Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ecclesiarchy Crazies

So far, the only Inquisimunda-related progress I've made is to put together a trio of Ecclesiarchy agents.  In an earlier post, I babbled a bit about my primary method of character creation.  The process of concept sketching followed by part-sourcing is definitely my preferred method, but now and then I find a model that I find so impressive, that it creates its own role for me and the concept sketch isn't really necessary.  All I do is dream up minor conversion ideas and roll with it.  In this case, those models are the Empire Battle Wizards and Arch-Confessor Kyrinov.  I'll explain each conversion below:

For me, Kyrinov is one of the most evocative miniatures Games Workshop has produced.  His pose, facial expression, robes, and a hat that would make the Pope green with envy, all serve to make him the perfect embodiment of the Ecclesiarchy.  I had known for a while that when I started to put together my Inquisimunda models, I wanted to build some models to represent the zealous nutjobs of the Ecclesiarchy, and that I wanted to use the Kyrinov model to represent their leader. 

To make the conversion unique, I built him a custom flamer out of a Space Marine flamer and Dark Angel accessory.  My Ecclesiarchy band will attempt to embody the "purge with fire" ethic that is so often associated with the Cult of the Redeemer and Ordo Hereticus (with whom these fellows are allied), so that gave me a good reason to get rid of his characteristic mace and replace it with a more appropriate weapon for a man who probably doesn't have the upper-body strength to give a mace like that a really good swing.  The flamer feels to me as if it's missing something, so I will sit on it for a few days to decide if I need to add anything to it now, or if it's something that can be addressed during painting.

This Preacher really isn't a conversion at all.  Every piece on him is straight from the Empire Battle Wizards set, and all I added was a strip of green stuff to represent the left end of his stole, which, for whatever reason, was not sculpted onto that particular left arm option.  I love the pose here.  He really does seem as if he is screaming passages of holy scripture at the enemy as zealots with flamers reduce them to ash.  And again, as a man who appreciates an impressive hat, I couldn't possibly use any other head.

And finally we have our Templar.  He is obviously based on the other Empire Battle Wizard, with a head swap from a Dark Elf and an old-school bolt pistol.  His fiery staff reinforces the "purge with fire" ethic, and he will eventually be accompanied by two henchmen wielding flame weapons.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What Your Desk Should Not Look Like

The title says it all.  Here it is:

For purpose of hilarity, I have included an itemized list of my desktop's current contents.

A.  Tray of random, unsorted plastic bitz, perched atop small containers also filled with random, unsorted plastic bitz
B.  Brush cleaning solution
C.  One of those stupid "helping hands" magnifying contraptions
D.  Can of rubber cement topped with blu-tac to hold models for painting
E.  Old, painted 40mm base that I have told myself seven times that I will throw out
F.  Multiple sprues from different kits, for different projects, stacked atop each other, with no regard to organization or reason
G.  Work-in-Progress model (note the extremely small space available to work on them)
H.  Water and diluted brush cleaning solution, both of which are dirty and need to be changed
I.  28 cents
J.  Various files, hobby knives, pliers, and other tools that never get put back into their designated drawers
K.  Empty model boxes (see F.)
L.  Plastic bag of decal sheets that I will NEVER EVER USE EVER

My goal is to get my desk into an organized, clean, un-chaotic state over the next few days.  To do so will require a complete re-organization of my bitz box, so the challenge is daunting.  I'll post a follow-up to this post hopefully in the next few days to show that I managed to conquer this beast.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

BTP, I Love You

Like many long-time hobbyists out there, I have a basement full of models I have accumulated over the years, which document my progression as a painter.  This is a very nice way of saying that I've got a lot of crap that would require more effort than it's worth to refurbish to my current painting and converting standards.  Fortunately, it's all in my mom's basement and not mine, so everything was out of sight and out of mind, until she started nagging me to come over to her house and clean out my crap so she could have room for an elliptical that she'll never use.

Taking stock of all these models, which had paint jobs of various levels of embarrassing, I considered stripping them all down using Simple Green and my UltraSonic cleaner, but the thought of having to scrub all those models with a toothbrush and pipe cleaners made my head hurt.  It was then, just when I had started to entertain the notion of just throwing them all away, that I saw a video from Blue Table Painting outlining the details of their trade-in program.

Shawn convinced me to send him my trash with this video.

I took stock of what models I was going to get rid of, and put together a list, which I emailed to BTP.  I received a response from Shawn the same day, with an offer.  The offer wasn't super-high.  All told, it was probably 30-35% of the retail value of what I was sending him.  To be fair though, I was sending him a lot of crap.  I'm talking borderline useless crap.  The two gems I sent his way were a ForgeWorld Bloodthirster and Chaos War Mammoth (Did you see it in the videos?  Yeah, that was mine once).  The price he offered me was about 55% of these two models put together.  The rest was really just filler I was trying to unload on him.

I stuffed my models haphazardly into a box and shipped them off.  I can't imagine many of them survived the trip from Baltimore to Utah without breaking.  My method for packing them was basically to cushion the heavier metal models with softer plastic models, to help absorb impact.  In retrospect, perhaps I should have shown Mr. Gately a bit more courtesy, since his trade-in program is so amazingly easy.

As soon as I received confirmation that my package had been received and all the models were accounted for, I shot them over a list of all the delightful new plastic I wanted, fresh in-box.  What came was this:

The picture is a bit blurry, but I think you can make out what everything is easy enough.  I was so excited I literally spent a few minutes looking back and forth between the boxes, unsure of what to open first.  There was a small mistake made with my Manticore, and I had been sent a set that had two weapon options for the rider missing from the sprue, but upon emailing Shawn about this, he replied no more than 20 minutes later that it was a mistake on their end, and that Janine would take care of it.  I am currently one very satisfied man.

So what are my plans for these models?  The big ones are fairly straight-forward.  The Manticore and Stegadon are going to be display pieces, which may go up for sale after completion.  If I like them enough, they'll stay on my windowsill and scare away burglars and crackheads.  The Orks will probably sit around unused for a little while, but I do have a post-apoc Ork army on my to-do list.  The Cold One Riders I ordered for the lizards, which are going to serve as mounts for a project I don't want to reveal too much about... yet.  The Assault Terminators, Terminator Lord, and Venerable Dread are for my Lionwatch Space Marine Chapter, which I am working on very slowly.  The Cairn Wrath will be a display model and practice piece for my new airbrush, and the Empire Battle Wizards and Chaos Sorcerer will become Inquisimunda pieces.  I am thinking a Preacher, Confessor, and Witch Hunter.  We'll see how it all turns out.

I highly advise everyone who reads this to look into the BTP trade-in program.  Especially if you're like me and would much rather start fresh with new models than spend hours attempting to bring old, outdated and out-of-print models to a point where you can refurbish them.  Their compensation rate isn't great, but the simplicity and speed of it makes it infinitely better than trying to hock it all on eBay or something like that.

If you managed to fight your way through this wall of words, I commend you.  I will be posting again soon with pictures of what I'm doing with those Wizards.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Character Creation, Start to Finish

Well, start to ready-to-paint, anyways.

So for my first real post on this blog, I figured I'd give a bit of a walk-through on how I build characters in the 28mm scale.  I am currently working on a slew of models for Inquisimunda warbands, which are inspired by characters I have created for a web comic I hope to get off the ground in the near future.  

To begin, I generally have an idea what I want the character to look like.  I'll do some rough sketches, and spend at least a few days re-working the design until I finally settle on something that I am happy with.  Once I know that the character design is not something I will change my mind about, I do a character sheet, which looks like this:
Immediately after doing the character sheet, I will write out a short bio piece about the character, including any personality traits I am trying to capture in his design, as well as his preferred method of fighting:
Inquisitor Antoni Jesaiah Moretti is the son of the famous Witch Hunter of the Ordos Hereticus, Orazio Pietro Moretti.  Upon completion of his schooling in the Schola Progenium, Antoni was inducted into his father's retinue as an Interrogator.  The reverence displayed to him by his father's other subordinates did nothing to cool his already inflated ego, and Antoni was put on the fast-track to Inquisitor status.  He took great joy in the interrogation of prisoners, especially those accused of heresy and blasphemy of the Imperial Creed.  Antoni developed a cruel streak, and while others worried about his state of mind, they did not dare voice their concerns to his father.  Despite, or perhaps because of, his fiery temper and often belligerent mannerisms, Antoni has the gift of an orator, and is effortlessly able to stir local populaces to take up arms and lay down their lives to support his quests.  He is also a superb duelist, and many heretics have met their end through the barrel of his hellpistol.
 So, at this point the groundwork is done.  My next step is to start brainstorming which pieces I will use to put him together.  Often times, the most brilliant parts of a conversion are the bits that come together on a whim, without being planned ahead of time.  However, I've learned that if you don't plan out at least two thirds of your model, and simply dive in expecting divine inspiration to guide you from start to finish, what you end up with will not be what you set out to accomplish.  With that in mind, for this particular character, I picked up a Mordheim Witch Hunter and Commissar Yarrick off eBay.  Rooting through my bits box, I found the sword from an Emperor's Champion.  Originally I had planned to build his hellpistol from scratch, using plastic rods and green stuff, but I found the Warlock Engineer from the Island of Blood set, and decided to use his pistol instead.  A few random plastic bits and green stuff to fill in the gaps, and I had this before me:

I'm very happy with him, and all that remains is to paint him.  I will wait until I get more members of his warband put together to do that, to ensure the color scheme remains consistent.

Let me know what you guys think!  In the coming days, weeks and months I will be posting more of these, but most likely broken up into multiple posts.  I'm looking forward to hearing feedback and suggestions, especially when I post character sheets and am unsure of which bits I am going to be using.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Obligatory Intro Post

Hello all, and welcome to my Workshop Blog.  Here I'll be showcasing my various projects in the wargaming hobby.  I can't promise fast or frequent updates as I get things going here, as funds are pretty limited for me at this point in my life.  However, I am perpetually open for commissions, and I've made a promise to myself to put at least half of what I make off commissions back into the hobby to help me complete my projects.

My completed work will be regularly uploaded to  Check out my images, and please comment and rate!

Click me, you fiend!

Being as this is the intro post, I've got nothing exciting to show you yet.  But hopefully, by the time word of this blog gets around and people actually start reading it, there will be enough content to keep you interested.  That's all I have to babble about for now.  I've got plastic to cut up...