Sunday, April 29, 2018

Berthild & Erentraud Hautfell

Two old banshee miniatures from Games Workshop. I have been seeing those on eBay for a long time now and only recently it came to me that those two are actually really good sculpts and I want to get them - I already have one miniature I use as a banshee, but it definitely won't hurt to have more!

As you can see on that old banshee of mine, I always painted my ghosts rather uniformly greenish - which has a great advantage of being really quick and easy to do. Then I saw these ones and I decided to try something similar - a gradient going from dark on the bottom to light white on the face. It involved quite a bit of wetblending, glazing and refining, but I think that it turned out all right in the end. It creates a much stronger illusion of them being etheral and those glowing faces are pretty spooky too.

I bought recently some old spirit hosts too - those that look like bedsheet ghosts - I'll try this gradient scheme on them too. EDIT: They are painted now and can be seen HERE.

Back when Alexander Hautfell was still a normal citizen of the empire, he was the black sheep in the family. His parents were making sure that it would be his older sisters that would inherit the family wealth and influence and not the vengeful, twisted wizard acolyte that Alexander was. His eldest sister, Berthild, was a rare woman officer rapidly advancing in the imperial army and the second sister, Erentraud, was a woman full of charm and grace with a promising future on the imperial court. Ready for anything to further his own position, Alexander began spinning a cruel web of plots to destroy his sisters’ position and inherit the family fortune. After everything was said and done, Erentraud, Berthild and their parents died as broken shells of their former selves and Alexander lost all the shreds of humanity he still had. Because of the powerful emotional connection and their undeserved fates, it was easy for Hautfell to summon the ghosts of his sisters as very powerful banshees. While they are magically bound to be obedient, those tortured spirits are just waiting for someone stronger to break the spell so they could rip Alexander’s body and soul to shreds.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Gatzek - WIP

EDIT: The finished model can be seen HERE.

Okay, it's time for something that's not zombies! I took a short break to play Total War Warhammer 2, but it didn't stick - I went back to the hobby table rather quickly. Still used to the speed and amount of work that the zombie legion needed, I have about 5 or 6 different projects going on right now - and today I will share with you one that's presentable enough at this point. The word I used to name it, Gatzek (spelled in Gacek in Polish) is a Polish name for a family of bats - and also a kinda silly colloquial term for bats in general.

Some time ago I bought a Wolfbomination miniature from the Zombicide game (I didn't take a photo of the unconverted mini, so I am using one from the official website of the game):

I always wanted to have some werewolves in my army and this one looked good enough to be used, probably as an alternative Varghulf. Then it lingered on my shelf and in the meantime, I decided that I wanted to get some Skin Wolves from Forge Wold at some point. Now that Wolfbomination won't fit those (even less from a fluff perspective) so I started thinking how to use this miniature differently. The obvious way was to make it a vampiric monster, to make it really look like another Varghulf. I even had some extra Vargheist bits laying around, so that was actually doable!

I decided to give it a Vargheist head with a creepily long and wide jaw full of teeth - so I removed the wolf head, added the vampiric one and build some base for the lower jaw out of milliput. At this point I also I noticed that the Wolfbomination's arms were actually compatible with one set of Vargheist wings - so I glued those too. You can see that stage of the conversion below. Looking at it then I also thought that it definitely could use some more mass - especially on those tiny legs.

I rolled tiny, pointy teeth out of greenstuff first and then I set them in the creature's gums later. When I was doing Flying Horrors last year, I used needles for teeth and that turned out a bit artificial - greenstuffed teeth look much more varied and natural. While I was at it, I also made it's claws on the left hand longer - I envision them to be magically retractable, like vampires in Witcher have them. Then it was just a case of sculpting some additional muscles on the back, legs and one of the arms. Well, that and changing the tail too, of course.

Below you can see the finished conversion - he will make a fine companion to my other Varghulf, the Fledermaus. I also sculpted a fallen tree on the base, it will create a good framing composition together with the wings.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Zombie Legion - Chaos Worshippers

Part of the Zombie Legion

Another army that I was collecting in the past were Chaos Warriors. I sold most of them a long time ago, but I still had some leftover bits - which naturally got used while building the horde. I also bought some additional bits to bring some variation - that's why you can see some bodies taken from 40K chaos cultists too - thankfully it's not difficult to make them fantasy-friendly.

There are some favourites of mine in this batch too: the Techno Viking in the first row, on the right, the Chaos Warrior on the second picture, for which I sculpted the chest and guts, the guy without hands you can see on the bottom right and one that got a blood eagle on the bottom left. Those were fun to build and paint - and I'm somehow surprised that in the end, I have so few of those barbarians...

Chaos incursions from the neighboring wastes are commonplace in Kislev and Varsavia is no different in that regard - von Greifens are facing marauders and other servants of the Dark Gods probably most often. Sometimes it’s just some bands lost in the woods, sometimes beastmen hordes and sometimes a big raid with armored warriors, chariots and cavalry. Each of those clashes is a trying experience, but they leave undead recruits in the zombie hordes. They are a hardy stock, don’t crumble or rot as easily, so they are appreciated by vampires.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Zombie Legion - Bretonnian Peasants

Part of the Zombie Legion

My another collection that is still waiting to be finished are the Bretonnians. I got into that army because I really wanted to design and paint all kinds of different heraldic symbols, creating a big, happy, colorful mess. Then I moved to collect undead - a pursuit that proved to be much interesting in the long run - but my love for those dirty peasant and shiny knights remained still. So when I had to get some more bodies for the horde, buying some men-at-arms was a perfect solution. With their big shields, they were also a perfect occasion to paint some coat-of-arms. Every single one of those emblems is taken from a chart I prepared long time ago when I was planning my collection of knights. This will make for a nice connection between two armies when/if I'll get to paint the Bretonnians someday...

I hoped that they would bring some color into the horde, but I severely overestimated them in that regard - they make only about 5% of the whole horde - so they don't change that much. If I was to turn back time and do it once again, I would buy more peasants. But I am not doing that and they'll have to do as they are. That's good too because I was running out of ideas how to make them into interesting zombies that would also look bretonnian enough.

Zombies drawn from Bretonnian peasant levies are a common sight in the horde - ever since the conflict with the knights from a long time ago. Their colorful uniforms bring some variation to the undead mass - and that’s about the only thing that makes them useful - malnourished peasants from Bretonnia make bad soldiers even when alive. Still, Constantin likes to collect their coat-of-arms not only as a grim memento of past battles, but also to mock the hated knights that keep trying to hunt the vampires down.

And pictures of the single zombies from that unit:

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Zombie Legion - Mercenaries

Part of the Zombie Legion

When I was building my zombies, sometimes I would add small parts from other kits to make it all a little bit more interesting. Soon I dubbed those guys with looted equipment 'mercenaries' and they grew into being another theme in my horde. I also started to think how to make them more distinct than giving them a random bretonnian helmet. That's when I started using more bits taken from other armies, even buying some things specifically to be used for this purpose. It's mostly shields in the end. I also added here some guys that look more professional than your usual random zombies.

Mercenaries are a common sight in Varsavia - if not helping some quarreling boyars or fending off barbarians coming from the wastes, they hunt the undead in the forests too. Von Greifens started facing bands of them after their presence in Varsavia was exposed to the provincial rulers. One of those groups was especially memorable because they were all equipped with gear looted from all over the world - bretonnian helmets, elven swords, dwarven axes, chaos shields, etc. Those sellswords were quite a rag-tag bunch, but they were all experienced fighters too and proved to be quite a challenge for the vampires. Eventually, they were routed and their fallen comrades got ‘looted’ the same way they were looting their equipment.