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 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. 

From the Painting Desk #4 – Gorillas, Elves, Zombies and Scenery

So with the paint enthusiasm seemingly on the go right now – for another couple of days at least – here’s the stuff I’m working on right now. You’ll notice that those bloody Mantic Ogre Shooters have been temporarily put to the side. The lack of pleasure I was getting from painting them certainly affected my enthusiasm, so I figure a short break from them should help me come back to them somewhat refreshed in a little while. Once those six are finished, I’ll be able to start on the FUN Ogre stuff! Or the Chariots. Those are less fun.

Axis Gorillaz (feat. Damon Albarn)

Anyway, finishing the DUST Zombies recently got the next few boxes of DUST stuff opened – Axis Gorillas! That’s another three boxes disposed of (cleaned up!)

Swordmasters of Hoeth WIP on a temporary regiment base.

My recent games of Kings of War (BetRep to follow sometime in the next week, hopefully-maybe, caused me to start on a unit of Swordmasters of Hoeth, which I guess would be Palace Guard in the KoW Elf army, but is standing in for Twilight Kin Darksome Guard right now. Whatever. They’re Elves! The best part of these (so far) is that they were completely unpainted just a week ago. At the glacial pace I paint, getting to this point is pretty amazing. The basing has set me back 2 or 3 days, since it’s slow, unfun and tedious. (Hi, Cash!)

Basing almost complete. Then crests and boots!

I’m painting them up a little different to other High Elf armies I’ve seen. I’ve had a small collection of unpainted WFB High Elves for 15-18 years, but never had the enthusiasm or a reason to paint them. Ever since The Burning Crusade was released for World of Warcraft, I knew how I wanted to (eventually) paint my High Elves – as Blood Elves rather then the typical White/Blue/Silver with Gold & Red accents most HE armies are painted in. So I’m going Red/Yellow/Gold with Silver and Green accents. It’s giving them a nice autumnal feel, as well as regal & rich – though obviously the colours are highly saturated.


Next up we have some zombies from WarZone, circa the early 1990’s. These would have been purchased during the file sale phase after WarZone 2nd Ed managed to kill our local enthusiasm for the game, and Heartbreaker started to crash and burn. I never actually played Dark Legion, but regardless was willing to pick up a couple of blisters (I’m guessing 2 or 3, since I have 10 figures here?) on closeout. I basecoated the flesh on these about 8(?) months ago when I started assembling my Studion Miniatures IGG KS figures, but like so many projects over the years, (Ogre Shooters!) they got shoved to the side. The initial plan was to use Army Painted dip on them (and the others) but since the DUST Zombies went together just fine and quick using the AP washes, I’m going in that direction with these instead. They have more details and individuality than the DUST figures – and lots more exposed skin, bone and viscera, but I’m still hoping to have them finished in a couple of days. Again, these are more likely to see the tabletop in 40k working alongside Typhus then a WarZone game, but painted is painted, and they can work across several games.

Some DUST Campaigns

Also inspired by wanting to clean stuff up, I decided to unbox these two of my DUST campaign box expansions. Seelowe because of the Character-model Gorilla inside (who you can see above in the background of the Gorilla pic), and Icarus for the Quonset huts, which I figured I could paint reasonably quickly. All of the rest of the contents got shovelled into the DUST Core box set.

Quonset Huts from DUST.

Considering that these have only been out of their box for about 14 hours, (including my sleep overnight) they’re not doing too badly. Hoping to finish them today, and varnish overnight/tomorrow. I might even buy some more, since they’re good looking, cheap and effective!

And that’s it for this quick WIP post. I’ll update again when some of it is finished!

Happy Holidays, You Bastard

So I’ve taken the name of this update from one of Blink-182’s classier little ditties, though it has less to do with the song and more to do with an upcoming project I’ve set myself for my two-week break from work. (Though if you decide to YouTube that song, be advised that it’s very much NSFW!)

The Plan is to paint up a fully functioning army to use in Mantic Games’ Kings of War. I’ve had the makings of a good half-dozen or more fantasy armies for many years now, stashed away inside various boxes and figure cases. All never likely to see the light of day in between not having really properly played Warhammer Fantasy Battle with any regularity since 3rd Edition and my general misanthropy when it comes to going out to clubs or FLGS to look for games.

With the advent of Kings of War, which is apparently fast, elegant and easy to learn, and some online battle reports like this, my interest in Fantasy Battles, with Armies has been reawakened. I have to say, while I’m not usually a fan of Battle Reports (WD has put me off over the years) there was just something about the combination of old-school, DIY, fully painted and a little bit rough around the edges of the pics in this report that really reminded me of WHFB 3rd ed. Not the Mantic rules (which I admit, I still haven’t read), but the feel. Mixed figures, paintjobs other than the stale GW studio armies. Real people’s work (which is one thing I always preferred to see in WD).

So anyway. With the help of my mate, JudgeDoug of DakkaDakka and Mantic Forums fame, I’ve decided to dedicate all of my hobby time during my two and a half weeks off to cleaning off all the random stuff from my painting desk. He’s kindly agreed to write up the army lists based on what I have available, and I’ll take care of the rest.

My Painting Desk. Last week. Also, today.

But it’s not just going to be 2 weeks of solid painting. I’m sure we’ll also go out for meals, play computer, board and console games, have friends over, sleep in, take my mum to the Zoo, watch TV, DVDs and BluRays, fix the back fence, mow the lawn, clean up the garage a little more, and… Maybe I’ll go out until 5am and update my tumblr, too! well, you get the drift! So while I’m hoping to get a lot done, who knows how this will turn out?

With bases, because I’ve always liked them more for aesthetic reasons, I’ll be giving everything 25mm round bases rather than the 20mm squares that are traditional for both Warhammer and Kings of War. This is because:

1)      I’ve always preferred Round bases and have never especially liked square ones.

2)      After more than a decade of not playing WFB, I figure the “just in case I want to use them in Warhammer” excuse to not paint them because I’d rather use rounds has expired.

3)      I do like those games based on books about Rings. You know the ones. They use both round bases and also round-slot movement trays to drop them into.

4)      I’ll use those trays.

5)      If need be, the fantasy figures can do double-duty in those games about Rings. Even if they don’t look exactly like what WETA produced.

Since I’ll most likely be using these figures in friendly games in my own home, everything will be based consistently, and so there’ll be no “advantage” to one side over another based on unit base size. Besides, I be playing for teh funz0rz.

The contestant(s) for this challenge will be a Kings of War “Elf” army, made up of Citadel’s High Elves (and maybe a few Wood and Dark Elves as well).

The Elves. Now.
Well, a lot of them, anyway…

In the unlikely event that the Elves actually get finished, I’ll then be starting phase 2, which will be the second contestant – an Ogre army, made up of my very old-school Citadel models, some Ogre Kingdoms models, and the metric shitload of Mantic’s own Ogres that we have coming as a result of the Kickstarter – which are (hopefully!) due to arrive anytime now, and hopefully before the holidays begin.

The Ogres should have a much smaller (I hope) model count, and with the already finished figures thrown in, as well as how much I enjoy painting the big old brutes, should also be achievable – at least theoretically.

So in short, I’m going to put aside all the random crap on my painting desk, and the painting ADHD that I have in order to focus for a short, specific time, and hopefully have something tangible to show off and even use(!) at the end of it.

While I’m going to wait until next Wednesday night (18th September) before I allow myself to start painting, I figure I’ll allow myself to assemble, base and prime figures before the date.