Wednesday 26 April 2023

Back to the Eldar

 Right then, back to the Eldar! It's nice to alternate the ongoing Eldar project with weirder, messier models, especially ones I can convert. Over the last couple of weeks, I've been chipping away at some more Eldar guys.

First up, here are a pair of harlequins. The cheerful chap on the left is a Death Jester, equipped with bone armour and a massive gun. The other bloke is an avatar, a powerful character. His colour scheme was vaguely inspired by Batman's Joker, but I soon felt that that was too restrictive and added a load of other stuff. I like his lapels and sword. I always say it, but these old sculpts are incredible.

The second guy is a conversion from a Privateer Press Retribution of Scyrah model named Lord Arcanist Ossyan. As with a lot of the Scyrah models, his arms look sillier than his body. He's quite chunky for an elf, so I thought he would look good carrying a heavy weapon and bellowing as he blazes away.

I used a shuriken cannon from the recent GW Corsairs kit (thanks ebay) and a Dark Eldar left arm. It took a bit of trimming to get it all to fit. 

I painted him to fit with my other renegade types, most of whom are converted from broken Scyrah models. I reckon he might have been a Dark Reaper in a former life, so I gave him a purple cloak. The hood gives him a slightly sinister feel. He's suitably menacing!

The last model is a test model for an Eldar Scout unit (ignore the base!). I love the ancient metal scout/ranger models. They're really good miniatures, and the long coats look very cool. I was originally intending to paint him in camouflage, but then I decided to use vibrant colours, to reflect the slightly psychedelic, Roger Dean/Moebius inspired colour schemes that I've been trying to use. Maybe he's been in the jungle, or perhaps this is the colour that his coat defaults to when he deactivates the chameleoline.

Thursday 20 April 2023

Stormcast Terminators

 Where were you when you got your first sigmarine? Round about 2015, when Age of Sigmar replaced Warhammer Fantasy Battle, it seemed very hard to avoid the things. They were the poster children of AoS, and clearly designed to be the fantasy equivalent of Space Marines: heavily armoured, available in a range of colours, very solid in game terms and - most importantly - really really big. 

I've had a few of them knocking around from a couple of starter sets. They've never appealed to me: for one thing, they seem out of scale, and for another I just don't like the concept. They have many of the less interesting features of medieval knights, without the good stuff. For a while, I've considered converting them to be Space Marine terminators, where their excessive size would represent extra armour. (I'm also not that keen on the existing terminator models, anyway.)

First up was a Sigmarine that I'd started to convert ages ago and then forgotten about. I simply put a gun in his right hand (this was the storm bolter from an old Rhino), and substituted his shield hand for a power fist. His head, as with all the heads in this post, was from a Grey Knights terminator, and his backpack was a resin piece left over from some Forge World Heresy models. Unlike the others, this model didn't have a sculpted base, so I used cardboard, plasticard and bits of rock to give him something to stand on.

Here he is painted, in the bright heraldic colours I use for my marines.

Last week, I was in the local gaming shop and saw a sprue for an Adeptus Mechanicus Praetorian Servitor on the front of Exterminatus magazine. Like a lot of the Admech models, the Praetorian looks like a pretty good conversion rather than a finished model, somehow, and contains a lot of useful bits that I could cut off and stick to other things. I bought the sprue and got to work.

I cut one of the Sigmarines in half and replaced the torso with the Praetorian one. The gun also came from the Praetorian. It was surprisingly awkward, and a lot of green stuff was involved, which I'd usually prefer to avoid.

The gun looked rather weird in its original over-the-shoulder bazooka type position, so I turned it upside-down and stuck the barrel on the other end, so that it would hang under the shoulder mounting. I think this looks better. Some plasticard was needed to balance it out and fill up the gaps.

Then it was time for paint. I'm quite pleased with the bluing on his gun, and for once the blue plasma effect on the barrel doesn't look entirely awful:

The third terminator was made from another robed Sigmarine. It was a simpler conversion, requiring a new right arm and a power fist for the left. I do like the pose of this model. It's a bit "knitwear catalogue" but it's also quite dramatic.

And here are all three. I like them much better this way!


Sunday 16 April 2023

The Witch Hunting Increaseth

Here are some more maniacs for the Witch Hunter warband. First up, we've got a very small witch hunter. He's a halfling witchfinder, from TT Combat's range of halflings. The only conversion I made was to use green stuff to cover up his toes and turn his bare feet into boots. It's quite hard to get a decent picture of a model like this: there is a face under his enormous hat, but it's hidden by the brim. He's a cool model, though.

Gurt Halbman is an unusually small but successful witch finder, whose crossbow is rightly feared among wrongdoers and anyone with a crotch. What he lacks in height, he makes up for in hat. 

This guy is based on a model from the Wrath of Kings game. His head and arms are from Empire flagellants. I'm not sure where the head of his mallet comes from. I converted him some while ago, but gave him a new base and slightly improved the paint job for this project. He's meant to be missing his left eye, hence the big black hole.

Argus of the Burning Helm believes that the church should be actively involved in social issues. He is an active member of the Fulminitic Church of Sigmar Discombobulated, who follow the teachings of Broncus the Reductor whilst rejecting the strictures of the third and fifth Ecumenite Conclave, and who celebrate Hauptag on Leupmass, despite dismissing Leupmass itself as false doctrine. This is not to be confused with the Depictionists and Ninth Striculites, both of whom refute the absolutionist creed, substituting only admonistic doctrine AND THEREFORE MUST BURN.

The third model in this small horde is another flagellant. His body is a standard plastic flagellant, his arms come from a plastic spearman, and his head is an old plastic wizard head. The head of his axe is from a Privateer Press model: I can't remember what, but it's been in the bits box for ages.

Dagobert was a flagellant years before it became fashionable. For many years, he toured Mordheim with little success. Now, to his great disappointment, everyone is doing it. Dagobert wears a classic ensemble of rags, accessorised with rusty metal. His hairstyle is carefully arranged in a twin-tailed comet style, very popular with the frothing doomsayer subculture.

Thursday 13 April 2023

Repent everything! It's the Witch Hunters!

 A few weeks ago, I painted an old monster hunting type guy. I thought it might be nice to give him some "friends". 

Of all the warbands of Mordheim, the Witch Hunters are my least favourite. They're often rather drab to look at, and they don't have exciting options for monsters and conversions, as the Undead and Chaos Cultists do. Aptly, given that they look like cartoon Puritans, they're not a lot of fun.

But I suppose it depends what you make of them. I found three old Necromunda models on ebay that would work. They're all from House Cawdor, the inevitable religious fanatic faction, and they have a nice medieval feel. They're juves - ie, raw recruits - and rather small, which adds to their weediness. They would make reasonable zealots, the cheap and low-quality minions of the Witch Hunters. Added to this, someone had cut off all their guns.

Two of the miniatures were identical, and the third was clearly built from the same basic model. I swapped out some of their big knives for rusty-looking swords (from Mantic skeletons, I think), and added shields and torches from GW and Frostgrave sprues (every band of Witch Hunters needs a man with a burning torch. It's the rules).

I didn't enjoy painting them all that much. For one thing, the details of the models are quite hard to reach and, for another, it's hard to paint models like this without making them look drab. However, I really like the facial expressions of these little guys: a mixture of fury and terror, which seems pretty appropriate for the City of the Damned.

Hubert, Dewbert and Lubert are three low-ranking members of the Brotherhood of the Downcast Mien, a Miserablist sect chiefly noted for celebrating absolutely nothing. They may also now be the highest-ranking members, after a warpstone meteor fell on their abbey while they were out bothering the citizens door-to-door. They have been volunteered to assist with vampire-hunting and similar duties, where their manic fervour is matched only by their incompetence. How could it go wrong?

Next up, I decided to make a flagellant. Flagellants are significantly tougher and stronger than the zealots, and, being mad, won't ever run away. On a whim, I decided to use a 40k arco-flagellant as the basis of the conversion and to de-tech the model into a raging medieval loony.

The body of the plastic arco-flagellant looks like this. It's got a good sense of movement.

I removed the arms and head, and cut and filed off all the sci-fi bits from the model. Then I added some new arms - these actually are from a fantasy flagellant - and a head from a Chaos Daemonette. I really liked the hair streaming out behind the head, and its mad expression. I sculpted the upper part of a dress with green stuff.

Then I used green stuff to make a tattered dress on the lower half of her body. It was difficult to work out how this would hang. I expect that, after a few crazed street battles, it's got somewhat torn. I forgot to take a WIP picture before I painted her with her finished dress.

Here she is:

Sinners to the right

Heretics to the left

And then there's you!

Hildegard von Garterhilde was once a successful tailor. Unfortunately, on seeing the comet strike Mordheim, she instantly went mad. Hildegard began furiously denouncing her fellow-citizens, and was promptly thrown into jail. Filled with wild strength, she broke her chains, killed her guard and escaped with his halberd. She has joined the ranks of the Witch Hunters, who value her furious strength and complete lack of fear - and don't dare tell her to go away.

I think she came out rather well! She does look completely insane, although, owing to me using a daemonette head, she doesn't have much of a nose. Maybe she's run into a lot of walls in her divine fury, or she cut it off to spite the enemies of Sigmar. Who, er, knows? Her base needs a bit of work, but otherwise I'm really happy how this odd miniature ended up, especially given the amount of green stuff involved.

Friday 7 April 2023

Taking it to the Bridge

Recently, I've got quite interested in using different heights in my fantasy town. For one thing, having buildings on platforms and the like adds to the messy, unplanned feel of the town and makes it more visually interesting. For another, different levels have special effects in Mordheim: you could use them to leap onto your enemies, and to help marksmen choose their targets.

So, I decided that I needed a bridge. I bought an MDF kit from TT Combat, from its Venice range, and got to work. The basic model went together very easily, and was very good value, as a lot of their kits are. It was quite big for Warhammer scale models, but what the heck.

The out-facing parts of the bridge were well-detailed, but I felt that the inside of the railing could do with a bit "more", so I added a rail along the inside top and some pillars, made from thin plasticard. I also used DAS clay to hide some of the more obvious MDF joins.

I felt that it needed to look a bit more "twiddly". I've not gone for the classic Mordheim terrain look, of adding skulls and corpses to everything, as this is meant to be a city in daily use, rather than a cursed ruin. That said, I stuck four spikes onto the railing for extra gothicness (they're cake decorations). A couple of gargoyles were added to the front of the bridge. They came from an ancient terrain kit from back in the good old days.

Then I painted it grey, highlighted with light grey and bone, and washed it with browns and greens, to suggest dirt.

It looks fine, but I felt that it could do with a bit "more". I thought it might be cool to give it a guard post or toll booth halfway along its length. I made one from scratch out of plasticard and wooden coffee stirrers.

The booth got a little stove, also made from plasticard and a bit of plastic rod, to keep the watchman warm at night. This was probably a bit excessive, as I then hid most of the stove with a Mantic armchair. It's anachronistic, but then I'm not exactly striving for historical accuracy here after all.

The shed was roofed with cardboard tiles, as usual (I wonder how many cardboard tiles I've cut out over the years?). I gave it a sign from the terrain bits box, which I painted in what seems to be the heraldry of this town.

Here is the finished bridge, together with its guard post.

Not the best pictures I've ever taken, but you get the idea!

Here is the bridge in its natural environment. 

Monday 3 April 2023

A Vampire and his Minion

 I've been busy with more Mordgrave (or possibly Frostheim) stuff. I fished out an old vampire model that I got very cheaply off ebay, probably because his cloak was missing. He's from Games Workshop's "red period" of the 1990s, when every fantasy army was painted in bright primary colours, even including skaven and the living dead. He's got the slightly goofy look that was common to fantasy models back then, but I think that actually works in his favour. After all, vampires are inherently melodramatic, and if he's trudging round Mordheim, he's probably not very high in the pecking order (or food chain).

I happened to have a cloak left over that I could use. It came from a Reaper Bones model that came in a Kickstarter. As with so many of the old Bones models, the miniature was pretty ropey, but the cloak was servicable. I cut it off, bent it a bit and used green stuff to hide the joins. I really like the way that the vampire looks as if he's flourishing the cape, probably just prior to pulling it across his face and turning into a bat, laughing madly.

The blue clothing and purple belt match the rest of the Mordheim undead that I've done. The choice of red for the cloak and collar was pretty much inevitable, and it makes him stand out nicely. His skin was mixed with grey to get a dead effect. He was a real pleasure to paint.

This next model used to be a chaos cultist, but I thought he looked sufficiently wretched to work as a servant of the vampire, and I stripped and repainted him. He's probably the cheapest model that I have ever bought. I'm not sure what he's supposed to be, but his mask makes me think of a plague doctor. Getting a half-decent picture of him was surprisingly difficult and, ultimately, I failed at that.

I wonder what to make next. I've been working on an MDF bridge for my table, but it's not there yet. It occurs to me that I've now got at least five workable Mordheim warbands: human mercenaries (probably Reikland, the bog-standard option); undead; dwarves; chaos cultists and skaven. I've also got a set of armoured nun-type people that I picked up cheaply ages ago, who would make great Sisters of Sigmar. One warband that's never appealed that much is the witch hunters, but I've got a few models that would work for them. And they do have some entertaining loonies... 

Hmm. We'll see. I've got a heap of Eldar to work through, too!