Sunday, February 23, 2020

Viktor von Greifen, Captain of the Prenzlauer Guard

Finally, Victor von Greifen, the Devil of Nemnov is finished!

Quite some time ago I kitbashed myself a model to try out an upgraded color scheme for my The Prenzlauer Guard, my Blood Knights converted out of older Chaos Knights. He was fun to convert, but then it was time to actually try out this new 'renovation' idea of mine.

The main idea was to avoid flat and featureless red plates on the armor and to replace them with something clearly similar, but fancier and more detailed. I went with a marble pattern because I really like painting those and it seemed like a good idea to give some regal, noble note to the model. This first step was messy - wetblending, sprinkling, washing, more sprinkling, glazing, all at once. When that was done I could comfortably move to the other parts - adding more contrast to the metal elements, actually highlighting the flesh on the black horse, etc.

While I like the dark and grim style of Viktor, the old vampires still have some charm to them. Still, I leave the judgment on whether I improved on the old The Prenzlauer Guard to you readers. All things considered, I'd sooner convert new Chaos Knights into Blood Knights than try to repaint anything.

The elite unit of the Prenzlauer Guard was with the von Greifen brothers since their killing of their own sire Laurentin - but they were a blood-crazed and unruly bunch. To keep them in check, Constantin turned a promising soldier from Kislev into a vampire and made him a captain of the unit. He may be more level-headed and intelligent than his subordinates, but he still managed to bloodily beat some discipline into them and it would be a grave mistake to consider him forgiving or compassionate. Known as the Devil of Nemnov, he keeps the settlements under his care in line mostly through fear - dealing bloody retributions for the merest of slights. While Constantin prefers a more pragmatic and humane approach to his mortals, he’s willing to sacrifice those people and tolerate Viktor because he gets the job done and keeps the flank secure, freeing the brothers to focus on other parts of their lands. That and his hammer in an invaluable help in any battle.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Blood Bowl Nurgle Extras - WIP

Well, the Nurgle train never stops - I have the Star Players, now it's time for even more! As I mentioned in the post about Anirion the Weather Mage, I love Blood Bowl for all kinds of accessories and extras that exist in the game - staff, cheerleaders, markers, etc. You don't really need them represented as models - but you can - and that's what I did for my beloved Nurgle team, the Putrid Punters!

First ones up are my own interpretation of 'Bloodweiser Kegs / Babes' - a relatively cheap upgrade which allows your players to get up more easily after getting knocked out - fluff-wise by giving them copious amounts of beer. While dwarves, humans, goblins, orcs may all be satisfied with the usual stuff, I thought that Nurgle players would have more sophisticated tastes - so I converted them a special brew. The idea came to me when I was organizing my bits and I noticed this big bell from the skaven kit - which would actually quite well for my Putrid Punters, considering Nurgle's fondness for those instruments. I bought some Poxwalkers from WH40K and paired one of them with the bell as the first 'keg'. Seeing as you can have up to 2 kegs in a game, I took another Poxwalker and turned him into a living, walking keg of beer - full of delicious Nurgly goodness - which he can easily share with the tube he holds in his hand.

I call it the Infected Pallid Ale - or IPA.

The next ones are Cavorting Nurglings, a Nurgle-exclusive upgrade that rouses the fans on the stadium to cheer a little bit more and support their team a little bit better.

This was a simple thing - I bought a single base of AoS/WH40K Nurglings and bloodbowlified them a bit - an extra BB Nurgling in the front, a football helmet, a foam hand and a hotdog with a worm inside, all good fun.

Getting even smaller and even less essential to the game - re-roll markers! While absolutely anything can be used to mark the number of available re-rolls on the board, sooner or later, I want everything used by the Punters to be personal and fit their theme - including those markers.

For this I used Eyestinger Swarms from Kill Team: Rogue Trader box and converted them a bit to fit Blood Bowl better - so the corpses/body parts on the bases use BB bits and there is a small sculpted, deflated ball there.

Finally, there are two other markers that come with every BB team from GW nowadays, a 'hand' and a coin - which I use for marking score and turns. The hand is barely touched, I just added there some tentacles to make the little base a bit more crowded.

On the coin, I used some extra greenstuff to turn the flat Nurgle sigil into much more pronounced eyes - which will mimic the Punters' own logo. I actually sculpted the hole of the iris and the pupils there - which I will later fill with transparent resin. I am curious if this 3d approach to eyes will work on this scale. Time will tell.

That's it for now - but I had lots of fun with all the Nurgliness here, so expect much, more for the Punters.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Cultists of the Radiant Wheel

Some time ago I painted my first Kickstarter miniatures - Black Crab Miniatures, a great set of minis made by Meridian Miniatures and inspired by amazing artwork by @blackcrabart. They were so successful that the author went with the second set of similar miniatures - which I naturally bought. Now they are getting painted - and here are the first four out of twelve.

I used the minis from the first Kickstarter as the leaders of a cult founded by the wights in my little narration - and those individuals here are their direct subordinates. They use the same color scheme as the High Council, but while the leaders were clean and ornate, the cultists are dirty and wear some additional clothing that doesn't fit the original color scheme - I wanted to bring them closer to the unaffiliated, poor villagers that they try to convert by breaking the purity of their 'uniform'.

As with the previous miniatures, those here are great sculpts with very good quality. Their robes are flatter than before - and thus not as interesting to paint, but they were still fun, especially with additional textures and weathering.

The Cult of the Radiant wheel is spreading through Varsavia well, but the members of the High Council are not doing that by themselves - they appoint loyal cultists from amongst their apprentices and send them away to surrounding villages. Those wretches then try to infiltrate the communities, earn their trust and become useful to them - from where they start influencing the local leaders’ decision while covertly spreading information about the cult itself and serving as spies. Affected by the wights’ magic to some extent, those cultists tend to look weird, but the people of Varsavia are used to it and accept them - with the amount of dark and chaotic magic flowing through the land, the poor villagers here are rarely as ‘normal’ as their cousins in the Empire.

4 tabletop cultists miniatures from Black Crab Miniatures, seen from several angles - they painted with red, black and brown robes, with lots of dirt and weathering on them.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Blood Bowl Star Player - Guffle Pusmaw

After my favorite Tolly Glocklinger, it was time to slowly go through the rest of the kitbashed Nurgle Star Players - and today it's Guffle's turn.

Just as with the rest of this set of stars, Guffle's color scheme matches my Putrid Punters team - with nice yellowish flesh, dark/black armor and green clothes. He can be induced only by Nurgle teams, so there's really no need to consider any alternatives.

One thing special on this one was his Monstrous Mouth of course - a great focal point and a chance to paint some nicely disgusting details. When I finished painting him, feeling as if he's lacking something, I decided to once again try doing some slime strands out of UHU glue - last time I used it on zombie spider's guts, 2 years ago. I struggle a bit with this technique, but it still adds some special quality to this most famous of the Nurgle stars.

Now I only have to find some use for him on the pitch! He may be an exceptional catcher, but there are no good throwers on a Nurgle team! Other than the chaos-affiliated thrower star Lewdgrim Whiparm, I am left only with my rather unlucky rotter Ted as the agile one...

Atypical for a Nurgle Player, the agility-based playstyle of Guffle Pusmaw secured him a spot amongst one of the best-known stars of contemporary Blood Bowl. With fame like that, he was well over the budget of disoriented and disorganized Putrid Punters. That was until one of the Bloaters, Globbmax, managed to reach one of his clouded memories and remembered that he helped the previous coach depositing some of their money in a bank - before the last warp-displacement - and now, decades later, with all the accumulated interest, it was a small fortune. After a small meeting, they decided to indeed induce Guffle himself in their next match - if not to use his talents, then at least use some of his reputation to raise their own status and maybe even rise as something more than a gimmick team in the eyes of the fans and sponsors.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Sokolov Halberd Regiment - WIP

The Sokolov faction is by far the smallest one in my little Varsavian chronicle - represented by just two characters! They may be fairly impressive, but that's still not much of a faction. I bought some additional models for them during the years, but they never got too much attention.

Now I am starting with the most basic core troop for them - skeletons! Because I have a big unit of them already, I wanted to do something different. The first change was to convert them into halberdiers - making them more similar to the Empire army, on which Lady Sokolov bases her forces. I stole this idea from the 9th age army book for their skeletons - I found that idea really neat and I like halberds too. The second change - I want to flex my freehanding muscles and paint the faction's coat-of-arms on their shields - so I cast copies of Bretonnian shields out of greenstuff for them - a much better canvas than ragged, round shields of normal skeletons. Finally, I will paint them with the Sokolov color scheme, relatively clean and with lots of red - I saw skeletons like that many times and I always wanted to try doing something similar.

I am currently working on some characters for this faction, so that is coming too. I will also do a similar unit of skeleton pikemen for them, but this will probably take some time!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Blood Bowl General Staff - Anirion the Weather Mage

One of the reasons why I love Blood Bowl is how much extras there is to the game - coaches, staff, cheerleaders, markers, inducements, bonuses, dugouts, scoreboards, etc. While it isn't necessary to the game, it's all a great modeling opportunity - or an excuse to paint a model I wouldn't use in my collection otherwise - like the miniature shown below today.

I noticed this guy when I was browsing Reaper Miniature's range some time ago - and I really liked the model, but I couldn't fit him anywhere. Then I remembered a cheap staff member one can employ for a single match - a Weather Mage - added in the Spike! Magazine Vol. 2. The effect of such a mage is negligible in most plays and I don't expect to use him very often, but that was enough for me to buy and paint this model.

The sculpt of the mini is really good, but when it came to painting, I didn't have any idea how to represent a 'weather mage'... After some thinking, I decided on adorning the various layers of his clothes with representations of weather, especially those appearing in Blood Bowl - so his hood represents a nice, blue sky, his cloak - rain, sleeves - snow, and the lower robe - sweltering heat. Everything's kept in a relatively muted palette - as I imagine those not-very-useful and poorly-paid guys to be humble and subdued.

Overall, a very enjoyable painting experience - more unexpected miniatures will follow.

After spending many, many years in the Ulthuan, learning the art of controlling the Winds of Magic, Anirion was ready to join the exclusive society of researchers and mages, working tirelessly to understand the fickle nature of Chaos. Unfortunately, he was so single-minded in his studies, he completely dismissed the networking and soft skills needed to reach the position he dreamed of - no matter how often he tried, he was rejected by the elitist masters. Bitter, but still in need to make a living, he applied for a position of a mage amongst the brutes playing and enjoying Blood Bowl. He never cared for the flashy spells used by the Sports Wizards, so he joined the Weather Mages - changing the monumental forces of weather was something much more fitting for such a skilled adept of magic. Only later he learned that the salary is meager, fame non-existent and the chances for networking slim… Well, at least it’s honest work!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Gudvanger's Homunculi

Back when I was working on Haralamb Gudvanger I added two small 'helpers' on his base to improve the composition a bit and make the base seem less empty. They were made out of some random gnoblars with ghoul heads - and they worked surprisingly well! I thought to myself back then that I could make a whole unit of them, a whole gang of little nice helpers of that pleasant character.

Years later I actually bought some gnoblars and even later than that I finally managed to finish painting them! Gathering some extras from the Ogre kits, bits collections and an actually bought unit, I gathered 30 of them and used almost all of my ghoul heads on them. Beyond that, no conversions were made, so I didn't bother with posting the WIP version.

I went through them a bit rougher and faster than I do on my heroes, but those little buggers still took more time than I expected! During the painting process, they were quite colorful (which worried me a bit) but after several layers of grime, they achieved a proper look. Perhaps even too much - they blend together as a monochrome mass, but I think I can live with that - and I'll leave the judgment to you readers.

Despite the irritating process of painting such a (relatively) big unit, I am pretty happy with them - they kinda look like the creepy 'little men' from the forest - just as it was intended for them.

Anyone unfortunate getting lost in the Black Bog - or foolish enough to wander there of their own volition, will find themselves carefully observed by little men, the homunculi of the foul Flesh-stitcher Haralamb Gudvanger. Created through unclear means and materials, they are his loyal and very nasty servants. They study the newcomers from afar, judging if their body parts or equipment could be useful to their master. If not, the little constructs will try to lead them out of the bog - not without playing some mean tricks on them before, of course. If yes, then the homunculi will torment them for an extended amount of time time, leading through the treacherous bog, before finally descending upon them to literally hack them down to pieces. Besides having sheer numbers, they are also surprisingly strong for their size - they have tricked thus many foolhardy adventurers. Still, they are cowardly by nature and prefer to dispatch intruders by leading them into other, much more dangerous creatures living in the Bog.

First, the whole nasty mass:

And then the individuals (most of them) - they may be small and disposable, but they have enough character to warrant showing them a little more up-close.