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!)


Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Parades March Closer and the Ticking of Time

I was glad I signed up for the AoP when I did. With a full time job and 5 children, it's a hefty undertaking to say the least! I find allotting a few hours a day and deciding to sit and make it happen helps...helps to make me feel guilty as I sit and play another round of Total War, or sit and procrastinate, looking at every other army I have and hearing the desperate cries for help and rebirth they so desperately need. These things however, are not getting the entry done and done it needs to be! I have a vision and this entry for armies on parade is the window into that vision. The eyes are the window to the soul, so too is this entry a window into mine. That is what keeps me ticking over, that is what is making this a reality as time marches on. I think people who achieve, don't achieve just because it's easy for them, by the same token I don't feel it's entirely 100% hard work, nose to the grind stone. I think their achievements are a window and reflection of who they are at that time. People say, where do you find the time to be doing this stuff? I reply, where do you find the time to smoke, drink, go clubbing, pubbing or anything else? You find time, you /make/ time. I WANT these people, races, beings, to /be/ something I want to achieve that and no matter the distractions, no matter if it takes 3 months, years or decades. They will be saved. The vision of my soul /will/ be made manifest. First though, I need to finish the window! lol, to that end, here are a few pics of general layout and supplies I've used so far.      

The general layout is fairly simple, the damned being marched to an alter for sacrifice. I wanted to inset them all though; I feel this looks a lot better than having them all just plonked on a board. This meant that my realm of battle game board was out of the question. As I sit, ruminating on the task at hand, both Vaul of the elves and Grungi shake their heads at me, their shoulders slumping. The future of this project, rested on the shoulders of a god who had no idea about crafting nor tool use. They worked through me. Urging me to do research. Find ways, techniques. Every mouse click I made every hardware store convo I had, there they were guiding me. In the end I settled on MDF two boards of varying thickness. The thinner to have holes cut. The thicker to be the base. By the time I got home I had all I needed. Glue, wood brushes! I looked into things like polystyrene for the cliffs and rocks. Requiring a hit wire cutter and things of that nature to shape. Then Xothica, mother of Elves told me about Florists foam. Very very malleable and light yet when treated with wood glue, solid enough to be painted. I purchased blocks of the stuff and while yes it was perfect for molding, makes one hell of a mess! We paid a visit to my father, holder of all things power tool related and he guided me in their use. I now heartedly regret all of those hours playing Baulders Gate in my room as a teenager when I could've been learning the finer points of power equipment. Luckily though, the old boy is still around and only too happy to instruct me now. Under his tutelage, with Vaul and Grungi present and guiding me, I was able to cut the holes required and preped for the next step. Next, the cleaning up of the cuts, measuring for fit and gluing!  

Monday, 14 August 2017

Orion's Plea and an Army Usurped

The Asrai were going to be painted in an Autumn theme, which with the benefit of hindsight was befitting of this entire project. The idea that the creator god was going to 'save' the old world, freeze time, on the brink of annihilation, fitted well with the Autumn theme, the coming Winter, the death of all. However this Autumn would be perpetual. In a land of constant, war what better time to stop the clock than when all balanced on a knife edge? The idea that the mighty Orion and his children reflected, in their army make up and colour scheme, the very essence of this project even before I had decided to undertake the just seems like providence. I had decided on brown and greys. A late Autumn theme. All of the Asrai were going to be armed with bone weapons and all trees and plants were going to reflect the tone of the army. Once again, greys and browns. I began with Araloth, though I left his shield off. I had every intent of customising him and using him as my own character (Imrillion). I got a large unit of Eternal Guard. Glade guard, great eagles glade riders and wild riders. The army was to be primarily mounted. With few forest spirits. As their power wanes during late autumn through winter, many forest spirits enter hibernation along with the rest of the forest. my vision was a highly mobile force of mostly Asrai who were using more animals than spirits. This would give the look and feel of the Elves desperate attempt to protect the Forrest by themselves,
without their forest spirit allies.

This was until Emma began to feel an affinity with the woodelves and sylvaneth herself. Imrillion here was the only one that ever got the life-giving touch of the brush. After that, Emma took over the forest spirits and great eagles and I began to breathe life into the Druchii. I shall get back to them in short order. My heart has always been with Orion and his children and I look forward to making a custom Orion build, in this autumn theme and Lord Kurnos hungers for the thrill of the endless hunt. He has seen the mighty Khaine made whole again and his wild spirit howls at the chance to run free in the wood once again. 

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Isha Gets a Goddess and Input From the Lady of the House

As we drove today Emma was complimenting me on the blog. She was telling me that she enjoyed reading it and was compelled to check it every day to watch the project and world of Warhammer Fantasy grow! As well as the eventual rise of the AoS "Aelves" we spoke about my current army project, the models I had amassed and the armies I was yet to build. She urged me to mention our plans for a joint Armies on Parade entry, some time in the future. I thought it would make for a fantastic entry so now is as good a time as any!

The goddess Isha had suffered greatly, seeing her children die, as chaos marched across the world. All would've been lost had it not been for the machinations of a creator goddess, one who had the power to bring back Isha and her children from the brink! 

Emma fell in love with the Wood Elves after she had an epiphany, a sakura themed forest spirit army! I have spoken about buying her a Dark Elf force previously. That was all well and good until the idea of delicate pink and white petals being splattered with blood as vicious forest spirits nobly defended their forest home from interlopers! Not only has Emma quite the eye for aesthetics and colour theory, she is also a massive Japanophile. Emma decided to take it upon herself to raise Isha's woodland realms from the brink. 

With pigment and brush, everywhere the Mother Goddess touched, cherry blossoms bloomed throughout Athel Loren. Isha was filled with joy at the colour and vibrancy of her new and enriched realm! Ancient tree folk had new life breathed into them - dryads, treemen even animals of the forest all felt the mother goddess' touch...

Her painting is beautiful. She's a natural! Having never picked up a brush before she began to churn out pieces like this! I don't mind admitting to feeling a tad jealous, that after honing my painting abilities over almost a quarter century my fiancé comes in and starts churning out models of comparable quality! Having said that I am far far more proud of her achievement! The woods of Athel Loren have never looked so beautiful!

Unfortunately with ying comes yang; with the delicate and beautiful you must always have the brutish and ugly. For without the brutish and ugly, you have no point of reference to decide that which is beautiful!  To that end, I decided to play around with a similar colour scheme on something utterly different...enter the war herd of Saachen Goreheart! A beast lord utterly devoted to the prince of excess. Saachen and his herd would be the antitheses to Isha's new and beautiful children. The creator god was pleased with his creation and an idea bloomed. The mother would create a force of delicate, wondrous Sakura spirits. While the Creator would bring forth their equal in a chaotic and bestial tide of pinks, greys and whites. We would make and submit an armies on parade as a snapshot of these two mighty forces clashing on the fields of battle.

But that is a story to come. One thing at a time and right now, that's the children of Khaine. 

Friday, 11 August 2017

On Tullaris and Modeling

I have always loved the characters in WHFB. For my money though I liked to make my own, through Path to Glory or similar rules. The exception, however, comes in the form of characters without models; I always feel so bad for these guys, the underdogs. So when I decided I was submitting an Armies on Parade with a sacrifice and execution theme I HAD to make Tullaris. As leader of the Executioners and devotee of the bloody handed god, Khaine himself was begging me to bring back his most favoured son! Now I know he HAS had a model, but nothing updated. I wanted him to stand out and I wanted him to fit with the current style of executioner.

I started with a bit of a dark elf/Darkeldar kitbash. I was happy enough but it lacked something, he was too static. I thought on it and eventually settled on a samurai-style pose, swapped out the arm, angled his head down, as well as used the arm with his finger pointing toward what he was looking at. It made for a very powerful pose. He, with the other executioners, would be a perfect frame for each side of the path to sacrifice, both guard and cultist.

The effect is great when you couple it with the poor souls being marched to their death. Emma really loves and feels sorry for the wretched - while they have no bearing in the "army" portion of the Armies on Parade diorama, they are an important part of it none the less. On my Instagram I posted their pictures and gave them a bit of a back story. I set the scene in the realms. They were the fighting men of a free peoples village, though they could just as easily been the fighting men of Marienburg or Grunburg. The village had fended off orcs, daemons, armies of undead and other humans. They had a reputation as warriors and honourable men. Their home had not fallen to the predation of much stronger and faster advisories...that was until one morning they awoke to such cold terror it froze their hearts solid within their chests. Every child had been taken in the night. Not one person had heard a thing, not one dog bark nor cat hiss had alerted anyone. They took to the streets, calling the names of their loved ones, to no avail. It was a mystery until a note was found, scrawled on the side of a village elders home. Written in blood with tiny fingers, in a shaking childish script it read:

"Bring your best, bring your mightiest, bring your brightest and most able. Blind them, bind them and please, let us come home."

The folk could do nothing but acquiesce, for what more can a parent do? With a calm nobility, the greatest warriors of the town stood, one by one, stoic. They had their necks and arms chained, their eyes gouged and tongues cut out. The blind mutes were marched to the shores, to waiting corsair vessels. Mirth and humour was evident on the face of each pirate. As the slaves were shoved aboard and taken below, the last thing any of them heard was the merciless laughter as the pirates butchered their women and children. With their greatest warriors in chains, mutilated, the village never stood a chance.

By the act of a creator god, not only has an entire village been put to the sword, ravaged by pirates, but good men tortured and sent to meet an ignoble end. Good and evil, two sides of the same coin. The only justification needed is that it was part of the vision of a creator!

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Creator God and the Rise of Khaine

I had agreed to enter into the Armies on Parade. Emma and I drove away and I was full of ideas; I prattled on about the models I had and worried about the ones I didn't. I talked about colour schemes and needing to read up on current lore. All the while Emma nodded when required and looked on lovingly as I spewed forth the very stuff of primordial creation!

An idea began to germinate. I had just concluded a business transaction in the form of a large quantity of plastic crack from a fellow junkie, who later became like a brother to me! Witch Elves were the order of the day. They were initially purchased as a project for Emma whilst I worked on my 8th edition wood elves.

I would like to insert here that while the transaction was carried out between this soon-to-be family member and I, they did in fact belong to his own beautiful lady, purchased by me for my beautiful lady..,but fate is a strange and fickle mistress and it turned out that Emma preferred the wood elves and she decreed I should have the Druchii!

Continuing on...

I purveyed the transaction... a cauldron, witches, sisters of slaughter, Morathi... Everything a growing armies on parade entry needed to get off of the ground! It was then and there I decided... The entry would comprise 3 parts...

1) Corsairs, led by Lokhir Fellheart, who would be marching slaves along a stretch of ground, flanked by...

2) 2 rows of Executioners - Tullaris would be present, pointing in a sinister manner at the soon to be victims of a dead God's thirst, and they would be guarding...

3) Two units of ten Witch Elves, flanking an alter to Khaine, set in a cliff face with a cauldron of blood at his feet.  The cliffs and much of the terrain would have to be modelled from scratch.

This was the basis for my board. Children of a dead race trying to revive their god by sacrificing those unlucky enough to be captured. They couldn't know their prayers would be answered by a god of a different sort, one who was completely outside of their time and space, one with the power to grant that desperate wish and one with a fixation born of decades of single minded addiction to a hobby.

I sketched out a rough diagram of what I wanted the board to look like and set about painting executioners with wild abandon. since then I have completed my corsairs, witches and the statue of Khaine with the Cauldron of blood. With pigment, brush, putty and glue I am breathing life back into a dead world, raising up from the ashes a dead society and religion. Tullaris, Lokhir, Their underlings, all bought back from the abyss, from the halls of entropy. I, the creator god, look down at my work, realising there was still so much more but steadfast and buoyed by my progress. Khaine stares up at me from the eyes of his idol, thankful for the chance to exist once again.

Meanwhile, it isn't only the Dark Elves that are being saved. Skaven, Vampire Counts, Orcs, Dwarves, men of the empire, Bretonnia, Wood Elves and Highelves, Evan chaos themselves, those that brought about the end times, the change, have been collected and continue to be... Louis, Archaon, Imrik, Luthor, Morathi, The Green Knight, Queek, Grimgor, Azhag, Vlad, Konrad... the names of heroes already safe and secured within the creator gods realm, MY realm but with each name listed there are many many more still to go. I need to do this, I need closure, I need, vehemently to hold on to that which bore me through many many years of both highs and lows, I need my constant, I need my rock. I need that world that makes sense, where good triumphs, despite the odds and evil is beaten back into the dark night.