Pipers At The Gates of Dawn

WP_20150628_19_25_04_Pro

A week ago I had chance to finish these weird beauties. Three servants to the elder gods produced by Metal Magic sometime around ´89. They come from their very nice Dunwich Detectives line and to my mind they are among the best monsters from this range.

WP_20150628_19_24_51_Pro

What I really like about these models is their completely alien feel. They perfectly capture that uncapturable sense of strange otherworldliness that Lovecraft laced his so-called Cthulhu mythos with. And indeed they were rather strange, but also very fast, to paint. The minis have few details, no obvious facial features, in fact barely a head, and lots of weird formations on the skin, which can be a bit disorientating. But you gotta love these minis.

WP_20150628_19_25_59_Pro

They’ll be serving as demonic mutations in my private Oldhammer universe, where they’ll play their strange horns deep in the hidden valleys of the Black Mountains, where most of our small games are located for the time being.

WP_20150628_19_24_07_Pro

 

Ahh.. Can you hear it? That: “muffled, maddening beating of vile drums and the thin, monotonous whine of accursed flutes; to which detestable pounding and piping dance slowly, awkwardly, and absurdly the gigantic Ultimate gods, the blind, voiceless, tenebrous, mindless Other gods whose soul and messenger is the crawling chaos Nyarlathotep.” (H. P. Lovecraft, The Dream-Quest Of Unknown Kadath)

WP_20150628_19_23_54_Pro

WP_20150628_19_23_11_Pro

WP_20150628_19_23_00_Pro

But back to the dark elfs I’m working on now.

Cheers

 

 

More mean, green dum dum boyz

IMG_1693

Yep, I’ve been painting greenskins again. As always they were a joy to paint. The goblins are not among the greatest figures of their kind but I really do like the little skinny fella with his hair in a knot. I guess he is one of the gobbos sculpted by the Perry twins but here I might be mistaken. The mini looks like a miniature orc and especially his face is very different from the usual facial features sculpted by Kev Adams.

IMG_1688

And speaking of Kevin Adams, the heavily armoured night goblin champion is undeniably not one of my favorite goblins. The mini is clumsy and lacks both character and a sense of dynamic quality. A trait which I think is characteristic of the goblins from around this time (the early 90’s).

IMG_1694

The two orcs were sheer pleasure to paint. Especially the hooded orc is great with the ragtag spear and his evil yet slightly stupid facial expression. Minis like this one is exactly why I keep returning to the Citadel greenskins from this periode.

 

 

Well, that’s it for now.

Cheers

Martin

 

 

Temple of the Blood Jewel

 

 

During the last week of April we played a small game of Oldhammer. A fierce struggle between a band of badass dark elves and the sinister inhabitants of an ancient, ruined temple deep in the Black Mountains where the fabled Blood Jewel lies buried. The backstory was quite simple. The warlock Amren was ordered by his mistress to find and bring her the Blood Jewel. The elves searched long for the gem and finally learned that it was hidden in a secluded temple of Law high up in the Black Mountains. The gem was hidden centuries ago during an attack by the servants of her Demonic Highness Manaar. The priests of Law were all slaughtered and the secret of the hidden gem forgotten except by the spirits of the dead who now have whispered the place of hiding to the dark elves during their necromantic rites.

Amren selected a small group of warriors to help him sneak into the ruins of the once great temple. But the servants of Manaar still dwell in the place and praise their demonic goddess with feast of blood each new moon. Amren’s elves therefore captured and bribed the goblin Bik, who served as guard in the ruins, to escort the warband through the secret, unwatched passages leading into the core of the ruins where the gem lies buried. The warlock Amren also chose to hire the muscles of Melvyn, a huge ogre mercenary willing to embark on the adventure for ample payment in gold and carry the equipment needed for climb through the steep mountains.

Thus armed and ready the dark elves entered the heart of the temple, ready to storm in, grab the jewel from its hiding place beneath an old statue and get out of the temple as fast as possible. This however proved more difficult than anticipated. The ever watchful demon Manaar alerted her servants to the presence of intruders and soon the dwellers from underneath the ruins were milling forth to kill the elves.

Amren and his brave company succeeded in grabbing the gem and almost succeed in taking it out of the ruins. In the end however the forces of Manaar cornered the last elves and one by one the last ones fell heroically until the last survivor was Melvyn, who sneaked out while no one was watching.

What a great game we had with good character developments during the game and lots of in-character interactions and empathy. This is really what all Oldhammer is all about for me.

Here’s a few random shots from the game. Sorry for the blurriness!

WP_20150423_20_01_15_Pro WP_20150423_20_01_21_Pro WP_20150423_20_01_50_Pro WP_20150423_20_06_54_Pro WP_20150423_20_15_55_Pro WP_20150423_20_21_38_Pro WP_20150423_20_41_52_Pro WP_20150423_21_37_32_Pro WP_20150423_22_03_42_Pro WP_20150423_22_08_28_Pro WP_20150423_22_51_07_Pro WP_20150423_22_53_11_Pro WP_20150423_23_01_45_Pro WP_20150423_23_19_08_Pro WP_20150423_23_20_41_Pro

 

Technicalities

The setup of the scenario is quite simple. A statue is to be placed in the middle of the battle field. Underneath this statue the blood Jewel is hidden. The statue has 6 wounds and T5. Melvyn is strong enough to move the statue by force. This takes two turns of undisturbed labour.

The elves enter the battlefield from one of the four corners chosen randomly. As long as the goblin scout Bik is alive they may leave the battlefield through any corner they wish (due to his knowledge of the ruins); if he is dead they have to leave by the way they entered.

We did not use any unit formations during the game. All miniatures counted as single models and acted as such. We also ignored all rules of panic, but used the rules for push backs and fear.

 

The servants of Manaar

The dark elves are hugely outnumbered but the enemies keep entering the battlefield in random numbers and from random sides of the table. Here is the list of the inhabitants of the temple:

 

1  Giant rats [10]

2  Guard dogs [10]

3  Goblins [24]

4  Goblins with bows [6]

5  Orcs [24]

6  Orcs with bows [6]

7  Skavens [6]

8  Cultists [12]

9  Hobgoblin overseers [3]

10  High-priests of her Demonic Highness Manaar [3]

11  Ronk the Troll*

12  Lucia – The Chosen of her Demonic Highness Manaar* 

The ones marked with an * are single characters.

 

Each turn the player defending the temple rolls a D12 to see which type of creature arrives and a D6 to see their numbers. Then a D4 is rolled to see from which side of the table they enter. The creatures always arrive outside their charge range from potential enemies. The number marked [] is the total amount of each creature in the temple. Once all have arrived on the table they are discounted from the list and the player rolls again to find a new result.

 

That is more or less it. We applied some special rules to the game. Rules for the use of rope and some other small stuff taking inspiration from the terrain and scenery used. Do the same. Look at the battlefield and make it interact with the game.

 

Dramatis personae

First we the elves and then the creatures. We printed the pictures of the elves and used them as cards during the game.

Amren

Tuas Melvyn Maela Drestina Cynbel Bik Aedha

 

The Dwellers in the Temple

1. Giant Rats

M

WS BS S T W I A LD INT CL WP
6 2 0 3 3 1 3 1 4 4 5

5

Poison bite +1 to S

 

2. Guard Dogs

M

WS BS S T W I A LD INT CL WP
6 3 0 3 3 4 4 1 6 4 6

6

 

3. Goblins

M

WS BS S T W I A LD INT CL WP
3,5 2 3 3 3 1 2 1 5 5 5

5

Light armour, shield, hand weapon

 

4. Goblins with bows

M

WS BS S T W I A LD INT CL

WP

3,5 2 3 3 3 1 2 1 5 5 5

5

Light armour, shield, short bow (16”/S3)

 

5. Orcs

M

WS BS S T W I A LD INT CL WP
3,5 3 3 3 4 1 2 1 7 5 7

7

Light armour, shield, sword

 

6. Orcs with bows

M

WS BS S T W I A LD INT CL WP
4 3 3 3 4 1 2 1 7 5 7

7

Light armour, Sword, Bow (24”/S3)

 

7. Skavens

M

WS BS S T W I A LD INT CL WP
5 3 3 3 3 1 4 1 6 6 5

7

Sword, light armour, shield, sling (S3 / range 18” / can fire 1 or 2 shots)

 

8. Cultists

M

WS BS S T W I A LD INT CL WP
3,5 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 7 7 7

7

Light armour, shield, sword

 

9. Hobgoblin overseers

M

WS BS S T W I A LD INT CL WP
3,5 5 3 4 5 2 4 3 8+1 6 6

6

Light armour, two-handed sword

 

10.  High-priests of her Demonic Highness Manaar

M

WS BS S T W I A LD INT CL WP
3,5 5 5 3 3 2 5 2 8 8 8

8

Light armour, sword

 

11. Ronk the Troll

M

WS BS S T W I A LD INT CL WP
6 4 1 5 4 5 2 4 4 5 6

6

Club/Vomit/Thump 

 

12.  Lucia – The Chosen of her Demonic Highness Manaar 

M

WS BS S T W I A LD INT CL WP
4 5 4 4 4 2 4 3 8+1 9 7

7

Heavy armour, hand weapon, shield, Roll D3 Chaos attributes

 

 

 

Cheers

Martin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hobgobladi-Hobgoblada life goes on…

WP_20150520_17_03_17_Pro

It’s been a while. Too many project, too little time but you know the drill. I have been planning to do a short write-up of the game we played last month but somehow I never got around doing so. I still hope to do at least some small thing concerning the game but for now I’ll just show you what I’ve been working on lately.

WP_20150520_17_03_53_Pro

These seven, nasty chaps are Grenadier hobgoblins from 1990-91, of course sculpted by the master of the gnarled look Nick Lund. I really dig these models. As Claus said when I showed him the first three I finished: “very black metal!” And indeed they do look very evil and very metal. Their uniform hair and equipment made me choose to paint them in the same colour scheme. I chose some rather bright colours (red, blue and green) but dirtied them down and used grey in my highlights to flatten the intensity. This worked quite well I think.

WP_20150520_17_12_50_Pro

I’m also fairly pleased with the skin tone. The first hobgoblin turned out rather yellow and I’ll probably at some point go back and change it (yeah right, as if!) to fit the bone-like colour of the rest. The details on the models are rather flat and slightly blurry, especially around the faces, which made them far from easy to paint and they took quite some time to finish. Especially the standard-bearer, who I by the way suspect is not sculpted by Nick Lund but only sculpted in the style of Lund. At least he is remarkably different from the rest of the guys.

The idea for the colours of the hobgoblins came from this samurai drawing

The idea for the colour scheme of the hobgoblin uniforms came from this samurai drawing

Having done seven hobgoblins in a row I once again learned why I’ll never be able to finish a whole army of anything. Five models of the same type is my limits, anything beyond that bores to death.

Hopefully I’ll be back soon. I’m doing old Citadel greenskins again now.

WP_20150520_17_11_15_Pro

WP_20150520_17_10_41_Pro

WP_20150520_17_03_32_Pro

WP_20150520_17_14_11_ProWP_20150520_17_07_09_Pro

WP_20150520_17_07_48_Pro (2)

WP_20150520_17_08_20_Pro

WP_20150520_17_08_45_Pro

Troglodytes unpacked… Yay and oh no!

IMG_1636

Celebrating a job well done I recently decided to bid on a set of Tom Meier’s troglodytes produced by Citadel back in the glory days around 1985. I’ve had my eye on Meir’s lizardmen and troglodytes for quite a while now. Their snake-like, curling bodies, strange poses and oddly shaped weapons decorated with arcane symbols give them a very distinct look. A look, I must admit, I’m quite fond of.

IMG_1637

Especially the troglodytes have a certain weird vibe – perhaps because the minis are huge. I mean huge compared to pre-slotta Citadel minis, but even next to the minis you see now a day they look big.

IMG_1638

It was thus with great satisfaction that I succeeded in securing the seven troglodytes including the original box and actually doing so without having to pay some absurd sum.

IMG_1645

Sadly when I unpacked my precious troglodytes I discovered that all of them are starting to show signs of the dreaded lead rot and some are even beginning to crack. The seller had not mentioned this in his auction and perhaps I should have returned them but I’m so glad that I finally have a set of these minis, and managed to purchase them for a decent price, that I’m willing to spend the required time restoring them.

IMG_1644

But clearly I now need to get cracking at the lizards, since they are on their fast way towards disintegration. It thus looks as if my next painting project will be this set.

IMG_1643

Do you have any experience handling lead rot you want to share? I’ll probably need all the advice I can get soon!

IMG_1641

IMG_1640

IMG_1639

Dark elf magic in the air

Very little has been going on in the paint department lately but next Tuesday we will play a version of the intro scenario from WFB 2ed – the famous “Ziggurath of Doom” scenario. However, instead of dwarfs the scenario will revolve around a band of fierce dark elves entering the ruined temple in order to steal a precious gem and carry it away. The inhabitants of the temple, mean-spirited death cultists and mad greenskins will do whatever in their power to stop them. It is now up to the elves to get their blood ruby and get out of the temple before they are surrounded by opponents. Oh, by the way, the elves will have the help of one ogre and one goblin, but more about that in my next post.

IMG_1627

What I want to show you here is the Citadel dark elf sorcerer I had a chance to finish for the game. I really like the model despite the fact that something is completely wrong with his face. One eye is positioned much lower than the other making him look rather dimwitted from certain angles. Nevertheless the mini is totally badass and I love hos oriental-looking cloak.

IMG_1625

I was in the mood for experimentation and rather adventurously decided to add some magic effect to the sorcerer. I’m not sure how well it turned out though. It was fun to do and every once in a while I think it’s important to do stuff that brings us out of our comfort zones and usual way of doing things.

IMG_1626

I’ll be back soon wit pics from our game.

Cheers

Martin

The Boyz Are Back in Town

IMG_1609

Here you see my latest output – five more greenskins. Technically they’re all orcs as the little fellow you see among the classic Citadel orcs is an orc from Metal Magic. However in my collection he’ll be serving as some sort of elite goblin. Elite because he looks way more well-equipped and fierce than most 80’s-era Citadel goblins.

IMG_1608

I’m no huge Metal Magic fan but they did a lot of fine models, but I’m not sure their orcs are to be counted among them. Somehow their orcs lack personality or that certain quality which makes the miniature vibrant. At least that’s how I fell about their orcs. Nevertheless I have quite a few of these Metal Magic orcs and eventually, once painted, they’ll constitute a nice alternative to my Citadel greenskins.

IMG_1603

Most of the Citadel orcs were produced in that golden year of 1987. The only exception is the one in a brownish red/yellow tunic holding a bow and grabbing for his scimitar. He is one of the Orcs of the Red Eye-range released in ’85 (I think) for the Middle-Earth universe. Not that this makes him different from the other orcs in any way!

IMG_1601The shield you see in the middle, on the slightly blurry picture, was inspired by Eddie on the cover of the first Iron Maiden record. The guy on the shield ended up looking somewhat more like an undead Ziggy Stardust but being a major Bowie-fan this hardly matters.

IMG_1610

Iron Maiden 1980

Iron Maiden 1980

Ziggy Stardust

Ziggy Stardust

Ah, what geeky fun we have with our miniatures.

Cheers

Martin