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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Maximizing Your Gaming Dollar The The Chaos Way: Ur-Ghuls

Welcome back to this abode most accursed. It is I, you maestro of Chaos! Your epitome of evil! I'm back with another edition of Corners of Chaos. As I posted previously, I have been working on several projects- it keeps me engaged in my modeling, but it also means that I finish stuff slower, since my attention continuously shifts around. However, I have finished my latest project... the Ur-Ghuls!

Now, this post is another in a series of articles in the "Maximizing Your Gaming Dollar The Chaos Way". As longtime lurkers know, I love Warhammer 40K- the game, the mythology, and the painting/modeling aspect. However, I can readily admit that GW, as a company, sometimes goes too far. Now, I don't begrudge them a profit, as many posters do. They seem to think that GW owes all players something- no. They are a company. They want to make money. When a video game company charges $60 a game- well, some are worth it and others aren't. No one seriously suggests that XBox games should be only $39.99- and if they don't drop we'll boycott. Ridiculous. GW wants profit, just like any other business.

Yes, GW wants to make money... that's why they are a business

With that in mind, I "understand" why the new rulebook will be $75. I'm not thrilled with the price tag, but, I know I'll buy it, as I love the game and am fairly certain that it will be good to shake up the rules and keep the game fresh. It is the "cost of doing business", and I understand that I'm in a hobby that does cost money. I'm willing to pay for the quality of the product.

On the other hand, there are things that I simply believe are way too overpriced. When that happens, I find a cost effective way to make my own whatever-it-is. As a Chaos player, I do conversions already; thus, I am always looking for more effective ways to make models that are otherwise too costly/not worth it. Case in point is the Ur-Ghuls. Now, these critters are part of the Court of the Archon. They are monsters or hunters if you will. They simply chase down their prey at the behest of the Archon. A Dark Eldar lord can bring up to five of these horrors with him. The model itself is nice- matching the description quite well. However.... the price! Wow! $16!! That's as much dough as the Archon model itself. Now, I don't mind paying that for a leader/ single model, but when you can have 5 of these creatures- that adds up to an astonishing $80!! That's way too much money for something that is essentially a small bodyguard. Like I said, I'd buy 1 or 2... but 5? No freakin' way!

It's a nice model, but... not worth $16.00, so let's try the Chaos Way!

So, I did what all good Chaos players know how to do. I looked for inspiration elsewhere. I had, a while ago, bought Vampire Counts Crypt Ghouls. I had initially planned to use them for my Nurgle forces. However, that project got lost in the myriad of other things I was working on, and I had left the box in my basement, forgotten. Then, of course, I found it again... I had already seen some guys on BoLS working on a similar conversion. So, why not?

The Court of the Archon
The truth is, I did nothing to them with putty or anything. They're my Ur-Ghuls, so if I want them to have two eyes, so what? They are the Crypt Ghouls right out of the box, except for the round bases. Presto. Painting-wise, I started with a coat of Incubi Darkness (one of my favorite new colors). Then, I used a wash of Drakenhof Nightshade (love the new paints, but the names will take me some time to adjust to). Once dried, I layered various blues and greys, with the results you can see. I used Etherium Blue Dry to highlight, and Praxeti White for the bones. The fingernails/teeth were Tallarn Sand. Finally, to tie them into the Court of the Archon, I painted their small loincloths with the old Scab Red and then Nuln Oil (just as I had on the Court). I also applied Nuln Oil to the joints/crevasses of the Ur-Ghuls, which quickly game them more depth.

I did the cloth the same as the other servants of the Court
 So, to recap: if I bought the finecast Ur-Ghuls, I'd spend $80 on 5. The Chaos way, using the Crypt Ghouls, I spent $24.75 for 10... $2.48. Now, I only used 5, with bits left over for future projects. If you want to say only 5, then that translates into $4.95. Still, a third of the price of one finecast model!! You can't go wrong...

Notice the Nuln Oil shading
The result is just fine, in my opinion. They look close enough to the "real" Ur-Ghul, and cost far less. Plus, they are hardly "centerpiece" models to begin with- try the Incubi or something if you want to have that effect. Why spend $16 on one Ur-Ghul when you can get 10 for just a few bucks more.

I will find out if the Court of the Archon is an effective option soon enough...
Anyways, that's all for now. I'll be back later on when I finish more stuff. I am also hoping to review both of Nolan's Batman films (to get ready for The Dark Knight Rises) and continue my Star Trek movie reviews. Until next time...

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