Taking A Break: Minis Post

On Drink Spin Run, I've been talking about painting minis and wargames and such, but I never seem to mention them here on the blog. Strange. So, I figured I'd post some pics of the minis I've been up to and what I'm planning on using them for.

I make no secret that I'm a big fan of the Oldhammer editions of Warhammer and WH40K: 3rd edition of WHFB and the first (Rogue Trader) edition of WH40K. I finally picked up a copy of Realms of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness last year and have been kicking around a bunch of Oldhammer ideas since then. This, naturally, led to the Chaos warband idea implicit in RoC, which blended with my natural "hey, let's make stuff up" urge and I started a King in Yellow-themed warband. I mean, if Hastur can't be a Chaos Lord, who can? I finished my first five Chaos marauders a little bit ago and they're ready to be overcoated. Here's a few of them.

I've also got a sorcerer and a Chaos warrior on the painting table right now, both needing a small amount of detail work before they're done.

The other stuff that's finished and pending the finishing touch of an overcoat are two of figs I bought from Red Box minis (from their vikings personalities KickStarter) to represent two of the main PCs in my Iron Coast game. First, we have +Matt Woodard's PC Artur, an Iskurlander cleric of Stirkur. Typically, Artur uses a battle axe, and this guy has a two-handed warhammer, but other than that, this mini is just about perfect. I freaking love the trucker 'stache on this dude.

Next we have +Jeff Cambers's PC, Cassius, (though it may be spelled with a "k," I'm not sure), an Iskurlandik barbarian and future longship captain. This guy has more of a "viking Conan" feel, which is (a) deliberate and (b) more representative of how Jeff plays the guy than any explicit statements.

Two more Iron Coast PCs who are really close to coming off the painting table are +Andy Block's elven courtier, Lippu (left), and +Mark Donkers's elven spellsword, Aesl'n (right). These gents need a little more detail work before they're ready, but they're close. You'll notice that Aesl'n has more of a traditionally drow-ish coloration, but since we don't have drow in the world of Ore (at least, nothing that's explicitly a drow), Mark did what was natural and appropriated a color scheme that he liked for his character. Lippu, on the other hand, was more of an attempt to make him look like the "elf Bowie" I envision him as. (These minis are both from the Reaper Bones II product line.)

We don't use minis much in the Iron Coast game, so there's been some confusion about why these minis exist. I'm prepping to kick the ACKS campaign into the Conqueror phase, which is probably going to mean using the Domains At War supplement to go to war against Sakriskyn's neighbors. While the bulk of the troops will be old fashioned rank and file whatevs, the PCs will clearly be present on the battlefield as commanders of units, awesome magic artillery support, that kind of thing.

Speaking of the rank & file, I got started with the Red Box minis because I wanted personalities/heroes/leaders/whatever for an Oldhammer Norse army. At the time, I figured I could get double-duty out of rank & file from such an army using them for both Oldhammer and Domains at War. So, I bought some Wargames Factory viking huscarls with a vision for how I wanted this new Oldhammer Norse army to shape up (then, after I started crunching numbers on a Norse army, I realized that I had WAY too many huscarls and needed some lighter troops so I bought a box of Wargames Factory's viking bondi). While I assembled them pretty much right away (and did a little bit of conversion work from ye olde bits box), I didn't get around to painting them for quite some time. With my recent spate of painting, I finally started these dudes and since they're not a ton of fun to paint, it's been slow going.

I've been using these guys as a kind of warm up when getting ready to paint things that are a little more fun, just like I mentioned yesterday on G+ in a conversation with +Ripley Stonebrook. Actually, that conversation, along with the torrential rain we had here in Ypsi and the cancellation of our Saturday night Stormbringer game (and painful postponement until 6/13!) conspired to inspire a long painting session last night (these pics are from about 2 hours into that session). One thing I wish I'd done with these plastic minis is to go the route we used to see in the pages of White Dwarf and paint the shields separate from the bodies. Since I have a whole box of viking bondi that I haven't finished assembling, I'm looking forward to giving the tried-and-true White Dwarf method a shot.

There's one more Iron Coast mini that's nearing completion, and it's +Paul Linkowski's thief, Oosh. While I have lots of commentary on Oosh as a character, let me talk about Oosh the miniature. This is another Reaper Bones II fig, and I have to say I take exception with how they made the mold for this dude. The mold line runs right down the middle of his face. No joke. You can see it right there. Sure, I can clean up mold lines (I prefer not to), but I can do it. On metal, at least. This Bones material is so soft that it's really, really hard to clean up mold lines without gouging out huge rents in poor Oosh's face. Further, it seems like many fine details from the metal version of this fig get washed out in the Bones version, making Oosh's face a fairly featureless blob... with a mold line in the middle.

This pic also features a few other things that I've talked about recently. Next to Oosh (on your left), you can see the Chaos sorcerer I mentioned above when I was talking about the Chaos warband. You'll also notice a whole mess of gnolls. A little bit ago on Drink Spin Run, Donn & I announced a DSR mini painting... club? Basically, we proposed that we'd all paint the same mini, finish it off within a month and then show our work on the podcast's website. I took the opportunity to paint all of the gnolls that came in the Bones II set which should have been more fun than it has been. Yes, these dudes are big and chunky and should be fun, but the Bones material isn't the most fun to work with. I've had some problems with primer sticking to them (the gnolls specifically; I haven't had as much of a problem with the elves or the thief or the beholder I did a while back), but that could be a function of any number of things. Speaking of the DSR mini "non-competition," here's the dude we agreed on for our first subject:

He's looking okay, but he needs some serious detail work. That work is sort of stymieing me (sp?), though. I don't know where to begin on some it. I think it's going to be one of those times where I just try a bunch of stuff and go with what I like the most. I need to darken up this dude's face to make him a little more hyena-looking (I have a specific preference for the striped hyena rather than the spotted hyena, so I'm working on some dark stripes in the "mane"). Right now, this guy has a feeling of one of those WizKids D&D minis (not the crappy WotC ones): the paint job is alright, it just feels lazy.

Before I go, there's one last thing that I want to share. I little while back, I picked up some Chaos warriors from eBay that were listed as "Citadel preslotta Chaos Warrior" but I couldn't really identify them as such, but it's not like I did a lot of research. They were a good price, the models looked cool, so I bought. They looked like the kind of mins that would be fun to paint. They didn't exactly have a very Citadel feel, but much of my Citadel experience is from the later era, so they might just be from a modeller who I'm not familiar with. The faces on these dudes have a distinct and different feel, which kind of excites me. When I got these guys, I got five in a package, and three of the five were missing blades to their weapons. One had a haft but was missing an axe blade, something that's easy enough for me to replace with bits, so I pinned and glued one on and set about putting him with the other two axe-wielders and primed them up. This pic probably won't tell you much but here it is:

I mention these guys because they're the first minis in years that I've primed via a brush. I watched a video a little while ago that recommended brush priming because it helps you learn the contours and textures of a figure while doing something essential to the painting process. That logic stuck with me, if only because I really hate those spots you miss when you prime with a rattlecan. The experience of brush priming these guys was okay, it accomplished what that video promised, but it made priming the textured base kind of tough. What priming in this manner really did was make me eager to get an airbrush. But we're a long way off from airbrush territory...