Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Rats & Thieves

The rats that I started painting again last week  are now done, well mostly. Eight of the nine are now complete so I guess that counts as four figures done.

Now I have moved on to the thief miniatures that I have prepped over the last few days. I say thieves but most of them are actually mages they just look close enough to thieves. By that I mean no stupid mages hats or wands. These and a bunch of other figures had the flesh done yesterday. For some reason I have decided to change my usual flesh painting system so I am now worried that they are all going to look like game show hosts. So far I have made a good start of the base coat. With a bit of luck I should have the base coat completed before I go away on Saturday. With even more luck I might have gotten a bit further. Sorry if they are still looking a bit off but they will look better soon enough.

Whilst my head is on what I am going, my heart is telling me to go and work on the Dark Elves. What has been putting me off is the basing. I have almost run out of green stuff. However I came across the basing tutorial to make glowing desert bases. The video is here and this is my attempt.

In the video it mentions that he got the idea from a lava base. That has given me an idea. In my game there are some dark elves on Muspelheim, the land of the fire giants and some on Svartalfheim, the home of the black elves and dwarves. In Norse mythology there is little to say about each of the worlds but the seems to be pretty dark dusty worlds and possible have a connection to fire so lava is not too much of a stretch. This might be a project for tomorrow.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Where Did That Day Go?

A strange morning. For various reasons I can't really say much about it, but it was made more interesting by knowing Matthew. Then the day kicked into full gear and the next thing I know I am sitting down at the bench just before six. It's almost like being back in the real world again. GOT and dinner got in the way but I got back to the bench a few hours before bed.

I have managed to do a huge amount of stuff last week, by my standards at least. All that and I still didn't paint anything so I need to put that right. I was going to work on the Dark Elves but as I have put some effort into some of the bases, I wanted to finish them off but I am going to need more greenstuff. There seems little chance of that happening this week so I have moved onto something else.

In fact it has been several something elses. My lack of focus this week is not as bad as last week. I have painted about fifteen faces of minis. Last week I was going through what I have in storage and I found a few thieves and clerics and some stuff that will do as both. These character types are not well represented in the figures collection. Some of the thieves might actually be mages that have hoods so I guess they can do double duty. Over the years I have found myself short of thieves and I have always wanted a big group of them that will double as brigands. as well as the ones on the desks I have some GW LOTR rangers will do the job.

The game I run features three types of clerics. Druids, these that follow the old Norse goods and Christian ones. Druids are quite rare. I am talking about the historical type of druid not D&D druids which are common enough. Christian clerics are not all that common but there are enough friar/monk types, the odd senior member of the clergy and even a few nuns. Some of what I have on the bench will add to this number. I think they are from Midlam Miniatures. There are also a couple of figures that will do as Norse clerics which I think are Frostgrave miniatures. Sadly no more druids though. along the way I am thought about introducing Islamic but I think I am too worried about pissing someone off.

The last group is a kind of catch all. Mostly Frostgrave stuff. A couple of barbarians are here. They don't really fit my picture for the game I run but I like them so they are on the bench. At the back of my mind is the idea of a conan game which these would be perfect for. A couple of wanderer / traveller / mage types are also there, just to make up a round five.

So these are the projects of the next few the next month or so. That is of course assuming I don't get bored and mentally wander off. Judging by today there is an excellent chance that this might happen. I am working on a couple of swarm bases, a large earth elemental made out of foam, the glowing base, a dungeon section, sundry bits of terrain and the dark elves all as side projects.

The trouble is I am enjoying it all. Stuff that should be background projects are coming increasingly into the foreground.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

End Of The Week And Stuff

This week has been more about getting stuff done than painting. My neck is killing me so painting has not been much fun and it has been a bit easier to do the other things. So all basing, gluing, varnishing and priming. There has even been the putting stuff away in boxes that will only get opened once or twice a year. In my head I am using what could laughable be call the British summer to use sprays outside. Even then the house still smells of propellant. Over the weekend I had hoped to go to a show and maybe pick up some foam trays to store figures but this wasn't going to happen.

Now I have a few days of grace. There is a bit more finishing off to do. To be honest, there are now some many projects on the go it might take me till the end of the year to finish them. My fucos (that was a joke) is far from clear. I am on holiday in a week so I have a little time to catch up but I am happy doing the scut work which is usually my biggest downfall so I am making the most of it.

With the next week looking like I might catch up on what The New Cruelty dicates, what I have started already and maybe a few new figure should see me get to my target. Then I'm on holiday so I doubt anything will get done.

Anyway, here are some of the figures I have put into long term storage today. Ex Harlequin now Black Tree Designs I think. No they are not Skaven they, are Ver men.

Really not sure why I got round to painting these figures now. Some have been sat around half painted for over a decade. I ordered some more when I got some High (I mean Dark) Elves last year. They so don't fit into any game I am planning at the moment. Although, that said, I could see a conversion job to sci-fi post apocalypse quite easily.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

"Completer Finisher"

It's not quite the end of the week and the only time I have picked up a paintbrush is to daub bases with ten year old ink to give them a bit of texture. As I seem to be in the mood for finishing things off and starting new things it means my work bench is only getting busier again. I have almost got to the stage where I have a draw full of primed miniatures to keep me busy till the end of the year.

Whilst doing this I got distracted by green stuff, bits of basing mainly but there is a plan for a few more swarm bases. There is a reaper bones mini that needed some work doing on it to even it out. I have been talking about dark elves all week. This got me into prepping the miniatures.Then I wanted to base them. This ended up with some of them going onto green stuff treated bases. I decided to put some work into these. I'll show them when they are done but about half of them are now on bases. The mouldings are nice enough for twenty year old designs but they had, and I mean had, really big pointy ears. To get them to fit more with my view of what is going on I took a blade to them. What would D+D players think?

Then there was the basing. There is a lot of stuff floating around that needed a few details finishing them off on the bases. Some texturing, inking and highlighting mainly.

Varnishing next. I must have spray varnished fifty figures this week/ All this in the name of distraction.

Anyway, here are some of the (lessor) night goblins.

Going back a few years, this would have been a paint table saturday thing. I miss that. It would be nice to sort that out again.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Earth Elementals

Just a quick little post, Some work has just been finished off on the smaller one by Northstar. Orange is apparently the new black. The larger one is a reaper bones crystal golem I think This has a few more bits lined up for the base as there is acres on unused space there. I like this model a lot and might get another one and actually paint it as a crystal golem/elemental.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Of Elves And Dwarves

It is starting to look like I am not going to get my five figures done this week and if I do it will be only by the skin of my teeth. Instead I have been prepping figures. De-flashing, putting them on bases along with some sand and covering them with primer. The plan is to get a load of figures ready for the next month or so of painting. What I went looking for was some elves.

Everything I paint for fantasy games has a focus on the dark age, well almost everything. After yesterday's post I got to thinking about what Norse elves and dwarves look like. Dwarves I guess are easy. They are just stubby, heavily bearded northmen. In Norse mythology there are two types of elves, light and dark. There isn't too much to be said about them anywhere. Black elves might even be dwarves.

Elves of all kinds are rare. Other than light elves being "luminous" and black elves being "blacker than pitch" and them being a little bit god-like (at least associated with the Aesir), the sagas have little to say about them. You have to look for wider germanic mythology for any more details. This makes it clear that they are human-like. In this era it becomes clear that elves are just as likely to shag you (and have children with humans) or make you, or your animals, sick. The early middle age era gives them an association with alchemy.

So no blond hair, pointy ears, associations with bows and longswords and a haughty attitude. Damn you Tolkien. Basically I have nothing to go on. There good elves and bad elves. If there is any difference it's going to be down to a style of miniature and a paint job.

As part of what I am doing with the figures I am looking for another project. One thing I don't have is much on the way of elves. There are probably about twenty wood elves in the collection. These I guess will do well enough for light elves although I might get around to doing something about that.

The black elves (and I use the word black rather than dark because I don't want D+D cookie cutter elves, all that pale skin, white hair and spider riding) I was going to use are the old Harlequin Miniatures which are now owned by Black Tree. High elves are just another RPG construct born out of Tolkien but the first load I got cheap on eBay. But I was still struggling with a paint scheme. I looked up dark elf miniatures and most seem to have a like like a cross between angst ridden teen/goth (black and purple) with a little bit of bondage gear (corset and thigh length boots). Or all in all not very Norse.

As the search continued I found a picture of the dark elves from Thor: A Dark World. This was a really stupid idea but given the picture this might be a bit of a give away.. By the fourth or fifth picture it started to sound more like a good idea. Basically black with some bright metallic stuff going on (well I am not really sure what to call it, it's like a silver with a sepia wash). I was thinking about using black as the skin tone (black as pitch) but I thought that might not look so good when painted. If I painted by High Elves like this, it might just work.
This is what angst ridden teenagers should look like, in my head anyway

I might do a bit more thinking about the dwarves but I have loads of these already. Maybe that is tomorrow's topic.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Dog-ri-la Or How I Learned To Stopped Worrying and Love Basing

My other half is away for a few days and I was expecting to go out for the day but decided against it when the weather started to look a little bleak. Oh good said I, a day where the kids will be playing and I can get on with ever I want to do. Computer games and painting figures. Now that I have some varnish I thought I could get on with a bit of finishing off and painting.

I really wanted to do some painting. Whilst surfing I have seen a few people who keep a tally of what they paint for the year. Although I am keeping track of what I do, keeping a list of what you have done seems a little too like Bridget Jones' Diary for me. anyway, I think that The New Cruelty demands I paint.

So after a few hours of playing Civilization (having played it till 4a.m. the previous night) I thought it was time I did a bit of painting. Just as soon as I sat down the dog started going a bit mental. This has continued throughout the day. My other half chose a dog breed that is essentially a bit clingy as well as being big and energetic enough to need a lot of exercise. So that is how may day has ended up. My life has been all about creating dogtopia. I have thrown and kicked more tennis balls and dog toys in one day than I have in the last month.

Although painting has been off the cards, no chance of doing any fine detail work, I still wanted to do something. So I splashed a bit of ink on some basis and sprayed on some varnish. Then I spent a bit of time putting on some flock and scatter. And here we are. Whilst I am planning to go out tomorrow, I expect to get another coat of varnish on them and then I can put them away until needed.

As I was scanning the work bench I realised I didn't actually have that much prepped and ready to go. Four Human catchers and six linemen, four goblins and and ogre and that was about it. Pretty much all the figures on the bench are now painting. So as I couldn't paint maybe I could sort out some stuff for when the Blood Bowl stuff is done. So I worked out what I wanted to do next.

The storage boxes are full of stuff. If I started painting what is there it would probably take me a couple of year to finish them all off. So I selected what I thought I needed to do next. Then came the glue and the sand.

Despite my fairly chaotic approach to painting, there is a plan to what I do. According to the plan I need certain types of figures. Most of what I buy for fantasy games is fairly dark age in its appearance. The Viking Game is still my most worked on game and my most underplayed. Despite this I still want to paint figures.

For well over a decade my group gamed with about one hundred figures. This pretty much limited figures for player characters not to mention only have one set of monsters which were some late eighties GW night goblins. I swore to myself that this would not happen again. With my game I try to limit players to the human race and I have a few norse themed non human races, specifically dwarves, light elves (or they are wood elves) and dark elves (which are not GW type dark elves but actually high elves). What has put me off doing other races is the absence of figures for them. I have talked about this before here so I won't go on about it here. What I am trying to do though is to make sure I have a pool of suitable figures for player characters. Fighters are easy. As well as some mundane plastic Viking types and units of infantry, there is probably a couple of figure trays of figures suitable for figures. Some of these can do double duty as barbarians, rangers and the like. I have some female fighters but the plan was always to get some more, I just haven't got round to it. When the project was in full swing the only female fighters I could find were by Foundry and they were a bit too high fantasy if you know what I mean. The Dice Bag lady now has quite a few I could use.

Thanks to Frostgrave I now have over a tray of wizards and magic types. I could probably do with more female mages. By the time I have finished with the plan I dare say there will be two trays of mages. I am somewhat over achieving here.

Where I am underachieving is in bards, thieves and clerics. I have three bard figures in the sense of the skald or scop. There are a few other figures I have that are unpainted that have something like a mandolin and so don't really fit the plan. In the game there are christian type clerics, and those for druids and the norse gods. Whilst there are no thieves as such, there are plenty of shifty types. My painted collection of clerics consists of about five druids, eight christian types and maybe the odd figure that would pass as a norse man of the gods.

So in about two hundred words, here I am the next lot of figures on the desk is a bit of a mixed bag but there are a few more clerics and some thieves. There are few odds and sods. One is a potion carrier from the Frostgrave range which I think will do nicely as a norse cleric. There are a couple of Midlam Miniatures Clerics as well. The thieves are mostly Frostgrave again and some of these are actually meant to be magic users but with the right paint scheme they will fit the part. And a few other figures which are again all Frostgrave.

I realise that now has got this far. But if you have, it would be nice if you could leave a comment.