Friday 24 December 2021

Two More Marines

 Jut a quick one, this, as it's nearly Christmas day. I painted a couple more marines. The chap on the right is a Space Wolf miniature, but I thought that his helmet and outfit would work fine as a junior member of my own knightly chapter. It's not really possible to make out here, but he's got a cut in his helmet just above the left eye, as if someone's hit him with a big weapon. It's a nice sculpt.

The bloke on the left is another of the Masters of the Chapter models. I replaced the head with a Grey Knights helmet. The original left arm held a bolter, but was angled across the body and hid a lot of the detail, so I replaced it with a more standard arm holding a bolt pistol, which I think works much better. Two decent miniatures that I enjoyed painting a lot.

Happy Christmas, everyone!

Saturday 18 December 2021

Space Marine Missile Launcher Squad

 After the slightly disappointing experience of painting the dinosaurs riding dinosaurs, I decided to finish the Forge World missile launcher marines. I went for a plain blue cowling for one of their guns, and a hazard-striped barrel on the other, in old-fashioned Necromunda style. Very sporting of the marines to paint warning stripes on their guns, in case the orks hadn't noticed that they were dangerous yet.

Here is the entire squad. I really like them: they're a bit of a riot of colour, but obviously the same colours carry across the unit, with a few variations. It's interesting how much a space marine squad is like a boy band: the same concepts carry across with minor variations. All ready to blast things in an old-school style!

Tuesday 14 December 2021

Cold One Knights

 After the (comparative) success of the lizardmen salamander, I dug out some unfinished Cold One riders, which I think are currently called Saurus Knights. The models are at least 10 years and probably more like 15. I bought them to play Warhammer Fantasy Battle against a friend, and ended up with quite a large army - which I then forgot about. The knights came in a starter box, and weren't much good against my friend's High Elves, so I left them there, unfinished.

Dinosaurs are cool, and a small dinosaur riding a big dinosaur is a fundamentally excellent idea. Unfortunately, the more I painted the models, the less I liked them. For one thing, lizardmen Saurus are weirdly thin, and don't look tough or quick enough to take on chaos warriors and the like. For another, the models are detailed in a fiddly sort of way: you can paint the skin easily enough, but there are lots of bits and bobs that need to be finished and take ages. Also, the models are very "closed", in that the arms and shields cover a lot of the bodies, and the range of poses you can actually make (and still rank the models up) is pretty limited.

Anyhow, all that considered, I broke out the green, red and blue, and got to work. 

Here are some others:

And here's their boss:

I don't dislike them, but I'm not crazy about them, either. I reckon they'd make a decent enough unit, but I can't get terribly enthusiastic about these guys. Oh well - they'll be useful once Warhammer gets tired of this Sigmarine stuff and gets back to rectangular bases. 

Now then, more marines, I think.

Saturday 11 December 2021


 Just a quick post. A couple of weeks back I went to an event, where I picked up a few bits of 3D-printed scenery by Iron Gate Scenery. One of the bits was a nice little pigsty, together with fencing, which I thought would look good in the fantasy town. No medieval town is complete without a few farm animals wandering through the streets, probably chased by a filthy peasant.

I made a base for the fencing out of plasticard, partly to make it stronger and partly to allow me to add some mud to the ground for the pigs to root about in. The pigs themselves were purchased from Warlord Games in a farm animals set ages ago. I think their pinkness breaks up the other colours a bit.

Sunday 5 December 2021

Chaos Possessed Marines (and bonus dinosaur)

 The power of chaos is a curious thing, as Huey Lewis and The News nearly once said. It makes one man weep, it makes another man grow wings and three arms and go on a killing spree. Which, coincidentally, brings me onto this week's conversions: possessed Chaos space marines.

Possessed marines are great because so long as they look vicious and fairly mariney, they can be almost anything. I bought a set of possessed legs off ebay, and went to work with whatever I could find in the bits box.

As it happens, I decided to take to WIP pictures, but not only were they out of focus, but I then deleted two of them by mistake. Is it better to have three rubbish WIP pictures that none at all, or better to have three rubbish WIP pictures than five? Anyhow, enjoy:

This guy has a deamonette head, a big arm from an old chaos mutation sprue, and a left arm from some resin Necromunda Goliath arms I found on ebay.

This guy has bloodletter arms and sword, and a head from a fantasy Khorne bloodsecutor or something silly like that. A fat guy with a whip, anyhow.

This thing has a daemonette left arm, a right arm from some fantasy thing (it came with a load of other models, and it was broken even then!) and a head taken from the horn on the daemonette sprue.

Right then, paint.

On to the next two. The guy on the right, with the mallet, has a Goliath left arm (the one with the mallet) and a right arm made of two daemonette claws and half a chaos knight arm, which I'd chopped up sometime previously. His head is from a juggernaut rider, I think. A lot of these bits came in random bags.

And then there's their boss! This chap has an upper body from the chaos cultist flamer chap I cut up a few months back (I think he's called the firebrand). His arms are from a genestealer and his head is a cut down version of the same head I used on the guy with bloodletter arms. You can tell he's evil because he's about to play a massive chord on a church organ, hence his pose.

And here is a bonus dinosaur. Many years ago, I had a lizardmen army and often played against my friend's high elves. The only way of beating the elves was to buy huge amounts of skinks. Anyhow, I found a random box of skinks, and with them was this thing. I think it's a conversion of a very old Cold One. It looks like a fat velociraptor (Fat Raptor would be a good band name, I think). I seem to have added neck fans, rather like the Jurassic Park version of Dilophosaurus. Anyhow, I painted it. Here it is, bonus dinosaur:

Like! Subscribe! Get more bonus dinosaurs! Or something like that.

Monday 29 November 2021

Goblin Sky-Ship 3

 Just a quick update on the goblin flying machine. The more I do on this, the more there seems to be more to do. Oh well - at least I'm enjoying it!

I added a railing to the upper deck on the bows, by cutting two ladders from Mantic terraincrate sets and rearranging the pieces around the front of the ship. I also made a pair of runners to go on the bottom of the ship. These were made from some thin pieces of wood that I had lying around, with metal parts from blister pack plastic.

(I also moved one of the crew from a rather precarious perch on the stern to sitting on the stairs in the middle, which made more sense.)

At the weekend, I visited Warfare, a miniatures fair held at Ascot racecourse. I stopped by the Black Scorpion stall and got myself a model goblin captain for their pirate game, Cutlass. The only conversion I made to him was to trim down his bare feet and give him some hefty shoes. I always think that you can tell the seniority of a pirate by the largeness of his footwear: the most senior ones have the biggest boots. Anyhow, this chap got Georgian-type shoes and I painted his legs as if he was wearing big socks.

 Yo ho ho!

Thursday 25 November 2021

Tau In Black

"Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Tau Empire?"

Inquisitor Yosef M'Karthus.

A while ago, I made a government operative for my force of 1950s-style Tau. I decided to make him a couple of friends. One was based on a plastic Russian Bolt Action soldier in a greatcoat, with Tau arms and head, and a hat sculpted from Green Stuff. I also did a bit of cutting of his foot, to make it more hoof-like.

The other was more fiddly, and involved the lower body of a Tau vehicle pilot, the upper half of a random plastic zombie (I've no idea who makes these) and Tau arms. The body was quite spindly, so a bit of Green Stuff was required to bulk it out. I used a head with a particularly tired, miserable expression, as suits his rather battered appearance. 

Here they are with their boss, doing something entirely legal and above-board. As ever, my camera is refusing to take a decent photo, so you'll just have to imagine that they look much better than they do.

I could see a little squad of these guys infiltrating human society in order to promote the Greater Good. Nobody would ever notice.

Wednesday 17 November 2021

Missile Launcher Marines

 This week, I've made a few more marines. The guy on the left below is a marine who I'd use as a squad leader. He's entirely plastic: his legs are from the sternguard set, with a head from a Bretonnian knight. Painting the little squares on his kneecap was difficult.

The guy on the right is the first of five resin missile launcher troopers I found on Ebay. I don't normally mess with Forge World stuff, as I'm not into most of the things they make and I'm not keen on working with resin, but the price was good and the Mark III marine armour has a nice medieval feel. His very retro missile launcher got a red barrel shielding.

The next two missile launcher troopers were also resin. I gave them different decorations on their weapons: I figure that they're allowed to add personal heraldry (after you've got a missile launcher, I doubt anyone's going to argue). 

I like the red stripes. They remind me of 70s science fiction art.

I've also been doing some work on the goblin flying ship, but I'll deal with that in a separate post.

Thursday 11 November 2021

More Knightly Marines

 Here are a few more space marines. These two are standard plastics, using legs from the sternguard set. I did a bit of cutting on the hands of the chap on the left, to get the right angle on his gun and grenade. His head came from a Blood Angel.

These two were slightly converted. The guy on the left has a biker's upper body. I cut off a skull on his breastplate and replaced it with a shield sculpted from Green Stuff. The guy on the right is holding a weapon that I found in the bottom of a cardboard box. I think it might be a flamer from a dreadnought. I added a chaos barrel decoration at the end for extra heraldic "charm". 

I'm wondering about making these guys a dreadnought, or perhaps a librarian. Both would probably look very silly...

Wednesday 3 November 2021

A Break From The Goblins

 Being a bit sick of coffee stirrers and painting things brown, I thought I'd paint something else for a break. First, I painted a conversion, which uses the body of the old metal Mouth of Sauron model from the Lord of the Rings. It came without a head and a sword, which were provided by a dark eldar and an Empire bit respectively. I chose a smaller base to emphasise the model's height - which saved time, as I sculpted a base of cobblestones out of green stuff.

I decided on a red and gold colour scheme, partly because I wanted it to look different to the base model and partly because I thought it would look strange and cool. I used purple and green as shading colours on the red robes, and both green and chestnut inks on the armour, which was a new technique for me. Here he (or she, or it) is:

Some time ago, I got in touch with the nice people at Warlord Games, and asked if it was possible to buy some of the gun crew from the Gates of Antares Freeborn range without the expensive guns. It generally isn't, but very kindly they fished some out and I was able to pay for them separately. I got those models because they looked a lot like the Fremen from Dune. I thought I'd paint a couple.

Sunday 31 October 2021

Goblin Sky-Ship 2

 I've been chipping away at the big goblin flying machine. I wanted to build up the front of the skaven screaming bell frame, to look like the forecastle of a pirate ship. I made a box from coffee stirrers, and added a little staircase made from plasticard. It was fiddly, but I think it looks right.

Here's the raised deck when assembled.

I also painted the engine block that will be at the rear of the machine.

It's a bit rough and ready, but it'll do.

Then it was a matter of adding some crew. The gnoblars on the scraplauncher kit look quite piratical as it is, and one of them happened to be winding a wheel. He'd look perfect for the guy steering the ship. Another was pointing and holding a telescope. He could be providing "helpful" advice.

The third gnoblar came from the ogre Blood Bowl team. These guys are quite a bit smaller than the regular Warhammer gnoblars, but they're much crisper sculpts. This little chap looks as if he's been surprised by a change of direction and is about to fall out.

It's getting there - slowly. Oh, and here's a mast. It's just a bit of dowel at the moment, but hopefully you can see how this is going to develop.

Sunday 24 October 2021

Goblin Sky-Ship 1

I took a break from the marines (I've got at least 10 more to do), and took out a project that I've had lying about for ages but never really started.

A long time ago I got a broken Skaven Screaming Bell off ebay. I cut the actual bell and its arch off the model, leaving me with the wooden framework that the bell sits on. It looks very primitive and slightly like the shape of an old sailing ship:

I thought it could be the basis for a flying-machine, crewed by goblins. I had an image of this thing being rickety and jury-rigged, with goblins swarming over the exterior, constantly making alterations and repairs, shouting orders, falling overboard and generally creating chaos. That sort of model would require at least half a dozen crewmen, probably plastic gnoblars.

I had a resin steam engine that I bought several years ago at a show. It was the right size and would make a good power source for the machine. I then built up a rear deck where the ship's wheel would be. It was almost entirely made from coffee stirrers, with a ladder turned on its side for a rear railing and a barrel from the excellent Ogre Kingdoms scraplauncher to give the various spindly bits something to stick to. It looked like this:

The next bit I made was a cannon to go at the front. This was made from a metal Mantic model that I got in a sale. It's called a "Goblin war trombone", and is an oversized blunderbuss. I chopped off the wheel and monopod on which the gun rested, and made it a very small gun carriage instead, out of a little block of wood. That was given four tiny wheels, which were cut from plastic rod.

I then made a little section of decking for it to sit on, along with two plasticard runners to soak up the recoil. This will be going at the front of the ship, under the big flat deck.

The metal wheel/monopod from the war trombone will be some kind of gear underneath the engine deck, which will be powering the rotors (somehow):

Not a bad start, but there's a lot of work to go. Here's a very rough idea of the general shape:

This might take a while...

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...