Saturday, 2 December 2017

Amontekh the Arboralist

These past two months I have been playing in a game of Rogue Trader where the GM allowed us to play whatever we wanted. I decided that the only logical option for me would be a Necron Botanist, because there aren't enough nice gardens in the 41st millennium. Thus far we've spent more time harassing NPCs than actually getting on with any plot but we've certainly been having a good time!

Though we aren't using miniatures in our campaign, I couldn't resist putting one together for my character. I managed to get the Necron Overlord from the Command Barge really cheap on eBay and then it was just a simple matter of reposing him and adding some robes and a seed bag in green stuff. Though the miniature has a war scythe and a resurrection orb, I didn't think it would be too much of a stretch of the imagination for these to be a staff of light and an aetheroscope which is what my character is equipped with. 

Many millennia ago, Amontekh served at the court of the Nihilakh Dynasty as Lord-Gardner of the Grand Arboreum. Gifted in the botanical sciences he gladly accepted the bio-transference offered by the C'Tan so that he might live to see his work spread across the star and the gardens he planted grow to full maturity. His masterpiece was the so-called Grand Arboreum; an entire moon converted into a monstrous greenhouse for the cultivation of the rarest and most impressive of specimens the Necrontyr could gather. 

However, during the War in Heaven, the ancestors of the Eldar burned the Grand Arboreum to the ground, causing the extinction of many rare and wonderful plants that Amontekh had spent several lifetimes cultivating. With the destruction of his great greenhouses, Amontekh's rage was immense, yet even after the Necron victory over the Old Ones he felt only hollowness rather than the joy of vengeance. 

Nothing could replace the grandeur of the Grand Arboreum, and clad now in bodies fo necrodermis, his brethren cared little for the Lord-Gerdner's talents. He existed a while as a strange oddity at the Nihilakh court, the lords he served having no interest in the raising of new, verdant palace grounds. Depressed and despondent, instead of entering the Great Sleep with the rest of his species, Amontekh decided to wander the galaxy carrying little more than his ceremonial staff of office and a bag of seeds. Hoping that somewhere he might find a renewed meaning to his existence. 

Not even Amontkh can remember all the places he has been. Innumerable worlds have been blessed with his arts and there are many planets with unusual megaflora he has doubtlessly passed. Over the years he has reintroduced a great many different plants long thought lost to the universe as well as experimenting with new breeds which he will release into an environment to see if it takes hold in a cold and uncaring universe. 

Ever since the rise of humanity, Amontekh has lived among them, blending in amongst the masses either within stolen skin or pretending to be a loyal servitor. He finds humans fascinating and much reminiscent of the ancient Necrontyr, able to appreciate the beauty of nature when such miracles are presented to them. Known across the Imperium as the myth of 'The Green Man', or the 'Silent Gardner', Amontekh has recently attracted the attention of the Inquisitors attempting to ascertain the true nature of this mysterious wandering botanist. Not wishing to find himself on the wrong end of a boltgun the Necron has begun travelling with exploratory fleets and Rogue Traders on the edge of known space in order to keep his anonymity while searching out new life to add to his seed collection. 

Though often given to melancholy and the occasional desire to wipe out all organic lifeforms for their ignorance when presented with true beauty, Amontekh generally humours the younger races of the galaxy as he believes that one day they may be the only ones able to appreciate his talents once he feels the time is right to raise the Grand Arboreum once more...

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Autumn Workbench - Malifaux, Monsters, and More

I have been incredibly busy over the past few months but I have managed to get quite a few hobby things done in my spare time (i.e. procrastinating between more important things!). While I haven't managed to work on my Flesh-Eater Court or my Witch-Hunters, I have managed to do plenty of work on side projects. 

One of my main projects for this year, though smaller than my main army projects, is an experimental Lich Warband which I'm not putting together for any particular reason than wanting to try out some random painting/modelling ideas. The core of the war band are some small groups of skeletal warriors which are nearly done, just the basing and final details to do now.

One of my favourite miniatures GW has ever produced is Krell and I decided earlier this year to buy him on a whim, adding him to this project as leader of my skeletons. I even largely painted him like the GW scheme but with minor variations to fit the rest of the war band.

Perhaps my favourite conversion for this project thus far is this random Vampire Priest I cobbled together from spare parts. I wanted him to look like a non-combat orientated character, but more shamanistic than wizardly which I like to think I have achieved. 

With the Skeletal core of the army almost finished, I have started work on a Command Squad of wights as heavier hitters. This little unit is led by a character I'm currently just calling Lord Famine that I mounted upon a slightly-converted cow from the Giant kit, a piece that I've been wanting to use for ages now. This weird squad is probably most representative of the design philosophy of this project; that being pure creativity and experimentation. 

I've also managed to get a fair bit done on this Corsair war band for Age of Sigmar which I converted over the summer. It has been quite fun doing something a little different, even if it has admittedly distracted me from more important projects. I've used these miniatures as a test for using Tamiya Clear Red, as I'm currently considering a Horus Heresy project which I might use this colour for. 

I've also made a load of progress on the Malifaux stuff I ordered over the summer. I still have quite a way to go with these miniatures but I'm quite pleased with them thus far. I'm hoping that over the Christmas period I will be able to get my hands on The Jury for this crew as well as get in some of my first games of Malifaux.

Looking back at my hobby plans for the year, I realise that I have had mixed results thus far to say the least. I'm hoping that by the end of the year I will have managed to finish off the three projects mentioned above as well as get some other stuff done as well. After buying the Malifaux stuff in September I decided not to buy anymore miniatures until I had gotten more of my unpainted stuff done as I seem to have entered a never-ending cycle of starting new projects without finishing old ones while continuing to ignore my Tomb Kings. At the start of next year I shall do a 'year-in-review' post and we shall see how successful I have been! 

Monday, 11 September 2017

Starting Malifaux - The Guild's Judgement

With all of my Warmachine stuff painted I felt like I could justify starting a new, non-GW project and I finally managed to convince my brother to get into Malifaux with me. I've fancied getting some of Malifaux's miniatures for years as I think their plastics are simply gorgeous. Though they lack the customisability of GW I do think Wyrd's miniatures are of a similar quality as the level of detail and the crispness of the sculpts are top-notch. The style of sculpt is certainly different, incorporating much more flat space than GW and being more in line with true-scaling than heroic scaling, but I have encountered this kind of thing before with Kingdom Death miniatures and I look forward to the challenge.

For my first crew I have decided to go with 'The Guild's Justice' crew because they are ghost-rider-esque cowboys who are led by a blind ninja lady who is literally called Lady Justice. It doesn't really get much cooler than that in my opinion! As a fan of Westerns I think it is quite likely that as I expand into Malifaux further I will probably stick with the Guild as my main faction and I have already bought the Brutal Effigy to support any Guild crews I build.

As this is such a small model count game I plan on painting each miniature individually in order to try and paint them to the best of my ability. While I do like the colour scheme presented in the art, I would like to try and incorporate more of the Guild's signature colour of red into my miniatures though I'm not yet sure how I'm going to do this. I'd also like to give NMM a try but I've had mixed results with this in the past and may abandon it if I can't get the metallics quite right.

Once I have painted up this crew I think I will pick up a few more general Guild enforcers and minions that can run well with most masters before picking up Perdita Ortega or Sonnia Criid's crew box so I have another master to play with. I'd also love to get the Brutal Emissary as the miniature is simply badass and I'd love to see it stomp across the board terrifying my brother! He has started off with Seamus's crew but has no intention of staying within a given faction and is likely to pick up a range of different crews. As we are going to be away from home for the next few months at university we probably won't have chance for a game until near Christmas, but when we do I will make sure to post my thoughts on the blog.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Menoth Completed!

After a few weeks of working on my Menites on and off I have finally managed to finish my Warmachine army to a standard I am happy with.

The force was painted in a non-traditional colour scheme (I'm fed up of painting red!) and I decided to really grunge-up my men and their machines to better reflect the steampunk nature of the setting. I always found the studio paint jobs for this game far too clean and while I may have overdone it on the rust and gore I am happy with the final results, especially as it contrasts so nicely with the glowing Menofixes.

Warcasters (counts-as Severious1, Feora1, Kreoss1)
Solos (Hierophant, Covenant, Vassal)
Visgoth Juviah Rhoven and Honour Guard
The glowing Menofixes were painted by washing Nihilakh Oxide over a grey base coat. Then painting everywhere except the recesses with Ulthuan Grey and then painting the centre of each part of the Menofix with Ceramite White. While not the most convincing glowing effect (for this I would recommend an airbrush or practicing OSL techniques which I'm not great at) it does the job quickly and efficiently.

Temple Guard
Choir of Menoth
The bases were simply coated in a layer of sand (additional layers of sand added in the odd place to break it up a bit were done by simply putting a drop of glue on an area of base and dipping it in the sand again), then I glued some Mordheim Turf to the base and splattered on a bit of blood. I you have read either my Frostgrave Base Tutorial, or my Basing in the Realm of Death Tutorial, you will know I am a big fan of using Mordheim Turf as a simply way of breaking up the monotony of a base. While you can use other grasses and turfs I feel that for inhospitable landscapes like tundras, deserts, or the realm of death this stuff is simply perfect and looks great with some blood splattered on it.

Light Warjacks
Heavy Warjacks
While I'm happy with this force I think it will be a while before I return to Warmachine miniatures. It was a nice distraction from GW miniatures but I think there are other styles of sculpting that I'd like to try painting before I return to the Iron Kingdoms.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

When you accidentally kit bash a new project...

I like to think we have all done it. You find yourself sat down idly gluing some miniatures together when you realise that you have a spare body left over, and wouldn't it look good with that head you had spare from the last box you stuck together? Oh and do you remember that cool sword you had left over from the hero you converted two months ago? Lets stick that on him. Mmmh, well he's looking pretty good now, lets add a bit of greenstuff, and don't I have another one of these bodies laying around somewhere as well? Might as well make him a friend or two and maybe I could buy a box of this or that to round it out to a little force...

I do it all the time. Many of these projects are aborted or recycled before they can see the light of day but I've recently started one I think might go somewhere. It has been my intention for a while now to do a few AoS28-inspired war bands. I've already started work on 'The Brides of Nagash' and 'The Reliquary of St. Leonis' which should hopefully materialise some point in the coming months alongside my Flesh-Eater Courts army. After reading City of Secrets, which was a fun little book I'd recommend that really fleshed out what non-Stormcast people get up to in the mortal realms, I couldn't help but be inspired to chop up a long neglected miniature of Crone Hellebron I've never used for anything and see what I could make of it.

Apologies in advance for the bad photography, I happen to have limited means of taking photos presently. 

Morvhana Chillwind: privateer and assassin-for-hire
The result was this charming lady who ended up looking more of an assassin than the Scourge Privateer Captain I had envisioned. I therefore decided to try making such a miniature and began raiding my Dark Elf bits box. Before long I found myself chopping up a few Black Ark Corsairs and I have ended up with a little war band of elven pirates with which to reave the seas of the mortal realms. I did have to cringe a little seeing the paint on these miniatures as I think these corsair pieces were done about ten years ago now. Hopefully I shall be giving them a new lease of life with a fresh lick of paint sometime soon.

Vallach Kildare the Sea-Snake, and the crew of The Revenger

I certainly had a lot of fun with these miniatures. The Corsairs were my first plastic Dark Elf miniatures and I really enjoyed building and customising them back in the day. Now that the corsairs no longer need to be ranked up I could have even more fun with their poses and weapons. This was merely my first endeavour in seeing how far I could push the Corsair kit and I'm really tempted to pick up another box to see what other dynamic poses I can pull off. 

Telemore the Wind-Rider

While looting some of my elf/eldar bits boxes I came across a spare sail from the Dark Eldar Raider kit and some kind of Eldar grav-platform I think is part of a Guardian heavy weapon thing. An idea took shape and now this thing exists. Not sure what to call it but I'm imagining it as some kind of magical wind board that flies along the currents of sorcerous energies that blow through the realms. 

I also found out some Lothern Sea Guard that currently don't have a home and I'm thinking of converting them with Corsair bits to make them into a little group of harbour guards that protect the on-land interests of the Scourge Privateers. A while ago I also kit bashed a Sorceress on Dark Pegasus, which I may add to this group for some magical support if I can find what I've done with her. 

With regards basing I think I might repeat the kind of basing I did on my Hobbit Collection, in order to simulate the planks of a ship. I think I might even have the mould I made for the Goblin Town scenery laying around somewhere, though I think I might paint the wood in a lighter brown than I did with the Hobbit stuff. As for painting I'm not really sure what I am going to do with them. I'm currently leaning towards a bit of a reinvention of my old Dark Elf Army scheme with reds and golds but far brighter to reflect the more mythic-fantasy setting of Age of Sigmar better. 

No idea if this project will actually develop anywhere at all and its likely to remain unpainted for a time, but it was fun to stick together and play around with for a bit. We shall see...

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