Sunday, February 24, 2019

Zombie Legion - Two Creeps

Part of the Zombie Legion

A small update today - the penultimate sub-part of the legion, the two creeps. I separated them from the rest because they don't really fit anywhere else and are still too distinctive to lump them together with the 'miscellaneous' group. They are from Reaper Miniatures and are known there as Dreg Devourer and Slinker. I bought them when I was looking for more bodies to fill space with - they are good sculpts and fit the rest of my undead pretty well.

One night, two mortal humans approached the vampires in Varsavia. They told the story how they have been traveling between the villages and towns, exploiting them, cheating and stealing. Now, they found about the undead rulers in the land and they wanted to offer their services, as guides or spies - hoping for protection in exchange. The small one was even trying to concoct some sort of agreement, which just reeked of loopholes and precise wording for them to use later. Constantin killed them, raised them as zombies and only then answered that he didn’t need any more help in that matter - not from such nasty human dregs as them and especially not from someone trying to cheat and manipulate him.

Two dregs from Reaper Miniatures painted to be used as a Zombie unit filler - one of them on a bigger base with a scratchbuilt tree.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Blood Bowl Team - The Dreadspear Dragons

The third Blood Bowl team is finally painted, here are some Dark Elves! The assassins from Forge World and star players need some more attention so they will come later.

Like I mentioned in one of the previous posts, I bought them because my wife really liked their playstyle in the video games and we wanted some diversity in our teams either way. The team was also quite recently released when I bought them, they looked sharp and I certainly didn't mind painting some Dark Elves for a change!

If I were to paint them as my first team I would probably choose black and red for them because I really like the druiichi in that scheme, but Orcs were already sporting those colors. So I choose the official paintjob - that makes them stand out really well amongst the other teams and it was a good opportunity to paint something purple. Last time I used that color in any appreciable quantity was with Tzeentch Horrors, around 2006 - so it quite refreshing to try that out again. It was also the first time when I decided to cheat and "paint" their eyes using a 0.05 pen instead of a brush - I expected wonders, but in the end, it was almost the same - it's just too damn small! I really admire people that can paint irises and reflections there.

I'm glad how they turned out and liked working on them, even if the elven cleanliness and the striking colors aren't really my forte.

The Dreadspear Dragons were founded several years ago by a Dark Elf noble Slyther “Sly” Maldevs, who was lucky enough to find a young dragon that enjoyed watching Blood Bowl. Sly used it as a team mascot, cheering from the sidelines, sometimes rampaging through the stands or the pitch - guaranteeing high popularity of the team thanks to the gimmick itself. Unfortunately for him, he completely neglected the players - and when they started constantly losing and the novelty of the dragon wore off, Sly was forced to get into more and more debts to support his new, lavish lifestyle. When the situation became dire and the creditors were (literally) ramming down his doors, he transferred the ownership of the team to the dragon mascot, all to avoid the legal responsibilities of his debt. Still, this being a Dark Elf society, nobody gave a damn about such tricks and Sly got ritually tortured and sacrificed as anyone else in his position. As for the Dreadspear Dragons, the new draconic owner quickly “found” a new sponsor, manager and a coach - all the players were changed and the team rushed strong into the new season with high hopes. Not unwarranted too! The new players are much better than the previous dregs and there are two gimmicks now: the team mascot is both a live dragon and also the team owner!

First, some photos of the whole team:

Photo compilation showing a whole 12-model Dark Elf team for Blood Bowl, in a purple color scheme, with silver trims, dark clothes and pale skin.

And all the individual Dragons:

Photo compilation showing singular models of the Dark Elf team for Blood Bowl, Witch Elves, Linemen, Blitzers and Runners.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Haughr of Förghann

Now, this was a tough project. Converting it was fun and quick, but then it lingered on the shelf quite a while. When I finally started painting it, I just applied the base colors and then it lingered again when I was getting distracted with other projects. Still, the deed had to be done, so recently I sat and finished the damn thing - and actually enjoyed it in the end!

I think the biggest problem was that I didn't have a concrete idea how to paint all those flat areas on his robes - whether they should just be dirty, covered with runes or something else entirely. In the end, I went with some subtle, washed-out runes and a lot of dirt - I think this fits the character quite well. Almost all the blending and shading on this model was done by stippling it with the brush - both to reinforce the necromancer's dirty, non-smooth aesthetics and to make the blending on such large, flattish surfaces much easier.

The whole model is a converted Chaos Sorcerer from GW, which I turned into a mounted Necromancer (kinda inspired by Doctor Doom, with his green robes and metallic mask). The pictures of the unpainted, converted model can be found HERE.

When Alexander Hautfell was at the turning point of his life, before he murdered his own sisters, when he could still turn away from the path he had taken, he was found and contacted by a strange, hooded figure. This… creature called itself Haughr of Förghann and offered help with the young mage’s situation. It was from this being that Alexander learned about Necromancy and the dark arts - and since then, the wizard would just keep going further that shady path. Haughr didn’t take anything in exchange - it only promised to collect the debt later. The creature showed up again when Hautfell fell from both the vampires’ and the wights’ graces in Varsavia - but instead of collecting the debt, it offered even more help. Alexander knew that it wasn’t a good idea to trust the hooded monster, but he went with it anyway - sure that he will find a way to subvert it somehow. After all this, very little is known about the creature - only that it is ancient, clever and very skilled in necromancy. Beyond that, nothing is sure - not even if Haughr is its personal name or a name for the whole species...

A converted metal Chaos Sorcerer miniature, turned into a mounted Necromancer, visible from different angles. The color scheme is dirty green, he's holding a scythe/staff and has a metal skull-mask on his face.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Underworlds Warband - The Faceless - WIP

Finally, the converting part of my Warhammer Underworlds Stormcast team is finished - now it should be much easier.

The idea went through several stages and evolutions, but the source of it was Ana's (from Gardens of Hecate) brilliant take on the same kit, which can be found HERE. I wanted to do something similar, but also not copy it blatantly. Then I saw THIS artwork and I realized that I can make heavily armored counterparts to the cultists that I made for my zombie legion. At that point, I decided to get a Shadespire box to try this idea out. There are only 3 Stormcasts there, a perfect amount to test out this idea. Besides, I heard good things about the game itself, so trying it out was a bonus. Then I spent several months developing the idea in my head, sketching various options and looking for inspiration on the internet.

The Faceless were the final result of all that deliberation. Heavily inspired by Dark Souls aesthetics, I made my Stormcasts into creepy, otherworldly knights that hide their faces and identity behind elaborate, sculpturesque armor. Each one has a leading motive, starting with the helmet which then affects all other parts of their equipment. As their name suggests, there will be no faces on their helmets - only animals or geometric/abstract shapes, the more inhuman, the better. I have many, many more helmets/themes planned, should I someday decide to expand on this idea.

As a side note, this was probably the first time when I was doing so much precise sculpting on such (relatively) small infantry miniatures. It required different methods and I learned a lot during this whole work. Hopefully, future projects will benefit from this.

EDIT: The painted group can be seen HERE.


The whole warband, the Faceless:

All three converted Steelheart's Champions warband together, with lots of greenstuff and blue plastic visible where the miniatures were unchanged.

As a comparison, the original ones, as envisioned by Games Workshop (not painted by me, pictures taken from GW's website).

Picture of the official, unconverted warband from Games Workshop, shown here as a comparison with the converted miniatures.

Now, the individual knights. First comes the leader, the Crusader. He is obviously inspired by the Pyramid Head from the Silent Hill franchise (especially the movie version) and the artwork I linked above - but he was also thought as a knightly variant of my zombie cultists. In the beginning, I wanted to make the whole team look like that, but I had too many interesting ideas for other knights to just dismiss them like that - the Crusader remains as the only one left from that first idea.

Stormcast Eternal Severin Steelheart converted to resemble Pyramid Head from Silent Hill, his armor is very angular, he hold a flamberge in one hand and a Vargheist head in other.

The second one is the Bull. It was this idea that made me scrap the concept of making everyone a pyramid head. He was partly inspired by Smough from Dark Souls, especially the part with the 'fat armor' and helmet visors being hidden in its 'neck'. The rest are my original ideas.

Stormcast Eternal Obryn the Bold converted to wear a minotaur-shaped armor - the helmet is the neck with a bull head on top, the armor has details resembling fur and the brestplate shaped to resemble a naked chest of an overweight man.

And the third one, the Vulture. This one I made the last and was inspired by THIS and THIS artwork. I had the least ideas for her and made her last, but as the sculpting progressed I was getting more and more into it and I am pretty happy with the final result.

Stormcast Eternal Angharad Brightshield converted to wear a birdman-shaped armor - the helmet is has a beak, the armor has details resembling feathers and hear weapon is a bird-head-shaped war pick.

And a bonus, here are the renderings of some of the more geometric helmets that I have in mind for the future, mostly the ones that I could model digitally. Many of them are taken from various pictures found on Pinterest. It's also a quick example of what color I have in mind for the Faceless - well, maybe a bit rusted than that, but you get the idea.

Examples of other Faceless helmets that I modelled and rendered in 3d software, dark and rusted on a dark-grey background.

And to add even more to this already long post, this is a 52nd regular weekly post. This means, that I managed to keep up the pace and have at least a bit of progress every Sunday for a whole year. Let's wish for another year like this!