June-Unit: Painting Challenge 2018

We’re now hitting the final seven days of May, which means it’s time to formally flag/remind people about the painting challenge for June. Since I can’t think of any cool alliteration that works with the name “June”, I’m just going with June-Unit. It’s not awesome, but then the models we all get painted are what will make it awesome. Just like it did last time we did this in March.

I’m happy to be a bit looser this time around – the objective is simply to complete a group of models that fit together thematically. This could be a squad or a unit. It could be a gang or a team. It could be a retinue or a bodyguard – with or without their leader. It could be a tank platoon or a trio of Dreadnoughts or a trio of Ninjas. It can be wargame models, boardgame figures, models that fit into a diorama – just use common sense and context and it should be pretty obvious. I think a minimum of three models for a “unit” is fair enough

As always, the biggest distinction between this challenge and ones like Squaduary are that I only care about you completing these units. It’s not a “start-to-finish” challenge set during a single month, so regardless of whether you just missed out on finishing that squad this month, last month, or six months ago – or you’ve got stuff that you’ve been chipping away at for six months – or, indeed – if you’ve got units that have been shelved for months or even years, feel free to dig them out and join in.

Similarly, if you want to go start-to-finish, then feel free to go right ahead. If you have a squad of five figures and two are complete while the other three are bare plastic or metal, that’s fine too. It’s about completing units. The challenge is designed to easily fit into your (and my) painting schedule and be flexible enough to encompass quite a lot, and hopefully just act as a bit of an impetus or inspiration to get this stuff completed.

Once again, I will NOT be posting regular updates over the course of the month on it. I WILL do a round-up of all the participants I’m aware of just after the end of the month, though – so once again – please DO LINK to this post when you finish something that you want counted in the round-up – because I WILL forget your post otherwise.

That’s pretty much it. If you might be interested, you’ve got a week for thinking about it before the challenge starts – though if you’re keen there’s also no reason you can’t be working on your models. Because it’s only about completing models in March! 😉

There’s also no special criteria as to who can or cannot participate. If you’d like to participate, then you can. Simples.

Conan Kickstarter’s Baal-Pteor

Today we have a model from the Conan Kickstarter once again. The model is of a Conan character called Baal Pteor, or on the box, Baal-pteor. (I keep thinking of him as Baal Predator. I wonder if that’s a subtle pun on GW’s part?) He was a paid add-on from the Conan Kickstarter, and cost me ten bucks.

Kickstarter text: “The Strangler” as he is known is a cold blooded murderer. A new leader minion, he comes with his own scenario as well as guidelines for integrating him into others.

I picked this model out of a stack of boxed add-ons to paint entirely because of his appearance – basically a buff dude with a loincloth, bracelets and sandals. Or to put it another way – a simple model to paint as almost the entire thing consists of flesh tones, followed be a chance to discard the giant box that a single tiny model and a couple of cards came packaged in. Now, I pretty much know nothing about Conan. I’ve never read Howard’s novels or stories, and my total experience pretty much amounts to the two Arnie films and the single 2011 film that shares a name with Arnie’s original, and very little else.

So I used the box art as my rough guide to painting. Once I had pretty much finished the flesh, though I went with shaved bald rather than short stubble for the head, I got online to work out what colour(s) to paint his accoutrements. I also stopped to find out who the hell this guy is. Mostly since I wanted to note whether he was a player hero or an “Overlord”-controlled hero.

Alongside my only other painted Conan models. Well, the wolf is one of ten, but you get the idea.

And then I find that he’s “a Kosalan strangler of Yota-pong” who is described as “a black man from the lands of Kush“. Uh. Huh. So where or what is Kush or Kosalan? Wikipedia: Kingdom of Kosala was an ancient Indian kingdom, corresponding roughly in area with the region of Awadh in present-day Uttar Pradesh. Oh, right. Ok, where is that? North-Eastern India. So… I guess from the regional and physical descriptions given, Baal Pteor should be panted as a darker-skinned Indian. I guess it then makes perfect sense that the artwork shows a character that’s clearly European. I’ve heard that the developers were careful to reinterpret various Howard characters so as to appear less racist (though sexism was apparently not a huge problem), though I’m not sure how “giant dude who is stronger than Conan and fights him” is inherently racist regardless of what ethnicity giant dude happens to be. I’m kinda ambivalent to the whole series of arguments either way, but I’d personally rather have painted the character as he’s “supposed” to look. Still, the flesh is all done, and I’m not repainting him now.

Go home, Baal. You’re drunk!

He’s got a bit of a lean to him as well, that I only really noticed once I had cleaned, primed and base coated him. In person it varies between looking like a lean and like part of a swaggering gait. otherwise, I feel that he looks pretty decent, all things considered. I’m happy with the flesh tones and musculature, though he would have been a cool figure to paint with dark skin as well (Bobby Lashley, anyone?) Less happy with how the eyes came out, but as you can see via the Marine comparison pic here, he’s much more truescale than GW figures, and a bit of a weird looking pinhead to boot! Then again, a bit of eyeliner fits in well enough with his pretty coin-fringed loincloth and fabulous bracelets, so who’s to say?

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.

WarZone 1st Edition Cybertronic Chasseur: TG9534PB (Neglected Model May ’18)

WarZone 1st Edition Cybertronic Chasseur: TG9534PB, Heartbreaker Hobbies

Yet another WarZone model today. This one is a 2nd-generation Cybertronic Chasseur resculpt that came out towards the end of 1st edition. The original Cybertronic Chasseurs tended to be bare-chested or singlet-clad bald guys with guns. They were also one of the better-looking factions in terms of models back then (to my eye, at least) and as one of the gaming group of the day elected to run a campaign, and Imperials were already taken (by two other players – who used different aspects of the Imperials – Berets and Trenchers from memory) I went with the Cyber-boys. As they were generally half naked, muscular dudes, and we were in the midst of the nWo era of wrestling at the time (leading into the “Attitude Era”) my Cybertronic (and other) guys ended up with some wrestling influence.

WarZone 1st Edition Cybertronic Chasseur: TG9534PB, Heartbreaker Hobbies

As I had a bunch of the original Chasseurs that I was already using as my Chasseurs when these new Chasseurs came out, I decided to use the new Chasseurs as Chasseur Sergeants. This model being the only one of these that got even this far painted. Then again, I don’t recall my army composition from 20-whatever years ago when this all happened, so…

WarZone 1st Edition Cybertronic Chasseur: TG9534PB, Heartbreaker HobbiesIn any case, I followed the nWo theme, and this model was named “Chono” in honour of Masahiro Chono, a wrestler from New Japan who was a leader of the nWo Japan chapter of the nWo. The model’s pants have the lighting bolts on them in homage to Chono.

WarZone 1st Edition Cybertronic Chasseur: TG9534PB, Heartbreaker Hobbies

As part of my upgrade and update, I’ve added an Iron Warriors icon to his shoulder pauldron, and also marked out the skull on his helmet in a more obvious manner (it was originally black). I also gave him an industrial base to further tie him in with my Iron Warriors and changed his eye lenses from their original red to the cold blue that my IW use. He’ll either be a Traitor Legion Astartes in a stealth-type squad, or a cultist leader. Once again, these models are still available from Prince August. (and nope, I’m not getting any kickbacks for all these plugs – I wish!)

WarZone 1st Edition Imperial Blood Berets HMG Specialist: TG9806PB (Neglected Model May ’18)

WarZone 1st Edition Warzone Imperial Blood Berets HMG Specialist: TG9806PB, Heartbreaker Hobbies

Today we have another WarZone 1st Edition model that I’ve literally just finished up and photographed – an Imperial Blood Berets HMG Specialist. Again, this one is still available from Prince August for anyone interested in picking one up themselves. I started this model back in the 1990’s but never finished it. I actually collected enough figures for an Imperial force in WarZone – both the standard English/British models as well as the Highlanders, but never finished painting any of them or managed to play with them. At least I’ve now finished one of them! I quite enjoyed freehanding the Imperial icon on his shoulder, and adding in a beret badge with paint, using shades to attempt to make it look like an actual sculpted one.

WarZone 1st Edition Warzone Imperial Blood Berets HMG Specialist: TG9806PB, Heartbreaker Hobbies

The reason I picked this one to paint back in the day was simply because I liked the model, but on a related note to that, it got put aside and forgotten as I didn’t have any pressing reason to actually complete it. Not that there was too much to do, but finding him so close to completion last week in the WarZone case led him to getting pulled out, given a new 32mm base and having those last parts of the model completed.

WarZone 1st Edition Warzone Imperial Blood Berets HMG Specialist: TG9806PB, Heartbreaker Hobbies

The armour and scheme is pretty simple, but I’m okay with that. It’s a 20-something year old model that’s been completed after 20 years. The paint is clean but decent – and more importantly, finished – That’s it really, and good enough for me once again. – not too much story behind this one, but it’s another neglected model completed for this month’s challenge. Now that he’s been finished and photographed, he can go back to sitting in limbo. At least until he gets some mates to form a unit for games for some purpose beyond being used in board games like Frag!

WAAAAGH! Pt.13: Keelhaul, Orc Warboss – and his faithful squghound, Muttley. (Neglected Model May ’18)

Brian Nelson, Ork Warboss, Blood Axe, Warhammer 40k, Orks, Squighound

Another pair of Brian Nelson classics here today. These figures are relevant to me for quite a few reasons. More relevant in fact than anything I’ve painted since the initial pair of Celestial Lions last December – and with a personal backstory that goes way beyond then. Firstly, and probably least importantly, they’re another pair of Neglected Models – though I have to credit that particular challenge with being a strong motivation that drove me to get over my mental block on the Warboss and complete him – the very same can be said for the snotlings I completed very recently.

Brian Nelson, Ork Warboss, Blood Axe, Warhammer 40k, Orks,

As I mentioned in the Lions post linked above, I’ve only gotten back to painting the Orks last year, as a tribute to my brother who was the biggest single influence on my life and who is responsible for all of these geek interests. This pair of models mark the final models that were part of that original Ork warband that I was painting when he passed away over 10 years ago that I was only able to start again in on last year. There’s still more to come for the Ork army over time, but that entire first small force is now complete.

Brian Nelson, Ork Warboss, Blood Axe, Warhammer 40k, Orks,

My brother had three pseudonyms that he used over his life. Keelhaul was one that surfaced during his time playing PBM (play-by-mail) games, which were very much a thing before the internets arrived. He kept that one up in various games up until the end, and it fits in well enough with Orks, so this big bad bastard is now Keelhaul. Sure, he doesn’t look like a freebooter, nor does he have a pirate’s tricorne hat, but he’ll still happily keelhaul you using whatever is to hand. With or without water. Squggoth, Wartrukk, Battlewagon, Megatank, Kill-bursta. Moving or not. Doesn’t matter to him. A second dates back to his biker days, and fits perfectly with the Squighound – Muttley. I don’t think I need to say more on that one’s appropriateness.

Brian Nelson, Ork Warboss, Blood Axe, Warhammer 40k, Orks,

In terms of the modelling, I believe I swapped the head out from the original from another Warboss kit. I can’t remember if the cables from his head onto the torso were part of the torso (ie, a head AND torso swap) or if I sculpted them there. They look a bit rough when you get close, so it may well be the latter. I did have a metal “iron gob” from another kit carved and ready to glue in, but I couldn’t find it originally, and now don’t feel like I really need to add it, even if I did find it.

Brian Nelson, Ork Warboss, Blood Axe, Warhammer 40k, Orks,

As far as painting goes, we’ve got the usual camoflague patterns on his clothing, along with the usual dark metal. I decided to “skin” some of the parts that I’ve left as plain metal on the other Orks – speficially his shoulder pads and weapons. I went with the heavily weathered bone colour, since it worked so well with the Nob I painted a little while ago and also fit in well with the whole “desert camo” look of the force. The red lines are something I added to add some structure of sorts to his gear, kinda reflective of the stripes I often give to the weapons on Imperial and Iron Warriors models. Marouda said that it reminded her of a set of skins from a videogame, so there might well be a subconscious influence there as well.

Brian Nelson, Warhammer 40k, Squighound Brian Nelson, Warhammer 40k, Squighound Brian Nelson, Warhammer 40k, Squighound

I actually had the Warboss finished when I suddenly remembered that I originally had this specific Squig as his pet. This led to spending literally half of the day last Sunday looking for it and delayed this post by several days. Once again, Marouda came to the rescue when she got home and she found it in a tub that I’d only looked through about three times already, not seeing it repeatedly. With that, I was able to rebase and then paint Muttley over a couple of days, drawn out further by the cold weather making the spray varnish take forever to dry. I added some blood effects to his maw because he should be a slightly terrifying looking guard “dog” for his master, after all.

Brian Nelson, Ork Warboss, Blood Axe, Warhammer 40k, Orks, Brian Nelson, Ork Warboss, Blood Axe, Warhammer 40k, Orks,

I’ll get photos of the whole force up sometime soon. Hopefully I’ll be able to take some photos this weekend.

WarZone 1st Edition Capitol Sea Lion Hero (Neglected Model May ’18)

WarZone 1st Edition Capitol Sea Lion Hero, Heartbreaker Hobbies

This model is another of my old 1st edition WarZone models. This time a Capitol Sea Lion Hero. Capitol of course being the USA-themed faction. The Sea Lions were… well, SEA Lions. SEA L ions. SEALs. See what they did there? Yeah, GW never had a monopoly on terrible puns for their figures and units. Anyway, speaking of terrible, I was never a fan of several of the ranges, particularly the 1st edition figures. Some of those were reeeeally rough. The Capitol range being one of those. However, mixed in there were a few rough gems. Here’s one of them.

WarZone 1st Edition Capitol Sea Lion Hero, Heartbreaker Hobbies

Basically, despite the gigantic moob-like slabs of beef across his chest, and his American Dad-level chin, this guy is a fun and well-sculpted enough rendition of the “Rambo” trope to have passed muster for me back then, so I picked him up. I don’t believe I got any Sea Lions at all. The idea was for this guy to be an Imperial Guard Catachan-style Captain. Hence the “C” command icons all over him and his gear.

WarZone 1st Edition Capitol Sea Lion Hero, Heartbreaker Hobbies

As you can see, he also sports a nWo Wolfpac logo on his shoulder pauldron. That is of course because I was right into wrestling at the time, and wrestling is a rich source of interesting logos. As far as figure use goes, he still works perfectly well as a Catachan-type Captain, but I could also use him as a pretty decent Sly Marbo. In fact, I think this figure is a better rendition of the character than the original figure, the kitbash-your-own example or even the redux model. Because if you’re unfamiliar with the character – Sly Marbo is Sly Stallone as John Rambo. Remember what I said about terrible puns? Yeap.

WarZone 1st Edition Capitol Sea Lion Hero, Heartbreaker Hobbies

So after a minor touch-up and rebasing, I’m actually in two minds as to whether to leave the figure as is. because respect the original paint. Or to repaint his hair black, the bandanna red, maybe replace the C on his pauldron with a Bullet Club logo and go full Marbo with him. His skin is orange enough, at least! 😉 I don’t actually have a Marbo figure of any kind after all. hmm…

What do you think?