Thursday, January 30, 2014

Nick Lund Is Also Really Swell

So, of all the things about the Ansell-era of Citadel that I love that have completely disappeared over the years, my favorite may be the box sets of metal miniatures that the company used to release. The Dungeon Monsters Starter Set, the Goodly Knights of Law. . . they were like little bite-sized painting projects allowing you to try out painting characters for new forces without splurging on whole units designed to be part of a giant army. Perhaps most importantly, they allowed for the creation of wonderful little skirmish forces or groups for dungeon crawls right out of the box.

I think that Nick Lund's Mighty Ugezod's Death Commandos, released under the Chronicle "sub-brand," might be the best of the bunch. A few years ago, shortly after I picked up this box on fleabay, I read in a few online forums that Lund's sculpts weren't (and still aren't) exactly loved universally. This stunned me, as I think his crouched over, hunched-up orcs are so much more savage and downright "orky" looking than the goofier ones the company regularly releases. There is a wildness and a ferocity to these guys that I feel are lacking in a lot of greenskin sculpts. The shaman from the set has got to be on my top ten list, and all those shields just beg for the Blanchitsu treatment. Dunno- I guess it's all personal preference, but I like them a lot.
My version of Eeza and his boys. Makes for a heck of a good Skulldred skirmish force.
On the commission front, I managed to get the finishing glazes done last night on a batch of tables, headed for a 12th century fantasy blacksmith near you.
Anyone need a file? Pliers perhaps? Maybe an eight-foot pole arm?

That's all for me this evening. Buenos noches, lead lovers.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Otherworld Rules!

I took a break from both commission pieces and the dwarves last night so that I could get a wee head start on the project I am actually most excited about these days- my small (but growing!) collection of Otherworld dungeon adventurers. I can't say enough about the Otherworld miniatures- they are of an insanely high quality. Super detailed sculpts that have a very gritty, realistic feel to them. If people really did go down underground to seek out treasures and fight monsters during the middle ages, then I suppose that they would probably look a lot like:
Down into the deep with only a lantern, some oil, and whole lotta rope
A very, very kind family member was nice enough to get me the "Henchmen and Hirelings" set for Christmas this year, which includes this feller along with a whole bunch of other hired misfits . . . and a mule. One thing I really appreciate about these sets from Otherworld is that the bases are cast from metal as well, so the whole mini has a very nice heft to it.

So, 2014 is off to good start for me- this guy makes seven minis finished so far this year, and (perhaps more importantly) none purchased yet. Back to hired work of my own tomorrow, but for now- enjoy leaddites. Cheers!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Worst of the Best

Of all the myriad "little tasks" that one has to perform in order to have a table nicely decorated with painted miniatures and beautiful scenery, there is one task that stands out to me as being the worst of them. I find this task tedious, niggly, incredibly challenging to do at even a satisfactory level. . . and I have never been able to do it at a superlative level. That task is painting standards.

So, imagine my relief when my better half did me a solid this past holiday weekend, took the kiddies out of the house for a few hours, and gave me a chance to put the nail in a couple of dwarf units. Standard Bearers for Bugman's 2.0 and Hammerers? Check and check.
Cossack-style for the hammerers, Chaos stuntie-style for Bugman's v. 2

Painting little designs on little flags is just something I can't appreciate until I either see a very good one (ever see Andy Chambers' Skaven army?), or I get to see the standard where it belongs- as a part of its unit. Same case here- I was very unsatisfied with the standards at first, but after seeing them amidst their Citadel brothers, I think the simplicity of the standard isn't so bad.
My now-completed unit of the much feared hammerers

On the commission front, all of the most recent completions have been a bit boring as well. But the blacksmiths are coming soon (I always leave NPC-types for last to have something good to look forward to painting), and then comes my favorite part of every project I have ever done- the group shot!

Mostly old Grenadier, Heritage, and Ral Partha bits and bobs

Anyone out there have one thing in the hobby that they don't look forward to? Any tasks that are required but mostly dreaded? Do share in the comments below!

Good evening, lead addicts.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

On the Topic of Homage

After a couple of slow nights at the painting table, I managed to put the finishing glazes on and then varnish the batch of dwarfs I've been working on last evening:
As I was finishing up the beard on the stout little fellow in the middle with the steel skullcap, I was suddenly struck with the impression that I had seen him before. That face. . . it looked incredibly familiar . . . could it be?
Is this guy possibly
none other than our favorite Citadel jack of all trades?

I have a sneaking suspicion that whichever Perry bro sculpted up this polearmed stunty, he did so either in homage to, or possibly poking fun at, Dave Andrews, Oldhammerer extraordinaire. We've certainly seen this kind of personalization many, many times before in the early days of the design studio- there's a long history of the big names at the company ending up as inspirations for the minis they were churning out at the time. I think that I was just particularly struck by this possibility because DA has always been one of my very biggest inspirations in the hobby. I have long admired how well he seems to do, well, everything- his artwork, cartography, and shield designs are some of the most memorable visuals from those heady times, and I give him a lot of credit for maintaining the look of the old Warhammer world all the way through to today- he continues to build or design a lot of the scenery that is still in marketing pictures and battle reports. All those old card buildings. . . his. All those dungeon floor plans. . . his. If only he had managed to keep that sweet beard and long curly locks (more recent pictures from the "How To Build Scenery" books show him bald and goateed now). Alas.
Five more warriors with hand weapons reporting for duty

On the subject of homage, here's my own much more humble attempt. Like many of you out there, I have a special love for the RT601 code of Adventurers from the early Rogue Trader days. In all but a few cases, I think the 'eavy Metal team at the time did an admirable job illustrating the wackiness and randomness of the 40K universe as it was originally imagined. So, I have done my best to keep my own collection of these minis very inspired by the "originals."
RT601 Navigator, Halfling Chef, Ventolin Pirate, Pilot, Squat Engineer, and Armored Squat

Enjoy, brethren. Have a good one, wherever you are.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Design Studio of One

I came across this Kickstarter last night while perusing the site's "Games" section:
The premise here is that, by using an app that this company (Hero Forge) allows anyone to utilize for free, you can then design and 3D print a 28mm (or larger) fantasy miniature; a few days later, your very own mini arrives in the mail, still warm from the California sun. There are (or will be) a myriad of options to choose the race, the pose, the weapons, the armor and clothing, the accessories, etc. for your little warrior; the computer and printers take care of the rest. The idea sounds interesting, and the prototypes have a fair amount of detail to them. . . so my bike ride into work this morning was spent thinking about the ramifications on our little world of eBay and Oldhammer blogs. I think everyone of us in the miniature collecting world has probably mulled over the possibilities of 3D printing at some time in the last few years, so it should be no surprise that we are getting this close to a new paradigm.