Saturday, 27 April 2013

Giant update

Here is some Progress on the Giant.

There is someone behind me is't there?

The Norse from the Legend of Kremlo (Done)

So here are these guys finished.
Lovely old minis ... they just don't make them like they used to ... These are even nicer than the Perrys lovely Norse minis they made after these. Lots of lovely detail in the sculpts. Real individual characters each and every one of them.

If anyone has a Kremlo the Slaan they are willing to part with ... I would be delighted to hear from you.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

What are the chances of this?

I am painting 'The Citadel Giant' ... here he is W.I.P.

... and here is an inked version of a Tony Akland sketch from The 3rd Edition of Runequest.
(It originally appeared without colour in 3rd Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle).

I was not even aware of this coloured image until Zhu Bajie kindly brought it to my attention .....
(Please follow the link on the right to his excellent Blog 'The Realm of Zhu' ... well worth a visit).
.... but if I had sat down with this image I couldn't have got much closer if I had tried.

Since my picture above I have gone on to do other bits ... the club and the shoes and have gone with near identical colours ... right down to the wooden shields.

Pure coincidence ... but a happy one I think. I guess I just think in old school colours. :D

The Norse from the Legend of Kremlo the Slaan

Whats up next on the painting table?

I am painting up these guys:

Here they are at the bottom of the page in the second Citadel compendium: (as Fighters)

Originally they were not just any old fighters .....

The first two guys in my pictures above are Sven and Ben Stoutback.
They are the characters from the Norse village of Skeggi (in Lustria) from a scenario published in the first Citadel compendium .....

.... The Legend of Kremlo the Slann. .


Monday, 8 April 2013

The Great Spined Dragon (W.I.P.)

Here she is with some paint on ... not finished yet ... but getting there ...

The Great Spined Dragon (Undercoated)

Here she is undercoated ... you can see some of the wonderful detail and texture a bit better here ...
... and the result of my efforts with the green stuff ...


The Great Spined Dragon (Wings)

This was how I did the membranes for the wings .....
My plan was to go with paper thin green stuff rather than paper membranes as recomended
When I said paper thin .... In reality it is a good deal thinner.
It is squeezed so thin that the light shines through and the tears are natural.

What was going on in my head was that this impossibly old dragon is also impossibly old in the Warhammer world too. Over the years she has taken a bit of a battering. My thinking is there is no way a dragon this size could have been knocking around without someone hunting it, wounding it ... the only reason it has not been killed is because it was just to mean to die and has been asleep under a mountain for the last 100 years or so. Awakened from her slumber by the storm of magic or just driven out by hunger ... she is looking a bit thin ... she drags her battered old body out and once more hunts for man flesh.

Without a doubt the toughest and most creative thing I have ever tried with green stuff ... feeling pretty good about how it turned out.



The Great Spined Dragon

This is a NB1 Great spined dragon. Scuplted by Nick Bibby before the dawn of time.
Second only in size to the chicken dragon and a blogger to put together.
This made more difficult by the fact that to collect a whole one I had to buy two half ones and combine the best bits to make one good one ... and some of the best bits were not in great shape. The wings do not stand up well to the ravages of time and where they have broken at the joints they are very thin making pinning a real treat.
However she is held together now with a fair few pins and a lot of harsh language. :D


Let us consider the great spined dragon ...

It was the following entry on Steve Buddles Blog, The Spyglass Asylum that made me consider finally getting around to building and painting my Great Spined Dragon. I was struck by his comment "It astounds me that that a model as old as this could still be argued to be the best ever in a straight contest." I couldn't disagree with him. It remains my favorite Dragon of all time ... I could no longer find an excuse not to paint it.


Let us consider the Great Spined Dragon...

The Great Spined Dragon; now that thing is a beast, an utter beast. The Spined Dragon is a miniature from the dim and distant past of Citadel Miniatures and has a fond place in the hearts of us old-school mini geeks. I'm not totally sure of it's release date but it appears to have surfaced around 1985. This was a period where Citadel were releasing many metal dragon figures in various sizes. At the large end was the utterly impractical Imperial Dragon (affectionately known as the Chicken Dragon as it was roughly the size of a real chicken). The Imperial was a massively multi-part metal figure that was beyond most modellers and I suspect drove the casters mental producing. It wasn't on sale for long. Citadel then produced a lot of other classic dragons and, at the large but still vaguely practical, end was the Great Spined Dragon. Cast in metal but this time in just six pieces. It also had one of the quirks of large Citadel dragons of the period. The wings were cast skeletal with no membranes. The idea was that you could add your own with paper (templates included) or putty or tissue or whatever. An awkward process which meant that it was kind of rare to see a finished, painted one that looked as good as it should.

Like many mini geeks, I love the Spined Dragon. It's beautifully sculpted but ugly as sin. This isn't a romantic ideal of a dragon, it's a gribbly and dangerous nightmare guaranteed to scare the living daylights out of unwary adventurers. I never owned the Spined Dragon. It was one of those figures that passed me by. As many of us do, I considered the Spined Dragon to be the best dragon miniature ever but you know how it is, rose-tinted glasses and all that. My good friend Neil had three of them but they were buried somewhere in his collection. This blog post is mostly due to his having recently dug them up and his turning up at my place today with two of them still in kit form. Twas quite the thrill to finally take a close look at the beast itself. And it did't disappoint. The general design and the textures were beautifully rendered but the thing that truly struck me was how much it gave the illusion of skin moving over muscle over bone. The figure just felt real and like it could exist. This instills a deep respect for the sculpture as I'm not a naturalistic sculptor myself.

The Spined Dragon was sculpted by a legend of the early years of Citadel: Nick Bibby. Mr Bibby sculpted many, many crazy creatures for them including Mordax and Kegox, two other amazing Dragons that I was fortunate enough to own at various times (though currently I have neither in my collection. Mr Bibby left the miniatures industry behind in the eighties for pastures anew. I have always heard that this was due to his developing a sever allergy to the epoxy putties used in sculpture. Not sure of the actual story there but he's gone on to be an amazing sculptor of life sized bronzes of animals that continue to show off that uncanny knack he has for believable anatomy.

And, so we come to the point of this article. Yes, I wanted to talk about one of my miniature loves but I also wanted to raise a curious point. The Great Spined Dragon was sculpted more than a quarter of a century ago and is arguably the greatest dragon miniature ever sculpted. The minis industry has moved on in staggering leaps and bounds over the years. It astounds me that that a model as old as this could still be argued to be the best ever in a straight contest. There are other arguable champions of the category. Heresy Miniatures new Dragon is a classic example. An amazing and monumental piece of work ( to check it out. Go buy it, it's awesome) but I can't honestly say it beats the Spined hands down. In my opinion it's the best contender but I'm constantly surprised that we've managed to go twenty five years and through a huge step up in quality in this industry without multiple examples of dragons that are clearly better.

Well, to finish I'll leave you with probably my favourite paintjob on The Great Spined Dragon. This one won a gold at the Golden Demon Awards in 1988 and was painted by David Chauvel. Beautiful.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

The Citadel Giant (W.I.P.)

Here he is with a bit of paint on him:
Still WIP ... a long way to go ... so be kind.
I have to say it is a real treat getting to paint this guy.

The Citadel Giant (Undercoated)

Here he is undercoated:
Now you can see some of the wonderful detail on this great old mini.

He was sculpted by Alan Perry.
He was released in 1983
He is 30 years old!
He cost £29.50 when released.
He stands 20cm tall
He weighs 4 pounds!!


The Citadel Giant (Built)

Here is built: