Thursday, May 23, 2019

Converting and Assembling the Mossbeard Treeman: Bones 4 Figure

     How about a bonus Thursday post today!  This past week I worked on assembling and converting the Mossbeard Treeman figure from the recent Bones 4 Kickstarter.   While I loved the basic design of the figure, I did have one quibble with it.  In my mind the arms were wrong, as they were narrower at the shoulder and wider at the wrists.  I felt that arms, as well as tree branches, are generally thicker at the base/shoulder, and get thinner as they go towards the ends.   When I pledged for the figure my hope was that it wouldn't be too hard to reverse the arms and mount them with the thick end at the shoulders and put the hands on the the thinner ends.

     Since the arms and hands were all constructed with peg and hole joints, reversing them would give me peg on peg and hole on hole connections.  This wouldn't work, so the first thing I did was cut of the pegs to make the peg on peg parts fit more closely together.   The pegs on the wrists and hands were large thick chunks of plastic, so in order to remove them more easily, I first soaked them in boiling water for about 40 seconds.
     I was then was easily able to slice through them with a hobby knife.
 
     I then assembled the legs and body, and laid out all the parts to get a feel for how it would look.   So far I was happy.
     Next I trimmed the overhanging shoulder on the body's right side.
     I then worked on trimming the new shoulder connections on the arms (What were intended to be the wrists) so that they would fit onto the body more closely.  This was a matter of trim a little, put it up against the body to test, and trim a little more as needed.
     Test fitting.
     I then got the idea to glue the pegs that I had sliced off back into the holes in the shoulders and body where they would have gone.  This, I realized, would give me good points to put in pins to help anchor the arms.
     So I then drilled holes to insert anchor pins.  I didn't have any wire thick enough, so decided to use some doweling.
     While I got the holes and pins all ready, I didn't actually glue the arms yet; as I wanted to first work on blending the wrist joints with some greenstuff epoxy putty.


      I used some of the leftover greenstuff to fill the gap in the joint where his head joins his body.
  After the wrists had time to set,  I glued the arms to the body using the wood pegs to anchor them.
      After the glue had time to set, I then blended the shoulder joints using greenstuff.


    I then primed an old CD disc and glued the feet to it.  That completes the conversion and assembly phase.  Now all that's left is the painting!
Shown with Sir Forscale. 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Part 2- Nagendra (Snake Cultist) Heroes and Shaman: Bones 4 Figures

     This past week I painted my remaining Snakemen figures: two Hero/Leader types and a Shaman, from the Bones 4 Core Nagendra Set.  Last week I painted the 8 Swordsmen, Glaivesmen and Archers from the two 6-figure Nagendra sets I ordered in the Kickstarter.
       I prepped the figures in the usual way; soaking them in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added and then rinsing and drying. I didn't want to have two dual sword wielders, as I only needed one to represent a Leader for the unit; so I cut the left sword arm off of one of the figures and replaced it with a spare shield arm from a Bones Gnoll, using Gorilla Superglue gel.  I then glued the figures to 1" black-primed fender washers with some of the Gorilla Superglue Gel glue.  I then glued the two sword figures to a tongue depressors, and the shaman to a separate one, with a couple drops of the Elmer's glue each.
New shield arm added.
   Like the previous figures, I first gave these a base coat with Krylon Camouflage with Fusion "Woodland Light Green" to give better opacity to the green paint I would be using.
Oops, I forgot to take a "beginning" picture of these two before I started applying paint!

      I began by painting their bodies with Americana "Festive Green", and their belly scales with Americana "Margarita".  After that, I painted the unscaled portions of their arms with Crafters Acrylic "Wild Green".

      Next, I painted their belts with Accent "Mustard Seed", and the back of the shield with Crafter's Acrylic "Navy Blue".  I then painted their shield, armor, sword hilts, and belt buckles with Folk Art Burnished Metal "Burnished Bronze", and their sword blades with Folk Art Metallics "Gunmetal Grey".  After that, I painted the straps on their shield with Americana "Light Cinnamon".
      Like above, for the Shaman I painted the belt, and the dagger sheath, with Accent "Mustard Seed".  I then painted her robe with Ceramcoat "Black", and when dry, repainted it with  Folk Art Color Shift "Black Flash".   Next, I did the trim on the robe with Reaper MSP Bones "Cinnamon Red" and the dagger grip with Ceramcoat "Walnut".  After that, I painted the pouch on her belt with the "Light Cinnamon", and the ball of flame with Crafter's Acrylic "Cool Blue".
  After everything had dried for a while I gave the figures a complete wash with Citadel "Nuln Oil" wash, except for their sword blades.  When the wash was dry, I drybrushed their body scales with the base "Festive Green", and then some of the "Festive Green" mixed with some Reaper MSP Bones "Dungeon Slime".  Next, I highlighted the belly scales with the base "Margarita", and then with some of the "Margarita" mixed with some Americana "Snow White".  After that, I highlighted the scaleless parts of the arms with the base "Wild Green".

      Next, I gave their sword blades a wash with some thinned Iron Wind Metals "Mid Blue" Ink, and then highlighted the belts, and dagger sheath with the base "Mustard Seed".  I then highlighted the shield straps with the base "Light Cinnamon.    After that, I highlighted the shield, armor, sword hilts, dagger fittings, and belt buckles with Ceramcoat "14K Gold".  By now the ink wash on the sword and glaive blades had dried, and I highlighted them with Ceramcoat "Metallic Silver".
     On the shaman, I highlighted her robes with a mix of the "Black Flash", some Folk Art Color Shift "Blue Flash", and a little Folk Art Pearl "Aqua Moire".   After that, I highlighted the trim on the robe with Ceramcoat "Opaque Red".  Next, I worked on the ball of flame.  I realized I shouldn't have given it the wash with the "Nuln Oil", so I repainted it with the "Cool Blue".  When that was dry, I gave it a coat of thinned Americana "Snow White".  When the "Snow White" was dry, I drybrushed the flame, and the surrounding parts of the figure (to give an Object Source Lighting OSL effect), with the "Cool Blue".  After that, I  touched up the flames with some Crafter's Acrylic "Tropical Blue", and did final flame highlights with Americana "True Blue".
     I finished up by painting all their eyes with Reaper MSP "Holly Berry".
       I let the figures dry overnight and the next day I gave them a coat of Americana "DuraClear Matte" varnish.    Then, when  the varnish was dry, I used some white glue to flock the bases.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed them with Testor's "Dullcote".



      I'm really happy with how these figures turned out.  I especially surprised myself with the blue flame and OSL.  I'm never quite sure what I'm doing with light, fire, and OSL, and it always seems overdone when I'm actually painting; but I'm really pleased with how the Shaman turned out in the photos.
   And here's a photo of the whole group of Nagendra Snakemen:


Monday, May 13, 2019

Part 1- Nagendra (Snake Cultist) Swordsmen, Glaivesmen, and Archers: Bones 4 Figures

     This past week I painted the Nagendra (Snake Cultist) Swordsmen, Glaivesmen, and Archers, from the Bones 4 Core Set; in my ongoing efforts to round out my Ghost Archipelago Bestiary.  There were 6 Nagendra that came with the Core, and I purchased an extra set of 6 so I could make a unit of 10 with an additional Snakewoman Shaman.  Thus week I painted the four Swordsmen, two Glaivesmen, and two Archers from the sets.
    I prepped the figures in the usual way; soaking them in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added and then rinsing and drying.  I wanted there to be a little variety in the figures, so with one of the swordsmen of each pose, I cut the sword arm at the elbow and reglued it, with Gorilla Superglue gel, at a slightly different angle to give a different look to the figure.  I also did this with the archers.  I then glued the figures to 1" black-primed fender washers with some of the Gorilla Superglue Gel glue.  I then glued four figures to 2 tongue depressors with a couple drops of the Elmer's glue each.
      Before I began, I decided I wanted to give the figures a base coat with Krylon Camouflage with Fusion "Woodland Light Green" to give better opacity to the green paint I would be using.  So, I removed all of them from the tongue depressors and sprayed them. Then, when dry, I reglued them to the tongue depressors.
        I began by painting their bodies with Americana "Festive Green", and their belly scales with Americana "Margarita".  After that, I painted the unscaled portions of their arms with Crafters Acrylic "Wild Green".

     Next, I painted their belts, straps, and quivers with Accent "Mustard Seed", and the bows and glaive shafts with Crafter's Acrylic "Navy Blue".  I then painted their shields, armor, sword hilts, bow and glaive fittings, and belt buckles with Folk Art Burnished Metal "Burnished Bronze", and their sword and glaive blades with Folk Art Metallics "Gunmetal Grey".  After that, I painted the straps on their shields with Americana "Light Cinnamon", and the arrow fletchings with Folk Art "Barn Wood".

     After everything had dried for a while I gave the figures a complete wash with Citadel "Nuln Oil" wash, except for their sword and glaive blades.  When the wash was dry, I drybrushed their body scales with the base "Festive Green", and then some of the "Festive Green" mixed with some Reaper MSP Bones "Dungeon Slime".  Next, I highlighted the belly scales with the base "Margarita", and then with some of the "Margarita" mixed with some Americana "Snow White".  After that, I highlighted the scaleless parts of the arms with the base "Wild Green".

     Next, I gave their sword and glaive blades a wash with some thinned Iron Wind Metals "Mid Blue" Ink, and then highlighted the Snakemen's straps, belts, and quivers with the base "Mustard Seed".  I then painted the lacing on their wrist guards with Ceramcoat "Maple Sugar Tan", highlighted the shield straps with the base "Light Cinnamon", and the fletchings with Crafter's Acrylic "Orange Spice".  After that, I highlighted the bows and glaive poles with a drybrushing of Crafter's Acrylic "Tropical Blue; and the shields, armor, sword hilts, bow and glaive fittings, and belt buckles with Ceramcoat "14K Gold".  By now the ink wash on the sword and glaive blades had dried, and I highlighted them with Ceramcoat "Metallic Silver".  I finished up by painting their eyes with Reaper MSP "Holly Berry".
       I let the figures dry overnight and the next day I gave them a coat of Americana "DuraClear Matte" varnish.    Then, when  the varnish was dry, I used some white glue to flock the bases.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed them with Testor's "Dullcote".





     I'm really happy with how these guys turned out.  I decided to go with just a simple coloration on them since I was doing so many, rather than attempt to repeat a fancy pattern on each one, and I think they turned out looking just fine in the end.  I just need to paint the two armored ones and one of the female shaman figures to complete my unit. 

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Assembling and De-Necro-ing the Stygian Barge: Bones 4 Model

     Welcome to a special Thursday blog post!   I was excited to get the Stygian Barge Add-On from the recent Bones 4 Kickstarter, and I was not disappointed in the model when it arrived.  It is a truly beautiful and big ship.
      However, I didn't necessarily want to use the barge in all its Stygian glory; it looked more like a Necromancer's fancy yacht than anything else.  I wanted more of a plain everyday working barge.  I figured a plain barge would have much more game use than one specifically decked out in death-related motifs.  So, the first thing I set about doing was looking over the pieces to see just what removing all the skulls, etc. would involve.  With a little effort it seems like it just might work
All the Barge pieces minus the figurehead pieces and the crew and passengers.
      The first thing I did was to glue the front middle and rear hull sections together using Gorilla Superglue Gel.  I then used coffee stirrers and toothpicks to lay down a new deck and trim in the middle hull section to cover over the bone strewn deck that is molded onto the model. 
    I then cut off the two skull decorations on the front protrusions of the rear deck piece, and replaced them with two round wood beads.  When they were dry, I glued the rear deck and front deck into place.  I then painted the hold interior on the front deck with Ceramcoat "Black".
When the Black was dry I glued the hold cover over it, and then worked on putting together the rope and anchor assembly.  I then glued the barrel assembly to the other side

      After that, I worked on gluing in the rear deck bracers.


    I then began trimming the vertebrate spines off of the rear deck roof, and trimming the skeletons off of the roof supports.

     Next, I glued the rudder into place, and then the mast.  I left the skull on the mast, figuring it looked like some kind of trophy or oddity the crew came across, rather than strictly saying "necromancer's boat". 
     When these ware dry, I glued the roof supports to the deck, setting the roof in place to keep them aligned while the glue set, but not actually gluing the roof.  I don't want to permanently glue the roof until after I have painted the underside.
      After the roof supports were dry, I worked on fixing where the skeletal mermaid figurehead was supposed to go.  I used a bit of bamboo skewer to make a bowsprit, and a little nail in the center of the rope circle to make it look like it was actually hanging from something.
      Lastly, I cut the skulls off of the ends of the railings, and once de-skulled, glued them into place
   And here is the finished boat; ready for painting!   I'm very pleased with how it turned out, and think it will look suitably like a regular workaday barge.  Hopefully I will get it painted in time to use it in our June Ghost Archipelago game.