Saturday, 6 October 2012

A Champion Rises!

Finally managed to get my hands on the Nurgle Champion I wanted to lead my Path to Glory warband thanks to eBay and a chap in New Zealand:

Which takes the tally to:

68 vs 171 = -103

All I need now is the Spawn and I'll have all the miniatures I need to make my warband, and there's an auction on eBay ending tomorrow with the bits that I need for that conversion...

Alas, no other progress has been made, as we're still unpacking, hence the 17" pile of White Dwarfs currently in the middle of the living room:

That's not all of them though, as there are still more to be found in boxes yet unpacked, and that's nothing compared to the 29" pile of rulebooks in the corner... Once everything's found, it'll get put on the correct shelf, and then I can start unpacking the boxes labelled 'tools & toys' that I've been saving as a reward for myself for unpacking every other single thing we own... Speaking of things found, I found this in my Space Marine Codex:

A colour scheme chart for a Space Marine army that still consists of a single half-painted miniature. And yes, although there are various online colourscheme editors available, I did trace this and colour it in with felt tip pens. That's just how I roll.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Mystery miniature

aka Uncle Johnny fights the tally...

An old rust monster (because I loves them. Also owlbears. And Myconids.); some Aliens (from Leading edge); a WEG Darth Vader (because we love the Wars) some zombie ogre looking chap (because a while back I mentioned that I was looking to make some sort of ogre unit filler for my eventual Zombieslayer project); a Warzone chap of some sort (because John gave me several baggies of them a while ago); an awesome mummy that I'd been after for a while (is it an old citadel one?); the chap from Heroquest that always gets painted up like skeletor; and a mystery monster because I like 'weird' miniatures:

Anyone have any ideas what he is or who made him?

This little care package takes the tally to:

68 vs 170 = -102

It's still doable!

In other news, I still have as of yet to make any progress on my Path to Glory warband, mostly because I've not yet been able to unpack my tools (I did open the box with my WIP conversions in, thinking I'd packed the basics in there, but it turns out I was too organised and actually packed all my tools away...)

[Brief diversion]: The one good thing about moving? Getting to read all the odd comments and comics that I'd previously written on various boxes whilst sick of packing:

They're like a gift from past me to future me (who is now present me).

(a picture as non-sequitur as that last sentence...)

However, Rob did drop in some Chaos Warrior heads for my planned Marauder conversions though, so as soon as I've got access to knives and glue again we're good to go!

Speaking of conversions, I'm sure I mentioned a while ago that I couldn't find any pictures of a couple of old chaos spawn conversions that I was thinking about recreating... Turns out that whilst they are not anywhere on the internet (well, they probably are, but nowhere I could find them), they were in fact in an old White Dwarf in Uncle Johnny's library:

Barbarian + wolf + spawn bits conversion I was originally considering...

Slug body Spawn! As it's a Nurgle warband I'm making, I think this is the one I will use for inspiration. Unfortunately, this is the conversion that isn't included in the article, so if anyone has a copy of the 'Citadel Miniatures Modelling Guide' you could make me very happy...
Also, if anyone has the beast of nurgle that the slug body is from that you don't want anymore, let me know...

Sunday, 9 September 2012

And lo, I return..., post-Reading Festival, and post-birthday (not in that order). Nicole went all-out this year, and amongst the piles of other presents was an order confirmation for some Games Workshop goodies that I got to pick up yesterday:

Dark Vengeance (cultists woo!), as well as the Mordheim Frenzied Mob and an Undead warband, both of which made their way onto my birthday list as part of the long planned Zombieslayer project. Speaking of the birthday list, I emailed some bits and bobs to Nicole, including the 1989 Nurgle Champion with Halberd that I'm currently after, which a GW employee apparently claimed could be ordered... alas, he was wrong. Does anyone have one? I tried over on the LAF, but so far all quiet... This chap:

So, piles of miniatures: good for making me happy, not so good for the tally:

68 vs 161 = -93


Post-move, we're partially unpacked, but all my toys are still locked away in their boxes, so no positive swings to the tally just yet. Path to Glory remains a priority though (as long as I don't get distracted by the shiny new push-fit Dark Vengeance plastics), with the Marauders at the top of the list.

Speaking of the move, whilst on a jolly up to Ikea to buy furniture (yes, and stock up on cork), we nipped into Bluewater where I was able to snap a couple of pics of the Ork Baneblade painted by John of John's Toy Soldiers:

Gorgeously modelled and painted, and worth having a nose at if you find yourself in the area!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

A winner is me!

My prize from Lord Siwoc's recent competition, or should that be Lord S(iw)ock?

Wreck-age limited edition Kickstarter miniatures (including a baconbomb, a pig strapped with explosives!), a Lord Siwoc zombie survivor magnet (that hasn't gone up on the fridge yet, as I'm moving house in the next fortnight, but rest assured, it will be used in anger) and a pair of stripy socks, which cracked me up when I opened the envelope. Anyone reading this that hasn't yet visited Lord Siwoc's blog is advised to go and have a nose, I mean, he actually plays games with his zombies ... (one day gadget, when I finish (re)writing my ruleset...)

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Boils and pustules and marks oh my...

Just a small amount of work done on the Marauders, as I still have as of yet to acquire any Warrior heads:

Some quick greenstuff work to add some of Nurgle's blessing to the Marauder bodies. Liquid greenstuff makes adding boils a pretty speedy job, and a minute or two with the end of a paperclip makes a couple of burst ones. The body on the far left is the only duplicate in the group (as I'm using a zombie body, in the background of the blurry pic above, on the sixth marauder), so I thought I'd pretty up his ostentatious belt buckle with a Mark of Nurgle. Off came the existing detail with a knife and files, and again Liguid greenstuff was used to paint on the three circles that make up the symbol. I ragged up the edges with a knife, and I'll come back tomorrow to do some more tidy up on anything that needs it.

In other news, why is it that sometimes the Nurgle symbol is one circle above two, and others it's flipped upside down? Truth be told, I looked it up in The Lost and the Damned, and went with that one...

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Walking the Path to Glory...

So, I've had a hankering for some Warhammer recently...

(image taken out of context and stolen shamelessly from the awesome Non-Adventures of Wonderella)

So, looking into low model count games (that I'd be more likely to be able to finish miniatures for than battle scale games) I came across a PDF of the old rules for Games Workshop's Path to Glory. Admittedly, I could have found something that would use miniatures that I'd already painted rather than needing to paint some new stuff, but that would be too easy. And sensible. And I'd been reading PDFs of the old Realm of Chaos books, so I was in the mood for rolling on some tables... (yes, I could have just used the Realm of Chaos rules, but I'm too young for Oldhammer). 

So, knowing that I had some random Chaos miniatures in my bits box, I decided to roll up a warband. I chose Nurgle, because I knew I had some Pestigor models in my bits box, and also because Nurgle is cool.

Champion (with +1 ws) - need to get a miniature for this - ideally I'd like to get the 1989 Champion with halberd, purely because I like the fact that he has a little Nurgling buddy sat on his shoulder...

Chaos Spawn - huzzah for the conversion opportunities! I have the Spawn sprue somewhere, but I'm more a fan of the oldschool spawn conversions (like the one in an old White Dwarf that's half tiger, half barbarian, and has a snake for an arm). So yeah, we're going for an 80's style with these (or at least my nostalgic view of 80's Chaos as I saw it in the 90's...)

3 Beastmen - gives me a chance to use the Pestigor miniatures in my bits box! I've also got a random 80's Marauder Beastman that I picked up at Salute that I'd like to use at some point too...

Chaos Troll - again cause for celebration, as I have one in my bits box that I picked up at Games Day a couple of years ago! Plus, it being Chaos gives me a few opportunities for conversions...

6 Marauders - I've got some marauder sprues knocking around from when I decided to convert a Blood Pact themed Imperial Guard army (I did a dozen or so and stalled. One day...) I think I'll be going with flails on these bad boys, as although hand weapon and shield is more survivable (and looks pretty cool) if they can't crack chaos armour they'll end up just as dead...

which was my 35 Favour Points spent.

Enthused about my selections, I put out the call to see if anyone else fancied playing, and have at present three confirmations - Tavo (artist and raconteur extraordinaire, who rolled a Chaos Warrior heavy Undivided warband with a Daemon-weapon wielding Champion); Rob (who rolled a Warhound and Minotaur warband, with a Champion with the Mark of Tzeentch); and Uncle Johnny, who has been thus far tight-lipped about what he's rolled... (although he did mention finding most of a Daemon Prince and most of Orion...) Seeing the rewards people had rolled for their Champions I was suddenly less impressed with my +1 WS, and not looking forward to facing down blocks of Chaos Warriors or getting blasted from a distance with magic! 

At this point, Uncle Johnny text me to check which version of the rules we were using... Cue some hurried downloading as I hadn't realised there were more than one! Looking at the updated rules, I decided we'd stick to the original sets of followers tables, as I prefer the mashup nature of these warbands (with Beastmen and monsters and whatnot), rather than those from the later rules (which exclusively feature choices from the Warriors of Chaos Army Book). I did add the Forsaken as a choice though, as I think they could be quite fun to convert... We'll also use the equipment selection rules, Injury tables, and scenarios from the later rules, because (to a point) more tables means more fun!

So, I dug out some miniatures from my bits box:

(The blister at the top is full of random mutation-y bits. And yes, I found another blisters worth of tentacles, claws and whatnot the next time I had a dig).

Once I'd cleaned up my Pestigors and stuck them to their bases, I started thinking about my Troll. After rummaging through my bits, I decided that I wanted to give him a hand swap for a claw and a tail. Originally, I wanted to give him a tail with a snapping mouth, but the piece I had was so short that you wouldn't be able to see it if you looked at the miniature straight on! So instead he got a longer tail with a spiky club for a tip:

Pinning is key if you don't want things to fall apart further down the line!

Once it was all put together though, he looks like this:

See what I mean about the tail? It took some careful bending to get it positioned in a way that looked natural, whilst still leaving me enough space to get a brush around! Talking about his tail:

A little bit of Liquid Green Stuff was used to blend the added piece into the rest of the model.

With the first bit of fun done, it was time to move onto cleaning up plastic Marauders:

Annoyingly, I saw a picture of some Marauders converted to have Warrior helmets, and they looked so awesome I knew I'd never be able to settle for the standard heads... They just look cool with the horns shaved off, and I reckon sticking  plaguebearer style horn or one or two might be quite nice too... So onto the backburner they go until I can source some helmets.

And yes, there are a couple of old Sorcerors up in the corner, I thought I'd start cleaning them up on the offchance that I happen to roll one up after a couple of games. It was slightly surreal cleaning the mould lines off of a miniature that's older than I am... well, until I started thinking about the lead content. Then it was less surreal, more concentration. 

So, here's to hoping the birthday fairy brings me a Nurgle Champion miniature in a fortnight... Also, we're moving again, so it might be a little while until I get to slap some paint on these...

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

His name is John...

So, I finished up some miniatures:

Master Chief(s) FTW!

I've painted enough different armaments to be able to use him as a third colour in redvsblue games (when I get round to sorting out a ruleset and playing some that is);

As well as some that will be more useful for playing Master Chief vs Covenant games;

As well as some that I think are cool - although I accept that the Cortana miniature isn't really much use for gaming, but worst comes to worst it'll make a nice objective marker for capture the flag type games! And yes, I did paint over a Super Rare Active Camo Master Chief clix fig.

So, with these finished, it brings the tally to:

68 vs 90 = -22

which is a leap back in the right direction, and brings the 28mm Halo project one step further along (although I realise that I might not have previously explained the steps in the wargaming Halo plan):

  1.  redvsblue (aka PVP) - only needing 6 spartans per player (for the different weapons I'd chosen to use), once twelve miniatures are finished this step is ready to game, although more miniatures can always be added later!
  2. Halo - Assuming I'd already painted some Master Chiefs for redvsblue, all it would take would be a couple more Master Chiefs and a handful of Covenant to be able to play some 'dungeon crawl' type games, similar thematically to the main Halo trilogy (and later expandable to include the Flood etc)
  3. Halo Wars - Paint more of everything and they can be used for larger scale (ie squad-based rather than skirmishing individuals) games, up to and including vehicles! The general plan being, that anything from one step can be used in the higher steps - so, I need Master Chief with a plasma Rifle, great, I've already painted him for redvsblue! I need three Spartans with a variety of weapons for Halo Wars, great, I can use a red one, a blue one and a Master Chief for that! (and so on and so forth).

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Ghetto Wet Palette

So, whilst procrastinating from painting the multiple iterations of Master Chief that are currently in the painting queue (the armour came out a lot darker than I was expecting after the wash, and I'm umming and ahhing over starting over or just pressing on regardless) I decided to make a ghetto Wet Palette out of everyday household items, as I begrudge paying twenty quid for something I can make out of tat I already own.

There are a number of good tutorials around for this, the only one that I can remember offhand being this video, but essentially it boils down to a couple of basic ingredients:

A receptacle (in this case a Limited Edition Femme Militant tin, I assume the John Blanche autograph on the back is printed on...), some water (not pictured), something to soak with said water, and baking parchment. That's it. Soak the sponge in water, bung in a bit of cut-to-size baking parchment, and voila:

Instant Wet Palette. Although I admit it may currently be a little too wet. Currently using it to paint Cortana for Halo, which is less fun than expected as it's rather hard seeing where you're painting on a see-through-miniature...

Monday, 30 July 2012

Skull Rock!

As you may or may not recall, a while back I came into possession of a plastic skull, and over the past week or so set about turning it into an 80's-Chaos-esque piece of terrain that would match my recently built generic rocky terrain:

Unfortunately I don't have any fantasy Chaos to stand on it to display it to it's fullest potential (although it's only a matter of time, I've been reading pdfs of the old relams of Chaos books, and rolled up a Path to Glory warband since I've got a couple of miniatures lurking in the bits box I could use), so you'll have to make do with some old converted Obliterators:

Right, on to how I made this -

First of all, I made a cup of tea, essential for any sort of terrain-building project. I also cut out a suitable sized base from thick card, and started arranging the skull and cork bark (£1.39 from a local art shop - my first time using this, I've seen it look awesome in other peoples' builds, but it largely just looks like bark for me.. hohum...)

I decided that I wanted to install a floor inside the skull, and that I wanted it to be slightly recessed. To facilitate this, those locating lugs had to go:

Attacking them with clippers got rid of a large part of the material, and my 'not-dremel' smoothed out the rest. Well, I say smoothed out, the plastic the skull was made from was so soft that even at low speeds the 'not-dremel' seemed to largely melt it's way through, but a quick scrape with a sharp knife was enough to tidy it up after. Then it was time to build the floor:

Crunched up newspaper gives a base to stick the floor on...

I didn't fancy trying to cut out a precise match of the shape of the interior of the skull, so I started with a rough piece of card that mostly fit...

And stuck it in place, then blended it in to the edges of the skull using ready-mixed filler (poundland).

Some pieces of thin cork were then cut to fill the remaining gaps, which were glued into place and then once again smoothed out with copious applications of filler. Rather than using specialised spreading tools, I largely used triangular offcuts of card to smooth out my newly installed floor. Also, truth be told, it took several passes with the filler to get the floor to a roughly flat enough state that I was happy with (it didn't have to be showroom flat, as I' be texturing the piece eventually anyway).

Once that was done, it was time to start thinking about the stairs that I wanted to go up the side of the piece. So, I made a highly scientific template of the area that the stairs would cover:

This template got scribbled all over (as plans... developed midway through the build), and was used to cut out all the steps used in the piece. Although I spent a lot of time calculating how many steps would be needed (handily the thin cork I was using is 1/8" thick, making calculations very easy) I will admit that several lengths of stair were done on the fly, going with what felt right, until the very end where everything needed to connect correctly!

For example, the first length of stairs was built by cutting out a bunch of steps and gluing them together (using poundland's finest 'Hard as Nails'), not being overly worried about how much space they were taking up:

At this point I wasn't overly worried by gaps, as I planned to go back over everything once the majority of construction was completed and attack it with filler and debris to busy it up a little. The main problem with the first length of stairs though was that it was a little wobbly, being that each step was a thin bit of cork, and balanced on a pillar when I wasn't having to hold it together while it dried:

(Apologies for the dodgy arty angle on that last pic). In order to make sure that the piece was playable, I decided that rather than my original plan of uninterrupted steps up the entirety of the piece, there should be a couple of landings where miniatures could (safely) be placed. Also, at this point I decided that rather than continuing to build the staircase as I had, one wobbly step at a time, I should build a couple of flights of steps as self-contained assemblies, as that would be a lot more solid! And so I built these:

A set of steps to go immediately after the first landing;

And a set of steps to connect to the final landing - note the curve, the template was a lifesaver for making sure everything went together! Also, in between making these two sets of steps, I also made the final landing and the landings that would connect the two sets of staircases, but I didn't take any pictures of those steps so you'll just have to take my word for it. The cork bark that would make up the rear cliff-face was cut to size and glued in place, as well as having a notch cut out of it so that the final set of steps would be able to slot in place.

But here's how it all looks stuck together...

Note the support columns that will eventually be hidden by the cliff-face, and don't worry, that random stack of cork providing additional support is only temporary!

Then it was really just a case of filling in the gaps with a cork cliff-face...

Layer by layer, with filler and Hard as Nails to smoosh everything together, filling any other gaps as I came across them...

Working all the way round...

Putting in a little look-out post, and covering a gap...

Until it looks like this! At this point, my housemate pointed out that I should have put lights into the eyes. Alas, having spent a couple of evenings elbow deep in various fillers, it was too late for that though...

Then, before beginning to texturise the piece, comes my usual advice:

Stick a record on and away you go! The textured paint was made the usual way, although after a first application I found that it wasn't sticky enough to properly adhere to the plastic skull, so I added some filler (as the type I was using is the very rubbery type, rather than the type that is more like plaster) and then it seemed to cover fine:

Next, comes a rather silly mistake:

First thing in the morning, and keen to make progress, I rush outside to spray it grey. Halfway through spraying, as I'm looking at the piece something keeps bugging me. And then I realise that in my keenness to crack on, I've skipped the step where I add rubble and whatnot to busy the piece up (and secretly, to cover any rough looking spots). Bugger. Thinking 'to hell with it', I finish spraying, and once that's dried do the step I missed anyway:

Not that it matters in the grand scheme of things what order I did it in, as I had to go over the piece with some Adeptus Battlegrey anyway to cover any patches that the spray missed, so the patches of texture were painted at this stage too.

Then, as per my other terrain pieces, it got a good splashing of Vallejo Smoke, before being drybrushed with Codex Grey, Fortress Grey and Bleached Bone:

See what i mean about the cork bark looking like bark? Oh well, it's interestingly textured at least...

Et voila, the finished piece looks like this:

Bammo. Something every self-respecting child of the 80's Champion of Chaos would be happy to fight over. Although my lady love did suggest building a barbecue and a hammock to go on top, to make it some sort of Chaos Summer Holiday home...

In other news, the tally recently took a hit as I received this little beauty:

This year's Frothers charity mini, a beautiful mini for a donation to a good cause. Also, it's made of Trollcast, Trollforged's new megascience miniatures material - when I saw that it came in just a baggie in padded envelope, I was prepared for the worst, but it was absolutely fine! If you haven't already, have a watch of the Trollforged Toughness video over on their site - based on just this single example that I own, I'm starting to think that all miniatures should be made out of this stuff (it's light, it's tough, and as far as I can see the mould-lines are almost non-existant!)

Which brings the tally to:

58 vs 90 = -32