Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Bungo the Barbarian, Chapter 20 – Between Delusion and a Hard Place

Shallica, can you hear me?” Bungo’s rich baritone voice seemed oddly distant to the she-demon. Teetering on the verge of consciousness; she began to feel an odd sensation. She could feel herself being lifted from the ground in Bungo’s powerful arms. Shallica squealed inwardly with delight at the sensation; her lofty thoughts of their love and daydreams about the wedding ceremony were shattered moments later when the embrace turned into a colossal burping as Bungo bounced her on his shoulder. The mood was well and truly ruined when she coughed up a pint of tepid seawater down Bungo’s chiselled back, and he plunked her down on her feet unceremoniously.


The oafsome barbarian resolved into focus as Shallica drearily opened her eyes. He was leaning over her with a look of concern; and more importantly he wasn’t wearing a chamber pot helmet on his head for the first time in weeks. They seemed to have washed up on some type of beach, but there was no sign of their ship, or any wreckage to speak of.


“What happened, anyway?” The barbarian seemed even more clueless than usual. “The last thing I remember I was sitting down to a nice dinner and some bunk swill. There was a storm, and…”


“Bungo?” Shallica’s eyes filled with tears and she threw her arms around him; although at him might have been a more apt description of the motion as the barbarian’s girth was so great that she could barely reach across his herculean chest with both arms fully outstretched.


“You’ve come back to your senses!”


The conversation that followed lasted some time, as Shallica had to explain every event since Bungo had been bludgeoned into senselessness. She left out a few of the details about how he had been calling himself “Donglore”, and she thought that he would rather not know that he had been wearing a chamber pot on his head. Despite her attempts to streamline the conversation, it took several hours as she laboriously explained simple concepts like “ship” and “mast”. Finally Bungo’s expression cleared in some dim facsimile of what most people would call understanding. A second later, his brow furrowed with confusion once again and his finger was poised; ready with a fresh question.


“Just one more thing…” the barbarian stroked his jaw thoughtfully for a moment before spinning around and pointing almost directly upwards at the colossal spires of Turdmundaz that spiralled off into the seemingly infinite sky only mere feet away from where the two of them were stood “What are we doing here?”


There was a short dumbfounded pause.


“You know what they do to you here…” Bungo had a feverish look about him as he spoke nervously. His voice suddenly dropped to a whisper “That!”


Shallica looked at him quizzically; her large amber eyes exploring Bungo’s oddly shaken visage with a new sense of interest. Taken in by his sudden change in demeanour, she lowered her voice and leaned closer to the panic stricken warrior, giving them the appearance of a pair of plotting thieves.


“What is … That!?” she whispered the last part rather loudly, as her enthusiasm ran wild. Bungo’s hand almost immediately came up and covered her mouth.


“Shhhh.” The barbarian’s eyes darted from side to side.


“Don’t say it, don’t even think it …. I’ll tell you, but only once, and we’ll never speak of it again”. Shallica’s delicate face bobbed up and down, still partially smothered by Bungo’s hand.


“I’ve been here before.” He began quietly.


“It was a long time ago, but I’ll never forget what I saw.” Shallica was already completely absorbed, and a little scared too.


“We were captured by them.” Bungo motioned to Turdmundaz “the Butt-Goblins!” His voice went strange and high pitched with the last word, adding a sense of eerie mysticism to the tale. Shallica jumped slightly.


“There was one man; young and strong. They took him into a cell. He was screaming, crying out for his mother after just seeing it. Then they made us watch while they ….” His voice was drowned out momentarily by a particularly large wave that crashed against the shore. Shallica couldn’t make out the words, but she could see Bungo go red in the face. His eyes bulged from their sockets and sweat ran in torrents from his forehead as he gesticulated wildly; his whirling arms seeming to form some type of repetitive plunging motion.


His muffled disposition continued until the sound of the waves began to grow quieter, and Bungo seemed to reach a crescendo. Finally his voice cleared.


“Until the handle broke off! And then they just pulled his pants up like it was nothing!” He stopped; wheezing, with a crazed look in his eyes.


“Like it was nothing!!” Bungo buried his head in the sea. The last declarations were drowned out gurgles as he continued his tirade underwater, but she could still make out that he was saying something about “that”.


Shallica just stood there shaking; left to imagine unknown horrors that would never be divulged.




Monday, 26 February 2018

Squaduary 2018: The End, 40k Skaven Army Showcase

Well, I'm finally finished. The challenge was to paint a squad in February, and I pledged 10 40k Skaven troops (for use as Skitarii Vanguard) with a Dominus as the extra stretch goal. I've absolutely smashed my original target. This year, I'm delivering 10 Vanguard and the Dominus, plus the Doom-Crawler (Onager) and an additional 5 man Arquebus unit.

The pictures are a bit cramped as I've done so much that they don't really fit in my usual photo area! I'll be posting some more shots of the units individually soon, but for the moment, I need a rest!

You can see every man in this picture!

I'm really happy with how they've come out. The teal has been fun to paint, which is lucky as I've seen a lot of it now. I'm particularly happy with the converted Onager, which is looking great. I want to make another one now, but I'm trying to stay sensible, well almost.

I've already got a load more units on my work desk, but I'll be taking it a bit slower with the next batch. The important part is that I have enough units finished to really count the army as a proper thing; not to mention a good base to build from. I can't believe it's only been a month since I started this force. 

Once again, thanks to Rory over at Stepping Between Games for running this year's Squaduary. I wouldn't have even started these guys without the event!

Friday, 23 February 2018

Skaven Onager Conversion Vs Mechanicus Onager

Just for fun, some side by side shots of my 40k Skaven Onager (In the slightly dodgy teal/blue airbrush) and my brother's really nice completed Onager.

We had a bit of a Squaduary paint up the other day, and I took the opportunity to take these shots at the start of the session. I'd just finished airbrushing the basic colours in time to start the real work, so sorry it's a bit basic. As he brought over all of his Mechanicus, I thought it might be interesting to see how the two vehicles compared structurally.

Scale wise, you can see that the Skaven version is a bit longer, but actually it isn't that noticeable. It's strange, but it almost looks like a new Mechanicus unit or something. They wouldn't look out of place next to each other if it wasn't for the clashing colours.

It'll be a lot of work, but I'm still planning to finish this thing off in time for the end of Squaduary. With any luck, I can really nail it over the weekend and have a finished model on display by the time next Wednesday rolls round. I can't believe how short this month has seemed!

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Squaduary 40k Skaven - The End of Week 3

I finished my official pledge this week, so for me the struggle is over. Thanks to Rory over at Stepping Between Games for running this awesome community event!

Just for fun, I've taken some exciting group shots of the 40k Skaven I've been working on. I'm really happy with how they look; especially as this army has been a far fetched pipe-dream project for me for so long.


Despite all of the work that I've put into this force in February, I'm still not finished and I'm planning to paint this converted Onager (pictured below) by the end of February too. Hopefully it'll make for a photo finish, and give me one final update for Squaduary to go with the final wave of posts next week!

Interestingly, if I can paint this thing, it'll be the equivalent of having painted the entire Start Collecting Box!

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

40k Skaven Jezzails; Converting Transuranic Arquebuses

Given a few modifications, theses conversions would also be suitable for Age of Sigmar for use as Jezzails. For my purposes, I'm using them as Transuranic Arquebuses for my 40k Skaven/Mechanicus.
I really had 2 options available when I made these. One was to get hold of actual Transuranic Arquebus parts to build them. Unfortunately, they're a bit expensive and hard to get hold of. Being cheap, I wanted another option.

Handily, my brother has a large Skitarii force with plenty of spares. He gave me a pair of Radium Jezzails and I combined them with some ordinary ranger arms to make these guys. The little front stands were created using some spare bits from the Onager and an old smoke launcher. Other than that, the rest of the squad was made exactly the same as the first one that I built.

I decided to stick with the Carbines for all of my ordinary men. I had thought of building this unit as Rangers rather than Vanguard, but the parts just didn't look right to me. They just looked like Skaven with muskets when I sized the parts up, which wasn't really what I was going for as they needed to look a bit more indeterminately futuristic.

Anyway, I've finished the squad off and they're now ready for paint. They didn't take that long as I've got the conversion process down now. If I can finish painting these guys then I'll have 2 units of troops ready for battle, which always feels like a benchmark in an army.

If you missed the rest of the force, then be sure to check out my other posts:

40k Skaven Posts

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Building a 40k Skaven Tank - The Ratchikoma Appears!

Every Clan Rat worth his salt is going to want to be seen cruising about in one of these bad boys! 

For my first vehicle, I wanted to make something interesting and unique for my 40k Skaven without it being completely unrecognisable when the army goes to war. This conversion is probably about 90% Onager parts with just a few additional bits. A lot of it was jostled about and repurposed though to make it work.

The major difference is obviously that I have created an insectile segmented body; with a frontal section and head that attaches on to the rear cab by a new joint. It wasn't that hard to achieve, and in the end, I made a connection with an old dreadnought arm and a spare Tau part from the Ghostkeel. I flipped the actual cab round 180 degrees and then mounted the weapon on top of the crew hatch like a turret. 

It might be a bit outside my Squaduary pledge, but being as I finished 10 men and a Dominus for my 40k Skaven, I thought I might as well paint up the only other thing that you get in one of the Start Collecting sets. So if I can, I'm planning to finish this beast by the end of February.

I'm pretty happy with the frontal lens array and little manipulator arms.

There is room on the balcony for a crewman (rat man). I've built him, but I stuck him on a base to be painted separately, and forgot to include him in the pictures. I wanted at least one Skaven on it to tie it  definitively with the rest of the force without resorting to just gluing some additional armour on a doom wheel or anything!

I've dubbed it the Ratchikoma, as the basic design is based almost exclusively on the Tachikoma tanks from Ghost in the Shell. I always wanted to build something akin to one of them, and now I have. It'll be pretty blue once I get some paint on it too; which I'll find hilarious. I've added a few pictures below that show it's very non-40k counterparts.

I'm really happy with the conversion (so much so that I want to make a second one!). I'll have to get this one painted up first though. I think what I like the most is that it has that sinister feel that is really cool and fitting for an "evil" army. Check back later to see how I get on.

PS. Who else thinks this thing would be an excellent addition to a Dark Mechanicus force too?

Monday, 19 February 2018

Squaduary, 40k Skaven Dominus; Ikit Claw in 40k!

Well, that was a lot of work. I was really enjoying it till about the midway point and then it gradually felt harder and harder to continue. All of the detail was killing me!  It was a cool idea to base him around the Dominus model, but it was already encrusted with detail, and the conversions only added more!

He came out well though, and I'm really happy with the result. For those who were following my progress with Squaduary, he is the last model from my pledge, so he rounds the whole thing out. I'm planning to keep going though and add one further thing this month if I have the time to cram it in. It isn't necessarily a squad, and it is a bit of a whopper. I'll be posting about that tomorrow as I just finished the build.

Back to Ikit, I carried through the same colour scheme I had used on the Vanguard. I added a few more layers into the yellow though to give it a bit more flash. For the ordinary Skaven, it was just a few layers of various yellows. I added in a brown basecoat and white final highlight to the recipie to give it a bit more punch; mostly because it s a lot more prevalent on him and it needed to look good!

I'm particularly happy with the tanks on his back. The axe looks pretty interesting too.

Well, that about rounds it out. Check back tomorrow to see the next 40k Skaven creation.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Necromunda Escher Miniatures Metal Vs Plastic Comparison

With the release of the new edition of Necromunda, I thought it might be fun to compare the new figures to some of the original 90s metal figures. Going into the new set, I wanted to be able to use some of my older miniatures, but I was always concerned that the scale wouldn't fit. Obviously details and casting have come on, although I do think that a lot of the 90s Necromunda miniatures were way ahead of their time in terms of quality.

Plastic Escher in the centre, metals either side.

Scale wise, the Escher match quite closely. The new plastics are bigger, but not noticeably on the tabletop. If anything, it gives quite a natural variation in height. Detail-wise, the plastics took a lot of the elements from the metal miniatures, so they really do look quite good together and only an experienced eye is really going to be able to pick them out.

I also wanted to make this post as most of the time when you see them side by side it's a lovely new model with a really crusty old one. As I've painted these all recently, it seemed a lot fairer, as you're not swayed so much just by the paint/built quality, and can actually see what they look like painted and based next to each other.

All I can say is that I'm happy to have both in my gang!

Again, old metals either side of the plastic ganger.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Squaduary Week 2 - 40k Skaven, 10 complete Vanguard

Well, I managed to get the rest of the squad painted up. I batched the last 3, which I don't think I'll do again as it felt really laborious!

This completes the main part of my pledge for Squaduary. I still have the Rat-Dominus to go, which I'm both looking forward to and dreading in equal measure. He is a really detailed model, so it might take a while. With that said, I have until the end of February to get him finished.

I'm really happy with how these guys came out. Let's hope I can keep this army going! I've started building a few more units for them, but they're very much in the "Frankenstein" stage; kinda messy and half finished! That said, I'll probably be showcasing what I've come up with next week some time, so be sure to check back if you're enjoying the project.

I've used my Necromunda scenery to pose them with as the rusty sewer seemed to suit them.

It sure was a lot of work to paint all of these guys to this standard in one week. I may not be Golden Demon standard, but I pride myself on my speed & quality!

Monday, 12 February 2018

Squaduary, 40k Skaven - A Weekend of Mad Progress

I've been working hard all weekend on my 40k Skaven. I had one finished model on Friday night; and now I have seven!

This isn't a particularly easy scheme to paint either, and every model is taking 2 or 3 hours; even with the airbrushed basecoat. I'm still feeling really motivated working on this project though, and I managed to paint up 3 on Saturday and another 3 on Sunday, which felt quite manageable.

It has made a massive dent in my Squaduary "to do" list. If I can finish the next 3 then I'll be through the squad that I pledged, and I'll just have the Dominus left to go. After that, I'll probably keep going and see what else I can add to the force.

This is the first look at my Alpha too. I built him a few years back during my first half-assed attempt at making 40k Skaven. I sculpted the double cybernetic eye back then, which is still cool. This time round I swapped his weapons out and he looks pretty badass. The "shell" on his back is built from a bit of Maulerfiend. Rat in the shell? Maybe I'll call him Ratou! (well, he does have 2 cybernetic eyes!). If you don't get that joke the I don't know what I'm going to do with you; especially after that live action movie.

I'm really thrilled with how they're coming out. This might even be my best army project to date. They're just great fun to convert and paint and I'm loving working on them. They're just so cool. Even more so now that I have the unit to play with.

The scary part isn't the giant rat ... It's the fin; slicing through the water!

Stay tuned for more giant robo-rats coming this way soon. Next up is another 3 to fill out the squad, then the Dominus. After that, well, I'll just be keeping that a surprise...

Friday, 9 February 2018

Squaduary, 40k Skaven - Painting Test Miniature

*Insert maniacal laughter* It's alive! .... and all that kind of stuff.
I've just finished my first painted miniature. As this is a new scheme, I wanted to test out the colours to see how they would go on one model before committing to the rest for the force. I was torn between a lot of different colours for them; for a while I thought red would be good, but Stormvermin are always red. I was thinking of going with white after that, but then again, I did white for last year's Squaduary. I wanted something cool and different, and being me, I also wanted to work some orange into the scheme.

I liked the idea of painting a kind of turquoise type colour as it is pretty rare. I also wanted something that would look more sci-fi than fantasy and that would be a bit unique. With these things in mind, I invented this scheme. The blue/teal armour is done with the airbrush, which I just used to get the colour and the basic blend down. After that, I worked with the brush to get the rest done.

The pictures aren't the best, but I was in a bit of a rush. Hopefully they're good enough for you to get the general idea.

The highlight on the armour goes all the way to a pure white "shine"

It wasn't all plain sailing, and I had to change some of my ideas as I went to get the result that I wanted. I had originally thought of giving them brown fur, but it just didn't pop. I changed it to white, but then I had to change the colour of the cloth parts so he didn't end up as a  big beige blob (the robes were originally white). Quite the conundrum. After that, once I was happy with how things were going I still had to think about the base. Personally, I think a lot of people underestimate what a good base can do for a model. Not just in terms of tying it into the universe, but just as a good source of colour and interest. It is a lesson learned the hard way as I painted my share of plane old Goblin Green bases in the 90s and early 2000s!
For my 40k Skaven, I chose a red dust style base. It plays nicely against the orange spot colour and contrasts well with the armour and white fur details. It also serves as a reminder that on the field they're mechanicus through and through; well as far as rules go rules anyway!

Overall, I'm happy with the scheme and I plan to keep on plugging through the rest, so that I can get this force off the ground! Squaduary has been a good motivator too, and getting some of these Skaven done is putting a dent in my hobby backlog/cupboard of shame. Stay tuned for more snarly Ratmen coming this way soon, and don't forget to follow the blog if you want to keep up with my progress.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

40k Skaven - Squaduary The Build Part 2, Rat Dominus

I'm on a roll with this new project; and to prove it here's a rather grizzly beastie fresh from the forge.

He is a bit of a mash-up of parts. Kind of what I envisage for a Warlock Engineer given 40,000 years or so to really get his madness down. I've used the Tech Priest Dominus as a base, which has to be the best decision I ever made as it is such a nice model. From there, I've added a plethora of plastic detritus to bring about some wonderful changes. A lot of the conversions are actually quite subtle, but if you're familiar with the kit you can probably tell that there are a lot of small changes all over the place.

His axe is actually one from the Nurgle kit (a Plague Reaper or something?) I had it left over from my obliterator that I built a few months back. I'm particularly happy with the Horned Rat servo skull, as it is quite thematic. His head is from Ikit Claw, and that's probably exactly what I'll call him!

He is also sporting a few Tau and Necron Parts for good measure. I want to keep them as "What You See is What You Get" as possible, so he still has all of the same guns.

Every rat needs a tail ... a mechanical one...

Now I just have to paint him...

If you missed yesterday's troops, check out the rest of the 40k Skaven here: 

I also finished the Alpha for the squad, so they're pretty much ready for paint once all the green stuff dries. Don't forget to follow the blog, or check back later to see how I get on.