Friday 29 July 2022

Random Fantasy Guys

 Just a quick post, as I continue to wrestle with the lightbox. Here are a couple of models I made for Frostheim.

The guy on the left is another of those "everything in the bits box" conversions. His body is a skaven plague monk, minus the feet and tail. His head was in the skeleton regiment, and his arms come from the excellent Frostgrave female wizards set. His feet were left over from a conversion of a Warlord Games Antares model. I have no idea what the conversion was!

He looks like something out of Viking legend, somehow. 

The woman on the right is another conversion I did ages ago. She's got a head from the female wizards set, and arms and a body from the male soldiers set. For reasons lost to time, her lower legs come from a Privateer Press model which I hacked up for Necromunda. Why? Again, I don't know. 

It's hard to see, but her face has come out really well, for me. I do think my painting is getting a bit better, but it's a slow process!

So that's the end of our special "inexplicable leg swap" edition. Next time, old school eldar.

Monday 25 July 2022

Marine Dracoline Conversion

 Hello again! I've purchased a light box from ebay. It was very cheap, and I'm still getting the hang of it, but it might help with photographing some of the bigger miniatures.

In my continuing quest to finish some old models, I painted a model that I started ages ago. It's a Stormcast model called Aristea Solbright, who seems to be some kind of wizard and is riding a "dracoline", which I assume is a lion/dragon mixture (although it looks like a dinosaur/hyaena to me). Anyhow, it was going cheaply on ebay and looked as if it might be fun to paint.

Hmm. If this is an easy-assemble model I'd hate to see the difficult ones. It's push-fit, but I ended up cutting off most of the pegs and just gluing it together. Some of the detail on the barding was so fiddly that it snapped coming off the sprue and had to be replaced with green stuff. Not much fun to make.

I gave her a plasma pistol, marine shoulder pads, a fancy backpack that I'd had lying around for ages (from Puppetswar or one of those companies) and a new head from Statuesque Miniatures. The conversion work wasn't very difficult and came out alright.

Then over to the painting. It's funny how some models are much more enjoyable to paint than others. This seemed to have tons of fiddly little details and took a long time. At the end of the day, I think it's fine, but it wasn't a very fun miniature to do.

Now for something more enjoyable. This is a space marine with a metal body (probably meant to be from the Iron Warriors chapter) and a metal arm and gun. All the other bits were plastic. It was easy to assemble and enjoyable to paint. Maybe there's a lesson in that somewhere. Or not.

Wednesday 13 July 2022

Walking Chapel and Freelancer Captain


Time to clear some of the things off the painting desk. I started this conversion about six months ago, and it's been sitting there ever since. 

This is - well, I'm not entirely sure what it is. It's some sort of magical/clockwork/steampowered walker, probably for Mordheim and possibly for Warhammer 40k. The body is based around an old ink cartridge from a printer, with a spare tomb gate on the front and stuck on two legs from a toy robot kit I found on ebay. I then stuck lots of skulls that I'd cut off other kits and other bits of gothic tat to it, to make a sort of chapel on legs.

Here are some WIPs. I can't recall all the bits I used, but there's stuff from space marines, flagellants, Nurgle terrain, Adeptus Titanicus buildings and a strange throne thingy. We've also got bits from an ancient WW2 tank kit that I bought especially for adding detail to things like this.

The painting was basically grey stone and rusty metal. I used brown, bone and green on the stone to stop it looking too boring. Details were added with gunmetal and brass.

Weird, but interesting! I think it would waddle around the streets, probably at random, making a nuisance of itself and possibly squashing the unworthy under its big feet. Which boils down to it being a beast of burden or a bit of terrain, depending on the circumstances.

I also had a Black Scorpion miniature on the desk that needed finishing. He's a Grand Master of the Knights of the Citadel from the Breninmoor range. As with virtually all Black Scorpion models, he was a nice sculpt and very pleasant to paint. 

Thursday 7 July 2022

Oldhammer Tyranid Warriors

 Hello again! 

As promised/threatened last post, here are some very, very old plastic tyranid warriors. They're the first plastic warriors and, after the strange "protonid" from Rogue Trader, the first specifically tyranid models. 

These miniatures come in for some ridicule on the internet, but I think they're really decent models, especially for the time that they were made. The detail is good, the parts go together well and they were a pleasure to paint. Yes, they're weird, but look at some of the recent tyranid models! I actually quite like the design of these prawn/dinosaur/turkey hybrids: they look genuinely odd rather than a fantasy race in space.

Anyhow, they'll be leading the scurrying horde of termagants. They're virtually indistinguishable, but here they are.

Suitably red and manky, I think!

Monday 4 July 2022

Tyranid Warrior/Ossiarch Bonereaper Conversion: building a better warrior

 Back to the retronids, sort of.

It's interesting to note how old some of the GW miniatures are. I was at school when the plastic Leman Russ tank came out. The current tyranid warriors are probably twenty years old or so.

And they do look a bit dull. Actually, this isn't such a bad thing, as it wouldn't take too long to get a tyranid swarm ready for gaming - for one thing, they don't have clothes or equipment, really, so you wouldn't have to paint all the little bits. But the current warrior models are a bit uninspiring.

As if happens, one of the many, many weird little factions in the Age of Sigmar world is (are?) the Ossiarch Bonereapers. It's hard to describe these things: they're like undead, but they don't seem to be the animated remains of anything. They're more like Necrons painted to resemble bone, with swords. Anyway, they're weird.

Among them are Stalkers, four-armed spindly monsters. I've seen several people on the internet suggesting that they resemble the very old tyranid warriors from the mid-90s, but I've never seen anyone trying to mix tyranid and ossiarch parts. Which is where this blog post really ought to have started.


I bought a Stalker off ebay and got to work. The first thing to point out is that the Stalker models are spindly and, while well-sculpted, fragile. I challenge anyone to cut one of these things off the sprue without damaging it in some way. In fact, this whole conversion was awkward and fiddly, so be warned that it isn't easy at all.

The photo gives some idea as to which bits came from the original kit. Essentially, it was a head and upper arms swap. I only had the back half of a tyranid warrior's head, so I had to chop up an old genestealer head to provide a face (as well as cutting off its oversized tongue and what seemed to be testicles coming out of its chin...).

Here is a guide to what I did:

1) Cut "little tail" off groin piece. It looks weird anyhow.

2) Cut flaps of ragged cloth off left and right body sections.

3) Attach groin piece to legs and build body as usual. Leave off the chestplate (it'll get in the way).

4) Add lower ossiarch arms as usual (use the bigger of the two sets of arms). Be careful to make sure they won't get in the way of the upper arms, which will be tyranid arms holding the gun. Test-fitting is advised. You could also use genestealer rending claws here, if you don't want boneswords.

5) Add tyranid gun arms to upper body. This will be awkward and fiddly. It'll require some cutting, and probably some green stuff work too. 

6) Add tyranid head to body. The neck may take some filing down to fit.

7) Your giant death prawn is ready to eat. It'll probably be eating space marines.

And this is the end result:

I really like this guy. He looks very weird, but so do all tyranid warriors, one way or another. I think he's got a nice balance of old and new styles, as well as a suitable H.R. Giger shape (despite being bright red). As giant alien dinosaur shrimps go, he's doing well. The only way he'll serve the Emperor is to the Hive Mind, on a bed of lettuce.

I've got a choice now: I could do some seriously retro tyranids, or wait until some new models arrive. I found some brilliant fantasy soldiers on ebay, and they would be fun to paint. We'll see!