Sunday, November 25, 2018

Zombie Legion - The Order of the Lady's Tears

Part of the Zombie Legion

Back to the zombies! I am not posting this next batch because I don't have anything else to post, but rather that I want to be done with them at last!

The whole idea about those guys started with the one holding a scroll here. He was supposed to be a champion of one of the units and I was trying to come up with an idea to make him more interesting. Putting up a pointy hood with bleeding eyes seemed good enough. Then, when I was expanding the horde and I needed even more bodies, I started covering their heads with such hoods to keep the theme. It was especially useful on some bretonnian bodies, as those robes and coats are more difficult to damage and zombify than Free Company bodies, for example. Then I came up with a backstory for them, how they were blindly hunting undead, heretics and witches, not really bothering with trials. Not only it gave my horde some asshole victims but it also made one of them perfect to accompany the Pain Tree.

The tree idea came to me when I noticed that I have those cages from the Giant kit and I was wondering what to do with them - and then I decided to just hang them on a single tree, also using one of those hanged zombie torsos really as a hanged zombie torso. The twins, on the other hand, were an interesting way to use two extremely similar Flagellant bodies and two multi-ended whips I bought some time ago.

After finishing the horde I kinda regretted that I didn't get that Frostgrave Cultists box to really make a lot of them. Maybe I'll build and paint them as living humans - they would make good villains for my vampires.

When von Greifens still lived in Bretonnia, white hooded cultists with red emblems were their common enemy. The local nobles, not wanting to engage personally in the vampire-hunt, founded a group called ‘The Order of the Lady’s Tears’. It was composed mostly of younger peasants - desperate ones who couldn’t hope to inherit the land. In exchange for every found and/or executed vampire, undead, witch, etc. they were recompensated with money. They still had to pay all the taxes and undead weren’t as easy to be found, so they soon started hunting just about anyone disagreeing with them, forcing confessions, burning people - all to get their enterprise going forward. Vampire activity actually waned because of their hunts, so the nobles didn’t care about a few burned peasants. After moving to Varsavia, von Greifens were happy to run away from those thugs, but they were coming after them still with every small Bretonnian crusade that found itself in the land. They make zombies just as good as anyone else.

Several miniatures to be used in a Zombie unit. First there are some infantry cultists, some of them bases on Bretonnian Men-at-arms and Empire Flagellants and there's an unit filler, a small diorama, with a scratchnuilt tree on which several corpses are hanging, with another cultist overlooking it.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Joachim Messer the Vampire Hunter

Yet another living addition to my collection - a vampire hunter! I always liked this model, but only recently I realized that it could get discontinued by GW at some point - so I decided to order him from the webstore at the earliest occasion. He will complement my undead very nicely. EDIT: GW indeed stopped selling him in august 2019.

Painting him was interesting to me because of two things. First one, I painted him from start to finish in a single day - something which I didn't do for a long time. Nowadays I work on several projects at once and they are all spread out over several/many evenings, but for this guy I wanted to try being more focused - thankfully I had a free day to do such experiments! Second thing, I tried out some new techniques - like wetblending the basecoat, making later shading and highlighting much easier - or painting 'fake' scratches on the leather instead of leaving it as smooth as the sculpt itself.

I inteded him to be from the Ostland province of the Empire - and while he indeed has some black and white clothes under his cloak, they are kinda lost on the finished piece and way too similar to each other - something which I noticed especially well on the photos. I will have to work on those two colors some more in the future.

After Sir Baranowski’s escape, Kislev authorities finally learned that all the undead in Varsavia weren’t just rumours. But before any organized action could be made against them, the boyars wanted to collect information. They already had informants there, but recent events proved them to be ineffective. To remedy that, a vampire hunter from the Empire province of Ostland was brought. He was to gather information about the undead, look for ways to divide them and make their un-lives in Varsavia difficult - mostly by dismissing false myths about Vampires and informing the locals about real ways of fighting this menace. While extremely competent, only time will tell if his extremely dry and serious conduct (as expected of an Empire citizen) won’t discourage the locals and make him just another weird outlander spewing ‘western nonsense’.

An Empire Witch Hunter miniature painted in Ostland colors, wearing a dark red coat and a two-handed sword on his back.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Wight Warriors Host

A weird update today - not really something new, but rather more of something old!

Grave Guard from GW were the reason why I started collecting Vampire Counts a long time ago. I got my first, 20-wight strong unit of them pretty quickly and it was thanks to them I got the idea of making my army Slavic-oriented and started using the popular patina/verdigris color scheme. Only later I noticed that 20 Grave Guard wasn't that much - and pretty often I had to proxy them. After that, I started buying more boxes of them, planning to expand my unit sometime. And now, 5 years later, I have finally painted all of them - and my big bad death star of 50 wights is complete!

During those years I expanded the Slavic theme in my army, so when I was building these guys, I made a lot of pointy helmets for them. Some of them turned out rather crazy high - but I still have yet to decide if such exaggeration is good, or if I should tone it down next time. Like the old unit, they also have different blades on their weapons (swords from the Skeletons box), because I never liked the original ones. The painting side of the whole project was, of course, the same as 5 years ago, only this time it was probably much quicker and tidier.

Wight warriors are the most effective undead troops in Varsavia - but that amounted to nothing in the face of innumerable hordes of zombies and ghouls available to the vampires and necromancers, the wights’ rivals in the land. Zlyshko wanted to bolster his forces ever since he was raised, but finding the right tombs was difficult, especially if he had to stay beneath his ‘allies’ suspicion. Only when Daremnych joined him, they could strengthen their forces with new warriors - all of them skilled, clad in heavy armor and wielding the cursed blades of the ancient Varsavia. With this new host, they could start openly fighting for their rightful place in this realm.

First, the whole host:

Horde of 50 Grave Guard miniatures, set up in a big horde on an rectangular Unit Tray. Their armor is painted to resemble patina / verdigris and they have yellow freehanded patterns on their black tabbards.

And now some single warriors:

Singular examples of Grave Guard miniatures, shown separately and in detail. Their armor is painted to resemble patina / verdigris, they have yellow freehanded patterns on their black tabbards and cary great weapons.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Underworlds Warband - Sons of Skalv - WIP

One day I got an idea about converting some Stormcasts. Not wanting a full army, I decided to get a Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire box. This gave me 5 khorne guys, the second warband from that set, so I had to think what to do with them too! Finding them too golden and ornate, I decided to turn them into much simpler, gritty, Viking-inspired barbarians.

The first thing to do was to get rid of their weapons and replace them with low-fantasy ones - either finding something from my bits box or sculpting them from scratch. Next one was the worrying lack of facial hair amongst them. I understand that GW maybe wanted the leader to stand out a little more with his glorious beard, but that was not enough for me. I replaced two other heads with Chaos Marauder ones, they worked like a charm here. The remaining two got some hair sculpted. Finally, I simplified their armor and got rid of any Khorne iconography, replacing it with a single rune in some places. Fluff-wise I want them to worship Khorne in their own way, unaware of the 'mainstream' cult. They will know the Blood God under a different name, use different symbols, but still believe in the importance of spilling blood and piling skulls for the skull throne.

I must admit, this colored plastic is handy when showing conversions, it's really clear what's the original substance, what's kitbashed and what's sculpted.

EDIT: The painted warband can be found HERE.

Unpainted, converted miniatures Garrek's Reavers warband for Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire - made out of red plastic, with visible kitbashed parts in grey and sculpted parts in greenstuff.