Saturday, November 26, 2011

Warriors of Morr -- Starting the planning process

I've been doing quite a bit of thinking about my Warriors of Morr over the past few weeks, and my plans are starting to coalesce. I've decided that my "list" will be something like this:

• 12 Knights of Morr (refurbishing models I built and painted ten years ago)
• 30 Flagellants (I've had the plastics for a long time but haven't painted any up as flagellants, I'll focus on the bell-ringing and hourglass accessories)
• 30 Spearmen (the rest of this post talks about my thoughts for these soldiers)
• 2 Cannons (I can't get away from them)
• 1 Mortar (you saw the beginnings of it in my last post)
• plus a few very characterful commanders, a massive rolling altar, and a few more hangers-on/onlookers.

For my Spearmen, I want to have them marching in column, on their way to war. As soldiers of Morr, they'll be in black uniforms, so I want to have a few things that can really push the look and iconography of Morr. To that end I hope to sculpt up a few pieces and have them cast up (for my own personal use only) that will help with that goal. Above are two ideas for heads for the Spearmen. Both are half-masks, the first is obviously a skull, while the second is more of a Venetian-inspired, beaked-nose mask that could echo the hoods worn by the Corpse Handlers (who will be my artillery crewmen).

Which do you think I should go with? I'd sculpt two variants of the design I eventually choose, and then cast the rest.

The arms of the Empire Spearmen are arranged in an "advancing phalanx" fashion, none of them are at ease or on the march, so I'm going to have to sculpt some new arms. At the moment I'm thinking I'll work on arms that'll provide me with the four poses above. If I do them right I can use sturdy brass rod and the spear shafts that will slide into the waiting hands. I can also then create a few different spear tips, halberd blades, and perhaps even a few scythe blades.

And the final step will be to create four or five different shield designs. At the moment I'm leaning towards a "coffin-lid" look, but could be swayed. The sculpted icons would focus on the symbols of Morr: the hourglass, the black rose, and the scythe, with a smattering of bells and skulls too.

If you have any other suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.


PS. I think my posting might be a bit spotty over the coming weeks as my second daughter is due to arrive any day now. There'll be a lot of rushing around, a lot of adjusting, and very little time for hobbying or blogging.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Well, it's been a mixed bag...

I realized last night that it had been almost two weeks since I'd taken a photo of anything I've been working on. Well, It's been a mixed bag of stuff. On my painting desk at the moment I have six or seven different projects I'm working on. No wonder I can't get anything finished...

Anyway, work continues on updating my Grey Knights in preparation for sale. Above is the Grey Knight Librarian I built from the new plastic kits. Below is the first Paladin unit I've been working away on. A little more work and I'll have that banner finished off.

I got a little bit of time to mess around with the base for the Black Kraken. I'm painting this up for the cool charity raffle at Adepticon next year - Celebrity Dreadfleet. Click here to check out the blog! I used the GW recipe, which was quite interesting to see come to life. I'll have a post up soon on the CD blog about that experience.

Back in July, at Games Day Chicago, my friend (and crazy awesome painter) Todd Swanson handed me a very cool base. It was a cast of the base he used on his Golden Demon-winning entry (seen here). It has been kicking around on my desk since then and last weekI finally got the urge to stick a model on top and get painting. I've added the Ghoul King from the Zombie Dragon kit (I bought that kit to add the wings to my Jabberslythe conversion) and I've started painting it up. I'm thinking I'll paint him up as some kind of underhive mutant or possibly daemonhost. Let me know what you think.

And finally (for this post) here's the first model I'm starting on for my Warriors of Morr army. It will be crewed by a bunch of Corpsehandlers who'll be pushing and pulling it to war. The smartass in me wants to call it a Morrtar ; )


Saturday, November 19, 2011

What the hell is Desert Bus?

So a week or so ago I was contacted by some folks from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, concerning a charity event I had never heard of. They've been running this annual charity event for the last four years (this year being the fifth) and are looking to expand their geeky audience into the tabletop miniatures realm. Unfortunately I'm too busy at the moment to have helped out, but I'm sure I'll jump in next year!

Anyway, back to the original question, what the hell is Desert Bus?

Well, you can check out their website here, but essentially it's a great bunch of folks from the lovely city of Victoria (on Vancouver Island) who sit down and play a video game for hours (24 hour shifts apparently) on end and stream the excitement online. Thousands of people around the globe tune in and place donations that all go to the great charity Child's Play.

Desert Bus is apparently a super-crappy game that was never released in which you drive a bus from Tuscon to Las Vegas. You don't get to stop to pick up or drop off passengers, and you don't have to avoid any roadkill, you just have to drive forward. Oh, and the bus occasionally pulls to the right.

So, head on over to the site, check it out, take a look at the cool stuff they're auctioning off, see which celebrities they're talking to via Skype, and so on. In just under 24 hours they've already raised over $33,000!

Next year, myself and a bunch of other miniature painters will be providing models that will be auctioned off during Desert Bus 6. Should be good to join up with more folks doing good things for kids : )


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's funny when obsession strikes

I was just thinking the other day that I probably wouldn't be entering into the 2012 Armies On Parade competition. Although I've been working on some lovely models (Thundertusk and Ironblaster) and have quite a few armies I could spruce up, I just wasn't "feeling" that any of those were real options.

Fast forward to last night at my friend's place, where I was playing in a big Warhammer game to conclude our recent campaign. While the vile stunties on the opposite side of the table shuffled forward and readied their cannons, I took the opportunity to check out some of the terrain models in Eric's painting queue. Ever since I first saw the Dreadstone Portal (above) I've known there was some great potential for a wacky Empire piece.

Add to that the very cool Garden of Morr box on Eric's shelf, and my mind started to tick over. There are a lot of fun things I can do with this piece that could really push the boundaries of the craziness that is now the Warhammer World.

Priest of Morr

And after a look through my copy of Blood On The Reik (a wonderful book full of excellent Dave Gallagher concept sketches) I knew I was hooked.

I'll be working on a crazy mix of "Warriors of Morr"/funeral procession that will include a lot of unique models and considerable conversion, perhaps even some original sculpted parts and backyard casting.

What follows are images that will inspire and inform my obsessed mind and hands as I embark on yet another Empire army.


Corpse Handler

Grave Diggers

Imperial Judge

Amethyst Wizards

Barber Surgeon

Hobby Horse - I don't know what this is, but I know I want one

Amethyst Wizard

Corpse Cart

Lietpold The Black

Wish me luck, I think this is the first time I've worked on an army that was inspired by scenery rather than miniatures : )


PS. All of these images are from Games Workshop's website, Forge World's website, and the Black Library artbook Blood On the Reik, and are used without permission.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Grey Knights - Soon up for Sale

Back in 2003 (I think it was) when Codex: Daemonhunters was released, I painted up an army of Grey Knights and Ordo Malleus Inquisitorial support. With the release earlier this year of Codex: Grey Knights, I figured it was about time to pick up some of the Grey Knight plastics, update the collection of models with some of the new equipment, then sell them on.

Above you can see the first updated squad, a unit of Purifiers, which of course were not in the original codex. These guys are equipped with a Justicar with Daemon Hammer, 3 with Halberds, 2 with Falchions, 2 with Psycannons, 1 with a Warding Stave, and 1 with a Sword.

Although the paintjobs are reasonably basic, I have made sure that each model has it's own personal heraldry. Below is the top hatch of the Purifiers' Rhino.

So my big question for you all is, with the army to include the following:

Draigo, Librarian, 2 units of 4 Paladins, 2 units of 5 Terminators, 1 unit of Purifiers with Rhino, 1 Strike Squad with Rhino, 1 Interceptor Squad, 1 Dreadnought, and 1 Land Raider.

Should I sell it all as one big lot? or sell it as individual lots?


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Might Makes Right! - Completed Thundertusk

Well, it's been a little over three weeks of work (on and off) on this big boy, the longest I've spent on an Ogre model to date. Above you can see the final "accessory" I had to paint to wrap=up the Tundertusk itself. I put this poor, unfortunate snack-to-be in a Nuln uniform, a nod to my Artillery Train. I started his skin with a mix of Sombre Grey and Elf Skintone (both Vallejo paints), then highlighted up by adding more Elf Skintone.

Below you can see my painted base for the Tundertusk. It's one of the Dragon Forge 150x100 mm base blanks (to avoid the warping I've seen on a couple of GW plastic bases). You can see the pre-paint in my last post.

Each of the little "divots" in the acrylic was shaded and highlighted by hand, quite the tedious task if you ask me. A coat of gloss varnish was painted on over the top to complete the icy look.

And here is the beast in all its glory! I hope you've enjoyed watching this guy come together.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Might Makes Right! - Thundertusk and basing

My Thundertusk moves ever closer to completion (thankfully). I must reiterate my previous comments about this kit, it is simply fantastic. So much character, brilliantly sculpted, and wonderfully fit together. It may be the best model kit I've ever worked on.

Here's a look at the faces of the Beast Riders, a wonderful mix of angry and bored, all at the same time.

And it can be just dripping with the little hanging accessories, like the frozen chicken, Orc hand, pigskin, and huge tongue. You'll also see  switched out the regular quiver of massive arrows for the rack of High Elf bolts.

Anyway, on the the base. A few posts back I asked for ideas from you all, and I got some very good ones. I let them roll around in the hobby rock tumbler of my mind, and I decided that while an entire base covered in ice would be cool (no pun intended), I still wanted it to fit in with the rest of my "Spring thaw" basing scheme. To that end I hypothesized that wherever the Thundertusk stepped, tendrils of rapidly growing ice would crackle and spread across the landscape, only to melt as the best recedes into the distance (something like the profusion of life that would spring up in the footsteps of the old Chaos Champion, Aekold Helbrass (thanks for the reminder Mike).

Above you can see what I have come up with.

Step 1 - I traced around the three feet that touch the base, and made a reasonable guess of where the front right foot would have been.
Step 2 - Using snapped off pieces of a clear textured acrylic, I laid out radiating "runners" of ice from the footprints.
Step 3 - I converted an Empire Handgunner as a "victim of the Aura of Frost". He'll be painted up in my Nuln colors.
Step 4 - The footsteps were filled in with brownstuff that was blended into the edges of the acrylic. I also sculpted some up and over the legs of the Handgunner. I plan to paint it all much like the weapons on the Yhetees.
Step 5 - I glued down small clumps of the GF9 medium basing grit, then glued down large areas of the GF9 superfine basing grit.

Now to the long task of painting it.

Here's a small look at the acrylic I used. Thanks go to my friend Thomas for showing me this stuff, apparently it's from a version of the plastic sheeting you see covering banks of flourescent lights. He picked up quite a few sheets at a local Home Depot store for cheap (as they were damaged) and then used them for his Space Wolves army.

Speaking of 40K, I've been refurbishing my Grey Knights and Pre-Heresy Death Guard, getting them ready for sale. Keep an eye out for them in the next few weeks.


Friday, November 4, 2011

The tickets for Celebrity Dreadfleet!

The tickets are now on sale for the raffle of the Celebrity Dreadfleet!

Unfortunately, your ticket needs to be present at AdeptiCon in order to win the raffle. Note the importance nuance here... Your ticket needs to be present, but you do not need to be on site.

 If you are planning to attend and want a ticket (no reason why you shouldn't buy at least 3 dozen...) the tickets are this way.

 If you will not be at AdeptiCon this year (which is a shame but understandable... well not really, but still...) you can always ask a friend who will be present to buy them for you and collect your prize on site (if you do win, which I'm sure you will).

 If you do not know anyone present at Adepticon, or you cannot trust any of your friends, we have another solution. Mathieu Fontaine and I are proposing to be your reliable friends at AdeptiCon. You send us your donation via Paypal and we will buy the tickets for you, manage them during the raffle and if you win (which again, I'm sure you will) we will send you your copy.

A few rules and details:

• We need to receive your donations at the latest March 30th. Mathieu and I will buy the tickets on March 30th (day on which the online cart for Adepticon closes).
• Any bonus tickets will be awarded as per the guideline on the Adepticon Online Cart. Any extra bonus ticket will be pooled together and if one of them ends up being the winner, the copy of Dreadfleet will be randomly awarded to one of the donators.
• A complete list of the donators with their ticket numbers will be published on our respective blogs for transparency on Saturday, April 21st.
• Any transfer sent to either Mathieu or I must include Paypal fees or be sent as a personal transfer. Mathieu and I will cover shipping of the Dreadfleet copy in case one of you win (and I'm sure you will) but we will not cover the Paypal fees.
• The winning ticket number, along with the name of the winner if it is one of our donators, will be announced Sunday, April 22nd in the evening on our respective blogs.
• I accept donations at the following Paypal adress:


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Introducing "The Guns Of April"

Here's a little introduction to a new blog you should check out/keep an eye on, The Guns Of April.

Well, after a couple of years of hard work (or hardly working) on some Napoleonic models intended for an outing at AdeptiCon, we've finally got our act together. Joe Krone, Brien Dulaney, and I started collecting our Napoleonic figures around November 2009, we discussed plans both small and grand, futzed about with ideas, and applied paint to miniature soldiers, but things never really went too much further despite my collection now exceeding 300 figures (painted).

Enter Dave Pauwels and Jamie Welling, friends of ours from Chicago, and their desire to see a big historical game at AdeptiCon. After some chatting, planning, and a little bit of scheming, The Guns Of April hobby group was born.

For AdeptiCon 2012 (its 10th anniversary by the way) we've decided to present a "what if?" scenario based on the historical Battle of Salamanca, 1812 (also a significant anniversary year, its 200th). For tales of the developing armies and terrain for this game, you can head to our blog, The Guns Of April.

Here's a shot of my latest completed unit, the 5th Caçadores. I actually finished painting them earlier in the year, but was out of Apoxie Sculpt for their bases until recently. I figured it'd be the right time to record my basing scheme for my "Napoleonic British in the Peninsula" army. You can find that on the blog too, although I'll show you the fun pic below : )

Well, head on over to the blog and start leaving comments. Hopefully that'll inspire us all to keep painting ; )


PS. If this goes well, we might do something cool every year!