Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Ogre Mercenary part 1

Way back in June, I started working on Games Workshop's Mordheim Ogre Mercenary. And by "started" I mean I based and primed him.

And he sat on and off my tray for the rest of the year collecting dust and taking up space. I decided that I needed to actually work on him or put him away. So I'm working on him.

As usual, I started with his eyes, and blocking in the colors for the rest of him. The flesh is based on Ruddy Flesh, the jacket Rusty Red, the shirt is Muddy Olive, and everything else is walnut brown or Linen White.

Even at this stage, he's looking good. But there's more to do. The flesh tones need more work, and there isn't any real effort to shadow or highlight at this point.

One thing I tend to do when working on a mini is to limit the colors, and to mix them together. For example, to add shadows and to line the breaks between materials, I continued to use Walnut Brown, and I use Linen White to brighten and highlight. I also mix other colors into the flesh to both help tie the mini together, and also to give the fleshtones a more realistic depth.

Skin can often be both colors other than traditional skin tones (especially with monsters) as well as covered with makeup, but keeping in mind how sickly skin can look yellow or greyish, and hot skin can look more red because of the blood flowing into it can make a real difference in making a mini look more real. In this instance, I used the Rusty Red mixed in with the Ruddy Flesh and Tanned Shadow

And here you can see that I've been working on highlighting the shirt.

I went back and forth on the pants, but have (at this point) settled on a a dark leather that's hard to nail down to a specific color. The patch on the knee is Auburn Shadow, while the hat is Marigold Yellow, and Rich Indigo. Need to work on the highlighting and shadows.

I've also been working more at the highlights on the jacket.

And the really uncomfortable stitching on the pants.

The ropes are Walnut Brown with Desert Stone dry brushed over them.  And this is where I'm at so far.

Still to do:
yellow up the teeth and nails
the basket
more shadows and highlights
more weathering of the leather
the base

More to come as I continue working on it!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Stonehell: Invisible Rings and Wooden Mice

Session 86 was played on 1/12

Eiric, wizard 7 (Kat)
- men at arms (Mulligan, Holdred)
-torchbearer (Wennick)
Brie, wizard 4 (Apprentice to Eiric)
A-A-Ron, Thief 6 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 6 (Henchman)
Darryl, Cleric 6 (Henchman)
Karl, Dwarf 7 (Julia)
- Hobart (dog, lvl 1)
- men at arms (Vol, Nargos, RelBex)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 4 (Henchman)
Koltic, Cleric 3 (Chris)
- Grishnaz, Goblin
Kili, Dwarf Cleric 3 (Matt)
Lucrecia Thief 2 (Henchman)(stayed in town)

Heading back into the dungeon, the party immediately encounters a troop of skeletons, which are quickly dusted by the parties 3 clerics. They continue down to the 3rd level of the dungeon, stopping by the dwarven ale hall, where an ochre jelly had made itself comfortable. Karl was having none of it, and he and Koltic, hose it down with power thirst and light it up. In response it slams Darryl, Lex, and A-A-Ron, who were also in the room and trying to kill it. From there they swing past the bugbear’s area, down through the skinny hall, over the pile of rotting burned bodies they’d left behind, and around to the wererat’s lair.

Esmalia and 3 toughs were hanging out outside the boulder. Orpheus and Koltic accused her of sending them the wrong way. Esmalia denied doing any such thing, and pointed out that there are a variety of spell casters and shape shifters that they’ve pissed off. There’s some grumbling, but Eiric is willing to accept that possibility. She tells Esmalia that she doesn’t trust her. Esmalia replies that she would be shocked if she did.

Heading back toward the bugbears, then south, they come to a series of rooms including a lounge, study hall (with illusionary trap) and sleeping quarters. The trap is avoided thanks to a well timed Detect Magic and Detect Invisible that revealed the trap, and a magic ring. There’s also a squad of bugbears shirking their duty. Eiric reprimands them and sends them back to work. Aside from the magic ring, treasure is limited to a small wooden mouse toy that is given to Grishnaz.

Near the end of the hall is a room of small men drawing geometric patterns with glowing chalk. They leave them alone. Turning the corner they see a set of bronze double doors. Brie warns everyone that that’s the magically locked door that the medusa came out of.

Gains: Magic Ring, silver necklace, wooden mouse
Kills: Skeletons, Ochre Jelly,

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Friday, January 25, 2019

Dreadmere Mercenaries, part 2

Picking up from where I left off, I spent most of my time cleaning up the sloppy blocking in I'd done.

I also went and hit a bunch of little details. There are just enough on these guys to really bring out their personality, without overwhelming them. Above you can see how the straps, belts, and sheaths have all been painted or blocked in, and the boots are all painted as well. While I was at it I should have painted the bases...

Because you can sort of see the white under the flock...

I think I managed to give them all a fair bit of personality, and even different personalities between the same mini.

The metal was all painted with either Aged Pewter or Dragon Bronze, and in general I tried to make it so that what was bronze on one version of the mini was pewter on the other.

While none of them will win any contests, they're done and I'm thrilled with how they came out.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Stonehell: All That Glitters

Session 85 was played on 12/15

Eiric, wizard 7 (Kat)
- men at arms ()
Brie, wizard 4 (Apprentice to Eiric)
A-A-Ron, Thief 6 (Henchman) (stayed in town)
Lucrecia Thief 2 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 6 (Henchman)
Darryl, Cleric 6 (Henchman)
Karl, Dwarf 7 (Julia)
- Hobart (dog)
- men at arms ()
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 4 (Henchman)
Koltic, Cleric 3 (Chris)
- Grishnaz, Goblin
Kili, Dwarf Cleric 3 (Matt)

Deeper into the dungeon, the party finds a room of cages, some of which contain the skeletal remains of more apes. Darryl proactively turns them, and several of them just turn to dust.

Continuing their explorations they come across a room full of small furniture, and some sort of drink maker. Karl burns himself using it, but Grishnaz loves the drink that comes out of it. Beyond that are 3 small bedrooms with small goblin sized furniture. They find a bit of treasure hidden in one, and decide that that’s enough for the day, and they head back to the surface.

Back in town they resupply, and head back in, minus Kili who stays out to observe some 7th day event. Karl hires Vol, Nargos, Relbix while Eiric takes on Mulligan, Holdred, Wennick. A-A-Ron is still busy with guild business, and again sends Lucrecia.

Almost immediately they encounter a single heartless. Koltic Lex, Lucrecia, several hiringlings all run off. Karl and Orpheus charge in and hack the monster down. On the body they find a bejeweled medallion. Seeing it sparkle, the party opts to gather their lost members, and then head back to town to pawn it off.

Gains: 15,000gp Medallion, 500gp, 1,000sp
Kills: Skeletons, Heartless,

Friday, January 18, 2019

Zaadia (aka Cailleach Deargh) part 1

Following the conclusion of Storm King's Thunder, our group has started The Curse of Strahd, and I decided to play a thief. Going through my collection of minis, the River Widow mini from ReaperCon called out to me. As usual, after cleaning the few bits of flash and mold lines, I paused... How did I want to base her. I've made extensive use of the Ruined Temple Courtyard stamp from Happy Seppuku... but for this game I decided that I was going to use the Fishscale brick pattern which I'd picked up during their Black Friday sale. I clipped the tab connecting her feet, leaving only 2 spikes from each foot to anchor her into the greenstuff.

Once the greenstuff had cured, I glued her in place, and after waiting for the superglue to dry, I primed her with Reaper's Brown Liner. I then immediately tackled her eyes, trying to mirror what Derek did on his. Seriously check this out, it's amazing...

So... I didn't quite achieve this, but it's probably the closest I've ever managed. Also I don't have a camera (or the skill) to capture a pic of this quality. Side by side though I can see what still needs to be worked on, and where I can still improve things for this mini.

I basecoated her flesh with Ruddy Flesh, and then used Tanned Shadow on top of that. The bodice is based with Rich Indigo with Burgundy Wine over it. Her hair and lips are Auburn Shadow.

So far, so good, but I've got a lot more work to go.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Strahd: An Unkindness of Ravens

I thought we’d come to an agreement. I leave you alone, you leave me alone. I get it, being raised in a temple, there’s a certain bit I owe you, and I’ll drop coins in the poor box when I have them, but I didn’t want to get involved, you see? With any of it. There’s life to live, to enjoy! And you, all of you, have PLANS and SCHEMES and I don’t want any part of that.

And I grumbled when you gave Ember his holy moment, but at least it wasn’t me. We grew up together, and I thought we’d gotten out together, but no…

The warrant was totally not my fault. Okay, I know the bone wasn’t actually a relic, that’s why I had to fake the provenance papers, but it isn’t like you can actually find the mad archmage’s remains, and it didn’t hurt anybody. How did I know they wanted to resurrect him? So we made ourselves scarce and out of town. The harvest festival was great, I hope you enjoyed all the offerings.

But then, the way back to town (I really hope things have cooled off, I’m tired of being out in the middle of hicksville) we somehow ended up with a couple of paladins too? Subtle. Real subtle.

Then the flash flood, the ravens, the lady in black who gave me these shiney boots?

Come on… Nothing good was going to come from that.

Well, okay, the dwarf falling into the river was funny.

And aside from the boots, I also really appreciated the directions to the dry cabin not too far away, but a heads up about those dusty crab things would have been nice. And yes, I won’t deny that the paladins were helpful, but so was the ranger! Not everything has to revolve around you all! And it wasn’t like I wasn’t holding my own.

Really, they probably couldn’t have handled it without me. And Karl didn’t seem to mind my dagger in his back. I had dust in my eyes. I didn’t do it because he’s a paladin or anything.

Honest! A little credit please.

Anyway, I’m finally dry so I’m going to bed.

These boots came from a dead lady, didn’t they? Seriously, you gods are the worst.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Stonehell: Going Cyber-Apeshit

Session 84 was played on 12/1

Eiric, wizard 7 (Kat)
- men at arms (Mulligan)
Brie, wizard 4 (Apprentice to Eiric)
Lucrecia Thief 2 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 6 (Henchman)
Darryl, Cleric 6 (Henchman)
Karl, Dwarf 7 (Julia)
- Hobart (dog)
- men at arms (Dar, Lorman, Cadwell)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 4 (Henchman)
Koltic, Cleric 3 (Chris)
- Grishnaz, Goblin
Blix, Fighter 1 (henchman)
Kili, Dwarf Cleric 3 (Matt)

Standing at the entrance of the hothouse, the party pauses to debate what to do next. They settle on the rats, remembering how they sent Orpheus and Koltic off in the wrong direction. Circling around toward the bugbears, planning on looping around to the rats they squeeze through a narrow hallway, and encounter some cyborg-apes! Karl, toward the front, lobs on of his fireball bombs. In return, the cyber-apes shoot a “low power” lightning bolt down the hallway, frying everyone. Karl tosses another firebomb, and Koltic heals Lucrecia.

Thankfully, the bomb seemed to have completely cooked the cyber-apes. With all the hirelings (except Grishnaz) down, plus Blix, the party pauses to decide what to do. Kili and Koltic begin to pile the cyber-ape bodies in the narrow hallway. Then the bugbears appear, ready for a fight, having heard all the noise.

Recognizing the party, they don’t attack, but Gretta asks about payment for the previous weeks, noting that half the party is dead. Eiric happily hands over a bag of gold, and Gretta gives her a big (bug)bear hug.

Deciding that maybe going after the rats now might not be the best bet, the opt to explore this section more, and end up in a room with some sort of weird machine and 2 operating tables. Koltic convinces Grishnaz to get up on the table, while Eiric attempts to decipher the controls. The first attempt makes the machinery hum and flash, but Grishnaz doesn’t seem any different. Trying again, he has a seizure, and just drools vacantly before shaking it off, grinning and says “Grishnaz!” Trying again a third and fourth time, they stop when Kili expresses concern that they’re gonna give the poor goblin cancer.

Losses: Dar, Lorman, Cadwell, Mulligan, Blix

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Dreadmere Mercenaries, part 1

I mentioned yesterday that I'd pulled out some dreadmere mercenaries to work on... but they weren't the obvious choice. Having wrapped up both a D&D campaign and a painting project, and then cleaning a few other things off my tray, I sat down to think about what I want to work on next. And nothing jumped out at me.

So then I dug through my unpainted minis… and did not feel the spark of inspiration. Partly it’s because I’m still trying to decide what to play in the next campaign, and want to paint that. Problem is, I don’t know what *that* is yet. And the few minis that did call out to me were all female. So… maybe I’ll play a female character?

Until I settle on something, I decided I’m going to paint up some Dreadmere mercs. For some reason I seem to have acquired a second set of them at some point, and I’ve got a 3rd set coming with Bone 4. I think I’ll use those for some conversions.

Other than that, I’ve still got the Mordheim ogre mercenary on my tray, and the demon statue to wrap up. Oh, and the next time I pull out greenstuff, I’m gonna try to sculpt a lamp for the genie.

However, on to the minis!

I started out by washing and basing them, and them priming with Reaper's Brush On White Primer. I then gave them a wash with black wash to bring out some details. Then I painted their hands and faces with Ruddy Flesh and Tanned Shadow. I noticed that the paint wasn't sticking as well as I'm used to. The paints were glazing on, rather than sticking. I don't know if that's a feature of the brush on primer, or if it's gone bad. I'm thinking its gone bad.

I then used Muddy Olive, Burgundy Wine, Nut Brown, and Umber Brown, as well as Black and Linen White to start painting them up.

And this is what they looked like after a couple of hours of painting.

More to come!

Monday, January 7, 2019

December in Review


Wrapping up Storm King’s Thunder was just… wow. I’ve already written a bunch about that, but it was a hell of a campaign!

Played a little bit of Stonehell, and the players are making some interesting decisions. I need to catch up on the writeups soon. There’s a weird feeling when they completely avoid something that I would see as fascinating or focus on (the teleporters, the mummies) and then latch onto something else completely uninteresting to me. I really need to get around to writing up the session reports before our next game...

And I ran a 5e holiday adventure, which you can download here.

This was a month of just finishing things up Iymrith, the adventurers I gave to my fellow players. Aside from that I got started picking out and prepping some minis to work on next. I also spent some time reorganizing my mini cases. This was a relaxing, but not necessarily helpful activity.

I also took time out to photograph all my minis for 2018.


Ancillary Sword and Mercy (books 2+3 of the Imperial Radch series)
Frame Up
Star Trek Sorrows of Empire (mirror universe)
Before the Feast
Parable of the Sower

Movies/TV Watched
Mary Poppins
House with the Clock in the Walls
Ant-Man and Wasp
Spirited Away
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Daredevil season 3

I've pulled out some Dreadmere mercenaries to work on, and need to get the mini for my next character painted up...
Beyond that, I've got a new class starting in a week, so that's going to be a big part of my focus for the next month or so.

Sunday, January 6, 2019