Saturday, May 21, 2022

Shadespyre's Leader Month - The Kingdom of The Gnolls (An Orcs & Goblins Army) (1068 pts!!!)

OWAC V - Leaders - In the Kingdom of the Gnolls...*


Very tempted to make this Wild Card month and show you that stuff instead, but I guess we've all waited long enough for Royalty to show their face. Well, you'll have to wait a bit longer because there is a lot of other ground to cover here in Leader Month

Let's start here, with the return of a familar face, and his new friend, our Court Wizard. This is the FTG4 Gnoll Chieftain (which I think we saw in with the Clansmen previously) and the C12 Great Goblin Shaman from a couple of years later (still only 1984, mind). I'm not 100% certain, but I feel like the latter was resculpted from (or at least copied from) the former. What do you think?

Waaaaaaaay back in January, I think, I talked about how the Gnoll Gnights were one of the inspirations for the "Royal" aspect of this project. Well, here they are, in all their red and yellow glory:

Five identically posed models, of course. I really, really wanted to convert one into a standard bearer, and perhaps some lancers, but this is one model I couldn't find a broken example of! That said, they all come with horrible excess metal around their face, raised arm and shield (hence the slightly broken-nosed look). I sort of enjoyed the challenge of finding five different heraldic patterns and translating them onto the folds of the caparisons.

Sort of.

Now, I'm not entirely shy of conversions, as you know, so here's one which is big and bold and obvious. The Royal Standard bearer started life as just another Gnoll with (out) hand weapon. I reposed the arm and added the home made standard and pole. The shield is a press moulding of an old Bret (?) one. The grey highlighting of the black boar's head is a bit heavy handed and makes it look a bit wolflike, but still. His helmet is sculpted on with greenstuff (leading me to think that I could have converted more of the unhelmeted models, but it would have been a lot of work. And I'm very lazy.

Well, surely that's enough for one month? What's that? Isn't there a King and Queen to see? No pleasing some people is there...

Here we go then: His Royal Gnollness, King Waleran** (Wally to his friends)

This is King Wally in dismounted mode, showing off the original version of the shield carried by his standard bearer. He is defnitely NOT stood on a box in order to look Royally imposing, how dare you! His axe here is fixed to the base, not his hand, so that he can be moved to his proper place, his Royal Chariot.

This is the FTG13 Gnoll Chieftain's Chariot with just a couple of additions - wheel blades and the long, trailing banner. That's the same standard bearer as ended up in the Huscarls, by the way. The concealed crewman here also appears on the other chariot, so you can look at him (or his double) later.

King Wally is still NOT stood on a box, for those wondering.

Sigh. I suppose you want to see the Gnoll Queen, as well? 

Fine. Bit of a gamble this one - she's a MODERN, NON-CITADEL miniature, and heavily converted, at that. No, I don't know what I was thinking, either.

Please be upstanding for Her Royal Gnollness, Queen Boardica***

Bonus points for identifying the offending donor model. I've modified her weapon, armour, feet(!) and face - but the eyepatch is original.

Our Queen travelled from a distant tribe in order to capture King Waleran's heart, and thus a share in his kingdom. Rumours that she is stronger, tougher and smarter than her husband are plainly ridiculous (and continually quashed by The Aunts) though it is true that the army, and a lot of other things, are better organised since she took to the throne. And she definitely added those wheel blades to the chariots.

Speaking of which, the second Royal Chariot:

Some different alterations here. The standard bearer (lost to the Huscarls) is replaced with a plain archer. The Queen's lance pennants surfice to announce her presence (and help the King feel superior, for once.)  The original driver was missing, so I took the opportunity to further differentiate the chariots by using the driver from a later Goblin chariot. Finally, to accomodate the depth of the Queen's side on stance, I extended the chariot floor with a sheet of balsa wood.

In the second picture, you can see the 4th passenger (which is the same as in the other chariot). As they wear the hooded robes of Night Goblins, I painted them black - it also helps them stand out amidst all the browns. As the Grand Shaman is the only other example in the army, they could also be wizards? Or maybe they are mysterious Gninjas, acting as bodyguards for the Royal Couple? This has gone on long enough, so let's just leave them as Gnolls for gnow...

Scores for May:      1068 points (!)                    11 models

1 x Gnoll Court Shaman       (Level 20 Orc Wizard)                                       251 points

5 x Gnoll Gnights                  (Orc Snortas)                                                      235 points

1 x Royal Standard    (Level 15 Orc Hero, Lt Arm, Sh, Army Standard)          141 points

King Waleran                   (Level 20 Orc Hero, Lt Arm, Sh, 2 Hd Wpn)           121 points

Queen Boardica                (Level 25 Orc Hero, Hvy Arm, Lance)                    148 points

2 x Royal Chariots           (2x Bows, Scythed Wheels)                                       172 points

Running Total:             2779 points            192 models

I haven't checked, but I suspect I need to drop the levels of some of the characters to make the list "legal". I'll worry about that in the July wrap up post, I think

Coming Next: Wild Card month!

* ...the one eyed Gnoll is Queen? Doesn't quite work does it...

** named after the 1st Earl of Worcester. Remember him?


Monday, May 9, 2022

MAY...Tom's Space Orks (R&F month 4 of 4) (177 points)

This month is the month I have kinda planed for. 
Every OWAC month previously I have painted a vehicle and now this month sees them posted, and me grabbing a sneaky few weeks rest to recharge the painting mojo :)
For this reason I've switched this month back to a Rank and File month, and save my Wildcard for the finale :)

Anyhow, wasting no more time, here's a fabulous Scorcha!

I'm very pleased I've managed to paint this beast 👆, it's a very long vehicle! The wartrak is pinned to the base, and so are the wheels of the towed fuel tank, hopefully negating the need to pin these two parts together. To do this I glued the wartrak to the base, and then drilled and added the pins AFTER. Same with the fuel tank. The only thing I regret not doing, is that I haven't pinned the little grot on the back in place. He's already fallen offf multiple times...

Following the scorcha, here are three war buggies:

Buggy with multi melta.

Initially I started painting these with a red chassis, but after a month or so of no painting action, I re-painted it black and added the metallic vibe. Progress was a lot quicker and more enjoyable after that switcharoo!

Like the scorcha, all these buggies are pinned via their wheels to the base. I think some of the gunners are pinned into the chassis, all of the heavy weapons are pinned into their mountings, and I think two of the drivers are pinned into their chair -  this was done by lightly gluing them first and then drilling up through the chassis into the drivers rear, and the gunners foot. Pins put in place, and then they are re-glued into position after painting.

This buggy sports a white panel, which has obviously been 'borrowed' from elsewhere. At least that's what I tell myself - I've no idea why I painted it white, it just kinda 'fit'.

Buggy with Heavy Plasma

This buggy was the first one I completed painting. 
(It was painted all red, with an aim for the others to follow suite, but in the end I switched up their colouration for that variation yo).

Buggy with Twin Heavy Boltas.

This buggy I will not claim points for as the vehicle had a basecoat of red before starting the challenge (it was a model just started and then left at the end of last years OWAC, and as such was a bit of a painting sticking point for me, having been looking at it for nearly the best part of a year! Although the red had been undercoated, this was the last of these vehicles that I completed, but I think it might well be my favourite now). 

The crew were blank though, and I will claim the two 2 model count for painting them please!



This lovely model is produced by Ramshackle Games - sold as a Boom Wagon, but visually based on the Epic scale Spleenrippa.

I'll count this as an EXTRA (so no points).


Back in the day, orks (specifically bloodaxe's, if my memory serves correctly) could purchase/requisition Imperial Robots (the one pictured here most likely representing the Katafrakt variant with its flamer, lascannon and bolta), but any Mek worth their salt could make their own robots - up to four - for remote control use. 
Unfortunately the models that represent the wonders that are the tinbots, are way too expensive for me but I still keep a weather eye out!

This Imperial one though was available through Satyr Studios for a short time at least, and I was very fortunate to pick one up later through Jason Lye and his lovely store at ye_alchemist.

I could use this as a stand in dreadnaught too I guess, but for now it goes in the EXTRA pile, so nil point.

And now to round up the figure count I painted this Ork Musician.
After painting, I kinda think that his 'drum' is a Space Marine helmet?
Anyhow, this model is a fan sculpt of Braglub - pictured here, courtesy of solegends. Also leadplague has posted about him on their blog. Check out their AWESOME RT Ork army. It is magnifique.

Also this grot will boost the grot numbers up to five so far. Technically I suppose this particular runt is an assistant, but he'll be used here as a regular piece of cannon fodder:

50...Buggy with Heavy Plasma
FREE...Buggy with Twin Heavy Boltas (already basecoated, so no points)
65...Buggy with Multimelta
FREE...Battlewagon (I am costing this as an EXTRA) 
FREE...Robot (Also costed as an EXTRA)
Total: 177

Maciek's Dwarfs - Bretonnian allies - mounted squires (175 points)

Rank & File month 3

For April, I present you a squadron of allied Bretonnian light cavalry. 

These mounted squires are the scouts and bodyguard of the Bretonnian sorcerers that joins the dwarfs of Karak Varg on their campaign against the green skins.

The colour inspiration came from the Maciejowski Bible, a primary source for mid-13th century fashion and military equipment. The folios (which, by the way, seem like a chronicle of incessant violence) depict a lot of de-saturated primary colours - blues, greens and reds turning to oranges, so that is the palette I went for.

Folio 23, Saul is victorious, sourced from the Morgan Library

Five of the models are mounted squires awesomely sculpted by the Perry brothers, with characterful faces, strong historical inspiration and attention to detail - it was an absolute pleasure to paint them. 

For this month I dabbled with two painting techniques which I have not used before. For riders I tried monochrome underpainting. I did not quite work for me. For the effects to be visible it required the use of translucent glazes so that the shading beneath shows through. But it also meant that colours looked a bit blotchy and were more de-saturated than I wished. To get the effects I wanted, I had to anyway resort to more classic layering, but that covered all the monochrome shading beneath. Not sure I am sold on this technique - happy to hear from the other painters if underpainting works for you and if there are important points to keep in mind, that I may have missed.

For the horses, I tried a bit of wet blending (the 'blonde' horse). It does produce very smooth transitions, but I will have to push the contrast further. Definitely a method to develop and has the advantage of being rather quick - the whole colour (horse) can be done in a single pass. Painting the horses was more time consuming than I expected (even more than skeletal horses last year) so I'll be happy to be back to dwarfs in May.

The coat of arms on the banner is "Nałęcz", which essentially depicts a white kerchief that seemed fitting for a Bretonnian sorceress. It should fit well with my existing 13th century feudal force.


One thing I did not finish are the heraldic shields. The red plain shield on the Harlequin rider is a temporary proxy. I will be painting them and upgrading the riders next month.

Accounting: 5 mounted squires with spears, bows and light armour (100) + standard and musician (40) + commoner champion (35) = 175 points 

Speaking of next month I have yet to decide whether to go for the last regiment or do a cannon and "leftovers" to complete the units completed so far (more longbeards, crossbow standard and shields). Thanks for looking and see you next month!

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