Archive for the paintjob Category

Half the man he used to be…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 15, 2019 by krautscientist

Back to the 41st millennium and the adventures of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt this week, as I get to cross another long neglected model off my list. I am referring to this gentleman here:


If you should think the model looks familiar, there are two reasons for that: On the one hand, like so many models from my collection, this guy was actually built a couple of years ago, so if you are a regular reader, chances are, you’ve run into him before.

On the other hand, he was built to actually resemble a well-known character: The model began its life as an entry for one of the frequent competitions on the – now-sadly-defunct, *sigh* – Throneofskulls forum, if I recall correctly. The objective back then was to re-imagine a non-Khornate named character as a Khornate version, and I chose Huron Blackheart, inspired by a very impressive conversion by my buddy DexterKong.

Just to remind you, here’s what stock-Huron looks like:

And here’s a closer look at my version:


It’s a fairly straightforward conversion, based on one of the Chosen models from the Dark Vengeance starter box that used to be all the rage back in the day: The Chosen body already resembled the stock Huron model a fair deal, and I liked the idea that a Khornate version of the character would be in a running pose for that extra bit of aggression.

The conversion mainly became a matter of trying to cram in most (or all) of Huron’s classic visual elements: The monstrous power-fist/-claw/flamer hybrid, the promethium tank on his back and, of course, the mangled half-augmetic face (courtesy of that one half-augmetic plastic Space Marine head everyone knows and loves). And I had to add a suitable amount of Khornate touches, hence the small icons and Khornate back banner (itself a take on the iron halo/chaos icon that adorns stock-Huron’s backpack).

I was really happy with the conversion back when I originally created it, and I still rather like it now (in fact, I was delighted to discover recently that my counts-as conversion actually managed to inspire fellow hobbyist TheChirurgeon’s own Huron kitbash). So when this year’s E Tenebrae Lux event came around over at The Bolter & Chainsword, it seemed like the perfect occasion to finally get the model painted and use it as my first vow for the event.

Since the conversion was already finished, I didn’t really have much to do before I could start painting. I only added a little pressure gauge on the back of his tank, to make the whole assembly look a bit more interesting and break up the large, plain area that is the promethium tank:

And then I vowed the model as my first contribution for the ETL event. Only it was quickly pointed out to me by fellow hobbyists Captain Semper and Atia that, technically speaking, the model was still missing a little something to represent Huron’s “Hamadrya”, his pet familiar (the ungainly thing squatting on its own base up there in the photo of the stock model, in case you were wondering).

My proper plan of action would have been to use a model from the AoS Spirit Hosts, maybe with a Bloodletter head, but I didn’t want to have to pick up a box of them, so I had to get creative. But I was not without inspiration, so I quickly tacked something together using nothing but leftover bitz:


The head is still a fairly standard Bloodletter head, whereas the spine came from the vivisected Genestealer that’s part of the 40k battlefield objective markers. My idea was for the “Almost-Hamadrya” to look like a daemonic spirit, some kind of Khornate familiar or even a half-formed Khornate Daemon, and I think the basic setup already worked pretty well. It did require a bit of additional cleanup, of course:



Now I did experiment with some shaved-down Bloodletter shoulders and arms, because I thought it might look cool to suggest the daemon only being half-formed, but it ended up looking like not much of anything at all. And just the head and spine makes it look malevolent and somewhat creepy — like a grimdark version Kaa the snake πŸ˜‰

Ironically enough, it was this model that I actually ended up painting first.


To support the impression that this is not just a standard Bloodletter (or rather, half of a standard Bloodletter), but rather something unwholesome and half-formed, I went for an even more limited palette than the one I normally use on Khornate daemons: a mix of glossly blood and glowing ectoplasmic flesh, as the daemonic spirit is glowing with an inner malevolence…

Not bad for something that I had to come up with on the quick, if I do say so myself.

So with this complication taken care of, finally getting the counts-as Huron model painted should have been quick work, right?

Unfortunately, something happened that almost knocked all motivation to ever finish the model right out of me:

I took it along to a painting session at my friend Annie’s house, and when I arrived there, I realised his backpack was missing. Now I was transporting my models in an open crate (which I admit may be a less than optimal approach), so I figured the backpack must have fallen to the bottom of that, or been left behind in my car trunk. But it wasn’t: I searched everywhere at least for times, but no dice — the backpack didn’t turn up again. I also didn’t find it at home. So there was just one last option that gave me a sinking feeling in my stomach: I must have lost it somewhere at the side of the road when I parked my car and carried my stuff to Annie’s house, but since it was dark when we packed up for the night, there was no way to look right away, and she didn’t find anything either when she looked the next day.

And that really killed all of my motivation when it came to working on the model: I realised I would have to rebuild a backpack, but I didn’t have the exact same bitz, and even if I could come up with a replacement solution, it would always seem inferior to me than the original. Then, about a week later, I had half an hour of unexpected time, and I thought: Screw it, I am going to take one last look near where my car was parked that night. And just when I was about to abandon the stupid backpack for good, I saw something shiny near the curbstone — and there was the backpack, slightly damaged and bent out of shape (I suspect a car might even have driven over it at some point), but still salvageable — still, all’s well that ends well, I suppose. But this little episode really made me fall out of love with the model for a while there, and made the painting process less enjoyable than it should have been.

But I soldiered on and finished the job. Starting with the base colours and the first round of washes,…


…then moving on to all of those lovely little touches that actually make the process of painting enjoyable:

On a related note, that Vallejo Magic Blue has yet to let me down πŸ˜‰

So without further ado, here’s the finished model:




Here’s a detail shot to show you how the promethium tank on his back actually connects to his flamer:


That felt like such a clever bit of converting to me, back when I originally converted the model (and was also one of the reasons why I hated the idea of losing the backpack so much). Oh well…

And here’s a closer look at his axe:

Although it’s virtually impossible to see in 99.9% of all frontal shots of the model, the axe head was actually exchanged with something a little more original: the jagged axe that came with the WFB/AoS Chaos Warshrine kit.


And here is “Not-Huron”, side by side with his “Not-Hamadrya”:

And here’s the stock GW model again:

Anyway, I think he should read as a Huron counts as fairly easily, even though I have horizontally flipped the character πŸ˜‰

Oh, incidentally, the character still needs a name! So far, I only have a semi-solid idea for a background story for the character being caught in a phosphex blast during the void battles above Terra during the Heresy, having to cast himself out into the void to extinguish the phosphex flames, then being retrieved and rebuilt by his brothers. Only the sensation of the phosphex burning through his flesh never stops, but lingers as some kind of perpetual phantom pain making his every living moment a crescendo of agony. Yeah, really uplifting stuff, that… πŸ˜‰

His familar, then, is really an embodiment of his pain and rage: His agony is so palpable that it almost seems like a being of its own, a spectre that can sometimes almost be glimpsed next to him, coalescing into something that is almost solid.

Fellow hobbyist AHorriblePerson smartly suggested “Euron Hearteater” as a possible name, and it’s definitely a strong contender — still, if any of you have a cool idea, I would love to hear it!

Here’s the new model next to the World Eaters Dread and new berzerker test model I painted earlier this year:

That makes for three models painted in my tweaked recipe already, and they are starting to look pretty cool together, if I do say so myself. Being based on the Chosen models from Dark Vengeance, the model still matches the modernised CSM look — even if it’s technically just a tad shorter than the new vanilla Chaos Space Marines. They still look pretty cool together, though. And maybe adding a couple of models would be fun. In fact, the unpainted guy on the right may be a taste of things to come…

Who knows, there may just be another chaos-themed post or two waiting in the wings — just sayin’…

For now, however, I am pretty happy to have finished another long-neglected model. Plus I also think the model’s enough of a centrepiece to count as a contribution in Azazel’s Jewel of July ’19 community challenge — even though it would also be a very obvious contender for one of his frequent “Neglected models” challenges, having sat unpainted in my cupboard of shame for more than three years… πŸ˜‰

I would, of course, love to hear your thoughts on the model, so please leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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#HeroQuest2019: A small relapse…

Posted in Conversions, heroquest, old stuff, Orcs & Goblins, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2019 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, I am currently working on lots of neat projects that I hope I’ll be able to share with you soon. But for today, let us return to my #HeroQuest2019 project, as I find myself drawn back to the world of adventures in a world of high fantasy fairly frequently.

The reason for this is twofold: One the one hand, this has been such an enjoyable project that I just want to keep adding things to it. On the other hand, finishing a HeroQuest model rarely takes longer than an hour or so, so it’s always a fun romp that usually ends in success. And, with the main game system taken care of, I am now free to fill out some blank areas on the map and go above and beyond what’s required for the base game. Plus I may actually have a proper game of HeroQuest coming up later this month, so I had best get my stuff in order until then πŸ˜‰

One very enjoyable option for HeroQuest aficionados is to come up with custom models for characters or monsters that appear in the quests but don’t have dedicated models. I’ve already created several custom models like that, and it has been a lot of fun:

But once you take your first step down this road, there’s a real temptation not to stop before every character has their own dedicated model, and so I keep looking at the HeroQuest quest book for new inspiration. Case in point, “The Trial” from the second edition quest book has a more powerful mummy in it that is described as the corpse of a legendary warrior. And I knew I had an old Tomb Kings skeleton head in my bitzbox that might work rather well for glitzing up a standard mummy…

I started with an (already horribly painted) stock mummy model that was in pretty rough shape — hence I had no qualms about cutting it up πŸ˜‰

And I used some plastic bits to turn it into a mummy champion, so to speak:


Now the bitz I used for this conversion are all a bit more modern than the actual HQ models, but I still think the vintage look is retained. It’s also a really simple conversion, mostly based on swapping in a skeleton head and hand from the old Tomb Kings skeleton warriors, as well as an ancient skeleton hand with sword.

The fun with these conversions is that the aim is not only to convert something that looks cool, but, more importantly, a model that seems plausible within the framework of the vintage HeroQuest look.

Anyway, there was that wonderful moment when the undercoat pulled all of the disparate parts together:

And here’s the finished mummy champion:


The finished model does betray the fact that the mummy I used was in a pretty rough state — working from a “clean” stock model would arguably have led to an even better result. But I am still pretty happy with the model.

One thing that doesn’t photograph too well, unfortunately, but works really well when seen up close, is the glowing eyes and mouth areas:

The glow that’s only suggested in the photo is really arresting when looking at the model from up close.

And here’s a comparison shot with the champion and a standard mummy:

Yup, definitely the embalmed corpse of a powerful warrior, and not just your standard, run-of-the-mill mummy. Yessir πŸ˜‰

Come to think of it, the Return of the Witch Lord expansion has a quest with four special undead monsters called the “Spirit Riders”, and this recipe would probably work really well for them, too. Now if I can just cobble together enough old Tomb King heads… πŸ˜‰

 

The second model I want to share with you today works in a similar way: It’s also a stock HeroQuest model, slightly converted to represent a special character. In this case, it’s a model to count as Grak, the son of the Orc warlord Ulag, defeated by the heroes during an early quest:

As you can see, the conversion is based on a standard HQ Orc: I wanted him to look less like a warlord like his father. In the quest book, Grak kidnaps the heroes after they have slain (or “captured”, if you own the German edition of HeroQuest) his father. Now maybe his kidnapping of the heroes is not only an act to avenge his father, but also to prove how he can become the next Orc warlord. His one bid for power that he must not mess up. But while he may be formidable in a fight, I also wanted him to look like a bit of a doofus πŸ˜‰

The conversion itself was really simple: I merely spliced in some plastic Orc and Goblin bitz. The most important part was Grak’s silly little hood, created by shaving down an old Night Goblin head. Truth be told, the entire Idea was mostly nicked from Luegisdorf’s very nice HeroQuest collection over here, to give credit where credit is due.

Converting Grak was quick work, and so was painting him: I went from blocking in the main colours…

…to an almost finished model in just about an hour:

Again, I really love how knocking out a HeroQuest character or two serves as a nice and easy little palate cleanser every now and then! Anyway, here’s the finished model for Grak, completely painted and varnished:



And here he is next to his dear old father Ulag, both ready to be slain by an enterprising group of heroes

And one last model for today: I really wanted to figure out proper colour schemes for the Men-at-Arms that come with both HeroQuest (at least with the Advanced Quest version) and Advanced HeroQuest:

Seeing how the twelve Men-at-Arms from HeroQuest are the one thing in the box I have yet to paint, I thought it would be smart to start with one of them — and boy oh boy was that less fun than expected:

Don’t get me wrong, I am rather happy with the finished look: It’s renaissanc-y enough to match the model’s design, and also clean and bright enough for HeroQuest’s particular high fantasy flavour (even though those guys are very obviously proto-Empire State Troops).

The way to get to the finished model was less than enjoyable, mostly due to the face: Now the detailing on the face was fairly soft to begin with (with the eyes more suggested than actually sculpted), and the fact that the models have a massive mold line running down the centre of their faces didn’t exactly help. I didn’t end up with much in the way of facial features, so I basically had to paint on a face with the brush. It took quite some doing, and the guy certainly isn’t a natural beauty, but at least he has a face now:


I also realised the guy wouldn’t really qualify as a proper test model without the different weapon alternatives, so I quickly painted those as well:

The Scout:


The Halberdier:

The Swordsman:

The Crossbowman:


So yeah, one down, eleven to go πŸ˜‰ Anyway, I want to keep most of the colour scheme for all of the other Men-at-Arms, with the helmet plume as a way of distinguishing different players’ mercenaries.

So that’s it for today. Dealing with those vintage models is always a wonderful fresh breath of air for me, but that may just be nostalgia. But no, those models are rather lovely in their simplicity and unabashed high fantasy look and feel. Good times! πŸ™‚

It goes without saying that I would love to hear your thoughts on the latest models! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

 

 

State of the Hunt, Week 26/2019: First Contrast Paint impressions

Posted in paintjob, state of the hunt with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2019 by krautscientist

Something of an interlude for today, since I got the unplanned opportunity last week to get some hands-on experience with the new Contrast Paints and would like to share a couple of observations, as well as some photos of my two test models.

Be advised, however, that this post won’t be an in-depth review — if you are that way inclined, let me point you towards this excellent article over at Tale of Painters for an actual, thorough all-corners review. This is basically just me fooling around with a new toy πŸ˜‰

I was, of course, interested Already seeing some intriguing stuff online and getting some encouraging pointers from fellow hobbyist-recently-turned-TeeVee-superstar Jeff Vader. So when the opportunity to test the paints arose at the local Warhammer store (now again crewed by a very decent store manager, I must add), I got straight to work.

 

Anyway, all the Space Marines were already taken, so I ended up with a female Stormcast Sequitor (one of my favourite easy to build models, though, so all was well) and a Poxwalker. Both of the models were already glued together and undercoated when I started working on them. Here’s what I came up with during my time in the store:

The Sequitor took me about 45 – 60 minutes of fairly neat painting (and of getting to grips with the new paints in the first place). Quite a bit of the time was also spent trying to wedge my brush into all the nooks and crannies behind the shield, as the model had already been glued together beforehand.

The Poxwalker, by contrast, was a crazy and fun 15-minute-romp of just letting rip with some of the pinks, purples and yellows.

Before we jump into the fray, let me just say up front that the freeflow, (water-)painterly way of painting these models was quite a wonderful change of pace! As was the freedom of simply painting something for the heck of it, with absolutely no danger of messing up whatsoever. So if nothing else, you should maybe give those paints a go at your local store, if only for the process to act as a wonderful little palate cleanser.

Anyway, let’s take a closer look at the two models and my experiences when painting them:

The Sequitor came undercoated with Grey Seer, the slightly greyer, colder undercoat from the recent release. I decided to go with a the main approach of black armour, red robes, as seen in N1SB’s Contrast Paint experiments here, because I really liked the look of the combination (plus it’s also a pretty fair approximation of a classic Sisters of Battle painting scheme, which was an added bonus).


Only a single coat of paint was applied on all parts of the model (except for the base, where I got a little more adventurous — more on that in a second). This should tell you how the new Contrast Paints really allow you to cover a lot of ground in a very short amount of time. In hindsight, I think I should have been a little more generous with the black, as the shading effect didn’t turn out quite as prominent as I would have liked. Even so, the Black Templar Black (for the armour) and Flesh Tearer Red (for the robes) were definitely the standout paints here, although the Fyreslayer Flesh skin tone came in at a close second (it’s really uncanny how the Contrast flesh tones actually allow you to paint a finished face in one painting step).

As for my initial observations:

  • I didn’t encounter any cases of splotchiness with the new paints, although I have to say the Sequitor was basically the perfect model to use these on, given the amount of surface texture, folds in the fabric etc. Everything dried fairly quickly and to a nice, matte finish.
  • not using metallic paints on the areas that are supposed to be metal was a very weird feeling, and I felt the need to break out the silver and gold on the Sequitor, in particular when it came to painting the weapon and shield.
  • Due to the fact that, as you have probably already heard elsewhere, Contrast Paints basically work like a heavy wash or a wood stain, you don’t simply get to paint over mistakes you have made, but may have to correct them by painting over any stray marks with Grey Seer or Wraithbone from the pot. Even though I only went back to correct one or two mistakes, I found this to be the least entertaining part of the whole exercise, especially since going back to the somewhat chalky undercoats after working with the free flowing Contrast Paints was such a stark, erm, contrast.
  • As I was warned by the store manager – and as I have discovered myself – models painted with Contrast Paints really, really need to be varnished, as it’s quite easy for the paint to get rubbed off. This happened to me once or twice during the painting process, although only on very small, sharp areas (such as the sharpest folds in the Sequitor’s robes).

So after spending about an hour neatly painting the Stormcast Sequitor, I simply wanted to have some quick fun and experiment a bit, and the Poxwalker model seemed like the perfect piece for that. Like I said, the painting process was just a wild 15 minute ride. The Poxwalker was undercoated with “Wraithbone”, the warmer of the two new undercoats, and it makes for a wonderfully vibrant overall look on the finished model. The “Darkoath Flesh” skin tone basically did about 70% of the work, and afterwards it was mainly a matter of painting on some pinks and purples while the skin tone was still wet:


If it’s Nurglite grossness you are going after, the Contrast Paints are just perfect, making for a very organic look. The augmetic arm was basecoated with Gryph Hound Orange, and then I slathered on one of the darker browns.

I think it would be really easy to knock out a rather massive hore of Poxwalkers in an afternoon with a recipe like this, which seems like a very interesting proposition.

 

But wait, I didn’t stop there, but rather took the models along to my painting session with my good friend Annie. I wanted to try and combine the base work done with the contrast paints with some of my usual techniques. So here are the models, once again, when I packed up at the Warhammer store:


And here’s how they look now:


For the Sequitor, I resisted to urge to break out the metal paints after all, and decided to keep her entirely “NMM”, for lack of a better word. I merely added some highlights here and there, especially where the red hadn’t “auto-shaded” quite as much as I had hoped:




Just to illustrate how easy it is to cover lots of ground with the new paints, however: The act of adding some highlights and finishing the paintjob took just as long, if not longer, than the entire stage of painting her with Contrast Paints (and getting her basically game-ready) beforehand!

One thing I only got to experiment with a bit was to use various browns and greens for a more natural, mossy look for the base. I only really tried a bit of this, but I think the use of Contrast Paints for painting really interesting looking bases definitely warrants some further experimentation!



The finished base was given a light drybrush of Screaming Skull and (of course) a tidied up black base rim πŸ˜‰

In hindsight, I am not 100% sold on the look of the Iyanden Yellow: When it works, it really works, but it ended up looking slightly anaemic in several spots. But Nazdreg Yellow, seen here on a model painted by Annie, seems to be an interesting, slightly more golden-brownish alternative:

As for the Poxwalker, I ended up being a bit more adventurous, in an attempt to bring him closer to the rest of my collection. So I added just a dash of metallic paint, some thinned-down Blood for the Blood God, and repainted some small areas where the Contrast Paints looked a bit too water-colour-y to me, such as the boils, the loincloth and the leather belt andΒ  pouches:




This guy could actually join the rest of my Nurglite models without a hitch — if anything, he only looks a bit more vibrant and infectious than my other models. Here’s a comparison picture with my “classic” Poxwalker scheme:



So yeah, this was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed the freeform, exploratory spirit of the whole session!

One thing that cannot be stressed enough – and this is relevant for my future treatment of Contrast Paints as a possible tool – is that the usefulness of the new paints really hinges on the colour of the undercoat: These really work best (or at all) when used over a very light undercoat. So if, like me, you favour black, grey or brown, you’ll find it harder to include them into your standard recipes. At the same time, it cannot be overstated how novel and original playing around with them feels, so they may just warrant a slight reshuffling of recipes and approaches. While I don’t think I’ll be abandoning “classic” paints (or dark undercoats, for that matter), the Contrast Paints are a ton of fun to play around with, and certainly a very promising new tool for painters. There are also armies that I think will be a blast to paint with these (I am looking at you, Tyranids, Eldar and Poxwalker hordes).

Two final observations before I wrap this up:

One, when seen at gaming distance, models that have been painted with nothing but Contrast Paints look completely painted — and pretty well painted, at that. If you look at them up close, especially when it’s an entire squad, Blood Bowl team or what have you, the paintjob still looks good, but maybe a bit basic. So an extra bit of highlighting here and there is where the models really go from good to great — you should keep this in mind!

Two, and this seems a slighly weird observation: If I didn’t know any better, I would say the new paints where designed to photograph well. Case in point, the picture towards the start of this post, after I had finished applying the Contrast Paints (but nothing else) actually make the models look just a wee bit cooler than they actually looked in real life at that point. Which, again, goes to show that you should probably still plan for an extra round of highlights and final tweaks.

 

Anyway, that’s all I can offer for now. I can safely say that this experience has been a blast, and that it’ll be very interesting to test the new paints further. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll find it helpful to get some firsthand observations from somebody who definitely isn’t a Golden Demon painter πŸ˜‰ In any case, I would, of course, love to hear your thoughts — or learn what you think of the new paints!

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

For the love of Grot!

Posted in Blood Bowl, Conversions, Orcs & Goblins, paintjob, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2019 by krautscientist

My previous post showcasing my finished Ork Blood Bowl team must have been my least successful post this year, both in terms of views and comments, unfortunately enough. So, in a move that probably borders on being suicidal, I am following it up this week with yet more Blood Bowl content. Oh well, what can you do…

Anyway, painting that little snotling with the hammer recently – this little fellow here -…


…must have lit a bit of a fire under me, because I really felt the need to add some more, slightly humorous, grots to my collection. And sometimes you just have to go with what feels right in this hobby of ours, right?

Fortuntately enough, I didn’t have to dig deep into my cupboard of shame, because there was this little guy here, set aside as a part of my Blood Bowl project years ago:

I loved the idea of having a massively overburdened little greenskin lugging around the team’s extra equipment/trophies/snacks, and the model perfectly fit the bill! It’s basically a stock model, one of the “bonus gnoblars” that came with most of the Ogre Kingdoms kits. It was already quite characterful enough and didn’t really require any conversion. Even so, I grafted an ornamental wing to the head sticking out from the backpack, making it look like the remains of an unlucky player from an opposing team…

When it came to painting the model, it was mostly a question of blocking in some base colours, then adding a heavy wash of Army Painter Dark Tone and watch it do most of the work for me:

Not bad, eh? And a few more tweaks and touchups later, I had a mostly finished model:

At this point, it was mostly a matter of adding some subtle “special effects”, so I added some Tamiya Clear Red to the severed (?!) human head, and yet more Tamiya Clear Red, albeit thinned down, to the big chunk of meat on the model’s left shoulder, making it look suitably juicy and …erm “tasty” πŸ˜‰

All that was left was to quickly finish the model’s base. And afterwards, the Orkheim Ultraz’ “Kit-Git” was finished:




In terms of gameplay, this little guy could be a model for an assistant trainer (haha, yeah right! πŸ˜‰ ). More than anything, however, it’s a characterful little piece with just the right amount of humour, and hence an ideal addition to the Ultraz! πŸ™‚ Also, seeing how I’ve had this guy in my bitzbox for ages, I would say he also qualifies as a neglected model for Azazel’s June challenge.

But wait, there’s more! For instance, I still want to address this mystery model I shared with you a while ago:

Now what is this supposed to be, I hear you asking, some kind of sneaky special weapon?

One thing I immediately noticed when playing the Blood Bowl II video game were the little goblin cameramen appearing in every other scene (and during the actual games):

I thought these were such a wonderful little touch, and – avid kitbasher that I am – I couldn’t stop wondering how difficult it would be to come up with a little “camgrot” of my own.

Before I actually started converting, I tried to get a couple of proper screenshots of the camgrots from the game (which turned out to be rather tricky, seeing how they are only ever in the frame for a couple of seconds, or so small that you cannot get a good enough look at them), but I ended up capturing a few pictures of the sneaky gitz…

Blood Bowl 2_20190504160150

including a closer look at the actual camera setup:

Blood Bowl 2_20190504161300

My own model was then painstakingly grafted together from all kinds of odds and ends, mostly bitz from the Ogre Kingdoms catalgoue, really, that came from a rathe big job lot of ogre bitz I bought a couple of years ago. Those gnoblars are just incredibly useful conversion fodder!

Anyway, here’s the conversion I came up with:




There was no actual necessity to make the camera look mechanically sound, but I did want to add just a dash of plausibility, so I added a little crank on the side there, to hint at some kind of inner workings — in all honesty, though, the cameras from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series (with little gremlins inside actually painting the pictures *really* fast) was foremost on my mind when building this model πŸ˜‰

The candle was added as a last little touch, either to suggest the “red light” on modern TV cameras, or to simply make the whole thing look even more like a weird magitek contraption.

The camgrot itself is not even the end of the project, however, because I had another idea idea: A couple of years ago, I picked up this goblin hut (that used to be part of the “Battle for Skull Pass” WFB boxed set) as part of a bigger bitz drop:

And, thinking of the camgrot, I asked myself whether this could be used as a cool “camera tower” for him, the better to capture the best possible footage. So I made him a little platform from a couple of odds and ends:


I definitely want to keep the platform optional, though, so I can still swap in that huge half-moon and use the hut in, say, HeroQuest or similar games. But it’s a nice way of making the most of that pretty characterful little piece of terrain:

For now, I wanted to start by painting the actual camgrot, though:

The undercoat did a wonderful job of pulling all of the different parts together into a coherent whole:

One effect I want to point out is the camera lens: I covered it with several coats of Tamiya Clear Water effect, which I think makes for a somewhat deeper and “glassier” look han mere gloss varnish would — but maybe that’s just what I would like to imagine…


And here’s the finished model (without a finished base, seeing how the little guy is going to end up on that camera platform of his):








And because there’s always time for a little fun, I even added a little Cabal Vision logo to the back of the little guy’s shirt:

All in all, these two models were a really cool way to explore the Blood Bowl universe beyond the borders of the actual pitch! Here’s a picture showing both of the finished models:

And while I was having a roll anyway, I also worked on a couple of “fanz” for the Orkheim Ultraz: These will be used as cheerleaders for the team:

The two guys on the left were built ages ago, and they are basically just the repurposed standard bearer and musician from an old mob of Orc boyz. They seemed like a great match, though — I merely turned the standard by 90 degrees, turning it into a flag. The guy (or rather, guys) on the right I am pretty proud of, however, because that was quite a finnicky conversion:


I loved the idea of carrying a spectator carrying another model piggyback, and while this is obviously an Orc carrying a Goblin, I did very much want to invoke the impression of a dad taking their kid along to a game — just look how happy that little guy seems! Dad, on the other hand, already has a bottle of fungus beer prepped and ready πŸ˜‰

So yeah, that’s it for today: Just a couple of weird greenskin models. I surely hope this week’s update won’t perform quite as abysmally as the previous post… So it goes without saying that I would love to hear your thoughts on these models! Please feel free to drop me a line! πŸ™‚

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Orkheim Ultraz: Pitch-perfect

Posted in Blood Bowl, Conversions, Orcs & Goblins, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2019 by krautscientist

It’s time for another showcase post this week, as I have managed to finish another long running project of mine: As some of you may remember, I recently completed the last two Black Orc blockers for my Orc Blood Bowl team, the Orkheim Ultraz.

With the last two player models completed, all that was left to do was to give the entire team one last round of fine tuning. And that’s exactly what I did earlier this week, during one of my customary joint painting sessions at my friend Annie’s place:

I spent most of the session cleaning up the paintwork on some of the models, adding a few details here and there – especially painting the eyes on all of the models – and, maybe most importantly of all, painting a player number on each model. This turned out to be a slightly finnicky job, seeing how most of the models hadn’t been assembled with this step in mind, but in the end, I was able to wedge the numbers in there somewhere, even if I had to get creative in some cases πŸ˜‰

So it is with great joy that I can finally show you the finished team in all of its “pitch-perfect” glory. Meet the finished Orkheim Ultraz, everyone:

The Orkheim Ultraz
“Ultra ‘ard! Ultra-violent! Go Ultraz!”

 

I am really happy with the way the finished team looks. It’s also pretty cool how most of this team was basically assembled from leftover models, bits and pieces from my cupboard of shame, and cheap second-hand pick ups. I am not usually an extremely thrifty hobbyist, but this project was very much a case of producing a lot of bang for the least possible amount of buck πŸ˜‰

So, let’s take a closer look at the various models, shall we? I think we’ll just take it from the top:

 

Star Playa Gitgrim Sharptoof

The official line is that this guy was intended as my version of the “official” star player Varag Ghoulchewer. To be perfectly honest with you, however, I mostly just wanted to build a Blood Bowl model using the highly dynamic feral Orc boss back when I started my team, so that’s what I did. I am still pretty happy with this guy, even though I would probably do some minor things differently if I were to build him today (I think I would be a bit more corageous with the arms).

Anyway, with his eyes painted in and a few tweaks here and there, he is still a very nice focal point for the team, from a visual perspective.


 

For the rest of the team, my plan was to build the models in such a way that each model’s position and gameplay role would be fairly obvious just by looking at them.

Throwers

Gugmar and Rikkit are the Orkheim Ultraz’ Throwers, proud to perform the team’s first move during kick-off — although they are usually happy enough to have seen the last of the ball for that turn…

When it came to actually making these look like throwers, I decided to use pretty light armour and suitably athletic poses. The sports glasses were a spur-of-the-moment idea when building the first thrower, and I was lucky enough to find another head with glasses for the second model.


I also didn’t want to just mimic Rikkit’s pose for the second thrower, so I came up with a model that was preparing to throw a squig — because there are days when you just have to haul an ill-tempered mass of teeth into a gaggle of players, simple as that.

I am still rather happy with the way the squig turned out, by the way:

I just love painting those little guys…

 

Black Orc Blockers

Certainly the ‘ardest hitters in the team, Morglum Bruis’Arm, Grimgork Bucket’Ead, Borzag Ironskull and Azhag Ironjaw (from left to right) are as massive as they are resistant to fun.

The first two Black Orcs I assembled were mainly built right out of the box, with the removal of the weapons the only major change to the stock models. I got a little more adventurous with the other two, both because I wanted to make sure they looked suitably different from their buddies, but I was also influenced by the rather impressive new plastic models that had been released by then.

Anyway, these are definitely one of my favourite parts of the team: They look like a massive wall of muscle, scuffed armour and ill temper, which is exactly the look I wanted for them. The scratches on the armour also make for a rather effective look, if I do say so myself.

Blitzers

Gabnaz, Gorgrim, Gulgrit & Urrzag (from left to right) are the Orkheim Ultraz’ Blitzers and always the first ones into the fray. What they lack in tactical acumen, they make up for in sheer enthusiasm!

The Blitzers were built fairly early into the project — in fact, Gorgrim up there was actually the very first test model for the entire team. This is why they mostly use standard Orc boy parts. At the same time, I used three visual cues to try and differentiate them from the Linemen: The aggressive, dynamic poses on at least two of them. The armoured gauntlets on all models, save for Urrzag. And the American football-esque shoulder armour (simply repurposed vanilla Space Marine pauldrons) on all of them. In hindsight, they may seem just a bit too conservative, especially when compared to the “official” new plastic models, but I am pretty happy with them, nevertheless.

 

Linemen


At the lower end of the team hierarchy, Bolg, Urrg, Hergh and Garg are the team’s Linemen, referred to not so much by actual names, but rather by the amusing noises they make when going down during the game (Young Bolg there seems like he could be Blitzer material, though…).

Blood Bowl provides a great opportunity to inject some humour into the models, and the Linemen were my attempt at doing just that: I loved the idea that Orc Linemen should look like they were fairly incompetent when it came to handling the ball, so I made most of the models look like they were doing their darnedest to catch the blasted thing πŸ˜‰

Even better was the fact that most of this was mostly achieved by exchanging some hands and carefully posing the models on their bases — it turned out the monopose archers and boyz from the sixth edition WFB starter set were just perfect material for this particular project.

Bolg was built a good while later and maybe just looks a bit too competent for a lineman? I still like the fairly iconic, Blood Bowl-like pose he has, though. And whenever I look at those guys, I just have to smile, so I think I can call this mission accomplished πŸ˜‰

Goblins


Don’t tell it to the boyz, but these sly little devils probably have more cunning than the rest of the team combined. Zatnig and Nogbli (on the left) are from the old neighbourhood and fit right in with the rest of the team. Snikrit and Skaskul come from one of the shifty underground tribes, and have yet to earn their own player numbers, as some of the boyz just won’t trust them…

…I knew right from the start that I wanted some goblins as part of my team, yet when I started out, I only had the old Night Goblin plastics to work with — which wasn’t really a huge problem, because I still like the looks of them a lot, and their poses worked pretty well for Blood Bowl. Even so, I was happy when I later managed to get my hands on some parts from the vanilla Goblin kit from the same era, as the models already look like they are wearing old-timey sports gear.

Apart from that, I tried a mix of models that look truly, almost comically, determined (Zatning and Skaskul) and two models that channel the rather mischievous nature of Goblins (Nogbli and Snikrit). I really like these guys, and it’s not even that noticeable that the four of them only share two facial sculpts between them πŸ˜‰

Big Guy

There aren’t many things, on or off the pitch, that Spleenrot has not yet confused with a ball. He is, after all, a troll…

This guy was a bit of a lucky discovery: While searching for suitable big guy models online, I found the old plastic troll from the 7th edition WFB starter set and thought he would be brilliant for the job — only the model was long OOP by that point. So it was a delightful surprise to discover him in a bag with second-hand models at my old FLGS — and for a song, no less.

The model may be a little small by modern standards, but I still think he’s the perfect big guy for the Ultraz. Converting and painting him was also a blast!

 

So much for the actual players — but wait, there’s more!

 

Da Medikal Krew

Doc Nipptakk & Medikal Assistant Whakkit

A gnarled veteran of the infirmary, Doc Nipptakk is an expert when it comes to getting players back on their feet. Whether his success is actually based on his famed injections of “Vitaminz” or players are simply afraid of the monstrous syringes he uses to administer them, and would rather stay healthy in the first place, the results speak for themselves. Whakkit is Nipptakk’s trusty assistant, and a practitioner of the fabled art of “‘Nasty-Easy-o-logy” — whenever he isn’t relaxing during a round of “Whack-a-Squig”, that is…

 

The Goblin medic is a wonderfully characterful Kromlech model and was given to me by my friend Annie. Painting this guy was a lot of fun, even if the many nooks and crannies of the sculpt lead to some swearing on my part πŸ˜‰

Whakkit, the little grot with the massive hammer, is a very recent completion, even if the model has been in my collection for years: It came from a mostly complete metal Doomdiver Catapult that I picked up as part of a larger job lot, and the model was so characterful that I simply had to rescue it from its somewhat drab older paintjob.

Before:

And here’s the freshly painted model again:



 

Da Ballz

These are actually my only concession to “modern” Blood Bowl models, although this was an easy exception to make: The balls were another gift, for one, plus there’s also the fact that Maxime Pastourel’s wonderful squig ball has to be one of my favourite models from the last couple of years! So including it in my collection was a bit of a no-brainer πŸ˜‰

 

Re-rolls, tokens and turn counter

The new Blood Bowl teams come with themed re-roll tokens and turn markers, so it was obvious to me that I had to come up with my own versions as well. Building these using all kinds of orcish bric-a-brac was a fun project, indeed!

 

Squig-themed dice/tokens

These, along with the next model, were another gift from Annie. I really love suigs, so those delightful two critters above were a much appreciated additon to my collection, even though they cannot really be used as dice. Oh, Annie basically painted about 70% of them, too, to give credit where credit is due!

Da Fan


Sourbelch is a huge fan of the Ultraz, even though many – if not all – of the game’s finer points escape him. But as long as he can wave his flag, get drunk on mushroom beer and watch some skulls getting caved in, he considers the game a great one.

This massive guy was a birthday present Annie converted and painted for me a couple of years ago. The troll isn’t a GW model, yet it perfectly fits the vintage GW look. The beer barrel and straw setup was the result of an idle conversation about maybe converting a fan model wearing a beer hat. And now Sourbelch is here, proudly waving his flag and waiting to be joined by some additional fanz — hopefully you won’t have to wait for too long, buddy! πŸ˜‰

 

So that’s it — my entire Blood Bowl collection, at least for now. This project has been running for quite a while, but now I have a finished team. Incidentally, since I have recently started to re-familiarise myself with the rules by way of the Blood Bowl II video game, here are the Orkheim Ultraz in their digital form:

And here they are, once again, on the tabletop:

Of course, as Doctor Manhattan tells us, nothing ever ends. And while I am happy to call the actual team finished at this point, I will just as happily keep adding models to this collection: I still have plans (and WIP models) for some more hangers-on (a “kit-git”, as it were, plus some more fanz), a display base for the team or some smaller or bigger pieces of terrain. Plus there’s also that mystery teaser model I shared with you in my previous post…

And who knows, maybe I will even actually get to play the game again? We shall see… πŸ˜‰

 

For now, I am very happy with the finished team, however. And I would of course love to hear any feedback you may have! So please leave a comment!

Before I tune out for today, thanks must go to my friend Annie for keeping me motivated during this project and for providing neat little additions to my collection every now and then — one of these days, I’ll know the rules well enough be able to steamroll over that gorgeous Dwarf team of yours, by way of thanks (Ha-Ha, fat chance…) πŸ˜‰

Oh, and lest I forget: The fact that these guys had been waiting for their finishing touches for years at this point probably qualifies the finished team for Azazel’s “Neglected Models June” challenge as well πŸ˜‰

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

#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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰ 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… πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰


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 πŸ˜‰



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!