Mind flayers & Iron maiden

Grenadier Models had one mind flayer sculpt back when they had the AD&D liscense and it is not great.  It always looked like it was trying to do the robot or the safety dance.

Mind flayer from the Tomb of Spells

This might have been the first mind flayer miniature ever made; it is certainly the first and only mind flayer model I ever owned.  When I went to paint mine, I had to look up ‘mauve’ (the color of mind flayers per the Monster Manual) and eventually decided to paint it in a mix of purple and silver, with a red robe.  That paint job did not hold up well (it was one of my experiments with Testors enamels but for some reason the paint did not adhere well — maybe I didn’t wash or prime the figure?

Anyway when I was given a second mind flayer (again a Grenadier), I decided to repaint my first one too and do something about the pose.  In the end they sat in a box for months before I used a mind flayer in my D&D campaign and I realized I still hadn’t painted either.  I did not manage to finish painting them before the mind flayer menace was dealt with, but better late than never.


Click to embiggen

The one on left had his hand opened up to receive a sword.  There was a mind flayer with a flaming sword in the campaign, Bobdobolina, that this figure would have represented.  The one in the middle just had his left arm rotated.  I think they look alright. The white skin on the first looks good to me.  Maybe mind flayers should have color-changing abilities like octopodes anyway, given their heads.

On the far right is a Minifigs iron maiden. Actually, it’s a recast of the Minifig design by GFI.  I am not sure if GFI is still casting Minifig sculpts.  My iron maiden had some defects (cracks and some details not filled completely) that suggest a lack of quality control.  Maybe the caster was in a hurry — a few other figures I bought around the same time from that line have problems too, but since I got them from a third party (Noble Knight) I didn’t bother trying to get replacements.  In the case of the iron maiden, the cracks and such actually don’t bother me anyway; it just makes the maiden look well-used.

Published in: on January 20, 2013 at 11:29 pm  Comments (7)  
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Skeleton recruiting party, all gussied up

I assembled the wagon and decided the horse really needed to be hooked up a little better to the wagon (the arms of the wagon just sort of sit out next to the horse). I added a set of reigns (and tied a bridle!) out of thread, and added strap sover the horse’s back and neck, so he might really be able to pull the wagon. Here’s a shot of the assembled wagon before painting. Naked lead — hideous!

I added a strap across the horse’s chest too, after taking this pic.

Here are the footmen primed black and dry-brushed ivory and then white:

The detail on these guys is much more shallow than what you see on “modern” figures, but they respond pretty well to the “drybrush technique.”   This probably the oldest figure painting trick, but it makes highlighting a breeze, and is also great for fur.  I also use it extensively for silver and steel effects.

Here are the fully painted footmen:

I’ve decided these are the earthly remains of Jakko, Jonno, and Torchy Flamer, three hirelings our C&C party lost in the first expedition to the thoul-haunted basement of the inn at Eredos. Now re-animated as some necromancer’s porters and lantern bearer (no rest for the wicked, nor for the downtrodden, I guess). Jimmo, the fourth, drives the wagon.

The skeleton recruiting party is neutral, but probably controlled by an evil necromancer or a vampire or some other major undead being who controls them through Jimmo’s ring (see below). They are busy with their task of collecting bones to add to a larger undead force, and are often used to assemble undead armies for war. They work relentlessly to recover and collect bones (sometimes assisted by hunchbacked grave diggers of uncertain species) but if interfered with in any way (touched, stopped, searched, etc.) they will attack. But a stealthy character might hop on the wagon or one of the two porter’s loads and hitch a ride unnoticed.  This is a typical party:

Jonno: Skeleton. HD1. HP3. AC 8. Half damage from piercing and cutting weapons. Undead. Unable to attack unless he drops his barrel; then he gets an unamed attack (d6). The barrel’s contents may be some other undead creature, such as a zombie, or a ghoul, or thoul. Or the gaseous from of an injured vampire, if encountered without a necromancer. Or treasure.

Jakko: Skeleton. HD1. HP5. AC 8. Half damage from piercing and cutting weapons. Undead. Unable to attack unless he drops his basket; then he gets an unamed attack (d6). d6 skeletons will assemble themselves from the contents of the basket. 2 full rounds after being dropped, one skeleton will emerge from the basket per round until all of the rolled number appear.

Torchy Flamer: Skeleton. HD1. HP2. AC 8. Half damage from piercing and cutting weapons. Undead. Attacks by bludgeoning with his lantern (d6); 505 chance it breaks on any hit, leaking flaming oil on the target (50%) Torchy (25%) or both (25%) as per a splash of flaming oil. The leaking lantern will explode after one round (as per a direct hit by flaming oil on both Torchy and whoever he is fighting). His lantern, if recovered intact, holds double the normal amount of oil for a lantern and so burns twice as long as normal. It is made of brass and worth 5 gp.

The wagon: The wagon is pulled by an undead horse, Mangey (treat as a zombie but with 12″ move) and driven by a normal skeleton, Jimmo, with a ring that allows his controller to order him and any undead on or near the wagon. The bones on the wagon, much like the ones in the basket, are already partly animated and will assemble themselves so that one complete skeleton will emerge from the wagon per round for 2d6 rounds, beginning on the second round of combat. The wagon itself is enchanted to do this; a Dispel Magic or Remove Curse spell will disable this effect. Otherwise any bones or dead bodies placed on the wagon will be animated after 2 full turns on the wagon, but they will not do anything but await the command of the necromancer (or vampire, etc.) who created the wagon. The ring worn by Jimmo is useful only to it’s creator, but otherwise worth 15 gp. The creator of the ring will be able to scry through it unless Dispel Magic is cast on the ring.

If Turned, the entire party will attempt to flee to the nearest graveyard. If left on their way, they will travel at 6″. The driver hops down to add any bones they find along the way to the cart.

Published in: on May 1, 2010 at 5:33 am  Comments (9)  
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Skeleton recruiting party

I broke down and ordered a bunch of figures from Noble Knight Games a little bit back, around the time I realized how much I’d like to have classic Valley of Four Winds “Skeleton recruiting party” originally released by Minifigs and now available from Games Figures Inc. (GFI). On the one hand this set very nicely mimics a detail from Bruegel’s Triumph of death, and on the other hand it includes a skeleton carrying a big lantern, which dovetails nicely with my current hireling craze.

Here’s the whole set:

One nice surprise was that you actually get a choice of “payloads” for the cart: a pile of bones or a coffin. The coffin has a removable lid and another skeleton that can be placed inside. I’ll go with the bone pile but I can think of some uses for the “spare parts.”   You can never have enough dungeon dressing.

I will post again when I get them put together and painted.

Published in: on April 28, 2010 at 12:41 pm  Comments (3)  
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