Monday, February 27, 2023

Stargrave 2 - Mutants and Murderers


Two more for the blood God. My band grows just a teeny bit today with the addition of another pair of absolute bastards. May I introduce Gerhart Voke and Abelard Dake.

Abelard Dake is another Diehard miniature, and a particularly crazy mutant. He's wonderfully nuts, and makes a great companion to Conrad Freig, who is also from Diehard. They both function as Ravaged Troopers in my Stargrave warband.

Abelard lost his life in service to Khorne as Conrad did, and was similarly revived by Khorne (after a fashion) to continue his ravages as a berserker. Life with a knee-face is probably pretty terrible, but that giant chainsword probably makes up for some of the practical setbacks. He keeps his hair looking sharp too. Somehow.

Gerhart Voke. This guy. This guy looks like he is just the WORST. Look at that face. I mean, he must just love his job. Gerhart hails from The Blooded Killteam box, which is just cracker, and contains the long lost and now found again chaos ogryn and corrupted commissar. Some of the new 40k chaos kits are just magic. The Accursed Mutants and new Jakhals kits are delicious. 

Gerhart is, as you'd expect, a heretic Astra Militarum trooper. Many such wretches serve Vortag, though few with the zeal and delight Gerhart displays. A total psychopath, he finds the service of Khorne a kind of murderous paradise, and indulges his brutal impulses with frenzied abandon. His continued existence, given his lack of caution in the face of enemy fire, is statistically almost zero, which has piqued Vortag's interest. Perhaps Khorne has plans for Gerhart.

Next up, the man himself, Aesir Vortag.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Stargrave 1 - Beginnings of the Murderband

A change of direction here at the Mumblings this day. A grand meeting of my compatriots is planned in a few month's time for some Stargrave action. This meeting is a follow up to last year's very enjoyable Ghost Archipelago meet-up where I took the crew of The Kraken on to greater glory and had a very fun time doing it.

This year it's all sci-fi flavoured, and I'm using it as an opportunity to paint up a group I've long wanted to see on the table, namely Vortag's Murderband, Vortag is a character from my very earliest days of gaming, a World Eater Captain fallen far from his glorious origins as a brother of the XII legion. With just a scant few of his brethren left in his company, he has been forced to recruit warriors of lesser provenance in order to bolster his ragged command.

But despite his predicament, his ambitions are lofty indeed. 

One of these lesser warriors is Conrad Freig, beloved of Khorne. A mortal berserker, Conrad's devotion to the creed of gore is total. So pure was his faith that on his death, Khorne, though taking Conrad's skull as his due, breathed new life into his torn corpse. Conrad rose again, altered, but filled with almost unbearable zeal, ecstatic in the knowledge that his own skull had been deemed worthy. He, and others like him now serve as devastating line-breakers for Vortag's warbands.

Conrad is a Diehard mini, and I used a combination of contrast and standard paint techniques on him. Contrast paints are settling into my painting armoury nicely now. I love making glazes with them, and I've taken to using Wraithbone primer as standard now.

Hopefully I'll have another couple of murderous nutters finished shortly.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Sláine 4 - Skull Sword Champions

Today we have MORE skull swords for the Sláine project. This time a pair of champions. One from the new Warlord range, and one far older fellow, an OOP sculpt from Foundry whose time has come at last.

This guy had resided in my box of 2000AD minis for many years, with no project to call his own. With the release of the new Sláine game though, his lonely days were over, and as a little extra I decided to make him a champion, hence the 32mm base. 

Even when you've had a mini in your 'to paint' collection for years, I find it interesting that you only really look at it closely once you decide to paint it. I'd never noticed the little triskele on his sword hilt, or the fact that he actually had eyes. 

I painted him as the rest, and the contrast paint took to him well. His shield was very plain compared to the flamboyant designs of his new peers, so I freehanded a triskele on there to jazz him up some. 

It's rather satisfying having him finally added a wee force of his evil brethren.

Speaking of shields, look at this! This guy was a mini I'd been really keen to paint since the start of the project, with his massive over the top Gwar concert shield. He's a little more fancy than the basic skull swords, he has a fancier helmet, a better weapon, more bangles and that amazing shield. Let's see that barbarian Sláine get through this!

His basing is the same as the rest bar that little pile of bones. I think they belonged to a mouse. It's been in my bits box for about twenty years.

He's manspreading like crazy, but then big skull shields are great for confidence.

 So, a pair of new champions joins the force, giving me three heroes. It's past time I added more mooks, so another three pack of axe-wielding skull swords is up next, and a creepy Drune priest.

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Sláine 3 - The Lord Weird Slough Feg

The Sláine project continues with one of my childhood favourites, Slough Feg. His pose is based on the iconic Bisley drawing for the Horned God series.

Feg is Sláine's predecessor, the old horned God, and he is not planning on retiring. Having thrown in his lot with Crom Cruach and the Dark Gods of Cythrawl, he now leads the Drunes, intent on destroying the land of the young. Also, he is as mad as a box of frogs.

How could you not love him? he also gets some cracker lines in the comic. His odd syntax only adding to his macabre appeal.

So yes, Feg, all round top guy. 

As to painting this loon, his skin took me a while to get right. I didn't want him to look too undead, as he isn't, just super old and fairly stinking. I uses GW Contrast paints almost exclusively, bar some highlighting. A mix of Basilicarum Grey and Fyreslayer Flesh mixed with medium finally gave me a nice wash for the skin. Over that I glazed, mostly in the recesses and on the elbows, knees and knuckles, purple, pink and red to add some unholy life to the flesh. Some minor highlights of Flayed One Flesh and finally Pallid Wych Flesh and that was it. 

The rest of Feg used techniques I'd tried on the Skull Swords for leather, cloth etc. All pretty natural materials. His horns and progressive washes of Contrast browns from Skeleton Horde down to Garaghak's Sewer, mixed with medium. 

So, now that the main man is done, it's time for some of his champions, and yet more Skull Swords.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Sláine 2 - Skull Sword Pack 1

So, that's my first pack of skull swords for Sláine complete. I'm sticking with the Contrast paint approach for this project, and I'm learning more about their uses all the time. Right now I'm of a mind that they won't replace my traditional way of working, but they will certainly add a very nice set of new techniques to my painting arsenal.

The Siocast these fellows are made from holds an insane amount of detail, and is quite pliable. These lads won't break in a hurry. On the downside, files are useless. The material shreds when filed, so a super sharp scalpel is your best friend when cleaning mould lines and such. It holds paint just fine, at least it holds primer fine. I'm using Games Workshop Wraithbone primer on these lads.

So considering I'm using new paint techniques on a new material, I think these lads are turning out pretty good. The shields designs are great, particularly the one you can see just above here. The designers have taken a lot from the art of Belardinelli, who drew the Sláine strip in the early days. 

Skull sword packs come in 3s, and die easy, so I have a couple more groups of these evil guys to paint yet. I need a bit of a treat though, so next up is their evil boss, the lord weird, Slough Feg.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Sláine 1 - Skull Sword Contrast Test Model

The recent Sláine release from Warlord Games was something I've been waiting for for a while. I'm a huge 2000AD fan, and of Sláine in particular. With some friends already painting up factions for the game, it wasn't something I wasn't going to be able to resist. So I gently laid aside the Silver Bayonet for now and took up the stone axe.

I decided to paint up the Drunes. I'm more often than not drawn to the bad guys, and their leader, the Lord Weird Slough Feg, is a childhood favourite. He's like Skeletor's cranky grandad. Sláine draws on rich seam of Celtic history and myth, and laces it heavily with delicious fantasy tropes. The Drunes, my faction of choice, misuse the Earth power running through the land, eventually turning it sour in their greed. So a lot to identify with there from modern life. At least Feg is straight up about destroying the world. Would vote for.

Anyhow, I decided with this project to go full Contrast paints, pale primer, the works. So with some (loads) of help from Juan Hidalgo's YouTube channel, I set to work on the first Skull Sword.

Lord Vade- I mean Feg will not be pleased.

Skull Swords are Drune soldiery. Bearing the dreaded Triskele and willing to part heads from shoulders at their master's slightest whim, they are a nasty lot. They wear breath masks to protect them from their Drune masters foul stench, as Drune priests begin to decay as they become more powerful, and you can only get someone a Christmas deodorant gift set so many times.

Yeah, look at those Skull Swords, getting their... asses... kicked...

I was on new ground painting this fellow, so there was a lot to learn. I usually paint metals first, but this time they'd be the last thing I painted on the mini. I find contrast very pleasing to work with, but up until this point it had been more of a supplement to my style. This was a another level though, and I'd have to dispense with some tried and tested ways of doing things. Old dog, new tricks? I dunno...

I borrowed heavily from Juan's Kruleboy Eavy Contrast painting video, as it has lots of natural materials like leather and wood. I find his videos suit my style well, and aren't too time consuming. One thing that did give me a bit of a pain in the arse is re-touching the primer after working on an adjacent area. That said, the Skull Sword took about four hours in total. I reckon I could shave an hour off that now I have the colours picked and I'm not searching for techniques. I'd probably batch paint troops too, maybe groups of three, which, conveniently is the size of a unit of Skull Swords in the Sláine game. 

I painted the bases in my usual recipe. Some dead leaves and withered plants give a nice impression of sourland.

I do like the control I get with painting the metallics more like I paint other colours; base, wash and highlights for the most part. I usually use a lot of drybrushing on metals, and I think I still will for things like chainmail and such. Contrast paints are fantastic, but they are just another arrow in the painting quiver. I do love being able to tint metals with Contrast so you can easily turn a single basecoat into steel, bronze, gold or whatever. I used Canoptek Alloy as the base metal colour on the Skull Sword as I like the warmer tone.

So, with the tester done, time for some buddies for this fellow.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Silver Bayonet - Privates Festerev and Moulderoff

Joining my undead Russians for Silver Bayonet today are two reasonably fresh line zombies, privates Gregor Festerev and Dimitri Moulderoff. Still having most of their faculties (and fingers) means these fellows can still recall how to load and fire a musket, though they won't be making it to any parades in the near future. Clad in Winter greatcoats, which are more to keep them in one piece than fight off the cold, these lumbering infantrymen are the backbone of Morozov's small force. Able to keep firing even while taking hits that would put down a living man several times over, these two loyal soldiers will follow the vampire until utterly destroyed. Even then, Rigorov has a very special, possibly magical sewing kit that can mend even the most terrible damage, rumoured to have been given to him by the Baba Yaga herself.

These two ambulatory carcasses are from Alernative Armies Flintloque range, more specifically the Deadloque boxed set. I liked the ragged greatcoats they are wearing, it sits nicely with the Winter vibe I'm going with. I have quite a few of these fellas, so it's nice to get at least two painted up for service. 

Painting-wise, I spent far too long looking at Napoleonic Russian uniform guides. Targeted contrast washes are playing more and more of a role in my painting, they are incredibly useful paints. For example, Gregor's beard was too grey initially, but one contrast wash later, problem solved. I might go more heavy into contrast paints for my next project, and start with a (GASP) white undercoat.

So that's the unit up to about half strength. I'm enjoying it, but I'm taking a break from the Silver Bayonet for a while and starting a new project that's very close to my heart. But more on that anon!

Wayland Games

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