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.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Chaos Trolls

Never underestimate the unpredictability of stupidity

I like Trolls in general, but I really like the Stone Troll figures released in 1992 and sculpted by Michael Perry. They really look the part, don't they? I actually prefer them to the earlier Marauder Trolls (which are still great). As a bonus, they can be a real pain to your enemy on the battlefield, not to mention often a good source of entertainment for you and your foe!

So I just had to include a few in my project. Ideally I'd like to add another 2 to make a unit of 6. Which works well enough because I'm missing two models to complete the set.

Traditionally, the stone trolls were painted in a electric blue and white colour scheme, but I went with a green colour scheme to match the rest of my army but also to give them a more Chaotic look. I find the green colour scheme works really well with these guys.

I also added a tail and some bone spikes as chaos attributes but mostly I avoided conversions as I just like those figures as they are. 

I got my first 1000 hits this morning, very small milestone for sure, but a nice start for a blog barely 2 weeks old. Thanks to all who visit, and especially my 28 first followers. I'll do my best to keep this place interesting for y'all!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Chaos Lord

The new day revealed the walls of Praag, standing defiantly against the invader. From an engine platform on the outer palisade wall of the siege lines a lone Champion of Chaos watched the dawn rise behind the city. He stood quite motionless, heedless of any bowfire from the walls above, apparently uncaring as to who might see him 

The very last figure I bought directly from GW was a Lord of Nurgle mounted figure. I was already  into historicals by then, but while browsing paints at my local gamestore the figure caught my eye and I remember thinking it was the best thing I had seen from GW in years (I've since learned that it was sculpted by Jes Goodwin, explains the attraction!). It was really an impulse buy (a really expensive impulse buy come to think of it). I never got around to paint it, just the assembling seemed daunting, and so it went in the "I'll paint it one day" bin.

When I started my Chaos project it was the first thing I painted. A bizarre choice I will admit, as it is not an Oldhammer figure by any stretch, and because I never start with characters when doing a new project. However the figure, apart from being awesome, represented an interesting challenge. Those multi-parts pieces were my bane as a youngster, and usually they would end up unassembled in their boxes. I was notoriously bad (I still am, but now I can manage) at using miliput and such, and I was also impatient. Just a bad combination for assembling and painting those big multi-parts figures which Games Worshop loved to torture me with! So it's the perfect piece to keep up with one of my main objective; to do now what I could not as a child.

As it happens often, many pieces did not fit properly and so I had to use quite a bit of green stuff to put the whole thing together. Ah, thanks Games Workshop for the memories!  

Quite a nice figure to paint I must say. The horse was actually painted using two very very old pots of my original set of Citadel paints! Yes, two decades later and still usable!
24 years later...in those days, stuff was meant to last ;-)

Don't ask me what colour they were as I have no idea! I used these as base coat and first highlights, and then applied a generous coat of AP on top

As for the actual Lord, the robe was painted using Napoleonic French gun colours...It's great when your two passions collide!

While "officially" a Nurgle Lord, I intend to use him as the Chaos Lord of my Chaos army.

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Jabberwock

Beware the Jabberwock, my son!  
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun  

The frumious Bandersnatch

The Jabberwock was always one of my favourite Chaos monsters. I mean, just the name "Jabberwock" is awesome and for some strange reason fits perfectly with the beast's appearance. I remember seeing a picture of one in the Warhammer 3rd edition bestiary and thinking I needed one of those! It was just...so...bizarre! 

The Citadel Jabberwock...ugh
The figure I used was released in the early 80s, 1982 I believe, by Ral Partha, and was sculpted by the great Tom Meier. While not a Citadel figure per se, it was sold in Europe by Citadel under license. I bought that figure, actually sold in the Citadel packaging if my memory serves me right, in the late eighties, in a now long defunct hobby shop "bargain bin". I undercoated it, lost interest and the poor fellow spent more than 20 years in the bottom of my lead box. The figure has aged remarkably well I find. In this instance, the Ral Partha figure is really head and shoulders above the Citadel model released a few years later, which is frankly awful. 

The Ral Partha sculpt is still today imho the best looking Jabberwock available on the market. Few sculpts of the Jabberwock have been made in 28mm; one by Ral Partha, one by Citadel and a recent one from Reaper (I'll admit the Reaper one is also pretty good). The lack of proper sculpts available enhances the beast's mystique, as it is very rarely seen on a battlefield. So here he is...my version of the Jabberwock! 

The great thing with this creature is that you can truly let your imagination run wild as there is no "accepted" reference, and most pics are black & white. I went mostly with a striking green to match the colour scheme of my chaos force.
He's one of many weird monsters I would like to paint and he will have a place of honour among my Chaos monsters.