Saturday, May 31, 2014

Something Old, Something New

Greetings, all, from the land of sunshine and orange juice. Today I bring good tidings of reconditioned lead.

First up is a quick blast from my not-too-distant past. I've never been a huge fan of Chaos, much preferring to play good guys normally, but a couple of years ago my older son and I were playing a LOT of Delaney King's Skulldred, and I managed to put together this little war band to use in that game. They are all fairly common Citadel Chaos baddies from the eighties- figures I am sure you are all very familiar with, so I will spare any further discussion of where to get them. The standout here for me is the unmasking mage in the middle- that is such an inspired pose. I feel fairly certain that I read that that is an Aly Morrison sculpt- fantastic.

Next up is my most recent addition for my (very slowly) growing dwarf force. When I saw this figure listed for the first time on eBay, I was immediately struck by the Kev White-esque balance in the pose and the interesting visored helm. I am pretty sure that this is a more recent Ral Partha sculpt (please correct me if I am wrong) and I wasn't disappointed in the least when he showed up in person. Really nice details throughout, and I love the larger-sized crossbow on this model.

I got a few more Otherworld NPC's done this week- this time it's a couple of men-at-arms and a wee gnome thief/illusionist. They are all from OW's current range and highly recommended- the two fighter types are particularly well sculpted and have some very cool little additions like wood grain on their shields and rivets on their armor. Very well done.

And finally, my most recent commission job was this mostly resin Wizard's Den. No idea on the manufacturer here. The alchemist's desk was a fun piece, and you gotta love those anatomically correct demons; every thing else here was a bit unremarkable, but I suppose it will make some room in my client's dungeon a bit more interesting.

That's all for me this time around. I have a topic I am dying to write about, but family demands and no time and blah blah blah. . .

I hope you are well wherever you are. Thanks for the peep.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

C'mon . . . Gimme a Quickie

I'm finding that the last few rounds of commission jobs have really sapped my hobby ambition. I told my client I needed a wee break, thinking that I could take a couple weeks and make some serious hay on my collection, but I am having a hard time finding the desire to head back into my paint cave. I keep telling myself that this is a hobby, this is my free time, so I am not going to fight it- but those damn little lead men keep looking at me with those sad eyes making me feel guilty for not providing the gentle caress of my Windsor & Newton #2 . . . sigh.

I did find a few hours earlier this week when my blood was up and I banged out a couple of "quickie" projects: first were some more undead for my Barrowmaze / Otherworld D&D project. These ghouls arrived from OW a few weeks back. Painting them was a very simple matter; over my standard grey undercoat which I pre-shade with Army Painter Dark Tone and then give two highlight dry brush shades of light grey and lighter grey, I gave these fellers a bluish-grey base coat which had been mixed heavily with water and matte medium; I'd guess probably about 1 part paint to 1 part medium to 2 parts water, giving me a nice grey milk on the palette. Using very thin coats, I hit each of them twice; just enough for the pigment to give the basic color to the mini while allowing the shaded undercoat to shine through. I gave them each two highlight coats, adding increasing amounts of bone-white to the mix, first hitting all the raised areas and then for the final highlight pass, I just concentrated on giving the minis a highlight coming from a light source directly overhead. I used dark red to outline the blood, and then highlighted that with a fire-engine red color just in the center of the red, to hopefully give the impression of blood drying on the ghouls. A quick, heavy wash of Army Painter Strong Tone, and then gloss-then-matte varnishes, and done. Probably an hour and a half total painting time for three more fell fiends of undeath:

Who's been eating the nail polish again?
The second mini was even easier. I picked up this Rogue Trader-era Sensei from Steve a few weeks back, and he was already painted. From the pics Steve had on his eBay listing, I figured I would probably strip and repaint him, but I was very pleasantly surprised when I saw him in person. The details were nice, the base coats were very neatly applied- so I decided a simple re-base and mild augmentation were all that was needed. After taking him off of his old skool grit base and clipping off his slotta (gasp! the horror!), I refitted him on a modern lipped resin base with a sweet diamond deck finish, and then added a couple of quick highlight layers to his base coat. Two or three glazes to deepen his armor and cape colors, and viola! Sensei Fonzarelli is ready to smite a galaxy near you.

OK- hold that pose, and on three, say, "Cheese!"

I should probably, some day, try to do something with that face. That grin is. . . very disturbing. The face sculpt doesn't appear to be all that detailed, though, so I think the original painter did what he/she could, and I am not about to strip off all those cool checks just to find out that that grin is gonna be there regardless of how many times it gets repainted.

Cool mini, though. Definitely a needed addition to my RT Adventurers.

Sweet dreams, lead brethren.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

My Kingdom for More Earthtones

Well, that was fun.

After several very long weeks, I was able last weekend to put the finishing varnish coats on what can only be described as "the country's single largest collection of corpse models in miniature." My original count of 43 was actually off a bit- turns out it was 48. And that number includes a few minis that feature multiple "bodies," meaning that I am fairly spent on painting dead guys now for a while. Here's the family portrait of the bunch; nary a healthy, strapping young warrior amongst them:
1000 internet points if you can spot the AD&D reference
And with the (eventual) posting of said family portrait, it means I also get to share a few of my own collection, painted as usual using excess paint on the palette in between base coats. I am continuing to plug away at the wonderfully sculpted Otherworld adventuring party, destined to visit a barrow near you in the future.
Barbarian, Thief, Acrobat. . . no, wait. . .
When I added these three to the rest of the group I already had done, I noticed something rather striking- I am getting quite addicted to earth tones in my old age. It probably serves me right- my first painting attempts way back circa '96 were Space Marines daubed in in bright, lemon yellow power armor with fire engine red shoulder pads. Quite an evolution to my new style, which is brown, dark brown, tan, and more brown:
Perhaps I should just start buying my brown paint at Home Depot
Man, I love that fat friar. There are simply not enough fat human miniatures in my collection, and I resolve to remedy that. I am starting to think that all your super-hero looking skinny dudes are a thing of the past. Give me some girth for adventurin' wif.

And finally, one little parcel of Ol' Skool Citadel. I mentioned way back at the beginning of this blog that I was going to try to adhere this year to a "five out, one in" method in an attempt to thin out my lead herd a bit. Back in February, after finishing my first few dwarf crossbowmen, I "rewarded" myself with this little gem from the mid eighties- the "Dwarf with No Name." He'd been on my most wanted list (no pun intended, but hell- I'll take it) for years, and very serendipitously popped up for a steal on fleabay just as I was looking for a bargain. In a sort of homage (a concept that seems to be poppin' up more and more these days in the Oldhammer movement, no?) to a childhood fave Friz Freleng, I went with a version of this Citadel classic decked out as Yosemite Sam:

I'm the hootenest, tootenest, shootenest bobtail wildcat in the west 
It's probably been done before, but when I saw that pose, this was the only paint scheme that made sense to me.

I hope this finds you well, wherever you may be. Happy leadhunting.