Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bending the metal to your will: Custom Mods pt. 1

Any hobbyist worth their salt has been practicing their craft for many seasons. The true definition of an artist though, is taking a craft and pushing it to the limits. Sooner or later, an avid painter will want to do more than just put paint on other peoples sculpts.

Like any project it all starts with an idea. In part 1 of my mod articles, I'm going to focus on my favorite mod I've done to date, Lord Ian Kilmister, Knight of Bretonnia and his Hippogryph, Ace.

It all started in the Bretonnian Army book. While reading up on my army,  I found out that a Bretonnian Lord can also be mounted of a Hippogryph like King Louen Leoncouer. Now, GW does not manufacture hippogryphs as mounts, so if you are going to use only GW parts, no Bretonnian Lord on Hippogryph for you. They do make Pegasi and Unicorns. (Knights on Pegasi and Unicorns with pale pink polos with popped collars. My God, the douchepocalypse is upon us!)

Next, I had to find a Hippogryph. I lucked out on this, however, because I had an old Mage Knight Sky Guard Griffon. This already had a monsterous sized griffon with a mounted rider.

Now, being the HUGE metal head that I am, I couldn't think of a more awesome thing to do than to incorporate two of the things I love. Metal and Knights. And no one is more Metal than Lemmy, the front man of Motorhead. 

Now I had a mission. Let the modding begin!

I apologize that I don't have mod-in-progress photos, I finished this mod about a week before I started the Blog, and didn't even think to photo it. I promise my next mod (which I am currently working on) I will take step by step photos.

First, I took the old Skyguard Griffon that I had lying around and popped it off it's Mage Knight base. (Quick Tip: Super Glue gets fragile when it is cold, and that is all Wizkids used to adhere their minis to the base in any of their 'clix lines. Put the figure in the freezer for about 15 minutes, and then use a putty knife to pop it off. Takes practically no force, and doesn't damage the bottom of the figure.) The base of the griffon is just the right size to fit on a monsterous size GW base (50mm), and that is the same size as King Louen's base, so we are good to go!

Next, I took my knife to the rider. I popped him off the saddle, and also cut off the ornamentaion from the back of the saddle. It had an Egyptian feel to it, and that would just not fit with a Bretonnian Army. I painted where I cut, and "corrected" the flaws in  the painting of the griffon.

Quick side note: I am well aware that a Griffon and a Hippogryph are not the same monster. Technically a Hippogryph is the spawn of a Griffon (Lion and Eagle) and a Horse. I opted to use the Griffon model for 3 reasons. 1: Most people don't know the difference. 2: GW clearly doesn't know the difference, because King Louen is on a Griffon, and 3: It's freaking COOL!

I took my Dremmel and drilled a hole behind the saddle, so I could mount a battle standard. Reaper Miniatures makes TONS of mod parts, and if you hunt long enough (or use a casketoworks catalog) you can turn up some real gold. Reaper does have a pack of "Fantasy Battle Standards", and one of them looked quite like a wind-whipped Bretonnian Flag. Bingo.

I had to hand paint the heraldry on the flag, but I think it turned out great. I did discover another easier way, but that's for another article. :) After flocking the base of the Griffon, the mount was now complete.

Now, for the rider. I liked the look of the leg armor that the Skyguard had, so I chopped the figure right in half at the waist. I had some spare Bretonnian Knight bits, so I was able to get a torso and head very easily. I also had an extra Grail Knight lance, which has a more detailed arm and armor on it. Some super glue, primer, and paint later, I had the basis of my Bretonnian Lord.

Painting the head to look like Lemmy was easy. Basically, I had to free hand the moustache and chops, and add a mole. Lemmy often wears black with gold trim, so colors were already given. The Ace of Spades is also a Lemmy icon. So, for his heraldry, I took the two most iconic Lemmy symbols and combined them, the Iron Cross and the Ace of Spades. I found an Iron Cross decal on a Witch Hunters transfer sheet, applied it to a shield, and then free handed an ace of spades over the cross.

The part of this mini that I am the most proud of is his hat. Lemmy always has his hat. Reaper comes to the rescue again. They make a pack of hats and helmets, and one of them is an exact match for Lemmy. A quick mod of the head to make the hat fit (I had to grind it down with the Dremmel), and the Lord was done. Lord Ian Kilmister (Lemmy's real name! Seriously!!) was born.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

New Gaming Updates

So, looks like the Skaven are getting the first bit of love from GW. The Skaven Army book will be the first 8th edition one published. This weekend, GW shops were running a massive Islands of Blood game, and offering two new sculpts in limited quantities. (Don't worry, you can order them directly from GW's online site.
Prince Althran
Warlord Spinetail

Necron Tomb Stalker
Nothing too new over in 40k land, except for the NECRON TOMB STALKER!!!! Forge World finally made it available for order off their sight for 36 BPS, roughtly $56! Check out the rules sheet at here.

Nothing new over at Reaper or Iron Wind Metals, however, Classic Battletech got a MAJOR upgrade in my eyes. Technical Readout 3085 saw the revamps of almost all of the classic mech designs, bringing the Locust, Warhammer, Archer, Rifleman, etc, into the new era in a competative style. These classic Mech designs can now go toe-to-toe with the newer 3075 and jihad Mechs. What has me absolutely geeked is that they have brought back LAMS! (Land/Air Mechs). Think Battletech + Robotech, seeing as the original designs for the LAMS (and many other classic mechs) were licensed by FASA from Harmony Gold (Robotech). So, originally the Phoenix Hawk really WAS a VS-1F. And, in Battletech, the Phoenix Hawk LAM has stats for the Fighter, Mech, and Gerwalk. The 3085 Phoenix Hawk is obviously different, because of the loss of the license, but the Mechanic and the Idea of LAM's is back! I keep trolling looking for new Mech mini's from Iron Wind, because I am gonna snap any/all LAM's up!!! No word yet, as Iron Wind's site is an abomanation unto Nuggan, but I'm sure it will be only a matter of time.

Well, that's it for now, my next goal is to get some army pictures up, and perhaps remember to take my camera with me for next game.

Go forth my knights, and conquer!

10-23-2010 marked the first outing of my Bretonnian Army. The forces of Chaos rose to chllenge the valiant knight, who rode the Chaos spawn down with no mercy.

Pegasus Knights, led by Lord Kilmister, drew first blood. The Chaos hounds could do nothing against the mighty pegasi. The Grail Knights clashed with a Choas spawn, which fell beneath their lances.
Knights of the Realm collided with the Chaos Warriors, trampling the entire unit under their horses hooves.
The Chaos Lord of Slaanesh and his unit of Knights wrought the most damage, slaying the archers, men-at-arms, and taking the life of the Damsel of the Lady. The Green Knight was summond from the wood, and crushed the Chaos Shrine, and then confronted the Chaos Lord in a duel. They were still engaged at the end of the battle.

Casualties: Damsel of the Lady, 2 Knights of the Realm, 3 Grail Knights, and various peasants.
Defeated: 10 Chaos Warhounds, 20+ Warriors of Chaos, 30+ Marauders, Chaos Spawn, Chaos Shrine.

Uncontested Bretonnian Victory

Sunday, October 3, 2010


I went out to Evolution last night with seerkarandras. After hanging out  bit, he decided to get in a game of 40K. Since I am still learning 40K, I was more than happy to watch a couple of veterans go head to head so I can learn tactics and rules. Seerkarandras' Eldar ended up taking on an Imperial Guard army.

It took only 4 turns for the Eldar to be decimated down to one model, and turn 5 saw the table clean of Eldar.

Now, previous to this game, I had been a pretty die-hard Necron player. Now, I'm pretty sure I want to get my hands on some Imperial Guard as well. I totally fell in love with the Valkyrie, and after looking at the models for the rest of the army, I must say I'm hooked. Though, I do have an opinion question of which to build....

Catachan Snipers
The Catachan Jungle troops look really cool (especially the snipers!!), but I do have a soft spot for the Vostroyan troops. I totally dig the Russian motif. (Side note, I'm still a sad panda that they haven't brought back the Kislev Empire for Warhammer fantasy battle...) Also, let's not forget, the Death Korps of Kreig. A mass army of German influenced World War II mayhem sounds pretty appealing as well.

The Death Korp have an upside and a downside, unfortunately. 

Upside: I can get a bunch of non-GW minis *CHEAP* that would work to represent the Death Korp.

Death Korp of Krieg
Downside: The Death Korp are not a GW Army, so not only would I not be able to play the army in any sanctioned tournaments, but all of the models are Forge World as well.... and that will get really expensive, really quick.

I have to admit, after looking at the Death Korp stuff on Forge World, I may have answered my own question. Either way, I may end up getting a Valkyrie just to paint.

Over on the WFB end:

Lothern Sea Guard Command
High Elves, High Elves, High Elves.... As much as I do like the new sculpts and kits coming out for the High Elf army, I'd like to see a little more variety in what armies are getting attention. There are three new HIgh Elf units hitting soon, the Dragon Princes of Caledor, the White Lions of Chrace, and Phoenix Guard. In addition, all the pre-orders that are up are for Lothern Sea Guard.

The Skaven get three new models of Rat Ogres, a pretty disappointing ratio compared to the other half of the Island of Blood box set.

Most unfortunately, no love whatsoever for any army not in the Island of Blood box.

Over at Ironwind Metals:

A hacker took down their sight and worked them over pretty hard on Spetember 22, and they have yet to rebuild their site properly... Besides, their designs are getting pretty stale. For some reason, they think that the Battletech players out there want protomechs, quite possibly the LAMEST unit concept in the game. Perhaps it's the old school 'Mechwarrior in me, but there should be Infantry, Tanks, Artillery, 'Mechs and Battle Armor. Not some wierd amalgam of a Battle Armor Suit and an animal. 

Lastly, Reaper Miniatures.

I'll admit it. I totally love the Mouslings that Reaper has been producing recently. In the spirit of the upcoming holidays, Reaper is producing a few Mousling holiday themed sets. I'll leave you with an image I never even concieved of: Mousling Zombies, and a hero with a chainsaw.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Cry havok....

So, originally, we intended to do a joint blog with, however, due to technical difficulties, I decided to start my own blog, and just link to craftworldlansing.

I do play 40K as well, I have the startings of quite the Necron horde. Fantasy battle is where my interest lies though. Not necessarily just Warhammer, but Dungeons & Dragons, Dark Heaven, Hordes, etc. spark my imagination far more than 40K.

So far, for Warhammer Fantasy battle, I have a rather large host of Bretonnians, in different stages of construct. I have even modded out a couple of Bretonnian Lords (pictures to follow). I also have an starter army of High Elves, Skaven, Dwarves, and Goblins.

I have yet to play a game of Warhammer under the new 8th edition rules, as my spare time is largely devoted to painting and assembling my Bretonnian army. Seerkarandras keeps promising to come over and get a game in, but we usually just end up drinking beer and watching Family Guy. We'll get there. I just need to make an effort to get out to the local hobby shop (Shout out to Evolution Games!) and throw down the gauntlet.

This blog will be about everything fantasy and sci-fi related, so don't limit your view. I love to make customs and scenery, and often don't adhere to the status quo. Keep an open mind and step fully into the Kingdoms of Chaos.