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20
Mar

Frostgrave Terrain- First Work in Progress

LongRow2

The Long Row gets timbers and a fancy plastic window. Looks like Banksy has been drawing stairs on the wall.

 

Here’s the opening stages of the one I call First Building.  Not very snappy, I know, but it is an accurate description.

 

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Base coats done.

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Such a calming blue interior.

 

The one I think of as Building Two simply because it was the second one I started working on.  Not sure why but the hole at the bottom of one of the walls didn’t work for me so I patched it up with some lightweight spackling compound.  One of the criteria for the first couple of buildings was that I wouldn’t have to do much construction and could go straight to painting.  As I was already spending the time patching a wall I didn’t see any harm in adding a little more detail but did compromise by making a partial stair.

 

Wall patched and broken stairs installed.

Wall patched and broken stairs installed.

The colors are inspired by one of the original cardboard Mordheim buildings.

The colors are inspired by one of the original cardboard Mordheim buildings in my collection.

 

The Long Row is going to take a lot of planning and work but I think it could become a wonderful piece and add verticality to our battle fields.  I started by rearranging some of the interior walls to make room for stairs, glued in foamcoare where the floors would be as well as gluing the entire thing to a piece of thin plywood.  Narrow, wooden coffee stirring sticks make wonderful flooring but have no strength so get glued on top of the foam core.  The ends of the planks extend past the edge of the foam core which will be painted in dark colors helping with the illusion.

 

LongRowStairs2

Floor is glued in and drying as are the stairs.

LongRowStairs1

Once the stairs dried they were glued in at the same time as the back wall section.

 

I use Tacky Glue for everything because it works on all the materials I’m using, the thickness greatly reduces oozing, and it cleans up with water.  It also remains a little flexible after it dries which I find adds durability to terrain pieces.  I used scraps, off cuts, and found items to build most everything but especially the bridges/ramps and ladders which are assembled largely from the scraps left from working on the buildings. One can never have too many of these items so I will be making many more of them in future.  I even have a short bridge AronBC made and gave me to add to the collection.  I put improvised railings here and there to look good and maybe reduce figures sliding off.  Think I’m going to have to glue some skulls and shields to some future constructions.

 

 

GluingBridges1

Two nine inch long bridges.

GluingBridges3

Twelve inch long bridge

GluingBridges2

A second twelve inch long bridge.

LaddersGlue

Some ladders plus a six inch bridge Aron gave me.

 

After struggling with how I would gable the roof to make a platform for the exterior stairs I planned to build I realized most of my problems would be solved if the end building was just another floor taller.  So I cut off the roof and glued in another floor.  Not only did this give me more height and two more windows to shoot out of but the end of the attic was screaming for a balcony.  You just can’t have too many odds and ends for figures to fire from or be shot off of in my opinion.

 

I decided the left side really needed another floor added.

I decided the left side really needed another floor added.

 

A wide flat brush combined with a wet palette makes short work of the bridges and ladders.  Good thing I’ve got plenty more scrap to build more.  We are going to need them.

 

BridgesDone2 BridgesDone1

 

 

 

18
Mar

Massive Cold Front Engulfs DundraCon 2016 or The Gang Plays Lots of Frostgrave

The ruins of Frostgrave beckoned over Valentine's weekend at Dundracon 2016.

The ruins of Frostgrave beckoned over Valentine’s weekend at Dundracon 2016.

 

I try to get to the three closest game conventions each year as they are the best places to interact with most of my oldest friends, meet new ones, and light my creative fires all in one very entertaining weekend.  This time was no exception at DundraCon 2016 (San Ramon, Ca) with the highlight being all the Frostgrave we played.  For those who may not have heard of it, Frostgrave by Osprey Games is a fantasy skirmish game in which players run a wizard and their band of adventurers seeking the arcane knowledge and treasures of an ancient ruined city (think Mordheim) that was destroyed in an icy, magic cataclysm.  It is supposed to be frozen and snow covered but none of my terrain is so I figure there is a brief thaw in the neighborhood.  I was delighted to break out long neglected Mordheim terrain and share figures from my also long neglected Role Playing Miniatures collection.  Learning a fun new game was bonus.

 

Worm1

The worm bursts forth just outside the abbey!

Worm2

Don’t recall which game this photo was from but it looks great and I love the scrum in the center.

 

One table had two gangs fighting it out over the treasures while a giant worm burrowed around under them.  Eventually it burst out and much mayhem ensued.  When we get together everyone pools their miniatures and terrain, especially the terrain.  We all have little projects, okay, some of us have numerous projects that might not fill a three foot square battlefield but added up really look great. Plus I’ll jump at any chance to use the Abbey AronBC built based on a scenario in an old Citadel Journal.  This time he had brought a figure from our ancient youth, a giant millipede and, like myself, he was happy to have it get table time.

 

The necromancer leads his band toward the Silent Tower

The necromancer leads his band toward the Silent Tower.

Lady Mooncrow heads toward one of the entrances to the Silent Tower.

From the opposite direction Lady Mooncrow heads toward one of the entrances to the Silent Tower.

Silent2

While her apprentice, Winterwillow leads her team to a different one and a treasure token.

 

I was ecstatic to game with so many of the beautiful Hasslefree Miniatures I had painted simply because I loved them.  Now they had names and missions. Just to ice the cake, now I really need to paint three from the Unpainted Box to round out the gang.  Who knew I’d need a thief?  The game uses opposed rolls with twenty sided dice for spell casting and combat.  If the caster/attacker rolls higher the number they rolled is also the damage caused.  My first game started out well when I rolled a twenty on a twenty sided die to cast Elemental Bolt at my opponent’s wizard who happened to be in the open from where my wizard stood.  Modifiers, armor figured out and BOOM! One dead wizard on turn two.  We decided to set up and start again because it was about to get very one sided and to have that happen when one is focused on learning a new game seems ridiculous.  Besides, there’s no fun in that.

 

The coffee stirrers represent bridges.

The coffee stirring sticks represent bridges connecting to the central tower. I need to build ramps.

 

The second game was a closer run thing with both of us hugging terrain and taking shots where we could.  The silent tower and it’s connecting buildings are not only a major objective but also a magic null zone so the wizards were quite limited.  A couple of henchmen were taken down here and there but it ended with both wizards deciding discretion was the better part of valor and backed away warily as the gangs hauled in their swag.

 

The Well2

My barbarian covers the escape as the thief and thug haul their treasures off board. The war hound moved up the flank.

TheWell3

Both wizards move toward the magic spring. Ryan’s archers on the second floor made life very difficult. In the end only his wizard was able to reach the center and drink from the magic spring.

TheWell1

No, the henchman isn’t wounded. That’s just how far she got down the stair in one turn with the treasure (the penny). She made it of the board in the end.

 

One of the things I really like about the game is the easy campaign aspect.  It was always my favorite part of Mordheim and Necromunda as well because it encourages me to paint miniatures I might not get to as well as creating character and narrative.  In this case not only did we use my wild boars, bear, and familiars but the Stone Mountain troll finally found a game use, granted my opponent used Wind Blast to immediately push him back off the table but he got on the table.  It also moved the resin toads I’d picked up to the painting table.

 

Ice toads awaiting basing and final sealant. Should have ordered more...

Ice toads awaiting basing and final sealant. Should have ordered more…

 

So, a fun system that was much easier to learn than I thought it would be.  The campaign book, Thaw of the Lich Lord looks very entertaining not to mention creatively inspiring. Now I have a list of old figures and projects to dig out and dust off.  Going to to be making buildings, ladders, and bridges for a while.

 

SisterChartruese

My gang’s Templer. She is no light weight and has more than a few kills to her credit.

 

14
Mar

Building a ruined city

Anyone looking for a game of Frostgrave?

Anyone looking for a game of Frostgrave?

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.

 

TowerTop3

Just about finished but needs some clean up.

TowerTop2

Will make a nice terrain piece on it’s own.

TowerTop1

This may end up the ultimate sniper’s roost.

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.

 

FifthFloor2

Rusty but secure gate.

FifthFloor1

More windows for Ryan to hide archers behind.

FifthFloor3

I love how the broken floor pieces can be glued together to make a solid floor.

 

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.

 

TowerTopDone1

Might still need more weathering when they are all done.

TowerTopDone2

I like the red book in an alcove

TowerTopGrowing1

Lots of battlefield potential already.

 

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.

 

FGbuilding1

Simple but the balcony really adds versatility.

Fgbuilding2

Three floors is a great start

Second1

The Mordheim plastic door frame is a nice touch.

Second2

I like the wooden floor quite a bit but think the interior needs a little work.

I call this one the Long Row

I call this one the Long Row

I started drawing my own ideas onto the surface right away.

I started drawing my own ideas onto the surface right away.

 

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.

 

Five candles means the fifth floor, right?

Five candles means the fifth floor, right?

26
Feb

Crusader Keep

Before and After

It is clear where the stain stops. That’s just the bare foam on the right side.

 

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.

 

First stage done

First stage done

 

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.

 

Tan drybrush complete.

Tan drybrush complete.

 

Stage three was a lighter drybrush of ivory.  The various textures sculpted into different stones really changes the tone of the color.

 

Three-Ivory drybrush

The details begin to “pop” with a layer of ivory.

 

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.

 

A dusting of white before taking on the details.

A dusting of white before taking on the details.

 

I painted the non stone details before using Secret Weapon Washes to weather the tower.

 

Now that looks like old stone.

Now that looks like old stone.

 

Well, there you go, Necron99 called it right.  Pretty quick work, all in all.  Might have to add this to the Frostgrave terrain box.

 

Better get some archers up here quick.

Better get some archers up here quick.

11
Feb

The Abyss opens in my studio

GrFiendClose

 

With the funding of their second edition of Kings of War Mantic Games was able to create two new armies, the Forces of Nature and the Forces of the Abyss.  The concept drawings of the demons, imps, and fiends that would inhabit the Abyss caught my attention from the first time I saw them.  I had waited patiently for the miniatures to arrive though with so many new troop types and sculpts it wasn’t easy.  My order included units of Succubi, Lower Abyssals, Molochs, Gargoyles, an Efreet, a champion, and a huge resin Archfiend.

Besides the monstrous infantry Molochs, the Effrit and Abyssal Champion figures are cast in metal.  The sculpts are very nice with lots of movement and options and the metal they are cast in isn’t as brittle as that which the spears from my set of Bulwarkers.  That is important when there are so many delicate pieces.  I’m looking forward to painting these guys and know I’ll need to order a couple more so I can build both variations.  Other than a cursory inspection of the Molochs I haven’t started my monstrous infantry so haven’t formed an opinion beyond,”Nice sculpts, clean castings” and, again, I’m going to want more of these guys.

 

Effrit and Abyssal Champion. Due to the volume of the flames I decided to paint the base separately.

Efreet and Abyssal Champion. Due to the volume of the flames I decided to paint the Efreet’s base separately. The bases? Secret Weapon Miniatures, of course.

 

What I was most interested in were the plastic sprues because I have really liked what Mantic Games has been doing with their plastic miniatures and the concept art for the new pieces was wonderful.  When I went over them in detail I wasn’t disappointed. Each sprue holds enough parts for five soldiers, details are sharp, there’s parts for alternate models, and every sprue comes with two Imps (for a total of four different sculpts).  That means every regiment of Lower Abyssals and Succubi comes with enough to make a unit of Imps.  That they are fun sculpts is a bonus.

The Succubi have two weapons each that can be matched or mixed up, as I am doing with the first unit I’m assembling.  While there isn’t an alternative unit there are extra heads.  I will say that some of the parts are delicate and a little fiddly to work with but worth the effort as these ladies look deadly.  Here’s the sprue before I started work.

 

Front Side of the Succubi sprue

Front Side of the Succubi sprue

Back side of the Succubi sprue

Back side of the Succubi sprue

 

The Lower Abyssals, on the other hand can be assembled as three different units; weapon and shield, great weapon, or fire throwing Flame Bearers and they also come with extra heads.

 

Lower Abyssal Sprue one side

Lower Abyssal Sprue one side

Lower Abyssal sprue other side.

Lower Abyssal sprue other side.

 

I have to say I’m really pleased with these.  I’ve already commented on the clarity of detail but the poses have movement, the faces have charm mixed with malice, while the Imps are so much fun I’m really looking forward to getting to work on them. I’ve already started on the Efreet, Abyssal Champion, and the Archfiend.

Oh yeah, the resin Archfiend.  This thing is HUGE and I love his face (those teeth!).  The pose is fun and this monstrous hero can be assembled with or without wings but really… wings are so cool.  Did  I mention the flaming hands?  This guy is awesome and really deserves a Secret Weapon Lava Fields Base ordered special.

Mantic Games' new resin Greater Abyssal Fiend.

Mantic Games’ new resin Greater Abyssal Fiend.

GrFiend1

GrFiend2

GrFiend4

He’s going to tower over the forces on the battlefield… when he’s not torching them.

 

In short, the new Abyssal army is full of fun, unique new miniatures that are a great deal for one’s gaming cash. Mantic Games has really come a long way in a very short time and I’m excited to see where they go next. There are Forge Father tanks in my near future after all. Despite this excitement to begin painting these minis I must confess to some growing trepidation as all the flames in their hands are really going to call for some serious amounts of object source lighting (OSL) and that is not one of my strengths.  Only future posts will tell if I am successful.

 

There are going to be a lot of options with these models.

They’re going to be slicing up enemy soldiersin droves.  I love the beckoning one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30
Jan

A Regiment is completed and a Horde is born

LetsGo1

 

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.

 

XBow2B

Ready for action

XBow2Front

Front View

XBow2SideL

Left Side

XBow2Back

Back View

XBow2SideR

Right Side

XBow2Top

Finally, a bird’s eye view

 

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.

 

XBow2A

The Scibor pieces really add so much character while visually unifying the force.

TwoRegiments2

Sometimes you feel like two regiments.

XBowHorde3

Sometimes you don’t!

XBowHorde2

Rather pleased with how well these two actually fit together visually. Might be time for a larger group portrait of the entire force.  Maybe after the Berserkers.

 

XBow2Close1

Steady on, Lads, take aim…

...and heed the call of the drum roll.

…and heed the call of the drum roll.

 

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.

 

17
Jan

The Dark Water Chronicles Part One

GyroView1

The dwarf army moves out, gyrocopters scouting routes through the monstrous caverns.

 

And so it was that the great clans united to send a force deep into the mountains to reclaim the great underway, the Ungor Watt, from the depths and darkness in which it had been lost.  Through smoke and fire the great campaign was fought and every victory paid for in treasure and blood.

 

We got time fer a cuppa?

We got time fer a cuppa?

 

It was the miners, in their relentless underground explorations, that first came upon the foundations of dwarf ruins, the remains of settlements lost in the great quakes and volcanic eruptions that had proceeded the great orc wars.  Many holds had fallen, their populations slain and scattered, but others had survived, rebuilt.  Some had even expanded and founded new colonies but none forgot the stories of the ancient underway that had linked the dwarf people.  When ancient warehouses and barracks were discovered the explorers knew they had found one of the way stations of the great road way, the Ungor Watt.

 

GenRavengaze

Thane Darlun Darkeye sends out the call for volunteers

Longbeards known as the Darkwater Veterans

Longbeards would become known as the Darkwater Veterans because they fought there for so many years.  Some had arrived in the beginning as young warriors.

Darkwater Ironbreakers

Ironbreakers had arrived with the miners. They set up the base camp in the ancient barracks.

The commanders of the brave Quarrelers

The commanders of the brave Quarrelers, crossbow armed troopers who had the amazing habit of making the most difficult of saves more than once.

More Quarrelers arrive with the reinforcements.

More Quarrelers arrive with the reinforcements.

Thunderers march through the ancient halls to aide their brethren in the Darkwater battles

Thunderers march through the ancient halls to aide their brethren in the Darkwater battles. Chaos armor is tough and the extra punch of those guns will help.

Colonial Rifles take position

Colonial Rifles take position at a crossroads.

The call goes out. The slayers gather!

The call goes out. The slayers gather!

Dragonslayer

Prince Garius the Dragonslayer took down dragon ogres.

Giantslayer

Giantslayer Yurni Stonejowl scouts ahead of the main force.

 

Almost immediately a vast cavern filled with an underground lake was located within marching distance of the main camp.  Unfortunately so was a force of heavily armed and armored, blood worshiping humans who had arrived via a cavern on the lake’s northern end.  Immediately battle ensued with the dwarfs pushed back to the the perimeter of their own camp.  It was only the stubborn refusal of the Quarrelers to break and the timely flank charge of Prince Garius and his band of Slayers that saved the dwarfs.  Soon many more slayers would arrive and the battles for Darkwater Cavern would go on for a very long time.  In the meantime word of the ancient water source made its way to the Rangers and they knew how to turn that water into beer.

Let's go, lads! It's Our Water! It's Our Beer!

Let’s go, lads! It’s Our Water! It’s Our Beer!

 

 

 

7
Jan

Three to beam up

The away team in progress

The away team in progress or training as I call it.  Guess that makes my desk Star Fleet Academy.

 

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.

Yeoman Rand

 

Rand1

She’s got a phaser and knows how to use it.

Rand2

The details on the base just create such a great sense of environment.

RandClose

This lady has better things to do than hand the captain a clipboard.

 

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.

 

TrioTop

 

Nurse Chapel

 

Chapel1

She looks pretty sassy.

Chapel3

Bit of red and yellow on the base to balance all the blue.

ChapelClose

She doesn’t look like she would put up with Spock throwing soup.

 

Lt Uhura

 

Uhura5

I like the addition of the tri-corder. Chapel needs one

Uhura4

It was the ear rings that really declared this to be Uhura

Uhura3

The deck textures are great and fun to paint all on their own.

UhuraClose

Heading to transporter room.

 

I find myself wishing for more crew so I can build a foam core Gallileo 7 for them.

 

Trio1

The Not Trek Ladies

Trio2

Such nice sculpts, both minis and bases, make it easy to get good results.

 

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…

 

144artist

 

 

 

 

3
Jan

Summon the Wizards

GnomeRunesClose1

Back and improved

 

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.

 

GnomeRunes1

Terracotta highlighted with orange contrasted nicely.

GnomeRunes2

Took the opportunity to work a little more on the green glass bottle.

GnomeRunes3

I think the runes add to the sense of movement

GnomeRunes4

Abbra-ca-pocus! Poccus Cadabra!

 

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.

 

ElfSage6

I knew she needed a cool base and MicroArts’ new plastic inserts really fit the bill.

ElfSage5

Secret Weapons Miniatures product Realistic Water is easy to use and makes a nice difference.

ElfSage3

Love the texture of the stonework

ElfSage2

Such nice details and sense of movement.

ElfSage1

Another great Kev White sculpt.

Such a lovely face and anatomy I decided against tattoos or face paint in the end.

Such a lovely face and anatomy I decided against tattoos or face paint in the end.

 

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.

 

Winterwillow1

I call her Lady Winterwillow

Winterwillow2

Another MicroArts base to add character and environment

Winterwillow3

I’m fairly pleased with the freehand work

Winterwillow4

Can’t quite see the gleam on the top of the orb.

Winterwillow5

The base adds to the whole Frostgrave Ruins idea.

WWClose1

Talk to the hand!

 

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.

 

Mooncrow3

Lenore though she is Lady Mooncrow in my collection.

Mooncrow1

Despite having to repaint and start over, the cloak offered lots of fun surfaces for freehand detail.

Mooncrow5

I love how the MicroArts base inserts give one a lot of options in how to base the figure.

Mooncrow2

More pleased with the border than the moon

Mooncrow4

The shattered statue on the base is such a nice detail I wanted to draw some attention to it by mounting her balanced on the broken pieces.

 

Now get back to work on those dwarf Berserkers. The base isn't going to fill itself

Now get back to work on those dwarf Berserkers over there. The base isn’t going to fill itself

 

 

 

 

 

 

19
Dec

Elemental, my dear Watson

The very stones rise up in defense of the Dwarven homelands

The very stones rise up in defense of the Dwarven homelands

 

Seeking some diversity for my Dwarf army in Kings of War I’ve wanted to add some units of Earth Elementals for quite some time.  Since they are the cheapest horde available on my army list with Crushing Strength 1 and unwavering they are very attractive.  That I would only need three per unit and they should paint up quickly made them almost irresistible.  The only problem was the Mantic doesn’t make any models for them.  So it was going to be a quest!

 

StoneBrow9

Brother Stonebrow is called upon to bring forth elementals

StoneBrow8

My newest Stone Priest

StoneBrow6

Another wonderful Kev White sculpt that was a blast to paint mounted on a Secret Weapon base.

 

It quickly became clear that I could easily spend a lot of money on some incredible models but that was not anywhere on my plan, the spending lots of money part.  I wanted decent minis.  These where joining my dwarf collection after all.  The models couldn’t be larger than Duane either as he is technically a Greater Earth Elemental, listed as a Monster (50mm base) while these were to be Large Infantry (40mm bases) and I wanted to build four Regiments of the guys which would require twelve miniatures.  I wanted a selection of sculpts and styles because I saw them as being very individual. So it was off to eBay.

 

I envisioned a mix of textures and colors as varied as the ground beneath them.

I envisioned a mix of textures and colors as varied as the ground beneath them.

 

I had already gone through all my Reaper Bones looking for any elemental or golem that might work and found none.  There were a couple of metal models that looked the part on their website I’d have to watch for good prices on.  Plastic Dungeons and Dragons figures from Wizards of the Coast showed a lot of promise as well, having a wide selection of both ranges and styles.  Since I didn’t play anymore and paint my own toy soldiers I had only been vaguely aware of these prepainted plastic models so wasn’t sure of the exact sizes of any of them.  Multiple finds from a couple of sellers kept postage down and gave me a selection to choose from and compare.

 

Hello, nice to be here.

Hello, nice to be here.

Hmmm, just not feeling it.

Power to the Earth!

Testfit1

Not bad but a little crowded

 

In the end one was too small, one was way too tiny, and one was too tree like but with a metal Reaper mini to round things out, I had enough to start work.  Among the mix I had four nice solid looking fellows called Elemental Walls I could spread out one per base, a couple of Medium Elementals sporting green gems that looked like they were bursting through the ground, and even two that reminded me a little of Jack Kirby drawings of The Thing.

 

Alright, guys, try and get it together

Alright, guys, try and get it together

 

I cut unit bases out of thick plastic card and used super glue to attach the figures.  I then used my favorite standby, lightweight spackling, to create the ground and hide the round bases attached to the feet of the minis.

 

AddingPatch

Applying ground work

BaseCovered

Ready for Texture

 

As soon as this was in place I poured crushed charcoal (reclaimed from used up water filters) over it, pressed it down then tapped off the excess.  Once these were done I set them aside to dry over night.

 

Textured

That metal guy is looking a little snowy.

 

Painting was as straight forward as I assumed it would be.  Bases were coated in a dark brown I touched up the basic paint job the figures had come with.  Well, obviously the metal figure was primed before being base coated in grey and brown.  All the figures were washed with Agrax Earthshade and Nuln Oil.  Then it was matter of highlighting and weathering.

 

Base coated and drying

Base coated and drying

Stained and highlighted

Different unit stained and highlighted

Just needs some ground works

Just needs some ground works.

 

Here’s another place the wet palette came in very handy. Fresh paint of various greys and browns arranged in a circle for easy mixing made short work of the last three regiments, the first having been assembled and painted as soon as I had three minis I liked together.  I glued down some mixed flocking here and there before spraying them all with sealant.  When that had dried I glued on tufts of grass and small brush for a more natural look and to match my dwarf force.  I had skipped adding the architectural bits and pieces my dwarf units have as I wanted these guys to work in a Forces of Nature army as well.  I do have an antique army of painted Wood Elves packed away after all. So I have four finished Regiments of Large Infantry to bolster my army.

 

Reg4F

Reg4B

Reg3F

Reg3B

Reg2F

Reg2B

Reg1F

Reg1b

 

Not only do I have four regiments but I can also combine them into two Hordes.

 

Horde2

Horde1

 

Once I’d located the minis I wanted these units were fast and fun to paint.  I think they fit together nicely as well and will look great along side Duane and Brother Stonebrow.

 

Alright, lads, let's go!

Alright, lads, let’s go!

Close1

Who says we’re all lads?

ElementalsArrive

Oh quit complaining and shamble.

OntheMove

Shamble, shamble, shamble.