Untamed Beasts – Part 4

What would the Untamed Beasts be without a beast (allegedly entirely undomesticated) prowling at their heels? Having distracted myself long enough with the Iron Golems it’s time to focus on getting the Beasts wrapped up, starting with the Rocktusk Prowler (or Goat Lion Thing as its often known).

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Of course, even a beast wants someone to talk to. Enter the Beastspeaker, wearing a rather fetching Rocktusk Prowler skull helm. Honestly I found her quite tricky to paint and I’m not entirely happy with how she turned out, but she’s done and on the whole I’m satisfied with that.

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Alas, what with things being busy in so-called “real life” at the moment, I’ve not managed to get quite as much painted for Fembruary as I might have hoped. That said I’ve between this lady and the Iron Legionary I showed previously (an Iron Maiden perhaps?) I’ve managed a least a couple of female miniatures, and without diverting my focus from Warcry.

Fembruary 2020 Wudugast

With these two done the Beasts are now almost complete, there’s just the savage Heart-eater left to paint so I’ll get him done ASAP then crack on with more terrain and the rest of the Iron Golems.

Iron Golem – Part 2

Of course, angry dwarves and hulking ogres are all very well but somebody still has to do all the legwork, and that means if my Iron Golem warband are going to carve out a reputation in the brutal hinterlands of the Bloodwind Spoil I’ll need a few Iron Legionaries to fill out the ranks.

I love the look of the big, heavy shields carried by the Legionaries, they look grim, brutal and unyielding. Imagine lugging that around all day!

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For the third one however I decided to throw in a bola, as opposed to the other option on the kit – a second hammer, to give the group a bit of range and visual dynamism.

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Grouped together I think they look even more uncompromising and forbidding – but then, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned on many occasions, I’m a sucker for a phalanx! Come home with your shield or on it…

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With these done I just have three more Iron Golem to tackle, whilst the Untamed Beasts are likewise close to completion, so I’ll be aiming to keep my focus on Warcry for the next few weeks and get everything wrapped up.

28-Mag; Telling War Stories

The second issue of 28-magazine is here! It’s been a while in the making but it’s been released at last and those of us who’re suffering from withdrawal symptoms at the ongoing lack of the Blanchitsu article in White Dwarf can breathe a collective sigh of relief. Just like the first issue it’s packed to the gunnels with all kinds of dark, strange and wonderful miniatures, some very insightful interviews, beautiful artwork and excellent tutorials. Needless to say I highly recommend it giving it a look whatever your taste in miniatures is (it’s free after all!) but particularly if you’re a fan of Inq28, AoS28 or any of the hobby’s darker and weirder corners.

28 Mag Cover

The editorial team have worked incredibly hard to put this issue together and deserve all the credit and praise that’s been sent their way – it really is a very stylish and professional-looking production. Possibly driven into some kind of exhausted delirium by their efforts they even invited me to contribute an article, which you can find on page 74, published under my real name Paul Stagg (because it doesn’t say Wudugast on my birth certificate, even though my passport photo is a picture of a bionic skull). The article focuses on adding a background narrative to your hobby – be that painting, converting, playing games or a combination of all three. It’s a subject close to my heart and one that I may well revisit here in the future, especially as I had quite a lot of ideas that I simply ran out of space to cover. I did at least manage to wax philosophical about goliath gangers, tech-peasants and Khornate philosophers, all of which I intend to return my attention to in the coming months.

For now though all that’s left is for me to offer a big thank you to the team for putting together another great issue and to recommend that you go and check the magazine out and show them some support. I’ve also been asked to deny once and for all the rumours that I modelled for the front cover, instead you can find my portrait in its proper place – on page 3…

Iron Golem – Part 1

With work well underway on the Untamed Beasts it’s time to turn my attention to their adversaries, those enthusiastic metal fans the Iron Golem. After all, if we’re going to be able to play some Warcry then we’ll need at least two different warbands – an Orc may be willing to beat up himself if no other adversaries present themselves but a warrior of Chaos will struggle to impress the gods if that’s all they can manage.

A few months ago I painted the Chaos Dwarf Armator so with the short angry man done I turned my attention to the big angry man instead, that most muscular of an already hench warband, the Ogre Breacher.

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Originally I was wondering about trying to get my hands on another to kitbash into a Goliath ‘zerker, although since there is now an official model (flawed but fixable in my opinion) that’ll no longer be necessary. However just in case anyone is thinking of using the Breacher for something in the Underhive, here’s a size comparison anyway.

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And here he is next to his little buddy.

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Anyway, that’s the long and short of it – now I just need to tackle the rest!

Untamed Beasts – Part 3

Work on the Untamed Beasts continues apace. Before I moved on to any of the other members of the warband I wanted to finish off the missing members of the “rank and file” – the final plainsrunner and the second preytaker.

First of all here’s the plainsrunner.

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With him complete he’s ready to join his new pals and go in search of some beasts.

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Secondly I wanted to paint the other preytaker. These are the tougher warriors of the tribe, as opposed to the considerably weedier plainsrunners, and it shows in their macho fighting stances.

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Again, here he is next to his previously completed brother in arms.

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With these done I’m going to take a quick break to tackle a couple of other projects (that ogre breacher from the Iron Golem is just too tempting to ignore any longer) then I’ll get back to the warband and wrap up the rest of them.

Fembruary 2020

Time continues to speed by with its usual unseemly haste and, even though I’m pretty sure Christmas was just last week, we’re striding into February already, which means it’s also time for Fembruary. By now the annual Fembruary challenge will be well established in a lot of hobbyists calendars but that’s no reason not to give it another mention, to remind anyone who might have been planning to take part and to alert anyone who’s not come across it in previous years.

To quote the man behind the challenge, Alex of Leadballoony, Fembruary works like this;

“…the deal is ‘Paint at least one Female miniature’ – it’s that simple! I’m not bothered what genre, game, manufacturer, painting style or material you go with. It can be a squad, a single mini, a diorama, or whatever takes your fancy… I’m just looking for awesome portrayals of the feminine in miniature form, as part of an ongoing conversation about how women are presented within our hobby.”

Originally I was just going to post something brief aimed at directing people towards the challenge and encouraging anyone who read it to take part, however I actually ended up writing quite a long post all about the representation of women in miniatures. In the end however I pushed it onto the back burner for now and went back to my original plan. At some stage however I’ll tidy it up and post it – after all it was both erudite and witty, and contained a number of well-structured and intelligent arguments without ever becoming rambling or preachy. You should try to imagine it – it was really something! In the meantime here’s a few of my favourite female models that I’ve painted in recent years.

Speaking of female miniatures, a recent release that stuck a particular chord with me is Fecula Flyblown of the Wurmspat, the Nurgle worshippers who’ve oozed their way into the latest expansion for Warhammer Underworlds. Allow me to pretentiously quote myself when I reviewed the Maggotkin of Nurgle in January of 2018.

“Disease affects all living things so here was a chance to show what happens when Nurgle’s ailments are contracted by someone other than a well-built male barbarian. We could have seen a sickly elf, twisted with bitterness as his immortality became a curse. We could have had a disease ravaged dwarf in a rust-caked suit of armour, great vats of toxin on his hunched back whilst intestinal pipes, throbbing with peristaltic action, spew jets of filth ahead of him? We could even have had a woman. Of course Nurgle isn’t all that interested in high heels and boob-armour but this is an age of equal opportunities and girls can worship an unglamorous god of disease and putrefaction just as well as boys.”

And what do you know, two years on here she is. What a joy to discover sometimes they do listen to me after all! And thank goodness they didn’t give her a chainmail bikini…

I’ve got a few ideas in mind for things to paint this year, although time is going to be very pressing this month so I suspect I may not manage very much. At the very least I’d like to tackle some more of my unpainted Warcry collection, and I know there’s a lady amongst the ranks of the Iron Legionaries, as well as the awesome Beastspeaker amongst the Untamed Beasts so if I manage nothing else I’ll at least take a shot at painting those two. Maybe, if I’m very lucky and clever with my time management I might even find the time to tackle Nayam Shai Murad from Blackstone Fortress, and Severina Raine (the lead character in my favourite Black Library novel of 2019).

In the meantime I implore you to take a look through the unpainted pile of shame and join in the challenge, as well as spreading the word on your social medias or down the local gaming club. The days in which female miniatures were thin on the ground are thankfully receding (although there’s still plenty more ground to make up – GW, if you’re reading this, female Orlocks stat!) so you should have plenty to choose from. Anyone who treated themselves to a new Sisters of Battle army last month for example now has no excuse to let them gather dust…

Amid The Ruins – Part 2

If we are going to tackle the savage lands of the Bloodwind Spoil I’ll need to get some terrain painted up. The Warcry box contains a number of ruined buildings with which to represent the following cities which litter Eightpoints and so, building on what I learnt from my previous attempt, I decided to cut my teeth on the smallest and easiest of them.

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It’s worth noting that the ruins in the box can be assembled in a myriad of ways and if you wished you could mix them into all kinds of buildings (provided they are just ruined shells of course!). The instructions that come in the box aren’t all that helpful, providing detailed directions for some and leaving others entirely up to your imagination. This wouldn’t be an issue but the game also includes a set of cards which suggest terrain layout and if you want to make use of these you’re going to need to build ruins roughly compatible with those described on the cards. Now it should be stressed that you don’t have to do this and I certainly won’t be sticking to these religiously but I would like to at least have something roughly compatible with the cards, so we can use them if we want to. With the official instructions leaving something to be desired I turned to a couple of tutorials which I found to be invaluable, one from Cascadian Grimdark and the other from Waywalker Studios. Together these were a huge help in getting my buildings assembled and if you’re planning on tackling something at similar I highly recommend giving these a careful read over first.

Armed with this knowledge I tackled one of my favourite pieces from the set, a ruined statue of Sigmar.

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I am Sigmar, the God King, look upon my works ye mighty and despair!

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Rather than glue all the parts together I recommend leaving it as several pieces. That way the ruined head can be used as a stand-alone piece (as suggested by some of the cards)…

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… whilst the ladder can be put to use elsewhere anywhere to allow alternative routes onto the upper stories. Similarly the barrier from the end of the platform can be removed, again providing another route into the upper levels.

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Speaking of which I also painted this ramshackle bridge for those occasions when even a chaos worshipper doesn’t dare a death-defying leap.

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Because the game is set in a realm entirely warped by Chaos I want to play that up by creating some terrain pieces that really emphasise the way in which the world has been warped and twisted by the fell powers emanating from the beyond. I have a few ideas I’d like to tackle but to get things started I decided to go back to my old “chaos tree” I made back in 2014 (and the subject of one of my favourite under-appreciated puns in the post title!).  I’ve always liked the idea of a warped forest in the Realms of Chaos, every tree pulling itself along by its roots, eyes rolling in knots and hollows, branches straining forward in search of prey. I think it’s held up fairly well all things considered but I did want to touch up some parts of it so it returned to the painting desk for a quick lick of fresh paint.

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Finally I painted up another of the spiky barricades which are another of my favourite elements of the set, even if they do add an element of drama (and a few pricked thumbs!) to the assembly process.

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All together I think I’m off to a good start with these, I’ll aim to complete one of the larger ruins soon.