Leadballoony’s 3rd Fembruary Challenge!!

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Greetings Terrans, I can’t believe it, but February has rolled around again – must be time for another Fembruary challenge!! Long-time followers of this blog will know the drill by now, but for any Johny-come-lately’s, the deal is ‘Paint at least one Female miniature’ – it’s that simple! I’m not bothered what genre, game, manufacturer, painting style or material you go with. It can be a squad, a single mini, a diorama, or whatever takes your fancy… I’m just looking for awesome portrayals of the feminine in miniature form, as part of an ongoing conversation about how women are presented within our hobby.

Once you’re done, you just need to blog about it & link back to this post. I would also be grateful if you could use your own blogs to push the challenge even further – the more, the merrier after all! I’ll do a round-up in early March, (usually in time for International Women’s Day), where I will also choose my favourite from the submissions. There are no prizes, just kudos & high fives from your peers. To give you an idea of what I mean, here’s a link to the submissions from 2018 and 2019.

For my part, I’ll be revisiting my Daughters of Khaine & adding to the warband of Seros the Red:

See you on the other side ;-)

 

Counter Culture

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Greetings Terrans, just a quickie from me today – I managed to get a quick game of Blood Bowl in last week, and so I bashed out a few counters to use instead of the standard ones. They weren’t quite finished for the game, but I’ve tidied them up this weekend & thought I would share.

For those not in the know, Blood Bowl games primarily track three things – Turn, Re-rolls and Score. Many coaches create their own snazzy counters to match their team, so I came up with these:

 

Simple things, but they are fun & are a sign of ‘doing it right’ in BB circles 😊

As for the game itself – turns out Wood Elves are bloody good… even when coached by a noob like me! I wanted to try as many positional players as I could, so I took 2 War Dancers and a Treeman, but I only had 1 re-roll for the team… A risky strategy, but the Corpse-Wood Wails comfortably ran out 2 – 0 winners against well coached a Human team. Come on the Wails!!!

Inq28 style Grim-Bowl team

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Greetings Terrans, how goes it? I have a fun post for you today, as I have finished a quick project to create a Blood Bowl team. As usual for me, I wanted the minis in my team to do more than one job, so they needed to stand as their own thing as well as work as a BB team. I tried the same trick about 3 years ago when I made and painted a bunch of AdMech servitors that could double as an Undead BB team.

Coincidentally, I’ve gone back almost 3 years for the inspiration behind my latest team, and I revisited some ideas that I’ve been kicking around since I took part in The Chapel project… Long-time followers of this blog might remember that I had a lot of input into the Albino Forest – a setting that was used as part of the Chapel campaign. During the project, I bashed together some grim denizens of the forest, and even put together a short story to introduce some of my ideas. There was something about the concept of the tree-devils in particular that has been tickling away at the back of my mind ever since, and creating a horror-themed Blood Bowl team was the perfect excuse to dip back into my Sylvaneth bitsbox for another journey to the Albino Forest.

I loosely had the idea of using the tree-devil concept to build a Wood Elf team – a very literal interpretation one might say! A starting Wood Elf team can go one of two ways – either 2 Wardancers, a catcher and a bunch of linemen, or a Wardancer, a Treeman, a catcher, and a bunch of linemen… There are a few less common builds that involve fewer re-rolls, more catchers and/or a thrower, and I wanted the flexibility to experiment, so I ended up with the following list:

  • 8 Linemen
  • 2 Catchers & 1 Thrower
  • 2 Wardancers
  • 1 Treeman

The ‘linemen’ are all based on the Dryad mini – a hard-working but basic monopose plastic body with separate arms. I’ve trimmed and matched the arms, and I replaced the heads with skulls & sculpted in vines & tendrils for ‘hair’. The Catchers and Thrower are variations on the theme, just tweaked for a more catchy or throwy pose. Note the slight colouration of the ‘hair’ to denote role:

 

The Wardancers are unconverted Spite Revenants – I love these minis, so there really wasn’t anything I wanted to change! The sharp-eyed among you will notice that there are 3 of them, even though you can only have 2 in a team… I’ll explain the spare in a bit:

 

The Treeman is a re-posed Kurnoth Hunter, (obviously, he is too short to be more than a sapling compared to a real modern Treeman, but he is the perfect size for Blood Bowl). I brought the legs together so that he could fit a standard 32mm base, and I trimmed back the most extravagant branches. Again, I swapped the head, this time bringing in a bestial skull that I liked:

 

And here’s the Wood Elf team assembled in a few different ways:

 

So remember that spare Wardancer? Well, as I was building the minis I was debating whether to swap out the heads or not, but I felt that the Spite heads had a really nice vampiric look to them, and I decided to keep them. I also watched Dracula over Christmas, (superb TV btw!), and putting two and two together, I thought I’d check out Vampire teams in Blood Bowl. Turns out that they are really simple teams to build, as there are only 2 types of player – Vamps and Thralls. The only real decision is how many Vamps to include in your team… They are excellent individual players, and mathematically, you can take up to 6, but you would be mad to do so… Vamps roll for Bloodlust every turn they try to activate, with a 1 in 6 chance of failing. If they fail, you either burn a re-roll and hope for the best, feed on a Thrall, (stunning said Thrall), or bugger off to feast on the crowd… Basically, Vamp teams need to balance the number of Vamps with statistics, the number of re-rolls, and the number of Thralls available to snack on.

Most starting rosters suggest 2 Vamps, 10 Thralls, 5 rerolls, but you can reasonably push your luck with 3 Vamps/10 Thralls/4RRs. That’s why I did a spare Wardancer folks – so I can run the three as Vampires, and use the Dryads as Thralls:

 

And here’s one final pic of the lot together, and a reminder that these minis are not just a pair of Blood Bowl teams, but are a horror-inspired warband in their own right:

 

I have a feeling that I may return to the Albino Forest setting again and again… The thing is, the Albino Forest of my imagination is a wonderful and terrible place. It is not a single group of trees, but rather a multi-dimensional network of flora that spans time and space. It exists in patches across the 40k universe, but can also be found in the Mortal Realms of AoS, or the Old World. It is a place that can be visited in the worlds of Frostgrave, Erehwon, and Shadow Deep… You can find it on Toril, on Midkemia, and on Middle Earth… If you’re lucky, you can even find it in right here on our world, in our time – just ask Wudugast!

Go outside, visit an ancient and deserted piece of woodland in Autumn or Winter, and let the small hairs on the back of your neck guide you… you might just find yourself in a small part of the Albino Forest, where the normal laws of nature are twisted and the dead do not rest easy…

See you on the other side ;-)

 

Saying Adios to 2019 – the last of the Eru-Kin

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Greetings Terrans, and happy MMXX to you all – I trust you all had a good holiday season, and are fit, healthy, and looking forward to 2020. I apologise in advance – this is a slightly belated post, and is just a quicky to show off the last of the things I painted in 2019. I finally managed to complete the small Eru-Kin army I’ve been working on, wrapping up the force with some psychic support.

First up, here is a duplicate pair of fantasy style mages:

Next a duplicate pair of sci-fi mages (same body, different arms):

Not too much to say about this quartet really – they are identical pairs of very similar models, and are all painted in much the same way. I did add some gold elements to their helmets, and I reversed the armour colouring compared to the non-magical Eru-Kin, just to separate them visually from the rest of their tribe. I also include some bone coloured armour pads here and there, for the same reason.

 

Finally, here’s their superior – a high-mage type:

He’s a very imposing mini, and is clearly the magical heavyweight of the group! He was good fun to paint, and I pushed the armour colouring a little further from ‘normal’ to reflect his status. I also went for albino skin to show how special he is, and I’m really pleased with how it came out! (This was a very happy experiment with the new white contrast paint).

 

Here they are as a group:

In practice, these magical frogs will be split them up & assigned to squads within the army – speaking of which, I’m planning on getting my Eru-Kin packed up properly soon to make some space in my display cabinet. When I do, I’ll make a point of arranging them all for an army photo session & share 😊

 

Anyhow, that’s it for the time being, but fear not – my next project is already well under way. When finished, it should make for an interesting group of minis with a nice woodsy horror vibe…  There should be enough minis and variation to allow me to make up either a team of Blood Bowl Wood Elves, or a team of Blood Bowl Vampires! Both teams have low positional variation, (especially the Vamps), and are very amenable to proxy figures. Fingers crossed it all goes to plan!! 😉

Eru-Kin Rogue Trader

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Greetings Terrans, Merry Wotsits and a Happy DooDah to you all. I have a quick bit of painting to share – a continuation of my efforts to work through a few Eru-Kin that didn’t make it to BOYL last year. This time, it’s the ‘Rogue Trader pet Jagla’:

This mini was a beauty to paint – loads of fun bits to pick out, but unlike most of the range, loads of nice variation in texture too. I’ve kept the same colours going for the armour, but went with a ragged earthy look for the cloak & leather. I see him as some kind of pariah, standing outside normal Eru-Kin society, but maybe dipping in and out as it suits him. I painted him with dark skin to reflect his outcast status – high-caste Slann are described as having brighter skin in the RT, so I figured that the opposite should hold true.

His pet Jagla was a straight forward model to paint – I kept it fairly muted to work nicely with the Trader. I actually used contrast paints on this, but supplemented this with ‘proper’ shading and highlighting. The eyes were fiddly to pick out, but otherwise a nice & simple job.

So that’s it for now – all in all, these were a very satisfying pair to paint, and they’ll work perfectly with my (slowly) growing collection of non-combatant minis. I’m down to the last handful of neglected Eru-Kin now, so I’m aiming to wrap them up over Christmas, and then I can hit the new year with some new projects. I have thoughts of building an Inq28 style  Wood Elf BB team, and also expanding my Daughters of Khaine to a playable Warcry warband… Fingers crossed!

Have a good one dudes, be cool 😊

Eru-Kin – On Guard!

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Greetings Terrans, how goes it? I have a quick(ish) update for you today – I’ve been plugging away at my unfinished pile of Eru-Kin, and managed to get these two chaps finished:

 

They are lovely minis, and really look like some kind of ceremonial honour guard to me, so I’ll probably have them looking after one of the leading characters in the army:

 

A strange thing happened while I was painting these guys – I kept having the irrepressible urge to do something like this with them:

 

After some pondering, I realised that there was a huge amount of similarity with this piece of classic Dragon Lance art:

 

This (and many other) Larry Elmore paintings are etched deep in my memory… cue wobbly flash-back video effect, a la Wayne’s World… (yes, you can make the noise if you like)…

Many moons ago, I wandered into a small bookshop in my local town, and I stumbled across a book called ‘The Art of the Dragonlance Saga’. I spent at least an hour flicking through the pages, and it blew my mind… I was reading Fantasy novels by this point, but this was before I had encountered any genre art, and way before I discovered Warhammer. I knew I needed this book in my life, so I saved up for weeks and weeks to be able to buy it, (pocket money was slim in 80’s South Wales). I think it is telling that this is one of the few books I can actually remember buying… It had everything my juvenile brain could ever want to see – mighty barbarians, elven babes, knights, dwarfs, floating castles, monsters, undead, dragons, wizards… The list goes on and on, and many of the pictures were slavishly studied & copied by my amateur hand.

I moved on from this style of sword & sorcery art as my tastes matured and I discovered the grim-dark insanity of Warhammer, but for a brief time, this book was like a magic portal for me, and was one of my favourite things. In fact, I still had this on my bookshelf up until last year, relatively unloved and rarely opened. That changed when my young niece, who is showing a lot of artistic talent, started drawing dragons. The book was duly passed on, and is now one of her favourite things – I absolutely love it when I go to visit & she shows me the paintings that were inspired by her exploration of it.

 

Anyway, that’s it for this post – what do you guys think? Do you reckon this painting was the inspiration for these particular miniatures? Was there a favourite book/magazine/film that got you hooked into geekdom back in the day? Drop a comment below & let me know dudes!