The Mean Green Geezers – Part 3

As promised I’ve been working on more Blood Bowl orcs over the weekend and now have a couple of additional linemen ready to join the ranks.

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Not only that but I’ve also painted up a couple of goblins (you knew I’d sneak some of the little gits in somewhere right?). At some stage I plan to add a troll who can then throw these smaller team-mates around the pitch, although that won’t be happening for a while as the troll is proving to be a real nightmare to assemble. It’s a large and, for plastic, relatively heavy miniature with all of its weight resting on a fairly slim ankle and as a result it keeps breaking and falling over. I think my next move will be to pin it, surely a first for a plastic model; either way he won’t be joining the team for a little while yet. In the meantime these goblins will just have to run around under their own steam.

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The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted that the second goblin had a headswap with one of the old Night Goblin fanatics. I do have a full team of goblins tucked under the desk so at some stage I’ll get around to painting them as well, whenever the battle against the backlog allows me.

The Mean Green Geezers – Part 2

Blood Bowl is all the rage right now, with the launch of the most recent edition, and it’s past time I cracked on with my Orc team. I got the first two painted about a month ago and now I’m ready to go full steam ahead with the rest of the team. To set the ball rolling as it were, here’s three more, starting with a blitzer…

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…and two linemen (lineorcs?). The blitzer was built and painted exactly as per the instructions, but both of these linemen have been tweaked a bit to avoid ending up with any duplicate models in the finished team.

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Add them to the two from last month and it starts to look as though the team is in business at last.

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Of course there’s still plenty more needed to complete the team so expect to see a lot more of these over the next couple of weeks. If you don’t want to see any more sporting orcs look away now!

Ghost Stories – Part 5

A couple of weeks ago I painted up a warband of Nighthaunt for Warcry. By the time it was finished I had seven Chainrasps, almost enough for a squad should I ever fancy expanding the collection into an Age of Sigmar army. Of course if I wanted to do that I’d need another three, and sure enough here they are. 

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Horus Heresy fans will recognise this one for its famous impersonation of Iron Hands’ primarch Ferrus Manus! 

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And here we have them, a full squad of ten little ghosts. 

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These aren’t the last ghosts on the painting desk either so expect to see a few more pop up soonish.

Alarith Stoneguard

Say this for the Lumineth Realm-lords, they take croquet really, really seriously! Whilst the other miniatures I’ve tackled recently have been waiting for attention for a while this chap is a newcomer to the painting desk, going from purchased to assembled to completed in a few short steps. The Lumineth Realm-lords range seems to have met with mixed reviews, like marmite some people seem to love them, others to hate them. Unlike marmite I can abide them in my presence – in fact I must admit that although I won’t be rushing out to start another army I actually rather like them. These particular models – the Alarith Stoneguard – have come in for a particular panning from some quarters but I think they’re great, although I’m less than enamoured by the price of them. Anyway, I managed to get my hands on one to test out a colour scheme and I’m happy with the results. I based it on the variant colour scheme for the Great Nation of Ymetrica, showcased in a tutorial on the Warhammer TV Youtube channel, but made a few variations because – despite the fact that I own about a million pots of GW blue paints in various colours  – I still don’t have most of the ones used in the tutorial.

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I’ve had a scrounge around online and managed to acquire a few Lumineth, without paying full whack for entire sets of them, so a little warband is probably in my future at some stage. 

The Toxic Waltz

Do you ever find a miniature where as soon as you see it you just have to paint it? It just speaks to you and all your careful planning and budgeting goes out the window in a heartbeat. In a fever of enthusiasm you rush to acquire it, you get it assembled and base-coated and then… everything stalls. Instead of a beautifully painted finished piece it glares at you with undisguised criticism whilst you avoid its gaze and try to paint other things with affected nonchalance. This is the story of the Sloppity Bilepiper.

Is there a dafter name in the entirety of the Games Workshop range, or indeed one more fun to say, than the Sloppity Bilepiper? I loved it as soon as I saw it, recalling as it does the old carnivals of Nurgle of yesteryear, and snapped it up as soon as I could. In my review of the Nurgle Daemons released back in January of 2018 I noted;

“Nurgle loves a party. He’s the god of life and death and though the latter aspect has often been the focus when it comes to the models, with sloughing flesh, weeping sores and spilled guts everywhere, with the Bilepiper we get to see the other side of things. Here is a model which encapsulates the core message of Nurgle’s worshippers – today we celebrate for tomorrow it will be too late. They party like there’s no tomorrow and one glance at the diseases they play host to suggests there probably isn’t. “

Sadly, despite starting out with great intentions and making good progress on the model as soon as I’d purchased it I stalled when it was almost finished and never managed to push it over the final hurdle. I think I’ve planned to paint it for every neglected model challenge I’ve entered in the past three years or so, yet always the challenge has ended and the Bilepiper has remained unchanged. This year it’s been particularly neglected, with Covid-19 wrapping it’s loving arms around the globe I’ve found myself disinclined to tackle any of Nurgle’s servants. I can’t quite put my finger on why, perhaps it’s superstition or just pandemic fatigue, but I find myself feeling as though the plague god is getting more than enough attention at the moment without my involvement. 

Both the Bilepiper and I have tolerated a lack of progress long enough however so back onto the painting desk he goes for a few more rounds against the brush. Here he is, finished at last and proving that these things are never so difficult if you just get on with them. 

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I really wanted to play up the appearance of a clownish, playful jester, so gave him bright and motley clothes. By way of contrast I made the flesh fairly realistic and human looking, rather than leaning on the mucky green that GW prefers for their Nurgle models. I still have quite a backlog of Nurgle miniatures, both daemons and mortal – including a number of unfinished Death Guard, so as soon as I overcome my Covid induced squeamishness I’ll crack on with them. 

The First Slayer

Readers may remember that I’ve been banging on for years about putting together a Dwarf army for WHFB, without actually doing anything about it. Earlier in the year, realising that I wasn’t going to simply talk the army into existence and needed to actually apply paint to some models at some point I painted my first Dwarf in over a decade (not including Chaos worshippers of course!) during the national lockdown in the spring. Now I’ve finished off a second one. This time it’s the turn of a slayer that I started work on at roughly the same time, but which ended up suffering from a dearth of attention once I was able to get back to work.

These have always been amongst my favourite of the Warhammer dwarves, warriors who have lost their honour through some failure or transgression and so take a vow to seek death in battle at the hands of the most terrible enemy they can find.  Each abandons all possessions, bar the axes he needs to do the actual slaying with, shaves his hair into a spiky crest and dyes it orange so that anyone who meets him is left in no doubt as to who they face.

Sadly Games Workshop never really did the Slayers justice, the old models were a bit ropey and the new Fyreslayers of Age of Sigmar – despite the fact that I rather like some of them – have deviated a long way from the concept of the Slayers of old. Instead I got my hands on the Dwarf Seekers from Avatars of War, which are basically just Slayers by any other name.

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As usual I’ve no idea when I’ll get back to this project properly but I’m heading towards the end of 2020 with two dwarves painted, and that’s two more than I had when I started.

Appetite for Destruction – Part 4

During the summer I tend to be out a lot, the pressure of work is high and finding time to paint miniatures isn’t always easy. I tend to start projects left, right and centre, and then find myself without time to complete them. By the time I sit down at the painting desk again something else has seized my attention. Now, however, winter has rolled around once again, the nights have drawn in and the days are cold and grim. Time to finish some of those part-painted miniatures which the hobby butterfly had previously danced around. Over the next few days I’m aiming to fight once again the endless battle against the tide of unfinished projects – starting with this hulking Ogre Irongut. 

When I put together my Ogre warband for Warcry a few months ago I decided that one of the elite Ironguts would make a fine option to call upon should the puny species which attempt to defy the mighty Ogres prove tougher than expected. I started him whilst riding a wave of enthusiasm for the fat lads and now I’ve finally gathered that energy once again and got him finished. 

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I do enjoy painting Ogres, and the Ironguts are amongst my favourite models in the range so although I wouldn’t want to commit to exactly when I’m going to tackle more of them expect to see them lumbering over the horizon sooner or later.

Tomb It May Concern – Part 2

A few weeks ago I showed some pictures of the Necrons that I’d been working on and talked a bit about some of the colour schemes I’ve been thinking of using for my collection of maniacal mechanical aliens. To be honest I’m no closer to reaching a conclusion but that’s ok, I have no deadlines for this project, plenty else to keep me entertained and most of the models I plan to include have yet to reach me, being part of my as yet unmade “made to order” Indomitus set. That said I’ve not been entirely idle and as a result I’ve accumulated enough finished material to make another update worthwhile. 

First of all we have the “black and white” colour scheme that I showed previously. Amongst the suggestions and feedback I received Alex from Leadballoony suggested toning down the vivid green on the model’s gun, pointing out that it was rather overwhelming – especially on such a monochrome model. I was inclined to agree, so here’s the updated version, hopefully a little less garish. 

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And by way of comparison, here’s how he used to look. It’s not a huge change but hopefully it’s sufficient.

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I’ve always liked the idea of Necrons as space-zombies, tarnished, rusted and on the verge of mechanical failure, rather than the sleek legions of automatons they might once have been before millions of years in their crypts took their toll. This is an aesthetic which this current wave of releases looks to be embracing more than any have previously. The first model I painted attempted to capture this and although I remain pleased with the results I struggled to make it look good on multiple models. 

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Looking at artwork for inspiration however I kept coming back to the idea that the other schemes I’ve tried have been too clean, and failed to adequately capture the sense of mechanical decay I was looking for. For many years this has been my go-to image when thinking about Necrons and I didn’t want to stray too far from it now I’ve finally started to paint some of my own (all the art shown here is copyright of Games Workshop by the way, and was looted from a mysterious tomb without permission). 

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Likewise this image taken from the cover of the new codex again emphasises this aspect – these may be technological gods, elevated by science to levels far beyond the wildest dreams of the other races of the galaxy, but they stand at the point of collapse.

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Their systems are failing, their minds corroded into madness and the grand achievements of rationality and engineering upon which they built their empire can only struggle against the superstition and insanity which holds the galaxy in its sway. 

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Back when I first started on this project I’d tried out an alternative colour scheme that, like the very first one, tried to explore this side of the robots. In the end I decided not to pursue it but the model was still sitting there, part painted, and I decided it was worth following the experiment to its conclusion after all. 

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I incorporated some elements of the “black and white” model but otherwise went for a very traditional metallic Necron, albeit one caked in muck, grime and corrosion. Honestly I really like it, and it certainly fits the bill of being nice and straightforward to paint. Is this the scheme I’m going to settle on? I think it’s too early to tell, I’ve come close to declaring for one scheme or another several times but as I say, at the moment there’s no rush. Here’s the full line up of current contenders. 

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As part of exploring this subject I decided to try painting a Deathmark. These were for a long time my favourite Necron models, only pushed off the top spot by the range of amazing miniatures which have appeared recently. As specialist assassins their colour scheme needn’t match exactly with the rest of the army anyway so I felt free to mess around a bit and explore a few ideas.

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If I decide to go with either of the schemes I’ve focused on above for the rest of the army – which is by far the most likely outcome at the moment – this model will fit in just fine. 

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Anyway, that’s where I’m up to with the Necrons – I’m still having fun exploring these models and playing with ideas and I hope none of you are screaming at your computer screens for me to just pick a scheme and get on with it. Check back in a month or so and I’ll have decided to paint them all pink or something… 

Iron Golem – Part 5

With the winter nights drawing in I’m taking advantage of spending more time indoors and making a concerted effort to finish some of the backlog of partly painted miniatures which are currently cluttering up the painting desk. After all, whilst a well painted, or even just competently painted collection is a sight to behold displayed on the shelf or marching across the gaming table, no-one has ever stopped to admire a load of miniatures with the base coats half-done. 

Today it’s the turn of the Signifer from my Iron Golem warband. As an optional extra that wasn’t included in my initial warband, he was somewhat left behind when I painted up the rest of them back in the spring.

The kit provides enough parts to build either a Signifer or a Prefector and, after considerable thought, I decided in the end to build the Prefector to begin with. However it was a close run thing and I was still keen to add the Signifer at some stage. Rather than buy a whole other box I hunted down the model individually, by which time the rest of the warband was almost finished.  The Signifer was built by the time I finished the warband but he’s lingered unfinished ever since. Time to do something about that! 

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Here he is next to his alternative build, the Prefector.

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And of course here’s the entire warband, completed at last. 

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For the moment I don’t plan to add anything else to this particular warband although I do enjoy unleashing them in the Bloodwind Spoil so who knows? In the meantime though there are plenty of other warbands vying for my attention!

In The Night(mare) Garden

I’m sure the majority of my readers will already be familiar with the blog Gardens of Hecate run by Ana Polanscak. In the unlikely event that your not do take a look at her work – for one thing you’ll probably be blown away by the skill and creativity on show and for another it’ll save me from trying to describe the indescribable. There really is very little that’s similar to Ana’s grim, folk-horror infused work so do yourself a favour and take a look. I’d been following her old blog for years and was disappointed when she made her final post earlier this year (as if  2020 hadn’t done enough eh!) but it turns out I’m just an airhead and, despite my initial fears, she’s still blogging at a new site which you can find here.

Anyway, the reason for all this preamble is that last year a kickstarter campaign ran which produced some of Ana’s original sculpts and naturally I backed it. Anyone who missed out on the kickstarter but who finds themselves with an overwhelming need for these miniatures can find them at Harwood Hobbies. I’ve been meaning to get everything painted up for a while, and even got as far as starting work on them back in the spring, but what with one thing and another it’s taken me until now to get them done. I didn’t set out to paint them for Halloween or anything like that but it’s certainly fitting that as the nights draw in and the dark forests of the imagination get even darker that I finally put brush to model and got these finished.

I should add, this post may not be entirely safe for work, depending on how sensitive your boss is, not all of the creatures having remembered to get dressed before they manifested themselves. Scroll down at your own risk.

First to be finished was this weird looking Blood Fiend. It makes me think of hoodeners and hobby horses found in various British folk customs, in which a horse’s skull is carried on a pole by a person hidden under sackcloth. Of course, judging by the look of this thing, it might not be a person under there after all…

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Next up, a little gargoyle, because you can never have too many of them!

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Then we have this gothic snail who looks more than sufficient to give the boldest thrush pause.

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Next a Wodewose, that being essentially a wildman – hairy, forest dwelling and strongly associated with nature (so a bit like me all things considered). These individuals make regular appearances in medieval artwork and church carvings across Europe and are often symbolically linked to the Green Man, whose face is shown on the shield of this figure. From what I can gather the etymology of the Middle English term Wodewose is unclear but it may well have come from wudu-wāsa, “wudu” – referring to forests and also appearing in my username on this blog.

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For anyone wondering how big these are by the way, here’s a picture of the Wodewose next to one of the Chainrasps from Games Workshop which happened to be sitting helpfully on my desk. I’ll put a groupshot at the end so you can compare the whole group but in the main they’re all of a similar size, with the gargoyle a bit smaller than the rest and the Blood Fiend markedly bigger.

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Lastly we have a Demibuer. The term wasn’t familiar to me at all, and a dig around online didn’t prove any more informative, so if you happen to know anything about them please let me know in the comments. To my eye he looks like a cross between a faun and a Green Man so that’s what I went with.

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Here’s a groupshot of the whole lot, looking like they’ve stepped straight from some medieval stonemason’s nightmares.

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I’ve got various half-finished projects kicking around at the moment (when do I not?) so I’m planning a bit of a feet-clearing exercise over the next few days, then I’ll get my teeth in about that Orc Blood Bowl team I’ve been promising.