Tuesday, 6 October 2015

85,000+ views and Pygmies with Blowpipes.

As of today I have reached 85,987 views of my blog!! That is something I find really incredible considering I only started the blog in April 2013, updating about once a week on my latest random project. Again I would like to say thank you to everyone who has viewed my blog and takes an interest in my collection.

In the last week or so I have wanted to, and I felt I have, tackled a little problem.
Ignoring the terrible pun, I have wanted to find a good paint scheme for my C27 Pygmies. As many people familar with the range may know, the Pygmies are 3rd Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle allies to the Slann. They are designed to be jungle dwelling savages in the fantasy South/Meso-American background that is Lustria.

The sculpts are however loosely based on Africans (there is an argument that they could be based on the  Olmec, although whether the Olmecs were African or Native American is a debate in itself) and have a Zulu look to them and thier shields and weapons. They are also, to be honest, slightly caricaturistic and could be, especially if you consider them to be African, slightly racist. The exaggerated big lips and bone through the nose don't help.

Now I am not going to get into another big debate on the the range, although an interesting debate with links happened earlier on my blog here...

...as my main reason for me collecting Pygmies is as an ally to my Slann army, and as these were miniatures used at the time (1984 to 1992, basically 2nd and 3rd Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle), that is the reason for collecting them. Now to tone down the possible 'racist' or caracture look of them, to link them more with to the Slann and the pseudo Pre-Columbian American/Amazonian Indian look, and to make them look colourful, I decided to painted them with colourful warpaint.

Painting wise I was wanted to give the impression that each of the untis of the Pygmies were from different tibes. So to achieve this I gave each unit different warpaint schemes. When it comes to all things Lustrian I am always inspired by the 'Magnificent Sven' scenario from Warhammer 2nd Edition. This is true for the Pygmies as well. Even though they do not take part in the scenario, there is a mention of them in the background of 'Karl Ustracutter', mentioning that one of his previous expeditions was "...ambushed by a confederation of six cannibal tribes". I took the idea of a confederation of Pygmy tribes as the basis for my Pygmy Ally Contingent, and also as a good excuse to paint them with different warpaint schemes to vary the colours. 
Enjoy :)
 31 Pygmies.
I have painted two units of 10 Scouts, one unit of Pygmy Braves, and one Shaman.
The units are consist of three different miniatures; 'Puff', 'Ahg', and the 'Standard Bearer', as well as one 'Shaman' miniature.
10 Scouts with a standard bearer.
I added standard bearers to my Scout units as they are, unlike other skirmishers, able to engage in melee. giving them a Standard Bearer gives them that little bit of help if they get charged, or if they decide to engage in melee themselves (you never know!).
'Puff', 'Ahg', and the 'Standard Bearer'.
I chose a a mix of black and red warpaint for this unit. To highlight the indiviualistic nature of Scouts, I have painted each Pygmies warpaint with different designs. I used pictures of Amazonian Indians as a basis for inspiration.
More Scouts.
This unit is one I had painted last year, and so all I did was add warpaint, and swap in a Standard Bearer.
Last four.
I like Blowpipes as weapons in 3rd Edition. The D6 strength attack can be a nasty suprise to an enemy, and I find that Scout units can harass enemy flanks quite nicely. 
The second Pygmy Scout unit.
Apart from the Standard Bearer, I decided to just use the 'Puff' miniature for this unit.
 Standard Bearer and two 'Puffs'!
 Three Scouts, this time with body warpaint as well.
Two more Scouts.
I painted the feathers of the blow darts green rather than red, so as not to clash with the warpaint.
Last two.
 10 Pygmy Braves.
Unlike the Scouts, I did'nt give them a Standard bearer.
I am not sure if they are allowed to skirmish, Warhammer Armies is a little unclear on whether allies can Skirmishers or not. Even if they could, a Standard Bearer would be a waste of points and only useful if they were to engage in melee with other skirmishers.
The unit is composed of nine of the 'Agh' miniature, and one 'Puff' who acts as the unit champion.
I went for a skull, almost Mexican looking, style of warpaint.
 Also, as painting the bone through the nose would not show up very well against the white warpaint, I painted it gold. Many Indian tribes around Colombia used a lot of gold nose pieces and jewellery (before the Spainish took most of it!).
With a couple of the warpaint schemes I plan to paint the bone either gold, jade green, or turquoise. I think this will add to the colour of the models, and also again tone down the caracture look.
Pygmy Shaman, a Level 15 Wizard.
The miniature is sculpted with what looks like grass skirts and hat. I painted these more colourful and ritual to suggest they were dyed, and gave him a skeletal warpaint.
Apart from the Pygmies, I wanted to re-visit this unit of Jungle Braves Slann. I was not happy with the large shields they had, so I swapped them for smaller ones. I also added a little more brown shading to the yellow flesh colour.
I also tinkered with the standard, adding little more colour to it.
 New (old) shields.
Karl Ustracutter has a few Pygmy problems somewhere deep in the Jungle!

I had intended to paint more Pygmies, perhaps even completing the Ally Contingents. 
However as it's 'Orctober' ( http://ernysplace.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/orctober-is-here.html ), I have been sorting out my old Mithril Miniatures Mordor Orc Army (yes, an army of Mithril Miniatures) with an eye to re/painting them, so I shall see where my muse takes me. 


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you JB.
      I think I have toned down the caracture nature of the miniatures and at the same time given them a more Lustrian look.

  2. Mexican sugar skull warpaint on pygmies is inspiring, as is the Matses style black and red face-paint which really brings home the amazonian theme, and as the Matses use tree-frog poison as a ritual and hunting psychoactive ingredient, makes them a perfect ally for the Slann. Bravo!

    1. Thank you Zhu Bajiee,
      I am glad you like the Pygmies and the Mexican and Amazonian influences. I was playing around with paint schemes and thought that Mexican skulls would link to the Slann and Lustria quite nicely. With our discussion about the Olmec, I wanted to give at least one or two of the Pygmy tribes a more Meso-American feel.

      I did'nt know that about the Matses. I thought that the Amazonian face paint would look good and suggest South American jungle Indians.

      I have really enjoyed painting them, and have painted up a couple of test models for other units. I took your advice, and whilst not painting Olmec symbols, I have painted a few of the shields more colourfully.

  3. Congrats on the 85,000 + views.

    As for the pygmies. . . . I understand what you have tried to achieve but I still think they should be consigned to the vaults.

    If I walked into a club and saw those on the table I would simply not want to play against them. I think if I was playing against a black fella would I be able to look him in the eye if I was fielding this army? Also imagine a young, black gamer stumbled across this stuff. What would it say about his new hobby and more importantly about older gamers?

    Love the blog and having meet you at BOYL I know it is not your intention to offend anyone and I understand you have tried to steer away from the racial undertones but I fail to see a place for these figures in the modern game.

    1. Thank you for the congrats on the views.

      I agree, they are'nt 'modern' miniatures. I have the Pygmies soley because they are the miniatures of the time and from the time of my 1980's Slann army. I would'nt buy them as a new range now. Indeed their modern version, the Pax Limpop Pygmies, I find very distasteful. These Pygmies are part of a historical collection, from my time when collecting and gaming in the 1980's. If Citadel had produced different sculpt in the 1980's for the Slann Aliies, I would have collected them instead.

      No offence is intended, and I am fully aware of the racial perceptions of them. I would probably only consider use them in gaming against my long term friend from the 1980's Justin, or bring them to BOYL as a curosity ally to my Slann army.

      Glad you love the blog. By the way, I have never attended a BOYL (yet!), so you must be confusing me with someone else.

    2. Sorry to have confused you with someone else Lee. It must have been another Goblin fanatic! There are quite a few.

      I understand they are part of your collection of miniatures of the time (1980's) and I do truly understand that you have no intent to offend and are just presenting them as a collector of miniatures from the 1980's. However I hope you understand I just find these really distasteful, no different to vintage, cast iron, Happy N***** money boxes or some of the old images found on 'Mix and match' cards. Even as a kid I would look at illustrations in Asterix books of Black people and wince.

      I am in agreement with you about companies such as Kallistra who continue to produce these type of miniatures in the modern age but I feel people still continuing to collect the miniatures from the 1980's (and their popularity), helps fuel the market for modern companies to continue to produce them. If the market did not exsist the product would disappear if due to no other reson then it was not profitable to make them.

      I am not trying to get into any kind of argument with you or intend to attack you personally but just wanted congratulate you on your 85,000 mile stone but voice a personal discomfort with this type of miniature regardless of it's era.

      I wish you and your blog every success.

    3. It's good to know that there's a lot of people who like Goblins out there!

      I have taken no offence at anything you've said, and hope visa versa. I perfectly understand, respect, and share your disquiet about the C27 Pygmies. In fact I was uncomfortable with them at the time. I have no wish to get into any kind of argument about the range at all.

      I was concerned over any offence I might cause before I posted this update. As stated the post is more for to show these miniatures in the context of being the actual 1980's miniatures used as Allies for my 1980's Slann army. Also it is to show that in light of the sensitivity of the sculpts I have devised a painted scheme which I feel mitigates and lessens the racial look of the models whilst linking with the look and feel of the Slann and Lustria.

      I agree that they have no place in modern gaming, but only in the context of retro collecting and gaming. Kallistras 'Pygmies are terrible, and if someone wanted to collect Pygmy Allies I could only suggest Wargames Foundry.

      Thank you for your wishes for my blog.

    4. Thank you Lee. I agree and understand every point you have made above and at no time felt I was being attacked or entering into an argument.

      I continue to be an avid follower of your blog.

  4. Terrific work on these great figs, Goblin Lee! I think you have succeeded most admirably in what you tried to accomplish!

    1. Thank you,
      I have added the war paint to the pygmies both to try to tone down any racial element to the miniatures, as well as linking them closer to the Slann/Lustrian background, and the general South American aesthetic.

  5. Absolutely love them Lee. Nice to see your usual creativity with colour schemes and patterns.

    1. Cool thank you Ed, I enjoyed painted them and doing the warpaint. The whole Slann army, including the Pygmies, have a lot of scope for creativity and bright paint schemes.

  6. Wow pygmies, I didn't honestly think I'd see them painted up ever; low and behold, only you goblin Lee..
    the paintjobs are great, the figures are pretty hysterical. Congrats on the milestone all the best for the future!

    1. Thank you,
      I have painted up a few of them to try out the war paint idea, and just to get a few of them painted up for the fun of it. I think it's worked out quite well, and distracted from the design of the miniatures without detracting from thier character.
      I am switching projects for Orctober, but will return the the jungles of Lustria at some point soon.
      Glad you liked them.