maandag 28 december 2015

And now, for something completely different...

Well, so far you've seen mainly fantasy and sci-fi miniatures from me. Oh, and zombies*. All in 28mm.
Not this time...
Yesterday, the third day of Christmas (a.k.a. the Thank-Cthulhu-it's-finally-over-Day) I painted a batch of 20mm Deutsches Afrika Korps. They're a project I haven't worked on for nearly a decade, but my recent introduction to the PC game War Thunder has rekindled my interest. Plus they form a nice breather for my (currently main project) fantasy stuff, as they paint up quickly. This whole batch was done in a single day (including drying time for washes and sleeping in a bit), where I take at least two days, or more, for a batch of fantasy figures a quarter this number.

Here they are:
In case you're wondering, the minis without bases, and the one on the big, untextured base are parts of LMG teams. I've kept them apart to acces all the nooks and crannies while painting. Once all members of a team are done, I'll glue them to their base and texture + paint it. The metal on the guns is left flat grey for now, once the whole platoon is done, I'll rub them with some graphite (in other words, pencil) to give them a metallic sheen.
They're on the piece of paper to keep them organised, as I'm painting the basic infantry of the platoon and its command group combined over several batches. Each figure needs to go back to it's own squad after painting!
The reason I'm doing mixed batches like this, instead of a whole squad at a time, is because I custom mix several colours and highlights each time. As a result I get a natural variance in the exact tone of colour in each batch. By spreading the batches among all infantry, I use what would otherwise be a hindrance to replicate the effect of all uniforms bleaching at different rates and in different manners, making the units as a whole seem more realistic. :)

Here's a close up of one of the command group members checking either his tactical map, or the assembly guide for his Ikea flat-pack summoning circle:
(The mini is based on a 20mm washer, for size reference. So the above picture is several times life-sized, depending on your monitor size and resolution.)

What are my plans for this? Well, I have this platoon of infantry to paint, plus assemble and paint their Protze transports. And there is the rest of the box I've collected nearly a decade ago, which includes the remaining vehicles of a small recce group (consisting of a Sd.Kfz. 232 (8rad) Funkenwagen, two Sd.Kfz. 222s and a looted Humber), some PaKs and 8.8s plus tows and some Blitzes to haul supplies. A leichte and mittlere Panzerzug (I already have the Panzer I to function as the command vehicle for the leichte Panzerzug) are on the wishlist to add sometime, as well as a Diane or two.
And I want to add some Weird War war eventually as well (Some Gear Krieg style walkers, as that setting got me thinking about doing WWII in the first place. I have a 1/72 Maus that I can add a turret or two to, making it a "Panzerlandschiff".) But that is still far away, I'll need to get the basics done first. Hopefully it'll take less than 10 years....

See you next time!

*: Which could be classed as modern, post-modern, sci-fi or post-apocalyptic/peri-apocalyptic. ;P

vrijdag 25 december 2015

They dwell beneath...

Over the last couple of days, as a counterpoint to the ever increasing Christmas Frenzy and Enforced Cheer, I've been taking little breaks to paint a bunch of goblins from GW's the Hobbit range.
I won't be using them as goblins, though, but rather as degenerate deep-cave dwellers, á la Morlocks or the creatures in the Descent movie. They'll also double as degenerate navite mutants in games of Inquisimunda or similar.
To reflect the role I have chosen for them, they've been painted in a sickly, greyish skintone:
As I needed to get 18 done before Christmas, and they're meant to use in hordes anyway, they got a quick, serviceable paintjob.

As a test, I've photographed them against my Frostgrave wall markers, but it ended up a bit monochrome as a result. In a way, they're a bit too well adapted to their surroundings...

A few mates have also tempted me into giving the PC game War Thunder a shot, and I've been enjoying myself plonking around in wee little tankies (and generally getting shot to bits). Which, in turn, has reminded me of my small(ish) collection of 20mm Afrika Korps that have languished in Mons Plumbum for near to a decade. When I originally worked on them, I stalled out on the painting the platoon of infantry I had, after having painted only one tank, two armoured recce cars and maybe 6 infantry (and a converted Weird War walker)... Not the most auspicious start.
Rooting round the stash, I found I also had an M3 Grant for some reason. So I quickly assembled that one, with an eye on maybe playing some quick tank duels with the Panzer IV I had already finished. So that one is now on the pile of minis ready for primer.

Anyway, that's all for today, have to go do seasonal stuff.
Merry Christmas everyone!


vrijdag 18 december 2015

Something good from Sweden, part 2.

Remember back in March when I told you about a Kickstarter by Järnringen to get their RPG Symbaroum translated into English.
Well, today my book arrived! And it is a thing of beauty. The book is well made, feels nice and solid, pleasantly thick pages. The art is beautiful  and evocative (It's part of what pushed me over the edge into pledging on this one), the lay out is pleasant to look at without being overbearing.
I especially like the rounded spine and the fact they thought to include a woven bookmark. Good stuff.
I had a quick leaf through, but I can't wait to read the entire thing cover to cover.
Have a look:




I'll be doing lots of reading this weekend!

dinsdag 15 december 2015

Wallpainting

I painted the first half of my walls (made another two in the evening last night, so I now have 6 total).
Here they are:
Painting was quite simple: I took basic black and white craft paint and mixed a dark grey colour. This I drybrushed on with a cheapo 2" round housebrush. After each pass I added some more white to the mixture and drybrushed again, until I reached the desired colour and contrast. That's it.
Before painting I undercoated the walls with a ever so slightly thinned 50/50 PVA and black paint mixture (the same black hobby paint) to primer and toughen the surface of the foam.
 Hopefully, tomorrow I can crank out the next three.

Until next time!

maandag 14 december 2015

Shire Defense Force


I've known this Kickstarter was coming for a while now, and was really looking forward to it, and now it is finally here!
The Westfalia Miniatures Halfmen Army Kickstarter

 It's a project to fund and start a range of Halflings in a more professional military vein, rather than the quite pastoral and merry style usually seen.
Their armour and equipment of the pint-sized belligerents is styled after late 14th/early 15th century gear, which I really like the look of and coincides perfectly with the era I'm most interested in. It's the era which my setting/headcanon for the fantasy games I play is derived from. So you can see how I could not resist pledging! My collection of heroes and "good guy" warbands has been rather humanocentric so far (with the odd elf and dwarf thrown in), this Kickstarter will go a long way towards correcting that!
The sculpts are very good, nice and clean and the test sculpts sent out to some select wargamers for review have gotten very positive feedback concerning the resin chosen and casting quality.

 So, if you like Halflings and/or fantasy with a strong medieval flavour, go and have a look!
They're already well past funded and burning through stretch goals rapidly.

zondag 13 december 2015

Walled in.


We, Gunbird and I, started playing Frostgrave sometime after Crisis 2015, and are now building up a local group of players (started at the two of us, now at 5, maybe 6) and getting the hang of the rules before hopefully launching into a campaign.

The "Wall" spell has turned out to be quite popular, but so far we've been making due with folded paper walls as placeholders. High time to do something about that! I didn't feel like painting today, after finishing the Maggot Family, so grabbed some tools, mdf and foam and started building.
Heres what I got done in an afternoon:
 The mdf bases are somewhat conspicuous, partly on purpose, so these can be identified as walls created by spells. Maybe I'll paint the edge of the base with some kind of runes or script to really drive the point home.
If they were to be regular scenery, I'd have carved the bases back into stones, or hidden them in another way, or simply used a significantly thinner material for the base.
They're each 6" wide, 3" tall and about 2/3 of an inch thick.
I know the walls generated by the "Wall" spell have no appreciable thickness, but I made my walls a bit beefier. For stability, but also so I can use them as regular walls in other games. I've got four finished so far, which should about be enough for a single game of Frostgrave, unless both players really go crazy with the spell. Maybe I'll make some more so we can use them when playing several games at the same time. Perhaps even try a different style of wall altogether?

These four still need sealing with (thinned) PVA-glue before I can paint them.


See you next time!

zaterdag 12 december 2015

Move, you Maggots!

More Heresy Miniatures this time. His "lovely" range of maggots this time.
Here's the whole happy family:
 The paintjob was fairly easy, just a mix of washes and drybrushes over a fleshtone basecoat, leaving me to focus on choosing the right colours for maximum ickyness. : )
After that it was a matter of painting them all in satin varnish to offset the matness from the drybrushings, giving them the ever so slightest sheen and hitting the hard bits, like teeth and spines, with gloss varnish. A little dab of Tamiya Transparent Red over the bits of gore in one of the Maggotmen's hands and Bob's your mothers brother!
Because they are resin casts and the bottoms of the minis have plenty of contact surface for a secure glue bond, I painted the bases and minis separately and glued them together at the very last.
These will join the 5 giant maggots/grubs I already had, giving me a gross little herd to swamp heroes with!

Here are a few more closeups of the lot:

"Mother", the God-Grub:
(To give an idea of size, she's on a 50mm base.)

"The Keepers", servants of Mother and herders of the giant maggots and grubs:
(These are on 25mm bases)

"The Children", giant maggots and grubs:
(On 20mm round bases)

These nasty gribblies were all so much fun to paint!

See you next time!

donderdag 10 december 2015

That's a load of bull!

Highland bull, that is!
So, a double feature today, two posts within 24 hours! I managed to finish a second figure yesterday. After all, I had a whole day of nothing else to do but wait for the cable guy. I lost no time faffing about on the PC as I'd lose the internet connection the moment the guy started working, so I didn't bother switching it on in the first place and just kept painting.

Which means now I can present to you; the Highland Minotaur.
Like with the chicken-keeper from last post, it was to dark to photograph them by the time they were finished so I took pics today.
Here's the beast:


He's a conversion of Heresy Miniatures Snow Troll. I simply added horns, lopped off it's toes and replaced them with hooves. I hid any seams or connections by sculpting fur over them, to blend into the existing shaggy coat. Paint was a series of washes and drybrushes for the fur.

(P.S. the gritty texture on his left hand isn't a casting or sculpting defect. It's just me being a klutz and not noticing there was still some sand stuck on his hand until well after primering... Being on the underside/inside of the hand, and so not noticeable from tabletop angle, I opted to just keep it there instead of trying to scrape it of and potentially messing up the WIP paintjob or surface of the mini. Just so there is no confusion, Heresy's Andy his casting is impeccable!)

Poultry in motion...

Yesterday I had to stay at home, to wait for the cable guy to replace our connection (apparently the hardware in the wall was out of date, leading to connection problems), so I made good use of available daylight. The peasant maid that goes with the chickens got finished, so here they are:


As with the previous villager the lady and the chickens got a fairly basic paintjob, as these models are to be halfway between miniatures and scenery items in use, they aren't expected to take centre stage.

Like with pigs and pigherd, the animals are from War-bases and the villager is from Foundry.
Hopefully, over the Christmas holidays, I can build them a place to live in.

See you next time!

maandag 30 november 2015

Some conversions in progress

With the stormy weather, the light isn't decent enough to paint ( I did manage to paint some chickens for the village on saturday, but I won't show these yet as I want to show them with the accompanying villager, and she's not finished yet.). So I decided to build some figures instead. The results are below:

vrijdag 27 november 2015

Hop to it!

A while ago, I backed the "Warts and Wings" Kickstarter from Toad King Castings. Today a little packet arrived, containing this:
For some reason, I got the boozy stirge instead of Terence the pipe-smoking toad as stretch goal perk, but seeing how it's effectively a free mini, and the stirge is cute as a button (the misses took an instant liking to him), I don't mind at all.

During the kickstarter the greens of the toads already looked impressive, but having the casts in hand now, I'm just blown away! The sculpting is immaculate, not a tool-mark to be seen and the texture on the toads skin is just wonderful. The casting is absolutely top notch as well, not an air bubble or molding mark to be seen anywhere. A quick rinse (and maybe a slight sanding of the bottoms, if one is picky about perfect flatness) should suffice to get these models ready for paint.
I'm genuinely impressed by the quality of these models.
The only thing I regret about this Kickstarter is that I didn't have the spare cash at the time to add some of the barrels, crates and the mimic to my pledge as well.
Hopefully Toad King Castings will get a webstore set up soon, once the Kickstarter is fulfilled, so I and others can get their hands on (more of) these fine figures.

It looks like my painting queue may be reshuffled even further...
I guess I'll be staring at pictures of toads this weekend. :)

See you next time!

donderdag 26 november 2015

Porkchop express

Last weekend I painted the pigs and started on the swineherd, part of the medieval village populace I bought at Crisis this year. Today I had the time for a little sitdown with brushes and paint and finished the swineherd.
Here they are:
The pigs are from War-bases. They're Iron Age pigs, whereas I'm basing my fantasy village in the 14th century, but as livestock wasn't systematically improved and bred until Victorian times, I guess I'm good.  I tried to make them look like Tamworths.
The swineherd is from one of Foundry's medieval villagers packs. I chose the running one, as the various "period" Farm shows on Auntie Beeb the past years have taught me that herding swine involves a great deal of chasing...
As they're essentially to be used as terrain, I kept the paint job fairly basic.

I'm trying to match villagers to animals in sets, to make painting a bit more enjoyable and aid me in setting up a believable living village. Next in line: chickens and a maid. Unless a certain rooster-toad offspring pushes it's way to the front of the line. It is after all, the time of year for monsters...

zaterdag 21 november 2015

Finding Felstad.

I played a test game of Frostgrave yesterday with a few mates, one of them acting as a "wizarding instructor" of sorts (a.k.a. he explained the rules to us).
I won't do a full write up, if you want, you can read more about the game on Gunbirds blog. Suffice to say that I'm sold, this game is fun!
We both opted for a "loot and scoot" approach, instead of trying to take out the enemy warband, so we ended the game with only 3 casualties (and a near dead apprentice, due to failed castings...).

So, I'll definitely be doing more with this game, I'll just have to see how to fit this into the greater Questing/Chivalry/Dungeoneering project(s). I won't be building a full set of snowed-in ruined city terrain, as I've more than enough scenery projects to build/complete for my fantasy gaming as is, especially now that I have a village worth of civvies and livestock. (There's dungeon terrain, a dread forest, a medieval/fantasy village, maybe some caves and a castle... the snowball keeps rolling. Step one is a storage solution, though, no use building it if I can't store it safely.)
I had already decided that my, loosely defined, setting would incorporate a dark mysterious forest (a classic chanson de geste/chivalry romance trope) and a "Coast of Lost Cities": A long stretch of deserted coastline filled with ancient, ruined, cyclopean cities that extend into/below the waters of the sea. Probably millennia old and riddled with subterranean catacombs, no-one knows what race built these cities and if they are partially submerged due to the rising of the seas or by original design.
Oppressive and inhabited by all sorts of monsters and creatures, people avoid living close, but at the same time the hidden treasures and promise of ancient knowledge attract adventurers and fortune-seekers by the droves.
Either would make a good alternate setting for Frostgrave games. So, for me, depending on what I build scenery for first, I will be playing either "Waldgrave" or "Ruingrave".
Plus, wizards could have many reasons to clash in other locations as well. Maybe they need rare ingredients, leading them to raid a Griffon breeding ground, or they raid a village for youths with magical talent, they may both want to recharge an item in an ancient henge... Or they're just feuding over a border town between their respective territories. Or one wizard raiding another's supply caravan. Plenty of reasons for a magical showdown without needing to loot some dilapidated old place. :)
I need more wizards, though.


zondag 8 november 2015

Catching up (Aka Loot-tober)

So, what have I been up to the last couple of weeks?

Well, reading, as my copy of Badab War arrived:
I've wanted these books ever since they came out, but just couldn't justify the price tag. But recently, as I was browsing the Forgeworld site, I saw that the price had come way down, I guess because the rules inside are now several editions out of date. As I mainly wanted it for the background and decidedly less for the rules this doesn't bother me, so I struck.

A while ago my son expressed interest in painting a mini. The past two weekends we spent an afternoon painting together, teaching him the basics of basecoat, drybrushing and washes.
As I didn't want to paint anything involved while doing this I started on some Deathwing terminators from Dark Vengeance (Yeah, I know, the fact that I don't consider Deathwing terminators involved panting-wise should worry me).
I don't have a Dark Angels army, nor an interest in starting one, but they are useable in Space Hulk and I could put them down whenever I needed to help out or advise my son while painting.
For him I prepped a few spare miniatures (a Chaos warrior, Space Marine, Lizardman and an Ork), being an 11 year-old boy, he chose the Space Marine... :D
He actually impressed me with the focus, attention and calm he was painting with (especially as he has ADHD) and the result is quite nice for a first mini:
A proud parent am I....
After this first taste, he seems to be interested in doing more. Not going to push him on it, we'll see where it goes.

Also, my Gwent decks from the Witcher 3 expansion arrived:
For those that don't know. the Witcher 3 is an open-world fantasy RPG for the PC based on the world/setting of Andrzej Sapkowski's Witcher novels. Unsurprisingly it is the third part of the series of games...
Gwent is a (mini-)game within the game, that has become quite loved and popular (with people making emulators to play it outside of the Witcher game and even some making physical cards to play it in real life).
It's quite a fun game, each player builds a deck, of which he draws ten cards for a game. Each card has a value, you play over three rounds, the highest total score when both players pass wins the round, the first player to win two rounds wins the game. You don't replenish cards between the rounds so there is a fair bit of strategy to determine what cards to play, which to hold in reserve for a next round and when to pass. Certain cards mess can influence your strategy even more by either modifying the value of cards or removing/recycling cards from your or your opponents hand. This man on youtube can give you a beginners tutorial.
 The collector's edition of the game contained two of the four decks (I didn't get it, it was too expensive for me at the time of release), but the first expansion allowed one to order the other two decks. I'm hoping the second expansion will allow me a second chance to get the first two decks as well and complete the set.
I'm looking forward to playing this with a real live human.

Yesterday I went to Crisis, a Belgian wargaming show hosted by the Tin Soldiers Of Antwerp. A great show, especially now that they seem to have settled into their new venue quite comfortably.
As usual lots of great and good-looking demos and participation games, nice and friendly traders with a good mix and diversity of products and ranges and a well-run bring and buy. (Though I couldn't buy much at her stand, due to previously reserved funds, I especially enjoyed the visit to the Dice Bag Lady. Cheerful and friendly service and I quite appreciate her intention and effort to find and promote miniatures of women that are sensibly equipped/dressed and capable. While I enjoy the occasional cheesecake, I have set myself  a goal of making my collection of Dungeoneering/Fantasy heroes as gender-equal as possible and found myself surprised at how difficult that actually turns out to be.)
The bring and buy, while always good, had an unexpected treat for me this year, as I managed to snag a very good condition copy of the Realm of Chaos- Slaves to Darkness hardcover for a mere €25, whereas it usually goes for a princely sum on Ebay. Now I can only hope to have similar luck someday with the companion book, the Lost and the Damned, which usually goes for even sillier money online...
On the miniatures end of Crisis, I acquired a wizard and apprentice from Frostgrave (Sigilist as I like the minis, not sure if I'll actually use them in Frostgrave or for something else entirely. I'm somewhat eyeing an Elementalist for Frostgrave with regards to spell selection) as well as the populations and livestock for a medieval/fantasy village through Foundry and Warbases:
So now I'll have to (re)research appropriate colours for medieval livestock and village buildings before I build and paint them. Maybe I'll even have to rewatch Tales from the Green Valley again...
Ah, the toils of knowledge... ;P

I kept a little bit of cash set aside for things that I wanted to get, but weren't available at the show itself, which I've now ordered online.
Even though it's in November, the visit to Crisis wonderfully concluded what I've come to think of as Loot-tober this year as, in addition to the above, this month also saw the Heresy monsters Kickstarter delivered, along with the last set of coins from a coin Kickstarter. :D
It also effectively concludes my hobby purchases for this year, aside from a little bit of currency reserved for a Kickstarter I know is coming in december (Late 14th/early 15th century styled armoured halflings, I just can't resist!), I'll talk more about that when it starts.

See you next time!

maandag 19 oktober 2015

Fulfillment...


Of a Kickstarter, that is.

Today I picked up my Heresy Miniatures Kickstarter package (Apparently  previous delivery attempts had been made. I assume by one of those  "stealth"-postmen that don't use doorbells and delivery cards, as I had been home that entire day and hadn't seen or heard anything... If they'd used a regular postie, I'd have had my stuff a week earlier...)

Here's what came out of the box:

As usual, Heresy miniatures shows the excellence the  "Forum of Doom-collective" has become known and loved for. The package was sturdy and caringly wrapped, with a nice thank-you note and some candy. Little touches that really make you feel appreciated as a customer, and the fact that Heresy keeps this up, even with the insane workload of the Dragon and Kickstarter fulfillment really speaks of their dedication and deeply entrenched customer care.
But it was the contents that really blew me away this time. Heresy Miniatures metal casting has always been very good, especially considering that essentially it has always been a one man operation. (Two man now, wouldn't want to ignore "Minion Dave")
But with the resin casts from the Kickstarter Heresy really kicks it up a notch, they are just near perfect! Clean neat detail, all perfectly cast with no bubbles, no flash, barely any moldlines at all!
Really looking forward to building and painting these.

So what did I get?
I didn't go crazy overboard (My budget nowadays simply doesn't allow it anymore), but I got some cool bits to make my dungeon that more dangerous:
6 More Gribbly Slugs, the six I already had simply weren't enough, I really want to swarm my adventurers!
3 Maggotmen to serve as herders for the above.
1 Terror Grub, a huge, hideous maggot to serve as a mother/living god to the Maggotmen. Perhaps, at some point I'll also add the Maggotmen Leader to this crew of creeps.
And two trolls, a Dungeon Troll, who gets to stay just as he is, and a Snow Troll, who will get horns and hooves to become a Highland Minotaur. The latter is a conversion I had wanted to do since I first saw the snow troll, but never got around to while he was available in metal.

What's a Highland Minotaur?  Well, imagine this, but bipedal, carnivorous and extremely vicious:

See you next time!

woensdag 14 oktober 2015

Brother Astarte

This weekend I started painting my first true scale space marine*, but I didn't get him entirely finished. Today I had the chance to do the last few touches.

*: Now he isn't my first true scale space marine, I did one a few years back, trying to use only regular marine bits, it didn't quite work the way I wanted. He is however the first of the Howling Griffons true scale warband for games of Inquisimunda and such.

I present to you, Brother Rolan of the Howling Griffons:
The last known pict-capture of Brother Rolan, during the height of the Luyvan Insurrection, early 997.m41. The image was recorded by a security pictor inside a manufactorum near the Luyvan spaceport, hours before the final evacuation preceding Exterminatus. The Howling Griffons 5th Company performed desperate rearguard actions to allow as many key personnel and civilians to escape. As the 5th Company hasn't fought in the subsector since, it is unknown if Brother Rolan was among the last evacuees.

Brother Rolan is a battle brother of the Howling Griffon's fifth company, second squad. Brother Rolan is a recipient of the Aureum Gryphe (seen on his right greave) and has been awarded the right to personal heraldry, as depicted on his right pauldron. Both are unusual, as the lack of other markings or awarded honour-gear seem to indicate that he is still young in his career among the Astartes. On his left greave you can just make out the  badge of the Jülich Sanction campaign. The aquila beneath it indicates he was present at that campaign's culminating 5 day running battle in the great city of Lorimar's Fall. It is speculated his Aurum Gryphe and personal heraldry were earned with feats of valour during this conflict.

zondag 4 oktober 2015

Plains of glass

A couple of months ago (wow, time flies) I got an extra set of glass shelves for my display cabinet, as it was slowly getting crowded.
This weekend I finally added those extra shelves to the cabinet.
For that I needed to drill extra holes to support the shelves. While I originally hoped I could do this in situ, after clearing the mini's out of the display cabinet, it quickly became obvious this would be impossible, there simply wasn't room to move a drill about and the risk of shattering the glass was too great.
So, with the aid of my loving and patient wife and son, I completely disassembled the entire thing, drilled all the holes, and proceeded to reassemble the whole contraption... I took the opportunity to properly clean it out as well, as now I could get to every last nook and cranny.
There was a moment of confusion when, instead of having parts left over as usual when assembling furniture, I had to feed extra components into the heaving mass of proto-furniture. But we overcame that and all was well.
I had a few scares when reinserting the glass shelves: Because the shelves were closer together, and there were more of them, I had more nasty little metal pegs to maneuver around, the occasional unexpected tink of impact causing me to freeze nervously. In the end, nothing broke, except a sweat, and I now have a shiny, roomier display cabinet:
I believe this is the largest conversion I've made to date. ;P

Next on the schedule is to repopulate it with my miniatures and arrange them in such a way that I can safeguard for future expansion, as I will not be undertaking the adding of shelves again!
I'm hoping I can do that over the next couple of days. Currently all my miniatures are clumped together in the old display units, which will be handed of to my sister for her hobby stuff, once I've emptied them out again. Here they are, all base-to-base in the largest inter-setting, inter-range and inter-scale melee ever:
Not really a way to do justice to lovingly assembled, converted and painted figures, is it? I'd better free them soon.

See you next time!

zondag 6 september 2015

"It is pitch black, you are likely to be eaten by a..."

Guess what I painted this weekend? 

A cute little quartet of Cave Grues!
Here they are:

The photo washed out the highlights and richness of the brown a bit. :(

As I said, I will be using these as Cave Grues: Absolutely lethal monsters (they're on 30mm bases, which in my basing scheme makes them the equal of epic heroes in prowess!), but very intolerant of light. So, on certain scenarios, these will be lurking on the edge of the board and players will have to track their light source(s). As long as you have a light source, they will stay outside of the light's radius of illumination.  Light goes out? Grues close in. Better get that lantern re-lit before they reach you!

The miniatures are Heresy Miniatures crouching and leaping Lurkers, which he sadly doesn't make anymore. (Unless you've taken part in his recent Kickstarter, where they were part of the perks, hopefully their inclusion means they may get a return in the future.)

zondag 30 augustus 2015

Sunday paint session: Griffon done.

Over the last few painting sit-downs I've been working on a Griffon. Today I got to finish it.
It's the old metal GW Griffon that Emperor Karl Franz normally sits on (I have the Karl to go with him, but I just needed the monster. Maybe I'll find good old Karl a horse one day...). A lovely, classic Griffon, no frills, no extreme styling, and most importantly, no integral tack and saddle.
Here she is:




And finally a couple of size comparisons:

FYI, that infantry miniature is on a 30mm base, not a 25mm one...

As Griffons reputedly live in rocky, mountainous regions, I decided to model the base accordingly. Originally the Griffon was rearing on it's hind legs, which left little room for larger rock formations, until I had the idea to support one of the front legs on these rocks. I quite like the way this makes her seem to be posturing, presenting a large profile and clawing at the air intimidatingly.
As an older metal model, there is a bit more work to assembling her (I'm pleased that I managed to get the joins unnoticeable), but it does mean the model has a nice heft to it. I'm quite happy with the way she has turned out. Enough to actually be thinking about maybe building a Griffon nest as well, maybe even look for a couple of baby Griffons in a similar style. It's an idea I've been toying with a bit more lately, to build nests or lairs for some of the larger monsters I have in storage or on the to-purchase list. I'm partly inspired by the Witcher 3 in this, which I've been playing a lot recently, and where you can get prime loot from wrecking monster nests with bombs! But also because "Find me a Griffon egg!" and similar are just classic errands to send heroes on!
Anyway, that is for the future.
I've got a giant on the assembly desk, an idea for converting wraiths from Empire Flaggelants (again inspired by Witcher 3), and a drawer full of minis that are ready for paint, including a Beastman warband, a mob of subterranean degenerates (the Hobbit Goblintown goblins), the remains of the Undead band and some more heroes....
Plus there is the Witcher 3, which I'm enjoying tremendously, partly because the game is so very pretty, but also because of the lore of game and the monsters and places in it have positively got my head bubbling with ideas and plans to co-opt for my fantasy games and setting.

Until next time!

zaterdag 29 augustus 2015

An eclipse, an old man and the Baron's daughter

This afternoon, my son and I had a little wargame, partly as a farewell to the summer holidays and partly to finally inaugurate my stone circles.

The basic premise was as such:
Once again the baron's daughter, the Lady Mygraine, found herself mysteriously locked outside the castle on the evening of a lunar eclipse. As it happened a local Necromancer, August Knochenmaurer, needed a victim for that night, what coincidence... As soon as her abduction was discovered (Which was quickly, as the baron always gets suspicious when the servants start acting relaxed and suddenly stop wearing cheese in their ears.) the baron summoned the nearest heroes. It is known that she will most likely be sacrificed in one of the stone circles in the local forest. Two bands of heroes respond, but who will arrive on time? 

At this point I gave my son the choice which warband to play: My faithful knight Lucien D'Abelard with his squire and a few retainers: 2 spearmen and 3 archers. Or the Paladin Hieronymusch Lightbringer and his comrade Father Gerhardt, two occult-hunting powerhouses. (We used the IHMN rules and both companies were roughly 200 points. That's how much of a pair of brutes Gerhardt and Hieronymusch are!) After carefully considering all the cons and pros, he opted for the duo of godbothering maniacs. (a good choice it turned out). The other heroes would play no part in the game, being locked out by a wall of thorns summoned by the necromancer.

Here is the table I had set up:

He could enter the board from any table edge and had to search for the circle where the Lady Mygraine and the necromancer were at, by getting within 3" of it. I didn't which one it was either, as we randomly rolled each time he approached one. As an eclipse night brings out strange creatures of every kind, each turn I'd randomly roll if and what creatures would show up.
Here's what happened:

zaterdag 22 augustus 2015

Show me the money!

Well, the first batch of coins (of two, if I recall correctly), has arrived today.
After a bit of struggle with the somewhat "Colombian Export"-style packaging*, this is what greeted me:

Pretty coins, with a nice solid heft and clink to them! Made me a happy camper today, I currently have a set in it's bag laying next to the keyboard, just to shake now and then to hear the jingle and tink. (Yes, I'm that easily amused...)

I'm planning to use these as physical props during roleplaying, but also in, for example, may chivalry and dungeoneering games as a tangible form of "points" for warband building and advancement.
I think, tomorrow I'll go looking on auction sites for cut glass jewels to handle larger denominations of value.

Have a nice weekend!

*: I didn't get a pic of it, I was too eager to get to my prize, but when the next pack arrives I'll hopefully remember to do so, it was quite funny (to me) to open up the envelope and inside the pouch find a tightly taped up package, that looked like the sort you see in movies and tv reports about drug busts...

zondag 26 juli 2015

Places of Power

Well, they're done:
Five stone circles for the mages and mystics of my fantasy games to draw power from.
(Now I just need to get some mages and/or mystics actually painted...)

Until next time!

maandag 6 juli 2015

Just standing around...

As you may have noticed, I haven't been really active recently, hobby-wise.
The creative juices have dried up, it seems. But today I had an idea for a quick, fun project and, having the afternoon off, decided to not let inspiration go to waste!

So, out came the stack of useless old CD's, the foam and foamcutter and there I was, a bit later:
A group of mystical standing stones, somewhat inspired by a fantasy PC-game franchise I'm rather fond of. For those in the know, the sigils on the central stones should give it away. (One internet cookie for whoever guesses it first, I believe is the custom? ;P )

I'll finish and paint these when I have the time and the mood strikes me. Maybe, in the future I'll make some loose standing stones so I can make larger henge formations, or maybe make a few more historical looking standing stones as well.
Until then, these should nicely provide my wizards, sorceresses and various mystics with a useful arcane powerboost, once I paint them, that is! (Yes, I mean both the stone circles and the miniatures....)

See you all next time!

vrijdag 3 juli 2015

Dungeon Kickstarter

I've totally forgotten to show you this kickstarter by Manorhouse Workshop in collaboration with Maki Games:
Modular Underground Project
Being plastic and based on 10cm squares, it would be perfect for many a dungeon game, the upcoming Privateer Press Corvis Underground boardgame (though you'd need a fair few sets to remake the board with these sections) as far as fantasy goes. You could also use it for pulp games, or even sci-fi games (it reminds me an afwul lot of Hellgate London's sewer levels, for example, or some of the Metro 2033 stuff.
They've demonstrated its compatibility with several major other modular dungeon systems.
Here's what it looks like, once painted:


It currently seems to be flagging a bit, so please, have a look and if you like it spread the word!

maandag 25 mei 2015

The Minoic Beast

Another to tick off the Warhammer Quest completion list: One Bipedal Bovine.
A monster of the labyrinth to really worry the heroes...
(Or from the heroes' perspective: a large pile of loot and beef!)
As usual, I took inspiration from the classic WHQ look, but with a more modern palette.
I may go back and add some smears of less fortunate adventurer to his axe, but I'm letting it rest a bit before I decide.

I struggled with painting him a bit, as my mojo has been at an ebb lately, but I'm still quite happy with how he turned out.  With his brothers I might try to get the skin a bit lighter, though. I underestimated the darkening effect of the washes I used to smooth out the highlighting on him.

zondag 10 mei 2015

Bound...

My lovely wife's birthday has passed, so now I can, at last, unveil the special birthday project.
But a little background first: My wife took up making her own perfumes sometime last year. Until now, she has been noting down her recipes in a simple office notebook.  I decided she needed something more special to keep and treasure her favorite mixtures. So I made her a handbound book for her recipes.
Mind you, I've never done any bookbinding before, nor do I own any of the  (expensive) specialised tools. So I had to improvise and jury rig some things along the way...
Here is the result of my journey into "ghetto bookbinding":

I'm quite pleased with the results, but much, much more importantly, so is my wife!
Some more pictures of the "book in progress" after the break...

dinsdag 5 mei 2015

Going beyond the threshold.

As the "Birthday Project" has been wrapped up (literally!)  and I don't feel quite up to tackling the rocking chair just yet, I've pulled out the painting gear again. Hopefully I can get up my mojo again by just doing it and going from there.
I decided to start with something simple and fairly quick, to prevent myself getting discouraged by the mid-paint "hump" I often encounter when either unit-painting or going high quality on a single model. This really only left terrain and counters, neither of which I have a lot of ready to go right now. Except for the doors from the Warhammer Quest set. I had painted 4 of the 10 a while back, leaving only six to finish:
As the previous were done in a grey stone colour, I decided to do these in a warmer sandstone scheme.
Now, I hear you thinking; "He said he had already painted 4 out of 10, that should leave 6, but there are only 5 in the picture?"

woensdag 29 april 2015

maandag 13 april 2015

Freaky Fantasy Funds

I've had imaginary money on the mind the last few days.
I recently backed a kickstarter for metal fantasy coins. The makers intend them as replacement/upgrade parts for boardgames. I however am thinking of using them as RPG props and maybe also as fun, physical "army building points/scenario rewards" for my Fantasy/dungeoneering/chivalry games. (While I never really did this before, I rather like the idea of prop-heavy RPG/game playing, I like the physicality and immersiveness of it. Once I start GM-ing again I would like to do this more, hence the investing in coinage...)
As I was figuring out how to get the most use out of the coins and extend the currency upwards, I was struck by how money is used/portrayed in many fantasy games.
If such meanderings of my mind interest you, there's more after the break.

woensdag 25 maart 2015

Something good from Sweden

I don't usually endorse (or participate) in crowdfunding projects, but I felt this one deserved mentioning:
Last year I happened across a Swedish RPG by a company named Järnringen. It's called Symbaroum and grabbed my attention; the art was beautiful and evocative, and what I could gather of the setting (My Swedish is way on the far side of nonexistent...) it seemed very interesting.
The art had a mood that I tend to think of as "Scandinavian"; the nature looks harsh and overwhelming but at the same time with a certain otherworldy, dreamlike quality. The culture, people and even monsters shown have a sense of depth, of history. And the setting, while clearly fantasy, is not standard fare, the conflicts aren't simply "good vs evil" or standard monsters. The factions seem to all contain gradients of both aspects. I like that the main source of conflict is the area of an ancient taboo or interdiction and the attitudes of the various peoples towards that forbidden area and its mysteries and dangers. No faction seems to be arbitrarily or universally a good guy or bad guy, but all are driven by a desire to survive and thrive in this harsh, contested land. Add to that a pervasive sense of mystery and I was sold.
If only it were available in English!

Well, it seems that may be about to happen as they have started an Indiegogo campaign to get an English translation released, check it out here.
No deep discounts, no outrageous stretch goals, just a good product seeking a wider audience.
Have a look if it has peaked your interest.
I wish them luck and hope they reach their goals.

donderdag 19 maart 2015

Foam Party!

Sealant Foam that is, the sort you use to close off hull breaches...
I just finished a quick conversion for a Sealant Foam Gun, aka Webber or Web Gun for one of my Salvage crew members with a slab-shield and wanted to share it with you. (I've yet to decide what the slab-shield will look like though...)

Here she is:

Just a quick conversion using the Cadian flamer, a Space Marine flamer canister and the (inverted) nozzle from a Chaos Space Marine vehicle accesory combi-flamer. I think it looks unique and identifiable to read as a Web Gun instead of a flamer.

Scenario Complications: Religious festivals

I've just finished re-reading the first Shira Calpurnia novel and the way the large religious festival featured in the book played merry hell with her Arbites investigation had me thinking. Wouldn't it be a great theme for a game of Inquisitor (and all it's variant flavours...), Necromunda or any other skirmish set in the 40K Universe to have the edicts of a local religious festival interfere with the actions of your warbands?

So I thought up some possible (Imperium) religious observances and the effect they could have on a game:

woensdag 11 maart 2015

Deep space missionary

Some more assembly on the travelling preacher today.

So here he is, part man, part void suit, part jumble of religious paraphernalia and (dodgy) relics. Travelling the universe to teach imperial citizens the proper worship of the God-Emperor.
But the universe is a dangerous place, even for a man of faith. So his hotshot laspistol and pump action shotgun are a standard part of his travelling kit.
Judging by his stern look (and drawn sidearm) someone is getting schooled on the finer points of Imperial dogma....
He's only tacked together temporarily, as he obviously still needs some work:
-The rods on his pack will get wicks and molten runny wax sculpted on, to be candles.
-The book on his staff still needs to get properly attached to his staff with some metal bands.
-The foil strips on his shoulders will be purity seals, they just need the greenstuff wax seals added.
-I'm thinking of adding a brass etch aquila to his gorget.
Then there's the matter of his stomach plate and the upper part of his pack. I'm not sure if I should keep them empty to maintain the void suit look, or put a purity seal on those as well?
Maybe dump a spare book or ecclesiastical icon on him somewhere while I'm at it...

dinsdag 10 maart 2015

Salvage Crew, progress

The voidsuits have progressed a little further. On the lady, the priest and the crowbar guy I've filled the gaps in the collars. Also the priest and lady got their boots. The priest and crowbar guy have their stomach armour added as well. Plus, the scavenger girl finally has a hairdo! (After several attempts and a minor blue streak...). Oh, and kneepads.
Not much progress on the crew boss, I've filed his gorget into a slightly more graceful curve, in preparation to refine it a bit more with greenstuff. I'm still undecided how to do his stomach armour, so he has been set aside until I figure this out.

The three "greenstuffees":

 At this point, all I need to do on the female Void Crow is add a base and some gear like pouches, etc.  But somehow without obscuring her female shapes... After all, I didn't put so much effort in giving her those curves only to cover them back up later!

Here is a better look at the hair that gave me such trouble:

The first try ended up too flat and a little too far backward. Attempt two was perfect, exactly in the right place, precisely the right shape and definition...And then it detached and fell to the floor. :(
Attempt three I was startled by the telephone and stabbed her hair in half.
At attempt four, I was reaching the  "good enough" stage (Which is only one or two steps removed from the "Eh, she'll also look good bald"-point).
Luckily, all went well on this attempt. Her ponytail and the hairband in it could have been a bit neater, but at that point I didn't dare fiddle with it any more... What if I sneezed?