Tag Archives: Games Workshop

A Vamp for Vampifan Part 2: The Red Duke

Well, it took me long enough, but I finally finished my vampire miniature painted this month in honor of Bryan Scott, a.k.a. Vampifan; a gamer who sadly passed on earlier this year. I chose The Red Duke from Games Workshop, a classic Vampire Counts miniature that I have had since its release in the late 90’s. Had I known Vampifan better (or at all), I probably would have chose something different, i.e. one that looked a bit more like Ingrid Pitt rather than Christopher Lee.

No one tells me anything. I blame Roger.

Anyway, once I got him positioned how I wanted, I gave him another coat of Vallejo black surface primer and did a quick drybrush of Citadel Celestra Grey to underpaint the model and highlight everything I needed to see in order to paint (my eyes ain’t what they used to be). Then I got to work.

Behold the results of my efforts. I have to say, since I started using Instagram and was forced to begin using my iPhone to take pictures, I have noticed that pictures taken with my actual camera really suck in comparison to anything I take with my phone. For some reason, if I try to load my iPhone pictures into WordPress, it doesn’t work. Normally I would blame Roger for this (and everything else); but it’s far more likely that WordPress is to blame.

Please forgive the shitty quality of these pictures, is what I’m saying.

I followed Duncan Rhodes Jr’s GW recipe for vampire skin: Rakarth Flesh base; followed by an Agrax Earthshade wash; highlight with Flayed One Flesh and finally with Pallid Wych Flesh. Of course, the only skin the Duke is showing is his face; but I think it looks suitably vampiric. The armor is a mix of four or five red washes and paints from different manufacturers (please don’t ask me what I used), as well as the same number of gold metallics. The one thing I’m unsure of is the purple…the more I look at it, the more I think it should be black. But I wanted to add a bit of color to the Duke besides red. What do you think?

Speaking of purple, THIS happened while I was in the midst of painting: I spilled my Druchii Violet wash all over the place, because I accidentally swatted the shitty GW flip-top bottle cap and knocked the whole pot over. Fuck you, GW. Between your paints that dry up far too quickly and your fucking stubborn resistance to dropper bottles, I’ve about fucking had it with your planned obsolescence business model. Know what I’ve never accidentally spilled? ANY PAINT IN A FUCKING DROPPER BOTTLE. Like Vallejo. Or Army Painter. Or Reaper. Or any cheap-ass craft paint I can buy at Wal-Mart. All these paints seem to last a hell of a lot longer, too. Coincidence? DOUBT IT.

Sorry. I’ve been drinking.

One thing I am really happy about is using the cape from the Heroclix Hobgoblin. I did this out of necessity, because I somehow lost the Red Duke’s own cape over the years. (Very unlike me. I’m sure it will turn up somewhere.) I think it looks a lot better than his “official” cape would look; and it adds a bit of realism to the motion of the rearing skeletal steed. (Also, it turns out I didn’t need to sculpt any reins, so…yaay me!)

As a small bonus, I also repainted this Horrorclix Nosferatu. Unlike the Red Duke, it took me about 30 minutes in total to rebase and repaint him, so it’s hardly a huge accomplishment. Still, I thought I’d include him in my Vampifan tribute.

True to form, I waited until the last possible minute to post these miniatures. I hope Vampifan would have liked them. It’s Halloween, and if there wasn’t a pandemic, I’d be expecting trick-or-treaters at my door in a few hours; but it’s looking like it’s going to be a quiet night.

Perfect night, in fact, for a vampire movie…

A Vamp for Vampifan: Part 1

Roger from Rantings From Under the Wargames Table has organized a tribute to fellow blogger and miniatures enthusiast, Vampifan (Bryan Scott), who sadly passed away earlier this year. I knew Vampifan from his blog, Vampifan’s World of the Undead, and from Painting Challenges like Zomtober and Forgotten Heroes. We tread the same internet and blog byways, but I can’t recall ever corresponding with him directly. I wish I had. By all accounts, he was a great guy, a veteran gamer generous with his advice and encouragement; a good friend, a real credit to the hobby, and a man who will be missed.

This month, to honor an absent friend, Roger has proposed painting a vampire miniature in lieu of simply raising a glass in Vampifan’s memory (although feel free to do that, too). I’ve got a vampire miniature, so count me in.

The miniature I have chosen is one I have had for about 25 years: The Red Duke, by Games Workshop. I bought him right around the time GW split their Undead army into Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings. I chose to go with (though never played) Vampire Counts; the Red Duke was to be my general.

As you can see, he was primed black some time ago, and 25 years of being knocked around in a box has worn some of that off. He also had a cape at one point, but I seem to have lost it. No matter. This Heroclix Hobgoblin shall donate his. You may recall this particular Heroclix has already donated his left arm to my Nexus Forgotten Heroes submission earlier this year. I’ve also removed his head and cut him off the glider. Waste not, want not.

You never know when you’ll need an empty goblin glider. Ask Norman Osborn how dangerous they can be…

Anyway, I don’t want him to go on a boring cavalry slotta base. I’m going for a more dynamic pose: I want him on a rearing skeletal steed! The billowing cape should help the overall effect. I chose a 60mm round base, then added a 30mm base for height and applied some Magic Sculpt to level everything out.

A bit of green stuff, drilling and test-pinning, and I think I’m ready for a re-prime. I’m going to paint the Duke and the steed separately before fitting them together. It seems I may have to use more of the dreaded green stuff to sculpt some reins, as his new, more dynamic pose doesn’t “sit the saddle” the way it was intended.

At this stage of the game, I’m happy with what I have. It looks like this could be a good-looking miniature when I’m done, if I don’t fuck up the paint job. Fingers crossed!

Fee Fie Fo Fum!

I smell the blood of an Englishman. Be he alive or be he dead, I’ll grind his bones to make my bread!

Not surprising, really, since I know of at least three Englishmen who frequent Dead Dick’s Tavern. Only too likely one of them would leave their spoor behind. Of course, I would never grind their bones to make bread. That’s just silly.

This is the classic Marauder/Citadel Giant, and he is my “Big ‘Un” for Monster May(hem) this year. This guy came out circa 1989 or so; and for decades he was “the” Warhammer giant; there wasn’t another until well after this one ceased production. I’m pretty sure he was sculpted by one or both of the Perry brothers, but I could be wrong. (Edit: I was wrong. A simple Google search turned up it was sculpted by Aly Morrison. Thanks to Matt and shame on me.) Whoever sculpted him did a great job. (It was Aly Morrison.) I’ve always loved this model. As an Orc and Goblin player back in the day, I always wanted one, but could never lay hands on it.

Then, a few years ago, I bought a miniatures lot off a guy on Craiglist who was getting out of the hobby (which was a pretty aggravating experience, but eventually turned out ok). This giant was in there, assembled and primed white (which I HATE). Back in 2018, when I first decided May was Monster Month (remember when it was called that?) , I put this guy on my desk to paint him. I decided to do my Orc Warlord on Wyvern instead, and there the giant sat until now. Every once in a while, when I squeezed out too much paint, I would dab some on him somewhere. He looked a mess, and I made no progress, always telling myself I’d get him done eventually.

Well, he’s done. Mostly.

About halfway through painting him this month, I noticed he’s incomplete. He’s missing two pieces: a keg which he has slung around his hip (where the rope meets in thie picture above), and a sword that attaches to his other hip. The guy included a huge bag o’bitz in the Craigslist purchase. Guess which two bitz were not there?

I guess it doesn’t look terrible without the keg. And who needs a sword when you can rip a tree out of the ground and swat someone with it? Anyway, I did what I could with him, and I’m pretty happy with the result. I’m most happy that he’s DONE, and I can remove him from my painting desk forthwith.

I know I just said it a few paragraphs ago, but I’ll say it again. I love this model. No computer sculpting or 3D printing here, and no resin or plastic to be found. This model is all metal, and reminds me of a time when transporting your army doubled as a biceps workout. Bring back those days…

Here’s a scale comparison to a Reaper Hill Giant (also all metal, though they make him in Bones now), and an Empire Greatsword. I know the current GW giant is even bigger, but I think this guy is just right.

And that brings Monster May(hem) to a close…or does it? It is currently 7:30 a.m. at Dead Dick’s Tavern. That means there’s still 16 hours or so left in May…and I have two unpainted monsters still sitting on my desk. Can I get one painted before midnight?

Be sure to check out all the other participants. Since last post, Matt painted yet another monster: the cloak fiend, and Dave sculpted and painted a Bantha for some Star Wars gaming! Plus, I forgot to mention Harry painted some unicorns and treekin over on his site, along with his High Elf dragon!

Next month is Forgotten Heroes over at Carrion Crow’s Buffet, and I can’t wait. But for now, there’s still time to paint some monsters!

Blogroll

Roger, aka Dick Garrison, from Rantings From Under the Wargames Table

Dave Stone from Wargames Terrain Workshop

Matt from PMPainting

Coyotepunc from Coyotepunc’s Creativity

Ken from Blue Moose Arts

Jeremy, aka Carrion Crow, from Carrion Crow’s Buffet

Harry from War Across the Ages

You can find links to all these blogs (and others) in the sidebar as well!

Varg Bonebreaka: Orc Warlord on War Wyvern

To finish off Monster Month, I present a  monster miniature that is finally seeing paint after almost THIRTY YEARS in my “to-do pile”!

It’s an old Warhammer Orc Shaman on War Wyvern, circa 1990 or thereabouts. I got him on the secondary market sometime in the mid-nineties. Originally, he was to be for use with my Warhammer Fantasy Orc & Goblin Army, but I wanted to use the wyvern as a mount for an army general, Varg Bonebreaka,  rather than a shaman (more on this later). Before I could do more than buy the bitz and start the conversion, though, several things happened.

  1. Mounting characters on monsters fell out of favor, if not with the entire WFB community, then certainly with my WFB gaming group. The focus of WFB became more about troops than super, unit-killing characters. A positive change, I would say.
  2. I stopped playing “special characters” in my army, for the same reason as above.
  3. I got distracted by something else. I don’t know what. It could have been a bright spot of reflected light shining onto the wall, for all I know. More likely it was my 40K Mordian Iron Guard.

Eventually, around 2003 or thereabouts, I ceased playing Warhammer and Warhammer 40K altogether. This miniature, along with all my others, languished in storage until around 2010 or so, when I started painting miniatures again.

The mounted shaman miniature is perfectly acceptable, in a “I’m holding two weapons parallel to my body within my frontal plane” kind of way (typical of GW of the time). He just wasn’t all that exciting. For my general, Varg,  I decided to use the original Morglum Necksnapper model as the base of the conversion.  You can see in the picture below how the original model looked way back when. I intended to mount the shaman on Morglum’s boar, since he wouldn’t be using it. I still haven’t got around to that yet, either.

I purchased all the bitz I needed for the conversion from a GW rep who came by my FLGS in the “Bitz Wagon”. I bought a dwarf casualty for the base, as my Orcs & Goblins often faced off against my friend’s Dwarfs. (Yes, I wanted to irritate him.) I got rid of Morglum’s axes, as I hated how they looked, and replaced one with a double-edged Chaos axe. I decided I was going to give him a long spear in his other hand, as he would be pretty high up on that wyvern and wouldn’t be able to reach his opponents with anything else. For that, I used a lance from an old Skeleton Horsemen box. Finally, I ditched Morglum’s banner poles and replaced them with the back banner from an old Skaven model, Queek Head-Taker.

Then I let him sit there in the Insanity Pile, untouched, for almost 30 years. When Monster Month rolled around, he wasn’t hard to find.

Here are the results. Because of the large amount of conversion on the orc, I needed to paint them separately prior to assembly. This is actually the first time I mounted a model on something to handle it while painting (I usually just hold it between my fingers). The wooden “plant pot” was intended to provide some stability, but it didn’t do much as the model kept falling over whenever I accidentally hit it (which was often). After the third time fixing the spear, I got wise and glued it to this coffee can lid for added stability.

I don’t go in for the double banners on the wyvern’s back, because I think it looks stupid. Also, I suck at making banners. I opted to add some severed heads from an old GW zombie sprue instead.

I couldn’t find the “back end” of the lance pole. It disappeared some time in the last 25+ years or so. Instead I used a piece of plastic rod. I thought it looked kind of boring, so I added this scythe blade from a GW zombie sprue to the end, turning it into a nasty, unique-looking pole-arm.

I drilled a couple of holes in the wyvern’s flank and added some arrows. Monsters, and the generals on them, tend to attract missile fire.

My friend’s Dwarfs, IIRC, were painted in a green color scheme. I decided to paint this dwarf blue to make him really stand out against the grass and under the wyvern’s claw. The broken barrel is from an Army Painter basing kit.

At last, some final pictures of the complete wyvern with the rider. I give you Varg Bonebreaka, a name inscribed forever in the Book of Grudges many times over! WAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!!!!!!

Makes me wish I still played Warhammer.

This model took me longer than I thought to complete, so I’m glad I started when I did. Unfortunately, I still have a few monsters that aren’t quite finished, and the end of Monster Month is nigh! Oh well. Perhaps I will finish them up soon, and post them as an intermission during next month’s Forgotten Heroes challenge!

 

Insanity Pile Progress

Miniatures Painted Thus Far: 8

Miniatures Purchased: 0

Total: +8

The Dwarves Are Upon You (again)!

Just in time for 3 years after the Age of Sigmar destroyed the Warhammer Fantasy universe, I have finally finished my dwarf army. Well, mostly finished. I firmly believe that you can never have enough dwarfs. But for now, I am content.

This was definitely a labor of love. It has been over a decade since I played a game of Warhammer Fantasy, and I have no interest whatsoever in Age of Sigmar. It is unlikely that these stalwart dwarfs will ever see battle, which is a real pity. Nonetheless I did my best to paint them in a manner most glorious, limited only by my shortcomings of  painting skill.

Some of these miniatures and units have appeared before on this blog, back when I was zealous enough to think I could complete a project in a reasonable amount of time. Now that the army as a whole is finished (mostly), I decided to present them once again, this time with the rest of the army. My dwarfs are from several different manufacturers. I have no brand loyalty when it comes to good-looking miniatures, and I don’t play in tournaments where “official” miniatures are required. To that I say most vehemently: “Fuck that shit.”

First up, the Thunder from Down Under(ground), my missile troops!

This is the small unit of Thunderers included with the Battle for Skull Pass (BFSP) boxed set. Ten stalwart gunners, led by a Hero (more on him later). I really like these one-piece plastics; even though they’re not poseable, it’s still possible to achieve enough variation with the paint jobs to make them all appear different.


Up next is a group of ten Quarrelers, produced by Mantic. Mantic definitely has a unique look that you either love or hate (I like these guys), but the price can’t be beat. Not as detailed as some of the other manufacturers, but they certainly do the job for rank-and-file troops. These dwarfs could have been build as Ironwatch, which is Mantic’s equivalent of Thunderers, but I chose to give them crossbows rather than rifles because crossbows are cool.

Finally, my favorite unit of missile troops: my Dwarf Gunners, manufactured by Black Tree Designs. Let me be clear: I LOVE BLACK TREE MINIATURES.These guys are all metal, and hearken back to the glory days of GW and Citadel metal miniatures. They have the same “chunky” look to them and the same weight in the hand. They’re priced fairly well, especially since Black Tree seems to have constant 40%-50% off sales going on at any given moment. These guys were a joy to paint, and although 18 is quite a lot of dwarfs for a unit of Thunderers, I really like them!

Next up, the foot troops. First is the small unit of Dwarf Warriors from the Battle for Skull Pass set. Ten dwarfs does not a unit make, IMO, but they’re what I had. They’re positioned behind one of the King’s Wall obstacles, also from the BFSP set. I acquired a few more of these dwarf walls over the years.  These warriors are positioned next to a Flame Cannon (more on that later).

Up next, a group of 16 Dwarf Rangers. These guys are GW plastics, and they lack a command group because I couldn’t find a dwarf command group that looks the same as the unit. I’d still like to get one, though…so if anyone has dwarf plastics from this set that could be made into a command group, contact me and let me know.  Although they are ubiquitous in Fantasy, especially with Dwarfs, I’ve never been a fan of double-bladed axes (they look dumb to me), so I took the liberty of modifying some of axe-heads by removing one of the blades. I like the way it looks much better. They’re standing next to an old -style GW Dwarf Organ Gun (see below).

A unit of Black Tree Dwarf Warriors. Now this is more like it! A small unit at 18 models, but a solid enough brick on the table. Red is my least favorite color, and I loathe painting yellow, so why I chose this color scheme I couldn’t really tell you. The standard bearer had a miscast axe, so I just clipped it and replaced it with a Mantic hammer head.

This unit is a unit of Black Tree Miners. Note the shiny headlamps and the hammers. I love the look of these guys, and there’s 20 of them, so it’s a decent sized unit. But I’ve decided to use these guys as warriors rather than miners; I am a big proponent of core troops over special or elite choices, and these guys can serve as warriors just as well…

…especially since I already have a unit of Miners. These guys are mix of the GW BFSP miners and a GW miners regiment, for a total of 18. The one-piece BFSP sculpts blend pretty well with the poseable regiment dwarfs. The command group is from the BFSP set, so I was free to make the entire regiment box rank-and-file miners.

These Mantic Shield-Breakers are proxy Hammerers. Since there’s only 10 of them, I figured I would use them as a bodyguard for my army general. To be blunt, I hate half of these miniatures. The ones that have smooshed-down helmets annoy me, as it can’t possibly be that difficult to cast a miniature headless instead. This would give you the option of adding whichever dwarf head you prefer. Any of them would look better than these lazy, one-piece castings. The other dwarfs actually look pretty cool. And once again, the price can’t be beat (I guess you get what you pay for). This was the most recent unit I painted, completing it just last week, even though I bought it at Gen Con in 2012.

Lastly, my elite unit. These are 20 Black Tree Dwarf Ironclads; in other words, proxy Ironbreakers. I love these guys, and they’re pretty much the best dwarf unit you can field. I once had a unit of Savage Orc Boar Boyz charge a unit of my friend’s Ironbreakers, only to get decimated on the charge and routed. That’s right: my unit of Savage Orcs charged the dwarfs and got their asses kicked so hard they ran away; and somehow I rolled so badly that the dwarfs were able to run faster than my boars and cut the entire unit down like ripe wheat. Oh, the humanity.

Next up: the artillery! Here is a standard cannon. Note the crew is being kept well-hydrated by the Dwarf Brewmeister and his team. The cannon is a metal GW piece, the beer guys are from Reaper and serve no purpose other than to look cool.

Another cannon, this time the plastic one from the Battle for Skull Pass boxed set. I’m a fan of the models, especially the Dwarf Engineer. Note the Dwarf bagpiper in the background. He’s from Bob Olley’s Dwarf World line, and he’s playing the only instrument loud enough to be heard over cannon fire. Hell yeah!

Here is a close-up of the old-style dwarf Organ Gun from Games Workshop. I’m pretty sure I have the wrong crew miniatures for this artillery piece (I think these are technically cannon crew), but they came with the gun and I got the whole kit on the secondary market. I like the newer GW model better. In fact, I like the Mantic version better, too…but the spiky front on this one has some charm. Kind of superfluous, though…I mean, wouldn’t the five loaded guns deter a frontal assault just fine without all the spikes?

This trebuchet is from Black Tree Design. You may ask: who needs a stone-thrower when you have cannons? Well, I do. My cannons almost always misfire. I have better luck with rocks. And dwarfs are pretty traditional…rocks have been around forever, and if there is one thing dwarfs have no shortage of, it’s rocks. They served well enough in the past…why change things? Rocks are obviously made for hurling at greenskins or those annoying elves. AS IT SHOULD BE!

Here is a shot of the Flame Cannon, also by Black Tree. Sadly, since I will probably never play this army in a game, I will not be able to see the flame cannon in action. Burning things seems like a lot of fun. Like all my Black Tree dwarf models, I love this gun. As a bonus, here’s another look at the Dwarf Warriors from BFSP.

Confession time: Although love dwarfs, I hate Dwarf Slayers. I think they’re stupid. That’s why I will never field a unit of them. Although GW has made them iconic, I refuse to buy into their bullshit. Nonetheless, one of them came with the BFSP boxed set, so I painted him up. There he is.

And finally, a closeup of my Lords. The army general on the left came with BFSP. I painted him up a couple of years ago as part of Dwarvember, along with those GW warriors and miners. You can see more pictures of him here. On the right is a GW Dwarf Hero. Since he has a cool pistol,  I placed with my small unit of Thunderers.

As I said, the army is mostly done. Astute viewers may have noticed bare banner poles on some of my standards. That’s because I suck at freehanding banners, but hopefully I’ll get around to it. Also, the Mantic units do not come with command groups (it’s not necessary for their game, Kings of War), and neither do I have a command group for my Rangers. I’d like to get command groups painted for all my units. Perhaps it’s because I played so much Warhammer Fantasy, but units without command groups look incomplete to me, and are therefore irksome.

I’m just glad I completed this project (mostly) after talking about it for so long. The army may be complete, but I still have plenty of dwarfs to paint. Watch this space soon!

Imperial Bunker

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. Time to jump back in the pool with a piece of terrain I’ve had for about 12-15 years or so. It’s an Imperial bunker I bought for use in Warhammer 40,000.

I have a few pieces of terrain cast from the same material. It feels like solidified Great Stuff (spray insulation), but a bit stronger. Looking closely, I can see it was made by a company called “Epicast”. The “Breeder Bomb” was also one of these pieces. As you can see, the bunker comes apart into 3 pieces, so it’s possible to put miniatures inside the balcony and on the roof.

Anyway, as you can see, it painted up pretty easily. It took me about an hour to apply the craft paint, shade and highlight it, and add some base turf here and there. Here’s what it looks like finished, front and back:

It seems to be a bit high for a bunker, but a bit too small for a fort.

An Ultramarine standard bearer from my first ever 40K army, circa 1994 or so. My marines were primarily beakies from the Rogue Trader boxed set. Guys like this were considered “new” at the time. I remember he retailed for $6.50.

A couple of Imperial Guard (yes, I said Imperial Guard, not Astra Militarium!), a commissar and a Mordian trooper, from my main 40K army, the Mordian IX.  The roof has been removed and they’re in the balcony.

Sadly, since I no longer play 40K, it’s unlikely I’ll ever use this piece in a game. Tough to use it for anything else, either, considering that big skull just screams GW. Still, it’s good to get it painted up after all these years.

WizarDecember Week Three

This week was my birthday, and between that and the general holiday madness it was a challenge to be able to submit anything this time around. But WizarDecember stops for no one until the 31st! So, without further ado, here are the wizards!

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First up is Punkrabbitt’s Week TWO submissions, here a little late but welcome nonetheless. You can read all about his Frostgrave warbands over on his blog, Tumbahelada de Punkrabbitt, accessible through the sidebar if so inclined. Up top is the old Citadel wood elf Queen Alarielle, circa late 90’s. Below that is an old Citadel wood elf mage. Together they’re a wizard and apprentice for Frostgrave, respectively.

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Punkrabbitt’s week three submission is a conversion of a Reaper Bones miniature. Using an Iron Wind Metals rabbit head, Punkrabbitt converted this wererat to be a bunny-headed wizard for yet another (bunny or Chaost-themed) Frostgrave warband! Awesome!

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TMP’s 144artist submitted this Hasslefree female wizard, again for use in…you guessed it…Frostgrave! (I gotta get into this game.) 144artist combined some terrific brushwork with a Micro Arts Studio base and here is the result! I particularly like the blending on the crystal ball and the designs on the hem and back of her robe. Thanks again, 144artist!

WizarDecember week 3aWizarDecember week 3b

These two are from TMP’s CBPill. Up top is an old Celtos Kev White Sculpt that is a new version of CBPill’s Necromancer from an old WarGods of Aegyptus world campaign. (His words, not mine.) And on the bottom is a “wizard-type from the Dark Fable line of Ancient Egyptian minis.” Both look great. I’m considering an Egyptian-themed pulp game in the future, and that guy on the bottom would fit right in. Thanks again, CBPill!!!

Lastly, here is my submission for the week: this RAFM Wizard with Wagon. I’ve always loved the opening scene in the Fellowship of the Ring, when Gandalf rides into Hobbiton in a wagon loaded with fireworks. So I guess it’s no surprise that I went for a Gandalf look when I painted him.

I now wish I painted the goat more of a whitish color. I painted him first, then decided on the Gandalf look, so by the time I painted the wizard it was too late to change the goat around and make my deadline. Although I used different colors, they look a little too similar for my liking.  Also, it seems I need to rub off some of the static grass on the side of the base. Ooops.

This is one of those miniatures with a lot of character. I’m not sure what this fellow poking his head out the back is supposed to be, so I just went with a standard “red demon” look.

WizarDecember concludes next week, the day after Christmas! Happy Painting!

Dwarvember Week Four

The final weekend of Dwarvember has some great submissions! Thanks to all who participated in the painting challenge this month. It’s been a fun time!

Without further ado, here are the dwarfs!

First up once again is TMPs 144artist with some spectacular Mantic dwarf badger riders! I love these miniatures and didn’t even know about them until I received this submission. Great job.  Makes me want to buy some!

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I remember Grenadier had some cool bear riders back in the day. I’ll have to hunt those down somewhere.

Up next is another familiar Dwarvember participant, TMPs Black Cavalier, with more classic Citadel dwarfs.

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Throbin One-Eye,

Citadel Kimril Giantslayer

and Kimril Giantslayer. Here’s a unit of EM4 Dwarf Shieldbreakers. These look to me like the old Fantasy Warrior dwarfs:

EM4 Shieldbreakers

Black Cavalier also found time to finish out his Chaos Dwarf mortar team:

chaos dwarf mortar and crew

On a side note, Black Cavalier is looking for some dwarf items in trade. I’d paraphrase, but why do that when here’s a direct quote?

“I’m looking to buy a chaos dwarf swivel gun, just the gun, not the crew.
Also, I have 2 of the same figures from the chaos dwarf mortar crew(the one I submitted this week), but I don’t have the other mortar crew holding the linstock (the spear thing with the fuse lighter on the end). I’d like to trade my extra unpainted guy with the mortar round for the guy I’m missing.”

Here’s a link to his TMP Marketplace post where you can see the miniatures in question. Thanks for a truly epic submission week, Black Cavalier!

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TMPs Balin Shortstuff returns, combining his apparent love of billiards with his love of dwarfs for a truly unique unit of dwarf spearmen! Balin is trying to ID the manufacturer of these figures, so drop him a line if you can ID them. Well done!

Punkrabbit returns returns with more submissions from his Frostgrave dwarf warband!

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Top and middle: some  dwarf miners and a dwarf slayer from GW’s Battle for Skull Pass. The bottom is an awesome conversion of the cannon crewman from the same set to be used as a dwarf witch lord! You can read all about how punkrabbit returns made his conversion and see more pics on his blog, over in the sidebar! Thanks again!

TMP’s CBPill offers up more Hasslefree Grymn for the challenge.

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I love the Grymn, and they’re one of those “wish I had time” projects that plague me. Nice to see someone doing them justice! Thanks, CBPill!

Finally this week, my submissions. I finished up my own unit of miners, some from Battle for Skull Pass, some not.

I used the command group from BfSP, considering I didn’t have much of a choice. Then I built a unit of miners without a command group to bulk out the unit.

The dwarf on the left is from Skull Pass, the one on the right is from a unit box of GW dwarf miners.

Well, that about wraps it up for Dwarvember. Coming next month: WizarDecember! Details to follow soon, so watch this space and get your magic-using miniatures ready!

Armies of Yesteryear: 40K Mordian Iron Guard

Once again, a look back on my old armies. This time it’s my favorite old Imperial Guard faction: the Mordian Iron Guard.

What really drew me to the Imperial Guard is not really all that unusual: I wanted to field tanks and blow shit up.  I chose the Mordian Iron Guard because they were the chapter that appealed to me most, despite them not having any special characters in the Codex. (Actually, that appealed to me as well, as by the time I started playing Guard, special characters had fallen out of favor.) I never liked the Catachans, found the Rough Riders silly, didn’t really dig the Tallarns or the Cadians. And while I liked the Valhallans, I didn’t want to deal with snowy bases. (An old acquiaintance had a killer Valhallan Ice Warrior army complete with custom sentinels that was really cool, however.)

This army was my main Warhammer 40K army for most of the late 90’s -2003 or so. In choosing my army I decided that I would not field any Abhuman troops like Ratlings and Ogryns. I would use lots of base troops and have as many Commissars as possible to keep order and hopefully lend a little strength to squads in melee. I’d augment the core troops with fire-support and stormtrooper squads, and tanks tanks tanks!

And that’s what I did.

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Starting off in the front is a squad of pre-Kasarkin stormtroopers. These guys came 6 to a box and were all plastic. You had to buy your special weapons and command separately. Behind them is a standard Infantry squad of Mordians led by both a Sergeant and a Lieutenant. Behind them is an anti-tank battery of 3 Lascannon teams. Way in the back is a Basilisk Heavy Support Tank. Over on the right is a Chimera, deploying an Armored Fist Infantry Squad.

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Continuing, my Sentinel squad is in the forefront of this picture. (My sentinels never did anything but get shot and blow up, usually by Turn 2. But they look so cool.) Behind them is another Infantry Squad. Farther back from left to right is a Leman Russ Battle Tank, the Command Squad (more on that later), and a Mortar Battery led by another Commissar. On the right is a Chimera with a Forgeworld twin-linked heavy bolter turret. Better than a multilaser any day of the week, and it looks better too.

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Rounding out the force are the rest: in front, another squad of Stormtroopers. I used to love to Deep Strike with these guys and tie up some enemy units long enough to rain death from above with my artillery. Behind them is a fire-support battery (2 heavy bolters and an autocannon), crewed by Stormtroopers. Behind them is yet another Infantry squad. To the right are three more tanks: a Leman Russ Demolisher, a Hellhound, and in the back, an old Griffon Heavy Mortar. Last but not least a final Infantry squad is on the far right, led by another Commissar.

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I would often deploy an Adeptus Mechanicus tech-priest and some servitors between my tanks, especially those I usually kept stationary, like the Basilisk, Griffon and Demolisher. Sometimes they could save or fix something, and sometimes they couldn’t.

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Close-up of the pre-Kasarkin Stormtroopers armed with Hellguns.

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A Commissar leads an Infantry squad on the flank.

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Close-up of the anti-tank Lascannon battery.

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You can never have too many indirect fire weapons. I love mortars. Nothing better than dropping a couple of templates on some Orks, Gaunts, or Eldar.

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My command squad. The Commander is a converted miniature from the defunct and short-lived game Cell. (Don’t tell GW he’s not “official”.) He towers over everyone else in the army and is almost the size of an Ogryn. (“Methinks I detect the influence of the Warp….”)

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This is my Army Standard. I converted a Brin Milo miniature so that he wasn’t playing the Tanith pipes anymore. Then I used some 3/64mm brass rod to make the pipes. I used Squadron model putty (!) to sculpt the ferrules and the pipe sash and to beef up the bag (this was before I discovered Green Stuff). He was one of my first conversions ever and I still love him.

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Sentinels look bad-ass. Too bad they suck. You may also notice that none of the armor in this army has the slightest bit of mud or dust on it. That’s because it’s Mordian armor, dammit!

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Leman Russ Demolisher.  Boom.

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Leman Russ Battle Tank. I always went for the heavy bolters in the sponsons, as my strategy was shoot as many times as you can as opposed to courting disaster with plasma guns.

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My Basilisk. I think maybe I moved it during a game, once. Most of the time it sat there and angered my opponent. I used a radio from a 1/48th German radio set to represent improved comms.

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Lastly, my Griffon. I loved this tank, and of course, when I finally got this painted, GW came out with a new codex that didn’t include it. Like I said, I love mortars, so I have nothing but good things to say about it. I thought the Griffon tank crew that came with it didn’t look like they would pass Mordian muster, so I used some extra Mordian Lascannon crew members instead.

The problem with playing Imperial Guard, at least at that time, was cost. (Somehow I doubt that’s changed.) Most of these tanks were purchased secondhand. When it came to Infantry, Mordians, like every other chapter, were available in a 10 man squad for $30. The problem was each 10-man squad came with a grenade launcher and a Lascannon. If you wanted to change that, then you needed to buy heavy weapon teams and special weapon troops separately. That got pretty pricey, and left you with extra grenade launchers and Lascannon teams.

I’m still in the market for some plain-old Mordian Infantry with lasguns. I don’t need any heavy weapons or any special weapons, but I sure would like to get more regular joes.

More Armies of Yesteryear soon.

Armies of Yesteryear: Warhammer 40K Tyranids

Like many folks, my first Warhammer 40K army was Space Marines. Since almost everyone at my friendly local game store was playing marines, it became somewhat boring. Sure, there was one Ork player and an Eldar player, but they weren’t always around. So I bit the bullet and bought some Tyranids off a kid who was getting out of the hobby. Some of the paint jobs on the plastics are a little rough, but that’s because I was painting over his initial paint job, which was done with craft paints and was impossible to strip first. (Melonberry Genestealers anyone?)

68916_sm-2nd Edition, Copyright Games Workshop, Tyranids

Most of these miniatures are from the golden age of Tyranids, 2nd edition 40K. Old school players may remember these original paint schemes from the codex. Present-day Tyranids have changed a lot since then. I actually really like the present models but I’m obviously not buying new ones to replace what I already have. Aside from the cost, that’s just silly.

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From l-r: An old Lictor model, some (very) old-school Zooanthropes, a Biovore and a brood of metal Gargoyles. In front is a brood of Genestealers.

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In front are some metal Hormagaunts. These guys were always tipping over-a real pain in the ass during deployment and movement. Of course, they either got shot up or made it into hand-to-hand, so they didn’t stick around long once the game got underway. Behind them is a brood of Termagants, mostly the old plastic ones but some metal ones too. I still have about 12 of these that need to be painted. I always wanted to add more Termagants to the army. Way in the back in the center is my Hive Tyrant, the old school model with a Venom Cannon, Lash Whip and Bonesword. He’s flanked by two broods of original Tyranid Warriors (although the brood on the right has a newer Warrior with a Barbed Strangler),and you can barely make out a second Biovore behind the Hive Tyrant. I still love the look of these old models. Back then, they based all large size models on 40mm square monster bases.

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Last but not least, more Genestealers, more Gargoyles, another Lictor, one last Biovore, and the old metal Carnifex! The Carnifex is one of my favorite all-time GW models. It’s definitely got some heft to it!

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Oddly enough, you can see the Biovore better than the Carnifex in this picture. Blame the photographer.

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Tyranid Warriors with boneswords. I built the other brood with Deathspitters. As I recall, Deathspitters suck, and Tyranids shouldn’t waste time shooting when they can get up close and personal.

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Remember these old-school Zooanthropes? This is before they became floating heads.

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The Tyranid Lictor. Like the carnifex, one of my favorite metal models. But damn was it fiddly to put together!

I actually played a quick game of 40K with these Tyranids with a friend last year. He used my Ultramarines. As I recall, he won, but we both had about 2 miniatures left on the board at the end of the game. As it should be!

I still have a few more Armies of Yesteryear to post, so check back soon!