Television is rather a frightening business. But I get all the relaxation I want from my collection of model soldiers.
Peter Cushing

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

RATS FROM THE SKIES!




Happy New year, everyone. I'm kicking off with an unexpected project. You can tell it's unexpected because I don't have any narrative to with it. This is one of those cases where the concept presented itself from the miniatures. I'm sure I'll fit it into the AoS setting I'm developing - the Caliburn Reach - for the Narrative Campaign at school somehow, but for now it's just there.

Fpr Christmas this year the Good Lady She Who Must Be Obeyed bought be a shedload of Kharadron because even she likes the idea of steampunk dwarves. However, she took my eldest son into the local games shop and encouraged him to pick something for me - so I also got this:



This is another of those kits which can be built in multiple ways, but my eye was caught by the massive cannon which looked exactly like the kind of thing you could mount on a ship.

And so the idea of a stolen dwarf airship retrofitted as a Skaven Privateer was born.

The main modelling change was to rip open the endrins and replace them with chunks of warpstone. Carved from blue foam, they were randomly splattered with pva meaning that when they were sprayed, they would melt in interesting patterns. The interior of the endrin was built up with bits of sprue and the broken edges and retaining bars made from plasticard.







The rest of the build was more or less stock, but I replaced the crew with Skaven. One I put into a Kharadron suit because the idea simply struck me as really funny. I added a suited tail made from guitar string. As it turns out, he's one of my favourite looking models.




The main gunner had to have a new tail and arms sculpted from greenstuff, which my meagre skills could more or less cover.




The spotter/captain figure was lifted straight from the Plague Claw kit.







The ship was airbrushed with the base blue and then I launched myself into very serious weathering.








Overally this was a fabulously fun little build and a good stretch of the old creative muscles. I'm also left with an almost complete plague claw so I suppose this year will be the Year of the Plague Rat.

I may yet add some rigging to the structure with some Skaven runes; but as yet I don't have a name for this might vessel. If you have any ideas, please leave them in the comments. As per usual I'll nick the one I like the best.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

The Windlord


As regular readers will know, my eldest is obsessed with the Hobbit. For the last year he's been pestering me for an Eagle as he loves the scene at the end of the first movie where the Eagles rescue the dwarves. At £35 for 2, though, it was a bit too expensive to buy him one.

As it happened in one the trade groups on Facebook someone was selling some bits and pieces and i managed to pick one up.

It didn't have a base but I ordered one: I had to fill the gaps with putty but overall it was in good nick.






I basecoated it with the airbrush to get some variation in tone on the wings. A light drybrush to bring out the edges of the feathers and then a filter of Smokey ink.

On the base I tried an experiment from a Bolt Action group I'm a member of, using coffee filter papers for the leaf cutter. It's effective but more with the brown than the particular green I chose this time.




Anyway, one very happy little boy which is as good a way as any to end 2017.

2018 will be starting with a new project so stay tuned.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Franz walked into the house, throwing hius muddy tunic in to the corner. As Brunhilde watched, he dunked his head in the washbasin and vigorously rubbed the dirt from the days labours from his broad, weatherbeaten face. 

"Sigmar's balls, Hil," he said, sinking into the chair at the rickety table, "I don't understand. Years, years beyond the counting of it, I've fought that rocky, dusty earth out there and managed to scrape enough to eat. But this year..." He turned and looked out of the window; through the thin animal skin that covered the opening, the light was green. "Everything I drop on the ground sprouts. I've never seen like it. Old Grunwald from the other side of the dale is wanting to buy some of our seeds. I simply don't understand." He sighed, then looked at his wife where she laboured over the pot. 

Brunhilde smiled, and went back to stirring the thick, green stew. She knew. The Gardeners were generous. 

Grandfather would provide.

In areas where the Realm of Life bleeds into the other realms, you find oases of verdant growth. But not all life is safe. The Gardeners of Nurgle toil endlessly to tend the fertility of areas where the walls between the realms are thin; as their labours intensify, the plants and animals grow to inordinate, bloated size. The smell of thick, rich loam and mulch hangs heavy in the air and flies crawl across the hot surface of over-ripe fruits. And when the Garden is fertile and strong enough, Grandfather will send one of His Chosen Grandchildren to claim that area for his own, and spread His gifts far and wide.

*********

This is a project somewhat related to my Carnival of Nurgle and is my first purpose built Age of Sigmar Skirmish Warband for the school club.







I'm also going to go so far as to say that these are the paintjobs I'm proudest of all year. So here's some shots of them against a white background to show off the colours.










Each of the characters had fairly substantial conversions to help bring them in line with the concept of the Gradeners of Nurgle. The plague lord lost his axe - although the blade migrated to his back - and gained a hammer from the Necromunda set and a number of branches.





The first rotbringer was built around the chassis of a dryad to help with the arboreal theme; a fair amount of greenstuff allowed the marrying of the two kits.





The second rotbringer, the herald of our merry little band, grew some branches from his back in order to hold the icon of Papa.




I hope everyone had a great Christmas. Is anyone going to Vap in York in Feb? I might venture down this year.

Based on the presents I got this year, the next few weeks are going to be quite heavily fantasy based. Starting with something with a pleasingly piratty theme...

E