Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Wizard House

My local wargames club are always on the lookout for new scenery, but we have a very small number of club members who are willing to build or paint the pieces. Our scenery also tends to take quite a bashing from the club members. So when looking for new terrain recently I was looking for a ready made piece that would be nice and robust.

With this in mind I elected to buy the "wizards House" made by Ziterdes.

The model comes as a single piece, therefore no assembly is required. It is also made of hard foam and so will be very resistant to the level of abuse my club members can hand out. The only things that put me off when buying was the price and the uninspiring paint job that is given to the model.

The Manufacturer have chosen to undercoat (poorly) the model in grey and the roof in a dark red. This takes the eye away from what is a pretty nice model.

After giving it a good undercoat it is a whole different model.

What I love most of all with this model are the great details.
The model includes quite a good broom, a great bird box and quite a fun lunch table.

All in all, very strongly recommended.


I have made scenery from a number of manufacturers.....

28mm scenery:


Pegasus hobbies:

The square:
Egyptian/ Tomb kings

Wizard House

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Time for a few more rats

The thing about a Skaven army is that you can never have too many rats.

With this in mind it is time to add a few more furry criters with pointy sticks.

Nothing too smart or original, but I am keeping with the army colour scheme, so on masse they should look OK.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Is this wysiwyg enough? Engineer with Doomrocket

There is a very simple tactic that can be used with a Skaven Engineer. Look, I will admit it, it makes me feel a little dirty, and no, I am the first to admit it, I learnt about it by reading a forum, not by careful study. However after being mind-razoured more times than I can count, it is time to embrace the cheese..

The play works like this...
Equip a Skaven Warlock Engineer with a doomrocket. It will cost you only 45 points!
Start him within 12" of a Grey Seer.
Turn one, use the skitterleap spell to place the Rocket carrier to the side of the Enemy's line and fire using only 4 dice. The rocket will go 14" almost every time, drops a large template which causes S5 hits. It will pay for itself almost every time and almost never misfires!

The rules ask that my figures are wysiwyg as much as possible and so to counteract the cheese, I thought I would make the figure as obvious as possible.
To achieve this I took a clan rat with spear and added a rocket from the crew of the Empire Helstorm rocket battery. I added a small length of guitar wire as a fuse and fixed a torch from the Empire flagellant set with the end of a paperclip. There you have it, one Engineer with rocket.
I had a slight spot of bother when I tried to mould the plastic of the flame over a naked flame. It all started to melt and turned to mush, but I think I have got away with it on the finished model and it holds it all in place.

The lit rat comes from the IoB warpfire thrower.

The lit fuse was enhanced by two pieces of static grass fixed to the end to represent the light. Bit of a happy accident, but goes OK. Hope you enjoy...

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Skaven gutter runners, better when painted

Last time I had started to paint two units of five gutter runners. Since then the paint brush has been put to use and I now hove two units complete with movement trays to show off...

I built the bases so that I could easily move them around on the battlefield. It is simply a piece of plastic card with foam card built up on top then based in the normal way.

As with all of my Skaven these are painted in the Clan Septik, with the colour of the outfits matching the respective rank or status. These are low ranking, so are quite yellowy/brown.

The rest is fairly conventional. Hope you enjoy.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Skaven gutter runners: A start is made

Next on the list of desirable Skaven (if there is such a thing) are a unit or two of Gutter runners.

Who could resist the chance of having a couple of units of vermin complete with slings and poison running around creating mayhem. Well not me for one, the scout rule alone is sufficient reason, just to mess with the thinking of my opponents. These cheeky chaps follow the conventional approach of clanrats with the slings bitz pack. Not difficult and it works very well.

So far I have assembled the boys. You should spot a couple of the actual gutter runner figures in amongst them. looking back I don't think they add anything and I would have been better off with the clanrats entirely ...

I then blasted them with undercoat. I almost always go with black, beacuse I am convinced it goes on better and you cannot tell the difference when you have finished.

I have started the process of painting, by adding on the basic colours. As the remainder of the army, I have elected to have darker rags for the lower order rats, so these boys are going to be pretty shabby...

Friday, 21 October 2011

Rat Ogres, and then there were four

When last I played with the Ratogres, I had three painted and one assembled. I guess it is time to finish off the last of this bunch.. 

This Ratogre is the model with the most conversion elements on this pack of figures.

 The ratogres left hand is the giants hand from the giant model. This needed the fingers changing into claws. To achieve this I cut out the plastic from blister packs to make long nails.

The Arm had to be repositioned and raised to make this work. This left a massive hole in the ogres back.

Careful filling and that was resolved.

I painted the human captive to match the empire army I have and the ogre to match the remainder of my Skaven army.

Hope you enjoy

Monday, 10 October 2011

Arkhan the Black: A completed conversion project

A few weeks ago I started a conversion project for a friend from my local gaming club.  

The project is to construct and paint Arkhan the black, together with a staff of Negash and liber Mortis.

To construct this, I have used parts from;
 Thank god most of this came from my bits box otherwise it may of cost me a small fortune.

When last we saw the figure, I had painted on some very basic colours. I do this to set a colour tone. I find that if I complete a whole part of a figure in isolation, from a black undercoat, I end up with an overly dark piece, which I then need to lighten considerably when I complete more of the figure. Conversely if I work up from white undercoat, I get a very washed out look. By painting the whole figure in simple colours I can establish a tone for the figure and hopefully find those colour combinations that are just not going to work on the finished figure.

In the end I opted for a very simple red & blue combination of colours to give him a very classic GW look.

I tried to keep the reds on the cloak and book quite subdued to accentuate the brighter red of the gems.

I tried hard to draw the detail up to the face area so that the viewers eyes would be drawn here. I think a character of this kind should have a prominent face and hopefully I have achieved this.

 Does not look quite so good when you blow it quite so large!

Most of the conversion work went into getting the staff of Negash to look similar to the inside cover art on the Tomb King book. Hopefully I have achieved this, you can be the judge. In hindsight I made it a little large, but not sure how I could have got it much smaller...

The worst part is the Liber Mortis. I kept the writing in the book nice and vague, but maybe more work was required.

Hope you enjoy...

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

White Dwarf: A gentle rant

Before I start, let me get some things straight...
  • GW are not an evil empire
  • I would not be in this hobby without GW
  • This hobby probably would not exist (in any meaningful sense) without GW
Having said that I do have a minor gripe that is gnawing away at me. This background noise of discontent has now not to the point that I feel the need to vent. Albeit, vent is a very English and gentle way.

The source of my discontent, GW's sales magazine, White Dwarf

White Dwarf & me (a personal history)

Let me take you way back to a simpler time. Once upon a time GW pushed a little magazine, which covered most of hobby. To encourage customers to subscribe they gave away a quaint little cartoon booklet.

If you wanted the magazine, you could buy from the shops or you could get through the post with a reward for your loyalty.

Time passes and GW withdraw the freebie and limit their coverage to only GW products.

That is fine, if you like the products and like the magazine it is still worth getting and I continue to subscribe.

Time passes and I drift away from the hobby for a few years.

When I return it is 2005 and the hobby appears little changed, GW have reduced their ranges to core games only, but all is still fun. Occasionally, when I am attracted by an article I buy White Dwarf, otherwise I let it pass. The painting standard of the models in the mag appear to be set to a very low level, but I take this as a deliberate ploy to encourage those that cannot paint to well.

More recently my interest increases and at the same time the quality of the modelling and painting articles increases.

Yes! It is time to resume subscriptions!

Then within a year......

No real 'eavy metal articles, and then the worst blow, they decide to send out subscriptions after they go on sale in the shops!

I receive a little letter last month pushing the dreadfleet, and near the bottom they slip in the news that subscribers are to receive their copies after they hit the shops!

Is this deliberate?

I hear that there are a whole range of articles giving guidance on how to paint the dreadfleet in this months copy.

Can I read it?

And the reason I cannot is because I have shown some product loyalty to GW and subscribed to a magazine. I can go to the shop and look up at the shelf to see the product I have already paid for, but GW no longer want to send it to me on time!

Of course I could buy and extra copy, but how is that going to make me feel?

Is it going to ruin my life?

Is it going to ruin my week?

But it will make me a little grumpy now, and it does not encourage me to rush into pre-ordering products again.

Gentle rant over, if nothing else I feel a little better....

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Dreadfleet & liquid green

Yesterday I collected a copy of GWs new game Dreadfleet that I had pre-ordered for my local gaming club. B.T.W. Don't you just love GWs "we don't believe that the game can stand up on its own merits so you must but in a two week window or else" approach.

Whilst at GW, my eye was dawn to their new product, "Liquid green stuff"

Now, this is a product that quickly grabbed my attention. I feel have spent a lot of time mixing together green stuff then desperately trying to squeeze it into joints. I always seem to mix together far too much and end up throwing away more than I use. I am also not a great sculptor, so any help would be appreciated. I have tried myself to get a more flowable version, but if you just add water to the traditional version, it goes grainy very quickly. Therefore I was very keen to give the liquid version a try.

To this end, I quickly assembled the scenery components of the dreadfleet..
From this I chose two components, the "castle Island" and the "corpseface cliff" which needed some work doing on the joints.

Before pictures....

The product
The liquid greenstuff has a constituency of a bread dough mix. It is pretty thick but is consistent in texture.

I spoke to the guy in the shop who suggested that it might be worth adding a little water. This worked quite well and I found I could add a little to give me a very nice paste.
I then applied to the models using an old brush.
First try..

The first tries where pretty frustrating. I found I had trouble directing the mixture to where I wanted it and that when it dried it shrank back into the crack. All I ended up with was a similarly poor joint just with less definition.
I then sanded back and tried again, but this time with the raw product, undiluted. This was just as difficult to control, but felt a little better going on. It still had a tendency to shrink into the crack whilst drying, which is frustrating.. Drying time was around half an hour.

The finished surface...

Above are the finished items with a covering of undercoat. 

In conclusion;

This is a product that will require a few trial runs or a good user guide to get the hang of. The downside is that it shrinks and is difficult to control application. It appears to work better if you dilute it less. In all I am happy to continue experimenting and I believe that it has potential, but it was not the panacea I was hoping for!

Till next time, happy modelling.


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