Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Here Come The Fatties! Pestigors And Plague Zombies

So far these guys have been a blast to work on. They're the epitome of value-for-money-gaming because they'll work as pestigors (bestigors) in WFB and as plague zombies in 40k (hence the round bases, which will slot into a movement tray when they're beastmen). Plenty more pustules and rashes to add along with additional chain mail, all in greenstuff. Pictured is the command group along with a couple of example conversions that will go with ten of the original pestigors to make a unit of 21. I'll just need to grab another box of gors and roll up a big nub of greenstuff to push towards a maxed-out squad of plague zombies.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

10 Classic Scary Paintings

There's a nice little article in The Observer today piggybacking on Halloween - as is traditional at this time of year - which presents the rich horror that can be found in fine art through a "10 best..." series. Well worth a look. Here are a couple of my favourites:

Medusa: Caravaggio, 1596-98

Hell: Hans Memling, c1485

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Scibor Mutant Snail - Out Of The Box

This is probably the tiniest 'out of the box' I'll ever do! But I'm such a massive fan of Scibor that I wanted to take the opportunity to restate just how great their miniatures are. I got this little fellow as part of a hugely discounted order from Maelstrom Games (who may or may not be going out of business, sadly). As with everything else I've got from Scibor, this is bursting with character and great detail, and requires minimal preparation work. I love the mix of horror and humour in this series and I think I'll try to pick up more in the future. This model will most probably end up as a unit filler in my work-in-progress pestigors (more on those next week) and as a plague zombie for my nurgle space marines.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Razorgor Conversion, Plus A Quick Review Of GW Texture And Base Paints

I'm quite taken by the bulgy-eyed weirdness of the GW Razorgor model, but seeing as I have a surfeit of bits(z) I decided to see if I could bash one together. It turned out to be a rather simple marriage of boar body and manticore head, with added spiky bits. I wanted this to be a dynamic piece so I'm posing him leaping over what will be an abandoned tomb of some once-celebrated warrior... or something like that! Anyway, I'm pleased with how this has come together so far.

I've photoed Boris (as my son has named him) at this stage because it also gives me a chance to mention the Ceramite White Base paint and Stirland Mud Texture paint that I used for the first time. I must say that I'm pretty impressed with both. The base white covers over my Army Painter white primer perfectly, while the texture paint is much better than I'd hoped, being rather flexible in how much gritty coverage it provides (I realise this photo doesn't do it justice, so you'll just have to take my word for it!). Well done GW on a couple of very useful products. 

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

John Blanche In Next White Dwarf, New Photo

It's really great that John Blanche is a regular in White Dwarf again - it's just a shame that his input isn't enough to justify the price tag (in my humble opinion etc, etc.). So in the spirit of spreading pictures of his glorious minis around the web so that they can exert maximum influence, here's a photo that popped up on the GW website today. In this theme, I'm going to scan those from the last WD this evening and put them in a post tomorrow...

Doctors Who

I had a birthday last week; not a numerically significant one, but a very personally satisfying one. One of the great gifts I received from my wife was this excellent picture of the Doctors Who in the signature shape of the question mark. As a man with a doctorate at a significant turning point in my life, I found it wonderfully thoughtful. For those interested, the picture is by Jon Turner and available on etsy (I've not followed the link so it's not here - why spoil some of the magic of a perfect gift? :-)

Monday, 22 October 2012

Fabulous Undead From Zenit Miniatures

A quick post today and a very well deserved shout out to a small manufacturer - Zenit Miniatures. I particularly like their Nemesis range, with the Not Alive a highlight.  
This Bones Golem is amazing. It would fit right into any undead army and look fantastic. It might even work with Dark Eldar.
A 'Summoner'. Simply a great looking necromancer figure.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Playing 30K Will Be An 'Appalling Stalemate' - Straight From The Horus' Mouth

So I managed to spend a few hours reading Horus Heresy: Betrayal the other day. As I suspected, it's an incredibly dull read that covers much of the ground from the original trilogy of novels, but with all narrative and character from those 'pulp classics' stripped away. As far as 30k gaming is concerned, the total lack of alien diversity makes it an extremely unattractive prospect. Given that GW have worked hard over the years to populate a galaxy full of toy armies that play with tactical heterogeneity, it seems odd that there's so much fuss over a version of the game that has the heart of that contrast and mix erased. And don't take my word for this; here's a quote from Alan Bligh from the book:

"...matched in power and weapons, armour and skill, and above all in the unshakable resolve to fight, the result was an appalling stalemate" Horus Heresy: Betrayal, p.50

I kid you not. This made me laugh out loud while I was reading it on the train home from work. As always, I operate a philosophy of live and let live, so if this sounds like the game of your dreams then I wish you well!

All of this stalemate could be yours!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Award Winning Photos Of Real Monsters

The winners of the wildlife photographer of the year contest have just been announced, see here for all the details. As a self-confessed monster lover my two favourites had to be these two ancient beasts... and beautiful they are too.

Into the mouth of the caiman by Luciano Candisani (Brazil)
Warning night light by Larry Lynch (USA)

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Flying Nurgle Daemon Prince (AKA Another Conversion Idea To Pinch)

Here's a great take on a flying Nurgle daemon prince posted by conversion bits supplier Zinge Industries on their facebook page. I'll be pinching this idea for my own model, although I'll do something a little different so that it matches my planned Helfly conversion.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Building Better Nurgle Chaos Space Marines

This is all entirely subjective, of course, and should be read as such. It's really a matter of cash flow and personal taste that's got me thinking this way, and my initial pondering on how to build on the contents of Dark Vengeance. So here we go...

This one's easy as I already have it covered. A while ago I picked up this rotten lord from Scibor. I really love this mini and I think it makes for an excellent stand-in for Typhus. I also have the Nurgle Daemon Prince, so it's all happy days for HQ.

Here's where we get creative. I've been looking for ages for a cheaper alternative to the GW Plague Marines but with no luck. This week those creative chaps at Avatars of War have released their Corrupters of Apocalypse and I think I'm in potential conversion heaven. Grab some bolters, some of the great biohazard backpacks from MaxMini and... these could be ideal.

In addition I'll have a blob squad of 35 cultists from my Dark Vengeance boxes. And obviously a batch of 35 plague zombies - I don't pay any attention to these silly arguments floating around that the limit is 10 for these squads, because it's obviously an error in the codex and big zombie squads is clearly in the spirit of the game.

With two Helbrutes and a bunch of Chosen these slots are sewn-up for now.

Fast Attack
Like many people I don't like the new robot chicken that much. It's fine, but not very Nurgle. So I was intrigued when this monstrosity popped up on the GW blog the other day:

Pretty inventive, don't you think? I'm definitely planning on doing my own - even more Nurglesque - conversion of the Orcs and Goblin's massive spider. Should be a blast! 

Heavy Support
I'm not that keen on the dino-bots either. So my plans for a ForgeFiend begin with...

The Forge World Chaos Siege Giant. I'll 'Nurgle' this chap up with a back covered in boils and seeping wounds and bash together some ectoplasma cannons that will sit within the arm blades and be wired into his flesh in a very daemon engine sort of way. 

Don't hold your breath for any of this to happen as I am, as experience has proved, a slow lane hobbyist. But I'm really starting to get into these ideas...

Friday, 12 October 2012

Steampunk Starwars #2

Some more art from Will Draw For Fun, the blog of artist Brian Kesinger. This time it's more steampunk Star Wars art for your Friday viewing pleasure (check here for #1). 

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Achieving Super Bright Highlights

Being a hobby butterfly with a large and diverse collection it's only recently that I've begun to think seriously about the latter stages of painting my models. Although many of my paint jobs have reached what many would consider a 'tabletop standard' I'm really a painter above all else, so I'm constantly experimenting with style and techniques across numerous models. With my efforts to get a completed beastmen herd onto the gaming table I'm now experimenting with super bright highlights and the latter stages of paint jobs (from my own arty-farty perspective).

Something I've always liked is a strong contrast between dark and light. This is something that's employed by miniatures painters with very different styles - the blogger James Wappel is an example of one end of the scale, while John Blanche represents the other end. Using Daler Rowney inks I've been able to achieve a very satisfying range of dark shades. In order to match this with bright highlights I've turned to the Deco Art range of craft paints. The other day I was after a strong pink, so I picked up a pot of Emperor's Children from GW, only to find that it's better described as a light purple - a good colour actually, but not what I was after. A trip to Hobby Craft and the Americana range from Deco Art gave me all I needed. These paints make ideal substitutes for the GW and other ranges - they're inexpensive, well pigmented, AND you get over twice the paint for less of your cash. I know there are some great bright colours available from Game Color, but the prices of these ones is unbeatable. Check back to see how I get on with these paints in the coming weeks as I push forward with my beastmen project. For now though, here's a WIP of one of my warhounds.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Beastlord Tuskgor Chariot WIP, The Lord Of Bones

So I guess with all this painting going on I'd better share some of it! Here's my beastlord tuskgor chariot, which has been a HUGE time-sink so far because it's turned into such a complex and detailed model. The chariot itself is the chaos chariot from GW, while the boars are from the Orc boar boyz set - so much better than the crappy ancient ones. The gor with spear has to go up front. Why? Well that'll be because my beastlord who, as you can see, isn't a GW mini, but is massive. He's Kromac the Ravenous from Hordes in beast form. This guy is such a raw mass of aggression I couldn't resist picking him up a while back and now I think he's ideal for leading a brayherd into battle. In a little homage I'm going to call him The Lord Of Bones.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Chaos Space Marines Codex PDF An Official Leak? (And A Couple Of Other Thoughts)

So there's a very high quality PDF of the new Chaos Space Marine codex out on the internet. It's clearly a scan of the book and it's been floating around for a few days. Obviously I'm not going to link to it here, but it's pretty easy to find if you can click a mouse... It's a big saving compared to the hefty £30 price tag! (Wink). Talking about this last night in my regular gaming group someone raised the possibility that GW had leaked the codex purposefully so that people spent some of the extra cash of models. An interesting thought.

Other thoughts about the codex? Well on a first glance it looks pretty good and pretty much as expected. I like the way the different powers are represented and the animosity there is between them. Overall it's a boon for players shaping their army around a particular god. Also, Cultists as a troops choice are very useful (for me anyway...) and it's very useful given the contents of Dark Vengeance that a squad can contain both autopistols and autoguns. That means my crossbow toting conversions can be autoguners gained from autopistol models. Handy.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Painting Nomad Seeks Organisation, Must Have GSOH

In an effort to overcome my disorderly nature during this premium month for getting some serious painting done, I've made sure to kick things off with a good sort and tidy of the old paint box. Over the last year or so this got extremely jumbled, just like my mind specifically and life more generally. So some kind of reorganisation was on the cards. I'm what you might call a painting nomad in that, unlike those fortunate enough to have a permanent base for their painting operations, I move mine around constantly as the tides of daily life with two small kids dictate.

I'm not sure how anyone else organises their paints and because the chance of me misplacing then buying the same colour again was almost a reality last week, I enlisted the help of my wife; also known as she-who-knows-about-things. On her advice I have reorganised thusly:

This sort of follows the colour spectrum - with the obvious anomalies of metals and flesh. I've more-or-less phased out metals from my work following the development of a very simple but satisfactory non-metalic-metals approach. More on that as the WIP photos pop up over the coming days and weeks. 

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Steampunk Transformers

I found this image over at Will Draw For Fun, the blog of artist Brian Kesinger. Neat idea, don't you think?

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

More From The 'Say No To 30k' Campaign

Last week I outlined some of my less than positive thoughts about all this Horus Heresy business. A rather more 'hard line' editorial over at Blood Of Kittens makes similar points, but... you know... 'harder'. Here's a snippet:

The new models don't represent Rogue Trader era of my youth, but the Black Library error of the present. It seems like Forge World is relying on the Black Library vision of the Heresy and not the canon of the past... The Horus Heresy will only divide the community that is already pretty small. The Horus Heresy will become the premium game for a game that is already a luxury to begin with... It also divides the pocket-book: many players won't invest in their current armies and instead throw money away on this sub-game. It takes everything that was bad about Apocalypse and multiplies it by ten.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Of Beastmen And Gardening Leave

Today I received the wonderful 'real world' news that I've landed a new job. As I'm virtually at the end of my current fixed contract I can now indulge in some 'gardening leave' while I see out my notice. So it's time for a bit of a painting challenge.

My aim is to fully cultivate 2000 points of my beastmen menagerie during October. This won't cover everything that I've got - a handful of large monsters and characters will be held in reserve - but it will mean that I'll finally have a completed, fully painted, playable force.

Here's the list I'm going to work with:

Beastlord with additional weapon, heavy armour, on tuskgor chariot
Great Bray Shaman

22 Gors inc. full command + additional weapons
5 Chaos warhounds
10 Centigors inc. Warhoof + full command

3 Minotaurs inc. Bloodkine + additional weapons
10 Harpies


Just a shade under 2000 points
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