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[PLOG] The Realms of Kar Amenti. 
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Executioner
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I stand at the height of my spire, the black tower of Eshkathon, and I appraise my realm.

The glaciers and rivers that form and break at my command. The towering mountaintops and unlit caverns beneath. The harpies and dragons circling the summits and the hydras and medusae in the depth, all catering to my every whim. This realm is mine to command, and it obeys my will as the word of a Goddess.

I oversee my Coven perform their duties, scrying towards our enemies and ensuring our superiority in their fields. I observe the Cult's depravation, their relentless bloodshed in tribute of our bloody-handed lord. I watch the Frostguard's discipline and commitment as they patrol the borders, as they duel in the yard, as they patiently strive every minute to better themselves.

I behold the wastelands to the north, the savage domain of the Ruinous Powers, and our immortal enemy at our doorstep. I surveil the Watchtowers in the north, the last line of defence against the profligacy they bring to my lands. I watch the Crone to the south, and the Hag Queen to the west, and I know they watch me too.

I form the light and crate darkness; I make peace and create evil. I, Arvara Frostsoul, do all these things.


-----

An introduction.

I've been lurking here for a while, occasionally posting the odd comment, reading a massively disproportionate amount compared to what I've posted, and looked at some of the absolutely amazing painting that's found on this forum, and I figured it's maybe just about time I start sharing a little back.

The lore for my army is largely based around the Spiteful Peaks. Not a lot of lore can be found about this area, except for the fact that it's mountains, monsters live in the caves and it's to the north. I've chosen to create the realm of Kar Amenti for my army situated in these mountains, and centered around the black tower of Eshkathon.

I see Kar Amenti as a desolate and barren place, short on natural resoureces and hospitality. As such, I've elected to paint my elves in a very natural pallette, with worn brown leather instead of the shiny black, beaten and dirty steel and brass instead of shiny silver and gold. I've also elected to use a lot of darkened wood, and cloth in natural tones of green, since the availability of more luxurious dyes will be limited in such areas.

For the elves themselves I'm going with a deeply pale, whitened skin, deep blue eyes and natural hair tones. While I know druchii are all supposed to have black hair and the high elves are blondes, I just prefer more diversity and will paint hair in any combination of black, reds, browns and blondes as I see fit. I simply feel that with the more natural pallette, this makes for an overall more balanced army.

I will use a single colour scheme for all my monsters, be it the hydra, medusae, cold ones or drake. While that may look less natural in a logical sense, I feel that it will help unify my army more. Likewise, horses and pegasi will be of similar colour. The manticore might just escape with a unique paint scheme, as there is little fur elsewhere in the army. Sea Dragon Cloaks though, will be painted largely to match the other monsters.

Finally, there's the nature of the place. I'm going with a very white theme for the bases, using Agrellan Earth technical paint prior to priming to create a ground effect, and then painting it to look like frosted, dirty ice, before adding some Middenheim and Mordheim tufts more or less randomly to break up the colours. For larger bases I will also add more scenic displays of corkboard and putty, creating the impression of cracked ice with streams running between.

A disclaimer.

There won't be any pictures in this post. I'm on my laptop and simply don't have them stored here. Sorry!

There will, however, be lots more lore like the snippet at the top alongside most of the pictures I post, once I get around to that.

Finally, I'm an abysmally slow painter, and a large part of my motivation for this PLOG is to stop spending so much time idling on the internet and start using those wasted minutes with a brush. Updates will come, but not every day and occasionally with some periods of time between. Sometimes faster, sometimes slower.

I hope you'll enjoy it. Thanks for reading.

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Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:01 pm
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Killed by Khorne
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Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to seeing more :)

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Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:08 pm
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Shade
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Great start! Quite excited where this is going.
Thanks for sharing and don`t mind a particular speed of painting. Its done when its done :)

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Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:46 pm
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Miscast into the Warp
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Welcome to the joy of plogging. Looking forward to seeing your models.

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Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:10 pm
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Brush Master
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Quote:
As such, I've elected to paint my elves in a very natural pallette, with worn brown leather instead of the shiny black, beaten and dirty steel and brass instead of shiny silver and gold. I've also elected to use a lot of darkened wood, and cloth in natural tones of green, since the availability of more luxurious dyes will be limited in such areas.

For the elves themselves I'm going with a deeply pale, whitened skin, deep blue eyes and natural hair tones. While I know druchii are all supposed to have black hair and the high elves are blondes, I just prefer more diversity and will paint hair in any combination of black, reds, browns and blondes as I see fit. I simply feel that with the more natural pallette, this makes for an overall more balanced army.


This is a fine idea. It's a fantasy world after all so paint your figures however you like. As for the natural palette, that can work really well, just make sure that you have some sizable areas of light color here and there so you have contrast in the army.

Quote:
Finally, I'm an abysmally slow painter, and a large part of my motivation for this PLOG is to stop spending so much time idling on the internet and start using those wasted minutes with the brush.


Well said. Welcome to the forum....

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Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:48 am
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Chief Cultist
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Welcome to the forum - your intro has me frothing at the mouth to see what delicacies you will post, don't keep us waiting to long :twisted:

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Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:22 am
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Beautiful introduction and I really like your fluff. I think personalised armies with a story behind them are the best and I can't wait to see some of your models. And never mind your speed, some things are worth the wait and I am sure this is one of them. :)

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Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:17 pm
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There was a chill aura in the air around Mournespire Keep. Laid at the far north-eastern corner of the great Kar Amenti glacier, the Keep – little more than a watchtower in nature, despite its name – served as the first warning against movement among the men in the north. A cold, desolate and isolated post, it was generally a place for failed recruits of the Frostguard to freeze to death; to die in so-called honourable service to Queen Arvara’s realm, despite their proven weakness.

Image

Maijiew Stormsword was such a warrior, the son of a disgraced noble that had, if possible, fallen even further due to his offspring’s failings. Stood silently at the second rank of the keep guard, awaiting inspection, he thought little of it. Every warrior around him was an equal shame to their kin and family; an equal target for retribution, should the Master find the slightest of fault to their service.

He watched the white fog forming in the air as he exhaled, patiently standing at ease. Unlike most of the inhabitants of the keep, he much preferred patrolling the border. The chance of some unexpected death, through frostbite, maiming or even the occasional medusae – many an icy statue of his fellow warriors could be found around the outskirts of the glacier – it at least provided him with the opportunity to ply his craft. He was a soldier, not a watchdog.

Heavy footsteps approached, and he noticed with some surprise that they were not hooves, yet still far too heavy to be those of a man, even in armour. Too disciplined to turn and watch, he awaited the approaching rider to reveal himself in his field of vision, limited by the crude helmet he was forced to wear. Slowly, a dark shadow fell onto the frozen ground before him, and to his surprise and slight discomfort, it was the shadow of a Cold One, bearing one of the Knights of the Frostguard.

Image

“Watchmaster.”

The voice sent shivers down Maijiew’s spine. It was a deep, calm voice, speaking in a low and confident tone that might have lacked in volume, but more than made up for it in terrifying stature. A voice he knew all too well from the final days of his trials, a voice that had condemned him to his death, as it had everyone around him.

“My Lord… this is an unexpected pleasure.”

He could hear the tremor in the Watchmaster’s words, knowing that he, and everyone else here, felt the exact same thing. As the giant figure of Lord Kaladis, supreme master of the Frostguard, rode into view, he knew that someone would die today.

“Your report.”

“Everything as expected, my Lord. All patrols report no movement in the north, and the beast caves are still largely affected by hibernation season.”


Lord Kaladis nodded, once, saying nothing. His eyes slowly surveyed the entire area, head almost unmoving, but to the close observer, a tiny fog was visible around his nose, his nostrils trembling almost invisibly as he took in the scents of the area.

“I know the stench of a Stormsword when I smell it. Reveal yourself.”

Maijiew froze in place. His entire life’s history flashed before his eyes, how his father had risen through the ranks of the Frostguard, trying to usurp command, before falling to Lord Kaladis in single combat. He remembered how he’d watched the Lord spare his father, only to have him chained to his chambers to watch as he raped and murdered his wife and daughters before him. He remembered the final trial, where he himself had fallen to a female recruit who, in mockery of his name, had elected to spare him and simple presented his beaten figure to the Lord as a gift.

Slowly, he stepped forward, saluting his Lord and saying nothing, as was his place.

“Watchmaster, please hand him your sword. I wish to see if he is indeed his father’s son.”

Image

Arjan and Zilaya watched in silence from the keep roof. They’d been put on artillery detail this week, and while standing silently outside in the cold for hours on end was considered the worst possible duty on the keep, they knew instinctively that they’d been saved hell once they saw the figure of the Lord on the horizon.

They watched down on the ground below as he stepped off his mount, drawing from his sheath the crystalline blade that marked his favour as the Queen’s most trusted commander, taking a stance against the trembling warrior. Replacing his spear with the crude blade handed him by the Watchmaster, he entered a defensive posture and prepared himself for death.

The battle lasted less than a minute. A few hesitant shield blocks and parries against the Lord’s initial strikes was everything the warrior could muster, and as he lashed out against the Lord in a strike that by every standard would be as skilled as any warrior of the Queen’s armies, the Lord spun on his heel and simply decapitated the warrior from the back of his neck.

The glacier fell silent again, and as the body of the warrior fell to the ground, the icy streams slowly turned a thin, deep shade of crimson, flowing calmly away from the keep and into the wildlands.


-----

First of all, thank you all for all the kind comments. It's a bit awe-inspiring to get this kind of feedback from a series of posters who have more than a few images in my "Inspiration"-folder.

Secondly, the pictures aren't great, sadly. I am stuck with a fairly shoddy mobile phone camera, but working with daylight and a white background, I at least can pull off pictures that properly shows the models, even if it does not always do them the justice of a sharper, more decent camera.

Finally, the models themselves.

Lord Kaladis.

I wanted to try this method that I found in an old White Dwarf, and I think it ended up quite allright all things condiered. He is gamewise a Dreadlord with a rerollable 1++ and the Chillblade. He also showcases my basing fairly well.

Image

Image

Image

Dreadspears.

Image

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Reaper Bolt Thrower.

Image

Image

Hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading!

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Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:31 pm
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Love the story and really like the colours of the armour and robes, excellent job Payce :)


Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:33 pm
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Nice start. Good colours throughout giving a nice unified look to the army.

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Thu Jul 17, 2014 6:42 pm
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Those are truly beautiful models. I think we might have similar tastes in a more realistic style and muted colours. :) Basing is very well done and really brings out the idea of a harsh chilly landscape, together with the worn shields and other details.

And I really love your story. It's very well written and full of atmosphere and character. I hope we will get to see many more of these.

I can't wait for more posts. :)

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Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:56 pm
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Nice work Payce - the colour scheme and base work makes me feel cold just looking at it. I enjoyed reading the back story too, thanks and keep it up!

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Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:53 pm
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Executioner
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Thanks again for all the kind words, they are incredibly encouraging.

No lore snippet today, but thought I'd update here with my Avatars of War competition entry, and post a little bit more background and thoughts about the project.

Image

Image

Image

First and foremost, apologies for the terrible quality images. My shoddy camera combined with the fact that it's incredibly bright out today makes it hard to get a properly clear picture. I'll likely post more pictures of her in a story-setting (like the Lord Kaladis-post) at a later date.

As for the model herself, I've wanted to do something with the Chaos Sorcerer for a while. I love the armour plates on it, and the shoulderguards in particular, and seeing Dalamar's competition entry just made me want to do something with it even more, without ripping him off. Looking over my bits box, I realised the Witch Elf hair and Sea Dragon Cloak both matched the direction of the robes in terms of where wind would come from, and decided to mock up a model with it, instantly falling in love with the result.

Of course, I went and messed up the whole wind direction issue with the sword, but I attribute that to magical blueflame being fickle. Or something.

For the painting, I tried to incorporate as many of the techniques I use for my army palette as possible, without making it look messy or campy, and I think I pulled that off reasonably well. The only recipes on my list I've NOT used are masonry and monster teeth, so I feel I've managed my goal reasonably well. The thing that gave me the most issue was actually what colour hair she'd have - I wanted to make her blonde, to contrast the darkness of the cloak, but with the crown and pauldrons being golden, it would look bland. Black was right out, again, because of the cloak. But a light red worked out well, both complementing the green as well as contrasting all the surrounding pieces.

Finally, the sword. My take on an Obsidian Blade; rocky, worn, and magical. I went with blue flame to tie the model with the base, and to add a light spot to oppose the inside of the cloak, creating a "triangle" of light spots with the face. Overall, I think it worked out well.

I'm very pleased with the model, and I don't think the pictures does it justice. She will likely never see play since she's impossible to rank, but as a centrepiece in my shelf, I love her. I also feel like this is the most ambitious Dark Elf project I've undertaken so far, and I'm really pleased it turned out this well.

Next up, I think - some Shades.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy.

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Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:14 pm
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Shades, WIP. Pre-greenstuff and touching up.

Image

Image

Based on the Wood Elf Wildwood Rangers. Arms are Corsairs hands and Wildwood Rangers primarily, female heads from Statuesque. Crossbows on back from the Dark Rider kit, with spare ammo clips from the old Warrior kit. Sheathed sword from the Chaos Sorcerer Lord (leftovers from Lady Payce) and hood on the middle one from the Empire Wizard kit.

I've ranked them up primarily for display purposes, as I want this unit and my next five to look like a coherent unit in my display cabinet, regardless of Skirmishers.

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Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:32 am
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Your competition entry looks very good Payce :) I especially like the sword and her hair.
Those shades are excellent, those female heads look really good too, and they look a good size :)
I really want to buy the wild wood rangers kit to see what it's like, how easy do they work with the corsairs kit? I see you've had to pin the arms.


Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:20 pm
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Thanks for the kind words :)

The Corsair arms are flat-surface connected, while the Wildwood bodies and arms are ball-sockets, so they don't really mesh at all.

Main reason for pinning though, is that I wanted to use the Wildwood arms since they're bare. I cut off the Corsair arms at the glove, allowing me to re-pose them more freely with wire and greenstuff. Since I'll be making another unit and the Wildwood kit comes with five different bodies, it's perfect to have two units of unique models without any overlap, if you vary them up a little.

It's also a thrill to work with, a bit of leaves and gems to file away but nothing too major.

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Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:44 pm
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I'll definitely pick some up then :) I want the hooded heads for executioners instead of the skull masks, and all the extra bits will come in handy for something.


Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:11 pm
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Those female heads work really well, I especially like the one on the left, great positioning. It is inspiration for me to re do my shades

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Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:15 pm
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Thanks CK! The one on the left is indeed my favourite as well, am really happy with how she turned out. She just has this cool, calm arrogance about her, kind of saying "I am going to mess up your deployment so hard, and there ain't a damned thing you can do about it, boy."

Speaking of the Shades, they are now done.

Image

Image

Image

Image

I also completed the first five of my Frostguard - Executioners, but the skull masks doesn't really fit my theme at all, and this isn't Har Ganeth, so I opted to use the Black Guard helmets to make them look more ornate and veteran next to my regular troops.

Image

Image

I also updated my post in the competition thread with proper images of Lady Payce, but not reposting them here (since that would make this post proper spammy).

Thanks for reading!

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Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:38 pm
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Looking very nice. The theme throughout is outstanding.

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Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:52 pm
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Great stuff to see in this thread of yours, keep up the good work! :D
Especially like the Shade conversion, very good idea. Maybe I need to order some WE boxes after all ;)

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Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:39 am
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Excellent job on everything so far Payce :) I especially like the execs and shades.


Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:04 am
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Chief Cultist
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Nice shades - I like the female heads that look good.

How do you find the base paint? I have been using it for my Drow army and find I have mixed results with getting the cracked effect.

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Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:36 pm
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Great to see them finished, that colour scheme really works! You can really believe they would blend into the landscape and pop up to deliver a sucker punch.

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Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:03 pm
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Thank you all for the kind words - theme and colour scheme are both major things for me, and getting such positive feedback on both means a lot.

@ Cult of Khaine;
I actually really like the base paint. It's a bit tricky at first since you don't thin it at all, and have to literally "blotch" it on to get proper flakes, without getting it too thick (since too large flakes won't stick). I personally prefer to use it prior to black spray priming, painting them as part of the model, since the primer and basecoat helps making it "stick in place", like a sealant.

I absolutely recommend it, though I'd suggest spending some time with it on a few spare bases to get to know it properly. Use a dedicated brush for that and only that (I use an old Citadel Large Brush and it works for literally everything). Also note that it has a very slooooooooow drying process, set a side a couple of hours when testing. The flaking won't properly start until at the near end of the drying process, so it's easy to get "caught up" in them not flaking fast enough and blotching on too much.

Finally, if you go over the edges, dry it off immediately with your thumb or a cloth - it's so much easier than cleaning it up when it dries.

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Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:44 pm
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