Parcheesi 40K: Khorne vs. Ultramarines

My husband and I like to play Parcheesi off and on as a quick, low commitment way to get a little gaming in when the mood strikes us. It often works out for some reason that my dice tend to fall so I have late game zergs where I roll a lot of doubles and hence get to cover a lot of ground quickly with my pawns. I often play the green pieces and when this strangely ubiquitous phenomenon begins I have taken to “Declaring the Waaagh!”*

This gave me a spur of the moment idea: why not use our long-neglected Warhammer 40K pieces to play Parcheesi?**

I decided upon a tetrad of bloodletters, including one with a horn and of course their Banner of Hate probably constructed from the flayed skins of their victims. My husband used four of his Ultramarines he painted some years ago. The fact he had a missile launcher made me a little nervous but at least it wasn’t a flamer or that scary Assault on Black Reach captain!

The Ultramarines took an early game lead by getting two marines into the home square as you can see below.*** However, the forces of Khorne had some rather Tzeentch-like tricks up their sleeves where they posted themselves on the blue safety squares in an attempt to take the skull of the unfortunate banner sergeant.****

The Ultramarine banner sergeant turned out to be tricky as space marines in general that chapter in particular are known for. Thanks to some well executed maneuvers and dice tricks he was able to avoid my blue square snares and post himself with his colleague in a protective blockade. Unfortunately for the bad guys, my tricky Tzeentchian-Khornate bloodletters had a very strong position with a blue square blockade of their own with one of their fellows (top left corner) waiting to pounce.*****

I’m sad to report that despite everything, my daemonic blockading plans fell flat and both marines were able to escape past my red home row unmolested. (Note the position of both marines in the picture below relative to the picture above.) My daemons have to move up into the home row toward the home square so anything past that is safe territory for the Imperium.

It is a tight game. Two marines are already in the home square but the balance of my forces are a bit closer to home. Still, I’d say at this point it is a small advantage to my husband’s squad.

In the end I had my usual late game zerg but then so did the Ultramarines. Happily, the Khornate good guys won but it was a close thing: the last marine was in his home row only two squares from victory. So the game was almost as near a thing to a draw as you can get in Parcheesi.

The marines failed to close the warp portal before a massive incursion of Khorne goodness vomits into real space. The imperial fall back plan of Exterminatus fails when their bombs are possessed by daemons. Their primitive machine spirits become existentially enraged so the bombs immediately launch themselves toward the nearest highly populated worlds. Perhaps in a future game of Parcheesi 40K we’ll see if the space marine fleet can catch both the daemons and their own rogue bombs in time!


* I wish I could claim credit for thinking this up but it was my husband who first mentioned it, harkening back to our old 5th edition 40K games of marines versus space orks that always seemed to end somehow in my guys moving absurdly quickly all at once, overrunning his forces in a painful but mercifully short episode of buckets of dice being rolled and sanguine massacre. Actually it didn’t happen all the time: I think my husband forgets all of the times where his guys shot half my army off the table by turn two but hey I’m probably biased.

** The older 25mm bases worked well for doing this. I don’t think the newer 32mm bases would have done the trick because they are too big for the squares.

*** Sweet, sweet victory is achieved by getting all four of your pieces into the home square before your opponent does. Given the You Go/I Go nature of the game, a tie is not possible though I do remember a game I played as a child where my opponent got mad and flipped the board and tried to declare it a draw. She wasn’t the nicest of losers and sometimes used the same pernicious tactic in Candyland.

**** The blue squares are “safety zones” where pieces are safe from capture by the enemy. On the white squares, you may capture an enemy piece by rolling a number that allows you to end your move on the opponent’s square, sending him back to his home circle. Skulls for the Parcheesi Throne!

***** A blockade is formed by having two of your own pieces on a square. Neither your own nor the enemy’s pawns can move through a blockade. A blue square blockade is stronger still, because when you move a piece, breaking the blockade, your other piece is not vulnerable to attack. It is a common tactic to try and capture an opponent’s pawn by denying it the ability to move by means of a blockade, and use another piece behind to threaten a capture.

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.

Completed Poxwalker Mob!

Let the plague bells ring!  Friends, I have at long last closed the books on my mob of twenty Dark Imperium poxwalkers with this round-up.  I started putting the wretches together in June 2017, when the boxed set came out, and now we come full circle to June 2020.  What a long, disease-ridden road (punctuated with both apathy and frenzied activity) it has been!

Twenty Poxwalkers June 10 2020

For the Grandfather!

My Dark Imperium poxwalker posts for this mob:

Although it took me three years to get the full mob painted, my poxwalkers have certainly distinguished themselves in battle, along with their running mates the plaguebearers, especially during that fruitful time of mid-2017 through 2018, when I was playing games of Warhammer 40K almost every week.

I’ve built up a pretty decent-sized force of minor Nurgle troops thus far.  Twenty plaguebearers with a couple of minor leader types, the poxwalkers (of course) and let’s not forget the semi-official mascots including Toad, Rusty the rust monster, and the bit box skeletal snake thingie.

So what’s next Nurgle-wise?  I have no shortage of projects to choose from, but the one that shines turgidly forth burbling out to be kicked back to the top of the painting heap is my long suffering daemon engine, Becky the Bloat Drone.  She has been abandoned not once but twice and maybe even thrice, though I’ve lost track so I am not sure about that.  We’ll have to see what we can do to remedy the situation once Frank’s Pig Demon is done.

Becky the Bloater WIP Ink Sketch 400 wide

Being a daemon engine ain’t easy.

Until next time, qapla’ and …

Paint On keeping fighting guy

 

Commissar Poxwalker #19 Completed

I finished Commissar Poxwalker #19 here before its counterpart, Khorne Flower Poxwalker #20, who is also a commissar, as chance would have it.*  The picture-taking got a little out of order but I’ve gotten that all sorted and can now present this (not quite) latest addition to my foetid forces.

Poxwalker #19 Front view June 9 2020
There wasn’t a lot of blister and pox highlighting to be done on this one, because of the greatcoat, so I thought I’d go for a fairly mild case of yellow mold.**  This time I was careful to spread the texture paste without pulling away the paste too much with my sculpting tool.  I wasn’t going for a bunch of little spiky bits like I got on my poxbringer’s arm.

I forget how I painted the mold this time, but it looks like I used some bright green, followed by bright yellow and then a glaze from maybe Waywatcher Green or perhaps Biel-Tan Green with a little satin finish.  I’ll have to try this again and write down what I did next time so I don’t forget in the time between completing the model and typing up a blog post.

Poxwalker #19 rear view June 9 2020

I did the dorsal tentacles and left arm with Flesh Tearers Red Contrast and Nuln Oil Gloss, then brightened them up with some thinned down Blood Angels Red Contrast followed by Evil Sun Scarlet.  I used Basilicanum Grey Contrast to emphasize the separations between the tentacles.  I find using contrast paint in this way easier than using washes because the former don’t flow all over the place so one can be a bit more targeted.

I’ve been having fun lately doing a little post-production with my pictures.***  So we’ll wrap up Commissar Poxwalker’s moment in the Verdigris Sun with a few of these sort of offerings.  Don’t mind Bits Box Skeletal Snake Thingie; I think it has spent so many years entombed in the sepulchral darkness of the game store bits box that it grabs any chance for attention it can get.  Truly, it is incredibly needy for a mindless undead.****
  

So that is it for this penultimate poxwalker post.  I’ll do one more of the whole crew and put paid to this playful party of putrescent perambulators.  I’m continuing to work on Frank’s Pig Demon, which I hope to have done before the end of June, since that is my planned offering for the Miniatures of Magnitude Painting Challenge.

Take care all.

Red Biohard clip art with circle around it 100 wide

* Or possesses the greatcoat of a commissar, which can be much the same thing at times.

** I had a bit of a chuckle reading what my poxbringer had to say about yellow mold almost two years ago now.  I had completely forgotten about our little chat.

*** If this continues I might have to break down and learn how to use Photoshop versus just fiddling around with the little paint program I’m currently fumbling around with.

**** For instance, Skeletal Snake is constantly reminding me that it “never got its own blog post and just got stuck in with some badly-painted poxwalkers like 30 years ago.”  Even though I’ve promised to use it in a D&D game someday and have given this pestiferous haunt a place as a token/marker/mascot in my forces, I still have to put up with its whining.  This is surely not what I expected when I began perusing forbidden tomes and conducting vile painting experiments.  Oh well, now it’s got me whining too.  Such is the hard life of a Necromantrix!

Birthday fit for a King!

I had another birthday not too long ago and it was a fun day.*  My family made me a sort of rectangular cake.  I was pretty impressed that it was five layers and it is always lovely to have a birthday cake that is handmade instead of something from the grocery store or bakery.  The candy bits were good too.  I don’t eat much in the way of candy these days so it was a welcome treat and I spent the evening and most of the next day dancing on the frosting edge of gluttony-induced sickness, like the Masque.

Birthday Cake June 2020

It was tasty too:  yellow cake with white frosting is my favorite.

Received some fun presents too.  On the hobby front, my husband, after classified consultations, duplicitous deceits, nebulous negotiations, and perplexing pacts, within and without the Dark Mechanicum, presented me with a Chaos Knight and a pair of baby knights!**

We spent a little time before the party doing a Social Distanced Birthday Hike.  We saw this fine, serpentine personage when we were crossing some railroad tracks.  It isn’t every day that you meet a talking snake so I dug out my cell phone, snapped this picture and went on our way as directed.***

I had never seen this species of snake before, but it didn’t look like the coral snakes I had encountered in the ’80’s when I lived in Texas.  (We’re living in the hills outside of Santa Cruz, California now.)  Once I got home and investigated the matter a little more, I learned that my loquacious friend was a California Mountain Kingsnake.****

California mountain kingsnake June 2020 talking

Not very friendly, really.

For next time I hope to post a work-in-progress picture of Frank’s Pig Demon that I’m trying to complete for the Miniatures of Magnitude painting challenge, which ends on July 3rd.  So far the challenge seems to be shaping up nicely with completed offerings by Azazel’s Bitz Box, Convert or Die, Dreadaxe Games, Just Needs Varnish!, and Scent of a Gamer.

Until next time, I hope everyone is well.

Balloon Clip Art 125 wide

* It is amazing how fast the years go by now.  I suspect it all is some sort of unasked for boon/blessing from Tzeentch or something in return for painting a bunch of lesser horrors back in 2017.

** I suspect that that my husband might have made plans within plans within some sort of overall master plan birthday present-wise.  I have been making vague, periodic noises, which probably won’t ever amount to anything, about “nurgling up” an imperial knight that has been sitting in his office closet for like five years now.  He has always grumbled about this being a grave insult to both (his beloved) Ultramarines and Questor Imperialis House Wycoff.  So maybe he’s trying to redirect and outsmart me?  If so, color me outsmarted and happily so!

*** I don’t like to stress out wild animals by lingering around them or picking them up, so we moved on fairly quickly.

**** I received a post about “Degenerate Serpentfolk” right in the middle of typing up this little spiel about my friend the kingsnake.  I wonder if this is some sort of cryptic message from the Ruinous Powers that I need to include some more snakes (other than just this lone representative) in my coterie?

 

 

Poxwalker #20 (with a Khorne Flower?)

So I’m seeing the light at the end of purulent tunnel, as it were, poxwalker-wise with this latest offering.  I had plans to go with a similar orange type flesh that I was so pleased with on the last one, but as seems to so often be the case with my diseased quasi-zombies when I do have a plan it seldom comes off as planned.

Poxwalker #20 Front dark view

I had a little extra green stuff on hand (I’m guessing) the year or two ago when I glopped a candle onto its horn.  For once I wasn’t trying to hide a broken off tip, which seems to have become pretty common for me over the last few years.*  Perhaps I need to ease off a point or two on the Slaanesh-based energy drinks that cause my hands to shake and roil (temporarily) with sneering finger tentacles?

The candle itself was easy enough to paint.  White primer, sepia wash, off-white layer and then a bit of brighter white toward the top near the flame.  For the flame, I used the recipe from White Dwarf #57 (February 2015) entitled “Khorne’s Wrath.”  Overall I’m pleased but I do think I’ll be more careful with the Nuln Oil next time.  I’m happy with how the flame looks from the back but less so from the front.  I made several unsuccessful attempts to make myself happier with the front of the flame before finally giving up before I made things worse since I didn’t want to  have to go over the flame with Ceramite White and do it over again.

Poxwalker #20 Rear dark view

Using a recipe from a publication dedicated to Khorne is probably where I went wrong, and I should have been on my guard when I went for orange flesh and ended up with red.**  Well, I had put some green stuff on my poxwalker’s shoulder with the idea of it looking like wax that had dripped down from its horn candle.  Seemed like a good idea at the time but I wasn’t satisfied with how I executed it.  So I thought of trying something a little different and busted out my jar of Golden’s fiber paste.

I started out with the idea of creating some textured flesh or perhaps a slightly sticky or spiky area like the yellow mold on my poxbringer.  Imagine my surprise when I slapped on some of this paste, drew it out a bit with my sculpting tool and ended up with what you see below!

I let my creation dry overnight, closed my eyes and wondered on the festering mysteries of the Grandfather’s Garden.  The next day, when I was brushing some primer on this new doodad, a voice screeched in my mind.  It resonated somewhere between a broken concertina and claws rasping over a blackboard.  How charming.

“‘Nurgle?  Nurgle!  Vile mortal, you have decapitated a bud from the sanguine Hothouse of Khorne!  You are without a doubt both stupid, ugly, and a stinking fleshbag whose crumbling, rotted skull is not fit for Khorne’s cesspit much less His Throne!”

“Isn’t that three things, young demon?”

“SSSSSCCCCCREEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!”

“SCREEE!”

“Get not thine nether regions in a complete twist young firebrand, for as the Burning Books sayeth, ‘He cares not from whence the sap flows so long that it flows!'” I countered.  It all went downhill from there as it so often does when treating with the Ruinous Powers.  C’est la vie.

Poxwalker #20 Vignette Portrait

Hope I got Commissar Poxwalker’s best side.

Anyway, some sharp-eyed reader might be wondering how in Tzeentch’s name we went from poxwalker #18 to poxwalker #20.  Well, I did get #19 done, but I’m not happy with the pictures I took so I’m going to take more over the weekend and will post them soon.  It’ll be happy times indeed when I do for then and only then will I be able to close the books on my Dark Imperium poxwalkers, which I started so long ago now.***

khorne20bullet20point20graphic2002_zpsh7cfhuus

* There was the broken tip that I turned into a tentacle spike on poxwalker #18.  Then there was the plaguebearer with a banner, and of course who can forget Maggotmouth’s nameless friend (from early 2018) whose broken horn I ended up sharpening like a pencil?

** On the other hand, I’m sure this guy and these people approve!

*** June 2017.

April 2020 “Paint the Crap You Already Own!” Painting Challenge Round-up (Part 2 of 2)

Welcome to second half of the April 2020 Paint the Crap You Already Own! painting challenge.  Part One of this painting challenge round-up can be found here.

John at Just Needs Varnish French HQ looking at map small filler art ink sketch effect

Yes, here!

First up is John’s Franco-Prussian War marching Prussian infantry, currently on parade from Just Needs Varnish!.  John mentioned that this “marching unit is a bit different from the others I’ve painted.”  He makes a good point.  Now that I think about it, I haven’t seen many marching units like this one either on the tabletop.  Plenty of units at attention or in action, of course, but not marching.

These figures are from “the Emhar plastic 1:72 FPW Prussian Infantry set,” and the officer is “a metal figure from Hagen Miniatures.”

John at Just Needs Varnish Marching Prussian Infantry

Looking good but that private in the back and fourth in from the left needs to get back in step!

John mentions that the “Prussian coats are described as black-grey,” and thus are lighter than the real thing.  You can read more about what he has to say on the issue here if you’d like.  Whatever the case, I think they would look good.

He also painted some Prussian field artillery to go along with his infantry.  All of the figures in the gun battery below “are from the B&B Miniatures 20mm FPW range.”  In games, when the gun is being moved, John places it on the lengthened base “behind its limber.”

John at Just Needs Varnish Prussian field gun with crew and limber

I like how that one wheel is sunk a little into the mud.  (Vallejo Flat Brown for the horses.)

Below we have a French Mitrailleuse team.  John reports that “In English, Mitrailleuse is the name given to the first machine gun in French service in the Franco-Prussian War, the Reffy Mitrailleuse.”  John also has a couple of interesting videos showing how the Montigny (1863) and Reffy (1867) versions of the Mitrailleuse operated.

John at Just Needs Varnish French Mitrailleuse Team

French mitrailleuse (machine gun) team.  John says this looks more like the Montigny version.

The story behind this Headquarters base of a “French senior officer conferring with one of his aides,” gave me quite a chuckle when John wrote the officer was “wondering why he hasn’t got a map of France.”  Apparently the French expected that they would be invading Germany and consequently didn’t have maps of France.  Turns out the Prussians had “tourist maps of France” aplenty.  Either way doesn’t exactly sound ideal!

John at Just Needs Varnish French HQ looking at map

Face it, monsieur, we’re lost … again!

Dave of Faith&Steel is working on increasing his Chinese Bolt Action forces and toward that worthy end completed a GAZ jeep.  The model is produced by Warlord Games.  I had never heard of these vehicles before so I poked around and learned there were several versions.  (At first glance I thought it was one of these but the nose and fenders were wrong.)  I asked Dave which version he thought his miniature was and he believed it was a GAZ-67B.

Faith and Steel GAZ Jeep front view

Snazzy sunglasses!

According to Wikipedia, “GAZ” stands for Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod, which translates to Gorky Automobile Plant.  The GAZ-64 was developed “during the 1940 war between the Soviet Union and Finland,” and used “commerically available parts already available in the Soviet Union.”

Improvements made to the GAZ-67 over the earlier GAZ-64 included, among other things, a stronger frame, wider wheel base and greater fuel capacity.  This newer version was first produced in September 1943 with the B-series entering production as a replacement in January 1944.

Many people paint Blood Bowl players/combatants, but this month Dave from Scent of a Gamer presents something for the teams to fight over:  four trophies!  They are good sized as trophies go and to illustrate this Dave includes a couple of players for scale.

Scent of a Gamer Blood Blowl Trophies

See pictures below for each trophy’s title.

The trophies have some fun lore associated with them.  When I asked David about it he wrote that each of these trophies is awarded for a separate, major contest with the Blood Bowl being “the richest tournament which awards players a finalist medal.”  My favorite is the Chaos Cup (obviously) because of the “special interest” the Chaos Gods take in the tournament, resulting in random mutations and the like, as well as innovations such as prize money being determined randomly.  (“Yes, Gruncher, we only took second place but we got ALL the money!”)

David “decided to stick as close as possible to the original art in the 1993 Blood Bowl box.”  The pictures below show each trophy next to their original art.  I think he did a good job with that and a nice job painting them as well.

Maenoferren22 of Bogenwald worked on cavalry again this month but this time instead of Lustria he rides into Japan, possibly during (by the looks of things) the Sengoku period, which was a long period of civil war.

I always wondered about those flags on their backs or sashimono.  They look pretty cool in those old movies I used to watch many years ago (back when James Clavell’s novel, Shogun was popular) and I always assumed they had to do with identification and unit cohesion.  Turns out I wasn’t far wrong.

Bogenwald Samurai Cavalry

Plus they also provide aspiring tabletop shoguns scope for painting because Maenoferren22 wrote that he spent a fair amount of time painting the mon (emblems) on the sashimono and he had to 3D print them separately as well.  With posts such as I Hate Sashimono,” and Maeno’s general sashimono-based efforts here and here, it is a good thing they add a lot of color and interest to miniatures as well as fun to old timey war movies because otherwise I’d have to say there were an awful lot of trouble.  Fortunately it turns out they are worth it.

Maeno’s force certainly is colorful and there are quite a lot of them now.  They’ll present quite a spectacle and instill the requisite awe and fear in his enemy’s hearts on the battlefield.

Bogenwald Japanese Force

Argentbadger of The Bovine Overlord continues to expand his painted Warmachine collection and this month he has painted Anastasia Di Bray of the Mercenaries faction.  Argent reports that she is “basically a spy in the stories and her game rules involve ambush deployment and a highly amusing (if hard to pull off) special rule,” that seems to involve creeping up to the enemy warcaster/leader-type such that her forces can take advantage of the distraction to move into “punch them to death” range.

This seems a highly desirable thing to do and I have to say that I’d make sure Anastasia (or anyone else who could pull off a plan like that) got paid on time and was happy with her mercenary contract.  Wouldn’t want to look up one day and find out the hard way she’d gone over to the enemy!

Argent used “dark, naturalistic colours” for this miniature because it fit into the idea of Anastasia being sneaky.  He also pointed out that he liked the “fairly old” and “understated” pose versus the probable newer sculpt that would have her “balanced precariously on a rock throwing knives around like confetti.”  I agree and think that companies often overdo this, especially with rank-and-file types.  Heck, even though I don’t play Warmachine I find myself wanting this miniature because I think it would be useful for Dungeons & Dragons and other games.

Wudugast of Convert or Die! apparently has a love-hate relationship with the Adeptus Mechanicus.  Here we have two Skitarii rangers, one of which he started years ago, abandoned the project, then finished him for the challenge; the other he recently knocked out in about ninety minutes.

Convert or Die Two Skitarii Rangers

Can you tell which is which?  I think they both look great.

I said “love-hate” because Wudugast wrote that he has “a long standing love for the Adeptus Mechanicus, dating back to long before there was a range of models available for them,” but that until now he had “never painted a single model from the range,” and he found painting his first ranger an exercise in “frustration and irritation,” though he did much better sanity-wise with the second.  I’m glad because I’d very much like to see more Adeptus Mechanicus stuff from the mighty Wudugast!

What game doesn’t need more “hard-done-by civilians” to populate its burgeoning Necromunda hives?  Wudu is quite right to complain that with all of the xenos, cultists, gangs and such, no one is “here to do a day’s work.  They just seem to think that the corroded pipes, pools of toxic gunk and ominous piles of skulls just happen by magic.”  Complain no longer for here are some “Mechanics” produced by C-P Models ready to put in a hard day’s work.

Well, they used to be mechanics until Convert or Die’s chief, um, “converter” got his multifarious and (perhaps) charmingly misshaped paws on them.  He also used “heads from Anvil Industry and various Games Workshop gubbins.”  The spherical drone was “kitbashed entirely out of odds and ends” and almost ended back in the bits box junk pile until Wudugast decided his new workmen might make use of it.

Convert or Die Necromunda civilians three and drone

I wonder if that drone perhaps needs a candle?

Wudugast also wanted to experiment with “a new and easier way to paint orange.”  For these chaps he base coated with Jokaero Orange, followed by Gryph-Hound Orange Contrast, ending with a highlight of Jokaero Orange and then Fire Dragon Bright.  Looks pretty good to me.  Might have to try this recipe out.  Certainly sounds easy enough.

On a side note, I mentioned to Wudu that I liked the candles and he told me they came from the Cawdor kit.  Fancy!

Here are the original C-P Models mechanics in case you were wondering:

Convert or Die Mechanics models C-P Models

The think the guy on the left is pissed about his errant pile of skulls.

Head swaps, candles, sinister drone assistants and the like might not be ideal working conditions/fringe benefits, but at least they are better off than these four unfortunates below.  If you would like to see Wudugast’s completed forty poxwalker-strong mob (I manually counted them in the picture), with all of his various conversions, sometimes subtle but always delightful, you can find them here.

We continue our tour of Necromunda with Alex’s (of Leadballoony) D’onne ‘Mad D’onna’ Ultanti miniature he “originally intended to complete” a couple of years ago, again for his yearly Fembruary painting challenge.  Happily, Alex finally managed to gather his courage and complete the miniature for this little challenge.

Leadballoony D'onne Ultani front view

Forget the weaponry, the hair alone puts D’onne firmly into the elite category.

I suspect D’onne would be the sort of person our aforementioned mechanics would complain about, what with her tragic upbringing, her time in and out of various underhive gangs, and not having the inclination what with being on the run and all, to admire their cunning fashioned piles of skulls and working, not-leaking-too-badly plumbing. 

Given her penchant for the plasma pistol and table manners (one wonders if a fish fork is the correct utensil for taking out someone’s eye at a formal dinner … at least in polite society?) I imagine said mechanics would do well to keep their opinions firmly to themselves.  

Alex based his paint scheme for D’onne from the book, Survival Instinct, by Andy Chambers.  The cover art was done by Clint Langley.  He (Alex not Andy or Clint) talks about some of the challenges of painting the miniature, such as fishnets, and I have to agree that sounds hard.  Well done, Alex, for finally getting D’onne finished and not having to endure another year of her sending you threatening, faux Morse code-based messages from your bits box by cunningly revving her (nuclear powered?) chainsword, demanding you get her painted for Fembruary 2021.  Now you can have some other miniature threaten you instead!

Candore Et Labore Tree person bust ink sketch effect clip art

Eric of Candore Et Labore certainly was productive for the month of April, which heralded (besides finishing 26 models) the completion of Eric’s first (five months in the making) diorama.  Here we have a scene near the cliffs of Dover, very likely during the Battle of Britain.  Note that the decals on the German aircraft, painted in 1940 colors, represent the 109 flown by Luftwaffe ace, Feldwebel Heinz Bär.

Candore Et Labore Spitfire and Me 109 diorama

1/72 scale German Bf 109 E-3 and British Spitfire Mk I.a.

Some of the “many firsts” for Eric in his diorama is “modeling water using toilet paper, using an airbrush to paint a realistic model and camouflage and making smoke/fire from cotton balls.”  I think he did a great job and this dogfight alone would have been a good month’s work, in my estimation, but Eric was far from done yet.

From England we journey to a scratch-built patch of North Africa where Eric has emplaced a flak gun.  I like how this turned out, particularly the weathering on the gun shield.  The sandbags where a nice touch too, as well as the verisimilitude in locating the emplacement in what seems a tactically sound area.  The picture gives the sense that the area is a slight depression.  The ridge on the right provides good cover and concealment on that side and the Germans have placed some sand bags where they would do some good for the riflemen.  Perhaps they have a machine gun back there somewhere they could bring up if needed?

Candore Et Labore German flak gun diorama

This Flugabwehrkanone is from Tamiya’s “Siege of Tobruk” set in 1/48 scale.

Eric fired up his printer and completed some alien plants.  His idea was to paint them up fast with “wild colors,” and to that end Eric “used only craft store paints straight from the battle.”  (Note the guardsman in the bottom right picture put in for scale.)

Eric also printed out and painted a Necromunda loader and a “little critter” that reminds me of a Tarantula sentry gun with twin assault cannons.  (I think I have one with heavy bolters eternally lost somewhere in my pile of plastic.)  He also got an interesting bit of terrain done that looks like it could be some sort of turbine or field generator.

Finally, Eric painted two busts that he “had printed months ago.”  The plant person on the left is “baby Groot,” and the idea was to “put a small cactus in his head,” which is hollow like a planter, and present Baby Groot Cactus Head as a present for his wife’s birthday.  Alas, with the stores closed down he couldn’t make the cactus happen, but he did also paint up a plague doctor bust.  Nice!

Mark, of Man of Tin, inspired by a 1987 article by Stuart Asquith, decided to open up his blue box of drawers that has done good service by helping “preserve a small core of randomly painted and unpainted figures from my gaming in the 1980s throughout many house moves.”

He has taken advantage of his extra hobby time to finish a bunch of figures and units that have been sitting around for nearly 40 years.  Mark got a lot of work done and I’m sure there is much more space in his blue box to build up to another big painting project by 2060 or so!

Man of Tin Peter Laing 15mm ECW unit with white and gray flag

Peter Laing 15mm English Civil War pikemen complete at last.

In addition to the Blue Box Figures, Mark also had another box where he stored “random figures from job lots,” that he acquired in his quest for more Peter Laing figures.  Some of scrapped metal found new life as european “ImagiNations ‘Forgotten Minor States,'” such as the Volunteer Militia.  One wonders what the symbol on their flag is supposed to represent?

Man of Tin FMS unit Volunteer Militia of Thyer Brigadia

Volunteer Militia of Thyer Brigadia unit.

Some “Confederates, generic rebels or Revolutionary forces” made up from “unpainted scrap American Civil War type figures from various makers in mixed uniforms.”  Given its pedigree, it seems to me like this unit ought to get some sort of bonus in games when fielded as irregulars, militia, etc.

Man of Tin generic Confederates rebels revolutionary forces unit

“They have improvised themselves a dramatic Revolutionary flag.”

The cannon is “from the Napoleonic Risk board game served by a crew made from “broken figures.”

Man of Tin cannon and crew from the Napoleonic Risk game

Artillery support, perhaps, for our revolutionary types above?

Besides, revolutionaries, Mark also found (and patched up) pirate types a plenty in his magic Blue Box of Insurrection. I think he has enough miniatures between these guys and some of the others to put on a pretty respectable Treasure Island game.

Man of Tin 15mm Pirates with muskets and blunderbusses

Forgotten Minor States: 15mm pirates with muskets and blunderbusses.

Man of Tin 15mm Pirates with muskets and blunderbusses

More 15mm pirates (or brigands perhaps) with long pistols.

These chaps below in white shirts could fill many roles.  Guerrillas, colonists, sailors pressed into service by the pirates perhaps?

Man of Tin Guerillas or sailor looking types in white shirts with muskets or rifles

Guerillas or sailors with muskets or rifles (and a cannon!).

Mark also found a lot of 15mm “Tricorne figures with short muskets or carbines.”  He painted them to be “practical Redcoats roughing it in the forest wilds or along the cliffs and coast searching for Natives or Wreckers.”  Worthy opponents for the revolutionaries and pirates and as Mark points out could be useful for 18th Century Close Wars types of conflicts “in the forests of America.”

Mark completed a couple of dioramas, in addition to his newly refurbished 1980’s 15mm forces.  Here we have a “border watchtower in one of the forgotten minor states.”

Man of Tin Border Watchtower hex diorama

The hexes look good and a board of these would make for a very playable game.

Man of Tin Border Watchtower hex diorama view from back

This picture makes me want to play either a Command & Colors game or Muskets & Tomahawks.

Finally, Mark put together a “portable port” that was (in part) “inspired by finding a Murray King postcard of Cornish Wreckers” when he was “on a seaside trip a year or two ago.”

Man of Tin Portable Port

“Redcoats!  Smugglers!  Wreckers!”  Note the postcard in back.

The lighthouse and warehouses came from a “wooden buildings from Christmas” project.  The Martello tower has a swiveling cannon that Mark is very proud of.  He writes more about the these fortifications and how he made his here.  A spoiler:  it involves some “mini crumble puddings” containers.

Miko, of Dawn of the Lead, offers up a “mixed selection” of six miniatures he painted this month.  I think they are all very nicely painted and I like the background he used for them too.

The fellow below on the left is Black Cat Bases’s metal pirate surgeon, who provides many opportunities for the Carpenter to make a wooden limb.”  The pirate is Esmerelda II from Black Scorpion Miniatures.  Let’s hope a wooden limb isn’t in her future anytime soon!

Dawn of the Lead Barber Surgeon and Esmerelda

Like the glasses and the pirates’s hat & hair.

The monkey with the hat is another miniature from Black Scorpion.  (I think Mikko did a much better job of painting his than the one on the company website for what it is worth.)  Originally, as I pointed out in the comments to his post, I thought the miniature was a “dwarf anthro-donkey swashbuckler with an outrageously oversized hat,” but nope, it’s a monkey.

The monkey on the barrel was a “3d print from Depths of Savage Atoll.”  Speaking of barrels, Mikko did some more you can check out here.

Dawn of the Lead pair of monkeys

Another great hat.

The pirate on the left, with the raised sword, is a “custom Hero Forge piece” who Mikko named Smith of Bristol.  The inspiration for the name comes from a song by the Dubliners, and “tells the story of a daring pirate who goes around a-plunderin’ and a-robbin’ before finally being killed by a Spanish bullet.”  If you want to listen to the song, Mikko put a Youtube link in his blog post.

The last miniature is Tigl Uilenspiegel (or Till Owlglass), who “is a 16th (or possibly 15th or even earlier) century trickster figure,” and a rather odd fellow indeed.  Nice job with this one:  I really like the shading of the skin and the choice of colors for his clothes.

Dawn of the Lead Smith of Bristol and Till Owlglass

Finally, we wrap up our April painting challenge with my small contribution:  a bugbear and two poxwalkers, #18 and #19.  I liked how the flesh on “Somewhat Orange Poxwalker” came out so I might do something similar with the flesh on #20, which is the second of the great coat zombies.  (I saved the ones I wanted to paint the least until last.)

Bugbear and Poxwalker #18 and #19 for 12 Months of Hobby Painting Challenge at Painting in the Dark by Warbringer April 30 2020

Only one more poxwalker to go and I’ll have finally finished my Dark Imperium zombies.

Thank you very much again to everyone who participated in this, my second painting challenge.  If I left you out, please let me know and I’ll rectify the situation pronto.  If you haven’t seen Part One of this challenge, you can check it out here.

I apparently haven’t had enough of running painting challenges yet, so if you enjoyed this one and want more, check out the Sixty Day Miniatures of Magnitude Painting Challenge, which ends on July 3rd.

Take care, thank you for reading … and Paint On!

Fight On guy

 

April 2020 “Paint the Crap You Already Own!” Painting Challenge Round-up (Part 1 of 2)

My thoughts turned (as they often do, especially when I’m buying another box of undead or demons or something) to the fact that most of us already have a box or closet or garage full of unpainted plastic and wouldn’t it be nice to chip away at that mountain, even if only symbolically?  Thus the Paint the Crap You Already Own! painting challenge was born.

We have twenty-two artists, who contributed pictures of their work, this time around.  As you will see, this post is quite long.  So I decided to split the round-up into two parts.

If you click on the various pictures and such, many of them will take you to the painter’s website.  Click on the galleries to see larger versions of the pictures.  (As usual there are a few Easter Eggs here and there.) Thank you to everyone who participated and I will get the second part out just as soon as I can.

Who better to place in the vanguard of this month’s offerings than a squad of Mcmattilaminis’ nicely painted space marine scouts with shotguns led by the sergeant with a big fist?

I like the basing skulls, particularly the orkish one.

Mcmattilaminis reports that he did quite a bit of work modifying these guys.  He used Scion heads, which I agree look good on these guys.  I also appreciate his nod to tradition in having the sergeant eschew wearing (or even carrying) a helmet.

I thought the backpacks were a nice touch too and added a lot both from an aesthetic and gaming standpoint.  (These also came from the Scion box.)  They look good and if you use these scouts in a game they can pay the points and have camo cloaks or if you’d rather not, well, they’re rolled up and stowed.

Nice job on the camo cloaks.

Mcmattilamini also presents three orks, which seem like they’d make suitable enemies for our scouts.  I like the weather and armor chipping and the orange is pretty.  Plenty colorful too.  The freehand work on the helmets and shoulder pads and the little “evil sun” on the boy’z shoulder pad on the right are all nice touches.

I like how he uniforms aren’t identical …

… but still appear unified along the same theme.

Mikeland82 from Starship Vorenus writes that “from 28th Feb through to the end of June I would buy no new minis, and focus on the backlog.”  In other words he’s going to paint the crap he already owns.  Good man!  He made excellent progress for May as the gallery below illustrates.  (You can also see some larger pictures of these models by clicking on the gallery or still larger yet on the round-up post in his blog.)

My personal favorites are the Last of the Mohicans figures.  I remember these miniatures from a Muskets & Tomahawks game I played at a convention some years ago.  I also like how Mike based them so they are carefully advancing through the tall grass.  The brown roots evoke memories of wetlands for me because I’ve hiked and hunted many times through exactly this kind of thing back in my ancestral stomping grounds of New England.  Never met any Mohicans but I’d occasionally meet a Penobscot.

Turning toward the gigantic now, we have Lordcommandereloth’s, of Eloths Endeavours, mighty “Stick Man” with a giant sword that his wife bought him for their 5th wedding anniversary.  As he reports, this is most appropriate since this the wooden anniversary.  Good thinking indeed on both their parts!

A lot of interesting stuff going on with this highly impressive centerpiece ent.

I think LMC did a brilliant job.  I particularly like the bark and all the many details, such as the red shelf mushrooms, the sword and staff, the leaf loincloth and of course the base.  L.C. Eloth says that he did the bark by basing with a cream color, washing with dark brown and then dry brushing progressively lighter colors ending with white.  Smashing.  Did I say that I liked the bark yet because I really do?

In addition to all of this arboreal goodness, I found some interesting work-in-progress posts as well:

Next up is that rather prolific painter, Azazel of Azazel’s Bitz Box, with, well, lots of different things.  Imagine, for a moment, that you have been challenged to play a game with whatever figures you can paint in 30 days.  The game is Mishmash 40,000 where your force is more effective and you unlock key capabilities by putting together something like what we have below.

Azazel's April 2020 Wrap Up Photo

I respectfully submit, Gentle Reader, that this is a power gamer’s list for Mishmash 40K!

If you would like to know more about these miniatures, I’ve included a list of Azazel’s individual posts.  Something I find interesting about reading his site is that he enjoys working on older pieces and one gets to see some unlikely and obscure items from the past on his blog.  From more or less left to right (more or less) from the above image:

As Azazel pointed out, a few things he painted didn’t make it into the above group picture.  He painted two of the “industrial pallets” from the Battlefield Accessories Set, of which I only see one.  His Slaaneshi Champion, from 1988, who has been sitting neglected for maybe 20 years never made it into the picture and neither did a respectably large collection of cages and chains.  I don’t know if it is just me, but do you think perhaps there might be some sort of dark prince-based connection here?

Azazel's Wizkid's Cages

I definitely could come up with some interesting house rules for this terrain.

Azazel's Champion of Slaanesh

Twenty years and now a fully painted Slave to Darkness!

Azazel's two Reiksgard Foot Knights

“Reiksguard Knighrts, your Emperor is calling!”

We turn now from ancient miniatures cast during the mists of time and left sitting on desks throughout dark antiquities to a painter, who is making her debut on the pages of this blog, and exhibits her art using the non de plume of The Little Elf.  Her work can be primarily found at Double Down Dice, where she is assisted by Faust.

I like Little Elf’s choice of colors for Her Little Pony.  One wonders what the pony’s name is and what magical powers our equine friend exhibits?

Faust’s offering is another Blood Bowl entry, well, sort of.  He is planning to use the prosperous fellow below as a “dwarf coach” for his team, though I agree with Faust that Coach could also “do double duty as a merchant, noble, etc. for other games.”  Whatever the case, surrounded as he is by all of those chests of treasure, Blood Bowl seems to be treating him well.  What more could any dwarf want?

Faust said that the gold bands on the chest are lighter in the picture than in person.

Speaking of the chests, Faust reports that he used Contrast paints for the wood, “which was nice and quick.”  He used Army Painter Light Tone shade for the metal parts.  I liked how the wood turned out and the word “quick” got my attention as it always does, so I asked him in the comments what he used for paints.

Faust wrote that he used Gore-Grunta Fur Contrast for the open chest, Wyldwood Contrast for the darkest one, and Aggaros Dunes Contrast for the lightest chest.  “Washes were only used sparingly towards the base on most of the chests.”

Thanks, Faust, I’m definitely going to give this a try on my two Etsy chests!

Glad the painting challenge helped you get this guy done!  I like the cloak.

Next up we have The Introverted Hermit, who some of you might know as (among other things) the Monday Maker of Mandalas.  This month she completed some interesting (and useful speaking from someone who plays D&D with a grid map) bases and bunch of “miniatures I’ve had shoved in drawers for months.”  Sounds like an ideal project for the “Paint the Crap You Already Own” challenge!

Here we have our Stone Golem friend, who made its debut in the advertisment for the upcoming May Miniatures of Magnitude challenge.  I would say from the expression on its face, some treasure robber is going to have a bad day.

Stone Golem by The Introverted Hermit

Love the mean, glaring expression.

As for the treasure this lithic chap is guarding, I.H. helpfully supplied some treasure bases, including this one and some more in the gallery …

The Introverted Hermit treasure base

I think my 3rd level Fighter could retire with all of this loot.

… and being ever-helpful, there are also some bases of bones, entrails, and such in the gallery just in case things go awry for any plunderers of ancient wizards’ towers.

Last and not least, just in case our adventurers don’t run afoul of bandits, gnolls, bugbears, mind flayers, bat swarms, and trolls, plus make it past the stone golem, there is this Mummy Captain and/or Lord as a suitable end boss.  In addition to dual-wielding a couple of khopesh-looking blades, the good captain/lord may also have defenses and powers formed from the dreams/nightmares of the intrepid DM!

The Introverted Hermit Egyptian theme skeleton

“Join me in death, vile mortals!”

Continuing down the black road of eldritch magicks, undeath, darkness and perhaps even “vile mortals,” we have another Reaper offering from Dave at The Imperfect Modeller —  the aptly named Marise Greyshroud (and friends).

The Imperfect Modeller Marise Greyshroud front

One wonders what the writing on the sword says.

I must say that Dave has been doing a good job of marketing for Reaper between their fun miniatures and his great painting skills.  Last month his wizard caused me (or perhaps ensorcelled me, who knows?) to go over the their website, make an account, and put a bunch of their miniatures onto my nascent wish list.

Besides being nicely painted, Queen Greyshroud (or perhaps Greenshroud?) would certainly make a meet sovereign for some wraiths I started assembling.  Yet more grist for the mill of my Reaper wish list?

Ghostly Ink Sketch from The Imperfect Modeller's Marise Greyshroud 125 wide

I think it is best, before I hand the good folks at Reaper all my credit cards, to perhaps plane shift over to the more solid ground of Napoleon and the 19th Century, courtesy of Marvin at Suburban Militarism.  For April, he undertook the fairly ambitious project of completing these 28 figures representative of Napoleon’s Old Guard.

Twenty-eight Old Guard in 1/72 scale by Strelets.

Marvin says that he liked how the miniatures had interesting “facial features which seem to give each pose character.”  He goes on to opine:  “Perhaps my favourite is this fella below who seems to be casting a quizzical glance askew.”  (He is speaking of the soldier in the largest image on the right in the gallery below.)  I wonder if the grizzled veteran can’t help but think of all that has happened over his years of service and wonder how it all could have come to this?

The “this” I’m referring to is of course Napoleon’s farewell address before he leaves for his exile to the Isle of Elba in 1814.  Marvin has put down some sand and arrayed his Old Guard into a hollow square in front of his 18th Century country house that has also seen duty as an ersatz palace.

“Soldiers of my Old Guard, after 20 years I have come to say goodbye!”

Here we have Napoleon Bonaparte.  The figure below also comes with the Strelets kit, which I think is a nice touch.  Marvin, as a painting guide, “settled on some portraits of him wearing a grey overcoat and the uniform of a colonel of the Chasseurs a Cheval,” and including “a silver medal with a red ribbon” he often wore.

L’Empereur Himself!

All quite well done, I’d say, but Marvin wasn’t done yet.  No, not by a long shot.  He decided to make a Youtube video, “Napoleon leaves for Elba”.  This link will take you directly to the video, where you can leave Marvin a like if you wish.

You can also access the video from his page or see a non-video pictorial transcript of the farewell.  Marvin was kind enough to allow me to post the video here as well.

We say farewell (or bon voyage perhaps?) now to Napoleon and hoof it west, hop a boat, hoof it west some more and finally hop into our moves-temporally-while-staying-in-the-same-place time machine from France to the Aztec Empire.

Mark Morin recently purchased a bunch of miniatures that were from the ’70s to the ’90’s, including a bunch of Badger Games Aztecs.  He originally didn’t have a “fully developed concept” for them, but then he “volunteered to write a supplement covering the Spanish Conquest of the Americas in the 16th Century,” and thus he had a reason to paint up his miniatures.  Let’s begin things with Mark’s novice warriors.

Mark Morin Group shot of 12 novices

I’m sure what the novices lack in experience they more than make up for their enthusiasm.

Mark reports that “a major aspect of warfare of this period was the overriding need to take captives.”  A novice could advance to veteran status by taking suitable prisoners.  (You can read more about what he has to say on the subject here.)

Next up are the veteran eagle warriors.  These guys and the novices represent the beginning of what Mark hopes will someday be an impressive force of 150 painted models.  I like how colorful these Aztecs are, so I agree that many warriors would look very nice on the tabletop.

Mark Morin Eagle Warriors advancing close up

Veterans on the run brandishing their tepoztopilli (spears).

I fondly remember the days of lead miniatures so it comes as no surprise to me that Mark wrote that the spears were “spaghetti-like” and “vulnerable to bending.”  I liked his solution, which was to put a thin layer of Apoxie Sculpt on the weapons, which made them less bendy.  That is a great idea that I’m going to remember.  Mark details the process he used here if you are interested.  I’m looking forward to seeing what the future brings for his 150 warrior horde. 

Tarmor of Dragons of Lancasm, who is “married with four chickens,” completed five Reaper miniatures this month.  He hasn’t been painting as much because he’s getting ready to play Shadowrun, but five is “more painting than I’ve achieved any other month this year!” so it sounds good to me.  Heck, I would count five as a darned good month in my household so well done, Tarmor!

Dragons of Lancasm front view

I like Mal’s glowing, green eyes.

The miniatures represent, from left to right, “Reaper 03893 “Mal” Catfolk Warrior, SW76 Mon Calamari, SW26 Bossk (trandoshan bounty hunter), SW77 Engineer, & SW27 Weequay.”

Dragons of Lancasm back view

Looks like the Star Wars contingent isn’t getting along very well at the moment!

He plans on using the Reaper Catfolk Warrior as “one of the player characters” in his D20 Gamma World game.  The other Star Wars figures were produced by West End Games/Grenadier as part of boxed sets in 1988-89, and he purchased them back then.

Glad to see you were able to get some of those vintage figures you’ve had sitting around painted up!

Dragons of Lancasm Catfolk Warrior Reaper 03893 ink sketch 150 wide

Obliterators are used to endings (or ending peoples’ lives, rather!) so I think a pair of these guys are a good place to close out part one of our round-up.  The Word Bearers are strong over at Dreadaxe Games as is evidenced by first a helbrute and now this fanatically gruesome (or gruesomely fanatical?) pair offered up for our spiritual edification and enslavement. 

Dreadaxe achieved his obliterators’ “mad pink” flesh by base coating with Rakarth Flesh, which he washed with Carroburg Crimson.  He “added Cruchii Violet to the recesses and some of the more bulbous areas of the skin for a bruised, infected look.”

On that happy note so ends Part One of the April 2020 “Paint the Crap You Already Own!” challenge.   Part Two will be about as long as this offering and I will publish it as soon as I can.  I hope you have enjoyed our little journey through space, time, and the imagination.  So we won’t say goodbye quite yet to our painting challenge but instead au revoir!

Napoleon doffing his hat stylized ink sketch 200 tall from picture by Suburban Militarism

Somewhat Orange Poxwalker #18 Finished

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

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

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

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

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

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

Death Guard Symbol 125 wide

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

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

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

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

Biohard clip art with circle around it 100 wide

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

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

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

March 2020 Might & Magic Painting Challenge Round-up!

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

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

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

Cat Familiar Ink Version 100 wide

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

Love that jaw bone axe!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I didn’t think so.

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

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

One wonders where that Allosaurus originally came from….

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

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

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

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

Azazel Goblin Chief and Berserker March 2020

This could be a real donnybrook!

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

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

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