The NAF have once again asked me to paint up a team for the GT next year. That’s not all that far away so I am again making a thread to gather feedback and show progress of the team.
Since 2012 the NAF have been commissioning me to paint up a team as a prize to give away at their Grand Tournament. In previous years this was awarded to the winner, but in 2017 it was changed to being randomly won by a coach who was taking part in the tournament.
Originally I was asked to avoid the joke teams (goblins, halflings, ogres and vampires), but with the change from winner’s prize to random allocation this restriction has been waived.
I always have a few team ideas mulling over in the back of my head and every new release from GW has a critical eye for conversion possibilities to GW. I like that the NAF give me complete freedom and some of my best work came about from these.
Khemri with Ramtut – 2012
Norse Dwarfs with Grim/Wilhelm and Flint/Helmut– 2013
High Elves with Soaren – 2014
Lizardmen with Slibli and Hemlock– 2015
Slann with Lottabottol and Quetzal Leap – 2016
Skaven with Fezglitch and Glart Jnr - 2017
One consideration has always been teams that I can paint stars for. I was trying to complete all 57 crp stars and so far GW have added another 8 on top of this in the 2 deathzone books.
I have already completed an Amazon team a few years back using the Mordheim amazon gang with some bits from 40k dark eldar and other sources.
GW has long suffered from a lack of female models, but that does seem to be improving now and some really fantastic sculpts have come out recently. Amongst these were the new Escher Necromunda gangers which have a lot of potential. Not only do they have cool dynamic poses but they also have multiple head and arm options. Their clothing looks a lot like sports equipment, I like this idea over repeating the more traditional primitive style the amazons usually sport.
I would need to remove the weapons and tech stuff from the models and add some shoulder pads and other armour. Them being made of plastic makes it easier to carve off details I don’t’ want and I have accumulated a good collection of bits over the years to add armour or hands in a blood bowl style. I also have the sisters of silence who would be good models to base the blitzers on. The biggest difficulty is finding hands that work with these models and on top of that the slimness of these limbs make pinning them very difficult.
Outstanding stars – Bertha, Helmut and Karla (new star)
I already have a Bertha model ready to paint and she would have an added bonus of allowing the team to be used as normal humans. I have a 2nd edition Helmut as well but he does not fit the style of the team, so I’d probably convert a ganger to be wielding a chainsaw. The good thing about secret weapon stars is it is pretty easy to make them obvious by adding the weapon. Karla is just a flashy looking human female Blitzer and would suit the style of the team and could double as a blitzer and team captain.
I’ve been wanting to do a Norse team for a while, based on the AoS Bloodreaver models. These have a lot of cool poses and already have a look very similar to what I envisage for Norse. I would need to remove any overtly chaotic/khornate decoration and add some blood bowl armour and equipment from the new plastic humans. I also have a selection of space wolf heads that will be perfect for making the team a little harrier and less cultist.
Space wolves would also be the source of ulfwereners with the wulfen taking on that role and just needing some minor changes to make their armour a bit less high-tech. The *name* would make a cool blitzer along with the Warhammer quest barbarian. I was struggling to come up with ideas for the runners and throwers but the new *name* models have ideal poses for that.
One thing that does slightly put me off is that I have already done the Norse Dwarfs, on the other hand either this team or the Ogres are the team furthest along of those listed here, which would require the least work to get going.
Outstanding stars – Helmut, Boomer, Icepelt and Karla (new star)
I have models for the 3 crp stars ready to paint and already completed Wilhelm in a colour scheme that I like. Helmut and Boomer are just the standard models, but Icepelt is a pretty cool conversion.
Karla could be optional if I have the time as I see her more suiting amazons or humans.
I had not considered ogres in previous years as they are a tier 3 team, with that restriction gone they can be added to the running. Ogres and vampires are the only 2 teams I have yet to do out of the 24”official” ones. This adds another incentive for me as that would bring me one step closer to completing the crp roster and I need to get a move on before GW add more stars or even new teams!
I have already got all the parts I need for the ogres, combining the bodies of the dragon ogres with the legs from the ogryns. I have also sourced a bunch of parts from other blood bowl big guys or 40k and fantasy models to add extra armour and decoration.
The trickier part is the snotlings, I have some of the 2nd edition models and they are pretty cool. No other range for them that I have seen has really caught my eye. To fill out the full squad of 10 snotlings I could hunt for all BB versions, despite some of them being rather expensive. Or get some normal snotlings and add armour pieces to them.
One good thing is that I have become a lot more competent at sculpting with greenstuff in the past few years. Getting my hands on tools for smoothing out surfaces has made all the difference. This will allow me to more easily reposition the ogres and add equipment to the snotlings.
Outstanding stars – Bertha, Brick and Grotty
Another advantage of this team is that I have 2 stars that are perfect for it and they are undercoated ready to paint. I am rather proud of the conversions I did for these especially Bertha, though she could also be used for the Amazons too.
The new plastic elfs from GW are some great looking models and come with modular parts. I’ve already got plenty of dark eldar and harlequin bits that have potential for being used with Blood Bowl but they tended to have sci-fi backpacks and lacked suitable hands. The good thing about this team is that their arms and heads are modular, which allows for the switching of these between the models with little or no conversions required. I’ve compared them to the harlequin models I already have and they are of a similar scale, even the masks fit with a small amount of work. That would allow me to do some very cool leaping poses for the catchers or blitzers.
I could do a team similar to this year where I took the new skaven and added conversions for extra variety within the team. It depends if people like a completely unique team like the khemri or slann or prefer standard GW models with some extra variety and a few showpiece stars or big guys.
Outstanding stars – Jordell, Valen and Lucien (new stars)
One issue with this team is the lack of good stars. I do have a nice Jordell model ready to paint but would struggle to come up with ideas for the Swift twins. The illustration does not give me much to go on, though I guess I could make them an extra fancy blitzer and thrower in the same way I did for Soaren and the high elves in 2014
The new plastic elves could be used as wood elves too, but I prefer the more feral aspect that GW gave them in 6th edition WHFB. I like the idea of them being the elf version of norse and the entire team themed around wardancers. All of them bare chested, leaping about and covered in celtic style tattoos to suggest a team of agile warriors rather than the wimpy treehuggers that went before. Wood elves can be reasonably bashy with a tree and using their agility to pick and choose when to fight.
I do have the torsos from the wild riders that could be a good basis for the team. Sadly these are a bit slim to combine with the plastic elves, but certain bits like the shoulder pads would still fit. I could combine them with the harlequin and dark eldar bits I have collected over the years but may struggle to find enough suitable hands.
I quite like the idea of using Avatar of Ynead as a treeman. This team would certainly need more work than the elfs, but would also be more unique.
Outstanding stars – same as pro elfs, I have a good looking Jordell model ready. For the Swift twins one advantage would be that I could use a standard elf blitzer and thrower with maybe a head swap and some extra decoration. They’ll look so different from the rest of the team anyway that less effort will be needed to make them stand out as star players.