One of the things that attracted me to the first Bones Kick Starter campaign were all the lovely monsters from the Dungeon and Dragons games of my imaginative youth. So I started with the beholder, the mimic, and the zombies as they would also paint quickly. I can’t seem to find my pictures of the beholder so will post them in a later update.
Not sure if he’s a skinny Terminator but I chose to paint him as survivor in a one sleeved jacket. The Bones base is textured like a steel walkway but smaller than the round Mantic bases I like to use with my modern and sci/fi figures so I glued the figure on one side and texture mix in the other. I might still add some tufts of dead grass but haven’t decided.
Back to undead because I love these transparent figures and am so looking forward to seeing how the ones in Bones2 come out. I wanted it to appear to be shimmering in and out of physicality. The robes being the thinner areas were also the more transparent so I decided to make the most of that quality and neither paint nor seal the surface (since it fogs the plastic). I used a brush on sealant on the hands, skull, and base.
The rogue was the first seriously bent Bones figure I had to contend with. Both swords were badly curved and the bow was bent backwards. Having read about the nature of the plastic and the hot/cold water trick I decided to try it out. I heated a mug of water in the microwave for a minute. I have found that thicker pieces require a little more heat but two minutes is about it. Holding the figure by the base I held the pieces to bend in the water for approximately 30 seconds, removed it from the water, moved the now very wiggly plastic to where I wanted it before putting the figure in cold water. It really is easy and amazing how pieces just take on the new form. Since these take super glue so well I anticipate lots of easy conversions.
Hasslefree Miniatures (http://www.hfminis.co.uk/) make some of my favorite figures in every genre they produce but especially their dwarfs. Big surprise to any who have been following me along this journey. I have wanted to build a unit of spear using Kev White’s wonderful sculpts since the first time I saw them. I would like to build an entire force with HF dwarfs but that’s another conversation entirely. The only problem I saw was that I wanted much longer shafts for their weapons. Kings of War offered an opportunity for building a unit of twenty with fewer figures and to add the Scibor Miniatures statues and bases I’m so fond of unifying my mixed manufacturer dwarf force. So, I broke out the pin vise, brass rod, and super glue to begin assembling figures and base.
I do want to say that I don’t find anything wrong with the original spear length, I just wanted more of a phalanx look to the unit. I’m actually now considering a unit or two in future using the shorter length. I began by drilling a hole in the forearm to pin the hand. It was only by the third hand I had finished that I realized that it is much easier to drill the wrist in the hand before cutting off the spear shaft, gives you something to hold. The real fiddly bit was drilling out the spearheads. Super Glue Gel with a spray of Zip Kicker to instantly set it makes up for errors. I drilled the hole for the spear shaft all the way through the hand for the brass rod to slide through before gluing all the pieces together.
The base was built on one of the old unit bases recently given to me by a fellow dwarf lord. I used two of the larger size Scibor bases as they had stacked pieces that would add a little height to the back ranks. I had to have an ancestor head as well because I like the look and it gives me a handle for moving or lifting the unit rather than the figures. I covered the base with light weight spackling into which I then pressed a mixed texture. Most of which came out of exhausted Brita filters. Once it had dried it was ready for primer.
I didn’t assemble all the individual dwarfs at once. I think all that drilling with a pin vise would rive me crazy. No, I assembled them much as I paint them, in small groups, which helps both my attention span and arthritis.
I did need to make my own standard bearer and musician to join the commander I had picked out. The standard was nothing complex, just a longer brass rod topped with an anvil from my bits box. The banner was painted on a piece of printmaking paper and glued onto the pole. The easiest conversion I could think of was to add a drum from the previously mentioned bits box to one of my warriors and put drumsticks in his hands. It actually came out better than I had anticipated.
Once I had the command group finished and a few more to back them up I began gluing them to the finished base. I have found these unit bases are easier to assemble if I start attaching troops at the front and work back in rows.
I really like working with these Scibor bases as they allow me to arrange the figures at various levels, adding movement and height. The fact Hasslefree Miniatures are so beautifully sculpted doesn’t hurt either. I painted the shields separately and glued them onto each figure before attaching his feet to the base.
As I glued each row of troops on I added flocking and tufts of grass. I even have some growing in the ancestor stone. It has been there a very long time after all.
I already loved the figures but I am very happy with how the unit came out. Have a Hasslefree Dwarf King waiting to lead them but think I’ll save him for a future post. I am happy to report that the unit served bravely in a recent Kings of War tournament Black Cavalier hosted at his birthday party. They survived two of the three battles they fought in and helped secure victory in all three! I do believe I see two units of Hasslefree crossbow armed dwarfs making their way to my prep table. Just in time because we are beginning a Kings of War campaign and I know these Bulwarkers will need their flanks covered.
Between the impending arrival of the Bones II Kickstart rewards and my continued attempts to paint the figures I got from the first campaign it really seemed time to get this long intended line of progress up on the blog. After some speed painting at KublaCon one year I discovered the benefits of painting a figure within a time limit. It forces me to stop working through the endless ideas crowding around inside my mind whenever I take on a new project. Limiting my color pallet actually opens me up to different color choices as I find myself using the same combinations of bottled hues after a while. When I’m not concerned with achieving a specific or consistent look for a unit I’m more open to those happy accidents and unintended lessons.
First off, there are a lot of figures, from numerous genre’, various sculptors, of all kinds of sizes so being bored with them probably won’t be a problem. I splurged at the last minute and added a Cthullu because I’ve always wanted one. After opening his box and test fitting his pieces I was blown away at the size and, being an old school gamer, pleasantly surprised at the light weight. While the Bones plastic isn’t my favorite material to work with it is relatively easy to deal with. I find most of the mold lines are simple enough to shave off using a very sharp razor blade. I prefer an Xacto #11 blade and find myself changing it every third figure or so. Cthullu will be another story. While Bones figures don’t need primer it is important to wash them before applying paint. I drop them in a little warm water and dish soap before a quick scrub with an old tooth brush and rinse.
I’ll Be posting some of my progress as I go along. I’ve got quite a few of them done and in need of photo-documentation so expect sporadic reporting. Here are are a few of my early attempts.
This guy is a good example of quick decisions working out well. Both the Tattoos and the stripe on his loincloth were what came out of the brush after I had been painting blue on another figure and I wanted to just get clean detail down quickly.
Now the wraith was another learning opportunity. Seems that spray sealant fogs the transparent plastic. I found a brush on sealant can restore it but I actually prefer the fogged look for this figure.
The zombies were early choices simply because I knew I could whip them out in no time. Still have a couple more in the pile to trim and base but I doubt they will take any more time to paint than these two did. Now, how to tell Cthullu he has to get back in his box…
Taking a break from the dwarf Necromancer and various Bones bugs on the table I went on a quest for the collection of old Games Workshop shields with which to equip my Dragon Company. This involved digging through boxes both in the house and out in the garage. While out there I also sought some of my old rulebooks. I found the shields and even had enough of the one I liked to begin the unit.
I didn’t find all the books I was looking for but in one of the boxes of books, in a ziplock bag, in a small box I found three miniatures. One was one of the first figures I ever got, a mounted hobbit, another the classic Games Workshop Psycho Hobbit, and last a Games Workshop plastic goblin. Now how those three ended up together or in the box I found them is beyond me but since I’d been thinking about Psycho Hobbit for an Oldhammer scenario already I take it as a sign I should get these guys painted.
So there they are, three unlikely companions on their way to the painting table. I’ll post updates as they come along. Gotta go find that bag of bases now.