Tagged: fantasy

Tomb Banshee

I’m slowly but steadily filling up the random encounters table for Frostgrave, and it’s one I’m approaching rather piecemeal. There was a wraith in the main book, but now it seems there’s a further few ghostly types in the Lich King supplement – so I guess I’ll be using the model below fairly frequently!




I find these GW clampack character models to be fairly good – expensive but well detailed. This one was a bit tricky to put together, owing to the strange way in which it’s been cut up during development.


I worked from a white undercoat, of course, with the light colours I was aiming at. I then basecoated everything: gauss blaster green and baharroth blue for the robes, sybarite green for the bodice, flayed one flesh for the skin, celestra grey for the hair and silver for the metal.


Then, of course, a coelia greenshade wash over everything, followed by a drakenhof nightshade wash over the metal bits. Once dry I just reapplied all the base colours as a layer highlight.


Finally, I painted in the eyes and teeth with white. Super easy! I really like the way the palette came out, especially the cold flesh tone. Hope you like it too.

I have a few more updates coming soon, I just need to wrap my head around WordPress’s new publishing layout. I liked the old one much better, but then again I’m becoming an old grognard.

Warhammer Beastlord

While recently rummaging through a couple of boxes in search of something entirely unrelated, I happened upon a Beastman model from years back. As you might have surmised already, something deeply nostalgic began to tingle in my gut – reminiscences of trackless hours hunched over plastic GW crack, slaving away with paints like elf flesh, blood red and the iconic vomit brown. In the end I decided to place this man-goat in between my current historical work and, at last, here he is.


Model by Games Workshop (of course)

Model by Games Workshop (of course)

First off – if it were any other GW model I’d have left him in that box, but with a pose like that you can’t say no. To me, this model is a perfect illustration of GW’s heyday. Back in the mid-2000s they were bringing out sensible plastic kits but still recognised the value of white metal for character models. They still had actual sculptors working for them instead of today’s lazy underpaid manchildren with an Autocad degree. I can’t help but think that a lot of the commitment to making great models is lost when the sculptor no longer has the actual 3-up in his hands to connect with – it’s a bit like the ethical discussion regarding army drone operators, albeit with less dead civilians.


A fantastic but natural pose

A fantastic but natural pose

Painting-wise, it’s a bit of a hybrid in that I used as many of the old GW range as I had lying around, but had to make do with using several of the new paints. For example I’ve used the old macharius solar orange for the orange armour plates, but washed them with the newer shades. I think it came out slightly darker than before, but overall I’m pleased with the effect. I’ve also decided that the old skin tones are flat out better when unmixed; dwarf flesh is much more vibrant than cadian fleshtone and kislev flesh is too light of a tone for final highlights as opposed to elf flesh. Hence I’ve used the old range skin tones on this model.




One problem is that I’ve managed to misplace my huge bag of yellowy-looking static grass, so I currently can’t finish the base. Still, it’s playable at the moment, so I’ve no qualms about that bit of detail. It’s a shame that ‘playable’ no longer means a thing, though, because Warhammer Fantasy seems to have completely died down in my gaming circles. Years of mismanagement on GW’s part, with the End Times as the final (overpriced, gold-trimmed) nails in the coffin. We’ll have to see how the next edition will pan out.

That’s it for today! I have another update ready for you tomorrow, and it’s going to be an even bigger shocker than this one… So check back soon, dear readers, and adieu!

Flemish Foot Commander and attendants

Among the models my friends brought back from Salute for me (at no charge, as they were paid for by my commission painting service!) were the final crucial models for my Flemish warband. I say “crucial” because while I have many other suitable models lying in boxes that could be added to the army, I needed the models below to field a Flemish Saga warband – one with Hereward the Wake, Flemish mercenaries and the Anglo-Danish battleboard. While I actually have the official Hereward model lying unpainted, I figured a more 11th century look would suit my warband better, and so I arrived at the foot command standing pack from Perry Miniatures’ early crusader range.

The two models at the front are Perry Miniatures, the ones at the back are Conquest Games plastics.

The two models at the front are Perry Miniatures, the ones at the back are Conquest Games plastics.

I based the guy on a 40x40mm square base together with other models, so that he can also be used for non-skirmishing rulesets as a command stand within units, as well as for Warhammer Fantasy. Behind the commander and his standard bearer are two plastic Conquest Games Normans, just to fill the base out. The scale difference is noticeable, but I’m okay with it.

Four more Perry Miniatures models.

Four more Perry Miniatures models.

I also painted up the other models from the pack, while I was at it. As you can see I’ve used a much simpler heraldic device on these guys; I have plans to expand this army further, and having to paint dozens or even hundreds more lions would drive me mad. I’m probably going to vary the shield designs between units, keeping to the yellow-and-black to still firmly identify them.

A Look at 2013 & Prospects for 2014

Here’s another blog post, and a very important one, too! With the last batch of Rus Princes cavalry (pictures will follow) I have crossed the 500 model mark – to be precise, I’ve painted 504 models this year, and so my vow of a minimum of 500 models has been achieved – And we’ve still another month to go! Let’s do a little retrospection and see what got us this far. I’ll sum it up per project, then relate to you the future plans I have with each of them.

  • Vikings: At the end of 2012 I’d already done some of the Gripping Beast plastic viking hirdmen; in fact, much of my warband was already finished. Still, this year saw about a hundred additional models added to this army; mostly plastics from the new Gripping Beast Dark Age warriors set, but also a decent slab of metal models both by Gripping Beast and Old Glory. In 2014: Finish what Vikings I have lying around, and follow up with a few loose purchases at Crisis 2014 to fill out incomplete units. Particularly, I’d like to build a Northumbrian client contingent using the box of plastic Anglo-Saxon Thegns I have around, and also a mercenary unit composed of Jomsviking models.
  • Dacians & Sarmatians: This is an army I’d like to complete in 2014 and then move on to other projects. I started off with a box of Sarmatian cataphracts at a convention last March, and with a little effort the army will be done by the same time next year. This year I painted the aforementioned cataphracts (with an extra blister of them to bulk them out), two small units of light cavalry, the command models, and a Dacian warband – by the end of the year I’d like to complete a second warband. So in 2014: a further unit of light cavalry, a falx warband, and a unit of noblemen. There might be some plastic models left over which might be used for other purposes (Viking berserkers, notably) or to convert to javelin-armed skirmishers, but these are low priority.
  • Greeks: The unwanted child of my Crisis 2013 impulse purchases. I bought two boxes of Victrix models and I’m currently at 1/12th of their contents painted. In 2014: This is a relatively low-priority army and will probably receive rather sporadic attention. I have nothing other than armoured hoplites to paint for this army and there’s nothing non-hoplon armed to paint for variety. I will probably get about half done over the course of next year and then plump for the new Greek kits from Victrix at Crisis 2014.
  • Arabs: I painted an entire Arab warband for Saga at the beginning of this year, nearly 50 models in all, and they haven’t received any love in quite some time. A shame! This is mostly due to the Saga Arab list out of Wargames Illustrated being somewhat bland. Still, I consider them finished at the moment. In 2014: with the Crusades supplement for Saga probably available at Salute 2014, these might leave the cupboard once more. I have eight light horsemen left unpainted, and depending on the nature of the battleboard I might do these up as well.
  • Dutchmen: Plumped for a box of Swedish infantry in May when Warlord held a deal on them, and received a box of cavalry in August as payment for commission painting. Nice models, but the lack of interest amongst my gaming associates means that I don’t have much impetus for this project. In 2014: Left to be done are a company of shotte and half the unit of cavalry. These will be handled as soon as possible – I want to get the project squared away. I also bought some casualty models on the cheap at Crisis 2013, so they’ll be done, too. Despite the lack of interest I love the models, and so the For King & Country set from Warlord Games might be snapped up end of 2014.
  • Frenchmen: Things have been a bit quiet for my Frenchmen this year – if I have any hopes of ever fully owning the French OOB for Quatre-Bras, I’ll have to get going soon! Still, I managed to paint some cannon, a unit of lancers, and some command models and infantry here and there. In 2014: Painting more infantry is top priority for this army – I’m looking at a battalion of lights and two of line to be done. Also some cuirassiers, and some command models and battlefield markers. Merde!
  • Brits: I’ve just started this project but I absolutely love painting Red Devil models. Done so far are an infantry section, command section and light mortar team. Further up this year is the rest of my current collection – another infantry section, a PIAT team and a Vickers team. Just fifteen models, shouldn’t be too hard, right? In 2014: Who knows? With no other Red Devils to work on, these might be considered finished… unless a friend or relative treats me to another helping (and the wishlist function in the Warlord Games webstore is rather helpful).
  • Flemings: I took it easy with this project in 2013, with just sixteen infantry and eight crossbowmen done. However, three commanders are currently on my painting desk, so this year will be ended with a decent batch of models done for them. In 2014: I’d like to have these Flemings as one of my main projects for the year, and I’d also like to finish enough of them for a full Saga warband with options. Later on they might be expanded upon even further, and turned into a Hail Caesar/Impetus army, or even a Bretonnian army for Warhammer Fantasy.
  • Fantasy & Sci-fi: Really quiet on this front! I painted mainly some Bloodletters, some Space Marines (ewww)  and some Space Orks, to a total of about 50 models. However, I’m thinking of picking up the gaming side of it fairly soon, and that might get me interested in painting the masses of plastic and lead I have lying about. To conclude, in 2014: More Space Orks and maybe some extra Chaos releases, but no new purchases of any kind for these projects.
  • Japanese: Just bought them at Crisis, will probably have to wait until next year though. So, in 2014: A handful of sohei monks for Ronin, probably around 20. Not much is needed for this ruleset.
  • Commission work: About a quarter of the 500 models I painted this year were done for friends. Chief among these were a full Jomsviking warband and two Napoleonic cavalry units, with more still underway. In 2014: While I will probably accept more commissions, I will do my best to focus on my own projects. Otherwise, I don’t see any of them being completed. I’ll go for a selection of small commissions and see how they proceed.

TL;DR version for 2014: More of everything, especially Vikings – but no new projects. As for next year’s painting goal: I’ll start counting from the moment I went over this year’s mark, but next year’s goal is a total of 600 models painted. This means I’m currently at 4/600. Motivating? Hell no! But I’m sure I’ll boost the figure up towards a decent mark soon. Do check back to see the score, my good readers!

Undead Great Cannon

It’s Wednesday again, and that means I owe you another look at one of my old models or paintjobs. Last weekend my girlfriend left her camera unattended so I took it to my local game store (Het Spelplezier in Halle) where some of my older army projects are gracing the display shelves. I didn’t get a whole lot of time to photograph my models nor were the lighting conditions optimal, but otherwise the results are decent.

Mostly a Vampire Counts Corpse Cart with a Great Cannon barrel on top.

Mostly a Vampire Counts Corpse Cart with a Great Cannon barrel on top.

As Games Workshop has become hideously expensive over the years, I started with this project for the simple reason of being able to play the same collection of models with two different armybooks – Empire and Vampire Counts. The basic infantry was simple enough to figure out; there was a hobbyist featured in the 6th edition Vampire Counts armybook who had done the same. What needed more pondering were the warmachines.


Least plausible model ever - just one shot from that cannon and it's curtains.

Least plausible model ever – just one shot from that cannon and it’s curtains.

What I did was to flip the Corpse Cart structure around so that the zombies would be pushing it instead of pulling. I cut a ‘gulley’ in the pile of corpses so as to make the cannon fit rather snugly, then added more arms from the Zombie kit to the corpse pile which would hold the barrel in place (yeah right!). The structure with the lanterns and bell was glued on backwards as well.



The painting techniques I used on this model – and project, really – were already decided before GW switched from selling inks to washes, so I used plenty of drybrushing on this. For example, all that zombie flesh was basecoated bestial brown then drybrushed with rotting flesh, before receiving a yellow ink wash. It’s not the kind of way I’m painting these days anymore, but if I ever continue work on this project I’ll have some adapting to do. This is a model I painted in 2006 or 2007, I can’t remember exactly.

There you – a look at a project I had never show you before. As always, there is more stuff coming up, but it’s been delayed somewhat as my health hasn’t been that good lately. Still, soldier on we must!

Chaos Lord of Nurgle – for sale!

Hot on the heels of those Austrian generals is something completely different: a Warhammer model. It’s the first Warhammer model I’ve painted since those Bloodletters months ago, and even they were a small a drop in a vast sea of historical figure painting output. Nevertheless, here we are. Remember that guest contribution in August? I was so impressed by my buddy Pieter-Jan’s paintjob of this figure that I just had to go and buy one for myself. Let’s take a look!

The only converting I did was to remove the holes in the helmet with some greenstuff.

The only converting I did was to remove the holes in the helmet with some greenstuff. He’s got a big eye in his gut, after all!


I’m quite pleased with having done so; putting paint to this model was great fun. It’s defined several major areas with vastly different texture – skin that has both raised and sunken detail, segmented armour but with large flat plates, some tattered cloth, chainmail… A suitable canvas for a painter desiring a challenge!


You can see the skin highlights a little better in this one.

You can see the skin highlights a little better in this one.


How did I paint it? I’m happy to say I gained a lot of practical knowledge from this model. I started off with a white basecoat which was a bit more heavily applied from the top than from the bottom, as a sort of zenithal highlight to the grey plastic. I then painted much of the skin areas first, with a basecoat of flayed one flesh followed by thin washes of athonian camoshade and agrax earthshade. Then some highlights: the base colour followed by pure white, in a feathered manner. The gut and other skin abrasions were then washed carefully with thin consecutive washes of druchii violet, reikland fleshshade, carroburg crimson, seraphim sepia until I was satisfied. And then some biel-tan green washes just to gorify everything (of course).


Many bits on this model made my girlfriend cringe. Success!

Many bits on this model made my girlfriend cringe. Success!


The part of the model which I’m most satisfied with is the metallic areas. These were basecoated runefang steel and then washed consecutively with nuln oil, agrax earthshade, biel-tan green and drakenhof nightshade. A dark patina was created by these washes leaving just a hint of metallics underneath and on the edges. I then dug in with pure runefang steel and streaked, blotched and feathered a heavy layer of weathering which doubles as a highlight; you’ll probably understand this took quite some time.

Lighting's a little better in this one.

Lighting’s a little better in this one.


I more or less secretly wanted to paint this model up to see if I could outdo Pieter-Jan’s stellar version of him. Along the way that goal was totally side-tracked as I strayed ever further from the ‘classic’ GW colour scheme which Pieter-Jan somewhat adhered to (At least I think he did). In the end, I think we both delivered great paintjobs (I hope my readers will agree on that) but took the model in distinctly separate directions with him.


For Sale!

As you will undoubtedly have gathered from the title of this blog post, I’m very much willing to sell this chap on. I don’t have a Nurgle army not will I ever collect one, so I’d be happy for another wargamer to push him around on the tabletop or grace a glass cabinet or what have you. If you’re interested, don’t hesitate to make me an offer – contact me at laurensvannijvel at hotmail dot com. I’m not asking overly much for this model; twice the retail price plus any p&p costs that might be incurred. The model’s basing will also be finished according to preference.

If I can sell this chap on, you can expect some more of these features from me! As said I had a great time painting him, and I might do some of the other plastic characters GW has been releasing lately (not the resin ones, I’m not tired of life).


Empire Spearman Champion, first model ever

Time for another blog update on a Yesteryear Wednesday! This time I’ll take you back nearly twelve years in the past, to one of my first models ever. A note to sensitive readers: it’s so bad you might cry. I certainly did.

Oh my.

Oh my.

Twelve years ago, I passed by the GW store in Brussels, right after my exams in June 2001. There were some well-painted models in the store display, and I thought to myself “hey, I could do that too!” The result, of course, being the horrid spearman on display today. I bought the boxed set of the game (the 6th edition one with Empire versus Orcs) and the basic paint set (with those screw-top pots that dried out after one use) plus a couple of extra paints such as liche purple, shining gold and black ink, the results of which you can see above.

Probably my first conversion too, as the shield was pilfered from a Bretonnian Knight.

Probably my first conversion too, as the shield was pilfered from a Bretonnian Knight.

My reasoning was that a wash of black over the entire model would make sense, which it obviously did not. On this guy, I somewhat corrected the mistake by washing the skin with flesh wash instead, but the rest of the model is turned immensely dark and shiny by the dubious effects of the old GW black ink applied heavily and undiluted.

The back of the shield is really blood red, yes...

The back of the shield is really blood red, yes…

Beyond that, my choice of colour scheme was also terrible. Purple and green on an Empire state trooper, what was I thinking! As you can see, I also didn’t understand the 16th century type uniform at all either – why does he have a golden codpiece? Why are his leggings golden? Those aren’t knee-high boots! The main reason for the gold is that he was the champion of the unit and my teenage self had apparently felt the urge to denote this low-ranking sergeant by covering him in bling bling from head to toe. Shizzle.

But still, I can’t but feel nostalgia. Those were the days right after having wasted an entire year of my life on Diablo 2, and I was glad to have found a hobby that snatched me away from the computer screen. I saved up my paltry pocket money and went to the GW store in Brussels every Saturday afternoon where I tried my best at being taught painting skills by a unique french-speaking store staff (I’m dutch-speaking in case you were wondering) and from where I returned with a new blister and a paint pot or two. Those times are long gone along with the rest of my youth, but digging up a wayward test model from that bygone era, and one with such an abominable paintjob at that, does open the floodgates to a lot of beard-rubbing and moody humming. And waxing poetic about it, too.

Still, if that doesn’t immediately correspond with your own experiences, I hope this post will also be of aid to readers who are fairly new to the hobby and are let down by the quality of their first paintjobs. Don’t give up – it took me twelve years to reach the level of my recent efforts, and your first paintjob can’t possibly be worse than mine! The tools of the trade have advanced immensely in recent years, with woodstain dips, high-pigmentation paints and washes making life a lot easier for aspiring painters than back in the day.

As for my next post? Probably this weekend! I’ve been a busy bee these last two days and have made massive headway on completing the last 18 vikings for my starter army for Hail Caesar, and they should all be fully finished by Friday evening. The Anglo-Saxon player (Christian dogs! Cowardly turd-eaters! Worthless, beardless earslings!) has agreed to do battle with my Vikings (Shining sons of Odin! Brave axe-bitten fighters! Glorious silver-ringed seafarers!) next Thursday, and so they need to look their best. Haldebra, hai hai!