Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Hobby Corner: Lord Odor Gobonaga



Lord Odor Gobonaga. And Nosepicker.

Greetings vaqueros! Today we'll be looking at this Bob Olley samurai goblin I have painted for use in fantasy skirmish games.
Dragon Rampant is a small scale skirmish game from Osprey Publishing that most of you, dear readers, would likely be aware of by now. In fact, you could say that I am more than a bit late to that particular party, but you won't, because you are unfailingly polite, and also because, being in Australia, I am living in the future and that gives me powers.

'The Wizards of Aus' is absolutely a documentary and don't you forget it.
For a long while I have been planning to put together a force for this game, and the potential for an international gaming meet here in sunburnt Sydney sometime mid next year has really spurred me on. However, up until very recently, I was planning a very ordinary, very boring force of noble samurai warriors to counter the dastardly power of the Shonen Knives. Then something happened that changed everything forever. Valiant Enterprises began their big Clan Wars close-out sale.

This red carpet is about to get redder.
What is the big deal with that, you may be asking? Well Imaginary Question Guy, let me ask YOU a question. What if I was to tell you that there was a miniature range that brought together some of the greatest sculpting talents ever seen on this planet Earth, people like Tom Meier, Bob Olley, Sandra Garrity, Tim Prow, Chaz Elliott, Julie Guthrie, Dave Summers (to name just a FEW), with minis  that depicted the heroic and elite warriors of a fantastical feudal Japan that was crawling  with demons, dragons, undead monstrosities, goblins, ratmen, snakemen and ogres, all supported by a comprehensive gaming system with oodles of supplementary materials to flesh out your forces and their stories in a constantly expanding and growing game world based on a well established role-play system? Would your response, the wargaming public, be a gigantic, collective 'MEH'? Well, basically, that's exactly what the response was. 

Yeah cop that in your five rings mate.

There are a number of reasons why Clan Wars wasn't a hit, that I can't be bothered going into here (though a clunky set of rules in the initial release and art direction inspired by pastels, all pastels, certainly didn't help), but the miniatures have lingered on, both on eBay, and in the catalogue of Valiant Enterprises, who have had a limited selection of minis available since 2010, which apparently noone has been buying as they are now discontinuing them. I personally blew two paychecks worth of disposable income on the close-out sale, which is why i'm now the proud owner of a small horde of these Olley samurai goblins (and many demons, dragons and zombified samurai) which may now never be available outside the realm of eBay and it's ilk.

This is, in my mind, a terrible shame, because some of these sculpts are truly wonderful, as I aim to prove to you with my own efforts (and to try and justify the expense to my wife). Just take a look at this Olley sculpt. It's brilliant.

Also, take a look at the shiitake mushrooms I sculpted.
The detail on Clan Wars models are almost universally good. The sculptors would have to have studied the intricacies of samurai armour in-depth to produce this work, and I guarantee you that after painting just one of that range, you will have a solid idea on how to assemble and wear a suit yourself, a theory you should definitely test the next time you visit a museum. 

The back space is left intentionally blank for the future installment of a tiny little die.

Painting this bad boy was a joy, like most Olley sculpts when you get your brushes on them. His style has always been very different to the generally acknowledged master of all greenskins, Kev Adams, yet he still captures an amazing amount of mischief and movement in a style that is both artistic and humorous. Just wait till you see the piggy-back goblin samurai raiders. They are a crack-up!

The scheme i've chosen is a bit unusual for an 'evil' army, but I wanted a style that was visually very different from the blue and red of my good samurai army, and the green and purple of cheetor's samurai anti-heroes, so ochre, greys and browns seemed a good compromise and compliment the bright green gobbo-skin nicely. And is very easy to paint. The dark blue works as a nice contrast, and the blue skull symbol is the kind of simple, fun device that I won't go mad reproducing on a number of models. Probably. 

I'm particularly pleased with the grey wolf-pelt scrap nailed to the back of his helmet there. It's just really satisfying to look at for some reason. Just look at it with me for a moment. Keep looking. Don't stop. Hey. More.


The banner itself is an experiment, using paper towel soaked in brush-on superglue to make a nice, thin yet tough surface to paint on. The idea came from legendary sculptor Nick Bibby, who used the technique on one of his latest bronze works, the Firedrake Dragon. He used the paper to make the wing membranes, and it certainly made for an interestingly textured banner. The method could use a little refining, but for a goblin lord it's a pretty decent flag. He probably doesn't let more than one or a dozen of his underlings wipe their asses on it.

And what's next? Well, from one big green boss to another, here is my attempt to recreate the front cover of the 2nd edition 40k Ork codex.


Adios for now!






20 comments:

  1. I have too many unpainted fantasy saumrai types already!!! Dont you make me regret showing some self control when that sale started!

    Thats a gorgeous paint job and a really brilliant model. Great work.

    I am delighted to see you taking the little wound counter dice thing seriously. Fun should be standardised, as you know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I picked out 7mm die in a fetching yellow to match my forces. I am still contemplating whether to get blue ones as well as per your system but I don't think this force will have any models with more than 6 wounds...

      Delete
  2. I'm really disappointed by the single picture of the unpainted banner. It's magnificence deserved a blog post all its own ;)

    Excellent work, as usual!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Andy, the banner was a last minute addition that I really can't imagine not including now - the figure is one of three models that make up the leadership element of my force but he is the actual leader and needed something more than a cheeky snotling to make him stand out...

      Delete
  3. This guy is rocking the casbah from Nippon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks mec, he is the first of a pile of real gems, I'm excited!

      Delete
  4. While the painting itself is magnificent and the blog post entertaining I find myself disappointed by the lack of edible terrain which is currently all the rage on top quality blogs ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Edible terrain is a fad, like compact discs and fossil fuels. It's time will come!!

      Delete
  5. huh?...I've never heard of this range of minis....they do look superb! of course the exquisite painting certainly helps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bluey, I remember seeing Clan Wars on the shelf of my local gaming store and I even picked up a blister or two for role play use but the range was pricey and I had no samurai related designs back then...

      Delete
  6. Brilliant figure, brilliantly painted. I missed the opportunity a few days ago to say that the banner needed a design on it (which you have indeed done). The green skin glows, but ironically, I really like that puckered pink lower lip...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always paint the lower lip of greenskins a pinkish colour now - the solid green block of skin needs a bit of relief. I'm going to try adding some subtle colour to the inner ears of some of the more prominently endowed greenies in the future, see how that grabs me :D

      Delete
  7. I too had never heard of this range of minis, must be due to me trying my hardest not to look for more lead? Lovely banner work Capt! And a fun post too, but I'm mightily disappointed by the lack of "link land mines", what give man? :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I seriously seem to have lost my juvenile joke mojo this time round. It must be the super serious subject matter of green men wearing ornate armour. I'll do better next time!!

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. Cheers :D It's easy to make models like this one look good, it's all in the lead!

      Delete
  9. Awesome Sauce dear Captain. As ever it's a pleasure to read your ramblings but that little gobbo is a pure belter. Get the rest of the fuckas painted so we can witness the full glory of your oriental greenies!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm starting small on this project so I don't run out of puff. In fact the next batch may in fact be snotlings. That's how small.

      Delete
  10. I love Olley greenskins in their wonderful gnarly splendour and you have painted this one wonderfully. Thanks for the link to Valiant Enterprises. A lot of the figures are just beautiful. And they sell a ROGUE PIRATE NINJA. 'Nuff said.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Gnarly' is the perfect term for them. Bob's work is seldom smooth, but his textures are extra-dimensional...

      Delete