Thursday, September 14, 2023

Silver Bayonet - Gunner Three

Another member of the unit rises from the cold Russian soil. Gunner three, my artillerist.

Three is another Flintloque miniature, this time from the Corpseov line artillery set. The set has quite a few crew, bit this guy, with his ramrod, (which doubles as a handy two-handed weapon) looked like the very fellow for the job.

Gunner Three had no memory of his former life, he was named for his function once raised to undeath, that of servicing the mighty cannon to which he and his companions were bound. To say he performed this function dutifully would be to give him too much credit. It was no more dutiful than a mill wheel turning. He had little awareness of the tasks he performed, and no sense of  the passage of time.

This was all to change one bitter morning as their line was raked by enemy fire. The baleful metal monster he and his fellows were slaved to took a direct hit, and as it was blasted to spinning shrapnel the grim hold it had exerted over its crew simply ceased. Along with many of the crew, it must be said.

Gunner Three was released from his fugue, his senses and thoughts boiling back up to fill his mind in a wave of renewed self-awareness. Skills long forgotten crept back into his remembrance, there to augment his now expert knowledge of artillery and explosives. Such a useful soldier was not left idle long, and soon he was sequestered to Morozov's retinue.

He never could remember his name though.

Once again, I dove into the historical internet ocean for info on the correct uniform for a Napoleonic artilleryman, and applied… elements of it to the artillerist’s ragged gear. 

For painting, I continue to work contrast into my style, especially on the skin. I’ve recently taken more to dry-brushing again, after listening to Byron from Atris Opus on The Painting Phase podcast. I really need some better dry brushes. Mine are a disgrace.

This guy brings me up to almost unit strength. One more character and they are good to go, though they have already seen action in reduced unit co-op games, which were excellent.

So, next up, the Russian were-bear!

Friday, July 21, 2023

Silver Bayonet - Rasputrid

Continuing on my Silver Bayonet buzz for the moment, I've finished another member of the squad. Morozov's second, the liche Rasputrid. I’m using him as a champion of faith in the game. 

Rasputrid is ostensibly under Morozov’s command, but in reality they are more partners serving a common cause. His knowledge of the esoteric is profound, and his great red book contains the accumulated knowledge of generations of masters of the arcane arts. He can call back undead soldiers that have suffered the most grievous damage, bone and sinew re-knitting as he extorts them to heroic feats in service to the Tzar. 

Rasputrid’s necromantic powers take the form of rousing oratory. Such is his fiery conviction that it can invigorate the dead and still the hearts of his enemies. Little wonder that Morozov places such worth in his counsel. 

For his part, Rasputrid sees great potential in the vampire, if he can reconcile his past and learn to tame his demons

Rasputrid is another Flintloque miniature, from the Deadloque set. (God damn I love that set.) Despite being mostly greatcoat, I’m very fond of this guy, and it was a treat to finally paint him.  

This brings the squad to six. I have two more to paint, the were-bear and the artillerist to bring the squad up to full strength. I do plan on adding a couple more though. Maybe a mounted Cossack or the Baba Yaga herself.  

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Silver Bayonet - Oleg the Enduring

I've circled back around to my Silver Bayonet unit for this latest instalment. My Russians need a few more members before I can call them ready for action. So here we have a former Cossack ready to serve his undying master.

Oleg is another Flintloque sculpt from Alternative Armies. He's a charming wee fella, with his giant cuddly moustache. I looked over a few ideas for Cossack colour schemes for wee Oleg. Boy, they sure liked those vivid outfits. So, I gave him some fairly once-fancy colours, not least of all to contrast with his rather dour looking comrades. 

Oleg will probably be run as an irregular or light cavalryman in the game.

Oleg has served Morozov for some years, long before his current woeful condition befell him. Often sent of errands to far off locales to glean some scrap of information or token carried to him by other agents of the vampire, Oleg is an indefatigable horsemen, who, conveniently enough, rides an equally indefatigable horse. The long leagues he travels mean nothing to the undead Cossack, on the contrary, they still manage to generate a spark of joy and memory in his withered old soul as the wind whips through his still-magnificent moustache.

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Stargrave - Loot Tokens

A small addition today. Some wee loot tokens I recently finished for Stargrave. Three physical, three data. These were used at the recent Stargrave weekend when my buddies and I pew-pewed our way across three days of sci-fi action. 

The Necromunda control panels are ideal data tokens, and I used one of Duncan's old GW videos for some tips on painting up the displays. I think it worked out pretty nicely.

The physical loot are a shrine, also from Necromunda, and two bits box builds of machinery doohickeys. Some drybrushing, washes, contrast paints, weathering, a green glaze for the physical, a red for the data, and that's them done!

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Dress a Willy Sculpting Challenge

Something a little more unusual today. Back in March I came across the 'Dress a Willy' sculpting challenge on TheStillTower on instagram. Aside from the fact I was in a GorkaMorka adjacent mood, the idea of a naked, scrawny wee human toting gear taken from a dead grot made me chuckle something fierce. I contacted Pablo at TheStillTower and pleaded for a copy of wee Willy to convert and paint up. Pablo was very amiable and sent me on a copy right away.

One thing I liked when the mini arrived was that the resin support block he was attached to was sculpted as orky ruins and glyphs. Solid idea.

First off, one thing I was NOT doing was giving him any pants. It was far too hilarious leaving him flying free. Under the terms of the competition though, he had to be converted. even slightly. Here is the pile of Willie's ready to be posted. Ahem.

So, as you can see from the image at the top of the post, I added some orky shoulder pads and a shin guard. Some other folks went a lot further, such as the master convertor Axiom from Magpie and Old Lead. If you've not checked out Axiom's blog, do yourself a favour and wander on over.

For painting, I wanted wee Willy (giggle) to be a test model for an upcoming Digga mob for GorkaMorka. It's mostly natural materials, but the armour gets a little more zap with some dirty orange. I'm thinking of calling them the Sad Moons, as they want to be like the Bad Moons but can't paint yellow and have no cash.

I bet you weren't ready for that.

Sooo... in case you are a young whipper snapper, the joke is that Willy gets his gear from this guy:

Taken from the magnificent Leadplague, painted by Asslessman. Take a look at his gloriousness at the Leadplague blog. Bring snacks.

But didn't see fit to take his pants. Then again, I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to try on some grot underwear either. Some doors must stay shut.

Incidentally, TheStillTower also make absolutely sublime linocut prints, I have several in my basket. The ork sprue vinyl sticker is very fun. I wish I'd spotted this one in time:

Patriarch linocut print from TheStillTower

So what's next for Willy? I hear from Pablo a new mold is in the works and he's added more hands, another weapon, a squig and the body of a cetain looted grot. Take a look at the pics below. 

So, the story IS, our wee dead grot was playing his gameboy (gameboyz?) instead of watching out for humies and got a rock in the back of the head. 

I love it.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Stargrave 3 - Captain Aesir Vortag

We all have our favourite champions. Tiny metal, plastic or resin protagonists that we've become unreasonably attached to as they've battled in our name down the years. This is one such mini, a venerable warrior that has been leading my renegade hordes since I was a teenager. May I introduce Captain Aesir Vortag, formerly of the XII legion.

Vortag has a much storied history, mostly from some decades ago. Back in the late 80s and early 90s the Captain (though in his hubris he was Lord Vortag back then) led his renegades warbands against all comers. Myself and my buddies at the time gamed A LOT back then. We were all about Rogue Trader and then 2nd Edition 40k, and we played the bejeezus out of them. We built our own rudimentary, but enormous, campaign system. We even recorded many of our games in a large ledger, complete with maps, drawings and army lists. I have it to this day, and I get quite the warm fuzzy feeling when I look back over it. I was very close to posting one of my early doodles of Vortag in action from the ledger, but I will spare you that.

The Captain and his heretics butchered his way though Ork warbands, Tyranid hordes, loyalist Astartes, Imperial Guard detachments and assorted Eldar pirates. He accrued favourite enemies, and they harried one another over many a tabletop. 

Aahh... such days. 

But, eventually, the guns fell silent. Vortag's enemies took ship into the void (or college, as it was known on some worlds), and with no wars left to wage, the Captain and his warband made for the stasis pods. It was to be a long sleep.

Years passed, and other heroes came to the fore. Games came, games went, but I always had a tremendous soft spot for the infamous Captain.

 And so, when a plan for some of my gaming brethren to gather this Spring for a Stargrave weekend, I decided it was time for a new chapter for my slumbering hero.

Vortag is one of the Jes Goodwin Warhammer Fantasy Realm of Chaos champions. One of the curious set that seemed to be blessed with 40k weaponry and technology. Back then, chaos champions could indeed be gifted with rewards from the 40th millennium. They make very fine fallen legionnaires.

At the risk of getting overly maudlin, I found it quite an emotional experience finally getting paint on the old villain. I used mostly contrast paints and medium over metallic base coats. His tail and sword were blended and stippled, before getting a unifying glaze or two. I had been using Flesh Tearers Red mixed with medium for red chaos armour, but I wanted to turn up the vibrancy on Vortag so I added some Blood Angels Red to the mix to make it roughly 1:1:1. It was extremely satisfying finally getting him painted. He's one of four great heroes of my early days of gaming that I wanted to give such treatment to. The other three are still awaiting their turn.

Space rippled and shivered as the space hulk translated back into realspace, or rather, most of it did. Sections of the hulk tapered off into translucent ghost-shapes and tatters of best-forgotten memories. The hulk, the Odyssey of  Devotion, was never truly in one place, and it's labyrinth of ancient passageways could lead a traveller to an infinity of destinations and times, whether they willed it or no.

One such lost soul shivered into existence in the stillness of an abandoned gunnery deck, the dim lumens barely casting enough light to lift the figure out of the darkness. It stood there, in the silence. The darkness seemed to deepen, shifting and reaching out before suddenly recoiling as the warrior heaved a long cackling exhalation. Captain Vortag of the World Eaters Legion addressed his ship:

'Finally. Finally. You see, Malum? I told you. I told you I would find my way back.'

Around the speaker more figures coalesced, similar in aspect. The grim ruin of fallen Astartes, only barely recognisable as once noble space marines, but no less dangerous, and infinitely more wrathful. Some had clearly had to make battlefield repairs. Others seemed no different than moments, years or centuries earlier, when they had been scattered across the void. Others had had to abandon their armour entirely, and wore archaic or primitive replacements. Yet more had simply not returned at all. 

They regarded their leader expectantly. Vortag did not give the expectation time to fester into recrimination.

'My brothers. Let us see what has become of both ship and crew in our absence. Let us see what gifts Inquisitor Balthazar Malum has left us.'

For now, Vortag leads a mob of the Odysseys mortal crew, but I do have some of his legionnaires in the painting pipeline.

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.

Wayland Games

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