Sunday, 9 November 2014

Resting in the mists

Just a very brief post to explain the lack of updates recently. Since the start of September I've obviously been back teaching which takes up rather large amounts of time. What hobby time I have had I have spent doing a few bits with my dwarves. I was feeling as though they had been a bit neglected; especially as I had a couple of the kits that were released with the new book this year and I hadn't done anything with them.

Having painted and modelled a few bits and got a game or 2 in, I then started thinking about how much I've neglected my 40k army, the Black Templars. So I did a few simple bits and got a quick 600 point game in with them this week (in which I trounced a blood angels army), and I'm going to continue working on them for a little while.

I guess the different armies need to work on a sort of rotation so I don't get too mind blocked only working on 1, and get a bit of variety to play with as well. I'll be back working on the fimir before too long and blogging their development. I might look to add 2 pages to the lost fimir site to show pictures and the fluff for my dwarf and Black Templar armies. We'll see how time goes.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The warband swells

I have managed to do a bit of painting and modelling over the summer, as well as some relaxing, sightseeing, and celebrating of my first wedding anniversary. So I thought I should update you with my progress. The other eleven fimir warriors that I have been working on are now finished - five with shields and the other six with additional hand weapons. I'm not sure which is the best loadout for them at the moment, so different options are what is best.

The shield warriors:

The additional hand weapon warriors:

All sixteen members of the warband:

I have spent the last few days working on a bit of a centre-piece for my army - the eye oculus of Balor. This is a war-altar pulled into battle by two fiana warriors (ogre-sized fimir). Atop the rotting wood lies a crystal of the great eye of Balor which can shine forth over the enemies of the fimir, burning them to a crisp in an instant. I've been looking forward to making this unit since reading the army book. The fiana warriors are made using the fimir warriors available from forgeworld. I have bought two sets of these so that two models can be incorporated into the oculus model, leaving the other four for a unit of the monstrous infantry. The war altar itself is made from the vampire counts' corpse cart model, minus the piles of dead and rotting bodies. at the top of the model, when it is finished, will sit two flaming torches flanking the eye of Balor. The eye crystal will be made from a reflective bead. I would also like to get a couple of captive female models to put on the cart - prisoners taken by the fimir, vital for the survival of their race. You'll just have to come back to the blog to see the finished result. Hopefully it won't be too long before the unit is finished entirely.

Looking to the future, I have bought another box of saurus warriors to assemble, already making some progress with equipping the array of weapons. I have green-stuffed the eyes on my two dirach wizards, but need to do some thinking about anything else that I want to hand to the models - I like the idea of having some beast-like familiars. One dirach will have a two-headed rat (from the corpse cart kit) on his base, accompanying him into battle; the other dirach will have a skeletal vulture (from a tomb kings kit) perched on his sacrificial blade. My Meargh hag-queen will have three serpents slithering through the swamp with her. These will just add a bit of character to these models.

I've also mail-ordered a few bits and pieces, as seen in the picture below, any ideas on what might be coming?

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Summer in the marshes, time to look ahead

So we've finally reached the summer holidays; the kids I teach have been counting down the doors, but so too have the staff as it seems to have been a tiring and stressful year. Now that the holidays are upon us I am publicly stating my aim to get as much of my fimir army sorted this summer as I possibly can. Since April I have bought a reasonable number of bits and pieces so that I have the majority of what I need. Once everything that I have is modelled and painted I will have:

  • 1 Meargh (Hag-queen)
  • 2 Dirachs (fimir daemon wizards)
  • 16 Fimir warriors (armed with either morning stars, shields, or additional hand weapons)
  • 24 Shearl (armed with spear and shield)
  • 10 Moor Hounds
  • 10 Fir Bolg (armed with either great weapons or hand weapon/shield)
  • 3 Marsh Reavers
  • 3 Fiana Fimm (ogre-sized fimir warriors)
  • 1 Eye Oculus of Balor (portable altar type thing)
Warriors of the Dead
I need another box of Saurus warriors in order to bulk out the fimir warrior unit, along with another box of skinks for the shearl. I would also like to bulk out the fir bolg by using the Warriors of the Dead box from GW's Lord of the Rings model range (pictured left); this would give a bit of variety in the unit, showing them as fallen warriors from a range of different battles and armies now summoned to protect the fimir.

Where do I go beyond this? I'm really sure to be honest. I need a battle standard bearer, but I'm not really sure on what model to use. I was originally thinking of using the GW Lizardmen scar veteran with battle standard (pictured right), I really like the shrunken heads and skulls on it, but I'm not sure if the rest of the model is right for the aesthetic of my army. More confusingly, I'm not really sure why it isn't right either. I could convert one, but I don't really know what to use as the base model. One idea I did have was to use the old Heroquest fimir model (see below) as I nod to some of my inspiration. Looking back on it though, my fimir design has moved on from this look and using that model might stand out too much. Equally the angle that the hand holds it axe is greater than I remembered it being, making any banner that I tried to put in that hand a bit too diagonal for my liking.

Gor-RokI really like the Gor-Rok model (pictured right) from GW's lizardmen range. I'm not sure if he would be easy to convert into a battle standard bearer. Alternatively, it might be nice to have an alternative general in my army, more combat orientated than magic. Especially as there are some really nice magic weapons in the fimir army book I'm currently using. Also, I'm looking at using the Lore of Beasts as a main source of magic for at least one of my casters, and there are some great spells to beef up characters for melee.

In terms of other units, some Boglars would be fun; they are marsh gnoblars and their rules run them as skirmishers, and they can be upgraded to toad-gnoblars giving them the waterbirth ability where they can add more models if they spend time in water. There are also armed with throwing weapons, so would give me something to actually do in the shooting phase. the GW gnoblar models (pictured left) from the Ogre Kingdoms range would work nicely for these I think.

There are a few other ideas for the daemon-esque units, but I'll leave them for now. I want my army to mainly focus on fimir units. Currently I am painting the remaining 11 fimir warriors, as well as working on a few bases. Then I need to get my green stuff out again and set about sculpting the eyes on the shearl and my dirachs, before painting them. I'm not really sure whether to do kilts on them or not - it would be a unifying element, but I want the shearl to clearly demonstrate their lower status, and the dirach models have got nice details which would get covered up. I'll have to think about what else I could do instead.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Shearl spotted

The shearl are the workers of the fimir race, containing those born to gather and care for food, construct and be responsible for the upkeep of the clan huts, alongside some skilled and valued labourers like carvers and weavers. In times of war they are often called up and have weapons thrust into their hands and pointed in the direction of the enemy; few survive such deadly encounters, many break and flee, yet their panic is of little consequence to the fimir warriors around them.

Since the beginning of my fimir project the plan has always been that lizardmen saurus warriors would make the fimir warriors and the shearl would be made from the skink models. With the other components of the army coming along quite nicely (in modeling terms, if not quite actually being painted yet), it was time to shine a spotlight on the lower levels of the fimir society, giving the shearl some attention. Having bought and unboxed the skink kit I was slightly worried as I hadn't realised quite how stuck out the tails were on the models - I think I'm going to have some troubles ranking this unit up.

The skinks come with the option of either blowpipes or javelins. I wanted my shearl to be equipped with spears and shields as the ultimate plan for the unit is to reach horde size (10 models wide) so that there will be 4 full ranks of ten attacking! The shearl are not particularly good fighters so weight of numbers should hopefully help them. The javelins work quite nicely as spears and the different ways they are held on the models means that I can have the back rows equipped and pointing their spears over the heads of those in front of them. That bit, therefore, wouldn't require any remodelling or gathering of alternative parts. However, I am keen to change the aesthetic of the models away from their lizardmen roots, so the distinctive shields need to be changed. I spent quite a while trying to work out what I could gather and use as replacements, but eventually found a nice selection on eBay.

The other annoyance about the skink box is that it doesn't come with any command figures, so it was time to raid my bits box. I remembered that the grave guard box I bought for use as for bolg had a really nice tatty standard, which I thought would make a nice contrast to the dwarven one I used for the fimir warriors, as well as give an impression of the status of the shearl in the clan. Digging that banner out I also found the horn that comes with that kit, so that took care of the musician as well. For the shearl fian (champion) I gave him a bigger spear, using one from the saurus kit - apparently size matters!

So with the spears and new shields equipped, their heads and spines carved down, ready for some green stuff work, I'm reasonably happy.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Kilts in the breeze

I've done a little bit more work on my Marsh Reavers, namely the part that I was slightly confused about how to do - the kilts and hiding the join between the body and legs/saddle. With the fimir warriors I have been taking a small piece of bandage, soaking it in pva glue, draping around the waist of the figure, and applying superglue to the edges and joins. However, with the reavers there wasn't a lot of space to be able to do the same thing owing to the position of the legs on the saddles, yet I definitely needed something as there would otherwise be a large gap around where the body fitted, that and the riders would be naked and I'm trying to avoid that!

So I sat down yesterday to have a bit of a think about how to do it. Out of nowhere an idea struck me, rather than putting the bandage around the outside of the figure to hide the join, what if I put the piece of bandage in the join before gluing the body in. That way the gaps can be filled and I can get the kilt into the awkward places before the body is secured. Also, I could then try and get a bit of flow in the bandage to demonstrate movement of the model.

With a certain amount of trepidation I set about on the first of my three reaver models, cutting the bandage to size (half what I would normally use, but I normally fold that in half, so guess it is the technically the same size, just I wanted it thinner and more flexible this time around), putting it over the join, applying superglue to the base of the body and then pushing it down, hoping that it could create what I envisaged. With a bit of subsequent playing around, a few cuts here and there, and folds to try and show it flapping in the breeze, I added the superglue to secure the bandage in the pose I wanted. This was the first one I did:

I was really pleased with how it turned out, so I set about the other two reaver models in the same way. I'm really rather pleased with how it has worked, it still matches the look of the kilts on the warriors models, yet also conveys a bit of movement, whilst hiding the join between body and legs - ticking all the boxes as it were. Now I need to get the greenstuff out again to model the head/eye, then get the paints out. I'm really looking forward to getting these models painted up, I think they'll be a bit of a feature in the army.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Reavers getting closer

"Some Fimm warriors go to war on the backs of Bog Beasts, daemonic servant creatures from the deep places of Albion that carry their Fimir masters into battle on their backs."

I've been looking forward to making the Marsh Reavers ever since reading their entry in the fanmade army book from Warhammer Armies Project. Getting the lizards and the bodies from the saurus cold one riders was an obviously necessary first step, but now I've managed to do a bit of green stuff work to get the legs and saddles in place on the backs of the bog beasts. It took a reasonable amount of green stuff, but actually not as much as I thought. I think whenever I work with this stuff I am always expecting to have to use more - a little goes a long way, you don't need much to fill a gap or sculpt a bit of detail.

I'm really pleased with how they have come out. I think the saddles have fitted nicely around the back of the lizard, with the green stuff just making the saddle look thicker at the front, which isn't too odd or unusual I don't think. As you can see, I have also modified the tails of two of the mounted fimir - one to have a spiky plate at the end, and another a club-like lump; Fimir are after all supposed to have bone-like knobbly bits and mace-like structures on the end of their tails which they can then use as an additional weapon.

I have also started work on the bodies for the riders- trimming off the spines, etc. from the saurus riders, carving up the lizardmen heads, taking spear arms from the saurus warrior kit, and making a few more shield arms from spares. The marsh reavers are supposed to be armed with spear, shield, and hand weapon, so once I've put the kilts on I will try to add a few other weapons hanging from the saddle or the kilt itself; so long as it doesn't look too wierd - I'll give it a go and see what it looks like before actually gluing any on.

I just need to put the liquid green over the backs, legs and tails of the riders to tone down the prominence of the scales, as well as give a gnarled hide idea, and obviously I need to get my moulding tool and green stuff out again to sculpt the eyes. Once that is done and cured I'll take a look at sorting the kilts for them. I'm slightly apprehensive about trying to get these fitted and looking right. Not only is there not a lot of space around the saddle, but the kilt would also need to convey the necessary movement and flow of the bog beast charging through the marshes towards its next victim. I'm not sure if the bandages that I've used on the fimm warriors so far will work that well to show dynamic movement. I'd really like to still include them as it will cover up the gaps of where the body meets the saddle, but more importantly it will continue a cohesive look across the army. I guess I'll just have to give it a go!

Saturday, 31 May 2014

A Hag-Queen rises from the mists

When I first started this project I looked over the fan-made army listing and designed a rough outline of the army that I would like to field. Obviously every army needs a general, and for the fimir it absolutely has to be the tribe leader, the hag-queen, the meargh. The problem I had was working out how to model a female fimir? There are numerous illustrations that give a very definitive idea of how the hag-queen is supposed to look, and I was convinced that my green stuff skill was nowhere near good enough to be able to sculpt a saurus warrior to resemble these pictures.

I was searching a variety of miniatures designer websites looking for a suitable hag model that I could then replace the face to convert it into my fimir meargh. I'd found a couple of possibilities, but nothing that I was really happy with, until a friend of mine pointed me towards the game Malifaux. I don't play the game and, despite this friend's attempts at pushing it, I not going to start as I don't have enough time to actually play the games I am already involved with, but I had to agree that the models look fantastic. In particular the model of Zoraida the hag.

This was perfect, so look what I treated myself to!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Reavers spotted in the marshes

I have previously blogged to say that I had ordered some giant lizard models to make Marsh Reavers. Well they arrived and they are quite simply brilliant! They are a bit larger than I originally thought, but they really fit the bill and will make some fantastic models. I've mounted them on monstrous infantry bases and have done the first stage of my usual swamp-base-technique. Whilst the lizard is the same model, slightly positioning it facing a different direction at least gives a slight variation.

I had ordered a sprue of the lizardmen cold one riders for ebay (sorry GW, but I only needed one sprue, not a whole box full). I haven't set about making the riders properly yet as stepping back to the modelling will be a slow process. However, I have clipped out a few of the components and used a bit of blutac to mock up how the rider will fit on the back of the lizard. It fits reasonably well, but there are a few definite gaps. This will mean some fairly substantial green stuff work (obviously I will have to use some to fit the pieces together smoothly, as well as bulk out the stomach, etc, as with the fimir warriors I have modelled so far). Yet I was talking with a warhammer geek friend earlier this week about these very models and he asked a simple question which changed my thoughts on these models to make it far simpler - will they have kilts too? This means that I can do the basic green stuffing as originally intended, but that I can cover up a fair amount with the bandage-based kilts. I'll just have to try and get them flowing backwards so it doesn't mask all of the saddle details.

These fimir must be pretty decent warriors and respected within the clan to be given the privilege/death-wish of riding fearsome bog beasts. Therefore they need to be represented with several marks of prestige - decent belly shields, kilts, spears, shields, and a wild array of weapons. Maybe a few other bits and pieces if I can think of and locate things.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Moons have passed

It has been rather a long time since I did any modelling or gaming, and the fimir have been neglected somewhat. That's the thing about life, it tends to delay geeky fun! I have moved house, been doing various jobs around the new house, liaising with builders about other jobs to be done around the house, and performed in Sweeney Todd at the Marlowe Theatre. Luckily everything has gone well and I now have a bit more time again. Admittedly I'm still sharing that with doing work on the house and the joys of teacher admin work like marking/writing reports, but slowly some progress will be made again.

As you can see, the other 7 marsh hounds have been constructed from the chaos warhound kit, along with the filler on the bases. These have been added to the 'ready to paint' pile. I'm getting quite used to/reasonably adept at putting the filler on the bases - trying to spread it around to leave spaces for pools of stinking marsh water, while simulating the oozing mud of the marshes. I just hope that I can remember/recreate the effect that worked on the bases of the models that I have finished.

I have also worked on bulking up the fir bolg unit. I had made 5 dead of the marshes equipped with hand weapon and shield, but wanted the chance to field the unit with great weapons, so equipped the remaining 5 to illustrate this.

I tried to again get two to look as though they were crawling up from the swamp, though I think only one really worked. I tried to make the second one a bit more subtle, but I was a bit too successful in this regard! They work nicely with the existing 5 though to create a nice and atmospheric unit. I'm looking forward to getting some paint on them at some point, but god knows when that will be.

Anyway, that's enough for now, but I will be updating again soon to show off a few purchases that I have treated myself to!