Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Mordheim: Cult of the Possessed

I love Mordheim because I am a cheap bastard.

In Mordheim each player takes control of a gang of a just a dozen or so miniatures. This means is that unlike the big sellers Warhammer and Warhammer 40k, where you're looking at spending at least a hundred pounds plus for a good game, for Mordheim you're looking at £20 - £30.. or even less if you're crafty.

The dozen miniatures for your gang can be easily chopped up from standard regiment boxed sets; Dwarf Treasure Hunters, Beastmen and Skaven warbands can be built with one of the army's regiments of plastics. The Empire Militia regiment *are* the same miniatures as the Mordheim mercenary warband.

With it's focus on individually characterful miniatures, the game is ideal for those who enjoy converting. It gives you the opportunity to rake through your bits box and use all those little bits you've been saving for a rainy day, or too much of a pikey to chuck out (no matter how old and awful a mini is, someone somewhere will still like it. People are still buying Heroquest Orcs on Ebay today). Those naff old Brettonian Archers that came free with the Games Workshop paint set? Head swaps and a couple of stuck-on pouches and you have some henchmen for your Reiklanders.

While I'm waiting for Skull Pass to arrive I've been rummaging through my bits box to see what I have left. A few Brettonian bodies. Two Dwarfs. An old Chaos Sorceror and a Possessed model that was thrown in for free when Games Workshop Mail Order was cool. Nothing that could be of use to a Warhammer player, but what about Mordheim?

The prospect of getting rid of the hated Possessed model galvanised me. There were plenty of spare heads from the last Chaos Warriors. 'Excellent' I thought, because;

*Helmets that cover the face are quickly recognisable as 'eeevil'.
*I didn't have to paint eyes.

The group consisted of a Magister, a Possessed, and two groups of Brethren. However, I did'nt have any Darksouls (mortals driven insane after demonic possession). Then I thought about the Dwarf minis:

The great big Chaos Warrior helmets from the less recent 'Hunchback' Chaos Warriors was in proportion. To keep things fair I had the Darksouls / Possessed dwarfs standing on stuff so that the miniatures would be the same height as the miniatures they were proxying.

Possessed Dwarfs. Not to be confused with Chaos Dwarfs...

Friday, 20 June 2008

New Tricks

I don’t know whether it’s a cool thing to be able to say or not; I spent yesterday afternoon teaching my mother how to paint a Warhammer mini.

It was a great afternoon actually.

She poked through the bits box and asked if she could paint one. Sure, I thought, always keen to share the hobby with someone new, and if she does well then meybe she won't be so suspicious of those funny little men and monsters with guns and swords and stuff.

I don’t have many miniatures left; I sold my whole collection to help fund a year spent traveling, so the selection was slim.

This concerned me a little – pretty much all I could find was a Sisters of Sigmar Mordheim Warband (too fiddly), some Necromunda Ratskins (sci-fi didn't appeal), and some bits and bobs from from hobby store bargain bins. She didn’t seem enthusiastic about any of them, and was about to settle for some thing with one arm when I happened across this fella;

That horrible, blurry picture is of an ogre bull. Probably the perfect miniature for a first time painter. A large, easy to handle miniature with relatively little detail, and consisting of nice big areas to be painted in the same colour. This also meant that he would be quite satisfying to paint, as he would take form quickly. If you've ever painted a tank or a war machine you'll know what I mean. He already had a head, one with an eye patch - even better, I thought; she wouldn’t have to agonise over wonky eyes. There were plenty of arms to choose from; she chose to equip him with a sword and club.

She left gluing the arms on until everything was painted and began with block painting the exposed skin with Dwarf Flesh and the trousers Hawk Turquoise. On seeing the paint on the model she had misgivings about the turquoise. He looked a bit Disney. However, applying a dark wash to the trouser took the edge off the colour, and she quickly figured out how a wash can create shading, using thinned down ‘Bestiality Brown’ to run between the cracks of the arms, back and moobs.

Dwarven Brass drybrushed onto the gutplate and sword, highlighted with Chainmail Silver, and Jon the ogre was ready for a flocked base and varnish.

I think she did really well for a first go. Now she’s looking at my Chaos Warriors, and asking me how many shades of mauve and purple I’ve got…

Chaos Warriors of Khorne

Blood for the Blood God!

I bought these chaps for something to do when I was in Vancouver, Canada. My brother, his girlfriend, and her sister all had a go at painting them. With all of us sitting at the table felt like being back at primary school, it was all of us making a mess.

Then when I got back home I painted over them all.

Sorry chaps, red-yellow-green-blue chaos warriors went out in the 80’s, along with electro pop and ZX Spectrums.