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The House of Black Flames: A Druchii Project 

Hiphopapotamus vs. Rhymnenoceros
The Hophopapotamus 36%  36%  [ 9 ]
The Rhymnenoceros 64%  64%  [ 16 ]
Total votes : 25

The House of Black Flames: A Druchii Project 
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Executioner
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@ Rowena
I'm really glad you like them! Yep, thinking of doing a blue glow to them, let's hope it works! And nice work on using them too (great minds think alike :D )


* * * * *


First update for the day, but no pictures in this one (those come later) - this one's all fluff! With the first 3 parts of the background written, I feel that I've delved into the back story enough for now, and want to start on the story-proper. I'm actually quite excited about this, primarily because whilst I know where I eventually want the story to finish, I have no idea how I'm getting there - looks like we're going to take this ride together! Having said that, I do value your input (I am learning to write and trying to improve, after all), so please feel free to criticise my writing or story, or seek any explanations if there is confusion, and I'll help where I can :)

Before I start the story, there are a few honourable mentions that must be made. In no particular order, I'd like to thank JackDaw from warseer.com for his brilliant threads and writing, I've been inspired by his style and it's left a mark on my own writing (most notably in the introductory 'quotes' for each piece). Also, I would really like to thank Tarbo over at druchii.net for his influences - I've followed his stories for the last few years and have been enthralled by his brilliant characters, to the point where he has kindly allowed me to use them in my own writing! So keep an eye on this space for their appearance :) I've put links below to some of their works, and I highly recommend you go and take a look, they really are fantastic!

JackDaw - http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?311290-The-High-House-of-Chains-a-Druchii-plog
Tarbo - http://www.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=48332

But, enough blabbering! Here is my first piece for House Kynath'sur. Enjoy!



* * * * *



“A Druchii never seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.”
- Old Druchii proverb


Two eyes peered out of the darkness.

From the rooftops across the narrow street, a shadowy figure watched the gates and waited. He swung his hooded head left and right and saw no signs of movement on either side; there were few Druchii stupid enough to roam the back alleys of Har Ganeth at night, and fewer still that survived. Turning his attention back to the gates in front of him, the figure scanned across their breadth. The gates stood about ten feet tall and at least twice as wide, and were flanked on either side by high, black-stoned walls that ran the length of the small alley, topped with crude spikes and blades to keep intruders out. The gates themselves were dilapidated; the hinges were encrusted with a thick layer of rust, and their once silvery surfaces were now dirty and worn. Just above where the gates met, emblazoned onto a stone archway, flew a dark phoenix on a field of black fire – the figure knew the colours of the sigil, though to look upon it now and decipher such would be impossible, stained and unkempt as it was.

Now

The figure swung down to the street with effortless grace, a soft thud as his boots touched the pavement the only evidence of his presence. He crossed the narrow alley in a flash, his cloak trailing behind him as he closed the space towards the gates. Comfortable in the fact that no one was around, the figure leaned his left shoulder into one of the large doors, and with a small grunt, edged it open.

The jarred gate revealed an empty stone courtyard forty paces long between the figure and the entry to the manor, the paved stones of the courtyard cracked and broken with neglect. At its centre lay a large fountain, topped with a damaged marble statue of a witch elf slitting the throat of it’s victim, though where there should have been water spurting from the gaping wound in a grizzly display, there was only dust.

The hooded figure only had moments to take this in before movement caught his eye. On the other side of the courtyard, just outside the entrance to the manor, two guards stirred from their posts. The crunching sound of the gates opening had alerted them to a foreign presence, and they were readying themselves. The figure cursed his stupidity under his breath, but was cut short as two bolts crashed into the gates a few feet away from him, swiftly followed by two more as the guards opened fire on the intruder.

The figure darted forward, covering the distance between himself and the guards at an incredible pace. They fired another salvo of bolts and hit nothing but air, the shadowy figure seemingly aware of where the bolts would be seconds before they were actually there. By the time they realized they had misjudged their target it was too late. Just as the first guard turned away to alert the others, the figure reached him and drew a single blade, slashing it across the back of his neck. A hot spurt of blood arced from the mortal wound as the figure ducked under a backhanded horizontal swing from the second warrior. He rose and stepped inside the second elf’s guard with alarming speed, cupping his free hand around the back of the elf’s neck as they came face to face. For an instant the elf’s eyes widened in surprise as he realised his fate, before rolling back into his head as the figure’s blade drove up under his chin and into base of his skull with a soft thud. He pulled his blade free and released his grip, letting the twitching body fall to the floor. The figure smiled; he hadn’t killed in a few hours, and the smell of the hot blood drove his senses mad. Resisting the urge to feed, he turned to face the manor door and opened it, confident that any nearby guards would have already rushed to the commotion if they had been there.

The front door opened into an audience chamber; a relatively large room classically used to welcome guests before they entered the household proper, it was now more often than not used as a display of power and as stimulation of fear. The long walls on either side of the room were lined with columns that rose halfway to the roof, holding up the base of a quasi-second level, the bannisters of which were normally packed with crossbow-wielding warriors looking down on any envoy approaching their master. Torches were attached to each column, their flames lighting the central walkway and casting flickering shadows along the walls behind adjacent columns – the perfect cover for hidden warriors. A long and narrow black carpet, now worn and fraying at the edges, stretched from where the figure stood to the far end of the room, culminating at the foot of three small steps leading to a high-backed dais where the receiving lord would normally sit.

The room, however, was not empty. At the end of the black carpet knelt a slave, offering up food and wine to an elf reclining on the dais. Wearing long, ornate purple robes hemmed with a golden trim, the figure quickly assumed that this was the lord of the house. Next to the large dais, perched on a small wooden stool, sat another elf. Though his snow-white hair and the slight hunch in his shoulders marked him as very old, he had a certain familiarity; something the figure couldn’t quite put his finger on. The Druchii lord waved the kneeling slave away with a flick of his wrist, his eyes focused on the shadowy figure standing in his doorway.

‘Come forward, into the light where I can see you,’ he commanded the figure, motioning him forward with a wave.

The figure stood still for a moment, his features hidden behind his hood, before he slowly began his way down the long, black carpet. His eyes scanned the second floor, looking for any signs of movement that might give away an ambush, but saw nothing. A smirk grew along his face; this arrogant young lord was giving away his position of power with every step forward he allowed the figure to take, and soon he would have the upper hand. He had spent years gathering information, through torture and blood; years biding his time for the right moment, and now his triumph was almost at hand.

Something stirred the figure from his reverie, and he suddenly stopped. He stood motionless, midway between the entrance to the hall and the dais, as the lord’s trap was revealed. Four armoured warriors stepped out from behind the shadowed columns, surrounding the figure. They bore large, two-handed halberds, each ending in wickedly curved axe-heads, the tips of which they slowly pointed towards the hooded figure. The lord let out a soft chuckle as he watched his prey, anticipating the thrill of the imminent spectacle.

‘Kill him.’

The figure hardly had time to think. The four warriors simultaneously lunged forwards, each aiming for a different area in the hope that at least one would land a telling blow. The figure glided forward and to his right towards the first warrior, sliding past the thrust of his halberd and slashing his own blade across the warriors face as the other halberds sliced through fresh air. The warrior screamed and clutched at the gaping wound, falling to the ground as the figure turned to face the three warriors now in front of him.

They quickly moved into a crescent shape, trying to flank the figure before he could react. The warrior on the left feigned a thrust at the figures head as the one on the right aimed a low swipe at his legs, hoping that the first would take all his attention. It was a simple tactic, and the figure had already anticipated it – he dove to his right, away from the feigned attack on his left and over the swipe of the right-most warrior, tucking into a roll before rising to one knee and simultaneously stabbing at the now exposed underarm of the shocked soldier, severing the arteries beneath. Blood flowed down his blade as he pulled it free, kicking the guard back as he rose and turning on the balls of his feet to face his remaining enemies.

The two warriors stared at the figure, the reality of how their numerical superiority had been halved in a matter of seconds sinking in. They stood side by side, taking up defensive stances with their halberds, neither willing to make a move that would more than likely result in their death. The figure smirked from beneath his hood – this was far too easy. He darted forward in an instant, his incredible speed catching the first warrior by surprise. The figure’s blade smashed against the warrior’s raised halberd, knocking the heavy tip aside and unbalancing the warrior. A quick flick of his wrist, and the blade reversed direction, slicing back across the now-exposed neck of the warrior in a gush of blood.

The final guard stepped backed, fear etched onto his face as he saw his last remaining ally drop to the floor. The hooded figure turned on him and advanced, his blade held low in anticipation. The final warrior hesitated before half-heartedly thrusting at the figure – it was the last mistake he ever made. The figure slapped the clumsy strike aside with his bare hand, the halberd flying across the room as the warrior lost his grip. The figure’s glowing eyes met the warrior’s from beneath his hood, their gazes locked even as he struck his final blow, severing the warrior’s head from his body. It fell to the floor with a sickening thud, followed by the collapsing corpse moments later. The hooded figure turned to face the dais, blood dripping from his unsheathed blade, as the sound of a solitary clap echoed through the hall.

‘What a show!’ laughed the lord as he clapped his hands. ‘They were four of my best, and you made them look like children! Come forth, I want to see your face.’

The figure slowly began walking towards the dais, his blade still drawn. The spilled fresh blood assaulted his senses, the warm bodies calling out to him like a siren song as he walked, but he pushed it aside and concentrated on the dais. The lord watched as he approached, an incongruous air of calm surrounding him considering the brutal display he had just witnessed. The figure wouldn’t give him the chance to realise his mistake though, and as he approached the first step, his hand instantly clenched tight around the grip of his blade and he launched himself off his front foot, leaping towards the reclined lord.

The ancient elf rose from his wooden stool and raised his hand towards the figure and the air bristled with power. The figure felt his skin prickle as he stopped suddenly, suspended in mid-air like a fly caught in a spider’s web. He tried to move but was stuck, the ancient elf now dimly glowing with the magical power surging through his body.

‘Well now, that’s no way to treat a highborn, is it?’ the lord mocked as he rose from his dais, stepping towards the hooded figure. ‘I only asked to see your face, but since you’re being so uncooperative, I might just have it stripped from your flesh. How does that sound?’

The lord’s eyes narrowed as he stepped closer, coming within inches of the suspended figure. He slowly reached his hand up, savouring every moment of power over his trapped victim, until he grabbed the tip of the black hood. He held it between his fingers for a moment, before throwing it back to reveal the face beneath.

A gasp escaped the ancient elf behind the lord and the air went still as the dim glow surrounding him instantly blinked out. The figure reacted quickest, grabbing a handful of the lord’s hair the moment he was released and bringing his blade up to the lord’s exposed neck. A smile slowly crept across his face, revealing sharp fangs in place of teeth. The lord’s eyes widened as the horror unfolded in front of him, unable to move from fear as he looked into the figure’s eyes. Bright blue eyes, more intense than any he had ever seen, locked onto his from the middle of the pale face in front of him.

‘Khadeth,’ the ancient elf uttered, slowly bowing to the figure now standing with both feet on the ground, ‘I thought you were lost, my lord.’

‘I was, Cormaeth, but have no fear.’ Khadeth shifted his gaze from the frozen lord’s in front of him to the ancient elf. His blue eyes gleamed with delight as he slowly drew the blade across the lord’s neck, hot blood spraying onto his pale face as he spoke over the gurgling lord drowning in his own blood.

‘The Phoenix is reborn.’

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The House of Black Flames: A Druchii Project


Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:04 pm
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Executioner
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Double post! :D

Here are some of the WIP shots I promised. The harpy is finished as is, I just need to do a few more highlights and glazes on the marble stone, fix the base, and then the all-important OSL effects to really make her glow.


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What do you guys think of her so far? On the right track? Comments and criticisms welcome!

Cheers

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Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:29 am
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I wasn't all that down with the sculpts... but that paint job makes ALL the difference. :shock:

Awesome. Simply awesome. Keep up the excellent work!


Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:50 pm
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Beautiful, she looks really unearthly with this paintjob. And the marble... lovely!
I look forward to the OSL. :)

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Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:37 am
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love it mate, until it was painted I wasn´t really sure about the conversion... now I can say.. IT ROCKS!

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Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:58 pm
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It's an interesting take on a Harpy but it looks ethereal. I don't get it. The paint job is nice though!

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Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:26 pm
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Thanks for all the comments guys, it really helps to keep motivated!

@ Vulcan
Thank you so much! I'm glad that the paintjob makes the sculpt a bit more understandable (and likeable)!

@ Rowena
The marble was definitely a hassle to do, I just couldn't find any nice source pictures that I liked, so I had to just go at it a bit :roll: I added a few more highlights on, so hopefully it will still be ok.

@ Lord_azoth
Haha thanks mate!! It's always harder to see how a conversion is going to look until it has some paint on it, so I'm glad it passes the test :)

@ Phierlihy
Yeah, I think my explanation of why the ethereal unit got lost in my walls of text, sorry :roll: Basically, just wanted to do something different for the harpies, so make them ethereal/spirits to fit in more with the vampire-elf thing I've got going here - not quite sure about how their fluff will turn out yet, still working on it. But thanks for the compliments!!

* * * * *

So I finished painting the harpy, as well as adding some additional touches to the warrior that I had 'completed' a while ago - I just couldn't help myself!! Unfortunately, I don't have a camera on me at the moment, but I'll take some happy-snaps of the completed models hopefully in the next day or so, as well as show you the beginnings for my hydra proxy...

Stay tuned!

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Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:26 am
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I know that I said I had officially finished my test model a while ago, but how many of you really trust a Druchii anyway, hmmm? I decided to add a little bit of battle damage and blood, but since the blood COVERS the battle damage (doh!), it's a little hard to see. Anyway, less talky-talky, more photo-photo.

Here's the complete* model.


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I think the addition of the blood ads a lot to the mini - it's lost it's over-bearing monochromatic tone, and I think the blue is accentuated a little more. That could however be because of the blue background, but...

Of course, I need to show you something else too - an old model alone isn't going to cut it. So, here's my WIP hydra proxy


Image

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That phoenix kit is way too cool to leave to the high elves alone, so I had to steal one! The only thing is that the pose was a bit too simple for me, so after lots of hot salt, cutting and glue, I came upon this pose instead. I like the idea of it rearing up and roasting a small group of soldiers, which will probably be positioned around where that extra model is on the base. I also had to do some extensive cutting and gluing of the phoenix head to get an open mouth; it turns out the fire phoenixes (phoenii?) don't like having their mouths open, so I had to perform some surgery...

As you can tell it's still very WIP, but hopefully I'll be able to get some more done on it over the next few days. Let me know what you guys think about everything, I really appreciate all your comments!

Cheers

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Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:05 pm
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Wow! The improved spearelf looks even creepier - even though I have to admit I really liked the monochromatic quality as well.

And you're completely right about the phoenix, it's very cool. And your reposing is absolutely awesome, flying without that silly stick. I can't wait to see it finished. After all, if this is the House of Black Phoenix... :)

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Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:10 pm
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I like the blood. It breaks the monochromatic tone indeed and I think it fits.

About the phoenix. Amazing posing. Amazing indeed. My only question is: Does the plastic tail support the weight of the rest of the miniature? It doesn't seem like it's going to break but this is just a static photo. I wouldn't like to see a nicely posed and painted miniature ruined.


Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:10 pm
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I like the idea of a proxy War Hydra but a phoenix isn't even a close approximation. That model WILL confuse an enemy player. And definitely won't be allowed in a tournament. I love the model and the idea of finding a suitable alternate but there's nothing suitable about that. Sorry =(

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Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:05 am
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@ Rowena
Creepy is definitely good :) I really liked the idea of having a largely black/grey/white army with only blue as a spot colour, but after actually painting it it seemed a little bland, especially because the blue I intend to use is not overbearing. I think the blood adds a lot of depth to the model, and allows the black armour scheme to really shine a little more, without detracting from the primary colours of the model. Then again, I am a little biased... :roll:

@ jarvax
I'm glad the phoenix is getting some love!! About the pose: the tail does bend ever so slightly when I put the body on it (as of yet, only the tail is attached to the base), so I'm going to run a wire up the middle flame just to give it a little extra support. I would hate for it to break when I've painted it, and knowing my luck, it would just hold out that long to spite me !lol!

@ Phierlihy
I'm happy you like the idea at least, though I agree that it's definitely not a hydra ;) I decided a while ago that this army was going to be based on theme and background rather than competitiveness, so I definitely needed to include this model when it came out. To be honest though, most of the regulars I play with have no problem using a proxy like this - it is basically the only thing that we have access too (other than a chariot) which is on a 50mm x 100mm base, and it looks pretty monster-like, so I'm pretty confident it would be fine. As for tournaments, the few that I've been to were happy to include army-related proxies as long as they fulfilled a few requirements (GW models, same base size etc) and were given the OK by both the TO beforehand, and the opposing player was ok for it to be used. And hey, worst case scenario, I'll just win without it :D

EDIT: forgot about the dragon too, but I have ideas for both the chariot and dragon anyway that are definitely WYSIWSG, so I doubt there could be much confusion :)

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Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:01 am
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Little update with some new test models. First, my new idea for the corsairs. I don't like the current models, and even if I did, they are impossible to rank up. So here's my take on them.


Image


Pretty simple, very WIP at the moment (still using blutac on the model!), but you get the idea. Following on, I decided that the dark rider models are useless, and that the normal glade rider/warrior mashup was not quite to my liking (even though I made some just over a year ago). So, looking around at the new kits, and taking a lot of inspiration from LilLoser, I came up with this guy.


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Again very WIP, but it's a pretty simple kitbash and I intend to add a cloak to them.

So, what do you guys think? C&C as usual, really want to hear what you guys think about these two conversions!

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Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:44 am
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I like them both. I'm always hot about smart conversions using pretty parts.

First of all I like the current GW dark riders and corsair models. That being said, you have used Wych and Kabalite (?) parts, which I find very beautiful, plus the new Shadow Warrior torsos, which are nice too. The wolf fits well in your army theme and I cannot see why it wouldn't be reasonable to use them. The poses are dynamic, which is always very good, and not at all boring. In general I'd say carry on.

One thing I don't like personally, is the helmet on the rider, but they are very popular and I must admit they fit on the models. To be honest, I don't know if the old warrior/corsair/or-something-else-old heads would fit on those miniatures.


Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:23 am
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I'm from the Dark Eldar mash school of thought as well - really digging your conversions, and the Shadow Warriors parts (which Ive never used before) really add to the mix.

Sweet :D

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Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:24 pm
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Love the conversions!

You would have a five star army if you could convert the spearmen as well. But who has the time or money right :P


Sun Aug 25, 2013 6:37 pm
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I have been away form the hobby for a while, so tell me where does that wolf and rider come from? That is a really dynamic model!

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Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:10 am
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OK I figured out 40k Fenrisian wolves, now what are the rider bodies?

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Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:18 am
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I like the idea using HE bowmen legs for the warriors. I'll have to remember that the next time I bit bash and need more warriors/corsairs/Crossbowmen

What did you use for the wolves/wargs again?

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Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:14 am
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@ Jarvax
I'm glad you like them for the most part! I have to admit, having not seen the dark rider in person for a few months now, I'm starting to rethink the head a little myself - I really like the idea of the helmeted heads, but I'm not quite sure it fits with the bodies just yet. I'll see what some of the others look like together, and maybe try to armour-up the bodies a little, as well as add some hair coming out from under the helmet. Let's hope that all works!

@ T.D
The dark eldar range is just too good NOT to use! And I'm actually quite surprised at how well the shadow warriors seem to fit in so far, let's hope they hold up as I try and get the rest of the unit done...

@ Lord Aenarion
Here here! If only I had the time and willpower to do it! Alas, for now they will be more standard, however I am already thinking about making them a little more interesting with some new additions... watch this space ;)

@ Lion of flanders
Glad to have you back! Like you said, the wolves are from the fenrisian wolf pack, whilst the legs, torsos and weapons come from the dark eldar hellions kit.

@ Saintofm
I'm really surprised that no one else has ever tried it, it seems like such an obvious pose for spearmen - maybe it's just that no one cares enough about them to bother though :roll: as for the wolves, they're the fenrisian wolf pack from the space wolves range. Hope that helps! :D

* * * * *

Ok, so I'm finally back from the long trip overseas and I'm ready to get involved in the hobby again! I've got a few more models that I want to try and build, as well as getting something ready for the Raging Heroes painting comp, so if you see me getting too quiet (anything longer than a week or so), please feel free to pester me! Now, off to sleep to try and correct this jetlag...

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Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:20 am
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Wow...how have I not seen this plog? The new paint scheme is amazing. The idea for the Hydra is nice & fresh, I absolutely love how it hovers over that saucy little witch elf. And those corsairs/dark riders are stunning. Keep up the fantastic work!

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Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:12 pm
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For me, I'm just getting into kit bashing (as seen with my Shade Plog) so the more ideas I get the better.

As for the wolves, perfect. If anything else, perfect for warhounds in storm of magic.

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Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:36 am
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@ xFallenx
Thanks for the compliments! Now to try and get more than one model a year done :roll:

* * * * *

Just a quick update, this is the beginnings of the model that I'm hoping to enter in the Raging Heroes painting comp. Still needs a bit of work before I can start painting, but you get the idea :D the only thing I'm not quite sold on yet is the trophy rack - thoughts on keeping it or turfing it?

Image

Image

Now to get it finished by Friday... :lol:

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Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:47 am
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Ilmaestro wrote:
Little update with some new test models. First, my new idea for the corsairs. I don't like the current models, and even if I did, they are impossible to rank up. So here's my take on them.


Image



HI Ilmaestro - I really like this conversion, and I'm thinking of doing something similar for my Shades. I have a question for you though - would the back half of the Shadow Warrior torso (with the cloak) fit together with the front half of the Wych torso?

From my research, it looks like the cloak goes well with Corsair chest plates, but this looks a little too heavily armored for Shades.


Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:52 am
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Location: Naggaroth
That phoenix pose is just so cool! - Nice idea :D

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Lil' Waaagh Army | DRUCHII PLOG

'I may have the week and feeble body of a woman, I but I can assure you, I have the heart and stomach of a King!' - Elizabeth I


Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:34 pm
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