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:
http://corridorgallery.co.uk/index.php/event/an-exhibition-of-art-by-ian-miller/

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

Enjoy :)
 Snakemen!
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.
 Trolls!!
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!!!

Monday, 15 August 2016

Chaos Snakemen of Quetzalcoatl.

Sometime over the last 30 odd years of collecting I bought some of the C27 Chaos Snakemen range produced by Citadel in the 1980's. Now I never did anything with them, despite always liking the miniatures, until about three years ago. I bought a few more, by then making 16, and then painted them up to be a stand-in proxy for a Fimir ally contingent for my Dark Elves.

Earlier this year I decided that I did'nt like my slotta based, late 1980's Dark Elf army, and switched to collecting a pre-slotta Dark Elf army. This left the Snakemen a little redundant. So I decided to paint strip them, and use them as a core for a solely Snakeman Chaos army.

Now as I mentioned the Snakemen never had any rules made for them, and never had any background written for them. That was until Chaz Elliot (who designed them) was interviewed on the 'Funky Wenis Rodeo' blog, here:
http://funkywenisrodeo.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/the-pure-untold-story-of-chaz-elliotts.html

Although there were no rules given, Chaz Elliot stated that the Snakemen were a failed gentic breeding programme of the Slann (the Slann did a lot of that sort of thing, and ever seemed to get it right!). The Snakemen escaped and fled to the frozen north, close to the Chaos wastes it would seem. There they plot their revenge on the Slann.

Now all this got me thinking. As an owner of a large Slann army, and someone who is interested in the 1st to 3rd Edition Slann era background, I liked the idea of an enemy of the Slann. I did'nt like the idea of my Snakemen stuck in the frozen north of what must be by definition of their flight from the Slann, to be the New World (the fantasy equivelent of North America). The concept of probably cold blooded Snakemen in the snow seemed a bit wrong. Also, if the Snakemen were planning to attack the Slann, they probably should be a bit closer to them.

Considering all this, and also that I wanted to give them a New World and different flavour, I decide to base them in a fantasy American South West. I would go for a non-African desert look, adding some model Cactii I have from an old kit. I also thought that given that humans are mentioned as being in the New World, I would add a couple of the 1980's Citadel Native American miniatures for use as Chaos Sorcerers/Shamans.

Painting wise, I wanted to keep the South West American theme by painting the Snakemen up in Rattle Snake colouration. I have tried this before, and I did'nt really crack it, and again when I tried it I did'nt really get on with it. It also did'nt quite look right. So, given that the Snakemen are serpents, and are adversaries of the Slann, I decided to paint them up in the colour of the Aztec deity Quetzalcoatl. This both linked into the Slann and the Aztec myths of the returning God Quetzalcoatl, who will return to the civilisation from whence he fled to have revenge on being forced into exile. The Aztecs (strictly speaking they were called the 'Mexica'), came from supposed mythical 'Aztlan', which was meant to be in the American South West/Mexican North West area, in common with the other Chichimec peoples. So to me it adds another layer of connection.

Finally this left what rules to use. If I had acces to unlimited numbers of Snakemen perhaps using them as Beastmen would have been logical. However, despite collecting 32 of them, it would only make a couple of core regiment at best. I would have to pad out the army with other stuff, and I though that would dilute the concept too much.

In the Warhammer Armies Chaos army list, this left Minotaurs, Chaos Thugs, Mauraders, and Warriors as options. The Minotaurs did'nt have the option for shields, which many of the miniatures have, and Chaos Thugs were too weak and had the same lack of number problem that using them as Beastmen had. Marauders, whilst a good idea, have a minimum unit size of 10, which would lead to a three regiment army, and again they did'nt seem to have that battlefield presence to me.

So I opted to use them as Chaos Warrior Proxies. This means that the army will be small, and expensive in points (74 points per model!!) but I felt that it represents the Snakemen well. To me they look the equal of any Warrior of Chaos, and with 32, I can have 20 Chaos Warriors from the list, and 10 from a Chaos Ally Contingent. Of course, at 74 points per model, plus heroes, sorcerers, magical weapon, etc, I might not be able to use more than 25 Chaos Warrior Snakemen in a 3,000 point army. Finally, despite being supplied 25mm Square bases, and 25mm being the suggested size of Chaos Warriors, I opted for 40mm bases. This is because it think that the Snakemen look better on 40mm bases, and too cramped on the 25mm bases.

Enjoy :)
The C27 Snakemen range.
Only five miniatures were sculpted, but they are lovely models. The armour and details on them are wonderful, and still stand up to modern sculpted miniatures today in my view.
As an aside, as someone who is left handed, I am pleased to say three of the five Snakemen are left handed.
Quetzalcoatl, the god of the Aztecs (and other Meso-Americans) who was set to return to claim what was his (taken from the Aztec Codex Telleriano-Remensis).
I took the green and yellow-ish colour for the Snakemen paint scheme.
Snakemen in the desert, near an ancient Snakeman monolith.
S'Sirron Fangthrane.
I decided to keep the old bronze armour colour from when I painted the snakemen previously. I opted for the Quetzalcoatl colours, but toned down the yellow to a darker tone.
Side view, with cactii!
Higgat Dwarf Slicer.
He has a lovely armoured breastplate with a fanged face on it. It is similar in design to the faces on the Chaos Battering Ram, which I think Chaz Elliot also designed.
Rear view.
To keep some red from Quetzalcoatl in the codex, I painted the shield red.
Another, smaller cactii is on the base.
S'lararent Slintered Fang.
Rear view.
Snakemen ambush Slann in the furthest northern desert reaches of the Slann Empire.
The rest of the Snakemen.
Army leader, S'lon Life Smasher.
I have slightly re-postioned his tail and leg...
...and added a bow and sheath of arrows.
The idea is to equip him with a bow and a 'Hail of Doom' arrow. Nasty suprise for someone! :)
Snakemen Standard bearers.
Another Snakeman standard bearer.
If I expand the army, he might become the army standard bearer.
Left hand side view.
The conversion uses a broken Saranth Elf Mangler with a straightened Elf Horn (which looked snake-like) placed where the halberd/double handed weapon blade was.
Two Native American Chaos Sorcerers/Shamans.
I wanted to add these to save converting (for now) some Snakemen into Chaos Sorcerers wearing Chaos Armour. Also I wanted to emphsis the American South West/New World feel of the army.
Both miniatures are 1980's Citadel miniatures. On the left is the C07 Ranger range 'Scout'. On the right is Citadel C03 Cleric 'Sacred Bull', both based on 25mm bases.
Snakemen, mint in blister.
I have'nt had the heart to open them yet.

Next week, more Snakemen!!!