With the kids back at home I have found less hobby time. What time I have found has been spent mostly on one miniature.
I have done Vanja in stages, and with the photos I see a few places I missed blending her skin on her face. On the other hand, from most angles it tends to provide a bit of delineation to the face. It is just how sharp that line is that will need to be defined.
I have decided to go with a bluish grey skin for two reasons. First, I wanted a “frost giant” type feel. Second, I haven’t actually done blue skin before so I thought it would be a good challenge for me. As with many of my figs, if they do ever see RPG use, it will be irrelevant what her skin colour is. If she is a Fire Giant one week and a Cloud Giant the next, nobody will really complain.
I will be doing weathering on the armour and much more work on the spear-head. I am not sure about the cloak. I did a dark green wash so far, I think I may want to try a dark brown. I have also been told that purple actually provides fairly realistic shadows. The pictures it looks different than in hand. And I have noticed that all the colours read differently in varied light. I think that is a positive: it means my shading and colour gradient is natural. At least that is what I think it means. Anyways, feedback on the cloak would be appreciated on what, if anything it needs.
Either way, I figure posting a WIP of a miniature is a sure-fire way to stop painting it. Just one look at my track record confirms that. Even more damning is the heart to heart where this is explained to Vanja.
Nothing like the history of urban myths to start things off. If you aren’t aware, the story goes that (insert band name) wrote Satanic verses into their songs but they can only be heard if you play the album backwards. As a perfect example, have a listen to this: Warning: Likely to Cause Brain Damage. Anyhow, I have managed to do some painting, mostly of demons.
First up, we have the Reaper Bones Babau. This is the demon who was able to play cat and mouse with the party during the last game of Dungeon Down. I went with a fairly muted colour scheme as I wanted it to evoke stealth. In DnD, this particular demon drips with venom. The description makes it red, but I wanted to go with green instead and show it dripping down the rock instead of coating the mini.
Also painted on the demon front is the Nabassu. Now this is a demon I am not familiar with, so I looked it up online.
Apparently this is a demon who starts in the mortal realm and then shifts to demon realms afterwards. I wasn’t sure what to do with such a vague description so I just went with the stereotypes of a demon from Heavy Metal album cover to Christian movies. Oh Disney did it too. In game terms I just went with a big tough guy who can stare down individuals to strike fear in their hearts.
I did manage to throw some paint on a couple new adventurers. Truth is, I am not very happy with the results. I am not sure if it is a bit of painters fatigue, the bad primer (it left the figs pebbled) or just a bad selection of scheme. Anyhow, I went with a rather simple paint scheme. I wanted to go with a Templar style but I realized I had a knight with a white tabard already, In fact, I have another guy in a red tabard so it isn’t really the most unique choice either. On the other hand, he seems a bit out of scale with the other characters I have thus far. As demonstrated when he his beside my other divine inspired heroes.
Of course the action shots will showcase these demons, but it also shows off my latest modular dungeon terrain. This unholy temple will serve as the boss room for the Vrock demon but also adds a bit of interesting flavor and confused line of sight with the pews. I may go for a more elaborate temple set-up at some point too, but I am happy with the simple room but interesting effect.
Hopefully something inspired you today, if nothing else to try playing some songs in reverse.
Ok, maybe a bit melodramatic, but I did have a few figs consigned to being stripped redeem themselves with a bit of work.
Before we get into that, I did manage to get some nicer pictures of Elia so now her smooth skin and subtle shadows are at least visible.
Not an amazing paint job, but at least now my brushwork is more clear.
Ironically, in the game of Dungeon Down last night, the party was wishing for a Cunning Hero (read: Thief) and I showed them this girl who would have been a very valuable addition. More on that below.
My wife was wanting to learn to paint too, mostly because our daughters are doing it. So I sat down with her one afternoon and had her first brush on primer her first chosen model…and then I handed her one to learn dry-brushing on (a naked skeleton) and then told her to paint this guy above. She did very nice blending and subtle highlights with minimal instruction. Most of the white is actually plaster dust (doing Hirst Arts again has put that all over my workspace).
While she was painting her skeleton, I figured I would hammer out these skeletons too. I also had a few side projects where I would show her what a wash did, or multi-colour/layered drybrushing. I also did wet blending to show her that, but told her to try it after she felt more comfortable with putting on highlights by hand instead of trying to blend up to them.
Aaron is the Phoenix of the post today. I had originally wanted to paint a mage with orange robes so put on the first few layers and it came out all chalky. So I was frustrated with him. In the end I decided I would test techniques on him before I stripped him or put him in the bottom of a drawer.
With that in mind, I tried wet-blending an Asian flesh. Which came out fairly well. From there I tried putting in the hair and saw the Fu Man Chu could be pulled off. Once that was done, I wondered if a wash and wet blend up to highlights could fix the robes. In some places it worked better than others obviously, the back turned out the best I think but the front leg looks suitably worn and faded too.
Finally I just started playing around with wet-blending the spell effect from dark blue to white. I simply blocked out the other colours and threw him aside, still confident I would strip him. At the game of Dungeon Down though the couple who regularly plays were amazed with him. So now I guess I need to go back and touch up the details and smooth out the rough spots. Or not. For tabletop I think he looks quite good.
Another mini who may (or may not) have pulled himself from the proverbial doghouse is the Halfling here. While painting him, I though it would be cool to make him match Elia like brother and sister. Instead of opting for a Rnager-themed paint scheme I felt like going more for Perregrin of Minas Tirith. I was liking the basic colour blocking…but the skin just kept coming out patching and coarse. I did go back with a flesh wash that repaired some of the sins…but I am still not happy with him as a whole. And he certainly doesn’t look like a match for Elia, even as her ugly brother.
A few touch-ups are still needed too, but the question is if I can fix his skin. I tried using some blonde paint to give him a beard to cover up the sins, but it is just too tough to notice on such a small mini. Any suggestions would be appreciated…otherwise he will sit in shame or get stripped.
Also playing Phoenix were these two sinister figures.
The Anti Paladin was given a quick dry brush but I spent a lot of time blending his cape and the shield was separate and I was blending, highlighting and drybrushing it to this state while watching Netflix waaay past my bedtime.
Cassiata was simply a rough and dirty series of wet-blend drybrushes to get a purple girl. Mostly because I knew both my oldest daughter and wife would find a girl in purple cute.
The Anti Paladin shield is his focal point and the eyes are drawn to it (overlooking the poorly done eyes). The pair though fulfilled a devious role in Dungeon Down. As a new breed of tough monsters in an attempt to increase the difficulty of some fights. These two combine cleric-hunting with defending weaker monsters. Paired with the very efficient melee and thick armour kept the game on track.
Let me explain that last part. Due to my being busy and the work schedules of the couple, the regular Dungeon Down games had been side-tracked and we haven’t even had time to grab a coffee with this couple in almost 3 months. So the two women were gossiping away and talking girl stuff after we were a few minutes into the game with the two men looking bored. So we just pushed on and when these two appeared both the women were suddenly interested in the game as they saw Alain backing off from a fight.
The nastiest critter of the game was a demon (the first one in fact) who had Ambush. As mentioned in previous posts, Ambush lets a monster deploy in a non-standard way. Some monsters can even reuse Ambush. The demon’s Ambush let him deploy beside a wounded miniature. It could then reuse Ambush by using Stealth (an ability that uses Cunning against the Cunning of others). Since the demon has very Cunning, it had free reign to pop into existence, finish off a wounded hero and then disappear again. Since it could do the Ambush even if it was a wounded monster, it kept popping in and out until finally Brother Roberto was felled in combat. A healing potion could bring him back, but left him wounded…and the demon came in.
Alain valiantly stepped in front of Brother Roberto (using one of his skills) and shrugged off the demon’s attack. When it stepped into the shadows to disappear, Alain rolled higher on his cunning and ran the demon through with a single sword thrust.
As this monster was despised by the party and deemed nasty, everybody agreed he needs to stay. If nothing else he encourages the use of a Cunning hero. An unpainted mini right now, he has earned a paint job.
The game was great fun and ended up ending on time since we kept visiting and getting side-tracked as good friends enjoying themselves are wont to do. To give the action shot, here is the final shot of the dungeon where we ended it. This is a great shot as nobody was repositioned, so I took about 20 shots until I got one I was happy with. If I had zoomed in a bit more it would have been that much better.
Hopefully something inspired you today, if nothing else to try experimenting on the minis that are already consigned to stripping…it’s not as if you have anything to lose.
Today will see quite the bit of activity on the blog. Now I won’t say I have been busy (vacation from work, no kids and wife at work means lots of free time) but a few of these are actually finished versions of stuff that has been sitting on my hobby desk.
To start off with, I borrowed (shamefully stole) an idea using the translucent Bones to create a functional fire effect.
I’ll be honest when I say I was giddy with delight and couldn’t stop playing with it. When the wife came home I broke her brain a bit when I showed it to her. But, once she figured it out she thought is was cool but I saw her get a bit disappointed. As for myself, the more I played with it the less cool it became and I had concerns about how to improve it.
What I have done here is drilled a hole in the bottom of the fireball and added an LED. I drilled holes in the base for the wire and threw together a quick insulator/switch with paper breaking the circuit and pressure down closing the circuit.
The LED I bought wasn’t the best choice. They were thick and round and I even cut down the size a bit to make it work. I have several more of these LEDs and I will try trimming them down even more. If you can buy the smaller lights (or ideally the fibre optic lights) they are easier to work with. If I were to do something like a bigger fire elemental I would take it further and put multiple thin lights in different spots and then build a simple circuit to do fading/flickering and inconsistent patterns. It has been maybe 30 years since I built electronics but the schematics are easy to find. Parts not so easy in a small town like I live in.
I did also wrangle a couple of the local 40K players into a game of Dungeon Down. Most of the pictures didn’t turn out, but the total party kill by the goblins in the boss fight turned out great. I had some great feedback on how to adjust experience as the thief player racked up tons of experience from disarming traps.
The miniatures that got some attention though are quite diverse (but nothing is blue).
First we have Elia Shadowfeet by Sandra Garrity. This is an amazing sculpt with a lot of personality. This is a newly painted model but I have been slowly working away on her for a while now. So she isn’t new per se, just newly finished.
Sadly my photographic skills have muted out most of my brushwork. The expression is very vibrant, and more than a little cheeky. As shown beside Jolie, she is quite short. I didn’t cut her integral base all the way flat as her feet are very delicate and each toenail sculpted…so she is a bit taller than she should be.
As an Aside, I notice I have been using Jolie as a size comparison model which is funny since yellow is so tough for me to photograph and she never matches the same shade from picture to picture.
The Cave Troll has caught my eye since I first saw it in Bones. Sadly, it has been sold out of the Reaper online store for a long time. My trip to Sentry Box gave me a chance to grab this little guy. I went with the “traditional” green for a troll and did his various boils and warts in yellow which I blended back to green. His belly blending turned out much better than the Squog I did a few weeks ago so I am quite happy with that. Despite not being much taller than a regular miniature, his bulk makes him seem much more threatening. All in all, I think he will be a great addition to the little goblins.
The Bone Fiend is a miniature I am not too sure about. Some of the details are a bit soft.
I am not sure if this is due to it being Bones, the nature of the sculpt, a bad casting I have, or even my spray paint leaving residue. It is worth noting this guy is 25-28mm scale, not 28mm heroic scale so it is a bit smaller than the other Reaper Miniatures. That said, it is in scale with the cowboys they make, my Hasslefree special ops team, and my historic minis. I may grab more of these when they are released in the store to use in other games like HOTT.
Seeing this reminds me of an old fantasy novel I read (that may have been written by Gygax) that had the undead melding together. It also described undead in a hideous fashion I had not seen before or since. The graphic description of twitching nodules of flesh and the grasping fingers and hands of severed limbs as they were hacked apart was quite ghastly. As they were on a ship they couldn’t burn the morass of undead remains after the fight and instead they were mashed to pulp to be rinsed off the deck with buckets. Yeah, a bit more graphic than most fantasy out there, and no neatly de-animated corpses after “killed”.
Dragoth was another work in progress that took a long time for me to finish.
First shown in the background of a Dungeon Down game, I have 99% finished him (I still need to add the bricks to his base). I opted for a verdigris bronze armour and a rusty sword reminiscent of the undead king in the original Conan movie: Conan the Barbarian (1982).
I did try marble on the stone throne and wasn’t too happy with the result. I will go back and try again after a lot of practice. I was aiming for black marble with green and white veins. With time I am sure I can capture this effect.
The last miniature to get showcased is probably the one with the effect I am happiest with. I did wet blending across the board to make the gums, fingers and tentacles all read as different colours without any harsh transitions. Although I did a quick and easy paint job, the effect is very good.
I am sure you noticed none of the bases match my dungeon. Sadly my final highlight shade actually went moldy in the paint pot. As I mixed the shade myself, I tried mixing it again. So far, I have my shade too dark. Then again, I did also rush the final drybrush so it was more of a wet blend than drybrush. Again, something for the to do list.
Of course an action shot is required to close the post. Here we see an angry troll storming into the throne room of the eternal king. A bit out of the ordinary for my action shots I know, but I wanted to do something more in character for the finished minis.
If you missed it in the shots above, that more characterful approach includes having the thief hiding and looting the treasure. The whole implied backstory is the halfling antagonizing the troll until it could do her dirty work. I really like the sly smirk I managed to capture in the last picture.
Hopefully something inspired you today, if nothing else to try some new techniques to give a different effect to your minis.
The latest mini was actually a bit of a longer project than usual for me. It was really due to the contrasting colours and trying to figure out the best way to blend them in without having too stark of a contrast. Likewise, if the contrast isn’t there, then it all blends together.
I think I have done a fairly good job on keeping contrasts in place for the Bones chimera. the only downside is everybody who sees it calls it a dragon. My oldest girl just got confused as I tried to show her it isn’t a dragon. “What is it?” “A dragon!” Can I paint it?” (yes that is her response to every dragon she sees) “Are you sure? I don’t think it’s a dragon. What does that look like?” “A lion. Oh, it’s a lion with wings.” “And what’s that? Is that a dragon head?” “What the-” (yes she actually picked that up somewhere) Now that it is painted, I am sure she will be excited to see it when she gets back. My daughters went away for the summer and there will be a couple changes to daddy daughter time. First, my youngest keeps wanting to paint, so I will do what I did with the oldest: she will sit at the table and paint pictures with the same paint I use and get her used to cleaning her brush, thinning paint and mixing colours. I also picked her up a Bones figure that should be easy to paint. The second change will be getting my oldest daughter playing a game. She has been interested in mini games for as long as she realized that daddy plays games with his toys. So I did some asking around and the Ganesha Games system is fairly easy for kids to grasp. So I bought the rules online and had a quick read. I think it will be fairly easy to teach her and I am thinking of the best way to tie the rules into education type stuff…but I know that will happen anyways. I recommend you check out Ganesha Games if you haven’t heard of them. A Song of Blades and Heroes is a quick fantasy skirmish with simple and easy to manage rules. I think it will be like DBA where the complexity of the play is on the table, not in the books: Ganesha Games. I know she will be very excited, mostly so she can play with her painted figures (which haven’t been shown on this blog yet but may in the future) and with the spider queen – I’ve been told numerous times she is the boss of all of her guys. While grabbing figs for the kids I had to buy a few for myself. The Vanja Fire Giant Queen had my interest when I saw it since I knew she would tie into the Kickstarter Giants very well. I can’t say if she will get painted right away or if I will wait until I paint the Bones 3 Giants at the same time.
As an aside I should mention that my wife and I went to a big city for our anniversary (1 year and no casualties) and we went to the Mecca of gamers. I have to say most couples would not have had the experience we had in the store. We stopped in with intention to buy a couple figs to teach her painting and to see if they had in a box of Greeks for my Persians to finally have an enemy. After all was said and done she had spent 4 times as much as me and was still looking for stuff. I guess I did a good job nerdifying her in the 10 or so years we have been together.
Hopefully something inspired you today, if nothing else to stretch your imagination to see how you can tie in your hobbies with your family.
Well at least the landshark. If you aren’t familiar with the phrase watch this ridiculous piece of vintage television: Fonzie Jumps the Shark. Not really the case here, just another one of my terrible puns. I did manage to paint up the Reaper Bones Bulette, a DnD creature that tunneled underground and popped up to attack unwitting adventurers. it was called the landshark on account of the shark-like fin and difficult to pronounce monster manual name. I notice in the rear picture the paint rubbed off a bit. I really should start sealing these Bones figs. The colour scheme I chose is based on the old description of a blue and red creature. I went for a blue faded to grey for the upper armour plates and a dark reddish-brown under-belly. The yellow-brown of the scales is similar to the basilisk I did previously but a bit more faded. For the action shot we once again see Hayden facing down a fearsome beast…although this one may be a bit tougher for her…
Short post today, but I am off for a weekend get-away to celebrate the anniversary with my wife. I hope this little splash of colour inspires you to try painting your big creatures. A bit of paint and a solid plan and they come together a bit faster than the little guys.
Or at least Avengers anyways.
I painted these models quickly yesterday for a game of Warhammer 40K I was supposed to play today, but sick kids ended-up having me cancel the game. Oh well, at least they still look good.
This marks the third time these guys have been painted. I stripped them twice before and they sat unpainted in my box of Eldar for quite a number of years. I still need to finish the bases. Both flocking and painting the edges.
I had trimmed most of these years ago but I forgot I bought a few additional Avengers in a separate purchase and apparently I didn’t trim the flash or mold lines at all on those. Oh well, it isn’t noticeable from a distance. I might go back and clean the offending models up.
The fluff behind the Eldar always struck me as fascinating. They are a mentally (and psychically) advanced race that has chosen to focus on dedication to different aspects/professions. The Dire Avengers are one such profession, although not all professions are military.
In the background the uninhibited lifestyle they had lived, before the current period, created an entity composed of passion and vice that fed on the souls of dying Eldar. The only survivors of this cataclysm were the Puritan-like exiles who fled the unwholesome society before this destructive birth of the demon Slaanesh.
That said, they seemed very dour and no nonsense. The published colour schemes for the Eldar always struck me as oddly contrasting to that background: they are very brightly coloured. These Aspect Warriors are supposed to be blue so I decided to go with a black base and gradually build up to blue but still keeping them dark and somber. I feel that my colour scheme was a success.
To get an idea of the garish colours used, check out the internet and see. I hesitate to show pictures as my Persians have already assaulted the eyes of my regular readers enough.
The action shot shows a couple of gangers desperately trying to hold the line against advancing Dire Avengers. Things look grim for these two.
Hopefully something inspired you today, if nothing else to try dusting off those old minis and give a new paint scheme a shot.