Friday, 24 November 2017

One Big Nose

Years ago, I had an ogre army for Warhammer. Whenever you bought ogre models, they came with a couple of little minions called gnoblars, with which you could decorate the bases. Gnoblars were small, goblinish things, nearly useless in the game and prone to dying, running off or both.

Anyhow, reading the Tales From Farpoint blog reminded me that I've got a load of these little guys knocking around. I thought it would be nice to paint a few of them. As time's gone on, I've got less and less interested in huge warlords in armour, and more keen on wonky little creatures. I also had some bases from Renedra that weren't doing anything. So this seemed like a good idea.

The problem with gnoblars is that (1) they are very fiddly to paint, and (2) some of the detail isn't great. At least, that's my excuse. Here are the first two in what promises to be a mighty legion.

The guy on the left is hauling a keg of beer - or possibly gunpowder. The one on the right has a club about as big as he is. They weren't converted. If you can't see their faces very well, don't worry - nor could I. Essentially, they're one big nose.

I've got no idea if I'll continue with these or even if I'll be able to take any half-decent pictures of them. But they were enjoyable to paint. Perhaps I'll do a few more - when I'm not painting my Necromunda gang, my heap of Carnivale models, or the kilo or two of stripped metal miniatures. Oh dear.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

And Now With Trousers

This week has been interesting, in that I managed to pull something in my back and get a splitting headache at the same time. Unfortunately, it meant that I wasn't able to go to Warfare in Reading, which last year yielded a vast amount of cheap conversion-fodder. I'm a bit annoyed about that.

Still, I have been able to make a start on a new Necromunda gang. Painting standing upright is strange: it's as if you're about to deliver a speech to the model you're holding, like Hamlet with Yorick's skull.

"To be or not to - sod it, I can't be bothered."

 I think the new gang is going to be all female, which I'm always a little unsure about. I'll have to come up with some sort of rationale for this. Anyway, at Newbury I acquired five Prodos games models which would be perfect as Escher-type gangers. I used Dark Eldar arms, because they are armoured but thin enough to fit the shape of the bodies.

The colour scheme was chosen simply because I hadn't used much blue before, and I wanted to avoid the brown and green style of my earlier gang, the Terror Bird Cavalry. I think the models are supposed to be wearing no trousers, but stuff that because it looks ridiculous.

This ganger uses dark eldar arms (they all do) and a head from a Hasslefree miniature.

This models is probably a juve, given her pistol. Her gun arm is dark eldar, and the mechanical left arm came from a Mantic robot with a space marine's hand. The box on her hip is from a Tempestus Scion. I need to do a bit more shading on her face.

 And this ganger has gone for the classic cloak-and-witchfinder-hat combo. Like all these models, the gun was trimmed of some of its twiddly bits, just to make it look more like a human laser gun rather than some strange elf weapon.

I don't want all the models to be Prodos conversions. I've got some suitable miniatures that could be juves or specialists, and I'm very tempted to make this into their leader:

It might take a bit of explaining, though.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Deep Thoughts

More Carnivale this week, and this time around it's the Deep Ones. Unsurprisingly, the horrors of the deep have decided to colonise Venice. This is another great metal model, on a base made by Wyrd.

The base is so detailed that it's virtually a miniature in itself.

And the Deep One sits on top.

For a quarter of a ton of enraged sushi, he's a nice model. There are a lot of Deep Ones on the market, but Carnivale's version is the closest to my own mental image of these delightful creatures. I think he could do with a bit more of a highlight on his back scales, but it's hard not to make them too cartoony. I'll have another look tomorrow.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Two Narns, One Sheik and Some Coleslaw

Narns are chunky alien quadrupeds quite like small hippos. They are beige and greyish in colour, and they taste somewhat bland on their own. Narns are often preyed upon by phallhounds, and can be found around the edge of the Slurry of Curry, soaking up the atmosphere.

In the underhive, where conditions are not suited to larger animals, some locals have trained narns as beasts of burden, and equip them with body armour and metal cases to carry their supplies.

The narns were old epic squiggoths, which came broken. I used the two halves of a plastic barrel as their baggage containers.

Sheik Anvak is a mysterious man who leads a solitary life deep in the wastelands. Although he seems merely to be an old hermit, the raiders take pains to avoid him. Curiously, he never seems to be the man they are looking for. Some claim that he is an ancient mystic, but others whisper that he is really the dreaded crime lord Abdul Goldberg in disguise, lying low in preparation for some new criminal scheme.

Margarita Coleslaw is a respected trader and matriarch of the powerful Clan Coleslaw. The wastelanders say that if it moves, she can get a good price for it - which might explain where several of her more troublesome siblings have gone. 

The sheik was a model from the Spectre line. He was, unsurprisingly, a sheik. I made his hand a bit bigger to keep with the proportions of the other citizens. Madam Coleslaw started off as a Privateer Press miniature called Dannon Blythe. I repositioned her left arm so that she would have her hand on her hip. It was originally holding a sword on her shoulder, which was a bit medieval for my tastes. It's hard to see, but she is holding a coat over her shoulder. I really like the sculpting and the nonchalant style of the model.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

It's Carnival Season

As theatre-going becomes more popular with the nobility, the priesthood condemns playwrights for putting sex and violence on the stage. And they are right to do so: here we see Mr and Mrs Antoinette shortly after watching The Bloody Murder of the Foul Prince Romero and his Enormously Bosomed Wife, armed and ready for violence on the streets of Venice.

Here are my first two Carnivale models. They are Barnabotti, apparently, and are the foot-troops of the nobility. I painted them in similar colours, to suggest that they are husband and wife, and mounted them on some Wyrd scenic bases. They took a long time to paint, but I'm really pleased with the results.

Mind the step!

Mrs A was slightly converted. Her arm was so spindly that her hand was just going to snap off, so I cut the arm above the shoulder and turned it so that her hand would rest on the front of her dress for extra stability. Otherwise, they are as they came from the box.

How dare you insult my nose!

Sunday, 29 October 2017


It's been a slow couple of weeks or, more accurately, I've actually done something other than paint models in the last fortnight. To start with, after a lot of faff and delays, my new book is on the way to being in print.

Buy me!

My friend James came down and we played a few games, including Shadows of Brimstone and Space Hulk. Space Hulk is a funny game. While I can admit it's technical excellence, it is so completely unforgiving that I usually feel that I've basically lost in the first few turns, if not in the actual setting-up of the pieces. I enjoy it a lot, but it always feels like a last stand rather than a winnable game. Anyhow, it's a classic in its own strange way, and extremely evocative of what it's trying to depict.

I also started work on the old metal Carnivale models that I've been stockpiling. They're fantastic but very spindly and detailed. I'm taking it quite slowly because I want to do the best that I can. Hopefully, more of that soon.

The only thing I've made recently is this. It's based on a tractor from the 40k crane set, with arms from a set of plastic blobs I got down the art shop and a face cast in green stuff from a Reaper Bones model (the same one that I used for the shoulder pad of my titan).

My mental image is that the machine rolls around doing tasks, and that the face is the projected hologram of the tech-priest who controls it (and whose remains may be interred within). One of those odd 40k things that happen when you start holding the bits together. I'm not sure if the face and body go together (or clash interestingly) but I like both of them.

The painting isn't my best, but I wanted a rest from the detail of the Carnivale figures. I'd better get back to them while the light's still good!

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Who Lives In A House Like This?

This week, I've been working on some terrain. First, I made some improvements on a large workshop that I first built years ago and, appropriately, have been tinkering with ever since.

It incorporates all kinds of stuff: boxes and yogurt pots for the main body, a fuel tank from Ramshackle, some kind of little resin bunker, a crane based around a sentinel cockpit, and what I think was once a movement tray from Warhammer Fantasy Battle. I added some more detail, tidied up the painting (to an extent) and made a few adjustments. Here’s a closer view.

I think it will suit my team of mechanics pretty well.

Every so often, I have a look for useful stuff in the local art shop. This time, I turned up some papier-mache boxes designed to be used as treasure chests. I thought they would look good as buildings, and used some textured plasticard to put together a lower floor under one of the boxes.

I added some random detailing and painted it to resemble the bright green favela-style house that I made a few months ago. I expect that even on Necromunda, there is a suitably vapid publication that shows off the homes of the rich and infamous. So, taken from the pages of Hell-O, here renowned gang leader Algebra Flaps shows us around his beautiful armoured hovel.


I forgot to add this! It's the completed dormouse in his automated teapot. Here he is.