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  1. #1

    Default Curis' Chaos Cornucopia (May 2018: Corrupted Light Acolytes)

    I've got so many disparate Warhammer models knocking around I want to get painted that I decided to round them all up and form them into a hodge-podge force. Here's the wizard that is all centres around.

    The band started taking to the field for Frostgrave, but have since reached Age of Sigmar size.

    One of the things to get your head round for Frostgrave is that you're not really playing with a warband, like you would in Mordheim. It's about your wizard. And I agonised over different wizard models for a good long while before settling on the Citadel ME-56 Saruman, for reasons of:

    - I want the warband to be built out of 1980s Citadel Miniatures
    - I've got a couple of spare Sarumans ("Sarumen?")
    - Importing the Lord of the Rings figures into Warhammer proper is pleasing.

    "Tell me, friend, when did Saruman the Wise abandon reason for Tipp-Ex®?"

    I really do like the 1980s Middle-Earth figures popping up in mainstream Warhammer. After Games Workshop lost the the Tolkein licence in 1987 a lot of the not-character figures were rolled into the main Warhammer range, like the Noldor Elves into the High Elf range. Occasionally the named character miniatures pop up in artwork or studio photographs, like ME-1 Gandalf here in the colour section of the Ravening Hordes supplement.

    Gandalf™ is a wise and powerful wizard.
    Gandalf™ est un sorcier sage et puissant.
    Gandalf™ ist ein weiser und mächtiger Zauberer.

    To unSarumanise the figure the Palantir hand was replaced with a suitably chunky hand from a Citadel Night Horror. Saruman's left hand was flipped over and had a flame effect added from a (gasp!) modern Tzeentch kit. This anachronism still makes me feel uneasy.

    Despite leading a Chaos warband, I made no attempt to make him chaotic. The red scheme and the age of the figure ties him in enough.

    A burning sensation in your palm – classic symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome.[/i]

    He initially had grey hair, but it looked bad. Too much like Saruman still. To remedy this I sculpted over his bald patch, and repainted his hair fiery orange. One of the nice things about figures so old is my own limited sculpted talent doesn't look as out of place as it would on a laser-crisp modern miniature.

    I finished the figure with bone-coloured flames on his robes. I was hesitant initially as he had flames popping out of his hand – I thought both 2D and 3D flames together would be confusing. But keeping them a flat colour rather than the blended highlights of the Tzeentch-fire, and putting them in bone rather than a orange colour, keeps it obvious what's meant to be real and what's meant to be pattern.

    Clyro Burns, looking a little like Donald Sutherland in Kelly's Heroes.

    There he is, Clyro Burns, alongside his 1980s Chaos warband.

    I call them "Burns' Knights".

    Last edited by Curis; 05-14-2018 at 05:17 AM.
    My miniatures blog:

  2. #2


    My teenage Orc and Goblin army featured a Night Goblin shaman on Cockatrice. I’ve sold the bulk of the army, but hung onto the Cockatrice out of sentimentality. Bulking out my Frostgrave Chaos into a Dragon Rampant force demanded a fantastic monster, so this mythological bird resurrected itself from the ashes.

    The wings on my Orc and Goblin Cockatrice weren’t the original MM44 ones, but had been nicked from an High Elf Dragon. I replaced these original replacements with a pair of 15mm Demonworld dragon wings. Since I was converting the figure with non-Citadel parts, I figured I’d swap the rather dull tail with a scorpion one from the Dark World Manticore.

    The Cockatrice torso showing his original yellow paintjob. He was known as “Lemon Chicken”.

    I did plan on him having a Chaos rider, and tried every single mounted Chaos figure in my collection. However, anything bigger than a weeny Night Goblin shaman looked ridiculous, and the wings and neck all obscure the rider. So Stingwing is an unbound monster, which also means he’s easier to legitimately field in Age of Sigmar.

    Chicken stripped.

    Attaching the Demonworld wings, and at a different angle to the original MM44 wings, required hacking away the sockets on the torso and some heavy pinning. I used three layers of putty to first fill the gaps, then sculpt muscles, and then add fur.

    In my efforts to bend the old lead wings into curved shapes I managed to break the left one straight in half. The metal along the split crumbled, and I had a pig of a time trying to reattach it. I managed it with pins in the only two places that joined, and a good amount of putty. Luckily the membranes had very little sculpted detail so my repairs are barely visible.

    Anyways, here’s the finished beastie! I went with a mainly flesh, and ran the warband’s signature red colour onto the comb, wattles and scorpion tail.

    Cockatrice breaks through a clearing in Mourningwood.

    Sadly I have no good photos of the six-way Dragon Rampant game from the Knavecon weekend – I’d borrowed sho3box‘s selfie-stick and only managed photographs of my own arm.

    Put in black and white, however, this looks intentionally arty. And you can’t see my Superman socks clashing with the hotel carpet.
    My miniatures blog:

  3. #3


    HeroQuest Quest – Chaos Warrior II

    A quickfire hobby challenge for the Scale Creep Peeps:

    Paint a charmingly basic model from HeroQuest
    nO cRaZy CoNvErSiOnS
    Replacing the sausagey rectangle base is encouraged.

    I picked a Chaos Warrior. To the 7-year-old boy learning words from game components, but not pronunciations: a “Chouse” Warrior.

    “Hoots mon! There’s a chouse louse about this house!”

    Theottovonbismark has already shown off Slambo and the 4E plastic Chouse … ahem … Chaos Warrior. Here’s the HeroQuest dude alongside Battlemasters and Legend of Zagor Chaos dudes, for no reason other than to showcase the breadth of my vintage Chaos.

    Prejudiced against gorefs, means he’s a gorefist.

    Otto’s updating of this old plastic has freehand and a jazzy base. My version is painted so tamely in comparison. I’ve gone for the red-and-metal scheme which you might think is a homage to the original HeroQuest art, but is really so he ties into my 1980s Chaos Warband. Being a 1989er *I think* he is actually the newest miniature. Everything is relative.

    “Oi, HeroQuest, you’re so young I bet you don’t remember POGs!”

    After modern-style crisp highlighting you start to realise the limitations of the miniature – a combination of 1989 plastic technology and 27 years of man-handling (“manchild-handling”?). So to hide the dalrymples I painted some textures: sponge-chipping the armour; fluting on the horns; notching the axe blade; and blood-spatter over the finished piece. I’ve recently become aware that competition painters like different textures on a miniature to provide interest and contrast, and to showcase their skills.

    Judging by the spatter he dealt a nasty axe wound.

    The texture I’m fondest of at the moment is the blood-spats. After a lot of trial and error with a Blood Bowl team recently I’ve hit upon the following method: load up a tiny brush with your blood-effect paint of choice, put it right in front of your lips, and blow. You instantly get realistic spines, satellite spatters, cast-off patterns and other terms I’m just regurgitating from a CSI episode.

    Guess this means he’s the Herald of the ApocaLIPS.
    (•_•) ( •_•)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■)
    My miniatures blog:

  4. #4


    Chaos Thugs are a Warhammer range released in several batches between 1988 and 1991. Games Workshop stamped them out of existence in 1994, omitting them from Warhammer Armies: Chaos. Thugs are firmly anchored solely in Warhammer’s past, quintessential incarnations of Oldhammer, meaning they command decent prices on the collector’s market.

    I regret going with the red hair on these figures – it worked on the rightmost guy, who was the first I painted, but looks a a bit clownlike on the other two. Don’t paint people with bright red eyebrows. Even Ronald McDonald doesn’t have red eyebrows.

    Chaos Thugs are great fun to paint as they’re all individuals that the sculptors packed with weird and unique details.

    This Thug has hair that’s long one side and short the other – and one eyebrow bushy and the other shaven off. He also comes with a severed head at his belt – there’s some back story to how he decapitated someone with just a bludgeoning weapon.

    This Thug has both his weapons, the business-end of his “horseman’s pick” and the pommel of his sheathed dagger, shaped like bird heads. Perhaps it was a subtle Tzeentch reference? I also like how his one scavenged kneepad has a leering face sculpted on it.

    Pazyryk Banefire and the Thugs in the Matityahu Temple.

    The Thugs will get on well with the Talisman Warrior and Barbarian as they’re all half-naked men who enjoy shaving their chests. The Talisman Chaos Warrior is the unit champion, as that’s how it worked in the Warhammer 3rd edition army lists. Next off I’m on the hunt for more Thugs to make a modestly sized raiding party, with a full command group.
    My miniatures blog:

  5. #5


    The Citadel Miniatures Chaos Thug range is melting pot of influences and ideas. Unlike Games Workshop’s modern Chaos Marauders, who are uniformly bearded barbarians, the classic Thug range had odd chaps with mullets, Saracen-flavoured archers and even stray ninjas.

    Hot as thuggery.

    It makes the individual Thugs fun to paint, as they’re each full of unique details. The mullet man has a pair of horns poking out his hairstyle. The archer has a leering face kneepad. All three have plumped for asymmetrical trousers.

    The ninja has a ninja throwing knife for stealth kills, but today he’s chosen to fight with the less subtle morning star. Maybe he wields that stealthily too, assassinating targets with a silent swing of the massive spiky ball.

    Pazyryk Banefire’s Thugs sacking the town of Æbbe’s Hill.

    Having a single archer in the otherwise-melee unit slightly bothers me, but given the chaotic appearance of the the unit I can cope with it in games of Age of Sigmar and Dragon Rampant. The mix of troop types also gives me a nice selection of models to pick for Frostgrave. In time he will split off to found a Chaos Thug mob with bows, made up of a mix of the Battle Masters plastic Chaos Thug and the chunky punky Marauder Chaos Thug range from the early 1990s.

    More of my miniatures at
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  6. #6


    Curtis over at Ramshackle did a limited run of figures for Bring Out Your Lead 2016, and I've painted one to accompany Clyro Burns. As an event, BOYL focuses on "Oldhammer", so Curtis sculpted this model holding an old hammer. Ha!

    I've converted my figure with a new face shaved off a Citadel Judge Dredd Perp – Zuggy Spotz/Crazy Joseph. I then resculpted the hood around the front with putty. This does make me feel a little guilty, but of all people Curtis will understand the need to hack up and convert figures.

    Post-Knavecon games of Dragon Rampant have made me feel uncomfortable with my wizard unit – Clyro Burns plus five tiny familiars. This reduced strength unit gets caught in combat, and seeing a tiny familiar taking as much effort to kill as two chunky human-sized models is really odd. I'm planning to reforge the unit at twelve-strong – all twelve being human-sized figures.

    Nocturnal rituals being enacted in the Mourning Wood.

    Shout out to Curtis for his generosity and community spirit!

    Automatically Appended Next Post:
    One day at Games Workshop HQ, Aly Morrison came up to me with a big bag of Talisman figures. “I found this bag of scrabby old models in my basement, and I was gonna bin ’em. Then I remembered you like scrabby old stuff.” I was over the moon. Here’s the first three painted.

    The Chaos Brothers defending portal dolmens in the Mourning Wood.

    All three figures are from 3rd edition Talisman, which I originally owned as my Dad bought it for me and my brother in the mid-1990s . Until that point I’d been exclusively into Warhammer 40,000, and this was my first real experience of the Warhammer Fantasy world. My painting has improved since then.


    I’ve been quite annoyed at my initial choice of colour for my Chaos Warriors. Red and metal is very vanilla. To start stamping greater identity on them I’ve taken the flames from Clyro Burns’ robes and run them onto the armour panels. It does help break up the plain surfaces and make them less generi-chaos.

    With the rising market value of the old metal Chaos Thug ranges, these muscly barbarians are welcome reinforcements to my Chaos Thug unit. I have played with them as Blood Warriors in Age of Sigmar, and Bellicose Foot in Dragon Rampant. The variety of designs and themes in the range means they can slip in, though they are noticeably beefier and taller. But hey, it’s Chaos.

    3rd edition Talisman Barbarian and Warrior. Interestingly, one of these is a resculpt of the other.

    I’m looking through the rest of the Talisman range now to see what other figures will fit in my Chaos warband. The Minotaur, Skaven, Black Orc and Chaos Sorcerer are all potentials.

    Thanks for the minis Aly!
    My miniatures blog:

  7. #7


    Brimstone Horrors! The cheeky pairs of scampering *******s you get when you kill a Blue Horror. I’ve painted four sets of these quarter-daemons, but with an Oldhammer twist.

    And it’s all in how you mix the two.
    And it starts just where the light exists.

    Ever since 1989, Pink Horrors split into a pair of Blue Horrors when killed – it was the Tzeentch lesser daemon gimmick. But when Silver Tower arrived in 2016, the GIMMICK ALSO SPLIT IN TWO as Blue Horrors started to split into pairs of Brimstone (or Yellow) Horrors. This troubled me for a little while, as there are several generations of vintage Pink and Blue Horror miniatures with no corresponding Brimstone Horrors if you want to use them with modern Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000 rules. But then I remembered the tiny Epic-scale Pink Horrors from 1992.

    Do your demons, do they ever let you go?

    Epic was nominally a 6mm game, but these Horrors were hilariously overscaled and make great 28mm familiars – as I discovered way way back in 2010 when I painted Inconstantine Bowie, Champion of Tzeentch.

    Turn and face the strange

    It has taken me a while to work out why yellow was chosen as the colour for the new tiny Horrors. The answer is in this passage from White Dwarf 113 (May 1989), which highlights the importance of colours in the early Warhammer lore.

    Tzeentch is the Changer of Ways and, true to his nature, he has more than a single colour. The Pink and Blue Horrors, Daemons of Tzeentch, use magic of their own actual colour, reflecting the changing forces of their master as they turn from pink to blue. However, aside from the Pink Horrors who are associated with the Amethyst College, Tzeentch’s colours are very bright shades of blue and yellow. These colours are often dominant, though by no means exclusive, in the worship of Tzeentch. The two colours are particularly significant because they are the province of the Golden and Celestial Colleges which lie either side of the green magic of Tzeentch’s adversary Nurgle. A follower of Tzeentch could therefore be inferior or superior to Nurgle depending on his colour.
    I really like how daemons align to the Colleges of Magic, and will use it as an excuse to model some Golden and Celestial Wizards to be corrupted by Tzeentch.

    Wave your hands in the air like you don’t care.

    These newly painted Horrors join my existing 1980s Kev Adams Horror force I started 9 years ago. I’ve rebased these minis onto 32mm round bases which means they don’t have any of their toes poking over the edge. They’ve seen plenty of gaming action down the years so there were a fair few chips to repaint. I really enjoyed the restoration; it was like catching up with old friends, or wearing an old t-shirt from back when you were 14.

    New and old paintjobs together mean I’ve got all 10 of the various daemon incarnations needed to play Silver Tower.

    Rainbow in the daaaark!

    Coming soon, more vintage lead substitutes for the modern plastic pieces in Silver Tower – some of which you may’ve already spotted on the Ninjabread Workbench.
    My miniatures blog:

  8. #8


    Move over Penn & Teller, move over Siegfried & Roy – a new magical double act is in town. Coming all the way from the pyramids of the Old World are twin brothers Lapis & Lazuli – fantastical Wizards of Light.

    Masters of the mysterious and occasional caberet performers.

    This magical duo are going to be the Kairic Adepts in my vintage Silver Tower project – where I replace all the 2016 boardgame pieces with Citadel Miniatures from about 20 years previous. Like the Brimstone Horrors I painted previously, 1990s era Warhammer didn’t have Kairic Adepts, but did have Egyptian-flavoured magic users in the form of Light Wizards. And the 1990s Light Wizards also had Acolytes, which are perfect for Silver Tower Kairic Acolytes.

    These Light Wizards turned traitor from the College of Light alongside their Patriarch – Egrimm van Horstmann. They have found sanctuary from the Empire in a Silver Tower of Tzeentch in my personal Warhammer canon. Egrimm himself will be big boss of the Silver Tower, as he was Tzeentch’s favoured servant in the 20 years before Gaunt Summoners were invented.

    Lapis & Lazuli supported by Blue Horrors in their Silver Tower.

    Games Workshop originally released the plastic Light Wizard (on the right in the photos) as the High Priest in the 1994 Talisman expansion Dungeon of Doom. He later appeared as one of the eight free wizard miniatures on 1995’s White Dwarf 186. Getting a Warhammer character miniature in plastic was an insane novelty in the 1990s, as plastic was normally reserved only for the massed ranks of mono-posed regiments.

    Here’s Lazuli with the other classic 3rd edition Talisman miniatures I’ve painted to date.

    Lazuli and Pazyryk Banefire in the ruins of a non-metallic tower.

    Coming soon on Ninjabread: more vintage lead miniatures to populate my time-warped Silver Tower.
    My miniatures blog:

  9. #9


    I like to think of Light Wizards as jobbing professionals and their Acolytes as bumbling apprentices. Here’s a bumble of Light Acolytes – one of the obscurest units in Warhammer of editions past.

    Left to right: Donkor, Aswad, Llam-Cheops, Wiss Qeb, Khontar and Wankh.

    Two poses of Acolyte were released in April 1993 alongside the Light Wizard on foot. Empire player could buy them in units of five at 25 points to accompany a Light Wizard. Rules were that if you deployed the five Acolytes in a pyramid formation (Light Wizards being all Egpytian and therefore pyramid-themed) with the Light Wizard at the apex you got an extra Winds of Magic card. Now, I read “deployed in pyramid formation” and think this:

    NAILED IT. One bonus Winds of Magic please.

    But no, they didn’t mean human pyramid formation, they mean 2-D triangle formation, as you can see in the iconic Gathering of Might battle report photo below from White Dwarf 181 (1995). This unit in this battle report puzzled child-Curis as Warhammer Armies: The Empire didn’t contain any rules for it – it’s only now in 2018 that I know they had to be conjured up from the pages of the Warhammer Battle Magic supplement.

    Spot the pyramid.

    The majority of my Light Acolytes had been rescued from someone that got halfway to converting them into Necromunda gangers or Warhammer 40,000 cultists – their hands and weapons had been hacked away and replaced with autopistols, stubguns and the like. This meant there was no guilt at despoiling vintage miniatures for the sake of bringing their weaponry in line with the rules of the modern Warhammer game.

    Lazuli spearheading the official and far less silly pyramid formation.

    Yes! Modern Warhammer! (As if the 32mm rounds bases weren’t enough of a clue.) These figures have been specifically modelled as Kairic Acolytes for Silver Tower: two with hand weapon and shield, two with double-handed weapons and two with pairs of hand weapons.

    I originally restored the Acolytes back to Warhammer Fantasy with contemporaneous 1990s Citadel weaponry, but it looked bad. There was no Egyptian weaponry (it wasn’t until 2003 that the Tomb Kings range appeared), and so I suspended my Citadel-components-only rule and bought some WarGods of Ægyptus bits from Crocodile Games. This does annoy the Citadel purist in me, and to get back to sleep I tell myself Crocodile’s Chris Fitzpatrick did a stint sculpting for Games Workshop.

    Silver Tower madness at Knavecon 2018. Pat, Bruce, cheetor and yours truly looming over our various creations.

    To get even more gaming use out of the figures I’d like to paint another three to make a full official Warscroll for Warhammer Age of Sigmar. I’ve also got plans for them in a series of summer Mordheim games, where they’ll be fielded as Brethren in a Possessed Warband. Watch this space!

    More of my miniatures at:
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  10. #10


    A child-aged Curis attempted to paint the single Skaven Clanrat from 3rd edition Talisman. The paintjob went so badly it’s taken over twenty years before an adult-aged Curis returned to painting Skaven miniatures.

    Double Dragon Rat.

    This is classic Jes Goodwin Deathmaster Snikch. Twice. The left-hand one is painted as a straight copy of the 1993 ‘Eavy Metal scheme; the right-hand one is painted in the 2009 ‘Eavy Metal scheme used on Seb Perbert’s redesigned Deathmaster. Seb followed Jes’ original sculpt so closely that porting the new scheme onto the old miniature felt like being on auto-pilot.

    ‘Eavy Metal Deathmasters.

    But why paint two of a unique special character? Well, Snikch and Snikch are standing in as the Deathrunner and his illusory double in my Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower project where every model is replaced with a 1990s equivalent. Snikch kept his exact location a secret to spread maximum fear – I’m imagining an illusory double as a manifestation of this Snikchitsu. The rules for the Deathrunner mean he’s an absolute fiend, so it’s apt to represent him with this Herohammer icon rather than a standard 1990s Skaven Assassin miniature.

    Ninja Skavens put the “rat” in karate.

    The Snikchs took less than an evening each to paint, which I found surprising as they’re super-chunky miniatures and packed full of detail. I think the damage and wear on the second-hand castings (particularly noticeable on the triangular shuriken) stopped me being overly fussy with highlights. And the bulk of the miniature is a big black cloak – black being one of the quickest colours to paint.

    The Ninja Chaos Thug trying to work out which of the Ninja Rats is real.

    There’s twenty retro miniatures so far in the Silver Tower project! Check out the 1990s Pink, Blue and Brimstone Horrors here. Check out the 1990s Kairic Adepts here. And check out the 1990s Kairic Acolytes here. Coming soon – fur and gold.

    More of my miniatures at:
    More of my specifically-Warhammer miniatures at:
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