Tuesday, 27 November 2018

CXCVI. Folda: Moorland Harpies


Just like wolves of the forest, moorland harpies still honour the old pact with the Martyred King. In times of war, they will fly to Folda's aid.
 
Folda armorial bearings from a pre-Ostrom armorial.

A crowned harpy is on the ghoul kingdom's coat of arms. Has been since long before the Ostrom. However, now in the post-Ostrom age the bird's golden crown has been replaced with a wreath of thorns, to honour the Siege Martyrs and stand as reminder of their sacrifice.

Post-Ostrom depiction of  Folda's national emblem in an illuminated breviary.

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It's always bats with vampires... So I said to myself: let's try something more exotic. I considered giant ravens for a bit, but that also seemed a bit meh...  At the time, I was also thinking hard about what Folda's coat of arms would look like. Didn't want to go with wolf as the emblem again as it's been done a lot, even by me: on the Countess' family arms. Then it hit me while I was browsing my reference image collection: I came across a still of a harpy from Ronja, the Robber's Daughter animated series. This led me to dig up various depictions of harpies, sirens, as well as their descendants: the Russian alkonost and sirin. And this lovely creature solved both the problem of monstrous flyers and the kingdom's emblem! It worked with existing lore and helped shape it further. I love where this faction is going.
If you want to see another take on this type of creature in miniature form, have a look at Borgnine's: LINK. His gorgeous converted undead army project has a criminally low follower count. I don't know why, because it's well worth checking out.

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On the Isles of Brume harpies are birds with no beaks, and with heads that look like womens'. That is why most people believe there are no male harpies, but that is not true. They are simply hard to tell apart, as is the case with most birds of prey. In the kingdom of Folda harpies live on the moor. They build their nests in ruined towers, on top of trees and crags. 



Based on Stormcast Aetherwings. I bought the kit primarily for the birds, and was pleasantly surprised by how big they were. Perfect. As for the heads, looks like I found a use for those microscopic Escher ganger faces! 



Had to change the way they were fixed to their bases. Originally they were cleverly attached via ribbons tied to their legs, but that would not work for my conversions. These harpies are not trained pets, but wild raptors.




What do you think about this idea? And how believable is my faux medieval art? Wish I had the skill and willpower to make a whole illuminated manuscript like this. Some day perhaps...

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

CXCV. November Again: Stuff

On the first of this month, Gardens of Hecate had its sixth birthday. It's been another good year, so I thought I'd celebrate by sharing some interesting non-miniature stuff I accumulated through the past months. If you've been following the blog for a while, you'll know that besides miniatures I like to make and collect other attractive game-related objects.

DICE



A selection from my modest collection of dice. I obviously favour bone/ivory coloured ones. I regret never buying the Maelstrom Dice GW released not a long time ago; pretty basic, skulls in place of 1s, but gothic numbers instead of pips. If anyone has them in ivory colour and wants to trade off a few, do let me know.  [Edit: got the Maelstrom dice. Thanks WarbossKurgan!]



For carrying them to games, I find mint tins are a good solution. Also fits my AoS 3'' combat gauge.


INQUISITOR'S DISPLAY AND TRANSPORT CASE

 



A new wooden box; you've seen it in the Cerulean Gate photos. It was made for Morbray & co. INQ28 warband. There are slots for nine figures, so I think I'll make that many. Since they will be all plastic or resin, magnets were a viable option. Learning from my past mistakes, I installed the magnets in the box rather than under the models' bases. The bases have small ferromagnetic coins glued underneath. The slots inside the box were built using balsa wood. The box is not quite finished yet, as I plan to add some artwork and other paper stuff inside and outside on the lid. And, obviously, the names of the future warband members to label their slots.



FOLDING RULER

These wooden measuring devices are iconic in the INQ28 crowd, I'd say. Though they may not be as functional as a tape measure in many cases, they sure are way prettier to look at and handle. After some hunting on ebay, I finally found one that was suitable.


EMPEROR'S TAROT


Blanche-illustrated 21-card deck, printed years ago for an event game at Warhammer World. A pretty rad thing to have; came back from Nottingham with my Tor Megiddo warband the time they went for their White Dwarf photo shoot.


VOX POPULI DECK

 



A poker deck illustrated by Moritz Krebs. Each card has a unique character on it. Krebs' style is very 'Mordheim', so I'm a fan. So much so that I bought an original to hang on my wall:


I love the fact that the envelope the drawing came in even had a little doodle on it, and was sealed with a black wax seal. Inevitably, now I'm considering having my own seal made...


If you're not familiar with Krebs' artwork, do yourself a favour and check him out on Instagram: @blackcrabart.

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The first issue of 28, a magazine that focuses on unique and personal projects of the Warhammer hobby, is almost upon us. We've put out a few teasers of the content in the past couple weeks. If you don't want to miss updates and the eventual release of volume one, you can follow us on Instagram, Facebook and our own website 28-mag.com. The magazine will be a free-to-download digital publication.





Tuesday, 13 November 2018

CXCIV. Ghoul Gaoler and Bloodtracker

Folda witch hunters' newest recruits. 

Ghoul Gaoler


Cruel and callous interrogators of witches, Ghoul Gaolers inspire terror. Their mastery of creative ways of inflicting pain is infamous across the isles.


The model was based on a Bloater from Nurgle's Rotters Bloodbowl team. I deflated his gut, got rid of the shoulder pads and sculpted a hood. Keys came from the Nighthaunt range. The manacles and torture implements had to be sculpted from scratch. It was fiddly work and I wasn't sure I could pull it off, but they do look alright in the end.






Bloodtracker


Just like their vampire overlords, ghouls can end up giving in to their feral side and gradually metamorphose into monsters with lupine features. This is the legacy of the pact made with the Duke of Wolves in the final days of the Ostrom. Janos utilises these agile predators for tracking his quarry.

This conversion is based on a Pestigor from Nurgle's Rotters Bloodbowl team. Great dynamic pose. Wolf head was sculpted over the trimmed down original head. Hoofed feet needed to be turned into paws. Plus a few minor changes here and there.


The Ghoul Witch Hunters got new heads. The helmets were cool, but when I put them next to the rest of the Folda models they lacked coherence. You can also see two more grisly sticks: a hag's severed head and another, bigger crown of thorns.



The crew is now all set to go chasing witches:
  • Janos the Cannibal (leader)
  • 3 Ghoul Witch Hunters
  • 1 Ghoul Gaoler
  • 1 Bloodtracker
  • 6 Wolves

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

CXCIII. Cerulean Gate


Back home from the neighbouring Serbia, where I took part in Cerulean Gate: an INQ28 game organised at a Belgrade convention by my friend Vladimir Matić-Kurylev. Apart from the two of us, there were four more participants in the game: local players who were interested in trying this kind of gaming. Thanks for inviting me, organising everything, and making me feel welcome in your city!


MY WARBAND


My warband consisted of Inquisitor Morbray and her two henchmen: Vygotsky and Jonas. I was going to bring a Sister of Battle as well, but unfortunately the model I ordered failed to turn up in time. So Rosanda's warband got the aid of two NPCs: her colleague Inquisitor Sava the Black and his guard Alex Van Der Zint.  
 

 
Little is known about Inquisitor Morbray, but there are rumours abound. She speaks little, in an electronic, robotic voice; and never reveals her face. The latter inspired a variety of stories to explain what's hiding behind that veil. Some say she was a noblewoman, and her face was horribly scarred with a knife. Others will insist that she was burnt in a fire as a child, or that she was born disfigured: without a nose or ears, and her parents put her in a monastery to hide her away... But all agree that her sinister act makes their skin crawl. It is quite likely many of the rumours actually came from Rosanda herself. Inquisitor Morbray does not usually keep her henchmen with her for long. This is partly since she obviously tries very hard to keep an aura of mystery and fear around herself, and partly because she very easily sacrifices the lives of those in her service.

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OTHER WARBANDS AND NPCs


Inquisitor Chrissmin Kincaide and retinue, by Vladimir Matić-Kurylev.
Inquisitor Dominica Eldridge and retinue, by Miloš Maksimović.


Lodge of the Seven Pillars, by Miloš Petrik.

Inquisitor Rathbone and retinue, by Bojan Kavedžić.

Rogue Trader Imad Gar-Noolein and company, by Dorian Mogoš.
 
Alex Van Der Zint, Vsevold Khirzig and Sava the Black, NPCs, by Vladimir Matić-Kurylev.

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THE GAME


Rosanda Morbray first became aware of, and interested in, the Cerulean Gate when she heard Inquisitor Chrissmin Kincaide might be having some heretical intentions with it. Eager to investigate, and possibly have another clash with the daemonic, she headed straight to the Gate's remote location. She joined forces with Inquisitor Sava the Black, who was better acquainted with Kincaide. However, ne did not know either exactly what the nature of his business with the Gate artifact was.

As Morbray approaced the tall concrete structure holding the Gate, she saw she was not alone there. In the decaying ruins of machinery and abandoned slums surrounding the structure, other groups of warriors were closing in. And high up, at the Gate itself, there were people moving about. Morbray proceeded cautiously, using the ruins, and her henchmen, as cover. 
 
 

Someone managed to scale the Gate structure's side and begin banging on the blue door. The figures around the Gate reacted with alarm. Some of them started descending slightly, and as Morbray and her men came closer Sava recognised Kincaide's armour-clad form. A winged mechanical creature swooped down, and was seen claiming a finely crafted case from the group of green-robed monks on Morbray's right flank. The winged thing proceeded to fly the case up to the gate, where it was received by Kincaide's henchmen.  Attempts to establish communication with them were unsuccessful. The others present proceeded to fire at each other as Morbray's retinue made for the stairs of the Gate structure. 

 


 
  
The ascent was tedious, but no fire was coming directly at them, and it seemed all who were on the stairs were eager to get out of the way. Brother Jonas was at the vanguard clearing the path, and Vygotsky covered the rear, scanning the battlefield and ready to shoot at any threat to the Inquisitors.


The Commotion from above and the strange feeling that enveloped everyone gave Morbray a hint that the gate might have been pulled open. As the fighters from several present factions simultaneously reached the Gate's level, they saw that was true. A swirling, shimmering tear in reality. A carved wand, which was clearly the contents of the mysterious case the monks were carrying, was in the hands of Kincaide's doctor. Sava demanded explanation from Kincaide, at which he revealed that he was in fact holding a Daemon inside of him, and was clearly intending to somehow banish it into the Cerulean Gate. 

 

Sava and Rosanda used their psychic powers to incapacitate Kincaide and the remaining resistance from his retinue. 

"We should just toss him in...," Inquisitor Morbray said. 

There were no objections.
 

  
As the Gate was once again closed, and the present parties agreed on a ceasefire, the Inquisitors started the debate on the site's fate. Should we secure and fortify it? Or destroy it forever?

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The Daemon we did not allow to manifest.
The rules we used were modified Kill Team, and all the models' stats were custom. No points cost, minis came first and the rules were made to match the minis best as we could. The game took a whole afternoon. Vlad's board was really nice, and packed with scenery. All the above photos were shot after the game; looks like Vlad accepted my approach to this - only he hired a professional photographer, which I think was a great idea.  But just for the sake of completion, here are some of my pictures from the game itself, shot with a potato (much of this was already on Instagram on Saturday).