Ruined Watchtower: January Terrain 2019

Not a GW kit for a change, today’s terrain piece is a ruined watchtower. I can’t tell you who produced it, though – as I picked it up quite a few years ago now in a job lot with a whole lot of other bits and pieces.

Speaking of pieces, it was in several until I finally assembled the thing earlier this month, with this month’s challenge and the good spraying weather finally motivating me to finally get the thing done!

It went together simply, if not easily – with some drilling and clipping needed to get the pieces together. The different segments don’t fit together perfectly, but they’re close enough so that it can be difficult to notice.

Once again, the sheen from several layers of varnish combined with a lot of lights belies the more matte appearance that it has in person. It looks almost like flowing mud here! What can I say? My lighting options for larger pieces are pretty shithouse! It’s kinda hard to see, but I’ve attempted to have the orientation of the grass on the tufts “flow” with he contours of the model, as the whole thing has a pretty windswept look to it.

That big section where it looks like it’s fit together extraordinarily badly is part of the sculpt – it’s intentional – rather than being the result of my terrible modelling skills. I’ve mounted it on an inexpensive wooden teapot stand to give it a nice sturdy base, and rather than trying to bevel it to the ground or try to paint the edges in an awkward (to me) brown so it “fits in better” with my table surfaces, I just went full fuggit and gave it a similar black rim as I do with many of my bases. I did roughly sculpt some simple flagstones in the ground, giving the indication of a small path that may or may not continue on the battlefield surface.

The scale of this model seems a bit smaller than most “heroic” scale models. Here we have it with a few Heroes of Men from the LotR range, with their slightly smaller scale showing the sizing. True historical models would be a touch smaller yet, so would fit in even more nicely with the tower. I also thought our friend The Imperfect Modeller would appreciate how close this almost gets to a proper diorama! I’d just need an appropriate figure to put in Gandalf’s place there, and a pin to hold them there on!

FInally, as a point of contrast, I thought a couple of more modern-scale AoS Bloodbound figures (ok, one is at least 50% Shieldwolf) would be a nice counter to the above – as you can see, it’s still very much usable for Fantasy of pretty much any stripe. And the number of times that Space Marines have fought their foes over terrain that resembles Terra’s ancient medieval castles must be beyond count!

Balewind Vortex: January Terrain 2019

Warhammer Fantasy Battle Age of Sigmar Balewind Vortex

Originally released as part of a larger kit towards the final days of WHFB, alongside the Magewrath Throne (that used to sit atop a stack of giant skulls), the two have now been split into smaller kits, and the throne has lost it’s skull-riser. More on that in another post, later.

Warhammer Fantasy Battle Age of Sigmar Balewind Vortex

The Balewind Vortex is a simple terrain kit, coming in only 4 pieces. Base, Top and a two-part whirlwind. Or balewind, I guess.

Warhammer Fantasy Battle Age of Sigmar Balewind Vortex

Having been fairly indifferent to the concept of The Winds of Magic since they were first introduced in that White Dwarf article, I was happy to basically copy the current box art. I quite like the greenish-shaded off-white look that GW has been using for much of it’s undead since the Return of the King’s Army of the Dead introduced the overall scheme and effect.

Warhammer Fantasy Battle Age of Sigmar Balewind Vortex

Slightly embarrassingly, it seems that I ordered another one of these things a couple of weeks ago, before starting on this one, which has just arrived. I don’t know if I’ll be able to care enough about it to give it a yellow-red gradient like the one in the original Warhammer promo box, though – I’ll worry about my options there later!

Necromunda Scenery, Scotia Grendel Hatches – and a random bit of Resin Terrain (MechaNovember ’18)

Necromunda 2018 Sump Monster, Oldhammer Necromunda Escher, Scotia grendel 10040 - Sci-Fi Accessories Hatches, Necromunda Terrain, Kill-Team Scenery

This post is dedicated to (or blamed on) fellow Blogger, Wudugast and his recent terrain post Take Cover Part 3. Deep down on his post are a pair of hatches that are clearly from some sort of Necromunda-friendly kit. When I saw those, my “that would be quick and easy” sense perked up. I do like scenery bits that can be done simply like that.

Scotia Grendel 10040 - Sci-Fi Accessories Hatches, Necromunda Terrain, Kill-Team Scenery

But then it turned out that they’re from a set that I don’t yet own Citadel Ryza Ruins set.

Scotia Grendel 10040 - Sci-Fi Accessories Hatches, Necromunda Terrain, Kill-Team Scenery

But then I remembered that I have these – like the crates I posted a couple of days ago, I picked this set up in the 1990’s and have done literally nothing with them since. So I grabbed them out and painted them up. Naturally, they’re still available from Scotia Grendel. Funny thing was that the crates I finished a few days ago were in the same storage box that these hatches were in, and it was when I got these out that I got the crates out. Painted them after the hatches, but before the other stuff in this post was done. And three hatches hardly warrants a post, so they had to wait.

Actually, let’s take a quick aside now – I do now finally know what colour to paint the floors which was one of the reasons they’ve sat untouched for two decades – my custom Necromunda Blue mix. What about the lockers? Military Green? Bright Red? Muted Blue? Plain (weathered) Iron? I should probably try to get the rest of these painted in the next couple of months…

Necromunda 2018 Sump Monster

Almost last but not least, the sump-monster which lies in wait for unwary gangers. Another pair of models that got clipped, assembled and painted straight from seeing Wudugast’s post – I really liked his pale and sickly looking renditions of these tentacles, so I did something similar, though using a deep turquoise and an ivory with a slight yellowish tinge. They don’t look great in these photos, admittedly – they’ve come up a bit too stark here – not sure if the shiny gloss varnish on them is helping a lot with that, to be honest. The pic at the top looks a lot more true to how they look in hand.

Necromunda Terrain, Kill-Team Scenery

Finally, there’s this thing. I’m not exactly sure what it is, or who made it. I got it with a whole lot of other secondhand stuff back in the 1990’s. I suspect that it was originally some homemade terrain that was cast, as it doesn’t have the fine detail of the other pieces I have from the same era, like the various Grendel pieces, or some of the other random bits I have that date back to the same period.

Necromunda Terrain, Kill-Team Scenery

It was also cast in a pretty horrible yellow resin. As you can see, there’s quite a few holes and bubbles on the thing. Some of the black paint I’d spray-primed it with back int he day had even flaked off. It does look very much like a homemade piece, though – cobbled together from various household items in an interesting manner. I think that’s a highlighter pen lid on the side.

Necromunda Terrain, Kill-Team Scenery

Anyway, I sprayed it with a beaten dark metal Krylon spray, drybrushed the thing in dark metallics, added my Necromunda Blue around the base, then considered adding some coloured metals and calling it a day – but then I had the bright idea of deciding to use it as an experimental piece for some of my GW scenery that I need to get working on properly. So it was time to break out the Vallejo Model Colour Iraqui Sand and Pale Sand, get chipping with Metal Black and Plate Mail Metal, get rusty with Rust Wash and get dirty and streaky with Dirt Brown Wash. The chipping medium that I added was a complete failure, as you can see. Or can’t see. I guess if I don’t mention it, you won’t know I tried to use it – but then, that’s what experimental pieces are for!

Necromunda Terrain, Kill-Team Scenery

A few decals before the weathering, heavier damage where there were more bubbles and miscast resin bits, and another piece of terrain that’s been sitting around here for literally two decades is finally ready for the table. Better yet, a badly cast piece that seemed to flake the paint appears to be stable (thank you, Krylon!) and will now look quite decent on the tabletop. Sure, it still ain’t pretty. It’s still ugly. Could I do better with it? Sure – but I have better things to spend my time on than this badly-cast thing, so it’s very much “good enough”.

What’s this piece got to do with Wudugast? I spotted it sitting on a table as I moved from one place to another while varnishing the hatches – and because I’ve been doing scenery – thought: “I should paint that fucking thing.” So I did.

Scotia Grendel Resin Crates (and some other Resin Crates)

Scotia Grendel 10007 - Resin Crates, Warzone Crates.

A bunch of crates today. One thing that my self-imposed “minimum 1 model per day, per month” this year has really helped along is getting various bits of scatter terrain done.

Scotia Grendel 10007 - Resin Crates

Four of these definitely come from some duplicated Grendel (now Scotia Grendel) sets that I got back in the mid-1990s. The other ones were painted a long, long time ago. Hm. I see a couple of spots where I missed on the washes. Thanks photos! I’ll fix those shortly.

Scotia Grendel 10007 - Resin Crates

The way I painted these and got the various subtle and more obvious variations in the wood colours was pretty easy. Paint them in various shades of brown, as well as some in grey and ochre (and mixes of grey and brown for a few – because unsealed wood slowly goes grey). Then they were all drybrushed with a bone shade, then washed with a 1:1 mix of Army Painter Dark Tone and Lahmian Medium. The end result is pretty good. They look realistic enough for the effort put in. Not actually realistic (they’d be much duller, the shaded areas wouldn’t pop like they do here) but we really don’t go for true realism for the most part in this hobby – more a kind of hyper-realism most of the time.

Scotia Grendel 10007 - Resin Crates, Warzone Crates.

These next four pieces are from a set I picked up later on, though still in the 1990’s. I suspect that they may have been from a WarZone-branded resin terrain set, since there were a limited few of those, and I did pick up a few of those back in the say. I need to un-photobucket that post, so marking it out here will help me to remember.

Scotia Grendel 10007 - Resin Crates, Warzone Crates.

Those resin sets did come in the exact same packaging as the generic Grendel terrain pieces back in the day, just with a different card backing. I can’t find any sign of them online of course – they seem to have largely disappeared – as have many hobby things from the early days of internet.

Scotia Grendel 10007 - Resin Crates, Warzone Crates.

In the end, these boxes end up looking pretty good once completed. They can be used in quite a variety of games, pretty much anything from Warhammer Fantasy & Fantasy Role-Playing to the Colonial period through to 40k and Sci-Fi games. A couple of The Emperor’s finest and a pair of Zombie Hunters provide us with some scale. Probably should have had some Necromunda figures in the photos as well, come to think of it – since crates and barrels always fit into our games quite nicely. I guess the marines work for a Kill Team scale shot.

Citadel Grave Guard – As Kings of War Wights (Neglected Model May ’18)

Citadel Grave Guard 6th Edition Vampire Counts

A (little) bit of a break from WarZone models today, however briefly (I have another two close to finished, so hopefully can get them done and posted over the next two days.)

A couple of years ago, around about September 2014 – I bought a whole bunch of Undead off Nerdfest over on Dakka. Amongst those were a bunch of Spirit Hosts which I rebased individually got got up and done within a day of receiving them. These models… not so much.

Blister photo via eBay.

Part of the Vampire Counts range from the early 2000’s, 2004-05 being the earliest reference I can easily find, they seem to have come in very specific blisters, since I keep finding the same trio when I was looking to find out more details about these models. That makes them models from the 6th Edition, so they could easily date back from as far as 2001, which was when the 6th Edition Warhammer Armies: Vampire Counts book was released.

Citadel Grave Guard 6th Edition Vampire Counts

Anyway, when I got them I thought they were decent models that could be pretty simply painted up. I suggested to Marouda that they’d be good models for her to paint up. She never showed much interest, so I got started on them myself. Of course, I didn’t exactly get them done quickly. I felt that as a trio of models that are quite different to everything else I have in sculpt style, and a re a bit bigger than the norm, I thought they could work well enough as a unit of three Wights in Kings of War. With that in mind, I mounted them on 32mm bases as opposed to the 25mm bases they came with. Wights are (now) on 40mm bases, but I’ll just build them a unit tray-base for KoW with the correct 40x120mm footprint.

Later.

Lord of the Rings Barrow-Wights. Yeah, that “OSL” is incredibly rough, but it was my first ever attempt.

Similarly, their paint scheme was informed by the scheme I used on the other unit of Wights, which is made up of two Lord of the Rings Barrow-Wights and a single Army of the Dead plastic model in the same paint scheme. Spectral blue-green robes (yes, these are more blue-blue-green than the previous set), metal weaponry and armour, and the creature inside looking roughly how they might look that far into their death.

Citadel Grave Guard 6th Edition Vampire Counts

So here, I’ve followed that with the robes, but the leather coifs and cuirass straps looked a bit silly in spectral blue-green, so instead I went with dark grey instead, over other choices like leather browns. Being in that awkward space between the metal armour and the spectral cloth, dark grey-black was good enough to fit in without drawing too much attention to it.

Citadel Grave Guard 6th Edition Vampire Counts

Shields came from a mid-point range of GW’s Chaos Warriors. Following the old-school, Realm of Chaos models with their open-hole shields but before the range went all-plastic. Given the skull-tastic designs on all three, I nicked them out of my shields tub for these undead fellows instead.

Realm of Chaos – Nurgle’s Children 2018 #13: Malifaux Killjoy (Metal Version) as Herald of Nurgle

OK, no pretence here – I picked this model up a few years ago both because it looked like a cool model, and like something that would drop perfectly nicely in with my Nurgle forces. I know that Malifaux is supposed to be a rather excellent skirmish game, but I’ve already got a ton of games I’m not actively playing, so I’m not about to dive down that particular rabbit hole right now.

I figure that this guy fits perfectly well in a Daemonic Nurgle force for either 40k or AoS as a Herald. I’m pretty happy with how well this model turned out. It’s a great sculpt, and I guess that’s the thing that really inspires taking it that bit further. Could I have converted him slightly by sticking a monohorn on top of his head. Sure. Does he need it? I don’t think he does. He’s more of a small Great Unclean One than a large Plague Bearer.

Beyond the use as a Herald in the Warhammer games, he also fits well into the Kings of War Undead army as a Flesh Golem or some such using the Undead Troll stats, or could optionally drop into a Renegades and Heretics 40k force alongside the Bones Flesh Golem as a Renegade Marauder Brute. Along with that, there’s obviously the D&D-ish role-playing options along with potential use as a Zombicide Abomination. Quite a cool model with a lot of versatility.

Cheeseburger the Bear (Reaper Bones 77494: Dire Bear)

Here’s a model that I randomly found in a baggie of Reaper Bones models from one of their Kickstarters. I believe I pulled it out at the same time I found the Carrion Worms, so it’s been sitting around for a couple of months now, having a little bit done to it every so often.

The fur had actually been done for some time, and the model just kept getting shoved out of the way from one spot on the desk to another, until I was doing the basing on another trio of models last weekend, so I grabbed the bear to do it’s base at the same time.

So a couple of days ago I saw it there, and decided to finish it off. A couple of hours later and the fur was finished, claws and muzzle and mouth and eyes painted, matt painted on and some tufts added. Anyone who has played Far Cry 5 will understand why I’ve called this bear Cheeseburger (though it also makes me think of the ROH/NJPW Wrestler).

I’m pretty happy with how Cheeseburger’s face turned out. It’s the first time I’ve painted a realistic Black Bear’s face (albeit on a simple Bones model), and it was quite a bit of fun.

In gaming terms, it’s a pretty flexible model. Obviously there’s a place for it in Roleplaying Games, but also anything scenario based, such as Historicals, Fantasy, even some sci-fi. There’s also potential for use in any army (again, especially Fantasy and Historical) that has animal or beast handlers – even 40k could work here – Dark Eldar/Drukhari Clawed Fiend, anyone?

I’ve only just considered that I could have made an awful pun and titled this post “Bear-ly Legal”, but on second thought while puns like Who Let the Dogs Out, etc are fin and fun, Bear-ly Legal might attract the wrong kind of crowd via searches. 😉

It does remind me of an amusing and wholly-unrelated anecdote that I’ll share here. Back in the mid-90’s when I used to play The Warhams with a regular and fluid group in a store in Melbourne’s CBD, there were a couple of other younger, 20’s guys who were also into wrestling, as I was. One evening we were talking about one particular guy lending me a pair of videotapes that he’d gotten hold of. One called Hardcore Heaven and the other called Barely Legal. We were discussing how good they were supposed to be (I’d heard of them, but not ever seen them). Another guy who overheard the discussion warned us that we needed to “be careful” with stuff like that. After a minute or so, we explained to him that we were talking about a different Hardcore Heaven and Barely Legal than what he thought we were on about. We were of course talking about Extreme Championship Wrestling’s first two PPV events. You’re welcome.

Oh, and here’s a size shot of the Big Guy. Pretty happy with how this one turned out, especially given that it’s a Bones model with soft detail and weird, difficult mould lines. The good news at least is that while both of those do stand out a bit in these oversized photos, they’re not really an issue for the model in hand.