Sunday, February 23, 2014

First Dragon in Ages

I started painting this wonderful model (again, as a commissioned piece, so it won't be around long) yesterday evening, and once I got rolling I couldn't put him down. The model is, apparently, not a dragon but a dracolisk, which is a new one for this old timer. . . guess I missed the "-lisk" somehow all these years.

Anyhoo, the model is from a small American company named Center Stage Miniatures. They feature, among others, Tim Prow on their team, who Oldhammerers will recognize from Realm of Chaos as the dude who is sculpting the awesome Antiquis Malleum figs. There are some great PC and monster type figs on their site- highly recommended. Check 'em out.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

All Work And No Play. . .

It's been a very workman-like week here at the Clean Palette, Dirty Water Studios Internazionale, so this will be a very workman-like post. Just a quick update to show what I have been diligently slavering over for my orc-like commission overlord. Actually, he's a really nice guy, but man does he have a lot of glued 'n grey miniatures. . . I digress.

Managed to finish up an entire batch of (*insert drum roll here*) tents and huts. Ta da!

After a little digging on the interwebs, I was able to figure out that all of these except for the blue and white knight's tent are from a company called Scotia Grendel, which I had never heard of before looking for these. They are nice detailed pieces and painted up easily. My client was pretty insistent on the patchwork effect, which I wouldn't have gone for myself, but I think they look good on the table. The knight's tent is a metal miniature, and I have no idea where from. The patterning on the tent was a new interesting challenge for me- straight lines on a round, curved surface. I ended up drawing in the segments with a super thin marker and then painting in between the lines. Good stuff.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Building The Community

It's funny the way life works. Miniatures, too.

For the last couple of days, I have been reading all of Masterminis "The Future of Games Workshop" posts. If you haven't read through all of them, I highly recommend them (despite the fact that it will take a couple of hours reading time- they're really, REALLY good). The gist of the series is that the current downtrend being experienced by the great white tower is all related to their indifference to the miniature community at large. I happen to believe that the biggest problem that we mini painters, and the rest of this little niche community, have with GW is something totally different- to put it in a nutshell, they've ignored the fact that they are a company that relies on artists for their profits.

But that is a blog post that I don't really want to write. As far as I am concerned, it's already been written by a whole bunch of people who are far better bloggers than I.

What I want to talk about today is about community, something else that Masterminis, and his company Painting Buddha, are very interested in.

This morning, it was really, really rainy out here in beautiful central Florida ("The Sunshine State"). To pass the time, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to do my own little bit of community building, courtesy of my four-year-old son Miles.

For those of you who have read through previous posts, you'll already know that Miles is a fanatical RPG'er. His exploits with his now-3rd level ninja character named "Kendo" are a thing of legend around my household. But he has never played a tabletop battle. . . until today.
The first steps in a brave new world
Using a simplified version of Delaney King's Skulldred game (which, again, if you've never happened to check this out before, stop reading this stupid blog now and go check out the best skirmish rules available in the whole friggin' world), little M and Dad played out a little dwarf v. orc grudge match.

We took 5 figures per side- a leader, two fighting types, and two shooters each. I gave each model only 3 stats to keep it easy- "Dice," which is simply the number of 6-sided dice they would roll to attack, "Power," which is the number that they need to roll under in order to succeed in an attack, and hit points- Miles is totally down with the concept of HP's, so I gave each leader 3 and everyone else 1 a piece.

Skulldred uses a fantastic activation mechanic wherein you roll a special 6-sided die marked 1,2,2,3,wild, wild- the number rolled is number of actions that the model can take during their turn. A "wild" means that we needed to check to see if the model was within range of the leader- if yes, they got 2 actions, but if not, they did something else. In our case, we decided that the brave dwarfs would get one action, while the cowardly orcs and gobbos would head for the nearest cover to hide. All the fighters got 2 dice to attack at power 2; shooters got 2 dice to shoot at power 2 (but would only get 1 die in HTH), and the leaders got a whopping 4 dice at power 4. That was all the rules he needed.

Daddy- I am shooting your leader in the face!
It was amazing to watch just how quickly the little man picked up concepts like activation, movement rates, and how important getting a lot of "action" pips was. He groaned whenever he rolled a '1' for his actions, and got up and danced for those lucky '3's. I made sure to use lots of funny voices and expressions throughout the game, and he joined right in saying funny things for his dwarfs ("Wait for me, boss!").

He pounded me. When it was all over, both leaders lay dead; all the orcs got finished off in roughly six turns, and he still had a shooter and a fighter left over. Victory dance time!
Take that, chump! (Asgard Dwarf King and Troll)
Of course, the genie is out of the bottle now. He is already making plans to stomp both his mother and his brother in Skulldred, and he has grand plans of a 2 v 2 game on Dad's big table "with the castle in the middle." Success.

I feel accomplished. Like I have done my part for "the community" today. Huzzah!

Have a good one, wherever you are. Thanks for the read!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Locked and Loaded

As I mentioned in my last post, I was able to work on dwarfs during drying times in between coats while working on the armory-related pieces. I got the finishing touches completed last night, varnished them up early this morning before work, and here they are, ready to join their brethren:

From left to right, these fellers are a Citadel Fantasy Tribe, Citadel "C" series, modern Reaper, another Citadel (actually a "reject" model from the 2nd version of Bugman's Rangers, if I am not mistaken), and finally one model from Hasslefree.

When I was collecting the dwarfs, I always ogled the Hasslefree dwarf section- Kev White has such a nice, clean style- especially with his stunties. I will admit I was a bit surprised when I got the minis in the mail, though- they are much more of an "honest" 28mm scale, as you can see standing next to the Citadel mini above. He is far more akin to Citadel's Lord of the Rings models in his proportions- no oversized head or hands, very "realistic" looking armor- but ranked up, he fits in just fine.

Last thing- is it just me, or does the dwarf heroine in this group remind you of Uma Thurman from the Kill Bill movies? Every time I look at her with that sassy stance, I hear the eerie whistling theme from those movies, and I imagine her wasting dudes who dare to stare at her (admittedly) abundant assets. :)

Good night, gents.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Family Picture Day

It's been a sparse few days at the painting table since I was able to post last. I did manage though to get the final little group done of blacksmiths done, which means my first commission job of 2014 is in the books! I present . . . Armory Stuff!
So now I guess I will be ordering more brown, grey, and silver from Vallejo. . .
It wasn't the most terribly exciting group to work through, I will admit. But it does pay the bills so to speak.

I was also able to use extra paint during the last few sessions to almost finish off the next group of dwarfs- a group of 5 crossbowmen. Pics to follow soon.

Hope the lead is heavy wherever you may be. Cheers!