Saturday, May 28, 2016

A Giant Among Angels

About a year ago, I celebrated getting a pretty good job by buying an Imperial Knight titan. That job turned out to not be so good in the long run but hey, at least I ended up with a Knight. About a week ago, at my current job with Black Moon Games hosted a big 40k mega battle. We had 9 players with 1500+ points each. It looked a little something like this:

Of course, knowing this was coming up, I felt I had to bring something big to the table. You can see a preview of that big thing in the picture above on the left. If you haven't guessed already, that thing is my Knight titan. Seriously, if you didn't guess I am ashamed of you.

But before I get to the actual pictures, a little background...

House Feihn

Heraldry of House Feihn
House Feihn is the ruling house on the Knight World of Cullough. Only recently returned to the Imperial fold a scant 500 years ago, Cullough was rediscovered by the Dark Angels chapter of the Adeptus Astartes. Despite having lived outside of Imperial rule for so long, Cullough has become a staunchly loyal world and provides food and supplies to the Dark Angels, as well as occasional recruits. The Knight World's harsh, feudal society creates fierce warriors with unquestionable loyalty to their houses. As the ruling house, Feihn provides a fair number of these recruits as well as support from its knight titans when requested.

Most recently, Cullough found itself under attack by an ork Waaagh! that threatened to overrun the planet. Though their knights were able to defend the great bastions of the houses, aid was required to break the ork sieges. The Dark Angels' 3rd company responded, obliterating the ork forces in precise sweeps of bolter fire, driving the beasts up against the very walls they were trying to tear down. Seeing the orks boxed in, the knights sallied forth to slaughter the remnants.

Following the successful cleansing and rebuilding of the world, House Lord Kieran Feihn honored their rescuers by providing his youngest son, Aldric, and his knight titan to the chapter for permanent support attachment. Aldric is currently attached to the Dark Angels 3rd company.

The Nephilim

Aldric Feihn pilots an Imperial Knight Warden named The Nephilim, after the giants born of angels in ancient Terran legends. He is well know in his house for his combat skills and the Dark Angels are glad of the firepower and ferocity he brings to each combat. Though never possessing the necessary attributes to be recruited for Astartes training, Aldric grew up with stories of the chapter's glory in battle and aspires to the same principles as the Emperor's finest.

Attached to the Dark Angels' 3rd battle company, The Nephilim bears the company's banner on its carapace, as well as the chapter's winged sword badge on Aldric's own banner. Of course, Aldric proudly displays House Feihn's heraldry on The Nephilim's shield.

Ok, enough of that drivel, on to the pictures!

As you can see, he's covered with the requisite abundance of swords and wings, along with some Gothic numerals to spice things up. I am not super happy with the house heraldry, since I discovered it was a much harder design for me to paint than it looked at first. I am apparently terrible with U

I am most proud of the wings on the rear of the shoulders, since when viewed from the top they sort of connect with the swords and when viewed from the rear it looks like the titan has a set of its own wings. I also really like the lettering on the scroll, even if it looks kinda crappy in close up photos.

The base was a real pain. It is a resin base from a company whose name escapes me at the moment that I found cheap on eBay. The knight has already been mounted on the base it came with and the feet didn't quite rest properly on the new texture. Of course the feet are hollow, so in order to pin it, I had to fill a couple toes with green stuff. It is held in place with wood glue around the pins, but it still feels fragile to me. Hopefully I can find a good system in the future but for now it does the job.

That's all for now and thanks for reading. Happy gaming!

Monday, April 4, 2016

More Cryxy Cryxness

Well March was a bust. I've been meaning to post, since I did actually get things done but laziness and a cold proceeded to kick my ass so I took a month off from posting. But here's what I did accomplish and hopefully I can get one more thing done this month to make it a double post month.

Anyway, this month celebrates a milestone, and that's me actually finishing the last bit of my original plan to paint a 15 Point Cryx force. Yes the one I started back in 2014. Yes, I just finished it. This is how I work.

The final piece is the ubiquitous Skarlock Thrall, mostly used to put Ghostly on Bane Thralls for fun times, but also good for debuffing and generally being a nuisance. It's hard not to take a free spell each turn for 2 points.

I went with the same purple and glowing green I've been using across the army. He came out a little bright, since I was experimenting with some new undead flesh (which I like) and there's not a lot of dark metal areas to begin with.

The flash I'm using on my phone also takes it up a bit. Sorry for that. I'm still playing around with techniques and haven't yet mastered this new camera.

While I was working on this guy, I was also inspired to hit the ol' metal battle box Slayer with some updated paint as well. Mostly it was because it was already half painted but also because it allows me to run a more battle box style list for demos and it's a 6 point missile of destruction when used properly.

He came out quite nicely for being dropped on the floor and losing his arms and head mid-painting. The paint job alone makes me want to bring him to the table, even though most times banes are more efficient for the point cost. There's just a stompy evil-ness about the model I've always loved.

Anyway, that's one blog post down with hopefully another to follow at some point. It was kind of nice to work on something other than Frostgrave but I do want to get back to that soon. I'm also itching to do a different kind of post than just minis at some point. Maybe a battle report or review or something.

That's all for now. Happy gaming!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

One With The Wind And Sky

Like many of my generation, I am essentially a giant child. Because of this I collect little toy men and push them around the table, rolling dice and occasionally make "pew pew" noises. I play pretend as a hobby. I obsess about things like Star Wars and Transformers. I also enjoy cartoons, and as an extension of that, Disney movies.

Traditionally, those movies have consisted of the Aladdin, Mulan and Lion King kinds rather than the Little Mermaid or Cinderella kinds, but one very princessy one has managed to squeeze in there and that's Frozen. I am not sure exactly why I enjoy it so much. Maybe it's the music, maybe it's the themes of isolation, loneliness and self-acceptance, or maybe I just have a thing for leggy, blonde queens with ice powers.

I don't know.
So when I heard that North Star Military figures had a set of stand-ins for Elsa and Anna, I took the opportunity to pick them up to add to my Frostgrave collection. The set in question, of course, are the Young Fire Elementalists:

The resemblance isn't exactly subtle. They aren't exact copies of course but they're close enough. With a suitable paint job they'd look perfect in the frozen city, leading a new Elementalist warband. First up we have the snow queen herself, Elsa:

I went with really pale skin, and the rest was all swathes of cloth, which I will admit is not my strongest suit. But the colors are pretty close and the point gets across. Elsa is the wizard out of the two, and therefore the more powerful. To show this, I added snow spreading out behind her, as if leaving a trail behind her as she walks.

The snow is from an old tub of Citadel snow flock that up until now I had never used. I like the effect although it's a little fluffier than I had intended. 

Of course Elsa is never far from her sister Anna:

I'll admit I kinda half-assed this one. I'm not as big a fan of Anna and I sort of rushed getting this one done. For that reason I decided to forgo the agony of trying to freehand the flower designs on her bodice and skirt. I just didn't have it in me to be that frustrated.

Of course the biggest departure from the character is her actually having powers. Despite the visible magic effect, Anna is the apprentice. Because of that, I did the snow on her base as just footprints, not as extensive as her sister but still a sign of power.

I had a lot of fun painting these two up, and while it may be a while before they get a warband assembled for them, they'll go on display for the time being. While I enjoyed the process, there are a couple of things I felt the figures fell short on. And when I say short I mean short.

Since the models weren't originally for Frostgrave, they are a lot smaller. Not necessarily outside the range for normal human females, but enough that they look odd. They are more like a true 25mm than 28mm. The other thing I wasn't a fan of was the eyes. They are sculpted and therefore a set shape and size. This makes the eyes rather huge and starey. They almost look right into your soul.

I don't really have the skill to minimize this effect, but they look better than some eyes I've painted.

That's all for now. Happy gaming and stay frosty!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Few Tokens

Frostgrave is a game where spells are slinging all over the place and there are a few rules that require tracking, like reloading crossbows. While one of the things I like about skirmish games is that extra layer of depth and detail, sometimes it is hard to keep track of things without having to constantly write things down, reference sheets, erase marks, etc.

To try and cut down on that, I decided to make up a few tokens for effects I commonly use in my main warband. I'm lucky enough to have a big bag of random parts or two lying around that I received in trade, so I went digging and came up with these:

The top three quivers are reload reminders for crossbows. Now when I fire a crossbow I can drop a quiver next to the model, then pick it up when I've reloaded. It's a quick visual reminder and looks cool on the table. I'm not sure exactly what models the quivers came from but I know they are Games Workshop pieces.

The armored arms are tokens to place next to models I've buffed with the Strength spell. I tried to make them ghostly/magical blue to help them stand out. I'm not super happy with them, so I may go back and drybrush them again with white, but I'll see how they do in a few battles first. I don't want them so light they get lost on the snow mat. The arms are old GW Empire Knight arms.

And to model these lovely tokens we have Sir Hadrian, although he lacks the requisite crossbow to reload:

They should get the job done. These tokens, along with my fog walls I made a while back, should give me everything I need to track spells and minor effects without needing a pencil. As my wizard learns new spells, I should have some more fun token projects ahead.

That's all for now! Happy gaming!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Untold Treasures

No good adventure is complete without treasure. It's the reason most adventurers hit the road, killing everything in their path as they wander from one end of the realm to the other looking for that sweet, sweet loot.

Frostgrave, of course, centers around this bloody gold-lust. Needing treasure tokens for Frostgrave gave me a wonderful opportunity to find something wondrous and shiny for my wizards to compete for.

Looking around at various company's offerings, I set eyes upon Ristul's Extraordinary Market's Cursed Treasure set. Not only does it have some really magical looking treasture, but there was no way I could pass up that Conan-the-Barbarian-Atlantean-skeleton look-alike.

I haven't gotten to that piece yet, but since I am running demos for Frostgrave, I needed my tokens now. I chose six of the treasure piles and set to work. Here are the results:

These were a simple drybrush with metallics, then picking out the jewels, chests and weapons for detail. All in all they came out splendidly, and look great next to my warband.

Of course, I would be lying if these little beauties didn't find their way into D&D. They look especially good on my 3D dungeon terrain.

I have a couple of other things I want to work on first, but I can't wait to finish this set. That skeleton will also be perfect for all things dungeon crawl, so he needs to be finished ASAP. Until then, these treasure piles will be hauled about quite a bit, hopefully so wizards, thieves, clerics and warriors can retire and stop slaughtering every living creature they come across for their pocket change.

Goddamnit, there they go again.
Happy gaming!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Feeling A Bit Impish

Hello again and welcome to the December update. This one is gonna be quick and dirty, since I didn't have much time this month to make any real progress. However, I did crank out a couple of imps for Frostgrave, both for use in the bestiary and for the summoner I'm planning to run using my Thaw of the Lich Lord stuff. Anyway, here are the little buggers:

The imp on the left is a very old Warhammer Quest snotling I sculpted into a mini-plaguebearer long ago, mostly to see if I could do it. He is painted with only base coats and a brown wash, so I am rather pleased with the result. The imp on the right is a Reaper Bones familiar, sort of a mini fire elemental. To underscore it's supernatural nature, I did the flames purple. She's just drybrushing and I like the way she came out, though the sculpt is a letdown. It's kind of hard to remove a mold-line running directly through your main area of detail. Especially on Bones minis, which are bright white and hide detail to begin with.

That's the front and now the rear:

I like imp butts and I cannot lie.
 Not much else to say about these little guys. They were a fun quick project. Nothing terribly amazing but they'll do for the tabletop.

That's all for now! Happy holidays and happy gaming!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Always Two, There Are....

I'm the kind of painter that doesn't tie himself down to specific projects. I paint what I want, when I want and rely a lot on inspiration to get things done. Obviously, this gets fewer things done than some sort of crazy "ambition-based" system.

However, since hopping on the Frostgrave train back in August, I can say that I've made of progress. I find the frozen city of Felstadt to be very inspiring and therefore have popped out quite a few projects. But the one thing I have always sort of felt guilty about was not having my spellcasters painted. The wizards are what make the game what it is and the master/apprentice thing makes for some great interaction between models when choosing which figures to represent them.

Now, I've had models picked out, primed and ready to go since the beginning. I knew exactly what I wanted, the color scheme, etc. and they have been mid-paint for months. Finally, I have managed to squeeze enough ambition out of the ol' inspiration tube to slap the last few colors on these wizards.

Meet Amuron Owlkey, enchanter extraordinaire and his apprentice Elizabelle.

Amuron is an old Empire Grey Wizard I had snagged to use as a hired warlock in Mordheim. Warlocks didn't have cool swords, so his sword got chopped off and replaced with an open hand from the Mordheim warriors sprue.

I kept the same color scheme as his brother Hadrian, or rather, this was the original inspiration for the scheme and the old templar got to wear it first. I was aiming for a natural, Gandalf the Grey kind of look with lots of neutral tones.

I see Amuron as the kind of enchanter that works with natural spirits, so I kept his talismans with natural bone and leather looks, with a few picked out in gold or sliver to stay earthy. The feathers are painted as raven feathers, a nod to Grey Wizards and Odin in some respects. Amuron is a wandering wizard of the natural world, not so much a shaman, but channeling the natural energies of magic instead of calling on demon summoning and black arts.

I also left his beard and hair brown because I wanted to stay away from the archetype of the old wizard. Amuron is the younger brother, impetuous, quick to anger but also quick to forget, and always willing to help those in need. He is youthful in spirit if not actually young and has enough age to have wisdom to go along with his power.

Elizabelle is a Reaper Bones mini, and honestly I can say she is not some of my best work. I will also apologize for the awful photos, since she is so thin the camera doesn't recognize her as a focal point. Girl needs a few sammiches.

I really liked her model at first but was really disappointed after priming and beginning painting. The model's features are very soft, her hands have no detail and there are a few miscast bits. Having invested some energy into her before finding the flaws, I decided to work them into the backstory.

As you can see there is a large flaw in her face. Elizabelle was attacked and burned by bandits when she was just a farm girl, saved from a crueller fate by Amuron's timely appearance. Her scars were permanent and her father cast her out, leaving Amuron to take her in as an apprentice. Elizabelle is studious, curious and strong-willed (much like her master) and her experiences have made her a tad hard. But she is eager to make her master proud and wants nothing more than to follow in Amuron's footsteps as a wandering hero-wizard.

Honestly, I rather rushed poor Elizabelle because of how unhappy I am with the sculpt. I may someday upgrade her with a nice Hasslefree mini, but for now she'll fill the role of apprentice nicely. It may be that I will grow ever fonder of her and won't be able to part with her in the end.

Now that the wizards are finished, I feel a lot happier with where I am with the warband. Not gonna lie, the average soldiers are gonna take a long time. Great figures though they are, there are still five of them and they are nowhere near as interesting. I'll get there eventually though.

For now I will leave you with a new "family portrait" of my painted figures so far:

Happy gaming and stay frosty!