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.
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…
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Brewers had long been a guild as secretive and respected as the Engineers in Dwarf society and the two guilds found themselves often working together. When the vast plains with all their crops, towns, cities, workshops, villages, and breweries had been destroyed in civil wars followed by volcanic eruption and floods, they were forced to join their brethren in abandoning the ancient homelands, scattering into the wooded mountains of the southern borderlands or the trackless deserts of the east. Only the dark hearted ones went north but that is a different tale. Many clans and their brewing secrets were lost in the wilds before survivors began finding their way to the lush fields and valleys of the Crescent Bay. Like the other surviving dwarf clans here they were able to rebuild, even flourish, creating vast terraced farms of hops and barley, linked by trails and tunnels both to each other and the quickly growing underground cities.
Dwarfs have long memories to match their beards and lifespans so no matter how well they were doing, no matter how fine a barrel they brewed, there was always talk of the lost clans and their legendary recipes. Soon stories began to circulate of wandering brewmasters or hidden caches of ancient ale or, best of all, a written recipe of a long lost brew. As is usually the case, most of these turned out to be hopeful speculation but enough of them proved to be true that the Brewers Guild formed the Rangers to seek out the lost clans and their secrets. Now every Brewers clan send units out into the wild lands, mountains, and even tunnels on that very quest. No one knows exactly how many there are or even where their missions take them but it must be a considerable number because it is never a surprise to find them in the armies of the borderlands where wise commanders take heed of their counsel.
One of the best parts of Kings of War, from a modeler and painter’s perspective, is the opportunity presented by unit size bases. With the Bulwarkers it really aided in setup and storage as well as movement on the table, and, as seems all too often to be the case, removal from the table. With the Rangers I wanted the base to look like the wilds of the borderlands while still tying in with the rest of the army. I had a set of Games Workshop Bugman’s Brewers (I believe they are the second version of that legendary regiment, easily my favorite) sitting in my unpainted collection and demanding attention for over a decade.
I used one of the plastic unit bases that used to come with Mantic sets, upside down Mantic bases, some Scibor dwarf statues, Scibor Ancient Ruins bases as well as Secret Weapon Tree Stumps. The Scibor Ancient Ruins bases look a lot like the floor tiles around the statues so make a good pairing and can be used in future unit bases to help unify a force that will be assembled from models made by multiple manufacturers. Mixing a number of the different sizes together means I only need a couple on each base to look like the troops were moving through similar long abandoned structures on the very edge of the kingdom. The Scibor Dwarf Statues made it clear who had built those structures and still laid claim to the lands around them. This was going to be fun.
Part of prepping each figure became cutting off the base and drilling out a foot for a pin before temporarily attaching it to a base for primer. Being of the ancient line of actual lead figures, the drilling was rather easy if time consuming. I planned to assembled the painted figures on the base after painting so wanted to minimize the handling of them post sealant.
After assembly, the base was covered in textured acrylic medium which, when dry, was coated with super glue and dipped in charcoal taken from water filters. I had so much fun with it I built another, smaller one (1×5) from scraps and two Scibor bases for a planned Berserker unit. Once dry these were sprayed with primer. As I had already started using some of the Ancient Ruins Cavalry bases for my Brockriders I painted the new ones to match.
When the figures were all painted and sealed, they were removed from their temporary bases (Elmers glue is what I use to tack them in place). The unit base was not only painted and sealed but then I weathered the statues using Secret Weapon pigments finished off with their brush on pigment sealant. I liked the idea of the unit carefully making its way through long overgrown ruins so added undergrowth around their feet as I glued in each row navigating around the trees and statues. I stuck the champion out on the corner in front of the ancestor stone in part because he is one of my all time favorite sculpts but also because it looks like he is peering into the shadows, watching for attack.