Thursday, March 16, 2017

Rebasing the Island of Blood to Spire of Dawn

The Island of Blood boxed set was released in 2010 to go along with Warhammer Fantasy Battles 8th edition. As I wanted to get back into fantasy to complement my 40K stuff I got the box (and a collector's edition of the 8th edition rulebook). I started off painting a Skaven clanrat. Then tried a few games in 8th and quickly dropped that idea. To each his own, but my experiences playing Warhammer Fantasy Battles 8th where not positive.

The Island of Blood set languished in the shed. As this was before I thought of project boxes the miniatures kind of spread out ending up in bits boxes, behind paint pots and beneath the workbench. When AoS launched I grabbed my ancient (1991) Skaven Army and had fun playing fantasy for the first time in (literally) decades. I quickly (it took a whole day (messy me)) cleaned out my work area in the shed and to my joy rediscovered my Skaven. These have all been painted and the Skaven half of a second IoB set joined the first.

Now having taking this long winded tangent on to the other half of the set: the High Elves in the set; Aelf Swifthawk Agents these days. I actually painted the High Warden, Archmage, Swordmasters and Reavers when I bought the set years ago. Only the Spireguard languished in a box. These poor models have suffered (one has a broken speartip and I have had to glue the blade of the sword Watch Master back on twice). Every time I decided to paint these poor guys I either got distracted, failed to come up with a proper color scheme or just lost sight of where to begin with all the detail on them. Then I found this old tutorial from Tale of Painters. I quickly turned it into a two page document and started painting the Watch Commander.

Work in progress as I try following an older tutorial (switching out some paints for newer ones).
I am definitively not Stahly (the author of the tutorial) and I am starting to accept that the eyes on my miniatures will never look right, but I'm still quite satisfied with the way this model turned out. Here is the end result minus basing.

The Watch Commander is screaming order at non-existent men. that is a sad situation that'll have to be rectified.
And a shot of the shield.

I like the gold dragon on the shield, although I think I am now transgressing against the spot color rules. 
I love Stahly's color scheme. The gold makes this guy look like the snooty highborn, but fancily equiped Aelf warrior that he is. And it still has just enough blue on it to tie the model to the rest of the army. Having proven the concept I'm now working on getting the rest of the models painted to go along with him.

These guys are quite a bit done already, they just don't look it.
These guys are actually closer to getting finished than they look, white clothing on white primer gives such an unfinished look it is almost criminal. I did diverge from the tutorial (more than I already did for the Watch Commander) by painting the white clothing with Citadel Karak Stone, P3 Menoth White Highlight and finishing of with VGC Dead White. I could not make the subtle yellow highlights on the original tutorial work quite as well for me as they did there. As you can see the unit is completely based on round bases. The rest of the Guardians of Dawnspire are stillon squares. I don't like square bases. Here is a (very bad) shot of the Sword Masters looking lost on their squares during an AoS game.

In the excitement of a battle it is easy to take bad photo's. Unfortunately this is one of the better shots of how bad square based Sword Masters (to the right above the Realm Gate) look on a round base table.
So it was time to take a deep breath and take the bases off.

Bye bye square bases, you won't be missed.
And put some nice, shiny round ones on.

Welcome round bases. Please wait while I get around to painting you.
As a small aside: a sign that maybe I've been into this hobby to long  (and kudos to Games Workshop for not messing with a good design).

Let's do the time warp again?
The High Warden also needed a new base as the square one made him look too small in battle.

Are you an eagle or an earthworm? I don't know! I just know my base sucks!
I cut the flying stand of his square base and pinned it to a round one. If I'm not mistaken the top of that flying stand has been pinned as well (as everyone knows, these things snap easily).

Sing along now: "Cause if you liked it, then you shoulda' put a pin in it Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh"
So I now need to finish nine more Spireguard and repaint all the bases. I think I'm going to use this as an opportunity to test out some Vallejo Dark Earth paste (and see how it compares to Stirland Mud). As soon as I find time to get to the store. After that, I'll have to start worrying about rebasing that dragon lord (and maybe start painting some other (metal and plastic) High Elves/Aelfs still languishing in project boxes. Also it would be nice if I could have a look at/copy of the new Spire of Dawn booklet. After that who knows, maybe Dwarf Balloon Meisters?


  1. Those elves look terrific!!!! You are doing a great job painting them. Your massive production amazes me. I wish I could Paint as fast( and good)as you do.
    When I paint miniatures eyes, I simply paint the eyeball in white and then a soft spot of black, blue or Green. No more, and I feel good with the result.

    Best regards

  2. Very nice. Fascinating how in that big picture the round bases look so much more natural and part of the battlefield while the square bases look like an alien imposition... But maybe that is just me

  3. Thanks for the kind comments. Before my painting speed gets truly legendary status, most of the miniatures above where painted earlier :) I agree with The Horned God (loved the Sláine epic with that name), squares look odd on a table (if they aren't stuck in movement trays. Weather permitting (I use the outdoors as my 'photography studio') I'll try to take some shots of my armies, might be fun to show of some other basing styles.