Sunday, 28 March 2021

Project Backlog, Part 8

Silver Tower: Deathrunner

This cunning murderer has been dispatched to the battlefield on a mission of assassination. By poisoned blade and shadow magic does he seek to strike down his mark. With the uncanny ability to appear in two places at once, the Deathrunner flickers impossibly through the smoke and flame of the battlefield. He conceals his advance with clouds of alchemical fume before springing forth to plunge his blades into his victim's unprotected back.

To paint the Deathrunner, I went back to a snippet of lore that appeared in all Warhammer Fantasy Army Books but that seems to have gone from the Age of Sigmar Battletomes. It read:

'Skaven fur ranges in colour, most often shades of brown or piebald. The rank of a ratman can often be distinguished by its fur, as larger specimens tend to be darker. Assassins and Stormvermin are marked by darker shades from brooding browns to jet black'.

And to that, I stuck, contrasting the black body with muted green or brown clothes, dull metal armour and shades of grey for the tail and longer fur.
The yellowish green shine on the blades and armour runes is there to suggest they are laced with warpstone. The brandings on the shoulder and thigh were instead painted with Nihilah Oxide, as if glowing with sourcerous energies.

The Scouring of Pale Gorge, Part 3

The Breaking of the Rovers

'And that would be how your Kalyustar ended the Runt Waaagh?' intervened the inn-keeper of the Prancing Gryph-hound. 'By just blasting a Loonboss nobody ever heard about?'
'Is that what I've said? Is it? No!' Steve's snappy reply drew a chuckle from the crowd, as always quite fond of the two's constant bickering.
'We knew Gripe Backstabba was just an underling to Badruk 'Eadsplitta, but if he had taken an interest in us, it meant the Warboss couldn't be far. So, at dawn we set off, keeping to the edges of the swamp and venturing deeper into Pale Gorge.

We could still see the sunken gate in the distance and suddenly it pulsed, brawny orruks and a few grots rushing out of it.

The grots and some arrer boyz pushed ahead, their crooked arrows pattering against the trees where we had taken position.

We returned fire and halted the grots' advance, but the arrer boyz made it through and surrounded Kalyustar. But we had learned a thing or two in matters of strategic defence and Rodrick was quick to jump in and send most of the orruks flying in dissaray.

Still, the one stubborn orruk that stood his ground bought time enough for a bunch of Ardboyz to kick the grots back into line and charge in.

Rodrick and Kalyustar stood back to back, pouring hammer blows and arcane bolts onto the Ardboyz. As for me, I used the trees to my advantage and felled two grots as they came forward.

Kalyustar broke off and I could sense he drew onto the realmblood of Ghyran to heal himself while Rodrick and I sorted things out with the grot boss and arrer boy.

We regrouped and realised that a few boyz had lingered back and were coming for us now. As they advanced, we felt obliged to introduce them to properly placed arrows and pistol shots.

And as the boss alone trudged through the muck, I met him in single combat.

And then Rodrick stepped in and robbed me of the kill'.

As one, the woodsmen burst into laughter. Steve looked around, his carefully staged outrage at Rodrick's intervention turning into uncomfortable disbelief.
'Fellows, you should know, the Little People are much better fighters on solid, wooded ground'.
It was the Shyishan Trade Priooner that spoke, his voice strangely silencing the laughter.
'I am sure he would have had the orruk boss on the tip of his short sword if it wasn't for the mud sucking at his feet. Isn't it so, sir?'
'Well... yes... indeed... That was it, the mud! Anyway... where was I? Ah, yes! So... the orruks were gone and we turned away from the swamp towards more solid ground. We came upon a rocky arch and there found a corpse, one of those Azyrite witch hunters, by the look of his half-rotten gear. The only salvageable thing was a whickedly sharp and warm stake that Rodrick took for himself. .

As we were busy searching the corpse, the orruk came back and sprung an ambush on us. At our backs, arrer boyz loosed a salvo.

Boarboyz emerged from the woods in front of us and leveled their spears.

And from our left two massive boulders came whistling down, hurled by troggoths.

We retread out of range, putting the base of the arch between us and the troggoths, but the boarboyz were quick to redirect their charge and came roaring for us.

With the troggoths and arrer boyz slowed down by the rocky terrain, we managed to push back the boarboyz.

Arrows and boulders started to fall around us again and the only thing we could do was falling back into a thicket.

The troggoths tried to charge, but they were still on treacherous ground and didn't reach us.

We took our chance and countercharged. I saw Rodrick drawing the witch hunter's stake and slamm it into the belly of the closest troggoth. It splintered against its rocky hide and the brute pushed forward, sending me arse over tit. But if nothing else, Kalyustar blasted the other down.

From the ground and blinded by my own blood, the commontion of the fight came to me as a distant noise. Whistling of arrows, bestial grunts, the ring of metal on stony skin and then a deep thud.

The ringing of hooves and armoured boots on rocks, guttural screams... and then blackness and the deepest silence'.


The Venythian Rovers

Exploration rolls: 8 - Threat Level: 3 - Map Fragments: 0 - Spectral Lanterns: 1 - Battles Won: 5
Kalyustar of the Gilded Hand (Archmage, from Grand Alliance: Order): Realmblood (Ghyran Spell), Master of Defence (Order Trait). Wounds suffered: 2 - Enemies killed: 18
Captain Rodrik (Freeguild General, from Grand Alliance: Order): Tenacious (Order Trait). Wounds suffered: 5 - Enemies killed: 23
Steve Boffin (Huntmarshal, from The Empire Compendium). Wounds suffered: 5, DEAD - Enemies killed: 14

Sunday, 21 March 2021

Project Backlog, Part 7

Silver Tower: the Knight and the Daemons

Knights-Questor have vowed to stand as shields between the denizens of the Mortal Realms and the depredations of Chaos. It falls to these heroes to undertake great quests in Sigmar's name. They adventure across the Realms and beyond to slay terrible enemies or recover arcane artefacts whose power can turn the tides of war.

Gibbering with lunatic energy, the luminescent Pink Horrors whirl and flail, generating raw magic that can manifest as blasts of unnatural fire that scour the enemy. Should they be slain, Horrors split in twain to form two lesser incarnations.

Work on my backlog progresses at pace, even if I couldn't blog about it for a couple of weeks.
I have to be honest and admit that Stormcast Eternals are not among my favourite models, in fact that's the first ever I've painted. Since I don't expect to use it much outside Silver Tower games, I didn't bother converting it, but I took it as a chance to test my yellow painting skills. We all know it is a difficult colour, and if the results were not particularly great I wouldn't have regreted the choice as I don't really care for the model.

In the end, it was my best effort at using yellow as the main colour on a model, so a win on all fronts! I stuck to the canonical distribution of colours on Stormcast, with the shield field, right shoulder pauldron, knee pads, mantle and helmet in a contrasting colour, picking black. Red on the tabard and plume and the metalic details complement both yellow and black. As I have no 40mm Shattered Dominion bases, but wanted to keep the model in line with the others, I used the topper from the limited edition Grombrindal the Vampireslayer which I had sitting on the bits box.

The Pink Horrors too are unconverted and painted canonically, although in a slightly darker pink than the Heavy Metal's one.

I actually wantred to convert one to represent the Librarian, the boss of the first Silver Tower trial. I was sure there still were the Plague Monk hands holding a book and a scroll in the bits box, but they were all gone. The only book I could find was that from the Cities of Sigmar Battlemage. Because it is held in the right hand and I didn't want to loose the Horror's dagger, I clipped the hand off and glued the book to the base. This way, it matches the art on the Library tile, which has all kind of books and torn pages scattered on the floor.

Sunday, 7 March 2021

Project Backlog, Part 6

Silver Tower: the Familiars

These diminutive, capricious beings are physical manifestations of the raw magical energies that permeate the Mortal Realms. Their behaviour is strange, and their presence can prove to be a boon to warriors and mages as often as it is a curse.

Are they cute, aren't they? From left to right: Pug, Blot, Slop and Tweak.
I've painted all 8 models, each pair in exactly the same way. After all, they are actually the same entity! For Blot and Tweak I kept the same palette I've used on the Tzaangors, Kairic Acolytes and Ogroid Thaumaturge. For Pug and Slop, while keeping the yellow, I've swapped the blue and purple for shades of green.

They are all so characterful, but I particularly love the fact that Slop is the symbol of Tzeentch! And I dare anyone to claim that Blot is a spineless creature!