I know that summer is not great with these lockdown restrictions, COVID has caused major disruption to many things in life, in our case no access to hobby shops, delayed deliveries on-line and the cancellations of many tournaments. These are of course nothing in comparison to the effects it has had on wider society and I hope that you are keeping well.
I have not played a game now since ‘Franticon 2020’ back in March. I know we can play ‘Kings of War’ on ‘Universal Battle’, but as a bit of a technophobe, I keep making excuses for not arranging a game, it’s the whole playing the game on one system whilst remembering to talk to your opponent on a different system, seems like a lot of work to take part in a normally fun pastime.
I have managed to get some hobby time in though, in the form of painting, working on my ‘Forces of Nature’ army. And also taking a break from painting trees, to repaint an old mono-pose ‘Games Workshop’ Dwarf from the mid 90’s.
Kings of Herts painting competition:
At the end of March 2020, the ‘Kings of Herts’ community held a spring painting completion. I saw it as a chance to work on my, ‘Glade Walker Druid,’ which is actually an official ‘Mantic’ miniature. (I don’t currently have many of those).
I really like this sculpt and he really fits in with the style of my ‘Forces of Nature’, army. As my mounted Druid has yellow robes, his colour scheme was already set. I put in a lot of hours with this project. I created different shades of brown for his bark armour. Also starting with a dark yellow paint which I shaded with army painter light tone, I added layer after layer of lightened yellow to highlight the rise and fall of the creases in his gown. I was happy with the finished article, and although I did not place very highly in the end, I gave it the best shot that I could. There were some really excellent entries which you can see here:
The Unithorn Rises:
The project I spent most of my free time on during this lockdown will serve as a ‘Unicorn’ in my ‘Forces of Nature’ army. I really enjoy the sculpting works of ‘Alex Huntley’ who’s company ‘Warploque Miniatrues’ created the skirmish game ‘Arcworlde’. For a long time I have admired his Unicorn miniature from his ‘Wild Elf’ faction, which he called a ‘Unithorn’. It looks like a creature constructed from a bramble bush, rearing up and ready to protect its woodland realm. At first I could not think what I would use it for, but after painting my ‘Forest Shamblers’, and ‘Tree Herder’, for ‘Franticon’ this year, a theme started to unfold in my head. I knew the ‘Unithorn’ had a place in this army.
I envisaged it as the spirit of a Unicorn, summoned to life by druids and reclaiming its previous form using thorn bushes. After painting the model and mounting it on a regular cavalry base I thought, ‘She needs something more’, I puzzled over this for a bit, and then the idea struck me, ‘A thorn bush needs flowers’! I took to the ‘Green Stuff’, mixed some up, flattened it down and rolled each piece into a cone. Then using the narrow end of a paint brush, I teased out the ends until they looked like the petals of a rose. When they dried I decided to paint them a colour that would really stand out and went with pink. When finished and I added the roses, but the mini still cried out for more. The mane that the unicorn was sculpted with is generous, but I wanted more. I wanted it to cover the sides of the head, and flow down the back. I considered going back to the ‘Green Stuff’ but thought it would not give the texture I was looking for. I had already used some ‘Busch’ flock to create the remains of the thorn bush on the base, and it had the texture I wanted. Using some glue I sprinkled flock where I wanted it to settle. After about three layers I was almost happy, I painted in a few extra purple flecks to represent smaller flowers. Finally the basic Unicorn was finished. However the model was not ready.
In ‘Kings of War’ the Unicorn can be given an upgrade and become a winged creature. I wanted to be able to add or remove the wings depending upon the points I was going to spend, this also meant making and extension to the base as the size of this increases when you upgrade to the ‘Alicorn’. I was not sure what wings I wanted, but knew that I did not want to go with the regular eagle or bat wings that have been used in the past. I was in my back yard clearing away some Ivy, when I though these leaves look quite wing like. I picked a few up and placed them together, I thought they looked just like, ‘Butterfly’ wings. I took the leaves inside and used them as stencils on paper, having cut out the leaf shapes, I gave them an initial green undercoat and once they were dry I dipped them in varnish to make them more durable. It gave them a malleable plastic like texture. Once these were dry, I decided upon a simple pattern and pained this using various shades of green and purple. This resulted in a set of leaf like butterfly wings. In order to attach them to my Unicorn I made a frame out of green stuff, I painted this to look like the branches of the Unithorn. I stuck the wings to this frame and added a bit more flock to bulk out the mane of the larger creature. This left me with something resembling a large green moth. I place the Unicorn upon her base extension and added the wings. The end product was an exact match of what I had envisaged. I love this free style modelling we are able to do with ‘Kings of War’; it really allows you to use your imagination.
In early May I saw a few people on social media, posting photographs of a miniature that they had painted 10 or more years ago, and one of the same or similar miniatures painted that week. From this I decided to set myself a bank holiday challenge to find one of my earliest paint jobs, take a photo, then strip him down, and give him a new coat. I delved deep into my mini collection and pulled out a mono-pose plastic dwarf from the mid 1990’s. He was in desperate need of a repaint. So I took a before photo which I added to my own back holiday challenge page on Facebook, and also on the mono-pose painting challenge that was taking place on the ‘Middle Hammer’, pages. I did what I could to remove the old paint, and then undercoated him using the old dwarf flesh. I decided upon a similar paint job, but added new colours into the mix, yellow and bronze. I had originally given this model high topped boots, but decided upon this occasion to make this part of the figure into trousers. I tried just yellow at first, but was not keen, so I added some red stripes which I think worked well and were a good match for his red cowl. To tie the axe and helm to the rim of the shield I added some bronze to the interior of the axe head and a bronze band around the base of the helm. As he was older now being over 20 years since his first coating, I decided to give him grey hair. Overall I was happy with the results.
Thank you for reading, I have a few more painting projects on the go, but I’m not sure when I’ll get another battle report, we’ll have to see how long lockdown and it effect last. Stay safe.