Monday, 17 July 2017

Commission: Salute 2017 X wing table.

Well it's been a while and i figured it was about time I actually did the write up for this.

Sadly i don't work from diagrams or technical drawings, So you'll just have to make do with my WIP pics and the image of me using a piece of folded A4 paper to fudge my measurements.

The table is built on 3 levels,
.The ground level featuring the actual scenery with the scarif citadel.
.the playing level. clear acrylic with the top of the citadel poking out.
.the shield gate.a top level of acrylic featuring the scarif shield gate and armada ships.

Well that's it for the image dump!

In terms of construction there were a few odd points to work around.
First was the sliding scale of the tower, Which had to go from 1:2000 scale at the base to 1:260 at the playing level. This was mostly done by eye , Working on my cuts until it looked right without having a dramatic shrinking point.

Second was the tower construction itself. I'm not the neatest builder so getting the tower symmetrical and stable ,let alone the right size to sit under the playing surface was a bit of a challenge.Again this was mostly done by eye, Cutting one shape until it looked right then replicating it by using it to build a template.

The frame is build of standard off the shelf pine and 12mm mdf.

The tower is build from 2.5mm polyboard. Polyboard is much better than foamboard for hobby applications.IT's slightly more rigid, much more moisture resistant and most importantly completely resistant to solvents. This means it can be fixed quickly with super glue and sprayed with any standard spraypaint.

The gribbling of the tower and the ground level details are all scratch build from your basic off the shelf plasticard .

The trees are push drawing pins , sprayed black and flocked. This was by far the most time consuming part of the project, With over 1000 hand made trees flocked, mapped and drilled into place.

The water is 3 tones of Vallejo blue ,working from a mid turquoise to a sky blue , with a very fine drybrush of white on the shore line. It's all gone over with about 6 bottles of Vallejo still water effect. If I were doing this again I'd most likely switch to clear poly resin to increase coverage.

So that's basically it. The construction went up without too much of a hitch and it was really great to see so many people enjoying the table at salute.
(if you were at salute and have any pics of the table let me know, I'd love to see them! )

And to finish, here's me being interviewed by Beasts of War at 8 in the morning before I'd had any tea, breakfast or real sleep.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

A pox upon thee....

A foul wind has blown through the old woods. 
It has turned the chilled swamps into stinking quagmires.
The ground swells and weeps.
Ever do the carrion flies swarm.

The plague has come to the shadow realm, A herald of 
Some new force come to seek the Mystarikum....

A jolly warband marches through the woods, Their songs and blessings cutting through the mist.
Singing and dancing they come, 
Brothers in arms, Comrades and friends all.
The servants of the plague have crawled from where their plague ridden bodies fell.

One, A freeguild greatsword captain by the name of Hildebrand Geschwind
has taken up his beloved blade and rallied his men.
Now he marches to war, The banners and horns of his host blow again in the busy streets of his home town.
He has come to bring the new word of nurgle to those in the dark realm.

So yeah, I couldn't resist.
I got my hands on a couple of poxwalkers a week early and I knew i wanted them to form the base of an Age of sigmar warband.I've always loved nurgle and wanted to build a unit of grimy old nurgle soldiers and these guys just scream that to me.

The miniatures ooze character and as with everything from the dark imperium box was an absolute joy to paint.
This guy is a really simple conversion, Just a greatsword from the demigryph knight box cut up and attached to the weapon handle of the poxwalker.

This guy was painted almost entirely with washes and model mates weathering wash (which i recommend everyone get!) I look forward to doing more of his joyfull brothers and sisters.

Thursday, 8 June 2017


"Whats this?"
"Is it some sort of stormcast?"
"Chaos warrior perhaps? "

"Well whatever it is, Let's get it inside, I'm sure mayor Brukhem will want to see it."

Last words of 3 citizens of warp world xxxIIIv3 as they tried to drag off the unconcious brother Aremis.

When I'm not at home in a small room full of miniatures, I'm at work in a big room full of miniatures. 
My latest task at work has been to get the new 8th edition set painted up, And I couldn't resist diving in with a primaris marine.

I haven't painted a marine in about 4 years, And i haven't painted an unconverted ,studio paintjob marine since i started this hobby 15 years ago when I moved from The lord of the rings miniatures to ultramarines.

So what are they like? Well, They're great.This is what space marines should always have been.Big, Powerful giants in armour, But with a real sense of speed and dynamism to the sculpts.They paint up lovely, With nice flat panels for highlighting. (or weathering and freehand when i get my hands on my own squad.....) 

IF you like marines, Or converting, Or painting, Or miniatures in general, Then you'll have fun playing around with these. (and the whole contents of the box- I'm looking at those nurgle cultists like a dog looks at an unguarded ham...) 

I'll also take this chance to show the shadow wars scenery I've been painting up for the store lately. 
GW are really knocking it out the park at the moment with kits that reward the painter, And i can't wait to see what they do next.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Eclipse entries.

The entries for Ex profundis Eclipse contest are now all online, And they're all well worth checking out! There are some really wonderful conversions being put forward and every entry is packed with character.

You can check them out over at

Saturday, 3 June 2017

A strange excursion....

What do you do when you have 3 days to finish you degree show work and need all the time you have spare to finish your research? 

Take an impromptu trip to warhammer world of course! 

I'm not really sure what i can say on the subject of warhammer world that hasn't been said before. Great scenery, an amazing shop, wonderful displays and a pretty good burger and beer! 

On the subject of the displays, They GW studio have been busy cranking out some amazing dioramas for Age of Sigmar. None of my photographs could ever do them justice, But the Ironwarp citadel and the fortress of Nurgle are mesmerising. It's a massive shame in my opinion that GW haven't published a nice coffee table book of these dioramas ,As each one is well deserving of it's own dedicated book.

But what is a blog post without pictures? I got some time between finishing my bugmans ale and trying out 8th edition 40k to photograph some of my AOS28 miniatures on the amazing  Ruins of Dras’Shiel scenic table.
Hopefully next time I head down I'll be able to really get a few games in with some future conversions...

Therin the blind searches for arcane secrets.

Dainna and Burik explore the ruins in search of  heretics.

Burik and Huund on guard.

Imcyra the many blessed spreading sigmars light in the dark corners of the realms.

Sir Bry'nn the blessed leads his holy brothers through ancient ruins.

Imcyra among the ruins.

Reinhold Heilbrand leads his motley crew in search of foul sorcery.


A place of secret and arcane power....

Friday, 7 April 2017

Imcyra the many blessed. Eclipse entry.

Imcyra the many blessed, Warden of the street of gods in ancient Themyskyr. 
All faiths find their home in Themyskyr. Monks and pilgrims mingle with living saints and miracle workers outside the hundred identical temples that line the ancient street. 

Imcyras job has always been a vital one, For it is her task to walk the street of gods and root out the worship of chaos, for even here the foul gods will find no welcome. 

Now as chaos sweeps the land once more she finds her task has become ever more difficult, for she must check every home and sewer of the city for traces of the foul cults that have oft sprung up in the guise of some minor deity. 
Her body bares the symbols and prayers of many different gods, painted upon the ash from the many pyres and braziers that sit outside the cities many places of worship.

So here she is, My entry to the Ex Profundis eclipse competition.
I had alot of fun with this one, As I've wanted to build something based on the dark elf sorceress model for a long time and i had a desire to make a fairly unconventional witch hunter , But still keep the end miniature quite simple and minimal.
conversion wise there's nothing major going on here, a bit of an arm resculpt, an added hand from a lord of the rings miniature , some green stuff clothing and boot cuffs and a smoothed out head.I think it does enough to pull the model silhouette away from the original figure and give her a really nice eclectic spiritual feel, without feeling chaotic.

Painting wise i wanted her to look quite earth and simple but still retain that look of a zealot, So i went with a simple palette of reds browns and blacks to contrast with her pale ashen skin and bright tattoos.
The tattoos were really fun to paint and I really just made them up as i went along.
This was a miniature where the building and painting influenced everything about the back story, I had no real conception of who she was when i started building her but once i got her tattoos and face done i instantly started building a story around them.

I also wanted to link her in with some of my other warband members, So i decided to use her to flesh out the city of Themyskyr, giving it a bit more depth in my own head as i imagine both Imcyra and Dainna wondering the same streets.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Dainna the huntress.

Throughout the realms there are countless kingdoms.
Many are but ruins of their ancient glory, their power only just returning after
a thousand years under the heel of chaos.
Most are little more than dust and memory.

Yet there are a few that still stand strong....
Deep within the realm of beasts there stands Themyskyr, City of the hunters.
For countless centuries it has shone in gold and silver, Like a crown
Atop the very mountains of the far lands.

From this land Dainna has been sent, for a city as ancient as Themyskyr remembers much,
And whispers of things long since thought forgotten have reached it's gates.
Dainna is the huntress of the bronze tower, Chief warrior and champion of the city.
She is charged by the council of the city with the Destruction of all monsters and invaders that would see Themyskyr toppled,
And it is a task in which she has never faltered.
Her victories in war and the hunt are beyond count.
None has stood before her spear and lived, Be they warrior or beast.

Now she hunts a new quarry,
For the rumours say the ancient Mystarikum has revealed itself.
This has caused unrest in the chambers of Themyskyr.
No where else are the powers of the ancient cities as well remembered,
and no where else is the power and danger of the lost Mystarikum truly known.

Dainna will do what she has always done.She will hunt her prey, she will strike, and she will be victorious..
 for Themyskyr.

This was a really fun miniature to work on.Dainna is built from a sister of silence body with Perry foot knights head ,spear arm and pauldrons, with a bretonnian knights shield.

The perry arms and heads really scale with the slighter figure of the sister body and match up fairly well stylistically, giving a more grounded fantasy look to what could have been an overly baroque figure.

Painting wish I copied my usual rusted armour look, building from boltgun metal, agrax wash and brown ink, then a layer of rust, boltgun drybrush and chainmail edging.
I try to avoid being overly sharp with my highlighting in general but since i wanted this to look like a well worn and battle marked suit of armour I decided to go all on and add chips, worn edges and rust pockets over the whole suit.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

A being of power and unspeakable terror....

In all the realms there is only one being so terrible...

Only one creature with such power...

Only one who can bring such ruination with its every step....

None can challenge it...

None has ever fought it and lived...

No one shall escape its ruin, and the realms with be torn asunder by its very will....


Okay, Maybe I'm being a bit dramatic.
But i really love this mini, It just seems to ooze character and hints at so many weird and wonderful possibilities.As a sculpt it's charmingly simple, a real joy to paint, but managed to convey a real Bosch style weirdness that has often felt lacking from Age of Sigmar since the start.

My reason for painting it was mostly for fun as i love the model, But i also wanted to see if I could get across a dark and atmospheric style using a brighter and colder palette than I've been relying on to this point.
I also decided to give base experimentation a try.I love the way John Blanche bases his models, the ground less of a diorama and more an atmospheric nondescript setting for the miniature.

You migth also notice that this model is photographed much better than anything else to date despite being bloody tiny! Well I'm still using the same old smart phone to get my models from desk to computer, But i have been messing around with lighting a bit and came up with a happy medium between dark as hell and yellower than an imperial fist on the surface of the sun.

Burik the moon guard, watchman of Marshes end & Huund.

Marshes end is a quiet place.
Built atop the jutting spires of a sunken city of marble and copper, It rests on the
horizon like a crown of broken jetties and rotten wood houses.

To the south lies the great marsh, vast and featureless save for a few places where dark and terrible things still dwell, and around this sits the black wood, a forest of such depth that some say daylight has never touched its floor, and the ice and mist have become cruel....

To the north, the nameless sea.Calm and mist covered, it stretches to the grey horizon.
No one comes to marshes end save for those who seek the silence of the end of the world or the occasional restless revenant, risen from the cold mire.

Or rather, that's how it used to be.
As news of the Mystarikum has spread across the realms, So marshes end has found itself visited by many strangers, some mighty, some insidious....

It is Burik and his trusty guard dog Huund who had for many years kept the towns borders safe, watched the marshes mists for signs of foul spirits and patrolled to the edge of the blackwood
when news of nameless horrors spread.

Now Burik has taken up with the dawn knight, and has declared himself the Moonguard.
Where the dawn knight rests, Burik watches over him, acts as squire and for his part helps him in combat.

Accompanying him is Huund, Guard dog of the long since banished mayor of marshes end.A loyal and battle scarred beast, Huund has become a companion of all in the dawn knights company,
None more so than the wizard Therin, whom he takes great joy in
guarding, If only for the heat the wizard can conjure on cold nights.

Burik is built from a Bretonian man at arms body and bill, With a perry war of the roses head, skeleton shield and (dark?) Eldar back banner.
I wanted him to look like he has built or cobbled together his guards kit from what local supplies were available in a run down fishing town, so a shield with faded heraldry and a rain stained banner with his own simple design on seemed like a fun way to put this across.
Added to this is a healthy layer of rust and grime and i think the effect comes through.
Since he's the third model for the warband he has the job of really cementing the style I want to get across, and it took me a while to decide how he should be painted. In the end i decided that while Therin was dark and brooding and the dawn knight was shining and bright, the real humans of this band should be somewhere in-between, A grimy grey bunch of dour soldiers and militia so i went with a fairly subdued colour palette, Mostly greys and browns with reds whites and a faded turquise to break up the monochrome nature of the robes.

For Huund I simple covered up the various cybernetic implants of the cyber mastiff that came with the game day enforcer model before painting. He was built up from a almost black brown to a middle brown, then detailed with purple bruising and red scars to give him a bit more of a battle hardened look.
He might not find his way into the warband as a starting member, But once I have the points he'll be acting as a gryph hound in game terms.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Warscroll cards.A few quick tests.

One of the things I love most about INQ28 was the trend away from mass produced plastic game accessories to something more personal.A wooden box, Stone counters,Bone dice... It speaks of an extension of the gaming experience beyond a set of arbitrary rules within the tabletop landscape and towards something more expansive, A form of roleplay and story creation.
For me this tied in with my love of all things arcane, ancient & antique.

Too that end I've been trying out some quick ideas for unit cards for AOS28 to try and get across that same sense of props adding to the game experience. For me it seems that having a beautiful atmospheric set up is a waste if it's going to be undermined by bright laser cut acrylic tokens and badly photocopied character sheets.

I have a nice little wooden card box from an antique shop which i'm planning on using to carry my game accessories and a deck of warscroll cards in something I've wanted to make since AOS launched, and now seems the right time.

I think I'll move away from the "everything is faces" look I've been keeping so far and do something a little more astrological as suites the many realms of AoS.

I'll be making a trip to Cornelissen & sons this week as they have some nice off cuts of hand made rough edged paper for sale in roughly tarot size, So will post up something more final soon, But I thought some might like to see these for now.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Reinhold Heillbrand. Scourge of spirits.

The realm of shadow is not the most ideal place for those who follow Sigmar's light.
 Faith can be misled by foul spirits, prayers become lost and trapped in the all encompassing fog, turning to foul whispers on the chill wind.
Those who come to the shrouded land following the light of the god king must be hard and brutal to survive, their faith must be unbreakable, for nowhere else save the dread realms of chaos will
they be so very isolated from all that is good.

Reinhold Heillbrand is one such traveller. A witch hunter by both trade and choice, Heillbrand is known as the scourge of spirits, For he makes it his lifes work to vanquish those who would invoke the dead and the chaotic to corrupt the rightful lands of the God king.

Heillbrand has come to the realm of shadow fresh from the purging of Excelsis, where the seers and secret merchants talk of ancient mysteries soon to be resolved and long lost truths to be rediscovered deep within the realm of shadow and mist.They speak of rites,both holy and corrupt, and a lost isle among the mist.
They speak of the Mystarikum.
To Heillbrand, they speak of corruption, And he would see these rumours quashed.

He will seek find the Mystarikum first, Before that misguided Stormcast and his peasant rabble, before the servants of the dark gods or the skulking Aelves...
He will find the Mystarikum and ensure it remains hidden.

Reinhold Heillbrand is built from the forge world event only arbite model.I had been after this model for a while and i actually came across it by chance in a trade, with two of his cyber mastiffs. (sadly only the one arbite-a man can dream.)
He say on my desk for a long while as i was unsure what to do with him.I love the figure but i don't really play any game in the 40k universe, and despite painting alot of the miniatures and loving the style, It felt a waste not to game with such a cool and imposing character.
Eventually i decided i needed a witch hunter and after much hand wringing about taking the knife to a figure i will never get a duplicate of, I bit the crossbow bolt and decided to bring him into the world of AOS.

The conversion work is fairly simple since the arbiter already had a bit of a medieval look to him, Just a crossbow to replace his shock maul, a sand timer to replace his walky talky gadget, and the removal of any 40k iconography.
After that i have him a sword from the old empire sprue and decided to paint him with a nice mixture of reds and browns to give him that old school inquisition style. I made sure he wasn't too murky by giving him nice stripped pantaloons (A must when witch hunting.) and painting his sword a nice gem green to add a small dash of colour to him.

I may work back into him and rebase him as he was finished before I started the Mystarikum and as such his base is a little bit too firey.

Game with he might get a warband, or I might have him as a recurring NPC to act as foil to the various heroes and villains trying to claim the secrets of the Mystarikum for themselves.

Monday, 13 February 2017

The dawn knight.

From the questors lodges of the great wildernesses to the very edges of the realm of chaos,
 The warrior now known as the dawn knight has travelled far from his brother warriors for many decades.
He took up the quest upon his first reforging, for in the moment of his
deaths ascendance he saw in his minds eye a darkness, spreading from an unknown place
to shroud all the realms.
For long he travelled from city to city, wild to wild, ruin to ruin, all the time gathering whispers of the many lost and hidden things that threaten the mortal realms.

It was one such whisper that brought him to the realm of shadow, to the great marsh, and to a town of rotten wood built upon the broken bones of a sunken city of white stone and green metal.
It was here that he slew a foul beast that had been plaguing the villagers for many moons,
And it was here that he fell in battle to it's vicious bite.

But he did not die.Instead he awoke within the flooded ruins of the great cathedral at the centre of the ancient city.Around him the townsfolk had gathered, and in their hands they bore his armour, polished to a deep black and painted with the sigil of the coming dawn, A light come to burn away the darkness.
The townsfolk believed him an angel, a hero of the old stories as was painted into the ancient cathedral roof centuries before, come to bring light and peace back to the great marsh.
Now they follow him, and he has taken them all as squire, For he feels that within this shrouded realm, the secrets that he seeks and the gathering dark will be found.

For the dawn knight I wanted a real oldschool feel.I wanted some good old fashioned heraldry as would suite a travelling warrior, and a really characterful face.
The great thing about the stormcast models is the lovely flat areas that really suite freehand design work, And I'm pretty happy with the shield design i chose.Partly it was inspired by the old orc shields, and party it was a homage to John Blanches stormcast sketches which features his trademark "All the faces all the time" design style.
While i felt like the armour itself was a little plane and i could have done more with weathering, I'm happy enough with my Bryan Blessed lookalike and he will be a fine leader of his band of trusty pilgrims!
One small note on the model that i would give to someone building one would be to get rid of the chainmail and the scroll.To me they don't do anything to strengthen the silhouette of the figure and there's no real way to paint them that matches a dirtier freehand style.