Wednesday, 7 July 2021

Hobgrot Slitta Conversions

It’s summer time, so there’s a new Warhammer box set in town. I thought that the new hobgrot slittas looked promising as conversion fodder, so I grabbed a set of ten from eBay. I wasn’t sure on the size, from the pictures online they looked bigger, but they are a perfect match for my Lord of the Rings collection. 

Here’s a picture of a converted hobgrot alongside a Mordor orc and a Morannon orc. As you can see they are a perfect match to the Morannon figure, or could easily be played as a Mordor orc. Or you could paint them in dark armour and use them as black orcs. I would think you could easily fit them into a Uruk hai tribe too. Good news if you are looking for some variety to your collection.

The conversions were relatively easy. I used plastic bits from the oathmark goblins set, with a few random historical plastic shields too, probably viking  in origin. You could swap with Lord of the Rings bits too I would guess. On the hobgrots, I trimmed away a lot of the extra bits, especially the ropes dangling from their armour, and I removed as many of the “grenades” as was easy to do, though I did keep one as a club. 

There were a fair few options available on the hobgrot figures. They are obviously a new incarnation of the old hobgoblin figures, and there are options to give them all helmets or keep them bare headed. The latter, in conjunction with the two dagger options, would give you a reasonable version of the old hobgoblin sneaky gits.

I originally bought the figures thinking they would make a good addition to my Warhammer goblins force, and I might still do this. But seeing them next to the LotR figures has given me a dilemma. One to ponder for a couple of months, as the annual summer hobby hibernation begins.

Thursday, 27 May 2021

Realm of Chaos Spawn

This is a figure I have had in my collection for a long time. I cannot remember the date it was bought, early to mid 2000s I would hazard a guess. Back in those days, I was an old fogey in the glass cabinet section of the Warhammer forum. I bought the pack and split it with [fiend], a fellow painter on the forum, the idea being we would paint half each. I never got round to it for whatever reason, until all these years later. It’s kinda sad that it took so long.

I did make a start back in the day, it was glued to a square base and I had a notion to paint it as a Nurgle spawn, so it was already based in light green and bone colours. But my painting style has moved on. I wanted to give it more interest and more contrast, so I started adding hues and they developed at random. The left head I thought looked a bit alienesque and was shooting for a silver grey look, like a shark, but overdid it with the blue, decided I liked it and stuck with it. The right hand head stayed green and yellow. The middle head I was trying for a flesh colour but it turned out angry pinks, but again I quite like it so stuck with it.

Finally, here’s the chaos sorceror of my warband, to give a sense of scale. I am hoping to play games of Warhammer using the old fourth or fifth edition chaos book, in which there is a possibility that a character will be turned to a spawn for the amusement of the chaos gods (and my opponent, no doubt). At the moment the warband contains just one character, this sorceror, so he had better make sure he impresses those fickle deities!

Monday, 17 May 2021

Realm of Chaos Beastmen

Another unit painted for the Realm of Chaos warband. These twelve figures are a mix of metals from the early 90s and plastics, from the later 1990s I think. I reckon the plastic Beastmen to be one of the best kits ever released by Games Workshop, and with a few extra bits they really look the business. More info on the build in this post.

Painting was problematic at first. I tried a yellowish skin tone but it did not work. Then I tried a ruddy flesh tone, again I was not happy with the result. So I decided to make them similar to the ungors, but with a darker skin tone, it was meant to be a mid grey, but it has ended up more blue than I would have liked, but I just went with the flow (otherwise I would have given up completely). Finished but flawed is better than unpainted and abandoned.

The banner was another thing that did not go to plan. I knew that I did not want an elaborate design, that doesn’t fit the background for me, a crudely scrawled symbol was my choice. I added some runic script, copied from the chaos warriors shields, but it looked a bit amateurish, so I obscured most of it with some dark washes. It looks okay now, like the banner has been continuously draped in the blood of slaughtered enemies. 

Those problems aside, I am happy with the unit now it is finished. I have always liked the beastmen plastics and it feels good to have them as part of my collection. The warband feels more like a warband now. A leader, some scouts, some average troops and some elite fighters, just about enough to go raiding. I would like to expand on the scouting element by adding some hounds, still pondering over the choice of figures. I have a couple of quick and easy cheat units I can add in the meantime. 

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Realm of Chaos Sorceror

This is a scenario many of you will no doubt recognise. I started painting this mini in a flurry of excitement and inspiration. I blasted through the cape and added the decorative border in a couple of sessions and was really pleased with the progress. I had an idea on the skin and put down a base coat and then put it to one side, meaning to pick it up again later in the week. But when the allotted time came round I didn’t fancy doing it too much so I left it, get back to it next week. And then the next week came and I was busy with something else. And so on. Eventually, it was four weeks later before I finally picked it up and finished it off. So it took one month to paint one figure!*

This is a metal figure, a limited edition chaos sorceror released around 2002 (according to Stuff of Legends, who seem to know their, er, stuff). It’s almost 20 years old, by the gods I have been doing this for so long now. It originally had a tail protruding from the front of the cloak but I chopped that off, partly on a whim, partly because I don’t like having too much of the model hanging over the the edge of the base. Nobody likes massive dangly bits.

The palette was mostly determined by previously completed chaos warriors, but I flipped the dominant colour to a deep red. The pale skin was suggested by the face looking a bit vampiric, a bit like the Emperor of the stars wars movies. Most evil guys have a very sickly, pale pallor, they obviously spend far too much time secreted away in dark towers and deep dungeons. The green flames were a natural contrast to the red robes, and green flames just look magical.

Slowly, very slowly in this case, the chaos warband is coming together. With ten warriors at his side and ten little goatee men scouts, there is a possibility to play skirmish games at this stage. Ideally, there would be at least one more unit before gaming could start in a meaningful way. I have already built the next unit (see my previous post) and hopefully I can get them painted quicker than one model each month!

This last photo shows the sorceror alongside two of the chaos warriors. If we ever play games of Erehwon, these would be the bodyguard/acolytes. While the warriors were painted almost exclusively using contrast paints with no highlights, on the sorceror I did employ some traditional techniques, layering and highlighting. Is there a great difference in the quality of the finish?

* these days, I spend most of my spare time painting canvas rather than toy soldiers

Monday, 26 April 2021

Attack of the Mutant Goatmen

Over the weekend I built the next unit for the Realm of Chaos warband; a unit of beastmen gors, led by a shaman. There’s a nice mix of figures in this unit, including metals from the 90s, through to the latest plastics from the start collecting box set. There’s also a few bits from the latest chaos marauders set, for some variety in the weaponry. The unit leader, holding the severed head, I am not sure where he came from, maybe Mordheim, he was in my bits box. I am pretty happy with the way they turned out, the plastic bodies are all pretty much identical but variety can be found with a little ingenuity. I think my favourite pose is the gor in the front rank on the right, he has real menace.

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Realm of Chaos Warriors

The first unit of warriors for the Realm of Chaos project are completed. Black armour, red cloaks and white fur makes a striking scheme I have used before and wanted to try again, though this time using mainly contrast paints. There is very little highlighting involved on these figures, it’s mostly glazing with diluted contrast paints. I explained the process in more detail in my previous post. I am happy with the way these turned out, black armour can be flat and dull, so getting the texture and variation there was probably the hardest part. I could also make improvements on the red cloaks, but for now they are done.

With the recently painted ungors, that’s two completed units for this project. I feel I have earned the right to paint a character, so that’s my next job. An old sorcerer model will do very nicely. A chance to stretch my wings a little and add some more detail rather than production line units. That’s what I need now, to keep the interest level high. I find as I get older that I have less patience with painting units, one reason I am keen to exploit the contrast paints in any way I can. 

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