Sunday, 23 April 2017

Free Companies of the Gilded Hand - 1

Now that Kalyustar is done it is time to give him a retinue of hirelings. They will be the unit leaders and heroes of my growing army of the Gilded Hand. They will all be based on the classic Dogs of War, whether actual models or illustrations from the 4th edition Army Book and White Dwarf supplements. Of course, besides the individual models I'll use in AoS28 games, I'm also going to work on the rank and file models. But don't worry, every model will be at least kitbashed. And now, let me introduce you the first Company to join Kalyustar.

Lucius Scopos and the Venithyan Marksmen

Lucius is based on the Maximilian Damark model. I've used the standing legs, a torso and pointing arm from the Empire Cannon kit and the head with the largest hat from the Freeguild Crossbowmen. The right arm comes from the same kit. Originally, the weapon on the shoulder was a handgun. I've clipped the barrel and replaced it with the stock and bow from the repeater crossbow. To his belt, I've added a pouch from the Duardin Thunderers and a dagger, again from the Freeguild Crossbowmen. I think the kitbash pretty much captures the feeling of the original model.

The Marksmen are similarly inspired by the Marksmen of Miragliano and are kitbashed with bits from the Freeguild Guard, the Freeguild Crossbowmen, the Empire Militia and the last head I had left from the Empire Cannon.

You'll notice that I've given the musician a drum (Crossbowmen have pipers in their warscroll), replicated the stance of the banner bearer and mixed armoured and unarmoured torsos and bare heads with pot helms and leather caps. What I haven't replicated are the feathers. That's because I've decided to keep all feathered heads for two more Companies I've planned.

As always, fluff will come once they're painted...

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The Eclipse

Kalyustar of the Gilded Hand

The alchemists of the Gilded Hand lost their faith in Sigmar when the God-king retreated behind the Gates of Azyr. Ever since, they have learned to trust two things only. Their knowledge of the elements and the magicks that rule them and the skills at arm of the best mercenaries that wyrd-gold can buy. Kalyustar is no exception in this respect. Where he differs is in that, since the onset of the Storm of Sigmar, he forwent the safety of his laboratory in Venithya. Since then, he has traveled the Realms to collect the rare substances so crucial for his experiments. In Ghur, at the head of a motley host of ogors and orruks, he sacked the vaults of the Lofnir Lodge. On the Sky Roads of Chamon, he led a charge of Demi-gryph Knights to capture one of the Olwyr Stonehorns and grind its bones. He spirited away a chunk of Shyishian Realm Stone from Voldyr Keep, the Scourge Privateers he hired fighting their way through ravening flesh-eater hordes. Countless of times he has clashed with Chaos Lords and Sorcerers whose keeps held secrets worth the lives of many a man. Equally celebrated as a hero and reviled as a villain, he has collected the rarest of substances, but one. Sigmarite, the celestial metal, still eludes Kalyustar. As the Eclipse engulfs the Realms, he knows the vilest of Chaos servants can channel its dark energies and trap the precious metal. He will stop at nothing to seize their secret, whether this means ripping it from those he can vanquish or struck a bargain with those too powerful for him and his mercenaries.

As a nod to the old Dogs of War fluff that placed the mercenary armies in the Warhammer version of the Italian peninsula, Venithya is loosely based on 16th century Venice. For the first member of the Gilded Hand I modeled, I therefore choose the colours of Venice flagg, gold (for the barding) and red (for the mantle). I didn't want to overdo with the gold, so I've broken it with the blues and greens of the vials. Again, not to have too much gold, I kept Kalyustar's armour a dull silver, but decided to paint his mask white to make it stand out more.

I've painted the Militia banner bearer and musician using the same palette of the unit they will join in larger games. The colours work well also alongside Kalyustar, with the red tying the models together, but the brown and beige marking the two men as less wealthy than the wizard.

The flagg was painted blue with red sigmarite symbols to match the dress of Lothar Valdemius, the Excelsior Warpriest that leads the Church of Sigmar's Retribution.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

The Guardian's Network - Part 6

Head Hunt

***File H79-Encripted vox-com--SOURCE: Mancunius Dome--DESTINATION: Spire Docks--SECURITAS: Adeptus Maxima-RT Tirpnitz***

Tirpnitz to Cobalt Snake...Tirpnitz to Cobalt you copy? We need immediate assistance, head down. I repeat, head down. Over.

Head and XA-305 were in a warehhouse, questioning some hivers. I was searching the pumping station on the Rank Oats end of the Sludge Canal with Kasander. Over.

Then the Wyrd psy-sensed hostiles approaching. Over.

A group of Sumptraders was sneaking towards our position. Around Silo B45 a screaming fanatic disappeared in a ball of blue flames, while head's 'friend' moved for the warehouse. Over.

We sent head's servoskull to slow down the Sumptraders and fell back to the warehouse. Head took XA-305 with him and went to settle the score with his old 'friend'. Over.

And then a damn servitor gerked to life and poured plasma on head. The Sumptraders run past the servoskull, blasting away with their guns. Over.

Kasander psy-ordered XA-305 to drag head's body to our position in the warehouse. We were about to be outnumbered. The midget was taken by another of his delusions of greatness and made it for the servitor, scraming he would avenge his master. Over.

We gunned down a couple of Sumptraders. Over.

While the rest hung back in cover we retreated. Over.
We are falling back to headquarter in Moss Slide. Send down somebody. I don't want head to die on me, we still need his letter of pardon! Over and done.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

The Eclipse - WIP

Since Jake (Bruticus) launched the Eclipse competion I've been looking in amazement at some of the entries that have being popping around the web. They spurred me to think and rummage through my pile of unbuilt kits, but inspiration was hard to come by. The search, however, took me back to my Free Companies of the Gilded Hand, my AoS28 tribute to the classic Dogs of War range. So far I've churned out a few Companies, but never attempted to represent one of the alchemists that pay for their services. That's it...until now!

Kalyustar of the Gilded Hand

Once I had decided I wanted my Witch Hunter to be a wandering alchemist, I started browsing books, WD issues and the internet for cool ideas. When I opened the 8th edition deck of Magic Cards and went for the Gold Magic cards, I was struck by lighting. I wanted my alchemist to look like the wizard on the back of the cards.

I had some arms from the Battle Mage, including the one holding the bottle with the skull-like puff of smoke, and a Liberator head sitting in my bits box. Mask, vial and part of the cape were sorted, what I needed was an armoured body and a hood. I had no armoured infantry that could be put to use, but I had a full box of Empire Knights (last minute purchase before they disappeared!). Armoured body sorted, I then sculpted the missing part of the cape and the hood.

The wizard on the card has another vial hanging from his belt and I wanted that to feature too. Since Kalyustar is on horse I figured the best place to put them was on the horse itself. After all, how else would a wandering alchemist carry his tools and ingredients?

Blackpowder vials from the Duardin Thunderers and the Freeguild Handgunners (and a scroll with skull from the Flagellants, why not?) found their way on the rump barding and dangling from the reins and staff. The staff was the fiddly bit of the entire project. It was the one with the Twin Tailed Comet top. I didn't want a too obvious connection with the sigmarite cult (more on this with the fluff, when the model is done), but I wanted to keep the orb. In removing the Comet's tails I snapped the staff, but that was ok as I found it was too long and broke the flow of the model. Once the orb was on top of the shortened staff it still missed something, but I still had the halo I had clipped from the Liberator head (never throw away a still usable bit!)

Since I was at it I've also knocked together the banner bearer and musician for the Church of Sigmar's Retribution Militia. When I modeled that unit, Militia could not have them, but then Grand Alliance: Order came out and they were given a boost. Luckily, I had the crew from an Empire Cannon (another last minute purchase) ansd spares from the Empire militia and Flagellants. The good thing is, I can also use them as reiteneers for Kalyustar in AoS28 games!

I have a rather clear idea of what Kalyustar's backstory is, but I always refine my models' stories while I paint them, so you'll have to wait a little to know more about him...

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Quintus Severus' Retinue - 6

All Together Now!

So, my first Inq28 project is done. I'm really pleased with the end result, especially since it all started as a way to use models I had for free and didn't find a way in any of my other armies and gangs.
That, I think is reflected in the fact that every model is really an individual, rather than being part of a themed warband.
Their individual character is also reflected in their backstories, each almost completely unrelated to each other except for the role played by Quintus Severus. What I loved in developing these stories is how Quintus emerged as a manipulative figure, playing on the weaknesses of the other characters to ensure they serve him.
While right now my attention has been once again captured by Age of Sigmar, I still have plans to expand this band of misfits. For sure I want to add another Crusader, so that I can play them in regular 40k using the Imperial Agents codex. Then, I've realised XA-305 could be a central character, perhaps the leader, of a gang of rebellious cyber-gladiators. That would be the chance to work more on a theme rather than seeing what I can do with whatever bits I have at hand.
Anyway, all of this will have to wait. There's an Eclipse to watch for...

The Guardian's Network - Part 5

Infiltrate the Camp

Quintus stared at the statics in the pic-screen. The vid-captures he and his retinue had secured had been badly damaged by the sudden black-out. The few discernable frames showed a cawled figure raising to their feet what looked like a wretched beggar. Then a crowd gathered, staring in amezament at the now standing man. The cawled figure, meanwhile, sneaked away towards the Northern Sector. Severus cursed the cunningness of his former associate Lenk. The only thing left to do was to track the man down.

***File G84-Vox capture--SOURCE:Psy-bug, Host: Dexter, Underhiver--SECURITAS: Adeptus Maxima-INQ:Quintus Severus***

I'll tell you wha'! I'm glad that uphive fella disappear'd in the Northern Sector, now I've me workshop all back to me. We was crossing Sumptrader's territory, we was all spread out, groups of two. I was with tha' navy dappa, Balthasar.

An' then, old Bull and his mates show'd up, pretty piss'd at we gettin' through without permission. They spread out, blokin' the way an' poppin them guns. Wha' d'you expect? It's Underhive law! [ADDENDA: Dexter failed to see the connection, what a simpleton! The Sumptraders were covering the retreat of our quarry. They must be clearly in league with the Guardian...INQ: QS]

We shot back, you know how is it.

Three of 'em Sumptraders gang'd up on tha' big servo. Bad idea! Man, how they scream'd when the thin' turn'd on its choppa!

The 'Traders heavy and a few more of his mates were smarter, playin' targetin' practice on the Wyrd and the little hugly scribble.

The navy dappa push'd ahead. I hung back, an' glad I did! One bolt got him, the other was lookin' for me, I bet!

The uphive fella got the drop on Fishgutter. Smash'd he pretty good with tha' big hammer of 'im. He was tryin' to leg it, but Bull catch'd up.

T'was the right' time to mind me own business, you know, so I left 'em there. I took 'em were they want'd, didn't I? [ADDENDA: You did, scum bag. Your little turn-face it's something I'll deal with once this investigation is over. INQ: QS]