Saturday, 31 January 2015

At the summit of the Doom-Spire

No light pierced the infinite darkness of the Doomspire as that lonely tower sailed across the aetheric waves of eternity. 

Deep in the gloom of uncountable horrors stirred hidden servants of the black prince; half-crawling, half-limping upon misshapen limbs they carried their ill-gotten prize through the archaic mazes of crumbling stone and cyclopean edifices towards their master. As they ascended the forbidden stair dull globes of witch-light illuminated their passage. The grey light, pale as a winters morning, caused the creatures to recoil, clawed hands were swiftly raised to yellowing eyes unused to all but the subtle glow of drauglin magic. Alas they carried on, each clack of their hooves upon the iron steps echoing into the infinite abyss around them, a sonorous and repetitive sound unhindered by nought else; for that which slept in the blackness cared not to wake and remained silent.

For forgotten eons they marched, never speaking nor turning back. Higher and higher they went with no sustenance or sound, only occasionally interrupted when one of their number fell from the stair; tumbling with a whisper into oblivion. Their trek of ages would be recorded by no man for there were no men, nay there was no such concept of time itself for the Doomspire floats on the currents of a dimension long forgotten by the scholars of Raxas Prime and never sensed by such primitive apes as those who inhabit that lonely rock Earth. Their journey took them to the highest point of that reality, a godforsaken place of twisted ruin and black fire where the powers of the old void conducted their unknowable affairs. 

To the chief of these beings did the creatures present themselves, cowering and mewling before his power. The masked figure of the Hand of Fate, the King of Destinies known to mortals as the Doombringer, did observe these most wretched of monsters who dared to come before him. Regarding them with eyes older than the universe he did take from them their prize; a small thing, nought but an image and a strand of text. He observed this tribute and with a knowing smile did free his servants from their pathetic existence as he began to fill the outer heavens with the sounds of his laughter.

Friday, 23 January 2015

The Hobbit - Thranduil, King of the Woodland Realm

For Christmas my brother bought me this excellent miniature which I consider to be one of the best models to come out of the Hobbit range GW have done. In fact I liked the mounted version of his model so much I have slightly converted it to use as my avatar/antagonist within some of the Dungeons and Dragons games I run. This model is beautifully sculpted and elegantly captures the elven king in all his martial glory wielding his duel blades, cloak whirling about him. 

Thranduil, King of the Woodland Realm

This model was a real joy and challenge to paint in order to get the metallic quality into his robes, this was of course helped immensely by the quality of the sculpt which had lots of folds and creases perfect for making contrasts which I, of course, have managed to photograph terribly.

The metallic red-orange colour on the inside of his cape was difficult to achieve but I think turned out rather well and I would like to try out again on some models in the future. I was thinking that it could work really well contrasted with blue armour trimmed with silver and gold, perhaps if I ever feel like resurrecting my Tzeentchian Warriors of Chaos this would make a somewhat unique colour scheme.

The orc blood splattered on his swords, robes and cheek was simply a mix of 'Blood for the Blood God' and a small amount of 'Abaddon Black' which I think is suitably dark enough to represent orc blood but not so black in order to make it unrecognisable as blood.

I used greenstuff to sculpt some cobblestones on his base to represent the streets of Dale he fights upon later on in the final movie when he becomes unmounted from his elk. Speaking of which I found it odd that GW sculpted him upon a horse rather than the elk which he is seen riding briefly in the first film and is prominently shown in the third. 

Only a quick Hobbit post this week as I have been very busy with reading for my new modules and consequently haven't had much time for hobby work. In fact despite receiving End Times: Thanquol on Monday I am yet to read beyond the introduction I have been so busy. I should hopefully get some time to read it this weekend and get a review up next weekend for you. 

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Nagash, Elven Hosts and Sauron - New year, new projects

This week I have finally begun my new projects for this year after settling back into university. My main project is going to be Nagash, whose model I have wanted ever since I first laid eyes upon it, and then as a secondary project I will be attempting to build an Elven Host from various unfinished endeavours. I would also like to try and do some more canvas pieces this year, the first of which I have started can be found nearer the bottom of the post, and I thought I might as well put some of this art on the blog. 

This. I have needed it so bad...

Everyone and their cat seems to do unboxing photos/videos on the internet so here is my relatively poor attempt at one. The box design is quite nice, something very clean and slick about it being white that really helps to show off the model. The outer box seems to be unusually robust and made of higher grade card than usual, there is then a regular card tray that pulls out containing the sprues. 

These are the two sprues, the base and the instruction manual which also contain his rules. Rules in the box are a pretty good idea, one that I have only seen positivity for from the community. I was quite amazed that they managed to fit such a complex miniature onto only two sprues and even as I built it I was blown away by the detail and overall ambition of the model. He is sitting on my project table now ready to be sprayed and I can't wait to get to work painting him.

You can read my review of the first End Times book featuring Nagash here where I also talk a bit about the accompanying model release: End Times: Nagash - Review.

This pile of seemingly random collection of plastic and metal is a selection of various elven miniatures that I have acquired throughout the years, many in a state of total disrepair or simply without a use. They have languished in Limbo for some time now and this year I have decided to make them into a coherent force to field alongside my Dark Elves. I will be using the rules from End Times: Khaine to make a Host of the Phoenix/Eternity King. Thus far all I have done is stick the dragon together and drawn up a few plans, over the next few months I will be posting updates on this project including the overall cost of restoring and rebuilding this army. 

This year I have decided I would like to do some more canvas pieces and actually finish them. After falling out with oil paints I have largely been painting with acrylics, however I am terrible for starting pieces and never finishing them after losing interest about halfway through. This time however I have plenty of curious flatmates wandering over to my room from time to time who expect to see some level of progress. I have started two pieces, the main one being this painting of the Eye of Sauron inspired by his appearance in the Hobbit films. This is about half done with lots of work still being needed on the pupil and edges of the eye. I am also going to try and paint the One Ring text around the eye as well which should nicely finish it off. The other painting you can see in the background of a few of these pictures and is a bit of an abstract/surreal piece I will be posting when it is finished with the accompanying short piece of text that inspired it. 

This is my project table at the moment, two paintings started and Nagash ready to be sprayed. I am yet to fully assemble the great necromancer as he would be near-impossible to paint as a single piece. I should hopefully be able to start painting and post some pictures of Nagash in a week or two time, no idea when I will be able to work on the Elves or the canvas pieces. I have been spending a lot of my leisure time reading at the moment as my reading list tripled in size over Christmas and neither my copy of End Times: Thanquol or several books on 20th century history have arrived yet which will need reading almost as soon as I get them. Nagash is also going to take quite a long time to paint on account of the fact that he will require a lot of paints I don't own and I have a limited budget so it will take a few months to even get hold of the paints I need for him. 

Right, that is pretty much everything I am up to at the moment. I probably ought to go back to researching the formation of nation-states now so I will see you again next week, hopefully with a review of the new End Times book if I can read it in time. 

Doombinger out.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

The Blood Legion of the Doomspire Fleet

Dreadlord Amarth Doombringer
The Lord of the Doomspire
Before the Daemons came, before the birth of Aenarion himself, in the early days of the world is when my story begins. The race of elves were beginning to raise the first of the great cities across Ulthuan and upstart noble families assumed rulership of the early kingdoms. My story begins as I was scrabbling amongst the rocks in the wilderness; the knife at my hip being my only possession. Starving and searching for food I was alone, cast out in exile for crimes long forgotten to me and desperate for sustenance. I found nought amongst the cruel sea of stones and howled at this injustice; cursing elves and gods alike, cursing the Old Ones themselves for my very creation. 

It was then that I fell. Through years of rock and earth I tumbled into the blackness until I found the deeper darkness of another age. In the bowels of the earth I found the Emperor Dragon known only as Tyrant: an ancient power from before the coming of the Old Ones who lay broken and defeated from a primordial battle with the first of the creators. He promised me power, great sorceries and the means to cast down the agents of the Old Ones to restore the rule of dragons. The beast spoke of power and I saw potential in Tyrant's offer, but I also saw weakness in the dragon's wounded form and I hungered.

The beast screamed as I cut through it's eye, causing earthquakes as my knife rent great gashes in its surface until the fluid burst forth and I could climb into the dragon's skull. Tyrant howled as I crawled deep inside his head and as my teeth bit deep into his brain. Soon all screaming stopped as the knowledge of the ancient dragons became mine, as their power became mine. I emerged from the darkness with the strength of another age and raised a mighty keep above the broken body of the dragon. I consumed Tyrant's brain and later learnt how to consume his soul as well. His power is now my power: the mighty emperor dragon is little more than a hollow corpse bound to my will, a curiosity beneath the Doomspire whose power has sustained me beyond death itself. I have risen from nothing to a mighty Dreadlord with entire armies at my command. I have foreseen my glorious purpose as conquerer and saviour, the true lord of this world who will inherit the fallen kingdoms of dragons. 

I am Doombringer and only darkness follows...

The Blood Legion of the Doomspire Fleet

The Blood Legion is Doombringer's personal army of loyal Dark Elves; originally merely the guards of the Doomspire itself the army has grown over thousands of years to resemble the other great hosts of the Dark Elves. The Blood Legion travels across the world to enact Doombringer's will upon the mighty Doomspire Fleet: a large flotilla assembled since the sundering to include three mighty Black Arks and their accompanying armadas.

Sat upon his Ruby Throne the Lord of the Doomspire gazes across the world; his heart burning with a desire unshackled by boundless arrogance. All that he sees he would have and even then that would not be enough. First he shall have vengeance upon the elves of Ulthuan, then upon the Old ones themselves. Even he has forgotten the ancient deeds for which society cast him out and first led him to Tyrant, all he knows is that the world will drown in his darkness and then the stars themselves will bow to him...

Friday, 2 January 2015

New Year, new plans and something different: D&D - PCs from the Great War of Spirit

Happy New Year! Welcome back to Eyes of the Snake, Doombringer here with something a little different from Warhammer that I thought you might like to see. Further down the post is also a brief reflection upon 2014 as well as hobby plans for the new year. So sit back and enjoy some more of my ramblings. 

I have served as DM for this party for something like five or six years now and they have been equally the most epic and dysfunctional party I have ever ran games for. The four of them had never met one another before their first session but have formed a strong friendship that has seen them rise from Level 1 adventurers solving murders at the Merchant's Guild; to leading the Grand Coalition in a universe-wide war against the tyrannical Infinite Empire. About a year ago they finished that legendary campaign and have since begun anew with the next generation of characters.

The Celestial Court

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