Monday, October 20, 2014

Halfing Assassin & Cautious Marine

Now that I no longer have to be focused on a single army to paint I've been letting myself work on a few extracurricular minis just for the heck of it.

The first one is a little halfling mini from Reaper, Dicarus Darksword. You'd think "little" and "halfling" would be redundant, but this is easily the smallest halfling mini I've ever seen. I was compelled to give him a cork base just so he'd look to be about the right height.

It'd be too obvious to paint him black
As far as the size is concerned though, it might actually be correct. The D&D player's guide lists halflings as approximately 3 feet, or roughly a few inches taller than my 2 year-olds. Now that I have context for that kind of size difference it makes me think about how they'd adapt in a fantasy world. In my mind a rogue character would want to keep their distance, and probably play dirty to compensate for the fact their bow looks like a kid's toy. Hence Jimson here who would use traps & poison to drop his targets.

The owner of my FLGS has a handful of "demotivational posters" hanging around his shop. This one motivated him to create his own version.

He's been trying to get me or Yorrik to paint this mini for a long time now, but we always have too much on our plate to take on pro bono miniatures. This changed a few weeks ago, as I was preparing for OFCC.

One of the tasks I decided to take on for the team event was creating team T-shirts. While I was getting price estimates the game store owner offered to pay for the shirts and sponsor the team provided I would a.) add the store's name & number to the shirt design and b.) finally paint his cautious, plasma-wielding marine.

The owner asked for a halved blue & orange scheme. Orange is a pain, but I did it anyways. I've never seen a creamsicle colored marine, so I figured I'd make the orange a bit lighter. The plasma gun bothers me. The owner gave him a gun that melted in a hot car, so it's bent upwards. Sure it looks like it's more likely to explode, but I prefer undamaged looking gear.

More when I have the time.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Painting Competitions: Objective Marker & Holidays

This year has been pretty productive in terms of mini painting. Aside from my May Madness thing, and preparing my army for the Portland tournament, I also slipped into some painting competitions. Here are a few that I haven't shown here before.

Objective Marker
The most recent competition was to create & paint an objective. I was working on my Daemon army for the OFCC, so I decided to create a Chaos-appropriate marker.

These books come from the Burning Chariot mini from GW. The books attach to the chariot with pegs at the end of their ribbons/tentacles, so I melted them to give them a more organic look. It's a little difficult to tell from photos, but I did my best to make it looks like the books were floating/flying. The paint job is pretty standard.  The monsterous book stands out the most to me, although I do kinda like the patina on the metallic binding, and I tried to draw the Konami code in the lower right-hand corner of the floating book.

The contest is still pending, but at the moment I think I stand in second place. I'm not being humble when I say my mini won't take first place either. One of my fellow local painters produced a beautifully converted Imperial Fist casualty holding up a banner with a NMM freehand chapter symbol.

The other contest I've neglected to mention on this blog was last Winter's Holiday themed competition. The store owner left it open ended, but most people made Christmas-themed submissions. There were a bunch of great entries, like a Santa Orc tormenting a grot as it painted a toy train, a Jewish Space Marine wielding a power-menorah, a Krootox & rider painted up as the Grinch who stole Christmas (one of my favorites), and a literal Hel-turkey with cultist pilgrims on its base.

My entry was one that the store owner had requested. He's said he hoped someone would turn in an Ork wielding a giant dreidel. I figured I could do a bit better than that even.
You can see I made a few little conversions.
1. The dreidel is a real wooden dreidel. I trimmed the handle, carved out some grooves, glued on some plates, and added a ton of little rivets. So many rivets.
2. The ork is actually from WH Fantasy. The legs are actually from the chariot box.
3. There are a few little extra conversions on the ork. I added treads to the feet, a yarmulke, and sideburns. That's right, he's "Orkthodox"
4. The Santa Marine is wielding a candy-cane shiv, cuz there's nothing more dangerous during the holiday season.

I got second place, but I still ended up receiving the prize I wanted (Sisters of Twilight on Forest Dragon), so it's all good.

It sounds like the game-store owner wants to do the holiday theme for the next painting competition too, so I'm already trying to brainstorm a few ideas.
1. A Tau Snowman
2. A Wood Elf Dryad decked out with Christmas tree trimmings
3. An IG "Nutcracker" (maybe a Mordian or Commissar Gaunt) vs a Rat-Ogre "Rat King"
4. An Orc riding a rocket-powered sled

I'm leaning toward the Dryad, since it seems easier and a lot cheaper. Plus it'd be creative enough that no one else would do it.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

If Classic Movie Monsters were Chapters

Warhammer & Warhammer 40k are rife with puns, homages, and word play. The game universe is awash with references to literature, pop culture, historical figures, world cultures, & myths. In this section, I draw inspiration from various sources to imagine them as new armies of the Imperium.

Both Fantasy and 40k have their share of monsters, and I thought this month would be a good time to imagine some of the Classic Universal monsters. Several of these archetypes have already been claimed in 40k: the Blood Angels are vampiric, the Space Wolves have some werewolf aspects to their back story, etc. although this still leaves several classic characters up for grabs.

(Just FYI, I opted not to represent Frankenstein's Monster here since I already used that as inspiration for the Prometheans)

Brine Reavers
Classic Monster: Gillman from Creature from the Black Lagoon
Colors: Forest Green with Sage green forearms, lower legs, torso, and eagle
Concept: Following a disastrous battle on Hadal II it became apparent than the Imperium lacked elite amphibious combat specialists. In order to fill this need, the Adeptus Mechanicus sought to create a chapter from a stable line of semi-aquatic abhumans.

Pious Shadows
Classic Monster: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
Colors: White and black halved
Concept: In an effort to satiate the Black Rage of their Blood Angel geneseed this chapter's apothecaries created an elixer capable of evoking their inbred rage in a controlled manner, as well an elixer to suppress it. It was thought that this would alleviate the psychic turmoil, but as time has gone on, the potion's original recipe has been lost, and it has become harder and harder to pull marines from a never-ending rage.

Rictus Chords
Classic Monster: The Phantom of the Opera
Colors: Purple with a white helmet, and black torso, chest, & backpack
Concept: A chapter obsessed with music and sound, it is thought that a mutation in the chapter's gene-seed has affected the marines' Lyman's Ear, creating a compulsive interest in aural arts. For this reason Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor Christine has embedded herself within the chapter to monitor them for signs of slipping to Slaanesh.

Pharaoh Lords
Classic Monster: The Mummy
Colors: Gold with Royal blue backpack, shoulders, & helmet stripes
Concept: When not in combat, this chapter sequesters itself within its massive fortress hidden within the desert sands. When they return, battle brothers are interred within life support sarcophagus similar to that found in Dreadnought armor, where they slumber until their next battle. Any who disturb their rest without cause are eliminated quickly and brutally.

The Unseen
Classic Monster: The Invisible Man
Colors: Silver with black shoulder trim & eagle
Concept: A chapter obsessed with stealth tactics, their Librarians sought every method of obscuring their warriors from the enemy. They were so single-minded in their efforts that they turned to the highest order of sorcery to meet this end. The chapter would almost certainly be considered excomunicate traitorous, but they have not been seen ever since.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

That looks familiar


That was my response a little bit ago while skimming through projects over at kickstarter.

I noticed there was a new project for Earthdawn miniatures. I had to check it out, since a buddy of mine, Morgan, helped write the newest edition of the Earthdawn RPG (check out Morgan's blog here).

The minis are from an old series by Heartbreaker Miniatures. I'm not sure when they were made, but I'd wager it was close to 2 decades ago, judging from the style and proportions. Some of the minis are pretty rough.

Regardless. I was checking out the offerings and I noticed something out of the corner of my eye.

See that guy in the lower right corner? I painted him (it? I'm not sure if they have sexes). You might recognize the mini if any of you followed me back on Warseer when I was writing my Dark Sun campaign project log.

These were painted up to be a pair of Pterran brothers that were running a slave quarry in my old Dark Sun game. It just so happened that my FLGS has a few old T'skrang minis for sale, & they fit the bill nicely.

I wasn't sure why they'd use my miniature in their KS at first, but when I did a google search for similar minis there weren't many other options. The only other painted T'Skrang#3 mini has it's weapon swapped, so I bet they couldn't really use it for promotion.

I was a bit conflicted seeing a picture of one of my minis used for a kickstarter. It's flattering to see someone liked my painting well enough to promote their product, but also gives me pause, since I hadn't been asked permission (as far as I knew). After some digging though I eventually figured out they'd snagged the photos from the Reaper message boards. When I logged in I found they had, in fact, asked permission, & if they could credit me. Bonus.

So now I'm not conflicted, simply flattered. I'm also eyeballing a few of the minis for future painting. (I can't help it)


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ordo Fanaticus Club Challenge: What I Learned from my first Tournament

This weekend I participated in my first big 40k tournament. More to the point, I played more 40k in two days than I have in the last two editions (about 7 years, really). Ordo Fanaticus Club Challenge (OFCC) is a more casual tourney, with more emphasis on painting and sportsmanship than other competitions. They sell themselves as a place to play if you've never been to a tourney before, which really appealed to me.

In truth, it was difficult at times, but I enjoyed my first experience.
Our Team, the Imperial Fist Bumps
So if you're thinking about going to your first tourney, here are a few things I wished I'd known beforehand. (plus a few shots of some of the minis I liked)
One of the best parts was seeing all the well painted armies, and models that I've never seen in person before, like this Ultraforge mini

Get a Board
The first, and most important lesson I garnered from my first tourney is definitely to get a display board.

Walking around, you could see the boards were extensions of the armies. When I first arrived teams would display their game boards along the tables, and often the best boards got the most of attention.

The high quality displays matched the bases of the minis themselves, incorporating themselves into the scenery, sharing details like terrain, lighting effects, or bits. A lot of people clearly spent a lot of time creating, painting & tricking out their boards & it was really impressive.

Beyond the artistic appeal, the boards serve an important function as well: Carrying your army. Loading and unloading my daemon army from it's carrying cases took a long time, and moving it from table to table was cumbersome. People with their own game boards were able to simply put their armies in place & walk to their next game. After my first game I realized it was a real hassle to be without, so I borrowed a tupperware tub lid from the terrain containers and used that to haul my army around for the rest of the tourney. 

If you want to go to a tournament get a board. It doesn't have to be fancy. One of my teammates bought a cork board on his way to Portland. It worked great. Get a board.

It's Tiring
You shouldn't leave a day of gaming feeling like you spent a whole day at work, but that's how I felt at the end of the first day. We spent 9 hours gaming, with a few extra hours of lunch, inspecting people's armies, and whatever it is people chose to do afterwards. (I also chose to drive to and from the event each day, which added 3 hours to my commute each day)

I'm also night owl so the 8am start took a small toll on me as well.

By the end of my third game I was leaning my back hard against a nearby pillar to help ease my spine. I was tired, my back ached, and my feet were throbbing. Then I drove another 90 minutes. I was sore.

So quick bits of advice to ease your body:
* Wear comfy shoes (one of my teammates suffered for wearing flip flops)
* Drink plenty of liquids
* Sit when you have the opportunity

in one battle I faced a pirate themed Daemon list that featured a Helchicken & a Helparrot.

Take everything you'll need
This might seem like a bit of a no-brainer, but if you're used to playing pickup games with friends, you might not always take all the essentials along with you. The idea is to be properly prepared for each game, or able to help out a teammate should they have forgotten anything. Some items include:

* Base Rule Book
* Your army book(s)
* 5+ printed army lists (one for yourself, each of your opponents, & the tourney organizers)
* Templates
* Dice
* Measuring Tape
* Glue

That last one is important. My Be-lakor mini lost his arm, & I saw several necron wraiths snap in transit to their next game. Minis are being packed, unpacked, moved from table to table, and placed in some pretty precarious situations during games. There's a really good chance something will break, & when it does it's important to have glue ready to fix it.

Be Prepared to Lose
OFCC is billed as a friendlier tournament. Before the event teams send in their lists to admin who rate how aggressive the list is, and they discourage powerful, hyper-competitive lists. That being said, there were still a lot of Imperial Knights, Wraithnights, Waveserpent spam, and I even faced a Firestorm Redoubt (a 600+ point fortification of death). Even a friendly competition got pretty competitive, so be ready for that.

That being said, even when I was losing I kept it friendly. Laugh when your dice get the better of you. At one point my Flying Daemon Prince Warlord with 4+ Feel No Pain was shot from the sky, took a wound for falling, then was promptly blown to bits by a D-strength missile without a save (If my math is correct, there's only a 0.8% chance of that happening). In another game I lost my Lord of Change to the first round of shooting from Orks (!).

The dice gods were laughing at me. (Others noticed too & even offered to buy me new ones)

I laughed though. It doesn't do you any good to get upset about dice rolls beyond your control. All you can do is joke about the situation and change your battle plans moving forward. I ended up winning the game against the Orks, & even tied 10-10 against the Astra Militarum player with the enormous fortification.

Make some Friends
Finally, tournaments are a rare opportunity to meet fellow hobbyists from all around. The Portland tournament drew folks from Spokane and Canada (each over 300 miles away) so take some time to connect with other people who are passionate enough about the hobby to come long distances to compete.

I played five games over the weekend & all of my opponents seemed like good people. Each game was slated for three hours, which is plenty of time to get to know someone. My first game was against a guy named Aaron, & it turned out we both served as military cryptologists, and even went to the same school. It's great to make those kind of connections anywhere, let alone with someone who shares the same pass-time. Plus if you continue to play tournaments there's a good chance you'll see the same faces over and over again, so making a few connections is a good way of ensuring you'll have a good time at future events as well.

Going to your first tournament can be a bit daunting, but you should go prepared to to meet some fun people, play all of your games with class, and to be sore for a few days afterwards. It'll be worth it though.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

If Literature were Chapters: Game of Thrones (continued)

Warhammer & Warhammer 40k are rife with puns, homages, and word play. The game universe is awash with references to literature, pop culture, historical figures, world cultures, & myths. In this section, I draw inspiration from various sources to imagine them as new armies of the Imperium.

Today I'm breaking from my usual format to create 10 chapters from a single source: George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series.

Continued from here
House: Targaryen
Colors: Red with Black torso and helmet.
Concept: Upon their arrival in the Western Aeros sector it was discovered the chapter's librarians were capable of forming a telepathic bond with an indigenous species of firedrake found on the Southern steppes of their new home. Their psykers ride the beasts ahead of the troops and lay waste to enemy lines before they arrive.

House: Lannister
Colors: Maroon and Yellow halved
Concept: No slight is too small to warrant retaliation for this chapter. They are ruthless in their pursuits, and have terminated entire planetary governments due to a Governor's slanderous words. No one knows how the Reciprocators are able to exact such precise and exact revenge, but it is rumored that the Chapter Master consults a wizened Watcher in the Dark on all of their battle strategies.

Reaper Lords
House: Greyjoy
Colors: Black with Gold accents and grills
Concept: This chapter made its home amongst an asteroid field in the Northeastern region of the sector. Each of the 10 companies is led by a "king" and are housed in their own cruisers that navigate the sea of rock. Once every six years they gather at the Kraken, their fortress at the heart of the storm.

Celestial Falcons
House: Arryn
Colors: Light blue with White shoulders & legs
Concept: Of late, the Falcons have not engaged in any of the power grabs of the other houses. They remain in their mountaintop monastery, seemingly unmotivated to vie for position amongst their peers. Some have noted that Chapter Master Johan has not been seen for many years, leading to the speculation that there is unrest in their leadership.

Shield Wardens
House: Tyrell
Colors: Green with Orange chest & shoulder trim
Concept: Established on the most fertile Argi-World in the sector, the Shield Wardens wield enormous influence, and are not afraid to use it. More devious than they are given credit for, they are nevertheless one of the most stabilizing forces in the region.

Bonus Chapter

River Runners
House: Tully
Colors:  Light blue & Red halved
Concept: The shrewd River Runners make their home on the aquatic world of Trident. They excel in all aspects of diplomacy, although their record was marred recently when second company Captain Piscis Perniger left the chapter after coming to blows with the Chapter Master. He continues his dutiful service to the Emperor as he wanders throughout the system.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

You like Half-Orcs? check these guys out.

Stonehaven miniatures is back with their latest kickstarter Half-Orc Adventurers. I was excited to see them tackle these guys since they're really underrepresented in miniatures. They're down to the last 48 hours now though, so if this tickles your fancy you should check it out.

Reaper, with their immense lineup of minis, has 19 Half Orc minis to their name, almost all of them are Barbarians, Fighters, or Rogues. With this one kickstarter Stonehaven is adding (at least) 16 new characters, in a variety of professions. Who'd have thought to make a Half-Orc Mechanist (below, left)? Also, 7 of those are female, compared to Reaper's 6.

Stonehaven sets themselves apart by putting their own twist on the race, so the aesthetic is a little different from the traditional D&D Half Orc. They have pointier ears and most of the males have bulkier frames, so they look more Orcish than Human, the exception is the Thief mini (right).

Art from Stonehaven Miniatures, Copyright 2014 Michael T. Evans
The females are more slender in stature, almost human sized. There's a bit of variety, with the Barbarian appearing far bulkier than the other ladies (right). So far, my favorite mini has to be the Bard (left). She looks like an entertaining character, and at home in any fantasy setting. How she uses the drum while in combat might be fun to figure out too (in my mind one of her drumsticks is actually a club).
Art from Stonehaven Miniatures, Copyright 2014 Michael T. Evans
 If Half Orcs aren't your thing Stonehaven adds a variety of side races to the mix as well. This time around they've added an Asian flair by introducing several Tengu (Samurai, left), songbird Hengeyokai, & a giant-sized Oni. There are also a few familiar faced races like a hobgoblin, a Wemic, and a few Half-Dragons (Dualist, right).
Art from Stonehaven Miniatures, Copyright 2014 Michael T. Evans
 The scale for the Half Orcs appears to be around 32mm, so a bit bigger than your average mini. I can't tell for sure, but I imagine they'll be comparable to Reaper's Warlord miniature line. They run a bit big, but not so large that they look ridiculous next to the rest of your PC minis. Here's a comparison they posted in an update:

If you like what you see, I'd encourage you to check out the project. I participated in the Elven Adventurers KS, and I was quite pleased with the results. Like I said before, there's less than 48 hours, so don't hesitate too much if you're interested.


Monday, August 25, 2014

What I've been up to: Night Wolf Terminators

Hey all. Been a while hasn't it?

I've been keeping pretty busy in the last month or so. Following the May Mini Madness I concentrated on the remaining Night Wolf commission. For the most part this consisted of a terminator Rune Priest, a Lone Wolf, and a generic Wolf Guard.

The Rune Priest was fairly detail heavy, and had a few fun conversions to it. The client added a large Fenrisian wolf pelt onto the shoulder. I'd painted a power armored Rune Priest for him two years ago, and he wanted this to be the same character in different armor.

To accomplish this I had to duplicate the face, hair, and greying patterns of the original mini. I've replaced many of my paints from back then with the newer line, so matching colors took a little time. In addition to the fact, I replicated the lightning technique on the blade, and the glowing effect on the extended hand. you can see the comparison below.

These two should fill out his ranks nicely. Or not, I hear the Lone Wolf minis I painted can't use the weapons that were modeled for him. I haven't seen the new codex, so I'm taking his word for it. In that sort of situation I'd probably trim off the chainsword blades and swap in an axehead or hammer.

Most recently I've been plugging away on my Daemons. I signed on for the Ordo Fanaticus tournament in Portland, Ore. and now I have to paint my way up to a 2,000 point army. At the moment I have about 40 days to paint up a Lord of Change, 7 Bloodletters, 6, Pink Horrors, 5 Seekers of Slaanesh, a Soul Grinder, and a Skull Cannon of Khorne.

Doable, right?

Wish me luck.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

If Literature were Chapters: Game of Thrones

Warhammer & Warhammer 40k are rife with puns, homages, and word play. The game universe is awash with references to literature, pop culture, historical figures, world cultures, & myths. In this section, I draw inspiration from various sources to imagine them as new armies of the Imperium.

Today I'm breaking from my usual format to create 10 chapters from a single source: George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series.

Raimo Ricohard, the Master of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica, sequestered himself to his chambers for a lunar cycle before suddenly charging into the offices of the Scholastia Psykana screaming "They are coming!" and falling into a deep coma.

Upon investigation of his chambers officials found detailed maps, dataslates, and feverishly written notes detailing an imminent Tyranid invasion the likes of which have never been seen. Ricohard's predictions detailed the "Omegaswarm" that would pierce deep into the heart of the Imperium, leaving nothing but "cold husks of worlds" in its wake. Unless the invasion was stopped upon its arrival, he concluded the galaxy would fall into an eternal lifeless Winter.  

This revelation was so sudden and shocking that the High-Lords of Terra wasted no time in stationing 14 full chapters of Space Marines to the Western edge of the Aeros sector of Segmentum Pacificus: The location of the first wave indicated in Ricohard's notes. The chapters arrived and quickly built fortifications and prepared to fight.

Then they waited.

Unfortunately, despite all of their details, the note failed to mention *when* the incursion would begin. Centuries have passed since the prophetic vision was first revealed, and the chapters themselves have stood watch ever since. Three of the original chapters have been snuffed out over the years, but the others have kept themselves honed and ready through voluntary crusades, competitions, the occasional Ork invasion, and constant infighting amongst one another.

Dire Wolves
House: Stark
Colors: White with Dark Grey shoulders and helmet.
Concept: The Dire Wolves are one of the few chapters that still firmly believes in the existence of the Omegaswarm. Their black-clad scout company makes regular expeditions to the edge of the sector, and lately, fewer and fewer have been returning. (note: when I pick up the 7th ed starter set, this is how I'll be painting the Space Wolves) 

Furious Kings
House: Baratheon
Colors: Black and Yellow quartered
Concept: Once the leaders of the allied chapters in the West Aeros region, their status has become shakier after their Chapter Master Hrodebert was slain in a battle with the White Boars. His successor, Gottfrid, has proven himself inexperienced and utterly grating to the other leaders, who are now competing to wrest control for themselves.

Flaying Blades
House: Bolton
Colors: Light Crimson with Red shoulders and accents
Concept: The walls of the Flaying Blades' dread fortress citadel are covered in beautiful banners made from the tanned flesh of their enemies. At the end of each campaign a handful of foes are left alive, and unharmed so their master flayers can perfect their art.

Titans of Braavos
House: Baelish
Colors: Sage green with Grey helmets
Concept: Thought to be of Raven Guard descent, these marines excel in deceptive tactics, and the use of cat's paws. They rarely take to the battlefield in force, rather, they will send waves of conscripts to fight while they maneuver to assassinate their foes when they're preoccupied.

House: Martell
Colors: Orange with Red helmet, shoulder insets, & greaves
Concept: A hot-blooded chapter, the Sunspears excel in battle and employ fast, brutal tactics that include ambushes and the use of poison. Lately they have found themselves in pitched battle with members of the Reciprocators chapter.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Days 30 & 31: Night Wolves pack leaders

Muninn's May Mini Madness is complete for another year. This year was tough, but I made it.

Here are the final two minis for the month:
Two pack leaders for the Night Wolves. Rhapsody (the client) wanted them to stand out, so he decked them out with command-level bits. The wolf backpacks, the pelts, the veteran shoulder pads, etc. He also wanted them painted to a slightly higher level, and for the fur to be white instead of brown.

My only contribution to the conversion was the first leader's head. If you don't recognize it, I don't blame you, since it's from the Empire Hurricane Priest. I'd bought the mini for my Tau Ethereal conversion, so I had a head left over, and I thought it would fit nicely on a wolf body. All it took was a little Greenstuff work.

I finished each of these guys on their respective days, but I didn't have time to take their pictures until today. it worked out alright though. I wanted to finish three more Night Wolves for the last day, but I just ran out of time. I still finished 31 minis in as many days, so I'm happy.

I'll write up a recap later this week. Take care all, and thanks for following the madness.


Friday, May 30, 2014

Day 29: Human Wizard

Now I'm all caught up. Just in time.

You might wonder why I pick the miniatures I do for this challenge. For the most part I look at the incomplete minis I have kicking around, gauge how much work I'd need to do to finish them, then plan accordingly. Today's mini?

I'm just tired of looking at him.

 I've had this guy since I left the Navy in 2005. A buddy of mine invited me to play in his game of D&D & he I picked up this mini, Reaper's Eredain, since it looked similar to the PC he described to me (but with hair).

He's been sitting, unfinished on my to-do shelf ever since.
Until today I suppose.

I'm the kind of person that prioritizes easily completed tasks over longer jobs, and this guy has always looked like a longer job to me. Between the straps, buckles, details, bags, studs, and staff, I just felt like my time would be better spent on other minis. He's been one of the standby minis for my mini-a-day challenge since 2012, but there have always been easier minis in line ahead of him.

It's true this year too, I just really wanted this guy off my table. Maybe I painted his face to be too judgmental.

I'm glad he's done though. I hadn't originally intended to give him greying around his temples, but it looked right to me. I think it gives him character.

We're into the last two days of the challenge now. I'm working as fast as I can, so hopefully I'll have something to show tomorrow.


Days 27 & 28: Orc boy, & Tau Fire Warrior

Alrighty. Now that I've updated my Tyrant Guard shots, I can post these:

 First off. one of the Orc boyz from the front line of my O&G mob. I've painted the 20+ orcs that stand in the back rows, but I'm taking more time with the front.  The guys in the back will die first, and be lost in the crowd (plus they only cost 8 pts or so). But I feel like the front line should be painted well since they're the focus of attention.
I'm particularly pleased with the decapitated guy. He really looks dead to me.

Now it wouldn't be May Mini Madness without one of my white Tau. Its an easy enough scheme to accomplish with some white primer and a steady hand. So here he is.

To complete my Tau army I'm gonna want a Riptide. Although I'm not sure how well the white scheme will work on such a a large mini with flat-open spaces. I'd probably have to fiddle around with it.

More later today.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Day 26: Tyrant Guard

UPDATE: Now, with better pictures.

Here's an old-school Tyrant Guard. I remember buying it back in 2005 right after ended my enlistment in the Navy.

Similar to my other Tyranid, he's painted in an orange and black scheme, like my home college team (my Eldar use the same scheme as the college just down the road)
The orange took a while longer than I'd intended, so I applied the black rather hastily to try & compensate. It's not an overly detailed mini, but it is big.

It just occurred to me that I have 4 large-based minis scheduled in this last week of painting (I've got two termis left).

In the last two years of this challenge I've only ever completed one large-based mini (although he wasn't actually all that large), meanwhile this year alone I'll have finished 6.

Apparently I back-loaded this year's challenge a bit.


Day 25: Khador Man-O-War

Three days into the final week & I'm running a bit behind. Sunday's mini took a little more prep than I'd considered, & I bit off a good bit more than I'd intended for Monday (Suffice to say, it's large & orange. Not a good combination)

Either way, Here's Sunday. Another Warmachine model: the Khador Man-O-War. I bought this one 5 years ago during a going out of business sale for a game store about 75 miles from where I live while visiting my fiance at her college. I'd always really liked the look for this unit. They're beefy and impressive, but still seem realistic to steampunk warfare. So when I saw there were a few blisters for 50% off I went ahead & grabbed one.

I'd originally wanted to paint them in a black & gold scheme, similar to a Necron test-mini I painted a while back, but I decided to stick to the classic red, since that's how I've painted all the other Khador I've done in the past.
I'm happy with him, although once I put him next to my other Khador types it occurred to me that the others don't have much gold.  I want Khador to have a more industrial look, not fancy, so most of them are silvery & brass rather than gold. Oh well. Maybe I'll sell him or give him away. We'll have to see.

Hope to catch up soon.


Monday, May 26, 2014

Day 24: Dragonborn Paladin

Last October I came up with an easy method of converting a Dragonborn Paladin. I got a good head start on the paint job, but then I stopped. Mostly becuase I was stumped on how to decorate his shield.

Well I finally buckled down & finished it.

I got tired of dragging my feet, & decided to do a little castle freehand with some simple shapes. It's a nice, long shield so I painted a little laurel motif at the bottom, and a few stars in the top corners to draw attention upwards. It isn't the cleanest freehand, but not bad for having been done sitting on my couch in the middle of the night.

I wanted to Dragonborn to be Black, and almost monochrome, while still having some pops of color. That's where the blue & gold came in. I suppose I could have gone for green accents, since D&D black dragons usually have acid breath, but this works just fine.

I have another, nearly identical, conversion ready to paint. Maybe I'll do that one green.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Day 23: Celestial Lion (4/4)

The last Lion
When the new Space Marine codex came out I started formulating a new army. The idea would be a primary detachment of Iron Hands for long-range & heavy support (Techmarines, snipers, Storm Raven, dreadnought, & Thunderfire cannon) & Imperial Fists for some reliable dakka (Tac squads in rhinos, lots of bolters)

Iron Hands are easy to paint, but Fists are a pain (as noted last week). So I've been considering successor chapters. Hammers of Dorn were my first choice, but now Celestial Lions are a contender too. Iton Hands & Hammers share a very similar palette, so the two chapters might not stand out on the tabletop. Lions would however. It'd just be a matter of whether or not I could figure out an easier way to apply gold.

I think they look pretty good as a group though.


Friday, May 23, 2014

Day 22: Herald of Tzeentch

I built this guy/gal (Tzeentch likes to keep you guessing) a few years back because I had too many spare parts. I purchased the Vampire Counts Cairn Wraith to use the scythe on my Plaguebearer Champion, which left me with a whole lot of mini left over.

While going over my options, I noticed I had a face & hands from the Pink Horrors box. They fit nicely onto the wraith body and voila, a unique & mysterious Herald of Tzeentch.

Where's his body? Tzeentch likes to keep you guessing.

I had this almost entirely complete early Thursday, except for the base. I'd just added a wash to its base when I I tipped the mini after I'd set it down. It broke off its round base, & splattering Nuln Oil wash across the whole mini. I was able to clean most of it off under a faucet, but there are still a few spots I missed.

As I was preparing to reglue the mini to its base I remembered that this month is a WFB painting competition at my local game store. I'm not really happy with the conversion I've been intending to submit, so I decided to whip up a quick scenic base using some cork and a bit from the WFB Battle Wizard box. He's only held onto the base by a peg, since I plan on using him in my 40k army (Those Malefic powers sound crazy).

It's funny though, if I hadn't tipped the mini & broke it off its base I wouldn't have thought to use it as my fantasy competition entry. How well will it do in the painting competition?

Tzeentch likes to keep you guessing.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Days 19, 20, & 21: Dark Vengeance Cultists

I actually finished these guys on Tuesday, but didn't have access to my work photo studio before today. My newspaper is actually in the middle of moving to a new location, so closer to the end of the month I might have to switch to amateur methods.  It happens.

Once my Night Wolves commission is over, and once this mini challenge is over my next big goal will be to finally finish my Dark Vengeance box before the *next* starter set comes out (rumored to feature Blood Angels vs Orks this August). At this point I've completed 9 minis from Chaos, and 12 from the Dark Angels. This leaves 18 chaos types (ugh) and 9 marines.

Here's a small chunk of DV box:
 One of the nice things about my batch painting plan is that it utilizes relatively few colors. In an effort to make them look both like a ragtag group, and a cohesive army I'm using the same palette throughout. This mostly means I'm using deep red, tan, black, brown and leather. Because of that, whenever I mixed paint I could work on three minis at a time.  Past that, the paint tended to dry up. So I figure three at once will be the golden number.

Today's mini was almost done, but then I dropped it. Shouldn't take too long to fix & repaint though.