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.

 

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.

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.

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.