Monday, January 16, 2017

Miniatures Monday (Two photos and some thoughts)

Evil Cleric: Front View
This week, Miniatures Monday goes way back to the very early 1980s and to one of the earliest sets of miniatures that I owned.  I'd been playing D&D for a good while at that point, but the only miniatures that I had gotten were the Grenadier Dwarves boxed set (#2003), so I was pretty excited to get the Grenadier Action Art Monsters set (#8002) for Christmas one year.  That set contained two of my all time favorite miniatures, the Assassin, and the Lawful Evil Cleric.  I loved the cleric because of his awesome demon shield.  That things is just fantastic.  Heck, I even made several magic items for some of my games from it.  In one game the shield acted as a bag of holding that was large enough for the PCs to crawl into.  In another, the shield could exhale wind from its mouth and knock enemies down.  I was fascinated with the miniature, but I just never got around to painting it.  For over 35 years it sat unpainted until recently I decided to finally give it the full color treatment.  To some extent, I guess 35 years of expectation was too much to ever live up to.  This clearly isn't among my best work.  I could claim that it's an old miniature, and the detail isn't that great, or that my eyes just aren't what they were, but the end result is that I just didn't do as good a job on this one as I'd hoped.  I don't think that it's bad, but rather just disappointing.  At least the shield turned out OK, and that was my favorite part of the figure anyway.  Man, I love that shield. :-)

Evil Cleric: Rear View (The Shield!)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Kickstarter Review: Delvers Lost in the Dungeons of Doom!

Amazon, Wizard ,and Dark Cleric

Every year, I institute a moratorium on miniatures purchases, and every year something happens to make me buy more miniatures.  In 2016 , the big thing was the Kickstarter for Delvers Lost in the Dungeons of Doom! by +Darcy Perry and Star Hat Miniatures.  I came across this Kickstarter, and one look at the preview sculpts had me hooked.  I have to say that I was not disappointed in the results. Not only did they show up early (November instead of December), but I love the sculpts.

Berserker, Knight, and Barbarian

The first thing that you notice about these miniatures is that they have HEFT in your hand.  They are solid with excellently sculpted bases.  No slotted plastic bases here, or thin metal bases to save on casting material like companies such as Reaper have been doing in recent years.  These guys are meant to stand firmly on your gaming table!

Dwarf Lord, Druid, and Crusader

There is a ton of character in these sculpts with a bit of whimsy thrown in for good measure.  Just check out the mindflayer janitor.  :-)   In a market filled with miniatures, these are really something special.  The Miniatures are heroic scale at around 35-38mm, so they will stand out from many of your other miniatures, but as they are primarily PC miniatures that's a good thing.  Your PCs should be easily distinguishable from the other miniatures on the table.  They are the heroes after all!  The added bonus is that, being a little bigger, they are easier to paint for old guys like me. :-)

Janitor, Bard, and Alchemist

If I had to single out my favorites from this wonderful collection, I'd have to go with the Wizard and the Barbarian.  The wizard because he reminds me of the most bad-ass Gandalf in down, and the barbarian because he's a barbarian (and he has a mohawk).  I managed to get some of these guys primed before the weather turned too cold here, and I'm really looking forward to starting to paint them.  It's a long weekend here in the U.S. so I may just start today!

Thief, Ranger, and Assassin

I believe that +Darcy Perry  is working on another set for a future Kickstarter, so if you missed out on the first one, do yourself a favor and keep your eyes open for the next one.  Check out Star Hat Miniatures to keep up on the progress.  Also, if you live in New Zealand, I think that some gaming stores are carrying individual figures for sale from this set.

Monk, and Kobold Thuamatologist
Excellent miniatures.  Keep up the good work!  As a postscript, I meant to post this review months ago.

UPDATE: It looks like the new Kickstarter is in a draft state!  I can't wait.  Kroag looks amazing...

Friday, January 13, 2017

R.I.P. William Peter Blatty

Author William Peter Blatty has died at the age of 89.  I first read The Exorcist in high School and not being religious, I thought that it made a decent horror story, but not much else.  His work certainly didn't capture my interest like Lovecraft.  I seem to recall that my mother had been so disturbed by the book when she read it in the 1970s that she threw it away.  I'm not sure where my copy is, but maybe I'll read it again someday.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Now that's a book!

My DCC 4th printing Kickstarter rewards arrived today from +Goodman Games !  I'm so happy that I sprung for the leatherbound edition.  Number 85 of 400.  It is one sweet book.  Check out that awesome +Doug Kovacs cover!  It's got a place waiting for it beside my Grimtooth's Ultimate Traps Collection.
This is indeed a tome.

Signed to boot!
I haven't even mentioned all of the extras that came with it.  The pad of zero level character sheets is amazing too.  A fantastic game and a fantastic Kickstarter!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sunset: 7 January 2017

This was the sunset last night.  6 minutes later it was far more impressive, but by then I was in a bad position for the shot, so this will have to do.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Minor Miniature Mods: Viking Warrior

A Modified Viking

I'm by no means a frequent or skilled miniatures modder, but occasionally I will get a miniature that is almost exactly what I'm looking for except for perhaps its weapon, or I'll get a miniature that is broken or damaged in some way.  That was the case with this one.  I liked the figure, but sadly his axe was so badly bent that my efforts to straighten it resulted in the haft snapping off.  I toyed with the idea of shortening the axe, but finally decided to just go with a sword, as I'm much more of a sword guy anyway.  The base of the figure was also rather narrow and the whole thing was prone to easily tipping, so I decided to work on that as well.  The work was fairly easy, with just some snips and a micro-drill needed to remove the old axe and prepare it for the new sword.  I have to say that I'm pretty pleased with the results.  If nothing else, the miniature will be much more stable on the table.  The original miniature is Olaf, Viking Chieftain from Reaper Miniatures, and I'm including a picture here for comparison.  So, what about everyone else?  Do you do frequent major miniatures modifications or just infrequent minor ones like me?  Does anyone have any tips they would like to share?
The original miniature

Friday, January 6, 2017

Evidence that the 1930-31 Miskatonic University Expedition my have been right after all...

Thanks to +William Beegle for pointing this out to me.  It seems that something strange has been found in Antarctica.  Let's hope that they don't find any cube shaped structures.  Perhaps we should consult the Necronomicon...Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!
For anyone who hasn't read At the Mountains of Madness, it can be found here.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A new year and some new paints

For years now, I've mostly used Citadel paints for my miniatures.  I've done this in spite of the fact that they seem to always be changing their colors, or discontinuing my favorite paints at the most inopportune times.  (I'm looking at you Citadel Foundation paints).  But this year, I decided to try something different, so I picked up a set of Vallejo Medieval Colors from Amazon.  The set was a bit pricy at $52.99, but it comes with 16 colors, which makes it cheaper than buying 16 pots of Citadel paints.  I've heard good things about them and am looking forward to trying them out.  Even if I love them though, I expect that I will keep using Citadel washes and technical paints.  What about everyone else?  What are your favorite paints and why?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Miniatures Monday

Front View
 The first Miniatures Monday of 2017 brings us two views of a lantern-jawed warrior.  He sort of reminds me of a  tidier looking Boromir.  I like to think that I'm getting a bit better at painting eyes, but this fellow looks a bit surprised by something.  The miniature is from Reaper Miniatures and is 03512: Ardellen, Ranger.  You can get one of your own for only $7.99.
Rear View

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

Well, 2016 is behind us, and 2017 stretches before us.  Wishing all of you health and happiness in the new year!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 Miniatures Monday Retrospective (and some questions)

As 2016 draws to a close, I thought that I would do a short Miniatures Monday retrospective.  This year, I finished 36 miniatures, which while being far below my intended output of 52, isn't anything to sneeze about.  Of course I started far more in 2016, many of which hopefully will be completed in the coming year.  Overall I was pretty happy with most of the painting that I did this year, but there are a few more that I wish I could have finished.  This brings us to what I've started referring to as the "Eternally Incomplete Miniature".  The Santa Dwarf pictured above has been partially painted for nearly four years.  Every holiday season, I intend to finish him and post him during the holidays, but I can't seem to ever actually finish him.  I'm not sure why, as he isn't that complex, but somehow he never quite gets finished.  Perhaps 2017 will be the year.  So how about the rest of you?  How did your 2016 miniatures painting efforts go?  Did you complete a miniature in 2016 that you were particularly proud of?  Do you have any miniatures that you just can't quite seem to ever finish?