Crystal Labyrinth

Welcome to a one-off and slightly unusual Blood Bowl project, Crystal Labyrinth. I actually started this project when I first landed in New Zealand. With my teams still in the UK and the Wellington league under a week away I decided I’d set convert myself a new line up. With zero hobby supplies to hand I was always going to be limited on choices. After an afternoon in one of Auckland’s gaming stores I settled on the slightly abstract idea of using Tzeentch demons to proxy a team. Mulling over the rosters that evening I decided that Chaos Dwarves would be a fitting line up. And thus, Crystal Labyrinth were born. In my usual manner I take my team names from printed lore and usually named locations. As the demons don’t reside in the mortal realm place names were somewhat limited and after a little googling I discovered that Tzeentch’s home dominion is called Crystal Labyrinth. I liked the name in general and I felt it was pretty similar to the UK footy team Crystal Palace and it all tied in together nicely.

So part of the decision to use the Chorf roster was the simple positions that were clearly separated by size. The Pink and Blue Horrors were noticeably different in size to represent the Chaos Dwarves (in pink) and the Hobgoblins (in blue). Now I’m not a fan of using big guys and I decided I wouldn’t be running a Mino so that just left me with sourcing models for my all-important Bull Centaurs. I settled on a pair of Flamers in the end as they rocked the little extra size but still looked agile enough to justify their sprint and sure feet combo.

An added beauty of these models is the fact that most of the hands are bare and required no conversion to make them suitable for Blood Bowl. However I didn’t want to just plonk unconverted models on a base and call them done. So after playing around with a few different options I settled on sculpting little pairs of sports shorts onto each Horror. This was easy enough for the most part but those extra tails don’t half get in the way.

Now shorts aren’t so easy to sculpt onto something with no legs so I skipped this on the Flamers. However they weren’t totally void of conversion work. Knowing they’d inevitably become ball carriers the weird flaming mouth claw hands they came with didn’t seem appropriate. So I sliced of their fiery oral appendages and replaced them with some spare hands from the Horror sprues. Then for a little extra theme across the whole team I decided to sculpt some sports wrap/bandages on the majority of the models.

As I mentioned earlier I actually started this project when I first arrived in NZ back in Feb. So these guys have already played two full seasons here in Wellington and even managed to take me all the way through to the semi-finals. Due to the rushed nature of this project and sloppy blogging I haven’t managed to snap sufficient WIP pics of this team so I’ll just be showing off the fully finished positions.

Being the most appealing and seemingly straightforward to do I actually started with the Pink Horrors initially. But when I started these I had about seven paints to my name and pretty much only used four of them to do the bulk of the skin work on these. Since then my supply package has arrived from the UK and I had a few more options to finish them off with. I decided to go with a slightly faded colour scheme that got stronger in colour towards the end of the limbs. This went surprisingly well given my limited resources and I’m happy with the finished look.

Last but not least are the smaller of the team, the Blue Horrors. I followed much the same idea with these little guys, a faded body colour that gets stronger towards the end of the limbs. These four were a lot easier and quicker to paint and I even managed to finish them off in pretty much one sitting. However, as my second season progressed I quickly realised the need for a fifth Hobgoblin so I now have one more on my paint queue.

I finished this team with some simple basing and that’s for two reasons. Firstly, I tried maybe three or four styles but couldn’t find one I was happy with. And secondly, as per usual I ran out of time. So out came the trusty Scale 75 pigments and the grass tufts. As an additional note, the numbers are hand painted just like my Lizard team. Starting to get quite quick with that now, being able to number my teams in around 90 mins start to finish.

Overall I’ve been pretty damn pleased with this little team. Fun to convert, mostly fun to paint and they even snagged me best painted at the tourney in Auckland. And even more surprisingly they helped me bag second place (of 34) at that same tourney which is by far the best result I’ve had in any gaming event. They’ve seen me through two very fun leagues here in Wellington and have been a great team to field. However, we must make room for the new. They have now been officially shelved and added to the eBay pile. Onward with the next Blood Bowl project!

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