Thanquol and Boneripper

I previously mentioned that I’d been reading the Gotrek and Felix novels while painting my Skaven, and as a result had an eye out on eBay for the models of the protagonists and of their nemesis: Grey Seer Thanquol! I managed to get a pretty good deal on the models and have had them for a few months now, ready for a coat of paint. A few public holidays lined up nicely over here and I decided to get the Skaven side of that equation painted.

I had a lot of fun painting these models, they’re classic metal Games Workshop models with their exaggerated features, and are really satisfying to paint. While the rest of my Skaven have some blue greens on them, I wanted Thanquol to stand apart so I painted him to match some of the art that graces the book covers. The basing was done to match the army however, and I find that usually does a good enough job of making a model belong.

I decided to go for a classic Warhammer green crystal sword on Thanquol. It could have come out a little smoother but I’m happy enough for an army model.

I’ll have to paint up Gotrek and Felix themselves at some stage, but for now at least my Skaven are bolstered by the most infamous Skaven of them all!

Chosen Men

I’ve been a fan of Bernard Cornwell books for a long time, and I believe I’ve read every one of his book series apart from his most famous: Sharpe. It’s been on the to read list for a while, but I always held off as I was well aware of the consequences of starting the series. I would get interested in the period, and therefore in wargaming the period, and therefore adding to my ever growing backlog!

As you might have guessed, I finally got around to starting the series and here I am, painting some Napoleonic miniatures. I’m four books in at this stage and tremendously enjoying myself. They’re great adventure novels with a decent amount of historical detail, keeping my attention and prompting me to read more about the elements that stand out to me.

As soon as I realised my fears were realised and there was no turning back from painting musket wielding miniatures I turned to finding a system and scale to play the era in. My first thought was Warlord Games’ Epic Waterloo system, with its large scale battles and mass ranks of 13.5mm scale miniatures. After eyeing off the starter sets for a while I decided to aim for something a bit smaller in scale (miniature count wise) and larger in scale (miniature size wise!). I have enough large model count projects underway for now!

I started looking for skirmish systems set in the era and rapidly settled on two: Sharp Practice by Too Fat Lardies and Chosen Men by Mark Latham and Osprey. Sharp Practice turned out to be a bit hard to get a hold of locally, and seemed quite a bit more complex in rules so I decided to go with Chosen Men (which has rules for bouncing cannonballs! I couldn’t pass that up). I like to have a game system as a framework for my painting as even though I have no plans to play games in the short term, this lets me decide how to build my models and how many to paint.

I wrote two small forces for the game, one French and one English, and the unit you see above is the first for the French side: Napoleon’s fiercest, Old Guard Grenadiers. These models are from Victrix, and quite nice plastics. The set comes with most of the models marching with their muskets upright, but has some firing and reloading poses, and I concentrated on these for this unit as I felt they were more sensible in a skirmish scale. To give you an idea of the size of the game, the French force is 21 models strong and the British 31 models strong, so really that’s half of the French painted!

Painting-wise there’s not too much to write about, the main feature of these models are their blue coats and trousers, which were painted all sorts of shades of blue in paintings and reference materials. I settled on a darkish blue, lighter than a navy blue and slightly desaturated. This was done using a base coat of Vallejo Dark Prussian Blue and a highlight of 50/50 Vallejo Dark Prussian Blue and Vallejo Prussian Blue. The rest of the models were painted much as I paint materials of the same colour. As these are effectively a one-off I wasn’t too careful about writing my steps down.

Anyway these were good fun to paint, and I’ve just received the eclectic mix of models I want to build the British side out of which I’ll assemble and paint the next time the urge hits. Given my so far unbroken Sharpe novel streak this might be sooner rather than later!

Sikhs!

Back in North African Theatre for this update, with an addition to my 8th Army forces; this section of Sikh infantrymen.

Ever since I cracked open the 8th Army set from Warlord Games I’ve been eyeing off the different head options that are included, and I decided that while this platoon is supposed to be from a British regiment clearly in the heat of battle this section from an Indian regiment must have been joined them! I really like these models, Warlord did a great job here. More than just the models, I’m keen to showcase the variety of troops that fought in the desert, and while I won’t be building a section for each head option in the set (there are a lot if you consider the options also included in the Commonwealth Infantry set!), I wanted to not just stick to Brodie helmets.

These models also mark the end of the first platoon with regards to infantry, leaving me with 3 sections of infantry done and a royal engineers section. Progress is slow, but it is progress! I have a fair amount of infantry left to paint for the 8th army side of this project as I have my second platoon’s worth to paint (nominally as Australian, we’ll see who else sneaks in there!), and also the entirety of the other side (DAK) as well!

From a painting point of view, these are doe exactly the same as my other 8th Army troops except the skin of course. For the skin I used Vallejo Flat Brown, followed by a light wash of Agrax Earthshade, a highlight of Vallejo Flat Brown (effectively leaving the Agrax Earthshade in the very recesses), followed by a highlight of Vallejo Flat Brown mixed with Vallejo Heavy Skintone, and a final highlight of the previous mixture plus a dash of Vallejo Iraqi Sand.

The mixes I listed above were done to match colour swatches I’d made from sampling the colours present in a photo I found online. It’s the first time I try to do something like that and I think the results worked rather well, so I’ll definitely try that again in the future.

The background I used in the photo is a printed out photo I took when visiting the Flinders Ranges in the middle of Australia. Not quite North Africa, but it is a desert so close enough for my purposes! I spent a couple of weeks out there back in 2014 in the middle of winter and it was freezing cold and so dry that my lips were cracking no matter how much balm I put on! The scenery was fantastic however and the night skies unbelievable for someone that grew up in light polluted Europe.

Finally, here’s something I stumbled across in a second hand store yesterday! A really nice book from the late 70s on the Desert Rats. Plenty of great photographs that I’ll be pouring over for ideas!

2000pts of Skaven

Well I don’t often (maybe ever?) post twice in a day, but I ended up with a few hours of spare time I wasn’t expecting so decided to tackle the last model I needed to paint for this army (for now!).

This is the Warlock Engineer from the Island of Blood starter set. A cool little model (love the blunderbuss with a scope on it!) that was really quite fast to paint. I’d planned on just doing the basecoats tonight, but got carried away.

Once again not much to report on the painting front, he was painted much like my other Skaven, although with a little more care than the rank and file!

Once I’d finished him, I couldn’t resist setting up the whole army together for a photo!

So there you have it, the 2000pts of Skaven I’ve been working on for quite a while now, arrayed in front of my unfinished fortress, with the Dreadfleet mat hanging behind it for a very mystical looking sky! This feels like a nice achievement, as while I’ll definitely paint more Skaven models in the future, my goal at the start of this was to get to the 2000pt mark. It’s also taken me a while to get here, as my first post on the army was back in October last year, so almost a year ago.

I’m not too sure what I’ll be painting next, I have a couple of other projects on the go but I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up using this as an excuse to kick off a new one!

Clawlord

Back this week with another Skaven model, this time a Clawlord! This model was a limited Skaven warlord that came out around the time of the Island of Blood set, paired in a duel with a High Elf Noble. Both the elf and this Skaven are really nice sculpts and as I bought both at the time I’ll have to paint his elvish counterpart at some stage.

Not much to write about from a painting point of view, he’s painted much like the rest of the army although I did spend a bit more time on him than I would a regular trooper. His main new feature is the fact that I painted the pupil on him rather than just the red iris I did on all the other models in the army.

The tail is quite a prominent feature of this model so I made sure to spend a fair amount of time on it, adding a bit of colour variation, and picking out all the lovely (🤢) details. Overall though a really fun model to paint!

I’m currently in the process of rewriting the army list as a result of the new Skaven rules being released a month or so ago, but so far there is a good chance he’ll be the second to last model I need to get done for 2000pts which is rather exciting. I do love finishing projects! This also means that next post on the army is likely to features shots of the entire army together which should be fun to do.

Return of the Clones!

It’s been a few weeks since I posted anything as I’ve been on a brief hiatus caused by me getting into some card gaming with some friends, but the painting itch has been strong and I was excited to get back to finishing models!

This week I painted up these clone troopers for Star Wars Legion, to add to my 501st Legion Clones. As you may have noticed, these have yellow* markings rather than blue, to mark them as part of the 7th Sky Corps, Obi Wan Kenobi’s troops. I wanted to do this because I plan on fielding Kenobi in addition to Anakin Skywalker in the army, and I fancied them having a squad each from their respective commands.

* Interestingly, the wiki article says the markings should be orange, but they always looked yellow in the tv show to me, probably a trick of the lighting!

These were painted in exactly the same way as the first batch of clones, and I kept the marking positions the same on both, just changing the colour.

These were nice and quick to paint, a good project to get back in the painting flow!

Warpfire Thrower

A quick one this time round, I painted another model for my Skaven army, a Warpfire Thrower, a cool (or not as it turns out!) little weapons team.

I really like painting weapons teams, whether fantasy or historical, as they always represent a little vignette. This makes for interaction between models that is often absent in armies of individually based models. Here we have a hapless rat that was clearly wandered too close to the last jet of warp fire!

There is a fair amount of detail on this model considering it was a starter set model from back in the day and must have been 2-3 pieces at most. The fire on the rat was fun to paint, if a bit challenging as I’m used to having a bit more space to try and get some fiery gradients happening! The smoke billowing out of the reservoir looks a little rough in the photos but seems to work well enough on the tabletop, so I’m happy with it overall.

This gets me one step closer to finishing the original 2000pt list I’d put together, only two characters left now, although with the new army book having been released a few weeks back it’s likely it would have to change if I ever decided to play it in a game.

Phase 1 Clones

After a few weeks of little to no painting due to the excellent reason of getting a wedding ready, I sat down at the painting table over the last few nights and decided to tackle some more Star Wars Legion models, this time some clone troopers to go with The Chosen One!

After the large amounts of storm troopers I painted for my Galactic Republic army, the last thing I wanted to do was paint more plain white armoured troopers, so I decided to paint some markings on them as well as battle damage, loosely based on how they appear in the movies/shows. The blue marks them out as part of the 501st, the legion commanded by Anakin.

These models are made from the soft plastic found in Star Wars Legion starter sets and as per my previous encounters with the material, I did not enjoy the building or painting process very much. It’s sad because the newer hard plastics produced for the game are some of the best examples of plastic kits, I wish they’d started with that from the get go!

The battle damage did a lot of work to cover up some of the imperfections in the casting, and generally the poor quality of the casts guided my painting towards the faster end of the scale. Overall though I’m happy with how they look for the effort put in, and they were a great way to get back into the groove of painting!

If you follow the blog some, you may have noticed I’ve been experimenting with backgrounds to my model photos for a little while, and this is the latest experiment. I printed out a photo I took in Japan back in 2015 of these wooded hills in the mist, and I think they’re suitably abstract to work well as backdrops.

Keeper of Secrets

After saying hobby time might be short over the next few weeks in the last post, I found a couple of hours today and finished up a model I’ve been working on on and off for a few weeks now. This is an older Warhammer model, and a solid chunk of pewter!

I’ve pulled this model out of the unpainted pile as a result of my recent dive back into older Warhammer books. It was a relatively quick paint job, I used the airbrush to get a quick zenithal sketch for the skin, with a reddish purple from underneath and a pale pink from above. After basecoating the rest of the model I did an all over purple oil wash, followed by some quick highlights on the skin, the red cloth, the black horns/nails and the metal.

I decided to try something I haven’t done in a while for the basing, and do some snow! I went for a spring thaw look, with the snow turning to slush. I think it looks about right, it was a simple mix of bicarb soda, snow flock and matte medium applied with an old brush.

Overall I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, and I have quite a few more old Warhammer models needing a coat of paint for when more nostalgia for that era kicks in!

The Deathmaster and the Word Bearer

I’ve had a bit of a rocky few weeks hobby wise, as I’m getting married in a couple of weekends and wedding prep trumps painting models! I’ve still managed to fit in a few painting sessions however and here’s the output of that!

First up we have this Skaven Deathmaster, a really cool model from the Old World times that made it through to the current era (loosing his special character status in the process!). I wanted to tie him in with the rest of the army while keeping that cloak as black as possible, hence the teal highlights on the black.

The second model is one of GW’s representations of the Space Marine Primarchs during the Horus Heresy period. This is Lorgar, the Primarchs of the Word Bearer Legion, probably the most treacherous character in the stories. Cool model, he’s fairly big (probably more like a 54mm model), but not as big as some of the other Primarchs. I’m happy enough with the paint job overall, but really chuffed with how those flaming skulls came out!

He was painted to celebrate the release of the new edition of the Horus Heresy game. My local hobby store Beyond Odyssey (Go see them if you’re in the Perth region!) organised for a few local painters to paint up Primarchs for the launch.

Anyway that’s it for this update, not too sure how much I’ll be able to do over the next few weeks, so may be a while between posts, but then again the if odd dull moment does crop up I might get something else painted!