Saturday, 8 December 2012

A Gift from the Art

If you're still racking your brain for a thoughtful gift for a loved one this Christmas then look no further!

Thanks to a great post a while back, from fellow blogger and Oldhammerer, Chad over at Maximum Rock and Role Play, my problem was certainly solved! 

He and his wife run a fantastic little business called Our Bookish Life, which sells all sorts of nice literary gifts. What caught my eye though, were Chad's excellent illustrations of scenes from various novels, drawn on pages from the (recycled) books they were from. 

Although I was rather taken with the Lord of the Rings and Slaughter House 5 (Kurt Vonnegut is one of my favourite authors) illustrations, I noticed Chad also took custom orders. Now, while my better half doesn't often come here to check up on what I'm up to I'm going to keep what I got for her a secret.

However, I did take the liberty of treating myself to this!

A rather fine representation of Conan battling the Two Frost Giants - brothers to the beguiling and treacherous Atali, daughter of the God Ymir, which should give you some idea of Chad's excellent work.

I may have to commission another couple of pieces in the New Year, perhaps featuring Atali appearing before the wounded Conan at the start of the story and her capture towards the end - it'll make a nice triptych for the wall in my games room... 

Friday, 7 December 2012

An Englishman's home is his...

Mighty Fortress!!

Yes, I am the proud owner of the original Mighty Fortress having failed woefully to exercise any willpower whatsoever, after I'd seen it advertised on the LAF - thanks again to Notts Gamer. This is one of those classic pieces of Oldhammer loveliness that I've hankered after ever since seeing it in the 3rd ed. rule book.

There is a downside to all this though - I think I need a new gaming table...

... as there's not much room left!

I should really have taken a pic of the original box it came in as well but I was in too much of a hurry to recreate some of those lovely shots from the Warhammer Siege book.


So I'll have to add playing a siege game to my long To Do list...

Best get on with painting up all that Orc artillery I've been amassing!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

A Goblin, a Goblin - My Kingdom Four A Goblin...

Sorry couldn't resist massacring a bit of the Bard for this post! And if you didn't get the finely wrought pun then let me enlighten you...

I spent a most pleasant few hours over in Pudsey at Recon 2012 at the weekend - even the kids behaved well for me (the wife was off doing stuff for her Midwifery training) long after the initial excitement of seeing lots of little monsters - actually there were more little tanks in the demonstration and participation games. Talking of which there was an excellent game based on the 1953 version of War of the Worlds - you know the one with the Manta Ray style Martian war machines.

Anyway I digress.

Its always nice at these events to pop over and have a good chat with Andy of Four A Miniatures  and see what new miniature goodies he has in. Well I was certainly not disappointed as sitting there proudly were the latest additions to the his Goblin range, sculpted by Kev Adams himself, nonetheless!

I gather these guys haven't quite made it onto the online shop yet but they won't be long and they're definitely worth looking out for. As you can see I've wasted no time getting a grey primer and black ink wash on them!

Its nice to see the range branching out and developing - this release sees some rather nice Goblin villagers -

A brilliant Goblin shaman -

Notice the little raptor poking his head out from beneath his cloak!

A bunch of new warriors -

Love the new boozy archer - hope he can shoot straight though!

The Blow pipe armed Goblin is another nice new twist.

And most excitingly - a mounted Goblin with a bad case of crabs!

This guy is loads of fun and there will be a few more variants to look forward to as well.

I can't wait to get started on painting these chaps up, although they will have to wait a little while.

As mentioned in my last post, I've started work on the little commission Binman (from the LAF) has asked me to do for his amazing Mordheim project. It's certainly going to be nice to do some more "traditional" Old World fare in the form of a couple of Elves, a Gnome and a Snotling! They are now based on 2p coins, primed and almost base coated...

Friday, 30 November 2012

Cold Comfort...

Howdy folks and apologies for a rather quiet November on the painting front. Unfortunately work has rather dominated things and sapped all energy and motivation - 11 hour days haven't exactly been conducive for spending a few happy hours of quiet concentration in the evening...

But enough of my woes - at least I've had the joy of playing an exciting game of 3rd ed. remotely. Turn 2 is up and once more brought brilliantly to life by the inimitable Gaj!

In fact my lengthy tactical considerations and increasingly desperate attempts to woo the Dice Gods, who for some reason seem rather displeased with me, have also contributed somewhat to the dearth of progress on my Slann Cold One Riders.

However, I can take comfort in the fact that I'm back in the swing of things and the labour of love that these frog men and their stinky mounts have become is finished - apart from some jungly bits to add to the bases at some point in the future...

As you may have noticed I've added a few Aztec bits and bobs to this glorious remnant of the flower of the Imperial Slann Armies of Mazdamundi. Many thanks go to Lead Asbestos and Mason of the LAF for supplying various feathers and other accoutrements. Extra special thanks must also go to Lead Asbestos for flogging me loads of Aztec minis who will eventually become a subjugated tribe in thrall to the Gurgyll Greenwake's private army.

I went with the classic green skin for these Imperial Bull Slann - no multi-coloured Venom tribe peasants here! A small(ish) selection of blues, reds, yellows and whites were used to pick out the large amounts of detail and decoration on these minis - almost as fiddly as the Perry Samurai I painted a couple of years ago!

Just to rewind a little, in case you haven't been following my Magnificent Sven thread on the LAF, here's how the Cold One mounts came together.

First off, ever since seeing this image in the Armies book, I wanted my Cold One Riders to look like this -

This particular mini is also featured along with some of the other miniatures in Paul Benson's collection in WD98.

So I took the plunge and decided to sculpt jaguar pelts for all five Cold Ones...

Obviously well prepared with pen (for rolling out the miliput), talcum powder to stop it sticking and a selection of blades, pen nibs and stippling brushes for adding texture, I managed to come up with these -

From here I applied a base coat - a classic blue for the lizard's hides

It was at this point that some of the more honest contributors on the LAF confirmed my worst fears that there was definitely something slightly ursine about my jaguar heads - some might say Teddy Bear-ish... So with a few swipes of the modelling knife their ears were reduced and made more pointy and a hasty jaguar pattern applied -

On to the characters that make up this little unit, which I think deserves a little Regiments of Renown style narrative.

Huit-Thabotyl sat up and blinked his large jet-black eyes, which felt as though they were bulging slightly more than usual. With a world weary croak, the Bull Slann heaved himself to his feet and stumbled over to the great mound of scale and muscle that was his slumbering riding beast. Ignoring the shooting pains that stabbed at his temples and the backs of his eyes, the Slann fumbled for one of the flasks that hung about his saddle. The stopper resisted momentarily, but soon enough the soothing warmth of Takilya, a particularly potent brew made from the sap of the finest Spine trees, was coursing down Huit-Thabotyl's voluminous throat.

As the pain receded and his mind was freed from the fog of sobriety, Huit-Thabotyl reflected on the events of the past week. Loud and long had been the fanfares that accompanied the equally long and colourful column of soldiery that had left the Imperial capital of Cotec, with Mazdamuni, himself's blessings. Such had been the multitude of hues and colours, and so great had been the gaiety of the crowds that thronged the Imperial highway, that Ziiii-Thuap, the irredescent Mosquito God would have looked on with envious eyes.

Off they had marched, Spawn Band and Totem Warrior alike, to see off the pathetic incursions of the Dryskins. All had gone well until they had reached the first village that had been plundered by the invaders. The temple shrines had been desecrated and this along with the lack of any survivors shook many of the Spawn Bands to the core. Discipline became a concern within the ranks. Then the invaders struck - not with sword but with a terrible wasting sickness that spread like wild fire through the Slann encampment. 

The few survivors of the plague were hastily formed into scouting parties and sent to track down the Humans who had wrought such destruction on the Emperor's finest - many did not return. Those who did spoke of wild apes who were capable of great violence and although a number of skirmishes were won, the Slann ranks were becoming even more dangerously depleted.

The final straw came when the sickness reached the high command. With General Gotta-lotta Bottyl incapacitated the command structure of the Imperial army crumbled. The remnants of the spawn bands melted away into the jungles while the various castes of totem warriors threw their lives away in desperate attacks on the enemy, as honour dictated. 

Others, however, went renegade. Huit-Thabotyl had never been one to shirk his duty or walk away from a fight. Nor was he one to squander his life for the abstract notion of honour. Thus it came to be that he and his unit of Cold One Riders did not return to camp as normal after their patrol had been completed. Thus it came to be that Huit-Thabotyl's services were enlisted by the renegade captain, Gurgyll Greenwake. Thus it came to be that a cohort of Imperial cavalry became man-hunters...

Huit-Thabotyl - Leader of 'Botyl's Throttlers (A very rough Norse translation of the Slann - Riders of the Great Beasts, Closers and Openers of throats and keepers of the Golden Hibiscus)

I picked a rather fetching Death's Head motif for his shield design from some of the copious painting guides for historical Aztec forces - you'll see it repeated on the standard and standard bearer's shield too -

Nuathen-Petyl - a strange character from Northern Lustria, chosen to be Standard Bearer for his fortitude and bloody-mindedness. Although the rest of the unit don't often understand his "quaint" Northern dialect, he is well respected for his martial abilities.

Pican-Mixtli - a trooper with a sweet tooth...

Popoca-Fez - terrible singer, dancer and gambler. Quite good at lancing humans though...

And finally - Getmicoatl - the unit's "joker"... and sole possessor of a coat - obviously a South Lustrian and not used to subtropical temperatures.

So what's next?

Well I'm really keen to tackle some of the many lizardmen I've acquired for this project - particularly Karnac's Lizardmen Raiders. However, I'm still missing the champion -

Also I have now received the minis my fellow LAF'er,TheBinman, has sent me by way of a small painting commission (doesn't that sound grand!). These chaps, including a couple of Elves, a Gnome and a Snotling,  will be my priority for the next week or two - more on which later, including the rather nice couple of minis I've received in payment...

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Greetings on All Hallow's Eve

Hope the evening won't be too intolerable with nasty little children begging for sweets on your doorstep - unless you're into the whole Trick or Treat thing. Personally I stopped answering the door round our end when it turned out that most of the youths (I sound a right miserable old bugger don't I!) were all aged around 15-16. I suppose at least they weren't littering the place with their empty cans of Diamond White... yet.

Anyway, as I've had a grand day out with the kids and dogs following a Hallowe'en around Brimham Rocks, I thought I'd round the evening off for them by carving up some pumpkin lanterns.

Kev Adams pumpkin lanterns that is!

In other news, the next trans-continental, world wide, absolutely fantastic, internetz spectacular, remote game of Warhammer 3rd ed between me and my opponent Airbornegrove26 is nearing the startline...

Many thanks to Gaj and Dreamfish for all their work behind the scenes!

The Slann riders are also all tarted up with weapon swaps and additional banners and feathers, and are primed and ready to be painted.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Small Bones and a Whole Bag of News...

Right, finally got round to photographing the Warmaster skeleton archers and horsemen I'd finished up earlier this week.

 Its been a long and busy term and my eyes seem to become defective in the evenings - assuming a  lead-like weight and tendency to shut involuntarily. Sleep I think its called and damned inconvenient!

Any how, here's the start of the Baron Kraust's grand Undead horde in 10mm.

Archers - as the Warmaster Undead units are based on the new (well to me at least!) and annoyingly Egyptian in style Tomb Kings armies, a few of these skeletons sport slightly more exotic head gear than your average re-animated Old Worlder might. Muted colours hopefully don't make them stand out too much and I'm happy to live the results than try any conversions at this scale!

The level of detail always amazes me for such small minis, although the arrows look more like bolt thrower ammunition!

Must admit that I found basing a bit fiddly - any old Warmaster hands with any labour saving tips out there would be much appreciated.

They scale up rather well with the Copplestone 10mm fantasy range - here you can see them lined up with the Half Orcs I painted up for the last Lead Painters League over on the LAF.

I really like the Undead cavalry models - again loads of nice detail and they look generic enough to look like ex-Old Worlders.

 I went for a brighter scheme with the red cloaks than I might have for 28mm minis, which seemed to work quite nicely. A few touches of verdigris on their bronze helmets and armour gives a little contrast.

Again they scale up nicely with the Copplestone 10mm - this time with the Horse Tribe cavalry.

Hey, wait a minute - those are no Uruks! 

I am hoping to eventually use the Horse Tribe chaps as some kind of Norse cavalry - perhaps a Mercenary border force? The stat line for the Marauder Horse from the Chaos army list looks like it would fit quite nicely.

I'm looking forward to a week off for Half term next week with the kids (Mrs T has gone back to Uni so I have been entrusted with their general care and maintenance!). Hopefully, in between day trips with them and the dogs, and some more dungeoneering in Hero Quest land, I'll get some more painting time in.

Lots of interesting things coming up while I eagerly await the bits and pieces I need to finish off my Slann Cold One Riders.

I've been asked to paint a few lovely old minis for Thebinman over on the LAF as part of his fantastic Mordheim project - more of which later...

I've nearly finished prepping the Fighting Fantasy Orc that Phreedh kindly sent after our Giant race. I just need to sort out a new weapon for him and luckily I think 90's GW scale creep and stupidly over sized weapons might well help me out here!

Also Brent from Bombshell Games has been back in touch with news of a new system for a fantasy skirmish game and a mass battle game for 10-15mm minis he's working on. If its as fun as Havoc was then I'm in for a treat as I'll be having a go at some more playtesting - so keep your eyes peeled for some more battle reports in the coming months. I'd like to finally get round to playing his OP4S rules too so I may well be dusting off some of my epic Space Marine stuff too.

Finally, more gaming news - the honourable gents, Dreamfish and Gaj have been hard at work putting together another game of 3rd ed to be played via the magic of the internetz! The other two games they have run,  Its Fun to Slay at the Wyemm Seeyay and The Shadow of Koles Lorr,  were very successful and the reports make great reading.  Bridge over the River Chai promises also to be a thoroughly entertaining game and what's more I get to play the baddies! Good luck to my opponent Airbornegrove26!