Thursday, 18 January 2018

Bloodletting for Fun and Profit

The forces of Chaos have had some great designs over the years, but they have also had some very wonky ones, and there's always been something of an over-abundance of big muscley men in lieu of anything genuinely sinister. The forces of Khorne have suffered from this in particular, and still do to an extent: the bloodthirster, their greater demon, has had a tendency to look like Tolkien's Balrog as drawn by a 1980s metal band (and, in one bizarre incarnation, had the head of a dog wearing a kaiser helmet).

Likewise the bloodletters, the smaller demons of Khorne. In their first incarnation (genus tadpoleus) they looked like this:

These weren't painted by me (I think they're pretty good, and you can see them HERE) but I did have a squad of four of these weird, spindly metal things. Sadly I can't find them: among the lost and the damned, they are most definitely lost.

Then the bloodletters got bulked up. They went through a late '90s phase of looking much more muscular and strangely middle-aged (a lot of models were a big ropey at that time) and then they looked like little wingless bloodthirsters for a while - savage, but too much like beastmen and not quite right somehow. More on the (un)natural history of the bloodletter can be found here: HERE

And now they've got it right. The current bloodletters have all the scrawny viciousness of the originals, but the sculpting is much better. They look three quarters medieval demon, and one quarter Giger's Alien - and not like a picture by a medieval person.

All of this preamble leads to the fact that I've painted five of them. I bulk-painted them, which is never a guarantee of the best results, but the fact that they're basically just red and the models are so nice means that they come together pretty decently.

I've not converted them, apart from cutting the tongues off three of them (what is it with GW and monsters sticking their tongues out?). I haven't finished their big black swords, as I've not decided how to do them justice yet. Anyhow, I seem to be building a chaos warband now. At least it will force me to paint those Dark Vengeance marines I've had lying around for the last three years.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Not My Best Angle

At long last, I've managed to finish something! It's the leader for the Not-Escher gang, which means that the gang itself is complete.

As usual, the phone has conspired to present the worst image possible. I once read that each miniature has a "golden angle", namely the angle at which it is best to be photographed. I can say with a fair amount of confidence that this is not it.

Anyway, the gang is ready for action. The weird colour scheme paid off and they've all set to storm the wasteland. I very much doubt that I could get a decent photo of them all, but I'll see what I can do.

Juve, Leader and Heavy
Ganger, Juve and Ganger

Juve, Ganger, Juve and Ganger

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

WIP Pt 2

It's update time!

I've made progress on the big chap. I've ordered a base for him - it's going to be a marsh theme - and I've attached the arms (left over from the maggoth kit) and commenced painting. So far, I've used a mixture of nasty green-brown washes. I'll have to add the details the usual way. I'm not sure whether the skin looks good so far or whether it just looks as if it needs more paint.

It's interesting how much more detail there is in the Nurgle parts than the tyranid bits. I really like the tyranids, but I find the models a bit low in detail and rather uninspiring. A tyranid hive that's eaten a lot of chaos people could be really interesting, though.

 And then this guy. I had a load of bits left over from the maggoth, so I thought I'd have a go at putting them together and making a sort of mouth on legs, together with a rider.

I've always been in two minds about Nurgle. Some of the design aspects I really like: in particular, the organic shapes in the war machines and the worn-out, patched-up armour. I'm less sold on the smiley faces and the dangling guts.

This thing is basically maggoth parts blended together with DAS clay. I gave it a quick wash of dark tone to bring out the shading, which will be useful when I paint it. I think the rider is some kind of rancid knight, so it makes sense to put some rust on his armour. I could see him wielding a lance, or perhaps a long-barrelled flamethrower-type gun.

So much for finishing things!

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Works in Progress

A very quick update here. This week I've started a lot of things and finished none, which doesn't really help diminish the pile of lead and plastic needing to be finished. It occurred to me that the model I was converting to be the leader of the new gang, whilst fine, was a bit too different to the others that I'd made to really work.

The legs are from a metal harlequin, the torso is from a dark elf, the right arm is dark eldar and the left arm and cloak come from an Empire outrider (a great kit, especially if you like rotary guns and horses). The head came from the ever-reliable Statuesque Miniatures. The gun is a very old Chaos marine bolter, and the chainsword is a possibly even older Eldar part.

I've also dug up an old conversion that I started ages ago and added to it. It is going to be some sort of large monster: beyond that, I'm not sure. At the moment, it's rather front-heavy, but I've got some arms that should offset the impression. It's a bit like a souped-up deathclaw from the Fallout games, but I think I'll paint it dark green. I can imagine it living in a swamp.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

The Gang's Nearly All Here

Happy new year!

The not-Esher gang is almost there. I've made two more gangers, taking the total to nine. All that's left is the leader.

The juve on the right was based on the Hasslefree Furiosa model, with a new head and right arm, and a bit of green stuff.

The model on the right is a heavy. Status brings reward, and that takes the form of better armour and bigger pieces of rusty metal to stand on. The heavy was a Wrath of Kings model with Dark Eldar arms, a Tempestus Scion gun and putty to bulk out the armour.

I've also been working on a crashed spaceship (as in painting one, not that my place of work is a damaged rocket). It's a one-piece molded model from one of the old 40k boxed sets, which featured tyranids as the villain of the week. I painted it in the same way as the ship from the last post, adding some tufts of grass. It fits almost exactly with the drab battlefield mats I got off Warlord Games. Super!

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Dirty Spaceship

Some might call me a model-making dynamo, ceaseless in my quest to perfect my art. Others might be more realistic and just say that I need to get out more. Whichever is true, I've been using this holiday to crack on with some projects.

First up is the Mantic Interceptor spaceship. This is from their game Warpath and, like a lot of Mantic products, felt a bit primitive to begin with. However, it fitted together easily and was perfectly well detailed for what it is. I sprayed it white (it was grey plastic to start with), then washed it with a nasty mixture of brown paint and dark tone. Parts were then washed with grey.

I brought the colour back up by using white paint on a sponge. This is quite good as it doesn't leave too many lines, as painting with a paintbrush can do, and doesn't leave water marks, as washes can. I applied more white to the raised areas to represent light catching the upper surfaces, then added some small details such as windows and blackening around the engines.

It's arguably not the most exciting model ever, but I like the Star Wars-type styling of the ship and the fact that it's fairly easy to build and paint. Here's another picture.

I also managed to make some terrain. Thanks to my recreational misuse of Dettox, I've got quite a lot of stripped older models, some of which are out of scale or rather lumpy. I'm also not very interested in Space Marines, so I've got no great interest in making an army of them.

I stuck a marine on an MDF column and added some bits and bobs to suggest technology. I imagine that these grandiose statues aren't of much use to the citizens, and are now being used to support home-made tech that actually does something (probably involving stealing cable TV). That feels very cyberpunk to me.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Introspective Retrospective

Well, it's the right colour scheme for Father Christmas...

It's nearly Christmas and the year is almost done. The planet is just about still here and, given the current circumstances, I'd call that a success.

From my own point of view, it's been alright. My main achievement was to get the sixth Space Captain Smith book, The Pincers of Death, into print. People seem to like it so far, so that's good. I'm still not a multi-millionaire from my writing, which is less good.

 For no valid reason, I thought it would be interesting (for me) to look back at some of the better stuff I've made this year.

In January, I made the first entirely scratch-built model that I've ever done. It resembled a sort of mobile teacup, which was nearly what I intended.

Terrain piece of the year was the bar I made out of a GW ruin and some plasticard. Just the sort of place where everyone knows your name, assuming your name is "Oi, you".

In Summer, at long last, I got around to building the titan that I'd had knocking around for ages. It's probably not my best painting work, but I'm going to put it here solely because I'm impressed that I got around to finishing the bloody thing!

Sir Vaylance The Vigilant

In terms of individual miniatures, my favourites were the Carnivale nobles:

And this big green monster from Privateer Press:

But I think my favourite of all is the guy below. He's not all that exciting, but he was one of those rare moments where the conversion and the painting both go the way I wanted them to. I don't think I could improve him much and there's not much I'd change. So, beer-drinking cyborg guy, you are miniature of the year - at least by the standards of this blog.

Merry Christmas, and if I don't return to bother you before then, Happy New Year!