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. 

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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. 

Outlanders scenery painting day

I recently helped my local gaming club, the Rugby outlanders,to get a small grant from Rugby borough Council. The Grant was from the ‘play fund’ a pot of money to help promote play across the borough. Rather than just focus on sports the council has tried to get young people to join all sorts of clubs and groups. We obtained a small amount, around £500.00, but this is enough to really help our club.

Our plan is to get new player to try out wargamming and to improve the experience for club members. We currently have around 30 members with about 15 at most games night. We are building the club and the leadership team (known as the senators) are doing a great job of this. We run 2 leagues and a yearly painting competition. I have said this before, but I count my self lucky to be a member of this club. We a group of like minded people who all love our hobby. We don’t have any really power gamers, picky players or any really annoying fanboys. We play any game and system and anything is possible. I should say a huge thanks to Simon Trammer for his efforts to keep it all together. Every time he posts an update on the leagues standing he gets a barrage queries, comments and complaints, but he still carries on!

So, what’s the point of this blog?well on Saturday, 27th April we had a scenery painting day where we tried to paint up as much of the new scenery as possible. We had the following to sort out.

2 realm of battle,
A fortified manor
An imperial sector
4 gaming hills
3 woods
And a load of various bits from our local gw.

The plan was for club members to paint away and, through lots of local advertising, to get new members to join up. We also had loads of food available.

We had 6 people around all day and over the day we got a lot done. By the end of the day, most of it the assembly was completed, with the 2 big projects, the RoB boards done following a group effort. Painted up using the GW Scenery painting kits, and flocked over, we now have these great kits ready to go. The 4 hills were nearly completed as well, with only the flocking left.

It was a long day, but the club did well, sadly we only got a few new members, but they had a fun day and this was the start of the project. A few club members, me included did take some home work away to finish and I now have 3 citadel woods to paint!

I should say a big thanks to Simon for organising it and to Adam for putting up with me for the day on the RoB kits. Can’t wait to play him on them.

To cap this week off we also have a day trip planned to Warhammer world on the 6th may. Taking 2 cars full it should be a great day. I hope to get a game in with the Necrons, and as ever, you can expect a blog on this outing in due course.

Until then, see you across the table.

May madness-To titian or not to titian!

May is big month for me as I have loads going on, and it culminates with a big birthday. I will, for once, have a bit cash to spend. Whilst I have a modest hobby budget normally, it’s rare for me to buy any really big stuff. This time I can finally afford my lmuch desired warhound titian. I have wanted this for years and finally it’s with in my grasp! On the 24th may i am heading to warhammer world for a meal at bugmans and to spend my money. lHowever, here’s the rub, I don’t think I will get the titian.

My logic is simple. The titian is just awesome. I love kit, the challenge to paint it would great and, lets face it, it a fething titian! The down side is that I don’t often get to apocalypse games and its over £300 that will sit around on the shelf. While I don’t mind this, I think I do a lot better for that sort of cash. Here is my alternative proposal, that is still pretty cool. I get the realm of battle kit, a load of scenery and the awesome new tomb tile. This will be used a lot more than the Titan, still be a great challenge and both me and my gaming buddies will benefit from this. The mobility of the RoB will mean more games. I know that the RoB is an expensive way to make a 6 x 4 board, but its mobility and flexibility that need. The reduced storage is also great. The RoB will fit under my desk! I regularly play a friend that requires me to shift my larger mdf board around. The smaller flat pack options would make this a lot easier. Add to this awesome necrons from forgeworld and I think this will be better than a Titan.

Now that forgeworld have added the crashed thunder hawk, the city scape and the imperial out post. With more tiles being added, the kit will expand. I am loving the forgeworld rob tiles and I am looking forward to painting one.

The down side of this plan simple. I don’t end up with a titian! I am really torn this. The head says sort the table out, the heart says titian, titian, Titian…….. So I just need to wait and see what I get, but what would you guys do? Table or Titian? Let me know what you think.

Till then, see you across the table.

Oh rats!

As I have said before,  I am proud member of the Rugby Outlanders.  We are a modest club, but we have a great group of like minded players. Surprisingly we have more warhammer players in the league than 40K. 

I recently managed to get some grant money from our local council to help fund our group. We got a ‘play grant’ to promote social activites for young people.  Normally this money goes to fund sports groups,   but due a good bid and a brave council, we got just under £600.00. With this money we will increase the playing surfaces with 2 RoB tables. We have bought a load of scenery sets for both games and the paint to sort it all out. With support form the local gw (Coventry) who gave us some old scenery as well we have a lots of terrain. I will post more about this in the future and on the 27th April we are having a day of building. The activity session should be a cool day of like minded people have fun, but with a clear objective in mind.

The core use of the funds was to promote the club and get new gamers playing. To support this we got both Isle of blood and dark vengeance.  As a group we agreed to paint up the new sets to a good standard.  Any new players will be able to get a game and be inspired to get involved.  The idea is that the first time people turn up we will guarantee a game, on good board with decent scenery.

I asked to paint the Skaven from the isle of blood.  They are as far away as possible from the Necron and marines that I normally paint as possible and they look a great challenge.  The downside is that there is a lot of them.

I have made a start with the clanrats with hand weapons.  I am Going for a neutral colour scheme and trying to keep them looking ragged.  The pallet is greys and browns with them all wearing grey rags. The skin colour is also darker than normal and this helps to speed up the blending into the fur.

For introduction models they are great and they should look like a manic horde in the end. I dont know who is painting the high elves,  but I hope to at least match them in quality.  The 2 should help get new player involved in fantasy warganming.

I am known as a 40K player and I have not played fantasy for years. I was an old school chaos player, having a mix of both warriors, deamon and beasts, that was sometime around 6th ed. I used to collect both high and dark elves. but all these are long gone. Painting these Skaven has rekindled the warhammer bug. A fellow club member has a job lot of the ratkin that he is giving me, along with army book. As a result a Skaven army will be comming soon!

I know a fair bit about the rats, who and what they are, the clan structure and so on. I remember the main characters, units and some of the war machines. I dont know what the army structure will be and I open to suggestions. I will keep same colours, but I will add more ‘decay’ I am tempted to focus on clan pestilence and get to do my other painting dream, a Nurgle army.

The plague monks look cool and census bearers, globers, plague catapult all could be fun, they have some cool characters too. All of this is way off in the future. Until then, I need to sort out the first lot and by then I will have a better plan.

So thats whats happening in my hobby mind for now. Until next time I will see you across the Battle table.