Monday, 13 March 2017

Dainna the huntress.

Throughout the realms there are countless kingdoms.
Many are but ruins of their ancient glory, their power only just returning after
a thousand years under the heel of chaos.
Most are little more than dust and memory.

Yet there are a few that still stand strong....
Deep within the realm of beasts there stands Themyskyr, City of the hunters.
For countless centuries it has shone in gold and silver, Like a crown
Atop the very mountains of the far lands.

From this land Dainna has been sent, for a city as ancient as Themyskyr remembers much,
And whispers of things long since thought forgotten have reached it's gates.
Dainna is the huntress of the bronze tower, Chief warrior and champion of the city.
She is charged by the council of the city with the Destruction of all monsters and invaders that would see Themyskyr toppled,
And it is a task in which she has never faltered.
Her victories in war and the hunt are beyond count.
None has stood before her spear and lived, Be they warrior or beast.

Now she hunts a new quarry,
For the rumours say the ancient Mystarikum has revealed itself.
This has caused unrest in the chambers of Themyskyr.
No where else are the powers of the ancient cities as well remembered,
and no where else is the power and danger of the lost Mystarikum truly known.

Dainna will do what she has always done.She will hunt her prey, she will strike, and she will be victorious..
 for Themyskyr.









This was a really fun miniature to work on.Dainna is built from a sister of silence body with Perry foot knights head ,spear arm and pauldrons, with a bretonnian knights shield.

The perry arms and heads really scale with the slighter figure of the sister body and match up fairly well stylistically, giving a more grounded fantasy look to what could have been an overly baroque figure.

Painting wish I copied my usual rusted armour look, building from boltgun metal, agrax wash and brown ink, then a layer of rust, boltgun drybrush and chainmail edging.
I try to avoid being overly sharp with my highlighting in general but since i wanted this to look like a well worn and battle marked suit of armour I decided to go all on and add chips, worn edges and rust pockets over the whole suit.



Thursday, 2 March 2017

A being of power and unspeakable terror....



In all the realms there is only one being so terrible...

Only one creature with such power...

Only one who can bring such ruination with its every step....

None can challenge it...

None has ever fought it and lived...

No one shall escape its ruin, and the realms with be torn asunder by its very will....


SLOP HAS COME, AND HE SHALL SEE THE WORLD BURN.



Okay, Maybe I'm being a bit dramatic.
But i really love this mini, It just seems to ooze character and hints at so many weird and wonderful possibilities.As a sculpt it's charmingly simple, a real joy to paint, but managed to convey a real Bosch style weirdness that has often felt lacking from Age of Sigmar since the start.

My reason for painting it was mostly for fun as i love the model, But i also wanted to see if I could get across a dark and atmospheric style using a brighter and colder palette than I've been relying on to this point.
I also decided to give base experimentation a try.I love the way John Blanche bases his models, the ground less of a diorama and more an atmospheric nondescript setting for the miniature.

You migth also notice that this model is photographed much better than anything else to date despite being bloody tiny! Well I'm still using the same old smart phone to get my models from desk to computer, But i have been messing around with lighting a bit and came up with a happy medium between dark as hell and yellower than an imperial fist on the surface of the sun.

Burik the moon guard, watchman of Marshes end & Huund.




Marshes end is a quiet place.
Built atop the jutting spires of a sunken city of marble and copper, It rests on the
horizon like a crown of broken jetties and rotten wood houses.

To the south lies the great marsh, vast and featureless save for a few places where dark and terrible things still dwell, and around this sits the black wood, a forest of such depth that some say daylight has never touched its floor, and the ice and mist have become cruel....

To the north, the nameless sea.Calm and mist covered, it stretches to the grey horizon.
No one comes to marshes end save for those who seek the silence of the end of the world or the occasional restless revenant, risen from the cold mire.

Or rather, that's how it used to be.
As news of the Mystarikum has spread across the realms, So marshes end has found itself visited by many strangers, some mighty, some insidious....

It is Burik and his trusty guard dog Huund who had for many years kept the towns borders safe, watched the marshes mists for signs of foul spirits and patrolled to the edge of the blackwood
when news of nameless horrors spread.

Now Burik has taken up with the dawn knight, and has declared himself the Moonguard.
Where the dawn knight rests, Burik watches over him, acts as squire and for his part helps him in combat.

Accompanying him is Huund, Guard dog of the long since banished mayor of marshes end.A loyal and battle scarred beast, Huund has become a companion of all in the dawn knights company,
None more so than the wizard Therin, whom he takes great joy in
guarding, If only for the heat the wizard can conjure on cold nights.


Burik is built from a Bretonian man at arms body and bill, With a perry war of the roses head, skeleton shield and (dark?) Eldar back banner.
I wanted him to look like he has built or cobbled together his guards kit from what local supplies were available in a run down fishing town, so a shield with faded heraldry and a rain stained banner with his own simple design on seemed like a fun way to put this across.
Added to this is a healthy layer of rust and grime and i think the effect comes through.
Since he's the third model for the warband he has the job of really cementing the style I want to get across, and it took me a while to decide how he should be painted. In the end i decided that while Therin was dark and brooding and the dawn knight was shining and bright, the real humans of this band should be somewhere in-between, A grimy grey bunch of dour soldiers and militia so i went with a fairly subdued colour palette, Mostly greys and browns with reds whites and a faded turquise to break up the monochrome nature of the robes.

For Huund I simple covered up the various cybernetic implants of the cyber mastiff that came with the game day enforcer model before painting. He was built up from a almost black brown to a middle brown, then detailed with purple bruising and red scars to give him a bit more of a battle hardened look.
He might not find his way into the warband as a starting member, But once I have the points he'll be acting as a gryph hound in game terms.




Thursday, 23 February 2017

Warscroll cards.A few quick tests.



One of the things I love most about INQ28 was the trend away from mass produced plastic game accessories to something more personal.A wooden box, Stone counters,Bone dice... It speaks of an extension of the gaming experience beyond a set of arbitrary rules within the tabletop landscape and towards something more expansive, A form of roleplay and story creation.
For me this tied in with my love of all things arcane, ancient & antique.

Too that end I've been trying out some quick ideas for unit cards for AOS28 to try and get across that same sense of props adding to the game experience. For me it seems that having a beautiful atmospheric set up is a waste if it's going to be undermined by bright laser cut acrylic tokens and badly photocopied character sheets.

I have a nice little wooden card box from an antique shop which i'm planning on using to carry my game accessories and a deck of warscroll cards in something I've wanted to make since AOS launched, and now seems the right time.

I think I'll move away from the "everything is faces" look I've been keeping so far and do something a little more astrological as suites the many realms of AoS.


I'll be making a trip to Cornelissen & sons this week as they have some nice off cuts of hand made rough edged paper for sale in roughly tarot size, So will post up something more final soon, But I thought some might like to see these for now.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Reinhold Heillbrand. Scourge of spirits.



The realm of shadow is not the most ideal place for those who follow Sigmar's light.
 Faith can be misled by foul spirits, prayers become lost and trapped in the all encompassing fog, turning to foul whispers on the chill wind.
Those who come to the shrouded land following the light of the god king must be hard and brutal to survive, their faith must be unbreakable, for nowhere else save the dread realms of chaos will
they be so very isolated from all that is good.

Reinhold Heillbrand is one such traveller. A witch hunter by both trade and choice, Heillbrand is known as the scourge of spirits, For he makes it his lifes work to vanquish those who would invoke the dead and the chaotic to corrupt the rightful lands of the God king.

Heillbrand has come to the realm of shadow fresh from the purging of Excelsis, where the seers and secret merchants talk of ancient mysteries soon to be resolved and long lost truths to be rediscovered deep within the realm of shadow and mist.They speak of rites,both holy and corrupt, and a lost isle among the mist.
They speak of the Mystarikum.
To Heillbrand, they speak of corruption, And he would see these rumours quashed.

He will seek find the Mystarikum first, Before that misguided Stormcast and his peasant rabble, before the servants of the dark gods or the skulking Aelves...
He will find the Mystarikum and ensure it remains hidden.







Reinhold Heillbrand is built from the forge world event only arbite model.I had been after this model for a while and i actually came across it by chance in a trade, with two of his cyber mastiffs. (sadly only the one arbite-a man can dream.)
He say on my desk for a long while as i was unsure what to do with him.I love the figure but i don't really play any game in the 40k universe, and despite painting alot of the miniatures and loving the style, It felt a waste not to game with such a cool and imposing character.
Eventually i decided i needed a witch hunter and after much hand wringing about taking the knife to a figure i will never get a duplicate of, I bit the crossbow bolt and decided to bring him into the world of AOS.

The conversion work is fairly simple since the arbiter already had a bit of a medieval look to him, Just a crossbow to replace his shock maul, a sand timer to replace his walky talky gadget, and the removal of any 40k iconography.
After that i have him a sword from the old empire sprue and decided to paint him with a nice mixture of reds and browns to give him that old school inquisition style. I made sure he wasn't too murky by giving him nice stripped pantaloons (A must when witch hunting.) and painting his sword a nice gem green to add a small dash of colour to him.

I may work back into him and rebase him as he was finished before I started the Mystarikum and as such his base is a little bit too firey.


Game with he might get a warband, or I might have him as a recurring NPC to act as foil to the various heroes and villains trying to claim the secrets of the Mystarikum for themselves.



Monday, 13 February 2017

The dawn knight.

From the questors lodges of the great wildernesses to the very edges of the realm of chaos,
 The warrior now known as the dawn knight has travelled far from his brother warriors for many decades.
He took up the quest upon his first reforging, for in the moment of his
deaths ascendance he saw in his minds eye a darkness, spreading from an unknown place
to shroud all the realms.
For long he travelled from city to city, wild to wild, ruin to ruin, all the time gathering whispers of the many lost and hidden things that threaten the mortal realms.

It was one such whisper that brought him to the realm of shadow, to the great marsh, and to a town of rotten wood built upon the broken bones of a sunken city of white stone and green metal.
It was here that he slew a foul beast that had been plaguing the villagers for many moons,
And it was here that he fell in battle to it's vicious bite.

But he did not die.Instead he awoke within the flooded ruins of the great cathedral at the centre of the ancient city.Around him the townsfolk had gathered, and in their hands they bore his armour, polished to a deep black and painted with the sigil of the coming dawn, A light come to burn away the darkness.
The townsfolk believed him an angel, a hero of the old stories as was painted into the ancient cathedral roof centuries before, come to bring light and peace back to the great marsh.
Now they follow him, and he has taken them all as squire, For he feels that within this shrouded realm, the secrets that he seeks and the gathering dark will be found.







For the dawn knight I wanted a real oldschool feel.I wanted some good old fashioned heraldry as would suite a travelling warrior, and a really characterful face.
The great thing about the stormcast models is the lovely flat areas that really suite freehand design work, And I'm pretty happy with the shield design i chose.Partly it was inspired by the old orc shields, and party it was a homage to John Blanches stormcast sketches which features his trademark "All the faces all the time" design style.
While i felt like the armour itself was a little plane and i could have done more with weathering, I'm happy enough with my Bryan Blessed lookalike and he will be a fine leader of his band of trusty pilgrims!
One small note on the model that i would give to someone building one would be to get rid of the chainmail and the scroll.To me they don't do anything to strengthen the silhouette of the figure and there's no real way to paint them that matches a dirtier freehand style.




(MORE FACES!)

Therin ,Pilgrim of the blind saint.



There are many secrets that draw the lost and desperate to the realm of shadow.
Some come to hide, others to search for lost treasures in the sunken libraries and mist filled ruins of the great marshes.
A few however, Come for the shadow itself.
The wizard going by the name of Therin is one such traveller.
It is whispered that he seeks the lost secrets of the Mystarikum, for it holds the first temple to the blind saint, who in the age of chaos weaved mists around the hidden lands and deceived even the gods themselves to keep the people of the shrouded realm safe.

Others claim he is a spy of Sigmar Sent to follow rumours and stories of a dark and terrible force gathering in the darkness, Or to find the fey Aelves and reveal what they are hiding beyond the eyes of curious gods.None truly know what great and forgotten secrets Therin seeks, All they know is that he has decided that the quest of the dawn knight coincides with his own, For now....






Therin is built from the Forge world Hector Rex astropath model.He came with a rather sanzzy, If a little impractical helmet.I was in two minds about whether he should keep it and remain a blind wizard, But decided i wanted him to have visible eyes. His entire face has been re-sculpted and his staff head changed, plus all 40k gadgets and gizmos removed and puttied over.

I decided to keep the purity seals since they are anarchronistic as it is in 40k and seem pretty standard fair for a holy(?) man wandering through the darkness



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