Friday 26 May 2017

DieHard Miniatures order arrives!

My Diehard Kickstarter order arrived late last week.

For those of you unaware, the Kickstater was started by Tim Prow who was a sculpter and 'eavy Metal painter for GW in the 1980's, and who has continued to sculpt since. The kickstarter was set up to recreate many of the old style 1980's Citadel miniatures and ranges,'Oldhammer' style, but with a modern emphisis on sclupting quality and an updated look.

The ranges were largely fantasy based, although there were some sci fi elements. The main race of the Kickstarter is the Eru-Kin, a range of frog-like humanoid creatures, some with sci-fi elements, others with a more fantasy basis, all with a Aztec-esque/ancient alien feel. This may sound familar to those people familar with older editions of Warhammer, being reminiscent of the Slann, especially the pre-slotta ones.
The original kickstarter info can be found here:

I really loved the Eru-Kin when I first saw the Kickstarter as they had more than a passing resemblance to the old Warhammer Slann. So I put in a couple of hundred pounds and opted for a selection of miniatures which would allow me to have (another!!) a small 3rd Edition Slann army, or cover the Slann required in the Magnifcent Sven scenario. This resulted in an order of 90+ Eru-Kin.

I wanted a Slann army which had a mix of sci-fi and fantasy elements to suggest the Slann just after the fall of the Old Slann Civilisation, a Slann Empire which is in decline but still has some access to it's old tech and retains it's more hi-tech look, which had'nt yet slipped into backwardness. My painting plan is to go for less the 'classic' Slann scheme of golds and semi-Aztecness. I am aiming for a mix of the classic Slann but with sci-fi colours to suggest a transition to decline. Also, as I have chosen a mix of sci-fi and fantasy, this leaves me open to use the Eru-Kin as a 40k/Rogue Trader force.

So what of the miniatures themselves?
They are fanatastic. The casting and quality of the metal is very great. Design wise they have lots of little details on them and the look of them really suggests the old C32 Slann and Magnificent Sven scenario Slann miniatures and artwork, but without being slavish copies to either. With the fantasy Eru-Kin many items such as the hand axes and swords are very similar in design to the artwork, as are many of the poses are similar to the C32, and their armour too. However the great thing about them to me is that they have the feel of the old Slann miniatures, but sculpted with contemporary quality and ideas and takes my imagination of the Slann further than the 1980's miniatures really suggested or allowed.

In addition to the Eru-Kin, I also purchased some of Tim Prow's Skeletal Snakemen to add as an additonal part of the Ally Contingent to the C27 Snakeman I have just 'finished' (ahem!). I really love the idea of these, and they also capture the old Citadel Snakemen style in the same apporach as the Eru-Kin does for the Slann.

Apart from the Eru-Kin and Snakemen, Tim Prow also sculpted a whle host of other fantasty and Sci-fi miniatures, but I decided to focus on the Snakemen and Eru-kin. For anyone who missed out on these miniatures, I asked Tim Prow about later sales and he responded in an e-mail to me that he would be releasing the ranges for general sale when he starts the new Kickstarter in October.
I'll be buying more Eru-Kin!

Enjoy :)

Diehard's business card.
In the box!
The army all un-bagged.
It had been about four months since I placed the order, and I had largley fogotten what I had ordered and into what regiments I planned to fit them. So, the organisation above will probably be subject to change!
However as it stands, going by the 3rd Edition Warhammer Armies Slann lists, I have two regiments of 20 Spawn Bands; one regiment of 20 Bull Slann; one regiment of 12 other Warriors, maybe Alligator Warriors; two regiments of 10 Venom Tribes; one unit of 5 Scouts (with pistols!); and a few indepenent Heroes/Mages.
A sci-fi Eru-Kin, with gun and large and beautiful shield.
 He will probably end up as the army General. 
Eru-Kin Mages.
The one on the left might end up as a hero.
Command group. 
The musican and leader are fantasy, the Standard bearer sci-fi, and he screams Goa'uld from 'Stragte' to me! As a consequence, I will be learning to the dar mettalic grey forthe sci-fi elements of Eru-Kin armour, with their more backwards kin having more glod and cloth.
Command miniatures I intend using for the Bull Slann. I am going to use the helmeted heads for the Bull Slann to differenate them.
These are the bodies types for the Eru-Kin infantry.
Heads and weapons.
I love blowpipes. in 3rd Edition Warhammer, although short ranges, they do have a D6 strength, and Slann can shoot them whilst hiding in water and still claim hard cover.
Close up of the Blopipers.
Sci-fi Eru-Kin with tech weapons.
In a fantasy game I plan to use them as alternative blowpiper scouts.
Close up.
GW Slann Mage.
I bought this a while ago for the Eru-Kin army, and will add him to be a high level mage 'in a palaquin'. I always wanted one of these.
Scale comparison with pre-slotta Slann (left), and the later slotta (right).
In the middle is the old pre-slotta C32 Slann, with Diehard Eru-Kin either side.
 Here is the old pre-slotta C32 Slann for comparison.
 Slann artwork from Warhammer 2nd Edition.
The Magnificent Sven cover artwork.
Armour details, similar to the C27 Snakemen of old.
Skeletal Snakeman with two hand weapons (next to a 40mm round lipped base).
Skeletal Snakeman with sword and shield.
Skeletal Snakeman archer.
Skeletal Snakeman with sword.
Snakeman scale comparison with an old C32 Citadel Snakeman.
Another, 'on the flat', scale comparison.

Next update really should be my progress on my pre-slotta Dark Elves, which I am steadily painting my way through.

Saturday 20 May 2017

The full C27 Chaos Snakeman army.

I have photographed the complete Chaos Snakeman army.

After taking a few months to finish painting, I wanted to take a series of photographs to basically show them off, as well as finally see what it looked like fielded as a completed army on the battlefield (or desert in this case!). As I don't own a large gaming table, I popped down to my local gaming store in Brighton, The Dice Saloon, and hired a table with desert base and desert scenery for an afternoon.

As promised to the owner Axel, here is the blatant plug for the store, so if you're ever in Brighton, pop in:   :)

Back to the Snakemen, it was great to see the army formed up as an army ready for battle, for the first time as well, and also in the Southwestern American looking setting I was aiming for. The photographs are of each of the independent heroes, then the regiments, the bound creatures, and then the allied contingents. I based the army on the generic Chaos army list from the 3rd Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle supplement 'Warhammer Armies'. The Snakemen themselves are proxies Chaos Warriors, and Chaos Marauders. The heavy armour and the better, more anti-heroic profiles and background, I feel fitted the more 'bad-ass' feel to them.

I am really pleased with how the army has turned out. The look and feel of the army is great, and I am also pleased with the idea of going for a slightly South-Western American desert look, with the desert bases, and the Native American looking Orcs, Trolls and Humans. In addition, the decsion to base them on the round lipped 40mm bases looked worked on the table, and several people at the Dice Saloon liked the idea too. I feel this gives the option to field the Snakemen in skirmish games, both fantasy and sci-fi, as well as more conventional Warhamer mass combat battles.

Enjoy :)

The full Snakeman army.
 I could'nt get better overview photograph, but it gives a good idea of the army arrayed.
 Right flank of the army.
 Centre of the army.
 Left flank of the army.
 Looking down the battleline.
Army General.
Whilst not an actual Snakeman, I am using him (or being a Champion of Slaanesh, him, her, or a combination of both!) as a mutated Snakeman Chaos Champion.
 The Army Standard.
I wrote the runes in Dark Tongue from the 'Lost and the Damned' book. 
 The two together on the field.
 Independent Chaos hero.
When I was painting the army I was also re-reading Stormbringer, and so thought I would paint up one of the Snakeman heroes albino to suggest that he is an aspect of the Eternal Champion from an alternative dimension. I replaced his original sword with an old 1990's Chaos Space Marine one to look like one of the sibling swords of Stormbringer.
Second Independent Chaos hero.
To keep with the Eternal Champion theme, and to have an independent hero with a bow, I painted this Snakeman red fleshed, with red armour, in pastiche of Rakhir the Red. I wanted an independent hero with a bow, so he could go around sniping at things that might need sniping at, maybe with a 'Hail of Doom' arrow or two!
The first of three of the Snakemen Chaos Sorcerers.
 The miniature is a 1980's Grenadier Serpent men, from their Call of Cthulhu ranges.
These miniatures are smaller than the Citadel C27 Snakemen, but by still mounting them on the same 40mm bases, building up the base with some milliput, and moving the positon of the neck, they fit nicely, looking like merely an unarmoured version of the other Snakemen.
Second Snakeman Chaos Sorcerer.
 I added the remains of plastic skeleton horse to give it that desert wasteland feel, and bulk out the base.
Third Snakeman Chaos Sorcerer.
Another Chaos Sorcerer.
Keeping with the South-Western American feel, I have used a Native American looking miniatures from Citadels C03 Cleric range, named 'Sacred Bull'. 
 I had a spare Citadel Native American miniature with a bow, who will fufill the same function of scouting and sniping as the independent Snakeman hero,
The miniature is from Citadels 1980's C07 Ranger range, and is appropriately named 'Scout'.
Rank & File.
The first of the Snakeman Regiments.
As I wanted the Snakemen to be better than just Beastmen, I decided to use Chaos Warrior and Chaos Marauder profiles. As the Chaos list in Warhammer armies only has provision for a maximum of 20 Chaos Warriors, and 30 Marauders, I decided that the two Regiments with with polearms were to be Chaos Warriors; the three Regiments with Hand Weapons were to be Chaos Marauders.
In keeping with that idea, this regiment is 10 Chaos Warriors, armed with double handed weapons.
The second Regiment of Chaos Warriors are armed with Halberds.
I think using the same miniature in each of the two Chaos Warrior Regiments gives them a more the feel of a unified purpose than the mixed miniatures I used for the Chaos Marauders.
Close up and impersonal!
The first of the Chaos Marauder Snakemen. 
To give a little more individuality and sense of movement to them I did minor conversions such as repostioning the arms and tails.
Side view.
The Second Chaos Marauder Snakeman Regiment.
The units leader, ready with pistol!
The third Regiment.
Battleline of the regiment, slithering in a most Chaotic manner.
I converted up a pair of old pre-slotta C20 Trolls with a Native American feel to them. I added an old Native American looking Citadel Fighter to lead them. I wanted a couple of Trolls in the Army to add some muscle, and the Human to give them a little brains too.
  Ethereal host.
I like Ethereal hosts, and added a Wraith to the army. It is an old Reaper miniature, which I painted up in a sand colour to look like an old blanket rather than a black wraiths robes, and to blend in with the desert.
Chaotic host.
Bound Hydra.
I thought that a Hydra would be an appropriate Chaotic monster for a Snakeman army. It an old Ral Partha miniature from the early 1980's.
Her name is Hetty.
The Chaos army is the only army that can bind one of these, and given that she can turn creatures into stone, and has snakey hair, it seemed a great idea to include her.
Bound Harpies.
I wanted some flying creatures to chase off giant Eagles generally fly around annoying things. I like the idea a tribe of Harpies living in the desert, scavenging like buzzards in an old Western.
Chaos Ally Contingent. 
I wanted more Chaos Snakemen/Chaos Warriors in the army. By adding a Chaos Ally Contingent I can add up to another 20 if I wanted to. I built a Regiment of 10 from the 'left over' Snakemen.
To give the mixed unit some coherence I painted them up the same colour flesh and a different armour colour from the main Snakeman army; silver. 
For a backstory, I painted them in a paler pallette and whilst the main Snakemen army is linked to the desert sun, these are to the moon, hence the became the Snakemen of the Moon Goddess.
Regimental/Contingent commander, and standard bearer.
Orc Ally Contingent.
Apart from the two Chaos Heroes, there was a distinct lack of missile troops in the main Snakeman army. To remedy this is also added an Orc Ally Contingent, armed with bows. 
To keep with the South Western American aesthetic, I painted the Orcs in a Native American style, mixing Apache and Plains Tribes looks.
Contingent Commander.
His headress reminded me of the Apache Gan Dancers, so I thought he would make a good Contingent Commander.
The first regiment of Orc Archers. These ones are only armed with bows.
Close up. I am really pleased with how they look.
The second regiment, armed with bows and equiped with shields.
Close up. I partly copied the shield designs from an old Osprey History book on the North American Tribes.

...and that is the army.
However I could'nt resist setting up a few photographs of the Snakeman army on the desert table.
The invasion begins!
On the northern desert frontier of the Slann Empire the Army General points the way as a Snakeman Regiment passes an ancient Slann border marker.
Scouting ahead of main force on the other side of a river, the red Snakeman hero and Human Scout scour the border.
The Snakemen of the Moon Goddess fufill their age old obligations and ties of kinship, and join the invading army.
The bulk of the army moves through a desert canyon, emerging into the desert beyond.
The advancing.
The head of the column, streatching out into the distance.

The Snakeman army has now been completed. Well, kind of. I am still considering adding perhaps a few more Snakemen in the future, and I have the Undead Snakemen from Tim Prow's kickstarter on their way. But this won't be yet, and for now, the Snakeman army is completed. :)

I have now started painting my pre-slotta Dark Elf army, and I will be updating on the progress and ideas behind them on my next blog update.