Welcome to the Jungle

 

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The new(-ish) table in all its glory – 6′ x 4′ of flock and lumber…

 

Dear Readers, your humble correspondent returns to the intertubes once again with profuse apologies for leaving you waiting so long between updates. I must confess to very little hobby activity across the last 6 months in terms of painting and converting miniatures. This has been the case, however, for the happiest of reasons; I have been playing games!

Across the last 6 months or so, I would have averaged around 1 or 2 games per week of 2nd edition Warhammer 40,000, a few games of Space Hulk, and – across the last month – several games of Warhammer Fantasy Battles, 5th edition (of course).

What hobby activity I have been engaged in has mainly been terrain making to enable all of this gaming to be possible, and it is the results of those efforts which I report to you today.

Some of these elements you have seen before…. the Jungle Trees, the Scatter Terrain, and the Jungle Ruins…. but here they all are incorporated with some newer elements on a full size table.

No 2nd edition 40K setup could be complete without spiky jungle cacti, and so several bases of these were made up. I actually made them quite some time ago and they appear in a battle report on the most excellent Game of Travel blog (where you can see just how long ago they were made!).

The cacti were fairly easy to make, being constructed of Styrofoam balls, toothpicks, and with texture added from filler, sand, and dripping caulk from a caulking gun over them. Paint them before adding the spikes (which you should spray paint red on their own).

Another essential element for that authentic 1990s 40K look is moss covered rock spires, and I have prepared one so far, with plenty more on the way….

 

The other essential element is cardboard terrain. This is the old Imperial Bunker which I picked up on the WargamerAU Buy, Swap, and Sell forum for a good price considering it was in fairly poor condition. I fixed it up, and mounted it on a small hill. I ditched the tower and the forward position as I don’t like them anyway, and they were in very poor condition indeed. It makes a nice centrepiece for games and can be an objective in its own right if desired. It looks fairly good considering it took almost no effort to achieve this…

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I also constructed a kidney-shaped hill (which I made so long ago it still has my old blend of flock on it!)….

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… as well as a hill which has been dug out into a bunker, which utilises some Games Workshop terrain elements, namely the barricades from the Aegis Defence Line.

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Also, I constructed some generic trees, which I think could pass for evergreen European trees on a Warhammer Fantasy table if required….

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I used the method from this excellent tutorial on a great site called Boulder Creek Railroad (well worth a look if you want some tips on scenery making), and made them from old twigs, a plant hanging basket liner, and various grades of flock. They were pretty easy, but messy! They look better in real life than they do in this photo (flash photography… sigh).

Speaking of Warhammer Fantasy, I have been playing a few games of 5th edition, borrowing my gaming buddy’s Empire army, whilst I furiously put my own models together…. more to come soon!

Finally, for those sad pitiable souls interested in such things, here are some shots showing the construction of the table… it is a plywood top supported by pine battens. Pretty easy even for someone totally hopeless at DIY such as myself. It is quite sturdy, but heavy, and you do need somewhere to store it….

 

Battlefleet Gothic WIPs

BFG WIP Imperial ships
Front  – Dauntless Class light cruiser and Cobra Class Destroyer ; Rear – Gothic Class and Dominator Class Cruisers

 

I painted these up as follows.

Main Hulls

  1. Coated in Cote d’Arms Barbarian Leather (GW Snakebite Leather) mixed randomly with chesnut ink and burnt sienna ink.
  2. Drybrushed with Barbarian Leather mixed with increasing amount of white all the way up pure white

Prows

  1. GW Evil Sunz Scarlet shaded with red ink and chesnut ink.
  2. The gold is Barbarian Leather then Shining Gold then highlighted with GW Mithril Silver.Lined with chesnut ink where needed.

The guns were all painted black highlighted with Mithril Silver. Lights and other details were painted Sunburst Yellow highlighted with white.

I will go back and add further details and paint the domes on the bridges and superstructures like gems, but I’m not sure whether red, or smoky grey will be best.

They are an attempt to ape John Blanche’s scheme from the Battlefleet Gothic cover painting which he produced also in miniature form. I think it is passably recognisable, but who can compare to the Great Man, really?

John Blanche Dauntless and Cobra BFG rule book page 63
By John Blanche – from page 63 of the original Battlefleet Gothic rule book.
BFG WIP John Blanche style Cobra Destroyer
Cobra Destoyer – my favourite ship from the game, and so fucking expensive on eBay now!

Blood Bowl WIP and Inspiration

My latest project is the Averheim Avengers for Blood Bowl. This is taking a bit of precedence over other projects at the moment as there is a tournament in August which I may attend if I can: 1. Learn the game (having never played before!); and, 2. Paint a team! This all came about by innocently commenting in someone’s painting diary on the WAU Forums, discovering we live in the same city, and being invited to the tournament! Be careful how liberally you comment on people’s threads it seems! 🙂 This is the team so far. I expect to have some test models done (at least to base coats) in the next week.

The whole team
The whole team – the models are sculpted by Gary Morley with the exception of the ogre which is a Hasslefree miniature sculpted by Kev White
Blitzers
Blitzers

The ogre is Hasslefree‘s Axenarf, converted by the removal of his axe.

The inspiration for the (planned) colour scheme is this classic scheme as seen in White Dwarf 223 (1998). I will put my own twists on, of course 🙂 (Click for bigger pictures.)

from White Dwarf 223
The Marauders human Blood Bowl team from White Dwarf 223
WD223-1998-Blood Bowl 1
The Marauders vs. The Norsca Rampagers from WD 223
WD223-1998-Blood Bowl 2
The Marauders and Norsca Rampagers from the contents page WD 223
WD223-1998-Mail Order Pages
The Marauders and Norsca Rampagers from the Mail Order pages, WD 223

On the Paint Table II

Some more WIPs, with various poor photos. Sorry there is nothing finished yet but I am still feeling a bit burnt out on the orks but I am trying to do various things, including updating the blog, to keep momentum up and stay motivated. Thanks for indulging me.

Andreah and the assasin, WIP. In the case of the assasin I am trying to follow Mike Mcvey’s paint-job from the 1990s fairly closely.

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More jungle ruins terrain. Not too much more to do on these…

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A tank I converted a while back and just started painting. It is a looted rhino for the Blood Axes. I am learning a fair bit with every vehicle I put together….

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And it was confirmed to me last week that I will get paid my annual bonus in the next pay cycle. Therefore, I immediately treated myself to a few kits (the rest will go on taking my wife out to a fancy dinner and paying off debt). You probably won’t see much of these for a couple of months. The Jagdpanther will become a Gobsmasha for the Blood Axes and the Marder another counts-as warbuggy. The Citroen was an impulse buy. It is a bit small for 40K use (when I got it out of the box – I had thought of maybe using it for a Necromunda-ish sort of conversion) so I may use it with my WWII Germans….

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And I have actually finished some stuff. They are getting varnished now so expect proper photos by the end of this week 😉

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On the Paint Table

I have made some progress on the Bad Moons.

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I was feeling a bit burnt out with the orks, so I decided to do some basing – something easy and requiring little thought to keep up momentum but without being too taxing. I basically just chose a bunch of figures I wanted to paint up, without them being connected to any particular project.

I love the scribe; one of my all time favourite 40K minis, even though it’s not from 2nd edition. There is a real dearth of civilian types in 40K, models and fluff, since the end of the Rogue Trader era and this figure goes some way to correcting that. I’m not sure who the sculptor is.

4th ed. Warhammer Empire soldier (I think from the War Wagon), Hasslefree not-Scooby, 40K 4th ed. Daemonhunters Inquisitorial Scribe
4th ed. Warhammer Empire soldier (I think from the War Wagon), Hasslefree not-Scooby, 40K 4th ed. Daemonhunters Inquisitorial Scribe

I converted Andreah (inspired by this conversion on the excellent Tales from the Maelstrom blog). She will be part of a Rogue Trader’s crew, or an Inquisitorial hench-woman or somesuch thing at some point. I chose to use a pistol from one of the old Striking Scorpions just because it is about half the size of the modern plastics, and this very slight miniature needed a smaller and more elegant weapon.

Hasslefree Miniatures, Andrea sculpted by Kev White (converted), pistol from 2nd edition 40K Striking Scorpion
Hasslefree Miniatures, Andrea sculpted by Kev White (converted), pistol from 2nd edition 40K Striking Scorpion

This conversion was inspired by Thomas David’s winning entry from Golden Daemon (France) 1998. She may be a preacher to accompany my eventual Sisters of Battle army, or a sanctioned psyker, or an Inquisitorial hanger-on; at this stage I don’t know, I just converted her for the joy of it. The hand holding the book is from a Rogue Trader Imperial Guard Commissar, whose remains will be converted into something else soon(ish).

Bretonnian Sorceress, 1997 sculpted by Brian Nelson (converted)
Bretonnian Sorceress, 1997 sculpted by Brian Nelson (converted)
Thomas DAVID, 1st place squad Golden Daemon 1998 (France)
Thomas DAVID, 1st place squad Golden Daemon 1998 (France) (Click for bigger pic)

The psyker will be named Lord Varlak, before his fall from grace, inspired by the excellent battle report from White Dwarf 187 (see here for an excellent review of the issue with many scanned photos). He will accompany any Imperial forces as ordered by his superiors. Likewise the assassin (a fantastic classic model; I’m not sure the later assassins, much as I like them, are superior to this fellow).

Rogue Trader Miniatures, Sanctioned Psyker and Assasin
Rogue Trader Miniatures, Sanctioned Psyker and Assasin

And some random animals, just because. The dogs will of course accompany any appropriate 40K or fantasy characters depending on the character’s mission, whilst the others are jungle-dwellers and background elements (there are 2 more, not pictured, Reaper iguanas, also).

Brigade Models Celtos hunting hound, Bombshell Miniatures Rottweiler
Brigade Models Celtos hunting hound, Bombshell Miniatures Rottweiler
Reaper Miniatures, Familiar Pack IV monkey and rabbit
Reaper Miniatures, Familiar Pack IV monkey and rabbit

This one is not so random. It is not a cat, but a Gyrinx (see here). It will accompany a psyker, probably Imperial or Eldar. It is an excellent model, and I wish I had ordered more than one in retrospect.

Bombshell Miniatures, cat
Bombshell Miniatures, cat

More to come soon!