Godbreak 84th: Tactical Squad Howard

I’ve been building up a collection of vintage Imperial Army.  As a kid I wanted a large Imperial Guard army, but there being very few plastics (only the ginormo-head RTB07 and monopose 2E Stormtrooper with lasgun) meant they’d be mainly metal.  This combined with the low points cost meant a playable army would be very expensive.  But now I’m older I’m indulging myself.

godbreak-tactical-squad-howard

Left to right: Trpr Trewevas, Trpr Peart, Trpr Laiout, Trpr Jenkins, Sgt Howard, Trpr Langton, Trpr Bruce, Trpr Kelly, Trpr Emerson and Trpr Rutherford. 

The aim of my Godbreak 84th project is to build a collection out of pre-1994 Citadel Miniatures.  The models are mainly one-piece castings with a lot of individuality and character.  I want the collection to be flexible enough to be fielded using old Rogue Trader lists, 2E Warhammer 40,000 and modern 7E Warhammer 40,000 (all with some cheeky opponent’s-permission tweaks).

tactical-squad-howard-in-action

Tactical Squad Howard in some Kill Team action at Warhammer World. 

Additionally the aim of the project is to have a collection that is contemporaneous (miniatures-wise) with my Furnace Valley Squats.  I will field them together as a combined Forces of the Imperium.  Ultimately, when the Squat and Imperial Army collections are big enough I can justify painting and gaming with some classic resin Titans!

baneblade-in-construction

Trpr Trewevas alongside a super-heavy axle.

As well as providing a context for Titans, the Godbreak 84th project provides as excuse to scratchbuild the White Dwarf 120 Baneblade.  Onwards!

Antares Ice Effect Bases

I painted an Algoryn AI Squad plus a Support Team for the Beyond the Gates of Antares rulebook.  With the Antares universe being a whole new science fiction universe to explore I thought I’d get away from my normal sand ‘n’ tuft fare with some ice effect bases.

Beyond the Gates of Antares Algoryn

Normally Antares infantry are on 25mm round bases, but with Games Workshop’s Space Marines being bumped to 32mm I thought I’d do likewise.  Using Games Workshop bases gives me access to a massive range of sizes, including a wealth of large ovals which will be great for monsters and vehicles.

The bases are built up with tarantula bark, a Games Workshop snow texture paint, bits of coarse sand and Anarchy Models blue “Heisenberg” crystals.

Algoryn WIP bases

Here’s the exact method:

  1. Undercoat the base white with spray paint.  This makes it easier for PVA and texture paints to stick.
  2. Glue on pieces of bark in random shapes.  You want a mix of shapes across the bases so you can find one that fits any given pose of miniature.  A mix of shapes also helps break up the unit visually.
  3. Fill the gaps with Games Workshop Mourn Mountain Snow.  While this is drying lightly sprinkle on some extra gritty sand to break up the texture.
  4. Spray the base white.
  5. Give several thin coats of Vallejo Model Colour Pale Blue Grey.
  6. Lightly drybrush the base pure white.
  7. Glue on the Anarchy crystals in little patches.  Hide the join with snow effect, VMC Pale Blue Grey and a tiny drybrush of pure white.
  8. Lightly mist the base with white spray form on top.  This makes the crystals look more frosty, and also smooths out the drybrushing.
  9. Highlight the edges of the crystals with pure white.
  10. Paint the rims black.
  11. Pin on the figure.  Hide any awkward foot-join by lumping on snow effect and VMC Blue Grey and a tiny drybrush of pure white.

I entered the unit, plus a bonus AI Commander, into the Salute 2016 painting contest where they were awarded a finalist pin. Click for big!

algoryn-ai-squad

To keep the squad in a visually pleasing formation I mounted them on a simple piece of glass.

Next up, the rest of the AI Command Squad to accompany that Commander, and push the collection closer to being a 500 points Scouting Force.

 

Rogue Trader Marneus Calgar

The day school broke up for Christmas when I was thirteen was also the day I got my teenage nerd-mitts on two legends of the Warhammer 40,000 mythos – Marneus Calgar and Leman Russ.  As an adult, both vignette pieces still give me such an intense festive tingle that I want to repaint them and have them in my cabinet.  First up, Imperial Commander Marneus Calgar.

Marneus Calgar parts

Marneus’ components stripped and based up individually for ease of painting.

There are two sources for colour schemes – the first is the original studio paintjob, now in the collection of Bryan Ansell.  It stood out from the rest of the 40K range at the time because the figure was not in a battlefield setting – Marneus is sat on a throne with the Ultramarines motto “Our presence remakes the past”, ceremonial cloak and honour guard behind him.  (Not that that stopped teenage Curis using him in a battlefield setting – there were lots of games with increasingly desperate conceits why the Ultramarines had brought furniture to war.)

rogue-trader-studio-marnues-calgarThanks to Steve Casey for permission to use his photo.

The second source is the Dave Gallagher painting used as a frontispiece in the 1988 Warhammer 40,000 Compendium.  Sadly Dave’s choice of black-and-white floor tiles make it look like Marneus is on the toilet, which is further reinforced by the sheet of toilet paper he’s holding.

dave-gallagher-lord-macragge“Lord Macragge?  More like Lord Macrapping!”

Tantalisingly White Dwarf announced Marneus “…is the first in a planned series of specially sculpted vignette releases for WARHAMMER 40,000…”.  Tantalising as there could have been dozens of these figures to collect and love.  The second and final was Leman Russ.  I reckon there was also a Imperial Commander Nisk Ranthawll being dressed in experimental armour planned.  That’s an idea for a future modelling project.

So, anyway, drawing on both I blocked out the base colours.  I went for quite a tight rendition of the Dave Gallagher piece, with blue chest cabling and Mordian Blue plate.  I started with the bolter and the cloak so I could reward myself at the end with the actual character model.  I added a Mk 6 plastic backpack as, although the studio example doesn’t have one, there is an attachment nub.

Marneus Calgar WIP

Calgar’s base took a little thought.  I made a set of stone flags, using the tops of 25mm square bases (who needs them now we’ve got Age of Sigmar). Then the first thing I tried was painting them cold grey stone.

Marneus Calgar stone base

It didn’t work. The blue armour blends in with the grey base.  Then, I remembered the Forge World Roboute Guilliman and his polished marble base.  It screamed quasi-classical.  How very Ultramarine.  I got the marble recipe from a helpful peep at the Forge World store.

Marneus Calgar's marble base

I hammed up the veins more than I would if I were painting the modern Roboute – it felt more in keeping with the pudginess of the 1980s sculpt.  Everything about the older models is a bit more cartoony than their 21st century descendents.

marneus-calgar-curis

Additionally, he made it into the 30th Anniversary of Space Marines issue of White Dwarf! Sadly I wasn’t credited with the paintjob, but I’m happy with readers assuming it’s a ‘Eavy Metal paintjob like the other two Marneuses/Marneuī on the page.

Marneus in White Dwarf

Now, let’s see if I can give Leman Russ the same treatment this Christmas.

Clyro Burns, Renegade Bright Wizard

One of the things to get your head round for Frostgrave is that you’re not really playing with a warband, like you would in Mordheim.  It’s about your wizard.  And I agonised over different wizard models for a good long while before settling on the Citadel ME-56 Saruman, for reasons of:

–  I want the warband to be built out of 1980s Citadel Miniatures
–  I’ve got a couple of spare Sarumans (“Sarumen?”)
–  Importing the Lord of the Rings figures into Warhammer proper is pleasing.

"Tell me, friend, when did Saruman the Wise abandon reason for Tipp-Ex®?"
“Tell me, friend, when did Saruman the Wise abandon reason for Tipp-Ex®?”

I really do like the 1980s Middle-Earth figures popping up in mainstream Warhammer.  After Games Workshop lost the the Tolkein licence in 1987 a lot of the not-character figures were rolled into the main Warhammer range, like the Noldor Elves into the High Elf range.  Occasionally the named character miniatures pop up in artwork or studio photographs, like ME-1 Gandalf here in the colour section of the Ravening Hordes supplement.

Oldskool Citadel Gandalf

Gandalf™ is a wise and powerful wizard.
Gandalf™ est un sorcier sage et puissant.
Gandalf™ ist ein weiser und mächtiger Zauberer.

To unSarumanise the figure the Palantir hand was replaced with a suitably chunky hand from a Citadel Night Horror.  Saruman’s left hand was flipped over and had a flame effect added from a (gasp!) modern Tzeentch kit.  This anachronism still makes me feel uneasy.

Despite leading a Chaos warband, I made no attempt to make him chaotic.  The red scheme and the age of the figure ties him in enough.

clyro-burns-take-1

A burning sensation in your palm – classic symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome.

He initially had grey hair, but it looked bad. Too much like Saruman still.  To remedy this I sculpted over his bald patch, and repainted his hair fiery orange.  One of the nice things about figures so old is my own limited sculpted talent doesn’t look as out of place as it would on a laser-crisp modern miniature.

I finished the figure with bone-coloured flames on his robes.  I was hesitant initially as he had flames popping out of his hand – I thought both 2D and 3D flames together would be confusing.  But keeping them a flat colour rather than the blended highlights of the Tzeentch-fire, and putting them in bone rather than a orange colour, keeps it obvious what’s meant to be real and what’s meant to be pattern.

Clyro Burns and Familiar

Clyro Burns, looking a little like Donald Sutherland in Kelly’s Heroes.

There he is, Clyro Burns, alongside his 1980s Chaos warband.

I call them “Burns’ Knights”.

Sorry.

HeroQuest Quest – Chaos Warrior II

A quickfire hobby challenge for the Scale Creep Peeps:

  • Paint a charmingly basic model from HeroQuest
  • nO cRaZy CoNvErSiOnS
  • Replacing the sausagey rectangle base is encouraged.

I picked a Chaos Warrior. To the 7-year-old boy learning words from game components, but not pronunciations: a “Chouse” Warrior.

Curis enjoying HeroQuest

“Hoots mon!  There’s a chouse louse about this house!”

Theottovonbismark has already shown off Slambo and the 4E plastic Chouse … ahem … Chaos Warrior.  Here’s the HeroQuest dude alongside Battlemasters and Legend of Zagor Chaos dudes, for no reason other than to showcase the breadth of my vintage Chaos.

Gorefist the Destroyer and the Champions of Chouse

Prejudiced against gorefs, means he’s a gorefist.

Otto’s updating of this old plastic has freehand and a jazzy base.  My version is painted so tamely in comparison. I’ve gone for the red-and-metal scheme which you might think is a homage to the original HeroQuest art, but is really so he ties into my 1980s Chaos Warband. Being a 1989er *I think* he is actually the newest miniature.   Everything is relative.

1980s Chaos Warriors“Oi, HeroQuest, you’re so young I bet you don’t remember POGs!”

After modern-style crisp highlighting you start to realise the limitations of the miniature – a combination of 1989 plastic technology and 27 years of man-handling (“manchild-handling”?).  So to hide the dalrymples I painted some textures: sponge-chipping the armour; fluting on the horns; notching the axe blade; and blood-spatter over the finished piece.  I’ve recently become aware that competition painters like different textures on a miniature to provide interest and contrast, and to showcase their skills.

Chouse Warriors texturesJudging by the spatter he dealt a nasty axe wound.

The texture I’m fondest of at the moment is the blood-spats.  After a lot of trial and error with a Blood Bowl team recently I’ve hit upon the following method: load up a tiny brush with your blood-effect paint of choice, put it right in front of your lips, and blow.  You instantly get realistic spines, satellite spatters, cast-off patterns and other terms I’m just regurgitating from a CSI episode.

 Champion of Chaos, Herald the ApocaLIPS (•_•) ( •_•)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■)

Guess this means he’s the Herald of the ApocaLIPS.
(•_•) ( •_•)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■)

That’s all for now! Check out the other miniatures in the HeroQuest Hero Quest.