Avatars of War Dwarf Dragon Seeker Berserker Iron Fist (Felix Paniagua) (Jewel of July ’19)

Avatars of War Borg Ironfist, Dwarf Dragon Seeker Berserker, Felix Paniagua, AOWEX01, Troll Slayer, Giant Slayer, Dragon Slayer, Daemon Slayer

So my completed models for this year’s Jewel of July come to a close with this model from Avatars of War. Their Dwarf Berserker range are clearly a series of Not-Slayers, though unlike some stalwart GW defenders, I don’t take umbrage with other companies and artists taking inspiration from models and concepts that have clearly taken inspiraton from many and other sources themselves. AoW have a pretty impressive of pretty amazing quality sculpts from a range of forces, with a clear line of inspiration from a certain fantasy “Old World”, and their new released do continue in that vein – though the crossover with a new Age of S..culpts is still close enough that it would allow their use in most forces of newer games set in a series of Mortal Realms. I got this particular Dwarf Berserker quite some time ago, and it appears from the internets that he was withdrawn and used as a limited edition model, and sadly, no longer appears to be available. A real shame, as he’s a real nice one…

Avatars of War Borg Ironfist, Dwarf Dragon Seeker Berserker, Felix Paniagua, AOWEX01, Troll Slayer, Giant Slayer, Dragon Slayer, Daemon Slayer

I’ve actually got a fair few of their models across several of their ranges, though this might be the first one I’ve actually gotten around to painting – such is my sad backlog. I see this model as saving (one of) the best for last, though. Frankly, it was a reward to myself for finishing so many of the other, difficult paints.

One annoying thing about warpaint and tattoos on models is there are times when you really feel that you’vre properly nailed the highlighting and shading on a model’s musculature.. and then you’re going to cover it all up with their “ink”. This model is an example of that. The left shoulder and arm looked pretty spiffy, so I can only hope that the knotwork dragon was worth it. (Tilt your head to the right and let me know if you can actually see the thing?)

Avatars of War Borg Ironfist, Dwarf Dragon Seeker Berserker, Felix Paniagua, AOWEX01, Troll Slayer, Giant Slayer, Dragon Slayer, Daemon Slayer, Warmonger Miniatures Goblin Warlord, Kev Adams

A Traditional Rivalry, about to play out in a messy manner…

There are still a few more metal “Dwarf Slayers/Berserkers” on my desk. One is an odd one. A metal prototype for a plastic model, perhaps? A beloved character, and a rather quality single model from Mantic. After that, all the remaining Slayers are my other AoW metals, my AoW plastics, a few models from Reaper (if I can find ’em). Maybe something from Russian Alternative (I need to check!) and then it’s Fyreslayer time!

Dwarf Slayers, Troll Slayer, Giant Slayer, Dragon Slayer, Daemon Slayer, Avatars of War Borg Ironfist, Dwarf Dragon Seeker Berserker, Felix Paniagua, AOWEX01, Giant Slayer Standard, Musician

My little “Jewel of July” batch of completed Dwarf Slayers. Oh yeah, this should go without saying, but despite me saying nice words about AoW, this post isn’t sponsored or contra’d or anything’d by Felix or AoW in any way. Models all bought by me (too many fuckin’ years ago) with my own pocket money, etc. 😉

Citadel Dwarf Daemon Slayer II (Aly Morrison, 1993) (Jewel of July ’19)

Citadel Dwarf Daemon Slayer, Aly Morrison, 1993

The penultimate post for both this batch of Dwarven Slayers and my July models (Round-Ups aside). We today have the Dwarf Daemon Slayer, again from 1994, coinciding with the Warhammer Armies: Dwarfs release of 1994 for 4th edition WHFB. I’ve also painted this model before three years ago, but with a second one, what was I to do but put some time between them and get around to painting the second? I mean, if they were plastic, or even a lot less “closed”, I’d have probably tried to convert this second one, but hey, simply painting it will have to do!

Citadel Dwarf Daemon Slayer, Aly Morrison, 1993

Once again this model has sat on the desk for quite a long time. I mean, it’s been there since it’s twin was sat there alongside. And as I just checked to find. that was three years ago. Now off to join his painted brethren he goes…

Citadel Dwarf Dragon Slayer (Aly Morrison, 1993) (Jewel of July ’19)

Citadel WHFB Dragon Slayer, Aly Morrison, 1993

The next one of my little batch of Dwarven Slayers completed for the Jewel of July challenge. This one is a Dragon Slayer, no doubt from the Warhammer Armies: Dwarfs release of 1994 for 4th edition WHFB, when the “Troll Slayer” units from 3rd editon were vastly expanded with the addition of Giant Slayers, as well as Dragon and Daemon Slayer Heroes.

Citadel WHFB Dragon Giant Slayer, Aly Morrison, 1993

Like the others, this one spent quite awhile part-painted, with a little done here and there over the last couple of years before my recent push to get it done and off my damn desk! That’s one more down and one less in the way before I can get to the plastic Slayers.

4th Edition WHFB Night Goblin Cave Squigs and Hunters/Herders (Kev Adams) (1993, 2003?) (Neglected Model June ’19)

Kev Adams Squigs, Squig Herders.

What? Who’s 5 editions behind? No, you’re 5 editions behind! What 26 years late? Speak up, sonny, I can’t hear you!

Kev Adams Squig Herders.

Remember all that discussion on how many models/figures the DAK multibased models count(ed) as? Take a look at these, then! At this point we’ve clearly got 6 complete figures, produced as three models. How many will I count them as? I might do a 3(6) for them. Seems fair enough, I guess. Just look at them, though. Look at the pair in the middle! What’s worse is I’ve still got a set of three to paint. Three bloody gobboes all as one (assembled, but multi-part) model.

Kev Adams Squig Herders.

I based them on rolled-edge 50mm bases because I didn’t want to go with square “horse” bases, 40mm rounds looked too small and 60mm ones looked way too big. I didn’t have any 50mm bases at the time, but regardless, the rolled-edge ones seemed to give the figures a large enough base for the gobbos and their hunting spears while also not too much empty ground.

Aside from that, I’ve had these Herders for quiiiite a long time as alluded to above, and they’ve been slowly worked on and mostly-neglected for so much more than a decade. That gets worse, in it’s own way as well. See those 16 Squigs? Yeah, two of them are from a later release wave, with a different sculpting style – I bought 1 blister of those. The others are elsewhere in the case of the third squig, and not painted in the case of the gobboes, but aside from that…

Kev Adams Squigs

…hese squigs have been properly finished to the point where you see them here since sometime in 2013, and they’ve never been seen on the blog until right now. You see, back in those days, I really didn’t show a model off until the unit it belonged to was completely finished. I’d basically never ever show single models if I thought they should be part of a unit. Just finish the unit, and show them off then! Yes, they’ve been done for 5 years but I haven’t shown them at all. At this point, I think you can see the flaw in that little system…

Kev Adams Squigs

If it were a “complete some units” month, they’d all count as part of the completed units (I’ve just shoved them all together up top), though not as models completed this year. Because they weren’t. So having said that, the Squigs don’t count towards the month’s total, nor do they get to be in the wrap-up posts nor the year’s-end post. But they do get to see the light of day here, and in this case, it’s enough!

Kev Adams Squigs

Now I just need to figure out where to store them all now that they’re unified and ready to roll! Maybe they can even meet the table as part of an AoS Warcry Gloomspite Gitz force, made up of old-school Night Gobboes?

Ice Elemental (Limited Edition Kickstarter Clear Resin Variant – Mantic Games) (#Monstermarch3 ’19)

Mantic Games Ice Elemental

So here we are – my final set of submissions for Monster March ’19. Sure, technically, I didn’t finish adding snow flock to them to my satisfaction until a couple of days ago, slightly into April, but them’s the breaks. It certainly was the above challenge that got them out of their zip-lock baggies and into the form you see above and below, even if it went over by a couple of days.

Mantic Games Ice Elemental

The model itself is the Kickstarter-exclusive variant of the model, in clear blue resin. I’m not sure why Mantic doesn’t do them like this as standard, since it’s certainly a lovely looking model in this form (though their studio-painted model looks pretty amazing in its own right!) Paint-wise, I did very little. A careful edge-drybrush on the upper edges of Vallejo Ice Blue, followed by White. In the “eye”, I painted the Blue GW gemstone paint, with a touch of Army Painter Blue wash mixed carefully in, as well as a careful angle for the drying.

Mantic Games Ice Elemental

The rest of it was simply done with Woodland Scenics Snow Effects flock. White base, one layer of Snow Effects mixed in with PVA. The assembled model was then gel superglued down, and after drying, another, more generous layer of PVA/Snow Effects to sink the heavy feet in, along with a couple of footprints behind them both that you obviously can’t see in these photos of white-on-white-on-a-dark-background. Finally, I added some sprinkles of Snow Effects from above in a couple of layers, as my trial of doing so looked better than leaving them “clean”.

That’s (almost) it for Monster March ’19. I’ll have a compilation shot for this challenge tomorrow, with some other thoughts, but these are the final models for that challenge.

D&D Monster Manual 14: Castle Ravenloft Dracoliche (#Monstermarch3 ’19, Gender-Ambiguous March ’19)

D&D Dungeons and Dragons Castle Ravenloft Dracoliche

A bit of a personal triumph(?) of sorts with this post – I’ve finally completed the Dracoliche model from the D&D Castle Ravenloft boardgame, which I purchased in the middle of 2012 and we finished playing in 2013 or perhaps early 2014.

D&D Dungeons and Dragons Castle Ravenloft Dracoliche

I think this may actually be the last of the monster models from that game, as I know I completely ignored the player character models in favour of already-painted better models by GW, Reaper, etc.. It certainly took me long enough to force myself to finish this one. I think the major mental blockage on this one was due to the soft-ish PVC details and the rather plain “all-bone” look.

D&D Dungeons and Dragons Castle Ravenloft Dracoliche

The model is actually pretty decent for a boardgame model, especially one from the early 2010’s, though obviously it doesn’t stand up too well to many HIPS plastics and whatnot. Being mostly bone, it should have been a complete doddle for me to paint, but instead, it’s been a model that’s taken me quite a few years to complete. It took Monster March (yes, again) to get this model finally done now, even though I didn’t manage to complete it last year or the year before…

D&D Dungeons and Dragons Castle Ravenloft Dracoliche

I also built up a gaming base for it, specifically for Kings of War, so I can have it on the round base for various boardgames, or Pathfinder, or AoS, or whatever – or then blu-tac it onto the “army” base for Kings of War. I think I need to add a tuft or some flowers or two to that base, though. The trick was to try and have the simply sculpted flagstones for the Ravenloft boardgame and to fit in with those models, while also giving a nice “tabletop friendly” effect, such as I did on the Ravenloft Golem that I completed relatively recently.

D&D Dungeons and Dragons Castle Ravenloft Dracoliche, Conan Dragon

Something that does amuse me in a rather wry way is how well this undead lizard, released in 2010 scrubs up compared to the Conan “dragon” from 2016 (remember, I had to add the Conan dragon’s base myself!)

Two More Monster March Model Posts to come!

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.