Saturday, 27 February 2010

Micro Flamer of Tzeentch - Project Change XX

Yellow is an interesting colour. Doubly so when shaded with the gaudy Warlock Purple. Would you experiment with that combination? I have. Here's a 1990 Epic Tzeentch Flamer adopting the guise of Maynard Flux's Daemonic Familiar.

Epic Flamer of Tzeentch

Interesting? Lurid? Psychedlic? Well, I'm a little glad I didn't do it on a larger model. Maybe a more sophisticated approach is called for. And now I realise that going forward I should avoid painting any of Tzeentch's bird minions in yellows to avoid comparisons with Sesame Street.

I noted with the Epic scale Pink Horror that this generation of Chaos models were laughably out of scale. Let me explain this a little more. Epic is nominally a 6mm wargame, meaning the average trooper measures in at about 6mm. Here's the Epic Flamer next to an Epic Dark Angel Hunter.

Epic Flamer of Tzeentch and Dark Angel Hunter

Why this hideous scale fail?

Theory One - the Epic Chaos Daemons were done at a time when Games Workshop were simplifying the amount of detailing on their Epic-scale models for ease of mass production. This meant chunkier details, less details, and bigger models (all the better to put big chunky details on).

Theory Two - Epic is out of scale with itself. People complain about not being able to fit ten Marines inside a Rhino in 40K. Well, try putting thirty 6mm Marines inside a Thunderhawk only 10mm long. Epic models were more abstract counters representing the troop types present on the battlefield, rather than being scale models.

Theory Three - Chaos Daemons should be this big all the time, it's the 28mm ones that are scaled wrong.

Well, anyway, Games Workshop corrected it in 1998 with the Epic 40K plastic Chaos sprues. Here's a comparison shot.

Giant Epic Daemons

This is one of the few examples of Games Workshop's models getting smaller over time.

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Posted by Curis at 10:39 pm

Friday, 26 February 2010

Ninjabread 23 - RSPCM

The RSPCM I originally conceived of after seeing expensive resin superheavies mutilated by underskilled modellers. Such as someone who buys the Forge World Fire Dragon and welds a Commissar to it for use alongside their finger-painted Baneblades. I'm all for stretching your own ability and encouraging people to enjoy their hobby in whichsoever way they choose, but I reserve the right to point and laugh in much the same way you do at the wannabes on (say) Britain's Got Talent. You're not sneering at the lack of talent, but instead just amazed at the gap between how good they are and how good they think they themselves are.

But then at some point in the writing process the strip stopped being about that.

And on a side note, here's something else I've drawn recently with a bookshelf background.

No Sarah, I was asking to see your thesis.


Posted by Curis at 8:09 am

Friday, 19 February 2010

Ninjabread 22 - Medical Descriptions

Describing symptons is something awfully difficult, and I always seem to draw comparisons to things I have no actual experience of. "I feel as though I've just had my appendix out." "It's like period pains."

English classes would do better to teach self-expression and communication rather than grubby Yorkshire poetry. As a schoolkid I had to study the drab poetry of Simon Armitage. He produced a collection of poetry called Tyrannosaurus Rex Versus The Corduroy Kid. The first word of that title is awesome. The second sounds exciting. By the time to get to the third word you're pretty much shivering with excitement at the concept of King Lizard battling with a zombie robot or something. But then, wham, you get to word number four - Coudroy - and all your excitment melts. Damn you textiles. Damn you.

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Posted by Curis at 12:34 pm

Thursday, 18 February 2010

G2 Pink Horror of Tzeentch Champion - Project Change XIX

Trish Morrison's Pink Horror Champion. His trademark grin was self-inflicted because he wanted to show his facially-scarred girlfriend he still found her attractive.

Pink Horror of Tzeentch Champion

I can't put my finger on when Lesser Daemons first got their Champions, as I still need to find a copy of 4th edition Fantasy's Warhammer Armies Chaos. But I know the first official Daemon command models came out in 1997. (Ahhh. 1997 - when Minotaurs had great models.)

The Pink Horror Champion had an extra WS, BS, S, I and A over the standard Pink Horror. This was back in 5th edition Warhammer Fantasy, when Champions could regularly take magic items of their own rather than just being the guy at the front with a different name and an additional attack. But Daemon Champions couldn't take magic items (unless they were a Daemon Battle Standard Bearer) and didn't get access to any Daemonic Rewards (the Daemons' equivalent of Magic Items). And so, with the exception of the improved stats, I can't work out why people took them.

In modern Fantasy the Pink Horror Champion has been renamed to Iridescent Horror, and can also be fielded in 40K. There is no model for Iridescent Horrors yet, or Heralds of Tzeentch, so the Pink Horror Champion tends to crop up in both these roles. (Though the cheaper and more common approach is just painting a Pink Horror a different shade of pink - tsk.)

I did originally feel a little guilty that so much of Project Change seems to be Daemons. So, I counted up all the models the project's scope includes, and then counted how many of them are categorised as Daemon. It's a whopping 83% at present (not including the Daemon Engines, dragons possessed by daemons, sorcerers riding bound daemons or those weird Man O'War things I really ought to research more). And, as with this model only 74% of Project Change is classified as Daemon, I'm okay.

And, I realised that two Horrors ago I collected enough to field a 7th edition Fantasy regiment. Here they all are on a movement tray celebrating their new-found gamable status.

Weathered Rogue Trader Space Marines

This is one of my Warhammer turn-offs. You spend an age painting your army, only those not in the front rank to be hidden away where the painting goes unnoticed.

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Posted by Curis at 9:09 am

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Weathering Space Marines - An Experiment

I've been struggling to work out how to use Weathering Powders lately. I want to learn how to use them to push forward my painting ability, so I thought the best way was to get in and experiment. And rather than paint something fresh and then weather it, I found an old squad of Rogue Trader Space Marines in my cabinet to dabble with.

Weathered Rogue Trader Space Marines

Each of these guys represents a different approach. Dabbing dried powder into the recesses, making a thick paste to cover boots, blending different powders to get multi-hued dirt - but by far the best approach I found was watering the powder down into a thin wash and letting it dry. It doesn't overpower the paintjob, and when it dries it dries opaque in the recesses, making it look entirely different from an ink wash or dip.

Interestingly, you can use this washing approach with colours lighter than those the models are painted in.

Here's a comparison shot of a weathered Marine with an unweathered one.

Weathered Rogue Trader Space Marines

These are done with the Forge World set weathering set. Their three-page quick guide is absolutely no use whatsoever. Unless of course, you find big blank spaces highly educational.

Weathered Rogue Trader Space Marines

Weathered Rogue Trader Space Marines

Weathered Rogue Trader Space Marines

Anyone got any tips on how they do their weathering? I'm eager to learn.

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Posted by Curis at 3:04 pm

Friday, 12 February 2010

Ninjabread 21 - The Art of Miniature Photography

Why can't people take decent pictures of miniatures? People seem far more competent taking shots of their friends moving about in dark pubs than taking shots of stationary miniatures in controlled lighting conditions.

Well perhaps I shouldn't sneer as much, here's some old old traditional film photographs I took back as a schoolkid. First up is Waaagh Cheesegrater - my schoolboy Orc and Goblin army.

Waaagh Cheesegrater - my old Orc army

A Homer Simpson Giant! A Cockatrice! Obnoxiosly huge banners! Orcs with Crossbows! I loved that army.

And here's an equally awful shot of my friend Ash's Chaos Warriors. Oh, those old plastic Crab Warriors, and pick-n-mix metal Spawn.

Grund's Chaos Warriors

Here's a link to my free downloadble blue fade backdrops which are a quick and easy way of adding a slicker finish to your own photographs.

Posted by Curis at 8:38 pm

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

G2 Blue Horror of Tzeentch - Project Change XVIII

Another smiley-happy Trish Morrison Blue Horror of Tzeentch (far left). Now I have two so I can split a G2 Pink Horror in half in games and have everything I need to represent it. This pleases me.

G2 Horrors of Tzeentch

This model is a particular favourite of mine as I got it way back in 1997 when Gorkamorka was released. I'd ordered my Gorkamorka boxed set from Mail Order, and as a treat they threw in this very Horror with a note something along the lines of, "This is coming out soon, have it for free". I painted him up even before I did my Gorkamorka mobs and used him as a sidekick for my Warhammer Quest barbarian hero - Pugnax the Pugnacious.

I'm trying a colder blue at the moment, as until now my models have had mostly warm schemes. I would like to do something more with the orange than just the eyes, so I tried the daemon-jewelery in a copper, but it didn't work. And it puzzles me why they wear jewelery. Where does it come from? Did Trish simply sculpt it on in order to hide the rough bits of the sculpt?

And, I'm off travelling again, this time to Lahndahn (big-ben-red-bus). Ninjabread 20, rather than being postponed to the weekend just gone will just be pushed back a whole week to this coming Space-Friday. Sorry. If it makes you feel better have this dumb joke only historical wargamers will ever appreciate.

Bad cataphracts pun

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Posted by Curis at 10:54 pm

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Ninjabread 21 to be delayed

I'm off travelling the next few days, and as such this coming Friday's Ninjabread will appear later than usual at some point over the weekend.

To tide you over until that point I leave you with this three-panel gaming strip.

Unseen Ninjabread

Posted by Curis at 10:09 am

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Ork/Genestelaer Hybridz Patriark

Who better to lead my Greenstealer army than the first Genestealer that infected the first batch of Orks? I present Patriark Zurk-Seez, born aloft on a mighty palaquin.

Patriark Zurk-Seez

Starting with a little background on Genestealer Cults - the cult begins when a purestrain Genestealer infects some hosts. They are then psychically slaved to him, and spawn the first generation of Genestealer Hybrids. That first purestrain Genestealer grows in power and stature as his cult grows, developing psychic powers and acting as a psychic beacon for the Tyranid Hive Fleet. A fitting choice for HQ.

So, Zurk-Seez is much bigger than a regular Genestealer. He's built out of of the two of the metal B-Movie Broodlords and a Lictor. The pose (top right arm clutching bottom left arm) is homage to the original throned Patriarch model. I wish the plastic Space Hulk Broodlord model had been available when I started this. Ho hum.

Classic Patriarch

Oh, and the little Gretchin Magus advisor whispering advice is another homage. He's converted from a Night Goblin Shaman, with his staff replaced with another classic Genestealer Magus'.

Classic Patriarch

Now, the palaquin. I knew when I was converting him I wanted him on a throne like the classic Patriarch, but I couldn't work out why there'd be a huge immobile chair in the middle of the battlefield. But then I remember Xerxes in 300, and so searched high and low for Grot models posed as if holding something. Eventually I found a Goblin Bolt Thrower crew member that fitted the bill very nicely, so bought four of those. One of them on each side has their mouths resculpted to provide some variation, and they've got their feet reposed.

The throne itself is also homaging the classic models, with three big spikes off to each side, and skulls (albeit Ork/Genestealer Hybris ones) on the ends of each of the arm rests. Lovely.

Patriark Zurk-Seez

Here's a picture of him before painting. The copper-coloured bits (tongue and loin cloth) are tomato puree foil.

In games he's represented as a Weirdboy Warphead as he has psychic powers, and Weirdboys have no weapons.

Other bits of my army here.

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Posted by Curis at 7:51 am

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