Posts Tagged ‘Games Workshop’

Ionus Cryptborn

Another Age of Sigmar model complete, this time Lord Relictor Ionus Cryptborn. I really love the skull mask on this guy which was painted Baneblade Brown, shaded with Agrax Earthshade and then worked up through Baneblade Brown, Rakarth Flesh and Pallid Wych Flesh. The rest of the model was painted the same way as my other Stormcast with an additional highlight of Mithril Silver on the armour and Vallejo’s Ivory on the parchments to make him stand out from the rank-and-file.

Ionus Cryptborn

Ionus Cryptborn

Ionus Cryptborn

Ionus Cryptborn

Ionus Cryptborn

Ionus Cryptborn


Welcome back. In my previous post I gave my initial impressions of Warhammer: Age of Sigmar from a painting and modelling perspective (spoiler alert: I love it). This post delves into the new background and rules that establish this exciting new age of Warhammer. I should also give a mention to the guys at Tabled Podcast who provide an excellent account of the background to Age of Sigmar which you can listen to here. Their podcast is one of the things that got me so fired up about the game.

A Brave New World

As I said in yesterday’s post, I have been steeped in the lore of the Warhammer World for twenty years now and fondly remember pouring over maps of the Old World in the Warhammer Quest Roleplay book (the first Warhammer Fantasy game I purchased). For this reason I was genuinely sad to see the world destroyed in the End Times. However, the Warhammer World had become static. We all knew what it was and its history and the clock stopped some time around (or just before) the Storm of Chaos. In my opinion, the End Times series was a fitting send-off for the Warhammer World and again I must praise Games Workshop for having the bravery to destroy their setting so thoroughly. Part of me worried that it would turn out to be a marketing ploy like the death of Superman or Knightfall in the ’90s and that after a few months the Warhammer World would be magically restored somehow or that Karl Franz would wake up in the shower and it was all a dream. However, GW have shown no sign of this happening and are instead committed to developing the Mortal Realms.

The new setting, with its diverse opportunities and mythic grandeur, has got me genuinely excited. We know that elves, men and dwarfs have survived but as yet have been told little of their history, territories or social organisation. Personally, I can’t wait for this to be revealed as GW develop their new setting. It finally feels like Warhammer is moving forward again.

The Warhammer World still exists as a ‘historical’ setting for those people who wish to set their games in the ‘World That Was’ (this is even made explicit in the warscrolls on GW’s website).

Stormcast Eternals

Liberator Statue

I couldn’t write a post about Age of Sigmar without mentioning GW’s new poster boys, the Stormcast Eternals. The company’s commitment to these new guardians of humanity is evident from the new statue at GW HQ shown above and these really are the protagonists of the new game.

I really like the background and models for the Stormcast and am eager to learn more about them. The idea of super-human warriors taking the fight to Chaos really appeals to me. At first I was a bit ambivalent about the models but after painting up a few units I have really fallen in love with them. They are fun to paint and, importantly as my gateway army back into Fantasy, look great with a simple colour scheme that is quick to apply. This means I can have an army of them painted up and on the table in next to no time.

Many people have compared them unfavourably to space marines and the moniker ‘Sigmarines’ is already a common pejorative term being used around the internet. However, I like the fact that 40k has started feeding back into Warhammer. Back in the days of Rogue Trader, many fantasy archetypes were ported over into a sci-fi setting and given lasguns and shuriken catapults. It’s nice to see this go in the opposite direction and for an element of warhammer 40,000 to be adapted to a fantasy setting.

The Best Things in Life are Free

Undoubtedly one of the major draws of the game is the fact that all of the rules are free to download. No longer do you need a rulebook, expansions, army books etc to play the game, cutting down the cost of entry. As someone returning to Fantasy after many years I no longer have to worry about which rulebooks are still current or compatible with the latest edition. I can simply download the warscrolls for whatever models I have in my collection and get playing.


Another common complaint. Again, as a painter and collector I really like the idea of not having to trawl through army books adding up the cost of units and picking out combinations of magic items. I know some people got a lot of pleasure from this, and it really is just a matter of personal preference, but as a casual gamer I am all in favour of it.


So there we have it. I can honestly say as a casual gamer who is mainly interested in painting and modelling this release is perfect for me as it does away with a lot of the problems I had getting into Warhammer Fantasy Battle. I understand it may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I for one will be embracing this new age.

Next time I will share my painting progress on the Stormcast Eternals. See you then.


This blog post may seem a little late considering the fact that Warhammer: Age of Sigmar was released a month or so ago and the internet has been awash with these kinds of posts for some time now. However, there are two reasons for this. Firstly, I didn’t want to write an impulsive, reactionary response to the release, instead preferring to wait and see how it developed. Secondly, I was not initially excited about the game’s release but, as more and more information has come to light with each new release, I have become steadily more interested.

I should begin by saying that, although I have been heavily steeped in the lore and history of the Warhammer World for twenty years now, I have not played a game of Warhammer Fantasy Battle or collected an army for it for a number of years. I have always liked the idea of having a Fantasy army, and have even made a few faltering starts over the years, but for some reason I have always found Warhammer 40,000 and the (now sadly departed) Specialist Games range more appealing. However, with Age of Sigmar I have finally taken the plunge back into Fantasy. Over the course of this and the next post I will try and articulate the reasons why.

Base Instincts

As a collector of 40k and Lord of the Rings I am obviously naturally drawn to smooth, inviting round bases rather than harsh, pointy square ones with their nasty angles and so the change to Fantasy on round bases was enough to draw me in. Joking aside though, as someone who is primarily a modeller and painter, I think the move to round bases has really helped shape my opinion of Age of Sigmar. Let me explain.

I know this may be controversial, and many people may not agree with me, but Warhammer always felt to me like a game of pushing around large rectangles (albeit ones with lovingly painted Citadel miniatures on them). I always thought that other scales (such as 10mm as used in Warmaster) were better suited to this style of game.

Another problem with square bases in my eyes is the constraints placed upon the miniature designers who have to consider how the models will rank up when assembled. While models may look great en masse when fully ranked up as a regiment, the individual models themselves tend to end up looking rather similar and lack dynamic poses. The Dark Elf range is a case in point: the new infantry models are well-designed and nicely sculpted but all rather mono-pose. The idea of painting up 20-30 virtually identical models to form a regiment is distinctly unappealing to me. At the opposite end of the scale are cool dynamically posed models that are a pain to rank up.

Age of Sigmar does away with these problems. The seemingly superficial change to round bases and 40k-style unit cohesion frees up designers and hobbyists alike and allows for more varied poses and more dynamic models. While some of the old Warhammer fantasy Battle kits suffer for being on round bases due to their static posing, the new models sculpted with round bases in mind look fantastic.

There’s No Limits

A chief complaint among those who dislike Age of Sigmar has been the lack of points costs, army lists or ‘balance’ (whatever that term might mean when applied to a game that revolves around randomness). For me, this is a sign that Games Workshop have been extremely brave with this release. For years now I have felt that many people have not been playing GW games in the spirit in which they were intended (as narrative-driven, story-telling games) but instead tried to force them into a competitive structure. GW have put their money where their mouth is on this one and done away with points all together. To me this feels like they are returning to their old roleplay roots and giving players a free pass to do what they want with their models.

Furthermore, as someone who is primarily interested in painting and collecting rather than gaming, this lack of restrictions is a blessing. I always felt that having to take x number of these units as a minimum and  y number of those units as a maximum was rather limiting. Now I can paint whatever I want and not have to worry about whether it is a ‘legal’ army or not.

The fact that these restrictions have been lifted at an army level as well (allowing you to field units from more than one faction so long as they fall under the same broad allegiance) allows for even greater freedom and the opportunity to create some great narrative armies. I’m already thinking of adding some Dryads to my Stormcast Eternals as they battle through the Realm of Life or some human refugees made from the Empire militia set. The possibilities are endless.

End of Part 1

These are just a couple of things that have got me excited about Age of Sigmar from a modelling and painting perspective. Join me next time as I run through my thoughts on the new setting and the rules.

Be seeing you.


Stormcast Liberators

Following on from Friday’s post, here are my Stormcast liberators ready to bring Sigmar’s justice to the Mortal Realms. The models were fun to paint. I used Games Workshop’s video guide which is a very quick and effective way to paint up Stormcast models, particularly when combined with Retributor Armour spray paint.

Here is a photo of all of the completed Stormcast models so far. Most of the army from the starter set is complete now, I just need to finish the Prosecutors and the two characters.

Stomcast Eternals

Stormcast Retributors

I am making good progress on my Stormcast Eternals and have completed the Retributors and the Liberators and nearly finished Ionus Cryptborn. I really feel like I have broken the back of this project and should have it finished soon. I must say, initially I was excited about the Khorne army in the starter set but I have really been enjoying painting these models; I may have to paint up some more Stormcast in the future.

Anyway, here are some more pictures of my finished retributors.

Stormcast Retributors Stormcast Retributors Stormcast Retributors Stormcast Retributors Stormcast Retributors Stormcast Retributors

Retributors WIP

Work on the Stormcast Eternals continues. The base colours and shading on the Retributors are complete, just highlights to go now.

Stormcast Liberators

Yesterday I said that I would show my progress on the Liberators. Well, here they are. The armour is finished and most of the other colours have been blocked in and shaded. I followed the video guide on GW’s website but used Macragge Blue on the shoulder pads rather than Kantor blue as suggested. This is both because I wanted a brighter blue and because I want to differentiate between the blue armour plates and the blue leather elsewhere on the model.

Here’s a close up of one of the Liberators.

Liberator WIP

Stormcast Army

I recently picked up the new Age of Sigmar boxed set from Games Workshop. I’ve never been a huge fantasy player but the models in the set are fantastic. The main draw for me was the Chaos army but I also fancied painting up the new-kids-on-the-block, the Stormcast Eternals. The idea here is to get them painted up quickly following GW’s official painting guide and then sell them on.

I assembled all of the models in a single evening (with the exception of Valdus Hammerhand who I will focus on individually) and yesterday I moved on to the painting.

Initially the models were primed black and then sprayed using the new ‘Retributor Armour’ gold spray. I must say, I really like this spray and it applied smoothly and evenly without fuzzing or clogging details. I used two thin coats here to build up the colour.

Stormcast Liberators

The models were then shaded using Reikland Fleshshade and edge highlighted Auric Armour Gold followed by Liberator Gold.

Stormcast Liberators

As I type, the models are much nearer to completion than in the photos but you’ll have to come back tomorrow for more pictures.

Wound Markers

I decided to make some wound markers for my Astral Claws as a quick Saturday morning project. Basically, the number of skulls/helmets represent how many wounds a character has remaining. The skulls are taken from a number of kits (if you own any GW kits then chances are you have some skulls lying around somewhere) and the damaged helmets were taken from Chaos trophy racks. I could have used regular marine helmets but these had battle damage already sculpted on and so saved me a bit of time.

Wound Markers

The helmets were painted to match my Astral Claws models whereas the skulls were an opportunity to try out my new method of painting bone. Previously I had used Zandri Dust and Ushabti Bone for skulls, however, recently I have moved to using a basecoat of Baneblade Brown washed with Agrax Earthshade and then highlighted Baneblade Brown, Rakarth Flesh, Pallid Wych Flesh and finally White Scar. This produces a much paler, more realistic bone colour than the creamy/yellow look achieved with Ushabti bone. The ground texture was then painted to match the rest of my army.

Wound Markers

Wound Markers

I plan on creating a few more themed gaming aides in the future including some objective markers converted from the Space Marine casualty models. Watch this space.


Lord of the Rings Ruins

Over the last few days I have been working on a number of different projects. I have managed to get these ruins finished for Lord of the Rings and continued to work on my Dark Eldar. I had hoped to get more done with the Dark Eldar but the weather conspired against me at the weekend and a combination of high winds and rain meant that I was unable to prime my raiders for painting. Instead, I took the time to work on Space Hulk and started to paint up some genestealers which have been primed and sitting on a shelf looking at me accusingly for a number of months now.

Lord of the Rings Ruins

Below you can see my raiders in their various sub-assemblies. As I plan on airbrushing these I decided to keep them in a number of separate parts to make this easier. However, even if painting by hand it would make sense to paint them as sub-assemblies because of the number of fiddly components that would make certain areas hard to access with a brush.

Raiders sub-assemblies

Here is my first genestealer which was completed a while back as a test model. As you can see, I have gone with the traditional genestealer colours of blue and purple and tried to paint these in a dark moody style like those seen in White Dwarf. I have also tried to get a contrast in textures between the hard carapace and the softer skin by using sharp edge highlights on the carapace and subtle blending on the skin.

Genestealer test model

And here are four of his mates who I was working on over the weekend.

Space Hulk Genestealers

The raiders are going to have to wait until the weekend before I can airbrush them but hopefully I will get a chance to do a bit more work on these guys throughout the week.