Monday, 24 November 2014

Conversion corner

When I'm left alone with my hobby I often have this internal monologue going on about a variety of subjects, for example I might ask myself "do I really need to apply a third highlight to this leather pouch?" or "shall I paint stripes or checkers on his trousers?" and I'm sure you all have similar thoughts whilst painting or converting.

One of my most pressing concerns though is my current fascination with GW of the past, or Oldhammer and the "to convert or not convert" question regarding miniatures from which I believe is the golden era of GW models. If you're a regular reader you will have noted that most of my current completed miniatures are from the era of the 80's when I first encountered GW and Warhammer and began a long relationship with the hobby, but I do also own many more current or more recent plastics. I don't mind cutting up plastic.

I love converting miniatures yet my internal monolgue (ehtical?) often prevents me from cutting up an old favourite piece of lead, "it's heresy!": "it's oop and a piece of history!", or "if I ever want to resell it the value would diminish if it was converted - both monetary and aesthetically". However the flip side is that they are my miniatures and that I don't have to take it upon myself to preserve the history of GW 80's miniatures. This is a good example of the cyclical internal monologue to which my answers often fluctuate between the two opinions.

So here are some conversions I have been doing in between painting (some of these conversions were started some time ago) and the majority of which are using new plastics and some old metal. I try not to do too much chopping and instead make a few alterations to make the models unique (this is afterall, I believe, why we convert - to make a unique, characterful model):

A centaur from a plastic cold one and a more recent beastman character. The old nurgle palanquin banner is also visible on it's back. I remember reading somewere that Centaurs like ale, so I've added a barrel and mug to his flank.

Some sort of Deamon Prince, with bits of Ogre, Forgeworld Herald, LotR troll, zombie and Typhus bits. The flying cherubs will be made to look more nurgling in appearance.

Based upon an illustration in the Lost and the Damned on the page about Spawn and Chaos steeds. I intend to add scales to this to complete it.

I think this was intended to be a Chaos Hound based upon a coldone and a wolf's head. Not sure I like it that much...

A small conversion of a Chaos Warrior with the addition of a Nurgle Lord's head and a shield with some greenstuffed/bead Nurgle symbol.

This guy's going to be added to a Thug unit and is simply a stone troll with a chaos warrior's head plus horn.

A Spawn. It started off as a cork with plastic spider legs attached and tyranid arms to the side. I think the head is a 40k squig with a skull in it's mouth. You can't see on this picture, but the skin sections will be stitched together with bits of very fine wire.

A plague cart to add to my eventual Lost and the Damned Nurgle army - it will accompany my plague zombies and skeletons (from Mantic) and just has the addition of a new rider (I hated the original one's proportions) and a plague doctor apprentice where the mask has been greenstuffed over the face.

So basically all these are quite "tame" conversions where I've added or changed without having to cut or chop any old lead. These are now in my "conversion box" which is next to my "to paint" box but basically the unpainted stuff still equates to the same!

I'll show less completed conversions another time. Cheers!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

An Ogre and interchangeable bases

I love this range of Ogres and have been looking forward to painting some from my pile for a while, but I didn't quite have the courage or convictioon that I could do them justice yet. I seem to have got my painting confidence back so I had a go with the intention attempting natural skin colours rather those I have been creating recently for my Nurgle miniatures:

I used some Reikland wash from GW with a touch of washing up liquid to help it flow over the white undercoat. I used several washes of this to build up the skin tone and then worked in some layered highlights. Some blue/brown glazes were applied to the areas of chest hair and stubble.

I couldn't resist some stripes on his pyjama bottoms. He is a bit vain in that he has to have a matching bicep bracelet too, but these ogres are mercanaries and will fight for such things. I quite like his cow-skin ankle-warmers too.

So this guy will be one of four for my Lost and Damned retinue table challenge (the other 3 are on my painting desk, primed) but I had a think about how I could actually use them on the table. I decided that eventually they will grow into a small mercanary force with commander and as stated, would fight for anyone. I then realised that one day, I may move onto another army after my Nurgle one is complete (possibly O&G or Undead) and that I would probably use a different basing system for those armies, therefore my Mercanary Ogres would need to have bases to match....
Furthermore I also have a desire to make my own HeroQuest board and use my miniatures to play that with my son (when he's old enough). So my solution, magnets:

 So far it seems to be working fine. It took a bit of time to align the magnets on his feet and on the base and even more time to make the bases, the latter of which is obviously my HeroQuest idea. He's pretty secure, but I won't be holding him upside-down anytime soon. He can be removed and replaced quite easily.
My only concern is whether the glue holding the magnets will stay strong enough as the bond between the magnets seems to be just as strong. Time will tell and next time I may try to use an epoxy rather than superglue.....

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Retinue Table: Chaos Warrior

For this entry in the Lost and the Damned warbands retinue table, there is a chance you could roll a Thug, a Marauder or a badass Chaos Warrior. So for the sake of completeness with my self-imposed challenge, I have painted one of each.
First up is the lowly Chaos Thug whose Chaotic bent has given him a slightly better weapon skill and initiative than mere human fighters. I love the unique and dynamic pose of this miniature:
I like his wild eyed stare, even if the overall paint job isn't my best (or the photo). The swamp reeds are just old brush bristles cut to size and superglued together in a clump. I've attempted a little freehand tattoo on his arm to break up the pale skin and I've also had a go at using the old citadel transfers on the shield and then painted over them with some highlights to jazz them up a bit:
Next up is the Marauder. Now I don't believe any models were released for Marauder's per se, so I've used a Chaos Warrior that didn't look to have gone too far down the path of damnation (ie. no mutations or chaos armour). Again he has a nice dynamic pose:
I've used a lot of my rust effect on him which I think works quite well on all the armoured areas and I've stuck an unwanted Mantic zombie head on his shield.
And then there's the Chaos Warrior himself; a classic Champion of Nurgle from that great range of sculpts (Jez Goodwin?). Not such a dynamic pose, but loads of character. He received a plastic orc shield with the orcish emblem carved off the back to have a simple, square wooden shield again with some fly transfers added in the Nurgle triangle:

Here on his armour I've extensively used layers of yellow ink as glazes over the white basecoat. But before I did that I painted on a layer of crackle paint onto the armour which gives the slight craking effect you can just about make out. After my yellow glazes I applied a very thin wash of green/brown over the armour which sits in the recesses of the cracks and helps define them.

I like the contrasts between the yellows, the greened armour and the rust on the sword. The jewels on his sword came out well too (I had to follow a little online tutorial).
Finally the three Chaos warriors together, visually showing the journey a servant of Chaos will travel as he progresses through the ranks of Nurgle:
Out of interest which shield do you like the best (if any!)?

Monday, 3 November 2014

Retinue Table: D6 Orcs (and the end of Orctober for me)

I finally managed to get the final 3 orcs painted, just about in time for the month end of Orctober, and to complete the D6 Orcs entry on the Lost and the Damned retinue table.

For these 3 I wanted to create some old school shields with a bit of greenstuff, some beads and seeds for eyes and warts - and I ended up with these 3 shields (strongly based on Kev Adam's and Fraser Gray's designs from the 80's):

And here are the three of them with a finished paint job:

I've stuck with my usual paint scheme for the skin (graveyard earth, brown wash, graveyard earth plus increasing amounts of rotting flesh to highlight, then a fine glaze with green ink) but tried to use a bright range of colours for their outfits rather than getting bored with different brown and leather tones.

 For the rust I've been experimenting with a boltgun metal basecoat some highlights with chainmail and then a chestnut / brown ink wash. The rust is a dry oxide pigment with a touch of matt medium to keep it together, just dabbed onto the metal.

And here are the final 6, led by Spike the Feared:

What I would like to do next with my Greenskins is to make a Warband, using Erny's excellent Orc Warband generator ( and eventually make an Allied Force to accompany my growing Nurgle Army.... One day, one day......