Friday, 14 August 2020

Gardens of Hecate Studio

Dear readers,

You are looking at the final post of this blog. It's been going for more than eight years, and time has come for it to shut down... Because we're entering a brand new chapter: Gardens of Hecate is moving to its own new website!



                                               gardensofhecate.com







After jumping through a swarm of bureaucratic hoops since the end of 2019, I recently managed to establish a legitimate professional miniature painting studio. Hell of a year, 2020... 

What does this mean?

From now on, making miniatures is not only my hobby, but also my full-time occupation. Luckily, I’m more passionate about it than ever. 

I do not intend to stop blogging, and the type of content on the new blog will stay the same as it was here. I have upgraded my camera, computer and editing software, which will enable me to elevate the quality of my content to a higher level. I’m especially looking forward to being able to make nicer-looking tutorials and battle reports. There will be no paywalls, it will stay freely available to everyone. Plan is to give videos a try at some point, but that’s still far off. 

Apart from the blog, the new website contains a gallery of past projects, as well as a convenient contact form through which you can easily inquire about any commission ideas you may have. 

I will also continue to be present on Facebook and Instagram, and you can follow and reach me through there as well.

This old blog is staying right where it is. There are years and years of posts here, including useful tutorials, which I would hate to take down. So it will be retired, but still stand as an archive of my projects. I will, however, disable comments (starting a week from now). Regularly weeding out the spam is something I’m not ready to continue doing on an inactive blog. 


Thank you all for your attention and support over the years, and I hope you will follow Gardens of Hecate to its new home on gardensofhecate.com. If you like what I do, consider commissioning a little something for your collection. 


Regards,
Ana

 

Hecate artwork by the amazing @blackcrabart

Thursday, 30 July 2020

CCLXX. St. Christopher, the Cynocephalus Mummy

This boxed saint is inspired by Eastern Orthodox representations of St. Christopher with the head of a dog. 


In other news, I've upgraded my camera. The trusty Olympus 'idiot' that served me for many years is now retired and replaced by a Canon EOS 250D. I'm still getting used to the wealth of options this thing has. It's so, so, so nice to be able to take higher quality photos.   




*   *   *

Today is the last day you can enter the Miniatures Without Borders charity raffle. All money collected from the tickets is going directly to Doctors Without Borders. You can enter here: LINK, and the video below is a gallery of the prizes donated by artists from the Inq/AoS28 community.


Saturday, 18 July 2020

CCLXIX. AoS28: Sunhold Ghosts

Today I have a whole bunch of ghostly figures to show off. Many of these waited for their turn since the time Soul Wars was released. The almost monochrome colour scheme I used is really simple to do. I can whip up a step-by-step tutorial if there's enough interest.

The Graveyard Spirit.
This model was built by @ingrimmson, and I liked it so much I bought it off him. 

The Executioner.
Lord Executioner from the Souls Wars box. I only removed the jaws from the ghostly skulls, the rest is out of the box.

The Jailor.
Spirit Torment from the Souls Wars box. I replaced the original head with a Flagellant head, and removed the chain and keys originally trailing behind the figure.

A group of Spectres.
Converted Chainrasps from the Souls Wars box and the Thorns of the Briar Queen WHU warband. I got rid of all their faces to make them more eerie and mysterious. An empty nothing is scarier than a screaming skull, looks like. There were also some hand swaps.

A bigger group of Spectres.

A few more Spectres.
These differ from the standard hooded head profile of the rest. They could be interesting from the narrative perspective. The models are originally from the Thorns of the Briar Queen set. I got rid of their weapons to make them look ambiguous in terms of their intentions - are they enemies or NPCs in need of help?



































Tuesday, 7 July 2020

CCLXVIII. The Amfast Campaign vol.4

After the last mission we put it up to a vote here and on Instagram what our next encounter would be: the Well or the Docks. The extremely close race was won by the Well. We played the mission at last, and here is how it went.

The acolytes of Uras. They got a bit of a makeover since the previous game.




Neither of us bought any upgrades between battles. Gordon decided to save his 20 for a more expensive upgrade later, and I was an idiot and thought I only had 14 and not 25, and that I therefore couldn’t afford the upgrade I wanted. I seriously have to pay better attention next time, because I really could have used that Gunslinger upgrade…




SETUP


A bit of scouting, as well as interrogating the frightened populace in the vicinity of the Stormcast camp, brought to our attention that the acolytes of Uras have tampered with water in the city. In their effort to bring in more followers to their foul deity, they used a curse: all water in the city has been made unsafe to drink, and can be cleansed only if taken to a priest of Uras to be blessed. Only the heathen faithful may receive sustenance.  Many have renounced Sigmar to survive, and many of stronger resolve have fallen seriously ill.

Our objective: the main well. It's made mostly of plaster, with a few GW plastic bits.  

The curse’s origin is said to be in the main well, and our mission this time is to reclaim it from the clutches of Chaos. The well was in the centre of the 2’x4’ board, surrounded by ruins and guarded by three Chaos Infantrymen, their Sergeant, two Chaos Pikemen, a Chaos Warrior and a Chaos Chosen. There was an NPC in this game: a sister of Sigmar’s faith, who was being mistreated by the Chaos Warrior next to the well.


Since we learned a bit about how the system works from the first two fights, we’ve made some changes on the unit profiles of our enemies. We also implemented some rules from Planet 28: Death on the Periphery, the solo&co-op expansion for Planet 28.




THE GAME


Gordon and Loriana started the game on one of the 2’ board edges. Our plan was to advance and shoot, hopefully taking out or at least seriously injuring the melee enemies before they get to us. Since Loriana was still crap in close combat, she took the high ground on the ruins next to the well and fired at the nearby enemies. I had really atrocious rolls, missing almost all my shots in the first few turns. Gordon stayed on the ground since he can shoot in melee.  

At some point the Chaos Warrior next to the well threw his nun prisoner into the water to drown, and joined the carnage. He was successful in climbing up to Loriana's position and distrupting her shooting, to which she jumped down with intention to escape him and rush to the nun's rescue. There was a firing squad of Chaos Infantrymen in her way, sadly. Gordon dispatched the Pikemen and was fighting in melee with the Chaos Chosen at the time. He took some serious damage, and unlucky Loriana failed in her attempts to offer support fire.












By the end some enemies routed, most were killed. Since we took our sweet time, we were not able to save the drowning nun, and she died on our hands. But she did reveal useful information with her last breath. The curse on the Amfast water supply comes from the demon-possessed body bound in the well. It is the Mother Superior of the Sisters of Sigmar. There is hope that the holy relic kept in their convent will help us exorcise her. Gordon and Loriana fished the unfortunate woman out of the well, thus removing the curse Uras put on the water. They took her with them to the base. 



AFTERMATH 


In this battle Loriana earned 14 GP from from her shots and kills. This means her GP total goes up to 39. Gordon outperformed her greatly, earning over twice as much: 30 GP. Combined with his old Glory, he now has 50GP and is able to purchase even the most expensive upgrades from the list.  Neither one of us was taken out this game, so there is no loss of Glory.

*

Now for a bit of audience participation again. Once more, we have two options for our next mission and you can vote to decide which one we will do.

There are two locations we can visit next: the Docks and the Convent. We can go to the Docks to destroy the shipment of weaponry that has arrived to the city to equip the growing Chaos army, or we can go retrieve the relic of St. Beatrice from the desecrated convent of Sisters of Sigmar. Which one would you like to see next? The Docks or the Convent? Give us your vote in the comments. I will keep it open until Friday. Then I will start working on the special terrain features required for the location with more votes, so we can play the mission.

Sister of Sigmar. The model was built using bits from Frostgrave female wizards kit.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

CCLXII. Turnip28: 13th Royal Horseradish Regiment

Turnip28 is all the rage now, looks like. It's a tabletop miniatures game currently in development by artist Max FitzGerald. The setting is a combo of postapoc and napoleonic, and it's "about turnips". What I think makes it so appealing is the aesthetic (conveyed from the start through the author's own captivating concept art) and the fact all you need to get onboard are a couple of sprues of plastic napoleonic and HYW minis. 

We don't know much about the rules yet; they're still being written. If you want to support the project you can do it on Patreon: LINK. On Instagram, #turnip28 gets more and more posts each day, as folks show off their interpretations of the core concept of bascinet-wearing, weary, muddy fusiliers. I'm overjoyed to witness a non-Warhammer project get such enthusiastic reception in the circles I inhabit as a creator.

I've cooked up my own regiment,  the 13th Royal Horseradish. Had all the bits at home, so it was even more convenient...
13th Royal Horseradish was formerly a cavalry regiment. They brought shame to their name by eating their own mounts to save themselves from starvation. Now they must walk through cold mud, haunted on every step by the spectre of their disgrace.

The soldiers were converted using Perry plastic HYW infantry and knights, and Victrix napoleonic French. The skull on the banner is from GW Nighthaunt and the flag itself is made of paper.
 
The Ghost, the Horseradish Spirit, the Spectral Root. This is a manifestation of the regiment's shame, which haunts the men and follows wherever they go. The model is converted from a Bloodfiend, one of my sculpts released by Harwood Hobbies.


Next week I will finally have the report of the third game in the Amfast Campaign. Been weeks since we played it, but somehow I struggled to find the time and motivation to put together the post.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

CCLXVI. St. Tuberosa; + Miniatures Without Borders

Boxed saint, St. Tuberosa. Like Talula, she belongs to an order of travelling death monks/nuns. Tuberosa peddled apotropaic beads and cured curses. Died of old age. Invoked against the evil eye.




Miniatures Without Borders


At the same time I took old Ambros II, king of Folda, and installed him into a box of his own. It's preparation for his eventual departure towards one of the winners of the Miniatures Without Borders charity raffle. 

You can win Ambros in the charity raffle!


"2020 has not been an easy year for anyone and it feels like the bad news just keep coming.
 
We decided we needed to do something, provide a positive message and try to bring together people around a noble goal. We hope to show just how amazing this community is and what we can do when we set our mind to it. 
This is why we have launched Miniatures Without Borders, a charity raffle for Doctors Without Borders. All the money we raise will go directly to DWB so the more tickets you buy the more you help. 
As an added incentive we have put up a whole host of miniatures as prizes! There are close to 30 prizes provided by members of our incredibly community and you could be the lucky winner! 
Please join us on this journey to help out a truly deserving organization, it is worth it."

The raffle was started by Alexander Winberg of Echoes of Imperium, and it's gathered some outstanding miniature artists to donate their minis. There are 27 prizes, from single models, to warbands and display pieces. If you want to see all the prizes and list of contributors follow this LINK. The full gallery of prizes is in the video on the raffle page, and you have a list with details below that. 

Buy a ticket or two, help a good cause, and perhaps win yourself a lovely prize!

Saturday, 20 June 2020

CCLXV. Kill Team: Necron Flayed One and Bone Trees

Back in 2018 I did a converted Necron Kill Team warband. With new Necron models coming in with the next edition of Warhammer 40k, it's time to revisit that project!


Flayed One


The core Kill Team rulebook has four unit types for Necrons: Warriors, Deathmarks, Immortals and Flayed Ones. The latter was the only one I hadn't made for my original kill team, even though I had the design figured out.  But here it is now, my interpretation of a Flayed One:

The red legs and arms come from Admech Ruststalkers, the torso is from Victrix Gallic Naked Fanatics, and the head is a GW skull.



Warrior, Flayed One, Immortal.


 

 

Bone Trees 




Produced by the awesome Wilhelminiatures, these resin scenery pieces fit so well with my Beksiniskiesque Necrons. You can get them on Etsy: LINK.

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Sunday, 24 May 2020

CCLXIII. Bone Gheist and Deadwalkers

A few more additions to the ranks of common enemies in the city of Sunhold.

Bone Gheists. These eerie levitating craniums were built using Alien Lab Miniatures large skulls, paperclips and PVA glue.

Added four more Deadwalkers vulgaris to the crowd, bringing their numbers up to nine. The newcomers were converted from a mix of Mantic Ghoul and Zombie parts.

Two more Deadwalker Crossbowmen. Converted from Perry HYW plastics, just like the original one.

Two more Deadwalker Footsoldiers. Same thing; converted from Perry medieval plastics.

And one more Deadwalker Knight, here with the earlier two.

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

CCLXII. St. Bartholomaeus

Been a while since my last mummy in a box. This one was a commission; the client asked for one based on St. Bartholomew, a martyr who was flayed.



Saturday, 9 May 2020

CCLXI. AoS28: Sunhold Chaos Cultists

A happy family...

You will recognise models from my Mordheim MMXIX warband. They have now been rebased and repurposed for the future, and I added two new minis which will open interesting narrative opportunities.


 The new arrivals are this mother and child cultists. They were both converted from Heresy Miniatures ghouls.


 Deranged Cultists with sticks.


  Deranged Cultists with stones.


 The Possessed. A cultist possessed by a Daemon, given superhuman strength, speed and ferocity.


 A Madman. A cultist who believes they are possessed by a Daemon.


Chaos Cultist Priest. Chanting and blood sacrifice galore.

 Feral Mongrel. There are packs of these roaming the ruins.

They are all enemies commonly encountered in Sunhold, and we made them Fabula profiles so we can use them in our games:







Even though the Sunhold: the First Triumvirate event had to be postponed indefinitely due to the overall plague and the earthquakes that devastated Zagreb in March, participants are still creating amazing stuff. Check the newest updates from @vmkuriljov (dwarf warband sculpted from scratch), @totally_not_panicking (the Princeling's adventuring party) and @lazaraie (bell ringer).

*   *   *
As for the Amfast Campaign, the votes have been counted here and on Instagram. The next place Loriana and Gordon are liberating is... the well. Thanks to everyone who voted. It was an extremely close race. I am currently making the required scenery piece, and I'm hoping we will play our next game next week.
 
 *   *   *

In other news, I was the guest artist in the online Warhammer-themed comic Mortel Realms run by my friend Pierre.


That's all for this week. Run along.