Saturday craft time!

We did nothing today — nothing ‘productive’ anyway.  My wife did some sewing; my daughter did some painting, math workbooks, knitting, and watched an episode of Scooby Doo; I painted some minis.  We try to have ‘family craft time’ once a week, especially in the winter when we’re stuck inside anyway. Since my wife was a little under the weather we scrapped some major housecleaning plans and took it easy.  Craft time sprawled on and on, with breaks for lunch, laundry, and making pizza for dinner. Nothing recharges the batteries like spending time together making stuff.  Here’s what I painted:

Two Heritage “Knights & Magick” knights.

These two were painted fairly simply back about 1983.  The one with the sword my brother & I thought of as ‘Lancelot’ for reasons I can no longer place.  I was terribly frustrated with how I painted him, and tossed this mini in the brush water (I was about 11 then!) and when I remembered him later and took him out, somehow the ambient paint left him ‘stained’ with a very heavy black/green wash, that actually looked pretty good.  But not good enough that I didn’t strip him, like most of the K&M knights. The mace-man would make a good cleric if you overlook the sword hanging from his belt.

I also took some cheapo plastics and made some monsters.  One is a knight from a ‘Dollar Store’ set (the same one that provided the statues in a prior post).  This guy had a shield on a deformed, short arm, and I cut that off and transplanted a second mace.  As his helm has no eye slits, I thought he might make a good automaton or Iron Golem.  A knight is next to him for scale.  He’s mounted on a big washer for stability.

Lastly, I picked up a bag of skeleton warriors on Amazon to round out a purchase.  They are not great but are a step up from the Dollar Store crap.  There were six poses, and I did not use the ‘archer’.  I just painted one of each of four poses; I made do more some time, or save them to fight those dollar store knights.  A wash of burnt umber is practically all they need, but I went a few steps further and painted them completely.  Here are three of the poses:

The axeman and spearman both look very Egyptian, in terms of their weapons and shield, although all of the figures have a lot of extraneous skulls decorating them.  Here’s the spearman from the back:

The other two poses I used are more medieval:

The only conversion I did was to bend the flailman’s hand so that his flail is in a more natural position.  I did this by heating the arm with a lighter and bending when the plastic looked a little shiny (before it actually melts or bursts into flame!).  You can also submerge plastics in boiling water and then reposition them, but this was easier for just one figure.  For scale, here’s the flailman about to smash a knight:

Lastly here’s a skeleon, before and after:

These skeletons would be undead giants, obviously.  I like that some look kind of Egyptian…they will fit in as guardians of ancient tombs or ruins, and provide an option other than mummies as the big bads in a pyramid.

I also began work on repainting 30 or so Citadel snotlings.  They’ll see action in Telengard soon, I think.

Published in: on February 4, 2012 at 9:52 pm  Comments (3)  
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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 (8)  
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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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The triumph of death

Click to embiggen. This pic is pretty big, and swarming with detail. (more…)

Published in: on April 15, 2010 at 10:55 am  Comments (9)  
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The army of darkness

Got a little tripod for my camera — can you tell? All images can be clicked to embiggen.

So here is the Army of Darkness, an undead army for HOTT. Most of the figures were painted long ago, when I used a black wash on everything and some are among my first figures ever (the general on the litter and his bodyguard are about 28 years old). In fact they were originally intended (and based) for Warhammer 2nd ed, but I’m fairly disenchanted with single-figure basing and mechanics. HOTT is quicker, simpler, and a lot more fun IMO. The core is blocks of Hordes:

Mostly Citadel Plastic skeletons (I got two of their original Skeleton Horde sets back in the late 1980s). One stand is some Ral Partha skeletons (rear left). I decided to base my most fragile figures, like the RP skeletons, on wargaming stands to reduce the chance of them being damaged, and because I have more skeletons than I’ll ever need for RPGs (unless we run Death Frost Doom, I guess).

Cavalry support from some Grenadier undead and two Ral Parthas (converted to hold spears from the Citadel set rather than their original scimitars).The guy with the red hood is a liche and could be the Wizard general.

The alternate general is Napoleon Boneyparts, a Blade or Hero (or a Litter if you incorporate DBA rules).

More old Grenadier. All that yellow? I didn’t have gold metallic paint back when I painted the guys on this stand. And I had a tendency to put blood on EVERY weapon in sight.

The gimmicks of the army are two classic Grenadier figures, the chariot (Knight) and war mammoth (Behemoth):

The whole army arrayed (with both general options):

Published in: on March 1, 2010 at 1:41 pm  Comments (7)  
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