Kev Adams’ Heartbreaker Orc Leader (RPE 2001)

Here’s a model I apparently completed last year. I figured this out because I just found the photos dated 4th July, 2015 in my “Orcs” folder.

Kev Adams' Heartbreaker Orc Leader (RPE 2001)

I purchased this model back in the 1990’s, left it to sit in a box for a decade or so, and then started it – only to leave it in that part-painted limbo for a few further years. Given that it was completed last year in May-June, it would have been one of the initial models that led me to my “finish things off” push of the second half of 2015. Back int he day it was a Heartbreaker model, from the people who brought you WarZone 1st and 2nd edition. These days the model is owned or licenced by Ral Partha Europe, who prefer to be called RPE since they now have little to nothing to do with the original Ral Partha. Thankfully, we can safely ignore the convoluted backstory and still simply and easily just buy the model if we’re interested, along with its brethren. And no, I’m not affiliated or reimbursed by RPE – or anyone else for that matter!

Kev Adams' Heartbreaker Orc Leader (RPE 2001)

The yellow and black dag pattern is something that dates the model as well. I probably wouldn’t do the same these days, I’d keep the copper/bronze scales, but the patterned trim would probably just be done in a quick and simple cadmium red-brown. Similarly, the skulls would probably be done in a metal – either copper or steel – rather than as carved bone. I’ve moved away from painting every skull or bone I see on armour as bone. Regardless, it’s a great armoured orc figure, and I feel that it still stands up well today. The default sculpt looks quite 2D, but simply bend-rotating the axe head forward helps that aspect out a lot.

I’ve been doing some rebasing of “leader”-type and larger figures onto 32mm bases of late. I’ll have to have a proper look and decide if this guy is an appropriate candidate…

 

 

 

Ow! My Eyeball! ME-61 Throne of Sauron (without Sauron!)

Yeah, so I haven’t been blogging for awhile now. It happens around this time of year – from September to the start of December work really heats up. This year, I’ve pretty much been working every day at work, after work, on days off and on the weekends for the past few weeks – so I’m tired as <pick your profanity> right now.

What I did manage to do for the first month or so was keep on painting, if not blogging or taking many photos, or being active online. This is one of the things I managed to finish. The Reaper Bones pillars I worked on in October were in many ways a lead-in to this model, which I’ve painted for Tarmor, from the Dragons of Lancasm blog. At this point it’s actually been painted for… well, over a month. 6 weeks perhaps? I dunno. We don’t manage to catch up often due to work and conflicting schedules, and so hobby things tend to go between via some mutual friends, and with work the way it’s been I’ve seen less of them lately, and kept forgetting to pass it on when I have…

Almost every time I see this model, the above Simpsons quote pops into my head.

Citadel ME-61 Throne of Sauron

Dating from about 1985, This model is something of a rare breed these days – something I’ve painted for someone else, which is pretty much something I never do anymore. I just don’t have the time these days, and I have way too many models of my own – and I certainly don’t need the money that I used to get for commissions back in the 90’s anymore.

Citadel ME-61 Throne of Sauron

When I first saw the model, my initial thoughts were to do it in what I guess is a pretty “traditional” manner – painting the spine in bone, and firey red-orange bodies and tentacles crawling around the red eye. After a bit of quick reflection, I visualised pretty much the exact scheme I’ve actually painted it in. The spine and ribs sculpted out of a dark green marble, while ethereal spirits writhe around the eye of Sauron, which sucks the light from the creatures around it – providing a nice contrast, and an ersatz eye socket effect.

Citadel ME-61 Throne of Sauron

 

As the ethereals and the throne itself create a rather cold feel, the warm colours of the eye – the redness of the iris and the yellowed eyeball – create a nice contrast that makes The Eye of Sauron really stand out.

Citadel ME-61 Throne of Sauron

While basing is an important thing to consider, there was a kind of dichotomy at play here. I used a rolled-edge base as I wanted the throne to be raised up a little to represent its importance and also to protect the model – old lead chips easily. At the same time, I wanted the floor to be rather understated and generic – both so the model can be used in different settings and also so the actual throne remains the complete focus to the eye. To this end, I went with a simple texture on a rather dull grey. It will fit into dungeons and the like, or also outside if needed, with only a slight greenish tinge/glow to where the floor meets the edges of the ethereals.

Now I just need to get the thing across town to him…

 

Stonehaven Dwarves – Berserker, Undead and Unconscious

Some time ago now, I backed the Stonehaven Miniatures Dwarf Kickstarter. The Kickstarter managed to pretty much deliver on time and provided a rather nice assortment of Dwarven RPG tropes for a very reasonable price. They have run several other campaigns, both before and after but none resonated with me in the way that the Dwarves did, so it’s been the only one I’ve backed, since a bunch of random gnomes, halflings, half-orcs or even elves don’t resonate with me in the way that Dwarves do. They’ve got a nice little line of trolls as well, but at US$20 a pop plus international postage, they’re out of my impulse shopping range. Still, they have a nice range if you’re looking for an RPG-themed model from any of the ranges they offer.

Anyway, this post isn’t here to be an advert. It’s to show some models~!

Stonehaven Undead Dwarf, Berserker Dwarf and Unconscious Dwarf

Stonehaven Undead Dwarf, Berserker Dwarf and Unconscious Dwarf

The three that I’ve painted so far. I found another trio part-painted in a figure case the other day, so I might get some more done before the end of the year! The Stonehaven models have something about them that’s a throwback to the late ’80’s-early ’90’s. In some ways it adds to their charm and in others it makes aspects of the models quite meh. Many of them are quite “flat” in the same way that many one-piece models of that era were, and while the details are great in some spots, they’re a bit flat and plain in others – particularly on faces, and especially on the females (and that skull above!) They’re nice models, but their sculptors are no Perrys, Prows or Adams.

Stonehaven Dwarf Berserker

Stonehaven Dwarf Berserker – with a Slayer-themed hair colour.

Stonehaven Dwarf Berserker

Rather subtly holding that second axe for the upswing into some fool’s jaw…

This guy was started quite some time ago – probably not long after I received my KS models. For some reason he lagged out, and was finally picked up and completed a few days ago alongside Aenur from the previous update. I went for a Dwarf Slayer look, as I figure that a bit of spiky armour doesn’t preclude the seeking of an honourable death in combat. I tried to add some tonal qualities to his weapons and armour to make them look well used without going down the road of rust and decrepitude. He’ll be incorporated in with the other slayer models I’ve shown and worked on, and will likely have an additional role in my eventual larger dwarf projects.

Stonehaven Undead Dwarf

Stonehaven Undead Dwarf

Stonehaven Undead Dwarf

Did the sash and twin hammers denote authority before this dwarf met his fate?

Speaking of decrepitude, here’s the Undead Dwarf. The main feature of this model is his arms and armour, to which I’ve tried to make look both uncared-for but still in use. Hence not going to town with the rust effects. The skull sculpt is lacking a little in terms of definition, and I didn’t want to (couldn’t be bothered to) paint in depth in the maxilla, so I painted it “as is”. I do like having some non-human undead, so he’ll probably find a home in the Undead army in some form eventually, as he was started long before I began to raise the undead hordes.

Stonehaven Unconscious Dwarf

Stonehaven Unconscious Dwarf

Stonehaven Unconscious Dwarf

…and still down.

Dead? Knocked out? Drunk? Or just sleeping? That series of questions explains why this unconscious dwarf is painted and simply laid on a round, plain brown base devoid of all “context markers” like blood, grass, weapons, shield or a helm, or even a beer stein. I wanted to keep this fellow as non-specific as possible so that the model can be as flexible as possible. he could lay slain on a battlefield or lying unconscious on the dirt(y) floor of a cell or a dungeon. He could be passed out in the horse stables after way too much boozing. Whether he’s being used to mark the long sleep or just a nap between goblin-slaying, this guy is done!

Aenur, Sword of Twilight – The Mordheim Elf

I’ve still been relatively quiet on the blogging (and interacting with other bloggers) front as of late. Aside from my wrist injury which has now almost fully recovered, work is heading into the end of year madness that won’t stop until a couple of days before Christmas, which has resulted in my heading up to bed around 7pm to watch TV/YouTube videos until I fall asleep not long after on quite a few occasions. Likewise, the three weeks we had without lights downstairs put a bit of a damper on things, and as a result, lots of my spare time has been spent in Destiny’s latest Rise of Iron expansion instead of painting. The local spate of horrendous weather – though not a bar on what some of my friends around the world have had to cope with – has also made things like spraying and even painting impossible for days on end at times.

Aenur, Sword of Twilight - The Mordheim Elf

You can’t see me!

But, I have gotten some things finished. Here is Aenur, Sword of Twilight. AKA “That Mordheim Elf”. I’ve had him since release, and it naturally took quite a few years before I started on him, and then stopped for quite a few. I started him at least 4-6 years ago and probably longer than that – during the brief period where I decided to add the static basing flock to unfinished, unvarnished models for some unfathomable reason. I do remember having a mental block on him around the embroidered pattern on the inside of his robe – and that was it! Shoved aside for a good half-decade. He’s been back on my paint desk for over a year now, originally part of the “finishing things off” kick I got onto in the latter half of 2015.

Aenur, Sword of Twilight - The Mordheim Elf

Showing the redone and finalised inner robe.

To tell the truth, I’m still not totally satisfied with the patterns on the inner robe, but the addition of some patterns inspired by the triskele combined with vinework create a kind of flowing look that I deemed to be good enough to complete the model with.

Aenur, Sword of Twilight - The Mordheim Elf

…and inside the robe.

In the end I decided to paint all three of his gems in red, rather than the green or blue tones I had been considering. There’s something to be said for models that don’t have a spot of red on them, but in this case I think it works – on the outside he wears a cloak of natural tones, with only the brooch and his earring a hint of the elven finery that hides underneath.

Aenur, Sword of Twilight - The Mordheim Elf

Being windswept, but not all that interesting from this angle.

Aside from Mordheim, he will of course be able to find use in various fantasy roleplaying and gaming instances – from Pathfinder to any dungeon crawl boardgames – and I’m sure I’ll find somewhere for him to stand in the Elven KoW army.

 

Losing my Marble – Reaper Bones Pillars of Good and Evil

Another pair of Bones painted up a few weeks ago, this time it’s Sandra Garrity’s  Pillar of Good and Pillar of Evil from Reaper’s Bones line, from their second Bones Kickstarter.

Reaper Bones 77246: Pillar of Good with Citadel Reiksgard for scale.

Reaper Bones 77246: Pillar of Good with Citadel Reiksgard for scale.

I’ve posed the pillar of good alongside a Reiksgard, as the model has a feel of nobility and goodness. I don’t have any painted SigMarines at this point, so it fell to the knight in shining armour to provide the reference model. No Sir ForScale here!

77247: Pillar of Evil

Reaper Bones 77247: Pillar of Evil with Citadel Dark Elf for scale.

The pillar of evil has a Dark Elf for it’s scale shot. Seems this marble pillar is a bit crooked.

Reaper Bones 77246 Pillar of Good 77247 Pillar of Evil

Reaper Bones Pillars of Good and Evil, side by side.

The pair of these were my first, very rough attempt at painting marble. I’d already started in on both of them before I decided to go with a marble effect rather than simply stone, so perhaps the colours aren’t what they could be. I also based both of them on 32mm citadel bases with a metal washer superglued underneath to give them more stability. As you can see here the Evil pillar isn’t entirely straight because Reaper Bones! They’re not bad pieces, especially for the KS price. Both styles would work better in pairs, but I only have the one of each and I think sourcing a second one of each and then trying to match-paint them is too much mucking about. They’re also probably both more suited to “inside dungeon” type settings than outdoor battlefields.

I used the new “Gloss” versions of Nuln Oil and Axgrax Earthshade on both to see how they perform – the Gloss part not being especially relevant as I varnish my models, but the way that the pigment behaves. I think they did both work well. There was a wash of off-white paint used on the “Good” pillar in an attempt to embed the veins “under” the surface a little. I considered dulling down the bases with some pigments, but I figured that keeping them shiny keeps them a little more flexible in setting.

Anyway, these were pretty quick and easy to do, and it’s another two models done.

 

Minotaurs Space Marines – VI Squad

Minotaurs Space Marines - VI Squad

Minotaurs Space Marines – VI Squad

I finally completed the last of these guys a few weeks ago now. As is usual, they (almost) all got started together and then kinda got split into pairs and trios to get through the detailing stage. I enjoy painting marines more as individuals, and it becomes less of a grind, so it works for me.

Minotaurs Space Marines, Forge World Minotaurs Shoulder Pad, Anvil Industry Vanguard, Puppetswar Temistokles

Minotaurs Space Marines Veteran Sergeant and Plasma Gunner

Minotaurs Space Marines, Forge World Minotaurs Shoulder Pad, Anvil Industry Vanguard, Puppetswar Temistokles

Minotaurs Space Marines, Forge World Minotaurs Shoulder Pad, Anvil Industry Vanguard, Puppetswar Temistokles

The sergeant is a bit of a bits-delve. New tactical legs, a 2nd edition powerfist, Anvil IndustryVanguard” (not-Mk8) chest and cape and topped with a Puppetswar “Temistokles” head. I had to carve off the lower part of the PW helmet to allow it to fit into behind the gorget. The pteruges on both figures come from Anvil again, and the plasma gun came from my stockpile of FW bits. I went RT-old-school with the Plasma Gun paint since it fit in perfectly with the Minotaurs’ weapon casings – red with copper coils. I considered doing something more fancy with his cloak, but he’s just a sergeant and pure red works for Spartans. I’ll get jiggy with someone else’s cloaks down the road, I’m sure.

I haven’t included a link to Puppetswar because despite their designs being utterly fantastic, their service and casting was atrocious. Probably the worst consumer experience I’ve had from an online retailer. Certainly the worst in years. here’s the gallery of my order, and here’s the saga, more or less as it happened. Here’s a post from another bloke that was made after I ordered mine, but before mine had arrived – so you know, it’s not just me. While I’d like to pick up more of their items and see if they’ve improved, I’m just not willing to send more money their way after all of that.

Minotaurs Space Marines, Forge World Minotaurs Shoulder Pad, Anvil Industry Vanguard, Puppetswar Temistokles

Minotaurs Heavy Bolter Gunner and Corporal

Minotaurs Space Marines, Forge World Minotaurs Shoulder Pad, Anvil Industry Spartan Head

Minotaurs Space Marines, Forge World Minotaurs Shoulder Pad, Anvil Industry Spartan Head

Something interesting about this squad is that with the exception of the Sergeant, they are all recycled marines – all of the torsos and legs came from Nerdfest09 over on Dakka, when I purchased the scraps of his Blood Angels/Flesh Eaters force a few months ago. The heavy bolter guy was actually complete and painted by Nerdy and sent as a gift, so he had more of a touch-up to match the rest of the squad (and a FW resin shoulder added along with a new “Spartan” head replacing the bare head that will in turn go on a Carachodon or Flesh Tearer in the future).

The others were in various states, and so most have new heads and all have new arms, as they tended to be more CCW-geared – though a few were headless and many were ‘armless anyway. I bought a couple of sets of Minotaurs pads off FW several years ago, and between the sets there were a few miscasts. FW were kind enough to replace them (their CS is pretty damn good) and so given the theme of this squad, I used a few of those pads here as well. Hopefully they don’t stand out unless you’re really looking for them! The second marine here is the “Coroporal” who will be the second combat squad leader. He was chosen because of the small tabard and MK8 torso.

Minotaurs Space Marines, Forge World Minotaurs Shoulder Pad, Anvil Industry Spartan Head

Minotaurs Space Marines

Minotaurs Space Marines, Forge World Minotaurs Shoulder Pad, Anvil Industry Spartan Head

Minotaurs Space Marines, Forge World Minotaurs Shoulder Pad, Anvil Industry Spartan Head

These three are just standard tactical Space Marine troopers. I tried to match up the shoulder pad types on these guys. Another Anvil Spartan head makes an appearance here as well.

Minotaurs Space Marines, Forge World Minotaurs Shoulder Pad, Anvil Industry Spartan Head

Minotaurs Space Marines

Minotaurs Space Marines, Forge World Minotaurs Shoulder Pad, Anvil Industry Spartan Head

Minotaurs Space Marines, Forge World Minotaurs Shoulder Pad, Anvil Industry Spartan Head

Finally the last three of the squad, including another Spartan head and one marine that had been given some “battle damage” to one of his armoured greaves. The BA arm and bolter came out fine when painted in a non-BA style, and really I’m very happy with how these guys came out – especially as they’re almost all “recycled” marines given new life. As these guys were completed in September, they count as an “additional unit” for my Tale of Gamers painting challenge. I need to try and get something finished this month for the challenge, but it’s going to be bloody hard to do so…

Next up for the Minotaurs will be a Librarian, Captain (or other officer type) and a Dreadnought. I’m waiting on a Devastators box to steal an open right hand for the Captain, and I need to get some very thin plasticard for the Dread, so both of those have stalled out. Once I get back into painting then, I think the Librarian will be next up…

Dust Tactics Supply Drop Boxes

No wanker jokes, please...

No wanker jokes, please…

Since this became a thing last week (along with a roof leak that has had half of the house lights out of action only the night before), I haven’t been doing much proper painting, and typing has been limited to pecking at the keys with one hand. So neither painting nor blogging have been all that much of a thing, and my cleaning up of the paint desk got halfway done (underneath) but I only got as far as cleaning up the Old Citadel/Coat D’Arms/P3 style pots that were scattered about. I’d been wanting to write up a post about the second squad of Minotaurs Space marines I finished recently, but my mood hasn’t been great enough to concentrate on it, so I’m doing this one instead on the scenery I’ve just finished up with this weekend.

Allied DUST Tactics Supply drop crates.

Allied DUST Tactics Supply drop crates.

I have done a little bit of painting of sorts though – more simple scatter scenery. These crates come from the various DUST Tactics boxed sets I’ve accumulated over the years. Like so much in my collection, they sat around unused for ages before I got them out and primed them with PSC US Armour and Dunkelgelb Warspray cans. I did that several months ago, before winter set in and made spraying in any form very difficult. Since I could do very little else with my wrist as it is, I got Marouda to help me out over the weekend and tried out the Plastic Soldier Company spray stains that I purchased several years ago but have avoided using on my models in favour of more controlled washes and so forth applied by brush. I didn’t really enjoy using them, but they did the job – especially once I went over them with a drybrush afterwards (and a little dark spot wash on the US ones). I completed them with a gloss polyurethane varnish afterwards for hardiness, followed by Testor’s Dullcote to give them a nice matt finish.

Axis DUST Tactics Supply drop crates.

The Axis crates were painted in the same manner as the US ones, though painting them and even looking at them now brings huge annoyance, as the assembly line workers in China seem to have mis-assembled several of the crates, as they have three different types of end-cap mixed across two different types of chassis. Still, if I don’t look too hard, I’ll be able to get past it.

Abwurfbehälter with Fallschirmjäger  Abwurfbehälter with Fallschirmjäger

Abwurfbehälter with Fallschirmjäger

This style of supply drop canister is loosely based on the Abwurfbehälter that were used by the Fallschirmjäger during WWII. The real ones went through several iterations – beginning as wood and finally ending up in a metal style that was the most common and well known. In WWII the Abwurfbehälter had specific markings that denoted their contents, though in the case of these Dust ones, I’ve decided to keep mine entirely without markings – so as to be more generic to work more easily across more games – From DUST (if I ever play it) to Konflict ’47 to 30&40k, various 28mm Star Wars games and hell, even moderns or Bolt Action.