Friday, 12 October 2018

Shadows of Commorragh - part 6

Around Port Carmine lay the war-torn ruins known as the Sprawls. Their bleak streets play host to the Parched, cadaverous Dark Eldar that have fallen from grace and wound up on the fringes of their violent society. These wretches are drawn ravenously to a battle whenever one breaks out, vicariously experiencing the acts of extreme violence and drinking in the bloody spectacle to rejuvenate their wasted bodies. Occasionally they will drag an unfortunate soul who has been fatally wounded into the dark alleyways, where the Parched will fight one another over the scraps of the departing soul.
~ 🜃 ~

Like all his kin, Lakbyrn hides in the shadows of Low Commorragh and preys on the weak.

I have thinking about using a few Nighthaunt models and adding Wych parts to make some of the dregs of the Drukhari underworld. I remembered I had a butchered Cairn Wraith in my bits box from an abandoned project and set to work on it. I had to cut away a lot of the Wych head, torso and hips to make it all fit inside the cloak but I'm pleased with how sinister he looks! The Wildwood Ranger open hand helps a lot as well.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Endless Spells of the Harrowmark - part 5

Comprising a pair of shadowy mirrors, the Umbral Spellportal links two points in the forest, allowing wizards to cast their magics at incredible distances. Eldritch sigils can be inscribed into the mist to summon a pair of arcane mirrors, the surfaces of which undulate with shadowy aetheric energy. When looking upon an Umbral Spellportal, those versed in magic see a shadowy reflection of what lies on the other side of its twinned construct; while physical matter cannot travel through the portal, aetheric energy knows no such restriction.

But since any magic can pass through the portal there are more uses for Spellportals than just warfare. Some have existed for years and have become infused with the magic of the Harrowmark forests. Local hedge-wizards use them to communicate and some have made a good living from charging villagers to send messages to their neighbours beyond the woods, especially at times when a skyship carrying letters is late.

~ 🕱 ~

I have nearly finished making my death-forest-magic-mirrors, inspired by theempyrean_'s versions on Instagram.

~ 🕱 ~

I have finally got round to painting a tree-stump, to fill in for a missing tree for one of my Citadel Woods. We have been covering the gap with foresty objective markers, but it has been irking Wailslake. Hopefully this will make him feel better!

~ 🕱 ~

And last night I got carried away with the renewed Harrowmark excitement and started making another foresty thing from my large to-do pile...

The wreck of the sky-ship Gryph-Hound.

I'm going to add a tree to the gap at the front and a lot of arboreal textures and colours to the timbers of the rotting hulk.

Monday, 8 October 2018

Shadows of Commorragh - part 5

Commorragh appears within the Webway to be a composite urban centre on an impossibly vast scale, a hazy, contradictory realm whose dimensions can overawe the sanity of any who approach it. Thousands of starships dock each day at its spires, for the Dark Eldar are a far more numerous species than the Imperium of Man or even their own Craftworld kin fully suspect. The reaches of the interdimensional space around Commorragh are filled with the light-trails of spacecraft that pass between the Dark City and the Webway portals that surround it. Some of these gateways into realspace are small and dim, while those above the largest city-states of the realm are massive and can accommodate an entire pirate fleet with ease. A profusion of thorny dock-spurs juts from every spire and starscraper, holding Dark Eldar and other strangely-shaped xenos spacecraft fast in crackling violet beams of electromagnetic force.

At present, Commorragh is an almost-infinite nest of architectural impossibilities and spatial anomalies. Each of its estates has been overdeveloped to the point that their growth has been forced into the vertical plane, the various regions sprouting upwards like needle-plants fighting for sunlight. Each of the Dark City's spires and starscrapers is linked to its fellows by curved arches and gossamer-like buttresses. Its miles-tall aeries and palaces both reach upwards and downwards simultaneously, spiralling into the depths of the Webway's curved space-time. With every Terran year that passes, the hideous city seeks to spread out over more of the dimension that serves as its foundation.
~ 🜃 ~

I have made a few more Drukari for my Kill Team / warband. Some are more successful than others but the ones I'm less pleased with will still serve as NPC for the campaign.

Tagather - Wych
Converted Blood Bowl Witch Elf

Laryss - Wych? NPC?
Dark Elf Corsair legs and Wych parts from my bits box. I may add some greenstuff to blend in her waist a bit.

Ozuruin - Wych? NPC?
A converted Wildwood ranger with Wych arms and (I think) a Dark Rider head.

Arzomar - Kabalite with Blaster
A standard Kabalite but with a Wych head.

Morghdrax - the new leader for my Kill Team.
Converted Tenebrael Shard (from Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower) with Wych Splinter pistol and Archon sword
(I was not entirely happy with my first attempt at a Drukhari Hekatrix - I felt it was too unbalanced - so Tagazhar may now be relegated to NPC status and Morghdrax will take his place.)

Friday, 5 October 2018

Oil and Blood, Tor Megiddo - part 18 - The Out-Of-Bounds

By the metallic heat
Flames lick thy feet
Oil and blood burn
On them burning wastes


Standoff at The Out-Of-Bounds

The Slipgibbets accepted the challenge from the Stash Riders - it was hard to ignore the corpse left nailed to a ruined building in the False Hope marketplace, with a note written on a bit of scrap metal hung round it's neck on wire! They rolled into the abandoned shanty town known as the Out-Of-Bounds and started hunting for the upstarts.

Kastorax, Leech, Flood, Grub and Penance looked around the dusty ruins.

Beetle, Naga and Hound advanced towards them, passed a shanking but inactive Rustman. Scribble, with his Long Las, took up position on the roof of a tower. Crystal ranged around on their far left flank.

The Slipgibbets ran forward to take cover.

Scribble directed the movement of the Stash Riders by shouting warnings from above.

Crystal and Scribble opened fire at Kastorax.

Kastorax ducked and Leech blazed away at Crystal in return with his heavy stubber!

Flood was hit by Scribble's long-las... 

But he shrugged it off as a minor flesh wound!

Then jumped up and blasted one of the Stash Riders' with a solid round from his shotgun!

Leech was pinned by fire from Crystal and Naga!

And the Stash Riders pushed forward.

Beetle boldly advanced into the open ground, and weathered the (inaccurate) fire of three Slipgibbets!

Kastorax circled round to try and get the jump on Beetle as Penance and Grub both charged the Stash Riders' leader.

Leech jumped out and blasted Scribble!

Scribble went down!

Crystal exacted his revenge and wounded Leech with his hot-shot lasgun.

Beetle knocked down Penance and Grub! Kastorax zapped him with his shock stave.

But Beetle was heavily armoured and ignored the blue-white energy that arced over his carapace, and smashed all-comers with his Chain Axe!

The Slipgibbets bottled-it and slunk away to lick their wounds. Kastorax, Leech and Grub will all have to miss the next fight to recover!


Meanwhile in False Hope... The Ashtown Wasters and The Disciples of the Black faced off.

The Tree of Woe - part 2

Most of the Harrowmark is covered by virtually-impenetrable forest: Seemingly endless leagues of dark, tangled, gnarled and unnatural woods. It is a corrupted land: the dead trees are warped by death-magic, skull-formed rock formations tower over the forest canopy like islands in an arboresque sea. The symbols and motifs of death are everywhere.

Deep in the abyssal woodland there are even darker places. Some ancient trees seem to form a locus of evil energy that seeps up, out of the hundreds of graves below, into the heartwood of the tree. Twisted and corrupted by Death magic these Trees of Woe attract all manner of dark creatures, who venerate and worship them as altars to their dark gods.

~ 🕱 ~

As soon as I saw the Feculent Gnarlmaw kit announced I wanted to make a Death Tree from it. It took me a few months to get round to it - is was the news of the Battletome Beast of Chaos (and a suggestion by Viktor) that got me to actually start work on it.

I de-Nurgled the Feculent Gnarlmaw by leaving all the more iconic parts off and greenstuffing over the rest. I added half a Citadel Woods tree and some Sylvaneth left-overs over the "mouth" and filled the gaps with greenstuff.

The paint job was simple enough: Chaos Black spray undercoat, Mechanicus Standard Grey zenithal basecoat. Then I brushed Mournfang Brown on to the bark, and Ushabti Bone onto the the skulls.  I dry-brushed all of it with Ushabti Bone and then painted Leadbelcher onto the metal bands and hoops. I washed the whole thing with Agrax Earthshade and/or Athonian Camoshade, then when that was completely dry, dry-brushed the bark and skulls. The earth was painted Iron Legion Drab and dry-brushed with Ushabti Bone.

The last couple of steps were super-gluing "dead grass" flock and fallen leaves on and giving it a few blasts of Minitorum Varnish.

This John Blanche painting was my main influence: it was used as the box-art for the plastic Skeleton Horde box in the late 1980s.

~ 🕱 ~

A few of the Cleavermaws followed Kaptain Mogrum, the Weirdnob Shaman, through misty woodland. A vast number of noisy black crows filled the tree tops and cawed angrily at the orruk pirates as they passed beneath.

Deadwood and Double Barrel looked around nervously as they struggled to keep up with the two shamans. The unfortunately-named Orruk Great Shaman Lost Uzzog, who was the ship's navigator, checked and rechecked his large brass compass, occasionally correcting the direction they were headed, sometimes by a worrying degree. Deadwood and Double Barrel looked at each other and silently despaired every time he picked out a new path to take.

After what seemed like hours of walking, and stumbling over tangled roots, Mogrum signalled the small group to stop. 

Ahead of them there was a tree that was even more contorted and corrupted than the rest of the dead forest. A squat, bloated trunk and sinuous limbs and the every space between  its crooked branches and every knothole had a skull jammed into it. The air around it felt heavy and fetid, the soil was thickly sown with bones.

Suddenly it got very dark and very quiet...

"Um... Boss?" said Deadwood in a shaky voice.