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).

Realm of Chaos – Nurgle’s Children 2018 #14: Plague Toads (Forge World) (June-It ’18)

Forge World Nurgle Daemon Plague Toads

Back to the Nurgle Daemons today. It’s been awhile, I know, but these three have been a slow march, mostly because other stuff keeps taking their spot in the queue. Now, finally though – it’s their turn to shine! Or glisten.

Forge World Nurgle Daemon Plague Toads

I’ve actually had these Forge World resin models for years now, but like so much in my collection, they were bought because I wanted them to eventually paint up for [army] and then they just sat there. Since this year I’ve been doing the Nurgle Daemon thing, they finally got their time. I still have a bunch of other metal Nurgle mobs to paint up before I allow myself to start on the plastics, but I’m allowing resin models to be painted thoughout.

Forge World Nurgle Daemon Plague Toads

There’s not really a great deal to write about these things. They’re pretty nifty in the current edition of 40k, and I assume quite nasty in AoS as well, though I honestly haven’t looked up their stats there yet. I’d have had these posted up earlier, but we’ve had an entire day and a half of rainstorms and occasional thunderstorms here, along with quite cold weather – which has meant a rather unsuitable climate for spraying. As we move into midwinter, that will of course only get worse, so I foresee a more sporadic posting schedule to come – where it will only be every few days (or on the weekends) I can manage to spray new models, so we’ll have “dead air” here on the blog while I wait for a suitable day and completed models pile up, followed by a mass of photos once I’ve had a spray day that gives me a backlog of stuff to spray.

Forge World Nurgle Daemon Plague Toads

Depending on how that goes, I might end up doing some more “thought” pieces, like finishing that post about paints that sits half-finished in my drafts folder, or some painting tutorials (provided I can remember to take the photos. I still need to do one on iron/metal, and I’ve been thinking of documenting how I paint Isengard Uruk-Hai and their skin. Provided I start painting the bloody things!

Here’s the usual size comparison shot, showing how they stack up to a couple of friends and a couple of foes.

They’re pretty nice models, all in all – at least in that messed-up Nurgle way. They’ve also got a pretty impressive stature to them, and are quite a bit bigger than I’d expected when I first ordered them, oh so many years ago.

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.

Citadel Chaos Beastmen Gors (Michael Perry, 1995-6)

Chaos Chaos Beastmen Gors (Michael Perry, 1995-6) Citadel Miniatures Warhammer Fantasy

Regular readers will know that I’m a bit of an Oldhammerer, and I’ve got a decent collection of the original Realm of Chaos models, including beastmen of the chaos dieties, and even some of the Beastman Champions of Chaos models.

As much as I love those older models (many sculpted by Jes Goodwin), my favourite series of Beastmen that were sculpted in a consistent manner are Michael Perry’s line of goat-headed models, initially sculpted and released in the mid-1990’s. These models were later specified as “Gors”, and joined by Ungors, Bestigors, Centigors and so on – as they became the template of all non-specifically-aligned beastmen in Warhammer lore right up to current times. While the recent return of Tzaangor were a welcome release, and we await Khorngor and Slaangor (and wonder what happened to the anticipated Pestigor), these have become the archetypical Games Workshop Beastmen – and yes, they’re still pretty much Broo in their heritage and lineage.

Chaos Chaos Beastmen Gors (Michael Perry, 1995-6) Citadel Miniatures Warhammer Fantasy

Shields are taken from the later, plastic line of beastmen. I like those models a lot as well, though not as much as these earlier metals. Their shields, however are perfect for these and convey a nice, wild and feral feel much more effectively than the standard plastic shields of the day.

If it were next month, these three would count as Neglected Models. I don’t remember when I started them, or even why. But April has been a tough month for painting motivation, and I’ve not gotten a whole lot done. Certainly nothing like I’d planned. I’ve assembled a bunch of smaller models, rather than something especially large and impressive – and worse – nothing that I really want to show off or share here on the blog in their current states. So turning to a few older models still sitting on the desk and getting them complete has at least given me the chance to feel a little bit productive.

Rogue Idol of Gork (or possibly Mork): Forge World/Warhammer Forge (Monster March ’18)

Rogue Idol of Gork (or possibly Mork): Forge World

Here’s my final entry for the Monster March painting challenge being run by Swordmaster over at Path of an Outcast. As I noted yesterday when I posted up the giant Burrower, I had to shelve the idea of getting that Dracoliche and Bone Giant finished this month when I got sick, and so turned to a pair of models that didn’t need quite as much finesse to paint. The first was of course the Borrower, that I shared a couple of days ago. That one was painted start-to-finish, by virtue of being a rather simple model.

Rogue Idol of Gork (or possibly Mork): Forge World

This one, while equally a big bastard, is actually a lot more complex. Or to put it another way, allows for more of a complex paint job, while still keeping it rather simple. You could easily get away with a straightforward spray black/grey and drybrush the hell out of the thing, and end up with a decent looking model. I tried that initially, but it didn’t do it for me. Or more precisely, I didn’t think it was appropriate for this model – for me, anyway. More on that a little later.

Rogue Idol of Gork (or possibly Mork): Forge World

I originally picked this thing up several years ago with a thought to using it in Kings of War, using a “Giant” Profile or some such and running it alongside my Orcs. As such, I’d planned to give it a square base and so forth. I actually started to paint it in December, with a thought to using it as a personal “Stretch Goal” for Painting Decembuary, but given how December turned out, it didn’t get finished, and then just sat around for a couple of months, occasionally having a bit more done to it before I put it aside again. I had it based on a large oval base at one point, as I think that’s how the reissued version from Forge World comes, but I wasn’t entirely sure at the time, and so ordered a bunch of large bases from Reaper. When they arrived in April, I wrenched him off the oval and glued him down to the large circle, and it slowly took shape from there.

Rogue Idol of Gork (or possibly Mork): Forge World

On not wanting to keep the paint simple, I have a rationale – See, this model is a great big expensive chunk of Forge World resin. If I’m going to (yeah, foolishly) pay that sort of money for a single model, then I want to make sure I’m really doing it justice. There are a whole lot of glyphs carved onto the model. Some of the original studio paintjobs pretty much ignore them, but the current Forge World paintjob overdoes the colourfulness of the model, if not the glyphs. With this in mind, I painted them with thinned-down transparent paints from Warcolors, and finished them later by drybrushing my top-layer stone colour over them to make them stand out a little less and give them an old, worn look.

Rogue Idol of Gork (or possibly Mork): Forge World

After all of the rock painting was done, it was time to sort out the sculpted-on moss. I really hate sculpted-on moss. It tends to look shitty if painted. (The moss on the new Forge World studio example is positively glowing). So you’re left with pretending that it’s stone and ignoring it, painting it green and trying to ignore how bad it looks, or trying to do something with it by covering it – which is what I’ve done before and attempted again here. I’m not 100% sure if it’s the right choice, but it looks better to me than the other two options (that happened to be stages on the path to this.) Now he looks a bit like Moss Man from Masters of the Universe. So… hrm. So yeah, I wish they would skip the sculpted-on moss.

Rogue Idol of Gork (or possibly Mork): Forge World

The plan was to post this guy up yesterday, but it was close to midnight when I got the last of the flock onto him, as it took several applications. The stuff then had to dry, and, well, you get the idea. Easier to let it dry properly and then post him up in the morning. In the end, thanks to this painting challenge, I’ve gotten motivated enough to finally finish this model, giving me a second large beastie worthy of the moniker “Monster March”. There aren’t really any easy 40k stats for him (maybe a Greater Daemon without wings or spells?) but he’ll be usable in both Kings of War and Age of Sigmar. Right when I get around to playing either of them again.

Realm of Chaos – Nurgle’s Children 2018 #11: Scotia Grendel Dungeon Crawler & Devout Tormented

Scotia Grendel Dungeon Crawler & Chronopia Devout Tormented

Time for some March Posts, finally! This pair of model has been showcased before when I first completed them – the Leech in October 2014 and the Tormented in July 2015. The leech is one of three figures from the Scotia Grendel Dungeon Crawlers kit that I picked up bout 15-20 years ago. The big dude is probably unfamiliar to most readers, being a Devout Tormented from the Chronopia line of the mid-late 1990’s. Chronopia was essentially Heartbreaker’s take on Fantasy Skirmish following on from the Success of WarZone. It came in a two-pack with a resin-metal demon-centaur… thing that had some awful connection points.

Scotia Grendel Dungeon Crawler & Chronopia Devout Tormented

Originally the leech had no specific purpose aside from getting the thing painted. You know the sort of thing – generic D&D-ish monster for RPGs and narrative miniatures gaming and such that never actually gets used. The Tormented was originally to be a Daemon Prince in the first version of my Nurgle Chaos Cult force, that I sorta created based on some 3rd-4th edition rules (Lost & the Damned). In the current force the leech will be a Beast of Nurgle (I don’t care that the model’s physical profile is radically different – just compare the GW Beast models over the years!) and the Tormented will make a decent Chaos Spawn – in profile/stats at least. Think of him as a Daemon Prince that’s failed Papa Nurgle in the worst way and has been cursed to continue serving his Patron in such a state. You might have thought Khorne would be more appropriate – but just look at that horn. He’s gotta be Nurglesque! And the viscera fits as well.

My first take on a Nurgle Cult force.

While neither of these models has an outstanding paintjob or anything, I’m happy enough with what they are – a pair of decent looking older models that have had the smallest amount of touch-up, and have been rebased onto higher-lipped bases with some rocks and tufts added to them in order to make both figures fit in better with the Nurgle Daemon force – so they now both have a home.

That’s good enough for me!