Sunday 31 January 2021

Even More Space Marines

So, here are some more space marines - or space knights, or whatever these guys are. As I've probably mentioned a few hundred times before, most of the marine fluff strikes me as either silly or dull (Chaos fluff, on the other hand...). And of course, without the space marines, we wouldn't have all those hilarious memes about Tau being weedy in close combat where the punchline is "Heresy!". 

So, ignoring all of that, I reckon that my guys (let's call them the Knights of the Void for now) zip around space going on exciting quests and that sort of thing. Here, a small group of knights have got together on the same questing-ship to assist various chapter experts in some important mission.

These two guys are lead models from 2005 or so. I think they're both veteran marines. They were painted to look both heraldic and fairly cheerful. I like the idea of small, cheerful marines. 

King Flowbert is the ancestral monarch of a very small asteroid with a thriving population of one. Among other things, his ancestral duties require him to maintain diplomatic relations with the very small prince on the next asteroid down.

King Flowbert's sword was missing, so he got a new one from a very old Empire model.

Armand du Planete Sauvage joined the Knights of the Void after a mystical quest, in which he followed a white stag across the sector. Amazingly, this seemed like a good idea at the time.

This chap is an older model in Mk 3 armour. I think he fits the medieval feel quite well. 

Sir Belfry the Pious hails from Borchester Prime, a planet known for its brave warriors and high-quality Grime MCs. In his spare time, he is the Archbishop of Saturn.

By the way, I keep getting adverts for something called the Google Web Creators Community. Is it worth a look? I've no idea what it is - I've only just got the hang of posting here.

Monday 25 January 2021

A Pack of Trolls

 Just a quick post. I dug up an old metal troll that a friend gave me and repainted him. Here he is:

He fits in with his larger brethren to complete the gang of trolls.

A while back, I bought Hardwired, a single-player cyberpunk skirmish game by Patrick Todoroff. It was a little rough around the edges but a lot of fun. I've just got hold of his fantasy game, Nightwatch, and I might well give that a try soon. It uses a variety of increasingly large monsters, and I think the trolls could be quite good as mid-level baddies.

Thursday 21 January 2021

Pontifex Maximus

 About 25 years ago, I bought a copy of Rogue Trader off a kid called Gary and I've (metaphorically) never looked back. Rogue Trader has provided me with endless entertainment, whether it's the possibility of fielding an army of sand clams or discovering the secrets of Planet Birmingham.

About two thirds of the way through Rogue Trader is this picture. 

It's by John Blanche and is, I think, one of his better ones. I suppose the chap in red is a tech-priest, and the loony next to him is... well, a loony. It's not as if 40k is short of them. He actually looks like a grimdark version of Christopher Biggins, but let's not dwell on that. I guess these two oddballs lurk in some techno-dungeon, where they perform evil science / plot to take over the world / get in wacky trouble. Anyway, I thought I'd have a go at making them.

The red chap (let's call him Pontifex Maximus, which I gather means "high priest") was based on a new Delaque body, with a Skitarri head and a backpack from a techmarine. Unfortunately, the backpack only had one arm and looked very lopsided (it did on the techmarine, too), so I had to make another one from scratch. This involved an old plastic chainsword, lots of plasticard and some bits from what I think was once a 15mm tank kit. His folded sleeves were sculpted from green stuff.

Painting was pretty easy: he's basically red robes and tarnished metal. I gave him blue lenses to draw the eye to his face (or lack of). 

His friend (let's call him Igor) was based on a chaos cultist model, with a head that was left over from a chaos spawn and a placard from some WFB flagellants. His hands were difficult, and after a lot of trouble I converted them out of Frostgrave soldiers and green stuff. One thing I've learned in this project is to avoid sculpting anything from scratch if I can possibly avoid it. He's not quite in the pose of the original loony, but the concept is there.

Again, the painting was fairly straightforward, apart from the fiddly business of painting his placard. I gave him rather sickly skin and grubby clothes.

And here they are together!

Saturday 16 January 2021

Bottleship Potemkin

Last Sunday was the final day of my holiday. For some reason, I decided to mark this by sticking things onto a plastic bottle. Long ago, last year, when I used to take the train to work, I'd sometimes be given samples of weird energy drinks by people on the station platform. Most of these tasted like runny porridge, but I'd clearly kept the bottle from one of them.

I had some spare bits from a Mantic drilling machine that I'd used to make a scenic tower. They were curved, like sections of a tube, and once I'd cut holes in the bottle they fitted against it nicely. The result looked rather like a cartoon bomb.

Two engines were attached from a knackered Tau devilfish (the one I used to make a submarine a while ago). The cockpit was a strange piece of lead that had come with a set of model parts off ebay. The nosecose originally formed the top of a deoderant bottle. I used thin plasticard to add some details.

Finally, the tail was built out of a Mantic building part, two bits of old model kit, and the thrusters from a very cheap Star Wars model (it was from one of the prequels, so I had not qualms about hacking it up). Apologies for the quality of this WIP picture. I took about six and this was actually the best.

Painting-wise, I wanted to use some bright colours. I went with Vallejo Russian Uniform for the hull, though, as it looks quite military and covers very well. Sadly, the yellow that I chose for the nosecone didn't cover well at all and took about 10 coats (and still isn't perfect). Goodness knows how anyone paints armies of Imperial Fists.

And that's about it, really. The nosecone got a stylised skull-and-crossbones symbol that the artist Chris Foss used on his designs for a pirate spaceship in Dune. I added a few bits of text on the fuselage to suggest those things you get on fighter planes, which presumably say "Unleaded fuel only" or the like. I could add a few more details, I suppose, and the nose doesn't quite feel right to me, but overall, I'm pretty pleased with the end result.

Saturday 9 January 2021

Cyberpunk Eldar Squad

One of my vague projects has been a team of eldar mercenaries, painted and converted in a vaguely cyberpunk style. I originally made these guys to use in games of Hardwired, and I've enlarged the team over the last couple of years. With the exception of the drones, which are old GW eldar, the team are based on Privateer Press Scyrah elves, with various conversions to make them more futuristic.

This week, I finally finished the last member of the team (for now...), a rather crazy-looking guy with a sword. I thought that he looked vaguely cyberpunk - at least, like the elf version of one of those tall thin blokes I used to see brandishing glowsticks at the local goth club. I reckon every team has a loony like this: he's probably psychic, or can turn invisible, or something like that.

So, that means that the team is finished. For once, I managed to get some half-decent group shots out of my ropey camera.

Here are the three swordsmen:

Here is the IT department, consisting of an engineer and his two robot friends:

And here is the more normal part of the group - well, heavily armed, anyhow:

Heavy support is provided by this jolly fellow:

And here's the whole team, showing what expert assassins they are by, er, posing for a photo:

Wednesday 6 January 2021

Rolling In My Taurox

Several years ago, I was given an Imperial Guard Taurox. I've been sitting on it ever since (metaphorically), and now that the UK has returned to lockdown, I thought it was at last time to put the thing together.

Like virtually anyone who's ever seen one of these things, I thought it would be much better without the weird caterpillar-track things. I got some wheels from Ramshackle Games to replace them.

It was fairly easy to trim down the end of the Taurox's suspension and to glue the wheels to the end of them. Unfortunately, the wheels weren't perfect casts (they were very cheap, so I can't really complain), so I decided to fill in the miscast bits with mud that would have accumulated while the vehicle was driving odd-road. I made the mud by mixing watered-down PVA glue and basing flock (the stuff that looks like brown sandy stuff). I added some to the underside of the chassis, where it would accumulate.

My approach to "converting" the Taurox was to leave off as much of the detailing and weaponry as possible. To me, it looks like the weird offspring of a Humvee and a British WW2 armoured tractor, and I thought that giving it a comparatively "clean" shape would make it look more like a civilian vehicle (albeit one covered in armour and probably full of concealed weaponry). Just the sort of thing that a genestealer Magus or a bunch of crooks would drive around in.

Painting was pretty simple: I sprayed it black and made the underside very dirty with brown. The upper panels got a thin brown wash to suggest accumulated dirt, and the paintwork was chipped a little. I added a few silver details - they probably started off as chrome.

I think it looks suitably mean. Maybe it could do with some more colour, but I quite like the anonymity of it all (well, for a small armoured car). 

Next up is another model that I've had for ages. He's a Privateer Press elf called Narn, mage-hunter of Ios, and he looks like the sort of chap who spends a lot of time trying to look badass - in fact, exactly the kind of guy who rolls around town in a decommissioned Taurox. To begin with, I painted him in the green colours of my wood elf warband, but his posing made me think that he'd be much better suited to my cyberpunk elf squad. I stripped him and repainted in in darker colours. It's hard to see, but he's got a crossbow and quarrels strapped to his back. 

Anyhow, here he is, about to go out on the town. 

Friday 1 January 2021

Chaos Dragon and Hammer Man

Well, it's 2021. Happy new year, and I very much hope this one is an improvement on the last.

Several years ago, I signed up to the first Reaper Bones Kickstarter. The smaller models were pretty variable, but the larger ones were decent. I got hold of a clockwork dragon they were producing and painted it silver. I was never very happy with the paintjob, so I decided to give it another go.

The 40k Chaos army includes the "Helldrake", a mixture of dragon and fighter plane. I don't really like the GW model very much: it's a bit too much like an angry turkey, and has a thruster sticking out of its back end in a rather unfortunate way. I thought that, with the right paint scheme, the clockwork dragon could look like a good replacement. Unfortunately, I mislaid its wings, but I'll find them sooner or later.

I went with a rusted look. I imagine this thing lives in some hellish wasteland, feasting on a diet of armoured cars, and is a dubious ally of the forces of Chaos rather than an outright servant. 

I've also painted a much smaller model: it's a chariot driver from an old chaos chariot, from back in the depths of the Red Period. He was missing his right arm, so I added a plastic chaos arm and a Sigmarine's hammer. I also stuck a shield on.

I've painted him in slightly neutral tones: he doesn't look particularly evil, and I expect that he's some sort of mercenary knight.