I have a fair number of miniatures that I buy simply because I want to paint them not because I have any game use in mind. This is often the case with sculpts by Kev White. His dwarf character pieces lead to my starting an entire Kings of War army but that’s for other posts. This is about some of the wonderful female figures he has created that demanded paint as soon as I had them in hand. These examples come from his own company Hasslefree Miniatures (http://hfminis.co.uk/) as well as Reaper Miniatures (http://www.reapermini.com/). The bases are from Secret Weapon Miniatures (https://www.secretweaponminiatures.com/) as well as MicroArts Studios (http://shop.microartstudio.com/battle-bases-c-3.html).
Bunni (with a heart dotting the i)
So, there are a few of the pieces I’ve finished that were sculpted by Kev White. I hadn’t intended on focusing on his work initially but once I started going through my pictures I realized I had plenty by just him. That means I’ll have to do separate posts for the Bombshell Babes or other pirate minis I’ve been working on. Until then, it’s back to the painting table. There’s always more dwarfs to paint after all.
Recently the rewards for Reaper Miniatures’ Bones3 Kickstarter appeared on my doorstep and it was a varied collection of terrain and miniatures. Not only was it varied in models but in the type of plastic as well which solved a lot of issues from earlier campaigns. Big animals, monsters, and terrain all seemed to work just fine and re-positioning bent details a fairly simple, if wet, process. Thinner models from Bones1 suffered from being overly bendy (as opposed to bent) while some of the finer detail, like women’s noses, seemed to get lost or blurred. Bones2 saw some improvement in both issues but not much. Since the Dragons Don’t Share set from that campaign showed us what Bones could really do with terrain I expected more of the same in the latest offering. While there are plenty of terrain bits the mausoleum, graveyard fence, and spare weapons are actually hard plastic. The white Bones plastic is less bendy in this campaign and has been replaced by a soft grey on a couple of sets. The thinner parts and finer details appear to be cast better than the early ones as well. Nice to see sharp delineation on the female figures’ faces. I’ll have to find some to shift into the painting queue.
I decided to start painting my Bones3 set with some dwarf figures. No surprise to anyone, I’m sure. I picked them, actually, as part of my drive to paint a large number of villagers/zero levelers and there is an orc and elf on the way as well. I’ve got a ridiculous collection of unpainted miniatures that could be townspeople, non-player characters, angry mobs, whatever but the definitive word in their description being “unpainted” means I’m storing the wrong stuff. I much prefer to store painted minis. Add in how much I would enjoy Dungeon Crawl Classics’ Zero Level funnels with minis and I decided to start adding them to the ever growing painting queue.
I’ve got all the Bones1 and 2 villagers minis based and waiting for paint as well. With the Secret Weapons Dungeon tiles I’ll be ready to run Nebin Pendlebrook’s Perilous Pantry in 3D.
KublaCon2016 gave my friends and I a great opportunity to pool our terrain collections and play some Frostgrave. I’m not going to go into a full battle report as there were a number of them and I don’t recall all the details. I’m just delighted with how good the terrain and figures look on the table and not just my own stuff. All my friends, at all skill levels, have made good looking warbands, imaginative terrain, and it all looks great together.
The close ups are fun and make me want to work on some narrative photography at home. Yet another way to play with painted toys.
I’ve got a few ideas of what I want to build next and I still have a couple of Matt’s unfinished houses to problem solve. I do think I need to come up with some hill sized rubble piles as well as smaller ones for scatter. In addition, I am still trying to figure out how to add more vertical height to the battlefields. Then there is the Breeding Pits supplement that will introduce Gnolls and underground terrain due any day now. Seems there will be any number of new projects to work on.
Okay, not everything I’ve been working on is for Frostgrave nor is it all dwarf related (yes, there are plenty of the short, bearded fellows primed and waiting on my table right now) but I have been sticking to the fantasy genre’. My love of Mantic’s (http://www.manticgames.com/games/kings-of-war.html) Kings of War hasn’t faded and I am still toiling away in the summoning circle to bring forth my vision of an Abyssal Horde. Foolishly, said vision includes bases covered in molten lava so I am really having to improve my object source lighting (OSL) skills. My initial inspiration came from the Lava Fields bases by Secret Weapon Miniatures (https://www.secretweaponminiatures.com/). In addition to their incredible Terrain Tiles and matching bases, Secret Weapon is a wonderful resource for pigments, paints, and weathering materials. A huge bonus are Mr Justin’s tutorials. I knew from the beginning I was going to mount the Greater Abyssal in my force on one of their large round lipped Lava Field bases. I started with the lava as I wanted the bright reds and yellows to peek out of the deepest areas hinting at a barely cooled surface. This meant I had to know where the figure would be standing in order to know where the glow would be hitting him. Not really a problem because I prefer to drill all the holes and glue in mounting pins before painting even if painting them separately.
I also needed to get all of the demon that wasn’t flame painted before focusing on the OSL. The sculpt has what looks like long hair covering the lower leg right down to the hooves. Even in the early preconception drawings I saw it as flame so knew I’d be adding those as further OSL.
Once the demon was done it was time to start painting the fire and the OSL. It helps to work on these simultaneously as I can more easily match colors between the light sources and their projected light. I began with coating the flames with Citadel’s Lamenter’s Yellow Glaze as well as laying down some of the OSL.
I went with a half and half mix of Lamenter’s Yellow and Citadel Flash Gitz Yellow (which I conseder the Base Mix) for the next layers of flame, working it into the deeper cracks and lower areas. Continued to layer straight Lamenter’s Yellow onto the areas facing the flames. To know where to stop it I’ll hold the figure so the light source is behind the part I’m working on and rotate it until the light source appears. This is the same process for the shadows which I did later.
Looking at photo reference I saw that the base of the fire, the hottest part, is also the lightest. The hottest flames are bluish white but I wanted to match the yellowish white of the lava base so will save the searing blue white for a future Effrit. That said, I added Citadel’s Fire Dragon Bright to my “flame mix” and worked it into the upper half of the flames. I don’t use a wet pallet for everything but it was a huge help here. It allowed me to keep a mix of my base color moist for a long time that I could use to mix with the successive layers as well as glaze over after to further blend the differences. I continued to work darker hues into the flames ending with Citadel’s Evil Sunz Scarlet mixed in for the tips. The majority of the OSL was achieved with Lamenter’s Yellow with just a couple “hot spots” of the base mix especially on the wings.
In addition to the wet pallet I had to really keep my brushes moist as I worked. Moist isn’t the same as wet which would have a tendency to drip and pool. This is thin layers of glaze placed carefully, what Thomas (http://skullandcrown.blogspot.com/ ) calls Hummel Painting after porcelain miniatures. It does get tedious so I’m thankful I had all that Frostgrave terrain to work on as well.
I used Secret Weapon Washes, Blue Black and Soft Body Black half and half, to darken the shadow sides of the wings and back. I kept adding Lamenter’s Yellow to to the OSL surfaces right up to the point I was ready to attach it to the base. I’ve sealed it all but I am still contemplating a few more layers to really make the projected light pop, especially under the wings.
All in all I have to say I’m satisfied with this paint job. Though I’m not in love with it I do like the final result and think he will be quite imposing leading my chittering hordes out from the Abyss. Nothing to say I can’t go in and add some more Lamenter’s Yellow here and there later on but for now he is done. I’ve really got to get back to those Lower Abyssals and Succubi which I will just as soon as I finish up those Bones undead for Frostgrave… oh yeah, wanted to start another Frostgrave building…
In addition to building terrain and treasure tokens for Frostgrave there were a number of creatures on the random encounter chart I didn’t have any miniatures to represent. So I searched through my vaults of unpainted minis for inspiration and discovered several in the Reaper Bones section. Okay, so it’s really boxes in a closet but vaults just sounds so much more dramatic. One of the first ones was the dire wolf who I decided should be white to match the theme. Besides, it gave me an excuse to use snow on the base.
It isn’t really listed on the chart but the purple worm just seemed to fit into the group and could be used in a couple different scenarios.
Once I painted a giant worm I realized I really needed an even bigger bug because… well… because it’s bigger.
One of the very last things I finished painting before the game convention was an even larger bug called a Frost Worm. He’s so large he barely fits on his own base. Now, unlike Necron99, mine is a playing piece, not a medal winning paint job so I concede to him on this one. Still, I think he looks threatening enough to dominate a Frostgrave table.
Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, I do own the HUGE worm/bug/monstrosity that is Mashaaf from Reaper Bones as well but have no plans on putting brush to it for some time. Then again, I might have to write up a multi-bug scenario and who better to play the boss.
My gaming group’s growing interest in Frostgrave was just the excuse I’ve needed to get back to building terrain, especially ruined city pieces. Ever since the days of Mordheim I’ve loved not only the concept of warbands exploring the ruins of a fantasy city but also creating the pieces that will help illustrate said metropolis. With plans to combine them, I had assembled the parts to both of Games Workshop’s Witchfate Tor and Ruined Tower models quite some time ago and then set them aside, other projects being prioritized. In addition, a friend had given me a box full of partially assembled buildings that he and his kids had been working on until their interest drifted from Mordheim. There were some pieces that were really promising and I have pulled them out of the box more than once to contemplate what they might become.
I started by dusting off and cleaning up the tower sections I had set under the table after priming them black. I began painting from the top because I figured the top section alone would make usable terrain while I worked my way down to the base. I love these kits for the thickness of the walls, ease of assembly, full interiors, and wonderful details. This is really Games Workshop at their best and being such is covered in skulls. Many of them I decided to paint as stone details but there are several places where they look cooler as real bone. The alcove candles comes to mind.
The two pieces stacked together are already offering height to the battlefield. Four more floors and it will be perfect for the Silent Tower scenario.
My friend and his kids were using foamcore, balsa wood, and some architectural details from Games Workshop to build their structures. They were in early stages but had tons of potential. I decided to start with the smaller, simpler ones as a sort of warm up.
There are a few more in the box I haven’t photographed yet but I will do so before I start cutting and gluing. The piece that looks like the front of a small chapel is intriguing and the massive “Lodge” has my imagination spinning. In addition I stumbled upon an old resin ruined columned temple I had forgotten about. I better get cracking, KublaCon isn’t that far away.
I received a classic Hudson and Allen Tower Keep not long ago and as I am attempting to only store new finished terrain decided to paint it right away. I have one I painted years ago in dark greys so wanted to do something different with this one, maybe go lighter. Necron99 was looking at it and noted that with the warm brown color the foam had turned over the years it really only needed a stain and highlight. Since the color would make nice base for ivory or tan I decided to test his theory.
After washing the piece, I began with an even coat of Agrax Earthshade directly on the foam, over the entire surface. Next I drybrushed with a tan going fairly thick since it was the base coat.
Stage three was a lighter drybrush of ivory. The various textures sculpted into different stones really changes the tone of the color.
I went with a dusting of white as the final highlight to really get the most out of the wonderful textures and details sculpted into the surface.
I painted the non stone details before using Secret Weapon Washes to weather the tower.
Well, there you go, Necron99 called it right. Pretty quick work, all in all. Might have to add this to the Frostgrave terrain box.
I recently completed enough Hasslefree Miniatures crossbow armed dwarfs to assemble the second Regiment for my Kings of War force. Since it was pretty much the same process as the first one I don’t see any reason to go through all the steps though I did document it. I didn’t add a musician to this unit mostly because I could decide neither what instrument I wanted to use nor which figure to convert. In the end, not to decide is to decide and apparently I prefer no musician for this Regiment. That’s alright, the other half of the Horde has a drummer.
A very attractive unit that I am sure will hold it’s own on the battle field. It fits in nicely with the overall army look as well as looking like it is half of the other unit.
I think I’ve painted enough of this color scheme for a while. In fact, might have to change it up completely and paint some Forge Fathers for Deadzone and Warpath. Gotta admit, rather stoked about the possibilities offered by science fiction unit bases and vehicles.
Once again I was enthralled by figures from Hasslefree Miniatures and being Star Trek homages I couldn’t resist. Once the MicroArts base inserts had arrived these ladies moved to the front of the prep line. Besides, the beginning of a new year should be a time of looking forward and what’s more so than space travel? They aren’t any particular characters but I think of them as Nurse Chapel, Yeoman Rand, and Lt Uhura. Being Kevin White sculpts they are lovely and sport some nice details. I went with the three primary colors Star Fleet Old School uniforms came in as it just made sense with three figures and besides the yeoman sports a yellow uniform in more than one episode.
I tried to keep the details on the bases clean and the colors simple, almost what one might find on a television sound studio in the sixties. As I may have mentioned in earlier blogs, I love the plastic base inserts MicroArts makes. They really add level of place, a sense that the figure is moving through it’s natural environment and are just so much fun to paint.
I find myself wishing for more crew so I can build a foam core Gallileo 7 for them.
Such lovely, formidable ladies and who serve no purpose in my collection except the joy they brought me in their creation. I kept the bases nice and clean to match the sets of the original series. Those miners chasing the Horta were spotless. The bases would look great with weathering and damage, painted dirty, gritty, all Star Wars style. Hmmmmm, seems to me I saw Jedi on Hasslefree’s website…
Having joined in and thoroughly enjoyed Angry Piper’s (http://angrypiper.com/gaming/) November challenge to paint and post a dwarf a week I jumped at the chance to participate when he announced the December Wizard challenge. It gave me the perfect excuse to take on some of the wonderful wizard figures by Hasslefree Miniatures that were sitting in my Unpainted collection as well as a reaper Bones I really wanted to add some runes to. Since he was largely done I started on him while the other three were waiting for their primer to dry.
Week Two I had an Elven Sage who seemed custom sculpted for a character from a recent lethal role playing game a friend ran. Using the Dungeon Crawl Classics role playing rules, we each ran multiple characters as most of them wouldn’t make it to the end. The female half elf sage was the only one of mine who made it all the way through the harrowing adventure, still clutching the skull of an ancient fallen hero. Even though Aron doesn’t really use miniatures in his game I like having a 3D representation of my character and this one was perfect. The fact she looked fun to paint was bonus.
Next up were two figures I ordered as soon as they were cast in metal simply because I loved them and wanted to eventually paint them. I’m still waiting for the “Casting Lenore” to make it to pewter but was happy to have a reason to paint the one I have. But I finished painting Amalthea first so she became my entry for Week Three.
Finally, all that was left was “the one whom angels named Lenore”. With the holidays and all that they entail I didn’t actually complete her by the fourth Saturday deadline but as Angry Piper shared my issues he extended it until the end of the year. I sent my final photos off at 10:30 PM on the thirty-first. Whew, squeeked through.