Monday, August 31, 2015

Meet the PC: Bran, Human Cleric

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.

Between wife, kids, work and school I really haven't played nearly as many roleplaying games as I'd like in the last few years. Playing fewer games mean fewer character, & fewer PC's to paint. It's been a while since I've shown off a PC though, so here's my latest.

Earlier this year Yorrik wanted to DM a 5th edition D&D campaign he'd come up with called "King for a Day" that takes place on an island roughly based on post-Roman empire Ireland. The island is dominated by humans, but still had a number of fae/elves/dwarves to go around. Our band of adventurers/misfits/heroes were sent by a dying king to rally an army to prevent a civil war, then things went askew. It happens.

Since this was my first time playing 5E, & probably one of the last chances I'd have to play for a while, I wanted to go for a class I rarely play, & I quickly narrowed it down to Cleric. I've always wanted to use this mini, so I let it dictate a good bit of my character.

Bran here is a cleric of the Raven Queen, using the Death domain from the DMG). In the setting Gods are a bit more active in humanity & actually give insight to their clerics (called godwalkers). Bran tends to travel & deliver messages from his queen, which isn't always well received (probably why he has the big sword). The domain is an odd setup, so he's lightly armored, but has access to heavier weapons. In fights I put him at mid-range, able to cast spells, but run into melee when he needs to. The mini is Reaper's Reeve the Pious.  

While I like the mini, it's way overpriced for a simple design. I managed to purchase it when they released the high-lead P-65 line, so the cost was a bit more reasonable. The hooded face was a bit tricky. A lot of the paintjobs I saw emphasize his square jaw, but I tried to soften it a bit. I wanted to play up the winter/death domain a bit so I chose a colder palette, blues & greys. I think it reads pretty well, & gives a good impression of what the character is all about: a holy man who'll cut you down if he needs to.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Days 30 & 31: Necron Lord & Autarch

Here are the last two minis I intended to complete in July.

The first is a limited edition Necron Lord that was only available by buying the original large army box from Games Workshop. I've had it for years, and I know it originally belonged to my old Navy roommate, but I don't really know how it ended up in my bits box. We often bought minis off one another, or swapped minis, or painted for one another, so I don't know if my current ownership of this guy is an accident, or he result of a trade.

Oh well. as long as I have him, he might as well be painted.
I painted him in the same scheme as the Pariah above, which is my take on the Nekthyst Dynasty. I was a lot less generous with the gold this time around. I wanted to the shroud to look like a faded old garment that it was buried with, but it looks a bit more like an old rag to me.

 Finally, a Saim-Hann Autarch. I've had this mini since the 2006 codex came out, but I never had a plan for him. A while back another Navy friend & I decided to do a mini exchange. I was originally going to paint up a Phoenix Lord for him, but it turned out he already had one. I knew he played Saim-Hann, and they're a fast army, so I slapped Swooping Hawks wings on this guy & got to painting. 

It's overall a nice figure, but there are a few spots I'm not thrilled about. You can't tell from the photo, but there are a few lumpy white area of the helmet. I had to replace my white paint as I was completing this guy & the new one wasn't really smooth. It's not too bad though, and still a good way to finish the project.

So there it is, the end of my Month-o-Minis challenge. I didn't quite finish in time this year, but there's always next year. I hope you enjoyed the result.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Days 27-29: Mega Nob, Warp Spider, and Vespid

So July is over, and I didn't make my goal of completing 31 minis in 31 days. I did manage to finish 30 minis, if you include the extra SoB & Seeker, but it wasn't what I was trying to do.

So what happened?

There were a few things I hadn't anticipated. My wife went to a teaching conference in another state for 5 days, leaving me with the kids. That wasn't an insurmountable challenge, but it did mean I had to be a lot more active at night, during my usual painting time. Then, when she was home, she was home. In May our work hours line up in such a way that we have relatively few waking hours together, so I use that time to paint as well. With her home I spent a lot less of my daytime painting as well. Add to that the fact I was taking a few surprisingly tough 5-week classes, & 5 days of family vacation, and you lose a ton of hobby time.

I imagine it didn't help that I also had more large minis, and HQ/Lord characters than I've had in past years, and those are a lot more detailed/time consuming.

Oh well, there's always next year.

In the meantime I slowed my pace a bit, and I've been completing the minis I'd been intending to paint in July. The "27th's" mini was a commission I took on a while back as part of a deal from splitting the Stormclaw box. We couldn't decide who would get the rulebook, and I offered to paint a mini of his choice in exchange for the book. He gave me this Meganob and asked that I paint him red & orange.
This guy is really scratch-built. I don't know where the bits come from, what the weapons are, or how it should look at the end of the day, so I figured I'd just ork it up, then add battle damage. I think it turned out pretty well, but I haven't gotten any feedback from the owner yet.

A long long time ago when I first learned about 40k, I wanted to build an Eldar army. One my my friends, Abusepuppy (who now writes for Frontline), was keen to help me, and I was immediately drawn to Warp Spiders. For me, they were like the poster-boys of the Eldar. I bought a few blisters, but it never went far past that. They have a sleek look, but I've never had a lot of luck painting them. I always try to paint them using a real spider as inspiration, but it never really worked out. To date though, this is probably my most successful stab at it.

Warp Spiders can get really busy really fast, so I wanted to keep it as uncomplicated as possible. All the cloth/underarmor was light grey, all body armor was green (except for the shins where I felt it needed a little black to balance it out), metal was silver, gun/shell black, & energy/gems were purple. Ideally, this kept it simpler, and cohesive. I feel like the green & light grey work well together, so it's pretty successful. I never know what to do with the gun barrel, so I was pretty content with my purple energy dots solution as well. 

While trying to find another Xeno race I remembered the oft-maligned Vespid. I had a plan for this guy, but I really didn't have the time. I intended to paint it up like a wasp. Yellow armor with black sections where the plates meet to give it a really insectoid vibe, but that was going to take way too long, so I played around with grey with a few organic speckles. It wasn't my original vision, but it was awfully fast.
I'm going to have to revisit this guy in the next few days, since I noticed the Tau symbol in incomplete. I might fix that next time I bring my paints down.

I have the last two finished as well. but I thought I'd do it in two posts to keep it from getting too wordy.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Day 26: Necron Pariah

This is another mini that has been in my bits box for ages. I have no idea why it was there or where it came from. They don't even exist in the codex any more. Either way, I managed to collect all the bits for this mini just before the start of my challenge. I modified a Necron scheme I'd tried a while back, although it ended up a bit too gold for my liking. I might strip him & start from scratch at a later date. We'll see.

Looking at it now, I think the entire chest, and groin-plate should be black with gold trim. Maybe the shoulder portion of the arms as well. Eh, you live & you learn.