This was going to be the celebratory “I finished a project!” post, but I should have known better.
Right when I wrapped up the final touches on Lady Olynder, a good friend offered to trade some Nighthaunt figures he had laying about for some minis I had in storage. It was a deal too good to pass up! So, there will be more spooky ghosts coming your way! A whole lot more…
But first, today’s update. I finished the leader of my mob of ghosties!
Seriously, Lady Olynder is just about the coolest miniature Games Workshop has ever produced, and that’s a tough thing to say! The Nighthaunt line alone contains some of the greatest sculpts I have ever seen in my life. I really had a great time painting her, and there’s still a little part of me that wants to sneak a green LED into the hollow part of her body.
The base is smaller than what she comes with in game, but I don’t play Warhammer, so this won’t be a problem. And even if I do end up getting a game in, I can make a bigger base without much trouble! (I say I don’t play Warhammer, but I do get sucked in to a game every year or so. We all orbit that sun, whether we want to or not)
The base she’s on was made up of about a dozen candles I printed in my garage, with a base from one of the Patreon accounts that I follow.
Here’s all of the finished ghosts to date! More to come soon!
This last month has probably been the worst hobby month I’ve had in a really long time. I haven’t been really productive, and have been really distractible by some pretty silly things. Also, those things make perfect sense, too: surviving a pandemic responsibly means finding ways to connect with people without being physically in person, which means the audio group chat in my World of Warcraft sessions has been really alluring.
Downside, though- I suck at video games, and I would rather get my paints going again than spend a lot of hours leveling another character through WoW. So, back to the workbench!
Let’s get some badassery going with a regiment of Dwarf Rangers. This group of hearty warriors is made up of a mix of Mantic, Games Workshop, and Artisan Guild models, with the Artisan Guild figures having built-in magnetic bases so that I can pop them off the multi-base for some sweet Vanguard action!
The Runestone up front is landscape bark from the front yard, which I carved flat on the bottom, painted grey, then hand painted the runes and the dwarf face onto. It adds a pretty cool thematic element, and helps hide the base recesses for my removable figs.
The regiment is led by Herne and Frigga Ironheart, who lead the team together despite Frigga’s near constant intoxication. I really love these minis, and can’t wait to see them on the table. Any table. Someday…
Herne knew that they were in trouble. His group of rangers had been trudging through the fen for a week now, and their spirits were dangerously low. More importantly, their provisions were running even lower. Frigga had been sober for close to four days, and her temper had been at a steady boil since waking that morning.
And a sober Frigga can’t hit the broad side of an ogre’s nursemaid, he mused to himself. But she is capable of making everyone’s life a living hell until she gets something to quench that fiery thirst of hers.
The ranger pulled himself up from his hiding spot, and flicked his fingers in a silent signal to the rest of the regiment, which had concealed itself in the muck and the mire of the fen. Much more of this skulking about, and these warriors wouldn’t have much fight left in them.
They had been tracking a troop of kobolds for weeks, after coming across a horrific scene of carnage that the diminutive beasts had inflicted on a human village. Honor dictated action, and the hunt was on.
Suddenly, in the brackish water up ahead of them, came the sloshing crash of something big moving through the bogs that littered the fen. Whatever it was, it just made the misfortune of becoming today’s distraction from boredom.
Herne leapt up onto a nearby stump and started whooping and hollering, hoping to draw the as yet unseen intruder out into the open. Herne began to dance about on the stump, and at one point burst out into a lewd song about a halfling barkeep’s daughter.
The fen grew quiet, and Herne grew discouraged. He heard a less than amused “tisk” from somewhere behind him, and he knew that Frigga was quietly running through a list of insults to riddle him with.
There was a muffled yelp off to his left, followed by a ferocious crunching sound, and an all too brief scream of pure agony. Something flew through the air straight at him, and Herne barely had time to duck out of the way of the mystery projectile.
Herne hopped down from his perch and hunkered down into a low crouch, darting from the log towards where the mystery missile had touched down. After a moments searching, he found his quarry… or at least what was left of it.
The upper part of Duggart’s body was laying face down in the mud, both arms twitching at his side. A bubble of air popped as it rose to the surface next to the corpse’s submerged face.
His legs were entirely missing, the wreckage of his lower torso only hinting that extremities could have ever worked there in the first place. Duggart’s blood was seeping out in a lazy torrent, eventually mingling with the muddy waters of the fen in slowly swirling eddies.
A low, throaty chuckle purred out from the misty expanse, at once nowhere and everywhere. The hair on the back of Herne’s neck stood straight up, and he slowly unbuckled his daggers. His time on this earth may be coming to a close, but he wasn’t going to go to the Eternal Smithy without a fight.
There was an explosion of movement through the underbrush, and a humongous beast lumbered out of the fetid waters. The creature’s stunted legs ended with gigantic webbed feet, while its long, willowy arms were graced with craggy talons. Its eyes were flashing with wild excitement, its gore caked maw erupting into a vicious grin.
“TROLL!!!” bellowed Herne, even as bolts flew straight and true from at least a dozen hidden ranger’s crossbows. The troll reeled back in pain, then shook off the onslaught and redoubled its advance on Hernes position.
The doughty dwarf shifted his footing into a low fighting stance, and he juked to the left as the troll attempted to barrel into him. He chuckled quietly to himself, knowing full well that the creature had overestimated its odds of a quick meal.
The troll reeled up in sudden pain, scrabbling frantically at its leathery back. Frigga had somehow managed to find a perch between the creature’s massive shoulder blades, and had secured herself to its neck with a climbing harness.
Herne stood by to admire his sister’s handiwork for a moment, then gasped in mock horror as the tirade of obscenities she was yelling went on.
“I don’t think you can do that with a goat, even with a cask of oil, sister!” He shouted out. She replied with a curt suggestion of what he could do with his opinion.
A moment later, the troll fell lifeless to the muddy embrace of the fen, its eyes gouged out and a four inch wide trench of butchered flesh running ear to ear.
Frigga was a sight to behold as she unfastened the climbing harness, the fierce whites of her eyes flashing murder from beneath a mask of bloody gristle and mud.
Slowly, she smiled. Herne laughed. With Frigga able to blow off some steam, their ragged little group might be able to finish off the kobolds and get her to a proper tavern before her temper became truly impossible to manage.
The second part of the Nighthaunt project is this pair of ponies, which turned out waaaay better than I was hoping for!
I used my airbrush to blend a nice earth tone brown into an eerie green, then pulled out some ethereal highlights with a light blue gray. Then some rust effects for the metal, and I’m calling them good to go!
Next up, I’ll share the leader of this motley group! I have a ton more Nighthaunt I should finish up, they really are a lot of fun!
I’m not a huge fan of Games Workshop these days, but I do have a weakness for about a third of the catalogue. The spin flier, weirder, and more far fetched the figure, the more likely that they’ll end up on my paint bench.
The Chainrasp Horrors weren’t the first Nighthuant models that I bought, but the were the first I finished! I employed a unique (to me) color scheme, and really had a lot of fun painting.
The weapons all got some fun rust effects, and a little dark glaze pulled the paint together! The bases were from a Patreon that I support, and the end result put a smile on my face!
After the tower was sealed in a couple of coats of wood glue and black paint, it was time to get some color on the tower!
I blocked in most of the major color areas with my airbrush, then went to town with a cheap wash made of equal parts black acrylic, brown acrylic, and clear acrylic medium.
After the first coat of wash dried, I went through with a light dry brush over the whole model. This helped bring out a lot of the raised details.
Then I picked out some individual stones to paint lighter colors, and added some wood grain to the timbers. Then everything got another series of washes, with either a moss green with clear acrylic, or Payne’s Grey with clear acrylic. This aged everything up a bit, and added a more lived-in feeling to the model.
Something this big and cool looking needs a base to tie it all together, so that will be the next step in the project!
Confession time– I just invested in a new FDM printer and a pretty amazing series of files for terrain building, so it’s hard to say how much of this kind of building I will be doing in the future. That being said, I love a good scratch build, so I’m almost certain I’ll keep at it to some capacity.
Plus, western civilization collapsed a few years back. It’s hard to say how long we’ll be able to pick up spools of plastic for printing. You can decide whether I am joking or not, because I sure the hell don’t know anymore.
With the base of the building established, it was time to get to work on some components for the rest of the structure. I am using really cheap foamcore that I picked up at Dollar Tree, because the paper peels off super easy, leaving a dense, easy to carve foam ready to play. For the shingles on the roof sections, I just carved my shapes with a ballpoint pen, then went at it with a blade to get the slopes and shaping.
This technique allows me to do some pretty cool effects, like this dormer that I put in on the lower floor of the tower:
All of the detail is just carved directly into the foam, either with a balloint pen or a good pencil. The ballpoint gives crisper detail, and I think it might be my favorite technique. This is also the first time I assembled a building like this with hot glue, which sped up the whole process incredibly.
It was time to add the next floor up. I opted to go with a full interior at first, but changed my mind as I went along.
I decided to go ahead and do the support beams in foamcore, too, since everything will get a couple of coats of wood glue to seal up the foam and strengthen the sculpt. Wood glue has a bit of resin in it, so it will help toughen stuff up quite a bit.
The whole build took about four hours, and ended up being pretty cool!
I put in a balcony for snipers in a skirmish style game, and plenty of exposed brick and timber to go with the stucco.
The chimney was easier than any that I have ever done before. I used Gorilla Glue to bind to pieces of foamcore together, which is easier to carve into than traditional glue. Plus, the foaming action of the glue really binds the foamcore together. A little hot glue to add the top, and it’s pretty spiffy!
My other favorite detail of this piece is the curved slant in the roof, which throws the “safe” feeling of the building completely out the window. It’s something that I was never able to to with traditional foamcore building, but without the paper holding things in place, the foam form was easy to bend into place. Hot glue just made it stay there once it got there!
Next up, the whole thing gets sealed in a mix of black paint and wood glue, then it’s time to paint!
When that crystal-clear moment of honesty hits me full on the face, I have to admit to my decades-long love/loath relationship with Games Workshop. They make some good games, and a whole ton of just… okay games. They have some really petty policies when it comes to Indy game stores, because they know full well those stores absolutely rely on geedubs to make the rent every month.
The other thing about honesty, though? I have to admit that they have stepped up a ton when it comes to their sculpts, especially when it comes to fantasy offerings. Warcry has some gorgeous stuff, but Warhammer: Underworlds, especially Beastgrave, has been taking the cake.
Look at Hrothgorn here. He’s a giant slab of ogre, who has a giant bear trap mounted to his harpoon gun. I’m sure the thing gets about ten feet before wind resistance off that trap drops the spear to the ground, but it looks cool.
He comes with a couple of idiot grots, here’s Luggit and Thwak, who double up to try and hit new heights of awesomeness:
Quiv is literally a walking quiver. He carries extra bolts for the boss:
Then there is Bushwakka, he’s the real brain trust of the bunch:
Thrafnir rounds out the warband, and just happens to be a giant kitty. Meow.
The minis are a blast to paint, the gnobblars in particular took about 10 minutes each with Contrast paint, and you can tell. Up close it’s a pretty slap-dash job, but they look fine from over a foot away. I took a little extra time on Hrothgorn and Kitty, and they’re a lot of fun to look at as I wait for quarantine to end so I can get down to Shiv and get a game in.
That’s a joke. I pretend to play games. I really go to Shiv Gamesto hang out with my friends. I’m a rabid painter at heart, the games that I occasionally get in are just a perk!
Something fantastic happened when I went back into the behavior management field—- I am suddenly in a position to just paint for fun!
When my friend Brody was getting excited about some Beastmen for Warcry, I told him I wanted to paint them. I got to paint some cool minis, and there wasn’t any worry about commission. I was doing this for fun!
I just love the facial expressions on these guys. They look like they take things way too seriously, especially for goat dudes. It was also a really great excuse to play with patina and corrosion on the gear!
I’m working on a Nighthaunt Warband for Warcry, too, and I’ll make sure to share the carnage when these two forces face off!