Dirz #1 Work in progress

I didn’t want to post pictures of the new project until I had finished the bases as well, but since I still haven’t received them I’ll go on and share some of the Dirz models I’ve been working on.


Scorpion Neuromancer
Click for a larger version and a better look at the CGA armour.


The first model is a Scorpion Neuromancer – which is almost, almost, too badass a name to be cool. This mini I had won years ago at a painting competition for kids and painted in a horrible, flat, dusty-looking, pea-green cloak. Every time I was looking at my Rackham models he was screaming for a better paint job. I worked some ice blue and purples and darker green in the cloak, darkened the tunic and completely reworked the armour, which used to be TM gold.

Now for the armour I tried a new technique based on the high intensity 4 colours CGA palette. Here:

cgaOr, better, here:


I’m not going to use the CGA palette all the time, and I think it would be difficult to pull it off on a whole miniature, but for some smaller and weird looking NMM I really think it’s a nice idea.

Next, I was working on three Dirz Crossbowmen. Unfortunately I had bought the models second hand and they came with some layers of glue and paint on the junctures that I wasn’t able to remove entirely, but the beauty of their vaguely inhuman sculpt still shows without problems.

Dirz Crossbowman 1Dirz Crossbowman 1b

I decided these are going to be either homunculi or alchemically enhanced humans, so I added cyan and yellowgreen to the very pale skin tone. The only drawback, since they are going to sit on desert bases, is that they’ll need a lot of sun lotion.


Dirz Crossbowman 2Dirz Crossbowman 2b

Their izaars are done in the usual transition from purple to red that I like, to which I added some highlights of good old Citadel Ruby Red from a veteran pot of paint which has been with me for around 20 years.

Dirz Crossbowman 3bDirz Crossbowman 3

I’m not sure how well the dark miniature will fit with these lighter minis – we’ll have to see if common bases will do the trick…

I hope you like this new project, next I’ll probably show the assassin and possibly the first Nomads, who are currently on the workbench.

Bundle purchase

Given the monumental scale of my lead pile, I usually forbid myself to buy new minis. If this post is here it’s because I just received an exception in my mailbox – in the form of a apparently haphazard bundle of Rackham miniatures – and wanted to share (literally, you’ll see) some of it with you.

Keltois warriors

There’s three Keltois warriors, one with a nasty break at the ankles. When I was a kid I had won a small painting prize with a miniature from the same army and it would be nice to try painting one again and see the improvement. Here it is.

Plus, I’m toying with a rules set in which Nordic barbarians feature prominently, so at some point I will put them to use…

Necro bombastic

Next, a bombastic fellow who is definitely losing the staff in his right arm (picture the blade as a goblin moon symbol) and serve as a necromancer, or losing both staffs and the sword and end up as a sacrificial victim.

Mini undertaker

The little one, instead, will make a nice addition on a corpse cart or some unit filler for the undead.

Putto with axe

This other tiny mini is quite hilarious – I don’t have an idea for it yet, but it will definitely look nice as part of a big model, maybe even trying to pull the ax out of a wound on a big monster.

Lantern holders

These two little devils with a lantern are going to be a fantastic addition to my devil-themed ungors. I could have bought the set just for this model!

Finally, two figures I can easily integrate in the ongoing orcs & goblins project: the goblin with the blunderbuss can substitute a goblin knight on a giant rat I already have and serve as a character with the Skull splitter magic weapon; the other one I can put on a chariot (he is sitting, in case you were wondering, I just propped him up so you can see the sculpt better).

Forest goblin chieftain

This guy instead, a perfect forest goblin chieftain, is a double – I already have one and I won’t be converting it or painting it twice. So, to celebrate my good luck in finding such a good bargain for all these nice miniatures, and to thank you for reading the post to its end, I’m going to ship it for free to any of you readers expressing an interest!

Step right up!


Cave Goblin Witchdoctors #2 – Mutant witcher WIP

I started working on this extremely pleasing Rackham miniature which will represent a cave goblin witch doctor following the way of witchcraft.

I decided to include mutants alongside the classic squigs or gnashers from the caves – it fits the theme of general weirdness of the cave dwellers and will allow me to throw in the occasional outstanding model. The figure has a tail that you can barely see which suggests a brush with skaven warpstone.

I went for a silk aquamarine robe, with turquoise, green and blue shades and watered-down white reflexes (still working on it, of course), a definitely rougher rag mouth scarf – put on in haste to protect himself from the foulness of elven perfume – and added to the usual cave goblin skin palette some violet and some extra pure yellow for dramatic highlights.

Pictures are meh, I’m sorry, but what do you think so far?


Orc ‘Eadbashers #1 – Champion WIP

WIP Ork 'Eadbasher Champion

I’m suffering from a cave goblin burnout at the moment, I could only paint two out of the six gobbos I had in my plans for last week. But… I started working on a slightly converted plastic / metal champion for the future horde of orc ‘eadbashers, to see how the skin shadows palette could be converted from goblin to orc.

Don’t look at the arms – they’re not done yet – but the face seems to work out pretty well, what do you think?

Also, I spent a lot of time NMMing the huge ax (trophy from a slain chaos warrior) but I should still add a few glazes… and the supplies shipment I ordered almost two months ago still isn’t here! Grrr – you can see the orc is mad too.

More goblins next time, I promise 🙂

Cave Goblin Witchdoctors #1

Work and travels made me fall behind schedule on the cave goblin project. In order to show something this Monday, then, I’m giving you a preview on the next goblin project – the cave goblin witchdoctors. Each of them is meant to be used for a different way of magic among the three available in the 9th age for goblin mages, and each miniature has a distinctive feel matching it.

The first model is a classic miniature from GW and will represent the Pyromancy witchdoctor, due to the flame motif on the back of his cape. I gave the mini a decent paintjob years ago, and now is definitely time for a revamping. I might put more flames on the robe and I’m considering to make the robe itself red. It would also be nice to resculpt the staff to make it more appropriately “flaming”, but that’s probably beyond my skills.

WIP Thaumaturgy Cave Goblin Witchdoctor

The second model is part of the Battle for Skull Pass night goblins set. He’s going to represent the witchdoctor of Thaumaturgy, a way of magic focusing on the divine, on account of his pot full of sacred mushrooms and what might count as a goblin-god fetiche of some sorts. Or something to scare little gnashers away from mushrooms pads. Since the model in itself cannot match the other two’s imposing presence, I’m planning to work on the base and plop him on a high mystical rock.

The third model is from Rackham and will count as the mage of Witchcraft, which is the way of magic of the wild and the wicked. A bigger model, and very slick, this witchdoctor has snorted up more winds of magic than the other two combined, and ended up with two nice horns. This one I’ll have to downplay as I come to do the basing, but it won’t be difficult since he already occupies most of the base.

Here it is for now. Now for the final rash# of green grunts…

Cave goblin spears #1 – Out of the caves!

Cave goblin spear unit 1.JPG
It takes a whole lot of painting to get out of the caves…

A group shot of the first cave goblin unit for my 9th age orcs and goblins army.

It’s 45 goblins strong – well, there’s 45 of them – just enough to hide the maximum load of three fanatics. It includes full command, netters and old time clubbers, who are no longer represented in the army list but still like to go clubbing. Game-wise it’s probably not the best option, but at least the nets and clubs help to break up the monotony of the spears. On the left corner, you can glimpse the nape of a goblin king/boss in steam armor.

Models are plastic night goblins from the Battle for Skull Pass box, metal netters and old metal netters and clubbers; the boss is a miniature from the Confrontation range.

The paint scheme will be the one I tried out here.

When I’m done, I’ll also paint an extra command group, which will allow me to field two smaller units instead of the whole horde.

More to come!

A change of scenery

Garden 1 Garden 2 View from the studio window

From my flat in Paris I now moved to what used to be my partner’s grandfather house in the country, near Chiavari in Italy. Quite a change in scenery, as you can see! On one hand, it’s harder to work here – I brought along 40kg worth of books and notebooks, and they’re never enough! – on the other, I can enjoy the sea and some hikes on the mountains. City or countryside, I never have much time for the hobby – and here I have the garden to take care of, too – but at least I can’t complain about the light!

I’m sorry my internet connection here is limited, we don’t even have a land line and in fact I like it to be like this, taking some time off the computer screen. But this means I can’t take a proper look at your posts – no worries though, I’ll have my fill every time I go down to the town.

Chaos knights musician WIP Wolfen warrior WIP








Here’s a couple of pictures of what I’m working on: the beginning of a ten-man chaos knight regiment, old and not so beautiful models on which I want to practice some wash shading; and a Rackham wolfen warrior, on which I’ll try a cleaner, more cartoonish, look with the same technique.

Vehicle WIPs

Lack of time forces me to adopt the questionable principle that two works in progress equal enough material for one post. Besides, it may actually be a good idea to get some suggestions from other bloggers, since I’m very new to painting vehicles. Anyway, here the two WIPs.

WIP Ork dreadnought WIP Ork dreadnought 2

First, an old Ork dreadnought, pimped with some selected pieces from the bitbox. I’ll go over the painting, conversions and do proper referencing in another post when I finish the model, but the orange and blues and the general “dirty work” are clearly inspired by Leadballoony’s work on his terrain – it’s probably not the first time I’ve seen the technique, but that’s the most striking example I can think of.

WIP Ork dreadnought base

By the way, using exaggerated tones of orange and teal is a cheap cinematic way of making the image “pop” – I guess it might work with minis as well, I’ll have to try it out.

The main problem I’m having with this model is how to highlight edges and bolts: orange works on copper, but the sand + white I’ve been trying on the darker metal parts doesn’t convince me entirely… The base – a Micro Art Studio resin base from the “designed for Infinity” series, with a few extra pieces of trash from the bitbox – will be a separate project.

WIP Nausicaan Chimera DSCF3677

Second, a kit-bashed  Chimera – or rather Taurox, since the gun could be an autogun? – mixing the GW chassis with a 20mm Vulcan gun turret. I also added a regal insignia on each side of the tank, marking it as a command vehicle and somehow reinforcing the “retro” feel of the Vostroyan models – the idea being that, since the Nausicaan home world is very remote, vestiges of pre-imperial government have survived, if only nominally. A lascannon gunner miniature would sit nicely inside the turret – as soon as I can find one to buy. Or else I’ll convert a Vostroyan or Khadorian officer.

Again, I’m not sure how to highlight the different armour plates and the (many) bolts, and I’ll have to find some advice on painting damage and mud. I also want to add a company mark, probably a red stripe somewhere, and I need to figure out the Nausicaan flag. Still a lot of work to be done.

Shields wanted

DevlingsDevlings! Arguably, ungor did look a bit like devils anyway, but the inspiration for this colour scheme comes from the homonymous faction from Battle for Wesnoth – a game that took a toll on my life several years ago, but oh so sweetly! Actually, devlings are way smaller than ungors, but I still liked the feeling. Here’s an artwork picture to give you an idea.

Nailers copySo many memories…

However, the main reason for this post is that I need to find suitable shields for these fellows. I might just go with old plain small round shields from gw, but I’d rather find something more interesting. I think a copper buckler would look nice, but it won’t really match with the spear, nor with the position on the arm. A pelte – ancient Greek shield used by light infantry – especially with a tear shaped cavity to rest the spear on would be even better, but frankly I don’t know where to find something like that. Alternatively, I could keep with the Norse theme, broadly intended, of the Goatmen I’ve been painting and go for a simple targe design. If anyone has any suggestions, they’re very much welcome!