Saturday, 15 January 2022

Warhammer Empire - Averland Army

Continuing the army showcases, today we have my old Empire army. This force has come together in quite interesting ways, as Empire models are now incredibly expensive to get hold of, so I had to be a bit cunning about waht to buy. Some models are still available from Games Workshop as they have been amalgamated into Age of Sigmar's free cities, so the Helblaster was easy to find, but most other things took a bit of effort. Handily, I was given a load of old Battlemasters models. I hadn't actually heard of Battlemasters before last year's forray into old fantasy. Essentially it's an old board game made with GW intellectual property that featured a range of pretty good plastic sculpts. In this army, the halberdiers, kinghts and crossbowmen are all Battlemasters sculpts.

I remember when the first pikes came out for Dogs of War when I was younger and how exciting it was to have a new weapon in the game. If you're not familiar with old fantasy, it would probably seem strange to think that at the time there were about a dozen weapons in the game shared between all armies (two hand weapons, hand weapons, double handed weapons, spears, halberds), so something new was really exciting. The pike regiment are Landsknechts by Warlord Games. I'm really impresed with the models, and I've been using them as an allied in regiment in games using the dogs of war rules. Pikes are mean too - fighting with 4 ranks is brutal when it's not uncommon for a unit to attack with only one rank. Actually, the pikes do have an interesting thing in there - my first paper bnner in a very long time! It turns out that the secret is to varnish the paper a few times before you start painting to stop it from curling up. 

The crossbows from the Battlemasters set are pretty good, but their bows have very triangular ends, so I shaved down the bow part to make them look better. Their faces are a bit lacking in detail too, but they do the job, and I like the feathers.

Handguns (below) are from the 6th edition box set. I'm not really a fan of the more modern plastics as I think the proportions for these guys are better. Handguns are a real mixed bag in old fantasy, as they only fire every other turn. With 2 ranks, you can fire them every turn by slowly rolling them forward, so a rank shoot each turn. In theory, I still think they're pretty shite, but being as they decimated a whole unit of Orcs in their first game, I can't complain too much. 

There are a few metal characters in the force - with a Knights Panther Grandmaster model being used as my general, metal wizard (below) and a Reiksguard captain leading the halberdiers. I was happy with the patterning on the Wizard's barding. I've done some patterning and stripes throughout the force and have been quite happy with the results. It's a lot of work though as I'm painting the yellow over a black undercoat. My one tip is that Balor Brown makes a good base for yellow as there's nothing brown about it and it's basically Averland Sunset, but is easier to apply!

I think the army is at about 1200 points so far, but 1500 is pretty close, as my planned list involves adding a great cannon and Outriders, all of which are built and 2 outriders are already finished. There's also a Steam Tank in the works. 


Monday, 10 January 2022

Fantasy Orc Army - first 500 points complete!

As promised, I'm back with some proper photos this time around. If you missed my last post, I did a head count on my progress from the last year and found that I'd painted 387 models. Getting them all on the table was a challenge in itself, and there was no way to get nice army shots, so today I'm back with a focus on the small new orc contingent I've been working on. You might ask, where are the Goblins (there is one hiding up the back), but the focus is on Orcs so they can ally with my brother's night goblin force. 

Overall, I'm really happy with this army. I've never really found a greenskin recipe that I liked until now, and the oldskool reds and blues set them off nicely. There's a mix of models here, with plastics from 5th Edition mixed in with Battlemasters orcs and a classic metal command for the big 'uns. I got a plastic troll for my birthday a few weeks ago too, originally from one of the starter sets. I'd love to source a few old metal stone trolls, but they're like gold dust! 

Classic plastic archers (below). Single pose sculpts have really grown on me. They look great when properly painted and they really take me back.

Savage orcs (below) are mostly Harelequin Models Barbarian Orcs, which are available now through Black Tree Designs. They were a bit of a Christmas present for myself. If you're looking at them and thinking it's hard to tell them apart from the GW ones, it's because they were also sculpted by Kev Adams in the 90s who worked on a lot of the older metal GW orcs. Speaking  of Kev Adams, the warlord model at the top of the page now known as Oglud Bonebeater is an old Heartbreaker Miniatures models also sculpted by the guy. It turns out he's basically single handedly responsible for filling the world with the joy of grinning derpy orcs - just how I like them! 

The Big Uns - I'm planning to split my orcs as the army grows so that the 5th Edition plastics (ones without helmets, and slightly smaller) will form a unit of regular orcs while the armoured battle masters orcs will be the more elite Big Uns. 

You'll notice a few spare models in the background that will be rolled into later units, they were out for the full head count!

The scenery in these photos is all stuff I've been working on too and us scratch built as a set to match the army. Speaking of, I hand made the mushrooms on their bases too with some regular milliput. It turns out that it's not hard to do, and seems to be a pretty good thing to do with leftover putty! 

Thursday, 6 January 2022

2021 in review - I painted 387 models!

Despite a distinct lack of posting on the Blog, it's actually been an incredibly productive year for me. More than any year I can remember, I could completely track my progress as I finished my first oldhammer Bretonnian Knight on 4th January 2021. Throughout the year, I made a huge comeback to Warhamer Fantasy with multiple armies in the works and models both old and new on the painting table. What you see is the result of all this effort - with several sizeable forces at good levels of completion. 

I got everything together on one table for photos and I have to say, I honestly don't know if I should be proud or scared. One thing I will say, is that 2021 was the year I completely mastered batch painting - often producing full 20 man units over a few days. It was also a year with a lot of time on lock down, although as I work in an essential role, I was still working full time through the whole pandemic. Despite that, I still struggled to get everything in shot. I did take individual army photos, so I'll post the armies properly later, but here's some shots: 

I also built and painted all of the terrain too!

I actually wasn't sure what the final numbers would be like as it was easy to lose track. If I was guessing, I would have said 200 models, not 387. That's including dragons, chariots and anything sharing a single base as one model, so there was no fiddling the figures! 

To break things down in the count, here's the list, with a rough idea of the points value in 5th Edition Fantasy (without magic items):

Skaven: 95 models complete - around 1500 - 2000 points depending on characters included.

Empire: 57 models complete, about 1250 points

Vampire Counts: 80 models, around 1250 points complete

Bretonnia: 17 models

Lizardmen: 37 models, Over 800 points complete

Orcs and Goblins: 31 models, 600 points complete with some extra models. 

Dark Elves: 25 models, 500 points complete plus Black Dragon 

Nippon: 23 models, 500 point army complete

Beastmen (still work in progress): 12 models

Total: 377 models complete in 2021! 

Oh, and aside from Warhammer, I painted Megumin from Konosuba by Klukva miniatures which makes the actual total 378...

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Blood Dragon Vampire in 3d! (Soulblight Gravelords Blood Knight)


This is a first on the blog - miniatures in 3d! and you don't even need goggles to do it. I knew we'd get there one day. Finally something futuristic.

This is sort of a test post, and more photos will be coming in later. A month or two ago, I posted about re-doing my Lizardmen, and following on from that, I've been re-vamping (pause for laughter), my Vampire Counts. I have to admit that some of the new "Soulblight Gravelords" models are rather exquisite and I was ... transfixed... by the new Blood Knights. Blood Knights actually weren't a thing in my edition, but mounted vampires were as far as individual characters go. I'll probably be using this one as a Battle Standard Bearer when the time comes, although she might be a Count for now while the force gets off of the ground again. 

I will try and fine-tune the 3D image making process for better results in the future. I got a cheap spinning solar display stand on eBay and basically just put a backdrop up and quickly filmed the model, then converted to a Gif. There is room for improvement, but it's pretty cool. Hopefully it'll display properly on the blog!

Saturday, 5 June 2021

Bungo the Barbarian, Chapter 22 - Crunchy Confectionery that Kills!


Chapter 22 - Crunchy Confectionery that Kills


Janboe leapt from Wendy’s back; sailing through the air like a diminutive suicidal comet plunging into the sun. His drop from the colossal bovine beast’s back had been considerable, and he hit the floor with a resounding thump; finally arresting his rolling momentum by going headfirst through a display stand for alchemical components. He had just enough time to catch a glimpse of the angry horde of Butt-Goblin head-hunters that were swarming through the gap where the wall had once been before he slipped into unconsciousness.


“Eat my biscuits!” Bellowed Bungo; the throaty roar eliciting both terror and confusion from his adversaries as he jammed a fistful of crunchy confectionery down the throat of his would be attacker. He followed this unconventional attack with a swift kick that sent the unfortunate creature spiralling back down the home-baking aisle; before crashing headlong into a gang of charging Butt-Goblins.


Choking and spluttering in dazed confusion; the bruised beasts didn’t even have time to draw breath before Bungo was amongst them. The world seemed to go into slow motion as Bungo’s mighty fist collided with a goblin’s unprepared face. There was a sickening crunch as its cranium imploded and the goblin’s brain burst from the back of his head and splatted wetly on the opposite wall like a damp ball of snot. The whole scene was lent an air of both hilarity and depravity when to the horror of the onlooking goblins, the brain-ball oozed its way onto the already roaring grill of a display barbecue and burst into flames.


The finest warriors of Turdmondaz turned tail and fled in abject horror; their simian brains entirely unprepared for the heroic might of the unshackled barbarian. Unwilling to give up so easily, Bungo grabbed a straggler and drove him buttocks first into his armoured crotch-plate; splattering the poor creature into a grotesque chunky-cheese-omelette of death.


“Excelsior!” The barbarian leapt atop a potion display stand; gyrating menacingly at the remaining miscreants as they scampered out the door of the Adventure Mart. They looked back in terror, only to see Bungo as he pointed towards the barbecue again and rubbed his herculean six-pack hungrily. It wasn’t until he started to motion the next phase of their potential trip through his small intestine that several more goblins died of sheer terror.


Suddenly, all went quiet. Even the Butt-Goblin that had been dying a slow death choking on biscuity crumbs was suddenly dumbstruck in mute awe as a colossal dark shadow fell across the otherwise well-lit adventure mart.


“The … the champion of…of … Turdmondaz” The creature rasped the words with its last ragged breath, dying with a smile on its twisted lips.


“I challenge you” the voice that issued forth from the shadow was strong, yet clear and held with it the power of wisdom and certain victory. Bungo looked up towards the door which swung inwards perfectly on cue; revealing the colossally armoured form of his new adversary silhouetted against the light of the setting sun.

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Warhammer - Empire Helblaster Volley Gun, Averland

Just a quick post today to share a few pictures of this Empire Helblaster that I've painted up. I started working on this thing just after finishing the Skaven force that I shared last week. This is actually a more modern model and is the current plastic edition of the gun. I've painted it in black and yellow, which is the colours for Averland. I wanted a punchy scheme that was going to be relatively easy to apply. 

Despite just painting a bunch of Skaven in yellow and black, these guys are painted in the reverse order - with the black areas applied first and then the yellows layered on top. With more black than yellow to get through, it just made sense. I've always had a soft spot for Helblasters ever since I was young and used to stare at the pictures in the old 5th Edition Battle Book for endless hours. 

It has been a great source of amusement that for some reason, one of the crewmen came out with more than a slight resemblance to Owen Wilson. Maybe it's just the way the hair is painted, but I now know the perfect head if someone wants to recreated Shanghai Noon in a tabletop game! 

Owen Wilson struggles to work out what to do with his ram-rod thingy...

That about rounds it out for this one. I have some really ancient Battle Masters Empire sculpts that my brother recently gave to me that will be forming the backbone of the force. They're old single-pose models from a pre-historic time. I'll be interested to see how decent or not I can make them look with a proper paint job. 

Saturday, 3 April 2021

500 Point Warhammer Fantasy Skaven Army (Also the end of Monster March)

Although this is a post about the Skaven I've been working on, it's also sort of the end of Monster March as well. This army was entirely built and painted during the last 2 weeks of March!

It sounds really fast, considering it's 40 models, but I realized early on that I would need to be painting fast if I wanted to actually ever finish a Skaven force. This is only 500 points, but is already 40 models!

I've used a few classic metal models and some of the more modern plastic kits and bits from Island of Blood. You can see the stone-age Warpfire Thrower and Poisoned Wind Globeadeer above. These are really classic nostalgic models for me, and just looking at them takes me straight back to the mid 90s. I love the old rules for them too. They're incredibly dangerous, but it's pretty much in the hands of fate if they devastate the enemy or just explode and shower your horde of chittering rat-men with napalmy death!

I also have Grey Seer Thanquol (below), who I'm using as an ordinary Warlock in this force. It's a really old model, but I think the sculpt is still nice. I did a little bit of a glow effect around his eyes which I think came out really well. It's something I don't do very often, but I wanted to make him look a little bit magical. I've also been reading the old Gotrek and Felix books that feature him quite heavily, so it's fun to be able to use the model. I just wish I had an old metal Boneripper to go with him!

The plague monks are probably my least favorite kit in this force. They show their age a lot worse than the metals. I did a lot of filling work on them to get them to a stage that I was happy with. As with a lot of the force, I didn't want to spend too long on them, but I did stop to sculpt some hoods and to fill in around their necks and I think it was worth the time and energy. The banner is freehand. I tried to keep it simple enough as I'm not great at freehand designs. I'm pretty happy with how the horned rat symbol came out. 

The unit below is 25 Clanrats in a massive block. I wanted to get a good quality finish quickly, so for the whole army, I airbrushed a yellow colour over the whole of every model. I hadn't used contrast paints before, but I basically used the yellow as a nice bright undercoat that I could pick out the main colours over. They're quite detailed models, but by batching them in pretty big chunks of 10 or 15, I made it to the end of the force in good time. Their fur is Gore Grunta Fur Contrast and the blacks are Black Templar. I did do highlights on each part, but it cut down on the middle stages. It was also nice to work with the contrast paints because they're so fluid that they were easy to apply. Whenever I build an army, I have to decide it it's going to be more for play, or more as an art project. These guys are definitely designed for play and are a speed and quality that matches! 

Last, we have Warlord Spineshank! He's the metal Spinetail model, but has a few conversions on him - including his back banner and actually a robot eye that's on the other side of his head so you can't see it in this photo. He was a model I bought a while back and converted for my 40k Skaven before I had any idea where I was going with them. At the time, I didn't have a clear direction and when I picked up the army and worked on it properly a few years later there wasn't really a place for him anymore, so he's been languishing in a drawer ever since. Handily, he is perfect for this force, so I got him on a square base and set him loose on the Old World!

 And that's about it. It certainly was a productive month - I painted a Dragon, a Stegadon, and 40 Skaven. The best part is that I'm really happy with how everything came out! I have planned to increase the army to 1000, and It's quite achievable. It's pretty much just adding a Doomwheel, 10 Stormvermin, an a few more Plague Monks.