Saturday, December 12, 2009

21 Guardians

It's been a while since I last posted but the flu and starting a new job will do that. Anyway I've been plugging away at a bunch of guardians I picked up cheap on eBay. I love eBay - if you are patient and smart you can pick up some great deals.

All except the weapon platform gunner are plastic and were originally painted in Biel Tan colours of green and white. I started off with a thin overcoat of Chaos Black. I had picked up some Ork Flesh Foundation paint and decided to try it out as the base colour. While I got good coverage, I wasn't happy overall with the colour. It was a bit too flat and I wasn't getting a good contrast when I started to apply the highlights. To solve this I applied a wash of green ink + Chaos Black and reapplied highlights. These guys are still WIP. I have to finish the weapons, gems, purple highlights and various other details.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Finished Alien Plant Terrain

As promised here are some shots of the alien plants I was working on. I started off by spraying them with black primer. Once that was dry I gave them a second coat with Model Master Medium Green (spray can). Below are some of the progress pics.

For the most part the look was achieved by dry brushing lighter shades of green for the plants or brown for the base.


  • Orkhide Shade
  • Goblin Green
  • Camo Green
  • Bilous Green


  • Graveyard Earth
  • Orc Brown (Desert Tan?)
  • Vomit Brown
  • Bleached Bone


  • Scab Red
  • Blood Red
  • Fiery Orange


  • Liche Purple
  • Liche Purple + Imperial Purple
  • Imperial Purple
  • Imperial Purple + Skull White

The spikes and roots where done with a bit more care - layering with thin coats. Some of the details on the base where picked out with Scorched Earth, Codex Grey and Ash Waste Grey.

Another view of the finished piece.



Thursday, October 22, 2009

Old Plastic, New Life

I have a set of old Eldar guardian plastics. These are the ones that came in 3 parts - the main body, lasgun with right forearm /hand and left hand molded as one piece and the base. The reason the hands/weapon came separate was so that the figures could be repackaged with the hands holding a shuriken catapult cast in metal which can be seen in this earlier post.

Anyway, what do you do with a bunch of lasgun holding guardians that you can't use? Convert them into Storm Guardians instead. Scrounging my bits box I have many Eldar arm and weapons frames. The conversion itself is a simple matter of removing the lasguns and arms altogether and swapping in new plastic arms with the appropriate weapons. Gotta love plastic minis.

Side by side of original mini with lasgun
and converted Storm Guardian.
For this particular figure I did even less surgery. I left the arms in thier original position and just removed the lasgun part. After cutting the lasgun away from the right hand, I added a shuriken pistol from the weapons frame and re-attached the right forearm at a slightly different angle. For the left side, I cut a fist from one of the arms from the Eldar arm frame and attached a sword from the weapons frame, cut the little nub off the arm and glued the fist in place. By adding different arm and weapons combinations and a head swap or two you end up with a diverse group.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dangerous Terrain!

Literally! I remember seeing these 'death-world' cacti in a White Dwarf a long time ago and have been meaning to put some together myself. They are very easy to make and inexpensive to boot.

Tools + Supplies

  • 1 pkg 2.5"/6.5 cm styrofoam balls
  • 1 pkg 1.5"/4 cm styrofoam balls
  • toothpics (the kind that's pointy on both ends)
  • ready to use wall filler (I used LePage Polyfix)
  • art board, stiff card board or masonite (I used art board)
  • assortment of small stones, pebbles, sand and other debris
  • sandpaper
  • hobby knife
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun

The first three items on the list came from a dollar store and you end up with enough for several projects. The biggest expenses on the list are the filler and art board but again the materials will last you many, many projects. I figure this particular project costs less than a buck.

Start by cutting some board to the appropriate shape. Bevel the the edges with a hobby knife and sand smooth. With a hobby knife shave one side of the ball flat. Attach the ball to the base using liberal amounts of hot glue. Add a smaller ball in a similar way by cutting one side flat and making a corresponding flat cut on the larger ball. Stick together using the hot glue gun. Next coat the entire piece (base and all) with a thinned layer of filler. I used an old wash brush. If there are any gaps between the balls or the base pack in some filler. While the filler is still wet add some rocks, pebbles, sand and debris. Let the filler dry a bit then using an old brush stipple (jab with the brush) the surface of the balls to add some texture.

Next use a toothpick to poke some guide holes into the balls. Break the ends off the tooth picks and insert into the guide holes. The length of the spike depends on the size of the ball for the half ball I used just the tip of the toothpick to represent an immature plant, while the spikes on the large ball stick out a lot farther representing a mature specimine. One note though, I really should have blunted the ends of the toothpicks by running them on some sandpaper but I was on a roll and didn't think of it.

I played around with the glue gun and came up with a couple of effects that I thought were cool. By carefully applying a blob of glue and then slowly teasing it out I created a root. By adding some smaller blobs the effect is pretty convincing. Also just applying simple blobs of glue creates another form of plant life or perhaps seedlings of the bigger ones. Once I get these painted up I'' post some pictures of the finished product.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Banshees WIP - Repair and Update

I had planned this post to be about painting my Howling Banshees. As seen above I decided not to strip them down and started off by applying a thin coat of Scorched Earth. However, when I took these initial photos I noticed a problem. Banshees are no longer armed with laspistols but instead carry shurikan pistols. Some basic weapon swaps to update the gals were in order.

For this I am going to need:
  • a cutting board or some other protection for the kitchen table
  • a pair of cutters
  • a file (or two)
  • Eldar weapons frames x 5
  • super glue
  • modelling putty/gap filler (just in case things don't go as planned)

I also had to do a repair to the sword arm of one of the Banshees so I also need:

  • thin wire
  • a pin vise
The operation is pretty straight forward. 1) Cut the old weapon away using the cutters. 2) Use a file to smooth out the top of the fist. 3) Remove the shurikan pistol from the frame, trim off the grip and clean up any seams 4) Dry fit the join and attach the new weapon using a dot of super glue (I found it easier to put the glue on the pistol). Done.
Repairing the sword arm was a bit more involved. After cleaning up both sides of the break and dry fitting to make sure there would be a good join, I used my pin vise with a bit matching my wire thickness to dill a hole about 5mm into the wrist. I keep a large sewing needle in with my bits to use to make a starting dimple. I just put it into my pin vise and push it into where I want to drill creating a guide hole. This helps to keep the bit from slipping. Once this hole was done, I repeated the process on the hand/sword. It is also important to stop and check your progress as you are drilling to make sure you are not going off course. You don't want to end up drilling out the side and causing a bigger problem ('bin there done that). Again I went in about 5mm.
At this point I put a dab of super glue on the end of my wire and inserted it into the wrist hole. When this dried I trimmed the wire down to about 5mm, applied another dab of super glue and attached the sword hand.

The whole repair and replace job took about 20 minutes. Now I can proceed with updating the gals' wardrobes.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rangers Lead the Way!

Well I suppose that'd be true if these were the first Eldar figures to be finished but there you go. My Eldar Rangers are finished and this time I did take some in-progress pics. I wanted to keep the main army colour scheme of green and purple but at the same time set these guys apart in keeping with their independent lifestyle. To do this I toned down the colours and added more earth tones.

I started with a black primer and applied the base colours:
Dark Angel Green for the armor, leggings and gloves, Liche Purple for the shoulder plates and helmets, a 50/50 mix of Graveyard Earth and Liche Purple for the the long coats and Graveyard Earth for the weapons and leather accessories.
Faces where painted Bronzed Flesh, followed by a wash of Dark Flesh then highlighted with Elf Flesh with higher highlights added by adding Skull White.

At this stage I wanted to make the leggings and gauntlets look like green leather to contrast with the green Il-Kaithe armor even though I used the same base colour.

BC - DA Green
H1 -DA Green + Goblin Green
H2 - Goblin Green
H3 - Bilious Green

BC - DA Green
H1 - Imperial Strike Green
H2 - IS Green + Kommando Khaki
H3 - Kommando Khaki

At this stage I worked on the purples and leathers.

Long Coat
BC - Graveyard Earth + Liche Purple
H1 - BC + Kommando Khaki
H2 - H1 + more Kommando Khaki

Shoulder Plates/Helmets
BC - Liche Purple
H1 - BC + Skull White
H2 - H1 + more Skull White

BC - Graveyard Earth
H1 - Snakebite Leather
H2 - Vomit Brown

Finishing off with a funky Eldarish camo pattern inspired by the GW Biel-Tan Rangers. To start off I traced a zig-zag pattern using Catachan Green. However, once this dried it was extremely difficult to see. I would skip this step next time. Over top of this line I put down a line of thinned Camo Green. To finish off I added some highlights with a mix of Camo Green and Kommando Khaki.

BC - Graveyard Earth
H1 - BC + Bleached Bone
H2 - Bleached Bone

To imply the Rangers being in a forest or some other cover I add bits of twigs, lichen and dried cedar needles along with the grass mix to the bases.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Today I put the finishing touches on my Dire Avenger squad. They were painted in their traditional paint scheme with the addition of green, purple and yellow touches to tie them in to the army's general colour scheme. The rune and ying-yang symbol are decals.

The Exarch
2nd Edition metal Avengers.
We were guardians once...some of the old metal guardian models that were drafted into the Dire Avengers.
I didn't take any in-progress pics unfortunately, so here's a quick run-down of the colours I used. Oh, I should point out that I am still using some old Citadel paints so some of the names might be a bit off.
BC - Base Coat, H - Highlight, W - Wash, S - Shading
BC - Electric Blue
H1 - several thin coats of Skull White
S1 - thinned Space Wolf Grey
BC - Night World Blue
H1 - Ultra Marine or Moody Blue (I can't remember which)
H2 - Enchanted Blue
H3 - Electric Blue
BC - Graveyard Earth
H1 - Graveyard Earth + Vomit Brown
H2 - Kommando Khaki
BC - Graveyard Earth
H1 - Graveyard Earth + Bleached Bone
H2 - Bleached Bone
BC - Snakebite Leather
W - thinned Dark Flesh
H1 - Spearstaff Brown
H2 - Sunburst Yellow
H3 - Sunburst Yellow + Skull White
BC - Dark Angel Green
H1 - DA Green + Imperial Strike Green
H2 - Imperial Strike Green + Shull White
BC - Liche Purple
H1/H2 - Liche Purple + Shull White (add more white for H2)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Quick Dreadnought Base

I see a lot of cool bases on people's miniatures so I thought I'd give it a go. For my first attempt I am using the dreadnought base from the Black Reach set. I want to keep it pretty basic - just a simple textured base. The materials and tools are:
  • plastic card
  • sand (from Dollerama)
  • xacto knife
  • model glue
  • white glue
  • skull accessory (from Black Reach)
  • scissors
  • circle template (optional)
  • scibing tool (optional)

Using the template, I found the appropriate size and drew this on my plastic card sheet. The template is handy but you could also trace around the base to draw a circle. I then cut the circle out using a pair of scissors. I wasn't too concerned about cutting a perfect circle. In fact I cut a bit inside the line to make the card slightly smaller than the base. Using the base from the Eldar war walker as reference I made rough, irregular cuts around the outer edge of the card.

Using the scribing tool (the back of an old #11 blade work well too) I gauged various cracks and fissures across the surface until I was happy with the look. To give the base a more 3-D effect I removed one large and several smaller sections and repositioned them so that they overlapped at the edges. I made sure to add nicks and cracks to these smaller pieces as well. Once I was happy with the arrangement I glued the card to the base with model glue. I added some debris using bits of left over plastic and some fine sand tacked down with white glue. I also added a skull from the Black Reach set and disguised the join with sand.

Once the glue had set I sprayed the whole thing with black primer. Painting consisted of a couple of thin coats of Codex Grey, followed by Kommando Khaki and highlighted with a mix of Kommando Khaki and Skull White. Where the original base is visible was painted Scorched Earth and highlighted with Graveyard Earth and Kommando Khaki. The skull was Scorched Earth, Graveyard Earth, Bleach Bone and Skull White.

Not including drying time, I must have spent less than an hour putting this together. Quick, easy and cheap.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Il-Kaithe Family Portrait

I thought it might be fun to show what I have in my collection for my Eldar host. Most of it is painted but every unit needs some TLC. You can see the old craftworld rune and red hands that have to go. The bikes are in need of most repair - every rider has parts missing and almost all of the bikes have some damage. The hood of the vyper is actually detached. There is a second vyper which is not in this picture that is missing it's hood altogether. Also not pictured is an unassembled war walker.

There are some old models in this picture. Some of the harlequins are among the oldest in my collection. You can also see some early plastic guardians with lasguns - remember when Eldar used to be able to take lasguns?

My current projects are to finish the guardian squad on the right and then work on the rangers. In between that I am also working on a conversion of Eldrad to represent my Grand Farseer.


Monday, September 21, 2009

First Blood

So, one of the reasons that I got back into this hobby is my son. He's at an age now where he realizes that my miniatures are not mere toy soldiers but are rather part of a larger hobby/game. He really became interested in the miniatures game after playing the Dawn of War video game. We bought the Black Reach set and I showed him how to paint the miniatures. While he was busy painting I read the rules which have changed quite a bit from the 2nd edition. After teaching him the basic concepts and mechanics we went to the local gaming club and he played his first game small game with the contents of the Black Reach set. He was hooked and began researching the different armies until he settled on the Tau, primarily because he liked the look.

This past weekend we once more set off to the local gaming club. This time out it would be father vs son with 600 points each of Tau (using proxies) and Eldar. To say he obliterated me would be an understatement. He wiped the floor with me! I laughed at the end of the game when he tells me, "You could have done better if your deployment was better." Some of the other highlights of the game were his Fire Warriors destroying my Guardians in his first turn of shooting - 12 shots, 8 kills - and his Kroot surviving bladestorm thanks to their +1 cover save - 16 hits, 2 kills. The point of the exercise was to learn the rules and become familiar with the army codices but we had great fun.

The end of turn 1 and I'm in a world of hurt. The guardians in the centre are all but gone, only the banshee Exarch survived a dash for the ruin and the avengers are facing a dozen Kroot in the woods.
The avengers made a good showing in the first round of HtH but are slowly but surely whittled down by the Kroot (as played by Ork Boyz).
The crew of a Devilfish (played by a Falcon) get a ring-side seat as the Farseer squares off against the Tau Shas'o.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

War Host of Il-Kaithe

My camera has been on the fritz which explains the lack of updates. That and my general tardiness anyway. I have been busy assembling or should I say re-assembling my Eldar army.

I started playing WHFB and WH40K a long time ago but for a long time had put it aside for other priorities. I have recently come back to the hobby and have been sifting through my collection to bring my 40K Eldar up to 5th Edition standard. I have also been repainting some of my figures to create a more cohesive look.

My original colour concept was based on the Joker from Batman. All the figures were to have red hands in honour of Khaine the Bloody Handed war god of the Eldar. The red hand was also to be the rune symbol for the army. Well I no longer like the red hands or the rune but I still like the green/purple combo. As it turns out, during my abscence from the hobby GW introduced a few other craftworlds, one of which (Il-Kaithe) just happens to have a similar colour scheme to mine. Therefore I decided to adopt Il-Kaithe as the craftworld for my warhost.

Here are some WIP images of my core Troops units:

Dire Avengers:

The Avengers were pretty straight forward - needing some freshening up on the paint job. However, when I last played Aspect squads were limited to 5 + Exarch so I needed to pad my numbers to 10. Luckily I had a number of old metal guardians that could easily be painted as DAs.


Most of these Guardians are from one of GW's earliest plastic sets which came as a complete figure with metal shurikan catapult. In order to mix up the static pose I cut and moved or replaced some heads.


More work needs to be done on the Warlock to bring out details and the witchblade. I'm also looking forward to adding runes to the Warlock's frock.


With the Rangers I am trying to keep the same colour scheme but with subdued tones. The long coats for example are a mix of Graveyard Earth and Liche Purple.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009