Wednesday 20 December 2023

Fantasy Tribes Orcs on regiment sized bases.

At the same time as painting the 40k Iron Claw Squats I am also painting some of my pre-slotta early 1980s Fantasy Tribe Orcs. I am alternating between the two projects, painting some of each as I go. I have a lot of Squats still left to photograph and so I thought I could spend a little time on the Orcs. Anyway, back to the Orcs.

For a while I have had the idea that I would like to base some of my miniatures, primarily the pre-slotta ones, on multiple bases, as was sometimes done in the early 1980s, and is often done in historical gaming and some other fantasy games, Hordes of Things is one which springs to mind. I didn't want to base the miniatures in two's or three's as it seemed a bit of a nuisance trying to fit the bases together. As I was looking online I saw that some people have based whole regiments on a single base, and made little dioramas of them. I like the look of this idea, and I think it also allows for a slightly more realistic look to regiments as the miniatures can be posed in more interesting ways, and more of a horde in the case of Orcs, which I plan to do.

Of course there are drawbacks and limitations. Changing formation isn't really an option, and if I want skirmishers I will have to keep them individually based. However I did decide to try it out and commissioned a local plastics company to make a few dozen bases as a trial. The Orcs below are on 100mm by 125mm bases, simulating a regiment of 20 miniatures on 25mm square bases.

My original idea was just to do this for my Mithril Orc army, but I decided to try it out on the pre-slotta miniatures first. I have gone by the idea, maybe a little cheeky, that each base counts as 20 miniatures, where in fact there may be anything between 16 to 20 something miniatures, plus any scenery, pack animals, etc. I am only planning to do this with my 1st/2nd edition armies, which are largely pre-slotta anyway, and keep my 3rd Edition Fantasy and later armies individually based. I have also considered that given the fragile nature of some of the Fantasy Orc range, the regimental sized based might stop any damage they might receive if individually based.

Finally, one thing has struck me is how enthused it has made me to start sorting out and painting the pre-slotta armies. I painted the Orc regiment in two evenings, and the old style Orc banner was great fun. I am quite way through painting some more Orcs at the moment, and have an eye to paint some Fantasy Tribe Dwarves, and maybe even some Goblins too (finally!).

Enjoy :)

Orcs on the regimental base.
Left hand side.
I copied the skull and runes from one of the 1st edition Forces of Fantasy books.

Next update may be more Orcs or Squats!

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Action Force Space Force Bob Olley Iron Claw Squats.

In 1982 until mid 1980s in the UK, there was range of toy action figures produced by Palitoy which were based loosely on the Action Man toy. At first the range was generic 20th Century historical based, but  little later they produced toys based on five different factions. These were produced until the later 1980s when Palitoy replaced the range with at first a more Americanised range, and then the American GI Joe range.

The factions were 'Z Force', which were a green camo NATO army style, with a passing resemblance to the UK forces of the time which had been involved in the Falklands War only a couple of years earlier and so were in peoples minds; the 'SAS', which were black and grey in colour (this was only a few years after the Iranian Embassy siege), with similar looking sculpted figures to Z Force; 'Q Force', which were sea/aquatic based force (in a tasteful mix of yellow, red and blue!); 'Space Force', which were, well, space based; and finally the Red Shadows' who were the bad guys.

Now all this is very interesting and nostalgic, but what has this to do with the 1980s Iron Claw range of Squats? Well I have been collecting a Rogue Trader era Squat army (based on the 1989 list) composed of solely the Iron Claw range on and off for a number of years, and I had been looking a suitable paint scheme. The original scheme in the Iron Claw adverts was a mix a green, brown, and camo, which was ok, but not inspiring. I have experimented with several camo greens and browns, and even with some tartan. I also tried ice world white, a slightly chaotic red (I have now started a different red Chaos Squat army), grey, and desert khaki. All of these didn't quite work, and ended up in the paint stripping Dettol.

Anyway, I was thinking about the 1980s and remembered my old Action Force figures and thought it might be a good idea to investigate. I discounted the Z Force as another camo green scheme, and it didn't seem right to have an SAS based Squat army. The Red Shadows didn't seem to fit either, and again, returning to a red scheme I had already tried. Q Force looked really interesting, but I couldn't stop giggling at the thought semi aquatic soggy Squats trying to swim with stubby little legs and water logged beards! So Space Force it was.

I like the schemes colours, and it's fun to paint. From the action figures themselves there are several schemes within the whole look depending on the figures roles. Some had blue boots, orange limbs, grey torsos, whilst others had reverse limb torso colours. I opted for the blue boots, orange limbs, grey torsos of the Space Force Security figure (numbers 27 and 28 in the poster below), with some of the Hearth Guard with the pilot scheme (number 26) of orange boots, orange torso, grey limbs, and the Warlord in the Commander scheme (number 25) or grey torso and legs, white arms, and a orange hat and belt). As I started  painting I have mixed up a few of the colours, but kept to the overall grey, orange, blue, and light orange/yellow. For the weapons I have mostly painted them blue, although I have added little different colours to some of the special and heavy weapons, but I have avoided any camo green so as to keep them looking more sci fi looking, and less gritty and 'real life'.

Overall, I wanted to give the Squat army a very bright, retro sci fi look. Some of the sculpts have a slightly camp sci fi look about them, almost a mix of 1930 Flash Gordon and 1950/60s pulp sci fi feel. I had the idea that they are perhaps a culture with roots and styling in what the Imperium considers the Dark Age of Technology, but was hinted at in the Rogue Trader era as a lovely Sci fi future which did eventually go wrong. With that idea I also considered that they might be more open minded to (some) aliens, and so I decided to included some of the Iron Claw Pirate range in the army. I wanted to paint and use these for something and thought that added them here and there would add a little quirk. I am  not too sure perhaps how the Inquisition would view this, but maybe this army is pre Imperial contact, or too far away to be in trouble?

Here are the first few which I have painted and photographed. I have painted a lot more which I will be photographing soon. I have five Brotherhoods of Squats, each consisting of one Warlord, four Hearth Guards, and three combat squads of eight Squats. In addition I have three Squats I an using a Living Ancestor. I have already painted two complete Brotherhoods, and I an halfway through the third.

Enjoy :)

Action Force release post, 1984.
There were a lot more in the range, and I still have an original poster, as well as some Space Force figures, somewhere!
Space Force.
Space Force Squats.
Orange limbs, grey body/helmets, blue boots/gloves/weapons/equipment. 
Rear view.
Second Squad, painted in the same way, but with an added alien.
Ooglorg the Cruel.
I kept to the same colour scheme as the Squats, but as I painted the skin blue (as in the release advert), I opted to paint the gun gold to give that sci fi feel. I have painted Ooglorg the Cruel as a Star Trek Andorian as the sculpt has horns which easily be antennae instead.
I will probably consider the gun a Multi Laser. Many of Bob Olleys sculpting concerning guns requires a little guess work.
More Squats, this time a squad leader with a hand flamer, and Squat with an auto gun. They are an example of how I have painted different gun a different colour, but within the overall colour scheme.
Warlord and Hearth Guard.
He has been painted within the Commander paint scheme.
Vaal the Asharian.
Again another Iron Claw Space Pirate.
Rear view.
Melta Gun and Plasma gun.
I have kept the overall gun colour for these blue, although adding that 40k plasma look for the plasma gun.
Like hand flamers I decided to paint the flamer red just to mix up the colours a little.

Next update will be more Squats (with added Pirates!).

Tuesday 14 November 2023

Late Rogue Trader era to 40k 2nd Edition Screamer Killers / Carnifexes.

 Whilst sorting through boxes of old miniatures I rediscovered my old Screamer Killer/Carnifex miniatures. I did paint up a couple in a pale colour scheme a few years ago, but thought they needed a little more colour.

Anyway, I opted for a bright, alien looking, red. After mounting them on 60mm bases, I undercoated them Mechanicus Standard Grey, base coated Mephiston Red, washed with Blood Angels Red contrast, highlighted with Evil Sunz Scarlet, lightly highlighted with Trollslayer Orange, and a final even lighter highlight with Yriel Yellow. Of course I left each stage to dry first before applying the next. Basing was with Martian Ironcrust, with a very light drybrush of Game Colours Scorpion Green. The tufts are a mix of Gamers Grass 6mm Alien Neon, Alien Pink, and Alien Turquoise.

Overall I am very happy with the the result. They are a little brighter than planned, but I think that added to the otherworldly alien feel. I wanted a look of something which didn't quite look like it belonged on a green and pleasant planet or urban cityscape.

I am actually in the middle of painting some Iron Claw Squat as well, some of which are in the photographs below. I will do an update on these a little later in the month.

Enjoy :)

Seven Screamer Killers/Carnifexes.
Closing in for the kill!
(Squats for scale, and, it appears, for lunch as well!).
"Do you need a hug?"
Rogue Trader era Dominator, with Iron Claw Squats.
As mentioned, I have been painting some old Iron Claw Squats. I opted for a paint scheme based on the old 'Action Force Z Force' toys sold in the UK in the early/mid 1980s.
I also decide to rebase my Dominator miniatures to match the Squats, and added a Squat casualty to one of the bases.
The other Dominator miniature, all freshly rebased.

The next blog update will be on the Iron Claw Squats which I am painting at the moment. I also have a batch of 40k Zoats on the painting table too.

In addition to the Rogue Trader miniatures, I am looking to start a goblin project. My plan is to revisit my both my Fantasy Tribe Great Goblins/Gnolls and Dwarf armies. The idea is to paint them and base them onto regiment sized bases, rather than individually, or on smaller bases of three or so. I like the visual effect and the modelling possibilities of having regiment sized bases of miniatures to game with, and I think that the Fantasy Tribe miniatures will suit this well. The miniature Company Satanic Panic has done something similar with their miniatures and some old Fantasy Tribe miniatures. But more on this idea at a later date.

Tuesday 31 October 2023

Iron Claw Undead.

 Halloween horror!  I have no internet and so I am updating my blog via mobile phone, iit is a brief updat

I have been sorting through my collection of Iron Claw miniatures sculpted by Bob Olley during his time with Games Workshop. Now I never really liked the sculpting at the time,  but over the years I have come to appreciate them more, although I am aware that they are not to everyone's taste.

Recently I have been organising my Iron Claw Goblins, Dwarves, and Orcs, with a mind to paint them together in a Tolkien vibe. The Dwarves have received reinforcement from the Essex Miniatures range of Bob Olley miniatures as well. Which brings me to the Undead. 

For the Undead I like the idea of painting them in ethereal colours to suggest the Deadmen of Dunharrow. I only have five so far, but Ebay and Essex Miniatures will in time add to their numbers. 

Painting wise, it was a white undercoat,  wash with Tesseract Glow,  and then light dry brushing with white when dry .

Enjoy 🙂

Thursday 28 September 2023

Praetorian Las Cannons, and a Leman Russ

 This is the last of the batch of Praetorian photographs for a while. I have finished off painting three Las Cannon teams, and experimented with painting a tank. I am going to return to the Praetorian army a little later, but will be focusing on another project from October.

I wanted to try out a paint scheme for the tanks which matched the colour and look of the heavy weapons. I wanted something which looked a little more realistic, without being too camouflaged. After all, it would seem strange to have a camouflaged tank next to red tunic infantry! Anyway, I painted the tank Vallejo Khaki, washed it with Nuln Oil, again some Khaki, and then highlighted the tank and its tracks with ushabti bone to give an overall dusty feel. I still need to add vehicle recognition details, but I'll leave that for later

For the Las Cannon teams I chose a blue uniform to match the old nineteenth century British Royal Artillery uniform. I painted the tunic cuffs and epaulettes red to add a little bit of red in order to tie in with the rest of the army. The Las Cannons where painted in the same manner as the tank. I think the look works well, and breaks up the red tunic of the infantry squads without being too jarring.

Enjoy :)

Leman Russ Punisher.
The front of the tank.
Rear view.
Infantry advancing with the tank.
Las Cannon teams.
Las Cannon teams in a more staggered formation.
Close up view showing the blue uniforms with the red cuffs and epaulettes.
The battle line of painted Praetorians so far, from above.
The battle line from the side.

The next blog update will be something quite different. I am currently working on two projects. The first is Mithril Miniatures Mordor Orc army. The second is an Iron Claw Goblin army.So I am undecided which to opt for at the moment.

Wednesday 20 September 2023

Praetorian Imperial Guard / Astra Militarum Platoons.

 I have been painting more Praetorian Imperial Guard / Astra Militarum, and have been making some quite good progress. In the last few weeks I have now completed two full platoons consisting of one command squad, and two infantry squads in each. This has also included a Platoon Commander for each.

Enjoy :)

First Platoon.
Firing line!
Auto Cannon.
Unlike the Heavy Bolters I decided to add the gun shield to give it that slightly heavier look of a small calibre field gun.
The other side of the Auto Cannon.
Platoon Commander.
This miniature is the old metal Cadian officer miniature from a few years ago, but with an added green stuff moustache to give him that British 'golly good chap' look. He was originally one of my Company commanders in my previously painted Praetorian army, and all I have done is re-based him and tinkered with the paintwork. In time he will be promoted back to Company Commander when I get around to converting and painting up a new Platoon Commander.
Second Platoon.
The hcomposition of miniatures in the Second Platoon is the same as the first, so I did not see the point in photographing them. However, the Platoon Commander is different, see below.
Platoon Commander with power fist.
I had a damaged Mordian Sergeant miniature, and so I swapped his head for one of the old metal alternative heads made by GW about 20 years ago. The Power fist is from the Tempestus Scions box set. The pistol holster is from the Mark III Space Marine box (I think!).
Power fist.
I chose this power fist as it looks a little Steampunk to me.
Both Platoons.
Firing line.
"Front rank fire!"
"Rear rank fire!"

At the moment I am most of the way through painting Las Cannon teams, and have made a start on a tank! After those, I am going to focus on a different, more goblin based, project. I wanted to make a start on the Praetorians, and experiment with the newer paint scheme first, before tackling something else. So next blog update will be more Praetorians.

Thursday 31 August 2023

Praetorian Imperial Guard/Astra Militarum test models.

 I have recently been re-reading a few of my books on nineteenth century British colonial wars, and this, coupled with a conversation on the Steampunk genre with a friend of mine, had got me thinking on my old Warhammer 40k Praetorian Imperial Guard (now Astra Militarium) army. So I decided to revisit the army.

This was an army which I always liked and wanted to collect at the time, and back in the 2000's I finally assembled and painted an army. However, I was never pleased with the result, and last year I paint stripped the whole lot!  When considering their re-painting I was always torn between the classic Nineteenth Century British and iconic 40k Praetorian Red Coat look (think of the films Zulu, and Zulu Dawn, as well as a lot of Steampunk and nineteenth century art), and the later nineteenth century khaki colour (more the films Young Winston, the Four Feathers (1939 version), Khartoum, and the whole Edwardian 'Boys Own' era of illustrations). I decided to go for the khaki, as it would be easier to paint, less cliched and Zulu war looking than the red, and also I like the look. But after looking at Google photographs, and watching Youtube painting videos, I thought I might try out a couple of red coated chaps out of interest.

...and then I ended up going for the red coats.

By following a couple of Youtube painting guides, it turned out that the red coated look was not as difficult as it seems, nor as complicated it was when I painted them the first time. They also looked quite good, not Golden Demon standard, but good enough for gaming, which is the plan. I am enjoying using the painting guides for a change, and also following GW's suggested sets of colours, which I am finding quite useful.

So anyway,  I am going for the red coats scheme, with blue for artillery troops, and rifle green for  special weapons. I do still plan on painting a platoon of Praetorians, and a heavy weapons squad, in the khaki, just for variation.

Below are the links to the Warhammer/GW Youtube videos, (just ignore the rather silly conversions of  'Praetorians' they used!).

My plan at the moment is paint a couple of platoons, a few Las Cannons teams, a tank, and a few odds and ends, just to make a start. I am looking to start either a 1980s Iron Claw Goblin project or a Mithril Miniatures Orc project soon, and so I am not too concerned about completing the Praetorians yet. I want to dip in and out of this project, and as I am planning to replace my old tanks with newer ones, and I am looking to do this gradually rather than spending a lot of money on tanks for an army for 40k which I might not be playing for a while at the moment.

Enjoy :)

Praetorian Infantry Squad.
Sergeant and Grenade Launcher.
The lighting was a little bad (English Summer!) and so they look a little darker than they actually are.
Rear rank Lasguns.
Front rank Lasguns.
Heavy bolter.
I don't really like the gun shield on the heavy bolters, and they are a bit of a faff, so I left them off. Also, they are slightly reminiscent of the nineteenth century Maxim gun. 
A couple of random test miniatures, a bugler, and flamer. I wanted to pick a colour for flamers, and so I selected yellow and decided to see how it looks, which I like.
Las cannon.
As mentioned above, I have opted for a Royal Artillery blue uniform for the Heavy Weapon teams which are not part of infantry or command squads. To tie-in with the rest of the army I have painted the epaulettes and jacket cuffs the same red as the infantry tunics, and the same off-white for the belts/pouches.
Rear view.

Special weapon squad Melta gun.
To add a little more colour and nineteenth century Britishness to the army, I wanted to have some troops in a Rifle Green. I thought having the Special Weapon squads might fit as they fulfil a light infantry role on the battlefield. As they are small squads, and small in numbers, they should not detract from the whole look of the army.
Rear view.
I went for a more muted look, with black for the epaulettes and belts, and a more subtle use of red on the cuffs just to tie-in with the rest of the army (which was also used in for the British Royal Rifle Corp in the latter part of the nineteenth century).
Khaki test model.
I was going for the Sudan 1898/Boer War look with this, with a khaki uniform and white belts. I also painted the Lasgun khaki because it just seemed to fit.
I used Vallejo Khaki for the uniform, shaded with Nuln oil, and re-highlighted with khaki.

Rear view.
A close up of the base.
I have used a lot of GW's Bracken and human skulls on the bases. I chose the bracken to give a harsh terrain and scrubland feel to the bases, rather than a plain desert look. 
The actual bases were a three stage process:
1. Citadel Colour Technical Armageddon Dust.
2.Citadel Colour Contrast wash over the above.
3. Dry brush of Citadel Colour Layer Ushabti Bone.

The next update will be more Praetorians, As mentioned, I am looking to start either an Iron Claw Goblin, or a Mithril Orc project soon, and so I am also sorting out both of those as well.