After finishing the NAF GT Wood Elves I have been taking things a little easier. Due to illness and moving house I fell behind with the elves and had to rush them a bit, though thankfully only the display base suffered and I only had time to do 1 star.
That being said there were a few projects that I had taken on and needed to finish by the end of the year to leave enough time to complete the NAF GT 2019 team.
The first of these was a star player for the TFF Legacy team
. Every year members of the TFF forum pick a team and colour scheme and people volunteer to paint up a player for it. The team is then randomly won by one of the participants. I really like painting star players, but if not doing them for a specific team then they end up being a bit useless. That means these kind of events are ideal and often pose interesting challenges with some unique colour schemes.
This year it was vampires and the scheme was greyscale with small amounts of red for blood. I chose Count Luthor as I’d long wanted to paint up a Lahmian themed vampire team and had already converted Isabella Von Carstein. Mostly due to really liking the model, but the fluff reasoning was that if vampires can turn into wolves, bats and ghosts then changing sex would be easy.
Painting in nothing but shades of grey was something I’d not done before, luckily Vampires do suit this with very pale skin and black being a common colour for them. I’d recently been expanding my paint collection and had a good selection of both warm and cold greys to use.
The hardest part was painting the metallic parts, I find NMM hard enough with gold and it is really difficult with silver. In the end I managed to make those bits look ok, but not much like metal.
The model was turning out quite well, but was just too dull to represent the biggest and flashiest star of the team. I ended up breaking the rules a bit and painting the underskirt of the model dark red. This gave the model a rather cool neo-noir look with the red drawing the eye, perfect for a star player.
Another project I had agreed to work on was to paint up some more skaven stars to fill out the NAF GT team. I’d already done Glart Jnr and Fezglitch, which just left Skitter, Hakflem and Headsplitter from crp. Morg was left off as he wasn’t a skaven as were the new stars that have been added recently.
I completed Skitter late last year using Deathmaster Snikch and have already shown him. Forgeworld had released a new resin model for Hakflem, but I really did not like him. The new plastics from GW have been really nice whilst the Foreworld stuff has been hit or miss. Luckily their skaven booster was great and it contained 2 gutters.
I used one of these and stuff from my bits box to make my own Hakflem, giving him a 2nd head and extra pair of arms. Modelling his prehensile tail was tricky due to the size of the regular tails on normal skaven. I had to use the Stormfiends to get something of suitable size. The plan had been to have him leaping in the air with the tail being used to attach him to the base, but it didn’t look quite right.
He was painted in the same way as the normal gutters, his physical characteristics were enough to make it obvious he was Hakflem. Though he did get a bit more armour than the normal gutters on his arms.
Headsplitter was the model that gave me the most trouble. I had already painted up the original 3rd edition model many years ago, but was not a huge fan of him and he certainly didn’t fit in with the rest of the team
The difficult thing was to find a way to differentiate him from the normal rat ogre. For that I’d used the Island of Blood model with an added shoulder pad and the masked Storm Fiend head. I was really happy with how he looked, which made it a challenge to find a model to top him since stars should look a bit special. I was not a fan of the Forgeworld rat ogre and had to look elsewhere. A bad habit of mine is to buy models that I think look cool, often scouring e-bay for individual models if it was from an expensive kit. This was the case with the screaming bell model which had a rat ogre bell ringer.
The model was kneeling on the platform, holding onto it with one arm and ringing the bell with the other. I thought with a bit of work he could be adapted to be in a classic American football pose, crouched forward ready to leap into action.
I hacked both arms off at the shoulder swapping one with the other island of blood rat ogre and repositioning the other. A lot of pinning and mucking about with blu tac later I had a very rough idea of what the model would look like. I’d already used the bell ringer’s head for Fezglitch, but was able to swap in that of another Stormfiend. A dragon ogre shoulder pad was added to help hide the gap where his arm was moved. His left hand was from the modular plastic WHFB rat ogres.
When it came to finalising his pose I just couldn’t get things to look right, even after hacking both legs off at the knees to allow more flexibility in repositioning. The main issue was his left arm which would always look wrong no matter how I chopped and placed it.
In the end I went back to my bits box to search for alternative parts and found an ogre irongut arm which was a much better fit. It wouldn’t be suitable for the pose I had in mind but did inspire a new idea. This arm was held close to his body and when combined with the leftover hand from the new plastic BB troll it looked like he was holding a football close to his chest running on all 4 almost like a gorilla. This fit with the huge arms and stubby legs the models have. Headsplitter has AG3 and I liked the idea of a big guy ball carrier running whilst holding the ball.
This new pose looked a lot more natural, I did have to do some more sculpting; adding knee pads with straps, adding muscle where his legs had been chopped off, filling the gaps where his shoulder had been moved and sculpting fur on his back, neck and legs to hide some more joins. I had planning on having both feet on the ground, but this new pose had his left leg raised and I had to sculpt the foot to make it look more natural. His tail and accompanying armour plate were taken from a stormfiend.
When it came to painting I used the same colour scheme and technique as the rest of the team. The starting point for his skin was a darker shade of brown and I went with black fur to make him a little more imposing. I did have some concern that the difference between Headsplitter and the normal rat ogre would not be obvious enough. But reasoned the dynamic versus static pose combined with him holding the ball was enough. The few large bits of armour he wore got a bit more in the way of white edging as I really like how that looks.
His base was made in the same way as the rest of the team. I didn’t have the display base as a reference which meant I had to leave it is plain stone slabs.
This is only the 2nd crp team I have fully completed (ignoring Morg), the other being the savage orcs I did a while back. These are also 2 of the teams I am most proud of, both in terms of painting and converting.
This brings the total number of crp stars I need to do down to 11 (counting Brick and Grotty as 2). However GW have been bringing out rules for new stars at a pretty impressive rate, 17 so far if you count the Swift twins as 2. Aside from Glart and soon the Swift twins Forgeworld have yet to release sculpts of these new stars. Though there are classic 2nd edition models for Bilerot and Withergrasp.
This is a mixed bag, on the one hand if multiple stars get added every year then I will struggle to ever paint them all up. But on the other if these stars don’t get new models any time soon then it gives me free reign to create my own versions of them. Of course if I don’t like the official version of a star I can always make my own like Hakflem.
The first of the new stars I converted was Guffle. He’s a nurgle player with a huge mouth in his stomach and the Putrid Blightkings have a model that is ideal as the basis for a conversion. His body and legs needed little changed, but I did model the long tongue to be wrapped round a football. GW had showcased some sketches of Nurgle players including Guffle and I really liked the head of that model. I combined 2 of the blightking heads to get something resembling that.
None of the arms of the blightkings really suited a Blood Bowl player as they were holding weapons and I wanted him to clearly be a player not a warrior with weapons chopped off. Having bought the BB boxed set I had the orc team lying about and their arms were the right size. I used one from a lineman and another from the thrower including shoulder pad for him. Even Orcs are cleaner than nurgle, which meant I added some pustules and wounds to them with greenstuff.
I’ve already done 2 nurgle teams, both of which I like and probably won’t do another anytime soon. If I can think of a good colour scheme or there is a legacy team I have time to take part in I can do him as a solo project. Otherwise he’ll sit in cabinet with the other dozen or so stars I’ve built but not had time/inspiration to paint.
One of the new Chaos stars is taken from the fantasy range, Scylla. He has a model already, but it is enormous and would be far too unwieldly to use on the pitch. However there was an earlier version of this character and his model was much smaller. I happened to have the original Scylla, I may even have got him in a sale back when GW used to have those. I had planned on selling him but luckily decided not to, reasoning he could be useful for conversions or spare parts.
He didn’t need a lot of work as big guys tend not to wear much in the way of armour or kit. It felt a bit lazy to just use the model as he was though. I added a loin cloth from the chaos chosen, his shoulder pad was from a juggernaut rider and I added greenstuff knee pads.
The model was from the old metal days, back when putting them together was a bit of a battle and he had 4 individual limbs. Quite a bit of sanding and filling was needed to get him to the fully assembled stage.
I’m not a huge fan of the new chaos warriors, but they do have conversion potential if combined with other kits. Chaos could be one of the teams I consider for the NAF GT 2019 teams.
Sadly that is the last of the fun modelling and painting I will be doing for a while. The next few months will be spent painting up the 2018 Fumbbl block dice. We’ve had a very warm and sunny few weeks in the UK recently which has meant I’ve been spending more time outside. That won’t last forever and I’m sure we’ll have plenty of grey evenings and weekends that I can use for painting.