Wednesday 10 July 2024

Oozes sah

 Faaasahnds of ‘em!


So, after previously making some oozes, I was reading the adventure that I needed them for and realised that I actually needed two Ochre Jellies, so set about making another (complete with smaller and smaller versions, in case they get to use their splitting power):


Honestly, if you haven’t tried making ooze minis out of hot glue I heartily recommend giving it a go, the mild burns you’ll sustain are more than made up for by how satisfying a goopy mini you get at the end.

As I’d had so much fun before, I figured I could also make a different sort of ooze, a Black Pudding:


Same method of construction as before, but instead of getting glazed so that it was still transparent, they got a couple of coats of thinned Corvus Black (which is pretty much a very, very dark grey), then washed with Dark Tone, and then given a gloss varnish coat to make them look extra slimy.

I also selected the glue models that were extra ‘tentacle-y’ for the Black Pudding, as in the official art it looks like it’s especially grasping:


Finally, as I was making my plans, I figured that with just a couple more slimes I could use these in place of vapour snakes for Frostgrave, and so prepped two more medium and two more small bases, which would give me eight of each when I was one, which I assumed would be enough. But what to paint them as? I was tempted to paint them grey to hit another Monster Manual entry, and considered green or blue to make them look a bit manically or acidic, but then I thought ‘wait, what’s the best way I could mess with my family during D&D’, and realised that it was probably having pools of blood animate and attack them:


There were stippled with a couple of coats of Blood for the Blood God, as I wants it to look like flakes or drops of blood suspended in a slime. I could probably have gone a little darker, but worried that if I did it wouldn’t really read as ‘liquid’ any more, so this is how they’ll stay.

Finally, here’s a posed shot of my daughter’s Druid character getting menaced by a number of slimy foes:


Finishing these brings the Tally to:

38 vs 152 = -114


What next? I ordered myself a sculpting tool a that I could see about green stuffing some more Mexicans, but unfortunately it got delivered to our old address, which took a week to get sorted (as our old landlord apparently took the parcel to her house, and then forgot to bring it over after saying she’d drop it off…). Hopefully my enthusiasm is still as high when I finally get a chance to use it as it was a week ago…

Tuesday 2 July 2024

Alamo Test Model

I know I usually have a dumb pun or obscure reference for my blog post titles, but that’s really all I could think of for this - I’ve finished my test model for my Alamo Mexicans:


He’s actually been finished for a week or two now, but I kept looking at him thinking maybe I should do something else, and then got distracted building him some chums, but in the end I think he’s as done as he’s going to be.

He’s a lightly converted Warlord Napoleonic French chap that came free with a magazine at the end of last year (and I unfortunately missed out on getting a bunch more of for crazy cheap in the Warlord Sprue Sale as I emailed asking if something not in the sale would likely come back into stock soon, and in the single day it took for them to get back to me half of the things in my online basket had gone out of stock). Paint scheme involved having to nip out and buy anew pot of paint too, as I didn’t have a blue quite bright enough for what I wanted.


He’s a little scruffy, but I think I can relocate this scheme across multiple chaps, and they’ll look grand en Masse I think. Also, I gave him a Mexican colours plume, because I think it looks cool, when strictly I think he should have had a fully green Pom Pom. 

The conversion was pretty straightforward - as the Mexican troops dumped their gear before the attack on the Alamo, I carefully cut the cartridge pouch off of the models backpack, filled with green stuff the hole that the backpack would usually clip into, and then inspired by Chris Peach used masking tape hardened with superglue to make his back straps. Chris Peach approved:

So, where has my obsession with the Alamo come from when I’ve historically (pun intended) been a fantasy and zombie gamer? I’m… not sure, to be honest. Usually I can track the train of thought that ends up with me starting a new project, but this one is a bit of a mystery to me. The best I can think is that with the Silver Bayonet reminding me how much I liked Sharpe as a child and showing me how snazzy Napoleonic uniforms are, and my other random new obsession with cowboys (roll on the second part of the latest season of Yellowstone), the Alamo is basically the best of both worlds…

Or maybe I’m just approaching middle age. I’ve bought 3 Ospreys, and have been thoroughly enjoying them. My main inspirational image so far has been this one:


So if anyone knows anyone that makes heads with scarves and straw hats that scale nicely with Perry plastics, let me know! That, or if anyone knows of a UK stockist of Boot Hill Miniatures, since postage from Brigade in the States is a bit of a turnoff…

The Tally has also taken a hit in the other direction, as nipping into our local games store I noticed that they’d had a restock of D&D monsters, so I grabbed a couple of packs of mimics to potentially harangue my family with:


Side note - why is it that on the rare occasions that I find a store that stocks these minis, the always have tons of player characters, but very few monsters? Surely monsters is where the money is at, since a layer will buy one pack, but a DM needs to buy plenty… 

All in, the Tally now stands at:

24 vs 152

We’re pretty much halfway through the year, so I’m not actually that far off of keeping to my ‘average one mini a week’ Challenge. Unlikely to get it back into the black though, especially when you consider that a friend and I have gone halves on a mystery box of 40 minis, with the plan being to draft them…

Sunday 16 June 2024

Handy is as handy does

Several weeks ago, like many people we watched the Fallout TV show, and it made me want to revisit my Fallout project, so I dig out a Brother Vinni robot that had been sat unbuilt in his baggie for far too long. After putting together so many tiny fiddly bits, it looks real nice, and several applications of dirt grime and rust over a shiny chrome basecoat later looks like this:


The flying stand is slightly wonky, but let’s be friends and pretend that was intentional to create the illusion of movement.


I’d long ignored the Modiphius Fallout game, as the minis for it are on the larger side and so wouldn’t match anything that I’d previously painted for the project, but thinking about it I could just use the rules with my own minis, which a timely Humble Bundle furnished me with. I’ll probably pick up the two player starter at some point in the future too, as I figure Super Mutant miniatures looking over my survivors would look less out of place than a survivor being head and shoulders taller than is companions.

Although…


Speaking of looming head and shoulders over a survivor, here’s our handy robot chum next to a vault dweller to give you an idea of scale:


The Tally has also take a couple of bits in the opposite direction.

I popped into GW before picking my son up from Squirrels during the week to grab a pot of paint, and also grabbed the latest mini of the month:


As there’s always space for a lady barbarian in my life, and doubly so if she’s free.

Also, it’s Father’s Day today, and so I was gifted with this:


A kit with a miniature, a couple of brushes, and some little pots of Vallejo paint, which was nice. Funny story, my wife asked if there were any particular miniatures that I wanted that she could point the kids towards, so I explained about the Monstrous Alphabet project, and told her that I’d actually made a list recently of what monsters I still needed to do, explaining that the ones in brackets were the ones that I didn’t actually own yet. She had it backwards though, and thought that the ones in brackets were the ones I didn’t own, so I should probably dig out all of the other Yuan Ti minis I already own so that he can have some friends on the painting tile!

All in all, the Tally now stands at:

23 vs 149 = -126

Next - something that’s been alluded to a few times in previous posts…

Tuesday 4 June 2024

Oozy like Sunday morning…

Once again necessity for the family D&D game has steered my output, with the possibility of needing an Ochre Jelly in the near future:

Having seen how much it would cost to buy an official mini, I set out to make my own. Especially since if an Ochre Jelly suffers slashing or light ing damage, it splits into two smaller jellies (and theoretically if it gets hit again could then split into even smaller jellies!), so I’d need multiple miniatures. Years back, I’d planned to make a gelatinous cube using a hot glue gun, and a few YouTube videos seemed to suggest that this was a viable plan. So, I dug out my trusty glue gun, and traced around the various bases that I wanted slimes for to use as a template:


Then it was a case of gooping an appropriately sized glob of hot glue onto the template, and then desperately flipping it round to let gravity pull it into various shapes to look like it was reaching out an oozy tendril towards a hapless adventurer:


I had a ramekin of cold water on hand so that I could quickly set any results that I found particularly pleasing. With a lot of trial and error (and managing to burn the palm of my hand as I reflexively caught a blob of hot glue that I had allowed to drip too much towards the kitchen counter), and in some cases additional layers of glue, I had my five ooze miniatures. 

I made them on greaseproof paper rather than straight onto a base to give myself some room for error, and figured that I’d be able to glue them, with their nice flat bottoms, straight onto a painted base:


Obviously that looked awful, so I bit the bullet and applied a generous dose of hot glue to the bottom of each of them and smooshed it onto the painted base, so they actually looked like they were on it. The first attempt I was a bit timid, and ended up ripping a chunk of painted sand, but even more hot glue fixed that and you wouldn’t actually be able to tell if I hadn’t told you now, so I’d consider that a roaring success.

Then, it was time to paint them. Worrying that it might not take paint well, and I might ruin what I’d achieved so far, I quickly knocked up another mini slime to test out paint on:

And it came out looking like this, which I was very pleased with!

That’s a coat of the old GW Casandora Shade, and came out looking great - it’s definitively yellow, but still remains translucent and so looks nicely oozy.

Here’s a family picture of all of them, which due to their relatively low profiles are fairly hard to get a good picture of:


The biggest one is on a 50mm base, with the medium on a 25 and the smallest on a 20. 

Here they are from side on, to try and show their oozy lunging:


And from above, just because:


Finishing these brings the Tally to:

22 vs 147 = -125

And also updates the Monstrous Alphabet:


A is for
B is for Bullywug
C is for Carrion Crawler
D is for
E is for Elemental (More than one)
F is for Flameskull
G is for Goblin
H is for
I is for
J is for
K is for
L is for Lich
M is for Mind FlayerMyconidMummyManticore
N is for
O is for Owlbear
P is for Purple Worm
Q is for
R is for Rust Monster
S is for Shambling MoundScarecrowSkeleton
T is for Thri-Kreen
U is for
V is for
W is for Wraith
X is for
Y is for
Z is for Zombie

I’m also tempted to make some more in different colours that can also double as vapour snakes for Frostgrave. Not an original idea I know, but I’ve really come around on it now…

Back at work this week (and working further afield than usual, so deathly tired by the evening), so this is the end of this current streak of productivity!

On the family D&D front, we’ve now finished Dragons of Stormwreck Isle - they’ve killed their first dragon, and my youngest’s response was to ask if he could carve it’s heart out, so I guess he’s taken to the stereotype fairly well. They’ve had some quest hooks exposited to them, with the plan being to run a mash-up of Dragon of Icespire Peak and Lost Mine of Phandelver, but first they were bequeathed the deed to a keep, and need to clear it out so that they can claim their prize…

Monday 3 June 2024

Additional gargoyles

As ever, I continue to hop from project to project as my fancy wanders to keep motivated. Looking way ahead, if I play through the Silver Bayonet expansion The Carpathians I’ll need four gargoyles, and handily years back I painted… three Mage Knight gargoyles. Handily I knew I had some more stashed somewhere, so dig them out and tried to match my decades old paint job:

If anything, they’ve come out a bit cleaner than my original paintjob, but it’s close enough I think.


Here they are all together:

I only need four, but I figured I might as well paint both the figs that I found just in case, especially as I’m finding running D&D that I often need multiples of the same type of miniature, so all these one off low level creatures like frogs and snakes I’ve painted in the past are less useful than you’d think… 

Interestingly, it seems the newer paintjobs are slightly different sculpts to the originals, having smaller wings, which is odd as I thought they were all the same Mage Knight Dungeons Gargoyles figure. Google suggests that the gargoyle does on fact have small wings, so I wonder if past me cut up a named character gargoyle? Eh, I needed gargoyles, and gargoyles I have, so it’s all good.

Finishing this pair brings the Tally to:

17 vs 147 = -130

Sunday 2 June 2024

Dem bones dem bones

 Dem huge bones:

I’ve been reading my children the D&D Dungeon Academy books on and off at bedtime, and one plot point involved the party fighting a necromancer who had a bunch of defeated skeletons reform and combine into a bigger threat and I thought you know what I’m stealing that, and so this Mage Knight figure that was in parts in a baggie got fast-tracked to the front of the painting queue:


Bam, a giant skeleton made of smaller skeletons, mostly drybrushed so very quick to get finished.


I own a couple of construct based mini campaigns for Frostgrave too, so it can also stand in for a large Construct if at some point in the future Tim the Necromancer learns how to make those…

Another mini painted, another gradual slide back towards being in the black for the Tally:

15 vs 147 = -132

Speaking of minis that are quick to get finished, I’ll leave you with a sneak peek of something else I’ve been experimenting with:

Friday 31 May 2024

Mortal Enemies

I pre-ordered the latest Frostgrave expansion Mortal Enemies pretty much the moment I read a synopsis of it, as I figured it would slot quite neatly into my solo campaign, and I imagined Tim the Necromancer was likely to have made an enemy or two on his rise to… well, not power, but whatever it is he’s managed to achieve so far.

So, I set about rolling up a random foe for Tim, and came up with a Lich accompanied by 2 men at arms, 2 wolves, and 2 werewolves, which is handy as I won’t need to paint anything up for that, having previously painted wolves and werewolves for Frostgrave, and some Stark troopers will fit in nicely there with their wolf head shields too.

When it came time to roll for spells, there was nothing that particularly inspired me. Bones of the Earth was nicely thematic, as well as a couple of spells to buff their troops… then I rolled Circle of Protection. I couldn’t remember what that spell actually did, so looked it up in the rulebook. And realised it would just pin the Lich in place, so was entirely pointless, so I decided to re-roll it. And rolled Beauty, which was when everything snapped into place and I realised I had the perfect miniature for that:


A Lich Sorceress from RAFM that I bought years ago, potentially at my very first Salute. She was sealed in a blister, so I’d only ever seen the back of her cape, but when I cracked it open she was even more perfect than I could initially have imagined.

With this, her backstory writes itself - Tim has broken the heart of a powerful sorceress, presumably after cuddling up to her to gain some magical knowledge or access to her library, and now she’s hunting him down. Maybe she enchanted herself to look like a beauty to seduce him, maybe he was entirely motivated by material gain, we’ll probably never know, but Tim presumably looks a little sheepish whenever anyone asks who it is that just smashed through the window bellowing for his blood…

Here’s the back of her too, the only bit that I’d seen for the first decade or so of owning her. I went a bit too hard drybrushing, but she’s a dusty old monster so I’m not mad  at the finished effect.

Finishing her brings the Tally to:

14 vs 147 = -134

In other news, I’ve also started a test model for my Alamo project:


Friday 24 May 2024

T is for…

 …Thri-Kreen!


Another pair of minis from Nolzur’s, again purchased ages ago but only just making their way to the front of the painting queue.


My painting light died, and so painting these by the dim glow of my living room light was less than pleasurable, as I was struggling to make out the details and regularly missing spots that I would have to go back and fix later. I’ve since borrowed my daughter’s lamp, and so was able to finish these semi-satisfactorily.

I forget where I got the idea, but some time ago I got it into my head that it would be an interesting encounter for a party to stumble on a pair of very lost Thri-Kreen and their pet Rust Monster (potentially tied on a bit of string) who would chitter incomprehensibly and then try to eat someone, and I think I’ve found somewhere to slot that into our family D&D game, so here’s to hoping!

Finishing these brings the Tally to:

13 vs 147 = -134

And brings the Monstrous Alphabet up to

A is for
B is for Bullywug
C is for Carrion Crawler
D is for
E is for Elemental (More than one)
F is for Flameskull
G is for Goblin
H is for
I is for
J is for
K is for
L is for Lich
M is for Mind FlayerMyconidMummyManticore
N is for
O is for Owlbear
P is for Purple Worm
Q is for
R is for Rust Monster
S is for Shambling MoundScarecrowSkeleton
T is for Thri-Kreen
U is for
V is for
W is for Wraith
X is for
Y is for
Z is for Zombie

In other news, this was my 500th post apparently, wild!

Saturday 11 May 2024

R is for…

 …Rust Monster:


A Nolzur’s mini that I bought aaaaages ago after having an idea for an encounter that I’m potentially going to throw at my family in the near future. Pretty quick to paint up, mostly being a single colour that was achieved with a base coat, dark wash, then a couple of drybrushes.


Yes, I could do with tidying up the legs where I was a bit messy painting the base, but then again abandoned dungeons are pretty dusty, so let’s say it was intentional weathering.

I’ve also painted up the little bit of scenery that came with it, because I’m going to do everything that I can to telegraph to my family that this thing eats metal before they try to start poking it with their metal swords…

Running a weekly D&D game has done some interesting things to my painting routine too. Where usually I’d paint things form a couple of projects as they took my fancy, now some things get prioritised because there’s a definite deadline they’re needed for! Admittedly, I’ve been more flexible with minis than I thought I’d be, like having goblins sun in for kobolds, but when I actually have the right mini already it’d be a shame not to get it painted!


Painting him brings the Tally to:

11 vs 147 = -136


As well as knocking another letter off of the Monstrous Alphabet:


A is for
B is for Bullywug
C is for Carrion Crawler
D is for
E is for Elemental (More than one)
F is for Flameskull
G is for Goblin
H is for
I is for
J is for
K is for
L is for Lich
M is for Mind FlayerMyconidMummy, Manticore
N is for
O is for Owlbear
P is for Purple Worm
Q is for
R is for Rust Monster
S is for Shambling MoundScarecrowSkeleton
T is for
U is for
V is for
W is for Wraith
X is for
Y is for
Z is for Zombie

Next, hopefully the other two minis that I need for this encounter - which also knock off another letter - can you guess what it is?

Thursday 9 May 2024

Doctor something, I presume?

This week I’ve finished another model for my Silver Bayonet unit:


A Doctor, converted from a Perry British Command figure, with some Frostgrave accessories. The unit is themed around vampire hunting, so his medical kit is mostly weird doodads in a sack on his back rather than anything more traditional. 

I imagine he’s called something like John Fotherington-Smythe, and is also a survivor of the massacre that led the Captain on their quest for vengeance. 

Painting wise, there are so many things that I’m looking at in the pictures that I could have done differently, like the fire on the torch and the back of his jacket, but I think he’s fine enough to play with (and the rest of the minis in the painting queue aren’t getting any more painted if I spend any longer on him!)


Painting him brings the Tally to:

10 vs 147 = -137

I’ve definitely got enough finished to use the Unit in co-op Silver Bayonet play, but I need to decide what else to paint for solo or versus play. Conventional wisdom suggests a couple of mooks to up the numbers, but there are so many cool options in the rulebook that I’m tempted by something more esoteric…

Saturday 4 May 2024

Distant tooting 2: electric boogaloo

As is tradition, for May the Fourth I present a Star Wars themed miniature, and this year we have a Grogu expy from Diehard miniatures:


Also handy for meaning that I’ve actually painted something that I purchased at Salute, which doesn’t necessarily always happen in the same year… 

Natural light means you can actually see some of the painting, which makes a nice change. I probably should have given him even bigger pupils to make him more screen accurate, but I quite like how they turned out so I’ll stick with that I think.


He also goes quite nicely with my May the Fourth offering from 2021:


Re-reading the original post, I notice that Tim Prow actually commented on it at the time saying that this mini was available!

Painting him brings the Tally to:

9 vs 147 = -138

I’ve managed to not acquire any more miniatures this week, so the Tally continues to push towards being back in the black slowly. 

As for what’s next? I’ve got Frostgrave and Silver Bayonet minis approaching completion on my painting tile currently, but on the other hand we’ve been watching the Fallout TV series, so that project is back on. I wonder if I could use the Modiphius rules and proxy in my own stuff? It’s a shame that there’s no stock of the starter set at work…

Sunday 28 April 2024

Half lion, half dragon…

 …half whatever other bits were left in the wizards’ bits box, it’s a manticore:


Depending on where they go in the future, they might end up fighting a manticore in my family D&D game, so this Mage Knight mini got rebased and repainted just in case. I quite like his angry little face. 

Here’s the back too!

I also received a mini in the post that I ordered while at Salute (a West Wind Samurai chap):

Which means the Tally swings both ways this week and ends up at:

8 vs 147 = -139

And while it doesn’t complete any more letters in the Monstrous Alphabet, it does update it to this:

A is for
B is for Bullywug
C is for Carrion Crawler
D is for
E is for Elemental (More than one)
F is for Flameskull
G is for Goblin
H is for
I is for
J is for
K is for
L is for Lich
M is for Mind FlayerMyconidMummy, Manticore
N is for
O is for Owlbear
P is for Purple Worm
Q is for
R is for
S is for Shambling MoundScarecrowSkeleton
T is for
U is for
V is for
W is for Wraith
X is for
Y is for
Z is for Zombie