Thursday 27 January 2022

Raging Annies

 One of the problems with painting an army (even a very small one which I'm very unlikely to ever use as such) is that I get a bit tired of painting the same colours and styles. So, I thought I'd dig out some random models from the pile and give them a go.

Here is a slightly odd model. A few years ago, the shop Dice Bag Lady ran a kickstarter. I backed it and one of the models I got was "Raging Annie". I think it's a Kev Adams sculpt, and I'm pretty sure that it's a sort-of sculpture of the proprietor of the shop. That's odd considering the miniature, but it's a very good model and, well, distinctive. 

I really enjoyed painting this: I went for a range of colours to match her somewhat random selection of kit. I was able to get quite a bit of detail onto it, including Tank Girl-style striped trousers. I would like to be immortalised in lead one day, although I might skip the tutu. 

For some reason (I think I either pressed the wrong button or the Kickstarter messed up) I ended up with two of this model. I painted the other copy of the model a couple of years ago, as a gang leader for a game of Necromunda. I'm going to put the earlier model here to see if I've improved at all. The answer seems to be "very slightly".

Sunday 23 January 2022

Marines of Varying Importance

Here are a few more of the knightly space marines.

First up, a couple of lower-ranking "normal" marines. The guy on the right, with the bolter, was made out of a standard plastic kit with an Space Wolf head. I've tried to get a bit of medieval influence in every model, and I thought the plumed helmet would work for him.

The bloke on the left is made from a metal biker torso, which was holding the plasma gun, with plastic legs and a plastic left hand (his left!). It took a surprising amount of conversion to get his arm into this slightly mundane position. I tried to give him a bit of a glow on his plasma gun.

The next two guys are more flashy. The one on the left is a metal Black Templars sword brethren model. I cut a skull off his shield and gave him a bolt pistol, but otherwise he's unconverted.

The model on the right is made from plastic Space Wolf bits except for his head, which I think was from a tank crew model.

And now the next two. The guy on the left is a plastic marine with Grey Knights head and a more impressive gun taken off one of the Masters of the Chapter models. I didn't like the way that the gun covered up the chapter master's body, but I don't mind it covering the more mundane marine torso.

And on the left is a hero carrying a Blood Angels power axe, with a nice shoulder pad from the same set. His body was some sort of veteran. I really like the combination and the shading on the axe. He seems to be called Virtus, to judge from his chest plate - or, to judge from the shoulder pad, he (or even she!) is called Gloria...

A little while back, it was suggested that I got some group pictures of the space marine army. I have two cameras, both of which are rubbish, and both of which are particularly bad at group shots. Here is the best I could do, but be warned - these pictures are pretty crap.

Sunday 16 January 2022

Farcical Aquatic Ceremony

 Sometimes, going back and improving an old conversion is just as satisfying as making a new one from scratch. A couple of years ago, I made a ghost for a Dark Age of Sigmar project that didn't really go anywhere. It was based on a West Wind vampire, with a swirly base from a High Elf mage. It was okay.

Bottom middle, unsurprisingly

I went back to the project and decided to turn her into the Lady of the Lake for no very good reason. There's an old bit of Brettonian artwork, where the lady is rising from the water, one hand out. Like this:

It's slightly crazy, and she does look as if she's surfing, but that's Warhammer for you. Anyhow, I gave the vampire a new head from Statuesque Miniatures, and a sword. I tried to do some more sculpting to get her to fit with the High Elf column of air (now water) part.

A while back I made some Chaos models using the upper and lower body parts of the Firebrand guy in the Chaos Cultists set. I was left with a twiddly piece that represents fire billowing out of his flamer. I'm not a big fan of sculpted "special effects" on miniatures, but I thought it could work as her hair, maybe turning solid as it forms from the water. So that went on. Here is the WIP:

The painting was tricky. I'd tried to sculpt some ripples in the water. I considered all sorts of methods for making the water work, but at the end of the day I ended up using paint and varnish. It worked, although perhaps it could have worked slightly better. 

I think the model could do with some more reeds. The camera has washed her out somewhat (ironically, given that she lives in a lake) but here she is, about to perform a farcical aquatic ceremony. Remember, comrades, true power derives from a mandate from the people.

She will be absolutely useless in any game I've got, but what the heck, it was an entertaining model to make.

Tuesday 11 January 2022

Tall Thin House

 Over the Christmas holiday, I decided to start on a new project: a large house for my Mordheim/Frostgrave town. I had a card box that a mobile phone had come in, which was to be the starting point for the building.

First, I cut a chunk out of the box and sculpted bricks behind it with DAS clay, to represent a place where the plaster had fallen off, leaving the brickwork exposed.

Then, I made the lower floor. In keeping with these sorts of buildings, I made the lower floor out of "stone", using pieces from a Renedra castle wall kit that I cut up and stuck in the right shape.

I joined the long thin box to the "stone" base and undercoated it white. This formed the basic shape. The timbering was made with coffee stirrers. I added some steps and stone columns from an ancient (and superb) Warhammer house kit.

Time for a window. The protruding part of the window was made from cardboard. The windows on this house came from old Mordheim sprues that I got on ebay and some resin windows from Antenociti's Workshop. The door was made by Iron Gate Scenery.

That's a bit better! In painting this model, I found that the timbers needed a black undercoat, and the walls worked better with a white undercoat. It was easier to paint a lot of the parts before assembly. Normally, I much prefer to build a model in its entirety and then paint it, but doing this saved a lot of hassle.

It was time to add the roof. Plasticard was used for the two pointy bits, and the roof itself was made of squares of card stuck to thin card. It seemed a bit flimsy to start with, but once the PVA dried it was pretty solid.

I wanted something to go on the front and back of the house. I thought that, given its height, a clock would be cool. As it happened, I had some clock faces that I'd bought at a steampunk event about ten years ago. I got them out, found some old cogs and a curve-lipped Warmachine base that could function as the back of the clock.

Unfortunately, I wasn't very happy with the way they looked: the clock faces looked too modern and distinctly not-Warhammer. I asked a friend, who agreed, so I decided that something else was necessary.

So, I bought the "Temple Relics" set of Mantic scenery. I figured that I could use the pulpit as a balcony.

With a bit of cutting, I was able to trim the pulpit down to balcony-size. I stuck it onto the front of the building and added some dubious-looking supports and a door behind it. Now Juliet can come out to greet Romeo (and shoot at him). Actually, you can't fit a model up there, but it looks nice.

The chimney came from a pillar from the Nolzur's Marvellous Miniatures range, with some cut-up bits of sprue and a 40k chaos gun decoration on the top.

Then it was time for painting.

So there it is! The main thing I've learned from this is that the quality of the result is almost directly proportional to the amount of time you spend on it. Also, when you think you've finished, you haven't, and it's time to do some more detailing. 

Anyhow, it'll look good with the others. I'm glad that I didn't use the clocks, in the end. 

Sunday 9 January 2022

One very cheap Necron!

 I've been working on a large terrain piece - yet another house for my kitchen table - but it's taking a while and so I decided to paint a single miniature for a bit of a change.

A couple of weeks ago I bought the first issue of some kind of "make your own 40k army" publication. It was £3, and you got a Necron and space marine on the front - although I suspect that future issues won't be anywhere near as cheap. As the great Tom Lehrer sang about dope peddling: "He gives the kids free samples, because he knows full well / that today's young smiling faces, are tomorrow's clientele..."

Anyhow, I decided to paint the Necron. He's an Immortal, I think, and definitely a heavy weapons guy. He's also absolutely huge, and would be well over 7 feet tall in 40k terms. He's a good sculpt, although for an allegedly push-fit model he felt very brittle, and if I'd actually push-fitted him I expect some bits would have snapped (I used glue).

I made a couple of changes. I sliced off some weird cloak/sleeve/dangly bits, and cut his slightly goofy lower jaw away, to make his head look more like a cranium. Then it was painting time.

I decided on a battered military look, using Vallejo Russian Uniform as the basis for his armour. The exposed metal was painted as tarnished, but not especially rusty, as he'd probably smear himself in grease to stop his piston bits seizing up (what a lovely mental image that is). I used a more virulent green in the creases of his armour and gun, to suggest some kind of internal power source.

The head got a paint scheme inspired by the robot skull in an old 1980s film called Hardware. In it, an artist sprays the American flag onto a severed robot head. The robot head then builds itself a body (while listening to popular industrial beat combo The Ministry, IIRC) and runs amok. Which just goes to show that modern art is a terrible idea and young people's music only leads to trouble.

I'm not sure that the head really goes with the rest of the model, but what the heck. I also used some weathering powder on his lower legs, which I really like. Overall, an enjoyable model and well worth £3.

Monday 3 January 2022

Troll Wizard

 Happy new year! Let's hope this one is better than the last.

For my first miniature of the year, I took out a conversion that I'd had lying around for ages, and got to work on finishing it.

Years back, I got a Mantic zombie troll necromancer as part of a kickstarter. The original model looks like this:

I'd tried to paint it several years ago, but I'd not been happy with the results. I thought I'd try to paint this creature as a normal troll, to go with my family of big blue monsters.

First, I filed down some of the more ragged wounds and filled them with DAS clay.

Then I added an old head from a GW river troll that I had lying around, and used green stuff to make a nose for it. It's a cool head, with teeth like a bear trap.

Then I painted it. Maybe I should lighten the skin on the face, especially the nose.

I really like this guy! I think he fits well with the rest of the trolls. He's probably the brains of the group (comparatively). I imagine that he can do some primitive magic, tapping into whatever crude power the troll gods provide (it probably involves farting).

Here are the others: