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!


Horus Heresy, Night Lords, Painting

Its been a while since I posted any updates, but I have been painting! (I just don’t finish anything…)

So, with that out of the way here is the most recent progress made to my fledgling 30K Night Lords force. It’s mainly detailing left to do, shoulder detail, bones, flesh and the like.



Praetor-Paint-WIP-2 Praetor-Paint-WIP-1


Here are some Work-in-Progress images of the Praetor, mounted on a fallen Son of Horus, again converted from the fallen GW marines kit.

As you can see all his options are magnatized, allowing me to just make new weapon combos as apposed to multiples of the Praetor himself!


Apoth-Paint-WIP-3 Apoth-Paint-WIP-2

Apoth-Paint-WIP-4 Apoth-Paint-WIP-1

I went for a bit of a mini-diorama for the Apothecary, using another one of the wounded marines from GW. He has also been re-positioned and had a VIII Legion helmet added in addition to the pads and trademark Glaive.


Squad-Paint-WIP-3Squad-Paint-WIP-1 Squad-Paint-WIP-2

This is the first attempt at standard marines, room for improvement but table worthy at least. All the guns are being painted separately which allows me some tactical choice for the unit. The Sergeants pistol is also magnetized like the options for the Praetor, allowing more choice in battlefield roles.

In Midnight Clad – Contemptor

Horus Heresy, Night Lords, Painting

Here is my completed Contemptor Dreadnought. The armour was painted in the same way as detailed in my Sevatar post.


Contempt1 Contempt3



Here is a close up of the lightning on the piece, is the same method on all three parts:


Paint the lightning in Administratum Grey as a base coat, then were the lightning strikes meet, it was highlighted with white, once this was dry a technique called ‘juicing’ was used with an airbrush. This involves filling the airbrush cup with thinners and adding 2 drops of white, which is then mixed in the cup.

Then this very thin white wash is sprayed on a low PSI setting, very softly around the lightning, giving it a glowing effect.


I applied a super-heated effect to the gun barrels on the Contemptor with an airbrush and a selection of washes:

LascannonWeb AutocannonWeb

This was achieved by masking any overlapping metal with tape, so only the barrel itself is exposed. this was then airbrushed in a blend from the exit of the barrel going backwards in about 1/4 measurements with Blue then Purple then Sepia finally leaving the last 1/4 untouched. When this was dry the very end of the barrel was drybrushed with Mithril Silver.


The base was again from Anvil Forge but with the addition of a GW injured marine, converted into a 30K Sons of Horus officer. This was painted in the same way Forge World say they painted theirs.

NOTE: The casualties in my army are Sons of Horus since this 30K jaunt is being experienced by myself and a friend, who is building a Sons force, so its just for that thematic reason, not due to any major conflict between those legions I’m aware of…



The weapons for the Contemptor are all drilled and magnetized, giving me maximum tactical options for the least financial outlay!

They were painted on the magnetic contraption pictured below:


In Midnight Clad – Praetor

Horus Heresy, Night Lords, Painting


Having wanted to have an option of a leader for my VIII Legion that was not a named character I set about creating my Praetor;


The Praetor was constructed with all options magnetized, since this hobby is hardly cheap, it also opened up more battlefield options without having to create a whole unit of characters!


Praetor-4 Praetor-5


Praetor-2 Praetor-3


Praetor-6 Praetor-1

I’m going to make some more weapon options when I have the pieces and some battlefield experience. The Helmet is also awaiting some bits, namely some Vampie Count helmet wings before I start that piece.




I converted up some of the 40K dead marines into 30K dead marines, which involved changing shoulder pads/helmets/weapons. One of these will be the base detail for the Praetor, and another will detail my Contemptor base.

They are going to be Sons of Horus marines, which you had probably guess by the iconography…


In Midnight Clad

Horus Heresy, Night Lords, Painting


This will be/is an oft updated blog about my journey into 30K, having been inspired by the novels of Aaron Dembski-Bowden and then the Horus Heresy series of novels from Black Library.

I’ve always had a soft spot for the children of Nostramo, even having my Night Lords Demon Prince featured in the Chaos Collectors guide (2006?) and now with the resin-crack that Forge World has been churning out I’m back in. I’ve picked up Night Haunter, Sevatar, some Apothecaries and have 30 MK IV marines and a Night Lords Contemptor in the post.

I also sourced some cool extras from 3rd party suppliers, links below if you fancy picking some up.



The Chainglaive is cool from a fluff perspective and pretty good in the game so I’m told. However FW don’t sell them. Anvil Industy to the rescue! The only down side is thet are all right handed, and the Raptors, whom can all have one carry their combat weapons in their left hand, which left me drilling and pinning 10+ hands and weapons…



The Aaron Dembski-Bowden books mentions that all Night Lords carry a Gladus into combat as a back up weapon, so these are the right scale and have a bunch of options on the sprue.



For when I want to ad some spice to a unit or make a marine more of a Vet.



I opted for the City Rubble bases from Anvil Indusrty, the Night Lords are great at urban pacification. It also gave me a chance to paint the bases in warmer tones to contrast with the cold blues of the marines.


The bases were painted by airbrushing the tiles with Deathclaw Brown and painting the pavement with Charadon Granite. The whole base then had an  airbrushed highlight with Screaming Skull.. This was then washed with Agrax Earthshade and again once dry with a mixture of Nuln Oil/P3 Mixing Medium 30/70. Edged black.

Sevatar – The Horus Heresy

Horus Heresy, Night Lords, Painting


I very recently discovered the Black Library Night Lords novels by Aaron Dembski-Bowden and was almost instantly turned back onto the 40K setting after years of being abused by it while working for GW. (Dealing with a million ‘spacky Billys’ armed with their ‘Blue Teams’, *shudder*.)

This combined with Forge World releasing their head honcho, Night Haunter was enough for me to jump back in. Having decided to go for Heresy-era Night Lords I ordered a bunch of Resin-Crack and got to it. I started Night Haunter, but then Sevatar was released. I threw money at my screen until it was delivered and cracked on with Sev. He’s the first Night Lord I’ve completed for my fledgling 30K force, and I’m not 100% happy with him but I tried out a bunch of new techniques and painting methods I usually stay away from.


Sev 3Sev 2

Sev 4Sev 1

Since everyone has their own take on the Night Lords colour scheme I have listed my method, with bits & techniques claimed on my trawling of the inter-tubes. I don’t like the GW style of darker Ultramarines, especially since the Aaron Dembski-Bowden books describe it as ‘In Midnight Clad’, so dark its almost invisible in the shadows. Here it is:


The models were undercoated with GW Black Spray


The armour was drybrushed with Rub and Buff Pewter, bringing the black undercoat upto a silver colour.

Tamaiya Clear Blue and Clear Red were mixed together to make a clear purple which was applied over the whole model in 3-4 very thin coats.

Once the model had dried, the whole thing was airbrushed with a layer of Auto Air colour Transparent Blue.

The Lightning strikes were painted on with Administratum Grey as a base coat.  Then were the lightning strikes meet, it was highlighted with white.


The armour trim was basecoat Warplock Bronze, Highlighted Balthazar Gold, followed by Gehennas Gold and  finally given a wash of Agrax Earthshade.


Bat wings etc. were basecoated Khorne Red, given a highlight of Mephiston Reh, adding flesh tones (Pallid Wych Flesh) for edge highlights. A glaze of Druchii Violet was applied to the recesses to increase the tone


Once the model had dried, it was protected with a coating of GW Purity Seal.

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: lamby@manticore-inc.co.uk