Big photodump of minis

Here’s some of the minis I’ve finished in the past couple of months.

The smallest one first, a mutated rat that was an extra piece on the sprue for the vampire’s corpse-wagon. Mounted on a penny.

One of Citadel’s stranger mutants were the “Beasts of chaos” series, and none stranger than this “Beast of Nurgle,” which is a sort of giant slug with legs and mass of suckers on its front. In the Warhammer game, the suckers shoot streams of acid. This figure is maybe two inches long.

Here’s the profile.

Nurgle is the chaos god of decay and disease, so he’s all about slime and other fluids gushing or seeping about. Here are two “Nurglings,” imp-like creatures that are tiny images of Nurgle himself. Both are also mounted on pennies.

I especially liked the angry little maggot crawling out of his mouth.

Continuing the demonic theme, here are three Rafm “death angels.”

The “Harbinger of Hell,” which is a bit reminiscent of the flying demon in the movie House. I mounted this one on hexagonal tile I recovered when remodeling the bathroom at my old house. Waste not want not.

The next one is the “Faceless Demon of the Void.” He came with his own pillar to perch on. I went with a more traditional red for this one.

Lastly, the “Specter of Doom.” His base is a bunch of rubble and bones, suggesting a ruined tomb or mausoleum.

Otherworld Miniatures has some great if pricey models. They’re a bit hard to find in the US, at least in my experience. These two are barbed devils, closely modeled on the Trampier illustration in the original AD&D Monster Manual.

And now for something completely different, some Old West figures. These are figures my brother originally painted decades ago, but which had lost a lot of paint to wear and tear, and a couple that were never completed. I tried to retain his original color schemes for the touch-ups, although some were painted with PollyS/Floquil paints that I couldn’t easily match. We’ve been playing a Boot Hill game again, so I was motivated to get our PCs in a finished condition. All are Grenadier “Gunslingers.”

The next group are figures we used in a previous Boot Hill campaign. The two cowboys are from the same Grenadier set while the Native Americans are actually from fantasy ranges: The chap with the big axe and headdress is a Citadel barbarian, and the one with the bow is a Ral Partha ranger. Obviously neither is particularly accurate for any real tribe. Could be worse though.

Back to monsters, here’s one of Julie Guthrie’s trolls from the Grenadier “Fantasy Lords’ line:

These manticores are (l) Maurauder and (r) Ral Partha. A study in scale creep, the one fearsome Ral Partha figure is more of a cub in comparison.

I got the Maruader manticore in a lot of figures sold on eBay as scrap tin! He was missing his wings, so I filled in the sockets with putty and textured them to suggest a continuation of his mane, which was already spreading down his chest anyway.

The oldest figure featured today is this Minifigs fell beast, missing his Nazgul rider:

It was part of their “Mythical Earth” range, absolutely not a ripoff of “Middle Earth.” This figure was actually listed in their catalog as “ME57, Ringwraith and Nazgul.” The publicist must have thought “nazgul” was the name for the beasts they rode. The Mythical Earth range was started in 1972, making this possibly my oldest fantasy figure. It’s hard to say for sure as Minifigs is still in business, and parts of the range are still in production. I think my copy is pretty old though, since it came with a bunch of figures from long-defunct manufacturers.

The last blast from the past are these Ral Partha “trills” — bigger than orcs but smaller than trolls.

The shield design is a total cheat, I cam into some old Citadel shield transfers, which you soak in water and glide onto the surface, where they adhere as they dry. The next two figures are much newer.

The “Umber Cuke, aka Nipper,” a riff on the AD&D Umber Hulk was pretty fun:

This is a much newer figure for the “Lowlife” game designed by Akron artist Andy Hopp.

Slightly less silly is this Wargames Foundry orc mercenary. All business except for the tasseled tail-cap.

Lastly, the largest and most impressive of the bunch. Also by far the biggest pain to finish. I am still noticing details I forgot to paint. Ral Partha’s “The necromancer’s throne of bone.”

 

A couple of shots taken before I finished the base show some better details.

The skulls and ribcage on the base are spare bits from other kits. The long bones are real bones recovered from an owl pellet I found in my backyard back around the time this model was first produced. Some of the bones from the mole or shrew or whatever was in there grace the bases of several other figures too.

From 1986 or so, and it could be on the cover of any heavy metal album from the period. Bikini-clad chick with a snake, tons of skulls, gross dude in a thong — it’s got it all.

 

 

Published in: on February 20, 2020 at 8:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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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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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  Comments (1)  
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2019? Impossible

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything, and I’ve had a lot going on. I did manage to paint a few more miniatures. Some of the photos include a penny for scale since I posted the pics to social media where not everyone knows what the hell these are.

Click pix to embiggen.

First up, some undead rising. I had a bunch of spare parts from some kits so I cobbled them together with gravestones made of bits of matte board. I’ll need to flock the bases some day.

Next up, some barbarians. The two on the left are plastic, from board games, while the two on the right are metal. The big guy is a spoof of Thrudd the Barbarian (himself a spoof of Conan), while the little guy is a VERY old Ral Partha sculpt from when 25mm scale meant 1/72 scale. He’s now sold as a “young barbarian” and still in production! I had an older casting from a box set but it was one of the many lost in a tragic incident I’ve mentioned before.

Next up a couple of plant monsters from the TSR line of AD&D minis.  I don’t remember what they are called but they sure were easy to paint.

Nextly, some GW Horrors of Tzeentch. They should only be pink or blue per the Warhammer fluff but I thought I’d mix em up. A couple needed tails, which a cheap plastic dinosaur donated (one has the actual tail and the other has a leg as a tail). A WotC “ravening maw” is crashing their party too.

The “musician” is easily my favorite. Very Boschian.

Ole Birdy is cool too.

Gotta love Pinky and his asymmetrical eyes.

The maw was missing an arm, but a plastic dinosaur supplied a replacement.

Finally, some random minis — a Reaper succubus, yet another plastic barbarian, and a really old Ral Partha necromancer.

The ole Schnozzola!

 

Published in: on January 4, 2019 at 10:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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Bards and stuff

I’m still not painting as regularly as I’d like, but here’s a few I did in the past month. All still need their bases finished.

First, a bard that I’ve had for about 35 years. He came in the “Woodland adventurers” box.IMG_20181004_231821841

Here he is with the rest of the band. The harpist is another Grenadier AD&D bard (from the “Specialists” box) and the lute-player is from one of the MPC “Action Scenes” kits, which had hard plastic figures based on the Grenadier designs (her lead counterpart is a mirror image though and less ape-like in appearance).

IMG_20181004_232607217

The two horn-players are (left) a plastic Zvedza musician and on the right a Ral Partha trumpeter. Not exactly bards but I kind of like the idea of bard with a huge horn like that.

IMG_20181004_231734716

Here they are announcing a Chronopia bronze golem.

IMG_20181004_231913424

The white orbs should probably be painted as gem stones, which I might do later.

IMG_20181004_232529065

And two Reaper Bones selkies.

IMG_20181004_231847225

Published in: on October 30, 2018 at 12:05 pm  Comments (1)  
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Nagas, mushroom men, hell hounds, and a thingthing

Am I still painting a lot? Oh hell yeah. As usual, quantity takes primacy over quality.

First up, two nagas from the Descent board game.

They follow the old Monster Manual illustration pretty spot-on. Though I didn’t apply the mascara.

D&DNaga.JPG

For scale, here’s a Grenadier wizard I probably didn’t post already. He should have had a skull on his staff but the one I traded for was broken. The round orb is just the end of a stickpin.

Interestingly, Way back in the early 1980s when Dimensions for Children released a series of fantasy playsets and action figures (Dragonriders of the Styx), one of their designs was based on the Monster Manual illustration too. TSR sent a cease & desist letter (I’m not clear on how a sculpture can violate a copyright on drawing; it certainly wasn’t a patented image, but then again who wants to go to court?) and soon the toy naga was appearing with the face completely removed. Original on left, later version on right!

Image result for naga monster manual dfc

I managed to score a later naga in a trade some time ago, and painted him (her? it?) up thus:

Anyway I also finished the last three Descent hell hounds I have:

Here they are with the same wizard and the three I painted earlier:

I was really on a roll with the plastic monsters; here are three Reaper Bones fungoids/mushroommen/myconids or whatever they’re called:

I already had a metal version of the big guy, and I’d say he’s an almost exact replica. Maybe a slight loss of detail on the staff and cap.

Finally, I painted the last of the demons from the MegaMinis monster box I bought some time back. It’s a weird insect-like thing, and while he looks ok from the side, he suffers from the same flatness of other demons originally made by Metal Magic.

They call it a demon, but I’m not really convinced. I’d call it more of an alien. Or a thing. Or a thingthing.

Published in: on November 7, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (4)  
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Human giants

“Verbeeg, or human behemoths, are a race of human giants…”–Monster Manual II

Per the Monster Manual II, verbeeg are 8 1/2 to 10 feet tall, while firbolg are 10 1/2 feet tall.

These two were sold as Firbolg during TSR’s short-lived turn as a miniatures manufacturer, but I always thought of them a half-ogres or Verbeeg, based on their relative size. They’re pretty close in size to the Grenadier AD&D “Giants,” which could only be hill giants (and really are ogre sized at best). If I were going to quibble I’d also say that the TSR minis should be armed with greatswords or halberds, per the MMII, rather than axes.

Together with the plastic cavemen and Grenadier giants I am calling troggs, these and few other miscellaneous figures are grouped together in my collection as “human giants,” whatever that means — the MMII terminology is ambiguous. Why call them “human giants”? Are they a distinct race? Or just humans with acromegaly or some magical affliction?

I include this Grenadier ogre from the Wizzards & Warriors line:

He’s no more than 7 feet tall in scale, but looks like a shaman or witch-doctor for the tribe.

I also finally painted an Adina giant and a viking from the “Crossbows and Catapults” game. (Somehow I unede up with just one example of each of the vikings and barbarians from that game).

The Viking actually fits the Verbeeg description the best, as they should be relatively slim for giant types. The Adina giant is barely taller than a normal human, as you can see below with a Heritage knight for reference. Though he is very stocky.

I also snagged a few HeroClix figures that I thought I’d use as young giants. I think they represent a DC villain. The huge craniums make them look a bit like children.

I was pretty happy with how their animal skin togas turned out.

So here’s the complete collection of Verbeegs and Troggs:

Published in: on November 4, 2017 at 3:19 pm  Comments (3)  
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Fimir

Games Workshop’s unique and problematic Warhammer monster the Fimir has been pretty thoroughly documented here, so I don’t have much to add. I occasionally wish I’d picked up a few more of the metal ones, and when I bought some Viking Forge recasts of some Asgard stuff, I decided the Many-Armed Skulker would be a passable addition to their ranks. I painted the metal one (a noble/hero) many years ago and he’s seen little or no use on the table, but this week I decided to finally paint the three plastic ones I got in the HeroQuest game, and the Skulker, to finally complete a squad. At some point I might make some conversions to the three plastics for variety but they look OK. Point of trivia, the Skulker is actually the first Asgard sculpt I’ve painted. I had a few barbarians long ago that someone else painted well enough I never considered stripping them to repaint, and then lost them with a bunch of others that friend’s wife accidentally tossed in the trash. Not that I hold a grudge. 😉

Anyway here are some pics:

Lots of bronze, since they’re swamp dwellers and iron would rust.

The noble has some iron though. Probly makes the plebes polish it.

 

Published in: on October 29, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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