Saga’tember Coda: The Remaining Heroes!

Between some small projects of my own and my participation in Zombtober this month, I’ve managed to finish up all the miniatures from Dungeon Saga: The Dwarf King’s Quest. (Of course, I still have all the dungeon furniture and doors to do, but those can be done here and there as time permits. The main thing is all the miniatures are officially done!)

There are four heroes in Dungeon Saga: Orlaf, the Barbarian; Madriga, the Elf; Rordin, the Dwarf; and Danor, the Wizard. I painted Rordin already when I painted the undead Dwarf King and his Revenants, so that only left the other three.

Here is Orlaf. I really didn’t like this miniature much until I painted it. For whatever reason, I just wasn’t impressed with the sculpt or the overall character concept. Now he’s grown on me somewhat. I painted him close to the “official” look, with only minor differences.

Next is Danor. I completely scrapped the “official” paint scheme for this model, as I hate the way it looks. This is the only model in the entire set that I primed grey, as I knew early on I was going to paint him predominantly yellow. I based him with Citadel Tau Light Ochre, then highlighted with Averland Sunset, Yriel Yellow and finally, Mold (a light yellow from Reaper). I was going for a similar yellow/white color scheme to Merlin, the wizard from the Gauntlet video game of my youth. At the very end I decided to paint his belt purple for some contrast.

Last, we have Madriga. I considered painting her completely different from the classic “elf ranger with a bow” green and brown. I was toying with painting her cloak a deep orange and going for an autumn color scheme, but I said screw it and just painted her as you see here. I wanted this project to be over.

Here’s a shot of all three.

And here’s a shot of the three plus Rordin, the Dwarf.

Onto other things. I need to get my first Zombtober stuff ready to post this weekend, as I’m already a week behind!

 

Insanity Pile Progress

 Miniatures Painted Thus Far: 34

Miniatures Purchased: 1

Total: +33

Shocktober: a Project Postponed…

Some time ago I got my hands on a couple of boxes of Wargames Factory Shock Troopers. I had planned to make a proxy Imperial Guard army different from my Mordian Iron Guard, but having two Imperial Guard armies is just stupid, especially when I no longer play 40K. I decided I could use them for scenarios outside of the GW universe, or possibly as henchmen for pulp or supers gaming.

Originally, I planned on basing them on snow, inspired by an old friend’s 90’s era Valhallan Ice Warriors army. I scrapped that idea. I then thought I would paint them in dark colors reminiscent of the Injustice Superman’s security force, but I couldn’t find a color scheme I liked. My Mordians are already predominantly black, so I wanted a different color scheme.

As you can see, I tried several. I like none of these.

Then, by chance, I stumbled across an old blog post by Atom Smasher of Tabletop Minions fame. I really liked his color scheme, so I contacted him to ask him how he did it. Sadly, he was unable to remember. (Side note: this is why I’m glad I started writing down my paint recipes in a notebook.) This left me back at square one.

This month was to be the month in which I finally painted this “army”, as well as all the vehicles and support units I have collected over the years. It was to be called “Shocktober.” Brilliant, I know. But I  still have yet to decide on a color scheme for my Shock Troopers, so it’s once again getting pushed off.

Which leaves me with the question: what am I going to do for this month?

I’ll certainly finish the Dwarf King’s Quest, since I only have a few miniatures left to paint. Also, I’ve heard tell that there’s a Zombtober event being hosted on Brummie’s Wargaming Blog, and I could easily supply a zombie or two that has long awaited paint if I can wrangle an invitation. But I want to do something else…something on which I can say I’ve made significant progress by month’s end. I have several choices:

I could bite the bullet and clear out the side pile, which has grown since last I labored on it. That would basically free up some desk space while I complete a diverse set of miniatures that have been in various stages of paint and/or assembly for a long time (in some cases, years).

I could paint another old-school Grenadier box, those are always fun. I really enjoy revisiting these boxed sets, and I have quite a few.

No matter my current focus, I am always repainting Heroclix miniatures for use in my supers gaming. I could dedicate the whole month to that alone and clean out my freezer bin (where I keep my ‘clix that I need to rebase; the cold makes snapping them off the dials easy).

I could do another big project, like my Orc Warlord on Wyvern…something large-scale that will take up a lot of time and effort.

I could start work on another miniatures board game. Currently the only one I have unpainted is 3rd edition Space Hulk…pretty low on my priority list, to be honest.

Finally, I could always do some more work for Gaslands. I have plenty more cars to convert, and I need to get started on some scenery. I will most likely do this in addition to any miniatures painting this month. Also, I need to work on terrain more often, so this may give me the kick in the ass I need.

I guess we’ll see what happens. Suggestions are of course welcomed!

 

The Search for Carrion Crow…

Shortly after his most recent blogpost, dated August 19th, my friend and co-miniatures enthusiast Carrion Crow mysteriously vanished from the blogosphere. He left behind no trace.

After several weeks with no sign, I grew concerned. After a month, I was in a full panic. I dispatched search parties to find him. Only one man returned; bloody, disheveled, incoherent and clearly mad. I barely had time to press some cold water to his lips before he gave a final shudder and died. I marveled he was able to make it back to me in such a state.

Upon looting his corpse, I found a dog-eared and ratty notebook in his pocket. Amid the scribblings and diagrams of an unhinged mind I was able to piece together the following theories as to my friend’s whereabouts:

  1. He is currently leaping about on the planet Barsoom, sword in one hand and the willowy, slender waist of a beautiful Martian princess held tightly in the other,  a wild smile on his lips and the love of battle in his heart.
  2. He is currently trapped in a neon, digital reality, where he is forced daily to duel Bruce Boxlitener with illuminated discuses.
  3. He is in an extra-dimensional, mythical city preparing himself to battle an ancient dragon so that he may absorb and channel its power, making his fist “like unto a thing of iron”.
  4. He is travelling through time portals in the company of a band of robber dwarfs, who are fleeing a superior being from whom they have stolen the map of Time itself.
  5. He is being held against his will in a remote coastal village, where he is under constant threat of being pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered.

One of these is almost certainly true. Personally, having come to know the Crow’s ways over the last couple of years, I feel strongly that it is #1. Thus, when I look skyward at the red planet, it is with no small amount of envy.

May you return safely and in your own time, my friend.

Saga’Tember’s end: Zombie Trolls and Shaman

It’s the last day of Saga’tember, and I managed to get three more miniatures in just under the wire. This time it’s the undead trolls and the troll shaman, Hoggar.

I must admit I was a bit daunted by the zombie trolls. They’re big miniatures and they will draw a lot of attention on the table, so I didn’t want them to look crappy. I was unsure what color to paint the flesh, but I decided to YouTube it, and I came up with Como Pintar’s method. I ended up deviating from it considerably, but he gave me the basics. His video is in Spanish, but if you don’t habla Espanol, don’t fret. He was nice enough to include English subtitles.

I should say that I followed his instructions, but I got a very different base color than he did. I opted to highlight with Rakarth Flesh before the final highlight of Bone. Also, I discovered a new favorite paint: Citadel’s Nurgle’s Rot. This is a technical paint that simulates greenish putrescence very well; it basically looks like yellow-green snot. It dries shiny, so it looks appropriately gross.  I used it on the flesh around the open wounds on the trolls and Hoggar and I think I’ll use it more often when painting things that are, well…rotting.

Here’s Hoggar, the zombie troll shaman and the last villain in the base set. I don’t know what the hell is up with the picture, but he looks a LOT better in person. I’m actually really happy with how he came out, but looking at this picture, it seems I just slapped some paint all over him and called it a day. I didn’t.

Lastly, a group shot.

That brings an end to Saga’tember. All in all, I did pretty well. I managed to paint 23 out of the 26 miniatures in the box. All I have left are 3 more heroes, and of course all the doors and dungeon scenery. I should easily be able to finish everything long before Christmas, which was my goal. Still, without this month’s challenge project I doubt I would have painted any of them!

Insanity Pile Progress

 Miniatures Painted Thus Far: 30

Miniatures Purchased: 1

Total: +29

Saga’tember: (Mostly) Dead Dwarfs!

For my third group of miniatures for Dungeon Saga: the Dwarf King’s Quest, I decided to focus on the dwarfs.

There are two dwarf revenants in the game, basically undead dwarf warriors who serve their undead Dwarf King, for whom the game is named. I decided they would likely be clad in similar raiment, as they are soldiers, after all. I opted for green.

Then there is the eponymous undead Dwarf King himself, Grund (not a very dwarflike name, but whatever). I’m pretty happy with the way he turned out. I really like the miniature, too; much like beards, big blocky hammers just seem to go with dwarfs.

Here’s a shot of the king and his soldiers. Speaking of beards, I think it’s great that dwarfs keep theirs even after death, when the rest of their face is just a skull. It’s also worth noting that only after death would a dwarf EVER tolerate rust on his weapons or armor.

Finally, I completed my first Dungeon Saga hero: Rordin, the Dwarf. I don’t have a problem with the miniature per se, but it’s not that exciting a pose. Also, his hammer head is bent, and even though I tried to straighten it about 6 times, it went right back to the bent position. Annoying, but not really the end of the world, considering how much I’m likely to actually play this game.

Up next: (undead, not Russian) Trolls! I’m hoping to get them done by the end of the month, which will leave only the remaining 3 heroes and the dungeon scenery left to paint. Wish me luck!

Insanity Pile Progress

 Miniatures Painted Thus Far: 30

Miniatures Purchased: 1

Total: +29

Saga’tember: Zombies and Necromancer

It’s 2/3 of the way through the month, and I finally have my next batch of Dungeon Saga miniatures to post. At this rate, I’m unlikely to get the whole set finished by month’s end, but I won’t have much more to do and I should be able to finish the base set by the end of the year, in between my other projects.

This time around, I decided to focus on the zombies. There are four regular zombies, and two wearing armor.

I have to say that I’m really not a fan of most of these Dungeon Saga miniatures. Not because they look particularly bad, but because they’re fragile. Many are misshapen, and despite many attempts at reposing them, they tend to stay that way. Thankfully, Mantic seems to be aware of the problem, so only one foot is attached to the base. This allows you some measure of control to reposition the model before gluing the other foot down. This straightens the model’s posture, which is a good thing. But it doesn’t help with bent weapons or arms at all.

In addition to the zombies, I painted another bad guy: Mortibris, the Necromancer. Once again, I ignored the “official” Mantic paint colors in favor of my own classic necromancer color scheme that harkens back to the days of my old-school Warhammer undead army. I like how he came out, but I wish the picture was a bit more in focus.

This week, I didn’t buy any more miniatures, but since I’m keeping a year-to-date total (or at least a running total since I decided to start keeping track), I’ll include my earlier purchase. That miniature will be painted soon, hopefully by the end of the month…he’s just too cool to put off.

Up next, however, I’ve decided to focus on one of my favorite painting subjects and the namesake of this game: Dwarfs!

Insanity Pile Progress

 Miniatures Painted Thus Far: 26

Miniatures Purchased: 1

Total: +25

Saga’tember Interlude: Some Subtle Foreshadowing….

The Good:

The Bad:

and the Mutie!

Oh. yeah… I almost forgot…

and HIM:

Coming soon.

Saga’tember: Skeletons and Spirits!

Well, it’s officially Saga’tember, and I’m the last of the three caballeros (the other two being Dick Garrison and Blax the Kleric) to post my progress in painting Dungeon Saga: The Dwarf King’s Quest by Mantic Games.

I decided to keep things simple for my first outing. I concentrated on the skeletons and the ghosts, two of the easiest groups to paint.

As a lifelong fantasy miniatures painter and a former Warhammer Undead player, I’ve painted many a skeleton in my day. I figured I had this in the bag. But I am far from happy with how these skellies came out.

I love Mantic dwarfs, but Mantic skeletons and elves are really skinny and small, or as my British friends would say, weedy. My eyes aren’t getting better with age, so they were tougher to paint than I thought they would be. Also, I decided to try a different skeleton painting method than is usual for me. Typically, I prime my bonies black, then highlight using Reaper’s bone triad (Bone Shadow, Aged Bone and Polished Bone) before giving it a very light drybrush of white. Works great.

This time, I used GW’s method, which is to prime white, wash with Agrax Earthshade, and highlight up with Ushabti Bone and white. I hated how this turned out, so I ended up using my method after all, which resulted in about 3 unnecessary layers of paint on the models. I mean, they don’t all have to be masterpieces, but it just irks me…

Unlike my comrade Dick Garrison, who is painting his models to match Mantic’s paint jobs (and doing an amazing job of it), I have no such desire to do so. I want to paint as many of these models as I can in September, however; so I decided to go with GW’s quick and easy method of painting ghosts: prime white, coat with Nihilakh Oxide, wash the recesses with Coelia Greenshade, and drybrush with white. I did both ghosts and one of the bosses, Elshara the Banshee, in about 30 minutes.

Also, this is the first time in months I have painted something that isn’t a Gaslands conversion or a Heroclix repaint, so it marks the return of my Painting Progress queue. I have been VERY good, and I haven’t bought any new miniatures in months…until last week, when I had to buy a miniature that was too good to pass up…but I’ll be painting it very soon. Anyway, the updated progress for this year is:

Insanity Pile Progress

Miniatures Painted Thus Far: 19

Miniatures Purchased: 1

Total: +18

 

Up next: “BRAAAAAAAIIINSSSSSS…..”

Saga’tember!

Behold Dungeon Saga: The Dwarf King’s Quest by Mantic Games. It’s a fairly well-reviewed dungeon crawler board game in the vein of Fantasy Flight’s Descent. Like Descent, it comes with a bunch of plastic miniatures that you can paint, or not, as is your wont. I’ve owned the game for a while now, but I’ve never played it; much like Imperial Assault, I wanted to paint all the miniatures before actually playing the game.

Unlike my experience with Imperial Assault, I want to paint the game miniatures in less than two years and play it more than a few times.

A couple of months back, in the midst of Forgotten Heroes, Dick Garrison, Blax the Kleric and I donned our dark robes, intoned our mysterious chants, invoked names any sane person would never speak aloud, and made a solemn pact that we would all three try to paint as much of the game as possible during the month of September, or, as Mr. Garrison has aptly dubbed it: Saga’tember.

Saga’tember is nigh! This coming month will be devoted to painting the Dungeon Saga game, with the ultimate goal (one I share with Dick Garrison), of having the whole thing complete by Christmas. That means I’d best get cracking, because I already have a project lined up for October, and I’m seriously considering hosting Dwarvember again this year. (No promises on that, we’ll have to see.)

Did I mention I have some long-lost friends dropping by in September for some Super Mission Force and/or possibly Gaslands? That’s right: I’m actually going to play a game or two with OTHER people for a change. Looking forward to it, but it means I have to do a little work for those games prior to their visit.

Tonight: I prime!

 

A #1!!!!

Those of you who drop by Dead Dick’s Tavern may know that lately, I’ve been playing Mad Max on the Playstation 4, which, in turn, has made me want to play Gaslands very much. With the end of my Time Trap Super Mission Force campaign, I only have a couple of weeks before September, when I, Dick Garrison and Blax the Kleric are all committed to a painting project soon to be revealed here.

At least I hope we’re all still committed. We are still committed, right guys?

Anyway, I have a short amount of time for other projects, so I decided to do something Gaslands-themed in honor of Mad Max. However, it’s a different movie, and one of my favorite movies of all time, that gave me the inspiration for this quick project: Escape From New York.

I decided to make the Duke’s car.

If you aren’t familiar with this movie, I’m not going to summarize it here. Just see it as soon as possible by whatever means necessary. That’s the Duke of New York above, played by the late, great Isaac Hayes. The late, great Harry Dean Stanton is next to him, as is Adrienne Barbeau. She’s not late, or great. She’s fucking amazing, and I was, and still am, madly in love with her.

One look at that picture above and you notice two interesting things. And no, I’m not talking about the two things you think. I count those as a pair and therefore one thing. The other thing is the Duke’s gun. I’m no gun expert, but I have to wonder why you would put a long-range optical scope on an Ingram Mac-10 submachine gun. I doubt you’d be doing much sniping with that…but I guess it looks cool.

Anyway, this is the Duke’s car:

 

A 1977 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham.  The Duke pimped it out with some hip chandeliers on his hood, because hey, he’s the Duke of New York. He’s A #1.

 

I had this. It’s a limousine, not a Cadillac Fleetwood, but I immediately thought of the Duke’s car when I got this in a bag of toy cars from a thrift store. Some of those have since become other Gaslands conversions, but this one…well, this one was put on hold. After all, the Duke’s car is far from the wasteland rustbuckets I’ve converted thus far.

The Duke has class. He’s A #1.

Of course, this all but requires the Xzibit “Yo, Dawg” treatment…

 

 

One look at the chandeliers on the hood and I knew that duplicating them would be beyond my meager modeling skills. So, I tried to find dollhouse furniture that would be in scale, but believe it or not, Matchbox cars are way smaller than standard dollhouse furniture. Also, dollhouse furniture is fucking expensive, so I resolved to make my own.

I took the car apart and primed it with some Rustoleum camo paint. I drilled some holes in the hood, then used these bead pliers, which I didn’t even know I had, to bend and crimp some floral wire for the frames. I used these cheap glass beads for the lights. (As a side note, I also make lovely bracelets in my spare time. Not really.)

One look at these light fixtures and you can see they’re not 100% accurate replicas of the Duke’s hood ornaments, but as I said above, those are beyond my skill. Then again, this limousine is bigger than the Duke’s caddy, so I guess it doesn’t matter. Let’s just say this car was “inspired” by the Duke’s car.

You may ask me, “Hey, Piper, why did you go through all that bullshit when you could have just used a three-prong fishhook for the lamp frame?” To that I say: I thought of that. But I couldn’t find a small enough fishhook without buying a lure (I am not a fishing enthusiast and I don’t own any fishing tackle), and I didn’t want to do that, considering I already had the floral wire. So that’s why.

If anyone cares, I painted the car with a base of Vallejo Bronze before giving it a wash of GW’s Nuln Oil, then I highlighted the whole body with P3 Radiant Platinum. The chrome fixtures were painted with GW’s Mithril Silver, and the lamps were done with Auric Armor Gold.

I don’t know how it would fit into Gaslands, because there are no limos in Gaslands, and this one looks particularly vulnerable, having neither weapons nor armor. I’d probably just call it a bus. Maybe it’s the ride of a wealthy race patron.

“I am the Duke of New York! I am A #1!!!!”

 

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