Saturday, August 15, 2015

Star Wars Imperial Assault Boba Fett

I'll confess right off the bat that this is nothing more than one of those, "Hey! Look what I did!" posts that everyone (including myself) skims through, but this one is important to this blog-owner, so there.

I have wanted to paint a good Boba Fett miniature for pretty much my entire time in this hobby. A few years ago, a small company called Knight Models released this version, which was great. . . but it was so limited in its release that it is still to this day way out of my comfort zone for single-miniature prices. So I've waited patiently.

I was very excited to see that Fantasy Flight was releasing a model of the bounty hunter later this month, and I was extra excited when they sold them a few weeks early at GenCon, enabling me to get my hands on one this week. A few fevered hours of painting later, and the armored villain takes his rightful place amid my other minis. Hooray!

A most-wanted addition to my painted collection
Thanks to all of you who have dutifully blogged on all of the various recent summer mini conventions. It all sounds great. One day. . .

Hope you are well, wherever you might be.

Friday, August 7, 2015

And Now For Something Completely STAR WARS

Insert rousing John Williams composition here
So, Fantasy Flight Games' Imperial Assault is all of the following:
1. Super fun to play with my entire family, including the six-year-old
2. Actually two games in one, since there are separate rulesets to play either the story-driven campaign missions, or the throw-down-and-slug-it-out "Skirmish Mode"
3. Totally worth it for the miniatures alone. . . IG-88!!!

My painting mojo is in overdrive right now. I have always wanted to paint up SW minis, but with only the old Grenadier models from the West End Games version to work with (not what I would exactly deem "crisp, detailed sculpts"), I never got the chance to do anything really exciting. And now, I have Boba Fett on the way in the post now. Pretty stoked on that.

The game really is great. I don't want to gush too much, but I give it my most enthusiastic approval.

Hope you are well, whether you made it to BOYL 2015, or Oldhammer in the New World 2015, or Gen Con 2015, or not. . .

I will continue to live vicariously through all you blessed bloggers. Thanks for what you do, lead brethren. Take care.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

A Long, Strange Road

Six months is enough of a break, Get back to work, slacker.

First off, thanks very much to those of you who have emailed and made sure that I am still of-this-earth. It is nice to feel a part of a global community of like-minded individuals.

I am, in fact, still hard at work painting- it's just that much of the work I have been getting done minis-wise of late has seemed less-than-sharable via this blog. I've been exclusively performing all those mundane tasks that I know all serious hobbyists will nod their heads knowingly about: re-basing warbands (no, NOT for that!), prepping Kickstarter reward packages, and painting minis for other people. These things take time, and they are not the most exciting of topics . . .

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Whatcha starin' at?
I have managed to get through two batches of commission work since the last time I wrote. Avid readers of this blog (hah!) will remember that I had given this up earlier in the year to focus more on my own collection. Well, the money is too good and I need too much of it, so it's back on that wagon for ol' VeronaKid.

The first group was this set of beholders. I can't imagine why my client would possibly need so many considering the monster represented is usually a unique addition to a D&D campaign, but hey- these were fun as hell to paint up. My favorite of the batch was certainly the Julie Guthrie-sculpted Reaper version in purple here in the back-left:

The three goofy looking guys that are painted in aqua were also great sculpts, although I have no idea what company or sculptor they come from.

After polishing them off, my client sent me this sweet batch of elementals and constructs, which I just finished off last weekend:
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I know the picture here is dark, but I never managed to shoot a decent one of this batch before I sent it back. The huge rock guy in the top right is a killer sculpt from Reaper, and this one in particular was the Bones plastic version, so I assume it is very inexpensive to pick up. My favorite from this batch though is definitely the Albion Fenbeast who is right in front of the rock-hulk. The summer GW campaign that he came from was one of the highpoints of my own personal gaming career. That summer, I must have played WHFB at least three times a week with a really great group of guys. Good memories, and a great sculpt.

Other than that, as I mentioned I have been re-prepping older minis of mine for use as various Skulldred warbands. These were originally all based in very hap-hazard, non-matching manners (different basing materials; some round, some square, some hex-based; etc), so I am trying to "tidy up" the collection, so to speak. Plus, it's cheaper than buying new minis!

Here's shots of a few representative minis from each of the war bands my various family members play in our weekend games:

My older boys' early (Asgard) Goodwin barbarian horde

My recently painted up Skaven

Mostly Reaper lizard men, who usually are mercenary baddies
A couple members of my little guys' greenskin toughs
Wifey's Reaper Amazonians. I can't recommend this line of sculpts enough. Brilliant.

That's really about it. Life has been far too crazy to do anything like actually play games with any of these figures, but I hope to remedy that soon.


I have to say, I am very amazed at the thunderous silence in this community (and it's associated blog-o-sphere) over the new Warhammer "Age of Sigmar" stuff. I would have expected a much louder outcry along the lines of "See??!!! We knew they would ruin it!!!" I would think that the quiet murmurings simply indicate that old-timers have long since given up altogether. I, for one, still check the GW site frequently. I wouldn't dream of purchasing a plastic figure at their prices, so I haven't ordered anything from them in probably five years now, but I do think, actually, that the new game indicates a step or three in the right direction. Smaller forces encouraged and therefore a smaller initial investment required to participate? Check. Easier-to-digest rules (a la Skulldred, or SOBH) which in turn encourages a younger audience? Check. Elimination of ranked models which in turn eliminates fiddly maneuvers and the subsequent "wait an hour while your opponent moves his entire army" syndrome? Check. It really does feel that the new game is headed back towards its more narrative-driven roots and away from things like Death Star units, killer combos, and out-of-control magic phases.

I do applaud GW for once for not just making the game more bloated and (worse) more exclusive. Blow it up and start anew. Good job.

Hope you are well, wherever you might be. Take care, leadheads. Hopefully the next post here will be before the winter holidays roll around again. :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Paddy's Day Infantry Parade

Just a quick mid-week update to celebrate the completion of my dwarven infantry. The last three foot soldier models join the fray, this time thanks to a couple of Perry Twin sculpts and a random Ral Partha stunty:
Ick. Photo's a little underexposed today. Sorry about that.
Here's a couple of group shots of the whole 25-strong unit. Lots of various manufacturers from lots of wargaming eras represented here. Plenty of green to go around on this 17th of March, huh? Spot anything interesting?

Happy St. Patrick's Day, lead peeps. Go have a pint of the black stuff on VeronaKid.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Anatomy 101

Nick Bibby continues to astound me. He shouldn't- the dude has a full time gig as a not-miniature-but-like-museum-kind-art sculptor. But those brief years he spent at the Citadel design studio needs to be celebrated. He is, in every way, a master of the craft.

I recently picked up the AD&D Minotaur he did back around 1987. It may not knock the Spined Dragon off its post as the greatest mini of all time, but it's not far behind.

Citadel AD&D Minotaur ADD86 by Nick Bibby

This model had two other variants that I am not such a huge fan of, but this one in particular is, to my eye, just about perfect. The thing that really sets it apart for me is Bibby's attention to "realistic" anatomy. The musculature is spot-on, and the pose has a sense of heft that, I believe, must be very hard to achieve.
Are you lookin' at my bum? Note the zit on the right cheek there. . .
There are veins in the arm muscles that my camera (and my inadequate paintbrush skills) don't entirely pick up. There are several pimples, great fur texture, realistic growth scars on the horns. . . it's just a really, really great sculpt that I can't recommend enough.

Early on in my painting of this fella, I had dreams of an homage to the classic version that Colin Dixon painted that is featured in Heroes for Wargames. I found out, however, two important facts:

1. I am nowhere in the ballpark as good as Colin was at painting flesh (actually, I kinda knew this one already).
2. Pale flesh tones look a lot better in pictures than they do in 3D.

After getting a tone pretty close to Dixon's classic original, I decided it was not deep enough for my tastes, so I added a few dark brown and reddish glazes to make mine more tanned. Like a minotaur not unaccustomed to spending time down by the shore. I settled for adding the rock path and Mario mushroom to the base to pay my respect.

This one will feature as a mercenary hire for Skulldred games in my house. I can't wait to come up with stats for this model. :)

I hope your own leaden pursuits continue unabated, brethren (and sistren!). Take care, all.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Heavy Metal Ink Washing

For those one or two of you who actually read my early posts back at the beginning of this blog, you'll know that I used to spend the majority of my time doing commission painting for a client on the other side of the U.S. And while I gave up painting other people's minis about a year ago because it took way too much time away from attacking my own lead pile, one thing I do miss about commission work is the stupendous sense of accomplishment from painting large quantities of minis in a relatively short time. Most of the stuff I painted for my client was stuff that begged for speed painting techniques to be employed- furniture, dungeon decor, large monster forces, etc. And while I tend to pick and choose from my own collection, following whatever whim strikes me at the time, spending considerable time experimenting with new techniques and occasionally lavishing highlight layers, details, and basing techniques, my commission work was all very. . . workman in nature. Basecoat-ink wash-thinned highlight layer-varnish. Done.

Today I decided I wanted to use those techniques again, if only for a day. I recently backed Tre Manor's Red Box Games "Heroic Miniatures" Kickstarter, and I assembled and prepped the minis right after I got them. I hadn't started painting them until today, though. For whatever stupid reason, I decided I wanted to try to finish an entire warband worth of them in a single afternoon's session, so I pulled out the "Njorn" group of five warriors and went to town.

Red Box Games Njorn by Tre Manor
Usually when speed painting, I would use one color at a time and paint all the figures with that color. Today, though, I tried something new- I put all the colors that I planned to use (I limited the palette to 10 colors total), got them good and thinned on my wet palette, and then did one full step on each mini at a time. So, I completely basecoated one mini, then moved onto basecoating the next. By the time I finished all the block colors on the fifth model, the first was dry enough to apply the ink washes, so I did them for each mini in turn. Then the bases got done, and finally I finished with varnishing. All in all, these five minis took about three hours total, which is a rare big block of time for me to devote to the hobby.

I am feeling lucky indeed today.

One of my absolute favorite bloggers, Alexis Smolensk of The Tao of D&D published another book earlier this week entitled The Dungeon's Front Door. Once I get the book in my hands, I plan on doing a review here. If it is anywhere near as good as Alexis' first two books on the subject, I should be in for a treat. If you've never read Alexis' blog and are at all interested in a very well-written treatise on the art of Dungeon Mastering, I recommend checking him out pronto.

I am rambling now, so I should stop. Whiskey Sunday beckons. Good evening, lead brethren.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Rut Breakers

This whole post-on-Sundays is becoming a real habit.

This week, I decided I wanted a small break from my ongoing projects to work on something completely different- different color palette, different basing style, different subject matter entirely. In the past, this has usually meant turning to something evil- my normal slant is towards the good guys, so every once in a while, I break out of these types of ruts by painting up something for the good guys to fight against. In keeping with my recent Jes Goodwin museum curating, I turned to the leadpile and pulled out a pile of delicious old Skaven models.

I wanted to do a little experimenting with desaturating the colors on the robes, so thanks to a suggestion from Asslessman (Cheers, JB!), I mixed varying shades of grey into the primary colors for highlighting. I think it worked better with the green and yellow than it did the blue and red, but I am certainly excited to learn a new color idea. I really like the effect it has on fabric surfaces- quite realistic.

The bases are random hunks of cork, covered with grit and baking soda, and then painted & drybrushed. I finished them with static grass added along with subtle washes of blue and purple ink. All credit for this basing style goes to Delaney King (Cheers, D!). Not the last time you'll read those words in these pages. Since these rats are destined to be participants in Delaney's Skulldred game, I'm hoping she doesn't mind my shameless imitation too much.

I remember reading the original Skaven army book the first year I started in the hobby and being very inspired by Andy Chambers' description of their personality- always scheming and backstabbing one another. I don't know if it got phased out of their fluff over the years, but Chambers' original Skaven even had a mechanism in place for underlings killing off the leaders of the race and then assuming their position, inevitably to be re-deposed themselves. Their reliance on drug-induced sorcery mixed with steampunk-ish technology always hearkened back to one of my favorite 80's animated films, The Secret of NIMH.

Mrs. Frisby almost gets skewered by a pre-Goodwin Stormvermin
If Nicodemus wasn't inspiration for the Grey Seers, I'll eat a wheel o' brie.
Yet another conversation I'd love to have with the Design Studio from those golden days. . . If anyone has an old White Dwarf where Goodwin discusses his Skaven influences, I'd love to hear the issue number in the comments below. I'll search it out for sure.

Hope you are well, wherever you might be.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Firers at the Ready

Another Sunday afternoon, another brief hobby update. Managed to tidy up the last remaining dorf crossbowmen this week, so the army is very nearly done. If I keep telling myself that, hopefully I will put the wrap on the whole thing sooner than later, right?
Dwarf Crossbowmen; Hasslefree (left and center) and Reaper (right)
The first two in this pic are yet more squeeky-clean sculpts from the talented hands of Kev White at Hasslefree. The last fella is my final Reaper dwarf, again looking a bit "heroic" in scale for my tastes, but that's the basic schtick for humanoids in the Dark Legends line.

Here's the full unit, arranged skirmisher stylie for your perusal (and my documentation):

Trompin' through the gravel of Ye Olde Worlde. P-Choo! P-Choo!
Wish I had something more important to say than "Hey! Look what I done!" Not feeling particularly deep or wordy these days.

Hope your world is either suitably characterful or 'orribly grimdark, whatever you fancy these days. Take care, brethren.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Tough Pill To Swallow

This week's hobby goodness features one of my ten favorite Citadel miniatures of all time, Brian Nelson's incredible orc shaman. To me, this mini always stood as a kind of island of old-school character amid an ocean of slack-jawed, GIANT-AXE!!!'d, skull-festooned silliness that the greenskins turned into at Citadel circa 1997.

Citadel Orc Shaman; sculpted by Brian Nelson

My copy, bought as usual at great discount on eBay, lacked the sweet short sword on his back, so I had to sculpt a wee waterskin to hide the peg and open area on his back where the sword was supposed to go:

Given my extremely limited sculpting skillz, I am pretty happy with how the flask turned out.

The reason for the post title today, though, is because of an utter failure on my part to see this great mini through to its planned finish. I really wanted to do a nice checkerboard pattern on the hood opening around the face and on the sleeve ends, but after attempting said pattern six separate times, re-basecoating and starting over each time, I finally threw in the towel and went for this rather drab finish instead.

A few years ago now, I painted these Harlequins up, and they were covered almost head to toe in various check patterns:

So, I thought I'd be able to paint a little black and white patterning with no problemo. Perhaps it was the extremely folded and curved surfaces on the orc's robes, but I think my utter failure has more to do with my advancing age/decreasing eyesight/failing patience .No matter what I tried, or how slowly I went, I ended up each attempt just looking like a very messy painter. Oh well. The shaman will fit into a Skulldred warband just fine as he is. Alas.

It was not an easy thing for me to decide mid paint-project that my plans were too ambitious for my talent and skill to see through. I am sure it won't be the last time, unfortunately. . .

On the topic of Harlequins (by the way), GW finally listened to the 4 bajillion email, forum posts, and comments made in retail stores I have made over the years on the subject and announced this week that the Harlies are finally going to be their own army, with a brand-new hardbound codex (do they still call them that? Dunno.). I assume that there will be several plasticrud sets released as well, to go along with the $60 army book and $30 painting guide coming out in a few weeks.

Too little, too late for me, I'm afraid. I admit I got a little excited at first, but those price tags just hammered home how done with the current iteration of GW I am. When I paint more harlies, it will be my old metal Jes Goodwin figs languishing for too long in the pile. My checkerboard patterns will probably end up looking like crap, but I'll still love them so much more.

//End grumpy old man rant.

Until next time, brethren- may the paint brush gods grant you a nice pointy, hairy bit every time you need it.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Brain Games

Today's mid-80's monstrous offering comes from the days when 28mm actually meant, well, 28mm. One of the more interesting monsters to grace the early days of D&D, and still going strong through every edition since- the mind flayer. I doubt he was used much in the early days of D&D; at least not as he was originally designed by Gary Gygax, since the mind flayer relied heavily on using the psionic rules. If you've never read through that appendix to the original AD&D Player's Handbook, go have a look now- just realize that, about two paragraphs in, you're gonna be using math skillz you probably haven't had to utilize for quite a while. Those psionic rules, as written, are easily some of the most complicated calculations ever needed to make a victim (first) feel inadequate and afraid and, (second) pliable enough to wrap your head tentacles around, bite off his skullcap, and suck out his brains.

Ral Partha Mind Flayer. He wants to eat your brains.
I went for a much more "natural" octopus look on the head (obviously), rather than the more standard TSR/WOTC mind flayer color scheme, which I have always seen portrayed in pale aqua/teal shades. I wanted to keep the robe simple, so I went for this satiny black with gold trim. The model was pretty boring after my first pass, so I added the scripting on the skull and sleeves to jazz him up just a wee bit. The fluorescent green spot color on the eyes and gems was chosen just as a complement to the orange flesh.

Older Ral Partha sculpts like these do have the unfortunate design feature of these really large fixed bases. Unlike the Grenadier or Citadel fixed bases which are much slimmer, there is no real way to remove these, so I opted here to simply gouge the metal base with my hobby knife to "match up" with the textures on the flagstone base. Hopefully, the mind flayer appears to be standing on a rounded step or platform- that's what I was going for, anyway. My favorite thing about slotta base figures is the ease with which I can cut that tab away and mount the figure however I want. . . Ral Partha got it figured out eventually as well.

Take care, brethren. Thanks for the look in.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Now You See Him, Now You Don't

In any list of the most-quintessential D&D monsters of all-time, surely the Displacer Beast would rank fairly high.
Displacer Beast, WOTC. Image appears courtesy of the OGL.
Hands-down one of the absolute worst sculpts from a hobby-friendly standpoint I've ever come across, this guy comes cast in soft white metal in two parts. I don't mean body/tentacles, nor torso/head, no, no, no- those things would make perfect sense. This guy was cast with . . . left body/right body, split down the middle. Making matters worse, the mould was very clearly distorted by the time this particular one was cast, as the "pegs" the designer put in to aid with assembly in no way lined up with their corresponding holes, requiring me to do some massive filing/filling to get the two halves of the body to line up right. Those "tufts" of hair you see poking up on his back are actually liquid green stuff peaks that I sculpted on to hide the worst of the gaps.

Adult Assembly Required
He's a bit on the smallish side for a 6HD beasty, if you ask me, but then Wizards have never paid much attention to such details. The older Ral Partha sculpt of the Displacer Beast seems more in scale to my eyes, but it also comes with a hella higher price tag on eBay. It did give me another blending practice opportunity, as I got to go from black body to purple tentacles to pinkish suction cups at the end of the tentacles. And as I am fresh out of jungle terrain bits for basing, I decided that the tall static grass here would have to suffice.

I sure am enjoying painting random D&D monsters these days, with no concern over gaming use or army needs- just grab what looks cool in my lead pile. Something about the one-off-ness is definitely feeding the hobby mojo right now (shut up, dwarfs!). Mind Flayer to follow soon. . . get your psionic defense stats up.

Take care.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Little Ones Win Out

Nothing world-beating to report this week. My dwarfs have been eyeing me guiltily for the past few weeks, as if to say, "Hey, dum dum- remember us?" I did start this blog originally with the completion of their army firmly in mind, and I have sadly drifted from them over the last few months. So, just to remind them that they are indeed loved, I added three very heavily-armored crossbowmen to their ranks this week. I know they'll appreciate the effort. Sculpts by Reaper.

After these, all I have left to complete the army is another six infantry models (including three crackers from the Perry Bros. / Fantasy Tribes era), a beer keg-laden baggage train, and two ancient gyrocopters; after that, they'll be off to visit a 3rd edition Warhammer tournament near you. You wouldn't happen to know of any, would you?

Sigh. If only. In any case, thanks for the look in. Take care, brethren.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Killing You With Ugly

To quoth the good book:

      This nightmare creature is loathsome beyond description and has no redeeming features. Its body resembles that of a huge, bloated buffalo. . . (its) neck is long and thin, and perched atop it is a big head uglier than that of a warthog. Its legs are thick and stumpy, much like a hippopotamus. . .In any case, the most horrid aspect of the catoblepas is its bloodshot eyes.
                                                                                 -Gary Gygax, Monster Manual, 1977

Ral Partha Catoblepas, vintage 1988

Ugly is right. Although this Ral Partha sculpt misses out on a few of the nicer details from D.A. Trampier's original art, like the fleshy bits 'round the eyes and the clubby tail, I think it hits a home run in the straight-up ugliness game. More importantly to me, it gave me the golden opportunity to really work on wet blending techniques. Serpent neck blending into hippopotamus armored flesh into hairy warthog bristles. I am very happy with the grey-to-flesh blending on the abdomen. I think I could probably have gone a little warmer with the greens, but I like the "natural" look I have now and I don't want to do anything that might screw that up.

It was a very productive week hobby-wise, as I also managed to prep all of the Otherworld Adventurers and Hirelings that I still have in my queue, along with the first batch of Redbox Games Kickstarter rewards. I finished off this OW ranger mid-week, and he will probably end up replacing the thief mini that my older son uses as his character in Barrowmaze. He's a big fan of the bow here.

And finally, I (admittedly) rushed the paint job on this (honestly) iffy sculpt of an undead dog from Grenadier just to get it off my desk. It's a Cthuhlu mini titled "Hound of Tindalos" and looking it up online, it appears mine is missing a big long tongue. Dunno, but I don't think a big long tongue would improve it much. Maybe a zombie in Barrowmaze will make this his Ol' Yeller. Woof woof.

Hope your own leaden pursuits are ticking along smartly. Take care, brethren.

Monday, January 19, 2015

"You Can't Tell Me This Woman Died By Falling Out of a Tree. . ."

"Well, what is it?"
Dunh dunh.      Dunh dunh.     Dunh dunh.


Well, Bulette by Grenadier, anyway. I believe they referred to this mini as a "Juggernaut," if memory serves me right. . .

I really wanted to paint something out of my normal earthtone comfort zone this week, hence the Smurfette blue scale tones. I need to find out if GW's Hawk Turquoise got remade during the most recent paint system re-ordering, as I discovered to my dismay while painting this guy that my pot was pretty much completely dried out. I'll try to save it, but if you know a good replacement, lemme know in the comments.

Have a great one, brethren. (And RIP, Belushi. You are missed.)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

It's A Swamp Thing-You Wouldn't Understand.

I remember having a discussion with an art teacher back in my younger days, and it was one of those talks that has always remained entrenched in my memory. One of the things that this teacher told me was that it is folly to judge an artist by the works that are widely recognized as being their masterpieces. Truly great artists, this teacher opined, do produce those transcendent, once-in-a-lifetime works, but what makes them great is their consistency. My teacher's final comment on the topic was that anyone who pursues art will, from time to time, produce something great- the masters of the craft, however, produce greatness nearly every time they try.

Why this long preamble, you ask? Because, to put it bluntly: Kev Adams is the man.

I talked last year about how impressed I was with the Goblinmaster's Heartbreaker dwarf line. Now, I get to present my take on his Bullywugs/Boglings, sculpted for Otherworld. Pure awesome. Demonstrating that, even in our little niche art form, consistent greatness sets one apart.
Ribbit ribbit
Loaded with animated character, the set is a good mix of action and static poses. Great little details like pouches, salted fish, textured wood, and those fantastic Kev Adams mischievous faces. Just like the Citadel Night Goblins he infused with a sinister sense of humor way back in the 80's (would those be Kev's masterpiece?), these froggies ooze malice from every reptilian pore. Perfect encounters for a low-level party.

Mwahhh haaaa haaaa haaaa.

Cheers, lead brethren. Thanks for the look.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

I Love Me Some Glazed Reptile

As anyone who paid attention to this blog last year probably knows, I spent a lot of 2014 hobby time and energy painting up undead legions for our Barrowmaze campaign. Those painting sessions are finally paying off game-wise, as we've had a couple of cool dungeon crawls mowing through skellies, zombies, etc. One of the things that struck me as ironic, though, was how much Barrowmaze's author, Greg Gillespie, used swamp creatures (snakes, alligators, "boglings" AKA bullywugs, etc) to flesh out his wilderness encounters when travelling to and from the dungeon proper. In an effort to complete my players' experience mini-wise, I have turned my energies now to painting up a few proper bog creatures.

Case in point:

This giant snake from Grenadier will be attacking from a swampy hiding place soon. The stats for giant constrictors are pretty nasty in the original version of AD&D/Labyrinth Lord, so it won't surprise me if things get a bit hairy around the VeronaKid dinner table when he shows up.

Over my standard shaded undercoat, I applied a brown-green basecoat that, once drybrushed and highlighted, looked a bit too brown for my taste. Uber-light green ink glaze to the rescue!

The glaze really pulled the different highlight shades together and made the snake feel a whole lot more reptilian, to my eye anyway.

I also added a few blue and purple spots of ink glaze to the base, which is an old King's Minis trick from way back. I think it does add a nice sense of interest to an otherwise boring green-and-grass type of basing.

Cheers, lead brethren. Hope you are all well. Thanks for the look.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Year of the Monster

Well, 2015 is off to a very nice start hobby-wise, as I managed to get two monsters done after the champagne buzz wore off. A beautiful cockatrice sculpt from Otherworld and a cool frogman from Ral Partha (currently available as "Inchon" from Ironwind Metals) who will fill the role of slaad in my collection. Two nice big checkmarks in the "D&D Creatures of Note" done. Happy days.

Speaking of D&D, my family Barrowmaze campaign finally made it down underground to do some real dungeon-delving (at last!) which gave me the chance to, at long last, break out my new dungeon tiles. These were printed out from the Skulldred site, attached with spray adhesive to black foamcore, and cut out in lots of standard shapes for geomorphs. Easy to do and I think they make for a great tabletop dungeon crawl when combined with a few choice items from the old GamesWorkshop Dungeon Tiles, which are widely available as pdf's on the web.

Our adventurers trek through the mud and bog of my tea-laden board enroute

The first "real" dungeon room of Barrowmaze, complete with scratch-built block and tackle

Oh no! Not the old "portcullis drop and skeletons-in-a-closet" trap!

I hope your year is off to a smashing start as well, leadpeeps. Take care.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Rabbit, Rabbit

Happy New Year to all of you out there in leadland. To kick off 2015, I put the finishing touches this morning on what I was working on when I was so rudely interrupted by the greatest miniature of all time. Today's lead candy comes from the talented and long-toothed hand of Tony Ackland, he of "Grandmaster of Chaos" fame:
King F'yar of the heinous Kwae Karr orcs
Here's Citadel's TA3 Arcane Monstrosity-Orc War Wyvern, which got re-used as part of the Blood Bath at Orc's Drift scenario pack. He'll get added to my modest greenskins warband for use in larger games of Skulldred.

In the D&D campaign, the family made an interesting choice that I wanted to document here before it escapes my memory. On the way back from the barrows, the party was attacked by crocodiles. The two hirelings/meatshields were both grievously injured (poor Ardo got his leg bitten clean off) and ended up having to be stretchered back to town. When the party arrived back in Helix, they were stopped by the guild master who revealed that the priest of the only shrine in town had been found murdered while they were away. The family decided to turn detective and investigate. . . not rest and recuperate from their brief trip into undead land.

They made their way to the nearby town of Ironguard Motte, where the cleric of the much larger temple revealed that the rubbing they had secured from the barrows was virtually worthless without a means to translate it. . . a means that can only be found back in the tombs. No closer to determining the murderer, they hired a couple of experienced men-at-arms and headed back to Helix.

One of these days, we'll get to the dungeon. . .

Hope you are all well. Take care and thanks for the peep.