Warcradle Studios commissioned me to build a table for their theirWild West Exodus miniatures game. The "Watcher Hive" was a pretty ambitious concept, involving a 4' x4' board representing the hive interior, lit with LED lighting, and a separate board representing the mountain exterior around the hive.
Today, we'll take a look at the mountain exterior:
To celebrate Halloween, I'm having a sale in my Skull Forge Scenics shop– A perfect opportunity to pick up some graveyard scenery for your battlefield! I've added a new item in the shop as well–a handy combat gauge.
As it happens, I collect two of the most unsupported armies in Age of Sigmar. I guess that can be said for a lot of classic armies, but Death is the only entire grand alliance to receive absolutely nothing new in the two years since Sigmar premiered. The 2017 General's Handbook offers three new allegiance factions for the undead, but each one relies on such a narrow selection of units that, even though I have over 7000 points of "Vampire Counts" undead, I am unable to pull together 1600 points of the specific models required to build a 2000 points Flesh-eater Court, Soulblight, or Nighthaunt list.
I was kind of hoping that I would never have to paint any more Spirit Hosts, and I can't get excited about spamming the Crypt Horror/Crypt Flayer/Vargheist kit over and over. There's probably something on the horizon for the Death Grand Alliance next year, but until then I'm going to focus on my Skaven:
I got excited to try the Moulder monster list I came up with. I only need a second Hell Pit Abomination to field it, so I'm using Thanquol's giant Boneripper. He's the right size and "abomination-y" enough to fill the roll if I leave Thanquol off. I'll paint up the Grey Seer parts so I can add him on later.
The regular Hell Pit Abomination was a nightmare to build and paint, but Boneripper went together much more easily. I had planned to magnetize the warpstone fists and warpfire projectors, but in the end I settled on pins.
Boneripper is primed and ready to go. I left off a lot of the mechanical parts so I could paint the body more easily.
To get my Pestilens Allegiance army off the ground I need two more of these for the Foulrain Congregation Battalion. The first Plagueclaw is assembled and sprayed...
The second needs to be converted out of the Screaming Bell. I've been trying to figure out how to rearrange the chassis. I'm considering using the monks pulling the rope as though they were pulling the catapult arm into position. The large brazier will be the catapult bucket, and I'll press mold some plague-glop into it. Should be fun.
I'll use the monk and Grey Seer from the bell to kitbash a few more unique Plague Priests. One will be modeled with the Bilious Bell and the other will be the priest commanding the Foulrain Congregation.
Plague Censor Bearers
I've got about 35 Plague Monks that need to be converted into Plague Censor Bearers. I'll build these guys in batches of five or ten until I finish the lot of them.
Once the other Pestilens projects are complete, I'll be able to add in some Clanrats as allies, and that's where these guys will come in.
Aside from the odd character or weapon team, a couple extra Rat Ogres and plenty of old Clanrats, that's pretty much everything I have in my collection of unbuilt Skaven models. Then it will be on to some Space Marines or maybe Star Wars when Legion comes out.
Over the summer, Fantasy Flight Games commissioned me to make some boards for their new miniatures game, Star Wars Legion. It was exciting to finally see the game debuted at Gencon. Here's a look at the Lothol demo board that I made for them.
Last time, I discussed the Skaven Pestilens allegiance abilities in the 2017 General's Handbook, and laid out my plans for my own Pestilens force. I've done a little work on the models– The first Plagueclaw is assembled and ready to be primed. I added a cauldron of filth on one arm using one of the spare pieces and a simple press mold of the glop on the catapult arm. Up the opposite side, I attached some strips of card, scored with a wood grain pattern and pressed with rivets. The Catapult, wheels, and crew will all be painted in separate parts.
I also converted five Plague Censor Bearers. They are assembled from the Plague Monk kit, with the censor weapon arm and staves rearranged and pinned together to create a two-handed weapon. I'm hoping to work in a few of the "smoking" censors from the Plague Furnace chassis to bring a little more life and color to the models.
Now let's take a look at the Skaven Skryre Allegiance:
Privateer Press had commissioned me to build some Grymkin-themed terrain to go with their Iron Gauntlet table. If you attended their Lock and Load convention this year, you may have seen it, or even played a game on the board. Here's a look at some of pieces I made.
A lot of great stuff happened in the hobby community this week. The new General's Handbook for Age of Sigmar is out for preorder. It will be dropping this Saturday, but you can find leaks of the unit point values leaked online, and plenty of people have posted reviews of the book. I'll probably talk (or rant) about the Death and Skaven allegiance abilities on here at some point.
I haven't done much work on my undead in a while, but I took a moment to add a horn blower to my skeleton archers. I made the horn out of a bell from the zombie kit and sculpted the pennant with modeling putty. Then, I popped off the trooper's arm and bam, instant promotion!
It's been a while since I've had a free moment to work on any personal projects or post anything to my blog. For the last two months my time has been occupied solely with finishing scenery commissions. If you attended Lock and Load you may have seen the buildings I made for Privateer Press: (More on these in an upcoming post.)
If you are going to Gencon, you'll be able to see more of my handywork– Some scenic demo boards for the Fantasy Flight booth, and a big display for Warcradle Studios. (I can't spoil these yet, but they are pretty cool.) I'll post plenty of pictures once the displays have been debuted at the shows.
In my previous post, I gave my opinion of the new edition of Warhammer 40K. Since then, the new Space Marine codex has dropped, but I have yet to get it or even even clip a single part off of a sprue from my starter set. There's also a new Path to Glory rulebook, and a new General's Handbook for Age of Sigmar, which GW just announced will be available for pre-order this weekend. They have also announced a re-release of the classic game Necromunda.
There's so much going on in just the GW hobby, (not to mention the new edition of Flames of War that I keep pretending I'll play someday) that it's nearly impossible to concentrate on any one thing. Focusing on one of those games and models with any significant level of commitment means neglecting the rest. And on top of it all, I'm still building new scenery kits for Skull Forge Scenics. Well, here are my thoughts and plans for everything:
It's convention season, and I've been super busy with terrain commissions, which means I've been neglecting my blog, and I've barely had time to work on any personal projects.
Even making new products for Skull Forge Scenics is on hold s I work to hit my deadlines. But the store is still open, and my entire range of graveyard scenery is available, so check it out if you haven't already. Thanks to everyone who has supported me in this endeavor. I hope you're all enjoying your scenery! It's always exciting when I see one of my pieces worked into someone's conversion on the Age of Sigmar groups.
I have been following the developments and rumors of the new edition of 40K, and now that it's here, my predictions seem to have come true (mostly).
Work has been occupying most of my time, so it's been a while since I've blogged. But here's a quick post about the background of my Shadow War: Armageddon kill team, and the first two models that I've finished:
My Sisters of Battle are gearing up for the Shadow War: Armageddon campaign. I have a limited supply of parts and models to pull from; I don't want to scour eBay for odd models or buy entire units from GW. If they release new Adepta Sororitas kits, fine, but for now I'll have to settle for kit-bashing my kill team.
Angelica Weiss, Sister Superior
This model was almost ready to go. I had built her as a custom special character for my Black Templars. She would accompany the Emperor's Champion, and could weild the black sword if he ever fell in combat (hence the black sword in her hand). I'll work that into the kill team's backstory– more on that in a future post. Her starting equipment is a combat blade and a storm bolter with a red-dot laser sight.
Along with the Wrath of Kings board, the guys at CMON also commissioned me to build a board for theDark Age miniatures game. They wanted a 4' x 4' cavern filled with glowing crystals, bottomless pits, and acid pools.
I drew a lot of inspiration from the natural caverns I'd visited in the past for the shape and color of the stalagmites and columns. The table came together over the course of a few months. Here's a little peek behind the scenes...
Those of you who went to Salute and visited the Warcradle Studios booth will have gotten to see the board I made for them. They've got some pictures of the Hex Swamp up on their blog, including a walk-around video of the board. You can also find out more information about the upcoming second edition of the Wild West Exodus miniatures game: http://blog.wildwestexodus.com/blog/2017/4/26/hex-fane
In this post I'll go through some of the process I used to build the board and show off a few detail shots of the finished board.
CMON commissioned me to make a few tables for them. If you're following Wrath of Kings on Facebook, you'll have seen some shots of this bard I made for them. The setting is the foothills outside a ruined fortress. They asked me to use some of 4Ground's MDF scenery for the woodsman's house and the ruins themselves.
There are a ton of new gaming opportunities on the horizon– Shadow War: Armageddon is going to get a separate rulebook with all of the extra kill team profiles added in. I definitely want to pick that up and convert a kill team or two. The next edition of 40K is looking promising, and I might bring my Black Templars (or my Necrons) out of retirement when that drops.
There are also the Kharadron Overlords, which I'm seriously considering picking up. In the meantime, here's what's on the painting desk for my undead legion:
The horses are finally finished. I have 11 models, including two unit champions, so I can field them as two units of five, or swap out one of the champions for a regular trooper and make it a single unit of ten.
I've been busy with terrain table commissions for the past few months, so I've been neglecting my blog. There hasn't been any time to work on personal projects– My Morghasts and Hexwraiths haven't been languishing on my work station.
All the rumors of a new 40K edition have gotten me thinking about my Black Templars. Maybe I'll be able to pull them out of retirement. At any rate, since I don't have anything new to show you, I decided to update the gallery with some of the models that are lacking detail photos.
Last year I made a mock-up model for Dark Tech Effects, a company that does special effect attractions and theme parks (haunted houses, zombie-runs, light shows, and such). This piece was for a room-escape game based on the concept of a prison train car. The players would be locked in and have to work their way from room to room by solving puzzles to access each new section and escape.
Dark Tech provided concept art for the room layouts, and I recreated them in a three-dimensional model. The build for this used a lot of foam core board, skinned with basswood planking. One side folds open so the interiors are more accessible.
Here's a little foray into some non-miniatures wargaming modeling. A client recently commissioned me to make a neon sign for his Catwoman statue, based on the sign Selina Kyle had in her apartment in Batman Returns. If you remember, it read "hello there" and she smashed some letters so it read "hell here."
I had made some neon signs in the past for the Wild West Exodus buildings, and used a similar technique on this project. Thick gauge floral wire was bent into the shape of the letters and the back of the sign was constructed with styrene plastic pieces.
We are starting a Path to Glory at the local shop, so my Skaven have been seeing some action lately. One of the things I'm discovering is that there are a lot of different sources for buffing the units, and keeping track of it all can get pretty confusing, especially when the opponent gets a double turn and one of your units gets to fight in three rounds of combat before your hero phase comes around again. There have been many times when I wasn't sure if I was applying a bonus longer than I should have.
I've been "rewiring" my brain to think procedurally in terms of the hero phase:
1. Remove spell counters and buffs that were in play.
2. Make any special moves that occur at the start of the hero phase.
3. Roll for effects that replace models (for the undead).
4. Make any other test that occur in the hero phase.
5. Cast spells.
6. Use the general's command ability.
When it comes to the Clan Pestilens Skaven, it seems that every unit either has or benefits from abilities that give a bonus to the wound roll. And sometimes those abilities are applied to an enemy unit, and sometimes they are applied to a friendly unit.
For example, Plague Priests can Wither an enemy unit, granting +1 to any wound rolls made against it. Plague Monk units have a one-use-only scroll that will also affect an enemy unit, allowing any wound rolls of 1 to be re-rolled against that enemy unit. The Plague Furnace, however, can Bless a single friendly unit, allowing them to re-roll any of their failed wound rolls.
Keeping track of which of these buffs were in play, and which units were benefiting from them was getting pretty confusing, so I put together some counters to make things easier:
I took a break from resin casting and terrain commissions to work on a personal project that wasn't painting bones. The impending new edition of 40K and plastic Sisters of Battle has me thinking about my Black Templars again. These scouts have been in a state of near-completion for years. I knocked out the skin, hair, and metal, added some static grass, and voila!
Since I began my scenery company last year, things have been growing slowly but steadily. My resolution for this year is to produce at least one new item every month, and continue to branch out beyond the "Land of the Dead" range. I always post updates about new kits on my Skull Forge Scenics Facebook page, so be sure to like and follow the page so you don't miss any updates.
I've got a new product for sale in the shop. A pack of tree stumps that are perfect for adding detail to your Sylvaneth or Circle Orboros bases and scenery. They would be great for building cut-down forests The set comes with six tree stumps and two smaller logs, available at: skullforgescenics.etsy.com
My time has been spent working on terrain commissions lately, so I haven't had much time to paint. I managed to get the Morghasts' wings finished, and the hands painted with bone.
The bodies and bases are sprayed, just awaiting the final drybrush, wash, and highlight. Their extra armor bits are around somewhere, too. The unit is starting to shape up, I really can't wait until they're finished.
Martin Lymer posted this great "miniature painting bingo" card on the 'Eavier Metal Facebook page. You can see his unaltered card here if you want to take the challenge yourself. Here's how I did in 2016: