April 2021 Second Annual “Paint the Crap You Already Own!” Painting and Hobby Challenge

The “Neglected but Not Forgotten” painting challenge ends on April 2nd, so I thought I’d announce the April challenge before I get too busy doing the “Neglected” round-up, which is looking like it’s going to be large indeed! For April I’m going to do a second annual “Paint the Crap You Already Own!” challenge.*

The idea is simple.  You can paint anything you want so long as you owned it on or before April 1, 2021. It doesn’t have to be a neglected model — you can have purchased it the day the challenge begins if that is your desire. A nice way to perhaps add something new to your collection of painted miniatures if you are tired of painting neglected models smelted during the Age of the Antonines.

Always good advice! 🙂

Also, again this year, as a Hobby Challenge, you don’t have to confine yourself to painting models.  For example, you can write a short story, paint a picture (or bedroom or some cave art), develop a recipe, post a Youtube video, complete a needlepoint project, finishing putting together a swing set out in your backyard, put in a porch light, etc.  Pretty much anything fun, hobby or craft oriented that you start on or before April 1st.**

Rules of the Challenge

  • Models for this challenge must be ones you owned on or before April 1, 2021.
  • The challenge closes on May 2nd, 2021 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 or project for this challenge or as many as you want.  Basing is optional if you don’t plan on doing basing later. It is mandatory if the plan is for the finished project to be based.
  • Models and projects you feature in other challenges (not also run by me) 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.
  • For those who missed the 2020 round-up in two parts, you can see part one here and part two here.
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?

Carve some Easter 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 challenge also has the added feature that I can pretty much recycle the challenge announcement, including the pictures, from last year. I kind of wanted to give that Cthulhu pie some more love!

** Home improvement projects may or may not be fun but they are “crafts” and thus count for this challenge.

*** Ensorcelling said pumpkin(s) as container(s) for the bewitched life force(s) of extinct but somehow still nascent being(s) of pure song is, like basing, optional unless you were planning on doing this at some point to complete the project in which case said thaumaturgy is mandatory. I will make case by case exceptions if you have unavoidable blockages such as not being able to secure required material components, timing of sacrifices due to astrological-related issues, ritual assistant union troubles, etc.

Work Outs: February 14 – 20, 2021 (Tortoise Itching Station, Tree of Turtles, and Athlean-X Arm Workout)

I ran across a cute video of an “itching station” someone built for a resident tortoise at a nature preserve in Oregon. That got me to thinking of a pond near where we often walk, which we’ve taken to calling by the very original name of “Turtle Pond” because of all the turtles. I dug around in my collection of pictures that I dump in an achive-junk folder and forget about and I found this 2016 shot of a bunch of turtles sitting on a tree, sunning themselves in Turtle Pond. I thought it was cute at the time, which isn’t surprising since I favor turtles and tortoises.*

Given the state of that pond sometimes I wonder if a rust turtle makes its secret lair in the mud?

Sun, February 14th

Had a nice Valentines Day and took a break. Hope everyone reading this, who celebrated the holiday did as well. Calories: 2442, Protein: 157 g.

Mon, February 15th

Afternoon Walk: 3.4 miles. Calories: 2626, Protein: 149 g.

Tues, February 16th

  • Morning Walk: 3.57 miles.
  • Captains of Crush Gripper (Trainer, 100 lbs.):
    • (Set 1): Left = 8 mm x 5 reps, Right = Closed x 5 reps
    • (Set 2): Left = 8 mm x 5 reps, Right = Closed x 2 reps + 4mm x 4 reps
    • (Set 3): Left = 8 mm x 5 reps, Right = 4mm x 6 reps
    • (Set 4): Left = 6 mm x 1 + 5 reps, Right = 4mm x 6 reps
    • (Set 5): Dynamic Training with the Sport (80 lbs.) gripper. I did 20 reps with each hand. I closed the gripper all 20 times with my right but couldn’t close it completely with my left after 13 reps. I ended with some finger extension work and some thumb training using the gripping egg.
  • (Afternoon Workout) I warmed up with the Daily Stretch and some indian club work. Then I followed the “White Belt – Class 3” (emphasis on punching techniques) on the Global Martial Arts University website. I ended the class with some self-directed work on high and low blocks.
  • I did the beginner work outlined on the “Beginner Steel Mace Workout” video with my little five pound steel mace I found a second hand shop.

Calories: 1802, Protein: 143 g.

Wed, February 17th

  • Morning Walk: 3.29 miles.
  • I did the Wyatt today except I had to substitute incline push-ups on my stairs instead of regular ones. I used the 4th step but for the last set I used the 3rd step, which was a bit harder. My time was 44:53 for the workout. I was pleased because I thought the hindu squats would slow me down more than they did and I had guessed my time would have been closer to an hour. Still a lot of room for improvement. I’m hoping to eventually get my time down to about 30 minutes.
  • Finished off the session with 10 Sit Ups (no anchor for feet), some Hindu Push Up Stretches and a bit of general stretching.
  • (Athlean-X Arm Program, Day Zero) Measure your arms to establish a baseline for the next 22 days. Done!

Calories: 2062, Protein: 144 g.

I saw this arm video in my inbox and though it might be fun to give it a try. I used to train my arms for size until about 2010, but for many years now I’ve been content to hang out in maintenance mode. It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out.**

Thur, February 18th

  • Active Rest Day.
    • Morning Walk: 3.35 miles.
    • Warmed up and got a in little movement with some (mostly) dynamic stretching, indian club and mace work.
    • (Athlean-X Arm Program, Day One) DB Incline Waiter Curls: 30 lbs. x 4 sets x 9 reps
    • Reviewed the “Low Block” and “High Block” lessons from the Global Martial Arts University Taekwondo program.

Calories: 2071 Protein: 167 g.

Had to improvise to do the dumbbell incline waiter curls like Jeff shows in his video.

Fri, February 19th

  • Morning Walk: 3.35 miles.
  • (Morning Workout) Warmed up and did some work with my indian clubs and mace, along with some dynamic stretching.
  • Arnold Press: 30 lbs. x 8, 8, 6 reps, 25 lbs. x 9 reps
  • (Super Set)
    • DB Bench Press: 30 lbs. x 10, 10, 8, 8 reps
    • DB Lateral Raises: 12 lbs. x 10, 8 reps, 10 lbs. x 10, 9 reps
  • (Athlean-X Arm Program, Day Two) Bench Dips: 14, 12, 10, 9 reps
  • Ended with a set of Face Pulls (12.5 lbs. x 20 reps) and 10 Hindu Push Up Stretches

Calories: 2144, Protein: 153 g.

Sat, February 20th

Hung out with my husband and watched some old Hammer movies, including Horror of Dracula and some others. I didn’t want to skip the arm program just a couple of days after starting it so I popped down cellar in the afternoon, warmed up with some dynamic stretching and indian club work then got in the required bit of arm work.

(Athlean-X Arm Program, Day Three) Alternating Cross Body Hammer Curls: 15 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps

Calories: 2356, Protein: 149 g. (I lost 2.6 pounds this week, so my total loss is 26.8 lbs.)


* There aren’t many animals I don’t favor. I really can’t think of one I don’t excepting ones that (directly) try to bite/eat me or try to infest my house, etc. When I say “directly” I mean that I wouldn’t favor a particular white shark down in Santa Cruz if it tried to eat me but I do favor white sharks in general.

** I’m putting this together a bit late so as I type this I’m on day nine of the challenge. Thus far I’ve gained a quarter inch on my upper arms, which is both encouraging and a little surprising all things considered, such as my age, being in mild weight loss mode, which generally isn’t so great for hypertrophy, etc. I suspect after years of maintenance I’m getting a good response from the training because my arms are having to adapt to something new again and because I’m making gains into territory where I’ve been in the past, even if it was a long time ago. That’s my theory anyway.

January 2021 “First of the Year” Painting Challenge

It has been awhile since I’ve done a painting challenge and thought it might be fun to do a challenge where you share a picture of the first miniature you completely finish for 2021. We aren’t interested in completing squads, mobs or other collections this time. The focus is to start 2021 off right by showcasing everyone’s first miniature fruits of the year.

Rules of the Challenge

  • The model can be a work in progress but must be completed sometime in January 2021.
  • Your model must be based unless you aren’t planning on basing it later. 
  • A tank, cavalry, chariot, dinosaur or some other miniature with rider(s) counts as one miniature for this challenge.
  • A stand with multiple miniatures counts as one miniature so long as all of the models are affixed to the same base. This excludes dioramas, but you can certainly post a miniature for a diorama so long as it is the first miniature you complete in 2021.
  • You can enter miniatures you are working on for other painting challenges.
  • The challenge closes on January 31, 2021 at midnight (your local time).  If you can’t get your picture posted by that date, it is fine.  Just post it as soon as you can. The best way to let me know you’ve put up a picture is to either link your post back to this one or leave a comment here.
  • Questions and/or ideas?  Let me know in the comments.

Some ideas from past challenges include a mighty dragon, painted by David from Scent of a Gamer

or perhaps an Imperial Knight if you are feeling particularly ambitious like the one painted by Thomas of Dragon’s Den Games?

If you aren’t in the mood or have time for a knight or giant, green dragon perhaps something a bit smaller, but still great, like the miniatures from challenges past in this little slide show. Remember any single miniature is fair game, even a status marker and the like if you so choose.

As for me, I’m hoping to finally finish my eternal work in progress, Frank’s Pig Demon. I got pretty far along before I stalled once again. There are a bunch of minor things I need to do, but finishing the demon’s clothing is the last major piece left. I’ll probably keep the basing fairly simple in line with what Frank told me he wanted.

Dragon Egg Gazette, Issue 3

The Dragon Egg Gazette

Issue 3: June 19, 2020

A student newspaper that is part of the “Enchanted Forest” D&D campaign. 


From the Editor’s Desk

It has been more than three months since we published an outer planes issue of The Dragon Egg Gazette.  This paper originally came about from a conversation I had with Ann Wycoff, my human friend and frequent visitor to Dragon Egg from the outer planes.  She sometimes plays a sort of storytelling game with her friends called Dungeons & Dragons, which is one part board game and another part acting where the players take on the role of a hero or adventurer. Ann is usually the facilitator or “dungeon master” of the game.

The most interesting part of Ann’s game, in my mind, is she uses our real world as the setting or backdrop, but all of her players think it is a fantastic realm of make believe because their reality doesn’t have any dragonborn, elves or even goblins!

Apparently there have been a lot of big, important things going on that has put Ann’s D&D game on hold for awhile now.  So she hasn’t been around to help us with the outer planes stuff.  Fortunately, Ann visited Dragon Egg recently to procure some ingredients for a magic wand, and to “check out the Haunted Bridge for myself.”  (Scary!  I wish my parents would let me go see it.)  She also stopped by our offices and made arrangements to publish this issue you are reading now for the humans back home.  Thanks, Ann!

If you have an article you’d like to see published in The Dragon Egg Gazette, let me know in the comments or email me (c/o Ann if you are a human from the outer planes) via the email address on her Greetings page.

Wondermist

Flying Glowing Green Dragon clip art

The Haunted Bridge

by Staff Writer

“The keen-eyed traveler will notice a stone block here, poking up through the verdant carpet of the forest floor, perhaps another nestled under a fern before coming upon the crumbling, masonry pilings that are all that remains of the site once called Blood Drinker’s Bridge,” Forcrath Silverspur wrote in Points of Interest in the Enchanted Forest: An Adventure Tourism Guide, which introduces his article about the Haunted Bridge.

Haunted Bridge area as seen through Darkvision

Area near Haunted Bridge site as seen via darkvision.**

The ruins are located some distance south along the road a little over half way from Dragon Egg to East Egg.*  Here are five facts you may not know about the Haunted Bridge from Doctor Forcrath’s 1972 book.

  1. The now non-existent stream, which the Haunted Bridge used to cross, was magically dried up in 1605 when a vampire named Torsten the Fierce and other unknown casters completed a powerful series of spells that evaporated all of the streams, pools and other natural, standing bodies of water within the Enchanted Forest.  This took place during the Vampire War and was done because it is well known that most vampires cannot cross such bodies of water.  Torsten’s actions were a prelude to a general invasion.  Such was the power of Torsten’s magic that the stream has never come back in the more than four hundred years since.
  2. The site is not believed to be intrinsically dangerous, but it is thought that select dark spells and the creation of forbidden items can be facilitated by ingredients available on the site, such as certain powdered minerals and odd salts.  As such, the Haunted Bridge is sometimes frequented by dangerous individuals it is better not to meet.  Be careful if you visit!
  3. No one knows who built the bridge.  Scholars agree that it dates back to the 12th or 13th Century and facilitated trade with the human inhabitants on what was then the edge of the Enchanted Forest, which was much further south then than it is now.
  4. While plant life flourishes in the environs around the Haunted Bridge, magically-inclined or sensitive people report feelings of “general unease,” nightmares, and so forth when they stay in the area for more than a few hours.  Some also report bouts of bad luck after prolonged contact with the ruin.
  5. Mindless undead are attracted to the area.  The Dragon Egg Special Arbor Service conducts regular patrols to deal with the skeletons, zombies and so on before they build up to a level that becomes a problem.

* See Issue One for a map of the Enchanted Forest containing among other things, the location of the Haunted Bridge (Ed).

** Photo credit:  Thoolmar.  I’d love to learn that spell she used to make a picture while she was looking at the Haunted Bridge once I get far enough along at school and learn to cast high enough level spells.  Perhaps in a year or two you’d like to trade, Thoolmar? (Ed.)

Tree Symbol Clip Art

A Short Interview with the Introverted Hermit

by Biri Blackwing

We have been following the exploits, for quite some time now, of the human artist from the outer planes known as The Introverted Hermit.  She is best known in Dragon Egg for her Monday Mandala feature, where each week she shares a new mandala of her own creation.  The Hermit is up to #47, as this paper goes to press, so she has been doing this for awhile.

The Introverted Hermit also recently started an Etsy shop.  She is currently selling black & white downloads of some of her mandalas suitable for coloring.  Seems like coloring one of those with crayons or colored pencils or maybe even using some water colors might be fun.

Butterfly 125 wide

Q:  Why did you start making art?

Hermit: I’ve always had a need to be doing something creative – whether it was painting, dancing, writing, or drawing.  It speaks to and calms my soul in a way nothing else does.

Q: ‘Mandala 25’ is very attractive, especially with your colorization.  I have talked to several elves, who speak very favorably of your use of geometric patterns.  I read in your article, “Progress,” your reference to “Native American” and “Nazca art.”  What inspired you to create this piece, in addition to evoking themes from the aforementioned traditions?

Hermit: I think every artist is inspired by something.  I’ve always been fascinated with geometric, abstract patterns as well as by the art of the Nazca people.  I’ve also always had an interest in the art of Native Americans, since that is part of my own heritage.  The feelings those patterns and themes evoke allows me to explore my own thoughts and feelings during the process of creation.

Q: Is there an element of Art you enjoy the most?  What do you find the most challenging?  Why?

I think the most joy I get out of creating is in the process itself – allowing my own thoughts and feelings out onto the paper without worry or fear.  The most challenging part for me is to quiet my inner critic and to allow the joy and wonder of the process to just flow.  I think we all subject ourselves negative self-talk and overcoming that criticism, that fear of failure, can be very difficult.

introverted hermit mandala 25 colorized

Mandala 25 created and colorized by the Introverted Hermit

Q: I read some of your thoughts concerning being an artist, “imposter syndrome,” and so on, here and here.  (We think you’re a great artist by the way.)  How would you define what it means to be an artist?  Do you think there is a distinction between an Artist versus ” a creative” versus someone who simply “does art?”

Thank you! I think everyone is an artist – it’s just that we sometimes don’t recognize it.  Working with numbers is an art.  Working with words is an art.  Cooking is an art (one I certainly haven’t mastered!).  We all show our creativity in different ways, but everyone – from the tallest to the smallest, from the richest to the poorest, is an artist in some way.  And everything overlaps.  A painter is an artist, sure, but there are many other things they have to know – color theory, composition, lighting, musculature, how bodies move, ratios for color mixing, etc.  Art, and artists, are everywhere, if you just look.

Q: One elvish reader asks, “I see from reading your work that you sometimes encounter challenges moving forward with your work and getting things done.  I have started having this problem more and more myself, especially after I passed into my fourth century.  Do you have any tips or tricks to recommend that I could use to continue to move forward with my projects?  Thank you.”

I think as we age, it’s easy to become jaded and bored with things we want or need to do.  One thing I find that helps me is to have several projects going at once.  That way if I get bored or frustrated with one, I can move to another one and give myself a bit of break.  Once you’re concentrating on something else, your subconscious will often work out a solution to a problem and you’ll be able to see it when you return to the work.  And sometimes, we all just need a break – a rest, to recharge those artistic impulses.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I’m flattered to be asked about my work.  One of the best things about creating something is to see how other people interpret what you’ve done.  Often, they will have a reaction that you weren’t expecting, and for me, that’s one of the biggest joys.  It’s like watching that creative spark jump from my work into someone else and that’s an amazing thing.

Introverted hermit mandala 25 black and white 125 wide

Shopping in Dragon’s Egg

by Thulunil Ummair

Everyone knows that adventurers love nothing better than to go shopping after getting back to town following their latest successful quest.  Smart adventurers know that some of the best shopping around can be had at the businesses in our own town of Dragon’s Egg.  Even people from the outer planes sometimes come here for their magical and mundane needs!  Here are five well-known establishments.

  • Bamira’s Stones (Gems and common magical components).  Owner:  Bamira Burntree (dragonborn).  While her public shop is quite small and features mainly mundane items, a much more extensive collection of wares can be had if you are one of her “preferred customers.”
  • Feather Fall Archery.  Proprietor: Oram Brightspear (elf).  A wide selection of long and short bows as well as a sideline of thrown weapons.  There is a sign prominently visible as one enters the shop that reads, “Crossbowmen not welcome.”  Even mentioning the word “crossbow” is enough to receive a permanent ban from the shop!
  • Kobold Or Go Home (General Merchandise).  Owner: Queequeg (kobold); Proprietor:  Gree (kobold).  Does a lot of business with goblins, which is ironic because Queequeg is well known to dislike goblins.  Yet he has a reputation for scrupulously fair dealing, and some of the people who sing his praises the highest are the aforementioned goblins.
  • Temple of the Green Dragon.  First Priest F’Rhogar Goldleaf (dragonborn).  The religious center of Dragon Egg dedicated to our god, Great Dragon.  Aspects currently emphasized are The Warrior, The Guardian, and The Healer.  A green dragon magician, Chrysophylax, lairs on the premises.  There is also a shrine within the outer gardens dedicated to all of the other gods, both draconic and otherwise.
  • Twelve Hammers (Metalwork).  “Dragon Egg’s Finest Smith Shop.”  Owner:  Falasar Moonclaw (dragonborn).  Large staff  of artisans fabricating everything smithing-related from basic tools to highly ornamented weapons, gatework, etc.  Can also contract for precious metals work, and so on.  Has a reputation for high prices and excellent quality.  Can have long waits if you are not a regular customer.

Corrections & Clarifications

The Temple of the Great Dragon contacted us concerning our story, “Raising the Dead:  Did You Know?” from the previous issue.  They pointed out that Great Dragon commonly gifts clergy with the spell Revivify, “making it possible to return an individual to life, who has just died.  This dweomercraft is effective even in the absence of a great vow, and has saved many lives on the battlefield, during parturition and so on.”

The temple representative went on to say, “Spells like Revivify are common magics but gods can gift us in many marvelous and unusual ways too.  Their will and power sometimes transcends system and category.  Remember First Priest Goldleaf’s words:  “Those who think that magic or magical beings follow universal laws or some system of Causality or Necessity are gravely mistaken.'”


Staff

Biri “Wondermist” Blackwing, Editor-in-Chief
Thulunil Ummair, Assistant Editor
Ann Wycoff, Contributing Editor/Outer Planes Correspondent
Your Name Could Be Here!

Dragon Seated black clip art

Sixty Day Miniatures of Magnitude Painting Challenge! (May-June 2020)

Time for another painting challenge!  This time the idea is to paint at least one model that represents a creature, machine or terrain piece that is on the larger side.  Aircraft, daemon engines, tanks, giants, trains, cavewomen riding mammoths, ships, and beasts that are great, writhing masses of tentacles, eyes, and maws that tumbled down from the stars or crawled up out of the sewer all will find a home in this challenge.

(Note that if you click on the pictures,  they will take you to the artists’ websites.  I’ve included some examples below of projects that would work for this challenge.)

Part of “Clean Oceans” mural on Mission Street in Santa Cruz, California

Rules of the Challenge

  • The challenge closes on July 3rd, 2020 at midnight (last place on Earth).  The project must be completed, but if you can’t get your pictures posted by that date, it is fine.  Just post them as soon as you can.
  • Models must represent a creature at least the size of an ogre or small giant.  Machines must represent something that is at least as large as a medium-sized armored vehicle or single-seat aircraft.
  • Terrain pieces and dioramas are also welcome.  (See examples below.)
  • Any scale is welcome.  The miniatures can be small but have to represent things that would be large at 1:1 scale.  Also, there is nothing to say it has to be a miniature.  If you want to paint a mural, put a coat of paint on your house, refinish a good-sized piece of furniture, those would all count too as long as it is a painting or staining project.
  • Projects can be works in progress at the start of the challenge or you can begin something new.
  • You can complete one model or as many as you want.  Basing is great, but is optional.
  • Questions, comments, ideas?  Let me know in the comments.

If you paint small models during the challenge that would strongly fit thematically with your larger miniature, you can include them in a group shot.  For example, if Azazel painted an APC, like the one pictured below, and also painted some suitable space marine passengers to go along with it, he could include the marines in the group shot.

001001 Citadel Rhino Plague Marines Iron Warriors

Rhino APC and space marine rides by Azazel of Azazel’s Bitz Box.

Dioramas are also welcome for the challenge.  In these cases the whole is greater than the sum of its parts so you are not required to include a large creature or dominating terrain feature, although you may.  Pat included a good-sized wall in his “Desert Attack,” but the diorama would have qualified for the challenge without the wall because there is plenty going on here without it!

“Desert Attack” by the eponymous Pat of Pat’s 1:72 Military Diorama’s

A single building will qualify for this painting challenge.  Dave built a Wells Fargo Way Station as part of of diorama, but the building alone would qualify too.  As you can see, he went to the effort to model the inside as well.  (Click on the image to see the outside of his building and the overall diorama.)

Inside of Wells Fargo Way Station by Dave at The Imperfect Modeller.

Wudugast’s rat-ogre and its slightly smaller friend would both qualify for the challenge.  If he painted the ratman, with the spiked club and shield, on the far right during the challenge, it would fit thematically with the others and he could include it in a group shot (like the one below) if he wanted.

Stormfiend Skaven Wudugast ConvertOrDie (9)

Wudugast’s “rat-ogre” (left) and friends from Convert or Die.

Aircraft, like this representation from WWI by John, could fly into the challenge.  Any sizable machine or vehicle from any historical period as well as from milieus that only exist in the imagination are fair game.

2017_0716_15482000

Amercom Albatros D.V in “Airforce, One” by John of Just Needs Varnish!

Miniatures that represent towering statues or impressive golems that might guard forgotten ruins or await orders from a dread magician are appropriate …

Stone Golem by The Introverted Hermit

… as are mighty warriors (reptilian and otherwise) riding fearsome dinosaurs!

Scar Veteran riding a repurposed Allosaurus by Maenoferren22 of Bogenwald.

Trolls can come in many shapes and sizes and fortunately a lot of them can stand eye to eye with an ogre.  Some have interesting professions and hobbies too, such as playing in death sports, football leagues, or both at the same time.

My friend, Dave’s, troll and accompanying goblin cheerleader.

As for me, I hope to finally finish a pig demon-looking thing that a friend asked me to paint for him so long ago now that he apparently forgot I still had the miniature.  Heck, I forgot about the pig demon too until I happened to find it when I was organizing my hobby room/office.  So this challenge will push me to put pig demon toward the top of my painting queue and get it back into my friend’s hands before the end of the Aquarian Age!

With then still WIP poxwalker #18 to demonstrate scale.

The pig demon is my first priority, but maybe I can squeeze in Becky the Bloat Drone here too.  If so, my post-Heresy Death Guard forces will wax mighty indeed comprising this daemon engine and a full 20 zombie squad (hopefully) of poxwalkers.  Let the galaxy tremble!

Becky: Failing painting challenges since 2017!

After this painting challenge ends, I’m going to take July off from running painting challenges. Azazel has written that he might be doing a Jewel in July challenge for 2020 and if he does I’ll be painting for that.

Until next time paint on!

 

Fight On! From D&D Vol 3: The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures ...

 

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!

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.

WIP Dwarves Update: Red Cloaks

Continuing along with my four work-in-progress dwarves.  I’m happy with my progress so far and think I’ll have no problem meeting the April 3rd deadline for my March Might and Magic Painting Challenge.  If you’d like to join there is still time.  A single miniature is welcome, in addition to squads, mobs, and so on.

Gave up soda years ago, but the caps linger on.

I’m fairly pleased with how the cloaks turned out.  As is sometimes the case, I think they look a bit better in person than what I could squeeze out of my cell phone camera.  I used Warhammer TV’s video, How to Paint: Space Marine Cloaks as my inspiration, though I varied slightly from what they did, so I’ll list the steps here for anyone who is interested and my own edification a year from now when I can’t remember what I did and want to do it again.

Dwarf Red Cloaks
(Except for step 2, all of the steps using contrast paints including watering them down with medium.)

  1. Primed with white, base coat with Mephiston Red.
  2. Cover with Blood Angels Red Contrast paint.
  3. Flesh Tearers Contrast paint in the folds.  Do several layers of this, smaller each time to add depth.  This is a subtle effect.
  4. Basilicanum Grey Contrast in the deepest recesses.*
  5. Mephiston Red and then Wild Rider Red on raised parts of cloak.  Light highlight with Troll Slayer Orange.

Roaring white lion picture 150 wide

I noticed a pingback for the first finished miniature (at least that I know of) for the painting challenge.  Hearteater** from Games Workshop’s Untamed Beasts by the inconceivable Wudugast of Convert or Die.  So in celebration, let us wrap things up with a look at Wudugast’s worthy in all his feral might!

Like that jawbone axe.  Wish I had one of those myself at times.

I really liked Wudugast’s choice for the flesh here.  I asked him about it and he said that he used Rhinox Hide, then Dryad Bark, and finally Baneblade Brown.  I might have to give this a try myself at some point.  I wonder if some sort of brown glaze as a final step would tie it all together?  He did a great job and painted a worthy addition for his growing warband.

Gold Cat Clip Art

* I find that I like this Basilicanum Grey Contrast muck for edging borders and such.

** I like how Wudugast made a proper name of “Hearteater,” which seems a suitable sobriquet, versus Games Workshop’s using it as more of a title alongside colleagues such as First Fang and Preytakers.