AoS28 Steelheart’s Champions

img_1229My lone hobby project for December was to finally finish Steelheart’s Champions, which I’ve been working on for about 6 months. And when I say working on, I mean leaving them on a shelf for months at a time, then doing a couple of hours work, and then shamefully rushing to a finish in the last week of December. These were started as part of the AoS28 mentorship programme over on their Facebook group, which was supposed to only take ten weeks, but thanks to my procrastination dragged out to a point where I suspect both my mentor and I had got very bored of them. I love the idea of AoS28 (and Inq28), but because no one in my area plays it I found it very hard to prioritise any of my somewhat limited hobby energy towards it. Added to that, I’ve not played Shadespire in a good long while now, so it was hard to find the motivation to finish them.

But, after a mammoth 15-hour painting session yesterday, finish them I did. Finally.

So on to the WIPs. I went into the challenge not knowing what I wanted to do, so I had a dig through my meagre bits box (of mostly 40k parts) and pulled out Steelheart’s Champions and a shamefully abandoned Leman Russ (the hairy fella, not the tank), and those bits formed the basis of my conversions. Normally my conversions are merely functional (when I feel they are required at all), and I tend to shy away from complicated kit bashes and greenstuffing, but that’s what AoS28 is all about, so I had to up my game in this instance.

Obryn was the first model I tackled as I had the best idea of the direction I wanted to go with him. After gluing on all the wolfy bits I still had quite a lot of gaps that needed to be filled, so I reluctantly dug out the green stuff, did a couple of practice fur patches on some spare plasticard and got stuck in, and thankfully they turned out alright. The fur on the FW resin bits is much finer than plastic fur, and I couldn’t quite get it as detailed, but it’s close enough to not be too noticeable. The other bits that aren’t from Russ are an Orlock head, a random horn from my bits box, and part of a Skitarii shock maul for the axe haft.


Angharad was next, and it took a few different combos of heads and weapons until I found something I liked. I was worried the Escher whip looked too sci-fi but I eventually came around to the idea. That flagellant head is also pretty recognisable, but I think the hair does enough to make it different. The story that we came up for it was that her helmet had been smashed somewhere along the way (the remnants now hanging from her belt), and she’d fashioned a new one from things she’d found in the ruins of Shadespire. Although looking at it now, it does look a bit like Varclav’s mask, so maybe she claimed it as a trophy from some ghost she busted.


I tackled Steelheart last because I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do to him other than give him a new head. I wanted to get rid of the helmet under his arm because it’s such a central part of the original model, but I was terrified of chopping up his arm, and I didn’t know what I wanted to do in place of it. I settled with keys which, like the tome on his belt, I imagine as being some of the relics he’s picked up in the Mirrored City. I think his fingers ended up a little chubby and the angle of the keys isn’t quite right, but it was my first try sculpting a gauntlet so it is what it is. I couldn’t find a sword big enough to swap with his one, so I just hacked all the Stormcast bits off and gave it a different crossbar/ bladebreaker/ skull thing and hoped it’d look different enough after painting. Then I grew out his hair with green stuff. I was going to give him a back banner, but I couldn’t think of what I’d paint on it, and he maybe has enough extra height with the step that he’s on.


On all of them I took a scalpel to their armour and gouged in some dents and rends, and then muddied up their bases with some skulls and various texturing materials.

Overall though, the mentorship program was very rewarding, despite my terrible participation, and I’d encourage anyone who’s interested in creating some darker themed AoS models to hop over to the Facebook group and join in. I believe there’ll be a new one running in the new year. I was challenged to create some conversions that I would never have had the ambition to try on my own, and I learned some very useful hobby skills.

Next up from me will be a 2018 hobby roundup, which should be up before the new year, so keep your eyes open for that.


12 thoughts on “AoS28 Steelheart’s Champions

  1. They may have been a little delayed, but they turned out beautifully, excellent work!

    I think the mentorship program was a wonderful idea, I can’t wait to see what else develops in the AoS28 community through it in the coming year.

    I considered signing up as a mentor, when I found out about it, but I didn’t know what I was going to be like for free-time to dedicate to it and didn’t want to string any potential mentee along.

    How did you find the actual program worked from the inside, did you have guidelines to follow for the intended 10 weeks?


    1. Thanks!

      I also considered signing up as a mentor at first, but I decided to go in as a mentee so I could get a better feel of the AoS ‘vibe’. I may well sign up as a mentor in the new year, as apparently they have a lot more mentee applicants than mentors.

      The program itself has a very loose framework. I think it’s a generic module that Facebook offers to all groups – it basically just creates a two-person group that you can post in and share media. It sets seven steps (Get To Know Each Other, Assess Your Skill, etc.) for each week, but you’re not required to stick to that timeline. You can go faster or slower if you want.

      The admins try to match a mentor with particular advertised skills with a mentee looking to improve those skills (painting, converting, story telling, etc.) but they don’t expect the mentors to create any hobby projects of their own, although it can be helpful for mentors to provide step by step guides and so on.

      You’re also encouraged to set expectations and time commitments at the start, so if you’re worried about not having a lot of time, you can make it clear just how much you can offer at the start. The mentor is really just there to guide the mentee and offer advise on their particular skills, so it’s not too intensive (unless you want it to be of course).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. These are stunning Ross! Well done mate. Fantastic job with the green stuff as well. You blended them perfectly.

    I’ve been lurking around your blog since you gentlemen started posting work on the Aaronorium and these models are pushing your Sylvaneth models as my favorite so far.

    Out of curiosity, would you be interested in some commission work for a new board game coming out next year (Oct ’19)? We have some pretty big names attached to the project on the art side and would love to include your painting talents on the physical models.

    The game is a mammoth legacy rpg/dungeon crawler set in a low-fantasy world with a novel-sized choose-your-own-adventure story driving the game play.

    We have most of the artwork completed, several models sculpted and a fully functional demo you can try on TableTopia if you’d like to see everything before deciding. There’s no rush since we’re just under a year away from launch and we could work to your schedule.

    If it’s something you might consider, just let me know.

    Cheers and Happy Holidays to you and yours!


    1. Many thanks for the compliments, Toby! I’m glad you like my stuff.

      Unfortunately, I don’t do commission work any more. I’ve done some in the past, but for various reasons, it’s not for me.

      Your game sounds amazing though. I’m a huge fan of Gloomhaven and the Warhammer Quests, so I’ll be keeping a close eye on it, and I sincerely hope that you find someone that can do you minis justice.

      Apologies, and Happy Holidays to you too.


      1. Now worries at all mate! I completely understand. I stopped taking on commission work myself and only work on personal projects now (3d sculpting).

        The game is actually a bit of Gloomhaven, Kingdom Death Monster and Tainted Grail all rolled into one with huge 100mm base monster fights.

        If you’re interested in a play test sometime, just let me know. We love sharing the game with people and welcome any kind of feedback



      2. Fantastic! Just let me know whenever your group would like to play. Any time works for us. It’s designed for 1-4 players, but we can easily accommodate more if your gaming group is 5 or 6 people. Are you able to see my email address through these posts? If not, just let me know and I’ll get you my contact info. Looking forward to showing you the game!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Just terrific. I think the re-purposed Flagellant torture-mask came out great, and your metal colors on the female’s armor and subtle and interesting. Looking forward to seeing more -!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much! Yeah that flagellant head is still one of the best out there, but it’s quite recognisable so I like to try to modify it when I use it.


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