Wednesday, 23 January 2019

The littlest Owlbears

Today I'm wrapping up the last of the Owlbear miniatures I already own by FINALLY (I think it's been over a year) circling back to my Darksword Miniatures Owlbear pack to paint my Owlbear cubs.

I thought these cub models were a really neat idea as they added something familiar but that was none-the-less missing from other model ranges.  I'm hoping this an idea that continues through the WizKids Wardlings line with the animal companions included with their figures.

Normally I don't post pics of 'finished' figures until they are well and truly finished but I made a minor exception today (and probably will again in the next couple of days); I still need to go back and add the pupils to these guys but I did something to my right hand yesterday and discovered today that my fine muscle control with that hand is currently WAY off.

That wraps it up for Owlbears until some new models cross my path, I think I'll try to lay my hands on some Hook Horrors next to scratch that old school D&D monster itch.


Saturday, 19 January 2019

Did someone say "more Owlbear"?

Starting off the new year Reaper Miniatures announced they were starting a new line; Reaper Bones Black.
Almost immediately everyone started speculating on what it would be and what it would be like as the low-cost Reaper Bones line had seemingly been a huge hit with value conscious RPG miniature buyers, while serious painters had largely found the line underwhelming.  As part of their launch Reaper is planning on sending out a ton of free Reaper Bones Black models to get people to try them out and their first model for January 2019 is a new Owlbear sculpt.

First up I want to say the material is a huge step up from the Bones vinyl.  This figure is more akin to a hard plastic, although it may also share properties with the 'restic' material Privateer Press uses.  I'm hoping their February model has some long thin pieces so I can experiment with its flexibility and durability.
Having said all of that, the Owlbear is great!  The detail is crisp and deep, the model required almost no cleanup and he looks great alongside my existing Owlbear collection.

I intentionally painting him almost identically to my WizKids Owlbear from last week so that I could compare the two.

Personally I preferred the Reaper Owlbear for its pose and style (feels very much like old-school TSR art to me) but people who like a more realistic looking Owlbear may still prefer the WizKids version.

What do you think?


Saturday, 12 January 2019

There's always room for more Owlbear

My goal was to get my awesome WizKids Owlbear model done before my new Reaper Bones Black Owlbear shows up next week; mission accomplished!

When I first saw this Owlbear previewed ahead of its release late last year I was really impressed.  The pose was dynamic and the detail and texturing looked great.  My only issue to date with the WizKids line has been that they show digital sculpts on their website instead of actual models so I'm always a little worried something might not be quite as detailed or as nice as it looks online, that concern was 100% misplaced here.  The WizKids Owlbear has a ton of deep well executed texture and somehow simultaneously manages to crisply differentiate between the fur and feather textures while still making the areas where one transitions into the other extremely subtle.  I like the pose because it is dynamic and aggressive while still being a compactly positioned miniature that will transport well.  Overall I'm extremely happy with the miniature.

I went with a similar paint scheme to my previous Darksword Owlbear with the only real differences being the paws and the beak.

I need to paint some Monsterpocalypse stuff but after that I've got three more Owlbears to paint this week.


Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Here I Go Again (the prequel to the beginning of the new start)

How do I even explain this?

Is the first step to solving a problem admitting you have one?

Maybe I am an addict if I can't even say "I can stop whenever I want" with a straight face....

One of the things that is common with miniature gamers is that we acquire models much faster than we actually use them.  This is pretty standard issue stuff and not any kind of breaking news.  Among certain slow moving painters this can over a prolonged period of time result in them hitting manic periods where they suddenly feel a rush to get an old project completed before the replacement models for it get released, when this happens you've generally been sitting on unpainted models for years (so happy I finally painted my Ambull last year).  But in some other cases it means you acquire way more of a certain model than you need, with far more frequency than you actually need it.

I like Owlbears.

I like Owlbears a lot.

I have way more Owlbear miniatures than any one player could possibly ever need or use.


Reaper has a new Owlbear model coming out, and there are 2 of them on their way to me right now (Darren I'll forward one for you as soon as it arrives), and I still haven't painted my awesome WizKids Owlbear I got in December.

So now this guy needs to get painted before the USPS drops more new Owlbears on my doorstep.

Did I explain it?

Do I have a problem?


Sunday, 6 January 2019

Satanic Panic 2019 edition (sorry, not sorry)

This is a follow up to my post from yesterday (mild spoilers for Winter's Splendor ahead).

For Winter's Splendor I needed some fairly northern/wintery themed monsters which for the most part I already had, I won't list or show them for fear of ruining the impact of their potential appearance.

I did however need 2 new miniatures, 1 of which I had meant to add to my collection for sometime and 1 of which I ended up compromising on because I couldn't find anything quite right.  In addition to it's wintery creatures Winter's Splendor features some fiends to pop up and challenge the players.

The smaller of my two fiends is my stand-in for one of the Imps.  I like this miniature (it's from the WizKids pre-painted line of young adventurers and animal companions) and his mischievous grin suited my Imp quite well.  But...he's actually meant to be the Imp from the front cover of the module, which if you haven't seen it is an Imp in a Nutcracker costume.  What struck me as odd was that I was prepping to run this adventure in the 2 weeks leading up to Christmas and I couldn't find a small enough Nutcracker toy ANYWHERE.  I had something like a Kinder Surprise toy in mind but just couldn't find anything suitably Imp-sized.  If anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear them, even though I've already run the adventure it now feels like a model that's 'missing' from my collection.

The larger fiend is one of the Nephilim models from Malifaux.  Historically my D&D games have not included a lot of demons and devils so I've never needed miniatures for them but in the last year I've run 2 published adventures that required a small-to-medium sized devil and really needed to add on.  This model fit the bill perfectly and has me looking at adding another Malifaux Nephilim even though I'm not sure I need it for anything anytime soon.

That wraps up Winter's Splendor for me.  I'm actually thinking ahead (for a change) and am looking at some Valentine themed adventures to potentially run as another one-shot in February.


Saturday, 5 January 2019

One-shot PCs

Over the holiday season I was able to squeeze in one gaming session playing Winter's Splendor a D&D one-shot available on DMsGuild.

It was an eleventh hour game put together outside of any regular gaming campaign so I invited my players to create new characters specifically for use in this one-shot adventure.  All three players chose to make characters that they wouldn't normally play (as one-shots are great opportunities to test-drive character concepts), this meant some new models.  Andrew provided his own Half-Orc Monk model and I made figures for Grant and Adam.

Grant decided on a Kenku Rogue.  Kenku are bird-men, Reaper and Darksword both make suitable models but neither were immediately available on short notice.  I ended up using a Frostgrave soldier body with the head from a Games Workshop Gryph-hound.  My putty work around the hood area didn't turn out exactly how I had hoped but in a pinch it worked.

Adam was playing a Goblin Trickery Cleric armed with a crossbow.  I was a bit surprised to discover that somewhere along the way I had used all my Night Goblin miniatures so I didn't have the pool of figures I thought I did. Having said that I still had a few of the excellent WizKids Pathfinder Goblins laying around.  I chopped the arms off and replaced them with a set of crossbow arms from the Frostgrave soldiers sprue.  The existing hood and cloak made it fairly easy to hide my putty-work on the arms.  Adam requested a festive holiday colour-scheme so some bright red and green with white trim later and we're ready to roll.

The game was fairly short (completed in roughly 3 hours) and featured some interesting problem solving along with a few interesting combat encounters (more on those tomorrow).
For anyone looking for a fun quick easy to run adventure I can highly recommend Winter's Splendor.