March 20, 2017

The unbearable shortness of being

In preparation for Salute 2017, I have been painting a warband of dwarves from Hasslefree Miniatures.  The majority of the force is complete with hand weapon and crossbow troops, and a champion.

They will be defending their mountain stronghold in an open participation game being run by the Random Platypus crew.  Here is the force so far:



Still remaining in the queue are a group of slayers, and a wizard.

The evil forces attempting to defile their homeland are assembling as well:



If you're coming to Salute, come join the fray, and take control of the forces of good or evil! There will also be a kick ass SciFi game on as well, (spacehulk/aliens theme), so there will be plenty to keep you entertained.  There may even be prizes.

November 27, 2016

Steve Dean Forum: So long, and thanks for all the figures.

My morning round on Facebook last week surprised me when I saw Steve Dean post that the forum had gone down earlier than he was planning on taking it down. I hadn't been back recently enough to know that he was even planning on taking it down so it was twice as surpising. No time to post a thank you, and scroll through the goodies one last time . . . just . . gone.

So I wanted to take this time to say thanks to Steve for all the years he ran the forum that so many of us enjoyed, and many considered their online hangout for all things painting and miniatures.

I found it over a decade ago, and at times it was my main place to go for my painting community fix. There was always a rotating but consistently friendly, enthusiastic, and talented cast of regulars there. Whether you were seeking critique, advice, inspiration, motivation, encouragement, or just some friendly banter, you would find it in spades among the membership.  Some of that is organic, and it just happens in a group, but I think a lot of it was due to Steve himself. Not just his long years and substantial reputation in the hobby, but he also set the tone of being glad and willing to put in the effort to provide a place for us all to congregate.

He set up the framework, but it was also always clear that the membership had the freedom and the responsibility to make of it what they wanted, and that always resonated with me. At Steve's encouragement, it was the first place I started posting HowTo articles for specific topics, so others could learn from my mistakes.
It was through his forum that I also got connected with CourtJester, and did some of my first review articles for WPM, which was a great learning experience working on more official publications.
Later, I got in touch with Kevin through the forum, and ended up with my 5 minutes of fame, enshrined in full color glossy photographs and the chance to do a one page write up on my work in his Painting & Modelling Masterclass book.

He also had an auxiliary chatroom attached to the forum for a number of years, and the real-time interaction there was the source of all sorts of entertainment and sillyness,  a good sounding board for projects and ideas, and as weird as it may be to some, a place to make genuine friendships with folks whom you'd never met, and might never meet in person. Especially if you're separated by an ocean or more from the majority of them, as I was.  I will remember fondly the salad days when the chatroom mafia was active and lively, and Steve, Daywalker, Seansdaddy, Brushie, PeachyCarnehean, and I would trade jokes, miniature minutia, and just hang out.

The success and welcoming attitudes of the forum and chatroom inspired me, and many years after I'd stopped being such a regular around those parts, when circumstances suggested that maybe I should try building a forum, much of what I liked about the SDForum informed how I approached starting my own. I'm really proud of what the RP team has become, small though we are, and I owe Steve a debt of thanks for the example he provided.


We're all sad to see the forum go, and maybe going down unexpectedly was a blessing, to forego all the long sappy good byes, but since we didn't get a chance to say it there, I wanted to say it here, for the record:

 Steve,  Thanks for all you did for us by running the site for so long. All the opportunities and projects I mention above had a lot to do with the platform you provided, and the community it enabled. I'm sure I'm not the only one who benefited from it, and enjoyed it.    Hope the dogs are doing well.  :)


I have a few pieces of Deano's work, but here is my favorite by far:


November 23, 2016

Stay on target . . .

Since re-kindling my painting mojo, I'm really trying to stay focused on the partially complete figures that have been sitting on my desk for the better part of a year.  Its getting tough though. I'm often motivated by new ideas in general, and on top of that its unlikely I'll be playing any Frostgrave anytime soon so my enthusiasm for putting much more effort into my warband is waning. Those two facts combined mean I am havnig to restrain myself from just starting a bunch of other stuff.  I'm almost managing to be good about it, but I have based and primed a few things in anticipation of the next wave, and to get me just excited enough to encourage me to finish what I've started so I can move on.

In that spirit, I have completed roughly 50% of the FG WIPs I had in progress already.

First up is the Enchanter and his apprentice. Both figures are unique and bring some levity in their style, so I thought they'd be a good pair to team up as the magic users for the warband.


Next are some more fighters; A shooter/marksman, my 2nd thief, and a knight:


I'm pretty happy with them, and think they fit well into the theme and aesthetic I've been trying to maintain in this project.

I think there are 3 or 4 more WIPs already in the queue, though most of them are less far along than these were when I picked them up again, so the remainder will probably take a little longer to complete.

Stay tuned.

November 18, 2016

A return to escapism

Silence has been the status quo around the world of MadPonies for quite some time, but its finally time for that to change.

A flooded basement and subsequent remodeling work, as well as a host of other events over the last months left me little time or energy to spend on my painting and gaming hobbies. Things are coming around though, and a few weeks back I made a concerted effort to put some energy into finishing the retrofit of the game room. Unpacking some of the figures and terrain that were in storage for nearly a year now in turn reminded me of how many neat things I've painted and collected, and how much I miss that part of my life.

And then, lo and behold. . . Last night I refilled my water jar, shook some old paints back to life, and actually put brush to metal after quite a long hiatus.

My efforts were expended on a mad priest I had been about to start when all the painting stopped, and has been sitting there accreting quite a bit of dust since last winter.  Well, now he's a little bit closer to hopping into my collection.


I was mostly in the middle of working on a Frostgrave warband when I hung up the paints, and he will be doing duty in there, if I ever do play the game.  I'm not sure if my interest is still in that warband beyond the immediate, but I should probably at least finish the figures I was in the middle of when I quit, before I consider any other more divergent projects.

Updates may not be incredibly frequent (especially with the holidays looming) but hopefully I'll have a bit more of production stream now, if only a trickle.

Oh, and speaking of my collection . . . last night also saw the first of the tennants returning from exile and settling into their new home:


A return to escapism

Silence has been the status quo around the world of MadPonies for quite some time, but its finally time for that to change.

A flooded basement and subsequent remodeling work, as well as a host of other events over the last months left me little time or energy to spend on my painting and gaming hobbies. Things are coming around though, and a few weeks back I made a concerted effort to put some energy into finishing the retrofit of the game room. Unpacking some of the figures and terrain that were in storage for nearly a year now in turn reminded me of how many neat things I've painted and collected, and how much I miss that part of my life.

And then, lo and behold. . . Last night I refilled my water jar, shook some old paints back to life, and actually put brush to metal after quite a long hiatus.

My efforts were expended on a mad priest I had been about to start when all the painting stopped, and has been sitting there accreting quite a bit of dust since last winter.  Well, now he's a little bit closer to hopping into my collection.


I was mostly in the middle of working on a Frostgrave warband when I hung up the paints, and he will be doing duty in there, if I ever do play the game.  I'm not sure if my interest is still in that warband beyond the immediate, but I should probably at least finish the figures I was in the middle of when I quit, before I consider any other more divergent projects.

Updates may not be incredibly frequent (especially with the holidays looming) but hopefully I'll have a bit more of production stream now, if only a trickle.

Oh, and speaking of my collection . . . last night also saw the first of the tennants returning from exile and settling into their new home:


January 10, 2016

Invocatio Bestiae Dei

I haven't picked up a brush since somewhere around Halloween. The reasons why are varied, but the result is that I found myself in that terrible place where I felt bad because I wasn't painting, and I didn't feel like painting because I felt bad (among other things).

Luckily, my good comrades at RandomPlatypus.com once again helped rescue me from myself and gave me an excuse to kickstart things.  Its a new year, and thus we have a new schedule of Paint-A-Longs scheduled for 2016.  As we did in 2015, we started this year with an easy theme to get people warmed up- Classic / Old Citadel.

Not only was I able to find something that fit (a bonus considering most of my older collection is all in a storage unit right now!), but it was comprised almost exclusively of armor and bone, which meant I had more of a chance than I might otherwise of finding time to get it done before the deadline at the end of January.

I've had this fig for 15 or 20 years, and lusted after it long before that.  There was that wonderful but brief time where GW would cast up otherwise out of print figures for you if you just happened to have the original catalog code for them. This is one of the batch that I greedily ordered up during that time, and I'm quite glad I did.   He'll have a great home in the front of a satyr unit, among all the other half-men, half-beast, hermaphroditic, chaotic creatures that make up my beastman-slannesh force.

If you want to join us for the Classic Citadel Paint-A-Long, or any of the other company specific paint-a-longs this year, hop on over to Random Platypus and check out this years schedule:

  • January: Classic Citadel
  • February: Brindie Collective ( Warploque, JoeK, Infamy, & White Dragon )
  • March: Otherworld
  • May: Guild of Harmony / Twisted
  • July: Wyrd
  • September: Privateer Press
  • November: Heresy

There are also regularly rotating thematic paint-a-longs happening every couple of months, if you're looking for some random camaraderie and motivation to finish projects.