Wight King with Baleful Tomb Blade

After a week of not being able to find my camera, and therefore given the option of using my newish phone for photos (sorry, Samsung, you’re not quite there yet) instead, and also not quite sure what I had taken in the last batch, I’ve found it last night!

This fine fellow is Citadel’s Wight King with Baleful Tomb Blade, originally released a few years ago as part of the Vampire Counts line, he survived the transition to Age of Sigmar pretty much intact, now being a part of the Deathrattle sub-faction faction of the Death Grand Alliance. Or to those of us who don’t much care about all of that, he’s a cool looking Wight model. Like, I’m not a guy who hates AoS. The system is fine, and the models are as great as ever (generally!) but the background doesn’t do much for me, so I mostly ignore it.

This lord has an impressive cloak. I don’t usually highlight strong colours to white or near-white, especially when using colours as opposed to shades of grey, but this cloak seemed to warrant it as a rare example.

He’s based on a 40mm resin base from Back-to-Base-ix. In retrospect, I think he’d “fit” much better on a 32mm, but he’s been mounted and part-painted since before 32mm based were a thing, and I wanted the resin base to elevate him to more of a hero status. I’ve also used round bases on my fantasy models for aesthetic reasons since long before AoS was a thing, and since heroes in KoW don’t have a facing, I saw no reason to consider changing. The crimson flowers and grass tie him in with the other heroes in the Undead army.

The only strong colour on this model is really the red, with the sword having a blueish tint that marks it as a magical blade, rather than simply an old, corroded one. Perhaps it glows blue when Orc-kind are nearby?

Another Trio of Citadel WHFB Dwarven Giant Slayers (1993-4)

Another trio of early-90’s Slayers today. Not a lot to write about these guys as we’ve seen others of their ilk before quite a few times by now. These three have been painted with paler, more faded – slightly pastel even rather than “natural” – hair.

A couple of different tones of blue for the stripey trousers, but both wearing the traditional style. Once again, I think the tattoos turned out well.

I really need to get the final batch of these guys stripped so I can start painting them. I’ve still got the commanders to complete, as well as a small selection of LE figures from Citadel and metals from other sources like AoW and Mantic. And then there’s the plastics. And the Fyreslayers…

 

 

The Berserker Dwarf of Fire Canyon #1 and #2 (Russian Alternative)

Russian Alternative - The Berserker Dwarf of Fire Canyon #1Russian Alternative - The Berserker Dwarf of Fire Canyon #1

Back in April, I reviewed a pair of Russian Alternative’s Fire Canyon Berserker Dwarfs – essentially Chaos Dwarf Slayers. At the time I was very happy with the sculpts and their quality. Recently, I managed to finish off painting that pair, and so I present them to you today.

The palette I’ve chosen to use is influenced both by previous Chaos Dwarfs – as I’ll explain – and also GW’s Dwarf Slayers with a few tweaks, as I want them to be immediately recognisable as a mutation of the Slayer Cult, while also being distinct in their own right. So I’ve gone for deep red hair and beards rather than orangey-ginger. The tattoos on these Berserkers are in a different, angular style rather than the rounded, Maori/Tribal/Celtic style of my Slayers, and the colour used is a deep turquoise/sea green (Vallejo Panzer Colours “Periscopes”) rather than the deep blues used on the Slayers.

Russian Alternative - The Berserker Dwarf of Fire Canyon #1

Russian Alternative - The Berserker Dwarf of Fire Canyon #1

Similarly, both the Berserkers’ weapons and their bling are done in a cold brass, shaded with a hint of green rather than the warmer tones I use on the Slayers. The green is carried across to their pants, as I decided that going for stripey trousers was just too close, and too jaunty for Chaos Dwarfs. I could have gone for other patterns, triangles or whatnot, but again – I decided against it on these guys. Simple, grim and functional.

NOT MY WORK! – Khazek Doomlord painted by Qiao Zhong

While the Chaos Dwarfs of the past few decades have had very much an “official” scheme of Red, Black and Brass, I have a strong and influential memory of a Model from the old Chaos Dwarf Renegades box, released in 1986, that has stuck with me. Specifically Khazek Doomlord, in his deep green armour. I can’t locate the decent-quality ‘eavy Metal White Dwarf pic right now, and the SoL image is unfortunately poor quality, but Qiao Zhong’s modern interpretation of the original scheme shows the overall “feel” pretty well.

The original really has stuck with me through all these years, and was echoed in my Chaos Ogre that I painted a couple of years ago (link to be inserted after I fix those posts), and the vision I have for my Chaos Dwarf army is one that will incorporate both the red/black/brass of modern Chaos Dwarfs and the red/green/brass typified by Khazek.

Russian Alternative - The Berserker Dwarf of Fire Canyon #2

Russian Alternative - The Berserker Dwarf of Fire Canyon #2

The second of the two Berserker Dwarfs of Fire Canyon is painted in pretty much the same scheme as his fellow. With his more “open” back, there was space to go a little further with his tattoos, which, as with his fellow, are a mixture of the various dwarven runes conveniently compiled over at Chaos Dwarf Online.

Basing was done with GW’s “Martian” basing paints, and slate painted dark grey/black to represent obsidian. I felt that the parched grass was needed to add a little bit of additional contrast in texture. The skulls on both figures provide interest, and also direction when they get used as champions in our games of Gorechosen.

L-R: Warhammer Quest Slayer, Daemonslayer, Fire Canyon #2, Skull Pass Warrior, Fire Canyon #1, Giant Slayer.

To finish up, a scale shot comparing them to some of the most appropriate and one of the most common figures from the Dwarf range. Unfortunately, I only have one other Chaos Dwarf painted, and he’s one that dates from that Renegades boxed set, so he’s useless for modern scale pics. I’ve been slowly working on this pair alongside my regular dwarf Slayers, as it seemed the easiest way to do it. Unfortunately, I appear to have misplaced the box with the unit of regular Bersekers – as well as their awesome looking trolls, both of which I intended to review and then paint next. D’oh!

Edit – Found ’em! WOOT!

Marauder MM16 Dwarf Slayers – Group Shot!

Marauder Miniatures MM16 Dwarf Slayers, Oldhammer

Following up on the group shots I’ve been doing of some of my models recently, here’s one of the Marauder Miniatures Dwarf Slayers that I’ve painted. I think they come up nicely as a group, actually, despite the goofiness that some of them have. I’ll do another group shot of the Citadel Giant Slayers sometime down the line – after I’ve finished all of them, so don’t hold your breath for it right now…

Here’s the full range on release, which I am missing three models from. Of course, there’s also a variation on one of these guys, plus a scattered few from other Marauder Ranges, and then an expanded but separate range of MM Troll Slayers. While I’d really like to get the missing three (and every other Citadel and Marauder Slayer model that I don’t own), I’m not going to kill myself over it, instead I’ll keep an eye out on eBay for them at reasonable prices. Wish me luck!

The most striking thing to me from these two side-by-side pictures is that my models come up pretty nicely against the “official” ones here. Not too shabby. 🙂

Oldhammer Marauder MM65 Empire Flagellants as Adeptus Ministorum Priests

Oldhammer Empire Flagellants as Adeptus Ministorum Priests, Marauder MM65 Empire Flagellants

This pair was (as so often happens) part-painted for a good decade or more before I finally forced myself to complete them earlier this year. Originally these were Marauder Miniatures’ Empire Flagellant figures, and I might potentially use them as such one day, but due to their robed, completely mental nature, I co-opted them years ago to be Preachers alongside my Imperial Guard squads, in a previous edition of Warhammer 40k. I didn’t feel a pressing need to convert them or glue laspistols to their hips, as I felt they passed muster for the Ecclesiarchy simply by looking batshit insane.Oldhammer Empire Flagellants as Adeptus Ministorum Priests, Marauder MM65 Empire Flagellants

They’re far from the first of my models to feature these flame patterns on their clothing. It originated with my Legion of the Damned models, worked its way to my Necromunda Cawdor and Redemptionists (which I’ll also get around to showing sometime) and then to my official Imperial Preacher models, finally jumping over to these guys. They look demented enough that I’d also consider them part of my not-properly-participating contribution to Heresy of Us’ The Chapel project.

Review: Urbanmatz’ 6’x4′ Dirty Roads Game Mat.

Warning, Pic HEAVY! – Also, most pics can be clicked for larger versions.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat

Here’s the last of the first batch of my gaming mat reviews of Urbanmatz‘ products from the Czech Republic. The Dirty Roads 6’x4′.

I’ve got a bunch of Deep Cut Studios and Gamemat.eu products that I’ve also purchased that I will be photographing and writing reviews for shortly as well. But today we’re looking at the Dirty Roads.

Oldhammer Zoat

Often when I buy something from a company, there’s a “key” item that acts as an anchor for other stuff you then add-on. In the case of my Urbanmatz order, it was this mat. After seeing several photographs of it online, I was sold. The overall colours and theme matches my bases once again, as the Urbanmatz Badlands mat did.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat

As with the other mats I’ve gotten from Urbanmatz, the design is printed onto neoprene (mouse pad material) and is once again quite nice. This time, the game I’m using to showcase the mat is an Age of Sigmar clash between Dwarves and Ogres, set in an unnamed Old World city (because I can use the ruleset without the background!) We were trying out the rules, so it’s an actual game rather than a mockup.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat, Age of Sigmar

We made a bunch of mistakes, mostly due to not quite understanding all of the nuances and not reading warscrolls properly. I’ll put a lot of that down to the rules. Well, not the actual rules, but man-idiot Kirby’s insistence to the designers that everything fit on four pages in total. I’m all for streamlined rulesets, but 4 pages is a bit much (or not enough!) I’m looking forward to trying out 40k 8th with 12 pages of core rules.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat, Age of Sigmar

One thing that can’t be argued is that we had a good looking game of toy soldiers. While I consider the quality of my models and terrain to be pretty solid, quite honestly the mat really does add to it. And no, I’m not paid to say this and didn’t get a discount – if I were offered one I’d certainly  accept it – as I accepted the stained Snow Territory 6’x4′ mat, but I’d also state it upfront in my reviews, as I did there.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat, Age of Sigmar

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat, Age of Sigmar

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat, Age of Sigmar

I didn’t set up a full 40k mock battle, nor any historical skirmish games because it literally takes hours to get out all of the stuff, set it up, photograph it and take it away for photos, but the actual AoS game being played on it shows it’s versatilty pretty well, along with those scale shots. I think this mat works very well for a variety of genres and a variety of scales. I could easily use this mat for 40k and it’s derivatives, Fantasy Battles/9th Age/Kings of War with fewer buildings, Age of Sigmar and other more densely built up fantasy skirmish like Mordheim and Frostgrave (if you play outside of the snow!) or Malifaux (in a sectioned-off area, or the smaller versions). It also works across period and scale quite nicely, as demonstrated by the below set of photos, so 20mm games such as Flames of War/Team Yankee/Crossfire will work as well as Bolt Action or SAGA with Romans or SAGA with Crusaders.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Based on its similarity with the “Badlands” design and colouration for the non-road sections, I’ve also found that it works both with “forest” and “jungle” foliage when I was playing around with my scenery, so once again that’s a positive.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Once again, the mat came in it’s own, labelled bag at no additional cost, which is good. Until this one, I really liked these bags. Unfortunately, the zipper turned out to be faulty on me as I was putting the mat away after reviewing it. I’ve got it back in awkwardly by not drawing the zip to the end, which is awkward. Since this was only the third or forth time I’d had the thing out of its bag, I found this really disappointing. I’ll let them know about it, and update with their response.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Verdict: I’ve said this before, but this mat is very much what I wanted it to be. As I’ve mentioned, it was the “key” design that motivated me to buy this batch of mats from Urbanmatz, and I’m very happy with the final product, as I was with their service. I’m considering buying another batch of mats in the near future (another 4 or so). I figure that while I’ll have spent a fair bit on game mats in 2017, I’ll then be set for the rest of my life, assuming that the neoprene lasts!

Two more 4th Edition Dwarven Giant Slayers (1993-4)

Having finished the last of the Marauder Slayers the other day, we move to another pair of the Citadel Giant Slayers.

Citadel Giant Slayers 1993-1994

This pair has gotten a slightly more natural shade of orange for their hair than many of the others. Whether they used a different dye or theirs has simply washed out somewhat, when mixed into the units, they’ll help to offer some variance while still maintaining the visual coherency with the others.

Citadel Giant Slayers 1993-1994

As with the last half-dozen or so slayers that I’ve finished, I’ve attempted to again vary the stripey trouser just slightly from the neverending run of identical blue stripes. Clearly not by a lot, but again it’s simply about adding a little bit of variation into the unit so they still look like a unit but not entirely homogenised and uniform. They’re not a freshly-raised unit of Napoleonic Chasseurs, after all.

Citadel Giant Slayers 1993-1994

I’m quite pleased with how the tattoos came out on this pair as well. That’s one thing that this project has really helped me with. Well, two. I can now paint many variations of orange-to-ginger hair pretty much with my eyes closed. I’ll have some command guys photographed and posted hopefully within a few days, and then I need to start getting some group shots of the Slayers (and Vikings, and others) taken and posted!