Friday, 4 September 2020

Kit-bashing Beastmen

I don't often show many Wips, so I thought I'd change that as of now as a break from painting all 21 Beastmen for my Nurgle army. These are the last 6 for the unit (the others are all painted) and are all kit-bashed / bitz boxed from my stash. One of my favourite aspects of the hobby is a good rummage for different parts and working out ways of combining them into a unique mini. Here's my most recent endeavours:

There's a bit of greenstuffing to fill the gaps and add some texture and you might notice some small poxes which are super glued balls from a water filter (also useful for sci-fi rivets). 

Most of these are plastic based parts which are of course the easiest to join together with a bit of poly cement but the challenge of pinning and joining metal to metal or plastic is also a satisfying moment. 

I think my favourite one is the first, with his little metal legs, multiple toes and shrunken head, but I've tried to add a bit of detail and interest to each. Let me know your thoughts, I'm intrigued to know your favourites and why. 

Thursday, 20 August 2020

Building some houses

Just before I went on a caravanning holiday with the family around the UK, I made these houses to populate my modular board.

They're both lasercut mdf sets that I picked up for a good price and decided that I should take a break from completing my Nurgle Army (before I burnt out with that project) and sit down with my son and construct and improve these. So we did the assembly together with lots of pva, elastic bands to keep things in place and some coffee.

After assembly my boy decided that one of the buildings should be a shop - we conferred on an Armoury and we then searched my bits box for details to adorn the building. I also wanted to pimp up the kit, the mdf buildings lack detail but more importantly texture. So some polyfilla was added to the walls, cardboard tiles were added and some sand for mossy areas too.

The function of the second building was definitely decided by me. Whilst rummaging around for bits for the previous model, I found a naked dancing girl from Hasslefree and though it would be a perfect sign for a medieval "club". This was placed just above the entrance door. The same texturing and detailing process also took place on this building. 

And then we went onto the painting. Both were undercoated black and then grey from above. Lots of washes of cheap acrylic paint later, followed by some drybrushing and finally some weathering and the buildings were done! As always it was the painting of all the beams that took the most time.

Back to the painting of some miniatures next...

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

2 Chaos Spawn (50pts)

From the largest pointed unit (1200 for the Plaguebearers) to the smallest, a couple of Spawn at 25pts each. In the LatD these are described more as a pack as can (and probably should) be led by a Champion of Chaos, so eventually I'd like to do a converted spawn made up of lots of bits from my box and add him to these two and add a leader to marshall them around the battlefield.

Obviously these two are both classic Citadel miniatures, the left model being an old Plague Elemental and the right one being a Spawn of Nurgle, the latter having a slight conversion in removing the funny legs that came with it and sculpting some tentacles there instead. Both these old models though suffer from the perpendicular restraints of sculpting from that time, so when faced from the front both models look quite flat and symmetrical (although with the slug spawn you can reposition the tentacles on it's head to create more dynamic movement) and hence why I've photographed them both on the angle.

For this Beast of Nurgle I did a little research on slugs to get the correct colour scheme and used a little gloss varnish to capture the slimy nature of it's body. You will notice the basing on both models is slightly different from the rest of the army, in that there are a collection of organic shapes molded into the landscape, the idea behind this is based on the premise that:

 "the very proximity of a Beast is sufficient to kill small animals and plant.... or may age and decay perceptibly in their presence" (LatD p.20)

So a collection of small bitz from the box were impressed into some milliput and sculpted into the base to give the appearance of a dying, organic mass surrounding the model as it moves forward.

With the Plague Elemental I also experimented further with some skin painting techniques. Over a white undercoat I painted all the pinks with Contrast paints and highlights. Over this I then mixed some crackle medium into the pale green colouring of the skin and dabbed this onto areas where I wanted to create a peeling, cracking skin effect over the pink, exposed areas.

And to finish here's a group shot of the army including the most recent units for a cumulative total of 4405pts

Next up are some kitbashed Nurgle Beastmen, using mostly plastic kits...

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

14 Plaguebearers (1200pts)

The Lost and the Damned tome allows for a Nurgle Daemonic Army to have any number of troops from the Chaos Army list, but not vice versa (aside from Nurglings) so strictly speaking this unit of 14 Plaguebearers shouldn't be allowed in a 3rd Edition army of this type. Unless I get a Great Unclean One to lead them.... But for me they fit perfectly into what I'm building here, basically a huge Chaos Nurgle Army of all my favourite miniatures, lumped together in units. This unit comes in at a whopping 1200pts (600pts per 7 Plaguebearers). The high points expense per Plaguebearer is clear; these guys have 1 Nurgle spell per model (!), save of 6 and -1 to hit on combat and comes equipped with a Plaguesword which if wounds, can induce Nurgle's Rot on a character or unit. As always all these additional rules help create such character for the models themselves which in turn helps me when I come to model and paint them. So here's the unit of 14:

In creating this unit, the task was about creating some unique Plaguebearers, based often on the illustrations I have been inspired by, but also a task in combining new and old sculpts together. With some subtle conversions and a range of pastel like skin tones, I hope I have achieved that. 

The skin tones, whilst variable in colour, were the same in process. From a white undercoat a wash of colour was added (sometimes using the new Contrast paints, sometimes an old ink) and I deliberately appplied several colours together whilst wet, so they bled into each other. When dry, subsequent layers of whiter highlights were applied. To stop the skin from looking too chalky, several glazes were then added over the top, usually a combination of reds, purples and greens to represent the various plague that these models should be bearing.

The main character in this unit is the standard bearer, which is a ForgeWorld resin model, that I believe was some kind of Daemon Prince in 40k (I made this model many years ago). I cut off his left arm, which was quite robotic I recall and added a tentacle to carry the banner. The central image on the triptych of the banner is a copy straight from a Fighting Fantasy illustration (more examples here) and the outermost banners from the Lost and the Damned itself. I decided to add a physical head to the main image and banner itself because I had mis-calculated the positioning of the robed figure and couldn't fit in the top of his head!

Here you can see him escorting a couple of Nurglings and you can see the slug like shape of his body, which I like. His base takes up the equivalent of 4 plaguebearers, hence why there is only 10 models after this one to create the 14 man unit.

Next up are a batch of the older Plaguebearer sculpts, some of my favourites. They've been tinkered with a bit to make them a bit more imposing and unique. First up this smiley lad has had a large scythe added to his left hand whilst his right hand keeps his guts in place:

The next fellow came to me a bit battered. Missing his weapon and his face was a bit smashed in. The latter was corrected with a bit of greenstuff and the former with a paper clip bent and then covered in greenstuff and sculpted to look like wood. Hanging from this branch was a large bell, from one of the modern Nurgle plastic kits. A nice combo of old lead and new plastic:

This guy also arrived in a sorry state. He had lost his nose and his weapon was all bent and ruined. So it was the perfect opportunity to recreate the dancing, beating drummer from the Adrian Smith illustration on p.17 of the LatD. A nose cone, a bone and an orc drum were added:

This old plaguebearer, just had a weapon swap, a nicely corroded sword to hint at the Plaguesword that I mentioned above. You can see the purple skin colouring here, which was one of my favourite colour schemes.

The final old model, is this wide mouthed boy, with his attendant Nurgling having a little tug on his innards. 

From here I move onto the newer versions, which have a very different style and in my opinion are slightly less interesting sculpts. Some of them are very angular and blocky in comparison and lack the clarity and detail of the ones above, yet have a darker and less comic appearance. I certainly felt that the models were less interesting to paint, but having less attachment to them, I was much more open to converting them!

First up is this fella, actually one of the nicer sculpts. He has just been given some wings; a flying plaguebearer wielding a dark sword would not be a pleasant vision on the battlefield. 

This bearer of plagues had his sword painted to look as rusty as possible and had the bottom of his legs clipped off, to give the appearance of him sinking into the swamp. Quite a classic facial sculpt though:

For the bulging, foggy eye plaguebearer, a whip was provided with rusty spikes on the end. I actually really like this sculpt too:

This is probably the weakest sculpt in the group, but I quite liked his contemplative chin stroking pose. What else could he be contemplating but the genitalia of a Nurgling?

And finally a pitchfork wielding, long tentacled tongued plaguebearer. I'm never really a fan of the "wave your weapon in the air" type pose, but made the most of it here, by giving him an interesting choice of arms. The tongue is just a plastic Skaven tail poking out of his gob.

These guys total 1200pts as a unit, which gives a running total of 4355pts. A couple of spawn next...

Monday, 22 June 2020

7 Chaos Warhounds(160pts)

I think these are some cracking sculpts, but having now completed them, I wish I’d thrown in some more conversions to make each one a bit more unique and Nurglesque. Anyway, here’s the unit of 7 on their display tray.

I tried doing a lot of Contrast paint work on these and then highlighing up on the raised areas. These first two are relatively straight forward:

These two I went a bit darker and tried adding a bit of pattern to them as well (again, this is something which I should have explored further)

The warhound on the left here is the most converted model based on the warhound sculpt. I received it incomplete and so added an extra head, a troll’s back leg and a tyrannid’s arm at the front. The dog on the right was painted using Typhus corrosion, which gave a really interesting effect as the colours separated (I didn’t shake it enough) and then I highlighted up from that base.

The leader of the pack is a conversion I had started years ago, based on a metal cold one and with a wolfs head, horns and horses tail added. The base colour for this was also Typhus Corrosion which adds a bit of texture to the model and highlighted up. It’s not a good paint for this technique as it’s quite thick and certainly isn’t great for your brushes.

So that brings the tally up to 3155 points. I’ve got some spawn and plaguebearers on the painting table at the moment. More of that next. 

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

The Great Lord of Decay

"What is the response of living men to the undeniable and inevitable futility of life? Is it to lie down and accept death and the coming to naught of their every endeavour? No it is not! Faced with the inevitably of death what answer can there be but to run through life at a great and unstoppable pace, cramming each day with hope, laughter, noise and bustle. Thus, happiness and human endeavour are sired by a coming to terms with decay and futility. This realisation is the key to understanding the Great Lord of Decay and his worshippers."

At the moment it feels like my hobby output is gathering pace, but it is, from past experience, very stoppable. However having this hobby does provide some relief from the futility of life, it gives me something relatively private to think about, to plan, to execute and the hope is always there that I can realise my intentions and make my hobby as good as it can be. So here is my latest endeavour, keeping the real decay and futility of life at bay, renewing an old miniature with inspiration from another old source and enjoying the process of making. Thus I am a worshipper of the Great Lord of Decay.

The quote above is from the same page of the Lost and the Damned as the Tony Hough illustration which my latest model is based upon, and reminds me of why I was drawn to Nurgle originally, many years ago. Not the contemporary bloated, pus filled, superficially plague ridden approach but the idea that in addition to this, in the face of death and decay there can be joviality; a carnival attitude, hustle and bustle. 

Here's my homage to that era of Games Workshop writing, illustration and model-making:


Here's a couple of edited images of the above photographs, which make it appear even more illustrative looking, with an exaggerated contrast and brightness. I couldn't quite get here with my painting and actually I'm not sure I wanted to.

And here is the model in front of Tony Hough's illustration. There is definitely some likeness and I hope I've caught the spirit of the art, but overall I'm well happy with how it turned out.

Here's some WIP photos and a breakdown of the painting process

1. Zenithal primed undercoat, grey followed by a white misting coat from diagonally above. This helped create an exaggeration of the shadows and highlights. (this photo is quite over-exposed so looks lighter than it actually was.)

2. A very dilute wash of a black Contrast paint (with a touch of washing up liquid) over the entire model. This unifies the undercoat, deepens the shadows and makes the detail so much clearer to paint.

3. A further, darker wash was applied just to the areas of shadow. The idea being to replicate the strong contrast of the original illustration.

4. Here you can see the steady build up of layered highlights, starting with a pale grey and adding subsequent quantities of white.

5. The final highlights were pure white, again to create that illustrative stark contrast. The plinth was painted last and deliberately left dark, highlighting up from black, to ensure attention wasn't drawn away from the model. It also meant that the black lip of the model's base blended in more with the outer plinth. Here I haven't started painting the elements on the plinth.

So that challenge, to recreate a Tony Hough illustration is done, I know there will be some amazing entries and I am very much looking forward to seeing what others do. For this blog, I'll be returning to the completion of my LostandtheDamned army; some colour and some warhounds next....