Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Three Hunters

Today I have some Skin Wolves from Forge World. I always liked those models but I couldn't find a good excuse to incorporate them into my collection. Well, I could use them as Varghulfs, but I already have some of those and they are all bat monsters, having werewolves added to that mix didn't sit well with me. Then, when I started expanding my collection beyond just undead and came up with body-horror-themed 'Dwellers of the Bog', those wolves suddenly found their place.

They fit right in as they are so the conversions are minimal here - I added the Lady's sigil on their bodies ('painted' on with Liquid Greenstuff mixed with gloss varnish, visible at the bottom of the post) and filed off any Chaos iconography. The painting was pretty straightforward, I went with light human skin and dark wolf flesh for the contrast. Only on the hands themselves, I tried to go for the 'flayed flesh' effect to bring more attention to them and I think it turned out pretty good.

Once upon a time, there were three hunters, masters of their craft, who were trying to help their starving village during an exceptionally strong winter. Most of the game was already hunted down - everywhere but in the lush garden that belonged to the wise and beautiful enchantress. She forbade anyone from hunting on her grounds, but the hunters were desperate and they decided to try nevertheless. They fell down a great stag - but as they were rejoicing, the enchantress appeared before them. They shook with fear, but the wise woman told them that the rule was just a test to find those truly skillful and brave. In reward, she offered them a chance to become better hunters than they could ever be - strong, fast, resilient, with keen senses. They could also hunt in her gardens without restrictions and their village would never know hunger again. They just had to swear their allegiance to her. Three hunters agreed and they took the stag back home, where they were greeted as heroes. After a great feast, they woke up at midnight, horrifying transformation ripping their skin open and breaking their bones. Turned into crazed, grotesque man-wolves, hearing the Lady’s whispers in their ears, they killed and devoured every single person in the village. Ever since that night, they roam Varsavia on the Lady’s of the Bog orders, only occasionally turning back into humans to realize what they agreed to.

3 painted miniatures, Skin Wolves from Forge World, visible from differen angles and on 50mm square bases.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Yarema the Giant

Recently I kitbashed a bunch of wight heroes - and today I am finally bringing you the first one of them painted - Yarema the Giant, the legendary Bodyguard of Kings.

Just as with Alarich who started the collection of Necromancers, Yarema was also the most straightforward of them when it came to painting. Verdigris on the armor, reddish fur, dry bones and a black cape with yellow freehands - just like Zlyshko for example. Still, his size makes him extra imposing and the patterns on the back are always fun to do, so I'm quite happy with him too.

Yarema didn’t kill a dragon on a lone mountain, he also didn’t change the fate of any battle by himself, but he was so good at his job that he got buried with all the ceremonies befitting a hero. Yarema was a bodyguard to Varsavian Kings - a giant so imposing and intimidating, his mere presence was enough to deter most attackers - and others got quickly pulverized by his monstrous mace. He was also surprisingly perceptive and clever, able to uncover assassinations plots before they could come to fruition and dismantle them quickly. Thanks to that, Yarema managed to outlive three different kings, who all died because of natural circumstances. After his raising, Zlyshko is more than happy to have him as his personal bodyguard, practically eliminating the danger of assassination.

Painted, kitbashed model of a Wight King with a two-handed mace, made out of various bits (including a Space Marine cloak) and greenstuff.

I also made a small comparison of Yarema and Zlyshko to show just how big a wight built around a space marine cape really is.

Comparison of the original Games Workshop Wight King with my own kitbashed creation, showing the difference in size.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Lady's Gardeners - WIP

EDIT: The finished unit can be found HERE.

This Sunday I have a big converting project to share, some Sylvaneth Dryads.

Years ago I came up with the idea of introducing some visceral, flesh-horror themes (think John Carpenter's "The Thing") in my collection - mostly in the 'Dwellers of the Bog' faction - and the first example of that were the Flying Horrors. Now I am going back to this topic, bringing you some progress on the Lady's Gardeners - Dryads 'blessed' by the Lady of the Bog.

I always liked this kit and wanted to do something with it, especially when I decided to make my army forest-themed - but they didn't work in my undead army at all. Only later when my painting became less about creating a valid army and more about creating my own themes I have found a place for those tree ladies. I thought of them as foul parodies of real Dryads, pieces of wood which the Lady forces into movement through flesh-bending magic and uses them as horrifying guardians in her realm.

Thanks to that I had a lot of possibilities when converting them, adding various fleshy and bony bits that I found in my box and sculpting tentacles and other fleshy appendages. For the faces, they have just the Lady's sigil carved into them. The only irritating part of the kit were the mold lines - removing them from all the branches was worse than scraping them off ribcages!

Here are them all together. Only one picture because unpainted and in those numbers, they are quite a mess:

20-model strong unit of unpainted, converted Sylvaneth Dryads miniatures.

And the close-ups on the singular Gardeners:

Closeups of 20 singular models of converted Sylvaneth Dryads miniatures for AoS, converted to incorporate various fleshy appendages and spines.


Recently I thought that I could make those WIP posts a little more interesting by actually showing the sculpting progress and the techniques that I used.

Here I decided to show how I made the one on the bony 'stilts', probably my favorite from the bunch. I started with cutting the limbs at the knees and elbows, drilling holes inside them, gluing thin brass rods inside and securing them at the connection with small amounts of milliput - mostly because those rods tend to rotate inside their holes after fiddling with them too much and milliput helps to prevent that.

WIP photo of the conversion of a Sylvaneth Dryad, showing thin brass wire being used as a 'skeleton' for later use of putty

After that, I create a mixture of greenstuff and milliput (ratio 1:2) to sculpt the bony horns. In 'reality' They are supposed to be hard, bony material, so using milliput-heavy mix makes the sculpting more convincing and also much easier to sand afterward.

WIP photo of the conversion of a Sylvaneth Dryad, showing first, thick and uneven application of milliput and greenstuff on the limbs

Using that much milliput made it more difficult to sculpt it properly, so I sanded it to smooth, sharp finish - exactly how I envision bony protrusions on creatures such as this one.

WIP photo of the conversion of a Sylvaneth Dryad, showing the sculpted limbs after sanding, smooth and sharp

And finally, I used pure greenstuff to sculpt some fleshy connection between the spikes and the wooden body of the Dryad. I was making thin pieces of putty, which I was then 'draping' them over the joints, adding additional ridges or stretching them with the sculpting tool as needed.

WIP photo of the conversion of a Sylvaneth Dryad, showing final stage of the process, where thin strips of greenstuff were used to connect the sculpted limbs with the plastic body.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Blood Bowl Additional Players - Orc Blockers and Blitzers

The unpainted WIP versions can be found HERE.

Today I bring you the positionals for my existing Orc Blood Bowl team, the Badlands Badbuttz - namely, two Black Orc Blockers and two Blitzers. The 2016 box comes with two of each, while the rules allow for four of each - and using all of them really helps to make the most out of the greenskin team. I used WFB miniatures, Black Orcs and Savage Orcs respectively, converted a bit to fit both the game and the other members of the team.

After initial successes in the new season, the head coach of Badlands Badbuttz decided to expand and recruit some new players, especially some ever-useful blockers and blitzers. Sadly, he got to it a little late in the season - most players were already taken, leaving only broken, mangled and/or useless rejects. Not discouraged, he sent his headhunter Tugtig deep into the world to look for promising players in their local leagues. The industrious goblin returned many weeks later with some rather, "exotic" greenskins. First were the black orcs from the Dark Lands league, used to heavy armor, prone to aggressive bursts and hardened after playing countless seasons with the hated Chaos Dwarfs teams. Second were the savage orc Blitzers from the scorched southern Badlands, completely crazy and frenzied from all the sun and using magical warpaint instead of armor. Getting them to play with the rest of the team will be even more difficult than usual, but well, the Badbuttz are nothing if not known for their diversity and some internal rivalries!

4 painted miniatures for Blood Bowl, 2 Orc Blitzers for Bloodbowl converted out of Savage Orcs for AoS and 2 Black Orc Blockers converted out of Ardboyz for AoS, both sets kitbashed a bit.

The painting of the Blockers was rather straightforward - it was the same thing as with the original team, lots of red, black, white markings. The one holding a human head in his hand has a red-white shield on his other hand - referencing the icon for the 'Guard' skill that's used in the video game - now it should be clear who has it! It was also the first time when I used a sponge to add weathering on their armor - and I must say, I am pretty satisfied with the effects.

2 Black Orc Blockers kitbashed out of AoS Ardboyz, converted and painted, visible from several angles.

Savage Orc Blitzers were much more interesting in comparison - there was no metal, lots of bone and lines, with the skin coming forward as the most important area. It was the first time since many, many years when I had to paint so much of orc skin - and a good opportunity to get the right hue of green for them. I was so happy with the result that I kinda didn't want to cover it with warpaint - but it was important for their theme and to somehow represent their high Armor Value - and it also turned out rather ok.

2 Orc Blitzers kitbashed out of AoS Savage Orruks, converted and painted, visible from several angles.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Alarich Schwering

Some time ago I showed you my necromancer conversions - to be seen HERE - and now it's time finally start posting the painted ones. First comes Alarich, who I imagined as a crazy survivalist necromancer, one that has some Lore of the Beasts theme to him.

He is the most converted one from the whole group, but also the most straightforward one when it came to painting - just some more of my standard dirty, green color scheme. Well, that and a tiger on his back - those freehands were some added value - gems too, I haven't painted those for a long time now.

When Hautfell met Constantin von Greifen, he was the most powerful magic user in the band and enjoyed great influence thanks to it. Yet, his position was getting weaker and weaker with every new vampire coming to aid von Greifens and with wights becoming more independent than ever. And while his apprentice Krebs was easily manipulated - that means “reliable” - he lacked a true talent that would be needed when all local tensions will finally burst. That’s why he needed someone capable to help him in this fight for Varsavia, so full of undead to be controlled. With the help of the mysterious Haughr found the right person in Alarich Schwering - an old Necromancer residing deep in the Troll Country. Even though he got a little strange after all the years spent alone in the wilderness and was almost blind, he was surely skilled enough to survive in the land full of skaven and monsters - a quality that Hautfell was looking for. After some creative convincing, Schwering moved to Varsavia, ready to push vampires and wights out of it and rule over the undead there with other necromancers.

Old metal Necromancer miniature from Games Workshop, seen from several angles, converted to have a 'Lore of the Beasts' theme, with a tiger pelt on his head and back, painted in greenish, dirty colors. He is usable in Warhammer Fantasy Battle (WFB) or Age of Sigmar (AoS).