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.