Saturday, 4 February 2017

Primarch Angron Conversion

The last twelve months has seen a great rise in the popularity of Horus Heresy or "30k" in my gaming group thanks to the Betrayal at Calth box set, and after dipping our toe into some of the heresy-specific missions last year we have kicked off 2017 with a campaign loosely based upon the battle at Isstvan III, using some of the rules from Forgeworld's "Betrayal" adapted to our own models and armies.

One of the key missions in the campaign was the arrival of the World Eaters Primarch Angron on the planet's surface, with he and his traitor allies desperate to wipe the loyalists that survived the virus bombings. With the loyalists in the lead so far in our campaign, the traitors were desperate for a big win and needed and appropriately inspiring model to lead their force. 

Quite regularly I feel like the world's slowest painter, but with only two weeks until the big game I pulled out my still on sprue Khorne Bloodbound force and started hacking away until I had a rough approximation of pose using the Khorne Leader and a few random axes from the warriors. Adding some legion specific markings and fur from greenstuff, and an evening's painting later he was ready for battle. 

Although he stands barely taller than a regular terminator he still commands enough presence on the tabletop to be a good stand in for a single game here and there, and thankfully counts as a "Games Workshop" model for the purposes of gaming at my local store. I'll share some photos of his (not so) epic invasion of the planet in our game very soon! Apologies for the blurry photo above.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Lord Commander Eidolon Conversion

It's been a full twelve months since Bertrayal at Calth was released and I started work on my Emperor's Children army but I'm afraid to say that it has taken almost a year to finally find a purple colour scheme that I am happy with. Only recently have I settled on a "final" scheme, and only on this conversion would I consider it finished, though there is always room for improvement...

I didn't go all out on the details for this gaming model as I am well behind on the rest of the army, though the gold is done in a newer "true metallic metal" style using some tips from a recent White Dwarf. As for the purple? No washes, no glazes, no two-brush-blending, just a little rough feathering with pink and some edge highlighting for the details. A real joy to paint without any of the "painters block" which usually accompanies a commander type model, let's hope that translates well moving on to painting the rest of the army!

The model itself is based on the recent Ultramarine Herald model which was languishing in my local shop for many weeks. An over-priced and poorly sculpted piece of nonsense (GW plastics are so amazing these days I wonder why they bother with these special resin models? I guess my purchase confirms they sell...) I still saw potential and enjoyed converting this commander model using the already oversized legs and torso of the herald to great effect. Add in some harlequin pieces for the hairdo (hello Skrillex!) and I have a fairly reasonable conversion for my updated army list. I am working on some Tartaros Terminators at the moment, I look forward to sharing these with you all in the New Year!

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Completed: AOS Death Army

It's been a busy summer without blogging though I have used my hobby time well, not only dipping my toe into Age of Sigmar with the release of the General's Handbook but completing a full 1000 point Death army in a little under two months! Controversy regarding the games system aside, I found once I knew how many models were required to make a small force I was quite happy to pick up a start collecting box and a couple of units to not only finish my first army in two years but try out a new game with painted models!

Although the photos aren't the best, neither is the army designed to win any painting awards. After a lot of deep thought I have found the airbrush to be my kryptonite when it comes to painting enthusiasm. I would get a whole lot of models assembled and base coated quickly then lose interest in finishing an army with rows and rows of flat colour staring back at me. As such all these models were assembled and painted one unit at a time, using brushes only, basic basing and no conversions.

Another big decision in getting these models to the table quickly was cutting down the number of painting steps and colours. I utilised a lot of washes and drybushing, and the small units and limited palette kept things moving along. You can see the standard bearer in the photo above looks slightly different as he was an early test model using glazes and feathering which I quickly abandoned as the other test models took half the time and looked even better on the tabletop! Instead of choosing three technical paints (corrosion,rust,oxide) I stuck with just the one oxide paint and I think it really matches the snow-like theme of the army and dulls down the metals quite well.

These Harbingers were from a friend's 40k chaos army and were being used as Daemon Princes in an earlier army list. After not seeing them on the table for quite a while due to a list change I was thrilled that he was happy for me to me to paint them up for my new Death Army. We have quite a history of swapping models back and forth, and he warned me the main issue he had with them was painting the wings - he wasn't lying! I think it took nearly four episodes of The Walking Dead to get these guys finished.

Mannfred was my first foray into large scale fantasy models from GW, and it was quite intricate to put together! My one learning experience was gluing sections and allowing them to set overnight before continuing with the model, and I used this technique when assembling the skeletons as well. Unlike a lot of larger 40k models I found this one did not need pinning as a lot of the sub-sections had generous gluing points which were quite strong. The model does bounce a little when moved and I lost one of the ghouls in transit but I'm very happy with how he looks on the tabletop (he is also a beast in game!).

It has been really refreshing to get a whole army finished so quickly, and it has really helped me to learn how to play Age of Sigmar without worrying about how a unit performs/whether it is worth painting or even buying in the first place. My local store runs a lot of events at 1000pts so it will be good to get involved in a few of these without worrying about the "meta" or boring things like that. I have already had some really close games where even the skeletons proved decisive, the rules set seems to allow for most armies to be relatively competitive from what I have seen, and I am excited to try out the new missions with my fully painted army.

It's been too long since I could say that!

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Fulgrim Conversion/Scratchbuild

It's been a busy couple of months without much hobby time or clear direction for my new Horus Heresy army, but the drought has finally broken and I'm back with a new model to share with you guys! After finally having a game or two using official source books at larger points levels (and with updated Emperor's Children rules), I decided it was time to 'speed' convert a Fulgrim model using an equivalent 40k sized character, an Avatar of Khaine. This gave me a great head start in the proportions and I eventually completed the conversion in one week. I have included some progress pictures below, though I may still change the hands as they are too big!

After one evening's work I was able to remove most of the unwanted parts from the Avatar model, as well as pose the limbs in roughly the right position to match the official model so that even if my conversion wasn't spot on it would still be recognisable on the table. It was at this point I realised the hands were way too large and had to go!

The next few nights were spent building up the armour with the assistance of some brass wire, adding in details and generally avoiding the harder parts like the hands and head. With a goal to finish in under one week I was up early mixing and applying green stuff before work to ensure the next stage was ready to go without clumsy fingers wrecking the previous sculpting. After a lot of image searching it became obvious I would never match all the details on the official model, and I relaxed my goals a little and let the detail work begin with a gaming model in mind rather than display piece.

The head worked relatively well from a rough blob on a piece of cork, modifying the forehead, adding eyes and then working on the hair. This was the first time I used a scalpel for the sharp lines and I was happy with how the hair turned out especially. I also purchased a rounded oil paint putty tool which was great for smoothing out surfaces without leaving sharp edges. At this stage I was already seeing the model coming together and keen to see it finished!

All of the next steps involved a compromise between detail, the conversion timeframe and knowing I am a clumsy gamer who knocks models over a lot! I sculpted the cape flat in the bench before molding it to the rough shape and gluing it to reinforcing brass wire drilled into the model's back. Likewise the leather straps were often glued to the model at another point to prevent them breaking, and the small green stuff balls received a layer of super glue to keep them in place once dried.

These are the photos from the last evening of modding before entering it into a local store's conversion competition. I was resigned to the fact I couldn't finish the hands in time, so did my best to sculpt smaller versions of the Avatar hands until I have a chance to return to the model in future. A beautifully modified and painted Mechanicum conversion from a Necron C'tan model beat me in the competition, so I was able to get the model back early and have a couple of games with him. After three losses without Fulgrim, my Emperor's Children are now undefeated since their Primarch joined them on the field of battle! I look forward to sharing some of my painted models in future, I am still dreaming up new ways to paint purple, so far a blue undercoat looks to be a winner...

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Saul Tarvitz Conversion

With my Emperor's Children slowly growing from Betrayal at Calth box set bits, I turned my attention to building a leader for smaller games while I earn myself enough painting "points" to build some of the more mobile units I have planned for the army. He is made entirely from bits box parts including a random arm which had been stripped of paint and a cape which I first tried two brush blending on. I love the look of the bright red coloured cape against the dark purple on some of my other work in progress models, so he should stand out on the tabletop!


Equipped in the rules with a "sniper rifle" boltgun and "heavy" two-handed duelling blade, I made the best approximations with the bits I had available though the sword is comically large and probably not balanced correctly for a one hand hold. I have kept the armour simple to designate his less pretentious background (using some MkIV running legs as a nod to the heresy era army) though with enough details to work with once painting begins!