For Fembruary, and also for my Character of the Month, I chose to paint a Sandra Garrity classic from Ral Partha: Arianna Moonshadow, Enchantress.
I decided to paint her as a druid instead, She’s got a belt made out of animal teeth, so why not?
I have had this miniature since she was released (sometime in the early 90’s would be my guess). She been unpainted all this time, so I’m making good on my plan to use Tom’s challenge as an excuse to paint some old-school miniatures. Plus, I love me some Sandra Garrity!
It’s been a hellish month at work and I’ve just kicked off a Lamentations of the Flame Princess campaign; so I haven’t had much time to do very much hobby-wise. But expect a flurry of posts soon as I endeavor to catch up!
Well, I’m not off to a good start with my 2021 Resolutions. I’m already a month behind on my Character of the Month. For Fem-bruary’s character I chose a to paint a fighter; and here she is, better late than never. Nevertheless, being late doesn’t get me off the hook for another character this month, so watch this space for my official submission for March. In the meantime, this miniature is Rhaine, Rogue; from Reaper Miniatures, sculpted by Werner Klocke. At least, that’s what she’s called now. My blister said “Rhaine, Duelist”; so I decided to stick with that concept for her backstory.
Among the rich and powerful nobility of Evalaux, disputes are often settled at swordspoint. Despite this, most nobles barely know which end of a dueling saber or pistol to hold, never mind how to employ one for its intended purpose. The richest noble houses have fencing masters on staff, ready at a moment’s notice to avenge an insult or satisfy the slighted feelings of their patrons. If, however, yours is not one of the richest houses; or if you have recently suffered the inconvenient (yet permanent) loss of a fencing master due to poor job performance, then you must hire one; else be at the mercy of the social jabs and thrusts of the aristocracy.
Aramise Del’Arco is the most sought-after duelist in Evalaux. She has been offered fencing master positions at the most prestigious and wealthy houses; positions she has declined. Some of the masters of these houses saw her refusal as an insult and made the poor decision to hire a duelist of their own to seek redress. Aramise Del’Arco killed every one without compassion or apology. Thus, the nobility of Evalaux must content themselves with never having the best duelist under permanent retainer; and they must fear that Aramise Del’Arco may one day show up on their own doorstep in the employ of a rival.
Aramise Del’Arco does not work solely for the nobility. In the crowded streets and back alleys of Evalaux, crime lords, cults and other nefarious organizations have all used her talents. Provided you can afford her, Aramise Del’Arco is for hire. But be certain you pay the bill when it comes due.
You may ask why. An illustrative example: before he was known as “No-Nose, One-Eared, One-Eyed Rickard”, Rickard the Butcher was a man to be feared in the dark underworld of Evalaux. When he decided to send three bravos after Aramise Del’Arco rather than pay her fee for her elimination of a rival, Aramise Del’Arco gave him the visually-appropriate nickname he enjoys at present.
As for the bravos, they didn’t get nicknames. They just got dead, and Aramise Del’Arco got her money.
Aramise Del’Arco is a mystery. No fencing master in Evalaux can say she was their pupil or their classmate. No one knows where she came from or how she became so skilled with a blade. All that is known about her is that she is quite possibly the finest swordswoman alive; and that she will work for anyone who meets her price. Once hired, she will work until the terms of the contract have been fulfilled. She cannot be bought off or bribed; but make no mistake: she is no assassin. If an opponent dies in the course of a lawful duel, then so be it; but she will not murder for hire, and sad indeed is the person who would make the mistake of assuming so.
I instantly fell in love with the “unofficial” duelist character class when I saw it collected in Best of The Dragon (magazine) Vol. 4, and promptly made one of my longest-running AD&D characters ever: a half-elf duelist who constantly found himself embroiled in political games with players much bigger than he. I used him as an inspiration for this Character of the Month.
Got the song in your head? good. I’d put a picture of Sebastian the crab here, but the Mouse is known to be one litigious rodent…
Anyway, it had to happen eventually. I made a diorama. I’ve never done one before. While I can marvel at and enjoy a good scene as much as the next guy, I’ve always been more practical when it comes to painting miniatures. I do so assuming I will use them in a game someday (see how that has turned out), so keeping miniatures locked in place holds little utility for me. That, coupled with my ambivalence towards scenery-making, has pretty much kept dioramas off my personal hobby list until now.
Behold: The Mermaids’ Grotto. I actually had the idea to do this a few years ago, but shelved it because I couldn’t get excited about making a diorama. I pretty much followed the tutorial from Eons of Battle for constructing underwater bases. The seaweed is made from twist ties; the shells are from a novelty candle that was full of pink sand (don’t ask), and the “rock” is pink XPS board.
All the miniatures are from Reaper’s Dark Heaven line. This one is Children of the Zodiac: Pisces (03300), sculpted by the legendary Sandra Garrity. She was the first one I painted.
This is Pearl, the Mermaid (03078), sculpted by Werner Klocke.
And finally, Coral, the Mermaid (03554) sculpted by Gene Van Horne. This miniature required some cutting and repositioning, as her original pose was this:
As you can see, her tail disappears for a while under the surface of the water. This wasn’t going to cut it in a scene that’s supposed to take place on the ocean floor, so out came the nippy cutters and the green stuff. It’s not a perfect join, but it looks ok.
The octopus and the eel were from Familiar Pack VII, which features a bunch of aquatic critters.
Here’s another shot of Pisces.
Halfway through making this diorama, I realized that my first Fem-bruary submission shows a lot of boobs. Don’t get me wrong, boobs are great; it just wasn’t really my intent to focus so much on them in a month celebrating female miniatures. (I’m not a teenager. It’s just that most mermaids aren’t particularly modest.)
I’m hoping to get a couple more female miniatures done soon, one of which will be my D&D Character of the month; so watch this space.
Ever since Roger from Rantings Under the Wargames Table lent his dulcet tones to the Imperial Rebel Ork Podcast; I’ve been hooked. In fact, I’ve binged all of IRO’s excellent podcasts over the last couple of weeks (yes, that’s right, yet another thing to blame Roger for). It was through listening to IRO’s musings and hobby spotlights that I recently was made aware of a painting challenge heretofore unknown to me: Fembruary, the brainchild of one Leadballoony, a hobbyist also heretofore unknown to me; but one I will certainly follow now.
The rules, such as they are, appear quite simple. Paint at least one female miniature in the month of February. That’s it.
Well, I can do that. In fact, I’ll go one step further and paint ONLY female miniatures in February. Not because I’m an overachiever; but because I have a lot of female miniatures that need paint. (I’m in the middle of working on a diorama that features only female miniatures anyway, so I can count that, too.)
Of course, as cool as Fembruary is, it doesn’t excuse me from my prior obligations (read: Resolutions): like painting a Dungeons and Dragons character class for February. Only this time, she’s gotta be female.
No problem. I got this.
So, fair warning: although as everyone knows Dead Dick’s Tavern is usually a bastion of testosterone and sheer, unbridled masculinity (because of ME), next month I will showcase some badass lady miniatures that have waited far too long for paint.