hasn't picked it up at all, so it looks rather flat. He's clearly taking out a rival in a stroll-by shooting.

The last adventurer was quite a complex conversion. She has legs from a Sister of Battle that I chopped up years ago, two swords from a dark elf corsair, a skaven cloak and a wide range of odds and ends on her belt that might have come from the Grey Knights, possibly. I get the feeling that she enjoys her work.

Because I did some of the work ages ago, I've not got any WIP pictures. However, my search through my old models has turned up some interesting things. I'll put some more up in the coming weeks.

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Three Wizards

 I had a go at painting three wizards from the excellent Frostgrave female wizards sprue. Like the female fighters set, the female wizards were released after their male counterparts, and are slightly better sophisticated sculpts. I made three wizards of very different sorts, and painted them in different colour schemes.

The first wizard is a Gandalf-type who is reading out a spell from her book.

The second wizard is less subtle and was partly inspired by the elementalist in the Frostgrave rulebook. She's the only one of the three who is converted: I swapped the top of her staff (surprisingly, a skull) with a burning brazier.

The third wizard is a witch-type model. Her body is rather hunched, so I added an elderly-looking hooded head. She also got a cat familiar from the wizard sprue. I painted her to look like a classic fairytale witch, with green as a spot colour.

I happened to have a cauldron from Nolzur's Marvellous Miniatures, so I thought they'd look right standing around it, making a potion. All I need now is Macbeth.

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Ork Bulldog

 For a while, I've thought that it would be nice for the ork commandos to have a regimental mascot. Given the WW2 feel of the commandos, it seemed appropriate for their mascot to be some kind of huge alien bulldog. Of course, orks look slightly like manky old dogs as it is, so something like that would fit right in. 

Surprisingly, I couldn't quite find the right model for it. Some of GW's squigs get close, but they only have two legs, and the shape isn't quite right. So, instead I decided to have a go at sculpting my own.

I had some spare metal legs from a Hasslefree kit. Once cut down and repositioned slightly, they'd look suitably muscular, especially since the front legs were much bulkier than the back ones. I made a frame out of old sprue and stuck the legs to it and to a base. 

Then I added some Das clay to make a basic body shape. As usual with this stuff, once it had dried I gave it a coat of thinned-down PVA glue, to seal it and make it a bit more durable.

I had a couple of small, dried balls of green stuff, left over from other projects. They made a good base for the head. Then it was time to find a couple of pictures of bulldogs and try to sculpt a head. Some spikes from a chaos sprue and a bit of wire covered in green stuff added detail.

I added a collar with thin plasticard and a length of chain from my useful bag of chaos bits. Finally, it was time to paint him. I decided not to go for the usual squig-red colour, as it wouldn't fit in with the rest of the unit well. Instead, I went for the same green as the other orks: Vallejo Russian Uniform shaded up with flesh colours. 

Every unit needs its mascot, and Da Glory Boyz have Grub. Grub is a fierce fighter and skilled tracker, and his Commissar-eating antics have raised the morale of the commandos (and also several Imperial Guard regiments). He also has the useful skill of devouring anything that the orks won't. Generally speaking, he lives on canned food (also known as Space Marines).

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Ramshackle Terminators 2

 There's a line in the Chaos Marines codex to the effect that many chaos techmarines are little more than a brain in a robotic body. I reckon that the longer you stay in the service of the chaos gods, the more "upgrades" you end up getting, whether they're enhancements to your armour, things that grow out of you, or some really unpleasant mixture of the two. The longest-serving marines really wouldn't be much like people at all.

Anyhow, that ought to justify the randomness of the conversions I'll be passing off as terminators. I found a very old plastic terminator in a box of bits. It must have come from one of the boxed sets, because it was simpler in design than usual, with the whole body being one cast. I decided to deface it in the name of Chaos.

First, I cut the body off the legs. Then, the head was sliced off and replaced with what I think is a fantasy shoulder pad shaped like a skull. It fitted really well. Then the chest plate came off and was replaced with a standard chaos marine one. I thought that the head looked a bit over-large, so I put in a plasticard spacer to make the body a bit longer.

Various odds and ends were added to the arms and legs to make them look more chaos-worthy. The main addition was a pair of shoulder guards from an old chaos knight, which bulked out the shoulders quite a lot. This made the model's waist feel a bit thin, so I made some bigger hip-protectors out of plasticard and used them to thicken the waist. 

Then it was painting time. First off, the chap with horns:

Then the guy with the huge lightning claws:

And then the bloke with the spear:

Finally, here's the one that I converted earlier:

And that's all of them! Here's a slightly ropey group photo, along with the guy they're supposed to be protecting. 

Monday, 6 September 2021

Ramshackle Terminators 1

 In my continual quest to attack and dethrone the Emperor (or at least to pull his wires out), I decided to make a few more chaos marines. Purely at random, I picked up the upper body of an old plastic champion and held it up to a pair of resin robot legs from Ramshackle Games. They fitted together surprisingly well. Hmm. Two drinks later, and I was assembling this guy properly.

Some years ago, Ramshackle sent me a load of robot legs with an order I made. I've never worked out whether they intended to, but I've always wondered what to use the legs for. They're bigger than human legs, but they could work for a slimmer-than-usual terminator or something like that. I tried to assemble something roughly like the GW terminators (or at least about the same size) with the resin legs and various chaos bits (I'm trying to buy less stuff at the moment, and to use what I've already got).

The first chap uses the upper body and power fist arm of an old plastic champion. I replaced his pistol with a big metal combi-gun that I'd had lying around for ages, and gave him a horned head. I really like the pointing power fist.

The second model has an upper body from the newer plastic marines, with resin legs and a head from some fantasy chaos knights. The arms were from a very old and not-very-good metal tyranid model, which I happened to find online. They're ridiculous but also sort-of cool. I reckon that he's armed with two lightning claws - given how he looks, I don't think there's any other option!

Our third guy has more humanoid Ramshackle legs. His body is actually a proper chaos terminator chest plate. His head was some kind of sensor from the Gates of Antares game, and his arms came from chaos knights. His gun was left over from the Tzeentch dreadnought I made last month. 

I like the long, impractical spear. The legs are slightly longer than standard terminator legs, and more spindly. There's something subtly weird about them. I added a random tassle to his waist, which served to tie the legs to the body a bit more, both visually and literally, as they helped glue the halves together.

So there we go! They were one of those late-night "what if" projects, and they've come together quite well. I need to paint them up now: they'll be in the usual semi-Black Legion scheme, which should tie them together. I'm tempted to give them a bit of an Oldhammer feel, if possible.

Saturday, 4 September 2021

Cultists and Sisters

 I recently got hold of the set of plastic chaos cultists that Games Workshop currently makes. I think they were originally created for a boxed game and are now sold separately. They're an odd set, as they don't fit with the actual rules for cultists: you get eight models instead of the minimum squad of ten, and one of them is wielding a grenade launcher, which you can't even take in a cultist squad.

Chaos cultists are an random bunch: they could look like anything, from nearly-naked mutants to robed monks or renegade soldiers. My mental image, at least in 40k, is of filthy, vicious mercenaries in stolen and customised uniforms, which GW did very well with the old plastic models that came with the Dark Vengeance boxed set. On the other hand, the current plastics are extremely good models, and I really enjoyed painting them.

A particular favourite is the woman about to hurl a grenade in the centre below. The sculpting is excellent.

Given that some of the cultists are clearly women, this does raise the question of what happens to female cultists once they hit the glass (or ceramite) ceiling and can't be promoted any higher. Are they sacrificed to the chaos gods? Or maybe - 40k players of a sensitive disposition may want to look away now - the ultimate heresy is true, and some of the chaos space marines are actually girls.


Anyhow, I also painted up some very old metal sisters of battle, who definitely are girls. They're chunky models, and have that stocky, bulky quality of old lead sculpts. Given that, and given that they're required to haul enormous guns around, they're pretty reasonable miniatures, and will look fine with the rest of the tiny metal sisters.

As it happened, one of the melta sisters was missing her backpack, so I was forced to improvise with green stuff, wire and bits of plastic rod. It's obvious which one is fake, but I don't think the stand-in is too bad.