Shardwrack Spines: January Terrain 2019

Games Workshop Citadel Death World Forest Terrain Shardwrack Spines

Inspiration-credit for the models in this post goes entirely to Thomas, from High Times on the Eastern Fringe. When GW released their (apparently now discontinued as a standalone set) Shardwrack Spines kit a couple of years ago, my reaction was somewhere between indifference and thinking that they were a bit shit. Over time, I saw a few that looked decent through to good, such as the ones on Sho3box’ blog. Even then, though – I still had no interest in the kit.

Games Workshop Citadel Death World Forest Terrain Shardwrack Spines

Then I saw Thomas’ ones. And all of that changed. I thought his made what I thought was basically a shitty kit look pretty fucking amazing, to be quite blunt. Not too much later, he posted up a tutorial on how he did them, and the wheels started turning. A little while later, I bought two boxes, and then did nothing with them for a year or more. Last year (2018) I got started with the spray cans, but then got delayed for months because I didn’t want to buy two or three pots of Rakarth Flesh to do the drybrushing. Later, the Killzone: Death World Forest box came out with a few more, so I picked that kit up and then got the new ones up to the same point.

Games Workshop Citadel Death World Forest Terrain Shardwrack Spines

After we had some time, Marouda did a Bunnings run for me and matched a close-enough square of Rakarth Flesh into a sample pot of house paint, a couple of tubes of craft paint (white and when normals call “cream” and we hobbyists call “bone”) and then last week, I finally got it going – with Thomas’ instructions as my guide on the PC screen – and a couple of days later, we were done!

Clearly, these are really only of much use for Sci-Fi and Fantasy gaming rather than Historicals or more grounded gaming, but I’m good with that. In closing – thank you once again to Thomas – because of you, I now have a solidly decent-sized set of very spiky terrain. If anyone stabs themselves badly while gaming with them, I’ll be blaming you for that, too!

Shieldwolf “Mountain Orc Hero B” – Savage Orc Boss

Shieldwolf "Mountain Orc Hero B" - Savage Orc Boss

Today’s model is (was?) my first completed model of 2019. It’s a model I’ve had for a few years now. Bearing the evocative name of “Mountain Orc Hero B” – it was actually a bonus from my Pre-Order of their plastic Mountain Orc boxed set (Not-Savage Orcs, basically) back in 2014. I started it not too longer after I got it, but then I wasn’t happy with the scheme I’d started, so as a result it just sat around for a couple of years. I later restarted it, with a more traditional Orcish flesh tone, but it didn’t get much further than simply (re) base-coating the flesh.

So a couple of months ago, I tried to paint this and a few other greenskins for Orctober, and while I got some Goblinoids done, I also didn’t manage to finish a whole bunch more, including this guy. I tried again for Diabolical December, but again due to all of the things that went on last month – no dice. I put a small amount of work in on NYE, and ended up getting onto him properly on New Years’ Day – getting him completed.

Shieldwolf "Mountain Orc Hero B" - Savage Orc Boss

From the first time I saw the “new” Savage Orcs in White Dwarf, back in 1992 with their blue woad-half-facepaint, and their red faces, and their white faces, I had an idea on how they’d look much, much better. Later, when I ended up with a bunch of them myself, I kept this idea in my head, and now, in Twenty Eigh… Nineteen, I’ve finally painted one of them using that scheme. That scheme of course, being warpaint and bodypaint inspired by the traditional designs of Indigenous Australians, or Australian Aborigines.

Shieldwolf "Mountain Orc Hero B" - Savage Orc Boss

Why? Well, for one thing, I’ve never, ever seen anyone use their designs as a basis for anything on wargames miniatures. Secondly, I’m Australian, so it seems appropriate to represent in a fashion on some (more) of my models beyond my Imperial Guard. Thirdly, and this ties in with the first point to an extent, it looks unique and rather good on the model(s), just as I’d envisioned over 20 years ago.

Shieldwolf "Mountain Orc Hero B" - Savage Orc Boss

The model itself is a nice display piece, but unfortunately alarmingly impractical for gaming purposes. I had to pin him to get him onto the base, and those thin, thin resin ankles make me wince when I look at him. He came with a 25mm square base, because Not-WHFB, but I put him on a 40mm round base instead since those weapons extend WAY out to a ridiculous degree, so it feels like bumping him on a table, or even looking at him funny will snap his fragile looking limbs or weapons right off! Ouch!

Well, that’s today’s model and post sorted. In the next few days I’ll have a couple of other little things that just missed Diabolical December and were instead finally completed on January 2nd, and then I’ll try to get my personal December wrap-up done for Saturday’s post.

Dauntless/Diabolical December 2018: Personal Round-Up

So here we are. The night of January 9th, 2019 and I’ve finally taken the photos of my December stuff.

Not quite what I’d hoped to get done, but not too bad, considering how December turned out. In the middle of my final week of work, the week before Christmas, just when the torrent of craziness of work had finally subsided (like, literally, the day before), I was at the front door in the morning, literally leaving to go to my Physio appointment, and then to work when I got the call that my father has suffered a stroke and the ambos were on their way there. I literally wrote literally too many times there, but fuck it.

Long story short, the stroke(s) weren’t huge, he spent a couple of weeks in hospital, including Christmas. We brought him BBQ and had Christmas Lunch in a Hospital courtyard. Not the best Christmas, but also not the worst I’ve had, either. He showed a good attitude, did the exercises they gave him like a madman, recovered the use of his arm very well, and we were able to take him home just before New Year’s. He’s still not 100%, and Marouda and I are around there constantly bringing him food and doing all the little things, but after how last year turned out, this isn’t nearly as bad as it could have been.

Still, that took a lot of time, and even once things had settled with the Nurses looking after him as he started to recover giving me a chance to stress a bit less, there was still a lot less hobby time, as you’d appreciate. Daily visits across town are real timesinks in travel time alone. So my blogging and catching up on people’s blogs has obviously suffered, but I’ll catch up as best I can, when I can. I didn’t write about it at the time and just carried on as best I could here because the last thing I’m interested in is a pity party – especially after talking about how shitty the last few months have been a few times. So now that things are mostly okay and we’re past that stage, I’m not fussed. I’ve also been really busy in these opening weeks of the new year besides all of that which has delayed this post (and the Community Round-Up for December), but I’ll talk about that in a future post.

So under the circumstances, I think this has been an okay number of models overall. It works out to 12 or 13 figures including the APC depending whether I count the removable crewman as an extra, as well as 29 pieces of scatter. So that’s 41 or 42 for the month. The 3 Uruks are included in the photos, because they missed their Orctober pic.

I was up to 536 at the end of November, so adding these 41/42 to the total, plus the 3 Uruks, I’m brought to 580 completed models for 2018. Or 581.

Here’s what I managed to complete for the actual December challenge in the end. Not nearly as many Dauntless and Diabolical heroes as I’d hoped and planned, but not too bad, either. Some of the ones who didn’t make December  will be turning up in the next few days and weeks. I’ve already got a backlog of new shit to post up, because even though I haven’t been posting and my commenting and replies have been limited, I’ve still been painting.

I’ll try to get the December Round-up done by this coming weekend. That’s only halfway through January, so it’s still okay, right? I’ll also have a 2018 reflection-roundup once I find all 580/1 models, set them up together on a table, take the photos, and write the actual post. So basically, after I’ve had time to do the whole bloody lot.

Minotaurs Space Marines – Librarian Theophanes (Chief Librarian Tigurius V1, 1995): Dauntless December ’18

Minotaurs Space Marines - Librarian, Chief Librarian Tigurius V1, 1995

My final model for the month of December – and as such, of 2018 is this model of Chief Librarian Tigurius, sculpted by Jes Goodwin. As I had a spare, I decided to do a minimal amount of work and use him for my Minotaurs Librarian. A tiny little brass-etch Minotaur over the top of the Ultramarines “U” icon in the middle of his chest, and we’re golden.

Minotaurs Space Marines - Librarian, Chief Librarian Tigurius V1, 1995

He’s a pretty busy model, absolutely covered with bling, but a great one nonetheless. I also think he’s a far superior sculpt to the completely unnecessary resculpt that came later on. I can only guess that the resculpt happened because models of this vintage were often quite flat, and “2D” in their posing. While the newer one isn’t objectively bad, it doesn’t really appeal to me. No matter, I’m sure it’ll be replaced by a plastic Primaris-ised version sometime soon.

Minotaurs Space Marines - Librarian, Chief Librarian Tigurius V1, 1995

In terms of paint, I’ve never been fond of Ultramarines Blue as a Librarian designation, despite not having a problem with White for Apothecaries/Medics, Black for Chaplains or even Red for Techmarines. With this in mind, I still gave a nod to the blue by combining my usual Minotaurs Brassy Bronze with some metallic blue on both pauldrons and his left arm. There’s a golden Minotaurs decal on that shoulder that no-one will ever see, too.

Minotaurs Space Marines - Librarian, Chief Librarian Tigurius V1, 1995

Aside from that, I kept to the usual elements. Mostly using silver and iron for (most of) the skull iconography, but using metallic green rather than blue for his Force Staff. I also did the “glowing eyes” thing using white and Nihilakh Oxide. Freehand Lambdas/Chevrons on his tabard because they fill the empty space in a way that looks good and because I can.

Minotaurs Space Marines - Librarian, Chief Librarian Tigurius V1, 1995, Minotaurs Space Marine Terminators

December (finally) brings reinforcements to the Minotaurs Space Marines.

And with that, 2018’s new models come to and end. To wrap up, expect my personal December wrap-up shortly, followed by the Community Round-Up for Diabolical/Dauntless December, and then a 2018 wrap-up/reflection/”New Year”/2019 goals post sometime after that. Probably around the middle of January at the rate I seem to get these things done!

Space Marine “Warriors of the Imperium” (1992-3): Dauntless December ’18

Space Marine "Warriors of the Imperium" (1992-3)

This model was built and painted originally over 20 years ago, when the “new” Mk7 Space Marines had their first multipart plastic kit released in 1992-3 or so following the metal Space Marine Strike Force (and long before the more familiar multipart kit from the 40k 3rd edition Starter box. It was known as “Warriors of the Imperium”

Space Marine "Warriors of the Imperium" (1992-3)

Anyway, I saw a converted model, essentially the same model – either in White Dwarf or converted by someone local. The original version had a metal head used, and possibly a metal torso and legs, but featured the same kind of converted skull-backpack, pointing finger and a broadly similar head. I made mine from the the aforementioned plastic marine kit, along with a plastic Imperial Guard head, and the skulls were taken from HeroQuest decorative Skulls, cut down and modified to become power armour vents.

Space Marine "Warriors of the Imperium" (1992-3)

What this guy is exactly, I couldn’t tell you. It kind of feels like a distant ancestor to the Deathwatch, and certainly GW of the day would slap different names onto random marines like Doom Eagle, or even as captions in White Dwarf, so it’s entirely possible that there was some relationship there. I (briefly) considered replacing the left arm and/or pauldron blinging him out as a modern DW marine, but I think he works better simply rebased on a 32mm, and with the rest of him as a kind of restored time capsule. I did tone down his bright yellow Bolt Pistol, though!

Space Marine "Warriors of the Imperium" (1992-3)

Since he’s a (late) Rogue Trader-era model, he also qualifies as “Oldhammer”, though not original-era RT. As for the current edition, he doesn’t really fit in well as anything. No matter, I can always use him to proxy as some kind of low-level hero. Perhaps a Lieutenant. I guess that makes him Dauntless!

There’s now only one more model to complete my December output – see you in about 24 hours for December’s exciting conclusion!

Castle Ravenloft D&D Flesh Golem & Oldhammer Skeleton “Hellblade” – Diabolical December ’18 meats Deadcember.

Oldhammer Undead Skeleton Hellblade Undead Chariot Crew, D&D Dungeons and Dragons Castle Ravenloft Flesh Golem

Recently, I was reading one of Alex’ posts over at Leadbaloony where he noted that he was going to try and paint up something for Deadcember. (Though nothing in months for these challenges anymore.. sniff 😢). Anyway, I decided to see what Deadcember actually was. Or is. I mean, I can guess, but it’s always good to have a proper look around. It seems to be predominantly a weightlifting thing, where weight enthusiasts do a lot of deadlifting …but a few google ranks down, also a painting challenge that has run for several years, though I couldn’t really find a central “hub” for it, despite a few blogs participating over the last couple of years along with mentions/threads over on Lead Adventure and the Oldhammer forums.

Oldhammer Undead Skeleton Hellblade Undead Chariot Crew

Hooray! Exclaimed Hellblade the Skellington.

Oldhammer Undead Skeleton Hellblade Undead Chariot Crew

So simple then, from what I saw. Paint some undead. As it happened most conveniently, I had this skellington on my desk. Known as “Hellblade”, and originally one of the five interchangeable crew from the classic metal Undead Chariot. He had been sitting around, part painted and unloved for some time. Years in fact. I know I rebased him a few years ago, and there had been some repainting involved. So yesterday I re-repainted his bone cloaks into the red of the current Undead Army, did all of the necessary highlighting to his bones and black robes, and then hit the shield with some freehanding, and he was done. So after an hour or two, easy as that, a model that had sat around ignored for literally years was done. This is why I started doing these challenges, and also why I’ll try to tack on anyone else’s challenges that I happen to see that aren’t those “start-to-finish” ones that just leave me with more half-painted figures.

D&D Dungeons and Dragons Castle Ravenloft Flesh Golem

D&D Dungeons and Dragons Castle Ravenloft Flesh Golem

So, with Mister Hellblade the Skellington done, I looked around the table for something else that was achievable. The Flesh Golem was there. That bloody Flesh Golem from the Castle Ravenloft D&D boardgame that Marouda, Pyro and Orez played through back in 2012-3 or so, which is why I’ve (badly) sculpted flagstones onto his base. Yeah, he’s been sitting around for a long time, too. Mediocre story short, I also knuckled down and got him completed as well. Done.

This isn’t the last of 2018’s models to show. There’s still a couple more to go, but they shall have to hit the page in the opening days of next year!

And on that note, as it’s getting to the business end of New Year’s Evening here, I wish you all the best for the remains of 2018, and the best for 2019. I’ll see you on the other side!

Realm of Chaos – Be’Lakor the Dark Master: The First Daemon Prince – Diabolical December ’18

Be'Lakor the Dark Master: The First Daemon Prince

Finally, Be’Lakor, the Dark Master is complete. I originally started this figure just over three years ago, as part of the original Painting December, which was a personal challenge that became the genesis for our monthly painting challenges. It’s been a rather epic battle to get up the motivation to complete him, due to all the tons of little fiddly bits, and basically, negative inertia towards the model. This is why the challenges exist. To motivate me to get models like this one completed. I based him on the rolled-edge 50mm round base, as a regular 60mm base seemed much too large, while the regular 50mm base seemed a bit.. I dunno. Boring? I didn’t have any official GW 50mm bases at the time (that I could find), so I only had those alternative ones that are a mm or two shorter. I also mounted him up on some cork to increase his height and make him look a little more imposing.

Be'Lakor the Dark Master: The First Daemon Prince

Be'Lakor the Dark Master: The First Daemon Prince

Be'Lakor the Dark Master: The First Daemon Prince

Be'Lakor the Dark Master: The First Daemon Prince

His colour scheme is different to the “official” GW one. It was inspired by a google search I did when trying to figure out how to paint him. It may have been inspired by Noridicus‘ paint scheme, over at Heresy-Online, but given that he talks about how he’s also seen this sort of scheme used, it might have been one of the models that inspired him that also inspired me. I dunno. I know that Nordicus’ model looks great, and I think my rendition also looks pretty good as well.

Be'Lakor the Dark Master: The First Daemon Prince

Finally, I thought a scale shot would be in order, as without it many of these larger models seem to be much smaller than they actually are – so here he is alongside those two bastions of model scale, a Space Marine and a Primaris Space Marine! So, in the end it took three years to get him painted. I’m not sure that it’s been worth the wait, but I’m very definitely happy to have gotten him completed finally!

…now there’s one model left from that original Painting December trio. The Marauder Giant, an otherwise wonderful model with a stupid patchwork tunic. There’s no way he’ll be completed for Dauntess/Diabolical December, but perhaps as a centrepiece model for January?