From Ember to Inferno 2 - Month 5 - Chris Tomlin

The Sunleth Annihilation - Month Five

“I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things”

So here we are, at the end of the second series of From Ember to Inferno!

Firstly I want to say a huge thank you to anyone who’s been following our progress over the last five months. If you’ve hit Like or Retweeted anything, that’s great and if you’ve read any of these blog posts that’s amazing. Whilst it’s nice to do these things for ourselves, the social interaction and engagement is definitely a driving force - especially this time around. 

Unfortunately this second instalment hasn’t been quite as plain sailing as the first. Even without the worldwide pandemic halting campaign gameplay, it still hasn’t been the same. Sometimes it’s hard to recreate something so good, that difficult second album as it were. Perhaps the four of us weren’t quite on the same page as much as we thought, or indeed as much as you need to be to make something like this work. 

All this aside, I do think we have showcased a nice selection of armies and I’m just going to spend a minute going over them. It may be that the struggles more accurately represent what other gamers go through as opposed to the perfection (in terms of success) I strive for in these tales. 

I am very proud of my army. When I did the first 1,000 point Beastclaw Raider list back in 2018, I knew I would have to expand on the army at some point as the concept/theme really spoke to me and was so fun to do. Realising this over FETI2 has been so much fun and I still have more to add. Whilst it’s by no means my best painted army technically, it’s definitely one of the most fun and standout. Who knows if it’ll ever make it to a tournament now, but perhaps you’ll get to see it one day. 

We then have Paul’s army which is a testament to what can be achieved with contrast. He set out his goals at the start and has stuck to his guns fulfilling them. It’s been fun seeing his display board come together as well. 

Aaron’s struggles have been well documented by himself in his monthly blog posts (which he has been striving to catch up on). These are valuable reads for anyone who has had issues when painting an army, to deadlines or otherwise. It has to be said that what he has painted is pretty outstanding. Those Chaos Warriors are stunning, right up there with Oscar Lars’ as the best I’ve seen. His choice of colours are so crisp and his freehand is frankly brilliant - a skill we see less and less nowadays. I really hope we get to see it all finished, will be a truly awesome army. 

Then finally we have Matt’s Bonereapers, The Shikami Devils, which are undeniably the standout army of FETI2. Like myself with the Ogors, Matt has stated he would’ve done this army regardless as he had such passion for the army and his vision of them. I’m such a fan of the Japanese influences and colour scheme. The way he has kept the palette tight has really benefitted the overall look of the army, just look how he has used that blue across them - I’d use my fav Christian Bale gif here if I could! His countless hours painting bone have been well worth it, this is perhaps best shown off in his month five addition of the Mortek Crawler where you can really see those smooth, soft transitions. Can't wait to see Matt take this out to events down the line and pick up a bunch of much deserved trophies. I very much see it emulating the success of Aaron’s Legion of Night from the first series of FETI. 

Will be fun to put mine and Matt’s full armies on the same table together as I do think it’ll make for a lovely looking game. 

Anyway, we are reaching essay mode already and I’ve not even mentioned my month five or shown any pictures...whilst writing this I’m considering switching the order around and putting all the stuff above at the bottom, but I think we’ll go with this as is, make you wait for the photos!

For month five I added a Slaughtermaster and 4 Ironguts. Simple. 

I revealed the Slaughtermaster in April for Tom Hewitt’s Battleroll Paint Battle. I absolutely hate the stock model, it’s so ugly, especially in finecast, so knew I had my work cut out to try and convert him into something more appealing. 

The first thing I knew I was going to do is replace the Gnoblars with more of my Black Mage / Jawa things (see last month’s post for more details on these), this was a good chance to reinforce them as a sub-theme of the army. Initially I was going to try and use chain + superglue to have them floating the cauldron off the ground, however it didn’t work so I just went with what you see below. Having the cauldron infront of the Ogor allowed me to change the silhouette of the model, though makes it a bit more diorama like. I’m not always keen on models looking so static on the battlefield when you’re moving them around each turn. 

For the Ogor himself, I trimmed off a bunch of the badly cast detailing and cut off his awful stump arm weapon things. I replaced them with one of Gordrakk’s weapons and the left arm from the new plastic Tyrant. I also gave him super long antenna, the idea here was that this would denote his power as a magic user...or something. 

Painting was simple as everything is established now. The liquid metal in the cauldron was an easy nod to the Mawpot from month one - all about reinforcing those themes, something I’ve been saying lots over FETI2.

Finally, 4 Ironguts. Not much to say about these really. They really are great models though, pretty underrated! The weapons aren’t quite as detailed as the Ironjawz stuff, but still have a real weight to them. I made extra effort to convert two handed weapons for the Bellower and Standard Bearer, using hafts from Ironjawz kits. It’s also fun drilling out the helmets to make space for the antenna. Finally I left off anything armourwise that screams “Old World” (same ethos I had with Leadbelchers and Ironblaster). 

So that’s it! I have to say it’s absolutely flown past. It’s really great when you keep up with one of these “Tales” and can just look back at the end and see an army that’s seemingly sprung out of nowhere. Obviously the deadlines are super tough but by putting in the work piecemeal it really seems to ease the burden of army painting (for me anyway, YMMV). 

One thing that has been super fun for me is not working to a tournament list. I have that on the side, but for this I wanted to keep to a Matt Clarke™️ / Highlander army and not duplicate any unit choices. It think this is a really nice way to keep things fresh. It tends not to be how we approach things nowadays as usually you want multiples of the best things. Here’s the 2k list of models;

Tyrant - 160

Frostlord on Stonehorn - 400

Slaughtermaster - 140

6 Ogor Gluttons - 240

6 Leadbelchers - 240

2 Mournfang Pack - 140

4 Ironguts - 220

Stonehorn Beastriders - 300

Ironblaster - 120

Total: 1960

Definitely not a good army and tbh, not one ever really designed to be played with, just added models of the right points cost each month. Regardless though, it will be fun to put out on the table! Our friend Wayne Rendell has also painted up an Ogor army during self isolation and I can’t wait to drink 30 cans of Fosters and smash our painted fat lads into each other when we get the chance!!

And now for some full army pics, including my name plaque. I really like this and did want to hold it back for a tournament reveal, but dunno if that’ll happen now. Thanks to Matt for laser cutting my design into acrylic.

Finally, I thought I’d do a photo of the army including the original 1k Beastclaw Raiders army that inspired this. It’s an additional Frostlord on Stonehorn, Thundertusk Beastriders (proof this came from 2018 haha!!) and 4 more Mournfang. Super happy with how it all looks together!

So what’s next? Well I have a Huskard on Stonehorn I need to paint for my Boulderhead list to be complete. I then have another 18 Gluttons, 14 Leadbelchers and 3 Ironblasters, all of which I’d love to paint and add to the army. Other than that, a unit of Gnoblars would be on my list of things to do. Who knows when I’ll get around to it though as I have a baby due at the start of June!

That wraps up From Ember to Inferno 2. Done. 

Will there be a third instalment? I honestly can’t say at this stage. I do like to think it’ll return at some point, either with or without my own involvement. The classic Tale of Four Gamers process is an absolutely fantastic concept that was so inspirational to me when I first approached army painting. If FETI can emulate even an ounce of that I will be happy and consider it job done.

Once again thanks so much to everyone who’s been following along and interacting with us online, it means so much to me. Thanks to Matt, Aaron and Paul for the journey and their efforts. A bonus thanks to Matt for hosting the blogs and doing all the admin work, make sure you give his podcast a listen and order some stuff from Pro Painted Studios.

I hope you’re all able to stay safe during these crazy times. 

Much love,

Chris xxx


Instagram @blacksunpainting

Twitter @the_black_sun


From Ember to Inferno 

Series One - #fromembertoinferno

Series Two - #FETI2

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