Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Chaos Dwarf Renegades

This is one of my favourite pieces of box art from Games Workshop back in the 80's, by John Blanche of course. The triangular composition gives a imposing height to the Chaos Stunties (what is the Master of Madness standing on at the top?) and the contrasting black armour with warm oranges gives an apocalyptic feel to the image. It feels a bit like a last stand for the Renegades, weapons drawn, back to back facing in different directions as they bid to make their stand against an advancing foe on the battlefield.

I've often wondered about their background and my initial knowledge was scant; I remember that the Old Dwarfs tunnelled deep and further North, until some went too far and were cut off from their brethren. The incursions of Chaos came and those isolated, North Eastern most Dwarfs became tainted by the touch of Chaos. So I've tried to do a bit of research about the Renegades in particular. Are they Renegades because they have turned to Chaos or are they renegades within the Chaos Dwarf community? White Dwarf 79 shows their release which hints at how Dwarfs have previously been seen as incorruptible:

And White Dwarf 80 gives us this more detailed information:

On Norse Dwarfs:

"The power of the Chaos Gods had touched and polluted the minds of the Dwarfs and they had turned to the worship of those foul, unfathomable deities. The other Dwarfs shunned them, but the gods were kind, gifting their more dedicated warriors with untold power, honouring them with the mark of chaos. Today the Chaos Dwarfs honour the gods in turn, shedding blood, pursuing slaughter for it's own sake, spilling libations of blood and burning their captives so that the gods may taste the stuff of life. In the Old World they hire out as mercenaries or join with bands of wandering chaotics, Warriors of Chaos or Beastmen.
Chaos Dwarfs are less swarthy than ordinary Dwarfs, their skin is pallid, greenish or even dead white. Their hair is normally black or very dark. Armour and clothing is black and they dress and behave in a manner similar to other Warriors of Chaos"

The last segment is most precious for me, I enjoy reading, as a painter, about how these characters/miniatures may appear, so when I come to paint I'll have some concept of how Chaos Dwarfs were imagined by the design team. Of course, this is not the be all or end all and I usually go my own way when painting, but I do like the description of "pallid and dead white skin, black armour" (which of course this ties in with the box art again) and inspires me to paint my own collection in this style.

 Finally on the back of the boxed set it says about the Renegades:

The box art illustration of course shows each of the eight Chaos Dwarfs that come in the boxed set and upon further investigation I remembered that each of them was named; Master of Madness, Khazek Doomlord, Foaming Mad Furrikson, Doomaxe the Dreaded, Mad Marik Trollbiter, Drum and Drome Ollsen, Napper Grundrin and Pulper Spikehead. This old habit of naming little miniatures gives them a little bit of extra character as I can imagine how some of them have acquired such titles and of course ties in with some of the Chaos attributes they have been given and sculpted with.

I never owned the boxed set as a kid, even though I always wanted to, but as an adult I have now collected the eight models and have started to paint them with my research in mind. Here are the eight Renegades (note the variation of metal colour - the three brighter ones are obviously much later in release, the duller ones much more likely to be from the 80's castings):

I considered recreating the box art by having the Master of Madness on a palanquin, or even raised on a stony outcrop with his guards less raised either side of him to create the triangular composition, but decided against this is in the end as I wanted to create a unit of them. I couldn't just field 8 Chaos Dwarfs, and because I love the models so much, I ended up collecting a few more to create a unit of 20. The Chaos Ogre was left over from a previous project and seems to fit in quite well with the short ones.

Here you can see how I've started to sculpt some Chaotic shields, using some of the illustrations from the Realms of Chaos books as inspiration. The standard bearer may well carry a banner that pays homage to the original box art by John Blanche..

Painting is underway, you can see some wip in the background of the above shot. Until next time...

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Chaos Allies - Chaos Dwarf Machines of War

Just the two Chaos Dwarf warmachines to add to the contingent (unfortunately I don’t have a swivel gun, tenderiser, whirlwind or juggernaut just yet), so here’s a mortar and a bazooka to add a little distance support to my force:

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

In it to win it

Every now and then I enter some of the many online competitions, mostly so that I have an extra incentive to get something painted from my to do list. I never buy something specifically for a competition, but if I’ve got a suitable model ready to paint then I’ll have a go.

 It just so happens that here was an Orktober competition on the Facebook group: The Emporium of Rogue Dreams: Old School Gaming (go search it out!) for which I entered an old Bob Olley Madboy that I had picked up in a job lot in a charity shop. Amazingly (against some lovely models) I won! I'm incredibly chuffed that my paint job was chosen even as a contender, although I'm pretty sure that the choice of model and it's great pose helped me through.

A month later and the annual Deadcember competition came along and I pulled out my plague cart that I've wanted to paint for an age for my Lost and Damned army list. I painted that up with a ghostly theme in mind, using some cotton wool as mist. Incredibly it came in second place on Rab’s amazing blog space, as voted by him, so many thanks Rab! The guys at Ral Partha Europe were also generous enough to provide some prizes so I was more than happy to receive the following from them the other day:

Many thanks!

And below are my winning entries, just to refresh your memories:

All of this reinforces my belief that we’re lucky to be part of such a generous and committed group of hobbyists. Thanks to all for organising, voting and providing; much appreciated. Now I just need some incentive to get my Chaos Dwarves painted; anyone know of a competition??!

Monday, 29 January 2018

Chaos Allies - Minotaurs

As my Chaos Allied Contingent grows, I've had to go up to the attic and take photos of them on my scenery table - my small photo set up on my desk is too small - especially when 6 Minotaurs are all lined up together. You've probably seen most of these in previous posts, but this is the first time I've taken a shot of them all together on a movement tray; assembled as part of the Allied Contingent.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Chaos Allies - Chaos Centaurs

This is (I believe) the first time I have shown all 5 of my Chaos Centaurs together and certainly the first time I've photographed them with the rest of the Chaos Allies. They're actually pretty weedy in game terms, but the conversions here make them look more like they have the power of Chaos Knights.

Here you can see them without the distraction of the Beserkers in the background:

And here a sense of depth to them, with the plastic cold one bodies visible:

I used a range of different Chaotic bodies for these; plaguebearer, horror, warrior, beastman and orc. They are undeniable influenced by Tim Prow's Nurgle warband from an early WD:

Monday, 22 January 2018

Chaos Allies - Chaos Dwarf Beserkers

These have been half painted for an age, so I forced myself to sit down and paint over the weekend, as I've had a barren time and little enthusiasm for the paint brush recently. These Marauder Slayer models have been re-purposed as Chaos Dwarf Beserkers to join my Chaos Allied force (the Contingent Commander - visible in the background - can be seen here).

 I love the character of these sculpts, even though there are typical Marauder features with the too large hands and feet and I figured that with a colourful approach to the painting and by tying them in with the basing that they would sit comfortably amongst my other Chaos models. 

I hope I've got a bit of my painting mojo back, but my next few posts will show me adding my already painted Centaurs and Minotaurs to the force whilst I continue painting some of the Citadel Chaos Dwarfs to complete the contingent.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Adventurers Don't Get a Day Off

"Let's go spend our rewards" said the Mantrapper, "a much deserved chance to have some down time and enjoy the spoils of our last adventure". "I hope the people of Little Head-on-Ism are welcoming" added Chadda Blackmane dourly, "I want to rest up for a while".

Unsurprisingly, the town guard were already outside the fortifications of Little Head-on-Ism, awaiting the arrival of any outsiders. "Lo, who approaches?" shouted the Captain, broadsword resting over his shoulder. The insignia of the town's flag snapping in the breeze behind him.

"A weary band of adventurers, looking for refuge and an opportunity to spend some coin - we mean no ill" retorted Nicodemus. The captain looked the approaching band up and down, measuring them up, noticing their weapons and staffs with apprehension and looking for reassurance from his lieutenant. None came. The Chervah chirped up; "Look sir, you may want to examine the beast of burden's sacks they ha...." before Yaztromo quickly interrupted; "It will be to your benefit, my captain, to let us through without incident". The captain could not determine whether this was a threat or a bargaining opportunity and for a moment was caught between two emotions. In the silence his greedy nature surfaced and he held out his hand in anticipation. Expecting it to be crossed with gold as his comrades gasped and he felt the cold weight pressing in his palm, he looked down only to see his hand frozen in ice, unable to move it and now watching in horror as the ice slowly started to ascend and encase his shield arm. The magician's obvious power, deterred any aggressive response from the town's guard who looked from the kindly old wizard's smile to his piercing stare, they parted and stepped back, as did the captain who pleaded with the band to have his hand returned and for the creeping cold to persist. 

The adventurers entered Little Head-on-Ism with wry smiles as the captain tried to warm his hand down his pantaloons.

Clive the aged Barbarian had blunted his axe in the battle of the Privy Ledge and made haste to the blacksmith of Little Head-on-Ism for some sharpening. 

He also noticed a merchant selling his wares in the square and, like a magpie, could not resist the glint of a new handaxe. Coinage spent.

Meeting up with the others who had been scouting out the town for suitable places to eat and drink, the band of adventurers approached the Spotted Dog tavern:

The tavern was dark and dingy and sparsely populated at this early hour, as the patron warily eyes his new customers. Our adventurers ordered a feast of food and a deluge of ale finding an area to sit in the corner of the tavern.

Ale was drunk, a spit roast eaten and old stories re-told with embellishment as time passed. It was Chadda Blackmane that first noticed through his groggy haze, that Gareth Yoztromo has taken quite some time to go for a piss. A fruitless search instigated a few questions aimed at the barman who vaguely remembered the old wizard exiting outside a few minutes ago. The group stumbled outside looking for their companion.

Out in the daylight they were assailed by a sobering wailing noise combined with screams by some of the locals. The interpretations of the hysteria seemed to indicate that a monster was running riot in the old temple... A quick sprint to the site and the adventurers were confronted by a contrite Yaztromo, slightly sweating as his hand wavered in the direction of a lesser demon, held still in mid leap. 

"I came out for a piss and stumbled across this old temple; as I was leaning against the altar I must have awoken this foul beast. Could someone, um, help me please? Nicodemus noticed the damp patch on his colleague's robe with a knowing smile just as Clive unleashed his new throwing axe, spinning through the air and thunking into the demon's forehead. The wailing stopped and was exchanged by the hearty guffaws of Nicodemus' mirth, quickly joined by the other adventurers as they noticed the yellow stain on the front of the magician's robes. He shot them all a withering look. "No need to get pissy" laughed the Mantrapper oh "Piss off" smirked Yaztromo in return. "Some bloody day off" mumbled the morose Chadda Blackmane.

Well done if you stayed with me through my improvised story. I photographed a few set pieces on my new table, with no real story ideas in mind and then arranged them in this order and made up the above story in one sitting. Fun and self-indulgent? For sure.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Housing my scenery collection

I’ve found a quiet, unused part of the house where I can let my geek run wild and I can set up my little soldiers and their houses - the corner of the attic.

It actually works pretty well because it’s a nice long space and I’m out of the way up here. I’ve installed some decent lighting and then set about creating a very low table. The only problem is it’s too easy to smack my head on the beams, so I may need to invest in some foam to put on these.  It didn’t take very long to make and now I can set up my scenery on the table rather than having to store it in boxes under the bed (vying for space with my wife's paraphernalia).

It’s not a perfect space for gaming (but I rarely do this anyway) because of the cramped space, but it’s easy enough to bring it all downstairs if needs be. So for now this will really just be a place for me to collect and set up my scenery and take some photos of my completed models as I go. 

Some MDf was laid out and given some support using the beams that were already along the floor and some extra legs at each end. I was then able to lay down my green cloth and stretch it out. 

The intent is to have my modular gaming boards on one side, have a wall/gate around them so that they can link up the surrounding green fields and hide the obvious step between cobble and green grass. At least another four of those modular boards to go...

From left to right in the photos you can see the modular boards and a couple of White Dwarf town houses as well as the Modelling Workshop ruined temple in the background:

Some of my trees mounted onto Cd's,the White Dwarf Barn, a converted Superplay castle, a church and in the foreground my recent Coaching Inn and Stables:

And finally, in the top right corner; my entrance to the Warlock of Firetop Mountain, a masoleum (with space between that and the church for a graveyard to be made at a later date), a river, a cottage and a tower.

Happy New Year to you all!

Friday, 15 December 2017

Irongate Scenery - the bar

I’ve often thought that i’ve been a bit stuck in the past with my hobby, the vast majority of my collection is lead, although there is a growing resin and plastic contingrnt. So this is me embracing, what is very likely to be, the future - some 3D printed sculpts. They are from Irongate Scenery and are to be used for a bar interior that I have planned. 

Having painted these it is fair to say that I really dislike them. It is just simply the horrible texture of concentric lines that i’ve tried to hide with my paint job, that made painting them an incredible chore (even though these are very quick paint jobs). I came to the painting table with an open mind (and fully expected a different texture from what i’m used to) but I just could not muster up any love for them; sometimes when i’m painting I can imagine the decision making or see the style of the sculptor  as i’m working and this acts as a massive motivator to “do the sculpt justice”, because i’m not the keenest painter st the best of times.

Funnily enough, the warped top right table is greenstuffed from an instamold I made as there was a missing tabletop, and the familiarity of painting on that surface was much more enduring, even if there was a horrible warp to it! So maybe my bias is about familiarity or maybe I prefer painting things that have been made by hand. Whatever the reason, i’m staying away from 3D printed stuff and not grasping the future right now.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Modelling Workshop 5: The Coaching Inn and Forge (WD 143)

This is the final instalment of my revisiting of the Modelling Workshop articles from the White Dwarf's of the early 90's and the only one that I had not previously made as a teenager - the Coaching Inn and the Forge.

It was quite an extensive build and the instructions, at times, were particularly hard to follow, so some problem solving was required (which my teenage self would have struggled with). The roof to the inn was especially problematic; joining two sloping edges...

I've also made a few changes, namely the size of the footprint has increased, it always felt a bit cramped from the photos in White Dwarf and you couldn't really appreciate the two buildings. I've also improved the stable design and made a removable wall from the back of the courtyard so that the two buildings can be separated without creating an open courtyard. 

The doors, as per the article, are hinged on some paperclips.

Here you can see the forge and stable without the coaching inn and the long removable wall in place.

A better view into the forge and with it's roof removed you can see the forge itself (made from foam)

And the coaching inn by itself (pre-weathering):

And some Wip's so that you can see the construction and some of the materials/processes:

This image inspired me for the creation of the forge:

And the original article in case you're interested in re-creating this yourself:

And finally, my terrain building skills came in useful for my daughter's History homework, we worked on this together and she now has to learn the secrets of painting and in particular some quick dry-brushing and weathering techniques....