I love Mantic stuff for the most part, and the Undead are great funx. This is all from a single sprue of Skellys. More characterful faces for sure; very Sam Raimi.
This batch is fronted by Isabella Von Carstein. A great sculpt. Sadly, she is finecast. I wouldn't have purchased it for myself, but I won't look this xmas vampire horse in the mouth whilst flogging it. Hey, can I get some more mixed metaphors over here please?
All together now!
It's gonna be interesting to see if the paint job ties them all together like The Dude's rug.
It's nice getting back into the hobby. I don't quite have all the tools and lighting I need to do it properly but I am muddling through.
If you had told me when I first sat down to assemble my Skeleton Hordes boxed set back in 1987 that it would be thirty years until I finished a squad, I would look at you like... "who the fuck are you and what are you doing in my house?".
Oh, and you are an asshole for time travelling back that far and not actually doing anything productive with it.
But, sadly, you would not be wrong. I did paint a few back then, following Phil Lewis's chestnut ink advice at the time. Bad Little me never finished the box off.
So yeah, I picked up a box of broken skeletons about five years ago of ebay and finally dragged them out today. I haven't been able to hobby in a while and my doctor suggested I do something to try and cheer myself up. Naturally, I did what all sane people would do and the set about sticking together walking cadavers from my childhood. Doctor's orders.
The kit was half assembled, well battered and a few poor lost souls where dunked in enamel paint. Apparently noone told the previous owner that black gloss isn't a great undercoat. The eight shown where straightforward, three more needed repairs and are currently undergoing some greenstuff loving.
The last batch of around 8 are, annnoyingly, missing skulls- no doubt adorning some bases and banners out there somewhere. I didn't want to waste all the remaining bodies, so I hacked off their neck stubs and drilled a socket in each ready to accept a wire. I am sure I can find enough interesting helmets in my kitbox over the coming months and maybe even sculpt some faceless wraith hoods for them.
To wrap up this warband, I made up the Warhammer Necromancer from my xmas haul box. I actually liked the model as-is, so the only change I made was to shave off the edges of the square base and mount him on a Rendra base. I was also thinking I may swap his head for something a little more feminine.
His little igor sidekick is a Gnoblar from the Ogres kit, with a head from a Flagellant. I just shaved off the neck stubs and used a ball of Greenstuff sandwhiched between some superglue to pose the head- then when dry filled in the remaining gaps with putty.
I will top off the skellys with some Marauder Minis shields I set aside for them.
I am going to prime these white for a change. My friend Steven has donated me a big box of cote d'arms paints so I can return to painting. All mine are in storage either in Melbourne or Sydney. Which is fucking annoying. I keep getting stranded away from my stuff. I am gonna be leaving limbs behind at this rate.
Wildsides So I just noticed that the entire wildside page is missing entirely from this build.
It works like this- on a 'wild' roll, your model performs its wildside action (bottom left of card).
A hero reads a wild as 2 pips. A leader as 3 pips. Rolling a wild is a good thing for them.
Any model within near range of a hero or leader is inspired and instead read their wild as 2 or 3 pips respectively.
A model within far range of a leader who can draw line of sight to them also gets 2 pips on a wild as they are under command of that leader. Downed Leaders and Heroes do not inspire or command, funnily enough.
Sample wildsides provided in demo are;
Lock up - model loses activation. If engaged in combat, disengage- if you cannot do so, roll 1 critical hit die.
Vanish- model dissapears back to the dark realm it came from, cackling as it goes.
Blind Fury- make 1 move action towards nearest model and attack it- friend or foe. If two or more models are equal distance, Roll die to determine which player gets to decide which is chosen- on a hit- owning player, on a miss, opponent.
The full rules have dozens of wildside options, each giving you more points the more terrible! Advanced rules include terror- which blocks inspiration and command, standard bearers and musicians which chain command from a leader to distant models and spells which impose wildsides on heroes and leaders.
If a weapon is marked as 'reload', place a reload counter next to the model or on its profile card.
A reload action takes 1 pip.
Some weapons require 2 pips worth of reloads- they get two reload counters on their card.
When any ranged weapon rolls zero hit dice, it has jammed or it requires some attention before it can fire again. Place a reload counter on it.
Its buggy, with typos and yeah... I don't care because it is 3am and I jump on a bus in a few hours to get to Sydney. Here... take it, print it, play it, have fun and don't whinge about the crappiness until I get a chance to fix it. Yes, the forces are not balanced- I didn't have time to set up the scenery cut outs and did I mention I am exhausted? bkwgfequwegfuwegfouwqegfuwgqefwannasleeeeep
Proper, proof read version coming after GX. Promise X
Don't ya just love ordering a bunch of minis online, then losing your job the next day? Yep.
Oh well. I am getting used to bad things happening. It's really toughened me up. I am like a honeybadger. A big, dykey honeybadger. In a ninja gi. Probably with an eighties film gang member headband. I am now so tough, I could be a backing dancer in Michael Jackson's Bad. Scary.
The good news is that now I have time for Darkling Games and my Kingsminis video channel. I am back at The Arcade and things are looking great. One day a week is full time on Darkling minis orders, sculpts and kickstarters, one day is dedicated to Kings minis TV and it's Patreon rewards- including Skulldred and Stardred betas. The rest of the week will be focused on video games asset creation and commissions. I officially open for business next monday.
Heroclix. Got some. Mainly for my inner ten year old who was so dissapointed by Iron Fist I needed to give her a decent Marvel fix.
First things first, off with those huge pointless bases. Shazam!
A butter knife is a great way to pop these off. A katana, not so much. Good god they hold katanas badly in Iron Fist. *sigh*
As you can viddy, my droogs- Kingpin got himself some security. Well, they are actually gonna be backup for the two IMEF minis from PAXAus. They will probably spend most of their table time blasting the brains out of walking dead and project Z zombies. I have to convert them, I hate fielding identical minis.
Heroclix have some pretty cool sculpts, but as I am not a huge comic nerd I tend to only know the characters from my teen years- and that means Secret Wars I era. Most clix are... mmmmm less than ideal for repainting. The clix game itself holds no interest for me either, but the challenge of making a prepaint look good? Well, that I can get behind. I have buckets of DnD, Horrorclix and Starwars prepaints in my lock up, so you will no doubt see me tackle them at some point.
I think I am gonna recast this JJ in the role of a cthulu character. He looks particularly at home with these new Wizkids' Blink Dogs. $7 for two blink dogs? Hell yeah.
Yes, I buy all the dog miniatures. All of them. Frikkin' Wyrd know this. Next time I have M£N€¥$, I have to catch up on my Malifaux undead dog collection. Giant undead dog with a gut full of rats? Yes please. So yes.
I don't know what's wrong with me either.
Doc Ock is my favourite. A touchy feely Roy Orbison in pajamas? Sold!
Venom? Looks like he belongs at a KISS concert. Or roadkill. I dunno. I will figure out what to do with him later.
Look, I will be honest with ya... I got the set for Ock, JJ and Kingpin. The Spidey looks like he is soooo bored, and it is rubbing off on... er... Gobbey... Greenie? Whatever. When I think Spiderman, I think dynamic mid swing or crouching. This one looks like he is handing a bus ticket to an inspector.
I wonder who will get the Marvel license after Knight? Kinda hoping Mantic after their Walking Dead triumph. I would snap up some of their figures but... well, snap is the optimal word for their products (yes I am still pissed about my Harley mini snapping at the stupidly thin ankles) and I can't justify $25 for one Racoon when I can get a box of 25 zombies for $50.
Welp, gonna love painting these up. Just need my paints back from my former work.
Ged doo dah choappah! Remember that big assed bag of imperial guard Cadians I got from a bargain bin a while back?
Welp, did a quick test peice painting directly over the original paint job.
I started off with an overbrush of Cryx Base to flatten out the original glossy finish. A wash of army painter dark, then I dusted up through the dirt colours of my base. I forget their names. Dirty McDirt and Soily McSoil, with a Tyrant Skull finish.
The skin was done using a neat trick I have been using lately- by mixing the shading wash into the base paint colour coat, it both flows more easily and ties tighter to the shade. In this case Reikland Flesh mixed in with a VMC flesh that shall remain anonymous for... uh... reasons. Look, I haven't slept much lately.
I am tempted to fix the arms seams by building over those gloriously ridonkulous deltoids with a little green stuff- however as my sculpty kit is packed away, that will have to wait.
Overall, he was fast and fun to paint. I have a small squad picked from the bag that I will do for now so I can use them to play Stardred with. The rest will have a lovely bath in dettol to easy away their pains. They may become parts for freakish cultists. Because that's how I roll.
My Cryx army arrived today. Not a bad paint job on them at all- however they are destined for tutorial video fodder- so they too shall know the delicious kiss of dettol.
Okay- gonna go bang gorgeous chicks in a satanic blood orgy of wanton destruction the likes of which makes angels tremble. Kidding. It's cup of tea and bed for me. X
I discovered there is a Bunnings Hardware superstore next to a Petbarn superstore next to a Craft Superstore. I am in this little nirvana now. I am a happy little warcrafter.
Seriously, if you don't make use of these stores in your mini adventures you are a fool. I pity you. Hell, Mr. T probably pities you.
An example of the wonders to be found within these treasure troves would be my new painting handles. Look, behold... gander even.
It's a lightweight, flat bottomed, flat topped ball just the right size for a human or even a wargamer's hand.
I have cunningly clad this bad boy in bluetac to make with the 'gripping of the miniature'.
This is especially handy now I switched to minimal bases. Slippery little suckers.
Another handy thing you can get are these precut balsa wood blocks, which are ideal for sculpting miniatures on. You can stick the foot wires into them easier than cork, and they rest comfortably in your palm, so your fingers don't get tired quickly. My advice is to wrap them in masking tape to stop them getting your hands and hobby environment dusty. I cover the tops in a fine layer of milliput or apoxie, which I sand to get a smooth, even surface. This makes sculpting the feet flush much easier, and you can sculpt little details like faces and shields on them before moving them to the main figure.
I will be doing a video on these tricks and a PDF for my patreon supporters shortly.
Any Cryx fans in the house? I used some of my Patreon money to grab this Cryx army off ebay for a bargain $200. Merci beaucoup for the support folks. This is going to be something to use in my tutorials.
I already have a bunch of these in storage, so I don't feel uneasy converting doubles. And lo, there shall be much converting and buggery with this little lot.
Anything you would like to see done with them, comments below!
I have a problem. You know it. I know it. So let's talk about it.
It's about... you know... *whispers* down there.
My basing obsession. For some reason, I have obsessive rebasing syndrome.
Unlike The Pixies, I never wanted to grow, grow up to be, be a debaser (debaser), debaser (debaser), but I do seem to rebase my minis a lot (a lot).
My base instincts have always been to have a consistent look and feel. However my mind just wants to explore new things. These two are obviously at odds.
I am doomed.
Let's look at the journey.
I kicked off well enough. All my minis where on hex bases. This gave them a lovely retro 80's feel, and made my figures stand out from the norm. Hex bases where sold with Talisman and DnD minis back in the 80's. It was a cool thing to have when everyone else was on square bases.
I used a scheme based on my fave 80's figures at the time. Greep green followed by lime drybrushing and bestial brown edges to suggest the turf has been hacked out around the figure.
I used pva mixed with sand to build up the base- it looked great but took a while to do. Later I found it would crumble as the pva underneath wasn't able to get air to set. It would chip and crack.
As my collection grew the downside began to become apparent. Hexes are a tad awkward to play with in open skirmish. They also force the model to face a certain way when you arrange them on display. I started experimenting with other types.
Enter lipped 30mm plastic bases! These where easy to get hold of at my local shop and gave the minis a trophy like display quality.
See the epic quality the lipped base gives?
The problem I had was you can't pick them up easily by the base. It did make skirmish look cool in open ground though.
We also discovered that it was a pain playing DnD with 30mm bases on their inch grids though. The following is my Dnd character in her early Citadel 80's form. When all the other players used Warmahordes minis on 30 lipped bases - she seemed child like and fell over a lot in comparison. I upgraded her to a her more epic looking Reaper minis version. Both models are converted slightly to match. The DM (talented Artist and teacher Epona Schweer- google them!) was running a campaign set in the frozen north. I made my bases reflect this.
Meanwhile, I had picked up a LOT of 40k models. Was I gonna base them on normal 25mm GW bases? Fuck no. I cast up my own deep lipped bases with toppers.
I couldn't make enough bases quickly enough, the fumes and cost started to get to me. It wasn't gonna work. So I bought resin ones.
But drilling and pinning hundreds of models onto expensive bases? Nope. *sigh*
I needed cheap and fast.
So I swung the other way.
You want cheap and fast, you go MDF.
The downside with MDF is all the sanding to get the edges to look good. See?
This is what an unsanded edge looks like, and uhg... I don't love it.
I was also experimenting with flocks and mud at the time. The results where... well, they annoyed me. They looked dry and bland.
I felt restless.
The next pic shows me becoming obsessed with low profile bases. I based these ones on Aly Morrison's 80's Eavy Metal article where he was using 2p pennys before slotta bases appeared. These are laser cut mdf.
I tried super low profile bases so I didn't have to sand them, but on heavy models these cracked too easily. Damn. Next.
Enter Impact! Minis 30mm bases...
Not as epic, so I found myself building up and dressing the tops a lot, and without the lip there is more area to decorate. On some minis it just made them look lost.
The giant here is mounted on a poker chip. These are cheap as chips. Literally. This stuff writes itself.
Okay, my questionable comical genius aside- things changed again. In very huge ways. This was about the time I announced to you lot that I had been in transition after discovering I was intersex.
This is relevant because with the correct amount of estrogens in my system, my colour perception and relationship to colour changed. Ever wondered why chicks dig flowers so much? You should see intense colours like magenta on this side- it's an experience.
I wanted more subtlety and more pop all at once. New eyes. New me. Time for a new look.
I shifted from greens to more earthy neautral tones for my bases.
This style indeed made my colours pop and allowed for more subtle, muted tones. It allowed the miniature to shine more.
I then found a lovely rich mossy blue-green which I got carried away with. Again, colours are richer for me now, I loved the mossy dungeons this theme summoned in my mind.
Rebasing all these classic minis to 30mm plastics had one drawback- 30mm takes up a lot of room. And I have a lot of miniatures. Placing them in scenery often doesn't work. Okay, maybe I need to rebase some to 25mm round bevels...
Better, richer soils- this time closer together. I wasn't in love, but it would do.
One option I hadn't tried? Washers!
Washers where just great! I loved them. The weight, the stability, the speed to rebase, the cheapness and the ability to place them in dense scenery.
Downsides? Yeah- my display cases started to creak. The weight adds up quickly, and paint chips off easily.
About that time Renedra came in with their range of low profile, cheap range. I loved that I didn't have to decorate them, and I could get through a lot. At the time they didn't make 30mm, so I went with 25mm.
Then they came out with 30m and I jumped on those.
These Cryx are mounted on Renedra 30mm bases, keeping them Warmahordes legal, but giving mine a distinct difference to most. I liked it.
Oh. I had to base this mini in the style of AD&D battlesys. I just had to.
Anyway, back to the game table. Games Workshop look my advice and switched to 30mm beveled. Only, to be pricks they made it 32mm.
So now my collection looked like every Age of Sigmar gamers. I wanted to be smart and different dammit.
At this stage I broke up with my life partner, my computer blew up, I ended up without work, homeless and seperated from my minis. I had to start again from scratch in a new city.
My therapist told me to get back into painting because I needed to relax. When life snowballs so badly, hours of escape is a good thing.
I used GW bases because that's all I could get easily in small amounts. Bulk buys where out of my budget. Over the following year, friends donated minis and I collected cheap Bones figures to keep me distracted. At the end of the year, I had a couple of boxes of figures in various stages.
Now I have a new job, and life is slowly returning to a place where I can at least see stable off in the distance. I am starting to get time to assemble and paint the figures I have. I grabbed a couple of boxed sets to enjoy.
Focusing on consistency I went to GW bases... but...
It's not sitting right. They are expensive, fat and not great with scenery. I just did all these walking dead minis and I feel that it was the wrong decision.
This obsession has to stop. I need to stop running around in little 30mm circles.
To break an obsession, I need to refocus. I want to refocus on the minis themselves. So I want to take away the base as a problem. Solve my problems the best I can, let go of what I cannot fiz and just move forward.
So last night I did research and had a lot of thinky type thoughts about my obsessive behaviour, and how I can control and curb it. This article is a child of that, and I am putting it here instead of my subscriber blog because I want everyone who faces this sort of issue to grow with me.
Here is what I came up with. This is my solution. What I am moving forward with.
I am going with low profile Renedra bases because they are llight, cheap, commonly available, stocked in Australia, easy to dress and assemble. Work with scenery and fit the dnd grids. They come in all the sizes I need. They are also the same size as washers, so models that need extra weight can use those.
It's going to be Renedra and washers from here on in.
In regards to colour schemes, I decided to split the difference between all my styles and go for a muted dusty soil. This will work for dungeons, towns, post apocalypse and future. I can also use mosses, red washes and tufts to make different looks- but tie them all together with a consistent soil.
Here are my Uruks-as-ghouls with 30mm Renedra. I may go with 25mm from here on in if the model fits, and 30 when it needs the room.
I am also not going to rebase models until it is painting time or they are needed for a game, just to keep my sanity.
So I am gonna try a few figures today and see how I feel.
My Post Apocalypse roll continues with the addition of the Walking Dead Scenery pack.
Look, in a fucked up kind of way I feel like I have explain my purchase to you. Are you comfortable being my ersatz financial guilt? Good.
So... I popped into the store for paints only, set on filling some critical gaps in my palette- but I just had to grab these now because they fly off the shelves. They restocked today. I timed it well.
I can see why they sell fast. It's a durable kit that is going to prove itself usefull for many a game.
It's a no-brainer (geddit?). This is gonna be a fantastic addition to my table. Once I get through this I am tempted to grab some Reaper Bones dumpsters and shipping containers. It's all going to be glorious.
Here are some Wizkid's Deep Cuts minis on GW 32mm bases for scale. Oh, and BTW- it's finally good to see a product that sits between prepaints and hobbyist minis. These are like Bones plus- sharper details, firmer material, durable and light. Plus they come primed in VMC. Had they had modular head swaps they would have been an 8/10 for me- also losing a point for teeny thinness which is hard to read on the gaming table and a distinct lack of personality.
On my personal life front, I will be able to tackle my email and order backlog from being homeless again and throwing myself into work for some security. Once again, thank-you for your patience with me during this period. All orders will be met, all shipping refunds processed and I hope everyone loves the figures- I just haven't been in a secure place. I have a few weeks at my cousin's whilst I am house sitting which will allow me to get my photo ID updated so I can get a flat. I have purchased a travelling wifi hub so I can securely do your orders and banking. So that's gonna happen in the next few days. :)