Saturday, 27 August 2016

Undead Diorama - A 15 year old dream that became reality



 We all have a long term project that someday we hope to fulfill; a magnum opus if you like. With Jodorowsky it was Dune, with Kubrick it was Napoleon but I've gone one better than those fellas and have actually completed what will probably be my largest ever project.



 Firstly, I have to cast my mind back 15 years to the beginning....

 The year was 2001. I'd been thinking of attempting something on a large scale for some time but hadn't come to any cast iron decisions, until I'd been studying John Blanche's epic undead diorama, that we all know and love, and decided to attempt something inspired by his work but on a considerably smaller scale. After finalising the scene content on paper it was time to pick what figures were going to be used, give mail order a call and wait for a parcel. After a brief and deeply disappointing phone call, I learned that all the old classic stuff was now out of production and had been for about a year. I'd had a year or so out from the hobby at that point so I had been none the wiser.
 So that was that; the idea was shelved before it even got further than a sheet of A4.
 Two years on and the flatlined project received a lifeline thanks to eBay. Several months down the line, I had been able to amass every figure I'd planned to be included in the diorama. Then, after painting two or three of them, the project stalled....and that's how it remained until last October.

 After deciding to properly go for it, I purchased a base and began with the foreground. After completing that and making a start on the middle section I felt I had to take a break from it for a bit. In fact, I only resumed it last month when I fully felt I had the free time and stamina.

 My main psychological challenge was the zombies. Great figs that they are, they do have a tendency to be a bit undistinguishable (what the fuck is flesh and what is bone etc) and painting a lot of them was going to be a test. Thankfully once I got my rhythm going they came thick and fast.

 I had never planned on any story background for this piece, more 'make of it what you will'.

























So the project has finally come to a close. It'll be strange not to have it on my to do list after all this time. Now I'll have to turn my thoughts to something else. I ought to give myself a break for a fortnight or so but the momentum is still with me so onwards and upwards!

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Confrontation Venator Leader - the last paint job of my 30's?


 Hello there, Rochie and I have taken a bit of time off from our collaboration, both turning our attention to other projects for now....
 This has been a long term idea of mine but due to not owning any of the scarce Venator figures from the Confrontation range, the plan has been shelved....but no longer!  I was fortunate to acquire a couple of Venators the other week, much to my long awaited delight. Only four different figs were ever sculpted up and there was no leader among them so the plan was to make my own. And here he is.


 His main body consists of one of the bounty hunters of the same range. I had to sclupt over his dodgy bermuda shorts that he started life with though. Thankfully I had a spare body minus a head lying around from a conversion I'd made back in the 90's.


The head is from one of the Necromunda Redemptionist deacons, while the arms are from a commissar; the left one requiring a bit of tweaking by repositioning the hand. The commissar's chainsword wasn't salvageable so I had to nab one off a Van Saar leader. I wasn't finished yet and after considering making his noose out of wire but bottled it in the end and painstakingly removed one from a redemptionist.





 With a potentially hectic work schedule ahead this coming week, I was keen to finish him before then and now it looks as if I'll be in my 40's by the time I paint whatever is next on my list. At this rate it'll be his two gangers that arrived a couple of days ago.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

40k Warband Update (finally) - A Renegade's Best Friend


 I think it's been a mixture of things; work has just been through the roof (12 hours days) The Isle of Wight festival (can't hack 3 days of boozing anymore) and a bit of the dreaded painting burn out/lost mojo (we've all suffered from that I think more than once at some point) but I've finally managed to post my long overdue Rochie collaboration project update. It's not a particularly special, stand out post but it's an easy one to get done in a period of poor form.

 This week then it's the turn of Kalrath's Chaos rewards; a pair of Chaos Hounds. I actually painted these a few days ago but have just been too braindead to get round to posting them.


 Ambushed and pinned down. Kalrath's pursuers had finally reached touching distance. All hell had broken loose in docking bay 17 as The Raven was being prepared for it's impending journey. After receiving a tip off, a five man tactical unit of Star Reavers marines had intercepted The Raven had begun a direct assault. Kalrath had himself to blame after he was spotted hacking the heart out of an unfortunate maintenance worker which had caused obvious unwanted attention but his master's bidding was paramount and blood must be regularly spilled. Here he now found himself cornered and with his followers running his personal 'errands' he was in serious lack of support. Or was he? The air was suddenly filled with predatory snarling snapping and howling. The marines were under attack from something. Siezing his moment, Kalrath leapt from cover to see that a couple of the members of his former chapter was being savaged by a brace of large hounds. One sported a row of long spines down its back while the other was too headed. The latter had ambushed the bareheaded Sargeant from behind and tore out his throat while the other savagely mauled its opponent while the Khorne renegade took him out with a head shot. Del Core and two of his hoods were now on the scene and opened fire on the three remaining marines who now distracted were caught in the open while the two Chaos hounds leapt to attack with Kalrath ready to pick his former brothers off. The brief, savage skirmish was over; Kalrath beheaded the Sargeant while his faithful new beasts sat obediently at his side. These were gifts from Khorne, with the sole purpose to obey their master, to fight for him with savagery and ferocity until death take them....



 To be honest I didn't find them particularly enjoyable to paint. I guess a lost mojo won't help matters there but as sculpts they were lacking in quality somewhat. So it's over to Rochie again for his next installment and meantime I go large with my Tzeentch warband.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Tzeentch Warband Update - I love Bob Olley!


 Running a bit late this week but here is the new Tzeentch warband update. Rochie posted a  fine pair of Bob Olley beastman the other day as am I tonight - or three in fact.
 These guys were among the most enjoyable I've painted in a long time; Mr Olley is a master of intricate and bizarre detail. It was good to be able to run riot with colour as well.


 From the undergrowth appeared three more brutish beastmen all sporting brightly coloured and decorative armour. The mounted one cursed them furiously as they looked about the scene of carnage. They had split up in the search for food and upon seeing the corspes of the peasants, the three starving newcomers savagely began to tear at the dead flesh in a frenzied bloodrage.
 Dieter watched patiently as they feasted before calmly approaching.
"My children." He hissed soothingly.  "You will never go hungry, never be hunted, never be forced to wander in futility again....I can promise you this if you follow in my servitude. Come with me and we shall embark on a journey of power and glory in the name of our master!"
 The four Tzaangor brayed in unison; devoted to their charismatic new leader. They would serve Dieter well in the times ahead....










The warband of Dieter Heldengast begins to take shape


 So another stage done. Next up is Rochie's new installment with his 40k Slaanesh warband at some point over the next week if he isn't too tied up with commissions. For me that's probably not a bad thing as I need a bit of time to sort out my own 40k warband update.

Monday, 16 May 2016

40k Renegade Warband Update - The Drug Lord


 With another top drawer post from Rochie it's time for the next installment of my 40k warband. I was planning for two or three figures for this post but I've been held up a little with a busy work schedule so for now it's just the one addition.
 



 This one is a basic head swap; the body being that of the Traitor General figure from the 2000 AD Rogue Trooper range and the head (the second time I've used this for a conversion) from a Blood Bowl Chaos player.
 





 Notorious baron of the Red Star drugs cartel on Samson IV, Deverell Del Core monopolised  narcotic activity on the planet. His face permanently concealed with his trademark hood, Del Core's fearsome reputation preceded him although an unexpected audience with a renegade of Khorne with promise of untold Chaos power proved too tempting to resist. Agreeing to accomany Kalrath off world with a small crew of his trusted henchmen, Del Core ordered his personal Endeavour Class Light Cruiser, The Raven to be prepared for imminent launch. The drug lord rubbed his hands in anticipation at the prospect of a successful alliance and the opportunity of aspiring in the service of The Blood God.
 Kalrath of course, merely saw Del Core as a means to an end; an accessory for the greater cause but for now, the ball was rolling and the renegade had began to make plans for a  destination....


So that's it for now, time for Rochie to deliver the goods with his next contribution for his warhammer Nurgle warband. It should be another classic!  I myself will be making a start on my next Tzeentch warband installment which I hope to unveil next week.

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