I have been absent from my blog for a while. Sadly, I have been taking a course that is filling up most of my spare time. If it is any consolation, the rest of the time has been filled by my regularly scheduled D&D game and the wife and I started playing a video game together.
So what is with the title? Another batch of terrain posters advertising made-up companies?
No, instead I have stumbled across a Kickstarter that I think is worth sharing as it has a very good deal on terrain bobbins that I find fiddly and frustrating to make. Mantic has rolled-out something they call Terrain Crate. This is a series of small terrain items suitable to dress up either your RPGs or wargames tables. The idea for this came from an add-on they developed for Dungeon Saga, their Dungeon Dressing bits which have sold better than the game as far as I understand.
Why? Simply put, it is a good product that had a wider audience than their game did.
So I will share the link for you to check out at your leisure, an investment worth checking out in my opinion.
Just click on the picture to go to the Kickstarter.
As for the video game? Ironically another Kickstarter it turns out: Divinity: Original Sin. This is a very fun Diablo-esque throw-back game but it is completely class-less and has a very funny and well written story. It can also be played cooperatively with split screen so the two people are not stuck together and forced to follow each other.
So a short post this time around with a very commercial flair, hopefully I inspired you to have at look at what I consider to be a good deal, even if you choose not to spend your money.
Work has been very busy of late, but fortunately with the new fiscal year, a lot of the year end nonsense is wrapping up for me. Good news for you, is that I could find some free time today.
Today has been fairly productive, as I polished off quite a few different figures for the ongoing RPG campaign.
Up first is a zombie ogre. I like how this model looks, and eventually I will go back and finish his base. The fact this zombie is literally held together with bandages makes him look like the redneck special…a bit of duct-tape and good as new.
I decided to add some blood-stains to the bandages and applied a rust wash to the metal…but I am not satisfied with how that turned out. When I finish the base, the rust may get a rework.
This guy will be a nice surprise for the group in the RPG campaign. The first encounter they had was an ogre running a toll-bridge, which was actually a cover for a group of bandits. They paid the ogre, and killed all but one of the bandits. This will be the ogre making a reappearance, just a lot more worse for wear.
Also getting some paint is one of my two filth beasts. For those unaware, this is a miniature interpretation of the otyugh.
This is essentially a disgusting natural garbage and filth disposal as it eats rotting organic material (including it’s own feces). Yuck. It also spreads disease with all its attacks for some reason.
I grabbed two of these minis as it is good dungeon fodder for any game you are running, and are tough enough to challenge even parties well past their level.
These two monsters will play a role in a loop-closing adventure. The party has been hanging around the same village for some time, although they burned it to the ground and evacuated the villagers, so it is more rubble than village.
A few weeks ago, they stumbled across a battlefield cursed by a slain necromancer (which had been hinted at to them since they first arrived). There will be a couple of new players joining the group this week and they will lead the party to the ruins of the necromancer’s stronghold (for treasure and to hopefully stop the necromancer and his army from rising over and over again). These two will add some tougher opponents in the mix with the various undead that don’t stay dead.
Looking ahead for a monster type I am short on figures for, I painted up several of the wolf-types I have.
Up first are the Hellhounds. Rather than a demonic creature, I went for a more mundane look. I did this for two reasons. First it gives me more versatility, and second these really remind me more of the art for dire wolves in the D&D books than hellhounds.
Next is the shadow hound figure. Although transparent purple and meant to be used as an ethereal monster, I thought it would look cooler as a giant werewolf/demon hound/giant canine. I went for a grey with this one, but I likely will pick up at least one more to go with black. This reminds me very much of the werewolf in the Never-ending Story that hunted the champions of the Childlike Empress.
For all three of these, I had primed them weeks ago and quickly did wet-blending to get them hammered out.
If you haven’t worked with Bones before, you can paint them as soon as the brushed on primer is dry. But, and this is important, if it isn’t fully cured the primed has a habit of peeling and rubbing off while painting. The subtle transitions on the wolves were from being able to apply pressure. The Filth Beast has less smooth transitions as the primer kept rubbing off since it had only been dry for a couple hours when I started.
To show off scale, here are all of my wolf-types. For proxies as wolves, I now have several. Conveniently, these will also be useful for an encounter I have prepped for when the party follows the lead for another treasure.
A lot of diverse miniatures today, so hopefully something inspired you today. If nothing else, it shows what a quick afternoon of wet-blending can do for you.
Or just catch-up for those of you who hate terrible puns.
I have been quite busy since my last update, but I have managed to get a few models done to show off. Not as much as I would like, as work has kept me quite busy these past couple weeks.
First up we have some updates on Cinder. I will be honest, not super sexy as far as pictures go, but you can see how I am gradually building up the purple. Halfway there I think, and I am liking the very subtle transitions in most areas. The jarring ones don’t bother me as even on batwings there are sometimes changes in pigment near the bones.
I have gotten the back membranes to a similar stage but I am having trouble getting the dragon to photograph properly…I need a bigger backdrop as well as a different light set-up to make it work. Once I get the wings great on the underside, then I will work on the backside. Yes, I want the underside lighter than the back so there will be a contrast. And the little membrane along the top edge of the wing will be the same colour as the underside to make it look interesting.
If I haven’t bored you with stage by stage on wings, then you can get a chance to see some of the other updates.
First up is the dragonborn conversion I did. So far, he got to be used in one game (and as he was not sealed a bit of paint rubbed off). I went with very dark green highlights to keep him black as the player requested. I did a freehand of the holy symbol used by his god as the character is a paladin.
The armour is a bit crude because I was rushing. If I were to do this again, I would start by cutting off his arms at the shoulder pads to give better access to sculpt on the plates where I wanted them.
Not a great finished model, but good quick tabletop and the aesthetics fits in well with the party. Sadly, the player will be away due to work for the next few months so his character will collect dust until he returns.
As a next project, two of the players are getting new models. First off the rogue, using the halfing ranger, doesn’t quite fit the character. Second, the ranger will get a new model.
Why worry so much? I think I will let the players keep their characters after the game wraps up so having cheap Bones for them makes that more of a reality.
Next up is another one of the minions of Rogg, Mogg the bugbear. Another Reaper Bones, he is a good buy for anybody wanting to have some different and dynamic bugbears. The placement and prominence of the mace means a simple weapon swap could give you even more variety.
I went with a bit of a graffiti style shield icon because I couldn’t really decide what to put on there. The eye motif is fairly common on orc and goblin figures (that good of Sauron, do his gifts never end), so I went with a stylized symbol between Sauron and Grummush. This guys reads as a cleric type to me, so having a semi-religious icon helped to sell it.
As shown beside the other bugbears these match very well. A personal pet peeve is when models in the same scale…don’t scale well together. The Reaper gnolls, for example, have a wide variance of sizes. Sure, you can argue individual differences, but when some body part aspects show they were done by different sculptors at different times/locations they lose some continuity. So, if these is also a peeve of yours, fear not: the Reaper Bones Bugbears are all in scale with each other. In fact, some of the models look like the sculptor reused body parts.
A lot of pictures, and even more rambling, so hopefully something was inspirational to you. If nothing else, remember that this hobby helps to keep you grounded and unwind when other stresses start piling up.
Also known as WIP.
I have decided to start on Cinder by Reaper, the only dragon I got with my Bones 2 kickstarter.
This is one huge dragon, and a bit intimidating to paint for that reason alone.
As I rambled in a previous post, I thought the horns resembled Maleficent so I was going to go with a black and purple dragon. In fact, I did a test pattern on the colour scheme on one of my dragon hatchlings already.
Although tough to clearly see, this giant lizard does have the initial coats of purple on the belly and membranes.
I have also decided to do something I saw was very striking on another dragon: the wing membranes will be two-tone. The underside will be light purple and the back just a shade lighter than the body, staying an almost black with purple highlights.
I will be taking my time with this one, the biggest time commitment I see being the brush-work. I intend to highlight each scale individually as opposed to my ham-fisted broad-brush dry-brushing that would normally be slapped on it.
The wings will be a bit of an issue as I am seeing my purple keeps bleeding through black with each coat…and I don’t want a bright purple like I did on my hatchling.
Also getting a bit of work is a new DnD model. A new player joined the group with a dragonborn paladin. As I only have one dragonborn model, the selection wasn’t hard. His character was armed and armoured slightly differently. So I chopped off the sword, added a javelin, and put on some quick plates to have it read more as plate.
A quick a dirty post, light on text but with lots of pics this time. Hopefully this was inspirational to you, if nothing else to nudge you onto that large project you have been putting off.
Despite officially having this week off of work, I have been into work nearly every day for a few hours.
I have managed to find a bit of time though, and did get a couple of figures painted.
These two sickly beasts were a bit of a change in direction. I painted up the sickly flesh, then the boils and patchy fur before I decided I wanted them on bases.
So after all of that, I put them on a cutting board and scuffed up the paint. I see now the black one did not come away as unscathed as I thought. The brown one ended-up losing most of the paint on his midsection on both sides. So I mixed up a similar skin tone and brushed it in with some wet-blending to help the transition. Not a perfect match, but I think it adds to the character. In fact, I really like the way the brown one turned out.
I did these up for the RPG campaign as the last session saw the group fleeing from the goblin/bugbear camp with a dozen rescued captives. I figure now would be the time to unleash some trackers and these rats (and my coyote painted wolf) were a good mix a pathetic goblin pet. As I painted these I realized they were big enough to be mounts for the Pathfinder Goblins by Reaper. Since both come in Bones, it is a cheap conversion I may do in the future.
Also getting finished is the ominous bugbear leader…Rogg. The party has not seen him yet, just heard the chanting and fervent mutterings as he was awakened during the raid. They are a bit worried as they can already tell he will be a tough fight.
I have done slight variations in each of the skin tones for the bugbears to give variety, and I am happy with the effect. Again, he is just a table-top paint job but something that will get a lot of use in several games as a big bruiser with an even bigger club.
The game itself has them facing a veritable army of goblins, with about 300 still remaining after the ones they have killed are accounted for. As they are fairly low-level adventurers, the ensuing fight will be quite climactic. Even if the party ends up dying, I am sure they will be satisfied. On the other hand…should they survive (and this is a fairly cunning group) then it will be quite the story…a small group of drifters defending a town against a hostile army. Can any body say The Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven?
A short update today, but hopefully inspirational. The one piece I think that will inspire, is I have started on Cinder, my giant dragon model. As I am painting by hand with super thin layers of black on black right now, there isn’t much to show…but as it does look better I will definitely be putting that in this space.
Just nod if you can here me…
Of course it has been a while since I last posted, but unlike Pink Floyd I can’t promise it was worth the wait.
I have a few different odds and sods to post on here. There have been a few things taking up my spare time.
Work is one of the usual suspects of course, but I also managed to get a roleplaying group going here so that has taken a fair amount of time. I have also been a bit under the weather too.
But enough about that.
First off, I will show a quick and dirty conversion. I know there are far better tutorials, but this is one I hammered out in a few minutes for a friend who wanted a specific mini for his character. Logrim had some minor surgery and now boasts the maul this cleric handles.
Simple but effective. So effective, the new owner actually painted it the same night he got it.
As far as challenges would go, this one ranks a 1 on any scale. Simple cut, drill, and glue. If it was going to be handled more often or be a showcase mini, I would have bulked out the shaft a bit more.
End of the day, the new owner was happy and he got a mini for nothing.
Also getting finished is the first of my Bugbears. I showed him in a WIP on a previous post, and I put in the minimal time to finish him.
I think it was good timing as Bugbears have played a fairly common enemy of late in the RPG campaign. A goblin army led by a small cadre of bugbears to be precise.
This is one of the unnamed bugbears, also in the works are the named bugbears, including the charismatic (is that the right adjective for him?) bugbear leader Rogg.
Also getting some painting related to the RPG group is Balazar, one of the Pathfinder iconic characters. One player created a gnome shaman and I didn’t have a painted figure that matched for it. The player said he would check his collection, but I found this guy. This model had been banished to obscurity for two reasons:
- He was one of the models I tried spray primer on with disastrous results.
- I thought the Shriner’s hat was goofy.
On the other hand, the character concept of a gnome who found religion and has become a prophet of sorts (the character concept) seemed to fit this guy. With the direction to go bright and garish, I went Persian meets Hebrew and have this guy.
Sadly my camera was having trouble focusing on him, so this is the best set of pics I could do. Nothing fancy, but good for table-top. And I think you will agree that I hit the nail on the head for both garish and bright.
There may be those mildly curious about the RPG game so I have included the group picture. Right now there are 4 players but I have 3 more people who are eager to play…who knew I worked with so many nerds?
Working from Left to Right: the human Ranger, the dwarf battlerager, the gnome shaman, the gnome’s spirit companion, and the Halfling thief. Yes, the party is very much vertically challenged. And in need of touch-ups and sealing in the case of Hayden. She has gotten quite the bit of handling and play-time.
A short post today, but hopefully inspirational. If nothing else, for you to check with your coworkers and other groups of friends to see if they too are secretly harbouring their own geeky tendencies.
Well it is that time of year where people get together and spend time with family and friends. I hope that you had a most excellent holiday.
Christmas is also the time of year the guy in red comes to visit. By coincidence, I managed to paint a red guy while cooking a turkey.
This Reaper Miniature is a supposed to be an Ice Troll. As they are kind of scarce around these parts (gets too cold for them I think), he didn’t really strike me as an Ice Troll. Instead, the horns seemed to evoke more of a demonic or devilish image so I went with a red-skinned beast.
Sadly, my photography skills are again lacking. But, to be fair I spent a half hour fiddling with my camera. It had the battery out so long it erased all my settings. So I fumbled around a bit until I could get a passable photo quality. The depth of my red is not shown, as I spent most of my time trying to get that just right it is a bit demoralizing. Take my word for it, in ambient light the red has natural shading so hold shadows very well. The one thing I rushed was the rust. I think it looks a bit harsh. I need to go back to experimenting as I seemed to have forgotten my rust wash technique.
As close as we get to an action shot, I have Jolie. She isn’t too sure what he is, I guess. Either way it shows the scale of this rather impressive beast.
Hopefully this post was inspirational, if nothing else to get you to put down your phone and go spend time with family and friends.