Sunday 28 May 2023

Even More Tiny Harlequins

 I'm approaching the end of my harlequin-painting spree. I'm on the last few models of 20 now. It's interesting to look back at them all, as the painting has got increasingly complex as I've gone on - not least because I've had to keep coming up with new painting schemes.

Anyhow, here are two more. The model on the left was missing its original (rather short) chainsword, so I added an old plastic Eldar one. It's the only chainsword in the unit, so I decided to paint it in a shiny colour, perhaps to act as a sort of standard. I did want to paint checks all the way to the model's feet, but the folds in the cloth and some odd cut-out bits defeated me. 

The model on the right is a solitaire, a character who fights alone. I had originally planned to give him a darker, more sombre colour scheme, but that plan did not survive contact with the enemy (ie me). I originally painted him with a yellow head, but it made him look too much like a boiled egg. Even harlequins have limits.

I've really enjoyed this particular trip into Oldhammer. Only two more to go, and they're both characters!

Meanwhile, here is an entirely normal scene from 1990s Oldhammer land:

Monday 22 May 2023

The Whole Eldar Scout Troop

 Since my last post, which feels like ages ago, I've started a few models and tidied up a few more, including a super metal Tyranid warrior from many ages past (more of him/her/it/that next time). 

I've also finished the Eldar scout squad. Once again, these models are excellent. The coats were a pleasure to paint, and they strike a good balance between being too plain and too fiddly. 

Back in the days, the standard weapon of the Eldar was the shuriken catapult, which for many years had a pathetic range of 12 inches, and was basically a waste of time. It seems strange for GW to have given their space elves a signature weapon that fires the distance of a sawn-off shotgun. Another reason to like the Eldar scouts is that their stealthy background and ability to shoot at long range reflects the stereotype of fantasy elves.

Anyhow, here they are. As before, I made the bases myself, to try to reflect ruins and the movement between wilderness and civilisation. The guy on the left is one of my favourite Eldar models, in his elegant coat and helmet. I painted the guy on the right's hair crimson/purple, to reflect some of the other squads in the army.

Here are two more. The guy with the power sword (I don't remember you being able to take a power sword under the rules) looks as if he should be their leader. I'm very fond of the other model on the right: he's just so low-key.

And here is the entire squad. I like these guys very much. The scouts are ready to go off into the wilds and earn their campfire-making and ork-shooting badges.

Friday 12 May 2023

Oldhammer Hive Tyrant

Funny thing, nostalgia. I reckon that quite a lot of the old 40k models are objectively good: I've often said that the old Jes Goodwin Eldar are superb, and a lot of the old metal space marines are very detailed and full of character. And then there are the old metal Tyranids.

The first run of Tyranid models were pretty odd. The look of the army hadn't really been ironed out yet, and it wasn't helped by having some of the ugliest sculpts that GW has ever made. The old metal Tyranid warriors - from the 3rd edition, I think - are awful, goofy models. The termagants are rather cool, though, in a slightly dippy way, and I'm a big fan of the old plastic warriors that came with Advanced Space Crusade. They're just so weird.

Anyhow, on to a model that, on balance, evens out as just-about-good. It's the first version of the Alien Quee - sorry, the Hive Tyrant. The Hive Tyrant was a great big Tyranid that bossed the little ones around, while (hopefully) taking out enemy characters with its impressive and manky bio-weapons. Here's GW's version.

The model is the Tyranid equivalent of putting all the toppings on a cake at once. It's a weird mess of ridges, spikes, limbs, claws and hooves, and was painted in White Dwarf in a variety of lurid shades, like Giger's Alien depicted by Tank Girl. I managed to find most of the bits of one on ebay, and slowly accumulated the parts to make one of these things.

Oldhammer is fine, but I have no nostalgia for assembling fiddly lead monsters like this. Green stuff, pinning, filing and a lot of swearing was involved. I was missing the lower left arm and the whip-type weapon it holds, so I made my own from some spare plastic Tyranid gun arms. I'm quite pleased with the result.

I had two heads for this beast, both of which had it sticking out an enormous forked tongue. I really dislike GW's tendency to sculpt Tyranids sticking their tongues out like happy puppies, and I cut the tongue off and sculpted some more teeth. I ended up resculpting the entire lower jaw. Eek. I also added a plastic spike to the end of its tail, where the original part had been lost.

It seemed right to copy one of GW's paint schemes - incredibly, I went for the more restrained of the two options. I used contrast paint for the red areas of the model, and then highlighted them in the usual way. I tried to echo the paint scheme of the termagants. It took a very long time to do, because the model is covered in weird, fiddly details.

Whoa, that's a lot of detail! Some of the details are really cool: I particularly like the facehugger-type limbs on the gun (it's a barbed strangler, out of interest). He took a lot of time to paint. I seem to have painted his head to look as if it's carved out of raspberry ice cream.

I'm pleased with this thing, but it is really weird. Still, it will make a good centre point for the swarm of old termagants I seem to be forming!

Thursday 4 May 2023

Scouting For Eldar

 Here are a few more Eldar scouts. After finishing the test model, I decided to do some more scouts in the same style. I did wonder about trying to put some stripes on the coats or shading the green into an entirely different colour, but I like the green so much, I didn't want to risk messing it up.

I made bases out of varying thicknesses of plasticard, with green stuff to hide my mistakes. I wanted the scouts to have bases that were part grass and part artificial flooring, as if they were exploring ruins. One of the scouts was missing a left arm, so I gave him an arm left over from a Dark Eldar. I put another scout on a slanted rock, as otherwise he was in a strange position, pointing his gun towards the ground. I suspect he's meant to be mounted on a raised scenic base.

While I think I've made a decent job of painting these guys (the models are really nice), I think I've been lucky in choosing a shade of green that looks vibrant and exciting. There will be more!