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 The white Bones plastic is less bendy in this campaign and has been replaced by a soft grey on a couple of sets.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.
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.
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.
Some of the first figures I tackled when my box of rewards from Reaper Miniatures second Bones campaign on Kickstart arrived were what I called the Hero-on-Big-Base figures. Very characterful figures mounted on large, sculpted bases. Fairly easy to see why they appealed to me right away. The names I use are entirely of my own making so don’t try looking them up in the catalog.
The first was a ghoul like character whose visage was miscast to the point of offending the camera. No, really, it is a terrible casting with a concave face that I was able to build a bit of a nose onto with green stuff. Came out alright but the rock is my favorite part, truth be told. I don’t see him leading my Kings of War Undead anytime soon.
Since this guy is covered in pieces of castle and appears to be standing on a tiny tower I thought of him as The Rook. There is just something fun, goofy really, about the exaggeration of these minis and wearing big bits of architecture seems perfectly acceptable. Sort of medieval meets anime’ really. Just look at the size of the blades. Despite all the masonry, Rook is a fairly simple figure so I kept the paint job simple and finished in just under an hour.
I’m no sure why all the male knights in this set are bald but it is what it is. Must have something to do with the helmets none of them are wearing. Demonblade ,or DB to his friends, has lots of fancy armor so I figured the shoulder plates should be differentiated and went with bronze. Weathering them was half the fun. Like Rook this fellow was kept simple and finished in just under an hour.
If there was any doubt as to the influence of anime’ on these sculpts then this cleric’s hammer should banish them. I’m guessing it would weigh more than the holy warrior and his armor combined. Must be some divine inspiration or magic that makes up for the physics. It was the rough stairs of the base that first drew my attention to this miniature and where I started work. A dunk in a mug of hot water before a bath of cold to straighten the shaft of his weapon and he was ready for painting. I had such fun with his various layers and materials that I went well over my self imposed time limit. The shoulder pad was especially useful for some heraldry.
Chaosgrrrl! and Rojo.
One of the last ones I painted from this set as I really wanted to spend some time working on her charming shield. Another massive weapon but at least she has some armor covering the side of her not protected by the tower shield. With the anime’ influence it seems that female costumes can often be as small as the weapons are large so this was a step in the right direction. Her navel maybe exposed but those spiked plates on her armor aren’t just for show. I named her shield Rojo and saved the bound demon for last. I liked the idea of him having opinions, arguments, and conversations with the lithe chaos warrior so tried to paint them eyeing each other. Sort of a twist on the whole Elric/Stormbringer relationship.
The heavily armored warrior woman looked rather Greek in her crested helm so I opted for a Spartan color scheme besides, I had intended to patina her armor when I saw her picture in the campaign and there was already a lot of red on my wet pallet from working on Rojo. That I got to play with the natural aspects of stone and ivy was a bonus really.
She was looking pretty good but just not complete and it wasn’t just the bad photos. She needed something else but I decided against adding any outside materials. I was also trying to keep each Bones mini under an hour but regularly stretch that on fun figures like this one so I compromised and put her aside over night. After coffee and breakfast I picked her up and just began painting. The wet pallet I’ve started using was very helpful with this I can tell you. It is super useful for unit painting but that’s a whole different post. I might still add a red gem to the hilt of her sword but all in all I think she really came out well.
Having painted a fair number of Reaper Bones to date I have formed a few opinions. While the material has short comings it definitely has some big benefits. First problem issue I’ve found is that fine detail (like women’s noses, fingers, the Ghoul Lord’s nose and eye) can be mashed up or missing. The second is the mold release used sticks around and messes with paint adherence. The latter issue is solved by my better cleaning the minis beforehand while the former is harder to solve. Now the positives begin with the price of figures being downright cheap. So cheap I don’t mind taking chances on color schemes or painting techniques as well as picking up figures I might not otherwise (I’m looking at you Bugbear and Gnoll troops) so now have a big collection of dungeon dwellers ready to go When Dungeon Saga arrives. Another plus is the wide variety of minis Reaper has already produced so one is spoiled for choice regardless of genre’. Storing them before or after painting is aided by the fact that they are light weight and when you start collecting miniature war gaming armies that starts to matter. My favorite aspect, so far, is that once finished the acrylic paint seems to bond with the bendy plastic and flexes rather than chips. I do love how the terrain pieces paint up with the bases in the above post as examples. Honestly, I’m more excited about working on the ruins included in Dragons Don’t Share than either the adventurers or the dragon. All in all, I like the material though I think I may limit future Bones purchases to architecture and BIG monsters. Those come out wonderfully and really benefit from the light weight.