Friday, 17 August 2018

At the Court of the Silver King - Chapter II: An Unexpected Picnic

After having fended off the predations of the Duc d'Castlefells, Artorian must now find his way out of the high hills by any means possible...

Saturday, 4 August 2018

At the Court of the Silver King - Chapter I: The Castlefells

Following the magical attack on the Revenger, Knight-Questor Artorian Fellstrider finds himself wrecked on the coast of the Gloom Sea. He must find his way to the city of Gravenport, and from there onto the Lion's Den and the Silver King himself. First however he must overcome the Castlefells...

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Custodes WIP (July)

This month I've been adding culture and custom transfers to my Custodes
Well I've been very busy this past month, but I did manage to fit in some time to do some painting over one weekend. I've decided when painting my Talons of the Emperor that I'll paint them one squad at a time alongside a hero so as to avoid batch painting.

I largely followed the WHTV tutorials for painting these Custodians (as I discussed previously), though I did include some Baharroth Blue when painting their swords between the layers of Temple Guard Blue and the White. They are almost done now, just final touches and tidying up in places to do now. I will base the whole army at the end when I've worked out how I'll achieve the effect I want.

(Left to Right) The Last Judgement - Michelangelo, Lady with an Ermine - da Vinci,
 Lady with a Unicorn - Raphael,  Portrait of a Woman - Veneto
I decided that I really wanted my Custodes to represent the heights of humanity, being the pinnacle of all of old Earth's science and culture, and the Emperor's vision of the future. I'm also at university studying history and wanted an excuse to use my degree. I've elected to use custom transfers of pieces of Renaissance Italian art to add some extra visual interest to my miniatures. Some of the ones I have planned are fairly famous, others are just ones I like. While I've studied Dutch Renaissance art as well, I decided to limit myself to Italy which I'm more familiar with. I tried out a few different pieces of art, but ultimately decided to go with portraits for the Custodians and the centre figures of Michelangelo's Last Judgement for the Shield-Captain.

(Left to Right) Cosimo I d'Medici - Bronzio, Pope Alexander VI - dell'Altissimo,  Leonardo Loredana - Bellini
I've also started doing some more work on my Sisters of Silence. I have added portraits to their capes as well (or at least those that aren't fur), and as I noticed that I had used female portraits on my Custodes; I elected to use male portraits on my Silent Sisters. Should I add a HQ choice for my sisters I will add another rendition of Christ and the Virgin Mary to her cloak, though perhaps one of Mary and the Christ-Child rather than another one of the Last Judgement. So the effect will be that these first two squads mirror one another.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

AoS - At the Court of the Silver King - Prologue

'At the Court of the Silver King' is going to be my first narrative-driven foray into painting and modelling in the Age of Sigmar. At the centre of this shall be my Flesh Eater Courts army, the mad minions of the legendary Silver King himself. I shall also be converting several small war bands representing characters and forces that are travelling to the Silver King's court with myriad interests and intrigues in mind.

As I complete characters and units for this project I shall be posting them on the blog alongside some narrative prose to create a sense of this corner of the mortal realms I am creating. While I cant guarantee a high quality, I hope this will give me the chance to try and improve some creative writing skills as writing is something I enjoy doing and would love to get better at!

I started getting miniatures together for this project when the Flesh Eater Courts battle tome first came out (about two years ago I think) but due to uni and only having sporadic moments of interest in AoS I haven't really gotten much done. With the release of the second edition of Age of Sigmar I have been reinvigorated and I've gathered together all the plans and notes I started compiling two years ago in order to actually start this planned narrative project.

We begin our story on the wind-swept deck of The Revenger, a ship of Scourge Privateers taking their deadly cargo across the Gloom Sea...

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Custodes WIP (June)

The crusade begins!
So I've finally managed to get hold of the first few boxes of Custodes I will need for my initial 1000pt army. I know that at the start of the year I would only start on a Custodes force when I had finished some more projects, but due to my decision to sell my Dark Angels and Imperial Guard I somehow managed to justify spending my cash on a few boxes of Custodes. I had bought some gold spray paint a while ago for my Sisters of Silence and I've had some free time after exams so I couldn't help but start putting things together and laying down some base colours.

So the core of this force will be two squads of three Custodian Guard, one with spears and one with swords. To make these I have mixed and matched three Custodes with three easy-build Stormcast Liberators, alongside some spare bits. One thing I've really tried to do with my Custodes (where the kits have allowed it) is to create a strong, square silhouette. I decided to start this force back when Trajann Valoris was first previewed because I loved how square he was and how solid and intimidating a look that is. I've therefore endeavoured to create a 'squareness' to my Custodes, creating vaguely square silhouettes by refraining from using tall helms and changing poses to create strong visual lines.

Fluff-wise I am terming this force: the Mourner-Host, being composed of members of the Adeptus Custodes who ordinarily do not leave the confines of the Imperial Palace due to the fact they primarily do not serve the Emperor in combat-roles. These are his librarians, his philosophers, and the private executioners of his will. Though they maintain  a traditional colour-scheme of gold and scarlet, they continue to wear the black of mourning as they mourn not only the Emperor, but also the death of his dream for humanity to which they were particularly close. They have been gathered by the Lord-Historian, newly wakened from his millennia long cryo-sleep, to accompany him on his travels through the Imperium. The wisdom, knowledge and ideals they bring with them, will be a familiar assurance to the Lord-Historian who has found himself in an Imperium far more alien than any he has awaken in before.

Apologies for the poor photos, I only had my phone camera available and not the best lighting conditions but you get the idea of what I'm doing. 

- The Neo-Sigillites
Made using Custodes torsos and Stomrcast legs, this is a conversion I have seen many times before and though looked quite effective. Mix and matching Custodes with Stormcasts was not as difficult as I thought it might have been, it just required a little thought when cutting and some use of green stuff to cover the few gaps. I then added Allarus helmets to keep their silhouette low and squarish which I'm going to paint red in lieu of them having crimson plumes. I've added books at their hips as I imagine these as the keeper's of the Emperor's personal library on Terra. They are loyal servants of the Lord-Historian who attend to him while he is in cryo-sleep, now venturing forth at his side to collect new materials for the Emperor's library.

- The Watchers
So I made these using a combination of Custodes legs and Stormcast torsos. I've been very unimpressed with attempts I have seen by a few people to make the most of the Custodes kit by simply sticking spare heads and weapons onto Stormcasts. In my opinion they just look like Stormcasts holding the wrong gear, and I think my torso/leg swap is much more effective at making them distinctly custodian. I've also added some cloaks to help add 'squareness' around the shoulders and emulate the robes of mourning seen on the cover of the book 'Watchers of the Throne' which has served as inspiration for my colour scheme. These individuals with their long plumes and ornate armour are philosophers, they are known as the Watchers because they spend much of their time standing upon the walls of the Imperial Palace, looking out over the surface of Terra and ruminating on the nature of death and sacrifice.

I've then build two Shield-Captains with the appropriate load-out to lead each squad.

- The Wall
This was the very first character I envisioned for this force and rather than waffling about how I put him together I'll just paste my first write-up of fluff I wrote for this army: This grim Custodian never speaks, indeed no one knows quite who he is or how old he is. His armour is certainly aged and atop his head The Wall wears the helm of an Imperial Fists Legionnaire. Many believe he was there upon the walls of the Imperial Palace when the traitors laid it to siege (from whence he has gained his moniker from the Watchers) and wears the yellow helmet in remembrance of a fallen companion from that battle. Whether he is a truly ancient Custodian, or if many have inherited the armour and role, nobody knows. When he leaves the Palace, he is followed by a procession of Custodians who feel drawn to him as a manifestation of the Emperor's will and follow his silent commands into war. Mysterious as The Wall may be, he is respected and revered by his fellow Custodians for being a near-mystical expression of of their order's duty and vigil of remembrance.

- Commodus Vendyrion, Lord-Magister
I wanted to try and adapt the look of a basic Custode, making them sleeker and more agile looking. My initial idea was to convert a squad of Custodes Assassins but non of my ideas panned out so I decided to just take my best ideas and apply it to a single miniature to use as a shield-captain.
Fluff-wise, he is a keeper of ancient knowledge from old Terra, a master of mysticism and an expert on long-extinct ideologies that promised their adherents enlightenment. His armour is not marked with the same symbols of the Emperor as his brethren, instead I will cover it in arcane glyphs from times long forgotten.

- The Emperor's Executioners
Alongside this core of my army I have my Allarus Custodes who I think are absolutely gorgeous miniatures. As hunters of enemy commanders, I decided to make my unit look like grim executioners and swapped out their heads for ones with cowls from the Deathwing set, while removing the plume to lower their profile. This order was responsible for the execution of prisoners, political dissidents, and others during the Unification Wars. They persisted until the time of the Horus Heresy and the Scouring, keeping a level of fear and order on Terra in that turbulent time.

- Theophilos Drax, The Lord-Iconoclast
I happened to have another Stormcast body from an old abandoned project which I have extensively converted into a Shield-Captain in Allarus armour. The Lord-Iconoclast joins the Executioners but has a duty beyond simply killing the leaders of the Emperor's foes. He is also tasked with the destruction of enemy artefacts. This position has existed in some form in the Custodes since the Unification Wars where the Lord-Iconoclast was charged with the destruction of ancient Terra's holy places following their conquest by the Emperor's armies. I see him and the executioners as those more responsible for clean-up and pacification than actual combat, but now sally forth with the Lord-Historian in hopes of fulfilling their ancient roles in a new galaxy.

It was my birthday recently and I received some more Custodes stuff which I should hopefully start work on soon. This includes some Vertus Praetors whose helms I've already purloined for the Watchers, Trajann Valoris himself (who I'm very excited to work on), and Tribune Ixion Hale from Forge World who I plan on converting into my Lord-Historian who will lead the force when I'm not fielding Valoris. Lots still to do on these current ones though and I hope that this entire project doesn't end up lasting longer than this year!

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