Tuesday 31 August 2021

"The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame..."

This year, I've been trying to buy a few less models by tidying up some of the more battered conversions and paint-jobs I did a while ago. A long time back, I made a small force of Grey Knights based on Alice in Wonderland (it seemed like a good idea at the time), which included a Jabberwock converted from the wreckage of a Chaos Defiler. 

There is quite a lot of description of the Jabberwock in Alice, but most of the words aren't in English, which doesn't help. However, there is this crazy picture by the original artist, Sir John Tenniel:

Not in any way nightmare-inducing

I went back over my own version, improved some of the painting and made it much more rusty. The head was built out of two leftover Tau hatches, and the wings came from a Dark Eldar skimmer. I seem to have decided against the waistcoat, though.

The base is a bit hard to make out, but he's partly standing on a chessboard with a red and white skull, to represent the red and white chessmen in the book (which I imagine he devours).

So, er, yeah. I do feel that something's slightly missing on him, but I'm not sure what. Any thoughts appreciated!

Monday 23 August 2021

A Few Ork Commandos

 After the hugeness of the Tzeentch dreadnought, time for some smaller models. The new version of Kill Team is coming out, which made me want to make some more ork commandos. 

The guy with the big shoota is an old plastic model, put together as usual except with a different head (I think they're from Spellcrow). I added a bundle of large knives to his backpack, just in case he runs out of ammo. All ork commandos have a lot of large knives, for dealing with sentries and picking their tusks.

The guy with the bombs is the team's inevitable explosives "expert" (by which I mean "enthusiast"). He has a bomb-throwing arm that I got off ebay and a bag of explosives from the ork boyz set. His basic body is exactly the same as the gunner's. I added a head from the ork boyz set and sculpted a little woolly hat, which has come out okay, but not brilliantly. The head I used was missing an eye: perhaps this chap's enthusiasm for blowing things up lost him his other eye. 

The last chap is a conversion that I've made before, and which I'm surprised never to have seen anyone else do. The curve of the gun-supporting hand is perfect to fit an ork's chin, and their slightly dim expressions really suit a look of chin-rubbing "deep" thought. The map was made from a gun-holding arm with a piece of plasticard cut to fit and green stuff added to make folds (and hide the bad bits). 

As you can see, on this side, the map is fairly complex.

Less so on this side.

I think I'd have an entire army of commando orks if I could. There are still some others that I've yet to make - a bloke with a flamethrower and a heavy weapons guy with a PIAT gun - which will take the unit near to 20. And I've got vague thoughts of one day making them an armoured car...

Tuesday 17 August 2021

Dreadnought of Tzeentch, Part 2

 I've spent this week painting the dreadnought that I built in the last post. I'm not sure what there is to say about this: I used conventional Tzeentch colours, and standard paint (as opposed to contrast and that sort of thing). I tried to keep the most dramatic colours to the dreadnought's head, to draw the eye there.

Actually, I did use a very small amount of contrast paint on the star symbol on his fist. In order to bring the model together a bit, I painted some of the exposed bone on his legs as metal, to imply that there's some sort of mechanical skeleton in there. 

The things on his base are rather hard to make out, but to break up the emptiness, I put on a piece of metal flooring from a basing kit, which had an Imperial eagle on top. Then I made two weird worm-demon things from tentacles that were left over from the Khorne Bloodsecrator kit that I turned into a massive troll a while ago. I'm not sure what they are apart from strange chaos beings that might have been created by the dreadnought. 

And here's a pretty unenlightening rear view.

Overall, I'm really pleased with the end result. The spindly legs seem to have worked.

Tuesday 10 August 2021

Dreadnought of Tzeentch, Part 1

 Hello again! It feels like ages since I posted here. It's actually six days, but what the heck. 

I've been collecting bits and pieces to convert a chaos dreadnought for a while. I don't mind the current Hellbrute kit, but it's very static and, for a walking tank from Hell, not all that exciting (and it has funny stumpy feet). I thought I'd make my own, weird, version.

First up, I got an extremely old plastic dreadnought and removed the legs (but not the crotch), arms and front plate. I bought some replacement legs - they are from the undead Terrorgheist model, and have a nice spindly quality. They'd give the model some height and get away from the "robot toddler" shape of most dreadnoughts.

I pinned the legs to the crotch. Much better!

Then it was time to add an arm. I had some bits from the plastic hellbrute kit, including a nice right arm. On it went. I also added a pair of heavy bolter barrels to the chest, for extra firepower.

Round about this point, something extremely chaotic happened. Blood began to appear on the side of the model! Was this a sign from the Chaos gods? No, I'd cut my finger open. Unimpressed by my own idiocy, I put on a plaster and proceeded.

I had a spare hellbrute missile launcher arm, but like the loyalist dreadnought version, it seemed very stubby, as it connected directly to the body. That made the model look pretty unbalanced, especially with the skinny legs. So, I took the original dreadnought's power-fist arm, removed the fist and attached a trimmed-down version of the missile launcher.

I had to remove the shoulder joint, where the launcher meets the shoulder of the hellbrute. That left an ugly gap, which I covered with plasticard, a storm bolter and a random bit of tech that I'd cut from a skitarri soldier. 

In the meantime, I'd been working on a head. I made a new front-plate out of a rectangle of plasticard, and sculpted some chaos-style edging out of green stuff. I stuck a Tzeentch demon head into the middle of it. I got the demon head for a few quid off ebay, and I thought that it looked right with the thin, birdlike legs.

And then I stuck it all together! Not bad at all, I think. It might need some additional bits and bobs, and the base needs adornment, but the main shape is there. 

It just needs paint!

Wednesday 4 August 2021

A Wagon for Tableton

 Over the last year, I've ended up with a lot of wooden coffee stirrers. I thought it was time to put them to use. I decided to make a high-sided wagon. 

I started by sticking stirrers to the outside of a small cardboard box that I'd trimmed to size. The stirrers were cut to length and the sides were shaved a little to make them look like battered planks (I'd do this if I was sticking them to the side of a house, too). 

The next thing was to make the roof. This would be curving around the top of the wagon. To enable it to bend, I stuck six "planks" onto a piece of paper, and bent the paper over the top. As luck would have it, I had two MDF windows left over which had rounded arches on the top. They made a good shape for the roof to curve over. I made a little seat out of a couple of trimmed stirrer bits.

Next I needed wheels. A rummage in the bits box found three wheels: two big matching spoked cartwheels and one small solid wheel. I decided to make another wheel. I did this by sticking two shields together - I think they came off some savage orcs - and stuck a piece of thin plasticard around the edge to serve as a metal rim. A bit of plasticard went into the middle as an axle. It's wonky as hell, but the vehicles of the Warhammer/Frostheim world are probably not assembled by experts - I expect it was put together by a maniac with a huge mallet, screaming praises to the saints.

Time for details. I put on a plastic lantern and also added a small flag made out of a little banner pole, a plastic flag and the top of a spear. These provide some colour, and also help show which end of this thing is meant to be the front.

Here it is in the model town.

And here it is with a customer.

I wonder if it's a little bit bland, but overall I like the way it's turned out.