Tuesday 4 June 2024

Dwarves from "back in the day"



Sometime in the early 90's I bought a couple of packs of dwarves to crew my dwarf juggernaut which for such a hefty lump of a war machine was woefully under crewed and ridiculously under gunned. I went for a set of crossbow armed dwarves which seemed a good idea and a set of random fighters in the hope that there'd be something interesting to add to the mix. Unfortunately the dwarves proved a little too chunky to fit comfortably on the deck of the juggernaut so they got based up as normal and saw limited use as allies to my Bretonnians that I went on to collect. 

As time went by some of the fighters got slight repaints and one of them got converted to a standard bearer (far right with sword and shield). This was long before I acquired the much fabled "pin vice" which to my mind probably looked like a miniature bench vice which was my only point of reference. So, any holes that needed to be drilled were done by hammering a drawing pin into the metal and in this case through the dwarf's fist. Fixed Hawkmoon's broken ankles that way too. 

Anyway, the years passed by and in the early 2000's when I was painting for Foundry I repainted two of the fighters to sell. The first (centre with cleaver) I think I hassled Steve Dean into selling for me as I had no idea how to sell anything. He directed me shortly after to Ebay which is where I sold the second (far left with axe and shield) for probably less than a tenner and developed a buying addiction that has blighted my finances ever since. The remaining models remained rattling around in various boxes until last year.

What I'd been doing for possibly two years was focusing on painting models I'd owned "back in the day" to get some of the more meaningful figures in my collection repainted. These are after all models that date back to my formative years of collecting and painting, and gaming. As such I decided to give these two sets of dwarves a new lease of life. Years ago I acquired a duplicate of my mangled standard bearer model so I replaced that one (still have my original) and the other two of course had to be sourced on Ebay for the sake of completion. Not the highest of priorities in life, but they were! Lead addict thinking.

When it came to painting the models I carried on with the idea I'd been following for a little while at the time which was to use my old colour schemes as inspiration, or at least what I could remember anyway. The crossbow dwarves were probably originally inspired by Wayne England's dwarves from White Dwarf which were blue and white. Although it's always possible my colour choices may have pre-dated seeing that article. I'm not sure anymore. The fighters colours mostly stuck in my memory. The two that are mostly metallics were a no brainer in general. Matched the beard colours and then it was just the shields to figure out. I don't recall what I first did with them but they did get replaced with the plain wooden shields from the fantasy regiments box which I did in purple and white halves. I didn't want to follow those colours though so decided on different designs for each. Red tabard dwarf and cleaver wielding hero were colour schemes that stuck in my memory ever since so were easy to reproduce. The shield design is a crude homemade decal overpainted. The only one I struggled with was the pistol firing dwarf. I remembered painting him in the purple and white scheme but was sure that was a repaint. Had a vague feeling I might have originally done him in yellow but may have been confusing that with a pic from a rule book or White Dwarf. Either way the yellow won and his shield is also an overpainted decal.

So there we are, ten dwarves renewed, painted mostly in the colours a younger me chose but to a standard I could never have achieved at the time. At some point I'll re-do more of the dwarves I had. The Marauder giant slayers are very tempting but also the war machines, the goblobber and Marauder artillery pieces.

Tuesday 21 May 2024

Pre-slotta skeletons


Sticking with the undead theme, some pre-slotta skeletons. I was strictly just painting models I had back in the day but really fancied getting a few of these done. They were prepped and undercoated anyway and it helps to clear the black pile (my undercoat colour of choice). 

Originally I was never too bothered by the pre-slotta stuff. It was before my time so I was never too familiar with those ranges apart from some of the images in the good old Heroes for Wargames book I picked up in the early 90's. I took a bit more notice when people started painting up their old models and giving them a new lease of life. Finally took the plunge and picked up a handful of skeletons some years back now. There are some fantastic models from this era and these skeletons in particular I think are among the best.

It was nice to do some armoured models after the bare bones plastics and getting to add a bit of colour was also a pleasant change. Initially I was stumped by the shields. They didn't seem to suit the bare wood of the ones I did on my plastics, and cheesy nightmare iconography whilst fun would have been out of place to my mind. I kept thinking of the skeletons in Skyrim and had the idea of these models being ancient warriors so I looked up Roman shield designs and anything related that might be suggested. Tried to keep it fairly simple and these worked out quite nicely. I eschewed my dodgy homemade transfer paint by numbers technique and freehanded these.

I've got a couple more undead on the go and two more painted models that I'll show later. Anyone following my posts on Facebook will know one of the models (bit of a rescue job) and that might hint at what the other three are. ;-)

Wednesday 27 March 2024

Skeleton horde plastics. A little necromancy.


Some old Skeleton Horde plastics I fancied painting up. Put these together a couple of years ago I think so it was about time they got a lick of paint. Got another five to do at some point. Not much remains of my original skeleton horde set. Poor storage, teenage conversions and the occasional bit of wanton destruction saw my 24 figures turn into a mere handful of models most of which were broken. I did pick up a largely complete Skeleton Army boxed set on Ebay though in later years. I dug out all the broken models and loose bits and decided to see how many I could piece together and fix up. Managed to assemble the ten without having to clip anything from the full sprues. Quite a few needed leg surgery so lots of broken models got chopped up and cobbled together. Something of an act of necromancy you could say.

Sunday 11 July 2021

More beastmen

 A couple of months ago I showed some beastmen and minotaurs that were part of a commissioned warband but I had a few extra models to do for it so here they are.

I love the old 80's beastmen and have a few stashed away myself. The bottom left model is Marauder but he fits in fairly well. I believe the warband is intended for Mordheim and a few markers were included for me to paint up as well as a random dog. 

Whilst not intended for this warband I also had a Skaven rat ogre to paint for the same customer. He goes with another warband I painted some years ago.

That's everything for now and hopefully I'll have something of my own to show soon.

Thursday 24 June 2021

Imperial Fists Space Marine command

In a previous post I showed off my old Imperial Fists marines and I think I included a WIP of a lieutenant I'd started with more than a ten year gap between the two. I'd had other command and specialists prepped and ready to go for years so I pushed on and got all five figures done. 






There we go. Just a quick post this time as the last one had too much waffle in it.

Saturday 19 June 2021

Fantasy adventurers and a dragon! Something brighter.

 A little while back I started painting some 40K space marines to add to a squad that I painted many years ago. One thing I had to do to match my new models with the old ones was go back to using colour mixes I perhaps wouldn't choose these days along with a brighter colour palette. For a long time I've gravitated towards muted colours and tones and that has resulted in my 'go to' colours becoming quite limited. I've got paints that I haven't used for maybe ten years or more in some cases. Using old colour recipes though ended up being rather enjoyable as I started to rediscover alternative shades of one colour or another and found mixes that gave really nice results.Vallejo's Stormy Blue got used for the first time since maybe the mid 2000's and the Electric Blue highlight I mixed with it used to be my default blue highlight back in the early 2000's and earlier than that when I was using the GW equivalents. This all seemed to be a really good thing as I was enjoying painting a bit more so I decided to order some new colours and expand what I'd got for the sake of variety. With new paints in hand I had the perfect commission to play with some of those colours on so here's what came of all that. 

Most of these models needed their integral bases removing so they could be mounted on the flagstone bases (plastic sheet with lines scored) but I forgot to make a note of some of the manufacturers so if I call them wrong let me know in the comments. :)



 First up is what I'm told is an Asgard dwarf lord although someone else mentioned Metal Magic. It's certainly an old sculpt and one I really like. I was given the option of painting his dragon helm as either part of his helmet or maybe as an actual little dragon sitting up there. I decided to paint it red and leave it open to interpretation. Maybe it's just a painted helmet crest or it could be a pet dragon. 

That red was a break from what has been my usual red for a number of years. Normally I'd use a GW Khorne Red base, highlight with VGC Bloody Red and then either orange or white highlights depending on where I wanted to go with it. Khorne Red covers really well which is why it became a staple of all my reds. In this instance though I returned to a colour I used to use which was VGC Gory Red possibly with a little black added for a darker colour. It doesn't cover as well so needs more coats but I wanted a change and it's how I used to do things. I used a new shade of red for me to highlight the Gory Red as I wanted to try something different so went with VMC Vermillion. That's become a firm favourite since. That was further highlighted with VGC Heavy Orange, an odd colour from their Extra opaque line that when I bought it some years back I thought 'WTF' and never used it. It's got a salmon orange colour going on with it which like I say is just a bit odd but it turns out to work pretty well with the Vermillion. I resorted to type and used a little VGC Bonewhite for sharp highlights.

I think I used VMC Royal Purple on the cloak, possibly with a touch of black for shade. Similar to an old favourite from years ago, VGC Hexed Lichen. VMC Purple was the initial highlight followed by adding VGC Squid Pink.

The face was a slight change from my usual skin tone recipes. The familiar VGC Beasty Brown base coat that I like for dwarves but I then used VGC Heavy Skintone which I don't think I ever made use of much like the orange. The usual VGC Bonewhite highlights followed and it came out quite nicely.



This is a Prince August knight and I'm guessing a fairly old model. Quite a nice one but lacking detail in a few spots, specifically the face which required careful painting. The sword was a separate piece. As far as the paint job went I was asked to do something a bit House Lannister from Game of Thrones. I again used a different set of colours for the red tabard but on this occasion I can't remember all of the exact ones unfortunately. It was a base of VMC Burnt Red and I think I highlighted that with VGC Bloody Red but beyond that is anyone's guess. The shield did have sculpted detail but I was asked to file that away and paint a lion. Thankfully I had a suitable homemade decal that fit the part and may be familiar to the especially eagle eyed as it was what I used on my Bretonnian foot knight hero and command. The armour needed to be a brighter gold than I have used for a while so I used the same recipe that I used on my space marine chainswords. VGC Brassy Brass, highlighted with VGC Glorious Gold, VGC Polished Gold and then VMA Silver and even a little Vallejo Metal Medium for edges. Washed with GW Agrax Earthshade and then a little re-highlighting.

Then we have a Citadel C02 wizard. Really nice model and one I keep seeing on Ebay too so very tempted to grab one myself. The blue robes were another excuse for something a bit different to my 'usual' blues. Decided to use VGC Sick Blue which I think may have had a name change. It's a colour I've used a little in the past but not for a really long time. The actual pot I have is the one I originally got in the Game Color paint set back in 2002/03. It's got a slight purple tinge to it that always struck me as not really blue but given that I wanted to try out some new things I gave it a go. Highlighted with VGC Ultramarine and then a little VMC Azure. Ultramarine used to be one of my main blues and Azure is a new one added to my paints. Really happy with the end result.


Another Prince August model in this ranger. Lots of browns so nothing too bright here although I did try and keep them on the richer side of appearances. The cloak wasn't too far from what I've used in more recent times to be honest, VGC Heavy Green highlighted with VMC Uniform Green but I did use VGC Livery Green as a final highlight to boost the colour. 

More Prince August but clearly a later sculpt, a necromancer. Lots of black.

Jumping forwards in time to a much more recent figure this is a Reaper Miniatures elf and quite clearly a Werner Klocke sculpt. This one came mounted on the cork rock base. Have to admit I was completely stumped when it came to a colour scheme for this one. The one stipulation was that she be blonde haired but other than that it was up to me. Some figures I know what colour scheme I want immediately, others might need a little thought and some I just draw a blank on for whatever reason. Had a quick look online to see what others had done with her and I quickly started to get an idea. The cloak again was where my new paints came in, this time a base of VMC Purple and a very simple VGC Squid Pink highlight. Made a really nice purple that contrasted well with the hair. Blonde hair is something I try and keep a little more naturalistic although this is still a bit more yellow. base of VGC Heavy Brown highlighted with GW Zamesi Desert, VGC Bonewhite and a little VMC Ivory.

Finally the dragon. According to Instagram a Ral Partha model. I tend to avoid these kinds of monsters as they can be a bit big but also because I sometimes struggle with them. This one wasn't too big thankfully. Used the same red recipe as on the dwarf's helmet. The cream was VGC Desert Yellow highlighted with VGC Bonewhite and then a little white.

That's everything for now but I do have more stuff to show and waffle on about.

Tuesday 20 April 2021

Beastman warband

 Following on from the post about the minotaurs this is the rest of the warband painted up. There are some additional models I'll be painting to go with them at a later date. Nice mix of models although my favourites are the 80's era figures. 

 A couple of I think Marauder Miniatures beastmen here and a slightly latter day Citadel shaman. Not sure if the shaman is the warband leader or whether it's one of the minotaurs. 


Beastmen of various sorts and some chaos hounds. My favourites here are the mace wielding Khornate beastman and the archer on right. I can only recall maybe a couple of beastman archers in the 80's range so I think the one in the middle is a conversion. Lion headed guy at top middle looks like he might be an earlier sculpt as I'm not familiar with him at all.


 One of the 80's chaos centaurs and another pair of hounds. I was asked to paint the centaur in a slightly rotten colour so maybe he's got a touch of Nurgle's Rot. 


Finally there's the Chaos sheep of DOOOOOOOOOM! Well that's what I've been calling it anyway. Apparently he's the warband pet or mascot. Not sure if it's a Citadel model or from elsewhere. 

That's everything for now. Like I say, there are a few more beastmen to go with these but this is where I'm at for now. As far as my own painting goes I have been trying to find time here and there to work on a few Rogue Trader era space marines for my old Imperial Fists. Got a little slowed down with retouching the old paint jobs as a few needed a little reworking. I know 'need' and 'want' are different things but some of what I'm tweaking on them is stuff I was never happy about even immediately after painting them. I'll show my progress on those in another post.