Board meeting

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Greetings, and happy Monday peoples! I have some cool hobby news to share with y’all today – I spent an awesome day with Mark from Heresyofus over the weekend, working on the Albino Forest board for The Chapel project. We had an awesome day, working out the details of the board, building it & talking about the fluff, our hobby philosophies, ideas, and life in general. I also got to see the excellent buildings that Luke, (aka imperial rebel ork), some gorgeous project artwork from Ahmed Alibrahing, and I got to see Mark’s awesome warband and his denizens of the Chapel first hand. I’ve always loved Mark’s work & painting style, but getting to see his minis first hand was a real treat. Another highlight was seeing the progress on the Chapel board… I’m not going to say any more for fear of spoilers, but trust me – the pictures really don’t do Mark’s work justice… suffice to say that those that answer the call are in for a treat! Anyway, with regards to the forest board, once we had finished up and stuff was mostly dry, we just had to pose a few models for the obligatory photo shoot. Hopefully these hastily snapped pics will give you guys an idea of how the Albino Forest is going to look:

One half textured, the other drybrushed & shaded

Gives you an idea of the look – diseased and grim! 

Some trees added

Mark’s Wych Cult advances through the trees

The big hitters

Corpse cart (yum!!)

Some of IRO’s scenery added

A spooky manifestation

My Eldar cautiously explore the Albino Forest

And meet a rakish Ostium Guide

A rare meeting of Guides

Mark’s cult as they stand today

 

So there we go – pretty damn cool, right? But as cool as all that was, the best bit was meeting Mark face to face – it is always good to meet a likeminded hobby buddy, and working together on a big build/paint is brilliant, but getting to put a face to the name is priceless. It helps when that face belongs to an awesome bloke, who just happens to be a creative power house, and who has a lovely family to boot. So, Mark, thanks for an awesome day mate – it was great to meet you all, and thank you for making me feel so welcome! Looking forward to repeating the experience, and you are welcome to come visit any time.

 

Oh, and speaking of family – big shout out to my Brother-in-Lead Ross, who became a Dad for the first time over the weekend. Congrats to you & Kel dude – wee man is utterly lush, and is surely your best mini yet mate 🙂

Back in the hunt!

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Greetings dudes and dudetts – I can’t believe it has been so long since I last posted! I think that in the last 6 weeks I have been on 8 flights and slept in 6 hotels, visited 4 countries, and attended a wedding and a funeral. I have had practically zero hobby time as a result, and even when I had settled back at home, I found myself strangely lethargic with respect to getting any hobby done… just no mojo, y’know? I had a blast catching up with all the blogs that I follow, (you clever bunch!), I had a crack at AoS skirmish a few weeks back, and I’ve even dusted off my Praetorians for a game of new 40k!

AoS skirmish was a strange one… me and my pal Ross played the whole campaign in an afternoon, and we genuinely had high hopes, but we were both disappointed to find that it was all a bit unfulfilling. The game seemed to lack the depth of a proper skirmish, but ended up being slower and clunkier than full-fat AoS as we progressed our respective warbands. It also ended up being pretty one sided, which never makes for an enjoyable gaming experience… Either undead are over-powered, or Daemons are just a bit shite. My first taste of 8th edition was also pretty underwhelming as well… Vehicles are just plain weird, (especially with combat), and it didn’t help that it was a pick-up game against someone who was actively looking for ways to exploit the rules to win. I’ll give it a few more goes before I make my mind up, but sadly, it didn’t set my world on fire.

But hey, never mind about all that! I actually managed to finally finish a thing to share with you all. May I present the leader of my Exodite warband for the Chapel project – Eldranar the Huntsmaster:

 

He is intended as a more rustic & savage incarnation of the Dire Avenger Exarch, and his equipment reflects that. I used the body of an elf Shadow Warrior as my start point, with arms and doodabs from the Avenger kit. I also looted Space Wolves & Sylvaneth kits for trinkets & fetishes. The head is from the Guardian close combat set, and the sleeves and fur on the cloak were sculpted by me. The base is from Black Tree, kindly provided by Mark @ heresyofus, and really helps to pose the model and give him some height. Here he is from a few more angles:

I deliberately kept a very tight control of the painting palette, with greens, browns, whites and bone colours forming the main scheme. Some stronger Autumnal accents are provided by the ochre, the red on the banner and base, and the yellowy-gold of the metallics. A bit of freehand on the back banner and some gem work completes the piece. I hope you like him – he was a bugger to make and paint, and I’m not sure I’m painting my best at the moment, but hopefully the effort was worth it. Here he is with Lindethiel, my warband Spiritseer, (showing what an imposing figure she is!):

 

And here is some fluff for those that like a read:

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Eldranar was bored. Since his appointment as master of the royal hunt, he had barely left the court of Prince Ereniel – apparently, the young prince found hunting to be an uncouth activity, and as a result, it had fallen out of favour with the social elites and elders of the Crimson Tree clan. Eldranar had always lived for the heady thrill of the chase, and for the raw beauty of the glades, rivers and mountains that made him feel so alive and vital. Now all of this was denied to him, as he and his fellow huntsmen became reduced to a courtly accoutrement for the Prince and his gaggle of sycophants. Courtly life felt like an incarceration that leached the pleasure out of life and deadened his soul, and his mind wandered as he endured yet another interminable day of courtly petitions and pleas from an endless procession of supplicants. Fortunately, his lowly position as a Knight of the court meant that he and his four companions were sat towards the rear of the hall, where his lack of focus would not be noted.

How Eldranar yearned to be free again – to run with his brother-huntsmen, to be at one with the world, to feel his blood sing with the joy of tracking and killing the evil things that crept and lurked in the forests around his home. He knew that without constant culling, the tribes of savage Ygnari would multiply to threaten travellers and outlying settlements, the stealthy ambushes of the carnivorous Raulig would go unchecked and unpunished, and the nesting broods of sulchari would spread and multiply. Indeed, he had heard rumours that the glades that surrounded the clan settlement had become wild and dangerous, and that the roads connected the Crimson Tree clan to the other settlements were becoming less and less travelled. Eldranar suspected that it was no coincidence that visits from the other clans had become increasingly rare in recent months.

It hadn’t always been this way. The old Queen and Prince Consort, parents to the current prince, had remained committed hunters until the end of their long lives, and it had been a pleasure and privilege to manage their hunts and the wider holdings of the clan. They had respected the old ways, and it had been personally saddening to Eldranar when they both passed out of life a season ago. The Prince Consort left the world of the living after a suddenly illness, and it was said that the sadness felt by the Queen was so poignant that she had willingly followed her husband to join him within the world spirit. Their passing had left the young Prince as the sole heir, but the nut had fallen far from the tree, and son was a very different ruler to his parents. Eldranar found Prince Ereniel to be decadent and effete, and far more concerned with taxes, banquets, costumes and dances than he was with defending and preserving the sanctity of his ancestral lands. He had no respect for the old ways, or for those that stood for such values. This wasn’t entirely surprising to Eldranar – Ereniel had been soft as a youth, and he had resisted all attempts by his parents and advisors to hone his martial skills. What was disappointing was the extent to which the Royal Court had declined into decadence, and the speed with which a life of gratification had been grasped by those who should know better. Eldranar feared that a rot had taken hold at the heart of the Crimson Tree clan, and would ultimately prove to be its downfall.

Eldranar’s reverie was broken as sudden silence descended in the hall, followed by urgent whisperings and murmurs. His gaze followed those of the gathered court, and his attention was drawn to the wide circular space at the centre of the vaulted court. He shifted in his seat to gain a better view of the source of the sudden unease, and saw a tall, powerful figure was striding across the hall to address the Prince. Eldranar could see why the court had reacted as it had – the figure was an eldritch amalgam of Wychwood and flesh, clearly Eldar in origin, and hugely imposing. A ceremonial halberd was held comfortably in the one hand that remained flesh, while the helmed face gave no indication of intention as the towering figure halted creakingly in front of the royal dais. In the stunned and sudden silence, the only sound was the harsh caw of a raven that rode in the branches that sprouted from the visitor’s shoulder.

Prince Ereniel seemed to shrink back in his throne. “What is the meaning of this?  Who are you?” he demanded. His manner was imperious, but his voice sounding shrill and panicked in the still air. The figure stirred, and the blank faceplate of its helm appeared to wither and retract from the visage within. A breathless murmur rippled around the room, as the crowd recognised the face of Lindethiel, a Shaper of legendary power, and Spiritseer to generations of royals of the Crimson Tree clan. Lindethiel had ever been a source of unease to those around her, with few being comfortable with the commune she shared with those who had passed over to the world spirit. Furthermore, her acerbic nature was widely considered to be as sharp as the thorns of the Wychwood that she could so easily shape to her will, and many were secretly relieved when, half a year ago, she had announced her withdrawal from the realm of life. To see her returned, and in such a transformed state, was a shock that overwhelmed the usual passiveness of the Eldar race.

The Prince appeared particularly upset to see her, visibly paling as he recognised the haughty features of the Seer. “Lindethiel! This isn’t possible – you shouldn’t be here, you can’t be here… You were dead! Abomination! I demand that you leave!” Lindethiel’s eyes flashed with anger, and her Wychwood body straightened to an even more imposing height. Her voice cracked with authority as she addressed the Prince. “You insolent pup! Who are you address me so? I, who first served your Mother’s great grandfather… I, who protected and nurtured this clan for a thousand years before your existence was ever conceived… I, who have sacrificed everything and more for this clan! I see your soul Ereniel, I see right through you – and yet you dare sit there in your silks and perfume, soft and week in your decadence, and you presume to call me ‘abomination’? You seek to tell me where I can and cannot be? You worm! You cur! You should be on your knees and begging my counsel, not sitting in your Mother’s throne, fat and idle, and seeking to instruct your betters!”

At each utterance, Lindethiel’s eyes burned brighter, glowing with power as her anger grew. The gems around the neck of her ghost helm glowed in sympathy, and worms of eldritch lightning flowed and dripped from the tip of her halberd. The raven cawed again as air itself grew charged, and the smell of ozone filled the audience chamber, reminding Eldranar of summer storms on mountain tops. He watched tensely as the prince’s face grew thunderous in response – furious, and yet fearful. The young man cast his eyes around the court, desperately looking for support that simply was not there. Clearly, the prince had overestimated the strength of his grip on the court, and Eldranar was particularly pleased to see that the palace guard showed no sign of moving to intervene in the situation – a fact that seemed to settle any thoughts of pushing the conflict that the prince might have had. Resigned, the young ruler sought to compose himself, and addressed Lindethiel in a manner more fitting to their respective positions. “My apologies Seer Lindethiel, the shock of your – ah, appearance, has caused me to forget my manners. Our hearts are filled with joy at your return, and I bid you welcome. Will you share your counsel with us, and tell us how we can serve you?”

“Better”, said Lindethiel, and her anger seemed to subside a little. “I come with grim tidings Ereniel. I have discovered signs of an existential threat to this world, and yet it is not of this world. It is psychic in nature, and is bleeding into our world via the Webway… This must be investigated and stopped, and I require weapons and warriors to join me in this endeavour.” The court gasped – both at the seriousness of the claims, and at the audacity of the request. The royal armoury was the most precious heirloom that the Crimson Tree clan possessed – a small but priceless repository of archaic weapons, each many millennia old, and all gifted or traded with their Craftworld kin over the long history of the clan. The use of these weapons was vanishingly rare, and they were only ever deployed to defend the clan, so to request free access to the armoury for an off-world expedition was simply unheard of. Ereniel sat in silence as he considered how to meet this request. Eldranar could sense the internal conflict as the prince struggled to come up with a way of denying Lindethiel without attracting her ire. Lindethiel could also sense the prince wavering. “Make no mistake Ereniel, this is not a request – it is a demand. The future of the clan – of all the clans on this world – hangs in the balance. It falls to us to meet this threat, and we will not be found wanting, not as long as I draw breath.”

Ereniel bowed his head. “Yes of course my Lady Lindethiel. If this threat is as severe as you say then the armoury is yours.” The princes head lifted and he met Lindethiel’s gaze over steepled fingers, a sly smile on his face. “However, I cannot instruct any member of this clan to accompany you on a quest to meet a threat that no one other than you can perceive. A journey through the Webway to an unknown world sounds dangerous, probably fatal, and I cannot not endorse it on hearsay – even if that hearsay comes from one as august as yourself… You may seek to build your party with volunteers only.” Eldranar saw the trap that the prince had laid – it was unlikely that anyone would risk the displeasure of their prince on such a venture, especially the trained fighters of the clan guard, and Lindethiel would only meet with resistance and resentment if she attempted to force the issue, and contempt if she begged… Her reputation and prestige had got her this far, but the rules of their society did not allow her to dictate the actions of others. Without warriors to bear arms, the promise of access to the royal armoury was all but worthless. Eldranar saw that Lindethiel understood the situation all too well – it was her turn to cast her eyes around the court room, seeking support for her cause. Eldranar saw that none was forthcoming… and that was when he made the decision to stand.

His voice rang clearly in the awkward silence. “Seer Lindethiel, I am Eldranar – Huntsmaster to this court. I doubt you recall me, but I remember you well, and I have full confidence in your cause. Besides, I find my skills are somewhat obsolete of late, and so I choose to stand with you on this quest.” Eldranar sensed his men stirring behind him, and was gratified to turn and see that all four had stood to join him. He turned back to Lindethiel. “We may not be warriors my Lady, but we are adept at hunting and surviving in the wilds, and we are all proficient killers. Will you accept us to your cause?” Lindethiel bowed her head in acknowledgement – “Huntsmaster Eldranar, I do recall you, and I will gladly receive you and your men to my cause” she replied with a slight smile. Eldranar was strangely gratified to see frustration writ large upon the prince’s face as he and his men made their way through the benches to stand with Lindethiel. There was a tightness to Ereniel’s jaw as he said, “Very well Seer Lindethiel, you and your… party may immediately draw from the armoury. I am sure that the needs of so small a group can be easily met”. The sneering tone was unmissable.

Lindethiel replied curtly. “Thank you Ereniel, your generosity is a credit to your parents, and to theirs before them. However, I will delay my visit to your armoury if I may – I wish to seek to expand my party.” The prince had the audacity to laugh – “Expand your party? My dear, it is unlikely that you will find anyone else foolish enough to join this… folly” he said, his lip curling with contempt as he glanced at Eldranar… “But do try, by all means!” His gaze swept the court, eliciting quiet chuckles from the sycophants. Lindethiel smiled in return. “Ereniel, I would use the word courageous rather than foolish… but I fear you are right – it seems unlikely that I will find further help from this generation of degenerates. Instead, I will look for support from those who went before you all – from your sires and grand sires. I will petition the dead for their aid, seeing as, with few exceptions, the current crop of the living is so week, cowardly, and feeble of will!” Lindethiel turned and strode from the audience chamber with Eldranar and his huntsmen in tow, listening to the angry mutterings growing in her wake as her insults struck home. The prince was sputtering, shouting, insisting that Lindethiel stop, demanding that she repeal her accusation, arguing that the armoury was not open to the spirits of the dead.

Lindethiel finally did stop at the doorway, and turned to address the prince once more. “Ereniel? You are a worm, and I can’t help but wonder how you could possibly be your parent’s son. They were noble, wise, and, when last I saw them, so very healthy! I think I might seek them out in the world spirit and ask them about that… I wonder what they might tell me about you… what they might tell me about how they died… what they remember of their last hours. Now I think of it, it is suspicious how they both passed so suddenly, don’t you think, Ereniel?” Eldranar saw the look of terror that settled on Ereniel’s face as they turned to leave.

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So, the cast of characters grows, and we have a sub-plot to boot! I hope you enjoyed that little read, and that Eldranar has piqued your interest 🙂

So that’s it for now guys! Again, sorry that it has taken me so long to get my a55 in gear – normal service should resume from here on in. I am now on a 3 week countdown for the annual OldHammer extravaganza that is BOYL, and I need to get a Shadow Wars gang painted for the Helsreach table, a ToyHammer jetbike racer built and painted, and I’m also hoping to sort out a Dreadnought for some glorious gladiatorial mayhem. I am also hooking up with Mark at Heresyofus to start work on the Albino Forest board on the weekend, (can’t wait!), and I have a few more cracks at 8th ed planned. It’s gonna be a fun-filled and hectic few weeks!

A return to the Albino Forest

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Greetings fellows! Well… it is done. My final dissertation got submitted on Tuesday, and for the first time in 5 years, I am completely free of any study obligations. Woohoo! Ok, so there is the 2 month wait to see how I did, but, (as I keep reminding myself), that is out of my hands, so I’m just enjoying the peace that comes with wrapping up something that has been a big chunk of my life for so long 🙂

Of course, like any good hobbyist I had to celebrate my new-found liberty with a spot of painting, and given that I will be out of circulation for the next three weeks, I thought it best to tie up a few loose ends rather than start anything new, (I hate loose ends anyway, so this makes me happy). Some of this you have seen before, but other items are things that have been languishing in their undercoats, and that you won’t have seen.

Firstly, I went back and tidied up some of the undead I had speed painted for last weekend, and added in some detail where needed. This batch got some highlighting on the bone & I added a spot of OSL:

I also finally got around to adding some detail to this guy’s banner:

 

The Cursed Company got some highlighted to the bone, I did the banner, and painted in some gems on Krueger and the standard bearer:

The bottom scrolls are supposed to say ‘Mors Omnia Aequalia’ (roughly ‘all equal in death’ – seemed appropriate for this unit in particular!):

 

Next up I revisited The Chapel project and finished a few pieces for the Albino Forest, starting with a big tree stump kindly donated by Mark at Heresyofus (than you Mark!!!):

 

Next a Malifaux ‘hanging tree’:

 

You have probably noticed that all of my hollow trees have a collection of heads in the top – sacrifices to appease the forest spirits of the old world, but I really pushed the concept with this next piece. A monster of my own devising – the Charnel Oak was a sacrificial tree like many others, but over the years, the life force of the many victims imbued the oak with a malignant sentience. It became a creeping horror that slowly roams the forest, looking for victims that have fallen into a spoor-induced dream state, are too injured to run escape, or those that have been staked out as a sacrifice. The Charnel Oak drags these unfortunates into its bloated body, slowly digesting the poor victims until naught but their bones remain:

 

Pity those who remain conscious of their fate:

 

Finally, I thought it would be worth posting a high shot of everything I have completed for the Albino Forest to date:

It still looks a bit sparse but I have much more to add in the coming months, which works out very nicely for The Chapel project, and also for a spot of AoS as well:

 

So that’s it for now dudes – I’ll be off the hobby for the next 3 weeks with various travel and work commitments, but I am really looking forward to getting right back into it later in June, when The Chapel project will be my main focus – no doubt with a small side salad of Undead.  Yum! 🙂

Speed painting challenge… OF DEATH!!!!!

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Hello boys and girls, welcome to a pleasantly unscheduled post from yours truly. I have been quiet of late, being deeply immersed in writing the final dissertation in a 5 year mission to explore strange new academic worlds; to seek out new knowledge and new qualifications; to boldly, (after 42 years of consuming oxygen on this good Earth), finally get a bloody degree! This workload has meant that I haven’t really been in the right frame of mind for in-depth hobby stuff like the Chapel project lately – in fact, I hadn’t painted much of anything up until Friday night…

Now, by Friday, I had the vast majority of my dissertation written, and with time in hand, I decided to treat myself to a pleasant Saturday evening of AoS with my Brother-in-Lead Ross, who has one of the most awesome collection of OldHammer Daemons you are likely to see anywhere. He ‘let slip’ that he was going to run a Great Unclean One in a 1000 pt. list, and that caused a bit of panic, because I didn’t have anything like enough painted lead to match that… thus ensued a speed painting session of legendary proportions!

Firstly, I spent Friday night finishing up 18 venerable Nightmare Legion figs I got for cheeps on ebay a while back – the two standard bearers were missing their standards, there were no shields, and one of the troops was missing a head, so the job lot was dirt cheap at £2.30ish per mini. I had previously fixed up the broken bits and added some cool shields from Knightmare Miniatures, and they were already mostly base-coated so it was just a case of doing the metallics, weathering, finishing the bases and highlighting up the bone… but still, 18 finished minis in an evening was pretty frantic! Here they all are:

And here they are forming a nice 20-strong unit with my lovely C17 command squad to lead them:

 

Saturday day was a full on speed painting slog – I had 17 assorted undead based and undercoated… could I do them all in a day?? Well, I was certainly going to give it a bloody good go! First up we have some randoms from the recent Nightmare Creatures Kickstarter from Dark Art Studios:

Spirit hosts or banshees perhaps?

A couple of zombies

Some skellies

Some more (slightly weirder) skellies

 

As if that wasn’t enough, I also had nine of GW’s ‘Cursed CompanyDogs of War minis undercoated and ready to paint! I picked these up a few weeks ago because I thought that they would go very nicely with the racially diverse skellies I got from the Dungeon Monsters Kickstarter last year. Here they are in groups:

No, I don’t know why the orcs are naked either…. Ahem. Anyway, I decided that I would use the champion ‘Richter Kreugar’ as a second Wight King, so I separated him from his unit but the rest got rolled into a 30-strong mob with the Dungeon Monsters KS skellies, the four skellies from the Dark Art Studios KS and a couple of randoms:

 

Ok, so they are a bit rough and ready – I need to go back and highlight the bone on Saturday’s output and finish the Cursed Company banner, but they are certainly good enough for table-top I reckon, and hell – 35 completed minis in 21 hours is pretty incredible, right? So why the mad rush? Well, partly it was two weeks of pent-up painting frustration, but mostly it was the result of the arms race mechanic of AoS… Allow me to explain.

In AoS, 10 Skellies gives you 10 attacks per turn, hitting on 4+ and wounding on 4+… Pretty naff, right? But wait – add another 10 skellies to the unit and you get a bonus +1 attack per model for a total of 40 attacks, (base 20 + bonus 20), while 30 figures gives you an additional +1 bonus per model for a total of 90 attacks (base 30 + bonus 60)… trebling the model count makes the unit 9 times hittier! Add in a command squad, (for no cost), and the champion gets you an extra attack, the musician gives a guaranteed minimum 6” charge, and the banner/icon bearer allows you regenerate D6 models each hero phase… Suddenly these chumps are looking a bit more serious!

But that’s not all folks – if you have a Wight King within 18”, he can use his ‘Lord of Bones’ command ability to grant the unit an additional attack per turn, so that puts our 30-strong unit of humble skellies up to a whopping 120 attacks (or 121 with the champion). But that still isn’t all! Add in a Necromancer with ‘Vanhels’s Danse Macabre’, and you get to do it all again in the same combat round! Phew! A maximum 242 attacks, which due to the power of mathematics should equate to 60.5 wounds… Enough to deal with a Great Unclean One? You betcha… last night saw a very rare victory for team Leadballoony and the forces of (un)death!

I think I’m getting a feel for AoS – it kind of feels like a computer game, where buffs and debuffs are king, and getting the army balance right is really important. Big heroes and monsters have their place, but massed ranks with stacking bonuses are pretty powerful, and your big beasties need to pick their battles carefully. I’m starting to enjoy it as a system, and I am quite looking forward to the skirmish version that is due out soon.

Anyhow, that’s enough waffle for this post, I need to crack on with my dissertation! It is due in on Thursday, and then I have a crazy few weeks of weddings and work travel to get through. Normal service will be resumed mid-June, when I am very much looking forward to cracking on with my warband for The Chapel project. Thanks for bearing with me during this time 🙂

A bone to pick with AoS…

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Hi guys, this will be a quick post today – life is hectic at the moment, so the hobby is very much on the back burner for a few weeks. I did however paint up a few birthday gifts from my brother-in-lead Ross (he of Classic Chaos Daemon fame), who most excellently got me a classic C17 Skeleton command to buff my fledgling AoS undead – I just love these guys, just so much character to them… if you can’t appreciate a skeleton with a Mohawk then you are in the wrong hobby my friend 😉  I also bashed out a skelly emerging from the ground to take my skeleton unit up to the magic AoS 20, (irritating that some units only get good when the multiples of 10 start stacking… go buy more stuff kids!). Ok, so technically the unit is at 19.5, but I am rounding up, ok? OK?? Right… fine… anyway, here they are:

 

Seeing as I was doing some undead, I also dug out some old school Spirit Host minis, (again from Ross, from an earlier birthday), to add to the party. These minis are so goofy, they make me laugh every time I see them! I have split the host, and will be fielding them as Banshees… I’m calling them the three tenors:

 

Finally, I added big chaos champion from one of the rather excellent Pantheon of Chaos kickstarters, (now available as ‘The Sword of Echoes‘ over on Knightmare Games). He’s a big old fella, and, while not sold as an undeader, I’ll be fielding him as a Wight King with black axe for some proper crumping power:

 

And here’s a few group shots with my existing multiracial skellybob unit – just for fun:

 

Painting was all done in a very quick and easy ‘washy’ & ‘stainy’ kind of way – I quite like the faded look that it gives the minis… an appropriate vibe for the shambling undead IMO.

So that’s it for this post chaps, I told you it was a quick one! Not sure when I will next be posting – the next six weeks are just ridiculous with study & work, so hobby time is going to be scant… Bear with me dear reader, this shall pass, and normal service will resume at some point in June 🙂

Lindethiel Gladesinger

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Hi guys, what an exciting day! I’ve finished my first warband member, who just happens to be the leader. It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to Lindethiel Gladesinger:

 

I am particularly pleased with my attempts to turn the male Spiritseer into a female – one thing I really wanted to do in my warband was to take advantage of the lack of gender bias in Eldar lore and have some really strong female characters. I’m chuffed with my attempt to sculpt breasts – hopefully they are realistic and not in any way crass.

I stuck with a very restricted palette of whites, greens, gold and bone for Lindethiel – a scheme that I intend to carry throughout the warband. I really like the interplay of this scheme – the bone suggests death while the green speaks of life, and the gold and gems suggest a grandeur that is offset by the faded and tired looking white of the silver birch. It is far more of a fantasy palette than a sci-fi one really – perfect for Exodites, and I think the crow really adds something in that regard as well.

The actual painting was a challenge… I’m not very well practiced in hard armour plates, so the arms, head and back vane were a slog. Also gems…. Lots of gems…. They ain’t the best I have ever painted – I think I misjudged the colour choice here, and I still have a lot to learn about painting in green, (figuring out what shades worked well together and so on). That said, the robes came out well, and I think the gems look effective en masse. The bit that gave me the most grief was actually the gold on the blade… it’s a big area to cover, and a funny shape to highlight. I’m still pleased with the result though – the palette really helps to distract the eye from some of the dodgier bits I hope 🙂

Conceptually, she is a Spiritseer for my Exodites – a group that use psychically responsive wood in place of Wraithbone. I hope that this is a not-too-difficult leap for people, as I think it ties in rather nicely with the Albino Forest, which in turn forms an important part of the story arc for The Chapel project. I like that it gives me options in terms of coming up with a reason for my warband to be there – always a good start for any narrative-driven game 🙂

With that in mind, here’s some fluff for you:

 

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Lindethiel Gladesinger slept deeply, her thoughts slowing as they weaved through the vastness of the wraith-realm, lulled by the quiet insistence with which it called to her. Her dreams carried her far and wide, deep and high, as she tasted the rivers of sap ebbing and flowing through the forests, heard the echo of crystal caves that no mortal eyes would ever see, swam deep in underground lakes of icy vastness, listened to the scurry and struggle of life in all its forms… Beneath all of this pulsed the fiery molten ocean at the heart of the world – a steady throb of life force that resonated throughout the planet. The harmonies were beguiling, rising and falling with each languorous turn of her awareness, the soothing melodies running counterpoint to the primordial undertone. The wraith-realm sang its sweet song to Lindethiel, calling on her to merge her consciousness with the spiritual gestalt that included the very soul of this world, as well as those of her ancestors. Her life had been one of long service to her people, and she was now ready for peace. Deeper and deeper she drifted, her thoughts slowed and were gradually subsumed further into the world spirit, just as her body was slowly absorbed into the sacred forest grove of her people.

Day? Weeks? Months later? It didn’t matter anymore. Her drifting had taken on a timeless quality, and Lindethiel was barely aware of herself as her merging approached completion. Suddenly, a discordant note plucked at her fading consciousness – a single tone that rang false in the greater soundscape of the world, arresting her descent into oblivion. A sense of wrongness bled into the spirit realm, changing the serene beauty to something sinister and fearful. Lindethiel felt her individuality increasing as the world spirit began convulsing, pushing her back towards consciousness and the world of the living. She gathered her identity with a sense of resignation as she rose through layers of her own awareness, sending strands of consciousness out into the world, seeking out the source of the discord… She soon found it – a stream of psychic defilement that emanated from the hidden webway that connected her world to the wider Eldar diaspora. It spread like a bruise, corrupted like an infection, and it defied all of Lindethiel’s attempts to comprehend. At first she feared it might be the taint of chaos, but this was unlike any daemonic incursion that she had ever experienced… this felt older, and it didn’t have the distinctive emotional drives of the great powers… no hunger, no lust, no malice or rage, no urge to corrupt or enslave… the only emotion that she could perceive was one of utter despair, and an overwhelming sense of nihilistic futility… Lindethiel could only conceptualise the incursion with one word – ‘Ending’, and she knew that her world and her people were in dire peril. Reluctantly, she forced her consciousness back towards her body.

Lindethiel awoke. It took her a few moments to adjust to her return to consciousness. She would have fallen, but her body was already in an advanced state of petrification, and she remained rooted to the ground. Just like her ancestors before her, she had come to the sacred grove to pass from the world of the living. The process saw the physical body transform into Wychwood, while the soul travelled through the psychically conductive medium to join the world spirit. In many ways, Wychwood served her people in the same way as the Wraithbone of her Craftworld kin, indeed, this natural repository for the souls of the dead was probably one of the reasons why her ancestors had chosen this planet to be their Exodite home so many generations ago. Now, drawn back to physical life and torn from a deeper spiritual existence, she stood in the dappled shade of the sacred grove, the majority of her body already turned to psychically responsive wood. Lindethiel was unconcerned by her altered state. She had trained and mastered the way of the Shaper throughout her long life, and was able to mould the material to her will with the merest thought. In emergencies, she could even use the wood to create body-constructs capable of being inhabited by the spirits of the dead, so it was no effort to animate the parts of her body that had become petrified.

She glanced down and considered her physical form. Her legs and left arm and torso had already transformed into iron-hard Wychwood, smooth-barked and pale in the beams of soft sunlight, while her head and right side remained flesh. With a though, she began pushing her will deep into the tissues of the wood, and felt it grow supple and obedient to her bidding. Lindethiel began to feel sensation from her new body, and it began to flex and sway as she strengthened her control of the Wychwood. After some time, she felt she had sufficient mastery to withdraw the roots that anchored her to the ground, and to begin walking – haltingly at first, but gathering speed as she gained control of her new body. By the time she reached the edge of the clearing, Lindethiel was moving with all of the grace and fluidity that characterised her race. She began to run soundlessly through the forest, ducking low branches and leaping fallen logs and streams. The untiring Wychwood of her body pushing her faster and further than would be possible for any creature of pure flesh, blood and bone. She knew that she needed to get back to her clan settlement, and that she needed to convince the royal court to sanction an expedition to investigate the source of the sickness that was polluting their world. It would mean a dangerous hunt through the webway to an unknown destination to face an alien threat. The risks were high, but then so were the stakes, for Lindethiel knew that whoever joined the hunt would carry the fate of their world in their hands… 

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So there we have it, my first warband member, and as far as I know the world’s first and only Eldar/Dryad Exodite! I hope you like her as much as I do 🙂