Tuesday, December 30, 2014

MM43 Chaos Champion on War Griffon

When I first read the descriptive for the latest bonus round for the Analogue Challenge, "mounts and rider" I immediately decided there would be no way I would submit a boring horse and rider! I'm knee deep in Oldhammer at the moment, so obviously It would have to be a hero mounted on some kind of exotic monster! 
I settled quickly on my choice; the "MM43 Chaos Champion on War Griffon", a classic Marauder Miniatures multi-part kit released in 1990. I was, and still am, a big fan of Marauder Miniatures, and this piece is no exception. A nice Christmas gift to myself!

The original WD advert
I will admit it doesn't really fit in the rest of the Realm of Chaos range, it seems almost too clean and the Griffon looks more "Empire" with the tassels and all than Chaos. But at the same time difference is what makes Chaos, and the Champion definitely looks the part! Heavy nostalgia love factor for me in this one.

It took me some time to find one at a decent price, in fact I found it barely two months ago, and the one I got was still in its original blister. And yes, I did what some may consider heresy and opened it and painted it! I'm a collector, but dammit miniatures are meant to be painted and loved and played with! The assembling went better than anticipated (heavy wings are a serious pain to glue!) although those early pieces are always tricky.

You rarely see it painted, in fact I've only seen three painted examples, and that's including the one painted in 1990 for the White Dwarf advert (see above). I painted the Champion's armour a bright colour, in this case green (I think those who follow my blog have noticed my army's green theme by now!), which is something you would often see in the golden age of Warhammer. The Griffon I painted a bright palette, too, mostly of white, green and red. I'm really happy with the way the white fur came out, I think I nailed it.

Not very evil colours, maybe, but the early Warhammer Chaos colours were all over the place and that's something I loved. It's Chaos, not undead! I'm quite happy with the way he's come up, even though I find the photography don't do justice to the red wings at all. I glued the rider in a slightly different position than he was meant to be, so he seems more in attack mode (the original position looks a bit likes he's sitting comfortably on an Elran couch, I have to admit).

I just need to find a proper name for the Champion and his mount and he's ready for combat! Suggestions?

(And happy new year to all!)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

"Kitty Bonny"; a gift to a friend, and my first entry in the challenge

Avast, me hearties!

The last few competition it took me a few weeks before submitting a first entry, so I decided to break the habit by submitting something straight outta the gate. It will put me on the board and motivate me to add to this early start.

2014 was a very difficult year for me; I spent most of the year unable to walk after undergoing three knee surgeries and at one point, after a series of complications, I seriously feared I might never get to walk normally again. Although I've mostly recovered now it's in those difficult times that you get to know your real friends, and I am lucky enough to count on a few amazing ones who supported me, visited me and cheered me up through these hard times. So I decided that, for Christmas, I would do something special and individually paint for each of them a unique figure as a show of gratitude. I rarely if ever paint for someone else and the plan is to paint something which represents them or something they love.

So my first figure of the competition is a gift to one of my best friend, Emilie, a great girl with a love of cats. In fact, she even has a cartoon cat as a tattoo on her arm. The figure is from Dark Sword Miniature's "Anthropomorphic Animals range", obviously a cat, and it's an awesome sculpt full of personality. The pink details and plumes are also a wink to Emilie's favourite colour.

I named the figure "Kitty Bonny" and I cannot wait for Xmas to give it to her.

That should give me 5 pts to start the competition with panache (I posted this in both my blogs, after all a pirate is historical, but a cat pirate is definitely fantasy!)

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, the fantasy side

It's that time of the year, when temperature drops, snow covers the ground and we get ready for another crazy painting challenge! So as usual I decided to join the fun, along with a whopping 71 other crazies! Yes, the challenge keeps getting bigger, and this year there are a few changes. First and foremost the Challenge now gets its own blog,  and all the participants get to participate in it by writing their own entries. We also get a day in which we can post our weekly updates. In my case Tuesdays. All this should help Curt manage this massive endeavor. 

So as usual I've set myself a goal slightly above what I've done in the past, this time 600 pts! . The scoring is as follow for the 28mm painters :

28mm foot figure = 5 pts
28mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 10 pts
28mm vehicle = 15 pts

I've been working hard on Oldhammer recently, so its only fitting I use the challenge to work on my  Chaos army, and hopefully almost complete the first phase. 
  • 15 "chosen"/Khorne warriors : 75 pts
  • 10 "chosen"/Nurgle warriors : 50 pts
  • 1 Beast of Nurgle (a special model) : approx. 10 or 15 pts (Curt will decide how much he's worth)
  • 15 Plaguebearers : 75 pts
  • 10 Chaos Knights : 100 pts
 Fantasy total : 315 pts 

So all in all between my historical goal (280) and my fantasy goal (315) I'm short 5 pts but I have a few individual figures and surprises in mind to fill that gap. Of course, I reserve the right to change my plans without any notice! This is merely a tentative plan to help me focus.

Also, as Curt did last year, every two weeks there is a theme bonus round. These are worth 50 extra pts each but I do not count them in my point planning, although they will surely help me reach my goal if I can submit enough of them: 
  • December 14: Cold
  • December 28: Mount(s) & Rider(s)
  • January 11: Victorian
  • January 25: Myth
  • February 8: Hot
  • February 22: Comedic
  • March 8: Anti-Hero
I have an entry (sometimes more than one) in mind for all the bonus round except the cold and the hot (which I may or may not participate in depending on my progress). But those entries I will keep secret for now and they will be revealed on the appropriate dates.

So the last two weeks I've done as much as I can on the prepping side, trying to be better prepared than year's past. I haven't prepped everything, but its a very good start. 

My prepping table as it appeared this morning 

For those interested, you can find the Historical side of my challenge here

Friday, November 14, 2014

Chaos Sorcerers

The Champion of Khorne finally broke through the hordes of enemies. Now no-one stood behind him and the Wizard. He started up the rise and was suddenly crippled by the heat of a debilitating fever. He staggered to a halt and fell to his knees, axe dropping from sweaty hands. Too weak to resist, he watched in helpless horror as the Wizard closed to deliver the death blow.

Chaos sorcerers hold a special place in my hearth, as I would always pick one when playing RoC Warbands in my young days. For you see, I was that guy who always played the wizard in all RPGs. I think it all started because of the Sorcery! "Fighting Fantasy" series and from that point most of my characters were practionners of magic.

 Citadel produced a number of fantastic looking sorcerers in the 80s, and I happen to have a few in my collection.
That Nurgle sorcerer with the staff (top right corner) has been eluding me for years, if anyone has a spare they'd be willing to part with...
The first two sorcerers I decided to paint are true classics, and have fought many a battle for me in the early 90s! So I rewarded them both with a new paint job. Now of course with accompanying familiars (I was always too lazy to paint those as a kid!)

I shall call him "Mini-Me"
The sorcerer above has a very different colour scheme from the rest of the army, just because I felt like doing something different (I will also admit being a fan of the colour pink), so I went with the green flame to tie him with the rest of my force. I also think it looks more chaotic than the classic red flame. I just used reverse colours for the familiar, something I picked up from Napoleonics!

I just love this figure by Jes Goodwin. You can see the inspiration behind the later Chaos Lord figure
I went with my main colour scheme on this figure but with a deeper green i've recently been experimenting with, using the Andrea green paint set.

I will probably use these two as undivided chaos sorcerers (although they could be used respectively as Slaanesh and Nurgle sorcerers in a pinch). We do not use a lot of magic in our games anymore, at least not when playing Warhammer, so I really do not need more than two wizards...but I'll probably end up painting a few more, just because I like the models so much. They can always be used as Chaos Champions.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Oldhammer buildings

All cities are mad: but the madness is gallant. All cities are beautiful, but the beauty is grim.

Apologies for the recent lack of updates; after quite a few months of health problems (I had to undergo 3 knee surgeries, and the healing was really slow) I went back to work two weeks ago. After all those months of mostly doing nothing, a full time job is wearing me out a little, so I haven't done a whole lot of painting. Others have been doing some work for me however...

Last friday I received a nice package from Pennsylvania; two buildings built for me by Rusty Gouldman, a member of the Facebook Oldhammer group. While discussing a trade he mentioned he was available for commissions on buildings and after seeing a picture I was quite impressed and ordered two buildings.


Both are entirely scratchbuilt, and what is even cooler is that they are based on the old Townscape templates released in 1988, which gives them the perfect Oldhammer look. The detailed bases and all the little extras just add a nice final touch. I'm quite pleased with this purchase, and I'll probably get a few more to get a complete village. They make a great addition to my terrain collection, and might see some use as early as next week if I manage to get a game with my brother before he leaves for Japan.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Planning a Chaos army (one year later progress reports)

A goal without a plan is just a wish

When I decided to go back in time to my Warhammer days, the choice of a Chaos army was obvious. It was THE army I wanted as a child, and I spent more time reading and re-reading Realm of Chaos than anything else related to Warhammer. 

I like to plan. Not in every details, mind you, but I like to have a good idea of where I'm going. I think it's a side effect of my youth, when I used to do the opposite! 

 I had two main goals for this project; first to build a gameable Chaos army of minimum 3000pts, and the second to paint and assemble a variety of Chaos troops and Monsters so that I could play some Warbands using the Realm of Chaos rules. I would love one day to be able to start a Warband campaign, and own everything the dice could come up with! Well, that's somewhat of a dream. Back to reality.

So first thing first, building my army.

However, the same questions which haunted me as a child quickly reared their ugly heads; what type of army? Which god(s) to represent? What colour scheme? and, a new question, an army for which edition? I don't know about you, but I can spend hours and hours agonizing about these choices, usually while trying to go to sleep!

Lets start with the beginning shall we? Which Chaos god? I like the 4 Chaos gods, always did, but I think that, like most Chaos Lords, I do have my favourites. In order of preference, I'd say my favourites are Slaanesh/Nurgle (ex-aequo), Khorne and Tzeencht. To be honest if I could I'd build an army of each! But that might be costly and somewhat time-consuming! So after some thought I came up with an idea; to first build a Chaos undivided army. Other than the fact that Chaos undivided has a charm of its own, it allows for more creativity and artistic license, I find. An army of Chaos is not limited by the traditional colours connected to the Chaos Gods. My cunning plan was to then paint contingent of the 4 chaos gods which could just be added to my "basic" chaos army to create variety.  

Plans, no matter how cunning they appear at the time, are meant to be changed, however, and this one is no exception! After a lot of thinking in the last year, I decided to collect and paint two armies of Chaos; one dark and brooding undivided force with a strong Nurgle flavour and a Khorne contingent, and one colourful, diverse, and gloriously pastel Slaanesh and Tzeentch force. I just couldn't match those two styles in one army. The first army will get the Chaos Dwarfs, the other the Dark Elves, etc. Added bonus; it will allow me to play RoC games. Now of course I won't do all this in one go, and after I finish my first Chaos army I intend to move on to greenskins before coming back to the pastel fields of Slaanesh & friends.

How to make a 12 year old boy dream big...
So the first army I wanted was to be a dark, old school (as in Warhammer armies/WHFRP) looking Chaos army. A undivided core surrounded by Nurgle and Khorne followers. I figured my warriors would be clad in blackened armour, and that I would mostly avoid garish colours. I needed a colour to bind everything together, and I settled on various bright greens.

In my youth, I would carefully create a 3000pts army on paper and then slowly try (pitifully) to build that precise force. Lets just say I've wisen up since then! I want to have a diverse force, bigger than 3000pts, so I can pick and choose before a game and keep things interesting. There is also the matter than I want to make my army playable not only for the 3rd edition, but also in more recent editions, mainly the 6th (which I prefer when I just want to play a quick pick-up game without a GM). The more recent editions usually require bigger units, so I will need to take that into account, amongst other things. But one detail is of the utmost importance; what matters is the look of my force, to enjoy painting it and to have fun. I'm certainly not into combos and creating the most powerful army!

So I came up with a "mandatory nucleus", i.e. a core of troops I cannot do without and that I have to build before going into all the extra fluff, and believe me there's a lot of possible extra fluff in a Chaos army! So here is that core :

- 1 mounted Chaos Lord
- 2 Sorcerers, with chaos familiars (hey, you either do Old School right or you don't do it at all!)
- 6 Trolls
- 15 undivided Chaos Warriors
- 10 "chosen" Chaos Warriors (i.e. either Khorne or Nurgle warriors)
- 20 Beastmen
- 6-10 Chaos Knights
- 20 Chaos Dwarfs
- 2 Chaos Spawn

I figured this was a nice core, easily adaptable to many editions or other rulesets (the heresy!). It gave me something to strive to, both in terms of painting and collecting. Otherwise it can be easy to get lost in the myriads of options available, and it can also be easy to spend your money all over the place, and ending up not having enough of this or that troop when you're ready to paint them.

So I planned that core a year ago, and one Jabberwock excepted, I've stayed fairly loyal to the plan :

- 1 mounted Chaos Lord
- 2 Sorcerers, with chaos familiars (hey, you either do Old School right or you don't do it at all!)
- 6 Trolls (almost done...need two more)

- 15 undivided Chaos Warriors
- 10 "chosen" Chaos Warriors (i.e. Warriors from a specific god)
- 20 Beastmen
- 6-10 Chaos Knights
- 20 Chaos Dwarfs
- 2 Chaos Spawn (1 down, 1 to go)

I'm currently working on the unit of Chosens and the 2 sorcerers are almost complete. So yeah, all in all I've been fairly organized and rigorous for a Chaos follower! Once this is done, I'd like to add a few monsters and some Khorne and Nurgle "specialties" (Juggernauts, Nurglings, etc.).

Monday, October 6, 2014

Nature's wrath!

Fear nature's wrath, for it has the eternal strength of stone and the endurance of mountains

Something a tad different today, as it is neither Chaos nor Citadel/Marauder. It is my entry in the Classic mini Painting Challenge of the Old School Miniatures Facebook Group. At first I thought of entering a Chaos Champion, but the group is more oriented towards the other Old School manufacturers (Grenadiers, Ral Partha, etc.) and I wanted to find something to match that. While looking through my old lead pile I found a Ral Partha Earth Elemental, a sculpt I always loved but was always a bit intimidated to paint. Perfect opportunity, I thought. 

I procrastinated a bit however and started the project two days before the dealine, so I worked really hard to finish him in time. Actually I finished him 15 minutes before the dealine! Just like my College days, I do awesome work under pressure!
It was a somewhat difficult piece to paint as it's one solid block of stone, so I really had to get the stone look right, because there's nothing to hide it if done wrong! However, I felt that the figure definitely needed some foliage so I added moss to the figure using greenstuff and sand.

The figure could be a tad bigger, and I really wanted him to look mighty and powerful, so I worked extra hard on making a base worthy of its power. I used this as an opportunity to experiment with cork tiles to simulate rocks, something I learned just recently from Rusty Gouldman from the Facebook Oldhammer group. I wanted to make it look as if the creature was surging from a mountain top, and I must say I am very pleased with how it came out.

This figure is my favourite elemental sculpt ever and I have every intention of using him eventually in future Oldhammer games, when I have an army of good guys. Some may not remember, but Greater Elementals (level 10) were one of the few creatures able to stand toe to toe with Chaos Greater Daemons in Warhammer 3rd edition. These things were uber-powerful! 

I always loved that nature itself when pissed enough could give Chaos a run for its money. That's just pure Old School fantasy.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Chaos Spawn, Grenadier style

Stronger men than he had dashed themselves to pieces in the services of Chaos and a weaker creature would have ended its own existence rather than face Lothar's fate with the Chaos Spawn. Yet Lothar had a strength of his own; as he fell, his purpose in following Chaos was reborn, and in his changed nature loyalty flowered again like a rank week. Even as he was changed into a monstrous creature, Lothar shrieked eternal allegiance to his dark lord.

When I found this figure in my pile of old unpainted lead, I figured I had to use him.  It didn't take very long for me to realize he would made a great chaos spawn, and so I decided to paint him. I didn't know what figure it was and forgot to look underneath the base before basing him. After asking over on the Old School miniature Facebook page, I found out he was a Grenadier figure, originally a "Vegetation Beast" released in 1983 as part of "The horrors of the Marsh" set. Almost as old as me!

There is a feeling of accomplishment that comes from painting some of your really old miniatures, and even more so when the sculpt is not one of those sought after classic (although those are also fun to paint!).

So here he is. I think he will blend perfectly with the style of my Chaos Army, I'm happy with the result. Definitely weird looking, and spawn creepy.

Friday, September 19, 2014

At last! They're all mine...

We wants it
We needs it
Must have the precious

Some figures stay with you. You see them in an advert and you fall in love. That's what happened to me when I first saw the Marauder Chaos Knights (officially "Mounted Chaos Warriors").

How many hours I spent looking at that advert as a child?
I wanted them so bad! They probably started my love for Marauder Miniatures. Unfortunately I never could find them as a child. In those days it was a lot more difficult getting a hold of specific figures than it is today, especially living in Canada. No internet ordering, no Ebay. My only option was visiting regularly the lone Hobby shop in Montreal and hoping they would get them in their shelves one day. They didn't. I swore one day they would be mine! And then teenage years happened and I stopped searching. When I started collecting GW figures again they were very high on my wish list. But Ebay is a cruel mistress and every damn time I had them in my grasp I was outbid or such. One time, I found them all in one lot, and I promised myself no price would be too high. I won the auction and ecstatic I was! Finally, they would be mine! The seller, with a perfect 100% rating, never sent them, never answered my inquiries, never relisted them, total silence radio. Oh, life can be so cruel!

I was back to square one, and I was starting to wonder if it was not meant to be. Maybe I was cursed to wander the earth forever, never finding those figures who had been eluding me for most of my life!

And then I found the Oldhammer Community FB page and its sister, the Oldhammer Trading group. So my very first post on the Trading group was inquiring about these knights, and if anyone could lend a helping hand. And then my patience was rewarded. Two members came to my rescue and 1 month later, I have 9 of them. And a tenth is on the way from another member. I have a complete unit! Every variant is now in my possession, including the ultra rare grinning one (you might recall I love the similar Chaos Warrior). Alleluia! Its a pretty awesome feeling finding something you've been looking for over 20 years.

One of my little childhood dream, sitting on my kitchen table

 Yes, it deserves a happy dance!

I'd love to find the shields, too, if a reader has a few lying around per chance (and I could always go for a bigger unit, if you want to sell a few knights). The hardest part will now be to paint them. They intimidate me, as I want to do them justice!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Beastmen, Children of Chaos

Guttering flames from the spilt oil illuminated a nightmare scene of flashing swords and spouting blood as the Beastmen literally hacked their enemies apart in an orgy of unallayed savagery. In less than a minute the human were all dead - a pile of broken bodies and limbs. A slow stream of human blood trickled over the stone and extinguished the flames of the broken lanterns. All was dark and quiet in the forest once more.

In the old days of lore (the 80s!), the Beastmen were an integral part of any Chaos army, providing the Chaos Lord with a (relatively) cheap and plentiful option to help offset the crazy expensive elite units of Chaos Warriors and Knights. Their high toughness and wound scores also made them annoyingly difficult to deal with for any opposing general.

They fitted perfectly well in a Chaos army, twisted and bloodthirsty abominations of the Chaos Gods, always willing to take arms and ravage the lands of men or just fight each other! Eventually, Games Workshop, in their infinite wisdom decided to split them from their Chaos Warriors brothers (the horror). The foolishness of it all...anyways.

The older Beastmen were really cool models, especially because they were really beastmen, and not only goatmen. You had dogs, goats, bulls, wolves and all manner of beasts models available. And, of course. so. much. variety. As it is written in The Lost and the Damned "However Beastmen are Children of Chaos itself, and their mutated bodies can be twisted into all kinds of bestial shape". Damn straight!

My unit of Beastmen is the biggest of my army to date at 20 models, and although I have a few duplicates its almost all different models. 

The Beastman champion and the musician are newer models of the 90s, but they fit really well and the Champion's scale creep quite works well here, giving him an imposing stature compared to his brethren. As usual, I used shades of green to tie the unit with the rest of my army. I think it works surprisingly well with the Champion. The halves and quarters of the shields are, I must admit, a rarely seen pattern for Beastmen, but just green shields did not work well with these guys and, well, I'm just really, really bad at freehands! Still, I'm happy with the results.

When I showed them to Laurie my girlfriend, she said "I really like them, but its just sad that we can't really see them well all tight in their unit." She's right, of course, so here are the close-ups.

The Oldhammerers will notice I happily mix Khorne and Slaanesh Beastmen models in the same unit. I just really like the models, and I don't see myself painting 4 Beastmen unit, one for each God.This part of my army is undivided after all, so they are all a big happy family ;-)

The "Minotaur" Beastmen (second from the right) is probably my favourite Beastmen model, ever. It took some efforts on Ebay to find him!

A close-up of my Champion. I really enjoyed painting him. For all the shit I give them, one must admit GW has produced some really good stuff after the 80s and this model is certainly one of them. 

Its not really visible on the pictures because of the shadows, but for a very, very rare time I painted blood (on his axe). It just seemed to fit the model. 

Next on my painting table, some Chaos sorcerers. Although I've been recently challenged in an Old School painting competition over on the Facebook Old School miniature group. Which I might join. I cannot use the sorcerers for the challenge since some paint has already been applied. Not sure yet what model I will use. A few models are currently looking at me on the painting table "pick me, oh pick me"

Monday, September 15, 2014

Chaos Warriors

The most feared of all Chaotic humans are those who openly devote their lives to its worship. Amongst them are Warrior of Chaos, human warriors who have sold their souls in return for strength and power. Those who make such a bargain are tragic figures for they know that they will gain immense powers, but only a fool could hope to survive unscathed. The Warrior of Chaos enjoys a meteoric rise to glory, followed, more often than not, by a swift collapse into bestiality and madness.

Can't really do a proper Chaos army without Chaos Warriors, now can we? 

The Chaos Warriors of the 3rd edition really represented what Chaos Warriors are supposed to be; diverse, mutated and wearing twisted full plate armour. Key word here being diverse. I can't help but laugh at the new all-identical Chaos Warriors of GW. Hmm...Anyways I digress...I see these guys as the undisputed kings of the battlefield. Sure, the knights are more glamorous, but real warriors fight on foot!
I have no idea how many individual Chaos Warriors were produced from the mid 80s to the early 90s, but there is a lot (and I mean a lot) of choice available!

One of many pages of Chaos Warriors made in the 80s
I'm not into collecting them all or anything like that. I like most of them, so really I just try to get my hands on as many as I can! I'd like one day to have at least a small unit of Warriors from each Chaos god, plus one unit of undivided warriors. To do this I like to mix warriors and champions in the same units, to create varied units with no duplicates.

The grinning warrior is one of my all-time favourite
Not surprisingly for those following my progress, I painted my first unit as Undivided Chaos Warriors. Most of the models are warriors or champions from the Citadel Realm of Chaos ranges, although one is a Marauder models. It's a shame really Marauder only ever produced three chaos warriors (see left picture).

 Most of the figures below were from my old collection, and most were horribly painted and needed a good Simple Green bath before I could start working on them. Makes me proud to see them finally having a proper paint job after all those years wasting away in a box. 

I kept to the green and black colour scheme of my Chaos army, although going for a slightly less vivid green than the Chaos Dwarfs. At 15 Warriors, its definitely a very big (and expensive!) unit for Warhammer 3rd edition, but the bigger size will work well if I want to play other recent editions or other fantasy rule sets. I might also use them as Marauder instead of Warriors when playing the 3rd edition. And, well, big units do look pretty good!

The blackened armour was created using chainmail drybrush on black, followed by a wash of badab black. The brass parts on the armour were done by successive sepia and black washes over a chainmail base. Most details were picked up using my standard 3 layer technique, often followed by a glaze or wash to bring out the details.

As for the rest of my army, I will add a banner later after making some tests.

Painting this unit allowed me to paint one of the most iconic Chaos Champion figure, the Champion in bone armour. Man he looks the part! The imagination these guys had in the 80s, amazing. And of course, I also got to paint the Marauder grinning warrior.

Up until now everything I have shown in this blog was painted in the last 9 months. It was originally posted on my historical blog but I thought it was logical to post them here for all my new readers to see. From this point forward, we will move on to newly painted stuff. My Beastmen should be first on that list. I varnished them yesterday and I expect to take some pics in the coming days. 

Also expect in the coming weeks some posts on army building, my want list and collecting efforts, and a current inventory of my Chaos collection.