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. 

Saturday, 20 March 2021

Monster March Week 3 - Lizardmen Metal 1990s Stegadon ... Stega...done

Monster March is still in full swing. I finished my Dark Elf Dragon last week, and to follow it up I've been working on this metal 1990s Lizardmen Stegadon. After a week of work, the Stegadon is finished!

This is a classic model that means a lot to me as Lizardmen were my first army ever, and  the Stegadon was one of the very first models I ever owned. As with the rest of my classic Lizardmen, I've followed the colour scheme I used when I was younger, so the skinks are green and the Stegadon is a fetching dark red. 

In the end, it didn't take too long. It was a pain to build though. It's all metal, and I had to pin a lot of the bits - especially the Howdah to make it good and strong. When I was a kid, I mostly just drenched it with superglue and then painted what I could reach. I wanted to do a better job this time, so I painted it in 3 chunks - one for the actual Stegadon, then the howdah and finally the 6 crew. 


In addition to being a big nostalgia tank, this thing also weighs about as much as a tank. It's solid metal and is basically a house brick... with points on it. It also makes a big chunk of my 1000 point plan, and puts me in a good position to move the army on towards that goal. I've recently finished the skink cold-one riders. My planned list is almost done, with just 5 more saurus warriors to paint. 

The other thing that has been nice has been having this thing on a real base. The actual model never came with one, and was part of that era when a lot of metal things didn't have bases at all and just sort of rolled around on the green flocked plains of the old world. Anyway, it fits a chariot base nicely.


Well, that pretty much rounds out my Monster March this year. Maybe I'll just try to paint whatever I have about the place as a final pledge for the last week. I'm batching a bunch of Skaven right now, so maybe if I paint enough of them, I might get a final photo. I really should be working on those final saurus though. The horror of having so many projects on the go!

Head on over to Path of an Outcast to see how the other entrants are doing. I have to say, I was shocked to read last week's update as Gav Thrope has joined the event. Exciting stuff!

Path of an Outcast

Thursday, 11 March 2021

Monster March - Week 2 Dark Elf Dragon Complete

It's time for an update on my Monster March progress. I'm happy to say that my first monster is down! It was touch and go for a minute there, but I got the thing done. I still have half my pledge to go (an old metal Stegadon), so this is sort of the half-way point and the perfect time to finish a project. 

Overall, I'm really happy with the way the dragon came out. Work may seem to be fast, but it was a flurry of activity. It's been really fun though, as a lot of my work lately has been painting blocks of infantry, so taking some time to work on a big monster was a nice change of pace. 

I'm using one of my oil paintings as a backdrop again as it just makes things more fun and brings out a bit of the old fantasy style. It does make the photos a bit busy, but if you're having trouble reading it, just remember it's a big honkin' dragon and you should be fine. Here's a photo of the back so you can see the wings. 



Front shot/rider. I used a corsair helmet as it was the single most dragon-y thing in a 500 mile radius. I can't believe that thing is intended for someone on foot to wear to be honest, but anyway here it is on the head of the notorious brigand known as Filthy Lu'Gar


A close up shot so you can see the paint-work. I have my own techniques to be honest. I like to highlight up to small tiny dots of white that look a bit like the light is catching a shiny surface. I think I mentioned in an earlier post that the dragon was inspired by the nautical themes of classic Dark Elves, so the sea vibe is still strong. It's a sea dragon! 



And that pretty much rounds out my first project for Monster March! Remember, you can stay up to date on all the action going on over at Path of an Outcast (Path of an Outcast). 




 

Monday, 8 March 2021

Dark Elf Army - 500 Point Showcase

(Above) Lizardmen burst from the jungle to repel a marauding dark elf force

Continuing with me fantasy theme, here's another small army that I've been working on recently. Unlike the other projects, the dark elf force uses mostly modern models although I have been using a metal executioner champion as the general. I'm working on some cold one knights and a mounted general to go with them for when I next expand the force. 

The army is shown below as it stands so far:


I found it really hard to find good painted examples of dark elves on the internet. Nobody seemed to be doing what I was thinking, and to be honest, I got the impression from looking around that they weren't that popular and got rather shafted in the switch to Age of Sigmar. That said, the Daughters of Khaine range is rather nice.

Probably the stand-out parts of the scheme are the metallic red armour which was achieved with Vallejo Mecha Red. The other thing that's a bit different is the dark blue skin tone. I've always liked drow and thought it might be interesting to do something similar with my dark elves. I didn't want to go pure black with the skin as it wouldn't have combined as well with the other colours I had envisaged for the scheme. As often happens these days, I had a look through my paints and found a pot of Kantor Blue which looked perfect as a base colour for the job. 

As with my other armies, I've been preparing these for 5th Edition. I did play against Dark Elves a few times back then, but I never really knew anything about their background. I got hold of an old Armies book, and I've been enjoying reading about them and especially their seafaring background. There was also this whole bit about a big underground sea that I'd never heard of that I thought was very cool. It's also funny how they didn't seem to pull their punches in terms of what was deemed acceptable back then. There's whole passages in that book basically describing how the dark elves like nothing better than taking as meany slaves as they can, tearing out their still beating hearts, eating their flesh and then stripping off and getting busy amongst their bloody remains. It's a little weird that most of them are now "Cities of Sigmar" armies.

In keeping with their seafaring background here's a sea sickness-inducing tilt shot... 

Repeater crossbows (above) are pretty cool weapons too. I did a bit of conversion with a few of the poses as they come posed to lock into ranks and don't aim by default. I also did a little sculpting and added an eyepatch to their leader for the pirate factor - "argghhh!" 



Also, a repeater bolt thrower was definitely necessary. Despite playing fantasy for many years in my youth, it's actually my first ever war machine! I played Lizardmen and Vampire Counts back in the day so never had access to a cannon or anything of that type. Alongside the modern plastics, I've been gathering a few metal 6th edition models for the force and this Bolt Thrower is one of them. It's a cool design and is by far my favourite both thrower model for fantasy. 


 Well, that's about it on this army for now. I do have a lot more models to add and have started on their dragon for Monster March. I don't really need a dragon as there's no way to even fit it into a force until you hit about 2000 points, but the models is just really cool and I couldn't resist! To be honest, I bought way too much stuff for them, but what do you do with yourself when you basically haven't left home for a whole year?

Friday, 5 March 2021

Monster March 2021 - Dark Elf Dragon Week 1


I'm back for Monster March again, and this year I've pledged my Dark Elf Dragon and possibly an old metal Stegadon depending on how progress on the dragon goes! At the moment this is the state of the dragon after 1 week of work. The Stegadon has been stripped, but is a pile of metal chunklets that need a lot of TLC, so we'll see if I can manage that one.

If you're not familiar with Monster March, head on over to Path of an Outcast to read more: Path of an Outcast: Monster March - Part 1 (swordmasterofhoeth.blogspot.com). It's a community event where the goal is to pledge and paint a monster, large model or pretty much anything in the month of March! About 2 years ago, I successfully painted my Shadowsword for the event. 

Anyway, here's the dragon so far. I started the month with it built and I've spent this week completing the airbrushing on it. I think it took about an hour and a half to get it into this condition.



I've been reading the old 5th Edition Armies book, and was kind of inspired by the background in there of Dark Elves being a seafaring race, so rather than going for black on the dragon I wanted to paint it a bit like it could be a sea dragon! Anyway, I've gone for a sort of blue hide with an orange/red trail down its back. I added a few indications of stripes, but I'm not that happy with them, so that whole area is something I'll be sorting out with the regular brush now. I did the skin on the stomach and wings in a sort of almost flesh tone that's not far off Rakarth Flesh in colour.

I normally name some of the paints that I've used, but in this case, I'm really not sure as it was a lot of layers. I definitely remember base-coating the body in Prussian blue, but I can't remember what I highlighted it with, possibly Vallejo Emerald and white mixed with the blue. The skin was definitely Vallejo Dark Flesh with white mixed and added for highlights.

Anyway, that's my week 1 progress on this thing. It's fun to paint a dragon again after so many years. If I want to finish the Stegadon, I probably need to finish this dragon up pretty quick (I am not looking forward to building the Stegadon - it's the metal howdah with 6 metal crew - I'm going to have to pin them all so I can paint them separately and stand any chance of getting it looking good!)

Speaking of pinning, the dragon has a rider that I have mounted on a block to paint separately. 

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Bretonnian 500 Point Army Showcase

 

So, a few weeks ago, I posted a few photos of my finished 5th Edition Lizardmen force. I did mention that I'd also done a matching Bretonnian force - and here they are in all their splendor! I got all the scenery out lately for photos, so more pictures of some of my old fantasy stuff should be inbound soon.

These guys and me go way back. In fact, they live in constant terror that my childhood self may return to abuse them once more. Luckily for the men of Bretonnia, I felt guilty for my past transgressions and in some kind of lockdown-induced haze, I decided it would be a good idea to finally get them back in fighting order. Many repairs and paint strippings were had by all and this force is the final result.

For those that don't remember or weren't there, these guys were part of the original box-set for Warhammer 5th edition that featured armies of Lizardmen and Bretonnia clashing over what appeared to be a tower, shack and barn. Anyway, they're ready for war once more and I even sourced a metal sorceress to back them up.



The sorceress model was always a very good sculpt, and it's nice to say that time hasn't been terrible for her. For the army, I wanted to capture a bit of the crazed mult-tone that characterized old Bretonnia so they have a few different colours, but yellow, blue and red feature quite prominently. I painted the knights with their own heraldry each. 

I also had a go at photographing a battle scene for them with a few skeletons that were marauding nearby. I just hope that isn't a Vampire Lord at the back, or those knights are toast...


Actually, I didn't have a general model, so I had to convert one (seen at the front of the lance formation) by using a knight and adding a cape and head swap. He came out pretty good in the end. The whole force is pictured below - complete with 10 archers. 


This project is now complete - I basically just ran out of models to be honest! I do have some more knights and archers, but I never collected Bretonnia at the time and getting any of the metals now is just painfully expensive. I actually finished this force before the Lizardmen, and I have plenty more of them to be getting on with (Including a Stegadon for Monster March ... hopefully)

Speaking of Lizardmen, am I the only one that thought that was an odd pairing - they're basically from other sides of the old world and have very little possible reason to ever cross paths. Here's one more classic-style battle photo for the road - 

A Bretonnian hunting party is ambushed by Lizardmen after straying too close to a concealed temple-city