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:

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!!!

Thursday 4 August 2016

The Pan Tang, and also 210,640 views!!!

Before I start on this weeks blog update concerning the Pan Tang, I should mention that I have somehow reached 210,640 views. I am quite amazed by this!

I have been a little lackadaisical of late concerning my blog. I have not always being able to post every week, due to work commiments, and so my blogging, and painting, output has'nt been as much as I would have liked. This has resulted in a bit of a lack of focus on any one project, although I have been doing a fair bit of shopping recently.

I have largely completed my Melenibonean army, requiring only a few infantry here and there. I have made a strong start with the Pan Tang, as we'll see later. I have also been collecting odds and ends which I wanted, and have decided to upgrade a small collection of Chaos miniatures into another fully fledged army, based around the Chaos Snakemen range, but more on that next week.

Anyway, I would like to say thank you to everyone who has visited my blog. :)

The Pan Tang.Following on from my collecting and building my Melenibonean army, I decided, at the same, to build an army of Melenibone's seaborne enemy: the Pan Tang.

I have been lucky in e-bay auctions, as well as very lucky to buy someones Pan Tang Collection from them (the same stroke of luck which helped with the Meleniboneans). Now the Pan Tang army is far from completed, although I probably have enough of the actual Pan Tang Warriors which were produced by Citadel in the 1980's. I plan to use the Warhammer Armies Chaos army list as a basis, with Pan Tang warrior miniatures as Chaos Marauders and Chaos Warriors, with other miniatures in support as Chaos Thugs.

I do have one and a half sets of the Pan Tang Tigers, but will not (unless lucky) be trying to buy anymore of them. This is mainly due to their rarity and high cost. So I am looking around for good substitutes, and want to have a lot of them as they are very iconic of the Pan Tang.

The 1980's Citadel Pan Tang range can be viewed here:

Painting wise I am going to go for a slightly different look to the look Citadel went for. Given their seaborne feel, with sea creatures on their breastplate and helmets, I will go for a mix of aquatic blues and greens. As for the armour, I am sure I recall that the Pan Tang had bronze armour, which might make sense given their seafaring. I might go for a mix of painting armour and bronze/verde gris.

Of course there is an irony to this blog update. I am not planning to paint the Pan Tang for a while. I still have to buy some (well, lots maybe!) Tigers. I also would like to paint the Meleniboneans first. However before them, I have another Chaos army I want to paint first.
...I also want to get a few Goblins painted too!!!

Enjoy. :)
 The personalities of Pan Tang:
from left to right, Theleb K'Aarn; Jagreen Lern; and Pan Tangian Officer.
 Warriors of Pan Tang.
I have managed to collect twenty five in total, fourteen of the fifteen different ones produced. In additional I have two of the unlisted/Chaos Warrior Pan Tang spearman.
If I can, I'll try to buy the last Pan Tang Warrior I don't have (Nisthta).
 Vandar and Maktar.
 Krool and D'Ath.
 Voorg and Daarg.
 Skaar and Levek.
 Grart and Korven.
 Tashim and Kerim.
 Pashlar and Jarkor.
 This is the 'Pan Tang' spearman (front and rear), who was not part of the range, but has Pan Tang on the slotta tab.
 Close up of a couple of the aquatic helms.
 Chaos Warriors.
Axiom, on his blog 'Magpie and Old Lead, had done a small Pan Tang army, and he has included several old 1980's Citadel Chaos Warriors/Thugs in the army. I think that was a great idea, and so plan to add several of the miniatures he used, and in addition others which I think may fit.
Here is a link to Axiom's blog:

 Some C35 Warriors/Champions/Knights of Chaos.
 More Chaos warriors.
 Chaos Thug archers.
 Close up.
 In addition to the C35 Chaos warriors, I plan to add some of the 1980's Citadel Lord of the Rings range Corsairs, as they have that sea raider feel to them. I'll use them as Chaos thugs.
 Tigers of Pan Tang.
I only have a set and half, but one each of the Tigers and Handlers.
 Possible alternative Tigers.
These are Smiladons from Steve Barber models, and are quite large. I might use these, although I have not 100% set on them. The ex-Grenadier Barbarian Tiger riders Tigers are also an option.

 Lesser Pan Tang Warriors. 
These are ex-Harlequin Miniatures, now Black Tree Designs, Saracen warriors, and I plan to bulk out the army (and provide food for the sword Stormbringer!) using about thirty of these I have. To me, they look similar to the Pan Tang.
Next week will be a totally different Chaos army. I have been sorting out my Snakemen into an army of their own, and plan to repaint them. This is a project I am really set on, and so over the next couple of weeks I will be focusing on this.