Saturday, 28 November 2015

Retinue Table : D4 Cultists (plus a Magus Warrior/Sorcerer)

One of my favourite options on the LatD Retinue table, is the D4 Chaos Cultists (with option to be led by a Chaos Sorcerer or a Chaos Warrior). There is so much potential with this as I can imagine the cultists in the midst of a human population, covert and looking to recruit further cultists to the cause of the Chaos God. Perhaps these Cultists have some hidden deformity, that outcasts them from ordinary society but that may lead them to follow a particular Chaos Deity. Or maybe they have just have Chaotic tendencies in their thoughts or personality that would draw them to becoming  a cultist.

In terms of model choice it was an absolute shoe-in that I would be using the Disciples of the Red Redmption for my cultists. Oldhammer to the core with their hooded capes and distinctive masks, they were perfect for the role. So I rounded up one plain disciple, one drummer, one standard bearer and one champion. For the Magus or Warrior I had to do a bit more thinking. I wanted to retain the hooded and possibly masked theme (they need to hide their identity from the public to a degree too, and in the end plumped for the jester like Sorcerer (very much fitting in with the theme of the Nurgle Carnival) and for the warrior, the iconic Goodwin model with jezzail. Mainly because it's such a damn cool model, even though it does not really fit my original fluff. Hardly a discreet weapon. 

I painted the robes in my Orc skin colour, I wanted them to be drab but with a hint of green and decided to retain the green colouring in the corrosion on the brass masks. The idea being that these hints of green would complement the reddish skin of the models.

For the banner bearer I did my usual perusal of my growing Fighting Fantasy collection of books and found a great illustration by Bob Harvey from the Talisman of Death that perfectly fits in with this idea of the hooded cultists trying to reach out and recruit you:

So I freehanded a copy of this onto a very small surface:

I plan to extend these 6 models into a unit of diseased flagellants in the future, as per the LatD Nurgle Army list. I've been inspired by this image:

And have a bucket load of plastic flagellants, hounds and even a screaming bell somewhere to make it happen... probably a long time in the future....

Friday, 20 November 2015

The often spotted winged minotaur

I don't know why Minotaurs are so prone to grow wings in the Realms of Chaos. Perhaps it's because the size of the model fits well with the size of model wings that are available, or perhaps because their bestial nature lends itself well to the idea, or perhaps we've all been subliminally affected by Dale Hurst's wonderful Tzeentch warband that was showcased back in a White Dwarf many years ago. Anyway, I seem to have seen a lot of them and thought it was high time that I added something to this exclusive oeuvre:

It was the wings themselves that caused some problems at the painting stage; I wasn't sure how to proceed, so after some discussion on the Oldhammer Facebook group, I decided to explore the idea of pale blue wings, as per the body colour, but with darker blue tips, like this photo of a Heron which I used for inspiration:

Thank you to whoever it was on the Oldhammer Facebok page that suggested this colour scheme, it worked out really well and ties in with the colours used on the torso. We are very lucky to have such a great, creative and supportive community. I had to glaze quite a few layers of blues and greys with a few delicate drybrushed hightlights for it to work, but I'm really happy with the outcome. Not sure he looks particularly Nurglesque, but I can deal with that.

Originally I had the plan to add zebra stripes, as Dale Hurst did so successfully in his iconic warband:

But I found that with all the straps on his arms etc, that it would look way too busy. And because I remembered that I have done this to a minotaur before anyway:

I've got a few more Minotaurs to convert and paint, so as to create the D4 quantity which I could potentially roll up on the retinue table. I'm looking forward to making them appear more in the guise of Nurgle though..

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Bitzbox Warband pt2 - greenstuff (and warband record sheet)

I've been busy with the greenstuff and the sculpting tools in order to complete the next stage of putting this Bitzbox Warband together; prior to the painting stage:

The leader of the warband. I resisted the urge to greenstuff the fuck out of him, or more especially his palanquin. The unsightly gaps between palanquin and nurglings will be hidden by banners (see more below) and I decided to keep the texture of the balsa grain rather than greenstuff rugs/drapery on the surface which would have draped over the sides. I did add some cocktail stick spikes though. I may need to greenstuff some hands and feet onto the Nurglings which are on board the palanquin, as at the moment they are missing from having been clipped from their small plastic base. You can also see the small seeds and beads which I've embedded into the swollen gut of the Champion and on the sides of the throne I've added some textured/organic swirls which show the twisted and contorted figures writhing in the throne.

Here's the beastmen champion, old dog head, pointing into the distance, showing his steed where he would like to go. The only sculpting here (apart from gap filling) was the scorpion like tail of the Chaos steed and a bit of his mane.

The 5 beastmen. Most of the greenstuff here was used to fill gaps and of course create the occasional bloated belly. A flared trouser was added over the hoof of the gunner and a few dried seeds were embedded into the belly of the banner bearer. I have a freehand design in mind for his banner, which is based on an illustration from a, yeah you've guessed it, Fighting Fantasy illustration.

Added a typical fat Nurgle belly (with belly button) and some straps. Only a little bit of filling was needed on the tail join and he's ready to bang his drums. The pages on his flank with have musical scores on them.

I wanted to create an organic appearance to the shield, so kept the sculpting marks which were directed towards the center. Embedded in the center are 3 beads which represent the Mark of Nurgle, which I've repeated on his shoulder.

So next I'll start the painting, probably in the order of these photographs, starting with the palanquin leader - I have a feeling that it will be the most problematic to paint with regards to it's size and awkwardness. Painting all those Nurglings will be a chore and I'll aim to cover the gaps between them and the palanquin by having some banners hanging down from the sides of the wooden edge itself. I'm considering freehanding some of Holbein's "Dance of Death" woodcuts onto these banners, perhaps x5:

I've also created a Warband Record sheet which is pretty much copied direct from the back of the Lost and the Damned book, with a few changes which I found make it a bit more slick and usable. It's a good tool for recording your warband rolls and the adjustments to profiles, armour saves etc as well as future changes as your warband progresses. I've filled in the details of my Bitzbox Warband here: (please let me know if this link hasn't worked):

And the blank template if you're interested:

Time to start painting this lot up then, if I can avoid the distraction of a myriad of other projects....

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Dungeon Tiles: Throne Room

I've finished another dungeon tile, this one being the ruined throne room. I've gone big for this one as I wanted to add some additional detail in the shape of an old, fraying red carpet, the pillars, the throne itself and a side store room with barrels. It's made with the same materials and techniques as my other tiles, here's the tutorial if you're interested::

Down closer to eye level to get a bit more in there with the adventurers. You can see the size of this tile here, plenty of room for an ambush of lots of monsters or a place to meet some npc's? Wish I'd put some more thought into a backdrop rather than the lid of the big H&M box that they're housed in. A cool backdrop would have added some extra ambiance.

The adventuring party tentatively close in on the throne, checking traps under the red carpet and potential threats from behind the pillars. 

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The red carpet is created from some medium weight cartridge paper that was moistened, frayed and painted with a range of pale reds -  and then even paler down the center to show where the footfall had mostly been. A faded gold trim was also added. Mud was added with a variety of brown washes and some Tamiya Mud Weathering Stick. When dry the entire red carpet was then dipped into dilute pva and then folded back on itself a few times to make it look like it had been ruffled up over the floor over the years:

The pillars are some cake decorations that I snared from ebay, one of which was hacked apart and the middle filled with foam and sand to look like rubble. They were undercoated black and then drybrushed with successively lighter greys before washes of green and brown were added to create a weathered appearance:

The barrels are from the dungeon scenery range at Dark Art Studios:

The throne itself is based upon Ian McCaig's illustration from Fighting Fantasy: Deathtrap Dungeon, you can see more on it's construction and painting here

I love this illustration so much that I've had to include it again.

Hope you like it!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Deathtrap Dungeon: Ian McCaig's iconic illustration re-made

I'm in the process of constructing a throne room for my dungeon tile project and along the way I happened to pick up my copy of Fighting Fantasy's Deathtrap Dungeon for some easy reading. As I was looking through I re-discovered the classic image by Ian McCaig of the skeleton, sitting on his throne, scroll in hand. It's an iconic image that I remember well from my youth and then I had a thought; a model recreation of that image would be the perfect centerpiece for my throne room dungeon tile.

So I set off with some balsa wood, card, a bit of paper (for the scroll) a Mantic skeleton, some bitz and some paints and I created this:

The painting took no time at all, lots of drybrushing up the highlights over a black undercoat and then washing in browns and greens for some weathering. I went for a faded blue on the tunic as I imagined that he was once of regal blood and with all the neutral colours he needed a spot colour to make him pop.

The barrels are from Dark Art Studios dungeon range with a few additional bitz added to create a bit more of a narrative ad interest.

Here's the work in progress shot showing the construction of the model. I had to bend the knees to snapping point (then reconstruct his right kneecap with greenstuff) and both arms were snipped and re-positioned with the aid of a paper-clip. I built the throne and the skeleton at the same time so that I could check he would fit on it with the arms rested on the arm rests and the legs actually touching the floor. The arm rests became wider than I hoped but overall the throne isn't too big (it was at one stage..)

And here's the iconic illustration that started me off on this small, but fun, diversion, with a comparison shot below:

The throne room which he will take pride of place, is in the latter stages of painting, so not far off. I'm quite excited to see him within a scenic space. Sad!


Saturday, 7 November 2015

Orctober 2015. Finished Orc Warband.

The finished Orc Warband of the Orange Sun:

JugNugg Igg - Orc Shaman - Level 10 (Magic Teef)
Harnack - Underling Level 5 Orc (The Beserker)
Durz and his boyz - Orc Champion leading 7 Orcs

This warband was rolled up using Erny's Warband generator.
I've chosen some classic Orcs from my leadpile to create this warband. The only conversion is the banner as the original was tiny and I wanted to have a go at a big freehand design.

The first five I completed (I like Orcs in 5's and the symmetry of the leader in the middle and flanked by musician and standard bearer. I also decided to raise Durz on some rocks to make him look even meaner and bigger..

 I've also repeated the standard's motif on his breastplate with added black and white checks in the style of John Blanche

JuggNugg Igg and his bodyguard. The shaman is one of my favourites (I think because the model was used as the basis for the illustration of the Mercanary Shaman in Warhammer Armies) and I have also raised him up on some rocks. I believe he was originally supposed to be mounted on a boar, but I like his dancing pose here.

The Beserker just looks mental and is such a dynamic pose.

The other two orcs are slightly different looking to the other sculpts, with their elongated faces and narrow eyes. To me they look like distinct siblings so act well as a bodyguard for the slightly mad shaman.

I really wanted to go to town on a freehand banner. With previous Orc armies I eschewed the idea of a design ("how are those orcs ever going to get a beautiful banner design on a piece of cloth?") for more totemic versions. But here I've gone oldschool, being particularly influenced by John Blanche's .......... from p. of the WFB 3rd edition rulebook.

I also enjoyed doing a few freehand shields in the classic GW style with grotesque faces, this one's lifted from an illustration in Warhammer 3rd Edition Armies book:

Many thanks for looking and I hope you enjoy my contribution to Orctober 2015. Right, let's paint some Red Redemption cultists next, actually, no I'd better finish that minotaur and greenstuff my bitzbox warband...