Archive for May, 2019

#HeroQuest2019: Finished set impressions

Posted in heroquest, old stuff, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , on May 28, 2019 by krautscientist

This post is long overdue at this point, but today it’s finally happening! Let’s take a look at my finished HeroQuest set, the project that has kept me occupied for most of the first half of 2019. But now I finally have the completely* painted copy of the game that I’ve always dreamed of:

There you have it, all set out on the garden table. And with my recent purchase of the four role boards for the heroes (and thanks to a couple of donations from my friend Annie), I am also the proud owner of all of the printed materials that came with the game once more. Yay!

On a related note, you probably won’t be able to make it out in the pictures, but that very loud green price tag up in the corner says “20,00 DM”, TWENTY Deutsche Marks. That’s 10 Euros (given the value of the Euro back when it was first introduced), but even if you are generous and figure in inflation,a price of even 20 Euros would be inconceivable for this entire package today, especially given the inflated aftermarket prices — seriously, if only I had picked up ten of those boxes back in the day, I would be a made man now ๐Ÿ˜‰

But anyway, let’s take a look at the models again, because those are very much the stars of the show, aren’t they? Here’s the entire collection:

As I have said before, I had a blast painting these, and I would argue that the project has improved my painting techniques quite a bit. There’s nothing like having to coax the last bit of detail out of some rather ancient sculpts for teaching you how to be a better painter ๐Ÿ˜‰ Well, that and the bright, colourful and slightly vintage approach felt like such a breath of fresh air!

Here are the four Heroes, pretty much my favourite part of the project (except maybe for the furniture):

The lowly Goblins:

The Orcs, complete with their warlord (a refugee from the Battle Masters boxed set, as you may remember):

The Fimir…Fimirs…Fimirach?! Anyway, those guys were tricky to figure out!

The Skeletons (just six more to go, and I have the amount of models I need for the “Return of the Witch Lord” expansion):

The Zombies, including a slightly converted model in the front row:

The Mummies round out the collection of undead monsters:


And, of course, the Chaos models — very much the collest part of HeroQuest’s bestiary (and clear proponents of the red era of ‘Eavy Metal painting):

And, just because I like to mention them again and again, my converted models for the captive Sir Ragnar, the Orc Warlord Ulag (and/or his son Grag) and the Witch Lord:

And let’s not forget the furniture, one of the best parts of the HeroQuest experience (and also just about my favourite bit of painting in this entire project).

All of this makes up an entire box of retro goodness:

But how does this all look in an actual gaming setup? I created a little scene, mostly inspired by the quest called “The Trial” from the Master Edition’s questbook. Unfortunately, I had chosen the windiest day of the month, so both the GM screen and furniture kept falling over. But I was able to get a couple of pictures out of the ordeal. Take a look:







What a nostalgic feeling, to finally see the game set up in the way I imagine it was intended to be played. This really makes me want to actually give the game a spin — and hopefully it won’t be too long before I can make it happen!

For now, everything goes back into the box, however, along with a couple of still unpainted models that I am confident we’ll be seeing more of in the not-too-distant future:

Because today’s post hardly marks the end of my exploration of HeroQuest: For one, there are still twelve Men-at-arms to be painted, along with the extra Orcs, Goblins, Fimir (…) and Skeletons for the “Kellar’s Keep” and “Return of the Witch Lord” expansions, respectively. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to track down the elusive models from “Against the Ogre Horde” and “Wizards of Morcar” one day — without having to sell a kidney in order to be able to afford them, that is… ๐Ÿ˜‰

There are also those pretty cool Talisman and early WFB plastic models that you see in the box — those should make a pretty nifty addition to my HeroQuest collection as well. And there’s also my battered copy of Advanced HeroQuest to think of. Speaking of which…

Here’s a little something that I painted just recently:

One of the Skaven models from the Advanced HeroQuest box. Those guys do fit the general HeroQuest look rather well, but they are not spectacular models. Which made trying to get them to look cool even more interesting:


And here’s another comparison shot: The new Skaven next to his cousin that was painted 25-ish years ago:

Unlike with my very first HeroQuest models, I knew what I was doing by that time — but only just barely, as you can see: The left model looks more like a rabid chihuahua than a ratman…

But anyway, maybe the remaining Advanced HeroQuest models would be a cool next thing to paint as part of this project? We shall see…

Whatever comes next, I now own the fully painted HeroQuest set I have always wanted. And I have enough ideas to keep this project going — what more could I ask for? For now, in closing, let us take a moment to remind ourselves precisely why HeroQuest is so great:

 

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts, so please feel free to leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

State of the Hunt, Week 21/2019: Meanwhile, back in the Dugout…

Posted in Blood Bowl, Conversions, Orcs & Goblins, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2019 by krautscientist

Back to Blood Bowl for a bit this week — if it seems like I am frantically jumping from project to project in full hobby butterfly mode at the moment, the truth is that I am rather making the most of my current hobby motivation and productivity in order to complete some long-running projects. Case in point, my Blood Bowl Team, the Orkheim Ultraz: I started these back in 2013 and have kept adding a few models here and there ever since. After my latest bit of working on the team, I was basically down to two last missing players: These Black Orc blockers here:


While the models are based on the standard WFB plastic Black Orcs, they were still built with the new, rather more massive Blood Bowl models firmly in mind — hence the added bulk and extra-vicious look. And when it came to painting them, I hoped that my recent success with painting hulking monsters in jagged red armour would pay off here as well ๐Ÿ˜‰

So I took them along to one of Annie’s and my frequent hobby sessions and got to work.

One was my painting water, the other my drink. The colour match is obviously far too close for comfort…

The main challenge with the models was to make sure the paintjobs matched the colours of my first two Black Orc blockers. Since my Orkheim Ultraz have been such a long running project, maintaining the same look across the entire collection can be a bit tricky from time to time — but the fact that my recipe for these models is a rather fast and loose affair really helps: At the centre of it all is still the recipe for green skin I nicked from A Gentleman’s Ones many moons ago, and still make frequent use of. The skin is also just about the most sophisticated part of my recipe.

Apart from that, it’s mostly a case of blocking in the main colours (various browns for the leather and cloth, rusty silver for chainmail or similar metallic parts, and Mephiston Red as a basecoat for the armour), then adding a heavy wash of Army Painter Strong Tone over everything that isn’t skin and letting it do most of the work. After that, I only need to add lots of metallic scratches with a bit of Leadbelcher. And that’s about it, really.

Fortunately enough, the first Black Orc blocker I painted seemed to fit right in:


I also really liked the brutal look of the model, even more effective now in full colour ๐Ÿ˜‰


Here’s a picture with all of the Black Orcs in a neat row — neat for Orcs, at least. The model on the right was still about a third through the painting process at this point, as you can see.


Like I said, the main ingredient for my Orkheim Ultraz painting recipe is a liberal use of Strong Tone wash. To wit, here’s what the armour plates on my Blood Bowl Orcs look before and after washing:


Anyway, the two Black Orcs turned out to be a blast to paint, so I just needed to finish their bases (using the contents of the exact same bag of static grass I bought at the Cologne GW store about 20 years ago), and the two last player models were finished:



All in all, I am really very happy with these. They fit right in, as you can see from this picture of all four Black Orc blockers:


What a delightfully brutal looking bunch! Now these are certainly the least humorous of my Blood Bowl models — but that’s really as it should be with Black Orcs, right?


And, like I said, the completion of these last two models means that all of the player models for the Orkheim Ultraz have been painted. So meet the finished team:


I really rather love the finished collection, if I do say so myself! And with the exception of the balls (including Maxime Pastourel’s brilliant squig ball, one of my favourite Blood Bowl models of all time), each model in this army has been customised and kitbashed from non-Blood Bowl models, which almost feels like a matter of perverse pride to me ๐Ÿ˜‰



Of course this doesn’t mean that I am done with creating Blood Bowl models now — far from it! I have all kinds of ideas for cool hangers-on, fans and sideshow pieces. But it will be nice to be able to build them around the solid core provided by a finished team!

In fact, I have one last teaser picture for an upcoming, Blood Bowl related project to share with you:


Also, while all of the Ultraz’ players have now been painted to a reasonably high standard, there are still some tweaks that I want to perform on the team (such as making sure all of the eyes are painted, adding player numbers — stuff like that). And when I am done refreshing my knowledge of the Blood Bowl rules (my current experimentation with the Blood Bowl II video game I picked up during a recent sale has been …encouraging so far), I might just get in another game or two…

Until then, I would love to hear your thoughts on the finished team! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Berzerker (R)evolution

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2019 by krautscientist

After last week saw me complete a World Eaters Dreadnought, today another member of the XII legion muscles his way to the front of the queue — so what is this about?

The recent Chaos Space Marines release has been a bit of a bittersweet affair for me. Sweet, of course, because the models are obviously brilliant, and such a long overdue reworking of some rather ancient kits. At the same time, however, the added size of the new CSM makes a rather big part of my World Eaters look pretty runtish. There’s also the fact that I don’t see myself revamping the entire army anytime soon — or, in fact, ever: I’m not sure I still have it in me to build and paint huge 40k armies, as I am much more interested in smaller, bite-sized challenges like INQ28 retinues or single pieces that appeal to me. And yet I did of course want to get in on some sweet chaotic action — so what was I to do?

The best possible approach was to start by purchasing some new plastic crack, of course, so I hot myself a box of vanilla Chaos Space Marines and Havocs each (I just couldn’t resist the massive, brutal look of the Havocs, even if rules don’t even interest me all that much at this point). And I began some preliminary experimentation.

Now as many of you will already know from firsthand experience, the new CSM are noticeably taller than the older models, and that makes quite a few of my chaos models look rather weird next to the new guys. Unfortunately, this includes a fair bit of my still unpainted stuff. So the first order of the day was to find out which of my more recent (unpainted) chaos models were still salvageable. In order to find out, I quickly poster-tacked together one of the new models to serve as a point of reference:

Keep this guy in mind — we’ll be seeing more of him shortly…

This guy was mostly built straight out of the box — although, as you can see, I couldn’t help adding a Caedere Remissum helmet crest, even at this early hour — more on that particular design decision later…

Using the new guy as a point of reference, I was lucky enough to find some models that might still work.

There’s my WIP Iron Warriors kill team, for starters:

Now this project was started before Kill Team was even a thing (again), so I mostly played it by ear back then, and built models that appealed to me from a visual standpoint. At the same time, I did try to go beyond the look of vanilla CSM with this project, so most of the models (except for the one tester lurking in the back whom you may safely ignore) were mostly based on Chose models from the Dark Vengeance boxed set. And while the models are still a bit shorter than the new CSM, they don’t look too out of place. Two Iron Warriors remain unpainted, but have already been built, as you can see, and after that, I think I’ll be adding a heavy weapons specialist (built from one of the new kits), add a few suitably IW-themed cultists and call it a day. The finished team should hopefully still work well enough. And KiIl Team, with its smaller model count and potential larger focus on individual characters (and models) appeals more to me than standard 40k at this point.

But where does that leave my World Eaters?

Well, the good news is that I found some guys that should still work rather well in this new, upscaled world. Take a look:

Once again, most of these conversions were heavily based on the Dark Vengeance Chosen, so they still work fairly well (even though they are just a tad shorter than the new models):

I also think that coming up with a really cool World Eaters Kill Team (code name “The Hateful Eight”) should be a very rewarding project in and of itself. If that prompts me to keep building and painting World Eaters for 40k proper afterwards, so much the better. But for now, I want to explore the new kits and use them to build some of the best World Eaters I can come up with — at least that’s the plan.

That being said, the new kits turn this into an interesting challenge, because many well established conversion recipes may not work anymore due to the slightly changed scale (many stock arms, for instance, just seem too short on the new models. As do the chaos marauder arms I have used many times to create the classic “bare arm” World Eaters look). So my first little project was to find out how to make the new vanilla CSM look more like World Eaters, so I started to mess around with a couple of bitz:

The good news is that most older helmets and shoulder pads should still work fairly well — this includes some of the older FW shoulder pads (as seen here with the pauldrons from the berzerker conversion kits. They torso pieces from the same kit, however, are right out).

But I also wanted to do something slightly more involved for my first test model, and after looking for a while at a Blood Warrior chest piece, I got a bit more creative:

Some of the new breastplates are still a bit bland, to be honest, so I decided to splice in some Khornate goodness: I carefully cut through the torso front just above the abdomen as seen in the picture above.

The Blood Warrior breastplate (seen on the left) fit with just the slightest fraction of shaving. However, there was a huge gap underneath it that, while not directly visible when looking at the model from the front, still made it obvious that the torso was hollow. So I used a bit of GS to create a small lip, like this:

Then the Blood Warriors breastplate was simply glued on. The GS plugged the gap, and the new torso works really well, what with the cabling on the abdominal section and everything:


Granted, the whole assembly seemed a little less convincing when seen from the side:

But most of this should end up being covered by the arms anyhow — I merely added some GS to create a straight surface for the arms to attach to.

Here’s a mockup of the entire body:

Now I was really pleased with myself at this point about how clever a conversion I had created. However, I only realised after completing this particular conversion that to replace the breastplate like that would have been even easier on some of the other bodies from the kit, because those already have the breastplates and abdominal section separated from the get-go. Oh well, we live and learn… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, a short while later, I had my first World Eaters test model made with the new CSM kit:


I think there’s something so malevolent about this guy’s pose — like a predator stalking its prey…

Of course I decided that I would need to get this chap painted right away, so I adapted the colour scheme I had used for my recent Chaos Dreadnought for use on the smaller model and used quite a bit of time to make sure to get the paintjob just right…

Once again, brighter reds and oranges were used both for edge higlights, but also to create scratches and scuff marks, in order to make the armour look pitted and ancient, and to suggest a texture to the whole warplate.

Oh, I also included a shout-out to Wade Pryce’s World Eaters, one of my biggest inspirations when I got back into the hobby: The stylised legion badge was very much inspired by the way Wade used to paint the World Eaters symbol.

Anyway, to make a long story short, allow me to share my first finished World Eaters test model created using the new CSM kit, fully painted and based:








I did decide to include a bit of blood on the chainsword, using Tamiya Clear Red to create the effect:

And here’s another peak at that legion badge inspired by Wade Pryce’s old models:

And here’s a pretty nice shot (if I do say so myself) of the new World Eater next to Argus the Brazen:

Now as for the evolution of my berzerker painting scheme and, indeed, my Khorne berzerkers, I have prepared a little comparison shot to show you the evolution, as it were:

On the left is one of the first Khorne Berzerkers I painted back in 1998 or so, back when the plastic kit was released. These guys still saw use in my modern army, mostly because I was too lazy to replace them. Next in line is the first World Eater I painted when getting back into the hobby after a longer hiatus, in 2010, but using a slightly tweaked recipe. The third guy was an experiment on replacing the – by then OOP – Blood Red with Mephiston Red, but back then I wasn’t quite happy with the effect. And there’s my brand new little guy — maybe this time I have finally managed to nail the recipe? What do you guys think?

I also took a couple of scale comparison pictures, just to illustrate my earlier point about the new kit making most of the classic catalogue look rather tiny.ย  The difference is not equally pronounced between all CSM: For instance, the DV Chosen are just a tad shorter than the new CSM, but it’s not too obvious. Old CSM models, however, just look really awkward next to the new guys, at least if untweaked. Take a look:

Almost a little painful to look at, isn’t it? ๐Ÿ˜‰ The new Marine just seems much taller — and indeed he is. Now here’s a comparison with an old model that was nevertheless aย  slightly more involved kitbash:

This comparison is interesting because it shows off both the evolution of my painting recipe, as well as the fact that the legs from the new kit are quite a bit longer, the torso is broader, and the backpack no longer dominated the entire model as much. It’s especially obvious when looking at the back of the models:

Next up, another round of comparisons with some taller models:

For starters, here’s my new World Eater next to Brother Arcturus Diomedes, based on a Primaris marine:

As you can see, the new CSM are not quite as tall as Primaris Marines, but they are closed (and could be used as true scale models opposite Primaris in a pinch).

And here’s a comparison with one of the wonderful converted World Eaters my buddy Augustus b’Raass sent me earlier this year:

Augustus’ model was created using older part, but it’s heavily converted and built to be taller than a standard CSM, so you barely notice the difference in height. So that’s the good news for those hobbyists with highly customised and converted chaos armies, I suppose — your guys still look good, in spite of the scale creep ๐Ÿ˜‰

Also, don’t get me wrong: Ultimately I would say the new scale is for the best — it finally gives the Chaos Space Marines the stature they deserve, because unlike their loyalist counterparts, they have skipped one or two rounds of scale creep. By the same token, however, the change is so significant that it presents a couple of challenges to chaos players now, but those can definitely be overcome. In fact, I would say that to figure out how best to use the new kits and how to work around the changes in scale seems like just the kind of creative challenge that should delight chaos players all over the world!

For now, I am pretty happy with my first test model, and I am actually looking forward to painting a couple of World Eaters again — who would have expected that, eh? Anyway, I would be happy to hear your thoughts on the new model, of course, so please leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! ๐Ÿ™‚

Argus the Brazen

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2019 by krautscientist

Contrary to what I said last week, you will still have to wait for a bit longer for that lavish feature showing my fully painted HeroQuest set, bot because I simply haven’t managed to take the required photos yet — but also this cheeky gentleman here just happened to jump the queue:

Indeed, it’s the FW World Eaters Dread I already shared with you a while ago and originally given to me as a gift by fellow hobbyist Augustus b’Raass.

Originally, I only really brought the Dreadnought along to one of my recent hobby sessions at my friend Annie’s place so I would have something to keep me occupied during the drying times for my HeroQuest furniture. But then I was able to complete the feet and base really quickly:

And why stop there, right? So this is what I had when I headed home that evening — on top of the painted HeroQuest stuff, no less! ๐Ÿ˜‰

And after that, it was mostly a matter of painting piece after piece. Dreadnoughts are rather enjoyable to work on in that it’s easy to paint one part after the other and assemble the model as you go.

One thing I definitely knew I wanted to feature was a stunning contrast between the red armour and a striking, blue-turquoise colour for the planet that is part of the World Eaters iconography adorning the Dreadnought’s sarcophagus:


The colour was achieved by basecoating the planets with a mix of Vallejo’s Magic Blue and Milenario Turquoise (always great for a bit of pop, those two!) and a drop of white. Then the entire area was washed with a mix of Drakenhof Nightshade and thinned-down Milenario Turquoise. And then I carefully drybrushed the area with white to just pick out the slightest bit of surface texture. Anyway, I am pretty happy with the way the area has come out on the finished body:

While we are on the technicalities, let me also give another shout out to the Dreadnought’s head, a brilliant little piece that I think is just a wonderful sculpt — and one that is unfortunately obscured quite a bit by the rest of the body:




I think there is something wonderfully menacing and gladiatorial about the design, and the cabling evokes the World Eaters’ Butcher’s Nails implants rather beautifully. And while the head doesn’t shine quite as much as it could on the finished model, it’s a good thing, then, that I have already used the design on several models, such as one of my 30k World Eaters Contemptors and, of course, on Worker #9:

Anyway, I soldiered on and was able to finish the entire body in fairly short order:


Which left we with only the arms left to paint — I gave special care to the right arm I had converted from plastic bitz (whereas the rest of the model is all resin), trying to make it look like a stock part of the Dreadnought. Here’s a picture from midway through the painting process:


In the end, things came together fairly quickly. So here, without further ado, is the 4th assault company’s newest member:

 

Argus the Brazen
XII Legion, 4th assault company









Gosh, it feels like it’s been ages since I have managed to paint a proper World Eaters model. And what’s more, I surely took my sweet time getting this model painted, seeing how Augustus gave it to me back in 2017!

But in my defense, I did want to do the Dread proper justice, especially since it was a gift, and I also needed to come up with a proper, modernised recipe for painting World Eaters that wasn’t just a lazy knock-off of my older, defunct World Eaters recipe. In fact, my new approach has ultimately evolved out of my work on my Imperial Knight and, more recently, the first of my Armiger Warglaives:

And to show you how my painting has – hopefully – evolved, here’s a comparison shot with Argus next to a Dreadnought using my old recipe — incidentally the first Dreadnought I ever painted, back in 2011 or so, Marax the Fallen:

While the photo – invariably, it seems, – eats up some of the finer points of my newer paintjob, I hope you’ll agree that my recipe has become a bit more sophisticated.

So yeah, I am pretty happy with the finished model. And of course, thanks must go, once again, to Augustus b’Raass for providing me with this lovely OOP model! Cheers, buddy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, and after a bit of a dry spell on that account, this model also sees me rejoin Azazel’s regular community challenges, as I feel Argus just makes for a very fitting contribution for Azazel’s Mechanismo May challenge, wouldn’t you agree?

And with a proper new World Eaters recipe now sorted out, who knows: There may be even more chaos in the cards sooner rather than later. Just sayin’… ๐Ÿ˜‰

For now, however, I am pleased with having finished something suitably Khornate again! And I would love to hear any thoughts you might have, so feel free to leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! ๐Ÿ™‚