Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Nagash (old version), and 'friends'.

A little while ago I decided to buy and paint up the original Nagash miniature from about 1994. Now, I never liked this miniature at the time, and to make a generalisation, many other people never liked him either. For some it is considered one of the worst miniatures ever made, and is the epitome the over the top designing and over-sized weapons from the mid 1990's/'Middlehammer' period.

I did hear a story which might be true about Gary Morley who sculpted Nagash. Apparently he sculpted a lovely miniature with a human type face, full of character and evil looking, but the GW studio wanted Nagash to be skull faced and more in line with the rest of their line at the time. So, in annoyance, Gary Morley sculpted this version of Nagash, which GW liked and put into production!

So why buy and paint this miniature?
Well I wanted the see if I could take the old Nagash miniature and make him look better in my eyes, and more evil as befitting his reputation. Previous paint schemes suffered from the 1990's predilection to clean and bright (often red) painting, and I wanted to avoid the bright colour schemes of the 1990's and give him a dark look, with a a hint of his Khemri past.

To do this I decided to go for a dark paint scheme, painting the robes black. To hint at Nagash's Khemri background I painted the armour and staff gold-bronze, with some turquoise on the staff. I wanted to keep a very simple paint scheme with a limited palette of colours to contrast with the GW painting. In line with the Khemri feel, I gave him a desert base. Overall I am happy with how he looks and the darker look.

Apart from Nagash I have also had a foray into Age of Sigmar. I have played a demonstration game some time ago, and quite enjoyed it, but my main interest at the moment is wanting to return to painting and rebasing my Tomb Kings army. Now I am aware that Tomb Kings are no longer part of the Age of Sigmar canon but they can still be used for gaming. In addition, the Vampire Counts are still used in the form of the 'Grand Alliance of Death', and so I have been painting up some of the range and adding new items. I have decided to give them a Tomb Kings aspect, giving them Tomb Kings shields and weapons, and going for bronze weapons and armour. More on those, and the Snakemen which I have not forgotten about, in later updates.

To finish I would like to mention that I have reached 260,346 views on my blog. Considering the slightly less frequent updating of late, I am very pleased and flattered that people have been taking such an interest in my blog. Thank you to everyone who has.

Enjoy :)
 The old Nagash from the 1990's.
 My darker version of Nagash.
I slightly repositioned his body and arms to give the impression of him walking forward and slightly to the right as his legs suggest.
Close up of the 'face'. 
In conversations with people on the Oldhammer Facebook group it was suggested that Nagashs face might be better painted more a flesh colour than bone white. So I opted for a pallid looking flesh tone.
Nagash's staff top: gold, turquoise, and bone colours, reminiscent of Khemri.
Nagash's sword, Zefet-nebtar, the Mortis blade. It is actually a lot more blue in real life, but the photograph doesn't quite capture it.  
Rear view.
Scale photograph of old Nagash and a Tomb Kings Tomb Guard.
Morghast Archai.
These are quite newly produced miniatures, 2015, and are part of the Age of Sigmar 'Grand Alliance of Death'. I have painted them up more Khemri in look to match my Tomb King-equse 'Death' army. 
I had fun painting these, but found that they were a pain to assemble beforehand.
Front view.
I like the armour plates, which whilst are meant to be painted black/dark, I painted gold.
Rear view of the wings and the lost spirits conecting the Morghast to the base. I do like the screaming souls on it, nice idea.
Close up.
The other Morghast.
More screaming spirit wings.
Skull face and armour.
Scale shot with the Tomb Guard again.
The Morghasts are quite large miniatures and look quite impressive.
Cairn Wraith. 
To keep with the Tomb King feel I added a death mask from the Tomb Guard set (minus the eagle on top) and painted the robes as a shroud. I did intent to add Egyptian Hieroglyphics to the robes, but I think it looks fine as it is.
Close up.

Next week might be on any number things I am currently doing, probably Tomb Kings or Death Miniatures, but I do have the Snakemen still to finish.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Meeting Ian Miller at the Corridor Gallery, Brighton.

On Friday last (7th October 2016) I lucky enough to attend a viewing of the current art exhibition of the work of the artist Ian Miller, held at the Corridor Gallery in Brighton (East Sussex, UK), at which Ian Miller himself attended.

For those of you unaware, Ian Miller is an artist who contributed a body of work to many of the GW publications during the 1980's, very notablity Slaves to Darkness. In addition, he provided work for the Tolkien Bestiary (in the late 1970's), and a wealth of art since.

It was a great evening. The gallery was very busy, and had quite a lot of Ian Miller's artwork on show, with signed prints to buy, of with I bought two, as well as most of the artwork itself for sale as well. I chatted to Ian Miller about his current art, and the art which he did for GW in the 1980's. I did take a photograph of the general crowds in the gallery, which included Ian Miller, but I did'nt publish it on my blog out of respect for his privacy.

He mentioned that he no longer owned a lot of the art he did for GW, and that during the 1980's he was given 'boxes' of miniatures from at the time, which he recently sold! I had taken my old copy of Slaves to Darkness with me, and as I was showing other people at the show Ian Miller offered (and did) sign and dedicate it. All in all he is a very pleasant and interesting man to chat to, and after liking his art for the last 30 years, it was great to finally meet him and see his new work.

Here are the links for Ian Millers and the Corridor Gallery websites. Both are well worth a visit, and the exhibition is on until 31st October 2016 (closed Mondays), and worth a trip to Brighton if you are able:



Enjoy. :)
The front of the Corridor Gallery (it's not for sale by the way! LOL)

The two prints which I bought. They are signed and numbered, about A3 sized, and were £20 each. 
Both of the originals are on show, and for sale.
Print entitled 'Mote 1'.
Print entitled 'The Dragon Tree'.
Ian Millers signing and deidcation in my copy of Slaves to Darkness.

Next update will be probably either Snakemen, or Tomb Kings, or maybe both. :)

Monday, 26 September 2016

Some Oldhammer, some Middlehammer, and some Newhammer (and Ian Miller too!).

I have taken a little break from blogging and painting over the last couple of weeks. Work and other late Summer distractions had led to a spectacular lack of focus on my part. I had also been distracted by several other projects, including re-visiting at my old Tomb Kings army.

Whilst shopping on e-bay I also buoght one of the most devisive of the 'Middlehammer' era minatures: Nagash. Now, I never really got on with 4th Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle onwards, and it was'nt until 2002 and the release of the Tomb Kings that I was drawn back into mainstream/ contemporary Warhammer. As a consequence I did'nt buy many 1990's fantasy miniatures.

The Nagash miniature is greatly disliked because of the over the top 1990's stylings (I never liked it at the time), and I have heard that the designer, Gary Morley (no relation!) had designed as a joke or annoyance although, this could be just heresay! I bought Nagash for the pure reason of a challange to see if I could make a decent paint job of him. I'll do an update of just him sometime in the future.

Other than that, I have been tinkering with my Tomb Kings army, and looking to purchase a few current Age of Sigmar Death Grand Alliance models, and give them a slight 'Tomb Kings' twist. I already had some to which I added some spare Tomb Kings bits. I don't have the verment dislike of Age of Sigmar that some people have, but I also am not really drawn heavily into it. A few models here and there might make an interesting diversion, but I am not going to get drawn into the money pit of current gaming.

Of course I still have the Snakemen to finish, so am going to focus on those first. And maybe some Goblins, I miss painting Goblins :)

In other news there is an art exhibition of the artist Ian Miller's artwork in my home city of Brighton and Hove, where he now lives. A local gallery, 'The Corridor Gallery', is showing and selling some of his artwork, prints, and sketches. As many long term gamers know Ian Miller provded quite a body of distinctive artwork for Games Workshop publications during the 1980's, as well as a lot of artworks before and since.
I got chatting to one of the curators of the gallery, himself an artist by the name of Aaron Howdle, and he stated that the exhibition starts on 5th October, and there will be works for sale and are going to be quite reasonablly priced. On friday 7th October Ian Miller will be at the gallery from 19:30pm, although rather nicely I have been invited to meet Ian Miller at the preview at 18:30pm. So I will update on how I get on! :)

Here is the gallery web link:

...and the website of Aaron Howdle (he also has work exhibited in a Steampunk bar to which I occsionally frequent named 'The Yellow Book') :

Enjoy :)
I have been reviewing the army list for the Snakemen, and will probably have a mix of Chaos Warriors and Marauders. So above it a 10 strong unit of Chaos Marauder-Snakemen with two-handed weapons. 
 Unit leader: Saranth Elf Mangler (WIP), complete with a mangled Elf!
 Army General (WIP). 
I have been recently re-reading some of Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion books. I like the idea of an inter-dimesnional aspect of an Eternal Champion across alternative realities. So, I decided to paint up the army general as an albino in black armour and with a black bladed Chaos sword.
I bought a couple of Trolls from e-bay quite cheaply (£15 for the both). One was broken, so I gave him a spare Snakeman blade , and the other I gave a stone headed axe.
I own these two old C-Series pre-slotta Trolls already, so it was nice to have the opportunity to convert up these two. I will add them to the Chaos army to give some extra muscle (mainly between their ears!)
 Nagash: my foray into Middlehammer.
Age of Sigmar Death Grand Alliance Skeletons. 
I have just added Tomb Kings shields, a Kopesh for the leader, and a Tomb King standard. They fit nicely, despite the old Vampire Counts Skeletons being smaller than the Tomb Kings Skeletons. I think they look slightly Assyrians or ancient Babylonians and give a different vibe to the Eygptian-esque Tomb Kings.
I also bought a t-shirt in a shopping spree in Brighton, full of Goblin houses. :)

Next update should be Snakemen if I get around to painting them!

Thursday, 8 September 2016

More Snakemen, and a Gorgon.

This week I have painted a few more Snakemen, including two converted Standard Bearers. I am really enjoying painting them, and think that the 40mm square bases do give them the room they need. I also repainted and rebased an old Citadel 'Night Horror' ranges 'Medusa with sword'. I have added her as I plan to add her to the army as part of a bound Chaos Host.

I have also been thinking about the composition of the Snakeman army, and how they can be best represented. Originally I decided to use the Snakemen as a stand-ins for Chaos Warriors. However this would make them really expensive in points, and also crowd out any other of the options avalible to support the Snakemen. In a 3,000 point army, I would end up with 20 Snakemen/Chaos Warriors, plus a couple of Sorcerers and an Army General. Five Snakemen/Chaos Warriors, including a Magical Standard (Warbanner) and Magical Musican (Battlecall), works out at 568 points.

So,  I have been considering the following two options. Apart from the Chaos Warrior only option, I could either go for a mix of Chaos Warriors and Chaos Marauders, or Beastmen:

The Beastman option, while seeming a natural idea, means that the Snakemen would be constrained to light armour and shields, and not have the option of any Magical Standards or Musicians. This would also mean for close combat I would require larger units than the minimum 10 to stop the Snakemen from being just brushed aside in combat, a minimum of 14 at least. In addition, a unit of 14 or so, or anything on 40mm bases, takes up a lot of room on a battlefield, and is very unwieldy. Also, to make it work, I might also have to spend (a lot) more money on more Snakemen.

On the Plus side, Beastmen do have W2 and T4, and their heroes are pretty nasty in close combat, unlike the Human Chaos Marauders and Chaos Warriors with T3. They are also very cheap in points compared to Chaos Warriors and Marauders.

The mix of Chaos Warriors and Marauders does mean I can keep the heavy armour. It also allows for Magical Standards and/or Musicians, and also the option of  bows and crossbows for the Marauders  if I feel the urge to convert up some Snakemen. I also think this allows for the retention of the 'feel' of the army which I wanted: a small, focused, elite army, rather than the usual hordes I favour.

The drawbacks to this are the point values again and size of the units. The minimum size for Marauders is 10, so a basic unit with magical Standard and Musician, and Chaos Warrior leader is 552 points. However in a four wide and two deep formation with two at the back, you end up with a +4 to the units combat resolution (1 for rank bonus, 1 for the standard, 1 for the magic standard, 1 for the Magical Instrument). As I have 44 Snakemen, I can have the maximum 30 Marauders, plus some Chaos Warriors, and independent Snakemen heroes, and allows for increasing the army's points value above 3,000 points.

I might go for the mixed Chaos Warrior/Maruder option, so I can field a more workable 3,000 army, and have room for the 'add-ons', such as a Medusa, more Sorcerers, and maybe some Chaos Trolls.I will work on an army list for a future update.
Enjoy :)
More critters!!!
I mananged to paint six more Snakemen, and a Medusa, despite being in a very lazy mood! :/
Standard Bearer.
I had a broken version of S'lararet Splintered Fang, he was missing his hand and sword. So, a simple cross-bar made from brass rods, and a green stuff banner, with a green stuff hand, was added.
I painted the banner simply. I have been reading some Moorcock recently, and read a description of a Pang Tang banner that had a star of Chaos in amber. So I thought a simple glowing Chaos star, which looked like it belonged more to another plane and was hovering on the banner would look good.
The second standard bearer.
Again I had a broken miniature to use, this time a Higgat Dwarf Slicer.
The standard is a simple old Marauder miniatures shield, filled with green stuuf, stuck on a brass rod pole, with a skull on top.
Rear view.
S'Sorron Fangthrane.
Saranth Elf Mangler.
S'lon Life Smasher.
I painted the shoulder pad as a skull. I want to add a little more colour and Chaos  to the standard bronze/gold armour. 
S'lararet Splintered Fang.
Again, I painted the should pad up a different colour.
Medusa: 1980's Night Horrors range 'Gorgon with sword'.
The Chaos army is the only army in Warhammer Armies to have the option of a Gorgon, and then only one. They are handy at turning creatures into stone. I recall doing that to a Treeman once.  :)
The Snakemen so far.

Next week will be more Snakemen. I'll see if I can sort out an army list as well. I will also add some of the conversions and old Trolls I have for the army as well.