Category Archives: Miniatures

Looking Back…and Forward: 2023 Resolutions

Well, 2023 is here, and it’s time for a look back at last year’s resolutions and what I accomplished; then it’ll be time to set some new ones. Last year wasn’t great, in particular I had a pretty crappy third and fourth quarter, to be sure. Still, I managed some things better than others. So, what were my resolutions, and did I meet my goals? And what do I want to do in 2023?

More Roleplaying Stuff: Goal met. I wanted to post more stuff about RPGs last year, and I did. I posted a couple of Character Studies for Call of Cthulhu and Star Trek Adventures; I started a review/repair post for old adventures that I want to continue, starting with the Call of Cthulhu classic “Trail of the Loathsome Slime”; I started my own homebrew game, The Hub, based on 1970’s street crime movies like Taxi Driver and Dog Day Afternoon, set in Boston; I wrote a post about the utility of swapping systems from games to use in other games, and I bitched and moaned about censorship, the double standard and general hypocrisy over at DriveThruRPG.

I wanted to do more, and in the coming year, I will.

As far as actually PLAYING RPGs, 2022’s gaming plans didn’t turn out the way I expected. Out of five one-shot games I planned to run, I ran exactly zero. That’s not to say I didn’t run games (I did), they just weren’t the ones I planned on running. Instead, I ran a couple of Star Trek Adventures sessions to introduce the game to new players. I ran a Call of Cthulhu scenario for Halloween, and I even ran a couple of sessions of my own homebrew 1970’s Boston street crime game, The Hub. I ran a short-lived Mutant: Year Zero game for some friends before I came to my senses and decided I don’t enjoy being aggravated (and I don’t mean by the game); but the main thing I ran was a monthly Witch Hunter-themed campaign using Lamentations of the Flame Princess.

I plan on running a new campaign and more games this year, and I have posted my 2023 Gaming page; so check it out if you’re interested in playing some RPGs. I also opened up my Discord server to new players and hobbyists. (Yesterday, I even got to have my first Discord conversation with none other than Dick Garrison himself, Roger Webb! I know, pretty cool, right?) Drop me a line if you’re interested in joining the server.

Painting Challenges: Goal met (kind of). I took part in Fembruary, Forgotten Heroes, and Deadcember (over on Instagram); and I hosted Monster May(hem) again. Then the world went to shit for me smack in the middle of Dave’s Season of Scenery, and I had to bail on it completely, after first abandoning my idea to finally build my Deep Space Nine model. The one challenge I’m amazed I was able to complete (and on time, every time!) was…

One Character a Month: I didn’t host it this year, but I took the opportunity to paint all old-school metal miniatures for this challenge. I’m pretty happy with the results.

Here’s a group shot. Top left to bottom right: January through December.

January: Lord Gunthar Uth Wistan, (Fighter)

February: Arianna Moonshadow, Enchantress (Druid)

March: Cloaked Assassin (Rogue)

April: The Cimmerian (Barbarian)

May: Adventuring Cleric (Cleric)

June: Half-Elf Ranger (Ranger)

July: Mistress of Darkness (Sorcerer)

August: Bard with Bagpipes (Bard)

September: Dark Lord (Warlock)

October: Half-Elf Sorcerer (Wizard)

November: Amberlynn, Dragon Slayer (Paladin)

December: Jolly Friar with Dog (Monk)

This year, I will absolutely host Monster May(hem) again, and I hope to take part in all the other painting challenges from last year, including the Season of Scenery, dammit. In addition, I am continuing the Character of the Month personal challenge, but this year I’m making it all demi-humans! Tom is also hosting the challenge again (he calls it #paintanadventuringparty); but his take is a bit different. Remember the old Ral Partha 3-stage characters? He’s doing that: paint a character as a rookie, experienced and veteran version. That’s a bit too much for me to commit to, given my other projects, but YMMV. Drop him a line if interested!

More AARs: Goal not really met. I started my Star Trek gaming project, The Pawn, all the way back in March. The premise of the project was to tell a story based on the results of games played. Well, I definitely told a lot of story so far; but I only managed to play ONE underwhelming AAR before I took a break and never got back to it. We left Lieutenant Barclay in a precarious position, pursued by Romulans on the ice moon of Varuna 3; and we left the rest of the Enterprise-D heading back to that system after almost starting a war in the Neutral Zone. Will I get back to it? I sure hope so. I have a lot more story to tell. Just need to find the time. You can enjoy what I did manage to write thus far if so inclined. All the posts are tagged “The Pawn”.

I also planned on getting back to my Green Hornet game, and even a new Christmas scenario featuring The Crimson Hound again…but you see how that turned out. This year I want to return to both those games and some Super Mission Force; but we’ll see what the cards hold. In the meantime, I’m living vicariously through Matt, who posted a shit-ton of AARs on his site last year!

Personal Projects: Goals partially met. I had two: paint my Star Wars: Imperial Assault miniatures and make 2022 the Year of Pop Culture. I managed to paint The Bespin Gambit and one expansion (Bossk), but I still have a couple of expansions to paint before I can call that set all done; then it’s on to Hoth or Jabba’s Palace for 2023, I’m not sure which one yet.

As far as the Year of Pop Culture is concerned, I painted a lot of pop culture miniatures in 2022; but nowhere near what I wanted to. So, the Year of Pop Culture continues into 2023; where I suppose I should consider renaming the challenge, since it’s more than a year.

Nah, fuck it. Who cares? Bring on 2023!

Star Wars Imperial Assault: The Bespin Gambit

As 2022 draws to a close, I regard my hobby efforts this year with melancholy disappointment. All told, I painted 68 miniatures, and I’m unlikely to paint any more before midnight tonight. One thing I was hoping to paint this year was my full set of Star Wars” Imperial Assault: The Bespin Gambit. By “full set” I meant all the miniatures that come in the box, and all the ally and villain expansions released at the same time. Close, but no cigar. A few expansions will have to wait for a future post.

I did manage to do the core set, though, starting with these Bespin Wing Guard. I painted them all the way back in April, but held off on posting them (or any other Star Wars stuff) because I wanted to post the whole set together. Anyway, here they are.

Next: the Ugnaught Tinkerers.

I thought I knew what an Ugnaught looked like, but I had to check source material a bunch of times while painting these guys. Anyway, they have spoken.

Finally, the heroes: Murne Rin, Master of Intelligence.

Ilthorians are my favorite Star Wars race. “Hammerhead” was one of the first Kenner Star Wars figures I ever owned as a kid; and I made an Ilthorian Jedi for the Start Wars RPG back in the day. It was good to see them make a comeback in The Mandalorian.

And speaking of Jedi, here is the other hero from the set: Davith Elso, Codename “Hawkbat.”

Dumb code name. Cool miniature.

Lastly but not leastly, I did manage to paint one expansion, at least…and it’s a good one.

The Trandoshan, the myth, the legend… and the dude on the cover of the box…Bossk! Here he is with the Trandoshan Hunters from the original IA core box set. You’ll note that one is painted as Bossk, because it was before Bossk got his own miniature.

Bossk says: Happy New Year!

Up next, 2023 resolutions!

Jolly Friar with Dog

For my final submission for Tom’s #paintanadventuringparty challenge on Instagram this year, I only had one character class left: the monk. This old RAFM monk with dog is no longer available anywhere I can find. He’s such a great miniature, I thought he was due for a repaint.

I briefly considered painting him red and green and basing him on snow in honor of the Christmas holiday, but why ruin the utility of such a great sculpt? I decided to keep the colors pretty much the same, but maybe add a little shading and highlighting, techniques unknown to me back in the 80’s when I originally painted him. I kept the dog more or less the same, too.

He has such a great face. I generally don’t bother much with faces beyond the typical trio of flesh-colored paints and a wash, but in this case I added some rose to his cheeks and nose. This fellow look like he enjoys his booze.

Rather atypical of me to have completed a challenge so early in the month, but I’m making up for all the lost time this year.

I love this challenge, whether I call it Character of the Month or Tom calls it #paintanadventuringparty. I think I will continue it into next year. This year I used all old-school miniatures for the challenge, next year I’m thinking I will try something new: no humans! So, every character class will be represented by a demihuman race: elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, maybe even half-orcs and half-elves. Maybe.

No tortles, tieflings, dragonborn, half-giants, tabaxi, aasimar, kenku, warforged or anything else equally stupid, though.

I have standards.

My first “commissions”

That Cthulhu Jawn is an actual-play Call of Cthulhu podcast set in 1980’s Philadelphia. I discovered the podcast through Instagram and It’s a lot of fun. George, the GM, contacted me a couple of months back and asked me if I do commission painting. He’d seen my IG account and liked my work. I was quite flattered that anyone would think my stuff is good enough to pay for, and I told him so; but I offered to paint some miniatures for him for free if it wasn’t too big a job. It wasn’t.

George wanted these two miniatures painted for his players’ characters in a different game (I can’t remember what). I think they’re 3D prints from HeroForge. I didn’t think to take any “before” pictures. so this is the finished product. George picked the colors.

Anyone who knows me knows I need little if any excuse to paint a dwarf, or at least a dwarf miniature. I like this guy.

The minotaur was not so much fun. I admit I’m not really a fan of this miniature, but once I started rolling it came together pretty quickly.

The axe handle had broken off at some point below the hand , leaving him with a comically-short, massive cleaver. I fixed it with some plastic rod and green stuff. (The benefit of never throwing anything away is that I had the correct diameter rod at hand.)

One of the questions I never thought to ask is why these two very different characters are adventuring together. They seem an unlikely pair. Now that I think about it, the dwarf’s gun and wrench and the minotaur’s weird jet-pack thing give me a Spelljammer vibe. Maybe I’ll ask George if I remember.

As you may know, the last few months have been somewhat trying for me. George had to wait a bit for his miniatures, but at last they are finished and are winging their way home to him via the United States Postal Service.

Also leaving Dead Dick’s Tavern after an extended stay: Owen’s miniatures! This almost four-feet high stack of Plano boxes contains hundreds of classic Ral Partha and Grenadier miniatures, as well as a fair amount of other manufacturers. Several years ago (for those who don’t want to follow the link), my good friend Owen gave these to me; as he was done with painting and just wanted the space. I’ve been holding onto them ever since, hoping he would take them back. I even painted a few of them and posted them here to taunt him with his own miniatures.

It didn’t work. He really was done.

A couple of weeks ago, he asked if I still had them. Of course I did. He said that if I was ok with it, and if I still wanted to get rid of them, I could give them to his niece. She grew up watching her uncle play roleplaying games and paint miniatures. She’s in her 30’s now, running games of her own.

Of course I was ok with it. I’ve always said these were never my miniatures. They were Owen’s miniatures, I just held onto them for him. I told him that if I couldn’t give them back to him, then I would gladly pass them on to the next generation of Owen gamers, and I did.

But I kept a few.

Amberlynn, Dragon Slayer

As anyone who still comes here knows, I have had precious little hobby time over the past few months as irritants both personal and professional have plagued me without mercy. One thing I’ve managed to keep up with (the ONLY thing, really; as my last two posts show) is Tom’s #paintanadventuringparty challenge over on Instagram. Tom’s challenge is pretty much the same as my Character of the Month from last year, only without the back stories. I’m also choosing to paint only old-school miniatures, because that’s what I want to do.

This is Amberlynn, Dragon Slayer (not to be confused with Amber Lynn, who is someone else entirely). She’s from Ral Partha’s Fantasy Personalities line (03-106), and in case you can’t tell, she’s a Sandra Garrity sculpt.

Like many of my old-school metal minis, she was never painted (until now). I needed a paladin for the challenge. She looks the part. Besides, I realized I was a little short on the female miniatures so far this year.

Here she is sans background scenery.

And finally, here she is doing what she does best, slayin’ dragons; in this case, a Grenadier Red Dragon, sculpted by Julie Guthrie.

Not much else to say, really. I’m hoping to get a few more posts out by the end of the year. December is when I traditionally clean up my “side pile”; but that seems unlikely. I just want to get SOMETHING done. This was supposed to be the year of pop culture, and it’s turned out to be the nine months of pop culture! That sucks!

Next month: only one more character class to go in the challenge…can you guess which one? Also: more gaming announcements, and hopefully something else, too…

Dark Elf Sorcerer

Hi, I’m The Angry Piper. You may remember me from such things as being active in the online hobby community and having a blog, once.

Jesus. Another month from hell. I hesitate to say things are getting better, because I said that last month and shit went south again immediately after I did. I’m not one to knock wood; but I’m coming around to the idea of embracing superstition. It can’t hurt, right?

In the meantime, I’ve managed to keep up with one challenge, at least: Tom’s #paintanadventuringparty challenge on Instagram. To be honest, if I wasn’t nine for nine already this year, I wouldn’t have bothered. But why break my streak?

This bad boy is from Grenadier, a Dark Elf Sorcerer sculpted by the great Julie Guthrie. I’ve decided to call him a wizard for the purpose of the challenge. I also decided to paint him with a bright palette, because who the hell is gonna stop me?

I’ve had this guy for a while. Since 1988 (or 1989, I can’t make it out). He was even painted once, but he was painted primarily glossy crimson. Spiffy, huh? I stripped him for repaint about a decade ago.

I feel like I should do something better with the staff, but…nah.

Check out the widow’s peak on this guy! Full-on Eddie Munster!

Picture this. Old-school D&D. Your first level Magic-User has 2 hit points and one random spell, and it’s Read Magic. You meet an Owlbear and you die.

Grab some dice and a new character sheet.

Once again, I’m hoping to make a return to normalcy here at Dead Dick’s next month. I still have a lot of Pop Culture miniatures I would like to get to by the end of the year. Thanks for sticking with me.

Dark Lord

It has been a hellish couple of months, both personally and professionally. I have had little time to do anything hobby-related; but hopefully that’s behind me now. One thing I have managed to keep up with is my Character of the Month for my buddy Tom’s #paintanadventuringparty challenge on Instagram. It’s a good thing it’s only one miniature a month; because that’s about all I’ve done in September.

This old-school miniature comes from Superior Miniatures, from their Wizards and Lizards line: Dark Lord (a.k.a. “Wizard with Dragon”), sculpted by Ray Lamb. I purchased and painted him long ago (in the 80’s, in fact), but stripped him of his Testors enamel some years back, always intending to repaint him, And now I have.

There’s no way you could make this guy look like a good guy; so I’ve decided he is a good representation of a Warlock, a magic-user who gets his power from a pact with something infernal. I decided on a pretty simple palette, since everyone knows bad guys wear black.

This is one of my all-time favorite miniatures. I absolutely love this sculpt, and taking a new look at Superior’s line has really opened my eyes at how good these miniatures are. I have quite a few of them (another may be showing up here soon), and I count myself pretty fortunate.

Hopefully this marks a return to more regular posts; and an overall return to the blogosphere. I’ve missed you guys.

Bard with Bagpipes

For my Character of the Month, and for my submission to Tom’s #paintanadventuringparty challenge on Instagram, I chose to do a bard: specifically, this old-school Grenadier “Bard with Bagpipes”, sculpted by the great Andrew Chernak as part of one of the original Grenadier AD&D boxed sets.

Sadly, I don’t own the boxed set; but I picked this guy up loose on eBay a few years ago, since he was, up until then, a bagpiper miniature I did not own.

This guy has some bizarre fashion sense: a conquistador helmet, billowed sleeves, hose, toe shoes and some weird diaper-thing. I decided anyone who would dress like that would be looking for attention, so I painted him up as a troubadour in garish colors. A friend pointed out that his highland bagpipes have the traditional three drones and that his hand positioning on the chanter is pretty good–two things that are often sculpted incorrectly on bagpiper miniatures. Chernak did it right!

Only four more character classes to go until the end of the year (did that fly by or is it just me?): Monk, Wizard, Warlock and Paladin.

Apologies to all who have noticed my conspicuous absence from this site and from the blogoshere this month. Some family health problems have occupied my every waking thought lately; and I am way behind on hobby stuff. Still hoping to get something done for Dave’s Summer of Scenery by the end of the month, although it won’t be the AMT Deep Space Nine model as I originally planned. That turned out to be a bigger project than I anticipated.

I hope to be back in full form soon.

“He ain’t a hard man to track. He leaves dead men wherever he goes.”

Time for another entry in my Year of Pop Culture. The Outlaw Josey Wales is, of course, one of Clint Eastwood’s classic Westerns; one I have seen many times and one I return to often. It’s the story of a Confederate farmer whose family is murdered by Union troops, so he joins a militia to kill Northerners. Eventually, the militia is convinced to surrender. Josey refuses, of course, and his fellow militia men are all massacred after laying down their arms.

Josey becomes an outlaw; the target of bounty hunters and the duplicitous Union regiment known as the “Redlegs” that was responsible for the massacre of his men. He finds a woman, settles down on a ranch…but only for a little while. Eventually, the Redlegs arrive and lay siege to the ranch in a bloody climactic battle.

The Outlaw Josey Wales has some of the best lines in bad-ass movie history, from “You gonna pull those pistols, or just whistle Dixie?”, to the iconic “Dyin’ ain’t much of a livin’, boy.” It’s one of my favorite Westerns of all time, and if for some reason you haven’t seen it, you should.

Reaper does this “Jeb Lawson” miniature in their Chronoscope line, and it’s a pretty good likeness, almost as if they did that on purpose. It’s sculpted by James van Shaik.

Here’s my paint job.

And that’s one more for the Pop Culture theme of 2022.

I guess that’s a good thing, because I haven’t done shit on my Deep Space Nine model for the Season of Scenery yet…

Fantastic Four Job Interview: The Crimson Hound

Mr. Fantastic (MF): Hello there! Welcome. Thanks for coming in.

Crimson Hound (CH): Thanks. Glad to be here. I…uh…thought there were four of you.

MF: The Invisible Woman isn’t here at the moment.

Human Torch (HT): Or…IS SHE??? Ha ha ha!!!

MF: So…Crimson Hound. We’re looking for a fourth member, someone who can fill in for Ben here when he takes one of his sabbaticals.

HT: Like when he gets all whiny and leaves the group to sulk.

Thing (T): Whatever. It ain’t easy bein’ me.

HT: Or when he needs to go “find himself” on some alien planet.

T: That happened once. Sue me.

HT: Or when he wants to follow his dream and be a professional wrestler…

CH: Ha! You guys are cute together.

T: Whaddya mean, “together”?

HT: Yeah, what’s that supposed to mean?

CH: I only thought…

T: Think again, bozo!

HT: Yeah, think again!

CH: Look, there’s nothing wrong with–

T: Shuddup and get yer feet off the table! Ain’t ya got no manners?

CH: Oh. Sure. Sorry.

MF: Let’s focus on what’s important: Ben’s replacement.

T: REPLACEMENT?!

MF: Usually, we ask She-Hulk to step in, but…

T: She got too big fer us.

HT: Stopped answering her phone when she got a TV show.

CH: Huh. Right.

MF: So, assuming we get this vampire business cured, when can you start?

CH: Cured? You can cure me?!

MF: Undoubtedly. I’m pretty sure I have already figured out how. I am embarassingly intelligent.

CH: But the vampire thing is what gives me my powers!

MF: Oh. I see. Well, we can’t have you feeding on people’s blood. I own the patents on several dozen formulae for synthetic plasma, both terran and non-terran. I’m sure we can find something suitable.

T: Welcome to the team!

HT: Don’t touch my stuff.

CH: Wow! Thanks! I really need this job…

MF: We’ll get your hiring bonus, health and dental package squared away and show you to your luxury penthouse quarters here in the Baxter Building. There’s just one more restriction.

CH:…what’s that?

MF: You cannot, under any circumstances, make any jokes, implications or double-entendres about my powers and how far I can stretch my…well, I’m sure you know. Understood?

CH: Wait…not ever?

MF: Never.

CH:

CH:

MF: Well?

CH: Nah. This isn’t gonna work. Thanks for your time.

Bruno still hasn’t posted any new Crimson Hound content. He deserves this.