Thursday 22 June 2017

Frog smoking a pipe.

A quick and small update this week, this side of a weekend at work for me!

A while ago I purchased a small mail order of giant frogs for my Slann army/ies from a company called 'Toad King Castings', who can be found here:  . Now I have not managed to get around to painting the giant frogs (or ordering some more, which I plan to do), but yesterday I did paint 'Terence Toad', a much smaller giant frog, smoking a pipe.

I love this miniature. He's cute, and has a sweet twee vibe which I only usually get from Hobbits. This to me is the Slann version of a Hobbit. I had planned to just place him in a random Slann regiment as a curiosity, but now I have painted him, I might use him as a low level Slann Wizard, perhaps a Wizard who's spell has gone wrong and turned him into, er, a smaller frog!

Painting wise he was very quick and easy to paint. Two tones of green, eyes, and a pipe. The main effort was in the base. I put the frog on a lipped 25mm square lipped base, with him sitting on a slightly raised mound of Miliput. I then painted the inside of the base dark brown, and added some grasses, a water lily, and a few tiny stones. After that I added some 'Solid Water' water effect resin to suggest he was sitting on a mud mound in a pool of water. I have never used the water effect resin before, and testing it out was the main reason I painting him (that and the cuteness!). I am really happy with how it all looks, and I will be using it a lot more, especially with the Slann and Eru-Kin. 

Ribbit! :)
 Terence the Toad, smoking in the jungle.
 Slightly more left hand side view.
 Back end of a smokey Toad!
 Right hand side.
Tilted view of the base.
I added the water effect up the the top of the lip of the base. It just covered part of the stones and the lower part of the little mound of mud he's sitting on. It pooled in the deeper dips of the base as planned. It is meant to take 12 hours to dry, but given yesterday in Sussex it hit 34.5C it set in about 4 hours!
 Water effect resin kit. I bought it from (yet another) model railway shop for about £10.
You have to mix the two different parts of the resin kit in the little tub and then pour out where required, and was very easy to use.
WIP Terence to show the base before painting, the addition of stones and grasses, and the addition of the resin water.

Next update will be Dark Elves.

Friday 16 June 2017

Age of Sigmar 'Death' Army, landscapes, baboons, a naughty Dwarf, and some goodly Knights.

Whilst I am still painting the pre-slotta Dark Elves, I did take a break from them the end of last week to paint some of my Age Of Sigmar 'Death' Army, and a couple of odds and ends.

I always liked the Tomb Kings, and so when Age of Sigmar appeared, and they disappeared, I was less than happy. But I don't mind Age of Sigmar as a game, what little I have played of it, and it gave me opportunity to pursue an idea I wanted to do. I wanted to build a Vampire Counts army, with Vampire Counts miniatures, with a Tomb Kings twist. So I have been collecting, on and off, a miniatures from the 'Death' faction, which were largley the old Vampire Counts miniatures, and adding some Tomb Kings item, such as heads/shields/etc, and painting them up in a variation of a Tomb King paint scheme.

In addition, I have also been shopping and sorting things out. I popped over to a fairly local Model Railway shop in Lancing (West Sussex) and bought some background settings for my blog photography. I also, on the same day, went to Worthing, and managed to bag a few Tomb Kings bargins too.

In relation to sorting things out, I did a little mail order a while ago to Ral Partha (Europe) for some of their fantasy Baboons. I bought one of the old Runequest Baboons from e-bay on a whim a month or so ago, and then had the idea of making an army of Baboons, some with weapons as per Runequest. I would use the Chaos army list for them, using them as a subsitute for Chaos Beastmen. In addition to the the Baboons, I have been sorting out the miniatures for my 1980's Empire and Brettonian armies, with an idea of organsing them ready for painting. I also painted the Dwarf flasher for no real reason.

Enjoy :)
Railway shop backgrounds.
I plan to mount these on pieces of wood, but for now I'm using good old blu-tack.
They are made by a company named 'The Pitchard Patent Product Ltd', and called 'Peco scene backgrounds'. They cost me £1.55 each, which is very cheap.
The top one is called Mountain Lake, the bottom one Country with river.
Top: Sky with clouds.
Bottom: Conutry Landscape.
I need to paint more Goblins, but for now these are for scale/scenic purposes.
This is the Country Landscape. I think they provide a really good backdrop.
Another shot of the Country Landscape.
Country River.
I love the idea of Goblins wandering about the English Countryside, in this case it looks like Yorkshire or the Cotswolds.
The other end of the Country River.
Mountain Lake, looking like the Lake District or Scotland.
The other end of the Mountain Lake.
The middle of the Mountain Lake scene, and what better to see there than a Giant Hill Troll?
Sky with Clouds.
Not very exciting, but this will be useful when I add jungle or desert items to the foreground.
Age of Sigmar Death force.
Sorry for the terrible photograph, I had difficultly in getting a good photograph, but I took better closer up photographs. These are only the start of the army, I have a lot more to paint.
I have combined Tomb King parts with the Death kits to create a Tomb King-esque army. I do miss the Tomb Kings, and might re-base them up for Age of Sigmar.
Black Knights.
I love these miniatures and they paint up nicely. I added Tomb Kings heads, shields, and spear arms.
I painted these, and the others as follows:
Black undercoat; dry brush with white; add gold, red, turquoise in a heavy dry brush; then give the whole thing a wash with Citadels 'Nihilakh Oxide'.
The bases are Citadel's 'Steel Legion Earth' base/edge, with 'Agrellan Earth' texture.
I did'nt want to do the copy of my Tomb King army, but wanted a slightly Ghostly/Ethereal feel to the army. They are really quick to paint, this unit (not including basing) took about two hours.
Unit leader, with Tomb King Kopesh, and Princely crowned head.
Right hand side.
Standard Bearer, with an old Tomb King standard.
Musician with Tomb Kings horn.
Spear armed Knights.
Charging Knight.
Wight King with Black Axe.
The miniature is an old Tomb Kings King, with an axe arm from the Necropolis Knights set.
Old 1990's metal Banshee.
I painted her in the same manner as the rest of the army, but added some extra white highlights after the  'Nihilakh Oxide' wash had dried, to add to that spooky ethereal spirit look.
Cairn Wraith.
I added a a Tomb King Mask from one of the Tomb King kits (I cannot recall which one).
Grave Guard test models.
I painted up a pair of these to see how they look. I decided not to add the should armour to give them a more ancient era look. I like these miniatures, they remind me of the old pre-slotta C17 Skeletons with the unusual looking helmets.
Basic Skeleton Warrior test modol.
Quick and easy to paint, which is handy as I have 60 of them to paint!
Front view.
Spirit hosts!
Like the Banshee I added some extra white drybrushing.
I love the nature of these kits as you can see through the open mouths and eyes, and they have a great sense of movement.
Tomb Kings bargins.
In a second hand shop in Worthing, where I have picked up miniatures bargins before, they had had a re-stock. I bought the Banshee above for £3, the Tomb King MIB for £3, the High Queen Khalida £3, and the Tomb Guards for £5.
I am not sure what to do with them, although I am working on another Tomb Guard unit.
'Flasher Dwarf'!
I am not sure why Citadel would make a flashing Dwarf, he's a odd little miniature. I bought him years ago as part of a batch of miniatures, and recently saw another one painted on someones blog and thought, I'll paint mine.
He'll probably end up in a regiment of Dwarves, perhaps as an even more deranged Troll Slayer.
Rear view (so to speak!) of the flasher, showing his dirty raincoat.
Runequest Baboon Aventurer.
I never played Runequest but I like this miniature and liked the idea of Baboons with weapons and armour.
Rear view.
The Runequest baboon gave me the idea of a baboon army, as stand-in alternative Beastmen. I bought a few test models from Ral Partha (Europe). Their baboons are called Swamp Ranzas and come in packs of two variants (above). I like these miniatures, and the idea of a baboon army is something I plan to undertake, but at a much later date.
The Ranzas can be found here:
A couple of converted Ranzas.
I re-positioned the arms and gave them a couple of old shields and weapons. I wanted to avoid going for an African theme for them. It would have been easy to just give them assagai's and 'Zulu' shields, and African fantasy armies are an under-explored concept. However, I did'nt want them to be a pastiche of Africans, but I wanted them to be more akin to a C.S Lewis/Runequest approach of European/Middle Eastern weapons and equipment. I am reminded of Prince Kassim as a Baboon, in the film 'Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger' in their demeanor. But it's all very much a WIP with both the concept and miniatures.
I have been sorting out my Empire and Bretonnian miniatures too, with an idea of painting my Empire army, and re-organising the Bretonnians.
For the Empire army is have Pikemen, crossbows, and Halberdiers, but the plan is to have all of these around a core regiment of Reiksguard. Rather than Reiksguard miniatures I wanted my Empire army to have a core unit that is more 1980's fantasy human, and so will have the regiment built around the 1980's Citadel boxset BC7- Heroic Fighter of the Known World, with a mix of Fighters and Lords of Battle to make up the numbers. I like the idea of the army being form around a virtues and goodly group of questing/crusading Knight and heroes (and one heroine). For some reason I forgot to add the hero 'Gladius' to the unit, but he will be present too!

The next update will be the Dark Elves. If I focus on them I can finish the army in a few days.

Monday 5 June 2017

Pre Slotta Dark Elf army project.

About three weeks ago, as the Snakeman project drew to a close, I started painting my pre-slotta Dark Elf army. Now I already had a Dark Elf army made up from Citadel's mid/late slotta based C09 Dark Elves, and the Marauder Miniatures ones. However I never really liked the army or felt that they really had the right 'vibe' for the Dark Elves. So last year I decided to collect a 'new' Dark Elf army, from the pre-slotta range of Dark Elves, adding to the ones I already had.

I always liked the pre-slotta Dark Elves. The style and sculpting seemed more understated and better to me, and they seemed to work as a range as a whole. The simliarity of thier weapons, helmets, shields, and cloaks gives the range a coherence, without being the same, or too disperate. I was'nt overly impressed with the later 1980's slotta Dark Elves, and I really dislike the pudgy and round faced Marauder Dark Elves.

Painting wise, looking at the pre-slotta miniatures the helmets suggested to me a Classical Greek look, and the rest of the equipment and armour a Byzantine look. So I decided to go for a lighter look for the Dark Elves, with less purple and blacks, and more colours, and also with more slivery chainmail. In keeping with the Greek look, I have opted for bronze shields, scale armour, and helmets, with a little verde gris. I am also going to paint some Ancient Greek looking shield designs as well.

The only exception to this is the Mengil Manhides Regiment of Renown, who are a lot darker, in line with their description in the background. Also, I am undecided on how to do the bases. I want to avoid the snow look, so might go for a forest look, as that is suggested in the 1st Edition Dark Elf background in the 'Forces of Fantasy' supplement. In the Forces of Fantasy book (of the Forces of Fantasy supplement) it describes the Dark Elves as "Driven from the Elven lands they took refuge amongst dark forests and caves until, many years later, they established a small independant kingdom".

The older, 1st Edition Warhammer background of the Dark Elves being more forest orinetated suggests to me the idea that this army and the pre slotta range are more akin to an earlier era of Dark Elves. As some of the miniatures still have bows rather than crossbows, and as the Dark Elves still have a High Elf look to them with the long chainmail coats, then I like to consider that this army is a representative of an early Dark Elf army, just after their exile from the High Elves. The Dark Elves with bows I will be counting as army with crossbows for gaming purposes.

Enjoy :)
Some of the pre-slotta Dark Elf range.
Artwork from the Forces of Fantasy supplement for 1st Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle.
Mengil Manhide.
Dark Elf Sorceress.
Ancient Greek helmets, which made me think of the similarity between them and the pre slotta Dark Elves.
A very poor army wide photograph.
Once I paint the army I shall do an overall army photo-shoot on a gaming table, as I did with the Snakmen. The army is still very much a WIP, but I have a lot of the miniatures to a level where it's only the shields and bases which require attention.
Army General on Dragon.
The Dragon an old Aureola Rococo model, which used to be painted gold and part of my Bretonnian army, but seems more at home with the Dark Elves.
The General is a slightly converted Dark Elf Cold One Rider.
Close up.
 C21 Dark Elf Cold One Riders.
I have converted a standard bearer for the unit, and opted for a grey-green granite looking colour for the Cold Ones.
Close up.
Dark Elf Sorcerers WIP.
Also there is magically bound Ghost, an old pre-slotta Ghoul miniature I think, and it's actually one of the first miniatures I ever owned.
Mengil Manhides Regiment of Renown.
The background of the Regiment is that they are dressed in dark clothing and wear the skins of poor unfortunate humans who have crossed their path.
Rear view of the flayed cloak.
My second regiment of Mengil Manhides Dark Elves.
I did just want to paint the second Regiment the same as the second, so I when for a sea raider feel for them, with sea gree/blue cloaks, and bronze armour. I also swapped out the Mengil miniature for a C09 miniature as a unit leader to differentiate.
Rear view of the cloak.
10 Dark Elf Shadows (Scouts).
I will split these into two units of five. I painted the cloaks as dull and dirty greens to a suggest weather-beaten look.
Close up.
Witch Elves WIP.
Instead of just lots of purple of later paionting styles of Witch Elves, I have gone for a mix of colours. I have also added a few 'gothy' details such as stripey legging and dyed hair.
I like these Witch Elf miniatures much more than the later versions. Their look is more practical and sensible, just like their male counterparts, rather than clad in chainmail bikinis with hairsprayed hair like the later versions!
Dark Elf Crossbows WIP.
These a mix of the C09 range, and are going to have bronze armour and shields.
Second Dark Elf Crossbows WIP.
UPDATE.I have verde gris-ed the bronze armour. I still have the shield desgins to add, but they are that one step closer.
Next update will be some more of the Dark Elf army, as well as a few random things I want to add.