Monday, 25 September 2017

A new miniature based on an OLD game book

As I've gone through my recent nostalgia phase I've spoken a few times about my fondness for Fighting Fantasy game books.  I absolutely loved these books growing up and recently started combing used bookstores looking for them as a way to reconnect with some of my fun early gaming memories.

The most well known of the Fighting Fantasy books is still the first which was The Warlock Of Firetop Mountain.  Warlock is a fun book and set the tone for the whole series but for me personally my favourite of the original series was Citadel Of Chaos.  Citadel Of Chaos was a relatively short linear adventure but it did a really great job of building up it's antagonist Balthus Dire as a truly menacing adversary who was both a skilled warrior and powerful sorcerer.  In addition the art for Balthus Dire cast him as a sinister imposing figure.

In the U.K. Fighting Fantasy has waxed an waned but has never truly gone away.  In recent years this has given rise to a convention known as Fighting Fantasy-fest.  This con has authors and artists and other fun activities and this year Otherworld Miniatures designed a Balthus Dire miniature as a limited edition convention exclusive.  Once the con had come and gone Otherworld made their remaining stock available through their online store, they did the same thing a couple of years ago with Zagor (THE Warlock Of Firetop Mountain) and I always regretted I never got one so this year I decided to take the plunge and get myself a Balthus Dire figure.

This guy is everything that made old school Fighting Fantasy (and by extension old school Games Workshop) art cool.  He's foreign and exotic looking with patchwork armour and a wicked looking curved scimitar.  He looks faintly elven without actually being an elf which adds to his mystique.

I'm extremely happy with how this figure turned out and I used a colour image of Balthus Dire from an Advanced Fighting Fantasy RPG book as a reference which kept me from using my usual palette of blacks and reds for my villains.

I hope I'm not the only one who appreciates this throwback to what was for me a golden era of game writing and art.


Saturday, 23 September 2017

It's starting to feel like after playing D&D for 30+ years I'm working my way through the Monster Manual

Tomorrow or Monday I'm hoping to show off my newest old-school fantasy figure, I'm just waiting for a friend to confirm they've received theirs so I don't blow the reveal.  In the meantime I got a few more of WizKids D&D miniatures done and it's definitely starting to feel like I'm basically collecting the Monster Manual at this point.

First up another cool multi-purpose model.  The Blink Dogs!
In D&D Blink Dogs are intelligent good monsters who have a limited teleportation ability.  They also feel like a nice counter-point to the Hell Hounds I painted recently.  In addition I've been planning to get back to Strange Aeons at some point (probably 2018) and I think I could also use these guys as Hounds Of Tindalos.

My next pair of models I can barely claim to have 'painted'.  I had a pack of the WizKids Ghosts sitting on my desk and I kept thinking I could just wash and base them and probably be reasonably happy with the result...and I am.

That's it for now.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll show off something that I think a grand total of a dozen people on the entire Internet will be as excited about as I am.


Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Getting some odds and ends done

I haven't been finding a lot of time to hobby lately with real-life and all.  I did however finish two of the characters I had started in my last post as well as getting 2 other figures I wanted to experiment with painted.

First up I painted the Frostgrave Crusader figure.   Although I am planning a return to Frostgrave in the next month or so I actually painted this guy up to try out the Relic Blade rules.  I'll be printing the how-to-play document and trying it out with the knight and the pig-men.

Next up is a cleric from the WizKids D&D miniatures line.  This is actually going to be my new wizard for Frostgrave with his apprentice hopefully arriving soon.

I also decided to try something new on the WizKids Hell Hounds.  I don't need them anytime soon, I just wanted to try something new.  It worked out pretty well, but unfortunately didn't photograph great.

These figures are supplied in clear vinyl.  I gave each figure 3 washes of Baal Red and then once that was dry dry-brushed dark grey and black over-top.  It turned out great with the red showing through and really catching the light, but unfortunately it just seems to photograph a somewhat muddy-brown colour.

Hopefully this gets me back on the painting horse.


Monday, 11 September 2017

The hobby A.D.D. it never really goes away....

I've referenced Hobby A.D.D. before and although I generally feel like I get quite a lot of stuff done there are periods where my attention span won't stay on one thing and I keep changing gears and starting new projects without finishing old ones.
So with that insight in mind I'd like to share the 5 hobby projects I started over the past 3 days, none of which are completed yet.


I've been talking for awhile about getting some new cowboys done.  I got my grubby hands on Dracula's America and even though I have a decent amount of stuff done from my recent binge of Warhammer Legends Of The Old West I can't bring myself to play a new game without adding at least some new figures.  These guys are the Earp (or Tombstone I forget the actual name) pack by Black Scorpion.


As part of my recent retro/nostalgia-gaming fix I got some of the Orcs by Antediluvian Miniatures.  These guys immediately take me back to Saturday mornings in the early 80s.  I think my gift to myself when I get all 5 of these projects done will be to get myself another pack or two of Antediluvian Miniatures.


Those Orcs need a boss, right?  I might be one of the few people of my generation who could never really embrace Optimus Prime as a noble hero because every time he opens his mouth to speak I hear Venger's voice.  Venger was the chief villain of the animated D&D series in the 80s and still holds up really well as a cool fantasy evil villain.


I'm planning a long overdue return to Felstad and much like the cowboys I probably don't need to paint new figures but I just wouldn't be me if I rolled up with the same-old-same-old.  The actual driver for starting these was digging through my unpainted fantasy figures looking for a knight with two-handed sword to try the free print-and-play intro rules for Relic Blade with my newly painted pigmen.


Almost a year ago I ordered a bunch of packs of modern/near-future survivor models with the intention of using them for This Is Not A Test as well as Last Days.  Unfortunately my experience in purchasing these models was not 'free of hassles' and when they finally arrived I had lost any and all enthusiasm I had for them.  (This was one of the customer service things I was up on a soapbox about earlier this year.)  It has literally taken me an entire year to even look at these miniatures again but once I picked them up I decided I really did want to get paint on them.  Oddly enough it wasn't until I looked at them up close I even realised who they were supposed to be.  I had ordered them thinking they would make good pseudo Division-style trained survivors but then when I cleaned and primed them I realised they are actually the two leads from Stargate SG-1.

Well there you have it.  Nothing done, but a bunch of projects that are each one sit-down away from completion.


Saturday, 9 September 2017

Young Cleric

I feel like I've been all over the map painting-wise this last little bit and its pretty much time to stop pretending to have a plan and just accept that I'm going to paint what I want when I feel like it.

I've got three different projects sitting on my desk that I 'need' to complete but that didn't stop me from just painting a new character model for a sometime in the future D&D game.

This is the newish Young Male Human Cleric from Darksword miniatures.  This is one of those figures that again has a certain old-school D&D vibe but is sculpted and cast to our modern higher standards.  I like this figure because it captures the feeling of a low-level beginning adventurer rather than a high-level paragon type.

I'm not sure if/when this guy will hit the tabletop but its the kind of character I play frequently so having another option isn't a bad thing.


Thursday, 31 August 2017

Yet more and different Pig-Men

In addition to a possible Wonderland themed D&D game I've also started prep on another more classic or 'regular' style fantasy game.  I've collected up a bunch of pig-faced-orcs by my friend Ash also recently hooked me up with some actual Pig-Men for the Relic Blade skirmish game.  These are absolutely fantastic figures and fit me current vibe of 'old-school but new'.

Pig-Man #1 is armed with a sword and shield.  I feel like unless another piggy miniature comes across my path I'm guessing this guy will be the chief/boss/bully for this encounter.

Pig-Man #2 is equipped for two-weapon fighting.  As an aside I've always found it odd that two-weapon fighting is a popular option for PCs but few humanoid monsters come equipped that way.

Pig-Man #3 is carry a mighty two-handed battle-axe.  In addition to his axe he has a really well-textured belly plate.

I'm not quite sure how pig-men became my thing but looking at two other projects on my desk, apparently they are in fact my thing.


Friday, 25 August 2017

Reinforcements for Black Squadron Security

Following on my last post as an add-on to my Broken Contract game I did get a few of the Ash Walker figures.

Ash's background is that he's a member of Black Squadron Security (hence the gear and armour) but is sympathetic to the Breakers and may take their side (hence the absence of Black Squadron Security logo on his armour.

This is a great figure on multiple levels.  First up the sculpting is great with some great depth and texture.  The gear is not only suitable for Broken Contract but potentially many other near future games as well (he'll be the latest addition to my Peacekeepers for This Is Not A Test).  And he comes with multiple arms and heads so he can be assembled in various configurations.  In addition to the 'basic' model I assembled one with the riot helmet and taser-rifle.

A funny thought occurred to me while taking pictures tonight.  My friend Darren asked me a few posts ago to start including pictures of the backs of some of my miniatures.  For the most part I've never thought that was really necessary but this time out I'm including one.  For some reason the only scene that really sticks with me from Iron Man 3 is when Tony Stark is tied to a bed frame in a basement/dungeon and while insulting his captors he refers to one of them as "Pony-tail-express".  Painted my Ash Walker figure and it all came flooding back....

Alright, now maybe I'm painting cowboys...or maybe I'm not.