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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.

Hello….is there anybody in there….

Just nod if you can here me…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FrOQC-zEog

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.

Logrim Battlefury by Reaper Miniatures

Logrim Battlefury by Reaper Miniatures

Skeleton sprue from Games Workshop.

Skeleton sprue from Games Workshop.

Logrim Battlefury by Reaper Miniatures

Logrim Battlefury by Reaper Miniatures

Logrim Battlefury by Reaper Miniatures

Logrim Battlefury by Reaper Miniatures

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.

Bugbear by Reaper Miniatures.

Bugbear by Reaper Miniatures.

Bugbear by Reaper Miniatures.

Bugbear by Reaper Miniatures.

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.

Balazar by Reaper Miniatures.

Balazar by Reaper Miniatures.

Balazar by Reaper Miniatures.

Balazar by Reaper Miniatures.

Balazar by Reaper Miniatures.

Balazar by Reaper Miniatures.

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:

  1.  He was one of the models I tried spray primer on with disastrous results.
  2. 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.

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

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

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.

Merry Christmas

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.

Ice Troll by Reaper Miniatures

Ice Troll by Reaper Miniatures

Ice Troll by Reaper Miniatures

Ice Troll by Reaper Miniatures

Ice Troll by Reaper Miniatures

Ice Troll by Reaper Miniatures

Ice Troll by Reaper Miniatures

Ice Troll by Reaper Miniatures

Ice Troll and Jolie Female Scribe by Reaper Miniatures

Ice Troll and Jolie Female Scribe by Reaper Miniatures

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.

West Side Story 3

I promised in my last post, there was a long pause between posts.  Not only was the busy work activity very busy, I ended up working fairly long hours right up until my Christmas break.  Thankfully I wasn’t foolish enough to think I could get gifts painted prior to Christmas.  I did try sculpting a couple gifts, but one was a bit rushed and I forgot to take pictures of the ones that did turn out ok.

As the name implies, I do have an update on my Necromunda gang.  These are not newly painted figures, rather ones I finished since my last post but wasn’t able to take pictures of.

Necromunda ganger with autogun and pistol converted.

Necromunda ganger with autogun and pistol converted.

Necromunda ganger with autogun and pistol converted.

Necromunda ganger with autogun and pistol converted.

Up first we have my Jersey Shore guy.  I say this as the flesh wash went on too heavy.  The end result was close to a bad spray tan, both in colour and patchiness.  So I decided since he had badly dyed hair, it worked.  I did heavily convert the rifle he is holding.  It has a new plastic rod barrel, a boltgun magazine, and a lot of trimming.  I am happy with how it looks and I even did an EO-Tech sight.

Necromunda ganger with laspistol and knife.

Necromunda ganger with laspistol and knife.

Necromunda ganger with laspistol and knife.

Necromunda ganger with laspistol and knife.

In contrast to the first guy, the next ganger has too pale skin.  As I was hoping to get these guys assembly line painted and ready for the table this weekend, I wasn’t too worried about it then.  Now, well I may go back and give him a flesh wash.  But I am not 100% sold on that.  At the end of the day he is painted well enough and I find the primer very frustrating on these guys.

Necromunda gangers converted.  Even with similar equipment, slight posing differences can give unique feeling to each.

Necromunda gangers converted.  Slight posing differences matter when using the same kit.

If you didn’t notice it before, I will point it out now.  The limits of the Catachan kit means some models will start looking very similar.  So to show that a bit of attention to bits and positioning can give variety we can compare this guy to his twin.  Both have the same head and essentially the same equipment: a pistol with a melee weapon.  The legs are different, the posture is slightly changed, and the use of different left arms breaks the similarity.  The differently sculpted hair (including goatee) adds to the differences.

After I painted these guys I came up with a name for the gang, the Dogs of Ward 6.  Silly and pointless, but I thought it would be an easy enough piece of graffiti to work into my terrain if I want, and a few tattoos will now start appearing.  The flamer ganger (still a work in progress) will have a more obvious 6 motif on his metal shoulder pads.

But not everything was Necromunda.  I had an order arrive from Reaper (to get one of their Christmas themed minis) and I also picked up a couple of aliens I have wanted to do my own little alien crew with.  The first one painted very quickly.

Rach Soldier by Reaper Miniatures.

Rach Soldier by Reaper Miniatures.

Rach Soldier by Reaper Miniatures.

Rach Soldier by Reaper Miniatures.

Rach Soldier by Reaper Miniatures.

Rach Soldier by Reaper Miniatures.

Rach Soldier by Reaper Miniatures.

Rach Soldier by Reaper Miniatures.

I went with a bright and vibrant colour-scheme reminiscent of the aliens from 80s sci fi, video games and comics.  I went with my darker and subtle highlights to make it still seem fairly drab.  Overall I think it works.  The model is a Rach Trooper by Reaper.  An older figure, some of the details I soft and it shows its age, in particular the left hand.  But since the attention is easily drawn away from those areas I am still happy with it.  If you are looking for a unique looking alien, I recommend this guy.  Although the ears scream elf, the bone ridges on the forehead give a distinct alien vibe.  By going with a non-traditional skin colour this guy really screams alien.

Rach Soldier by Reaper Miniatures.  Nomad by Hassle Free Miniatures.

Rach Soldier by Reaper Miniatures. Nomad by Hassle Free Miniatures.

The scale is slightly taller than most modern “true scale” 28mm figs as displayed by Nomad, but overall since it is alien it will fit into nearly any collection you might have.

Rach Solider and Malvernis Soldier by Reaper Miniatures.

Rach Solider and Malvernis Soldier by Reaper Miniatures.

Rach Soldier and Incredible Woman (converted to Ms Marvel) by Reaper Miniatures.

Rach Soldier and Incredible Woman (converted to Ms Marvel) by Reaper Miniatures.

As I am doing a crew, I figured these would be the sort that would be like Guardians of the Galaxy, but maybe a bit more straight-edge.  As shown with Ms Marvel, and his partner in crime, the bright contrast in colour actually serves to unify them.  The only tough question I have is how to paint their plucky technician.  She will be even more garish…but I don’t know how I can achieve that.

A fairly short update today, but hopefully no less inspirational for you.  If nothing else I think I have shown you that garish contrast of colours still can look good together.

Lurking on the Fringes

It has been quite the long gap in posts, and I am sure more than a few people will be surprised to get a messaging popping-up on an update on this blog.

I have been quite busy with work and social activities the past couple months with little time for hobby stuff.  I have managed to squeeze a bit of time to play 40K in, but mostly because I was asked to take part in a league that has games every two weeks (so fairly easy to manage).  Today’s update is mostly a few odds and sods that I have been working on, with absolutely nothing having been completed.

Games Workshop Tau Piranha.

Games Workshop Tau Piranha.

As 40K has been the bulk of my hobby time, a few of my Tau models have been getting some paint.  Although the basic hull is about 90% done, this needs a lot of work.  The white is fairly smooth, I just need to clean up the mess from my black-lining and of course paint the crew and compartment.

 

I have enjoyed playing my Tau and I did buy a few models, but I have committed less than $100 to this army between getting models in trade and on sale.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

As the title picture shows, I have started a new terrain piece for the urban terrain.  I have decided to use some of the random plastic pieces from my junk box to make a power relay station which is also built on a piece of MDF.  I clad the outside in a foamcore wall and built the small out-building and have called it done.  There are a few other minor details but they won’t really look like much until it is painted.

 

Bugbear by Reaper Miniatures.

Bugbear by Reaper Miniatures.

Bugbear by Reaper Miniatures.

Bugbear by Reaper Miniatures.

Another couple WIP have been my Reaper figures.  I got quite the large assortment of Bugbear miniatures in Bones 2 and I have just started painting them.  I had put on the base coats on a few of them when I decided I wanted to build one up to finished on the skin tone.  At that point, I had a friend contact me and ask if I could teach him how to paint…that night.

 

So he brought over a few figs and I showed him a few techniques, but these bugbears were the most handy.  Between the different stages of progressive layering he was able to see how I paint and he even threw paint on a few while he waited for paint to dry.  By the end of the night he had a good enough for table-top miniature for his paladin character in the weekly DnD campaign he is playing in.  He also decided to gift a few minis to his group and my box of Bones turned up 3 members of the group for him, leaving him with just one more fig to get for Christmas gifts.  As for the bugbear, I will still need to finish his armour and make his fur stand out more with highlights and a wash.  And the weapon of course needs lots of work too.

Stone Lurker by Reaper Miniatures.

Stone Lurker by Reaper Miniatures.

Stone Lurker by Reaper Miniatures.

Stone Lurker by Reaper Miniatures.

Also getting a bit of paint is the Roper.  Reaper calls it a Stone Lurker to avoid lawsuits, but it is obviously the iconic underground horror the Roper.  I am not sure what else I want to do with this guy.  A wash or two on the tentacles will tone them down for starters and I am not very happy with the mouth on top.  The eye needs a bit of work too.  In other words, it is very much still a work in progress.

I have always been fascinated by that monster since I was a kid and I loved the artwork in the AD&D Monster Manual as a kid.  Something about it just seemed so unnatural and weird.  Funny thing is, I have never faced one in a game nor have I used one as a monster in a game I ran.

Anyhow, now that I have a painted miniature, maybe it will make an appearance at some point in a game.

So a bit of a short post with a lot of variety, but hopefully still inspirational.  If nothing else, it shows that even with a long hiatus from hobby time it is possible to jump back into things.