Somewhere over the Skumbo

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Greetings Terrans, how goes it? Another quick post from yours truly today – I have another 5 Scumbos completed for the Wolf Time campaign:

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This takes me up to 65% completed for the Ork side of the campaign! Again, these started life as Fantasy Orcs, but were remodelled with pistols & swords to fit the scenario. These were a bit more involved than the last lot, due to being Archers in their former lives. This meant that there was a bit more ‘making good’ needed where their quivers were removed, and awkward arm poses were rationalised. Here’s a reverse shot to show all pouches and whatnot that I used to hide the cutting:

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I have been busy on the building side of things as well as the painting, and I know that seeing a trickle of painted Orks is somewhat repetitive for you guys so I thought I’d share a teaser for the next stage of the project. I have made quite a bit of progress on some of the named characters for the campaign… see if you can figure out who is who!

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Teenage Scumbo, baby!

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Greetings Terrans, I hope you are all well, and that you are enjoying getting back to normal after the festive season! After a slightly disjointed Christmas, I am back into the groove with my Wolf Time project – as a result, I have a new skwad of Scumbos to share with you:

As with almost all of my Scumbos, these guys are converted from various fantasy Orcs, with lots of bits sculpted on by yours truly. I’ve given them all a weathered & scruffy look, with plenty of rust & gunk… even the red spot colour is quite subdued – almost an oxblood brown rather than a true red. I hope that the overall effect is one of a mob of lower caste of Ork, (as described in the scenario), when compared to the better equipped and presented warrior skwads. Im pleased with them, and I hope you like ‘em too :-)

In other news, my buddy Ross and I have kicked off a little side project, based on the AoS skirmish rules presented in this month’s White Dwarf. We’ve both drifted away from AoS a bit recently, but this skirmish system has rekindled a bit of interest. In addition, Ross has precious little time for painting & modelling these days, while I’ll be fitting this in around the rather demanding Wolf Time project… Long story short, the small scale of the project suits us both well.

The ‘rules’ of the project are as follows:

  • Build & paint 100ish ‘renown’ points in Feb (to include our Generals), and 25ish renown per month thereafter, up to 250 pts. This should equate to a manageable 3ish minis per month.
  • The warband must be from a faction we don’t currently collect. Ross and I chose the faction for each other, with me getting Daughters of Khaine, and Ross getting Sylvaneth
  • Set in a common realm, (realm tbd), based & modelled accordingly
  • Push the modelling & painting – AoS28 style, crazy conversions, grim-dark, etc.
  • Lowest cost possible – beg/borrow/steal, freebees, scratch build, re-use, etc.
  • Narrative rather than competitive warbands – named characters, backstories, etc.

Should be a fun little distraction for Ross and I, and of course, we’ll be pitching our warbands against each other as we go. Furthermore, you can expect a growing background & narrative from me as the project progresses – I already have some cool ideas in that direction which I hope will make for a good read!

That’s all pretty exciting, (for me at least), but I would like to share that excitement with YOU! I therefore encourage you to take part & share your progress on your blog if you’ve got a hankering to do something a bit different this year. Simply choose a faction & follow the guidelines above – simples! Looking forward to seeing who signs up & what you come up with :-)

Anyhow, that’s all from me for now – catch you all soon!

A small hobby interlude – homemade Spoilpox Scrivener

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Greetings Terrans, and happy new nominal start of the next orbit of Earth around Sol. A couple of posts ago, I dropped a little hint about a secret project that I had been working on… I had to keep it secret because it was an attempt to sculpt a surprise figure from scratch for my gaming bro Ross. Now some of you may know Ross’ work – he has the classic chaos daemons blogspot, and has a particular affinity for Papa Nurgle. Ross and I game a lot, including the occasional game of AoS, where he uses his gorgeous OldHammer Daemon horde, but a lot of the new Nurgle releases are not really his cup of tea… not a dissimilar issue to the one I discussed in my last post regarding Nagash in fact! One such mini is the Spoilpox Scrivener:

Anyway, long story short, I thought I’d have a crack at sculpting one up for him for Christmas – quite an ambitious decision! I made an armature from paper clips, and started building up the mini in stages over several weeks. Just before Christmas, I ended up at this point:

I’ve obviously copied the basic pose of the GW mini as a nod to the original, but I’ve tried to get more of an old-school flavour going… it’s bloody hard work sculpting, particularly getting things smooth, but the old Plague Bearers were very lumpy and misshapen, so this worked in my favour. I hooked up with Ross just after Christmas, and handed the Scrivener over with some nervousness… I knew I had done my best, but it’s not exactly a masterpiece! I needn’t have worried though, my Brother-in-Lead was delighted, and bumped it to the top of his painting queue. A couple of days later, I got these sent to my phone:

I was so relieved to see that it had painted up well, and that Ross had got it looking so amazing! I don’t mind telling you, it’s a weird feeling to sculpt something up and then have someone paint it for you – it’s such real honour to have someone appreciate all the effort you’ve put in, and then put in the extra love themselves to finish the job! I would recommend it to anyone :-)

I will certainly be continuing my journey into sculpting – maybe not too much in the way of whole minis, but this certainly gives me the confidence to take on even more ambitious modifications and conversions… I’ll have plenty of opportunity – we’re back to the Orks now, and once the Skumbos are painted, I’ll be moving on to Power Armoured guards and all the characters! Wish me luck ;-)

Not-Gash!!

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Happy Deadcember Terrans, I hope you all had a good festive occasion as per your chosen proclivities! I know I did – way too much food, family visits, barely any arguments, and some solid hobby time! I’ve been batch-painting Orks for my Wolf Time project, but I also had time to wrap something up for Deadcember – an Old Hammer Nagash tribute. Now, most Grogards of a certain vintage will hear the word ‘Nagash’, and will think of this guy…

Yes, it’s the (in)famously gash Gary Morley sculpt of the arch-necromancer – widely considered one of the worst GW minis of all time. There is a strange story behind this mini – after all, Gary is no slouch when it comes to sculpting! Apparently, this was Gary’s first big multi-part mini for GW, and he was very much left to wing it… His original version had a zombie-like face, but the design team didn’t like it & sent it back to Gary for revision. Gary claims he then submitted the clownish skull face as a deliberately shite alternative, figuring that the tight production deadlines would make his original (and better) version the obvious choice. Much to his horror, the design team went with the big ol’ skull face, and this became the definitive version of Nagash right up until his reincarnation as the towering plastic tour de force that is all the rage these day. This presents something of a problem for a dedicated lead-head like me – how to have a version of Nagash that had that Old Hammer vibe while avoiding the Morley debacle! First world problems, eh?

Anyway, imagine my delight when the eminently talented Geoff (Oakbound Studios) showed me his own re-imagined OH version of ‘Gash across a beer-soaked table at the last BOYL… I jumped at the chance to grab one of the very few examples that he had cast in lead, and made a mental note to save it for Deadcember. Well, Deadcember is upon us, and so here he is – the Oakbound Not-Gash version of Nagash:

I embellished the original slightly with the addition of some spooky skulls whooshing around the place, but other than that, this mini is as intended. I’m sure you’ll agree that it is a huge improvement on the Morley original.

Anyway, that’s about it for today – I’ll be back in the new year with the last of the Wolf Time Orks before starting on the Space Marines needed for the campaign. I’ll also be fitting in the odd bit of fantasy as and when – my rather excellent Brother-in-Lead Ross got me a copy of Dragon Rampant for Christmas, and I’m really looking forward to giving it a whirl! Until then, I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Teenage Skumbo Baby!

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Greetings Terrans, just a quickie from yours truly today – it’s a busy time of year with lots of visiting and whatnot going on, but I’ve got my first skwad of Skumbos done:

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I decided to group all of the Hoodies into one unit, (hence the title), and they are led by an embarrassingly earnest Yoof wiv a snazzy beret. All of them have been converted quite extensively from old Fantasy Orc Archers (except the leader, and even he got a sculpted machete). I’ve tried out a pale yellowy-green spot colour for them – not sure if I like it or not, and I may tone it down with some brown washes further down the road, but they’ll do for now. Here’s a shot of their backs, showing various sculpted pouches & quivers turned into scabbards:

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Not much else to say on these guys really, so it’ll be more of the same over Christmas. I only have another 20 to go, and not the 25 I thought I had left, (I misread/misremembered the force requirements :-/ ), so I should be able to put a good dent in them during the Crimbo break. I’m also going to take some time to revisit my undead & do a piece for Deadcember, plus there is a secret little side-project I’ve been working on here and there – more news on that after the holidays!

Mag Bellum

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Greetings Terrans, how goes it? I wanted to get a quick post out today to show you some of the exciting work that my friend Mark at www.heresyofus.com has been working on in his Manufactorium. He has developed an ingenious terrain system called ‘Mag Bellum’ that uses magnetised 6×6” hard tiles, so it’s great for adding texture and easy to scale up & store. Some of the tile options also contain removable plates that allow you to model terrain features ‘into’ the board, (rather than plonking stuff onto the board), while still letting you swap the plates out for ones with other terrain pieces modelled in. He kindly invited me and my Brother-in-Lead Ross over to a gaming get-together last Sunday, and we got to see his latest set-up in person:

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All the buildings, objectives, trees etc. are completely swappable, giving an incredibly versatile system that really is very smart and perfectly scaled for modern skirmish games. I urge you to go and check it out if you’re considering a new terrain project, could do with a new underhive to battle over, need some scenery for your blog pics, or whatever. I picked a couple of sets up while I was over there, so I’ll be working on them in and around my Wolf Time project – watch this space!

In other news, during our game on Sunday, (using cut-down Rogue Trader rules), Ross and I were getting pissed off with the melee aspect of the system, and generally moaning about how GW systems don’t quite seem to hit the sweet spot for either of us when it comes to hand-to-hand combat… it’s always either too slow, too complex, or too simplistic depending on the system. Ross and I play a lot of Frostgrave, and we find this to be a much better rule set for skirmish than anything GW have ever produced. I know that is heresy of the highest order, but there it is. Anyway, long story short, we wondered how easy it would be to port Rogue Trader/40K gear & troop types into the Frostgrave rule set. As a result, project ‘Frost Trader’ is go, and I’ll be working on a 40K hack for the game over the next few months, doing some play testing etc. I’ll keep you all posted, but hope to have something worthwhile to show for it :-)