Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Flagellant

This mini I am really, really proud of. Like, stupidly, irrationally proud.

The Empire Flagellant in all his righteous glory.

I don't know who sculpted this, though I suspect it's one or both of the Perry twins. It's an amazing miniature.

The flagellant is a religious zealot, convinced that the only way to be truly righteous and pure is through abasement and self inflicted pain. They travel the countryside in bands spreading the good word.

They also do children's parties.

The tide marks on the robes were something I wasn't sure of. It worked. This mini I feel like I stepped a little further with details. I must have painted the eyes a half dozen times trying to get the look right.

The scroll on the back is roughly illuminated. I have another 9 I now want to paint.

A wizard, a druid and a ranger enter an inn...

...and the innkeeper says "Is this some kind of joke?"

Heartbreaker Wizard, Citadel Flagellant, Reaper Halfling Druid, and Dragon Bait Dwarf Ranger.

This is the result of about 4 hours or so over two days. The stupid wizard lost the top of her staff, the damned thing snapped right off. Cue me scrambling to find my pin vice only to discover that the drill bit I wanted to use doesn't fit the cheap-arsed piece of crap I had on hand. Frustrating.


This came from Heartbreaker. I'll get the parts that jab me out of the way first.This is a clunky beast. Huge arms, small face, huge hair. Humongous staff. Look at how thick that thing is, she's holding something that is as thick as her arm. And I won't get into how the inside of her robe lacks any kind of detail. Thigh? Knee? She doesn't need those. Just stick the foot in there. 

Dispite these complaints I like this mini in toto. The details are pretty cool, the robe, the necklace and the cord all provide some texture. The staff is a great design which demands some simplicity in the painting. The 'flow' made painting a pleasant job.

Painting wise it was straightforward. The hair is an experiment. I wanted it to look like flame flowing from her head. It's rough and would probably work better if she had spiky wild hair.


I won't lie, I totally bought this mini because of the bunny. 

I used so many colours that I was afraid that it wouldn't work at all. Brown red for the fabric and tan for the edging of the jacket,  yellow for the scarf, blue for cloak and hat, and purple for the layer under the jacket.

The bunny was a slate grey base coat with a wash, and selective white over brushing

Detail for the book. I want to add more to the bird page: draw the beak open and add a musical note or some kind of speech bubble. "Talk to animals" is a useful spell. I have no clue what the other symbol means.

It was while painting this dwarf ranger that I realised that I really like Kev Adams ( see the previous post about the halfling barbarian).

All of these sculpts are based off another artist's, Mike Burns, designs and Adams did a brilliant job of capturing the design and injecting some of his own sensibility into it.


I really like the way she turned out. I didn't really realise until after I'd painted her that she shares the same colours with the other minis (olive green and white/bone).

The Wallis Knight and better photos of Kneenan, the barbarian halfling.

My reward for winning the previous round of Chico's painting challenge was to choose the theme for the next one. I chose 'heraldry' because: it was something I'd never done; I had some plastic knights; and I wanted to handpaint a shield. Voila. Decision made.

This is my non-entry.  

The Wallis Knight.
Wallis is my Grandmother's birth name and the family crest is, as shown on the shield, a white lion rampant on a red field. Though it might technically be silver and not white.

I made the happy discovery that red is easier to paint over an orange base. It makes for a brighter and warmer colour. I like how much warmer and brighter it makes the final colour. It still takes a couple of coats which is not really a chore when compared to the outcome.


"I will do the job," Kneenan smiled and bit a chunk from the meat in his fist, "and my price will be fair. However be warned."
He swallowed his mouthful and spat a stray piece of flesh to the floor at the strangers feet, "If I am betrayed I will hew your knee caps from you..."

Here are better photos of the Halfling Barbarian I painted earlier.

The spoon and the chicken leg are wonderful touches.
I have suddenly realised that I have fallen in love with Kev Adams, the sculpter of this brilliant miniature. It's snuck up on me over painting these things he's sculpted. I've known of him for a long time and I've probably painted his sculpts before (heroquest goblins, I'm looking at you) without realising much of anything.

Adams has a long history in the miniatures game stretching back to the early-mid 80s doing a lot of work with Games Workshop. I first came across him in the pages of White Dwarf in one of the early 'eavy Metals where he talked painting and sculpting and from his painted goblins and orcs in a sample army list from an upcoming book. He also designed a fantastic piece of bent reality with a device called the snotling pump wagon. Think a

Consequently, I've spent the last week halfheartedly looking for more of his miniatures online and today I've found my next purchase: Human Male Adventurers from Otherworld Miniatures. These look like they are slimmer than the Dragon Bait minis I have been painting, though they all ooze the same character. Kev Adams has done a huge number of miniatures for the company. His pig faced orcs are sheer brilliance (look for the fully helmed orc here).

Anywho, back to the mini at hand. The loin cloth is orange with a brown wash over it. I drybrushed some white down the back to suggest fox fur. I don't know if it totally works; I need to do a bit of work on fur. 

Another angle.The tilt on the mouth makes me smile. It's one of those touches that Adams excels at.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Johnny Come Lately Liebster Thingee.

Johnathan Marshall at Meandering Shade has nominated me for a Leibster Award, which is more a "How-do-you-do-you-seem-interesting-here-are-some-questions" chain letter thingee than an actual award, but "award" is easier to type. Which is totally neat. I love awards that aren't actually awards and are more low key.

(As an aside, I've had a breakthrough and now know where the 'create link' button is on blogger.)

Liebster Award Instructions:

  • Link back to the blogger that nominated you
  • Reveal 11 truths about yourself
  • Answer the 11 questions written  for you by the person that nominated you
  • Choose 11 other blogs that have less than 200 followers to be nominated next
  • Write 11 questions for these new nominees to answer
  • leave a comment on the nominees blog or message them to make them aware of the nomination

11 Truths some related to gaming, some not

1.  I suffer from depression. The longer I'm alive, the more I think that depression is the ocean on which my continents of personality form, shift and get swallowed up by.

2. I used to think space marines were space skaven because of the beakie helmets and I used to think Eldar were some hideous alien creature because of the way the D-cannon crewmember looked like it were peeling it's mask back. I have an un-natural love of Wraithlords because of that one picture with the busted wall and the cigar smoke. WD 100 has a lot to answer for.

3. Jes Goodwin is my default favourite sculptor because of Skaven and Eldar, my two favourite forces. I have his Saint Celestine in the pile, and I need to make an order for some of the Asgard sculpts of his.

4. I immigrated from NZ to the US to get married. I met my wife at the end of 2007 and asked her to marry me about 4 months later before we'd ever met.
5. I am a lousy arguer and debater. I despise conflict and avoid it like the plague.

6. I am a pacifist. Sometimes I wake up and wonder if wargaming fits with this pacifism. It does, because fantasy wargaming is fiction. Fiction never hurt anyone. I don't have to tell a bunch of Dark Elf families that mum/dad isn't coming home. I don't see limbs hewn or children cryng because they've been pressganged into fighting. Compared to the real world wargaming is damned civilised.

7. I am a thin shell of cynical around a big, pulsing, gushy romantic idealist. A big, disappointed idealist, but an idealist none-the-less.

8. I am a gamer with a writing problem, or is that vice versa? I have written plays and many false starts for novels. Depression has put a crimp on so many things.

9. I love books. I tend to read deeply with authors, and will devour a whole bunch of their work until I can't handle it anymore. I am stuck firmly in the 'B's with excursions elsewhere. William Burroughs, Borges, Samuel Beckett, JG Ballard, Ray Bradbury. Other writers: Lovecraft, Harold Pinter, Margaret Atwood, Peter Milligan, Alan Moore, Warren Ellis, Calvino, Jane Austen, Dashiel Hammett, Michael Chabon and many others. I'm not a traditional fantasy fan, what interests me is slightly off kilter, slightly weird fictions.

10. I have worked as a nanny for the last 18 months and will soon begin work in a start-up preschool. I love kids and had decided to do Drama in University instead of early childhood. My life has circled in on itself and I find myself in the job area I'd considered and decided against nearly 20 years ago.

11. I am a church-going atheist. My wife is Christian, and I am a godless immigrant heathen who is supportive of my wife's beliefs. The church we attend is a progressive, open and affirming congregationalist church where, while I don't share the big belief, I have discovered that my socialist beliefs have some fascinating concordances with what Jesus said and did in the gospels. My lack of belief isn't going to change, but this church is a place where I feel welcome in my difference, and this is something I have never had in any other Christian church.

11 Questions from Meandering Shade.

  1. What attracted you to your hobby?

    This is a twofer. What attracted me to RPGs and then miniatures and warhammer was reading White Dwarfs and Fighting Fantasy books that my Mum(!) had bought for herself. Seeing 'Eavy Metal when it started and the full colour ads for Citadel minis with their stat lines and such had huge impact.

    What attracted me to fantasy? My mum (again!) always read fantastical stories to me and my brother. Stuff like Diana Wynn Jones, the Phantom Toll Booth, the Hobbit etc and something of that stuck. Later, my Dad introduced me to Stephen King and Clive Barker. White Dwarf gave me Lovecraft, 2000AD and so much in the way of art and ideas.
  2. What hobby goal would you like to achieve?

    Currently: finish my Dark Elf metal army.

    Long Term: To have as many old 3ed miniature armies as I can with a bunch of scenery for a table. Chaos, Skaven and Dark Elf for certain.
  3. Do you have an interesting/amusing hobby anecdote to share?

    More an image to share. I accidentally almost-fully sat on a unit of plastic skaven clanrats with spears and when I straightened up a bunch of spears were stuck in my right bum cheek. I looked like a looney tunes character who'd had a run in with a porcupine.
  4. What was the last book you read?

    Sadly, my depression comes with a lack of reading. I last read 'Gun with Occasional Music' by Johnathan Lethem, in February.
  5. What inspires you most?

    For the hobby: it's seeing other people's current miniatures and projects (I love the Oldhammer FB page for this), and also going back to the 'source' materials (White Dwarfs, rulesets, catalogues, miniatures) of 25-35 years ago with adult eyes. I love the mingling of my memory of being 7 reading this stuff with the experience of 30 years reading this stuff. It isn't nostalgia, it's something else. I'm finding so much more that I missed the first time round.
  6. What finished piece are you most proud of?

    I think that the miniatures I have painted for Chico's challenges are all ones that I have been immensely proud of. With the subject selected for me, I've been a little more deliberate in thinking about what I was doing with them. Each challenge I've tried something different technically. Blending, or taking more time with highlights, or using certain combinations of colours.

    I am most proud of the maruader dwarf. It was the first time I felt mostly in control of the process and deliberate in what I was doing. From the eyes and face to the colours I was going to use. It all fell into place. I would describe my general painting style as loose and scruffy, but this was my cleanest work.
  7. Your desert island discs, 5 albums, what are they?

    Talking Head's Fear of Music, Portishead's Third, A best of David Bowie disc, Dimmer's I Believe You are a Star, Don McGlashan's Wonderful Year.
  8. How would you spend your days if you didn't have to worry about money/career?

    Writing. Painting miniatures. Hanging with family. Travelling.
  9. What is your pet peeve?

    Since coming to the US, it's the lack of foot paths. There's a real dismissal of people who don't drive cars where I am.
  10. Do you have a favourite historical period?

    The twentieth century from 1945 to the second before the internet took off. The internet has radically changed how we interact with the world, in a way I don't like. I'm tactile and my memory is visual landmark based and I mourn the shift from paper to pixel. My experience of film, tv and music hasn't changed (which is a function of just how old recording of media is: I imagine that there were a number of people bemoaning the switch from stage and bandstand to screen and speaker). I still watch TV on a screen and listen to music from a speaker. I am simply very attached to the printed paper page.
  11. What fantasy world/setting would you most like to experience first hand?

    Ha! The sensible part of me says 'None. I don't want to be molested by a Broo, spiked for insulting Tsoylanu nobility, eaten by an Old One, interrogated by an Ordo Inquisitor, or mutated by the wastes of chaos.'

    But... I would love to experience Glorantha. The way life is infused with myth and magic is fascinating to me. And ducks. Musnt't forget the ducks.

These things always put me in a bind, I am relatively new to this blogging game (my previous blog was about play writing fergawdsake, ended two years ago, and in the end I think I was the only person viewing it) and I'm generally a Johnny-come-lately and a lot of people have already answered the Liebster award call.

I'm not a big one for this sort of thing and I'm kind of awkward and I'm going to be backwards about it, I'm just going to post links to people who have answered Liebsters.

Links to Liebstered Folks:

Chico at Oldhammer on a Budget
The Responsible One's Wargaming Blog
Suber at Old School Workshop
Goblin Lee's Miniatures Blog
Colin at The Leadpile
Infrequent ramblings of a casual wargamer and hobbyist
Warhammer for Adults
Steve at Somewhere the tea's getting cold

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

More Dragonbait Beauties and some Heraldry.

This week I'd fully intended to paint some knights and instead painted some other miniatures instead.


Dragon Bait Miniatures  (unfortunately, this link takes you to a place holder and contact link) have a bunch of beautiful miniatures. Can I rave enough about painting these? Probably not. They are great with my only complaint being the varying size of the bases from the teeny butler base to the humongous half-orc druid base. This is a minor quibble. Like wishing that your still unbelievably tasty burger had sesame seeds on top.
I definitely feel more confident in what I am doing with the brush. More in control of the effects that I am trying to achieve and the colours that I am using. I love the way that these miniatures have turned out. I don't know what has changed my perspective to my painting, only that I am certainly the more positive for it. 

She is a cautious one, this halfling. Sling at the ready she scans the nooks and crannies looking for advantage. Maybe financial, maybe tactical but always hers. This is Percivalia, and she is equipped for expertise. Candles, lockpicks, wire cutters and rope and grapple. No tripwire uncut, no chest unopened, no gem unsecreted into a sleeve. If anyone complains they can talk to the knife.

Percivalia has a lot of detail that I discovered while painting. What I thought was flash was a throwing knife tucked into a sleeve, cord tying a dagger to her wrist. Her hair is similar to the barbarians: a mix of bone and yellow. This gives a very dirty look when couple with a wash.

Her pants were supposed to have neat checks and it turned out to be more a little more onerous on my patience that I had expected. They are rough as guts up close, and one leg is neater than the other. Percevalia needs to choose a better tailor.

The candle flame I spent more time on than I intended trying to get a pleasing blend from the 'hot' colour to the 'cooler' colour. I initially had white at the very base, which made the flame look far too hot. I eventually ended up swiping one colour on top of another quickly to get an uneven blend from yellow to red. A (very) small touch of black at the tip to suggest smoke and done.

The rear view. You can see all the equipment attached to her pack. The checks don't look too bad. I made an attempt (note: "attempt") to angle the checks as they crease behind the knee. I did two runs over the pants, as the wash turned the ivory a golden brown colour. The second run was more slap happy and evened the checks out a lot.

Kneenan, the barbarian. Driving his foes before him, treading the thrones of the world beneath his hairy feet, eating the foods of the world and listening to the lamentations of their chefs.

I need to get more pictures of this guy as this was the only one in focus that showed some of the detail.. The concept of this figure is incongruously funny, which is the best kind as far as I am concerned. A halfling barbarian? Like Conan? Hell, yeah. The sculpt is brilliance. From the turn of the mouth, to the spoon in the belt and the chicken leg in hand. I am not sure about the blue wristband- I'm thinking I might try to make it look slightly metallic. The colour does tie it to other halflings I have painted, but it doesn't fit in with the other colours yet.

Oh, and this is the first topless miniature I have painted. To the best of my knowledge.


Another detail laden miniature. This was pretty straight forward and another one of these miniatures where my patience lasted through all of the details. 

The sausages falling out of his pack crack me up. Food motivated much? I don't have much to say about this mini except that there is a lot of detail. I am pleased with how the shield turned out.

This is the start of my non-entry for Chico's biweekly painty thing. The crest is actually for one of my clans: Wallis. A white lion rampant on a red field, I think is how it's described.

I spent 45 minutes squinting and sketching in in black, and swiping with white and edging in red and then rinsing and repeating trying to get the details right. I have to admit that I could spend so much more time on this making it neater and fuller and neater and fuller etc etc

It does look good from a distance and is certainly a step up on the yellow sign I daubed on my chaos warrior's shields a couple of months back.  I plan on doing two more shields like this (for clan Carlyle and for house Dale).

I tip my hat to anyone who can paint beautiful detail on a shield.

Bugger, this thing is tiny. I like it from a distance :)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I won a (small, non-competition) competition :0)

To my surprise, my barbarian won Chico's painting challenge which finished Monday. I will provide no caveats or undermining of myself or my abilities and instead bask in the warm ego-boosting glow of this success.

Chico's Challenge-week-alternative-companies-Results

There was a wonderful array of miniatures in this round from all over. I would have chosen Richard Legg's Samurai with it's bold colours and careful patterning on the arms.

My reward is to choose the next round's theme. I'm toying with 'ethereal' or 'sinuous' or 'gravity defying.'  I've got a week to decide on a suitably open theme.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Thursday painting: Dragonbait Barbarian

More pretty from Dragon bait, sculpted by Kevin Adams.

Care taken by myself to try and get some different browns on her. The belt, the wrapping around the wrist, the cords on the boots were undercoated in orange and worked up with tan.

My first thought was that her face was sculpted too flat. It's a subjective thing, which definitely changed as I painted her flesh.  This will be a theme as I paint all of these miniatures, I'm sure.

Her eyes are light blue with black pupil. I'm not sure if solid blue works too well on the brown on her face. 

The stoat poking it's snout out of her sack was a sod. I had difficulty making out the detail. From this angle you can see it fine, but from the front and the top? That's a different story. I do need better lighting at night and that was an issue here.

Her fur shawl/cloak was a muddle of black, gray and some white highlights. It works okay-ish. Something for me to work on.

Lots of pretty details and textures to differentiate. The waterskin was a mix of oak brown and red. The sack and pouch were orange based with highlights of varying tans. The leather skirt was oak brown with highlights of leather.

The hair clip is a very nice piece of character, something that fits while being out of sync with her torc and armband.

I am not satisfied by the yellow fringing on the scabbard and the boots- it's a little thin and greenish. A couple more coats probably won't hurt. I think that I will change it to a different colour, maybe a bright purple or red.