Friday, 17 May 2019

Bones Incoming

I'm waiting for my Reaper Bones 4 kickstarter delivery.  Hopefully I'l have lots of goodies to show next week.

My Bones did indeed arrive.  They are great, really well detailed and I'll have a lot of fun with them.
I'm checking them off to make sure that everything is present and correct, then I'll show off some of my favourites.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

D&D Character Minis - Francis (part 2) and Friends

I've (just about) finished Francis.  He's good enough to be used tomorrow night anyway.
Here is how I converted the mini, now here he is in all his painted glory.

As a first for me, I used the suggested 'triads' for Vallejo Game Color paints.  These aren't sold in sets or anything, but the leaflet available with the range gives suggested paint codes to make your own (you can find an online copy of it here).
I didn't quite follow the method, instead I started with the shadow tone and gave it a wash before resetting then working up to pure highlights.  This is a technique I still need to do a lot of practice on, and random character minis should be ideal for this.  If only I had loads of unpainted minis to practice on...
Francis needs varnishing and basing on a clear acrylic disc, then he will be finished.  I'm really pleased with how he came out, the figure is pretty good considering he is just a common mook originally.  Even without the modifications he would look pretty good just with a better paint job than the original.

Here are a couple of Francis' friends.  Well, they aren't really friends yet, but once they've had to work together to escape the pirates they should be colleagues at least.

First, Citronella, the dwarven cleric.  She started out as Freya Fangbreaker and is a Reaper bones mini.  She has had her axe replaced with the head of a mantic dwarf shieldbreaker, with a bit of cocktail stick as the shaft.

She also has a pouch from the ever useful Frostgrave Soldiers sprue.

I removed the molded on arrow (of Law?) from the shield.  Citronella is a cleric of the Ocean god, so a nice hand painted wave would look good here.

Next, Hana, the human rogue, a WotC pre-painted mini, actually an elven sorceress.  The original had a wavy dagger, but the character has a short sword, so one was taken from a set of Fireforge historical minis.  I was going to add some pouches or rope, but the mini has a cluttered belt of items already.  I did trim the ears slightly to reduce the elven look.

These last two minis will be painted by one of the players.  With her permission I'll show you what they look like when she's done.

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

D&D Character Minis - Francis (part 1)

I recently started a new D&D campaign.  This time we are using 5th edition and playing in a home brewed world, Teramarr.

New characters deserve new minis, so I'll show off the minis we are using, starting with Francis, the fairly standard human fighter.
Francis is male, and starts with mail armour, shield, crossbow and axe.  I didn't have anything exactly matching that, so it was time to get out the bits box, knife, drill and glue and create something.

I began with the old WotC D&D pre-painted mini, Zhentarim fighter.

This is the mini we used for the first session, as most of the fighter types I could find wore far more armour than this.  It's not a bad mini either, though the sword is a bit bendy, and the colour scheme isn't very inspiring.  I understand that when these minis were made there was a correlation between a mini's rarity and the number of different colours used.  This is a common mini; it actually makes good use of the the three paint colours and the black plastic, but I want better for Francis.

Until I looked closely, I hadn't even noticed the crossbow on the back.  It's a bit puny, and seems to me to hang at an odd angle.

To turn the mini into Francis I had to, at the very least, swap the weapon.  I have loads of sprues of different hard plastic minis, for this project, the Frostgrave Soldiers sprue proved very useful.  
The axe was taken from an arm holding it and the sword cut off the Zhent.  The hand was drilled through and a wire pin inserted that took the axe and its pommel.  

I didn't like the head on the Zhent; maybe it's the 'bunny ears' on the helmet, I don't know, but it had to go.  I also did this so that if or when Francis is upgraded, perhaps if he gets heavy armour, using the same head will tie the new mini into the character.  The new head also came from the Frostgrave Soldiers sprue, so there will be no problem sourcing a new one for 'Francis Mark II'

I wanted to make the mini more obviously an adventurer, so I added a backpack, again from the Frostgrave Soldiers sprue.  There are several pouches and ropes on it as well, but I was happy with just the pack.  I'll keep these in  mind for the rest of the party though.
I wanted to replace the crossbow, but the various ones I tried looked too big and didn't fit well under the pack, so I'll just paint it as is.  I also tried a quiver of crossbow bolts, but it looked bulky and made the mini look cluttered.

So that's Francis, built and waiting for paint.  Once I'm happy that the glue is dried I'll give it all a wash then undercoat it.
Once painted, I'll base on a clear acrylic base, but I'll get the paint and varnish done first.

You can see the complete Francis here.

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Bones IV on its way!

According to the latest update, Bones 4 nears the UK.  By now I can't remember what I ordered, so that should be a nice surprise.

Of course, it also means a lot more unpainted Reaper Bones to paint, and I suppose that we will soon be getting Bones V

Friday, 26 April 2019

Kings of War Ogres

I've finished the first batch of my 15mm Ogre army.  I discussed here how I stumbled on them as a project, and I have been working at getting 500 points ready.  This isn't quite the 500 points I want to start playing with, but its a good way towards a 1000 point army.
Most of these you will have seen in the earlier post, but they are all based and finished now.

I 've also added some friends.  These are Red Goblins and are all Ral Partha Demonworld goblins.  They are there to add a sense of scale to the ogres and also as a nod to the old GW Ogre Kingdoms armies who had similar (gnoblars?).

Regiment of ogre warriors, with friend/mascot/emergency rations.

A better view of the red goblin

Second regiment of ogre warriors (or half of a horde).  Their red goblin is a little bolder than the previous one

The ogre warlord.  A lovely sculpt, very commanding.  

Wise Old Kafari, ogre warlock

The giant Guthrum Mane.  You may remember him from his appearance in Orc's Drift.  I always intended him to be useable in 15mm KoW as well.  All I've done since is texture the base properly.

I got a pack of goblins that was designed to be a warband, I'll look more closely at these when I get back round to Dragon Rampant and similar, but I also got enough archers to make a regiment of Red Goblins.  Actually I got enough to make three such regiments, but only one is painted so far.
They are great minis, and really easy to paint, given that all their clothing is red.  I went for different skin tones again, to add a bit of variety within the unit. 

Red goblins

Less than 20 in the regiment, but I think they look the part, and I tried to give then an undisciplined look, all over the place.

This chap was destined to be on an ogre base, but then I realised the red goblins can have a Biggit.

The whole force so far.

This isn't a legal force, I need more regiments and/or hordes to unlock so many characters, but I'm working on those too.  The next batch will include some more warriors and some Braves, plus a couple more heroes.

Looking closely at the photos as I cropped them I noticed that there is quite a bit of stray static grass, I'll have to vacuum them to remove loose bits.

Friday, 19 April 2019

Terrain - The League of Rhordia in a Box

I short while ago I talked about my plans for organising my terrain (here).  Well the first set is complete now; a set of 15mm terrain priciply designed for Kings of War games set in and around the League.  You can see it getting its first play here.  Of course it will do just as well for Kingdoms of Men or any basically human settled lands.  You may note that I have used my Orc's Drift buildings, and eventually I might replace them, keeping them seperate for special games, but that's likely to be a long way off, and if you look back here, you will see that I originally built them for the League anyway; Dragon Rampant Orc's Drift came later.

A nine litre Really Useful Box packed full of 15mm terrain

 So what's in the box?
Hills, as per my chart on the earlier post, a single hill and a four part hill.  I don't think I need to show the construction process (comments below if you want this), I designed them so that the four part hill fits in the bottom of the Really Useful Box in the corners, with the single hill slotting in the centre.
Here they are set up, of course the four part hill is very flexible.

On top of the hills is a tray (actually a slightly modified lid from a box of printer paper) which holds the buildings.  At the moment all my Orcs Drift buildings are in here, so there's plenty of room.  Also in the tray is another box holding the trees and the fences and walls.  Under this smaller box fit the fields and the bases for the woods.  

The buildings in the box are far more than I would want for a standard wargame, but they'l make a great village for a skirmish game.  Here they all are.

I made the fields and woods especially for this project.  They are MDF with texture added.  The woods have a layer of foam board with cut-outs for the individual trees, the fields were designed to be easily surrounded by my hedges (See how they are made here, and I must get round to finishing that tutorial).  After all, no farmer would have crops left to the mercy of wandering wildlife.

I'm planning on replacing the trees with some fruit trees and some flowering trees (cherry?) to give the woods a more cultivated look, but these trees will do for now.

Here's an example of a setup.  I hope it gives the feel of settled farming lands.  I think there's about enough terrain, and that's not the whole box full.

There is still enough room in the 9 litre RUB to fit a few more items.  I can slot some thin items down the side of the tray, such as a pond or some road or river sections, depending on how I make them (I'm currently torn between using felt with paint and texture added, or something more solid along the lines of the fields.  Another field might be in order too, along with sufficient hedging to surround them all.  I'd like to add some random 'colour' bits as well to increase the 'feel' of the place; such as barrels and crates, a cart, scarecrow etc.  Thes just add colour in a big battle and will be ignored for Line of Sight etc, but can double as objectives.

All in all I'm very pleased with this set.  It has the advantage of all being in one box, so is easily found (or lost!) in the loft of shame, and contains all I need for a game.  If I'm doing a skirmish game on a smaller battlefield its fine, the scenery should be more crowded anyway.

Next up will probably be a box of 28mm terrain using a 35 litre box (or maybe the 18 litre if I can get away with it).  I might try some mountainous scenery, possibly dwarven themed since I got a couple of nice buildings recently.  This set will have more hills and some impassable rocks.  Boulder fields will replace farming fields and I'm sure to need a stream.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Kings of War Battle - Gugrot's Revenge Extras, Order of Battle, etc.

Just a little extra post to include Merlin's pictures from the battle, and an order of battle so you know what was what in the AAR here

The Herd survey the village, their ex chieftain is paraded before their eyes

The Herd advance

Bitter fighting in the fields

The Knights ride through the opposition

Here's the League Order of Battle, using the extremely useful Easy Army, check it out if you don't know it.

And the Herd, who also had the Boomstick on the Tribal Totem Bearer