Thorns of the Briar Queen

Alright, my Nightvault collection is now officially started, as I’ve finished the first warband, Thorns of the Briar Queen!

As I was building these models I couldn’t help but admire the quality of GW’s new kits. Virtually no mold lines to speak of, and the dynamic poses of the models with only 1-3 pieces is astounding. Like all Nighthaunt, they are intricate, and sadly the ghost with the plank strapped to his arm lost a finger at some point. Well, he’s a tortured soul, so what’s one digit..

Painting the gang was mostly enjoyable, though more time consuming than anticipated. Painting the robes, the rusty metal and the black ghost bits was actually really fast, but the rest of the details (granted, there wasn’t an impossible amount of them) bogged me down a bit.

As per usual, I used schemes and recipes borrowed from hobbyists much more talented than me. The Nighthaunt scheme is from Jeff Vader, as already tried out on my Imperial Skaven. The rusty metal is from RobPaintsModels, which I also used for my Sepulchral Guard, with the crucial difference that I didn’t ruin it with an all-over wash of Agrax this time. While I love the dirty robes, I think my favorite part of these models are the roses, the red spot color brings some much needed contrast to the otherwise quite drab scheme. There’s a couple of details that I’m not too chuffed about: the white could’ve been smoother at places, and I didn’t quite know what to do with the diamonds on the Queen. They’re quite small details though, so I guess it’s OK..

I’ll also enter the Briar Queen and Varclav the Cruel (below) to Azazel’s monthly challenge, Jewel of July. They’re not big heroes, but as minor ones are eligible too, they’ll be my submission. I would’ve wanted to include Stormsire Cursebreaker as well, but that was a bit too ambitious. Well, I’ll just have to see if he’ll fit August’s challenge 🙂

I think I’ll take a short break from painting now, and get back to building a couple of models. I recently got my ebay bits package, which allows me to start working on some new conversions that I’ve been looking forward to. Building might also be a little more tolerable than painting, as we’re feeling the heat wave in Finland as well..

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From the Archives: Shadowpike Ruins

I’m hard at work painting the Thorns of the Briar Queen, but as they’re not done yet, I’ll have to showcase something else. Delving in the Underworlds, I feel Shadespire terrain is most appropriate!

If you’re familiar with Shadespire, you might know that official terrain, or “3D blocked hexes”, was never released. Many people seemed to scratchbuild them, however, and I’ve also found a couple of 3rd party terrain sets. The terrain pieces in this post are “Shadowpike Ruins Terrain Set” from Bitspudlo, and they can be used to fill every blocked hex in the two original Shadespire boards.

These were actually my first resin models. I had heard the horror stories about Forge World / Citadel Finecast and was a bit wary of buying them, but as the models looked great in the pictures and the price was right, I decided to take the plunge. I’m happy that I did, as the quality pretty much perfect! I shaved the base edges a bit, but that was it. I’m definitely more open to getting more resin models in the future. Probably not from Forge World though..

I painted the ruins with my goto sandstone recipe, the same I’ve used for basing pretty much all my models. In addition to the stone, there were plenty of details scattered about: chests, pots, lanterns, candles and of course some bones. Painting all of them took a bit of time, but it was fun to try out copper paints and verdigris.

When photographing the finished set I couldn’t resist taking some “cinematic” shots. Perhaps not the nicest of executions, technically speaking, but I liked the ideas. Can’t remember why I didn’t take photos with the Sepulchral Guard, as I had definitely finished them at the time.

So yeah, I’m very happy with these pieces, and they’ve been great on the game boards as well. I’ll probably end up getting the official terrain set for Nightvault at some point, even though I’m not crazy about all of the models, and the quality certainly isn’t as high as with these.

Imperial Skaven

Okay, back to miniatures! I’ve finished the Imperial Skaven that I built back in March. As I’ve discussed the modelling in the previous post, this one is dedicated to the painting and my thoughts on how these vermin fit the 40k universe.

Painting the Skaven was a lot of fun, and I tried to keep it “fast and loose” (with varying success..). I decided to go with the vanilla Cadian scheme, but make the clothes really dirty and the equipment scratched and worn. I started with the beige cloth, borrowing the idea from Jeff Vader’s brilliant Nighthaunt. The dirt was spattered on with a toothbrush, and afterwards the cloth was drybrushed and washed to give highlights/shadows, and also to further the weathered look.

As I’m doing this project as a sort of a Kill Team, I wanted to further differentiate the models, so identifying them would be easier. I decided to do this by painting the hoods in different colors. I reckoned yellow would suit the leader, and red would fit the flamer. As the plain colors looked a bit boring, I thought I’d do some simple freehand designs on them. Worked nicely enough, even if they’re a bit Orkish.. Good practice for the eventual Underworlds Gobbos!

I used a number of decals on these models, and it was great to see that they worked as they should, considering they were something like 10-20 years old (the “31” on one of the bases comes from a Dark Angels sheet in the Warriors of the Imperium box!). As you might have noticed, there are a couple of different designs on the shoulder pads. I’m not too familiar with the Imperial Guard identification conventions, and went mostly with what looks good to me. I also scribbled some “graffiti” on the models, to hint that the equipment might not be meant exactly new, or suitable for combat..

So what about the “lore”? These days, as far as I know, the Imperium considers nearly all abhumans as abomination to be shot on sight. Nothing wrong with that (narratively speaking), but this was too good a modelling opportunity to pass up. Back in the third edition days, there were mentions about various abhumans serving in the Guard, and I thought that even with the contemporary Imperial policies, there would be some backwater planets out there that would find it necessary to recruit outside the “pure” human genepool. Not many men would willingly fight with the filthy vermin, but they could be given any old equipment that happened to be in the storage and made surprisingly effective fighters, especially in confined spaces.

I enjoyed this little project very much, and have plans for many more figures. I’ve already ordered a couple of bits for the next models, but we’ll see when I get my hands on those. Anyway, my next task will be to delve back into the Underworlds, and to finally start the Nighvault models that have been sitting on my desk for almost a month!