Wednesday, December 21, 2016

It's Christmas on the Mumblings - Chaos Style

I've painted this festive fellow up for the Scale Creep Christmas post. I've not had him too long, having spent a good long while tracking him down. He's a lovely chunky old chap, and after battling flash and mould lines, he was painted up in utterly traditional Christmas colours, which seem to make him a devotee of Khorne. There are some mind-bending nooks and crannies to get paint into, but he's such a nice sculpt I didn't mind too much.

I have never used snow effects on my bases, but I had some Hudson & Allen slush and snow that has been in my basing box for years. I put down a layer of slush, then when that way dry I added the snow. I thought of adding some glitter into the snow mix for extra Christmasness, but then I forgot. Still, the sparkle from the slush is plenty shiny anyway.

So, with that, I imagine this will be my last model of 2016. It's been a productive year. I'll most likely do a look back over the year soon, and think about the projects for 2017. There are already more lined up than I have the possibility of completing. Anyway, thanks for reading, and a Merry Christmas to all the readers of the Mumblings!

Monday, December 12, 2016

The HeroQuest Hero Quest - The Gargoyle

Taking a break from Chinese monsters, I set aside some time to paint up my entry for the ScaleCreep HeroQuest Hero Quest, the gargoyle. You can see him here. It was a treat painting this guy, he's been in my gaming subconscious for decades.

I painted him with the same recipe as my terracotta warriors. He will most likely serve in the Shadow Empire army as an animated statue of Ching Dai (LoPan's boss). His armour does have an oriental vibe anyhow. He may also see action as part of a Khorne warband, I like the idea of a walking shrine extorting the chaos warriors to even more acts of devotional butchery.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Shadow Empire - The Yeren

I initially had some trouble locating the main characters I wanted to use for the Shadow Empire. LoPan and the yeren were particularly bothersome. That was until I was made aware of 'The Demons' set from North Star Military Figures (thanks Colin!) for a Fistful of Kung Fu. This was a set that solved all my problems and gave me a few extras to boot. So armed, I could field some of the main villains from  Big Trouble in Little China.

Hey baby.
The Yeren always intrigued me in the movie. No explanation is ever offered as to why this hairy niutball is wandering around LoPan's hideout, he just kind of shows up and does his thing. He seems to be in thrall to LoPan though, so it makes sense to add him to the retinue.

The Yeren, or Chinese wild man, is a kind of demon/orangutan/gorilla/hobo combo. He's a curious wee fella with his sloth-like claws and too-wide mouth, and he adds some much needed colour to the army. I kept the colours pretty close to the movie character, though it took me a couple of attempts before I was happy with the face.

Check out his monkey buns.

That then gives me two of LoPan's retinue done with four more to go. Next up will be a triumvirate of demons, Ching Dai's enforcers. Before that though,  I'm taking a short detour for something Heroquesty and something a little seasonal.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Shadow Empire - Liu Sheng, the Jade Prince

The first of LoPan's retinue is finished. Liu Sheng, the Jade Prince. 

Buried with his wife Dou Wan one hundred years after the first Emperor was interred in his tomb, he was awoken by LoPan to find tomb robbers had stolen Dou Wan's body. They would have taken him too no doubt, but the thieves warding stone failed them, and one of Sheng's tomb guardians awoke in time to scare off the looters before they could ransack the tomb further.

Something of a hedonist in life, Sheng's focus was sharpened by undeath. His suit ensured he was not bound fully to LoPan's will, and so Sheng resolved to find his lost wife and restore her to her rightful resting place, a quest he pursues relentlessly when not attending his new master.

I've had this guy for years. He's from John Jenkins Design, and has been OOP for some time. It's nice to finally get him painted up, it's a nice variation on the mummy theme. There isn't a terribly huge amount of reference around for jade mummies. There was enough to give me an idea of the kind of colour I wanted the jade to be though, quite pale, so that the individual tiles could be picked out. The pale jade suits (hah!) the undead vibe anyway. I chose a dark brown for the wrappings to give some contrast to the suits sections. There is a load of it around the back of the suit, as you'll see below.

I added a fair amount of targeted green glazes in the recesses, and finally painted the small amount of exposed flesh a dead grey with blue and purple washes.

I've been looking forward to painting this guy for some time, and I'm happy with the result. Next up, the beastly Yeren.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Shadow Empire - Painting Terracotta Warriors

Now that my  horde of terracotta warriors are complete, I though it time to put up a tutorial for how I painted them for anyone else out there who fancies painting animated clay men, or simply want to paint clay statues/urns etc. All the paints used below are Citadel paints unless stated otherwise.

The warriors are base coated with Tallarn Flesh. I then sponged on a generous helping of Shadow Grey. Many of the warriors are still coated with the remains of paint, as they were originally brightly coloured. The Shadow Grey adds a second colour to break up the basic clay colour a little. Once this is dry the whole model is washed with Reikland Flesh shade.

The model is then drybrushed with Tallarn Flesh, followed by Rakharth Flesh and finally Dheneb Stone. Finally, Typhus corrosion is blended into some of the recesses. Use this sparingly. I only added this step to some models that are cracked open, or to represent mud and dirt that has caked onto the clay over time.

The bronze on halberds, swords and shields is basecoated with Dwarf Bronze. The face of the shields is sponged with Shadow Grey. Wash the bronze with Agrax Earthshade, and then highlight with Shining Gold. Once this dries wash with Thraka Green (or Biel-Tan Green) amd the glaze with Waywatcher Green. Finally, paint Dark Angels Green into the recesses and blend out.

That's essentially it. Wood is painted with a dark brown to show the wood has aged and hardened. For larger areas of bronze, such as horses, I'll be mottling areas with dark greens to echo the patterns on living horses such as the fetlocks and facial stripes.

The basing is my usual recipe of base coat Dawnstone washed with Agrax Earthshade. This is drybrushed with Fortress Grey, Bleached Bone and then a light drybrush of white. This is then liberally doused with Typhus Corrosion and blended out to stain the ground and rocks. I then add tufts, though since I took these photos I've added some flowers to the bases to add more colour. You can see this below.

There we are!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Kickstarter - Dwarves at Arms

With less than three days left to go on the Dwarves at Arms kickstarter, I figured it was time to give it a wee plug on the the Mumblings, especially as I've been doing the concept and and design for it!

It has been the most successful kickstarter yet run by Macrocosm, who have three previous successful kickstarter projects under their belt. People just love dwarves it seems, though there are several rather fantastic non-dwarf add ons available too, but more on those later, especially the hobby horse riding ogres.

The twist with this particular take on dwarves is that the range is split up into dwarves from several historical eras. So far we have Crusaders, Normans, English Civil War, Late Romans, Vikings and Samurai. Each of these have several packs available. World War One Russian dwarves and Spartan dwarves are coming up as stretch goals. You can see pack 1 for the Samurai Dwarves below, which were designed by yours truly.

So, as you can see there's a massive range for dwarf lovers out there. The add on section bears special mention too, where you can add (deep breath) Jotnar (trolls) for the vikings, several sets of ogres, archers, cavalry, command, spearmen etc, WW1 tanks, treemen, a MASSIVE range of halflings, both fantasy and WW1, Monty Python dwarves, dwarf cavalry of various types, dwarf berserkers, a siege tower (chaos dwarf players should really check this out) and art prints. Check out the size of the trolls:

Huge eh? It also bears mentioning the kickstarter is really good value. There are a couple of other models I want to draw your attention to, as they are buried in over forty add ons. Look at these guys:

Ogres on hobby horses. Now, you might take your gaming a bit more seriously than I, and you may be thinking "What the hell, are you f*cking kidding me?" but for me, these are one of the best things in the kickstarter bar the dwarves themselves. A set of Monty Phyton Holy Grail dwarves and some of these lads, and you have a fine, fine theme for a warband. It also tickles me to think of these guys taking down some super badass chaos knights while making clip-clop noises.

As to the dwarves themselves, they are mostly multipart with several head and arms options, sculpted by the mighty Alessio Cispani.  Here's some examples:

Pretty cool eh? I'm sure the Vikings fans among you recognise the seer there. So, if you bear any love for the dwarves (or halflings, ogres or trolls), you'd be doing yourself a disservice not looking at this kickstarter before it ends.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Shadow Empire - Terracotta Warriors Complete

After a lengthy delay, my final unit of terracotta warriors is done. The crossbowmen give the army a little ranged ability, and fit nicely with finds made in the warrior pits. The Chinese crossbow of the time was incredibly advanced, mass produced, simple and reliable, so it would be remiss to omit them from the army.

With this unit my clay painting technique has moved on again. I've stippled more colours over the basecoat before washing and drybrushing to give the impression of the remains of paint. The original warriors would have been very brightly coloured, gaudy even. I added some flowers to the bases to give them a little more colour. After some discussion with the Scale Creeps, I went back and added some to my other units too, the colour varying for each unit.

With the crossbowmen done, that give me three infantry units, the halberdiers, swordsmen and crossbowmen, the guts of the army. It was a bit of a slog near the end, but I'm delighted they are done, and I'm very happy with them.

Here they all are, emerging from a hidden tomb entrance at LoPan's foul bidding, ragged pennants blowing in the wind as they await their new master.

Speaking of their new master, then next unit up is LoPan's retinue, which consists of LoPan himself, a jade mummy, 3 Yaoguai (demons) and a Yeren (beast). After painting so much pottery, I'm dying to paint something colourful!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Greenskin Wars - Kickstarter

If you're a fan of orcs, gobbos or trolls, the Greenskin Wars kickstarter by Diego Serrate of Pantheon of Chaos fame is worthy of your attention. The former Crooked Claw range (now owned by Diego) has been hugely expanded by Kevin "Goblinmaster" Adams for this kickstarter.

Those of you out there who are greenskin aficionados will know the kind of insanely good sculpts Kevin is know for, especially greenskins. Diego has several of his excellent trolls available on the kickstarter as well. The range has gotten quite big, with orcs, goblins, war machines, black goblins, trolls, tuskers, feral goblins (these are excellent), doom goblins, wolf riders, hobgoblins, chariots and a ton of characters. Here's some images of the range.

Pretty tasty, the black goblins are a favourite of mine. They look like real assholes.

Anyone with any love for the greenies will by now have probably already clicked on the link above, but if you've made it this far then let me tell you there's a goblin witch on the kickstarter that would bring a goblin enthusiast to tears. 

I won't put up an image, you'll have to go see for yourself.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

FOR KHORNE! - Arnuld Clotchewer

Arnuld here is my entry for the Haemo-Erotic tag for the upcoming Gorechosen game over on Scale Creep. I've not painted a chaos mini in a long time, so I thought it would be nice to paint up my favourite thug ever. He'd been sitting in his box for about thirty years, so y'know, it was time.

I wanted to give him quite ruddy skin, which I hadn't painted in a while. Added to that I wanted to use his shoulder plate as test for the armour technique I want to use on his mates, whenever they might appear. The blood spatter is done with my trusty old toothbrush. I just made him a little kitchen towel poncho and then flicked watered down red paint on him. I often mix a little brown or black into the red for dried blood, but this is fresher, so it stayed bright.

This guy has been a nice palette cleanser from my terracotta warriors and it's given me an urge to paint more blood-soaked maniacs. For now though, it's back to ancient China/Nippon and time to get some pottery crossbowmen painted.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Undead Captain - Available at Shortwars

The undead captain was a very small project I ran a while ago for a wee group of folks. We did a tiny run of this evil fellow, who sold out in short order. Such has been the amount of queries that I've been getting about this guy that another run had been done, albeit a small one. He's currently available on the Shortwars website for the time being, so if you fancy a leader for your undead warband, this chap is just the ticket. The captain is a two part model, as you can see here, and weighs in at 35mm tall.

There are a lot of other goodies in the Shortwars webshop right now, the goblin hotpot cauldron catapult and  Renaissance style halflings being especial  favourites of mine.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Woods - Secrets of Shandisholm Sourcebook

Released very recently by Oakbound Studios, Secrets of Shandisholm is a sourcebook for tabletop roleplay set in the world of The Woods. it's a world of Celtic folklore where the lives of everyday mortals brush up against the supernatural realm of the Folk. 

Creatures such as the Fae, Sprites, Phooka and Nuckelavee are all detailed within, as well as the background of Shandisholm itself and all the rules for gaming in the world of The Wood using the SystemMech rules, which curiously do not require dice. The narrative always take precedence, which is something I can get behind. The book is crammed full of lovingly crafted stories and background, and anyone with even a passing interest in Celtic-style fantasy would do well to grab one. 

I was lucky enough to be asked to work on a painting tutorial for a Myeri Tiarna for the book, which I had a lot of fun doing. Of course, the Myeri are of particular interest to me. The author describes them thus: They're a blend of some things which have been massive influences on me- the Heroquest Fimir, The Dark Crystal, the art of Alan Lee, Irish folklore, Polynesian carving, Inca social structures, walking in the Dartmoor countryside. It's fair to say I poured a lot of my favourite things into them!

A man after my own heart. There is a lot of detail on the Myeri in Secrets of Shandisholm. For a taster:

The Myeri's origin is shrouded in mystery, but their own myths say they were created by a god called Dagda and were intended to be a perfect society, which is why they have a caste system based on physical traits. For some reason Dagda then rejected them and cast them from their home realm, leaving them wandering through the Void until they happened upon the Mortal Realm, emerging out of the sea. They were sustained on their travels by a piece of coral from their homeland which resisted the crushing horrors of the Void and guided them to the new land. Unfortunately the power of the coral drew the attention of the Fae, which sealed the doom of the Myeri and caused them to be scattered into the fens.

It's pretty fair to say a lot of love has gone into this book. The Myeri are easily drafted into a fimir clan, and any fimir fan should really take a look. Accompanying the book is a Myeri clan box. Inside are 9 metal miniatures: 5 Losbast warriors and 4 Oibrithe workers. The box also has parts to convert a Losbast warrior into a Draoi wizard, an Oibrithe worker into a Scealai (wandering poet/piper) and to change one weapon into the Pou-Koruru totem of the Meirge (ancestor guardian).

I am always excited at anything Celtic, stooped and cyclopean, but what excites me most about this set are the non-combatants. The workers and the wandering piper are something I that I'd really like to add to my clan. My absolute favourite Myeri was the piper from Oakbounds previous set. These look to be more of that ilk, the smith and mushroom gatherer my favourites, bar the Scealai. The huge Losbast with the totem is giving me the eye too. Well, he has only one, after all.

All in all, a tremendous read. As I say, if you are keen on Celtic folklore, fimir or a new narrative biased game system, give Secrets of Shandisholm a go. You can get more info a the Oakbound site, or from the Facebook page.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Shadow Empire - Terracotta Warrior Swordsmen Unit

Today sees the second unit of terracotta warriors for the Shadow Empire army finished. I had a little trouble finding command figures for this unit as I only had one set of the John Jenkins Designs command, and alas they are no longer available. After some searching I found an excellent source of Chinese Qin era miniatures at Renegade Miniatures in their Warring States range. I had previously sourced my Qin shields, halberds and swords from them (okay, the swords are Saxon, but nobody will notice, Shhh.) Not only do they have plenty of infantry and command figures, but also a good range of cavalry, so I guess those terracotta warriors riding bronze horses is going to be happening now.

On another note, Renegade's customer service is exemplary, they made sure I got exactly what I was after and then some, I can't recommend them highly enough.

Here's the Renegade command set below. There are a couple of officer models, the other one with the fabulous moustache will be leading the crossbowmen.

I particularly love the standard bearer. I made the standard from steel rod and a printed flag (repainted once attached and folded/torn) topped with a plastic skull for garnish.

The John Jenkins sculpts are a lot of fun, the definitely have a nice sense of humour to them. I love the guy on the left here who's using another warrior's arm as a weapon. His back is entirely caved in, as is the warrior's back on the right, who has given up his shield in favour of holding his torso together. They probably secretly hate Mr 'All in one piece' there in the middle.

So onto the crossbowmen. Once they are done, it'll be onto the non clay-based portions of the army such as LoPan's retinue and the vampires. I will be adding the aforementioned cavalry and a chariot to the terracotta contingent down the line as the army grows.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Kickstarter - Dark Dwarves

Chris over at Macrocosm has just launched his latest Kickstarter, Dark Dwarves. Being a long time chaos dwarf fan, I'm pretty intrigued by this, especially as they are more in the 'spiky stunty' style. There are a lot of the units you'd hope for, handgunners, crossbowmen, axemen, but also more esoteric units, like the 2 man mortar and weapons teams like the bazooka,  flame thrower and gatling gun.

So if you're looking for some great value evil dwarves, head on over and take a look. The add on section is also offering some deals on the crazy popular Monster Balls from Macrocosm's previous Kickstarter. They're pretty hilarious and have a lot of gaming uses. The ball of steel is something I'll have to pick up myself I think. Who doesn't want a giant floating armoured cyclops ball?

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Shadow Empire - Terracotta Warrior Halberdier Unit

My first unit for my mythological Chinese/ undead Cathayan army for Dragon Rampant is done, a unit of terracotta warriors. A four point heavy Infantry unit with the 'Undead - No Feelings' rule. Lo-Pan's rank and file.

I'm really rather delighted with how quickly I was able to get these done. The fact they are mostly one colour helped quite a bit. I managed to pick up a large coffee table book on the tomb of the first emperor recently, which has as much reference photos as I could ever want. It did give me the idea to add some cavalry though, so expect some terracotta warriors riding bronze horses at some point. Hopefully I can source a war chariot too.

I plan on three units of the warriors ultimately, one with halberds, one with sword and shield and one with crossbows. The second unit, the swordsmen, is on the assembly table, I just need to procure some command figures, as sadly, John Jenkins no longer sells the terracotta warrior range. Renegade Miniatures warring states range looks like a likely source of models for replacement officers and such. A little conversion work and slight mutilation with the solder pen (wearing a mask) and they should be good to go.

So that's four points down, twenty to go.

Wayland Games

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