Mors Omnia Aequalia

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Greetings, fellow humanoids. Wow, it has been quite some time since I posted anything – simple reason for that… it has been ages since I painted anything!! To be honest, I’ve been in a bit of a funk of late – life has been a bit up & down, and my motivation levels have been pretty much non-existent. I don’t think I’m back to 100% yet, but with gritted teeth, I managed to get some paint down. I don’t know about you guys & gals, but whenever I’m coming out of a slump, I like to tackle something straight forward to get my juices flowing. I find that undead are a great candidate for that, so after a quick rummage in the lead pile, I picked out some cool zombies from the ‘March of the Dead’ kickstarter from last year. Sculpted by the rather excellent Philip Hynes, these minis are the perfect addition to my eclectic undead horde and were all painted in an unfussy way, mostly with washes.

 

First up, let’s look at some of the ‘regular’ zombies from the range:

There’s a definite black humour, self-mutilation vibe going on with this group – for example, Mr. face-peeler is definitely processing some issues! Highlights in this group are the attitude farmer giving it the finger, and the manic grin on the headless lady. I’m chuffed to have another zombie lady and an undead dwarf to add to my army – death is an equal opportunities employer after all! The anatomy demonstration mini is a pretty cool concept too, and would be a great piece to include in a suitably macabre diorama.

 

Next, we have this trio of ‘big ‘uns’:

There is less humour on display here, but these guys are just straight-up awesome. The minotaur & Ogre add yet more diversity to my zombie horde, but I decided to paint the ‘crypt thing’ as a living creature – he/she/it is probably going to be the start of a small Ghoul contingent.

 

Finally, here we have the real reason I was drawn to the KS in the first place –  undead farm animals:

These three beasties really push the boundaries when it comes to adding diversity to my undead army – I love the image of all manner of corpses being used in an undead army… death cares not from whence the clay comes after all! I must admit, that pig is about the most disturbing thing I have ever painted… it’s enough to put me off bacon sandwiches! (ok, so that is an exaggeration – nothing could put me off a bacon butty)

 

Here’s the whole group together (minus the crypt thing):

 

Anyhoo, that’s it for now folks – I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing these weird & wonderful additions to my legions of undeath! I’ll try and keep the momentum up and get back into the swing of things with some more Eru-Kin and maybe a bit of Necromunda. Catch y’all on the flip-side 🙂

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Olivia Neutron-Bomb

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Greetings Terrans, I hope you’re all well, and that life is being kind. I have a quick post to share with you today – ‘Olivia Neutron Bomb’ is the BOYL 2017 event mini, and is a beautiful sculpt by John Pickford, organised & designed by Old Hammer stalwart Axiom. Most intriguingly, she is closely based on this classic bit of Rogue Trader art:

I actually had Olivia based and primed as part of my Fembruary effort, but I didn’t get around to painting her because she didn’t quite fit the post-apocalypse gang that I had going on. However, she is such a brilliantly strong female mini, so I knew that I wanted to include her somewhere…  Then I remembered these guys from 2016, and I figured that Olivia would be the perfect unit leader for this bunch of reprobates. I broke out my Kantor Blue and started laying down some colour, keeping to the same palette that I used on the older minis but opting to follow the RT artwork rather than freestyling it quite as much as I did on the original guys. Here she is, in all her glory:

The trousers were a real pain – I wanted to keep close to the artwork, but also use the same palette as for the rest of the squad. I think I got there in the end, but her snazzy pants took a few iterations. Otherwise she was a joyful thing to paint – she’s a really lovely mini with such a great story. Here she is leading her team of ultimate bad-asses through the streets of some backwater shithole planet:

So that’s it for now folks, I hope you’ve enjoyed my take on Olivia! I’ll be going dark for a couple of weeks, (a lot of work & life stuff coming up), but I’ll catch you all soon enough. Have a good one 🙂

Frogs of WAR!!!

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Greetings Earthlings, sorry it has been a while, but I’ve been on a break, so meh 🙂   I had a lovely time hiking with the kids last week – we racked up 60 miles (each) over five days, which is pretty incredible when you consider my youngest is only 8! I’d be back out there now if I could, and even though the weather was crap, the worst day out on the hills is way better than a sunny day in the office… But alas, RL demanded my return, so I have been easing back into the usual routine this week. As such, I only managed to finish up three more Eru-Kin for my planned BOYL army, but these three are kind of interesting because I didn’t really have a clear idea of how they would fit in to the overall army I have in mind… Undeterred, I’ve been painting them slowly in between other jobs & hoping for some inspiration along the way. See what you make of them:

Paint-wise, these guys got my usual Eru-Kin treatment, so nothing exciting to talk about there, (though I did try out the Windsor & Newton artist inks that I mentioned last month on the skin for a more vivid colouration). While painting, I did have the hoped-for inspiration in terms of how they would fit in with the army and theme. The two shield guys look kind of honour-guardy to me, so they could easily flank any character to provide some additional protection, but the other chap was more difficult to figure out… He is marketed as a Musician, and is a cracking mini, but I’m not sold on the whole ‘command group in space’ idea from the RT era – I don’t know why, but it doesn’t quite click for me, so I knew I wouldn’t be using him in his intended role. I did consider using him as some kind of sonic weapon specialist, or maybe a comms operator, but I discounted these ideas because I felt that he would become a bit too anonymous… To be honest, I love the mini and felt that deserved a more prestigious role! Then I had a major flash of inspiration:

Ya see where I’m going with this? That’s right folks, I’m going to use him as a Beast Caller – a rare and highly specialised caste among the Eru-Kin, and therefore worthy of respect and protection from an honour guard. I imagine that the Beast Caller uses his mysterious ululations to repel rare and dangerous indigenous reptiles from the settlement during peace time, but uses these skills to summon them and drive them to assault the enemy in time of war. I see four major attractions to this concept:

1: This should provide an interesting dynamic in-game, with a powerful assaulting force underpinned by a comparatively fragile single link… What would the beasts do if the Caller gets killed? Rampage? Escape? Revenge?

2: It gives me a perfect and long-awaited excuse rational reason to go and buy some lovely minis that I have had my eye on for ages – Toy-Hammer is well and good, but I have the perfect range of pulp dinos in mind for this part of the project… I’ll keep you guys guessing on that for a while 😉

3: The visual impact on the army should be superb – it gets me out of the need for vehicles to add bulk and height to the force, but most importantly, Dinosaurs are frickin’ awesome, and any excuse to get them involved in an army should be grasped with both claws. Immediately.

4: I get to legitimately use the word ‘ululation’ in conversation.

So there we have it – a small but interesting development on the Eru-Kin project. So, what’s next? Well… I’m away on business the week after next so that kind of disrupts any major plans in the short term, but I want to get some more undead sorted out, and I have a load more Eru-Kin to get organised. It’s only(!) 14ish week until BOYL, and I still have heavy fire support, assault, and psyker support to add, plus some Dinosaurs to get sorted! It looks like I’ll be waiting a while for the weather to improve enough for a mass priming session so I suspect that the next week will be all about assembly & basing… It’s necessary work, but very boring for you guys, so I’ll try and finish a mini that has been sat around in her undercoat for a while & do a post before I hit the road again.

Cheers dudes, keep it (un)real 😉

The Tower of the Dead

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Greetings all, I have a cheeky little terrain post to share with you today – I recently took delivery of a rather sexy little pre-painted tower thingy from a Kickstarter that I backed ages ago. When I first got it, it looked like this:

 

Not bad for a pre-painted piece, but I wanted to embellish it a bit & paint it up to match my Garden of Morr. A quick lick of paint, and I ended up with this:

 

Pretty cool, but ‘so far, so what’ right? I mean, it’s a nice enough tower and all that, but not really deserving of a post all to itself, is it? Well dear reader, this tower does tricks… check this out:

 

How mad is that! The tower is actually the ‘Dark Crypt fog machine’ from Real Game FX, and it houses a pump & ultrasonic transducer (a what now?!?)… The bottom of the tower is basically a reservoir, you turn on the gubbins and voila – instant cold fog comes pouring out of the door & windows. Here are a few examples of me playing around with the photographic possibilities:

 

How good is that eh?! As an added bonus, the guts of the machine come out, so with some clever modelling, I should be able to make other ‘cases’ for the worky-bitz to go in – a venting sci-fi tower, mysterious jungle ruins, whatever I fancy really! Now, I should point out that the fog is (duh) wet… Sounds obvious, but it really is very very wet, and this quickly makes everything around it wet as well. Also, the wires are a bit unsightly from anywhere other than a front-on view, so the tower will only look good around the edge of your board. Also it can be a bit splashy… The pump draws the water from the reservoir at the bottom of the tower, up an internal tube, and on to the sonic doo-dah – it is quite vigorous, and I did find that a bit of water came out of the windows & door. It’s also a pain in the arse to set up, difficult to fill once it is set up, it makes watery noises while running & makes me want to pee, and all the drying & faffing really adds to the packing away time, (I had to leave the models used in these photos out to dry after taking these pics for example). To be honest, it isn’t hugely practical for gaming… But I don’t care – it’s just so cool! I certainly won’t use it in every game, but I love this idea for marking cinematic moments in specific scenarios or for special occasions. It’s also great for the occasional photo shoot, where the impracticalities of the system are less of an issue. All in all, I’m really glad I backed the Kickstarter 🙂

Anyway, that’s me for the next couple of weeks – I’m taking the kids hiking next week and I don’t plan to be on line at all while I’m away, so I’ll catch you all on the flip side. After that, I aim to add more Eru-Kin to my BOYL 2018 army, and I have a load of undead to get based & painted as well… Should be fun!

The last Banshee (for now) – Candy

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Hello chaps & chapettes, I have a very quick update to share today – it has been a funny week with not too much painting, but I did wrap up the last of the Ghosts of Gia*. I’m calling this one ‘Candy’:

 

‘…but Alex, why is her skin blue?’ I hear you ask… (you were asking that, right?)   Weeeell… Candy is actually the oddest of ‘odd ones out’ in the range, because she is the only one who isn’t wearing either a helmet or a re-breather! I was mulling ideas about how to deal with this, including toying with the idea of converting her, but decided to keep her ‘as is’. I then I thought to painting her as a mutant – some genetic twist that allowed her to breath the toxic atmosphere of whatever sump/hive/deathworld that the Banshees happen to come from. The idea grew on me – it was fun from a painting perspective, but it also says a lot about the ethos of the Banshees I think… I really like that they would accept a mutant into the gang, and that their shared femininity is more important to them than anti-mutant prejudice. Speaking of the gang, here’s the whole heart-breaking, life-taking, bad-assery of ’em:

 

So, that’s it for this week – told you it was a quickie! That also wraps up the Banshees for the time being*, and I’m really happy to have focused in on painting a bunch of ‘realistic’ sci-fi women that were only ever made thanks to the determination of Annie Norman (of Bad Squiddo fame) to address the paucity of believable female minis in the hobby. Thank you too to Cupcakesandmachetes for including this effort on your ‘Celebrate the Ladies’ event – there’s some great stuff going on over there, and I’m glad that Annie’s work is represented.

Next week I’ll have a cool bit of scenery to finish & share with you all, (trust me, you’ll love it!), plus I have a few half-finished Eru-Kin that might get done as well. Hobby time gets a bit choppy after that with holidays & work travel coming up fast, but we’ll see how it all goes. Have a great weekend & catch you next week 🙂

 

*I’m actually missing one mini from the first run of the Ghosts of Gia, (fuck knows where she’s gone!), plus the second Kickstarter is due to drop through my letterbox any time now… Yey!! 🙂

More femmes fatal – Voodoo, Cascade & Belladonna

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Greetings Earthlings, I have three new recruits for the Banshees to share with you today – yes, I’m still working my way through the delightful Ghosts of Gia 1, but there seems to be a slight change of vibe going on with a couple of minis in the tail-end of the range. Take a look, and you’ll see what I mean!

First we have a rogue psyker that I’m calling Voodoo. I seem to recall that the official background had something about her being ravaged by her own psychic energy, hence all the bandages. I really liked that idea, so went with the theme by washing what little flesh you can see to make it look burned and disfigured. Glowing eyes and Storm-esque hair complete the look, making it clear that this lady is channelling some serious power:

 

Next we have a more traditional sci-fi soldier type that I’m calling Cascade. This is one of the ‘odd-one-out’ minis in the range – in that she departs significantly from the post-apoc style… so much so that I didn’t feel it appropriate to go with the late 80’s punk/new romantic painting vibe. Instead, I’ve used several of the colours that I’m using to tie the gang together, but in a more limited way that is secondary to a more utilitarian palette. I also experimented with some Windsor & Newton artist inks for the visor – the inks are very heavily pigmented liquid shellac with a naturally glossy finish. I’m pretty happy with how the visor came out, but might go back and add an extra  layer of clear gloss to give it some depth:

 

Finally, we have another ‘odd-one-out’ that I’m calling Belladonna. Of all the Ghosts of Gia, she is probably the biggest departure from the post-apoc vibe, and as a result, she has a very different paint job, (I can’t even begin to get my head around what a punk/NR sniper in ghillie suit might look like!). What I ended up with is a pretty boring paint job, but I did have a play with the Windsor & Newton inks to give some areas of armour a glossy look, and I also tried a different visor colour.

 

Visually, these three are hard to reconcile with the rest of the crew, (Voodoo less so maybe, but certainly Cascade & Belladonna are a poor fit), but I imagine that the Banshees are a loose confederation of survivors rather than the rigid ‘one look’ kind of gang that GW peddle, so fuck it – they can be outlanders, bounty hunters, or whatever. Whichever way you look at it, they make for a deadly looking trio :

 

I have just one more mini to finish from this range, plus some random Eru-Kin to wrap up before I paint up the stunning female Imperial Guardswoman from BOYL last year. After that, I’ll be getting some more undead on the table (zombies, skellies and some random monsters), more Eru-Kin (assault, heavy support & magic), and maybe some Wild-West Necrons… All good fun!