Tuesday, January 7, 2020

2019 - The Autopsy

I like to do these year in review posts. I treat my blog as much as a personal diary than anything else, and a look back at the year gone does help galvanize me to dive into new projects. Let's begin the procedure then, shall we? Scalpel please nurse.

The year began with me adding the finishing touches to my Khorne bloodfleet for Man O'War. This was a project that kind of blindsided me. I had watched some of my hobby peeps working on their own fleets and I was suddenly gripped with a want to build one myself.


It was a nice contained project. One squadron of death galleys, two of ironsharks and three bloodships. Enough for a decent sized fleet. I intended to add maybe a couple of monsters and maybe a chaos dwarf ally contingent, but not until I'd played some games with the fleet as is. Games played with the fleet to date: zero.

Once the bloodships had left the dock I returned to a favourite faction of mine, the genestealer cult. First up were a couple of the new models, an acolyte and metamorph.


The new range is damn nice. There are so many great bits and pieces on the sprues, I feel hopelessly spoiled. I had to paint up one of the buzz saw acolytes first, it's such a cool weapon.

There are some games/ranges that hit our want button head centre, where there is no question that you'll buy every kit, card and custom dice. The cult is one for me. I hoovered every model in the range. I even have one of those big drill terrain pieces that I'm plaaaanniinnngg to paint? This gives me a pleasantly large amount of parts I can draw from when making cult models.

With my cult mojo high, the next thing I worked on was a cult terrain piece.


The Watcher was a smashed up old statuette a neighbour gave me. An odd gift, but he knew I was into modelling and though I could make use of it. He was correct.

The artwork in the revised cult codex of a giant cult statue was what set me off. It was a terribly fun project, hunting for tyranid parts large enough to suit and green-stuffing it all together.

The next while saw more cult added to the ranks of the faithful. A neophyte icon bearer based on one of the original Bob Olley hybrids, a cyborg purestrain, aberrant and some mindslaves all moved through the paint queue.



The mindslaves are part of an attempt to build a cult list for the old 2nd edition White Dwarf tyranid list. Some old school tyranid warriors, squigs and maybe even a screamer-killer are all lined up to add in. In more modern games the slaves will work as purestrains.

The next model up was probably my favourite of the year. Kol Renko, jackal alphus of the Wyrm Forged.


I painted this fellow up for my cult, but also to take part in the Great Ash Wastes race at BOYL 2019. I had wanted to build a cult rider for years. All that squirreling away cult bits and pieces came in very handy here. I drew the concept art for the head myself a while back, which was then sculpted by Mr Bob Olley. Once at BOYL I learned there was a painting competition, one of which I entered Kol into. The competition was judged by Tony Yates, Garth James and John Blanche. To my delight Kol brought home the win. It may seem I'm blowing my own trumpet somewhat here, but like, the trumpet is right there. What's a man to do?

Anyhow, pre-BOYL there was still some painting to do for upcoming games, including Asslessman's Epic bash. So it was another hobby bucket list model got ticked. The classic warlord titan.


The Misericordia is an Iron Skulls chaos titan. I've had some waiting in the wings for years, and it was deeply satisfying to get some paint on one. I magnetized the arms and weapons as I plan on adding some more titans to create a battlegroup in time. 

I had a game of Strontium Dog coming up at BOYL too, run by the excellent Michael Cassidy, so I took the opportunity to paint the Foundry version of Middenface McNulty. 


Middenface is a Tim Prow sculpt, which I always enjoy painting. The sculpts, not Tim. Apparently he based Middenface's rather pert bum on his own, which is information I'm not entirely sure what to do with. So now you get to deal with that. Tim must do a lot of squats.

Lastly, another surprise favourite of mine for the year was Faherty the dog from Shieldwall. A very good boi. He was for use in the Cheetor's Terminator game at BOYL, which was a great laugh. We all died. My character (Ulysses Jones) was shredded by a T1000 with a minigun. Good times.



Post BOYL my good pal Cheetor sent me on one of the limited 'Bubba's Revenge' minis from Warlord Games. I was so chuffed I painted it right away. 


I enjoyed the Strontium Dog game I played, it's something I could do more of I reckon.

As the year waned things went all undead. I've been quite taken with Warcry (which I also haven't played yet) and decided to build an undead warband. I had the core of the band, so I added in a few new wights and skeletons to bring it up the muster. 


This was my first real foray with contrast paints, which I used on the wights black iron armour. It's good stuff, I'll be using it much more over 2020 I think. 


You can see the contrast here on the the Morley wight. It's Black Templar over Leadbelcher spray, lightly drybrushed with Stormhost Silver. Simples.

Finally, as the year closed out I began working more on my Gaslands gang. Early days still, but I did finish the first car, The Preacher.


Early 2020 will see me add some pals to the gang. It's fun re-purposing old toy cars. This one, once used in my Dark Future games, had been unlovingly flung in a box and forgotten. I think it's about thirty years old!

So, while I did paint some long desired miniatures this year, on the whole my painting total is way down, at a paltry 23 models. Terrible. My gaming this year is as bad, with BOYL and a couple of weekends with friends being my only gaming for the entire year. Bad Mr Saturday, BAD.

On the plus side, BOYL was AMAZING. I loved it. It was also my first one. Meeting up with pals old and new and just rolling about in hobby for days does wonderful things for the complexion. I also finally made my pilgrimage to Nottingham to kneel at the altar of Warhammer. That was great to do, after many years wanting to make the visit. 

Also, I did get an article printed in the November edition of Wargames Illustrated, the Dredd special, along with several photos of my miniatures. So that's nice.


So what for this year? Well, as mentioned, I have some Gaslands cars for my gang, The Faithful Sons, I want to work on. After that I think I might Warcry it up some, once the card packs for the chaos warbands are released and I know what I can take. Some Underworlds too perhaps. Who knows? 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Undead - Markus Vellen & Gert the Hood


Tonight my final two recruits for my undead Warcry warband join the ranks. Markus Vellen, wight, and Gert the Hood, lowly skeletal spearman. Markus is another of Gary Morley's legendary wights, while Gert is yet another Bob Olley, though not one you see about too much.


Look at that helmet. Pure metal.

I used the same technique on Markus that I used previously on Einar Haugen. Again, contrast paint made painting the black armour a breeze. I spent more time on his cloak than on his entire suit of plate. The green-tinted axe and red cloak give him a little more jazz, and there's a purple pouch in there too someplace.


I used the ever handy Typhus Corrosion on the hem of the cloak to weather it a little. There's a wee spider on the base too, if you can make it out. 


Gert is a simpler fellow, though he did get a spider too. As with all things Olley, his ragged hood and tunic led me down many a merry path. I found myself painting bone as cloth twice. Never underestimate a Bob. 

With these two complete, I now have a full Warcry warband ready to Harryhausen it all over the Eightpoints. Of course, I'll be adding some more members as the warband grows. A nice big undead beastie maybe. 


As you can see, there's a distinctly Deadite flavour to this warband. Three spear armed skeletons, three with sword and shield, a skeleton captain, two grave guard with wight blade and shield, one with great weapon, a seneschal and a necromancer make up the starting band, the Swords of Dreux.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Gaslands - The Preacher

The Preacher

Wait, this isn't an undead warrior? What gives?

Last week I finally succumbed to the lure of Gaslands. Several friends are deep in the garage already, looting their children's toyboxes or vanishing into local toyshops for toy ca- I mean fine detail 1:72 scale vehicle models.  You can see the results of Witness Weekend: Part 1 here. There is something deeply satisfying about taking a literal toy and modding it with model parts to make something entirely different. The hardest part for me was gluing the wheels. That's where it stops being a toy. No more vroom vroom neeeooowww! for you. Well, there will be, but not as originally intended.

Of course, when I slipped off the precipice into this new rabbit hole, I discovered that several companies supply armour, weapons and most excitingly, crew and drivers. I have several packages of weapons, amour plates, dozer blades, turrets, drivers and crew en-route.

Now, this particular car, The Preacher, is part of the Faithful Sons gang. A collection of mutant evangelists spreading the word of the day of ascendance. (reader squints suspiciously) Some of the crew I have on the way have a definite cult look about them too. I'll try to keep the arms down to two though. Probably. Though there might be a 20mm genestealer proxying as a motorbike at some point. So yeah, at the moment I'm toying with the idea of a post-apocalypse Mad Max style genestealer cult gang. They may end up being just a bunch of mutie nutters with a religious bent, we'll see.



I made The Preacher from an old car that had previously served in Dark Future, some twenty or more years ago. There are several other cars from that time who will now serve as the basis for the rest of the Faithful Sons. I had no dedicated parts for this guy, so I used the contents of my ample bits box for the guns, armour and such. Once again I made use of the new GW Contrast paints to tone down weathering and add depth. The only part of the car that had anything bar glaze, wash and drybrush were the headlights. AK Interactive's washes are a godsend for vehicles. Fuel Stains and Streaking Grime being two favourites. and I also used some Basecrafts pigments for the ruddy dust and rust.

As soon as supplies arrive I can get busy in the chop shop for the next couple of vehicles.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Undead - Einar Haugen, Wight


I'm still enjoying painting the living dead at the moment, so today I present the wight Einar Haugen of the Order of Dust.

I've had this fellow since he was first released back in the 90s. He was one of eight spectacular wights sculpted by Gary Morley. Each of them looks like an undead warlord in it's own right. I needed a couple of wights for my undead warband, so that seemed like a good opportunity to finally paint them up.

The Hateful Eight. Also, check out that vampire.

This was also my first outing with the new Games Workshop contrast paints. My own take on contrast is to integrate it into my existing way of painting and see how it fits in. I wanted the wights to have black iron armour, and having seen a very helpful tutorial from Tyler Mengel on black armour, I set to work.

I've found painting black armour a bit of a challenge in the past. Priming with Leadbelcher spray, I applied two coats of Black Templar paint mixed 2:1 with contrast medium. Contrast medium is a must have when using the new paints. It opens up so many more options to control the translucency of the paint. The effect of the black over metallic was to give the armour a black, oily, metallic sheen. Something that I'm not sure I could have achieved by simply drybrushing over black. I am very much sold on the contrast paints as another arrow in my painting quiver.


I also used Nazdreg yellow to tint areas to look more gold/brassy. Again, this saves me a lot of time without any loss in quality, and that, my disciples, is the painting grail. With washes of red, yellow, brown or green you can add rust, verdigris and filth to further tint the metals. So, with 90% washes and an all over drybrush of Mithril Silver the metal is done. It took about half the time I would have expected.


The wight blade took a little more thought. Several glazes of Waywatcher Green and heavier washes of Scorpion Green mixed with Lahmian Medium built up the colour. I wanted it to look like the metal was suffused with the magic of the wight blade rather than glowing. Again, a drybrush of Mithril Silver over the top finished it off.

Einar here is the first wight from my latest version of the Order of Dust. Their ancestors fought in ranks through several editions of Warhammer, but now it is time to pass the banner to a new iteration of the Order.

You can rest now grandad, I'll take it from here.

My next wight will be hot on the heels of Einar, and has a helmet any undead king would die for. Again.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Undead - Sergeant Wollf


It's that time of year again, and so my thoughts turn back again to my first love, the undead. I'm adding to my undead at the moment for Warcry, and the bug has got me to paint more. 

This guy is from the Triumph of Death kickstarter, from Skull & Crown. At the time of writing they are running their second kickstarter, Triumph of Death 2. For an undead fan, it's kind of an unmissable kickstarter.

Death and the Abbot From Holbein's Dance of Death. Yes, you can get an undead bishop as a miniature.

The inspiration for the range comes from the work of the likes of Dürer, Holbein and Bruegel. I am a huge fan of their work, so I was very excited to see it realized as a range of miniatures. There are some real greats in there, such as skeleton with giant fish. Mordheim anyone?

Wollf carries a rusty but still deadly Zweihänder.

As for Sergeant Wollf here, he will serve as a skeleton champion in my undead warband. I get the impression he was quite the dapper gent in life, as most Landsknecht  were. I bet his hair was magnificent. There are even some wisps of it still clinging doggedly to his skull. I bet he combs it when he thinks nobody is looking. 

I have refined my rusty armour technique a little more on Wollf's gear. Sometimes I like it more orange, other times more red or brown. It depends on the model.


You can see here that the ToD miniatures are actually quite big. Looking at them online I thought they would be quite small, but no, they are pleasantly chunky. Wollf is seen here leading his small but growing unit.

More undead soon, including some super groovy Gary Morley wights.




Thursday, September 26, 2019

Undead - King Slough


Today we have a real gem. Painted for the #paintabob competition on the Oldhammer Facebook page, this rotting monarch is from Essex Miniatures. He looks like he's spent several weeks down a well. He was ludicrously fun to paint.

When painting this fellow, I used the painting technique for rotting flesh used by Tyler Mengel of Mengel Miniatures. Here's the recipe should you wish to try it yourself.


As you can see, it's mostly washes. This suits Olley sculpts extremely well. It's also much more fun to play about with washes instead of laboriously layering skin, which suddenly becomes a cloak. Or an ear. Or a portal into the nightmare dimension.

King Slough might be a bit past his prime, but he still gets a big screamy face shield.

I painted the rest of the king to match my other undead. He's certainly going to be going into my Warcry warband, probably as a seneschal. It'll give me a lot of chuckles to see him go to town on some svelt chaos warband, imagining him shouting "What's that sonny?" and "Here's how we did it back in my day!"

"I can't remember why I'm here!"

Look at him there. A born leader. Shame his ears are slowly navigating their way into his beard. Still, many lols are to be had with this guy I'm sure.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Strontium Dog - Max Bubba's Revenge


Something a little more unusual today. A return to the pages of 2000AD, specifically Strontium Dog. What we have here is a rendition of poor Johnny Alpha on his worst day ever. Ambushed by Max Bubba's gang, his partner Wulf is gunned down and Johnny himself staked out and left to die.


This event kicks off the epic Strontium Dog story, Rage, in which Alpha hunts down Bubba and his gang. I was only a lad when I read this one, and it's one of those stories that sticks with you.


This little gem is a limited promotional miniature for Warlord Games' Strontium Dog game, handed out at the 2018 San Diego Comic Con, if my research is correct. Warlord Games have released a starter set based around this very tale, The Good, the Bad and the Mutie. It's most tempting.

The mini came to me via the most excellent Cheetor, a fellow 2000AD fan. It felt good painting something to mark the passing of Carlos Ezquerra, the co-creator of and main artist on Strontium Dog (also co-creator of Judge Dredd) who died just under a year ago.

Oh! A slightly different angle.

Of course, now I have a want to paint Alpha, Wulf and the Gronk. I can't really leave Johnny like this, can I?

Wayland Games

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