Thursday 31 October 2013

Confederate Cadians, and a few more Squats.

Just a quick update on a couple of WIP projects.

The first is what to do with my Warhammer 40k Cadians. I had planned to convert them up into a carapaced veteran force to go with my Praetorians, giving them pith helmeted heads. However, I thought I would do something different.

After trying out a couple of different head swaps and test models over time, I found the Kromlech Confederate heads pack. So I decided to try out doing a Confederate inspired force from the American Civil War.

The Cadian army I have is small, about 65 miniatures, and so will be a force of veteran squads and a HQ choice, with borrowed tanks/sentinels/etc from the Praetorian army. Being blue/grey, the tanks will fit in with the Confederates. I would like to do some Confederate Sentinels and some Rough Riders eventually.

Why Confederates and not the Union?
Well the grey looks nice, and as the army is a small veteran army, there is plenty of scope for making them more individual and characterful. Sky blue trousers, and the occasional butternut colour will add to the colourful mix, and also there seems to be more scope for the 'ragged confederate' look of extra blanket rols, pouches, and equipment. Regular Union troops, beyond the Zouves etc, look duller to paint. I will add some of the bareheaded Cadian heads and metal heads along with the Kromlech ones.
As an army, I don't plan on finishing them or even starting them soon, the aim was to get a good idea of a plan, then pick it up when I have finished other projects.

The other WIP are the Squats.
I spent an hour or so sifting through bits boxes and found a variety of Squat arms, heavy weapons, and enough bits for four chaos exo-armoured Squats and another bike. Also, as Squats can be equipped with a lot of heavy weapons, I have converted up several of the plastic Squats to carry heavy bolters, whilst some those with the 'heavy weapon arm' carry spare metal weapons.

I only really need a few odds and ends to finish the army, then just have to paint them. I will probably go for the Classic Mjolnir Brotherhood scheme as the brown and green test model I did seemed a little dull.

Of course, both these armies really need to take a back seat as I am still in theory painting Wood Elves! I will get back to those at the weekend. 

Three head swapped Cadians.
I have gone for a mix of trouser colours to give that 'on campaign' look. I painted the armour metallic as grey made them look too bulkyand the heads look too small (which they are'nt), and to give a lower tech feel to them. Might 'muddy-up' the boots too.

Front and back.
 The backpack is from a batch I purchased Gripping Beasts WW1 range.
One of the two packs of Kromlech heads I bought from e-bay.
You get two sprues of the one above. 
They are made from a resin, not too brittle or soft. The sculpting and detail is excellent and there were no bubbles or miscasts.
My only problem is the head on the left has a monocle, which is I feel characterful if you have one or two in an army, but silly if more.  I plan on either drilling it out, or green stuffing one in the other eye to make spectacles, or building it up more to make a targeter eye piece.

Heavy Plasma gun and Conversion Beamer conversions onto plastic Squats.
The Conversion Beamer conversion has the 'heavy weapon arm' I mentioned earlier.
It might look unwieldy but back in Rogue Trader many forces, including Squats, had heavy weapon  suspensors, tiny anti-grav devices, to take the weight of the weapons. 
Guild master and Heavy Bolter trooper. 
I have used plastic arms from the Rogue Trader era Eldar Guardians to give a bionic look to them. They are about the same Squat arms. The Plasma pistol is an old one from the same era.
Exo-armoured Squats. 
I found few bits of both Chaos and Loyal parts and think that they might be ok to stand-in as loyal Squats. The left arm on the one on the left is a loyal Squat arm. The arms on the other two were broken chaos arms I have repaired them with bits from the time, and will remove the star of Chaos from their shoulder pads. The power fist on the centre one is an old Ork one from the 1990 plastic box set. He was missing part of his tencled horns and so I cut them off anyway to give a cleaner, less Chaos look!
They will look better when painted. :)

The next blog update should be some more Wood Elves. I have also been asked to explain how I have done thier bases so will add that too.

Sunday 27 October 2013

Squats, and a few Wood Elves.

I got a little distracted this week.

At the beginning of the week I had painted up a few more of the Wood Elves; the 10 remaining archers that were needed to complete another regiment, and the Warhounds and handlers. I have also written the final 3,000 point army list up for them.

After a break in painting mid week, I remembered that I had joined the Oldhammer Forum back in May but had'nt really posted (here's the link: ).

I ended up posting and commenting a couple of times on there. I got chatting and one of the topics was on the Squats, and I remembered that I still had my Squat army to do.
The army is in need of repainting, not only to a better standard, but to tie in all the different miniatures that I bought second hand in dribs an drabs in the very late 1990's when I was going to re-field the army. This was because there was an article in a Citadel Journal about that time that suggested that they could work as stand-in's for Orks or Guard.
As it is, I have re-oregnised them back into the army list first published in White Dwarf 111.

So here are a few pictures and details on the army, which is very much a long delayed WIP.

White Dwarf 111, where the army was first published. 
[legal bit, the cover belongs to GW]
The army on the painting table. 
There are about 14 squads of 8 Squats, 17 Command/Heathguard, 8 Bikes, 5 Trikes, 2 Mole Mortars, and a Thudd Gun.
I have a few more Squats and a couple of Guild Masters in the bits box, as well as several Tarantulas, Rapiers, and a couple of Robots that can be added if needed from my Rogue Trader Imperial Guard and Space Marine armies.
I would only need a few Squats to complete the army.
 Closer up. 
The army is organised into Brotherhoods consisting of Warlord and 4 Hearthguards, and between 2 to 4 squads of 8 Squats, as well as any optional extras such as bikers, etc. 
It works out to three full Brotherhoods, and half of a fourth one. 

I replaced the plastic lasguns with Bolters from the RTB101 Space Marine box set as I had a lot of them spare. For 3.5  points per squad it's a good idea, giving the squads that extra punch. In the army list you can also upgrade any/all the troopers to carry a heavy bolter, as well as allowing one trooper to have a different heavy weapon instead!
 Bikes and Trikes. 
I was never too fussed about using bikes in the army, always seemed odd to me to have a slow moving army with really fast support troops.
However the Trikes armed with Multi Meltas are excellent delivering mobile fire support and anti vehicle firepower. A bit like short, fat, and hairy Tau Battlesuits on wheels really LOL. 

Paint schemes.
The Squat on the left is one from the army I painted about 1990. Centre was one of a few I painted in 2005 in Mjolna Brotherhood colours, the same as the White Dwarf cover. The one on the right I painted quickly this afternoon as a test model.
 Not sure whether to go for this scheme, or the Mjolna one?
 The test model from the front, painted with Vallejo English Uniform, with Violet Brown for the green for the pouches (the one on the arm is WWII German green).
 Command Squad Squats.
I only have one of the exo armoured ones.
 A few of the RT03 Space Dwarves.
 Bob Olley Squats.
Now I love his Iron Claw Goblins, but I am not a fan of Bob Olley's squats. They are nicely detailed, but to me they did'nt seem to fit in with the plastic Squats or the earlier Citadel metal ones. The guns were often unknown and you could only guess at what they could be used as. They will paint up better than they look, but personally I think that these miniatures helped to contribute to the cancelling of the Squats.
 That and the name 'Squat' did'nt really help!
Personally I think they are better for collecting to paint, rather than gaming with.
 More Bob Olley Squats, some of the better ones.
 Three more Squats.
 Wood Elves. 
The second regiment of 15 Lord's Bowmen
 Different, more Autumnally painted versions of Kaia Stormwitch (left), and Araflane (right). I am pleased with how Kaia's coat came out.
 Regimental leader and one-eyed trooper.
The leader is the Rakhir the Red miniature from Citadel's Eternal Champion range.
 Two hooded archers, one male, one female.
 Two more archers.
 8 Warhounds and two handlers.
 Close up showing more of the bases.
The two handlers.

Next update should be more of Wood elves, although I must admit I tempted to paint a few Squats. :)

Sunday 20 October 2013

A few more Wood Elves.

I have been a little busier than planned this weekend, and so I have'nt got around to painting as many Wood Elves as planned. I manged to do the re-painting on about 20, so now have one completed archer regiment of 15, and part way to the next. Hence the fewer photographs today.

Also, I have'nt re-written the Wood Elf army list yet.
As I am assembling the army according to Warhammer Armies as part of the plan to get each of its armies done, the plan is to have a core of four 15 strong bowmen regiments, in skirmish formation. Four regiments because only four infantry regiment can skirmish (apart from scouts), and 15 strong as that is the maximum unit size for skirmishing infantry. And of course, being in skirmish formation means that they can all shoot. The two regiments will be two of Lords Bowmen, and two Archers.

This core of the army will be backed up with a couple of Treemen, a few scouts, some warhounds (giving the army a feel of a hunting expedition) and maybe a few mounted archers if points allow. And a Zoat.

I do not plan on adding any Wardancers to the army. They are a predominent part of the background, and they always used to be popular, but I cannot really see the point in taking them. I can only think that they would be useful in slowing down advancing units or providing flank support in melee, but I want to keep the army a mobile aher army. If anyone can let me know of a good reason for them I must be missing, then please let me know.

Other than that, painting the Elves is straight forward, and the basing seems to work well, although more involved. Here is the first complete regiment, and a couple of odds and ends. The bulk of the army will be made from the Skarloc's Wood Elf box set.
I will do another update in the next couple of days as I need to get the army list done and give impetus to the painting.

15  Lord's Bowmen, led by Skarloc himself.
Skarloc and Glam the Wardancer. 
 Kaia Stormwatch, and Araflane the Musician.
 For those of you familar with my blog, I do like to compare the Citadel's practice of making several different miniatures from the one initial sculpt.
In the Skarloc's Wood Elf box, there are four sets of these.
 With an without a helmet.
 The female Elves of the box set, one with, and the other without a hood. 
For female Elves, they are'nt delicately featured and pretty, but possessing the more stronger faced look of a Dante Gabriel Rossetti painting. 
 The last of the archer pairs, a good standard looking archer.
 Close up of the bases. 
I want to keep the balance between Autumnal leave fall while not making the bases too 'busy'.
 Re-based Zoat.
 Close up of the base. Being a cavalry base I could add a larger twig.
Side view of the base. 

Next update will be of the army list and however many more Wood Elves I get around to doing! :)

Thursday 17 October 2013

Autumnal Wood Elves.

After a few days delay I have started to paint the Wood Elves, but decided to go for a different theme for them.

As it's now Autumn, and Autumn is my favorite time of year, I decided that instead of painting the Wood Elves up in the usual greens I would go the an Autumn look.

The orginal plan was to paint them in a similar way to the Skarlocs Wood Elves paitning guide on the box set, with a modern approach to replicating the 'Woodland Green' paint colour scheme. However, I now plan to use a mixture of browns, orange, tans, and a few bits of green for Autumn.
I also bought some basing material from e-bay and my local model shop to make the bases more Autumnal, as well as picked up a few tiny twigs from the park.

The army itself will probably take a little while to do, it's not going to be an easy one week army like the Undead!  I had painted a few Elves some time ago, so they will give me a headstart once I have repainted a few of the green colours with browns etc. I hope they will be finished by mid to later November.

I also need to re-write the army list. I am not happy with the mix of troops, and also need to reduce the size of a couple of units from 20 to 15 so they can be deployed in skirmish formation, and therefore all the Elves and shoot thier bows.

Anyway, here are a few photographs of the test models and modified Elves that I have done so far.
Enjoy :)

 This is one of the old ME 31 Lord of the Rings Bowmen. 
I have painted him up from scratch and only used the basing material from 'Treemendous', 'Gale Force Nine' (I'll explain that further down in this post), and a twig from the park! I wanted to see how just a brown and orange painted Elf would look with the base, and I think he looks fine.
 Close up of the base.
 Skarloc's Wood Elf Command group and an archer trooper.
I had already painted these up in a mix of greens and browns, so just modified them a little and added the basing material onto the grass flocked bases.
 Close up of Kaia Stormwitch's base.
I am going for a woodland feel for the bases, but not too deep in the forest with too many twigs and nothing but leaves on them, as this might make the bases look too busy and crowded.
 I think keeping/adding some of the green grass flock will give a more varied and relastic feel to the bases.
 Archer trooper.
I will probably add a little ink or paint to some of the leaves now and gain to vary the decompostion look of them.
I had already painted him, so I just added stuff to the base. I did also highlight the leafy parts of the Treeman orange to hint at Autumn. I thought that if I paint it all orange it might not look right. I will probably come back to the Treemen later to get the right look, I just wanted to have a go at the re-basing today .
 Close up of the base.
 The model leaves bought from e-bay, made by a company call Treemendus.
 Pictured next to a UK penny and 10 Euro Cent coin to give an idea of the size.
 'Autumn Flock Blend' made by Gale Force Nine.
The Elves and Treeman together. 
I need to buy a few Autumn trees to go with them, if for not other reason it would make a better backdrop for photographing! 

Next update should be Sunday, so I'll see how far I get with painting up a few more. :)

Sunday 13 October 2013

Undead Army Finished.

On this rainy afternoon/evening in the run up to Hallow'een, I have finished painting the Undead army. I am very pleased as it has only taken me a week of evenings and a Sunday to do.

I am very happy with the overall look of the army, and with the mix of Undead miniatures. The whole army is metal, apart from where I used plastic scythe arms from the 1980's Skeleton Horde box set for conversions.

The only thing I might re-visit are the banners, on whch I might paint runic symbols. Whilst painting them, the overall shield and banner colours ended up as red, partly more by accident than design, as it looks good when painted faded and mucky.

However, there is one slight problem with the army.
 I seem to have lost the piece of paper which had the army list on! So I have updated the blog without it to get the photographs of the miniatures on the blog this evening. I have'nt got around to re-working it out, but will sort that out later, and post it during the week.

Anyway, hope you all enjoy :)

 The now customary full Army photograph.
 Along the battle line from the left...
 ...and from the right.
 Army General. 
I recall him being a Level 25 Necromancer.
Despite being a Skeletal horseman, I think he looks good as an ancient looking human wizard.
 Morbius the Liche, from the Skeletal War Machines box set. 
Again, despite being technically dead-ish, I will use him as a human wizard.
I decided to only use only the one Wraith, and so thought I would use this model instead. It's an old Ral Partha RP5 Monsters range Wraith.
 Ghost, from the Citadel Night Horrors range.
He is the ADD 93 Shadow model from the Citadel Advanced Dungeons and Dragons range.
 Another Wight, using the Runequest Jack O'Bear.
Appropriate for the time of year.
 Mounted Spectre, using a Citadel C21 Undead Cavalry.
 Marauder MM52 Carrion, with armoured Imp.
 Marauder MM52 Carrion, with Grim Reaper Imp.
 Mummies from the Citadel Night Horrors range.
 Two more Mummies from Harlequin/Black Tree.
 Skeleton Catapult with one of the crew replaced with the Skeleton holdling his head up.
 Catapult with the original complete crew.
 20 Skeleton Warriors, with spears, light armour, and shields.
 Converted standard bearer from a solid based C17 Skeleton who had lost his weapon. Centre is the unit leader from Grenadier. On the right is a later 1980's Citadel C17 Skeleton.
 3 more Skeletons with spears, all made by Grenadier.
 Another Grenadier Skeleton in the centre, flanked by two more later C17 Skeletons.
 20 Warriors with hand weapons, light armour, and shields.
 Left and right are solid based C17 Skeletons designed by the Perrys. The standard bearer is converted. Centre is the unit leader from the Armoured Skeleton range.
 C17 Skeletons, 'Gunner', 'Grave Skulker', and 'Skeleton Rising'.
 On the left is a spare Citadel Zombie that was too good not to paint up and sneak in with the Skeletons, and two more C17 Skeletons, 'Boney Bomber', and a two-handed swordman.
 C17 'Wanderer', Grenadier Skeleton, and armoured Skeleton.
 20 more Warriors with hand weapons, light armour, and shields
 Grenadier standard bearer, unit leader, and C17 Swordsman.
 Grenadier swordman with a lovely Octopus shield, and two more C17 Skeletons.
 ...and three more Citadel ones.
 20 Grim Reapers.
 Skeletons armed with Scythes (two handed weapons), light armour, and sheilds.
Citadel only really produced a few Sycthe armed Skeletons (excluding the plastic range), so whilst I have mostly them, about half the regiment is made up from converted Skeletons or others. The converted ones are converted with the scythe arms from the 1980's Skeleton Horde box set, which I feel help kept them contempory with the rest of the army.
 Standard bearer from the command range, and armoured skeleton with scythe.
The unit leader, centre, is the Citadel C34 Death Elemental. I thought what better miniature from the era to lead the Grim Reapers. 
I do have the Life Elemental which I might use as a Spectre in one of the Elven armies.
 3 converted Grim Reapers from C17 Skeletons. The centre one is a converted version of the two-handed swordsman in photo #24.
 3 more converted Skeltons, made from Grenadier miniatures.
 One converted Citadel C17 spearmen, and two Grenadier miniatures.
 'Reaper' and 'Longhorn' from the MD8 Skeleton War Machine box set. On the right is a sold based C17 Skelton, named 'Azak'.
 3 Citadel Skeleton, the one on the right had his head replaced with one from the Skeleton Horde box set.
 Two Harlequin/Black Tree Skeletons from the mid 1990's.
Another photograph of Death. 

Now that I have finished painting the Undead, next army will probably be the Wood Elves.