Monday, 16 January 2017

The second hatching of Snakemen this year.

Quick update this week.

Over the last week and half I have managed to paint up another half dozen Snakemen. I am really enjoying painting them with their new more colourfully individualistic look. I also converted a Snakeman into a standard bearer.

Apart from Snakemen, I have been paint stripping and tinkering with 40k Squats and came up with an idea for alternative bikers. The 40k Squats won't be started until the Snakemen have been finished. I have also been picking up a mixture of odds and ends from e-bay/Oldhammer Trading site, from 1980's Lord of the Rings Uruk-Hai and Orcs, to the odd AD&D Githyanki!

However I shall not get too distracted, so the Snakemen will be the focus. I have 26 to paint, having already painted 19. I also have a few oddments such as Human Cultists and a Harpy to paint as well. 

Enjoy :)
Six more Snakemen.
S'lararet Splintered Fang. 
I have painted him up as a unit leader by adding runes on his shield and on the black bladed sword. 

Incedently, I have been referring to all the Snakemen as 'he'. However I am sure that some of the Snake'men' may just as well be Snake'women'. I will refer to them as 'he' for the sake of grammatical ease, but assume there may be a mix. I'm not sure how to 'sex' a Snakemen, but I am pretty sure even asking them, let alone any other method, may be fraught with danger! :)
S'Sirron Fangthrane. 
With a slight Chaos Tzeentch or Slaanesh vibe I painted him up purple. I am not sure if there are any purple Snakes in the world, but this is the Warhammer World.
Another S'lararet Splintered Fang.
Unlike the other Snakemen, I have given him a slightly Khornate look with the red shield and bits of armour.  The army won't be Khornate, but it's nice to add a different dash of colour.
Higgat Dwarf Slicer. 
I slightly bent the tail to give the impression he is slithering around the skull. 
I painted the face on the breastplate blue to look like a Troll.
Another S'Sirron Fangthrane, this time in a more straight forward green, based on innumerable real world Snake colourations.
Sarannth Elf Mangler.
 I have painted him up in a stipey paint scheme taken from Jean-Baptiste's Snakemen here:
 Right hand side of the above Sarannth Elf Mangler.
S'Sirron Fangthrane conversion.
I have converted him into a standard bearer by removing his double handed axe, and drilling though the hands, and adding a piece of bass rod for the shaft. The standard is a slightly trimmed standard from GW's current Grave Guard plastic box set. 
I was tinkering with 40k Squat miniatures when I hit upon the idea that I could mount my spare bikers on Citadel's limited release Space Marine Riding Lizards.
I have been wondering what to do with the Lizards for a while. As I have 10, I will use 8 of them as alternative Squat bikers. I think they fit very well and look great. I will conduct some minor conversions such as re-postioning the Squars arms, adding reins, and slight re-postioning of the Lizards heads and legs. I'll rebase then too.

Next update will be yet more Snakemen!

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Newly painted Citadel C27 Snakemen.

My first post of the New Year and I have been a busy Goblin! I have managed over the Xmas/New Year period to have re/painted 13 Snakemen. I am very happy with the output, and I am enjoying painting them much more.

As I outlined in my last blog update, I had ground to a halt with painting the Snakemen as I was'nt happy with my chosen paint scheme. So I have chosen to go for a different paint scheme, that of mixed skin colours. Instead of just one colour, I have chosen a mix of real life snake colours, and some bright random colours to suggest their Chaos origins. I want each of the Snakemen to have an individual look to them as regards their skin colour, most of their equipment and shields.

However to keep some coherence, and because I like the look, I kept their plate armour gold. As the Snakemen plate armour has some beautifully sculpted shoulder pads, in the form of faces, I have occasionally painted some of them in different colours. This brings out their detail, breaks up the gold plate, and adds that Chaos individuality. I feel it also gives them their 1980's feel, linking in with the mid/late 1980's Chaos/Goblinoid aesthetic.

With the basing I went for the same approach as before. The bulk of the base is Citadel's Agrellan Earth (although I do have some of their thicker Agrellan Badlands to use too), with dead looking grasses and the occasional rock or tufts of long grass. I may add the odd skull or creature to some of my Snakemen in the pipeline. The bigger lipped 40mm round bases seem to work well with them. I have painted edges black to both give definition and to allow me to add names to their bases later on. I think it's going to fun thinking up names for 40+ Snakemen!

Finally, despite my slowing up in blog updates recently, I am close to 300k views. As of today I have had 298,771 views, which is amazing! :)

Enjoy :)

 13 Snakemen.
(Sorry about the blurry photograph).
S'lon Life Smasher.
I painted the face on his shoulder pad green, as well as the face on his sword hilt.
S'Sirron Fangthrane, painted as a 'Banded Krait' Snake.
Another S'Sirron Fangthrane, this time orange.
Another S'lon Life Smasher, loosely based on a 'Rattle Snake'.
Higgat Dwarf Slicer, based on a 'Milk Snake'.
Purple coloured S'lon Life Smasher. To my knowlage there are no purple snakes, so I painted this one up as a Chaos influenced Snakeman.
A repainted and converted S'lararet Splintered Fang standard bearer.
 I painted him with some of the bright green tropical snakes in mind, and used Vallejo Fluorescent Green. Some of the green snakes can be quite bright, but this Snakeman could also be influenced by the glow of Warpstone.
A third S'Sirron Fangthrane. 
I will be using him as a unit leader, and have painted him up using Citadel's 'Warpfiend Grey, normally used on Slaaneshi miniautres, to suggest a Slaaneshi allegiance to this Snakeman. I have also used a purple-pink on the axe and the fur cape on his back (see further below), and a pale blue on the shoulder pad and axe shaft. 
I don't want the Snakemen to have a specific Chaos allegiance, but consider them leaning of mine more towards Slaanesh and Tzeench.
Another S'lon Life Smasher. 
I originally converted him to use him as an independent hero. I repostioned his tail, and added a bow and quiver to his back. I have an idea to have two of the Snakemen to be aspects of Michael Moorcocks Eternal Champion concept. One of the Snakemen I am going to paint as an albino in black armour (as this Snakeman was orginally). The second, which is this Snakeman, is to be an representation of Rakhir the Red, the archer who adventured with Elric on occasion.
Yet another S'lon Life Smasher!
He is painted up to be a generic brownish snake. I did twist his tail so he stands more at an angle. I also painted his shoulder pad up as a bone skull.
A second Higgat Dwarf Slicer.
He is painted similar to Corn Snake as I wanted a nice and bright colour. I kept the armour, even the lovely sculpted faced breastplate, gold. However several of the other Higgat Dwarf Slicer Snakemen on my painting table will have different colored breastplates.
The final S'Sirron Fangthrane.
 I wanted a plain, muted brown, to give depth and offset the bright axe shaft. 
I like him as he is understated.
Rear views of the Slaaneshi S'Sirron Fangthrane unit leader on the left, show his purple-pinkish fur cape. Higgat Dwarf Slicer on the right shows off his snake skulled shield. 
I took these photographs as you cannot see the backs of the Snakemen in catalogue pages. Unless you own the miniatures you can't appreciate the sculpting at the back. 
S'lon Life Smasher, looking like you're his next lunch! 
He is also showing off his skull face shoulder pad.
S'Sirron Fangthrane with a screaming faced shoulder pad.
S'lon Life Smasher other shoulder pad, with grinning shoulder pad.
The shoulder pad of S'lararet Splintered Fan.

Next update will be more Snakemen!!

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Snakeman redux.

My progress on the Snakemen has recently ground to halt. I tried to figure out why, and concluded that despite them being wonderful miniatures, I had chosen the wrong route for them. Although the paint scheme and approach was fine, I became bored with painting them. So I had left them be for a while, concentrating on assembling my Age of Sigmar 'Death' army, as well as concerned with work and other things. In short, as my lack of blog updates shows, I hit a doldrum in painting.

However all that changed with me looking again at my copy of Rodney Mathews art book 'In Search of Eternity'. The colours and style of art inspired my to looked again at the Snakemen, and to consider a much more brighter colour scheme, with a broader palette. Less dull colours. Also, I don't want to have a mono paint scheme for the army, with all green skinned Snakemen but a mix of vibrant colours. I will probably keep the gold colour for the armour, with a couple of exceptions, as it looks nice.
"Chase the Dragon" (1980).
"Sanctuary" (1981).
 "Tanelorn" (1976). 
(All pictures property of Rodney Matthews, or something else legal here that shows it's his stuff. Check out his website and/or buy the book! :)  )

So the plan is to give the Snakemen more individual skin tones, brighter, with more blues, bright greens, purples, yellows, and as well as more convertional snake colourings. Afterall they are also creatures of Chaos, and suggestive of Slaanesh in the Warhammer setting, and so bright colours and pastels seems more appropriate. It will be more fun too!

I have also rebased them, putting them on my first choice of base, a 40mm lipped round base. I like these bases, and have based many Goblins on the 30mm version. The Snakemen can still be used for Warhammer Fantasy Battle, but they also feel more open if I ever decide to use them for Rogue Trader or skirmish gaming. I'll probably keep the desert basing effect though. Also, I have broken a little with the '1980's only' and added several parts from plastic kits from the 1990s' and 2000's. I have abandoned the purest appraoch for the Snakemen to add a little more different details to them.

In addition, I have also picked up a few more Snakemen from e-bay, bring the total to 45. This works out to four units of 10, one army General, one Army Standard, and two heroes. The last remaining Snakeman I might convert into a Chaos Sorcerer in Chaos Armour. But I'm not above expanding the army.

Enjoy :)
 All 45 of the critters
(please excuse the state of the painting desk!).
 First unit of Snakemen, armed with hand weapons, shields, and wearing heavy armour. They are a mix of the C27 Snakeman miniatures: Higgat Dwarf Slicer; S'lon Life Smasher; S'lararet Splintered Fang. The standard bearer is a converted S'lararet Splintered Fang with a green stuff banner and Vampire Counts plastic Ox head on top.
The second unit of Snakemen largely as above, but with a converted Higgat Dwarf Slicer standard bearer.
The third unit is made up of ten of the Saranth Elf Mangler, with a converted standard bearer.
The fourth and final unit is of ten S'Sirron Fangthrane Snakemen. I need to convert up a standard bearer for this unit. 
The Characters.
From left to right are the Army Standard Bearer; a 'spare' S'Sirron Fangthrane who will probably end up as a Chaos Sorcerer; the Army General; and two Chaos heroes.
The Army Standard bearer. 
I converted him up from a broken Saranth Elf Mangler by adding a standard top from the Warhammer Tomb Kings Necropolis Knight set. It reminds me of the standard top of Thulsa Doom, from the film Conan (1982). I have a wonderful Thulsa Doom miniature to paint as well, but more on that in a later update.
Two unit standard bearers. The one on the right is made using an old Citadel Elf horn.
Another unit standard bearer. I added a little greenstuff banner below the shield, otherwise it looked a little like a lollipop sign!
To add a little variation to the S'lon Life Smasher miniature (and some of the others) I have re-positioned the tails and head angles on some of them. On the left is the original pose, on the right one of the variants. I have repostioned a few of the heads previously, but I stook the idea of moving the the tails and bodies more from a fellow bloggers blog here:
 Another two repostioned S'lon Life Smashers.
The Army General.
He was a Higgat Dwarf Slicer who had seen better days, with a damaged midriff and broken off sword. However with a little green stuff and the addition of a another Tomb Kings item, this a plastic Khopesh, he looks a lot better. I think that the sword give a slightly more exotic and perhaps travelled look to him.
 Two Chaos heroes.
After reading some of the Elric books I thought it would be fun to have one of the Snakemen as an alien aspect of Eternal Champion concept. Orignally this was going to be the Snakeman on the right, but I decided to convert up a S'lararet Splintered Fang with an old 2nd Edition 40k Chaos Marine sword which to me looks a little like a kin of Stombringer. I will paint up this miniature Albino skinned.
The other Snakeman I converted to have a bow. Now I am going to repaint him in red armour and have him as a sort of Rakhir the Red.

The next update will be on some painted Snakemen!! :) 

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Well, I'm not dead...

...but I have been very distracted of late, and not been painting at all.

Work has gotten in the way, as well as a lack of focus, and a weird two weeks of being ill after a spider bite left me very tired and unwell and in need of antibiotics (and I live in Southern England, hardly replete with deadly arachnids). I have also been buying stuff, but not really painting any of it. So as a consequence I have'nt really updated my blog in the last four (yes four!) weeks, which is quite terrible.

However I have been part-focusing on three things:

First are the Snakemen. I want to finish these critters off as they are wonderful miniatures and deserve the time and attention. I also bought yet another one, making a total of 45, to convert into an army standard bearer. I also purchased some Dark Fable Miniatures to complement them but more of that once they are painted.

Secondly, I have been pursuing my interest of Ancient Egypt, ancient civilsations, and the Undead,  by revisiting my old Tomb Kings, and looking into an Age of Sigmar 'Death' army. With the coming of the Age of Sigmar the Tomb Kings have been removed from sale and reduced to a niche aspect. However they can be still be used, with no need for re-basing, and so I have been buying a few more odds and ends, mainly Tomb Guards. The main advantages of Age of Sigmar Tomb Kings is the lack of reliance on a Hierophant, and no limitiations on army list restrictions.

I like Age of Sigmar, and I liked the idea of having an actual Age of Sigmar Army rather than just the Tomb Kings. I have some Ogres, but I am not really that fussed with them. So I turned to Death. The Death army is very similar to the Tomb Kings in many respects, with the Skeletons et al. So I have been intermittently collecting current Death miniatures to create an army with a Tomb Kings twist. This involves basically taking the Death miniatures and adding Tomb Kings parts, such as Tomb Kings shields, banners, and arms to Skeletons and Black Riders, and other items to a Zombie Dragon. As an extra addition I plan to use an old metal Tomb King's King as a Wight King.

Thirdly, I have looked again at the 40k Squats. I like the Squats but have felt my past efforts with them have'nt quite done them justice. So the plan is to paint strip them all and start again, something easier to do now I have discovered that Dettol strips plastic. I will also slightly break my own rule with some of my old armies in that everything should be as it was at the time, by re-basing some of the bikes on modern bases, and adding a few more contemporary items.

The plan with the Squats has been to break them down into their component types. By that I mean have formed seperate forces of original 40k metal Squats the 1987/8 metal Squats designed by the Perry's, the RT301 and RT302 ranges; the Bob Olley Squat range; the 1989 plastic and plastic armed range; and finally a Guild Expeditionary force. For the most part I have done this, and plan to paint each of the forces with their own, or mix of their own, paint schemes. I will also have enough spare for a small force of Chaos Squats, something I have wanted to do since 1989.
Someday I would like to assemble a 'Squat' army consisting of Hasslefree Grymn and Tau hardwear, all painted in Tau colours, but that will have to wait a while.

On a releated topic from the Tomb Kings I bought and am reading a history of Ancient Egypt, 'The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt, by Toby Wilkinson. This inspired me to go shopping for something in an Ancient Eygptian vein. With that in mind I ended up buying (with provenance) an actual Ancient Egyptian Scarab from an antiquites dealer in Mayfair. It's made from from Blue Frit. It is dated from the 18th to 19th Dynasty, approximately 1570-1185 B.C.
I just thought I would include it on my blog as something of interest as I really like it, and it feels strange to own something over 3,000 years old. 

Enjoy. :)

 Vampire on Zombie Dragon.
I have removed the saddle from the Dragon's back, and added the howdah from the Tomb Kings War Sphinx. For the Vampire Lord I am going to use a spare plastic Tomb King, although I will add a more Vampire looking head.
Close up of the howdah.
A few of the Skeleton Warriors.
 All I have done is rebased them onto 25mm round bases, and added Tomb King shields, a sword, and banner. I have about 60 of these to assemble and paint.
 Black Knights.
Like the Skeletons I've added some Tomb King parts, and also a few head swaps as well. I plan to have a couple of units of these as an hard hitting mobile alternative to the Chariots which the Death army does not possess. I see them as a slight homage to ancient cavalry, such as Assyrians or Sarmations, but with a Tomb Kings slant.
Musician and Standard Bearer.
Box of Tomb King bit to be sorted out!
I also picked up some Halloween ornaments of giant Skeletal hands for the Tomb Kings. They were only about £4 each, and there seem to be lots on e-bay, so I might get some more.
Squat bikes in need of paint stripping.
I also have another five for the Exo-Armoured Squats.

Snakemen, which I need to finish!
Beware Goblins!!
A friend of mine had this made for me a little while ago, but I kept forgetting to photograph it.
Goblin shown for scale, and mischief purposes, only. ;)
Blue Scarab.
It is 13.6mm x 9.74mm x 6.49mm and made of Blue Frit.
I absolutely love this, the detail is great and it is really charming.
The Scarab has a hole drilled through it (in antiquity), so it could be worn as a pendant.
 The underside, showing a Scarab flanked by a pair of Maat feathers.
To keep it in I had a custom made box made from a box seller in Brighton, taken from the underside decoration of the Scarab.

Next week, I not only intend to update the blog, but also to have painted some Snakemen too!! :)