Monthly Archives: June 2016

Erratic Progress – Part 1

So all this talk of Warhammer lately has taken me back to my Skaven, if only in a fairly small way. Having painted my first clanrat in at least a couple of years I found myself facing something of a crisis. I’ve recently bought a bunch of Skaven from two different friends, adding up to an enormous heap of partly painted plastic and sprues. The trouble is I realised I’m not particularly enamoured with my chosen colour scheme. Partly it’s that red tends to blend in with brown, making for a homogenous mass when viewed from a distance. Partly it’s that I’ve already used red for my Space Marines, and intend to use it again when I get around to painting some Skitarii and Vampire Counts. Thirdly red is the colour of Clan Mors and as a result painting one’s own Skaven red and then claiming they’re part of a different clan is rather like painting your Space Marines blue and gold and saying they’re not Ultramarines (or red and saying they’re not Blood Angels…).IMG_4536That leaves me with three options.

  1. Accept the situation as it is. Red’s not such a bad colour after all. Obviously that requires far too much emotional maturity for me to even contemplate so we move on to…
  2. Think of them as Clan Mors. Now I’ve got no real beef with Mors any more than I dislike the Ultramarines. I even painted Queek Headtaker a few years ago (and if I ever work out where that model has ended up I’ll show you). However they’re still very much someone else’s creation and, like the aforementioned Ultramarines, not one I’ve ever found that gripping. They may be the largest and most powerful of the warlord clans but they’re also a little dull and my rats are no-one’s lackeys! Next!
  3. Change the colour scheme. As it stands I’ve only painted 14 rats*. Sitting in a cardboard box in the corner of the room however are roughly a hundred more, as yet clad in nothing but bare plastic. If I’m going to go through the work of changing the colour scheme now is the time to do it.

*ish – there’s a few, like Queek, that I can’t lay my hands on.IMG_4551
Faced with choosing a new colour scheme I weighed my options, looking for something that would stand out, whilst still looking suitably filthy and ragged, and hadn’t already been used extensively elsewhere. Cutting a long story short I started to become drawn to the yellow Skaven which appear throughout Age of Sigmar’s Pestilens Battletome.

Plague Censer 2

Fighting censorship – used without permission (naturally!)

A bit more research revealed that yellow is also the colour of Clans Krizzor (beast-trappers and –moulders of some repute) and Skurvy (pirates – naturally) which gives me a few ideas when it comes to thinking up a background for my own clan. The question was though – would it work? Time to paint up a couple of test rats. Here’s the first of them.

And here’s the second.Skaven 1

And shoulder to shoulder with one of the red originals.Skaven 2What do you think (beyond that I need to improve on painting yellow – this being my first real outing with the colour)? At the moment I’m pretty pleased with these results but it’s not too late to speak out if you wildly disagree (better now than in 100 rat’s time – especially if I find myself agreeing with you!)

Anyway, I also thought I’d take the opportunity to have a play with the new Waystone Green technical paint Games Workshop released a couple of weeks ago. So far I’ve mostly seen it used to paint Eldar spirit stones (and this is very much what GW has been pushing it for) but I wondered if it would make for suitable looking warpstone as well. Following the guide detailed on the GW blog here’s the part of the warpstone core from the warp-lightning canon. At this point I’d given it a single coat of Fulgurite Copper, followed by a single coat of Waystone Green.BeforePassable I reckon but not quite there yet. And with most of the work done in mere moments (probably about a minute of actual painting interspersed with twenty minutes or so drying) I reckoned I could afford a little more time on it. Here it is again following a quite highlight with Scorpion Green (still out of an old hexagonal pot I’m afraid – no idea what the kids call this stuff nowadays).After

I think it’s looking pretty good, especially when you consider that the surrounding area is still mostly black primer, but as usual if you have any thoughts let’s hear them.


Realm of Plagues – Part 5

And after a slight hiatus a forth pestilent Terminator lumbers forth from Nurgle’s garden!

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Unlike the others I wanted to tone down the guts and go for a more restrained horror, whilst still making it clear that this is a servant of the plague god.

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I also wanted to try some new things on the base (rather than just using more green gunk. Much and all as I love green gunk…)

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And here he is with his foul battle brothers. Just got a bargain on some ‘pre-loved’ Black Reach terminators so don’t expect this to be the last we see of this filthy squad. In the meantime your thoughts are as welcome as ever.

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Realm of Plagues – Part 4

Following the completion of the champion for my squad of Nurgle worshipping terminators I decided to strike whilst the iron was hot and get the squad’s icon bearer finished off as well. You may recall that last time we saw him he looked like this:convertordie_nurgle_terminator__4At the time I felt that he was rather waspish in the waist – all fine and well for Slaanesh’s image-conscious lovers but hardly acceptable for Nurgle, whose followers are rotund and jolly to a man. Before he saw any paint I needed to build up the belly, and give him some appropriately horrible guts into the bargain. All of that brings him to this; finished at last.ConvertOrDie Nurgle Terminator Icon (1)

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ConvertOrDie Nurgle Terminator Icon (4)Here’s the whole squad (so far) together.ConvertOrDie Nurgle Terminator Icon (6)Excitingly the squad’s fourth member is now almost finished so I’m going to crack on and see if I can get him done too. As before – watch this space!


Realm of Plagues – Part 3

Cast your collective minds back to November last year and you’ll recall this happy looking gentleman; the champion for my squad of Nurgle terminators based on the Putrid Blightkings. He’s been progressing slowly ever since but a few days ago I decided to crack on and actually get him finished. Here’s how he looked last time we saw him:convertordie_nurgle_terminator__3_

And here he is now:Nurgle Terminators ConvertOrDie (1)

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Nurgle Terminators ConvertOrDie (4)

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And side by side with his sole (current) squadmate:Nurgle Terminators ConvertOrDie (7)

I have high hopes that I’ll get the icon bearer finished soon as well, and have even started putting together a fourth member of the squad. Watch this space!


The Art of Janice Duke

You may have noticed that my recent (rather wordy!) article on Warhammer: Total War and the recent changes that have occurred to the Warhammer universe, featured several pieces of art by illustrator Janice Duke.

As an artist Janice’s work covers a wide range of subjects, particularly mythology, fantasy and spiritual and philosophical topics, with a specialism in book covers. For me the opportunity to collaborate with a professional artist in this way is very exciting and so, as well as using the pieces as illustrations in the article I wanted to take the opportunity to properly showcase them here. As usual it’s worth clicking on them to see a full size version.

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I particularly like the look of determination on Karl Franz’s face and the forest of spears in the background. An army worthy of an Emperor indeed!

I also rather like the starker, black-and-white style that Janice uses, for example in this alternative version of the Chaos Lord.

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Some of you may recognise Janice’s work as she’s also the artist I commissioned to create the banner for this site and the magpie avatar. At present we’re discussing plans to collaborate further in the future so watch this space!magpie_servitor_by_janiceduke-d7e2hjg

For more information go to her website, or take a look at her blog, Facebook or Twitter. More miniatures soon (I promise!), as soon as I extract myself from my Total War addiction. The Empire isn’t going to unite itself after all…