Sunday, 16 February 2020

The Matriarch

Hello guys!

I spent some time sculpting today and managed to finish the conversion of the Matriarch for my warband!

It was a very fun project to work on, I enjoyed planning the conversion carefully, collecting all the bits and re-imagining this very iconic warrior from 1999 Mordheim.
Since she will be equipped with the very best the temple can offer I decided to give her a suit of heavy armour, so she is much ore heavily equipped than the rest of the warband. I will have to see how I pull this one out with the paint scheme.
In terms of the conversion I was after an ecstatic effect, similar to what can be seen on some religious baroque art, like the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa by Bernini:

I wanted the model to reflect this in her pose, taken in a rapturous vision during the battle, as if she is looking at Sigmar himself about to descend from the Heavens to give her a big hug :)

I sketched quite a lot with the bits before starting, here you can see some of the stages of the conversion process:

Here you can see phase 1: where I was just testing the pose and the interaction of the bits. I used  legs from the new Sisters of Battlekit, the torso is from Saint Celestine, head from a Stormcast Sequitor with the helmet of a bretonnian man at arms. The axes are just there to test the effect of the pose with the double weapon.

Then I moved to Phase 2, shaving off the boob armour, re-sculpting the waist and adding the hammers from the Excelsior Warpriest kit (the tiny one on his belt). I added a small reliquary hanging from her rosary for when I will be able to buy her a holy relic.

And finally Part 3, the sculpture completed. The spiked crown on top of her helmet is from the Electro Priests with the 40k bits shaved off. The tiny rivets on the armour are glass balls 0.5mm diameter. 

And there she is, I hope to start painting it tomorrow afternoon if I can.

Monday, 3 February 2020

Mad Juditta

Hi All,

I painted another sister!

Sister Juditta Rosenkrantz was born in Pfeildorf the second daughter of Mattheus Rosenkrantz, a wealthy wool merchant and Ludmilla Von Leitdorf, disgraced daughter of the Seneschal of Averland. Having inherited much of her mother’s troublesome character, Juditta’s unruliness and savage manners plagued her family reputation since her most tender age. Her cruel childish pranks against the household servitude and her violent tempers became the subject of many tavern stories in the province, and neither her parents nor her tutors could put an end to her vicious rampages. At the age of seven she drowned her cousin’s pet dog and then asked the cook to serve it to the inconsolable boy for supper. On her thirteenth birthday she stole the prayer’s book from Sigmar’s temple and scribbled prophanities all over it. When she was later confronted by the furious priest she defended her actions declaring that Sigmar was a warrior, not a scholar and that He did not waste His time with books and prayers.
Always her family wealth and position shielded her from the consequences of her wrongdoing and she grew spoilt and ill mannered to the point of local dignitaries avoiding visiting her father’s shops for fear of becoming entangled in one of her cruel amusements.
Though her behaviour always troubled her parents, the last straw came when, at the age of fifteen, Juditta fell for a bretonnian troubadour and fled with him. When her father’s men reached the two fugitives in Helmgart they were about to cross the Axe Bite Pass and reach Montfort.
She was not returned home to her family this time. Her father, tired of her abuses, had decided that Juditta was to become somebody else’s problem. She was delivered, screaming and biting, to the gates of the Rock in Mordheim, where she was forced to take her vows as a Novice of the order of the Sisters of Sigmar.
Countless nights of vigil, ritual purifications and corporeal punishments followed but with every crack of the whip Juditta seemed to grow more spiteful and unruly. Her escape attempts were all thwarted but she never gave up and kept taking every opportunity she could to plant seeds of discord and rebellion amongst the sisterhood, a terrible influence on the other novices on whom she seemed to have a strong ascendancy.
When the comet appeared above the city, burning brighter and brighter every day, Juditta had been in Mordheim for almost two years but still showed no sign of repentance. While the population of the city gathered to celebrate the return of the God-King and abandoning themselves to all sort of decadent indulgement, the Sisterhood was called to pray in the temple as the prophet Cassandora had forseen a terrible calamity.
Seeing her chance of evasion Juditta took advantage of her sisters distraction and slip past their surveillance and out of the walls of the convent. Once in the city, free from her pious jailers, Juditta joined the wild celebrations, dancing for hours, embracing strangers of every rank and laughing like she never laughed in her life. Finally, for the first time in her life, she was free to be herself. That was the best night of her life.
Then the comet struck.
What followed the impact is shrouded in the myth and has already been confined to the darkest pages in the Empire's history books. After three days of fire and madness finally the whole city fell quiet, a chilling silence as cold as a witch grave. That night a naked and bloody figured knocked at the gates of the Rock. Impossibly, against all odds, Juditta had survived. She was not the same though, as her sisters soon discovered. Whatever she saw amongst the ruins had left a deep scar and the girl was now haunted by feverish visions of unspeakable doom. As soon as she recovered the power of speech she asked the Matriarchs to accept her within the ranks. Though initially reticent, they eventually acknowledged her survival as a sign from Sigmar: surely the God-King had some plans for the young woman.
While madness swathed the Empire and hordes of treasure seekers reached the infamous City of the Damned, the Sisterhood got busy: cleaning the ruins from evil and corruption was a near impossible task but one Sister Juditta threw herself in with wild abandonment. Her Sisters, initially unsettled by her constant mumbling and wild eyes, grew to admire her fervour in battle. Juditta blossomed from a young and spoilt noblewoman to a hard warrior who was also capable of inspiring her Sisters to acts of reckless heroism. While some of the Matriarchs still see her as a dangerous influence on younger minds, Mother Romhilda has decided to invite Juditta to join her ranks and even promoted her above her sisters a a Superior.
In the eyes of Romhilda, Juditta has the potential of a great martyr as the lines that separates faith and madness is often very thin.

Here she is, an ancestor of Count Marius Leitdorf suffering from a similar affection. She is essentially mad as a box of frogs.

While painting her I tried to stick to the same colour scheme I chose for my warband but pushing the details a bit more: the robes are painted with a slight stippling and the use of some Contrast (Wyldwood) for the first time on this warband.
Work has already started on the Matriarch, Romhilda Wasserlosen, and I hope to share some progress with you in the ext days.


Friday, 24 January 2020

Sister Superior

Hi guys!

I managed to find the time to convert another warrior for my Sisters of Sigmar warband.


This one is a Sister Superior, one of my heroins, therefore she got a bit more attention than my two Novices.
The conversion was pretty extensive, starting from mixing the new 40k Battle Sisters with the Warcry Cypher Lords. In particular the legs were a bit challenging, I wanted the lower legs and the feet to look the same throughout my warband, so they needed to come from the Cypher Lords. I cut the legs at the knee and fit them onto the top part of the Battle Sisters kit. Then I closed the gap with green stuff... Took a while.
The rest involved sculpting the chainmail, leather hood and converting the head with one from the Battle Sisters kit and the helmet from a Bretonnian man at arm.
The hammers are from the kit of the white wolf templars with plasticard rods as handles.

I am pretty happy with how she turned up and cannot wait to start painting her!

Let me know what you guys think.


Friday, 17 January 2020

Sister Agatha and some terrain building

Hi All!

I am hard at work on my Mordheim 2020 project, I finally managed to recruit a proper crew and we are going to play a campaign this summer!

This means that not only I have to prepare a warband in time for the event but also a second gaming board as the one I made last year is now too small to accomodate all of the participants.

Therefore I am dividing my free time between building terrains and slowly progressing on my next warband: the glorious Sisters of Sigmar.

Here goes my second warrior: Sister Agatha, my second and last (for now) Novice.

As for my previous Novice, the model is converted from the Warcry Cypher Lords kit, very versatile kit offering great opportunities to make dynamic female warriors finally not from some naked elf!

Not too much to say about the painting, I am enjoining painting a lot of skin areas and female faces are an interesting challenge as the transitions between light and shadow areas must be smoother than on their male counterparts. 

On the terrain side, I bought quite a few of the Warcry terrain kits to use as a base to convert my new Mordheim board, which is supposed to represent the Noble/Merchant quarter of the city, where the wealthy and cultured used to live before the catastrophe.

The first building I worked on is a portion of the Justice Palace, where the prisoners awaiting judgement were kept in cells and exposed to the public to scare potential wrongdoers into complying with the law.

This was modified almost exclusively from Warcry kits and was a pleasure to assemble and paint.

Once I familiarised myself with the kits I moved on to another smaller building project, a simple townhouse for a wealthy merchant, which this time was created mixing the Warcry scenery with quite a lot of plasticard bits:

This was actually way easier than I imagined to build  (although more time consuming than the previous one) and I will follow a similar method for the rest of my board from now on.

This terrain and warband project has just started, and it will take me quite some time to complete it, but I feel like I am heading in the right direction with it.

See you hopefully soon with another update!

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Sisters of Sigmar!

Greeting faithfuls!

I have been working on my new warband for Mordheim, the mighty and oft forgotten Sisters of Sigmar! Quite possibly inspired by the new Adepta Sororitas miniatures (which will find their way to my warband as soon as the multipart plastic kits are out in January hopefully) I decided to finally start this long due passion project.

Apologies for the not so great pictures, as always.

This first model is one of my two Novices, I wanted to start from the lowest ranks of my warband to work my way up to the heroes and of course I needed to test a good colour scheme. 
The conversions are based on the new Cypher Lords for Warcry, an incredible range full of potential!
I immediately fell in love with the poses and especially with the sandals, which I always thought appropriate for the warrior sisters of Mordheim.
The sculpted details are kept simple and plain, I wanted a spiked hood and a chastity belt worn over the robes. I am still considering if the rest of the sisters should have heavier robes but for the Novices I am ok to go for a less formal look as they did not deserve to wear the garments of their order yet.

I opted for a simple palette of light browns and blacks, which reminds of a medieval religious order.

In this picture you can see my next Novice, now ready to be painted and to join her sister.
My intention with these was to stay as faithful as possible at the original art from 1999 Mordheim rulebook and supplements, updating those great concepts to the 2020 miniature standards.

The base is round as I prefer them to square (though my friends are currently protesting against this decision) and I stayed faithful to my tested green stuff cobblestone approach to which I added just a touch of colour and interest with small pieces of paper cut and painted to resemble pages of a prayers book.

Hopefully after the next Novice I will move on to a hero and perhaps a bit of scenery, maybe a chapel or a reliquary? We'll see.

Thursday, 3 October 2019

The Bronze God

Good Morning!

After yet another long break from posting (or indeed painting) anything, I am finally back to the hobby and can present you my latest work: the finished Wanderer King!

If you followed my blog since the beginning you might know that this is one of the longest projects I have been working on and what you see here is just the final incarnation of an idea I had back in 2015 for an outcast Stormlord exiled in the savage lands of Ghur, trying to prepare the tribes of the plains for the return of the God-King.
The first iteration of the model was mounted on a huge beast, the conversion took me months but sadly, due to my capricious nature, was never painted and it lies broken and incomplete in my cabinet.

Back in May this year I decided to return to the concept of the Wanderer King and try again, this time with a version on foot to ease myself back into it. I loved the conversion so much, but for a variety of reasons never managed to find the time to paint it... Until now!


So, a little bit about the painting process.
The most difficult decision to take was which colour to chose for the armour... None of the rest of my Ghurians have any piece of metal anywhere on the models... This was a very deliberate decision to represent the fact that their technology level is neolithic and they forgot the secret of metalworking during the long Age of Chaos. The Wanderer King had to stand up among the tribesman thanks to his ancient and battered armour...But what material should it have been?
After long reflections I decided for bronze. Not only it blends in quite well with the rest of the colour scheme I had in mind, but more importantly bronze was historically the first metal alloy to be used by humans for fabricating tools/weapons. It represent the next age of technological advancement after the Neolithic and in this case this evolutionary step forward is embodied in the figure of the Bronze God: the Wanderer King.
The rest of the scheme was pretty much a no-brainer as I wanted to stay as close as possible to the rest of my ghurians: brown, earthy tones with a touch of bright red to break from the monotony of a muted palette.
Since the model was full of wide plain surfaces and I wouldn't have been able to use intricate decorations or bright colours to make them interesting,  I decided to spend some extra effort on the material textures, especially different types of leather as you can see on his cloak and the belt. The white of the beast skull on his head helps drawing the eye to the main area of the model. All in all I am happy with the composition and I feel it works well close to the rest of the warband.
I am especially happy about the cloak, which took long hours of painstaking brushwork to complete, but was worth it in the end.

The completion of this model marks the end of a long journey for this concept. At some point in the future I might go back and revisit the mounted version but for the time being I think I am going to ficus on making my Ghurians a playable warband for Warcry... Suer excited about fielding them and the rules for mercenaries should allow me to use the King as an allied Knight Questor!

Exciting times ahead.

Monday, 24 June 2019

The Red Griffon

Hi all!

Today I will show you what I have been working on during the weekend. As you may or may not remember my friends and I decided to return to the streets of Mordheim to celebrate the 20 years anniversary of its release (this is completely unrelated to the wonderful Mordheim 2019 event that Echoes of the Imperium is organising, although their work is a huge source of inspiration).

My Reikland warband is complete and ready to play but that doesn't men that I am not already planning how to expand it during the campaign. I have great plans for them and many interesting additions I'd like to make while my Wolves of Siegfried progress during the game.

The first member I was intending to add was a Freelance Knight. I have always loved the original Brian Nelson sculpt and I believe that this character fits very well with the theme of Reikland.

To reinforce this I decided to convert my knight to represent one of the proud knights from the Knightly Orders of the Empire. I initially chose Reiksguard but after a bit of research I discovered that this order had not been created yet at the time of Mordheim, so I changed my plans slightly.

The Red Griffon is a dishonoured knight formerly from the Knights of Sigmar's Blood and hails from the town of Carroburg, of which he is the formal ruler although he renounced this burden to pursuit his quest within the walls of Mordheim. Here is the background I wrote for him.

Graf Robert Von Uhland, Von Carroburg, the Red Griffon

Who is the Red Griffon of Mordheim? Some say he is a paragon of knightly virtue, worthy of the blood of the Unberogens that runs thick in his veins. Others swear he is only a miserable oathbreaker and a traitor of his class.
Whatever the truth all concur one one thing: a terrible curse hangs heavily upon him.

Hrobert Von Uhland was born in Carroburg, the second son of Burgraf Leitmar Von Uhland and Baroness Olla Von Siebold-Stoltzer. Destined to a military career the boy was sent to Altdorf court where he had the honour of studying under Count Dietrich Van Dorff, weapon master of Prince Siegfried. Quickly realising his potential his teacher entrusted the young to the order of the Knights of Sigmar's Blood where Hrobert was accepted at the age of eighteen.
HIs career within the order was rapid and successful. At the Battle of Helmgart he distinguished himself as a squire of the Claw Guard subsequently earning his spurs at the tournament of Ubersreik, where he unhorsed seven senior knights including the Count of Nordland and finally ascended to the rank of Preceptor, one of the youngest knights to receive this honour.
HIs raising star seemed unstoppable and many of his fellow knights would look at him as a candidate to the title of Grand Master one day. But that all changed a few years later when Hrobert was implicated in the scandal of the Wedding Procession of Countess Von Alptraum.
Betrothed to the Elector Count Martin of Stirland the Countess was preparing her long voyage from Averheim to Wurtbad and to grant her protection along the road the Knights of Sigmar's Blood sent a detachment under the command of Graf Von Uhland.
When the caravan was attached by beatmen while crossing the Stir Hrobert was forced to face a difficult decision. His knights were taken by surprise by the assailants and the muddy ground of the river bank slowed their horses and prevented them to rally and disperse the enemy. Realising the danger Hrobert acted quickly, snatching the Countess from her coach and fleeing inside the Stirwald.
More than one month passed before the two managed to finally reach the gates of Wurtbad, bloody and exhausted but safe. Hrobert was saluted as a hero by the Count for saving his future bride but his gratitude turned into fury when, just a few days after their arrival, Countess Von Alptraum burst into teas and asked the count to cancel the wedding as her heart already belonged to the knight who so bravely saved her from certain death. Hrobert was still recovering from his woulds when the Count's guards arrested him and took him to court where he was immediately put on trial under accuse of seducing the young noblewoman.
Forced to defend himself and under threat of excommunication from his order Hrobert swore his innocence on everything he hold dear. He swore on his honour and when this failed in appeasing his judges he swore upon the lives of his family that he was true and he never touched the bride-to-be.
Eventually the Count's justicar was forced to release the young knight as no irrefutable evidence of his guilt was found but it was too late to stop the murmurs.
Von Uhland's reputation received the final blow only one year after, when news of a tremendous calamity that befell the city of Mordheim, in Ostermark, reached the halls of the knights' fortress.
A second letter came from Carroburg just a few days after announcing that Hrobert's father, the Burgraf, his firstborn son and his wife were all visiting the court of Count Von Steinhard when the city was smothered by Sigmar's wrath.
Those who were present at his trial in Wurtbad were quick to remember Hrobert's words and the oath he sworn upon the life of his family. Now they all lay dead and to many that was proof enough that the knight had lied and tarnished his reputation beyond repair. He was immediately expelled from the order and sent back to Carroburg in disgrace. Incapable of accepting the shame Hrobert refused to take his rightful place in his family's palace and sold all his lands and titles, giving the money to his ancient order and keeping only his armour and his steed.
Then he rode towards Mordheim, some say to try to find his parents alive and cleanse his reputation, while others suggest that he is merely seeking death to put an end to the curse he bestowed upon himself.
Nobody knows the truth anyway and many warriors found their doom during a duel with the Red Griffon for asking him about the Countess.

The conversion involved different bits from old Empire kits, mainly Demigryph Knights and Greatswords. Strangely GW never truly realised a plastic Empire knight on foot so I had to fiddle quite a bit to get the result I wanted.
The head is probably one of my favourites of all times and it comes from the Stormcast Sequitor kit. it is just perfect for a noble reiklander!
Of course I still have to convert the version on horse but this can wait, I have to go back to buildings now!