Sunday, September 29, 2019

How big are... -- Blackstone Fortress Miniatures -- Size comparisons

Hi all,

time for another episode in my "series", "How big are..."!

This time, the fantastic miniatures from Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress:


Let's start with the impressive and cunning Rogue Trader Janus Draik:
The (certainly) centuries of rejuvenation therapy (and maybe the long time spend at low gravity?) made this guy really tall! A whole head taller than the average Imperial soldier (which you have to imagine to be like Arnold Schwarzenegger!), just a bit shy of a Primaris. Most impressive! Well, I love this guy, and maybe this is simply the new "heroic" scale of GW! 

Next up, the Ministorum Priest Taddeus the Purifier:
 Good old Tad, is quite massive too. Certainly he did not have to fast on his crusade!

Here another comparison shot with the elderly Arch-confessor and Redemptor  Kyrinov

Looks like Tad definitely had an idol to inspire him (pose- and cloth-wise ;-). But certainly, he "outgrew" his old master.

Then, there is Missionary Zealot Pious Vorne:

Also Vorne steps into the footsteps of a previous great but anonymous Eviscerator Priest

Next up is Imperial Navigator Espern Locarno:
Well, Navigators are tall, fluff-wise I think? Also, as far as I know, there has been no other Navigator model yet, to compare to?

And, the unique (?): Imperial Robot UR-025:
First time in 40k that we encounter an artificial intelligence. Not much is known about this supposedly extinguished "race". I guess he could come in any size? 

Kroot Tracker Dahyak Grekh:
Unfortunately (shame on me), I have no Kroot model for comparison but he seems quite a big specimen as well (heroic).

Amallyn Shadowguide, Asuryani Ranger
Also no older ranger for comparison, sorry!

Ratling Twins, Rein and Raus:
 I have to admit, I really do not like ratlings! They remind me way too much of Hobbits, which I also do not like, sorry!!

Denizens of the Blackstone Fortress

The brave explorers encounter some nasty denizens:

Traiter Guardsmen:

Interestingly,  the Traitor Guardsmen are indeed the same size as Cadians. Soo much to a size creep in GW models...

Negavolt Cultists:

Chaos Beatmen:


Spindle Drones:

Black Legion Chaos Space Marines:

Rogue Psykers:
Hard to compare these guys of course, floating around like balloons.

And finally, Obsidius Mallex:

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Reborn in Grandeur: Ahriman and Typhus (and the new Noctilith Crown aka Chaos Star Gate)

Hi all,

these days, I leave my hobby moods roaming freely. I guess it would be better to keep concentrating on one project and finish it before starting a new one, but, honestly, I have that enough at work, so I decided to not enforce any structure in my hobby. The result is of course disastrous! I have so many untouched sprues and bits lying around that I just open some box and I immediately have the strong urge to build the first model/sprue I see!

So my apologies to anybody who is visiting my blog to check for updates on my Necromunda,  Khorne, Necron or Zombicide projects!!! I promise that I will come back to those projects because eventually I finish all projects, but it might take some time...

Anyway, so here some results of these roamings:

Ahriman and Typhus

I have always loved these two guys, in particular their sculpts! Absolute classics which made it well through the years. Only, that with the recent move to "true-scale" for Space Marines they became a bit too small maybe? Therefore, I was very happy when GW decided to update the models to the new standards. I was even happier to see that GW kept the design close to the originals, in particular for Ahriman!

So let's check Ahriman out first with some comparison:

As you can see in the above pic, Ahriman indeed did not change too much and I love almost all of the "improvements" they did, starting from the more dynamic pose (he is now leaning forward giving him a really threatening aura), the left hand summoning some devastating spell, the spell book at his hip.
Finally, he became a little bit bigger (although he has always been a big boy).

He is now actually taller than a Primaris (if you would correct for his leaning pose):

This makes me as a "true-scale" fanatic extremely happy!

The only downside, is that the new Rubricae, aka Thousand Sons, are not true-scale but rather classic Space Marine size, so that Ahriman is significantly bigger. I guess he kept growing in the last ten thousand years, while the Rubricae as automata of course did not ;-) Anyway not his fault.

Then, we have Typhus, the feared Host of the Destroyer Hive, and one of Nurgle's most favoured sons:

First of all, I did not finish building the new model yet because I really do not like the new pose. It somehow gives an exaggerated, more comic-like vibe to Typhus. This is a pity, in particular because I loved the pose of the old sculpt which was simple but somehow threatening in a calm way (as one would expect from a Death Guard). So, a slight conversion is in order to fix the pose.

Apart from that, the other biggest change is that Typhus exchanged his nicely customized Indomitus pattern Terminator Armour, to an older model, namely a Cataphractii Pattern! Only exception is his helmet which apparently still is fine. Not sure what happened?! Maybe the Indomitus got too damaged, stolen by fans, or just too rusty? Or maybe, Typhus has some sense of fashion and wanted to follow the trend?
The Indomitus pattern seems to be pretty out these days, heretics and loyalists alike grab again their older Cataphractii and Tartaros patterns, or change to the new and fancy Mark X Gravis design, if they can (see Marneus, and probably Lysander will follow soon?).
The true reason is probably that Typhus realised that he could not have an Indomitus because it was only issued to the Legions AFTER Grandfather Nurgle fused him with his armour. So he secretly switched back to the Cataphractii that he should be wearing according to fluff... ;-)

Too bad because, I like the particular Indomitus he was wearing quite a lot, in particular the "hood" and back parts, but also the shoulder pads.

Anyway, also his Cataphractii is quite "customised"  and still comes with a cute Nurgling to caress the belly.

He also kept his Scythe, the Manreaper, which stayed pretty much the same over the years, only that the continuous high levels of humidity bended it more, clearly:

The clear advantage, and decisive element, of the new design, is that now he is bigger, much bigger! True-scale big even?

And just for laughs, let's compare to the poor classical Space Marines:

Before I leave you, one more thing:

In another box of mine I found these sprues:

The Noctilith Crown

What an impressive piece of scenery! So much Chaos, I had to buy and build this one even if I do not play anymore these days. Just as backdrop for the miniatures in the cabinet, it is already worth it!

At first, I was slightly disappointed because the sprues were not manufactured in Nottingham but in China, which used to have a huge effect on the quality of the details.

But I am happy to report that the Chaos Gate looks good. It seems that GW managed to improve the quality lately as the following pic tries to show:
From left to right: A skull from the Skulls Box (Nottingham), the skull of the Noctilith Crown (China new), and a skull from the Sector Imperialis base kit (China, old).

Sorry, it is a bit hard to see despite my best efforts, but take my word for it that the crispness is not yet the same as for the Nottingham sprues but definitely better than before.


Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Zombie Skin Tones -- First experiments with GW's new Contrast Paint


as many other people, I as well have been very excited about GW's new Contrast Paint, maybe not so much about the promises they made but rather to try some new type of paint and what kind of effects one can (ab)use it for!

The large amounts of Zombicide zombies roaming my house in search for blood (or better some colour) are the perfect test subject for these colours.

Usually I prime my miniatures black (maybe with some zenithal white highlighting) and then paint the colours up from dark to bight. However, this approach does not work for the Contrast Paint, does it? But then, I did not totally want to give up on the dark (pre-)shading in the recesses. Therefore, I decided for the following approach:

First, I primed with black from below, and then with white from the upper angles. I used the black and white acrylic-polyurethane surface primers from Vallejo applied un-thinned by airbrush. The result looks like this:

Admittingly, the transitions are a bit rough despite using an airbrush. I think for "en-mass" miniatures (i.e., not characters), this is totally fine. For special miniatures one might want to do an in-between tone, i.e., grey before the white for smoother transitions.

Now, I applied the Contrast Paint un-thinned directly from the pot in one thin layer:

On the left: Gulliman Flesh and on the right Skeleton Horde.

On layer of thin Gulliman Flesh results in a relatively pale but rather alife (healthy?) skin tone. The dark pre-shading leaves heavy contrasts.

Interestingly, the Skeleton Horde leads to a little green hue, owing to its beige tone over the black in the recesses. This results in a rather sick, deseased skin tone. Maybe exactly what you want to zombies? I might reserve this one for the toxic zombies in fact.

Next, I experimented by mixing the Gulliman Flesh with either the Skeleton Horde or a bit of Aethermatic Blue. I chose the latter to give the "healthy" tone of the Gulliman Flesh some dead/cold tone (also in absence of any other blue or green contrast paint in my inventory).

Left: 1:1 Gulliman Flesh & Skeleton Horde. Right: ~3:1 Gulliman Flesh & Aethermatic Blue

Left: ~3:1 Gulliman Flesh & Aethermatic Blue. Right: ~2:2:1 Gulliman Flesh, Skeleton Horde & Aethermatic Blue

I have to say that I quite like all the results and it is difficult to me to choose my favorite for "typical" zombie skin. Certainly all of them would work well, in particular with the pre-shading. Here a comparison of all variants:

In general, this way of painting is very different from my usual paint style with rather opaque layers or saturated colours, highlights and shading but I very much like it! It is a bit like aquarelle to impressionist painting.

In this case at least, I applied only one layer of paint over the primer(s), and I would consider the skin done at a good tabletop level (no extra highlights or shades needed). So it is quite fast and well suited for painting many miniatures in a reasonable amount of time.

One thing to notice though is that if I would want to continue painting the rest of the miniature with contrast paints as well, the over-painting, i.e., mistakes due to non-clean appliance of the skin tone would become possibly a problem. In particular for other light colours. In other words, if you want to do this (one-layer) contrast painting style, you have to paint very cleanly, which again slows you down and also requires quite some practice (I still can not paint clean after 20+ years ;-)). Repairing previous mistakes will also be difficult with the black&white pre-shading.

So in summary, I am still excited about the new Contrast Paints and consider these first experiments very successful. More on this soon!

Monday, September 2, 2019

Zombicide:Invader -- Warhammer 40K size comparisons

Hi again,

the new Zombicide:Invader miniatures are pretty awesome and since the setting is similar, the obvious question that comes to mind is: how about using the miniatures in Warhammer 40k? Or the other way around?

So, let's compare the Zombicide:Invader miniatures to typical Warhammer 40k miniatures.

Good news is the scale roughly matches!

On the other hand, the Zombicide:Invader miniatures are "true-scale", i.e., they are realistically proportioned, different to the Warhammer miniatures, which are in "heroic" scale. In other words, the former have a completely different aesthetic from the latter! However, this might not bother everybody (as much as it does me). And anyway, this mostly (only) applies to the survivors. The xenos miniatures are easily compatible.

Enough talk, here the comparison pictures:


First the soldiers in power amour compared to Primaris Space Marines:

As one can see, the Invader Soldiers are a tiny bit smaller than the Primaris and much less 'bulky'.

Now to the civilians:

So the civilians are taller than the Warhammer humans, roughly one head. So for me, this is too much of a difference. Although with the recent size creep among the new Warhammer miniatures, the difference to Rogue Trader or Necromunda miniatures (in particular Delaque) is probably less. On the bright side, the heads are the same size! :-)


I think that the Xenos would work as Warhammer miniatures much better:

Want some alternative Gene Stealers?! Here you go:

I think that the abominations would work particularly well (as Tyranids) in Warhammer 40k:

On the other hand, if you do not like the Zombicide:Invader miniatures (or can not buy them), you could also easily play the game with Warhammer 40k miniatures! E.g., replacing the Xenos with Tyranids...

Happy xenos hunting!