Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Arthur Rackham Style Trees

I recently finished up a project that I've had set aside for quite a long time, trees and thickets in the style of the iconic illustrator Arthur Rackham.

Tutorial here:
Dr. Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Rogue Trader Imperial Army and 'Bring Out Your Lead' Olivia

As many of you probably know there has been a steady 'Oldhammer' movement (probably beginning the day 4th edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle released). The special event miniature for the 2017 'Bring Out Your Lead' event was a miniature based off an iconic image from the Rogue Trader book. Although I couldn't attend I put up a 'figure wanted' post on Facebook and quite unexpectedly some people arranged to get one to me!

I couldn't let 'Olivia' languish in the queue for long, and I decided to paint up a bunch of other old Rogue Trader 40K era figures at the same time, in a matching scheme. I seriously doubt I would have ever painted the majority of these guys. Most were acquired in random lots and I really wasn't all that interested... but I ended up enjoying them. Regulation kit is not their priority but they look like a hard-bitten group of bad asses.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Lead Painter's League 11 - Round 8 - Wolf Riders (and Refurbished Hills)

I realized that I haven't used my hills for quite a long time because they didn't match the play surface any more. Even though I have quite a few other projects in the works I decided to give them a good repaint and flocking. The small plateaus needed a little variety in the sedimentary layers as well.

 Before, stage one with textured paint, and final version with paint and flocking.

 When trying to decide what to photograph with them, I realized I neglected posting the final three Lead Adventure LPL entries to my blog. Round 8 was 'Wolf Riders'. They're all Bob Olley sculpts, although the shaman on the demon dog is from the Clan Wars range if I recall correctly.

I have owned the full set of Oriental Goblin Wolf Rider figures for many years. Originally sculpted by Bob Olley and offered on his site, they ended up going to Cavalcade miniatures- I have no idea where they can be purchased now. I picked them up right when they came out I liked them so much, but it has taken forever to finish them. I still have a few left!

The last pic shows the five from the recent LPL with their brethren, painted a few years ago. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Hydra Miniatures Imperials - Zarek and Magi

I painted some new 'Retro Raygun' miniatures for Hydra a few weeks ago and have been awaiting their official announcement before I posted them. These are for the 'Imperial' faction- two Magi and a character named Lord Zarek.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Zombie Baluchis

Better late than never, I finished up a few more shamblers for the 'Army Painter' project I started a couple months ago.These six are from Obelisk Miniatures, who have stopped trading, and I'm not sure who has the rights to these. They fit with the style of Foundry Darkest Africa range very well.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Shadow War: Armageddon - Tau Kill Team

My son had been begging me to let him play Shadow War, and I painted up some Blood Angels scouts for him. Since I've been using Sororitas for the main campaign, I decided to paint up a Tau Kill team for use against the marines. I've been wanting to paint some Tau auxiliaries for a while, but never really had an excuse. A"Hacker" from Wargames Exclusive was bought a while back with no real goal in mind. I also ordered two weird figures from Hasslefree- a sci-fi figure that resembles a certain doofus cartoon dog, and a platypus with a railgun. Why not?


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Yet More Darkest Africa Baluchis

I'm quite a bit behind on my timeline for finishing up the various Baluchis I had planned for this years 'Army Painter', but I have squeezed in another installment.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Imperial Bastion 40K 2nd Edition Terrain

I was pretty happy with the old cardstock Firebase I 'dolled up', so I decided to give the same treatment to the dilapidated cardstock Bastion I acquired in a Necromunda lot many years ago. Luckily all the parts were included.

The color of the gantries was tough for me to match for some reason, and it took a few tries to get the bulkheads close. They ended up looking pretty good and the multiple layers of airbrush probably enhanced their dimensionality.

 I'm trying to decide if I want to do the same thing (basing, matching bulkheads to platform color) for the other cardstock Necro terrain I have. I'll probably end up doing that.

I painted up some scouts for Shadow War Armageddon for my son to use. Three of them have Blood Angels heads to give them a little specificity. These were done several weeks ago and I just now got around to photographing them.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Imperial Firebase 40K 2nd Edition Terrain

I went to the 'Recruits' game convention in Lee's Summit, Missouri two weeks ago in order to run my Arena of Blood game. They have a silent auction each year, and this year's auction offered a lot of items. I managed to snag a cardstock Imperial Firebase for $10, in superb condition. The previous owner had sprayed the bulkheads black and painted them blue- pretty vibrant- but it wasn't too far off the saturated blue of the printed bits. I decided to base it into three separate elements, painted the edges of the card pieces, and weathered the bulkheads to blend them in a little more, matching the rust effects on the printed card. Considering this is card terrain I'm pretty happy with the end result.

I'll probably be giving an old beat up Imperial Bastion I have the same treatment, and I'll take a look at my old Necromunda stuff while I'm at it. I never wanted to permanently base it, but it would certainly tie it in to my existing industrial layout and probably preserve the condition too.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Sister Anna and Shadow War Armageddon Terrain

I finished up my last member of the 10 Sister Kill Team for Shadow War Armageddon. I had used another sister model for the character for one game- she charged an ork and managed to take him out (with a lot of luck), so I decided to roll for a 'combat' advance. 
Sister Anna ended up with 'Feint', which is pretty lame for a battle sister- essentially the model gives up an attack dice for a +2 to the combat resolution. The big problem is that regular sisters can only get bolt pistols or combat blades for melee weapons and they don't have a lot of attack dice to be giving up!

It was at this point that I re-read the rules and discovered that we'd been doing advances wrong the whole campaign. Roll twice and choose which one you want :)That would have made a HUGE difference in my teams skill set!!!

I decided to stick with the skill though, as disadvantageous as it is, mainly because I wanted to do the bolt pistol/combat blade conversion I had in mind and my Sisters are acting a bit crazy anyway.

It was a pretty challenging because I started with the 'pulling grenade pin with teeth' pose. I also painted up another Sister, with dark skin for variety... she's probably from Tallarn.

Within the last couple of weeks I managed to complete the Shadow War box set terrain, a set of Haemotrope Reactors, and a Promethium Relay. Very time consuming.

This set will probably be showing up quite a bit in future pictures.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Frateris Militia and Frills & Fauna Critters

As I work on painting a batch of figures I often squeeze in a random thing that doesn't quite fit the rest. I bought some weapon conversion bits from Mad Robot for use on some Frateris Militia, and wanted to test out the fit right away. The resin head is from a 3rd party as well- I think it might be MaxMini. This was a relatively quick paint over a crummy undercoat.

I also painted a few more resin miniatures from the 'Frills & Fauna' Kickstarter. I have them all built and based, but not primed, so they will trickle in over time.

The 'Mammoth Jird'. Here is Krakon Games' description: Giant flesh-eating jirds… A rogue’s best friend. Very little loyalty is required when your sole purpose is to make people disappear.

Robot Hound. No space-faring adventurer is complete without mechanical sidekick.


Group shot for scale, with some Chaos Cultists. I thought I had taken a pic of the 'Snapper', but apparently not...

Dr. Lye once described these creatures as “Walking Piranhas”. he’d have probably referred to them as that many more times had they not eaten him alive as he attempted to befriend one. Is it a fish? Is it a dog? Are you brave enough to find out?

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Darkest Africa Baluchis

The Lead Adventure Forum has a low-key painting challenge called the 'Army Painter' that runs from August to January 1st. The gist of the challenge is to paint a 'unit' for an army project each month and post it around the 1st. I think I've done it four years now, and I have picked Darkest Africa projects because it is the only way I will ever get the range done :)

This year it's Baluchis. I have a number painted already but I still possess a few packs of 'Baluchis in Arab Dress' and some zombie versions made by Obelisk which are now OOP, as far as I can tell. I've been wanting to get them painted for some October games for a while now and for some reason Halloween creeps up and they're still not done.

 Up first is the old DA82 (Now DAO52) "Baluchi Matchlockmen in Arabian Dress 2".

 I was chomping at the bit to do a test run on a zombie, so here's the first of them.

 I never did a group shot of my Missionaries of Africa, also known as the "White Fathers", so here they are. Converted from Perry clergy from the Crusades range.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Battle Sister Reinforcement

I've been slowly working on another full squad of Battle Sisters (more than what I would ever need for Shadow War, the plan is to get a force going for 40K 8th) and I decided to finish one ahead of the group to replace a model I'd been using in my Kill Team.

I've lost the last two games, but I haven't suffered any deaths and have killed about five of my opponent's orks. After the last game I added a tenth member which is the maximums squad size. I also added some melta-bombs to one sister, and rather than glue one to a miniature I painted up the ammo servitor from the Space Marine devastators kit. I used a smaller 20mm base for the creepy lil' guy.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Shadow War: Armageddon - Sororitas Kill Team - The Creature

The Sororitas moved slowly through the gloom. They had received a garbled vox transmission indicating a supply box marked with foul xenos sigils lay abandoned in this section of the promethium sprawl. Sister Catherine gripped her Chaplet-Ecclesiasticus. Not out of fear... not at all. She found herself consumed by thoughts of hatred- toward a specific ork raider. She could picture the brute, clad in heavy armor and brandishing two large axes. She wanted nothing more than to put an end to the loathsome greenskin... it had become the focus and sum total of all her hatred for the entire orkish race. Catherine recognized that her thoughts were misdirected, and prayed to the Emperor in order to clear her mind.

"There are orks ahead. Spread out, pattern Kestrel. Ave Imperator." Sister Superior Constance headed to the extreme right flank, dual pistols drawn and ready.

Catherine found herself peering into the gloom, hoping fervently that her nemesis was among the band. She was not let down.

A rain of bullets erupted from the darkness, a mix of bright flashes, the whine of bullets careening off industrial architecture, and the smell of sulphur. The sisters responded immediately with their own fusillade of well directed fire.

Catherine saw her quarry- the brutish double axes and metal jaw clearly identifying it. She moved forward, taking an advance position ahead of her squad mate in contradiction to the outlined kestrel pattern. Gunfire echoed throughout the sprawl.

Sister Loretta fired at an ork in the distance that was lugging a devastating heavy machine gun. He dropped, wounded, and crawled to cover.

"What the...?" Loretta exclaimed. A bizarre creature the likes of which she had never seen pounced out of the darkness onto the downed ork, who fought like a wounded predator. Then it was gone. The ork had survived, somehow...

Double axe rushed forward and was cut down by Sister Barbara's storm bolter, or perhaps it was Louise. Yet, he persisted.

Catherine rushed out of cover despite all risk. She felt compelled. Fully in the open, she stood over the fallen ork and put three bolt pistol rounds into the space between the viscous metal jaw and the helmet bowl.

Even then, her bloodlust was not sated, and she ran as fast as she could toward the other ork writhing in agony in the distance.

Heavy gunfire continued as each squad maneuvered to cover the approaches to the xenos cache.

Catherine lunged toward the second ork, hoping to finish him off before he recovered. She fired the rest of her magazine until he stopped moving. Then, the hidden creature struck. Catherine was knocked down by a vision of unholiness, a mutant defying description...  a blasphemous blend of maggot and spider, yet standing upright. Somehow, she managed to fire her bolter into the midsection of the hideous thing and it disappeard, again. The sudden advent of the terrible vision and it's equally quick vanishing snapped Catherine from her madness. She was so far ahead of her squad...

Constance held the right flank. Three orks were careening down the gantry toward her. Even odds she thought, as she fired plasma and bolt rounds at them, forcing them into cover. Constance glanced over her shoulder just in time to avoid a sweeping scythe of reddish chitin, attached to the body of something man sized- a mix between the crustaceans of Lemnos III and a mantis. Dropping low to avoid the orks' line of sight, she kicked the beast squard between it's beady eyes and knocked it off the edge of the platform. Used to easier fare, the creature slunk off into the darkness.

The sounds of gunfire dissipated and the jeering howls of the orks grew more distant as they carried away their prize- a case with Tau writings. Who knew what lie within? Fortunately one of their number was left behind, dead, along with his two axes...

"Sister, you placed our squad in danger and let your rage consume you. Your headlong rush into close quarters with the orks is more befitting the more bloodthirty of the Astartes. We are lucky to have sustained no lasting injury." 

"Sister Superior Constance, please allow me to take the vows of repentance, for I have failed you, my sisters, and the Emperor." Catherine bowed her head.

"Denied. Our task is not one that can afford such a choice, despite your willingness. No, let your rage be calmed, and meditate upon the teachings of Confessor Eustace."

Catherine nodded, silently.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Dark Eldar Arena of Blood 3D Game Board

This post details the construction of the 3D Dark Eldar Arena of Blood board I built. Arena of Blood is a mini-game found in White Dwarf #229 (1999) which introduced simple rules for Dark Eldar Wych gladiator fights. I really enjoy building 3D game boards and I've wanted to make one for this game for many years. I finally started it around January 2017 and just finished the last figures for it. All that remains is to finish the sheets for the characters. 


The original game was played on a fold out map (included in the magazine) that had all the stats and specific rules for the characters. GW even incuded stand up card markers for the Wyches, although I assume they wanted us to buy the actual miniatures :)

The original map has murder stakes scattered throughout, plus the players add additional ones. I didn't want mine to be permanently attached, with the idea that there may be times we don't use them, or have monsters that need more space. 

I started off the project by casting hexes with 'Merlin's Magic' plaster, using a silicone mold I bought from Keebler Studios (now out of business). I had two issues with the mold- first off, the sides were not perfect 90 degrees from the base so they didn't nestle up precisely. I had to fill in the gaps later with joint compound. Second, the mold tore about half way through casting and I was able to limp it through. I'd never had a silicone mold tear, so I'm assuming Keebler used different rubber than Hirst Arts.

After casting I hand painted them all to look like marble, which actually wasn't as time consuming or tedious as it sounds. The hexes with a border have a washer imbedded in the cast (the murder stakes have a magnet in the bottom) and serve to break up the monotony a bit.

I designed the wall and blade shapes in Adobe Illustrator, tracing the edge of a Dark Eldar sword as a starting point. The plan was to send this file to a laser cutter. The blades are acrylic and the wall decor is thick card.

These quantities and sizes ended up being slightly wrong by the way. Luckily my laser cutting acquaintance is a nice guy and put up with me submitting three orders :)



 Here you can see the structure coming together, using Gatorfoam and foamcore.


Painting blades. I planned to go with a dark gunmetal to contrast with the walls and floor, but I wasn't sure about that and asked some people for advice. Some friends convinced me to go with gold, which is more opulent and decadent-looking. I think that was a great suggestion. 


'Murder stakes' are cast resin with laser cut acrylic blades. I designed the shape in TinkerCad, a free 3D modeling program that is super easy to use. I had the shape 3D printed using Shapeways, after which I made a simple gravity drop silicone mold and cast them in resin. The six slots were just a little too narrow and the biggest pain of the entire build was having to go back through and sand them all a little wider so the acrylic blades would fit...

The last step was filling gaps in the assembled walls with Bondo, sanding the heck out of the top edge surface, and painting it black.


I am close to finishing the new character cards (which were originally on the printed map) and hope to get some games in soon :)