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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Since the inception of my blog of so many years ago, there has been a disturbing trend. It seems whenever I post a WIP for a miniature, that miniature tends to languish unfinished for quite some time. There have been a couple of exceptions, but I did actually finish a miniature today.
This isn’t my best work to date, but it was my attempt to blend a new flesh tone. I was trying for the dark West/Southern Asian skin tone predominate in India and Pakistan, but I will let my readers be the judge on the end result. Yes, I know the hair is the wrong colour. She is also wearing a Japanese headdress with an Egyptian staff and a Frank Frazetta-esque outfit.
The cloth photographs well, but there are some imperfections. The biggest issues stem from the primer. For the last couple figs I have primer I noticed the primer left clumpy residue. That alone is the reason for some unfinished figs. If you plan on painting Bones, this is something I have noticed more than on other figs. I am not sure if it a property of the material and the primer or the material holding onto moisture or dust.
On that note, I have started to hand prime my figures. As a result of the latest wash/base coat, I decided to try a few new flesh techniques. I am going to try layers with washes over a base coat for this guy. I am also trying to put the tattoo under the skin if you will: I applied blue around the eyes and arms prior to the heavy flesh base. It is faded quite a bit but the effect remains.
Hopefully something inspired you today. I know it was a short post, but I hope to get up into a semi-regular posting schedule again.
I normally don’t provide unsolicited advertising, but I see this as more of a public service message.
Bones 3 Kickstarter has launched at his link: Bones 3.
Now why would I see this as a PSA? Simply put because of my circumstances with the first two kickstarters.
I found out about Bones 1 when folks were waiting for shipments and I was very impressed with both the quality and quantity of minis. I saw it as a one-off, and didn’t care too much I missed it. Seriously, getting hung up on what could have been is a terrible way to live. I mean you don’t hear me bemoaning my potential career as a professional baseball player. All I was missing was that one training camp. Oh, and a career in the minors. And college. Or any appreciable talent. Ok, enough about me.
For Bones 2, I stumbled across it during a busy period at work. I was so excited to see it, until I saw I missed the window again. But not all was lost: they were offering a chance for people to buy-in still at slightly inflated prices. Sign me up.
So here we have a chance for those who missed out to still take advantage. This Kickstarter will run a little differently than the others in terms of levels available, and so far it looks like there will be multiple groups of similar creatures. For RPG this will give encounters, for mini gamers it will give you units.
Hopefully this will inspire you, if not to join this Kickstarter then to provide that little bit of info for your gaming friends and associates to help them take advantage of those limited availability specials.
For those not familiar with the above acronym, it is one I find I use very seldom, outside of a joke here or there. DYCO – Dashing Young Cavalry Officer. For those who know me personally, you will know I am neither young nor dashing.
This fellow on the other hand is all of the above.
I had originally intended to paint his armour the requisite steel colour, the look at me I’m a tin can look. In the back of my mind though, I remember one of the first full plate minis I ever painted (a long gone Ral Partha evil paladin of some sort). When I painted him I wasn’t sure how to paint metal to look different. His sword was going to be metallic but I figured he wouldn’t look evil if I painted him metallic (plus he would look like he did unpainted). So I painted him black with white edging on his armour.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago and Dagger and Brush (great blog at this link if you want to be wowed by some amazing work: http://daggerandbrush.wordpress.com/) commented on the dark armour. In the back of my mind I figured I would have to send the note clarifying it was just lower on the WIP line, then I started visualizing what he saw: a dark armour model with the striking heraldry. Sold. So rather than fool around with trying Non-Metal-Metal (NMM) for the second time* I opted for basic shadow and highlight play and I will mark some areas where the paint has chipped to show the steel beneath. As an example of real world armour painted black I present this example, but there are many others most of which are less embellished.
Anyhow, enough of my rambling, the brushes and paint had a chance to fly last night so Alain, Iconic Cavalier has some progress. First, stage one – the armour.
As the highlighting has gone a bit bright, I may go back and tone it down a bit. It is tough to tell as there is still a lot of black on the model that will be brighter colours – like the inside of the shield, the broad sword, the lance, and the various leather straps, pouches, and demi-sheath for his sword.
With a bit more colour:
The white really makes the shield pop and it toned down the armour a bit. Overall I think this is some good progress on this model.
Looking through my painted minis I did notice there was one mini who escaped getting photographed.
This Bones guy lived up to the rule I set for myself about the fiddly nature of trimming these guys: the gribblies/minions get superficial cleaning of the obvious stuff and that is it. So yes, there is an obvious mold-line down the body when zoomed in, but on the table it isn’t noticeable. I have found an easier way to trim the mold lines on Bones, so it is a bit easier than I thought, just a different technique. In the end I will be rushing through most of the monsters so I won’t give them as much attention. In contrast, I am a bit miffed by a mold like on Alain I can’t reach with a knife and files don’t work as well.
Anyhow, hopefully something was inspirational for you today, if nothing else to check out your local museum. The picture above is not mine nor from my local museum.
* My first attempt at NMM was a sword, a rather large sword so I thought it would be easier to do. It turned out so terrible after the first few layers I quickly painted over it before anyone else could see it. So I really don’t think I have done it yet. My first exposure to NMM was on the Rackham forum years ago where things like mirrored polished armour plates with distorted reflections were the norm…something far beyond my meager painting skills.
A bit more drawn out to finish, the second Bones 2 mini to get painted was the large ankheg.
I did a bit of wet blending for the reds and yellows to get that look I was after just right. A bit of dry brushing of the red and a brown wash of the yellow and viola…a complete model.
Actually the longest part of this guy was the base. I spread the base sculpting over 3 stages (and as many days) while the painting was done in an afternoon.
As the last picture shows, the stones I sculpted don’t match the dungeon tiles exactly, but do give the impression of belonging. Actually when I looked a the size of the stones on the small bases it would really just mean sculpting one or two stones and the stone floor effect would be lost. So a bit of scale creep is fine I think.
A bit of useless trivia for those die-hard DnD fans…there is actually a real-world bug out there like this: the Ant Lion. Although not even close in appearance, the larva stage of this insect buries itself in sand to ambush unsuspecting bugs. Think Sarlac Pit meets Ankheg and you have the general idea. If you want to watch one in action check out this link: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/05/Antlion.ogv
Although obscure, it looks like Jolie was able to find a reference in her book.
As the side by side comparison shows this beastie is giant. I based on one of the new Reaper Bases. This is the 2″ base…although some complainers have pointed out it is 50mm not 2″. Good enough for government work, or basing figures.
I have been blocking out the colours on another Bones 2 mini while finishing the large web room dungeon module. I have decided to go with some simple geometric heraldry and to copy it across the model. The pose and face looks so arrogant I expect this is a knight who talks about himself in the third person. The outer tabard I intend to paint white (maybe with a bit of trim or detailing) and the under tunic is being done in the same blocked out colours (yellow and blue). I will be adding scratches to the paint on the shield and a bit of dirt/grime under the bolts on the shield and codpiece. The base will be completed, I just had a bit of putty left over from the ankheg so threw it on his base.
Hopefully something was inspirational today. If nothing else you learned about nature.
I did mess around with some settings to make the blog (hopefully) more reader-friendly. Let me know if you have any comments.
A few things have happened since my last update and have kept me away from my regularly scheduled hobby-time.
First, the wife went in for surgery. She’s fine now, just recovering. It has meant more time caring for her.
Second, I received my Bones II miniatures. There are enough pictures of the boxes online so I skipped doing the box opening show many other backers have done.
Anyhow, the first mini painted from Bones II was the Mind Eater. It started as a test of how well the colours would adhere to the bare “bonesium” without primer. This is how the manufacturer recommends painting them, but old habits die hard. Overall, the paint did adhere well and blend well. When I started doing base colours on the next model I realized it wouldn’t work on those…too many folds and textures that I prefer having base coat to leave shadows.
Without further ado, here is the disgusting mind eater.
I went for a fairly realistic brain colouring and added a few veins and discoloured patches with blue and purple. I wanted to strongly contrast the browns of the brain so went with green (as the colour wheel compliment – GASP colour theory) in a style similar to insects. All in all, a quick and dirty paint but fairly effective.
And naturally the action shot:
Something tells me these goblins might be in for more than they can handle…
Hopefully something inspired you today, if nothing else to try strange combos on the strange minis in your collection.
I am sure this title can be interpreted many ways:
- A typo in my summary of my success at completing projects last year.
- A prophetic vision of the outcome of this year.
- Or a simply defined goal.
Like many miniature hobbyists, I have countless unfinished projects. This year I have decided to focus on finishing (some of) them, and that means going back to some older ones.
First we have part of my ambitious town project. I intended to start small (with a square) for use in Confrontation (and other 28mm games). I did detailed work and actually built each building individually to reinforce stability and provide the slightly off-kilter appearance these buildings show in European towns and cities. At the far right the building with no timber shows where the project stalled. The edging was a bit tedious but mostly other projects (and life responsibilities) took over. I was reminded of my goal when I played a game of 40K recently and used this to fill some table space. Goal for this year: finish this building strip and complete at least one more row.
Next we have the start of some dwarven ruins for use in Lord of the Rings. I actually have a few pieces I intended to use as scatter terrain. What was completed was finished in one weekend. The intent was to build terrain for the battle of Balin’s Tomb from the main rules. I have a Fellowship and I figured this would give me a reason to finish painting them. After the initial flurry of activity, little else was done. This particular piece needs paper cladding and work to define the raw stone (Styrofoam) vs worked stone (foamcore). Also completed were a small plaza and raw stone building with stairs to a higher level. Goal for this year: finish the 3 pieces started and three more scatter terrain pieces.
The next unfinished project is much more recent, in fact it was one of my stated goals to finish in 2014. Instead of using the light tank, I will instead turn the two hulls (and add another) into a wheeled IFV to proxy as a Razorback for my 40K Space Marines. As they will be filling out an existing army, I see them as more likely to be finished. Goal for this year: build 3 Razorback scratch-builds.
Now I am sure some of the more regular readers will notice that I have a long gap in posts, and nothing here mentions the HOTT Orcs. Well, as I mentioned in my last post, the rust wash was a bit over-done on the orcs. It pretty much crushed my morale on these figs as the rust wash was the last part and now I am not sure if I can repair it or I need to go the route of stripping. Here are a few pics.
The second picture was done with a shadow to show just how rusted out they are. I have seen metal that rusted, but normally they were pieces of heavy machinery left in a field for decades. I have had a few opinions and universally they are not good. But, despite being discouraging, I will pick up the brush and finish this project. Goal for this year: finish my orc HOTT army.
Now this isn’t to say I expect all my time to go onto these projects, and this year I will expect some other random things to get thrown at me. I will be doing more Hirst Arts dungeon pieces. To tie into that, by summer (hopefully) I will have my Bones 2 Kickstarter miniatures…roughly 100 figs to populate my dungeon and provide more painting fodder for my voracious 5 year-old daughter who is taking up the brush. I have also been taking my time to finish a few choice models, a novelty for me. I also am thinking about how to do a better modern/sci-fi city scape and I might go to Blade Runner, the new Total Recall, and 3rd World Slums for ideas to do some terrain for skirmish.
Of course that also brings up the small collection of a small strike team I bought and haven’t assembled/painted…
But all of this is not to say that last year was a wasted year. In the span of this year I managed to build (and paint) a small dungeon.
I also completed a scratch-built dreadnought in a relatively short timespan…well short considering my work responsibilities and trips during that time.
And let’s not forget the completion of not 1…
But three DBA armies.
Ok, maybe two and a half since the Brittons/Gauls/Galatians aren’t painted.
I also painted quite a few single miniatures.
A longer post than usual for me, and quite heavy on pictures (even if most are recycled). I encourage all the folks out there to set goals but be flexible. There is a lot of time and effort that goes into this hobby, and the minute it starts feeling like work is the time it stops being fun. It is all that wandering from project to project that defines the enjoyment of the hobby. Having the freedom to walk away from a project that has lost its grip on your attention is part of what keeps it enjoyable. The ability to pick up a new one also keeps those embers smoldering. If nothing else, I hope this post inspires you to revisit what attracted you to this hobby in the first place. Hmmm, seems a bit like a Hallmark card there.
After a long and busy weekend helping a friend re-shingle his house. See skills in building models are just as valid in building a house.
I don’t have too much new to update on other than a few new pieces assembled but not painted.
First up is another 90 degree corner piece. I opted to add some wooden panels and stairs to make it seem unique. It is the out of place things like this that used to drive me nuts in role-playing games or video games. I remember the party being held up for a couple of hours and endless plans being debated over a piece of wire sticking out of the ground. Turns out the DM was just trying out a random table for dungeon dressing.
A four-way intersection. Instead of single pillars that would very likely break I opted to make the piece rectangular so a full wall can be placed instead. I originally planned to put arches all through here but the lack of support and millimeter variances in size drove me nuts. Word to the wise: if you are building arches make sure they are solidly supported as they don’t do well as stand alone parts.
Ah, the yawning chasm that blocks the path. To build this I carefully cut out sections leaving a lip and gradually lowered it tiny slice by tiny slice. And after 20 minutes got bored so clawed out big chunks instead and used my heat gun to smooth it out a bit and drop the depth. So the end result is the lip is gone but I will make a removable wooden plank bridge to cross.
Nothing too fancy, just a dead end. If I plan to keep the dungeon completely modular I will need a few of these to cap off passages.
A simple lay-out demonstrating the 4-way intersection.
And the mandatory action shot. Since the modules are unpainted I felt some unpainted monsters would suffice. Visible here are mummies and scarabs Bones miniatures by Reaper.
Hopefully something here inspired you today, if nothing else to show you modeling skills are just as practical in construction.
Note: modeling skills are in no way practical in construction. If you try to patch and build with Hirst blocks, foam core and popsicle sticks please send me pictures but keep me out of any phrases like “liability” or “lawsuit”.