Saturday 30 April 2016

A Tale of Four Oldhammer Gamers: April Part 2

It may be the closing hours of April, but I have managed to complete a further two models for my Nurgle Warband. Can you spot them in the photograph above? As you can see, I have finally got my act together and grouped together all of the models I have painted thus far int o single frame. They barely fit onto my tiny gaming board now, so future shots will have to be done on one of my McDeath boards!

I haven't yet given the warband any background, and the force is currently known as 'Nurgle Army. There aren't a great deal of models in it, are there? But such is the nature of old school chaos armies where a single model can cost in at around 100 points!

Here are the two new additions and as you can see they are both old Citadel chaos warriors from the 1980s. The model on the right is fairly nondescript really, and there are a number of variants of this model around. I would imagine that he would be a tad tricky to rank up in a large unit swinging that huge scimitar like that, but there was something about the pose that appealed to me. To help tie the model into the general Nurgle theme I used a pale green for his armour and fairly drab colours elsewhere on the model. Speed painting techniques helped bring him up to speed fairly rapidly this morning and despite the rush, he holds his own against the second model I have here, and she is everything but nondescript.

Female warriors are a rare sight in any wargames armies - for obvious reason, and though examples can be gleamed from the pages of history, in reality they were very, very few in number. I guess that is so in the quasi-historical world of '80s Warhammer too. This model has a rather odd history in my collection. I bought her years and years ago as part of a job lot but she was smeared with layers of black that no amount of Nitro-Mors could remove, so as you would imagine she languished at the bottle of a Dettol jar through most of the Oldhammer revolution. I rediscovered her recently and the many years she spent soaking in the stripper seemed to finally shift the black gunk. Upon cleaning her up properly, I found that for some reason she had been cut in half! I nearly lost her upper body down the sink!

But with some nifty pin making and a little glue, she was easy to repair. As time was a premium I basecoated the entire model with brown paint and whacked over the top a couple of ink washes, first chestnut and then an orange/brown. Highlighting the edges of the armour with a dark silver was enough to give the impression of rusty plate male and I used a sickly purple to pick out the facial features and upper thigh. As green acts as a cohesive colour for the warband I decked her out with a few fancy green leather straps around her waist and tarted up her hairdo with a nice green rinse. 

She took me about ninety minutes to complete, bar drying time for the washes. 

The first warrior required a shield and I threw this together quite quickly. Initially, I quite liked the design (it is based on the three coloured grinning faces from the rear of the palanquin) but in retrospect I think it needs something more to liven it up. Any ideas welcome!

So, not bad for April, especially considering other months. A Nurgling base weighs in at 30 points and the chaos warriors 75 points apiece, giving me a grand total of 180 points for this month!

I need to put myself through the stress of moving house more often it seems, with output like this! 

On to next month!

McDeath: Sir John Quicksure on foot

I have been very busy of late preparing for my house move, and after many weeks of frantic organisation we have hit a lull. Despite rushing to be prepared, dates have slipped back and so I must exist in a strange hiatus between abodes. Much of my Oldhammer stuff has long since been packed away, as has my lovely home computer and I dread the thought of having to unpack the lot only to repack it all again in the future. Thankfully, I have my school computer as back up and it is on my old academic workhorse that I type these words now.

As you would expect, there has been little opportunity to get anything done project-wise. I am left with a cluttered bunch of half-finished projects now, and I manage a few minutes here and there to tinker with them. As you can see, over the last week I managed to get Sir John Quicksure finished off. 

And what a struggle he was too. 

He must be one of the most lumpen figures I have ever had the misfortune to paint, and my casting is a rather battered lead version that must be at least thirty years old. Like many a knight of yore, this Sir John has certainly been 'in the wars' and much of his detail is bashed and bumped. 

I have written before about how hard I find painting gold. I had painted the figure once before but was very unhappy with the finish and so he was subsequently popped in the Dettol. My second version is no better than my first but I am done with the figure now and I am keen to move on to other projects. 

Quicksure uses a 'lion rampant' as his symbol and I attempted to freehand paint an example on his shield. Having never attempted anything like this before, and with limited time available, I must say the finished result is a little underwhelming - but he IS finished! Anyway, when he is placed alongside my other completed McDeath models he fits in seemlessly, despite his less than perfect paint job. I am satisfied with that and as I have said before, sometimes you just have to move on rather than obsessing over the finish of a single figure. 

Here in England we are enjoying a long Bank Holiday weekend. Perhaps due to the manic nature of recent weeks we have elected to do nothing at all over the next few days so I should find plenty of time to finish off some of those projects I mentioned earlier. The most important being the second part of my Tale of Four Oldhammerers contribution from April!

Fingers crossed I can get those completed and photographed today! 


Sunday 24 April 2016

Tale of Four Oldhammer Gamers: April Part 1 (I hope)

Preparing to move house has left me with the following opportunities for doing any Oldhammering: 'slim and none at all' - and slim has just left town! Despite this set back, I managed to quietly slip away from the list of jobs my wife prepares for me each weekend to dabble with a few of my many unfinished projects. The first of these is this month's TO4OG's post. 

Unlike the others (Chico, Steve and Paul), I am really struggling to get anything completed and I have several other pieces that I hope to share before the close of this month. Both models are pretty close to completion but I want a few more hours tinkering with them before I share them here. 

After fiddling around with a few snotlings last week, I became intrigued by the little fellas and fancied having a crack at some of the Nurglings I have lying around in my collection. I have managed to build up four bases of them from the odds and ends of collecting over the years and decided to do a test paint of one of them this weekend. 

You are looking at the result.  

I used a variant of the recipe I blogged about last week, only using slightly less Bilious Green in the mix. Not wanting all of my daemonic beauties to be green, I also opted to do something similar with brown, as you can see. On the Palanquin, all of the Nurglings were painted identically for ease of painting, while with these bases I was free to mix things up a little. I used purple and red sores to add a little cohesion to the models so they group together nicely. 

Sure, the painting is a little rough and ready around the edges - but I am strapped for time. As long as my models look vibrant and exciting on the games table from about four feet away - I am happy! A hard lesson to learn indeed! 

Unsurprisingly, Nurgling bases are not worth much in actual points. They weigh in at 30 points each, but combined with the next two models I hope to put out by the end of April, they will help raise this month's quota to around 180 points! 

Keep watching!


Sunday 17 April 2016

Jolly Japes and How I Paint Old School Goblinoid Skin

When you gotta go, you gotta go!
One question that I have been asked a great deal over the years is how I paint goblinoid skin. Or more precisely, how can you paint goblinoid skin to look like the classic orcs and gobbos of the 1980s. My answer was always the same 'I really don't know' as all of my previous attempts to capture that slightly radioactive tone have fallen short. Usually, my orc or goblin skin looks too pale, at least to my eyes. Have a look here to see what I mean. 

As well as being a common snotling, this chap was also part of an amusing set. have a look here to find out more
I quite liked my darker skinned orcs I produced recently for McDeath (look here) but they were a deliberate departure from the light green stereotype. In my heart of hearts, I still wanted to find a satisfactory method of achieving the '80s look until today, I just couldn't quite reach the desired result. 

According to Kev Adams, this model originally had a finely sculpted turd hanging from his bumhole. The sight of the offending faeces was allegedly too much for one Studio Manager and the helmet was added to cover up the naughty nugget!
As you can see, that all changed with Jolly Japes. I was feeling inspired by my little trip to Salute and with the wife and kids laid up with a tummy upset, I spent this afternoon tinkering with my paint station. I had Jolly Japes based up since I found him in a small Car Boot lot last summer. Whim took me, and I started painting him up using whatever paints I had to hand. It was with the addition of Bilious Green to the mix that I knew that I was on to something and over the next twenty minutes or so it took to finish highlighting the tiny model up I knew that I was closer than ever to achieving the classic 'look'. 

Warhammer's equivalent to that scene in 'Every Which Way But Loose!' Right turn, snot!
As promised so many times, if I ever found a simple way of creating that '80s goblinoid look I would put together a little tutorial and share my method. So here we are! As always, you will be needing a short shopping list of bits and pieces to get started. Have a look at the paints I used: 

From the left we have Citadel Colour Khorne Red, Evil Sunz Scarlet, Foundry's Yellow 2B, Bright Green 25B, Citadel Colour's Bilious Green (1985), Rich Butternut 115B, Boneyard 9A and 9C and last but not least, Citadel Green Ink (1985).

All these paints are very easy to get your hands on, save Bilious Green and the Green Ink, both of which turn out to be key colours in my little recipe. Not that they are impossible to collect - scouring eBay for a couple of weeks will result in several opportunities to get your hands on a pot. There are a number of modern similar equivalents but there is nothing to my knowledge out there that is a perfect match. I am sure that many of your will have a pot or two hidden away somewhere. Go on a hunt! 

Step One: Undercoat your model in a single layer of white acrylic paint. A spray coating or brush on will be fine. As you can see, I brushed on - proper old school that! 

Step Two: Basecoat with Foundry's Bright Green 25B. Ensure that there are no bubbles clinging to the model before setting it aside to dry. 

Step Three: Dot the eyes with Khorne Red and paint the loincloth with Rich Butternut 115B. Once dry, wash over the entire model with green ink. 

Step Four: Repaint all the raised areas of skin with Bright Green, try and leave a suggestion of the darker ink shade in the deepest recesses. 

Step Five: Add a little Bilious Green to your Bright Green paint on the palette and mix it in. Your new shade should be fairly brighter but don't over do things. Try a ratio of 4:2 Bright Green and Bilious Green.

Step Six: Final highlight of the skin with a 4:3 mix of Bright Green and Bilious Green. I toyed with adding a final mini highlight to the face and hands using just Bilious Green but decided the effect was too stark in the end. There is nothing stopping you trying it out, of course!

Step Seven: Paint the eyes using Khorne Red as your base, followed by the Evil Sunz Scarlet while the previous paint is still wet. Use a tiny dot of yellow to create a pupil in the centre of each eye. 

Step Eight: Use Rich Butternut 115B, Boneyard 9A and 9C to highlight up the lion cloth, though in truth you could do with with any colour you devise. I just think that mouldy browns and oranges look best on a gobbo. 

And here is my little snotling snapped on my photography set up. A little blurry I know but the light was going by the time I took the picture. He blends in well to his surroundings and more importantly doesn't look too pale or washed out. You may be wondering why he is just plonked there on an undecorated base? Well, you will have to wait and see where he ends up as I am also working on an other project involving snotlings - quite a lot of them actually. 

Hopefully, someone somewhere will find this little tutorial useful. Before you go, can you do me a favour? If you have a nifty little recipe for orc/goblin skin that you regularly use could you share it below in the comments? I wouldn't mind trying out a few more techniques in future and who knows, yours might be the perfect tone for some grizzly old orc I have lurking around in the leadpile!!

Thanks for reading.


Salutations and Salute

Hello again!

Things have been pretty hectic for me recently, as you can probably tell due to the lack of posts here. After many years, my wife and I have decided to move house and you will all be familiar with how stressful, and time consuming, such an enterprise can be. A great deal of my Games Workshop collection has been sorted through and boxed up, though there is still much to organise. I have lost a few items but discovered a few gems I didn't realise I had!

My paint station is still set up but has been largely disused. We have been too busy working on the house move and I haven't have the quality time to work on any miniatures. Hopefully, we will be moving in June and I can get some painting in between now and then so I can play another McDeath scenario at the Oldhammer Weekend. But as it goes with these house moves, something could still go wrong and the whole transaction could go come crashing down. If this is the case, we shall still sell up (if we can) and will move into temporary accommodation. 

I went to Salute yesterday. Every year the event becomes an increasingly social one, and I had the pleasure of meeting several bloggers and Oldhammer illumni, most notably Dear Tony Blair's' David Wood and Mr. Grumpy Old Tin, who handed out a wonderful laser cut badge I have since misplaced. As always, it was fantastic to see so many different miniature games and figure manufacturers either displaying their wares or encouraging others to roll dice with their products, though to my eyes at least there seemed to be far fewer actual games being played this time around.

Of course there were plenty of friends to be found there too: Steve Casey was manning the Warmonger stand, Diane Ansell, Marcus, Dean the Streaker and Tony Yates (and Alex) were working on an enormous Foundry stand. I spent most of my limited budget there on ex-Citadel Vikings and as always, it was lovely to speak with them all.

I was also very impressed with Midlam Miniatures. Stuart (who travelled up with me) had a long chat with the two brothers who run the company about the old Metal Magic miniature lines - which Midlam still sell and I found some really, really useful pieces amongst their varied offerings. 

These pairs of wheels are really useful. How many of us buy siege weapons that often lack one or two of these, eh? Or try and put together a scratch built cart only to fail at the wheels? At two or three pound a pair these are great value, and the anvil you can see alongside was a mere £1.50!

This wishing well caught my eye there too, and is part of a wider range of scenic pieces that Midlam do. I would have bought more if not for the house move, and they are certainly on my wants list for future projects.

Otherworld Miniatures impressed me enormously with their huge range of D&D inspired sculpts. They really are beautifully designed models and their painted examples were gorgeous to behold. Sadly, their pricing put me off making any purchases this time as it was £4 for the smallest (halfling sized) models and compared with Midlam' s £2-3 price range for a single model and Foundry' s nearly unbeatable £10 for a pack of 8 or 9 figures. Maybe next year.

There was little true Oldhammer, at least from what I saw. I was expecting someone to do something retro with Space Marines considering their anniversary but I didn't spot a thing beyond an impressive cosplay chap complete with stuck on mohican hairdo and an enormous 40k game. Oldhammerers there were more of and I had the pleasure of meeting the famous Goblin Lee and having a good chat about his vast collection of painted slann, pygmies and of course, goblins! I bet visiting his house would be an incredible experience in old lead!!! Andy 'The Atom' Taylor was also though there (and I recognised him immediately after meeting him at the Foundry in March) and we had a pleasant conversation or ten about the quality of the facial sculpts on some of the Foundry viking range. Matthew Dunn continued his knack of finding unusual miniatures at very reasonable prices but I shall leave him to explain the contents of his swollen, swinging bag in his own time! Ha ha!

Warseer's harry was on the prowl too, and we had a good laugh talking about the show and Oldhammer in general. He had attended the show with Golfag Paul (another very well known Oldhammer hero) and the last we saw of his, he had lost Harry! Considering he was the driver yesterday, I hope he found Harry and managed to get him safely home again!

Having seen all there was to see, Stuart and I decided to head home. Apart from being caught up in an accident on the M11 on the way home it was an excellent day, spent alongside some excellent people and I look forwards very much to next year's event!


Thursday 7 April 2016

Balls! Macrocosm's Amusing Kickstarter

Yesterday, I blogged about the fantastic Pantheon of Chaos and it's highly successful kickstarter project. As you know, I have always been an advocate of supporting projects that readers of this blog may appreciate and I have discovered another one worthy of your time and money. 

Like with the Pantheon, this project has already funded so there is no need to worry that the target fund will not be met. But what to you get for your money?

The answer is simple: balls! 

Have a look at the crowdfund page by following this link.

There are a number of amusing stretch goals to consider and by looking at what the project has achieved so far it looks increasingly likely that many of these will be reached. Here are a couple of shots of some of those WIP add ons. 

These 'deflated/dead' balls are my favourite. Fancy a flutter on this KS? It's simple, fun and most importantly very much in the Oldhammer flavour. 


Tuesday 5 April 2016

Pantheon of Chaos Kickstarter Goes Live! (and meets it's goal within two hours!!!)

I had a wonderful conversation with Diego Serrate (the visionary behind this project) this morning and congratulated him on the enormous success of his kickstarter. As you will have read, this exciting project was funded very quickly with all of the early-bird deals being snapped up in the first ten minutes alone! 

Not that I am surprised at all at the projects's success, considering the quality and range of the figures on offer. Their design really puts some of the more 'professional' companies' work to shame in many respects. If you have been following the project here on Realm of Chaos 80s (and I know that thousands of you have) then you will be wanting the link, won't you?

Well here it is...

I spoke to Diego about his plans for the Kickstarter:

Diego: The goal of our campaign is obviously to produce the starting miniature range, which is already quite large at 54 models - if all of the goals are unlocked! We would also like to gather funds to produce the hardback book later this year, with everything you need for single battle or campaign mode. We hope to include a wealth of other information too, with lots of background, art, bobby articles and a full colour miniatures section. 

Looking at gorgeous photographs like this makes we wonder just how good the book Diego mentions would look like!

I has been very rewarding for me to see this project develop. I am sure that many of you will recall the Antiquis Malleum project that I covered some years ago. Sadly, that effort was abandoned by the project founder but luckily, Diego managed to get his hands on the greens and artwork Tony Ackland produced. This means that Matthias Witherheart (remember him?) and his retinue will someday raid across my tabletop! 

Diego also sent me a WIP of the final Malal/Malign daemon - based on the hooked horror illustration I blogged about years ago. Other versions of the this model have been produced - though this version is clearly the better sculpt. 

So what are you waiting for?


Monday 4 April 2016

The Unusual Suspects: Miller and Poacher

Rather unexpectedly, I was called away from home over the last week or so and as a result  my Oldhammer projects have stalled. I am now home once more and can brush the dust off my Nurgle warriors, not to mention post out my remaining trades. This blog-post will have to suffice for a while as it is the last of my draft pieces and now that you are reading these words, I have nothing new to draw back on. 

You may remember a week or so ago, before my sudden disappearance, I was blogging about bringing once forgotten old miniatures back to life with the life giving triad of Dettol, Undercoat and Ink Wash. I called the little project 'The Unusual Suspects' and at the time of writing I have got no further than these two figures. Sorry! 

But, these two gents look remarkably more healthy than the last time we saw them, don't they? What I like about the pair is how similar their outlines are. Both stooping, and holding sacks. Jes' contains goodness-knows-what and the miller's some nice '80s sculpted grain. 

Neither figure took me long and it was fun messing around with skin tones and employing a little colour harmony on the jacket of the poacher. Hopefully, these figures will be on a wargames table somewhere soon! 


Saturday 2 April 2016

McDeath: Dart of Harkness on Foot

My McDeath project gathers pace once more with the completion of this figure, Dart of Harkness on foot. Before you ask, yes I do have the mounted version but for now he resides somewhere in the leadpile. I was pleased to get this model finished after so long, as he has been waiting patiently for some months on the paint station along with McWrecker and Quicksure. 

In retrospect, I don't like this figure very much. He is a rather squat, ugly cast and one that I found difficult to paint. To this day I wonder why the bods at GW picked this particular model to represent the character in McDeath, as compared to many of the other sculpts in the range he is more than a little clunky. Most likely, he was selected (along with Quicksure) as there were both mounted and foot versions of the figure but the idea of fielding a chaos warrior model as a human character is a strange one! 

Still, I had a good old crack at the model and used John Blanche's lovely cover painting for the McDeath supplement book as my inspiration. Don't you just love the buff leather and jade green colour combo? Actually, working from colour schemes imagined by someone as great as Blanche really helps establish the character of each model and I even went as far to copy much of the shield design. What do you think?

The cover painting shows dart to be armed with a pretty nifty flaming sword. Obviously, this model was cast up in the years before such poultry things as flames were regularly sculpted onto figures, and this model's blade is rather lacklustre in comparison. To remedy this, I opted to repeat the flaming look I had achieved quite by accident on my palanquin of Nurgle. This created some interesting contrasts with the green of the armour.

I also noticed a strange dappled effect had been used on his scabbard. I copied this onto my model too, though I am not too sure how effective the result is now that the model has been photographed. I may have to go back and add a highlight or two to bring out the pattern a little more.