Wednesday 28 June 2023

Troll Number One

 Having been ill, and having saved a few train fares from not going to work, I thought I was entitled to a present. So, I splashed out on some Warhammer trolls - or, as they say in Age of Sigmar, Rockgut Troggoths. 

These are lovely models. You get three lower bodies, three necks, six upper bodies and nine heads. All are really well sculpted, and have a dim, goofy menace that I really like. They've got loads of great details. One of the bodies has a bag of rocks on his hip, for throwing or eating. Another is about to hurl a chunk of a dwarven statue. My favourite detail, though, is the troll head which is wearing a bird's nest as a hat. If you use the right head with the right set of arms, the birds can be just about to eat a worm dangling off the rock that the troll is about to chuck. Brilliant.

Anyhow, I assembled one of the trolls without any conversion. He was a real pleasure to paint. I've not put him on his final base, as I ordered some textured ones and they've not arrived yet. Here he is.

Wednesday 21 June 2023

Mordheim Chaos Redux

 I'm still feeling rough, but I've been able to do a lot more painting. A while ago, I painted and converted a group of chaos cultists for the Mordheim "Cult of the Possessed" warband. I thought I'd tidy them up a bit and make them look nicer - at least, as tidy and nice as people who worship the Chaos gods can be.

I wanted to add two new archers to the warband. The first was made out of a Frostgrave soldier model, with a masked head from a 40k chaos cultist. This was pretty simple, and I like the contrast between the tattered, simple clothes and the shiny mask with its fancy horns.

The second archer was more complex. A while back, I bought a bunch of broken metal chaos models off Ebay. One of them was an archer in a big straw hat (possibly fur) and vaguely samurai-type armour made of lots of little metal plates. I think he might have started out as either an orc or some sort of hobgoblin. His shoes are huge, like a clown's, but that might just the the style of sculpting back then.

Anyhow, he was missing his face and the upper half of his bow. I found a suitable replacement bow from a broken plastic goblin, but the face was harder. Eventually, I turned up an old plastic zombie head and chopped it down to size. It looked pretty goofy, but then the metal body was a bit cartoony. 

They were painted in the colours of the cult - mainly leather, old metal, drab green and bright red. Here the archers are next to a musketeer, who was converted from a 40k chaos cultist.

Next are two possessed monstrosities. The guy on the right is based on a genestealer aberrant, and the one on the right is some sort of Nurgle champion, possibly the Glottkin one. I think he's got replacement arms and head. Nice. I just neatened the painting on these guys a little.

Then we've got the rank and file, all made from slightly broken metal chaos warriors. These two were nearly intact: the chap on the left was missing his sword, and the one on the right came without a left arm and shield. Replacements were provided by Khorne bloodletters and some left-over chaos warrior bits. I love the brightly-coloured armour.

They are supported by two axe-waving loons. The axeman on the left was in a right state when I bought him. I gave him a new left arm and weapon, and a new peg-leg.

The guy on the right was a newer champion from the chunky middlehammer period. He only needed a plastic shield and a new axe. I don't like this model as much as the others, but he'll do.

And then to round out the group, here are Hrug the Brute and Grut Manbasher, two charming beastmen. 

And that's the whole foul warband. Well, except for the Magister, the fighter/wizard who leads them into battle. Unfortunately, I'm still working on his model, which is due a complete repaint, so here's a picture of the horde led by a renegade warlock.

Not a club I would like to join!

Saturday 17 June 2023

Eldar Ambassador

 So, I've not been very well this week. Nothing serious, but I've been feeling rough and taking it very easy. I've been tinkering with some old Chaos models that I made for Mordheim; tidying up the painting and so on. 

I also painted - very slowly - a model that I bought ages ago. It's a Warmachine model called Lady Aiyanna, who seems to be an unarmed elf. I was thinking a while ago about civilian Eldar, and what they might look like. 

I didn't convert this model - I wouldn't have known where to start, to be honest, and she looked fine anyhow. I wanted her to look elegant, and I tried to use what I think of as "Moebius colours": fades from green to blue, pale blues and beige to pink. She seems to be wearing suspenders (classy!) so I gave her a blue undersuit so that it didn't look as if she'd turned up in her underwear.

It was about this point I realised that I was painting her with the same colours that I'd used for the other Eldar. So, what the heck, I painted her cloak with the same red-to-yellow colour fade that I'd used on a few machines, using tiger stripes to hide my ropey blending. 

Back in the old days, before IQs dropped in the galaxy and everyone just mindlessly hated each other, the Imperium had ambassadors to some of the Eldar craftworlds (at least they did in the 3rd ed Codex). Even Necromunda had a special tower where visiting alien dignitaries stopped. So I reckon this lady is an ambassador from Craftworld Zandros to some other species, where she can promote diplomatic relations in very short words and tell the non-Eldar how they're doing everything wrong. 

Sunday 11 June 2023

Mordheim Humans Redux

 This week, I've not started anything new, but I thought I'd go back over some old Mordheim humans and improve them a bit. It's been insanely hot (at least, by UK standards) and commencing a whole new project just felt like too much effort!

First up, we've got the valiant Sir Vaylance the Vigilant. He was based on a plastic chaos warrior's body, with legs from a chaos cultist (and a lot of green stuff). His shield and helmet are Bretonnian, and his sword is from an Empire wizard.

On the right is King Henry VIII (presumably a young, non-fat version). He's got six wives and two guns. He's made from Empire plastic bits: body from a gunner, head from a soldier and arms from the excellent pistoleers kit.

Next up are two lowly soldiers. Both are based on Frostgrave soldier bodies, but the archer has a Frostgrave female wizard head, and boots that I took off a metal Privateer Press model ages ago. Putting her together was fiddly and difficult, and I can't remember why I did it. Still, they both look quite good.

And here's an ogre mercenary! He was made from Blood Bowl parts, with a Greatsword weapon and a shield from a Sigmarine. The crest on his head was from a building piece, I think. I'm pleased with the dirty, tarnished feel of his armour.

Sunday 4 June 2023

The Return of Don Clawleone, Genestealer Patriarch

 I've been feeling a bit rough the last couple of days - nothing serious, just enough to keep me indoors and generally get in the way of the small holiday I'd booked off work (typical!). So I got out the old Genestealer Patriarch model and had a go at improving him a bit.

This miniature really is one of the great moments of Oldhammer. Yes, he's completely out of style with more recent models, but the sculpting is superb (the sheer detail is amazing, considering that this thing was sculpted by hand) and the sense of character is great. He's 40k's equivalent of Jabba the Hutt, a bloated, wily crime lord sitting on his excessive throne. You can imagine what he'd be like just from the way he looks. Together with his seedy magus advisor, he's almost a diorama in itself.

Anyhow, I added two resin plinths to the back of the model (thanks Ruth). One of the plinths had a burning brazier on it. After a lot of thinking I decided that Don Clawleone the Patriarch would display one of his favourite trophies on the other plinth. A skull, perhaps? How about the helmet of a Blood Angels Terminator, the old enemy from Space Hulk?

I also put a Mantic scenery bit, representing some documents and a knife, next to the magus. I painted a little Imperial Eagle on the papers. In the UK, it's traditional for lawyers to bind documents with pink ribbon (God knows why, this country makes the Imperium look logical), so I painted a pink string tying them together.

I tried to add a bit more highlighting and to tidy up a bit of the old painting. In a move that surprised even me, I added a bit of weathering powder to the sculpted base, which is meant to represent rusted metal plates (I've no idea where it came from). There's a nice bloodstain along the floor, and the Don is cleaning blood off his claws, so I suspect that he just made someone an offer they couldn't refuse (because they're now dead).

Friday 2 June 2023

Another Big Bug

 I've been back on the old tyranids again. I dug up a truly awful lictor conversion that I made about 15 years ago, took it apart and stripped it, and found that it was based on a metal tyranid warrior model. These things are fairly rare, and to the best of my knowledge only one of this particular sort was ever made: a warrior with two boneswords. A bit like this guy:

(That's not my favourite bit of old tyranid art, by the way. My favourite is of a warrior bursting out of the hive, while Imperial Guardsmen throw themselves out of the way. I've not seen it for years, and if you know what it is, let me know. I also liked the "ork freebooters v tyranid warriors" picture that was on a cover of an ancient White Dwarf.)

Whilst trawling the internet for classic tyranids, I found this picture by someone called Arne of Android Arts. It's slightly altered from the plastic models, but it shows how this style of warrior could have been made to look cool with more modern sculpting.

Anyway, back to my guy. The model I had was missing part of its arm, and some fool (me) had cut the front of its mouth away. I built it a new mouth with plasticard and green stuff.

As with the hive tyrant, pretty much every limb had to be pinned and green-stuffed, and even then it was a bit flimsy and awkward. Then I painted it, using contrast paint for the basic red, but shading up and using other colours as normal.