Monday, 13 July 2015

Plague Elemental

One of the first Oldhammer blogs that inspired my own blogging, is the work of Don Hans, not just his incredible glowing and layered colours but also his distinctive basing technique. For this Plague Elemental I wanted to create something similar, in that I imagined the Plague Elemental leaving a trail of organic detritus in his wake and surrounding environs. I combined this with my regular basing technique and threw in some swamp too for good measure! (More on the base further down).

The miniature is not a great sculpt, it seems quite "flat" and looks particularly bad when viewed from straight on, but better from these angles it does have some charm:

Hopefully you can see from the images that I have re-mastered the crackle medium skin technique that I tried (unsuccessfully) to share with you here. I realised that you need to lay it on pretty thick for the effect to work. Partly scared that I would lose the detail on the model and also for a desire to show the plague-ridden skin falling off in patches revealing the pinker flesh underneath; I applied the crackle medium (mixed with some Nurgling Green) in small, thick clumps on more prominent areas of the skin. Hopefully you can see the effect in more detail here:

For the base itself you can see below how I used some cork board to build up a raised area and then smoothed out the plastic base where the swamp would go. A layer of milliput was added and whilst still wet a load of organic looking plastic bitz were added, including some beads and bits of rice to look like boils/bubbles etc. A two headed rat was added as a little follower too:

I then attached the model and used some artist's modelling impasto to join/fill/smooth everything up and add some texture too: 

You can see from the completed model that lots of gloss was also added to the swamp area and the organic plague area too. It was painted with a multitude of thinned washes over white, ranging from yellow, pink, green and some brown:

This model was also painted for the Warhammer Forum's Painting Challenge and you can see the results of  which here.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Fighting Fantasy : Freeway Fighter pt.2

Let's go back.... Getting ready for the 40k Deathrace at BOYL 2015, I'm pretty much done with the re-construction of the Fighting Fantasy:Freeway Fighter Chevy '57 Bel Air, based on the illustration by Jim Burns:

I've added milliput (easy to sand), greenstuff (easy to model) to help create the shape, plastic straws for the vents, golf tees for the lights, plasticard and orc spear heads for the scythes / bumpers / guns, a plastic cap for the turret, some thick wire for the rim of the turret and the spoiler and some computer bits for the raised engine.

I'm really happy with my choice of models to accompany the car - both of these are from Heresy's "Gang"  line of miniatures. I contemplated giving both characters some 80's hair (as in the illustration) and equip the female character with a flail, but decided against any more converting. The male character fits perfectly inside the gun turret of the car, but I will obviously paint him separately.

With regards to the car, there is still more sanding and smoothing of the surfaces in an attempt to get that perfect finish as seen on the illustration, but I'm starting to realise how difficult it is going to be to achieve, so don't be surprised if the car looks a little more weathered, tattered, used and old when it comes to the finish!

I've been rubbing charcoal into the sculpted areas, the residue then sits in any crevices and I can continue to sand to get a smooth finish. I'm using a very fine sandpaper, some water and a chamois leather too. Hopefully you've noticed details like the bullet holes along the side panel of the car?

I'll be using a sprayed white primer, followed by several fine coats of Tamiya Clear red sprayed on. I am tempted to do some NMM on the chrome, but instead I ordered some Bare Metal Foil. However this has still not arrived, so I will investigate using some very thin aluminium foil (from a kit kat) and apply with some tacky pva... Watch this space....

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Age of Sigmar and Realms of Chaos.

Apparently there's been a seismic shift in our hobby, many people seem to be upset about it, yet for me it feels like little of importance has changed, what I like about the game/hobby is still around and in fact has become more important. Or at least re-emphasised.

I never really loved the mechanics and huge amount of rule of previous editions (my favourites were 3rd and 7th - but the former was especially clunky) and I hated how "rules lawyers" would know tiny loop holes to exploit the game in their favour. I love narrative and scenario based gaming, which helps me choose which models I want to play with, not "net lists" that are optimised to fuck. I love the fluff around the game (not so much the history/events of the Old World) but the details that were intrinsically linked to the lavish illustrations and photos of models. Nowhere was this link clearer than in the original Realm of Chaos books where stories, written descriptions and illustrations fired my imagination and gave me reason to collect, sculpt, convert, paint, base and sometimes even name my models (with a backstory).

So imagine my delight having read the new AoS rules and the "Warscrolls"! No more points, army lists, restrictions and pages and pages of unclear rules. Instead a simple game that is defiantly not for tournaments but for fun game play with your models against someone else's models. The 4 pages of rules opens with this:

In order to play, you must first muster your army from the miniatures in your collection. Armies can be as big as you like, and you can use as many models from your collection as you wish. The more units you decide to use, the longer the game will last and the more exciting it will be! 

And concludes with this gem:

THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE In a game as detailed and wide-ranging as Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, there may be times when you are not sure exactly how to resolve a situation that has come up during play. When this happens, have a quick chat with your opponent, and apply the solution that makes the most sense to you both (or seems the most fun!).

Perfect. I'm sure there are similar quotes in the Realms of Chaos books, although with the latter they may have advocated a GM, but he was there to ensure that sensible solutions were found in the same way as the quote above. Those same RoC books provided a wealth of imagery for Nurgle, provided by the texts and illustrations from the Lost and the Damned. But where are the following quotes from, 1989 or 2015?:

Nurgle’s Rot: Nurgle’s Rot is the most dreaded and contagious of all diseases, for it gnaws at the victim’s soul as well as their mortal body. In your hero phase, roll a dice for each unit within 3" of any models with this ability. On the roll of a 6, that unit suffers D3 mortal wounds. Nurgle units do not suffer wounds from Nurgle’s Rot – they rejoice in the afflictions visited upon them by their putrescent god.

Lord of Nurglings: Wherever Morbidex goes, Nurglings emerge from hiding places or tumble from his fleshy folds to caper along in his wake. In your hero phase, pick a unit of Nurglings within 7" and add D3 models to it. If there are none within range, set up a new unit of Nurglings that has D3 models anywhere within 7", more than 9" from the enemy.

Towering Arrogance: If Gutrot Spume uses this ability, keep count of the number of wounds inflicted by him until your next hero phase. If he inflicts 7 or more wounds he has won Nurgle’s favour, and heals all wounds he has suffered. If he inflicts 6 or fewer wounds, Nurgle punishes him for his arrogance and he suffers a mortal wound.

etc, etc.

I've chosen Nurgle examples for obvious reasons and all of these are of course from the new, free to download game, but could easily have been from 1989 and the accompanying text for the Chaos Attributes from the Lost and the Damned. I think these details (rules) are awesome and add character to the game and to the heroes on the battlefield. I think the 4 page rule-set and the abolition of "points" is genius; use whatever models you have at your disposal. Excellent. Any issues with the rules, sort it out with your opponent in the name of a fun game.

  • Oh and did I mention that the new warscrolls use Nurgle's number 7 (and multiples of) for casting values, range from models and in one case the number of wounds on a particular character? 
  • And there are benefits for just choosing one Chaos God. 
  • And you can summon Great Unclean Ones/Plaguebearers etc again.
  • And one Warscroll is for a Chaos Warband, where if your hero slays an enemy hero or monster, then the Gods have favoured him and he becomes a Demon Prince. The Path to Glory! 
Familiar? (Actually they get a Warscroll too).

I for one can't wait to get a game in. Oh and I wish that I had had the balls when I got back into the hobby 5 or so years ago, to base all my miniatures on round bases (or hex), they do look so much better than squares and rectangles. I considered it.

I also feel there are renewed links between Oldhammer and Games Workshops new vision of Warhammer (I'm well aware that if you look for something hard enough...- yet I'd never say I was a GW fanboy, I've barely bought any of their new miniatures for years and haven't even played a single game of 8th - mainly because I was tired of the same old, same old).

So this link between the old and the new. Well the Oldhammer community is growing and as ever there are the questions as to what it represents for individuals. Orlygg posed the question "What's your philosophy?" on his blog and here's my response:

Ensuring the other player/s have even more fun than I do in a game.

This comes from time and thoughtfulness. 

Time spent creating models/scenery that have been thoughtfully collected and caringly painted. This makes the game look great. Understanding that rules are there to help a game be played and are not the be all and end all. This is sportsmanship. And making sure your opponent enjoys the game even more than you do.
This is all why I love scenarios and why I am liking what GW have done to WFB with AoS. 

I feel that this philosophy was encouraged during the times of Realm of Chaos, those books were not interested in "balance" or "win at all costs" and instead encouraged narrative games, ideas for scenarios, converting unique models and using whatever models you had at your disposal. Perhaps my ideals were formed/nurtured by this era. But does it not sound familiar in GW's brave new world?

So the company that started this whole hobby have dramatically changed their latest reincarnation of Warhammer Fantasy Battle, not just the game's mechanics but also the background fluff which they've developed over the past 30 years, a background which many of us have grown up with.  For me there's no rage for AoS (my only gripe is that ranked up units have gone, and I don't particularly care for the new minis - but I have plenty of old that I can use); instead I see fun and also a return to lots of the key principles for what Oldhammer is for me. And in that I can draw comparisons with the Realms of Chaos, which in my mind is the zenith of GW's oeuvre, but perhaps that is about to change..... Have the old and the new met up and come full circle?

I can't wait for my first game of AoS using my Nurgle models and ensuring my opponent has more fun than I do. Thanks Games Workshop, you've renewed my love for the game (and I haven't even played it yet)!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

My blog anniversary winner(s)!

A huge thank you to everyone who has contributed in some way to my blog, and in particular those who have commented on what I am doing - it acts as a huge stimulus for me to complete my many projects. My aim over the coming months is to make sure I comment on other's blogs more frequently as there is so much inspirational work across the web and it always deserves recognition (sometimes I'm guilty of going "oh wow, I love that idea" and then thinking about how I can be influenced by it rather than typing and showing recognition of said great work).

With regards to the offer of painting a miniature to my contributors as an anniversary thank you present, I realised that I prefer to be inclusive, so I've decided to paint a mini for each of the following contributors who took the time to feedback on my blog; many thanks to you all!:

Leif “Laffe” Eriksson

Jean-Baptiste Garidel (leadplague)

Timothy Edwards


Gentlemen, I'll email you with my address and if you have a mini that you'd like painted (perhaps one that has long been languishing in your collection) then I would happily paint it for you. Pass on any details, colour schemes etc that you'd like me to work with and I'll put these to the top of my painting queue and return the completed mini to you when completed.

Many thanks again for your contributions, it's very much appreciated and this is my way of saying thanks!
Oh and because I can't bring myself to have a post without a picture, here's an old diorama that I made a while ago of a dwarf and goblin in a dungeon, ready to fight over a key for the chest: