Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Squigmas

It’s been a slow month for painting. (Slow for me, that is. Kraken seems determined to repopulate Naggaroth single-handed. Special rule: Always Paints First).

I have not been completely idle with progress. Although anyone expecting more defenders of Athel Loren will discover I got a bit distracted.

For no particular reason I can remember, a Squig Herd bounced out of the leadpile and onto my painting desk.

The good thing about planning an extensive Waaagh! is that there is never a shortage of things to paint (the bad thing is that there is *NEVER* a shortage of things to paint), and I’ve been looking forward to this one. Squigs are an integral part of the greenskins, and this would be my first crack at painting some.

(Not that I actually bought a set of squigs – they’re ruinously expensive for how many you need. This unit has been craftily assembled by picking up the odd squig and herder over the years, thus fooling me about their true cost. I am so sneaky, I can run rings around myself.)

Mind you, I wouldn’t begrudge the cost – these are some lovely miniatures and, unusually, old and new models blend together very well (probably because squigs are such a polymorphic species anyway). It took me so long to paint them, you can’t deny I’ve had my money’s worth!

To begin with the sharp end of the unit:

First off, I had to decide a colour for this imaginary animal. I’ve seen blue squigs, but that would throw my colour scheme right out; I’ve seen orange squigs made up like Halloween pumpkins (and they’re awesome); and of course the traditional colour of squigs is a vibrant red (but I felt that would look to showy for my ‘badland plains’ orcs).

Warhammer Fantasy - Orcs & Goblins Cave Squigs
They may be cave squigs, but I was informed by a Utahan that you can have caves and desert in the same place.

Whichever colour I picked would have to hold fast for cave squigs, squig hoppers, giant cave squigs and mangler squigs (maybe even that squig artillery from Forge World – I aim to have a lot of squigs!)

My initial thought was to paint them a dusty beige, but I think they need to stand out more than that (and I'm probably saving that colour for the spider riders). I still have a soft spot for the original red, so I decided to go with a variation on that. If washed and drybrushed down sufficiently, they hopefully won’t stick out in the army like scarlet sore thumbs.

Warhammer Fantasy - Orcs & Goblins Cave Squigs
The third model was a dismounted squig hopper. Looks good, was hell to cut apart.

After weeks of picking out the details, pouches, jewellery, talismans, rune and eyeballs of the Wood Elves, these squigs were insanely simple to paint: skin, teeth, claws, the occasional protrusion and an eye without an iris. Same wash all over too, which muted the colours sufficiently. Working with a black undercoat proved to be the right move, and saved me a lot of outlining.
  • Skin: Khorne Red base, Agrax Earthshade wash, Reza Rust highlights
  • Teeth, claws: Ushabti Bone base, Agrax Earthshade wash
  • Horns, tails: Steel Legion drab base, Agrax Earthshade wash
  • Tongues: Mournfang Brown, Agrax Earthshade wash
  • Eyes: Bilious Green

And now we come to the time-consuming part of the unit: the goblin herders. To begin with: the skin. I want each type of greenskin in the Waaagh! to have a different colour skin (not least because the old reliable pot of green ink I used for the Savage Orcs has finally died).

I wanted something pale for the Night Goblins (who don’t see much sun) and so, taking notes from Kraken’s adventures in Goblin Town, went with an Elysian Green base, Drakenhof Nightshade wash and Nurgling Green highlights.

Warhammer Fantasy - Orcs & Goblins Squig Hunter Team
Inseparable herders, back from the complicated 4th Ed rules. 
Warhammer Fantasy - Orcs & Goblins Squig Hunter Team
(that I'm sure no-one used)

And the effect was … marvellous! I don’t know what weird alchemy makes blue ink work so well with the two greens, but whereas the Savage Orcs look robust and vibrant, the Night Goblins look diminutive and weak. That settles it: this is now my colour for Night Goblins.

Warhammer Fantasy - Orcs & Goblins Squig Hunter Team
Mind you, they weren't as bad as the 6th Ed squig rules...
Warhammer Fantasy - Orcs & Goblins Squig Hunter Team
"If the unit breaks, every single model gets random movement."
... sure, I've got four days to finish this battle.

(The question is: will I go back over my existing Night Goblins and repaint them in this scheme? You’d have to be a complete idiot to redo 70+ perfectly good models. So there's your answer: expect them some time mid-year.)

Warhammer Fantasy - Orcs & Goblins Squig Hunter
An old Leofa model. Why he separated the team, and what he did with the rear end, I do not know.

Skin and robes (which were an easy grey drybrush over the blank undercoat) were just half the battle. I’m used to Night Goblins being nothing more than robes, but these metal ones had far more detail than their plastic cousins. Picking out the pouches, belts and tiny skulls can be a bit tiresome, but there were some rewarding moments. Who would deny themselves the pleasure of painting a snotling on a stick!

Warhammer Fantasy - Orcs & Goblins Squig Herder
Snot on a stick.
Snotling on a stick
"So this is show business?"

And it was hardly the sculptor’s fault that I started searching for images of verdigris for the cymbals, or a tartan effect for the squigpipes.

Warhammer Fantasy - Orcs & Goblins Squig Herder
Just in time for Squigmanay!

(It was at this stage, I began to wonder if I was putting in a bit too much work for 3pt models. But these were the first goblins I'd painted for a decade, and I was enjoying myself.)

Warhammer Fantasy - Orcs & Goblins Squig Herder
I put less painting effort into my Wizard Lords.

Then, because I clearly hadn’t lavished enough attention on ten goblins, I opened my pots of Technical paints. The goblin weapons were initially just drybrushed Ironbreaker, and looked far too clean and new.

I slapped on a wash of Typhus Corrosion, followed by a drybrush of Reza Rust. It worked perfectly, giving the impression of some really old, neglected weapons (the Typhus also has a bit of grain, so when the rust goes on top, it stands out from the blade itself).

Warhammer Fantasy - Orcs & Goblins Squig Herder
Just looking at it makes you want a tetanus shot

I also tried the Agrellan Earth ‘cracked earth’ effect on the bases (more of which in a subsequent post). I didn’t stick with it as, on reflection, I wanted unity between all the greenskin bases (the ultimate plan is to mix and match, not just play them mono-tribe all the time).
  • Skin: Elysian Green base, Drakenhof Nightshade wash, Nurgling Green highlights
  • Eyes: Black undercoat, Blood Red dot
  • Teeth and nails: Ushabi Bone, Agrax Earthshade wash
  • Robes: Black undercoat, Shadow Grey highlights (easy peasy!)
  • Weapon handles: Tallern Sand base, Brown Ink/Agrax Earthshade wash
  • Weapon heads: Black undercoat, Ironbreaker drybrush, Typhus Corrosion wash, Reza Rush highlights
  • Belts and pouches: Balor Brown base, Agrax Earthshade wash
  • Snotling on a pole: Billious Green base, Green Ink wash, Billious Green highlights
  • Cymbals: Auric Armour Gold base, Chestnut Ink wash, Auric Armour Gold highlights, Agrax Earthshade wash, Swooping Hawk/White Scar drystipple*, White Scar drystipple
    *like drybrushing, but with more poking action
  • Squigpipes: Khorne red base, Red Scab checks, Ushabi Bone stripes and a steady hand!

Warhammer Fantasy - Orcs & Goblins Night Goblin Clubber
All the herders done - let's go clubbing!

They haven’t even hit the tabletop yet and I think this unit is already my favourite unit in the army. It took me a lot longer to complete than I thought … but then this is the season to be spending time with your loved ones.

Warhammer Fantasy - Orcs & Goblins Night Goblin Squig Herd
More squigs to come. This is just the first boiing!

Gork (or possibly Mork) bless us, every one!

Not mine (how I wish it were)
Conversion by Kuffeh

1 comment:

  1. I'm pretty sure Slade would collect greenskins if they played. Are you hanging up your snotlings on the wall?

    Fantastic unit!