Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Empire War Wagon

Got the chance to paint up a nice bit of Warhammer history in the classic Empire war wagon. At the time of it's original release I was drifting away from GW, or at least what GW was becoming and I had mixed feelings about the new Empire range. On the one hand I kind of liked some of the models but they were also quite different in style from the classic 80's stuff and were synonymous with a changing GW (at least for me). The war wagon I didn't care for at all though. I thought it was a dumb idea, simple as that. Years down the line though I'm over all that knee jerk bull shit and I've grown to like a lot of what I wasn't keen on.


Being an older model and a metal casting the wagon itself didn't quite fit together perfectly. It's lacking a few right angles I think but thankfully it's not noticeable and the model sits properly. From the underside though that slight skewing can be seen and needed some gap filling to secure the floor. The only real problem was one of the end pieces of the lower structure was too misplaced and needed some trimming and filling to be able to get it into place. Whilst prepping the model I also discovered it was missing the yoke to attach the horses. A replacement couldn't be found so I cobbled one together from a piece from a beastman chariot, some metal sprue and a Grey Knight icon. I had to skin the beam with greenstuff and texture it to match as best I could. Never done that before and I'm quite pleased with the end result.




Fitting the crew in place was easier said than done. It's quite a squeeze in there and later I realised that on the studio model from the box art the crew appear to be sitting slightly higher up so they may have been mounted on an extra bit base. Got them all in though and drilled holes to pin them prior to painting which proved to be a really sensible decision.

Painting the crew and horses was nothing out of the ordinary. Base coating them all certainly took a while, especially with all those puffed and slashed sleeves. I had hoped to get the horses done a bit quicker but they proved to be a little more work due to their coloured armour. The freehand designs are semi-cheated. The shields are totally freehand but he crosses are overpainted decals I had printed out for something else. They were actually Maltese crosses or something so I painted over them to turn them into something a bit more Germanic.


The wagon was a bit daunting at first, it's a hell of a lump and not something I've painted a lot of but it's just timber and bits so I settled into it pretty quickly. In some ways it came together quicker than expected. These things can drag on a bit and become real bug bears but the lower section of the wagon painted up in good time. The upper portion of the structure though took a bit longer. The coloured shingles got a bit annoying after a while and the timbering took longer than hoped. I think largely a result of the model being awkward to handle at that point and I really wish I'd left off the yoke until the end as it just got in the way.









I was going to leave the crew loose for ease of packing the model for posting back to the owner but I ended up gluing them as they were really difficult to fit without damaging the paint work. Went with an epoxy glue rather than superglue just to ensure a solid join.







19 comments:

  1. It staggers me that you can continue to paint to such high standards across such a large piece. I usually resort to cheating weathering over anything larger than a human-sized model.

    The finished war wagon is stunning - it should be a real centrepiece for the army of its owner.

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    1. Thanks. I was tempted to go all out with the weathering myself but ended up keeping it very minimal. Didn't want to over do it.

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  2. Another wonderful painting on a great mini (and I'm a big fan of the 90's empire range).
    Bright and colorful, with smooth blending. I really like your painting style.

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  3. Beautiful work! It’s a shame that a lot of the work on the crew will be hidden however I do understand the need to make sure they’re painted properly :)

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    1. Yeah, I didn't realise they'd be quite as hidden as they are. There's a bit of visual jiggery pokery going on with the GW studio model that shows the crew off better.

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  4. Amazing! By curiosity, how much time have you spent on this model? (mine is still waiting in its box)

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    1. It took longer than I expected to be honest. Let's just say I'd have been happier if this post had gone up a week ago. ;) Although it was largely fun to do so at least it didn't drag on and become one of those horrible hard slogs.

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  5. Jebus, that's amazing. Better than the studio version!

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  6. Ah ... the war wagon. It made me quit GW as well ;-)

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    1. The real nail in the coffin was WFB 4th edition and those plastic elves and goblins.

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    2. Got it in one Stone cold, that was the end for me too!

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  7. I agree with your sentiments about GW at the time. I thought the war wagon was a silly concept as well, but with time, as with you, I grew to like it.

    I kinda, vaguely remember the studio putting the mini's on small plinths to get them to stand higher and easier in the wagon.

    As per usual, you've painted this model to a high standard. Something the new owner will be proud to own no doubt.

    Well done Stone :)

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    1. It's surprising how much stuff I've grown to like over the years that at the time I really didn't like.

      Now I'm thinking it would have been great to mount the models on small clear plastic bases! Dammit! ;)

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  8. This is fantastic! I am a fan of the 4th/5th Empire stuff and this is one of the best versions of any of that stuff I have ever seen painted. It helps that I am a big fan of the red/blue/yellow old school colour scheme. The War Wagon is a pretty silly idea, but this is Warhammer after all, and it looks imposing and cool and the table. I can't stop looking at these photos. Did you take any more of other angles of the crew?

    Great work!

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    1. Thanks :)

      These are the only pics I took. I wish they were better to be honest but I don't really have good enough lighting or back drops for something this size.

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