Saturday, June 30, 2018

New Wizard and a Bubbling Hell-pit!

Today I finished that Wizard figure that was a hold-over from the other three guys I recently finished, as well as a bubbling pit terrain piece.  Here are the two new pieces are with some of my more recent PC miniatures in a mini-diorama.  Entering the small room, the party discovers a bubbling pit that may well reach to the edge of hell in the center of the room.  Bravely, the Wizard uses his crystal ball to divine the source of the bubbling ooze!

The bubbling pit was made with a precut thin round plywood circle, about 2 inches across.  In the center I glued several different sizes of split beads to make the "bubbles."  I also glued a row of split beads of various sizes around the edge to give it a simple borded.  I then took the hot glue gun and made some ripples in the ooze that I could easily highlight with paint later.  For paint, the rocks are the standard earth tones I use, but the ooze was done by first painting it all a dark brown and then dry brushing the raised sections (the bubbles and the lines made by the hot glue gun) with white.  Then I painted the whole ooze the redish neon paint color and after it dried I painted the raised portions the yellow neon color.  Then I covered all the ooze with a clear gloss craft paint.

Here are some shots of the scene from different angles.

The Cleric attempts to ward off evil while the Wizard divines with his crystal ball, and the Thief and the Fighter look on cautiously.

Here is a close up of the Wizard.  I think he came out pretty good.  I like the peaked-in-the-front hood I gave him, the oversized staff looks cool, and his holding the crystal ball looks pretty cool as well.  He is equipped with a wand and a scroll in his belt, so he is ready for adventure!  It is harder to see in the picture but his hair is tapered forward underneath his hood, giving him good movement.  I forgot to paint his fingers (I'll do that right now) but that is a minor detail for the painting.  Pretty happy with how he turned out.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Lurker in the Lake!

I made the tentacles a while ago for a LotR minis game, but I just don't like the look on the table top of having the tentacles sticking out of the water with no head or gaping maw to strike terror in the hearts of the Fellowship players.  So I did a head of the foul beast to go along with the tentacles.

He was pretty easy to do.  The front part of the head is a large lady bug shape, the mouth is a split barrel bead.  This was glued onto a pretty large (no idea the size) round precut thin wooden base.  The back part of the head is just a goose (I think) split egg.  It is glued to a smaller round precut thin wood base.  Then I used split beads to make the eyes and took the hot glue gun and gave it some interesting folds and textures, as well as ripples in the water as it breaks the surface of the water to eat Frodo.    Here is a closer up shot.

I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.  Looks much better than just having the tentacles there.  Here is a shot with Frodo and Aragorn to give you an idea of the scale.

Now, I need to put on the game!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

More Fighter Types!

I had 4 figures on my painting table this week, three fighter types and a magic-user, but I only got the fighter types finished.  The magic-user figure looks cool so far, but he has a lot of different parts, so it will take me longer to paint him.

Here are the new fighter types.

From left to right, we have a utility fighter in back and breast plate armor, a first attempt on my part to do that.  Middle is a paladin type with a magical two-handed sword.  And on the right is a ranger-type that might look familiar both pose wise and color selections.  More on that later.

The most significant difference for these figures compared to the ones I have been doing is that I added bangs and facial hair to the utility fighter and the ranger.  Ranger's hair is black so it's a little harder to see, but this is new and I'm pretty pleased with how the facial hair in particular turned out.  It makes painting a bit trickier, but not too bad.

Here they are from the ranger's side.

It is actually a better shot of the paladin, but you can see the ranger's hood good in this picture.  For the ranger, I first put the saw-toothed top part of the hood that covers the shoulders on first.  It is made of paper.  Can't see that part too good in this picture but it is visible in the first one.  Then I put the hood on.  Nothing too new with the paladin figure other than the two-handed sword arm pose.  Was a little tricky, but not too bad.  I think the couple of barbarians I did before helped me to do the arms right, but it is honestly easier to do with the barbarian because of the split eggs.  It's all done with tile spacers with the paladin and trimming them exactly right is a bit of a chore.

Not much visible in this shot that is new except it is a good picture of the paladin's shield he is carrying on his back.  You can also see the peaked part of the ranger's hood which I also think turned out well.

So this is the best shot of the utility fighter.  You can see the texture that is created by the bangs and facial hair and again, although painting is a bit trickier, I think the effect is worth it.  Gives more depth to the figure.  This was my first attempt at doing a back and breast plate torso armor.  I'm happy with the shoulder pieces, they are just thin strips of paper, and I also like the bottom of the armor, another thin strip of paper that is flared out at the bottom after it is glued on.  The middle part I tried to create a seem or middle bridge part but it didn't go so well.  It's okay, but I think I need to try again.

Not sure if you remember or not but I have done the ranger figure previously without paper.  To show my development and the growth of how I do these figures, I'm putting the two figures together in the same shot.  Moving to the paper for cloaks and hair has really amped up the level of my figures I think.  But you be the judge.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Half-orc, Dwarf, and Human Cleric!

Got three new PC figures done, the dwarf before NTRPG Con (since he was used in the game obviously), and then two more after I got back.  In all fairness, I had already constructed the other two and primed the figures before I left, so I came back and painted these two new figures in about 2 hours. Not surprisingly, the more of these figures I do, the faster the construction and especially the painting goes!  Turns out I could go into work later this morning than usual, so I decided to go ahead and do a blog post this morning.

Here are the new trio.

Half-orc fighter type on the left, Dwarf fighter type in the middle with a big-ass hammer, and my newest take on a male Human Cleric.  What is new with them?  Nothing really new with the Half-orc but he is my first "orc-type" PC figure I have done.  Essentially he is a male upside down milk bottle body with a split bead head and split bead helmet with the "goblin" ears glued on sticking out under the helmet.  I also used the larger size tile spacer for his feet (not sure why I have it in my head that orcs and half-orcs have big feet, but there you go).  On the Dwarf, the hammer is a new construction.  Toothpick handle with a small bead at the base of the hammer part of the weapon.  The hammer part itself is two oblong beads glued onto a small round bead.  Then I just ran that through the toothpick for strength.  On the top is a split very small bead to cover the top hole of the small bead that makes up the head of the hammer.  I think it looks pretty cool.  For the human Cleric, not too much new except for the mace.  Instead of a round bead for the head of the weapon which is what I have done to date, I used one of the oblong beads as the main part of the head and then a split very small bead as the top part.  I love the oversized look to it (just like for the hammer) and I think it looks great on these more cartoony style figures.

Here is a shot from the back (pretty boring since it's just cloaks and hair):

And here is a shot from the left to right side of the line.  Good shot of the Half-orc here, I think his scale mail armor turned out really well.  I'm happy I went with the lighter shade of gray rather than the medium shade which would not have stood out so prominently and I wanted his scale mail armor to be a focal point. Better view of the Dwarf's hammer as well, you can see the construction a little better in this picture.

And finally a shot from the right to the left side of the line.

I really like how the male Human Cleric turned out.  Nice pose, great mace, and I like his full mail suit head to toe but having the green coat over the mail breaks it up nicely.  You can easily see how doing all those Norman figures has made my painting of this type of fantasy character figure better.  The helmet looks great I think!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

North Texas RPG Con Game!

Back from the North Texas RPG Con and had as much fun this year as last!  I think attendance may have been a little lighter than last year, but the games were stellar.  I played in 5 games, it's the most games I've ever played in at a Con.

I helped out Thom with his game although I didn't play in it.  I essentially handed him the figures he needed after describing the situation to the players.  They all used the wooden warriors I bought and Thom used the monsters.  This was an RPG convention, not a minis game convention, but the people that played the game seemed to really like the figures.  I did not however get one person who stopped by to take a look at them, which never happens at a minis convention when I have used these guys.  Even if they end up not liking them, people stop by the table and ask about the figures and take a look at them.  Didn't happen at this Con but again, I think that's because it isn't a minis convention.  Also, and this is great for the people running the games, each table has its own dry erase gridded map which makes drawing the dungeon super easy.  Unfortunately, it means that there is not terrain.  The figures are just on the dry erase mat.  But I totally understand why they do it that way, it makes it super easy on the game masters.

Anyway, here are some pics of the game with my figures.
The party went into this room and finished off a bunch of undead gray goblins.  The players chose the male dwarf figure (I don't think I've posted pictures of him yet now that I think about it!), the female elf with a bow, the male young wizard, the female young wizard reading the scroll, and the male elf with a bow.

Another room where the party was fighting the goblin gargoyles.

Probably the best picture I took, the party fighting the dreaded alter mimic!  That figure, more than any of the others, was the biggest hit I think.  Ironically, it's by far the easiest one to make and paint!

And the last room in the dungeon, the party fighting the Lovecraftian horror.  Unlike the alter mimic, this figure was a bear to construct and paint, although people seemed to like this one too.

It was great getting some exposure for my figures at the Con.  As I said, I hoped to get more walk-up traffic about them, but I didn't really get much.  However, Thom has been incredibly supportive and he made an explicit effort to get people to take a look at them and heaped plenty of praise on the figures.  So I'm feeling good about it.

Maybe tomorrow or Friday I'll try to post some pics of some new figures I've been working on, another human cleric, a half-orc fighter type, and that male dwarf that I used in this game but haven't posted pictures of yet.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Novice PCs!

I got all the new PC figures done for Thom's game at NTRPG Con in a couple of weeks.  I am please with how most of them turned out.  Here is what he needed and here are the figures I did for his needs. They are all humans, and I did a male and female version of each so that the players would have options gender wise.

First up, he needed four men-at-arm types (prototypical Fighters in other words).  I did something new with them, I used a split bead to make shoulder plates for their plate mail armor and I really love how it turned out.  I've done heavily armored characters in the past, but they always looked a little too much like Iron Man in the beginning of the first Iron Man movie ... too big and clunky.  These guys I think turned out great.

Next up, he needed two Acolytes (Clerics in other words).  The only thing I did differently on these was to cut the shoulders at an angle (actually, I did that on the Fighters above as well) and instead of putting in the split bead as a shoulder protector, I used a tile spacer and gave them leather shoulder pads.  They look better on the female figure than the male, but I doubt I will do the shoulder pieces like this again in the future.  I may taper the shoulders, but only if I'm going to use the split beads for shoulder protection.  If I use tile spacers, I probably won't taper the shoulders.  Anyway, here they are, I'm particularly fond of the female figure.  Also, I made them both have shaved heads ... they are priests after all, shows their devotion.

I did a different paper piece for their neck covering as well, what I was hoping to accomplish was to have a high collar that essentially covered their mouths.  It worked out better on the female figure than the male one, but I'm happy with each.  His holy symbol (in his left hand) turned out pretty good too, but his pose is a bit static and boring.  I really like the female figure, she turned out great.  I won't show the back picture because all you can really see are their cloaks, which is really boring.

Next figures are two apprentice wizards (Magic-users in the game).  I went a little crazy with the scrolls on these two, but I really like how they both turned out.  His pose is a bit more dynamic in terms of casting, but her reading the scroll I think looks really cool.

Thom also needed a couple of pickpockets (Thief characters in the game).  I love how both of these turned out.  I got a lot of movement with the female figure with her swirling cloak, but the male looks very cool too.  I did something with his face that you can't see in the picture which was, because it is so far back inside his hood, to paint the entire face black and then just have the lower part of his mouth and jaw painted with the flesh tone.  His eyes remain in the blackness of the shadows of the inside of the hood but I painted the whites of his eyes.  It looks really cool and eerie.  Other than that, nothing new really construction wise except to go with exaggerated and large hoods for their cloaks because ... well ... they are supposed to be pickpockets and men and women of the dangerous city streets.

Finally, he wanted two "jack of all trades" who could stand in for a Fighter, Thief, or other more "generic" character type.  I decided to do two lightly armored archers as this would also allow people who wanted to play a less heavily armored and melee-focused Fighter if they wanted to.  Nothing really new here, I stuck with the archer poses that I think work the best.  Kept both of these figures very simple, although I did want them to look quite different from one another so I made their armor different.  Also, I got a tube of plain, unpainted wooden beads of three sizes, small (the size of her face), medium (the size of her helmet), and large (the size of the female Fighter's helmets).  Anyway, having this medium size bead really worked well in terms of giving her a smaller, and lighter armor-wise looking helmet, which is what I was going for.

All that's left, if I get around to it, is to do the alter mimic.  If that doesn't happen, it's not the end of the world.  I got everything else done, and I'm pleased with the result.  Here's hoping they get a warm reception at the Con!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Antagonists!

I got all the "villains" done for the game at NTRPG Con that Thom over at Throwigames is going to be running.  I believe the game is on Saturday.  Anyway, what he needed for the game was a collection of about a dozen gray goblins, sort of like goblin versions of the drow, half a dozen undead gray goblins, a corrupted gray goblin priest, a corrupted gray goblin ogre-like creature, three corrupted gray goblin winged demon-like creatures, and one tentacle horror out of a Lovecraft story.  Here they are fully arrayed.

I haven't been putting as much time into the monsters as the PCs in terms of hair and such, but given that this is a convention game, I wanted to give Thom my best effort on all the figures, even the monsters.  The dozen gray goblins on the left I'm pretty proud of, they turned out quite well I think.  The hair gives them an appearance similar to the Morlocks in the classic The Time Machine movie, made back I believe in the 60's.  The six undead goblins in the center also turned out pretty well although in hindsight I wish I would have done them all in the lightest gray color.  I gave them pink instead of red eyes, patchwork hair patterns, and most have some bones showing through to give them a zombie-like appearance.  My favorites are probably the winged demon-like corrupted goblins on the front right of the picture.  The wings are just paper, but once you get some paint on them you can reposition them as you like.  They are stiff enough with the paint in them, but not too stiff and not at all brittle.  They turned out far better than I thought they would.  I also like the goblin ogre-like creature (the tall chap in the upper right).  My least favorite is probably the goblin priest.  If I have enough time at the end of my deadline, I might do another figure for him.  I don't like the pose, I don't like the paint scheme I chose, I really don't like much and he is a major player so his figure needs to be better looking.  Finally, the Lovecraftian tentacle horror in the back turned out pretty well too I think.  I used my tentacle technique from the LotR game and just made the tentacles by gluing together beads.  The bottom of the body is a large oval bead, the middle is the barrel bead (same thing that I use for the horses bodies for the Norman cavalry figures I've been doing), and the head is two split wren's eggs glued so that they create an open maw.  The eyes are a medium size round bead that I split in half and used a half on each side of the head to make the two eyes.  Then I just hot glued the entire thing to make in particular the tentacles stronger.  Oh, and there are some tile spacer feet as well.

Here are some closer up pictures of all the miniature groupings:

The gray goblins!
Undead gray goblins.

Corrupted goblin priest.

Corrupted winged gray goblin demon-like creatures.

Lovecraftian tentacled horror.

The array from the rear.

Thom also wants an "alter that is a mimic" which is extremely cool.  I will try and do the alter as an actual mimic instead of the alter.  I thought about doing an alter version and a mimic alter version, but given that he doesn't plan on using any scenery for the game (will just draw it on the map instead) having an alter appear by itself to me will be a dead give away, so I will instead just do the monster version so that when the players trigger it he can plop it down on the table as a monster.

Now onto the PC figures.  I've got enough probably to handle Thom's needs, but I would like to make some special for this game.  He needs six different types, and I want to do a male and female version of each to give the players a choice of gender.  I've already got 4 finished, and I've still got a couple of weeks so I think I'll make it.  I'll post pictures of them when I'm finished with them.



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