It’s a beautiful Spring day, so what better way to celebrate it than to show off the massed ranks of my Vampire Count army eh?
As usual, this army kind of snowballed from a few select models for Frostgrave, like the Tomb Banshee and the Spirit Hosts, via a short Shadespire detour with the Sepulchral Guard, to where we are now – at a rather big army. It all happened so suddenly… Actually, most of the models were purchased second-hand for the insanely low price of 50 euro for 40 skeletons, 10 Black Knights, Vlad and Konrad Von Carstein, 20 Zombies, 10 Grave Guard and a Corpse Cart!
Veteran readers of the blog might also remember the Undead Great Cannon I displayed many moons ago. In essence, this is the second VC army I have painted up in my career as a hobbyist, although this one is much lighter on the conversions, with a much larger emphasis on the colour scheme.
Let’s take a look at some of the units, one by one. Disclaimer: the pictures are far from ideal as I currently don’t have a setup for photographing large units let alone entire armies. I’ll make sure to photograph my character models in the lightbox soon!
There it is in all its glory! Infantry to the front, special stuff to the rear.
One of two 30-strong units of Skeleton Warriors, these are armed with hand weapons, the other with spears. I painted these up identically to the Sepulchral Guard.
A nice big block of 40 Zombies. As you can see these were repurposed from my previous VC army, as these models have been kitbashed extensively with Empire Free Company parts. I actually repurposed them by dumping coelia greenshade, the driving force of the eerie colour scheme I have going, over the old paintjob and then highlighting the colours back up.
A unit of 10 Direwolves, which will probably be split into two units of 5 in-game. These were my least favourite models to assemble and paint, and I was happy to finish them off. Never again!
A big 10-strong unit of Black Knights, which took me quite a long while to finish. Lots of intricate detail like the vines.
One character to show here, though, as I’m not sure it’ll fit into my light box! I found this Zacharias the Everliving on the shelves of my local game store as a leftover from a round of Made To Order and could’t say no. Perhaps I wish I had… The model was a pain to assemble, as parts somehow didn’t take my superglue very well. Just before shooting these photographs I actually had to glue Zacharias’ right hand on again as it had somehow fallen off whilst sitting on a shelf. To make matters worse, I managed to drop the model during basing… Lessons learned.
An unconverted Corpse Cart this time. The model had been completely assembled by the previous owner which made some aspects of painting it a veritable challenge, but it worked out alright. For this one I used a barbarian flesh undercoat from The Army Painter rather than skeleton bone, as much of the model is defined by fleshtones. A couple of the army’s spot colours tie it in nicely.
Finally, some Ghouls. I ended up buying the Ghoul warband from Warhammer Underworlds, which comes with a Bat Swarm as well. If I can get my hands on an old Bat Swarm or two that would be nice! The reason I went with this set is that I’ll mostly be playing this army under 6th edition, in which Ghouls are small skirmish units rather than the main battleline blocks of later editions.
What’s next for this army? I still have a 20-strong unit of Grave Guard to tackle, another 6-strong unit of Ghouls (the 6th edition metals), and around 20 more Zombies which are in absolutely dire shape. I’ll try and keep you updated on their progress.
That’s all for today. I hope you’re staying safe and getting lots of painting time in – since the quarantine began some three weeks ago I’ve managed 159 models!
So I finally got a photobooth! It was a birthday present from my lovely wife, and so I decided to try it out forthwith and catch up on things a little. I have had a growing feeling of embarassment over the quality of my pictures these last years, which definitely had its impact on the frequency of my posts. What’s more, the hassle of gauging light sources and the correct angles was always a chore, and I could rarely if ever achieve any sort of consistency between sets of pictures. Nevermore!
I got these Empire mortars NiB second hand for an absolute steal, which delighted me as as they still are excellent models. They were assembled straight fron the boxes, with the exception of a few alternate heads and arms from the bitz box for variety.
As per usual, the crew were painted in flashy Landsknecht colours – no Empire State Troop uniformity!
These relatively old plastic mouldings didn’t come with wood grain detailing on the mortar carriage, so I had to paint my way around that. The wood was painted Citadel XV-88, washed agrax earthshade and highlighted with balor brown.
All in all, I have been rather busy with this Empire army over the last year. My previous blog post from quite a while back covered most of the army; as I am writing these words a number of unit fillers and a few extra townspeople are on the painting desk literally inches away from my keyboard, and then I’m getting really near to wrapping this project up.
Hope you enjoyed this update!
Since I last posted, I have more or less gone back to where it all started, with fantasy wargaming. Together with the rest of my club I have been mostly playing A Song of Ice and Fire: The Miniatures Game since it came out, but I have also been collecting several Warhammer armies for Oldhammer, or more exactly, Middlehammer purposes.
Here, then, is my brand new Empire army. First, though, a little history lesson.
I was just a fifteen-year-old boy when I started the hobby. Back in the summer of ’69, pardon, ’01 I was walking around in Brussels with my wallet stuffed with Belgian Francs after passing my third year of high school, when I chanced upon a Games Workshop store with the usual displays of excellently painted models in the window. I thought to myself: “Hey, you can do that too!” and left with the 6th edition starter set and a paint set. From then on, every Saturday I’d take the bus to Brussels, spend my allowance on a blister or two, and be home for supper ogling my new acquisition at the table.
Empire was my first army, and let’s just say I learned a lot by doing things wrong – very wrong. Things like:
- Thinking that I could wash every colour with black ink, because black is the absence of light, innit? No, it isn’t.
- Trying to glue a metal Warrior Priest to a plastic base using plastic cement.
- Using blood red on the back of shields.
- Painting the inside of a model’s mouth blood red – because it really is!!!
- Putting a broken pot of plastic cement in a spare GW paint pot, which began to melt, turning into a sort of Nurgle paint pot (and a health hazard, too)
- Attempting to melt a blocked superglue nozzle by holding it over a flame. A bit of molten plastic fell onto my right index finger, producing a T-shaped scar which I carry to this day.
- Unsafe cutting, clipping, ruining clothes, licking brushes, and so on, and so forth.
This time around however, I used my eighteen years of experience to produce somewhat better results.
You already saw my Empire Elector Count on Griffon in a previous blog post, so here are the other characters. From left to right, we have a Captain, a Battle Wizard, the Battle Standard Bearer, a Warrior Priest and another Captain. Apart from the Wizard these are all Warlord Games models.
Pikes! Pretty much all Warlord Games models, some with heads from old Empire models for variety, and a few Foundry models such as the one all the way on the right. I’ll be using these as plain Spearmen when playing vanilla Empire, or I could play a Marienburger Empire army using the back-of-the-book list from the 6th edition armybook and use them as Dogs of War Pikemen. I have two 30-strong blocks of them at this point, the other one is just more of the same.
Halberdiers. I only got 12 halberd-armed Warlord Games halberdiers in my set, so I had to be creative to get a 20-strong unit. The musician and standard bearer add two models, the unit champion is actually Georg Von Frundsberg (what a demotion!), the model all the way on the right is the sleeping guardsman model from Warlord, and there is a unit filler on a 40x40mm base in there. Sorted! I do have 12 more Halberdiers on the way – Warlord was friendly enough to send me another batch of bits – and I can always try to convert some more with old GW bits.
Handgunners, of course. This unit is almost completely Foundry with just two Warlord models, and I have another comprised entirely of the latter. As you can see here I went for some rather simple colour combinations – the tendency with landsknechts is to paint every little sash and puff and slash and hose and feather a different colour and then stripe it with yet another, but in order not to go mad I went for simple halved or quartered designs of contrasting but not clashing colours. Here and there I did add some stripes, but only sparingly. I think the models still look Landsknechty when ranked up into units.
I wanted my Greatswords to look more armoured than the other guys, so I used the three arnoured bodies fron the Warlord kit, I also wanted a little bit more uniformity in these guys, so I gave almost all of them plumes on their helmets or hats and painted those a simple white and red.
I also wanted me some Flagellants, but as the old metal models are hard to come by for a decent price, I went with the different vignette models from Warlord Games and rolled them into one chaotic 20-strong unit. If I do ever find an actual Flagellant unit these will instead serve as Free Company Fighters.
These Knights from Foundry have been lying around in my drawer for years, but have now finally received a coat of paint (and therewith a coat d’arms, ha!). I have just the six models, so in order to buff their size I decided to use a vignette to fill it up for the time being. I’ll get more Knights from Foundry at a later date. Although I had the greatest fun painting these models up, the riders kept detaching from their horses all the time, due to an imperfect join.
The last argument of Elector Counts, eh? These Great Cannon are great models from Foundry. Still on the lookout for a Mortar though, and I should have an 18-year-old Helblaster somewhere…
So, what’s in store for this army? Well, as I’m writing this I have just played my first 2000-point battle with it against my friend Jonas’s Skaven. Despite having the worst of luck with the dice I managed a draw, but there was much fun to be had in returning to 6th edition Warhammer.
Another friend is gearing up to start a late medieval Swiss army, meaning I will be able to use my models as landsknechts and play games of Warhammer Ancient Battles and Hail Caesar with them.
At any rate, I have further additions in store for this army. Those extra Halberdiers are nearly done, and then I have some Archers, a 24-strong block of Swordsmen, some Crossbowmen, perhaps more Handgunners… I also have a Steam Tank lying around somewhere!
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 18 years of painting, it’s that the painting never stops…
Or, as they are known to most, Magore’s Fiends from the Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire game. It’s actually really, really good! The game is fast-paced, noob-friendly but deep enough, and cheap to pick up – although you’d probably want to have all expansions just for the cards.
So, with that in mind, here are my paintjobs for one of the last to have been released warbands.
First up we have Mr. Magore himself. I have elected to paint him up just like the rest of my Chaos models, in a colour scheme I first used on a Beastmen army years back (and whose whereabouts are currently unknown to me…).
Old colour scheme means old paints! For instance, I used macharius solar orange on the armour, scorched brown on things like the bases and the fur, and trusty blood red on this cloak. Likewise, the skin was painted tallarn flesh, dwarf flesh and elf flesh.
Unlike my old Beastmen, I did decide to add some more colour to the palette, so I used a sotek green – temple guard blue – baharroth blue triad on some spot details. I think this came out best on Magore’s chest cavity.
Finally, I opted to do something a little different with the flesh hound, so I used that spot colour as the basis of its colour scheme. The colours were successively drybrushed over a dark blue undercoat and finally glazed with coelia greenshade. I did go back in to highlight a few key areas with baharroth blue. Incidentally, the glowing effect on the eyes was completely unintentional and a happy byproduct of my clumsiness – I had painted the eyes white and skipped, so I decided to turn it yellow. I used an old brush to then apply a casandora yellow glaze, but applied way too much, flooding the entire eye socket. It ended up looking like this entirely by accident!
Hope you liked this post! I’m going to have a big update on a little Ancients project soon, so stay tuned.
With having moved house, my parents have been demanding I clear out my old bedroom and… It’s going a little slow! I already cleared out some boxes, binned a few unsalvageable abominations fromthe beginnings of my hobby years, and put aside some old models to be sold second-hand. I did,however, find a gem I’d completely forgotten about: an old Empire Elector Count on Griffon. I really like the sculpt – classic Trish Morrison griffon plus classic Perry rider, from the year of our lord 2000,
so I really wanted to give it another go. However, the model had become detached from its base, the rider was in a completely different box and had lost its shield… And, to top it off, I remembered I had once converted it into a High Elf prince on griffon, and there was a pair of plastic Silver Helm legs still clinging to the saddle. Snippety snip! I placed the model on a 50x50mm square base, gave the rider a new shield from the Empire Knightly Orders box (a kit which is soon to be 18 years old, too!) and
started on my quest to give the model a more decent paintjob.
For the griffon I decided to go with a very basic colour scheme; the lion part was basecoated zandri dust, washes with agrax earthshade, then highlighted first with zandri dust and then ushabti bone. The hawk parts were a bit more involved; I started off from a dryad bark basecoat, then drybrushed the brownish parts xv-88, the white parts rakarth flesh and then white, and the black parts grey. Finally, I applied agrax earthshade to the brown feathers, and a black wash from Vallejo to the tips of the wings to turn them black. Job’s a good ‘un, in my book.
I had less of a blank slate to work off with the rider, seeing as how the 15-year- old me had painted him to the best of his abilities – such as they were in 2001! The face is practically unchanged, apart from a purple wash I applied to counteract the apparent jaundice – back then I painted skin with bronzed flesh, applied a flesh wash and highlighted with bleached bone, which is incredibly yellow! I applied a final highlight of kislev flesh which came out okay. Otherwise, everything was fairly standard. I washed the armour – which had been drybrushed with some old metallic – with drakenhof nightshade, added some gold detailing with retributor armour (a
great paint, gold with great coverage!) which was washed with druchii violet, and then highlighted everything with stormhost silver. Some guilliman blue was finally applied to the sword to give it a magical glow.
So there you go, one model salvaged. I based the model identically to those of my landsknechts – the idea is that, if I ever touch Warhammer again, I can use my landsknechts as state troops. When pigs fly!
Quick update as I’m working on a few extensive articles plus a big commission. I painted these guys in November but didn’t get round to taking pictures of them until today.
I received these three from top chum Eddy who dug them up during his moving house. Now I’ve always loved GW models from around the turn of the millennium – in many ways I think their metal models were at their best back then. It’s also a nostalgia trip for me!
I especially loved painting the cloaks on these models. Top sculpting there. In general I find them really dynamic for twodimensional sculpts.
As I have no intention to start a Dogs of War/Regiments of Renown army I decided to base these the same as all my Frostgrave stuff. They’ll hopefully see some action in Felstad soon!
Until next time, when I’ll have a big article or two ready for you!
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!
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.
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.
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…