Tag Archives: Mantic

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

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: 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




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!


The Dwarves Are Upon You (again)!

Just in time for 3 years after the Age of Sigmar destroyed the Warhammer Fantasy universe, I have finally finished my dwarf army. Well, mostly finished. I firmly believe that you can never have enough dwarfs. But for now, I am content.

This was definitely a labor of love. It has been over a decade since I played a game of Warhammer Fantasy, and I have no interest whatsoever in Age of Sigmar. It is unlikely that these stalwart dwarfs will ever see battle, which is a real pity. Nonetheless I did my best to paint them in a manner most glorious, limited only by my shortcomings of  painting skill.

Some of these miniatures and units have appeared before on this blog, back when I was zealous enough to think I could complete a project in a reasonable amount of time. Now that the army as a whole is finished (mostly), I decided to present them once again, this time with the rest of the army. My dwarfs are from several different manufacturers. I have no brand loyalty when it comes to good-looking miniatures, and I don’t play in tournaments where “official” miniatures are required. To that I say most vehemently: “Fuck that shit.”

First up, the Thunder from Down Under(ground), my missile troops!

This is the small unit of Thunderers included with the Battle for Skull Pass (BFSP) boxed set. Ten stalwart gunners, led by a Hero (more on him later). I really like these one-piece plastics; even though they’re not poseable, it’s still possible to achieve enough variation with the paint jobs to make them all appear different.

Up next is a group of ten Quarrelers, produced by Mantic. Mantic definitely has a unique look that you either love or hate (I like these guys), but the price can’t be beat. Not as detailed as some of the other manufacturers, but they certainly do the job for rank-and-file troops. These dwarfs could have been build as Ironwatch, which is Mantic’s equivalent of Thunderers, but I chose to give them crossbows rather than rifles because crossbows are cool.

Finally, my favorite unit of missile troops: my Dwarf Gunners, manufactured by Black Tree Designs. Let me be clear: I LOVE BLACK TREE MINIATURES.These guys are all metal, and hearken back to the glory days of GW and Citadel metal miniatures. They have the same “chunky” look to them and the same weight in the hand. They’re priced fairly well, especially since Black Tree seems to have constant 40%-50% off sales going on at any given moment. These guys were a joy to paint, and although 18 is quite a lot of dwarfs for a unit of Thunderers, I really like them!

Next up, the foot troops. First is the small unit of Dwarf Warriors from the Battle for Skull Pass set. Ten dwarfs does not a unit make, IMO, but they’re what I had. They’re positioned behind one of the King’s Wall obstacles, also from the BFSP set. I acquired a few more of these dwarf walls over the years.  These warriors are positioned next to a Flame Cannon (more on that later).

Up next, a group of 16 Dwarf Rangers. These guys are GW plastics, and they lack a command group because I couldn’t find a dwarf command group that looks the same as the unit. I’d still like to get one, though…so if anyone has dwarf plastics from this set that could be made into a command group, contact me and let me know.  Although they are ubiquitous in Fantasy, especially with Dwarfs, I’ve never been a fan of double-bladed axes (they look dumb to me), so I took the liberty of modifying some of axe-heads by removing one of the blades. I like the way it looks much better. They’re standing next to an old -style GW Dwarf Organ Gun (see below).

A unit of Black Tree Dwarf Warriors. Now this is more like it! A small unit at 18 models, but a solid enough brick on the table. Red is my least favorite color, and I loathe painting yellow, so why I chose this color scheme I couldn’t really tell you. The standard bearer had a miscast axe, so I just clipped it and replaced it with a Mantic hammer head.

This unit is a unit of Black Tree Miners. Note the shiny headlamps and the hammers. I love the look of these guys, and there’s 20 of them, so it’s a decent sized unit. But I’ve decided to use these guys as warriors rather than miners; I am a big proponent of core troops over special or elite choices, and these guys can serve as warriors just as well…

…especially since I already have a unit of Miners. These guys are mix of the GW BFSP miners and a GW miners regiment, for a total of 18. The one-piece BFSP sculpts blend pretty well with the poseable regiment dwarfs. The command group is from the BFSP set, so I was free to make the entire regiment box rank-and-file miners.

These Mantic Shield-Breakers are proxy Hammerers. Since there’s only 10 of them, I figured I would use them as a bodyguard for my army general. To be blunt, I hate half of these miniatures. The ones that have smooshed-down helmets annoy me, as it can’t possibly be that difficult to cast a miniature headless instead. This would give you the option of adding whichever dwarf head you prefer. Any of them would look better than these lazy, one-piece castings. The other dwarfs actually look pretty cool. And once again, the price can’t be beat (I guess you get what you pay for). This was the most recent unit I painted, completing it just last week, even though I bought it at Gen Con in 2012.

Lastly, my elite unit. These are 20 Black Tree Dwarf Ironclads; in other words, proxy Ironbreakers. I love these guys, and they’re pretty much the best dwarf unit you can field. I once had a unit of Savage Orc Boar Boyz charge a unit of my friend’s Ironbreakers, only to get decimated on the charge and routed. That’s right: my unit of Savage Orcs charged the dwarfs and got their asses kicked so hard they ran away; and somehow I rolled so badly that the dwarfs were able to run faster than my boars and cut the entire unit down like ripe wheat. Oh, the humanity.

Next up: the artillery! Here is a standard cannon. Note the crew is being kept well-hydrated by the Dwarf Brewmeister and his team. The cannon is a metal GW piece, the beer guys are from Reaper and serve no purpose other than to look cool.

Another cannon, this time the plastic one from the Battle for Skull Pass boxed set. I’m a fan of the models, especially the Dwarf Engineer. Note the Dwarf bagpiper in the background. He’s from Bob Olley’s Dwarf World line, and he’s playing the only instrument loud enough to be heard over cannon fire. Hell yeah!

Here is a close-up of the old-style dwarf Organ Gun from Games Workshop. I’m pretty sure I have the wrong crew miniatures for this artillery piece (I think these are technically cannon crew), but they came with the gun and I got the whole kit on the secondary market. I like the newer GW model better. In fact, I like the Mantic version better, too…but the spiky front on this one has some charm. Kind of superfluous, though…I mean, wouldn’t the five loaded guns deter a frontal assault just fine without all the spikes?

This trebuchet is from Black Tree Design. You may ask: who needs a stone-thrower when you have cannons? Well, I do. My cannons almost always misfire. I have better luck with rocks. And dwarfs are pretty traditional…rocks have been around forever, and if there is one thing dwarfs have no shortage of, it’s rocks. They served well enough in the past…why change things? Rocks are obviously made for hurling at greenskins or those annoying elves. AS IT SHOULD BE!

Here is a shot of the Flame Cannon, also by Black Tree. Sadly, since I will probably never play this army in a game, I will not be able to see the flame cannon in action. Burning things seems like a lot of fun. Like all my Black Tree dwarf models, I love this gun. As a bonus, here’s another look at the Dwarf Warriors from BFSP.

Confession time: Although love dwarfs, I hate Dwarf Slayers. I think they’re stupid. That’s why I will never field a unit of them. Although GW has made them iconic, I refuse to buy into their bullshit. Nonetheless, one of them came with the BFSP boxed set, so I painted him up. There he is.

And finally, a closeup of my Lords. The army general on the left came with BFSP. I painted him up a couple of years ago as part of Dwarvember, along with those GW warriors and miners. You can see more pictures of him here. On the right is a GW Dwarf Hero. Since he has a cool pistol,  I placed with my small unit of Thunderers.

As I said, the army is mostly done. Astute viewers may have noticed bare banner poles on some of my standards. That’s because I suck at freehanding banners, but hopefully I’ll get around to it. Also, the Mantic units do not come with command groups (it’s not necessary for their game, Kings of War), and neither do I have a command group for my Rangers. I’d like to get command groups painted for all my units. Perhaps it’s because I played so much Warhammer Fantasy, but units without command groups look incomplete to me, and are therefore irksome.

I’m just glad I completed this project (mostly) after talking about it for so long. The army may be complete, but I still have plenty of dwarfs to paint. Watch this space soon!

The Dwarves are Upon You!

I have found a cure for my painting blues. I’ve decided that rather than drive myself crazy painting things I don’t want to, I’ll take a break and get started on those Dwarfs I’ve been meaning to paint for a while. Here are the results.

It’s a modest start: one unit of Warriors, one unit of Miners, a small unit of Quarrelers (that’s crossbowmen, not argumentative dwarfs), and an organ gun. It should be noted that with the exception of the organ gun and its crew, none of these are GW models.  Like I give a shit. Both the Warriors and the Miners are from Black Tree Design, the Crossbowmen are from Mantic. I placed them around some Gale Force Nine Battlefield in a Box Rocky Outcroppings.

First up are the Miners. I love the look of Black Tree’s dwarfs, as they are all metal and chunky, reminiscent of that old Citadel Dwarf range, which I really like. The only criticism I have of them is that there isn’t enough variation in the packaging. Out of 20 figures, I got 5 of one sculpt and 4 of another, while conversely I got 1 each of two very cool sculpts. Oh well. I did my best to paint them with enough variation so that they are individualized, but I tied the unit together by using the same dirty colors across the board (they’re miners, after all). I used some leftover mat board from my Modular Roads project as movement trays.

Up next are the Warriors. Again, I like the look of Black Tree. These guys are doubly cool because they’re so armored up, I could easily use them as proxy Ironbreakers. (Quick Math: I get 20 of these metal dwarfs from Black Tree for about $40. The same unit of “official” GW Ironbreakers would cost me $100.  I’d say they’re likely to be Ironbreakers most of the time.)

I didn’t make any banners for either unit yet, because I kind of suck at scratch-building banners. Maybe one day I’ll get around to it.

Last are the Quarrelers and the organ gun. The organ gun is an old-school GW metal version. I actually like the newer version better, but this one is fine.  I have mixed feelings about the Mantic Dwarfs. They definitely have a look all their own, and you can’t beat the price at about $1.50 each. I really dislike the fact that in this pack of 10 dwarfs, you get a bunch of head variations but can only really use 5, as the other 5 dwarfs are all one piece. The one-piece dwarfs are the dwarfs that are firing the crossbows, pretty much the front rank. There is a noticeable lack of detail on these models as opposed to the ones with separate heads. In addition, they don’t really rank up well unless you want the back rank to be facing off to the side. A somewhat annoying design flaw.

So, what next? Well, I have all the dwarfs from the Battle for Skull Pass boxed set awaiting painting: 12 Warriors, 10 Thunderers, 8 Miners, a cannon and crew, a Thane and 1 Slayer. (I’ve always thought Dwarf Slayers are stupid.) I have an unbuilt unit of Mantic Shieldbreakers that seem to have the same annoying lack of detail on the one-piece models as the Crossbowmen. And I have another regiment of GW dwarf Miners (making that 15 more miners in total, minus my unneeded second command group). I have another dwarf cannon and crew, and a proxy Flame cannon to paint, plus a few lords and heroes…So the army is a long way from complete, but I need to get back to my other projects for now.