Wednesday 23 February 2022

Elf Riflemen

A couple of years back, I made a small warband of "cyberpunk elves". They were largely based around Privateer Press models that I got in a random job lot, with Eldar and Dark Eldar bits. They were a lot of fun to make, and I really liked the style of them. They looked like this:

Recently, I saw that someone was selling a load of Privateer Press elves on ebay. The elves belong to a faction of the game Warmachine, called the Retribution of Scyrah, and seem to be obnoxious fanatical types, as most elves are these days. Anyhow, some of the models are really weird (the big robots are particularly bizarre-looking, and definitely not to my tastes) but some of the infantry are quite cool. The sculpting is a strange mix of classic fantasy, sci-fi and Napoleonic uniforms.

Anyhow, I bought a load of the models off ebay and got to painting them. I decided to do them in a scheme following the mercenaries, using black, light blue and green as the main colours. I think that gives them a nice mixture of lighter, natural "elf" colours and military colours. Like the mercenaries, they're based on bases from the Sedition Wars game. Here are the first five.

Tuesday 15 February 2022

Random Fantasy Folk

 Once again I've been trying to actually finish some of the models that I've had knocking around, largely to make some space on my painting table for the unit of cyberpunk elf soldiers I've been planning. I've been working on these guys on and off for the last few weeks.

First up is a Black Scorpion female Landsknecht that I bought at an event last year. As with all their stuff, the sculpting is excellent. The pose really suits her fancy outfit and equipment. I find the casting of their models to be very crisp, which can make the details quite hard to paint, somehow. Anyway, I like the model and I've got a few more of their things to make, too.

Then there are some metal giant rats. Giant rats are handy, as they can fit in with space and fantasy games. These ones are mutant rats from Necromunda, and are very old models. They're good sculpts, though, and look suitably mangy and unwholesome. No doubt the skaven will use them as attack dogs (or possibly dinner).

The next three models are a bit random. They consist of (left to right) a female berserker who came free with an order from Dice Bag Lady; a werewolf I found at the local gaming shop; and a Goth chieftan sold by Warlord Games.

They all had little tab bases, so I stuck them onto normal bases and smoothed out the ground with DAS clay. The two humans were unconverted. The werewolf was from a range called Nastiez or something like that, and was pretty cheap. He's clearly an old model and I found him quite hard to assemble. I ended up using a fair bit of green stuff and pinning the joins. His right hand was a bit weedy-looking, as was the axe that he was waving in the air, so I replaced it with a hand and weapon from a space ork.

Here are the two humans. They were fairly easy to paint, although the camera has washed out the details somewhat. The woman is slightly plump, and the man is really tall - by the usual standards of Warlord models, he'd be massive. They remind me of both Vikings and Asterix.

And then the werewolf. I went for a grey-brown look to his skin/shorter fur, highlighting with pale skin. The shaggier fur was grey highlighted with bone. His axe was painted metal and washed several times with black. I really like this technique for dirty weapons: it produces some interesting effects.

Given that he was a cheap old model that was a pain to assemble, I'm really pleased with the way that he's come out.

Saturday 12 February 2022

Pimp My Shed

 I was looking at the TT Combat website a while ago, and saw that they were stopping selling a set of Wild West shacks made from MDF. These are pretty basic kits, and nowhere near as sophisticated as their recent terrain. However, they were cheap, and I thought they'd make the basis for a reasonable building.

This is the biggest of the shacks, and the only one I've put together as yet. As you can see, it's a pretty crude thing: the wood is quite thick, and doesn't even meet properly at the top of the roof. The windows are just holes. It was going to need quite a lot of detailing.

First, I stuck a Mantic door on the front. It overhung the base a little, so I cut a strip of MDF off the sprue and attached it underneath like a doorstep. I've had a Mantic forge piece for ages (thanks James P!) but haven't been able to figure out what to do with it. I decided to stick it to the side of the building, to make this into a blacksmith's house.

The forge needed a chimney, so I hacked up an old biro to make a tube to stick on the side of the house. Then I added the barrel of an old Empire mortar (thanks James F!) to the very top, to look like a fancy brick chimneypot. Because the big chimney would presumably only be for the forge, I made another smaller chimney out of plasticard and some spare plastic tubes for the inside of the house.

The roof tiles and timbers were done in the usual way, with squares of card and coffee stirrers. I had to use paper to cover the gaps in the roof, which worked more easily than I'd expected.

The last step was to add an old Mordheim window to the front and a resin window to the side of the small outhouse-part. I'd been keeping an ancient plastic sign (GW, I think) which went on the side to advertise the blacksmith's shop. The metal shield above the door might have come from a Grey Knight, although I'm not sure.

The painting was pretty simple, using the same techniques as my other buildings. The only unusual aspect was the glowing fire in the forge. I painted this black, washed it with white, washed that with yellow and orange, and then drybrushed the coals dark grey.

All in all, it was a fun project and I finally found a use for that plastic forge! Given how primitive the original kit was, I think it's come out pretty well. Amazing what a few details can do!

Monday 7 February 2022

I've Got A Book Coming Out!

 Painting miniatures isn't my first hobby: I also write books. I've written a novel for Black Library about the Catachan hero Colonel Straken (it's called Straken, handily enough), and six comedy novels about Space Captain Smith, an enthusiastic and very British space explorer. There's also two self-published fantasy novels, about murder and intrigue in a magical version of the Renaissance, called Up To The Throne and Blood Under Water. All of them can be found HERE, or at all good bookshops. The bad bookshops probably also stock them.

Anyhow, I'm going to self-publish another novel in the next month or so. Here's the cover, as created by Claire of  Autumn Sky designs:

What's it about? Well, it goes like this:

Helen Frampton is one of a kind: built for childcare, refitted for sabotage and assassination, she’s one of the Secret Service’s greatest assets. But androids cost a lot to maintain, especially now that the Galactic War is over. Helen needs to prove her worth or die by a thousand budget cuts.

Richard Cleaver has problems of his own: shot, blown up and left for dead after his last mission went wrong, he’s now being hunted by deadly gangsters and a renegade artificial intelligence. Worst of all, he can’t remember past last Thursday.

Together, Richard and Helen must travel to the edge of known space. Only there can they find the keys to unlock Cleaver’s memory and the vault where the galaxy’s most vicious criminal stashed his loot. But their enemies are close behind…

Not long now!

Thursday 3 February 2022

More Watery Adventure

 As part of my plan to paint some of the backlog, I had a go at one of the resin Carnevale models. This one is a female wizard of the Rashaar (ie fishmen). In terms of concept, it's fairly similar to the Lady in the Lake that I made a few weeks back. As with almost all of TT Combat's Carnevale models, she's a really good sculpt and was much easier to paint than I'd expected.

I actually stuck her trident on wrong (it's meant to be in front of her body) but what the heck, I like it this way.

Here are the rest of her crew, which I painted a while ago. They're all TT Combat models apart from the big chap, who was an old Vesper On miniature mounted on a Malifaux base: