Archive for July, 2011

More Eldar reinforcements burst from the webway (or my painting table anyway). Here is my formation of Aspect Warriors along with my Autarch. When it came to painting, using the Aspect colours was an obvious choice. For models of this scale it made sense to use the traditional colours in order distinguish them on the tabletop. It also afforded me the opportunity to take a break from painting red.

Autarch

Here is my supreme commander, an Eldar Autarch. I wanted to do something a bit special with this stand and so I added an entourage to accompany him into battle: his personal standard bearer and a Farseer adviser. I chose to use the old Exarch model for the Autarch as it nicely matched the 40k scale Autarch model with the wings. In fact, I wonder if this old Epic model was the inspiration behind the newer sculpt.

I decided to add my Autarch to a unit of Dire Avengers (for those of you unfamiliar with Epic, an Autarch is purchased as a replacement for an Exarch and must be added to an Aspect Warrior stand). This was so that he would benefit from a ranged attack and would be less likely to be killed in combat. Initially I was worried about having the blue Dire Avengers on the same stand as models painted in the red of Saim-Hann. However, the red on their crests combined with the blue on the Farseer’s gemstones and spear help to integrate them. The symbol on the banner is the Autarch rune copied from Codex: Eldar. The other side of the banner bears the symbol of Saim-Hann.

Aspect Warriors

The Dire Avengers were painted Regal Blue and highlighted using Enchanted Blue followed by Ice Blue. The Striking Scorpions were painted Dark Angels Green and Highlighted using Camo Green. Unfortunately the Striking Scorpions don’t stand out all that well against the green of their bases when viewed from a distance.

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Over the weekend I managed to finish my jetbikes. These are such an emblematic unit of the Eldar, and Saim-Hann in particular, that I just had to include some. To mount them I clipped off the chunky plastic flight stand that is attached to the model and, after filing the area smooth, drilled a small hole with a pin vice and inserted a length of brass rod. Not only is the brass rod less obtrusive than the original plastic stand, but it provides the opportunity to add a little more dynamism to the models by changing the height or the angles at which the jetbikes are flying. I chose to add only two jetbikes to each stand as I thought any more than this would look too crowded (the rulebook suggests using between two and four models per stand).

For painting all of my Eldar I started with a black undercoat over which I applied Scab Red. This was then highlighted using Red Gore, a Red Gore/Blood Red mix and finally pure Blood Red. For the jetbikes I added a few details such as the freehand ‘cosmic serpent’ emblem and the blue gemstones. A few simple touches like this really makes the models stand out.

Epic: Armageddon

I’ve been interested in Epic for a long time now. It is often lauded as a much more tactical game than 40k. Also, the vast scale of the battles has always appealed to me. I remember back in the mid-nineties I saw a battle report in White Dwarf between Eldar and Chaos. The models looked great en mass and really created the sense of massive battles and gargantuan war machines that the background of 40k described. I went out and bought a set of Epic Eldar models but at that time I was new to the hobby and, after breaking a few of them cutting them off the sprue and ruining others with dreadful paint jobs, I lost interest and the rest of the models sat neglected for over a decade while I returned to 28mm models.

However, despite this early disappointing encounter with Epic I have always remained interested. One of my great inspirations was Carl Woodrow’s website Dropship (and later his blog, Drop Pod). Although the site is quite old now it is still worth a look for Carl’s excellent models and painting tips. One of the things I really admire about Carl’s Epic models is the fact that he treats them like models and not just playing pieces despite their tiny size. I think you will be able to clearly see his influence on the models below, especially in the basing style.

Anyway, recently I have joined a club which has an active Epic group and this has reignited my interest in trying the game. Over the last couple of months I have been painting those old models from the nineties as well as adding to them with newer models. I now have a small army assembled. Below are the finished units.

Guardians of Saim-Hann

Fluff-wise, Guardians are the backbone of a Craftworld’s armies so I decided to begin with two formations of them. I knew that for models of this scale I would need a striking colour scheme so that they didn’t get lost on the table. Anything too subtle simply wouldn’t show up at a distance so I settled on the bright red and white of Saim-Hann. I think this provides a strong contrast to the greens of the bases and they really stand out.

This is a basic warhost. When basing the models I tried to reflect the way that the models are fielded in 40k and added some Warlocks to some of the Guardian stands. In game terms they don’t do anything but I think it adds a bit of visual interest to the troops.

This second formation has had some of the basic Guardians swapped out for some weapon platforms. The Epic: Armageddon rule book allows quite a lot of latitude when it comes to basing models and, as such, these are based on the Battle of Five Armies bases which I think look a lot better than the old square bases as these are a little too small for a weapon platform and two crew. These Guardian models (and the platforms) are from the nineties set and are armed with lasguns. I’ve also added a few Guardians with heavy weapons. Again, this has no bearing on the rules but it looks good considering that this is my ‘shooty’ unit.

I’ve  followed Carl Woodrow and mounted my commanders on larger bases as befits their status. This allows for a more interesting arrangement of the models on the base. I’ve also included some of the old standard bearers to distinguish my command bases and make them easily identifiable in battle.

Upgrades

Here are some upgrades for the Guardian units, Vibro-cannons (support weapon platforms) and Wraithguard. A Spirit Seer was added to the Wraithguard and ruins were placed on the bases to add some interest. I used rangers as  crewmen on a lot of the weapons. This is a nod back to the days when weapon platform crew wore overcoats.

Grav-Tanks

An Eldar army needs some Grav-Tanks. I’ve used a mix of Forge World’s excellent resin Wave Serpents and some older plastic Falcons. I plan on updating the Falcons with FW models as soon as I’ve managed to find enough of them on ebay (unfortunately much of FW’s Epic range is no longer available). I’ve mounted all of my tanks on Warmaster bases using brass rod and decorated them with a mix of different kinds of flock and clump foliage. The Wave Serpents will end up as transports for my Aspect Warriors.

Up next

Hopefully I will be able to get a game of Epic in next week. Before then I want to get my Aspect Warrior formation finished along with some jetbikes (after all, it wouldn’t be a Saim-Hann army without a few jetbikes). I’ll post these as soon as they are finished.

Have a great weekend.

Following on from my post at the weekend about Lord of the Rings orcs here are some of my recently completed Mordor characters. Again, I tried to stay true to the film in my choice of colours. Apologies for the blurry pictures but these guys are very hard to photograph.

First up is Shagrat, I went for very dark, almost black skin. This was painted VMC Black-Brown and highlighted by adding increasing amounts of Kommando Khaki.

and his rival, Gorbag.

Here is Grishnak. I’m very pleased with how he turned out. I tried to capture the blotchy red skin tone from the film. This was achieved by glazing the skin with very thin Scab Red and applying small patches of thinned Dark Flesh and VMC Black-Red.The effect is subtle but I think it works quite well. I may try it again on some future orcs I have lined up for painting.

These guys aren’t exactly Mordor characters but it seemed fitting to include them here. Frodo and Sam disguised as orcs. These models were really enjoyable to paint; really characterful, fun models.

That’s all for now. I hope you like them.

Orcs!

Posted: July 16, 2011 in Lord of the Rings
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After reading an article in Empire magazine about the forthcoming hobbit films I’m very much excited again about the world of Middle Earth and its denizens.  As such I have begun repainting a lot of my old LotR models which I bought back when they were originally released a decade ago. In that time my painting has greatly improved and so I decided to update them.

Here are my orcs. I wanted them to be as close as possible to the film. However, the orcs in the film are all muddy and filthy and, while this looks great on film, it doesn’t really translate well onto miniatures without making them look like a badly painted mess. Instead I wanted to capture the feel of the orcs by using lots of dark colours and muted shades with the occasional red accent to add a bit of colour. Overall I’m very pleased with how these turned out.

40k cosplay

Posted: July 14, 2011 in Video
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Here is a cool video of some cosplayers in China. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, ‘cosplay’ is short for ‘costume play’ and basically involves dressing up as characters from fantasy and science fiction and dancing about.

I have been continuing to paint and will add a proper update with photos of finished models later in the week. Stay tuned…