Bugbear with Mace & Shield Finished

I finished my first Etsy Bugbear with a mace and shield last night and took some pictures this morning.  I’m fairly happy with him because whatever shortcomings he has paint-wise I do think he does look suitably powerful and brutal.  I can’t help but think that my new friend here would be at home in a Robert E. Howard Weird Tales story.

Of the three miniatures this one is my favorite pose.

For the flesh I base coated with Doombull Brown, washed the whole miniature with Agrax Earthshade, then painted the muscles with Tuskor Fur.  Then I highlighted with about a 50/50 mix of Tuskor Fur and Kislev Flesh, and washed the whole thing (optionally, I think now) with a glaze of Contrast Medium and Reikland Fleshshade.  I finished the flesh with some very small highlights of Kislev, and some Bugman’s Glow along the upper part of his lip.

I haven’t tried to do much with flesh in the past, so this is the beginning of a learning curve for me.  One thing I’m discovering is that once I get past the Doombull stage it is good to dilute my paints on the palette so they are translucent and work on building up color on the muscles.  I will try to keep this in mind for the next two bugbears and going forward in general.*

Tusks and teeth were Dawnstone, Agrax, then highlights.

I painted the leather tunic with Vallejo Russian Green (70.894), washed with Agrax Earthshade and then highlighted with Nurgling Green.

I also experimented with some patches of Nurgling Green to try and make the leather look somewhat old and worn in places.  I’m going to play around with that some more with the next bugbear, which will be good practice trying to develop that technique.  Also, next time I think I might do the highlights of the raised folds with a slightly darker color than I used here to see if I like the results better.

Bracers: Rakarth, Skeletal Horde Contrast, Ushabti dry brush.

I wanted to do something other than my usual “glue on some sand and maybe a rock and bush and call it a day” basing method that I’ve been doing for the last five or six years.**  So out tried out the Slyvaneth Base from Warhammer TV.  Turned out to be simple, which I liked.  The base was primed with Rhinox Hide like the rest of the miniature.  I covered the base with Vallejo Dark Earth (26.218) Texture and glued down a little rock that wanted to come home with me during one of my early morning Social Distancing in the Darkness Hikes up in the hills.***

From there I dabbed Death World Forest all over the base so that the brown texture still showed through.  After that, I washed the base with Athonian Camoshade and dry brushed with Nurgling Green.  Then a light dry brush in patches (not the whole base) with Averland Sunset and finished it off by adding the flowers and brush.  (Chose tan brush over green because his tunic was green.)

Hair: Rhinox, Slyvaneth Bark dry brush

So this fellow with enter the painted ranks for my own contribution to the April painting challenge, which ends on May 3rd.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do for a painting challenge for May yet.  I have a day or two because in keeping with tradition the May challenge won’t end until June 3rd.  I don’t find myself tired of doing challenges yet or feeling like I need a break, so I’ll come up with something.  Not surprisingly it’ll be something that will feed in to what I hope to accomplish myself this month.

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to getting started on the April challenge round-up.  It is going to be a large one with lots of great models from many different artists!

This is how bugbears look in real life!

* In addition to the trio of mace bears, I also have three more Etsy bugbears with halberds who are anxiously anticipating any artistic attention that might come their way hopefully (for them) sooner rather than later.

** I’ve been continuing with this “desert basing” method with my poxwalkers because I want the mob to be uniform.  Once they are done, I think I’m going to try some desert texture products on future Nurgle forces.

*** I know the rock wanted to come home with me because I had to shake it out of my shoe and it was a sharp little bugger too.  Ouch!

Forgotten Ones Anthology, Bigfoots & Bugbears

Somewhere in the dissolving folds and mists of space-time, between obsessing over getting my 20 poxwalkers done in less than three years and finishing an Etsy bugbear before the current painting challenge closes on May 3rd, I received my author’s copy of Forgotten Ones, published by Eeire River Publishing out of Ontario, Canada, and it is currently available on Amazon.

Forgotten Ones is a collection of two hundred drabbles featuring “creatures of lore, and ancient rituals,” and happily (for me) four of these tiny tales came from my pen.*

Brass Cat and Carrot Foot would both give Forgotten Ones a thumbs up, if they had thumbs!

I see a number Lovecraft-inspired titles as well as Norse, Greek, Mayan, Biblical references and more as I hold the book in my right hand and scan through the table of contents while I one-finger type this with my left.  (Not bad if I say so myself and I do!)

I’ve written quite a few of these drabbles over the past year or so.  I’ve noticed that with a little practice one develops a knack for hitting pretty close to one hundred words on the first couple of tries.  Sometimes a drabble will lead me into writing a longer story and other times I’m content, like Poe and many others, to leave at least one character screaming out their remaining existence in a wet tomb, whether that be a literal one or a sarcophagus of the imagination and so on.**  

My Forgotten Ones drabbles feature such innovations as a change of viewpoint in an iconic scene from The Odyssey and another was inspired by my general reading about Hellenistic mystery religions/schools.  Then there is the magician in north Africa in danger of being (deservedly though I’m sure he’d disagree!) burned alive … but wait, look, the sky it, it … Eieee! … and my personal favorite of the four, “Robin Never Finished Her Bigfoot Video.”***

I think turning from bigfeet to bugbears makes for a nice segue, don’t you?  I’ve been continuing to make progress on my Etsy Work-in-Progress bugbear that I want to get done before my Paint the Crap You Already Own! painting challenge wraps up on May 3rd.  I completed the base coat colors for all three mace-and-shield bugbears a few days ago and decided to finish at least one to go along with poxwalker #18.

April 20, 2020: Put some base colors on my trio of mace-wielding bugbears

The first time I heard the word “bugbear” was when as a child I heard someone say that something was his bugbear and I thought he meant it was his pet and wondered what a bear that was a bug or bug that was a bear looked like.  Although it was lost as far as I know in the aforementioned mists of space-time, I drew a bugbear in grade school art class not long after.  I remember it looked like a bear and I gave it the head of an ant because at that time (and I still do!) I liked ants quite a lot.

I later on discovered bugbears figured in folklore and then later on, when I was introduced to Dungeons & Dragons, they figured there too as a type of large “goblinoid” that was violent – no real surprise there – and stealthy – considering their bulk a bit more surprising – and not too smart but possessed of a low cunning.****

WIP Bugbear One on April 24, 2020.

To the best of my knowledge bugbears first appeared in D&D with the publication of the Greyhawk supplement, where there is a (to me) silly picture of a furry, ogre-like creature with a tomato, pumpkin or some other such vegetable for a head.

Bugbears really came into their own to my thinking in AD&D some time later and I used them as antagonists quite a bit back then.  I also went through an Anne of Green Gables phase after reading the book.  Naturally this culminated, at its height, with my playing a bugbear ranger-type character, Anneglak, who ran around helping people, even though they initially misunderstood her what with being an eight foot tall bugbear.  Anneglak later considered herself the protector of the Green Forest, and I patterned the way she talked and such after the eponymous Anne Shirley.

Let’s hope the bigfoots don’t start getting organized!

Gosh, it is hard to believe now that I was ever so young.  Then again, it turned out that character, as silly as it all seems now, was beloved by the DM and other players.  Years later, I was talking to one of my fellow players from back then and she asked if I “still had Anneglak’s character sheet.”  I was impressed that she still remembered the character’s name!

Happy memories but back to now.  My current painting plan is to finish up my first bugbear before the end of April.  Maybe even poxwalker #19 too, but don’t hold me to it.  After that I’ll probably continue with my recent painting innovation of actually finishing up projects before moving on to something else and paint the other two for May.

This is the picture that inspired Anneglak.

* A drabble is a 100 word story.  Also see flash fiction for more information on this topic.  For “pen” read “keyboard.”

** Like Poe, Lovecraft, and many others I have a soft spot for burying people alive in my writing.  I’m reminded of that practice, apparently common not so long ago, of having a little bell on one’s grave plot with a connecting string into the coffin so if you end up waking up after the funeral and all of your nearest and dearest have gotten about their business of fighting over your will, you can at least hope someone can hear you.  This is especially important given that cell phones often lose their signal when you are buried in a coffin six feet under the earth.

***  I’ve always had a soft spot for bigfeet ever since I saw one on The Six Million Dollar Man.  Even more so now that my current home is among the redwoods on the California coast where (according to the local bigfoot museum) Sasquatch is alive and well.

 

Somewhat Orange Poxwalker #18 Finished

I finished Work-in-Progress (Nurgle Alert!) Poxwalker #18 the other day so MAGPPXWLKER-XVII has a special friend now.*  Despite my glacial pace, I’m currently in real danger of actually finishing up the Dark Imperium contagion-zombie mob.**  Whatever happens, I’ve completed a little “crap I already own” for the April painting challenge and I’m feeling pretty good about that!

Toad and I sort of like how this picture came out.

I started work on this poxwalker a long time ago and managed to drop it on the floor during one of my painting sessions.  This broke the tip off the large, overhead tentacle.  I set the miniature aside, possibly in disgust, and forgot about it for a year or so.  When I got back to work on it again, I had completely forgotten about the broken tentacle tip until I chanced to notice it once more.  As unpleasant surprises go, it was the gift that kept on giving!

I thought about maybe trying to whittle the offending appendage down a bit or repairing it with green stuff.  In the end I decided to rummage through my bits and see if I could make lemonade out of rotten lemons.  After several false tries (I really wish the hook had worked out) I ended up cutting a spear point-looking thing off the end of a chain bit from an old chaos space marine biker sprue and affixing it as you see here.

Hanging out, comparing mechanical arms probably, with #17.

I forget exactly how I painted the tentacles on #18, but I think I started out as I usually do with some Agrax Earthshade and maybe some Athonian Camoshade and/or thinned down Nuln Oil.  What I did do differently was after the washes I applied several layers of Skeletal Horde Contrast.  Then I went to do some tentacle highlight work, like I did on #17, when I realized that I didn’t really need to.  I could have but the washes in conjunction with the contrast paint brought the brown tentacles to a state that I was satisfied with for some random zombie.  As a final step, I used some Basilicanum Grey Contrast in the recesses between the tentacles.

Death Guard Symbol 125 wide

The lighter red ventral tentacles were painted with Blood Angels Red Contrast and then highlighted with various shades of red up through Wild Rider Red.  Then I tied them together with a mix of Blood for the Blood God, Lahmian Medium and old Baal Red I still have hanging around.

The darker ventral tentacle was painted with Flesh Tearers Red Contrast and then washed with Glossy Nuln Oil.  For the ventral area in general I used more Glossy Nuln Oil to impart some shine to the recessed areas and Minitaire Satin Coat where I wanted shine but didn’t want to add more color.

Might have to try Wudugast’s blue maggots on Poxwalker #20 perhaps.

I haven’t quite decided what else I want to finish this month.  I could go for broke and perhaps finish Poxwalker #19, though I also have a trio of Etsy bugbears with maces and shields that I quite favor too.  So many choices and the challenge deadline of May 3rd will be here before you know it.  I’ll have to decide soon.

Biohard clip art with circle around it 100 wide

* Perhaps a good, Death Guard name for the latest addition to my Indolent Forces might be Mechanical Arm that Works Kind of Crappily Somewhat Orange Poxwalker #18 or (MAWKCSOPXWLKR-XVIII)?  What it lacks in clarity I think it makes up for in pedantry.

** I put the Dark Imperium primaris space marines versus Death Guard boxed set on pre-order and picked it up the day it released in mid-2017.  I then immediately put together and started painting the poxwalkers, but got distracted by plaguebearers.  (I was assured by several people this can happen to anyone.)  I finished the first two poxwalkers in early September 2017.  Given that I’ve not only finished #18 but have actually started eyeing #19, there is a real chance I might actually finish the full mob of 20 within the next three years!  Not too shabby.

I’ll probably paint the six easy-to-build poxwalkers too at some point (I love the idea of a grenade flail!), but I wonder if I should even bother with the 150 or so more I have that people have given me over the years or sold to me for a nominal sum like, “Here’s 20 of these useless dudes I’ll never use; buy me a Coke or something?”

Base Experiment: Wet, Dark Earth

I have been thinking for awhile now about how to base my miniatures because for the past five years or so I have almost exclusively based my figures by simply gluing sand and maybe putting in a rock or bush somewhere.  Works fine, but now I’m painting miniatures that I don’t want to put in the sand, like dwarves, so I’ve trying out some different things.

I liked some of the bases John did, over at Just Needs Varnish!, so his ideas served as a starting point and spurred me to buy some Vallejo texture pastes.  For my latest base, I wanted to use a fairly easy process to create some wet, dark earth and the pictures below are what I came up with.

The pictures show the bases a bit lighter and grainier than they actually are, but they do convey the general idea.  The basing process I used is as follows:

  • Glued a couple of rocks onto an old, unprimed base, then applied Vallejo Dark Earth Texture (26.218).  I watered a bit of the texture down and used it as a wash on the rocks too.  I used some texture wash on the plant as well.
  • Washed base and plant with Agrax Earthshade and Nuln Oil in two steps.  Used some watered down Agrax on the rocks, but I skipped Nuln Oil because I didn’t want to darken down the rocks too much.
  • Dry brushed with Gorthor Brown.
  • Applied Glossy Nuln Oil to base and plant.  Thinned the wash down greatly so I would achieve some shine without excessive darkening and applied to the rocks.
  • I think I could do some additional dry brushing with Gorthor Brown again, if I wanted to lighten things up more, but I’m happy with how it looks for darker earth.

For my next basing experiment I would like to try something like what I just did, but add a mud puddle or two to the mix.  This will serve the dual purpose of allowing me to learn something about puddles and to see if I can replicate a base similar to the one I already made.

I recently finished poxwalker #18 in my long-term project of painting the twenty that came in the Dark Imperium set.  I’m going to include this now painted worthy in my April Paint the Crap You Already Own! challenge, and I will put up some pictures of my newest addition to the Painted Horde for my next post.

Any advice about creating mud puddles?  If so, I’d love to read what you have to say in the comments.

It’s a deep subject….

March 2020 Might & Magic Painting Challenge Round-up!

I thought it might be fun to organize a painting challenge where you could paint nearly anything you wanted.  Thus the Might & Magic Painting Challenge was born.

You can click on the various pictures and galleries.  Some will take you to larger versions of the pictures.  Others to the miniature on the artist’s blog or some other page related in some way to the miniature.  There are a few Easter eggs here and there for readers who might be interested in such things.

Thank you very much to all of the kind people who participated.  I had a lot of fun checking out your art and looking at your pages, and I learned a few things along the way too, such as some tips on painting tattoos and skin tones, and a little about the Italian navy.  If I left anyone’s miniatures out, please let me know and I’ll update the round-up with your work.  Ciao!

Cat Familiar Ink Version 100 wide

The first completed model that came howling out of the wilderness before mid-March was Hearteater from the inconceivable Wudugast of Convert or Die!  I love his jawbone axe and agree with Wudu that he is “ready to lead his followers on a hunt into the wilds of the Bloodwind Spoil.”

Love that jaw bone axe!

Toward the end of the month, Wudugast also completed a Blackstone Fortress Traitor Commissar.  As it common practice at Convert or Die!, our good Commissar was graced with a somewhat painful, at least for Wudugast so I understand, head swap.

Instead of being merely fallen to Chaos we have this happy fellow, who looks slightly drunk to me (on power, ardent spirits or perhaps both?) and certainly more than willing and capable of “leading his regiment on a capering daemon dance into damnation” and infernal alliteration too.  Good work if you can get it, for sure!

The second offering for the month that came in was the “mighty Helljack” Kharybdis by Argentbadger of The Bovine Overlord for his “Cryx force for Warmachine.”  Silver Badger reports this lovely, tentacled monstrosity is “focused on melee” and has an “amusing ink spray,” which I suppose keeps with the whole nautical motif of this helljack’s namesake.

Here we have Kharybdis with its bonded warcaster, Aiakos.  Argentbadger (I keep wanting to type Ardent rather than Silver) tells those of us who are uninitiated into the mysterious of Warmachine that you don’t have to play them together in a game but the helljack  “does get a slight benefit from being in Aiakos’s battlegroup.”  I’m sure those who would defy Cryx are glad for that!

Dave, who produces the outstanding blog,  The Imperfect Modeller, writes that he likes “painting all sorts of figures but none more so than the occasional wizard,” and I’d said it shows with this magician from Reaper Miniatures named Vinharis Tenspire.

The miniature has a lot of details and Dave does some great freehand work, which really adds a lot to a piece that was already pretty awesome.  The striped hat, the starburst designs on the hem of his robe, writing on the bits of paper tied to his staff (magical notes or perhaps simply reminders to pick up milk?), and so on.  The little familiar is cute, and there is so much going on with the base.  He looks like he’s casting a spell probably from the middle of his sanctum or secret laboratory that seems in utter chaos with all of the papers, books, jars of dubious, past experiments and so on scattered every which way.

Dave paints all sorts of different types of miniatures (he strikes me as a bit of a polymath) and I especially like his dioramas too.  As I type this he is currently working on a waterfall piece that is shaping up to be quite spectacular.

Turning from the fantastic to the historical, we have John and his fine historical miniatures blog, Just Needs Varnish!  He decided to share with us some recent additions to his 1/600 and 1/700 WW2 Italian Regia Marina coastal forces.

John’s new forces along with some of his older ships.

My personal favorite of John’s new naval forces is the colorful Driade.  Perhaps this is because, as John points out, there “is the somewhat tenuous link to magic … since dryads are tree nymphs and this is the closest I’ll ever come to painting something that, to me, could be considered magical!”

Or maybe it is just the colorful lifeboats and whatnot?  I think I like John’s rationale better.  Whatever the case, I enjoyed checking out John’s coastal forces and learning a little about some of the ships of the Italian navy during WW2.

Driade, a Gabbiano scale corvette” in 1/600 scale.

Lince, a Spica class torpedo boat (small destroyer)” in 1/600 scale.

Turbine, namesake of that class of destroyer, in 1/700 scale.

Minesweeper and two torpedo-armed motorboats, 1/600 scale.

From the Italian Royal Navy we shamble over to Mcmattilaminis, who has a blog of the same name, and his lovely poxwalkers!  He decided to experiment with Games Workshop’s Contrast paints and these pictures are the result.  (He also lists some interesting Contrast paint Youtube videos in his poxwalker post that might be worth checking out.)   I think his living dead turned out grand and I’d be proud to plunk eight or nine thousand of these rotters on the table in a friendly game of 40K.

I quite like the Easy-to-Build Poxwalker sculpts.

Mcmattilaminis sees poxwalkers “as the lowly embodiments of Nurgle’s might, and there’s at least a little magic involved as their disease-ridden bodies are blessings from a [the!] plague god.” I quite agree and given how dangerous poxwalkers can be in large numbers, I’d say they embody both Might and Magic quite nicely indeed!

My favorite weapon of the bunch is the grenade flail, lol.

Next up is this bruiser, an ogre painted by Faust of Double Down Dice.  I have to say that this guy is ugly in all the right ways.  Faust reports that his ogre is named Morg N’ Thorg and like almost all star players is a freelancer.  In Morg’s case he “will play for just about every Blood Bowl team out there.  Except for the Undead, who he hates.”  Faust also notes that this guy doesn’t play for peanuts so he doesn’t see a lot of use in games because he costs a lot of points to field.  (Now we know how he comes by all of that gold!)

This guy pretty much embodies everything that is right about Blood Bowl, lol!

I wonder if the team gave him the number 100 because he said, “Morg N’ Thorg want biggust nummer onda teem!” If Blood Bowl is anything like the National Football League the numbers normally only go up to 99, but if someone were to object and I were one of the coaches, I’d say, “You tell him he has to give up his number!”

I didn’t think so.

It isn’t as far a journey as you might think from the hot-blooded pitch of Bloodbowl to the cold-blooded jungles of Lustria.  I’m sure Maenoferren22, Potentate of (3D) Printing, Lord of Lizardmen and owner of the blog Bogenwald would agree.

We offer, for your consideration, a Scar Veteran riding a re-purposed Allosaurus.  Maeno said that he “decided to give him a spear as he is on a big bloody lizard and a little sword wouldn’t reach anyone on the ground.”  Seems legit to me and what is more, that is pretty cool spear so there’s that too.

One wonders where that Allosaurus originally came from….

I thought Maeno’s dino harness came out looking good.  He used green stuff for the straps and then made the decorations by fashioning molds out of molding paste then putting green stuff into said molds.  I like he end result and I agree with Sir John, who commented in Maeno’s “Lizards and Moulded Greenstuff” post that the sculpting “looks like it’s all meant to be there!”

I have happily followed Azazel’s Bitz Box for quite some time now, and what strikes me the most about his work is how when the painting bug hits him, he can churn out vast quantities of high quality work in a very short amount of time.  Apparently Azazel learned about my painting challenge with two-and-a-half days to go, so he painted up this ginger-haired Mantic dwarf berserker lord.

I was curious how Azazel did the tattoos.  I liked how they looked somewhat faded as real tattoos might over time unless you are careful of them.  (I somehow don’t see a dwarf berserker lord remembering to rub lotion into his body art and making sure he doesn’t get too much sun, but you never know.)    Azazel told me achieved the tattoo effect by using a Vallejo paint called “Periscopes,” which he thinned and mixed in a touch of flesh tone.

Nice, but Azazel wasn’t done yet.  He also finished this Rackham Forest goblin chieftain from Deuteros Games and posted it on the last day of the challenge.  Azazel reports that this was a fiddly model with a lot of detail and “it would have been so easy to continue stretching out the painting time for another couple of years,” but he wanted to finish it in part because of the painting challenge.  Glad I could help in some small way, and I think your goblin looks great as is!

Azazel Goblin Chief and Berserker March 2020

This could be a real donnybrook!

Finally, we wrap things up with the rust monster and four dwarves I decided to paint for the challenge.  I purchased these miniatures from an Etsy seller who calls his shop NorthernIcewerks.  I enjoyed painting them very much and plan on using them in games such as Dungeons & Dragons and Goodman Games’ Dungeon Crawl Classics.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in my first painting challenge.  I’m doing another challenge for April with the catchy name of Paint the Crap You Already Own!  What project(s) are you going to be working on?  I’m thinking I might finally get Poxwalker #18 done at long last.

Paint Water Cat asks, “What are you painting for April?

 

Finished All Four Dwarves … but that darned Internet!

I did indeed end up burning the evening oil on the last night of the March Might & Magic Painting Challenge though as it turned out I might as well have not bothered.  I finished all four dwarves at 11:35 pm local time, took some quick pictures but when I went to my computer that was when I learned that the internet was down!

I think they’d have a fun adventuring party for a D&D dungeon crawl.

That is what I get, I suppose, for cutting it so fine.  I was going to leave them out but after several people opined that I should include them in the round-up, that is what I’m going to do.*

I kind of see the graybeard guy as their leader.**

As I mentioned in a post on February 20th, I envision the musket dwarf as some sort of magician, who uses his firearm as a focus for casting (or shooting) his spells or whatever.  So it seems fitting to include a picture of him with Cat and Toad.***  Owl, the last of the three pack of familiars, remains sadly unpainted but I hope to remedy that in April.

His profile kind of reminds me of the Old Man in the Mountain before it fell down.

Some Previous Posts Concerning the Four Dwarves

Dwarf Hammer Clip Art

* Four different people told me that I should consider cutting myself (or at least the dwarves) some slack and go ahead and put up the picture.  I have a general principle in life that if three or more people tell me they disagree with something I’ve decided, then I need to go back and give my decision more thought.  In this case, I’ll go ahead and include them.  If someone else had told me they had internet problems, I wouldn’t have hesitated and would have said, “No problem, send them and I’ll happily include them!”  After having thought about it, I don’t think anything is served by holding myself to the “higher standard” because I’m running the challenge, which was my initial instinct.

** By virtue of his size, the fact he has the biggest axe and the fanciest shield.

*** In older versions of Dungeons & Dragons, and dare I say most (but not all) literature I’ve read to date, a familiar is the little creature in question, such as a frog or cat, with some flavor of magic thrown in.  In the current version of the game, the familiar is a “spirit” that you can summon and dismiss.  The familiar to take a different form with each new summoning.  So if we go by that, having both a cat and toad painted up is useful for our friend, the dwarf marksman wizard/warlock/whatever.

While I can see the merits of a shapeshifting spirit familiar, I find that I prefer the old comfortable version of Cat and Toad rather than a spirit that can turn into a cat and toad.  Either way, I do still have the owl, that came in the package of familiars so I should probably paint it up for the April Challenge whether I plan on using it as another shapeshifting option or to represent a new friend named Owl.

Second Dwarf Done!

My second dwarf turned out to be a bit stubborn, which I shouldn’t be surprised about considering he’s a dwarf after all and they are kind of known for that.  He’s done for now so all’s well that ends well.

It is going to be a close shave indeed finishing my other two dwarves by midnight, April 3rd for the March Might & Magic challenge, but I’m going to give it the old community college try.  I worked a bit on them last night and tomorrow is Friday, so I’m prepared to burn the pre-midnight oil to make it happen!

Styling with our friend, Toad.

I used Duncan’s tutorial off of Warhammer TV for the dwarf’s ginger beard.  Primed white, based with Jokaero Orange, then washed with Agrax Earthshade and a final highlight with Fire Dragon Bright.  It was pretty easy and I like how it came out.

His bracer started out looking exactly like the first dwarf’s.  After a bunch of fiddling with various colors and mucking about with Spiritstone Red I ended up with what you see here.  It isn’t obvious in the picture but there is a bit of a flame undertone going on with the red part that was an accident I ended up liking.  Perhaps he has some sort of magical Flame Bracer?*

Don’t think his beard is quite so bright in person.

Finally, I propped him up like he was walking up an incline or something to get a better look at his shield.

For the shield boss I originally used the crusty remains of an old bottle of Tin Bitz and some Agrax, but changed my mind and based again with Balthasar Gold.  (I followed Duncan’s Bronze Armor video.)  Washed with Druchii Violet, reapplied the gold, making sure not to obscure the violet around the edges too much.  Then a highlight of Sycorax Bronze and Stormhost Silver.

I tried to do the highlights so it looks like the light is hitting the top of his boss since he is holding his shield at an angle, which is evident in the first picture where he isn’t propped up.

I forget what colors I used for the wooden part exactly, but I followed some of the ideas from a Heroes & Bosses video.  The general idea is to base in a wood color and then paint variously colored stripes along with the grain.  Then wash to blend it all together.

So next up is the dwarf with the musket.  If I remain on a schedule that will give me any kind of a prayer at all of meeting the April 3rd deadline then I’ll finish him tonight.  Until then, take care everyone!

Dwarf Hammer Clip Art

* I realized about twelve hours after I finished the miniature that I subconsciously made a bracer much like the one from a friend’s cosplay “warrior princess” costume that she used to wear to con’s until she had a couple of kids and couldn’t fit into it anymore, alas.  (It all worked out though because eventually she got back into shape but unfortunately she had sold the costume.)  Anyway, her bracer had a glossy, lacquered stripe in the middle except instead of red the one she had was purple and instead of a fire thing it had sort of a black knotwork design.

April 2020 “Paint the Crap You Already Own!” Painting and Hobby Challenge

My first painting challenge, March Might & Magic, is wrapping up on April 3rd, so I thought I’d announce a new painting challenge for this month:  Paint the Crap You Already Own!*  The idea is simple.  You can paint anything you want so long as you owned it before April 1, 2020.

Also, as a Hobby Challenge, you don’t have to confine yourself to painting models.  For example, you can finish a short story, poem, write a roleplaying game adventure, craft a mandala, paint a picture, post a Youtube video, complete a needlepoint project, finishing putting together a swing set out in your backyard, etc.  Pretty much anything fun or hobby-oriented that you started before April 1st.

Always good advice! 🙂

Rules of the Challenge

  • Models for this challenge must be ones you owned before April 1, 2020.
  • Before pictures are great, and I’ll use them for updates, but they are not required.  We’re on the honor system here.
  • If your project doesn’t involve painting models, you must have started work on it before April 1, 2020.
  • The challenge closes on May 3rd, 2020 at midnight (your local time).  If you can’t get your pictures posted by that date, it is fine.  Just post them as soon as you can.
  • You can complete one model for this challenge or as many as you want.  Basing is great, but is optional.
  • Models and projects you feature in other challenges are welcome here too.
  • You can join in, and add more models at any time as the month goes along.
  • Models from any company, range, time period, scale, etc. are welcome.
  • Questions and/or ideas?  Let me know in the comments.

Pioneer’s Cabin Diorama by Dave of The Imperfect Modeller.

Painting an entire diorama is certainly a worthy project and who doesn’t love a fully painted tank?

Panzerkampfwagen VI, Pattern Tintenfisch, from Sir John’s Just Needs Varnish!

Of course some good, old-fashioned space marines are always welcome.  One or a whole squad.  (Wretched, Gollum-looking person peering out of a hole optional.)

My friend, Daniel’s, Deathwing terminators from a March 2017 game.

Like I said, a project doesn’t have to be painting miniatures to have a place in this April challenge.  Something like this map I made using Campaign Cartographer software or one drawn by hand would find a welcome home here.

Might be fun to run a Fantasy-meets-Old West mini-campaign using my little map?

Learn the rules for a board game, play a game and then report your thoughts or review the game.

From review of Tiny Epic Galaxies game by Justin of The Solo Meeple.

Carve some pumpkins, perhaps?**

If  you don’t want to paint a picture, play a game, paint a model and making videos is lame … then when all else fails bake a Cthulhu pie!

Once again, “In his pie at R’lyeh, dead Cthulhu dreams for (drowns in?) whipped cream.”

Tree Symbol Clip Art

* This being April 1st, I was going to put up an April Fool’s challenge that for the month you could paint your entire backlog of unpainted models, but decided maybe to save that for next year.

** Ensorcelling said pumpkin(s) as containers for the bewitched life forces of extinct but somehow still nascent beings of pure song is entirely optional and probably beyond the scope of this hobby challenge.

First Painting Challenge Dwarf Done!

Finished the first of four Etsy dwarves for my painting challenge a few days ago.  He is pictured here with my newest star of the moment lurking the ever-blurry background — the dreaded rust turtle from my last post.  The last day of the challenge is April 3rd so while I’ll be cutting it close getting my other three dwarves finished, I think I’ll make it.

I’d watch out if I were that dwarf.

I want all four of my dwarves to have different colored hair.  This guy got the same color as Roboute Guilliman, so my husband’s favorite primarch is in good company.  A pretty easy recipe and I liked how it turned out, compared to my dreadful and mercifully uncatalogued attempts some years ago with Averland Sunset.  I primed white, based with Zandri Dust, applied a Seraphim Sepia wash, and highlighted with Ushabti Bone.

The gold beard cap is an old five-step gold recipe.  Base with Balthasar Gold, layer with Gehenna’s Gold and then Auric Armor Gold.  Step four is Agrax Earthshade and finally a drybrush of Golden Griffon.

Is Turtle getting closer?  I can’t tell.

One thing I learned was that I like the Games Workshop contrast paints for edging and defining grooves.  I used Basilicanum Grey Contrast to pick out the design on his axe and line the inside edges on his shoulder pads, and Skeletal Horde Contrast in the grooves on his leather armbands.*  The armband effect is kind of subtle but I like how it looks in person.

I might try something similar but different and maybe fancier on the next dwarf, the ginger-haired one, who has the same type of armbands.  Maybe he’ll get magical, fire armbands or something.

“Wot’s that behind me?”

The base was just a simple dark gray and then wash with Nuln Oil, making sure I got the wash into the gaps in the stone pattern.  I put couple of smidgens of Astrogranite Debris onto the base, mainly because I have a pot of it kicking around, and then drybrushed with various lighter shades of gray with a little off-white at the end.

Wizard’s Familiar Cat hates Turtle getting all of the attention!

So much for painting challenge dwarves.  Sir John, if you happen to see this and are having your morning or high tea and crumpets, biscuits, cookies, etc. I’m giving you a Minor Class W (for work-in-progress) Nurgle Alert to put your cup down before proceeding further.

Nurgle Blood Bowl Icon 125

I have made a little progress on WIP Poxwalker #18 while I was putting the finishing touches on our dwarf friend.  I had completely forgotten, but about a year ago I dropped my poxwalker on the floor and broke off the tip of its largest dorsal tentacle.  I noticed (and hence remembered) last night when I was messing around with some contrast paints.

I rooted around in my Chaos bin until I found a likely looking pointy bit at the end of a plastic chain from a Chaos Biker sprue.  After a bit of cutting, filing, squinting, fighting with my bottle of Model Master Liquid Cement for Plastic Models, etc. I ended up with the result you see here.  Will be a mighty weapon to go along with the mechanical arm and its various diseases both offensive and defensive as well as those of an informative nature.**

Just hope I don’t drop the stupid thing again.

Time is flying by and I plan on getting my second dwarf completed soon.  He’s about 80% done so this shouldn’t be too hard.  That will leave only two of the little rotters and my painting challenge dwarves will be complete.  If all goes spectacularly well, I might even finish my poxwalker too.

The poxwalker gives me an (obvious) idea for an April painting challenge:  “Finish Something April.”  As the title suggests, finish up a model or group of models that you started work on but remains incomplete.  It can be something you just bought or a neglected model that has been gathering dust for untold centuries while the stars die and galaxies laugh.

Perhaps I could finally realize my dark dream of completing all 20 of my poxwalkers?

Dwarf Hammer Clip Art

* That Skeletal Horde paint will end up becoming distractingly ubiquitous in my painting efforts if I’m not careful.  I was going to try and make a joke that was a Skeletal Horde-based variation on the old saw about how if all you got is a hammer then every problem looks like a nail, but I couldn’t think of a good one.  Any suggestions?

** The poxwalkers will need the added tentacle-based weaponry because I’ve been told you need to pay points to bring your poxwalkers over their starting numbers now with the latest disturbances from the FAQ Warp.

I know we peers of Chaos Undivided are supposed to “embrace change” (yes, even when painting Nurgle stuff!) and venerate that ethereally tentacled technosorceror from olden days, Heraclitus of Ephesus, son of Bloson, etc. etc., but I would much rather it be change that benefits me and bonus flux points for it hurting my enemies in the bargain!   Iä! Iä! Thultzeentch fhtagn! Ph’nglui mglw’nfah Thultzeentch R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!

Enter the Rust Turtle!

As is often my practice, I inserted another miniature into my current painting project, thus helping to ensure that I either fail deadlines or have to scramble last minute to meet them.  Since the current painting challenge I’m working on is my own and the first one I’ve ever done, I think it is best that I continue with my traditional best practices.  So enter the Rust Turtle!

Yep, it’s coming after your rusty spoons!

Dungeons & Dragons veterans will surely recognize this little bug as a rust monster.  I showed these pictures to a friend, who said, “Huh, it looks like a tortoise,” and so I decided that forevermore this beastie would be henceforth known as the Rust Turtle.*

Painting the miniature was pretty simple.  I slathered on some Vallejo Rust wash (76.506) and a couple of layers of Agrax Earthshade, to damp down the orange effect a bit.**  I also applied a layer of undiluted Skeletal Horde Contrast paint, much like a wash.  I probably wouldn’t bother with that next time, but I wanted to experiment and it didn’t seem to add much either way.

Note the propeller-like tail.

I busted out all of my various shades of orange and just started drybrushing until I liked how the turtle looked.  I tried various mottling and speckling effects on the propeller tail and dorsal area, didn’t like any of them so overbrushed with various light shades of orange and covered up the mess.

I used Ungor Flesh and Kislev Flesh sparingly as a final highlight.  The base was just gray, wash with black ink, then drybrush various shades of gray and finish off with some off-white.

I remember getting quite a laugh from this cartoon as a kid.  Funny because it was true!

I originally wanted the eyes to be silver so that is how I painted them.  I ended up going with white though, which I think looks better.  I thought about making pupils and all of those fiddly ocular bits, but decided to stick with simple and not mess with all of that.  Also toyed with the idea of trying some OSL effects, but again, opted for simple.

While I think there is more I could have done with my rust turtle, I’m happy where I stopped.  It will make a fun monster to throw into one of my D&D games, and a good pet to hang out with my slumbering Nurgle forces along with skeletal snake thingie and others.

Primed rust monster, with Neglected WIP Poxwalker #18 for scale.

My first dwarf is done.  I’m going to take some pictures of him today, so he will feature prominently in my next post.  His orange-bearded axe and shield brother is about 75% done and the other two around 50%.  A good thing because this month is going by quickly, as months always do when you have a self-imposed deadline.  Fortunately my painting challenge ends after April 3rd so I have high hopes of finishing all four dwarves.  Maybe I’ll be able to include Neglected WIP Poxwalker #18 as a stretch goal.  Probably won’t but wouldn’t it be grand?

I’m wondering if I should do another painting challenge for April?  I very well might, since the March challenge is keeping me working steadily on my dwarves.  Any ideas about what kind of challenge might be of interest?

Another model has made its fully painted appearance for the March Might and Magic Painting Challenge.  Argentbadger from The Bovine Overlord presents his painted Kharybdis, for the Cryx faction of the Warmachine range.  Argentbadger reports that this lovely, betentacled monstrosity is “focused on melee” and has an “amusing ink spray.”  I bet it is … and does!  Thank you, Argent!

Kharybdis by Argentbadger from The Bovine Overlord.


* The miniature is listed on the Etsy site, where I purchased it, as a Dire Oxidation Monster.  Perhaps that is the official, scientific name?  It certainly qualifies for the “might” portion of my painting challenge.  I remember few monsters from my old days of D&D that could cause the gnashing of player teeth quite like a rust monster!

** I started out with Dark Rust (76.507) but decided it was too dark before I got very far into things.