November 28, 2011

Keeping it real

While sections of the ruined tower were drying this weekend I spent some time prepping this wonderful citadel I've had for years. Its an expanding foam-resin model from Hudson and Allen, and I've always been really excited by its simple classic design and clean lines. So excited that I've never painted it, even!

It is finally underway, and I'm pleased for to be able to say so.

Also, while I was doing these first drybrush coats tonight, Juno paid a visit to the game room, which is a rarity. We talked about the tabletop, somewhat RPG-ish game I want to run for her and some of our other friends. I've had the idea for a year or so, and having some interesting player character figs outside the idioms of my existing WHFB collections is what drove many of my one-off character painting projects last winter. It was really helpful to sketch out some ideas I had and hear what interested her. She's probably the least into rule intensive, chart heavy, math laden gaming of any of our friends, and yet has an incredible imagination and appreciation for a rich world laden with real emotions, motivations, and other facets of character and story development. She'll be a real bell-weather for guageing how well I'm strinking a balance between hack-and-slash, and heavy role play elements. I don't want an excessive amount of either, and the whole thing is intended to be fun and easy, and free flowing. A tall order, but I'm interested to give it a shot.

I've also been revisiting some of the rule sets I started investigating for these games over the last year or more. So far the top two contenders are looking like Songs of Blades and Heroes, and Broadsword Adventures. SoBH looks a bit too simple, and straight up fighty... BS seems to have better flexibility for a little character development, and a not too complicated, but diverse enough basic character concept to allow us to deal with some of the crazy and creative things I expect my friends will want to do during adventures. It'll need to be stripped down on some fronts though if I use it, as only one or two folks I know have the patience or interest in something even as complex as that. If anyone has managed to run a light weight RPG / dungeon crawl with either of these sets; something a step or two up from beer and pretzels, several steps down from D&D, I'd love to hear any opinions you might have on it.

Anyway . . . I hadn't really indtended to write all that... mostly it was all about, Hey, check out the grey drybrushing on that keep, yo.

broke down palace

Knocked this guy out this weekend:

Didn't spend as much time on it as I did on the nicer LotR pieces. I just wanted to get it done, so its a little more bish bosh than some of my other stuff. I don't mind.

Its the most recent ruined tower kit from GW. Not amazing, but serviceable. I found one for a fair price, and a ruined keep is a nice bit to have on hand I reckon. I had originally planned to carve out all the skulls and resculpt in some bricks or something, but when it came down to it, I couldn't be bothered for the sake of this piece. Its fine for what it is, but not worth much effort to improve it. Basically I could buy it for less than my effort and time would be to build my own ruined, multi level, tower with interior access.

November 22, 2011

The World Serpent & The Hidden Hand

I finally finished my army standard bearer. Once again props go to the forum for their monthly competitions which have motivated me to knock this one out, and get started on next months project (empire general).

Oh, and incidentally, my militia won last month's contest over there, which is pretty neat. That makes 3 wins for my figures... I hope people aren't getting sick of me. :/

I'm going to enter the standard and the general, since I'd planned to do them all year, but maybe I'll lay off next year. Unless there is a category for artillery piece. . .. I feel a hot pot coming on soon!

Anyway, here be the grand standard of the Imperium Ordo Templi Illuminatus:

November 16, 2011

Charity Auction: Salute 2009 ltd ed Zulu vignette

This figure was originally donated by Richard at Otherworld Miniatures and painted by me for a fundraiser that ended up not happening. Its been sitting on my shelf, and I've finally gotten permission from the original organizer and Richard to go ahead and do something else with it.

So, I'm going to auction it off. As we're hot on the heels of Nov. 11, I've decided that what ever funds it receives will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.

These folks do a lot of work for vets who return wounded from combat. They came to my attention as one of their local chapters from Ft. Lewis, worked with Habitat for Humanity to build houses for homeless veterans in Washington.

If you know anyone who you think might enjoy this vignette, point them this way, or feel free to over spend on it and give it to them for christmas!

$25.00 gets you an initial bid, and I'm covering shipping.

Auction Details on Ebay

November 8, 2011


Not much left to do on this guy but a few details and then figure out what sort of crazy design to do for his standard.

I can't say enough about this old halberdier. Its a really nice sculpt.

November 7, 2011

Standard and Poor

More props to the forum for their ongoing monthly project challenges. Their schedule has proven surprisingly motivational to me, and I'm really happy to have made the progress I have on my empire these last months. The steam tank was waaaay over due. Similarly, I've had plans, and even figures picked out, for some of my characters for quite some time, but since the empire feels like a very long term project to me, that sometimes saps any sense of urgency I might have to actually knock things out. For november the theme is Battle Standards. So I pulled this figure off the shelf, where he has sat with his halberd clipped off, collecting dust for at least a year. I fussed around with various finial ideas, mostly of the simpler variety of which I am generally overfond, but eventually came around to something a bit more ornate:

It is a bit more flashy than I'd usually go, but it /is/ my army's symbolic raison d'etre after all, right? It is appropriate for it to be a little more over the top. Plus, I've had these dragons for years, waiting for the right time to use such unique pieces... waiting for the right time is what has caused me to have a steam tank in a box for 15 years, and no painted general or imperial standard for about as long. So, I hacked it together, and came up with something that I think will make a fitting rallying point for the poor men of the empire who slog it out against dirty rats and stinky orcs time and time again. They deserve something kind of fancy I guess.

November 3, 2011

he's a magic man

I needed to do some prep work and order some weapons before I can expand my tribal militia, so while my bits are awaiting delivery, I wanted to work on something else. This guy was started at the same time as the rest of my wizard project, but I got tired of wizards before I finished him, so there he has sat, flesh done and ready to go. . . patiently waiting for me to make up my mind on color schemes, and find some motivation. I finally put some colors on him last night:

I really like both the blue tunic and the oiled leather over thingy... but now I have no idea what color trim both should have. I don't know what it is about this figure that makes it so easy to stumble at every step when I'm trying to plan him out. :/

November 1, 2011

Say one thing for Madponies, say it occasionally gets updated...

There are still reaches of the empire (my empire anyway) where the emperor's rule is largely in name only. In trade for this autonomy and the freedom to live as they always have, the tribes will come down from the hills when they are called to serve as militia, but only under the command of their own chosen; named men; heroes. The old ways are upheld. No one can rule a band of men unless he has earned it in combat and plunder. There are no hereditary titles in the mountains.

When The Feared walked out of mists, the men were dubious. Then nervous. Eventually it turned to respect. Among the hillmen, they believe that the side of his body tatooed in glyphs, prayers, and ancient incantations cannot be harmed by a normal blade. Given their own predispositions toward body paint before battle, it was no surprise that he would gather his own crew about him.

The Feared*

And some of his followers, men from the tribe of the black hand:

I don't normally bother with my own fluff, but it was imagining the back story that brought these figures all together and drove this mini-project as much as the release of this new burly barbarian from Hasslefree. So, the HF figure may or may not find use as a centerpiece for these guys in my fantasy big battle games, but he seemed to fit, and got me excited to paint some more whacked out naked tribesmen, so why not. Otherwise he'll be a great bad-guy or player figure for my dungeoncrawl collection.

I just knocked out the first 5 here for a monthly project on the Empire Forum (this month's theme is militia), but added to the handful I did a few years ago, I think I have the makings of a pretty striking militia unit.

Here's the new with the old tribesmen I did 4 or 5 years ago:

The stone bases on the new batch are all Fenris bits.

*With apologies to the Joe Abercrombie.