Tuesday, 15 May 2018

The Great Dragon Cannon of Cathay.

This week I have converted and painted another Oriental artillery piece, this time from the mainland: Imperial Cathay.

In older editions of Warhammer Fantasy Battle Imperial Cathay was a large empire to the far east of the Old World, analogous with China in our history and world. What Warhammer background there was had a many elements of Chinese culture to them, especially concrening Oriental Dragons. Below is a picture of a 'Dragon Cannon' from 19th Century China, as often during the Ming and Qing periods of Chinese history larger cannons had barrels cast in the shapes of Dragons or sometimes Tigers.

With this in mind I decided to convert a Dragon cannon for my occasional Oldhammer Cathay army project which I am collecting. I had a spare Oriental Dragon head from Tom Meier's Citadel/Ral Partha DG1 Oriental Dragon (also know, and re-released by Ral Partha USA as the Celestial Dragon). Looking around for a suitably impressive cannon I settled on the MM13 Marauder Dwarf Seige Gun, with it's ornated carriage and wheels, it seemed the best option.

Converting it was simple, I just stuck the head on the barrel! To go with the cannon I added two crew (I still require a third): a pre-slotta C05 Oriental Hero 'Wizard', and a slotta based OH5 Oriental Champion 'Lang' (aka 'Sohei'). The pre-slotta miniature looks very Chinese, and fits nicely. The slotta miniature seems to be a mix of Japanese and Chinese elements, with armour which is similar to both Japanese Haramaki armour and Chinese style of Lamellar armour.

Enjoy :)
19th Century Chinese Dragon Cannon.
 Dragon Cannon of Cathay.
I went for a more darker, older looking colour for the bronze to suggest an ancient cannon, rather than a bright looking gold colour.
 Front view (sorry about the blurring!).
Left side.
 Right side.
 Top view.
 A more rear view.
Pre-slotta  C05 Oriental Hero.
To me he looks very much like a Chinese Mandarin/Offical.
 Rear view, complete with 'pig-tail'.
 OH5 Oriental Champion.
I have painted his armour as Lamellar armour in a style similar to some Medieval Chinese solders. 
Rear view.

I am not sure what my next update will be on. I really do need to update on the army project which I have been working on for a while. The Cathay army is part of a group of 3,000 point armies I am working on for the nations and races of the Oldhammer era Warhammer World setting. It's a huge project. The 'Eastern armies' section alone has seven armies; Nippon, Cathay; Ind; Araby; Kislev/Dolgan; Empire of the Hobgobla Khan; and Undead Nipponese.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

The complete set of The Magnificent Sven Scenario miniatures.

Now picture the scene as I tell a little story...

...it's mid 1987 and the start of the summer holidays are soon approaching. A 13 year old Goblin Lee has been saving up money from working weekends in my parents shop (giving me a disposable income of   at least £7.50 in 1987, that's three blister packs of miniatures a week!!).  Like most people I am unaware that Warhammer 3rd Edition will be released soon, and there is talk of the release of a sci-fi game called Rogue Trader coming soon, but mostly everyone's focus is on all things fantasy battle.

It's raining, and I am reading through the Battle Magic Book in Warhammer 2nd Edition, and finally start to read the Magnificent Sven Scenario, which I had'nt really bothered with (my focus hitherto being on Undead, Orcs, and Goblins). I love the writing style, the humour, the ideas, and I am intrigued by the idea of the Slann. I like the Aztecs and Incas, and the artwork in the books of the Slann fires my imgination. I really like the Slann miniatures in the insert flyer, and so decide to send off for the Gurggl's Slann army deal, 81 Slann miniatures for £37.00. Of course 'send off for' in 1987 entails writing a letter to GW detailing what you want, and getting one's mother to write a cheque!
I reason I'll get Sven and the other minatures later on...

...and so I wait.
Being 1987 it can take up to 28 days for any mail order to arrive, so I busy myself with painting other things. I even go on holiday to my grandparents in Kent for a week, still looking at the pictures of Slann in the Warhammer books. While on holiday I go to a model shop in Ramsgate, where there are Slann miniatures, which I clearly remember not buying "in case I buy ones already in the post". So I buy some of Jes Goodwins C23 Ogres instead.

Finally the mail order arrives after three and half weeks, but it's a mixed blessing. The box is heavy, so it is full of miniatures, but on opening I find a nice note from a Mail Order Troll stating that the Slann army deal is no longer available, and nor are any of the miniatures! On the plus side I did have 81 of the new C32 Slann by Trish Morrison, but any hope of collecting the scenario miniature vanishes.

Over the years I managed to pick up various of the Slann and Sven's miniatures. Sven and Juggo were still in production for a while, so easy to find, and some of the Slann I managed to pick up in bargain bins at wargames shows, and a model shop in Eastbourne. However, it was only until the advent of e-bay that I managed to fill in the more elusive gaps, and only until recently I finally managed to buy the last couple. So, many years after I started, I finally have the full set.

Enjoy :)
The release sheet of the scenario miniatures.
The proxy cardboard cut-out of the miniatures, as a stand-in so you could play the scenario.
Rear view.
The Magnificent Sven scenario miniatures, on the release sheet. A terrible photograph but something I had waited a while to see! :)
Magnificent Sven scenario miniatures.
For the most part I have tried to paint most of the miniatures in line with the colours on the cardboard cut-out sheet. I had painted some of these miniatures already, some have been newly painted, and several have had their paintwork tinkered with a little.
Slann Lieutenant with Scythe.
The Slann-scythe is a type of spear, and is quite nasty looking. Concerning the armour, I tried to get the look from the cardboard cut-outs by combining a blue non-metal metalic technique as a base, and metal colour as a highlight. I did the same for the other Slann Lieutenant, and Gurggl. 
Rear view.
The other Slann Lieutenant, armed with a mace, and wearing some rather fetching pink leg armour, according to cardboard the cut-out.
Right hand side, showing the shield.
Karra Lokota, the unlucky Amazon.
Rear view.
Karl Ustracutter, renowned Norse hero, and even more unlucky than Karra.
Rear view.
The eponymous Dwarf himself, Sven Haslefriesian.
This miniature ended up as part of the later Dwarf ranges, and so is a little easier to find.
Rear view.
Riolta Snow, elf archeress and tourist in this scenario.
She also turns up as a character in Terror of the Lichemaster scenario.
Rear view.
The Village Elder, one of the last of the scenario set I required.
Rear view.
Gurggl Greenwake, the leader of the Slann.
I managed to buy this miniature very early on, in the late 1980's, from a bargain bin at a wargames show. I re-painted his armour using the mix technique used for the Slann Lieutenants.
Rear view.
I was always disappointed that his armour save was only 6, and amused that his magical sword talks!
Slann Lieutenant with blowpipe.
This Slann shows the differences in style between the earlier pre-slotta C32 Slann, and the later slotta based Slann. The head crest is the most obvious. The clothing, whilst similar to the pre-slotta Slann, is less 'Aztec' that the later slotta based Slann.
Left hand side.
Raidocks Timmowit, the Halfling stowaway.
Also unlucky, like many of his companions. I wondered if his name was a pun on Radox bath salts?
Rear view.
Juggo 'Sensless' Joriksonn, the drunken and broke friend of Sven.
This miniature also ended up in other Dwarf ranges. In addition, Juggo is present in the McDeath scenario, although a different miniature is used.
Right hand right.
Aygar Mistletaine, you guessed, unlucky, and a Wizard...
..."Watch out for that tomb Aygar!".
This miniature is one of two Aygar's produced for the scenario (the other is detailed later). This miniature is the original one for the scenario. The tip of the staff of mine, and it would seem many others, has broken off. I have repaired it to some extent.
Rear view.
One of the 12 (drunken!) Human Norse Beserkers.
Right hand view.
The Villager miniature.
Like the Village Elder, this was one of the last of the set I bought. Also like the Elder, he is armed completely differently from how the Villagers are armed in the scenario.
This miniautre was also used in another scenario, as the 'Nightwatchman' in the Shadow Over Bogenhafen scenario.
Left hand side.
Slann Warrior.
Like the Slann Lieutenant he has head crest.
I have painted this miniature in a similar manner to John Blanches artwork, and blogged on this earlier here:
Rear view.
Slann Warhound.
According to the scenario they are Hobhounds, but the style is different from the Hobgoblin ones.
Right hand side view.
Aygar Mistletaine again!
This is the other Aygar miniature which was also released as part of the C02 Wizards range in 1985, and released as Aygar Mistletaine.
The sculpt is close to the artwork on the cardboard cut outs. The design on the back of his robes has also been sculpted, making it easier to paint.
Rear view, with the sculpting on the back.
The two army commanders face off.

My next blog update will be a little delayed as I am going on holiday. I am not sure what it will be on, but I do have several things I am working on currently.