Monday, 10 October 2016

Meeting Ian Miller at the Corridor Gallery, Brighton.

On Friday last (7th October 2016) I lucky enough to attend a viewing of the current art exhibition of the work of the artist Ian Miller, held at the Corridor Gallery in Brighton (East Sussex, UK), at which Ian Miller himself attended.

For those of you unaware, Ian Miller is an artist who contributed a body of work to many of the GW publications during the 1980's, very notablity Slaves to Darkness. In addition, he provided work for the Tolkien Bestiary (in the late 1970's), and a wealth of art since.

It was a great evening. The gallery was very busy, and had quite a lot of Ian Miller's artwork on show, with signed prints to buy, of with I bought two, as well as most of the artwork itself for sale as well. I chatted to Ian Miller about his current art, and the art which he did for GW in the 1980's. I did take a photograph of the general crowds in the gallery, which included Ian Miller, but I did'nt publish it on my blog out of respect for his privacy.

He mentioned that he no longer owned a lot of the art he did for GW, and that during the 1980's he was given 'boxes' of miniatures from at the time, which he recently sold! I had taken my old copy of Slaves to Darkness with me, and as I was showing other people at the show Ian Miller offered (and did) sign and dedicate it. All in all he is a very pleasant and interesting man to chat to, and after liking his art for the last 30 years, it was great to finally meet him and see his new work.

Here are the links for Ian Millers and the Corridor Gallery websites. Both are well worth a visit, and the exhibition is on until 31st October 2016 (closed Mondays), and worth a trip to Brighton if you are able:

Enjoy. :)
The front of the Corridor Gallery (it's not for sale by the way! LOL)

The two prints which I bought. They are signed and numbered, about A3 sized, and were £20 each. 
Both of the originals are on show, and for sale.
Print entitled 'Mote 1'.
Print entitled 'The Dragon Tree'.
Ian Millers signing and deidcation in my copy of Slaves to Darkness.

Next update will be probably either Snakemen, or Tomb Kings, or maybe both. :)

Monday, 26 September 2016

Some Oldhammer, some Middlehammer, and some Newhammer (and Ian Miller too!).

I have taken a little break from blogging and painting over the last couple of weeks. Work and other late Summer distractions had led to a spectacular lack of focus on my part. I had also been distracted by several other projects, including re-visiting at my old Tomb Kings army.

Whilst shopping on e-bay I also buoght one of the most devisive of the 'Middlehammer' era minatures: Nagash. Now, I never really got on with 4th Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle onwards, and it was'nt until 2002 and the release of the Tomb Kings that I was drawn back into mainstream/ contemporary Warhammer. As a consequence I did'nt buy many 1990's fantasy miniatures.

The Nagash miniature is greatly disliked because of the over the top 1990's stylings (I never liked it at the time), and I have heard that the designer, Gary Morley (no relation!) had designed as a joke or annoyance although, this could be just heresay! I bought Nagash for the pure reason of a challange to see if I could make a decent paint job of him. I'll do an update of just him sometime in the future.

Other than that, I have been tinkering with my Tomb Kings army, and looking to purchase a few current Age of Sigmar Death Grand Alliance models, and give them a slight 'Tomb Kings' twist. I already had some to which I added some spare Tomb Kings bits. I don't have the verment dislike of Age of Sigmar that some people have, but I also am not really drawn heavily into it. A few models here and there might make an interesting diversion, but I am not going to get drawn into the money pit of current gaming.

Of course I still have the Snakemen to finish, so am going to focus on those first. And maybe some Goblins, I miss painting Goblins :)

In other news there is an art exhibition of the artist Ian Miller's artwork in my home city of Brighton and Hove, where he now lives. A local gallery, 'The Corridor Gallery', is showing and selling some of his artwork, prints, and sketches. As many long term gamers know Ian Miller provded quite a body of distinctive artwork for Games Workshop publications during the 1980's, as well as a lot of artworks before and since.
I got chatting to one of the curators of the gallery, himself an artist by the name of Aaron Howdle, and he stated that the exhibition starts on 5th October, and there will be works for sale and are going to be quite reasonablly priced. On friday 7th October Ian Miller will be at the gallery from 19:30pm, although rather nicely I have been invited to meet Ian Miller at the preview at 18:30pm. So I will update on how I get on! :)

Here is the gallery web link:

...and the website of Aaron Howdle (he also has work exhibited in a Steampunk bar to which I occsionally frequent named 'The Yellow Book') :

Enjoy :)
I have been reviewing the army list for the Snakemen, and will probably have a mix of Chaos Warriors and Marauders. So above it a 10 strong unit of Chaos Marauder-Snakemen with two-handed weapons. 
 Unit leader: Saranth Elf Mangler (WIP), complete with a mangled Elf!
 Army General (WIP). 
I have been recently re-reading some of Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion books. I like the idea of an inter-dimesnional aspect of an Eternal Champion across alternative realities. So, I decided to paint up the army general as an albino in black armour and with a black bladed Chaos sword.
I bought a couple of Trolls from e-bay quite cheaply (£15 for the both). One was broken, so I gave him a spare Snakeman blade , and the other I gave a stone headed axe.
I own these two old C-Series pre-slotta Trolls already, so it was nice to have the opportunity to convert up these two. I will add them to the Chaos army to give some extra muscle (mainly between their ears!)
 Nagash: my foray into Middlehammer.
Age of Sigmar Death Grand Alliance Skeletons. 
I have just added Tomb Kings shields, a Kopesh for the leader, and a Tomb King standard. They fit nicely, despite the old Vampire Counts Skeletons being smaller than the Tomb Kings Skeletons. I think they look slightly Assyrians or ancient Babylonians and give a different vibe to the Eygptian-esque Tomb Kings.
I also bought a t-shirt in a shopping spree in Brighton, full of Goblin houses. :)

Next update should be Snakemen if I get around to painting them!

Thursday, 8 September 2016

More Snakemen, and a Gorgon.

This week I have painted a few more Snakemen, including two converted Standard Bearers. I am really enjoying painting them, and think that the 40mm square bases do give them the room they need. I also repainted and rebased an old Citadel 'Night Horror' ranges 'Medusa with sword'. I have added her as I plan to add her to the army as part of a bound Chaos Host.

I have also been thinking about the composition of the Snakeman army, and how they can be best represented. Originally I decided to use the Snakemen as a stand-ins for Chaos Warriors. However this would make them really expensive in points, and also crowd out any other of the options avalible to support the Snakemen. In a 3,000 point army, I would end up with 20 Snakemen/Chaos Warriors, plus a couple of Sorcerers and an Army General. Five Snakemen/Chaos Warriors, including a Magical Standard (Warbanner) and Magical Musican (Battlecall), works out at 568 points.

So,  I have been considering the following two options. Apart from the Chaos Warrior only option, I could either go for a mix of Chaos Warriors and Chaos Marauders, or Beastmen:

The Beastman option, while seeming a natural idea, means that the Snakemen would be constrained to light armour and shields, and not have the option of any Magical Standards or Musicians. This would also mean for close combat I would require larger units than the minimum 10 to stop the Snakemen from being just brushed aside in combat, a minimum of 14 at least. In addition, a unit of 14 or so, or anything on 40mm bases, takes up a lot of room on a battlefield, and is very unwieldy. Also, to make it work, I might also have to spend (a lot) more money on more Snakemen.

On the Plus side, Beastmen do have W2 and T4, and their heroes are pretty nasty in close combat, unlike the Human Chaos Marauders and Chaos Warriors with T3. They are also very cheap in points compared to Chaos Warriors and Marauders.

The mix of Chaos Warriors and Marauders does mean I can keep the heavy armour. It also allows for Magical Standards and/or Musicians, and also the option of  bows and crossbows for the Marauders  if I feel the urge to convert up some Snakemen. I also think this allows for the retention of the 'feel' of the army which I wanted: a small, focused, elite army, rather than the usual hordes I favour.

The drawbacks to this are the point values again and size of the units. The minimum size for Marauders is 10, so a basic unit with magical Standard and Musician, and Chaos Warrior leader is 552 points. However in a four wide and two deep formation with two at the back, you end up with a +4 to the units combat resolution (1 for rank bonus, 1 for the standard, 1 for the magic standard, 1 for the Magical Instrument). As I have 44 Snakemen, I can have the maximum 30 Marauders, plus some Chaos Warriors, and independent Snakemen heroes, and allows for increasing the army's points value above 3,000 points.

I might go for the mixed Chaos Warrior/Maruder option, so I can field a more workable 3,000 army, and have room for the 'add-ons', such as a Medusa, more Sorcerers, and maybe some Chaos Trolls.I will work on an army list for a future update.
Enjoy :)
More critters!!!
I mananged to paint six more Snakemen, and a Medusa, despite being in a very lazy mood! :/
Standard Bearer.
I had a broken version of S'lararet Splintered Fang, he was missing his hand and sword. So, a simple cross-bar made from brass rods, and a green stuff banner, with a green stuff hand, was added.
I painted the banner simply. I have been reading some Moorcock recently, and read a description of a Pang Tang banner that had a star of Chaos in amber. So I thought a simple glowing Chaos star, which looked like it belonged more to another plane and was hovering on the banner would look good.
The second standard bearer.
Again I had a broken miniature to use, this time a Higgat Dwarf Slicer.
The standard is a simple old Marauder miniatures shield, filled with green stuuf, stuck on a brass rod pole, with a skull on top.
Rear view.
S'Sorron Fangthrane.
Saranth Elf Mangler.
S'lon Life Smasher.
I painted the shoulder pad as a skull. I want to add a little more colour and Chaos  to the standard bronze/gold armour. 
S'lararet Splintered Fang.
Again, I painted the should pad up a different colour.
Medusa: 1980's Night Horrors range 'Gorgon with sword'.
The Chaos army is the only army in Warhammer Armies to have the option of a Gorgon, and then only one. They are handy at turning creatures into stone. I recall doing that to a Treeman once.  :)
The Snakemen so far.

Next week will be more Snakemen. I'll see if I can sort out an army list as well. I will also add some of the conversions and old Trolls I have for the army as well.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

They hatched!

A very quick and a slightly tongue-in-cheek update this week.

Last week I posted on my blog the five unopened packs of Snakemen which I have bought from e-bay recently. Today, I have finally got around to hatching opening them. It always feels a little wrong opening packs of miniatures from the 1980's. They have been left undisturbed for all that time, so who am I to open them? Still another part of me thinks why not? They should be free to be opened and painted, otherwise what is their purpose? 

The purpose of these particular critters is to act as stand-in's, or perhaps more correctly, alternative Chaos Warriors. With the packs added below, I now have 44 Snakemen. The idea is to build a Chaos Army using the Warhammer Armies Chaos Army list. This only allows for a maximum of 20 Chaos Warriors, but you can have up to half the point of the army as Chaos Allies, and so this allows another 20 Chaos Warriors.

This means that 40 of the 44 Snakemen will be split down into eight units of 5 Chaos Warriors. I think this has a nice symmetry to it, with eight units for each of the points of the Chaos star. Of the last four 'Spare' Snakemen, one is the Army Standard, one the Army General , and the third another independent hero. The last one, a S'Sirron Fangthrane,  I am going to convert into a Chaos Sorcerer who is wearing Chaos Armour.

Anyway, at the moment I am part of the way through painting more Snakemen, so for the time being, here is the hatching, and a few photographs of the army WIP. I will be doing a proper blog update after the weekend where I want to do an examination of the C27 Snakeman range as I have done with previous ranges in the past.
Enjoy :)

Five packs of Snakemen MIB.  :)
Part way through the 'hatching', ahh, I swear I could smell that late 1980's air!
Out they come!!!
All done!
Left to right, five S'lon Life Smasher; five S'Sirron Fangthrane; and five Saranth Elf Mangler's.
All forty-four of the Snakemen.
Close up of the left...
...and right, including both WIP, and the few finished Snakemen.
Keeping with the Southwestern North American theme, I managed to buy the last of the three Native American miniatures Citadel produced in the 1980's.
These are to be used as Chaos Sorcerers, basically Native Chaos Shamans.
Citadel did also produce a Wizard which looked  'Incan', but I will not include him as I am keeping a 'New World/North American' feel.
WIP standard bearer.
I am not a great artist but plan to add a little more details to the Chaos Standard.

Next update will be some more painted Snakemen, and a look at the five miniatures of the C27 Snakeman range in greater detail.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

More Snakemen, Sacred Bull, and time for some hatching!

Despite a busy and stressful time at work, I have managed to paint and base another four Snakemen, as well as a C03 Cleric 'Sacred Bull this week.

I have themed the Snakemen army around the Southwestern USA, and am using the Cleric (and another two other miniatures) as 'New World' Native American looking Wizards/Shamans as Shaman/Guides for the Snakemen.
As for the Snakemen themselves, I have kept the same style as the last batch, but added a few Native American details which I will carry on adding as I paint more. I am keeping the armour bronze/gold, to keep some uniformity, but also will add some other details to add variety.

Enjoy :)
 Four more of Citadel's C27 Snakemen!
 S'lararet Splintered Fang.
I have based the shield design on my 'Native American' design Converse shoes, below.
My Converse shoes :)
 Higgat Dwarf Slicer.
I painted the eyes and fangs another colour on the breastplate to pick out the details. I might paint further  Higgat Dwarf Slicers breasplates another colour to bring out the faces. I might do this for some of the other Snakemen's armour details, but still keep the bulk of the armour gold to provide some uniformity.
Rear view.
 Saranth Elf Slicer.
The Halberd/Double handed weapon looks a little like a power axe to me!
 Left hand side.
 S'lon Life Smasher.
 Right hand side showing his Native American beaded bag.
 Close up on his shoulder armour. A lot of the details on the Snakeman armour is wonderful. The next S'lon Life Smasher I will paint will probably have a bone coloured shoulder pad.
 Sacred Bull.
He is a Citadel C03 Cleric from the mid 1980's.
As he looks more of a Plains Tribesman, so I have painted him up as a Sioux. He is based on a 25mm square base, as per Chaos Sorcerers.
 The painted Chaos Snakemen army so far!
I need to do some hatching!
 More Snakemen in blister packs which I have picked up from e-bay.
With these, the Snakeman army is now over forty models. This will make eight units of five Snakemen (Chaos Warriors), with twenty from the main Chaos army list, and twenty from the Chaos Ally list. I can also have several independent Heroes, including an Army General and an Army Standard Bearer.
I am also looking to convert one of the S'Sirron Fangthrane's into a high level Chaos Sorcerer in Chaos Armour.
I never noticed (or I just forgot) that the Chaos Star in the centre is actually an 'o' of an 'of'.

Next week, more Snakemen!!!