Monday 27 May 2013

Heresy HERESY HERESYYYYY !! (what is hip?)

(puts on "what is hip" by Tower of Power)

I've recently been stripping old friends of mine from the ignominious layers of numerous silly paintjobs. Amongst all this lead wonder, I realised some of them had been mistreated by no other than me.

I realised with horror that when I first started collecting and painting minis,  didn't consider them with the respect I have now. The only reason was that at the time, all these minis could be bought in stores and the oldschool concept was only barely appliable to the first  two editions of warhammer.

What you are about to see, I'm not proud of it but I have to be honest and let you know what I've done.

A tzeentch champion with unremovable enamels leftovers

Headless Nurgle traitor marine

Tzeentch legionnaire with no sword

handless tzeentch marine

And even recently, I've commmited crimes beyond absolution : I've altered minis of the golden age for the sole reason there were parts I didn't like (be careful, this one is a tough one) :

For the latter, I still think the original head was not my cup of tea (it still is not) and the arm change could have been a good idea if only I hadn't used this poor looking versions (the paintjob is a bit awkward too).
If I were to make these minis again (and I probably will) I would do the same but with better arms and a better paintjob. I would still choose to alter these minis though they are some of my all time favourites.

Another exemple :

After stripping Nurgle marines I ended up with a heavy weapon bearer and an impossible choice : WHAT DO I GIVE HIM?

1st choice : a genuine oldschool heavy weapon?

No, I can't. I love Perry's Chaos Marines but their heavy weapons suck... big time. The heavy bolter above is the least ugly but look at the missile launcher and you'll get the idea...

2nd choice : a better looking genuine oldschool weapon?

Yeah of course, that's the solution I've chosen for most my minis in my 40k chaos army. BUt now I'm fed up with autocannons, I can't use conversion beamers and I have no missile launcher left...

3rd choice : give them a new good looking heavy weapon?

Now here we are close to heresy with a big H. I can hear old timers screaming  "NOOOOOOOO, DOOOOON'T !!"

What to do?

I didn't know.

I put Iron Maiden's "7th son of a 7th son" (just to feel the 80's vibe) and asked the gods.

I turned to the ancient gods, Ansell, Priestley, Blanche in the old texts...

And I found my answer...

We oldhammerers worship the freedom guys like Fraser Gray, Pete Taylor and others had, you could see incredible conversions of minis exploded and twisted, mixed with parts of other irrelevant minis and even assembled with parts from completely alien models. You could see tanks made with deo sticks. 
If at the time, they could have had access to nicely sculpted bolters they would have used it. They wouldn't have cared about where it comes from or wether it's oldschool or not.

Now with all of that said, what do I do? Do I leave my little lead friends crippled and broken? Naaah...

I'm gonna do my best to get them on their feet. And I will use whatever I feel suitable, without questionning myself about wetheter I have the right to do something or not. I won't ask a pair of legs "what edition are you from?", I will use it if I need it. I will show you during this year though we love these oldschool stuff, loving it is not only about doing it exactly the way it was done then. I will never be able to achieve sublime blendings like Fraser Gray or Mike McVey, I'll never have the imagination of John Blanche. But I will do my stuff with a free mind like at the time which is for me the very essence of why it was so good at the time.

I believe many people will disagree and find heretic to touch minis that have come to be unique and quite rare now. I don't intend to alter anymore of them but I will not try to fix them the way they used to be because I can't and don't want to.

I would very much appreciate to know your opinion on wether one should preserve old lead at all cost or should feel free to use it like if he just had bought it from the 80's. I respect all point of views on the subject but I remain very curious about your arguments.

Thanks to all of you my fellow leadfriends. 

Sunday 26 May 2013

Come to papa Nurgle - Battle Chaos part 16

OK, this time is the time for more Nurglish love with the champion with mace. He's also missing a leg which seems to be quite common for Nurgle followers since two of them in the warhammer range and some more in the rogue trader one.

I've tried to treat the skin in a pale tone to give contrast with the rusted armour, there's only a few purple and red marks on its skin to avoid the classic green or blue approach.

 Just after are some new pics (slightly better I hope) of the champion with halberd and a bonus picture coming from "the Lost and the Damned" to show our friend below when he lets his weapon down to go berserk on poor daemonettes...

 I think Nurgle used to be one of the most interesting Gods fluffwise before he turned into the god of flu , acne and silly diseases. I like Nurgme when he's the lord of Decay which is a far greater concept. Nurgle warriors don't mean to accomplish anything but their will to fight, the rest of the time, they enjoy themselves having some good time with the nurglings, feasting and singing, lying on dirty sofas doing nothing but rotting in the open air. The fact they are covered with all kind of disgusting matter, their armour rusted and their sickness outrageous is just a symptom to me of their "don't give a shit" way of mind... it's what makes him the very opposite of Tzeentch the lord of change who wants to influence everything and can't let a thing be without influencing it...

Chaos Gods used to be refections of strong humain traits but now it seems thei're just parodies of themselves...

In the week to come there should be an article on real Heresy and about what is "Oldschool" and what is not...
There will be photos of abused minis, some of them having suffered torture. I can't say it won't be hard for some of you to watch but it's all for good I promise.

Thanks to you all my fellow leadheads.

Tuesday 21 May 2013

Chaos Snakemen - Chaos Battle Part 15

Good Morning everyone, 

Today's journey into the golden age will bring us to a forgotten race amongst those who never came back.

I don't know much about them but would definitely learn and read aboud them with pleasure; One thing is for sure, these are great minis.
I decided to base mine on 40 mm square bases because the minis are quite long and need room. It's also a trick to play them counting as ogres or anything else whose rules would fit.
This article was the occasion for me to experiment new photo techniques (and use the fading blue underground) but I still can't find a way to get rid of the shining aspect which ruins a part of the paintjob...

Chaos snakemen
There are only 5 different minis so I had to get my hands on an extra one and commit the unspeakable : cut in the lead...

Saranth Elf Mangler is my champion for this unit so I decided to use a colourful skin tone to show his rank compared to the more classic colours of his retinue. I also placed him volontarly at the limit of the base to make him stand form the rest of the unit and give the feeling the others are following him.

Saranth Elf Mangler

The second one is S'sirron Fangthrane and is my favourite of the 5. His noble stature and the overall look are a pure delight. He' also got the best sculpted scales imho. There are some kinds of tatoos on his left arm (invisible on the photos below) but I haven't treated them correctly and might have to get back to them with a bluish approach in a celtic way.

S'sirron Fangthrane

Third next is our dear Higgat Dwarf Slicer. Definitely not my favourite. The sculpt is to "flat" though the arlour is quite excellent. The broken shield is here to break the flatness of the mini and to link it with my brettonian army as well.

Higgat Dwarf Slicer

Fourth is S'Lon Life smasher, very sneaky or should I say snaky with his shoulders raised and the fact is seems to be going backwards. This one is the one who looks the nastiest to me. He looks like he's wainting for th eright time to stab the injured or the ones fleeing...

S'Lon Life smasher
 Fith and Sixth are S'Lararet Slintered Fang and S'Liip N'ot Bolt Thrower which are the same miniature, the latter having received a spear from a chaos marauder to make him look different from the former.

S'Lararet Slintered Fang

S'Liip N'ot Bolt Thrower

To finish this post, here is one of the only illustration of a snakeman I could find. It comes from the Slaves to Darkness tome of the Realm of Chaos books.

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Chaos sorcerers - Chaos Battle Part 14

Hey lads, Here are some of the chaos sorcerers that got attention on my painting table last year :

The excellent Sli'ith Ironlung and Jazekal Ironface

Sli'ith Ironlung
 When I painted this Jack o'lantern familiar, I was close to painting it like The famous Pirate in the manga "One Piece" (I have to confess I'm a huge fan) :
I avoided the idea fo this time though I keep it in mind for my undead army if I happen to make a zombie pirates unit with a sartosan vampire. This time I might want to get my hands on another familiar like this and make him look like the future "king of pirates".

Sli'ith is a very nice mini to paint and it's cool to see the scratch parts used for other minis (the same body as for Darumog in this case)

Jazekal on another hand is a quite plain model but one of the too rare to show a sorcerer actually casting a spell (and a good one since he's using both hands...). I treated him with a dark green cloak but I sense there's something missing here... Still don't know what to add, freehands? chessboard edges? flames pattern? if you have any idea, fell free to help and Mr Jazekal here might make a comeback on the painting field...

Jazekal Ironface
 At last, here is an old conversion I had made a day I didi'nt want to paint rank and file but felt like hobbying... I love thses days, you just go in your bits box and you find pieces you had forgot. I might make a series on what comes out on these occasions. I believe that a lot of good ideas came out this way for the guys in the studio back in the day and I'm ceratin It's the way Pete Taylor's chaos spawns came out. Not intended but fiercefully characterful.
This one is clearly not at the level of Pete's stuff  and it only took a couple hours to build and the same to paint (low standards help) but at the end of the day I had a sorcerer on palaquin instead of champions bits and plastic leftovers... Please share if you happen to have minis that came out when they were not planned....

(Please be kind and try to forget the horrible "magic flames" attempt on the sword, it's wrong and ugly, I won't do it again I promise)


Monday 13 May 2013

Nurgle Warband - Chaos Battle Part13

Last time I introduced you to my latest Nurgle Warband inspired by the "lost and the damned" cover art and presented you its leader; th great champion on palanquin.

This time is the time to present a part of the retinue.

One of the champions I favor the most is the Halberd one. When I started painting these lads, I wanted to avoid Green as much as I could, but I finally failed and only avoided it on one of them (you'll have to wait to see which one avoided the terrible curse of the "green Nurgle mini".

Nurgle champion with Halberd
 I also wanted to show an older mini I realised a few years back and that got me the will to do Nurgle stuff (the Nurgle frenzy of the early 2000's was cooling down at the time). Pete Taylor fans will recognise the influence of his Tzeentch knight with a snail body. I Imagined mine as a knight turned into a sort of maggot and fly. I love the larva theme though it could have be done better. Anyway, I treated the armour completely rusted which gave the will to work on rusted armour for the years that followed. You can also notice at the time I had not yet decided to avoid the "clean greens" I despise now... The mini does not realy fit with the rest of the flock but it takes 2 places in the unit which helps finish the last rank in a unit and can count as a standard bearer...

The warband in itself is not truly complete since I have not ticked all the minis on the list.

Since I'd like to field Mutander Bubonicus as well, this warband is clearly not over, especially if I consider adding more exotic stuff such as beastmen, thugs or chaos dwarves...

Sunday 5 May 2013

Everybody deserves a second chance - 40K Chaos Part 4

Many people deserve a second chance and most minis do (even if there are eldar EPIC titans I still want to forget)...

As I'm building a chaos space marine force born little time after the Horus Heresy, I decided to be merciful to old lead friends from the 2nd edition since the force has stuff from the first to the last.

The Chaos Marines proved to looked good when equipped with more recent gear :

2nd edition Chaos space marines revisited
 The ones that actually gave me a tough but admirably grateful time were the raptors. Theses lads always looked awkward to me but this time I had the feeling I could do something. I wanted the unit but I didn't have too much money to spend on new plastics. I decided to spend little money on plastic bits to upgrade these and the result looks pretty convincing to me. (I admit I didn't manage to get rid of the weird body positions since I didn't touch the minis but only added fancy stuff to them) :

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