Monster May(hem) 2021: Blacksting, Wyvern

This is one of Owen’s miniatures: Blacksting, the Wyvern; from Reaper. It’s all metal and retails for $34.99 nowadays, but Owen bought it years ago when metal was much cheaper. It’s a very early Reaper miniature sculpted by Kevin Contos.

I don’t even like it, and I would never have purchased it myself. Not to shit all over Kevin Contos’s sculpting. It’s fine. It’s just a weird pose, and I hate miniatures with bases like this. They look stupid in my opinion, which means I have to change them, which means more work for me.

Of course, I’m not painting Blacksting for me. Not really. I’m painting it for Monster May(hem), and I’m painting it in my continued effort to entreat Owen into taking his pile of lead back and returning to the hobby. I’ve tried this before and met with failure; but since Owen had already assembled this beastie years ago, and it IS Monster May(hem), I decided to go ahead with it.

Fingers crossed.

The first thing was to do something about this stupid base, so I decided to go scenic and made it even bigger. I decided this wyvern was hanging out in a swamp, so I used most of what was left of the Model Magic and sculpted some pools, then I stuck some rocks into the Model Magic and let it dry. After that I primed the whole shebang with some Vallejo black surface primer.

I had some plastic foliage I use for big terrain pieces. I figured I could add some to the base after I primed it black and highlighted it with sickly green. Seems to have worked out ok (see below).

Here’s the finished product. I went with a fairly simple blue-black color scheme. The wings were a pain. They’re pretty flat and not very well textured, so highlighting them was not easy and I think it shows. (This is an early Reaper miniature, for better or worse.)

I wrapped the rock he’s squatting on in Army Painter Poison Ivy, and used the plastic foliage as swamp weeds. I used some Vallejo water effects mixed with craft paint for the pools of swamp water. This stuff is awesome! Roger introduced me to it, and I used it last year in Dave’s Summer of Scenery challenge when I did my Sludge Pool. I still had some left over so I used it!

I put a dab of model glue on his stinger, to make it look like it’s dripping venom.

The one thing I’m not wild about is the eyes. I wanted some colors to contrast sharply with the black-blue of Blacksting himself, but I’m not sure I got the effect I wanted. He has yellow orbs with orange irises and a black slit for a pupil. I considered painting them green. Maybe I’ll revisit the eyes at some point, but TBH I’m glad he’s done and I never really wanted to paint him anyway…so maybe not.

Monster Mayhem was amazing this year, with more participants and more submissions than ever before. Thanks so much to everyone who took part and who helped encourage other hobbyists in our community. You guys are an inspiration and I continue to be in awe of the talent and support you all exhibit. What started as a personal challenge several years ago has grown into something I hope to continue every year!

Once more, here is the blogroll:

Roger from Rantings from Under the Wargames Table returned and did some Prehistoric Cats, then sculpted a horrible Creeping Eye named S’eye’mon (in honor of Blax the Kleric)! It’s all painted now and I can think of a dozen uses for it for all kinds of games; including running a scenario based on the 1958 movie that inspired Roger: The Trollenberg Terror!

Dave from Wargames Terrain Workshop went full-on “Galaxy Far, Far Away” this year and sculpted a Krayt Dragon, Joopa, some Denizens of Jabba’s Palace, and a Wort (that big Tatooine toad!). His sculpting and painting are truly awesome. Wonderful work, Dave!

Carrion Crow also came back this year and did a Wendigo miniature from ParagonStar, and it looks creepy as hell. Definitely not something you want to see in your headlights on a winter’s night…

Matt from PM Painting really went all-out this month, using Monster May(hem) as an excuse to crank out a ton of miniatures from the Cthulhu: Death May Die board game: an Elder Thing, a Shoggoth, a Byakhee, some Ghouls and Deep Ones, a Star-Spawn of Cthulhu , some Hunting Horrors, a CthonianYog-Sothoth, some Fire Vampires, Cthulhu and some Cultists, the Dunwich Horror himself, Wilbur Whately, and he even managed to get a start on the King in Yellow, Hastur! Sadly, Matt went incurably insane; but way to bring it, Matt!

In addition to the usual suspects above, it was great to welcome some new participants this year.

A newcomer to the Monster May(hem) challenge (but definitely not to the blogosphere), Azazel painted a Coral Golem, an Umber Hulk; a Sand Kraken, a Harbinger and some Void Hounds from Shadows of Brimstone; and his own Balor demon. Then went Mesozoic on us and did a Dire Crocodile, A Raptor Pack and two more dinosaurs: a Carnotaurus and a Hornslasher. Then, just to show us he could, he did a Carrion Crawler, some Goliaths, and to finish things up, a T-Rex! Talk about a debut! A truly astounding output for one month, and some marvelous painting!

Azazel and Matt, I can’t keep up! You guys put me to shame!

Another first-timer, Tom from The Good Ground painted a Red Slaad, a (new to me) creepy cryptid named Siren Head, and a Balor Demon! Not bad for your first painting challenge, Tom! I’ll warn you: it gets addictive!

The man, the myth, the legend! Mark A. Morin jumped in this year and promptly redefined the word “monster”. He painted two scary structures: an Aztec Temple Sacrificial Altar; and a High Throne! Welcome, Mark! Come back next year!

Mike, aka @sasquatchminis from Instagram, couldn’t make it this year after all; but his IG account is awesome and he’s a friend. So check out his stuff forthwith!

That’s an end to Monster May(hem) 2021 (unless Azazel or Matt has another submission I didn’t see yet). No time to rest! Tomorrow is June, and that means it’s all about Carrion Crow and his annual Forgotten Heroes challenge! I look forward to this challenge every year; and although I might not be as prolific this time around, I’ll have two submissions for sure. If you want to take part, just let the Crow know. He’s pretty cool about that!

Thanks once again to everyone who made Monster May(hem) so much fun this year!

13 thoughts on “Monster May(hem) 2021: Blacksting, Wyvern

  1. Dave Stone

    Great job on the Wyvern Keith, the base makes it look so much better, it can be very hard to paint a model that doesn’t inspire you, so great job doing that.
    A trick with eyes, base yellow, orange wash, re highlight the yellow leaving about a .5 mm ring of the orange next to the eyelid, then do the pupil, if feeling extravagant add a whit dot at the top hitting the pupil.
    So many great entries this year, it’s been a blast, can see I need to up my game for next year with so many entries by Matt and Azazel. Added a new one today, and be prepared, Azazel has a few more posts lined up for his entries to.
    Thanks for running the event Keith, and loo forward to next years, what can I do that’s bigger than a Krayt Dragon ! LOL

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      I think I’ll give your idea a try. I did use an orange iris, but you can’t really see it. Perhaps my slitted pupil is too large as he does have pretty small eyes. One thing is certain: his eyes are going to bug me until I do something about them.

      I have added your final (?) submission (and I LOVE it). Thanks again for your participation, help and encouragement my friend.

      That Azazel doesn’t fuck about, does he? If he usually paints like this, I’m envious! If he doesn’t and he’s just been inspired by our humble challenge, then I’m thrilled!

      Finally: I’m sorry, Dave…I meant to get to a certain many-toothed monstrosity by Wargames Terrain Workshop this year; but I didn’t have the time. I don’t know if I can wait until next year, though. I have plans for it…on a strange new world in the final frontier!

      1. Dave Stone

        No worries on the WTW beastie mate, I’ll enjoy seeing what you do whenever you post it up, and great that you have a use in mind for it

  2. Dick Garrison

    Without wanting to upset you, but I think that Wyvern is awesome!! and I totally love the way you’ve done the basing, if that’s what you do when you don’t like a figure perhaps I should send you some stuff to paint that I don’t fancy doing at all, if it comes back half as good as that I’ll be more than chuffed!!

    I know I’ve already said this on my own blog, but thanks so much again for coming up with this and allowing my to take part (and change the name ). Really looking forward to next year already, though I have no idea what I’m going to do for it! I guess I’ll just have to watch more bad movies! (the dedication I give to you guys, you just don’t realise! ).

    Well done to everyone who took part, everything has been superb!

    Cheers Roger.

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      Thanks, Roger; both for the kind words and for participating again this year. It was really tough to visualize how the base would look when it was still bright yellow, but I’m happy with how it turned out. Not so much with the eyes, though. They look a little too “Scooby-Doo cartoonish” to me. I think I’m going to take Dave’s advice and try again.
      I’m so happy that everyone who participated seems to have enjoyed it. Of course, you’re always welcome because we always want to see what you’re going to do next; and besides, as you point out, you DID rename the challenge!

  3. Matt

    I can see what you mean about the sculpt, but let me say this: between the older-looking model and your excellent painting, it looks straight out of a late-80s ‘Eavy Metal page. I’m not kidding, nor am I going for hyperbole, but I think you’ve managed to Oldhammer a non-Citadel figure and it’s awesome. The blue-black look is perfect, despite your misgivings the eyes look fine, and the drop of venom is a wicked touch. Superb work, matey.

    And the base just adds to the quality of your effort. I too hate those integral bases, and what you’ve done by basically making work for yourself has paid off in spades. The swamp looks suitably manky, the weeds and rocks are spot on and overall it’s a great effort and adds tons to the model.

    What a month of effort and work by everyone involved, and roll on next year’s challenge.

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      Wow, Matt, thanks a lot for the compliment! TBH my reason for painting him was because Owen had assembled him and he was just sitting there. The more I look at it, the more annoyed I am by the pose, especially because Blacksting has since been resculpted and he looks way better. I think he’s also available in Bones nowadays. Of course, I prefer metal, but that’s because I’m old.
      Right you are. This year has been really something!

  4. Owen

    Why on Earth would I bother to take back my minis and start painting again, when you do a better job than I would ever do? Seeing you paint them up just reinforces that I made the right decision years ago. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Mark Morin

    Keith, the conversion effort on your dragon really paid off – love the details and especially the venom! Glad to have found a way to participate! Thanks as well for running it as you encouraged tow of my faves Azazel and Roger to do some wondrous stuff (as did the others btw). Big kudos my man!

  6. Azazel

    Thanks for running this challenge, Keith. The motivation to get stuff done really helps to, erm, get stuff done! I’ll have a few more models that didn’t make it in May trickle out over June and at the rate I feel like stuff sits aside at times, probably long after that!
    Awesome stuff done by others as well – impressed by your elevation on the dragon in this post – the rebasing and quality paint scheme turned what would be a typical mid-80’s type sculpt into a pretty cool diorama for any fantasy nerd’s shelf! – and I’ve gotten another couple of blogs to attempt to follow out of it.

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      Thanks, Azazel! I hope you’ll return next year for more Monster May(hem); you’ve really done some wonderful stuff! Thanks for the kind words.
      I agree: it’s great to find other blogs, but tough to consistently follow them. There’s a lot of talent out there and keeping up with it is a real challenge! Hope you’ll drop by from time to time; I’ll make a point to do the same!

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