I am off work this week, and my wife is away, so I’ve had plenty of time available to get in touch with my inner artist and geek, finishing off some long-standing projects and starting a couple of new ones. There are loads of images – at least, for me – immediately below the fold, with some context all the way down at the bottom.
From the top. After my D&D character Tcheh’Rul died last week, I had the chance to make a new character and of course, that means a new mini. It seemed like DM Mike wanted to run a campaign where violence wasn’t the only solution, so my barbarian had actually been pretty useless even before her sudden death. I decided to try out a wild magic sorcerer, with a noble background to really ramp up their charisma abilities. The build would also help throw my character into the party’s path – with a random surge of wild magic, I find myself in a dungeon. The Player Handbook is a little vague on how often wild magic surges should be triggered, but after a bit of research Mike and I agreed to maximise their frequency. What could possibly go wrong?
In our last campaign tieflings and dragonborn were both ‘banned’ races, partly for reasons of world-building and immersion, partly narrative – the villain of the piece turned out to be a draconic sorcerer, so that needed to be rare. After killing my last character Mike was open to bending the rules. So, I’m playing a tiefling, and for extra fun, I have not told anyone else in the group. Enter Benedict “Ben” Amicus Donner-Blitzen von Drei Täler VII, “the completely human”. Somehow the party let that fly, so I’m going to continue to ham it up.
Obviously as an avatar I had to use an old Citadel chaos sorcerer, Slagroth Vile Staff, with his huge twisting horns and staff of power. As-written Benedict looks more like the Laughing Cavalier, but I’ve wanted to paint one (or more) of these guys for a while and think I did a decent job, especially his astronomical robes. Pictured beside him is a wolf, the companion of our wood-elf ranger. The mini is from the first Greenskin Wars Kickstarter so eventually it will have a goblin rider, but for now I can press-gang it into service for D&D.
Next in line was the stone carrying troll, also from Greenskin Wars (and periodically available from the excellent Knighmare Games, I guess depending on stock levels). I’m really happy with the colours, which I wanted to reflect the trolls in the old Citadel ‘Monsters’ Combat Cards, and the zits, which look really angry. In fact, I think this might be the mini I’m most happy with so far. For some scale, I’ve stood him beside an orc from the Warlord Games ‘Orc Sprue’. I love these guys; they’re incredibly cheap, with loads of variety and look like they skulked straight out of Ralph Bakshi’s 1970s rotoscope cartoon Lord of the Rings, much more the creepy, corrupted descendants of elves than the lantern-jawed orcs of today. I wasn’t feeling at all creative when I painted him, so, I just imitated the design from Warlord’s website.
Next up is Slicegut the zombie, my ‘oldest’ unpainted mini, in that I bought it back in the late 1990s and never attempted to paint it (although I do have technically older second-hand figures from eBay and the like). I’ve been sitting on this for a couple of decades, never quite knowing what to make of it. Eventually a thread on the Oldhammer forum, a blog post on Realm of Chaos 80s, and a colour scheme supplied by my wife finally inspired me to finish the job this year.
That’s all the painted minis for now. The penultimate photo is what I’m starting next. One member of our D&D group is playing a raven, riding around on a human. The raven is a necromancer. The human is a fisherman. I don’t think anyone knows where that’s going, probably least of all the player, but I took it as a chance to buy a Studio McVey limited edition ‘Raven Priest’. I imagine this looks nothing like it should, but I’m fond of Studio McVey and take the chance to buy them when I can. In fact I think this might have been the last one available (excluding second hand); it’s not listed on any other sites as far as I can tell. This is a fantastically detailed, crisp, but fragile miniature. The joints are sometimes less than a millimeter thick, and the resin seems quite brittle. so I’ve sacrificed a bit of the fine detail around the joins and reinforced them with epoxy resin – as carefully as I can, but it’s always a bit of a blunt instrument. Even with that this will never be a ‘tabletop’ piece. Beside him is ‘Lem, Iconic Halfling Bard’, from Reaper’s Pathfinder range. I bought the metal version rather than Bones. I doubt I’d be able to get the detail into the latter, and the price difference wasn’t as pronounced as usual.
Last of all, DM Mike posted us some papers with puzzles. I can’t solve it yet. But in the spirit of breaking the forth wall, I mocked up a witches potion, to drink in real life when I drink one in-game. It’s cider, and a label that I sourced online and believe to be royalty-free (at least, I haven’t been able to trace its origin).
I have a few more days of free time so hopefully I’ll be able to finish at least a couple more this week.