Truescale Titans

Way back in 1988, Games Workshop released a game called Adeptus Titanicus. It was set in GW’s Warhammer 40,000 setting (which was only a few years old at that point), but rather than being set in the ‘present day’ of the setting, it was set in a ‘historical’ period, during a civil war called the Horus Heresy. The game featured giant robots fighting each other and so as to avoid having to fully detail multiple factions the civil war story was concocted to explain why the robots on each side were all essentially the same. Initially the game included only one type of robot, the Warlord Titan. Since there weren’t any other models for these ‘warlord titans’ to be compared with, it didn’t matter very much exactly how big they were. They were definitely huge, but how huge was left fairly ambiguous. As the model range expanded to include other, smaller Titans, as well as similar war engines produced by other factions in the setting, the relative sizes of different war engines started to be established, but how large they were compared with — for example — people remained ambiguous.

GW soon expanded its new ‘Epic’ game system to include infantry and armoured vehicles, releasing rules for them in a second game, compatible with the first, called Space Marine. This forced GW to pin down a scale for the game, at least to some extent. GW loosely adopted a 6mm (1/285) scale, but honestly they were never very consistent about the scale of their models. In particular, the Titans that had started the game off often had details such as small doors and hatches that suggested that they should be much bigger relative to the infantry than the models actually were. The background and artwork also tended to depict them as bigger, although how much bigger varied. Nonetheless, although later redesigns of the titan models were slightly bigger than the originals had been, they retained broadly speaking the same (small) scale throughout the lifetime of GW’s Epic scale games as it went through various editions, before GW finally abandoned Epic nearly a decade ago.

It was towards the end of this era, in 2010, that I put together an army of Titans for Epic. Most of the models that I used in that army are the ones that were originally released for Adeptus Titanicus in 1988-89. At that point it was fairly clear that they were somewhat undersized but all of the titan models available for Epic were still this size, so that was the best any of us could do. At the time it was my intention that as well as forming an army in their own right, I could also use the models alongside the Space Marine and Imperial Guard armies that I hoped I would go on to paint.

However, before I could make a start on those armies, there were some developments that forced a re-think. Firstly, Forge World, GW’s resin-casting offshoot, started producing titan models for Warhammer 40,000. This meant that at last there was a consistent, official source on just how big these war engines were supposed to be. And they were, as everyone pretty well knew already, quite a lot bigger than their Epic models suggested.

Secondly, the golden age of what became known as ‘forumware’ began. As GW gave up producing models for Epic, hobbyists stepped up to fill the gap. Using CAD software and 3D printing technology, several members of the Epic community started producing Epic-scaled models based on GW’s W40k designs and covertly sharing them with other gamers via online forums (hence ‘forumware’). And among the models that became available at this time were new ‘true-scale’ titan models.

Exactly what constitutes ‘true scale’ in Epic has long been open to debate. The only time GW made a serious attempt at a consistent scale was when Forge World produced resin vehicles and infantry, which they scaled to 1/5 of their W40k equivalents. With W40k itself being quite sloppy and inconsistent about scale, this was a far-from-perfect solution, but it did at least provide some basis for a ‘correct’ size for titans.

I was lucky enough to get hold of some of these new models myself, but I confess I still wasn’t completely sold until I started work on my Space Marines. What really swung me was the transport aircraft. I used two Thunderhawk Gunships from Forge World in my army and they used FW’s 1:5 scaling ratio. Consequently they were huge, and my old small-scale Warhound Titans were clearly much too small next to them. My new truescale forumware Warhounds, by contrast, were appropriately large, so alongside my Space Marines I painted up a pair of truescale Warhounds, using the same colour scheme that I had used for my original AMTL army. Shortly after finishing the Marines (an army that also included a significant amount of forumware), I added a Reaver titan, one of the last things I painted before taking an unplanned break from painting for a while.

There was a snag, however. Although I had a Reaver and a pair of Warhounds, I had no truescale Warlord to go with them. There had been a significant delay between Forge World releasing their W40k Reaver and the Warlord model, and by the time the latter existed, the sculptor of my other Titans had given up producing forumware altogether. Fan-made models did appear, but I was never able to establish exactly who was producing them. I believe their creator was Australian, but that was as close as I got.

And there the story might have ended, had I not bought myself a resin 3D printer back in October last year. Finally I was no longer dependent on forumware producers to make truescale titans for me; I could print my own! I already had a set of files; all I had to do was print them.

So at last I have a full set of truescale Mars-pattern Imperial titans. It took a few months before I got around to actually painting the Warlord, but now it is done.

So first of all, here are the Warhounds:

True-scale Warhound Titans

And here’s the Reaver. The 40k model doesn’t have an option for Turbolaser Destructors as arm weapons, and consequently neither does this one. However, that is the standard weapons configuration for Reavers supporting Space Marine or Imperial Guard armies in Epic, so I used the spare TLDs that came with the Warhounds and adapted them to fit on the Reaver.

True-scale Reaver Titan

Finally, painted more than four years after the Reaver, here’s the Warlord. Again, I had to make some adjustments to get the standard weapons configuration, as the files I had only included a pair of Volcano Cannons for the arms and a pair of Laser Blasters for the carapace. A Gatling Blaster for the arm wasn’t too hard to find, but I couldn’t find any suitable TLDs, so in the end I had to make my own by re-mixing a few other files and mashing them together. I’m pretty happy with the result.

True-scale Warlord Titan

Finally, here’s a group shot of all four titans together, along with a few Space Marine units for scale:

Epic True-scale Titans

So that’s it for Imperial Titans. But now that my Imperial Titans are so much bigger than the old ones, what about my other armies? My AMTL army I intend to leave as it is, at least for now. Refreshing a few models is one thing, but I don’t particularly want to go back and re-do an entire 10,000-point army just at the moment. My Chaos titans, however, I am in the process of revising. I have managed to acquire files for Warhound, Reaver and Warlord titans in the same ‘Lucius-pattern’ style as the models I originally used for my Chaos Titans, and have set about creating new truescale models. I have added chaotic features partly by re-mixing the files and partly by more traditional conversions with modelling putty and metal parts as well as 3D prints. So far only the Ravager (Chaos Reaver) is painted; once the others are done I will post them here.

Eldar are a little trickier. I am not entirely happy with the files I have for any of the Eldar titans but I may still be able to get hold of some forumware models that I think will do very nicely. Failing that, there are some very nice digital sculpts available, so I should be able to come up with something that works.

3D printing has also allowed me to put together new armies. I already had some Imperial Guard that I was intending to paint eventually, including a mix of original GW models, old Forumware, and some proxies from Trolls Under the Bridge and Vanguard Miniatures. With my printer I’ve been able to expand this force considerably as well as replacing most of the proxies and forumware. This army is now approximately 50% painted and I expect to get more done over the next few weeks. Meanwhile I have already started printing out models for Tyranid and Tau armies. And I hope to revise and expand the small Ork army that is still waiting to be painted, in the same way as I have my IG.

The one thing that has fallen by the wayside, however, is Blood Bowl. I never did paint up any of the Elf players that I was planning. It may yet be some time before I return to 28mm painting, although I hope to do so eventually.

Blood Bowl Goblins

Another month, another Blood Bowl team. This time it’s Goblins.

Goblins are not a very effective team in Blood Bowl. In fact, according to stats from tournaments and online play, they’re the worst team in the game, and even in the 2016 edition or the CRP, the are firmly in the bottom tier of teams. This is intentional. Since at least the 3rd edition of the game, Goblin and Halfling teams were deliberately under-powered compared with the others, and in more recent years the Ogre and Snotling teams were added to this bottom tier of teams. They exist partly for comedy value, and partly to provide additional challenges for experienced coaches.

With a few exceptions, the models for this team are mostly from the hilariously-named Willy Miniatures. They’re one of many third-party teams sculpted by the talented Pedro Ramos, who also sculpted the Dwarf and Slann teams that I have posted here. Like most of his teams, they’re very characterful models, infused with a lot of fun and humour. I really enjoyed painting this team and I’m pleased with how they’ve come out. So here they are, the Grim Valley Gits:

Goblin Blood Bowl team

The most numerous players on the team are called Goblin Linemen in the 2020 edition of the game; previously they were simply Goblins. I have ten of them. That’s about the minimum number that would be needed for a Goblin team but hopefully it will suffice:

Blood Bowl Goblins

There are a variety of different positional players available to a Goblin team. All of them are limited to 0-1 per team and several are armed with illegal secret weapons. Going from left to right, they are the Bombardier, Loony, Fanatic, Pogoer, Doomdiver and Ooligan.

Blood Bowl Goblin Positionals

While most teams cannot field more than one ‘big guy’ player (some cannot take any at all), Goblin teams are able to field up to two Trolls. Trolls are unreliable players at the best of times, but their high strength does at least help to make up for the fact that the rest of the team is made up of small, weedy Goblins. According to the WFB setting, there are several different varieties of troll, and although the Blood Bowl rules do not distinguish between them, these models are clearly Stone Trolls. For some reason it seems to be common to paint Stone Trolls in bright blue, although I seem to remember seeing some back in the day that were more of a blue-grey colour. The latter seems to make much more sense for creatures whose diet that consists partly of of rocks has caused their bodies and skin to take on stone-like qualities. Accordingly I used a dark blue-grey colour for most of the Trolls’ skin, with a yellow-brown limestone-like colour for the creatures’ bellies, chins and ears.

Blood Bowl Trolls

As usual, I have a selection of sideline models for the team. Most of these are not from Willy Miniatures. The Head Coach is from Goblin Guild, but like the rest of the team it’s sculpted by Pedro Ramos. The apothecary is from Gaspez Arts. It was originally produced by Neomics Miniatures, but they don’t exist any more. I’m not sure whether Gaspez took over the company or just took on their miniature lines when they closed down. Sadly, I don’t know who the designer was. The Cheerleaders are second-edition models from Games Workshop, sculpted by Kev Adams. Finally the referee is from Willy.

Blood Bowl Goblin Staff

Finally, I have these five Star Players. These are the third-edition models from GW, sculpted by Gary Morley. Going from left to right, they are Fungus the Loon, Bomber Dribblesnot, Ripper Bolgrot, Nobbla Blackwart and Scrappa Sorehead. Bomber, Ripper and Scrappa can also play for my Orc team. I originally painted Bomber Dribblesnot and Nobbla Blackwart back in 2008, but I gave them a retouch and changed a few bits to make them more consistent with the rest of the team. Along with the four goblin models on my Orc team, this means that I actually own all of the models released for the third-edition Goblin team.

Blood Bowl Goblin Star Players

And that’s it for the Goblins. All in all this team took about three weeks to paint up. However, I’m starting to find other things to do with my evenings so the rate I paint things may well decrease from here on. Next I plan to revisit my Elven Union team. I’m fairly happy with most of them so I don’t think they’ll need much of a refresh, just painting over a few chips here and there. I’m also going to add a few Star Players to the team. After that I’m hoping to make a start on my Dark Elf team. After that I’m not sure. I still have lots of Blood Bowl teams to paint, but I’d also like to try and get some Epic stuff painted as well. I still have models for both Orc and Imperial Guard armies sitting in boxes waiting for me to paint them up. And an Epic Tyranid army would be a great project for the 3D printer that I got back in the autumn. If I can get at least a tournament-sized army painted up in time to take it to the Epic UK Grand Tournament in November, that would be a year well spent. But the Elves will come first.

Blood Bowl Orcs

I first posted photos of my Orc Blood Bowl team in April 2008. The team was already a few years old by that point. I think I originally put the team together in around 2003-2004-ish; possibly earlier. At the time I wasn’t very keen on the Orc Blood Bowl models available at the time (oddly enough, these days I’m rather more fond of them) so I set about converting my own from a Warhammer plastic regiment box. I revisited the team in 2008, painting up all the models I had built at that point and posting the results on here. I came back and added more models later that year, and again the following year. In 2020 I revisited the team again, painting the last few models that I hadn’t finished before. Last spring I re-based the team, along with all of the Blood Bowl models I had done at that point.

Because different parts of the team had been painted at different times, there was a marked difference between the quality of the painting on some of the older models compared to the new, and much of the team as a whole was looking quite shabby compared with the newer teams I had painted more recently. I considered stripping them and redoing them from scratch, or even just replacing them with newer models, but I eventually decided that wasn’t necessary, so instead I went through the team last week and touched-up the paint here and there to try and bring them all up to the same standard. They’ve brushed up fairly well. So here is the newly-refreshed version of Da Badboyz.

Orc Blood Bowl team

As ever, the core of the team are the Linemen, or in this case Lineorcs. These were all made from the regiment box, with the weapons removed from the models’ hands.

Blood Bowl Orc Linemen

Adding extra muscle to the team are these blockers. In previous editions of Blood Bowl, these were identified as Black Orc Blockers, but in the 2020 edition Black Orcs have been spun off into their own team and these are now Big ‘Un Blockers. Nonetheless, I have kept them painted with a much darker skin tone than the other Orcs to make them easily identifiable as Black Orcs. I also gave them all extra armour, particularly on the shoulders, to make them appear bulkier and further identify them as blockers rather than regular Orcs.

Blood Bowl Orc Blockers

Next up are the Blitzers. These guys got flashy squig-hair top-knots to reflect their status as blitzers. I also swapped the colours of the team’s red and brown kit so that the red would be more prominent. It’s a widespread belief amongst Orcs that the colour red makes things go faster and the Blitzers are the fastest players on the Orc team.

Blood Bowl Orc Blitzers

That’s all of the players that I converted from the boxed regiment. For the throwers I stuck with actual Blood Bowl miniatures as at that time I didn’t feel confident converting an Orc to look like he was throwing the ball. They’re both 3rd-edition era models. One is a metal model by Gary Morley, the other is the plastic thrower from the 3rd edition boxed game.

Blood Bowl Orc Throwers

This Troll was another player that was converted from a WFB model, in this case a River Troll by Michael Perry.

Blood Bowl Troll

An Orc team can include up to 4 goblins. These were among the last models that I added to the team. They’re Gary Morley’s 3rd-edition sculpts.

Blood Bowl Goblins

As ever, I have a collection of supporting staff for the team. The Head Coach is converted from a plastic Orc Warboss model. The apothecary is based on Bad Doc Dreggutz from Gorkamorka. The cheerleaders are 2nd-edition models by Kev Adams. Finally the referee is from Goblin Guild Miniatures, designed by Pedro Ramos. He’s the only non-GW model here.

Blood Bowl Orc Staff

In addition to touching up the paint job, I also added plates to the backs of several of the players. Previously, only some of the models had anywhere sensible for painting player numbers on their kit, and so had the numbers either just painted onto the backs of their jackets or squeezed onto small pieces of armour at random. By adding the armour plates, I was able to give the players numbers in a more consistent fashion.

Blood Bowl Orcs from behind

Once I’d finished touching up the existing models, I decided to add a couple of Star players, something which the team had previously been lacking. Ugroth ‘Ripper’ Bolgrot (right) is the original 2nd-edition model by Kev Adams. Varag Ghoul-Chewer (left) is the current plastic model that comes in the starter box as well as being available separately. He’s pretty huge: bigger even than the troll. This is the fourth version of this player and I suspect that any of the previous versions would be better scaled with the rest of the team. However, I was able to get this one cheaply from eBay and, size aside, it’s a really great model. As standard it includes a ghoul impaled on a spike on his left shoulder; I wasn’t keen on that but it was easy enough to leave it off and remove the extra bits of strap etc. that were left on the shoulder pad.

Varag Ghoul-Chewer is one of the signature characters of the setting, so rather than painting him to match my team, I painted him in the colours of the Gouged Eye team that he is associated with in the game’s background. I think he’s come out rather well; probably the best Orc I’ve painted for this or any other game.

Blood Bowl Orc Star Players

There are some other star players that can play for Orc teams, but although I do have models for them, I intend to paint them up as part of my goblin team instead of my Orcs, as most of them are actually Goblins (the other is a troll). Fortunately, I have just started painting up a goblin team, which hopefully will be done in a few weeks.

Blood Bowl Chaos

Back in May, I started painting a Chaos Chosen Blood Bowl team. As with the Skaven, it wasn’t long before I had enough models painted to field a playable team, but after that I slowed down a lot. In particular, I switched to focussing on the Skaven team again, although I also just slowed down a lot generally. However, once I’d finished the Skaven team, I was free to turn my attention back to the Chosen. So naturally, I put together a Nurgle team instead! However, once those were finished I did start painting the Chosen again and at last they are finally finished. So here are Blue Shift, my Chaos Chosen team:

Chaos Blood Bowl team

For the most part, these are the current GW plastic models, but there are a few extras and some conversions here and there.

The Chaos Chosen team first appeared in the third edition of Blood Bowl. There had been teams of Chaos-worshippers in previous editions but they were quite different, being corrupted, chaotic versions of human or mixed-race teams. The new Chaos team had only two player types, Beastmen and Chaos Warriors. When ‘big guy’ players were added to the game, the team gained a Minotaur. In the 2016 edition, the team was re-named ‘Chaos Chosen’ to distinguish it from the other Chaos-worshipping teams that had been added to the game (including the Chaos Pact/Renegades team, which more closely resembled the old second-edition Chaos teams). There were also tweaks to the names of the player types, although their stats remained unchanged. What had previously just been called ‘Beastmen’ became ‘Beastman runners’. Confusingly, in Blood Bowl 2020, this changed again, as the designers decided to make ‘Lineman’ a ‘keyword’. For any team that didn’t have a player that was explicitly called a lineman, the word ‘lineman’ was added to the name of the appropriate player type. In some cases this was fine: renaming ‘Goblins’ to ‘Goblin linemen’ made perfect sense, for example. But when the player was already identified as holding another position, it led to such clunky entries as ‘Dwarf Blocker Linemen’ or, as in this case, ‘Beastman Runner Linemen’. Whatever they’re called, though, Beastmen are the most numerous players on the team.

Blood Bowl Chaos Beastmen

The other main player type for the Chaos team are the Chaos Warriors. These were re-named as ‘Chaos Chosen Blockers’ in BB2016, in an attempt to move away from just being troop types from Warhammer transposed into Blood Bowl. I swapped the heads of mine with Kairic Acolytes from Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, in order to give them a more Tzeentchian look.

Chaos Chosen Blockers

In BB2020, Chaos teams can take one big guy, who can be either an Ogre, Troll or Minotaur. Of those, the Ogre seems to be generally reckoned to be the best option. However, in all editions of the game prior to 2020, the Minotaur is the only big guy available to the team, so I have one of those. This is the current Forge World model, and he’s pretty big.

Blood Bowl Chaos Minotaur

As ever, I have some sideline staff to go with the team. The head coach and apothecary are both converted from Kairic Acolytes. The cheerleaders are from Forge World. I like the models but I have to admit that I’m not sure what they’re supposed to be. Are they mutants? Some particularly human-like beast(wo)men? They most closely resemble Tieflings from Dungeons & Dragons, but those don’t feature in the Warhammer/Blood Bowl setting. Finally I have a referee. This is the only third-party model on the team: it’s from Goblin Guild miniatures, sculpted by Pedro Ramos.

Chaos Blood Bowl Staff

For this team, I have the full complement of players from the CRP edition of the game. Going left-to-right, they are Grotty, Brick Far’th, Lord Borak the Despoiler, Morg ‘N’ Thorg, Max Spleenripper, Grashnak Blackhoof, Lewdgrip Whiparm. Morg and Grashnak are the old 3rd-edition models by Gary Morley. Morg is the same model that I painted last year along with my Dwarfs; as he’s particularly associated with Chaos teams I thought I’d include him here as well for the sake of completeness. Grashnak Blackhoof I got from eBay and I strongly suspect that the model is a re-cast. There were lots of small flaws in the casting, some of which could be explained by an old, worn-out mould, but some of which don’t make much sense unless the model was re-cast. I’ve tried to clean up the model as best I could and disguise the flaws with the paint job. I don’t think I’ve done too badly. Max Spleenripper and Lewdgrip Whiparm are the old second-edition models. I’ve tried to reflect their allegiances to Khorne and Slaanesh in their colour schemes, while also featuring some amount of blue to tie them in with the rest of the team. Lord Borak is the current Forge World model. Again, I’ve mostly kept his iconic black-and-red armour, but given him blue shorts to tie him in to the team. I don’t think I’m the first person to use the thrower and goblin from the old metal Ogre team to represent the duo of Brick Far’th and Grotty. I don’t normally like models that feature other characters besides the one they represent, but since the whole point of this pair is that one of them throws the other down the pitch, I decided to make an exception. I initially though that the goblin being thrown was exactly the same as the one on foot. This particularly made sense given that these were the only two goblins sculpted for this team; there aren’t any others available in the same style. However, closer inspection revealed that there were numerous details that didn’t match up and I don’t think they were supposed to represent the same goblin. With a scalpel, file and some green stuff I was able to modify both goblins so that they’re now almost identical, but there is still one detail that doesn’t match between the two. The pair are painted in the colours that I intend to use for my Ogre team once I finally get around to painting them. It’s not a coincidence that blue features heavily, so that they also fit in with this team. Since all of these players are also available to my Nurgle team, having blue as a unifying colour across both allows me to tie them all in together.

Chaos Blood Bowl Star Players

Finally, I have some mutants. One of the key features of the Chaos team is the ready access to mutations, and while I don’t think it’s practical to try and represent every possible mutation option on the models, I did convert a few models to represent a few possibilities, using parts from Punga miniatures. I have two Chaos Warriors with claws, plus Beastmen with prehensile tail, tentacles and extra arm.

Chaos Blood Bowl Mutants

And that’s it! At 32 models (not counting Morg, Brick or Grotty), this is now my second-largest team (behind the Skaven). I don’t know how much I will actually use the team in games. I tried a couple of games with a Chaos team way back in the day and didn’t get on with them at all, but it’s possible that I’d enjoy them more these days.

Next up I’m planning to revisit my old Orc team. Some of the models were painted quite some time ago and could do with a bit of a touch-up. I also haven’t done any star players for the team, so I’ll add those in. Then, since a majority of the Orc stars are shared with the Goblin team, I might as well go on and paint up my goblins as well!

Blood Bowl Nurgle

Two years ago, I had three Blood Bowl teams: Humans, Orcs and Elves. I actually had a fourth (and still do), but I tend not to count the ‘Wicked Elf’ team from Shadowforge Miniatures. The figures are actually fairly nice but a fetish-themed Dark Elf team isn’t really one that I want to be using any more. The other three teams were all good, though. The Human and Elf teams were fully painted and the Orcs were almost done, with only a few models left to finish off.

Then, over the last two years, I started buying more. I started fairly slowly, getting just a few more teams last summer. But this year I’ve been buying lots of teams, and in November I finally got to the point where I have one of every team that featured in the CRP.

The very last team that I got around to was the Nurgle team. For some reason it was one that I hadn’t particularly been interested in getting, and if not for the sake of completing the collection I might never have done so. However, when I finally did come around to putting the team together, I found myself unexpectedly filled with enthusiasm for modelling and converting the models, and this enthusiasm carried through into wanting to get the newly-converted models painted as well. So in the space of about a month, I painted up my latest Blood Bowl team, the Suppurating Superstars!

Here’s the whole team:

Nurgle Blood Bowl team

At only 21 models including staff, stars and other extras it’s my smallest painted team so far. That’s partly because I already had most of the star players as part of my Chaos Chosen team, so there was no need to duplicate them for this team. But it was partly because there were exactly 21 spaces left in one of my Blood Bowl miniature cases, so by not getting lots of extras like mutants, extra cheerleaders, etc. I was able to avoid having to buy another case to put them in.

Mostly the models are the current plastic team from Games Workshop, but with quite a few conversions. The colour scheme is perhaps slightly unusual; blue isn’t a colour that’s traditionally associated with Nurgle. However, it contrasts well with the orange and also ties them into my other Chaos team, with whom they will share most of their star players. And with their overall appearance, I don’t think there will be any doubt or confusion as to which particular Chaos god this team is dedicated.

On a Nurgle team, the basic, lineman-equivalent players are the rotters. While most Nurgle players are quite expensive, these players are pretty cheap and honestly they’re not bad. They do have a habit of falling to pieces, but as long as they can stay in one piece they’re pretty solid. These are the only players on the team that aren’t converted in some way.


Next up are the Bloaters. They’re the Nurgle equivalent of Chaos Warriors, and they’re slow, strong and disgusting. These have all been converted in some way. I’ve swapped the hands of a couple over so that the poses would be more varied and modified some of the helmets. I also got busy with modelling putty to add some more distinctive details to a couple of them. Finally I removed the little wooden signs from the backs of the taller ones, as I wasn’t keen on them.


Then the Pestigors: Nurgle beastmen. I quite like the Pestigor model that comes with the team, but it is quite distinctive and I didn’t want to have all four models the same, even with two variant heads. I had a couple of regular beastmen left over from my Chaos Chosen team, so I decided to get a couple more from eBay and Nurgle them up. I got quite busy with the green stuff on these and I’m rather pleased with the results.


Finally the Rotspawn. I quite like the standard Forgeworld model, but felt that the two tentacles on the top of its head weren’t quite enough. I removed those and re-sculpted the top half of its head, adding an eye and incorporating a couple of antlers that I produced on my new 3D printer. To replace the removed tentacles, I sculpted six new ones and added them to its back.


Finally, I have a complement of staff and extras for the team. The head coach, cheerleader and plague doctor are from Willy Miniatures. Nurgle teams can’t hire an apothecary, but they can hire a plague doctor as an inducement, who allows them to re-roll when players attempt to regenerate injuries. The referee is a 3D-printed Nurgling to whom I added the whistle and the rag that passes for his referee’s uniform with putty. I’ve also included the Star Player Bilerot Vomitflesh. In the CRP era, Nurgle teams could hire the exact same selection of Star Players as Chaos Chosen teams. BB2016 added four Nurgle-themed players, but only one of them ever had a model, as he was a re-introduction of an old 2nd-edition player. Consequently he’s the only one that I’ve painted for this team, using the OG model from 1988. The team will also be able to use any of the stars from my Chaos Chosen team once they are done.

Nurgle staff and extras

That’s it for Nurgle, but I haven’t finished with Blood Bowl yet. I’ve also been painting up some Star Players for my Human team, and the Chaos Chosen team that I started way back in May is now very close to being finished, so hopefully I’ll have some shots of that soon.

Blood Bowl Skaven

Last year, I painted up a Dwarf Blood Bowl Team in about a month. This year I painted a Slann team. That took me a bit longer: around three months. One thing that delayed things was that before it was finished, I started work on a Skaven team. At first, it seemed like the Skaven would be finished pretty quickly. It took less than two weeks before I had a playable team of twelve models painted and ready to go. I just needed to add a few reserves and a handful of Star Players and sideline staff and I’d be all done.

Then I slowed down. One thing that held up progress with the Skaven was starting another team of Chaos Chosen in May. But I also just found that I wasn’t as motivated to paint things as frequently as I had been, and I went from spending nearly every other evening painting to only doing any once or twice a week, to only every two or three weeks. Once I had a playable Chaos team I turned my focus back to the Skaven, but progress remained slow as the months passed.

However, I never completely abandoned the project, and at last it is entirely finished! So here they are, my fully painted Skaven team, Furry Fury!

Skaven Blood Bowl team

The team mostly consists of the 3rd-edition models, sculpted by Gary Morley. While I don’t dislike the current plastic team, I do think that these older models have a bit more character to them. I have at least one of each of the fourteen sculpts that were released for the team. I have supplemented these models with various others, some from GW, some from elsewhere.

As ever, the core of the team are the Linemen (or Linerats).

Skaven Linerats

For some reason, two of the three sculpts were lacking the prominent rodent incisors that are usually found on Skaven models. I decided to correct this omission and added the missing teeth with putty.

Slightly tougher and better-armoured than the average Skaven are the Blitzers. Some editions of the rules have referred to these players as Stormvermin, who are a separate caste of black-furred Skaven within the Warhammer background. I have therefore painted them with black fur rather than the usual brown.

Skaven Blitzers

Skaven Gutter Runners are the fastest players in the game. There are two different sculpts for these players and Ideally I’d have liked to have had two of each. However, the original boxed set of these models contained two of one and one of the other, so one is considerably rarer than the other. Consequently when I was gathering this team together, I was only able to get hold of one of the rarer sculpt.

Skaven Gutter Runners

A Skaven team can take up to two Throwers, but there’s only the one model so they are both the same.

Skaven Throwers

Last but not least, the Rat Ogre. When this team was released, ‘big guys’ were only available as Star Players and consequently, although there is a Rat Ogre model to go with this team, it was designed to represent the Star Player ‘Headsplitter’. I decided to keep that model to represent Headsplitter and use a different model for the team’s regular Rat Ogre. This model is an early-90s Warhammer Rat Ogre designed by Michael Perry. I’ve converted it into a Blood Bowl player by adding a shoulder pad which I got from Meiko Miniatures. The strap that holds the shoulder pad in place I sculpted myself. I’m particularly pleased with the buckle, which at the time was one of the most challenging things I’d tried to sculpt.

Skaven Rat Ogre

That’s all the regular players. As usual, I also have miniatures to represent a variety of sideline staff. The head coach is the Grey Seer ‘Gnawdoom’, by Jes Goodwin. This was one of the first Skaven models ever released in 1986 and I believe is where Grey Seers having horns originates. It’s one of my all-time favourite Skaven miniatures and I’m really glad that I was able to find a use for him in this team.

The apothecary was sculpted by Pedro Ramos and produced by Goblin Guild Miniatures. Ramos is responsible for many of the best third-party Blood Bowl miniatures currently available, including my Dwarf and Slann teams.

The Cheerleaders are from Punga Miniatures. I’d already seen a few Skaven/ratpeople cheerleaders and not been terribly impressed. When I spotted these, I knew that I didn’t need to look any further. The referee is also from Punga.

Skaven Staff

Next up are the Star Players. I have quite a few for this team. Not only are there the five (not including Morg ‘N’ Thorg) from the CRP, but there are another three that appear in the 2016 edition. Two of those are revived from the first and second editions of the game.

Skaven Star Players

Going from left to right, first is Kreek ‘The Verminator’ Rustgouger. He’s a new addition in BB2016. GW have since released one but back in the spring when I put the team together there was no official model for him. I got this one on eBay from L72 Miniatures, sculpted by Rykar Jove. Second is Hakflem Scuttlespike, from the 90s team. Glart Smashrip Jr. I converted from the current plastic Skaven Blitzer model, with a claw taken from a set of conversion bits from Meiko Miniatures. Skitter Stab-Stab was released in 2005 and was designed by Aly Morrison. Morrison designed several Blood Bowl models around this time and many of them are far from his best work. This is one of the better ones. Strangely, despite featuring more armour than most Skaven models, it is the only one to feature a gratuitously bare arse. Glart Smashrip Sr. is the current Forge World model by Gav Norman. There’s a very fat Skaven player called Glart Smashrip in the very first edition of Blood Bowl. The name was re-used for the CRP-era star player Glart Smashrip Jr. but that player has a higher MA than would seem appropriate for the lumbering, obese rat mentioned before. In the 2016 edition GW used a similar profile for the Glart Smashrip character as before, but with reduced movement and agility and the addition of the Grab and Stand Firm skills. Although Jr. does not appear in the 2016 rules, the background mentions other players using the name, some claiming to be descended from the original player. Moving on, Fezglitch is a Warhammer Plague Censer Bearer designed by Colin Dixon. This model was originally released by Marauder Miniatures before they were re-absorbed by GW/Citadel. Headsplitter is the original model that was released alongside the 3rd-edition team. Finally Rasta Tailspike is the old 2nd-edition model by Jes Goodwin.

Finally, I have a few extra mutant players. Skaven players can occasionally pick up mutations as they advance; these were released alongside the main team to represent some of the options. There’s a Blitzer with a claw, a Thrower with a big hand, a player who might be either a Blitzer or a Linerat with extra arms and a Linerat with very long legs.

Skaven Mutants

And that’s it! I’m still not done with Blood Bowl, even if I am going much more slowly than I was. I still have that Chaos Chosen team to finish and some star players to add to my old Human, Orc and Elf teams. And I have many other teams waiting for me to start them (Nurgle are most likely to be next). But at least now the Skaven are completely finished.

Recipe: Barbecue Sauce


  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 90g chipotle paste
  • 680g passata
  • 150g brown sugar
  • 225g black treacle
  • 200ml malt vinegar
  • 2tsp mustard powder
  • 2tsp smoked paprika
  • 2tsp cayenne pepper
  1. Fry the onion and garlic in a large saucepan until lightly browned.
  2. Add the other ingredients. Simmer gently, allowing the mixture to reduce and thicken.
  3. Blend with a hand blender until smooth.

Blood Bowl Dwarfs

So, as I mentioned in my previous post, last summer I painted up a Dwarf Blood Bowl team. I started in late June and finished in late July. But although I took a quick snap of the team to share on Facebook, I didn’t get around to properly photographing them until now. But at last, here they are.

Dwarf Blood Bowl team

Most of the models are from Iron Golems, who have sadly closed down. At the time, most of their models were still available from resellers such as Comixininos, but they are becoming increasingly scarce and I’m glad I got hold of this team while I had the chance. Like many of the best third-party teams, it’s sculpted by the talented Pedro Ramos. Here and there I have added a few models from other manufacturers as well, but the Iron Golems models make up most of the team.

Normally the heart of a Blood Bowl team is the linemen. But Dwarf teams don’t have any players by that name. Instead the players that make up the numbers are the blockers, also called Longbeards in some editions of the rules. They’re slow and not very agile, but they’re also tough as old boots. The Iron Golems team includes 6 blocker models as well as a ‘team Captain’ model who appears essentially to be another Longbeard. In order to have a full roster of 16 players, I bought an extra two blockers, bringing me up to a total of nine. To make the duplicates less obvious, I was careful to paint their beards in different colours.

Dwarf Blockers

Next up we have two Trollslayers. I tried a different way of painting skin on this team from any I had used before, and while it’s not perfect, I’m overall fairly pleased with how it’s come out. It’s particularly visible on the barely-clothed slayers.


The blitzers wear rather more armour.

Dwarf Blitzers

The fastest players on a Dwarf team are the runners. They’re even as fast as the slowest players on a human team!

Dwarf Runners

Finally we have the infamous Deathroller. Strangely, and contrary to how Dwarfs are usually portrayed in fantasy settings as as upstanding and honourable (albeit greedy), Dwarfs in Blood Bowl are second only to Goblins when it comes to flagrant disregard for the rules of the game. The most notorious example of this is their habit of riding around the pitch running people over with a steamroller. Unfortunately, the Iron Golems Dwarf team doesn’t include a proper Deathroller model. There are two alternatives available, one is a large robot and the other is a slayer with a sort of battering ram/bulldozer blade contraption. Neither of these particularly appealed to me. Fortunately, a few years before sculpting this team, Pedro Ramos designed a Deathroller model for Vortice Miniatures which is very much in the same style as the rest of the team, so I ordered that one.

Dwarf Deathroller

As usual, I have a selection of sideline models for the team. The fellow with the book is supposed to be Sacred Commissioner Roze-El, the Dwarf who originally translated the sacred texts of Nuffle and introduced Blood Bowl to the World. He also works as an assistant coach. He and the cheerleaders are also from Iron Golems, but the Head Coach and Apothecary are from SP Miniaturas. They’re designed in a bit of a different style from the rest of the team, but with the appropriate paint-job they just about fit in. Finally the referee is the original 2nd-edition GW model, designed by one (or possibly both) of the Perry brothers.

Dwarf Staff

I also have five star players, corresponding to those available during the CRP era of the rules. Four of them are fairly standard renditions of Grim Ironjaw, Flint Churnblade, Boomer Eziasson and Barik Farblast. This is the only version of Flint Churnblade I’ve seen that portrays him as a slayer, although he does have the unusually low (for a Dwarf) armour value of 8, so portraying him as shirtless at least makes sense. The fifth is ‘Dara the Slayer’, a version of Zara the Slayer re-imagined as a Dwarf.

Dwarf Star Players

The sixth CRP-era star available to Dwarfs is, as with any team besides Undead, the legendary Morg ‘N’ Thorg. This model isn’t from Iron Golems; it’s the old 90s GW model by Gary Morley. This is one of the most iconic and instantly-recognisable Blood Bowl models ever made. There have been a couple of attempts to update it (and there is an older version dating back to the 2nd edition as well) but I still prefer this one. Although I painted him up as part of this team, I tried to paint him so that he would fit into any of my teams equally easily, which is why I painted his shoulder pad and shorts in plain white.

Morg 'N' Thorg

So that’s it for this team. As mentioned before next up will be Skaven. However, back in the summer last year I also painted up some additions to my Orc team and touched up the paintwork on my humans. I have a few extra Star Player models to add to both the Orcs and the Humans, so once I’ve done those I might well see about getting some new photos of both teams.

Recipe: slow-cooked pork belly with mustard mash and apple gravy

Serves 4-6.
The size of the pork joints is essentially limited by what will fit in the Dutch oven. I usually find 2 large-ish joints will just about fit. Try to get fairly thick pieces with plenty of lean meat as well as just fat.


  • 2 pork belly joints
  • 500ml cider
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 25g butter
  • 4 large red potatoes
  • 4-5 shallots, chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 300ml white wine
  • 300ml cloudy apple juice
  • a generous splash of white wine vinegar
  • a little rosemary and thyme
  • olive oil for frying
  • a little salt
  1. The evening before cooking, open the packaging on the pork, drain off any liquid and leave uncovered in the fridge overnight. This will help dry out the skin to hopefully give better crackling.
  2. At least an hour before cooking, sprinkle the surface of the pork with salt.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees. Score the skin with a scalpel or razor blade, cutting into strips roughly 1cm wide. Place on a wire rack in a large Dutch oven. Place uncovered in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour.
  4. Remove from the oven and turn the temperature down to around 150 degrees. Remove the rack and place the pork in the bottom of the Dutch oven. Add the cider; it should mostly cover the pork but leave the skin above the surface of the liquid. Put the lid on the Dutch oven and return to the oven for around another 2 hours.
  5. About half an hour before the meat finishes, peel and chop the potatoes, then boil for about 25 minutes until soft.
  6. While the potatoes are boiling, start on the gravy. Fry the shallots and garlic until softened and starting to brown.
  7. Add the vinegar and continue frying until it is absorbed or evaporated.
  8. Add the white wine, rosemary and thyme. Allow to reduce until about half of the liquid is gone.
  9. Mix the cornflour with a little of the apple juice to form a smooth paste. Add this, along with the rest of the apple juice, to the gravy. Allow to reduce.
  10. Remove the Dutch oven from the oven. Add any remaining liquid to the gravy and continue to reduce. Place the meat under a medium grill for a few minutes.
  11. Drain the potatoes and add the butter and mustard. Mash until smooth.
  12. Remove the meat from the grill and divide into portions.
  13. Serve the meat on a bed of mash, with the gravy poured over the top.

Blood Bowl Slann

Well, this is the first post I’ve made in quite a while. The last few months have been a difficult time for me. I’ve been going through some very unpleasant personal upheaval and it isn’t over yet. One of the things that have helped me to get through this time was throwing myself into a painting project.

I bought this team back in the summer last year. I think that a lot of people turned to hobby projects as a way to help themselves get through lockdown. It actually took me a while before I did so; I didn’t have my paints with me for most of the original lockdown and only got around to retrieving them and starting on some painting around mid-to-late June, once restrictions were starting to relax a little. At the time, I bought four new Blood Bowl teams, but only got around to painting the one. That was a Dwarf team, which I sadly have not yet got around to photographing properly. I hope to get some decent shots soon; another blog post will follow once I do.

The Slann are a bit of an odd team in Blood Bowl. They were officially part of the game in the second edition, although there were never any miniatures produced. They didn’t appear in the game’s third edition, and not long after that came out the Slann in Warhammer were ret-conned to be ancient, fat, sedentary creatures who would not be found doing anything so energetic as playing Blood Bowl. A Lizardman team was released in 2001, but the Slann would not reappear in Blood Bowl until 2010, when a new team was approved for inclusion in the 6th ‘Living Rulebook’. However, LRB6 was never fully approved. Although it was approved by the Blood Bowl Rules Council, the new teams, including Slann, were nixed by the higher-ups due to the fact that there was no intention to release any models for them, so while most of the content of LRB6 was eventually released as the ‘Competition Rules Pack’ (CRP), the Slann were not included. However, since the list had been approved by the BBRC, it became widely accepted within the community and was even endorsed for use by independent tournament organisers the NAF. This semi-official status continued when GW revived Blood Bowl with their 2016 edition and the NAF have released an updated list for the new 2020 ‘Second Season Edition’ of the game. There are still no official models, but several third-party manufacturers have produced ‘Frogmen’ teams of ‘Fantasy Football’ miniatures. This is by far the best such team that I have come across. It’s sculpted by Pedro Ramos, a freelance sculptor from Spain who’s responsible for many of the best third-party teams around.

The team was originally created in a crowdfunding project by ‘J-Bone Industries’. This was essentially a personal project by a fan: he wanted a Slann team and wasn’t overly keen on the ones available, so he got one sculpted and ran an Indiegogo campaign to fund it. After the initial crowdfunder finished, J-Bone sold the remaining stock to Exit 23 Games, which is where I bought the models from. The team is still available for the moment, but I understand that there are no plans to produce any more so once the current stock is gone, that’s it.

So without further ado, here are the Huatl Greenbacks:

Slann Blood Bowl team

As with any Blood Bowl team, the core of the team is the Linemen (or linefrogs). Slann linemen have essentially the same profile as human linemen, with the addition of the Slann signature skills of Leap and Very Long Legs:

Slann Linefrogs

A Slann team can have up to four Blitzers. They’re unusual for blitzers in that they aren’t actually any stronger or better at blocking than the linefrogs, but they do have the useful skills Jump Up and Diving Tackle, plus an extra point of Movement Allowance. These are also the only models that aren’t single-part, as they have separate, interchangeable heads. There’s a second sprue of extra heads available, I have used some heads from each on mine, as I wanted to have the players’ eyes visible on all of the models.

Slann Blitzers

A Slann team can also have up to four catchers. Like the blitzers, they lack the usual skills associated with their player type (no Catch or Dodge, for example), but instead have Diving Catch. However, their high agility, when coupled with the Leap and Very Long Legs skills common to the rest of the team, does make them very useful players.

Slann Catchers

Slann teams can also take a Kroxigor. This model does not resemble a Warhammer Kroxigor, but instead seems to be some sort of toad-ogre (J-Bone describes him as a ‘Big Croaker’). The model comes with an optional tail and also an optional extending tongue, either of which can be used to represent the Kroxigor’s Prehensile Tail skill. Although I like the tongue concept, and it fits better with the frog theme of the model, I didn’t like the look of it much in practice so I used the tail instead.

Big Croaker

That’s all the regular players, but the team also comes with some additional sideline models. There’s a head coach (any resemblance to Baron Greenback is entirely coincidental, I’m sure!), an apothecary, a wizard/shaman, the team’s #1 fan, and a referee. The #1 fan model doesn’t represent anything in the game (and I don’t think that the referee does in the current rules either, although some versions of the rules have included a use for a referee marker or miniature), but is still nice to have, and could maybe represent an assistant coach at a stretch.

Slann Staff

There were also five star player models to go with the team. They have been given the names (l-t-r in the image below) Buzz, Toador, Kermee, Phibius and Shank. However, they correspond to the five Star Players (besides Morg ‘N’ Thorg) that were available to Slann (and Lizardmen) teams in the CRP era of the rules: Helmut Wulf, Slibli, Lottabottl, Quetzal Leap and Hemlock. Of those five, only two are canonically Slann players (Slibli is a Saurus, Hemlock is a Skink and Helmut Wulf is a human), but here they have all been re-imagined as Frogmen. Buzz is one of my favourite models on the team; I’m really pleased with how he’s come out, especially the goggles.

Slann Star Players

Part-way through painting this team, I decided to buy GW/Forgeworld’s Zolcath the Zoat model and include him in the team. He’s a new addition to the 2016 edition of the game, and the NAF Rules for Tournaments document that includes the Semi-official Slann list also adds Slann to the list of teams that can hire him. The model isn’t quite the same style as the rest of the team, but that doesn’t matter too much. Although I’ve mostly painted him in similar colours to the rest of the team, I’ve omitted the purple and instead painted the armour plates in a more neutral brown, as he could also be used with the Amazon and Wood Elf teams that I have waiting to be painted.

Zolcath the Zoat

That’s it for this team. It’s taken me around three months to finish the team, although there have been a couple of factors that delayed them. One was that shortly after finishing the sixteen regular players, I decided that I wasn’t happy with the very quick-and-simple basing style that I was using, not only for this team, but for all of my Blood Bowl models. This necessitated going back and re-basing not only all of the models I had painted so far for this team, but all of the other Blood Bowl models I had painted, around 130 models in total.

The other thing that delayed me finishing this team was that just as I was getting close to finishing, I started painting up a Skaven team at the same time. That team is still in progress, although I do now have all of the regular players done. I hope I manage to finish it before I hit burnout and stop painting things for a while. If so, there should be a blog post on those to follow.