Category Archives: The Empire

Welcome To The Jungle

I’ve spoken before about my love for Warhammer: Total War, a computer game which combines my addiction to the Total War series (which peaked in my early 20’s but to which I’ve recently relapsed) and that weird old-fashioned hobby where you paint your own models and push them around on the tabletop. Today sees the release of the second instalment in the trilogy, this time focussing on the lands across the sea to the west of the Old World. Whilst the previous game covered the lands surrounding the Empire, stretching north as far as Norsca and the fringes of the Chaos Wastes and south into the Orc infested Badlands, this game brings us the High Elf homeland of Ulthuan, the desolate horror of Naggarond, a suspicious stretch of desert in the Southlands that would be just perfect for some undead kings to build a few pyramids on and of course the teeming jungles of Lustria. Naturally this calls for some kind of celebration or recognition on this blog, if for no other reason than that my (already stretched) hobby time is now going to be eaten up by conquering the new world in the name of a verminous empire. Last time round I marked the occasion by waxing philosophical about the fall of the Old World, the dawning of the Age of Sigmar and the passing of the world of Warhammer from the tabletop to the computer screen. This time, in the interests of showing you a painted model rather than just fobbing you off with my words, here’s the famous Tilean explorer, and discoverer of Lustria, Marco Colombo.

Marco Colombo Convert Or Die (1)Marco Colombo Convert Or Die (2)Marco Colombo Convert Or Die (3)

Marco was given to me by my friend Les, long before I’d really discovered the world of Warhammer, and sat unpainted for years – first because I knew I lacked the skills to tackle him, later because a million other projects were demanding my attention (if you’re in this hobby then you know how these things go). A few years ago when Les was planning an Empire army I rescued Marco from his box and started to paint him, intending to give him back as an addition to the nascent force. Alas I failed to get him painted as completely as Les failed to paint the rest of the army and then GW went and blew up the entire Warhammer planet, which rather put the tin lid on things. This, however, is Marco’s hour at last. Now I just need to paint up that Liche Priest that his brother Sam gave me before the release of the inevitable Tomb Kings expansion…


What Is Best In Life?

With so many projects on the go I’m trying to keep my focus and avoid veering off into any more new territory, at least until I’ve cleared my desk a little. However I couldn’t resist painting up at least one of the models from the Greenskin Wars kickstarter, the barbarian hero. Something about him reminds me of Hirad Coldheart from the Chronicles of the Raven (well worth a read if you’re in need of some old-school cheese) more than Conan.Then again, when it comes to recognisable blog titles Hirad just isn’t as wonderfully quotable.

Greenskin Wars Barbarian Convert or Die (1)

Greenskin Wars Barbarian Convert or Die (3)

I went for a dark, tanned skin tone – I figured a man who lives almost exclusively outdoors and fears nothing except wearing a shirt wouldn’t be particularly pasty or pale.

Greenskin Wars Barbarian Convert or Die (2)

Fan’s of old-school greenskins take note; Greenskin Wars is currently having another kickstarter. There’s still a few days to go before it runs out and in the meantime there’s the chance to pick up several of the models from the last round alongside new stuff like the hobgoblins and bugbears. Speaking from my own experience the service I’ve received has been excellent and the quality of the models is outstanding so if you were on the fence about this one I really do recommend it.


Battle Hymn

Ok, I admit that I said a few weeks ago that I wouldn’t let anything distract me from Khorne until all the Berserkers were done, but I slipped. After painting Kharn I found myself overexcited about the idea of painting things red (the inner Ork rising to the surface perhaps) and flailed around eagerly until my hand fell on this chap.warrior-priest-convertordie-4

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The priest, although sharing a distinct similarity to Games Workshop’s Empire warrior priests, comes from MOMminiaturas, a Spanish miniatures company who combine low-low prices with excellent quality models and are well worth checking out. One minor issue is that the website is almost entirely in Spanish, which makes the ordering process a little difficult for those of us who don’t speak the language. Then again most people in the world have the same issue with websites in English and they make do without too much complaint so I’d recommend manning up and applying a combination of common sense and the (debateable) charms of google-translate to get you where you need to be. Or better yet, make friends with an actual Spanish person – making repeat orders considerably easier and providing you with a boon companion and all the joy that results from having another human being to share life’s journey with.

As usual comments and feedback are welcome.


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.

empire_vs_chaos_by_janiceduke-da3u5xlkarl_franz_riding_deathclaw_by_janiceduke-da3u59cchaos_lord_on_manticore_by_janiceduke-da3q6c3

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…


The Empire Strikes Again

I’ve always rather fancied an Empire army. All those stylish men with their smart jackets, enormous hats and silly moustaches standing firm in the name of civilisation with nothing but faith, cold steel, black-powder and ridiculous wizard-powered contraptions. I even painted up a couple of heroes for the Empire collection I almost started and, given that I’ve got Warhammer on the brain at the moment, now seemed like a very good time to show them off.First of all there’s this captain, just waiting for an army to command. Sadly as I’ve remained stubbornly focussed on the grim darkness of the far future he’s been waiting for a while, and it doesn’t look like his fortunes are going to change any time soon.

Empire Captain 1

Empire Captain 2

He’s not completely alone however, as I’ve also painted this Celestial Wizard. His crystal ball allows him to peer into the depths of space for suitable comets to drop on his enemies’ heads – or perhaps an Imperial Crusade Fleet, which might have seen to it that the End Times ended rather differently. I’d keep your head down Sonny-Jim – it’ll be the Black Ships for you if that ever happens.Empire Wizard ConvertOrDie (1)Empire Wizard ConvertOrDie (3)They may not look like much but they still outnumber my Warriors of Chaos army two to one!