Tag Archives: Age of Sigmar

War Eternal – Part 2

Just a quick post today, but I just assembled this angry young man and couldn’t resist taking the chance to show him off.

Inspired by my recent forays into the realm of Khorne I found myself idly perusing the range of followers available to the Blood God’s devotees and stumbled upon the Exalted Deathbringer. The followers of Khorne are blessed with a number of heroes and champions, all themed around the concept of chopping people up – whether that’s praying whilst chopping people up, masterfully chopping people up, being exulted for chopping people up or merely aspiring to chop people up. We even have the Skullgrinder, who isn’t the subject of today’s post, but still merits a mention for having one of the silliest weapon choices outside of a gobbo. Back in the early days of Age Of Sigmar GW’s designers must have realised that the restrictions placed upon them by the Old World were lifted and they could do whatever they liked. Unfortunately this went to their heads somewhat and the result was a man who hits people with an anvil.

Anyway, today we’ll be looking at an Exalted Deathbringer. For those who still struggle to navigate the soup-like naming conventions of the Khornate range, a gory morass of death, blood and skulls in various arrangements like a teenage Thrash Metal band, the Exalted Deathbringer is essentially an old-fashioned champion of Khorne who does pretty much exactly what it says on the tin; he brings death to people and the god of bloodshed has exalted him for it.

It’s worth noting as well that the Exalted Deathbringer has quite the assortment of models to represent them, from the slightly odd looking Impaling Spear version to the impressively imposing Ruinous Axe version. This time, however, we’re looking at the Bloodbite Axe version. Here’s the studio model that first inspired me.

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As I looked at him I found myself thinking, somewhat arrogantly, “I could make that” – or at the very least I could make a decent facsimile – out of plastic bits. Truth be told the end result turned out looking rather different to the official piece, but I think it still does a nice job of capturing the look of a hardened, and heavily armoured, barbarian on the lookout for, to quote the official blurb, “worthy foes to butcher”.

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Not sure when I’ll find the time to paint him but I’m feeling very inspired about all things Khornate at the moment so I’m sure he’ll find his moment sooner or later.

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War Eternal – Part 1

I’ve been toying with the idea of making some Age of Sigmar warbands for a while now but until recently I’ve not really done anything about it. That changes now however. The push came when Alex of Leadballoony published his plans for working on AoS Skirmish and the idea took root in my brain. Alex, accompanied by fellow blogger Ross of Classic Chaos Daemons, set out a series of guidelines for the project and invited anyone else who fancied it to join in. Naturally this seemed like the perfect opportunity to get one of my own warbands up and running so I nailed my colours to the metaphorical mast and sallied forth.

Let’s start by taking a look at those guidelines:

Build & paint 100ish ‘renown’ points in Feb (to include our Generals), and 25ish renown per month thereafter, up to 250 pts.

This seems a sensible and manageable way to do things so I’ll be trying to stick to it to. Conveniently my general also comes to exactly 100 renown so getting him painted this month will tick this box nicely.

The warband must be from a faction we don’t currently collect. Ross and I chose the faction for each other…

As I don’t really have anything for AoS, beyond some unpainted Nighthaunt and perhaps the odd squig, the world is my oyster here. I did consider inviting suggestions from my readers or starting a poll but in the end my deep and abiding rage combined with my need to harvest people’s heads to manufacture an uncomfortable seating solution won out and I pledged my soul to Khorne.

Set in a common realm, (realm tbd), based & modelled accordingly

Naturally this sounds like a fine idea for a group project but as I’m not part of the core team on this I can follow my own path. Of course I may yet end up being inspired by them.

Push the modelling & painting – AoS28 style, crazy conversions, grim-dark, etc.

Well naturally. Is there any other way?

Lowest cost possible – beg/borrow/steal, freebees, scratch build, re-use, etc.

I really like this idea it adds an extra layer of creative challenge to the project and saves money into the bargain. When I first got into this hobby I couldn’t afford to buy many miniatures so finding ways to make models cheaply was the name of the game. Actual miniatures may have been out with my budget but other people’s left over bits were much more affordable, bulked out by donations from friends. It was this as much as anything else that lead me to take up converting and kitbashing so by following this rule I feel like I’ll be going back to my roots, albeit with a far more extensive bits box to draw upon. My goal is to use only models I already own for this warband and, as much as possible, use bits that I gathered for other projects which then failed to reach fruition. My general meanwhile will be based on a model given away free on the cover of White Dwarf. We’ll take a look at him shortly.

Narrative rather than competitive warbands – named characters, backstories, etc.

Frankly I wouldn’t know where to begin guessing what’s competitive and what isn’t so there’s no danger of that with me (unless, of course, it happens by pure chance!). I’m interested in cool looking models and an engaging narrative, and a warband of this type is a golden opportunity really pursue that.

Anyway, that wall of text has been more than enough for anyone to endure so let’s take a look at the as yet unnamed leader of my warband, a priest of the bloodthirsty god Khorne.

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Until I assembled him I didn’t realise what a big lad he is, he certainly towers over this Blood Warrior (who may end up incorporated into the warband himself).

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Indeed, for those who’re curious, here he is next to those perennials of the size-comparison photograph; an Imperial Guardsman and a Primaris Space Marine.

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As you can see I stuck fairly closely to the original design of the Slaughter Priest model just swapping out the head for what may (or may not!) be a masked visage befitting such a fearsome character. I did consider tweaking the model a little more but it’s one of my favourite Khornate miniature’s in the range and I didn’t want to do anything that would take away from that. As for his missing head it ended up on this Bloodgor. The Blades of Khorne book doesn’t actually contain Bloodgor, nor are there any in GW’s current range, but I wasn’t about to compound their mistakes by failing to include at least one of my own. Indeed rather than stick religiously to one army book I’ve decided to incorporate a mixture of daemons, beasts and mortals of all kinds, united in their dedication to the blood god.

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Indeed, I was so excited about making Bloodgor after finishing the first one that I abandoned my original plans and immediately made a second one.

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Not all of the warband is built yet but I have been having a lot of fun assembling the first few recruits. These ragged blood reavers have been looking for a home since the first edition of AoS was released so it’s high time I did something with them.

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There’s also a fairly high chance this chap will sneak into the ranks as I’ve been keen to get him painted since I got my paws on him.

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Obviously now I just need to bash on with getting the Slaughter Priest painted up, as well as starting to explore his backstory and discovering how he came to be leading a ragtag band out of the Chaos wastes. Watch this space, and expect to see the priest at least finished by the end of the month.

 


It’s A Dog’s Life

Remember when there didn’t seem to be any dogs in GW’s universes? Just a few months ago one struggled to summon a faithful hound to add to a collection of miniatures roaming the 41st Millennium, the shadowy Underhive or the wild expanses of the Mortal Realms. Nowadays however you’re tripping over them.

My first thought was to compare the size of the new Godsworn Hunt dog with Macula, the frankly enormous hound which accompanies Slate Merdena through the Necromundan wastelands. In the beginning my intention was purely to take a look at them side by side for my own interest, but after a conversation with Faust of Double-Down Dice it occurred to me that other people might be interested as well. I’m afraid there’s nothing new or particularly unusual on show here but if you happen to have a burning desire to know the relative sizes of some of GW’s canines then hopefully this post will help to satisfy your obscure interest!

I would add that my dog collection is by no means exhaustive, there’s nothing at from Lord of the Rings here, the mighty Fenrisian Wolves (for a long time the poster boys of man’s best friend in the dark millennium) are notably absent (because I think they’re terrible models!) and there isn’t even a hint of a goblin wolf-rider. I did however get quite carried away and rather than simply grabbing Macula from the “to paint” shelf, snapping a couple of shots and having done with it, I ended up rummaging around for every dog or dog-like beast I could think of.

Having bought the Godsworn Hunt as conversion fodder for an Escher gang I found myself wondering about incorporating the dog from the set into the setting as well. Next to Macula he looks rather weedy, although to be fair I feel that Macula really should be the biggest dog in town, a hound so steeped in machismo that he doesn’t merely chase cars he drives them as well. Pity the Necromundan postman…

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To quote the gangers of House Orlock “I like big mutts and I cannot lie…”. Every dog has his day however and even Macula has his limits…

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Next to Aximilion, the faithful sidekick of Rogue Trader Elucia Vhane, the Godsworn dog looks a little more impressive…

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Throw in a few mechanical odds and ends and you could be looking at a fine candidate for a converted cyber-mastiff, or even a phyrr cat (not something to say too loudly in front of all these dogs but there is something distinctly feline about him – truly the influence of Chaos will permit any heresy!)

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Of course chaos hounds aren’t a new thing and for many years the Warhammer universes have echoed to the laughter of thirsting dogs.

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Some of you must have wondered, as I did prior to the release of Wrath and Rapture, how the newest iteration of flesh hounds compare to the outgoing resin models.

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It’s a well-known fact that one should let sleeping dogs lie, but the aphorism doesn’t clarify what one should do with dead dogs which provides just the kind of wiggle room that necromancers are bound to exploit.

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Not all dogs are purebred. Richard here, for example, is clearly a mongrel, with a genetic heritage at even incorporates some avian ancestors.

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And some of the beasts masquerading as dogs around here aren’t even dogs at all!

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As I said at the start then, nothing terribly new or surprising here, but maybe it’ll be helpful if you’re planning to let slip the dogs of war yourself.

 

 


The Cult of Ruin – Part 5

Hang about – five posts in one week! What’s happened to me? Have I been possessed? That’s a worrying thought…

There has been a lot of cult activity going on around here lately, most of it admittedly focused on those insidious xenos; the genestealers. However that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about the servants of Chaos entirely. Whilst other projects have pushed the chaos cultists on to the back burner I couldn’t resist putting in some time to finish off the hideous spawn known as Gibbermaw.

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Fans of the dark gods take note however, this doesn’t necessarily mean a resurgence in Chaos activity in the Underhive will be happening straight away, I’m planning to concentrate on the Eschers first then we’ll see how things go from there.


Squabblin’ Goblins – Part 11

Last weekend saw the long-awaited release of new plastic squigs from Games Workshop. Formerly part of the Orcs and Goblins range these crazy little beasts have now found a home amongst the Gloomspite Gits, a re-imagining of the old night gobbos in the Mortal Realms. As a long-standing fan of greenskins in general and squigs in particular it’s fair to say that I’ve been looking forward to this release since long before the models were even sculpted, let alone announced. Having got my hands on them* I wanted to take the opportunity to share a few thoughts regarding my early impressions – illustrated with a few moody and atmospheric black and white images to compensate for the fact that I haven’t painted anything yet.

*I know I have plenty of other things to paint at the moment, and I know buying new models when I haven’t painted what I have is profligate, but how could I resist after dreaming of them for at least a decade?

The new Gloomspite Gits are an interesting proposition. Despite it being three years since the arrival of Age of Sigmar this release would have fitted quite comfortably into the Old World of Warhammer. Previously Age of Sigmar releases have either been entirely new races, such as the Stormcast Eternals or the Idoneth Deepkin, or have evolved old races into new forms, such as the Daughters of Khaine or the Sylvaneth. Sometimes models for this latter group would have fitted in well in the Old World, and some might even be effective proxies for older units – like Ironjaw Brutes as Orc Big ‘uns, but never have we seen such comprehensive coverage of models widely desired for an old Warhammer army as part of an Age of Sigmar release. Long before the End Times, before Nagash returned and with the Stormcasts no more than a games developer’s fevered imaginings, people were crying out for new squigs.

Having waited all these years for a nice plastic kit for the squigs (surely always a glaring gap in the Games Workshop roster) I found myself giving in to temptation and snapping them up as soon as I could. Acquiring them however has led to considerable food for thought. Many old school players will be rejoicing at the opportunity to add this iconic creature to their Orcs and Goblins armies but with the scale of many GW models creeping larger every year will these newcomers even fit on an old 20mm square base? They, at least, can relax, the answer is a firm “yes”.

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Indeed although many things have become bigger over the years the boisterous squig remains roughly the same.

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For myself I’m still debating exactly what to do with my newly acquired squigs. Long ago I started to build a Night Goblin army for WHFB and last year I actually got a sizeable chunk of it painted. When I painted the army last year I threw in a handful of squigs but left the squad incomplete in the hope that sooner or later more would come bouncing along. All too often such manoeuvring proves to be wishful thinking but this time it seems I guessed right.

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As squigs were always intended to be a part of that army surely I should just pop the little beasts onto square bases and get painting. On the other hand however the style of base very much directs the game for which the model is intended. As it stands I’m unlikely to actually play with these, so the point is probably entirely academic. Nonetheless the idea of some AoS skirmish has a distinct appeal. In the unlikely event that I do ever decide to play some old fashioned Warhammer it’ll be my Skaven that hit the tabletop.

It’s also worth considering that despite the aesthetic punch which an old Warhammer army with its ranks of troops neatly defined possesses, a quality which no AoS army can quite capture, some models just don’t look as good in ranks. By putting them on round bases I’d be able to really enjoy and show off everything these dynamic models can do, rather than struggling to make the best of things and force them into ranks which they were never intended to form. After all “ranking up” was a rightly cursed aspect of old Warhammer, a chore which impeded miniatures design and made hobbyist’s lives a misery in equal measure, so burdening myself with it unnecessarily seems like foolishness.

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A release as long awaited as this was always going to be of key importance to GW. This was a chance to win over lingering WHFB sounds to the new world of AoS. Furthermore there must have been a temptation to indulge the freedom of the new realms to push the Night Goblins in new and crazy directions, an urge they have wisely resisted. The Night Goblins and Squigs have always been amongst the company’s most classic and iconic races and as the old saying goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Look no further than the wailing and gnashing of teeth that accompanied the upscaling of the space marines, a range who’s undersized proportions meant it certainly was broke and did need fixed.

On the other hand as a species so intrinsically associated with the Old World there was always a real danger that these little dudes would seem glaringly out of place amid the Mortal Realms. Luckily good models save the day. Just as the sudden availability of truescale marines made it easier for many of us to swallow the new landscape of 40k so too do Night Goblins in the Mortal Realms seem much more palatable when accompanied by these glorious new squigs.

This is not to say that everything is just a rehash of the “good old days” however. New ideas have been brought in but they’ve done so in a way that sympathetic to the old. Take the new Boingrot Bounderz for instance. Again old school WHFB fans could use them as alternative squig hoppers (which the kit also makes) but there’s something irresistible entertaining about goblin knights. Picture, if you will, a whole court of them in full heraldic pageantry, with the squig hoppers as squires and a suitably deranged-looking king bouncing in the lead. Of course, in a process which will be familiar to all hobbyists, now I’ve thought of it I can’t stop thinking about it. Bretonnia may be gone but there is still room for a green knight or two.

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The only thing I’m not entirely happy out regarding these is the way they are held aloft on heaps of mushrooms. It’s just a little over the top for my tastes, although I stress that’s just a personal opinion, but it’s also rather tricky to do very much about it. The fungi are sculpted directly to the legs of the squigs, probably a sensible move when it comes to supporting the weight of the model but making it distinctly tricky to separate them. I did manage it with this one but, given what a faff it was, I don’t think I’ll be losing too much sleep over the others.

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The Night Goblins were always a race which combined spite and silliness with aplomb. there was an element of slapstick comedy about them that brought something uniquely enjoyable to their murderous ways. Whilst still clearly evil creatures this cheeky, quirky element put them in a class of their own, a long way from straightforward baddies like Chaos or the Vampire Counts, whilst their status as weak yet cunning distinguished them from the loutish Orcs. Again it’s pleasing to see that this trait lives on in their new iteration. Goblins of all kinds have always enjoyed seeing their mates suffering misfortune and goblin fans are no better. Can you imagine Stormcast fans universally applauding a model of a liberator being swallowed by a dracoline, as this poor little grot is gobbled up by a squig?

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Amidst all this praise for the new models it would be remiss of me not to take a moment to mourn the passing of the Doom Diver from the range. It was a true icon of the old Orcs and Goblins army which seems not to have made the cut for a new model and has been quietly shuffled into retirement. Luckily for me I was given one a few years ago which will be joining my Night Goblins sooner or later.

Likewise goblin wolf riders, a staple of many childhoods thanks to The Hobbit, have been shuffled off into the great dank cave in the sky. These days if you want to go riding into battle on a big bad wolf you need to be a power-armoured futuristic Viking with a questionable hair-do’s.

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Few things are as evocative of GW’s stable as Night Goblins and Blood Bowl, so I’ve also found myself pondering how the two could be combined, a subject I’ve found myself returning to lately following conversations with fellow blogger and blood bowl enthusiast Faust. So far I’ve only dipped my toe into it but as this combination of Blood Bowl player and the (now retired) Night Goblin Fanatics shows, there’s certainly room to create some alternative members for a diverse looking team.

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Once again though I’d like to emphasise that I have plenty of other projects I ought to be concentrating on so although these squigs and gobbos will definitely get a turn on the painting table it won’t be straight away. In many ways however this is a blessing. I’ve been thinking about what to do with a release like this for a number of years so I won’t be rushing into anything, but instead will be taking the chance to explore the models, see what other hobbyists do with them, and bounce a few ideas around before I commit to anything. At this point I often say watch this space but this time I’ll add don’t hold your breath as well. However if you have any suggestions, ideas or words of wisdom, I’m all ears.


Squabblin’ Goblins – Part 10

I think it goes without saying that I’m hugely, childishly overexcited by all the new Night-Clan Moon-Gits or whatever it is that GW are calling Night Gobbos this week (I know it’s Gloomspite Gits but I was only just getting used to calling them Moonclan). My fungus-addled brain has already gone into overdrive coming up with uses for the new models so expect to see them popping up here over the coming months in various guises. Naturally however this enthusiasm can’t be kept entirely bottled up so I’ve channelled it into getting this spiteful little chap painted.

I got him a while back as part of one of the Greenskin Wars kickstarters and he may actually be my favourite Night Goblin of all time. Plus, inspired by all the new models, I hammered through painting him in no time flat.

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I have been chipping away at other models over Christmas and New Year so expect to see a few more appearing soon(ish), once I’ve got the finishing touches on them, starting with a round-up of my current Necromunda projects later in the week.


Rodents Of Unusual Size – December

Can it really have been two years since I returned to my Skaven army and committed to adding at least one model to it every month? How my rat army has grown in that time! This past year has been nicely productive, with the collection reinforced by mighty war machines such as the screaming bell, the plague furnace and the warp lightning cannon, alongside dubious “heroes” such as Lord Skrolk.

For those who are just encountering this project now; I realised back at the tail end of 2016 that my long dreamed of Skaven army was gathering dust in unpainted shame and might well continue to do so forever. My solution was to challenge myself to add at least one completed model to the force every month in 2017. So successful was this that I repeated the trick this year and indeed I’m aiming to do the same thing in 2019. Had I not given in to temptation I would probably have finished that original army by now but alas the lure of new models grew too strong and, combined with finding a few unexpected bargains, the heap of models to paint has grown a little over the past few months.

Before we take a look at the whole force however it’s time for this month’s recruits. I’ve been chipping away at batch painting another unit of clanrats over the last couple of months and now at last they’re all finished. Batch painting really isn’t my strong suit, indeed it’s the polar opposite to the way I’m usually inclined to paint, but having had such success with my Night Goblins a couple of months ago I decided to apply the same technique to the clan rats. In tackling all these I was greatly assisted by the advice of The Actual Colin who wrote a very useful piece on how to tackle batch painting, and which I’d very much recommend to anyone who had a lot of troops they need to deal with.

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It’s strange to think that with these models completed I may have painted my last clanrats (unless of course I buy some more, which is always possible). I’ve been painting them on and off since the kit was first released over a decade ago and can now boast a hoard of over one hundred of the little vermin. Of course whilst I’ve been keen to get them finished off so I can concentrate on some of the other additions to the army I’ll definitely miss working on them, there’s something comfortably familiar about painting them so who knows, they often turn up cheap on eBay so perhaps I’ll find myself led into temptation by nostalgia. For now however I’m calling this little lot done which of course means a group shot is in order.

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…And here’s the full verminous horde, one hundred and five clanrats (plus weapon teams) pouring forth from their warrens!

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However that is not all. Inspired by fellow blogger Azazel’s latest monthly challenge Dauntless-Diabolical-December, which called for participants to paint heroes or villains (alongside a wide range of other possibilities), I also decided to paint up this warlord. I’m not sure exactly where he originated from, he came to me with a large number of other models which I received from a friend, but I thought he would make a fine scheming and untrustworthy lieutenant for the army’s as yet unpainted commander.

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With these latest additions in place this is also a fine opportunity to look back at the way in which the army has grown over the past couple of years. Here’s how it all began when I committed to growing the army properly at the beginning of 2017.

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And here it is by the end of 2017.

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By June 2018 it had developed even further…

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And here it is now…

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They say that no army is ever truly finished, a maxim I’ve always held to, but my ambition is to have the unpainted pile (as it stands currently) completely defeated before the end of 2019. Of course that may go out of the window if GW decides to bless us with more Skaven models in the next 12 months (and before you accuse me of wishful thinking – have I not been harping on about the need for new squigs lately?). There’s no rest for the wicked, or the verminous, quite yet.