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.

March 2020 Might & Magic Painting Challenge

I thought it might be fun to do my own painting challenge, so in the spirit of being able to paint pretty much whatever the heck you want, I offer the March Might & Magic Painting Challenge.*

Rules of the Challenge

  • Post a beginning picture of what you intend to paint for the challenge.  It can be at any stage of work-in-progress, from still in the box to partially painted.  It is up to you.  If you don’t have a blog, you can send me a picture at the email listed on my About page or leave a comment on this page and we’ll figure it out.
  • I will do at least one mid-challenge progress report, which you can take part in or not as you see fit.  I’ll keep an eye on everyone’s sites, who I know is participating.  If I miss your picture you can drop me a comment or put in a ping-back to my blog so I’ll see your update.
  • I’m going to close the challenge on April 3, 2020 at midnight (your local time).  Then I will do a final round-up post.
  • You can join in at any time and add more stuff, if you want, as the month goes along.
  • Models from any company, range, time period, scale, etc. are welcome.
  • Any questions or anything I might have forgotten?  Let me know in the comments.

Best not to let rodent infestations get to this point!

Magic seems kind of obvious:  anything … magical.  Might can encompass almost everything else.  Great heroes and villains are mighty, sure, but so are ordinary individuals of a larger band, mob, or unit too.  Tanks of course, but why not the mighty factory (or remains thereof) that produces such machines?  As for plane, train, and automotive enthusiasts, I’d say your models fit the challenge too.

Primaris snipers by Joe Lai.  Love those bases.  Check out Joe’s stuff on Instagram.

Some random person in a jump suit with a wrench and toolbox would qualify too when you think about the empire/rebel faction/whatever they are a part of.  Even abstract principles like Friendship or Anger could apply since the miniature in question is a single representation of that powerful force.  Anyway, you get the idea:  paint what you want for the challenge and I’m sure it’ll be fine.  (If not, see the footnote below.)

From The Battle of Borodino, 1812, during French invasion of Russia

As for me, I plan on completing my four WIP dwarves.  I will likely add more models as these guys start to look prettier, but for now I think I had better at least get to the highlighting and dry brushing stage before I start looking too closely at anything else.

I’m probably going to include the owl and complete my familiars too.

I am looking forward to seeing what other people come up with, and hope, dear reader, you too will participate in my first painting challenge.


* As John, 1st Baron Varnish, rightly said over here, the “Might” might stand for “Might Get Painted This Month.”  So there is another way to shoehorn models into the “Might” theme if nothing else works! 🙂

And lastly, I had to sneak in a touch of Nurgle: Wudugast’s lovely, little poxwalker, complete with bloated arm, certainly scratches that itch so to speak.  I agree with Faust, who said in the comments that it seems like we’ve stumbled upon this poxwalker in the midst of its transformation!

A friendly poxwalker by Wudugast of Convert or Die!