Friday, January 31, 2014

They Might Be Giants, 2014

Over at the Reaper message boards, there's an informal competition started for 2014.  Normally I'm not much concerned with competing, but a year long contest to paint a 'large' mini was too tempting.  It's also an informal event, so I'm using it as a chance to paint something I don't do very often.

Cue the Reaper Bones material.  I picked up a few giants to give me some choices (and free shipping, never say no to free shipping).  The cloud giant, frost giant and remorhaz are all interesting, as is the Belladonna figure I grabbed a while ago (L to R in the photo).  Far right is a lovely dram of Jura Superstition single malt scotch whisky, but that's for another post.

However, the one I picked is a fire giant (you can sort of see her in the upper left, above).  I like her stance, the facial expression, and that cloak. Wow. Intimidates me as much as makes me drool to paint it.  She'll need some straightening and other prep, plus some sort of scenic base.  I'm thinking lava flows but we'll see. 

Looking in the Pathfinder Bestiary, I see fire giants are lawful evil and highly regimented and militaristic.  Their hair also looks like flame.  Needless to say, this has my artistic gears churning.  A lava flow base, dark skin and flaming hair.  Something with colour but not too overwhelming for her cloak and some cool armour.  Hmmm, I could enjoy this.  

I check the Pathfinder books not to limit creativity (as I'll ignore what I don't like), but for both inspiration and the basic fact that I use these minis for gaming.  As much as they 're display pieces, I like having some pretty models for the game.  As a GM pre-painted plastics are fine for hordes, but when you've got a special villain, recurring character or something like that, being able to plonk down the exact mini is awesome.  (And if any of my players are reading this, beware! Unless I'm faking you out.  Or not.)

First, however, I have some Eldar models to finish up, but then this will be both a fun project and a palate (palette?) cleanser.  Something in between wargaming models.  

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Adventurers, Part 2

Here are the next two miniatures I painted over the holidays.  As before, my photo setup is rudimentary (actually, primitive would be a more fitting descriptor), so there's a bit of glare from the flash, and the lighting in the office isn't top notch).  First is Chalderos the wizard.

Chalderos was a lot of fun to paint. As with the others, I started with the player's favourite colour, which was red. The cloak was a joy to paint. I'm also in love with P3's Coal Black colour. It's a black with tones of blue-green and looks really good. For those keeping track, the cloak is Skorne Red.  I kept to more natural colours for the rest, so as not to overshadow the main colours. It was tough though. Wizards and other spellcasters can be a pain, due to all the pouches, scrolls, vials and other gear they carry.  I want to make it interesting, but too much variance and it becomes a clownish riot of colour.  I think it turned out well, mostly using bronze and leather colours.  The base is part metal, part sculpted.  Since I put the minis on spare Warhammer 40k bases, I usually have to build up the base with putty to finish it off.  In this case, I sculpted a continuation of the stonework that was the original base. Once painted, you can't tell the difference.  To top it off, the green gem on the staff finishes the mini, adding a complement to the red.

The next one is my daughter's mini, Kyra the cleric of Desna. For this one I used blue. Mainly as it is a traditional Desnan colour, but also because I used her favourite colour (purple) for a mini in another campaign.

The blue is Cygnar Blue from P3 again.  I love this colour. The character is mostly robe, so the blue dominates the miniature.  I went with more neutral colours for the rest of her clothes, even over my daughter's objections to the linen pants (told you it would look great!). The hair also worked well, the rich brown turned out just like I expected.  It's hard to see in the photos, but I did a stylized silver butterfly (one of Desna's symbols) on the robe.  Following the curve of the robe on curved wings ... ugh.  It came out pretty decent though, so I'm happy with it.

Needless to say, the kids were pleased, and we'll have plenty of games to come with them.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Adventurers

Here's a few photos of two of the miniatures I painted over the holidays.  The first is for one of my daughter's friends, who plays the elven fighter Tiraimi in the Pathfinder RPG campaign I'm running for them (Serpent's Skull adventure path, for those keeping track).

(Note that I do not have a miniature photography studio, so the quality of the pics will not be great)

In this case, the armour, oh the armour.  This was the first time I used the Armour Wash from Privateer Press' P3 paint line.  Wow.  What a difference.  Outside of that, the teal colour is Meredius Blue (also P3) with a blue ink wash and arcane blue highlingt (also P3).  The most fun to paint was the armour.  The white, as usual, was a pain, but hey, it looks good.

The next one is Hubert the dwarven rogue.  For this one, I chose a more limited palette (mostly green, black and some brown leathers) as rogues aren't in the business of standing out.  The beard and face were a joy to paint, and I think the colour mix managed to be interesting yet blend well together too.  

As I said, the pics aren't the greatest.  I'm planning on cobbling together something better in the future.  Next, I'll show off the other two.  They make a pretty good looking adventuring party, if I do say so myself. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Review of 2013

Not really a review of the year, but a review of the goals I set out.  They weren’t many, but I like to keep things simple.  Sadly, simple and easy don’t get along very well.

Two things came off the list, one was to finish my Phase VI and get promoted.  Done!  Life is good, though it did suck up almost every useful moment from January to the end of March.  Still, totally worth it, as my final board went really well.

The second was to have more miniatures painted than I had before.  Also a win, though barely as it was only a few Eldar as well as some RPG minis.  More on those later.  Still a win though.

As for finishing the first draft of Queen’s Legacy, well, no.  That didn’t happen.  So, it’s on me to get on that and put the effort in to get it done.  Some cases, I had good reason (see getting promoted, above), and in others, I just got lazy/procrastinated.  All it does is push back the eventual publish date (or that of the next, or the next).  On the plus side, I found new energy in the story, and later months were much better for getting writing done, especially once I decompressed from all the studying/working early in the year.

In the end, I have myself to blame for successes, lack of successes and outright failures.  In between goals, we had a lot of fun playing games as a family, I started a new Pathfinder campaign which now plays regularly and got some things sorted out around the house (yes, we’re still unpacking and organizing).  We also got out to Big White ski resort (more on that later too).

Overall, 2013 was pretty good.  Now going into 2014:

  1. Finish Queen’s Legacy first draft
  2. Begin the editing process on Queen’s Legacy
  3. Begin planning the next writing project (during the necessary downtime after Queen’s Legacy first draft)
  4. Paint some more models (finish a whole army would be nice)

That’s about it.  More time spent in the writing chair.  In between there’ll be games, some vacations and some sailing time.

Looking forward to it.