Saturday, 17 February 2018

Necromunda Escher Miniatures Metal Vs Plastic Comparison

With the release of the new edition of Necromunda, I thought it might be fun to compare the new figures to some of the original 90s metal figures. Going into the new set, I wanted to be able to use some of my older miniatures, but I was always concerned that the scale wouldn't fit. Obviously details and casting have come on, although I do think that a lot of the 90s Necromunda miniatures were way ahead of their time in terms of quality.

Plastic Escher in the centre, metals either side.

Scale wise, the Escher match quite closely. The new plastics are bigger, but not noticeably on the tabletop. If anything, it gives quite a natural variation in height. Detail-wise, the plastics took a lot of the elements from the metal miniatures, so they really do look quite good together and only an experienced eye is really going to be able to pick them out.

I also wanted to make this post as most of the time when you see them side by side it's a lovely new model with a really crusty old one. As I've painted these all recently, it seemed a lot fairer, as you're not swayed so much just by the paint/built quality, and can actually see what they look like painted and based next to each other.

All I can say is that I'm happy to have both in my gang!

Again, old metals either side of the plastic ganger.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Squaduary Week 2 - 40k Skaven, 10 complete Vanguard

Well, I managed to get the rest of the squad painted up. I batched the last 3, which I don't think I'll do again as it felt really laborious!

This completes the main part of my pledge for Squaduary. I still have the Rat-Dominus to go, which I'm both looking forward to and dreading in equal measure. He is a really detailed model, so it might take a while. With that said, I have until the end of February to get him finished.

I'm really happy with how these guys came out. Let's hope I can keep this army going! I've started building a few more units for them, but they're very much in the "Frankenstein" stage; kinda messy and half finished! That said, I'll probably be showcasing what I've come up with next week some time, so be sure to check back if you're enjoying the project.

I've used my Necromunda scenery to pose them with as the rusty sewer seemed to suit them.

It sure was a lot of work to paint all of these guys to this standard in one week. I may not be Golden Demon standard, but I pride myself on my speed & quality!

Monday, 12 February 2018

Squaduary, 40k Skaven - A Weekend of Mad Progress

I've been working hard all weekend on my 40k Skaven. I had one finished model on Friday night; and now I have seven!

This isn't a particularly easy scheme to paint either, and every model is taking 2 or 3 hours; even with the airbrushed basecoat. I'm still feeling really motivated working on this project though, and I managed to paint up 3 on Saturday and another 3 on Sunday, which felt quite manageable.

It has made a massive dent in my Squaduary "to do" list. If I can finish the next 3 then I'll be through the squad that I pledged, and I'll just have the Dominus left to go. After that, I'll probably keep going and see what else I can add to the force.

This is the first look at my Alpha too. I built him a few years back during my first half-assed attempt at making 40k Skaven. I sculpted the double cybernetic eye back then, which is still cool. This time round I swapped his weapons out and he looks pretty badass. The "shell" on his back is built from a bit of Maulerfiend. Rat in the shell? Maybe I'll call him Ratou! (well, he does have 2 cybernetic eyes!). If you don't get that joke the I don't know what I'm going to do with you; especially after that live action movie.

I'm really thrilled with how they're coming out. This might even be my best army project to date. They're just great fun to convert and paint and I'm loving working on them. They're just so cool. Even more so now that I have the unit to play with.

The scary part isn't the giant rat ... It's the fin; slicing through the water!

Stay tuned for more giant robo-rats coming this way soon. Next up is another 3 to fill out the squad, then the Dominus. After that, well, I'll just be keeping that a surprise...

Friday, 9 February 2018

Squaduary, 40k Skaven - Painting Test Miniature

*Insert maniacal laughter* It's alive! .... and all that kind of stuff.
I've just finished my first painted miniature. As this is a new scheme, I wanted to test out the colours to see how they would go on one model before committing to the rest for the force. I was torn between a lot of different colours for them; for a while I thought red would be good, but Stormvermin are always red. I was thinking of going with white after that, but then again, I did white for last year's Squaduary. I wanted something cool and different, and being me, I also wanted to work some orange into the scheme.

I liked the idea of painting a kind of turquoise type colour as it is pretty rare. I also wanted something that would look more sci-fi than fantasy and that would be a bit unique. With these things in mind, I invented this scheme. The blue/teal armour is done with the airbrush, which I just used to get the colour and the basic blend down. After that, I worked with the brush to get the rest done.

The pictures aren't the best, but I was in a bit of a rush. Hopefully they're good enough for you to get the general idea.

The highlight on the armour goes all the way to a pure white "shine"

It wasn't all plain sailing, and I had to change some of my ideas as I went to get the result that I wanted. I had originally thought of giving them brown fur, but it just didn't pop. I changed it to white, but then I had to change the colour of the cloth parts so he didn't end up as a  big beige blob (the robes were originally white). Quite the conundrum. After that, once I was happy with how things were going I still had to think about the base. Personally, I think a lot of people underestimate what a good base can do for a model. Not just in terms of tying it into the universe, but just as a good source of colour and interest. It is a lesson learned the hard way as I painted my share of plane old Goblin Green bases in the 90s and early 2000s!
For my 40k Skaven, I chose a red dust style base. It plays nicely against the orange spot colour and contrasts well with the armour and white fur details. It also serves as a reminder that on the field they're mechanicus through and through; well as far as rules go rules anyway!

Overall, I'm happy with the scheme and I plan to keep on plugging through the rest, so that I can get this force off the ground! Squaduary has been a good motivator too, and getting some of these Skaven done is putting a dent in my hobby backlog/cupboard of shame. Stay tuned for more snarly Ratmen coming this way soon, and don't forget to follow the blog if you want to keep up with my progress.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

40k Skaven - Squaduary The Build Part 2, Rat Dominus

I'm on a roll with this new project; and to prove it here's a rather grizzly beastie fresh from the forge.

He is a bit of a mash-up of parts. Kind of what I envisage for a Warlock Engineer given 40,000 years or so to really get his madness down. I've used the Tech Priest Dominus as a base, which has to be the best decision I ever made as it is such a nice model. From there, I've added a plethora of plastic detritus to bring about some wonderful changes. A lot of the conversions are actually quite subtle, but if you're familiar with the kit you can probably tell that there are a lot of small changes all over the place.

His axe is actually one from the Nurgle kit (a Plague Reaper or something?) I had it left over from my obliterator that I built a few months back. I'm particularly happy with the Horned Rat servo skull, as it is quite thematic. His head is from Ikit Claw, and that's probably exactly what I'll call him!

He is also sporting a few Tau and Necron Parts for good measure. I want to keep them as "What You See is What You Get" as possible, so he still has all of the same guns.

Every rat needs a tail ... a mechanical one...

Now I just have to paint him...

If you missed yesterday's troops, check out the rest of the 40k Skaven here: 

I also finished the Alpha for the squad, so they're pretty much ready for paint once all the green stuff dries. Don't forget to follow the blog, or check back later to see how I get on.

Monday, 5 February 2018

40k Skaven - Squaduary Week 1 Progress, 40k Skaven - The Build

Things have gone far better than I expected and I've forged ahead. Behold the light of progress!

If you missed my earlier post, these beasties are to be used on the field as Adeptus Mechanicus, so you might recognise some familiar weapons. I was worried that the conversions would take way too long, but handily it turns out that the Skitarii arms are almost compatible with the Stormvermin kit (read compatible very loosely). They did have to be cut about a bit and filled extensively (especially in the back), but it wasn't too onerous and I'm really happy with how the squad is coming together. I have finished these guys, but I'm waiting on an infusion of fresh parts to build the Alpha from.

I've also added all manner of techno bits to them to help sci-fi up the look. Luckily the Stormvermin armour is already most of the way there, so the occasional dial or switch easily knocks them right out of fantasy and into the grim darkness.

In line with my pledge, I've also been working on a character - a mighty Rat-Dominus. He is still under the knife so to say, so tune back in a day or two to see how he fares!

Monday, 29 January 2018

Squaduary 2018 - The Pledge, 40k Skaven

After the success of last year's Squaduary, I'm entering again this year; with a vengeance!

For those who missed it, Squaduary is a community event where bloggers pledge to paint a squad in February with updates every week. The event is usually split across the 4 weeks; with one week for building, one for basecoats, detailing and basing respectively. It doesn't fit my style that well though as I suck at batching!

Like last year, the event is being run by Stepping Between Games (, so be sure to check them out for more info and to see how the month unfolds. Entry is open to everyone via social media, so you don't have to have a blog as such.

Last year I hit my goat of a completed 10 man squad, and this year I want to do even better. I was torn between a few different projects that I could potentially work on, as I really wanted to do something interesting and different.

Some miniatures I painted for last year's Squaduary

Handily, a few years ago I made a rather half-assed attempt at starting some 40k Skaven. At the time, I got hung up working out how to actually build the infantry. I was left with a box of Stormvermin, some Clanrats and a few fanciful ideas. This Christmas I was given  a box of Storm Fiends by my brother and I was again captivated by Skaven in an instant. With that, the project sprung back to life, and I set to work picking up the last few bits to make it a reality.

For this year's event, I'm pledging a unit of 10 Skaven equipped as Skitarii Vanguard. I'm also going to try to complete a Skaven Dominus to lead the force as a stretch goal if I can make good progress on the infantry. I think the rules for Adeptus Mechanicus will line up well with what I have envisioned for Skaven in the future; kind of tech-oriented with a lot of pyrotechnically impressive weapons!

More than the painting, I'm worried that I won't be able to build them fast enough, so I'm trying to keep the conversions fairly intuitive. This is going to be important for the force going forwards as well, as I need to be able to produce them quickly enough that it will actually be possible to complete more than one or two of them. They need to look plenty futuristic though, or the project will be a failure. It should be quite a demanding. 

I also have the Storm Fiends which I plan to use as Kastelan Robots with a bit of conversion as they are heavily armoured and about the right size. Maybe I'll be working on them for Monster March if Squaduary goes well!

...and I'm gonna do it all, in 4 weeks!