Ruined Watchtower: January Terrain 2019

Not a GW kit for a change, today’s terrain piece is a ruined watchtower. I can’t tell you who produced it, though – as I picked it up quite a few years ago now in a job lot with a whole lot of other bits and pieces.

Speaking of pieces, it was in several until I finally assembled the thing earlier this month, with this month’s challenge and the good spraying weather finally motivating me to finally get the thing done!

It went together simply, if not easily – with some drilling and clipping needed to get the pieces together. The different segments don’t fit together perfectly, but they’re close enough so that it can be difficult to notice.

Once again, the sheen from several layers of varnish combined with a lot of lights belies the more matte appearance that it has in person. It looks almost like flowing mud here! What can I say? My lighting options for larger pieces are pretty shithouse! It’s kinda hard to see, but I’ve attempted to have the orientation of the grass on the tufts “flow” with he contours of the model, as the whole thing has a pretty windswept look to it.

That big section where it looks like it’s fit together extraordinarily badly is part of the sculpt – it’s intentional – rather than being the result of my terrible modelling skills. I’ve mounted it on an inexpensive wooden teapot stand to give it a nice sturdy base, and rather than trying to bevel it to the ground or try to paint the edges in an awkward (to me) brown so it “fits in better” with my table surfaces, I just went full fuggit and gave it a similar black rim as I do with many of my bases. I did roughly sculpt some simple flagstones in the ground, giving the indication of a small path that may or may not continue on the battlefield surface.

The scale of this model seems a bit smaller than most “heroic” scale models. Here we have it with a few Heroes of Men from the LotR range, with their slightly smaller scale showing the sizing. True historical models would be a touch smaller yet, so would fit in even more nicely with the tower. I also thought our friend The Imperfect Modeller would appreciate how close this almost gets to a proper diorama! I’d just need an appropriate figure to put in Gandalf’s place there, and a pin to hold them there on!

FInally, as a point of contrast, I thought a couple of more modern-scale AoS Bloodbound figures (ok, one is at least 50% Shieldwolf) would be a nice counter to the above – as you can see, it’s still very much usable for Fantasy of pretty much any stripe. And the number of times that Space Marines have fought their foes over terrain that resembles Terra’s ancient medieval castles must be beyond count!

Balewind Vortex: January Terrain 2019

Warhammer Fantasy Battle Age of Sigmar Balewind Vortex

Originally released as part of a larger kit towards the final days of WHFB, alongside the Magewrath Throne (that used to sit atop a stack of giant skulls), the two have now been split into smaller kits, and the throne has lost it’s skull-riser. More on that in another post, later.

Warhammer Fantasy Battle Age of Sigmar Balewind Vortex

The Balewind Vortex is a simple terrain kit, coming in only 4 pieces. Base, Top and a two-part whirlwind. Or balewind, I guess.

Warhammer Fantasy Battle Age of Sigmar Balewind Vortex

Having been fairly indifferent to the concept of The Winds of Magic since they were first introduced in that White Dwarf article, I was happy to basically copy the current box art. I quite like the greenish-shaded off-white look that GW has been using for much of it’s undead since the Return of the King’s Army of the Dead introduced the overall scheme and effect.

Warhammer Fantasy Battle Age of Sigmar Balewind Vortex

Slightly embarrassingly, it seems that I ordered another one of these things a couple of weeks ago, before starting on this one, which has just arrived. I don’t know if I’ll be able to care enough about it to give it a yellow-red gradient like the one in the original Warhammer promo box, though – I’ll worry about my options there later!

Forge World Imperial Heavy Bolter Turret Emplacements: January Terrain 2019

Forge World Imperial Heavy Bolter Turret Emplacements

Here’s a trio of models that I’ve had for a very long time. These Forge World turret emplacements had been sitting in my collection unpainted for many years intl 2016 or so, when I started painting them in a military green, with desert setting bases. I was …unhappy with how they were shaping out, so – as so many things end up doing – they just sat uncared for in a box for another couple of years. With my challenge for this month being terrain, I found them and knuckled down to give them the paint that they deserve.

Forge World Imperial Heavy Bolter Turret Emplacements

That paint is actually pretty plain. I went with spray-can mid-grey, followed by a bit of a lighter drybrush. Added some German WWII stencilled letters and some Aquilias for decals, then some Vallejo washes – first a mix of dark and mid-grey, then “European Earth”, going for a rain/moisture-streaked look on both. Bases drybrushed in my usual “dark earth” manner. Followed that up with some powder (Dark Sienna) and we’re done.

Forge World Imperial Heavy Bolter Turret Emplacements

I’ve avoided edge highlighting, as I like the dark, moody, “realistic” look that they seem to have. Similarly, I’ve skipped giving them a bunch of weathering and chipping that I’d put onto “working” tanks and armoured vehicles, as these are basically static defensive emplacements. The Imperial Grey scheme makes them generic enough to use alongside pretty much any Imperial force,

Forge World Imperial Heavy Bolter Turret Emplacements

Amusingly, these models are now so old (and discontinued) that there aren’t any current rules for them. Not even any rules in the 8th edition Forge World Indices. I guess I can use the rules for Tarantulas if I need to, though I’m also the kind of guy who will just use them for terrain as well. Hence their inclusion in this month’s challenge!

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!