It’s been a long, rocky road since 2006, the year the Stormhammer Brigade started (yes, it was the work of eight years). In that time I fell out of love with my boys in blue; but thanks to Removed From Play, my retired avengers of conversion found new life in the hands of Jason Collis; in the process, we managed to raise a few bucks for Child’s Play 🙂 Today, we witness the passing of the final torch: the Butcher3 limited edition set that Charles Arrasmith (aka our very own Omnus) generously donated in May to urge us to hit the $5k donated mark. He chipped in the minis, you chipped in the raffle tickets, and I … finally finished converting and painting it! Bear with me, as this is going to be a biiiiiiiig article with lots of pictures. As with all of our articles, click on the thumbnails and pictures for larger versions.
As you can see above, the Butcher and his entourage were primed in my spray booth by airbrush in preparation for this, their final step: painting!
(And yes, I know I need to change my spray booth filter 😛 )
Here we see the initial layer of Cygnar Blue Base being applied. At first I was having a lot of problems with my airbrush clogging, but thankfully Adam van Camp convinced me to add Windex to the thinning mixture to get it flowing right. I still had the occasional clogging problem, but nothing like before. By the way, see how the Khador symbol on the flag is still clearly visible despite the dremeling and polishing? Yeah, me too. Having to repair that comes back to bite me in the ass a week later 🙂
Butcher and the puppies, also with their initial blue coat. No hidden Khador symbols here!
The Cygnar Blue Highlight layer. I was able to use the airbrush to largely highlight the huge areas on the terrain piece (the thing has nearly as much surface area as a Colossal), but I’m not quite good enough to do serious highlighting on the Butcher and his dogs with it. Mainly it served to get down a base consistent layer I could improve upon later. I found it exceedingly helpful in the end, and even if you’re a noob at the airbrush like myself, putting down base layers with it can save you a ton of work in the end.
As you can see here, I’ve airbrushed on the Arcane Blue for the lightning coils. I also tried it on the dogs and Butcher, but my lack of control made it almost a mess, and I abandoned it early on.
The last of the in-progress paint shots. As you can see, I’ve sanded down and re-greenstuffed the flag. Note how it’s not primed yet? Yeah … turns out when you make a flag detachable, then have to redo it when everything else is done, then put it aside while you finish painting … well, this article was supposed to have come out last week. And it would have … if in the final photographs I hadn’t noticed the flag was missing, placed off to the side and not even primed yet. Yup, I’m a GENIUS!
On the terrain piece I put a basic layer of silver on the steel bits, Bloodstone on the crates, and Menoth Base on the rocks and such. Afterwards it was just a matter of using washes (I prefer Vallejo’s Dark and Strong tones) to add depth to the paints. During this, I discovered smudging the Strong tone wash after painting it into the corners and cracks gave the blues an excellent and well-worn look that didn’t detract from their color. So what was the result?
“Lightning” Bill Braddock and the Queen’s Hounds
“Throughout the years the Stormhammer Brigade has been operating, only one man has remained constantly engaged in combat operations: the Cygnaran warcaster William Braddock. But his patriotism blinded him to the fact that the Stryker he was following was, in actuality, a Cyrissist infiltration unit, programmed to lead an entire arm of the Cygnaran military into the Maiden’s service during the chaos of the Caspia-Sul war. After the butcher Ovash had his way with experimenting on Braddock’s brain, the once-peaceful commander took his newborn rage out on the world, infecting the psychic link of the Temple of the Inevitable Binomial Union with his unbound anger and turning loose its hellish creations upon Sul itself. Even after the Storm King revealed himself, it was far too late for Braddock to reclaim his lost mantle of virtue and turn away from the Stormhammer.
When the Cold Queen finally took possession of the army, Braddock was uncontrollable. Having already violated the Eighth Harmonic and been declared outcast from the main Church of Cyriss, Alanna decided that she needed the berserker’s fury to lead her forces. Rather than having the mad dog destroyed, the Cold Queen ordered Braddock subdued by his own troops, losing nearly a quarter of the Stormhammer Brigade’s manpower in the resultant massacre. But it was worth the sacrifice.
Months of agonizing reconstructive surgery slowly replaced Braddock’s internal organs and bones with steel and iron, leaving only the fleshy facade of what was essentially a skin-suit covering his frame. The only part of him that remains human is his brain, as the Queen wished to preserve the fury that no machine could match.
Imprisoned within his own body, the reborn Braddock now unleashes his fury on the enemies specified by the Queen’s Hounds, the pair of specifically-modified K-9000 units that have been tasked to herd the madman towards the proper targets. Working together as an interconnected whole, the enslaved Braddock and his pair of watchdogs lead the Stormhammer Brigade in wholesale slaughter that advances the Cold Queen’s plans.”
Now for up close shots of the terrain, the dogs, and of course, Butcher himself 😀
And that, my friends, marks the last Stormhammer Brigade models under my watch! Jason is, of course, free to continue with both the model conversions and the storyline (after all, it’s his army now!). I know that he’s busted them out at least once now in a charity tournament, and I hope they continue to serve him well in the years to come 🙂
So what of ol’ Tim here? Well, I’m hard at work on the second novel in my Gearteeth book series (if you enjoy my writing,werewolves, or steampunk then give the book a try!), and the Crimson Harvest is still on their shelf waiting the next addition (in fact, expect to see my Skorngoth version of Molik Karn in the next few weeks). I am also officially announcing my return to the Maiden’s embrace, with the newly-christened ‘Sunhammer Configuration’ Convergence of Cyriss army (in honor of the departed Stormhammer). Next week I’ll even have an article up featuring my contribution to our very own Doktor Grym’s Orange Crush charity army (which some lucky winner will take home again this year).
But there’s still one big surprise left for you, dear readers. One last gift in MK’s bag. And it’s a biggie.
In December, thanks to Adam van Camp, I’ll be revealing a project that will take me half a year and a lot of sweat to complete.
And you’re going to get the chance to win it 🙂