Collecting a new army for Warhammer
It was 2001 and something huge was about to happen, the release of the Lord of the Rings: The fellowship of the Ring. As a teenager with a prior interest in Fantasy I absolutely loved the first movie.
Another 3 years passed, now 2008, I remember meeting my friend and sleeping over at his. The conversations flowed and he started describing how he used to play something called Warhammer Fantasy.
A description of the key features of the main races of the old world followed, and then we played a very simple game over a desk…wizards throwing fire bolts!? Heroes performing, well…heroic deeds!? Skeletons fighting!? Necromancers resurrecting skeletons!? Skeletons resurrecting skeletons!? I was all in.
Not even in my wildest dreams I would have imagined where this hobby would take my imagination in the coming years.
After diving-in in the rich lore of the old Warhammer world I decided that Dwarfs were my army. Move forwards a couple of months consuming all the lore I could get my hands on while continuing purchasing boxes of miniatures and discovering hobby products.
Collecting Warhammer can certainly get out of control
Fast track another year while Games
Workshop continued promoting their products and they did their job, I was
I wanted I needed a new army. I didn’t know then but I
was infected by a new kind of disease: Plastic addiction.
Soon I started collecting many other armies: fantasy orc and goblins, dark elves ,40k eldar ,40k dark eldars…at the end of the day it is good to paint new things...righttttttt? It took me probably one further year to feel completely overwhelmed by the amount of plastic and white metal I got myself into.
I had so many miniatures that the simple action of choosing what to paint next became a challenge on itself.
I needed to reassess what I was doing as I felt absolutely overwhelmed by the task I set myself(also known as painting all the miniatures that I owned) , it was simply too big of a task to get tackled…with good reason: It would take me over a decade to paint the first 2.000 points of my Fantasy dwarf army.
Setting a road map for army building
The key take away from the above is that building a Warhammer army can be a big commitment both time and budget wise. It has taken me approx 12 years to build roughly 2.000 pts of Warhammer Fantasy Dwarfs. I can see the appeal of Age of Sigmar, with smaller bands and less overwhelming forces...but nothing can compare to a rank and file army!
I always loved the lore and esthetic of the orcs and goblins army and after careful consideration I got to the conclusion that now that the core of my Dwarf army is ready I was up for the challenge of a second army.
The reasons why I wanted to go for an Orcs & Goblins army are the following:
- Orcs and Goblins are goofy in stark contrast with my Dwarf army which is pretty much a contingent of grim and disciplined warriors
The work of Victoria posted in CMON-A huge inspiration
- I want to go for a rank and file army of converted and colorful miniatures full of personality-I will first create a narrative that will help me build the army around it.
The army will be inspired on the “Bloody Spearz” boys on the Western part of the Mad Dog Pass and the silver Road- fully detailed map of the Fantasy old world can be seen here.
- I am
uselessan absolute beginner on modeling and sculpting-Due to the difference in anatomy of Green skins I can get away with more mistakes than I would with humans or “human like” minis like elves . The intent is getting better in sculpting thanks to this project. I will start very small and build from there. Join me to see how I suck at it for the next couple of years.
- Paint the whole army with the highest painting standard that I am capable of
First unit of the Bloody spearz tribe-Hopefully the whole army will be at this standard
Obviously there is an elephant in the room, I hear somebody saying “WTF Gimnir, Fantasy is dead, what are you speaking about!!?”
While Warhammer Fantasy has been discontinued from Games Workshop catalogue there is a wealth of resources and communities playing Warhammer Fantasy : Warhammer 9th era, Warhammer Reforged, video games like Warhammer Total war , Warhammer Chaos bane, Mordheim or even now Games Workshop attempt to claim back the Fantasy world. Dead!? We will see about that…and if it is dead what is stopping me to find joy in a personal project?
The first step is to set up the core of the
bloody spearzs army list in which I can focus, or what I like calling a road map.
I personally love the Warhammer Reforged initiative due to the love and respect for the Fantasy Lore and the principle of the game being having a good time with your opponent and not exploiting ultra competitive gaming.
Based on the 3rd edition of Warhammer Reforged Orc and Goblins army book this is how it looks:
· Army General: Orc Megaboss mounted on Wyvern
· Orc Warboss standard Bearer
· 30x Night Goblins
o 2 fanatics
· 5 Goblin Wolf riders
· 5 Goblin Wolf riders
· 20 savage orcs
· 5 boarboys
· 5 Squig hoppers
· 5 squig hoppers
· 2x Goblin Wolf Chariots
· 20 Big boys night goblins with heavy armor and clubs
· 1x Mangler Squig
· 1x Goblin Doom Diver and crew
· Total points: 1997pts
· Miniature count: Approx 160 minis (mounts, riders & machines counted as individual minis)
I am under no delusion that painting a full Orcs&Goblins army is a monumental task, and now, unlike what happened to me 10 years ago I am fully aware of what this project will demand in terms of time and effort.
Goals for the Bloody Spears
My idea for the army is hitting 3 main goals:
- Personalizing the army as much as possible, converting and sculpting. This will allow me to learn and develop my sculpting skills. The whole idea of building a narrative into each miniature and unit fills me with energy
- Keep exploring color and new techniques, i.e. becoming a better painter. Every single miniature will grant me the opportunity to learn something new or improve something that I already know. It is inevitable to fill excited about the prospect of improving
- Record my progress in a series that I will call the “Goblin Diaries” where I will be able to document struggles, challenges and any other related stuff to this project.
It is now 2020; almost 12 years have passed by since the last time that I tried to build an army of green idiots. Now I am a little bit wiser and know what this project will require.
I am aware of some hobby traps that I will try to overcome and not fall into as I did in the past. Dying of plastic overdose and shooting at too many projects at the same time comes to mind .
If I make some quick numbers assuming that each mini in the army will take roughly 10 hours (prepping, sculpting, basing and painting) that means that I will spend 1.600 hours building and painting the core army list of 2000 points.
Being optimistic, and allowing myself 1h a day EVERY SINGLE DAY (no holydays, no days off) to dedicate to the hobby it will take me approx. 4.5 years to build a basic army of 2.000 points.
Every cloud has a silver lining-Black Orc Boss, Standard Bearer and 2 Black Orcs are already commanding my green idiots
But now let’s be realistic, I won’t dedicate all my available hobby time to my orcs and goblins…My dwarfs will require some attention as well and from time to time I will flirt with larger scales and genres…all in all I would expect to spend the next 8-9 years building the core army.
It is almost scary thinking of such a long term project but there is no better place to log the beginning of the journey than in my personal blog. Regularly posting on the Goblin Diaries will help me to stay accountable.
I would love to know what have been your struggles when building your army and what the most rewarding part of the process is.
I know it, I shouldn’t be buying any more models, for God’s sake!? How many miniatures do I even have? I don’t want to even count them but … Sitting at home comfortably. You are perusing the internet.
You know that this would be the perfect time to practice your craft; you could use this spare time to get some painting done and learn a new technique or try something new…
instead you go on a rampage of collectionist consumption. You will spend the
rest of the day perusing eBay looking for old school minis, games workshop
store, Amazon and other miniature online shops. Finally you find something that
will look amazing when (eventually) get to prep, paint and base it. You press
“process order” and you feel a warm sensation of excitement in your gut -definitely you cannot wait for the
plastic crack new blister or box to
A pair of days have gone by now, maybe even one week and life kept happening, you are busy and there are some chances that you even forgot that you did it again. You open the mail box and you find a parcel with your name on it. Suddenly the warm feeling wraps around you and so you proceed to delicately remove the packaging.
Now you have the plastic sprues in front of you, you visually caress every single part of it and let your imagination wander about the million universes and possibilities that lay within the grey plastic.
It is time to wrap up because you have to make dinner, prepare for tomorrow’s work or watch Netflix, whatever... and then you carefully put back the box together and store it with all your other unpainted and/or unassembled miniatures.
First mini painted to test the colour scheme for this collaborative project with my friend.
Looks like he is quite happy with the colour and the result.
Now that we have a baseline it is time for him to try emulate the same result.
I must confess that I cannot wait to see what he will deliver trying to copy this scheme, this project is super fun!!
In the meantime he is executing the base with the concept develope in my first entry , this is what he has so far-Promising!
Not many times in one's hobby life you come across a great opportunity as recently I did. One of my closest friends was lucky enough to get his hands in almost a brand new bundle of 15xTeutogen Guards with an Ulric warrior priest and Emil Valgeir, the Ar-Ulric of Middenheim .
If you are into Warhammer Fantasy lore, their background goes as follows:
The Teutogen Guard are the elite bodyguard of the in his role as Elector of the Empire, accompanying him both at state occasions and on the battlefield. Unlike the who are drawn from the , the Teutogen Guard are instead selected from the ranks of the Knights of the White Wolf by the orders of the and the Ar-Ulric himself.
They are often members of the Order's , although the selection process takes account only of merit and not rank and ordinary brethren are just as likely to be chosen if they are worthy. Being selected for a tour of duty with the Teutogen Guard is one of the highest accolades that a Knight of the White Wolf can receive, and the warriors already fearsome resolve is strengthened still further by the weight of the honour and duty he bears
Emil Valgeir was the previous Grand Master of the Knights of the White Wolf, but ascended to the position of Ar-Ulric after his younger brother, Jarrick Valgeir, fell from grace during the revelation of a conspiracy involving the Cult of the Purple Hand. A warrior as well as a priest, he fought alongside the Teutogen Guard against the Beastmen of the Drakwald, and in the Empire’s campaigns against other foes, winning the grudging admiration of Reiksmarshal Kurt Helborg.
THE INCEPTION OF THE CONCEPT
This models are such a relic and are so rare that they are now sold on ebay for small fortunes, with prices ranging from £30 to £60 per miniature as they are really a collectionist's treasure.
Covid-19 has had an impact in the world as we haven’t seen before, and of course it affected me during this time. I found myself isolated with not a lot of people to share the love for the hobby with. After my friend told me that he got these miniatures I offered him to develop the concept of this unit and bring it to life as a shared effort.
The idea of doing a project together is great and the way I planned to execute is that I will suggest a Concept to help him release his imagination: My friend is not a very imaginative person, he struggles to try new things and usually gets stuck trying new concepts, colour schemes or new techniques in his miniatures. He usually follows the paint schemes displayed in the boxarts displays in the boxes. This is something normal, specially when starting in the hobby-the fear of failing trying something new.
Sharing this project will help him breaking the fear of trying new things, will teach him new skills and above all, two friends will have the chance of sharing their passion for the hobby and have a great time doing so! 😉
These miniatures are valued an small fortune each one of them, so for the unit I want to implement both a display and the capacity of playing with them. For that reason I will suggest using a display plinth with removable bases to fit the need.
To enhance the display and ensure that all the miniatures are well displayed we have 2 options, either spread them on a flat surface allowing separation between models so they can be clearly seen or…..displaying them on a slope. This is not the first time that I do this, you can see examples of this display design Here and Here.
Now is time to build some background and history to these bad boys. In my mind, these sturdy warriors are going to battle , they have been called to aid one of the empire Generals in the region and to do so they are moving through one of the Middle Mountains mountain passes.
Map of Middenheim and the Middle Mountains
Map of Middenheim and the Middle Mountains
To represent this we will be sculpting a rocky mountain pass and we will enhance the northern look of it by using snow…lots of it!
For the display base I would like to give eminent positions to both heroes, Emil Val Geir leading the unit at the front and the Ulric Priest at the back. This display will allow us to give more display space to the front line of the display.
For the painting, I would like to reflect the northern and cold aspect of the Teutogen Guard to the project. To help me achieve that we will follow an Split complementary Triad with the key colours being
· Blue violet for armour plate
· Blue green for arms (We will have to see if it works)
· Desaturated orange for the base
The intention of using an split complementary scheme is to give a lot of tension to the colour palette but at the same time reducing it compared to a strict complementary scheme . How it will look??? I don’t know, hopefully it will work…in my mind it does 😂.
For the exposed skin of the warriors, we will use as reference some of Adrian Smith Illustrations. They fit with our scheme background and display a kind of suntanned skin that only people surrounded by snow can get.
Artwork by I think Adrian Smith
Artwork by I think Adrian Smith
For the snow we will use andrea model snow and Gloss varnish.
One of the biggest inspirations for this unit is the magistral work done by the creator Alexi Z, with her awarded Golden demon unit in 2005. For some reason I couldn't find this pictures in CMON and I had to go into the deep web to rescue them:
Now that we have a road map it is time to discuss this with my friend and see where our skill takes the both of us and these wonderful miniatures.
Most progress to come.
The project called "The Goblin Diaries" officially kicks off with this blog post.
In the Goblin Diaries blog series I will be documenting the progress through 187 miniatures that will form the basis of my classic Warhammer Fantasy Orc and Goblin army .
I wanted to start easy just bringing color to these miniatures before getting myself into a lot of trouble with what is to come.
They are ready to kiss the table and I will sure have a lot of fun with them.
Here we have the classic Warhammer Anvil od Doom released on 1993 by Games Workshop in all its glory.
It took me some time to get hold of this but I finally fot my hands on a classic Citadel Dwarf Anvil of Doom.
I must say the miniature is an absolutley delight to paint.
I wanted to go for a modern interpretation of the classical paintjob with green and yellows as the original boxart.
your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
There is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight in you.
For the unit I tried to keep to the "theme" of my army, that is my dwarf Throng reconquering a fallen dwarf fortress from the orcs and goblins hands.
For this reason I tried to include details like the orc skulls here and there and some ancestor's statues fallen on the ground.
I thought that it would be super cool to include some animal friends as the rangers way of communicating any possible theats to the main throng. You will be able to see some crows painted in a really subtle scheme trying not to distract too much attention from the main stars of this scene.
Hope you like them, and as always I will always welcome any of your comments!