Category Archives: Insanity Pile

Monster May(hem) 2023: The Home Stretch

We are nearing the end of Monster May(hem) 2023, and it’s doubtful I’ll get something else done by the end of the month. (It seems I have yardwork that requires my full and undivided attention in my immediate future.) Despite likely having no further contributions of my own, I thought I would update the blogroll with everyone else’s submissions. I’ll add any stragglers in a few days, but here are all the submissions I am aware of:

  • Simon, from Fantorical, has started work on a large Wizkids Groot model, and it’s looking suitably Grootlike! Can’t wait to see it finished!
  • Dave, from Wargames Terrain Workshop, has sculpted a few of his own miniatures for his submissions: a Dragonkin warrior, a Clawed Fiend and a Jerba (a Star Wars beast of burden). He’s also done justice to some GW miniatures: some Dark Elf Khymera (these are sick!), a Slaan Lord on Palanquin and an awesome Chaos Giant (wow!)! That would be enough for mere mortals, but Dave is a hobby machine. He then painted a cool 3D-printed cyclops and finally, the Bitch Herself: the Alien Queen, in supersize! Dave went for a full-size model kit with the old Halcyon Alien Queen model. (Funny thing, Dave…I’m working on a model kit, too…!) It’s GREAT!!!!
  • Matt, from PM Painting did the creepy Jötunn Moder from The Ritual, and a Fungal Troll that may be one of my favorite things I’ve ever seen him paint (it’s really stunning). That would have been more than enough; but Matt also completed an Undead Goliath from Calden Keep, a Plant Shambler and a Minotaur Lord! Matt works right up to the end, though, so I’m sure we haven’t seen all he has to offer yet. In real life, meanwhile, Matt’s been avoiding bears. The ursine kind, I mean. Solid work, Matt!
  • Azazel, from Azazel’s Bitz Box has brought his A-Game, as always: he started with a “Chaos Toad Savage” (aka a Reaper not-Slaad) before moving on to some of my favorite D&D monsters: a pair of Gricks by Nolzur’s; following that with a Reaper Dire Boar and a Yugg, which is a particularly loathsome Cthulhu Mythos monster I’d never heard of before! Azazel then completed a giant snake, which really needs to be seen because first: it’s an awesome sculpt, and second: Azazel painted a scale pattern that I am totally copying if ever I get the chance. Then he managed to finish a long-dormant project: an “Abominalpha” for Zombicide: Black Plague, together with a “Weremanboar” and “Actual Cannibal Shia LeBoeuf”; and finally, working right up to the wire, a Shoggoth from Cthulhu: Death May Die! ! Azazel’s stunning paintjobs aside, there are some really cool miniatures here that I’ve never seen before, and that’s not even close to everything ELSE Azazel painted in May! Well done once again, Azazel!
  • Snapfit, from Da Green Horde, comes in under the wire with a classic GW River Troll and a converted Reaper Troll, and they look great!. Snapfit says they’re called Fellwater Troggoths nowadays, and I have no reason to doubt his word. Thanks for participating this year, Snapfit! Don’t be a stranger!
  • Jon, from Jon’s Hobby Desk, rejoins us this year with some late postings (or, as he says, a head-start on next year). He did a couple of big ‘uns: a Wizkids Nightwalker and The Rancor, from Star Wars Imperial Assault! Thank you, Jon!
  • Tom, @The_Goodground painted a demon, a storm elemental, a Rat Ogre, an objective marker so monstrous it counts as a monster, a vulture demon and a Lovecrfaftian Gnoph-Keh, before turning his attention to House Cawdor and Necromunda, abandoning the world of Monster May(hem) and moving away into the East, where, like the Blue Wizards of the Istari, he passes out of our tale to fates unknown. You can see all his miniatures on his Instagram account!
  • Malcolm, @mdcampbell_dunwichcreatives painted four monsters, a Runequest Walktapus, a classic Grenadier Shadowrun miniature, the Feathered Serpent (beautiful plumage!), a Reaper Carrion Crawler…and…wait forit: Baba Yaga’s Hut! (Not the Reaper one I did a couple of years ago, a new,3D print that I like better!) He’s posted three on Instagram account so far, and you can see all of them in my #miniatures channel on the Discord server, if you have access. If you don’t, ask!
  • Mike, @sasquatchminis completed a Nolzur’s White Dragon, which he intends to use for Icespire Peak, and it looks fantastic! He posted it to his Instagram account and in my Discord server, so check it out!
  • And finally, me! I did a Skeletal Dragon and a Spiny Death Worm, both of which you can see in previous posts. I planned on a couple more, but it’s not happening this year.

I’ll be keeping an eye out for any late submissions, so this might not be the final list. Thanks so much to all who participated in Monster May(hem) this year. For those who didn’t get the opportunity, no worries: I fully understand how real life can get in the way of time spent at the hobby desk! Assuming I’m still alive next May, Monster May(hem) shall return (and if I’m not, I expect one of you to pick up the standard and lead from the front)!

Bring on Forgotten Heroes!

Monster May(hem) 2023: Week Two: The Spiny Death Worm!

Monster May(hem) continues, and this one’s for Dave! For my second submission, may I present: the Spiny Death Worm!

This miniature is one I’ve had for a couple of years now…one, in fact that I wanted to get painted for last year’s Monster May(hem); but alas, I didn’t get to it in time. The Spiny Death Worm is available through Wargames Terrain Workshop; a.k.a. our buddy Dave’s joint!

There’s a nicely painted picture of this miniature on Dave’s site; but of course I wanted to put my own spin on it, so I didn’t copy the color scheme. You’ll have to tell me if I did ok. I considered basing this Spiny Death Worm on a snowy base, but instead went for a dry desert base.

Pucker Up!

Here is the blogroll of other participants in Monster May(hem), and their projects that I’m aware of so far. Drop by their sites and show your support!

  • Simon, from Fantorical
  • Dave, from Wargames Terrain Workshop, has sculpted the majority of his own miniatures for his submissions: a Dragonkin warrior, a Clawed Fiend and a Jerba (a Star Wars beast of burden) thus far. He’s also done some GW Dark Elf Khymera, and they look terrifying, and a Slaan Lord on Palanquin (which definitely counts as a monster, Dave!) Did I mention he sculpted the Spiny Death Worm, too?
  • Matt, from PM Painting did the creepy Jötunn Moder from The Ritual, and a Fungal Troll that may be one of my favorite things I’ve ever seen by Matt, and that’s saying a lot; considering how talented he is. The colors on this are inspired. Everyone should check this one out!
  • Jeremy, from Carrion Crow’s Buffet
  • Roger, from Rantings from Under the Wargames Table
  • Azazel, from Azazel’s Bitz Box
  • Jon, from Jon’s Hobby Desk
  • Snapfit, from Da Green Horde
  • Mark A. Morin, from the eponymous markamorin.com.
  • Tom, @The_Goodground has painted a creepy demon miniature, a storm elemental, a Rat Ogre, an objective marker so monstrous it counts as a monster, a vulture demon and a Gnoph-Keh! You can see them over on his Instagram!
  • Malcolm, @mdcampbell_dunwichcreatives has painted thee monsters so far, a Runequest Walktapus, a classic Grenadier Shadowrun miniature, the Feathered Serpent and a Reaper Carrion Crawler! So far, he’s posted the Walktapus and the Feathered Serpent on his Instagram account! You can see all of them in my #miniatures channel on the Discord server, if you have access. If you don’t, ask!
  • Mike, @sasquatchminis is working on a White Dragon. He has also posted some WIP shots to the Discord server.

Monster May(hem) Week One: Skeletal Dragon

To miniatures hobbyists, Julie Guthrie is one of the most talented, prolific and well-known sculptors working in the industry. She is legend enough to have had her own line of Grenadier miniatures back in the late 80’s/early 90’s. I own more than a few hundred old-school, metal miniatures of that era, many of them from Grenadier, and many of them by Julie Guthrie. She still sculpts for Reaper Miniatures today.

I painted her Red Dragon way back in 2016, before Monster May(hem) was a thing. This time I decided to give this Skeletal Dragon the treatment.

Full disclosure: this thing was terribly painted once before (with Testors enamels, of course) but had been stripped for repainting about ten years ago. The reason I never got to it was because I couldn’t get the wings to stay on. I tried Gorilla Glue gel and regular super glue, they just wouldn’t adhere. I even tried using green stuff as an adhesive. No luck.

Finally, at age 50, I learned about the baking soda trick. Do you know about the baking soda trick? Because I sure as hell didn’t. Some kid in a Warhammer video showed me. Put some super glue down where you want it. Add a tweezer-full of baking soda. Join your parts, and watch as the baking soda instantly cures the glue and forms a rock-solid bond. Blew my mind.

Here is the end result. I used Reaper’s Bone Triad (Bone Shadow, Aged Bone, Polished Bone) for the skeleton, then used the Ivory Triad (Stained Ivory, Yellowed Ivory, Creamy Ivory) on the horns, along with some Brown Wash. The glowing eyes were done with Vallejo Yellow-Green, washed with GW Waywatcher Green and a dot of Dorn Yellow in the center. Then I scattered some rocks and twigs on the base and that was about it.

I considered making the eyes an eerie blue rather than a sickly green, and once the base was complete, I remembered I had a bunch of treasure piles I could have used instead of rocks and tufts, but…oh, well.

I have a few more projects to get to this month, not all of them monsters. It sure as hell is nice to be painting again.

Once again, the blogroll of participants for the month! Go visit their sites and check out what they’re doing!

I’m checking all the sites and I will update this list periodically throughout the month. Happy painting!

Monster May(hem) 2023

Monster May(hem) 2023 starts tomorrow, so let’s get priming!

Here is the blogroll so far:

Also, a few of my Instagram friends are joining in:

Don’t see your name here and want to? Drop me a line with your info and you’re in! There’s still time to join the fun!

For my own sanity, I will post Monster May(hem) updates once a week rather than try to keep up with every submission…but the blogroll is here for a reason! Drop by the sites and accounts listed here and have a look for yourself! Support our fellow hobbyists!

Monster May(hem) Returns (Again)!

Manticore, 2022

There has been much speculation ’round the blogosphere (ok, it’s just been Dave) as to whether or not I plan on hosting my annual painting challenge this May, Monster May(hem), considering I have been scarcely seen around these parts lately and that my recent posting history has been somewhat erratic. The answer is yes.

As in yes, I am hosting Monster May(hem) for the fifth year in a row, and you are all most welcome to participate. How do you do that? Sound off in the comments on this post, or drop me an email at angrypiper@angrypiper.com, and tell me you’re in. And just like that, you’re in.

THE “RULES”: What is Monster May(hem)? Why, it’s the month you paint monsters, of course. Any monster will do, although it should be a proper MONSTER; no skeletons or orcs. I mean something truly beastly; like a wyvern or a shoggoth or an owlbear. Your monster(s) doesn’t have to be strictly a fantasy miniature, and it may be any scale and from any manufacturer. I will link to your stuff throughout the month, and (if it’s not there already) add your blog/website/social media to the blogroll on the side! If you don’t have a site of your own and still want to participate, I’ll happily host your pictures here and ensure you get proper attribution!

How many monsters you paint is up to you. The minimum is one, of course; but feel free to do as many as you like. The only caveat is that they get painted sometime in May. I usually average around five or so over the course of the month, but guys like Azazel and Matt regularly do more than everyone else combined, and Roger and Dave have even been known to sculpt their own monsters prior to painting! Talk about a bunch of overachievers!

Here are some of my monsters from past challenges.

Great race of Yith, 2022
Baba Yaga and her Hut, 2021
Marauder Giant, 2020

Last year I opened this up to folks on Instagram, and I will do so again. But fear not: this challenge began here at Dead Dick’s Tavern, and here is where it will always be hosted.

So, who’s in? Let’s make it formal so I can start May off with a blogroll of participants!

Imperial Assault: Bespin Gambit Part 2

Hi there. Remember my last post, where I said that this year, I would do this and that, etc., etc.? Well, just forget that, because I clearly have. My hobby output has been dismal thus far, and I’m tired of making plans I can’t possibly deliver upon.

I guess I’ll paint what I paint this year, and that’s about it.

So, here are the remaining expansions to the Bespin Gambit set for Imperial Assault, starting with some ISB (Imperial Security Bureau) Infiltrators.

These two similar-looking fellows are led by Agent Blaise, who is an ISB Interrogator who supposedly was assigned to Bespin to uncover rebel activity…

…namely, the rebel activity of one Lando Calrissian, Cloud City Administrator.

Lando’s colors are pretty bold, especially compared to how he looked in The Empire Strikes Back. I followed Sorastro’s tutorial for Lando and I love the results.

I’ve barely painted anything this year so far. I managed to finish running my year-long Lamentations of the Flame Princess game earlier this month, and just last weekend I got to talk to Roger on my Discord server again, but that’s about the extent of my hobbying. I’m definitely feeling the disconnect from the hobby community that my unplanned absence has caused, and hope to be able to contribute more soon.

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.

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.