Garage Days Revisited – Part 4

Some readers may recall that back in the summer of 2018 I was given a box of old miniatures rescued when a friend of a friend was refurbishing his garage. It was a bit of a pick and mix of old lead, we had a vampire, an Imperial Guardsman (shouting into his phone) and a boisterous Night Goblin fanatic, as well as a few other models which have passed the intervening years untouched – but never forgotten.

This undead Blood Bowl player comes from the same set and I reckoned it was high time he received some attention. I’ve been planning to paint up a Blood Bowl team or two for some time and although I’ll admit that still hasn’t happened this seemed like a fine way to dip a toe into the murky waters of violent fantasy sports.

First of all here we have him as he looked when I received him, in all his battered, ’90s era glory.

Blood Bowl Undead Wudugast (1)

I think we’d all agree he’s a little rough around the edges but he’s not badly painted either, he certainly beats my early work hands down. The reason I’m showing this is that my aim was to keep his appearance fairly close to the original scheme, whilst updating it into something gritty and modern.

Blood Bowl Undead Wudugast (2)Blood Bowl Undead Wudugast (3)Blood Bowl Undead Wudugast (4)

I’m still a little way off clearing my desk sufficiently of other projects, something I’d like to do before tackling a full Blood Bowl team, but working on this sporting corpse has reminded me how much I like the aesthetic of the game so I’ll aim to get to work on my Orcs soon.

26 responses to “Garage Days Revisited – Part 4

  • davekay

    Nice work! I like how you kept close to the original, and the cracked earth base works great for an undead team.

    • Wudugast

      Cheers! Yeah I very much wanted to keep the vibe of the original, and just bring it up to date. I’m quite pleased with the base too, I’m not a big fan of static grass in quantity (don’t mind the odd little tuft but I’m not so keen on bases entirely covered in it) so I was also testing the waters for alternative ways to do blood bowl bases.

  • Alex

    Lovely job mate – that makes me very happy 😊

  • Faust

    Oh man, I’m way behind on reading posts…but soon as I saw this, HAD to read it! First off, as we know, I have a mad stupid love for the Blood Bowl game. I don’t even know why that is. I also happened to have owned this mini and coached him through a big tournament I was running with friends. I was ahead in points, with a good chance of taking the tourney before things just sort of fizzled. Still, good times to look back on and we all played with minis that I mostly painted up. So yep, lots of love for the game, the Undead team, and this mini.

    Speaking of the mini…my paint job for him, was probably as good, quite possibly worse than what your friend did. I knew almost nothing about painting back then. Which is funny, because I still don’t…so, I knew less than nothing back then?! I do recall that he was a #@^& to paint though. It wasn’t clear where the folds in the cloth were folds or revealing bones underneath. Also, getting paint to stick in those cracks was a royal pain. Perhaps just faulty rattle can primer jobs, no cleaning the mini beforehand, etc. I just know they can be a pain…

    And yet, here you go and make it look magnificent! It really shows that knowing how to paint, can turn these older minis into something very cool. A few modern techniques, some basing, and you now have your own little piece of artwork. Sweet man!

    Orcs, you say? Do you have the newer or older models? Keep up the great work, buddy!

    • Wudugast

      Thanks man 🙂 It’s great the way a miniature can take you back to a certain time or place, it doesn’t really matter how good the models were or how well we painted them, in the end what counts is the good times we had.

      I got the Blood Bowl starter set a couple of years ago, assembled all the Orcs (with conversions, headswaps etc – no duplicate boyz on my team!) and then stalled a bit. It was a project I was determined to finish last year and did next to nothing with instead – this year though, this year I mean it! 😉

      What do you think of the new Snotling team? They look pretty cool to me but I’ve always been a sucker for snotlings.

      • Faust

        Oh wow, hope your conversions make it into the blogosphere. I had some plans for the Orcs and Humans, but have stalled so long on them, that I will likely paint them up as is. I could always go back and make some unique positionals later I suppose. But in the interest of playing and getting some teams done, I will likely just hammer them out.

        The new Snotlings team is interesting. Not sure if I will buy it, but I almost always say that and then do the opposite. I think the team probably appeals most to people who started Blood Bowl with the earliest editions, where there was lot of random craziness. Not being a long time GW fan, I don’t really have that nostalgic pull that some do. I’m sure they will be quite weaker than the other teams, and that’s partially my debate…is it worth buying and painting a team that is crap to play? Will see, will see!

      • Wudugast

        Yeah, sometimes you’ve just got to crack on a get something painted. It’s great to have big ideas but I’ve wasted years over things that would have been amazing if I’d ever had the time to do them, when I would have been better off just painting the damn things. Speaking of which…
        I’ve been collecting different heads and so on to customise the human team as well, I just haven’t started cutting them up yet. They’re great models as is but unlike the other teams those first two from the boxset are full of duplicate sculpts (and as you’ve probably noticed by now that’s something I just can’t abide!). To me it just takes them out of the realm of being living characters and marks them as playing pieces instead (which is fine up to a point but this blog isn’t called “Build It Exactly As Per The Instruction Or Die!”). I probably won’t do much converting with any other teams although I do have a scheme to make elves with the heads from the Harlequins, I’ve built a couple as a test and they look quite nifty so it’s only a matter of time before I pursue that properly.

        As you’re without a doubt the biggest Blood Bowl fan I know, would you be so kind as to share your wisdom with me, a mere initiate. Is there a standard way of distributing the numbers worn by the various players? I know that in a lot of team sports players wear numbers, and I know that different sports have different conventions for who wears what number, but how does this apply in Blood Bowl (e.g. are Blitzers always high numbers, Blockers always low numbers – in other words do certain numbers always belong to certain positionals)? I know I’m getting ahead of myself as I haven’t even painted them yet but it’s something that I’ve often wondered and never been able to clarify, and it’s the sort of thing that I’ll have sleepless nights over when I get to that stage because I’ll need to get it right! Thanks in advance 🙂

      • Faust

        Your question first, and then I’ll respond to some bits. There isn’t a set naming standard that I’m aware of for Blood Bowl. I’m guessing some go by American Football rules, but I know very little about that. For myself, I’ve developed my own system for numbering players based on game experience. First off, players die left and right, and well, you probably only have 11-20 or so minis. This means either you are going to keep renumbering players or you are going to recycle numbers. If #8 dies, I just buy another #8 Linemen, and don’t fret about his player number. Though he might, as the last guy to wear that number just died a horribly gruesome death…

        The other consideration is your team sheet. I tend to keep my best players at the top, because they have the most varied stats and are likely the ones you’re going to want to reference the most quickly. So, I’ll start with the Big Buy on line 1, then the Blitzers, Catchers, etc. Doesn’t matter too much, but being consistent is key. Now, you could put all those players on your Team sheet and then give them arbitrary numbers, like Lineman #33, Blitzer #12…but I found it to be a pain to cross reference the number painted on the mini with whatever number I’ve given them on the Team sheet, and not confuse it with the row number either. It’s much simpler (and way less confusing for new people) for the row number on the Team sheet to match the Player number.

        I would highly recommend building an Excel sheet with each position/player and numbering them beforehand. You don’t want to paint a Zombie and give him Number 5, only to find out that should be the Wight’s number! I spent quite a bi of time figuring out beforehand all the numbers of the players, and then double check before I put the decals on.

        Which leaves one last complexity…Star Players. They have numbers too, darn it. And they can play for different teams. So, it would be easy for numbers to conflict. I figured out what the maximum possible number of players I could have on a team (pretty sure Undead has the most possible positionals, with both Skeleton and Zombie Linemen) was, and then started assigning numbers to Star Players from there on. Ann noticed that Morg N Thorg had the number 100, which technically isn’t correct in Football (though I didn’t really know), but it works for my numbering system.

        Well, longer than I thought…I forget how involved that process was, but yea, it’s something I stressed over for quite awhile.

        Quick comments (hopefully). Yea, sometimes I’ll feel like I’m stumped in painting and end up staring at the minis for a good long while. Once I realize that, I just try to push myself to paint something. With hobby time being limited, sometimes you just have to go for it. Speaking of which, I just went for it and started painting some minis for the Human team. The number of duplicates for the team is pretty bad. I stressed about doing some conversions and whatnot, but I’m going to put those off for another day. In my experience, the Human team isn’t the best, and almost no one picks them. With my old minis, I painted up two Human teams…fun, but left me with two teams that mainly sat around unused. I figure I can always return to the team at a later date.

        Anyways, let me know if you have any other questions about numbering or whatnot. Hopefully I explained it well enough.

      • Wudugast

        Thank you – that’s an incredibly detailed and comprehensive reply, and very useful to boot! Honestly you had me from the moment you said “Excel Spreadsheet” – I’ve yet to find a problem in life that a speadsheet doesn’t fix (yes, I know that’s a nerdy thing to say – what did you expect! I think I may have missed a calling as an accountant or something…).

        On the subject of the human team I’ve also dug mine out, although more to scratch the converting itch than as something to paint straight away. To me the humans always feel a bit ordinary in comparison to the other races in the game, you could almost be painting a real world sports team. I think Phil Kelly (GW background writing big cheese) hit the nail on the head when he said (of human armies in general not BB specifically) something to the effect of “Why would I play the humans, I’m one of them already?”. Hopefully a few tweaks to make them more unique to me will get me feeling a bit more enthusiastic about them 🙂

      • Faust

        Whew, glad I didn’t overwhelm with the detail! Some of these processes are quite complicated, have lots of thought behind them, and for some people that just kills all the fun. But it works for me, and I haven’t managed to kill all the fun yet, haha.

        Interesting comment on the Human team there. Kinda woke up my brain a bit, pondering how to make people want to play the Human team. Stats wise, they are still going to be ‘vanilla’. But if you can make them visually interesting, then that can certainly hook people. One of our coaches took the Dwarf Deathroller I had at the time, despite it being expensive and not all that useful. It just “looks too cool, not to take”! Which is fun. 😀

  • Bjorn Stormborn

    Ive recently painted the same bone man like yours and another metal undead BloodBowl miniature. They can just about fit into a Nighthaunt collection using the same colour scheme as the army project.

    The sculpting looks goofy compared to the newer plastic kits, but it’s actually quite charming it’s own unique way.

    Awesome painting, I like how you’ve used warm red armour to contrast the dark clothing and bones. Von Carstein risen?

    • Wudugast

      Just looked him up – you’ve done a grand job on him 🙂

      Yeah, he’s definitely a bit odd compared to modern plastics, there’s so much they can do nowadays that we only dreamed of in the past, but he has a real charm to him none the less.

      To me that’s always been the go-to Undead colour scheme – black and bone with a splash of red. I’ve always had a not-so-secret alliance to the Von Carstein family and the true masters of the Empire though… 😀

  • theimperfectmodeller

    That’s a nice bit of TLC there. Like the way you have been true to the original whilst pimping the figure to bring it into the new world.

    • Wudugast

      Cheers mate 🙂 That was very much my aim, to keep as much as possible of the original and just bring it up to date. It was an interesting thing to tackle really, I’ve tried updating old models that I painted but never something that someone else had painted (at least not whilst trying to remain so faithful to the original piece).

  • Mikko

    Love it! Pics of refurbished old minis and paintjobs make me feel all warm inside, there’s this sort of nice continuity to it, kind of like making a worn piece of furniture or clothing usable again.

    • Wudugast

      Exactly! 🙂 It’s always been something that has been important to me, individual miniatures matter to people, they represent good times and are associated with a lot of happy memories. Above and beyond the fact that buying old miniatures and restoring them can save a lot of money compared to buying them new there’s something special about keeping that “spirit” alive.

  • Mark A. Morin

    I love when a classic figure is rehabbed – projects like this have got a special place in my heart.

    Well done – and glad Faust saw it as he is the biggest Blood Bowl fan I know!

    • Wudugast

      I think Faust is the biggest blood bowl fan anybody knows! 😀

      And yes, exactly, there’s something about keeping old, well-loved things alive that really appeals to me. I’ll have to dig around in the box of lead and see what else I can turn up!

  • Azazel

    Nice restoration job there – soimething close to my heart. He’s got the same feel for sure but looks a lot less rough around the edges, while still being approriately rough (around the edges!) Is there a team for him to join now?

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! No team for him per se, he’s really just a standalone piece for fun. However I did find myself lured into temptation and picked up the new Undead blood bowl team back when it was released (these skirmish games are just so wonderfully affordable!) which has been sitting on the sprue ever since. I’ll get around to them… eventually…

      • Azazel

        Hahah I know the feeling there!

      • Faust

        With your experience, I’m sure you’ll be fine…but they are one of the most difficult teams to assemble. Darks Elves, Undead, and supposedly Lizards. I actually didn’t find the Lizards that bad after Dark Elves and Undead. Sadly, those are two of my favorite teams to play too!

  • sgtreece

    Very cool! I had the Undead team back in the 90s so this hits me right in the nostalgic feels.

Speak, damn you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: