Saturday, August 27, 2016

Bringing Back An Old Unit: Beast Handlers & Shape Changers

Hi everyone,

Does anyone remember the old Beast Masters & Shape Changers from way back in third edition Warhammer Armies?

Well, I certainly do! I also have all the figures and the original animals.  I completely forgot about them until recently when I was opening boxes looking for miniatures for the Wood Elf Spear unit I am currently updating.

I thought to myself, what a cool idea to bring them back as proxy units for Kings of War.  The beast handlers existed as miniatures, but the shape changers did not.  So I opted to use different were creatures to represent them.

The only problem with this approach is that such creatures are rare where miniature representations are concerned.  That means I could not create units of were-creatures with different poses, without a nightmare of extra work! So I opted to combine these two old unit types into one unit.

I already had a were-bear, and I found miniatures for a were-boar and a were-cat  with a company called Otherworldly Miniatures.  The following is a break down of what I am going to do in the coming weeks after I finish the Wood Elf Spear unit.

The Bear Clan

The first unit I will put together is the Bear Clan.  Initially, I was going to proxy all these units as Hunters of the Wild, but that would require putting the unit on a 20x20mm multibase.  They seemed way too cramped, so I opted for a large infantry horde multibase.  Therefore, I will have to proxy this unit instead of tree shamblers horde.

The Boar Clan

These figures are probably my favourite.  The elven boar handler just looks so badass and feral! I can't believe I forgot all about him!  This unit will be a proxy for the Hunters of the Wild unit.  I will build them up as two troop units.  This way I can use them as troops or combined as a regiment.  Flexibility is always good.

The Cat Clan

I will approach the Cat Clan in the same way as the Boar Clan, that is as two troop units and as proxies for the Hunters of the Wild. The were-cat is probably the coolest of all my were miniatures.  I remember seeing this model for the first time on Beasts of War. It is actually a were-tiger, but that wont do for a wood elf army.  The dynamic pose and ferocity was burned into my memory.  When I started looking for figures to represent my were-creatures, it was the first mini I went looking for.
Now, all I need to do is look for a variety of bears, boars and cats to fill up the unit, but I will leave that for another time and another post.  So until then, farewell and good health.





  NR

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Kings of War:- Elf Spears Part 4

Hi everyone,

I have finally started to work on the cavalry leader of the Elf Spear Unit.  This was not as straight forward as one might think.  The 'bit' of the horse gear around the mouth and the reins were very thick.  The reins were in fact ropes meant for steering chariots.

So it all had to go!  I tried to save the side flaps of the bit.  These were very nice, but they were molded into the neck.  Carving them was too rough and they snapped, therefore I clipped everything off.

I used the bit and reins of a Chaos Marauder horse.  These were very easy to cut off, but I am afraid the head of the chaos horse was beyond saving.


After adding the mouth bit parts, I extended the reins with putty and re-sculpted the lower part of the horse's mane.

The rider was far less work.  All I had to do was add an arm.  He originally came with a lance, and his arm as bent accordingly.  This would not do, so I found a replacement.  Easy enough.  I glued it on and sculpted some mail to match it as best I could to the other arm.

I also added a sheep fur saddle which I copied of a Napoleonic Cavalry officer.  I thought it would look cool.  Not so sure now, but the work is done!

The last step was to prime it grey an fix any defects that stood out glaringly after spraying.  There were no serious problems.
At this point I glued on all the rest of the models to the multibase and puttied them up.  Everything seems to be coming together nicely and as planned.

Now all I have to do is paint it!  Until that happens - farewell and good health.





  NR

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Kings of War:- Elf Spears Part 3

Hi everyone,

If you have read last week's post, I am currently working on a horde unit of Elf Spears.  I am updating the unit for Kings of War on multibases.

I finished converting the spear elves and I now have finished the painting.  Like the other figures I have painted for my elf units, the difficulty is matching the old paint job styles.  But I think I have managed fairly well.

The first miniatures I painted up in this batch are the converted spearmen. Unfortunately, I could not replicate the colour of the scalemail of the older elves. I did not even come close.  In the end I went with a compromise in colour, but I do think the miniatures still blend in.

After painting them up, I glued in the last two rows and the side ranks to the multibase and puttied up he bases.  This way is easier and allows more space to work, than gluing everything on and trying to place the putty in between the models.


Overall I think the new models blend in well and are inconspicuous unless you are actually trying to look at the individual models rather than the unit.

I also managed to finish painting up the hedge mage, as I like to call these unit based magic users.  I went for subdued patterns that are hard to see unless you look directly at the model.  This was done on purpose in order not to deflect the attention from the unit as a whole, nor to deflect the attention away fron the central figure - the cavalry model.

That is all for this week.  Join me next week as I start work on the leader of the unit.  Until then, farewell and good health to all.





 
  NR

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Kings of War:- Elf Spears Part 2

Hi everyone,

So today I will continue talking about the work I have started with my first horde unit of Elf spears!

So the first thing I did was paint up the champion holding the double handed sword.  I know I should have started with the cavalry leader, but I could not help myself - the miniature is just way too cool.

The difficulty with the painting was not the painting per se, but trying to match the colours with the colours I used over 15 years ago.  The original paints have all been used up or dried out.  Therefore painting the champion took a lot of mixing samples until I came close enough to the original paint scheme.

Also, my painting skills have evolved over the years, so I had to unlearn a lot of what I have learnt in order to paint these miniatures - if that makes any sense at all! Overall I like the results.


The last thing I did was to start the converting of the High Elf spears.  I decided to keep two more or less the same with just a 'blanket' added over their shoulder.  I have seen many American Civil War soldiers with these types of 'blankets', and I though it would look neat on Wood Elves.

The other two went through some more drastic changes.  I literally cut off their heads and added some Wood Elf plastic heads from the Glade Guard sprue.


After sculpting, I primed them to help bring out any defects and get them ready for painting.  Hopefully, if all goes well they will be ready next week or the week after.




So that is all for today.  As usual, I will see you all next week.  Until then, farewell and good health.





  NR

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Kings of War:- Elf Spears Part 1

Hi everyone,

Today I start to convert my last unit to multibase for my Kings of War Sylvan Army.  Like the other units I have converted to multibases, these spearmen have been painted up several years ago.

Altogether I had 30 figures painted up, but since a multibase can fit 40 infantry models to a minimum of 21, I was OK with the model count - at least that is what I thought.


When I tried to place them on the base, I noticed that 30 models makes this horde/host unit look empty. I tried putting in some scenery but I was not convinced.  If they were a light armoured skirmishing unit, the diorama/scenery option would work, but these are a massed rank and file unit.  Therefore I needed to add more miniatures to the unit.

The problem was I did not have more of these particular GW miniatures.  A quick search on ebay proved useless as the results were epensive being oop and all!

So I had to find another solution.  I went back to my miniature stocks and started to open up dusty boxes that had not seen the light in over a decade and a half.

I managed to find 4 metal High Elf spearmen, that would work with a little bit off conversion and painting.  Strategically placed in the unit they would blend in and go more or less unnoticed.

I also found two old Jes Goodwin miniatures from the same period as the unit.  One was a champion model and another a wizard.  The champion came out in the eighties as part of the command staff along with the leader, standard bearer and musician.  The wizard was part of the old metal Wood Elf chariot set.
Since this is a big unit I thought that a larger command staff would look cool.  What leader would not want a wizard adviser in his ranks?

This brought me up to 6 figures, but I was still 4 miniatures short.  I had a problem, because although I do have plenty of wood elves, I had no more spearmen which meant more conversions.

I was about to choose four lightly armoured old wood elf swordmen to convert to spearmen when I by chance to a look at my 10mm High Elf army.  There was a unit that had a cavalry leader on it and the light bulb that appeared on my head exploded with the surcharge of excitement. 
What a cool idea! I just had to do it, so I spent another hour unpacking old boxes until I stumbled upon an old silver Helm cavalry model that was perfect.  I took a horse from the High Elf Lion Chariot kit and put everything together.

The result was encouraging!  Not only did it look cool, but the cavalry model filled up the 4 model slot without making the unit look empty.  Fantastic - two pigeons with one stone!

Now the real work begins, so stay with me as I work my way thhrough this unit and bring it up to standard for a mighty KOW army.  Until next time farewell and goodhealth.






  NR

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Kings of War: Tree Shamlers Part 2

Hi everyone

So I have finished up another unit - the Tree Shambers.  Made up of old GW treemen for the most part and looking like a dance team striking a pose :) , they had to become tree shamblers because compared to the new treemen they are just too small.


I finished up the third treeman and and glued him to the multibase.  Just like the Dryads they needed something more, so I decided to paint up some roots and sprites for this unit as well.




The last step, as always, is to add the grass tufts and forest-in-a-pot scatter material - and viola! A Tree Shambler unit ready to squat butt!





Stay tuned for next week as I begin to tackle my first horde/host unit of elven spears.  Until then, farewell and good health.





   NR


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