Cultists

The latest batch are mostly plastics, and all meant to stand in for cultists.

Left to right, a MageKnight figure, a modified Frostgrave cultist, Grenadier’s Grima Wormtongue, and two Descent figures, a PC and a modified warlock.

The Grima figure is very small — he might be 4 foot tall, in scale, if he wasn’t hunched over. The Guy in red is from the Descent game, and is some sort of character type, maybe a monk or necromancer. Skull-face has a head from a GW skeletons kit (which will eventually be showing up) but otherwise unmodified.

The lady in black needed a little repainting and though it’s not visible here, she has a white streak in her hair, Elvira style. The cultist next to her has a head from the Zvedza soldier kit but is otherwise all Frostgrave.

Leftmost, a Frostgrave cultist. His right arm is the archer pose, but with the dagger hand swapped in. He’s holding a book from the GW Flagellants kit. Next to him is a Zvedza soldier body with a Frostgrave cultist head, flagellant scroll, and sword made from a pin and a toothpick. Third up is a Descent warlock, unmodified. The last is the same guy with a head swap.

The last four here are all Frostgrave cultist parts except for the mace-man’s arms and weapon, the scroll, and the torch — all flagellants parts.

Here’s a full container of cultists. The remaining guys are older GW chaos sorcerers, a Grenadier evil high priest, and a couple of WOTC figures. I still have some more plastic and metal to paint — including two more Grenadier priests — but this should do it for now.

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Published in: on December 13, 2017 at 6:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Sea monsters

When I was painting up all those pirates and swashbucklers over the summer, I also tried to pull together all the aquatic monsters in my colleciton. It turns out there weren’t all that many unless I count plastic and rubber animals which could be giant crabs, octopodes, sharks, and that sort of thing. Here’s what I did have to paint.

A Reaper marsh troll, a TSR scrag, and Grenadier sahuagin. I spent the most time on the sahuagin, since he’s got a lot of gear, and the Monster Manual description mentions that they are lighter in front, and dark in the back, which makes sense for a fish-man; really almost all animals are lighter on their bellies/undersides and darker on top, as camouflage in the water. I think land animals might retain that as a leftover from evolution. The eyes are described as shiny and black (dead eyes like a doll?) so I just put a couple of dots of white to suggest a glint. The troll I painted similarly.  I believe I read that sahuagin leaders are larger, so the marsh troll is especially suitable on that count, though he should maybe have some equipment.

Before doing those guys, I also painted a pair of mermaids (clear plastic drink hangers), a merman (some kind of rubbery gumball machine toy) and another scrag.

Not sea-related but I also repainted a MageKnight figure that I assume is some kind of night hag on a nightmare. I think that’s some kind of organ she’s hurling. A little big for a heart … maybe it was supposed to be a fireball?

 

Published in: on November 28, 2017 at 5:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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Barbarians, halflings, and some monsters

Here’s a real grab bag.

A few barbarians I hadn’t posted yet. Two from Asgard (Viking Forge recasts):

This one sort of replaces a figure I lost … not really sure when. But at one point I had this and a similar unarmored and beardless dude which is no longer in production. Both originally came with a selection of weapons (hand axes, swords, shield, bow and arrows maybe?) but I got mine second hand so I’m not positive what was originally theirs. Anyway I had to give him a different sword than the rather chunky one that he came with, because his hands are tiny, almost Trump-like.

Next up is another Asgard/VF barbarian, fairly traditional.

This guy is a MageKnight figure, and honestly not the best in terms of pose, detail, and proportions. But he’ll work as Chaos Thug or something.

TSR’s Conan the king. The axe is a replacement. He’s probably the worst figure in the set — he came with a neat Thak the Ape (which probably was the main reason my brother bought the set) and a decent Thoth-Amon, as well as an excellent  vampiress and a couple of serpent things.

 

A couple of random monsters, both Grenadier. On the left, a Vegetation Beast, from the Fragon Lords “Horrors of the Marsh” set. This was a rather odd set — it had great work by John Dennett, but for whatever reason he must have been ordered to partly replicate the original AD&D “Denizens of the Swamp”. Both sets had lizard men, a giant snake, a troll, and plant-based monster, though they diverged from there. Anyway he’s a great and unique monstrosity. The gargoyle next to him is a bit of a cheat. The wings are not original — I got the figure second-hand with no wings, but also acquired the wings separately in a trade. I think they are Reaper — I remember them making a blister of spare bird and bat wings to customize your own angels and devils or something.

FWIW here are all my fungus and plant monsters, including slimes but leaving out the treants (hah!), in their designated box.

Two more monsters — a HeroClix villian repainted as a beastman or satyr, and a hag (night hag?) from Metal Magic (a MegaMinis recast). I’m not 100% happy with the night hag. I kind of rushed the eyes and they look like bloody sockets rather than glowing red. I can’t remember anything about the superhero/villain except that he is an alien of some kind and exiled from his planet. I don’t even remember if he is a DC or Marvel character. But he makes a good beastman.

As a break from the barbarian horde, I started looking at my halflings, who have always been under-represented on my painting desk. Here are a bunch of Ral Partha halfling militia. Don’t look too close, really need to finish them up later. They unusually petite. Here’s a couple next to a Grenadier halfling. The rest of that set (barring the archer, which has been MIA for decades) will be coming soon…

Published in: on November 13, 2017 at 4:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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More flesh for Frankenstein

Still working on Halloween-related minis, I finished two flesh golems — or rather a flesh golem and a homonculous.

The Tom Meier/Ral Partha Frankenstein is a nice sculpt although the detail on the face is kind of obscured by mold lines I couldn’t quite remove. The other guy is a MegaMinis recast of the Metal Magic original. I tried to emphasize his being stitched together by painting each contiguous part a different shade.

And here are all my flesh golems. The one on the far left I painted a really long time ago, but I was very proud of how he turned out. I can’t bring myself to strip and repaint him, but I might touch him up since the existing paint and sealer isn’t too thick. The other two I’ve posted before.

For the record, of course, Frankenstein’s monster was never explicitly described as being made from corpse parts, and my impression from the book was that he was more of a homonculous created from chemistry and magic.

Published in: on October 25, 2017 at 4:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Some plastic undead

I worked on some more undead — I was hoping to finish all my unpainted undead by Halloween but there’s no way that’s happening. Here’s two and a half:

On the right, a Frostgrave Cultist assembled with the optional undead hands and head. Center, a MageKnight skeleton archer. I got him super cheap and his hand and bow were broken off, so he’s got a replacement from a Lionheart archer (the same donor whose head was used for a larva). On the left, a figure I picked up at Weird Realms on Free RPG Day. I’ve been there a couple of times and it’s a great little FLGS. Of course has a place near and dear to my heart because they actually carried stock of my book. In fact I thought I bought their last 2 copies the first time I went, but my brother found a copy on Free RPG Day too (which he bought). So next time I’m there I’ll have to see if there are any more. Either they restocked or I was mistaken last time. I have also seen all kinds of OSR publications there that I thought were only obtainable online or Print-on-Demand, like The Dungeon Dozen.

Anyway the figure was meant for some sort collectible game, and had a card with him. He was cast in transparent green plastic, which would have been fine for a ghost. Nice detail. I can’t remember the name of the game or company, but I don’t see this on the Free RPG Day web site so maybe they were not part of the “official” distribution? The other minis were also ghosts and ghouls IIRC.

Funny how photographing minis reveals stuff I missed, like the spots on his base that didn’t get painted black.

Lastly these two guys might be undead, or might just be recruiters.

They were also MageKnight minis that really needed a repaint. They are kind of bulky and the detail is not very strong, but that let me give them different faces by just painting them a little differently. Their hair reminded of an old Valley of the Four Winds figure. As I painted them I noticed they have slightly different postures, presumably because either one other both were bent in storage, or maybe something to do with the molding process. I don’t think they were copied from some metal original like many early MK figures.

I would use them like the “Gravedigger” monsters in Diablo 2, who attack with their shovels when approached but otherwise just scratch at the floor of crypts. Roll each round, on a 1, they dig up a zombie or skeleton. I’d add them to an encounter in a catacomb or crypt with a group of undead that can run interference while the diggers keep piling on more cannon fodder.

 

 

Published in: on October 23, 2017 at 5:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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Busy, busy, busy (2) — Swashbucklers

So my brother mentioned he might run a swashbuckler type campaign once the current Boot Hill of Cthulhu campaign is over. We have some time before that seems too likely and that gives me time to start working on the pile of unpainted pirates and swashbucklers that have been sitting unattended.

First up, the inevitable Three Musketeers. (D’Artangnon was already painted long ago.) These three are fairly late Ral Partha — the sculpting is not up to their old standards when Tom Meier, Julie Guthrie, etc. were there. I would have guess they were by Rafm. But they have nice clean designs and were fun to paint.

Next, a pair of conquistador types, also by Ral Partha. Shorty on the left is a Tom Meier sculpt. Honestly he’s a weird mix of elements — Landesknecht trousers, morion helmet, gladiator-style partial armor, and sawed-off poleaxe. On the right, another later Ral Partha sculpt, perhaps from the AD&D license years. Because of the morion helmets, I think of them as conquistadors, though in reality the conquistadors did not have morions.

See for example this contemporary illustration of consquitadors at work:

Image result for codex spaniards

Anyway the guy on the right reminds me of Klaus Kinski in Aguirre: wrath of God so I gave him bugging eyes for that crazed look.

Next up, some dwarf pirates. Left, a Mage Knight figure I touched up a little, with a mortar on his back. Center, the classic Grenadier dwarf thief. I have another of these I gave white beard and black cloak. Last, a Citadel dward sapper. My brother painted this one years ago, and he needed some touching up where the paint had worn off the edges. I mostly touched him up, adding some darker lines on borders between colors and giving him more distinct eyes, highlights, and so on.

Elven swashbucklers were surprisingly rare when I started collecting pirates and swashbucklers in the mid 1990s. These Rafm miniatures were for their Flintloque (fantasy Napoleonic) game. I’d painted a couple of other figures from this set who were in less formal attire.

And if there are dwarves and elves, there must be at least one half-orc pirate. This bruiser is by Reaper.

And here are two lady pirates. The first is very, very early Ral Partha miniature. True 25mm scale, perhaps small even for 25mm, she might pass for an elf or even a halfling now. On the right, another Mage Knight figure I touched up.

The last swashbuckler today was a civilian from a set by, I think either Wargames Foundry or The Foundry. He looks like a middle-aged gentlemen and I can’t help but associate him with Peter Laughton’s Captain Bly (the jowls I guess) or maybe Stede Bonnet.

For context, here are few of the above lined up to show the “scale creep.”

Really the Ral Partha lady is the odd one here. I consider the half-orc a little oversized too, but they are the extremes. I’m actually pleased with how well all the different manufacturers compare.

More to come…

Published in: on March 11, 2017 at 8:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The last of the devils and demons

lastdevilswip

It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to paint any miniatures. But on New Year’s Day I had some free time and decided to finish up the devils and demons in my collection. As you can see in the picture, I have a Reaper Bones marilith, a Reaper Bones female devil, a Grenadier efreet, a Ral Partha “gremlin,” a demon or gargoyle of unknown vintage (recast in plastic by WizKids for Mage Knight), a Ral Partha efreet, and two Heritage avenging angels. Apart from an incomplete figure or two, and some Mega Minis figures that look more like random monsters than demons, those are the last of the demons & devils.

The marilith is still not done. But the rest are finished. I didn’t take quite as much time as I sometimes would, such was my enthusiasm to get a category of minis finished.

Apologies in advance for the image quality — new phone, too much gloss in the sealant, and still figureing out the flash.

First up, the efreeti. Actually these were both figures I painted decades ago but stripped to repaint a bit more aesthetically. The Grenadier efreet is the last version they made for the Tomb of Spells set (I vastly prefer the older sculpt based directly on Trampier’s illustration but this guy is ok). The Ral Partha efreet I purchased some time around 1983 when I was on a family vacation to Baltimore. The three things about that trip that stand out are visiting the aquarium, paddling around the harbor with my brother (where we found a number of dead seagulls floating on the waves), and the incredible hobby shop in the mall on the harbor that had glass cases filled with miniatures from every manufacturer I knew of and many I never heard of. Any money I had at the time was spent there. I’m not sure what other minis I might have bought but I recall my brother getting an ogre and troll made by Castle Creations. I used the efreet as a half-ogre for a while. (all photos, click to embiggen)

efreeti

Next up are a trio of devils. The crouching figure may or may not be an original sculpt for WizKids’Mage Knight line. The guy with the spear is a very old Ral Partha. I couldn’t figure out a way to straighten his spear without removing it entirely and replacing it so I left it alone. The female devil is by Reaper.

3devils

The avenging angels are pretty unusual. I couldn’t find any painted examples in my googling, and they may be fairly rare. They were made for the Knights & Magic line, and would have come in a blister pack with one each of an angel with a flaming sword (like these), a spear, and a bow. I picked these up second-hand from a toolbox full of old minis at hobby shop that has since gone out of business (or at least gone online-only — Spellbinder’s of Kent, Ohio). The odd thing was there were only two wings, and when began assembling them I realized they were both the right wing. So one angel has plastic wings clipped from a plastic toy bird (the neat rounded feathers on the right) while the other took some reconstruction. I bent one wing into shape and added some Liquid Nails to the top edges so they look more symmetrical. They almost look like they were meant to be this way. I love the raggedness of these wings too — it seems like something out of a Terry Gilliam movie. (Actually, the bird-wings could be out of Brazil and the original wings out of The Fisher King, maybe).

angels1

Unrelated, but not appearing here before, I had a couple more minis that I painted over the summer and never photographed. They are a Reaper fire elemental and a very old Grenadier cleric. The cleric (who I always think of as Cedric the Cleric) lost his mace long ago and I replaced it with a somewhat oversized morningstar from the plastic Zvedza Orks kit.

clericandelemental1

Published in: on January 5, 2017 at 9:53 pm  Comments (3)  
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Been on a monster tear lately

That makes 1819!

So there’s the scorpion men I already covered; a black pudding made from Sculpy:

Just Sculpy that had a couple of pens pressed against it, baked, glued to a washer, and painted.

A MegaMinis harpy (originally Metal Magic?)

And a flesh golem — a repainted MageKnight mini:

As much as I love some of the henchmen and men-at-arms I’ve started, I’ve been motivated to paint monster lately, under the assumption that I could conceivably finish them all this year.  Monsters are A LOT easier to paint than people & humanoids, IMO, since they have less stuff.  Also, I find that about 5% of the adventurer minis ever get used; everyone always likes the same bitchin’ elf or fighter.  I should post my favorite “benchwarmers” some time — the minis I love but who always sit out on game night. 🙂

But monsters pretty much always get a chance to shine, at least once.

Published in: on April 30, 2011 at 6:00 am  Comments (5)  
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Hirelings — some specialists

Click to embiggen! Not all of these guys were sold as hirelings & henchmen but that is how I think of them. On the far left, the Grenadier halfling lookouts, one of my all-time favorite models. Next to them is a Grenadier AD&D thief throwing oil, and a hireling, the door-spiker.  Last is an elf squire made by WizKids for the MageKnight game, rebased and repainted. (more…)

Published in: on August 29, 2010 at 10:00 am  Comments (2)  
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Lizard folk

I mentioned in the Snakes post that I keep my D&D figures organized by type, generally, and while I still think of kobolds as dog-like rather than dragon-like, I have my lizardmen and kobolds and kindred folk all in one tackle box. (Not pictured: a few WotC pre-painted minis and four Grenadier kobolds on my painting table). (more…)

Published in: on March 19, 2010 at 12:58 pm  Comments (2)  
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