Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Almost ready for my almost first Mutant Crawl Classics funnel!

I wonder how many times during the time I've been writing this blog I've used the expression "best laid plans of mice and men..."?  A small group of friends and I were planning on playing through our first 0-level funnel tomorrow but once again real-life called an audible and the game is off, at least for a change it's not my schedule disrupting things for everyone else :)

So I had today off and rushed through getting 11 of the 12 miniatures done we needed for tomorrow.  Six of them were just re-bases and touch-ups of some older models and I painted five new figures today.  It was a bit of a time crunch so I really just slapped paint on basic models but now that I have time before we're actually going to play I'm going to go back and add some debris and salvage to these guys to make them feel a bit more appropriate to the setting.

Having said all that let me show you what I got done today.

In Mutant Crawl Classics characters at 0 level start off in one of four categories; Humans, Mutants, Manimals or Plantients.  Today I was making due with models I had on hand so although I represented all four groups Plantients got the short end of the stick (pun intended).

First up the humans.

Three of these are re-purposed figures from previous games.  The guy on the left of the picture is my old Dungeon Crawl Classic character Jaqar.  Ironically he's no longer a suitable miniature for the fantasy game I'm playing because he should have more hi-tech gear.  The next figure over in the jeans and leather jacket is new, he's a Cursed Earth Desperado from the Judge Dredd miniature game.  Next in line is the jester I painted for the first round of The Iron Painter three years ago, and finally Bloody Brannigan a pirate model from Warmachine.

Next up the mutants.

Starting again on the left is a Reaper Tiefling Wizard.  Next in line is Junior Angel from Wargames Foundry's Judge Dredd line and finally is a nameless Reaper mutant who looks very Incredible Hulk to me.

Next up the manimals.
(these guys are my favourites)

One the far left we start with some sort of Reaper Lizardman (I lost the package).  Then in the center we have one of my Rangifers from Frostgrave touched up and slightly re-based.  And finally....why not Zoidberg? from Armorcast.

Last up my lone plantient.

This guy is a Games Workshop Dryad which I seem to be using for a lot of games lately.

I'm probably going to phase a bunch of these out and do some conversions that have some suitable looking scrap on them before we reschedule our game so keep an eye out for those.


Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Still learning to paint ghost-pants

One of the things I have to give Games Workshop tons of credit for over the last decade is the additions to their paint range under the "Technical" category.  From basing materials to paints opening up new techniques they're really creating some great new stuff for hobbyists.

When the new Age Of Sigmar box was announced I was very excited by the new Nighthaunt figures and thought the studio models looked great and easy to do once I saw the Warhammer TV videos on YouTube.

I figured out the Hexwraith Flame paint (which I used on my Spirit Hosts a few posts back) but am still working out the Nighthaunt Gloom.  I decided to try it out on an extra Reaper armoured wraith model I had kicking around and honestly did not really get the effect I was going for.

I think the mistakes are actually my use rather than the product itself.  It feels like I should have given an extra coat to the top of the model and gone much lighter on my highlighting.

Oh well, live and learn.  This guy is passable if I need an extra figure for a D&D game I suppose.


Sunday, 5 August 2018


I one of the fun (it was fun to me anyway) things for new players to fantasy role-playing games is after multiple encounters of either conventional foes (cultists, evil soldiers, bandits, etc) or classic Tolkeinesque fantasy creatures like orcs and goblins the first time they encounter something truly bizarre.  The early history of D&D is littered with unique and exciting creatures that could spring surprises on unsuspecting players.

No matter how sincere your players are in attempts to separate player knowledge from character knowledge sometimes the mechanics of the game can give away what's going on.  That's one of the things I really like about a well used Mimic.  A group can complete an entire combat encounter, drop out of initiative and start searching and healing and then when they open a treasure chest BOOM! Mimic!

The Mimic is a shape-changer that can disguise itself as a simple inanimate object like a door or treasure chest and then when an unknowing character touches the item strike with its sticky tendrils in an attempt to ensnare and eat the character. 

I'm not sure if/when this particular Mimic will try to get one of my PCs but I'm fairly certain when it happens I'll hear an expletive yelled out at the first sign of attack.


Grimjack The Half-Orc Fighter ready for action!

A little bit of paint spread out over a few days and Grimjack is done!

I'm pretty happy with how he turned out.  The dull metals and muted clothing look suitable for a hardscrabble martial character from the wrong side of the tracks.  His flesh tone came out a bit browner than I intended originally (I was going for a pinkish-grey) but due to him being a Bones model with fairly soft detail I didn't want to layer on anymore paint on his face.

Grimjack will be starting out as a simple warrior in the world of Filbar (a series of adventures available online at DMs Guild) with a goal of eventually evolving into an Eldritch Knight.

I've referenced before that when it comes to role-playing its nice to add in figures that you didn't previously have in your collection and now that I'm looking at him not only could I use Grimjack as the Half-Orc he is intended to be but he feels like he would make a good Caliban for the Ravenloft setting.

That's it for me for D&D characters for a bit.  I think some monsters or Age Of Sigmar figs are up next.


Thursday, 2 August 2018

Grimjack The Half-Orc Fighter (WIP)

I've had a few things on my desk waiting for attention for a few weeks but real life has decided to intrude and keep me from hobbying.  Today after a decidedly not fun day I decided to take a break from real life for a couple of hours and work on a conversion I've been needing for an upcoming D&D game.

As I mentioned in my previous posts about Garkas and Rolf I've been trying some variations on characters I haven't played before.  Garkas and Rolf were different character classes than I had played previously, today's addition is a very familiar class (the Fighter) but is a race I've never played before (Half-Orc).  I think one of the main reasons I've never played a Half-Orc before is because I game with miniatures and I've never really found any of the Half-Orc miniatures appealing.  A recent change in my model collection that has made the standard for Orcs in my D&D games the pig-faced orcs of old-school D&D, based on that I decided to reconsider and just add plain old Orc miniatures to my consideration to be used as Half-Orcs.

A couple of years ago a friend gave me an enormous pile of Reaper Bones models.  Most of the ones I have used so far have been for Zoe's various painting projects.  I chose an Orc Warrior for my new Half-Orc Fighter.

There were a few elements of the original model that didn't really work in my head for a player character model existing in 'civilised' parts of the world.  All of the armoured parts of the model including the shield were covered in spikes.  I took all of those off which was surprisingly more difficult than I expected.  The Bones material didn't take to filling at all so after snipping off the raised areas  I had to make multiple careful passes with a knife to smooth out the surfaces.  After that I snipped off the sword the model came equipped with because it was styled like a long cleaver and seemed a bit too feral for polite society.

Once I was done with the subtractions I started the additions.  With my last few characters I've gotten it into my head that adventurers don't look right without backpacks to carry their treasure in.  The problem with this model was that it was far too big for any of the backpacks I actually had.  I sculpted on straps and made a very simple bag out of putty.  At the time I took these photos the putty had not completely cured so I still need to get back to it with the knife and file to even it out a bit.
The second addition was a more conventionally styled (if gigantic) sword.  The sword is not from a model kit, it's actually from a Brick Warriors Warrior Pack which is a third party LEGO accessory pack.

I'm hoping to get up a bit early tomorrow and clean up my putty work before I leave for work and then get some paint on Grimjack in the evening.

Wish me luck!


Thursday, 26 July 2018

Zoe's World - The Adventure Begins!

After a year-ish of doing some painting and occasionally talking about trying an actual game Zoe and I did our first dry run today to see if she could wrap her head around basic D20 mechanics and had an interest in playing a full game.  It went pretty well, she enjoyed herself even more than I actually hoped and her first 'full' adventure will be this coming Monday!

We had been talking about trying the game for a while and I think I was holding us up more than she was.  I kept trying to settle on complicated campaign, character and rules details and ultimately just decided to forget it and play like a kid discovering the game for the first time.

I basically threw open Zoe's model collection and asked her what she wanted to use and she actually picked 3 of the models she painted the last time she painted.  As it turns out those 3 figure were all from the Legend Of Drizzt board game so I grabbed out a couple of tiles, the stat cards a D20 and we just ran through a quick combat encounter.

I used my new Rolf Rolfsson model with Wulfgar's stat card and gave Zoe 2 'waves' of her chosen miniatures to keep Rolf from reaching the throne at the end of tile 2.

Having to do simple math to calculate hits the first turn was a bit new and strange to Zoe but by turn 3 she had it down pat.

The game was a study in the law of averages as Rolf decimated her creatures on the first tile, and then failed to score a single hit against the second wave on the second tile.  Sadly Rolf was ripped apart by a panther a mere 25 feet (5 squares) from his throne :(

I'm going to spend some quick time tomorrow night knocking together a single session adventure for Zoe's chosen party on Monday.  I will definitely have to give some thought to balancing play as she has chosen to build an adventuring party that isn't exactly Player's Handbook friendly.
Her first idea for a group is:
-Cyber Ape with minigun
So.....I'm going to have to think about this.
Time permitting over the next few nights she is considering these alternatives though:
Not quite your classic Fellowship Of The Ring style adventuring party :)

You might see some more painted stuff this weekend and definitely a game summary on Monday.


Monday, 9 July 2018

Rolf Rolfsson son of Rolf Rolfsson son of Rolf

A little while back I painted up a Reaper Barbarian to use as my solo D&D character "Rolf".  My first adventure in what is now a series of three linked modules was 'The Death Knight's Squire'.  I got the adventure from DM's Guild and I have to say it was excellent.  It was really well balanced and definitely seemed like it would have been challenging but doable with any type of character.  My initial plan was to make a couple more characters in case Rolf didn't make it but after running into some disappointing issues with D&D Beyond I ended up simply re-tooling Rolf for a second...and then third attempt.  I want to really emphasise that the adventure was well structured and balanced and Rolf didn't fail...twice...due to any issues with the quest.  On my first play through I made one unbelievably bad choice that resulted in me being undone by my own stupidity, on my second play through I was doing great until a string of bad die-rolls coupled with me forgetting to use one of my character's special abilities resulted in poor Rolf (junior?) running out of hit points before the final encounter.  I made some minor changes to the character between my first and third play throughs, one statistical change to get away from something that felt too much like min/maxing to me, and some trait changes based on some of the choices I made initially not really feeling applicable to a solo module.

Some of the changes I made necessitated a replacement model.  The new and improved Rolf is stronger but less agile, uses a bigger sword, and added a missile weapon.  Much like Garkas I started off with a Games Workshop Chaos Marauder as my base figure and added a backpack from the Frostgrave soldier sprue.  I then added a crossbow from a Gale Force 9 Paladin model that I still haven\t gotten around to painting.  And finally chose a head that came with an old Pirate Vampire that I have from years ago that came with multiple head options.

I carried forward the colour scheme from the original Rolf's shield and other than that went with a fairly muted colour palette, Rolf and his descendants didn't seem likely to be an overly flamboyant people to me.

Rolf Rolfsson will go into his next adventure at 3rd level with slightly improved offensive output and a little bit more gold in his pockets.  Hopefully he will be successful on his first pass as now that he's mid-story I think if he perishes on his second adventure I'll have to actually create a new character.

Wish me (and Rolf) luck!