Wednesday, 2 April 2014

From small seeds do they grow

Bertrand Hairfoot is pleased to announce his most recent signings: the Silverbark brothers, out of the old forest. They have traveled far to this glorious city and have been rewarded with fantastic contracts and endorsement deals with the saw mills of Barak Varr.

I finally finished my treemen (aside from the basing - they should all have that shield and a number). A little late this month for the blog entry, but better late than never, right?

These guys are all balsa wood and greenstuff, with a judicious amount of pinning. A hell of lot of fun to make, especially as they didn't really have a plan. Each had a vague plan. The first would walk forward while taking root while the second would be stamping upon some stupid dwarf that got in his way. A fairly simple brief that seems to have worked quite well.

The painting was even simpler; an undercoat, an ink and a drybrush. To be honest, the worst part were the leaves. I have learnt that when using brass etching leaves, they are much easier to paint when flat, as opposed to when they have been shaped.

Trust me on this.

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As a side note, these are the first photos that I've taken using my new light box. It's called a Foldio and I think I'll do a review at some point. Let's just say that I'm quite impressed.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Painting by Numbers

This month, I'm being a little bit lazy and taking advantage of something I've already done. I've started a new job and I have my Viva soon, so I don't really have enough time to post properly, even though I have quite a bit I'd like to post.

The wonderful Sann0638 asked me to do a little 'how to' for the NAF website. Using only ten paints and a single brush, I painted some of the old 3rd Edition Orcs.

It was a completely different challenge for me; speed painting, no corrections and a limited palette. For once, I actually managed to finish some models that I was happy with extremely quickly.

Every time I pick up a new model, I have an urge to do everything I can. That's why my harlequins were so time consuming, how I managed to complete Glart to such a high standard. It's great and it drives me forwards, but it's also very limiting; I simply can't complete projects quickly.

In a strange way, the limitation was actually liberating and I would recommend it to anyone. In a strange way, I enjoyed the process because I couldn't do anything fancy. Because I enjoyed it so much, I'm going to be doing the whole team. 

In case you're interested, the link is here:

Friday, 31 January 2014

Glart Smashrip

A little while ago a friend of mine asked me to do him a favour. Many of the British Blood Bowlers know Glowworm. I count him as one of my best friends, but, more importantly, he is responsible for my continued attendance at tournaments.

As a perfect stranger, he drove me to tournaments, arranged for hotel rooms and took me into his home. He does this for anyone too; it's not just me. 

Glowworm hasn't had the best time recently, so I was very happy to try and cheer him up by painting a model for him. I don't often paint for other people, but this was special. 

And considering who it was for and that I wanted to make him smile, I thought I'd go all out. The result is quite possibly the best thing I have ever painted.

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The conversion wasn't done by me; mine is simply the brushwork. Similarly, the actual colour scheme is pretty simple. But then I started on the freehand. The number/name was simple enough, but the adverts got rather complicated. Realistically though, it was just a case of patience and a small brush. 

The base was an experiment that turned out rather well. Inkpwn gave me some sepia paint that is designed for use in photography. Applied over a coat of mostly dry PVA, it cracks as it sets, leaving a lovely cracked earth effect. Very simple, very cool.

I love this guy, and I am super proud of him. Hope you all agree.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

From the histories of the Marienburg Fireflies: at the Casenewydd Cup

A recent historian of the Marienburg Fireflies unearthed this gem in the archives of the Cabalvision Network; a transcript of a rare interview with Bertram Hairfoot, given at the close of the Casenewydd Cup.  at this tournament, the Fireflies fought their way to several hard won victories, but suffered a couple of stinging defeats. Hairfoot was keen to articulate the core intellectual biases against what he described as 'the smaller races'.

The reporter Joc Strappe had died in 2503, but rumours of his death we re greatly exaggerated. Though initially slain by Lord Borak after a particularly hard hitting interview, the intrepid reporter hatched a deal with one of the gods of Chaos. Although he never revealed which one, he does seem to have been granted certain powers, including a certain supernatural resilience, which is particularly useful for a roving blood Bowl reporter. 

Joc Strappe: Hi there, sports fans.  We have a real treat for you this week, as I'm stood here on the side of the pitch side with owner, founder, coach and captain of the Marienburg Fireflies, Bertrand Hairfoot. Bertrand, you seem to be covered in blood. I do hope that none of that is yours?

Bertrand Hairfoot: [the Halfling lights a cigar, glaring at the interviewer. Blood is streaked over his gauntlets and pauldrons, dripping and pooling at his feet. The ichor appears to have a greenish tinge.] Does it look like mine?

JS: [blanches visibly.] Err... You seem to have personally taken out quite a few Skaven players out there. What's your secret?

BH: Experience. If you squeeze a rat just right, his insides will pop out of his snout. 

JS: And we thought they were disgusting on the outside. We did notice that the Fireflies were quite willing to get up close and personal with your furred opponents. Looking at the bodies littering the sawbone's office, your guys were busy. Just how important do you think those trees are to your successes?

BH: There's a reason why I hired Deeproot; his record speaks for itself. The Silverbark brothers were a more recent signing, and they aren't natural ball handlers. Under my expert coaching, the boys have developed excellent Blood Bowl sense and know just how to stamp on the opposing players. 

JS: Speaking of stamping, you came up against an Amazon team earlier in the tournament. Your team mates seemed rather keen to use their feet. 

BH: Everyone's the same size on the ground. 

JS: That's as may be, but it is still technically against the rules. Rumour has it that the Amazon coach is planning to lodge a formal complaint with the tournament organisers regarding your conduct and the refusal of the match officials to take action. How would you respond to allegations that Orcidas offered large donations to the Umpires Widows and Orphans fund on your behalf?

BH: How dare you! [Hairfoot's voice is raised and there is creaking in the background and Deeproot approaches.] The Fireflies would never resort to such underhand tactics. However, Brewskin Cidertum would like to that Orcidas for their kind provision of a pair of the new range of Kicking Boots for two of our games this weekend. Comfortable and stylish, no self respecting kicker should come to the field without them. [Deeproot looms heavily.]

JS: Of course. Now, err... How do you feel about your newest signing? How is he fitting into the team? Spike! Magazine once named Mickey Oden-Foot one of their Players to Watch and gave him a star player rating of 95 points for the 02/03 season. Do you feel he has lived up to that reputation?

BH: Well, it's hard to argue with results. Mickey scored two this weekend and gave 100% throughout. Ok, he doesn't have my raw strength, nor my experience, but he does know how to run. 

JS: But isn't it true that he cost you your fourth game? Instead of handing off the ball to Trucklehop, Odin-Foot chose to retain it and stare down two Norse blitzers. Unsurprisingly, he left the pitch soon after.  We're you not a little disappointed with that?

BH: Well, of course; any loss is hard to take. Mickey does have a little growing up to do, but I do feel I should take some of the blame. After all I do set a particularly fine example, and some of e younger lads do tend to feel that they have to match my performance on the pitch. Of course, they simply can't do that and sometimes. They fall flat trying. 

JS: We have time for one final question before we head back to the studio. Your record this weekend doesn't seem particularly good. Are you going to have to rethink you tactics before you attend the. Blood. Bowl later this year?

BH: [Bertrand grows visibly angry during this line of questioning.] Look Joc, you have it easy, here on the sidelines. Easy to judge, easy to criticise. People laughed when I said I want to form a professional Blood Bowl team made up of my countrymen, but let's look at what we achieved here. This weekend, we took on those 'traditional' teams and showed them the future. We ground an Undead team into the dirt and outscored the Skaven. We have proved that we are no easy meat. [Hairfoot's voice reaches a shout.] Hell just, look at the graveyard and the number of bodies we put in it! This interview is over!

JS: [Staring at a departing Halfling in shock.] This is Joc Strappe, signing off to another exciting touch line interview. Now back to the studio. 

[Records indicate that this was the first NAF ranked tournament attended by the Marienburg Fireflies. In six games, they achieved two wins and a draw.]

Saturday, 4 January 2014

2013 TFF figure exchange

For the uninitiated, a figure exchange (or model swap) takes place on a forum. Members paint a model and give it to another forumite; everyone who participates gets a model painted by someone else. I've participated in model swaps before and so I decided to join in with the TFF exchange this past year.

After a moment of stupidity (thinking I had to send my partner Aino an unpainted model), we became organised. Aino was kind enough to paint me a Halfling cheerleader/Bloodweiser Babe/Apothecary in the appropriate colours for the Marienburg Fireflies.

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In return, I painted a model that's been sitting in my 'to paint' box for ages: Eldrid Hipnotic Eyes by Willy Miniatures. A lot of fun to paint, especially as I'm experimenting more and more with freehand. My favourite part of the model is the finish. All of the armour is gloss and the skin/leggings matt, simply to break up the textures a little.

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Sunday, 15 December 2013

Hive Fleet Obscuras

Well, it's taken a while, but I kind of finished the army. I'd been a bit busy with the studies, but they're all over now and I managed a bit of a break. In about three weeks of largely free time, I managed to get quite a lot of painting done.

To those who don't remember (and it's been a while), my Nids are based entirely off old school models. Partly because I think they look cool, but mostly because they're cheap. The entire army cost me around £125, which includes a Hive Tyrant that hasn't quite been finished.
Pretty much every swarm comes with a Mycetic Spore. These were all custom jobs and you should look out for a post on how I built them. It'll be coming soon.

Screamer Killer

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Typically, this guy gets played as a Mawloc, but once he has some friends he might start as a Carnifex.


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Each one lead by a single Genestealer Hybrid. I know that these models are ancient but surprisingly, I actually really like them.


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Just a little bit of conversion to alter the position of the legs and arms.


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Two generations and a mix of metal and plastic. Still cheap. Still cool.


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I love these guys. Prefer the models to the plastic kits.


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Typically, these guys get deployed as Yrmgarls, but the Broodlord is ready anyway. And although the models haven't really changed in years, some of these came from Space Crusade.

Hive Guard

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There really aren't any classic models for the Hive Guard. Obviously, they're really good so I had to do a little converting. At some point I'll post the WIPs of these.

Parasite of Mortrex

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A fairly simple conversion from a ravener. The Swarms are entirely greenstuff. Cheaphammer for the win.


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Pretty heavily converted this one. Some of you may have noticed the odd Ultramarine helmet scattered around. I really hate those guys, and so does Deathleaper.

Roll on the new codex.

From the histories of the Marienburg Fireflies

Excerpt from the authorised biography of Gentleman Explorer Bertrand Hairfoot

After their first victory, morale was high at the Fireflies training camp. However, the city itself was unused to success at the noble sport and in their ignorance continued their daily life without interruption. In years to come, as the fame of the Fireflies grew, the city would celebrate each and every one of their successes.

For now, Bertrand, the great orator and student of public opinion sought restitution through bravery. To garner the support and attention of their home city, the Marienburg Fireflies issued a challenge to the then champions of the Trinity Cup: the Grothien Nightmares.

In their purple and black, the Nightmares were the unquestioned leaders of the local championship. With a massively experienced team of elves that hailed from the darkened lands of the New World, they had risen to dominance over the amateur sides that hailed from the lands surrounding Marienburg.

The Dark Elf team was lead by Glenda, known as the 'Good Witch.' Behind her cruel expression and pitiless eyes lay the heart of a true Blood Bowl player. Her agility was second to none and many was the time that Glenda danced her way around, through and over her opponents, carrying the Nightmares to victory.

Odds were given at 50:1 against the Fireflies.

The master tactician put his best players onto the line as Trucklehop prepared to kick the ball. Morg'n'Thorg stood beside Deeproot Strongbranch on the left while the Silverbark brothers held the right.

Overawed by this display of strength, the elves backed away and the big guys followed. Hairfoot marshalled the defence and while the halflings covered the backfield, Morg'n'Thorg went to work. By half time, the Fireflies might have been losing, but not one player had been injured. The elves were not so lucky, as the star ogre claimed two scalps.

Bertrand began the second half with a cunning plan. Knowing that Glenda could and would turn the game, the halflings invited her to try. As the Witch Elf leapt to assault the ball carrier she ran straight into the fist of Hairfoot. Three of the largest and heaviest halflings then proceeded to sit on her for the rest of the drive.

Without their star player and captain, the Nightmares were confused and uncertain. Bertrand then drove up the pitch behind the tallest of the Fireflies to score the equaliser.

It was then that his true genius was revealed. With mere seconds to go, the halflings kicked the ball. As the elves received it and prepared to run in the winning touchdown, Bertrand Hairfoot, the Genius of Nuln, demonstrated his skill. The wizard, Onslo the Magnificent, had been held in reserve. A lightning bolt struck down the ball carrier and Deeproot sent Chinny Trucklehop into the air. Coming out of the sun, he rolled and came up in range of the end zone. Sadly, he was unable to wrest the ball from the slightly charred hands of the elven blitzer, and the final whistle was blown.

The bookies were furious.*

* Rumours surrounded the match for some years afterwards to claim that Trucklehop had purposefully fumbled the ball. That is of course a blatant lie. Furthermore, there was no link between this game and the rather large sum that appeared in the coffers of the Marienburg Fireflies shortly afterwards; this came from a generous and anonymous benefactor.