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Grendel’s Warband for Conquest Last Argument of Kings #PathOfConquest

Grendel’s Warband for Conquest Last Argument of Kings #PathOfConquest

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Project Blog by jesusjohn Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

This project is to build an army of monsters waiting to invade the 100 Kingdoms with the Blooded Grendel at its head. #PathOfConquest

This Project is Active

Christmas comes early....or adding snow.

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So i finished the command base. What did i do?

Added a 50:50 green ink and flow improver wash over all the white and blue to theme with the greens and blues on the mini.

Gloss varnish to the ice.

50:50 mix of army painter snow and pva glue applied more liberally than a Waitrose Christmas advert.

One finished command base, ta da!

Obviously i will be adding this to all my other bases going forward.

Christmas comes early....or adding snow.
Christmas comes early....or adding snow.
Christmas comes early....or adding snow.
Christmas comes early....or adding snow.
Christmas comes early....or adding snow.

Little update

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A small update. The stand for Grendel is coming along. I need some gloss varnish and some snow, but you can see vaugley how it will turn out in the picture.

Little update

Week from hell, but finally got ink washes on and a little bald man.

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So been a bit silent for a while. This is mainly because its the end of term and as a teacher i have a lot of paper work, also my Rabbits has been sick, and then my exhaust fell off…..and then the car blew up after it was fixed…….So as you can imagine i have been a little behind and anytime i have come to get some painting done i have mainly not.

So where am I? Well i’m getting Grendels base done. I need to blend the texture in and then colour match the colours.

Week from hell, but finally got ink washes on and a little bald man.

Which reminds me, my other half is sat next to me scraping mould lines off her super dungeon explore minis and she immediately asked why there are no snow clumps of gloss varnish involved in this project. She is of course right, i need to put gloss varnish down on the ice and then stick snow clumps on…..apparently we are going paint shopping on Monday \o/ so that’s sorted.

My partners pile of shame......My partners pile of shame......

Next up i finally got the whole of the stalkers washed and basecoated. I’m still not leaving them like that, cause pride and stuff. However they do look natty with the basecoat and you could get away with that for ‘battle ready’.

I’m going to go at them the same way i did the other figures. non metallic metal, high contrasts and an old hammer vibe paint scheme. What i will have to do is sort out some short cuts so i don’t end up screaming into the void and finishing them somewhere around 2367. At the moment i think the short cut will be when highlighting it will be 3 tonal shifts from the initial colour and brutally ignoring stuff that wont be seen or is very obviously in shade…..i mean i wont, i’ll do the whole thing like a masochist, but at least the intent is there!

finally base coated and washedfinally base coated and washed

And the last thing was I picked up a Shaman which is the start of my second wave of units to cheer myself up. The sculpt is gorgeous, and like the rest of their resin, almost no clean up to do. I’m really pleased with him. Although i have had a sudden thought about Para-Bellum and a lack of female miniatures that i will share when i get to my next stage.

best old man wizard minibest old man wizard mini

Touching base and little bits.

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So couple of photos. First of all the first lick of paint on the tree for Grendel’s base. looks okay, once its on the base i can blend the snow in to the miniatures base and add texture.

The second one is a Stalker with ink wash over the acrylic base coats. I could leave it, its table top fine. But obviously i wont because i want a fancy looking army.

TreeTree
Stalker with ink washStalker with ink wash

Base colours and thoughts on time

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Base colours and thoughts on time

So 20 Stalkers, i’ve spent the weekend painting them during the day to work with natural light. Its taking time just to get the base coats on so i have to make a choice.

Do i want to get them done quickly or do i want to do them well. Technically i could just get the straps and string done, chuck a brown was on and have done with them. The problem is they are nice sculpts so would be a bit of a waste and i’m loathed to do that.

However if i want to keep up with the path of conquest i need to do the quick and dirty if i want to get 2k done by the end of the path of conquest thing. Especially with conversions, scenic bases for characters and waiting for trolls from para bellum this feels a little on the naff side.

So i think the decision will be to do them well and when POC finishes throw a picture up of what i have done rather than rush to get 2k done.

Now i could just make my own contrast paints as i’m using acrylic flow improver to water down my paints to retain pigment, but again it feels like the end result will look scrappy.

So i’m kind of locked into a smaller force for the end of the project unless i want to change the list to add converted monsters, which then takes me outside the only use para bellum miniatures for this project to add higher points units to make the amount of figures to paint smaller.

That said the figures are so nice that even the rank and file deserve good quality paint jobs. My other option is to make unit spacers like menhirs  and the like that would be quick to slot in, but this feels a bit rubbish with para bellum being a newish company and it feels a bit off to not buy the figures to support them. If it was GW i’d probably have one stand of trees with a single figure to every full two bases, but in this case i wont.

So yeah just some thoughts on painting to a schedule.

Trees or Grendel's base is a little bare.

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So i have decided to make a tree to go on Grendel’s base.

Like this one.

Trees or Grendel's base is a little bare.

How’s it done? Well easy. You are going to need:

Tissue paper
Wire
PVA Glue
And some card for the base

Trees or Grendel's base is a little bare.
So take your wire and twist it around each other. Leave bits at the end loose for roots.So take your wire and twist it around each other. Leave bits at the end loose for roots.

To add more branches, just add more wire.

Trees or Grendel's base is a little bare.

Now for the PVA. Make a 50 50 mix of pva. All you are going to do is tear strips of tissue off and soak it in the PVA mix. Then wrap it round the metal.

Trees or Grendel's base is a little bare.
Trees or Grendel's base is a little bare.

You might want to wear gloves. The paper can be very frustrating and sticks to everything.

Also as you are wrapping it you wants lots of texture and leave some of the wire poking through. it gives a more spooky appearance.

Then let it dry.

You should have something like this, then its just a wet on wet dry brush.

Trees or Grendel's base is a little bare.

Stalkers and custodes oh my!

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Stalkers and custodes oh my!

They are here! On a serious note i ordered a second box from OTT, they arrived today and i’m still waiting on my order from amazon…..

They are the same awesome quality as the Ugr’s and have the same casting lines.

Three sprues with 4 on each, plus a command upgrade sprue.

Slightly scuppering plans there is only a helmeted head on the command sprue, so there will have to be some serious thinking around my planned conversions, however there are enough heads that i can werewolf up some raiders this the left overs, especially with a second box.

They are gorgeous figures, the thing that stands out the most is the size of them.

These will be Grendel’s body guard, wild hunters in the dark so there will be a lot of blues with them. I think going forward the green for armour works, however i’m tempted to make the helms gold and the metal armour plates a darker metal. This marks Grendel’s green armour as a bit special.

Standard reference Custodes for scaleStandard reference Custodes for scale

I’m really looking forward to put some paint down on them, however basing wise they are all going on rocks, not only cause rocks are cool, but the extra height makes them a bit more intimidating. I think that going forwards other regiments will have a couple of rocks, but not all of them, that way the bodyguard for Grendel stands above everyone else.

I was chatting to a friend of mine and the conversation went to the Nord. ‘What are they?’

‘The degenerate offspring of genetic weapons designed to fight ragnarok.’

He’s sold.

Ugrs done...ish, lessons learned and bases....

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So they are done. I have thoughts.

First of all they are painted to look good on a table top, not up close on a camera. That’s a thing. When you paint a painting you don’t paint it from the perspective of how will it look up close. Its how will it look at a distance on a wall.

I’m pleased with the skin, even if it drifted a bit to close to Ork goes wahhh colour.

Also i went with black eyes, i didn’t want to give them human looking eyes. Even if i’m writing them up as sweet kids that adopt a war personality through mask work, they still are not human,

Black eyes, well charcoal with a white dot highlight.Black eyes, well charcoal with a white dot highlight.

Next on my hit list is tattoos. Now i tried to avoid to many Nordic style tats. This is because the Nord might be ‘Viking’ inspired, but its a fantasy world. I’m not sure what the tats mean yet, but I’ve used a simple triangle theme throughout with a couple of more complex ones. it breaks the skin up. To get the fine lines i used a thine brush with AV Heavy Charcoal mixed with acrylic medium.

Last bit? The bases. I am not happy, but I need to look at how the smaller infantry bases look in that style. They need some rocks to break them up a little I think, and possibly murder penguins. This is why they aren’t finished.

Things i hate. I’ve spent three months painting in oils, which has led me to not being great with acrylic. Even with acrylic medium it doesn’t flow or mix in the same way. It’s almost like relearning a tool again. This also maybe because of the size of the minis.

Right….where’s my Stalkers?

Write your colours down or why my Ugrs have wooden belts

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So they are still a work in progress.

The plan was to do all the buckles etc in gold like the Blooded. Thing was i forgot to write down that i used yellows with the ochre, so when i came to highlight i forgot the yellows.

Ooops. However one of them has a wooden shoulder pad, i refuse to use the word pouldron, soooo it got painted the same colour. now they have wooden buckles etc.

So story wise they are carved by children and given to them, the masks are the same. Directed by the Shaman, the children carve the masks to protect the Ugr from evil and to allow them to keep their innocence.

I will now be making some notes in my painting notebook while  I wait for my Stalkers and let them dry before I do the skin tomorrow and decide if the base fills me with joy.

Basecoats down and thoughts on how things change as you start to paint.

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So got the base coats and a wash down. Before the wash they looked like high colour Lego men. It was a special moment where i glared at them for a bit thinking ‘his is a dark army of monsters, why are you so bright?’

However a couple of things grew out of that. Bare with me I’m pretty shambolic in my musings, but i use them to take new directions

First of all trying to get blue on them he heads of the weapons are going to be made of ice. I think this means i need to add a Dwarf to my command base to represent the person who is making these icy weapons.

The skin tone turned out too dark, but i like it. It has a watery vibe going on there, i’m still going to highlight up to white, but i think it pulls all the other colours together and is less BLUE than the official skin tone, which is the kind of blue you shout through a megaphone.

I think the mask works, i need to carry on the mask theme elsewhere. It has a Warframe, Mobius, Del Toro thing going on there and I like it. You do not have to.

Bright colours, i think i may lean into the brightness. With whites and blues as my basing colours, the brighter the mini, the more it will pop. I could lean into an AOS28 vibe, but I’ve done a lot of armies in that grim muddy look and i think a high colour, high contrast army of monsters will look different and be a lo of fun.

Other thoughts include i need to make a murder tree for my command base, turning it into a little diorama will be fun and my Stalkers are still not here….so i will be ordering from OTT from now on.

OH i forgot, i’m using Vallejo acrylics (just primary colours, ochres and black and white), GW base texture, and Agrax earthshade/Windsor and Newton brown ink depending on which one I pick up first. I mention this as that’s what you are supposed to do in blogs right?

Basecoats down and thoughts on how things change as you start to paint.

Ugr, nice box, plan for painting and casting lines oh my

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So my Ugr arrived before my Stalkers, thank you OTT.

First up the box is lovely, like really nice. I’m looking at it and thinking ‘so bit of foam and that’s my carry case sorted.

Lovely lovely box.Lovely lovely box.

The sprues are okay, a little bit of space on there but if there wasn’t the nice box would be smaller.

One issue with the sprue is the joining points between component and part are big. My suspicion was confirmed when i clipped them off. the connection obscures some detail.

Ugr, nice box, plan for painting and casting lines oh my

With the joining point and some serious mould lines I’d suggest these are not beginners kits. If you are used to Forgeworld kits you will be fine. Also when sticking them together i’d suggest elastic bands for the torsos so there are no gaps.

They are bloody lovely though. lets be clear, i am not sad these are in my life.

Ugr, nice box, plan for painting and casting lines oh my

Right on with the plan.

Ugr are meant to be child like. The stereotypical trope is ‘hulk smash or just dim. I feel that after looking at the faces this is the wrong way to go at them. They have quite noble faces, there is a serenity to them.

So my Ugr are gentle children, they are filled with wonder and don’t really want to hurt people. Now the shin guards have a strong ‘cyclops mask’ vibe going on. So to tell the story they wear masks in battle, they become ‘the cyclops’ so its not them doing any harm. This ties into the shamanic theme running through the Nord and ties them to the masks on the blooded. Masks will be a thing in this army I feel. So one on the face and two on the belts.

If anyone has any spare clone heads by the way hit me up 😉

The other thing i have to decide on is skin tone and colour. I don’t want Warmahorde blue for them. As blue is a colour i’m using for cloth a deep blue will just disappear.  Again looking at the lore they are descended from demi gods so with the masks in gold and the contrast colour being red i think an icy turquoise almost white in colour will give a kind of snowy alabaster feel to them.

I think this will give a more beautiful monster than the official scheme. However this may involve an oil paint wash….bum.

All in all i love these mini’s and in the flesh they have much more personality than the official pics show.

Mask on the left, your left or my left?Mask on the left, your left or my left?

On army lists and building the miniatures

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I’m not patient. So while waiting for my first batch of Miniatures to turn up i’m working out my list and how i’m going to build it.

This isn’t just because I want to work out what to buy, but also to work out what i’m going to have to convert. CLAK is a new system, well ish, and as such the armies have a lot of options and not a lot of miniatures for them. This means compromise and conversion.

So lets get into it.

Here’s the list.

Blooded with ravens, tactics retinue 1 and mark of the bear
5 stands of stalkers with full upgrades
3 stands of Ugr (which will be replaced with werewolves once the miniatures are available)
5 stands of Trolls with full upgrades (the miniatures are coming)
1 giant

1 Shaman
3 Stands of Raiders
3 Stands of Raiders
3 Stands of Ulfednar with savage and banner
3 Stands of Ulfednar with savage and banner

Right here is the thing. I need a plan for buying and painting.

As you can see from the list there is some stuff in there that there arn’t mini’s for. Specifically the Trolls and the

On army lists and building the miniatures

Stage 1
Blooded, done
3 Stalkers.
3 Ugr

Stage 2
Shaman
3 raiders
2 stalkers
3 Ulfednar.

So stage 2 plan is the biggy.

I need to work out how i’m going to make Ulfednar. I have a plan.

You see im going to have 4 spare stalker bodies, and im going to save as many of the metal masks from the Stalker sets. This should allow me a lot of conversion parts and use the Raiders kit as a basis for them.

Ulfednar are traditionally seen with wolf pelts, i wont have time to sculpt this and Para Bellum don’t have kits with wolf pelt bits.

What to do? well a bit of research into the Ulfednar see’s that as well as wolf pelts they dyed their skin black. More plans are a foot.

On army lists and building the miniatures

The plan:

Use raiders and spare stalkers for bodies.
The top of the head and shoulders to be painted with charcoal paint to show hey have dyed their skin, possible extending down the bodies in geometric patterns or wolf fangs from shoulder blades to pectorals.
Use Stalker masks in place of horned helmets etc to give them a more ‘feral’ killers look. This also gives an impression that they are kept somewhere, almost chained up before being unleashed.

I like the idea of ‘unleashed madmen’ as a concept. People of the north who have seen too much and now are crazed killers that don’t feel pain sheparded by a Shaman who understands their madness.

I may break my sketch book out and have a crack at basic designs.

One thing that has disappointed me while i’ve been planning around this project is the lack of female figures. Although a female shaman would be at odds with the background, some female stalkers or raiders would be great to add a bit of diversity. Also the only female character so far seems to be the boob window mage, which ain’t great if you want to stay in the Para Bellum range.

While i wait for the post, here’s some more research images.

Part 1, taking the dive in.

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So i’ve fallen in love with Conquest Last Argument of Kings, or as it shall be known CLAK because i’m lazy when it comes to typing.

The miniatures are pretty, the art is divine and the background is actually interesting. All of this backed up with a world that will progress. Which is a bonus as most do not, yes i’m looking at you 40k….

So where to start? Well the Path to Conquest. However as a naturally rebellious person i’m doing it my way.

First up was grab a mini and paint it. In this case its the Nord blooded.

I’ve just come off the back of three months oil painting an Adeptus Custodes army so I decided this project would be Acrylic.

I decided to use green and blues as they are next to each other on the colour wheel with yellows through reds to be my contrasting colours.

Rather than use metallic paints i’ve decided to go with NMM…..something i have never done before. Im pleased with the gold…..the steal sword not so much.

You can see the finished piece below.

Now I have colours on a mini, some decisions around colours.

Blur I think is going to be a regal colour, the colours of Grendel. If you are close to him you get more blue, otherwise greens will be more prominent.

Also because i painted Grendel’s leg armour green, i think armour plates will be done in greens and greys.

Basing wise i think ice. The frozen north of the world has more ‘things and horrors’ and this is a warband of monsters.

Next up is the Background.

It will expand as things are going. However at the moment Grendel is a blooded more happy with monsters than civilisation, so the army will be the odder troops. Less Huscals and more Stalkers and Monsters.

So the list….

Blooded warlord
3 stands of Stalkers
3 Stands of Ugr

Now this is no where near the 600 points for stage 1, however i want monsters so I’m holding out for trolls to be released. Realistically that might be a while. Als0 looking at a lot of the units in the list i want madmen and monsters so i may have to buy stuff and convert.  I think raiders can be used for some of the more berserk units, but as i am trying to stay within Para Bellums range of mini’s there maybe some compromises to be made with the list.

One of the very cool things i discovered, was when i emailed to find out about the look of some of the unreleased units i got a reply from Leandros and although they aren’t going to release pictures to a random spod, it was really nice to get a polite email back.

Now to wait for my Ugr and Stalkers to arrive in the post…..