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About this blog

Please, excuse the 'My First Blog' title.

This is a blog that I'm going to use to post updates on my Age of Sigmar miniature collection - how it started, and how it progresses. The main focus will be on my Stormcast Eternals (The Azure Tempest) and my Khorne Coalition (The Wolf and the Rat).

Entries in this blog

Haanz

 Hello all, it's been some time since my last post! I won't beat around the bush - as was the case with many I'm sure, 8th Edition 40K stormed into my life and Age of Sigmar was, quite simply, put on hold while I sorted out my first 1000pts army. Beyond the miniatures themselves, there were a number of scenery pieces that needed painted and assembled and in between all of that, I'd been chipping away on my Nurgle Daemons, who I'm hoping to have a dual existance with in both my 40K army and my eventual Nurgle Daemons/Rotbringers/Pestillens army for Age of Sigmar, but more on that when I've more to show for it.

In any case, between finishing my Heretic Astartes and continuing to put together my Nurgle Daemons, I took a break from all things Chaos to finally polish off my Stormcast army. Now at 2000pts (1000pts of which is in 3 models, which is pretty crazy), it - like my Wolf and the Rat army - is built strictly around the philosophy of cool models > theme > how does it play. I did want it to be something of an antithesis of my Wolf and the Rat Bloodbound, and so the whole army is a small, elite core of only 28 models (Dracoth Celestant, Drakesworn Templar, Celestant Prime, 5 Liberators, 5 Liberators, 5 Judicators, 5 Decimators, 3 Prosecutors, 2 Fulminators) with 2 more not in the list (Lord Relictor, Knight Questor) vs the horde of 77 models in their nemesis list, which makes for a pretty interesting matchup!

It's been a fun project, and in many ways neat to work on the antithesis of Chaos while most of my other models have been Chaos of some form or another, but I think I'm pretty much done with Stormcast Eternals at this point. If I work on any more forces of order, I'd quite like to work on something a little more nutso (Flagellants and Warrior Priests, for example), or even just bring in some actual Aelfs for the Azure Tempest to ally with. Then, of course, there's always my big pile of Dwarfs I've got waiting to be painted, and with the new Fyreslayer Start Collecting! box coming out.. I'm starting to think I have a problem.

My ramblings aside, here's the models!

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Eldyra the Immaculate, Blade of Tyrion

Okay, so this is an idea I've had pretty much since I started the Azure Tempest. While I try not to involve named characters in my own fluff to be best I can achieve (though this can be unavoidable to a point when working with Stormcast, particularly if you're the kind of idiot that decides to do something that didn't come from standard human origins), I figured Eldyra is such a minor plot character whose conflicting tales of her fate in End Times gives a bit of leeway.

Princess Eldyra of Tiranoc was Tyrion's squire and in at least one End Times novel I believe her fate in End Times was to be turned into a Vampire. With that said, she was still a High Elf, and so I imagine her soul was probably consumed by Slaanesh with the rest of them. Due to the Vampiric Taint in her body however, her freed soul was perhaps less tainted by the digestion leading to her reforged 'human' Stormcast body retaining many more of her Aelf traits.

As Tyrion's squire in the world that was, she was given many great gifts following her reforging by Sigmar from her former lord-turned-new-God. Among those were Tyrion's legendary sword Sunfang, and a magical sceptre with a fragment of the Flame of Asuyran itself.

From a hobby perspective, there's a lot going on here. The most obvious of which is, the Celestant Prime is switched with Saint Celestine with her sci fi bits and SoB/Imperium markings shaved off. Her head was originally going to be one I'd gotten from a plastic wood elf kit, but the proportions turned out to be incredibly jarring. I'd been told Saint Celestine was a small mini, but this blew my mind a little. She's almost pushing LOTR 25mm when compared to some of the other heroic scale minis in Warhammer, and that's kinda neat, but a pain to kitbash. Her head ended up being one of the Seraphim bodyguard, with a little more of a fringe and longer hair green stuffed on. In photo, I feel like she comes off as a little mannish in their face for an Aelf, but I think it works fine on the tabletop.

Another key kitbash was Tyrions sword. This being an important named character in my army, I didn't want to half ass this, so it ended up coming from an old metal Tyrion miniature I got off of eBay, making this certainly the single most expensive kitbash of my life. Unfortunately, the tiny Celestine model again makes even Tyrions sword long as massive as the Cometstaff, but in the heroically proportioned Stormcast army, I don't think it looks too jarring, even if it's a little goofy.

The final touch was another sword, slung in a scabbard at her waist that came from a set of Dragon Princes I bought for me fiancé. I'll admit freely that a demigod, squire to an actual God and wielding both a God's famed sword and a staff containing a fragment of a fire used to judge the worthiness of kings of a whole race.. yeah, they probably don't need another short sword, but at least she has less weapons than a Space Marine Primaris grav transport (apologies, more 40K bleeding in!). In truth, this was a last minute addition and is mainly to cover up a little dodgy green stuff work in getting her skirt part of the cloak to fit snugly on her waist. D'oh!

The base is the last part probably worthy of comment. Honestly, it wasn't supposed to be quite so overgrown, but for the longest time I'd pictured her divinity and lifeforce causing a ripple of all four seasons across the ground she tread, a more intense variant of the spring flowers blooming in the ash wastes that the rest of my Stormcast are supposed to evoke.. okay, that was the plan, until I saw the base of the assembled model. There wasn't a lot of room for detail beneath the spiral. In the end, I painted the spiral in a nice blend between four seasons of colours, but it wasn't quite what I'd pictured in my head. I just went nuts in the end and blended a light green, dark green, winter green and a dead wasteland brown of grass, with spring flowers, summer flowers, dead leaves and GW snow effects adorning. I wish I'd been smarter with where each strand started instead of ending up mostly summer on the front, mostly autumn on the back, but again, you live and learn, and I'm still fairly pleased with the result in the end.

Probably not the smartest choice to field in an army already packing a Stardrake, but the heart wants what the heart wants!

 

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Fulminators, Dracoth 'Princes'

 

In contrast to Eldyra, I don't really have a whole lot to say about these guys. I magnetised the arms for future proofing, although I love the idea of the glaive's so much from a theme, miniature and even rules concept so much I didn't actually bother assembling the other options. I'm planning on running these guys together with my Dracoth Celestant with Tempestos Hammer as a glorious charge unit!

From a painting point of view, I enjoyed these guys, but they weren't a great deal different to paint over the Lord Celestant on Dracoth, although practice and new, consistent paints have made some of the parts I'd previously struggled with a little bit easier.

One thing I noticed after painting these, the final units in my Stormcast army, was what a terrible idea using gloss varnish over the white plate sections for a ceramic effect was - I genuinely enjoyed the look of their plates before adding the gloss, and was a little dismayed by how it looked after. I think I'm going to go back over all my glossy shoulder pads and whatnot with a matte varnish again and fix this. Still like the glossy wings on my Prosecutors/Celestant Prime though.

 

So that's the Azure Tempest finally completed. It's been a fun journey, especially considering that the first model I painted in 10 years was the Knight Questor from the Silver Tower box set that started this whole thing. It's been fun going from my first attempts to figure out gold (and pretty much no highlighting at all) through to my experimentation with techniques, technical paints and various effects from the miniatures to the bases to the kitbashes along the way. Maybe one day I'll return to my Aelfs of Azyr, either with more Stormcast (I do love those Gryph Chargers, and Vanguard Warriors would make great post-Dark Elf Reavers) or with whatever crazy Aelf release that Games Workshop decide to drop on us out of nowhere, but until then, it's back to the forces of Chaos for me as I try and get my Nurgle Daemons ready for both Age of Sigmar and as reinforcements for my 40K army!

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The Azure Tempest - 1980/2000pts

Heroes:
'Prince' Cazris and Glauranax (Lord-Celestant on Dracoth) - 220pts
Aemarion Dragonborn and Chaerofax (Drakesworn Templar) - 500pts
Eldyra the Immaculate, Blade of Tyrion - 360pts

Battleline:
Liberators with Warblades - 100pts
Liberators with Warblades - 100pts
Judicators - 160pts

Decimators - 200pts
Fulminators - 240pts
Prosecutors with Celestial Hammers - 100pts

 

So, what's next? Well, aside from the aforementioned Daemons (whom I'd rather like to build 1000pts of to match my Dwarfs), I think the next time I'll post an update to this blog will be a scenery post! This month has been a big month for buying and painting scenery to provide better cover and thus more interesting battles, especially some fixer-upper pieces from eBay. I've got everything from some high-fantasy Age of Sigmar pieces (Dreadstone Blight, Ophidian Archway, Arcane Ruins) to even just some nice, low-fantasy ruined towers that'll fit nicely with my bridges, walls and farmhouses from Warlord Games to add to my collection, so I'll hopefully have some nice battlefield photos of my next game of Age of Sigmar to show off (and also reveal both of my armies in their fully mustered forms!).

Thanks for reading!

Haanz

It's been something of a nightmare, but I've finally finished my gaming table, and I'm really happy with how it came out.

The whole process started back when I started getting into Age of Sigmar - upon deciding to take the plunge and jump right back into miniature wargaming again, I decided I didn't want to half ass anything this time around; if I was going to play with miniatures, then they'd have to be painted, and I'd have to have a proper surface to play on, scenery and all. One of the first things I looked at were GW's Realm of Battle boards; I liked the idea of something prefabricated, but that I could tear down for storage and transport and build up and I saw fit.. but I didn't really like how expensive they were, I heard awkward things about the hills on the original Realm of Battle and I didn't like how setting-specific near enough all of them were; I have neither the money, free time or storage space to make more than one gaming table, and so I wanted mine to be fairly setting agnostic - while I'm not particularly expecting to be playing any historicals any time soon, it would have to at least work with Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000, but it'd be nice if it could be used in some capacity for GW's specialist games such as Lord of the Rings, Mordheim and Necromunda as well. To that end, crazy clockwork gears, Imperial Aquilas and skull pits were a bit much for me. I also found out that 'mousemat' style printed mats were very popular - they'd certainly be more storable and transportable, but I couldn't guarantee anywhere I'd play would have a full 6'x4' surface to play on, and I didn't like comitting to the full 6'x4' size either.

And then I discovered this range called 'Tablescapes' by a company called 'Secret Weapon Miniatures'. They're 1'x1' injection moulded plastic tiles in a number of styles that come in sets of size 4'x4' and 6'x4' (and 2'x4' expansion sets if you order directly) and can be tore down and rearranged in any order you like. The underside is reinforced with a solid circular and cross pattern that keeps them very durable and unmalleable, and they hold together with a really robust set of compression clips at the corners. They come in X and V shapes for connecting 4 corners, or two edges together, and once everything is locked together, is holds tight. I haven't done much stress testing because I had no plans to review them as such, but for my needs, the hold is perfect. The table we lay them on is (very roughly) 3' x 7', so we have a 6" overhang on each side of the table when everything is set up. Even with a little bit of gentle leaning, there is no give and everything feels safe and secure. Here's an overview of the finished product:

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Bottom line? I really like these tiles. They're well built and well designed, richly detailled without becoming cluttered or tacky, and many of the sets are generic enough to work as a nice foundation for a specific project, or repurposable for fantasy, sci-fi, historicals, and so on. As my primary interest was playing Age of Sigmar, but with a mind to 40K, Necromunda (or Shadow War: Armageddon), Mordheim and LOTR, I eventually decided on a combination of the Rolling Fields and Forgotten City tilesets, painted up to be like the edge of a temple aside a more of a volcanic/mountainous/ash wastleland. I figure that this works equally well at full size as the Realm of Aqshy for AoS or a volcanic 40K planet, the Mines of Moria or the wastelands of Mordor or Angmar, and dialling back to a 4x4, it could either focus on the Fields/Lava tiles and be an industrial underhive (Necromunda) or focus on the stone and concrete tiles and be a ruined city (Mordheim/Frostgrave). This is another reason I like these tiles so much - the Rolling Fields is so versatile that you could paint it as concrete, mud, grasslands, or a desert and it wouldn't look off. For my money, I opted to go the concrete route because it seemed more versatile in the long run - green grasslands seems the obvious candidate at first, but it looks a lot less strange to put a the ruined city of Mordheim or the opressive underhives of Necromunda/Armageddon on concrete with patches of overgrown weeds than it does a big green field. In retrospect, maybe using green tinted Vallejo Still Water for a slimy/polluted river might've been a little more reusable (I wouldn't have to exclude this tiles in Mordheim, for example), but the fiery orange and yellow lava really brings some colour to the otherwise drab and oppressive monochrome colour palette I used on the rest of the tiles.

Back to the tiles themselves, I'm really happy with the overall finished result and I'd recommend Secret Weapon Tablescapes as an option to consider for anyone looking to build a gaming table who might not have the space or resources to scratch build. With that said, they're not without their flaws. Let's get them out of the way now.

  • The 'Rolling Fields' set's river is a little unnatural looking with it's right angle corner pieces. I'd almost have rathered an option with just a 4 tile straight river. I've considered buying a 4 tile 'display board' pack just to have the option not to use them.
  • The more three dimensional 'hilly' tiles on the rolling fields can occasionally be problematic for miniature balance
    • I've encountered this a surprisingly small amount of times in play, to be fair. Far fewer balancing problems than expected. The only times I've had real issues with sliding is, somewhat ironically, when using Secret Weapon's resin moulded bases (which are flat bottomed, rather than the usual hollow kind). This was resolved by putting some felt over the bottoms of any resin bases I use, which is kinder on surfaces too.
  • 1'x1' tiles mean more configurability, and arguably easier storage, but they also mean more gridlines. I didn't bother clipping the tiles together properly for these photographs, so they're a little more noticable in these pictures than they are in actual play, but you can see them. For some, I could imagine that being a dealbreaker.
  • I've read people on the internet complain about plastic tiles - either Tablescapes or GWs - and not liking the sound dice make when rolled on them, especially compared to the silence of a neoprene mat.
    • Personally, this isn't an issue to me. In fact, I quite like it.
  • These tiles don't ship with any good system for storage or transport. AFAIK, the Games Workshop tiles come with a fitted bag - I have no personal experience with this, but I've heard it does the job okay. The best thing these tiles get is a kinda ill fitting cardboard box, which did the job for a couple of trips and would probably be fine for storage only, but it's not great. When these things were originally on Kickstarter, there was talk of storage spacers that clipped into the compression clip corners, or of Battlefoam producing a proper insert for them; as far as I can tell, neither came to fruition.
    • Personally, I ended up investing in a Battlefoam Pack 1520XL. I store each tile vertically back to back, with a thin sheet of foam between each tile on either side, and it fills up the full width of a BFL tray, leaving 10" of space above for storing my scenery and terrain. With a PACK Plus strapped to the top of the 1520XL, I can carry the full board and more than enough terrain to cover the board pretty safe and securely, along with rulebooks, rulers, dice, etc. It can withstand pressure, sharp knocks or rolls or jabs or any other punishment it might endure in the boot of a car. But it was not cheap. I spent about as much on all of this as I did the tiles themselves, and we'll get onto that shortly. There is not a doubt in my mind that there is a less expensive solution to all of this, but the thought of damaging these tiles after the hours of my life that went into producing them worried me too much to cheap out at this stage, and having everything together in one easily stored and transported box is a lifesaver. If you already have transportation/storage for your terrain though, you could probably fit a full 6'x4' set of tiles in a PACK 720, which is something to think about I suppose.
  • They weren't cheap, and they're getting harder to find in Europe. I had originally forked out for the 4'x4' Rolling Fields section, expecting to really only be playing around 1000pts games of AoS and maybe some Skirmish games like Kill Team, Necromunda, etc. Obsession took over and I found myself needing that extra 2'x4' section. In an ideal world - if you're an American customer, and buying the 6'x4' option in a single go, it'll cost you less than GW's plastic Realm of Battle boards, even from a 3rd party retailler, but not much as much less as you'd hope and those RoB boards aren't considered cheap as it is. But that won't get you any storage/travel packaging other than the cardboard box it comes in, which won't last. But if you're a European customer, they're getting harder to find without getting them direct from Secret Weapon themselves, which means importing, which means dealing with customs/import tax and the not-so-great conversion rate at the moment - I got my first 4'x'4' section from Wayland Games a year ago for £100, which is 2/3rd the size of a Realm of Battle Board and half the RRP, but the 2'x'4' extention that I bought direct from Secret Weapon ended up costing more thanks to (in SW's defence, fairly reasonable for it's size/weight) international delivery and customs charges, making the whole thing more expensive than a Realm of Battle board - but my tale was a particularly woeful one. Not everyone will incur the costs I did, especially if they just bought a 6'x4' outright from Mantic or whatever. I could've paid half what I paid if I just bought a 6'x4' Rolling Fields set from Wayland when I did. But there will be people who have built a comparable, possibly much nicer board from scratch who would feint at the price I ended up paying for mine, but thems the breaks.

 

But enough negativity. Here's some closer shots of the table with a little commentary on my process.

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Above is a closer shot of the Rolling Fields section. The paint job on this section is incredibly simple, in fact, it's pretty much just a drybrush of Vallejo Heavy Bluegrey over a black rattle can primer. I don't own an airbrush, and that's never been more of a problem to me than on this step. I think I applied the drybrush using a Citadel Medium Scenery brush, which accounts for the streakiness in parts - you live, you learn. I'd figured out how to get an even drybrush by the time I moved onto the Forgotten City tiles (with a flat brush it turns out, who knew other than everyone?).

The next step was the lava. This was done by first painting the riverbed a dark red and building up layers of Vallejo Water Texture, some layers mixed in with a bit of ink/wash to slightly colour/tint the whole layer, where other layers I would lay down untinted, then put a couple drops of red/orange/yellow on top and brushing it through. Each of the layers took overnight to dry, so this step easily took the most amount of time from start to finish to complete, and getting the right streak to tint to clear ratio for each layer was a bit of a learning curve. The end result was a thick, textured blend from dark red to yellow with thick marbling in places and a little transparency. Overall, I'm pretty happy with how close the lava turned out to the image I had of it in my head.

After painting, I sealed everything with brush on Vallejo Polyeurethane Matt varnish. Again, this was before I discovered the slightly better and slightly more matt Vallejo Matt varnish, although it was a little cheaper which was pleasant. Everything has a very slight sheen (kinda like I imagine a 'satin' varnish would look like), but I will say it's done a damn fine job of protecting the paint job. As far as I can tell, I've had no paint rubbing off or chipping despite going in and out of it's foam sealed case and having all manner of plastic, metal and resin miniatures tossed over it.

The final step was flocking. I didn't want a grasslands so much as blasted wasteland, but I also wanted to have a few very grassy tiles that if I wanted, I could clump together to create more fieldy section of the board if the need arose. I used four different types of flock/static grass, and mostly stuck with wasteland/marsh/dead/winter oriented products to keep things wastelandy. I also made sure to only use the torched brown flock and very sparingly on any tiles with lava itself. There's also a whole bunch of Highland and Wasteland grassy tufts from Army Painter on there.

Several months later and the need arose to get the table up to a full 6'x4' for full 2000pts games of Age of Sigmar. I was always going to be paying a premium to buy a 4'x4' and a 2'x4' rather than everything in one go, so I thought I'd take advantage of my situation and mix and match my Tablescapes - enter, Forgotten City.

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This section eventually turned out about as well as I could've hoped for, but it wasn't without it's share of problems. The lack of lava meant that I could get all 8 of these tiles finished in under a week, though it was tedious going at times. To begin, I primed it with rattle can black, and drybrushed all the dirt patches with Vallejo Heavy Bluegrey like I did on the Rolling Fields to tie the tiles together. Next, I whipped out all my paints that advertise themselves as 'Grey'.

I'm a dropper bottle kinda guy. I use a wet palette and almost all my paints are Vallejo or Army Painter, with the occasional Citadel Texture paint or effect like Blood for the Blood God or Typhus Corrosion or whatever. I have recently branched out and bought the must-have Citadel washes though, as I like how they go on and I like being able to dip from the pot when it comes to washes. But a little while back when following the Baleful Realmgate painting tutorial on Warhammer TV, it ocurred to me that I don't own a real straight up 'grey', nothing that really hit that Mechanicus Standard Grey black/white midpoint grey. Just Vallejo Heavy Bluegrey. So, I bought a few Vallejo greys online - Stonewall Grey, Heavy Charcoal (which is weirdly glossy, by the way), Cold Grey, Heavy Grey.. man, none of them is even close. I swear, whoever wrote VGC Heavy Grey is a colour match to Mechanicus Standard Grey on the DakkaDakka Paint Compatibility Chart was either colourblind or trolling - or maybe even the person who named that paint. That colour is a freaking Green. 100%, no doubt about it. It's like a pale camo green/olive. The base coat of any of the lighter green looking stones are courtesy of Heavy Grey. Go figure. Eventually, I bought myself a pot of Mechanicus Standard Grey because I GIVE UP.

Aaaanyway, to get back on subject, for each batch (I batched them in groups of 4 to preserve sanity), I'd pick a 'grey' and colour in a few clusters of tiles in some random spaced out spots, repeat for each tile in the batch, and then switch to a new grey. Once the whole thing was coloured in this way, it got a massive wash of Army Painter Strong/Dark, and drybrushed over with VGC Khaki to pull all the different tones together. And then the whole thing was varnished.

And man, what a pain in the ass that was. As always, I was using brush on Vallejo Polyurethane Matt. I'd like to say that was that, but in the process of varnishing it the brush strokes and moisture of the varnish caused some of the khaki drybrushing to melt and move around. My guess is that the wash didn't bond so well to the massive expanse of flat paint - the actual base layer of paint had no problems sticking to the primer, after all. After I realised this was happening on the first set of tiles, I left the rest for 48-72 hours, hoping that maybe with time the paint would cure better and the bond would be stronger.. no dice. In the end, I basically had to try and cover it with as few brush strokes as possible, cleaning the brush throughly as often as I could, and making sure that as little varnish as possible pooled in the dark recesses - the varnish had a tendency to go cloudy with the khaki paint and lighten up my darks. After the first coat, I'd touch up with another drybrush, redarken some of the recesses, and seal the whole thing again. It's times like this that I'd probably benefit from owning a rattlecan can of some kinda matt varnish. I wish Testors wasn't so hard to find in the UK, because I've heard too many mixed things about Army Painter and Citadel rattle can varnish to risk it. Oh well, chalk up another lesson learned.

Finally, I applied some static grass and tufts - in smaller areas and patches, mostly focussed around the ash/dirt mounds and cracks, which also helped with covering up any glaring blending issues or notable khaki rub off, and the job was done. Again, I'm happy with the overall turnout of it, and hope you liked reading my rambling account of the journey to get here! I can't wait to play my first full size game on the 6'x4' table and see what the extra room for maneuvering brings to the game!

 

But wait.. there's more! There's BONUS DUARDIN!


Something I've been working on as a side project along with my two main armies is a truckload of 6th Edition era Warhammer Fantasy Dwarfs from my youth. There's around 2500pts of stuff here in various states of completion, including but not limited to several heroes, 40 Warriors, 20 Quarrellers, 20 Longbeards, 20 Ironbreakers, 2 Bolt Throwers, a Cannon and a Stone Thrower, much of it only primed and some just clean metal, with about 1000pts of it sloppily painted for the tabletop by a younger, more careless me. Starting with the prepainted stuff, it's been my plan to rebase it all to rounds and improve the most unacceptable paint jobs to something closer resembling my current tabletop standard.

For starters, here's a group shot of my Great Weapon Warriors (top) and Ironbreakers (bottom). These guys were built and painted back in the day, but I've given them a bit of a new lease of life by trying out a can of Army Painter Quickshade on them, as well as repainting their shield designs from a lazy flat gold from back in the to a new orange and black split, which I think makes them look a little more striking en masse.

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You can also spot a Stone Thrower in the back from the days when a Dwarfs Warmachines came in a blister pack.
I'm not going to bother with individual shots, because they don't particularly hold up to scrutiny, but I think they look good in a pack! There's something really gratifying about a fistful of these small, really lightweight little blobs of painted plastic on a 25mm base after the smallest things I've worked on in AoS being Bloodreavers and Stormvermin on 32mm bases. I'm also feeling pretty good about using my new tiles with a black background for photography.

Here's the Ironbreakers below.

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If you look even a little carefully, you'll notice the Quickshade has pooled a bit on the bottoms of the Ironbreakers shields, obscuring detail. It's a bummer, but harder to notice with the added edge highlighting. It could've been avoided by brushing on the dip, but at that point I don't really see the advantage in dip over an all over brush on from a pot of Nuln Oil - although, the built-in layer of varnish, I will concede, is pretty handy on these metal miniatures.

Even moreso than the Dwarf Warriors, who were at least multi-part plastics, I'm actually quite surpirsed with how much I still like these mono pose sculpts on round bases. They look unified, disciplined, dignified.. and I will admit, there is a certain charm to handling a finished metal miniature - the weight of the item really gives it a great feel in the hand. I'm certainly looking forward to getting around to the 20 strong unit of Longbeards I've got ready and waiting for a paint job now!

But finally, the main event.. my Dwarf Lord and Shieldbearers, King Ragnar Herk.

 

 

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This model is something of a re-conversion. Back when I was building my Dwarfs army, I needed a character to represent my Dwarf Lord/General Thane/whatever, and I absolutely loved the King Alrik miniature - not for stature and his shieldbearers though so much as I loved that big winged helmet and big bushy face, and I loved that his face was obscured enough by it all that he had a level of anonymity that made him a great choice of mini for a generic Dwarf Lord. So, I stuck him on a rock, changed out his axe for a hammer and stuck his big awesome shield to his back, because why throw away such a great looking shield?!

Anyway, when I started re-purposing my Dwarfs, I noticed the 'Dwarf Lord and Shieldbearers' warscroll before I encountered the 'Warden King', and when I saw you got those two free wounds for adding shieldbearers, I figured 'why not?'. My lord was already converted off the Shield though, so I scratched my head about what to do and looked in my box of Dwarfs. Shortly after, I encountered two miniatures I thought were perfect - one of Alrik's old shieldbearers that I'd converted into a very awkward Thane with a great weapon, and an amazingly old Citadel 'Dead Drunk Dwarf' that a friend of mine had ordered from our local GWs mail order catalogue for me as a birthday present over a decade ago. The Thane, in practice, kind of looked like he was struggling with the axe, possibly even offering it up, which made him a great dutiful squier-esque kind of companion, which in turn worked well for the Dead Drunk Dwarf who uh, wasn't much use to anyone.

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As a model, this didn't take an awful long time to complete. I just CA glued the three of them (Lord on his rock and all) onto a 60mm round base, textured it with some Vallejo Black Lava (an absolute godsend for fast textured basing when you're not priming black, and a zillion times cheaper than any GW texture paint), applied some brush-on primer to the two 'shieldbearers', touched up the Lord's paintjob (adding some orange for the new colour scheme where appropriate), and painted up the two shieldbearers, then put some brush on matt varnish over the lot. I will say I was happy with a couple of details I might normally pick out - I used a little Bloodletter Glaze on the Dead Drunks nose to give him that boozy look, and I actually bothered to paint the pupils. They're not the cleanest job I've ever seen, and could maybe do with being a little subtler, but they give him a sort of "I've seen too much" dead eyed stare at the clouds, which I enjoyed.

For a final touch, I used a few types of flock and static grass to give the rocky area a more opressive feel like on my Skin Wolves as the base was too big for just a couple of tufts, but not big enough to justify some lava cracks. Then, I added some spilled ale from my Dead Drunk Dwarfs flagon with a few layers of Vallejo Water Effects with some brown and yellow ink tinting it.  Around the top of the flagon, I also added a few particles of Army Painter 'snow' effect and a tiny bit of white paint to make it look just a little bit frothier where it's thickest, although I'm not sure how visible it ended up being.

 

Closing thoughts

Well, that's what I've been up to since finishing The Wolf and the Rat! Expanding my game board to a full 6'x4' became a bigger and more apparent priority than finishing up my 2000pts of The Azure Tempest this month, which is why my Dwarfs ended up getting some time in the sun. As it stands, I could take a Warden King, ten Warriors and ten Ironbreakers and give my Chaos forces something of a reasonable fight (and certainly adds more miniatures to the table than the additional four Stormcast I had planned!), although more likely that I'll paint up my Cannon and Stone Thrower and add a little long ranged punch into the army instead of the Ironbreakers.

To throw a curveball into the mix, I've also received a bunch of miniatures for my birthday that are demanding my attention. A friend of mine gifted me a Warhammer Games Day/Golden Daemon event Daemon Slayer miniature that is just way too bad as to leave unpainted in a box, and my ever lovely better half had bought me a box of Putrid Blightkings and a Daemons of Nurgle Start Collecting! box, having noted that I once rambled to her that I'd have picked Nurgle as my Chaos Diety of choice, had the starter box for AoS not come with a bunch of Khorne stuff. She's not wrong, and I'm really stoked to start painting these guys, just as soon as I pick up some rust and Nurgles Rot effects. I'm going to have to start taking some serious consideration into the Nurgle/Khorne lists I've been playing about with under the name The Red Plague. I'm already thinking of the Pestillens Skaven I could justify adding now, and with all my Chaos Daemons I've managed to amass, it could be a lot easier than expected to jump back into the new edition of 40K when it launches. Sigmar can wait.. I can hear Grandfather calling.

Haanz

Today, I'm very pleased to share that my army "The Wolf and the Rat" just hit their 2000pts of painted minis target and I can more or less draw a line under this army as "completed." This will undoubtedly prove to be a fabrication as the urge to add new guys will eventually hit me, though the limiting factor will now be how much space is left in my storage foam. More Bloodletters and Blood Warriors would be nice to mix things up, and theres no shortage of awesome models to paint that would fit this theme - Rat Ogors, Slaughterbrutes, Flesh Hounds, and hey, I hear Khorgoraths are getting a bit of a buff in the new Battletome!

But enough about my screaming wallet, this is supposed to be about me finishing this damn army.

 

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Skritt's Hunting Pack (Wolf Rats)

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As nimble as a rat, but with the cunning and vicious temperment of a dire wolf; Skritt's hunting pack of Wolf Rats are the blasphemous result of inbreeding between the remaining Giant Rats of Clan Fellpyre and the hunting wolves employed by The Pack. Primarily used for running down and retreiving fleeing 'cattle', their cunning and muscular build have made owning and raising one a risky, though coveted endevour.

Awesome miniatures, and a lot bigger than I expected. In fact, I actually expected the Skin Wolves to turn out a little bigger and these guys to be a little smaller. I gave them the same two tone grass and animal bones/skulls/warpstone crystals as the Wolves, which I really like on these bigger base minis. For the paint job, I wanted them to have a cohesiveness with the Skin Wolves, but with a few distinctions. In the ended, I chose to paint them with the same sort of grey/brown fur as I gave the Skin Wolves, but with a ratty pink flesh instead of the blue/grey. One key distinction is their armour/adornments are red, like the Wrathmongers, as opposed to the bone white of the 'enlightened' - like the Wrathmongers, they're feral and vicious and useful in a fight, but not considered 'people' in the way the Skin Wolves (perhaps foolishly) are.

 

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Skaarakh, The Fang of Khorne

I did a thing with this guy, which you might notice if you saw him in his primed-only state in the last photo, and that's that I hacked off his axe hand, twisted it and re-pinned it back in place. The reason for this was my 'dynamic pose' I was going for looked really weird, and the more I kind of pictured myself with my arm outstretched like that, the more it seemed unnatural. I had originally wanted him kind of pointing the axe in a challenge, but reposing white metal is difficult, and in the end I realised his arm would make a lot more sense if he was at the end of a big arcing swing of the axe, so that's sorta what I went for.

If you didn't see my previous post, then what you're looking at is an old, white metal Bloodthirster. I have no real stylistic reason for using him, other than I had one lying around at my parents house from back when I played World Eaters in 3rd Ed 40K when I was 13, and using him over buying a new plastic kit saved me like £50. He was obviously pretty dated looking though, so I made a few adjustments. The key ones were giving him a new head from the plastic Bloodthirster kits (which just look a zillion times better), reposing his arms to look a little more dynamic and a little less like the old style where everyone stood in that same unnatural pose, and finally I decided to go nuts and give him a giant green stuff fur cloak, because the new style Bloodthirsters are a little more burly than the skinny, boney style of old and I wanted a thematic way of bulking him up a little. In order to make the cloak not look weird over the wings, I added some beaten brass spiked collar pauldron things, that I personally think turned out pretty good for my first major green stuff endevour. I'm particularly pleased with the bulging vein on his axe arm bicep that I used to cover up some of the fingerprinting and roughness.

Oh, and I shaved off the little stars where his nipples would be, because I have no idea what they were thinking with that design choice.

As with my Bloodletters, I went for a slimy albino look on this one as well, and I'm again pretty happy with how he turned out; I'm getting a little more confident in painting whites, which is something that I absolutely failed at 6 months ago when I was starting out again after my decade long hiatus. There's no point in painting bone armour on a white guy, but I wasn't really that keen on red armour either, so I decided to make his breastplate black, and just get a little dark red on the cloak lining and the whip (and the blood effects, obviously!), and I'm really happy with the overall result.

Basewise, he's on the same Secret Weapon Miniatures sculpted resin lava base as my Lord of Khorne of Juggernaut, which I think looks great. I also added the one remaining huge rock and animal skull piece to it to tie him in a little with the Skin Wolves and Wolf Rats. I was originally planning on sticking a Fenrisian Wolf on the base with him, like I'm planning to do to my aforementioned Lord of Khorne, but I'm not 100% he really needs it anymore, what with everything else going on.

I'm still working on the lore, but I'm starting to think that 'he' might actually be a 'she' considering the weirdly low cut and chesty armour and more slender build compared to the modern Bloodthirster design. Hopefully I'll have that figured out at some point, and I'll include it with a big full-army photo in a future blog post.

 

Conclusion and Army List

And that wraps up my 2000pts of The Wolf and the Rat! As I said before, I have no immediate plans to expand - it'd be nice to take a break once I finish my two 2000pts armies and work on something smaller scale like Blood Bowl or Malifaux for a while - but ****** if I'm not tempted to fill up the (limited) free space in my BattleFoam for these guys by rounding out my two units of Blood Warriors and Bloodletters. Beyond that pipe dream, I have plans to add some furry tabards and pelts to the Blood Warriors and Bloodletters that I already have, but I'll just edit them in my original post.

Here's my final, 2000pts list that I'm planning on running these guys as. Note that this list isn't built to win any tournaments. I tend to build armies around what models I want, how I can tie a theme/narrative to them, and work from there. I don't know how many games I'll actually win with this list, but it looks cool and it's got a lot of fun things to play and a lot of weird mismashed synergies and that's what's important to me. If I ever consider what I include from a rules perspective, it's mostly to balance against my other armies so that I can fun games using only my models, should I want to demonstrate to friends, etc.

Thanks for reading!

The Wolf and the Rat - 1960/2000pts (pre new Battletome)

Heroes:
The White Wolf (Mighty Lord of Khorne OR Lord of Khorne on Juggernaut) - 140pts
Skritt Ashenfang (Skaven Warlord on Brood Horror) - 200pts
Skaarakh, Fang of Khorne (Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury) - 300pts
Tanaris Redmaw (Bloodsecrator) - 120pts

Battleline:
The Red Hunt (Blood Warriors x 5) - 100pts
The Enlightened (Blood Warriors x 5) - 100pts
The Bloodhounds (Bloodreavers x 20) - 120pts
The Bloodied Teeth of Skaarakh (Bloodletters x 20) - 200pts

The Rabid (Wrathmongers x 5) - 180pts
The Blessed (Skin Wolves x 3) - 120pts
The Ashenfangs (Stormvermin x 20) - 280pts
Skritt's Hunting Pack (Wolf Rats x 5) - 100pts

Haanz
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Skritt Ashenfang gnashed his teeth and snarled from the back of his lumbering Brood Horror mount, slowly encircling it's prey. The lone manthing, separated from his unit, had lost its footing and was making an panicked attempt at crawling backwards across the ashen wastes.

"Blood-blood for the blood god!" screeched the Skaven Warlord, as he fiercely swiped his warpforged halberd from the saddle of his grotesque mount. The warpstone blade sliced eagerly at the manthings throat, decapitating it with a viscous spray of blood. Skritt let out a fervent cry at his fresh kill as his hunting pack of Wolf Rats surrounded the corpse, picking and tearing at the warm flesh.

Skritt surveyed the area. Up ahead, his retinue of Stormvermin were in pursuit of the fleeing manthings. The weak would be slaughtered there and then, whilst the strong would be bound and brought before The Pack, to either replenish their bloody ranks or sate their bloodier appetites. Extending his black tongue like an earthworm protruding from soil, Skritt licked his gore-slick chops as he watched the manthings run as a wolf would study a herd of deer. Unable to contain himself, he yanked viciously at the brass chains bolted to his the jaw of his mount and kicked his vicious, yellowed toenails into it's side, signalling for the Brood Horror to charge. Khorne would reward him for the blood he spilled today, even if The Pack would not.

 

Today's blog post is about my other army, The Wolf and the Rat, which is a thematic take on Khorne Bloodbound, but pulling in some areas of Skaven and Khorne Daemons. There's a mash of a few different ideas and stories in this army, and the main reason for it is a combination of starting from the starter box, and just really loving the miniatures from a wide range of the Chaos faction. I knew, like with my Stormcast army The Azure Tempest that I'd want to try and make the army I grew out of the Chaos half of the starter box my own, and something that I've always liked the idea of is the interpretation of Khorne as a Wolf (the Wolf Father, the Blood Wolf, etc). The fact there's such an abundance of great viking/wolf upgrades these days thanks to things like Space Wolves Wulfen and so on kinda cemented this idea for me. The other thing was that I knew I wanted something big and awesome for a centrepiece to at least a little match my Stormcast's Stardrake, and I also knew that I loved Skaven, but would struggle with painting a pure horde army. And thus the concept of The Wolf and the Rat was born.

 

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The White Wolf

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Lord Alpha of The Pack, The White Wolf is a shrewd tactician, savage warrior and devoted chaplain of The Wolf Father. Although little is known of his time before The Pack, it is said that The White Wolf had once been a scholar of divinity, leading to his ancient and dogmatic interpretation of the Blood God Khorne as a bloodthirsty wolf.

His savage doctrine dictates that worshippers of the Wolf Father are the fangs of Khorne himself made manifest, and it is their duty to sake his thirst by preying upon the 'cattle' of the realm. To this end, The Wolf Father and his chosen 'enlightened' disciples enter the battlefield in suits of bone white platemail, in contrast to the blood red of his horde.

One of my first Bloodbound that I painted from the starter set, and I had a bit of trouble keeping the armour white while keeping the shading from the brown wash I used. I later discovered my folly was that the Army Painter washes that I used were more of a 'glaze' than a wash, so more fool me for using the Big Bad model from the starter set as my test model. Nothing overly taxing on the conversion front, just a power axe (with sci-fi parts like cables shaved off) from the Wulfen kit I had spare, and a resin wolf skull from some basing kit for a helmet. I kinda like the model, but I've always had a soft spot for mounted generals. My plan is to eventually replace him with a Lord of Khorne on Juggernaut converted from an OOP metal kitthat I got on Ebay (because ugh finecast), which I'm very much looking forward to seeing take fruition (see the WIP section at the bottom for the build).

 

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Skritt Ashenfang

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The White Wolf's second-in-command, or 'pet rat' to his detractors. Skritt Ashenfang was once a Fangleader of the Stormvermin bodyguard of Clan Fellpyre, entrusted with the protection of Grey Seer Chittikh on a great exoddus to claim a rich warpstone deposit in the realm of Aqshy. It was on this journey that Skritt's clan was ambushed by The Pack. Intent on consuming their flesh as an act of worship for the Bloodwolf, The Pack had destroyed much of Fellpyre before Skritt and his Stormvermin's martial skill had caught the eye of The White Wolf himself.

Whether through torture, brainwashing, cowardice, resentment or the simply the influence of Khorne's domain, only Skritt can say why he chose to forsake The Horned Rat in favour of the Blood God. In spite of his uncertain motivation, his unnatural strength and fell gifts remain proof he wields the favour of Khorne.

Another minimal conversion (Khorne banner from the Mighty Lord instead of the Horned Rat icon, spikey bit on the helm from a spare Stormvermin captain head).

This guy came about mostly out of desire to have something big and awesome in this army to match the visual appeal of the Stardrake and deciding that I couldn't justify buying a new Bloodthirster when I could paint strip and repurpose my old style metal one (see the WIP section below). I ended up on the ForgeWorld website, and kinda went back and forth on whether or not I'd buy Skaarac the Bloodborn. Ultimately, I thought £140 was too much to spend on a single (albeit awesome) miniature for My "First" Army, but while I was there I found myself looking at all the different miniatures ForgeWorld were doing for Fantasy/Age of Sigmar and being a little blown away by some of the more affordable miniatures - in particular, the Skaven Warlord on Brood Horror.

Skaven are an army I've always wanted to play - I love how they look, I love how they think, they're just the epitome of Games Workshop's creativity in fantastical settings and I love them to pieces. Back in the day, they were my first attempt at an army for WHFB, and that turned out to be a really stupid decision. They were kinda tricksy to play, and I hated how much time it took me to get them all to rank up. Additionally, there was just no way a 12-13 or so year old me would have the patience to paid those some 60 clanrats, 20 Stormvermin and so on and so forth. That army was sold quickly, and after a fumble or two (I believe I attempted Empire, Dark Elves and Chaos) I eventually settled on Dwarfs, an army I still have in a mixed state of completion and plan to slowly fix up for AoS eventually.

Anyway, skip forward to today and now we have Age of Sigmar and the #1 thing that I love about this game, being a returning hobbyist with a lot more hours in the hobby side than the gaming side as of now, is the ability to mix and match factions within your grand alliance. This opened up the floor to adding into my starter set whatever I liked the look of as long as I could justify it from a lore perspective. The stars sort of aligned for me on this one - the followers of Khorne respect strength and appetite for battle, which meant I could add a small, elite Skaven contingent to my army - not too many models to paint and it makes sense. Perfect!

As The White Wolf's 2nd in command, I like to field this guy as the general in smaller (1500pts or less) battles. His command ability buffs up the Stormvermin contingent, meanwhile the Bloodsecrator buffs up the Khorne mortals and daemons, giving the army a divided but united sort of feel that I think works on a fluffy level - Skaven are notorious for their backstabbing ambition, and the followers of Chaos can all be a little "xenophobic" of each other at the best of times anyway.

Notable from a model perspective is this is the first occurrence of the warpstone crystals I like to put on the bases of my more mutated miniatures with a mind that any of the crazy mutations could be attributed to either Khorne's blessings.. or maybe just a mutation from all the warpstone in their encampments soil. 

 

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Bloodsecrator

Not much to say about this guy, he's just the Bloodsecrator from the Starter Box. One of these days, I'd like to replace him with a wholely unique conversion - I'd really like to take Valkia the Bloody and switch her spear for a big honkin' icon of Khorne sometime, but that's a project for another time when there's less pressing things (such as the rest of the 2000pts army) to finish.

 

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Blood Warriors (The Red Hunt)

Just some starter set Blood Warriors. I think, of all my starter set Khorne, these are the guys who turned out the best.

 

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Blood Warriors (The Enlightened)

I bought these guys 2nd hand prebuilt and partially painted in a set of 5. In addition to being super cheap (I think I paid £8), it's always annoyed me that if I ever picked up a Blood Warriors box set, then I'd always have the 5 guys from the starter set 'spare' if I was building units of 10 to get the big crazy glaive.

There's no obvious Champion guy here, which would've made them perfect for just adding to my main unit, but they came partially painted in bone white and I kinda loved it, even if originally I had planned for only characters and more expensive individuals in the army to be white. I decided to keep them as their own unit in the end as a sort of 'retinue' of sorts for The White Wolf. The plan is to eventually buy another box of Blood Warriors and pump each unit up to 10, with the Englighted's champion getting a goreglaive. In the meantime, they look pretty cool. Fluff is a work in progress, but I like the idea of two units that are functionally the same with The Enlightened being closer to the radical ideology of The Pack's alpha (the cunning predator) vs the standard BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD of The Red Hunt.

 

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Bloodreavers (and Slaughterpriest)

Buncha Bloodreavers and a White Dwarf Slaughterpriest. The paint job does the job for tabletop, being essentially a base coat and a sepia glaze without any real highlighting or anything, but the thing that's probably standing out here are the movement trays.

While I love that my Bloodbound has a huge, hordey feel (with 80+ minis at 2000pts) in comparison to my elite Stormcast (with roughly 30 minis at 2000pts), that's an annoyingly large amount of miniatures to be pushing around a table. Somewhere along the line I heard someone mention Warbases, a UK company that does laser cut MDF bases and movement trays - I thought the 5 model skirmish stands were just perfect. They don't have an outrageously large footprint, and being able to split each 20-strong unit into 4 stands makes them a lot easier than a big 20-mini movement tray for getting around terrain and piling in and all that jazz - since there's no actual benefit to a formal formation, and that's certainly not the way I'd expect the followers of Khorne to fight anyway! They were a pretty quick job, just slop a bunch of Vallejo Black Lava onto them all and give them a drybrush and a bit of static grass and job's a good 'un.

 

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Bloodletters

These guys were super quick and easy, which I was really looking forward to after the slog of painting and varnishing Bloodreavers Stormvermin. Just prime, paint the horns/claws/teeth/eyes/metallics, dip, extra nuln oil wash over the horns and weapons, then paint the base and matte varnish over the horns and weapons. I'd always planned to dip them for maximum speed and a glossy slimy looking skin, but it wasn't until the models were on their way to me in the post (along with a can of Dragon Red primer spray that went unused in the end) that I decided they'd look really cool if they were white. I haven't fully developed my fluff reasons yet, but I love the scheme, and how prominently the blood effects show on their hands and mouths over the white flesh.

I don't like how many mold lines I missed in my hurry to get them finished in a weekend. As cool as the miniatures look, the sprues in this kit were really a bit janky. Lots of big mold lines and weird bits that didn't go together as well as I'd like. Still beats working with resin!

 

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Stormvermin

Cool models, I think this set aged quite well. Kind of a meh paint job on account of there being 20 to get through, so they got the same treatment as the Bloodreavers - not so great up close, but pretty cool en masse. More expensive than I'd have liked once you factor in the fact I had to buy my own bases for them (and GW don't like to sell small rounds without packaging a bunch of bigger rounds you PROBABLY WONT NEED with them). On a related note, I had debated whether to go 25mm or 32mm for these guys but in the end settled with 32mm. I hate foot overhang on bases of any kind, and furthermore, if Bloodreavers get a 32mm, then Stormvermin are getting 32mm given their somewhat elite status. 

 


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Wrathmongers

These guys tie the wolf theme of the army together. I love how the conversion turned out - a Wulfen box set with a bunch of Wrathmonger flails that I got from bitz websites in place of their stabby knife hands, and all the cables and 40k bits filed off. I don't know if you can see it particularly well from the photo, but I used the weird little skull and crossbones bits from the Wulfen frame to cover the hole in the minis backs where their backpack normally would be. Paint job wise, I could've done better. I rushed these guys to finish them and a unit of Judicators in a single weekend to get them ready for a game and it kinda shows. They actually looked a little worse before this photo, but on the night I was finishing up this post, I decided I'd do something about these guys and repainted their hair, from a kinda lazy light brown + wash to the black/grey you see now, which adds a little contrast and ties them a little closer to the Skin Wolves they might eventually become. If I were to do these guys again though, I think I might consider painting their flesh grey and hair brown, like mini Skin Wolves. That'd look pretty cool, and hey, normal Wrathmongers are all crazy and red, right?

From a lore perspective, as far as The Pack care, these guys aren't much different from your normal Wrathmongers, only they came out more Wolfy because Big Bad fancies his deity more canine than your average Bloodbound warlord. Or it could just be the warpstone up to it's usual tricks! Who knows.

 

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Skin Wolves (The Blessed)

I am straight up thrilled with how these guys came out. Like a lot of my paint jobs, I got pretty down on how they were coming along at first. I had originally decided to make their bodies grey and their fur a lighter shade of grey. It took about 75% of the way through the first one before I realised why my guys looked so much worse than everyone else's on the internet - people tend to make the skin lighter than the fur, which 'balances' out the miniature a little more because the light tends to hit the backs a lot easier. Liking their skin the way it was, I decided to make their fur a grungey brown instead and that really improved things some more.

What really brought these guys together were the bases. I'd originally decided I wanted to do a little more with their bases than normal, but I didn't think they were big enough to warrant the lava stream that my biggest guys had (Skritt and the Stardrake so far, although my Juggerlord and Bloodthirster will be on resin lava bases since I had to buy their round bases separately anyway). I ended up buying this basing kit with animal bones, thinking that would typify wolves a lot more. They also got the warpstone crystals the other mutants got, but I also decided to be a bit more liberal with my use of static grass. I tend to religiously stick with grey gravel for my bases rather than picking something complimentary to each army for the simple reason that most of my games are played on the tiles you can see I photograph most of them on, but I also use an assortment of dead static grasses and tufts on the board to break up the monotony of grey, and I do the same on my bases, though I normally stick to the simple dead looking green grass. With these guys, I expanded to use 2 of the 3 types of flock and both types of tufts I use on the main board, and cover up a lot more of the grey with the grass, and the effect not only compliments the grey (that would otherwise just blend into the base), but I think comes out looking a lot more marshy and macabre, which somehow suits the gothic horror vibes that Skin Wolves give off so well.

Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is I really liked how the bases turned out and just how much better they make the miniatures look overall.

From a fluff standpoint, these guys are known as 'The Blessed' within The Pack, for reasons that should be readily apparent by now; for a crazy religious cult (even by Chaos Worshipper standards) that believes their God is a big crazy bloodthirsty wolf guy, being made into a big crazy bloodthirsty wolf guy is a pretty high honour and considered on par with daemonhood. Sweet. Once more, warpstones on the base. Are these guys just crazy and stupid? Oooo.. maybe, but maybe not. But probably.

 

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Khorgorath

Just a Khorgorath, nothing super special here. I guess this was my first attempt at painting something big in Age of Sigmar, outside of my Ogroid Thaurmaturge from the Silver Tower set that got me back into the hobby (and looked terrrriibaaaad!), so I was pretty pleased with how he turned out. He's a neat model, but doesn't really fit so well in the army, but I painted him, so he's getting shown off anyway!

 

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Bloodstoker

Same deal as the Khorgorath, nothing super interesting here. This guy gets some use in my 1500pts list, but I think got the chop in the 1000pts and 2000pts versions. Go figure. I think his base might be a tad bright.

 

AAAND BONUS: Here's some works-in-progress!

 

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Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury

Yeah, this is an old ass metal Bloodthirster model. I had him kicking around my parents attic, and given that I had a Bloodbound army, it felt like a shame not to use him. I decided to repose his arms, because they looked static in the classic GW way where everyone loved to stand with biceps by their sides and their elbows bent. I also gave him a modern plastic Bloodthirster head that I got from Ebay, because the old one looked ridiculous and just a bit unsuitably camp in the modern style. I dunno, it might be a little big, but it looks a hell of a lot better. Oh, and on a similar note, I filed down the weird stars where his nipples would be on his breastplate. That just always seemed weird to me.

Then I got a bit ambitious. I decided I'd risk ruining him - he only cost me £25 back in the day, which is kind of insane when you consider the (albeit amazing) plastic kit these days will skin you almost three times that, and frankly, he paid himself off in extensive use in my World Eaters army back then. So, I thought I'd make him more unique and Wolfy by adding a green stuff fur cloak (which you probably can't see) and some metal spikey pauldron things to tie it to his back and wings, which I thought turned out pretty well. He'll get his own post when I'm finished so you can get a better idea of what it looks like, but I'm planning to also add my remaining animal bones to his base before I'm done. He'll be white like the other daemons in my army, and more than a little unique. Sometimes, I wish that I'd sprung for some modern plastic Bloodthirster wings on ebay to go with the head, but between that and the base I'd be as well buying a new plastic one. And my Battlefoam pluck foam's already been cut to size so that ship has sailed anyway.

 

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Lord of Khorne on Juggernaut

The White wolf himself, looking a hell of a lot more regal upon the back of one of Khorne's favoured daemonic mount, and in glorious white metal to boot!

I love this miniature. Even the standard Lord of Khorne on Juggernaut just has this blasé swagger to it that puts me in mind of the Orc general riding to the front lines on a warg in The Return of the King. I really hate the idea of my Mighty Khorne general walking into battle with a little red pooch while his second in command is riding in style on a big gigantic mutant mole rat with baby rats crawling out of it's skin (that miniature is so gross and cool). This guy got a couple things from me - a Space Wolves helmet, with the sci fi bits filed off (top bit on the helmet, and the side tubes cut and filed to look like tusks/spikes), his shield replaced with a big ol' Space Wolves one with fetishes dangling not unlike the Bloodreavers/Wrathmongers, and a big honkin' axe made of two of the big two handed axe heads from the Wulfen sprue stuck together. He just needs a bit of greens stuff cleanup, and a nice oval base (this one came with a square). MORE SOON!

 

And that's that!

Hopefully in my next posts I can show off my finished Bloodthirster, Lord of Khorne on Juggernaut and my as of yet unpictured Wolf Rats. Thanks for reading (or looking at pictures and skipping to the end)!

 

Haanz

Edit: Huh. It seems editing a post republishes it. All I've changed, if you've seen this before, is update the photos of the Lord Celestant (after fixing his hammer) and the Liberators (after painting their shields properly).

Hello world!

This is my first blog post at TGA, and hopefully the first of many. My overall aim here is really just to share my Age of Sigmar armies as they are and how they grow, alongside a bit of home grown fluff and some commentary. There's going to be a decent amount of photos, but a warning in advance - these are my first armies after returning to the hobby from a 10 year hiatus, and back when I quit I leaned more towards the gaming side of the hobby than painting. Nowadays, I like them both fine (and like conversions and kitbashing a little more), but my focus is pretty much 100% tabletop standard. I hate gaming with unpainted plastic, but there's a lot of minis to get through to get two 2000 point armies up to scratch. I'm expecting more than a few 'thin your paints' comments, and you can expect a lot of "I'd like to go back when I'm finished and work on these guys a little more" comments to crop up from myself. Photographing your stuff and looking at it when writing something like this means I'm seeing a lot of imperfections I missed when painting.

The format here will basically be a show and tell, with fluff interspersed where I have it in quote blocks. It's my hope to have a bit of character behind all of my heroes, and maybe my unit Primes as I go along. I'll probably alternate blog posts between my two armies The Azure Tempest and The Wolf and the Rat, with big posts at the start, and little ones with new units as I paint them or come up with fluff to add.

Without further adeui, here is my first 1500pts of 'The Azure Tempest', my homebrew Stormhost from the later strikings.

 

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"My brothers, let us remind the forces of Chaos just who it is that would yet stand against them." Cazris proclaimed to his retinue, behind his draconic death mask. "Let us crash upon them like the waves of the Great Ocean! May our arrows wash over them like the storm in the heart of a violent tempest! Tonight, the enemy will know once again the true name of immortality. They will once again fear the Asur of Ulthuan!"

It is said of the Age of Myth that gods Tyrion and Malerion could not find any Aelf outside of Azyrheim, but in their dreams they could hear the anguished cries of damned Aelves devoured by Slaanesh. The Chaos God was left bloated and helpless by the souls he devoured during the End Times, so it hid hoping to digest his meal. Tyrion and Malerion captured Slaanesh, managed to free a great number of tortured souls. Among them were a great number so corrupted by their anguished that they could not neither find rest, nor regain their physical form.

There are conflicting reports of who it was to have approached Sigmar first, with some claims of the wisdom of Teclis, and others suggesting Malerion proposed the idea as a means to make amends for disobeying the orders of Sigmar in the capturing of Slaanesh. In any case, the result was the same - Sigmar agreed to reforge the anguished souls of the Aelves in his own forges in return for their fealty in the war against Chaos; a term that the vengeful souls who had so long suffered the whims of Slaanesh would gladly agree to. Thus, the souls were given corporeal form as Stormcast Eternals of The Azure Tempest.

 

 

As my first army coming back from a decade long hiatus, I originally didn't want to stray too far from the established Hammers of Sigmar scheme, as that was the scheme I had painted my Knight Questor from the Silver Tower box set that brought me back into the hobby. As I built more of my minis though, I started to obsess over the idea of my own Stormhost and it's accompanying fluff. I'd recently bought my fiancé a High Elf Dragoonlord and a box of Dragon Princes, and had a bunch of leftover bitz from that which inspired this idea of Stormcast from non-human origins, and pulling in a bit of their former personalities into the corresponding units in the Stormcast army. One of the biggest draws of Age of Sigmar to me - as someone who had originally scoffed at the notion when I heard they were scrapping the Old World - is it's massive nine realm setting and the huge blind spots in the fluff that leave a lot more room for individual creativity. To that end, I felt like I was missing a trick not giving my armies their own unique flavour. Obviously, making my guys from Aelves posed a few challenges, given that it hasn't been heard of in any official fluff yet. I'd have to explain why Sigmar is reforging those not necessarily of his own kind. I'd need to have a reason for non-humans swearing fealty to some human deity. I've never particularly worried about the Human keyword though - all Stormcast are reforged with those superhuman Stormcast bodies, so even if my guys were Aelves, I'm happy enough to consider their reforged bodies as having more in common with human now. And as for the actual official line on whether this is possible? Well, Josh Reynolds said something to that effect in a Q&A.

For a colour scheme, I decided to do a subtle twist on the Blue/Gold of the Hammers of Sigmar. I wanted to make the blue a little more of a sea-blue, and introduce some white in there for a classic High Elves kind of look. I've given most things a blue accent, with glossy white shoulders. The gold I've dialled down a little to a bit more of a bronze, and everything has had a watered down wash of Nikalah Oxide on the metal (and then drybrushed over again to clean it up a bit) to give them a more ancient kind of look - The Azure Tempest are a little sentimental, and employ a lot of relics and imagery from their Aelven heritage and especially the Old World, and so I wanted the whole army to kind of look a bit like relics themselves - having come pretty much straight from End Times in the World That Was to getting digested by Slaanesh, and straight to getting reforged as Stormcast.

One more little contrast I did on these guys was the bases. You can see the tiles that I normally game on being used as a display board for all the photographs here - which I made using Secret Weapon Tablescapes Rolling Fields, but painted like an ash wastes with a river of lava flowing through it. It's also got some various tones of dead or scorched flock or static grass, and my Chaos army are based similarly. As I designed and built my Order and Chaos army to largely face each other on this table, for my Stormcasts, I opted to contrast all of that with bright green static grass, and flower bed tufts, to project a sort of life bringing glow to the army, which I really liked.

I've rambled long enough. Here's the miniatures...

 

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Lord Celestant 'Prince' Cazris

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A former Dragonlord of Caledor, experienced warrior and gifted diplomat, though proud and boastful. It is rumoured among those closest to him that it was Cazris who had brokered the terms of the Stormhosts reforging with Sigmar himself. Cazris has shown great affinity for the children of Dracothian and has forged close bonds with his two Extremis mounts, the Dracoth Glauraon and Stardrake Chaeronax. His brash demeanour, coupled with widespread usage of Aelven artifacts and iconography within his Stormhost has led to his reputation for pretentiousness among other Lord Celestants, earning him his satirical nickname 'Prince' Cazris.

This was the model that started my Aelven conversions theme on the army, and sort of established the pattern of mapping units to old High Elf units (Extremis > Caledor, Decimators > White Lions, etc). I really like   how the hammer from the previous helmet fits so nicely between the dragon mask wings. I also really like how natural the addition of the shield (leftover from my Stardrake kit) looks. (EDIT: Original pic had wonky Tempestos Hammer from a breakage fix. I've since fixed this and replaced the photo. Bonus: I've kinda figured out how to use this light box now..)

 

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Lord Relictor, Tallaran Dreadhammer

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As is often the case of Sigmar's guardians of lost souls, the origins of Tallaran Dreadhammer are shrouded in mystery. It is generally agreed that Tallaran was once a Druchii of Naggaroth, though conflicting reports claim he was either a practictioner of Necromancy, whilst other claim he was a nimble Assassin, whose proficiency with concealed weapons and close proximity to death led to his somewhat ironic role in The Azure Tempest, safeguarding the souls of the fallen from the clutch of Nagash while bearing a heavy reliquary staff.

No conversions or anything exciting here, but I think Dreadhammer is one of my better paint jobs, particularly the highlighting on the tabbard which is usually crisp and clean for me (most of my other jobs look a little more blotchy with thick lines), so I'm actually rather fond of him as is. I'm tempted to do a head swap with a Dark Elf Witch Elves death mask sometime.

 

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Drakesworn Templar, Aemarion Dragonborn

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Former Dragon Prince and Drakesworn Templar of the Azure Tempest Extremis Chamber. His hot temper and impetuousness is matched only by the respect he commands from the children of Dracothian. Unsuitable for a leadership role, Aemarion is the sword arm of Cazris, often seen riding into battle upon Cazris' personal Stardrake, Charrofax.

Man, I love the Stardrake mini. Pretty much the moment I picked up the AoS starter box I decided I had to get me one of those. For my own standards, I'm really happy with how his paint job came out. The rider definitely needs work, and I could probably do with highlighting on the red armour belts, but the plate and the shoulders, and the High Elf Lord on Dragon basing extras all worked out really nicely. It's also the first mini I've magnetised - the torso of the Templar is magnetised and switchable with the Lord Celestant, along with the bow/cover facing for when the bows not attached. While the Lord Celestant has a similar Dragon Prince style head as his Dracoth mounted incarnation, I thought the Drakesworn Templar would benefit from the Dragonlord Head, which distinguished him a little bit and gave him some individual personality considering he has no other form than Stardrake-mounted.

 

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Liberators 1

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The foot soldiers which make up the backbone of the Azure Tempest Warrior Chamber come from the most stalwart and unmovable warriors from all across Ulthuan and Athel Loren in the World That Was. Favouring the finesse of Aelven craft short swords over the bulky warhammers wielded by the majority of Liberators across most Stormhosts, they are employed primarily to hold the line and capture strategic points.

Headswaps galore! My bare heads I ordered from various bitz sites and they're from a bunch of different Aelves - Wood Elves, White Lions, there's even a couple Eldar Guardians heads in there.

I know the Hammers are statistically just better than the Swords from a gaming standpoint, but I really felt like these swords fit the Aelven aesthetic a little better. And I love how the smaller Aelven swords give them a roman Short Sword and Tower Shield kinda vibe.

Edit: The lightning on the shields is a little uneven and thick. Unfortunately this was due to the gloss varnish going on before I really cared how washed out the hammer icon was at the time - these were my first dudes painted from the starter set and I had a bit of trouble with brush control still, and the varnish is a kinda difficult surface to paint over. I might again go back and clean them up at a later date, but it's an improvement to not seeing them at all.

 

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Liberators 2

More headswaps! I made a little slip up here in that I somehow managed to put my duplicate Eldar Guardian head on the exact same body as the guy from the other squad. That's.. annoyed me ever since. Also, the Prime just has the same sword as everyone else, which is dull, but I couldn't find another one of those Dragonlord swords. This was the second unit I painted, and I think I rushed them a bit so I could start playing. I'm not super happy with either squad when I look closely at them.

 

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Judicators

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Expert marksmen and skilled combatants, the Judicators of the Azure Tempest are as likely to have origins as Seaguard of Lothern as they are to have been Archers of Athel Loren. These Judicators forgo the bulky death mask helmets of their contemporaries in favour of the uncompromised vision of a hooded cowl.

 

 

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Decimators

Another case of 'I think the standard hammers would've been more useful, but the weapon swaps fit the fluff better.' These guys are my White Lions of Chrace. Green stuff lion pelts and red ribbons. I sort of originally did this because I got the starter box, and another 'Easy to Build' pack of two, doubling me up on the primes. I did my best to distinguish them - the prime has a full lion pelt on his back including legs and tail and has a bigger axe. I also chopped the excess ribbon off the other prime and put it on him. I also cut the other prime off his little rock on his front foot so he didn't stand quite as tall, and cut down the spikes on his backpack to be more like the rest. Finally, the lion mouldings on the prime had to go, so I green stuffed over the other primes hand with a more standard looking bit of armour. You can see it on him in the back right - it's not great but it's close enough for me. I wish I hadn't started green stuffing his right shoulder first though - having two shoulders with lion furs makes him look overly clunky. I dunno. The new Stormcast Battletome also shows me that Decimators are supposed to have slightly different helmets, which is a bit of an irksome detail to now be aware of. For tabletop though, I like these guys fine.

 

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Prosecutors
Just some Prosecutors. Cool minis, but I did nothing special with them. The wings I did with a Nikhalah Oxide wash like on the armour, so they kinda matched colour scheme wise. I like how they turned out, all things considered. I'll field them because I have them and they look cool, but I do wish they had javelins instead, which would've better fit my armies theme and they'd be a little more useful.

 

 

What's next?

My next blog post will introduce my first batch of my Chaos army, The Wolf and the Rat, of which my first 1500pts is just about fully painted now. Beyond that, I'll be making individual posts for the final additions to the armies, including a big ol' Celestant Prime conversion to round out The Azure Tempest.

See you next time!

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