Sunday, May 22, 2016

Malifaux Witchling Stalker

Years ago I saw a raw plastic mini sitting o the modeling table on my local game store and had to know what system it was for. The owner wasn't totally sure, but he'd received several, and allowed me to take it to paint it up. If I'd seen the mini when it was still on its sprue it would have been easy to identify, but as it was.
 I had to do some searching before I found it. Turns out it was a promotional  mini for the 2nd edition Malifaux system, and their new line of plastic minis. I'd heard of Malifaux, but usually dismissed it, since the aesthetic never really appealed to me.

This mini did though. It was simple in design, but well constructed, had a nice flow, and had a neat ash-waste scavenger look to it. Like I said, I didn't know what it was for, or what the mini represented, so I used it for my high-contrast red tutorial. (three years ago, good lord I've been away a while)



This is a Witchling Stalker from the "Guild" faction.

Since I painted this guy in 2013 the Malifaux brand has really picked up in production & popularity. Several friends in my local gaming group now play it, and I decided to pick up a box as well. I spent a good while considering what leader/faction to start with, but ultimately decided to buy into a Gremlin master called the Brewmaster. He doesn't do much damage, but he gets opponents drunk (paralyzing them) and his minions, the Moon Shinobi, do the rest (that pun alone convinced me to buy the box).

I'm wrapping up my masters program, so I still haven't painted a lick in months, but once the summer begins I'll be painting in earnest to prepare for the OFCC tournament in late July.

Hope you're all well,

~Muninn

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Secret Santa Mini Exchange

Back in about 2004 when I was living in Japan, a friend of mine invited me to participate in a Christmas mini exchange. There were a bunch of bases nearby with a surprising number of fellow gamers, so the idea was that we would exchange addresses with someone on an online forum, & we would exchange painted minis with some of the other soldiers, sailors (and some civilians) around the Pacific. I ended up exchanging a Thousand Sons rubric marine for a Dark Elf shade painted by a guy in Australia. 

Fast forward to 2013. I decided to bring that little tradition to my hometown in Oregon. I proposed the idea to our local gaming group, & some jumped at it. We had about a half-dozen participants, and we made sure that each of the miniatures that were exchanged were ones that could be used in the recipient's army. I ended up painting Ulrick the Slayer for a friend of mine who played Space Wolves, and I received a Raven Guard assault sergeant from another friend.

This year a buddy suggested we do it again, and we had a lot more participants. I ended up with a friend that I'd already painted a mini for in the past. You may remember the Mega Nob from this year's Mini Madness. This time I decided to paint up a Killer Kan for him. 

I managed to snag a Kan from Yorrick and started right away. Yorrick had already started painting it, but I didn't have time to strip it, so I used the Krylon Zenith painting technique that I used on my Khador warjacks a while back. 

It worked pretty well, and I was rather pleased with the results. I know I have a rather "clean" painting style, so it was nice to practice Orks again. I think I've gotten better over the years,and I've been able to use more weathering and shading techniques that give a dirtier, oily look. Here's the result.


Sunday the various painters met at a local pizza place to exchange minis. Some folks weren't able to make it due to the holiday weekend, but the bulk of us were able to get there. 


After a little pizza we exchanged our miniatures. We'd pass each one around the table after it was opened so we could get a good look at the gift. There were a number of impressive paint jobs. Yorrick your received a Red Corsair miniature from a Betrayal at Cath mini, there were a few Daemon minis, a Dark Eldar, a few Orks, & a host of Inquisition minis (all painted by Yorrick). I made out like a bandit, since I received a Exalted Flamer of Tzeentch on Flaming chariot, plus it came with the extra Herald, both magnetized so they could be switched easily. This are the minis that were opened at the exchange.


If you've got a good group of gamers I'd recommend you do an exchange of your own. I imagine we'll do this again next year too.

~Muninn

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Anger Management

This won't be one of my typical posts, since it isn't about painting, 40k, or gaming related, but it is fairly nerdy. Homemade Halloween outfits.

Ever since the twins were born I've been coming up with DIY costumes. The first year we made them Mandrake Roots from Harry Potter (we made like Terra cotta pots from felt, it was cute), last year we made them House Elves.

This year we broke away from Harry Potter & opted to embrace Pixar by doing the whole family as emotions from "Inside Out." (Fingers crossed, next year will be Star Wars)

My wife will be Sadness, my daughter is Disgust, my son is Fear, & I'm taking on Anger. I've always wanted to take a crack at a really creative costume, so this one seemed right up my alley.
Wardrobe-wise it's simple: white short-sleeved shirt, red tie, tweed pants. The rest of the look is kinda tricky though.

I've seen a few other Anger costumes but most revolved around red face-paint & a crown of flames. Good in spirit, but aesthetically lacking, in my opinion.

I wanted it to look true-ish to the design, which meant a boxy, neckless, red noggin. I'm already a thick guy, so it shouldn't be too tough to pull off. Here was my concept design:

Everything in black is a single piece: head, collar, & tie. One head that'd fit on my shoulders. Originally there was supposed to be a fan in the top of the head that'd blow the flames like streamers, but it wasn't really feasible in the end.

To start, I needed a base for the head. I measured out how much room I'd need to comfortably fit my oversized gourd inside. Turns out I'd need a medium-sized box or trash can to accommodate my needs (10" wide, 14" long, & at least 14" deep). I wanted it to be kinda rounded, so I went looking for a trash can.

This led to a short montage of me measuring trash cans in a number of Home Goods stores and sheepishly looking up & down the aisles for witnesses before upending the cans over my head to see how well they'd fit. I bet the video surveillance guys were having a few chuckles.

I found one that fit the bill at Wal Mart. From there, I took it home trimmed away about 10" of the can, contouring it so it'd fit on my shoulders & chest. I used a pair of sturdy tin snips to cut the plastic. I tried to keep the trimmed section in a single piece, since I'd new it later. Then I drew out the basic layout of the face on the can, first in pencil, then Sharpie. 


I took some paper & traced the shapes of the eyes, eyebrow ridge and teeth (adding about 3-4" to the teeth since I'd have to glue them in place later). I used Elmer's glue stick to paste the paper shapes onto the trash can portion that I'd removed earlier. The trick at that stage is to figure out what you want the front to be, then glue the  paper to the backside, that way you aren't marring the pretty exterior.

I used my tin snips to cut out the general shapes of the eyes & teeth. I took the cut outs to my family's shop & made use of a bench grinder to refine them down to the marks of the paper stencil. I used about a 7/8" drill bit to make a circular cutout for the eyes. I probably wouldn't have been able to make such a precise cut without one.

I went back to the house & used an exacti knife to put the final touches on the eyea & teeth cutouts. I took a heavy duty box cutter & trimmed away  the entire mouth and eyeholes from the head. I didn't have to be too precise with the eyes, since the cutout eyes would  be glued on top of them.

I decided to end tere for the day, so I blue tacked the cutouts in place to see how well they'd work.
The red irises are cut from a sheet of red foam

Starting the next day, I set the cutouts aside & started to work with the red felt. I wasn't sure how to apply it at first, sonce I've had mixed results with fabric glue, but after a bit if research I decided to use a Hot Glue Gun & treat it like wrapping a gift. I drew two lines down the back, one centered, & another an inch off center. I glued  one edge in place off center, then wrapped the felt around (pulling it snugly) so the next edge would fall on the center line & overlap the first. Te trick with a hot glue gun is to apply the fabric as you glue. If you wait more than a few seconds your glue with set & you have to scrape it away.

I then took scissors & cut away excess felt from the too, bottom, mouth & eyes, leaving about 1" of trim that i wrapped to the interior & glued in place.

For the eyebrow ridge I cut the form into a section of thick fabric backing & wrapped felt around it as well. Fortunately you can still barely see the sharpie outlines of the eyes & ridge through the felt, so it wasn't too hard to place. Here it is with the eyes & ridge blue tacked in place.

The next step was to create a collar. I cut two pieces of the fabric backing into a collar shape, hot glued white linen cloth around it, & glued the top edge of the collar onto the head. That way, even though it rests on my chest it still looks like a regular shirt. I have a tie that's close enough to the real Anger tie, so I simply loosen it enough so it hangs in place at the base of te head.

For finishing touches, I glued everything in place, & glued a lightweight black nylon cloth around the inside of the mouth. It's light enough that I can kinda see out of it, but dark enough so you can't see inside the head itself.

The whole project took about $35 and 7 hours of solid design & work to complete. Here's the finished product:


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Leaked Images: New Tau vs Raven Guard

This morning brought news of a particularly exciting supplement for me. Tau vs Raven Guard: My original army against one that I've been building for some time now. It looks like a Stormclaw style "Space Marines vs" box. If it is, I'm almost certainly going to get it. Looking at the minis, there's a bit of redundancy in the things I already own (like the pathfinders & stealth team), but I still need the Piranha, & all the Space Marine side.

The new Tau include a great looking new Ethereal. It looks like an updated version of Aun Shi. I like it.




















The Breachers are also neat looking. Sure It's basically just a new helmet & weapons, but I still like the angular design



There appears to be a new fortification called the Tidewall Rampart. Maybe a heavy duty Aegis?


The Raven Guard side has only one new model, a captain with a grav pistol. Not super Raven Guardy, but not a bad design. I haven't been buying minis for a while, but I'll 

I'm currently in high school classrooms & at college, working on my Masters in Teaching so life's been a bit hectic, which is why I've been away from the blog for a while, but I'm updating where I can. I have a few things that I'm working on slowly, & I'll post those when I get the chance.

Take care all.

~Muninn

Monday, September 14, 2015

Meet the PC: Broecksiog, Gnomish Druid

One of my favorite parts about tabletop roleplaying is finding, modeling, and painting the perfect miniatures for our party PCs. I've been doing this for years now, and thought I'd share some of these characters with you.

Our final hero from the King for a Day is Broecksiog (pronounced Brock-Shogue), our Gnome druid. In this setting gnomes are more like forces of nature who take physical form. So one day a a gnome might pop out of a grove of trees, mountainside, or waterfall and feel like learning what it's like to be a squishy humanoid for a while. Broc popped out of nature with a green bread & a pair of stag horns. He joined our party, mostly because he wanted to see what kings were like, and decided to go along for the adventure

The mini comes from the Stonehaven Miniatures' gnome range. I even got the mini for free. I contacted Stonehaven about a miscast I received from the Elven Adventurers kickstarter, and asked if I could purchase the gnome and consolidate shipping. They said they'd simply send me both for free. Great customer service. Unfortunately Broecksiog wields a staff rather than a halberd, so I trimmed & reshaped the blade a bit.


Here are a few shots from before I clipped off the glaive portion.




















Keeping with the seasonal theme, and the fact he had a green beard, I wanted our druid to wear natural Spring colors. I wasn't sure what color to make the surcoat, but I wanted something light, so I eventually landed on light blue. Lavender might've been a better choice, but oh well. I'm fairly satisfied.

With that, I've completed the whole party. Here's our motley band of misfits:
This is one of the first times I actually completed an entire group of PCs before the end of the campaign (the other that I can remember was a D&D Castlevania game a few years back). As a whole group I think they stand together fairly well, while being individually pleasing minis. I'd say that Bran, the cleric stands out as being the most different compared to the other minis, just because he's taller, & doesn't share many colors with the rest of the party.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Star Wars Imperial Assault: Fenn Signis & Jyn Odan

Over the Summer I ended up taking a few community college classes to brush up on some of the subjects I might be teaching this school year. During a few lectures I'd open a firefox window on my laptop & skim over gaming rumors, GW minis, painting blogs & whatnot. It was a bit of a distraction, but it kept my mind from wandering too far.

During one break a guy approached me, said he noticed I was looking at miniatures, and asked if I knew anything about painting, and if so, if I ever did commissions.

Why yes, yes I do.

Apparently he really enjoys Imperial Assault, & wanted a few of his figures painted up nicely. A week later he handed them off to me along with his phone number and a request that I try to paint them close to their character portraits. Unfortunately I promptly lost the number after one of my kids "helped" clean out my laptop case. Regardless, I did my best on the minis he entrusted me to paint:




The original character portraits:


The minis are kinda soft, like most PVC, but still sturdy enough to hold up to some handling. I boiled & reshaped the weapons & Jyn's posture a bit, but other than that they were fairly stable. They're far better minis than the Fantasy Flight Adventurers I painted last year (David & Maki). Both are fairly well detailed, and although Jyn's face suffers a bit from the flatness you can see with PVC sometimes it wasn't the worst I'd dealt with. 

Painting-wise I stayed fairly close, Painting Fenn's visor was an entertaining challenge that required a good bit of blending. I think I fudged the color of Jyn's coat a bit. The portrait shows a darker orange than I painted. Maybe I'll add a wash of Fuegan Orange to tone it down. We'll see if he likes it.

~Muninn

(Good news, while tidying my kids' room tonight I found his number, so I can actually give them back.)

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Meet the PC: Nightbreeze, Elven ranger

One of my favorite parts about tabletop roleplaying is finding, modeling, and painting the perfect miniatures for our party PCs. I've been doing this for years now, and thought I'd share some of these characters with you.

I think this makes my fourth or fifth elven ranger character (1, 2, 3, 4th hasn't been photographed yet)

Again from "King for a Day," Nightbreeze is our deadly, stealthy, two-weapon-wielding, ranger. In the campaign world there are a handful of godlike dragons that rule over the mortal, fey, and shadow realms with an iron claw, and Nightbreeze left her home to find out how to kill the dragon that rules over her elven nation. She first went to the dying king (since he once led a party to slay one of the dragons) but became wrapped up in the party's quest to find his successor.

I thought the best mini to represent her was Reaper's Deladrin.  I knew I'd need a weapon swap, so I chose to use the Bones version. I needed two identical elven-looking blades on the cheap, so I found some loose Lord of the Rings minis at my FLGS and stole their swords. I paid a bit more than I wanted, but it works well.

I wanted to strike a balance between summery and stealthy, so I went for citrussy olive green armor, a dark blue undersuit, and deep green cloak. I had been planning on painting to scarf a light grey, but Yorrik reminded me that we'd just come across a yellow magic scarf that was perfect for a two-weapon fighter like Nightbreeze.

More later,

~Muninn