Saturday 27 June 2020

Age of Sigmar: Kurnoth Hunters with Scythes TO-DONE!!!

Hi folks,

This month has been a little rough, so haven't been able to do as much as I wanted to on the hobby front. Originally, I had intended to run an Age of Sigmar army challenge with two of my mates. Real life hit us pretty hard, though, so even though we have been making some progress, we are going to run it over a longer period. These Kurnoth Hunters are part of that challenge, as well as being my entry to a local painting competition.

I have really been blown away by the Sylvaneth. The sculpts are just stunning, though that brings with it an incredible challenge to construct and paint. With so many stylistic motifs, it is hard not to have a really busy pallet that makes for a busy model. Because of this, I have constantly found myself searching for colours that give a similar appearance but not quite, or metallic equivalents of other pigments I am using. Warm contrasting with cold, light with dark, metallic with chromatic and spinning the colour wheel. It never ends!

At 2 am this morning I finished the base construction for these hunters, then loaded the fire with more wood and crashed on the lounge with my new puppy. I managed to wake up early enough to paint the crystals and mushrooms, then dropped them off at my local Warhammer Store for judging. The other entries on display were all awesome, made even better by the support I know the community has given each other during this competition. They really are a bunch of excellent human beings! 

Here is a closer look at my project:


The Huntmaster comes with a different head (with weird antler things), a style of head I intentionally avoided using on the Treelord Ancient. I really stressed over whether I was going to use it or not, but decided I could use it to represent the Realm of Metal I have chosen for my army. As such, I painted them bronze/copper, transmuting into a crystalline copper compound, to match the bases. I thought that perhaps the longer a Sylvaneth lives in this realm, the more they transmute to match their surroundings. I like the concept and the blend I achieved, but really missed the extra leaves I could have had. I love my pastel green leaves!

The Scarred:

This model was profoundly chewed to pieces just before I started painting it. I spent three hours rebuilding his back so that the pieces would fit back together to form a whole model. I used some spare branches from Durthu to replace all of the foliage lost; I had lost all of it. The final proof of the rebuild was when I managed to get the wrist join to meet on the left arm. All things considered, it turned out really well, if not 100% perfect. The back is... interesting. It looks different to the others, but I included some neat circular shapes and spirals for some consistency. This guy has been through a lot, which adds to the story I think.

The Unsullied:

I really enjoyed painting this figure because it was simpler than the other two. No weird head and no risk that it wasn't going to all fit together at the end. 

I'll let you know the results of the competition when I find out, but at the least these were incredibly fun and challenging to paint. I'll definitely do another three at some point, to make the most out of those scythes and beautiful sculpts. For now though, I am very glad that they are finished and ready for a good nap!

See you across the table,


Saturday 13 June 2020

Age of Sigmar: Sisters of the Thorn TO-DONE!!!

Hi folks,

This project has been on my mind (and my paint table) for about 2 years now. It all started about 18 months ago when my daughter Penny and I ducked into my local Warhammer store to pick up some paints. Usually she ducks off when I start talking to the store manager to check out the display cabinets, but this time she scanned the shelves. She came back to me at the end and said she thinks there is something that she would like "one day" and made a bee-line for the Sisters. We had a bit of a discussion about how expensive they were and how hard they would be to put together and paint; maybe something for when she gets older. 

Over the next couple of weeks she started talking about them every now and then, finally making a proposition. She said she would pay for them with her Birthday money and I could paint them for her and together we could come up with an animal rescue game using them and a suitable bad guy (more about that later...). I thought the idea was really sweet, so I went halves with her. I started working on them straight away and they were hard. We got a new puppy and some got chewed. I had existential level anxiety about stuffing them up and disappointing my daughter. It was a rollercoaster ride.

I finished them just after "bedtime" last night, and the kids slinked out of their room to take a look. Penny seems very excited about them and had been looking over my shoulder every time I worked on them. Hopefully this ends up being one of those things she remembers about her Dad. To finish off the game pieces, I'll be working on a unicorn from Bones miniatures, and Oscar has selected some other City of Sigmar figures he would like me to paint as the second team (he has a thing about griffins...). At the end of the day, I guess this is my passion and sharing that with my kids (even if only as a gift that sits on the shelf) was always inevitable. 

See you across the table,


P.S. The hair was her idea :-)

Thursday 4 June 2020

Hunting for Basing Material

Hi folks,

If you have been following the blog for a while you will know that a lot of my units have nature-themed bases: forests, grasslands, wastelands and sand dunes. I use some artificial products for basing, such as flock, static grass, grass clumps and textured paints from Citadel, but I also use a lot of natural material. With a big Age of Sigmar Army painting challenge on the horizon, I went on a bushwalk a while ago to see what I could find.

The track entrance, 2 minutes from home.
The track entrance, two minutes from home.

Generally speaking, the most useful natural materials are things like sand, fine rocks, seed pods and wood pieces. So I had these in mind as I walked. In particular, Sgt Waz had asked for some wood pieces for his lion (top), which may or may not make it into his Old Dogs/New Tricks project. 

I also had snakes on my mind. It felt somewhat morbid to pack my compression bandage, but my wife and I always see snakes late in the season. Our assumption is that the juveniles are all getting too big and moving away to establish their own territory. The two I am most worried about are the eastern brown snake (quite common; we have seen ~ 4 since moving in 2 years ago, the most recent being the day before on the same track), and the death adder (good luck seeing one even if you step on it). Eastern browns are generally accepted as the 2nd most venomous land snake, and death adders have the word Death in their name for a reason 😄   I should be worried about tiger snakes as well, but haven't seen any in this area yet.

Eastern Brown Snake: King of the Nope Ropes 

Death Adder: Shneaky Shnek Supreme

During my wonderings I collected a small amount of sand and small rocks, just for base texture. I also found some nice spiky seed pods that will be good for spicing up some terrain pieces. I only took a few that had already fallen off the tree and had emptied their seeds. This patch of bush in particular was impacted heavily by fire two years ago and is still in the process of regeneration.

At the top of the rock formations I found some wood pieces that would be good for large scenic bases. It was sad to see a venerable old tree, one that has been much loved by the community for generations, had not made it through the summer storms. Weakened by fire and drought, this tree would have copped some huge wind blasts when the rain finally came at the end of our fire season. I have never seen storms so big.

A local Tyranid

On the way out I picked up a few choice pieces of wood chip from the carpark and some hoop pine leaves, which I use for my Sylvaneth to represent dead leaf litter.


All things considered, a very successful basing material hunt! I hope you have enjoyed this little foray through my corner of the world. It is beautiful and terrifying. Now... if I could just get to the basing stage on one of my projects... 😂

See you across the table,


Monday 1 June 2020

Age of Sigmar: Army Challenge

Hi folks,

For the month of June I will be participating in an army painting challenge with two of my best mates, Sgt Waz and Wade. Between us, we have about 80 years of gaming experience, which makes us all feel really old but happy. We will be starting new Age of Sigmar armies with the detailed challenge brief being:

"How about... 10 gribblies, some medium gribblies and a boss gribbly?"

Over the next couple of posts I will introduce the guys and their projects. You probably all know me pretty well, so we can skip that step (or chat online). I will be delving a little deeper into Sylvaneth, with the Branchwych and Dryads from the Start Collecting Box I recently purchased, as well as a small unit of Kurnoth Hunters. The Kurnoth Hunters will also be entered in a painting competition at my local GW towards the end of June!

I am leaning towards giving the Hunters scythes for the extra reach (more than the rend). Eventually I'll add another three to the unit as well, otherwise swords would be the better option I think. Scythes will also tie in nicely with the Branchwych.

I will be painting them in the same scheme as my Treelord Ancient, which I recently finished:

Let's see if these old dogs can learn some new tricks 🐺

See you across the table,