Hospitaller Characters

It’s the end of 2017, and another project has come to a close – huzzah! These hospitallers were actually among the first of my historical projects, being started up all the way back in – I think – 2012 with a box of plastic knights from Fireforge. I grew disenchanted with the models after having painted up just half the box’ contents, and the cavalry wing of the army has been neglected far too long, until this year. The rest of the cavalry will have to bide its time until it can appear on the blog, though, as the matter at hand is rather more interesting!

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First up, we have the supreme commanders of the army – the grandmaster and a priestly fellow! Notice how I have tried to make them stand out a bit by using the idiosyncrasies of the figures – which are actually from Gripping Beast’s Teutonic range – such as the hair, the mitre, and so on. Colourwise I have added yellow to the palette, as white and yellow are papal colours. Stoving in Saracen skulls, approved by every pope since 1098!

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Next up, these are two battle standard bearing types, predominantly to be used in WAB. As you can see I have used some leftover plastic bits from Fireforge kits to add some flair to these Gripping Beast models.

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Finally, here are four other seneschal models. Most of these are from the Gripping Beast crusader command set, with one other stray Teuton (the one with the fur, of course!) added in. These have also all been modified to carry leftover weapons from Fireforge kits, as there is certainly a scale and style difference between the two manufacturers.

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As well as painting dragging on for years on this project, rolling dice in anger with them is long overdue! So, to that end, my friend Flor is coming over with his Teutonic Order soon and we’ll duke it out using the WAB rules to see whether black with white accessories or white with black accessories is best. Groovy, baby!

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Shadespire Orcs

Well, here’s more Shadespire stuff! I finished these a while back, but have now had the time to photograph them. It’s a very bleak day out here in Belgium, so the colours appear very washed out. Regardless, I wanted to get another blog post out there, so we’ll make do!

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As ever, I wanted to do something a little different with the paintjob of my warband – especially as GW’s official yellow armour scheme doesn’t sit well with me – so here they are. More metallics, dark green lacquered plates, red cloth and spots of rust to contrast all of it, and of course copious amounts of blood effect.

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These plastics, although unipose and push-fits, are very well thought out, so kudos to GW’s design team. I did end up sticking them together, though. I did consider swapping out their bases for squares so as to use them in WHFB or somesuch, but as the feet are moulded onto the bases themselves this was not an option. Oh well.

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Still no game of Shadespire under the belt, though! It doesn’t seem quite to have taken off in my area as it has in many other places. Regardless, I’ve had a lot of fun painting these and the other models. I’m still on the fence about picking up the other expansions due early 2018 – that’ll depend on the models and the rules.

At any rate, I hope you liked these, and I’ll be sure to add to the blog soon enough. Expect a massive update soonish…

Sepulchral Guard & Hi, atus!

First update in a long, long time… What’s changed?

Well, first things first: The missus and I bought a house! We moved in a few months back and are finally getting somewhere with furnishing and decorating the place. The house will be 100 years old in a few years. and was renovated by the company that sold it to us, which meant most of the hard work had already been done, but still… Moving house simply isn’t fun!

However, I finally have a dedicated hobby room. I’ll be showing it off in a future post I think, but the obvious comforts I can tell you of is that I now have a lot more room for storage, and a modest gaming table that doesn’t need to be dismantled at the end of each wargames gathering (which, having moved somewhat closer to most of my gaming compatriots, won’t be as few and far between as before).

On the subject of my hobby work: I have continued to paint a good amount of models, too much to mention in this post. I”ll do a round-up post at the end of the year with some thoughts and ponderings so you can catch up.

Now, on to some models!

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Like many people I have fallen into  Games Workshop’s latest man-trap, namely Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire. The models are awesome, the price is attractive, and the game is said to be fun – I haven’t gotten round to playing yet. These undead sculpts I have freshly painted are simply superb, as you can see.

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Over the last few years I have collected and painted a number of undead models, mostly to use in Frostgrave (hence the tombstone-turned-treasure marker). However, I have begun using a unified palette for all of them so that they can be used together for skirmish games such as Dragon Rampant and the like.  For this reason I have also opted to use regular 20x20mm bases – you never know when that WHFB nostalgia swings around again!

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You’ll notice the distinct green hue to all the colours. I started from a bone-coloured undercoat spray, and after block painting all the colours I washed the models all over with Coelia Greenshade, and the silver parts with a second wash of Drakenhof Nightshade. After that I started highlighting the colours back up again. In this manner I ended up with a very cold-looking colour scheme. I’m especially satisfied with how the bone came out – it’s recognisable as such, but nowhere near the standard type you see on most models of the type.

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The one thing I’m not 100% sure about is the fur on two of these models. I might go back over it with a select drybrush to try and turn it a little more grey. Not sure yet.

Well, in closing, I hope this post will still find some readers! I haven’t looked at this blog’s page hits or subscribers in a long, long time, so who knows… It was as lively as a graveyard in here. And on that stupidly apt remark, I shall take my leave. Tah!

 

Hengist and Horsa

It would seem all I’m painting lately are dark age-themed models, but that really isn’t the case. It’s just that I really like painting them and then showing them off. The two models below are for my friend Alex’ warband so I’ll be passing them on in a few days, and as I really like these Footsore Miniatures sculpts I thought I’d show them here first.

 

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Both were completed over the course of a day, I can’t really time them. I started out with a drybrush of all the metallics, then blocked in all the colours, washed them with the appropriate GW washes, then highlighted everything at least once.

 

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As you can see these models carry enough fur to make those PETA nutjobs cringe, which is precisely why I lavished extra attention on them! You can’t really see in the pictures as they’re a bit overexposed, but I managed to create a lovely gradient towards the edges of the furs, all the while keeping the textured effect intact.

Dark Age models lend themselves particularly well to some freehand patterning, so I opted for some simple lines and dags on these two fellows. I think they’d be a bit too plain looking otherwise.

That’s it for now! As far as Footsore Miniatures are concerned: in my experience they’re the best Dark Age models currently available. I’ve recently painted a small Irish warband of theirs (just awaiting a flag for the standard bearer) which was equally well-sculpted and cleanly cast. Their ranges are still showing large gap but they seem to be filling these at a fair pace. Do give them a try if you haven’t already!

Franks of a Different Stripe

More Franks were painted over the course of the last few weeks, but as you’ll see they’re nothing like the previous lot. These are Carolingian Franks from Gripping Beast, and they’re a commission from my friend Alex.

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First up, the Warlord. He’s the more colourful of the lot, and I gave him a white horse to stand out that much more.

 

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Two points of mounted Hearthguard. These were also done rather colourfully. I had a good time mixing and matching colours on different garments to make each model unique.

 

 

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A point of mounted Warriors. For these lower-ranked guys I opted for simple, neutral colours on their garments but then made the shields stand out. cofcof

Finally, two points of foot Warriors. As with their mounted comrades I used neutral tones on the garments, and as you can see from their bases I used four different undercoat sprays which would form the base of the models’ tunics. That certainly sped up the painting process!

I’ve just completed painting the last of these models this morning and I’ll be handing them over tomorrow evening. I’m glad to be shot of them, as that means I can focus on my own lead pile again!

Frankly, my dear, I don’t give Wodamn.

Hope you’ve all kept tabs on this blog here, because I thought I’d add something to it again. Way overdue! A lot of hobbying has gone on since last I posted something here: I’ve completed my Red Devils army and my Late Romans, a fact which I’m thrilled with (finished projects?!) as well as a small Konflikt ’47 U.S. army. In lesser news, I dropped my phone a few weeks ago and have had to make today’s pictures with another phone with a lesser camera.

So, here’s a little new project of sorts which I started at Crisis and have now completed: the Franks.

davThese are Wargames Foundry models, from back in the day when the Perry brothers sculpted most of their ranges. Even when you consider these were conceived when I was still learning how to spell my own name, these sculpts are still top notch. I wanted two twelve-strong units for bigger rulesets or four points of Hearthguard for Saga, so I went with two packs of armoured infantry, a pack of command models and then some looters to top it off. I’ve based the rankers on separate 20x20mm bases and the command stands on 40x40mm bases, the latter of which can double as a Warlord model for Saga.

 

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As you can see I’ve painted them up to the best of my abilities – all models have some form of freehan patterning on one piece of clothing, and the shields were a pleasant throwback to the time when I was painting dozens of Viking shields. I have based these models identically to my Late Romans with the idea that they can be drafted as allies or foederati for bigger games.

Originally I was intending to use some leftover Gripping Beast plastics to make one or two unarmoured infantry units for the force, but I’ve enjoyed painting this lot so much I’ll save up some money and get the unarmoured warriors from this range, too. Not immediately, though… First it’s back to more Carthaginians, some commission work, plenty of 6mm stuff still to do… Nothing’s changed since last time!

Ghosts/Wraiths/Spirits/Banshees for Frostgrave

Just a quick update, but a much overdue one – it’s been more than two months since my last post! I’ve been painting plenty of stuff and a new article of mine will soon be appearing in Warlord’s newsletter; these things, rather than this blog, has been taking up much of my time. It’ll only be a short update, this – the food is on the stove and I’ve just come in from a quick jog, so I’ll have to keep it brief! On to the models, then:

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My mate Flor and I have recently started up a Frostgrave campaign using the Thaw of the Lich Lord scenarios and random encounter table, and as I noticed there were plenty of monsters of the ethereal kind, I’ve gone and added a box’s worth of these GW Spirit Hosts to my collection.

First off: these are an absolute nightmare to build. The different ghostly tentacles have to be glued together at specific locations where they pass eachother, at very minute contact points which are not at all clear to identify. These joins end up being very brittle, and if you don’t line them up 100% correctly you’ll then have trouble gluing the heads on – the ‘hairs’ will start interlocking means the heads won’t fit. These Spirit Hosts are quite possibly the worst plastic kit I’ve ever had to assemble in my fifteen years of hobby experience.

Still, once painting got underway, I had a lot of fun. Over a white undercoat I basecoated gauss blaster green, then sybarite green, then kabalite green, but I applied these basecoats increasingly away from the face, arms and tips of the lower ‘bodies’, effectively creating a transitional effect from white to a middle dark green. The weapons were basecoated silver, and after this I washed the models entirely in coelia greenshade. Once dry I applied white highlights to the faces, arms and ‘tails’ to bring the detail back on them, and I applied a sepia wash to the skeletons on the bases. The sand on the bases was painted dark brown and then both the bases and the skeletons were given a white drybrush. It’s so simple, which is also why I like them so much I decided to show them to you.

I’d like to do more of these, but someone else will have to assemble them for me…