With summer being very much over I have had less reason venture outside into the scary real world, giving me more to spend on BB.
The majority of my hobby time has been throwing myself back into the world of converting and painting miniatures. Over a lazy summer I acquired lots of models and bits bringing me closer to my quest to create and paint all the star players. 2 of the trickiest were Lottabottol and Quetzal Leap, there is little info on them or Slann in general and they have some odd skills. Eventually I found that Khorne Heralds make a great basis for converting both of these players and showed some progress pics of them in my last blog.
This reminded me of my other aim, to paint up all 24 NAF approved teams, at present just Ogres, Vampires and Slann were outstanding. Ogres and Vampires are tier 3 and 2 respectively so off limits for the NAF Championship prize, but Slann were ok. I had plans to do them last year, but taking on a lot of projects at once meant I had insufficient time to build and convert a team from scratch that would be good enough for the NAF Champ. Instead I went with my lizardmen idea as I already had them planned out and all the bits.
After massively scaling back my projects since that I am better able to mull over plans for this team. The tournament is not till spring next year which also gives me sufficient time to do them justice.
A primary main concern with this team is that GW haven’t made any Slann models in decades much less an “official” BB team. I wanted to ensure that the 3 positionals were easy to differentiate. I decided to go with the idea of making them different species, nothing as drastic as Lizardmen, but there would be obvious physical differences between the linemen, catchers and blitzers. I would also have to ensure that there are a lot of uniform and physical similarities to tie them all together as a team.
For the linemen I chose Plaguebearers as they had a solid and static pose that I thought suited the poor sods who get stuck on the LOS to get punched in the face. These guys were more toad than frog, the warts were kept, I do still need to cover up many of the gaping wounds in their bodies.
I have already posted early pics on TFF and some have said they found these guys look a little too nurgely still. Part of the issue is that they have a fair bit of greenstuff work to go. I have a test model that I will be using for colour schemes, so cut all the warts and pustules off 1 side of his body. What does everyone think, smooth, warts and all, somewhere inbetween?
In addition their heads were ideal starting points for the conversion and some even had gill like ears. I drilled holes in their heads and filled the cavity with eyes from the chaos spawn, their single eye was replaced with a nose from genestealers.
I added loin cloths from Ork nobz, choosing a similar style for them as these would be another difference between the players. The last thing added was kroot shoulder pads.
I was pretty happy with these players and started work on gluing them together, filling gaps and sculpting details. But when I started looking at the catchers I was concerned that the AV8 players looked a little bare, only being equipped with shoulder pads and loin cloths. The catchers would have the same amount of armour aside from having just a single shoulder pad.
Luckily having been gaming for 25+ years does have its advantages and I looked out my old 3rd edition copy of Warhammer Armies and turned to the Slann section. They did have elite choices named jaguar, eagle and crocodile warriors with armour and decorations made from skins or feathers. I did consider going down this route as these quite nicely fit the positions but wanted something closer to traditional blood bowl armour. However not too samey such as the armour shown in the 2nd edition blood bowl star players book.
The picture of the normal Slann warrior had some very interesting looking armour and I thought that had a lot of potential. The linemen got a chestplate from the tomb kings skeletons, this helped to hide the rather flat bellies I had given them after filling in the wounds the plaguebearers were modelled with. I also added knee pads from 5th edition humans and am working on giving them elbow pads too.
The blitzers were to be more aggressive and dynamic, they have an odd role in the team with some unique starting skills and a plethora of development options thanks to general, agility and strength access on normal rolls. Two of them were in a running/blitzing pose and the other 2 in more of a marking pose, ready to use diving tackle on some unfortunate catcher.
Bloodletters were well suited to this role, being sleaker than the plaguebearers but also suggesting a wiry strength. The cannon of khorne came with 2 normal bloodletters and these gave me a lot more options when it came to poses as well as right hands not holding swords.
They got loin cloths from dark eldar as they are a little more savage looking than the other players. Since their shoulders were larger I switched shoulder pads to those from chaos marauders. Their heads were the same as the linemen but I chose those with mouths open bearing their sharp teeth. I did consider replacing their back crest with a more humanoid spine similar to the plaguebearers, but thought this looked good and vicious I could paint it red for blitzers too. Besides the stars already had this crest.
As with the linemen the Blitzers needed more armour to represent their AV8 compared to the catchers. I added thigh armour and forearm plates to the blitzers taken from 2nd edition dark elves. I have since found a better and larger forearm guard and have been upgrading them all to those. The catchers may get the other one on a single arm. I am in the process of giving them helmets made from greenstuff with a topknot in homage to the 2nd edition BB Slann illustration. I definitely want to do this for all the blitzers, but could do it for the linemen and possibly the catchers too, maybe with different styled/coloured decorations.
The catchers were next on the list, made from Kroot warriors. I had originally intended to use genestealer heads for them, but these were looking a bit large on their bodies and didn’t fit in as well with the rest of the team. Instead I switched to the same plaguebearer heads, though did select heads with open mouths but with less fangs than the blitzers.
Since the kroot had heads with necks modelled on them I cut these down and attached the hollow plaguebearer heads to them which saved me the necessity of sculpting necks.
Being the weakest and most lightweight players they got loin cloths from eldar dire avengers.
These are still being posed, I want them to be the most energetic looking players so am modelling them in catching poses. They have Ghoul arms with the shoulder blades and bones through the flesh removed as these are ideal. These arms were suitable wiry and open handed which helped me pose them as if ready to receive a pass or jumping for the ball. Rather annoyingly the kroot legs are pretty static so i will need to make cut them up to give the impression the players are jumping or running.
I’m debating how much equipment to add, they are definitely getting at least 1 shoulder pad, maybe the same style as the linemen or the wight pads they have now. I could also add knee and elbow pads, the smaller forearm guards, or catching mitts to them.
I did give them ruffs as that is something the warrior illustration had above as did the BB 2nd edition drawing of the Slann. It adds some decoration but doesn't look too heavy.