Monday, 28 December 2015

Hybrids and Terminators

Fellow antipodean oldhammerer Captain Crooks (check out his sweet blog with some hilarious battle reports among lots of other cool stuff here) recently got back from a far off distant land, I had assumed him lost at sea, but to my surprise he had somehow returned from his perilous journey. Pressing a mysterious cardboard box into my hands he gasped madly "take this, it is now yours, I can no longer endure its burden" and ran off cackling. 

The box hummed with an unholy energy. It called to me to open it. I was helpless to resist the urge of the other-worldly force."Lead! Glorious lead!" I exclaimed as I tore open the box and succumbed to insanity.

That is the last thing I remember until just moments ago, when I regained consciousness, covered in paint and with these newly painted figures on my desk.

That explains why I haven't posted in a while.


Ogryn Hybrid

Ork Hybrid

Space Marine Terminators

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Mutant Bombs!

Not the most pc figures of course, nevertheless a must have unit for the 'stealer cult. Adoration of chaos worshipping aliens isn't all fun and games kids. One minute you're normal joe toiling away at the robot factory, the next you're a twisted mutant letting a Magus strap an explosive harness to you and promising you spiritual cleansing in return for your sacrifice to the cult.

I cobbled these out of some damaged Bob Olley and human bomb Imperial Guard, zombie heads, guitar strings, plastic bits from GW kits, and some parts from Victoria Miniatures.

I recently ordered some parts from Victoria Miniatures as I have all but run out of the original plastic Imperial Guard arms. There is much variety available and they seem to fit the old armless IG and such quite well, a good option for those in a similar situation. The head is also from the same company.

This guy was missing a leg so I tried to make it look like tentacles had sprouted from under his uniform.

Detail of the bomb harness, chained on to deter second thoughts.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Space Pirates

The first batch of a crew of space pirates with a dozen or so still to come, along with a couple juvenile 'stealer whelps. As criminals and outcasts, bands of space pirates are easily swayed into the service of the Cult of the Four Armed Emperor. Their violent, immoral lifestyle and nefarious space-faring activities make them convenient allies for the Genestealers.

This lot of painting was a bit of a departure from my usual style for a couple reasons. Experimenting with a much brighter palette than normal, and a new basing method.


I don't like painting bases very much, I've never found a technique I was happy with. For a long time I have just been giving all my miniatures a very minimal painted sand/grit base with the intention of eventually adding detail at a later date (yeah right!). 

I do like the way this simple texture unobtrusively emphasizes the figure, whilst giving an impression of ambiguous "ground". 

But the process of gluing sand, waiting for it to dry, painting it, and drybrushing has always felt like a tedious chore. The idea of basing with some textured, natural materials that I could just glue on and be done with it appealed to me. 

Some may scoff but I have always really liked the basing used by the GW Studio pretty much as standard in the late 80s period eg:

You can see a lot of high res photos of this style of base in the Bryan Ansell Galleries of the excellent blog Eldritch Epistles

I experimented with several different sands and flocks until I found something I was happy with. Obviously it's not identical, but has a similar enough feel to me.

This psychotic cultist armed with a chainsaw is based in my older style.

Victa is a classic Australian garden tools manufacturer.

A Space Eunuch who has shaved and tattooed his head in reverance to his Genestealer masters.

Something tells me the revealing power armour and eye shadow aren't codex approved.

When I was a lot younger and becoming seduced by miniatures and 40k, an older dude my friends and I looked up to at the local game store had an awesome Genestealer cult with hordes of Rogue Trader Space Pirates and Adventurers employed as Brood Brothers. In my naivety I remember looking at them thinking "What crappy figures! They are weird, old, fat, ugly, poorly sculpted, and not at all bad-ass, unlike these Marines and Eldar". Well needless to say now they are some of my favourites.

While the Bob Naismith sculpts perhaps seem a bit rough or hastily sculpted, this only adds to their charm in my opinion. And they perfectly portray the kind of scum and villainy you'd expect to find on Logan's World, Mos Eisley Cantina, Mega City One or the cover of an 80s sci-fi paperback or VHS tape. They have an eclectic array of weaponry, costume, facial characteristics, and body types that are far removed from the homogenous, "Grim Dark" 40k universe of today.

My painting inspiration for these comes from the concept art by Chris Foss and Moebius for Alexander Jodorowsky's aborted Dune film, and also the Aeon Flux cartoon. My Space Pirates have adopted the symbol of Moebius'.

The clashing, oversaturated colours and patterns really evoke for me the idea of futuristic, flamboyant, scoundrels and rebels.

The Genestealer neonates (familiars) are fun and really quick to paint.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Children of Chaos

Been working on a lot of stuff simultaneously (a great method of wasting time faffing about and getting little accomplished!), however I did recently complete the finishing touches on these 10 beastmen.

Through dark rituals and psychic signals I hoped to draw them from the wilderness to serve my Genestealer Cult as expendable troops. Of course being children of chaos, they may very well find themselves distracted by the enticement of slaughter, glory, and tasty manflesh offered by a Realm of Chaos Warband, or getting in the way of adventurers and their loot in dungeons under the old world.

This is one of Chaz Elliott's infamous Snakemen. I was trying to paint it's scales in a pattern similar to an Australian Death Adder snake. Don't think it ended up resembling the real deal much but its acceptable enough to me as evil-fantasy-serpent-man scales. This is the only Snakeman I own, but I can see why they are sought after by collectors. Softly sculpted and somewhat impressionistic, similar to the style of Nick Lund, but packed with lots of cool details. I like how they are dressed in furs to insulate their cold blood!

Bob Olley Beastman. As usual, a weird sculpt that left me a bit uncertain what to do with it. Nevertheless I found the goat-like features, outrageous head-dress, and overall outlandishness appealing.

The fur of this beastman was inspired by a picture of some kind of primate I saw once, I think it was a Golden Lion Tamarin.


And the fur pattern of this bloke was inspired by an african antelope.

Finally I will leave this post with a picture of what's currently in my painting queue.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

A Couple of Monstrous Dungeon Dwellers

This weekend I searched the stacks of uncompleted projects on my work bench for something interesting yet easy to knock out quickly. A Citadel AD&D Umber Hulk and Troll called out to me!

One project I am working on is painting up some iconic monster manual wackiness to use in old school style dungeon crawls. I plan to have a bestiary of beholders, flail snails, rust monsters, displacer beasts, hook horrors, and owl bears to fill this subterranean ecological niche.

Umber Hulk

This guy was obviously sculpted using the original monster manual illustration as a reference. I always imagined Umber Hulks as giant beetle-like burrowers. Though the detail of this model is quite soft, I tried to emphasize this by painting areas like an iridescent beetle carapace. This fellow might double up as a species of Ambull for 40k games too!


There is something I find unsettling about the way Trolls are represented in early D&D, their vacant black eyes, carrot noses, weird tufts of hair, and gangly limbs reminds me of a really creepy boogey-man. It's a lot more interesting than "generic muscle-bound yet over-sized orc" which seems to have become the default modern depiction.