Here are a unit of Blood Stalkers for my nascent Daughters of Khaine force in Age of Sigmar. In game I’ve found them a little disappointing as they’re quite expensive for a very low number of not-very-exciting bow shots, and their melee presence has never been able to make up for this. My experience so far can be summarised that they move up, shoot a couple of arrows into something, then immediately get overrun. As usual, I think that this is likely to be player error; notably Blood Stalkers have great movement speed so probably I should make more of that.
I really love the miniatures though, so I can forgive their performance on the tabletop. They call out to the Ray Harryhausen fan in me, who has not really grown up since watching Jason and the Argonauts etc in the mid 80s. I had all sorts of ideas for varying the skin tone of the snake part, but realised that if I wanted them to look like a unit then I’d need to have something more to visually link them together than just the hair (and fairly skimpy armour). So in the end I painted a nice bright green and cream combination for the snake part and tried to match the general approach of the Witch Aelves for the rest of the miniature. I’m very pleased with the final results.
I dedicate this post to Alex from Leadballoony‘s Fembruary Challenge.
Next on the painting table: Druze Shock Team with Chain Colt.
These are Blue Horrors, part of the Chaos Daemons faction I’m gradually working on for Warhammer 40K. I’m kind of doing these in the wrong order since one would normally start with Pink Horrors (which I don’t even own yet) then they split into two smaller, weaker Blue Horrors instead of dying. The Blues then split themselves into a pair of Brimstone Horrors upon their deaths. They can all be bought and fielded separately too so there is no need to always put Pink Horrors in the army list. I’m not really sure how best to use the Blue Horrors though. If I just want cheap body blockers and tarpits then Brimstones seem to be way to go, whereas Pink Horrors are the option if I actually want them to achieve anything.
Anyway, the Blue Horrors were pleasingly fast and simple to paint up to my satisfaction. The whole lot got painted blue all over (the clue is in the name, after all) then I picked out the weapons and jewellery in silver. I chose silver since it provided a nicer contrast to the skin than bronze. Finally I picked out the flames, tongues and teeth to brighten the lot of them up. I’m quite happy with the results, especially considering the amount of time expended on them.
Next on the painting table: Troll Axer.
My good friend Gareth had a bit of a hankering to get back into Warhammer 40K, and so I agreed to join him. I do have some Harlequins to use but I realised that since I already have pretty much one of each kit that exists for that force, it would be hard to expand much. We might not go to big games anyway, but I took the opportunity for a new project anyway. After some discussion, I have ended up with Chaos Daemons, and my recent birthday present included a box of Blue Horrors and Brimstone Horrors.
I don’t even think that Brimstone Horrors were in the game or the story the last time I touched Warhammer 40K, but they seem like quite cute little chaps. They are dirt cheap (the ten pictured barely cost more than a single Space Marine) and have stats to match. I guess that their main purpose is to get in the way and hopefully soak up some bullets intended for bigger and more dangerous part of my army.
As befits a unit of probably the cheapest models in the game, I didn’t spend too long on this lot. A yellow coat was followed by orange on most of the raised parts and then red on the highest sections and the tips of the flames that the Brimstone Horrors are made up of. I then picked out the eyes and teeth, mainly because otherwise they looked a little too much like they were only fire (i.e. and not little imps) at a distance.
Next on the painting table: Troll Impaler.
Here are some Witch Aelves, the start of a burgeoning force of Daughters of Khaine for GW’s Age of Sigmar game. Appetite for Age of Sigmar seems to wax and wane somewhat at Chateau Argentbadger and I’ve actually ended up giving away the Slaanesh Daemons I had painted to a friend. So when excitement started to build again I treated myself to a couple of boxes of Daughters as they have extremely nice miniatures. Regular readers, if there are any, will know that I’m a sucker for a dynamic sculpt so an army of dancers seems like an easy sell to me. In game these are the basic troops available to the faction. With no ranged weapons there’s not much choice but to throw them right down the other side’s throat at the first opportunity. This suits my preferences nicely and has been fairly effective in a couple of games. The Witch Aelves are all attack and no defense (fittingly, considering that their choice of armour is that fantasy staple: the chainmail bikini) and I’ve lost the whole unit a few times simply by allowing the other unit to attack them before I could get my swings in.
These first three are the command group. I have to admit that it’s not super-clear who is meant to be the champion but we finally worked out that it is the Witch Aelf shown here in the centre on the basis that she has the biggest hat and the fanciest knives. The lighting is showing the skin up as a bit shinier than it really is but I’ll put that down to bad photography rather than bad painting. The white hair is part of my ‘vision’ for the force – how I imagined them looking even when I was buying the kits.
The light blue brings a nice bit of colour to the unit along with the bright white hair. I thought about doing the gloves and leggings the same colour but decided it would be too bright. If this army lasts long enough in my attention to require a second unit I’ll probably go with red cloth to differentiate between them.
I feel that the bronze armour gives a bit more contrast with the skin than my other choice which would have been the steel colour of the knives.
Finally, the unit all together.
Next on the painting table: Troll Whelps (again).
Following from the Seekers I posted last time, here are the accompanying Daemonettes from Games Workshop’s Chaos Daemons range. Like the Seekers, the miniatures went together very easily and painted up nicely without too much effort.
I deliberately chose garish colours since that was part of the fluff for Slaaneshi units back when I last actually read any of it (i.e. in Slaves To Darkness) and found it a nice change from trying at least slightly naturalistic colour choices for some of the Malifaux I’ve worked on (though admittedly some of that stuff is also somewhat bright). In the end, despite how easily they painted up I did find it a bit of a chore completing ten almost identical miniatures; I guess that this means that I shouldn’t go too deeply into any horde armies for any systems. Indeed, this is one of many appeals of skirmish systems.
Next on the painting table: Philip and the Nanny.
These are Seekers from Games Workshop. As part of my ongoing attempts to either encourage my children to follow my geeky path, or possibly to tone down their enthusiasm to the point where we ever talk about something not related to toy soldiers, we each picked up a Start Collecting box for the (new to me) Age of Sigmar game. Interest in actually playing Age of Sigmar seems to have waned in favour of Warhammer 40,000 (magic space guns > just magic, at least as far as I can tell) but I have tremendously enjoyed the process of painting my way through the Daemons of Slaanesh box. I’m aware that I could notionally play them in Warhammer 40,000 as well, but I’m looking into more ‘space-y’ armies to fit my perception of the aesthetic better and in any case a friend seems to have a potential use for the Daemons.
I will admit to having some issues with Games Workshop over the last decade or so. In summary, I love their miniatures and consider them to be pretty much the best manufacturer still. But the balance of their games (except Blood Bowl, which seems to have been a community effort) is almost universally terrible and this leads to unsatisfying games when played between adults of comparable skill levels. So it was with some trepidation that I jumped back down that particular rabbit-hole. Still, I suppose that if I’m mainly playing against my own kids then the balance is not really important as I can just modify things myself as needed.
I painted the Seekers, or as I recall them, Daemonettes on Steeds of Slaanesh, in two parts. I had already decided on a bright pink and purple scheme for the riders so I felt that something more muted would be suitable for the riders and eventually went for black hide and white underbelly. The assembly and ease of painting is significantly better compared to Wyrd miniatures and it is probably this that is at least in part leading to the dominance of Games Workshop in the industry. I found this lot even harder to take decent photographs of than usual as they’re big enough that my lack of skill with the camera shows up the short focus compared to the depth of shot I would need.
Next on the painting table: Daemonettes.