Saturday, March 25, 2017

Bones Lich Lord OSL

Since I've been playing the Thaw of the Lich Lord campaign, I figured I might need a Lich Lord! With my last Reaper order, I included Bones Lich 77280, which is just about as close to the official mini as Reaper has. Additionally, over on the Reaper forum I was challenged this month to paint a style or something I've never painted before. So, looking at the cover art for Frostgrave, I got my answer: One Source Lighting (OSL).

As always, I started by washing the mini, and then affixing it to something to hold onto to paint it. In this case, a bottle of craft paint.

I base coated it in Grey Liner, and then, since I didn't really know how else to move forward with the lighting scheme, tried to dry brush linen white where the glow from the hand would shine.

After the grey liner, I used R.A.M. Black over the robes, and Dirty Bone on the skeleton, and dark Red on the tabard and sash.

I brought up the green with Catseye Green, and Clear Green, with Clear Yellow and Linen White to really bring up the brightness.

The metals used were Scorched Metal, Dragon Bronze, and Dragon Gold. The staff was Ebony Black dirty Dirty Bone bring up the highlights.

I used Pure Black to make the shadows sharp, and the Clear Green and Clear Yellow on the metal.

And honestly I'm not really sure where to go from here. The guys on the forum want me to build up a nice scenic base, but that's going to move to the back burner for now.

I'm reasonably happy with the OSL effect, and given that I did the majority of the painting over just a couple of hours, I'm actually okay with it as is.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Iron Fist (eps 6-13)

Warning, this post contains spoilers!

I have not read a single issue of Iron Fist, or to my recollection a single issue of any comic that had Iron Fist in it, so my impressions of the show, the character, and everyone in it are based strictly on these 13 episodes, and the universe that Marvel has built with their Netflix productions. And what a universe they've managed to create! With complex flawed characters they've managed to tell some really really good stories, setting a high bar for street level super heroes. Then there are the villains... Kingpin and the Purple Man? Okay, so Luke Cage's rotating cast of bad guys was a bit of a flaw in that series, but even still... when it turned out that Madame Gao and The Hand were the focus of Iron Fist, well that was enough to make sure I watched the whole series.

I really liked how they made sure that while the Hand was clearly a threat no matter what, that it wasn't a faceless monolithic organization. There was conflict within it, and we got to see it as Madame Gao and Bakudo, who, let's give the guy props, did a great job as a villain in his own right, fought for control of the Hand. It's going to be really interesting to see how things shake out in the Hand with Bakudo's "death." Sure, Gao clearly has some Xanatos Gambit level planning going on, but I'm not counting Bakudo out just yet.

Colleen Wing and Claire saved the show from from Danny Rand, who after 15 years in a kung-fu monastery, still apparently thinks like a 10 year old. How he managed to become the Iron Fist with all his emotional issues and lack of control is beyond me, unless his masters figured that prophesy beats competence. The fact that Colleen is not only a member of The Hand, but also a recruiter and trainer for it? Awesome! Had I been thinking about it, I probably would have seen it coming, but it managed to catch me a little off guard.

I really like that Claire is not taking the craziness that her life is lying down, but found someone to train with so she can better defend herself! It's not gonna help much against someone with powers, but it might keep her safer against the various Hand soldiers. She also remains the only sane character in the show, even after everything she's been through.

As for Joy and Ward? Poor messed up rich kids. These two are gonna need therapy for YEARS. I didn't expect that Ward would get a redemption arc by the end of the show, but he did, and it worked. Hopefully he'll be a better man now that he's out from under his dad's thumb. We'll see... Joy's arc was rougher, and by the end of the show she's clearly not in a good place, and it doesn't help that Danny's best friend from K'un-Lun is telling her it's all Danny's fault.

Speaking of Davos, the only thing that bugged me about his arc was that it so closely mirrored Mordo's arc from Doctor Strange, though I think it was played better here. Probably because the longer format allowed the story to unfold more naturally.

All in all I thought Iron Fist was okay. Had it been on basic cable TV, I'd have loved it, and it's flaws would have been much more easily forgiven, but as I said above, Netflix MCU has really set itself a high bar. This was a decent entry into the MCU, and has set things up nicely for the Defenders, and maybe for Iron Fist season 2, which I will happily binge watch also!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Iron Fist (eps 1-5)

Netflix dropped Marvel's Iron Fist this weekend, and while I didn't manage to finish it, I did find the time to get through the first 5 episodes, and expect that I'll finish up the series by the end of the week.

There's already been a lot written about the various issues that Iron Fist has just from it's core concept (poor little rich white boy orphaned in a plane crash, raised by monks in a mystical Himalayan monastery, comes back with supernatural powers to save the day, bringing with him a host of politically incorrect racist issues). And those issues are all as true today as they were when the comic came out in the 70's. There's also the complication that as the 4th and final member of the Defenders to be introduced, Iron Fist is somewhat constrained in what it can bring to the table. On top of all that, there's the fact that Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage set a high bar for what might be the weakest concept of the quintet.

With all that acknowledged, Iron Fist still manages to be an entertaining show, even if it's the weakest of the set. Danny Rand coming back to the real world 15 years of time in a mystical monastery? Rather a lot of fun! I appreciate that in some ways he's still that 10 year old boy, or at least he's channeling that boy, regressing a little as he tries to find his footing, and is rebuffed by those who knew him before.

Connie Wing is a great support character who is being set up for a nice story arc of her own. I really appreciate that she isn't a clean cut 2D character, but more of a conflicted real person.
The Meachums are an interesting pair, storywise. I'm a little unsure of how they're going to work Joy's story line, but Wade, ever and always an ass in his dead father's shadow, is clearly going to fall like a domino soon. I do kind of think that after a decade spent running Rand Corp that they'd be better at it. Then again, I expect people in power to be competent, when clearly they so often aren't.

The Night Nurse of course makes an appearance, and as always she's the one in any of the shows who, as my friend Hanna put it, "continues to be the only rational person in this universe."

Then, of course, there's the real bad guys, the Hand!
Every bit of Madame Gao has been wonderful, and I want more!! And while I'm only about a 1/3 of the way though the show, the hints as to where this is going, and where it might go with the Defenders? Tantalizing... 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Reaper's Phone Box aka TARDIS 2.0

As I'm using The War Doctor and #9 as my apprentice and wizard for Frostgrave, they of course needed a TARDIS! Now I have already painted one of Reaper's Telephone Box but I gave it away as a gift. So, time for box 2.0!

After cleaning up the mold lines, I primed it with Blue Liner.

I then brought up the color by mixing Blue Liner with Heather Blue

The whole thing got several washes of GW's Asurmen Blue.

The windows were blended up from a mix of Stone Grey and Linen White, While the spot for the sign on the door was Bleached Linen. The door handle and keyhole are filagree silver (I think)

 I made the Police Box sign using MS Word and printing it out. Each sign, when trimmed had a sharpie marker run along the edge to blacken it. The lintels where the signs would go got painted black (I don't remember which black I used. Noir probably) and then a touch of superglue was smeared across it, and the signs stuck on. The sign on the door was made the same way.

I might just have to give it a scenic base...

Friday, March 10, 2017

Stonehell: Questions... Lots of questions...

Session 28 was also played on 2/19.

Wilhelm, drunk Dwarf 5 (Julia)
-Helmut, war dog
-Xerxes, Human Fighter 1 (Henchman)
-Yolanda, Human Fighter 1 (Henchman)
-2 torch bearers (Z, A.A.Ron)
-6 men at arms (O, T, U, W)
Nilbog Dracon, human wizard 2 (Matt)
Eiric, wizard 1 (Kat)

Stayed in town
Tink, a pretentious Elf (but I repeat myself) and former barkeep (Hanna)
Shelly, a vegetarian recovering alcoholic halfling Thief 3 (Nadia)
Frank, halfling 1 (Emily)
Yaqen, elf 1 (Shaun)
Leroy, human fighter 3 (Mike)
Sarin the Ugly, Human Fighter 1 (Josh)
??? (Laural)
Unnamed, Elf 1 (Nicole)
Karlaih, Human Thief 5 (Mollie)

As our usual Friday night game got shifted to Sunday, we started earlier, and decided to keep going after playing our usual amount of time. Since the characters had made it back to town, I gave them XP, and then we continued as if they'd rested and recovered from their previous run in the dungeon.

While restocking in town for their usual supplies they stopped by the local jeweler, Boss Ogo, to pick up a chunk of quartz for Rocky.

The journey to the dungeon, and into it was uneventful, but on the way to Rocky, they spotted, and were spotted by a group of the Ghost Beggars with their distinctive yellow and black checkered cloth. Both groups decided to avoid contact and continued on their own ways. At Rocky's, they gave him the quartz, and then asked their questions:

Q: Where exactly in stonehell is the magic school?
A: In the sacrificial chamber of Galishma, now defiled in the second way, jump the pit to find the door"

Q: Can we ask you a second question
A: Yes


Q: What is the exact path to get to the school safely?
A: There is no safe path.

Annoyed at both Rocky and themselves, they head back to the Korners, and spend a day sulking over mushroom beer, and then return to Rocky the next day.

Q: What is the safest route to get to the sacrificial chamber?
A: *Long string of cardinal directions*

Q: Is the wizards school located in this or another level, and which?
A: This level

Q: Where is the key to the great stone doors (27)?
A: In the heart of a shattered hero.

The party spends a while discussing the answers they've gotten so far, and then head out toward the Contested Corridors. While exploring a stone colored toad popped out of a pile of rubble and attacked, its tongue wrapping around Nilbog's neck. Wilhelm charged in and swung his ax first severing the tongue and then cleaving into the toad's skull.

Deeper into the halls, they come to an octagonal chamber painted with scenes of a hot dry desert, and containing a statue of a sphynx. Inscribed on the statue's base were unreadable runes. Nilbog used "Read Magic" to decipher them, and when Wilhelm threatens to smash it, he calls out the statues name, and she speaks her riddle.

"People are hired to be rid of me, I am often under your bed. In time I'll always return you see; bite me and you're dead."

Unable to come up with the answer, the party tries to leave, and is blasted by hot sand. Someone yells out "mold!" and the party is again blasted by sand. Wilhelm hefts his pickax and smashes the statue. The injured and fallen are gathered up, and everyone heads back to the Korners to recover.

Kills: 1 toad