Miniatures of Magnitude Painting Challenge Round-up

May through June saw the Miniatures of Magnitude painting challenge where the idea is to paint something that is on the larger side.  The model didn’t need to be large, but it had to represent something large.  As I wrote back in early May, “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.”

As usual, if I missed anyone, please let me know and I’ll make sure you make it into the (amended) round-up.

Flying Battleship by John of Just Needs Varnish ink sketch clip art effect

First up is Wudugast’s of Convert or Die Warcry bell tower, complete with gibbets and “fiddly” skeletons.  I’m glad he included the skeletons because I think they add an osseous touch of class to the piece.

Belltower by Wudugast

Wudugast also painted this very nice Chaos Space Marine Obliterator. Our heretic astartes is bristling with weapons of all kinds, as you would expect. He’s got some sort of assault cannon, a heavy flamer, a hefty power fist complete with little claws … heck, let’s face it, the only thing he’s missing are pants!

Next up is Tom’s Imperial Knight Castellan.  I know Tom because he used to work at the local game store I often frequent.  Some time ago, Tom made the trek north from Santa Cruz to Stockton, California where he opened his own store, Dragon’s Den Games.

Tom Douglass Imperial Knight front view

Tom’s knight is the largest model he has painted to date.  He says that it has “technically more surface area than a Bloodthirster” and the latter being “mostly skin and wing so they go a heck of a lot faster, especially with Contrasts!”.  I’m glad Tom persevered because I think his knight came out looking good and will surely strike terror into the hearts of his many nefarious foes.

Look to the skies! David, of Scent of a Gamer, painted a huge dragon who is just waiting to blot out the sun as it soars through a fantasy sky on xanthous wings. David tells us that this miniature is “from the Dragons Don’t Share boxed set that was originally released as part of the Bones II Kickstarter.”

Green Dragon by Scent of a Gamer

David used a “dark green/black mix” for the body and contrast paints for the wings.  He was going for an “eye of Mordor” feel with the dragon’s eyes and I think he succeeded because the eye reminded me of that when I was looking at the pictures in his post before reading the text. I really like that baleful eye!

Continuing with our “Look to the Skies” theme, watch out for flying battleships!  John of Just Needs Varnish! painted a couple of 1/1200 scale aeronefs, which are “ships that fly using some form of gravity-resisting technology to stay airborne.”  The miniatures are produced by Brigade Models.*

Below is a Japanese Shinano class dreadnought. Nicely done and cute spotter plane too!

Japanese Flying Battleship Shinano class Just Needs Varnish

Check out John’s post if you want to see some pictures of the models before they were painted as well as his thoughts about building and modifying these models.  He also shows off some of his older aeronefs in his post as well. John also painted a Russian Poltava class dreadnought, pictured below.

Russian Poltava class dreadnought by John of Just Needs Varnish

Maybe we’ll see more aeronefs from John in the future.  He writes that he has “some lighter aeronefs to finish for these two fleets” and he also has the better part of a Chinese fleet done, and a French fleet to paint.  Let the 19th Century steampunk skies be filled with flying warships!

All of these aerial pictures makes me wonder: can aeronefs drop bombs on each other and the general landscape as well?

Russian Poltava class dreadnought by John of Just Needs Varnish aerial view

It pleases me to continue with the fortresses that can fly and things with wings, so next up is a nicely painted succubus by Dave Stone of Wargames Terrain Workshop. I like those wings by the way with the veins and such.

Dave reports that his demon miniature is about 70mm or 2.75 inches in height, which puts it into the ogre-sized category. Demons come in all shapes and sizes, especially given many of them are shape shifters.

Next up is the prolific Azazel of Azazel’s Bitz Box. He finished quite a passel of miniatures for the challenge. Where to start? How about something with wings such as his Ashardalon the Red Dragon, which he painted with Contrast paints, from the Wrath of Ashardalon board game.

Ashardalon the red dragon by Azazel left front view

Makes me think my friends and I should paint the miniatures from the D&D board games we play, though we probably won’t.

We’ll end the current aerial theme (but not Azazel’s contributions to our challenge — there is much more to come!) with his crashed Aquila lander from the Warhammer 40K 4th edition starter set. I’ve seen a lot of these in games over the years and this one is very nicely done.

Azazel's Aquila lander 01

Azazel writes in his blog that I “was not quite so enthusiastic” about the idea of the Eagle lander being a miniature of magnitude when we talked about it a couple of months ago. I have mostly forgotten the conversation but apparently I was willing to be mollified so long as “there was some kind of giant monster smashing through it.”

Yes, that sounds like me all right. I’m not sure why I was previously unenthusiastic since the lander fits the challenge as much as, say, a Rhino APC would. Probably part of a now forgotten master plan to get Azazel to showcase some of his monsters, which I favor. It worked because he included a “Kaiju shot with not one, but TWO giant monsters …” as you see in the picture above. We even get smaller bonus monsters too and kind of a Nurgle meets Tyranids meets Lovecraft thing. It is great when a plan comes together!

The two larger monsters in question from the “Kaiju shot” are Mudgullet the Froghemoth and Goremaw the Devourer, both from the Reaper Bones line. I’m leave it to the reader’s perspicacity to determine which is which!

Going back to the Wrath of Ashardalon board game for a moment, I quite like Azazel’s Rage Drake. I think this one would be a whole lot more intimidating when it is plunked down on the board than the unpainted ones I’ve seen when I’ve played the game myself with friends. I particularly like the light stripes on the neck.

He’s also painted an Otyugh, also from Wrath of Ashardalon, which jumped (or perhaps burrowed is way past) the queue “because ‘need it for the game.'” I have a soft spot for this monster because of a rather strange dungeon I ran back in the early ’80’s, which heavily featured these creatures. I won’t say any more about it here because I don’t want to digress.**

These four (air, water, earth, and fire) elementals are from the Temple of Elemental Evil D&D boardgame. Yep, they are bigger than a standard ogre!

We’ll cast Plane Shift and leave the world of Dungeons & Dragons for Zombicide, where Azazel’s Abominations can be found. They are certainly both colorful and corrupt, which is just how we like our zombies.

He also painted an Orc Abomination too. This one comes from “Black Plague’s standalone expansion, Green Horde.”

Azazel has been doing a lot of experiments with Contrast Paint lately and has been mostly “emphasizing how things have gone well.” These Trun Hunters from the Shadows of Brimstone board game, are according to Azazel, are “an example of when Contrast Paints combine with bad models to create … something not good.”

I won’t comment except to say while they probably won’t win the 2021 Golden Demon, they are certainly table top quality and fine for board games, where (at least with my crowd) the figures are usually unpainted. So this green-skinned trio has us beat, board game-wise at least.

We’ll end Azazel’s challenge contribution on a sort of virenslithic happy note with the mighty Mossbeard the Treeman. We’ve saved the largest for last here: Azazel reports that this is “the largest model I’ve painted to date.” I like all of the grass, moss and such; it really adds a lot to the model. Many of the people, who commented on his post, think so too and they aren’t wrong! Here is a little slideshow of this most magnitudinous of ents.

Next up is Steve of Dreadaxe Games and his Word Bearers Rhino. Our friendly Chaos Lord’s goal with this new addition to his painted forced was to “keep it in line with everything that I liked about the Chaos Vehicles: the spiked top sections, the grumpy gunner, the variety of gruesome trophies, etc.” As you can see Steve’s APC has lots of suitable, heretical bling. I wonder if that doom caster he’s got will still make it harder for people to shoot overwatch in the coming 9th edition 40K rules? I hope so!

Mcmattila of mcmattilaminis painted Mollog, of Mollog’s Mob from Warhammer Underworlds. Colorful and as usual, his painting is very good. I think that his miniature pictures could be used as art on some of the miniature boxes or in the army books. They are that polished. I particularly like the big, squishy toad and the dorsal mushrooms are none too shabby either.

Argentbadger, of The Bovine Overlord, completed a Chaos Knight War Dog in “deep red in honour of the Blood God.” With the giant melta arm and another melta on its back, as well as a nasty-looking chainsword arm, I don’t think I’d want to be sitting in a tank watching this thing as it scuttles my way. I thought it was a nice touch that Argentbadger used the head from a Juggernaut of Khorne kit, which fits these things nicely, both in look and in the canine spirit of the name. Besides melta, this dog’s got some teeth!

We’ll close the painting challenge with a visit to the world of Blood Bowl where Faust of Double Down Dice has added another ogre to his burgeoning roster of malcontents, murderers, and gridiron mavens of mayhem.

His human team can field one of these guys as a special player. If they are anything like trolls, which Faust assures us they are, then they are easily confused and will often just stand around on the pitch and do nothing, but as he goes on to reassure us, “the strength of an Ogre is nothing to scoff at, when they decide to work with you.”

Thank you very much to everyone who participated in this June-July challenge. It took me awhile to keep this round-up posted and all I can say on that front is I spent the last couple of months in the dark prince’s court within the nacreous cloud spire atop his Eidolon of Indolence. It was time well spent and now I am feeling the whole blog and painting thing again. I hope everyone is doing well and as always, “Paint On!”

* John’s ships remind me of a show I used to love when I was teenager called Star Blazers, complete with flying battleship.

** Back around 1980 or ’81 I wrote up an adventure for my friends where the boss was a Xorn with magical spells and very high intelligence. Its upper level minions were a bunch of Otyugh. The secret entrance to the Xorn’s inner sanctum, which was the interior of a huge geode, was beneath one of their enormous crap piles (mostly the accumulation of waste from slaves) through which the Otyughs had burrowed an elaborate network of rooms and passageways. One of the players coined the title, “Dungeon of Dung,” which stuck, though I originally named it the Fane of Feces. Perhaps if one of these days I decide to run some D&D, I’ll dig out this old chestnut and see how it stands up to the march of decades and my older (but hopefully) wiser eyes. That was pretty long-winded for a “I won’t comment” comment.

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

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.

WIP Dwarves Painting Challenge Update

I’ve made some progress on the four dwarves I’m working on for my first go at a painting challenge, that I’m calling March Might & Magic.*  If you are interested in joining in, check out the challenge here.  There is still plenty of time because the last day of the challenge isn’t until April 3rd, 2020.

Progress on my four WIP dwarves as of March 5, 2020

I worked on painting a little last night and made a bit more progress than what I’m showing in the picture above, which I took on Thursday.  I’m planning on finishing the two axe and shield guys and then the two in the background.

I also noticed that I still have a friend’s pig demon-looking thing kicking around.  I’ve been holding onto the miniature so long it has reached that unhallowed stage on my shelf where it has sort of blended in.  So I thought maybe it was time I worked on the thing and got it back to him.  I wonder if he even remembers I still have it?

Either way, best that I put the pig demon into my paint queue, though not the painting challenge.  I did a base coat of Khorne Red and then Mephiston Red over that on the skin.  Last night I based the hair with Ceramite White, which is not shown in the picture below that I took on March 5th.

Pig Demon laughs at painting challenges.

I’m going to paint the hair to look like flames, using some of the guidelines in the February 28, 2015 issue of White Dwarf entitled “Khorne’s Wrath.”  For the cloak and loincloth, I was thinking of doing them in Crisp White, following the video by Duncan Rhodes.  I was going to do the cloak and cloth in different colors, but I decided that maybe I’d save myself some trouble.

I include poxwalker #18 for scale.  I was thinking of adding it to the painting challenge, but I think I’m going to wait until the dwarves are nearly done before I do so.  It is, after all, inconceivable that I fail my own challenge so I’m going to curb my natural hubris and show some restraint.**

“I don’t think it means what you think it means.”

I hope to have at least one, maybe both, of the axe & shield dwarves done by next Friday and I’ll post them then.  I’ve also been experimenting with basing in something other than desert sand, using some of Vallejo’s texture products.  I’ll post more on that next week.

Unicursal hexagram 100 wide

* When I came up with the name, I was thinking of the first volume, “Men and Magic” of the original Dungeons & Dragons set, though there is an old timey video game series of the same name, which I had forgotten about even though I played the first one.  Thank you to Faust for reminding me!

** This time Pride wins out over Vanity.