Saturday, 28 March 2015

Paints used: Vallejo, Reaper Master Series, Games Workshop Washes, Com Art Medea Airbrush
Paint Brushes: Rosemary & Co. Raphael 8040, Broken Toad Brushes

Raiding the lands of the Tomb Kings, Marilste and an escort of Ch'Ihll guard seized a fabled clutch of Golden Hydra eggs. This being is the first Golden Hydra to walk the earth in millennia. Marlieste will do everything in his power to break the will of the Hydra, retarding its normal growth with black magics to keep it stunted and small so that he may ride it into war for millennia to come. 


This is a model near and dear to my heart. I saw this model for the first time in the Dark Elf Army book (3rd/4th edition), and he subsequently popped up in the 4th edition Rule Book, White Dwarf entries and various other supporting picture content for Games Workshop products. I only remember seeing him on foot (although I am assured the Hydra makes appearances in the 4th edition books). As an over indulged only child it infuriated the hell out of me that I could not buy this model (of the America Games Day only release executioners). 

This grudge would stay with me throughout my adolescent life and into adulthood. Then eBay happened. 

There are a multitude of things you have to think of when approaching this kind of project. Should it be painted in an old hammer style, or should I use more modern techniques? Should I use the original size base, a modern sized base appropriate for the create, or go with what I think looks best? Colour choice - should I go with a classic scheme or should I go for something uncommon? Should I glue the model in place or magnetised it? 

I love the work of Georg Damm (more commonly known as Georc) and I feel that I'm walking in his shadow when painting this model. Although his own version was done many years ago and does not reflect the magnitude of painter he has turned into, it still remains a seminal piece for this model. 

Georg took the classic approach, using earthy tones to produce a paint job in line with my conception of a Hydra (Jason and the Argonauts has left an impression). The Black robes of the sorcerer work well with the overall tone of the model. If Georg hadn't have conquered this scheme already I would have done something similar. However why go over ground well covered? 

Why the yellow? It stems from a linked mini campaign (one of the new digital ones - I believe it is called northern wastes) I played with a friend where my Dark Elves were exploring a part of Troll Country and inadvertently stumbled on the outskirts of a Tomb Kings metropolis. Over the course of the campaign the idea surfaced that the Sorcerer Lord was on a quest for the fabled Golden Hydra of Khursh. The final scenario saw us battle beneath the fabled hydra - but instead of the flesh and blood hydra the sorcerer was led to believe it was, instead it was a literal golden statue shaped in the image of a hydra. Disappointed, the Lord ordered the statue cut apart by his corsair bodyguard and smelted down, only to find a hydra egg at its heart. 

The model was painted with an airbrush to block in the colours - base, shading and broad highlights, then I switched t a brush to define the details and wash a bit of interest into the yellows. I used russet browns in the shadow and ink in between the scales. I knew from previous experience that turquoise works well as an accent colour to yellow. I purposefully varied the patterns on the heads - you do not see exact patterns being repeated across species, why should it be the same on this? Although I used what I consider to be more modern techniques I still used old school techniques to help bridge the gap between now and then. 

I didn't go for the small square base, but I went for the more modern rectangle. The model is very front heavy (if you look ad the photographs of the base you can see there is a slight bend on the centre) but I felt this better help frame the model - from streamers to heads. I have not glued the Sorcerer lord to the Hydra but instead I've attached a thick brass rod from his feet that go through the Howdah, into the back of the hydra. Once threaded it holds as seen in the photos, which I imagine will make for some scary moments when balancing on terrain. I don't believe that magnetising is the answer here as the models are lead and very heavy. 

This model will form the core of the Ch'Ihll rearguard. Much like my child hood self, the Sorcerer (named Marilste) is a collector or rarities and monsters. His host will comprise of classic Citadel miniatures and any monsters that I collect.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Paints used: Vallejo, Reaper Master Series, Games Workshop Washes, Com Art Medea Airbrush
Paint Brushes: Rosemary & Co. Raphael 8040, Broken Toad Brushes

The Golden Hydras of Khursh are an oddity to many Old Worlders who are more used the drab reptilian greens and khaki colours of the West. The terrible beings of the East are said to breed such creatures for their exotic skin, each generation becoming ever more colourful and bizarre. The rarest of these creatures is a clutch of eggs named the Golden Hydras - beings so powerful that they could rival the dragons of the pre dawn age. No such creature has been seen in living memory, even by the long lived elves and such creatures re believed to be fable.


I've painted up several Hydras from my dark elf force over the years and I was bored to tears of drab colours. Why can't a Hydra look fabulous? 

I started with a base of white, then a lemon yellow which was given successive washes of browns, purples and warm oranges. The scales are highlighted with a rotting flesh (beige with a touch of green). The markings are turquoise shaded with green. 


Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Paints used: Vallejo, Reaper Master Series, Games Workshop Washes, Com Art Medea Airbrush
Paint Brushes: Rosemary & Co. Raphael 8040, Broken Toad Brushes

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Paints used: Vallejo, Reaper Master Series, Games Workshop Washes, Com Art Medea Airbrush
Paint Brushes: Rosemary & Co. Raphael 8040, Broken Toad Brushes

Mariliste, the Cripple of Karond Kar

Marilste was one of many children born into an affluent slavers family of Karond Kar. Fourth in line of inheritance of a brood of six, all of whom were vastly more powerful, knowledgeable, politically savvy or downright more vicious than the weakling child nicknamed the Cripple. Marilste was an oddity for Dark Elf society, a collector, an archivist with a love for the creatures of nature. As a child he had raised three dogs that he intended to act as a bodyguard, but were killed for sport by his father and his court in a drunken trist. 

It is perhaps thanks to this infirmity a that Mariliste was left largely unmolested growing up as the siblings fought views blood vendetta’s amongst themselves. It was only when three were left, Draegon the warlord, Scaritath the blade mistress and Marilste, that 'the cripple' suggested a final duel to settle the matter once and for all. Marilste told them that his failing nerves could no longer sustain the constant threat of assassination from his brother and sister and would rathe die in a place of his choosing. 

Thus did the three enter the Temple, a large Amphitheatre built into the ancestral home of the Mariliste blood line where such ritual battle were held. Draegon and Scaritth were instantly upon each other matching blade strike for blade strike. They had both reasoned that Mariliste would be no threat once their counterpart must be dealt with swiftly. Marilste took to the edge of the he Dias as it was engulfed in the flames from three Hydras who were hidden in the shadowed alcoves. 'It was short sighted of you to think I would wager my life on a fist fight between you two. Poorer judgement yet to allow me the choice of venue". 

Marilste's obsession with cryptozoology has seen him travel the world, accrue in such rarities as the Bordeloux preyton, the Fiender- giest of the dark Marshes and several hydras, manticores and Charybdis. However there is one creature above all the self taught sorcerer lusts above all else - the black chimera.

He studied the higher mysteries but fled from Naggaroth in the wake of the Witch King’s decree that male sorcerers should be put to death. Mariliste founded the cabal of the Jade Serpent which drew all manner of dispossessed and vile sorcerers to him. Marilse managed to accrue a great wealth and permanently bought the services of a travelling troupe of Druchii soldiers who took on the name of the Jade Serpent. Gelding these warriors Marilste made them a band of prostitute soldiers, turning a profit from them when not engaged in war. 

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Paints used: Vallejo, Reaper Master Series, Games Workshop Washes, Com Art Medea Airbrush
Paint Brushes: Rosemary & Co. Raphael 8040, Broken Toad Brushes

Vio'scious Ch'Ihll is captain of the Raven's Delight, a once great host now greatly diminished to those members who were fleet enough to outpace their pursuers. The moniker Blood Raven was hung about him after his many flights across Naggaroth, fleeing the vengeful blades at his back. The raven is a craven bird in Naggarothi lore and Vio'scious has a growing repute for savaging the weak, helpless and lamed for his continued survival. 

Vio’Cious is the Son of Briarch Ch’Ihll the former first Sword of Ch’Ihll, and is an uncle to Cynath Ch’Ihll. Upon the death of Briarch his children sought to take the mantle of first sword of the Ch’Ihll dynasty, thus sparking a bloody internal family affair. Vio’Scious sought to marry Tyriz Mal, daughter of the Dreadlord Daemon of Naggarond, putting a thousand swords to Vio’Scious claim. Unfortunately the Daemon’s men butchered Vio’Scious’ merge household while the newly weds were consummating their marriage. The Blood Raven earned his moniker by stealing away from the highest point of the Marriage tower, his wife cut open and emptied onto to the bridal bed. 

He has fled from city to city, raising hosts by borrowing money against the Ch’Ihll name, and having them dashed against stronger forces. His life has been a protracted retreat from the Dark Elf Capitol, running from his siblings, the revenge of his step father and his debtors. 

His Preyton, stolen from the docks of Karond Kar in his flight from Naggaroth, mirrors the black cruelty of the Dark Elf well. His current band of mercenaries, the Crow’s Delight, are practiced in lightning raids, thrilling in riding down the weak, the lame and the helpless. although few in number their presence in the Black Prince’s host gives outriders of exceptional resourcefulness and cruelty. But it also gives the Black Prince a problem with an older, ambitious sibling. 


Every Dark Elf army needs a pegasus rider doesn't it? I didn't want to create a model just for the sake of gaming purposes as I find these model tend to lack character and are quickly forgotten for the more personal elements of a force. I knew I had to have the Preyton somewhere in my collection and a quick mock up of the old Asdurael Vect Kit seemed like a match made in heaven! 

I decided to go for a strong black and red colour scheme. This is an incredibly effective combination but also helped distance the Blood Raven visually from the rest of the Ch'Ihll host. Vio'Cious adds a welcome splash of colour to the force. His Raven's Delight will be a unit of Dark riders that accompany him into battle. 

With the changes to the Warhammer World it's hard to see where the force stands at the moment. It was built with 3rd edition sensibilities and 8th edition practicalities. The new edition looks set to break away completely from the past and so there is no reference point to know where to push the force on from here. I'd like to add a unit of crossbowmen, finish the Witch elves and create a unit of Sisters of Slaughter as these are iconic to the army (less so the sisters, I just love the models). To finish it all off though I just may need to go out with a flourish, like the Warhammer Wolrd itself and End Times my Lord onto a Dragon.