Mixed Ork characters

 Palette cleanser again. I guess that little by little, this Ork side project is becoming quite a thing on its own! Today I'm just bringing this ooold Painboy (I may have painted it like, I don't know, 25 years ago? More?) alongside this Runtherd, courtesy of Iain from Caveadsum1471.

Vestiges of an era

Besides, I had this other Runtherd mini repeated!

Again, I painted the left one in the mid 90s. Gasp!

I had no use for a third Runtherd (I guess I barely have use for two of them!), much less for two identical minis, so I converted the unpainted one into something different:

Hiya! Havin' fun with a gun!

I went for a straightforward paintjob, so this is what I got with the Painboy:

Totally not a psycho face

I have to admit I failed miserably with what you are about to see. Instead of the classic glyph of the saw used for Painboyz, I tried to paint some kind of wicked Caduceus, with an axe instead of a staff and membrane wings. It is awful, but I'm keeping it anyway, as a reminder for future me. Someday I'll do it better.

That worked better than a Red Cross, anyway

Now I guess I have two Runtherds:

Those are not Snakebite Clan colours

He looks more like a circus artist than a Runtherd

Of course after my recent failure I didn't dare to innovate, so I painted the classic whip glyph that identifies the Runtherds.

Yeah, those are supposed to be ideographic representations of whips

 I'm afraid I do not have enough Snotlings or Squigs to justify having two Runtherds, so I guess I'll have to solve that... (Sigh)

Anyway, have a look of the converted Runtherd. I made another conversion and got him a longer barrel for his gun, now he is the heavy weapons guy from his (future, yet to be gathered) mob:

Separated at birth

The back plate is still empty. Whenever I paint a mob for him to fit in I'll decide what to paint

Better view of the angry gun

I believe I got myself into more trouble, knowing that now I have to get Snotlings and paint more Orks! Ahh, little by little, step by step...


Totally not abandoned project

 I bet you had forgotten about my mining town vertical board. I can't blame you, it's been nearly two years since my last installment. Shame on me!!

The good news is that I'm finally back to work!

A brief reminder of the last pic published:

As of December 2020

The next stages will be necesarily slow ("Even more than now?" I hear you scream). There is a lot of planning involved now, as I need to fit in a lot of elements, and space is beginning to be scarce for all the stuff I want to stick in here.

So well, one step at a time. First thing, I needed to take care of the left end of the board. It's the part that will usually be down when the board is storaged in the cupboard, and so it will be taking quite a share of the weight. Mere foamboard structures seemed too fragile, so I needed something sturdier. Fortunately I had these wooden boxes, and after some tests I crossed my fingers and decided that they will do.

I had to drink the bottles of wine first. You know, sometimes you have to do sacrifices

You can see now the structure is "closed". The large foamboard piece in the back is a mere continuation of the board and will allow me to build the backdrop. Or whatever you choose to call that part.

In the pic below I,ve added another piece of foamboard to give depth and I have tested how these tiny rails will look.

After all I guess we'll need a mine in a... well, a mining town!

The rails come from the Terrain Crates ranges by Mantic Games. My general idea is to make the access to the mine over there somehow. The exact details are a problem for future Suber, but current Suber has enough issues to deal with just now.

For example, I need to connect the existing board with this new section. Though my original idea was building stairs both up and down, I had to admit it was too ambitious (it made the section unplayable, as there would be no room left to put the minis in, much less to handle them or to play). So I settled with wider stairs down:

And that kind of configured my next decisions

I closed the building by adding the facade and closing the archway with the stairs

Nothing is glued yet

Then I gave some shape to the "backdrop" (whatever), carving more caves and windows:

Just repeating what I had done in earlier stages

Now I see that these caves are way too regular in shape, but we'll come back to that later. At the moment I was simply defining spaces, thinking I was doing it right and trying to get all the pieces along, while playing mental chess and making decisions three steps ahead.

Step by step. This is the basic configuration of the lower, smaller cave:

There will be doors and stuff. Eventually

Ahhh, enjoyable megalomaniac views

This will be (more or less) the upper, larger cave

I insist in making them playable, so they have to be accessible. It forces you to make boring decisions, but you don't want to get your hand stuck in the board!!

In my mind it all makes sense, promise

So this is more or less the basic shape of the rear part. Very crude, I know, but it serves my purposes now. I have a general idea of what I'll be doing in that center space left and about the access to the mine. But before I get there, I have to do tons of work first!

Some texture, the same method I've always used

Texture within, texture without

Of course at this point this monster is beginning to be difficult to handle (beginning, ha!). However, now it's the moment you take it to the window in the middle of the night, as the deranged madman you have become by now.


I've been using a Montana94 spray for this board. I'm afraid it died while priming this, but of course it was half full (yes, I'm an optimistic by nature) and above all, I hadn't used it in almost two years. So all in all, its performance was better than anyone could have expected.

Kind of finally taking shape!

However, there was a thing that was really bothering me. As said before, I was getting the impression that this was all way too regular. Yeah, I've seen perfectly vertical rocks and perfectly shaped caves in them. But this all looked too artificial, too square. So I was slowly making the decision to make some rougher edges and irregular shapes.

You get better ideas in the daylight

So I spent the little clay and little spray paint I had left and the board looked like this:

Crude WIP, yet visual

This is it for now! I'm planning to reshape the square caves, and I've done some experiments with stairs and stuff to make them accessible to its dwellers. But that all will have to wait for another day. The most important thing is that I've resumed production and I'm full of ideas and will! Of course real life will dictate my tempo, but for sure next installment of this won't be in two years time!



Tactical tractor

 A tiny interlude today, some kind of palette cleanser, or even mind cleanser, I would say. A quick and easy (oh, surprise) thing just for fun.

It was an opportunity project. The Suberlings had two of these:

And of course they play with no one of them

It's a tractor from a plastic ball toy capsule vending machine (if that thing has a name, I don't know it). Of course one of them had to be confiscated. It was just perfect for my backwater world ambientation.

First thing to do was to fill the gaps with mere cardboard:

Less is more

Then I started to add random stuff from here and there, to give it a kind of sci-fi vibe:

Anything works

Just add glue and throw stuff at the tractor

I didn't really wanted to give it a hard WH40K feeling. Skulls. Gothic. More skulls. Nah. More Rogue Trader, less 40K. A bland sci-fi looking would work good enough, specially considering that the tractor has a lot of curved shapes. Making a transition towards current 40K would mean a lot of absurd work. It simply wasn't worth of it. I insist. Less is more.

So let's lick some paint on it!

The primer worked way better than expected, it was my main fear, to see paint flaking all over. But it was just perfect. I painted the driver's seat first:

Once again, simple but efficient. Not good. Efficient

How would I paint it? Well, if you've seen my previous post, you might have observed I used a lot of green!

So I was on a row! Same recipe

Of course the secondary colour had to be yellow

Then it's just a matter of details

Yup, it says Iohannes Cervus there. Yes, tm, of course

I don't know if the Iohannes Cervus is taking the pun too far, but I had to do it :D

The driver was kind of an issue. I didn't have any proper seated mini, so I had to improvise:

Bits from one of my old civilians and tons of green stuff

I wasn't able to put him with his hands on the wheel or anything, the pose didn't work. So I thought of some kind of low tech weapon. I combined a crossbow with some other bits and called it a day.

My first option was a regular cap, but the hat with earflaps was too tempting to let it go

Regular industrial blue for the jumpsuit and little thing else

The guy on his seat looks like this:

Hum. Ya dammit rodents, get outta my crop field!

Added some additional wires and stuff

The purity seal is the only 40K specific bit here, I think

The final step was the rust and weathering effect. This thing has gone through a lot, so it cannot look clean and sharp!

This tractor has been in my family for generations. And generations. And generations. And...

Yeah, got it Mechanicus certified each decade or so

Look, it even has a purity seal, the machine spirit is at ease

Most trusted piece of tech this side of the galaxy

Most sexy rear view in the Eastern Fringe

I don't have a real use for it in terms of gaming, but it makes a nice piece on the board, even if it's mere scenery.

Oh, but of course. Once you have a tractor, there are some things you have to do. Have to, I say. The following pic is absolutely necessary.

Local farmer overriding the military power of the Imperium. Pictograph taken c. 994.M41


Athenian trireme in 28mm (Pt. 1, hull and basics)

Alert! Unexpected project incoming! As you can see from the title, it's something totally different from my usual stuff. I'm taking this big step and yes, I'm entering into the domain of... (breathe) Historical. Nautical. Models. That's it, I said it.


Right, it's true, this is not my first time with ships, OK. But this time it's a totally different adventure! The title was not clickbait, I'm starting an Athenian trireme in 28mm scale. Behold!

Historical. Nautical. Models. Oh, I'm so doomed

But where did I get that ship from? What company makes such a monster that size? Well, let's start from the beginning.

You may remember my pal Rinahe from El Taller de Emilque. Well, I guess you may as well not remember him, but if I tell you that he was the man who built the 28mm scale Ork Gargant, that might ring a bell ;)

So he designed and built the trireme from scratch (again!).

Yup, even using Greek letters. He really got into it

Please do check his blog, he has been building ships for the last couple of years and there is some genuinely impressive stuff there. Here is the post about the ship we are talking about today. Let me add just a couple of pics about the process, but all the credit goes to that genius.

Weirdest Space Hulk board ever

I know what you are thinking about. Yes, little sticks added one by one

The stern, in the shape of a fish tail

Please let me insist, check his blog. I think he even might be open to accept commissions. You need a ship, you only didn't know until today.

One of these (or very similar) is waiting for you!

First one in the pic is mine

I guess we'll need a basketball court to play a game with these!

So, until now you've seen Rinahe's awesome work. It's my turn now!

Let's start thinking of what will I need...

Of course we'll need tiny plastic people!

There are a lot of wooden surfaces here. I had to make some decisions about painting. As I was terrified of screwing it all just at the very beginning of the work, I made some experiments in advance. The whole deck is made of coffee stirrers and pieces of the like. So I got some coffe stirrers of my own and conducted some tests. In the pic below you can see my train of thought. On the left, brown paint directly applied on the wooden surface (different paint/water proportions). The same on the right, but having previously primed it with white spray.

NB: All the coffee stirrers were not previously used

Good thing I did that. I immediately learned that under no circumstance you should ever use priming on wood. It just acts as a sealer and paint will never really cover the surface. The thing is that I wasn't really impressed by the colour of mere paint over wood. I didn't think I was on the right pace.

A wise mind would have been patient enough to buy different wood varnishes and try some more experiments. As I of course do not have such a mind (nor the patience!), simply went wild and tried some watered Agrax Earthshade on a stirrer:

Ohhh... I somehow was convinced

Diluted Agrax it was then! Trust me, at this point I was almost ready to simply spill my coffee over the deck...

So subtle you can hardly tell the difference

Now you can see it better

Upper deck with Agrax, lower deck not yet

So I think it was working! Phew! This was kind of my main concern, how to treat the wooden decks. But the next step was as challenging as the previous one, if not a little bit more. I had to decide what colours was I going to use.

For some days all my internet searches were about ships in the Ancient Greece. Wild, I know. I think we all have this kind of image in mind when we speak of this subject (well, if you ever speak of this subject. I don't judge):

No, my ship doesn't have a detachable section

Nor she has sails. But she has plenty of oars

Well, you get an idea

The thing is that there is little or no reliable archaeological evidence about the lookings of triremes. All of the art you will find is based on loose descriptions (sometimes from centuries later) or extrapolations from other elements in the regular life of Classic Greece. As per the illustrations above, you can see artists tend to favour the use of red. But no one can tell for sure. Red was used by Roman warships many centuries later, but there is no way to support the statement that Greek (and I know I'm extremely misusing that word here, sorry!) ships were actually painted red. Of course it looks nice, it makes a beautiful contrast with the colour of the sea, it's fantastic for illustrations... but little else.

From time to time you can find bolder patterns:

I'm definitely not going to reproduce all that at 28mm

And you can even find stuff like this:

Hey, it's blue! It's camouflage on the sea!

Digression: Regarding the use of blue, there is a lot of (false) debate about if ancient Greeks (sorry again for using "Greeks" in such an inaccurate way) or other cultures perceived the colour blue the same way we do. You may have read that Homer never uses the term 'blue' or anything similar (as opposite to other colours like white, black, red, yellow... which are clearly present in the texts). The Iliad or the Odyssey speak of the sea being 'wine-dark' or contain vivid metaphores to speak about the sky, but never using 'blue'. That, alongside with the fact that Homer sometimes speaks of green honey or sheep being violet, led to some academics in the 19th century to believe that ancient Greeks were colourblind, or at least weren't able to perceive colours as we do now.

Well, long story short, no. Not really. Those theories led to tons of pseudo-scientific shit, but that's another story. Ancient cultures simply didn't develop specific words for that colour for quite some time. But there's a word for blue in Ancient Greek (c. 5th century BC), κύανος (kyanos), which romans latinised as cyanus (sounds more familiar?). Well, something similar happened with colours brown and grey, but I'm not starting a blog on languages, so I'll just stop being pedantic and will focus on painting the ship.

What I was trying to say before I lost my path is that there's no actual evidence of accurate decoration of triremes, so I could have quite a wide degree of freedom. So here you have my reasoning:

While building the ship, Rinahe asked me to think of her background. Her name, her history. Among the many options he provided me (and after some puny research of my own), I finally chose the name Agreousa, 'Huntress', as being devoted to Artemis. She would hence be an agile ship. Aggressive, swift. You know, that kind of thing.

(NB: It is true that Artemis the Huntress is usually referred as Artemis Agrotera, but I think I'll keep the Agreousa as being technically correct.)

The colours for Artemis are the ones of the woods. Vivid greens. Don't worry, I won't give you another absurd speech about the difference between γλαυκός (glaukos) and later term khloros for different hues of green. Oh, my, I'm starting again.


I was sure I didn't want to use red. It's the ubiquitous colour everybody uses for ancient ships. I found these illustrations and I thought green looked so cool:


So let's spill some green paint on the ship!

Too late to change my mind and go red

Dammit, this monster is huge
The upper grade doesn't represent a wooden surface, but leather. It was placed there to cover the rowers. But I didn't think a brown/red would work there, as it would break the whole chromatic harmony. After some brief research of colouring leather in ancient Greece and Rome, I was confident to paint it green.

Poser pic working on shades

Well, looks like something

Now that's everything that is meant to look green
Once I had the base colour and the shades, I had to properly highlight this thing

It's not easy being green

Two shades and three highlights layers later...
Now, I had to weather that leather somehow, because it simply looked the same that the wooden parts. I used the Apothecary White Contrast paint to tone it down a little bit, like those awnings that have been exposed to the sun for a long time and look worned out and desaturated.

At least that was how it appeared in my mind

BTW, finding a place for the trireme is kind of challenging
A brief word about that cardboard. Don't fear, it's not the actual base, it's just the reference for the size. We'll come to that in the future, not today.
I painted the lower deck black:

Base colour

The same highlighting thing

And there it is!
Final step of this stage: the ram.
First of all I black coated the piece (it's made of plasticard) and then painted it in regular metal. Boltgun (or whatever it's called nowadays, Leadbelcher, I think) and silver highlights

The Platypus
And then I gave it a diluted coat of the brown Contrast (Snakebite Leather, is it called?). That gives it an impression of brass. So there she is, the Agreousa:

Still fiddling with my shelves to find a proper space for her

Basic configuration of colours. Still lots of work ahead

A well known mini for scale reference. The purists of historical will sure say something

Well, I think this is enough for today! Next stages will include the decoration of the hull, the placing of anchors and oars, the base for the whole thing and the warriors fighting on her.

But I hope you will understand I need a tiny break for a few weeks. I'll be painting some different stuff before I get back to the Agreousa, but the project is now officially live!

Stay tuned!