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Return of the Hobbyist

It has been a long time since I have been able to post, so I apologize to my regular readers.  Between needing surgery and several work trips, I have been unable to find hobby time. Last night marked the first time in nearly a year since I was able to do anything hobby related.

Vernone by Reaper Miniatures in Bones. Sadly miscast.

Conversion of Vernone by Reaper Miniatures in Bones.

The first thing I did was a bit of a conversion.  When my Bones 3 arrived, I had one miscast model, Vernone.  I contacted Reaper and they quickly sent me a replacement.  In the mean-time, he had been sitting on my desk when I came back.  A bit of scalpel work later and viola, a new knight with a grim hammer.  Nothing too involved but a good selling point of Bones: this conversion would be much more difficult in nearly all other materials.

In keeping with my bad puns, like Return of the Jedi, this post will feature a cute and cuddly thing too.

 

Ruth by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Ruth by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Ruth by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Ruth by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Ruth by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Ruth by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Well maybe just cute.  One of the space rogues (think Guardians of the Galaxy) I have been working on, I did the basic blocking out of colours for Ruth last night, the plucky space dwarf (Hasslefree Grimm) hacker.

I wanted an eclectic colour mix for the helmet and did some lines to divide and pushed paint around.  Her bright yellow jumpsuit screams non-combatant and I figured it was funny.  I had to make her elbow and knee pads pink just to add to the whole ludicrous effect.

I see with the giants pics of shame that I need to touch up a few edges and I need a bit better blending of her jumpsuit in a couple spots.  I still need to highlight the webbing, helmet, visor and finish a few things but I think the overall effect is cool and evokes the stereo-typical free-spirit hacker.  The laptop is likely going to stay black or grey but I intend to paint on some logos on the back of the screen and possibly add in either the “blue screen of death”, a start-up screen from Windows, or a busy looking screen making it look like she is doing some hard-core hacking.  Still, as a WIP and only a bit of brush time she is definitely coming along.

I do like the look of the Grimm and I am not sure what I would paint the others when I pick more up.  I am tempted to keep the yellow jumpsuits but have everything “military” painted in olive drab or something similar.  When I pick some more of them up we will see where my head is at.

So from the obscurity of the web comes a quick update.  Hopefully you found this inspirational, if nothing else to dive back in with both feet after a hobby hiatus.

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A stitch in time

With my week wrapped-up I was able to find a bit of brush time.  Fortunately, this also gives me a chance to get a few models ready for the next RPG session.  All of these are actually Bones 3 models that I have been slowly putting paint to brush on.

Stitch golem by Reaper Miniatures

Stitch golem by Reaper Miniatures

Stitch golem by Reaper Miniatures

Stitch golem by Reaper Miniatures

Stitch golem by Reaper Miniatures

Through the course of previous sessions, the players have managed to secure a town (actually the size of a small city with the refugees they brought in) and have sworn fealty to one of the city-state fiefdoms.  Their problems really started at that point since the town was actually under the protection of the other neighbouring fiefdom.  As they have picked a few fights with the representatives of the magister, I felt it was appropriate to give them a more fleshed out force.

Their new rival city state is run by a magister but it is also home to the Arcane University.  The influence of powerful magic users means it would make sense they would not fight with soldiers most of the time.  So I have thrown together a few golems that will reflect a more accurate force they would use in war.

The stitch golems here are just plain cute.  I rushed these a bit but they are definitely a lot of fun to paint.  The metal models probably have a few more details but these are very sharp and crisp with only a few stitches here and there not clear and crisp.  I opted to number them as I was reminded of the movie 9 featuring rag-dolls with a bit of magical spark.

The blue and yellow one I rushed a bit and I could touch him up in the future.  When these are released at retail I will likely get a few more as they are very silly and a few more for conversions would be fun.

Flesh golem by Reaper Miniatures

Flesh golem by Reaper Miniatures

The next golem getting paint is the flesh golem.  This model is a lot of fun.  Some of the stitching of body parts was overlapped by mold lines and the left side of the face was a bit soft on detail so I am not sure where the sutures begin and end.

A very gruesome piece I exploited was that the stitching completely separates some body parts and skin patches so now he looks as patch-work as the other golems.  I wasn’t 100% sure if the right leg was supposed to be loose flesh or pants so I went with flesh.  Either way he is quite the versatile model.  I can see this used in fantasy, horror, or sci-fi.

Iron golem by Reaper Miniatures

Iron golem by Reaper Miniatures

Iron golem by Reaper Miniatures

Iron golem by Reaper Miniatures. Hayden by Hasslefree Miniatures.

The final golem getting done is the massive Iron Golem.  Standing at nearly 4 inches tall this towering beast dwarfs most other models.  To carry on with my usual bad puns…insert dwarf for scale.

I opted to go with a bare metal design with crudely painted yellow based on how it will fit in the RPG story.

I did do a very crude glow effect on the vents.  Most of them look good from at least one angle…the problem is none of them look good from the same angle.  I am most happy with the vents on the head.

A few models to showcase and a bit of my usual rambling, but hopefully something was inspiring for you today.  If nothing else, it shows you how a solid plan and some speed-painting can help you get new models on the table for your next game no matter what you play.

 

Fresh Melons

Ok, I will skip explaining the pun in the title as it should be pretty obvious soon enough.  I have been able to do a bit of painting lately and have a few things to show off.

Tyrea Bronzelocks by Reaper Miniatures.

Tyrea Bronzelocks by Reaper Miniatures.

Tyrea Bronzelocks by Reaper Miniatures.

Tyrea Bronzelocks and Lem Iconic Bard by Reaper Miniatures.

First off we have Tyrea Bronzelocks from Reaper Bones.  At first I was disappointed the detail was soft on this one, then I realized it was the transparency.

The model is very detailed but the mold lines were a bit finicky on this one.  I didn’t do a huge amount of work on this one, but like all Kevin White models it shows a very realistic portrayal of the female form.  Even if she is wearing Frazetta-esque armour, her posture and curves are very realistic and natural.

I painted her up as Sonja, a henchmen one of the players recently managed to recruit.  I went with a very pale celtic skin tone and subtle red hair.  The woad does reflect what I thought would be good paint without washing out her face.  I will mention she does have a normal nose, it is the woad line that gives the illusion of no nose.

The party managed to seize a town and have moved refugees into it.  Through their own gold they have improved the town and expanded the small town from 300 to about 5000.  He got this henchman as he wanted Khadafi-style deadly female warriora to guard the keep.  So the first of his “Charlie’s Angels” was randomly determined from the unpainted models I had handy.

I also realized that the thief’s new miniature hasn’t been showcased just yet.  As his background was more river-pirate than ranger, a figure swap was required.  A simple conversion and more or less done painting.  I have him posed with Sonja.

Ork Yoof with stikk bombz and slugga.

Ork Yoof with stikk bombz and slugga.

Ork Yoof with shoota

Ork Yoof with shoota

Ork in ‘eavy armour conversion, 2 yoofs with slugga and shoota.

Ork Kill team WIP. Lots of choppy, less dakka.

Also getting a bit of work are a couple of the “Yoofs” from my Ork Kill team for Shadow War Armageddon.  Up first is a yoof with stikk bombz.  Orks are terrible shots in the game.  In the best of circumstances, they only hit about 1/3 of the time.  That said, no smart Ork would carry grenades since they are very likely to bounce back and hit him after missing.  On the other hand, if you don’t mind your own guys being hit the grenade is more likely to hit as it uses a fairly large template.  This particular guy has a heart tattoo on his arm just because.

Also seeing some paint is another yoof with a shoota.  Why give an Ork a shooting weapon after my comment that they can’t hit?  Well Ork shootas shoot lots…so they are more likely to get a hit.  They are also likely to run out of ammo.  Both combine into the reason why I only gave shooting weapons to my yoofs.

To compare size, you will see the previously posted Ork.  And as a teaser, here is the rest of the Kill team so far, with just skin blocked in.

A small number of models, but hopefully no less inspirational for you today.  If nothing else, remember that painting your shelf of shame is just like eating an elephant: one bite at a time.  Note, do not either bite or eat your miniatures.

RPG Fodder

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.

Zombie Ogre by Reaper Miniatures.

Zombie Ogre by Reaper Miniatures.

Zombie Ogre and Joliee, female scribe by Reaper Miniatures.

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.

Filth Beast by Reaper Miniatures.

Filth Beast by Reaper Miniatures.

Filth Beast and Joliee, female scribe by Reaper Miniatures.

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.

Hellhounds by Reaper Miniatures.

Hellhounds and Joliee, female scribe by Reaper Miniatures.

Shadow Hound by Reaper Miniatures.

Shadow Hound by Reaper Miniatures.

Shadow Hound by Reaper Miniatures.

Shadow Hound by Reaper Miniatures.

Shadow Hound, Hellhounds, Warg and Wolf from Companions Animals by Reaper Miniatures.

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.

Playing ketchup

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.

Cinder by Reaper Miniatures

Cinder by Reaper Miniatures

Cinder by Reaper Miniatures

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.

Kar Drakir by Reaper converted to a dragonborn paladin.

Kar Drakir by Reaper converted to a dragonborn paladin.

Kar Drakir by Reaper converted to a dragonborn paladin.

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.

Left to Right: Ranger by Games Workshop, Hayden by Hasslefree Miniatures, Balazar, Kar Drakir, Demi-Lich and Woody Stumpwimple by Reaper Miniatures.

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.

Mogg Bugbear by Reaper Miniatures.

Mogg Bugbear by Reaper Miniatures.

Mogg Bugbear by Reaper Miniatures.

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.

Bugbear, Rogg, and Mogg by Reaper Miniatures.

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.

Reptile evolution

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.

Maleficent from Disney's Sleeping Beauty.  Image used without permission.

Maleficent from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. Image used without permission.

Cinder by Reaper Miniatures

Cinder by Reaper Miniatures

Cinder by Reaper Miniatures

Cinder by Reaper Miniatures

Cinder by Reaper Miniatures

Cinder by Reaper Miniatures

Cinder by Reaper Miniatures

Cinder by Reaper Miniatures

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.

Kar Drakir by Reaper converted to a dragonborn paladin.

Kar Drakir by Reaper converted to a dragonborn paladin.

Kar Drakir by Reaper converted to a dragonborn paladin.

Kar Drakir by Reaper converted to a dragonborn paladin.

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.

Bit of progress

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.

Barrow rat by Reaper Miniatures

Barrow rat by Reaper Miniatures

Barrow rat by Reaper Miniatures

Barrow rat by Reaper Miniatures

Barrow rat by Reaper Miniatures

Barrow rat by Reaper Miniatures

Barrow rat by Reaper Miniatures

Barrow rat by Reaper Miniatures

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.

Rogg Bugbear by Reaper Miniatures.

Rogg Bugbear by Reaper Miniatures.

Rogg Bugbear and Bugbear Warrior by Reaper Miniatures.

Rogg Bugbear and Bugbear Warrior by Reaper Miniatures.

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.

A small sample of Rogg's warband.  All miniatures by Reaper.

A small sample of Rogg’s warband. All miniatures by Reaper.

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.