Tuesday 6 December 2016

CXII. The Moss Monster

The Moss Monster.
A hulking thing made of mud, gnarled roots and moss.

The Moss Monster is a part of the new faction I'm introducing to Gardens. It will consist of animated scarecrows and similar rickety constructs, as well as some slimy critters, led by a Witch. Conveniently, I'll be able to use the models as a Malifaux crew (Zoraida), seeing that each of them will be either a converted Malifaux mini or entirely scratch-built.
I wanted the Monster to resemble an Ancient Leshen from The Witcher 3 videogame. 

The Moss Monster is a converted Bad Juju from Malifaux. I replaced the original head with a GW horse skull. The antlers are from Mierce Miniatures. I left out some of the details I didn't want, such as human and alligator skulls and voodoo dolls. And I gave his right hand scythes for fingers. After painting I glued flock and tufts on to make him nice and fuzzy.
The original model.

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 So far the Monster is accompanied by three Treefolk.

They are slightly converted Malifaux Waldgeists. My problem with the original models was that they looked as if drawn by three different artists, all with different styles. So I intervened a little bit with green stuff and natural roots to bring them all together.

I didn't take a proper picture before converting, so here is the boxart so you can see what exactly I did with them.

Sunday 27 November 2016

CXI. Forest King

I present the conclusion of the WIP from my last post. The Forest King:


The Forest King is a spirit that dwells in Waywode Hunting Grounds. He was tamed long ago, along with the Wodewoses, by a Waywode ancestor. The King is bound to protect the Chapel and the woods. His death would have terrible consequences on the forest.

From the notebook.


The idea for this character stems from Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke. I watched it for the first time when I was a kid, and it left a deep impression on me.  In the film there is a creature called the Forest Spirit.

I wasn't going to recreate him in miniature, but to provide my own interpretation.

 Deer body, human-like face, grows plants where it steps.

For the head I wanted something like this; elflike, with sharp facial features and an outlandish skin colour. I don't know who the artist is, but I suspect it's by the late Wayne England. If anyone knows for sure please enlighten me so I can credit the image appropriately. 
*EDIT: yes, the elf head is Wayne England's work.

Sunday 6 November 2016

CX. November

As of a few days ago this blog entered its fifth year of existance. I'll just give a few words of reflection on the past year.
While 2015 saw me making cemetery-themed scenery, this year was all about forests and fields. I've produced enough to equip a table, but there are many more ideas I have yet to bring into reality. I learned a lot in the process (and I hope it was useful to you, too, as observers of my endeavours). What I'm especially happy to have made this year were The Automaton and The Door to the Paths of the Dead vignettes from April and May. They were a shy foray into building and painting works that are meant purely for display, and I enjoyed it very much. I expect I'll make more such pieces, even larger and more elaborate ones, when inspiration strikes and time permits. Finally, thank you all for reading and commenting. 

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I got a number of requests for a group shot of my scenery. Took a while, but yesterday at long last I managed to get it done. The board dimensions are 100x100cm Enjoy.

Great news is that the textured and flocked board I commissioned some time ago is finally ready. This means that soon enough I will no longer have to use the dull grey blanket you can see in the above photos.

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I'll finish with a few WIP shots of the newest miniature project on my desk. The progress is painfully slow since I now have very little time to dedicate to Gardens. I actually started converting just after I had finished the Chapel.

A deer mount from Citadel Wild Riders set was the starting mini. Chopped off its head and replaced it with a Stormcast Liberator's. I also shaved off the saddle using my dremel.
The head got its ears, eyeballs and main piece of armature for the antlers. The fuzzy neck was achieved with flock.
After that I glued wire armature for the prongs.
The antlers were built up with several successive layers of green stuff.
Still looking messy here.
Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures after this point (or I somehow misplaced them; either way, they aren't there). But it got further refined with more green stuff.
And here we have a WIP of the paintjob. This is how it stands now.

Monday 26 September 2016

CIX. The Wilderness Project vol.8



The Chapel sub-project has reached its conclusion. Thank you all for your encouraging comments and interesting questions in the process. Without further ado, here it is:

The chapel has a belltower; however, during one of the particularly trying Hassanag invasions the bell was taken down and melted in order to be recast into a cannon. A small outdoor bell was installed around that time to take over its function. In the meantime, as the situation turned to the better, a new bell was put in the tower. The outdoor bell nevertheless remained as a reminder of that part of history.
The bell, as well as extra trophy posts with deer skulls were made and glued to the base way towards the end of the process. They would have been in the way when painting the ground floor of the chapel.
I mainly added the ropes with chimes to the back of the building because something was wrong with its silhouette from certain angles. I opted for this solution rather than building extra parts on the roof. I made the ropes by simply twisting two lengths of 0,6mm wire around each other. This can also be done faster with a dremel - a trick shared by Jordan Lee in his tutorial: LINK.
I flocked the base to match the rest of the Wilderness terrain. The rocks were rendered the same as well.
There is even a small surface of dry stone wall to tie it with the terrain pieces I made earlier.
Barrels. Remnants of the refreshments consumed by passing hunting parties.

The main entrance to the chapel. The year spelt out in Roman numerals on the heavily peeling plaster is in all probability the year the chapel was built. Another date is present below it - the year Waywodes had had extensive repairs done. The proud patrons of the chapel have put their coat of arms above the portal, supported by a pair of carved wildman figures. The skull and antlers of impressive size belong to a megaloceros, a species that has been hunted out of these woods centuries ago. Together with the shining cross mounted right above it it is a  nod to the legend of Saint Hubert's conversion (for those not acquainted with the tale - have a listen to this).
A few shots with minis. This time the Plague Doctor is sneaking around.
 In the end, just a few random WIP photos:
The very first step in the painting process - basecoats.
This is what it looked like after several washes and a bit of overbrushing on the roof.
The bell was one of the final details to be added. It's part Corpse Cart bits and part scratchbuilt.
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There are still a few more pieces I would like to add to my Wilderness scenery collection, but I think a little break from building terrain is in order. Therefore, next I will focus on making a small group of miniatures that accompany the Chapel and that will be used in scenarios tied to its location. 

The first of these creatures was the Wodewose I presented recently.  I have at least five others planned. 

Monday 5 September 2016

CVIII. The Wilderness Project vol.7


 Part three of my chapel build. As the WIP photographs will show, I managed to accomplish plenty in the last two weeks:

I built box windows on the remaining three sides of the tower...
... and then the fun with roof shingles could begin. Starting with the smallest ones, I covered all the roof surfaces over the course of about a week.
Somewhere in between I put together a huge stag skull that will hang above the front entrance. I used bits from Mierce Miniatures and green stuff. Like the other skulls, it is not yet glued in place. They will be painted separately so that I can reach the walls behind them without difficulty.
The Countess inspecting the tiled roof. She approves.
There are close to 4.000 shingles in total, made of 1mm balsa and glued individually on the roof.

After that I finally decided to tackle the wodewose carvings above the door. I sculpted them with air-drying clay. There is paint on them in order to better see the effect. Not bad, but there is room for improvement. Perhaps I'll do better on my next project. I also put some peeling plaster on certain areas. These will later contain text.
The final bit I built was the very tip of the tower. It is removable for easier storage and transport, as the chapel is quite tall. The pyramid roof wasn't tiled with balsa; I rather sculpted the shingles with clay. The cross was assembled from jewelry elements.
So, this is it. I will most probably add more decorative bits here and there at a later point. But right now the chapel is ready for painting. You will also notice that I only have one trophy post - the rest will be crafted and added later as well. Much left to do.
What do you think about the progress so far? Let me know in the comments below.