About caseyrog

Graphic designer and art director extraordinaire, sometimes an illustrator ordinaire.

Blood Bowl Athelorn Avengers Unboxing

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Something is about to happen which has not happened for an age … a WS&TZ unboxing! Yesterday I picked up the new Blood Bowl wood elves release, the Athelorn Avengers and thought I’d do a little unboxing for you all.

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New Citadel Metallics

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In all the hubbub about the new Contrast paints, some new colors added to the classic Citadel range have kind of been forgotten about. Some of these are colors that used to be part of the Forge World paint range but have been brought into the Citadel fold. I picked up two (Grey Knight Steel and Iron Warriors) and gave them a shot.

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I received some half-painted Last Alliance elves a while back in a big ebay lot. I figured it would be a good opportunity to see what these new paints look like. From left: Grey Knight Steel, Iron Warriors, Leadbelcher and the original paint job, not sure what silver was used. Looks a bit lighter than Leadbelcher, but not by much.

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Then I shaded and dry brushed them with Necron Compound. I shaded the Grey Knight Steel with Drakenhof Nightshade, the other three with Nuln Oil. I find the difference between Iron Warrios and Leadbelcher to be barely imperceptible. Iron Warriors looks a smidge darker, but again it’s not much a difference. I did think it went on the mini a bit smoother than Leadbelcher. Still, I guess I’ll use it for my Angmar/Mordor orcs for Lord of the Rings. I plan on using the Grey Knights Steel for my new Fiefdoms army.

Here’s a couple more shots of the paints in the bottle. Again, it’s really hard to see the difference between the Iron Warriors and Leadbelcher.

Under the Brush: Heirs of Gondolin

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Battle Companies 2.0 for the Middle-earth Strategy Game has been out for several weeks now and I’ve already tested it out with my buddy over a couple of games. Since then, in a preparation for a map-based game with a local group, I’ve painted up my starter battle company. I’ll be playing Rivendell, as that’s my main army so far. I present to you, the Heirs of Gondolin!

I had a tough time imagining a group of elves would leave the sanctuary of Rivendell to go out adventuring in the world. Sure they could be sent on some errand by Lord Elrond, but that sounded a bit too boring. Instead, this group is descended from survivors from the fall of the ancient city of Gondolin. Inspired by the discoveries of Glamdring and Orcrist by Gandalf the Grey and Thorin Oakenshield, this company has left Rivendell against the better wishes of Elrond to seek more ancient artifacts that they consider to be relics of their past.

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The leader of this company is Palarean or “Far Wanderer” as rendered in the common tongue. He is armed with a sword and shield. Palarean started out as an armored Glorfindel, whose head was removed to make my mounted version of Glorfindel on Asfaloth. He then got a head donated from Elrond from the Last Alliance, and there he sat for a while. 

I figured I had two other figures in mind to be the sword wielding members of my starting warband and that a spear and shield might look cool on the pose. The shield is an extra from the metal spear elves I had laying around and the spear is a lance from an extra arm from the Rivendell knights kit.

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Next up is one of the company’s lieutenants, the archer Sorontil, or “Eagle Horn.” I actually made this conversion and painted it up last year after the first edition of Battle Companies was released. Now he finally has a completed family.

This was a very simple conversion. Plastic bow elf with the head from a plastic wood elf. Bit of green stuff to add some hair and tidy up the conversion. Simple enough.

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Mormacil, “Black Sword,” is the other lieutenant for the Heirs of Gondolin. I imagine him as being something of the combat champion of the group. Rather large and burly for an elf.

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Another simple head swap. Since I now had a headless Elrond, I gave him the helmed head from an elf spearmen. I really like this pose of the Last Alliance Elrond, but since I have the much coveted finecast Elrond mounted and on foot, I figured he wouldn’t see much game time anyway. Also as a figure distributed in the Battles Games in Middle-earth magazine, he’s not exactly rare.

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Tilion, “Horned,” I couldn’t find any quenya words for spear so went with a horns theme. This is the first of the two warriors the Rivendell battle company starts out with. They aren’t heroes so don’t have any Might or Fate yet.

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See, this is the body that Mormacil’s head came from. The head is from the mounted version of Ellrohir that I used to make my mounted Glorfindel. Are you sensing a theme here? Waste not, want not.

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Calmacil, “Sword of Light,” is the other warrior of the Heirs of Gondolin, equipped with a hand-and-a-half elven blade. I think Calmacil might be the brother of Mormacil, bringing the balance of light and dark to my band of elves.

This is a conversion that has been sitting around unpainted for a year or so. I originally intended him to serve both as a member of my battle company but also as an armored version of Lindir. When I first got into MESBG I bought a big lot of Rivendell elves, with a few other models in there. Among them was a banner bearer missing a head. It also happened to include a spear elf missing a spear. I managed to track down the now-rare Lord of the Rings conversion sprue which includes a single elf head. I removed the banner and attached it to the spear elf to make a banner elf with shield. I used a broken elven blade (possibly from Glorfindel?) and cut down the shaft of the banner to make it more the length of a sword.

In the latest edition of the rules, Lindir can still take armor, but is only equipped with a one-handed elven blade, so he can never go two-handed in combat. That’s fine, I have the finecast model for him as well, so might as well use it.

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Last, but not least is Silinde, “One Who Shines White.” This model does not represent a starting model for the Rivendell battle company which consists of five models (2x swords, 2x spear and shield 1x bow). Silinde, then will represent one of my heroes should they choose to go down the new Path of the Sorcerer in the new Battle Companies. Or possibly as a hired sage. Technically sages are only listed as having the human keyword, but we can house rule that in our campaign.

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This model was put together from the original Arwen sculpt. I don’t fancy this model much, the proportions are a bit wonky, she has a very narrow waist and reminds me of some of the Warhammer high elf models from around the same time period. I much prefer the Juan Diaz sculpt that is still in production.

In the ebay elf lot I mentioned earlier, there was also the strange inclusion of the arm sprue for the Mordheim elf mage. This itself is an excellent model, and from the more heroic scale Mordheim range, is more slender and has finer features. A perfect fit for our clunky Arwen!

This model also intrigues me for it’s potential use in proper points match games of MESBG as a Rivendell stormcaller. Not a particularly amazing profile, but it interests me because the reason I gave her blonde hair was to use as Celebrindal, wife of Elrond, daughter of Galadriel and mother of Elladan, Elrohir and Arwen Undomiel.

And there you have it! I leave you with a gallery of more angels of the paint jobs taken from my painting desk. Please leave your comments and criticisms below.

 

Under the Brush: Gulavhar, Terror of Arnor

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As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve started an Angmar force for the Middle-earth Strategy Battle Game. There’s a profile that has intrigued me in the Angmar army list for a while and now it has received a big boost in the new edition. And that would be Gulavhar, Terror of Arnor!

Gulavhar is a purely made-up creation by Games Workshop and not found anywhere in the Tolkien canon. I find it odd that while I generally prefer to stick to canon characters and monsters, that I found Gulavhar so appealing. For those unfamiliar with the game, Gulavhar is basically a giant vampire-demon monster. His Courage and Attacks stats are tied directly to his Wounds, which start at 4. As he gets wounded he gets weaker and more likely to flee the battlefield or more hesitant to attack other terror causing creatures. However he regains a wound for each enemy model he slays in combat. Gulavhar also boasts some cool rules, he is a spirit model which grants Angmar orcs the terror ability. He causes terror himself and has the Harbinger of Evil special rule that gives a -1 courage penalty to opposing models. He also has resistance to magic, monstrous charge and all the normal brutal power attacks monsters have in MESBG.

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While Gulavhar is non-canonical, there’s definitely precedent for vampire-like creatures in Middle-earth.  They are mostly described as bat-like creatures in the Silmarillion, and only one is named, Thuringwethil, who appears in the tale of Beren and Luthien. Luthien uses the cloak of Thuringwethil to sneak into Morgoth’s stronghold Angband under disguise as the vampire.

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It happened that I received my model just as I heard about the Make a Trish challenge in the Oldhammer Facebook group. If you don’t know, legendary sculptor Trish Carden has a page on Facebook where she posts pics of the greens for models she has sculpted and shares tidbits and anecdotes from her days working at Games Workshop. It’s really fun stuff! A challenge was created in the Oldhammer Facebook group to paint a Trish Carden sculpt and the sculptor herself would pick a winner. I’ve admired the oldhammer movement from afar for a long time, however my old collection got sold off or lost a long time ago and I haven’t really acquired anything oldhammer since. I really wanted to participate in the challenge though and I posted if Trish had sculpted anything in the Lord of the Rings range. Turns out she sculpted Gulavhar! Perfect! While the mini is still in production from GW it’s only available in finecast resin. However I bought mine second hand in metal. That’s got to earn me some oldhammer bonus points, right? To complete the challenge, participants had to post a pic of the selected model next to this illustration of Trish.

As you can see, when I received the model, he was very … red. Perhaps he didn’t apply enough suncreen and got a nasty sunburn. Or he was just going for the Hellboy look, I dunno. After a bath in LA’s Totally Awesome, he was ready for reassembly. I added some cork bits to the base of the pillar thing he’s standing on as I felt it looked a bit awkward just rising up out of the middle of nowhere.

And then it was a matter of painting him up! Honestly I was hoping for more of a light grey, but it wasn’t looking great so I went a bit darker. Then I tried putting him in front of a background.

Cheers, everyone. Please share your comments and criticisms below.

Under the Brush: Return to Rivendell and new projects

 

It’s been a long time since my last hobby update. I haven’t painted up too much since I completed my Underworld Denizens team for Blood Bowl, up until the past two weeks. So let’s start off with the most recent. This weekend I finally finished my Cirdan for my Rivendell force, despite having started him … wow, almost a year ago! I picked up a color from a different line of inks, Amsterdam Acrylic Inks to finish off Cirdan’s robes. I wanted the robes to be a light grey, but repeated coats of Nuln Oil weren’t getting there for me, which is why kind of got abandoned.

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The Case for the Perfect Case: Part 2 – Pick and Pluck your Battles

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Earlier this year I picked up some hardcover cases with pluck foam from Sam’s Club and did a little review-ish thing. I decided to return the cases to the store, because really they were much too big. I wanted something I could fit inside a backpack along with my rules manuals, dice, etc. Not feel like I was using carry-on luggage every time I went to play some games. In the end I decided to buy the Citadel Skirmish Case, which I’ve liked quite a bit. You can fit a lot of minis in there and it fits in a backpack. However with two Blood Bowl teams (with 4 big guys among them!) and then with my Middle-earth Strategy Battle Games minis, things started to get a bit crowded. I also didn’t feel like hauling around the bulk of my miniatures collection all the time, too many eggs in one basket.

I started researching the Kill Team Case Games Workshop produced when Kill Team was announced. It’s basically the one of the accordion foam trays in the Skirmish Case but in a zippered case. In a Facebook thread about the product, people mentioned they didn’t like how soft the foam exterior was, and one guy mentioned picked up a little case from Harbor Freight for $15. Fast forward a couple months and I’ve picked one up myself.

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Middle-earth SBG: An Extended Elven Family

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Originally I was going to post this as a question to the Great British Hobbit League Facebook group, but it got rather lengthy so I decided to just write a post about it.

As you may know from previous posts I’ve been working on a Rivendell army for the newly rebranded Middle-earth Strategy Battle Game that hit shelves a couple of weeks ago. The new rules and profiles are brilliant and the game features army bonuses and a new ally matrix. There are now three levels of allies, historical (or green) allies retain their army bonuses when playing them together. Rivendell has three green allies: The Fellowship, Numenor and Lothlorien.

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Surprise September Paint Challenge Results

Another month has come and gone and with it another paint challenge. As a reminder, September’s painting challenge was as follows:

September got its name from being the 7th month of the original Roman calendar. January and February were added later making it 9th.

So…the challenge is to declare and paint 7 models. All 7 from the same faction/warband/team/whatever.
BUT…you also have to be ready to reveal 2 painted surprise models unrelated to the other 7 (different warband/army/game/whatnot).
9 models total.
7 stated up front. 2 spoilers.
Who finished first? I know you’re on the edge of your seat, short of breath, dying to know … it was me!
For my 7 models I painted up my posse for Dracula’s America. Dracula’s America is an Osprey skirmish game set in the Weird West, yep it’s got cowboys and vampires and all sorts of radness. My chosen posse is the Forsaken, they are members of Custer’s 7th Cavalry who survived the Battle of Little Big Horn, but have come back with a curse. Lycanthropy!

These are the official miniatures North Star Miniatures sells for Dracula’s America, but they are really licensed from Artizan Miniatures. While the miniatures are pretty simple as far as details go, the sculpts really impressed me and I enjoyed painting them quite a lot.

As an extra two I painted up the two werewolves while I was at it. I can’t count them as my surprise two because they go with the 7 painted.

So what were my surprise inclusions? How about some mutated goblins for my underworld Blood Bowl team. Remember them?

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Jeff also finished the challenge. His first completed mini was for a special event in the Age of Sigmar campaign he’s participating in. The event featured a jousting game, so you know he couldn’t resist whipping up something for his Stormcast wannabes Flesh Eater Courts army.

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Not satisfied with one big guy, Jeff also painted up a big guy for his ork Blood Bowl team. Again another conversion, this time on the controversial troll from Games Workshop. I think Jeff did a great job modifying the questionable pose of the GW model.

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And for his seven, Jeff got back to the grindstone and ground out seven more genestealers for Space Hulk. There are two more lurking in the background (aren’t there always? Those blip counters can be nasty … ) but Jeff had completed those previously.

And what about Jason? Well unfortunately life got the best of Jason and he couldn’t meet the deadline, coughing up the first $5 into the pot for failing to make the deadline.

Next up is October’s theme …

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Things That Go Bump in the Night!

Minimum Requirement: 1 Halloween themed model … could be any kind of creepy crawl ghostly ghastly creature … or the thing(s) that bump back ie witchhunter, zombie survivor, ghostbuster, etc.
Winner: Whoever paints the most models.
Each Halloween themed model is worth 3 points
As a nod to Orktober, ork/goblin/troll minis will be worth 2 points
Any other model is worth 1 point
This sets the bar low to avoid paying the $5 fee, but to win it’s paint as much as you can. There’s room to paint stuff that doesn’t fit for the theme, but themed models will count more.

August Paint Challenge Results

I’m a little late on sharing the results of our August Paint Challenge, but late is better than never right? This month we decided to paint up some Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire warbands. Jeff and Jason opted to both paint Magore’s Fiends while I painted up my Sepulchral Guard.

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Of course Jeff finished first. Jeff continues the iron and blood theme of his bloodskin army for Age of Sigmar. These guys are definitely more iron than blood of course as they are heavily armored. I really admire Jeff’s metallics I feel like they turn out looking so much better than mine.

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Next up are my Sepulchral Guard. I opted for an orange and black look for my skeletons. Everybody seems to be doing red on these guys (which looks great!) but I decided to do something a little different.

It’s a little Halloweeny of course, and a bit of an ode to my high school colors, but honestly I never had much school spirit (get it? eh … that joke would work better on the upcoming nighthaunt guys, wouldn’t it?)

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And finally, Jason pulled through at the last minute with his take on the Fiends. Jason opted for more of the classic Khorne look and they look fantastic! I especially like the muted colors on the fleshhound. That thing looks ferocious.

Congrats again to everyone completing another paint challenge. Now for this month’s challenge …

September got its name from being the 7th month of the original Roman calendar. January and February were added later making it 9th.

So…the challenge is to declare and paint 7 models. All 7 from the same faction/warband/team/whatever.
BUT…you also have to be ready to reveal 2 painted surprise models unrelated to the other 7 (different warband/army/game/whatnot).
9 models total.
7 stated up front. 2 spoilers.