The big, the bad and ugly

Now every army needs a leader. From the graceful high elves to thuggish orcs. For my ogres I need a tyrant. GW do 2 great kits, one with a great weapon, one with 2 hand weapons. Expensive yes, but really nice looking models. But for my plans, neither are right. I wanted my army to be different and for it to push my modelling skills. I also wanted the cos t to be low, so it’s conversion time. 

Let’s look at what a tyrant should be. 

  1. Big. I mean really big.
  2. Armoured. 
  3. Different,
  4. Did I say big? 

2 and 3 are easy to convert. 1 and 4, not so much. The ogre kits are simplistic and limited in movement option, but are all interchangeable. So I needed a plan to pull together a model that looks bigger but is really the same size as the rest of the army. To do this I decided on 2 approaches with the hope of tricking the eye. To added height around the model and to fill the frame. 

Weapon wise, both says big better than s great weapon, so that’s easy. I thought I ad also add a few extra knives to bulk him out.

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All I needed was some armour and a way to add height. 

Height was always going to be difficult as the model has no way to increase its size. You can add leg length, but you loos the slab sided look of the ogre. I decided on added height to his base and then to add something to his back. Looking at the army book, I noticed that gorefang had a back pole, festooned with trophies. So I nicked that idea to add a back banner. I fell on the idea to use the iron gut banner as it is pretty big. 

So the parts list from ebay

  • A sprue of ogre Bulls
  • Great weapon from the iron guts
  • Mournfang helmeted head
  • Helmet horns
  • Arms for the great weapon from the mournfang kit
  • Back banner from the iron guts
  • 2 iron fist (for armour)
  • Some bits for the belt

I also added an extra head from a bellower for my next project, more on that to follow.

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Total cost for this was around £20, but this will cover 2 heroes. 

Building this was a lot harder than planned. To hold the armour on his shoulders I wanted to add some leather straps. This was easy from green stuff, but helped get my eye in with sculpting.

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The cris-cross was easy to sculpt and it gave me a way to mount the back pole. Sculpting is not my strong point, but it’s ok on simple task. 

The trouble was on the arms as the gut plate got in the way. I have extended the left arm and this got around the problem. The shoulder pads were planned to be 2 converted iron fists, how ever while looking for an ork iron jaw, I found a deffdread armour plate that was the left shoulder. These shoulder plates squared off the model, thus bulking out the frame. A few bits to waist, some left over horns for the gut plate and done! 

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Adding height to the base was another way to add to the model. Sadly, I had so much fun making this I forgot to take some pics! 

So that’s my tyrant. He is taller in apperance but is the same base model. It might not be the gw model, but it is my take on this model. It works well and ranks up ok too. 

I mentioned the 2nd bull on the sprue earlier. This will make my 2nd character, a butcher. I will be fat, bloated and, hopefully, really disgusting . Left hand is easy, but still stuck on his right hand is a problem. He will need a new belly, apron and some detailing.

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This is a far more sculpting than I am used to, but will mean I am well on the way towards the all plastic army. Not planning any yeti or gougers, so no problem their. Hunters and Maneaters are easy converts, sabertusk are bit harder. I have no idea yet for the firebelly that I really want to do. 

The butchers bill

i discussed recently my attempts to make an ogre tyrant and mentions the conversion I was going to try. To make a fully plastic army is my primary goal, but I also wanted to push my skills a bit.  Doing the ultramarines hasn’t pushed my sculpting skills to far.

To convert a plastic in bull into an obese butcher I needed to add to the gut, an apron and a new selection of weapons. Head wise the GW butcher model is a wierd looking thing, but I wanted a fat, but normal looking butcher. The bellower head from the bull command sprue was an easy choice. 

The paunch

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To create the belly, first i needed the gut plate to disappear. This was trimmed out and the hole filled with green. I then made a big ball of green stuff and sculpted a large paunch. I made it hang down over the belt . Whilst this will be covered with the apron. I did try to get this looking correct, especially the sides.  I needed the strech marks visible on the sides, so I wanted to make this work
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Apron part one

I decided to sculpt the apron in 2 parts. The lower section way just a square of flat green. Draped around the paunch and shaped. Once it had set I made a rope belt. My rope is easy too make. I take 2 long thin rolls of green and generally twist into a rope shape I make longer than I needed. This is wraped around the belly, I crossed it over loosely. It didn’t need to to neat as the crossover would be covered. I also made a small square ‘napkin’ this was draped over the belt. This will add detail. I added a knife on the belt at this time, to help shape the rope. I also made a thinner rope for the neck strap. This was added to neck of the model. A lot of this was guess work. The jowly face didn’t allow for much error. Agian I needed to wait while this cured
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Left arm

While the apron cured, I made a start on the left arm. It was easy decision to add a cleaver to my butcher. As the bull kit has a spare cleaver it was a simple weapon swap. I distressed it down a bit and add a hook hole at the top. 

Right arm

This was a real dilema. I didn’t want a club or sword, but none of the other right hands worked for me. I really struggled until I hit an idea. What if I didn’t have weapon? What could it use instead. My bits box for the ogre is very limited so it didn’t take too long.i found a big juicy steak and thought it would be great if he was offering up this chunk of meat to The Great Maw. I needed a hand to hold it. I found the hand with mantrap was the only ‘open’ hand. I trimmed the weapon out. And fitted the steak in the gap. A bit of green and it was done. I removed the hook and trimmed the steak a bit to fit snugly. This gave me a really fun looking hand and very characterful  arm.  Using an out streched arm he is clearly offering using a snack to the hungry god. 

Apron part two. 

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For The 2nd half of the apron I wanted it to look draped over the belt. With a thin sheet of green stuff I stuck it to the top of the 1st half. It was the pulled down and founded back up it was tapered towards the neck line and tacked on to the rope on his neck. I sculpted it into the flow of his body with the bottom of the rope belt and napkin visible at the waist line. This left me with a long bib that can be painted up to with blood pouring from his mouth. This draped look really adds to bloated look of the butcher and his waist now looks suitable obese. 

Final trim 

To finish him off I added some bits from the command sprue and mournfang kits. I wanted a few scars too to i sculpted. These with some green stuff. His pose is fairly fixed, as with most ogers, but the lack any armour, the apron and the big chunk of meat all add to the differnt feel from this character. 

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All in all I am really happy with thus guy. His girth is suitably increased, his look and weapons make him stand out and I am fairly pleased with the sculpting. I have challened my inner lee for this guy and it’s worked out ok. 

Cost wise the butcher, new, from GW is £23.00 mine hase cost me around £4. Not a bad saving. The army is now 8 ogre strong and is starting to grow in stature. It’s still along way off, but by May, this lot will all be tabletop ready. I hope to add some more then and by the end of the May I am planing to be around the 1,000pts. I can then actually get a game in. 

That’s it for the prophet of the Great Maw. On to painting some Bulls to get my technique down befor I paint this guy. I hope this is of some value. Till next time, see you across the battlefield. 

The armies, they are a changing.

So after 2 years on my ultramarine force I have decided to take  a break. I wanted to start a new army and I had a few criteria. I get this itchy feeling every few months, but usually stay focused. This time I wanted a change. One reason for this is new ultramarine Forgeworld stuff is out soon. If I am working on my ultras, I will just want the lot! I can’t afford it or justify it, so, I am going on a busmans holiday!  Let’s face it £70 For HH book is half the cost a new army! Taking a break will allow all the stuff to come out and for me to properly plan a 30k army. Or at least, the FW bits for my current army. 

So what’s my criteria for a new army?

 1-A bad guy army– wanted to paint something darker and distressed.  Something  more at home in the dark that the glory of the 13th chapter. 

2-something different-my last few armies have all been 40k, often in power armour. Oh, And NO blue! I am tempted to play other games, but I am and always have been a gw fan. 

3-something that will get to fight new players-our club has some great 40k players and I have had some great games, but it also has a group of warhammer players I don’t get to fight. I want an army that will add value to league and get me  fighting new players. 

4-I have no money, so it’s gotta be cheap. Justifying a new army is hard.  Am a public servant, my wife is a nurse, so worries about the future are the norm for us both. Splashing out on my whim is something we can do with out.  I am selling some bits on eBay to make the costs for the start if the army, but I think this will be a slow growing force. At least I have birthday soon! I don’t ant to sound like a pauper, but this can be an expensive hobby if you let it. I want to prove to my self that if your carefull it can be a cheaper hobby. 

5-I am sick of new 40k.  The constant stream of new stuff is slowly putting off the game. It’s only March and the 2nd new force is about to be released! In truth, since the imperial knights, I have not been happy. The inclusion of LoW  is not good for the tactical player and some on the best games of late have been limited to infantry only games. Warhammer seems a far better managed game. If you exclude the end of times stuff at least. 

6-Monsters. I want to paint some monsters!  I am pretty good at the large scale armoured models. Painting something covered in scales, fur or skin will be a new challenge for my painting ablity. 

Now, I know now is not a good time to start a Warhammer army Or an alternative is it’s the best as  the end of times stuff has thrown the whole world up in the air and no one knows how it will land. People are convinced that some armies are doomed, others will just cease to exist.  I think however that there is little to no chance that gw will end races that they have current moulds for. Old forces, such as brettonian that are desperate for new box sets are out of luck, but things like lizardmen with very recent large kits? Not going to be ended totally. The moulding machines are too expensive to to just stop using. The cost to create each mould is high and the life span is long, so they invest heavily into each new kit. We know GW are profit driven and armies that don’t sell get a boost to help shift more models, tyranid 2nd wave any one? They won’t just end whole armies. It will be the squat affect all over again. It’s been decades and they design staff are still being plagued with squat related questions! 3 word can dis ribble the longevity of some less popular armies. sisters of battle! Years of negate, lack of proper codex, no new models, but still they persist. The true fan never leaves them. So, I think Warhammer is relatively safe, no matter what 9th ed throws at them. (But fingers are crossed anyway) 

Ebay however seems to think the world is Ending, so it’s bargain city at the mo. Current Army books for less than £10, new box sets at around 50% off and a whole heap of discounts off used models. So now is a great time to start. 

So which army? It has taken me awhile to decide. The whole range looks great, but stiking to the criteria, I need a bad guys army, so dwarf, high & wood elves, brets, empire and dwarf are out. I have painted chaos warrior and deamon armies before, so they are out.  I do like the undead, but the idea of lots of zombies turns my blood cold, literally. I’d like a crack at nagash, but again its getting into expensive models, so no. £70 for a model that can’t make a small list? Nope. The club has a lot of dark elf players, but I do like the monster heavy armies. The lizards are good for the same reason as are beasts. 

But when it comes to beasts, however, there is only true king of the beasts. The thundertusk is the one Warhammer model I have always wanted to paint. The ogre kingdoms are represented at club and have a good reputation, ed king , our resident ogre player is also a top painter, so no pressure.  They match my ideas and have some great pluses. The whole army has reasons for me to enjoy the challenge of painting this mountain dwelling hulks.   The armour is rusted an pitted, not at all like my marines. The large flesh areas will be a challenge as well. The 40mm bases give loots of opportunity to create a scenic look. 

So, I think I has settled on an army. Next up is to design a force. With ogres, this is not a hard. Units are limited and you can’t really go to wrong according to most sites. Some things are a no brainer, other need some flare. I want avoid the deathstar units and cookie cutter lists and go for some thing fun to fight. I am not looking for the next league wining force here. 

I want to keep it all plastic, so characters will be converted Bulls. That will take some work, but will keep the costs down. I am planning a tyrant and butcher, both based on plastic Bulls and green stuff. To make them a few extra bits will be needed. I reckon I need the following for a 2000pts force. 

8 bulls (unit+2 converted hq )

Ogre battalion box

2 packs of mournfangs

Thundertusk

Ironblaster

I can source most of this online, and the Bulls (8 of and some bits) are all in the bag. The rest will be a slow burn. I’ll have wait and snap a bargain as the come along. I got the book for £8, so it’s good so far. The magic cards are going for silly prices, so they will have to wait. Basing will be custom, more to follow on them. 

Painting the army will be a challenge I want something distinctive and have taken my inspiration from draxx from Guardians of the Galaxy .  The grey with red detailings should be easy, but not to the level of details in the image below, should still be striking. 

 I want the army to pop on the table and want to present them differently to the marines. These are gonna but a differnt sort of army for me and it’s all about having fun. I hope to be able to show you some early work soon. 

In between I will be working on the ultramarines as I have around 750pts still to be painted. I know, only 750pts. That’s not natural. 

So that’s the plan. Keeping the cost down is the most important element. I want a fun, new army, but I want it on a shoe string of a budget. I reckon I can get the full army for less than £150, but that will be spread over a long time. 

Till then, see you across the battle field. 

What a corking idea

So with my adventures in the world of square bases underway, it time to think about bases.

I want my based for my Ogres to make them stand out while still keeping it  cheap. My idea was rocky and as i am not needing many, something a bit flash.  The answer was easy really.  Cork bases!

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I have seen some great cork bases and everyone says that they are not hard to do. So I have dived in with both feet. The principle is easy. Layer cork matting/tile/board to look like rock.  In practice this is very simple.

Cost wise, 4mm sheet of cork in an A3 sized roll (ish) cost £4.99 this enough for a the whole army.  The ogre kits have lots of spare bits to add depth at no cost.

1-stick bits of cork to the Base, layers are used to add height.
2-distress the edges to look less uniform. This also hides the layers.
3-paint.

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That really is it. The real skill, that I lack, but am learning, is to take this very simple technique and make it something special. Adding some spare bits you can build these up quickly.  Extra layers of cork adds height and gaps can form crevices and holes.

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As you can see, I am picking this up quickly.  It’s messy but lots of fun.  I can see each ogre on one of these and they give me a way to add a subtle hierarchy.  The higher the base.  The higher the rank!

Painting wise, I wanted brown bases, but a cold stone for the rocky crags. I used ‘the fang’ and ‘fenris grey’ for the stone. I will then add some static grass and some foliage to make them more intersting.  All this is from the bits box, so no extra cost!

So that’s my plan. Should add to the look of the army and increase its wow factor.  Not sure how to do this for the monsters and warmachines of the army. I might go totally over the top for the thundertusk and  make it a huge rocky outcrop!

The ironblaster will a hard choice. Might have to be on a basic Base.  We will see if and when I get one!

Well that’s it for now. See you all across the battlefield!