A scattering of links for our first Links of Interest of 2021!
More possible sources of small scale scenery are always welcome, and over on Wargaming3d Wozname has started a new line of 3d printable STL files for 1/1200 scenery, starting with a few entire islands and some castles. Really neat to see people doing entire pieces in these tiny scales that would be basically impossible to do in any larger scale!
On the small scale naval gaming theme, the Society of Twentieth Century Wargamers has a couple of articles on small boat actions in the Mediterranean in WW2, with one article on mostly focusing on British vs Axis and the second spotlighting American PT boats. They’re framed around Cruel Seas but trivially easy to adapt to other rule sets.
Reaper Minis hosted a Virtual Reaper Con last weekend, and while I’d initially signed up for four classes on various painting topics, the world conspired to only allow me to attend one class, a fantastic discussion of “Additives, Mediums, and Texture Pastes – Oh My!” by Rhonda “Wren” Bender, talking about matt and gloss mediums, flow aids, drying extenders, glaze medium, texture pastes, and various other things as they apply to miniature painting. The class handout is available at the link above, the session was recorded and will eventually show up on Reaper’s YouTube channel, and Rhonda has a great website of her own over at Bird With A Brush that’s well worth checking out.
Incidentally, the anchor chain stock photo being used as a header for these Links of Interest posts is by CastleLight from Pixabay.
Rummaging through one of my boxes of random figures last week (as one does…) I came across one of the random Reaper fantasy figures I’d picked up on clearance over the years, the massive wolf-like Warg. No modern Bones resin-plastic lightweight here, this is a solid pewter beast nearly as big as a 28mm horse!
The base was assembled from three pennies and a bunch of Milliput, the warg got primed, and then it went into storage sometime in early 2014 (when the first paragraph above was written…) until just after New Years 2020, when I said to myself, as I was painting other demon dogs and werewolves, “Self, don’t you have a massive great pewter warg somewhere, bought many years ago?”, and after more rummaging in more boxes of miniatures than I’d like to admit to, the warg saw the painting bench for the first time in six years or so, and it was good.
The thing is even bigger than I remembered it being, over head high at the shoulder next to a similarly based 28mm figure and taller and bulkier than a warhorse. The base is roughly 20mm wide and 45mm long, and muzzle and tail stick out over both ends.
Looking forward to seeing this guy loping across the playing field, eating people and stealing souls, or perhaps the other way around! You never know with demonic canines…
Most of the painting is finished on the various Reaper dogs last seen a few weeks ago, and they’ve painted up so nicely I’m going to show them off before they’re entirely finished, which I do not usually do.
The Moorhound got a black basecoat; the other four got a dark brown basecoat. No particular reason, honestly. Most of the texture was brought out by simple drybrushing in a variety of off-white shades, then some highlights all the way up to pure white, and some selective shading with washes. I pushed the contrast more than I usually do and I think it works really well for these otherwordly demon-dogs.
The bases all five dogs are on are 40mm rounds built up from sheet styrene and putty; I’ll get flock and tufts on them in the next couple of days. Then I need to figure out stats for these in Pulp Alley 2nd Edition and unleash them upon our tables!
Every culture has dog/wolf demon things in their folklore. The UK is thick with them, it seems like every county has three or four varieties, and they show up everywhere else in Europe too. Usually huge, black, red-eyed, and inclined to eat people by dark of night or just bay (they never merely bark) threateningly on dark and misty nights.
With that in mind, adding some demonic dog-creatures to my “Weird ECW” skirmish seemed like a natural thing to do. Fortunately, Reaper Miniatures has a whole selection of suitable figures, so I sent some money to those nice folks in Texas and got a good selection of things back, of which this pack of extremely bad dogs is just the first part to be seen here!
The two left-hand figures are Hellhounds, the two slightly smaller beasts in the middle are Goblin Wolves, and the really, really big doggie on the far right there is Moor Hound.
They’re all on 40mm wide bases, just for scale, and the grey figure in the background is 28mm Warlord plastic.
Looking forward to getting these guys painted up and figuring out stats for them in Pulp Alley and the other rules sets we use! Somewhere in my mountain of unpainted figures I have at least one other big dog figure (a Reaper Warg, I think) that I can add to this pack when I find it.
I’m going to be moving between Christmas & New Years so I’ve been busy packing stuff and cleaning; I’ve been in my current digs about three and a half years and the gaming stuff especially has kind of crept all over the place, so it’s a good opportunity for some sorting, de-junking, and reorganization of my work bench. The new apartment will have more space for hobby stuff, which is both great and slightly worrying as wargaming has a proven ability to fill all available space!
Anyway, after boxing up the majority of the gaming stuff and doing some initial straightening of my actual workbench I decided to do a bit of painting to relax, and to work on some figures that have been lurking, mostly ignored, around the edges of my bench for ages now.
Primarily, that mean finally getting some proper paint on the massive Reaper Bones Spirit of the Forest. I based him and added some Blood Bowl-style shoulder pads ages ago (possibly 2014?) and he’s sat around the edges of my painting mat ever since. A base coat revealed that the figure has all sorts of cool detail on him, plants, vines, fungus, and moss all over. I got some of that tonight and I’d run him on a BB pitch without being too bothered, but this really is a figure that will reward some time picking out more details. The one downside really is the sheer size of the figure – that’s a 2″ washer I’ve based him on, and his toes poke over on both sides…
The other figures are a wizard (far left) for those (rare!) times when a BB team gets to hire a Wizard as an inducement; a gnome Apothecary to patch people up and get them back on the pitch; an Ogre so I can proxy my still-unpainted Amazons as a Human team; and finally a big Minotaur that I picked up because I liked the look of the figure but who might now become the centrepiece of a Chaos team from some of the other Bones figures available.
Almost all my painting the last few months has been on the BB Goblin team, so it was nice to get paint on other figures and especially satisfying to start on the giant Treeman.
With holidays and moving I might not get one more post completed this month, so if I don’t, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Season’s Greetings, and Happy New Year to everyone!
(or, you know, Bah Humbug if that’s more your thing!)
A month between posts… I managed more updates that that from a hotel room in far northern Alberta while working 70 hour weeks!
I have been doing modelling and gaming stuff, honest! We had a great game of Mud & Blood-powered Russian Civil War action a couple weeks ago, I’ve had a number of good Blood Bowl games and I’ve got some good projects underway, but since getting back to civilization as I usually understand it I basically haven’t touched the blog.
So what have I been doing?
The two 28mm lasercut brick buildings I bought from Impudent Mortal are ticking along, just the roofs to finish. I promised a proper review post for them and it’s coming, really!
My first 15mm science fiction order in about a decade (!) came in from Ground Zero Games. Very, very nice powered armour infantry, some drones, and a few other bits and pieces. They’re cleaned, assembled and primed and will be the next project on the table after the buildings and goblins are done.
Goblins? What? I’ve got an order of Reaper’s very useful and inexpensive Bones plastic figures in, and am converting a bunch of them for Blood Bowl, principally to start a Goblin team for BB. Just so this post isn’t entirely apologetic verbiage, here’s a closeup snap of a couple of the Bones figures in progress!
The unpainted white troll on the left is the most extensive conversion so far. It’s a Marsh Troll with his club cut off, both arms cut and re-posed, and one leg cut and pulled in to move his feet closer together. He’s on a 40mm base with his toes hanging over both sides, and that’s really as large a base as I want on a BB pitch. Greenstuff shoulder armour disguises the re-posing surgery scars, and since this photo he’s gotten a couple of straps across his chest and some other details here and there.
The orange troll is a Cave Troll. He comes empty handed so his only conversions so far is some elbow and shoulder pads and a cut-down base. 30mm slotta base under him.
The black minotaur isn’t currently slated to join any specific team; I’ll use him as a Star Player proxy for now. Simple conversion, just weapon snips from each hand and a cut-down base.
There’s ten goblin linemen (line-gobs?) on the right, all from either the Bones Pathfinder Warriors or Pathfinder Pyros sets. I also ordered several of the Pathfinder Goblin Warchanter figures for converting but haven’t started on them yet. The line-gobs are all simple conversions, mostly weapon snips and cutting the bases down. Here and there I cut and re-glued an arm or hand, and I cut a few details off some figures to prevent having exact duplicates on the pitch, nicked a few ears, that sort of thing.
The Bones material is really easy to work with, it cuts cleanly and bonds wonderfully with superglue. It can’t really be sanded or filed, though, which makes getting rid of moulding lines and details a bit of a pain sometimes. Still, for the silly cheap prices it can’t be beat, especially if you’re looking for fodder for conversion projects like Blood Bowl teams!
Looking to assemble unique teams for Blood Bowl without spending a lot of money, I’ve been poking around the Reaper Bones collection – Reaper’s relatively new collection of injection-molded figures in a relatively soft plastic.
I ordered a couple of figures from my FLGS that seemed usable in Blood Bowl, just to check them out. I got an Ogre Chieftain, a Minotaur, and a Spirit of the Forest, intending to remove the weapons (in the case of the minotaur & ogre, at least) and use them as, respectively, an orge, minotaur and treeman in BB teams.
I’ll talk more about all three figures in future posts, but first I have to say that Reaper’s online customer service is awesome. I bought the figures Thursday and realized that evening that the Spirit of the Forest had been packed with two right arms. Friday I confirmed on the Reaper website that the Spirit is indeed supposed to actually have both a left and right arm and sent a short email off to Reaper customer service that Friday evening.
Monday morning first thing I had a short email from Reaper asking for a shipping address so they could send a replacement left arm; I replied around mid-day and that afternoon got another email saying my part would be packaged and shipped soon. Wednesday morning I got a notice (with tracking number) saying my package had left Reaper.
I’d always heard Reaper had good customer service, but because I can order Reaper figures through Curious Comics & Games here in town had never had any reason to deal directly with them. I’m happy to say the rumours are entirely true, and I’m looking forward to getting the replacement part for my Spirit of the Forest soon!
Over to fantasy figures for the first time in this LPL for me, with a team of Reaper dwarves. Lovely figures loaded with detail, as you’d expect from Reaper. These short fellows are a lot of fun to paint, although picking out all the buckles, belt bags and bits can seem like an endless process.
I’ve painted these warriors up in almost all black livery, although the main colour on them is their extravagant dwarven beards and long hair. Apparently this particular clan of dwarves runs strongly toward red hair.
It seems “what colours do you use for WW1 Russian uniforms?” is one of those things that comes up again and again. I’ve been painting an awful lot of Russians (of various WW1/Russian Civil War flavours!) for a year or two now, and I’ve been asked for painting recipes in email, in comments here, and on forums. It’s time to do something I should have done months ago – write a flippin’ blog post that I can link people to, to save myself the trouble of typing the same thing out again and again…
I paint with Reaper Master Series paints, largely because they’re carried by my FLGS and the price point (especially when you buy in Triad sets) is better than GW or Vallejo. Reaper has this awesome web-gadget called the Power Palette that you can fire an image in, then extract the closest Master Series colours from. I scanned a couple of images from the Osprey Publishing RCW books and got the Power Palette to suggest a list of colours for me.
I’ll add better shots of my painted figures eventually, but here’s my basic World War One/Russian Civil War Russian uniform recipe, all paints Reaper Master Series unless stated otherwise.
For all figures: Base: Khaki Shadow Wash: GW Devlan Mud (note that this is now out of production (thanks, geniuses at GW…) so I’ll eventually have to find an alternative…) First highlight back up with straight Khaki Shadow.
My Reds get a much darker Devlan Mud wash, the Khaki Shadow highlight, and that’s pretty much it.
My Whites get another round of highlighting with Terran Khaki. Officers in especially spiffy uniforms get a final highlight with Khaki Highlight.
Some Russian uniforms seem to have darker, greener trousers; I use Military Green as a base there, sometimes just as a wash over Khaki Shadow.
The Russian uniform procurement process, even before the Civil War started, was known to produce quite a bit of variation in what was nominally the same colour of cloth. I use Bone Shadow and Polished Bone as alternate base colours, especially in the Red forces. For the Reds, I also use a lot of other random colours – other greens, browns and greys especially, as the early RCW Red Guard/Red Army had enormous trouble (even by the usual Russian standards, which is saying something!) keeping anything like an actual “uniform” appearance!
The Whites had equal trouble at various stages, but I keep my Whites in neater trim than my Reds, purely so the two forces can be told apart on the tabletop!
For Cossack blue trousers, Soft Blue base. I need to rediscover what I highlight Soft Blue with, I appear not to have written it down in my painting notes… I also have no photos at all of my Cossack infantry plaston, which is a shame.
For Red Sailors, Worn Navy for blue base, Leather White for white base, Pure Black for black, Khaki Shadow (again) for khaki/green. Kerchiefs are Sapphire Blue.
The Worn Navy gets a very thin wash of 1:1 Worn Navy:Pure Black for shadows, then highlighted back with Worn Navy and Soft Blue. Pure Black coats get a highlight of 1:1 Walnut Brown:Pure Black. Leather White gets a Pure White highlight. The white stripes on hats and kerchiefs is actually a 1:1 Leather White:Pure White mix.
I’m probably going to go back into my entire batch of Red Sailors and do another round of highlighting on the blue clothing, it’s a bit bland currently. More Soft Blue, maybe with one further brighter highlight.
Hope this helps, I’ll add better photos as I take them!