Sunday, 24 December 2017

Monster Manual (barely) Advent Calendar - Day 24

Cambion (...but's Venger)

Sticking with my theme today finale is the Cambion.  The Cambion is the offspring of a humanoid and a fiend.  Basically the demonic version of a half-elf. a Monster Manual context this figure is a Cambion but for purposes of my gaming; he's Venger.

Back in the 80's during one of the first rises in popularity of D&D an animated show aired in which the recurring  villain was a demonic sorcerer named Venger.  The show only aired for a single season but managed to roll out a lot of classic D&D tropes and monsters all with Venger standing in the  background.  Interesting bit of trivia (that I may have mentioned in another post); the voice actor for Venger was Peter Cullen who is far better known as the voice of Optimus Prime.

This miniature is from Antediluvian Miniatures, a company any fan of classic fantasy rpgs should look to for miniatures.  I made one minor change, the original figure had 2 horns on his head but the character I am using him as has only 1 horn so I removed one.


Saturday, 23 December 2017

Monster Manual Advent Calendar - Day 23

Yet another Owlbear!

You know how sometimes you can be very descriptive and specific about why you like something, and sometimes you just like it because you like it?  For me since my earliest days in D&D I've just liked the Owlbear because I like it. 

The Owlbear is exactly what it sounds like.  A hybrid creature that is part owl, part bear.  Over the years the Owlbear has appeared as a wilderness encounter in almost every non-horror campaign I've run.

This particular Owlbear is something slightly new for me.  I've painted  a number of Owlbears over the years but they have always been posed up on their hind legs poised to attack.  This Owlbear is in a more  bear-like pose and in spite of being my fourth or fifth Owlbear model feels unique and different.

The Owlbear is definitely my personal favourite D&D monster, what's yours?


Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Monster Manual Advent Calendar - Day 20


Oops.  I definitely hit a wall and missed a few days there, sorry about that.

Today's addition feels a bit like it straddles the line between the Lich and the Demi-Lich.  The Lich is an ancient wizard who has used magic to grant himself a sort of immortality but in comparison to many other immortal creatures the Lich's immortality is a bit cheap and second-rate.  Although Liches are extremely powerful spell-casters they are also undead and not even vaguely human anymore. 

Liches have long been a staple high-level boss monster in D&D due to the fact that even if they are completely destroyed, if the vessel they have placed their soul in is still intact they can remake themselves and return to torment their 'destroyers'.  They are an easy go to for a recurring villain in any campaign.

For my Lich I've gone a bit outside the box and used Games Workshop's new Wraith model.  Truthfully this model is a bit more ghosty and insubstantial than a traditional Lich but I really like the skull and general feeling of malevolence this figure  projects.


Saturday, 16 December 2017

Monster Manual Advent Calendar - Day 16

The Peryton

Now we're getting into strange mythological hybrids.  The Peryton is a beast with the body and wings of a bird and the head of a stag.

When I originally got into D&D the first two things I got were the red box D&D Basic Set and a copy of Dragon Magazine #80.  I was immediately hooked on Dragon as in those pre-internet days the magazine's content was a window into games and worlds beyond my immediate game group.  One of the regular features was "Ecology Of ........" a series of articles where in game academics such as wizards and alchemists would discuss various creatures inhabiting the worlds of (at the time) Greyhawk and the Forgotten Realms.  If I recall correctly that first issue featured the Doppelganger but the a few issues later I got a creature I'd never heard of before  but became instantly fascinated with; The Peryton.  First of all the Peryton got in my head because it was the first fully developed fantasy creature I had read about that I didn't already have some sort of passing familiarity with from books or movies.  In addition two of the Peryton's special features struck then 12 year old me as so alien and terrifying that I immediately felt like it was one of the most malign and evil things in Dungeons & Dragons.  The first feature  was that it's diet was not the flesh of its enemies but specifically their hearts, that just weirded me out.  But the second feature (to me anyway) was pure nightmare fuel; the Peryton casts the shadow of an average man.  I don't know why but something about that relatively minor detail struck me as the most actively deceptive and evil idea I'd been exposed to to that point in my life.  To this day 30+ years later the idea that anything can cast the shadow of something else remains my most Lovecraftian nightmare.

This particular Peryton is from the Reaper Bones line and painting it has made me realise two things:
1.  I am 100% certainly going to use this monster in a game sooner rather than later.
2.  I need to contact the retailer I purchased this from and see if I can get the metal version to replace this guy.
This is unfortunately one of those cases where the Bones medium did not yield a great result on the finished product.   I LOVE this creature and this model  is certainly serviceable but I would really like to have a much crisper cast of this model to bring out ALL the detail.


Friday, 15 December 2017

Monster Manual Advent Calendar - Day 15


The Troll is one of those classic D&D monsters that many players will remember as their first encounter with something that could heal and regenerate damage, which could ultimately be incredibly frustrating.  When I first started playing D&D and none of us were very meta or rules-savvy I remember our group defeating a Troll and then carrying on only to get ambushed from behind by the Troll we thought we had killed while fighting other monsters.

This particular Troll is the WizKids  model for the D&D unpainted miniature line.  I choose it because the look of it is a great throwback to the original Troll artwork.  Having said  that Trolls are one of those miniature where I feel like we're spoiled for good choices.  Games Workshop's current Trolls for Warhammer as well as Lord Of The Rings are all great models.


Thursday, 14 December 2017

Monster Manual Advent Calendar - Day 14


When I plotted this advent calendar idea out my initial plan was to bookend the series with the Orc and the Goblin, but I've since decided to finish with a different model so the goblin is showing up today.
Goblins are one of the most classic-stock low-level monsters in any fantasy RPG or miniature game.  Over the years a lot of companies have done a lot of different visual takes on goblins.  As much as I like Games Workshop's Night Goblins my favourite look for goblins over the years has been Paizo's take on goblins for Pathfinder.

The Pathfinder goblin is simultaneously menacing with a giant mouth full of teeth while also being sort of comical looking with it's Stewie Griffin style head.  In regular Dungeons & Dragons the goblin is a simple low level monster that doesn't really do anything fancy.  If however you're playing Pathfinder goblins do pick up some extra abilities and even had a supplement dedicated to making full proper characters of them.


Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Monster Manual Advent Calendar - Day 13


The Banshee is one of the classic old school monsters that I have actually used in a fair number of games.
They were background characters in any adventure/story involving our good friend Lord Soth as well as being featured in one of the first third party D20 adventures I ever purchased and ran (the name escapes me at the moment).

The Banshee's key ability beyond its ghostly touch and terrifying presence is that its wail can outright drop a PC to 0 hit points with one failed saving throw.  Its yet another potentially instantly lethal monster.

This Banshee model is by Games Workshop and I have to say I really like it.  Its got some rotting clothes and a gaunt face to highlight its undead nature in addition to being posed like its floating rather than walking.  I can't help but feel there some inspiration from Galadriel here which is why I choose most of the colours I did.  My only break with that was red hair to both give the model some contrast and because there's a certain 'forlorn' castle I might want to use this fig with for a D&D game down the road.


Monday, 11 December 2017

Monster Manual Advent Calendar - Day 11

Time to start getting into the 'weird' stuff; Umber Hulk

Today's addition to the Monster Manual collection is old school D&D stalwart the Umber Hulk.

The Umber Hulk is one of the strange creations from the early days of D&D that takes a fairly basic monster concept and gives it a slight twist.  The Umber Hulk is a typically brutish creature in the same vein as an Ogre or a Troll but adds in it's "Confusing Gaze" special ability.  The creature has an almost hypnotic effect on anyone who can see it's eyes, it can't actually control them but anyone looking at am Umber Hulk's eyes can become disoriented and somewhat foggy-headed.

This particular Umber Hulk model is from the new WizKids line.  I really like the figure and it held detail really well but there is one potential shortcoming with it.  The left mandible drops below the level of the base provided with the figure which means it used as-is out of the pack the miniature will not sit flat on a gaming surface.  Because my figures are all mounted on Games Workshop bases (which are slightly elevated to begin with) with a layer of plasti-card on top it wasn't an issue for me but anyone who like these things table ready out of the pack might be a little disappointed.


Sunday, 10 December 2017

Monster Manual Advent Calendar - Day 10

The Gorgon

The Gorgon is one of those extremely striking creatures because it blends the familiar and the unnatural.  In basic appearance it is an over sized bull which a party of armed adventurers might not find intimidating until you add in the fact that it's skin is some form of iron or steel.  The Gorgon is an actual living monstrosity and not some sort of mechanical life form so it's just generally kind of hard for players to figure out the first time they encounter one.

The Gorgon is one of classic role-playing's truly horrific monsters.  I always found that anything that had the an ability to take a character out on one or two unlucky rolls of the dice was always more frightening than something that was just tough and dealt a lot of damage.  The Gorgon has the ability to breathe a noxious green gas that forces players to save against its effect.  If the save is failed the affected character is petrified and begins to turn to stone.  There are a number of creatures with similar abilities but what makes The Gorgon so much worse is that ones foes are turned to stone it smashes them and eats the stone fragments.  So unlike other creatures where you have an almost unlimited amount of time to find some way to magically restore an affected character, with The Gorgon you only have until it gets hungry.

This particular Gorgon is Reaper's 'Brass Bull' model.  This is one of those large models where the Bones resin/vinyl really is the best choice.  The metal version would be heavy and cumbersome and probably prone to chipping given all the points on the model.  In addition this is a pretty big figure (the base it's on here is a 65mm GW base)  and at this size this miniature was only about $6.50 so a lot of bang for the buck.


Saturday, 9 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Day 9

Dire Wolf

Over the years one of the things I had struggled with is finding good models for Dire Wolves (or just wolves in general).  A ton of companies have made wolves over the years but for some reason they always strike me as much too small for Dire Wolves.  As an added irony most miniature companies (in my opinion anyway) scale their dog miniatures way too big which means that a wolf model comes off as even smaller.

About 5 years ago I found some pre-painted D&D miniatures of Dire Wolves that were PERFECT.  They filled a 25mmx50mm base and were roughly the same height and mass as a Games Workshop warhorse.  Those were fun but I need more and different wolves as well.

The Dire Wolves in Games Workshop's current range are a bit more like zombie wolves and although I really like their uniqueness they didn't fit with my image of a Dire Wolf for old school RPGs.  I wanted a giant furry but still living wolf.  Luckily for me Games Workshop actually makes exactly what I'm looking for in their Warhammer 40,000 range; the Fenrisian Wolves.

These wolves are huge!  They are slightly bigger than the pre-painted wolves I had from before but in addition they are far better sculpted and have much crisper detail.  I painted the first one in my traditional 'evil' wolf scheme but might try some wintery colours down the road on more wolves.


Thursday, 7 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Day 7


Today's entry is the flip-side of the coin versus my Death Knight from a few days ago.  There have been a number of Wraith models from various miniature companies over the years for RPGs but I've found pretty much all of them to be pretty underwhelming, Games Workshop went with a 'Grim-Reaper' take on the basic Wraith idea and I've always liked it the best.

Full disclosure I actually painted this figure before the start of the month but after Darren suggested the idea so he's already seen the game table in an Age Of Sigmar skirmish game but I still think he'll get double-duty in fantasy role-playing games as well.


Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Day 6


The minotaur is another old-school fantasy monster that when I think about it I'm surprised I haven't painted before.
In addition to being a staple of D&D since the beginning it has also appeared in  various versions of Warhammer.

My first exposure to the minotaur in D&D was the awesome invisible ink solo adventure Maze Of The Riddling Minotaur.  The titular monster hung out in the centre of the maze as should be expected.

My inspiration for coming back to the minotaur was the most recent awesome cinematic battle featuring a minotaur.  I am of course referring to the mass battle in Anchorman 2.  This might mean that if I decided to do a ghost at some point it may well end up being the ghost of Stonewall Jackson.


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Advent Calendar Day-5

Myconid Sovereign

Today my mushroom-men are adding a boss to their ranks.  In addition to being larger and tougher than the regular Myconids the Sovereign also has the ability to use fungal spores to animated fallen foes as spore-infested pseudo-zombies.

I think at some point down the road this could be a neat hook for an adventure as that sort of ability is traditionally associated with evil creatures.  It feels like it could lead to a traditional comic book style encounter where a (relatively) peaceful character is encountered but the protagonists mistake his intentions and their relationship begins with a fight due to a misunderstanding.

It feels good to be getting some truly different and distinct creatures done for my games!


Monday, 4 December 2017

Advent Calendar Day-4

Death Knight

It seems like tradition (for my anyway) that any advent calendar has something in it that is at least mildly disappointing, today's addition is unfortunately that thing for me.

I wanted to add a Death Knight and not finding any great actual Death Knight models readily available I turned to the Games Workshop's undead line and chose their fantastic looking Wight Lord model.  The Wight Lord hits (as a Death Knight) on everything I'm looking for; armoured, regal, conveys might beyond a skeleton, crisp excellent detail...but there was one REALLY obvious thing missing to me; he's not Lord Soth.

Death Knights have existed in D&D since the beginning but with the release of Dragonlance in the late 80s Lord Soth became THE Death Knight.  In addition to featuring heavily in Dragonlance  fiction and modules Soth was eventually dropped into my personal favourite setting Ravenloft where he got two more novel and another published module.  There are certain characters who become so iconic (if I say "wizard" don't we all picture Gandalf in our minds?) that even when there are other versions of that same character you somehow just can't move past the image of the 'alpha' version.

Although my plan from inception with this project was that these models would be used for D&D this might be the one figure I can't quite muster putting on the table and declaring what he is because I can't shake the feeling my players will feel and think what I feel and think.  If he fails to see the table as a Death Knight in any of my games I'm sure he can return to his intended purpose as an Age Of Sigmar hero where I can appreciate him for how perfect he is rather being hung up on my own image of what a Death Knight should look like.


Sunday, 3 December 2017

Advent Calendar Day-3

(couldn't put off the undead any longer)

Today I'm doing up the newest in a long (never-ending?) line of additions to my undead army; the humble skeleton.

Although animated undead have existed across fantasy stories forever I think I'm a product of my generation in that my first recollection of a skeleton that really stuck with me was Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion animated skeletons from his films based in mythology.
In the D&D games I've run over the years my players have traditionally found skeletons and zombies to be a truly alarming monster to encounter not because they are powerful (they certainly aren't) but because they begin to dread what greater undead creature might be lurking giving life to these mindless drones.

Although I already owned a ton of skeleton figures I had to get the Shadespire Death starter when it came out due to how unique and characterful the skeletons in the box looked.  This guy stood out to me as a piece I could both use to simply put a 1HD undead model on the table and into my game as well as being visually an extremely interesting model that would appeal to my players.

What do you think?  Is a new take on an old model appealing to most of you or do you prefer the feel of a "classic" model that brings you back to an earlier sense of gaming nostalgia?


Saturday, 2 December 2017

Advent Calendar Day-2

Myconids (Mushroom Men)

Today's entry is an old monster first introduced way back in the 1st edition D&D module Scourge Of The Slave Lords; the Myconids.

Scourge Of The Slave Lords had encounters in a wet dark underground cavern that was meant to be a naturally occurring setting rather than a man-made or constructed underground tunnel system.  As such some creatures that would exist in that environment were introduced.  Myconids traditionally exist in the neutral part of the alignment scale which generally means whether they are hostile or friendly depends largely on the actions of the players playing the game.

On a personal side-note Myconids are one of the few creatures that have existed in D&D for 30+ years that neither I nor any of my gaming friends owned miniatures for.  That's not hugely significant but it just feels weird to me that after playing D&D for more than three decades with groups who play with miniatures that there was any monster that had been around this long that none of us had painted before.


Friday, 1 December 2017

Advent Calendar Day-1

When deciding on the first entry for my Monster Manual Advent Calendar I was initially planning on an undead model as I'm currently beefing up my force for Age Of Sigmar as well as painting some Shadespire miniatures, but in the spirit of following the Monster Manual I decided instead to kick off with one of the most basic and prolific D&D monsters; the Orc.

The Orc (along with the goblin) were the staple foot-soldier/bad-guy in Tolkien's writings and as such generally densely populated most old-school D&D campaign worlds and games.  In both role-playing art and miniature sculpting there have been tons of different interpretations of the image of the Orc but the one I've gone with today is a sculpt by Antediluvian Miniatures based on the look of the Orcs from the Dungeons & Dragons Saturday morning cartoon.

For you modern pop-culture types; this is what the kids from Stranger Things picture as an Orc when they play D&D. 

More to come.  Some expected "classic" monsters and hopefully a few surprises.


Thursday, 30 November 2017

Advent Calendar Day-0

Hi all,

After a long (2 month?) absence my buddy Darren has talked me into playing along with a paint plan/challenge/project he's doing over at his blog Metal Miniatures a 24 day advent calendar themed miniature collection.
Darren will be alternating back and forth between two projects, I've decided to do a single project all 24 days that will sort of follow something I had been working on before I stopped blogging a couple of months ago, 24 entries from the D&D Monster Manual.

The plan is to feature a new model for 1 Monster Manual entry per day from the current D&D Monster Manual from a variety of manufacturers.  Although there will be some horror and undead models I'm hoping to also use this to build my growing collection of classic D&D monsters as well.

Starting tomorrow, I'm back on the horse.  Can I post 24 days in a row?  I guess we'll find out together.


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.