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.