Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Callie, Female Rogue/Archer: Figure 48 of 265

As I mentioned in the battle report I did for my previous post, I needed an elf archer to complete a warband I was preparing for a Song of Blades and Heroes game last Saturday, so Thursday night I grabbed one of the remaining archer figures from the 30 New Bones set, got her ready, and painted her up Friday.  I had already soaked her in dishsoap and water previously, so I glued here to a black-primed 1" fender washer, and glued this to a tongue depressor with two drops of white glue. I let this dry for a couple hours, and then gave the figure a wash with some thinned black ink with a tiny bit of dish soap added to help it flowing into the recesses.  This has become my new favorite way to prepare Bones that I don't want to prime black, but leave their natural white.  It really helps outline everything sculpted on the figure.
   When considering a color scheme for this figure, I wanted to do something that wasn't the typical elf  dressed in green, yet, I wanted it to be something natural an outdoorsy looking.  So, inspired by the beautiful Fall colors we've had around here lately, I decided to try an autumnal theme for her outfit.
I began by painting her leggings with GW "Bubonic Brown", and the shin and knee guards with GW "Vermin Brown". Next I painted her tunic with Americana "Mississippi Mud", and her cloak with Folk-Art "Barnyard Red".
I then worked on her belts and her quiver.  These I painted in Crafter Edition"Spice Brown". The bow I painted with Americana "Buttermilk".   The two lines of stitching running down the quiver I painted with Apple Barrel "apple Maple Syrup" . The arrow shafts were done in Americana "Khaki Tan", and the fletchings were done in Apple Barrel "Yellow".  Her face I painted with GW "Elf Flesh".  The last parts of her outfit I did were her gloves and shoes.  The gloves I did with with Aleene's "Dusty Khaki", and the shoes with Folk Art "Dapple Gray". Finally I painted the metal parts of the bow, sword, and her quiver strap's buckle, as well as the pin holding her cloak, with Ceramcoat "Metallic Copper" Both the bow's and sword's grips were painted with DecoArt "Cinnamon Brown".
Lastly, I decided I wanted to do some sort of camouflage on her cloak, so it would look like she could easily blend into an Autumn woods.    I first went and randomly added small splotches to her cloak with GW "Blazing Orange", and then went back and added random tiny dots on or near the orange splotches with the Yellow I had used on the fletchings.  When everything had dried, I gave the whole figure a wash with thinned Winsor Newton Peat brown Ink.
When this had had time to try I went back and added highlights to everything with the base colors, and on some of the more prominently raised areas with the base color with a little bit of the "Buttermilk" mixed in to lighten it further. I also painted her lips with GW "Tanned Flesh", and then added a little "Elf Flesh" to it to do highlights.  After the figure had time to dry, I gave it a coat of Ceramcoat "Matte Varnish"; and when this was dry, I flocked the base. I wanted to carry the autumnal theme through to the base, so I glued some bits of old oregano I had to the base to represent fallen leaves, and actually painted a few of them orange, red, and yellow to look more Fall-like.  I also added some bits of orange flocking to the base. A bit of old twine made some nice dried grass.
Lastly, before I went to bed, I sprayed the figure with Testor's "Dullcote'
I'm very pleased with how this figure turned out, especially for a quick paint job.  Luckily, the figure is very simply dressed, and well sculpted, so painting it was an easy task.

Figure 48 of 265:  Complete

Monday, November 25, 2013

Bones Battle Report: SoBaH

My friend, Rob Dean, (who also bought into the first Reaper Bones Kickstarter), and I, have been plotting for a while now to get together for a game; to actually put some of our Bones on the table and play with them.  Rob had suggested "Song of Blades and Heroes" (SoBaH), a set of Fantasy skirmish rules he owned, that he had only played once before.  We finally made a date for this past Saturday, and we met at his house for a couple games of SoBaH. He lent me his copy of the rules to read the week before, and I prepared a pair of 300 point warbands to use: an Elf one, and a Medusa and Skeleton minions one.
   For the first game, I chose my Elf warband because it was small and had only a few Special Abilities. I figured it would be easy to handle for my first outing with the rules. Rob chose a warband consisting of 9 Orcs and an accompanying Troll.
Team Elf:  Sneak, Commander, Elite Archer, and Elite Archer
My Warband consisted of an Elf Commander, two Elite Elf Archers, and an Elf Sneak.    We played on a card table using some of Rob's beautiful terrain and two paper building groupings he had recently constructed.  Since he had set up the table before I arrived, I took the role of attacker, and chose which side I wished to enter from.
A look at the table as Rob moves one of his orcs.
 From the first turn, we immediately saw the difference in our two groups, and how important the Quality numbers were.  My Elves, with a Quality 2+, only lost their activation on a roll of two 1's on two d6,the bulk of Robs figures however had a Quality of 4+ which meant that they would be failing on rolls of 3 or less.  Both of us forgot the Free Move rule on the first couple turns, so Rob's figures entered rather strung out, and hesitantly.  My high quality Elves on the other hand, wasted no time dashing on to the field.  I was eager to take advantage of the disorganized enemy, and rushed my Sneak forward into a clump of woods on my right to try and Ambush the approaching Troll, and perhaps knock him down in time for my Commander to reach him.  Ah, the best laid plans..... On the next turn, my Sneak (Combat  3) burst froth from the woods, and ambushed the shocked Troll (Combat 4) . She only got two of her three activation dice, so was unable to do a Power Blow.   We each eagerly rattled the first dice of the game, and threw....   Troll : 6,  Sneak : 1 = dead Sneak. Oh, well, it might of worked.
A stunningly bad, turn-ending, activation roll by "Red" the archer.  She also managed to break her bow string in both games.  This is how a figure gets a reputation.   She is a new Bones I painted up quickly Friday, to use in the game, as I needed a second Elf archer to complete my Warband.  Look for her painting guide article soon.  
Afterwards, my Commander rushed forth to engage the Troll, as my two Archers took up position on some nearby rocks to lend support.  The Commander performed valiantly, wounding the troll, and dispatching several orcs that ran up to aid it.  The Archers, likewise did their job of picking off stray orcs, and helping the Commander when ever he got a Recoil or a Fall.   In the end, with the troll wounded and several of the orcs fleeing the table when they hit the +50% casualty point and had to roll morale, the Elves were declared the winner.  The quality of the Elves won, as the Orcs were just never able to get any coordinated effort put together.  We both learned the importance in future Warbands of having someone with the Leader quality present if you have a lot of over 3+ Quality members in your party.
Another view of the battle, near the end.  The Commander is surrounded by dead orcs, and bow-less "Red" runs down the rocks to knife an orc archer that has fallen from one of her mate "Green's" arrows.  
We had time to squeeze in  a second game; so for this I switched over to my Medusa and Skeleton minions Warbands, and Rob switched to a slightly illegal (too many points of Personality figures) All-Human Warband.  He borrowed "Red" the archer to pose as a human archer to complete his line up.  We rotated the table 90 degrees so we each had a different side to enter on.
Team Medusa:  Skeleton  w/Hand Weapon, two Superior Skeletal Archers, Medusa herself, the second Skeleton w/Hand Weapon  and two Skeletons with Spears (I used the "Lionman Skeleton" stats from the rulebook to make them a little tougher than the basic swordsmen).
   To begin the game, I sent Medusa and her two skeleton archers and one spearman to the rocks occupied by my Elves in the previous game, while the other spearman and the two swordsmen went on a flanking march.  Things seemed to really be going my way as on my first turn of shooting, Medusa's Poison  and Shooting abilities, and a good roll from one of the Skeleton Archers dropped two of Rob's figures in the third turn.
Medusa and her Archer's take aim, as the Spearman stands guard at the base of the rocks.  Two enemy lay dead in the distance from their arrows...the only two they'd hit all day.
On the other flank things weren't going as well.  My warriors moved to engage the Human Magic User, only for one of them to get transfixed, as the Human's Steel Golem came trundling around the corner.  His metal might made short work of the trapped skeleton, and he moved on to engage the rest, as a couple of the Human warriors came to assist him.  Meanwhile, Medusa had lost her aim, and she and her minion archers were unable to hit anything else for the remainder of the game.  "Red" however, as I mentioned before, did manage to snap her second bowstring of the day.  As the Human Fighters and Golem made bone dust  of the flank attack, I quickly reached +50% casualties, so we called it a game, as it was getting to be time we both had to head to other engagements.
An aerial view of the battle.  On the right, the first skeleton stands transfixed on his white poker chip , as the Wizard shouts, "Kill, Rusty, kill!" to the Golem behind him.
  So not a bad first outing for my Bones.  And I really enjoyed my first exposure to the rules.  I can see there are lots of nuances to be explored.  Most of all, the games succeeded in giving me more impetus to paint my Bones to have more Warband options.
  For a look at the games from Rob's viewpoint, see his excellent blog: The Sharp End of the Brush

Friday, November 22, 2013

Reader Requested Paint Comparison

I had a reader of this blog recently request for me to describe the difference between two colors I used on my Spirit of the Forest figure. (See: ) Rather than try to use only words to do this, I thought it would save everyone a lot of time if I simply posted a photo of the two colors.
So, here they are, Americana "Khaki Tan", and Folk Art "Barn Wood".   As you can see, the "Khaki Tan" is a little darker and a little yellower than the "Barn Wood", and by comparison, the "Barn Wood" is lighter and a more bluish tan.  These were photographed under my Ottlite painting light so should be, given the varied quality of computer monitors, true to their actual color.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Skeleton Archers and Swordsmen: Figures 44 to 47 of 265

Last week I finished up the remaining four skeletons from the Undead Horde Set: two archers and two swordsmen.  I began by priming the figures with Krylon Camouflage with Fusion Flat Black spray paint, and then glued them to black-primed 1' fender washers.
To start, I gave all four a heavy drybrushing with GW "Bleached Bone".
I then gave them a  lighter drybrushing with plain white paint, then when dry, I gave them a light wash with GW "Devlan Mud" wash. Afterwards, I went over them again with a light drybrush of the plain white.
  This was followed with painting the archers' bows and the arrow shafts with Americana "Mississippi Mud", followed by the quivers and their straps with Apple Barrel "Burnt Sienna".  For the fletchings, I drybrushed a light coat of GW "Codex Grey" over the black primer.
  On the swordsmen, I painted one shield with GW "Blood Red", and the other with plain black.
I then gave the bows, arrow shafts and quivers a drybrushing with Folk Art "Barn Wood".  Next I added decorations to the shields with plain white, and then painted the end caps of the bows, the sword hilts, and the back of the shields, rims, and hubs with Ceramcoat "Bronze". The swords I painted with Ceramcoat "Metallic Pewter". The straps on the shields were next, with Americana "Charcoal Grey". Then I painted some splotches on the swords with Duncan Aged Metal "Iron", and the strap rivets with the "Bronze". Lastly, I gave the shield straps and the swords a wash with the "Devlan Mud" wash. 
   When everything had dried, I gave he figures a coat with Ceramcoat "Matte Varnish", and then flocked the bases.  Afterwards, I sprayed them with Testor's "Dullcoat".
Overall I'm pleased with them, and they mark the completion of the Undead Horde set. They were nice simple figures to paint, and it feels good to get another set behind me

Figures 44 to 47: Complete

Monday, November 11, 2013

Almaran the Gold, Paladin: Figure 43 of 265

This week I painted the Paladin, Almaran the Gold,  from the 30 New Bones Set.  While studying this figure, I found myself picturing him all decked out in white armor (as do-gooders tend to be). :) After doing an all black figure last week, I thought it might be interesting to try my hand at an all white look.  I did my usual prep of soaking overnight in dish soap and water; then, when dry, I glued the figure to a black-primed fender washer, and then glued this to half a tongue depressor,  for ease of handling during painting, with a drop of Elmer's white glue.
I began by giving the whole figure a wash with diluted black ink, with a tiny drop of dish soap added to aid it running into the crevices on the figure.
After this had plenty of time to dry, I gave the whole figure a heavy drybrushing with plain white paint. I then went back with a fine tipped brush, and filled in areas that hadn't been hit thoroughly enough with the drybrushing, in an attempt to help even out the tone, and brighten some of the broad flat surfaces and make crisp edges, as well as hit some of the harder to reach recesses.
Next, I painted the gown of the angel on his shield and the ribbon hanging from his back with  Americana "Salem Blue." I also painted his face, as well as the faces and hands on the shield, and face on the armor, with Apple Barrel "Apple Flesh".  I then painted his hair, the sword's grip, the unarmored part of his gloved hands, and the flexible part in the elbow and behind the knees, with Americana "Charcoal Grey". I also painted what I thought was hair, but now think is a hood, on the shield, and armor, heads with the same color.   I then gave the ribbon and gown a wash with Medium Blue ink.
At this point I added some highlights to the ribbon and gown with Anita's "Baby Blue". Next, I gave all the flesh areas a wash with Windsor Newton "peat Brown" Ink.  Then, when dry, I added highlights with the original "Apple FLesh" color. Next, I carefully drybrushed all the hair with Folk Art "Golden Harvest, followed by Americana"Moon Yellow, and lastly added highlights of Apple Barrel "Lemon Chiffon" with a fine tipped brush. I also painted in his eyes at this point; white with  a black dot for the pupil.
Next, I went to work on the metallic parts.  First, I  painted the end borders of the ribbon with Folk Art "Metallic Blue Sapphire".  I then painted the wings, sword hilt, and some of the decorative elements on his armor with Ceramcoat "Bronze". I then gave these parts a wash with the "Peat Brown " ink.  When they were dry, I went back and painted highlights on these parts with Ceramcoat "14K Gold". I also painted his sword, as well as the sword on the shield, with GW "Chainmail", and then highlighted it with GW "Mithril Silver"
My final step was to do the fire on the flaming sword.  I began  by painting all the tongues of flame with the "Lemon Chiffon".  I then worked my way towards the tips of the tongues adding, in order: Apple Barrel "Yellow", Americana "Tangerine", Americana "Burnt Orange", and finally, Apple Barrel "Apple Maroon".  I then went back and thinned some of the "Tangerine", and painted a light coat along the blade right beneath the flames, and along the edged of the shoulder armor opposite the flames, to give the appearance of reflected light.  I then went back over these areas and added some dabs of thinned "Yellow".
   I then let everything dry overnight, and then painted the whole model with Cermacoat "Matte Varnish".  The next day I flocked the base, and after a period to dry, I sprayed the figure with Testor's "Dullcote".

In general, I'm pleased with how the figure turned out, However, I think I could have done the reflective light a little batter, but I was in a hurry to get done at that point.

Figure 43 of 265: Complete

Monday, November 4, 2013

Deladrin, Female Assassin: Figure 42 of 265

This week I finished the female assassin figure from the original 30 New Bones set.  As you may remember, back on October 7th, I used this figure to experiment with applying an ink wash prior to painting to help bring out the details and make them easier to see. (See: )    I did the usual prep for this figure; soaking in dish soap and water, and then gluing to a black-primed fender washer.
As it turned out, I didn't need to do the ink wash, because I decided to paint the figure mostly black.  Since this was supposed to be an assassin, I wanted her to be dressed to use the cover of darkness, and be able hide in the shadows, and so I picked a black and dark blue paint scheme.  It proved to be a fun experiment to do a figure dressed mostly all in black.
   So, to begin with I painted the whole figure black.  I then picked out her pants and shirt with Accent "Midnight Blue", and her scarf/mask with GW "Regal Blue".
When these colors had dried, I drybrushed  the whole figure with GW "Shadow Grey". I then went back and carefully lined some of the edges of her armor and garments with the "Shadow Grey", to help make crisper delineations between parts of her outfit.
I followed that step up up by going back and picking out some of the edges and other highlight areas, like all the little studs on her armor, with Apple Barrel "Apple Scotch Blue".  When finished, I painted her face with GW "Elf Flesh".   I wanted her weapons to look like they had black blades, so I painted black over any of the blue-grey highlights that had gotten on them from my earlier whole-figure drybrushings I had done. I then painted the very edge of the weapons with GW "Chainmail".
When her face had dried, I gave it a wash with Windsor Newton "Peat Brown' ink, and then when this dried, I went back and added highlights with the "Elf Flesh", and a little of the "Elf Flesh" with white added to it. I painted her lips with the "Elf Flesh" with a little of GW "Tanned Flesh" added to it.  And finally, I painted her eyes white, and added black pupils.  I then painted her hair Americana "asphaltum", and when dry went back and added some highlights with Americana "Sable Brown", and some finer highlights with Americana "Khaki Tan".
I let the figure dry overnight, and then gave it a coat of Ceramcoat "Matte Varnish".  When this was dry, I then flocked the base, and let the figure sit overnight again. My final step was to spray the figure with Testor's "Dullcoat"
I'm very pleased with how this turned out.  I think the black and dark blue outfit turned out looking very effective.  Interestingly,by way of contrast, I am currently working on an all white figure, which has it's own challenges.

Figure 42 if 265: Complete