For pretty much as long as I’ve been interested in painting miniatures I’ve harboured a dream of painting an army of dwarves. As yet it’s remained just a pipe-dream but I’ve accrued a number of the little dudes over the years, especially when WHFB was replaced by Age of Sigmar and many of the older models were retired. Lately I’ve been pouring over the Warhammer 8th Edition Dwarves army book again and getting an itch to march out of my mountain hold and give those younger races a good kicking. I don’t think anything will come of it straight away but I couldn’t resist painting up this old dwarf lord, one of my all time favourite dwarf miniatures.
As I say, for now those dwarves I’ve acquired will remain in their boxes whilst I crack on with other projects but some day their patience will be rewarded. For now however I’ll be turning my attention to the filthy greenskins, which are exactly the kind of thing this dwarf clearly disapproves of. He’ll be marking down a grudge against me already and the project hasn’t even started…
It’s been a long, long time coming… It was back in September of 2014 that my chaos knight first put in an appearance. Back then it was just a single leg. Six months later it had a second leg and everything seemed to be going swimmingly. Then progress slowed, mistakes were made, expensive and hard to replace parts were trashed in a moment of carelessness and the whole project lost momentum. Over the years I picked it up from time to time, working on it a little here and there, but it wasn’t until the summer of 2019, when the new Chaos Knight kit came storming onto the scene and reinvigorated my enthusiasm, that I really paid it proper attention again.
I began to chip away at it again, but it’s a big kit and a lot of work, and other projects kept grabbing my enthusiasm – easy wins and spur of the moment fancies that were relatively easy to power through, whilst the knight stamped along at the back of the queue, occasionally shaking off its coat of dust only to start gathering a new one.
How long it would have continued in this state is anyone’s guess but then Azazel, of Azazel’s Bitz Box, launched one of his painting challenges The Jewel of July (and also August as it turned out). The thing I really like about these challenges is there’s no pressure to “win”, or to paint something start-to-finish in a month or anything of that nature, just some good natured, friendly encouragement as hobbyists all over the world do what we can to clear the pile of grey plastic (or lead, or even resin) and replace it with the beautiful painted models we’d all far rather we had in our collections.
The Jewel of July has a very open remit, but at heart it’s looking for centrepiece models, the jewels of our collections as it were, and I thought the knight would fit the bill perfectly. Plus it would give me the motivation to actually get the damn thing finished at long last. Did I manage it? Did I hell!
July, as it turned out, was so busy with work that often, as I stumbled blearily to bed at the end of another long day, I passed myself getting up again. Time to work on the knight drained away and whilst progress was made it certainly wasn’t enough, nor did I want to rush finishing something that I was only painting for fun after all. Then, just as it seemed that the chances of getting it done in time were hopeless, Azazel extended the deadline for the challenge until the end of August. The game was still on!
Anyway, enough of this waffley back-story – which regular readers will have undoubtedly skipped anyway as they must know it off by heart – let’s take a look at some pictures, because it’s no longer true to say the knight is young – instead the knight is done!
I reckon he fits the bill nicely as a centrepiece model, towering over the rest of my Chaos forces and ready to scare the living daylights out of any filthy loyalists that might be passing.
I also managed to build him in such a way that some of the parts move. Not all of them do, doing anything that clever with the fleshy tentacle arm proved beyond me for instance. Likewise the head, which would normally be adjustable if you build the kit “as intended” proved to be locked in place once those enormous tusks were affixed. The gun arm however still tilts around freely…
…and the entire torso can be rotated.
Not only that but it can be lifted off entirely, making him easier to store and transport. A little magnet in the base of the torso, and another in the top of the legs, is enough to hold him together. It’s not the strongest bond, given the size and weight of the model it could have used something a little more powerful, but so long as he’s handled gently (and anyone who doesn’t handle their models gently is no friend of mine!) he’ll be fine.
Anyway, all that remains to be said is a big thank you to Azazel for running the Jewel of July challenge, I can only imagine how much time and effort goes into making these things happen – and also a second round of thanks to everyone’s offered feedback and encouragement along the way. Next up, something much, much smaller…
After a quiet few months it’s a very exciting time to be a Necromunda fan. I’m sitting here hopping from foot to foot waiting for my copy of House of Blades to come through the door (accompanied by some reinforcements for the Ladykillers gang and a bunch of Ogryns who’re intent on stamping out their plans onto the face of the underhive – just as soon as they can remember what they are). Plus we saw all those lovely new Orlocks – and their very good dogs – previewed at the weekend which has me itching to finally get to work on my contingent for the House of Iron.
However, before all that happens, I’ve been back to pouring over House of Chains and my eye fell upon Tess “Arc-Up” one of the Goliath special characters introduced in the book.
Tess is described as headstrong and reckless in the extreme, scaling the outer shell of the hive barehanded as ash storms rage around her or throwing herself into the thick of gang-fights regardless of the odds. She’s a prospect, keen to join a gang of her own, yet even the craziest of Goliaths find her too mad, bad and dangerous to know to stick around with for long. So she roams from gang to gang, gaining the respect of many a forge boss but never allowed to stay.
You’d have to be down-and-out and desperate, even by the standards of the underhive, to hang around with someone as wild as Tess, especially in the wilds of Necromunda where there’s danger aplenty without going looking for it, and stirring it up when you find it. On the other hand the Irondogs are very much desperate, not to mention the living embodiment of down-and-out, their backs against the wall and their little kingdom crumbling as foes of all kinds close in. So when Tess rocks up in their patch of course they’ll keep her around, at least for a little while…
I made my version of Tess from the Goliath forge-born prospect, with a modified storm-welder (kitbashed from a Necron warrior’s gun and a Sicarian Infiltrator’s taser goad). I like the idea that Ironhouse lies not far from Hive Primus, and so all kinds of special characters might pass through – whilst keeping it remote enough that I can do my own thing to my heart’s content. Thus Tess probably won’t be the only Goliath character to show up, not to mention the Escher characters whose identities and backstories are soon to be whisking their way through the post in my direction.
I’ve been trying my hand at painting the first of my Necrons and I think I’ve hit on a scheme I’m happy with. I wanted something that looked aged and damaged, as the millennia spent sleeping in their tombs took their toll, but wanted to avoid the usual rusty look that I’ve already applied widely to Chaos (especially Nurgle), Orks and Skaven.
The basing is pretty simple) – I just wanted something to get him finished and in my view a model isn’t done until the base is done. Otherwise I think I’m settled on this scheme so when time allows I’ll have a go at painting up a few more.
Just a quick one today as I battle to get to grips with the new WordPress editor. If it ain’t broke WordPress, do be a dear and don’t bloody fix it! Not to worry, I’m sure in time I’ll stop being a dinosaur and discover the joys of the new modern editor that lets me do everything I used to do, only in a much more complicated and round-about way…
Anyway, enough moaning let’s look at a bit of a miniature. I’ve moved onto the second arm of the chaos knight (the weird fleshy limb as opposed to the mechanical arm that I’ve shown previously). It was made by grafting together the upper part of a Great Unclean One’s arm with the lower part of a Maggoth, and then filling in the gaps with loads of greenstuff and milliput.
With this pretty much done I’m mostly looking at tidying up, painting a few of the smaller components and sticking everything together and with just under half the month still to go I’m optimistic. Then again nothing is finished until it’s finished, pride has been known to come before a fall and chickens should not be counted until they’re hatched, fully grown and preferably in the oven. Watch this space!
Once again I find myself crawling around graveyards in the dead of night looking for prey… Or, to put it differently, I decided to sink my teeth into something else for my Flesh-Eater Courts Warcry warband. This time I went for the crypt horror, which not only gives the cannibalistic little monsters some much needed muscle but was also relatively quick and easy to paint, whilst still feeling like a bit of a victory given its size.
With the big lad in tow the warband is starting to come together nicely.
I quite enjoyed painting a bigger ghoul so I’ll probably add at least one more to the warband, maybe one of the winged crypt flayers and perhaps even a crypt infernal as a leader (there’s something of a theme to these names isn’t there?). It won’t be straight away but watch this space!
I promise, I’m still working on the knight – I’ve not forgotten about it and wandered off to some other project the way you all thought I would! Honestly I don’t have masses to show but enough to warrant a status update nonetheless.
First of all I’ve started on the knight’s head. It’s still a little WIP, I’d like to do a bit more with it before I call it finished, but its moved on at least from the undercoated plastic you saw last time we looked at it (over a year ago…). It’s also hideously tricky to photograph but I’ve done my best for you.
I’ve also been working on the second shoulderpad, the one I didn’t trash through ill-luck and worse judgement and end up having to repair (a story I’ve told enough times by now that regular readers will be sick of hearing about it, look back here for the whole sorry tale if you missed it). This second shoulderpad will be much plainer than the first, without all the growths and mutations that were needed to cover up the damage, so I decided to try my hand at some freehand. I’m certainly no artist but I reckon the results work well enough here. Again a few touch-ups are needed before it’s done but its well on its way.
Next up I’ll be turning my attention to the mutated arm and then it’ll just be a case of finishing touches and putting it all together (he says as though it was all that simple…).
I’ve been chipping away at a few odds and ends of terrain, mostly the smaller stuff from the Warcry box, whenever I’ve needed a break from working on the Knight. Nothing terribly dramatic here but with a bunch of them now finished I reckoned I’d accumulated enough to make it worthwhile assembling a post about them.
First off, a couple of small walls (I did tell you there was nothing here to get super excited about right?).
A spiky chaos barricade…
A heap of rubble…
…and some mysterious gratings, through which some poor soul has undoubtedly been dragged – and devoured…
Apart from the gratings all of the above comes from the Warcry set, and the gratings themselves would fit in nicely there as well (especially in arena fights for instance). With the Knight being the focus of my energy at the moment I’m not feeling too keen to take on the bigger buildings but as soon as it’s done I’d like to get back to them and finish off the set.
It’s been a long time since I last painted a Skaven – or at least that’s how it feels to me. I’m sure there are plenty of other ranges within my overall collection of miniatures that have gone untouched for much longer but after painting ratmen at least once per month for the last three years going seven months without so much as pointing a brush at one certainly seems like an absolute age. Consider also how the world has been ravaged by plague and strife in the interim, something I’m sure the Skaven would approve of greatly.
On the grounds that a man cannot live by painting giant stompy Chaos war-engines alone I decided to grab something else out of the queue and what better than this demented rodent hell-bent on destruction. As I have complained on a regular basis Games Workshop haven’t added much to the Skaven range in a number of years, with the result that a lot of the models are now looking distinctly past their best. One of the very few new models to be added to the range has been the Warlock Bombardier or – as it would have been known back in eighth edition Warhammer – a Warlock Engineer armed with a Doom Rocket. As I recall this was a particularly deadly contraption back then, sometimes blowing the enemy ranks to smithereens and sometimes – as was the way with Skaven weapons – causing devastation to the ratmen instead as the rocket exploded prematurely or zoomed off in the wrong direction. It’s an excellent miniature and, having bemoaned the lack of new Skaven models for so long, it seemed churlish of me not to add him to the ranks.
I’ll be counting him as my contribution to Bjorn Stormborn’s Skaven and High Elf Painting Challenge being run to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Island of Blood (the last ever WHFB starter set). It’s hard to believe that it launched a full decade ago now or that WHFB, which at that time seemed a permanent and immutable part of the hobby, would be replaced by a whole new system in the form of Age of Sigmar. Then again AoS itself is five years old now – where does the time go? Of course this means it’s been five years since the Skaven got any new models at all (beyond the chap above of course) and ten years since they had a major wave of releases. Just sayin’ GW, just sayin’..!
Anyone with an affiliation for Skaven or High Elves who wants to join in with Bjorn’s challenge has until my birthday (that’s the 1st of September for anyone who hasn’t marked their calendars) to paint up either a stylish rodent, some pointy-eared filth, or both.
Ok beautiful readers, it’s time for me to be completely honestly with; I’m not going to finish the Chaos Knight in July. I know it’s still early to be giving up, we’ve all heard (and probably participated in) heroic, last minute painting whirlwinds that get some model over the finish line to completion in the small hours of the morning ahead of the big game or the painting contest to be held the next day. Why don’t I just man up, gird my loins and crack on you ask? The fact is the July has proven to be even busier for work than I expected and, with three flat-out months under my belt now, I’m knackered (this is also why I’ve not been reading and commenting on other people’s blogs much either). There are only so many hours in the day and in the end the conclusion has to be that there’s more Knight left than month. Fear not, I’ll finish him in August instead – when things should be a bit quieter and more manageable anyway. Luckily Azazel, who’s Jewel of July challenge has been the spur to my tackling the project again, has also extended said challenge through to the end of August as he too grapples with that many armed monstrosity known as real life.
In the meantime however I have managed to make some progress over the last couple of weeks, so this post won’t just be moaning and excuses from me! The main torso, one arm and the infamous “difficult” shoulderpad that started my struggles with this model in the first place have all been completed, leaving just the head, the other arm and shoulderpad and the various accoutrements to complete. Put like that it doesn’t sound like very much does it…
Anyway, let’s take a look at him. Due to the sheer size of this bad-boy I’ve used bigger images than normal, clicking on them will allow you to bask in their glory at full size.
Despite the set-backs that have slowed progress on this project to a crawl at times I’m still feeling very enthusiastic about it, especially now it’s reached this stage and started to look like a true Knight of Chaos, rather than just a pair of legs. There are still a number of challenges ahead (and those are just the ones I know about) but hopefully by the end of August (and maybe even sooner) the beast shall walk!