Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Khaine's worshipers grow and the future of Cav

I sat back and beheld what I had done. This Armies on Parade was good for me. I can honestly say, hand on heart I'v never fully completed a warhammer project before. Sure I've painted plenty of models I've fully painted and based some modest sized armies but never to a "better than tabletop" standard. This AoP, my visions and the whispers of dead gods have really driven me to achieve. I have been quickened by seeing this project come to fruition. The effort, the planing the execution, all of it has come together, to form a real, tangible, physical representation of a creator gods will. The plastic, pigment, sand, glue, flock, time, effort, energy. Its all there! Its all there and it has shown me I am on the right path. These stories need to continue to be told, these characters are still yearning to be heard. I had planed to take a break from the hobby, until after the Armies on parade. To let myself unwind and experience the new Total war Warhammer 2. I did try, I gave it a red hot crack but as i sat there clicking the mouse, moving Malekith from battle to battle, Khaine was urging my hand. I kept looking at my paints, looking at my table, seeing the cold dead grey witches, devoid of vigor, practically shapeless in their monochrome uniformity. I couldn't do it. I couldn't put the brush down. So I started my next unit. 20 witch elves, their pale, hated flesh tones that need hours of blending and washing, sapping away an eternity of my life. 6 layers of gold armor, green glaze for poisoned blades, 3 layers of black for the leather with delicate and fine highlighting. These rank and file cultists of the lord of murder were getting the same care and attention as if they were Hellebron herself. 3 weeks and I had churned out another unit of  Witches. fully based, moment tray and ready for battle. as I sat, feeling contented in my work, the lord of murder's hand took my chin, his powerful grip no longer incorporeal and devoid of substance. Now the metallic tang of blood was all too real, the smell, the heat and the feel. The viscous fluid, tickled as it ran in rivulets to form thick oozing stalactites hanging from my jaw, drips fell with a dull tap-tap-tap on my cream carpet. None of this I saw though. I was transfixed by his gaze, white hot, molten metal orbs, sent icy shards of fear and purpose through me. This was a turning point. Before now I had a hobby, I had a goal, now though, now it was an obsession. He cursed me with conviction, he placed a hex on me a hex that drives me still to this day to complete his rebirth. I am having trouble sleeping, my mind is ablaze with possibilities! I must now finish my next unit of witches, 30 in all. Along with Hellebron, Hag Queen and leader of the cult of Khaine. After them I move onto a unit of 20 sisters of slaughter. Their blood lust and artistic murderous prowess is pleasing to the lord of murder. As for the pirates who supply them their slaves I have 20 more to complete. An interesting aside, While I am well and truly in the grip of Khaine so is Vaul, both of us now brothers in servitude. we have concocted a means by which to add both chariots and cold ones to the army. We will use Kharibdyss heads! They shall be fixed to cav bases, designed to look like water, on their backs shall ride corsairs. They will appear as great sea snakes being ridden into battle by pirate slavers. We will twist sky cutter chariots to shadowy ends, crew them with Corsairs and once again have them drawn by Sea Serpents.  this is the vision of three gods. Lord Khaine shall have his bloody host, they in turn shall sacrifice countless souls to his majesty, given to them by their pirate raider allies. As always though, in the back ground, not more than a whispered suggestion, is a scratching, chittering, and skittering and bells, bells that toll 13 times, 13 times a day. Its enough to drive a person quite mad.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

The sacrifice draws near, Khains power grows

Its been a very eventful month! The day of sacrifice is less than one month away and the Armies on Parade Project is quickly drawing to a close. Lord Khaine is ascendant and eagerly awaiting his return to reality. No longer will he be a shade, struggling against the bonds of entropy. Through this AoP entry, the lord of murder shall once again rise to his rightful place in the pantheon of Deities. Over the last month Vaul possessed me in earnest. He worked through me, shaping mountains, hills, grass and even ancient ruins. Through his creative majesty the entire Warhammer reality has manifested on a 2 x 2 piece of wood. I have hardened my chosen medium (florists foam) using PVA glue, undercoated, sprayed, brushed and flocked. Through Vauls artifice the mediocre wood was transformed into mud, dirt, grass, blood, pathways, vegetation and even eldritch mist! What was once flat, featureless, wood is now a scene of blood-shed, a ritual sacrifice. The wretched are march to their fate, lead by the fierce pirate slaver Lokhir Fellheart, his black hearted crew ensuring none may slip their bonds and flee. A guard of executioners, attended by Tullaris himself watch on, their impassive masks hiding faces well accustomed to visions of blood and death. Frenzied witches dance and cavort at the base of the stairs leading to the place of slaughter. Toasting their sacrifice with a chalice of blood, a hag bathes in the energizing and revitalizing fluid. Xothica, forever young and beautiful, holds in her hand the ritual blade that shall slice the throats of the wretched and allow their precious vitae to flow into her cauldron, their souls offered up to mighty Khaine as fuel for his rebirth. The bleak and imposing crag that houses the cauldron also houses the idol. Khaine's cold and harsh features stare down from on high. Eldritch mists emanate forth, blanketing the landscape, eerie and otherworldly. This is a place of death... and great power. Cyclopean ruins house ever churning pools of blood. Razor leaf vines grow insidiously, feeding on the sorcerous crimson liquid. A common site on the fields of battle, throughout the mortal realms and old world. Their leaves conspire to slice living flesh, in a never ending desire to feed their roots on the life energies of warm bloods. Bodies lay scattered from those foolish enough to attempt escape. The Drichii, ever the sadists, allow those that slip their binds to almost make it to freedom, some being shot with bolts or impaled with spears,  others being beheaded on the very steps of the realm-gate to freedom.

The centerpiece of this project is without a doubt the Mist. I had posted a picture on Instagram of the almost completed build, lamenting the fact I couldn't accurately reflect the mists from the realm of shadow. One of the people the follows me suggested a pool of water and dry ice. I hunted for a dry ice seller in my local area and was lucky enough to find a stockist. I purchased a kilogram and ran some tests. The results of which were fantastic! the dry ice bubbles and fulminates and gives a perfect mist effect. It adds both movement and depth to the entire piece. I've found myself with some time to spare so now I have decided to try my hand at Air brushing to see if I cant make myself a half decent background with which to tie together the entire thing.           

Monday, 4 September 2017

Children venerate the creator and the Goddess brings life to the common man in the mortal realms.

It was Fathers day... which also happens to fall in my birthday month. What is birthday month? well Emma and I tend to spoil each other and the children a bit and as such, birthdays are less days and more entire months! To that end come the first of September The creator god was given a gift by the Mother goddess! sitting upon the throne, ruminating on further shaping the reality of the old world Emma suddenly got all excited and asked me if I wanted one of my Birthday month presents! Me being the restrained and stoic individual that I am, almost wet myself and replied "Hell yes I want a present!". Giggling she jumped up and ran to grab it. I was instructed to shut my eyes so as not to spoil the plethora of other gifts all ready stockpiled. once she had found what she was looking for she raced back and into my lap plonked the Generals Hand Book  2017! I was super happy! From what I had read the GHB was really good. I was excited to see what changed and what magic items were now available to my armies! I was also eagre to see the new fortress assault rules as I had gotten my hands on an old "Warhammer Fortress" and now eagerly await an excuse to use it! The Free Peoples are going to have a blast pruning Sylvaneth from those mighty walls! The Wanderer magic items look really cool, I cant wait to have a Prince with a spear causing grievous bodily harm to his enemies in the form of splinterous death! I'm also going to make a Darkling coven hero a suicide bomber! The new rules for allies are GREAT! I can finally field my Druarden properly (Yes I am a gun line player) and my Darkling covens can have Khaines daughters back at their head! The Goddess, it turns out, had ordered warlord version of the GHB, the one with all the cool optional extras! More on that later. As we scrutinised the book we both were eagre to have a roll in the mortal realms once again! Emma was inspired to paint some more Sylvaneth and I was inspired to flesh out my Warherd! First things first however I need to finish my AoP entry! 

Speaking of which I spent some time boring holes, wiring up the cliffs, texturing in and sealing holes. now I need to add a pool of water at the base of Khains feet for the dry ice, to produce the mist, paint and do the finer detail stuff then we are all set!

Fathers day rolled around next and man did I get spoiled. I was given the rare opportunity by Emm and the Kids to sleep in, a task I undertook with much gusto and was eventually awoken with 5 kisses, 5 cuddles and a chorus of "Happy Fathers DAY!" I snuggled each individual little meat sack and gave tickles and luvs as required. I was then met by the smell of toasted pastries, fruit toast, bacon, eggs, sausages and baked beans! I got up and walked out into the lounge room, It has been decorated with streamers and balloons. I walked to the dining room and before me was a banquet! More food than I could poke a grot at and 5 grinning kids with a beaming fiancĂ© all waited for me to sit so we could eat! I sat down and we all dived in, all 7 of us ate our fill and there was plenty left over to pick at for the rest of the day. After gorging ourselves like ogres at a religious ceremony for the great maw came presents! As I said before Emma had gotten me the Warlord edition of the GHB and the extra bits were given to me by the kids. There was a fair bit of stuff in there including; battle plan cards, featuring the new battleplans from the book;
27 reference cards, covering Coalition of Death, Triumph & Treachery and the new Matched Play Triumphs; A sheet of tokens covering terrain markers, wound markers, terrain effects, magic statuses and battle shock; 2 victory point trackers; 2 summoning rulers; A pad of 50 blank rosters for Matched Play games, It was AWESOME! Next was a book I had wanted for AGES; Path to glory. as we all know I'd much rather make my own characters and give them backgrounds and the path to glory rules are perfect for that! As soon as I'm done with my AoP entry, Emma and I are starting a campaign, Sylvaneth vs War Heards. Which may, in fact, be my next AoP entry, Emm and I had talked about it before, Her Sakura Sylvaneth  in a desperate fight against my hordes of beasts! All devotees of Slaanesh and all painted using the same pallet as her cherry blossoms! I was also given a box of vines to add to my terrain and a heap of paint with which to paint my AoP board! Along with a plethora of other non GeeDub related stuff! All in all it was a fantastic fathers day, I was completely spoilt and have offered up many a prayer to the gods, giving thanks to my beautiful little family, for all the love they show me and all the trouble they go to, so that I can have a great day. I just hope I can live up to and be worthy of having such amazing loved ones!

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Vaul and Khaine clash...and more creativity than can be poked with but one stick!

The board continues. This past week or so has been pretty hectic. Emma and I had a couple of fairly big hits healthwise and we've really had to dig deep and support each other. Having said that I'm still making gains on the AoP entry and the fantasy project as a whole!

Grungi saw fit to bless me with a new unit of metal slayers - a donation, and one I am really thankful for. Those guys are EXPENSIVE and hard to come by now. Emma has been busy prepping for my birthday, stealthily ordering from Forge World and making Games Workshop purchases! I've been able to put in a solid few hours on the board, texturing it, adding small details and sealing the cliff-side ready for paint. While on the subject of paint, we went and grabbed that too! I also got my hands on some lights to illuminate the statue of Khaine.

Finally I have all I need to complete it. I posted a few snaps to instagram, lamenting the fact I couldn't work out how to make mist for the realm of shadow. Then, one of my insta followers suggested sourcing some dry ice! Vaul's eyes lit up at the creative suggestion while the bloody-handed god just wanted it to be done and finished, so that I could continue with the other witch elves, corsairs, cold ones, Malekith, Morathi, bolt thrower, Medusa, dread-spears and dark shards! They began a heated argument that devolved into blows. Their battle was immense, lasting a grand total of  30 seconds before I overruled and sided with Vaul. I sourced dry ice and now there will be mist, fulminating from the cliff, at the base of Khaine's feet, illuminated red by the lights! This has put the project back a little but not too badly. Now I need to sit down, hollow out the back of the cliff, install the lights, make a hole for the mist to seep out of and undercoat the entire thing! I also got around to free-hand painting the other unit banners and putting finishing touches on some of the models I missed. All in all, despite our current trials, a productive week.

On the horizon are also more minions of the rat god, their chittering and scampering gnawing at the edges of my sanity, urging me to drop all and give myself over to the dreaded 13! Also a new rumbling in my gut is indicative of some type of imminent ogre incursion!
While going through the multitude of boxes I have from yesteryear I found the Empires Patriarch; Balthazar Gelt! I really need to try and get a Franz! I was buzzed as he is one of my favourite characters. The paint job is abysmal; 18 yr old me REALLY needs to learn to thin his paints. Saint Duncan would be appalled. Tonight after work shall be more work on the Realm Gate and hopefully finishing off my base colours so I can do the highlighting the day after.     

These black areas are going to have the same marble effect that the statue of Khaine has. The magical energies shall be a purple base with blue and white highlights.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Mortality and the power to change it.

Bit of a deep post this one.

I can't go into much detail for medical confidentiality reasons, so I'll skim over the facts as best I can, while still putting my thoughts down. I worked on a dead man today (I am an emergency response officier) for a fair while and in the end, he came back to us. When I got to the scene my initial thought was that it didn't look good; I mentally prepared for the worst and just did my job. I couldn't tell you times or names or anything. The urgency of the situation, the onlookers, my own stress and adrenaline made the universe condense into just me, him and the kit I had on hand. Eventually he was handed on and treated at hospital.

The feedback I got was that he was stable and doing well. There were hand shakes and back slaps and plenty of "thank god you were on shift, you did great, you saved a life" and that kind of thing. Meanwhile I'm feeling embarrassed because all I did was do my job. I remember wiping sweat from my head at one point and thinking, this guy's family wants him. They really really want him to come home. It was a very powerful thought. I can't say it drove me to do anything different. My job is my job and I do it well. Sitting down with a cup of tea after it all, sitting here, I am feeing tired. Really tired.

All I want to do is paint. Just unwind, drink a cup of tea and get lost in my project and the world I'm creating, the world I'm trying to save and keep safe. It dawned on me that it must be my personality. Regardless of what I'm working on at the time, I've imitated my professional life in my personal. I just don't seem to be able to stop saving things. The irony wasn't lost on me either. Here by virtue of my will, I am saving an entire universe from death. While in the real world I've done the same thing, just ask his wife and child. I'm sure, had things not turned out the way they did, their universe would've been changed for ever. I'm glad today happened. It's unfortunate that, for me to be able to do and showcase my best work, someone else needs to have the worst day of their life.

I know this isn't very model related, but I'm not big on talking about the big stuff with people, it's much easier to write it. On a side note, I can't help but feel Sigmar and Ulric standing back, nodding saying something along he lines of "You did good lad" 😂

Thursday, 17 August 2017

A goddess' gentle touch can reform mountains and another God shows themselves.

Today was quite busy, even by a god's standards. I had set myself the goal of completing the rocky outcrop where the sacrifices were to be marched to, the holes in which to insert all bases, the bases for the blood pools and to stick the thinner board to the thicker one.

I dropped the children at school, which consisted of the obligatory forehead kiss, morning name writing and letter practice. We only had one stop to make before heading home, so I was anticipating a productive day of getting stuff done. I'd had a sound in my head all morning, kind of like when the wind blows outside at night, that howling. It was really quiet though, like it was far away. I ignored it and pretty much forgot about it, it eventually subsided to a gentle breeze sound, the kind you get as the wind gently rolls over long grass.

We got home and I got started. It is here I would like to say a HUGE thank you to Emma. 

Not only is she fully supportive of my hobby catharsis she is so very understanding. I have been all over the table for weeks and now, today, our dining room looked like a construction site! I had power tools, glue, files, blades, all over the place! I began by using a small file and enlarging and tidying up the holes I had made in the MDF. From here, I test fit each model until I was happy with the placement and size of the holes.

I must admit the process was somewhat more arduous than I had first thought and every time I began to feel like my shoulder hurt, Grungi would swig from his ale horn and snort >:{ I continued under Vaul's watchful gaze however and after a little while I had completed the task. By this time Khaine had decided to wander along and inspect my handiwork. To say he was pleased was an understatement. The day of sacrifice was drawing ever closer and he could almost taste the blood. Offering an encouraging nod he slipped back into the pocket plane of existence to eagerly await the witches blood orgy.

Next I cut out more MDF for the base of the blood pools, I'll slip those into their holes for a similar effect to the troops. With the tidying of the holes done and all the models fitting snugly I turned my attention to the cliff-side. I had planed on keeping them tall, and shear. while I liked the way it framed the the board it also shut it right in, blocking a lot of light and obscuring a lot of detail. Emma suggested tapering off the edges of the cliffs so that they started low at the left and right outer points and rose to a point at the center. This, it turned out was /exactly/ what was needed. Perfectly framed and perfectly well lit.

The idol of Khain is still sitting in a pool of shadow. He will be lit from beneath by red (or green, still undecided) LED's
Now all that was left to do was affix the two boards. This was achieved with wood glue, pressure and time! To that end, no weight training for a few days!

I almost forgot! That sound I was hearing, the wind and the breeze. Turns out it was Mor, God of death! A good friend of mine (the same one who had originally sent the witches) had sent me a large package and it arrived today! Inside was a Wight King, all Montarchs (still on sprue), 5 Black Knights, 30 Grave Guard, 10 Skeleton Warriors, a Terrorgheist (or dragon still on sprue), 3 bases of spirit hosts and a black coach! Mor was most pleased to see the ranks of the undead swell, as was I. I smiled and shut the lid on the box. Mor would have to wait; Khaine had come first and there was a blood pact to be fulfilled.

Also, he is quite the artist and has rendered me in ink, both as an Ork and Word Bearer. They are now both on display in our bedroom. (They were going in the Warhammer room but we loved them so much we had to put them in the bedroom!)