Thursday, 30 December 2010

Le Coq #4 - le Coq-a-Doodle-doo

OK, I apologise for the quality of the pics, but I really wanted to get some pics up of the finished Doodle as soon as I could. I'll try to get some better quality pics done as I get closer to finishing and organise full-team pics.

Here he is:

And, yes, I kinda screwed up. He was originally going to be the turn counter, not the score counter. But I'll be damned if I'm going to try and re-paint a yellow field over black lettering, so he is now the score counter!  :)

Hope you like him.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Le Coq #3 - Doodle

Well, I finished the sculpt of my rooster - "Doodle". I'm pretty happy with him so, with no further ado, here he is:

Friday, 17 December 2010

A Spot of Sculpting

OK, I am not the world's greatest sculptor by any means. Modelling putty is anything but putty in my hands and I am really still on the learning curve for getting this right. But sometimes I do manage to get something happening that I really like.

At the moment I have two main sculpting jobs that I am trying to work through, both of which are cool for different reasons and both of which have their own challenges.

The first is what will eventually become the turn counter for my human Blood Bowl team Le Coq. The idea for this piece is that it is the team mascot; Doodle the rooster. Doodle is perched atop a couple of barrels against which leans a shield. On the floor is a cup, a ball and a copy of Southern Strike magazine (magazine of choice for SSB attendees!).

It's not finished yet, I still need to sculpt the main body. But the head, tail and legs are basically done. In addition, while I can't claim to have sculpted the barrels, shield or cup, the ball and magazine are my own additions.

My other piece is something I've been hoping to get done for a while, the first figure in my five-part TMNT set, Leonardo.

This figure is actually relatively large and is based off a set of cheap vinyl toys you can buy (four-pack with the four turtles in it) from practically any supermarket at the moment. I have bulked him out and changed the pose significantly, replaced his weapons and the ends of his mask. There is still a little bit of clean-up to do on it (I can see a mould like across his head I missed and some of the putty is actually still wet here and needs a sand) but it is essentially complete. The only parts I am slightly unconvinced of are the swords which, while the right shape and a far-cry better than attempts one to three, are still a bit thick. Oh well, it is the first of four, so I can't expect it to be perfect. I will almost certainly have to re-do Leo at the end to bring him up to scratch. But for the moment, here he is:

Obviously the base on Leo is temporary too. I have big plans for that...

I can't wait to finally get these done and start painting them, but I guess I have to curb my enthusiasm. I received, in the post, today a few Blood Bowl dwarfs that need painting to complete a commission team that will be sold to raise funds for the SA state Blood Bowl team as it prepares to head east for the AusBowl in March next year. Keep your eyes out for it soon.

Da Fetcha - limited ed SSB mini

The Southern Shrike Bowl is a Blood Bowl tournament held every year in the north east of suburban Adelaide, South Australia. It has run three years now and I have attended all three, winning best painted team in '08 and '09 (I missed out by one vote last time).

It is an excellent and enjoyable tournament that has amazing prize support and some novel little prizes that make it really special. An example is the MVP.

Each year coaches vote after each game for the opposing Most Valuable Player (MVP) in a 3, 2, 1 style ranking based on which players played the best during the game. Olaf the Stout, our incredible League Commissioner, then tallies these votes and announces the MVP player. This player is then actually sculpted and cast as a limited edition figure for the next year's event!!!

Last year an orc blitzer (I think) won the title, while the year before it was a human blitzer named Seamus "Hellspawn" O'Reilly from a team called the Grey Mountain Manticores coached by BenSquig. But in the first year the MVP was a player called Da Fetcha from Olaf's own team (he wasn't the Commish at that point and was the first SSB Champion), Da Vermin Hunterz.

Because I loved the idea so much I decided to paint my Fetcha up as a special display piece, and here he is:

I apologise that the pics aren't of amazing quality, and he is looking a touch dusty at the moment, but I think you'll get the idea. I hope to do up my Hellspawn in the same way at some point during the year and, likewise, each MVP thereafter.

The Hungry Maw #1

I thought I'd share another of my part-finished teams, an ogre team that will be called The Hungry Maw.

Thus far I have two ogres and three gnoblars (I refuse to call these snotlings, consistency of fluff would suggest to me that ogre teams would use gnoblars, not snotlings, so gnoblars they are!), all based off GW plastics.

I apologise for the quality of the photos here, these were taken in less-than-ideal light:

Ogre #1:

Ogre #3:

The Gnoblars (14 to 16):

Hope you like them...

Monday, 13 December 2010

Razorbakz #3 - Blocker Five

And here he is! The finished version in all his glory.

Phew! That took a while, but I'm extremely happy with how this one has turned out. For a few years now, while I've been struggling to find time to paint, I've been feeling as if I'd completely lost touch with the leaders in miniature painting and, while I know I still have a loooooong way to go to catch many of them, this miniature has given me hope that I'm at least amongst some of the stragglers from the breakaway pack!

Anyway, I do like him and I hope you do too. The CMON link, if you're inclined to vote, is

First a standard frontal view:

 And the back:

Some detail of the face:

And of the armour plates on his forearms:

Finally, a better view of the armour plates on his chest and legs:

I'd love to know what you think about him (and any of my other models). Please feel free to leave a comment.

Just For Fun!

Ah, I love halflings! Yes, I know, goblin teams get all the secret weapons and ogre teams get, well, ogres. And OK, OK, vampire teams are also fun to play, but me, I like halflings. Maybe it's a masocist streak?

Anyway, I had this little guy sitting around and couldn't help myself from painting him up. What do you think?

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Razorbakz #2

I also thought I'd quickly put this WIP up of the second member of this team, as the skin took me absolutely forever to get done. This team will take some time to finish, but it will be awesome when it is done!

With this guy I will be doing a mixture of yellow armour plates and some with a chequered black and white pattern. Should look quite impressive and I can't wait to finish him off, I just wish there were a few more hours in each day.

Le Coq #2

A quick update for this team; I thought I'd finish off the pics of the linemen and show you my new re-roll counters.

Here's the counters, using Bretonnian shields and other assorted bitz (mostly from the commoners sprues):

And here'd the three linemen I didn't previously have pics for:

I'm holding off on a whole-team picture until I have completely finished and constructed the display base I want to do for this team. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Le Coq #1

Phew! Moving through these blog posts at the moment! Don't worry, it will slow down as I run out of stuff that is done.

But I'd like to share a project that is almost complete, a project that I have had immense fun doing and which has won me one award (for which I am eternally grateful). It is my human Blood Bowl team, done with a Bretonnian theme, called Le Coq.

The idea for this team came as I was trying to work out what I would run at the very first Southern Shrike Bowl, waaaay back in 2008 (well, the design process was even further back, sometime in late '07 I think). I wanted to do something special, my old faithful Drakwald Ravens not being up to my current painting standards, and I've always liked the idea of a Bretonnian Blood Bowl team.

I didn't want to mess with the human roster at all, I just wanted a human team with a Bretonnian theme, so I set about working out how best to accomplish it. My bitz box is extensive, if ancient, but it did furnish me with a number of knight pieces that got the ball rolling, and the three knights were the first models to grace the team, subbing in as blitzers in the roster. I then figured I would use the plastic GW commoners boxed set to build the remainder. A few hand swaps and weapon snips would sort out a decent team.

So without much ado I started the painting process. This was a point in time when I was starting to get back into painting a bit more seriously. I had spent roughly seven years 'in the wilderness' after resigning from GW in 2000 and hadn't painted an awful lot, but I had built my skills back up a bit in the preceding 12 months and felt ready to run with something a bit new - NMM (non-metallic metals).

The prototype knight used 'steel' and a 'gold' NMM effects which, after a lot of online research, turned out OK. The steel was done using a Codex Grey base with Scorched Brown/Black shading and Fortress Grey/White (and maybe a touch of blue) highlights. The gold was mainly Golden Yellow and then sucessively darker brown shading and white highlighting.

The team colours (because, of course, the metals are 'only' the base) were suitably common Bretonnian colours - red and white, with yellow as a trim colour where required.

Here's the prototype (apologies for the small pic):

Felling pretty confident at this stage I worked through the other two knights and, while the gold NMM ended up a little bit inconsistent, overall I was extremely happy with the way they turned out:

It was at about this point that I started worrying about the trifling issue of a name. This was perhaps the hardest part of the process and took some doing. I usually ruminate on a team and a name kinda just pops up at some point. With this team, it didn't. I tentatively went with The Quest, but it just never sat well.

Nevertheless, the painting continued and the commoners started popping off my desk.

The thrower:

The catchers:

The linemen (sorry, these are the only decent pictures I have:

Unfortunately I don't have a whole-of-team shot, but you can get the gist from the pics above. Overall the team was coming along brilliantly.

But I then started to plan for the Shrike Bowl and realised I wanted an ogre in my team. Now just think for a moment. How the hell do you do an ogre for a Bretonnian team?

I considered doing a mounted knight, but it just didn't fit the Blood Bowl thing, so it had to be an ogre. With a little bit of searching I found one I liked with the requisit flair that such a beast would have to have. But some conversion would also be necessary. Here he is before painting...

Really it was just a hand swap and some work the ensure he was slightly Bretonnian-ised. Then it was down to painting. He needed to be a focal point for the team, so the skin, I decided, was extremely important, especially given that the amount of metal on this model was relatively small. I think I succeeded:

That rounded out the squad at 12 figures:

3 blitzers (knights)
1 thrower
2 catchers
1 ogre
5 linemen

This is a fairly standard human team for me (sometimes sans ogre).

But the name still wasn't right. But as the tournament approached, my brother (a nasty little piece of work named One Eye) decided to use the grudge match system devised for the SSB to challenge me. His descriptive post on AusBowl didn't inspire me, per se, but I had this image of a Bretonnian noble posting a soap box in a busy Imperial market and declaring his intention to take up the challenge. And as I did this I, somehow, knew what the name would be...

Sir Breton de White Acre, coach of the team, had chosen a name of great tenacity and viciousness, based off a creature that his people used in sporting fights that showcased its aggression and sheer survival instinct - the Rooster! Of course, translated into Bretonnian this ended up as le Coq and, thus, was the team born.

My subsequent answer to the challenge was a scene with Sor Breton posting his soapbox and, after announcing his team's glorious and well thought out name, being laughed off the podium and not understanding why! Damn that Brimperial dialect, gets you into all sorts of trouble!

On the night before the tournament I had one last flash of inspiration and added this as a turn marker:

The team's performance at SSB08 was, to be frank, pretty dismal. I think I ended with two wins a draw and three losses, which probably wasn't surprising given I hadn't played properly for sopme years. But I had fun and the team, as previously noted, won best painted on the day, netting me one of the first Crystal Cups.

Since then I have had the team in mothballs, fielding the Red Breasts (amazons) in '09 and the Bloodz (orcs) this year. I do love the team though and I hope to field them at the upcoming AusBowl, where I have been (to my surprise) picked as a member of the SA Steelballs state team (there may be a race clash with another team member, so I might need to switch to a new wood elf team - if so, look out for le Coq again at SSB11).

With this in mind I have a couple of additions planned. The first is another knight to round out the compliment of four blitzers. Second is a series of counters. The cheerleader will remain as my turn counter, but I've already done a bunch of reroll markers using Bretonnian shields propped up against barrels, buckets (with orc heads) or similar. I also have a score counter which, though cock-less at present, will hopefully have a rooster standing atop a set of barrels (the team mascot - "Doodle").

Last, but definitely not least, is a star player. Now, think of the most appropriate star for a Bretonnian-based team...

...then forget him, Griff is not on my list. No, instead, Helmut Wulff is where I went. But rather than the chainsaw wielding loony we all know and love, I am picturing a sword-wielding knight, "Sir Henri de Lupe", as an appropriate proxy.

Pics to come as these bits develop.

So that's where I'm at. I hope you enjoyed the team development story to date and, with any luck, I'll see you at the AusBowl or SSB one year (I may even, partner-permitting, make it out to EucBowl or something at some stage).