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Borgnine's Log: Zombie Legion scenery fillers

Borgnine

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@Unas the slayer Thanks! It also reminds me of the old times when you had to take those death stars to be competitive!

@Menkeroth Thank you too! It is quite a lot, but thankfully I have the technique perfected and they are all the same! A tedious, but very simple production line. Zombies were much worse! ;)

@Sharkbelly The freehands was indeed the most difficult part, I couldn't get myself to do it weeks! Thanks too!

@Farmer7574 Please go and borrow as much as you'd like ;) Using Grimghasts instead of Cairn Wraiths lets you avoid the clone problem, but then you have to rank them up and keep them upright! As you don't use trays, you'd have to weigh their bases somehow to make them stand. Besides magnets, I glued a lot of lead pieces underneath the bases, so they can stand even without that magnet - but they still trip if someone as much as looks at them too hard! You'll have to weigh your options ;)

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Yet another living addition to my collection - a vampire hunter! I always liked this model, but only recently I realized that it could get discontinued by GW at some point - so I decided to order him from the webstore at the earliest occasion. He will complement my undead very nicely.

Painting him was interesting to me because of two things. First one, I painted him from start to finish in a single day - something which I didn't do for a long time. Nowadays I work on several projects at once and they are all spread out over several/many evenings, but for this guy I wanted to try being more focused - thankfully I had a free day to do such experiments! Second thing, I tried out some new techniques - like wetblending the basecoat, making later shading and highlighting much easier - or painting 'fake' scratches on the leather instead of leaving it as smooth as the sculpt itself.

I inteded him to be from the Ostland province of the Empire - and while he indeed has some black and white clothes under his cloak, they are kinda lost on the finished piece and way too similar to each other - something which I noticed especially well on the photos. I will have to work on those two colors some more in the future.

Some backstory:
After Sir Baranowski’s escape, Kislev authorities finally learned that all the undead in Varsavia weren’t just rumours. But before any organized action could be made against them, the boyars wanted to collect information. They already had informants there, but recent events proved them to be ineffective. To remedy that, a vampire hunter from the Empire province of Ostland was brought. He was to gather information about the undead, look for ways to divide them and make their un-lives in Varsavia difficult - mostly by dismissing false myths about Vampires and informing the locals about real ways of fighting this menace. While extremely competent, only time will tell if his extremely dry and serious conduct (as expected of an Empire citizen) won’t discourage the locals and make him just another weird outlander spewing ‘western nonsense’.

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Farmer7574

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Hah! Love the pun. I've had these issues before, my skelly spears standard bearer comes to mind - lots of metal stuck to the underside of his base. I've got the Harvester from Sepulchral Guard in the works as a wraith conversion, but other than that it would've just been cairn wraiths. Expensive and, as you mentioned, clone issues.

Great job on the vampire hunter - definitely wouldn't have expected to see one of these here. The wear & tear on his clothing is particularly stunning!
 

Borgnine

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@Farmer7574 Now that you mention it, that Harvester would indeed make for an awesome wraith! But again, he's a single dude... Thanks for the comment too, the cloak took the most time easily and I am also pretty happy with it :)

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Back to the zombies! I am not posting this next batch because I don't have anything else to post, but rather that I want to be done with them at last!

The whole idea about those guys started with the one holding a scroll here. He was supposed to be a champion of one of the units and I was trying to come up with an idea to make him more interesting. Putting up a pointy hood with bleeding eyes seemed good enough. Then, when I was expanding the horde and I needed even more bodies, I started covering their heads with such hoods to keep the theme. It was especially useful on some bretonnian bodies, as those robes and coats are more difficult to damage and zombify than Free Company bodies, for example. Then I came up with a backstory for them, how they were blindly hunting undead, heretics and witches, not really bothering with trials. Not only it gave my horde some asshole victims but it also made one of them perfect to accompany the Pain Tree.

The tree idea came to me when I noticed that I have those cages from the Giant kit and I was wondering what to do with them - and then I decided to just hang them on a single tree, also using one of those hanged zombie torsos really as a hanged zombie torso. The twins, on the other hand, were an interesting way to use two extremely similar Flagellant bodies and two multi-ended whips I bought some time ago.

After finishing the horde I kinda regretted that I didn't get that Frostgrave Cultists box to really make a lot of them. Maybe I'll build and paint them as living humans - they would make good villains for my vampires.

Some backstory:
When von Greifens still lived in Bretonnia, white hooded cultists with red emblems were their common enemy. The local nobles, not wanting to engage personally in the vampire-hunt, founded a group called ‘The Order of the Lady’s Tears’. It was composed mostly of younger peasants - desperate ones who couldn’t hope to inherit the land. In exchange for every found and/or executed vampire, undead, witch, etc. they were recompensated with money. They still had to pay all the taxes and undead weren’t as easy to be found, so they soon started hunting just about anyone disagreeing with them, forcing confessions, burning people - all to get their enterprise going forward. Vampire activity actually waned because of their hunts, so the nobles didn’t care about a few burned peasants. After moving to Varsavia, von Greifens were happy to run away from those thugs, but they were coming after them still with every small Bretonnian crusade that found itself in the land. They make zombies just as good as anyone else.

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Farmer7574

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@Borgnine Those are awesome once again! I love how your zombie horde is composed of all these cool sub units: beasts, cultists, etc. Very creative and inspiring.
 

Borgnine

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@Farmer7574 Big thanks! Keeping some diversity was the only way to stay sane when building all of them xD

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Today, something only kinda-undead.

Not long time ago I wasn't feeling like painting, but I really wanted to build something. I looked a bit through all my boxes and found some Putrid Blightknights. I bought them about 2 years ago to accompany my other Nurgle model - Haralamb Gudvanger. They have lots of bits and are big and bulky, everything that I wanted at the moment.

My concept for them was to make them similar to Gudvanger - they are supposed to be failed replacement bodies for him. To achieve that, every single one of them has a covered face and some kind of horns. Any Nurgle iconography was scratched off - though I left any fleshy disturbances, they fit very well both the concept for them and the 'The Thing' motif I am trying to push with this faction. I got another Johann from the Giant kit, so that the central one here could hold him by the neck, screaming and handless. Their bases have also some depressed areas to put some grimy puddles there, another thing to tie them together with the flesh-stitcher. There are 6 of them instead of the usual 5, because I wanted to have a 3x2 block of them - I bought one additional torso to round up their numbers.

I heard many good things about this box and I wasn't dissapointed - it was a lot of fun to work on them. Every single one is distinct and interesting, there are no guys who are only there to take space and I could build probably another 6 of them. I had similar feelings when I was working on my undead ogres. I think I will get another box of those to build players for a Nurgle Blood Bowl team!

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Borgnine

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@Sharkbelly many thanks! :)

@Unas the slayer thank you too! I'm really glad I had some spare wheels, because it fits perfectly ;)

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Today, my own take on the Sepulchral Guard

As you could already see in one of the previous posts, I bought Shadespire and started assembling the teams that came in the box. Besides those two, I got the Sepulchral Guard too, of course - I am collecting undead after all! I liked the miniatures so much, I would get them even if I wasn't planning to play the game.

Ever since I saw the previews of this band, I wanted to paint them in my usual patinated color scheme, like all my other WFB wights. But, on the other hand, I wanted to integrate all my Underworlds bands into AoS setting somehow. So I came up with my own little land in Shyish which would be a twisted reflection of the Old World - set in the Mortal Realms, but also still vaguely connected with everything that I invented for my WFB army. Now I could paint the same patinated armor and yellow freehands, like always! I actually painted them parallel with the Grave Guard, but seeing as they are more special and not a horde, I added additional layers of shadows and highlights, which took some extra time.

All in all, I enjoyed painting them - now I need to finish the two main bands and try out the game!

Backstory for them:
Vechernya is a land in Shyish, ruled by a plethora of warring princes, tsars and dukes - but held together by the influence of the local god - the Withered King. He survived the Wars of the Dead, but since then remains in a weakened state, slumbering, beneath the notice of Nagash and his Mortarchs. Still, he affects the land by forcing his dreams into reality - dreams of a realm otherwise forgotten, perished in the bygone times. Although the inhabitants of Vechernya have free will and progress through their own histories, their lives and events tend to reflect the Withered King’s memories - trapped unaware in cycles of deadened existence. Even death isn’t a release from it, for dead Vechernyans are known to raise from their graves - all to continue one of many existences lingering in their god’s mind. One of such groups of undead is the Kiril’s Retinue, roaming the land, wishing to rejoin their old unit and leader. No matter how many are destroyed, new ones always seem to come and group together. All of them are driven by the same purpose, one they often cannot completely recognize as their own, yet still hopelessly following the Withered King’s dream.

First, the individual wights:

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And the whole warband:

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Farmer7574

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@Borgnine Those undead ogres are a beautiful piece of conversion work, excellently fitting for your army. I'm looking forward to seeing these painted up. Are they a counts as for crypt horrors or just a stand alone unit themselves? I recently picked up a few chaos warriors with the intention of using them as 2-base fillers for my zombie units but think these guys work a lot better :)

Nice SG too. GW have done really well with this Underworlds team and you've done them justice with your paint job. Do you play Underworlds by any chance?

Keep up the awesome work mate, always a wealth of ideas and a pleasure visiting your PLOG!
 

Irisado

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That's an impressively painted warband. I particularly like the effects on the weapons from the pale blue through to the rust effects.
 

Borgnine

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A month of inactivity! Shame, shame on me! I have to catch up!

@Farmer7574 Thanks! They are going to be their own unit, not really fitting with my undead army at all. Undead Ogres are something else and they will be coming probably this year too, a unit expansion of my old regiment ;) I didn't play Shadespire yet, I am waiting to finish converting and painting the Stormcast team before I start.

@Irisado thanks! Glad you like them!

@Unas the slayer Thank you too :D

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Now, the posts proper. First, one from December the 16th.

It's been some time since I finished painting my Blood Bowl teams and since then both me and my wife got into it very much. We got the video games, learned the rules, tactics, leveling schemes and generally got much better in it. Thanks to that, we also noticed that the basic team found in the box were somewhat lacking, not having the optimal amount of some useful players, like Orc Blitzers and Black Orcs. Thankfully, I had a phase when I wanted to start collecting an Orcs & Goblins army - so when I was back in Poland I looked through all the unused boxes in search of some new players to recruit.

Black Orc Blockers - those were easy, I just took some bodies from the Black Orc Warriors (Arboyz) box. Unfortunately, all the minis that are used in Blood Bowl are slightly bigger, so those old Black Orcs were actually smaller than normal Orc Linemen from BB! To fix that, I gave one of the Black Orcs longer legs, while the second one got a bigger torso. As for the Blitzers, I built them out of Savage Orcs - they have more dynamic poses, so they fit quite well. I just took off their weapons and glued some bits on them.

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And something for the Dark Elves too. The team is not painted yet, but I am working on them at the moment - I bought them because my wife really liked their playstyle. She tried them out in the video games first and there she had a player that really stood out - Torles the Unlucky. He was injured several times and had some significant disadvantages, but she kept him on the team still - both because she has grown fond of him and because he still had some useful skills. Seeing that, I decided to kitbash a tabletop model for poor Torles, preferably on a wheelchair, but still able and eager to play and score! Thankfully I have a lot of Dark Elf bits, so it was much easier than expected!

The seat and the wheels are out of plasticard, the rest of the chair is either sculpted or taken from a Dark Elf Noble on a Black Dragon kit and Torles himself is mostly made out of Corsair bits. Skeleton shields were used on the wheels for the manual propulsion - with corsair spikes for extra menace. I also added a flowing dragon hide on the back of the chair, both to tie him with the rest of the team and to give the model a sense of speed.

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And then one from December 23rd, some zombies again!

Some zombie batches are still left to post - this time, some Skaven. I didn't have any spare ratmen bodies in my bits collection, so these were all bought specifically to be used in the Legion - mostly for a bit of diversity and completionism. Being non-humans, it was difficult to zombify them, as I couldn't just change some bits around, so their conversions are rather simple.

The wolf-rat was bought near the end of the whole project, when I was looking through ebay for some last miniatures to fill some space - and someone was selling it cheaply. It's not only an interesting piece by itself, but it's also a Forge World model used as a lowly zombie filler - another thing to take off my bucket list, I guess!

The background text for them:
Ratmen crawl underneath all the Old World and they sometimes resurface even in such forgotten places as Varsavia. Their clashes with the vampires are not very common, but their soldiers, as frail as they are, make it into the zombies’ ranks too. Once skaven launched a more organized attack, bringing with them strange rat-wolves - beasts specializing in forest combat. Sorin's Vilkscountered them quite effectively and brought them down with numbers - since then, one of such creatures accompanies the zombie horde.

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Borgnine

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And some more catching up. A post from December 30th:

After Blood Bowl proved to be a great game to us, the next logical step was to paint the big guys. The first one after the essentials was the Troll - I actually got interested in the whole game because I liked this particular model!

At first, I wanted to paint him blue like the Stone Trolls of old, but then I thought he would differ too much from the rest of his team, so I painted him green for some uniformity's sake. Still, I tried various greens together with some ivory colors on different parts of his skin to make him more interesting and I think it turned out pretty good. That, together with the blue back-plates, clothes, armor parts, the goblin, some leather and spikes, made for some really interesting painting process.

Background text:
Chompa is one of the very rare smart trolls - well, relatively speaking, at least. He can use simple words (he even gives interviews!), is capable of some strategic thought and gets his salary like everyone else. One could think that this makes him an effective and focused Blood Bowl player, unlike other Trolls, but that’s unfortunately not true. After becoming a star, Chompa found himself with more income that he could use simply for food, so he got into interior design - his cave is really an eclectic wonder to behold. The trouble is, he is thinking about new wallpapers and carpets so much, he can still stand still in the middle of a match, completely unaware of the carnage going on around him - so functionally, he’s not that different from a typical troll! Of course, he punches and throws goblins also as well as other trolls, so his position in the team is safe (as well as his salary!).

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And January the 6th:

And now for something different, once again!

Some time ago we visited our friends here in Berlin and they always have a whole pile of new board games to try out. That one time we tried something called "Monster Slaughter" - a game by French company Ankama that got funded through Kickstarter in 2017. It centers around a "cabin in the woods" horror movie plot where a group of teenagers explore a creepy, abandoned shack with monsters trying to murder/eat them - with the players controlling the monsters. Everything is represented by pretty good miniatures.

Each monster group is a family - a dad, a mom and a child - and there is a crazy amount of them: vampires, ghosts, clowns, werewolves and many others. I played Tritons, the fish-people, the ones you can see below. After the game, I asked if I can take them home to paint because I got to like those guys. That, and they are also probably the least stylized family of the whole bunch, which also was a plus for me. Most of them are pretty comical, which fits with the comedic style of the game, but it isn't really my taste that much. Besides, they are green and dirty, and that's exactly how I like my miniatures!

They were pretty fun to paint and our friends were happy with the results. The only thing I didn't like about them was the material, which is kinda soft and bendy, like the ones used by Reaper Bones. It was a real challenge to get the mother's trident straight and removing the mold lines was also pretty tough - but besides that, they are fine minis. They were also first board game minis that I painted, so that's something too.

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And here are the cards with their stats that are used in the game - I used them as instruction how to paint them. This picture was taken from the Kickstarter page.

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Later today I will be posting the most recent stuff.
 

Borgnine

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And the most recent stuff, a finished "Khorne" warband for Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire.

Second Warhammer Underworlds warband is now ready - this time, one based on Garrek's Blood Reavers. You can see the conversions HERE. The whole idea was to get rid of all the ornaments and make them look more like low-fantasy Vikings, turning them into raiders that do worship Khorne and believe is piling skulls for his throne, but know him under a different name and don't know anything about the 'mainstream' cult.

Besides simplifying their sculpts and changing some bits, I wanted to differentiate them from normal Khorne warriors through paint too. I choose pale, desaturated colors and painted their clothes in many different hues, not only red and brown. Their weapons are also simpler and dirtier than the ones proposed by GW. To make them extra special I freehanded some Norse- and Celtic-inspired tattoos on them.

In the end, work on them was a fun experience and I think they turned out pretty well. It was also probably the first time in my life when I painted so much human skin! Now all that remains is the Stormcast warband - they are easily taking much more effort than both other teams combined, several times over!

Background text for them:
Another reality that’s reflected in the Withered King’s dreams is the appearance of the barbarian hordes living on the northern coasts of Vechernya. Speaking an alien language, warlike, unwilling to cooperate and worshipping Khorne in all but name, they are almost always at war with their southern neighbors. Sometimes they are pushed back and brought to heel by an organized effort, but they always come back under one name or another. The newest ones are just starting on their own Path to Glory, as warbands rampaging through the southern lands to earn the favor and respect of both gods and their ancestors. One particular group, all sons of a great warchief Skalv is particularly successful. If they will prove their worth and survive, future Vechernyans will tremble before hordes of bloodthirsty raiders, all claiming to be descendants of Skalv.

First, all the brothers together as a whole warband:

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Next, the singular warriors, with Garrek Gorebeard and Bloodbeast Sarrek going first:

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And last, but not least, the rest of them - Karsus, Targor and Arnulf:

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Menkeroth

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A month of inactivity? you have done more than I can in a lifetime :D great work as always, I especially like your conversions. As creative you are as ever :)
 

Farmer7574

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@Borgnine You’ve been working on a variety of cool things these days. I really like your work on the converted Reavers - really makes me want to get to work on my Underworlds stuff!

Those Triton fish monsters look great too - and the game sounds cool, I’ll have to take a look into that :thumbsup:
 

Theerteen

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How the heck did I miss the wheelchair guy xD beside all the other crazy and usual awesome stuff, this one sticks really sticks out, for the scrapbuild alone! Awesome, gogo paint it ;)
 

Borgnine

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@Menkeroth Well, if one forgoes social obligations, many minis can be painted quite fast xD Thank you very much!

@Farmer7574 Thanks! I try to have as many different projects started so that when I don't feel like doing one of them, I can jump to another one, rather than don't paint/convert anything at all.

@Theerteen Thanks! I am painting him at the moment, but his turn on the blog is far away from now, so I'll send you a PM with him when he's done ;)

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I have yet another batch of old zombies to show, this time under a vague description of heavy containers / scenery pieces that zombies stand on or try to move. It was mostly a way to use some of the larger bits that I had laying around and without any good use for them - making them probably the most classical 'fillers' that I have in the legion.

The giant ogre cannon belongs to this batch, but I will skip it, because it was already shown here. There are two fillers still!

Some background text:
People in Kislev say sometimes, that Varsavia is a perfect place to lose something. By means natural and unnatural, people, armies and whole cities can disappear without a trace. Remains of those can be then found much later, their original purpose already forgotten. Using his zombies’ eyes, Constantin patrols Varsavia for those lost treasures, because sometimes they can be really valuable. If not, they can be used as vantage points - or at least as a curiosity for Eshnuu, who really likes to deduct how some of those artifacts end up in Varsavian forests.

Here is a dwarven wagon, a scenery piece left in the forest - taken from the Battle for the Skull Pass set. I decided to try out some water effects resin at least once in the legion, so I prepared a shallow hole in the base, filed off some of the wagon's wheel and submerged it in some sickly green 'water' - with a ghoulish zombie on top. A mini-diorama, I guess.

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And the last one, two zombies dragging a treasure chest, because who said undead couldn't be used as menial labor? This piece is meant to be used in the legion together with the Stegadon. The monster's tail sticks out a little further than the base and it was difficult to find a zombie that would fit behind the monster without it looking weird - so I placed a small chest on the ground with two zombies beside it. Now the tail doesn't interfere with anything. Besides, I could use that rather cool-looking chest.

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Farmer7574

Vampire Count
True Blood
Joined
Dec 10, 2013
Messages
1,500
Those are cool - I like the idea of the wagon left in the forest. Perhaps it was a group of dwarves stuck in the woods surround by mist, and as time went by dwarves were mysteriously going missing until too few remained to care for their wagon. Eery.

I’ve tried the multiple project tactic but start losing attention if I have to many things on the go. A healthy balance works well though, especially when working on something that will take a while.

Great work mate, keep at it.
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
38
love all the conversions. I only have a few of other races put into my zombie and skeleton horde. There's some fantastic work in this thread
 
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