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Borgnine's Log: Grimghast Reapers conversion

Borgnine

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@Farmer7574 good to see you back then! Thanks! All those teeth didn't actually take that much time - I always try to roll up some pointy teeth every time I have some leftover greenstuff - so I always have some laying around. And they can always be cut up to size - so it was mostly a matter of setting them up in place ;)

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The alternate Varghulf I converted from a Zombicide Wolfbomination is ready!

It was nice to finally paint a monster that wasn't a part of the Zombie Legion. I didn't have to rush everything, I could take my time and really enjoy the painting process, trying out things I've read about during this last year. Even the color scheme was already decided - light bluish skin and dark, reddish wings and fur - to fit together well with my other Varghulf. First, I painted its skin, wetblending light blue and dark blue paint to create areas of light and shadow - and then I kept adding many layers of glazes, both light and dark, to strengthen the contrasts and bring out the details. It was probably the first time when I really tried to think about zenithal light instead of just raised areas and recesses. When the skin was done I did the same with the red parts. After that, I added some subtle dark red glazes in the shaded areas to make the contrast between that and the cold highlights even stronger.

In the end, I think that he turned out pretty well and I enjoyed painting him. I like monsters of this size and the limited amount of colors also made things a bit less chaotic - especially after all those zombies! I'm thinking of doing some more alternative Varghulfs later, maybe this time scratchbuilt instead of converted.

Also, as I said in the WIP post, the word I used to name it, Gatzek (spelled in Gacek in Polish) is a Polish name for a family of bats - and also a kinda silly colloquial term for bats in general.

The backstory:
One of the most useful beasts used by von Greifens is the so-called Fledermaus - a vampire turned into an animalistic monster by their father, Laurentin. When a Necrarch scholar Eshnuu joined the brothers in Varsavia, he quickly became interested in replicating the process. Together with Lucan, they started catching - and if necessary - creating vampires to be turned. The experiments weren’t easy and many ‘applicants’ perished messily in the process. Only one of them survived - its past already forgotten, it began its new unlife as a muscle-bound bat-like monster with a distended jaw full of sharp teeth. Its mind broken and wiped, it is driven solely by its neverending, horrific hunger - with only commands of obedience burned into its brain keeping it at bay. Lucan named it ‘Gatzek’ - using a local, colloquial term for a bat - similarly to how Constantin calls his monstrous pet 'Fledermaus'. Only while Constantin says it with some kind of affection, for Lucan it's only a joke - he won't spare any feelings for mere weapons.

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PS. I will be traveling next week - and while I can schedule posts on my blog to be posted automatically, I can't do it here, so no post next week. But it will be about zombie beasts - the same as I've already shown here long time ago, only this time with the boar added, so you won't miss that much xD
 

Farmer7574

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Wow, he's turned out brilliantly....

A sick idea, nice conversion and awesome paint job - Classic Borgnine! :thumbsup:
 
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This conversion is so cool, I think I first saw the unpainted one on your blog, and even then it was a sight to behold. I really like it and the backstory you've given him is really cool and fluffy!
 

logan054

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Really great log here, the zombie legions are amazing. The blood bowl looks cool so far. So many great things in here dude!
 

Borgnine

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@Unas the slayer 'A nightmare made flesh' - I like that! Thanks xD

@Farmer7574 Thanks!

@DocteurQui Cheers, glad you like him! I also really appreciate when people actually read those pieces of text I write, so thanks even more :)

@Menkeroth Thanks! And I will :)

@logan054 Good to see you like them zombies :) Thank you too

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Let's bring this thread up to date!
First, it's time for the beasts, again. Most of them were painted and ready in October 2016 and already posted here, but then I added a boar to my collection and I didn't want to post it alone - so I made this new set of photos. Even if you've seen the rest, at least the boar is new - and it's a pretty cool boar too, at least I hope so ;)

Background text:
Varsavia is full of dangerous wildlife and Constantin regularly adds animals to his zombie units. Wolves and boars are common here and they retain their ferociousness even after death - especially the so-called wolf-gods which can be twice as large as a horse. Those monstrous beasts are much prized by the vampires - if they manage to find and kill one first, that is. Besides them, battles fought with outside invaders bring truly an outlandish menagerie - elvish lions, lizards from the far west and other bizarre creatures are ready to be taken into an undead horde by a skilled enough practitioner of necromancy.

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logan054

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I think I need to paint up some of mine! Loving the various creatures, the wolves are cool dude!
 

Borgnine

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@logan054 Thanks! I definitely recommend getting some, both converting and painting them was a lot of fun!

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And the second post, this time, some Varsavian Warriors.

When I was in the last stages of gathering zombies for the legion, I came up to a point where I just didn't have enough bodies to fill all the bases. I have already bought all the GW sets that I found useful for that so I had to look for something else, possibly a big set of plastic infantry. Mantic didn't have anything interesting (and I really dislike their zombies) but then I remembered that there are some cool sets for Frostgrave! Cultists from that game could fit perfectly with my creepy cultists, but they weren't selling them in my shop - so I got Barbarians instead. Those guys looking as they do, it was an obvious choice to turn them into some kind of pre-Christian Slavic warriors. I mixed them a bit with some chaos marauder bits, added pointy helmets and some mustaches - and they were ready to go. Well, that and zombifying them too. I almost regretted zombifying them, because they could be also a very cool unit as living warriors.

The most obvious choice when painting them was to go with white clothes with red patterns on the edges - a combination that still lives in the Slavic folklore. But that would make them too uniform - and I wanted them to represent not one coherent unit, but various warriors took from various villages. So I added some dark and light browns, together with black + yellow patterns scheme that I use on my wights - they are supposed to be their descendants after all. Adding all that variation to them made them a bit too chaotic in my opinion, though. Still, they are in an even more messy mass of zombies, so they do their job fine.

Background text:
Varsavia is officially a part of Kislev and its soldiers are defending its borders, but the people deep in the forests live on their own, following the old ways. There are many dozens of holds and villages scattered across the land, each one with their own chieftains, warriors and beliefs. Their technology is not as advanced as that of Kislev, but they are a hardy folk with marauder blood flowing in their veins with perfect knowledge of forest warfare - and they managed to survive all the years in this dangerous part of the Old World using only that. Their numerous clashes - some of them instigated by the vampires themselves, to keep the herd from uniting - are a fertile source of good bodies that can be raised and used in undead armies.

First, the whole band:

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And all the single ones:

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Hope you like them!
 

Theerteen

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Dude, what exactly is with your style that, as good as with every new image or unit you post, a movie or game similarity pops up immediately in my mind?! Gatzek screams "From Dusk Till Dawn!", the black guy who survived at first, but turned into the grinning vampire later. Aaaaawesome!
And even if I already left some words on your zombie horde, I can only repeat myself and the others: That's one truly army of the dead. By far the most impressive zombie horde I've ever seen, even more with split groups and seperate backgrounds. I'm on my own zombie horde atm, but no way it reaches that level.
 

Borgnine

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@logan054 Space marine wolves are indeed very good candidates for zombies. The removal of mechanical parts is so easy, those are simply wounds later ;) Thanks too!

@Theerteen Glad you like them! The resemblance seems to be accidental in this case, I don't remember the movie so good as to sculpt monsters out of it. I guess I'll have to rewatch it xD Also thanks for the kind words about the zombies, while I'm really proud of them, I don't know if they reached @Mad 'At 's ones ;)

@Sharkbelly Thank you too! :)

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This week I'll show my mounted necromancer, Haughr of Förghann, converted from a Chaos Sorcerer.

For a long time, I wanted to have a mounted necromancer, but I also had a really tough time finding a good model for him. The mounted Nurgle lord is a popular option and I have that model in my army too, as Haralamb Gudvanger's, but he has grown into something different, with a bigger base and he doesn't really fit that much anymore. Much, much later I found a pretty cheap mounted Chaos Sorcerer on eBay - and then I realized that this guy fits my needs perfectly and will be my longed-for mounted necromancer. Besides, I always wanted to have someone with a skeletal, metal mask in my army and this was the perfect opportunity for it. Together with the hood and all those robes that will be painted green like other necromancers, he will look like some kind of a Doctor Doom expy - completely accidentally, but I decided to just go with it.

First I needed to convert him and remove that Chaos taint. I simplified his armor a bit and cut off all the tentacles - they inspired me to give him a really long hood, though - it works really well with the whole composition and was more interesting than a small one. The skull face was next - I wanted to use one provided in the Cairn Wraith set, but I couldn't find it, so I sculpted one from scratch. Then I added some bits and bobs, like the skulls, the book and the scythe on the horse's head - both to make him look more 'deathly' and because I like a lot of clutter on my minis. Last, but not least, this metal model needed a lot of greenstuff to cover up the gaps, especially on the mount's underside - so I decided to use it and sculpt a stitched section there, just to get rid of any doubts about the horse's undeadness.

Now I need to think how to paint him. I know that want him green and I will probably paint all the different parts of his clothes with different shades of green, but that's all I have at the moment. Maybe I'll add some green rot or fungi on the bottom of his robes, maybe I'll freehand some runes, I don't know. Any suggestions, anyone?

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Next week I'll be posting my orc Blood Bowl team, the Bandlands Badbuttz. They're finished now, they just need some grass on the bases, they barely missed the opportunity for the photos this week ;)
 
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logan054

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Loving the conversion dude, great work with free stuff! I wasnt thinking of the thunder wolves, they have them plastic ones without mechanical bits.
 

Menkeroth

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Yeah, the conversion is clever and rather well performed. Although Chaos is sad :D

BTW, concerning wolves - it seems space wolves wolves (pun intended) that are just normal animals, look suitable for converting into dire wolves as the current ones don't impress me that much.
 

Borgnine

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@logan054 & @Menkeroth Thanks, glad you like him! :D Sorry, I just can't remember which of those space wolves is which ;) Maybe I'll get those wolves too at some point, but first I have to paint the ones from Gamezone Miniatures.

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My first painted Blood Bowl team, that was a fun project, with lots of things that I didn't do for a long time. I haven't painted any greenskins since 2002, didn't use any decals since 2006 and didn't paint minis on round bases since 2012 - so that was kinda refreshing after the unending hordes of undead. I had to keep myself from getting into too much detail because I wanted to finish them as fast as possible, but some detail still made it to the finished minis.

For the armor, I choose wanted to go with the red depicted on the box, but that was too uniform for me - something messier would fit the greenskins more and I needed some differentiation for the duplicated models. Thanks to adding black to the mix, I could make sure that two identical linemen wouldn't have two pauldrons or greaves of the same color - that should help to set them apart a bit. After that, the armor got all the freehands markings and numbers. When that was ready I applied all the damage - first by making dark brown spots and only later adding bright silver ones on those. It turned out quite good and properly orcish, but I think I made it too messy and chaotic in the end - they did lose that strong, red effect they had before adding all the dents. It was also quite problematic to keep their colors strong enough, as my painting tends to be pretty dark and dirty - fine for the undead, but here I wanted something crisper. Refining that time and time again added another messy layer to this paintjob, but I think it turned out not that bad on the Badbuttz here. I just need to be more careful on the next, Bretonnian team.

For their skintone, I always wanted to try out the recipe for a pale orc skin shown by Duncan on Warhammer TV HERE. I either messed something up or my laptop is showing false colors, for my orcs turned out much more saturated and neon-like than those on the video... Thankfully that was easily fixed with a dirty, yellowish glaze.

Some background text:
The Badlands Badbuttz are a team that was always about representing the Badlands as a whole - yet while earlier it meant taking unwanted rejects from other teams, these days it’s more about gathering valuable talents from all around the land. All thanks to the famous goblin headhunter, Dugtig the Headhunter, who started helping the team recently. Even though they hail from many different tribes, when they don the black-red colors of the Badbuttz, they act as an effective, unified force composed of diverse talents. Well, that’s the idea, at least. In practice, they are only slightly more interested in crumpin’ their opponents than themselves on the field. It’s probably only thanks to their stern Black Orc captain, Ogak the Flayer (known for flaying game balls when angry) and their own competitiveness that they manage to win matches from time to time. Still, even if they are slightly unruly and have difficulties following plans, they are all talented players with great intuition and ability to improvise. They just need a good reason to set aside their differences and winning the Blood Bowl is definitely one such reason.

First, the whole team:

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And the individual players:

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Borgnine

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@logan054 thanks! Glad you like them :)

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Okay, the overly elaborate basing for the Dragon is finished!

This is the project (whole WIP can be found HERE) that I shelved in September 2017 when I decided to focus on the Zombie Legion. When that massive project was finally done I could go back and actually make a proper base for this dragon. The problem was, the most important parts of it were two trees that the beast was supposed to be felling down - and I was completely sick of making those for the legion. So, the project waited more and more.

Only about a week and a half ago I moved my ass and actually sculpted the bark for those two trees and set them in the right place - one being broken and another being uprooted. When that was done, the rest of the work went really smoothly. I was supposed to paint my Blood Bowl Bretonnians first, but it was difficult to resist messing with the base. I just kept adding more and more stuff, changing, reposing things, checking the composition, etc. I wanted to create an impression of the dragon emerging from the forest and into the fray.

I did quite a lot of those trees for all the zombie fillers, but this was the first time when I added plastic branches to them. Real thin twigs I used for this purpose earlier are REALLY breakable - and for this project, I wanted to avoid it. They took much more time, but they should endure more too - I hope they'll look okay when painted. I will describe how I did those branches in an upcoming tutorial describing the process of making those trees.

Here you can see the base without the dragon on it.

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And here it is with the dragon and Vaclav on it, everything ready to be primed and painted. I would like to say that this was my most elaborate basing project, but the one I made on Nagash was still way more complicated and took MUCH more time...

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And now only the painting remains! Only if it was that easy... Currently, I am struggling with choosing the right color scheme. I know that he should keep my usual red-black-white scheme, with the red one being the most prominent. Below you can see some of my rough sketches. From those I am mostly torn between 2 and 5. 2 is a classic look, like a DnD dragon and looks the most natural, but 5 looks more sinister, more vampiric, so to say - and I still need to think what do I like more. Fiery belly on 4 is also an interesting idea, but adding fire to this busy composition would be disrupting in my opinion - not to mention that it suggests, that those belly plates are thin and/or open somehow.

Any ideas or opinions?

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Menkeroth

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Well, this base rocks! It's really that amazing. But I would add something like stones or sand. You can at least use GW texture paints, they are quite good. As for the scheme, I would use another prime color so as to prevent the dragon from merging with his rider, it would look not that good if they become one red blur. I would then, if the rider is red, paint the dragon dark grey or light blue. It would be a nice contrast. On a personal note, my vampire will be red too, but the mount will be either jade or silver (or maybe gold). This will prevent them from mixing and becoming a huge red dot.
 

Borgnine

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@Menkeroth I have special soil, sand and stones mixture that will go on the base after everything else is painted, no worries, I won't leave the ground as bare as here ;) I understand your concern about the colors, but a huge red dot is what I'm going for here xD I want them to blend together a bit, that they are like one being. I will just try to work with different shades and glossiness levels of red to differentiate them subtly. Still, I am definitely discarding the option 6, that's just too much red ;)
 

Menkeroth

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Well, then paint one bright red and other - dark, with something like black and white / yellow wash accordingly, and with different varnishes to give a more distinct look. But in this case I insist it serves the model rather bad, as it's even not a whole unit, and commanders deserve to be more outstanding in color :)
 

Shadespyre

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@Borgnine Just like you, I'm drawn to #2 because THAT is what dragons look like! Definitely D&D programming at work. I'm not comfortable with the black underscales at all, but I'm sure you could make it work. Have you considered pale wing membranes (going back to D&D again!) at all, or is that right out?
 

Borgnine

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@Shadespyre I will be going for option 2 indeed, but I will keep the membranes black ;) - I know how the classic dragon looks like, but I don't want him to become too light - and membranes are a very good part to keep black and keep the red-blue-white(ish) scheme here.

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I don't have any painted or converted miniatures this time, or even some old zombies - but I have a tutorial instead! I made so many trees during the last year that I actually sat down one day and photographed all the steps I was taking when making them. Last week, when I was making plastic branches was just a great opportunity to expand on my photo collection and actually build them together into a full tutorial!

I spent half a day formatting this thing for my blog, so for now, I will just leave a link in the picture you can see below. Sometime later I will post it here properly to make it more available to the community here :) I don't know if someone is even going to use it, but maybe you will find at least some parts useful and/or inspiring ;)

Borgnine's Coniferous Tree Trunk Tutorial

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Borgnine

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And finally, the Bretonnians are done! Two basic teams for BB are painted, now I can focus once again on what's important - undead that is!

Here are the Carcassonne Cavaliers!

My second Blood Bowl team. The first one can be found HERE. I converted the standard human team to represent Bretonnia rather than Empire. It started with giving them extravagant helmets taken from Knightly Orders, but then I noticed that I don't have enough of them - so I made them Bretonnians instead. That makes them more varied, gives Bretonnia some representation in Blood Bowl (at least until the official team is released... as if!) and makes use of some of the helmets I had laying around my bits box. One change I made since the WIP post was to sculpt little shields on their chests. I wanted some clear, visible space to paint their coat of arms, but all the existing ones weren't good for that - so I made them myself. This strengthens their Bretonnia-ness even more! I also had to freehand all the markings on them, with texts on the bases too, because the font provided by GW didn't fit those knights at all.

At first, I wanted to paint them blue+yellow and call them Aquilean Aces - but that not only involved using yellow, making this project more difficult than it should be, it also narrowed down the colors I could use to those two. Because of that, I changed the color scheme to a red+blue background with yellow markings - not only it gave me more options when painting their armor, it also references the most common Bretonnian color scheme, which makes them even more recognizable.

Backstory:
The Carcassonne Cavaliers are your typical Bretonnian knights-only team - proud, chivalrous and completely full of themselves. All the players were - as all self-respecting noblemen - trained from childhood to compete - and they are really good at it. They would probably win the championship already if only their concept of nobility and superiority weren’t hammered so hard into their heads. Every single one of those knights considers himself the star player, regardless of skill - and they notoriously underestimate their opponents, believing them to be beneath them. They also have big problems assisting their teammates - older veterans don’t want to pass to knights who aren’t their seniors - and the younger ones are impetuous and hungry for glory, always wanting to score the touchdown by themselves. Besides that, they are a pretty solid team!

First, the whole team:

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And the single cavaliers:

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You have aldready done your choice, but even if i'm cool with your dragon color theme 2 i prefer the 4. Anyway, it's an awesome conversion. Can't wait to see it finished.

Also nice BB team, they looks great and i love their background ! (funny idea the bear trap for your badbuttz captain)
 
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