Sunday, 30 August 2009

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot...

The next phase of the Lion Chariot is under way!

I made up the chariot and undercoated it. Now I can paint it without anything else on it, allowing me to get to all the fiddly bits in all the right places. Now, just to decide what colours to put where… I’m thinking a lot of gold as usual in my army, and maybe cream wood, or gray but I really don’t know still.

I then moved back to the lions again. The headless bodies were undercoated and the teeth and tongue were painted.
The heads were then glued into place and left to dry. This morning, I took out my new Green Stuff and blended the head mane to the body mane, in an effort to hide the horrible gap that the two pieces make which renders the whole thing very unrealistic.

I used a small sausage of Stuff pressed along the gap, and then sharpened a pencil and drew out wavy lines to match the fur underneath. I did have a sculpting tool that I was going to use, but I’ve misplaced it for now. I spent ages looking but haven’t found it. A pencil worked nicely for this little tidy-up job anyway!

This was also my first attempt at using Green Stuff. I read up a LOT before just banging away with it. Games Workshop did used to have a modelling article on using it, though with the new site I think the article has since disappeared. I simply googled ‘sculpting fur’ and a whole ream of sites popped up, all put to good use.

My tip? Use Vasleine to lubricate your fingers and tools while working with Green Stuff, and try not to touch it more than necessary. It has a texture rather like chewing gum initially, and then it tends to set the more it is worked. I found this out while mixing the two strips, since I kneaded them together for so long they went hard before I could use it! Green Stuff doesn’t set totally firm apparently, though it does get to a state when it can not have any more shape put to it.

Anyway, the Lions are now setting, I plan to leave them for a day or so before undercoating again and painting them. I might get to work on painting the Chariot itself, but am still undecided on a paint scheme, so I might get back to work on some of my other distractions.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Honourable Mention

This little beaut is my finished Prince! After so long working on him, and I'm so proud. For the rest of my models, please check my photobucket gallery.

So I took my little army off to Warhammer World today as I was entered in the Summer of War Painting Competition. So I wake up at about 7, and leave my house at half 8. Drive all the way to Nottingham, and set my things up. Warhammer World was heaving. Turned out that a gaming club had organised a tournament to be held on the same day, so the whole hall was in use, as well as the store being packed with the usual saturday gamers and kids and those of us there for the painting.

We had to set up on a table IN the store part of Warhammer World. It's not the best lit place, and a little bit dangerous with the amount of people in such a smal area and the fact many people had coffee in polystryene cups on this particular day. I digress. I was given a tray to set up in, and massed my Elves in all their orange glory. I had a few questions even as I opened my case as to why the orange. I replied with, 'I just hate the standard colour scheme!'

There were a LOT of Space Marines... and one army of Ravenwing Terminators, which were very good. One army of Imperial Guard, some Nurgle Chaos Daemons, and some Empire Knights with machines, and some Tyranids.

I managed to come away with an Honourable Mention, and the guy with the big impressive Hive Tyrant and massive creatures and his 'Nids won. Fair enough, some of it was converted, but I didn't think they were THAT good. The Ravenwing were better in my opinion but, c'est le vie!

It was a good day, and I met some interesting people and ate a whole lot of food.

Now, to paint that Lion Chariot some more...

Friday, 28 August 2009

By The Authority Of The Immortal Emperor...

Okay, here we go. Background for my Sisters of Battle. Please let me know what you think...
Index Sororitas – The Order of the Merciful Tear
The Sisters of Mercy

"We weep for those who know not the Emperor’s light."

“Nothing is certain. Only death is absolute, and thus only in death can forgiveness be found. Only the Emperor has the power to grant that forgiveness, we merely show mercy and purge the unclean in order for him to do so.”

By the 41st Millenium the Orders Militant of the Adepta Sororitas were already well established. It was in the year 978999.M41 that the Order of the Merciful Tear was declared, an offshoot from one of the six original Orders Militant; the Order of the Ebon Chalice founded by Alicia Dominica.

The origins of the Order began on the world Quintarn where the Order of the Cleansing Water were working tirelessly in a search and rescue mission for the civilians. Their world was locked in skirmishes against the Dark Eldar, with numerous men fighting on all fronts. The women and children were put into encampments for their safety, as well as some of the women aiding the Sisters Hospitaller while they worked to treat the men injured in the fight.

They had been working on the planet for many months without serious incident when the Hospital encampment was ambushed under cover of nightfall. Raiders from the attacking Dark Eldar force struck quickly before any reaction could be taken. Of course the camp was made up of the wounded and the non-combatant Sisters Hospitaller, who were powerless to stop the aliens from taking the children away for slaves, and cutting down the mothers who protected them. Many Sisters lost their lives in an attempt to withstand the attack, and those who remained had only their prayers to help them. As suddenly as they had appeared, the Dark Eldar left, leaving only bloodied corpses in their wake. Leading the remaining stricken women in prayer, the Sisters of the Order of the Cleansing Water appealed to the Emperor. And what came to pass that night was nothing short of a miracle.

The women and Sisters delved deep in their prayer, their grief and belief in the Emperor causing his light to fill each and every one of them. Time appeared to stand still inside the simple hospital tent of the encampment, and unearthly voices were said to be heard filling the air in divine chorus. All the young women there had lost someone, a brother, a son, a father, a husband, or a lover. One woman had lost all of these at once that night, her son taken from her and her brother and father killed in the raids. Her lover lay stricken in bed with a high fever, and little hope of recovery. Her mind was filled with visions of the Emperor and holy righteousness, bright as a star and as dangerous as a flame. She wept as she witnessed this, her tears of joy mixing with the salted trails left by the tears of her grief. The moment passed, and then she along with all the other women there took up the arms of their fallen heroes and went to tracking their enemies. She led the women out into the night; a simple women named Bellona, and came to be the first Canoness of the Order of the Merciful Tear.

By the light of their faith, the path of their attackers was revealed to them and the women followed the tracks till they came to the settlement of Dark Eldar. In the night, their fortunes were reversed and the ambush attack they had carried out was brought back to haunt them as the women attacked them with the same surprise and vigor they had shown. While being devastating in the first few moments of the attack, the Dark Eldar soon returned fire once they had organized themselves and the women began to fail. Bellona refused to give up, declaring the Emperor’s great name and bringing faith to her faltering friends. Unable to match the tactics of the Eldar, the women soon found themselves surrounded.

All had seemed lost, but with one last defiant call to the skies Bellona seemed to summon the Order of the Ebon Chalice to their aid. The Sisters appeared on time to surround the otherwise engaged Eldar and opened fire on them from the rear. The result devastated the aliens, and those who were not cut down and purged by the cleansing fires of the Sisters retreated to their hidden Webways, and escaped.

Enlightened by Bellona and the other women of the camp, and having been in discussion with the Sisters Hospitaller, the Order of the Ebon Chalice decided to petition for the women in the camp to become their own Order, bolstered by the inductees of the Ebon Chalice, as such righteous courage should not be ignored. And so the Order of the Merciful Tear was born, so named for the tears the women had wept to see their loves struck down as well as the tears of joy at their Canoness’ vision, and Bellona was named as that Canoness and the first of the Order.

The Order of the Merciful Tear resides as part of the Convent Prioris on Terra, the Fortress Monastery is small in comparison to the other Orders, though none the less resplendent, a highly detailed monument to the glory of the Emperor. It lies nearby to the Order Hospitaller, and the Monastery of the Order of the Cleansing Water where the two Orders have a strong bond to this day. In fact the Sisters of the Cleansing Water often serve as the Order of the Merciful Tear’s personal apothecary’s and hospital staff.

+++ Datafile: Power Armour of the Order of the Merciful Tear.
+++ Ref. Inquisition Databanks.
+++ Further access restricted

All Sisters of the Merciful Tear wear bone coloured power armour, alike to the bleached colour of their enemy’s bones once they have been stripped of flesh by their flamers, decorated with a droplet of blue to show the ‘tear’ motif of their Order, rather than the usual Fleur de Lys or wings of the Sisters. Their robes are royal blue and the colour is echoes through the Order’s
imagery of tears and purity. Even the Sisters Repentia are clothed in the Order colours, though
their armour is significantly less than their Battle Sisters. Those who wear helms to battle use the standard Sabbat pattern, however those who do not often choose to tattoo their faces with a single black tear upon their cheek in symbolism of their ‘merciful tears’ and the lives lost in their initial founding. All Sisters carry the standard issue Godwyn De’Az Pattern Bolter, usually painted with yellow and black hazard stripes.

+++Datafile: Helm Variations of the Order of the Merciful Tear.
+++ Ref. Inquisition Databanks.
+++ Additional: Godwyn-De’Az Pattern Bolter...
+++ ...
+++ Data Currently Unavailable

Sisters Superior are adorned with a great many more purity seals, and many choose to go without helms knowing the Emperor will protect them. Variations of gothic scripture, and prayers are often engraved onto their armour as extra blessing and signs of their faith.

+++Armoury Files: Eviscerator.
+++ The name for the weapons used by the Repentia comes from the word, Evisceration meaning to remove infernal material from the eye. The Eviscerator is a massive two handed weapon weilded by these exiled Sisters, as ceremonial as they are dangerous.

+++ They are usually gold coloured, and polished to a high sheen as an act of purificication before battle by the Repentia. Many seals and prayers to the Emperor adorn them, fastened into place by purity seals.

+++ Each sword is obscenely large, often being a head larger than the Sister who weilds it. Occaisionally Eviscerators are fitted with a small flame-thrower called an Exterminator, which makes the weapon almost impossible to avoid. Whilst being a low-tech weapon by comparison to newer technologies released by the Imperium and Inquisition, the Eviscerator has come to symbolise religious wrath making it a fitting weapon for the Sisters Repentia in their quest for absolution

Unlike their Brothers the Astartes, they do not use the helm colour variations, choosing to detonate rank by white embroidered trims on their blue robes. Sisters have no trim, Superiors have one band of white. Celestians and the Canoness will have two bands of white. Celestians of the Order will also edge their armour in gold, rather than the standard plain bone colour of the rank Sisters.

Quintarn is an Agri-World close by to the Ultramarines Home and Training Worlds. Having taken their founders from here and the remaining women abandoned from the Dark Eldar Raids, the Sisters of Mercy began firmer foundations on Terra. The taint of the raid left its mark on each Sister present, and there is still great grief among current members for what had befallen their Sisters in their founding. Such is their sadness, the Dark Eldar are hated and feared in equal measure though this only fuels their crusade across the stars to rid Mankind of the xeno, witch and heretic.

The Sisters take in the women from Quintarn before all others, though any willing devotee of the Emperor is welcomed into the ranks of the Order of the Merciful Tear. Due to the nature of their relationship alongside the Order of the Cleansing Water, the two Orders will often trade novice members should the novice decide she is better suited to one role than another.

Currently standing at around 1000 Sisters, the Order of the Merciful Tear is equivalent to an Order of Adeptus Astartes, lead by their Canoness Superior, who answers to the Abbess and any Inquisitor who asks for assistance. The Order currently work closely with Inquisitor Lord Eleanor Atalanta, and Canoness Beriana and many other Sisters Superior have formed strong bonds with her. Often the whole Order will go to war in the aid of the Inquisitor Lord.

The Order of the Merciful Tear is arranged much like the Index Astartes, with companies ranging from the Veteran 1st Company, to the Battle Companies of the 4th to the 6th.

The Veterans of the 1st Company are the five woman strong Celestians, who serve as a body guard to the Canoness. Sister Necia is currently the longest serving Celestian, and leads the group into the thickest of battles using her passionate nature to whip her Sisters into a feverent purge. She is proud to have witnessed many deeds the Order has accomplished, and to have the longest chaplet second only to the Mistress of the Repentia.

The 2nd Company consists of the specialist Seraphim who serve as the Order’s assault force. Seraphim Sister Aleda is the Superior of the squad and has been gifted one of the Orders oldest jump packs – a holy relic from the founding of the Sisters of Mercy. These Sisters form the speartip of the Order when called to war, striking hard and fast in the heart of the enemy before retreating in order to reform and perform a series of such attacks. The result is often crippling, since the Seraphim appear like Angels of Death, and the imagery alone results in the total freeze of most enemy forces through physiological means.

The Sisters Repentia make up the 3rd Company of the Order of the Merciful Tear, under the careful direction of Sister Solus. The elite force behind the Order, and commonly the most devastating, with their ability to smash through ranks of even hardened troops and slice flesh from bone. However they can be unruly and dangerous so it is because of this the Inquisition ordered the Priest Isaac into the Order, and he is the only serving male. Without his presence and direction the Order is unable to field the Repentia, keeping them from the absolution they crave.

+++ Report – To Inquisitor Lord Eleanor Atalanta
+++ Canoness Beriana
“Our Repentia number among the finest servants the Emperor could ask of us. They are silent and thus they strike fear into the hearts and unnerve our foes, they are willing and thus focused to their task, and they are humbled, knowing their failure to purge the heretic will keep them alive and further from the absolution they so desire.”

Three squads of Standard Battle Sisters are the core troops of the Order and each is led by a Sister Superior. Sisters Candra, Eleanor and Bennett hold nine other Sisters under their command and each equipped with two assault weapons usually flame-throwers or the newer multi-meltas. These are the faithful followers of the Emperors Light, and without the steadfast discipline displayed by each Sister the Order would soon crumble.

7th Company led by Sister Ursula are the Retributor squad, and the heavy weapons specialists. Alike to most Sisters of Battle, the Order of the Merciful Tear prefer to use fire type weapons, meltas and plasmas for the purifying effect the flames represent. They have in stock a number of heavy bolt gun specialists, as well as experts with storm bolters should the situation arise for the need for such weapons. The Retributors of the Merciful Tear pride themselves on being able to adapt to any situation, and the fact they are prepared for anything.

Penitent Engines are true works of fear, as well as being the height of discipline and engineering. The 8th Company is made up of two of these machines, each containing a heretic whose name has been wiped from the datafiles, their crimes against the Emperor so heinous they could never be recalled, and that not even arco-flagellation was enough. The Nameless have a haunting quality when immobilised, but upon the battlefield fuelled by combat stimms the Engines come alive, powered only by the frantic urge of the heretics who desperately seek forgiveness. While not always the first choice of the Sisters of Mercy, as they prefer to leave judgment to the Emperor, only these two cases have been recorded as so terrible to demand entombment in a Penitent Engine.

+++ Sister Solus – Mistress of the Repentia
“I do not fear death. If it should be the Emperor requires me for some higher purpose, then I shall welcome death as an old friend and wrap mine arms about it.”

[Dropcap]L[/dropcap]ike all Sisters, the Order of the Merciful Tear’s battle cry states their devout faith and unshakable nerve in the face of the heretic, the daemon and the witch. Variations on this are cried as they enter battle, with the addition of their own cry.

“For the Emperor!”
“Show them mercy, take them to the Emperor!”

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Try A Little Tenderness.

Look what arrived this morning!

My first of a few ebay purchases. Now this Repentia Mistress can be cleaned up, undercoated and ready to receive the new Order colours. There is a lot of flash on her, compared to my previous model. Yes. I still remember what it was like when I bought it.

I went out last night for a friend’s birthday in rather silly high heels, and decided I’d walk all the way there. I’m crippled today. Thank GOD another friend was kind enough to give me a lift home. I’ve found 10 blisters on my feet in total, with 3 of them being across the ball of my foot where I can’t burst them since the skin is too thick. And one is nearly purple…Blegh.

Such is life, so I settled down today for some serious assembly and running repairs.

I’d decided I was going to experiment with Cillit Bang and its properties of paint stripping a few days ago. So after a day or so in the pot, then a good scrubbing with an old toothbrush, out came this.

It really does make it super shiny, though the surface seems a bit pitted… I don’t know if this is just the metal or some sort of warping. I’m undercoating her again and seeing what happens. So she’s a real test model for everything. I put a plastic marine in there too, to see what came out better. The paint on the marine came off mostly, but it had had several layers more, and horribly thick ones at that, so some of the paint came off and went odd colours and went pitted again. I think he was beyond saving. But he was an old model we’d ripped parts off for other things, so he didn’t matter so much. For now, there are two metal Waywatchers in the Bang after my brother has decided he’s giving up Woodies in preference to their Dark Elf cousins.

Now I settled down to some repairs. We’re selling off a lot of old stuff right now, and some of it is damaged or old enough to have fallen off its base. So an old Marine Librarian got stuck back together and a Dreadnought got some TLC.

Then I moved back onto my High Elves. Ages ago I bought THIS.

And fell in love. But then got busy and never made it up. Today, I clipped all my parts free and went about setting it up. I’d asked at my resident friendly forum, The Underempire, how people would recommend building it and the general consensus was to do it in parts, especially the charioteers.

So, I assembled my lions first. I’m not sure, but I think I’ll undercoat them before sticking the faces on since one has a tongue and the general mouth area is visible and I can tell it’ll be an ass to paint when it’s all together. I need some Greenstuff too, since when holding it together before gluing, I found there’s a nasty gap where the facial mane doesn’t blend into the mane on the shoulder part of the lions.

Next came the driver Elf man. Sticking him roughly onto the base, I was able to position his head down and across in the direction he is steering. I’ll attach his arms later once I’ve assembled the actual chariot and got it looking like he knows where he’s going.

I have also started on the chariot base but it’s a little fiddly, so I’m waiting between parts for the glue to dry. That way, I won’t knock parts off I’ve already stuck down.

Still working away on my background for the Order of the Merciful Tear. Probably be able to post it up tomorrow morning sometime.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

The Elves.

Thought I'd better update again with some images of my current Elf force, based in Caledor and unusual colours of white and orange. There is a lot of background on them that I've got stashed around.

Recently I've entered the Summer of War painting competition, and had to paint 750+ points. I signed up thinking I can't have that many points of models already... and went home and found that I had, as well as more models still unpainted. I have old images mostly, of thing half based. I'll add them here once I've photographed them again. Until then, some tasters:

Lord Narian - Commander

Spearmen & Banner Detail

Battle Standard Bearer

And my current WIP and pride and joy:
Prince Caranthir - Champion of Caledor.

1 x Mage (From the mage/archamge box)
1 x Lion Chariot

How It All Began.

From the start I'd always loved the Witch Hunters army. The whole lot of them seemed so epic and gothic, and the minatures are so detailed. I bought lots and painted them all up, the Order of Our Martyerd Lady. Life got in the way and they sat to one side, forgotten until about three months ago. I dug them out again after starting High Elves, and I was horrified.

So I sold all my old Sisters of Battle off. I hated them, eventually. They had a terrible paint job, a standard colour scheme and a thick coating of horribly shiny varnish. I could do better. Comparing my Elves to them was shocking, so I decided to start over. I recently came up with some background and a nicer scheme for them, much thanks to the Bolter and Chainsword Forums. I had been reading the Horus Heresy books too, which did well to re-fuel my passion for the Sisters, and 40k in general actually.

So I came up with this: The Order of the Merciful Tear

Once I've finished the background properly, and all the twiddly bits inbetween, I'll host that up here too probably... maybe. We'll see. I'm currently looking on ebay for some test models nice and cheapy, but they all end in a few days time so I'll have to see what happens with that too.