Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Chaos Dwarf Sorcerer Lord on Mighty Lammasu!

Wow, now here's a blast from the past... a Games Workshop Chaos Dwarf Sorcerer mounted on a mighty Lammasu! My first big "army" project - nearly 25 years ago - was a Chaos Dwarf army for Warhammer Fantasy Battle.  

Affectionately known to the Conscripts as the "Big Hats", the Chaos Dwarfs were kin to the Dwarfs of the Old World, albeit twisted and mutated by the Chaos Gods. Having migrated thousands of years ago from the southern lands to the Mountains of Mourn, their empire spans a vast plain known as Zorn Uzkul, or the Great Skull Land. The Chaos Dwarfs have turned the skull plain into an industrial hellscape, crowded with vast factories, open pit mines, and mammoth red-hot forges echoing with the cacophony of pounding hammers and the screams of tortured slaves. 

The change wrought by Chaos upon the Dwarfs opened them to the influence of magic, and the leaders of the Chaos Dwarfs are great and powerful sorcerers. The race worships the Chaos bull-god Hashut, Father of Darkness, and consider their magical affinities to be their dark gift from Hashut.

However, the influence of magic on Dwarf physiology invokes a dark curse. As Chaos Dwarf sorcerers grow older and more powerful, their bodies gradually become more stone-like and immobile - gradually turning the sorcerer into a living stone statue. The main avenue of their capital city, the obsidian ziggurat of Zharr-Naggrund, is flanked by ranks of stone statues - all that remains of great and powerful Chaos Dwarf sorcerers.

Sorcerers sometimes ride into battle astride a mighty Lammasu, believed to be a mutation of a Great Taurus, itself a massive winged fire-breathing red bull. The Lammasu is possessed of a keen intelligence and breathes not air, but the Winds of Magic itself! 

Mutated Chaos Dwarf? You can see the resemblance...

Sorcerer getting ready to do his thing.

So this model has a long history of sitting primed in a drawer! I think I got my Chaos Dwarf army in a huge mail trade back in 1997 or so (I traded a load of Mutant Chronicles models for it and got more Chaos Dwarf models than I'd ever need). The Sorcerer Lord on Mighty Lammasu came in its box and while I assembled and primed it, it had never been painted... until now. Hopefully it won't take 20 more years to get it onto the table, but the way things are going, you never know.

Final Painting Challenge Submission - The Guns of August

12mm early WW1 Germans - figures from Great Escape Games.

My final post to the 11th edition of Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge shared a new project - after all, don't we all need a new wargraming project? Yes, of course we do! Thus I present my first brush-bending efforts toward gaming "The Guns Of August", the early days of WW1. All of these figures are 12mm castings from Great Escape Games, released as part of their "1914" rules. 

Example of some of the infantry castings.

This base includes a commander (pointing, you know, as all good miniature toy soldier officers do).

A view showing the kit being hauled by the infantry.

For many years I was indifferent to gaming WW1...the need for bespoke trench terrain was a particular deterrent, and even if that might be sourced, well, the lads go over the top, and get drilled by machineguns and artillery...not much of a "game". But the Fawcett Avenue group in Winnipeg are resourceful folks - Dallas obtained a set of fantastically amazing WW1 trench-board terrain, and hosted many excellent games playing the adapted Warhammer rules for the period available from Warhammer Historicals. And Byron dove in as well - you can find his painting efforts here on the blog, and he hosted many excellent games of "Through The Mud And The Blood." And of course Curt has his very complex and unique WW1 greyscale project that we have been able to enjoy on the table on several occasions - and he even has a Lovecraftian twist to it!

Close up of some Uhlans. Very stately poses...

Another view of the Uhlans.

You can dismount the cavalry, of course! Here is a base of dismounted Uhlans. Was there ever a more awkward uniform for skirmishing on foot?

So in the end I have been able play a fair number of WW1 games, and enjoyed them immensely, without ever stepping into the period myself. But, at Curt's suggestion, I did read Barbara Tuchman's remarkable book "The Guns Of August" about the opening weeks of WW1. What fantastic book, and a rip-roaring read!! While I had been dimly aware that between the declaration of war and the stalemate that developed in the Western Front trenches there had been...well...something...I was stunned to see just how much happened, and just how incredible it all was!! The Battle of the Frontiers, the hectic holding actions, the desperate race to save Paris, the absolutely f*cking bonkers Schlieffen Plan, the tragedy of "cran"...on and on. Wow! From the moment I tore into that book, about three years ago now, the idea of doing something myself set in WW1's early days started to bubble in my head...

An MG08 base. I wish they had included some crew for these weapons, but the "1914" rules call for a 25mm square base, and I suppose there would have been no room...

Fast forward, and the fine people at Great Escape Games released "1914". It is a rules system with many similarities to their excellent "Iron Cross" (WW2) and "Seven Days To The River Rhine" (Cold War goes Hot) systems.  I resisted for a while, but finally caved in an ordered some figures. They are 12mm castings...thus a slight departure from my recent 10mm mania...but I have enjoyed painting them very much so far, and the range is pretty complete for the purposes of their rules, if a bit short otherwise (for example, I wish there were more crew on the MGs and field guns, but anyway...)

The 77mm gun visible at the corner...

The figures in these photos represent about half of one of the "brigade" boxes for their "1914" range.  The level of abstraction in this game shares many similarities to "Great War Spearhead", in that each base represents a company of infantry, a squadron of cavalry or 1/2 battery of guns. Thus an infantry battalion would be between three and four bases (or maybe just two, depending on where things are at!). The box comes with enough infantry for four different four-base "battalions" and a four-base "regiment" of cavalry - mounted AND dismounted - along with MGs to accompany all of those units. There are also two 77mm guns (all together, one battery) and figures for a command base.  You get the figures and bases all together...it's a great way for a geek like me to dip my toe into the water!

77mm gun. Again, I wish they had included more crew...I've still a lot to learn about WW1 guns, but I'm pretty sure there were more than two chaps slinging shells to keep these things in action.

Another view of 77mm gun and team.

This is my first attempt at painting WW1 stuff, but I am really enjoying it so far. As with all Painting Challenge stuff, I was so sure I would get more of this done before the deadline for the end of AHPC XI, but as things worked out I only managed to get started on these two weeks ago.  All the same, I was able to make a decent start and post this as my final entry to AHPC XI.

Regiment of Uhlans - note the one fellow on the very right of the photo - his lance broke off in the bag, so I had to drill out the hand and replace it with a steel spear.

Good animation on the commander. "Get moving! Have you seen the stupid schedule we need to keep?"

The final submission for AHPC XI. Cheers everyone.

Thanks for reading everyone - I hope to share more photos of this project as it progresses over the spring and summer. And I do hope to put on a game of "1914" for the guys when I visit Winnipeg - after all of the great WW1 games they provided for me, I would like to return the favour. Stay safe, and stay sane!

Friday, March 26, 2021

Painting Challenge Submission 19: Potpourri of Mostly 10mm Stuff

A random assortment of completed stuff as I scrape for points!

This is another one of my final-week submissions to Curt's recently-concluded Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.  There is a potpourri of stuff, mostly 10mm, covering a wide assortment of periods. This was basically a "what stuff have I finished but not counted for points yet" post - I intended that each bit be part of a larger submission, but realized that time for the Challenge had run out that other figures would not be finished as part of it. This motley assortment is the result - I hope you enjoy!

10mm WW2 German Panzers

Late model Panzer IIIs - 10mm castings from Pendraken.

 These 10mm tanks were painted and based as German "test models" for my ambitions to (re)build my collection for the game "Spearhead". They are late-model Panzer IIIs from Pendraken, based on 50mm squares (to represent platoons) and one on a 50mm round (to represent a battalion command element). 

At these smaller scales I try and exaggerate the colours a bit so the contrast pops a little more.

Ready to roll out...but they'll need reinforcements first...

Obviously still a long way to travel on my 10mm WW2 efforts. I went into this edition of the Challenge so sure I would get more of these done...oh well. Next time, right? At least I have some starters to inspire me.

10mm FPW Command

10mm Prussian Command for Franco-Prussian War - figures from Pendraken.

In this edition of the AHPC I was able to finish a fair bit of 10mm stuff for the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. These command figures - a senior command base for the Prussians, and a lower-level command for the French - got finished along the way, and I kept intending to add them in with another submission of a larger unit before the end of the Challenge. This "larger unit" part was not going happen before the Challenge ended, so here we are...all figures and the flag are from Pendraken.

Having a flag on the base helps him stand out a bit on the table...plus flags are more fun.

The three-figure base, including a standard, will be used to represent a senior commander (i.e. corps command) on the table. 

Have to love those French uniforms from 1870...so lovely...

This individual French officer will likely lead a brigade, but of course there are all sorts of ways to scale rules up and down...bottom line, he will lead gloriously!

10mm Byzantine Cavalry

Byzantine heavy cavalry from Magister Millitum - based for "Warmaster Ancients".

When I love something in this hobby, I tend to paint it in multiple scales...but that doesn't mean I make progress, of course...oh well.  This unit of 10mm Byzantine heavy cavalry is comprised of figures from Magister Millitum, and they are based for use with the rules system "Warmaster Ancients".

These Magister Millitum Byzantines are lovely castings.

Perhaps in the next edition of the Challenge you will see some of the other figures that came with this impulse purchase back in the day?

28mm Arab Spearman

Ah, the poor test model, waiting for friends...28mm plastic figure from Gripping Beast.

I actually did manage to paint up a fair bit of 28mm Byzantine stuff during this edition of the Challenge. While my hope is to use these models to fight Dallas' Normans, I am also thinking of opponents for the Byzantines. That is where this figure comes in - a 28mm plastic figure from Gripping Beast, he is a test model for a unit of Arab Spearmen. The "test model" part happened during this edition of the Challenge, but the "OK, let's paint the rest of the unit" part did not.

Anyway, this variety gives you an idea of the many project percolating in my scattered hobby brain. You may see more of these very shortly, or in the summer, or perhaps during the next Challenge (if Curt proceeds with one again). Whatever happens, I thank you for reading - stay safe!

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Painting Challenge Submission 18: 10mm WW2 "Soviet Sampler"

Aerial intel showing a disturbing preliminary buildup of 10mm WW2 Russians in my kitchen...is another project looming???

The 11th edition of Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge has just concluded. Participants often have a flurry of submissions coming through at the last moments - many of these you have seen on the pages of this blog as well, excellent work by Dallas, Dave and Mike! I am no exception with regard to AHPC cramming - there were a few different projects, new and otherwise, lingering at the corner of my painting table, and I finished off different bits to get them submitted.  Here is one of these final submissions, a WW2 "Soviet Sampler" of 10mm products from Pendraken. 

Light T-70 tanks on 50mm square bases - T-34s can be seen behind.

These figures are based with some particular logic in mind - the game "Spearhead", a set of division-level WW2 rules by Arty Contliffe . I wanted to re-build the collection necessary to play this amazing game, and at first set out to do so using 3mm figures. Alas, while I love painting the 3mm tanks, I find little or no motivation to paint 3mm infantry...so I thought I would try again, this time using the excellent 10mm figures from Pendraken.

3-man stand represents an SMG platoon...will need many, many more of these bases to represent the tank riders.

Battalion command out front, pair of rifle platoons, and an assortment of heavy weapon teams in behind - three maxim guns, and three medium mortars.

The "Spearhead" rules work best with square basing - each base representing a platoon (or gun battery etc.). The infantry elements are based on the traditional 1.25" squares, while the vehicles are based on 50mm squares. My hobby lizard brain likes to have consistent basing for "Spearhead" if possible, but the 10mm vehicles will not fit on 1.25" squares...and regardless, tanks and armoured vehicles should take up more space than infantry elements on the table. This was meant as an experiment, and I was pleased with the results.

A Zil truck...one thing you end up needing a lot of in some Spearhead games is trucks...this one is just a start...would be carrying engineers and other assets to keep pace with the armour.

The elements with round bases represent the command units...the larger/more crowded the base, the more "senior" the command element. In a typical Spearhead game there will be a number of battalion and brigade/regiment command elements involved. 

Brigade commanders debate the relative merits of Soviet politics on a break from their armoured car...

Spearhead games have many, many elements to paint...what you see here would represent the main elements of a 1943-ish Soviet tank brigade, mixing companies of lighter T-70 tanks with heavier T-34s. The brigade included a motor rifle battalion, although the infantry components you see here would be well-short of the actual battalion strength. 

Early-model T-34s...you can see some later-model versions behind them.

Once more, I am very pleased with the products from Pendraken! Their range is quite comprehensive, and I really, really like their stuff. Of course, I meant to get much more of it finished during this edition of the AHPC, but...well, you know how it goes. Anyway, something to perhaps watch for during the next edition of the Challenge? 

Another view of the massing Russian armour.

Whether during the Challenge or otherwise, I will be starting to add to this collection, looking forward to a game of Spearhead sometime in the future. Thanks for reading everyone, and stay tuned for a few more posts about final AHPC XI entries.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Painting Challenge Entry: AT18 Legio Gryphonicus Reaver Titan

I've been a bit remiss in posting here as I've been madly painting in the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. As the Challenge has ended, now it's time to play some catch-up and repost a few models here on our home blog. This is the Legio Gryphonicus Reaver Titan I painted for the "Altar of the Snowlord" - the final room of the Chambers of Challenge.

Here we see the Reaver equipped with Laser Blaster and Volcano Cannon arm weapons and a carapace-mounted Turbo Laser Destructor.

But wait - there's more! I painted all of the weapon options for the Reaver and magnetized them for easy swapping - here the God-machine is seen equipped with a Gatling Blaster, power fist, and carapace-mounted Apocalypse Missile Launcher. And a different head, to boot.

A close up look at the Reaver's heraldry on its shoulder pauldrons.

...and on the knee armour. Notice anything funny going on here?

A rear view. The Reaver was painted as follows: metal bits, Leadbelcher and Brass Scorpion; grey bits, Mechanicus Standard Grey with lighter grey dapple camo; yellow bits, Averland Sunset over XV-88 base. Nuln Oil and Agrax Earthshade washes, and sponge chipping with Rhinox Hide and craft black paint. Groundwork is Rhinox Hide - Mournfang Brown - Steel Legion Drab - Rakarth Flesh. 

Here's another weapon combo - Melta Cannon and Chainfist. It tickles!!

What a cracking model.

Here's the Reaver with its extra bits.

And broken down into its component parts, all magnetised of course. 

I really need to finish this model within the Challenge window as a lot was riding on it - Conscript Mike painted up a 3D-printed Legio Gryphonicus Warhound and offered it as my prize should I complete all of the rooms in the Challenge, so how could I resist that! Anyway as noted above I'll be paging back through some of my Challenge entries and posting them here - it could take awhile though!

Painting Challenge Entry: "Luke, it's too late!"


Star Wars: Legion does not have a model for Luke as he appeared in the original 'Star Wars' movie. I saw that movie with my brother on its release day, and at least a dozen times that summer. By now, I have seen it 50 or 60 times. 

I purchased from Order66 Miniatures three different, newly-released poses for Farmboy Luke. It's a very nice print, with an iconic pose, good anatomy (check out those hands), and almost completely unnoticeable printing lines. 

I did my usual black priming with Chaos Black, and airbrushed zenithal highlights with Vallejo white. Some acrylics, then oils for blending, especially the flesh tones and various neutrals and greys for the kimono style top. I added a couple of small tears to his top. I changed the colour of Luke's pants and undertunic a bit, and darkened his puttees and boots. Otherwise his legs from hips to toes would all be the same kinda off beige colour.

So, I have now painted versions of Luke Skywalker from all three of the original Star Wars trilogy.

All last year I only painted 12 figures. For this year's challenge, I am now on track to triple my output, LOL! Thanks to Curt and all the minions and fellow participants for the impetus to get out and paint. Cheers!