Tag Archives: Warhammer Fantasy


Hi there,

I hope the last blog post was well received. As I am sure you are all aware last time we covered my new Marauder Horsemen, which were designed to be a slightly heavier looking type of cavalry unit. This week we will cover something a little different…..

…A Chaos Warshrine conversion. As I waffled on a little last week, I’ll try not to this time. I will not attempt to refer to how I came to this idea. But it is in keeping with my armies Barbarian theme and I wanted a Chaos Shrine that was a little more monstrous and imposing on the battlefield. So I decided that I would mount my shrine on a Mammoth.

Once I had all the bits I set about construction of the Mammoth completing the whole assembly apart from the rider’s seat on the Mammoth’s back. I found this was helpful as it allowed me nearly full access to the inside of the Mammoth’s shell while having a nice solid base to work from. Next I processed to clean up the Mammoth making sure I removed all mould lines and filling all gaps with green stuff. This can be a little tricky but I found holding the model up to the light meant I could easily see small gaps, especially on the underside.

While I left this to set and dry, I started construction of the shrines basic floor plate, adding the sides, where needed for a little strength. (The sides were temporarily to proved a little perspective of size and fit). Once dry and holding together reasonably well, I started a little bit of concept work, which was basically plonking one down on top of the other as in the first picture.


As you can see from the picture the Warshrine was a little too big for the Mammoths back, and it was also obvious to me at this point, I needed to do something to ‘bind’ the two together, as floating in mid air on his back wouldn’t look right. This is where my evil twin @CPJohnson, came in with another inspirational idea, a Howdah!

At this point any Howdah would need to be constructed out of an easy to manipulate material that was of varying sizes as the back of the mammoth is a lot further down than the front. Again @CPJohnson came up with another brilliant idea as if it was nothing, coffee sticks! (I am sure you see why I call him my evil twin, it’s down right depressing at times trust me). This construction material was perfect as it was small enough for me to manually manipulate it to fit the required size and already had the characteristics of wood. It was also free from any good retailer 🙂

Yes I did!

In practice though, the construction was not as easy as it might appear. First I clipped the back off the Shrine, losing the hole for the skull pit, which I wasn’t a fan of anyway. This made the shire fit better, then I removed my sides, as the sticks would make up the walls. Then balancing the shine roughly where I wanted it with Blu-Tack, I eyeballed the length required for my first stick, roughly in the middle on the side, I snapped it to the right length, this also gave a nice rough and ready look. I did this for about four or five sticks placing each one down on my cutting mat side by side. I then completed the process again for a second layer of sticks to sit on top of the first but slightly lower. This was essential for two main reasons: first it would provide the Howdah with a bit of strength; second it would allow me to cover and hide a few errors as I went around the outside of the shrine’s floor plate. Once happy with the positions this section was glued together with PVA glue and allowed to dry overnight. Picture two was taken after construction but provides direct reference to my points above.


Gluing section by section to the Warshrine with superglue, slowly allowed me to build up the wall of my Howdah, this was delicate work as this only provides small contact surface between the wall and the floor plate. Once all the walls were complete I applied green stuff on the underside liberally to increase contact areas and add strength to the model. At this time I also attached the saddle/seats onto the Mammoth and used more green stuff to build them up to make small stands that would allow me to pin the two sections together. This is a bit trial and error, with a lot of marking and remarking but once I was happy with the placement I waited for the green stuff to set, and attached pins to the Mammoth and holes on the underside of the Howdah.

The next day the whole model was sprayed black and then dry brushed up using four browns. Vallejo paints Black Brown, Chocolate Brown, Ochre Brown and Yellow Ochre, mix these 50/50 and end up applying 8 or nine light coats this is very much base colours, as seen in picture two.

I next added a few ornaments and decorations, the chopping block fitted in the Howdah and one of the bone sides of the Warshrine fit nicely on the back of the wall to keep the Chaos feel. I added some cardboard, cut in strips, around the outside of the Howdah at 90 degrees to the coffee sticks, to provide the look of metal banding. Then I added some shields and green stuff moulded to look like nails. These were all painted with base colours as described above, before being glued in place, metal being painted with just a layer of Tin Bitz.


With the construction over apart from crew, I added base colours to areas not yet touched. Flat Flesh for the mammoth’s skin, and Rotting Flesh for wounds. Cavalry Brown for straps and leather and Kamo Karki for bone areas. My painting style is quite basic but I do tend to take my time on each stage, which I help improves my results, but my rule of thumb being: if it’s not simple to do, I won’t be doing it!

The next stage after base colours; for me is usually shades and washes, and this was no different. On the hair and fur I applied a liberal but heavily watered down Earthshade wash, about 10/90% water. I then added a small amount of a Dark Green Ink and then touched the Howdah in places where I would image water damage to the wood, i.e around joins etc. (Not forgetting to do shields and Leather) Then I used Nuln Oil to darken the metal and add shade to the skin, finally mixing Nuln Oil and Earthshade together to add shade to the Bone. These mixes were usually of a 50/50 split and then watered down by half again. I then went back and covered 50% or so of the model again, with the last base colour used, this simple technique I have found adds: shade; depth and then highlight to a basic level, this is what I usually call table top standard. No need for all the complaining about standards, just my opinion :).

I now began work on the highlighting which involved Bleached Bone on the bone areas; I painted in small lines in a continual direction in order to achieve the effect on the horns. Dwarf Flesh on the Mammoth’s skin. Dwarf Bronze and Bolt Gun Metal, on the metal areas and finally a mix of Blood Read and Cavalry Brown into open wounds and edge highlighting for the leather. At this stage I was ready to attach the model to the Warshrine base, which the Mammoth luckily just fits onto, using the same technique covered previously in posts.


This left the finial part of the model the rider; I spent a few weeks thinking about what or who I wanted, but I came to the conclusion to add a model I have previously painted to keep with the feel for the army, it also happened to fit in for a tournament list I was toying with at the time. This model was a Wizard, which would take the Warshrine as a mount. It has actually been a while since I painted this Wizard, so I am not sure of the painting combinations I used at the time, but it mainly comprises of bone, browns, and pinks which fit my army perfectly.

I am really pleased with how the finished model has turned out, probably one of my best, which hopefully shows that you don’t have to be a great painter to produce something nice, and will inspire some of you out there to give something a go. My main advice is even if you have a concept idea, get you bits together and be prepared to let them change as you construct. If anyone has any questions or needs more information please feel free to leave me a comment and I will happily respond. 🙂





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Tales from Albian

Tales from Albian

Hello and welcome to my first instalment of Tales from Albian, I know it’s not right but I made it up.

Where to start? It’s been a long time since I posted anything….that does not to mean to say I have not been doing something. Oh how I wish that I didn’t have so much to paint. My plastic crack partner in crime and I have spent the last few months, ploughing through our latest project, which is the ongoing saga of our Chaos Army of massive proportions….

But wait before I get into that, maybe a short recap for those of you who haven’t read or seen any of my pervious posts. Last year or longer, time disappears in the great eye faster than you think; I posted some pictures of some complete regiments of the Beastmen, Warriors and a stack load of Marauders. As I ploughed through this rank and file, I developed the idea of making my Warriors of Chaos side of this army more Barbarians themed, to add to the overall feral base of this army.

Pictureofoldmarauders2013[Picture of old marauders 2013]

This brings me nicely into this blog post. During my infinite sessions of self torture to the God of Pleasure, I inhaled so much plastic that a funny vision of strapping young man with nothing but a loin cloth and an axe! Now before you all start to switch off like any sane man half way through a Game of Thrones episode, I realised that my old Warriors and Knights for my Slaanesh were a bit plain and over done idea. So my minds eye opened and out popped a horde north of the wall theme. Yes I know you guessed where that came from.

But in my defence I have been experimenting with bases recently and had stumbled upon a swamp and stone technique for making a simple yet effective looking base, plus I had loads of unused snow flock. I combined that with just having finished around 50 Marauders and I was slowly starting to like how I painted skin. (Only after 25 years of painting it.) As you can see this isn’t a million miles away from me making a leap, well small baby step, in the direction of a Barbarian theme.

PictureofooldHorseman2013[Picture of old Horseman 2013]

Enough of my spiel, down to business! Around the core of the units you see above, I decided that I needed a heavier version of each, these in game terms could then be used for Warriors and Knights instead of Horseman and Marauders. This meant that I would have to convert and ultimately paint to a lot better standard than I have been.

Off to eBay I went for some cheep bits to start the conversion work. I started by getting myself some cheep cork sheets recommended to me by my evil twin @CPJohnson80. Luckily I also spotted some new Chaos Knight spares, I damned Tzeentch twice for making me pay stupid P&P costs but I hope it was worth it. Once all my bits arrived I started by constructing 14 heavily armoured horsemen, two of which would be added to the old unit as a command. This effect I achieved by simply adding a few Knights shoulder pads and adding spears axes and shields to all of the models, then layering bits of cork randomly on the bases to achieve the effect below.



[Basic construction]

Next I set about spray painting the entire model after cleaning up with a craft knife. Once spray painted I proceeded to get some random horseflesh tones down as base colours. I went with one cream (Bleached Bone base), two greys (Shadow Grey) 4 bays (Bestial Brown) and the rest chestnut (Scorched Brown), using the entire unit as a bit of an experiment on flesh tones. Once the base colours were down on the majority of the model I mixed the next tone up from the horse flesh colour I had picked and proceeded to paint small hair lines on large open areas of flesh, to mimic the appearance of horse hair. Once complete I applied a base colour tone wash over the skin to blend into the model, watered down 50/50.



[Undercoat and wash stages.]

Once dry I dry brushed the hair, and finished other parts of the saddle in a Cavalry Brown, again applying a brown ink to add depth. The horse cloth was painted in Warlock Purple and highlighted to Tentacle Pink, finally washed with Magenta Ink watered down to about 25/75 split. Bases flocked, dry brushed and static grass added completing the final look.



[Finished Horses]

Next onto the riders, once again spray black and clean up with a craft knife, remember don’t sacrifice a finger to Khorne. Then I put down base colours, Dark flesh for the skin, and Warlock Purple on the belt and straps, Cavalry Brown on the boots and blue on the trousers for a tartan theme, we are north of the wall, ahhhh see you were all thinking something else weren’t you!

Cover any bone or wraps Scorched Brown, final colour that I have just gotten used to doing, is a Tin Bitz covering all metal parts immediately followed by a slightly watered down Boltgun Silver to give the metal a heavy and used feel, I don’t necessary have to cover all of the Tin Bitz.


[Basic Colours]

The pink on the riders was completed in the same fashion as the horses; the boots and all other leather the same as the horses’ saddle. The bone and wraps slowly layered up through Camo into Bleached, while the metal is just lightly dry brushed with Silver. This leaves just detailing on the trousers and skin. Now I wont pretend to be ‘Pro Painter’ I am sure you will find much better guides on painting skin than I could ever provide but for what it is worth I layered about 4 or 5 layers from Dark Flesh through to Tanned Flesh then Dwarf Flesh, finishing extreme highlights with Elf Flesh on any high raised areas. This wasn’t your normal layered painstakingly for years on end jobs, just a 100-80-60-40 covering mixed 50/50 between each paint, in about 5-6 layers, but where required attention was paid to ensure not to stark a difference, by simply repeating from the layer before if it looked wrong.

ChampionFinished[Champion Finished]

Now as you can see they appeared to turn out ok, and in my mind to a high table quality. They also achieved my original aim of looking slightly heavier horse, through the addition of a shoulder pad and spears. The last thing I made was a magnetised base; if you are interested in how to make one I have already covered that in an older post.

CompletedMaraudingHorsemen[Completed Marauding Horsemen]

Your comments and feedback are most welcome, even if you don’t like them. If this blog series gets enough traction I aim to extend the posts covering this army, so look out for more Tales from Albian.


Follow me on Twitter: @freexerjin

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White Dwarf is changing


Unless you’ve been in a hobby hideaway recently, you’ll have noticed the chatter about White Dwarf splitting into two separate magazines – one monthly, one weekly – and the accompanying fury from some quarters.

I for one think it’s a good idea. Below is a paste from Games Workshop themselves, explaining the changes:


White Dwarf magazine goes weekly!

Saturday 1 February sees the birth of the new, weekly, White Dwarf magazine.

Saturday 1 February sees the birth of the new, monthly, Warhammer: Visions magazine.

Yes, that’s right. We’ll be launching two new magazines on the same day, Saturday 1 February.

White Dwarf, now weekly.

From Saturday 1 February, White Dwarf will be available each and every Saturday exclusively in your local Games Workshop store, Independent Stockist and at games-workshop.com

White Dwarf will contain everything that’s new and exciting in the hobby that week, from news and information on all the week’s other new releases, to new columnists, interviews, painting, modelling, game rules and much more. And the price? The same as a pot of your favourite Citadel paint.

Warhammer: Visions, now monthly.

Warhammer: Visions will be available on the first Saturday every month in your local Games Workshop store, Independent Stockist, games-workshop.com and local newsstands in the UK, Europe and Australia.

Warhammer: Visions is a completely new monthly magazine, also from the White Dwarf team. It’s unlike anything we’ve ever done before and this super high-quality visual feast weighs in at a whopping 236 pages, each and every month.

Just 17 days to go and counting.

After months of planning and hard work, we’re really excited to be able to share this news with you. We were overwhelmed by all the support and feedback you gave us last time we relaunched White Dwarf back in September 2012 (and by your emails and photos that you send us every day – please keep them coming), and we’re even more excited by what we’ve got coming up for you in 2014.

If you can’t wait for Saturday 1 February and want to know more, then your local Games Workshop store manager has more info…





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Games Day 2013 Report

Good morning,

It’s two days since I went to Games Day with @CPJohnson80 and @freexerjin, and I have finally had enough sleep to enable writing a blog post about it all!

This year the event was moved from the large expanse of the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre (NEC) into the somewhat smaller venue that is the Birmingham National Indoor Arena (NIA) – the tickets were also cut down to 4000 (and raised £5 in price).


Little Grumbles:

First impressions of the NIA are that it’s a little more hassle to get to as you have to drive into the middle of Birmingham which was fine on the way in but very traffic-heavy on the way out, so that’s not a plus point for me. I have no issue the the little price hike on the ticket, after all, the total amount of tickets were cut down by half (reportedly).

The main thing that struck me this year was the utter lack of any gaming tables at all. There were none. Games Day now has no games. 😐

I’m not sure why this decision was taken. Expense? Logistics? Who knows… they are all gone anyway. Also gone is the Scrap Demon/Kit Bash area.

The Golden Demon area and Armies on Parade were on a completely different floor and that meant exiting the main arena, going down a few flights of stairs and cramming into a dimly lit sports hall to have a look at the plethora of wonderful painting and conversion work – and there was a lot of really exceptional stuff. The space was limited, so I understand why that had to move something out of the main area but it’s a shame it was the Golden Demon stuff.

Forge World’s prices rose on the day – or the day before maybe – which was annoying as stuff was more expensive than some people were expecting. It’s only a little gripe really but it just irked me a bit.

Lastly, the eBay wankers. Those who got loads of pre-release limited number models and had them listed on eBay before lunchtime on the day at the expense of the genuine hobbyists who’d travelled to get a Fire Raptor or the Word Bearers Ashen Circle for themselves. I don’t know how Forge World or GW can really do anything to stop this and it’s certainly not their fault but it is annoying for those that miss out. I got a Ferrus Manus model and my copy of Massacre so this didn’t affect me personally but did affect some folks I know.


Good Stuff:

Forge World!

The Forge World designer stands were brilliant, as always, and the finished items on display as well as the work-in-progress stuff was excellent. We got to see Lorgar (pics below) as well as the huge Dropsite Massacre board – my photo does that no justice – and the Kharybdis Assault Claw which looked pretty much finished and has movable, magnetised claw arms. I wonder if Forge World will be using magnets in other stuff? Very interesting.

photo 3

photo 2

I spoke to Forge World writers Alan Bligh and Neil Wylie at length about what would be coming up in the next books and I was delighted to hear that Nykona Sharrowkyn will get a model! He’s just too good a character not to, however he won’t get a model/rules in Extermination (Book 3), it will be a later book. We also attended the Forge World seminar where Tony Cottrell told a room full of people about what some of the upcoming releases were and about future plans. He also ran a Q+A but more about upcoming stuff in the GDUK Future Releases post.

The Golden Demon entries were simply breathtaking. Apologies for the utter lack of photos here but my phone battery was almost dead and it takes crappy pictures in poor lighting anyway. I entered Golden Demon for the second year running but as last year, failed to make it past the first cut. I had a good chat with a judge and got some useful feedback, so I will try again next year but the standard is now insanely good.

Loads of the GW writers and designers were on hand to speak to hobbyists – one of our party had a frank discussion with a certain Matt Ward! – about all aspects of collecting, painting and gaming as you would expect and the ‘Eavy Metal live displays were very interesting to watch.

I sadly missed the Black Library seminars but I heard they were very interesting and largely Horus Heresy orientated – which I would’ve liked so I’ll make an effort to go to one next year.



I think GW kind of miss the boat when it comes to showing work-in-progress stuff. We saw a little cover shot of the first Space Marine Supplemental Codex and that was about it. Forge World have seminars showing some of what’s in the pipeline and answer questions about things they are thinking about doing or have nearly finished and most of us are left foaming at the mouth, giddy with excitement and drop a load of cash on new shiny resin kits as they’re released.

GW simply don’t offer this kind of build up anymore. I’ve read lots of articles about how doing secretive ‘drops’ when a new release comes along encourages impulse purchasing on a mass scale but, for me personally, Forge World get a load more of my cash because I have an idea what’s coming and can plan my armies and purchases in advance – this is important for me because of the expense of what is a luxury hobby.

Don’t get my wrong, I love the models and background and sheer depth of the Games Workshop universe, it really does stand apart at the moment despite other companies best efforts but it’s not cheap! There are of course other good games out there but they have work to do to compete properly.

The retail queues were totally insane. If you go to GDUK14, I recommend you pre-order your stuff, especially Forge World, or get there about 3 hours early. I pre-ordered the things I wanted and spent about 45 seconds at the reservation desk but I know some people wiped 2 hours out of their Games Day experience just queuing to pay.

That’s my little mini-report for this year. I’ve also posted a list of upcoming releases as detailed by the Forge World staff from conversations with them or from the seminar.


Cheers for reading,


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Games Day 2013 – Release info

So….  Games Day is done and dusted.

Here’s the gossip..  and it’s pretty much all Forge World.


Warhammer Forge will shortly be finishing and releasing a Dreadsaurian model. I think this is part of the Monstrous Arcanum book but I could be wrong. It’s a great model though and really big! I didn’t get a picture but others did so I’m sure they’re out there.

Warhammer 40,000

The first Codex Space Marine supplement is called ‘Sentinels of Terra’ and not the White Scars as had been mooted on many forums. There is an Imperial Fist on the cover, so make of that what you will.

The Tau R’Varna Battlesuit will be coming soon, this is a Riptide variant which you’ve probably seen as it was available on pre-release at Games Day from Forge World.

The best news for all Marine players is that Forge World have rewritten Imperial Armour 2 and added all the new and current Space Marine vehicles and rules! This is at the printers now and we were told that the aim is to release it before Christmas if they can.

Horus Heresy

The next book is Extermination and this will be released in late Spring, probably in line with the Horus Heresy weekender. The next 3 books after this – they will be released in trilogies – will be Prospero, Signus and Calth.

Prospero will feature Space Wolves, Thousand Sons, Sisters of Silence, Custodes and Imperial Army.

Signus will feature Blood Angels and Daemons but interestingly, Dark Angels as well.

Calth with feature Word Bearers, Ultramarines, Traitor Imperial Army and will expand the Titan Legions.

There was no mention of the battles on Mars. I’m really hoping that’s something that will get it’s own book.

New models coming soon include:

Sicaran Venator – Sicaran chassis but has a Neutron laser.

Mechanicum Thralls – Rank and file troops

Mechanicum Myrmidons – Heavy support troops, bigger than Terminators.

Mk2B Land Raider Achilles

Space Marine Legion Basilisk.

Kharybdis Assault Claw (pictured)

Iron Hands – Medusan Immortals

Night Lords – Night Raptor Marines

Death Guard – Grave Warden Terminators (these looked amazing!)

Lorgar Aurelian (pictured)



Now, we only saw a work-in-progress of Horus (picture below) but he looks very good. Tony Cottrell said the aim is at least 3 Primarchs a year. Some will have multiple variants as they change.

After a long chat with Alan Bligh, I was told that he’s working on ‘Legion Zero’. This is a bridge between the Thunder Warriors and the Astartes. Now, I couldn’t prise anything else from him but keep an eye out for more on this in the future.

Also, the Dark Angels have SIX wings. The Ravenwing is one and the Deathwing don’t exist in the Heresy…..  so that’s a few to fill!


photo 4

photo 3

photo 5


Thanks for reading,



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