Monday, January 27, 2014

Devona, Female Wizard: Figure 62 of 265

This week I worked a little more on trying to complete the original 30 New Bones set, by painting Devona, the Female Wizard.  This is another one of those figures that baffled me as to what exactly she was wearing. It appeared to be all frills and bows, but then there was distinctly what looked like a chain-mail skirt hanging down, and her legs looked like they had plate mail joints??? I thought at first she was holding a spear (which was miscast, by the way.) and was surprised to find out she was supposed to be a I guessed it was supposed to be a staff, not a spear?  That made the miscast spear-point (staff top?) a little less worrisome.
    I decided I would paint her to accent the Little-Bo-Peep look of the sculpt and use a lot of pink and white. To begin with, I soaked the figure in dish soap and water, and then gave it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush and rinsed it. I then glued it to a 1" black-primed fender washer with Aleene's Tacky glue.  When dry, I glued the washer to a half a tongue depressor with a couple small dots of Elmer's white glue for ease of handing during painting. So, getting started, I gave the whole figure a wash with some diluted black ink with a tiny drop of dish soap added to help me tell exactly what the details of her outfit looked like.  I then painted whatever I thought looked like armor with black.

This was followed with drybrushing the armor areas with Ceramcoat "Metallic Pewter".
I then painted her skin with Apple Barrel "Apple Flesh".  Next, I drybrushed her cape and gloves with white, being careful not to get any on the armor.  The cape and gloves already had nice shading on them from the black ink wash, so the white drybrushing gave them  nice highlights.  This was followed with painting her top, and the trim of the chain-mail, with Apple Barrel "Apple Maroon"; and her big bow, and the two scalloped hangings down her back, with Apple Barrel "Apple Light Pink". Lastly, I painted her hair with Accent "Mustard Seed", and what appeared to be straps running from her breastplate around her torso with Accent "Real Umber"
Now, I gave her skin areas, and her "Apple Maroon" top a wash with slightly diluted Winsor-Newton "Peat Brown ink. When this was dry, I gave all the parts of her that were painted "Apple Light Pink" a wash with slightly diluted Iron Wind Metals "Red" ink.
    After the washes had time to dry, I went back and added highlights to her skin, and her top, and her bow, and the hanging s down her back, with the original base colors.  I also added some white details to her bow, and the fringe at the top of her sleeves. Next I carefully drybrushed her hair with, first, Accent "Golden Harvest", and then highlighted with Americana "Moon Yellow". I then painted her eyes, and lips. I then added some highlights to her armor with GW "Chainmail". Finally, I painted the heart buckle on her bow with Ceramcoat "14K Gold"
   Next, I worked on her staff.  First I painted it with the "Real Umber", and then the ribbons on it with the "Apple Light Pink". I then gave it a wash with some slightly diluted "Peat Brown" ink. I then went back and added some highlights to the staff ribbon with the "Apple Light Pink"
     Lastly, I decided I'd try to paint the stone in her staff to look like a hunk of unpolished Rose Quartz, so I first painted it GW "Tanned Flesh", and then gave it a drybrush with the "Apple Light Pink", and then added some highlights with white.   
    When everything had dried, I gave the entire figure a coat of Ceramcoat "Matte Varnish", and then when this had dried, I flocked the base.  The next day, I sprayed it with Testor's Dullcote".
   I'm pleased with how the paint scheme worked out on this.  It certainly makes for an eccentric figure!

Figure 62 of 265: Complete    

Monday, January 20, 2014

Test Goblins: Figures 59-61 of 265

As I mentioned in my previous post, the "Song of Blades and Heroes" battle report; two weeks ago I finished the Spirit translucent figure quickly enough, that I was able to also paint up 3 test Goblin figures for use with my Orc warband for the SoBaH games I was playing that weekend.  The Goblins were from the Dungeon Attack set, and I chose one of each pose to begin with.  I didn't want to paint them the same old green that has become so common for Goblins, so I consulted my old beaten-up copy of the D & D Monster Manual, and read up on Goblins.  It said that their skin color ranged from yellow, to dull orange, to brick red...nothing about green.  So, I decided to go with the middle of the range there and paint them a dull orange-ish.
   To begin with though, I prepped them in the usual way; soaking in water with a bit of dish soap added, giving a gentle scrub with an old soft toothbrush, then rinsing and drying.  Afterwards, I primed them with Krylon Camouflage Flat Black with Fusion.  I then glued them to 1" fender washers with Aleene's Tacky glue, and then glued the washers to a tongue depressor with a coupe small dabs of Elmer's white glue, for ease of handling during painting.
To begin, I painted all their exposed skin areas with Accent "Golden Oxide".
Next, I painted their Tunics with Apple Barrel "Burnt Sienna", and the padded jerkin on the archer with Accent "Mustard Seed".  For the fur areas on the neck of the mace Goblin, and the boots of the spear Goblin, I first painted the areas with Ceramcoat "walnut" and then dry brushed with Americana "Sable Brown".   I then painted their hats with Americana "Mississippi Mud"
I also painted the shields with Ceramcoat "Bright Red". Then I did the backs of the shields with the "Walnut", and then all the straps and belts with Americana "Asphaltum".  The Quiver I painted with Accent "Real Umber" and the arrow shafts with Crafters "Spice Brown". I painted the fletchings by dry brushing them with GW "Fortress Grey"
I then painted the handle of the mace, bow, and spear shaft with the "Spice Brown". Lastly I painted all the metal armor, weapons parts, and buckles with Accent "Princely Pewter".
My next step was to work on the stonework bases they were standing on.  I painted these with Duncan "Slate Grey", and then painted the blobs of vegetation sitting on the stones with DecoArt "Forest Green".  Lastly, I painted their teeth and th claws on their feet with Americana"Buttermilk". When all the paint was dry,  I washed the figures completely with some watered down Winsor-Newton Peat Brown Ink.
When the ink wash dried, I added highlights to their skin and clothing by repainting some of the raised areas with the base color.  I also added some highlights to the metal parts with Ceramcoat "Metallic Pewter", and highlighted their teeth and claws with the "Buttermilk". Then, after everything had time to dry, I painted on a coat of Ceamcoat "Matt Varnish".  When this had dried I flocked the bases.  Even though they were sculpted to look like dungeon floors, I wanted to use my Goblins in outdoor settings, so I flocked them to look like perhaps the Goblins were standing on parts of old ruins or an overgrown path.  After the flock had dried, I sprayed the figures with Testor's Dullcote.

Overall, I'm pleased with how these turned out.  I think the dull orange skin really works on these figures.  Especially in contrast to their drab clothing.  And, they were nice and quick and easy to paint.

Now to work on the other 9 Goblins from the set.

Figures 59-61: Complete

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Song of Blades and Heroes: Bones Battle Report

This past Saturday I went to Rob Dean's house for a couple games of "Song and Blades and Heroes". Rob and I decided to hold these game days using SoBaH to give us an opportunity to use our newly painted Bones figures. Like me, he bought into the first Reaper Kickstarter, and has been busy working on painting the figures from it.  He has also purchased and painted a number of Reaper's non-Kickstarter Bones figures as well.
  Rob set up a nice looking table with some sort of ancient stone heads guarding a hilltop.  Perhaps some ancient burial ground I was guarding from treasure hunters?
     For our first game I decided to build a warband around some of my newly painted translucents.    So I decided on a force consisting of: 1 Spectre, 1 Ghost, 2 Superior Skeleton Archers, 1 Skeleton Warrior, 1 Superior Skeleton Warrior (I used the Lionman skeleton stats from the rulebook), and 1 Fire Elemental.   This gave me a group of rather mediocre troops, most having a Combat score of 2, and Qualities of 3+ and 4+.  My best weapons were the Spectre with its Terror attribute and the Fire Elemental with it's 4+ Combat score, and short range shoot.
  Rob chose a warband of assorted Human fighters, archers and a Magic User.  He had one figure with the Leader ability in the mix, who effectively brought his warband's Quality down to a 2+ (Lower Quality is better in SoBaH).
Team Undead: Spectre, Ghost, a pair of Superior Skeleton Archers, a Skeleton Warrior, a Superior Skeleton Warrior, and a Fire Elemental

   It didn't help things that I badly mishandled the warband from the get go.  The Ghost proved to be useless with a Quality 4+ and a Combat of only 1.  It seldom activated, and lingered about waiting to pile on to another combat, which never happened.  I really didn't know what to do with the Spectre  either, with it's Combat score of 2+.  It wasn't until halfway through the game that I realized the way I should be using it was to pin an enemy with one of my other units, and then charge it with the Spectre; thus forcing it to take a morale check (because of the Spectre's Terror attribute) and possibly causing it to flee from combat giving the figure it was fighting a free, and lethal, hack.
Rob advances his troops. 
   The Fire Elemental I sent on a foolish flank march to get at Rob's wizard, but the hill slowed it down to a point where it had hardly got halfway across before the rest of my force had been decimated...which is what happened.  While my Spectre and Ghost flounced around being ineffective with their Quality 4+ activations, Rob was able to efficiently start taking out my skeletons with melee attacks. When I did try to get my Spectre into combat it rolled miserably and lost the fight, falling to the ground.  At which point it was swarmed and dispatched by the enemy.  In a matter of a few turns I was reduced to below half strength, and we called it a game.
My Spectre's big chance.  It knocks the enemy down, but subsequently has such poor activation rolls that the enemy is able to stand up and knock it down in return before it can react.
Next up, I had prepared an Orc and Goblin warband.  I was able to paint the Goblins up quick after the Spirit figure this past week, as the Spirit didn't take that long, and I will feature them in an article on Monday. Rob reused his warband of Humans, and who could blame him after their great success in the first game.  So this time I was tasked with defended the great Orc holy stone head alter from Human interlopers.
  This will be a short report, as I must say up front, I do not think I have ever had a game go bad for me so quickly.
Team Orc: (Back row) Orc Warchief, 3 Savage Orcs, 1 Superior Orc Archer, (front row) Goblin Elite Archer, 2 Goblin Warriors, and 2 Spider Swarms (I used the centipede swarm stats from the rulebook) 
The Orcs, like my previous warband, suffered from less than average Quality of 4+. I had learned enough from Rob's last outing with Orcs (See: Bones Battle Report ) to include a figure with the Leader attribute to effectively bring my Quality down to 3+ .
     So, on my first turn, I get about half of my stuff activated including an Orc Spearman who is pointed up as a Savage Orc.  He gets two successful activation rolls and races forward.  After my second mixed result activation, the Spearman is about a move out front, with everyone else following up at various stages.
The beginning of the end:  the Orc Spearman goes charging forth.
At this point, two of Rob's fighters who have also been racing forward, reach him.   With their better Quality, they roll and get 3 activations each, so they still have the ability to strike the spear-wielding Orc when they get to him.  The first one knocks him down, and the second manages to inflict a Gruesome Death on the poor Spear Orc.  About 5 of my figures are in range to see this and must test morale.  Since most have hardly got two moves onto the table, when they fail their morale they are close enough that the rout carries them off the edge.  So, four end up running off the table.  This immediately reduced my strength from the 10 models I started with down to 5 remaining by the third turn.  Rob, easily enough, gets one more kill on me by plugging my archer with an arrow, which drops me below 50% strength. In the ensuing morale check, everyone else, but the swarms, run away.  
The end.  The spear Orc meets a Grusome Death as his clanmates look on in horror, possibly wetting themselves and crying like babies, before running off the table.
  So, it was not a good day for my warbands.  Rob and I discussed afterwards that we really need to figure out a way to make lower Quality and high quantity warbands work; since in the games we have played so far, the warbands that have the superior Quality always win.  I look forward to our next rematch.

To read an account of the battles from the other side of the table, visit Rob's blog: The Sharp End of the Brush

Monday, January 13, 2014

Spirit: Figure 58 of 265

Having been so satisfied with my efforts on one of the green translucent figures last week, I thought I would try another this week.  So I selected the Spirit figure from the Haunts set to work on.  I've seen a few pictures online of this figure painted, and it always seems like folks leave the body in the translucent material, and paint the hands and head.  Just to be different, I though I would try it the other way around, painting the body, and leaving the head and hands translucent.
   To begin with, I soaked the figure in dish soap and water, and then gave it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush and rinsed it. I then glued it to a 1" black-primed fender washer with Aleene's Tacky glue.  When dry, I glued the washer to a tongue depressor with a couple small dots of Elmer's white glue for ease of handing during painting.
   I began painting by giving the head and hands/arms a wash with some GW Dark Green ink with a little water added.  When dry I painted the body and the eye sockets with black paint.
I was worried the face looked a little dark and flat, so I tried adding some light green highlights to it with Americana "Olive Green" paint. I also tried adding some very diluted black ink to the mouth to help delineate the teeth.   Next I drybrushed the body with GW "Codex Grey".
Lastly, I added some dryrbushed highlights to the black body around the neck and sleeves, and some of the other upturned areas, using GW "Goblin Green", with a lighter drybrush of the "Jade Green" on top, to give the appearance of a glow coming from the figure.
  I then painted the integral base of the figure with a dark brown paint to help obscure it after it was flocked.  After the figure had dried overnight, I gave it a coat of Ceramcoat "Matte Varnish".  When this was dry, I flocked the base.  Finally, I sprayed the figure with Testor's "Dullcote"
Well, this figure has to go in the disappointment category.  The green ink wash turned out much darker than I wanted; and this fact combined with the large almond-shaped eyes and the shape of the head makes the figure look more like an alien than a spirit in my mind.  Also, there is a huge mold line running across the body that I really didn't really notice until I drybrushed the figure, and by then it was too late. (I need to be more careful in looking for these lines before I start painting.  But they're so hard to see on the white Bones and the Translucents)   Lastly, I think I overdid the glow effect, or maybe needed to do it in a bit more concentrated area. It appears just splotchy and not  glow-y.
     I'm not saying its a terrible figure; it's still perfectly serviceable. It's just not the vision I had in my mind when I started with it.

Figure 58 of 265: Complete.

Be sure to tune in Thursday, when I hope to get another SoBaH Bones battle report posted from a pair of games I had this past Saturday.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Labella DeMornay, Banshee: Figure 57 of 265

Having completed the red translucent fire set, and getting some very pleasing results with the last two figures that I painted from that set, I decided it might be fun to start work on the green translucent ghosts set. So I picked out the Labella DeMornay figure from the Haunts set to start with.   I soaked her overnight in some water with dish soap in it, and then scrubbed the figure with an old soft toothbrush and rinsed it.  I let it dry, and then glued it to a 1" black primed fender washer with Aeleen's Tacky glue.  I then glued the washer to a tongue depressor with a couple dros of Elmers white glue, for ease of handling while painting.
In thinking about how I wanted to paint this figure, I decided I wanted to do it as a traditional white ghost, (just like Casper :) ).  I wanted to make it look like it was 'soldifying' out of the green vaporous trail rising from the ground.  So, to begin with I watered down some white paint to make a wash, and added a bit of dish soap to help it flow better into the creases and crevices of the figure.  I applied the wash to the whole figure, and then hung the figure upside down (see photo below), because I wanted the white wash to gather at the top of the figure and be thinner at the bottom.
After this had dried, I applied the wash a second time, but this time only to the figure from the knees up to make the white thicker and more covering on the top half of the figure;  and again I hung it upside down. to dry.
I now made a wash with Folk Art "Dapple Gray" paint by adding water and a little drop of dish soap, and applied this to the top half f the figure.  I also did some random streaks with this wash in some of the deeper crevices on the bottom half of the figure.
After the "Dapple Grey" wash dried, I went back and drybrushed the figure with white paint; heavier at the top and getting lighter as I worked my way down to the area of the figure's knees.
When I was finshed this, I went back and filled in the figures mouth with thinned black paint. I also painted the eyes with GW "Goblin Green" and added pupils with Americana "Olive Green". I then added a tiny white highlight pinpoint to each pupil.   Lastly, I painted the base of the figure with Ceramcoat "Walnut",  to help hide the translucent nature of it before I flocked over it.  After the figure dried overnight, I painted the whole thing with Ceramcoat "Matte Varnish". When this dried, I flocked the bases.
Normally, at this point I would spray the figure with Testor's Dullcote", but because it has been so freezing cold and snowy and rainy here, I have not had an opportunity to do any spraying in the past week. So that is why you may see some sheen on the figure.  I will spray it later when I have a warm day here
I'm very pleased with how this figure has turned out.  I think the blending of the translucent to opaque turned out well, and helped to give the "look" I was going for.

Figure 57 of 265: Complete (almost!)