Illuminator on Instagram

Greetings, Imperial Citizens/Slaves to Darkness!

You may have already seen the menus change and this pop up a few days ago, but I’ve now got an Instagram account dedicated to my hobby. You can find me at @illuminator_hobby!

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Come follow, like and share!

You can, of course, still find my inspiration feed via the menu above. This features a whole bunch of posts saved to Pinterest for easy organisation. If you’re stumped for ideas, this is a good place to start.

Stay golden.

 

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Blood Moon Rising (Warhammer Fantasy/Age of Sigmar – Goblin Warband) 2017

“In the wilds of the world, the winds of evil hang heavy. It seeps into the crags and pores of the earth and infects even the lowliest creatures… and sometimes these creatures come out of their caves not quite like they were before…”


“Blood Moon Rising” is my first proper “diorama”, but is definitely not my first “warband” style force. What started off as a single painted Goblin (the Shaman) quickly turned into a full-scale display piece, complete with plinth board.

There isn’t too much preamble to this project other than: I love painting small models and in small numbers largely because I can really focus my energy into pinpoint detail and intricacy. This was also my first proper play-around with developing a scene, natural aspects included, if you don’t count my two previous Armies on Display boards.

Hopefully from these pictures you can get a sense for the vibe I was going for: dark and cheeky, like characters drawn from grotesque fairy-tales.

Chaos is a powerful force that taints all, even the meek and capricious. The people of the Old World tend to forget that… until the knives start to emerge from the shadows.

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Blood Moon Rising – A Warband of Chaos Goblins

Murderghasts (Warhammer 40,000 – Khorne Daemonkin) 2015

BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD, SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE

I’ve always been pretty Anti-Khorne. There’s nothing super exciting about generic big-bad blood god in fantasy anymore. I’ve always been much more drawn to Nurgle, Tzeentch and ESPECIALLY Slaanesh.

But with the release of Khorne Daemonkin I finally heard the braying for blood. I had to make the most Heavy-Metal model ever, I just HAD to. And so I created and painted a Chaos Lord on a motorbike, featuring a giant buzzsaw for an arm, tattered skin parchments and cracked bone armour which leaked bone-marrow as he screamed by. Metal A.F.

After finishing this character, I decided to turn some unused and neglected beastmen warriors (which I had painted up as part of a doomed Imperial Guard project sometime around 2013-2014) in to Khornate cultists, painting their bases to match the Blood God’s favourite battlefield.

Below is the playable army, featuring 2 HQ and 2 Troop choices. Sure, it’s not effective, but it exists at least!

The plan is to use these guys as part of a grand Chaos army, featuring an alliance between all my Chaotic forces. It might be a bit of a ridiculous dream though, as deciding on a unified colour scheme for the bases alone has proven difficult in itself! I’m currently stuck between bloody Martian red or alien purple. I suppose time will tell…

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The Host of Ashmodeus (Warhammer – Realm of Chaos) 2015

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It was a bit before my time, but holy Warp Entities, Realm of Chaos is by far my favourite supplement to the Warhammer world.

For those who aren’t familiar with the dark glory of 80s Warhammer (I suggest you take a look here), Realm of Chaos was a two-book supplement all about the four dark gods, the daemons and lesser gods of the Warp, their spawn and their mortal champions. They delve into ridiculously deep detail in terms of lore, on par with the later Liber Chaotica books, while also delivering a set of rules for fielding a Chaos warband. They are also chocked full of the most evocative artwork ever published by Games Workshop (from the likes of Ian Miller and John Blanche) and colour scheme examples that really do seem insane (by today’s standards at least).

Realm of Chaos is centred around the idea of mortal “Champions” rising through slaughter, gaining chaotic gifts and mutations from their patron god and potentially reaching daemonhood. As such, armies were small, personal affairs, sort of like modern-day Inq28 or Kill Team forces instead of 2,000 point armies.

Almost everything could be randomised. You could even create lesser gods and their daemonic pantheons from d1000 tables, rolling to see what animal they take the image of, what weapons they favour and what gifts they bestow upon their followers, etc. etc. It truly was a golden time for weird and whacky role-playing fun.

And since I’ve always had a bit of a crush on retro Warhammer models (there’s something so full-of-life, simple, almost naive about them that drives me crazy) and, of course, the daring colour schemes of pinks, blues, greens and stripes that accompany them. In 2015 I went on a bit of a spending spree, hunting through ebay and second-hand stores until I had enough for a small warband. And so, The Host of Ashmodeus was born, not from random tables, but from much searching.

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The Host of Ashmodeus was a practice in painting as bright as I possibly could. Even know, the army stands out among my display cabinet. It was also my first time painting from a white undercoat (Games Workshop’s Skull White which, as you know, is pretty unreliable). I ran into a few problems with chipping, but apart from that, it was a really fun experience. In the near future, I’ll put up a tutorial on making these colours and working with white in general.

It was also an excuse to work my magic writing lore for every miniature in the force. Because each model has “gifts” (mutations and weapons) that mark them out as special, I created a backstory for them, connecting their stories under the Lord Ashmodeus, a Slaaneshi prince gifted with technology from a dark future.

Da Boo-Ha-Ha Klan II (Warhammer Fantasy Battle/Age of Squigmar – Squigs) 2015

The Boo-Ha-Ha Klan are a famously good-humoured Night Goblin clan that, long ago, infested the ruins of Lugrumdumbz and the nearby mountain passages near the infamous city of Krüll. They have a propensity for practical jokes and sabotage, as well as an incredible thirst for potent Fungus Brew.

The Goblins of The Boo-Ha-Ha Clan are never happy unless they are heavily intoxicated. The clan is more often than not raiding distilleries or celebrating pointless, hilarous deaths in their dank hideout. More exotic and toxic fungi grow in their caves than almost anywhere in the North, which allows a healthy Squig population to exist. Soldiers and mercenaries should be aware that The Boo-Ha-Ha clan are highly specialized in Squigly warfare and have a large number of Fanatics among their ranks.

In fact, that is but the surface of the truth. Within the depths of Lugrumdumbz and its labyrinthine cave systems, something else calls the shots… something… bouncy.

The Squiggly King is a beast of pure, regal destruction. It rarely pops its head out from its cavern, as the Boo-Ha-Ha Goblins are keen to keep it satisfied with a constant flow of sacrifices. Better that, than have a glowing ball of angry fungus and teeth running wild through your cramped campsite.

Lesser Squiggly beasts rally to the call of the Squiggly King and it takes a truly powerful Night Goblin to corral them all into battle.


My Squig-themed army is perhaps my favourite past project and so I’m super happy to finally get around to sharing it with you all! Who doesn’t love these little balls of destruction, especially when they’re painted in bright, garish colours?

While I actually see my Squig army as seperate to my previously painted Goblin horde, they can still be played as one, of course (in case I wanted to run some unfortunate army over with a truly apocalyptic horde of green and teeth).

Most of these models are old metal ones from back in my own day, mixed in with a couple of finecast Squigs and some Forgeworld resin (you can actually read about my trip to Nottingham, where I bought these models, in my travel blog here). I decided to paint them up in crazy, fantasy fungi colours instead of traditional red and orange. Because, you know, it’s more fun that way! It actually leads to a surprisingly cohesive looking force when put all together.

I won’t say anymore, other than I hope you enjoy the madness!

My Squiggly army also took part in the 2016 Games Workshop “Armies on Parade” competition, in which they took away a shiny bronze medal! I unfortunately don’t have any better shots of the finished board, but hopefully these give you a good idea of the finished product.

The story?: Don Squixote has heard rumour of a “Heart of Power” deep within the lush woods. Hoping to find it and swallow it for its special powers, Squixote leads a bouncing, doom-bringing, rather-doomed-itself expedition into the heart of the forest… only to find the “Heart” guarded by ruinous champions.

Art Toys (2013 – 2016)

Not all of my hobby efforts have been expended upon Citadel-forged plastic. Sometimes, it pays to branch off and try something new.

Over the years, I’ve created and painted a lot of sculptures, DIY toys (like the Kidrobot Munny, etc.) and just general non-miniature pieces. I’ve also painted and drawn a lot, but that’s a story for another time. In this post, you’ll see a number of my non-miniature projects from over the past couple of years!


An untitled Munny creation, using an A-Wing model, some Warmachine pieces and a couple of Epic 40,000 miniatures.


Captain Mew-Mew, another Kidrobot DIY toy.


Menina de Baseman, a plaster sculpture I bought from a cheesy tourist spot in Seville. I painted it in honour (and in the style) of my favourite Pop-surrealist artist/icon Gary Baseman.

Da Boo-Ha-Ha Klan I (Warhammer Fantasy Battle/Age of Sigmar – Goblins) 2014 – 2015

The Boo-Ha-Ha Clan are a famously good-humoured Night Goblin clan that, long ago, infested the ruins of Lugrumdumbz and the nearby mountain passages near the infamous city of Krüll. They have a propensity for practical jokes and sabotage, as well as an incredible thirst for potent Fungus Brew.

The Goblins of The Boo-Ha-Ha Clan are never happy unless they are heavily intoxicated. The clan is more often than not raiding distilleries or celebrating pointless, hilarious deaths in their dank hideout. More exotic and toxic fungi grow in their caves than almost anywhere in the North, which allows a healthy Squig population to exist. Soldiers and mercenaries should be aware that The Boo-Ha-Ha clan are highly specialized in Squigly warfare and have a large number of Fanatics among their ranks.

Though Imperial propaganda insists that the clan is relatively harmless, more likely to sleep off hangovers in their caves than come out to fight, this could not be further from the truth. Many a traveler has been caught off guard by hordes of Squigs and tornadoes of Fanatics that suddenly burst from the caves and ruins.


The First Wave – 2014

Da Boo-Ha-Ha Klan are, perhaps, my pride-and-joy army. You know the one, that force that captured your heart and imagination. The one you keep coming back to, refusing to call finished. That’s them for me. I love these little grinning, green guys.

This army was born out of a huge collection of unpainted Night Goblins from Battle for Skull Pass and Skaven from The Island of Blood. I hadn’t painted a “horde” style force before, and thought it would be an interesting challenge. After a month or so, I’d painted more than 100 Goblins and developed repetitive strain injury. But it was worth it.

There are a number of conversions among the ranks that I’d like to note and share, in particular the “Slaya” and the Hob-Goblins made from shaved Skaven slaves (with their tales cut off as well).

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The core of Da Boo-Ha-Ha Klan’s army

X-Wing Fleets (X-Wing – Rebels and Empire) 2014

I’ve never been a huge Star Wars fan and can’t claim to have much knowledge of the expanded, but the release of the space-craft skirmish game X-Wing got me super excited for fighters and lasers.

The game itself is super fun, perhaps getting me to roll dice more than anything else. The fact that the rules could be picked up and understood in an hour or so made it perfect for bringing along to parties. Who doesn’t love Star Wars?

Of course, me being me, I couldn’t pick up these miniature kits without applying my own paintjobs, making them “my dudes”. This project was a nice break from 28mm, and allowed me to work on vehicles, which is something I almost never had in any depth before. I’ll probably still have to practice a bit before applying the same techniques to 28mm vehicles, though.

My Rebels were actually painted up as “Kessel Runners”, a band of pirates that race the Kessel Run, delivering spice and other narcotics. I honestly have no idea if any of this would make sense in the universe, so I apologize for offending, Star Wars fans. I also painted my Empire fleet in a Sith-y scheme, imagining that this is a fleet that flies around with Darth Sidious himself… or perhaps, some other Sith Lord.

I painted up both sides of the original game, along with a few expansions and “large ships”. Most of these guys are now in boxes, waiting for their next flight.

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The Kessel Runners
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Imperial Grand Authority

 

 

Old Witch of Khador (Warmachine – Khador) 2014

“Zevanna Agha has been around for hundreds of years, working from the shadows to enact her plans for Khador. With her companion Scrapjack she can overturn many a strategy and dictate the flow of battle to her every whim” Battle College

There was a brief period in time where I grew rather interested in the Privateer Press game: Warmachine.

What’s this? Me getting involved in a hardcore gaming-focused setting? Me? Impossible!

Well, you’re probably right. I didn’t really take any major strides in building a viable army or even playing a game of Warmachine, though I did give it a good whack. Even though I never played a game, I did have a lot of fun taking a step away from Warhammer and painting something with such a different aesthetic.

The Old Witch of Khador stood out to me. Running a small army of Super-Russia robots led by Baba Yaga? That’s freakin’ cool, right? Hell yeah it is!

So without any further babbling, here’s my small Khador force, themed around the Old Witch character.

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The complete Invisible Army

Die Hochlander Hexenjaeger (Mordheim – Witch Hunters) 2014

In the dark temporal forest of 2014, Games Workshop Adelaide began hosting a monthly paint club. Each month we picked a single model and everyone in the club painted it to the best of their abilities for the prize of picking the next model. It was an expensive game, but one that really pushed you learn knew techniques and learn from one another.

One of the models to be release that year was a Finecast Warrior Priest, who I painted up as a Witch Hunter, complete with burning brazier and eye-patch. This was my first time painting realistic fire (white at the base, darker to the top, rather than the other way round), and also such fine clothing details. The tartan wasn’t really the most… thematically Germanic choice, but it was a stylistic choice to represent hardened woodsmen from the realm of Hochland.

After painting the Witch Hunter, I just had to keep going. The grittiness and personality of Mordheim really entranced me. I had to make some sort of gothic fantasy fighting force of desperados and zealots, and so was born the Hochlander Hexenjäger!

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Die Hochlander Hexenjâger