Neologisms VII

Here’s a few more inadvertent neologisms I’ve run across in my own writing — happy typos that amuse me. The first one is the least necessary, but I think the second and third might catch on, depending on where you work.

inordinant — (found; inordinate) adj. that fails to regulate. The inordinant official allows this injustice all the time. n. one who denies or revoke ordination. The archbishop will serve as inordinant at the excommunication of the monks.

rasponsibility — (found; rasp + responsibility) n. an irritating responsibility. It is my rasponsibility to keep track of my child’s phone charger, apparently.  

varify — (found; verify + vary) v. to alter, especially after an agreement has been reached. Your supervisor will varify your responsibilities.

 

Published in: on January 15, 2020 at 6:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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Tree trolls

The late Bob Blanc (owner/operator of the company Castings, miniaturemolds.com) sold a number of silicone rubber molds for homecasters that reproduced classic old school fantasy miniatures. According to my sources, he did this under license. Gravity-casting or drop-casting simply does not create castings as highly detailed as the spin-casting used in commercial production. But I enjoy the hobby and picked up some of the molds before the company was shuttered by his passing. One of my favorites is definitely the Broadsword “tree troll” — a sort of sawed-off ent. Interestingly, the catalog image I’ve seen of this particular figure has four digits on each hand, but it is a drawing, not a photo…)

Anyway here are some I made for my collection. I already have bunch of metal and plastic treants shown in this much old post.

The one in the middle was slightly mis-cast (I didn’t pour enough metal to fill in his base, but fortunately his “feet” were cast ok, so he’s just a few millimeters shorter than the others).

For variety, I gave some tops. These are from cheap trees from a crafting store. I added “apples” to two and replaced the foliage with autumn-colored flock on the one.)

I missed one of the unmodified ones — he got autumn colors too.

Painting these was a breeze. White primer, Citadel contrast paints (two of the brown shades) and detailed in regular paint.

Published in: on December 10, 2019 at 7:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Druids

Here’s an assortment of druids I painted a while back, after I realized the same figure had been serving as pretty every druid PC or NPC for years…decades actually.

This first fellow is technically a cleric, but as he has his armor, if any, covered by a tunic or surcoat, he’s always served as druid. His mostly green paintjob was in bad shape so I redid him as more of a Templar in a filthy white surcoat.

Two female druids, both Grenadier. On the left, a magic user from the late AD&D “Adventuring party” set, in green because she’s a druid, I guess. This figure is currently standing in for a cleric henchperson in our AD&D game. On the right, an old “Wizzards & Warriors” figure.

Finally, two actual druid figures, again both Grenadier. On the left, the druid from the “Pinnacle Products” (a sort of reworking of the “Action Art” line with all new figures) Fantasy Lords set. On the right, the druid from the “Adventuring party” set. These two have been sitting around half-started for decades.

The slinger’s cap and equipment are so strange. They look more Renaissance than ancient or medieval. But AD&D druids are weird grab-bags of anachronisms anyway.

Of course “historical” druids probably dressed in white, so I tried to do some in white robes. On the left, a plastic figure from the “Descent” game. On the right, a Ral Partha druid. He should have two companion figures, as he’s from the “Three stage adventurers” series, but I only have the one. Painting anything white is always a challenge, as the shadowing can make the white look dirty, but I think they turned out ok. The ‘Partha druid has a belt of mistletoe, a nice detail.

 

Published in: on December 5, 2019 at 5:30 pm  Comments (2)  

Monsters–another pass at stain painting

I haven’t had a lot of time for painting lately, and the fact that I’m having someeye trouble hasn’t been an incentive either. But I did manage to get a few things painted a couple of weeks ago. The stain-painting technique (prime white, apply thinned paints just pick out details with full-strength paint) has allowed me to be productive in a few minutes here and there.

First up, a Heritage models dragon.

I think this was exclusive to the “Cavern of Doom” boxed game. There were two variants, one with the body cast in two pieces and athis one, with the bod in one piece and just separate head, wings, and tail. I’m not sure which was the first version but imagine they re-tooled it for better casting. If you click on the image, you’ll see just how crude the sculpting is. The scales were probably just the end of a small tube, like the ink reservoir of a pen, and there were lots of joints to fill in with putty. I have another copy of this, from back in the day, but somehow the head, wings, and tail were lost, so I had to reconstruct them with epoxy putty and miscellaneous junk. I was never happy with the result, so I’m glad I was able to trade someone for this complete model.

Next up, a Rafm night gaunt (from their Call of Cthulhu line). I though it would make a passable ice devil for D&D, so I painted it light blue instead of flat black.

Third, Grenadier ghost. This figure came in a small lot of figures I got from a thrift store. There were several recognizable copies of gaming miniatures, including this one. The Grenadier logo and copyright are still partly visible on this one’s base, though the others were Citadel miniatures with square metal bases replacing their “slotta base” tags. So they must be “pirated” copies. There were also a bunch of junky animals I’ll melt down for my own casting operation.

Next up, my favorites of this batch. A pair of Citadel Nurglings, using pennies as bases. I really love the worm emerging from the first one’s mouth. I’m not sure if they had any stats in Warhammer or were just for decorating the bases of larger Nurgle troops. But they make great imps.

Lastly, some zombie dogs from a Zombies!!! game expansion set. I bought a bag with like 100 of these, but only kept a handful. They are mounted on pennies as well. They were a breeze to paint.

 

Published in: on November 21, 2019 at 6:30 pm  Comments (1)  
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The triumph of death, again

I’ve always like the Bruegel painting “The triumph of death.” I was pretty happy to find some miniatures clearly based on the design there, and relatively cheaply. Getting them gave me the impetus to also paint a handful of skeletons from the Valley of the Four Winds line, made by Minifgs in the 1970s. All the images can be clicked to enlarge, but unfortunately that will also make some of the defects of my painting more evident.

First up though, some Skull and Crown skeletons. The majority are armed with “war darts” rather like the fellows in the lower left of Bruegel’s painting, including the coffin-lid shields.

I got my Skull & Crown figures second hand, and had to supply some different weapons for the marching pose.

There were also some “command” figures — musicians with a horn and two hurdy-gurdies, a pair of champions with laurel crowns, swords, and hourglasses, and three torch-bearers.

These were not the first figures to be inspired by Bruegel. The Minifigs “Valley of the four winds” line had a whole army of skeletons mostly based on Breugel (along with other monstrosities from Bosch, but I don’t have any of those).

My Minifigs skeletons also came second hand, and had to have a few repairs made.

Unfortunately they are “true” 25mm scale, perhaps closer to 1/72 scale, while the newer skeletons are in the modern “heroic” 28mm scale.

I also painted a few more ornate Games Workshop skeletons I bought a couple of years ago.

 

Great detail, especially considering they are plastic.

One last skeleton, not so triumphant — a Ral Partha “wounded skeleton”.

And as long as the dead are walking about seasonally, here are a few mummies. The center one is an old Citadel figure, flanked by two Grenadier mummies. On the right, the original sculpt for the “Wizzards & Warriors” line, and on the left the resculpt of the figure for the AD&D “Solid Gold” line.

Published in: on October 17, 2019 at 6:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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Beastmen and goatkin

No telling if I’ll be able to follow through with this, but my master plan is to start getting the vast backlog of unpainted miniatures painted by tackling one type at a time. Here is the result of trying to get all my “beastmen” finished. (I do have a bunch of other animal/human hybrids yet to do, but the beastmen are all vaguely goat- or bull- headed humanoids.)

All images are clickable to enlarge.

 

First up: some beastmen from the Battle Masters game (jointly produced by Milton Bradley and Games Workshop back in the early 1990s). The guy on the far left was one I painted years ago. The others were languishing unpainted until I got more inspired and swapped out some of their weapons.

I used a variety of thinned down paints, including some GW “contrast” paints. The idea was to just prime everything white and paint in thinned colors using the old Heritage Models idea of “stain painting.” The GW Contrast paints are simply paints thinned down with some kind of flow enhancer added to help the pigment pool in the recesses of a sculpture and form “shadows” of more intense color, so that you don’t need to shade or highlight. It really speeds things up. Mixing my own cheap craft paints with some water and a couple of drops of Liquitex flow aid gets similar results. I used the stickers that came with the Battle Masters game for their shields.

The next group are Grenadier “goatkin warriors”. They were sculpted by John Dennett, who did some of the best monsters Grenadier produced in my opinion. The white ones were painted at least twenty years ago, so I touched them up a bit to cover spots where the paint had worn off, and also to correct some sloppiness.

The last group are a random collection: a figure from the Descent board game, a satyr (a WizKids recast, for MageKnight, of a Ral Partha design), and a Citadel “ogre.” The citadel model was another I’d painted many years ago, and touched up. I bought him through Wargames West, an mail-order service from the pre-internet days that published huge newsprint catalogs. I bought several figures through them, even though they did not have illustrations, so it was a bit of a surprise.

Finally, another Citadel figure, meant to represent a beastman champion. He came out a little better than this blurry photo suggests.

And here’s the whole set (including a figure I did not photograph separately because he was done a long time ago and needed no work).

I used a lot of beastmen in the D&D campaign I ran a while back, because I wanted something a little different from the usual orcs. More recently they have been standing in for gnolls in a game I play in. I do have a box of gnolls to paint some day too…

Bonus: another Dennett sculpt, the Vi-Perdon!
I like the animation in this one.

Published in: on October 6, 2019 at 6:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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Devouring Gourd

This time of year you may be seeing small, ornamental gourds at the grocery store. Get one, carve a maw into it, and voila! A terrible folkloric monster. You’re welcome.

Read all about devouring gourds here: in the Book of Creatures. If you didn’t know about BoC, it’s a great place to visit and will be time well squandered.

Source: Devouring Gourd

Published in: on October 2, 2019 at 6:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Denn die Todten reiten Schnell

Admittedly one of the weirder miniatures now in my collection, this is a “Corpse Cart” from Games Workshop. I found the kit in a discount bin so how could I not? There were a few extra bits for alternative assemblies and customization. It’s not my neatest paint job, but I’m happy with it.

As you can see, it’s a cart pulled by a team of zombies who have apparently been nailed to, or impaled on, the yoke. The corpses in the cart don’t all look dead, and they are being munched on by a handful of giant rats (some of them are tunneling through the bodies).

The ghoulish driver might be a vampire, or some kind of necromancer. I have no idea how this thing functions in a game of Warhammer, but I imagine it either spreads terror through the opponents’ ranks, or rams into them like an Achaemenid Persian scythed chariot. Maybe your necromancers can use it to raise additional zombie forces. In that case it sort of goes with the Skeleton recruiting party.

I do like how the cart mimics a rib cage.

The blood splatter was accomplished by taking an old toothbrush, loading it with a bit of paint, and running my thumb across it so it splattered the model when I nearly finished painting it.

While I was waiting for various parts to dry, I worked on some vampires, which I’ll photograph eventually. Here’s a Grenadier “Blood giant,” which I suppose is what happens when a giant or ogre gets bitten.

I was still having fun with the gore effects. The fuzz near his feet is meant to suggest a cloud of fog or smoke. His left foor was not fully formed and there was a suggestion of liquid or gas welling up around him, so maybe he’s emerging from, or disappearing into, some fog.

Here a few other odds and ends I painted recently.

The first is one of John Dennett’s Grenadier figures from the Monster Manuscript series. Maybe inspired by the Mi-go of H.P. Lovecraft.

Next up, a Superior Models wizard. Very clearly based on the description of Gandalf from the Hobbit; his eyebrows really do come out to the brim of his hat! I like the face in the staff too.

Lastly, three serpent folk.

The oldest is a Grenadier “Wizzards & Warriors” medusa. It’s a rarity, being male. His expression makes me think of “Little” Steven van Zandt. The arms are very disproportionate. It’s obviously one of the very early monsters from that range, when Andrew Chernack was still developing his skills.

The other medusa is from German “Metal Magic” line. It’s pretty standard looking but nicely sculpted.

The last one I’m not sure about. His left arm probably had another “sword” originally, but it had been cut off when I got him. He’s holding a shield from the Zvedza “Orku” set. I got that figure in a lot with a bunch of broken or incomplete figures sold as scrap metal on ebay.

Published in: on August 7, 2019 at 6:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Stonefoot’s revenge

The first D&D campaign I ever ran was only about seven years ago. I made a lot of mistakes but the best thing I did, I think, was to have a rival party of adventurers to annoy the players’ party.

It all started with one of the early adventures, where the party was exploring an “abandoned” mine. The party was attacked by some dwarves, and captured their leader. Under torture he refused to give up any information, and one character made good on a threat to hack off the dwarf’s foot. At that point the other characters intervened and called off the questioning, but I decided they’d made an enemy for life. As the adventure progressed the party discovered that the dwarves were under the influence of fungus that grew in the mines, and released the surviving dwarves from their derangement.

The dwarf leader would eventually have a stone replacement foot made, and went by the name “Stonefoot.” He gathered a party of adventurers, who naturally were largely caricatures of the PCs, just as Stonefoot was a tyrannical leader in parody of the player dwarf who often took charge of the party.

Stonefoot and his crew avoided any direct confrontations. They often looted areas of the dungeon after the PCs withdrew to recuperate, and always claimed credit for the party’s deeds when they could. Stonefoot hired several bards to compose ballads praising his group and casting aspersions on the PCs. The party returned to the main town after a wilderness adventure to find that statures of Stonefoot and his party were erected in the town square. And when the party lead a valiant defense of the town against attacking orcs, bugbears, and pirates, Stonefoot spread word that his group were the real heroes of the day.

After the campaign petered out, I rebooted the setting but taking place several hundred years later. The new PCs — mostly played by players who’d been in the first campaign — eventually got to fight Stonefoot and his party, who’d been sealed in a vault for centuries. The Elf and dwarf of the group were aged but otherwise fine (they did have access to Create Food and Water), while the humans in the party were undead — one was a berserker with a “Belt of Undeath,” and another was a cleric who’d preserved himself as a Mummy. It was great fun springing them on the party, who were attempting to break into the vault for other reasons, and a fairly epic fight. It brought about a nice resolution to a long-lasting vendetta.

<I may have planned a conclusion to this draft, which has been sitting for a couple of years in my drafts, but I have no idea what it was, so I’ll just stat out the Belt of Undeath>

 

Belt of Undeath (any class may use)

The Belt of Undeath is a potent item. The wearer gains 10 HP, and will regenerate 1 HP every other round (damage from blessed or holy weapons, holy water, and similar will bot regenerate). The wearer will also benefit from all the spell immunities normally conferred on the undead, such as immunity to Fear, Sleep, Charm, and Hold Person spells. The belt also provides protection as Leather Armor (-2 to AC), even though it covers only the waist, making it especially useful to those who cannot otherwise wear armor. This armor class bonus does not stack with conventional or magic armor, but does stack with shields, helms, or rings or cloaks of protection. The wearer also need not eat, drink, or breath, and is immune to all poisons and inhaled gasses. In fact the wearer also ignores the effects of age, because after one day per year of the character’s age when first donned, the wearer becomes undead, and can be turned (use the character’s level as a guide for the equivalent undead type). Holy water does d6 points of damage per vial to the character, and healing spells do not work. However, unholy water consumed by the character will heal as if they were healing potions. Once undead, the character will slowly decompose, although cold and/or extremely dry conditions will slow or halt the decomposition. Wearers generally end up with the appearance of a skeleton or mummy, giving a -4 Charisma when dealing with Lawful or Neutral creatures.

Published in: on July 16, 2019 at 2:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The relics of Notre Dame

As you will have heard, the fire at Notre Dame cathedral did not destroy two of its most famous relics: a, I mean the, Crown of Thorns sported by JC at his last public appearance, and the tunic of St Louis, supposedly worn by the king turned saint when he brought the crown back to France. It was given as a bribe to Louis IX in exchange for his support of king Baldwin, who had pawned the crown as security against a loan for 13,000 gold pieces from the Venetians.

The crown itself has no thorns, as these were distributed to other sites as important relics. But happily by the power of sympathetic magic, I mean Divine Grace, many more thorns were transformed into  relics (third class) by being touched to thcrown.

It’s kind of cool that human chains of the faithful rescued and other valuables from the fire this week. But technically they needn’t have bothered: any medieval theologian could have told them that real relics can’t be burned. But if you read Burgs & Bailiffs Trinity  you knew that.

Published in: on April 16, 2019 at 12:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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