Saturday, January 31, 2015

Finished High Elf Noble

The ranks of the Purple Sons slowly continue to grow, this time with the addition of a Noble. 

Along with the recent addition of Prince Althran, that significantly ups the potential leadership in the army if I ever play at larger points games (I imagine at 1,500 points I probably wouldn't have more than one noble, which would be my existing battle standard bearer.)

I followed the usual approach of undercoat, basecoats, washes, layers and highlights. Like the Althran model, I had a go at the eyes (NOT my favorite part of painting, but practice makes perfect - or at least should make perfect...I've got a long way to go until I feel comfortable doing eyes).

Finally I added some scratches to the shield, although these didn't come out as well as I'd hoped (unlike the gem on his belt, which felt like a "small" victory.) 

More pictures below.

If you've got any suggestions for improvement, please let me know in the comments.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

High Elf Prince Althran

High Elf Prince Althran.

After finishing a unit of White Lions, I needed a break from painting lots of gems and lion skins! I decided to reward myself by working on a couple of individual models, including Prince Althran.

Prince Althran

For this model, I tried a couple of things that were new to me. 

Firstly, the gems decorating his cuirass and attaching his cloak are round. Most of the High Elf gems I have painted are shaped liked like a tear drop, so this was a bit different. Also, I went with red gems, rather than green. That meant that instead of simply using a lighter shade of the gem colour, (which would have given me a pink effect) I mixed in orange. I had read about this before but it worked surprisingly well (I think!)

Secondly, I added a couple of scratches to the shield. I'd also seen this before, and after a bit of Googling I knew how to do it, but it required a really, really steady hand.

Prince Althran, notice the slashes to his shield

The technique itself is very simple, but I think it looks good from a distance and adds a bit of story to the model:
1. Add a thin line of Skull White (pure white)
2. Just a fraction above that, paint on another very thin line, the same length, but this time of a darker colour (in this case a GW Calthan Brown)
3. Finally, add an even thinner, darker shade inside the first dark line. 

The third thing I did differently to usual was that I bothered to paint in the wood grain to the reverse of his shield. You can see it clearly in the first picture at the top of this post. 

For some reason, I feel a real sense of satisfaction with this model! Compared to my painting when I started this blog, looking at this model made me realize that (in my opinion at least) I've improved. Regardless of what hobby you are doing, that is a very rewarding - if fleeting - moment!

Here are some photos of the Prince, in progress.

Basecoats, before washes...

After washes...

After basecoats, washes and drybrushing/ layers...

I've added the Prince to my High Elf army page.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

White Lions of Chrace - finished!

White Lion Champion, standard bearer, and musician
Continuing with my attempt to expand the small High Elf army I started a year or two ago, I just finished up a unit of White Lions of Chrace. Although my experience with them is very limited, in any High Elf army at the moment, you will probably see a unit of White Lions (very choppy!) or Phoenix Guard (an amazing anvil unit by all accounts). 

White Lions guard the entrance to the Purple Tower.
Simply put, White Lions are about as hard core as it gets when it comes to High Elf hammer units. Sure, Swordmasters put out the hurt, but Lions have a 3+ save against missile attacks, +2 strength and are stubborn too.

I quickly got these guys up to scratch over the last couple of weeks to play a game, but spent some time adding a bit more detail the last few days and thought they were ready to post.
  • Completed the green gems on the command models (Champion, standard bearer, musician)
  • Painted on a few more details and highlights.
  • Painted gloss varnish ("'ard coat") onto every gem on each model outside the command unit.
The gloss varnish was a bit of experiment, but I think it came out ok. If you are looking to save time, then focusing on the command unit or first row and making compromises on the other models can save you a lot of time. It was much faster just to have a nice Dark Angels Green basecoat on each gem and then varnish it, rather than do the four steps and have the steady hand that gems usually take (base coat, lighter basecoats x2, white dot).
Does it look as good as painted gems? No, because it doesn't "pop" as much. It does provide a basic gleam though!

A few compromises at the moment, as this unit came from a big HElf eBay purchase a while back:
  1. There are only 19 of them at the moment (but my usual opponents don't mind if I proxy a couple of Spearmen to bring the unit up to 21)
  2. The unit champion doesn't have the correct arm! Look closely and you will see that he uses an Archer champion arm, which doesn't have the correct pauldron (but it is at least pointing at the enemy.)
Coming from painting Skaven, it was quite refreshing to have a complete unit at 19 models!

More pics below.

White Lion champion
Standard bearer
Standard Bearer
Three White lions. Gems here were just gloss varnish over a dark green.
Next up? 

I'd like to go to a single model (probably a Prince) and then 1 or 2 mounted heroes (a Prince and a Mage). This is because I have 8 Silver Helms done from my first attempt at the army. From what I hear running these 3 x 3 is a good balance of offence and size, while still allowing me to push a mounted hero in the 2nd file (protecting them from attacks back). It will be fun to run a unit of cavalry for the first time next time I field this army!



Saturday, January 24, 2015

High Elves in battle - first experiences - and lessons!

Today I uploaded some photos of my recently completed Great Eagles and Archmage to my High Elves page and hope to add the finishing touches to 20 White Lions of Chrace. 

While uploading those, I was reminded of my recent first try out with the High Elves at a friendly game of Triumph and Treachery for Warhammer Fantasy last week, so I thought I would share some initial impressions of pointy-eared do gooders, and Triumph and Treachery itself.

Those of you familiar with this WFB supplement will know that you usually use an allied mercenary unit. In the game we played, we went with a 1,200 point core army, and a 300 point allied force.

I went with Elves and an allied force of Skaven

High Elves in action:

My army list looked like this:

+++ High Elves 1200 (1197pts) +++

+ Lords (270pts) +
Archmage [High Magic, Wizard Level 4]
····Ironcurse Icon, Talisman of Preservation

+ Heroes (134pts) +
Noble, Heavy armour, BSB
····Shield of the Merwyrm,Sword of Might

+ Core (300pts) +
30x Spearman, Full command

+ Special (303pts) +
21 White Lions of Chrace with full command.

+ Rare (190pts) +
x2 Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower
x1 Great Eagle

Allied mercenary force: Skaven (299 points)
Plague priest (level 1 wizard), flail
20 Plague Monks (full command + Plague Banner)

Yes, I could have gone with 2 Warplightning cannons and a Plague Claw catapult, but I wanted a choppy unit and a bit of Plague magic. Also, I was a bit worried that because you have to completely destroy a unit to get points, anything that I partially destroyed with cannons would then be easy pickings for my enemy.

In short, Triumph and Treachery rules are a big break from regular Fantasy, and make for a lot of fun. Plenty of backstabbing, treachery and bribery ensue as you try to destroy your enemies, rack up kills for money, and draw cards that you can play at key moments, potentially altering the course of the game. For more information about Triumph and Treachery, visit Games Workshop

And what about the High Elves? 

The entire army was new to me, and what a difference from using Skaven... FEW models in a unit, few UNITS on the table, you almost feel...naked (ugh!)
...a feeling that warmachines are weak. Yeah, Eagle Claw bolt throwers sound strong, but they didn't do anything for me in this game that's for sure!
...yes, it sucks to refuse a challenge, have your character at the back and NOT be able to use his leadership! (Unlike Skaven of course)

Shield of Saphery:
Cast any High Magic spell and buff the unit the Archmage is in? Sweet!.
Probably not great performers usually, my spearmen managed to stay in combat with a unit of 4-5 Beasts of Nurgle (?) for the whole game without running thanks to a ward save of 3+/ 4+ every turn. 

With a level 4 wizard, and most of the High Magic spells not being too difficult to cast, you can effectively buff the Wizard's unit each turn. Useful with Spearmen for sure!

High Leadership:
What can I say, High Elf units have Leadership that Skaven can only dream of! 8? 9? that means that even without a character in the unit you can stay in battle (most of the time). Awesome!

+1 on your magic rolls
Every time my Archmage cast a spell from High Magic he got a +1 to his roll. Not to be sniffed at - at least once it helped me make a dispel I wouldn't have gotten otherwise! 

(That must be a word right?) White Lions of Chrace - great weapons? Strength 6? Initiative 5? 
'nuff said. 
(Of course, I didn't get to use mine as they ran away from a fight. Guess what idiot forgot that White Lions are stubborn!!)

Looking forward to using the High Elves some more in the future, especially as in this game I didn't bring any HElf toys (Book of Hoeth!)


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

High Elf Archmage and Great Eagles - Finished!

After being reminded that I had never used my High Elves, I delved into my box of parts a couple of weeks ago to look for some "Quick Wins". These are single or small numbers of models that would add significantly to the small force I already owned and wanted to field last weekend for a game of Triumph and Treachery.

By the time of game 2 weeks later, I had painted:
x1 Mage (used as a High Mage)
x2 Great Eagles.
x15 additional High Elf Spearmen.
x20 White Lions.

(You might not think that x20 White Lions and x15 Spearmen are a "Quick Win", but 35 models wouldn't even make a decent sized unit of Skaven, and these two units alone form the core AND special sections of the army list!)

In this update, I'll focus a bit on the Mage and the Eagles.

High Elf Archmage.

I used my army colours of Warlock Purple. It is difficult to tell from these pictures, but the glass globe and gems have been gloss varnished.

Unlike most of my models where I just let the wash gather in the eyes, I had a go at painting eyes for this model. Although difficult to see in these images they turned out better than I had hoped. 

I watched this video on "How to Paint Eyes" by AG Productions on YouTube to help me get started:

Great Eagles.

x2  Great Eagles (only one pictured below)

These are the Games Workshop direct models, so they are metal. It was a bit of a challenge to assemble them as the glue I had took a long time to fix the wings in place (they are really heavy!) and I had to use Green Stuff to cover some gaps (I've heard the Lord of the Rings plastic eagles are a lot easier to work with and look better!)

 As I was in a big hurry, I simply did undercoats, Agrax Earthshade washes and then drybrushing. I had my first bad experience with Agrax Earthshade, (in a good few years of using GW washes) which was that it dried glossy! (I think this was because I used too much, OR because I did a second wash of the same colour before the first wash was dry? You have been warned)

Either way it ruined what I was helpful would be a good model! 
As I was out of time (just an hour or two from having to leave for the game) I did more drybrushing all over the model to make the shiny parts less obvious. Overall I think it worked and the Eagles are fine to use.

I use broken up wine corks to make the rocks!

In my next post, I will include some pictures of the White Lions.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

2015 - the year of the Rat? (and a look back...)

...officially of course, it is the year of the Sheep (at least here in Asia!), but there are good signs that it could be quite a year for the Skaven too! 

First, take a look at this forthcoming new Skaven Model (courtesy of SpikeyBIts) from a forthcoming White Dwarf:

The full line-up can be found on the GW website and it certainly is a major one for the Skaven. The return of Thanquol, "End Times" stuff, and lots of new models. I like the look of these Verminlord models (although this close to Christmas, the bells on his horns remind me of tree ornaments...) and would think about picking one up IF the rules make the Verminlord competitive this time around. The previous rules meant that most people never took one (overpriced and under-powered). 

I might still take my "Counts as" Verminlord, Skar-Scath, to see how the rules perform.

My Skaven and other animals:

2014 was a slow year for painting, as I lost my painting mojo every so often but I still got a variety of units done. Here are some highlights from last year.

The Skaven horde of Squeek Vermintide as it is now is shown below (as of Jan 1st 2015). I didn't paint all of these last year, but I thought it would be interesting to see the horde laid out.

2014 Painting list:


Stormvermin Reinforcements (20) 

Magnet Madness! 
I decided to magnetize more units, so went for Goblin Skaven Slaves, Stormvermin, and Clanrats Bunker Unit (110 models). I used "dime store" sticky magnetic sheet for a total cost of around 4 US dollars. 
I also marked all my movement trays so I know which units go on them securely (I aligned the magnets on the troops before sticking them to the unit bases so they would give a good magnetic grip):

"G.S" is for "Goblin Slaves"
Yes, I cut out a couple of hundred of these 20mm x20mm magnetic bases.


Scratch-built Warlitter: Great fun to build!


Tealight explosions and Vehicle Markers for 40K.


Warhammer 40K Black Templars Stormtalon:

Black Templars Armoured column (reinforcements):

x2 Whirlwinds and x1 Landraider


Although I still haven't got an actual game in, I keep coming back to Dust Tactics models, slowly putting them in order.

Dust Tactics Allied Reinforcements:
"The Boss" and his command unit...


 The Axis infantry made it off the shelf and onto the painting table.
Dust Tactics Axis Units - The Axis are coming!:


Black Templars Sternguard.
I loved painting these guys. Not only did I really like the models, but assembling them was fun (as well as challenging, as I was using scavenged parts) and I think they came out as my best Black Templars to date. Photo extravaganza here.


Excited by a haul of Black Templars, I slowly went to work on individual models, rather than whole units. I find this much more interesting than working on whole units of Space Marines, which can feel like a bit of a slog. Individual models tend to have more flavor and detail (both real and imagined)

Black Templars Dreadnought - Brother Luthor, a Drop-pod and a Chaplain.

The outlook for 2015?
-Painting High Elves (I have some models that could be painted to expand my current High Elf army)
- Expanding Squeek's Skaven Horde (Plague Censer Bearers, Globadiers and more core just to name a few that still need to be painted.)
- Playing more Warhammer (Skaven and High Elves)
- Playing some 40K. Will I ever get to use the Black Templars on the battlefield.
- Getting in some games of Dust Warfare.
- Expanding on my X-Wing starter set and getting some games in.

Wishing everyone a healthy and happy 2015!



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