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  1. As promised, the story:
  2. End of season 8 General Report (Winter 2402-3) A Letter to my most noble Lord Lucca Vescucci of Verezzo, sent from the city of Pavona, recently delivered of the threat of destruction at the hands of Razger Boulderguts’ brutes, from your loyal servant Antonio Mugello. I pray this missive finds you blessed by all the gods, and that the realm of Verezzo lies both happy and secure, untouched by the misfortune suffered by so many other Tilean principalities. It seems the brute horde has at last departed the realm of Pavona, having circumnavigated the city in a most murderous and destructive fashion, razing Montorio and Todi to the ground. This being so, and now that such communication is possible, I took the first available opportunity to dispatch unto you this missive. Duke Guidobaldo has proclaimed to his subjects a kind of victory, for although no battle was fought by his army, yet he has somehow seen off Boulderguts and Mangler’s double army of ogres. I cannot claim to know the truth, but even Razger Boulderguts must a have baulked at the thought of attacking a mightily-walled city garrisoned by a very substantial and veteran army. The duke is not short of artillery, so that the walls bristle with muzzles. And more than these, there are novel engines of war the like of which I have never seen, including a collection of monstrosities bearing rank upon rank of fireworks, a kind of explosive rocchetto. Having witnessed one demonstration it seems to me that successful employment in battle would leave the field reeking of burnt ogre-flesh. The mood in the city is not one of celebration, however, for all joy has been tempered by the first pangs of real hunger, and all relief is soured by the knowledge that the fields of both Todi and Casoli are lain waste, the livestock stolen, and the city’s storehouses almost empty. The town of Scozzese avoided destruction at the ogres’ hands, for the duke ordered the demolition of the bridge at Casoli and the winter waters were too deep and fast flowing even for Razger’s brutes to cross. Yet word has come only today that Scozzese was nevertheless threatened by a greenskin force, perhaps the ogres’ gnoblar servants, and had to pay a high price in gold and all-too precious vittles to avoid a similar fate to those Pavonan settlements north of the river. It is commonly said that the double army of brutes has moved away westwards, along the Via Aurelia, the very same road that brought them here. No-one knows if they plan to wreak further devastation in the vicinity of Remas or if they intend to return northwards, whence they came. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Beni Mobili (Goods and Chattels) “’Tain’t right,” complained Mags, catching his breath in the moment he and Brindill felt their burden lighten a little. The ground was levelling out after a long incline. “This ain’t fit work for the likes of us. This is for runts and burden beasts to do.” “There’re no runts or beasts left,” said Brindill. “They’re all gobbled up.” “I know that. Still don’t make it right.” Glancing to the side he growled under his breath. “Looks like Mangler’s boys have plenty to haul their wagons.” “That’s ‘cos they’ve got nearly all the loot, gold and grub, which buys ‘em whatever they want,” said Brindill. “They can pay more than a runt’s weight in good fleshmeat, so they’re getting’ the irongut’s share.” Then he slammed his gut plate. “We gotta eat, which means they get all the runts we catch, an' all the ones they catch.” “We’ve got loot. What’ya think we’re dragging?” “We’re dragging the loot Razger’s got left after paying Mangler. Mangler’s service don’t come cheap, and for reasons he's keeping to himself, Razger’s willing to pay.” “So why don’t Razger use this loot to buy us some burden beasts or runts?” Brindill was shaking his head. “You ‘aven’t thought it through, Mags. If we use the loot to buy ‘em, then we ain’t got any loot for ‘em to pull, see?” Mags panted through gritted teeth while he pondered the conundrum, a sound that joined in rhythmically with the creaking of the wagon wheels and the clattering of the chains. He and Brindill had been hauling the heavily laden wagon since daybreak, their only rest having been to swap places when Mags complained about his aching arm. Now they were passing Mangler’s equally burdened but much more numerous wagons, which had halted for some reason. Several companies of ogres flanked them, providing walls of muscle and steel to protect the precious convoy tucked between. Suddenly a shout came from the front of the flanking wagons. “Proud of yerselves, boys? Doing gnoblar work?” It was Gordok, one of Mangler’s bully boys. Brindil and Mags both chose not to acknowledge him, not even to look at him. This did not stop Gordok. “Fair sweating, ain’t ya, ‘spite the cold? I almost feel sorry for ya. Then I remember how much loot we’re pullin’, an’ I feel ‘appy instead!” “Just ignore him, Mags” hissed Brindil. “If you’re getting’ tired, you want me to whip you?” shouted Gordok. “Works wonders on this ‘ere pack o’ runts.” As he spoke Gordok handled his long whip, the cord so thick it could serve as an anchor cable, while the slaves he was tending made a point of not looking at him either. Some wore only the ragged remnant of clothes, but the blue and white livery of Pavona was still evident amongst them as most had been captured either at the fall of Astiano or in one of several skirmishes since. Some even retained helmets - their cruel new masters being un-interested in armour of such a diminutive size. Gordok prided himself in knowing his runts well. He had worked out, for example, how to distinguish those recently captured from those who had served him longer, simply by looking at the length of their beards, and he had learned (after a number of very bloody incidents) that if he employed all his strength then merely one lash of his whip could almost cut a runt in two. “You think we should let the likes of him threaten us?” asked Mags. “I think we should do what Razger told us to do,” said Brindil, his voice lowered. “And not cause trouble with Mangler’s boys until the time is right. Like I said, Razger’s willing to pay all they ask just now, but that don’t mean he’s gonna let Mangler keep it all. Seems to me that once we’re done fighting there‘ll be a reckoning.” “Can’t come soon enough,” said Mags. “I’m ready any time. An’ if Gordok lives through it, let’s see how he does harnessed like a burden beast.” He glanced back at the oxen pulling the wagon behind Gordok’s. “It’ll be a tight fit,” he chuckled. “But I’ll get it on him, even if it kills him.” “You'll get your chance. Seems to me that there’ll be more fighting yet, otherwise we’d have turned north by now,” observed Brindill. “An’ it’s about time Mangler’s boys got stuck in and did something to earn what they’ve got. Don’t get me wrong, I like the fighting, and there's been good feasting of both ours and the enemy’s flesh after, but Mangler’s boys have yet to show us anything worth boasting about. They’ve got the numbers right now, no doubt, but only ‘cos they’ve avoided any real scrapping.” “Just like they’ve avoided any work too,” said Mags. “They’re good for nothing.” “Once they've been properly bloodied in battle, then we'll see how good they are," said Brindill. "It’s not all bad, you know. If they’re letting us take the lead, then we can set the pace.” “Aye, and save our strength for when Razger finally tells us to show them who’s boss.” ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… This report, consisting of Mugello's letter (and the illustrating stories) will be continued in the forums I post the full story in. If there are more Ogre bits (like the battle I think will happen soon) I will try to remember to post here.
  3. The flock scattering technique to hide bases is something I wish I'd discovered 10 years ago. It adds quite some time to the whole process, but compared to modelling and painting figures specifically for the story it is as nought. I can't not do it now, especially as I paint black edges to all my bases. (Yes, I know that's silly, but I'm nothing if not mortal, and thus silly, like the rest of you.)
  4. Yeah, I worked that out when I saw that the Ph-Buck ones wouldn't enlarge. That last one was uploaded straight to here. BTW, my table is still set up while I slowly write (bit by bit) so I can take another pic if necessary. This meant I could take this pic to show you how the hills were done. The precariously balanced blue-card sky has gone.
  5. Hills clearer here. Didn't know I could directly upload pictures onto the forum. Thought Photobucket was the only way.
  6. I stuffed things under the cloth on my wargames table and put blue cardboard behind. It's what I usually do. When the story (part of my ongoing campaign) is complete (lots more pictures) I'll put it somewhere in this forum - wherever such 8th ed campaign fluff should go.
  7. Fleshmeat The gnoblars emerged from the trees, scuttling over the rocks in their usual higgledy piggledy manner. Habbdok did not bother to count them as he could see there were still plenty left for his purposes, which was all that mattered to him. Most men who saw his servants laughed. One captain in the Princes described them as ‘comical’. Knowing them - their nastiness, their unpleasant goblin stench, their foul ways (and it takes considerable talent to seem foul to an ogre) Habbdok could not see what the man had meant. Annoying, yes. Too small and skinny for both their arms and armour, yes. Funny, no, not in the slightest. As they clattered to a halt, Habbdok squinted, flicking his eyes from one to another in search of any he could expect to get some sense from. The closest to him was so out of breath he did not look as if he could speak if he tried. All his own fault, of course, for he had a triple-layered helm tilting to one side on his head and an ill-fitting iron breastplate, all made heavier by several, dangling lengths of chain with no apparent purpose. His cheeks were puffed, and he all but dragged a battered and most likely blunted iron axe with both hands, his back and legs bent from the strain. There was a clutch of four gnoblars off to one side, even more misshapen and bent than the puffing one, but they simply stared at him as if they were expecting him to speak. Habbdok could feel the usual surge of furious impatience already building, his head throbbing beneath his skull plate, as he wondered yet again at their stupidity. They were here to report to him, yet they seemed to expect him to report to them! Still they stared. Just as he was tempted to stick the razor-sharp tip of his hunting bolt through the panting pie-hole of the foremost gnoblar, he caught sight of a little runt with ridiculously over-large horns adorning his noddle-pot, and not a single tooth to line his raggedy maw. That was one he recognised, and one who had proved capable of something approaching intelligence in the past. ‘Horny’ was the name Habbdok had given him before. Indeed, the gnoblar took the cue, and pointed towards the forest canopy. ““Mighty Hunter, lord of gristle and bone, we’s been over there an’ all ‘round an’ back agin,” he said. “Very nice,” snarled Habbdok. “Stretching your legs and ‘aving a breath of fresh, eh?” Horny grinned to reveal swollen, bloody red gums. “An’ looking, o’course. A lot o’ looking.” “So here’s a thought for you,” said Habbdok. “Why not tell me what you saw before I get so angry you’ll never have a chance to tell again? D’you see the … the denizens, or not?” The gnoblar’s grin changed to a rather more fixed affair, almost imperceptibly. Habbdok certainly noticed no difference, having never been of a mind to look for such subtleties in runts like this. “No denizens. Nuffink. If they’s there, then they’s slippery an’ sneaky, leavin’ not so much as a bent leaf behind.” Habbdok pondered this. If there was no-one there, then why was the army going the long way around? Mangler had changed his mind, never saying why. But it had been obvious he had first planned to go through the forest, which is why his change of plans had been noticed. Most of the lads seemed to think it was because what little they might find in the forest would not make up for the effort of finding it. One or two had suggested, though never within earshot of Mangler or any of his lieutenants, that Mangler was afraid of the trees and what they contained, conjuring thoughts of bark-skinned, monstrous demons and invisible foes planting arrows in your eyes, just like in the old stories of the forest. Habbdok had given this latter suggestion little credence, yet still wondered why they couldn’t go a little deeper, if only to find some bigger cuts of fleshmeat for the supper pots, or maybe some flesh of the sweetest kind. And if the trees were thinning, as they seemed indeed to be, surely it would save time to go along a forest path which went the right direction than continue this circumambulation? Then again, there could be so many other reasons for their route, including the quite likely possibility that Mangler simply intended to enjoy some good looting ‘off to the side’ as they made their way. Having a destination in mind was one thing, but there were many reasons to take one’s time getting there. None of the lads were complaining about taking the easy route: the rootless route; the flat ease of the old road instead of the tangled briars of the ancient forest. Just a pity that the wild animals Habbdok would dearly love to hunt were so unlikely to favour the same route, nor were the Sylvan folk the sort to traverse such an open road. He had never tasted their flesh, but he had heard more than one report that it was a delicacy beyond compare. While Habbdok the Hunter did his thinking, two of the gnoblars were sharing their own thoughts. “He’ll ‘ave us running back in any moment,” said Frokit Anglegrinch, both hands clutching the shaft of his bill-hook as if he might fall without it. “Look at ‘em. Everyone else gets to walk .. I’d go so far as to say amble … while we has to scamper never-ending hither and thither through a tangle of thorns.” His companion, Pooshin Cotchwallop, twisted his frowning mouth to ever lower depths, his chin thrusting more prominently between the sagging lips. If one took into account his protruding eyes and his potato nose, the sum of the parts made for one ugly whole, neatly framed by his chainmail hood. Mind you, Frokit was no looker either. Pooshin looked beyond the Ogre hunter at the marching column on the road. “Some ain’t even doing that, Frokit,” he said, watching the huge, grey beast carrying the scraplauncher and its numerous gnoblar crew, “but sit all comfy-like as their beast does the work beneath their idle arses.” “I hope they get splinters in their backsides,” Frokit spat through his teeth, “and that all the jolting gives their joints the jip.” Habbdok had at last come to a decision, so, clearing his throat loudly enough to make the beast of burden behind him grunt … … he gave his orders: “You’re all going back in, and this time you’ll look properly, or I’ll have your eyes in a bowl for a tasty treat while supper roasts. Everyone knows what lives in these woods, and if you can’t find them you’re not looking hard enough. Do something naughty and get their attention. I know you’re good at running away. See if you can’t get someone to chase you. And if you can’t net them, bring them my way and I’ll stick a stick through ‘em.” Behind him the column continued its journey, Mangler the Merciless’s Mercenaries, flags a-fluttering overhead while their iron shod boots ground the road to dust.
  8. I went with the idea that they were a form of zombie ogre that counted as crypt horrors rather than trying to make them look the same sort of shape. If you want the latter, then use the actual models. (I also have to admit I wanted something cheaper and more personal for my undead army.) See http://www.ogrestronghold.com/forum/index.php?topic=28319.msg370731#msg370731
  9. I have never done a tutorial but that is mainly because the way I paint is so simple: First, use enamels (yes, I am mad. I never stopped from the 1970s onwards). Second, undercoat black. Third, paint cells. Fourth, add highlights of slightly lighter shades. Fifth, correct any stray paint that has got into the lack lines I left when painting the cells. It is simple, yet can take ages. Also there are very few fancy techniques I can use. Inks won't work on enamels. I can thin with thinners and wash over, but that can go badly wrong, and usually only works on things like undead that are meant to look ugly. If I do try that, I have to wait a good few days until the figures are very dry. Drybrushing is the only 'fancy' technique that can work, and it's not that fancy. I suppose over the years I have learned to be bold with my cell shading. It looks better on battle report photos as bold painting means every figure can be clearly made out. I myself was more than a bit surprised that my cell shading worked (if you like that sort of thing in the first place) on big figures like ogres. Currently I am working on skeletons, and want to mix them in with an army painted as above (yes, every single bone was carefully painted - my hand really hurts after a while, and the enamels destroy brushes at a rate). But the new figures I have very, very carefully removed moulding lines, undercoated white, then washed yellowy-brown, then washed almost black. They look awful at this stage. Now I am cell shading the bones on in my old bold style, and hoping that the end result is a little bit more subtle than just black and white.
  10. Here are some completed (though unbased) undead ogres I have just made for my current warhammer story-campaign set in Tilea (see http://warhammer-empire.com/theforum/index.php?topic=46787.0). I am the GM and provide all the non-player armies and mercenaries. The background is that an NPC Tilean lord (Lord Adolfo of Viadaza), who has some orcen blood in his veins, becomes a vampire and not only raises the dead – having cunningly got rid of the Morrite clergy to allow this to happen much easier – but also zombifies his current army, mainly marines and ogres. Due to his own corrupted blood he himself will be a ‘counts as’ Strigoi. I wanted the ogres to count as Crypt Horrors, as if the vampire lord allowed his brutish warehouse guards and pit fighting thugs to drink a tiny portion of his blood and so created his own version of these monstrous undead. This way they would become something like Crypt horrors rather than merely oversized zombies, and also could maybe, in the future, reinforce my own ogre army (as if they were some weird Ogre cult or clan allied to the army). Also when the vampire player in my campaign asked to borrow some ogres to bulk up his Crypt Horrors regiment, as he often does, I could lend him some ogres that kind of fit in with his blue skinned horrors, which would make for better pictures. Here is the unit as a whole: Here is an ex-pit fighter (a chain attached to his skull – I reckon that might work with an ogre), who carries in his left hand a torn up gravestone as a weapon. (The latter idea I got from reading the crypt horrors fluff in the most recent VC army book.) The next must surely have a headache, which cannot exactly make him the most agreeable sort of fellow. His right weapon is a flail made of skulls from my bits box. (I seem to have already cropped one skull off for some other project!) The next one has some fun weapons – a beast’s jawbone and a big stick with a skeleton skewered on it. This guy is my favourite. I tried something I have never done before – I made a flail for him with real chains, attaching two skulls and a more meaty severed head. The chains swing about as you move the figure. Cool. This fellow has an ogre weapon and a weapon which I think is from an orc figure, but is a wonderfully vicious looking thing that seems just right for such a creature. The last is also inspired by the fluff from the VC army book, where it said that crypt horrors might use graveyard railings as weapons. This is a very tall railing, admittedly, and has been prettified up with some lovely skulls. This would count as a standard bearer in an Ogre army unit. Several have decorative bones piercing their skins, an idea lifted from the official crypt horror models. I have tried to make these look more like vampire/ghoul ogres than rotting, zombie ogres.
  11. I made a platform for my gnoblar so that it at least looks like he can get to the muzzle.
  12. You could build an ironblaster using a toy rhino, balsa, greenstuff and some bits like I did: http://www.ogrestronghold.com/forum/index.php?topic=23908.0 Or a bit like my Scrappie: Or maybe you could buy a historical machine as a substitute for the beast, something like the steam ebngine I used for my Warp Lightning Cannon:
  13. Or : http://www.ogrestronghold.com/forum/index.php?topic=23908.0
  14. Everyone says that. If you glanced at my old posts you'd know that to be true. It's basically 'cos that's how I painted way, way back and I just stuck with it. Makes for good battle report pictures, the figures really stand out from a distance.