High Elf Swordmasters of Hoeth (Gary Morley, 1998) (June-It ’18 Finale!)

High Elf Swordmasters of Hoeth (Gary Morley, 1998)

When I first restarted playing miniatures games “properly”, back in September 2013 with the advent of Kings of War, I decided to build two armies that could and would oppose one another, and ideally do them quickly. Those armies were Ogres, and Elves. The Elves would be a mixture of High Elf and Dark Elf and Wood Elf models, and as I built and painted more and more Elves across those three factions for the one force, they would all eventually split off and become their own armies. It seemed from JudgeDoug’s advice that the best list for me to use at that point were the Twilight Kin (Dark Elves). All that was fine, so I got started.

The thing was, I didn’t want my High Elves to look like everyone else’s High Elves. Silver armour with blue trim. It’s a good looking scheme, no doubt, but everyone’s models look like that! Instead, I took inspiration from World of Warcraft (which I was still playing at the time) and their High Elf offshoot, the Blood Elves. I’m not going to go into their convoluted background here, suffice it is to say that they look aesthetically pleasing and also different enough to the standard.

So I did that.

High Elf Swordmasters of Hoeth (Gary Morley, 1998)

I actually smashed through most of the first unit fairly quickly, only stalling out when I got to the command group. I wanted to make the musician look cool, I wondered if I should do something special with the Champion’s cloak, and the standard bearer came with a banner pole that clearly was set up for a pennant-style banner. It’s taken me five years and this challenge to get me to finish them, and even then I tore the first attempt of the banner apart and off the model because it just didn’t work. Foil is fine for standards that hang down, but just does not work for pennants!

High Elf Swordmasters of Hoeth (Gary Morley, 1998)

Since Elves are the finest craftspeople in all the lands in many of our games, I felt that my freehand would not do justice to the fine, fine detail that the pennant needed to be, so it took until recently when I got decal sheets working on my printer to a reasonable quality. And then I had to actually do it. To be blunt, I’m still not happy with the pennant. I feel that it should have a nicer trim, maybe some runes, and any.. OK. I just painted the runes on. Because this figure has been one of the least pleasant models I’ve ever worked on, and I need(ed) to get it to a point where I can look at it and not hate it. Push on through the “wall”, so to speak.

High Elf Swordmasters of Hoeth (Gary Morley, 1998)

So now I’m okay with the standard/pennant bearer. As in, I don’t (well, won’t) immediately aggro up when I see the model (well, give it a week to get to that point). It did take adding the freehand runes tonight to it to get it to that point that I can bear to look at it, but since it was (briefly) finished in time, I’m still going to call it a June-Unit. The three Warhammer-Elven runes, from left-right are Asur, Oriour and Sarathai, so sort-of translate as The Eternal Flame, Blood and Birth, and the World Dragon, fitting in with the Blood Elf racial themes. And also looking alright. I’m still not super-pleased with it, since it should have some edging and trim, but the Blood Elven winged shield didn’t leave much (any) room for edging, and it was all made more complicated by the pennant shape needing to be cut to shape after being glued onto the model.

Awesome Blood Elf iconography by #ransparent on Deviantart

The models here are the 1998 Swordmasters, which replaced the formerly-Marauder Miniatures sculpts from 1991-2. Gary Morley gets a lot of (well-deserved) shit for Nagash (despite the story behind it, see below) and some of the other ham-handed sculpts that he turned out over the years, but this range of High Elves that he worked on are quality figures.

Anyway, this is the last of my June-It units to show. The next three posts will be my personal monthly round-up, my own June-It Round-Up, and the Community June-It Round-Up. Apologies to all involved that it’s taken so long, but RL has been pretty full-on this last week and kept pushing me back as what I need to get done has taken longer to do than I’d have liked (and turned out to be more work to boot!)

The Nagash Story:

The webpage I first read about it has been lost to time, but I found a transcript buried in a forum thread about unrelated models, so copypasta time! This is quoted as being Gary’s own words. Obviously I have no way to confirm this 100%, but here it is…

…. the story on the Nagash, model… is this; 

It was my first big Multi-part mini I had ever attempted. and it certainly 
went through many versions in sculpting. (In those days concept drawing 
were very sketchy and I had very little input.) But only one version ever made it to the 
moulds. However, there are two head versions the original head was based 
on the design that i was given, a more Zombie looking type. And that was the one 
that my design manager and I (at the time) prefered. But at that time all miniatures 
had to be approved not only by the design studio, but also by the sales management. 

This is where it came un-stuck! They did’nt like it, and prefered to have a Skull,…? 
Much to my dislike. Now because of release dates and schedules I had one day to put it ‘right’. So preffering the original I went ahead and made the alternative. Now, I never thought for one moment thought that they would approve the (laughing clown) skull and would revert back to the original. 
The Joke back-fired. And to my horror it was approved and they released it! 

Throughout my time at GW I know i made some sculpts that I was not that happy with. 
But, Nagash has been the one model that Haunted me all through my time there. 
(AND IT STILL DOES!) 
And vowed that I would re-make before I left. However, that was never to be. 

I am working on my own version but will prolly not see the light of day until next year. Stands approx 70mm tall and will be cast in around 20 parts. 

Blood Bowl was my favorite game at GW. Shame they never wanted to push it further. I would have love to have seen a Necromunder version. 

Celtos: Fir Bolg Skeleton Archers (June-It ’18)

Three years ago I ordered a big bunch of “Fir Bolg” Skeletons from Brigade Models that were originally produced and still sold for the “Celtos” skirmish miniatures wargame. They arrived a couple of weeks later, in Mid-June – and have only gotten around to painting the last of them this year. So three years from order arrival to completion. That’s actually pretty good for me! These models are actually the third “set” that I got from them. The first once I painted were done in August 2015,  a unit of “Warscythes” to use in Kings of War followed in March 2016 with a whole lot of Spears (one large unit, or two small units) and then finally is September another dozen of them armed with sickles and shields.

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Archers

By the time I got to the end of 2016, I was well and truly over painting undead, as I’d churned out at least one unit per month for Marouda’s Undead Army and also my own Gondor Army. (You can see all the half-painted Nazgûl in that pic as well as some of the half-painted named Nazgûl filling out the numbers!)

But… we haven’t played KoW for ages now. Not for a couple of years after a period of pretty regular play. Got to get back to that, of course. But need to clean up the War Room a bit more first since there’s so much shit in there that I can’t even fully lay a mat down on the table right now. So these guys sat idle until I had a few days away from home for work at the start of this year, so I took them with me along with a few paints and started work on them. Before putting them away to one side when I got back. Until now. June. June-It.

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Archers

And now they’re done. 16 models. 2 units of 8 models to count-as two “troop” formations in KoW, or just 16 skeleton archers for AoS or whatever other game. I’ll have to find my cut MDF bases at some stage and blu-tac them down, but for now, they’re good enough. The two troop leaders are the standard hero models that have both had a hand removed and replaced with a bow-hand from the old Citadel Skeleton Army box. A last-minute modification but one that I think works with them being archer units.

I’ve retaken the blurry mess that was the original header photo, and replaced it so I could finally post these models up – chalk up another two units for June-It! And there’s still one more to come… (yes, there was a spray varnish backlog caused by our cold weather).

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.

The Black Rider – Citadel Miniatures Mounted Witch King of Angmar

Citadel Miniatures Mounted Witch King of Angmar, Nazgul, Nazgûl

The Black Rider flung back his hood, and behold! he had a kingly crown; and yet upon no head visible was it set. The red fires shone between it and the mantled shoulders vast and dark. From a mouth unseen there came a deadly laughter.
Old fool!” he said. “Old fool! This is my hour. Do you not know Death when you see it? Die now and curse in vain!” And with that he lifted high his sword and flames ran down the blade.
– Gandalf’s encounter with The Witch-King of Angmar in The Return of the King, The Siege of Gondor
Citadel Miniatures Mounted Witch King of Angmar, Nazgul, Nazgûl
This model of The Witch King was one of the many that sat around half-painted for a measure of years before finally seeing completion at the end of one of my occasional bouts of focused “Just finish that effing thing!” a couple of months ago. With the chaos that has been happening lately, it took sometime to be photographed, and time again before being cropped, and now, finally posted. These were actually the photos I was working on when I noticed the hard drive beginning to fail a couple of weeks ago, as they weren’t saving first time and easily.
Citadel Miniatures Mounted Witch King of Angmar, Nazgul, Nazgûl
 As with the others that I’ve painted previously, I’ve taken some liberties – the Witch-King’s steed here is dark brown rather than black, and I’ve also added the beaten copper to the horse’s icon, both in an attempt to add some visual interest to what could have been a more accurate, but far more boring paint job. Similarly, I’ve used weathering powders mixed with matte varnish to add a dirty effect to the bottom hem of his robes.
Citadel Miniatures Mounted Witch King of Angmar, Nazgul, Nazgûl
This leaves me with 5 more “basic” mounted Nazgûl to paint in order to represent The Nine in games of SBG and whatnot, though naturally, I have a couple of mounted extras – because that happens when you buy large collections on eBay, plus the foot versions, and a fell beast or two, and also most (all?) of the “Named Character” versions of the Nazgûl that Games Workshop came out with late in the SBG’s pre-Hobbit life, because BUY THESE MODELS. To be fair, though, they’re overall a nice batch of models and as any regular reader of this blog knows by now, owning unnecessary models is kinda my thing.
Citadel Miniatures Mounted Witch King of Angmar, Nazgul, Nazgûl
 Obviously, this rather proud king has uses in any official LotR games, particularly the Strategy Battle Game, but he’ll also serve in the Undead Army for Kings of War (as a Vampire Lord) until such a time as my Mordor Army has sufficient figures painted to be up and running independently of the rather generic Undead force. (His not-quite-finished self can be seen in those pics, too!)
Citadel Miniatures Mounted Witch King of Angmar, Nazgul, Nazgûl

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…

 

 

Harad Abrakhân Guard

Harad Abrakhân Guard, Harad Abrakhan Guard, Haradrim, Sounthrons, Lord of the Rings, Citadel

“He wondered what the man’s name was and where he came from; and if he was really evil of heart, or what lies or threats had led him on the long march from his home; and if he would not really rather have stayed there in peace…”
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Book 4 Ch. 3 “Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit”

Harad Abrakhân Guard, Harad Abrakhan Guard, Haradrim, Sounthrons, Lord of the Rings, Citadel

Harad Abrakhân Guard, Harad Abrakhan Guard, Haradrim, Sounthrons, Lord of the Rings, Citadel

Amongst my many projects that are theoretically on the go at any given time are usually a bunch of “one at a time”-type things, where I have randomly gotten enthusiastic about a model or even a unit from an army that I haven’t really even begun on, and started painting them. These Harad Abrakhân Guard are an example of that. They took me about 6 months, on and off to get painted – mostly because I’m easily distracted and small amounts of indecision on how to paint an accoutrement can result in literally months of delay before getting back to a model.

Harad Abrakhân Guard, Harad Abrakhan Guard, Haradrim, Sounthrons, Lord of the Rings, Citadel

Harad Abrakhân Guard, Harad Abrakhan Guard, Haradrim, Sounthrons, Lord of the Rings, Citadel

The colour scheme was pretty simple. I wanted to avoid the purple and turquoise seen in GW’s scheme entirely, and instead go for black with a splash of bright red on the sash. I think black keffiyeh/shemaghs always look sharp, so again, that was a no-brainer for me. A bit of gold retained for bling, and the clothing looks pretty good. I painted the flesh tones in a light brown tone, similar to people of Lebanese and Jordanian descent that I work with, since unlike GW until just a couple of years ago, I don’t think everyone in the world has caucasian skin pigmentation. My Tallarn (if I ever finish them) have similar skin colouration to my Haradrim. (I get the TE Lawrence/SAS reference, but I prefer the Bedouin one for them.)

As with a lot of the LotR metal range, these figures do suffer a bit from GW’s “three poses only!” policy, but mixed together in a unit they still manage to look decent.

Finally, the Kings of War-oriented unit shots. Until I get a lot more Haradrim painted – which won’t be anytime soon – these guys will get shoved into one KoW force or another as a unit of some sort of elite humans who hit hard but have light armour. I may also be able to use them as proxies for something in games of SAGA – Crescent and the Cross. Honestly, I haven’t looked hard at that since I’ve got very little Crusade-Era stuff painted right now.

But hey – these guys are done, and I think they turned out pretty well, so it’s all good!

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!