Thanks for the replies! I will try and put some better shots up. I was sort of forcing myself to put SOME shots up to get the ball rolling, but I should make sure I put up some quality.
Josh: Not entirely sure - the heroes and skeletons I painted during the week, they took me I guess 5 hours? The zombies I did on Saturday afternoon, and they took about 5 hours too. The trolls, revenants and ghosts took a similar amount. So I guess 15 hours for all of them? My "technique" is pretty simple anyhow these days. Block in base colours, 1 or 2 highlights (by drybrushing!) and then washes (usually just earthshade, but sometimes a few others as well.
I want everything to look kinda grimy, so I'm happy with Earthshade, but I also like the slightly brighter colours for the leather and clothing.
Anyhow. Back to it!
Oop- new shots will be slightly delayed. Girlfriend not well and sleeping in the spare room!
Then the Zombie Trolls (these were fun to paint - I still have to do the leader and one more!)
I have been trying to avoid reading the scenarios but I have been looking at the miniatures requirements.
As the game has set usage there will be minis extra.
Galahir and Infernal Crypts all use two bags of minis each, so one full bag is spare. The core game uses two bags and Valandor uses a third but even so some miniatures are only used twice.
From looking at the tallies of all the scenarios you don't have to paint up one zombie troll and one ghost (you need two of those and three of every other miniature to handle every scenario.
I am planning to remove the third zombie troll and use the base for something else for variety. Specifically the old Dark World manticore miniature, which will now be useful for one of the Valandor scenarios.
Orlanth: That's right, yeah. For the expansions you only need doubles of each mini, not triples. But I wanna do them all anyhow
Thraxas Of Turai: I'm really happy with the quality of my DS stuff. I'm never going to be much other than a pretty adequate painter, so I don't need hyper detailed minis (though I love stuff like Red Box Games as you can see) so these minis are right in my comfort zone.
They're nice and robust. I had to do a session where I sat down and hot water straightened I'd say 60% of the minis to some degree, it took me about 45 minutes. Valandor's noodle-spear was the worst offender. But once straightened everything is fairly tough and rigid. It's more rigid than the material the descent minis are made from, for example.
The bases are really good and the little pegs for attaching them are a very good way to do it. What I wasn't expecting from the bases was the variety - there are many different versions so they don't all end up looking the same. I was going to put them on 20mm/40mm bases for use in KoW but the dungeon bases are so nice I kept them on them.
I do need to do some green and mud washes on them though to break up the grey and make them look a little more interesting. I figure I'll do that in one big batch.
Automatically Appended Next Post: Okay, so I messed around with my lighting and got some paper and tried again with the photos. I'll keep working on the set up - I'm taking the photos with an Ipad so angles are a little difficult at times.
Skeletons with capes
Skeletons with Scythes
Zombies with clubs
Zombies in shirts
Phew! Hope these are a little better.
Going to get some bascoats onto Hogger and the last troll before bed.
So I finished Mortibris, Hogger the Troll Shaman, and the last Troll Zombie.
I deviated from the Mantic scheme for Hogger quite a bit because I thought the greenish robe he had was too similar to his greenish flesh. I think the light grey gives a better contrast.
I like the studio scheme for Mortibris, so I stuck with that. I think he's a great model - he's a necromancer, but he shows it because he is actually carrying out an act of necromancy rather than being cover in skulls and bones and crap. Really good design choice in my opinion!
This is the entire core set plus an evil dead booster done, which is not bad going for a couple of busy weeks for me. Next on my list is some dungeon furniture and doors.
(Looking at those in giant size photos makes all the flaws stand out. Now I have to go correct them!)
I should get some matte and try it out. I had a bad experience with some purity seal a long while ago and stopped using varnish of any kind pretty much except those that paint on.
Though they're not quite as shiny in real life - the harshness of my lighting probably brings that out in them. I'm hoping to pick up some diffusion paper this weekend and sort that out, maybe also a couple of less harsh table lamps. Ikea, ho!
I took some group shots today of all the minis in the core set plus my Evil Dead set together. It's a sizeable amount of stuff - 35 minis total.
And here are the heroes and villains squaring off:
Next on my hit list are enough doors to do the whole core game (so 1 third of my total amount of doors. I figure breaking them up between batches of miniatures will make them less tedious!
@Thraxis: Hogger was my favourite miniature from the lot to paint, though I really like the basic Zombie Trolls as well. I sorta rushed through some of the others because I wanted to have everything painted for my first session of play with my girlfriend, but Hogger was lots of fun to paint. I like Morty too, though he didn't come out quite as well, I'm pretty happy with him.
Here are the finished doors. A pretty quick and simple approach- sprayed brown, and then some were highlighted with Doombull Brown, others with Graveyard Earth (or whatever the equivalent is these days) or left as they were. They were then washed with either Earthshade or the Privateer Brown Ink, which I really like because it gives this rich brown colour. Pretty happy with the results. But definitely looking forward to painting something a little more interesting next!
I've got Valandor, Ba'el and some of the furniture pieces drying in my cellar right now. Probably won't get them painted tonight, as I've been spending the last two days putting together ikea furniture and drilling holes in walls.
But I thought I might try out the Black Fortress dungeon tiles and see how they looked with painted minis on them. I made a crappy "dungeon" background from two printed pieces of A4. I'm probably going to try and improve on that when I get a chance to print in colour, but I think it looks okay right now.
Anyway, enough nattering, pics!
(I've also bought a new lamp which I was hoping would reduce the glare - I think it's slightly better. I've got some of that diffusion paper which I am hoping to make into a rudimentary light box shortly, but I'm happy that the quality of my previously terrible pictures has improved a little!)
Just a quick WIP - started Valandor and Ba'el today.
My least favourite minis in the set, I think they stray a little too far into Satuday Morning Cartoon territory for me - Captain Floppyspear vs. The Underbite Demon!
Since Valandor is the weeniest expansion, I also painted up some of the grey stone furniture too. Keeping one tomb and throne to one side to try a marble effect on.
Sticking to the studio scheme for Valandor, but I think bright orange Ba'el looks like poo so I'm giving him the same rotted flesh as my trolls. Thinking of giving him black/brown horns like the Legion beasties from PP though.
So, it's been a while since I posted - life got busy as usual!
Thanks for the compliment Grim, I got the idea from some of your "action shots" actually, figured it might be cool to set some up with the tiles and so on.
I've still been working away, trying to get the Valandor expansion finished. This is the smallest expansion figure wise with only 2 figures, so I decided to grind out some dungeon furniture too.
Valandor and Ba'el are my two least favourite DS models - I just don't like the style of either of them, and therefore I didn't really enjoy painting them. I went for a clean, cartoony look for Valandor and I tried to make Ba'el look presentable as he may see use as a D'n'D Bone Devil at some point in the future. It's all a bit 80s cartoon for me though! The Bael model is fine, even if I question some of the design choices, but Valandor's detail is really soft and I found the gold filigree on his armour to be a real pain to get right. The furniture was actually more satisfying to paint. It might not come across in the pictures but there are six distinct shades of wood colour, so no two chests or tables are exactly alike! I want to do a marble throne and sarcophagus, so I've still those two to do, but I'm about ready to move on to the Abyssals, which I am looking forward to.
Captain Floppyspear and the Underbite Demon
Gratuitous Ass Shot
And just to show the furniture with normal sized minis because Valandor is ridiculously big:
I was mooching round the game store looking for robust board game style minis to add to my growing RPG collection. Bones would be ideal but it's hard to get over here, so I plumped for the official D'n'D minis. I used to have quite a collection of these from the old range, and they were pretty okay if you picked your sets carefully, so I was optimistic.
Man was I disappointed! First of all, I opened my booster (which cost me 20 euro!) to find 4 measly minis inside! I remember when the boosters cost about a fiver less and came with three times the friggin' minis! You're looking at over 200 euro MINIMUM to get the whole set, which is ludicrous when you look at the sculpts and realise that they are mostly woodenly posed badly painted computer designed lumps with no character or expression to them. The only decent mini I got in the set was this Carrion Crawler, which is cool because it's a D'n'D specific monster that would be hard to find otherwise and I like the 5e look for it. I've given it a simple Earthshade wash here to make it look a bit better.
A quick WIP shot of my Lesser Abyssals while the crimson wash dries on them.
Pretty happy with how the red skin is coming out - just layers of drybrushing (khorne red - mephiston red - evil sunz scarlet - wild rider red (which is really orange)) with a wash.
Their cartoony faces really catch the paint in a good way though. Think I'll give them green eyes for contrast. They're pretty fun to paint - if I'm not careful I'll have a regiment of these bought when they get released
And they're pretty much done. I might still wash the leather a bit.
I'm also wondering if I should do some blending on the horns and bone growths - blend them from light-reddish brown at the bottom up to black at the tips. But I wasn't too happy with how it came out on Ba'el and the horns and so on are so small it might be a real pain in the arse.
I like them as they are though - the green eyes really set the faces off, and I love their toothy grins now that I'm done with them. I like the normal lessers more than the champions, who had soft detail and were a bit of a pain to paint (and they have stupid looking weapons too).
Better pictures tomorrow - it's too late to set anything up right now!
Painting Abyssals is great fun. I've got the Hellhounds, Molochs, Succubi and the Abyssal Champion all drying with their skin done.
And I finished the various fire themed abyssals and the Cleric.
Here is the Cleric. My Naiad demonhunter is currently MIA, I think probably back in Ireland. So she's representing the heroes on her own. I liked the studio scheme and tried to replicate it, and I think I was moderately successful. I like the model quite a lot for a female adventurering cleric, and she was fun to paint.
Here are the Firethrowers, I like the model but not sure if I should do more detailing on their large back spines:
And the Tortured Souls, not hugely inspired by these but they can double as Chain Devils for Dungeons and Dragons.
My favourite of the bunch are the Efreeti. I gave them green eyes too, though it doesn't show well in the pictures, and I'm trying for a sort of "cooling lava" effect on the bases since they are riding a pillar of fire and in game spend most of their time crusing around giant lakes of fire. I might do more work on the bases in future, but they are simple and effective sculpts that have a lot of style in their posing that I really love.
Common to all the Abyssals was the fire effect, which is built up in layers of orange and then finally a touch of orange/yellow/white. I'm happy enough with it.
I hope to finish the expansion (minus the rogue Naiad) tomorrow, and I've been spraying and prepping my Orcs and Goblins for the trip back to Ireland. I hope to finish that expansion over Christmas.
Try to avoid doing pictureless updates, but I've done a pile of work without any chance to photograph it since I'm at my parents place for the holidays. Hopefully have the last section of the Infernal Crypts plus the completed Warlord of Galahir fully photographed and posted pretty soon.
Apart from socks and a book on megalithic tombs, my only christmas present was Descent: Journeys in the Dark. Got to play a few missions with my brother. It's pretty good, but much more of a tactical battle game than a dungeon exploration game like Dungeon Saga, but I gotta say FFG's presentation and components beat Mantic's hands down. Looking forward to painting that up next - I've already got a bunch of their Hero and Monster sets done for D'n'D, so I should post those up soon too.
Phew! I've been busy. Prepare for a monster photo-dump!
First up is the last bit of the Infernal Crypts expansion. The only thing left to do is the Naiad, who I had accidentally left in Ireland. She's back with me in Nuremberg now, so she'll be getting painted with the Paladin and Halfling from the Dragon expansion shortly! To make up for her absence I painted a couple of Descent figures from a Hero and Monster set.
I really enjoyed painting the Infernals a lot. I think they came out really nice with the vivid red skin and green eyes, and I'm really pleased with them as sculpted. The process of painting them has definitely sold me on the "style", which is cartoony and reminds me of Dungeon Keeper. Once I had that in mind, they suddenly clicked with me and now I love them - thinking of picking up an army set in the future! I chose to keep all the horns flat black for simplicity, and I think it looks good enough, though a small highlight might improve them.
Here are the Hellhounds, who look okay but were a bit of a bugger to paint with three heads all wearing collars, hats, and needing eyes and teeth detailed. Still, they look pretty good:
After that, the Succubi. Nice design, but they came out a bit shallow in detail so they were tricky to paint. I'm happy with the bright blue hair though.
Then the Molochs. I love these guys, very intimidating and unique sculpts with their big bellies and demonic faces. Might be my favourites from the entire set, but I might highlight their horns a little as the flat black doesn't bring the nice detail out enough:
And the Abyssal Champion. I didn't like this guy in concept, but again the mini won me over. Will make a decent D'n'D Devil
I actually got them finished around the 20th, but I had to rush off to get a plane home so I didn't get to post them.
While I was at home I got the entire Warlord of Galahir expansion done, minus the Warlord himself as Mantic didn't send him to me yet. I really like the sculpts in this set too. I have a bunch of different greenskin forces, so I decided to go for a bit of an experiment in different skin tones for this one. Dark greyish for the Orcs, greenish brown for the Gobbos, and a brighter green with flesh areas on the lower jaw, underarm and abdomen for the trolls. I think it came out well, and I stuck to a limited pallette of browns and greys for the clothes to unify them, along with bright reddish/orange eyes.
The heroes from this set are pretty cool in concept - the Druid and the Salamander. Both sculpts are alright, but the Salamander is missing a bit of definition on his head to make him really stand out. I included a couple of Descent heroes with these two to make the numbers up, and the detail and proportions on them are much sharper to be fair. I figure the female orc can find a lot of use in Dungeons and Dragons as an Orc Barbarian/Ranger/Rogue/Whatever, and the Lizardman can be a Dungeon Saga Salamander Spellcaster, or a Dragonborn player character, or just a Lizardman NPC. The two of them are from the Bonds of the Wild Hero and Monster expansion set, which I actually bought with Dungeon Saga in mind.
Greataxe Orcs - nice sculpts with a lot of character. Getting the eyes without messing up the rest of the paintjob was tricky.
Morax, a slightly silly pose but pretty nice sculpt anyhow.
Sneaks - my favourite orcs in the set, they ooze character. The hoods are great.
The goblins as a whole I'm less happy with. Too much shallow detail on the minis made it difficult to do the nice designs justice, so I figure these guys are just okay.
These goblins are supposed to be wearing hats, but because of the shallow detail I didn't notice til the end of the paintjob and just decided to leave them as they are because picking the hats out would be a pain:
Again, the archers are the nicest looking of the lot:
Orclings: These were a pain to paint! lots of fiddly details. I noticed I forgot to do the warhorns on the guys at the back right. Still, they're very characterful and even with my slightly lazy paintjob they look nice.
Ugh, my least favourite minis from the set, Fething Mawbeasts. I hate these designs and the entire concept of them. Are they squigs? Mutant dogs? What? I'll probably only ever use them in Dungeon Saga, possibly they might do as the "wolf form" of a Barghest for Dungeons and Dragons, but that's a bloody stretch when I have lovely GW Worgs that could do the same job a mile better:
And the Trolls. I really like these! You can't see well in the photos, so I might take another to show it off, but I did their underarms and stuff flesh coloured and I'm very happy with both that, and the nice green colour I got on the skin. I think their armour plates could maybe do with a little more detailing, but on the whole I really like them both as sculpts and the paint job. If only the other Trolls Mantic released looked as good! These guys may see use as Fomorians for Dungeons and Dragons as well, seeing as they are super-beefy and well armed.
I've got 12 barrels, 3 book lecterns and 10 doors drying from their brown undercoat downstairs. Currently I'm on 280 minis for the year. I wonder if I'll be able to get that lot painted and break 300? Was supposed to go to Vienna, but we're all sick, so we're staying home tonight.
Automatically Appended Next Post: 12 Barrels and 3 Lecterns painted, and 5 doors to go to hit 300!
Automatically Appended Next Post: Phew! A bit of a rush job, but 5 doors done, and 300 minis for the year. Chuffed, that's a record for me.
Automatically Appended Next Post: For the sake of completeness - here are the 12 Barrels, 3 Lecterns and 5 Doors that got me from 280 to 300.
Since the done thing seems to be Goals for the Year, here are mine!
1. Keep this blog going!- I have struggled in the past to keep blogging stuff. I think I have a better shot now because my photo set up is a little better so my pics don't look like COMPLETE arse, even if I have a ways to go in that regard.
2. Finish Dungeon Saga - I expect to have this done before the end of January. I've only a few bits of furniture, the Dragon and a few heroes to do. I also want to do minis for all the missions in the Dungeon Journal though, so I will be doing a set of ruffians and thugs as well as an ogre, a manticore, and a ranger dual wielding pistols.
3. Paint up Descent plus any Hero and Monster sets- I have a good few Hero and Monster sets done already so I'd like to get the Descent core set painted up. I'll probably actually use it for a Dungeons and Dragons campaign more than the base game due to lack of someone to play the board game with, but that's fine.
4. Paint up Wrath of Ashardalon- I bought this like, 6 years ago, but when I moved to Germany it got separated from me for years. I recently got it back and I'm looking forward to painting up the contents. Again, probably see more use in 5th ed D'n'D than for the actual game.
5. Paint Space Hulk - the last of my minis heavy board games, and sort of a fond farewell to GW for now at least. Space Hulk: Vengeance of the Blood Angels on the PS1 was my introduction to 40K, so this set has a lot of nostalgia value for me. I have avoided it for a few years as I wasn't sure how I would tackle the red armour, but I'm happy with my formula for the Abyssals here, so I will stick with that.
6. Paint my Red Box Games stuff - I have a pile of RBG Aenglish, Dwarves, Goblins, Orcs and Ruffians that need painting. I'd been holding off for fear I wouldn't do them justice, but I figure, feck it, I need to get them done and get playing with them! Looking forward to this. I've made "counts as " lists for Saga for all of my stuff. Will also see use in Dungeons and Dragons.
7. Paint my LOTR purchases, and perhaps finish my collection of the plastic kits - I've some Rohan, Corsairs, Elves, Dwarves and a lot of Evil stuff that either needs painting or repairing and touch ups.
8. Historicals - In a way the big one, I've been wanting to get my historicals projects off the ground for years now but lack of available players saps my motivation. I have vikings, Celts, normans waiting to go and I want to do themed scenery for them as well. I want to do the history of my home area of County Wexford, which saw those three factions clash and mingle. Saga Warbands for Irish, Vikings, Normans and Hiberno-Norse should be easy. I have the models already, just need the motivation! Also should decide whether that goes in a separate blog to this or not. If that gets finished, I would like to do some 16th/17th century stuff with Cromwell and all that.
9. Scenery - I started this last year, but I want to make a dark ages themed board with forests, bush and rivers as well as structures to play KoW, Saga and also to use for Dungeons and Dragons.
I used to agonize a lot more about paintjobs, but I've found painting board game stuff really liberating because I feel like I can sort of relax a little more and keep it simple. Most of these guys are just basecoat -> drybrush highlight - > detail -> wash with eartshade, so they're easy to paint in batches and they look fine for tabletop use.
I also enjoy painting only small groups of similar models over the regiments and squads I'm used to from GW games!
Da Boss wrote: Thanks ced!
I used to agonize a lot more about paintjobs, but I've found painting board game stuff really liberating because I feel like I can sort of relax a little more and keep it simple. Most of these guys are just basecoat -> drybrush highlight - > detail -> wash with eartshade, so they're easy to paint in batches and they look fine for tabletop use.
I also enjoy painting only small groups of similar models over the regiments and squads I'm used to from GW games!
Amen to that idea. Painting Zombicide has really broken me free of some of my painting ideas. I always hated my painting quality, but now i feel so much better because i have enough for a game and it looks great and cohesive.
I did a flannel shirt on one of my wargames factory survivors. It is not the best, but you can tell what it's supposed to be from tabletop distance. A worth endeavor I would say, as will be your Celt fabrics.
Dungeon saga stuff looks great. I'm gonna steal your demon scheme, maybe it's the stock scheme too, I dunno, but I like how yours look.
The only difference from my Abyssals and the stock ones is that I've kept all the spikes, horns and claws black instead of bone coloured. I think it looks better that way.
The fleshtone is successive drybrushes of Khorne Red - Mephiston Red - Wild Rider Red - Evil Sunz Scarlet (I will check the order again, but in increasing brightness) and then I think Fire Dragon Orange. Then it's washed with Carbourg Crimson.
I got some gaming with my set in last night, and took some (crappy) pictures. I figured it would be cool to do an after action report. I may spoiler the images though since they are ugly!
We'd previously played through the two introductory missions (Fighter and Barbarian, Ranger and Wizard) and had one go at the first "real" mission where the heroes meet up. My fiancee had lost that one, and wanted to play it again before we moved on. The goal is to get through a door, as many of the goals are. My fiancee is not the biggest fan of tactical games, so she's a total hero for playing this with me, and she is getting into the swing of it now, but commanding all four heroes is a lot to think about! Unfortunately I didn't make notes of exactly which overlord cards I got, but it was a mix of extra commands and the odd interrupt. I got 1 interesting card, which I will mention when it comes up. Also, I'm pretty sure Danor cast Crystalise a couple of times and may have done some other minor spells, but I can't recall them all!
With the first turn, the Barbarian raced down the central chamber towards the door and the skeletal archer at the far end, ignoring the skeletons in the first chamber. The Dwarf Fighter trundled into the Archer hiding in the corner and smashed it into a pile of bones. Meanwhile further to the west, the Ranger and Wizard headed down parallel corridors towards the skeleton. The Ranger's arrows and the Wizard's spells bounced off harmlessly and the skeleton stayed standing.
Round 1: Heroes
In response to the Heroes advance, the Necromancer caused the piles of bones in the central chamber to begin to animate, as well as one up the corridor from the Elf. Skeletal warriors shambled into attack, but failed to do much damage to the heroes. Danor, the Wizard, received a cut as he ran past a skeleton, but made it to the relative safety of the next chamber with only a minor scratch. The Barbarian started his round with a heroic feat - slashing at both skeletons in front of him and smashing them to piles of bone. The Dwarf likewise reduced his assailant to bones, and this time the Ranger's arrow struck true, totally destroying the Skeleton that had accosted the Wizard. The skeletal archer snapped off a shot at the Barbarian, wounding him lightly, and the skeleton who had risen the previous round shambled into fight with the Dwarf, his rusty sword clanging uselessly off Dwarven plate. More dead rose near the Wizard, increasing the threat on him.
The Dwarf Fighter began trading blows with another recently animated Skeleton, but the fight was inconclusive. His hammerblows were too weak to smash the skeleton, and his armour too thick to be pierced by the skeleton's blade. The barbarian continued to run headlong at the skeletal archer guarding the treasure chest and door. The Elf Ranger raced to keep the Wizard out of danger as he moved to break the wards on the chest sitting next to the door. In the battle of the Archers, the skeleton came off worst, and crumbled to nothing as the Elf fired on him. The skeletons continued to shamble towards the heroes. As the necromancer Delayed them with a cunning ploy. the heroes realised time was running out.
In the chest, Danor found spidersilk armour and a healing potion, which he gave to the now wounded Barbarian. The newly healed Barbarian began battering down the door as the Dwarf traded blows with his skeletal foe, again to no conclusive outcome. Danor's Feet of Stone spell locked down the skeletal warrior for the Elf to destroy with her arrow, and she finished it off. The Necromancer raised another Skeletal archer to harass the Dwarf and a skeletal swordsman to attack the others as the scythe wielding skeleton attacked and wounded the Elf Ranger.
The Barbarian broke down the door, and the stench of rotting flesh wafted from the dark opening. The Elf archer moved in to destroy a zombie with an arrow, and the Dwarf finally dispatched his foe and began waddling towards the others as fast as his stumpy legs could carry him. The Wizard's Burn spell proved ineffective against the zombie hordes, and he was left exposed to attack by the zombies which surged from the room in a horde (I had a "Dance Macabre" card that allowed all the minions on the board to move one space and fight, which was cool!). Mauled by the zombies, Danor was close to death!
Seeing the Wizard about to be pulled down by the stinking Dead, the Ranger unleashed a flurry of shots from her bow, killing those closest to him. The Barbarian also fought against them, but to less success, as the dwarf continued to run through the musty halls. The Wizard decided that discretion was the better part of valor and staggered past the zombies in the entrance, fending off their blows with his staff. He had to get the door open in time...
Unfortunately, the Necromancer had other plans. With a surge of power he directed all of his minions into the fray (I drew Double Commands) sending skeletons shambling toward the beleaguered fighters and one lone zombie to attack the Wizard from behind. As the cold, lifeless hands closed around his throat, Danor recalled the first lesson in Practical Wizardry - "Always let the meatshield go first!"
The wizard down, the group were forced to retreat.
After this loss, my fiancee was fired up to try again. This time she played much more cannily - remembering to cast Crystalise on turns where the Wizard had nothing else to do, keeping the barbarian and dwarf together with the others and generally moving everyone more as a group than individual heroes. She also made much better use of the entire groups' feats, and the Dwarf Fighter's proved invaluable at the inevitable wave of zombies when the door got broken down. She had a hairy moment when Danor stood out exposed to fire from the Skeletal Archers, but in the end he survived long enough to crack the door open and win the day. The big lesson (from this and previous games) is: Guard the wizard!
I felt as Overlord that this is a tough enough mission for the heroes, as they start separated and I got three actions a turn which with extra command cards is plenty to keep the pressure on. The zombies after that big door are a perfect roadblock, taking a surprising amount of punishment to down. It's important not to let the skeletons slow you down as you move through!
We also played the second mission, which I will post up in a few minutes. I was a little less careful taking photos of this one though!
After reading the cheesy flavour text (to groans from my other half), we were about ready for the next mission. She's got a grudge against the whole door based exploration mechanic (she thinks the Necromancer needs a new interior decorator who was more into open plan) so she was delighted to see the starting positions for this mission:
The heroes had gotten a little more dangerous, with the Barbarian getting Frenzy (1), the Elf getting to keep her Spidersilk armour, the Wizard getting 2 Power 2 Energy Crystals and a new spell, Corrode, and the Dwarf becoming something of a juicer with 2 battle potions.
I, on the other hand, had only 2 commands per turn, but the foolish heroes had fewer turns to achieve their objective, and a much bigger dungeon to slog through.
The heroes moved and engaged the first zombie, between them pounding it into greenish mush on the floor. Danor began getting to work on the Warded Door, apparently oblivious to the Zombie directly behind him. He took some damage as the zombie mauled him, and the necromancer animated the skeletal archer at the top of the room.
The zombie's triumph was shortlived however, as the two fighters minced it in short order. The Ranger casually dropped the Archer Skeleton into a pile of bones and then the Wizard could finally focus enough to crack the ward on the door and reveal what was beyond:
Oh dear. (after some hectic tile and monster placement) The Zombie Troll lumbered forward to block the entrance, and a revenant began to shamble forward.
The Dwarf yelled a battle cry and charged in as the Wizard hastily retreated, ineffectually flinging fire at the lumbering Troll. The Fighter's axe proved more useful, causing some damage to the beast's huge frame despite it's regenerative properties. The Barbarian began attempting to hack down the other door as the Elf stood ready, bow nocked, for any chance to fire.
The Zombie troll swung the massive brick it carried into the dwarf, wounding him slightly, and failed to regenerate it's damage. The necromancer reanimated the Archer to put pressure on the heroes.
The combat remained fairly static here for a couple of rounds - the Dwarf guzzling Battle Potions and stacking up damage on the Troll who failed to regenerate and only did minor damage to him, as the Ranger continually Boned the Skeletal Archer and the Necromancer reanimated it over and over. Not sure how many rounds went by in total but at least 2. Danor stockpiled crystals and lowered the Troll's attack and armour with his spells. The Barbarian broke down the door and killed the zombie on the far side, and eventually (having not regenerated a single point of damage!) the Troll fell.
The Necromancer called on the unholy powers of the Danse to shuffle the undead into position and attack the Barbarian, but his retribution was swift and conclusive as he cleared the attempted Armoured Zombie blockage in record time. His Dwarven compatriot was having less success with the armoured and deadly Dwarven Revenants, but he held his own.
The Wizard continued to skulk around the back of the crypt, waiting for his chance to sprint for safety as the Ranger moved to back up the barbarian.
The heroes fought through the enemy with focus and determination, Danor's spells downing at least one Revenant as Riordan's hammer felled the other. The Barbarian Orlaf and Madriga the Elf ran for the exit door, finding only a single zombie between them and their goal. All the necromancer could do was reanimate the skeletal archer and move his zombie into position...
Orlaf continued to move towards the door, but the Necromancer unleased a surge of energy and began animating skeletons left right and centre. Back in the entrance, the archer shot Danor, wounding him badly. Suddenly, Madriga found herself accosted, and what had looked like a simple victory began to look more complicated!
(There's definitely a few rounds left out between this picture and the end of the game).
The heroes continued to battle the undead as they tried to keep each other alive. Danor was forced to flee into the shelter of the top corridors to avoid the skeletal archers who had been animated at either end of the dungeon complex. The necromancer's closest chance at victory came when Danor stood in the open for one round and was shot, but not enough damage was done to drop the wizard. In the end, Madriga and Orlaf dispatched their oppenents and the barbarian battered down the door to victory!
That scenario went pretty well for the heroes, but I was actually pretty close to victory at several points due to Danor being in risky situations. Archers are the bane of his existence as you really have to think about where they are at all times in relation to him because with Armour 1 and 2 defence dice, he is easy pickings for any enemy. I can't remember when the heroes feats were used in this game but they weren't particularly spectacular - I have a feeling they were used on the Dwarf Revenants. I also have no idea why the Dwarf seemed to be stood in the doorway for several turns but I'm sure there was a reason for it...
The Troll was a major disappointment, but I can easily see how he could hold up the heroes in that little room for a long time with some more luck on the regeneration roles. The time limit is tight on this one and the heroes cannot afford to dawdle at all - they won on the last turn in our playthrough. Still, a fair win to my other half here - it's not stacked in the heroes favour at all!
I'm loving this game for the exploration and ease of play. The fact that I can play it with my Fiancee means it's probably the game that will get the most play for me this year, and the dice mechanics are simple and fun enough that it still feels satisfying. It's also pretty tactical and unforgiving. The Wizard is definitely a big challenge for the hero player, and "kill the wizard" is going to be the default win condition for many necromancer players.
Cheers! I paint fast when motivated, but then I often have long periods of doing absolutely nothing.
Next up is the Tyrant of Halpi expansion. I'm annoyed that he comes with a detail-less base, so I'm going to try sculpting on some flagstones using Milliput. After that, I just have to do Keldan, Blaine, the Halfling Fighter and Rogue, the Paladin, the Dwarf Bartender, 15 Doors, 3 Book Shelves, 3 Weapon Racks...
8 Footpads (Corsairs of Umbar with Bows)
8 Ruffians (Corsairs of Umbar with Swords)
8 (I forget the name but some other sort of street tough) (Corsairs of Umbar with Spears)
2 Brutes (Red Box Games Berserkers)
1 Gang Leader (I will find a mini for him - probably from RBG as well)
1 Ogre Brute (Descent Ogre)
1 Manticore (Descent Manticore)
1 Human Druid (RBG Valderman)
1 Human Ranger (Converted from Warlord Plastics)
Here is some stuff I painted in 2015 for the 5th edition game I ran in school. I started running it with just the Expedition to Castle Ravenloft figures, but soon decided that I wanted to expand my bestiary (and selection of hero figures) a bit. I was looking at options and came across these hero and monster sets which are pretty reasonably priced on the whole (even with the mark up some american board game stuff gets over here, it's usually around 25-30 quid for around 15 or so figures with some large ones in there).
I found the sculpt quality to be sharp and the figures are very robust, and I enjoyed painting them, though I did rush them a bit to get them ready for play (most of these were painted in a single weekend!)
The monster groups are all identical, but one monster from each should be identifiable as a "master" monster for play in Descent. They come in Tan and Red plastic to distinguish them, but I tried to do it with a paintjob rather than a ring of colour around the bases, which I find distracts from the model.
Anyhow, the first set was Oath of the Outcast.
Giant spiders are something every GM needs, and these guys fill the role admirably. Simple paintjob, but the arachnophobe in the group attested to it's effectiveness.
Giant bats (or Razorwings, as they are called in Descent) are less common, but useful fodder for Vampires and can sub in for other flying beasties. The ranger in the party really liked these so I let him take one as a beast companion.
I really like these Beastmen. Not the GW style, but they're pretty flexible for Roleplaying. I used them as Quaggoths, but they could just as easily be Bugbears or whatever else you needed them to be.
And the Heroes. These come in 4 archetypes usually. The Fighter was used in the campaign, and the Orc spellcaster is really useful as Half Orc spell casters are rare enough. The Elf was good as she expanded my range of female figures, and I wanted to be welcoming to any girls that wanted to join. The last figure is cool and I think got used as a hermit drow spider-wrangler or something. I think he could also make a fine Tiefling.
Next set was my favourite, the Crown of Destiny.
The main draw of the set are these lovely Giants. I used them as Hill Giants in the campaign - a dangerous enemy for the low level group that taught the kids the value of subterfuge and negotiation. It lead to a memorable sequence where they fled from the Giant they had tricked and infuriated "back to town" and it followed them in, killing lots of guards and townsfolk in the process before it was finally killed.
The utility of the Giants is nearly eclipsed by the cool factor of these shapeshifting Chaos Beasts. I really like these and would reskin some sort of demon or aberration to fit them. They can fill in as a trash eating Otyguth as well, which is what I used them for. The players ended up bribing it with food to accompany them for a little while. Fun to paint, but I still want to go back and finish the eyes, which I didn't have time to do in my speed run.
Lastly, a dungeon staple - Fire Beetles. I really am not happy with my paint job on these guys, they deserve a better go in the future and I plan on stripping and repainting them. They saw use as both fire beetles and giant scorpions in the campaign.
These guys actually all saw use in the campaign - an Elf Ranger, a Human Wizard, a Dwarf Cleric (he's a bit more fightery, but the player wanted to be a healer and why not!) and a Half Elf Warlock (Blade Pact). The Warlock could do with some tidying up and finishing on his robes, but I'm happy with the rest.
Lastly, an interesting set: The Crusade of the Forgotten.
These Golems are kind of the stars of the set, and I had one controlled by an evil wizard with a control rod that the players were smart enough to loot and therefore they gained control of a golem for a while. They had no way of repairing it so it was basically an expendable resource, but they thought it was super cool that that was "allowed". I use these in my KoW dwarf army as Earth Elementals too. Very useful figures.
A bit more specific but still interesting and unique, these Medusae also saw use in a fairly exciting encounter (the fighter got turned to stone ). The design is very nice with the serpentine bodies and four pairs of arms. They could also be used as Yuan Ti spellcasters or something. I am quite happy with the simple green and red scheme - I think it's pretty striking.
Mentioned above, here is a cabal of evil sorcerers. Very useful to have, I painted these guys as Red Wizards of Thay. I like the Master especially with his reversed colour scheme.
And of course, the heroes. In this case, an all girl group, which I am more than cool with. The pirate/Rogue is an especially nice model, and the Elf Rogue is very dynamically posed. But I guess I really like all of them - the Paladin/Cleric is really cool looking too and the magic user is really well executed too. These only saw a bit of use and I never actually got around to finishing them, because I didn't want to rush on such nice sculpts. I must actually do the last touches on them before I start again.
So, I hope you liked that mini-retrospective. I really like the Descent Hero and Monster sets, and now that I own the core set they have even more value to me. I actually have another set, Visions of Dawn, which has some nice heroes, Ogres, Trolls and Manticores, and I'll be doing that as part of my Dungeon Saga run. I'm probably going to pick up all of these, though Guardians of Deephall has noticeably worse sculpting quality than the others. Some really cool ones coming out soon too with giant demonic apes, nagas, and all sorts of undead nastiness.
I had picked up that oaths and outcasts set a while back, nice figures and you did a great paint up on them. I've seen some of the other sets come up cheap (damaged at miniaturemarket) but I keep passing them up, I'll have to reconsider them again after this reminder.
Thanks Theo! I wish I could find them at half price here - the local shop is currently charging 35 euro for the Bonds of the Wild set, which is a bit too pricey for me when I don't love all the minis in there.
As I mentioned, I started the campaign with the Expedition to Castle Ravenloft set. I'd been running a board game club, and this was a popular choice among the kids. I hadn't bothered painting it at that stage. One of the kids asked if this was "real" D&D, having seen the game played on Community and Big Bang Theory. He nagged me to set up a "real" game for them, so I thought "Why the hell not..." and painted up the set pretty quickly just to give the kids some visual aids when we were doing combat, and also just for something to do. We played 5th so I was fast and loose with positioning and movement, but it actually worked really well and the kids liked the tactile and visual elements of using the minis.
The minis themselves are nothing to write home about, being unpainted versions of the old D'n'D minis prepaints. But they're good enough as game tokens and importantly for my purposes they were robust enough to survive transport and regular contact with very excited teenagers.
This guy is the centre piece of the set, a Blue Dracolich. It's an okay model, and I didn't spend too long on it. The example dracolich in the 5e MM is a Huge Blue, which I don't think is a coincidence. They players never encountered this guy, which is probably for the best as I think we topped out at level 6 or 7.
I didn't like this model until I painted it, and now I think it's a really cool Flesh Golem. Just a shame about the warping on the base. This was found also in the employ of some evil wizards and went berserk.
This is a nice Zombie Dragon. My paintjob here is pretty basic, and it's actually a White Dragon, but it's good enough. It was fodder in a combat at some stage too, and it can sub in for any Large sized Dragon if needs be. I like the sculpt, though it is simple.
This wolfpack and werewolf was the first encounter the guys met, as they decided to take a short cut through a large forest instead of going the long way round. It was my first time running 5e, so I wanted to see how robust it was, and this Werewolf turned out to be a fearsome challenge for the level 1 party with no magical weapons. They ended up hiding in a tree I think, and only barely drove it off.
The Green Hag is a nice enough mini - a bit soft detail wise on the face, but a cool pose and useful enough. I intended to have her show at some point as a minor villain but the players never followed any of the hooks leading to her - c'est la vie!
Very useful minis if not very interesting to paint, these rat swarms have the advantage of being flat, so players can stand on top of them. Pretty useful staple in a lot of dungeon situations.
Similarly, medium monstrous spiders are a staple foe, and combined with the Descent large ones, they make a nice themed encounter. The sculpts are nothing to write home about, but they get the job done.
Who doesn't love Kobolds! These never saw use, because frankly 4 kobolds is too few for an encounter, but I love these guys. I still regret selling my D'n'D minis years ago and losing my Kobold collection! With the 4 Kobolds in Wrath of Ashardalon and the prepaint I recently got, I'm getting close to having enough for gaming purposes. I love these old sculpts.
Here's the most recent prepaint for comparison (just washed with Earthshade). I don't think he's nearly as nice!
I'd kill for those Kobold Miners they used to do - lovely characterful miniatures!
The Zombie minis were actually Wights in the prepainted line. They're nothing special, but added to my Dungeon Saga Zombies and Descent Zombies I've now got 17 board game plastic shamblers, which is nice!
Ghouls I have in plenty from Mantic, but these guys are a lot more durable for play with students so I'm happy with them. The sculpts are a bit outsized and overly beefy, but they get the job done.
Pretty mediocre skeletons, but hey, you can never have enough of these adventure staples either.
These guys were a bit more interesting. They come in Transparent plastic with a blue tint, and I decided to pick the bone out and leave the flame as spectral and ghostly blue. I used the Flameskull stats slightly modified to represent these guys. They were a big hit.
These Wraiths are similar, but I'm not as happy wth the effect. Dead easy to paint though! Ghosts and Wraiths are always a useful mini type to have to hand as well.
Another easy paintjob and dungeon staple - Gargoyles. I enjoyed painting these and I quite like the model too, sitting there all smug on his plinth.
And last of all, the big baddie, Strahd. In the game I ended up using a Barrow Wight to represent him, as Vampire is a bit too tough for the then level 2 party. He's a pretty nice model, among the best in the D'n'D prepaints line, and shows what they can do when they are "on".
Of course, that leaves...
The heroes! Hmmm. You may notice that the Dwarf in the middle is not from the set - he's a prepaint that I washed Earthshade and am using to represent the Cleric. My set didn't come with a Cleric, I had two Wizards instead, so this is a convenient solution. He seems to fit in fairly well, but I think the new wizkids prepaints are lower quality than the older prepaints.
The Rogue has a weird pose like she's sitting on the toilet, and the Wizard is an odd sculpt that I didn't do a great job with, but he's got a fireball which is cool I guess? The Ranger is pretty nice though, and I love the Dragonborn Fighter. The Dragonborn was one of the main players in the Campaign, and ended up branching out from fighter into Eldritch Knight. The Ranger also saw some play when some of the girls joined in for a session or two.
I reckon these sets are a good source of staple minis for D'n'D campaigns - robust, simple to paint and generally useful in a variety of campaigns. I reckon Wrath of Ashardalon actually has the best selection of miniatures of any of the available ones, so I'm looking forward to getting to grips with that later in the year. The games themselves are good fun too if you want a co-op tactical dungeon bash that's pretty light and easy.
Cheers! This was such a random "project" that sort of snowballed out of nowhere, but just the chance to play was such a powerful motivator after a few years of pretty much zero miniature wargaming that I had a major burst of productivity.
As to the gaming time, yeah, it was actually a lot of fun. The only issue was it was my lunchbreak but I waited til my exam classes were on study leave to start and initially kept it limited to a small group of nerds. As time went on more kids joined and it became a bit more of a pain to run.
That's the only thing that makes me hesitant to do this again in the new school - any club should be open to anyone who wants to take part, but I can't really run for more than 6 kids and even that is pushing it. Ideally, other kids would step up and GM and we might end up with multiple parallel games going, but then the mini supply begins to dry up/lead to conflicts, so it'd almost be better to do without them. Kids also prefer to have an adult to adjudicate for them because they feel that it's "fairer" so they'd want to stay in a group I was running if possible. I'm keen to get the minis some use but they unfortunately do present organisation issues in a school based club. I'm sure I can get around it all with some good ground rules and I have counters printed to represent all the monsters in the MM so technically there shouldn't be too much issue, but...
There's that, and I do worry about some of the less scrupulous kids making off with a model or two. Never happened yet and it's pretty unlikely, but it's a worry if there's a lot going on O_o
So, the big centre-piece of the Dungeon Saga set is this guy:
I'm not the world's biggest fan of the sculpt, but he's pretty good for a huge dragon that fits into a defined footprint for gaming, and he's durable as hell. But I was very disappointed that he didn't come with a Dungeon base the way the rest of the minis did. I've set about rectifying that with some milliput:
I've basically got zero experience with milliput and my greenstuff experience is limited to gap filling, so even doing something as simple as flat irregular shapes is proving difficult and time consuming for me! Keeping the tool wet seems to be vital, but I do find the milliput a bit nicer to work with (and certainly cheaper!) than Greenstuff, which I guess is more for detail work and actually competent sculptors? I'll be happy if it looks alright from tabletop distance when finished. I was going to try and do interesting things with the fist cracking and throwing flagstones out of kilter, but I think I'll keep it simple .
I have to mark a pile of tests and write some school reports now, because the holidays end on Thursday. Boo.
Yeah, it is a shame they didn't go for a sculpted base. Doing this myself was a pain!
Not 100% happy with the result but it's good enough I guess. No finger prints in the putty anyhow, and hopefully when painted it will look good and match up with the others. Getting in around the feet and under the tail to place them was very fiddly! Hopefully get some paint on this sucker over the weekend.
Nice work man. I was a bit surprised he is on just a solid square. But I have been making use of my recently arrived Basus dungeon pad to improve the look of all my bases and he will get the same treatment.
Nice work on the dragon's base. I've done similar myself on different models using little cobblestones cut out of thin (cereal box-type) card and most recently on the same Large Ravenloft Dracoliche model you've got there by drawing lines in wet acrylic putty. I think your method probably looks better than both, though it also looks like a lot more work!
Very cool to see the whole Ravenloft set painted up as well - and I can't believe how quickly you've blasted through Descent, and Dungeon Saga to boot!
I was going to try the thin card approach, but I was worried it would lack depth compared to the rest of the set, so decided on the milliput pretty much spontaneously when I saw it for sale at the FLGS.
I got the Descent stuff done in I think...May/June of last year? It was a bit irresponsible because I was supposed to be getting ready to move house, but I did charge through it quite quickly due to the motivation of getting some actual gaming in.
I'm pretty pleased with myself on Dungeon Saga. I'm fast when I am motivated by a project, the problem is that I have typically done lots of horde armies in the past and I tend to suffer burnout. Last year I found the board game mini approach worked really well for me as it's lots of small groups of simple but different miniatures rather than the strain of painting 40 near identical night goblins.
Yeah, I think I'm going to go for the GS roll and also try and sculpt some gemstones and a crown (the fluff for the dragon in DS is that he's got this crown that mind controls anyone who looks at it, and that's where he gets all his minions. It's supposed to be stuck on his tooth, but it'll look better on the base.)
Got 5 more doors done, so that's 20 of 30. They're pretty tedious to do so I try to get them done in between the expansions, which are more fun. Keldan is also there - a bugger to assemble and his left hand sword will fall off in a stiff breeze, which is going to bug me no end. His right hand sword is bent, but I straightened it in hot water. Glad I didn't go in for more resin honestly - lovely detail on the mini but he's too fragile and brittle for my tastes. Gonna prime him, the Dragon, the halflings and Paladin, the Naiad, the Bartender and Blaine now. I will do the treasure piles later and attach them to the base after I paint them.
The back scales are PP Coal Black, and I like the bluey greeny ness of them, so I'm happy with them.
The belly scales are GW Skavenblight Dinge, and I'm gonna highlight up to light grey on there.
The other scales are PP Cryx Bane Base. I am planning to highlight them up with a few lighter shades of green, but I'm a bit worried because the contrast on the shades I have is pretty high - the next brightest is Waagh Flesh, which you can see on the wings. The plan is to highlight the skin up two more steps and the wings up two more as well, with progressively lighter shades, so the skin is a bit darker than the wing membranes but they are linked. I hope it comes out alright - I guess if it's too bright I can wash it down with a darker wash.
Horns and teeth are GW Gothor Brown gonna highlight up to bone and then wash.
Sorry about the shine in the photo - need to set up my diffusion paper stuff.
Well, I don't have kids and my fiancee is enjoying a quiet day today, so I can get a lot done. Another couple of hours work got me this far:
Now I've washed the teeth, horns and all that Earthshade, the scales on the back and body Camoshade, and I'm just waiting for that to dry. I might give the belly scales a Nuln Oil was in the morning, but then it's just base, details, and correcting any mistakes. Pretty happy with how it's coming along. Just a whole pile of drybrushing and washes, like everything I do, but it's good enough!
Automatically Appended Next Post: And he's finished! He's a bit of a pain to photograph because he's so big, but hopefully you get the picture. There's some purple ink drying on his gums and mouth there, but I doubt it will distract much from the overall effect. I'm pretty happy with how he came out.
The turquoise back scales were a bit of a last minute decision, I was going to do the belly and the back the same colour. I'm really happy with how it looks now. The base also looks pretty good painted!
I didn't like the mini, but as usual, now that he's painted I love him.
Cheers guys! This blogging malarkey is very motivating. Normally with big centre piece models like that I get nervous and put them off for ages, so I'm happy with myself for ploughing through him over the weekend. I'd say it was a total of 5 hours of painting, it was just lucky enough I had a fairly free day to do it in.
Heroes are next, hopefully I can get them done in a reasonable time too.
Last of the stone furniture and the last non-Dungeon Journal heroes!
I like the halfling and the naiad a lot more than the paladin, I must take some more shots later as the auto adjust sort of washed the colour out of this one a bit. Might do some "action" shots with the Dragon
Next, bookshelves, doors and weapon racks. Not the most exciting, but once they're done, I've finished everything except the Dungeon Journal stuff!
The marble effect looks pretty cool. It's hard to see much of the heroes, though because of all of the visual noise from the DS tile underneath.
If I can make a suggestion, unless you're doing "diorama" type photos or a vignette, photograph the models against more of a neutral background like a piece of white paper. Makes it easier to see the details.
Yeah, they do look a bit crappy now you say it! Hmmm. I like the grey background more than the white - I think it reflects the light in a better way somehow. But I will try and make a more neutral base for them to stand on in future.
Speaking of diorama shots,
I also tried a shot of the Abyss guys standing on the giant lava tile, and the Orcs on plain stone. They didn't come out very well so I'll leave them in the gallery in case anyone is really interested.
Managed to spray myself in the eye with my brown spray and fall down the stairs when I went to spray my bookshelves and weapon racks. Luckily the spray can nozzle was the only damage!
Glad it wasn't witnessed
Keeping on with the Tale of Gamers challenge, here's the start of the last of the furniture.
Alchemist's shelves are pretty cool, though a bit fiddly with all the little gaps and so on. Still, I'm happy with them, though I wish the potions came out a little better...
First real attempt at freehanding on shields here, pretty sloppy but I figured these were a good place to practice. The Sunbursts and Trees look nice but those moons are awful, so yeah, need to practice a bit more on that. Still, having different emblems is an easy way to differentiate these and it made them a little more interesting to paint.
The rear of the racks is a lot less interesting, but I may weather it with a bit of rust and so on. Went for a different method of painting wood here, and I think it looks a bit flat actually, but that's probably down to the lack of texture on these pieces.
In gameplay terms for other games (D'n'D) these pieces are some of my favourites - the bookshelves would provide interesting tactical options if they are free standing, and add colour to rooms pretty nicely. And a weapon rack is a great way to key visually that a room is a barracks or armoury.
The bookshelves are the last bit of furniture I have to do apart from the final 10 doors (urgh), I hope to get them finished this afternoon before I head off to a colleagues house to celebrate Australia Day. (We're having Kangaroo burgers?!?)
Cheers! To be honest I was pretty bored by the time I got to the bookshelves so I rushed through them, but they look okay. Glad to have all my furniture done now to be honest- it's cool and I love it but it was not fun to paint!
Here is February's pledge, crappily labelled in paint ...
The minis I'm most excited about painting are front and centre - the Red Box Games barbarians. I'm going to use them as the Brutes in the Dungeon Journal mission that involves a gang of criminals.
The other metal figure is a Red Box Games Norse Shaman. He's going to sub in as the Druid included in these missions, and the entire group will form a Hearthguard unit of Berserkers for Saga too (a priest of Woden and his fanatics).
The mass of black behind them are some LOTR Corsairs of Umbar, who will be used as the Ruffians (sword and board) Thugs (Spear) and Footpads (Bow). There's more than enough to fill in for the mission. The Trolls at the back will fill in for the Ogre Thumper, and the Ogres for the Ogre PC in the Blaine missions.
The grey dude labelled Ranger is from a Warlord Games Royalist Infantry boxed set and will stand in for the rifle armed ranger from the Blaine missions. There's also a Goblin sneak there from GW who needs a touch up to fill in for the Goblin Rogue PC.
Last but not least are the Manticores which will fill in for the beasts of the same name that is the boss of the final Blaine mission. I forgot to include one of the Descent Villains who is going to be the gang leader, too.
I'm planning on running a D'n'D campaign in the future and all of these minis should see use in that as well, so that's awesome. Dual use minis ftw!
Much more excited to be painting lots of minis again!
Group shots you say? Well today I finished the first part of my Feb pledge, and in so doing finished all the KS minis (except the Orc Warlord, which got sent to my parents place in Ireland a couple of weeks ago and I haven't had time to get my hands on.)
So I thought some group shots might be in order!
The whole set from above. It's great to see it all laid out with the furniture - this is just the sort of set I've been after for ages. A mixed bunch of dungeon monsters and heroes with a big, cool, centre piece.
Slightly crappier group shot:
The Undead portion of the game, which sees use in 2 other expansions. This is a pretty good, solid dungeon crawler game, and a good core to work from. I like the Necromancer and the Zombie Trolls the best I think, but the party is also just a classic dungeoneering party on it's own. I've included Bael and Valandor with this set, but personally I think they're among the worst minis in the set and I'm also not thrilled with the expansion itself.
The first expansion I did, and my favourite from all of them. I love the designs on the monsters in this one and I'm very happy with my colour scheme. Molochs and Efreeti are my two favourites. I also like the heroes in this set quite a bit. Painting this made me want to pick up a mantic Abyssals army set.
Warlord of Galahir:
I like this set too, but I've probably painted a "GW style" greenskin too many over the years. I love the Trolls though, and I am happy with the snouty look to the Mantic Orcs. The Heroes in this set are interesting and unique, but the detail is a little soft on them too. The let down is obviously not getting the titular Warlord and the stinky, stupid looking Mawbeasts.
But Orcs and Goblins are a dungeon classic and it wouldn't be the same without them.
Tyrant of Halpi:
Tricky to photograph! I like this expansion too, because, well, giant dragon. Painting the Dragon was loads of fun and I'm very happy with how he came out. But I do feel like they could have thrown a couple of extra bits and pieces into the expansion to make it more worth people's time. But a yoooge dragon is a great centrepiece to the set.
I quite like the Dungeon Journal - it adds a lot of extra content and some really interesting missions to the game. These figures are a bit throwaway in KS terms but I had fund painting them. The wee halfling fighter is awesome, and having a Dwarf Bartender makes me happy. The Dark Elf is a cool model but being made of multipart brittle resin makes him impractical for in game use. Would have prefered BG plastic even with a drop in quality. Blaine. Hmmm. Cool enough, but I didn't realise that he has some sort of bone crest on his head, not hair. So is he human? Abyssal?
For the rest of the month I'll be painting some brigands, monsters and extra heroes to fill out the Dungeon Journal missions.
I'm really happy with Dungeon Saga. It does what I want it to, and it's easy enough that my Fiancee can play it with me which is a huge plus. It plays fast, the components are all decent, and it gives a real feel of dungeon exploration. Painted, 3D components make me happy and can be used for D'n'D or other games (the doors would spruce up my Descent set for example).
I'm going to do a playtest of the solo play and stick it up here this week too.
Grimdork: I figured you would blast through it before me, and I was trying to use my headstart to get it done before you could.
It's a shame the distribution feth ups with this KS soured the mood on it for so many people, but it's totally understandable.
There's definitely something to be said for being able to walk into a store and walk out again with whatever you were interested in, as opposed to the "maybe sometime in the future you might get something cool" you get with Kickstarter.
Here are some Corsairs of Umbar as Thugs for the Dungeon Journal missions.
i really like these guys, and I got this box of 24 at the old price, which made them even better. I think they make great bandits or thieves or if you painted them with stripey trousers and white shirts, pirates for fantasy games. Very versatile!
I went with a pretty homogeneous paint scheme of dark blue with red belts for two reasons - to speed up the painting and keep it enjoyable for myself (I prefer to finish groups rather than fart around on individual details) and also because I plan on using these as the Redband gang in the D'n'D starter adventure and maybe as Zentarim operatives if I ever get my planned Sword Coast hexcrawl off the ground, so I wanted them to look cohesive.
Up next, Red Box Games berserkers! Excited about these guys.
Yeah, indirect light makes a big difference. I sprung for one of these a couple of years ago, and it's made a world of difference. You could probably make something just as good with some foam core and a light or two from a couple of different directions.
So I went back to the brick wall and dungeon floor background, and for whatever reason it's giving much better results on my iPad camera. Weird!
Here is a better look at my Corsair/Thugs:
And here are the Red Box Games Norse that I've done. The Matt Varnish (vallejo brush on) that I used came out all shiny, so once I've figured out why I'm going to re-coat them to make them less shiny. I don't normally use varnish because I nearly always have some sort of issue like this, but I love the RBG minis too much to have the paintjobs chipped! I'm using the two handers as Brutes for DS, and the cloaked baldy as a Druid for the Dungeon Journal missions. They will see use in my Saga Vikings force as Beserkers - I see the druid dude as a priest of Odin and the berserkers as his cadre of religious fanatics fighting to enter Valhalla. Lovely sculpts and despite the shiney-ness I think I did a decent job on them. I'm going to try and paint my RBG stuff this year, I've previously been too intimidated by them to do so, but I'm going to let myself relax and just paint to my normal standard with them.
And last of all, here are 8 spear armed Corsairs who will sub in as Ruffians for Dungeon Saga or yet more brigands for Dungeons and Dragons. These aren't as nice a sculpt as the sword and board armed ones, the lunging spear especially suffers from the plastic medium he's cast in.
With the 4 Journal Heroes, that makes 24 models so far this month. Gonna crack on and try and get some Ogres and the Gang Leader for the brigands done too. That'll leave just 12 minis til the end of the month to meet my goal.
Cheers! Hopefully they'll look a little better once I varnish them again and take the shine off.
But it really doesn't take much to make Tre's minis look good - they just ooze character. I am happy with them though - the temptation to stop doing board games and just lash into my RBG stuff is pretty strong!
Great work on all of these. I can't believe how fast you're powering through them all. With the Vallejo matt - make sure you really give the varnish a damned good shake before using it. But on the RBG guys you could just matt down their pants, weapons, etc and leave their torsos shiny (or even satin) if you want a Frazetta/Conan-esque sweaty/oiled look.
Azazelx wrote: Great work on all of these. I can't believe how fast you're powering through them all. With the Vallejo matt - make sure you really give the varnish a damned good shake before using it. But on the RBG guys you could just matt down their pants, weapons, etc and leave their torsos shiny (or even satin) if you want a Frazetta/Conan-esque sweaty/oiled look.
That's actually a pretty good idea. I usually leave exposed guts and stuff on zombies glossy, but it never occurred to me to do the same with, say, Chaos Thugs.
That's a decent idea! Could turn this disaster into a success yet
I'm winding down (my mid term is nearly over, it's the reason for my productivity this week!) but I hope to get a few more models done before I call it a day.
Next up are these Descent Ogres, which can act as Ogre Brutes in Dungeon Saga, or the Ogre PC. I think I'd lean towards using them as the Ogre PC due to the gak eating grins and dynamic, disco dancing poses. I like these minis - they're kind of self consciously cheesy and they were simple and fun to paint. Of course, they'll see use in Dungeons and Dragons too.
Being from Descent, I needed to differentiate between Master and Minion, so I decided to give the Master some bright red equipment in keeping with his disco nature, and the minion some light tan equipment. Red/Tan is the colour of the bare plastic for the two monster types. I know some people put a ring of red or tan around the bases but I think that looks awful.
These guys are from the Visions of Dawn hero and monster set which also includes Trolls and Manticores. So I'll be doing the Trolls next.
I already commented over in the tales of XXXX games, but these look great, and now that you mention the name of the set they are from, I just looked at 4 boxes from decent at Miniature market on friday that were clearance and 2 of them were this set. I have only bought one set of decent because I can never see the models, If i could see their scale I'd be more tempted. Any chance of a shot of these guys next to a gw model for scale?
There ya go. The scale is pretty close to normal 28mm, the heroes are perhaps a bit more truescale than GW's stuff- the proportions tend to be a bit finer. Their dwarves and halflings are a bit closer to Battle for Skull Pass than Fyreslayer. They fit well with LOTR minis, though they may be a bit (like a mm) taller. What confuses people is that they went with "normal" sized bases for the human sized monsters, but all the heroes are on wee little 20mm bases, which can make them look bigger than they actually are. The Ogre's base is 50mm across.
Thanks again Da Boss , I think I'll have to swing by monday and see if that set is still on the shelf or not, It had 2 manticores in it and I'm not sure how large they are, but those look like great additions to the war chest
The manticore is on a 25 x 50 mm base if that helps - it's pretty big but not massive - it's head goes up to a Space Marine's chest and it's wings are slightly taller than one. I like them, they're up to be painted later this month!
Automatically Appended Next Post: I mean, at this stage in my life, you'd think I'd have enough trolls. I've got a trollblood army. I've got Warhammer Trolls. I've got LOTR Trolls. I've got RBG Trolls. I've got D'n'D trolls.
And yet, I friggin' love these trolls!
Happy with the skin tone, it was a bit of an experiment making THIS blue, but I think the hint of green makes it work. Simple red and tan to differentiate again, looks alright. Too impatient to let the wash dry here, so the rock is a little too shiny. These guys will be used in D'n'D or in Dungeon Saga as Ogre Brutes. Or you know. I might use them as Trolls for Descent
Thanks for the size reference on the manticores . I had the box up to the counter at MM earlier this week, but then I changed my mind and bought a slew of Alkemy stuff instead. They have 2 of them, so I think I can hold off for a while. Trolls are looking great by the way.
I got my last 4 models for this month done in a wee burst of productivity today.
These Manticores are pretty cool. I will use them in the Dungeon Journal mission with a manticore, and obviously in Dungeons and Dragons and Descent as well. I decided to go for a bit of a weird colour scheme for the master Manticore, and he looks pretty decent with it.
Just for scale for Theo:
They're about Horse sized, which seems about right to me.
This guy is a villain from Descent. I picked up all the villains for the core game, and they're a little pricey for what you get (8.99 for this guy plus cards and counters). I probably won't do this for every Descent expansion I get, because it really ups the cost. But his colour scheme and pose fits in pretty well with "splinterfist", the leader of the Bandit gang, so that's cool.
And here's Tyrias, the Human Ranger. The background for him has him armed with a rifle, so I just used one of my Pike and Shotte infantry to represent him. It was the first of those that I've assembled and despite the simplicity of the model, it didn't go together too well. Will need to plan assembly carefully for future Pike and Shotte ventures.
Simple model, simple paintjob.
Lastly, here's my Feb pledge, finished a week early. 40 models in total and none of them furniture - pretty pleased with my productivity this month, though having mid term right at the start certainly helped a lot!
I am thinking I will do Wrath of Ashardalon next. I might do a couple more bits and pieces for Descent as "stretch goals" this month though - I've got two heroes from the visions of dawn expansion left, and a cool ass dragon Lieutenant figure.
You are really knocking out a vast number of Dungeon based models here Da Boss, keep it up. The manticores look really cool, nice work on the colour variation. The Descent minis look great, especially the group shot. How many miniatures have you painted in 2016?
Thanks guys! It's really motivating!
Theo: No, I didn't pick that one up because I have three undead dragons already and I didn't need any more! I think they're pretty beefy but not sure exactly how beefy.
Thraxas: So far, 70! Much more productive than I usually am. I've been getting more done as I have a dedicated workspace and I'm not travelling to see my Fiancee on the weekends anymore.
Josh: Well, your blog keeps tempting me with Japanese Historicals, so that seems fair! Your sedition wars stuff recently has been lovely too. I love painting for Dungeons and Dragons because you can try out all kinds of odd schemes on individuals that you wouldn't go for on an entire army!
So, I got started on some Dungeons and Dragons Boardgame minis.
Here are the Orcs from Wrath of Ashardalon. I've actually painted them so they can double as Bugbears for games of Dungeons and Dragons. WoA is cool because the enemies come in sort of themed groups, which makes them a lot easier to batch paint.
First up is the Shaman, who will eventually see use as a Bugbear Sorcerer from the Red Hand of Doom adventure.
Pretty bleh model so I didn't spend long on him.
Next, Orc Warriors:
These are pretty blocky. I like them as Bugbears more than Orcs. I used to have a bunch of these as prepaints, but I like them as Bugbears a bit more.
Finally, Orc Archers:
These are probably the nicest of the Orc models - nice pose and decent detail. Always nice to have archer variants too!
I really like those Ashardalon Orcs that you've done. I did the warriors ages ago but never got around to doing the archers. I'd get them out again after seeing yours but I need to finish the stuff for this painting challenge in the meantime!
Cheers guys! Yeah, I like the Orcs, they're nice and different from other companies offerings. Having painted so many GW orcs over the years I'm always looking for new schemes and stuff.
Theo: Saw you'd picked up the Visions of Dawn set! Cool. I picked it up mostly for the Manticores, but I have to say every mini in the set was really fun to paint and I totally fell in love with the trolls. I really like the Lizardman as well though. All round good stuff!
I got some more work done on this set:
These were really common in the old pre-paints. "Blood of Vol Cultists" I think they were. I like them a lot as versatile evil cultist figures. The sculpt is simple but effective and totally indestructable, which is what I like in a gaming piece!
(Same Drake from two angles)
This Drake is a really nice mini. I think it's a 3.5 Rage Drake, and I really like how it looks. I'll use it if I get my planned campaign off the ground as some sort of draconic hybrid. I was mostly painting it to try out the scheme I want to use for the big dragon in the set - you can't see too clearly here but I went for a brownish yellow underbelly that I think looks quite good. Been painting a lot of red lately and it's pretty fun once you have the right paints!
I just got these guys out of the way since I was doing red. They're okay. One of them has bendy ankles and is in a matrix "dodge!" pose, and apart from that they are just sort of awkward looking and lacking in detail. They're supposed to be faceless Legion Devils, so I suppose it works okay. I will probably use them as Tieflings if I ever use them in games.
This set is proving pretty fun and easy to paint because the sculpts are very simple and straightforward. I'm pleasantly surprised to have 14 done already! Next up is a bunch of various dungeon critters - snakes, bears and a trash eating monster.
Da Boss wrote: Once you realise that a painted mini always looks better than bare plastic or metal.
QFT. Heck, even just blocking in the colors for the mini is an improvement. Nice to see someone else painting up the D&D adventure games' minis. You've got a good range of minis here. Very cool.
JoshInJapan wrote: Yeah, indirect light makes a big difference. I sprung for one of these a couple of years ago, and it's made a world of difference. You could probably make something just as good with some foam core and a light or two from a couple of different directions.
The drawer from a sterilite container works pretty well too, and so would a sterilite container itself. this or this. I've used the drawer. When not in use, it stores the other stuff for photos, like the tripod etc...
Thanks! Been busy, so picked the most simple models for the next part of my pledge - dungeon critters and their "boss", the Otyugh.
The Three Bears are up first. Not sure if they've got any porridge. The sculpt pose is a bit awkward and they're fitting on a 25mm there. *Shrug* Moderately useful for games of D'n'D, if only for when your Druid goes all Beorn. I kept the paintjob very simple.
Another fairly simple sculpt. I've seen people go nuts on these and go for realistic snake patterns and all that. Which usually looks awesome! But I got lazy and went for green with a pale underbelly to get 'em done. Happy enough with them anyway- the bright green will make them stand out. Incongruously large though - they're as tall as the bears, near enough!
My favourite from this batch. The Otyugh. I like these in game, as they speak common and are intelligent enough to reason with adventurers. They eat pretty much anything and are mostly concerned with finding more food, prefering rotted stuff over fresh. So it's always a fun encounter as the group negotiates with a freakish trash monster who just wants to eat their most stinky cheese. My current group adopted one called Grobbles and he lives under their manor house now.
Paint job wise it's a bit splotchy but I'm actually happy with it as it was a test for the flesh tone I was gonna use on my Tre Manor Goblins later in the year and I think it works pretty well while not being too hard to pull off. His teeth could do with more definition though, as they don't stand out well enough.
Yeah, that's one thing these sets are good for - a supply of easy to paint, durable, general purpose dungeon stuff.
Next up is some more weird and wonderful monsters. I really like that WoA includes some of these classic aberrations, because they're very unique to Dungeons and Dragons and hard to get from other sources.
First, the Gauth.
This guy is a kind of mini-beholder, and he is the "boss" for the Aberrant faction in WoA. He's a pretty small model (that's a 25mm base he's on) and a little bit goofy looking, but I'm happy enough with him. There's a 5th ed monster called a spectator that replaces the Gauth, and it's green in it's artwork so I went with green for him.
Weird floaty brain tentacle parrots - these guys sort epitomize what makes the Underdark such a freaky place. Went for a fairly simple paint job on these too, and hot pink stingers might be a weird choice. I love having them though!
Last, Gibbering Mouthers:
Melty masses of gibbering, insane faces and eyes! Cool. I love these monsters and the sculpts for them here are pretty close to the art. They were fiddly to paint with all the tiny mouths and eyeballs everywhere. I did a fairly quick job on the eyes (I hate painting pupils!) but I think it is good enough. I think both they and the Gauth could be done better by a painter who put more effort in there. I might give the eyes a gloss at some point to make 'em shine.
That makes 28 minis so far in March! Pretty good. Got Kobolds, Duregar and Heroes to do still, and of course the Dragon.
Thanks guys! Sorry for the late reply - I've been distracted by Dark Souls and been ill all week. Got the villains for this set done. Gotta say I do like the bad guy minis from this set the most of any of the board games - I feel like it gives you a very useful variety of classic monster types.
These evil dwarves are a favourite baddie of mine, though I can't say I am estatic with the sculpts here. I want to do some AoW berserkers up to fill the ranks out a bit, but the colour scheme was the main thing I was testing and I think it's...okay.
I love me some Kobolds and I'm always happy to add more to my wee clan (got 11 Kobolds now, practically enough for an encounter )
The leader is cool, actually looks like a Kobold adventurer, but the basic warriors (dragonshields) are a bit pants in my view. Too hunched, can't really make much out in terms of their detail and visually uninteresting. What I really want to get my hands on are about 5 of the old Kobold Miner minis, they were awesome.
The titular Ashardalon:
The big bad from my D'n'D campaign of the last two years, this is a really cool dragon mini. I much prefer the design and proportions of the Dungeons and Dragons Chromatic Dragons to what Mantic gave us for DS. However the cool sculpt and design is perhaps let down a bit by a slightly less good cast. Still love it though and happy to have a classic Red Dragon. Really fits well on the base while still being big an intimidating. The light shows up some red splotches on his wings that don't show up under "normal" light, so I might correct that. Also just noticed that I need to tidy up the rock he's sitting on - some of the yellow from his belly ended up on there.
And all the villains together:
I am happy with the way the cultists match the dragon in colours, it helps tie them in as a Dragon Cult. Pretty pleased with the whole lot.
I've done the stupid thing and left the Heroes til last. The hero minis from this set are a mixed bag. I really like the female Dwarf and the Dragonborn Wizard, but the others all have goofy poses and very questionable design choices. I better just power through them to get the set finished.
Next on my list is Descent, but I am starting to feel a bit of burnout due to my rapid pace these last few months. If I can get Descent all finished I might take a break from knocking out entire board games every month to work on some Red Box stuff at a bit of a more leisurely pace.
Ashardalon and his minions have turned out awesome. You're really cracking through the boardgames, and it's really turning out brilliantly. And now you have another dragon for KoW, etc! (once you blu-tac him down to a base!)
So...long time no see Dakka. April was like being run over by a truck he said, over a year ago.
If you have any interest in knowing where I have been, have a look in the spoiler.
So, in April I was starting to wind up to get married. Prep for that quickly took over my life, and I tied the knot in July. Then we headed to Iceland on a honeymoon, and once I came back I was ill immediately.
Then I got back to work in school, and took over a final year group of students from a co-worker. Turns out said co-worker had been having some sort of meltdown, and the group was in a really poor position - about a third of the material covered after 2 thirds of the course time. So I had a lot on my plate to get these guys to the end of their course in good shape. That basically ate my year up til May, when they went off for their exams, and then my managers landed me with developing a new environmental science curriculum. So for the past year, I have managed maybe 5 games of Dungeons and Dragons, no wargaming, and pretty much no painting. Pretty depressing year!
Things have finally calmed down (in the last week of term!) and I've gotten back into painting. I am running a 5th edition dungeons and dragons game for some students, and they're about to start the wonderful module "The Forge of Fury". I have minis for pretty much everything except the Roper on one of the sublevels. I figured a stalagmite with a mouth and tentacles couldn't be too hard to sculpt so I bust out the milliput and got working over a core of cork. I used a wooden bead for the eye and paperclips to make the tentacles. The teeth are the tips of swords taken from a Wargames Factory Celts sprue.
I actually found Milliput pretty nice to work with, easier than Green Stuff at least for this sort of work. Painted him up today and he came out pretty nice! Proud of the eye in particular, first time I've gotten that effect to work out well. Might give him an earthshade wash to dirty him up and bring out the detail a little, though I think he looks alright as is. Working on a Beholder next, seeing as the feckin' Gale Force 9 one is lovely, but 50 quid.
Josh: Thanks, he came out really well just due to being quite an easy project. But I'm delighted with him.
Camkierhi: Cheers! I am also looking forward to getting back into some hobbying.
Theo: Thanks! Ropers pretend to be stalagmites and then sort of trap players with their tentacles, which exude a strength sapping poison. They are intelligent, and if you are entertaining or interesting, a Roper might keep you alive before eating you.
amazingturtles: Thanks, really glad you enjoyed the thread despite my dodgy photography. I'm delighted with the eyeball too.
I've started work on a new project and made quite a lot of progress. One monster that everyone knows from Dungeons and Dragons is the Beholder. Floating orbs with 9 eyes that each have a different magical effect, they're a classic monster. I love them, though every time I've used one in an encounter my players have ganked it within a round or two.
The problem is, your options for getting beholders are limited to very expensive, brittle resin Gale Force Nine models (which are lovely) or buying the also very expensive Wizkids blind buy boxes, or looking on Ebay for old Prepaints. Beholders go for a lot, and I wasn't too keen on paying that much for what are mostly kind of shoddy sculpts. I mean, I can manage a shoddy sculpt myself, so I've decided to try!
The base for this sculpt is a polystyrene ball and some paper clips:
Then I embedded a wooden bead in it, stuck it with a bunch of paperclips cut in half and twisted into shape, cut a big grinning mouth into it with a craft knife and slathered it in milliput.
I tried gluing the smaller beads on with a hot glue gun, but it didn't work that well, so I ended up holding them in place with milliput. I worked on the position of the eyes to try and give him a dynamic pose, and he's sort of looking in all directions including behind, which I am happy with.
I figured the mouth might be a little boring with just teeth, so I sculpted a tongue to loll out of one side. I like the idea of Beholders having large, muscular tongues for some reason, and using them to probe objects to manipulate them, given they don't have hands.
I left all of this to dry and came back the next day to do the eye lids for each of the eyes. One of the eyestalks needed fixing too because it's a bit wonky for whatever reason. The tongue also fell out, I guess it needs to be secured with glue.
The next bit was very fiddly - I had to cut the tips off some viking spears to act as teeth, and then manipulate them into the milliput "gums" I had made, while also fitting the tongue into the mouth. It looks okay in the end, though I was hoping for more "gummy" looking gums!
So he's pretty much done, I thought. But then I looked at him and realized he's devoid of texture. I reckon if I don't put some texture on his body he will look much more obviously home made, so I started making little flattened rounds of milliput and sticking them onto him. It's a cheap and easy way to add detail, and I've since totally covered the rear half of him (very tedious!) but it looks pretty good now that it's done and adds some interesting texture to the model. I've left the face bare of scales to allow it to stand out, and the eyestalks, and I think the contrast between the scaled areas and the more loose and blobby flesh parts will work well.
Still left to do is mounting him on a base, probably on another paper clip. I also want to sculpt the base to look like dungeon flagstones, since that is where he will most likely be encountered. Any suggestions as to how to manage that would be appreciated!
For a paint scheme, I was thinking of painting him green in the same way as the Dungeon Saga Dragon earlier in the blog, and then picking out the scales in turquoise, because that worked really nicely for the dragon. I am then torn over whether I will copy the Roper eyeballs, which I think would look great and really complement the green colour scheme with some contrast, or if I should paint the "whites" of each eye and then give each iris it's own colour. I'm hesitant to do that because I think I might mess up the execution, and I know I can manage the red-roper-eyes already.
But I'm very pleased with how he's coming along. A simple enough thing to work on because it's a weird spherical beasty and no one cares about the proportions or whatever, so I can get away with the fact that I am a total novice sculptor and it still looks reasonably good!
Amazingturtles: Cheers, yeah, the supply of beholder minis is pretty limited. I mean, if I can sculpt one, then surely there's plenty of third parties that can do it.
Red Harvest: Thanks! I really enjoyed reading your blog and looking at what you'd done with your D'n'D minis. One of the inspirations for this blog in fact!
Finished texturing the beholder, and I think he's looking pretty sexy.
You might notice he has a stick up his arse, that's because the wire I was using was too flexible and wobbly, and I needed something firm to hold him by while I paint him. I am thinking of mounting that onto a flying base and then milliputting over to make the flagstone texture. But he's looking pretty good right now and I hope I can paint him up before I go on holidays to Brittany on Monday!
Last night I mounted him on his flying base and slathered on some milliput which I then scraped some flagstone patterns into with my sculpting tool. I figure it looks okay, though the rough edges might need some sanding off. I was trying to get it close to the Dungeon Saga flagstones.
The barbeque skewer I am using as a stand is pretty firm now, but it was wobbling a lot before the milliput set, so I forsee some problems there. But I'm gonna spray it now anyhow, and hopefully I'll paint it this evening. Quite looking forward to that! This is my first complex scratch build and attempt at sculpting along with the Roper. I'm happy enough with it- obviously it's messy and could be improved but I'm glad I overcame my nervousness and gave it a try. I'm going to try some more things in the future like Gricks and Twig Blights, stuff where accurate humanoid proportions are not needed and the details are forgiving.
My aim is to eventually have a fully painted monster manual. I'm actually quite far along!
Nearly done painting the Beholder now, just need to let various washes dry and then do his teeth. Overall pretty happy with how he is turning out - he does look quite goofy, but I think he also looks kinda cool in an old school sort of way. I think my players will be impressed when I plonk him on the table in a game, and he's instantly recognizable as a beholder.
These are just some quick WIP snaps, I'll get the proper set up and lighting for tomorrow, but it's late here right now.
The Roper is pretty cool, but that Beholder is just bloody amazing - from build to paint, and the eyes on it are outstanding. I also like the effects like the glistening tongue as well. Really nice work, mate!
Congratulations on the nuptials, but condolences on everything else from the last year. 2016 wasn't a particularly good one in many ways, and lots of 2017 have been pretty bad. Regardless, it's good to see you back here and that you're in decent shape.
Thanks for the warm welcome! Yeah, 2016 sucked apart from the getting married part. This year I've refused to clean up the aforementioned colleagues mess. Which sucks for the students, but means I might have the headspace to actually pursue my hobbies!
Thanks for the warm words about the Beholder too - I'm well pleased with him, particularly as he and the Roper are my first experiments in scratch building. It's a lot easier to get away with it with weird monsters like that which don't have defined proportions, but I'm fine with cheating like that to get some experience.
Here are some better pictures, with his teeth painted:
(I had fun posing him so he's looking behind himself as well - I hate when every eye on a beholder is looking in the same direction! Also happy with how the warty texture on the back came out, considering it was such a low skill technique)
So you can see he's a little on the large size, perhaps verging on "Huge" in D'n'D terms, but I think it doesn't matter and the players will be suitably intimidated when I plonk this down in front of them.
Very happy with this, can't wait to use it, though it's likely gonna be a while before I get a chance to! I'm off to Brittany for the wedding anniversary for a couple of weeks, and then in Ireland until the middle of august, so after this burst of productivity this blog is going to go quiet again, but I'll be back - I've piles of minis to paint yet!
Cheers lads! Hah, yeah I know about the bones mini. Unfortunately they are hard to get a hold of here in germany and customs can be a pain in the arse if ordering online. I might make a big order yet though-they've some great options.
Yeah, I think he looks kinda goofy but I knew he would, and Beholders are sort of inherently goofy.
On the D'n'D front, I was motivated to sort him out because when I run intro games of 5th edition I like to give the players a lot of choice, so I tend to give them an option between various jobs.
They can be heroic and help people in trouble, mercenary and just go for money, or head to the big nearby dungeon and see what's in there. So far, every group has chosen to go poke around in the dungeon first.
I use Barrowmaze for the dungeon because it's an awesome low level megadungeon, and, well, a Beholder is required for that dungeon
I'm back from my trip. Brittany was lovely, definitely recommended.
I'm back in school on Monday, but in between times I managed to get some painting done. With school starting up again, I'll be going back to running our lunchtime 5th edition D&D game for a bunch of the kids. It's one of my main motivators for painting minis at the moment (actually thinking of changing the blog title to "Dungeons and Dragons Blog").
The kids are just starting the old 3.0 edition adventure "The Forge of Fury" which I've run before and is a great intro to dungeoneering. It's an old dwarf forge infested by different tribes and factions. I'll put details in a spoiler in case people are planning on playing it, because it's recently been updated in the "Tales from the Yawning Portal" adventure anthology (the update is very nice btw).
The mountain's first level is infested with Orcs and an Ogre. I've already run this part, and the players managed to defeat the orcs by trapping them in a burning room and cut the rope bridge on the Ogre, sending him plummeting to his death. The second level is a huge cavern, with Gricks (which I will replace with Grells from the Ashardalon boxed set), and a Tribe of Troglodytes. I painted up a bunch of metal Reaper Reptus to represent the Trogs, or any lizardmen in future games. Pretty happy with them. There is then a forge level with Duregar, and I will be using the Ashardalon Duregar for them, a sublevel with a roper (hence the scratchbuild), a level with undead and demons (plenty of those lying around!) and on the bottom level, a black dragon, which I have painted below. It's a classic dungeon with so many great elements, but I especially love that it has a dragon at the bottom!
Here are the Lizardmen. The pictures didn't come out as well as I'd hoped, but the scheme is supposed to complement the Dungeon Saga Dragon I have in case he ever needs some minions:
The leader is actually a "dragon man" but the features are pretty similar. I need to photograph him again.
This is the Black Dragon - it's the Shadow Dragon from the Descent boardgame but I painted it like a D'n'D black. It's a pretty simple sculpt (one of the spines broke off though!) but I'm happy with how it came out. The greenish tinge is from giving him an overbrush of dark green and slightly less dark green and then putting on two layers of Nuln Oil. I might do another layer but I'm actually pretty happy with him. The look on the kids faces when I plonk this down is going to be really worth it!
Next on the plate is some reaper snakemen, finishing the heroes from WoA, and finishing the Descent boxed game minis. I might post my Hobbit minis I've been working on as well.
The last of the reaper metals I have are these Snakemen.
The poses particularly are kinda goofy, and those knives are ridiculous, but I still like them, the leader especially. The skin textures are nice and having snakemen is pretty essential for any Dungeons and Dragons campaign. I got all these reptilian dudes from the bargain box in the FLGS, where a bunch of battered old reaper metals were half price (Bones is hard to get your hands on here in Europe).
I'd like about three more of the basic snakemen grunts, because that'd be more appropriate for an encounter. As is, I can team them up with my Descent Medusae and Naga, and those big snakes from Ashardalon for a serpent themed fight at least.
I also took another shot of the lizardman leader, and some size comparison shots for the dragons:
Yep, this is the one. Last year I got pretty burned out and stopped painting with a bunch of hero figures to go, but I've been hit with inspiration since my game started back in september so I've actually painted a whole bunch of stuff. I'm going to post the final Board Game minis and then turn this into a general campaign blog.
Edit: Hah, just saw my last post before the long break "students are back tomorrow" hahaha. Typical.
Yeah, I'm a middle and high school science teacher. I've been filling in for a colleague in a sort of emergency capacity for a year, and then we decided to upend our entire curriculum (management likes to do that every couple of years) so I've been working like crazy on curriculum documents.
I'm making an effort to get back to the blog though. Have a backlog of photos now.
So I've put together a scenery piece for my D&D game, inspired by Syro's blog and "DM Scotty" on youtube.
The barrowmaze dungeon has a "pit of chaos" in it that randomly spawns monsters. In my game, it's also the reason why all the undead are animating, and wildlife mutating in the region. It's guarded by a bunch of undead and a beholder. The players are planning to storm the chamber with the pit in it and destroy it, and I wanted to make sure we had a suitably impressive prop. I don't normally make props beyond painting furniture and doors from dungeon saga, but I think this climatic battle could do with something cool. Especially since if I roll the Telekinesis eye on the beholder I am going to drop a PC into the pit.
I will put the WIP process in spoilers to prevent this being a ginormous post:
Started with some cardboard cut to a 5" by 5" square and drew the outline on.
Then I used some milliput to make the edges of the pit and cover over the edges of the cardboard. Not 100% happy with the flagstone effect, it's a bit crude, but doing a better job is waaay too much effort for me!
I took some chaos spawn tentacles I had left over and stuck them in there. I wanted to give the effect that the pit was alive, like you get in some of the old black and white illustrations of the Warp. I also stuck an eyeball from that set in.
You can also see I slathered it in hot glue to give a sort of texture to it, and then to increase the disturbing organic nature I used the trick of putting some PVA on in blobs and then dribbling super glue onto it. The super glue reacts with the PVA to make a nice texture that looks quite weird and organic. I left it to set overnight.
Primed black, you can also see some pillars I picked up to go with the pit in the background.
Basecoated the flagstones - I think brown keeps the dirty stone look I want
Then basecoated the inside of the pit. I decided on purple - thought about adding green to it as well but thought it would be more visually clear if it was just purple. I've always imagined chaos energy as being purple in any case!
Warlock purple, genestealer purple and pink horror highlights, and eshin grey and dawnstone on the flagstones
Then I inked everything - earthshade for the floor, and violet for the pit.
I decided the green was a good idea after all, and painted the underside of the tentacles green (a nod to Day of the Tentacle) and picked out the eye in red-orange to make it look similar to the beholder's eye.
Here is the final pit. I'm really pleased with how it comes out - it's a bit sloppy because I'm not super experienced with any of this, but I think it looks suitably organic and disturbing. Adding the little plastic details draws the eye and sort of helps me to cheat and get a better overall look. During the battle, the Pit can spawn further monsters, and I intend on describing it as a gross organic birth.
That turned out really nice, it's going to be a great center piece for the battle in the barrowmaze dungeon. As long as one of your players won't find out from me asking, what happens to a PC that gets dropped or falls into the pit of chaos? It was nice getting to see the process and progress in the post too.
No worries, my players don't read this forum. I roll on a table to see what happens. They might find an item, or even rescue someone who'd been thrown in there earlier, but more likely they'll be mutated or gated somewhere unpleasant. Table in the spoiler!
1. Gated to Pandemonium 2. Gated to the Plane of Fire 3. Gated to the Plane of Shadow 4. Alignment changed to Chaotic 5. Contract Leprosy 6. Contract Flesh-Eating Disease 7. Character mutates into a mongrelman 8. Character mutates into a mongrelman 9. Character mutates into a mongrelman 10. Contracts Lycanthropy 11. Portable Hole* 12. Contracts Vampirism 13. Javelin of Lightning* 14. Gauntlets of Ogre Power* 15. Gains a permanent madness (write a new flaw on character sheet) 16. Berserker Greatsword* 17. Possessed by a demon (does not tell others) 18. Grateful NPC pulled from pit 19. Periapt of Proof Against Mummy Rot** 20. Gain one level of experience
Thanks guys! It went quite well in play, and I took photos, so I'll upload a battle report in a while.
I finally photographed the last of my board game miniatures. It really took me a long time to get these done - or should I say, to get them started. I'd painted all the Wrath of Ashardalon minis until the heroes, and then I totally hit a block when I looked at the heroes. I painted a couple of bits and pieces but somehow this deflated my enthusiasm for ages.
The final results are here. Not super happy with them, but they're good enough. The Dragonborn Sorcerer is a PC in my student game, so it was worth doing them!
Since a few of them are wearing spiffy cloaks, here's a rear shot:
I really like the Dwarven Fighter and the Dragonborn, but I'm really not a fan of the paladin. The cleric and rogue are alright.
Then I powered on through 8 more heroes (heroes I find take a lot of doing, so I usually have to force myself). These are the ones from the Descent base game, and I think they are great.
The Druid character here is one of the teacher PCs. I love all these figures.
Here are the Goblins. Pretty basic figures, absolutely nothing to write home about. I bought the Goblin Boss separately, he's a villain but does not come with the base game, which is dumb, but he's a great figure, reminiscent of Grom the Paunch.
Spiders. (Sorry for shakeycam. These are absolutely bog standard, nothing interesting. But giant spiders are always useful).
Zombies. I have a million zombies, so I painted these a little differently so they could represent bodaks, wights, or even mummies.
Barghests. Pretty cool figures, I use them as zombie wolves, obviously!
I forget the names of these guys, but they're basically mutant spellcasters. I've been using them as Chaos corrupted Orcus worshippers. Blurry photo, but they have a little claw coming out of their left sides.
Here are the ettins. Unfortunately a shabby shot, sorry. I need to get a tripod. I love ettins, roleplaying arguing with yourself is a lot of fun. These are nice sculpts, too!
Elementals. These are supposed to be a mix of air, water, rock and fire, but I think that looks a bit dumb and prefer pure elementals, so mine are just fire-magma-smoke and ice-water-steam.
Meridots. These are cool tentacle shark monsters. I think if I was less lazy I could have freehanded some markings on these to make them look cooler, but they look okay right now. I use them with Frogemoth stats, suitably fearsome. One ate our Gnome and she had to cut her way out.
Dragons. You've seen the Black Dragon before, so here's the White. I have a green and a red, and a blue, so it's nice.
And here's a bonus, some villains. These have to be bought individually, which is expensive, but some are nice figures. I like the half dragon.
I've read through your whole blog now (don't know how it is I'm just seeing it now, the themes are right up my alley) and am very impressed. Overall with your production to support your gaming- it's what it's all about. I especially like the dragons and your chemical Pit of Despair- very well executed. I've never gotten a dragon done that I liked very well- I may have to go and give it another try!
Thanks! I'm glad you like the blog. There's a bunch of people fooling around with Dungeons and Dragons stuff on Dakka now, probably points to the popularity of 5th edition.
I have a bunch more painted minis to post, but I've not got much time at the moment to take photos (hence some of the rushed and slightly crappy photos recently). I will try and find some time to post the rest, not to mention continuing my painting!
Syro: I love the descent minis. They are really high quality and nice sculpts.
So, haven't posted in a while because of a busy couple of weeks. But we had a huge battle last game, and I took some photos for a report. This is the climax to part of the Barrowmaze dungeon, so there are some spoilers in the report if you're ever planning to play in the campaign. So I'm gonna spoiler the report just in case! It was a lot of work running this huge, complex battle and I'm going to also show some of the ways in which I organised information to keep things flowing. I was doused in sweat by the end!
Here is the Marching Order for the huge party of PCs and Allies that the players brought with them. I think there are 22 people in the party. This is pretty old school. We did two marching orders - one for 10 foot wide corridors and another for 20 foot wide corridors. And we wrote down all the things involved on one of the battle mats to keep track of hp and initiative:
The picture there is of the final approach, when the corridor was 20 wide. A quick explanation of who's who in case anyone cares, spoler'd incase you don't (inception spoilers go!)
Left to right:
Vola, Half Orc Paladin of Vengeance, the main PC bruiser. She's got a really powerful axe she stole from a minotaur.
Trunk, shambling mound. The group has befriended this Shambling Mound by using Speak with Plants and feeding it. It's dumb and unpredictable, but they put it up front to hopefully tank some hits.
Loop Mottin, Gnome Frenzied Berserker, the main PC tank. She's wielding an earth elemental infused hammer.
Grimson, Dwarf from the Adventuring Company the Fearsome Fivesome. the group hired them to help with this mission. Grimson is a Level 2 fighter.
[Marek], - this blank space was Marek. However, he got petrified by the beholder on the approach to the final corridor.
Jamorel, a Manticore that the group found turned to stone. He was the Loremaster of Nergal, and the group broke the curse on him and he is now repaying the debt. He has Manticore stats and some cleric spells.
Vadania, Druid of the Circle of the Moon, the main PC spellcaster, carrying the Font of Law which is needed to close the Pit of Chaos.
Helmond of Greyfallow, Priest of Saint Ygg, a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, Cleric 2.
Kalli, a mercenary who was working for the Cult of Orcus, that the players hired after she surrendered. Monk 5.
Viking - this blank space was a viking who got hit by a fear ray on the approach and fled.
Olaf (behind Jamorel's wing) - this is the leader of a gang of Skandic vikings who were recruited with promises of treasure and glory by the party rogue. All vikings are Bandits.
Tai, the wolf of the party beastmaster.
Darmon, the Ranger Beastmaster, the PC's main ranged support.
Viking Valderman - the weather mage of the skandics
Findalu, Elf wizard, leader of the Fearsome Fivesome, Wizard 3.
4x Vikings - cannon fodder, I think 1 had been zapped already by now.
2 Golems - Clay Golems. The party rogue is obsessed with looting control rods of Golems. I use them as an expendable resource - they have a set number of HP and cannot be healed or repaired. Which means eventually they will be destroyed.
Riding the golem, Euphemia, Halfling Arcane Trickster, the party rogue. Also riding a golem is Dasdra, the rogue of the Fearsome Fivesome.
Back row - Draíocht, druid of the circle of the elements, an NPC the players rescued from the Barrowmaze.
The group had navigated through the maze to the area where they believed the Pit of Chaos was, and as they got closer, they began to see it's effects. The walls became slimy and felt organic to the touch. The gaps between the stones swarmed with roaches or writhing maggots, and baleful red eyes began to open in the wall and fire eyebeams and the group, hitting random people each time. Trunk took a disintegrate ray and kept on going, although missing a chunk of his mass. A viking got disintegrated, another petrified, and a dwarven NPC adventurer also got petrified. Another viking fled in fear.
Finally, they got to the last stretch of corridor before the pit. Perspective warped and a feeling of vertigo engulfed the party as if they stood looking down a precipice rather than in a corridor. The Paladin removed an Iron Flask from her belt, inside it was an Efreeti who had betrayed the Sultan of the City of Brass. Compelled by the Flask's magic, the Efreet was forced to assault the pit alone and opened the doors.
What confronted the players drew gasps - they had expected to face only a beholder, but instead, a horde of undead and chaotic creatures stood against them.
An accounting of the foes:
Front left: a horde of 10 zombies
benind them: 5 ghouls and a Ghast
To the left of the Ghouls: an Otyugh
Centre: the Beholder
To it's right: 5 Wights
In front of the Wights: 4 Sangron demons (a homebrew Bloodletter for Dungeons and Dragons)
Right of the demons: a horde of 10 skeletons
Behind them: an undead troll spellcaster (can cast fireballs)
and at the rear of the horde: The Pit of Chaos, the cause of the animation of the undead in the barrows, which also spews forth chaotic creatures.
Sheesh. This is turning into a very long post. I'm going to post this now, and then finish it a bit later!
Second part! I'm spoilering again in case there are players reading this.
The battle started with the Efreet charging into the battle and summoning a Fire Elemental to attack the Beholder.
However the attack was shortlived. On the beholder's turn, I rolled his two most powerful rays, and between disintegration and death, the Efreet was obliterated. (The Beholder got to fire 3 rays on his turn, randomly rolled, 1 at initiative count 20 at a random target, and also could fire three in between other turns as a legendary action. That's 7 per turn! I cannot remember every single eye ray that was fired, but many were charm, sleep or petrification rays. I will point out when something devastating like a disintegrate or death ray hits, and if one of the lesser rays did something dramatic)
The party all delayed to advance together in formation, apart from Darmon who fell back to allow him to snap off some shots with arrows at the Beholder. After they had advanced, the horde of mindless skeletons and zombies came pouring out of the defiled temple of Nergal and swarmed down the corridor. Racing through the horde and slamming them aside in their eagerness to engage with the heroes were the bloodthirsty sangron demons.
(I noticed while writing this that one player often had his hand in shot when I was trying to take photos He's very tactical and was very excited in this battle, so please forgive!)
The tanks and trunk engaged the horde as they hit, but behind them, the spellcasters looked at the tightly packed shamblers with greedy eyes. Vadania, the Druid, unleashed a blistering wall of Fire across the corridor, blocking the beholder's vision at the same time as she roasted the mindless undead. The Rogue Euphemia spent some of her precious magic items as she raced forward and threw a bead from her necklace of fireballs at the undead, dramatically thinning their numbers. The horde was finished off by a lightning bolt unleashed by the Bow of Winds carried by the party Ranger. Meanwhile, Vola and Loop Mottin went blade to blade with the demons.
The Beholder fired a disintegrate ray at Euphemia, and she managed to dodge it, luckily as she has Evasion! I think it also hit the monk on the far side of the Wall of Fire with a death ray and badly hurt her, and zapped I think the Paladin with a mind control ray, which she resisted.
It starts to get hectic here in turn 3 and 4. I'm sure I will miss some bits here.
At the start, the chaff have been cleared but the heavy hitters remain.
Early in the turn, the tiny owl riding Vadania's shoulder flew forward and shifted into a Giant Owl. This is her Druidic mentor, a hermit like elf who remains almost permanently in his Owl form. The group had earned his favour by freeing some trapped fey earlier in the campaign.
Owl first stood shielding the group from attack before engaging the ghouls and summoning bears to attack the Beholder. Jamorel, the manticore loremaster of Nergal cast a buff spell (Beacon of Hope) to keep the party up.
The group kept pressing forward, the Ranger keeping a hail of arrows landing on the beholder while others dispelled mind control, threw fireballs or slew demons in melee. The more powerful monsters such as the otyugh and undead spellcaster moved forward - the spellcaster hit the heroes with a fireball, causing them to freak out. (I kept rolling mind control rays for the beholder, and since they had been careful to cast Protection from Evil on themselves before entering the area, they were immune to these rays, so I had to target less important people like the VIking mage and the low level fighters once the Beholder realized this. They did do damage - the viking mage killed the leader of the vikings before being cut down himself). The Pit of Chaos vomited forth another shambling mound to attack the party (I had to use a Zombie Dragon mini to represent it).
By Turn 4 it's looking rough for the villains, but things were about the change:
The Otyguth moved forward and hit the fighters with it's tentacles, downing Kalli, the mercenary. The Spellcasting undead fired a fireball at the back of the party, killing nearly all the weaker characters and leaving only the PCs and a couple of their more powerful allies standing. The rogue ran forward and threw another bead from her necklace - she had 1 left. Owl continued to hold off the undead on the right flank, while the Wights engaged the Bears around their master. The fighters wounded the Otyguth, but it looked like it could keep fighting. Jamorel moved forward and used Banishment on it, sending it back to the Plane of Madness. In response, the Beholder disintegrated him (the group were quite upset about this, because he was their earliest powerful ally and had helped them retrieve the Font of Law, a powerful magical artefact.
The Beholder picked up the Halfling Rogue with his telekinesis ray and dangled her over the Pit of Chaos (I was so excited to finally roll that one!) She struggled in the air and used Floating Disk to hopefully protect herself from falling in.
The heroes are looking pretty ragged, having been hit by multiple eyebeams and fireballs. The Druid has had to shapeshift into her Winter Wolf form to regain hitpoints. The rogue is dangling over the pit of chaos. The Paladin and Berserker are beaten and battered by magic having held the front line against demons and chaos beasts and undead. The Beholder moved forward to finish them off...
(Actually I think he'd moved last turn to get range for his telekinesis attack)
He zapped the dangling rogue again with his disintegrate ray, and for a second it looked like she was doomed as she failed her save...but the Druid cried out and used the ability of her magical spear (the Spear Predestined) she can secretly roll a dice at the start of each day and keep the score. She can then substitute that score for any one dice roll, much like the divination wizard ability.) She swapped the 4 for a 9, exactly beating the DC and saving her friend.
The Golems rushed forward to aid their mistress, and the fighters engaged the spellcasting undead. Vola traded blows with it while Darmon the Archer kept up a hail of lightning empowered arrows. Rogue caught herself before she fell into the pit, and unleashed her last fireball on the beholder and his minions, unfortunately frying the bears at the same time. The beholder was looking badly wounded now, several eyestalks hanging limp. The Frenzied Berserker ran up the corpses in front of the beholder and succeeded on an athletics check to leap into the air and hammer it with her hammer. Under three elementally empowered blows, the Beholder ruptured and fell to the ground with a loud splat. The players cheered. However, the Pit began to write and spewed another monster, a Mummy, into the chamber, and they knew it was not yet over.
The Golems picked up the Winter Wolf Druid bodily and raced forward with her, as the Paladin chopped the huge undead mage to pieces. The rest of the group finished off the remaining undead as Vadania morphed back into her half-elven form and threw the stone font of law into the writhing pit of chaos. The resulting explosion floored everyone in the room, and wounded vadania nearly to the point of death, but as it cleared the writing organic matter of the Pit hardened into a swirl of gold, platinum and other precious metals, a plug over whatever realm of madness it was linked to.
A pretty huge battle. I was sad I didn't kill any PCs, but pretty much all of their NPC allies died, and they invested a lot of resources in getting these allies by doing quests and helping people, so it seemed like a fair trade. The group is pretty shell shocked by how brutal it was - they are mostly new to the game and this was the most difficult battle they'd ever had. I'm pretty happy with it, though I do wish I'd done a few things differently - always the way with really large complex battles, it's easy to forget something in the moment, especially with players bombarding you with rules questions and arguing.
Wow, what an epic final battle! I wish I could have seen their reaction to the massive force waiting for them. I also enjoyed getting to see your pit of despair in action.
I can also see what you were talking about with your PCs wanting to recruit everything they can. In the first picture I was like "Is that a shambling mound and a manticore? I thought this was a picture of the heroes... (reading the descriptions) yes, yes it is". I guess I should consider myself lucky that my group has only adopted 3 pet wolves
Heh, yeah. They are mad for recruiting everything they can, and I've generally been fairly easy going about it because I wanted them to know that combat doesn't always have to be the answer.
The manticore was a bit of weird one. In the Dungeon, there is a Sphinx statue that animates and asks them a riddle. I didn't have my Sphinx mini painted, so I subbed in the manticore. Then I thought "Hey, I can link this into my plot!" because I had the idea that there would be old servants of Nergal in various frozen states throughout the dungeon (there are several points where a monster is in suspended animation). The idea being that when his power was waning, Nergal granted his most loyal and powerful followers eternal life. So I figured I'd make the manticore a unique, extra intelligent manticore that had managed to become the Loremaster of Nergal. I was just tickled by the idea of a manticore bookworm. Of course, the players felt very sorry for him being forced to be a statue, and took great risks to steal the magical tablet with his name inscribed on it to free him, thus gaining him as an ally. It's definitely a bit weird and gonzo but my players loved it.
The shambling mound is more straightforward, just the Druid using Speak With Plants and bribing it with food and promises of more food. They've been reasonably lucky so far that it hasn't tried to eat anyone or forgotten what it's supposed to be doing (I roll for it every now and then). They've been smart enough not to bring it into a town, because it would surely eat at least a chicken, if not a small child! The Ranger is really leery of it and thinks it's a terrible idea that will backfire. He may be right!
Glad you found the battle report useful! It's a lot harder to remember everything than it is for a game of Warhammer.
That's great how you were able to innovate and link the manticore into the story like that. Thanks for the extra background on both as well. I'm impressed with how much you remember from this final confrontation and how many pictures you managed, with how intense and fast paced that battle was. I only manage one picture per game, typically, when it's time to clean up so I can set it up again correctly next session.
Along with painting board game minis, I've been doing some scratch builds. One monster I've always liked is the Vargouille,
I've always really liked their role as a "stunner" - a low threat monster that can escalate battles by locking PCs in place. I also really like the creepy nature of their curse, and how they can potentially spread it to the population. They fit the "encroaching chaos" theme I wanted for my campaign. Unfortunately, they are a bit of a pain to get your hands on. So I tried making my own.
Some Wargames Factory viking heads with brass paper clip wire and some milliput. Not the world's greatest sculpts, for sure, but when painted they look the part:
(Christ. I will photograph that again and upload a better version, that's shocking.
I also made some Stirges, out of bits of aquarium foliage and some milliput on a wire. I think some of them look better than others - the ones with the big bloated rear sections look a bit goofy. But these are such a staple monster and the mini options for them are both expensive and not very good, so I am happy to have a flock.
Last of all I made some quick and lazy Gricks. I prefer a purple colour for them to tie them in with other underdark tentacle monsters.I think mine don't look as good now that I've seen Syro's in his blog!
None of these are blowing me away, but I suppose you've got to produce some less than awesome stuff to build up your skills?
This is a fun post for me. I like seeing the D&D minis you are making. And thanks, I'm glad you like my gricks, I really need to finish them. I think your gricks turned out nicely, and you shouldn't be hard on yourself about them. Were they made with milliput too? Even after everything I've made, I still find it surprising and frustrating how slow you have to go when sculpting a mini out of apoxie putty, slowly layering up details. I'm always impatient to be finished. Using aquarium foliage for the stirge wings was a really good idea. I still need to make a flock of stirges for my collection, so I may be borrowing your idea for the wings. Those Vargouille are cool, but I don't recognize them, are they from a supplement?
Thanks! You are too kind, especially given my crappy photos. The Gricks are milliput, yeah. I have sort of adjusted my time scales for scratch builds, so now they are a "fiddle for 10 minutes a day" thing rather than "sit down and power through it in 2 hours". That way the drying times do not bother me.
Vargouilles are from...I think Planescape? They were a core monster in 3rd edition, I know that, and I always loved the art for them above. They showed up again in Volo's Guide in 5e.
The next bunch of stuff I am going to show is preparation for the next major adventure site in my campaign. I am running the Wilderlands of High Fantasy, but heavily edited. Near my player's starting town is the ruined city of Sotur, the northern capital of the ancient Orichalan empire. In my game they are sort of a Roman analogue, which is tropey but easy for players to hook into. Orichala fell during the Demon Wars when the Blood War between Hell and the Abyss spilled onto this material plane. It's powerful mages created a magical barrier around the city that destroys any demon that tries to break through, but also feeds on the life energy of any non-demon that crosses it.
The ruined city is therefore abandoned and filled with ancient relics of that Empire, but an active gate to the Abyss spews demons into the city, which batter themselves into oblivion against the barrier. Adventurers sometimes try and scour the ruins but the ancient curse turns their insides to sludge.
I have painted up a bunch of demons to use in the streets, including some GW demons which I am using homebrew rules for. I love Dungeons and Dragons demons but I do find the minis for them generally a bit goofy and prefer the GW look for demonic stuff in most cases, so I have tried to convert some of the demon types rather than go for something from Reaper.
Before I post that stuff though, I thought I would attach my write up for Sotur. I took the map from Dyson's Delves and put a hex grid on it, and I have used the random encounter tables to populate each location with some demons to start with. I will roll for encounters half hour the players are in the city. I also have a bunch of hand drawn maps of the buildings and ruins I will upload. Hopefully anyone else interested in putting the city into their campaign will find my stuff useful. I'm also putting the Rod of Seven Parts (or my own version of it) into the city.
Here is the map, spoilered in case any of my players are snooping
So, here are the demons of Sotur I have done so far. I am going to include some pictures of the Demons they are supposed to represent as I go through.
First up, a Vrock. This is a metal Reaper mini that I have always had a huge soft spot for. I just think it is super METAL and bad ass. Plus, Vrocks are scary as hell monsters.
I think he looks great with his bad ass sword and demon face shoulder pad.
Next, two conversions I made from a Chaos Spawn kit. I love these two demon types, but I wasn't super enthusiastic about the available options for them, so I thought I would try and make my own. First, a Nalfeshnee. This is what it looks like in the art:
Here is my conversion - unfortunately he is in a leaning forward pose, so I had to take a shakey cam shot to show his underside colouring. Please to forgive.
I think it worked out okay. Not as fat as the original, but pretty freaky looking and appropriately tusked!
My favourite of the two is the Glabrezu. I love these in game and love roleplaying them. They used to be able to grant a wish to a humanoid once per year and I love tempting players with it.
I am not a huge fan of the art - the crab wolf combo thing doesn't work for me. But the idea of a four armed demon with claws does, so...
I think he came out pretty well. I probably would have prefered two crab claws, but one is okay and he has a weird crushing tentacle for his other limb, so it is all good! Can't wait to spring this on the players, I think it looks properly freaky.
Next, Barlgura. I quite like these, teleporting ape demons.
These are just "Blood Apes" from Descent, I think they are lovely sculpts. I have done two as orange-grey demon apes and one as a huge gorilla. They can double as dire apes for other encounters.
Next, I have put in some Warhammer demons, because I have the minis and I love them.
Goat Demons first. I have always loved Beastmen ever since I read my first Warhammer bestiary back in the 90s, and I had to get a box to include in my campaign. I will use probaby some Orc stats but beef them up and give them a charge attack.
Bloodletters next. I love the plastic Bloodletters, they look really weird and alien. I use homebrew stats for these which I found online.
My bloodletters are mostly in school so here is a pic. I painted this a few years ago with washes mostly. I am happy with them.
Plaguebearers. I plan on using the Volo's Guide Spawn of Yustus for these - disease bloated Orcs that explode when they die. Seems to fit. There are rules online for plaguebearers in Dungeons and Dragons but I prefer these as a horde of exploding bastards.
And finally horrors. I will be using Dretch stats for these, but giving them Firebolt. If they combine, they can then increase the level of Fire based spell they can cast - Burning Hands, Scorching Ray, Fireball etc. Should scare the players. Pic is a bit crap. Might have to photograph again.
(Christ I really have to fix my camera situation. Very unhappy with some of these pictures. Gah.)
Left to do is a Hezrou (frog demon) which is a Privateer Press Swamp Troll, and Chasme (fly demons) which I am using Nurgle Plague Drones for, and Dretches and Manes, which I am using Nurglings for.
Seem to have figured out a better way to photograph stuff, will possibly re-take the Demons of Sotur.
One of the students in my Dungeons and Dragons group is leaving, so I decided to paint up a figure for his character for him to take away. Up to now he has been using a generic Mantic Orc for his PC. His character is Feng Skullkiller, a head collecting Orc Barbarian who is addicted to potions of growth.
Quite happy with this mini from the official range to represent him!
The wash is still drying on him, but it is the kids last day tomorrow so I had to photograph now. I think the lighting is better on these shots.
I would probably not paint an orc like this for myself, but the kid in question loves the Hulk from the Marvel movies so I went for a more bright green than I would otherwise.
Been a wee while, but I have been working. A few years ago I bought a Hordes Gatorman army, at the end of my interest in that game as it turned out. Recently I got them out and assembled them, and now I have finally painted them up. I think they are really nice miniatures on the whole, and I wanted to do them justice. I am pretty happy with how they came out. I might try them out in Hordes, but our local community seems to have collapsed so I might have to wait a while to do so. I have an Ironback Spitter, Swamp Horror, Boneswarm, Totem Hunter, Croak Hunters, Bog Trog Ambushers and Swamp Gobbers still to go. Just did all the gators this time, because I had worked out a way to do the skin that I really liked. I still have to put some static grass on the bases after I do some varnishing.
First up, Wrong Eye and Snapjaw. Snapjaw is pretty much the entire reason I started Minions, I just love everything about the sculpt. He looks so awesome. I am really chuffed with how his scales came out, particularly the gradients from his darker to lighter regions and his lovely belly. Wrong Eye was pretty fiddly to paint, and I seem to have lost his pet bird, but he is also a pretty cool looking dude. These guys will perhaps see use in Dungeons and Dragons, but only if my players go further south. The sewers of the City State of the Invincible Overlord also have a tribe of crocodile men living inside it, so they could be used there as well.
Next, Bloody Barnabas. I bought him because I think he is the best looking Warlock. Pretty basic, all the bandages were a bit annoying though!
Then the Gatorman posse. These are the old metals, which i definitely prefer, but I am missing one for a full unit so will have to make up the difference some time. These were the first ones I painted, and the skin does not look quite as good as the others, but I still think they look pretty cool as a unit.
A bull snapper. Sort of a goofy pose, it looks like a crocodile in a platforming game that jumps at you as you jump over a pool or something. I tried to put some water on the base to give the effect that it was lunging out of the water. Useful mini to have for Dungeons and Dragons anyway.
And last of all, the plastic Blackhide Wrastler. At least this model is not as goofy as the old metal wrastler, and restic is pretty transportable and so on. Also I got it for half price. But jeez. This model is really pretty disappointing. The ropes all over it make no sense to me, particularly on the hands? And it has this totally different belly to the rest of the Gators. I went for this yellow colour because I have been using yellow as a contrast for some of these guys, but I am not sure about it. It looks good enough, but I wish this model looked more like Snapjaw and less goofy.
And here is a crappy group shot!
The Croaks and Bog Trogs have more use in Dungeons and Dragons as bullywugs and one of the various types of fish men, so I am looking forward to painting them.
Cheers! I am about to head off to the Baltic for a week to escape this heatwave hitting Europe, but before I go I got the first five Croak Hunters and a Swamp Troll done. In Hordes, the Swamp Troll goes with the Trollbloods faction, but I also have a big army of them so it is all good. But I think he fits in visually with the Croaks very nicely, and the fluff suggests that they consider Swamp Trolls sacred. Would love to see the Swamp Troll added as a Light Warbeast for Minions.
In dungeons and dragons terms, the Croaks make great Bullywugs or Grungs. I will be using them as Bullywugs, hence the darker green paint job. I love Bullywugs and I got these Croaks half price when my FLGS was clearing it's PP stock, so I have a full tribe of 10 now. I didn't like the weird flaming javelins they are armed with, so I have given some of them alternative armament. Also, the models come with quivers of javelins which will obviously just fall off constantly so I just left them off.
The Swamp Troll can serve a few different roles. It can be a Bullywug king, or a Hezrou demon, or that aquatic Yugoloth that lives in the Styx, or a Slaad. Lots of Large sized Toad monsters in Dungeons and Dragons for whatever reason! The model is restic, so it is nice and durable, but has horrible mold lines I could only be half arsed with cleaning up.
5 more Croaks to do when I get back, then I think I will tackle the Bog Trogs.
Those frogs are looking good. As soon as I saw the first pic, I was hoping you would be using them as bullywugs too. I agree with your choice on the flaming javelins, they're kind of weird looking. I like the idea of the troll being a bullywug king, and I can see it as a slaad too. I'll have to look up the other two, I don't know what they are. Enjoy your escape, and I'm looking forward to seeing your other 5 croaks.
So, back to school means dakka posting drops off, but I managed to photograph a bunch of stuff I got painted last year and did not post yet. I was running a campaign and would often paint stuff quickly for a session and not have time to photograph it. My photo situation is still disappointing, and I am sorry about that. I am working on a solution, I think I probably need a tripod for the camera at the least because my biggest problem is blur. But I also probably just need a better camera overall.
Most of these are from the new pre-primed Dungeons and Dragons official range, and I do quite like them as gaming pieces. You will see from the pictures though that the sculpts are in many cases less than inspirational!
I also have some "home made" miniatures in there.
First though, here is the latter half of my 10 Privateer Press Croaks, which finishes my Bullywug Tribe. As metals these are quite nice, but obviously storage and moving them to and from game is more of an issue. Need to double gloss varnish them and then anti shine spray to make sure I don't get too much chipping.
Next, here are some "slimes" I made. Ochre Jelly and Black Pudding oozes. The larger ones are milliput smoothed with water and then lots of layers of gloss on them for shinyness, the smaller ones are blobs of hot glue.The tiny bases are 1 eurocent coins. These were really fun to use and having the smaller ones for each split was a great gimmick that really freaked out my players. I also tried to make a "gelatinous blob" which would have had the same rules as a gelatinous cube, out of hot glue with a skeleton sealed inside, not realising that it turns white after drying. I will use it anyway but it is a shame you can't see the nicely painted skeleton inside any more!
Next up are some elves I painted ages ago. In my setting elves are divided into three main factions - the Unseelie Winter Court, the Seelie Summer Court and the Wild Elves. Near the starting town are a settlement of Wild Elves, so I bought some Warhammer Wood Elves to represent them. They look quite cool. Their leaders, Cliodh and Gearroid are marked by having blue cloaks and melee weapons. It was for some reason a bit of a struggle to get the lighting right on these, probably due to the poses, so my apologies. They look better in person. All of the elves have wood, stone or bronze weapons, no iron, which I intend on sticking with throughout.
I used the little faeries that come on the sprues to make some sprites and stuff mounted on 20mm squares. The blue one with the leaf is Saoirse, an ally of the group.
Now, we get into the D&D minis. The detail is soft on a lot of these, but equally they are very cheap and you can get stuff that is hard to find otherwise, and the rubbery plastic they make them out of makes for very robust gaming pieces.
First, a Dragonborn fighter. The other one of the pair was painted as a paladin and given to a student to use as his PC, and is still in use in our game. Shame about floppy morningstar syndrome, hot water trick did not fix it fully.
Next, some female halfling rogues. Female halflings and gnomes are quite hard to find, and my group has 4 women in it, 2 of whom are playing Small races, so these are a welcome addititon. The redhead is a PC in our game.
Next a group of male and female monks. I did not have any monk figures up til now and these ones are quite nice.
A group of male and female Bards next, again not something I had before. I am playing as the red headed male bard when I get to play. Not the best sculpts quality wise but quite happy to have the options for players.
Next, some beasts which are good aligned. The Winter Wolf is actually a Direwolf from the Dungeons and Dragons minis, but I felt an icy scheme looked better and I have plenty of dire wolves from my LOTR habit anyway. As a bonus to my Druid player, I let her transform into this even though it is a magical beast as she is a Winter Elf. The unicorn is a passable sculpt, something off about it's body proportions though.
Finally, some underdark monsters. The Umber Hulk is a cool mini, but it's pose needed adjusting to make it fit on the base. It is a classic monster though so I am happy to have one. I love Mind Flayers, and I am happy to have a cheap option for them, but I must say I am less than excited about these sculpts - very mushy detail and not much fun to paint because of it. I do like the very "Flash Gordon" aesthetic though. The mimics I think are one of the best minis in the official dungeons and dragons range, and I absolutely love them! Especially the Chest Mimic, but having an alternate form is going to really catch out some player
Phew! So I am working on some Otherworld Ettercaps right now, which really love, and then an Owlbear, and I've got some Bog Trog Ambushers in the works. Lots of irons in the fire. But what is quite pressing is the fact that my players have decided to ignore the demon infested ruin I had prepared for them and head north to through the mountains to the capital of the Winter Elves. So I suddenly need to reorganise my painting queue and get some mountain dwelling beasties and the court of the winter elves, including Mebhdh, the Queen of Air and Darkness, painted! Gah! So expect a wintry theme in the next few weeks.
Thanks guys! I have actually been putting in a fair bit more work on the painting side of things, but have been a bit dejected by the poor picture quality. I am looking at getting a new camera or something to improve things, as I am working on a now pretty old phone. I think I need a tripod at least to deal with my shakey hands. I might re photograph some of that stuff...
Recently, my group has moved away from the dungeon they had been exploring. I thought they were going to explore some ancient, demon infest ruins, hence the update with all the demons I had painted.
But instead they veered off to explore the Court of Winter to the north. On the way they visited a large forest, so I have been working on some forest monsters for them.
One of my players has a really nice camera, and she took a pic of this owlbear, which is my favourite of the bunch. I love his dumb goggle eyes and the ridiculous pose. This is a metal Reaper Owlbear, I found a shop in Berlin with a huge catalogue of the old metals, which I prefer to the Bones which are hard to get in Europe anyway. I am pleased with how the yellow eyes and black beak and claws came out.
Also painted recently are some Ettercaps from Otherworld (I love them so much!) and an Ent from LOTR.
Good to see you back, Da Boss. I'm sorry to hear you are having camera trouble. That particular owlbear sculpt has always stood out to me for how crazy it looks. Paint job looks nice, the yellow eyes were a good choice.
Apparently that Owlbear majored in interpretative dance. Everything looks pretty good.
Say, how are the Otherworld minis, in terms of quality and size, especially compared to say Reaper? Otherworld has some cool looking offerings. Classic D&D stuff. I've never seen any of their minis first hand though.
Red Harvest: I am pretty damn happy with my otherworld stuff. Not out of this world in terms of sculpt detail, but very well realised and in a style I REALLY enjoy. I will try and get some decent pictures up soon of my giant rats and ettercaps.
Josh: the pose is mental. But somehow it just makes me love it even more. It looks way better in person than in photos I think.
AmazingTurtles: I agree! My players were so charmed they felt sorry for it and did not want to kill it.
Got a picture of an Ent from last week's game. Painted up at the same time as the Owlbear, and I am pretty happy with how he came out.
Right, so I finally sorted out a new camera and a tripod. These are my first pictures with it. My lighting situation is still a bit crap - I am probably lighting all my minis too harshly.
Will take some snaps of my ettercaps and dire rats from Otherworld once I have done the final touches on the rats. In the meantime, here is a Chimera I painted. I am in two minds about this sculpt. On the one hand, it is not a traditional chimera and it does look a wee bit goofy. One the other hand, I had the idea to make the bird head into a cockatrice head that can petrify my players. Planning to beef it up with more hitpoints and legendary actions to make it a decent solo fight and have it swoop in and attack my party as they traverse a mountain pass. Likely will grab a pony and try to fly off with it.
You can see in the above shot I made a small mistake on the eye of the beast. It does not show up so harshly in normal light. The blending (such that there is) on the snake head tail looks better in person too.
Quite happy with the throat of the dragon head and underbelly, and the colour chocies generally. Sometimes feel I am overdoing it with my turquoise fetish on my big monsters though!
Still got to glue some grass tufts on. But my desk was too messy to even contemplate it...
I really agonised over the colour scheme on this guy for a long time before I painted him. Pretty happy with how it came out, though I wish I could have done the orange-ish scheme I saw online, it was awesome.
Hope the pictures are a bit better!
Cheers! I chose green because I was pretty confident I could get the gradients right, so it is nice that you noticed that!
I wanted my Chimera to have a fairly natural scheme, but still to have some strongly contrasting colours, since it is supposed to be a hodge podge monster. I see a lot of examples online of really wacky colours executed extremely well, and I am not confident I could pull that off so I wanted to go for a more natural look.
Cheers! I snapped the Ettercaps but was unhappy with the focus so I will have to repeat it.
Thanks for the kind words on my gatormen, I adapted an approach I found on Handcannon Online years ago. I had to dig around a lot to find the turorial again because the original was gone so I had to find the guy's blog somewhere on a forum. I would directly link you but I cannot remember where I found it.
The method is: First spray your minis white.
Then paint the spines on the backs, the fins, any stuff like that with Cryx bane base. (a dark greyish green)
Then I watered down Traitor Green (a sort of olive green) and put it over the scaled areas. I built up about 2 layers of that, keeping more of it toward the dark scales to naturally build a gradient. Then I put a layer of camoshade over the top, again focusing on the parts closest to the scales. I put the Traitor Green mix over the bellies, but did not build it up too much so that the lighter shades showed through. Finally and pretty sparingly I made a very watered down layer of Cryx Bane base which I blended in, to make a gradient from the dark scales down. It sounds complicated, but in practice it is pretty fast and easy, because you just need to wait for stuff to dry. Then I just drybrushed the dark scales for a bit of depth and did the detailing like I normally would.
Really happy with how it came out, particularly on the big fellas.
Still no good shots of the Otherworld Ettercaps, not sure what the issue is, but in the meantime my much more talented player took some snaps of the minis I had been working on. My players have been trekking through the wilderness for the last 5-6 sessions. I know a lot of people consider this sort of thing boring, but I really think travel should mean something in a fantasy world, so I detail the route and roll for encounters every 4 hours of overland travel. Since they were in a wild, mountainous region I wanted some chaotic beasties to be roaming, hence the Chimera from the previous post.
I have had a Dragon Ogre Shaggoth since it first came out, but I was always too intimidtated to paint it. At first it was for my Beastmen army, now long sold, and then I planned on using it in a Chaos army for Warhammer 8th edition, before I got fed up with that game. I finally painted him up a couple of weeks ago. He had lost his horns, so I replaced them with some plastic horns from a chaos spawn, and he was also missing one of his forelegs, so I used the long fingers from a demon prince and some putty to recreate it. I wanted to do something to signal to my players that he had some lightning powers, so I did the lightning effect on his axe. This was a super memorable battle, with the Dragon Ogre sitting on a bridge spanning a gorge in the mountains, demanding payment in magic items. The players used Confusion on it and managed to beat it without too much trouble, but it was an interesting fight and they were very eager to steal the axe. I think if you make a random encounter something exciting like this, it helps to make travel meaningful. I still want to do some touch ups on this guy, like where his hand meets the axe haft, but overall I am very happy with him, I think I have really done the gorgeous model justice this time!
In case anyone wants to use a Shaggoth in their game, I found some rules online that I adapted to make this a classic Warhammer Dragon Ogre for Dungeons and Dragons.
Ancient Dragon Ogre Huge dragon, chaotic evil Armor Class 14 (Natural Armor)
Hit Points 168 (16d12 + 80)
Speed 50 ft.
STR 22 (+6)
INT 5 (-3)
CHA 7 (-2)
Damage Immunities Lightning
Senses Blindsight 10 ft., Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 8
Languages Common, Draconic, Giant
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)
Charge. If the dragon ogre moves at least 30 feet straight toward a target and then hits it with a great axe attack on the same turn, the target takes an extra 13 (4d6) slashing damage and the target must make a DC 17 strength saving throw or be knocked prone.
Rage (1/day). The dragon ogre goes into a rage gaining resistance to bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage for 1 minute.
Multiattack. The dragon ogre makes two attacks with its maul or its javelins.
Great Axe. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 27 (3d6 + 6) slashing damage and 10 (3d6) Lightning damage.
Javelin. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (3d6 + 6) piercing damage.
Storm Wrath (Recharge 5-6). The dragon ogre unleashes the lightning stored in it’s enchanted axe. A 30 ft radius sphere emanates from the Dragon Ogre. Each creature in that area must make a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw, taking 56 (16d6) lightning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Thanks! I am very happy with him.
I meant to paint a bunch of Winter Elves this weekend, but I was feeling under the weather and decided to assemble the Start Collecting Lizardmen set I had in the cupboard instead. The new carnosaur kit goes together really well, I always loved the old one but I sold it off. Very happy with the plastic replacement. The coolest thing I did was use the Lustria Online tutorial to make an Astrolith Bearer. Not D&D related but I figure I may as well post it here:
I also got a hankering for Heroquest, and have decided that I will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the game that introduced me to fantasy gaming and dungeons next year by reconstructing my own set. I have most of the minis required, and plan on scaling up the board to 25.4mm per square and printing it out onto a game board I will make myself, making my own dice, printing the cards and using suitable miniatures to recreate the game. The only mini I could not easily source was the Fimir, but I managed to find a 3D printer file with scans of the minis. My school's design teacher wanted something to print to show the capabilities to his class, so I sent him the file and he printed a Fimir for me:
He is still encased in his supports here, but with some difficulty I managed to cut him out:
Some of the detail came out a bit shallow, but it was not exactly mindblowing on the original figures. I have ordered some resin "not Fimir" heads and tails that I plan on attaching to Savage Orcs, but this is a cool nostalgia kick for me - the original Fimir minis absolutely fascinated me as a kid.
That's awesome and exciting about you starting on a Hero Quest project. Makes me want to get back and do more stuff Hero Quest related too. Other than the Chaos Warrior, the fimir was my favorite monster as a kid. I'm curious to see these "not fimir" head and tails you ordered. They are the most unique monster in the game, I've never seen any mini that can stand in for them.
Jealous! I never actually owned the game - my next door neighbour had it, and I only got to play it about 3 times. I always wanted to be the bad guy wizard and control all the cool monsters!
I was three years younger than said neighbour, and he and my brother were best friends. When he went on holidays, I was so heroquest mad that I suggested we could use the spare key to their house to go in and play the game together without him. I protested that we would put everything back properly afterward. My brother was unimpressed with my suggestion! So Heroquest is really a bit of an unrequited hobby love for me. Been chasing that dragon with all my descent and dungeon saga stuff here. I think Dungeon Saga is an alright successor except that it requires 4 heroes for balance, which is too fiddly for my wife, who is my main opponent. I think heroquest is more her style.
@King Thor: Thanks! That was the first time I have tried something like that. I am happy with how it came out. The trouble is, now I am tempted to get a Beastmen Start Collecting and make an army out of my Gors + Shaggoth!
@Amazingturtles: Yeah, it is a great game for kids or non wargamers due to it's simplicity.
I always wanted that Shaggoth model, but the price was way too high for me. Nicely done. You should definitely think about a beast an army, but check out the news and rumors thread about the Faun project. Could be a nice addition to a beast herd.
Thanks for sharing that story about your childhood with Hero Quest. Have you been able to get yourself a copy of the game? My older brother was always in the know about cool fantasy games, all my experience growing up with Hero Quest (plus expansions), Battle Masters, Dungeons & Dragons: First Quest, Weapons and Warriors, etc were all because of him. Last year I was feeling nostalgic, and bought myself a copy of Hero Quest and Battle Masters off of Ebay (plus and extra copy of Hero Quest for him). Long story short, if you are still wishing you had your own copy of Hero Quest, I'd check Ebay.
Oh, I saw that alright. Some awesome miniatures there. Thanks guys! I will be starting my Heroquest project in 2019, with the aim to finish it before the years end (a 30th anniversary edition!)
Been busy as usual at the end of term, but I have been working hard on the denizens of the far north in my setting. My players wanted to get their hands on a Daern's Instant Fortress, a magic item that is basically a "Poketower". You throw it down and it grows into a massive keep. I bought a Renedra Keep to use for it, but as it is such a powerful item I decided they should quest for it.
I decided that since they are in the city of the Winter Court, their Keep would be made of magical ice, and it would need the still beating heart of a Frost Giant to act as it's focus. So they had to head out onto the Great Glacier and hunt down some Jotun.
In 5e, Frost Giants are supposed to be Huge, but I decided to make them Large because I had bought miniatures for them back when I was still playing 3e and they were only Large. I am using a RBG Jotun, and two Hordes Blighted Ogrun that I got for half price in my local shop. I gave them a more bluish colour than most people do and I think all together they look the bomb.
I have a small Legion of Everblight force and I had painted Thagrosh for that army years ago, but he had gotten broken in transit and damaged, so I repaired him and based him similarly. I am using him as a dragon corrupted warlock of the Frost Giants, and my players were VERY freaked out by him because they did not know the model was from Hordes. I think they look great together. I also prefer them as Large, because I like the idea of them sailing in Longships, and I find that easier to believe if they are not as tall as buildings!
To add some interest to the hunt, I also painted up this Descent Frost Wyrm, and I used the rules for the Dungeons and Dragons Frost Wyrm which is more like a Purple Worm in an icy area. I really like the mini, but I was intimidated by painting the ice crystals. I think they came out alright, but I hope to do better on my second one! I had it's tremorsense represented by it's ice spines chiming in resonance with any vibrations in the area near it. The scenario was that the Giants were hunting the Wyrm and the players were hunting the Giants, and it went off pretty well! I think everyone had a great time and there were some very dramatic moments.
Playing each week keeps me painting, but it can be stressful when the players veer away from their stated plans. They were going to go to a demon infested city, so I spent the summer painting a lot of demons for them to fight, but then at the start of the school year they decided to set out instead for the north and ignore the city. So I suddenly had to paint a lot of mountain monsters and northern monsters. I am a bit burned out now! But I am really happy at the same time that I am gradually populating my fantasy world with miniatures. It has always been a dream of mine to do this, and I am doing pretty well at achieving it!
I wanted to get a lot more hobbying stuff done, but travelling back to Ireland and the general madness of my family has meant I did not get ANYTHING done til yesterday. I started working on the Renedra Tower I bought to represent the Daern's Instant Fortress my players were questing for, as well as using it for any Strongholds the players start, and just general wargaming use. It is a really lovely kit, the Tower, with a removable roof and a top floor you can sit minis inside. Here is a picture, the bottom third is finished and the middle third is awaiting highlighting layers. Pretty tedious work! The top third is downstairs in my basement, my brown primer ran out before I could finish spraying it, so I am gonna pick up some more when the shops open tomorrow. Painting is pretty simple - spray brown, heavy drybrush Eshin Grey, wash Argax Earthshade, light drybrush Eshin Grey and final drybrush Dawnstone. I then gave a wash of Camoshade around the base and the tops of any arches or slopes, but I think I need to hit it again.
Given that it is the end of the year, I thought I would do a wee retrospective.
This was the year I finally broke my block and got back into painting in a pretty big way. I also think I improved and tried out a lot of new things. The big problem is still my crappy photography, but I am working my way to a solution for that as well. I powered through painting a lot of hero miniatures like Monks and Bards, as well as all the heroes from some of my board games. I also painted up the core Descent set, which was a lot of work and I am very happy with it now that it is finished.
I also kept pushing my scratchbuilding, and made some monsters from scratch for my game.
Then I did a huge amount of work on my setting making a ruined city with keyed locations and a bunch of maps hand drawn, as well as a veritable horde of demons to infest it. As I have mentioned, this work ended up being for nothing because my players never went there. I am a little sore about that, because I felt it was a wee bit of a betrayal of trust! But at least I painted a bunch of stuff that had been sitting idle for years and years. I have the guts of a Demon army for GW games now, so I shouldn't complain.
In the summer, I worked pretty hard on repairing and assembling all my old Hordes minis, and I painted a majority of my Gatormen, which I had been sitting on in storage since like 2011 or so. I think they came out really well, though I am not sure when I will use them for anything!
The latter half of the year has mostly been a bunch of smaller monsters (rats, ettercaps and skaven) and a few very big centrepieces. I have always had a problem where I was intimidated by big pieces and never worked on them. But this year I got a Treant, a Dragon Ogre, a Chimera, and a Hyra all done.
Been running out of steam toward the end of the year, as some of the stuff I am working on is fiddly and difficult, but I am hoping to get it all done before school starts back and eats all my time again.
I think if anything this year proved that it is always better to crack on and try stuff out rather than wait til you are "good enough", and playing is the best way to motivate yourself to paint.
I also spent a LOT of money on minis this year. I really want to cut down next year and focus on painting what I already have.
For next year, big projects: - War is coming! My Dungeons and Dragons game is entering a phase of conflict where the PCs will likely be leading a rag tag army against an evil empire. Good Guy Factions: - Celtic tribesmen (from Warlord games) - Norman troops (from Conquest) - Elves (need to finish the Winter Court)
Bad Guy Factions: - Troops of the Iron Empire (Late Roman Byzantines) - Hellspawn (Flesh Hounds, Hellhounds from Descent, and maybe some of the stuff from Wrath and Rapture, big Pit Fiends) - Heavy Cavalry (Chaos Knights and Easterling Kataphracts)
I also want to make some scenery for big siege games, and mostly what I need is a long palisade wall which I can repurpose to be around the motte and bailey castle, the ringfort, or the town.
So in a lot of ways this is going to involve painting a lot of my Historicals, which has been a long term goal of mine. Part of the reason I wrote my setting the way I did was to encourage myself to do this work.
Heroquest, 30th Anniversary I want to recreate Heroquest with modern miniatures. This is something I hope to achieve by the end of the year, hopefully by my birthday in November, so I can rope my wife into playing it with me!
I think that is plenty to be going on with, but if I make good progress on those two I want to get my Aboleth and River Trolls painted along with my Bog Trog Ambushers for a "monsters from the deep" set.
Thanks for the great retrospective Da Boss, I still need to make one on my blog. You've accomplished a lot this year. I'm really excited to see what you do for Hero Quest this year, and your D&D game sounds exciting. Also thanks for the help and advice this past year as I started into D&D.
I have been mostly working on my Tower. Nearly done, jeez. I killed two pots of grey paint and a pot of wash on this thing.
It has come out okay, though I was hoping for a more brownish tone to show through, but it's alright as is. I am planning to make a pallisade out of twigs for the wall, for a Motte and Bailey style fortress.
It's a lovely mini though. Definitely can recommend it to anyone who is in the market for a plastic watchtower or keep.
Figure it is a good time of the year to take stock and think about what I need to achieve.
My campaign is grinding on toward a large scale war between the players and the main antagonist, the Iron Empire. The players are now important people in a realm ruled by aloof Winter Elves and mostly populated by celtic clansmen with some barbarians to the west. The Iron Empire is an "evil Byzantine" empire with a lot of enslaved humanoids and Infernal allies. I want to use Matt Colville's Warfare rules to represent it, and technically this does not require miniatures. But I would like to use this as motivation to get a bunch of minis painted, so I want to make representative regiments for the armies involved.So, here they are:
The Vasthost of Kolluthos the Slaughterer
Kolluthos – Warlord riding a Gorgon (1 unpainted) (Chaos Lord on Juggernaut)
Bodyguard – Bloodletters on Gorgons (3 unpainted, unassembled) (Bloodcrushers)
Levies Zindar Irregulars (1 Regiment, partially painted) (Collection of Gnomes and Halfings from nearby town, mostly DnD minis, some Descent.)
Monsters Friendly Giant? Dragon? Mulg and his Trolls?
The plan is to work on the villains first, because which of the good guy regiments get used depends on whether the players succeed in recruiting them or not. But I want to try to work on some miniatures every week, which means organising my workspace and staying focused on this project until it is ready! I am excited about this, because I am sneakily using this as a way to get some of my various historicals painted.
Of course, I may end up needing to paint some random stuff if my players head off in a random direction, but I am making this post to keep myself accountable!
Ha, yeah, it is a big ask. I am starting to regret this. No, none of them do, so I think sometimes they under estimate the work that goes into it.
I have been busy, and I am trying a new photography location that I hope gives better pictures. I will see about setting up a better background for my miniatures but here, finally, are the Otherworld Ettercaps:
I love these guys. I love their flabby bellies and goofy heads, I love the idea of weird spider hybrids living in forests doing inscrutible things. Brilliant.
And I especially love their flabby spiderbutts!
I recently also painted a GW hydra. I think it is a lovely miniature, and I am really happy with it comes out. Especially pleased with the transitions from the underbelly to the scales on the back.
And here is what I am working on at the moment - some Byzantines painted up as worshippers of Asmodeus to represent the troopers of the Iron Empire.
First some archers:
I think they look alright. The faces are a bit blank, but I think I will leave them as they are. The red and black looks alright I think.
Next are the shieldwall. I did a freehand symbol of Asmodeus on the shields. I have not done a lot of freehand before, and it isn't the best, but I am happy with it at tabletop distance:
21 more to go!
Still more work to be done on lighting and camera. Sorry about that.
Thank you very much! I have been away from Dakka due to the usual springtime pile up of work, but I haven't stopped working.
I got distracted when I saw these two videos on Youtube. One is for making resin dungeon tiles, and the other is for 3D printing tiles that magnetically clip together:
I have always wanted my own 3D tile set, but all the options had flaws. The Dwarvenforge ones are lovely, but very expensive and have integrated walls. I would prefer optional walls that I can easily remove. Flat tiles made from cardboard like from games like Dungeon Saga or the D&D official ones are practical and look nice, but layouts slip and slide too much and are not flexible. A 50mm tile is optimal for flexibility, because most maps are done in 10 foot squares and 25mm corresponds to 5 feet. Magnets always seemed like a no go to me because you would have to align the poles properly which would reduce the utlity of the tiles because you have to fiddle with them. Using the spherical magnets in the base meant that the tiles would magnetically snap together without moving around too much, and the spherical magnets can rotate inside the base to always find their polarity, meaning the set is easy to use. Making my own tiles means I can design them to be exactly as I want them to be. I imagine mostly using the 50mm tiles, but I plan on making some 10mm x 50mm spacers and 50mm high walls to sit on top of them.
I am a novice crafter, and I am not good at making precise cuts, so I decided to make this as idiot proof as possible. I ordered some Renedra 50mm, 40mm and 30mm square bases. This meant my masters were all of the right size. I used the technique shown in the first video to texture some milliput with tinfoil for a stone texture and then cut it into strips and stuck them on as bricks. I think the result looks pretty nice!
The magnetic base uses 5mm magnetic balls, which is the diameter of a McDonalds straw. So I cut some straws to 5mm and used the 40mm base to help me make a 10mm border, and then stuck a 30mm base in the middle to make it thicker.
Here is the outline without the milliput:
Here it is in the form for the silicone mold, with the milliput on it. The two tiles stacked are 1cm tall, 4mm for the textured part and 6mm for the base. The milliput form is a bit messy and if I was a better crafter it would look better. I could definitely improve this part of the build. But the magnet slots are the right size and the magnets can freely rotate inside, so that worked out alright. There are some gaps between the two tiles but nothing major. The forms are made of foamboard glued with hot glue.
Then I mixed up some silicone and poured it in. This was my first time working with this stuff, so I was pretty nervous!
The molds came out fine in the end. There is some milliput in there, but it came out with the first resin pour.
I spent some time calculating how much resin I would need. This was also my first time pouring resin, but it was pretty easy and I didn't have any problems with bubbles despite not using a degassing chamber.
Here is the first resin tile. I think the millput interfered a little with the curing as it took longer than expected, but a day later it was totally cured. Most of the pours take about an hour and a half to cure enough to remove and about 3 hours to fully harden. I take them out and press them on to a spare 50mm base to make sure they are nice and flat. The resin is nice and flexible when you pull it so it is pretty easy.
Here are the first two done. I wanted to check that the magnets worked before going on. They worked out pretty well, sometimes you need to shake them a bit to make the magnets align but it is really fast. The hold is not super strong, but it is enough to allow you to move the tiles together as one block, and it definitely prevents slipping and sliding. Super satisfying to click together.
Over the course of the week I cast 12 tiles total, one or two a day after work. Here are the magnets sitting in their little base. I bought these on Amazon, about 12 euro for 100. They are currently the most pricey part of the build, if I can get them cheaper I can get the cost of these down to less than a euro a tile.
Here are the finished tiles glued together. Gonna spray them and then paint them.
The next step is making three other textured tiles for variety, and then making some diagonal corner tiles. I plan on making enough to cover a 2 foot square area, so 144 tiles total. Also planning some special tiles like sewer tiles, cave tiles, stairs and so on. Really happy with them, I think they look good and they click together pretty much exactly as I want them to.
Edit: If anyone wants the materials, I can provide the Amazon.de links I used to purchase the materials and the Renedra links for the bases.
Wow, that is quite an undertaking. Looking good so far, and good luck with completing it. I watched that Black Magic Craft video and felt some temptation, but didn't do anything. The magnets are interesting, they work well for the tiles attaching and holding together?
Yeah the idea is to hold the shapes of rooms and stuff together even if you want to move the whole room at once, and also to stop the rooms from slipping and sliding around in play. Plus they are just satisfying to use as the snap together.
When I have used tiles in my games before the biggest downside was always the slipping and sliding, some people put velvet or something on the underside but I really like this approach.
They work pretty well - pushing on one tile of a 3x3 moves the entire room without effort. Pulling will just remove the tile, but tiles easily snap back into place. I plan on making walls with two of the magnets in the base that will snap onto the sides, but will be easy to remove if they become annoying (blocking line of sight and so on.)
I have had some success with iron powder in the resin or failing that just a strip of metal sunk into the resin during the cast, would save on valuable magnets. When I have cast with the iron filings/powder it worked a treat with magnetic parts.
All looking great though like the concept and the moldings are spot on.
Camkierhi: I did think about using iron in the resin in some way, and then using a magnetic backing. I decided against it because this way the tiles themselves are all you need. It would be a good system for a home set up, where you could set up the table with a magnetic backing or something, I think. But I travel with my stuff to play rather than playing at home, so I wanted to maximise portability. It is gonna double the cost of the tiles though, to be fair...
Red Harvest: Yeah, I think those tiles clip together nicely, but I would be crap at making something like that myself. The Dungeon Saga tiles rely on these connectors which are really fiddly, I am trying for maximum utility at the table so that I actually use them rather than reverting to scribbling on my battle mat. We shall see!
Here are some painted ones:
The top and bottom tiles both have an extra highlight of bone colour and then an earthshade wash. The middle one is just two tone grey over black. I picked out some flagstones in slightly different colours to add some visual interest on one of them, and I like how it looks so I might do that for all of them. I may regret this choice 72 tiles in...
One thing I haven't come up with a good solution for is circular tiles. A lot of my favourite dungeons make use of circular rooms, but it is a bit of a mess integrating that with a square tile system.
I think I might cut some 10mm, 15mm, 20mm and 30mm radius circles out of foamboard, cut them into quarters and texture them with a pencil and tinfoil. Probably just stick some metal round the rim to attack them to the other tiles, but it might work out well.
Looking great , only way I’d know how to do a rounded wall would be just make a half wall to sit on top of the tile using the magnets to hold it in place. So the tile would still be square, but the wall would give you your shape.
Josh: thanks! Yeah, a lot of people I showed them to before they were finished were not sure what I am trying to achieve but I basically want each tile to stick laterally to each other tile, therefore holding the shape of the map layout with minimum fuss and maximum utility. That makes it worth the effort of the resin casting and so on, because the tiles are doing exactly what I want them to do. This come after trying a bunch of other tile solutions that I felt were nearly there but not quite. These might end up being the same way, but feck it, I feel pretty confident I will get some use out of them.
Theo: Yeah that is a good way around it. I was thinking about doing that using foam blocks or something, then the walls have extra utility as terrain for skirmish games or ruined towers or something in Dungeons and Dragons. The only reason I am against it (I might make these walls anyway) is that the footprint of the floor would overhang to an extent that some map set ups I would like to do would not work, and at present I am trying pretty hard to be able use my set to faithfully adapt written adventures.
Today I got some work done on some new basic tile masters for variety, as well as a "stairs" tile which is designed to be left on top of the normal tiles or dropped into the middle of a bunch of them to represent stairs up or down, and is not magnetised.
I wanted 1cm steps, so I stacked up some bases from 50mm ->40mm ->30mm and 40x20mm. I filled in the gaps with chopped up lollypop sticks.
I do it this way to make up for my lack of precision - I am sure a more talented crafter could manage this without having to use all these different base sizes, but this was convenient for me!
Then, I sculpted the flagstones. First, set up the area with greaseproof paper:
Then roll out some milliput and texture it with tinfoil, before cutting it into strips:
Then, start cutting your strips up and sticking them to the 50mm base. I usually retexture after sticking to get rid of fingerprints and so on. I also tidy up the shapes with my sculpting tools.
This is tedious, but once you are done you have a pretty nice master:
I churned out two more masters, so now I have three for basic floor tiles, which I think is enough for variety. Same technique was used for the stairs. Not 100% happy with how they came out, the steps are not as clear as I would like, but I reckon it will paint up okay.
You can see as well, a flagstone textured lollypop stick in that photo. That is my "spacer" tile, which I am making a master for as well. I cut a stick to 50mm length and textured it. The idea is that these will act as the "doorway" of rooms, allowing 10mm of negative space to either slot wall pieces into, or leave empty as negative space to represent walls. If that is difficult to imagine, I will show what I mean once I get one finished with magnets.
Here is the outline of the magnet base for the spacers:
For the walls, (which are designed to sit on top of the same magnetic base the "spacer" tiles sit on) I glued a 50x50mm section of leftover wall from my Renedra castle sprue to a 50mm base and then attached a 5mm lip of stick to the bottom. The idea is that I will cast two of these, glue them together making a double sided 50mmx50mmx10mm wall tile which I can stick to a 10mmx50mm magnetic spacer and stick to the side of any tile. The magnets should help to hold them up, and if I get annoyed at having walls in play they can be removed easily without messing with the set up at all.
I am happy with how things are coming along. One problem I forsee is that the corners of my walls are not going to fit together perfectly the way I have designed them. I am not sure there is a way around this without making corner pieces with the same system, which I am not too interested in doing, but it might be worth it.
I probably don't have time to set up the molds tonight, and if I do them tomorrow after work I will not be able to demold for over 18 hours due to how long my workday on tuesday is. Anyone who works with resin a lot know if that will create problems? The demold time on my silicone is between 12 and 18 hours.
Great looking masters you have made there Da Boss. Tedious work, but it will be so well rewarded in the end. Drawing a blank on the corners as well, but it’s 1a.m. here, so I’ll sleep on it and get back to you.
Wirecat: Thank you! Honestly it is a bit soothing as well. And satisfying, in the end.
Camkierhi: Thanks for the advice on demolding. As it happened work was a bollocks today so I didn't get the rubber poured, maybe tomorrow. Good to know for the future when my molds wear out though!
Theo: Yeah not sure about those corners. Could just leave 'em, or make pillars to stand in the gap and fill them in, or make corner pieces. Corner pieces will look the best, but it is a lot of faff for something I probably will not use much in actual play.
Cheers! Got loads of work done over the last few days as I have had some holidays. Got another 24 tiles made, for a 6x6 grid of 36. 4 more of those and I think I have all I will need!
I also did a lot of work on speeding up the process, making some extra molds so I can do two pours at once and replacing my "magnetic base" mold as the little cylindrical bits ripped off after 14 pours. I reckon they will need replacing more often than any other part.
That used up the last of my pink silicone, and I bought a new brand for future work as it was cheaper and German made so a bit easier delivery wise.
One of these was a stair tile mold. I cast up 6 of these while casting my basic tiles, and I am pretty happy with them. Because of the magnets, my tiles stack really well and hold together, so making multi level stuff is just a case of plopping them on top of each other. Here is a staircase I made, an underused location for random encounters!
The stair tiles are not magnetic as they are designed to sit on top of the other tiles or in the middle of a bunch of them to represent stairs down to the next level. They are also a very shallow slope on purpose so that minis can stand on them without issue. As you can see they work fine. I think if I was a better crafter I could have made them look a bit nicer, but they are good enough for what I want them for.
The next big part of this project is the wall and "spacer" tiles. Everyone wants some 3D walls for their dungeons, even though they are not practical. I wanted walls which were easily removable but not fiddly to position and that were pretty thin to allow for layouts to follow what is in printed adventures pretty closely. I made them 1cm wide, and I have also made "spacer" tiles which are the same dimensions with a flagstone patter. The idea is wherever there is a wall in the adventure you throw a spacer in to create the space for the walls. The walls can be represented by the gap left between the bigger tiles by the spacer or by the wall tiles if I am feeling fancy. If the wall tiles get annoying, blocking LOS and so on, they are designed to be easy to remove. This to me is better than the Dwarven Forge style of tiles with integrated wall, because if you remove the wall tile there you have to remove a chunk of floor as well which might have some minis on and lead to a lot of fiddling around. Whereas here, don't like the wall, just pull it out no problem. Both the spacer and the wall tile have their own 5x1cm magnetic base built on a popsicle stick with some milliput and 2 slices of McDonalds plastic straw.
Here is the mold layout, I will make two of these so I can pour the resin all at once and the idea is that the two wall halves glue together.
Here is the mold with my new green silicone from the same company I bought my resin from.
And here is the finished spacer and magnetic base, it sticks firmly onto the tiles I have already made.
One fiddly bit with these is that they bond near instantly with super glue and are near impossible to separate afterwards, so you have to line them up really carefully before gluing. You can see the top bit here is just slightly wonky. It will look okay in practice I hope.
And then the walls! These came out really cool looking. I textured the bottom with just some coarse sand and very small pebbles because there was no room for flagstones. I think it looks okay.
Here is front and back. The backs are lovely and smooth due to the resin finding level.
And two fronts:
And the base as well.
And then finally, mounted on their magnetic base and sticking to the side of one of the tiles. I think it looks awesome and it sticks and removes exactly as I wanted it to. It is a strong hold due to the light weight, but easily pulled off if you want to. Perfect!
Overall I think things are coming along really nicely. I have never done anything like this before, but it is really a lot easier than I expected, and I am very happy with the results. Definitely a better crafter could get even better results than me, but I am really pleased with how usable the set up is due to the magnetic bases and the modular nature. I reckon it is going to be really easy to use at the table, planning to stop my long running campaign for a short trip to Rappan Athuk to try them out.
Let me know what you guys think! At the moment it is working out about €1.50 per tile, which when you consider the utility with the magnets over Dwarven Forge is pretty decent.
Looking better than just good man, as Tony the Tiger says “They’re GRRRRRRRRREAT!” Have you looked in the resin casting section for color additives? I know they make them, and that could help with a base coat.
Theo: Thank you! I really am a novice at this stuff, so it is really encouraging to have nice comments from you. I love your terrain pieces. As to the additives, I had heard about that but don't know much about it, this is my first ever time working with resin. There seems to be an additive in my resin already to make it white, at least if you leave it sitting the white separates out in the bottle and falls to the bottom, so it seems to have some pigment in suspension already.
Josh: Thank you! The spacers and walls are the part I am the most proud of because they are the only part which is entirely my own invention. The magnetic tiles with the spherical magnets are from the 3D printing video above from GamingGeek and the flagstone tile masters are from Black Magic Craft, but I think the spacers will be what makes this really practical at the table and easy to use on the fly to create map layouts from written adventures.
As to making it all from scratch, I am amazed myself at how easy it has been. I have not done anything like this before. I think I helped myself out by getting the Renedra bases to use as templates, because I definitely would have screwed up my masters if I had tried to measure and cut them myself, I am just not good at that sort of thing. And I cheated a bit with the walls by using a section cut out from leftovers from my Renedra Tower. But it would not be difficult to make a similar master out of foamboard or milliput either, and you could make it with textured sides and so on like the Dwarven Forge tiles.
I really think anyone could have a go at this, because I am very average when it comes to this sort of thing. My main motivation was feeling disatisfied with the other options available and wanting something that exactly fit what I wanted.
After cleaning the flash off everything and then washing it in soapy water, I glued my tiles, walls and spacers with the magnets inside them today. Very happy with the tiles and spacers, and here are the walls:
And here is a set up using a stair tile and a double door from Dungeon Saga.
I reckon they look okay. the gaps are a bit more obvious than I would like, particularly on the corners, but overall the effect is decent enough. I think when they are all painted it will look a bit better. I ran out of resin after making 24 more tiles, 6 stair tiles, 10 spacers and 8 walls. Reckon I will get another 500g of resin and make another 36 tiles at least along with some more spacers. Not sure how many walls I will make, it is tempting to make loads of them but I am not sure how often I will use them.
Gonna spray these tomorrow and get to painting the whole lot, to make them look consistent. I reckon 36 tiles and 10 spacers is enough to do a fair few encounters and dungeon based scenarios. Might do an example layout tomorrow from Barrowmaze or Caverns of Thracia to show how the set can be used to make maps from published adventures.
It isn't too bad with the casting, because you just mix up your batch of resin, pour it and leave it for an hour or so. It is pretty chill. Once you have a stack poured, cleaning them, washing them and then putting the magnets in place without them flying out of the little holes and sticking together is tedious, and gluing them is annoying because you have to line them up perfectly or they bond unbreakably for whatever reason and it is really difficult to undo. So I would say the step I just did putting the magnets in and gluing them is a lot more tiring even though it only took a couple of hours. You can bang out a few casts every evening after work with pretty minimal effort.
I am also eager to have them painted. I am a bit worried about consistency with the tiles so I am hoping that Earthshade will cover many sins with this set.
One aspect I did not consider initially was how stackable these tiles are. It is easy to make a dias or raised area just by stacking the tiles on top of each other, 3 tiles high is as high as a wall, so 3D set ups are very doable as long as you are only doing individual rooms rather than entire dungeon layouts.
I was worried about keeping a consistent color when painting my dungeons too. Maybe either buy a paint color that you can re-buy each time you need, to keep the color the same, or mix up a large enough batch of a custom color that you'll always have enough?
Well you have mastered this, they are all looking fantastic. Really great work bud.
Here is a link to the paint I buy for bulkier projects.here
Or get some Gesso here which you can paint on and it will prime and base coat and then just make a dark wash in a jam jar, do not use Angrax, it will cost a fortune. Look great but cost a fortune. A good drop of black paint into a lot of water in a jam jar will give you perfectly fine results.
Looking great bud, keep it coming.
PS be careful the whole casting and mold making thing can get out of hand. Been down that rabbit hole. And in the end yes it works and is great and fun, but in real terms not very cost effective.
Theophony: Definite coincidence! A happy one though. You end up using a lot of tiles but it could be worth it when doing a single room with elevations.
Syro: Absolutely. I bought some cheapo craft paint which works well for the basic coats. I just need to keep the drybrushing the same, especially in the last phase.
Camkierhi:Thanks! It is useful to have recommendations for paint for this stuff. I am probably going to make a bunch more terrain over the next while so I will need more colours than just grey, grey and beige.
I have seem this advice about making washes before. I probably should give it a go because Earthshade is pretty damn pricey.
And to your post script, yeah I can totally see that. You start thinking "Oh, I can make a specific mold for that..." about everything. But if I look at what I have made so far, it is a lot less cheap than I expected starting out. A lot of that is the fact that I wanted them to magnetise in a specific way that means I am spending €1.04 in magnets before any of the other costs of the tiles, so I am not actually THAT much cheaper than Dwarvenforge for example (I would estimate about €1.50-1.60 per tile, Dwarven Forge works out at 1.66 plus shipping for the basic set). If you factor in all the labour, it definitely is only "worth it" because I am enjoying the crafting and I have the set up exactly the way I want it and can make them in the ratios I want rather than buying premade kits and ending up with lots of parts I don't use.
I had been considering doing cavern tiles for example in the same system, but I think that might be overkill in the end and I am not sure such a modular system is appropriate for wiggly squiggly cavern levels. Might be just better to draw on my battlemat like always rather than trying to come up with a system that can handle irregular caverns, because I can tell it will be expensive in resin, magnets and time.
I have an absolutely massive number of molds that I've made, it's part of the fun for me too. I like the availability of bits it provides and the control of what is created, just like you.
I also agree about Earthshade being too pricey. Have you tried out the similar alternatives like Army Painter Strong Tone, and Lavado Game Color Umber Shade? I have both of those, since Earthshade got too hard to find and too pricey for me. They work well. For a whole dungeon, maybe still too pricey? Though they've lasted me a good while.
I thought about strong tone or something, because it acts as a sealant as well, but the colour is a bit too strong for what I want I think. I should experiment with some of that stuff.
Spraying my stuff today, a bit tedious because they always want to jump together because of the magnets! While waiting I have been cutting out circular tiles from foamboard, tearing the paper off and drawing stone patterns on. Trying to texture with tinfoil as well but honestly not sure it is taking the texture super well.
These ones are 50mm radius, so they fit in pretty directly with my normal tiles. Planning to do 100mm radius quarter circle tiles as well, because 20ft radius rooms are reasonably common. I reckon if I want bigger, I will just bulk out the middle with a cross of 10mm tiles.
I was thinking to just do these on MDF and not put magnets in there, but the more I thought about it the more I thought it defeated the purpose of magnetising everything else. So I think I am going ot buy some double thickness foamboard and make a base for this with holes cut in for the magnets just like the resin tiles and put some magnets in there as well. The tiles will be super light, but since I don't really have the tools (or skills!) to make nice cuts in MDF I think this is the best route. Planning to prime them in Mod Podge mixed with black paint to avoid warping. I have heard PVA can cause foamboard to warp, so I might super glue the two paper coated sides together...not quite sure. I could hot glue them as well? What would you guys do?