Monthly Archives: August 2015

C35 Chaos Warrior – Daethskar

This was the first Chaos Warrior I really wanted as a kid back in 1985. One of my brothers had bought me the SS3 Knights of Chaos box set but when I spotted this amongst the newer C35 releases in the Third Compendium it was instantly on my want list.

My regular Saturday morning trips to the local Model Shop finally revealed a C35 blister with this chap in it, alongside ‘Nud Spinespittle’ and ‘Bone Racker’.
‘Bone Racker’ was a poor sculpt and to make matters worse mine was badly cast. ‘Nud Spinespittle’ was more of a precursor to the Chaos Thug sculpts (aka Marauders nowadays) than a Warrior to my mind. But I wanted Daethskar so I bit the bullet and parted with my £1.95. It wasn’t a bad return, all three of them remained in my original collection for 18 years until 2003.

So when it came to look for leader miniatures for my Chaos/Evil Warband I couldn’t resist buying him and putting him back into service for the Dark Gods.

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Beware the (Ral Partha) Jabberwock, my son!

Jabberwocky is of course a nonsense poem by Lewis Carroll that appears in his 1871 novel ‘Through the Looking-Glass’. More importantly though is Sir John Tenniel’s original illustration that appeared in Carroll’s novel.

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Sir John Tenniel's Illustration

The two Jabberwock sculpts made by Ral Partha and Citadel in the 80s (the ‘rearing up’ Ral Partha sculpt and the ‘walking on all fours’ version by Citadel) faithfully follow Tenniel’s drawing in pretty much every detail except the vest. I suspect the Jabberwock made it into early Fantasy RPGs/Wargaming entirely due to this picture. Had the Bandersnatch or Jubjub bird been illustrated by Tenniel in such a manner maybe they would have made it into miniature form too.

The Citadel version is less dynamic than the Ral Partha sculpt but it still has charm. It’s been OOP for a few years now but you can still find used ones on eBay occasionally, usually for sensible prices too. Most people however seem to favour the Ral Partha miniature.

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Ral Partha 'Rearing Up' Jabberwock

The ‘rearing up’ Ral Partha model pictured above is often listed on eBay with high Buy lt Now prices. The highest I’ve seen is an eye watering £175 plus £15 postage for one in a (presumably) unopened purple Citadel blister pack – complete with it’s original £2.50 price tag. Greed or Lunacy? You decide…

Anyway, here’s mine painted.

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I bought it new for 8 quid from Ral Partha Europe a couple of months ago. It’s in production (and was available from previous licensees of the model prior to Ral Partha’s re-release) so there’s no reason to pay over the odds should one of these float your boat.

Wizard Repair Shop for Frostgrave – with paint

So I took this dodgy bunch of broken and battered 1980s lead wizards –

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Did a little repairing, sprucing up and put them on modern bases –

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Applied a quick paint job and gave the bases a stone and snow effect –

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Now four wizards that had seen better days and weren’t really fit for anything except an eternity at the bottom of my lead lump are back in business ready for Frostgrave.

Next up will be some of the Soldier elements used in the game. For this I’ve gone modern with a box of GW Bretonnian Archers (already in my possession) and a sprue of 8 Fireforge Foot Sergeants bought off eBay.

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I personally think the Fireforge Foot Sergeant miniatures look very similar to the official Frostgrave soldiers made by North Star.

Barbarians, Thieves, Thugs and Apothecaries will follow later. It appears Midlam Miniatures have a decent range that will suit most of these so we’ll see what happens.

Wizard Repair Shop for Frostgrave

Q. Where do old wizards go to die?

A. They don’t. They just come to mine for a spruce up.

I got hold of a copy of Osprey’s Frostgrave last week. I’ve only managed to flick through it rather than absorb the rules in any depth but it seems like the kind of game I enjoy – it’s pretty much what my old friend L and I played thirty years ago with 1st/2nd Ed Warhammer. We obviously weren’t the only ones playing this sort of game as GW eventually released Mordheim, but I digress…

For those who don’t know Frostgrave is a miniatures based skirmish game involving small warbands lead by wizards who battle it out against each other for treasure/magic items in the frozen ruins of a city. The city was frozen under ice after a magical accident but is slowly thawing revealing it’s treasures to the adventurous. It’s designed for campaign play so your warband can improve with time/spoils of war but it can also be played as a one shot.

The game is played on a 3ft square board with a maximum of ten models required to make a warband – a wizard, their apprentice and 8 soldier types. This is a pretty low level entry that seems perfect for me. The game requires a fair amount of scenery but the frozen ruined remains of buildings don’t strike me as overly difficult to create, and forty or so models easily covers a couple of warbands plus some random wandering encounter monsters should the need arise. Hardly a huge time or money commitment.

So first things first I need some wizards. 

In ‘job lot old lead’ auctions I’ve won on eBay since starting painting again I’ve accumulated a few. Most of these were really old sculpts that were already damaged, the usual casualty being the tops of staffs – they rarely seem to survive. I’ve repaired one of these before now and put it on the blog. As long as you have a pin vice and some micro drills it’s very easily done.

The following are the most likely suspects out of my lead lump, I’d be surprised if any of them were sculpted after 1985. I have several others but the ones here are the ‘less puny looking’ of my 25mm scale magic user collection. They should work well alongside some 28mm modern plastic figures I’ll use for the soldiers. These will follow later.

No. 1 – I have no idea who manufactured this guy but the top of his staff is missing.

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No.2 – This is a C02 Citadel Wizard from around the mid 80s. His outstretched hand has sheared off, a common problem for this miniature it seems.

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No.3 – Again I have no idea who made this. At first I suspected he’d been filed or cut off his base but he still bears the code ‘F7’ underneath so he hasn’t been tampered with. His staff has snapped and the remaining section is thin lead and is bent completely out of shape.

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No.4 – The last one is undamaged and just needed some mould lines removing. She’s a Michael Perry Citadel sculpt from the early 80s – FA16 Female Wizard with Staff.

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Time for these to get some TLC in Somet’s Salon…

No.1 – I drilled out the top of his staff and added a flame top from an Empire Flagellant arm.

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No.2 – His hand was replaced with one from the Empire Flagellant Stock figure, simply drilled and pinned with a little piece of wire for strength.

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No.3 – The old bendy staff was drilled out and replaced with a piece of wire topped with a skull from (surprise surprise) the Chaos Warrior infantry set.

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No.4 – Just mould line removal for this one.

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All were rebased onto 25mm round slottas for use with Frostgrave. I can’t see another use for these so didn’t use square bases.

I’ll be painting these over the next week or so around the assembly of more Chaos Warriors.

Games Workshop Chaos Knights – Full Unit

This is a unit I bought at the end of last year cheaply off eBay – I paid about half what GW charge so I felt like I got a bit of a bargain, although I have to admit I’ve kept putting off making it up.

The box sat on the shelf staring accusingly at me every time I passed it but it’s time finally came for assembly and paint to join the Chaos/Evil Warband.

I had an extra metal Chaos Knight that I’d experimented with the metallic finish on prior to painting the whole unit. I was quite happy with the result, just the final glaze on the armour needed a bit of a tweak but the rest of the colour scheme was good to go.

Extending the recipe out to the rest of the unit I loosened the glaze mix with Lahmian Medium to help tone down the glaze pigment to avoid the overly greeny finish that the experimental model’s armour had in places.

They’re quite imposing as models, this is mostly due to their size though as they are massive in comparison to other horse mounted troops.

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I only have another regiment of Chaos Warrior infantry and a Chaos Chariot to paint to complete my Chaos/Evil Warband. It could technically use some more Chaos Warriors but I think I’m going to call it a day after painting what I have rather than buying more to add to it.

Hopefully I can paint these two boxes of models up well before the end of December which will mean I’ll have plenty of time for a few smaller painting projects before I start with my Nick Lund Orc Army next year – time will tell!

Reaper Bones Snake Demon, GW Astrogranite and 1987 Robocop

I have to admit I’d never seen the original 1987 Robocop movie until a few weeks ago. I didn’t have high expectations for it so of course I wasn’t disappointed when I finally got around to seeing it on Syfy.

Three things however struck me instantly while watching the ‘ED-209 Malfunction’ scene.

Firstly was the animation of the ED-209. I was genuinely shocked by how poor it was. They really scrimped on this effect. This was a low budget movie but even so they should have cut out the ‘let’s test the big guns by exploding cars and shops’ pyrotechnic scene for example and used the money towards making the ED-209’s movement less comical.

Secondly I couldn’t help but think that Kinney would probably have preferred a PowerPoint presentation.

And finally it reminded me of the creator of the stop motion animation technique called ‘Dynamation’ – Ray Harryhausen, most of who’s work was world’s ahead of the similar techniques used in Robocop.

Last year I’d bought a Reaper Bones ‘Vandorendra Snake Demon’. This figure is the embodiment of ‘Harryhausenness’. It’s a cross between Kali, the six armed statue in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and the Medusa from the 1981 version of Clash of the Titans.
Anyway, it had lain forgotten and unpainted in my collection until Robocop of all things reminded me of it.

Here it is finally painted up.

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All the usual Reaper Bones problems reared their heads with this miniature but the more of these I’ve painted the fonder I’ve become of them. I’ve painted all I own now but wouldn’t think twice about purchasing more should any of the Bones figures meet my needs.

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Last year I also bought some of the GW textured basing paints. I can only describe the textures of these paints straight out of the tub as akin to ‘gritty thick mayonnaise’. I find them difficult to use in this state as ‘blobbing them on’ is very hit and miss and it makes getting any texture close to the miniature’s feet etc awkward without covering them in the textured paint. They’ve sat in my box pretty much unused since I bought them.

I decided on a stone type base for this Demon so I pulled the Astrogranite back out to give it another go. For those who’ve never seen them here’s how the textured paints look in the pot.

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I tried loosening the texture down with water so I could paint it on rather than dabbing it, but of course that dropped the grit out of the paint suspension. When that dried I went back to trowelling it on straight out of the tub.
It appears I’m using this stuff correctly but I just don’t get why anyone would want to. Ho hum, I’ll just use PVA and sand as I’ve always done instead for a similar, much more controllable effect.

“Too bad about Astrogranite, huh?”

“That’s life in the big city.”