Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Aberrations and Apparitions

Howdy! I wasn't able to paint as much as I would've liked this week, so my horde of giants is just a hair's breadth from completion. In the meantime though, I finished basing the grell and painted a green Bones figure.

I've always enjoyed DMing aberrations. Part of it is definitely due to Robert E. Howard's use of aberrations throughout his Conan stories as gods and horrors inhabiting any number of lost cities. Part is definitely due to Lovecraft. The thought of an alien being or culture beyond human comprehension inhabiting the world next to humans has always fascinated me, and is one I've always played up in my games. Other than beholders and illithids, few aberrations have appeared in fantasy literature to any extent, and therefore not even a well-read player will have many preconceived notions about them. This leaves plenty of room for a devious DM to surprise his players with strange, startling, and shocking behaviors and cultural aspects. Grell happen to be one of my favorites. These figures are Ral Partha's AD&D 11-525 Grell. The color scheme was inspired by an illustration in the 3.5 Ed. Lords of Madness supplement.

I decided to base one as if it was floating through a cavern, the other as if floating over underbrush in a forested area. I like to use grell as inhabitants of old ruins and have them regularly patrolling forestland and cave systems around their abodes.

The other figure I finished was Reaper Bones 77099 Nightspectre. I liked the idea of the clear plastic and wanted to play with painting the figure while leaving large areas of the plastic unpainted.

I simply did a wash of black ink and then dry-brushed gray and then white on the edges. Finally I outlined the outer-most edges with some Ral Partha Glow in the Dark paint, which has proven to give the figure an eerie cast when the light is out. My next step is to drill a hole in the base up into the figure and to install a LED tea light, for a bit of internal lighting. The idea for that came from Chris Palmer's blog All Bones About It and his large Bones fire elemental. This figure is a bit smaller than the elemental and I'm hoping the light carries through most of the figure when done.

So next time, I'll definitely have some giants/ogres and maybe a character or two. My players are all over me to paint up their PCs.

'Til next time.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Howdy! Not a lot here mini-wise this time. Been off work on disability, and have finished several figures that are ready for pics. However, I plan on buying a new camera next week when I'm in Colorado, I figured I'd just hold off on most of them 'til then.

I'd like to welcome several folks. First, Lee of Goblin Lee's Miniature Blog. A lot of classic lead there, especially Citadel and Grenadier, and some very impressive armies. Next J.D. of J.D.M.L. Miniaturas. J.D. also has some classic minis and is working on a diorama I'm looking forward to seeing. Finally, Darcy at Hits To Kill. Again, some old lead, including some classic Grenadier, as well as some great pics of games in progress.

And a pic of a special supporter, Gigi "Wormsbane", the Office Turtle of Death...

She came to me several years ago. She eats worms, turkey, chicken and any red vegetables or fruits. She needed a home after recovering from a confrontation with a fearsome automobile. She's missing her right rear foot and has a notch in her carapace. Gigi probably could have been released, but legal circumstances prevented it. She's one of two critters who keep me company in the office while I'm painting. The other is often unwelcome, as fur and paint don't go together.

So my offerings for minis tonight are a DeeZee Miniatures platybelodon...

and a coupla spiders that I painted years ago, manufacturer unknown. 
These spiders were painted to match three AD&D ettercaps. The ettercaps, however, are going to need some refurbishing. Like the ettin, time was not kind to their paint jobs.
Coming soon, AD&D grell and some hill giants.
'Til next time.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Revenge of the Pink...Ettin?

Howdy! First I'd like to welcome Blackwarden and point ya'll toward his blog Blackwarden, fittingly enough. Great old school stuff there!

Next, yup, that's right, the title does say revenge of the pink ettin.

I honestly don't know when the idea for pink ettins was planted in my head, how the seed was planted, or where (if anywhere) I first saw a pink ettin, other than my paint table. The only ettin I had painted, until recently, was Ral Partha's AD&D 11-410 Ettin. Years ago, I was featuring an ettin as the leader of a raiding band of goblins, bugbears, and ogres plaguing the country side, and I wanted to make him stand out a bit. I started with baby pink paint for the skin and finished with beady red eyes, and by the time I was done, I thought the guy looked flat-out creepy. Looking at his skin made me itch! My players agreed. When I placed the figure on the table, the ranger asked if he was contagious and the cleric bemoaned he hadn't memorized any Cure Disease spells. Since then, pink ettins have just been the way to go in my book...

When I unpacked a few months back, I found this guy with his arms fallen off and his paint chipped up in spite of the bubble wrap, foam and individual box he was in, so I ended up stripping, reassembling, and repainting him. I attempted to stay pretty close to my original paint job. I always liked this figure, and since his style is rather unique, I never expected to find another that was similar enough I could make a convincing pair. But then...
... I saw this guy at the local gaming store.
Reaper Bones 77103 Nor'Okk, Ettin. He was of a size and shape that I knew instantly he'd make a great compliment to my RP ettin, and impulsively I bought him. The minute I got to the truck, I thought, "Why did ya do that, Ivan, ya didn't even check to see if there was a metal version on the Reaper site!" (there is a metal version, BTW, Dark Heaven Legends 3137 Nor'Okk, Ettin). Regardless, once painted, the two make quite the pair.
I'm definitely happy with the result. In spite of the difference in age and manufacturers, when painted they match up rather well.
Another figure I dug out recently, painted years ago.
The first version of Ral Partha's AD&D 11-411 Owlbear. Later, this figure was replaced by a standing version with prominent ear tufts like a great horned owl and large feathered arms spread wide for big bear hug, under the same product number. I need to touch up the flocking, but he fared far better over the years in the move and storage than the ettin did. I like this style better myself. I used to have a module (B2 Keep on the Borderlands, maybe?) that had an illustration of a very similar owlbear fighting a party of adventurers. If anyone recalls exactly, feel free to chime in.  
Work will continue on the hill giant horde, some miscellaneous figures, and a few PCs from my recently started D&D campaign. Still at a creative standstill on my "fyrsnaca".
'Til next time.