Thursday, 16 May 2019

CCXX. AoS28: Conjuror and Wight

A couple more minis for my AoS28 collection. Actually finished them weeks ago, but Hiaticula Excursion interrupted my regular posting schedule. 



Conjuror


Another Conjuror for the forces of Order. She's a converted Sigilist mini from Norht Star's Frostgrave range. I originally bought the model to convert my RPG character, but ended up never going through with that. Now I gave her a head swap (I think that was a GW Sisters of the Thorn head, with sculpted hair) and a few more minor alterations. 

Next to the first Conjuror.

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Wight

 

The miniature is Ksenia Graveclad, from Hasslefree Miniatures. Received it as a gift a long while ago. She'll make a good leader mini for groups of skeletons and the like.

Monday, 6 May 2019

CCXIX. The Hiaticula Excursion





I spent last week, and a bit of the previous, in Poland visiting a friend. Among other things we went to Pyrkon, a convention in Poznań. Another friend from abroad, Vladimir, was also there for the convention, so my host Witold organized a little gaming event for us.  He was the GM, and Vlad and I played our inquisitors. We used Kill Team rules. You can find Witold's miniatures blog here: Backwater Deathworld, and Vladimir's stuff (incuding his warband for the event) is on his Instagram:@vmkuriljov.


︿ Section of our mission briefing, written by Witold. ︿
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Part I: Arrival


The first game was played on two separate tables that represented places miles away from each other. We randomly decided who goes where and deployed our Inquisitors. Mine was Rosanda Morbray with her core henchmen and two Grey Knights recruited for this mission. Vlad's was Sava the Black, whom we've met before at Cerulean Gate - then he was an NPC who joined Rosanda to reinforce my small warband. This time he was a PC, and he brought a band of mercenaries as well as his trusted henchmen. 

We were each opposed by a unit of Witold's guardsmen absolutely unwilling to let us through. Each battlefield contained two mysterious 'anomalies' taking the form of disembodied floating heads. We did not know what their nature or purpose was.

Inquisitor Sava the Black's retinue attempting to break through the defenders' line, somewhere by a river.

My Inquisitrix sent her Grey Knights to fight the guardsmen while she attempted to study one of the anomalies up close, safe in cover from enemy fire. The examination did not provide any new information. It was only when a familiar figure materialised from thin air in between the anomalies that Rosanda realised their effect. It was Alex Van Der Zint, Sava the Black's body guard - and she must have been transported through the warp by passing between the anomalies. Meanwhile, Brother Dante and Brother Gabriel were gunned down by plasma weapons failing to cause any losses to the opposing (clearly traitorous!) soldiers. 

Rosanda Morbray's Grey Knights exiting the Imperial ruin that was my deployment zone. A lone Nurgling appeared on top of a container. The Knights promise they would make short notice of the critter before proceeding to battle the guardsmen.
Since the battle wasn't going in her favour, Rosanda decided to use the anomalies to escape. Together with her remaining henchmen she passed through, and found herself on a different battlefield. Her assumption about the anomalies was correct. Luckily, Sava and his mercs were doing well - and with these reinforcements it would be easier still to prevail. 

Brother Jonas was the last to cross through the anomalies. Alex was never seen again.
The warp journey did not go smooth for everyone, though. A tragic mishap caused Brother Jonas and Sister Beata to meld together into a warp abomination. One body, two minds. Suffering, but still loyal to Inquisitor Morbray and the Emperor. The Inquisitors agreed not to execute them yet, for they may still be used on the mission. Inquisitor Morbray was in an unfavourable position; Sava the Black had the upper hand. However, he didn't seem to intend on turning against his colleague, at least at the time. After some more fighting, the guardsmen were pushed back and the allied Inquisitors could proceed further into the colony's ruins.

 

Part II: Birth of the Entity


The two Inquisitors reached the spot where the Entity was prophesied to be born. It was merely another stretch of colony ruins, and it looked completely deserted. Still, they advanced with caution. The fist sign of life was a voice coming from a closed hatch on the ground. It demanded to be let out and spouted accusations of heresy. Rosanda thought it prudent to keep the mysterious entity down there for the time being, so she sent Beata-Jonas to keep the hatch closed.

The warp abomination that was once Brother Jonas and Sister Beata refuses to comply to the mysterious voice coming from the hatch.
As the two warbands crept slowly towards the target ruin, anomalies began spawning inside it, and daemons of Nurgle started shuffling onto the scene. First Nurglings, then Plaguebearers, and Nurgling swarms. The Inquisitors and their retinues used all available means to keep the daemons at bay. However, they weren't destroying them fast enough, and were under serious threat of being overwhelmed.
Several turns into the encounter, there are more and more Nurgle Daemons pouring in.
Their stench is intolerable.
A Herald of Nurgle emerged. Rosanda hurried into the ruined building with anomalies, hoping the Entity would manifest before she ends up dead.

A Daemon Prince comes forth. The foul daemons screech with joy. The Prince lunges forward towards Rosanda's position. At that moment the Entity is born.

The Entity materialised in a circle of Warp anomalies. It was the size of an infant, and had the appearance of a pale levitating foetus, its black umbilical cord trailing behind it. Witold sculpted the tiny miniature from scratch.
In the next few seconds everybody scrambles towards the Entity. As soon as she recovered from the surprise and found that the creature was in front of her, Rosanda Morbray stated her wish.

"I wish you never existed."

Reality collapses on itself.


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While I was in Poland my host kindly took me around the country to see stuff. I visited several towns and museums in them. The following is a selection of interesting bits I captured along the way.

Prehistoric pottery. Poznań Archaeological Museum.

Prehistoric dead. Poznań Archaeological Museum.

Sketch for Szał (Frenzy) by Władysław Podkowiński, 1893. National Museum in Poznań. The actual painting is in Krakow and is much larger. Haven't been there, though.


Silence of the Forest by Arnold Böcklin, 1885. National Museum in Poznań.

Allegory of the Holy Trinity, by unknown artist active in 17th century Poland. National Museum in Poznań. I'm much more used to seeing it depicted as a group of three separate creatures (old man god Father, Jesus the Son, and dove form for Holy Spirit) than a single three-faced figure. This is so rad!

Lamentation, early 16th century polychrome wood statue. National Museum in Poznań. I find this one interesting because Christ doesn't seem freshly deceased. The wear and patina of time are a big part of the decomposing look, but are not the only contributing factors - look at those deeply sunken eyes.

Boar Hunt by Frans Snyders (1579-1657). National Museum in Poznań. I hadn't heard of this artist before. Apparently, he was one of the first animaliers - artists specialising in painting animals. He painted a number of other hunting scenes, as well as animals in other situations, still lifes and portraits.


Sarkofagi by Leon Wyczolkowski, 1895. National Museum in Poznań. The painting represents the tombs of Polish monarchs Casimir the Great and Jadwiga of Angevin.

Philosopher by Alina Szapocznikow, 1965. Bronze sculpture. National Museum in Poznań. Love everything about this piece from unsettling form to texture and colour.

Closeup of Philosopher.

Figure Dream II by Magdalena Abakanowicz, 2008. Sculpture made of burlap soaked in synthetic resin. Saw this one at Four Domes Pavilion in Wrocław. My first encounter with the artist's work was actually a group of headless iron sculptures titled Unrecognized I saw a couple days earlier in Park Cytadela in Poznań. Gotta say I was an instant fan.

Crowd by Magdalena Abakanowicz, 1986-87. Four Domes Pavilion, Wrocław.

Crowd by Magdalena Abakanowicz up close.

Metal Relief - Gaudi by Zdzisław Beksiński, 1959-60, mixed media. Four Domes Pavilion, Wrocław. When I walked in the gallery I was hoping to see a painting or two by Beksiński; but they didn't have any. They did, however, have this thing and some of his sculptures.

Beast, Figure and Sitting Figure by Zdzisław Beksiński, 1960. Four Domes Pavilion, Wrocław.

Wrocław Town Hall.

Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork (or Marienburg). Built in 13th century. Made of brick and pretty damn big.

Floor tiles. Malbork Castle.

A door. Malbork Castle. Captured a few different doors. Great for reference.

Malbork Castle.

Memorial monument of knight Wolf von der Oelsnitz (1593). Malbork Castle.

Malbork Castle.

Malbork Castle.

Toilet devil. Malbork Castle.

Malbork Castle.

St. James' Church in Toruń.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

CCXVIII. Inq28: Grey Knights

Brother Gabriel and Brother Dante - Ordo Malleus reinforcements for my Inquisitorial warband. Inquisitor Morbray will need them for a campaign that's just around the corner (yes, there will be a report afterwards).


They had to be done quickly since I don't have much time these days - so I had to keep it simple. I found some monopose Primaris Space Marines, gave them head swaps, extra purity seals, and a few more little changes. The gorgon relief on the breastplates is copy-pasted from a Dark Elf shield (already had these moulds from my AoS project). I could have easily left out that detail to speed things up, but I think it makes a huge difference compared to an unadorned breastplate or to keeping the original aquilla. It was worth it. Converted them in an evening and gave them a quick paintjob the next day.

Their look was based on this Blanche sketch:




The new brothers look alright with the much more heavily converted Brother Jonas. The colour scheme, paint style and matching details like caps and purity seals tie them together well enough.





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I also have this fellow to show. Finished sculpting the gargoyle: stretchgoal #2 for the Kickstarter. I'm looking forward to eventually using copies of this while building my cemetery gaming board. Next year, perhaps...



Monday, 15 April 2019

CCXVII. AoS28: Gryph Hounds, Raptors and Chainrasps

Some Dark Age of Sigmar goodness this week - animal companions and ghosts.

Gryph Hounds


Gryph hounds are pack-hunting beasts from Azyr, "known to ally themselves to those fighting for a just cause". In AoS, Gryph Hounds run with the Stormcast, and are quite massive (except that one from WHQ: Silver Tower that fits on a 25mm base). I'm actually ok with the models; only their clown shoe paws are not to my liking. However, I wanted smaller gryph hounds that fit with my humans, and better represent the RoSD Hound profile I'll be using them for.

Gryph Hound is closer in size to a horse than a hound.

I converted them from Warlord hounds and GW Aetherwing heads left over from my harpy conversions. The feathery necks and ears are putty. Significantly toned-down like this, I think they fit the feel I'm going for. 
RoSD has rules for three different companion hound types: hound, warhound and bloodhound - and I intend to eventually make different breeds of Gryph Hounds to represent each. Until that time, these two can play all of those roles.


Raptors


Trained birds of prey. I converted them from Dark Eldar Razorwings. Their heads are completely resculpted. The minis were originally completely flat, like frisbees or something - a strange look. Perhaps it works for Razorwings due to some fluff reason (I really don't know anything about them), but it sure does not work for falcons. Luckily, before I started cutting I remembered they were resin, and it shoud be simple to get a more natural pose by bending the wings. But Finecast once again proves inferior; bending in hot water was more difficult than any other manufacturer's resin figure I've done it with. Barely softens at all, and once bent it tends to stubbornly go back to the original position. Regardless, I managed to persuade the wings into different poses in the end.


Chainrasps



This week I also painted some monsters for the warband of Order to encounter: Chainrasps. Pretty much unconverted, except for a couple hand swaps. I have more angry spirits of different kinds, so these will be getting friends in the future.


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In other news, Harwood Hobbies Kickstarter campaign for producing my sculpts ended last Thursday - successfully. I'm currently sculpting the second stretch goal that got unlocked. Thanks everyone for your interest in my work, and I hope you'll enjoy the minis once they reach you! :)

Monday, 8 April 2019

CCXVI. Stranger MK.11 WIP



Stranger MK.11is a 75mm resin figure based on concept by Ian Miller. I rarely paint non-gaming minis, but I wanted this one as soon as I saw it. Painting is in progress now. My goal is to make something reminiscent of Miller's artwork; I thought that would be fitting. I've done some slight converting on the figure - just adding some elements from the concept art that were missing from the miniature. Roots and twigs.

If you want to get a copy for yourself, head over to Red Piano Miniatures. Entering the coupon code 'Ana' will get you 15% off your order until April 13th (this Saturday). This  covers everything in the store, including the special edition Stranger MK.11 that comes with a signed and numbered Ian Miller print.
 

I began sculpting a robotic dog to accompany the Stranger. I intend to put the mini in an Ikea glass dome; another, smaller figure will help fill the space and improve the composition of the piece. More on that in the eventual follow-up post.