Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Spreading Like the Plague

My Skaven army has been mainly Clan Skryre-themed up to this point, but I've always wanted to add some of the Pestilens models. With my Doom Wheel finished and the Hell Pit Abomination underway, I can finally start filling out the plague-ridden ranks of the Under-Empire. So, here's a look at what's in my Skaven project queue:

Hell Pit Abomination

I started this guy a while back, and he's been sitting on the Shelf of Shame for the past few months. While I was working on the Doom Wheel, I painted the accessories for the Abomination. Once I work up the motivation to paint the flesh, the remaining details on its body will be easy.



I replaced the masonry with the remnants of a Warp Lightning Cannon. The parts are left over from the plastic Warp Lighting Cannon kit. The bases for the Doom Wheel, Abomination, and Catapult were all painted together in a single batch. I'm really looking forward to finishing this thing.



 Plagueclaw Catapult

Now we're getting into Clan Pestilens territory. I've spoken at length about how I cannibalized the cannon parts out of this kit for my Doom Wheel. What's left over is the catapult itself. I've made a few modifications, like adding a "slop bucket" and ladder going up to the top deck.



The original bellows operator from the Doom Wheel was swapped with one of the crewmen. Since the machine is mostly wood and metal, I should be able to knock it out pretty quickly.



Plague Monks

I picked up four boxes of Plague Monks, so I'll be able to field two units of 40. In my spare time I've been cleaning the torsos. They're glued to foam core strips, ready for their arms and heads. I need to get these guys painted fast, and I'll show you my process as this project progresses. 



Warlord Spinetail and Skweel Gnawtooth

The Spinetail model will make a nice Pestilens warlord. And I still need to paint up the Skweel Gnawtooth model. I think I might paint him with a green color scheme and use this one with my Pestilens army and keep the converted Skweel with my Skryre army. 



Screaming Bell/ Plague Furnace

When did this kit come out? Well, I finally broke down and bought one. I really dig the Plague Priest that it comes with. Looking over the sprues and directions, it looks like it might be pretty easy to build the kit so the parts can be swapped out for use as either the bell or the furnace. When we get there, I'll be sure to show you how I did it.



'Til next time!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Doom Wheel

Now that a huge chunk of work is out of the way, I've got some time to work on a couple personal projects. My Vampire Counts and Skaven painting queues are both pretty full, but since I'm in the middle of a campaign with my Skaven, they're the ones that get the attention for now.

Speaking of the campaign, we've been on hiatus for a couple of months. between people getting sick, and conflicting work schedules none of us had any time to meet and play games. But we're back up and running, so I'll have an update soon.

First up on the list of new Skaven is my second Doom Wheel. This was converted with unused parts from the plastic Warp Lightning Cannon/ Plague Claw Catapult kit.



Next I'll be tackling the Hell Pit Abomination. After that I have the Plague Claw Catapult and a ton of new Plague Monks to attend to.


'Til next time!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Zombie Pirates

A reader contacted me recently, asking about some models he'd seen in an old White Dwarf supplement featuring zombie pirates. The issue in question was #306, and it had an army list for the Zombie Pirates of the Vampire Coast. When I was working for GW's US promotions studio, we were tasked with inventing some ideas for the zombie pirate units and modeling up conversions to be photographed for the magazine. I've held onto the models all these years. 


Thanks to Remi Oliveras for getting me to dust these guys off and take some proper detail shots. Enjoy!

Fleet Captain

The zombie pirate army is led by the vampire Luthor Harkon, but his captains are similar to wight kings. This ancient mariner was modeled up with an albatross around his neck, and leads his crew from their watery grave.

The base model is the Red Gobbo. I clipped away most of the model so only the coat and left hand remain. The captain's right hand and pistol are from the Regiment of Reknown, Long Drong Slayer's Pirates and the cutlass is from a plastic Talisman miniature. I think the legs are from a Kislev Kossar. I used a plastic Tomb Kings skull with a sculpted eye patch and the Mordheim Highwayman's hat. The treasure chest is an ammo case from the Dogs of War regiment Bronzino's Galloper Guns. His albatross (a falcon from the Wood Elf Skaw the Falconer) adds a characterful detail and helps hide the 40K bits and leg join underneath.


Deck Gunners

These were inspired by the Skaven two-man weapon teams. The zombie crewmen are armed with small swivel guns, which they would normally fire from the deck of the ship, but occasionally take ashore in a landing party.

Most of the parts are from the plastic zombie kit, mixed with the old Empire Free Company regiment. The hats are from the old Halfling infantry models (specifically Halfling with Spear #2) and the Mordheim Highwayman. A lot of the spare pistols are from Long Drong Slayer's. It took some digging on the Stuff of Legends site to find it, but I think the orcy-looking zombie on the far left was made from the model "Kand-Meet" from Citadel's 1986 zombie range. It's just his head and torso, with a Highwayman's hat on his head. The two small swivel guns are Implacable Steam Tank pivot guns and the larger is one is a cannon from Bronzino's Galloper Guns.



Deck Droppers

The idea behind this unit is that Fell Bats would ferry a zombie boarding party over to an enemy ship. I built the models with pistols in the hope that they might have a ranged attack or make a single shooting attack while charging, but that didn't make it into the final draft of the rules.

The figures themselves are Fell Bat models with Genestealer claws for their feet. (If I were making these today, I'd sculpt better looking bat claws.) The zombies in their clutches use most of the same parts mentioned above, and they're pinned into the pilings. The pilings are wooden dowels wrapped with twisted wire for the ropes. Considering they have giant metal bats on top, they are surprisingly well balanced!



This is a shot of the prototype Deck Dropper I made. It was quickly put together, and doesn't have the same amount of flair as the others, but you can see the components that were used. 



He was in a bag of parts, which includes things like pistols and hats, and a couple of metal banshees that I was planning to paint up like drowning victims to make some Syreens. But alas, I never expanded the army beyond these seven models. They've got a place on my shelf and remain a treasured piece of history.

'Til next time!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Arcadia Quest Diorama, Part 3

Welcome to part three of the assembly journal for the Arcadia Quest diorama that I'm building for Cool Mini or Not! Last time I discussed the construction of the University clock tower. Here's a shot of it with the Hammer fortress in the background. Both have been primed and sprayed with an undercoat color, and are ready for painting. On the right, you can see the buildings for the Alchemist District. This post will be a little short because I didn't take many photos of the work in progress.


Part 3: The Alchemist District

The houses and shops all started as foam core shells, visible on the right. The shells were then detailed with all manner of windows, wood framing and stone foundations. Doors and windows were added as well.



The shingles were cut from strips of thick bristol board. The red roofs are made from Spanish-tile textured styrene sheets. The stonework was made in the same way as the surfacing for the University clock tower. The doors and windows are a combination of scratch-built and resin cast elements. Since the buildings will have lights inside, some of the windows have cut outs, which I'll address further down.


Each building plugs into the table and sits snugly on the angle of the street. (For information on how I made the street, check out last week's terrain tutorial: Flagstone Streets.)


I use strip LEDs to light the buildings. Each is wired together in a series, and they all run off the same power source (a 9v power adapter). The lights are attached to foam blocks to elevate them to the level of the windows.


Each window cutout is covered with a sheet of colored film and a textured sheet of acrylic to diffuse the light.


With everything glued in place and the lights turned on, the buildings cast a colorful glow from within!



That's about all I can show of the table until Cool Mini Or Not it debuts it at their next convention. All of the painting and construction is finished, but because this is a diorama, and not just terrain, there will be plenty of models adorning it.


Back to my painting table...

'Til next time!