Tag Archives: Games

The Year of the Rat – April

It’s the end of April and time once again to look back at the progress my Skaven army has made over the last month. For those who’re new to this the premise is simple – back at New Year I promised to add something, no matter how small, to my Skaven army every month of 2017. Think of it as A Tale of Four Gamers, but without the other three, no actual games and significantly less progress.

This month I’ve focussed on the Stormvermin. I planned to get enough finished for a full unit but, although I fell short of that, I’m still pleased with how many I did manage to complete. After finding the first two (painted last month) a bit of a struggle I’ve managed to pick up the pace a little so hopefully more will come scurrying off the painting desk soon enough.

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And because I know you all love a group shot here the whole squad so far ready to go and bother any dwarves they can find.

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Oh and for anyone thinking “but this isn’t the year of the rat, it’s the year of the rooster” I know, but it is a Skaven’s job to spread disorder and confusion ahead of our diabolical rise. That and I’m not waiting until 2020 to get these little vermin painted!


Witch In Progress

For all that his duties bring him into regular contact with the dead, Inquisitor Morix has no more capacity to hear or understand them than the regular Imperial citizenry. Indeed it is this that has allowed him to flourish within the order, for those who hear the cries of the dead are soon driven mad by them. Only the most vocal of sprits can trouble his sleep and none but the most violent of poltergeists disturbs him as he goes about his duties. Nonetheless there is a need, from time to time, to make contact with lesser spirits, to track them as they travel the immaterial passages of their world and to interrogate those who’s knowledge is of value to the Imperium.

Within his retinue the witch Emilia fulfils this role, hunting out the lurking dead with a genehound’s tenacity and – when called upon – employing an elemental ferocity in the Inquisitor’s defence. Yet for all her apparent loyalty there are those who question Morix’s decision in bringing her into his service. Her skills are of the wild type, feral and self-taught, and she bears no official sanction. Some say she is already lost, her mind corroded by the warp, a space within her soul hollowed out just enough for some foul presence to slip in and wear her skin.

Convert Or Die Chapel Wytch (1)

Convert Or Die Chapel Wytch (2)

Convert Or Die Chapel Wytch (3)

Here we go then, the second member of my Chapel warband – the psyker. As you can see there’s still a bit of greenstuff to finish off, particularly on the back of the head and in the armpit. Once again please treat her as a work in progress but do get your feedback in, I’m keen to make this warband look as good as possible so don’t try to spare my feelings if you see room for improvement.

Of course, I also have to wonder what she’d make of encountering another necromancer in the winding halls of the Chapel…


In The Yellow Wood

To enter a wood is to pass into a different world in which we ourselves are transformed.

– Roger Deakin; Wildwood: A Journey through Trees

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For some of you The Chapel will need no introduction. For those new to it however The Chapel is the brainchild of Mark from Heresy Of Us and serves as the latest in what has become a growing – and extremely welcome – trend towards small-scale collaborative story-driven gaming events.

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As part of the collaborative process Mark called on the participants to design one of the Ostium Guides. For those, like me, who didn’t know Ostium refers to “an opening or entry point into a vessel or the cavity of the body”. The Ostium Guides are those who will aid the adventurers arriving on the Chapel to gain entry to the interior – for a price. They are described as capricious, boastful and bardic creatures which “fight with the skill of a dancer” and dwell within the Albino Wood on the Chapel’s outer skin. Now if that doesn’t make you think of wood elves I don’t know what will!

First off the mark of the Chapel’s participants was ImperialRebelOrk who designed a pair of unearthly, psychopomp-like figures. With the first Guides built my own creative juices clicked into action. The original brief called for a single Guide to lead your band across the surface but I found myself unable to shake off the desire to create a husband and wife team. I also wanted something more rooted in the mundane, something earthy and autumnal.

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Inspired by IRO I wanted to give my Guides long walking staffs, helping to connect them to these other, very different Guides, and to emphasis their druidic, roving nature as creatures of the xenotopic places, the byways, holloways, pilgrimage routes and hidden roads that criss-cross the skin of any world. The instrument played by the male Guide helps reflect their whimsical, musical nature and one can imagine their haunting music hanging amongst the pale trees as the walk the ghost-paths of their forest home. These are creatures attuned to the land, circulating like the air upon the planet’s surface, through the living bones of its mountains and the joyful currents of its rivers. They carry all they need upon their backs and in their hearts; a blanket to sleep under, a cloak to wrap themselves in against the rain, music and the joy of the winding road beneath their feet.

To avoid them looking too much like Wood Elves in space, with the accompanying connotations of Eldar Exodites, I used Tau heads with the slit noses carefully greenstuffed over. To me one of the key things with these characters was ensuring that they continued to look human, albeit abhuman, and that they fit into the 40k aesthetic. This latter point is harder than it first appears, 40k is defined by its towering hives and blasted wastelands and introducing creatures of the forest without them looking tacked on was challenging but I feel I got there in the end.

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As usual your feedback is welcome!


We Come Up Wiv War! – Part 2

The first Meganob of 2017 comes stomping off the painting desk. He’s pretty much built as per the box but with the addition of a Ironjaw Brute’s chestplate which adds a nice bit of extra bulk.

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Besties…

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Erratic Progress – Part 4

Before 2016 was out I knew I wanted to get all my old red clanrats repainted in their stylish new yellow robes. I have big plans for the rats in 2017 so putting all the old models to bed before the end of the year felt like a nice way to set things up.

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Alongside the clanrats the only other old model still to be reworked was this devious-looking Warlock Engineer.n early conversion, but still one I’m rather proud of – who knows what duplicitous schemes he’ll be able to realise with those arcane gubbins strapped to his back?

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Anyway, that’s it for new models in 2016 (accepting of course that none of these models are strictly speaking new anyway). Before this turbulent year is out however there’s just time for a recap of the past twelve months so watch out for that soon. Until then, as ever, your comments and feedback are much appreciated.


Boyz Will Be Boyz – Part 1

Just a quick mid-week update to show you my latest Orky experimentation. When the Ironjawz were first released for Age of Sigmar I was fairly certain that the heads of the hulking Brutes and Gore-gruntas would be a neat fit for Ork Nobs. As it turned out I was wrong – they’re much too small although they do look rather nice on Ork Boys instead.

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Would you just look at that happy face! Someone knows it’s Christmas!

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I’m planning to add a few more slugga-boys to the ranks (hence the rather optimistic use of the words ‘Part 1’ in the title – but that will have to wait until the new year now.


Old and Weird

Much as I love the modern range of plastic Orks I’ll admit to a real fondness for their older metal predecessors as well. Indeed the very first Games Workshop miniature I painted, way back when, was an Ork, one of the old meganobs – and indeed it is high time he was joined by some comrades of a more recent vintage (why yes – that is a hint of things to come!).

Today though it’s the turn of a model that’s older still, a weirdboy which appeared way back in that seminal tome Waaargh! Da Orks. With his crazy hair, wispy moustache and baggy clothes he doesn’t have that much in common with the rusty-armoured space barbarians of more recent times but I’ve always loved him nonetheless and when the chance came to add him to the growing Waargh! I wasn’t going to miss it. ork-weirdboy-convert-or-die-1

ork-weirdboy-convert-or-die-2Rather than worry about the differences however I’ve tried to emphasise them with his (almost jester-like) purple robes and bling. After all he’s a weirdboy and thus entitled to look a little strange (the clue is in the name and all that). ork-weirdboy-convert-or-die-3As ever your thoughts and feedback are welcome!


Hammer of the Gods – Part 2

Just a quick update, as promised, here’s the Bone ‘ead for my renegade Ogren squad. And yes, I know there’s no Bone ‘eads in Imperial Armour 13, I just don’t like leaving my Ogrens without someone in charge!traitor-guard-convert-or-die-traitors-27

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As you can see, he’s considerably bigger than the others. Never mind eh – at least he looks like the boss!traitor-guard-convert-or-die-traitors-26


Dreams of Blood And Iron

‘‘All of the souls you will reap.

All of your spoils of war.

To be a keeper of the Forge.

But a trifle price for the boon

that is bestowed upon you.’’

– Extract from the Iron Pact

Maulerfiend

There were a lot of divisive models released alongside Codex: Chaos Space Marines back in autumn 2012 but people got really stirred up over the Maulerfiend. A lot of commenters have hated it – but never mind them eh, I loved it!

The codex itself has also come in for a fair amount of abuse (when do they not?) but in spite of whatever flaws the hardcore gamers might see it’s hard to deny that it was a sturdy expansion on what came before, bringing in many of the elements overlooked by its predecessor. Alongside the traditional factions affiliated with each of the gods, we also saw the ragged human cults and the Dark Apostles that lead them, and the horrifying daemon-engines of the Dark Mechanicus. Obviously it goes without saying that they could have done more (and who doesn’t wish that were so?) but by the same token they could very easily have done less.

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The Maulerfiend is a powerful model; stocky, brutish and dangerous. It is also remarkably free of rampant mutations and god-marks (although of course clever converters everywhere have been adding them). It is not, then, the form that a daemon would have chosen necessarily, but it serves well enough, it is fit for purpose. Mortal hands made this weapon, and bound its malevolent scrap-code soul within. Too often men are depicted only as slaves to the Gods, yet the path of Chaos is forged from a desire for personal power. We do not throw off the chains of the Emperor simply out of a desire to be shackled by the primordial forces of the Warp. Thus it becomes a game of power. Some will be possessed, or decline into wailing spawn, some will become princes and trade freedom for immortality. A few will hold to their pride, hacking off their mutated limbs and replacing them with bionic substitutes, armouring themselves in bitter stoicism and remaining free. This multifaceted struggle between the Gods and their would-be pawns is part of what makes Chaos so compelling for me (that and the chance – no, expectation – to convert absolutely everything I touch).

Incidentally the daemon trapped inside this hulking iron monster is named Cynothoglys and was bound by my Warpsmith Sheb-Teth as part of the pact that brought him into Kell’s service.

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A close up of the screaming mouths in the chimneys. Frankly they’re just too horrifying not to take the chance to play with the special effects paints. Hopefully the drooling blood helps add to the narrative of the machine, un-burnt fuel spilling from the exhausts as it’s pushed to the limit of its capacity.

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Just because I really like the model doesn’t mean it was easy to paint of course. I bought it within a few weeks of its release and started work on it straightaway. Not that I’ve spent the entire intervening time working on it of course – most of the time I’ve let frustration and procrastination get in the way – but the realisation that it’s a year older than this blog helped give me the final push to get him finished.

As well as the Maulerfiend the kit can also be assembled as a Forgefiend, its sister model which brings the long-range firepower to compliment the Mauler’s close-combat brutality. As it happens I ended up buying a second Maulerfiend body in amongst some other bits and realised that, by picking up a few extra components, I could now add a Forgefiend to the collection. Here we go again then – the Long War is never over!


No Guts, No Glory – Part 4

So, here goes with another batch of Nurgle conversions joining the fetid ranks. First of all I’ve finally got around to making a second Chosen. In many ways this guy is built exactly as the designers intended, with only a few tweaks to move him from the world of Warhammer to 40k. Take a look: Chosen of NurgleChosen of NurgleChosen of Nurgle The biggest change is on his back where he has a convenient strap to hang a holstered bolter on. Chosen of Nurgle I know I’ve not really pushed the boat out here in terms of conversion work but then again ‘if it ain’t broke’ and all that. I always really liked this configuration of the Blightkings – to me it’s the pure, unalloyed essence of Nurgle. You can almost imagine the buzzing of the flies that surround him and the dolorous tolling of his bells. Plus that executioner’s axe just nails it in my opinion. As a result I really didn’t want to change much about him, just lift him from a fantasy setting and transfer him to the far-future as subtly as possible. Hopefully you’ll agree that’s what I’ve done. I did toy with the possibility of giving him some kind of Space Marine type backpack but dropped the idea. Pulling it off without fouling the axe looked like a real hassle and it’s not like he really needs it – if he can survive without most of his internal organs then he can do without whatever it is that Space Marine’s keep in their backpacks. Anyway, that’s not everything I’ve been working on. Here’s two more Plaguebearers to join the Rotten Souls. I’ll probably make a couple more to use up the extra Plaguebearer parts I’ve acquired (more on that below). Do you ever feel like you just can’t surround yourself with enough Plaguebearers? Must just be me then… PlaguebearerPlaguebearerLook at his happy face! PlaguebearerPlaguebearer And then we have this monster. Daemon Prince of Nurgle - ConvertOrDieMiniatures He’s still at a fairly early stage yet but I’m really enthusiastic about him so expect to see more of him shortly. I’ll talk about him more in a future blog but I was so eager to show him off to you all I snapped a quick shot and added him to the end of this post. Once he’s finished he’ll be a Daemon Prince of Nurgle. He’s also partly the reason for my making more Plaguebearers, as I managed to pick up several of the riders alongside the Rot Fly body. Eagle-eyed readers might notice that his left arm is the one that used to belong to this Chaos Terminator. Nurgle TerminatorOn the terminator it was proving to be just a bit big and heavy looking so I swapped it out and put it to use here instead. Of course that also means I’ll have to find a new arm for the Terminator now (‘armless joke anyone? Armed and dangerous? I’ll get my coat…)