Sunday, 30 June 2013

...from the Bloodied Sands of the Arena

As Jeff talked about in an earlier post on the fantastic Pirate Viking Painting (Found Here) some of the Beard Bunker Dwellers are going to be working on small Dark Eldar skirmish armies this year. As a result of my fairly emphatic army builds last year, my hobby has been fairly slow this year, just some sedate work on my Dark Angels. However, I've finally found me some hobby juice in the Dark Eldar project. The idea has been slowly simmering away in the back of my brain to do a Wych Cult army based around the grand gladiator arenas of Commorragh.

Here are the first few models of the main Wyches unit. I've gone for an uncharacteristically bright colour scheme. For both me and the Dark Eldar bright colours are something we just don't get on with. However I wanted to, as a painter, try something outside of my normal repertoire. As for the background for the army, well these people are performers. Sure they are murderous, callous, and very dangerous but they are also artists and entertainers. So bright, flashy colours to draw attention to themselves as they gracefully reek bloody havoc in the arena seemed appropriate.

The main yellow of the armour is a base of Averland Sunset, washed with Casendora Yellow then layered up with Flash Gitz Yellow with increasing amounts of white added for the highlights. I've added some Ice Blue touches as the complimenting colour. The black was a straight forward Abaddon Black with an Abaddon Balack/Thunder Hawk Blue mix to highlight.


 Since this army is intended to be a 500pts skirmish force and will total about 20 models including transports, I've decided to be a bit more elaborate with the basing. As anyone who has read any of my previous posts will know, I loath basing. That's not to say that I don't appreciate the effect of a well done base, but I find the process of basing a complete chore. I will do just enough to get by, but not this time. I've invested in some lovely resin casts from Fantascape. Ok, yes, I admit it, I'm getting someone else to do the work and this is still very lazy on my part. Point is, they have beautiful bases!

So now I'm going to crack on with the next batch, which will include the Hekatrix and the unit specialists. Once they are done I'll investigate what tanks are available to the Dark Eldar and get me one of those.  Looking forward to doing some whooshy, floaty tanks!


Monday, 24 June 2013

De-skulling the Warhammer Chapel

Nothing gets my procrastination reflexes going like DIY, and as such, it seems a little odd that I’ll happily spend hours fitting a nice bay window onto the front of a little plastic building.

There’s clearly something wrong with me.

And why was I putting a different window onto the front of the Empire Chapel kit? Because the original carvings are a) too ecclesiastical for anything other than a chapel, and b) too distinctive to be adorning the front of more than one building in a scenery collection. Witness the difference:

The window itself was made by splicing together two of the tall thin windows you get in (I think) the Watchtower set. Yay razorsaw!

My secondary objective was to reduce the number of skull-filled windows on the chapel kit, since I wanted this building to be more of a generic dwelling. If you’re wandering why I wanted to do that, then clearly the phrase ‘skull-filled windows’ doesn’t have quite the same effect on you as it does on someone without Games Workshop Skull Blindness.

Image taken from for illustrative purposes only.
Namely, that of SKULL WINDOWS. Mmmm, skulls.

In an attempt to cover up the skull-arch-window-things on the side of the building, Mark and I teamed up. He built the extension on one side with parts of the wall you get in the fortified manor set, whilst on the other side, I filled in the skull windows with putty and in their place left a resin window wot I done bought from Antenociti’s Workshop. It looked a bit lonely on the wall, and conspicuously not the same style as the other windows on the kit, so an awning was added to help it blend in a little.

Finally, I filled in the hammer icons either side of the door in favour of a plain ol’ wall. Again, trying to make the building look less plush. Nothing quick and simple could be done about the rows of skulls on the first floor, but oh well.

Cutting out such a big section of a wall was something I’ve done before, with the bone-arches on the hilariously Warhammer-y Witchfate Tor.

Everyone knows you need doors halfway
up a tower, amIright?

It’s a big building, and very useable in-game, but admittedly makes no architectural sense whatsoever. Jeff has been known to rant about this kit at length, but I think it has a certain charm.

Now, which skull-filled bone-arches? These ones:

After I’d already glued these first panels in place on the ground floor, I realised that it’d be possible to remove the panels themselves. Sadly I had to leave them in place on the ground floor – having wide open arches big enough for a Norse warrior to clamber through isn’t conducive to top-notch security – but could still knock them out for the second floor, like so:

All you have to do is drill a vew holes at the corners of the panels, unclip the coping saw’s blade, and thread it through the hole before playing a violent version of Join the Dots.

Sadly, I didn’t have a coping saw when I removed the three carvings from the front of the manor/pub, which resulted in my attacking the thing with a power drill (essentially drilling a series of holes around the object and then getting medieval with some clippers). It was a messy, risky and inefficient process, and a thoroughly convincing advert for owning a ----ing coping saw.


Saturday, 8 June 2013

Bad day on the Old Forest Road

The following account is excerted from the papers of Hochland intelligence gathering reporting to Aldebrand Ludenhof, Elector of Hochland, and concern the events of June 7th of this year.

As you will know my Lord, Goblin activity in Hochland is no longer confined to the Eastern reaches. There has been a troubling increase in reported attacks along the Old Forest Road. To this end Captain Oscar Brandt was dispatched to bring these filth to heel and open vital lines of communication between Fort Schippel and Bergsberg. Our assumption was that the tribes operating in this area would be the same incompetant scum seen along the Eastern Drakwald. Sadly, it seems not to have been the case. This was the last official report to come from the column:

Captain Oscar Brandt

"Goblins sighted, typical ignorant tactics, simply marching up the road to meet us. Am deploying column to repell. Master Von Rudinger to harry the flanks and cut off lines of retreat."

A day or so later, scouts find a grotesque totem pile of mutilated bodies, a crude moon carved into the chests of the dead. One had a scroll of parchment tied into it's fist. On the back of a prayer scroll of protection was a letter of sorts. I regret to report that its contents make for grim reading:

The Powder Kegs

"My name is Alfred, Blind Alfred to my friends in the Powder Kegs. I'm being made to write this to show the world that the humans cannot stop the Bitter Moon doing what they want, when they want. Our column had been deployed against the goblins. They were advancing slowly and openly.

Bitter Moon Night Goblins
We took it to be typical goblin idiocy. But the Bitter Moon are too smart for that. Their Blackhead spider tribe subjects were hidden in the trees and the God Spider made merry feast of the metal men on their stamping horses.

The God Spider - The Arachnarok!

Though your metal thunder shattered many Blackhead boys, the Bitter Moon fear not your toys. For the Great Warlord Rhaget Neckchopper is with us and his fury carves the wound feast through your men. None could stand in his path. Not barking men, not crossbow men, not even proud metal man on his horse.

Rhagat Neckchopper

"The Bitter Moon own this land. The Bitter Moon keep this land. The Bitter Moon will take from this land what they want. When they want it. Do not try to stop us again. They read and write badly sirs, I hope that Captain Brandt is alive. Tell him I am alive and a prisoner of the goblin Warlord. Take these seriously sirs for their numbers are legion, their monsters are horrifying and their will is iron."

Our scouts have since found Captain Brandt and the remains of his men alive and well although badly rattled. It seems that the Goblin warlord is a fearsome foe and that luck was simply not with them. Their engineer seemed to badly fail at preparing the Hellblaster as it failed spectacularly. We also found the near dead form of Master Earhart Von Rudinger being dragged through the woods by a terrified steed. While nearly insensible with pain it appears that this Rhagat Neckchopper has the services of both a titanic spider and one of the woodland giants. Von Rudinger had driven off the spider and toppled the giant but when he challenged the warlord it was a fight too far.

Intelligence has identified the name of the Bitter Moons as being a minor tribe from the Middenland region. We fear that they were displaced from Middenland by Archaeon's march and are now here in Hochland. Rhagat was not the warlord of the Middenland Bitter Moons, we do not know where he came from or how he came to command but we feel that his ruthless efficacy and his skill at arms make him a fell foe and one that must be watched carefully and repelled when convenient.

<authors note, hell yeah my night gobbos kicked ass and took names! Hoo-rah! Charlie had some evil luck, the hellblaster exploding was funny (mainly because it also took out a whole pile of spider riders as well) but the Arachnarok causing the entire left flank to flee when it ate the knights was just unlucky.>

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Cult-o-Matic 9000

Finally, the Empire Flagellants are finished. Yay! In celebration, I shall sing the Doom Song.

But there's one problem: all the other regiments in the Hochland army have a certain individuality to them. The Blades of Taal are common blokes made to dress posh by their commander, and the Powderkegs are a motley assemblage of semi-competent rejects. Each game they're involved in will be the next chapter of their story, and no matter how badly they're mauled, I'll usually think up some guff about how at least some of them escaped and lived on to fight the next battle.

Flagellants, on the other hand, are suicidal fundamentalists unlikely to survive game turn two, never mind a whole engagement. It'd seem ridiculous to spend ages writing a backstory for some doom-saying prophet who's going to do his best to hump the bad guys' spears at the first opportunity.

So, instead, why not have a different cult for every wargaming occasion? Ladies and Gentleblokes, may I present you with the Cult-o-Matic 9000. It's like a flow chart with dice. Before each game in which I use my thirty-man regiment of flagellants, I shall roll on the table below to find out that they are...

(Roll a D6)
1. Penitent
2. Peoples’
3. Righteous
4. Holy
5. Real
6. Reformed
(Roll a D3)
1. Brotherhood
2. New Church
3. Congregation
(Roll a D6)
1. Sigmar
2. the Twin-Tailed Comet
3. Purity
4. the Truth
5. the Apocalypse
6. the End Times

...whose leader believes that...

1. Karl Franz has been supplanted by a witch.
2. he’s Sigmar.
3. the old gods (Taal, Shallya, Ulric etc) are impure, as is anyone who worships them.
4. it’s his solemn duty to fornicate with his followers’ wives.
5. you must donate all your worldly possessions to his cult in order to attain salvation.
6. the world will end in three and a half days' time.

You have no idea how hard it was to keep those ridiculous, as opposed to utterly ridiculous. Frankly, I'll be disappointed if no-one leaves some utterly ridiculous alternatives in the comments below.

The only conversion to speak of is the regiment's Prophet of Doom:

I wanted him to be waving a completely impractical assortment of jangly weaponry about, like the raving loony he blatantly is, and that also meant opening up his pose (all the normal flagellant arms go straight forwards). I pinned the arms outwards, and then sculpted ragged sleeves onto his sackcloth robes to cover up the pins.

The painting itself was pretty simple - the models were all sprayed with a mid-brown (I used the now-obsolete Calthan Brown), after which the fabrics got drybrushed with a lighter bone colour. After that, some watered-down colours (yellows, blues, dark reds) were sloshed over the drybrushed cloth to add variety. I also tried to vary the skin tones a little, since there's so much flesh in the unit, and kept the metalwork filth-tastic by drybrushing over the brown. The regiment also has a lot more stubble effects than the rest of the army, which not only made them look grimier, but had the added advantage of introducing some variety into the repeated uses of distinctively-sculpted heads. Finally, I drybrushed some dark mud around the hems of their robes, because you can never have too much filth where these idiots are concerned.

And with that, I must away. More state troops to paint. Always more state troops to paint. Painty paint. Doom! Paint.


I can't wait to use these fools in a battle.