Miniature Games Construction Yard

In this blog I'll talk about various miniature games. Custom miniatures and minor conversions are my favorite pastime. I'll cover scenery making and painting too. The WIP you'll see here is all about Necromunda, Epic 40,000, Warhammer Fantasy 5th Edition, Warmaster and Warhammer 40K 3rd Edition.

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New Blog Category Added: Kislev

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There are not many Warhammer armies left for me to build. I had to look north to find a new construction challenge: Kislev.

If you follow my blog regularly you will have noticed that I left the WFB ruleset in favour of the Warmaster ruleset. This provides me with following to-do list:

- Knights (Winged Lancers or Gryphon Legion)
- 2 regiments of Steppe Horse Archers
- Bowmen
- 2 regiments of Kossar Axemen
- multiple Bears
- a War Wagon
- a General Tzarina
- a Shaman
- a Hero (Elector Count of Ostland miniature)

It would be out of character for me to just buy the official GW miniatures on eBay, so I did some research and came up with suitable replacement miniatures for some of the regiments.

In this first Kislev blogpost I'll handle the mandatory selections: Horse Archers, General and Axemen. (The picture at the bottom has some sneak previews of what's to come.)

I happen to already own a Games-Workshop Kislev Tzarina Katrina. So that's two selections at once: a General with the Tzarina upgrade. However, as it frequently is with second hand plastic horses, the horse was missing its tail. There are many bits and pieces that can act as a repair for that: Ork/Orc helmet-ponytails, banner ornaments, trophies, ... So a fix was applied quickly.

For the Ungol Steppe Archers I bought a Mongol Cavalry box from Fireforge Games. It provided me with 12 mounted miniatures. For my Warmaster 28mm armies I need 6 mounted miniatures to create one regiment (or unit). When I add some regiment fillers I'll have three regiments.

The Kossar Axemen regiments will be made from Fire Forge's Mongol Horde and some regiment fillers. I was lucky to score one blister of GW Kislev Kossars for 5,- Euro at Essen SPIEL many years ago. They'll lead the regiments. Unit fillers will be bears and pine trees.

A nice (and relatively cheap) start for my Empire allies from the snowy North...

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Mon Oct 9, 2017 8:11 pm
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BattleMasters Chaos Warrior Banner Bearers

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I'm all into minor conversions. Small change, great return.



Behold, my new front rank warriors for my Chaos army.
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Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:00 am
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Games-Workshop's Sneaky Scale Creep

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You probably have noticed it too. Latest releases by Games Workshop Ltd. include miniatures larger than usual. You will notice this in 40K with the new Primaris Space Marines, the Primarchs and others. In Fantasy Battle they have these giant Chaos Marauders and the Sigmarines. I don't like it. See following picture for the size difference. This change in scale is getting out of hand.



I wish they didn't do this. It's probably a commercial move to make old players ditch their small mini's in favour of the new releases. But for reasons of compatibility I'll need to start buying mini's from other brands and forget GW's new releases.

I have a solution to make (older) smaller miniatures appear to be bigger. But the reverse is not quite possible.

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Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:05 am
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Recycling Necromunda: Norse Marauders

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The base game Necromunda 1.0 box came with plastic Goliath miniatures. Over the years I've been hoarding these guys because they were cheap on eBay... Now's the time to put them to good use. Let's get creative!



I needed some expansion for my Warhammer Norse army. With some clever kitbashing I came up with these beefy Marauders.

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Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:00 am
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Converting because of Budget Reasons

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Most miniatures games players start collecting when they are young students. One thing that the average student does not have is an unlimited budget. That was my setting of how I got into the Warhammer hobby at least. Anyway, sometimes a player must be creative in the formation of an army because of budget limitations, whatever the cause.

To achieve this it's best to buy a regiment box of basic troops. Quantity is the key here. The more miniatures you have, the more you can use to start converting. (For rookies in the hobby, converting means chopping up an existing miniature and rebuilding it to match its new purpose. It's the advanced version of kitbashing where you combine components of various sprues to build a unique miniature.)

In the past I have dedicated some of my blogposts to "building on a budget". In this blogpost I'll add some examples from my recent Ogre Kingdoms army.
I used the three out of four methods of converting miniatures: kitbash, mix 'n match and convert. The fourth option sculpting is too challenging for me. I'll skip that.

Assets: I have one Ogre Battalion box and one Stonehorn box.
Goal: I also want a Tyrant and Bruiser to lead my army, and I really like the background story of Hunters.
Extra: Some of my Rackham Confrontation miniatures are collecting dust for years. I'd like to give them a purpose in life.

Method 1 - Kitbash:
The Tyrant is the general of the army. So he has to stand out and look special. I took a menacing looking armoured head from the Ironguts sprue and combined it with the large belly armour from the command sprue. The eye-catching bit comes from the Stonehorn sprue in the form of a giant vulture on an arm covered with a pelt. The Tyrant looks more important by placing the miniaiture on an elevated base (made with treebark). Now his left arm was a problem. I wanted to place a giant blade in his hand but I could not find one on the sprues. So I took an armoured left fist from the Bulls sprue and combined it with a blade from one of the right hands.

Tyrant Sword

Ogre Tyrant

Army Standard Bearer

I also used the kitbash method to make all Bulls as unique as possible by using heads from all sprues available. For the Bruiser I'll be using the biggest and baddest looking Irongut with an elevated base to indicate importance.

Ogre Bull

Method 2 - Mix 'n Match:
Butchers are miniatures with a specific look and feel: they're fat, covered in cleavered meat and clad in a butcher's outfit. It would be very hard, almosr impossible to kitbash one. Since I don't dare myself to sculpt a miniature, I find refuge in mixing and matching miniatures from different publishers. I bought several cheap boxes of WOW Burning Crusade at the SPIEL convention in Essen Germany. And there's the perfect miniature to use as a Butcher by simply placing a GW Ogre's head on top.

Ogre Butcher

Method 3 - Converting:
A personal favorite of mine is the Ogre Hunter. The Stonehorn sprue provides various bits that are perfect for a hunting Ogre. I wanted to use the chain as a leash for a Sabretooth or other trained animal. Unfortunatelly I already used my metal Sabretooth miniatures in my High Elf Lions of Thrace regiment. Some spare Fenris Wolves were the next best choice. I had to use two different right arms to achieve the right angle for the chain to fit. The chain had to end at the neck of the Fenris Wolf in order to make it look like a hunfting pet. A simple saw did the trick.

Ogre Hunter WIP

Ogre Hunter

Bonus - all three methods combined:
The Ogre cavalry usually uses Rhinoxes to ride into battle. I'll be using Brontopses as "counts as" miniatures. The Stonehorn box provided Ogre rider legs able to fix my metal beasts. Bits and pieces from various sprues were cut up and glued together to form three badass riders. While two of the metal beasts are exactly the same miniatures, by positioning them at a different angle on their base I was able to hide the fact that they're identical.

Ogre Cavalry

The amount of money I actually saved here (diregarding the cavalry) is equivalent to three character models: a Tyrant, a Butcher and a Hunter with two Sabretooths. Actually quite a sum when buying them from GW.
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Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:00 am
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My Big Fat Warhammer Army

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Now this is a great kitbashing project! The Ogre Kingdoms sprues are a bliss to combine. I bought an Ogre Battalion box which contains Bulls, Leadbelchers and Ironguts. From a previous Norse project I already have spare Ogre components. This combination allows me to mix 'n match sprues and come up with a Tyrant and Hunter too.

I've been looking for a purpose for my Rackham Brontops beasts for a while. And it shows they are a perfect fit in my Ogre Kingdoms army. I had two riders from my Stonehorn box and bought one extra from eBay. The legs only needed a little chipping and filing to fit the metal Brontopses.



To create a wizard for the Ogre Kingdoms army I needed a filthy looking fat canibal. I happened to have some spare Warcraft miniatures. And the GW Ogre head from GW's sprues fit perfectly over the tiny Warcraft head. Ready to (stomach-)rumble!



I'll show my Tyrant and Hunter (with chained wolves) later.... Meanwhile be sure to check tocosnest@twitter for my miniatures workbench.
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Fri Aug 18, 2017 6:00 am
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It's Never Enough

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Miniature gaming and collection can be a true addiction. A healty one (if you don't accedentally inhale glue or spraypaint vapours).

I already had a nice High Elves collection, but now and then when I find a bargain at eBay I cannot resist...

Here's the latest batch:


A Phoenix Guard regiment, a cavalry hero, an extra Repeating Bolt Thrower and some loose miniatures to fill incomplete infantry units.

Another spraycan that has been very busy yesterday was YELLOW. I leave it to you to guess which of my armies also got reinforcements...
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Fri May 26, 2017 9:49 am
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High Elf hero - conversion

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This is what I like most about the miniatures hobby: converting. It starts by selecting some bits and pieces from your bitsbox. I had a spare barded horse from Battle Masters and wanted to use it for a High Elf hero.



The legs are metal. The torso and head are High Elf bits.



The arms are from the Tiranoc Chariot sprue. They look fierce on this mounted hero model. The shoulders didn't fit perfectly. That's when my 40K bitsbox came in handy: a pair of (Tau) Kroot shoulderpads!



I tilted the horse backwards slightly to make the miniature more menacing. Tree bark and pebble chips were glued to the 50mm square base*. The horse received Elven feathers as head ornaments.
To make the miniature a true High Elf leader I added a sheated sword and quiver with bow and arrows to his saddle. I also tried to add a cape but it didn't look "correct".

* Why a 50mm square base you ask? Well, in Warmaster 28mm games a cavaly stand is 5cm wide, 5cm deep...
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Mon May 1, 2017 6:00 am
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Budget Warhammer: Phoenix Guard

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A couple of weeks ago I posted some images of my High Elf reinforcements. The Phoenix Guard regiment included some plastic miniatures because I didn't have enough metal miniatures. Here's how I converted a cheap Spearman into a Phoenix Guard replacement.



You won't even notice him when the entire regiment is fielded on the table.



I made a banner bearer (not pictured) for the regiment in the same way. This way I have been able to upgrade my 12-strong metal regiment into a 15-strong Warmaster 28mm infantry unit!
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Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:11 pm
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High Elves Reinforcements

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After a tabletop battle I always want to upgrade/update the army/gang/warband I just played with. It's a stream of enthusiasm that takes you deeper into the hobby. It was not different after my battles with the High Elves. (For battle reports, see my previous blogposts.)

So I scouted eBay again and came up with some precious new toys.



For Warmaster 28mm I need infantry regiments of 5 wide, 3 rows deep. I am adding two old plastic Spearmen and convert them to banner bearer and extra halberdier. The leader of the unit will be a plastic hero with the look of a Dragon Prince.



Same goes for my Swordmasters of Hoeth. I had 10 models for a long time, but now I want to use them on the battlefield. So I added a 3rd row of 5 metal miniatures.



There were already 12 Shadow Warriors in my army. I needed 18 to have two infantry units with ranged weapons. After a deep dive into my bits box I came up with some famous plastic Elves and eBay provided the last 4 metal miniatures.

Yesss! Now all I have to do is glue them to slottabases and spraypaint them following the TOTTEK method. ( https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/31285?commentid=6119995#c... )
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Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:49 am
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