Heresy Night Lords 2019

Gaming, Manticore Blog, Night Lords, Painting

Fresh from their availability at the 2019 Horus Heresy Weekender, new Night Lords!

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Evil Sprites – Halfling Proxy Team

Blood Bowl, Gaming, Halfling, Manticore Blog, Painting, Sprites, Stunty

Either at last years NAFC, on on the drive home the discussion came up about possible Race selection for the 2017 NAF  Championship. After to-ing and fro-ing we ended up with the concept of every Team member taking a Stunty team, and seeing who did the best through the weekend.

This left me with Goblins, Ogres or Halflings for choices, and seeing as I’m a Dark Elf at heart I set to trying to create a Dark Elf themed ‘Halfling’ team. This series (I hope..) of posts will chronicle its development…



After wracking my brains I settled on a magic theme, since Dark Elve are known to consort with unaligned daemons. I scoured my various bitz boxes and came across some old Warmaster Harpies that I had planned to use in WFB 7th Ed as a swarm of evil sprites, that idea never took off but I had exactly 12 of them, the perfect amount to be used as ‘Halflings’ with the same gimmick, so summoned by a sorceress to do her bidding on the pitch.


So, with the rank and file sorted I need to source models to use as my two Treemen, I ideally wanted to keep this build all GW, and with their reduced range and recent AoS aesthetic, proved to be difficult to find unaligned generic daemonic gribblies!

I eventually settled on Be’lakor, and some conversion later had my two Treemen. (WIP)



Because Halflings generally suck, they are cheap as balls, which leaves plenty of treasury for Star Players. My initial roster used Zara the Slayer, so she also needed a Dark Elf makeover. I ended up using a WFB Witch Elf since she’s nice and dynamic and already comes with daggers for Stab!

After Zara I started to think about options for the other available Stars, and started searching for my Puggy. After much (much) searching I picked up this awesome, old (3rd Ed.) Chaos familiar from eBay.


With the actual team sorted I started to look at representing the support staff, which would be the Head Coach Sorceress, who summoned them all, and something to represent a Master Chef in this proxy theme.

The Sorceress was pretty easy, I used bits from the Dark Elf Dragon and plastic Blood Wrack Shrine kit from WFB, with a custom staff added. During my Bitz sleuthing I came across the WHQ Dread King tome on stand, so I added this to my Head Coach as a duel purpose summoning/play-book.



With the Head Coach sorted I started on the Master Chef, I again used a plastic crew member from the Blood Wrack Shrine kit, but used the 7th Ed. Cauldron of Blood to proxy the hot pot. I then needed to craft a base to house both these components. This was chopped up bases to make the steps, Milliput to sculpt all the rocks and a bucketload of skulls to be strewn around the base.


After all of this I needed to create some tokens to be used as Re-Rolls, I ended up with two concepts, the first was to use a selection of slaves from an old Dark Elder kit, chained together to represent sacrifices. (WIP)

The second, and more crazy was to uses clear resin crystals, which would have a LED housed inside, which when illuminated represents an available Re-Roll, the Sorceress would uses this reserve of ‘magic’ to try and change the outcome of an event. Once used, the LED is turned off, to represent the crystal drained of its magic.

Here is an early mock-up of the concept (WIP)


I need some sort of display base to house all of these components, and to reinforce the proxy theme. I have planned a base with multiple levels and a focal point of a Warhammer ruined gate, which, if my plan actually works houses a resin ‘portal’ and LEDs to illuminate it. This is to represent the rift the Sorceress has torn in the material realm to bring her minions through… It’s a grand idea, with many things to overcome!

Halfling Base


If you have wondered where I sourced some of my components, you can get them here:

Resin Fantasy Football Helmets with Skulls  –  Clear Resin Gems

Night Lords 2016 Progress Update

Gaming, Horus Heresy, Manticore Blog, Night Lords, Painting

Well, it’s been quite some time since my last post, in that time I have moved twice, studied to be a Qualified Teacher and started doing just that!

The summer holidays have allowed me time to decompress and think about things other than pedagogy and seating plans, which means hobby time!

I picked up the Betrayal at Calth box before it is retired and the Night Lords Legion pack with it from Forge World to turn its contents into members of the VIIIth, and here is that progress.


Here is the Calth plastic Dreadnaught with the additions of a Volkite weapon and various bits from the Night Lords etched brass sheet from FW, which are great by the way! It’s still in progress but is getting there!


I converted the Calth Chaplin into a Centurion, with magnetized options to be fielded as a Moritat. I removed his left shoulder plate and added a Night Lords one, and then resculpted the cloak covering. I have also ordered a Volkite pistol so he may be equipped with a Plasma/Volkite pistol combo.



I used the spare plastic Dreadnaught weapons with my own bits to make another Assault Cannon, I also finished my remaining magnetized weapons for my previous Dreadnaught.


I assembled the rest of the Calth box using Night Lords Helmets and Chests to make sure every trooper had some VIIIth detailing in addition to the shoulder pad. I converted the Headsmen for the 3 units to have either Chain-glaives or a Lightning claw.

The Terminators were equipped with Volkite Chargers and a single Lightning Claw, purely based on fluff, with the Sgt having a pair of claws. I used the Forge World brass etched details to add legion iconography in addition to plastic skulls to one of the pauldrons.



Finally, I ordered Volkite weapons for the Calth troops, which have been painted separately to make painting the troopers easier.

(My Terror Squads are: Headsman: Plasma Pistol and either Chain-glaive or Lightning Claw. 9 Troopers with 1 Flamer, 6 Volkite Chargers, 2 Bolters.)



When looking for ways to customise my models I came across these excellent resin pieces from a eBay seller, a set of flayed flesh shoulder ornaments and tabards, 2 off-the-shoulder cloaks with flayed flesh and 2 back cloaks with stitched flesh and bones. They are awesome, and I will most certainly be getting more for my force.

That’s all for now, and when life settles into a more predictable routine I hope to make more progress this year!

More Blood Bowl Designs

Blood Bowl, Designs, Gaming, Manticore Blog

I’ve been very busy over the last year training to be a qualified teacher, but have still been keeping my graphic design skills sharp with some hobby related projects, and here they are;


Untitled-1I have yet again designed the NAFC2017 rules pack, this time with a change of design direction to signify the new TO and the new design aesthetics GW have started to use in their new version of the game.


Untitled-2I have updated the community ‘Ickle Blood Bowl Handbook, which can be found here: Blood Bowl Ickle Book.


Untitled-3And finally uploaded my A4 format Blood Bowl reference charts. Passing, Rules and League. Blood Bowl Reference Compendium A4

Gaming Community Designs – Blood Bowl

Blood Bowl, Branding, Designs, Gaming, Graphic Design, Manticore Blog

I am frequently tapped by members of the Blood Bowl community for designs to promote events, tournaments or for merchandise, so here are some of the recent commissions I have undertaken.

The below is in addition to designing the rules packs for the NAFC since 2013.


UKTC Logo Final LargeI was tasked with designing the championship logo and accompanying information pack for the United Kingdom Team Championship, this design was also incorporated into a commemorative coin,


Golden Gauntlet CrestHere is the logo for the fledgling Goldent Gauntlent tournament series .


BlockDiceAnd the above were designed from a brief for a charity set of Block Dice, with a nautical theme.

NAFC 2015 Duel Entry

Blood Bowl, Gaming, Manticore Blog, Painting

Here’s the process of the construction and painting of my NAFC Duel entry.



I was inspired by all of the outstanding entries of the 2014 Duel competition to such a degree that on the drive home an idea for the below popped into my head. Having been an life long Dark Elf player I appreciated the dynamic poses of the new GW Witch Elves, this exact pose has been used for one of my team Witches, so that was a no brainer.

When it came to her opponent I looked through the GW web store (barren as it is nowadays…) and remembered the Animosity Orcs from WFB, such great models that were crying out for some Blood Bowl action! It was a simple job of adding the arm holding the ball & green stuffing the join (a 40K Ork arm that usually holds the firearm), scooping out the head (!) of yet another unfortunate 40K Ork to gain his helmet and adding a shoulder pad from the WFB Orc sprue to make the Blood Bowl-ification complete.

You’ll notice that the Witch is leaping off the broken body of a fallen Gobbo, this was also from the Animosity Orc kit, and he’s normally being wielded as a weapon by another greenskin. So I removed the hand griping his head & flattened the back his body, with that he was ready for the diorama.



I followed an old White Dwarf ‘Eavy Metal article for the orc, it was taken from the scheme for the plastic Ork Warboss, the Witch Elf utilized the new Wash & Mediums GW now produce. The blood is a mixture of GW’s Blood for the Blood God (what a stupid name…) & Tamiya Red.

You can see that I kept the Duel’ers separate for the painting, that way I could position them much more closely once they had been painted.



I talked the resident Team Model Maker, Alan ‘Lamby’ Casey about a display base for the project. (You may know him from his awesome Dwarf Slayer team with custom beer barrel display) Things quickly evolved from a classic wooden display base, to a Block Dice and finally to a rotating display Block Dice!

I re-drew the dice face icons in Illustrator and then sent them over to be used in the laser cutting of the faces, the rest of the craftsmanship was then expertly executed by Lamby, including all the whirly gubbinz & gears contained within the base to make it rotate.



Here are some multi-angle shots of the finished piece: (Click to enlarge)






Here’s a video of the finished piece in motion.

If you want to contact Lamby about some equally insane custom work, email him at:



Manticore Blog

Welcome to the Manticore DESIGN Blog!

Things will be (even less) informal than the rest of the site, I’ll try to keep all you lovely internet people abreast of the goings on & developments at Manticore Towers in the various stages of my ongoing projects!

Until next time.