You don’t often see female greenskins so when I found this goblin witch from Knightmare Miniatures lurking in the unpainted pile I knew I had to include in my Fembruary painting marathon.
The range of female miniatures available to me for this challenge has impressed me a great deal over the last few weeks. When I first participated in Fembruary back in 2018 I really didn’t have very many and it’s pleasing to see how much that’s changed in recent years. Partly of course that’s my doing – by a natural process of accumulation I now own more models than I did three years ago so I had more to pick from. However I’m also seeing an increase in the number of female miniatures on the market, and in an increasing diversity of roles. Where once I would have struggled to find much beyond sorceresses and the chainmail-bikini brigade now there are even goblin women. Long may it continue!
We’re into the last week of Fembruary now so it’s time to put the finishing touches on my Daughters of Khaine Warcry warband. Just like the two Witch Elves I showed earlier in the month these two come from the Morgwaeth’s Blade-coven set. Of course this also means that I only need to paint up Morgwaeth herself to complete another Warhammer Underworld’s warband so at some point I’ll do that too. For now though let’s concentrate on the final Warcry recruits.
First of all here’s a savage Sister of Slaughter, the berserker she-elves so savage that even the Witch Elves must look at them from time to time and think “Steady on”.
Alongside her we have a second snake-bodied Melusai, this time in the form of a Blood Stalker. I must confess that I was struggling a bit with this one but, very fittingly for Fembruary, my fiancée gave me some very helpful pointers and stopped me from making a hash of things. The benefits of having a professional artist in the house!
Finally here’s a shot of the whole warband gathered together.
Although the warband is finished for now I’ve got various other Daughters of Khaine models I’d like to add so at some point I’ll come back to this project and add a few more recruits. We’re also almost at the end of Fembruary and for me work and other “real life” commitments are starting to get particularly busy. That said there are a few more models I’d like to complete that are within stretching distance of getting finished so we’ll see what, if anything, I can manage over the next few days.
The very eagle-eyed reader may have spotted that, in amongst the various blue horrors I showed last month was this evil little chap.
Personally I wouldn’t have known him from any other blue horror but anyone who’s a Warhammer Underworld’s aficionado might recognise him as a member of the Eyes of the Nine, the Tzeentchian warband from a couple of seasons ago. Mostly I bought the set for the leader, Vortemis the All-Seeing, one of the coolest looking Tzeentchian sorcerers ever made in my opinion. For those not familiar with him, here’s what the studio model looks like.
The way I saw it, I was buying Vortemis and getting a bunch of other models free, and as the price for the set wasn’t too painful on the wallet that was something I was happy to do. Now as it happens I’m still to paint Vortemis but I did have one of his acolytes, Narvia, sitting on the painting desk – and as Narvia is a lady and therefore qualifies for Fembruary this seemed like a fine moment to get her finished.
I gave her a dark skintone to help her stand out from the other Kairic Acolytes I’ve already painted (and because, speaking personally, I think she looks damn good that way). All being well I’ll remember this when I get around to assembling and painting her frenemy Turosh, the other Kairic Acolyte in the Eyes of the Nine set, and paint him the same way.
For those worrying about what’s happened to my Tzeentchian cabal that I was working on back in January fear not, I’ll be getting back to them as soon as Fembruary is over. For now however I’m enjoying my marathon charge through all the unpainted ladies who’ve been waiting for attention on the desk.
Time for another update to the ranks of the Daughters of Khaine. This time I wanted to give the warband some air superiority in the form of two airborne predators – the Khinerai. These daemonically tainted, winged elves are the spiritual successors of the old Dark Elf Harpies of the WHFB era, which for my money were amongst the very worst models Games Workshop ever produced. Shall we take a moment to look back at the ugly models of yesteryear?
Ghastly weren’t they? Between the lumpen sculpts and the hairy chests there wasn’t much to love about these and I spent a sizeable chunk of my youth hoping that someday GW would get around to replacing them. Thankfully that day came at last with the arrival of the Daughters of Khaine army book and the accompanying Khinerai Harpies. These come in two varieties, the Heartrenders and the Lifetakers, so naturally I painted one of each.
The Heartrender swoops over the battlefield impaling her prey on cruel javelins…
…whilst the Lifetaker plunges out of the sky to hack her victims apart in close combat.
I can’t honestly pretend that I enjoyed painting these that much. The way they attach to the base via the tail alone means they tend to spring around, a little shiver passing through the model every time the brush touches it. Taking a firm grip of the miniature itself rather than just holding it by the base is vital but tends to lead to me planting my great big thumbs in the middle of something I’d just painted, or smearing and smudging paint everywhere. My bad habit of using the side of my hand as a pallet worked against me here as well. They’re also packed with details, which usually I’d enjoy but in this case only made things trickier, especially when working in the awkward spaces created by the splayed wings and arms. My impression is of a set of miniatures designed by someone so excited by the possibilities created by working in lightweight modern plastic that they forgot about what it would actually be like to paint them. In the end I’m happy enough with the results but mostly just pleased to call the damn things done.
We’re now halfway through Fembruary and I’m still having a lot of fun powering through my backlog of unfinished female miniatures. To be honest I’ve no idea how much longer I can keep up painting at this rate but I’ve got a lot more models that deserve to be painted so I’ll see what else I can manage over the coming fortnight.
Yeah, to be honest I didn’t think I’d ever paint a Stormcast Eternal either but like Space Marines they seem to sprout organically in any collection of Games Workshop miniatures whether you want them to or not. I should add I don’t have anything against them, and there’s one or two like this lady that I actually quite like. She’s been sitting on the desk at least a year now after I started experimenting with colour schemes and then ran out of enthusiasm before I really got anywhere. Mind you, whoever it was at Games Workshop that decided she should be cast in gold plastic – surely the trickiest colour to get a decent basecoat over – deserves at least some of the blame there. Of course Fembruary once again proved to be the perfect moment to get her finished.
I’ve got a few other Stormcasts kicking around so now I’ve settled on a colour scheme sooner or later I’ll paint them up as well.
Back in January of 2018 when I reviewed the newly released wave of models for the Nurgle Maggotkin I bemoaned the lack of originality of the Lord of Blights and listed a few alternatives that I thought they could have produced, rather than just rehashing the concept of the well-loved Nurgle Lord. I concluded by suggesting that;
“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.”
Well it seems that for once I was ahead of my time rather than wildly off target. A sorceress of Nurgle did indeed appear some time later, the hideous Fecula Flyblown, and Fembruary is the perfect time to paint her myself.
The keen-eyed will have noticed that the cat which usually accompanies them model is missing but fear not, it’s not wandered far. I just felt it was too cool to be left as a base decoration so I moved it to a base of its own and when time allows I’ll get it painted up as well.
I spent some of the weekend working on something a world away from the blood-thirsty savagery of the Daughters of Khaine, but still distinctly violent and elvish – my Elven Union Blood Bowl team. Readers may remember that back in December I dipped my toe into starting an elf team (after claiming I’d paint a human team to follow up my Orcs – something I’ve still done naff all about). I’d come up with the idea of putting heads from the Warhammer 40k Harlequins onto the bodies of Blood Bowl elves some time ago, and even built a few of them, but it wasn’t until December that I found a colour scheme I really liked. Here’s a reminder of how the two test models look.
I’ve been keen to get back to the rest of the team ever since so, when I started looking out models for Fembruary, I took the opportunity to dig through the elves I’d built and check if any of them were female (there’s probably a joke in there about it being hard to tell with elves…). Turns out three of them were so I started chipping away at them through January, whenever I felt like a change from working on the Tzeentchian cult that was preoccupying my mind at that time, and once Fembruary rolled around I knuckled down properly and got them all finished. Looking at them now I realise they actually show something of an evolution of the team concept (if that doesn’t sound too pretentious!). This one is built straight out of the box, with no converting whatsoever.
This one is a straightforward head-swap, much like the two boys I showed previously.
And this one is where things got a bit strange and scary, a reminder that elves don’t just waft around being poetic and melancholic, they also curdle milk and steal children. Getting that mask to fit was a right nightmare too I can tell you!
Anyway, with these ladies ready to take to the pitch the team is already almost half done.
Usually this is the point in a project where I’d starting thinking about focussing and trying to get the whole set completed, but at the moment there’s only a couple more that are built (and they’re both boys so won’t be getting touched this month). I’ll keep chipping away at them though, and we’ll see how it goes. For now though, it’s time to dig around in the pile of neglected models and see what I feel like tackling next.
Time to get properly started on my coven of Daughters of Khaine for Fembruary. When I first thought of putting the warband together (quite some time ago now) my plan was to base it around the Melusai and Khinerai and leave the old fashioned Witch Elves out of it. I like these bloody-handed killers well enough but the miniatures never quite interested me enough to consider buying them. However that was before Morgwaeth’s Blade-coven was released for Warhammer Underworlds.
I really like the models in the set, so if I was ever going to paint a Witch Elf then these were the ones for me.
Whilst the first one was built straight out of the box this second one was tweaked slightly to give her a shield instead of a second dagger. No real reason for this beyond allowing us to use a variety of equipment in games of Warcry.
It can be easy to see the Witch Elves as falling into the “hormonal teenage fantasy” class of female miniatures, given that they spent their entire costume budget on boots and underwear. The savagery of their expressions gives the lie to that however, at least on these particular miniatures, and the end result looks – to my eye at least – more cruel than sexy.
Finally I’d like to give a shout out to that well-known blogger and podcaster, all round top bloke and friend of this blog, the Imperial Rebel Ork. Despite his many virtues he persists in the belief that all elves are foppish, pretentious wimps, a patently ridiculous argument which he laid out in Episode 47 of his podcast. Hopefully these ladies will be sufficient to show him the error of his ways – if not the rest of the warband are on their way!
Well here we are again, it’s Fembruary. For those not in the know Fembruary is an annual hobby event that’s been running for the past few years, kick-started and curated by Alex of the blog Lead Balloony. The aim of the exercise is to be a salute to women (and a bit of extra encouragement to get those unpainted models finished up into the bargain). Despite representing roughly 50% of the planet’s population women have traditionally made up a tiny proportion of miniatures available (bad news for all the straight male miniatures out there!). Of those female miniatures which are available a sizeable proportion seemed to be made up of space-strippers and the chainmail bikini brigade (slightly better news for those aforementioned straight male miniatures but damn distracting when one is only 28mm tall, made of plastic, anatomically ill equipped and trying to save the galaxy). Thankfully things are changing for the better, and a second X chromosome no longer prevents one from facing constant doom alongside the boys.
Now as it turns out I have a lot of female miniatures in the ‘to paint’ pile. I did a bit of an inventory to try and choose what to paint this year and discovered I’ve got a monumental backlog (no surprises there eh!). So, this month is going to be all about doing something about that. My plan is to paint as many of them as I’m physically able to and make a dent in that backlog and so, if all goes according to plan, a whole host of adult human (not to mention elven and perhaps even xenos) females will be appearing here over the next few weeks.
One of the key things I’d like to do this month is paint up a warband of Daughters of Khaine for Warcry. I really liked these blood-thirsty elves back in Warhammer Fantasy, in fact the Dark Elves in general were always the one that got away in terms of WHFB armies – maybe someday eh! Worshippers of the cruel and merciless god Khaine (the so-called “God of Murder” referred to in the title) these she-elves are about as far from the snobbish, prissy, daisy-plucking, fairy-bothering flouncing fay-folk of elven cliché as it’s possible to get. I’ve enjoyed their evolution in Age of Sigmar and their dark queen Morathi remains not only one of the most entertaining Warhammer characters to read about but also one of the few who has made the transition from old Warhammer to AoS without feeling forced or out of place.
My goal for the month then is to complete the warband and to paint as many of the other female miniatures in my collection as I can, focussing on neglected models as much as possible. At this stage I’ve no idea how many I’ll manage to complete but I’m certainly not short of enthusiasm so I’ll see what I can do. To set the ball rolling here’s the first of the Daughters of Khaine to be finished – a Blood Sister Gorgai who’ll be acting as the new warband’s leader.
The rest of the warband will contain a mixture of these snake hybrids, the winged Khinerai and some of the more normal looking elves. Before that though I have another elf (of a kind) who’s been almost finished for longer than I can remember so tonight I’m going to sit down, concentrate and get her done.